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farnhamstj
01-21-2011, 02:26 PM
Wanted to vent my frustration. Aparently my $14000 camper no longer has any warranty of any kind. I have a small leak in the roof, took it back to Kettlesen Campers in October for repairs. I was told it was outside my 2 year "everything" is covered and I would have to pay the $650 freight to get a replacement top. Gave them $650,to get the top on order. Today I got a call from Kettelsen that Coleman is now bankrupt and I am SOL. The service tech sugested I have the cover rynolined and he is trying find a replacement interior piece for me to purchase.:mad:

They aparently will be sending out a refund check next week for my $650.:blah:
I have great deal of choice words that I will not post here:rant::rant::rant:

Moral of the story, Don't believe anything sales people tell you and don't shop at Kettlesen.

I have a plan of my own to repair the camper.:hill:

nuclearlemon
01-21-2011, 04:19 PM
sorry to hear. rvs and campers have always been the worst investment possible. the average life of the companies is four years, they buy the cheapest parts they can from other companies that usually don't last more than a couple of years themselves.

wesintl
01-21-2011, 04:36 PM
When did coleman go bankrupt? I haven't seen anything on that.

yours was a fleetwood which did go belly up. Coleman bought that division. Dunno how warranty carries over.

So coleman isn't producing any campers/tops or you can't get it under warranty?

Corbet
01-21-2011, 04:39 PM
I keep telling my wife this is why we need an Adventure Trailer and not a standard pop-up from whomever.

Romer
01-21-2011, 04:52 PM
sorry to hear. rvs and campers have always been the worst investment possible. the average life of the companies is four years, they buy the cheapest parts they can from other companies that usually don't last more than a couple of years themselves.

I learned american camping manufacturers have poor quality. My 8 year old Australian camper is in better shape then the Jayco I had was when it was new.

The market and environment drive the quality. When you go on vacation for 6 weeks being 100's of miles from civilization, the market won't take crap.

In the US, you typically can make a 30 minute drive or less to get to a store while on a for a trip that is typically 2-3 days

The Jayco Baja was a nice camper, but started wearing quickly and I only used it 5 times a year.

The Kimberley Kamper still looks brand new and has been through 4 owners. There area couple of small stains in the awning canvas, but there is really nothing wrong with it. It's construction of stainless and thick honeycombed plastic provide a strong unit that will last off roading and quickly show signs of age.

wesintl
01-21-2011, 05:07 PM
The Kimberley Kamper still looks brand new and has been through 4 owners. There area couple of small stains in the awning canvas, but there is really nothing wrong with it. It's construction of stainless and thick honeycombed plastic provide a strong unit that will last off roading and quickly show signs of age.

IMHO it's apple to oranges. KK new 30k-50k, coleman or equivelant popup 15-20k. If coleman or one of the other companies decided to sell a 30k popup it would probably be round the same quality if it was really engineered for offroad. you know not spending 30k on granite counters ;)

corsair23
01-21-2011, 05:34 PM
Sorry to hear about that Farnham!

We bought our Coleman from them back in '97 and it has held up remarkably well for as much use as it has gotten. That said, Kettlesen is not my favorite RV place. Bottom line never trust anything a sales person tells you and always get everything in writing. Not sure though how the bankruptcy affects the warrant or their ability to fulfill it. They've told me in the past that our popup's roof has a lifetime warranty but that doesn't cover the cost of the freight to get the top to Denver...which is the same $650 price they quoted you.

RockRunner
01-21-2011, 06:06 PM
We had a leak too in our camper. I have some repair material, expensive stuff, if you want to use some. It is hard to find the leak sometimes or near impossible but if you do I have the stuff.

And I totally agree with your rant!

farnhamstj
01-21-2011, 07:57 PM
I guess at least I still have a job.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-21/150-idled-as-sw-pa-folding-trailer-plant-closes.html

AddictedOffroad
01-21-2011, 08:49 PM
I have a 95' Coleman Chesapeake that has treated us very well over the three years we have owned it. But, I didn't buy it new either and would probably never buy one new. Its probably the best $1200 I have ever spent.

FWIW, a good coating of smooth white Durabak with the UV protection in it would seal it for several years.

Romer
01-21-2011, 08:57 PM
IMHO it's apple to oranges. KK new 30k-50k, coleman or equivelant popup 15-20k. If coleman or one of the other companies decided to sell a 30k popup it would probably be round the same quality if it was really engineered for offroad. you know not spending 30k on granite counters ;)


If two go in on it, you can get two brand new KK's delivered to the port for a less than $20K a piece. 2 guys did that a few years ago, you need two for the shipping container. My used one was much less than that

Course with the currency rate change, its probably different. Prices in Australia include GST which is removed if exported.

I have a 2002 I bought for a little over $11K, and the other day I saw an australian ad for the same year and model for $24K AU$. It was for a local purchase down under.

