Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Fogged Windows

[Note to Lazy Daze Owners Forum. Where to get windows defogged has come up more than once. I don’t recall anyone responding where they had their windows done. Perhaps none of them read or post to this forum? If there are positive or negative reviews, may I suggest this would be a good time to post them]

This a negative review on Suncoast Designs 

February, 2017 - We went to Hudson, FL to have Suncoast Designs clean five fogged windows in our Lazy Daze MH.  Before we made an appointment we asked if they had worked on a Lazy Daze before. We were assured they had and it would be no problem. When we arrived they said they had done six Lazy Daze in the last few months.

First, the good thing - the windows are clean and clear. Except for one, which already has condensation in it.

When we checked in, the short conversation was very terse. No nice to meet you. We had to pull the information out of her. Where should we park? Where is the dump? What is the WiFi password? etc.

The first thing the next morning, two young, trim, agile men came to remove the valances and shades. Mission accomplished they left. Two others were outside cutting the caulk on the windows with razor blades. This went on for about 90 minutes. The windows barely budged. The original team returned to find out what was taking so long. They said they it usually took 5 to 10 minutes to remove a window. The original pair, led by Austin, went into a frenzied physical mode using pry bars to remove the windows. At this point I did not know they were bending the window frames in the process. I would not know this until the windows were put back in and bulges in the frames showed where the pry bar was used.

After a window was removed, I could see why removal was difficult. The manufacturer put a bead of Locite sealant on the aluminum skin which bonded with the aluminum frame. Another rubber like sealant was used to prevent water from even getting to the Loctite. A belt and suspenders deal. One could argue it’s overkill. I am not so sure.

Before a pry bar was used, we should have appraised that they were experiencing difficulties they had never encountered before. And we should have been offered some choices. Such as:

1) Abandon the project.
2) Advise us the window frames would be bent if they continued.
3) That an additional charge would have to be made because of the extra time needed to remove the windows without bending them.

But they said nothing and we did not know the frames were being bent.

They sealed the window openings with plastic lined cardboard held on with painters tape. Remember the painters tape, this will come into play the next day.

The next day, they had us bring the rig inside to put the windows back in, as it was raining.

That’s when we heard a rubber mallet pounding the bent frames almost back into shape. They applied a bead caulk ONLY to the exterior. No caulk was put under the lip of the window between the frame and the aluminum skin. That means the caulk will have to be redone every 1/2 years due to deterioration from UV light.

This is when I find two places where the paint was lifted off where the painters tape that held the plastic lined cardboard on overnight. One of the men told us that they had told the manager/owner about this problem with the tape before. [Since the majority of rigs are fiberglass, this would not be problem]

Scapes from the pry bar

Paint lifted by the tape used

 Paint lifted by the tape used. You can see the only seal is between the window and paint

Close up of the previous picture

Another scratch from the pry bar

The day ends at 5. They did not do a water test because it was raining. Overnight it rained. One window, over a couch, was not sealed at the top. They sealed it.

We were asked to sign a checklist that said the work had been done. I noted the GM had already signed it, even though he had not looked at our rig. In fact, we did not see him out of the building the time we were there.

Now the second experience - not at all pleasant!  We go inside to pay and asked to speak to the manager. The customer rep, Taylor, says the General Manager has already seen the pictures where the paint was removed and they will take no responsibility for it. We think we should get some credit to have it repainted.  She is determined that will not happen, but finally admits she is authorized to give us $100 off.  After some arguing and then demanding to speak to manager/owner. He comes out of his office, walks down the hall past us and places himself behind the counter and proceeds to tell us off. He never introduced himself, but we found out he is the deceased owner’s son. 

The GM is arrogant. Nothing is their fault. It’s all Lazy Daze fault because they use cheap paint and are built on the cheap. Anyone that knows Lazy Daze, knows cheap is not a word that can describe any part of them. They have held a five-star rating for decades. The paint is a two part epoxy that lasts for over 20 years without fading. And get this, not only did the painters tape remove the cheap Lazy Daze paint, it also removed paint from the Hehr windows. Guess they use cheap paint also. 

Finally, he agrees to give us $150 off. Less than it will cost to have the paint touched up.

Suncoast states that we signed a document during check-in advising us that paint removal might occur. That is prima facie evidence that they knew of the problem, but silently concealed it. Talk about Buyer Beware. No one would knowingly sign something that said they were giving Suncoast the right to damage their RV.

Our Lazy Daze is nine years old and has zero factory defects. The paint is perfect, not a single bubble.

I was always taught that the customer is always right, whether they are or not!  Small businesses operate on the goodwill of customers.  This guy was a total jerk and we would strongly recommend not using them, especially if you own a Lazy Daze or any other rig that is painted.

BTW, I met two other owners in for service who were there as come-backs. Suncoast Designs claims the best warranty in the business, but what good is a warranty when you are thousands of miles away and the window is leaking. In fact, it is not much good if you park your rig next door to Suncoast Designs and do not check for water leaks after every rain.

In fairness to Suncoast, not many RV’s are built to the quality standard of Lazy Daze. Other windows can be removed in five minutes because they are barely sealed at the factory. They leave Suncoast the same way. Most RVs have fiberglass skins, so paint removal is not an issue. 

We are still finding screws that were not put back in. Even though I loaned them a hex head tool to put them back in. We found one window screw hole that was stripped out.

In summary:

The window frames were bent and show the bumps.
Paint was lifted off the exterior and the window frames.
One window was not sealed and is showing internal condensation.
One window was not externally sealed and rain soaked the bed.
At least a dozen screws were not replaced.
Nothing is the fault of Suncoast.