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Old 11-11-2007, 01:02 AM   #1
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JUST BOUGHT WILDWOOD T23FBL and have some questions

The wife and I just bought a 2007 Wildwood T23FBL. We started in 1998 with a Salem 17 foot travel trailer which we have enjoyed and spent 216 nights in over the past nine years.
Tomorrow is our first trip in the new Wildwood and it's mere a shakedown trip to a local campground (Lake Jennings) only nine miles from home.
I also traded in our 1998 Ford F150 (V6) for a new Toyota Tundra 5.7 V8. I'd been looking at the T23FBL for the past several years but hesitated to move up as my V6 wasn't that robust. Buying the Tundra changed that.
I noticed that the weight for the T23FBL (Wildwood and Salem) has risen from the stated 3795 (dry weight) in 2004 to 4290 in 2006 and 4600 in 2007. That's an increase of 800 pounds in three years. These weights are from Forrest River publications. I'm wondering what caused that increase in weight.
I do have a question: Our trailer came with a slide (sofa). If the slide won't deploy or retract normally using the electricity can it be moved in or out manually? The dealer was not able to answer that question which I found unsettling. Does anyone have experience with slide failure and the remedy?
And while I'm at I'd like to ask your opinions on buying an extended warranty. Forest River offers a second year warranty for $100 which I thought was reasonable and bought. One extended warranty (Protective Insurance) was quoted at $1,021 for seven years while our dealer offered one at $1,400. Our Salem was realtively trouble free during the nine years we owned it and pulled it over 16,000 miles. I'm tempted to pass on these. Anyone have experience with major repairs etc?
Three questions: weight increase; can the slide be operated manually; are extended warranties a good idea?
Now I'll sit back and wait for some feedback.
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Old 11-11-2007, 01:28 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CARAEWRON View Post
The wife and I just bought a 2007 Wildwood T23FBL. We started in 1998 with a Salem 17 foot travel trailer which we have enjoyed and spent 216 nights in over the past nine years.
Tomorrow is our first trip in the new Wildwood and it's mere a shakedown trip to a local campground (Lake Jennings) only nine miles from home.
I also traded in our 1998 Ford F150 (V6) for a new Toyota Tundra 5.7 V8. I'd been looking at the T23FBL for the past several years but hesitated to move up as my V6 wasn't that robust. Buying the Tundra changed that.
I noticed that the weight for the T23FBL (Wildwood and Salem) has risen from the stated 3795 (dry weight) in 2004 to 4290 in 2006 and 4600 in 2007. That's an increase of 800 pounds in three years. These weights are from Forrest River publications. I'm wondering what caused that increase in weight.
I do have a question: Our trailer came with a slide (sofa). If the slide won't deploy or retract normally using the electricity can it be moved in or out manually? The dealer was not able to answer that question which I found unsettling. Does anyone have experience with slide failure and the remedy?
And while I'm at I'd like to ask your opinions on buying an extended warranty. Forest River offers a second year warranty for $100 which I thought was reasonable and bought. One extended warranty (Protective Insurance) was quoted at $1,021 for seven years while our dealer offered one at $1,400. Our Salem was realtively trouble free during the nine years we owned it and pulled it over 16,000 miles. I'm tempted to pass on these. Anyone have experience with major repairs etc?
Three questions: weight increase; can the slide be operated manually; are extended warranties a good idea?
Now I'll sit back and wait for some feedback.
Hi and welcome. I don't tow so I'll let others work on that part of your post.

Generally slides do have a backup manual extension/retraction system. Some involve cranking it out from underneith. Mine, which is hydraulic, allows you to attach a drill on the end of the hydraulic pump and operate it. Most of FR's slideouts are manufactured by a company called Lippert Systems (LSI) and their website has operation manuals that include manual backup. If you're unsure of which of their systems match your unit you can email them and they'll inform you. If you search the forum for "Lippert" you should find a link to their website. Finally, I agree with you... I find it amazing that a dealer doesn't know about how to operate their product's slide in an emergency.

I think generally extended warranties are not a good value. If they were, manufactureres wouldn't offer them or promote them so much since they're essentially an insurance policy. They work out the risk before ever offering one. On a TT, a longer bumper-to-bumper warrenty might be useful if they offered one, but generally they're limited and exclude many systems that are covered by separate warranties (roof - 5 years, water heater 2 years, etc.). I'm not sure if the cost is offset by the things likely to need fixing after you take the separate-warrenty items out of the equation.

