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CT Coachworks / Terrible experience

1 United States Review updated:

We bought a new 2007 Siena Motorhome, within the first year it was in the shop 4 times, 2 times for leaking axle seals, 2 times for misfiring spark plugs due to not enough air flow in the spark plug area.

1st long trip we made with less than 7000 miles on the unit and 2 of the outside compartments literally melted from lack of firewall protection between catalytic converter and compartment back walls. The temperature inside the compartment was 140+ degrees and the only thing between it and the propane tank was the entry door. If it had been closer, my husband, two dogs and I could have been toast.

We trailered our car to Idaho & Washington, but couldn't climb mountains faster than 30 miles per hour over the grades. Misfiring started for the third time and spent 3 hours in Portland, OR while a wonderful repair shop installed an airflow duct system, which should have been installed after the 2nd time we had this same problem.

During this trip the slide crept out at the bottom 1-2 inches during travel.

Even though we had a pressure regulator on our water supply, the fresh water plumbing inside the motor home failed, the hose separated from the booster pump and poured water out of the compartment over the generator in copious amounts. Too pissed to write anymore about this unit..


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  • Cm
      28th of Nov, 2016
    0 Votes

    October 2007, We purchased our new 2007 Siena 39A motorhome, because we needed to be mobile, "full-timers" so I can go to where the next engineering contract requires us to be. My wife loved the "full-sized" appliances and detested the smaller appliances of other Class-A's. Her opinion after 9 years of "full-timing" across the country is that the smaller stoves are far more practical but the refrigerator/freezers are still too small for full-timers' or 4 or more adults' needs.

    The first 11 miles, driving the RV to our storage unit, the engine overheated because the dealership forgot to remove the freeze-plugs from the engine. THAT one is on Myers RV (Albq.) for not prepping the RV for transport & sale.
    As an engineering designer my primary concern with the manner in which Steve handled my requests for maintenance information, i.e. power wiring schematics, the plumbing schematics (how the way the tubing was laid out and the sizes of tubing/connectors, etc.) and the air ducting layouts. He has ignored me even after the warranty expired (where a customer having that information shouldn't matter). Steve's creativity left out what any competent engineer considers in ANY design: namely ACCESS for the repair technicians (much less the DYI owner). Why design an RV for "Full-Timer" occupancy and fail to provide physical access to crucial operational systems?
    Myers RV [Albq.] failed to inform us of the perils of improper tank maintenance, traveling with the propane tank valve in the OFF position, and checking the sidewalls of the tires for UV-exposure & oxidation cracks and that RV/truck tires are NOT rated by the mileage but by their AGE (7 years is the age limit for most of them).
    Yet, NO WHERE in the CT Coachworks Operational manual are instructions as to how to drain the water tank (required for winterizing the unit), NO WHERE in their manual do they explain how to perform an engine oil change, what lubricant to apply to the leveling jacks or the popout extension rails, where the reservoir for the hydraulic fluid for the leveling jacks is located, what size of wiper blades to use, or the owners' manual for the Workhorse chassis & engine maintenance.

    What kind of person places a group of eight 48-Lb. batteries in a FIXED-Floor compartment? Just HOW is a NON-engineer supposed to check the battery water levels safely or even conveniently? During the 1st FIVE of our 9 years, I had to invent an extended flashlight-mirror device to see and an extended PVC double elbow spout to pour in the distilled water. If the owner doesn't maintain the water-level in those batteries, it voids all warranties and can cause a fire if the core becomes exposed and the hydrogen gases ignite. SO, I worked with a talented RV technician in Virginia and designed a DOT-qualified pull-out shelf for the battery array to make maintenance reasonably easy.

    Two years into our ownership while in California, our Dometic A/C units began dripping condensed water onto our floor and bed mattress. I called Dometic about the type of A/C units used by CT Coachworks, and was informed that the A/C units on my coach were designed for a 90-degree side-draft ducting, NOT the direct down-draft opening into a central vent that Steve designed as the Siena's venting layout. WHY would a competent engineer NOT consider condensation as a part of the design criteria for the vent layout? When we took the unit to the CT Coachworks Riverside manufacturing site, 6'-4" tall Steve & his technicians came out and he had to create a makeshift PVC tube adapter for each of the units. When he inexplicably stuck his hand up into the front A/C vertical vent, he shattered the plastic "squirrel-cage" fan blades(I was present to witness it). To his credit, he had his workers replace the unit entirely instead of wasting time replacing the fan. While we were there, we requested stronger cupboard retainers be put in, after he asked why all the cupboards were bunjee-corded to each other. Unfortunately his workers were not interested in aligning the cupboard-door strikes with the anchors and sloppily added extra wood mounts for the anchors to the cupboard frames which have since then split or become dislodged. Why these could not have been originally installed is questionable.

