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Old 01-06-2013, 11:01 AM   #1
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New Forester 3121DS Questions and Problems

Picked up our new 3121DS yesterday, and as I had figured, several problems, all of which should have been caught, some of which I think somebody thought I wouldn't notice. The only major one is the AC / Heat pump acting eratic. Most of the others are problems that make you say "Really?" I do have some questions though.
  • The cable running to the batwing antenna on the roof: Is it normal to have the cable coming out almost 2 feet from the antenna? I've always seen the cable come out right at the antenna, not just run across the roof. It looks like an afterthought, but is functional. If you're going to the trouble to run a bundle of wiring to the AC, why not one more for the batwing?
  • Is there a reason that FR does not seal around the tops of the windows like 99% of other manf do? They are still clamp rings windows, which usually leak at some point if you don't seal around the tops. Just curious. Would it hurt if I added the sealer anyway, for peace of mind.
  • The bulb seals for the slides on the outside: The track that they clip to is mounted with what looks like nails? Why not screws?
  • What should the fix for the LP line recall under the slide look like? One guy said they fixed it, but I'm not sure what the "fix" looked like.
I'm hoping BClemens can chime in here.

On the positive side, I know now I will never own another Class A. This thing drives like a dream and is extremely comfortable. I see no need to add anything to the suspension or steering as it is day and night from the F53.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:19 AM   #2
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Cable: not sure about that one.

Seals: We used to seal around the entire window. most mfg's only sealed the tops, but then what happens when you're driving? water is not pushed into that area? We use a compression sealed window and butyl tape. Then we made a NICE bead of caulk around the entire window. In the summer when the unit got to the dealer, the butyl tape oozed out and broke the caulk bead. Dealer would write up a warranty claim. trim butyl, reseal. Fast forward 2 months...customer buys unit complains about butyl tape that has oozed out, breaking caulk seal, customer thinks it will leak, warranty claim filed, butyl trimmed off, resealed. Soooo, we finally got out of the stone ages and started using an automotive rubber D-seal which is what they actually recommend over caulk or butyl (but butyl is so cheap...and has been used from way back in the stick and tin days). So, you can certainly caulk the tops and it won't hurt anything, but it should not be necessary.

Bulb Seal: that nail is designed for that application according to the seal supplier. A screw has a tendency to spin the rubber and can pull right through.

LP Line: those have been corrected for some time now. The key is, watch the slide when it comes in and out. See how much clearance the gas line has. If you ever see the line rub on the bottom frame of the slide...take it in immediately.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:59 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply BClemens. Last questions for now. Most of the time, when the engine is running, there is a high pitch noise. I narrowed it down to the 12V panel right at the entry steps. Sometimes the pitch varies by throttle. It almost sounds like an alarm. I opened the panel but can't really tell what is making the noise.

Also, how does the emergency start work? Mine is mounted on the left side of the driver's seat. It's not an on off switch per say, just a switch that feels like you'd have to hold it down for you to start off the house batteries. How exactly is that supposed to work?

On the Antenna cable on the roof, has anyone else noticed how the cable is run on their roof? My plan is to install some wire track up there to neaten it up and reduce the "snag" factor. Right now it can easily get snagged by a tree limb should I ever go under one hanging that low.
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Emma-7 / Little John-5 / Iva-1
Full Timing Again, Rev B
2013 Ford F-350 Lariat CC LB PSD
2015 SOB TT - With OC's Awning Poles (#8)
At least in Heaven, RVs will be perfect, and I won't have to keep fixing them.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:12 PM   #4
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For a while there were some CO2/Propane detectors that had a high pitch whine. Problem is, not everyone could hear it. So when I complained about it...it took three or four other people before I got one that could agree. That hasn't been a problem for over a year now...but that would be my first guess.

