When your RV, no matter the brand, needs repairs, it seems that the dealers compete with each other in who can hold onto the RV the longest. Some of the horror stories have made it to 170 days so far and counting. Being a DIY person can save you a lot of downtime.
One of the biggest problems that comes with owning a Thor motorhome is the company’s repair service. Too many owners have complained that their RV has been at the dealer’s longer than they have used it. Their customer service receives low marks as well.
To learn more about the problems you can experience when owning a Thor RV, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can decide if this is the brand of RV you want. Keep in mind that Thor Industries owns a lot of RV brands.
There is a long laundry list of problems that are part of owning a Thor RV. It just does not seem right, that after paying $100,000+ for your coach or trailer, your RV has to spend anywhere from a month to 4 months in the repair shop.
The following list will cover some of the many issues you will encounter when you own a Thor RV. It is not an exhaustive list as the more specific model lists will cover the same ground.
1. Inferior parts- this seems to be the most common issue that Thor owners will experience. The parts for the different components are installed because they are cheap. Not because they are good and will last for a long time.
When these parts fail, it can be expensive to replace the inferior ones with top-quality replacements. This has been a standard practice in the RV industry for a very long time. The bottom line dictates the quality of the parts used.
2. Refrigerator issues- while not always Thor’s fault, if it is placed in a Thor RV, then it is a common Thor problem. This situation is where the fridge may get too cool or stop working altogether.
When either situation takes place, your food is ruined and you will have to spend more money replacing the spoiled food. The source for these issues can be electrical or a component in the fridge just stopped working. It is best to let a fridge technician handle the diagnosis and repair
3. Air conditioner problems- there are many sources for this unit. The fan blades could be dirty or bent or there may be a problem with the thermostat, compressor, or evaporator.
If those are not the issue, then it could be a problem with the wiring, sensor, or duct work. Like the fridge, it is best to let the AC technician handle the different problems. Especially if it is the control panel that has gone bad. This part may be a technician only repair.
4. Weak shock absorbers- this normally would fall into the category of inferior parts. The shocks used to construct your RV usually are not name brand or even close to being the best options available.
They just happen to be the cheapest ones that should work with the weight of your RV. If the shocks go out on you or do not perform that well, it can be expensive to replace them with top-of-the-line models. The replacement may take some time as well.
5. Leaking seals- how well your seals perform may depend on when they are installed. If they were installed in warm weather, they may have expanded enough to form a tight fit.
Then when cold weather hits, those seals shrink creating holes for moisture to get inside. The fix for this is to find a good aftermarket sealant like EternaBond tape, Dicor sealant, and others and seal those areas well. If you let this problem go, you may have trouble with mold and mildew later on.
1. Power outlets- there have been reports that once you plug your light or fan in, those devices refuse to work. Other times, smoke and sparks were seen coming from the plugs.
This is an electrical issue and you need to have a skilled electrician to diagnose the source of the problem and make the correct repairs. The issue could be just about anywhere in the electrical system. It takes time to find the correct and original source for these problems.
2. The skylight- this problem area is not so much for leaks, but for allowing too much heat to enter the RV. This extra heat can make your AC unit work too hard and in doing so, the AC unit can develop problems.
Sometimes the only fix is to cover the skylight to keep the heat out. You can check the vents for the AC unit and the sensor to make sure they are clear and working so your RV does not get too hot.
3. The bathroom- is always a point of concern for many RV owners. The Thor Compass is no exception. The plastic toilet, the shaky shower floor, or drain leaks all work together to ruin your RV experience.
The fix here is to change the toilet to a stronger model, rebuild the shower floor, and patch all leaks. If you are under warranty, let the company handle the repairs and then pay the expense. If not, find better materials to use.
4. Lack of exterior storage space- storage is always going to be a problem for most RV owners. But for Compass owners it seems that the exterior storage compartments are not deep enough or high enough.
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to fix this problem. If you find these compartments too dark, then a rechargeable light should alleviate that problem.
1. Battery problems- it seems that Thor did not place very good batteries inside this model of RV. Many owners have complained about them losing power too quickly.
Or corrosion builds up on the terminals so that the power supply is diminished. Also, the inverter may not charge the battery and you are stuck without power.
The solution is to check both the battery and the inverter as well as the battery connections then fix what is wrong.
2. Water leaks- it seems that the Gemini is prone to experiencing a lot of water leaks. This is due to cracks in the structure, bad seals around windows, AC units, and more.
The water leaks may also come from problems in the roof. To stop the leaks you need to inspect the seals and your roof, then seal up any holes, etc., with proper sealant. More is better in this case.
3. Slide-out issues- While many of Thor’s RVs have slide-outs, it seems that the Gemini may experience more problems with this component than its sister models.
The sources for slide-out issues will be mechanical, electrical, or faulty alignment. It can take time to find the problem as those problems could be the motor, the pump, the hoses, and more.
It is best to let a technician handle the majority of repairs in this instance.
4. Rust- if the powder coating failed or the company did not do a very good job protecting the exposed metal parts, then expect rust to ruin your day. Rust will appear when you camp in those high humidity or high moisture areas of the country.
