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Old 09-25-2016, 10:41 PM   #1
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Major failure of Gosen Lift system

I have used my 2308ST Viking camper for the 10th time since purchasing it brand new September 5, 2015. I bought a new PUP because I did not want to deal with major issues. The extension arms always make a loud drop sound when cranking it up, but I never paid attention to that thinking it was normal. I recently noticed when I wound the roof down it would not lower cosistently. I finally figured out I had to push on the cable with my foot, and the extra pressure on the cable forced the roof to drop quickly, usually about 2-6 inches. I made arrangements with FR to bring it back to the dealer for service for this issue since the warranty was quickly running out. They inspected the system (which is a 2.5 hour drive! one way!!) and they said all it needed was lubrication. After returning I immediately tried it out in my driveway, and the same issue existed. (should have done this at the dealer!) I had a great weekend camping with friends and family, and when breaking the camper down today, the roof collapsed and the spring popped out while my cousin was unzipping the bed canvas from the side. No one was touching the crank and the beds were not yet retracted and still locked in place. Finally after much fighting with the lift system, I had to take the tubes off underneath and manually pull the springs out, to get the roof down and locked for safe travel. Of course, grease marks are everywhere on the inside of the canvas now, which really upsets me as well

I don't know if this failure could have been caused by something I did (overcranking, not level enough, etc.) or if I have a truly defective system.

I really am very disheartened with my camper right now, which is something I have enjoyed so much over the past 4-5 months. Honestly, now that I have had this happen, I want a hybrid that has better space and no lift system! I have put a lot of sweat equity and expense in this camper with the intention of having it for a minimum of 5-10 years.

Anyone else had these issues with these newer campers and the Goshen lift system? Has anyone got any advice for dealing with Forest River? I personally would like an entire new lift system installed to regain my confidence, and done under warranty. I also want them to provide new canvas or send this back to have it cleaned. Words of encouragement and shared experiences are very much appreciated. Now I will try to get back to sleep and stop worrying about it! This is causing me some heavy duty insomnia.

thanks in advance for your comments... Nick
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Old 09-26-2016, 07:59 AM   #2
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Glad to hear no one was hurt!! I have read other post on this site about dealing with Forest River and most are positive, its the dealers that will cause you the most grief.

Keep positive attitude everything will work out. Remember it's was mechanical parts that failed, not you.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:31 AM   #3
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I sure hope that FR would cover this under warranty, including the damage to the canvas, but I hate to say, don't hold your breath.

I had a roof collapse on my second or third camping trip due to a shattered gear in the powerwinch. They did reimburse me for the new power winch, but they refused to reimburse for damage to the canvas or a gouge in the interior wood (that was probably caused by workers when repairing the trailer. In other words, they quickly reimbursed me for the "actual failure" but any collateral damage was ignored cause I could not prove it happened due to the failure or was damaged caused by previous openings and closing (which were just two or three).

As for your situation it appears the spring kept coming down but the roof got stuck on something, in my mind, knowing how the goshen system works (pretty well), that is the only way I could think that the spring would be able to pop out of the lift arm.

Mine when raising, does make popping noises at the lift arms, but I always attributed the pops to the inside lift arms extending out of the other lift arm (I believe there are three per side). And being around other similar popups, they all seem to make the same popping noise (and believe me, mine are very well lubricated). But it is just a popping noise, so hard to tell if your noise was louder.

As for the cable, not sure how you "push the cable." Did you place our foot on the cable under the tongue and push? Mine, the old cable as well as the new cable, always traveled nice an easy onto and off the winch drum. The tension on the springs, caused by the roof, are what push on the cable to lower the roof (one reason why it takes a lot more energy to raise than lower). Once in (approx.) 10 times lowering the roof, one corner might hangup with about 12 inches to go to close (but only a few inches different from other corners), and what I would do is go to that corner and push down and it would pop down.

