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Tiffin responds to new factory service policy

Tiffin responds to new factory service policy

RED BAY, Ala. — Yesterday, RV Daily Report published a story about how Tiffin Motorhomes had changed its factory service policy to limit the scope of work to repairs that could be completed in less than three hours, and eliminated factory service for RVs older than four years from the original purchase.

The original story can be found here.

Today, Tiffin sent a statement further clarifying the policy.

“Thanks for your inquiry regarding the recent service announcement from the Tiffin Motor Homes warranty center,” wrote Ben Patton, with the Tiffin service department. “Indeed, in an effort to focus on warranty service for coaches recently purchased, we have instated a program that enables coaches up to four years old, or in need of items covered under our 1/5/10-year limited warranty program, the ability to utilize our factory warranty center.

“Coaches older than four years or requiring service outside of the 1/5/10, will be welcomed in our express bays for items that can be attended to within a 3-hour window,” he added. “If a coach outside of the above criteria is referred to us by a dealer that cannot resolve an issue of major consequence such as slide rooms or structural issues, we will make every effort to assist in or facilitate a repair.

“Tiffin Motor Homes has ongoing training programs for our dealers and independent service centers, along with an ongoing effort to expand our network of independent service providers,” said Patton. “By doing this. we hope to build on our already robust network of experienced dealers and service centers.  With more than 75,000 motorhomes on the road, we are making every effort to develop a sustainable approach to supporting our customers.

“The reality is that offering normal day-to-day service for older coaches here at Red Bay is not a practice that can be supported long term as our population of Tiffin Motorhomes in use increases,” said Patton. “Our coaches last longer than ever, and at the current low rate of attrition, we could easily have 90,000 to 100,000 units in use by 2025.”

That does not sit well with Tiffin customer John Pereira, who first alerted RV Daily Report to the policy change.

“Up until now, no matter how old the coach was, customers always had the option of bringing a coach to Red Bay for repairs. If it was a minor fix, customers would be sent to an ‘express bay’ where they could have the coach repaired for up to three hours,” he explained. “If the coach required more extensive repairs, it would be scheduled for a full-service bay.

“Now, with the new policy, because our coach is over four years old, we can attempt to get into an express bay, but we will not have access for more extensive repairs in a full-service bay,” he added. “With a lack of trained and reliable technicians at RV dealerships, this can have a real impact on owners of coaches over four years old.”

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About Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is a freelance writer and podcaster who has been writing about the RV industry since 2000. He is the former editor of RV Daily Report and can be reached at greg@rvdailyreport.com.

27 comments

  1. We have owned our 2006 Allegro Bus for over 10 years. We have been to Red Bay about 5 times. I think Tiffin builds a few thousand new units per year. Over the years to service area has been bogged down with so much work it is very difficult to get in. The “campground” is usually full of people waiting. The problem Tiffin has I a lot of people needing service and not enough people taking their units to dealers or repair shops around the country. I get that as we find it difficult to find qualified people out in the world – though we do know they do exist. So what happens in Red Bay is people get very upset at Tiffin because they cannot get their unit serviced in a timely manner due to waiting. There is no way to predict when many of the problems that can occur with any motorhome or RV might present itself so making an appointment for specific work to be done cannot be done far enough in advance to get an appointment. Tiffin tried making appointments for awhile but all the appointments were taken by a few lucky customers in a very short period of time. That left all the others out in the cold. A problem occurs needing repairs and people cannot get in because all the appointments are gone. So they went back to the first come first serve basis which meant showing up and waiting for long periods of time to get in. Now there is an industry growing up around Red Bay of former Tiffin employees going out on their own and opening new businesses. You can still get any and all repairs done on any Tiffin product. You just have to ask around to find out who is best at doing the specific repairs you need. We will be heading to Red Bay again in a couple months and have already contacted all our contacts to get everything we need done. Ask on the Tiffin RV Network and you will learn who the people are to get needed repairs done on any Tiffin product. The company has become a victim of their own success.

