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2020-02-03 2018 Coachmen Clipper Sport 125ST View Listings

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COACHMEN CLIPPER, Model 125SST, Purchase Date: 04/26/19 Date: 01/05/19 Subject: Severe Safety Issue (OLD TIRES on a New Camper): I have a 2018 Coachman Clipper 125SST, which is manufactured by Forest River, Inc. Note: Camper was taken to Selling dealer for evaluation on 01/09/20. Here is the list of the issues and some background: 1. We made our second camping trip to the Austin, Tx Area. Prior to leaving for this trip, and also before we started back home, I checked both tires for pressure, and looked for any issues. They were both at 65psi, which is per the vendor’s (Kenda) recommendation, and no cracks, imperfections, etc., and, the tire pressure agrees with the label on the side of the camper. 2. I was told by the selling dealer never to exceed 65mph while traveling. To be on the safe side, I have always traveled at only about 60mph. 3. Stopped for gas about halfway through the trip, and visually inspected both tires for any issues. I also felt of tires, rims, and hubs for any warmth, which would indicate an issue. All was fine. 4. About 5 miles from home, we exited the freeway, which speed drops to 50mph. However, I wanted to be extra safe, so, I slowed my speed down to 40mph. This is something that I felt safer to do with the traffic in front of me. 5. Suddenly, and very violently, the left tire on the camper blew out. I was able to maintain control of the rig, but pieces of the tire flew off, hitting other cars. 6. Pulled over to a very short shoulder on the road to see what happened. Appears that the tire blowout caused severe damage to side of the camper. 7. Traffic was very heavy, so there was no way to get out to change out the tire, and get the camper home. Called Forrest River Roadside assistance. 8. Waited for over 2 hrs. for them to come. Calls kept getting canceled, and it was unsafe for the wrecker drivers. But, Roadside assistance never called. I called them 3 times, and finally, they told me that the first 2 calls had been canceled, and they were dispatching someone again. 9. A guy from the wrecker service finally came out in is personal car to change the tire. He was very short, and very rude, but, he did help us, so I was grateful for that. 10. We continued home. The next morning, I set up the camper for airing out, and cleanup as we always do. What I found next was shocking to say the least. 11. The Drivers side of the camper had damage to the siding down to the studs. Wheel well trim was missing, door to refrigerator was broken, and, marker lamp cover is missing. Also, I noticed the top wood near the right front top latch was broken. 12. Next, I called my local tire shop to see if they could help me understand why this might have happened. He asked me the usual questions such as speed traveling (40mph), Tire Pressure (65psi), etc. All checked out. 13. Next question from him was, how old are the tires. I told him when I purchased the camper, the tires would have been new (04/19) and we agreed that should not be a factor. However, he then explained to me exactly how to figure out how old the tire is. There is a code date stamped on each tire as to when they were built (Week, Year). Checking these tires, we noticed that the code was 20 15. He paused, and then asked again, what year my camper was, and when I purchased it, as that code does not seem correct. I then decided to take the camper to another tire dealer for verification. Sure enough, the first tire dealer read it correctly. I should note that the camper was manufactured around 11/17 as a 2018 model. 14. So, at this point, it appears to me that Coachman (aka: Forest River) put old tires on the camper (at least 2 years old). Adding to this, I feel that at least the dealer should have verified how old the tires are before we took possession of the camper. Purchasing the camper in April, of 2019, made these tires already nearly 4 years old. Sending a camper out with 4 year old tires, especially for new purchasers, is alarming and irresponsible to say the least. 15. We are now to the point that we are extremely disappointed in our experience, and, have lost out piece of mind of buying a new Forest River product. We are going to get the camper fixed, but, I personally no longer have any confidence that this camper is road safe. We might have to sell this one, and purchase one from another vendor. We still enjoy camping, but, not so much with this rig. Forest River (Viking Division) is working to get all of the parts for the repair, and, also going to give us new tires (3). But again, I fail to understand how this can happen. I will never purchase anthing made by forest river again. They used to be great products, but, now, not so sure about quality.
- SpaceGuy 85, Texas

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