Hi! We’re Rachel & Allen and we live full time in our 2015 Grand Design Momentum 385 fifth wheel toy hauler. We travel the country for Allen’s work, often only having a couple days notice of where we need to be next. And we love it!
The mobile tech we hired in Minnesota said nothing but good things about the Splendide and installed a brand new unit for us. I read through the manual thoroughly even though we’d had a ventless combo for 2 years already. We did 2 loads of clothes then headed for the next job in Ohio.
When we arrived on the 6th of February, the Splendide started throwing an F13 error code. I tried following the instructions in the manual (flipping the breaker off for 40 seconds to reboot the machine) but we were still getting the code.
I called Splendide customer service and they walked me through how to “clean the condenser” because they thought possibly it was clogged. After two loads of clothes, I highly doubted this, but I gave it a shot.
It worked great for another two cycles then threw the code again. Since we are originally from Ohio, I was at my mom’s visiting while Allen was working about an hour away. He didn’t have time to call customer service or mess with it while he was working so we let it go until I got back home.
We left for Kansas and as soon as we got there I called customer service again. They said they could walk us through how to test the machine with a volt meter (since we couldn’t find a mobile tech to come near it in Wichita). We had to wait until Allen got a weather day and was home during Splendide business hours to pull it out of the closet and test it.
Everything tested normal. They then told us how to take the back panel off, remove the condenser and filter, and clean it. The condenser was spotless but the plastic filter was covered in a white cake like residue. Darrel at Splendide told me it’s most likely from our fabric softener. I was using a TBSP in each load per the instructions in the manual but he suggested I replace it with vinegar.
So now our laundry routine consisted of 1-2TBSP of Tide HE and 1TBSP of vinegar. We did great laundry for a week. Then came the code yet again.
This time when I called customer service I spoke with Lad. I explained our prior calls and issues and he said it had to be from our laundry soap. He had me run the cleaning the condenser cycle again and sent me a box of Splendide brand laundry soap that we were to use from now on in place of the Tide.
2 loads after the new routine we got the error code again. Another call to customer service and Lad had me check the fan. I tricked the door into thinking it was closed and ran a dry cycle in the machine. He decided to send us a new fan to replace the original. He also emailed me an instruction manual that the techs use for how to do this. He suggested we also clean the plastic filter again while we have the machine apart.
Now, we aren’t mobile techs, but we can DIY things when we have to. The washer is 160lbs, in a cubby in the front closet of our bedroom. It’s not easy to pull out and get back in. Replacing the fan and cleaning the filter took close to 3 hours from start to finish. We were getting quite sick of working on this brand new machine at that point.
We did really great laundry for about 2 weeks after we were finished and were hoping beyond what we actually expected that this was fixed and we wouldn’t have anymore problems. We spent a few days in Indiana then drove down to St. Augustine for a weekend job. That’s when we got the code again.
We left St. Augustine for Tampa on a Monday. And when we got settled I called Lad again, now we could recognize each others voices! I explained what was going on and he said he would contact the higher ups and tell them I wanted a new machine or a refund.
I got a call back in a couple hours saying the higher ups wanted to send me a new black plastic filter to replace the white one that kept clogging (from fabric softener or Tide or now vinegar or Splendide soap). That wasn’t all. They wanted me to buy Affresh washing machine drum cleaner and use it once a week.
I’d had it. It was beyond ridiculous at that point. Lad said he completely understood and suggested that I may want to send an email to “The National Director of Service” at Westland (Splendide’s parent company). Here’s the email I sent Tuesday morning:
Attention: National Director of Service
My name is Rachel Gillen. My boyfriend, Allen Barrow, and I purchased a Splendide 7100xc on February 2, 2017. Since week one, we have had nothing but problems with it. It’s been throwing the F13 error code intermittently since we started using it.
Let me start with the reason we decided on a Splendide 7100xc, if you will. When we purchased our new camper back in March of 2015, there was a washer/dryer hookup so we went with a Dometic ventless combo unit and had it installed at the dealer. In January of 2015 it started s throwing an error code. We had a mobile tech come out and he discovered that the control panel was shot. Dometic has stopped making the ventless combo units and they didn’t have a replacement panel to send us. So they offered to replace our unit with another of our choosing. This was on February 1, 2017.
After talking with the mobile tech, we decided on a Splendide 7100xc. He told us he rarely gets service calls about them, Splendide is great with customer service, etc. We wanted to stay with a ventless because that’s what we’ve grown accustomed to.
I’ve always used Tide HE and Suavitel Fast Dry fabric softener with all of our laundry.
