Thursday, April 21, 2011

Forest River Sandpiper RV - it's a real lemon with poor customer service!

Worst cutomer service ever. Don't buy a Forest River RV

   This is the first post. Make sure that you read what comes later by clicking on "newer post" at the bottom when you are done reading this. It gets better!

   O.K., the gloves are off. I always try to give someone the opportunity to fix things before I really complain and tell the world but it's more than time.
   When Deb and I decided to sell everything that we own and buy a new RV, we decided on a brand new Forest River Sandpiper 5th wheel. The one that we bought was the top of the line with three slide outs, a king size bed, and a fireplace. I wanted to buy a Class A diesel pusher motorhome but I'm really glad that we don't have that much oney invested in a lemon like we got.
Here are some details:
Purchased February 2010
   Spent 4 months moving into it while we also prepared for an auction to sell all of our worldly possessions.
Left Asheville, NC to live in the RV full time July 2, 2010
June 2010 -
   Window leak in the slide-out when it rained soaking the bed and floor. I removed the window and repaired it using a small bead of silicone at my own expense.
July2010 -
   Before we left home our satelite cablequit working for no apparent reason. We called Direct TV and they ran a temporary cable thru the side compartment.
August 2010 -
   Table Rock Lake, MO. Water leak in wheel well. Upon inspection I determined that the tires had worn thru the nylon covering and insulation as well as the water lines which were just laying on top of it. I replaced the water lines and fastened them to the frame at my own expense.
August 2010 -
   Determined Park Cable not working when we tried using it the first time. Emailed Forest River to schedule repairs  to schedule repairs along our trip. I got NO RESPONSE so I called after about a week and left a message. Still no response so I emailed a nasty letter and got a response from Jeff Johnson. He was apologetic, looked at our travel plans andsuggested we visit Hilltop RV in Escanaba, MI. We drove 100 miles out of our way to go there. Hilltop fixed the Satelite cable, suppossedly fixed the park cable (still doesn't work as of this psting), sold us a digital antenna (which also doesn't work because the cable is screwed up). They also re-sealed the window leak that I had fixed earlier needing to use a LOT of silicone this time. They also determinned that our springs were flat and needed to be replaced but they could not get them in stock for a while so we planned to do this later.
September 2010 -
   A flash of light caught our eye about 10pm while we were sitting in the living area watching TV. The water heater light on the indicator panel was off so I flipped the switch but nothing happened. I tried to change the fuse but I blew two 15 amp fuses so I took the panel apart to find that a wire was cut about 4 inches short in the back of the box when the unit was manufactured so someone twisted a short piece on to make the connection but DID NOT USE A WIRE NUT OR TAPE TO COVER THE CONNECTION and the wire shorted out to the back of the metal fuse box.
I repaired everything at my expense  but the water heater would not work so the park owner suggested we visit the nearest Forest River dealer which was 70 miles north of us in Bangor, ME.
September 2010 -
   F.R. dealer determined that the Circuit Board on the water heater CAUGHT ON FIRE and told us that we were lucky that our RV didn't burn to the ground! While he was fixing that, we found out that the check valve was defective and half of our water was pumped out of the fresh water tank onto the ground. I bought a cap to put on the city water hookup to contain it because the dealer did not have a check valve in stock. The person doing the repairs also showed me where the trim near the hitch was not sealed properly causing a leak in the bedroom area and told me that all of the stickers which were peeling off the unit should be warrantied.
September 2010 -
   Rear tire blowout while traveling 65mph thru New Brunswick. I cahnged the tire on the side of the highway and we proceeded 50 miles out of our ay to the nearest town to buy a new tire at my expense. The tire dealer told us that the "cheap Chinese tires that we had on our RVusually only last about 4,000 miles" which, coincidently we had on our RV now. Purchased 4 more tires at my expense at a later date and only after verifying that info on numerous RV blogs on the Internet. The tire manufacturer refused to warranty the tire (Greenball Corporation of TN) my tires were Highway Trooper tires which are not even listed on the Greenball website but they did admit to manufacturing that brand.
September 2010 -
   Another motorist stopped us in Nova Scotia totell us that something was dragging under our RV. Upon inspection (ina rain storm) I found that the material covering the entire underbelly was split all the way across anda bunch of wires were hanging out dragging on the road. In the pouring rain with 30-40mph winds driving the rain up under the RV I made the repairs at my own expense by punching holes in the plastic material on each side of the split and "stiching" it together with nylon zip ties.
October 2010 -
   The light in the dining area got a short in it and kept blowing fuses so I disconnected it. Also my wife noticed that the bottom of the cabinet was coming apart. It's the upper one that runs all the way across the rear of the RV.
October 2010 -
  We made plans to have everything fixed at Bob Ledford's Adventure RV in Greer SC on December27th 2010. These plans were only made after emailing them twice, calling and leaving messages twice, and then calling a friend of mine who happens to be Bob Ledford's nephew who called his cousin David to tell him that I was pissed and needed help.
David called me and got things set up a full two months in advance!
I had to send them pictures of everything so that they could order parts which I did.
December 2010 -
   I called Bob Ledford's a week before we were suppossed to be there only to find out that they did not get any parts in so we headed south
   I contacted the Federal Hghway Administration and made a "safety" complaint about the bad springs that Forest River had installed on my RV and Iasked them to investigate the matter and possible issue a recall. Jeff Johnson got a hold of me very quickly and said that he ordered new springs from the axle manufacturer so they could fix my problem.
January 5, 2011 -
   Arrived in south Alabama and had a water leak in the cabinet next to the refrigerator. I determined that it was another type of defective check valve near the water filter so we visited Camping World in Robertsdale, AL to buy a part. They did not have one in stock so I went to a local Ace Hardware and bought some fittings to make a temporary repair at my own expense.

While at CampingWorld I mentioned the lousy service from Forest River and found out that they were an authorized repair center for them so I set an appointment for March 1st (two months from then) to get everything fixed. I emailed all of he pictures, contacted Jeff Johnson at Forest River and waited.
Mid-January 2011 -
   Camping World called to tell me that Forest River wanted a copy of our paperwork from when we bought it. I provided it immediately
February 25, 2011 -
  After being in contact with Camping World several times, I called to verify that they got all the parts in for our appointment on March 1st and Forest River had not sent them any parts yet but they informed me that all of the parts were scheduled to be shipped on March 1st. I called Jeff Johnson (Forest River) and raised a little hell and told him that we were heading back to Asheville, NC and would be there until everything was fixed.
March 1, 2011 -
   I set up another appointment with Bob Ledford's in Greer, SC to fix everything and had them verify it all with Jeff Johnson. Bob Ledford's had me set an appointment for April 15 but told me that they would call me to set an actual time when all of the parts were in.
Today April 21, 2011 -
   I called Bob Ledford's to ask whether they had gotten all the parts in and I was told that the only parts that they had gotten were the axle springs. No parts had yet been received from Forest River.
  I called my attorney to schedule an appointment.

Moral of the story:
   Don't buy a Forest River RV or any of the other 8 or so brands that they manufacture!


  1. Get away and enjoy this weekend with your family in this Wildwood Lodge from Forest River

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