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Old 11-24-2014, 07:41 AM   #1
jfaberna
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Design flaw vs. sloppy construction

I guess design flaw is in the eye of the beholder, but I thought it odd that to get Satellite working in the basement for outside use, you have to disconnect the bedroom TV Satellite connection and put the jumper between the bedroom and basement coax connectors. So I removed the panels/walls in the basement and Convenience Center to add a coaxial connector in the CC and run a new wire to the basement Satellite connector and just remove the one to the bedroom. This was easy enough for me to do, but while poking around and fishing the new coax cable, I discovered some really sloppy wiring.

While working in the basement, all of a sudden, my furnace came on. I was surprise because I know the Dometic thermostat was turned off and even if it were on the mode for the Zone including the furnace was off. It turns out what appears to be the wire from the thermostat to the furnace is just a 2 wire conductor that for some reason has a junction in the basement area with wire nuts. Whoever made the connection, skinned the wires about 3 inches and of course the wire nuts only have about 1/2" of insulation. The installer, just separated the white and red wires by pulling them in opposite directions and setting them on the floor of the utility area behind the walls of the basement. I must have shorted them out long enough to start the furnace.

No harm done, but this shorting was going to happen sometime without proper insulation. Glad I found it while all the panels were out so I could easily put electrical tape on the bare part of the wires.
 
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Old 11-24-2014, 09:19 AM   #2
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M.O.C. #9969
If you take down those rear basement bulkheads, you can find some pretty scary things there, and it's not just with Montanas either.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:10 AM   #3
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Agree, a new surprise around every corner.
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Old 11-24-2014, 11:33 AM   #4
DQDick
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Just can't get both quality workmanship on the total rig and produce 18-20 a day.
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Old 11-24-2014, 11:51 AM   #5
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I had the covers off the back of the water manifold area and the larger wood panel that covers the area under the bedroom.

Basically a mess of wires and hydraulic hoses. My heater is wired the same way. Totally sloppy, get it out the door workmanship.

Same with the crimping of the 12vdc connectors. Looks like they are using a $3.00 pair of crimping tools. Pull on a wire and it comes out of the crimp connector.

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Old 11-24-2014, 05:22 PM   #6
Jimmer
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Thanks for the information. I have not removed the basement walls but I know I should. I had a Heartland Big Country and when I removed those walls it was a real night mare. Sloppy wiring, heater duct hoses were a big mess, found a water leak when I tested for leaks and a bunch of wood blocks and sawdust. I will have to remove the walls and take a look. Its to bad a quality rig like Montana just does not have better quality control.
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:56 AM   #7
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Interesting observations...
I have been locked in battle with the factory over a warranty issue.
I have to take a 2014 model in for warranty service, the dealer had it for almost 3 months, short only 2 days of three months, just got it back last Saturday.
I asked for a two month extension on the warranty, and the factory service/customer "no service" rep denied extending the warranty for even two months.
You want frustration, try "reasoning" with the factory.
You guys hit it right....shove 'em out the door, never mind pride and surely do not even think in terms of any degree of customer service.
Remember the day foreign stuff was considered less than desirable because of lack of quality?
Well...cheap quality and no pride seems to have found it's way to Keystone/Thor Industries....
Sad day indeed...
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Old 11-25-2014, 05:09 AM   #8
K0LCB
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I worked a few years for a major Motorhome manufacturer, most of the people who worked there took great pride in their workmanship. There were a few bad ones who worked for a short period. If they were caught once doing shabby they got a warning, second time they were escorted to the gate
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Old 11-25-2014, 05:14 AM   #9
mhs4771
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I'm afraid if some of today's RV MFR tried that, they wouldn't have any employees left.
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Old 11-25-2014, 06:23 AM   #10
The Oldguard
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by DQDick

Just can't get both quality workmanship on the total rig and produce 18-20 a day.
I have to say yes you can
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Old 11-25-2014, 07:35 AM   #11
Overlord
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by The Oldguard

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by DQDick

Just can't get both quality workmanship on the total rig and produce 18-20 a day.
I have to say yes you can
Price of a new Boeing 737 MAX model
737 MAX 7: $87.7 Million
737 MAX 8: $106.9 Million
737 MAX 9: $113.3 Million

Price of a new Montana Fifth Wheel
$90,000

Boeing assemblers make about $30/HR, plus way above average benefits.
I'm pretty sure that Keystone assemblers make significantly less money than that, I would guess between $10-$12/HR, and pay a higher employee contributions for less comprehensive benefits, if they get any at all.

