Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-19-2014, 10:12 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: SW Oklahoma
Posts: 243
2014 Trilogy - 3850RL - Message To Factory

This is a copy of an email I sent to the Mr. John Armstrong at the factory based upon my 2014 3850RL. I ordered it with just about all the options and we love it. But, there are things they could do better. Now that I've read about the disappointing changes they have made for 2015, I am glad we bought the 2014.

The message references several pictures I also sent him. I did not upload them here because of their size. If you need a copy of the picture, send me an email (johnwhagen<at> and I'll send you what I have. Just tell me the number you want.

We also have the new South Hampton interior (white furniture and light wall coverings). Still need to take pictures of that and post here. We love it!



Hi John,

After our phone conversation the other morning I thought I would put together a list of suggestions/issues I have encountered in the brief ownership of my camper. You seemed very accepting of input so I don’t feel like I’d be offending you by submitting this list. If you have any questions, please let me know.

First off please not that I have not/nor am I involved in any named products below. They are cited from my personal use/experience only. I have no affiliations.

The following are suggestions I have regarding the Trilogy 3850RL. They may be suggestions that can also be implemented on the other models.

1. DVI Cables – the DVI cable that was routed to the left lower cabinet on the entertainment center was too short. The cable reached the end of the shelf by the door but was extremely difficult, at best, to hook up to AV equipment. Upon disassembly of the entertainment center/fireplace it was found that the cable had been secured behind the fireplace. Excess cable had been tie-wrapped but could have been made available to the consumer at the cabinet opening. Same goes for the right side and the DVD player.
2. No instructions provided for false panels in entertainment cabinet. Tried to get the DVD player out and it would not fit through the normal door. Finally found a panel that was in place with 4 screws; had to be removed so I could turn the DVD player sideways to get it out. Very frustrating.
3. The width of the lower left/right entertainment cabinet doors to access the shelves (behind cabinet doors, above sliding drawers) was too narrow to install a DTV or other satellite control boxes. Recommend running all AV & SAT cables to the upper cabinet (above TV). Then assorted AV/SAT/Internet equipment can be installed there, if desired. Also move the electrical/cable outlets to this area. Made for an easy installation once I moved all of the cables from the lower part of the entertainment center. Also, the two doors above the entertainment center were converted to dark glass in the center panels. See attached – Picture 300
4. Move water lines in the kitchen island. Presently they are run through the furnace forced air duct through a hole placed in the ductwork. This creates an air leak into the cabinet. Heat transferred into the cabinet is affecting food stuff stored in the island drawers. For instance, in once case it caused chocolate to melt. Also, the water lines are heated by the furnace heated forced air. When you open the cold water faucet, the water initially runs hot (sometimes very hot – safety issue?) because it sat in the water pipes that passed through the heater duct. Route the water lines around the ducting.
5. Move water pump toward center of frame and rubber-shock mount it. My water pump was mounted directly to the inside of the street-side frame. Only 2 of four bolts installed. The frame gets ice cold (winter) and transfers the cold to the pump. Water pump froze up. If mounting to the frame, insulate and isolate it to prevent freezing and noise transfer.
6. Bedroom closet needs more than one support for the clothes rod hanger, when equipped with the washer/dryer in the closet. Unit delivered with only one hanger attached – Picture 284 & 285. When the camper is traveling down the highway, the rod slips out of the support at the end of the wall (Picture 285), causing clothes to fall. A second and third support from the ceiling would resolve this problem. Also, end of wall support for pole (Picture 285) is not attached to any frame or structure, but screwed to wallboard and it pulled right out of wall during a 50 mile trip. Should be reinforced with something to prevent being pulled out of wall. Thanks for sending the supports.
7. Fresh water system froze up three times in a week. Outside temperatures never went below 15 degrees. The forced air heat duct had a hole in it to provide heated air to the basement. It is assumed this air was to help prevent the water line/tank drain valves from freezing. However, the area where the hot air was being released was not totally sealed or enclosed, thereby in effect doing absolutely no good. The heated air quickly escaped. Totally seal off the area to allow the heated air to do its job. Tell customers they must use furnace to help keep pipes thawed. Electric space heaters will not help keep the pipes from freezing.
8. Offer an option to install the RV Comfort system electric heat unit in addition to the gas fired furnace.
9. Fresh water tubing for ice maker comes out of belly into the outside area of the trailer without any insulation. This plumbing then goes around the wire/hardware hangar for the slide-out again without insulation. This causes the supply line to immediately freeze in cold weather. Yes, a warning is placed above the stove to shut off this water supply in cold weather. Is it reasonable to expect customers to NOT use chilled water/ice in the winter? The line is exposed to the elements from the point of exiting the frame to all the way under the slide out. Add proper insulation/heat tape. Low point water drain on this line should also be inside of the enclosed structure (it’s outside now) with access available to the customer like the hot/cold water drains under the water manifold.
10. Pantry doors need three hinges per door, not two. The doors flex quite a bit because they are so long. A third (middle) hinge would provide more of a residential operation. Thanks for the extra hinges!
11. Holes in steel frame where slide out cylinders push/pull slide outs have a large hole for a small rod. This allows ambient air to enter the camper underbelly, causing heat/cold weather transfer to the floor of the slide outs and camper. Install some sort of grommet (Picture 375) to cut down on outside air flow.
12. Plumb in a second propane bottle in the left forward storage compartment.
13. Provide a tap off the propane system for a small grill. Maybe that is what the fitting is for by the genset exhaust? Nothing in any documentation tells me what to use that fitting for. Do you know what this fitting is for?
14. Provide instructions to dealers & customers on the use/filling of the large frame mounted propane tank. Dealer was not aware of how to operate this tank and its control switch. The knurl knob on the tank was found to be closed and prevented the propane from being consumed. This resulted in the onboard smaller tank (30# in my case) to be consumed and then nothing. Also, the solenoid switch for enabling the tank is not marked as to its operation or on/off/purpose. When do I need this on? When should it be off?
15. Offer as an option to install SeeLevel tank sensors in all units. These are extremely reliable and maintenance free. Be sure to install the 709-4LP systems so it can monitor the LP tank as well. Include a repeater panel (as an option too) in the basement on the basement wall by the water manifold. That way we can monitor the tank levels during drain/fill operations.
16. Move the LP main tank service port down about 3-4 inches (Picture 378). The LP serviceman had a heck of a time getting the hose to hook up because of the cold temps and frigid hose.
17. Mark the two grey water drain handles (Picture 378) as to what tank they control. Had to figure this out myself. Yes, not a big deal but for a luxury unit, I would expect this to be marked.
18. Offer as an option electrically controlled tank valves, operated from the control panel in the camper.
19. Label the light switches in the camper. We have to turn on many switches before we find the ones we want. Or at least provide a handout/user manual insert that shows the location and operation of each switch. Yes, not a big deal but for a luxury unit, I would expect this to be marked or information available.
20. Raise the city and tank flush fill ports (Picture 382) about 2-4 inches up. It’s hard to get a hose connected when they have to be bent down slightly. Especially in the middle of winter. Some of us do work/stay where it gets cold. 
21. Add external compartment bay for storage of sewer hose/fittings. Is one already available and I don’t know where it is at?
22. Lighted thermostat controls for both the living room and bedroom thermostats. Hard for us with failing eyesight to see without additional lighting.
23. Include slide out slickers as a customer appreciation gift.
24. Add an option for filtered/reverse osmosis factory installed water system to feed water to fridge/ice maker and drinking water at sink. We are tired of buying bottled water. Had to install one of these systems myself. Would prefer to pay you to install. (Picture 371) I installed it on the street side, in the basement, against the sloping wall.
25. Place a hole in the furnace forced air duct, in the basement, to help warm the basement storage area. Maybe a vent that can have the airflow adjustable.
26. Put the spare tire back under the frame. Takes up storage space. Convenient, yes. Me, I pay someone to change the tire. Roadside service! 
27. Provide instructions on how to remove TV from entertainment center wall mount as part of the reading material. Thanks for providing me the information!
28. Offer as an option a control switch for the water tank electrical heating element on/off switch to be mounted in customer control center inside of unit.
29. The hallway bathroom door does not ensure enough privacy. When the door is closed, as someone walks up the stairs and looks along the closed door, you can see inside the bathroom (toilet) which yields less privacy. Depending on door adjustment, can be quite a bit of “exposure”.  Add a sweeper to the door (top to bottom along the back of the door) to fill in the gap.
30. Move electrical outlets that are along the side of bed, below the nightstand. Very hard to get to when a king bed option has been purchased. It is great to have them; you just have to fight your way in to use them.
31. Offer as an option to install an electrically operated rear window awning.
32. The LCI remote control does not totally work as expected. Some of the left/right buttons work backward. Something is not quite right. Need more details on how the buttons are supposed to work, especially the porch light. I am still working to figure out the issue. Will provide more information if desired.
33. Offer the Trail-Air Tri-Glide king pin/hitch. I like the Trail-Air as an up/down damper and I like the MOR/ryde for the anti-chucking action. But we need them both. I believe the Tri-Glide is the answer.