Emergency start switch creates a connection from the house batteries to the chassis battery. So...if the chassis battery is dead, hold that button and crank the engine. It will draw from the house batteries. Nice thing is (I learned this the other day) it works in reverse too. I was at a show and the house batteries were dead, I needed to get the jacks up. No juice, no plug in. Hit the start switch and that was enough to get the leveling jacks back up.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:38 PM   #5
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It's definitely not the co sensor. It's a box withs fuses, wiring and so on where the noise is coming from. Its loud enough that i can hear it from the cockpit while driving, and I can't hear that good. I'll post a picture this evening. Thanks on the e-start answer.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:49 PM   #6
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BClemens, I attached 2 pictures in reference to the high pitched noise and the antenna cable.

On the 12V panel picture, the object in the bottom of the panel is where the noise is coming from. It is only when the engine is running and changes pitch depending on throttle. I'm not exactly sure what this panel is for as I have no electrical diagrams. Is there a way to obtain electrical and plumbing diagrams for this model?

On the antenna cable picture, this is what mine looks like. This may be the norm, but it's the first I've seen done like this. Either way, I intend on adding a wire track to neaten it up a little.

On another note, if I choose to take a trip to Indiana to the Forest River plant, is there a way to get any service work done while there? I'm not avoiding the dealer, I just want to tour the factory, and thought about getting a few warranty items taken care of this summer while up there. Would that be possible? If so, how do I arrange service work at the factory?

Also, how can I order parts for the motorhome, such as slide bulb and wiper seals? Do I have to go through the dealer, or can I handle it through a contact with Forest River. I'm almost sure FR wouldn't cover replacement under warranty, however I'm not happy with the paint on the seals, 2 of the wipers are getting stuck inward and are in a bind, and when pryed out, will not lay flat. They get wedged when the slide is in, and won't come back out when the slide is extended. I had to remove the slide top just to pry one out. Hard to describe, but the outer wiper is basically getting stuck / hung up with the inner wiper on both slides. I just want them to function as they are supposed to.

Sorry for all the questions, but I get better feedback on this forum than anywhere else. All your help and feedback is appreciated.
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2013 Ford F-350 Lariat CC LB PSD
2015 SOB TT - With OC's Awning Poles (#8)
At least in Heaven, RVs will be perfect, and I won't have to keep fixing them.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:12 PM   #7
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Concerning the antennae wire, mine looks similar. There may be a little extra slack but it needs to allow for the antennae to raise fully and turn 360 degrees. I think it's more likely to snag a branch on the antennae itself, roof vents, or air conditioner and cause damage than this wire.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:57 PM   #8
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Adding a post so I can follow as I'm interested as to what FR will say. We are looking into forester as an option to purchase new in 2014 as a factory order.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:25 AM   #9
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BigJohnD,

The box in the picture is the BCC (Battery Control Center). It has fuses and a solenoid that controls a lot of the battery functions and houses the fuses for slides, awning, etc. There is a description screened onto the back of the cover panel on the newer boxes...not sure when we switched to that. Might be the solenoid humming or a transistor/resistor...electrical is not my specialty.

Our service building is right across the street from our plant. Feel free to contact them and set up an appointment when you come in for the tour. They get really high marks from anyone that has ever been there. Be aware, they do get busy, since they handle multiple lines (Cardinal, Wildcat, Georgetown, Class C's). I'll figure out who you would need to contact and shoot you their info.

As for the antenna, be careful about how much slack you take out...as stated previously you do need enough slack to raise and turn.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:50 AM   #10
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Is there anyone FR that specializes in the electrical side that may could help me figure out the noise?

That'd be great if you could get me a contact for scheduling service. I would love to go that route.

What about obtaining parts? Do you have a contact for them? I'm not sure if FR works like Tiffin, but would giving my VIN to the parts people help them get me the exact parts i need for that specific motorhome. Is there a general list of contacts for Forest River? Maybe different departments?
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Emma-7 / Little John-5 / Iva-1
Full Timing Again, Rev B
2013 Ford F-350 Lariat CC LB PSD
2015 SOB TT - With OC's Awning Poles (#8)
At least in Heaven, RVs will be perfect, and I won't have to keep fixing them.
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