Warranty stories

Who doesn’t like the smell of a new RV? The fresh paint, the off gassing of the carpet, the drops of antifreeze in the shower…

Along with all the goodness of putting your fresh finger prints on everything comes the idea that during manufacture, mistakes were made. Barnes On Move along with many other RV owners suggest having a shakedown run with your RV on the first available time possible. For us, we will always camp in the parking lot of the dealership the night of purchase, maybe even a few extra days.

The idea here is to find broken stuff, get it on a list, and added to the file before leaving on any long trips. Hopefully someone can fix the small things immediately for you before taking total possession of the unit. Sometimes they forget to turn the hot water bypass off on the water heater. This can actually cause a burned out element in your electric side of the water heater, but that is a story for another time. If you have particular questions about your unit, they can then answer it on the spot and not try to do it over the phone or bringing the unit back in.

So here is our story of how the warranty work went for our unit. As you know, we began our RV journey late 2021 with the purchase of a Keystone Sprinter 32BH. The layout was good, the price was reasonably in budget, size was large enough for 3 person family, 2 dogs, and 1 Russian tortoise.

First biggest problem we found was NO hot water. Being the curious tinkerer I am, I went digging. First found out that one of the wires was not hooked up to the gas controller. Secondly, the bypass was still ‘on.’ Third, the electric side did not work at all. Called the service center at the dealership, and was told, bring it in so we can take a look at it. Break out the calendar, and set a date.

Keeping track of days here, 1 day for setting appointment and finding problems.

Day of appointment getting close, we move into the campground at the dealership. Morning of appointment, we have to move out the humans, the dogs, the tortious, and find a place to relocate for the day. Reminding everyone we are full time.

Everyone is moved out, slides in, porter takes our house back to the bays. A few hours later I get a call, ‘we’re all done, come get your unit!’ I then ask about the water heater, and they said…”all fixed.”

Crank up the truck and head to the dealership. Chat up the service writers for a few minutes and find out by implied words that a less than favorable tech worked on my rig. This kills my warm fuzzy feeling and we plug up the trailer to double check that work.

It appeared from a quick look that the tech’s troubleshooting was only running water in the sink to see if it was warm. Full grey tank reinforced this idea. Of course, my electric side of the water heater still doesn’t work.

Call over the tech, he tries again.

After watching him flounder a few minutes I show him how to check the electric heating element and he then realizes it was busted. He finally swapped the element, but it shouldn’t have taken an owner showing how to do a job.

Oven never worked higher than 350° until it was replaced.

Door was not installed correctly. Only authorized to reinstall door.

Leaking window. Only sealed the outside, yes it stopped the leak, but the sealer that should have been between the window and frame may have a defect.

Loose negative terminal.

Every problem we see takes multiple days and makes it difficult for a full time family. I am saddened by the quality of rigs from the ‘Rona’ times. I don’t know what we would have done if it was months wasted at the dealership.

Oh yea…extended warranty. $200 evaluation fee. $50 deductible at that shop. And multiple days to get work or parts.

Warranty work is just a part of life with any purchase, I hope your stories are more entertaining than mine!

Comment or tweet @BarnesOnMove with your story!

First Trip Advice

Keys hanging from kitchen sink
Oh the Keys!

When you purchase your first, or 21st, RV from a dealership.

  1. Do your walk though!
    Look at everything. Look for broken stuff. Look for missing stuff. Look for messes and things that don’t look right. Make sure this stuff gets put on the “we owe” list and is done before you take your rig! All to often do we hear horror stories of when someone did not pay attention to what was told, or were not diligent on the walkthrough and making sure stuff was ready to pull off the lot! Don’t be a statistic of people who don’t like their rig because you didn’t learn when you had the chance.
    Take your rig to their campground (or parking lot, if that is not available, use the pickup area where your walkthrough was at–with preapproval of course) and stay there for a day or two. This will give you a chance to try out the stove, refrigerator, water heater, and shower! Use them! Make sure they work while you are still on property. Many rigs have duel gas and electric water heaters (use the gas first–if the rig is still winterized and no water is in the tank, you can fry an electric element by turning it on without any water.)
    Leaks are a possibility, a neighbor right now just traded in a class b for a class a, and the shower leaked and was not sealed. Better to find this out near the shop than at the camp ground.
  3. Make a check list!
    Make a routine list of things that needs to be done (or take ours and modify it) before you pull out. Also make a list of things that need to be done when you get parked. When we do it often, we get complacent and make mistakes. When there is a long gap, we get out of practice and make mistakes…MAKE A CHECK LIST!
  4. FOOD
    Well, I like to eat, and enjoy bringing my full kitchen wherever we go. So we can make any meal on the road just like we would in a house. You may just need to pick slightly different cookware to fit.
  5. ENJOY
    But realize stuff is going to go wrong. Fix it and move on. There will be many more great memories in your rig than the bad ones.

    This just gives you a little of a head start when buying a new (or used) rig. Do not badmouth anyone until you have politely tried to remedy it through the dealership or manufacturer. They will more than likely NOT send a technician to you, you will have to take your rig to them to get it fixed, and it may take multiple trips.

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