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Old 08-12-2016, 09:58 AM   #1
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Too Complicated?

[Rant Alert]

I was trained as an electronics technician and am currently employed teaching computers how to be helpful in a union benefit funds office (3gl programming, data base, user instruction, etc.). I also fully understand household wiring and plumbing systems. Plus I have been doing automotive (gas and Diesel) maintenance and repairs for years.

I read on this forum about owners being confused about how to operate the many (very sophisticated) systems in their RV's.

I can't understand why these things are being sold without the proper labeling or guides!

Now, I deliberately chose to purchase a simple (no slides, inverter, etc.) TT. Several switches that are ganged together have no labels. Even after 15 months of ownership I'm still not sure of what each does.

But what about RV's that have an inverter, genset and can be connected to shore power? How automatic is the ATS? Where is the documentation so that an owner can have a clue on how the system is supposed to operate?

What about the plumbing? I had the opportunity to upgrade my last TT from a winterizing bypass that required installing a hose that replaced the water heater to a 2-valve setup that didn't require disconnecting any lines. The current OEM setup uses 3 valves that you gotta get the combination right. Why isn't there a graphic of the valve positions for 'winterized' and 'in service' posted next to the back of the water heater?

Some RV's even have a setting so you can fill the fresh water tank from the city water connection (I had added that to my first TT, nice!). Those even include a 'winterizing' setting. But I read time and again on how the labeling on those controls is poor and/or confusing.

There is plenty of advice given freely. But why is necessary?

Why is the manufacturers' documentation so poor, that newbies are left feeling out-in-the-cold and confused?

I read much of the documentation that came with my TT. None of it related specifically to my model. Even the appliance manuals were for several models. What would it take to have the 'build list' of which appliances and accessories were used to build this particular unit?

I started ownership of my TT believing I understood the thing. I never lost that. But I am often bewildered by how/why some things were done. "Cheap Construction" only goes so far. Do they even care about the people who actually have to use the thing?

I want to enjoy using my portable house. Not constantly guess on how to operate it!

[end rant]
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Old 08-12-2016, 11:50 AM   #2
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I hear ya Lima-Charley, Mike. I get frustrated at some of the same things on occaision. On the other hand...have you ever read the QA sections on products listed for sale on Amazon or CW? I'm amazed at how many times people ask, what seems to be, the most clueless questions when the information is right in front of them.
My dealer, which must be the exception, did a super PDI and added a sheet detailing all of the appliances, etc. with manufacture names, model numbers and serial numbers and filed all warranty iformation for me. BUT, I understand what you are saying .
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Old 08-12-2016, 12:03 PM   #3
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I've been in IT for over 20 years now. A systems admin for at least 18 of those years. Among the many things I've learned is that technical documentation of any kind is hard to write. It's hard enough to write for people who actually understand technology and machines. It's harder to write for the average person to understand.

Hands on teaching is far more effective than written documentation. That's why everyone recommends paying attention and asking questions during the PDI.
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Old 08-12-2016, 12:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by troutslayer View Post
I hear ya Lima-Charley, Mike. I get frustrated at some of the same things on occaision. On the other hand...have you ever read the QA sections on products listed for sale on Amazon or CW? I'm amazed at how many times people ask, what seems to be, the most clueless questions when the information is right in front of them.
My dealer, which must be the exception, did a super PDI and added a sheet detailing all of the appliances, etc. with manufacture names, model numbers and serial numbers and filed all warranty iformation for me. BUT, I understand what you are saying .
Was the list prepared by the manufacturer or by the dealer?

Oh, there are clueless wonders out there. Mostly from not bothering to actually read the material presented.

But what about those of us who are reasonably intelligent. We enjoy a puzzle or even a joke at our expense. Just not when we are trying to set up the camper or call for a warranty repair.
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Old 08-12-2016, 12:51 PM   #5
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I have been an IT instructor for 30 years and there's one thing that's usually effective when verbally communicating information; Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and tell them what you told them.

I've owned other popular brands of RVs over the years and their owner's manuals were 100% better than what's available for my '08 Jayco Seneca.
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Old 08-12-2016, 01:39 PM   #6
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I couldn't agree more. I read through every document in the large "pouch" provided by Jayco and most of it was install manuals. I didn't, and still don't know most of the accessories associated with my trailer. I being mechanical figured out a lot of it but I still don't know the manufacturer of my slide out. Or worse yet what to do in the event of a motor failure.

I didn't get much of a PDI, as we are told we had about an hour. We took 3 hours but the guy assigned to us walked away after about 90 min saying he had another commitment. We stayed and got a few questions answered but felt it would be best just learning on our own.
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Old 08-12-2016, 02:04 PM   #7
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Every RV comes with all the accessories manuals, but 90% of RVers never take the time to read them. It tells you the operations of the accessories and also learns you how to trouble shoot. Even online you'll find information how to repair and where to find parts.
Some are just to lazy to inform themselves or look things up.
Read your manuals it will help in emergencies and keep the onboard your RV.
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Old 08-12-2016, 02:13 PM   #8
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Many don't even use the vague and general info that is included or get on the internet and find it out until something is wrong.

I agree that there is some high technology in these rv's being used by many who can't set the time on a DVD.

Maybe we are demanding to much creature comforts that need highly educated and trained owners but I am not convinced that it would be used even if available.
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Old 08-12-2016, 04:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike837go View Post
Was the list prepared by the manufacturer or by the dealer?
Dunno.
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Old 08-12-2016, 06:28 PM   #10
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I am 100% on board with this rant. I mostly blame the manufacturers for being just to lazy to produce manuals for the RV that YOU purchased. Not to mention the poor (if any) labeling. No references whatsoever as to where valves and switches are located.

Then the are the stupid questions referenced in the Amazon Q&A listings. Sometimes I see a question that is soooo dumb I want to advise to simply put the hitch on the ball, take it back to the dealer and tell him you are just too stupid to own one of these things. But those are few and far between.
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