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Old 06-13-2011, 03:00 AM   #41
richfaa
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The dealer really does nor want to do warranty work as they are paid a rate keystone sets not what they would charge. Once Keystone is involved the dealer is out of the money loop. I agree contact the service center first. They will tell you to contact the dealer but now the pecking order is set.

At the last station at the plant..the one where the little red quality control tags are hanging on the campers, The power is on in the units and they do fill the tanks and check for leaks, They do check that everything works.IMO quality control should be checked at every step of the construction and there would be no little red tags at the last station.

I have never seen a wiring diagram on my many plant tours and I have looked for one.I will look closer this September.

"As far as the units being built by different companies in the sane area. When we were there last summer I did some checking. Most of the companies in the area that build these trailers are owned by the same parent company. We could find only one company that wasnít owned by Thor Industries" ....That is a true statement but the same can be said for GM, Ford, Etc.Same parent company, many brands.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:19 AM   #42
Desert RVer
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The legend on our fuse panel in the bathroon is hand written. It is my current understanding that the reason that Keystone does not provide a wiring schematic is that the assmebly line workers are given considerable discretion as to how each unit is wired. Therefore any schematic provided by Keystone may not match how a given unit may be wired. There must be an overwhelming benefit to the factory for this because there are significant finacial negatives associated with this starting at the receiving dealer and ultimately us buyers. Think of how many ($100 per hour)hours dealers spend trying to figure out how a unit is actually wired. Keystone probably doesn't fully pay for this excessive labor expenditure under warranty as they have fixed repair rates. But I'm sure the dealers are more than hyappy to pass on that excessive labor charge to us when not under warranty. I know that in our most siginificant electrical failure, the loss of DC power to the entertainment center, there would have been several $100.00's of out of warranty labor charge to find where the loss of continuity had occurred and then spend 10 minutes to simply re-crimp a connector. Fortunately I was able to find and fix this myself.

Our dealer repeatedly has told us that Keystone depends on their dealers to be the final QC inspection point. If the dealer doesn't do that job effectively then it ends up in our lap.
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:25 PM   #43
richfaa
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"Our dealer repeatedly has told us that Keystone depends on their dealers to be the final QC inspection point. If the dealer doesn't do that job effectively then it ends up in our lap.".... You know it seems that way but if true it is not good business practice. The dealers do not like to do warranty repairs as to them it is a money losing proposition. So you would have a manufacturer causing a dealer to lose money and since all Brands have problems and most dealers handle more than one brand it would be bad news for the dealers. Something does not compute...

After warranty the dealers would be happy to do the work at their rate hence the justification, in our case for the Extended warranty.

True about the workers and wiring. We have been to the plant many times as many of us have and we can see how they do it. Most of the wiring is routed in the roof and down the walls but these are RV's not homes and how in the world do you get into a wall to find the wiring. You have to remove the front and rear cap to get to the marker light wiring. IMO the wiring digram, if there was one, would do little good as you still would not be able to get to it.

we also know for a fact that Keystone may make a change right on the assembly line so the unit that was built in front of yours may be different that yours.. The Rv industry is different than any other and I have no idea what to compare it with.
As I have said many times if they were to build a Montana the way I think it should be built it would weigh @ 30,000lbs and cost 200.000 $$$ and we would not be on the road...

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Old 06-13-2011, 01:12 PM   #44
Desert RVer
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The impression I got from the dealer was they didn't like having to do the final QC but if they wanted to be in the RV business it came with the territory. Having been into several different dealers for warranty as well as non-warranty work, there are some who try to supplement warranty work with unecessary add-on work that is considerably more profitable whether it is really needed or not.

There are two different issues relative to electrical wiring. One is a schematic and the other is a wire routing document. I think you are referring to the wire routing document. Both would be helpful but to me a schematic would be more valuable. A schematic would show nodes and junctions. Their locations might be fairly intuitive. But not knowing how it supposed to be electrically connected functionally is a real disadvantage. Both would be the most desireable. Very few juctions and nodes are hidden behind walls and ceilings. This is where most problems occur. A broken or damaged wire or broken by chewing rodents is about the only failure that would occur behind walls and ceilings. I suspect these type failures are few and far between and considerably less than failures that occur at junction/node connections. In our case the juction was inside the sewer hose storage compartment which was fairly intuitive in that the Entertainmant Center wiring bundle needs to connect to the main wiring of the RV somehwere close to the slide out. Observing the EC bundle location led to the Sewer Hose compartment. A wire connector was found that had been crimped on insulation. It had made a temporary connection but eventually failed. A schematic or wire routing document would have been a real help and would have reduced search time dramatically. But that doesn't seem to be an important objective to the RV manaufacturers.

