Friday, November 21, 2014

Filth + Brokenness = My New RV

Wouldn’t it be lovely if I hadn’t blogged these past two weeks due to being out and about in my NEW RV?—in some remote location that didn’t have internet access?  Yes, that would be REALLY lovely.

The good news?  I closed my eyes, swallowed really hard, and two Monday’s ago I DID buy the new RV. 

The bad news?  I haven’t spent one night in it—yet. 

I realized, while going through the buying process at the dealership, that this brand new RV was too dirty to use that first night.  Being six hours from home, I did what I most hate:  I parked the RV and spent a sleepless night in a hotel.

Early that Tuesday morning I faced an unexpected long drive home in strong crosswinds and cold--and a realization that this RV wasn’t just dirty—it was FILTHY—and would require a whole LOT of cleaning before I could put anything into it, much less use it as my condo-on-wheels.

I went from being disappointed; to being frustrated; to being angry—to being really P___ OFF!  (And that is not a term that is in my usual vocabulary.) 

Regarding my use of the word filthy—as I got into the cleaning process I quickly realized three things: 

First, no cleaning from the manufacturing process had occurred.  EVERY surface was filthy.  Even the insides of cabinet walls (where I’d put clothes and groceries) were covered in sawdust and dirty hand prints.  The vinyl ceiling had oily handprints.  Every surface was covered in a fine sawdust, metal shavings and oily grime.  The toilet base and surrounding area were FILTHY from what I assume was installation.  The shower corners and piece-parts could have come from an automotive garage’s  workbench.

Second, what I assume to be abuse from the manufacturer’s driver, driving this new RV from the IA manufacturing plant to the Texas dealership, added to the filth.  He/she had spilled coffee or cola or such in the driver’s door drink compartment.  The driver’s floor area was black with grime; and so on.

And third, what little “pre-delivery inspection” occurred at the dealership before my arrival seemed to add to the filth.  Even the foot pedal for the toilet flush had mud and grime on it.  I found small pieces of hard, clear plastic in the toilet bowl.  Whatever broke during manufacturing installation may have found its way into the black tank!

This was and is a brand NEW Winnebago View RV.  My anger at the filth echoed what I’ve already learned from this past year’s RV search:  the RV industry has NO respect for the products that they make and sell. (The exceptions may be Tiffin and Foretravel, but I don’t know as unfortunately, I can’t afford either.)

But this time, I was purchasing; not walking away.  This time, I felt personally disrespected!  Shame on THEM for thinking it was OK to be so disrespectful to my purchase. 

And then there was the brokenness that I found, while cleaning: 

At the dealership I knew that the bathroom door was not closing correctly (as it had obviously banged against a drawer during the trip from IA to Texas).  The dealership told me it was just the latch that needed adjusting and that they’d fixed it.

As I drove away (and toward the hotel), the door banged open.  In the midst of my deep cleaning this week I realized this curved door is extremely warped, top to bottom.  AND I knew that THEY knew!  And my anger boiled a bit.

But it was when pulling off a piece of random masking tape from the side of the “leatherette” dinette that I reached the PO state.  Guess what was under the masking tape?  Yep, about a 3/4 inch rip in the leatherette material.  That masking tape was NOT an accidental placement by SOMEONE.

I could go on about the kitchen sink's trap leaking; and other brokenness that I've uncovered, while cleaning.  I could wring my hands over all the unknowns I now face since I haven’t yet spent the night; I have not yet tested the major systems such as furnace, appliances, hot water, etc.

But late yesterday evening I’d cleaned all I could clean.  I FINALLY placed clothes and kitchen items and such in the RV.  I found a place to store my binoculars and day pack.

This morning I got an EZ tag for the RV. And then spent the rest of this day on my stick house sofa, doing mostly nothing.  Until now; blogging and typing therapy.
Tomorrow I’m going to stay in my stick house and do nothing much more than watch it rain.

And Sunday?  I’m going to begin my first adventure in my brand new Winnebago View.  Will I love it?  I surely hope so.
Right now?  I’m too frustrated and angry with the manufacturer’s poor treatment and the dealer’s mistreatment of this rig; and therefore, mistreatment of me.

I’m ready to wander; I’m ready to wonder about Mother Nature’s beauty.  I’m ready to see less of human bad behavior.

Thanks to my readers for letting me express a bit of what I’m now ready to put behind me.  If all NOW goes well…

I’m ready for traveling in this condo-on-wheels that I hope to end up loving; and I’m SO ready to spend time with the feathered Ones.

But mostly, this Texan is ready to be on the road again…


  1. Wish I could have told you to spend the first night in a nearby campground, and in the morning turn around and take it back to have everything fixed, but perhaps you didn't have the time. The dealership should have had that rig spotless before you picked it up. Every new or used rig has some issues, and the dealership should take care of them until you are satisfied.

    I hope you can happily be on the road soon.

  2. Thanks Judy--I wish I could have had your advice. I actually had made reservations to spend a first night at nearby campground, but the rig was so filthy, I had to make decision to not unpack anything into it. I thought really hard about taking it back, but was so shocked by the lack of respect for their product that I couldn't imagine a quality cleaning.

  3. I would have taken it back. We have only purchased used and ours have always come to us surprising clean.

    I have heard from so many people that have purchased new that have had problems the first year. There are lots of bugs to work out. Jeff is wanting to buy new soon and I just know we will be frustrated with problems. However, ours is approaching 10 years old now and things are breaking and it is not going to get better. I do know that we will buy it off the lot so that we can really check it out without putting money down on it. It is so much easier to walk away that way.

    I hope you find happiness in it once you get it out on the road. :-)

    1. Thanks Patty for your well wishes. It is hard to express how difficult this process has been--and as I now prepare for travel I realize they never even talked to me about warranty, maintenance or the all important roadside assistance that comes with buying new. But I hope the coming week to begin sharing positive stories of my travels.

  4. you might try hanging a note on the door that says "roll with the punches". that might sound silly, but it might help your blood pressure a bit and etc, i've had to do that!

    1. :-) And the best part? I'm about to start rolling...Thanks to all of you more experienced blogger RV ladies for support and suggestions!

  5. I recommend Good Sam's. They have helped us 3 times this year.


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