Originally Posted by gordonandpatti
We own a 2007 Winnebago Voyage with a hitch made by Valley. We are on an extended trip traveling from Florida to Vancouver BC and back, and are now in California.
We have damaged the trailer hitch and would like to replace it. We are near San Francisco and find that Valley is about an hour away and think our problem is solved. We find a very knowledgeable and helpful trailer/RV dealer who tries to solve the problem but cannot.
The problem is as follows. The hitch is custom made by Valley for Winnebago, and Valley refers us to Winnebago. We call Winnebago and are told that they do not stock it, but would have to order it from Valley. They do not know when it will be delivered, and it could be between 1 and 4 weeks. They also say that we cannot buy it from them, but have to order it from a Winnebago dealer. I explain that we are traveling and ask how we can order it through a dealer when we don’t even know when it will be delivered or where we will be when that is. Their answer is that there is no other way to get the hitch other than order from a Winnebago dealer.
Winnebago’s customer support is certainly terrible in this case. They sell motorhomes; motorhomes are built and bought to travel. Winnebago’s customer support should support traveling motorhomes.
While I can sympathise with you on this and understand your frustration, if you don't know where you will be how can you tell them where to send it even if Winnebago did sell direct?
While Winnebago does not sell direct and cut out or compete with their dealers they will work with you to get the parts to a dealer in your area.
Valley probably makes the hitches in batch for Winnebago and does not stock them so delivery time to Winnebago may depend on how long it will take for Valley to ramp up, produce and ship a new batch.
I would call Winnebago back and ask if any dealer on your route has the hitch in stock and if that does not work then verify how long it would take to get the hitch to a dealer and then ask for dealers in locations approximate to where you will be at that time. If it is still 1 to 4 weeks then go with a dealer that you will be near to in 4 weeks.
Another option would be to ask the campground you are at if they can recomend a local hitch installer/fabricator who can repair the damage to your existing hitch.
By the way, how did you damage the hitch and how bad is the damage? The way the one on my Adventurer is made and attached it looks like there would be frame damage to the vehicle from any force strong enough to require total replacement of the hitch.