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Old 03-11-2015, 05:08 PM   #1
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365SAQ Axles..... Again

So I tried to respond to the existing thread, but apparently once a thread goes 188 days without activity it gets closed. Anyway for anyone who is wondering Forest River's state of denial of their 6k axle problems on 365SAQs continues......

To shorten what is likely going to be an already long post I won't include any email traffic, at least not yet. The short story is that while I was starting to get my trailer ready for the camping season I noticed my driver's side rear wheel on my trailer was 'pitched' so that the bottom was several inches out (away) from where it should be and the top was several inches closer to the frame than it should be. Yes, the trailer was straight and level; and this was the only wheel out of alignment, i.e. the axles weren't twisted in any way.

My trailer is a 2013 365SAQ, purchased in June 2012. The warranty expired 6/9/2013. Since it was out of warranty I didn't even bother calling my dealer, instead I pulled out the paperwork and found that it had Al-Ko axles, which I thought might still be covered under an OEM warranty; so I called Al-Ko.

The folks at Al-Ko were very nice and asked for details about my trailer. I provided the make, model, and weight information from the labels on my RV. The nice folks at Al-Ko then told me they would be unable to help me as the axles were potentially being overloaded. They asked me to verify the tags on the axles to confirm they were 6,000# units. Once verified Al-Ko suggested that I review several regulations and then contact the trailer mfg as they selected and installed the axles in a potentially overloaded configuration and the issue was theirs to resolve.

Before contacting Forest River I reviewed the literature suggested by Al-Ko and starting searching the internet, where I found the numerous people here and on RV.net that were in a similar situation as me. I say similar because many had not yet experienced an issue, but they recognized the problem and either had it addressed or were addressing it through their dealers or Forest River directly.

Now, I have been in contact with Forest River and was able to speak with Wayne in the customer service department. Wayne was very nice, reviewed my issues, and presented them to a supervisor. The supervisor then provided a response that because of the age of the trailer (warranty expired 6/9/13) they would be denying a change at their expense; though they would possibly consider supplying parts at a 'reasonable cost' to my dealer where I could pay for the 'change'.

While Wayne was nice enough to review my issues, management at Forest River has decided that despite the facts that:
(1) I have a problem (possibly a bend) with my axles
(2) Al-Ko explained there was a potential for overloading as configured
(3) That I only have 771# ccc after water and propane on a 40'+ 12 person rig

My unit being 32 months old and out of warranty is just too old to have its problem addressed.

I did send a response back kindly asking them to reconsider. I would even be willing at this point to drive out to them if that's what it would take, but at least for now, it would seem that 32 months might as well be vintage because its too old to even have safety concerns addressed.

Very disappointed in Forest River..... I love the trailer, floor plan, etc - but when I had problems (not even safety related) with my Jayco they were all over it, even out of warranty. I just can't wrap my head around putting a clock on safety related fixes, err changes..... I'm sure you're all tired of hearing about axle issues, but I wanted to share. I'll update everyone once I reach final adjudication; I'm not giving up yet and I'm hoping Forest River is still open to dialogue.
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Old 03-12-2015, 05:53 PM   #2
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Dear cfisher golf medic and myself I can assure you that not only is this an issue but also an egregious breach of consumer safety and trust. I'm sure others on this forum who are blindly loyal will debate some of these concerns but look around the Feds are aware of this and a good "representative" if you catch my drift will pay dividends in safety and peace of mind in the long run. FR in my opinion is a company that puts profit before people (safety) and produces a mediocre product at best. There floor plan in the 365 SAQ is awesome but after attending the first Rv show here in pa last week there are now 3 other manufactures who have closely copied this floor plan with higher quality and the 8 lug 7000lb axles as standard equipment. My vote to you is repair and trade. I'm in the process of doing the same and I have the 7000lb axles. This was my first and last FR product Wayne is a puppet and there customer support it a joke. Good luck my friend I hope your outcome is a good one just please be safe with that rig remember if its rolling its a risk.

Marc
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Old 03-12-2015, 06:05 PM   #3
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I feel for you. I have nothing to add other than to thank you for sharing your experience. We need to all be aware of things like this.
Thanks,

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Old 03-12-2015, 08:54 PM   #4
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supercab79, my preference would be to work this out with FR; I find the assistance of professional 'representatives' usually slow down the resolution process.

