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Thread: My first Grand Design Experience

  1. #1
    GMRetired
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    My first Grand Design Experience

    After three years of looking for the perfect 5th wheel the Wife and I purchased the Grand Design Reflection 29RS. It seemed to be the perfect set up for us, not too big, just enough room for me, the wife, and our yellow lab. We were pretty excited as we had been looking for a long time. I’m sad to say that the day we were to take delivery we noticed a few things wrong with the 5th wheel. Our dealer assured us that he would get it fixed. There’s a campground attached to the dealership, so we spent one night in the fifth wheel and by the next morning we had an even longer list of things that were wrong:

    • Wood trim along the kitchen table slide was pulled away and cracked
    • Window shade broke the first time we closed it
    • The frame and trim around the main door was not aligned correctly, this allowed you to be able to see daylight coming through the side of the 5th wheel when the main door was open and only the screen door was shut
    • Black water tank leaked
    • The dealer also found that the toilet was leaking and had to be replaced
    • Mini fridge in the outside cubby was very loud and did not cool
    • Outside TV was not hooked up correctly
    • Sink covers missing
    • Gouge on the back of the island requiring repair

    So needless to say we haven’t even gotten the 5th Wheel home yet! Our dealer seems to be getting everything fixed for us but I’m real concerned about the quality of Grand Design. I called Grand Design today to tell them about all the issues we have had so far and my concerns about their quality. The customer service guy I talked to didn’t seem to care less. He told me that everything is made on an assembly line with robots and sometimes things just happen. I found this interesting because Grand Design website talks about their Amish craftsmanship not robots. I quickly informed him that I worked on an auto assembly line for 30 years and that yes things can happen but we have quality control to ensure the customer doesn’t end up with a bad vehicle. I asked the rep if they had quality control and he said yes. I told him they weren’t very good. He said “that’s your opinion” I then told him I didn’t think I would ever purchase a Grand Design again and he said “that’s up to you” He didn’t seem to care one way or the other. Have any of you had similar experiences? Or any advice for us? With all these problems already and we haven’t even taken it off the lot yet I’m just worried about how it’s going to hold up when we actually start using it! Today in the mail I received the license plates and I don’t even have anything to put them on. We are pretty disappointed so far because we have waited for this purchase for a long time. The dealer is hoping to get the new mini fridge put in tomorrow and we plan to pick it up on Friday. I sure hope the repairs that we are having done will be all that is wrong with it. We have already missed two camping trips. We asked the rep to pay for the 2nd AC unit that we are having placed in it for some type of compensation for our inconvenience but he refused. I know a lot of the repairs seem little but when you see so many little things at once it adds up and really makes me worried about the quality.
    Last edited by GMRetired; 10-01-2014 at 08:04 PM.

  2. #2
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    Robots? I took a tour of the factory, and saw lots of assemblers, but no robots. Maybe it's something they added in another building since our tour in August. I too had a whole list of things to fix. We've worked our way through them, and our Reflection has over 9000 miles with no significant issues in the last 6000. I can assure you, they do have a rigorous quality control group, and I got to see it first hand. they went through the units with a fine tooth comb. Most of my problems were with components were supplied to Grand Design by other manufacturers. They were not directly attributable to Grand Design workmanship. I'm not sure how you had so many escapes, and it's very disheartening to hear about your contact with the customer service representative. I'd suggest you escalate your concerns to top management of the company. You can send a PM to Bill Fenech on this site. He's a member. If you don't get a response, you can call Grand Design and ask for Bill Fenech, Ron Fenech, or Don Clark who are all co-owners. I assure you they are very concerned about customer satisfaction and will be eager to work with you.

  3. #3
    Site Sponsor Gsport's Avatar
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    You know you can't believe everything you read on the "net". Sometimes when I read an article like this I think it is just someone looking to stir it up. I know we've all had things not right, but he sure seems to be pouring it on. If this is for real, I hope he gets everything sorted out to his satisfaction.
    Jim and Kerry
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  4. #4
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    There are some things you state that are probably your take on it...


    The sink covers do not come with a Reflection, so they were not missing.

    The door alignment I highly doubt, as the holes cut into the side of all Grand Design are cut out using the framing in the walls. I would bet that you are seeing light come through the door latch hole that is cut in so you can lock the door. I've heard that several times from people that don't know.


    There is no doubt you do have some issues, but a bunch of them sound like your dealer didn't do a very good job in their PDI/prep.

    If they would have actually tested the water system, they would have found the toilet and black tank issue, and it should have been corrected before you ever came to take delivery.