We used the unit for maybe 2 loads of clothes then we left Minnesota and headed to Dayton, Ohio. When we got to Ohio a couple days later, I tried to do a load of clothes and that’s when the error code came up. I looked in the manual and checked online, then I finally called the service number. The tech told me to run the clean out cycle 3 times. (Fill with water then run the wool cycle to slosh water around vigorously up into the condenser to rinse it out). He said the condenser was probably clogged. I explained that this was a brand new unit, that all of our clothes are well worn, I didn’t wash anything brand new or super fuzzy. But I did that and it was good for about 2 loads then the code came back on. I left to go stay with my mother for about 2.5 weeks so we didn’t touch it, didn’t call about it, just let it be.
When I got back, I tried running the clean cycle again but it didn’t help. We left for Wichita, KS and when we got settled there I called the service number again. They told me to call a mobile tech to come out and check it out. There is ONE mobile tech in Wichita and he does not work on washers and dryers! So I called back. This time I spoke with Darryl. He said as long as we could get a capable person in front of the thing, they could walk us through diagnosing the problem over the phone.
So about a week went by before my boyfriend was actually home from work during west coast business hours and could pull this heavy thing out of the closet nook in our fifth wheel. We tested everything with a volt meter and it was good. Then he had us take the condenser off (perfectly clean) and check the filter on the back. That is not easy to get to or easy to put back on. But it was caked up with white residue. We scraped it off and cleaned it thoroughly then replaced everything. Darryl suggested that instead of using a tbsp of fabric softener (because he thought that’s what caused the build up of residue) that we use vinegar instead. Just a tablespoon. I was okay with this, as long as it would work.
That was fine for close to a week then the same code came up. This is when I talked to Lad. He sent us a box of Splendide soap to use because at this point it had to be my Tide HE that was clogging the filter. I ran that cleaning cycle again a few times then started only using 1/3 scoop of Splendide soap and a tbsp of vinegar.
So after 3 loads of the Splendide soap and vinegar routine we got the same code again! This time Lad walked me through tricking the door into thinking it was closed to check the airflow. Lad sent me a new fan. So we took it out of the closet, replaced the fan and cleaned the filter AGAIN, which was clogged even worse than the first time in a matter of maybe 2 weeks. 3 hours later we got everything back together and it was fine for about 2 weeks. Then it started throwing the code.
This unit is 3 months old today.
I talked to Lad again yesterday and he said now they want to send me a new filter to replace the original. AND I now have to use a separate product called Affresh once a week to clean the drum of the machine.
The ENTIRE time we had our Dometic washer/dryer ventless combo unit, never once did I have to clean the drum. Never once did we have to clean a filter, let alone replace it. We never had to replace the fan (which wasn’t the problem with this one it turns out anyway). I could use whatever laundry soap I wanted, I wasn’t forced to use the manufacturers brand of soap. I could use fabric softener on my clothes so they smell good, I didn’t have to use vinegar. I never had to run a “cleaning cycle” that wasn’t mentioned in the manual even once. With this Splendide combo I’ve had to run that cycle too many times to count. I’m a quarter of the way through our so called one year warranty and I’ve gotten maybe 4 weeks of laundry done properly. I have an entire bottle of unused Tide HE and a bottle of Suavitel fabric softener. A box of Splendide laundry soap. A bottle of white vinegar. And now I’m supposed to buy another product called Affresh and use that once a week. AFTER we replace the filter we’ve cleaned out twice.
We live full time in our camper and travel for my boyfriend’s work. We move frequently. He works on average 10-11hrs a day, 6 days a week. This unit is too heavy for me to pull out and access the back panel by myself. It’s almost too much for him to do alone. And forget trying to get that filter off without an extra set of hands. I don’t mind doing things ourselves, but this is too much. We’ve had to pull this thing out of the closet twice now, three times if you count when the filter didn’t get put on exactly right and leaked water all over the shelf and closet floor before we caught it.
Lad told me about the tests you’ve been doing in the warehouse with a load of brand new towels and how you measure them after each cycle to determine if the machine is still drying properly. That’s great. But that’s not a real world test. I don’t wash the same clean towels over and over again. I wash our clothes that we wear daily, just like you do. We don’t have brand new clothing. We don’t have anything that’s exceptionally “linty”. I don’t overload the machine. I don’t use too much soap or softener (none now). I’m not complaining that my clothes are a little damp when they come out, I’m used to that. I’ve had a ventless combo for over 2 years now and I understand how they work.
Lad mentioned in a prior conversation that we may need to send the unit to Elkhart for testing or fixing. He said you’d send me packing material and send a truck to pick it up. We can’t get this thing out by ourselves and pack it in a box.
