Reader letter: Frustrated with new Jayco coach

Reader letter: Frustrated with new Jayco coach

Dear Chuck,
letters to the editorWe’re newbies to the RV experience and have been increasingly disenchanted with the lack of quality in workmanship. Not to mention the constant battles between the dealer and the manufacturer.

We purchased a new 2017 Jayco Alante motorhome in April. To date, it’s having front end problems that for some reason can’t be identified or repaired. The tires have been balanced, replaced and indexed, the front end was aligned and inspected for other problems. The shimmying is still there. We’ve been told it may be a drive train issue.

The most recent list of warranty issues hovered around ten items. Now a new list is being compiled because the coach is having electrical issues, too. The manufacturer, by the way, wasn’t going to cover the diagnostic test that was required to determine the electrical issues.

The automatic steps won’t come down. The brand new battery had to be replaced because three of the cells were bad. WHAT? The radio had to be replaced because it stopped working while we were on our maiden voyage. The list is endless. All warranty work items. Buyer beware. This is your money you’re spending. The CEO’s of these companies obviously don’t care, but it would be more cost effective for the manufacturer to hire quality control specialists before it leaves the factory. That’s a no brainer. — Tom and Deb Colligan

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6 thoughts on “Reader letter: Frustrated with new Jayco coach

  1. David & Liz Hernandez, Florida

    We upgraded from a 2008 to a 2014 Itasca Cambria (both of which we purchased new), because we wanted full body paint, more slide outs, and newer technology improvements. What a mistake! The 2008 required only one visit to a shop to resolve 2 minor warrranty issues during the years we owned it. The 2014 was clearly a lemon; although we learned the Lemon Law only applies to the motorized vehicle part and not the home part. The Ford part was never the problem, all the issues were clearly Winnebago’s fault. Multiple 3-4 month long shop visits for 11-37 issues each time resulted in being without our new coach for a total of 11.5 months out of our 24 months of ownership. We decided we couldn’t take it any longer when we returned from a trip with 9 additional issues to go to the shop for, and had to sell it. We considered trading it, but almost any new RV we looked at had a host of bad reviews and/or we noticed similar flaws while they sat on the showroom floor. Because of the rapid depreciation, we were quickly upside down in our loan. This unit’s MSRP was around $127,000; we bought it for $95,000; and dealers would only buy it back for $57,000. We lost over $25,000 just to get out of it before the next NADA RV Value book release depreciated it yet again. We are very passionate about RVing and miss it everyday. The quality issue has completely soured our RV dreams. We now own a passenger van and stay at hotels. This was not our dream, but the industry pushed us out. Every issue we had was without a doubt due to factory installation defects, incomplete work, wrong parts, and then no (or fraudulent) quality checks before the unit was released from the factory. The dealer just pushed the unit along without proper checks of their own. We can’t help but see the increasing amount of 2 month – 2 year old RVs which are now for sale and think most of them may be in the same condition (owners couldn’t take dealing with all the issues and sold them at a loss just to move forward). We did not experience this with any of our previous 1990-2008 model RVs (not even those from the same manufacturer)! The industry clearly lost its quality around 2012/2013, and we can’t wait for someone to truly bring the quality back!

  2. Jim Collins

    We bought a new Jayco 29 ft. Redbird Motor home a year ago, been all the way out to the Grand canyon and back from central Florida, not one problem, very happy with the Ford e 4500 , chassis, we love it.

  3. Tommy Molnar

    The more I read about shoddy workmanship on RV’s (no matter HOW much you pay!), the more I’m sure we’ll never get rid of our current 2012 unit. It’s finally trouble free (after getting a myriad of problems addressed). Folks say “Stay away from Jayco. Stay away from Forest River. Stay away from ‘whoever’, until there’s no one left and you stay away from RV’s period. It doesn’t seem to matter whether you paid $15k for an entry level RV, or put out hundreds of thousands of dollars for a high end palace. They all come with problems that could have been prevented with even the most basic of quality control.

  4. Bill

    The lack of quality control is a big issue with all RV manufacturers, not just Jayco. It’s a roll of the dice when you buy a new rig, if the employees were having a good day when the assemble them. Since they are all basically “built by hand” in tin sheds, we can only hope, that ours was built in the middle of an 8 hour shift than near the end of a 14 hour shift. I digress a little here, but when we were looking to up grade to a motorhome, we saw a lot of 2 to 3 year old rigs in disgusting shape. Why do people turn in rigs after only 2 years? and why in such terrible shape with dents, rust and dirty interiors?

  5. Dan Carioggia

    That was our experience as well with a new Jayco 35S. It was a lemon from day one. Too many items to mention. We traded it for a Newmar on the end of our second trip with it. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If I was on a limited budget I would have rather purchased a used Newmar than a new Jayco. A quality RV manufacturer will always build in quality.

    1. Jim Collins

      We bought a new Jayco 29 ft. Redbird Motor home a year ago, been all the way out to the Grand canyon and back from central Florida, not one problem, very happy with the Ford e 4500 , chassis, we love it.

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