On March 4, 2005, my parents, purchased at 2003 Forest River Wildwood SE Fifth Wheel camper from Gillette Interstate RV in East Lansing, Michigan. They did so after careful consideration and comparison to many other brands and types of RV’s. This was their retirement dream; however, this camper quickly became, and still is, a retirement nightmare. Unfortunately, my father passed away in February, leaving me Personal Representative to his estate. My attorney has suggested that I try to work the camper repair issues out with either Gillette Interstate RV or Forest River RV before pursuing other means.
The salesman at Gillette sold them a credit life policy with my father listed as the primary and my mother listed as the co-owner of the vehicle. My father was 69 years old at the time the policy was sold. They were told that the policy would only cover him until age 70, but that it would also cover my mother after that time. At the same time, they were sold a Refund Addendum through Signet Financial Group for approximately $1800. This policy stated that if no repairs were turned in under the camper warranty for a specified period of time, the policy premium would be returned to them in full.
The camper has had many repair issues since the first time it was taken on a trip. My father paid for every repair out of pocket under the assumption that he would eventually receive the refund from Signet. Unfortunately, Signet has now ceased to operate and no money will ever be returned. When my father passed away in February of 2011, my mother called to turn in the credit life policy claim, only to be told that the policy lapsed the day my father turned 70 years old, and that it never covered her as it only covered the oldest person on the policy. Upon speaking to a finance manager for a vehicle dealership, I find that this is a common practice…padding the salesman’s commissions by selling these policies without disclosing the pitfalls.
Forest River is supposedly one of the higher