March 2019 RV Manufacturer Recalls

A manufacturer recall can create a safety risk if not repaired

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall and may create a safety risk for you or your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

What is a recall?

When a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.

Has your RV been involved in a safety recall? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

The number of RV recalls has increased significantly in recent years: 169 recalls were issued during 2016, 203 recalls during 2017, and 230 for 2018.

It should be noted that RV recalls are related to vehicle safety and not product quality.

NHTSA has no interest in an air conditioner failing to cool or slide out failing to extend or retract—unless they can be directly attributed to product safety.

NHTSA announced 16 recall notices during March 2019. These recalls involved 7 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Forest River (7 recalls), Keystone RV Company (4 recalls), Heartland Recreational Vehicles (2 recalls), Winnebago (2 recalls), Airstream (1 recall), Motor Coach Industries (1 recall), and Trail King (1 recall).

Has your RV been involved in a safety recall? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2019 Glaval Entourage motorhomes and 2017-2018 Berkshire Coach Ultra motorhomes built on a Ford chassis and equipped with an engine block heater. Water and contaminants may get into the block heater cable’s splice connector causing corrosion and damage to the connector, which can result in an electrical short.

Forest River has notified owners, and Ford dealers will inspect the block heater cable and replace it if damage is found. If no damage is found, the terminal connector will be packed with grease and reconnected. The repairs will be performed free of charge. The recall began on February 6, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-343-5111 or Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-0940.

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2018 XLR recreational trailers, models XLT26HFS, XLT26HFS-W, and XLT27KW. The affected trailers were not equipped with a liquid propane (LP)/carbon monoxide (CO) detector.

Forest River has notified owners, and dealers will install an LP/CO detector, free of charge. The recall began February 6, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-0432. Forest River’s number for this recall is 45-0931.

Has your RV been involved in a safety recall? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2019 Flagstaff and Rockwood recreational trailers. The break-away safety switch may be improperly wired, and as a result, the trailer brakes will not apply in the event that the trailer disconnects from the tow vehicle.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install a new wiring harness to maintain the supply of power to the brake system, free of charge. The recall began February 25, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-2640. Forest River’s number for this recall is 10B-0943.

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2019 Forest River Columbus recreational trailers, equipped with MORryde Rubber Pin Boxes. The pin box mounting bolts may have been insufficiently tightened, possibly resulting in the trailer separating from the tow vehicle.

Forest River has notify owners, and Forest River or MORryde dealers will replace the mounting bolts, free of charge. The recall began February 25, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-821-1487 or MORyde customer service at 1-574-293-1581. Forest River’s number for this recall is 410-0954.

Has your RV been involved in a safety recall? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2019 Forest River Wildwood recreational trailers. The Federal Placard indicates an incorrect front tire pressure of 110 PSI. The correct PSI of the front, rear and spare tires is 80 PSI. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 110, “Tire selection and Rims.” Additionally, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.”

Forest River has notified owners, and supplied a corrected Federal Placard, free of charge. The recall began February 25, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-534-6127, extension 10917. Forest River’s number for this recall is 69-0949.

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2018-2019 Rockwood and Flagstaff recreational trailers. The bunk bed door latch fasteners that secure the bunk bed door closed may fail, allowing the door to open while moving.

Forest River has notified owners, and dealers will install the correct fasteners for the bunk bed door latches, free of charge. The recall began February 25, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-8943. Forest River’s number for this recall is 10D-0950.

Has your RV been involved in a safety recall? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2019 Cherokee recreational trailers. The Federal Placards indicate incorrect tire size information of ST205/75R15, when the vehicles are actually equipped with ST225/75R15 tires. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 110, “Tire Selection and Rims.” Additionally, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.”

Forest River has notified owners and sent them a new Federal Placard that has correct tire size information, free of charge. The recall began February 25, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-541-644-8072, extension 4022. Forest River’s number for this recall is 64-0948.

Keystone RV Company

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2019 Dutchmen Endurance and 2017-2019 Dutchmen Voltage Travel Trailers. The tires may contact with the rear floor support, affecting the trailer’s handling.

Keystone has notified owners, and dealers will cut a notch in the floor support to provide sufficient clearance between the tire and the floor support, free of charge. The recall began on January 15, 2019. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone RV’s number for this recall is 19-338.

Has your RV been involved in a safety recall? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Keystone RV Company

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2019 Montana recreational trailers, models 3855BR and 3854BR. The adjustment bolt for the kitchen slide may be too long, allowing it to make contact with the tire while moving.

Keystone had notified owners, and dealers will replace the adjustment bolt with a correct length adjustment bolt, and replace the dinette slide room adjustment mechanism, free of charge. The recall began on February 7, 2019. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 19-341

Keystone RV Company

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2019 Keystone Bullet Crossfire recreational trailers equipped with a rear-wall mounted spare tire carrier. The spare tire carrier was improperly mounted, possibly resulting in the carrier detaching from the rear wall.

Keystone has notified owners, and dealers will inspect the trailers and correctly install the tire carrier, as necessary, free of charge. The recall began on March 8, 2019. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 19-345.

