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Old 11-10-2014, 05:08 PM   #1
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Maple Valley , Washington
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Dealer, Rodents and Insurance

Would appreciate your feedback on our situation! We dropped our new 14 AI off for service with the dealer (Airstream NW) on 9/6 to repair a crack in the toilet seal and replace the exterior outlet cover. We waited 2 months to get the service appointment. We told them we didn't have a trip planned for a few weeks and to let us know when it was ready. After 3 weeks we started to call and got the run around - they needed to order a part (which should have been ordered the day we dropped it off).

On 10/10 they told us we could pick it up - 5 weeks for a minor appointment. The battery was dead and upon opening the hatch they discovered a rodent nest in the engine compartment. The first thing they said was "you have insurance don't you?". We took photos of the nest and the matching bushes nearby, where the leaves had come from. They then said it could have happened at our house, even though the leaves were still fresh. We decided to leave it with them and call our insurance agent.

The next day the dealer emailed me an offer to give us a "free" one hour coach inspection as well as a "free" one hour inspection with Mercedes - they did this after making us sign a form of Goodwill. That took another 2 weeks for them to arrange.

It appears the damage will be around $2000 and my insurance is going to cover it even though the policy has a rodent exclusion (apparently most policies have this fyi) and they plan to try to recoup their costs. We have $1000 deductible.

I am really disappointed with the dealer. I would have hoped they would have had their insurance pick it up, especially since they has sat on it for so long it just seems like the right thing to do.

It might be ready to pick up later this week. We shall see. We may have our first hard frost tonight, and now I am worried about water lines and fixtures. It was summer when we dropped it off.

Sorry to vent, but this has been beyond frustrating and I would love to hear from you out there! Thanks
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:38 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Semmons View Post
Would appreciate your feedback on our situation! We dropped our new 14 AI off for service with the dealer (Airstream NW) on 9/6 to repair a crack in the toilet seal and replace the exterior outlet cover. We waited 2 months to get the service appointment. We told them we didn't have a trip planned for a few weeks and to let us know when it was ready. After 3 weeks we started to call and got the run around - they needed to order a part (which should have been ordered the day we dropped it off).

On 10/10 they told us we could pick it up - 5 weeks for a minor appointment. The battery was dead and upon opening the hatch they discovered a rodent nest in the engine compartment. The first thing they said was "you have insurance don't you?". We took photos of the nest and the matching bushes nearby, where the leaves had come from. They then said it could have happened at our house, even though the leaves were still fresh. We decided to leave it with them and call our insurance agent.

The next day the dealer emailed me an offer to give us a "free" one hour coach inspection as well as a "free" one hour inspection with Mercedes - they did this after making us sign a form of Goodwill. That took another 2 weeks for them to arrange.

It appears the damage will be around $2000 and my insurance is going to cover it even though the policy has a rodent exclusion (apparently most policies have this fyi) and they plan to try to recoup their costs. We have $1000 deductible.

I am really disappointed with the dealer. I would have hoped they would have had their insurance pick it up, especially since they has sat on it for so long it just seems like the right thing to do.

It might be ready to pick up later this week. We shall see. We may have our first hard frost tonight, and now I am worried about water lines and fixtures. It was summer when we dropped it off.

Sorry to vent, but this has been beyond frustrating and I would love to hear from you out there! Thanks
Perhaps I should have checked to see whether there is an existing rodent thread on this forum, but suffice it to say that your dealer should be well aware just how intense rodent problems are with respect to ALL vehicles that are sitting for extended periods, but especially RVs which furnish such ideal habitat for them.

This kind of thing is so common. My husband is restoring a 1965 Mustang and we keep it in our attached home garage that we are in and out of at least four times every day, and yet rodents still managed to build their version of the friggin' Hilton under the back seat, despite everything I did to keep them out and keep the garage free of clutter to discourage them from coming in (clutter is killer where rodents are concerned).

When we bought our AI less than two months ago, like a paranoid freak I got a bunch of glue traps and every time we park it in our storage facility, I surround the tires with glue traps (rodents can jump, but typically climb the tires to gain access). Within the first week, there was a dead rodent stuck to one of the glue traps. Within the FIRST WEEK!! He had come to climb the tire and take up residence.

What I have seen rodents do to other peoples' RVs that were left sitting is beyond comprehension. They can danged near write them off if the infestation becomes bad enough. Visions of hantavirus. Ugh.

I think your dealer should take full responsibility. And dang it, dealers who pull stunts like that are one of the reasons why my husband and I decided to become DIYers. If you want something done right...

Alison and Lawrence
League City TX
THE INTERSTATE BLOG
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:39 PM   #3
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Totally incompetent. Everything they did and didn't do.

