The Nightmare RV, our Thor Gemini 23

This post chronicles our experience with our Thor Gemini 23 that we purchased from Fraserway RV on August 20, 2106.

The Thor Gemini is also sold as Thor Compass. Check out this post for some background: Our first motorhome, a Thor Gemini 23tr.

May 11, 2017

The End

On May 11, 2017 we said goodbye to our Thor Gemini 23.

Goodbye Thor Gemini. Goodbye Fraserway RV

After all the issues and disappointments, Fraserway RV purchased back the motorhome.

To all of those who are looking at purchasing a Thor Gemini or Thor Compass, do your homework and know what you may be getting yourself into.

This was a very expensive experience, but we learned many lessons.

Good luck!

April 28, 2017

Will It Ever End?

We took out our Thor Gemini for the first time in a month or so, hoping for a relaxing time with nature. Unfortunately what we thought was fixed turned out not to be fixed. We also got a couple of new surprises.

  1. The blinds by the bed detached and are dangling down
  2. The tankless water heater doesn’t work (GIRARD GSWH-2 TANKLESS WH)
  3. The mudflap bracket on the driver side broke

It sure would be nice to go out once and not have issues with our Thor Gemini. We’ll make sure to reach out to our deal again, Fraserway RV and get our motorhome back into the shop.

Pictures

Broken blinds in our Thor Gemini 23
The broken blinds in our Thor Gemini / Thor Compass

Mar 24, 2017

It’s a Time Investment

10:57 AM – Called Fraserway RV to discuss the problem with our Thor Gemini 23 with Scott who is the General Manager. But it’s essentially impossible to not get his voicemail. So, I left a message asking for a call back.

11:23 AM – Scott called back and suggested a second walk-through of the unit, so that we can understand how the unit is supposed to behave and work. Time to wait for the service team to reach out and schedule us in for that walk-through. Scott did also confirm that if the battery is dead, the unit will not have power, will not charge, even if the unit is plugged in to shore power, unless the engine is started.

It’s still strange, because I did start the engine and after I turned it off it only took a couple of hours before things stopped working again.

5:03 PM – Fraserway RV finally emails us to setup the appointment for the second walkthrough.

No camping for us this weekend – again.

Mar 23, 2017

From Ford to Fraserway

Cam Clark Ford finished replacing the fuel injection pump this morning and Fraserway RV picked up our Thor Gemini to look at the power issue we had.

We received an update from Fraserway RV this afternoon. We were told that the behavior is expected. If the batteries drained and are dead, then the unit will not have power, even if it is plugged in. Apparently, that is how the Go Power! GP-IC2000-12-PKG inverter works.  The only thing that will resolve the issue is running the engine of the motorhome, which I did, and which only solved the problem temporarily.

It all seems very strange.

Why would Fraserway RV sell us an inverter that doesn’t really work? It doesn’t make sense that even if the unit is plugged into shore power, the unit doesn’t have power.

I opened a support ticket with Go Power! today to get their thoughts.

Mar 12, 2017

No Go Power!

We discovered that our Thor Gemini 23 lost power sometime this weekend, while parked in our driveway and plugged into an outlet in our garage.

I called Fraserway RV in our town, but because it is Sunday, they asked me to call Fraserway RV head office in Abbotsford, BC. I spoke with a technician and we tried “everything” short of pulling off the panels and checking for loose cables.

Once Ford is finished replacing the fuel injection pump, we will have to get Fraserway RV to look at what the problem is.

Mar 7, 2017

No Dumping When It’s Cold

When we were shopping around for a motorhome, we told everyone we spoke with that we want to use whatever we buy all year round. Not sure what happened, but the Thor Gemini 23, also known as the Thor Compass, doesn’t like cold weather at all.

Feb 23, 2017

Dropped off at Ford… parts need to be ordered.

We dropped off our Gemini 23 at Cam Clark Ford this morning around and this afternoon we got a call that parts need to be ordered for the recall replacement. Why wouldn’t Ford order the parts before we drop off the vehicle? Frustrating.

On a separate note, the water leak apparently was caused by an open valve of two that Fraserway RV left open after winterizing our Thor Gemini 23. It would have been good to know about these values… but at least the leak isn’t caused by broken pipes.

Feb 22, 2017

Who left our baby in the cold?

Leanne called Cam Clark Ford to schedule an appointment to have the faulty fuel injection pump replaced as part of the recall. During the conversation, she found out that Cam Clark Ford will not keep our motorhome in the shop or plug our motorhome in so the heater will run.