    As you know, these are not cars, and are not even remotely built like them. There are many, many recalls out on vehicles right now, so even they are not perfect.
    Inventory Manager at Tom Schaeffer's RV, Shoemakersville, PA www.tomschaeffers.com
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    Site Sponsor Justaguy's Avatar
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    Cool

    Wow! Let's name names, please. If they did what you said then they should "own" it as they say. Mclain's has treated us very well. We had the dining room table replaced as the old one was too long and would rub the island when the slides were closed. The Atwood fridge had a hiccup with the circuit board but that is it. Like Tuscon Jim we have a lot of miles on our rig...well over 10,000 to be exact and about 100 nights. Other than what is listed above we have zero problems. We even had no problems with the Westlake Super ST tires. (We changed those out and sold 'em on Craig's List.) The funky Atwood thermostats take a little getting used to but man, what a/cs units they are! The Atwood fridge has never let us down. Even the little fast-recovery water heater is perfect. (Wifey takes long, hot showers. Me? eh...not so much.) It I had to complain anything it would be the drawer bottoms. You have to watch what you put in them. Not too heavy or they will break thru. We have enjoyed many nights in our rig and looking forward to many more.
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  6. #6
    Site Sponsor Sandi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gsport View Post
    You know you can't believe everything you read on the "net". Sometimes when I read an article like this I think it is just someone looking to stir it up. I know we've all had things not right, but he sure seems to be pouring it on. If this is for real, I hope he gets everything sorted out to his satisfaction.
    I have to say I agree with Gsport!!! All of us that have been to the factory never saw the first hint of a robot!!! Secondly lots of us real owner have called and spoken with the customer service representatives or techs and NONE of us have ever had that kind of experience!!! Just a little suspicious here..... maybe some of the competitors are getting a little nervous that GD is selling as fast as they can make them. And to that point the build lines can make 12 units a day but choose to only put out 8 so that they do have better quality control! Do things happen?? Absolutley!! Lets's remember these are complete homes, put on wheels and slung down the road at 70 MPH!!
    Allen and Sandi-Lexington, KY
    Home of fast horses and beautiful women!
    2015 Chevrolet Duramax 4 x 4 3500 HD LTZ
    2014 Solitude 369 RL-Oct. 2014
    2016 Momentum 376 TH-April 2016

  7. #7
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    Most of the items listed (excluding the problem with the toilet) could have been done outside of the Grand Design facility. The selling dealer could have damaged the trim, gouged the island, and broke the shade. This needs to be addressed by your dealer, if they don't fix these then report it to Grand Design. Everything described in this punch list could be replaced, or repaired in one day. The components are something the Grand Design team has no control over, installation they do. I have 100% confidence in Grand Design, I have no idea about you selling dealer, but I would put this list in their hands right away. Now is the time to check your dealer out, not throw Grand Design under the bus. I bet you get all this resolved one way or another. Best of luck
    Steve and Schlonda- Virgie, Kentucky
    2017 Momentum 328M
    2015 Chevy 2500HD LTZ Duramax CC/SB/4X4
    B&W Companion Slider

  8. #8
    GMRetired
    Guest
    Gsport sorry, to say but all the things stated in my post are true. I'm definitely not trying to stir things up or pouring it on. I was actually just seeking some support or advice and wondering if any of you have had the same experience.

  9. #9
    GMRetired
    Guest
    huntr70, Nothing that I wrote was "my take on it." Everything happened exactly as I stated. The customer rep said the sink covers were ordered. So I assume they do come with it but just wasn't there. I’m not sure what the cause is in the door alignment. There was definitely light coming through and the wood trim around the right side of the door was not aligned correctly. The wood trim seemed flush to the door at the top then a gap around the middle of the door ( I could see light coming through when main door open) and then flush again at the bottom. I agree the dealer should have tested the water system prior to delivery. When they did they found a blockage in the tank and flushed it out. Regardless, it came from the factory like that. I do know these are not cars But they are built like them. An assembly line is an assembly line. I agree cars are not perfect and I know there have been a lot of recalls lately. Most of them are from parts that are outsourced.

  10. #10
    GMRetired
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by TucsonJim View Post
    Robots? I took a tour of the factory, and saw lots of assemblers, but no robots. Maybe it's something they added in another building since our tour in August. I too had a whole list of things to fix. We've worked our way through them, and our Reflection has over 9000 miles with no significant issues in the last 6000. I can assure you, they do have a rigorous quality control group, and I got to see it first hand. they went through the units with a fine tooth comb. Most of my problems were with components were supplied to Grand Design by other manufacturers. They were not directly attributable to Grand Design workmanship. I'm not sure how you had so many escapes, and it's very disheartening to hear about your contact with the customer service representative. I'd suggest you escalate your concerns to top management of the company. You can send a PM to Bill Fenech on this site. He's a member. If you don't get a response, you can call Grand Design and ask for Bill Fenech, Ron Fenech, or Don Clark who are all co-owners. I assure you they are very concerned about customer satisfaction and will be eager to work with you.
    Thanks for your reply TucsonJim! The customer service rep told me robots, don't know why he would say that if they didn't have some type of automation. I'm glad to hear that your Reflection has performed well after working through your initial list of fixes. I sure hope we have the same experience. We researched Grand Design as much as possible prior to purchasing and one thing I liked was how great everyone said their customer service was. Trust me yesterday's interaction with them took me totally by surprise. A simple I'm sorry you have had so many things wrong would have went a long way. I understand that some of our issues were due to components as well, for example the mini fridge not cooling correctly. I really appreciate your response as it seems like your one of the few not beating me up about my post! Trust me we want nothing more than to enjoy our 5th wheel!

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