By Russ and TiĂ±a De Maris
A man who owns a new Forest River Vibe, one of the companyâ€™s â€śultra lightâ€ť travel trailers, had a different sort of â€ślightâ€ť problem â€“ as in, the water heater in his rig just wouldnâ€™t light up. What could be the problem?
Apparently, LP gas wasnâ€™t making its way to the water heater, so all the cycling in the world wouldnâ€™t help this problem. A little investigative work revealed what was behind the â€śno flowâ€ť problem. Poking around â€“ presumably in a storage compartment â€“ helped reveal an interesting routing issue for the rubber LP gas supply line that served the water heater. Apparently at the factory, someone routed the LP line under the tub â€“ and under a 4 x 4 support. That support helps keep the tub from sagging when weight is put in it. But mashing a rubber LP line between the floor and a 4 x 4 support does not make for good gas flow.
Happily, the rig hadnâ€™t been driven over enough miles of pounding road to chaff the rubber line to the point a leak developed. But it does beg the question, where on earth is quality control? How do you even build a rig with a defect like this, without even noticing? Compound that issue with, why didnâ€™t the dealer find that the water heater wouldnâ€™t light on the pre-delivery inspection? Maybe the dealer did, but didnâ€™t want to trouble himself with actually running down what the problem was.
The RV industry has been plagued for decades with customer complaints about shoddy workmanship and seemingly non-existent quality control. With dealers across the country selling RVs at a fast clip, and RV manufacturers churning out rigs at a record pace to keep up with the demand, one can only expect quality control issues will get worse, not better.