Dear RV Industry,
Where do I begin….since purchasing a brand new Keystone Alpine three months ago I have learned so much about your industry that has truly saddened me. I’m sad for the families who have had vacations ruined by lack of quality control. I’m sad for the hard-workin’ men and women who spend anywhere from $35,000 to over $100,000 expecting to be treated with honesty and understanding when something goes wrong, but are greeted instead with finger pointing, back peddling, and denial. I’m sad for the couple excitedly pulling out of the dealership with high hopes and dreams of an amazing adventure a year in the making and planned to a “T”, that realizes in only a few days on the road, they’d been taken, and what should be smiles and joy, turns to tears and frustration.
Then my sadness turns to anger when I start researching and learn the company behind it all made $130 MILLION last quarter..that’s just a quarter!, that they own almost 50% of the RV industry (ummm, can someone say monopoly), and are refusing warranty claims left and right, making the people purchasing their units get lawyers and dragging out simple issues that should be covered, in the court system.
Then it all turns into question after question……
Manufacturers, have you always been making less than quality products and refusing warranty claims or is this a new practice since being acquired by Thor Industries? Help us understand what has happened? It doesn’t appear to have always been this way. Is demand too high and there aren’t enough workers? Are deadlines for production unrealistic? The consumer is seeing it. What’s the fix?
Dealers, have there always been this many product issues? Have the manufacturers always denied your hour claims on jobs, causing you to do more work for less pay? Or again, is this new, due to the conglomerate that is Thor? What has caused customer service to decline at the dealer level?
My plea to the industry…..
Either make better products, do more (if any) quality control checks before a unit leaves the line, honor your warranty and charge the same as you do now. Or start slashing prices to reflect the sub-par products and customer service that is actually being sold.
Dealers, turnaround times should be more realistic and if you are struggling due to the shoddy workmanship of the manufacturer, start helping us hold them accountable. Refuse to sell their products, offer true warnings and reviews, stop helping make Thor Industries richer while the average man, including your employees, pay the price.
There needs to be a complete overhaul of the industry, period. To see more of why I feel this way, follow this link to a Facebook feed that shows our issue along with the HUNDREDS of comments from people having the same problem.
People expect to have safe units that work properly or to at least have them fixed in a timely manner without having to fight for what is promised in black and white in warranties. Thor Industries, I ask that you take a long hard look at your business practices. You are biting the hand that feeds you, while also lessening your consumer pool by creating a jaded future camper purchasing generation as they see the headache their parents and grand-parents are going through.
Please comment below with your story, good or bad, we’re interested in it all. Leave your suggestions and concerns for the industry. I have high hopes this might just reach the right eyes and maybe some real good will come from what has been really bad for us and so many others.
Camping or ‘glamping’ as those crazy tent campers call it (lol), is a wonderful thing, nights by the fire, being able to travel for less, seeing places you may not have been able to other wise, and in our case do something crazy, like take a few years off from the real world, to stop and smell the roses and see every inch of this beautiful country. I don’t want it to be this and I don’t want people to stop doing it because the idea of purchasing a RV seems like a bad one. I want to help Thor Industries be proud of their products and the way they treat their customers. I’ll be the first to sing praises if I think they truly care about what they’re doing to what used to be a tried and true industry that created the wonderful tradition of quality time with the ones you love.