It sounds like Cam Clark Ford could be the culprit responsible for the damage to our Thor Gemini 23.

Leanne also called Fraserway RV to let them know about our water leak and the problem with the inverter. Rick didn’t seem to care much about our issues and told us to drop it off whenever.

Feb 18, 2017

Infected Inverter?

Our Go Power! inverter is acting up, but we aren’t sure if it’s the inverter itself, the display, or an issue with the installation.

It was completely unresponsive. We had to unplug our Thor Gemini 23 from shore power for it to reset.

GO POWER Problem

Feb 17, 2017

Recall, Recall, Recall and a Water Leak

We discovered a big puddle of water under our Gemini 23. Because we couldn’t find the source, we thought it might only be a bit of snow left on the roof. It turns out it wasn’t melting snow because the fresh water tank was empty 2 hours into our trip. So this weekend will be another waterless adventure. Right now everything is pointing at Fraserway RV or Cam Clark Ford leaving our Thor Gemini 23 outside, not plugged in, when it was REALLY cold outside.

Thor Gemini 23 - Water Leak - 0 hours
Thor Gemini 23 - Water Leak - 2 hours

We also received a call from Ford, letting us know that there is a recall for our Ford Transit, which the Gemini 23 is built on. Apparently, the fuel injection pump needs to be replaced.

Ford Recall Notie - Ford Transit

Why did Cam Clark Ford not tell us about the recall when it was with them in December?

Feb 16, 2017

De-Winterized and Ready for the Road

I called Fraserway today to double check on what the process is to de-winterize our Gemini 23. I spoke with Rick, who didn’t give me the impression he cared to help at all. I de-winterized the motorhome by filling up the fresh water tank and running the water taps. Ready to finally take this back on the road.

Feb 1, 2017

Finally. Problems Solved.

We picked up our Gemini 23 from Fraserway RV today. The water heater was replaced and everything else should be working as advertised. We can’t wait to head out as soon as we can. Fraserway RV was kind enough to winterize it for us.

Jan 24, 2017

Ford Motor Company’s $150 Coupon (Valid for 6 months)

We received a letter today from Ford Motor Company of Canada. Recognizing the inconvenience caused by the issues we’ve had with our brand new Ford Transit, Ford gave us a $150 discount (CAD) that is valid for the next six months, towards future parts of service purchases.

What are we supposed to do with that? We haven’t even been reimbursed for our expenses incurred while we were stranded 1,400km from home.

What a joke.

Ford Motor Company of Canada - $150 coupon

Jan 16, 2017

Hot Water Heater Needs Replacement

Fraserway RV picked up our Thor Gemini 23 from Cam Clark Ford on January 10, 2017.

After more analysis and troubleshooting, it looks like the Girard hot water heater needs to be replaced. Fraserway RV doesn’t know how long it will take to get a replacement (GIRARD GSWH-2 TANKLESS WH).

Weekend plans cancelled.

Jan 6, 2017

Waiting on Fraserway RV to Pick-up Unit

I was surprised that find out that Fraserway RV hasn’t picked up the unit and followed up with Fraserway. The unit should be picked up Jan 9 or 10 and the repairs should be finished by Fraserway RV on Friday, January 13.

This could be the end of our nightmare with our Thor Gemini 23.

Dec 29, 2016

Cam Clark Ford Found Cause

Finally Cam Clark Ford was able to find the cause of the electrical issues with our Thor Gemini. Apparently the issues were caused by a bad ground in the engine compartment. Chris at Cam Clark Ford has been really great.

Now our Gemini 23 needs to go back to Fraserway RV to fix the remaining items.

Dec 5, 2016

Update from Cam Clark Ford

Working with Cam Clark Ford has been very frustrating. We received a call from Adam at Cam Clark Ford that they have our Thor Gemini 23, but aren’t sure what the problem is. When I called Cam Clark Ford on Nov 28 I explained that it is the exact same problem as before. Adam then proceeded to ask if “it’s the signal light that won’t click back in”.

I’m so confused, why can’t Cam Clark Ford review all the documentation?

Chris Senior Service Advisor at Cam Clark Ford called back. Explained that he will be taking over from Adam. I explained everything to him again, what the issue is, when it occurs and explained a bit of the history.

Dec 2, 2016

Update from Fraserway RV

The technician who has been working on our Thor Gemini 23 has been amazing, his name is Al and he is really great. We got a quick update on the unit.

