Our Nightmare began in December of 2016. We found the coach of our dreams at Camping World in Marion, NC. We had fallen in love with DRV years before because of the workmanship and quality. Took us years, but we finally made our dream happen.
I should have know something was wrong when before the ink was even dry on the contract, the service manager, Jeffrey Beaudreau, turns to us and says, paraphrasing here, "Well....I sure am glad that piece of crap is gone!" That should have been a huge red flag but we were too smitten with our dream to let that fully set in until a few years later.
I will fast forward here... approximately 60 line items of warranty issues were reported during warranty period. Perhaps 10% of them were repaired and very shoddily at that I will say. Worse than just leaving them alone.
But there a two of these warranty items that are terrifying to say the least. Let me begin with the drivers side slide coming all the way out....on its own....sitting still or.....driving down the road! Twice, I was able to be witness to the slide coming out while we were actually driving down the road at a highway speed! We thought that was our imagination until I actually witnessed it happen!
For months, we had been taking videos of the slide coming out on its own while we were parked. I sent these videos to both Camping World AND DRV. I copied 5 people on every email. 9 different email attempts for help with this, over the course of 18 months went completely UN-answered!
We did have the coach to Camping World twice for repairs. The technician made it sound like the repair was so simple... he said all we needed was to bleed the system. "There must be air in the system", he said. We asked him if he did bleed the system. He looked at us, straight in the face and said "No". We actually had to leave, with our coach, twice from Camping World, with this very dangerous situation not even addressed!
Like I said, I sent pleas for help for 18 months with not one word of advice or help from anyone. Fast forward to January of 2018. Camping World came to our home in Oxford, NC to pick up our coach and take it back to Marion, NC for repairs. We were told it would take no more than two weeks for 60 line items of warranty repairs.
Since we lived in our coach, Jeffrey Beaudreau said they would be bringing another RV for us to stay in while repairs were being made. At the very last moment, he had service writer Amanda call us and let us know they would NOT be bringing a replacement RV and we had to scramble like the dickens to find something that we and our three dogs could stay in.
What a mess. Anyway the next day, driver Bill came to pick up our coach and take it to Camping World of Marion for repairs. I photographed the entire coach before it left our possession, inside and outside. This would prove to be the one single most important thing I could have done.
We knew the repairs were going to take more than just two weeks to complete. We did not expect them to have our home for three months but that's what it was, three months to the day before they brought it back to us. During the time they had our coach, most communication was done by me and almost all of my communication fell on deaf ears.
However, there was one phone call from Amanda, the service writer, that proved my taking photos was the best thing I could have done. She told me there was proof we had wrecked our coach. Wreck damage all underneath the coach, all bent up and damaged by being hit and the skin was torn several feet up from the bottom of the drivers side rear of the coach!
I knew we had not wrecked the coach and I also knew I had taken photos of the coach before it left our possession so I played along for a little while. I asked if she was positive it had been wrecked and she informed me she was positive. She let me know the rear end cap was completely coming off the rear end of the coach, due to the wreckage. It was going to be a big job and we would be 100% responsible.
That's when I let her know I had photos of the coach before it left our possession and we cold plainly see there was no damage to the coach. I pulled up the photos of the section of the coach she was talking about. At the very bottom of the drivers rear, we could see a tear in the skin, approximately 1 inch in length. Turns out, the screws popping out all over the coach (just one of the warranty repairs) was allowing air to get underneath the skin and when driver Bill pulled it to Marion, the air was sufficient enough to actually rip the skin several feet in length and according to Amanda, begin to remove the entire rear end cap of the coach off!
When I let her know I had photos of the coach before it left our possession, her entire demeanor changed! What was going to be 100% our responsibility was now covered under warranty! She let us know the damage to the skin and rear end cap would be warranty but she could not tell me about the wreck damage underneath the coach. Turns out.....there isn't any. But that's not what the phone call would have me believe.
Fast forward, again. Like I said, Camping World had our full time home for exactly 3 months. When we received it back, we went over it with a fine toothed comb, taking more videos and photos. Imagine my shock and dismay when I saw sheet metal screws drilled thru the skin of our luxury coach into thin air! That's right! Screws drilled thru the skin of our luxury 5th wheel coach into absolutely nothing! Not even close to being drilled into something solid that may hold the skin on to the 5th wheel!
There was damage all over the coach! It appears as the coach was moved around the lot with the slides out. The corners of the slides are bent, there are scratches all over the coach. When we asked about the slide repair, we were told the tech replaced the hydraulic solenoid.
Our next trip was to Georgia in September of 2018. After returning home from this trip, Cheryl was disconnecting the truck from the coach. As she was letting the hydraulic jacks do their self leveling, the front end of the coach was taking a nose dive. Cheryl stopped the jacks from leveling and slid the truck back underneath the front of the coach. She continued to lower the coach when suddenly, from the brand new hydraulic solenoid, one of the hoses blew off the solenoid and an entire tank of hydraulic fluid exploded all over the place!
It soaked Cheryl's t-shirt, face and interior of the hydraulic compartment with all of the fluid. Oh and btw, what is supposed to be a closed system, is still missing the cap.
Now let's fast forward some more. We had decided to take Camping World on, legally. I mean, they had failed to make the warranty repairs they were supposed to make. Any judge in their right mind would see this and rule in our favor. We hired an attorney and he agreed. It was plain for all to see.
A year and a a half later, we sat in mediation with 3 corporate attorneys from Camping World, Heartland and DRV. When I asked the question about why we had never heard from anyone, at all, about something so dangerous as the drivers side slide coming out into oncoming traffic, all three of the attorneys sat across the table with their arms folded across their chests, just staring at me. Not one of them addressed my question! To this day, I still don't have an answer why 9 different emails sent over the course of 18 months to 5 different employees in management about something so dangerous have never been addressed by anyone, at all! Never.
I have spoken with 2 very well known DRV repair facilities about the issue of the slide. Both of these dealerships told me this problem happens so often with DRV they both keep parts in stock to make the necessary repairs. Imagine my surprise to hear this! They both say it is a very common occurrence and repairs are quite simple although may take a few hours to complete.
We sat thru 9 hours of mediation that went nowhere. Camping World had sent an "expert"to check our list of repairs to make sure they were indeed in need of repair. This expert agreed the repairs did need to be done but he said they were all normal wear and tear items and since warranty period was over they would be customer pay.
Yes, warranty period was over but the line items in question were reported during warranty period. Most of them were noted during delivery inspection. One that will make you giggle is on the first day of delivery, I noticed there wasn't a button to ignite the stove. Still, to this day, there is no ignite button. I still have to light it with a lighter.
So we left mediation, trying to come up with the list of repairs they would be responsible for. Their expert witness left 14 very big items off his list. The attorneys did not want to entertain the repairs left off the list and began their arguments all over again. They knew we were worn down and out of money.
Long story short, we settled with Camping World for $26,250. $25,000 of this was for attorneys fees! And WE ARE responsible for all repairs to be completed. 60 warranty line items to be repaired for $1,250.
We got completely hosed and we know it. We have been dealing with this for almost 4 years. It was our retirement dream. We were living in it to be able to pay off as much as possible before retirement. Our dream has been turned into a nightmare.
Now, its in very good hands with someone we can trust to make safe repairs on it so we can sell it to its next rightful owners who will find joy in it. We will never buy another thing from Camping World and we make sure everyone we find who is thinking of buying a camper stays away from Camping World and/or Gander RV.
Name: Shenna Shotwell