  2. In late November, we decided to take our 2008 Phaeton on a last minute trip from Texas to Red Bay to have roof rails, wet bay and drivers side slide-out (the big 3) checked out. We bought the Phaeton used in January 2014. Turns out we had to have new roof rails and wet bay replaced. I’m glad we did it since we have received this news! What a slap in the face to us “older” customers!

    • When you buy a used coach what is it? When I purchase a used mustang I don’t expect a factory to fix anything that goes wrong with my mustang because it is used. If you want a warranty buy a new car or RV don’t act like this is a slap in he face because you can’t afford a new coach and you want free handouts from some factory. Seriously! Entitlement comes to mind.

      • Most of the work done on these motorhomes at Red Bay are warranty work and are covered by Tiffin, yes…even some on older coaches. Not all work is done for free. Most who do come for other than warranty do because the skill level is way above what any one could receive at any rv dealer or repair shops on Tiffin products. The slap in the face referred to was not meant the way you interpreted it. Where else should one go for quality and value but to the experts who build it. The Red Bay area is filled with knowledgeable individuals who don’t work for Tiffin and provide excellent service. This will probably affect their lives also. To compare a Tiffin motorhome or, for that matter, any motorhome to a car is absurd at most because of the complex nature of these homes., not to mention the cost of these homes. Let me say here that I spent 35 years in auto industry working with all aspects from designer to actual assembly processes and in no way are they even close in comparison. And in closing, we as Tiffin owners do not consider ourselves entitled to anything other than a quality product. I also will say that Tiffin has been great at standing by his products as long as he himself has been in charge. I could go on forever in response to your unknowledgeable and senseless comments Shawn., but alas I have to go enjoy my so called entitled life in my shamefully used motorhome.

      • I believe you misunderstand Shawn. The ‘slap in the face’ is loosing the only reliable place we Tiffin owners have to get repairs done. We have taken our Tiffin elsewhere for repairs, paid for those repairs only to still have the same or worse problems. We have happily gone many days and many miles out of our way for the expertise found at the Red Bay plant…..and have happily paid for that expertise.

      • Shawn, do you own an RV? I doubt it because if you did you would know you can’t compare car dealers to RV Dealers. The rv industry has not matured like the automobile industry where there is a dealer on every corner and lots of mechanics and parts. Incidentally, no one expects free service on older RV’s. And I don’t think its unreasonable to expect factory service when needed on an RV that probably cost 10 to 15 times the average cost of an automobile. 🙂

  3. We have an older coach that a year ago needed some major repairs beyond what virtually all dealers would be willing to do, or capable of doing. The Tiffin Service Center did them and did them superbly, but it was ‘regular service bay’ work, not express bay. And they matched the coach’s original interior materials so it still looks like factory original. I paid for every bit of work, and believe I got good value for what it cost. Had that level of service been unavailable my coach would be a mess. Training up Tiffin dealers to do more work is an excellent and necessary step, but shutting out older coaches for more involved work will keep people from coming to Red Bay, and all the businesses here will suffer.
    This won’t be a good move for them, and there are other ways of coping with an increasingly large customer base.

  4. While I haven’t had the need to travel to Red Bay, I have always felt a great level of comfort knowing there was factory support available if needed. Tiffin’s new strategy to disavow older coaches from service in Red Bay is not good. This means owners of older coaches will be subject to Tiffin Dealers who really don’t have the staff or the expertise or the will for that matter to provide the service needed. The real objective of service staff at most dealerships is to support delivery of new vehicles. Period. With this new strategy Tiffin has definitely lost a major buying discriminator.

  5. In my manufacturers opinion, this policy by Tiffin isn’t being done to deny service but to enhance service. There are many easy items on older coaches that can be fixed in a normal shop that end up at the factory becusse we are all part of one happy family and work hard to help.

    But the factory can’t handle the ebbs and flows of service. It’s not set up for it.