  • Slide-out issue can not be reproduced. Once the water heater is fixed, Fraserway will winterize the unit and let it sit outside to see if lower temperatures could be the cause.
  • A new control board was ordered for the tankless water heater and is expected to arrive next week
  • The inverter was rewired
  • The hanging wires were the wires for the tank heaters. They were glued back to the undercarriage

More next week.

Nov 28, 2016

Back to Fraserway RV and Ford

We canceled plans to use our Thor Gemini 23 for the rest of the year and dropped it off at Fraserway RV. The local Ford dealership will coordinate with Fraserway RV directly to get the unit and look at the electrical issue again.

Nov 27, 2016

Slide-Out Will Not Retract

After our morning coffee and fire, we packed up and got ready to head to the next spot. We had to abort our weekend because the slide-out on our Thor Gemini 23 refused to retract. It was dead. I tried to reset the controller, but that didn’t help. I also pulled out the fuse, hoping it would reset things, but no luck.

The slide-out controller on our Thor Gemini 23

The slide-out controller on our Thor Gemini 23. It’s under the bed, behind the water tanks. You have to remove the drawer to get to it.

Split by screw

Found this while resetting the slide-out controller. Looks like someone drove in that screw way too hard, splitting the wood.

Did I mention that the hot water heater isn’t working again! Here is the model number for reference: GIRARD GSWH-2 TANKLESS WH. It was sporadically working after we got our Thor Gemini 23 (aka Thor Compass) back from Fraserway RV; although we had to run the water for 45 seconds or so to get a bit of hot water. Now the display only shows two dashes (- -).

Display of our tankless heater (GIRARD GSWH-2 TANKLESS WH)

Nov 25, 2016

Low Beam Bulb Fault Returns

The first day out after picking up our Thor Gemini 23 after picking it up from Cam Clark Ford in Airdrie… and the electrical problem is back. Left headlight is out, signal lights don’t work, horn doesn’t work, and the lovely “Low Beam Fault” warning. We called our executive liaison at Ford Canada and left a message. Will have to wait until Monday.

Low beam Bulb fault - Thor Gemini 23 - Ford Transit Chassis

Nov 18, 2016

Quick Turn Around by Ford. Hope.

We received a call from Cam Clark Ford in Airdrie today letting us know that the unit is ready for pickup.

[image]

Nov 17, 2016

The Wait Begins

It is really frustrating getting a brand new Thor Gemini 23, which is built on the Ford Transit Chassis 350HD, and having so many issues. The issues are with the entire package.

We made it back home (1,400 km) on Monday and called our executive liaison at Ford right away. She was great and called Cam Clark Ford in Airdrie which called us yesterday morning. I dropped off our Gemini 23 in the afternoon. Cam Clark Ford Airdrie called this morning to let us know that the unit is being looked at by a technician tomorrow morning – clearly, it isn’t a priority to Cam Clark Ford, given that they have known about issues since Oct 6 (or before) when they first looked at the unit.

Cam Clark Ford Airdrie refused to order an ABS module until a technician has looked at the unit, even though a technician at Cam Clark Ford in Canmore diagnosed the issue to be with the ABS module.

Let’s see how long this will take. Too bad Fraserway RV didn’t take care of this issue when we had it in for warranty service in October.

Dropped of our Thor Gemini 23 at Cam Clark Ford in Airdrie

Nov 10, 2016

Ford Disappoints Again

After waiting since Nov 6 and sitting at the dealership for 4 hours, we are told neither the ABS module or the Body Control module can be installed without the second key. Option 1 is to wait until next Tuesday (another 5-6 days) and get the key shipped out, or Option 2 drive without windshield wipers, signal lights, headlights, and horn. It’s been very stressful.

We concluded that Ford’s system to deal with roadside issues is not reliable when it comes to RVs. Going forward, I’m not sure how we could ever get another RV that’s built on a Ford platform. We did look into EarthRoamers, but they are built on the Ford F550 and F750 platforms.

Our Thor Gemini 23 at Van Isle Ford

Nov 7, 2016

Waiting for Parts (and wet surprise)

We spent the night sleeping in a parking lot in Port Alberni. This morning Ford called and confirmed service with the Van Isle Ford dealership. Magically the windshield wipers worked this morning, which was a pleasant surprise. It’s much less stressful driving with windshield wipers.

Water leak in the Thor Gemini 23 under bed

A picture of the water, the rest was soaked up by the cushions.

Water leak in Thor Gemini 23 - Holes

We are suspecting that the these holes are to blame for the leak.

