Saturday, October 26, 2013

Yet Another Update on the Little RV's Holding Tank Problems

If you're new to our blog of just want a refresher (hahahah) you can read about our holding tank woes here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here and here.  The short story is we have been having problems with our holding tanks for nearly 18 months now and the only way to fix them is to install electric tank valves.  We have had several different repair shops attempt to fix them and/or replace them and all have failed. Currently our black and one gray tank will not completely close and leak continuously. 

Our current repair shop has sent an estimate to DRV  for the replacement of the valves with electric and DRV has denied the estimate stating it is too expensive.  This prompted me to write a heartfelt email to DRV letting them know how much it has cost us over the past 18 months to deal with these problems.  I also let them know that I has spoken with the Oregon Office of the Attorney General and was told that if the problem began and repairs were attempted during the warranty period DRV was obligated to continue to repair the problem.  
 
Their response was simply, "We are obligated to repair, not “ upgrade” , I have no problem replacing the valves if needed, if you choose to upgrade to electric, the upcharge will be at your expense."  

I was stunned.  Apparently they are willing to pay to have the valves changed out again (the third time) but not replace them with the electric type.  I wonder how much they are willing to spend on changing out the valves repeatedly for an indefinite period before they finally pay for the electric type?  

At what point do we give up and pay to get them installed ourselves?  Am I cutting my nose off despite my face?  I guess I'm not there yet.  To me there is a principal here and I'm feeling like they are just pushing back in hopes we will go away and they'll be off the hook.  

I have now filed a complaint with the AG's office.  Once again, we are waiting.  The repair shop is trying to get something worked out with DRV, some of our parts have still not arrived, and we are going to move up to Washington for medical appointments soon.  We have rescheduled our repairs for the week before Thanksgiving.  

I dream of leaving for warmer places after Christmas with a fully functioning RV.  Is that really so much to ask?

10 comments:

  1. I can not imagine the frustration you are going through. . . well maybe I can. Don't let "them" win, but I do hope you get something done soon. If all else fails, go watch the movie "RV" again.

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    1. I guess we just need to purchase the movie (RV) and watch it every morning to start our day with low expectations.
      Juley

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  2. does Oregon not have a lemon law? In my state if an "attempt to repair a motor vehicle does not correct the problem the manufacturer must replace either the defective part or the vehicle if the part is subject to failing again". Of course you need to have all documentation but I'm sure you do! I would contact a consumer group in the area as well if you have one. Several television stations here have consumer affairs reporters who will not just contact the manufacturer but put a story on the news detailing what the problem is and how it ends up being handled. Amazing how many 'problems' get solved once they realize how much BAD publicity they will get.

    Sue O

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    1. SueO,
      The lemon law does not apply in our situation because a 5th wheel is not a motor vehicle. I did double check with the AG's office. The manufacturer is in Indiana so unless a national station were to pick the story up I don't think they would care much. Great ideas though!
      Thanks,
      Juley

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    2. Are you a member of GoodSamClub? They have a service where they contact RV mfgs and work to help resolve problems. Got our renewal in today's mail and it reminded me of their service.

      Sue O

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    3. SueO
      We are Good Sam members and I had no idea they had that service. I'll have to check into it. Thanks for sharing
      Juley

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  3. I googled DRV Tradition problems and found your blog. We also have a 2013 I think the only difference is the couch location. We stayed in ours July to Oct. and we took it back to the dealership immediately for all the warranty repairs, too many to wait on it so its still there. The first thing we had trouble with was the refrigerator side slide. There was a gap all along the seal so bad you can see daylight (lots of it) coming under the slide. Is yours sealed right? Can you imagine the dirt, snow bugs that can enter such big gaps? Then next the slide on the table slide dragged on the floor and ripped the flooring bad, ripping worse now everytime, also ripped the edging of the slide and top. We also had trouble with the black tank sensor, it always shows nearly full no matter how much we cleaned it out. Now reading your blog that may be worse than we thought. Our light bulbs were going out all over in our brand new rv. Our year warranty ran out in Dec. but purchased the extended. We are sooooo disappointed. This is our 4th RV and never saw any of these problems in our other ones. We are seriously considering trading it off as soon as we pick it up before something else goes wrong. I hope yours is finally fixed (excuse me for laughing at times at some of the problems that you have had -- only laughed because misery loves company and we can certainly relate to some of the same problems -- Good luck.

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    1. Oh Dear!
      I am so sorry you bought it. We are so sorry we bought it too! To answer your questions, we did not see daylight under any of the slides but we did have a serious problem with them leaking when we were towing. Apparently there were large gaps in the slide seals and water was getting in on rainy days while towing.
      Try Pine-sol for your black tank. NOBODY has ever gotten the tank sensors to work for us but the last time in the shop the technician soaked the black tank in 2 cups of Pine-sol and filled the tank with water to soak over night. The next day the tank read empty for the first time.
      This is our first RV and I can't tell you how many people tell us that this is normal. Clearly if this is your 4th and this level of dysfunction is new to you it is not normal.
      You are excused for laughing... Sometimes it's the only way to cope.
      I'd love to know what you end up doing with your Tradition.
      Keep your chin up!
      Juley

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    2. I am the one who replied to you earlier this year because we had the same RV with some of the same problems and it was at the dealer for warranty repair. Well they had it for 5 months, CAN YOU BELIEVE we just went this week to pick it up and you could still see daylight under the slide although they had changed the bad seal, hopefully the other slide is fixed (it ripped the flooring - they replaced the flooring but we were scared that every time we extended the slide that it was going to rip again) Our sewer valves did not hold either. We did not have faith that any of the fixes were right and would stay fixed so we immediately took it to another RV dealership and traded it for a 2014 Excel Limited. The trade-in on the DRV was what we thought was really good (considering we thought it was a piece of junk) so it was a no brainer to get rid of the headaches. We checked this RV alot more closely and it seems so much better quality. The seals around the slideouts are a much better design, it has a residential refrigerator, the windows and shades are so much better. We are excited and are loading up now for our first trip, my husband works inspecting pipelines and we are in a RV several months at a time. I hope you have all your headaches behind you. Good luck

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    3. Thanks for the update. I am so happy you were able to get rid of your DRV. We still have ours and have continued to have more problems. Specifically an awful water leak that has caused a ton of damage. No coverage for that on our insurance or extended service agreement. We fixed it as well as we could just this past week. If we were able to trade our DRV in for something else we would do it in a heartbeat. Have wonderful travels in your new and well built RV.
      Juley

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