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Aftermarket parts

marpel
Explorer
Explorer
Have run into similar issue in the past with other parts,

End of last season, during a trip, the stove vent broke, again (cheap plastic item). Stopped at a Camping World and picked up a replacement.

Decided to tackle the job today.

Spent a couple hours removing the old and cleaning old sealant. The replacement is a cheaply made plastic item, but that was all they had available. After I took a closer look at it, not only did the screw holes not match the original, but it was just garbage so I decided not to use it. Drove about 60 miles to a dealer and found a much better quality one.

However, upon return home and a test fit, I found it too had different screw holes from the original, and from the cheap replacement. And the rectangular insert (which slides in the wall opening), is not even placed the same as the original (also different from the el cheapo), so I had to get out the saw and "modify" it to fit.

So, all three were different from each other, and I now have six spare holes in the side of the trailer (the original had eight screw holes, the replacement has ten and only two lined up...) and a cheap piece of plastic I will likely chuck in the garbage.

Is there a reason why the same basic item can't be made to the same specs so any replacement will match the original? Seriously. Rant over....
7 REPLIES 7

marpel
Explorer
Explorer
Thanks for the replies.

I understand the patent thing as well as some of the other points posted.

Having said that, I still don't understand why they all can't sit down in the same room and come to an agreement on things like the size of the opening and the number of and locations of the screw holes. Keep your specific design but at least make it so common products can easily be found and replaced.

Anyway, off in the morning for a 5000 km trip.

Chum_lee
Explorer
Explorer
"There may also be patents that they are working around."

Yes, another excellent point. As well, often manufacturers (vendors) are bound by their contract agreements with larger manufacturers (the people they sell to) that prohibit them from selling the same product to other vendors in the same market.

For example: If Bissell sells a specific carpet shampoo machine to Wal Mart at a specific given price, their contract (with Wal Mart) prohibits them from selling the same machine to Target, Home Depot, Costco, (or any other vendor) at any price. Now Wal Mart controls the market and can advertise that: "If you find this machine anywhere else for less, we'll give you double the difference in cash." This is a sucker bet that they NEVER pay out on because you can't buy that specific machine anywhere else than Wal Mart. You may find the exact same machine elsewhere, BUT, it will be a different model number, color, have a shorter cord, or some other silly options that allow Bissell a loophole in their contract with Wal Mart. Welcome to the world of corporate business! Now bendover and deal with it! It's not changing anytime soon.

Chum lee

valhalla360
Nomad II
Nomad II
Chum lee wrote:
"Is there a reason why the same basic item can't be made to the same specs so any replacement will match the original?"

Yep. Many. People. Time. Location. Materials. Manufacturing. Money. They are always different and constantly changing. Years ago, at the dawn of the industrial revolution, Eli Whitney was credited with the idea of interchangeable parts. Until then, everything was individually manufactured by hand and no two items were alike. Even parts from similar guns wouldn't fit together and had to be custom fit, . . . . . every time something broke. As a result "National Standards" were developed. The SAE, ISO, ANSI, and, UL are current examples. As of today, things are a little better, but, as you've found, still far from perfect.

Chum lee


Of course, unlike the automotive industry, it's rare to produce more than a few thousand of any individual model. Cars that drop below 40-50,000 per year tend to get eliminated.

There may also be patents that they are working around. Possibly with good cause or possibly because they don't understand what they can get away with without violating the patent.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

Dutch_12078
Explorer
Explorer
Sealing the extra holes is simple enough using the same butyl putty used to seal the vent to the wall. On a previous motorhome that had the little external tabs for locking the vent, I just used my awning rod to open and close them from the ground. Our current motorhome has an inside latch for the vent built in to the range hood.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
Bigfoot Automatic Leveling System
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox baseplate

Chum_lee
Explorer
Explorer
"Is there a reason why the same basic item can't be made to the same specs so any replacement will match the original?"

Yep. Many. People. Time. Location. Materials. Manufacturing. Money. They are always different and constantly changing. Years ago, at the dawn of the industrial revolution, Eli Whitney was credited with the idea of interchangeable parts. Until then, everything was individually manufactured by hand and no two items were alike. Even parts from similar guns wouldn't fit together and had to be custom fit, . . . . . every time something broke. As a result "National Standards" were developed. The SAE, ISO, ANSI, and, UL are current examples. As of today, things are a little better, but, as you've found, still far from perfect.

Chum lee

stickdog
Explorer
Explorer
And with a little bid from an adapter kit we got it all put together.
9-11 WE WILL NEVER FORGET!
FULLTIME SINCE 2010
17 DRV MS 36rssb3
17 F350 King Ranch CC DRW 4x4 6.7 4:10 B&W hitch
John
“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” Lao Tzu

JimK-NY
Explorer II
Explorer II
Many years ago, I had the same issue with the stove vent. It was cheap plastic and even worse the hinge was a 1/4" x 1/8" projection at each end that fit into holes to allow the flap to pivot. Those projections broke with almost no use.

I stopped by the manufacturer and complained about that item. The offered me two choices for replacement. The first choice was another piece of junk identical to the one that broke. The other was similar junk except that a piece of tape allowed the flap to open and close. Clearly that was not going to work either. I went with the original style and when it broke I replaced the plastic pivots with a coat hanger.

It hardly makes any difference. The vent flaps when driving unless to plastic toggles are moved to the closed position. That constant flapping would break even a well made vent. The toggles are so high that I need a stool or step ladder to reach them. Hence I rarely use the vent. Instead I just use the Fantastic fan in the ceiling.

If you notice, a lot of RV parts are similar junk. The manufacturers often don't have decent parts to use either.