New batteries

It looks like another one of these patches is coming off. This happened before in a different place. It seems like Thor uses these patches to hold up wiring.

Nov 6, 2016

Vacation Abort

After picking up our Thor Gemini 23 from Fraserway RV we headed out to Vancouver Island. After driving more than 1,300 km on our way to Tofino, in the rain, the windshield wipers stopped working and the “low beam fault warning” message came back. We called Fraserway RV, which essentially told us they will not help us. They were working with Cam Clark Ford in Airdrie when we dropped off our Thor Gemini 23 on Sep 26, and apparently, the part that we need was back ordered. We found out that the part is not back ordered and getting it shipped out from Ontario will take 3 days.

We called Ford Roadside Assitance for help as well, they offered to tow our Thor Gemini 23 to PortAlberni, but told us:

  • we need to find out own transportation from Tofino to Port Alberni (~123 km)
  • we will need to stay in the RV while it is at the dealership waiting to get serviced
  • no expenses will be covered
  • no rental car will be provided

We couldn’t afford the $350 to rent a car for 1 day to drive from Tofino to Port Alberni and risked the drive without windshield wipers, headlights, horn, and signal lights. Once Fraserway RV made the sale, service dropped off. Ford seems to care little that we’re having all these issues with this brand new Ford Transit 35oHD.

The next few days will be interesting.

Oct 28, 2016

Picked Up From Fraserway RV

We dropped off our Thor Gemini 23 on Monday and I just picked it up a few hours ago. The three major pieces that Fraserway RV completed are the replacement of the faulty batteries, tankless water heater fix, and installation of a 2000 watt inverter. I will make sure to provide an update after our next trip, which should be this week.

Go Power Inverter Remote
Go Power Inverter
New batteries

Oct 14, 2016

Slide-Out Broken

The Thor Gemini is packed and ready for the weekend, all that is left to do is to get winter tires put on. Surprise surprise, the slide-out will not retract. It doesn’t move, it doesn’t make a sound, it’s dead. I reset the controller unit behind the water tanks, but that didn’t resolve the issue. Now we are waiting for a call from Fraserway RV with what to do next.

The technician I spoke with said that the issue could be caused by freezing rain. If that is the case then Fraserway RV knowingly sold us the Thor Gemini 23 knowing that it will not meet out needs, because we explicitly stated that we want to use the RV year round and work from it.

11:40 AM – Scott, the general manager from Fraserway RV returns my call. He recommended that technician would swing by to have a look at the unit. I explained him that I tried to reset the controller.

12:15 PM – Technicians from Fraserway RV arrived as promised. Very fast and Al is always very helpful. Magically the slide-out worked without them doing anything.

2:20 PM – Got back from our appointment to get winter tires on the Thor Gemini 23, put the drawer back in, and the slide out stopped working. Called Fraserway RV, they said that we won’t get the unit back this weekend if we bring it in. What a nightmare!

3:06 PM – Fraserway RV called back. They are picking up the RV. I guess our weekend plans have been cancelled.

3:30 PM – Fraserway RV came by and were able to fix the issue. We’re hoping it won’t happen to us again. Apparently the wiring on the controller were lose and came off.

Oct 7, 2016

Electrical & Slide-Out Issues

We woke up to an array of issues. First, we found out that the windshield wiper stopped working again, then we found out that the slide-out wouldn’t come in anymore. Based on the advice of Fraserway RV, we drove 40km with the slide-out extended to the nearest mechanic with experience.

Thor Gemini 23 in Canmore, AB

Fraserway RV connected us with Standish Towing in Banff, AB. We have nothing by good things to say about their service. After 2-3 hours of working through the slide-out electrical, starting at the batteries… we made it to the control unit. The control unit is hidden behind the water tanks under the rear couch. After resetting the controller, the slide-out worked again.

Thor Gemini 23 Slideout Controller

After resolving the issue with the slide-out we spent another 2-3 hours at Cam Clark Ford in Canmore, AB. Also amazing service. The diagnosis is, we need a new ABS module. Something we let Fraserway RV know as they were already looking at the issue.

Thor Gemini ABS Module

Oct 6, 2016

Back from Warranty Service

We picked up our Thor Gemini 23, but were surprised to find out that the most important things were not done.

Not fixed:

  • Electrical Issue (intermittent windshield wiper problem) – This is the update we got: Locklund called Fraserway from Cam Clark Ford stating that the unit needs a Body Control Module. Cam Clark Ford will call when part arrives.
  • Hot Water (no hot water) – Requires a part. Will let us know when the part is ready
  • Inverter – Not installed. Will be installed when unit is back next.