Apples do not equal Oranges
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Old 11-25-2014, 07:53 AM   #12
bigred715
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I remember reading something about Thor building some Keystone products (not Montana. I believe they also build Airstream now. Hopefully with the original crew. Thor does not have a good reputation.
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Old 11-25-2014, 11:26 AM   #13
Irlpguy
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I have to agree with Oldguard that you "can" get quality workmanship and produce many units in a day.

You cannot compare the building of an aircraft at the Boeing plant and their employees in any way with those working in the RV industry. Those working at Boeing are all highly trained and there are significant checks and balances to correct any deficiency long before construction is complete.

The fact that an individual makes $30.00 an hr and has significant benefits should have no bearing on an individual's desire to produce quality work. Pride in workmanship is not something you can buy, you may be rewarded for demonstrating that pride, and should be, however there must be sufficient supervision and quality control to recognize it, or lack of it in the first place. Without quality control you are going to have some workers that do not have that pride and they will continue to work on the assembly line unchecked.

We can compare an assembly line at the Montana factory to one say at Windsor Ont or Detroit Mich, with respect to what comes off the line as far as build quality and quality control. The cost of a new Ram 3500 DRW is similar to that of a Montana, unfortunately the final product cannot be compared. This is not to say every worker at the Dodge plant or Ford plant has pride in workmanship, it does however tell you plenty about quality control along the way.

Most RV manufacturers have minimal "Quality Control" and it would appear NONE in a lot of cases. We are paying for a product that is meant to make the owners money and rid themselves of any after sales responsibility as quickly as they possibly can, but we continue to buy our RV's don't we.

One of my first jobs was working in a service station, I made a whopping $0.87 per hr but the work I did was done with pride and supervised when/where needed, when we put fuel in your car or truck we washed the windows and checked the oil and belts "always". My next job at a large department store service station where I was paid considerably more I was told to not wash the windows and not to check the oil as it took too long and kept people waiting. I quit that job after a month because I took pride in giving service.

Later in life when I operated my own equipment rental business I continued that pride in service while providing the best maintained equipment in the area. You either have it or you don't and what you get paid should have nothing to do with it.
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Old 11-25-2014, 01:04 PM   #14
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I had a black tank issue this past summer. To make a long story short I spoke with a rep from Keystone and I asked him a question. What is the SOP for installing a tank under the units, he asked me what SOP was, I knew at this point things were not good. I explained SOP , his answer, It all depends who's hanging the tanks, some guys do it different than others.
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Old 11-26-2014, 03:20 AM   #15
mach111
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by jlb27537


Same with the crimping of the 12vdc connectors. Looks like they are using a $3.00 pair of crimping tools. Pull on a wire and it comes out of the crimp connector.

Jim
Every chance I get I remove those 12vdc connectors and use a good quality connector or hand solder the wires and use shrink tubes. Soldering the brake wires was one of the first things I did upon purchase.
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Old 11-26-2014, 03:23 AM   #16
ckwizard
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Standardized work is the first step in the reduction of variation.
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Old 11-26-2014, 06:56 PM   #17
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As the supervisor of a manufacturing company (not Boeing or Thor), I've found that paying more money doesn't translate to a better product. It's the inner desire of an individual that determines the work ethic to do it to the best of their ability. I've seen countless examples over the years of people who want more money, and use that as an excuse to do less than they're capable. Then again, I've seen many who simply show up every day, and put their best foot forward, regardless of the compensation. In these tough economic times, pay rates aren't what they used to be, however, most of the employees I supervise continue to do the best job they can, and take pride in their work. These are the ones you want to reward, when possible.
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Old 11-28-2014, 02:11 PM   #18
Virginia Young
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I could tell you horror stories about our New Line Big Sky. Don't get me wrong - I love the unit. Just wish the guys who built it took pride in their work. Very sloppy. It has spent three weeks in the shop and we are pretty much right back where we started. (Actually, worse because the list continues to grow.) And, it wasn't because the shop didn't know what they were doing. It's just hard to work on electrical issues when there are no schematics and you have no way of knowing where connections may be. Luckily, nothing prevents us from using it, because we live in it full-time. I emailed Mark Kroll about our options and never heard back from him. This reminds me - better try to contact him again . . .
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