Sitting here, and not seeing it in person, it sounds to me that the roof was hanging up on the lift arms (or something else) allowing the springs to move downward, being pulled by the cable and then suddenly the roof became free, fell, and the spring popped out of the seam between the lift arms (on that side of the trailer). (Need to ask, did you ever lube the cable tracks under the trailer? Almost sounds like the cable could have been hanging up in the track due to not enough lube.)

I would think that if it is still under warranty, the dealer needs to fix it and make it right. You could also try a different dealer, but then you would have to fight with FR for reimbursement, since FR dealers usually do not perform warranty work on units they did not sell. They are not like the auto industry.

So, if it were me, I would take it back to the dealer, call FR customer relations (if they have one) and get them to repair the problem.

Good luck, please keep us informed of how you are helped (by dealer and FR); especially for those who are still under warranty.
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Trailer: Lifted 228BH, heavy duty springs and Yokohama tires DELAMINATED ROOF
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Living somewhere in ID; previously lived in Moab UT; previous to that, don't ask!
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:21 AM   #4
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Sorry to hear about your issue.

After 2 seasons applying mostly minor 'issue corrections' to 2514g pup I thought I was good to go. (you can search for my posts if it amuses you). Apparently wife was not of the same opinion and proposed/mandated the final solution for all possible issues with the pup, i.e. upgrade to 21SS hybrid. To reduce my setup/break-down workload, don't you know.

When looking over the hybrid, wanted to see the slide operate. Fuse blew. sigh.
I 'look forward' to applying a new set of corrections for the new trailer.

While cleaning out pup, had a bit of issue with roof hanging up while going up. No issue at all going down because it would not go down. After cranking about halfway tried lift motor again to find it working. I believe I had put it up too high since we were racing the weather.

Maybe she's right.............................
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:41 PM   #5
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UPDATE - Day one

I spoke with Forest River, and they seemed receptive to covering the repair partially under warranty. They would not define what "partially" would look like until they worked with my dealer. The would not intervene to get me to a dealer closer to home. They were very understanding, but would not to commit to anything. It seemed to be one of those conversations where the person was trying to get me to read between the lines, which was they would ultimately cover it 100%. I called the local dealer, and they would charge me to fix it and were not willing to work directly with Forest River on the warranty claim. So, time to go to the selling dealer.

I am in touch with the selling dealer for service even thought its a long drive for hopes of them going to bat for me to get this fully covered.

will provide updates as they come.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:44 PM   #6
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Sounds hopeful that it will get covered. It's a shame that the TT industry does not have contracts with their dealers like the auto industry. It sure would help the customer.
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Trailer: Lifted 228BH, heavy duty springs and Yokohama tires DELAMINATED ROOF
TV: 2016 GMC Sierra Z71 4x4 CC, SLT
Spare TV: Two Alaskan Malamutes

Living somewhere in ID; previously lived in Moab UT; previous to that, don't ask!
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Old 10-02-2016, 06:59 PM   #7
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Closing the saga

I dropped the PUP off at my selling dealer for the service call, and quickly traded it in on a Hybrid. I take delivery in two weeks, which will give them time to fix the lift system so I can raise the roof to retrieve all of my gear. My camper is pretty dirty right now after 4 days of camping since I could not clean it when I arrived home with a broken lift system. I also hope no mold grew on the canvas because of the AC water. That is their problem now, not mine.

I feel like I gave up too quickly at times, but I dont want to deal with it anymore. I also had issues with the door coming unlatched while driving, and that was not fixed right either. This thing almost left me stranded twice, and quite far from home. I just dont want to deal anymore, enough so that I took a huge bath on negative equity. I lost about $3500 on it. I am done.

I purchase a 2017 Coachman Apex Nano 15X that was a rental unit for 3 months, and it is GREAT! It's in very great shape after the rental season, with almost no wear and tear. Bittersweet time right now.

thanks all for your feedback, and encouragement.

Nick
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Old 10-02-2016, 07:45 PM   #8
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Sorry to hear about all your problems, hope new camper works for you
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