Sep 26, 2016

Dropped Off For Warranty Items

We showed up to drop off our Gemini 23 at Fraserway at 7 PM as confirmed via email from Fraserway, to find out that they close at 7 PM. Thankfully I arrived a bit earlier and a sales manager did the walk-through with me. A strange electrical problem seems to have developed, causing a “low beam bulb fault” warning to pop up. Fraserway added this item to the warranty list but told us they will need to coordinate with Cam Clark Ford in Airdrie.

The Two Explorkers 2017-06-29T11:15:22+00:00

20 Comments

  1. Nancy October 24, 2016 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Avidly following your Gemini posts. Great info and visuals. Thanks!

    • Kevin October 28, 2016 at 10:11 pm - Reply

      Hi Nancy. I’m glad my updates are helping. We made some progress today. I’m just updating the posts. Just got to add some pictures, which I’m working on now.

  2. Bruce December 9, 2016 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    Hello Kevin, Thank you very much for your excellent and informative blog. We’re retired and have been shopping to buy a motorhome that we can travel reliably around North America in for a few months at a time. We thought we found the perfect unit, a 2017 Gemini 23TR and so we recently put a deposit on it for pick-up early in the new year. I then decided to do a bit more research and found your site. Many of the problems that you are experiencing should not be happening period, especially with a decent quality “brand new” unit that has supposedly gone through some kind of quality control inspection. The poor follow-up service you’ve been getting is very concerning and does not give me a warm and cosy feeling about Fraser Way. We decided to cancel the order on our Thor built Gemini, do a little more research, and if we need to spend a bit more for a different dependable unit/builder, “so-be-it”. We have some RV experience but not on this continent. We spent a total of 14 months touring Europe in 2 different (less expensive but just as nice) German made motorhomes and we had very, very few issues. I don’t know why we can’t expect the same quality standards from North American builders. Thank you again for sharing your knowledge and experience.

    • Kevin December 10, 2016 at 1:17 pm - Reply

      Hi Bruce,

      Thank you for your feedback and kind words. It’s important to share information with others, especially with big purchases like this.

      The service we are getting for Fraserway RV has improved a bit, but there are still disappointments such as not getting promised phone calls back from the General Manager, Scott. The tech who has been working on our Thor Gemini has been great though – honest and very respectful. Ultimately it’s really Thor who should take ownership of warranty issues – but I double that will ever happen.

      I worked in Germany for a couple of years and the level of quality is not comparable to what we get in North America. I am sure your Europe tour was amazing. We definitely want to do that as well.

      We have been looking at the Earthroamers and the Global Expedition Vehicles, but they are quite expensive and the Earthroamers are built on a Ford F550 and F750 chassis. Given the issues we’ve been having getting Ford to fix the electrical issues on our Thor Gemini, we’re hesitant.

      Time will tell, but we definitely love exploring and motorhomes.

      Let me know what you end up getting – please!

      Kevin

  3. Rick Bremner December 17, 2016 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    Thank you for your great blog. We have been looking to buy a small motorhome with a fixed queen bed we can walk around and a dry bathroom as we will be living in it for up to 10 weeks at a time. When I came across the Gemini 23 I thought we found one to consider, but after reading your blog I am not even going to consider one. We owned a Winnebago LaSharo back in the 80’s. Brought it brand new and it worked great for 3 years. Then just before the warrantee expired the engine gave up and we spent 2 weeks of our vacation stuck waiting for a dealer to get it fixed which happened just in time to head home. About two hours later it slowed down to 25 MPH going up hills. At that point I was very frustrated and we had to get home. We drove the speed limit on flat roads but every hill, overpass ect we would slow down to 25. After getting home we took it to Winnebago and they said it wasn’t the engine but the injectors. They repaired and we took it home. A few weeks later we took it out and going up a steep hill it started all over again. We also got a notice from the dealer who fixed the engine that the insurance company went bankrupt before paying the $2000 repair which we now owed and discovered several other repairs we now owed. The alternator went out right before leaving on vacation and then the injector repairs. We got rid of the unit at that point. Needless to say we are very concerned about having similar challenges now that we are looking again so really appreciate your blog.

    • Kevin December 17, 2016 at 2:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Rick,

      I’m glad you found the post helpful. I don’t see how a Gemini or Compass owner wouldn’t have issues with their unit – we’ve had so many.

