Everyone's gearing up for summer travel. No doubt while we RVers are busy planning trips and budgeting for vacation expenses, the last thing we'd expect is to have our RV, or even an appliance within our RV, recalled... but it happens more than we like to think.
Who Issues RV Recalls?
When lives or property are at risk because of a product defect, a recall is issued. RV-related recalls come under the jurisdiction of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.) NHTSA is one of over a dozen Department of Transportation (DOT) agencies created to oversee and enforce safety regulations. NHTSA is responsible for setting and enforcing safety standards for motor vehicles, including investigating safety defects and issuing recalls for whatever travels our highways.
What About Defects That Aren't Recalled?
When the product is a major item, such as an RV, the ramifications can be serious. This is your home, if only for a few weeks, and if it's a motorhome, it's both your home and vehicle. You fill it with possessions that you believe are important enough to keep with you, even for just weekend trips or vacations. More importantly, you fill your RV with people you love. Don't hesitate to report defects as soon as you find them.
You can file a safety complaint on the safercar.gov site under Defects & Recalls, Safety Complaints. Either Click the “file a safety complaint” link or call 1-888-327-4236. The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was setting up a consumer complaint system effective March 2011. It also gives access to recalled products that may be used in your RV.
Why Weren't We Told About Our RV Recall?
One of the problems consumers face is not knowing that a recall has been issued, or that the product they are purchasing will eventually have a recall issued.
While most manufacturers make their best efforts to notify owners of their products when a recall is issued, they don't always reach every owner. They may have only your initial registration on file, with only the contact information that was current at the time you purchased your RV.
Unless the manufacturer knows that you have possession of a recalled RV or component, it can't always get the information to you. If you purchased a used RV, or even moved since you registered your warranties, there is a chance you might not receive a recall notice. If you purchased your RV from a private party, there's even less likelihood that the manufacturer will know to contact you. In that case, what can you do?
Where Do You Find RV Recall Information?
Almost every RV manufacturer has issued a recall at one time or another, so it's probably a good idea to look up your RV periodically even when you haven't heard of any recalls. While you're on the recall site, look up your tow vehicle, too.
Checking periodically with the NHTSA website is one way to keep up with their monthly list of recalls. Through Safercar.gov you can search for RV recalls based upon the make and model of your RV, whether a motorhome, travel trailer, or fifth wheel.
Other organizations try to report recalls as they are issued and many of these are online. Websites such as the Auto Recalls for consumers (ARFC) post recall summaries for each make and model giving you a little easier access than through safercar.gov, but may not be as complete or as current. Your manufacturer may list recalls on their website. If not, you may be able to find out about recalls by calling their customer service office. They should be able to tell you about any parts, appliances, or components that were included in manufacturing your RV.
Some Recent RV Recalls
By now most RV owners have heard about two refrigerator recalls due to fire hazards. These include Norcold models 1200LR, 1200LRIM and 1201LRIM four-door refrigerators, and N600 and N800 series models 1082 freestanding LP refrigerators, and Dometic refrigerator models NDR1062, RM2652, RM2662, RM2663, RM2852, RM2862, RM3662, RM3663, RM3862,and RM3863 were also recalled.
Here's one more site listing RV recalls issued in February 2011 RV recalls for Fleetwood RV, Inc. for incorrectly wired headlights, several manufacturers installing Norcold refrigerators, Bombadier Recreational Products, Inc for a reverse actuator, and Keystone for a water line/water tank recall.
- February 2011: Thor Motor Coach Freedom Elite 2012 motorhomes has recalled some models for improper gray water tank bracket attachments.
- March 2011: Fleetwood RV Co. MY 2011 Discovery RV, Revolution RV and Class A Providence motorhomes for potential failure or overheating of an internal circuit board or the board's dimmer switch.
- March 2011: Dutchman RV's Komfort Pacific Ridge MY 2011 certification labels don't list the proper GAWR and GVWR.
- April 2011: Thor Motor Coach MY 2008-2010 Outlaw and MY 2011 Avanti motor homes stop lamps may be intermittent during light brake applications, improperly indicating that brakes are being applied. Contact 1-800-547-0712.
- April 2011: Winnebago MY 2009 Adventurer recall issued for stop lamps that may not indicate that the service brakes have been applied. Contact the Warranty Campaigns Department 1-800-547-0712.
- April 2011: Jayco MY 2011 Eagle, Super Lite and Jay Flight G2 travel trailers may have cracked bolt that attach the leveling jacks to the trailer frame. There is potential for the jack to come loose or separate when in motion causing a crash, injury or death. Contact Jayco at 1-800-283-8267.
- May 2011: Starcraft recently recalled 135 MR 2011 Autumn Ridge AR-One, Autumn Ridge and Lesion S-Lite travel trailers due to possible cracked bolts that attach the leveling jacks to the trailer frame. Starcraft can be reached at 1-800-945-4787.
These are just a few of the hundreds of recalls I discovered when researching for this article. Check back periodically for updates on recalls as I learn about them.