The auto industry and several other industries have found that bulding a quality product results in the lowest cost of ownership for the buyer. If the RV industry offered 5 year bumper to bumper warranties like the auto industry I suspect the overall RV industry quality would improve dramatically. Currently the RV manufacturers pay a very small penalty for less than stellar quality. The excuse used and often heard is: "A particular subject company is no worse than the others in the same industry." I sincerely doubt that statement shows up in their published corporate goals and objectives. But... is a default RV industry culture.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:13 AM   #45
Phil P
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Hi

The wiring diagram is on the wall about 20 ft long and 6 ft high. It was reproduced from someoneís drawing! The real reason they wonít provide one outside the plant is the probability of legal action.

As for the systems being checked before they leave the factory. The potable water system leaked in this unit because the fittings behind the panel where you hook up your water supply were less than hand tight. No way they didnít leak at the plant provided there was ever any water pressure put on the system.

As for the parent company I doubt seriously that GM, Ford and Chrysler are all built by one parent company and Volkswagen and Toyota are the only ones not. Also I have been unable to find any reference to Thor Industries on any of the paperwork or identification on our Montana. Mercury still has the Ford trademark and Cadillac still has the GM trade mark

My wife has found so far only 2 production companies (not custom builders) in the US that are not owned by Thor.

We were going to have a fifth wheel built by a custom builder but was talked out of it by a friend because the custom builder wasnít RVIA approved. The idea that RVIA approval has anything to do with quality has proven to be a myth.

By the way one good thing about our Montana that may not be so with most of them is the wiring in the front and rear cap is accessible thru panels in the cabinets / closet in the bedroom and living room.

My wife and I believe the fifth wheel trailer is the most comfortable and livable RV on the market. We didnít like any of the class Aís. The fifth wheel has more room inside once the slides are open than any of the class Aís we looked at and we looked at some of the 600 and 700 hundred thousand dollar class Aís and if you are going to go anywhere after arriving at the park you still have to tow a trailer.

We are in negotiation with a custom builder at this time. Their base quote started at double the cost of the Montana.

Phil P
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:49 AM   #46
Delaine and Lindy
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Don't know if the factorys do a pressure check on 5th wheels but the Cambridge we owned was pressure checked by water by the dealership. The SOB we own now was pressure checked by Air pressure, which I though was a good idea Air pressure isn't a mess to clean up.

We ordered our 5th wheel and we used things out of 3 different floor plans and made 17 changes to get the floor plan we wanted. Manufactor moved Medicine Cabinet and removed windows. As for the wiring its all in the roof front to rear, and no there is no diagram. As most know there is constant changes during the build process and it would be impossible to make diagrams!

And yes you will pay more when making changes or mods you want. Our SOB isn't a Thor owned company....
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:25 AM   #47
richfaa
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Phil P

Hi

The wiring diagram is on the wall about 20 ft long and 6 ft high. It was reproduced from someoneís drawing! The real reason they wonít provide one outside the plant is the probability of legal action.

As for the systems being checked before they leave the factory. The potable water system leaked in this unit because the fittings behind the panel where you hook up your water supply were less than hand tight. No way they didn't leak at the plant provided there was ever any water pressure put on the system.

(They do the checks. The connections may have worked loose in Transit
but they do the checks)

As for the parent company I doubt seriously that GM, Ford and Chrysler are all built by one parent company and Volkswagen and Toyota are the only ones not. Also I have been unable to find any reference to Thor Industries on any of the paperwork or identification on our Montana. Mercury still has the Ford trademark and Cadillac still has the GM trade mark

(You read that into my post..GM is the parent company for many brands as is Ford and Chrysler)

My wife has found so far only 2 production companies (not custom builders) in the US that are not owned by Thor.

We were going to have a fifth wheel built by a custom builder but was talked out of it by a friend because the custom builder wasn't RVIA approved. The idea that RVIA approval has anything to do with quality has proven to be a myth.

By the way one good thing about our Montana that may not be so with most of them is the wiring in the front and rear cap is accessible thru panels in the cabinets / closet in the bedroom and living room.

My wife and I believe the fifth wheel trailer is the most comfortable and livable RV on the market. We didn't like any of the class Aís. The fifth wheel has more room inside once the slides are open than any of the class Aís we looked at and we looked at some of the 600 and 700 hundred thousand dollar class Aís and if you are going to go anywhere after arriving at the park you still have to tow a trailer.