      We are still in the middle of this adventure. Right now the unit is with Ford while they are trying to figure out the electrical issue. Once that is done, our Gemini 23 will go back to Fraserway RV to have the water heater fixed (again). We talked to the general manager of the dealership, Scott, but he doesn’t follow through.

      Funny enough, the sales person at Fraserway RV showed us a Winnebego, but she didn’t really promote it much. It might have been a better choice than the Thor. It is really unfortunate that Thor owns so many other brands (Airstream, Bison Coach, Breckenridge, CrossRoads RV, Cruiser RV, Dutchmen RV, DRV, Heartland RV, Jayco, Keystone RV, KZ RV, Livin Lite RV, Redwood RV).

      Let me know what you end up with. We’ve been looking at Earthroamers, but they are a bit pricey.

  4. Richard July 24, 2017 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    Here r the recurring problems with the unit
    1. Hot water heater doesn’t work
    2. Batteries in coach go flat when unit turned off in about a week(brand new…replaced them both at my expense)
    3. Card board insert comes off the ice box door repeatedly
    4. Collar around moon roof falls off
    5. Storage compartment leaks
    6. Overhead storage door pulls out of the hinge. (Wood screws in pressed wood)
    7. Bathroom commode pulled lose from floor

    This model has more problems than Carter has little liver pills.

    • leanne August 6, 2017 at 10:54 pm - Reply

      Wow, we’re SO sorry to hear you’re going through this. We remember how frustrating these problems were, and how helpless we felt. Regardless if it was all “under warranty” all of these Thor Gemini problems stop you from being able to ENJOY your purchase… We hope you get them sorted out soon, or can return your unit and get something more reliable.

  5. Rus October 24, 2017 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your well documented journey with Thor and Ford, it is very informative. I wish I had come across this blog before we purchased a 2017 Thor Compass 23TB. We have had a number of problems with ours also. Some were Ford, some were Thor and some were appliance manufacturer problems. Luckily most of mine are things I can fix although I didn’t buy a new RV so I could spend my time on repairs, I have already done that with the first two used rigs I had.

    Sorry you had such a bad experience but thank you for the heads up and the problems that I should look for in the future.

    • The Two Explorkers November 8, 2017 at 12:52 pm - Reply

      Hi Rus,

      Oh no, that doesn’t sound like Thor stepped up the quality of the Compass/Gemini. We purchased a new unit for the exact same reasons you mentioned. We’re in a 2004 Monaco Windsor now, which is a bit bigger than our Gemini was, but it’s also so much easier to fix things and the REV Group (Monaco) has been really awesome. Of course, we don’t have warranty or anything, but when we bring our coach to Coburg, OR – we know all work they do will be done right. Our experience with the dealer where we got the Monaco from wasn’t the best, High River Autoblex, but the guys and gals at Monaco made up for it.

      We had a 2-year old Leisure Van beside us last night, the couple seemed really happy with the quality so far. We had looked at the Leasure Van units, but they were a bit too small for us (we had just added a third dog to the family).

      Hope to see you on the road sometime,

      Kevin

  6. Gene December 20, 2017 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    Hi, likewise we purchased a ‘17 Thor, but a Citation 24SR on a mercedes chassis. I love the chassis, wonderful to drive, lots of leg room unlike ford’s narrow foot space. the diesel mpg has been at 14 over 8,000 hilly miles, avg around 63 mph. The thor body is junk, the tv’s were wired wrong, the blk and grey tank wiring is wired backwards, The tankless water heater is a pain, give me the 6 gal one back, I can deal much better with it in a RV. the shower drain was plugged with junk. the factory batteries lasted 8 months. shelving was warped. There’s more – lets just say the build quality of Thor is non existent, Indiana’s should be totally asamed of their work products. I will buy canadian next time.

    • leanne March 13, 2018 at 2:35 pm - Reply

      Yikes! We had an issue with comments and I’m just getting to yours. Sorry! What a nightmare though… I’m so so so sorry you had to deal with this.

  7. Cheryl January 2, 2018 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Thank goodness I stumbled on this site! I’m a single (not overly handy) gal who wants to do some exploring in my early retirement. I was just going to pull the trigger on a greatly reduced Gemini 23TR (2017). I liked the roominess of the Thor unit over the Travato, and wasn’t enamored with the Sprinter layouts (Winnegebo). I’m guessing the $45k below cost may be due to these issues? Anyway, looks like I’ll be spending a bit more to get the RV experience I’m dreaming of. I see a few recommendations in the string above, but would love to hear any recommendations on reliable Class B and small Class C units. I’ll definitely be attending the RV show in Denver in a couple days! Thanks.