I don’t want to have to jump through all these hoops just to do my laundry. And if I knew that I would have to, I never would’ve opted for a Splendide unit.
We have a lemon of a washer. Something in the design of this particular unit is wrong. I want a new washer or I want my money back so I can get another brand. And I don’t want to have to pay a mobile tech to come out and do that. I shouldn’t have to. I paid a mobile tech to install it.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to a prompt response with a reasonable resolution.
Darrel, the vinegar guy, who I suppose is also the National Director of Service, called me a couple hours later. He still said it was something I was doing with my laundry because they couldn’t figure out where the white cake like substance was coming from. I’m not a baker, I don’t work with flour, I don’t roll around in cocaine then wash my clothes, so I don’t know where it was coming from either. He agreed to give us a full refund and send someone to pick up the machine. Lad said the check would go out Wednesday morning.
I was waiting to post this until we actually received the money. I called our address service the following Tuesday to see if the check had come but it hadn’t so I gave Lad a call again. Oops, it was still sitting on his desk so he promised it would go in the mail immediately. It just got to us Saturday so here’s the post!
Now we are searching for a new combo unit. Not a Splendide. I’ve called a couple RV dealers and have a few in mind but I am still doing some research. Most of the places have to order them, so we need to be somewhere long enough for that to happen.
I did find Southern RV, and the owner, Jason, said he could get us a Pinnacle in a day. I tried calling Pinnacle to find out how they would deal with warranty issues but all the numbers go to a place called Appliance Desk. I can barely understand the people on the phone but they handle all warranties for Pinnacle, Deco and Equator brand combos. Same machine, different sticker on the front. I found a Haier combo at Lowes or Home Depot so I called them. They don’t work with customers directly. They call their own 3rd party warranty fixer companies and the one she told me for this area has terrible reviews online. I’m leaning toward ordering one from either Lowe’s or Home Depot because they offer their own extended warranties (with a no lemon policy) and they are actually IN the United States. The only other brand I’ve found is Magic Chef but I’ve yet to call and see about their company. So we’ll see how that pans out… I know for a fact I’m tired of lugging our laundry out and spending money to do it!
We are in Orange City, Florida now, through maybe Tuesday or Wednesday then I believe we are going somewhere in Arkansas, but that’s yet to be finalized.
We noticed hydraulic fluid on the foot of the front door side jack when we got to Orange City RV Resort (review coming soon) and got set up. We couldn’t see specifically where it was coming from so we wiped everything down really well and separated the hydraulic lines to pin point the culprit. We have the six point Level-Up hydraulic leveling system.
A few days later we had it narrowed down to one line so I called Master Pro Mobile RV Service and set up an appointment with Cindy for this past Tuesday afternoon. The tech named Mark called me Tuesday morning and said he’d be over around 2 or 3pm. 3:30 rolled around and I gave him a call on his cell to see if he was still coming. At 4:15 I called the office number. Mark returned my call at 4:30 and said he wouldn’t be here until after 6pm, that he was too busy to be on the phone all the time. Cindy called me back shortly after that and reassured me that if he said he was still coming then he would be here.
He got here. I explained the issue and how we had narrowed it down to the one hose. In less than 10 minutes, he wiped everything off, like we had done and said he would be back Wednesday around 8-8:30 to check again then left.
Wednesday morning he called and said he wouldn’t make it until 9am. At 9:15 he pulled up, looked at it again, said he couldn’t be sure where the leak was coming from. He said if I wanted to “talk to my husband and see what he wanted to do” then let him know, he could replace the hose Thursday but he couldn’t be sure that would fix our problem. He left at 9:24am.
Allen got off early because there weren’t enough guys to do what they had to do on the tower so I called Lippert and spoke with John. He walked me through how to replace the hose. So we took it off and took it to Ring Power, a CAT dealer, they made a new hose for us, we stopped and had pizza, put the hose back on and were done by 1pm.
Here’s how we did it in case you need to do this yourself at any point.
We got a bucket handy to catch the hydraulic fluid in the line. Then we put jack stands under each side of the front of the camper frame. We raised the jacks a little to take pressure off of them. Loosened the fitting on the leg side of the hose and let the fluid run out. Then removed it from the inside by the generator. We pulled it through the hole.
To put the new one on, we fed it through the hole, tightened it on the inside by the generator and put it loosely on the jack leg side. Then we put some pressure on the jacks to get the air out and fluid into the hose. We tightened that up, removed the jack stands and were finished!
Easy peasy! Now whenever we hook up the truck and have all the jacks and slides retracted we will check the hydraulic fluid level and add regular transmission fluid (per Lippert) to fill up what we lost in the process, which wasn’t much at all.