    And I read the policy and it’s eminently reasonable. .

    Great companies that lack great products and service are not common in this business. Tiffin is a Great company.

  6. I own an older Tiffin product. The nearest Tiffin dealer with a service department is 100 miles away. Currently my motorhome is at this dealer for the fourth attempt to fix a slide out seal. They are always busy and in a hurry to get rid of me. Red Bay is 160 miles away and I was hoping I could use them if the dealer could not do the job. I guess that is not an option now. The slide out may take more than 3 hours to repair. Also, it is my opinion that proper maintenance is very important. It is hard to justify routine maintenance from Tiffin trained technicians when you have to leave the state to have things checked out. I agree that Red Bay has to do something to reduce their amount of work. I think that the problem is that the dealer network is insufficient to do the job, so it is overflowing into Red Bay.

  7. We took delivery of a brand newly built 2018 Red, and driving home we clicked on the dash air and there was this annoying loud fan that kept for on and off. It wasn’t even a very hot day either. We ended up turning it off and thought this couldn’t be normal. We started it up the next morning, clicked on the air, again, there was the fan, off and on, 15-20 second intervals. Called Tiffin, they said take it to the nearest Freightliner shop. Freightliner techs couldn’t find anything. The rig sat overnight as calls back and forth to Tiffin and Freightliner continued. The dash a/c was supplied by Denso, which you can’t find anything online about the units they’re now installing in all new Tiffins. Tiffin has also received other calls on this same problem. So, here we wait to see who will figure out how to fix this, A BRAND NEW COACH. Mind you, I have a list of about 20 other issues, some of them workmanship, some of them quality control, which was probably none, like sawdust everywhere, latex caulk ribbons everywhere, some places missing caulking, outside fridge vent door not flush, crushed tile and a large bolt found lying underneath the dinette slide, which we vacuumed, it wasn’t easy and there was a ton of it. Either a piece of tile was crushed when opening/closing the slide, or the mess was left when the slide was installed. The bathroom vent blows inwards and there is no reverse switch. Also, you cannot open the roof vents manually, they can only either be open all the way or closed, the driver side rear view mirror shakes like crazy and no adjustment visible. I understand some of this should’ve been done by the dealer at PDI, but the excitement of owning a Tiffin was high, and as we “take a closer look”, I don’t like the feeling of buyers remorse. The paint job is beautiful from afar, and if we make it through a trip successfully, maybe the feeling will subside. In the meantime, making the payments and crossing my fingers that everything will be resolved. (I miss my old motorhome!)

  8. John & Kathy Regan

    We own a 2010 Tiffin we brought our coach to the local Southern California Tiffin dealership repair shop for repairs they kept it 3 months, when we went to pick it up the problems were never fixed. We called Tiffin, Bob Tiffin gave me the name of a small shop that specialized in tiffin repairs we took it there only to find out this shop was under new management. At the end of last year we called Tiffin again and made the decision to bring it here to the factory for repair. We arrived here yesterday evening Saturday 8/11/17 only to be told by the lady at check in that while we were making plans and traveling out here the rules were changed. The trip out here was such a big deal for us, we have not talked with any one here on the repair side yet as it is now only Sunday morning and we are praying for a good outcome

  9. Sounds like Tiffin is the victim of their own success.
    Their is no excuse for Mediocrity. If you look at the “Glass Door” Employee Reviews, it seems like Tiffin doesn’t pay it’s employees very well and there lies the problem. No motivation to to the “Little Bit” Extra to do a great job instead of achieving a barely acceptable level of mediocrity. ( No Quality Control, Bolts and Wood Chips, Debris in Cabinets?) Really Tiffin? Walk around the Construction Floor once in a while Gents. You are catching up with your inept Competition with this debacle.
    No more Class A’s for my family. Only Leisure Travel, Hymer, Pleasure Way and Nexus meet the High Standards of Quality in this market.

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