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Old 06-11-2024, 03:50 AM   #1
Gamma
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Funny - but not funny.

No question here but maybe a bit of satire. On my 2021 alpine (bought used at 1 year old) the skylight in the shower was leaking. A closer look revealed some small cracks around the sealant so I ordered up a new skylight. When the old one came off all I could do was laugh when I exposed the screw heads until I thought for a minute and wondered, did a dealership do this work? There were just shy of 60 screws holding the 14” x 30” skylight flange down! Most screws were torqued so hard they went through the flange while breaking it. I filled all the holes with GE silicone, added a layer of durabond that extended beyond the new flange and installed it the “normal” way from that point on. No cracks and no leaks. See the attached pic for a good laugh.
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Old 06-11-2024, 04:27 AM   #2
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Better than getting the one that only had three holding it down!
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Old 06-11-2024, 07:02 AM   #3
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Guess someone handed the tech installing the skylight a box of screws and he thought he was supposed to use them all - especially since they have no idea how to use a driver and either strip or deform/drill through whatever surface they are trying to attach.
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Old 06-11-2024, 07:05 AM   #4
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When I replaced our broken shower/tub skylight all the screws holding it in place around the periphery had been over-tightened and the edges were cracked but all were covered with so much Dicor that there no leaks. I bought a replacement on eBay from a guy that made them and he could stand on them as, like mine, they are made of Lexan and virtually unbreakable. I bought the darkest tint available. I did NOT pay nearly as much as the guy is getting for these skylights on eBay these days.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/23151543808...Bk9SR_Kliv2AZA
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Old 06-12-2024, 06:03 AM   #5
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Yeow, a grand!

Thats one expensive skylight. If I though I would keep my 5ver for many years I would consider it. I see myself downsizing a few years down the road. Probably right after I put another skylight in
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Old 06-12-2024, 08:31 AM   #6
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All I can say is Keystone must hire moron rejects for the construction workers and their parents for quality control.

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Old 06-12-2024, 08:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamma View Post
Thats one expensive skylight. If I though I would keep my 5ver for many years I would consider it. I see myself downsizing a few years down the road. Probably right after I put another skylight in
In 2018 I paid a LOT less for that Lexan skylight:

Time placed Jun 8, 2018 at 5:24 AM
Order number 331513761292-1543203820014
Total $45.99 (1 item)
Sold by mansquid8tjp
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Old 06-12-2024, 08:52 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
All I can say is Keystone must hire moron rejects for the construction workers and their parents for quality control.

Ken
That's a bit "harsh" when the trailer and skylight we're discussing is on a 3 year old USED trailer. We don't know the prior history with the previous owner/owners and whether that skylight was originally leaking nor do we know how many times it was in "some unknown service facility" to have the leak repaired, nor do we know if the service tech at that unknown dealership was a "moron reject" or whether it was a factory build issue....

I'm NOT defending Keystone, heaven knows they make their share is problems as trailers go down the line, but simply put, not all problems on trailers are created by the factory or by factory workers. Heck, it's even possible/probable that the previous owner "fixed his own leaking skylight" with a pound of screws he bought at the dealership who couldn't schedule his repair before his next trip.....
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Old 06-12-2024, 11:15 AM   #9
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My Service Girl at the dealership calls mine a "Friday Trailer"..... All the little crap I've had to fix,finish or repair is the type of stuff you see when someone wants it out of their work area before leaving on Friday afternoon. So they cut corners to push it out.

She says they get them on her lot more than she would like to admit. But it keeps her busy with warranty work.

Not sure if it's still true but for a while there it was my understanding that the factories were pushing out sub par products and relying on the dealership network to make them right.
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Old 06-12-2024, 12:42 PM   #10
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My Service Girl at the dealership calls mine a "Friday Trailer"..... All the little crap I've had to fix,finish or repair is the type of stuff you see when someone wants it out of their work area before leaving on Friday afternoon. So they cut corners to push it out.

She says they get them on her lot more than she would like to admit. But it keeps her busy with warranty work.

