We flew one-way out to Dixie RV Superstore in Hammond Louisiana on July 25. Our salesman picked us up at the New Orleans airport and drove us back to the dealership. Our experience there was …. mixed.
Even though we had made our appointment a month ahead (and our flight was an hour late!), our bus was not ready for our pre-purchase walkthrough. We cooled our heels for at least an hour in the lobby, killing time in the attached Camping World, while the rig was in “detailing”. Finally, they rolled out the bus and we started going over her stem to stern. The bus was supposed to have been thoroughly checked in advance, but the tech was candid in confessing that (contrary to what he had been told) the rig had never undergone a pre-delivery inspection. Apparently it was in the Spartan shop for quite a while getting necessary recalls addressed, shortening the time available to do the PDI. So, instead of 8 hours to do a complete inspection, the tech had about 4 hours to rush it through. He found a few things and we found a few more, mostly minor, defect, as we inspected all of the systems.
After our walkthrough, the salesman took us on a test drive and Jeff got a 15 minute driving lesson. We had watched a number of You-Tube driving tutorials, which helped. We parked the rig and went to the office to sign all of the paperwork. By this time it was closing time, so we Uber-ed into town for a much needed dinner. It was a long day! The dealership had us on electrical hookup and provided a full tank of fresh water, so we slept overnight in the bus, trying that night to check as many systems as possible.
The next morning, we presented our punchlist to the tech and waited around for them to get to it. I know we weren’t their only clients, but we wanted to get on the road for our 900 mile trek home, so it was annoying to be kept waiting for hours (again). We picked a Tuesday for our purchase, hoping they wouldn’t be so busy. Finally after lunch they pulled the bus back to the service bay to address our issues. Here’s a sampling:
- We needed them to re-set the factory numeric key pad master code to one we selected. Otherwise, anyone with an Entegra bus could access our bus and re-program all of our entry codes. At the first attempt, the tech simply programmed an entry code (which is different) and tried to convince us that reprogramming the master code wasn’t necessary! We insisted, and finally that was done properly.
- We had some lighting issues – one exterior light wouldn’t turn on and the motion sensor light in the rear closet wouldn’t turn off. They hooked up the exterior light and seemed to fix the closet light. But later, gremlins returned, so as of this writing, it is turning on unpredictably, probably due to a bad sensor.
- The biggest issue involved the engine cover at the rear of the bus, which is motorized on our model. It was going up extremely slowly, and the tech spotted the reason; a missing actuator on the right side of the cover bracket. They installed a replacement actuator and all seemed well – until much later. Turns out, they installed the wrong actuator which caused the hatch to raise unevenly and torque. BIG problem, because there is no manual work-around, and as of this writing, we can’t access our engine at all. The cover raises a few inches and hangs up. This is a major screw up, caused by the dealership, which we are now going to have to have addressed under warranty.
- Dixie RV also applied for our Florida Title. Nearly two months later, we still haven’t received it and the Florida DMV has no record of it.
We finally got the bus around 3 pm and headed out toward home. Despite our inexperience, we managed to get the bus back safely with no incident. We tried different accommodations on the trip home including boondocking at a WalMart, staying at an inexpensive no-frills campground right off the interstate, and staying at a fluffy KOA. Finally, we settled the rig at a County campground near our apartment to start our move-in.
Dixie RV is a volume dealer. They were nice and it seemed they were doing our best to make us happy and deliver a quality rig. But even though they had a full month’s warning, the bus wasn’t ready for delivery. Granted, there were 2 recalls, 2 tech service bulletins and generator servicing that had to be done at local shops which required lead time. But when they got the bus back, they didn’t allow adequate time for a proper and comprehensive pre-delivery inspection which would have allowed them to fix some of the issues before we got there. Fortunately, Entegra builds such good quality rigs, there were few real problems.
I expect that any motorhome purchase will have glitches and identified issues, because it is such a complex machine. But, the engine cover actuator replacement was simply a huge screw up on Dixie’s part. They threw on whatever they had without regard to whether it was the RIGHT part, and ended up causing us a big problem. It would have been better to simply leave it the way it was than put on the wrong part. And since Dixie is so far from us, we’ll have to take it elsewhere to get it addressed.
So, our experience was mixed. We bought the bus at a super-duper discount price. It’s a great motorhome and we are, overall, delighted with it. But the service/support could be improved. They rushed through the fixes to get us out the door and some of it simply was done improperly.