We are in negotiation with a custom builder at this time. Their base quote started at double the cost of the Montana.

Phil P
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Old 06-15-2011, 02:04 AM   #48
Phil P
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Richfaa

The point to my post about the trademark is that Thor doesnít put their trademark on the products they build. A reputable company like Ford, GM and Chrysler do put their trademark on all of the items they assemble.

As for the loose fittings. They were all on only by about 3 threads and the main one came off the first time I put pressure on the system. If it were one or two that were just loose enough to cause a leak I would agree with you but for multiple fittings to be so loose that the would not stay connected under pressure is not a ďin transportĒ problem.

Conclusion is that Keystone never tested the system or some one sabotaged the trailer. After looking at the production facility it could be either one.

The reason I have more or less decided it was a lack of test or quality control is the sanitary pluming was not glued at numerous joints and sanitary vent system had never need strapped or supported in the riser causing it to fall out of the roof fitting. The shower enclosure had never been caulked and leaked very bad the first time we used it.

Next were factory-installed accessories that were never plugged in. While this could have been sabotage the sanitary plumbing not being glued and strapped is just about impossible to do after production with out leaving evidence of tampering.

The mechanical failure of the landing gear (one fell down on the road at 60 Mph.) could have and most probably was the result of some event after leaving the factory. The landing gear had been painted so that we never retracted them beyond the black linen I had to mark the new ones so this didnít happen.

Now when it comes to the dealer Keystone looks like a group of geniuses compare to the incompetence of the dealer.

What division of the FAA did you retire from?

Phil P
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:47 AM   #49
richfaa
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PhilP// We retired from The Airways facilities branch. That is the technical branch of the FAA. Wife retired from the Air Traffic Control branch.. Sounds like your unit did not get any inspection at all at that final station..." Next were factory-installed accessories that were never plugged in." That would have been impossible to overlook at the inspection station.
The shower enclosures are not normally caulked at the bottom....Something about mold behind the walls. Many have caulked them.

When your landing gear fell down did the entire locking assembly come loose or fell off?
I would call Keystone with this list of issues and give them the VIN number and the date of manufacturer they can track the unit down and examine the inspection report.

The build sheets accompany the unit all the way down the assembly line and there is a inspection check list at the last station.. We have seen them.. The manufacturere needs to know about things like this. keeping it to ourselves does not help.

I think Thor is more of a holding Company than anything else

http://www.thorindustries.com/home/

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Old 06-15-2011, 08:46 AM   #50
Phil P
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Hi

I find it hard to believe that Keystone expects the shower enclosure to not leak without caulking. I am talking about the bottom of the class enclosure where it is fastened to the fiberglass tub not at the floor.

The center of the landing gear became disconnected from the screw jack and fell down on the road. It didnít do any damage and I used a cargo strap to hold it up to get home. That was in Arkansas. The landing gear on the passenger side had failed at Fort Smith and I had purchased a couple of hydraulic jacks and some 4X4 blocks to handle the trailer with until I got back to the dealer in Florida. This all happened before I ever loaded the basement with the heavy mode3ls my wife has.

The water and waste tank problems were all discovered in the first couple of trips locally. The dealer apparently didnít dry the basement behind the wall because I now have plywood that has rotted in the wall where the water connections are. The wate tank level indicators never worked correctly because Keystone installed them upside down so they always show 1/3 full when the tanks are empty. I looked at a unit in the park where the trailer is now and the level indicators work correctly on that unit and it is about 5 years old.

Keystone is fully aware of these problems. The landing gear was replaced at no charge. I had to show the technician how to use a piece of hose to caulk the shower with because they had decided the vanity and cabinets had to be removed and Keystone had refused to pay for that. Keystone also refused to pay for fixing the waste tank level indicators.

The unit is now out of warranty so Keystone has no interest in even helping me by selling me parts.

I havenít even mentioned the problems with the frame. I donít have a frame flex problem but the spring hangars are in different locations so the axels are under the trailer crooked. I will have it in a frame shop next week and they now have all the parts to put the wet bolts and X Factor under the trailer after they fix the axel alignment. Problem.

My wife just loves this unit and she doesnít see the problems I do because she isnít maintenance orientated.

I have 50 years in the aviation business a lot of it overseas. I hold pilot and mechanic ratings in three countries. I am presently on a consulting contract with a jet charter company in Florida to train their maintenance management personnel.

Phil P
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