View Full Version : What were they thinking?.....................

12-10-2007, 10:46 AM
or do they think at all when the RV industry keeps making the same mistakes year after year. For example, the thread 'SEWER CONNECTION QUANDRY' is one of many indications the RV manufacturers do not use their products and have never gone camping.

Another problem that has been around forever is the screen door, which requires you to slide the cover to access the door latch. Here is a link to a simple product to solve that problem.


I made my own using a 3/8 inch grommet and a piece of 3/8 inch dowel.

I would like to hear of any other 'fixes' for similar type annoyances that have been around for years, but never addressed by the RV industry.


12-10-2007, 03:24 PM

You ask the age-old question.... I can tell you that, yes, the head-of-operations, managers, supervisors, engineers, employees go camping... Many are avid RVers. They go to the rallies, & mix with their customers. The ones that I have met, communicated with, and heard about are good, down-to-earth, staunch users of their products.

How they aren't bothered by goooey drippy hose-stuff on their hands, by bugs flying thru screen door passthru's, cabinet doors that don't stay up because of faulty hardware, compartment doors that won't stay closed & locked or don't open enough to reach into, by CB antenna leads too short to connect into a CB, unmarked switches & connectors, wobbly tables, chairs too tall to get your legs under, tables too low to eat at, switches for outdoor lights that don't indicate they are on, hot water heater switches that indicate they are on when in fact they may not be, wiring - plumbing - piping totally unidentified/undocumented - oh jees, now I'm getting all worked up again, what did I do with those pills?

Some of these things are industry-wide ("that's the way we always do it") problems, some are unique to our manufacturer. None seem to ever be questioned or addressed. I lie, those fortunate enough to purchase brand new, BIG units will absolutely LOVE the swing out compartment doors! They are awesome, unfortunately not on my Sun Voyager.

You are correct Ron, that many of these annoyances are really RV industry - but wouldn't it be nice if a RV manufacturer encouraged thoughtful engineered corrections by their industry suppliers instead of merely overlooking the shortcomings?

Beaufort NC
12-10-2007, 04:34 PM
If the Japanese ever get seriously involved in the manufacture of RVs, (like they did autos in the 70s), the quality of the domestic product will improve, albiet it too slowly.

12-10-2007, 06:12 PM
I find it hard to believe an engineer/designer who puts a 3 inch hole in the sewer compartment and expect a 4 inch object to go thru it does not recognize a problem. I'm not an engineer, but it is fairly obvious to me that it won't work. If that engineer goes camping with his product, can he not see that and fix it? I guess the 'that's the way we've always done it' attitude is far too pervasive throughout the industry.

The manufacturers MUST encourage their people to fix the engineering and design problems that have frustrated so many of their customers. Right now, they have no competition to force them to change. But, the same thing the Japanese did to the US auto industry, by providing a quality product at reasonable cost, can happen to the RV industry.
Beaufort has it right. If the Japanese ever get into the RV manufacturing industry, the US manufacturers are in big trouble.


Beaufort NC
12-10-2007, 08:56 PM
I guess I was thinking of the Japanese thing in metaphorical terms, but there certainly is a big hole out there for someone to really do it right. I get the impression that no one on the low to mid end of the market does (I don't know a thing about the high end - how are those 500k Country Coaches?).

And as I have posted before, it's little stuff that could so easily be controlled. It's always little stuff that annoys the stuffing out of me.

12-11-2007, 06:50 AM
And the aggravating thing is that when given an opportunity to listen to a customer, the manufacturers aren't interested. I know, don't shoot the messenger, but when we took the GS tour no comments or feedback were solicited from the guide. To me it was an ideal time to gain owner insight. I'm confident it is the same with each manufacturer.

12-11-2007, 02:23 PM
I hate to say this, but I think we are the problem. We keep buying their products. My wife and I have been full timing for over seven years. We started out with a Coachmen fifth wheel. After we bought it I opened a cupboard door and found a small sign that said this (big 36 foot) unit not intended for full time use. After four years we traded for this motor home because motor home owners told me they are better built. We bit. What a disastrous mistake! I'm not complaining just about Gulfstream. I don't think one is any better than the other. Once they get our money they are happy. Once I get rid of this thing and get into a stick built home and someone mentions camping, they may be in serious trouble!
That being said I feel a little better.

12-11-2007, 02:54 PM
That all being said, once you get to the park, lounging in front of the roaring campfire along the moonlit lake, coffee (or cool one) in hand,,, those problems tend to melt away.

I forget about the impending handfull of goooey stuff & all the bugs indoors. I guess it's not so bad, in the grand scheme of things?

12-11-2007, 03:29 PM
That all being said, once you get to the park, lounging in front of the roaring campfire along the moonlit lake, coffee (or cool one) in hand,,, those problems tend to melt away.

I forget about the impending handfull of goooey stuff & all the bugs indoors. I guess it's not so bad, in the grand scheme of things?

I respect your opinion Bob. Been there done that. My best memories are renting a cabin at Table Rock Lake, MO. My boat in a stall there and just hanging out with the family.

12-11-2007, 04:51 PM
by8s, sorry to hear your GS has put a bad taste in your mouth about motorhomes. I do agree that it seems to be a crap shoot when you buy one, expecially the low to mid priced units. I just returned from a 2000+ mile trip and my 2003 performed flawlessly. In fact, I even got a little better mpg's than I expected. (Probably because the cruise control is disconnected due to the Ford recall)

My purpose of this thread is to point out the little irritating things that have always been 'engineered' into these units that can be fixed by the manufacturer for little or no cost, and the solutions to these problems we resourceful RVers have come up with.


12-11-2007, 09:02 PM

Thank you. I apologize to everyone for turning a post into something so negative. It's not just GS in my case. We are just plain burned out. One thing that needs mentioning are the great people, friendships and just plain good times we have had. I'm pushing 70, and since we parked this thing here and got part time jobs we have discovered a new lifestyle much to our liking. There is a big difference between camping and full timing, but the most fun we have had were with the campers while we were hosting at state parks. If we had accepted a cool one from everyone that offered while we were making our rounds, we probably wouldn't have made it clear around.


Beaufort NC
12-11-2007, 10:08 PM
I don't know that I see anything negative about this thread. It's just the reality of the little things that the manufacturers don't do, and I for one don't intend for any of it to stand in the way of my enjoyment of owning a motorhome.

The fact that we all handle these things, make the modifications, find ways to make things better, and basically smile at the problems that arise, is really a very positive statement.

The MANUFACTURERS, on the other hand, might do well to see it as negative... :lol:

And by8s, what's all that white stuff around your coach?

12-12-2007, 08:36 AM
Beaufort, NC:

The white stuff turns to water in the spring (Nebraska Dew). Our friends in NC enjoyed giving us a hard time last weekend when we talked to them on the phone. They were wearing shorts & T-shirts.

12-14-2007, 02:59 PM
Here are pics of my screen door mod. All that's needed is a 3/8" ID grommet and a piece of 3/8"dowel.

This is a pic of the outside of the sliding panel.


This is a pic of the inside. I added a 'paddle' to the dowel on the inside to make it easier to open. Just lift up on the paddle and the latch is released.


The mod does not interfere with the sliding panel.

12-14-2007, 03:09 PM
And another great idea from a GS owner!!! :) :) :)