Not sure if it's still true but for a while there it was my understanding that the factories were pushing out sub par products and relying on the dealership network to make them right.
You hit on several factors that can readily affect quality.

1. EVERY day at Keystone is a Friday. What I mean by that is they have a "set number of units to complete that day. If they finish at 1PM, they go home as soon as the line is cleaned. If they finish at 2PM, they work later with no "overtime pay".

2. A number of line workers are "Amish farmers" who work the morning shift at Keystone, then go home to work the afternoon/evening in the fields, so it's to their benefit to get finished as early as possible.

3. Friday is just another Monday through Thursday. The sooner they get the units done, the sooner they get to the fields.

4. The "story goes" that during the COVID supply shortages, Keystone was shipping trailers with some parts missing/incomplete trailers for the dealerships to finish "when the parts were available. That "supposedly ended when the supply lines became more reliable"... In reality, it's cheaper for Keystone to ship the trailer to the dealer and pay them to finish the build than it is to try to store them in the shipping yard, pull them back in (which means disrupting production) to complete the build, then try to ship them after completion. So, I'd suspect that, as an example, there are no stereo units or no TV wall brackets, Keystone will ship the trailer to the dealership, then ship the parts (or drop ship them) when they are available...

When you think about it, paying the dealership 1 man hour to hang a TV is significantly cheaper than storing the unit on a lot in Goshen, pulling it back in and shutting down (or slowing down) the line of units flowing through to add one more, "just for a TV bracket"... The manhours to shuffle, store, reshuffle, install, then ship a unit is far more costly to Keystone than paying the dealer "1 man hour of warranty work" to finish the TV install....

So, even though the supply chain shortage shipments have supposedly ended, the concept and cost savings realized continue with any trailer that has an issue....

I'm NOT defending Keystone's practices, but I can understand the motivation with "why" they ship incomplete units and drop ship components for the dealer to finish....

In the final analysis, what's the difference in not installing a TV bracket or not installing cupboard trim or dining table or shower faucet or ?????
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Old 06-12-2024, 01:25 PM   #11
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To add to John's observations above;

With the manufacturer/dealer relationship the way it is in the RV world Keystone has cover by sending incomplete units, poor quality units etc. to the dealer because THEY (the dealer) then assume some of the liability for the poor workmanship....whether they want to or not. Now don't get me wrong, there are plenty of "poor, negligent, lazy, incompetent, etc." dealers but this weird relationship (I'll send you new, broken trailers and you fix them for us at warranty rates - $20-$40hr less than what you charge others) between them assures that they both basically try to use/abuse each other and the loser is the buyer. It's not just Keystone, this is the RV sales model across the board except for some small niche players.
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Old 06-12-2024, 01:57 PM   #12
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In the final analysis, what's the difference in not installing a TV bracket or not installing cupboard trim or dining table or shower faucet or ?????
Funny you mention it. Mine came without any TV mount backing behind the wall of the area designed and pre wired for the TV. So I ended up having to spend my time and money to fabricate one when I tried to hang a TV. The dealership was happy to make the change but at the same time they would not schedule any repairs on my unit until it was on their lot and they sheepishly admitted they were at least 6 weeks out...... No way. I bought it in Jan and planned to use it during the nice months and did not want it sitting on their lot as the prime camping months passed (especially not for a TV).

So, whats the difference? My time.
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Old 06-12-2024, 02:35 PM   #13
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... The dealership was happy to make the change but at the same time they would not schedule any repairs on my unit until it was on their lot and they sheepishly admitted they were at least 6 weeks out...... No way. I bought it in Jan and planned to use it during the nice months and did not want it sitting on their lot as the prime camping months passed (especially not for a TV).

So, whats the difference? My time.
The "bolded part" could very likely be the same motivation for a previous owner of the trailer the OP posted photos of with "way too many screws" in the skylight dome. If that previous owner felt the same as you, what's to say he didn't "fix his own skylight" rather than let it sit on the dealer's lot during the nice months. And, if his "mechanical skills" were not up to par, it's easy to see how "just add more screws to make it sit tighter" could easily be the source of the post photo of his skylight dome....