    • leanne March 13, 2018 at 2:33 pm - Reply

      Yikes! We had an issue with comments and I’m just getting to yours. Sorry! — we’re SO happy you found this post. That’s why we documented it all… to save people from making the same mistake we did. We hope you found something good!!!

  8. Scott May 4, 2018 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    Ya, good blog – thank you. I am going to look at RV’s this evening, but I’m a first timer and not real sure what questions to ask. I found your blog b/c I googled THOR Compass. Do you have a recommendation on what RV brand(s) we should investigate? I’d assume spend extra up front – if that would even help to avoid issues such as yours. The entire industry may be frought with problems due to engineered obsolescence. But, I’d like to think that isn’t the case.

    Okay, your time is appreciated – I owe you a beer, or maybe some venmo? Thank you. Scott & Sanna

  9. jk July 16, 2018 at 10:56 pm - Reply

    Our 2016 Thor Compass has been cross country a couple times, and has 25,000 miles on it. We’ve had many of the same issues you had, and got them repaired at Ford or the RV dealer. Hot water, electrical, all a pain, but fixed. I may be naive, but fallen window shades, poor choices of hardware, trim issues, are what I consider part of the life of an RVer. Maybe a Winnebago would be better, but we had an older Itasca class C, and also had many issues. I hold Thor responsible for these issues in an attempt to deliver a low priced product.

  10. Bee July 21, 2018 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    Thanks very much for this info. We have had a Roadtrek in the past (sold 5 yrs. ago) which was wonderful but we would like to move up to something a little larger for more comfort during longer trips. The Gemini seemed ideal until I read your blog. We will now look at options to this brand – any suggestions appreciated. We are on Vancouver Island so for warranty reasons will avoid Fraserway RV. You have been extremely patient in dealing with the issues – your unit should never have left the lot in this condition. Thanks again for educating us.

  11. Richard Eastman August 16, 2018 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    Thank you for your post and all the comments. We purchased a Thor Compass TR 4/18/18. This is our 5th RV (new Northland pop-up camper, new MPG travel trailer, new Lance 1685 travel trailer, 2004 Alpenlite truck camper, and now the Compass). I am a DYI believer, carry lots of tools, and fix everything I can myself. All the warranty work has been done by Camping World in Anderson, CA. After a few weekend cruises and a 3250 mile tour through the West, here are the problems we have encountered.

