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Old 08-12-2017, 01:04 PM   #1
sportingrh
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Warranty work

Why does it take so long to get warranty work done on a new keystone sold by CW. I can't use my fifth wheel because of leaking toilet, and awning that is separating from side of rv. Much does it cost for a ball valve and some screws.
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:49 PM   #2
busterbrown
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RV's are selling like hot cakes. This up tick in sales has left a gaping hole in the "servicing" model at most dealers. Dealer's profits are heavily vested in units sold, not units repaired. And with the shear number of coaches being sold every day, we find ourselves at the mercy of a dealer's service schedule. Not uncommon to hear "drop it off and we'll get to it when we can". Better get ready to cancel some of your summer camping trips!
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Old 08-12-2017, 02:34 PM   #3
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Or do it yourself. Another option is a mobile service.

The reality is that warranty work is too disruptive for most of us and our short camping season so we just pay for parts and do it ourselves.


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Old 08-12-2017, 03:45 PM   #4
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Slow just touched on one concept that isn't often considered when it comes to the seasonal use of RV's. In most areas of the country, winter is the "dead season" for RV dealers. They have to pay staff or lay them off when there's no work. So many dealerships work with "minimally adequate staff" rather than hire people and lay them off after the rush. It works to their benefit by being less expensive and it works to our benefit (even if it doesn't seem like it when we're waiting for an appointment) by not having "unqualified or untrained seasonal workers" doing maintenance on our RV.

Think about the "quality of staff" that would likely be available to work 4 or 5 months of the year and be unemployed the rest of the time. That's a tough way to provide for a family so most people who "have their stuff together" would move right on by that kind of opportunity and find employment some other place. What's left in the "worker pool" may well not be the caliber employee we'd want inside our trailer tearing out walls or searching for an elusive water leak......

It's not an easy job to run a "feast or famine" kind of business. In most places north of the "Mason Dixson Line" RV dealerships face challenges we don't often think about when we're looking for someone to hurry up a job because it's summer and we have things to do......
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by sportingrh View Post
Why does it take so long to get warranty work done on a new keystone sold by CW. I can't use my fifth wheel because of leaking toilet, and awning that is separating from side of rv. Much does it cost for a ball valve and some screws.
According to RV Business, CW's 2Q sale were up 20% to $1.3 billion! http://www.rvbusiness.com/2017/08/ca...to-1-3-billion
"In comparing second quarter results compared with the comparable period in 2016, new vehicle units sold increased 38.2% to 21,930 and the average selling price of a new vehicle decreased 4.5% to $34,787."
Nearly 22,000 new units sold in just 3 months!! "The company operated a total of 137 retail locations" during this period. Simple math, each store averaged 160 units for the quarter. We all know too well what the usual warranty issues are with new RV's. I would guess the majority of these 160 units went in for some kind of warranty work after the sale. How many service bays does the average CW have?? How long does the average repair actually take once the approvals are received? It's a pretty good bet CW is indicative of most dealers in terms of sales numbers and warranty work. With numbers like these it's a wonder that any service can be scheduled with any idea of a reasonable timeline.
We are starting to look at mobile RV repair sources as well as third party repair shops.
Huge sales numbers are great for the industry but not so great for us owners
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:56 PM   #6
sportingrh
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According to RV Business, CW's 2Q sale were up 20% to $1.3 billion! http://www.rvbusiness.com/2017/08/ca...to-1-3-billion
"In comparing second quarter results compared with the comparable period in 2016, new vehicle units sold increased 38.2% to 21,930 and the average selling price of a new vehicle decreased 4.5% to $34,787."
Nearly 22,000 new units sold in just 3 months!! "The company operated a total of 137 retail locations" during this period. Simple math, each store averaged 160 units for the quarter. We all know too well what the usual warranty issues are with new RV's. I would guess the majority of these 160 units went in for some kind of warranty work after the sale. How many service bays does the average CW have?? How long does the average repair actually take once the approvals are received? It's a pretty good bet CW is indicative of most dealers in terms of sales numbers and warranty work. With numbers like these it's a wonder that any service can be scheduled with any idea of a reasonable timeline.
We are starting to look at mobile RV repair sources as well as third party repair shops.
Huge sales numbers are great for the industry but not so great for us owners
I feel they would be far better off to match there sales and service departments to there sales projections. Maybe consider subletting work out. Better yet inform customer of potential problems with the way service works, oh yeah have the units ckd and ready. 7 out of 9 of my problems were minor.