    The following year we received notification of a recall on the heating coil for the dishwasher (not CT Coachworks' fault obviously), and we sent for the replacement coil from the manufacturer as instructed. We arranged for the appliance technician to come out and replace the coil (even though we never had used the dishwasher). Once the technician removed the CT Coachwork-installed wooden bottom panel (that holds the monoxide detector), she informed us she could not finish the replacement because of the RV's heating ducting was installed in such a convoluted manner as to be exposed to the coil when operated...thus a fire hazard. I was unable to reinstall the monoxide detector plate because the wall-to-wall carpeting interfered with its fit. When I emailed a query if cutting the carpet away would void any warranties, CT Coachworks never responded.
    Again, this goes to Steve's engineering frame of mind when he doesn't take such hazards into consideration when he's SO cleverly "designing". It seems to have been an afterthought he chose to ignore.

    Several years ago, we received a envelope with a 'call-back' 300V surge-connector piece with photos of a battery array that looked NOTHING like the battery array they installed in our unit. Considering how poorly the battery compartment was laid out, I was surprised they could think an average owner could install such a device successfully. They obviously were just covering their collective butts.

    The choice of the Workhorse chassis and engine was probably the best Steve made. With exception of where he placed the battery and windshield washer tank I have been very pleased with its performance. Towing an Olds Intrigue GL on a Stehl-Tow dolly, we managed to obtain 6.2 MPG driving at an average 65 mph with cruise control on whenever possible. Going through the Rockies, Sierra Nevadas, the Ozarks and the Appalachians over the past 9 years of traveling across the country, I was able to pass every diesel pusher puttering up those mountain roads with no problems. If the anti-sway bars, that a few above have mentioned adding on, were installed originally, then perhaps the crosswind affect could have been diminished. Our unit sways ALOT with every turn, sloped pavement, and steep driveway.

    Recently while returning to Albuquerque, from my Texas contract with Space-X, I made a right turn onto the state road which had an 18" deep x 4' long pothole that I avoided with my left front wheel, but hit with the left rear dual wheels. That motion twisted the frame and caused the windshield to pop free of its gasket and the extension's compartment doors to hit pavement in the process. Getting these two repairs performed has been like pulling teeth because even the repair shops can't get ANY communication or help from CT Coachworks. Apparently they decided to go out of business as RV Manufacturers and became limousine customizers.
    Considering that they no longer make these RVs you would think they would no longer care if a known customer/owner of their RVs requests the wiring & plumbing diagrams of their RV specific to their model would be provided without reservation. Instead, they have YET to return any calls and emails requesting this crucial repair information... going on 4 years now. Patience is wearing thin. If Steve & Wendy & Veronica (if she still works there) are as responsive as Carla says above, then WHY haven't I been provided with the prints of wiring & plumbing you KNOW the DOT requires that they have in their files?
    Thus ends the rant, but certainly not the extensive list of other shortcomings not listed here. (Like how to hook-up solar panels to the battery-pack.)

    C. & M. Baldwin (Full-Timers)
    Albuquerque, NM November 2016
    (Photos on request)

  • Mc
      28th of Aug, 2015
    0 Votes

    We purchased our 2009 CT Coachworks, Siena, 39' RV in 2013 with 7, 000 miles on it. We now have about 30, 000 miles on the RV. Admittedly, we have had some problems with the RV, but they were to be expected for the most part. Most of the people that I know who own motorhomes, new and used, experience breakdowns of one sort or another. We installed an anti-sway bar on the RV and it rides very nice in the wind. Last year we had some engine problems with poor performance and intermittent backfiring. I found that it is common with Workhorse Chassis because the spark plug wires fail from the engine heat. I had the wires changed and it ran great. We recently took a 6, 000 mile round trip from California to Georgia and back. Our first problem was that the slide out filed in Georgia. It was discovered that the solenoid for the slide had failed. A quick fix and the slide was working. Shortly after that the ignition failed and the RV would not start. I found that that was a common failure with Workhorse chassis. After locating a Workhorse repair facility I was able to get that fixed and be on the road. Just this month we started experiencing electrical problems with the ABS warning alarm and the chassis battery discharging when parked. It is in the shop working with CT Coachworks on that. After experiencing some failures, we still love our Siena and hope to get it on the road again soon.

  • Jo
      22nd of Apr, 2015
    0 Votes

    Hello, I just purchased (2 weeks ago) 2007 Siena. I love it...all the amenities are perfect for a full timer. However, it leaks around the slide out whether in or out...rain just literally pours in. Hopefully Camping World will fix it without charge as obviously it was an existing problem. There is only 8900 miles on it so probably been sitting a long time without use and the seal needs replacing although it looks tight on the outside.

    I am a bit scared as I am a 71 year old widow who plans on driving this cross country later this year and I put every dollar I had into the purchase and don't have anything left for repairs. Should I call Coachworks? I am in GA so there is not much they can do in CA. I will take it back to Camping World Thursday for diagnosis. I've never seen one leak like this, literally swamped with water inside.

    Any other suggestions?

