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Friday, October 23, 2015

Looking back at our first year with Roada..

When we made the decision to downsize from Sunny, our 2002 31.5 foot class A, to Roada, a brand new 22.9 foot class B I NEVER dreamed it would be so dramatic. We are full timers and knew it would be a BIG change; however, our family motto has always been "adapt and overcome" so we thought no biggie. I, for one, was NOT at all prepared for the headache of new rig ownership. Sunny was an oldie and a goodie, she had never been kept overnight for service, a major plus for a full timer. Roada has been in the shop 70+ days since ownership, we were displaced 65 of those days. This was not at all what I expected and many nights I went to bed thinking what in the world have we done??

We did not take moving to a Roadtrek lightly, it was a long, hard decision not to mention a huge financial outlay for us. We had been researching smaller rigs since our trip up the East coast when we found ourselves unhooking our toad and day tripping a lot. So one fall day we took the plunge and ordered a 2015 RT CS Adventurous with 4 AGM batteries, 240 watts of solar and an Onan generator that uses propane. On 20 October the dealer called to say our new home had been delivered, so we arranged the PU for a few days later...keep in mind we had been back and forth we this dealer and this deal with several pop up adds to the price not to mention they tell us the week before we take delivery they will not take an out of state check. Yes, we were paying cash (check) for about half of this new rider and would have the loan check for the other half. Both were being drawn on out of state banks. Finally, they agree to take the loan check since it was from a major issuer (USAA) but getting our part was still posing quite a challenge. Finally, settle on them doing an electronic draw...which they could not figure out and reluctantly allow us to bring a check. Oi vey!

After a 12 hour drive to pick up our rig, late salesman for our p/u appointment and  a comedy of errors on the paperwork (no temp tags in the entire dealership, waiting 3 hours for someone to go to the DMV to get one) we were feeling extremely unamused. Our walk-thru was not at all what we expected and turned into a question and vague answer session with the tech...why is this screw coming out of the overhead compartment?, why is this panel not aligned like on the driver's side?, should this panel by bent like this?, why won't this light won't shut off on the first try, on and on and my personal favorite, why doesn't the water pump shut off? That answer takes the cake, "we have you hooked to city water and the tank hasn't filled yet, it will shut off when the tanks full" hmmmm, okay. We had a 12 hour drive ahead of us so I admit we were anxious to get on the road.

Looking back, we should have just walked away from this unit...but we didn't.

So anyway, we stopped for the night, turn on water pump, guess what? It still does not shut off. Head on to MO and what I like to call the real cost of new ownership begins. Issues continue and more pop up. The water pump will not shut off even with some over the phone factory troubleshooting, our AC unit is dead upon first attempt at using and we are still sorting out the misaligned rear quarter panel as well as the broken panel in the overhead compartment. To say we are slightly annoyed would be an understatement. Purchasing dealer will not ever return our phone calls, sympathetic ears from RT but not much action seen. I honestly feel we have blown a wad of money on a rig that is going to take a lot of our time to fix. Oh yes, it's all warranty work, but it's our time and money to drive it to closer servicing warranty dealer.

The closer dealer agrees to take us on and attempt to work all fixes which have increased in number again to include a non usable ALDE due to not being top offed with glycol (found after opening the floor valves), to toilet that won't hold water (bad seal), to refrigerator that won't work properly on 12V just to name a few. Thankfully, the MB mechanical side of the house seems all systems go.

We continue to be plagued by the sinking feeling of this  will never be resolved. And, yes, some of these things may seem trivial but after having so many things, some bigger than others, every little wrong just exacerbates the feeling of what have we gotten ourselves in to. Purchasing dealer support was nonexistent, factory support was slow going and not a lot of conscientious follow up or leaning forward. I feel like we were literally fighting for everything we needed to be resolved with lots of talking to even the higher ups and direction given but little action from those tagged to "get it done". We hope this was a rare exception but the entire experience has left a bitter taste in our mouth even at the year mark.

We do enjoy our lifestyle on wheels. Would we buy new again? Probably not, would we buy RT again? Can't say for certain on that. RT is touted as the best Class B around but we are not a good overall judge of their product since our experience was not at all what one would expect.

We hope it was an off day/week at the factory when our unit was produced as too much came to us that should we feel should have been caught by a good QC department. We know there will be issues with anything new, we aren't that naive; we just never expected so many or the ordeal of getting fixes or permission for fixes or parts that had nothing to do with our ownership/usership. We believe we took delivery of a rig that should never have left the factory the way it did. The "it happens" happened a lot on our unit and no one wanted to or did take responsibility for this. It was/is frustrating and that's why that bitter taste is still there in our mouths. We are scheduled back in the shop for an indeterminate amount of days next week, I feel like yelling, "when will it ever end" but then realize it won't do any good.

Happy trails, hope your road is less bumpy than our last year has been...any if you read to the end and think I'm whining, so be it, but it's my blog :) Also, I didn't bore you with ALL the issues we had I hit the high points, yeah, so you have that to be thankful for, your welcome!


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