Sorry you have to put up with that.
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:54 PM   #4
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I'm sorry too. The RV industry is frequently let down by unscrupulous dealers like this.
It's likely both the chassis and coach batteries have been ruined by the dealer not taking care to ensure they are charged. Any insurance claim should include new batteries, otherwise it will continue to be a source of trouble for you later.
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:59 PM   #5
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It will be interesting to see peoples thoughts on this thread. Many forum users (both customers and potential customers) use this dealership and will i'm sure be interested to know how all this sorts out.

By the way - this thread is really not Motorhome specific and should be placed on more of a general type topic board. It would see a lot more traffic if it was.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:19 PM   #6
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Airstreams NW in Boise has a very competent service manager, Zona Allen. Both times I have called fore warrantee work she set up a time within a week, and all my concerns and repairs were done the day I was there. Since I have to travel 250 miles one way, I like to get things done all at once in one day and she has seen it was done.

I really can't understand why your delay in service appointment was so darn long, and wait for what they did was weeks more. Something is not right at your branch of Airstreams NW, it appears. I hope it is straightened out soon.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:26 PM   #7
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Dealer, Rodents and Insurance

The way this dealer treated you is outrageous! I recommend you call Airstream and complain, also write Airstream a formal letter of complaint. Which location did this, Seattle, Portland or Boise?

Lesson learned - never leave you vehicle at any dealer for more than a few days if it is drivable.

By using your insurance to pay for this you run the risk of increasing your premium. I'd push back hard on this dealer to fix everything that happened while vehicle was in their custody.


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Old 11-10-2014, 06:53 PM   #8
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Thanks Mike. You are right, lesson learned. Just hoping it doesn't freeze tonight! I want to get it back. We used the Seattle Airstream NW location. The sales folks were great.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:18 PM   #9
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Airstreams NW in Boise has a very competent service manager, Zona Allen. Both times I have called fore warrantee work she set up a time within a week, and all my concerns and repairs were done the day I was there. Since I have to travel 250 miles one way, I like to get things done all at once in one day and she has seen it was done.
You are lucky. Zona helped us out this summer when we were travelling cross country and needed our fridge repaired. We were so grateful for her quick help.

Our local dealer, on the other hand...phew. We were in 3 weeks ago with the AI. They still don't have all the parts in. And so we wait.

We did not leave the AI with the dealer, so we're still able to use it while we wait, and wait, and wait. Luckily all the repairs are small ones and not "life threatening."
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:20 PM   #10
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I would call them and have it winterized immediately. This will save you more headaches
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:10 AM   #11
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My experience is also that they like to get the unit in and then work on it as they pleased or got time. This usually work for people using the unit 2 or 3 times a year.
I stopped going to a AS dealer/service and go direct to AS in Jackson Center. Takes me 5 hours each way but I am there and that alone puts some pressure on them. Here also depending an the tech you get it done better and faster.
Rodents are a problem and you can pick them up anywhere I always have some traps in there to makes sure I am staying rodent free.


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Old 11-11-2014, 11:43 AM   #12
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That story put a bad taste in my mouth- literally- I had to get a drink of water on that one.
I didn't like the part of the story about making a service appointment and then leaving it for weeks/months. That is why I will only go to Jackson Center for service even though it takes 2 days to drive there. I never lose any camping time.
The rodent part- they know as well as I do the rodents got in at their place. Why would they try to pass the buck on this.
At the very least I would stop doing business with them altogether, even if it means driving even further for service.
If you had gotten the problems repaired in a day or so the rodents likely wouldn't have moved in. Rodents get into vehicles that are sitting parked for extended periods of time. Rodents don't typically get into vehicles that drive around every day.
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Old 11-11-2014, 12:05 PM   #13
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Hello Semmons

Let's start with the delays in getting service once the unit is at the dealership. Sadly, this is common even with the better RV dealerships and service centers. There is no reason to put up with this and you should never let a unit sit in the service lot for an extended period of time unless there is a legitimate reason for it. For a typical repair where an appointment has been made in advance I try to set the expectation that I will pick up the RV the following day and will let them push back a day or two. I call the service manager daily (unless they have asked for a few days for parts in which case I will wait until the day the parts were supposed to arrive) and ask them whether they're done and if not what's left.

Tough call on the mice. The dealer should have handled it better since it's their job to control rodents in the storage area. Probably not a case any attorney would want to take, so what do you do? It's hard to get satisfaction when a dealer damages stuff, whether a car, rv, boat, etc.
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Old 11-22-2014, 04:29 PM   #14
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Update: it looks like we might finally get our unit back on Monday! It took quite some time at the Mercedes shop, but they tell us all is fixed. In the meantime, our airstream dealer has made an effort to smooth things out and we are happy with the outcome. Hopefully we will be good for a bit now. Thank you all for your feedback, we appreciate this community so much!


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