Your right they are more expensive. Kind of like I bought a $50K Lexus used for $14K in 2003 or a $40K BMW Z4 used for $14K:D. Quality is still a good value used, where is less expensive crap does not hold up well.

nakman
01-22-2011, 07:20 AM
Bummer Farnham, I think the duraback idea is a solid one though.. would be a good time to install a rack or something if you were thinking of that.

Red_Chili
01-22-2011, 07:46 AM
After seeing that guy's custom homebuilt last year at CM, I do believe the chop-n-mod approach has great merit. If my Starcraft starts shedding parts (none so far, despite some harsh use), it will morph.

SAS it, Farnham!! :lmao: (OK, it's a metaphor...)

Romer
01-22-2011, 08:20 AM
Tim's camper is pretty sweet. He rebuilt his with care

Farnham, curious if a top from another manufactuer would work. Have you checked with local canvas shops?

farnhamstj
01-22-2011, 04:19 PM
It's not the canvas that is leaking it's the aluminum trim piece that the awning connects to. The weight of the awning is pulling the trim off the roof. My plan is to remove that trim piece. Re glue it to the camper. Seal it and the other side with silicon or something. Add a roof rack that will mount in to the trim and help hold it together. Throw out the POS awning and get a better awning that mounts to the roof rack. Cut the frame of the camper and streach the deck to 48" instead of the 24" that is currently is. Swap from 2" ball to 2 5/8" ball. I'm going to remove the water heater because we never use it. I'm going to remove the fridge, because it is a POS. I'm going to replumb and rewire camper. Remove one propane tank. Get a second battery and an Engel (or ARB, or ???) fridge.

If I were to do it again I would get a kimberly. But then I'd still have motorcyle carrying issues.

I hate the camper, my wife loves the camper, that means I have to love the camper.

Who builds something that is supposed to go down the interstate at 75mph that's held together with staples?

Beachboy
01-23-2011, 08:08 AM
I have dealt with Kettleson twice with owning a Coleman camper and a Lance camper. I never had a good experience with them, especially when it comes to service or warranty. That is one RV distributor that I will never deal with again.

Corbet
01-23-2011, 08:14 AM
you could replace your OEM fridge with an Engel front open unit.

http://www.engel-usa.com/frontopen.html

Keep the OEM look with a quality unit.

Rezarf
01-24-2011, 10:30 AM
Farnham, there is a product called Sika-flex (sp?) that is the best stuff when I was researching "caulks" for sealing up our little home built unit. Also, truckers use a certain kind of silicone that is amazing too.

I wouldn't go cheap when you have to seal it back up. Do it once do it right.

Sorry to hear of your troubles bud.

nuclearlemon
01-24-2011, 11:14 AM
sika is what most of the truck body shops use. it is awesome

if anyone is interested, mike paris with the state association is selling his camper/trailer combo. it's a little camper with a deck behind it for hauling a small rig, when the rig's off, you can set up an enclosed room.

SteveH
01-24-2011, 12:36 PM
>>Who builds something that is supposed to go down the interstate at 75mph that's >>held together with staples?

The answer is: Starcraft, in addition to all the others. I joke that our 1993 Starcraft popup camper has all the trim quality and build integrity of a Chrysler product - but that's an insult to Chrysler owners ;-) Clearly, owners are supposed to trade these in every few years. They're definitely not made for offroading, and many have trouble staying together on paved highways. I just spend several hours a year reassembling whatever has fallen apart on our camper. Comes with the territory of such things.

leiniesred
01-24-2011, 12:58 PM
Great Dane Trailer Caulk will fix that right up, Farnham.
Maybe Ige's company can sell you a tube.

Red_Chili
01-24-2011, 01:31 PM
>>Who builds something that is supposed to go down the interstate at 75mph that's >>held together with staples?

The answer is: Starcraft, in addition to all the others. I joke that our 1993 Starcraft popup camper has all the trim quality and build integrity of a Chrysler product - but that's an insult to Chrysler owners ;-) Clearly, owners are supposed to trade these in every few years. They're definitely not made for offroading, and many have trouble staying together on paved highways. I just spend several hours a year reassembling whatever has fallen apart on our camper. Comes with the territory of such things.

:(
My Starcraft 10 R/T is holding together quite nicely. I've not been all that careful with it either!
Mind you, the awning is junk and will be reengineered but the unit itself seems quite fair. Uh ... aren't we constantly working on our trucks too? :cool:

Cheeseman
01-24-2011, 05:00 PM
Interesting thread. Takes me back to my youth. We had a Bethany camper that my fathera and I figured out we put about 100,000 miles on it over the many many years we used. Went way north in canada hunting. And as far south as San Carlos, Mexico on the ocean and all points around the US. Absolutely no issues at all.

So I guess they have been making these things fancy and fast enough to make them iffy. It's to bad. It is a great way to travel and see the country.