Has your RV been involved in a safety recall? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Keystone RV Company

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2019 Crossroad Redwood recreational trailers, equipped with MORryde Rubber Pin Boxes. The pin box mounting bolts may have been insufficiently tightened, possibly resulting in the trailer separating from the tow vehicle.

Keystone has notified owners, and dealers will properly tighten the mounting bolts for the pin box, free of charge. The recall began on February 28, 2019. Owners may notify Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 19-346.

Heartland Recreational Vehicles

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain 2019 Prowler and Trail Runner recreational trailers. The trailers were equipped with Load Range D tires instead of Load Range E tires.

Heartland has notified owners, and dealers will replace the tires with ones of the correct load range, free of charge. The recall began February 14, 2019. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032. Heartland’s number for this recall is 99.01.46.

Has your RV been involved in a safety recall? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Heartland Recreational Vehicles

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain 2019 Prowler and Trail Runner recreational trailers. The Federal Certification Label may contain incorrect tire size, load range and tire pressure information. As such, these trailers fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 110, “Tire Selection and Rims.”

Heartland has notified owners and provided replacement certification labels, free of charge. The recall began February 14, 2019. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032. Heartland’s number for this recall is 99.01.45.

Winnebago

Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2012-2018 Winnebago ERA motorhomes. The overhead cabinet shelf may have been improperly attached, allowing the cabinet face to detach and fall into the cab area.

Winnebago will notify owners, and dealers will install two support brackets, additional screws, and a maximum capacity warning label, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a recall start date. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-641-585-6939 or 1-800-537-1885.

Has your RV been involved in a safety recall? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Winnebago

Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2014 Metro Link vehicles equipped with Ricon S-Series and K-Series Titanium Wheelchair Lifts. The wheelchair lift positioning input cam may fail while the lift is in use, allowing the platform to travel higher than the vehicle’s floor height. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 403, “Platform Lift Systems.”

Winnebago will notify owners and Ricon dealers will replace the lift positioning input cam, free of charge. The recall began on February 28, 2019. Owners may contact Ricon customer service at 1-800-322-2884. Winnebago’s number for this recall is 157.

Airstream

Airstream, Inc. (Airstream) is recalling certain 2019 Airstream Basecamp X recreational vehicles. The Federal Certification Label and Tire Placard may have incorrect information stating that the vehicle is equipped with 235/55R18 Load Range D tires needing 80 psi, when the vehicles are actually equipped with 235/75R15 Load Range D tires needing 51 psi. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 110, “Tire Selection and Rims.”

Airstream has notified owners and will send them a new corrected Federal Certification Label and Tire Placard, free of charge. The recall began on February 22, 2019. Owners may contact Airstream customer service at 1-877-596-6505 or 1-937-596-6111 extension 7401 or 7411.

Has your RV been involved in a safety recall? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Motor Coach Industries

Motor Coach Industries (MCI) is recalling certain 2001-2015 J4500 and 1997-2013 102EL3/E4500 coaches equipped with a hydraulic rear axle (tag axle) steering system. The axle’s alignment and low hydraulic pressure in the steering system may cause the steering system to lock, causing a loss of steering control at highway speeds.

MCI will notify owners. The manufacturer has not yet finalized the recall remedy. The recall is expected to begin in March 2019. Owners may contact MCI customer service at 1-800-241-2947. MCI’s number for this recall is SB 469.

Trail King

Trail King Industries, Inc. (Trail King) is recalling certain 2016-2017 ACS and AACS drop deck fifth wheel trailers equipped with fifth wheel plates that have a 14″ king pin setting and 1/4″ plate. The fifth wheel coupler plate on these vehicles may crack, potentially allowing the trailer to detach from the tractor.

Trail King has notified owners, and dealers will replace the coupler plate, free of charge. The recall began on March 1, 2019. Owners may contact Trail King customer service at 1-800-843-3324. Trail King’s number for this recall is TK201901.

Note: Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Has your RV been involved in a safety recall? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Please Note: This is the second in a series of posts relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren

Forest River Workplace Safety Violations Top $250,000

The RV industry is booming. Production is high and sales are good, but is it coming at the cost of worker safety?

Between September 2017 and November 2018, ten of Forest River’s 26 plants in Elkhart County were hit with a total of 55 violations, 44 of them serious. The initial fines totaled $254,975, according to an ABC57 report.

Forest River showed up in a 2017 annual state occupational safety report as a “significant case” due to “excessive injuries.” According to the report, in the first nine months of 2017 alone there were nine fingers amputated, a fractured pelvis, and multiple foot fractures.

Polomino Solaire travel trailer, a Forest River product, camped at Picacho Peak State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

The ABC57 Investigates team spent almost a year going over stacks of IOSHA (Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration) inspection reports and talking to several current and former employees at Elkhart-based Forest River. What they found paints a picture of a fast-paced work culture filled with alleged drug use and lax safety practices—all proving to be a dangerous combination.