Regular inspections help keep the rust from doing any damage when caught in time. Usually, sanding will get rid of the rust the best.
5. Fuses- these can blow at any time and it seems that they blow most often in the Gemini. It pays to have a good supply of all the fuses you will need in one of your storage bins. This will make sure you can replace bad fuses when you are boondocking.
1. Generator- it seems that the built-in generator for this Thor RV can have cranking problems. The source for this issue will be electrical or not enough fuel.
The places to check would be the fuses, wire connections, battery charge, and so on. Make sure that both the fuel and oil tanks are filled to their maximum level.
2. The Generator again- if the generator cranks but does not turn over, it means that the fuel or oil levels are too low. The fix is to check their levels and the top of both tanks.
Also, the problem could be a plugged filter, contaminated fuel, or a bad spark plug. Drain the fuel if it is bad, change or clean the filter, and clean or change the spark plug are your best fixes.
3. No 12-volt power- The electrical sources for this problem will be found in the battery, the fuse, or the wiring. The battery could be low on power and needs to be recharged.
Or the fuse blew cutting off all power and finally, the wires may be loose or there is a short. Check the fuse first as that is the easiest fix. Tracing the wires is a slow and tedious job so save that for last.
4. Water pump failure- there is a long list of sources for this problem. First, check the freshwater tank to see if it is out of water. If so, then you need to fill it up and the pump should return to normal operation.
If the tank is full or even half full, then the source could be electrical. The pump is not receiving enough power to work. That means you need to check the battery, the wiring, or the fuses.
Finally, this problem could be a sign that you need to change the water pump. It just won’t work anymore.
Not every Axis model is going to be ideal. There are some problems that seem to affect a few owners and their complaints are long and unforgiving:
- bad chassis design
- bad component location selection
- unsecured hoses and wire harnesses
- cabinets warp very quickly
- water pump issues
- AC unit issues
- poor customer service
- bad body design and location- makes it hard to do any service work
- steering and rear end issues
- electrical problems
- bad battery placement
- inferior build quality
- and much more
It seems that many of the Axis models were bad right from the start. Then, the majority of people also complained about how hard it was to get the attention of Camping World or other dealers. When they did get their attention, the repair work was sloppy and inefficient.
Other problems mentioned for this RV model were- Flooring, refrigerator, drawers, bowing wall, and catalytic converter. The last one was unique as Thor blamed the customer for switching parts and thus voided the warranty.
This seems to be a common theme with Thor. Their dealers and companies do not seem to care about their products as long as they are making sales. Their customer service has had the lowest rating of all the categories rarely going above 1-star.
If you buy any Thor RV be prepared to deal with this problem. Though it is not a universal problem as some owners have reported top-notch service, the bad is still there.
1. Outlet issue- like other models on this list, Thor seems to have a problem with installing its electrical systems and components. Many owners have reported experiencing outlet failures.
These failures can be due to faulty wiring, the wrong size wire used or reverse polarity. If you have a multi or volt meter, then you should be able to diagnose the source. Once that is done you can decide to fix it yourself or call in an electrician.
2. Cable TV problems- it seems that the Freedom Elite 23H model has problems with the antenna for cable TV. The local system seems to work fine but once you attach a booster or switch to a longer-range antenna, the reception is terrible.
The fix for this is a technician only fix and you should have it looked at by a professional. They will have the right tools and knowledge to find the problem and rectify it.
3. The generator not running- for some reason, Thor did not include a very strong breaker when they installed this device. It seems that a good bump in the road can turn the breaker off and cut all power to the generator.
To reset the breaker, you need to stop driving, get out, and go to the exterior generator panel. Once that is open, just flip the breaker back on and restart your journey.
Other sources can be a lack of fuel, no oil, or there is no power reaching the device. Just fill up the tanks and check your battery connections to make sure they are secure.
4. Generator overheating- another head-scratching problem as one wonders why Thor did not build the generator compartment with enough air flow to keep the device from overheating.
That is the source of this problem. The heat generated by the generator cuts off all airflow and the machine gets too hot to work. You need to prop the door open to let the heat escape while letting more cool air inside.
The biggest problem so far has been the Thor customer service. Even with a little issue like cracking upholstery, Thor does not seem willing to make repairs or help their customers. At least that is what two owners have said.
A third owner could not get any reimbursement from Thor for a soft slide floor. However, he was slightly out of warranty. Other people have praised the customer service they received so this is a hit and miss problem.
Other issues include:
- hot water tank not working- found it to be not connected
- washer leaked and received no hot water- even after the dealer claimed it was repaired
- inadequate slide-out mechanism- this was for the full wall slide-out
- drain not connected in the guest bathroom- water flowed everywhere
- lots of electrical issues- engine cut-off switches would not work was one problem, the electrical short was another, and 15 loose wire connections on a new RV model
Even though Thor is the biggest RV brand and owns several popular brands as well, it seems to have done nothing to improve construction quality. There are a lot more problems with Thor products than can be mentioned here.
Some problems are to be expected but others are a little extreme and should not occur especially after paying large amounts of money for the RV. Most of these problems could have been avoided if Thor used better-quality parts and hired better workers to do the installation.