After his brand-new camper ends up in the shop twice, RV owner calls ABC 6 On Your Side

(WSYX/WTTE)

A man says he bought a brand new camper to relax with his family and help relieve stress but is instead already frustrated with his $40,000 purchase.

Randy Riffle says he bought the 2018 XLR Nitro Toy Hauler camper from Specialty RV in Lancaster in April. In those few months, he says it's already been in the shop twice, so he called ABC 6 On Your Side for help.

“A brand new unit and it’s been nothing but trouble,” said Riffle.

Within weeks of buying it, Riffle took a road trip to Kentucky. He says that’s when trouble started with the camper’s fresh water tank.

“We heard cracking and popping when we were filling it up,” said Riffle.

Riffle says he called Specialty RV about those noises to make sure he was doing everything correctly.

"They’re like yeah, it’ll blow out water if it gets too full,” said Riffle.

But Riffle says the tank broke loose.

“It landed on top of the axle which is one of the big safety concerns,” said Riffle.

He brought the camper to Specialty RV. Riffle sent pictures to ABC 6 On Your Side that he snapped of the repairs. He says the tank ended up being mounted several inches below the frame where it should have been. The Specialty RV invoice shows the cause of the tank falling out was due to a bracket being installed backwards.

Riffle says it took nearly a month to get his camper fixed.

“Then they come back and said afterwards once they tore apart and fixed it that we had overfilled the tank, caused it to buckle and drop, which makes no sense because it should overflow when it’s full,” said Riffle.

He took it back out on the road. After that trip, Riffle says he had to return the camper to the shop a second time.

“The hot water tank had melted the plastic inserts for the fresh water, the city water, and the black water hook up. It melted them off the side of the unit,” said Riffle.

In an email to ABC 6 On Your Side, XLR’s Warranty Parts and Service manager stated they sent a replacement for the hot water heater door so it directs heat away from the water hook-ups. The warranty manager also told us the only way the water tank could fall is if it had been overfilled which can bend the brackets.

Specialty RV’s general sales manager says everything under warranty has been fixed and they’ve executed repairs above and beyond for Riffle, even having parts expedited by the manufacturer.

“They don’t understand the frustration. It’s a brand new unit we should not be having trouble with this unit,” said Riffle.

Riffle says an attorney is looking into whether he has a case under the Ohio Lemon Law.

“We’re pushing 60 days and according to an attorney 60 days would make it a lemon law,” said Riffle.

Ohio Lemon Law does cover RVs. There must be 3 unsuccessful repairs of the same defect, 30 days out of service, or an unsuccessful repair of a problem that could hurt someone badly or become deadly.

“If the plastic can melt off the side of the unit I’m sure it can probably get hot enough to actually catch a fire,” said Riffle.

Riffle says he talked with Specialty RV about buying back the camper, swapping it out, or paying the difference between a new and used one and get this one rebuilt by the manufacturer.

“We’re not comfortable with the camper no more, too many issues. We’ve been lucky twice nothing severe has happened but who knows the third trip out what’s going to happen,” said Riffle.

Specialty RV says the customer can take his camper home but refuses to, and that everything under warranty has been repaired. Less than a week after ABC 6 On Your Side stepped in, Riffle says Specialty RV is now offering him a deal for a swap for a different camper.

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