By Deanna Tolliver
After the first two parts in our Lemon Law series were published, we heard from several readers about their RV Lemons. But one letter in particular really troubled us. Margaret B told us the story of her 2017 Thor Ace; sure sounds like a Lemon to us.
Margaret and her husband owned a 2012 Thor Ace, and loved it, but after he passed away in 2014, she found it painful to be in that RV without him. In 2017, she traded it at the Seattle RV Show for another new Thor Ace. And, she writes, “There my hell began.”
After many weeks of waiting to take delivery, she was told there were warranty issues. “They damaged the bedroom door and were waiting for parts,” among others. When she was finally told it was ready, “I drove the 86 miles with my daughter only to find out nothing had been fixed. They ended up having 15 staff walk out weeks later, and closed their service center. I had to get permission from Thor to transfer it to another service (center) where I had to wait in line at their busiest time, along with Thor taking their time to ok repairs and send parts.”
“I am now at 15 months and never had my RV a single day this whole time. The treatment I’m receiving from Thor has been shocking to say the least, threatening that I can’t turn the RV back over to them and they won’t compensate or renew my warranty. They have dragged this on until my warranty has now expired, and I’ve yet to take possession of it.
“I am sickened by the whole process. There are many more people like me going through this and nobody cares. I just want to drive off with my RV and have my full years’ warranty and get on with my life!”
We encouraged Margaret to contact a Lemon Law attorney, and hope to follow up with her to get the rest of her story. (List of Lemon Law attorneys by state)
Al, who responded to the Lemon Law article, said “Buy a used RV from a knowledgeable owner, who will show it to you at their home.”
“Hire an independent RV tech. Tell the dealer no deal until your tech goes over the unit and gives his OK.” —Jim
The best way to avoid having to deal with an RV Lemon is to not take one home to begin with. Here’s a list of the most common potential Lemon RVs from the top Lemon Law firm in the country.
Following these suggestions may help you avoid taking an RV Lemon home:
• Do your homework on the model you think you love. Go to the forums online and ask questions. Visit campgrounds and look for that model. RVers are generally a friendly group and will talk to you about the pros and cons of that RV.
• Do a Google search to see if there have been any manufacturer recalls.
• Follow Jim’s suggestion (above) and hire an independent RV tech to go over it prior to signing on the dotted line.
• Ask the dealership for a copy of their PDI (pre-delivery inspection). If they don’t have a written form that they follow, with check marks and room for comments, look elsewhere.
Most good dealerships will insist that you plan on at least a half day for the walk-through. In addition, a good dealership will allow you to spend some time at their location if you need to transfer your belongings from your old unit. I know of a couple of dealerships that encourage new RV owners to spend a few days living in their units, with full hookups, at the dealer’s expense. Any problems can then be dealt with before you take your rig on the road.
Previous Lemon Law articles: Part One: Got a Lemon? Help is available (sometimes). Part Two: When the RV dealer hands you a lemon...
Today’s RVs are more complex than ever before. They are also more expensive. Before you drop tens of thousands of dollars on a new one, do as much as you can to ensure you don’t end up with a sour taste in your mouth because you bought an RV Lemon!