Having said that, some other members may have positive experience with extended warranties. Hope so.
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Old 11-11-2007, 03:05 AM   #3
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Excellent Information On Sofa Slide

Thanks so much! I went into the Lippert Components site and printed their manual for the hydraulic slide. This is just what I needed. I'll file it away in the trailer and hope I never have to use it.
Thanks again, Bob
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Old 11-11-2007, 11:03 AM   #4
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On the weight issue, no clue, but it is probably building materials and newer technology. The slide out should have a manual operator. During my walk through, I was shown the manual crank handle for the slide. Extended warranty, I purchased one figuring things would break. My 3 wrecking crew kids are hard on everything. It can also be transferred upon selling. We thought this might come in handy for upgrading later. We got the 7 year one. It was explained that it is a bumper to bumper with tire and towing assistance. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-11-2007, 02:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CARAEWRON View Post
Thanks so much! I went into the Lippert Components site and printed their manual for the hydraulic slide. This is just what I needed. I'll file it away in the trailer and hope I never have to use it.
Thanks again, Bob
You're very welcome Bob. You sound a lot like me - gotta know these things just in case. You should see my manual collection.
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Old 11-11-2007, 02:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geaux Tigers View Post
On the weight issue, no clue, but it is probably building materials and newer technology. The slide out should have a manual operator. During my walk through, I was shown the manual crank handle for the slide. Extended warranty, I purchased one figuring things would break. My 3 wrecking crew kids are hard on everything. It can also be transferred upon selling. We thought this might come in handy for upgrading later. We got the 7 year one. It was explained that it is a bumper to bumper with tire and towing assistance. Hope this helps.
7 year transferrable!! well that does sound attractive... it would pretty much guarantee a higher trade-in value. Never thought of that.
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Old 11-11-2007, 03:58 PM   #7
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Welcome.
Dealerships often don't know each system in each trailer.
I found the best source of information on stuff like that is not to ask the salesman...but to ask the mechanic that works on them.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:22 PM   #8
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Thumbs up weight increase?

After recently investigating and purchasing a Wolfpack, I came to realize the huge weight difference between gel fiberglass and aluminum sided units. Approximately 30# per foot length. (Since I was more interested in towing toys than fiver, I went with the lighter alum.) That may help explain some increased published tow weights? I don't think the person editing the glossy brochures has all the info needed to accurately list true unit weights. Then again, if they have us thinking we can easily tow their product, they might make more sales? Just m. o. Can't wait to pick up my new fiver. Hope you have a great time with your new trailer! And you will love your new Tundra, too. Had mine for 8 no problem years. Boy, is Jollymon right about asking the mechanics, too.
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Old 06-24-2010, 03:04 AM   #9
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FOLLOW UP REPORT: This November we will have had this unit three years and as of June 30, 2010 have pulled it 4,450 miles sleeping in it 94 nights. So far we've been pleased with it.

Some of the things we did to it: The medicine cabinet was rather flimsy (particularly the hinges) so I replaced it with a simulated wood cabinet of the same size from Home Depot. The rear wall must be solid plywood as the screws dug in no matter where I put them.

We immediately replaced the thin mattress with a much more substantial one. When it was convenient I had the tires balanced and the disintegrating plastic hub covers replaced by metal ones (less than $20 for four, from Redneck Trailer Supply on the Internet).

The water pump might need replacement soon. Last year I had the bearings repacked and the brakes serviced.

One day as we prepared to leave a campground for home the slide would not retract. Just dead silence when I hit the button. I popped the cloth buttons off the cover screws on the small cover at the lower front of the couch, removed the cover and immediately saw that the wires leading to the electric motor had worked free from the twist-on plastic connectors. I twisted them together again and the slide has been going in and out ever since. I do carry a socket wrench and extension in case I ever have to manually crank it back in or out.

Otherwise it just rolls along without complaint. I weighed it the other day and it was an even 5,000 pounds, not counting the weight on the hitch. That was loaded ready to go. With the two vehicle included the weight came to 12,400 pounds. I tow it with a 2007 Toyota Tundra 5.7 engine (381 hp / 401 ft lbs torque). The Tundra is rated to tow 10,000 pounds and this trailer loaded appears to be about 5,600 pounds when I weighed it. I can't even feel the weight of the trailer. Going up California 120 to Tioga Pass (Yosemite) I actually had to slow down on a couple of uphill curves. I wasn't use to that.

So far so good! ---- Bob Perry
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