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Old 09-25-2015, 01:42 PM   #1
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Just wrote off my Wildwood

So after two years of nothing but trouble our unit was written off due to structural damage it suffered from our last trip. Extremely happy to part ways with our 2013 Wildwood 31BKIS.

I'm not usually one to rant or really talk ill of any brand normally but I feel I've got to both vent and possibly warn any prospective buyers of the type of issues I ran into that are for the most part lack of QC and poor craftsmanship.

Our first trip out in August 2013 the following did not work or failed:

-A/C and heat did not work, faulty wiring and several parts needed to be replaced (board on the heater, thermostat unit)

-Slides were not properly adjusted, the whole unit was flooded from driving in the rain - every piece of wood from 6" and below was swelled up and had to be replaced

-Several components needed changing from a fan on the fridge to a seal on the toilet

-Kids bunks in the slide were missing a fastener, the bunk came down on the rear corner and cut into the leather couch below (dealer had this all fixed under warranty again)

Unit stayed at the dealer for more than a month to have these issues taken care of, our season was done after that.

Next summer it went in and out of the dealer several times for wiring issues, siding popping off, rear window leaking, freshwater tank leaking in the underbelly and other stuff I can't remember - even so we still got plenty of use out of it.

This summer, I've had to upkeep several areas with caulking (this however is maintenance so its ok) but the factory job was pretty bad with several spots that were actually open to the elements that were never caulked to begin with. also had the kitchen drawers rear support come apart (stapled together) and had to fix that.

My overall impressions are that the lower priced FR product is thrown together and QC is very much lacking, move on to a well maintained higher end used unit or save up for a better new one - its not worth all the hassle if they are anything like the unit we had.

For those wondering, I upgraded to a 2015 KZ Durango Fiver.

Alex
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Old 09-25-2015, 02:17 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by alexleblanc View Post
For those wondering, I upgraded to a 2015 KZ Durango Fiver.

Alex
(Not sarcasm.)

Check back in with us in a year and let us know how the Durango treats you.
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Old 09-25-2015, 02:30 PM   #3
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What structural damage are you talking about?

Bruce
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Old 09-25-2015, 02:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
(Not sarcasm.)

Check back in with us in a year and let us know how the Durango treats you.

I will - I went the KZ route as my father has had two and overall they have served him well with little to no trouble.
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Old 09-25-2015, 02:54 PM   #5
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What structural damage are you talking about?

Bruce

The Frame is twisted and this caused walls to be buckled, doorframes to be very out of square and popped off a large section of siding through this twisting action. How it happened and where is still a mistery to myself, the dealer and the insurance company. They are guessing a very rough patch of road somewhere on my travel caused this.
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:06 PM   #6
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I will - I went the KZ route as my father has had two and overall they have served him well with little to no trouble.
Glad you read my post for how it was intended. I can totally hear it being read as in, "Ha. Good luck with that one!"

I do hope it works out for you. I've heard good things about KZ.
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:36 PM   #7
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I hope you are satisfied also. I am tight(and broke) and spending(wasting) money on something I despise.

My 5er is a cheap one also and if it was heavily used may be different, but the little I have used it have not shown any problems. Thank the Lord. I have had issues... Just components so far.

Again. Good luck and happy camping to you and your family.


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Old 09-26-2015, 01:13 PM   #8
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I agree that a used higher end unit is often the best choice. Find an honest seller (or dealer) and benefit from letting someone else cope with the bugs and driving off the depreciation. It takes some time to look and research, but worth it in the long run. Reading forums for makes and models also helps in decision making. I hope your KZ works out.
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Old 09-26-2015, 05:12 PM   #9
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QC

We all can relate...unfortunately, with most brands of TT, when you start poking around behind and underneath all that shiny veneer, you quickly discover how cheaply and oft times thoughtlessly they are constructed. The RV industry has evolved itself into a shameful example of capitalism at its finest...profits super ceeding quality and longevity at every turn.
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Old 09-27-2015, 12:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexleblanc View Post
So after two years of nothing but trouble our unit was written off due to structural damage it suffered from our last trip. Extremely happy to part ways with our 2013 Wildwood 31BKIS.

I'm not usually one to rant or really talk ill of any brand normally but I feel I've got to both vent and possibly warn any prospective buyers of the type of issues I ran into that are for the most part lack of QC and poor craftsmanship.

Our first trip out in August 2013 the following did not work or failed:

-A/C and heat did not work, faulty wiring and several parts needed to be replaced (board on the heater, thermostat unit)

-Slides were not properly adjusted, the whole unit was flooded from driving in the rain - every piece of wood from 6" and below was swelled up and had to be replaced

-Several components needed changing from a fan on the fridge to a seal on the toilet

-Kids bunks in the slide were missing a fastener, the bunk came down on the rear corner and cut into the leather couch below (dealer had this all fixed under warranty again)

Unit stayed at the dealer for more than a month to have these issues taken care of, our season was done after that.

Next summer it went in and out of the dealer several times for wiring issues, siding popping off, rear window leaking, freshwater tank leaking in the underbelly and other stuff I can't remember - even so we still got plenty of use out of it.

This summer, I've had to upkeep several areas with caulking (this however is maintenance so its ok) but the factory job was pretty bad with several spots that were actually open to the elements that were never caulked to begin with. also had the kitchen drawers rear support come apart (stapled together) and had to fix that.

My overall impressions are that the lower priced FR product is thrown together and QC is very much lacking, move on to a well maintained higher end used unit or save up for a better new one - its not worth all the hassle if they are anything like the unit we had.

For those wondering, I upgraded to a 2015 KZ Durango Fiver.

Alex
I've owned two Forest River Cardinals (still have one) and they seem to be fairly well put together. Although this forum seems to be for other Forest River products, I get a lot of useful information.

After three fifth wheel trailers, though, we are currently looking for either an Arctic Fox or Heartland Bighorn. I purchased the last two trailers used and cut down my acquisition costs tremendously so I will be doing the same thing for the "new" fifth wheel trailer we are looking for.
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