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  • Writer's pictureTil Further Notice

Our New RV Problem Punchlist

We’ve been sharing a lot of information lately about problems with our brand new 2021 Vanleigh Vilano 320gk. The following is a fairly concise list of the biggest issues we’ve had so far. We also offer a loose summary that more thoroughly describes the issue and what we are doing to find a remedy. I’ll update this post with details as they occur so you will know how it comes out in the end. Disclaimer: We are not experts in addressing any of these issues so please don’t assume that our ways are best for you.

Hydraulic Jacks (Safety Issue) - We first realized we had a potentially catastrophic problem with the Jacks when a passing motorist flagged us down at 60 mph to inform us that our driver’s side rear jack was only an inch from the ground. After raising the jack and securing it with a ratchet strap we discovered after another 50 or 60 miles that the ratchet strap was stretched to the breaking point and now the middle jack was slowly dropping. We had to stop and raise the jacks again several times before reaching our destination. The Lippert phone support Techs helped us perform a bypass test on all six jacks. It turned out that three out of six jacks were bypassing and needed to be replaced. Right away Vanleigh shipped the new jacks to our next destination but the trick was to find someone who could readily install them. We ended up needing to drive with the faulty jacks for roughly 600 miles to get to a shop that could fit us in. To get there safely we purchased enough 3000psi ratchet straps to hold all six jacks with two straps on each, it worked. Fortunately we did find a competent mechanic who had the jacks replaced in a couple of hours. A thousand miles later we have had no more issues but I may never again drive very far without getting out to see if the jacks are ok.

Double ratchet straps required to keep jack from dropping while traveling

Rust (Safety Issue) - Yes our “brand new” Vilano has excessive rust on the frame! Bad on us for not knowing before we bought it. A case was opened with Lippert through our Vanleigh Warranty Rep. and it was suggested that we find someone to give us a quote to remove the rust and re-paint. It was pretty obvious that this would be a difficult problem to deal with and so far all I’ve done to address the problem is to grind the rust off of the spring hangers and the other areas of most concern with a wire brush. I then re-painted those spots with a with a Krylon Fusion paint followed with spraying liberal amounts of WD-40 rust inhibitor on the entire frame.

New frame, old rust

Electric Fireplace (Safety Issue) - Apparently the Furrion brand fireplace spec’d out for our unit was replaced with the Covenant Brand fireplace which quit working in the first week after we smelled something burning. After removing the back of the fireplace it was discovered that the wiring had arced and caught fire. Vanleigh promptly shipped us a replacement (covenant again) and before installing the new one I decided to inspect the wiring before I plugged it in. I ended up reinforcing the connections with electric tape to prevent them from moving as we bounce down the road. So Far after many hours of use no problems.

Fireplace wires that actually caught fire

Bedroom Slide - From the beginning the 3’ deep bedroom slide has been of concern. Going out and coming in there were places where the bed would hop over something and occasionally it would get hung up on one side of the bed causing the entire slide to get out of alignment and causing the motors to get out of sync with eachother. Eventually our slide started making loud clunking and vibrating noises and became inoperable. We went without using the slide until we could get a tech to come out. He quickly diagnosed bad seams in the 2x6 bed frame that was getting hung up on the rollers. It also doesn't help that one of the rollers was installed off center with the frame. I ended up picking up some steel plates and angle irons to replace the factory staples where the 2x6’s joined. With the hopping problem solved we hoped that the slide would operate flawlessly, not so. The popping and vibrating continued and again the entire slide was getting hung up on one side. Vanleigh shipped us the complete Schwintek assembly which we will have the mobile tech install.

Reinforcements added to make the 2x6 frame seams smoother

Angle iron reinforcement and poorly aligned roller

Air Conditioner - The first time it was hot enough to need the Air Conditioner we noticed that it was barely cooling and we were quite concerned. I spent a few hours troubleshooting and researching before simply holding a tissue up to one of the ceiling blower vents and it sucked. Next I held the tissue to the return air vent and you guessed it, it was blowing but not with much volume. I removed the return air vent to find that the mesh was clogged up on the inside by sawdust. The Problem was solved by reversing all six sets of vents throughout the coach, vacuuming sawdust as I went.

Shower Dome - The shower skylight dome had 16 cracks that I could see from being screwed down with too much torque at the factory. Vanleigh promptly sent us a replacement skylight which will be installed by a mobile tech. Water damage will be assessed when we change it out.

Shower Skylight with no fewer than 16 leaking stress cracks

Living Room Slides - The Galley and Dining slides both had badly mangled sweep seals and one of the top seals is already torn. The galley side seal in particular was allowing the wind to blow right into the kitchen. Vanleigh promptly shipped us the seals and I installed them myself.

Bathroom Fan Lid - The plastic lid over the fantastic fan in the bathroom has a hairline crack in it. Vanliegh promptly sent us a new lid which will be installed by a mobile tech

Cracked bathroom fan cover and leak

Awnings - Our rig was missing one awning motor cover and Vanleigh promptly shipped us a replacement. We had the mobile tech install it. The front awning has a short in the wiring that causes it to fail at the most inopportune times. We intend to have a mobile tech find the short and repair it.

Closet Door - Vanleigh was great about replacing the missing closet door. It had to be built since it isn’t a stock item. When it finally did arrive it had no glass mirror in it to match the other door. We preferred to use wood anyway and we just finished the door ourselves.


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