    1. The dealer installed inverter was wired to the generator input side of the automatic transfer switch. On first trial the generator vibrated badly. My electrician said bad idea to wire the inverter to the hot side of the generator. I changed the input to the shore power input side of the ATS and everything worked fine.
    2. Inverter was fried when generator mistakenly started when inverter was running. This put 2 AC sources into the load center, back feeding and frying the inverter. Inverters don’t seem to have any protection against this. I ask why isn’t there a diode in the inverter output to prevent back feeding. I rewired the inverter output through a DPDT relay that selects the inverter feed to the load center when the inverter is on, and the ATS output (generator or shore power) if it is off. This prevents dual AC problem.
    3. On our long tour the inner privacy glass on the door fell off. It was stuck on with a gasket and only about half the gasket was adherent to the frame.
    4. The pull down shade over the galley fell out of the soffit. The clips that hold the shade in place were installed with very small and short screws, perhaps size 4. Suitable for a household shade but not for an RV. I pulled all the shades and tested the screws. Half had no purchase in the soffit wood. I think they were over-torqued on installation by a tech in a hurry with an electric screwdriver on too high a torque setting. I replaced all the bracket screws (24) with #10 screws which fit the holes in the brackets just fine.
    5. One side of the electric shade over the sky window in the front of the coach separated from the ceiling. It is held on by 2 screws one of which had no purchase on the underlying plywood, and one that was installed so close to the edge of the plywood it broke out. At Camping World for warranty repair.
    6. We found a few screws on the floor as we went along. Inspection showed that the overhead cabinet hinge bracket screws were short and small, and half were over-torqued and had no purchase in the wood. Replaced all with #10 screws.
    7. Tankless hot water heater. Very hard to get a constant temperature output from this unit. Seems to turn off after a minute or so. We found that opening the output water control value all the way (manual recommends closing it somewhat in very cold weather), and turning the water off completely every 30 seconds or so kept the temp more constant. Not a great unit for dry camping as it wastes water before it gets up to temp.
    8. Two of the screws holding the screen door to the hinges fell out. Others had little or no purchase. They used oiled up self tapping sheet metal screws. I pulled them all, cleaned the holes with acetone, and replaced with #10 screws using locktite.
    9. Knob for the cabin vent fell off.
    10. The latch on the main galley drawer was broken when we picked it up. Replaced it.
    11. The mattress is supported by wooden slats. These are not robust. I put a knee in the middle of the bed and cracked one. I put a piece of 1/2″ plywood under the foot of the mattress to prevent this.
    12. The sewer outlet design is terrible. You have to put an L on the sewer line and it is difficult to get it on the pipe. The rear of the coach is so low to the ground that we had to block up the rear tires to drain the tank at one dump station installed on a slight incline.
    13. The rear suspension is inadequate. Even traveling light with just clothes and a few things in the back the leaf springs are maxed out (flat). This causes a hard ride that shakes the whole coach on some freeways, esp those with concrete slap construction. kthunk..kthunk..kthunk..for hundreds of miles. None of the manufacturers make inflatable air springs that fit the Ford Transit 350 HD frame. Suomo springs appear to fit and are being installed by the dealer. eTrailer claims bolt on supplemental leaf springs (part number SSA43) fit the chassis.
    14. Driving it off the lot for the first time the check engine light came on. Dealer replaced an O2 sensor.
    15. About 1500 miles into our trip the check engine light came on again and mileage dropped from 16.7 to 14 mph. I put a scanner on it and it showed an emissions code. I reset the computer and drove the rest of the way. The light never came on again and scanner showed no fault codes.
    16. There is no spare tire or jack. I carry a compressor (runs off the outside AC outlet when running the generator) and a tire repair kit that could patch nail holes. Includes a slime kit. Can’t see a way to carry a spare.
    17. Three TVs with limited storage space elsewhere. Really? 3 TVs in a 23.5′ RV??
    18. When I checked tire pressure could not get air into the inner rear tire’s (it is a dual rear wheel rig). Valve stem extensions were not tightened. Now carry a long 1/2″ socket and wrench and a 3/8″ socket to tighten the valve stem extensions and remove the valve camps, respectively.
    19. The fresh water tank drain is inadequate. The tank drains at a slow trickle.
    20. The latch holding down the battery compartment door, the second store in the entry way, unlatched every time I stepped on the stair. Removed the latch.
    21. The battery disconnect switch was inoperable when we picked it up. Fixed by dealer.
    22. There are lights over the settee in the main cabin. For the switches to control these lights the bathroom light has to be on. Dealer says Thor says it was designed that way. I am going to replace the ceiling fixture in the bathroom with one that has a slider so I can turn it off when the light switch is on so we have lights over the settee without the bathroom light on continuously.

    Pros:

    We love this RV, despite the problems we have encountered. Jane is comfortable driving it and drove about 2000 miles of our trip. It has a 5 cylinder in line turbo diesel that delivers 185 HP but about 350 ftlbs of torque. Goes up hills even those high passes through the Rockies like a champ. Has an automatic 6 speed transmission that can be manually controlled as well which is great going uphill behind a slow RV or truck, and for engine breaking downhill. The rear slide is a blessing and adds greatly to the space and comfort. I have had similar problems on other RVs. On the Lance, a high end travel trailer, all the screws holding down the window shade pulls pulled out of the wall. Many of these problems are par for the course, part of the RV experience as one commentator wrote. I would buy it again, but would replace in advance the fasteners that caused problems on the road, beef up the rear suspension before heading out, tightening every screw I could access and checking them along the way, carry a tire repair kit and compressor from the gig, get a scanner and no how to use it. Carry a multiunit screwdriver with bits to fit the screws in the Compass (they use designer screws that require a square bit).

  12. Terry Moselle October 27, 2018 at 10:18 am - Reply

    Just looked at a 2018 Gemini 23TK for $59,900. New thought that was a great deal. And the Ford diesel seems to have less issues than the Mercedes, and checked around most all Ford dealers can work on them. Lots of places where a Mercedes wouldn’t be able to be worked on. So i was really going to consider this unit. I have spent my life in electrical and mechanical maintenace and know more than enough as to what to look for. After seeing these issues and the patches holding up wires, “seriously” how long would you expect that to last!! Guess i will pass on the Gemini. Sorry to all of you for so many issues

    • The Two Explorkers October 27, 2018 at 2:28 pm - Reply

      We really believe that you made the right decision. That is a lot of money to spend on anything – and at the very least, you want something that is reliable. Spread the word. Hope you find a good fit… I’m sure there’s an amazing RV out there for you. -K

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