Ron Nash; November 1, 2015
My wife and I recently (April 2015) purchased a new NASH 22H. The quality, fit and finish is what I would consider above average for a trailer in this price range. There are some issues.
First I will say; I have an extensive electrical/mechanical engineering and maintenance background. That gives me a distinct advantage over the average RV owner. And I understand that the average RV owner is dependent on the dealership for service and repair.
When we were shopping for a travel trailer I made a point to get a service tech out to the unit and query that person on the different systems. I found no one that could give me a comfortable feeling they had in depth knowledge. Most were the remove and replace type. You and I know the equipment such as furnaces, refers and converters etc. are pretty much identical in all RV’s. There is nothing uniquely different in these items whether it be in a Coleman, Arctic Fox or for that matter an Airstream.
When the owner of an RV takes their unit in for service or repair they should feel confident the work will be completed correctly. I don’t have that confidence in the dealership service department, or in my recent experience with your service department at your factory in LaGrande. In general the answers I received from Justin included the words “You Could”.
We were returning to our home in Nebraska from a trip to British Columbia. I decided to stop by your factory and talk to the service manager (Justin) regarding some issues with the trailer.
The first item was the labeling of the circuits in the converter. As you can clearly see in the photo enclosed. There are 10ea 12 volt fuses installed and in use. You will also note only 8 are shown on the schedule identifying each circuit. In a number of cases the fuse installed does not match the size called out on the schedule. When I pointed this out to Justin he took his pen and scratched the notes you see on the photo. The notes he made are NOT correct. Providing the wrong information is worse than no information at all. Enclosed you will find a schedule I made up of the electrical system in the 22H, I believe to be correct. Verified by energizing each and every circuit and identifying which devices are connected to those circuits.
I have concerns about the sizing of some fuses. For example: The 20 amp fuse in the circuit for the Radio, TV antenna - amplifier and charging station seems excessive to me. I haven’t removed any of the aforementioned devices, I don’t know if any are individually fused other than the radio. The charging station would likely catch fire before a 20 amp fuse would blow. No information was provided on the TV antenna/amplifier or the charging station.
Second item: I did point out to Justin the 12 volt socket in the charging station is not even wired. Asked about voiding the warranty if I made the repair. He assured me it would not void the warranty. I feel this should have been discovered and resolved before the trailer left your factory. A person walking thru the trailer with testing equipment would have caught this.
Third item: The DWV (drain, waste, vent) system for the galley sink developed a significant leak which could have damaged the shelving in the sink cabinet and the wooden floor of the trailer if not discovered right away. The sink basket lock rings were not tight. When the P trap came apart I got concerned and decided to investigate further. Found the weight of 6+ feet of 1 1/2” drain line was supported only by the slip joint of the P trap. The lack of a $.05 support strap could have prevented this. Plus the drain line was 3/4" too long and was forced into alignment by the installer. Could be the reason for the leaks. I spent the better part of 3 hours correcting this issue which should not have been necessary if the installation was completed correctly in the beginning.
Fourth Item: When I pointed out to Justin the fill hose for the fresh water tank was rubbing on the edge of the hole thru the floor. He pulled out his pocket knife to carve the floor away from the pipe. How long do you think it would have taken him to carve away the 1/2” OSB with his knife? The installer should have caught and corrected this.
In the process of investigation and discovery of these problems I noticed some pretty shoddy workmanship and lack of cleaning up the saw dust and wood chips and other scraps throughout the trailer. The lack of clean cut holes for hoses, furnace vents and outlets makes me wonder what else I will find in the years to come. There are 2 furnace vents where the holes are oversized to the point where only one mounting screw anchors the vent in place, the other screw is just hanging there. These types of problems could be easily resolved with the use of templates and some care when hogging out the holes.
Sitting on the couch one evening I noticed the valance above the galley window was hanging down. Upon further investigation I found the mounting screw only protruded 1/8” into the cabinet frame and therefore pulled loose. It isn’t that the screw was too short. It was the result of not drilling a clearance hole in the valance frame for the screw. Therefore, the screw felt like it was tight when in fact it still had a 1/2” to go before it tightened up.
When were we at the factory I asked Justin for drawings of the electrical systems to get an idea of how the wiring is routed in the trailer. Not to copy any ideas, but simply to avoid hitting any wires when mounting a towel rack. At the time I did not notice but the drawings he provided are for a 22H built in 1999. not the current model. Again any accurate info was not provided.
I called the service department about winterizing the coach and again got bad info. I was told there is no need to worry about the black water flush system since it drains itself. Not having any info about the system in the owner’s manual I questioned the answer I received. So I looked the system up on the internet and it clearly states the system should be winterized.
While on the winterizing issue. I have enclosed a page from the owner’s manual covering the process of winterizing the trailer. In older systems 3 valves were used to bypass the water heater. In today’s system a single valve along with a check valve is used. Because of the check valve design there is a section of the pipe between the T and the check valve that will not drain thus increasing the chance that the pipe will freeze. It is akin to holding your finger over the end of a soda straw and pulling it out of your drink. This is an unintended consequence of trying to achieve lower cost and a simplified system for those who chose to winterize their coach at home. Many RV owners are confused when it comes to the 3 valve bypass system.
The frame paint job is another issue which I would think is important to you, since it has to do with the outward appearance of the coach. We have travelled some 10,000 miles with the Nash since our purchase. Never near the ocean or on roads which have been salted. The frame is already showing significant rust. I pointed this out to Justin. His answer was. ”It’s dark in the paint booth”. Not what I want to hear. Have enclosed the “documentation” Justin gave us on October 1, 2015, he stated that it would be “put in our file”.
At the time of purchase, we noted to the dealer that the vinyl on the back of one of the dinette cushions was torn where the Velcro strip is attached. The dealer did replace the cushions under warranty. I believe you purchase these cushions from a vendor. The fact of the matter is the vinyl backing is not heavy enough to withstand the stress when the cushion is dislodged from the normal position. If one is not careful when repositioning the cushions to make up the bed the vinyl will be permanently torn.
I am writing this to give you my input. We chose the Northwood brand because of its reputation as a 4 season unit, along with generally above average reviews. We also had an expectation that since the trailer is “brand new”, we would NOT have any repair or workmanship issues. While not wanting to sound petty with these problems, I feel they are important enough to let you know of our experiences. While I really rarely expected to get accurate or up to date information or answers to my questions from any dealer service department I do expect to get that from the factory service department. I would hope you feel the same since your name is on the trailer. I question what kind of answers the average RV tech gets when he/she calls the factory for information. Perhaps some guidance from you would help Justin to understand the importance of accurate information being put out.
In some strange way I feel like I am saving you money by taking care of these items myself. I am also saving myself money by not having to drive 280 miles round trip to the closest dealership for items of this nature. Not knowing whether the job will be done correctly by the RV tech. At least I know where to find the guy if it is not done correctly here.
I hope this information will be helpful, and would appreciate your feedback.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.
I didn't like: Lack of business etiquette, Quality of trailer and workmanship, No product follow through.