  • Th
      6th of Aug, 2012
    0 Votes

    We bought a 2008 CT Coachworks. It is amazing. The design is hands down fabulous. We had a few issues, tried to work with the dealer, thank goodness my husband and his sons are handy men. Everything gets fixed. Just got back from out West. 5100 miles. Would not have taken this trip in any of the prior owned RVs we've had. Comfy. Smart layout. Beautiful interior. Love It!. Thanks CT Coachworks. The Barmes Family

  • Si
      20th of Jun, 2011
    0 Votes

    Yes they are still in business. I just visited them last week in Riverside. You can reach Wendy at 951-343-8787. She went beyond expectations in helping me. I bought my RV two years ago so the warrantly has expired. They will honor it though after the one year they are that great. I need to change my site name now from sienasucks2. :) Tina

  • Rv
      18th of Jun, 2011
    0 Votes

    Dear Sienasucks2: If my computer's working right, you posted your supportive comment 5 days ago. We bought a 2008 Siena in March and it's our first RV. We are on our first trip with it this weekend. So far, we love it, but had a couple minor issues and I wanted to call Coachworks. I called the 951 number listed in the manual and it belongs to a restaurant. I can't find a website or new phone number. Do you know how to contact them? They're still in business, right?

  • Si
      13th of Jun, 2011
    0 Votes

    I had my own issues with my Siena that made my first two years of ownership disstressful. I was working with my dealer to make repairs but just recently started working directly with Coachworks. Wendy and Steve at Coachworks have been absolutely wonderful!!! I wish I had contacted them the day I bought my RV. The dealer is not the expert on the Siena... Coachworks is. They made all of the repairs and some beyond my requests. They will bend backwards to make sure you are happy with your Siena. Call them today!.

  • Ji
      5th of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    you have to be one of the biggest idiot i have heard of as the mis firing axles are workhorse problem i believe that if you actualy wrote a letter to the company then posted there answer then i could read your crap instead you are one of those winjing people that are to scared to confront the the company and when you do arnt able to get your point accross the you whien of the net you must be a office worker or a school teacher grow some cohooters and go and see ct coachworks then post what really happen

  • De
      18th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    please excuse my spelling error. It's not ct coachworks fault

  • De
      18th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have had to reconnect my surflo water pump twice, fitting discontected, technician/manufacturers falt no ct coachwork.

  • Si
      4th of Sep, 2009
    0 Votes

    I own a 07 Siena and yes I did have problems with it also. I contacted CT Coachworks and they bent over backwards to repair/replace anything that I found wrong with my unit. They even sent a person to come 100 miles to drive it back to the company and then returned it to me with the tank full. I have never seen a more helpful group of people anywhere. I brought it in when I had problems with the TV. Steve had 5 people come out and fixed things that I was unaware that there was a problem with. I damaged the drivers side hubcap on one trip, and jsut recently damaged two compartment doors on the passenger side when I made a right turn at night and didn't see a fireplug. I called Verionca at CT Coachworks, sent her pictures of the damage to the doors and she told me that they would fix it all for $700.00. They not only fixed the doors and trim but they replaced my hubcap, which I didn't ask them too, washed the coach and told me that I could pick it up and either leave a check or mail them one. My coach looks like new again.What other business is that trusting and willing to go the extra mile. I take my hat off to Steve and his people at CT Coachworks. I have nothing but praise for him and his company. I hope they weather this economical storm and stay in business as I will buy another coach from them in the future.

  • Ca
      13th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have written personally twice to Jewell and have not received any response back, so I am going to address her post publically.

    My husband and I have a 2006 Siena Motorhome. It was the 3rd one built. Yes, we had some things go wrong during the "break-in" period, but a little research will show that all motorhomes have "new rig bugs" that have to be worked out.

    The biggest difference between the Siena motorhome and other motorhomes we've heard about is the manufacturer - CT Coachworks located in Riverside, CA. CT Coachworks stands behind their Sienas in a way unequaled in the industry.

    We took our Siena back to CT Coachworks and they bent over backward to take care of us and our Siena. We have talked to other Siena owners who have had the same experience with CTC.

    Unfortunately, there is also something else many have in common and that is bad experiences with the Dealers. Many dealers have gained a reputation of not making repairs correctly, which keeps the motorhome returning again and again for repair. I don't know whether or not Jewell fell prey to these less than competent methods of taking care of the problems with her Siena or not, but I suspect she did.

    Anyone having a problem with their Siena should call CT Coachworks and deal directly with them. The Siena is a wonderful creation - especially for those of us who live the full-time RV lifestyle.

    Everyone is welcome to visit the Siena Owner's Website that we started last year. We also have a Forum where you can see other people's reactions to their Sienas. We have recently created a New Website and Forum (for the forum, the old forum information has been brought over into the New Forum).

    The address of the Website is: and you can access the Forum from there.

    We love our Siena and I'm very sorry that Jewell has had such a negative experience. I hope she will contact CT Coachworks and get her Siena taken care of properly. Of course, we, as owners, have a responsibility to treat our motorhomes with respect and care, too. There is always more to a story than what is told or seen on the surface.

    Happy Trails!
    Carla Lowry

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