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Many Issues with 2019 R-pod 180 - Event Date: 01 Jan 2019 - 14 Mar 2019

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mcarter View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mcarter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Calendar Event: Many Issues with 2019 R-pod 180
    Posted: 16 Mar 2019 at 4:46pm
+1 to SH, I also drilled and bolted my tank supports to frame. The sheet metal screws used at OEM were not adequate, I had loose screws, gaps and missing hardware. No issues once I modified the install.
Mike Carter
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lostagain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2019 at 6:19pm
Turning out trailers with inadequate quality control makes little sense to me.  If you give your employees adequate time to do it right the first time, you have happier customers and lower costs in the long run.  It is much less costly to use care to build something right than to pay a dealer to go back and tear something apart to do it over again.  The dealers have to be paid for their warranty work and the more errors are made, the more it eats away at the bottom line for the manufacturer.  Would it really be that much more expensive to give the employees 2 or 3 hours of additional assembly time to allow them the ability to avoid mistakes and save 3  or 4 times as much time for repairs at the dealer.  I suspect, even thought the dealers don't charge their full shop rate to FR, they are receiving more than the average hourly worker in the factory.  Go figure. Confused
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2019 at 7:37am
I thought this article was interesting and might give some insights into the work culture in the northern Indiana RV industry.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Richand Cindy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2019 at 8:43pm
Good article. From our trip last summer to RV country we learned the following.  The Amish mostly do the woodwork (cabinets, bed etc).  The reason why the day starts so early is that there is no air conditioning in the factories.  They are paid on a unit basis.  They must build a minumum number of RV's (at the plant we visited it was 12).  Then for every unit over that they are paid a bonus (the highest number at our plant was 17!!!).  That is the major reason why there are so many mistakes, they are rushing.  The more they build, the more they make.  Would you want your surgeon paid on the number of heart bypasses they do a day!  In addition, they do not have extra helpers.  So if a person calls in sick there is one less person working the line that day and the remaining workers have to make up the slack.  So for all these reasons it is amazing that RV's do not have more issues.  But again this is industry wide and not an RPOD issue.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2019 at 9:25pm
If the bonus were dependent on the units passing inspection (a real one, not a cursory once-over), then quality would possibly be better since there would not be the incentive to do shoddy work just to slap it together and get it out the door in order to get the bonus. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lostagain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2019 at 9:39pm
In my experience, paying piecework usually leads to shoddy craftsmanship, injuries, and long term development of disabilities that cut one's work life short.  I suspect that if someone made a study of the correlation between piece work and quality, there would be an inverse relationship.  But it is a way to drive the bottom line for manufacturers, as long as they don't mind paying very high workers' compensation rates and dealing with high turnover.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Richand Cindy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2019 at 8:37pm
I actually was very surprised that a factory tour would discuss how the workers were paid. They even had a large blackboard with the number of RVs made that day and the record holders.  I agree that paying piecework (although it is only piecework above and beyond the normal number that their salary includes) would lead to shoddy craftsmanship.  Next time in the area I will tour one of the more upscale RVs (e.g. Airstream) to see how they are made.  But to be honest to be able to buy something at a more than fair price and American made, I can live with having problems that need fixing as long as they are not major.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ribet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2019 at 11:12pm
The trailer you got was the one I was trying to buy from Harrison Marine.  I put a deposit on it but you had first choice over me.  I could not wait for the next shipment so I got a r180 in Sacramento.  I bought my 171 from Harrison and I was happy with them.  Sold it after 2+ years for the same price I paid for it. 
I think you saved me a lot of grief.  Smile 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote texman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2019 at 8:50am
i added an 1/8" piece of flat aluminum to each end of the support and added a third bolt to each end.  so i added 1/4" total and it torqued down nicely. 

Did i see some of you have drilled all the way through the frame and bolted these supports ?  

i would have never noticed this had i not removed the water tank twice now.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote wvanauken Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2019 at 10:25am
I understand and this has been my sad introduction to the world of RVs. With regards to quality control, Forest River brags about their QC right on their website and points out their QC procedures. Yes, it shouldn't be this way as you said, but I hope that more people like myself don't settle for this and contact FR with their issues. Maybe if more people did, there wouldn't be as many issues. I don't know...just speculating a bit. In my case I wrote detailed letters with pictures to all the FR locations in Oregon and one to the main headquarters in Indiana. We'll see what kind of response I get. At the very least, I felt a little better just by taking the action and expressing my frustration in writing. Thanks for you input.
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