It's not a "perfect manufacturing system" by any means, but as long as people keep buying them as fast as the factories can build them, there's no "motivation for Keystone, Forest River, Grand Design, Jayco, Winnebago, Airstream, or any other manufacturer to spend money on quality production when there's no "investment return" for that added expense. Now, when people stop buying Keystone trailers (or FR, or Jayco or ??) that manufacturer will be forced to consider various strategies to improve sales. Lower prices, improved quality, more features (bling) are some of the things they'll need to consider... When you think about it, most buyers are aware of the current quality and buy anyway, so I'd suspect Keystone would "mark quality improvement off the list" of things to improve sales....

Heck, during the "china bomb fiasco" a few years back, Jayco announced they were shipping EVERY trailer (100% of them) with Goodyear Endurance tires. That lasted about 18 months and sales fell during a slump and suddenly, TK tires started appearing along with HiSpec tires on Jayco trailers... No announcement and no price reduction in MSRP, but they started installing china bombs with no fanfare.... Today, on Jayco trailers, the Goodyear Endurance tires are part of a mandatory "Customer Value Package" with a price, depending on trailer model, between $5000-$7000... That package isn't available on all models, and if it's not listed, the trailer ships with HiSpec or TK tires....
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Old 06-12-2024, 03:47 PM   #14
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I don’t think for a second this happened at the factory, I assume a green rv tech or owner fixed it on his own. The build has it’s own set of issues. I thought I was buying a “premium” unit. I just have nicer stuff poorly installed.
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Old 06-12-2024, 04:56 PM   #15
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I did not invest in a Premium unit the first time around. I know my trailer is low on the spectrum but I at least expected everything installed to work.

WE had no clue if we would enjoy the sport so we are testing the waters and if we get the itch to roam a bit more then maybe we'll upgrade. For now it fits our purpose fine ad i've got a handle on the bugs needing to be addressed.
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Old 06-12-2024, 06:49 PM   #16
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I donít think for a second this happened at the factory, I assume a green rv tech or owner fixed it on his own. The build has itís own set of issues. I thought I was buying a ďpremiumĒ unit. I just have nicer stuff poorly installed.

I don't buy used anything; homes, RVs, trucks, cars, tools....anything (except a vacation home). As you mention your issue is due to "who knows what was done" prior to your ownership. IMO I want to know anything that happens to anything I buy/own. That's not for everyone but that's how I operate....and it hasn't failed me; buying used has literally every time.

A "premium" unit in an RV means you probably have more "bling" (generally useless) - if lucky better running gear, tires etc. The woodwork is usually better, stiles are real wood etc. Once you get to "mid tier" RVs you have "solid surface countertops". That used to mean at least Corian, now it's melted, formed and cut hard acrylic. I've looked at lots of "premium" units but I just can't find that large "separator" that puts one level of RV above all others due to " quality" - it's just not there and to determine what you are getting vs no you REALLY have to do a lot of homework.
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Old 06-13-2024, 06:36 AM   #17
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We did the same, we had a 2017 Open Range, sort of an economy unit but still nice. When we took the unit on an 8500 mile summer trip we realized two things, we really liked camper traveling and this unit was not going to meet our future expectations. Hence the upgrade. Our Alpine has a lot of nice features and quality parts, workmanship is sub par.
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Old 06-13-2024, 06:38 AM   #18
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I recently looked at a Brinkley, while it glances nicely if you start looking close you see the same kind of slap together manufacturing. Sad.
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Old 06-16-2024, 10:39 AM   #19
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This thread makes me happy and sad. I bought a 2024 Keystone Hideout Sport in April. First trip out a screw stripped out in the trim on the bench seating, slid down the side and left a gash in the side of it.

Second trip out both screws in a cabinet door hinge stripped out and now the door is just hanging there.

I knew based on price it wasn't top quality, but geez, learn to put screws in. Good news is it sounds like my dealer won't push back on it being my fault, and I'm glad I got the extended warranty. Might be a bit of this over it's lifetime.
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