Friday, March 25, 2016

A few minor tweaks and repairs

We've only used the RV a few times, but with a machine as complicated as a motorhome, a few things were bound to need fixin' and tweakin' in the first year.  I've been very impressed with how well all of the major systems have worked and how few issues we've had.  We expected high quality from Newmar and our expectations have certainly been met!

I recently took it in for a warranty repairs and left it there for several weeks.  When dropping it off, I told them that we weren't in a hurry.

The List

Here's our list of things that have gone wrong:
  • LED accent light in the half bath went out.  Suspect a bad bulb.
  • MCD electronic window shade won't go up behind one of our recliners.  I reprogrammed it myself, but it still won't raise.
  • Dometic Freezer in the basement won't freeze food.  This is odd because my thermometer reads 19 degrees on the floor of freezer, but pizzas stay soft even after several days.
  • Ring below the outside shower nozzle is cracked.  Just a small crack in a very small part.
  • Right front rim scratched during installation of the Tyron band.  National Indoor RV Center in Atlanta, who installed our bands, is paying for this replacement.
  • Recall for bay door actuators.  This is a Newmar recall.
Some other things we wanted them to check:
  • Battery fluid levels.  The coach was built in January 2015.  We bought it in November and have had it about three months.  I could check it myself, but it's in the shop, so they may as well have a look.
  • Tighten nuts on the breakers in the half-bath.  Several people have reported that the nuts holding the wires to the breakers (in the cabinet in the half bath) have been loose as received from the factory.  This is a potential fire hazard.

The Dealer 

Our nearest dealer is Independence RV in Winter Garden, FL.  It's the same one where we almost bought our custom-ordered 2016 Dutch Star, but we ended up getting a new 2015 from NIRVC in Georgia.  The folks at Independence RV were very nice and told me that they would take care of everything on our list.  They have worked on the phone with NIRVC to resolve issues related to replacing the front rim, and were very nice when I took it in.

I specifically told our Service Advisor, Andy, to take his time getting the coach back to us since we had no plans to take it anywhere in February or March.  We went in at the three week point to get a few things out of the coach and they had finished everything, but were going to check out the freezer a bit more.  While we were there, we noticed that our door-side awnings weren't all the way in.  They were sticking out about 4-6 inches further than they should from the side of the coach.  As we left, we mentioned it and Andy said that they would take a look.

Picking it up

We finally went out to pick it up today, one month and 13 days after I dropped it off.  Remember, I told them that there was no hurry whatsoever - and even asked them to do something extra when we went back in the middle of the repairs.  So the duration was no problem.  In fact, they actually had everything completed in eight days.

We were surprised to find out that, although we had complained about one LED light out in our half-bath, they actually replaced all 57 LED lights in the coach because of a recall.

The MCD shade did have a bad motor.  In working to replace it, they found another one that required adjustments and fixed it, too.

They said that they found the Dometic freezer set to 42 degrees.  I should have asked about this because I could have sworn that we had it at 18 degrees and measured it at 19 degrees; at these supposedly-set temperatures, it wasn't even freezing pizza.  They set it to zero and said that it froze water bottles every time.

They replaced the shower hose and the rim (taking care to move our Tyron band to the new rim).  They also replaced the recalled bay door actuators, checked the battery fluid levels (still good), and didn't find any loose nuts in the breaker panel.

They also adjusted our awnings, which look quite a bit better even though they still don't seem quite as flush to the body as I would expect.

Our opinion of Independence RV's Service Department

We were treated with kindness and patience.  They fixed everything they said they would at no charge to us because it was all warranty work.  I had asked Andy how much they would charge to wash our coach before we picked it up.  He had it done at no cost!  He was helpful and answered all of my questions.  They handled all warranty issues and worked in tandem with our "purchase" dealer NIRVC in Atlanta, as well as the folks at MCD regarding some of the window shade issues.

My only complaints are small ones.  I would have liked them to take our invoice and walk through it with me at the coach to show me everything that had been done.  The awning work wasn't shown on the invoice, so I have no "official" record of it, and the window shade that they replaced works great when controlled individually, but doesn't respond to the "All down" or "All up" commands.  It'll require a little more programming that I should be able to do.

Overall, our experience with Independence's Service Department was excellent and I'd recommend them to anyone needing work done on their motorhome.

We drove it back to our storage lot.  Sad.  Can't wait to take it out again!!

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