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Old 08-12-2017, 05:15 PM   #7
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I feel they would be far better off to match there sales and service departments to there sales projections. Maybe consider subletting work out. Better yet inform customer of potential problems with the way service works, oh yeah have the units ckd and ready. 7 out of 9 of my problems were minor.



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So hire a bunch of techs based on sales projections..and when sales don't match, what do you do with the techs you hired?

Some dealerships will PDI every unit when it reaches the dealership, deal with warranty items and then put it on the sales line. When it sells a "quick check" is done, pretty much just a leakdown test on the LP system. And the buyer can take his new unit home that day. If customers have been in/out of the unit while on the line who knows what they have played with or broken. New customer is stuck trying to deal with repairs. There are 2 dealers near me that won't even do warranty work after the sale.

Some dealerships ( the one I work at) don't perform a PDI until the unit is sold, and deal with warranty items before delivery. Even so, some times things still break and the customer has to deal with scheduling a repair. Which is better?

On to the topic of QUALIFIED techs: RV's are becoming more and more complex, and dealerships can negotiate warranty labor rates based on documented training. Training costs are not something many dealerships spend money on. RVIA will "certify" much like ASE for the auto industry, but I know from personal knowledge that the dealership has to pay for the 4hour on-line test and it ain't cheap. Fail and your money is gone, no refund. I am a "registered" tech because I finished the first part and past like 8 tests in different areas. I'm not "certified" because they don't want to pay me for 4 hrs. And the test fee.

What's the answer? I have no idea, I just keep on keeping on...
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:00 PM   #8
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Consider the problems Chuckster57 just mentioned, then try to find someone willing to work under those conditions from May through October and then not have a job from November until May of the following year. The "quality of the people" you'd get that are willing to work under those conditions, working for 6 months and drawing unemployment for 6 months is typically not the kind of employee who is "career minded" or the kind of employee you'd want to trust to repair your "major investment".

Sure, there's supposed to be supervision for the workers, and there's training and there's guidelines, but...... No supervisor can be "everywhere all the time" and honestly, no RV dealership should hire that kind of person anyway.

There's a lot of "well they ought to ..." that's being tossed around in this thread, but how long do you think any RV dealership would remain in business if they spent all their profits on paying unemployment insurance for season workers, building multimillion dollar service facilities that sit empty and not used from November through May? The bottom line in the RV business is making a decent living for every one of the employees just like the bottom line in the business you work for is making you a decent living and making the boss enough money to keep the doors open. If the RV dealership can't turn a profit, you won't be buying anything from them, they won't exist.

Can they do better? Yes, in some areas, no in others. One of the "things" I'd suggest any potential RV buyer consider is the limitations of almost any RV dealership. Don't expect that you're their only customer and don't expect that your "Hideout" is their biggest priority over the million dollar motorhome they are trying to sell to a "picky negotiator".....

As for comparing to an automobile sales/service facility, well they are night and day different from any RV dealership, so different that many of them won't even work on the chassis for Class C and Class A motorhomes. The Ford dealership here just changed hands, but the previous ownership refused to do anything, even oil changes on Ford Class A motorhome chassis and they would not do any service work on Class C chassis except for oil changes and only then, for those that would fit through the service bay door over the oil pit. The door is 12' high, so most were excluded. So much for "It's a Ford, any Ford dealer will service it..... Not happening.....
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:52 PM   #9
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Maybe one answer is to make sure as many problem that can be fixed before units sold, also make sure all customers are aware of how th the warranty process works, I wasn't. Just hurry sale then let the buyer deal with it. Looks like customer satisfaction or lack of determines future sales.
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:11 PM   #10
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Maybe one answer is to make sure as many problem that can be fixed before units sold, also make sure all customers are aware of how th the warranty process works, I wasn't. Just hurry sale then let the buyer deal with it. Looks like customer satisfaction or lack of determines future sales.
I'd like to see if a scheduling/reservation system could be implemented. If the repairs weren't urgent you could schedule a date to bring the unit in and know the tech would be on the job the following day with repairs being completed and the unit back with the owner in a timely manner.
One of the big issues is waiting for the dealer to evaluate the repairs, refer their findings to the manufacturer and wait for approval. Then parts are ordered. Then shipped. Then received. Then the actual work scheduled. This process takes a couple of weeks at best and now you're in line for the next available agent/tech
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