Kind of risky on my part putting all of this information together. I am in no way trying to trash the build of my Trilogy. We really love this unit. I am merely making suggestions that would clearly improve (my opinion as a customer) the Trilogy.

Thanks for at least reading this!

John Hagen
S/N 409

2014 Dynamax Trilogy 3850RL - South Hampton Interior, Full Body Paint (Black / Silver / White), MOR/ryde Independent Suspension, MOR/ryde Disc Brakes, ONAN 5500 Generator, Progressive Industries HW50C w/Dual Display, Winegard HD Dish w/DirecTV, Washer & Dryer, iSprings 7-stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filter, Trail-Air Flex Air Pin Box, Third AC installed, AC Voltage/Amp Meters, DC Amp Meter, Garnett See Level Tank Sensors, TST 507 TPMS
Retired USAF - Full Timers!
John Hagen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2014, 10:22 AM   #2
Fulltime family RVer
ependydad's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 17,441
Nicely done. I sent a similar message to SabreSam here and watched as most of my suggestions became options in later models of my camper.

2012 Ram 3500 DRW/crew cab/long bed/4x4/4.10 gears pulling a 2017 Spartan 1245 by Prime Time
Checkout my site for RVing tips, tricks, and info | My family and I have fulltimed since June 2015
ependydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2014, 10:40 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 175
We totally agree with almost all of your points. Numbers 5 and 20 make us say "What were they thinking?" Our water pump froze four times this winter until we finally started using the expensive propane to prevent the freeze. And #20: we have never seen fittings so hard to get to. We usually have leaks because of the difficulty and then the whole bay gets wet. So one more idea - curve the floor down into the entry hole so that when you aren't connected correctly the first time, the water will run out while you work on getting the thing on right

Great memo. Maybe they could do some retrofitting on all of ours!!

Lawrence, JD and Bear
2017 Champagne 38EL
Our Rolling Earthquake
Freebirds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2014, 08:38 AM   #4
Senior Member
gauchoverde's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 148
As for# 20, I use a brass elbow made to relieve stress and available at camping world. I think wall mart has them as well. I already had one in my tool box.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Forest River Forums mobile app
gauchoverde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2014, 06:55 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 107
great ideas, be interesting to hear what they say in response
GaryanJane is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:08 AM.