I am remaining hopeful at this point. Yesterday I sent in another appeal to reason and I was advised that it was sent to management for review; I'm guessing that means the dialogue remains open for now. That being said I am disappointed so far the initial response was rejection and denial primarily based upon the units ripe old age of 32 months. I had expected to at least be presented with an initial offer to repair at their facility - an offer I would certainly consider though I am unsure of how I would safely transport it that far (650+ miles) with a bent axle. Ideally they would standup and stand behind their product, send the parts to a local dealer of their choice and make this right. At this point I want options though.... not fixing it isn't an option as far as I'm concerned and maybe it will take professional assistance to get there - I'm hoping that isn't the case though.

My first trip this year is already booked 4/28 - 5/3; here's to hoping that one way or another I'm ready to go and go safely.....
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:02 PM   #5
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Yes, Supercab79 know all to well about this issue. I'm truly sorry that you are having trouble with your unit, Forest River and its associates. They KNOW this is a problem and it's only a matter of time before a 'representative' in product liability gets wind of this. With the units beginning to age some now, I'll bet it won't take long before it's investigated more appropriately. With all the ones that have had them done, they don't have a leg to stand on. As I said in one of my previous posts, these things have the potential to be catastrophic to owners and the public. Keep on them until you get a resounding "NO" then do what you must. When I looked up the cost of the axles when all of this started, I could buy the 7k axles for $28 a piece more than I could buy a 6k. With their buying power, the cost would've been negligible. In my opinion, their marketing this unit, with the advertised weight, was a gimmick to sell these units to those that had 3/4 ton trucks. With the feds already on them about other issues, when this one is discovered, it is going to be costly to them! Good luck.
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:33 PM   #6
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Hey Golf, what other issues are the "feds" on them about? I know the axle issue has been an issue with us on the forum, but haven't heard of any other issue that has warranted a federal investigation.
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:53 PM   #7
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Why don't you report this to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and tell them that the nice folks at Al-Ko then told me they would be unable to help me as the axles were potentially being overloaded. This where this type of safety concern should go, you don't need to fight this alone if there is a problem they can handle it.
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:26 PM   #8
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http://m.elkharttruth.com/news/busin...iolations.html. this is the link. Reports on other sources state it covers motorhomes as well as newly found issues with campers.
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Old 03-13-2015, 11:13 PM   #9
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Maybe I'll include that link in my next correspondence with FR.

I never considered filing with the NHTSA. I was really hoping they'd make it right. It seems that quite a few people have had their trailers repaired, err changed, without too much discussion. My vintage age of 32months seems to be the long pole in the tent; cause you know 40' wrecking balls aren't their problem once they get old.
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Old 03-16-2015, 08:38 PM   #10
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So I've been continuing my back and forth with FR. We've gone from a resounding 'No' you're on your own, to a we'll reconsider, to today's offer.

The offer today was that I drive 650+ miles with a bent axle, drop my trailer off at the factory for a week and pay a 'nominal' fee of $500.00 to perform the swap. NOTE: This has never been referred to as a repair by FR.

Now there is no way I'm driving 650+ miles with a bent axle. Not safe for me or anyone else on the highway. I proposed a counter solution, which I'm sure many of you will think is still too much 'give', but I'd really like this fixed to meet my first booked trip this year 4/28-5/3.

My counter proposal was that I would pay shipping or motor frieght for the parts to be delivered to a FR dealer of their choice within 75 miles of my home. I included a list of those dealers. I would then also pay the labor for the dealer to install the parts. So basically all they would have to do is supply parts; I'm covering shipping and labor to repair my trailer that was improperly equipped to begin with. My solution costs them no more than their solution, ensures 'qualified' personnel complete the repair, and doesn't tie up anyone at the factory - oh an it doesn't put me or the rest of the traveling public at as much risk.

I figured I'd hear back right away, but with the business day closed I'm guessing it will be at least tomorrow before I hear from them. I can't see why they would reject the counter, but I don't understand why they built this trailer with the underrated equipment they did - so who knows.

I'll keep the updates rolling.... If I don't get anywhere soon an NHTSA complaint may be in my future, based on the condition that the repair will only be completed after driving 650+ miles on a bent axle if nothing else. As much as I'd like to avoid outside help it may be time to start considering next steps if I'm going to be ready to camp at all this year. I hate making monthly payments on something I can't use....
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Nights Camped in 2015 -- 40
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