So in my last post, I described some issues we were having with the camper. (See here…) Most of this stuff will happen no matter what kind or brand of camper you have. These things move down the road at high rates of speed, they get bumped around, all of your appliances get jiggled and everything gets bounced around on the highway. I realize all this. But, when things are of better quality and craftsmanship, they last a whole lot longer.
So when we made the long term investment to purchase our 2015 Grand Design Momentum 385TH, it was after extensive research on our part. We had a 2010 Wildwood by Forest River and so we had an idea of what we wanted and didn’t want, what we liked and disliked, and we had a feel for the quality, or lack there of, that goes into the camper making process. We were shopping for our house. Our first house we would buy together, so it was a big deal.
We looked at numerous different brands (no more Forest Rivers!) and went to multiple RV shows and dealers in different parts of the country. After we found the Momentum we did some research on Grand Design. It turned out that the company was just started in 2013 although the owners had been planning for years. They had worked for Jayco I believe and left there to start their own line, with a focus on QUALITY. This was huge for us. A smaller company, not making a billion different campers, they’ll be able to focus on us a little more. Every time we went to a show or visited a dealership, we would try our best to find something we didn’t like about the Momentum. We were trying to be objective. Although we were in love in 2014, I’m really glad they changed some things in the 2015 version. Namely the wood is darker now and there is no carpet on the steps to the bedroom. And after hearing some things, I’m glad they went to the triple axle, although we were kind of excited about the double at first.
Needless to say, because we now own a Momentum, we were hard pressed to find anything we didn’t like about it.
The last time we walked into a dealership (Palm Beach RV), we met Tony and said, “Show us the best fifth wheel toy hauler you have. We live in it full time with a puppy and travel all over the country for work.”
Guess where he led us… It was meant to be! (If he would’ve taken us to a Forest River model, I would’ve left on the spot-haha!)
So we’ve had our home on wheels for a little over 8 months now and she’s been good to us. This last trip though, kind of threw a lot of things out of whack. I’ll recap:
- The low point drain is busted. Allen was able to fix it by removing the valve and replacing it with a metal elbow and some more pex, and a plug, all with a bunch of hose clamps. I love how handy he can be sometimes.
- The bedroom slide is all out of whack. I’m pretty sure the motors are going out, in turn causing the thing to get off track, but I’m no expert on electric slides.
- The black tank in the half bath won’t drain. I think maybe the wire is broken. You pull the handle and nothing happens. So, grossly, all that is just festering back there…
- The tank valves don’t seal all the way. So when we get to a campground and take the cap off to hook up the hose, we get a good amount of nastiness that spills out. Not fun.
- The furnace has started making this awful noise when turned on. It happened in Oklahoma City and when we got here to the Dallas area. It’s really loud and it has a peculiar smell, almost like chlorine but not quite…
- The stove burner jiggled itself loose. I discovered that when we got here on Monday, but it really could’ve happened anytime as I didn’t cook this trip. We found a little tiny screw and a metal o-ring type thing but it won’t stay in place. So I’m down to 2 burners for now.
- The driver’s side tail light is LED. It’s been a little shotty since we got the camper, but it’s all the way out now. Sometimes it’ll have about 2 of 7 lights lit, sometimes more, but it’s all the way out now.
- The kitchen island is squeaky. It sounds like an old house. It squeaks when Charlie walks by! I think from reading things online that maybe some floor boards came loose and need to be glued again, but I’m not sure. This isn’t major, just a bit annoying.
- The antenna on the roof is broken. I think it’s the gear head… Remember when we stayed in Sparta at our friend’s place. The ones that have the wolf that Charlie was playing with? (Of course you do!) Well, we forgot to put the antenna down when we left, so when we stopped at a rest stop we found half a tree tangled in the antenna! Oops!
- I would also like to get the latches on the propane doors replaced with locks. They come open when we drive and we constantly have to pull over to close them. It must be from the wind and/or the vibration of the road.
When it rains, it pours….
I’d been trying to get a hold of someone who could help us sort all this out and what to do about it at Grand Design since Monday. After lots of help from Facebook (there is a Grand Design RV Owners page that Allen and I joined) I finally found some answers yesterday.
I spoke with Ray at Grand Design. We got off to a pretty rough start, I won’t go into details, but he finally gave me phone numbers to a couple mobile RV techs near us. I called and luckily Jeff from Lone Star RV is going to be able to get things done for us in time to go to Ohio for Christmas to visit family! When I called Ray back to let him know, he led with a big apology, so we are all good now. He also said he spoke to “Jerry” in the interim and Jerry had no recollection of speaking with me on Monday. Shocker! Here’s an example from a post I wrote back in August starring the infamous Jerry:
Anyway, while I was on the phone with Amanda at Grand Design I had her switch me over to Jerry in warranty (yes, I’m on a first name basis with these people). I spoke with Jerry multiple times when we were in Louisiana trying to take care of the radio/tv situation. Grand Design had the bright idea to put some Furrion products, and some Haier products in here. (To save money I presume..) But they don’t communicate well with one another. The radio in the living room is also a DVD player and that wasn’t working so Jerry sent us a new HDMI cord. It worked then, but in hindsight I don’t think the cord was the issue. We still have the same problem with having sound and no picture when we play a DVD but now we just unplug the TV then plug it back in. It’s the cheap Haier TV. In the garage (toy hauler) there is a car stereo that also plays DVDs. But it constantly sounds like it is skipping around a CD in there or trying to spit one out. Jerry also sent us a new radio that we swapped out. That worked for a while. I noticed Monday that it started making noise again. So he is supposedly sending us ANOTHER radio to swap out and says if we have more issues we will have to take it in to have it looked at. I’m trying to avoid that because we live in here full time and I’d rather not live at a dealership for days. Also, the closest Grand Design dealer is in Sacramento. And Allen will not be commuting to from Sacramento to San Francisco to work! Anyway, last time, Jerry took forever to send anything out, I mean he said he sent it then a week later I called to see where it was and he still hadn’t sent it. So fingers crossed he actually put it in the mail yesterday!
So for now we wait, and pray that the black tank doesn’t start to smell terrible in these beautifully warm temperatures we are having! I’m glad we are finally getting things resolved and I’m hoping that this turns a new page in our relationship with Grand Design. A lot of people I’ve seen online just rave about how great their customer service is… Maybe we just got the short straw with Jerry. Hopefully things will be better from here on out.
In the meantime I’m getting my tan on at the video store/pizza place/RV office/tanning salon, striving for some color before the holidays. North Dakota made me super pale! And I’m working on crazy Charlie. It seems like she’s been de-socialized in the month we spent in isolation at the North Pole! She did however make friends with a random loose pit bull that came running up to us last night on our walk. I was a little nervous, trying to play it cool, talking in a happy baby puppy voice, but Charlie seemed fine. Now if she would only befriend our neighbor’s boxer “Gator”, I would be a very happy puppy parent indeed!
We also got all of the Christmas shopping that we can do online done yesterday. And ordered our Christmas cards – super excited to get those and mail them out!
Hope everyone else is having a great week! Mine should be better now that I know help is in the works!