Webasto Go The Extra Mile
Webasto Go The Extra Mile
Above and beyond.
I want to share our recent experience with the Webasto Team as they really pulled out all the stops and went, what I consider to be, above and beyond the call of duty to replace our faulty stove under warranty.
We purchased our new vehicle in January 2018 and chose to have the Webasto Diesel Cooker X100 as well as the Webasto Dual top for our heat and hot water. We liked the single fuel source idea as our vehicle also runs off of diesel and we did not want the electrical drain of an induction cooktop; even though we have 480W of solar. Induction cooktops in Overland vehicles are also a fairly new idea and we weren?t sure how well it would stand up to repeatedly being shaken around on washboard roads. Webasto however, has been used for this application for many years and is tried and tested.
Unfortunately, we noticed a pop/cracking noise every time we turned the cooktop off. It worked perfectly fine, but the Webasto techs said this was not normal and we should return to our dealer, which we did. They were unable to correct or find the cause of the cracking noise and immediately said they would replace it under warranty.
Now for the interesting part of the story:
What should have been a very straightforward procedure soon became very frustrating; we were on the road and unable to get back to the dealer to get the warranty dealt with. So this is what Webasto did:
One of their techs, Mike Fox, had flown to the West Coast to train a new dealer. He was in Reno, not far from us, and he?arranged to meet us and try and fix the problem. We met in the parking lot of Home Depot, a source for any tools that may have been required and spent the afternoon trying to source the cause of the issue. Unfortunately, Mike was unable to fix it, despite spending hours working on it. We were frustrated by the lack of progress with solving the problem. The tech called his boss, back on the East Coast, by which time it was gone 8pm. He boss apologized for the inconvenience today and lack of progress and promised to make things right.
Just after 6am the next morning we received a call from Webasto, once again apologizing for what had happened. Then came the clincher
“.. We will put a tech on a plane to anywhere in North America with a new stove and get this sorted ..”
I nearly fell out of bed! I couldn’t believe they would go to those lengths to get the?issue fixed.
We arranged for their tech to meet us in Flagstaff before Overland Expo. They couriered the stove to Flagstaff and Mike Fox 4 hours from Michigan to Phoenix. Mike then got in a car and drive two hours to Flagstaff. We met in another mall parking lot and Mike, having got accustomed to the Webasto install in an XPCamper got the job done quickly; replacing the stove in a couple of hours. It worked perfectly.
Dinner with Webasto
We felt we had got to know Mike pretty well by the time he was finished. That night we also got the opportunity to meet their Regional Sales Manager, Chip Raches, and their Marketing and Social Media Manager, Christie Carino as they took us out for a meal and a beer at one of the local Flagstaff breweries.
It was an absolute pleasure meeting Mike, Chip and Kristie. You could tell they loved their jobs, loved their products and were treated very well by their company. What, at first was a frustration and inconvenience, turned out to be an extremely positive experience. I would say, by far and away, this is the best service I have ever received from a company.
I would like to point out that I?m sure this type of service is an exception, rather than the rule (so don’t expect your own personal tech to be flown around the world to meet you where ever you are!). But it was does show, is that this company is willing to go above and beyond to provide support and service for its products.
Thank you Webasto.
Some like it hot
We have two Webasto products in our camper.
The cooking stove is a Webasto Diesel Cooker X100. Yes, that’s right, it cooks using diesel as a fuel source. One side is ‘hot’ for cooking, the other side less hot for warming or simmering.
I have to admit, I was a bit sceptical at first but it actually works pretty well. It looks like one of the ceramic topped electric stoves, and like those versions, the ceramic plate takes a little longer to get to cooking temperature and any adjusting of the heat up or down takes a while to adjust too. But, there is no naked flame – great for in a small camper space. It doesn’t use much of our precious electricity and if we run out of fuel in the small tank at the back of the camper we should have a ton (or should that be gallons) of extra fuel in our main truck fuel tank.
A small dial on the wall near the cooktop adjusts the temperature and also features a button for high altitude, adjusting the oxygen/diesel mix by increasing the combustion fan speed.
Hot Air, Hot Water
The second of our Webasto products is the awesome Webasto Dual Top. This unit provides both hot air for heating as well as a hot water. It’s a pretty substantial unit that sits under the dinette at the back of the camper. Two dials on our electrical panel adjust the setting, the first dial selects heating, water or heating and water as well as 40? or 70? for the water temperature. The second dial controls the thermostat for the heating.
Coming from a propane furnace style heater in our old RV, the dual top is great. It heats the camper incredibly quickly and is more subtle than the simple on/off style fan in our old trailer. Starting the heater is slightly louder than standard use, the greater the difference between current temperature and goal temperature the more watts the heater throws at you. Subtle changes in temperature give more subtle outputs. This means that once the camper is warm, the heater is barely noticeable as it gently keeps the temperature where you set it.
A nice by-product of the heater is that it also heats up some water, if not the whole tank. So you get some hot water as a bonus.
The Webasto Dual Top provides hot water for the kitchen sink, indoor shower and outdoor shower too. Outdoor showers are pretty sweet, especially if you are in a cool camp spot.
For more information on Webasto products
During the planning of our trip, we have been fortunate to meet people who have shown a great deal of enthusiasm about the expedition and have supported us through products/services or gone out of their way to help in some way. They played a part in helping make This Big Road Trip a reality, are passionate about what they do and passionate about doing it well. If you're in the market for their product or services then we can highly recommend them.
It was a pleasure to have met you both, I’m glad that we all got a chance to get dinner that night in Flagstaff with Chip and Kristie!
It ended up being a great experience and story and now we have a lovely new cooktop, which works perfectly to cook the delicious fish and shrimp we are getting down here in Baja.