The new hose we got has a seemingly more high quality fitting than the original. Also they didn’t make thermoplastic hoses like we had on the camper originally so they made us a rubber hose. They used a 2 wire hose (2 layers of wire) that is good for 5000psi whereas our original was good for 3000psi. It’s slightly larger but it still fit. Thermoplastic hoses, when then bend, can crack on the inside, allowing fluid to seep between the inner and outer “shell”. On ours you could see little bubbles that were darker than the rest and those were full of fluid. So it could’ve been leaking from anywhere in those. I looked into getting a UV dye to add to the hydraulic fluid, that way we could see any leaks with a black light but I don’t think that would’ve helped much in our case. I do think that would work if you had a leak somewhere on a fitting though so I’ll keep it in mind for the future.
Between regular maintenance and things that go wrong, I sometimes feel like we can’t catch a break!
We left the Happy Traveler RV Park near Tampa on Monday and got over to Orange City RV Resort. They gave us a first time special of $149/week – not bad!!! We got set up then were sitting outside when we saw hydraulic fluid on the foot of the jack… oh great!
We wiped it off, checked inside the propane cubby where all the lines come in from the reservoir then spread out to each jack and the slides. We have the Lippert 6 point Automatic Leveling System. We wiped off all the lines, couldn’t see a visible leak or wear anywhere so decided to wait and see what happened. Maybe it was just pressure from being so hot, who knows?!
Friday night we noticed more fluid on the jack pad. So we removed the hanger that holds all the lines in place and separated them. We put the suspected culprit on the propane tank so we could see if that was actually the leaky line. Saturday morning confirmed it! Hydraulic fluid all over the tank.
So I called a mobile RV repair service and scheduled an appointment for Tuesday afternoon. Hopefully they can get the line replaced and fixed sometime next week. I know we will be here through next weekend at least, so I’m grateful for that.
UPDATE: We fixed it ourselves!
Right before we left Tampa, we had someone come and pick up our Splendide 7100xc washer dryer combo. Since it had been throwing an f13 error code from the first week we had it, they agreed to refund our purchase price. I’ll write a more detailed post on that next week, there’s a lot to cover!
Now we are on the hunt for a new combo unit because I despise having to take everything to the laundromat and we are incredibly spoiled with the convenience of having a unit on board. I found a dealer here that can order a Contour brand combo for us but I can’t find ANYTHING online when I’m searching for it, so we haven’t decided if that’s the one we will go with.
I hope all you moms have a great Mother’s Day weekend!
1505 State Road 207St. Augustine, FL 32086
We were here for 4 nights in April 2017. We paid about $60/night for a FHU pull thru 50amp site with cable. The roads are paved and the sites are gravel. Most have concrete patios and some landscaping. All have picnic tables and some of the sites have fire pits.
This was a nice park. Close to historic St. Augustine and within walking distance to Dollar General. They escort you to your site and everyone who worked there seemed friendly. There’s a huge doggy park, but despite what the website says, there aren’t separate areas for large and small dogs. Charlie and Eustace enjoyed our stay here. They are supposed to open a pool this summer, and that’ll be really nice. They have social events on the weekends: campfires and live music and pancake breakfasts.
Allen worked the whole time (11.5hrs and 12hrs) but we did get to go out one night. We did the free tour and tasting at St. Augustine Distillery, and I highly recommend that to anyone visiting. Be prepared to spend some money though, their booze are delicious! We had dinner afterward at Hurricane Patty’s. The food and drinks were decent but the service was severely lacking.
The parking situation in St. Augustine is not dually friendly, so if you’re planning to go for the day to sightsee, I recommend taking the shuttle that picks up at the campground. They have 3 day passes for $25.
We are now on our way to Tampa for the next job. We are staying at The Happy Traveler again in Thonotosassa. It was mine and Eusy’s very first RV park! They have a pool and some shady sites so it shouldn’t be a bad week! We were sort of rushing to get on the road this morning because Allen had to meet the truck (coming from Jacksonville) at the job site over in Tampa but the truck driver said he’s not going to make it today… It’s a 3 hour drive, but okay! I’m hoping we get time to take the puppies to the doggy beach (maybe today!). I think Eustace will be a natural swimmer and absolutely love it!
We left Lynnville Park Campground in Indiana this morning. We had a really nice spot this time, and rent is only $130/week for a 50amp FHU pull thru… Allen has to start work in Jacksonville on Friday so we have a couple days to get there.
Whenever he works at the shop, I feel like we have so much more free time than normal. He works 8 hour days Monday-Friday so it’s a whole lot less than we are both used to. Friday he surprised me with tickets to see Lee Brice, Justin Moore and Brett Young in concert at the Ford Center in Evansville! It was so much fun! We hadn’t been to a big country concert since the last time we were in Jacksonville almost 4 years ago!
The rest of the weekend we did some maintenance on the camper. Allen washed the roof and applied a UV coating called 303. You spray it on with a squirt bottle then rub it in and wipe it off. We put it on the slide seals as well to keep them in good condition. We sprayed the slide tracks and rails with some CRC and Allen touched up some rusty areas back by the garage ramp door with rust stop spray paint.
This morning we packed it up and hit the road! We are heading to Compass RV Park about 45 minutes south of the tower site in Jacksonville. I called 12 RV parks before I found one with an available spot! There must be something fun going on this weekend that I don’t know about… We will be there until Monday then have to chase the truck to Tampa for the next job (that’s the plan as of now anyway)!
Hi all! I guess now’s a good a time as any to write a blog post and catch you all up on our extended stay in Wichita, Kansas!
I thought we were going to be out of there a couple weeks ago, but they added a little something to the job, so we got almost another two weeks out of it. The weather in Kansas, in the spring, is not super conducive to tall tower work, that’s for sure! So that added a little time to our stay.
We were at All Seasons RV Park in Goddard, if you care to check that out or read the review.
Just when we thought we were about to pack it up, they added another part to the job so we finally got our chance to run down to Oklahoma City for the weekend! We have some friends down there and LOVE going to the horse races at Remington Park, so that was super fun! Since we were only staying two nights we decided to try a hotel… We boarded the puppies at High Halo Kennels in Goddard. My heart was broken when we left them, and even though they came out fine, I still wouldn’t want to do it frequently! But we had a great weekend, dinner and drinks with Karen & Bob who own Abe’s RV Park, went to the farm with Jerry Livingston, the best horse trainer there is, and did lots of betting with not much winning!
On Easter we had the crew from work over and we grilled a ham and enjoyed some adult beverages. Justin’s girlfriend, Tikila, is with him on the road now so I have a girl to hang out with, which is really nice!
A couple guys left Monday to head to the shop in Evansville, Indiana but we stayed back so Allen could load trucks Tuesday.
Yesterday afternoon we packed everything up and in the process noticed a boat load of water in the large pass thru cubby! FANTASTIC. So we drug everything out and decided it was the Anderson Kantleak – leaking… We took it all apart and off and pipe taped everything. I think it’s fixed. It doesn’t make much sense to me that it would start leaking while we were stationary. We have a water pressure regulator that we use constantly and the part that was leaking isnt something we ever even touch…
Speaking of nonsensical, we also took the BRAND NEW Splendide 7100xc combo washer/dryer apart TWICE in Wichita. There’s only one mobile service there and he wouldn’t touch it, so we were on our own. It keeps throwing an error code, something to do with the heat sensor or air flow. They sent us a box of their brand of laundry soap but it still threw the code. So then they sent us a fan. (I’m sure the original fan was fine but I think they want to put us on the payroll). We cleaned out the filter in the back on the condenser, AGAIN, even though that’s not supposed to be a customer serviceable part or regular maintenance of any sort. We got it back together and in the closet and ran a load. Thank the lord for Baby Eustace spotting water running everywhere with his puppy curiosity, so we caught that before it was too bad. We didn’t have the condenser back on tight enough so when it got to the dry cycle it started spewing water… As I said, not supposed to be part of regular maintenance. I’m hoping we never have another problem with it, but to be honest, neither of us have very high hopes for that!
So we hit the road this morning, heading to St. Louis, MO so Allen can check out a tower they’ll paint sometime in the future. We have a reservation at Cahokia RV Parque in Illinois only because we have to unhook for him to check out the site. Then we are on our way to the shop in Evansville. Then possibly a few jobs in Florida (fingers crossed for those!)
Charlie and Eustace both go to the doggy doctor today…
We’ve been in Kansas for a week now. (At the All Seasons RV Park) After the first day, we asked to switch sites. It’s the first time we’ve ever asked anything like that but the original spot they put us in was super close to our neighbors. We couldn’t walk out of our door without stepping on their welcome mat…
I left off with a post before the Super Bowl. I can’t believe it’s been that long! But we’ve been busy, each in our own way…
The Xenia job was a mess from the start so what was supposed to take 2 weeks, actually took 5! We stayed at Frontier Campground in Waynesville, Ohio for the 2nd time. Waynesville is about an hour from our hometown, so we had our friends come up for a night to hang out. That was a blast!