In the last few years the Elkhart RV industry has soared back to life after sinking deep into the depths of the 2008 recession. Demand is so high many RV manufacturers are offering highly competitive packages to potential employees to help increase production. But in that rush to meet demand worker safety seems to be falling through the cracks at Forest River—one of America’s largest manufacturers of recreational vehicles.

A Class A motorhome camped at White Tank Mountains Regional Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

ABC57 spoke to several current and former employees who shared those concerns. Many declined to speak on camera out of fears of retaliation. One former employee did agree to speak on camera—if we hid his identity out of fears he would be frozen out of the industry for speaking up. His employment was confirmed through an old Forest River pay stub. He described the work environment inside the plant as fast-paced.

The company has a 3.2 rating out of 5 on indeed.com, a website that allows current and former employees to review their employers.

Outback travel trailer by Keystone RV, a Thor Industries Company © Rex Vogel, all rights reserv

Some call it a great place to work, while others say there are problems. One thing almost every worker agreed on was the fast pace. That pace inspired by the “piece rate” one former manager told us about. It means the more pieces completed the more you get paid.

“They try to enforce safety as much as possible, but of course there are slips within the system you would say,” the former worker said.

Those slips eventually drew the attention of the Indiana Department of Labor with the company showing up in a 2017 Annual State Occupational report as a “significant case” due to “excessive injuries”. According to the report, in the first nine months of 2017 alone there were nine fingers amputated, a fractured pelvis, and multiple foot fractures.

Alpha Founder diesel pusher. One of the casualties of the recession, Alpha is no longer manufacturing RVs

IOSHA then sent a team of six people to Forest River plants in Goshen and Middlebury and eventually several others. Between September 2017 and November of 2018, ten of Forest River’s 26 plants in Elkhart County were hit with a total of 55 violations, 44 of them serious. The initial fines totaled $254,975.

To compare, during that same time period only four other local RV companies were hit with safety violations. The most was Lippert Components with 10 violations and initial fines totaling $45,000.

Golden Palms RV Park in Hemet, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Among Forest River’s violations inspectors cited risks of amputation, falling, and electric shock. In some cases, inspectors found Forest River employees were not properly trained and wearing the proper protective gear was not mandatory.

The violations and injury reports continued to come in through most of 2018. Paramedics were called twice to the company’s Starcraft division in Goshen, one of the locations hit with repeat violations. ABC57 obtained all dispatch calls to the Goshen plant. One from January 2018 was for a 50-year-old man who fell 12 feet hitting his head. Then in May a man in his 50s had two deep lacerations to two of his fingers.

2019 Newmar Dutch Star at Vista del Sol RV Resort, Bullhead City, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Warren Buffet, are you listening?

And remember that not all RV manufacturers are created equal.

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren

February 2019 RV Manufacturer Recalls

A manufacturer recall can create a safety risk if not repaired

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall and may create a safety risk for you or your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

What is a recall?

When a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

La Quintas Oasis RV Resort, Yuma, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.

The number of RV recalls has increased significantly in recent years: 169 recalls were issued during 2016, 203 recalls during 2017, and 230 for 2018.

It should be noted that RV recalls are related to vehicle safety and not product quality, violating labeling requirements listed in federal motor vehicle safety standards.

NHTSA has no interest in an air conditioner failing to cool or slide out failing to extend or retract—unless they can be directly attributed to product safety.

Pala Casino RV Resort, Pala, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

NHTSA announced 4 recall notices during February 2019. These recalls involved 3 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Forest River (2 recalls), Heartland Recreational Vehicles (1 recall), Triple E (1 recall).

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2019 Coachmen Apex recreational trailers. The inner hub bearings may not have been sufficiently greased, which can cause the bearings to overheat and fail.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and repair the hubs and bearings, as necessary, free of charge. The recall began February 4, 2019. Customer service number unknown at this time. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-0923.

Whispering Hills RV Park, Georgetown, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2019 Salem and Wildwood recreational trailers. The power cord hatch is located above the water heater exhaust, possibly resulting in the cord or the hatch melting.

Forest River has notified owners, and dealers will secure the power cord away from the water heater exhaust, free of charge. The recall began February 4, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 574-534-6127. Forest River’s number for this recall is 44-0929.

Cajun Palms RV Resort, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Heartland Recreational Vehicles

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain Milestone recreational trailers, model 377MB. The liquid propane (LP) gas hose for the water heater may have been improperly secured with a zip tie. If the zip tie fails, the hose may contact the tire.

Heartland will notify owners, and dealers will secure the hose with a P-clamp and replace the LP hose if damage is found, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin February 11, 2019. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032. Heartland’s number for this recall is 99.01.44.

Hacienda RV Resort, Las Cruces, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Triple E

Triple E Recreational Vehicles (Triple E) is recalling certain 2019 Serenity recreational vehicles, model S24CB. The coach battery compartment door support metal cable may contact the positive battery terminal.

Triple E will notify owners, and dealers will replace the battery compartment door support metal cable with one that is covered with tubing, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in February 2019. Owners may contact Triple E customer service at 1-877-992-9906. Triple E’s number for this recall is CA#9208-1

Columbia River RV Resort, Portland, Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Note: Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Please Note: This is the first in a series of posts relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren