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Old 08-13-2019, 08:39 PM   #1
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8301WS Outdoor Kitchen Water Damage

Not sure where to start on this...I am the original owner of my 2017 8301WS. All in all, I have had nothing but good things to say about the camper aside from 2 blowouts on original Chinese Tires that have been commented on endlessly in other threads.

This story is a little different. Last trip out, upon opening the slides, a sliver of black painted wood was found on the floor in the rear BunkHouse area of the Bunk/Outdoor Kitchen slide. Thinking this odd, but not suspecting anything amiss, I put the sliver aside on the chance it was perhaps brought in from the woods and dropped by someone "hopefully", and enjoyed the weekend. Next campsite, same scenario...another sliver of wood, with Black paint was found though this one slightly larger. This time I grabbed a flashlight and crawled under the slideout to inspect. I found an area on the extreme left of the slide with raw exposed and splintered wood and plastic that wrapped to the outer edge torn and ragged. Appointment was made to bring the camper in for what I expected to be a covered repair at the dealership where I purchased the unit as either warranty or extended warranty.

Dealers service staff inspected the damage, quickly told me was NOT an issue covered by Factory or Extended Warranty and would require $2400 worth of repair to replace the entire floor of this slideout. Further, they believe the damage to have been caused by the outdoor refrigerator in the slide or perhaps a poorly sealed access door to the outdoor kitchen. The Service Advisor did say that though they could do nothing regarding any warranty type of repair, that I should contact Forest River to see what if anything they might do to assist in the matter.

Like many others, I use the outside refrigerator extensively and almost exclusively for vital life sustaining liquids of the ale variety necessary for campsite harmony. I never gave any thought that the refrigerator nor the slideout was not setup by the factory to safely capture and or drain any liquid that naturally occurs whenever the refrigerator is unplugged from 110v. A simple drain pan under the refrigerator that would capture and contain any liquids with perhaps a drain tube to safely exit the enclosure would ensure that no water could collect in the bottom of the slide and cause water damage to the plywood. I will no doubt proactively make a pan of my own to go directly under this refrigerator as soon as I get the unit back.

Appologize for being verbose, but others with similar 110v refrigerators may want to make inspections and take action.

Will post any outcomes or response from Forest River.

PS...Anybody have a good Factory Contact I can use?
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:46 PM   #2
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Is it possible this was damage from the 2 blow outs you mentioned?
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:49 PM   #3
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Negative....damage is to the rear of the unit. Blowouts only damaged Fender Trim on the Forward side well before the rear slideout...no metal or other plastic harmed...Thanks!
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:30 AM   #4
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Like many others, I use the outside refrigerator extensively and almost exclusively for vital life sustaining liquids of the ale variety necessary for campsite harmony.
I love that.
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:51 AM   #5
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My guess is that the fridge has a system to handle the water that runs off the cold coils, but it only works when the fridge is running and stationary. If you look closely, there should be a small drain pan that sits directly on top of the compressor. That pan is usually sufficient to capture the condensate and the heat from the compressor evaporates it. The issue occurs when you put a fridge designed for dorms in an RV that shakes and rolls in transit. Not only is the fridge many times not operating ( evaporating the condensate), but the water is splashing out of the shallow pan. A simple solution is to put a towel in the fridge under the coil plate to capture the condensate when the fridge is not running. This said, I find it hard to believe that there is enough condensate under normal conditions to cause any serious damage should it spill out. I think I would look for another source of water.
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:14 PM   #6
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That problem is far down the list of why I’d never have an outdoor kitchen. Sad it happened to OP.
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:08 PM   #7
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If you get no help from FR, I'd write to Good Sam's Action Line. They are pretty successful at getting dealers and manufacturers to accept responsibility for their actions. This sounds to me like a manufacturing defect. All it would take is a pan with a tube at the low point to let the water drip to the ground.
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:14 PM   #8
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I have a Flagstaff with an outdoor kitchen too. The refrigerator in mine produces a large amount of water when the unit is turned off. It is much worse the longer it was on or in really humid areas like the beach. I didn't know this when I first bought the trailer so the first couple of trips I had a lot of water leak out of the fridge during travel. The other problem I had was that the sink in the outside kitchen had fittings that were not tight from the factory. I would double check that too. Mine only dropped a drop every couple of minutes. Took a while to notice it.
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:23 PM   #9
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So this is all news to me as I also have a fridge outside. So what’s the consensus? Stuff a towel under it after you turn it off?
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:17 PM   #10
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If you get no help from FR, I'd write to Good Sam's Action Line. They are pretty successful at getting dealers and manufacturers to accept responsibility for their actions. This sounds to me like a manufacturing defect. All it would take is a pan with a tube at the low point to let the water drip to the ground.
Thanks for the Good Sam's tip....I could not agree more regarding the pan and tube, which was my original posted solution. The towel solution was put forth by the dealer....My comment was that seems pretty silly for something that had such an obvious more permanent and reliable solution....

The fact that NO BODY from the dealership nor any included docuemtation from the mfr. said I should be doing such a thing to prevent this from the day I brought the unit home. All in all, I am pretty dissapointed with the entire mess and the thought struck me that the dealer really could care less...either way they will make money on these repairs. Whatever happened to "Proactive" reports from the field dealers that solutions exist that would prevent these problems?


Preventable problem for sure!
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:00 PM   #11
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If this were really an issue, it seems like it would have come up before; this is the first post I've seen in over 7 years on the forum. And there are a LOT of these fridges out there.

So I'm with Flybob - there may be another source.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:08 PM   #12
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I don't have a issue with water coming from under the fridge. Mine happens when the fridge thaws out and water drains down to the bottom of the fridge and leaks out the door. I take the hand towel and put it in the bottom of the fridge right before I leave the campsite. No more problems. I hear people say that they can drive for a few hours and the fridge is still cold. My drinks may be cool but mine must not be insulated as good because it will thaw out a lot.
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:07 AM   #13
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If you could provide pictures of the damage, someone might be able to help you pinpoint the source of the water damage. I have my suspicions, but would like to see pictures of the damage and of the side of the slideout.
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:44 AM   #14
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:41 PM   #15
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I don't have a issue with water coming from under the fridge. Mine happens when the fridge thaws out and water drains down to the bottom of the fridge and leaks out the door. I take the hand towel and put it in the bottom of the fridge right before I leave the campsite. No more problems. I hear people say that they can drive for a few hours and the fridge is still cold. My drinks may be cool but mine must not be insulated as good because it will thaw out a lot.

I keep 4 of the Refreezable ColdPaks in my Freezer Section. Drinks always stay very cold even on long drives. I had not noticed any condensate water from the refrigerator til the dealer pointed it out. We had driven that morning about 3 hours to get to their location and some small amount of liquid was on the steel Counter.

To the others who have posted asking for pics etc...my original post said the Refrigerator OR the outdoor door was suspect by the Dealer...My point regarding the refrigerator suspicions, is that it is just too easy to take that concern off the table going forward with a pan and drain tube. I have no pictures to share, trailer slide is being repaired and they assured they will determine if outer door or refrigerator was the cause.

Once they (Dealer) determine Root Cause for the Damage, I will share.
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Old 08-26-2019, 02:30 PM   #16
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Well has the dealer found the problem? My thought is the trim that holds the sky in place on the bottom of the slide, the seal has cracked which will allow water to intrude under the sky and hold it there. This in turn will cause the bottom of your slide out to start degrade from the water being trapped between the sky and the bottom.

Ask me how I know!
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Old 08-26-2019, 04:20 PM   #17
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Well has the dealer found the problem? My thought is the trim that holds the sky in place on the bottom of the slide, the seal has cracked which will allow water to intrude under the sky and hold it there. This in turn will cause the bottom of your slide out to start degrade from the water being trapped between the sky and the bottom.

Ask me how I know!
Short answer to your question is no, "no news from the dealership"...but, I did hear from Mark at Forest River answering my online request for assistance. He advised they (Forest River) would be covering the cost of repairs and stand behind their product, which is GREAT news to me. At this point, assuming that they indeed cover the cost of repairs, I could not ask for better treatment from the Mfr.

I am anxious to know what Root Cause Dealership identifies and preventative action for the future. I will say that the ski you refer to on the left side of the kitchen slide was obviously cracked and in obvious need of being changed...but what issue came first, the cracked ski or the damage to the floor?

Stay tuned...Film at 11!
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