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Old 08-05-2013, 11:39 PM   #1
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Columbus 365RL

I am about 2 weeks away from purchasing a 2014 model. I looked at all of the reviews on the Columbus RV's. It is pretty scary with all of the problems,. I hope that 99% has been resolved from the factory. I currently own a 2008 TT (Rockwood Model 8315SS). Purchased new in 2007. The only thing I had to bring it in for was the converter went out in 2012/ It costed me $50.00 for my deductable under my extended warranty.I am also looking at a 369RL Solitude by Grand Design. From what I can tell this is a pretty new mfg. Worried they will have issues also.

Does anyone have any recommendations?
Cajun Happy
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:25 AM   #2
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I recommend that you stop worrying about it and enjoy it. The Columbus is a solid built 5th wheel. I have been looking for a 5th wheel for several months now and today I ordered a Columbus 340RK. The Columbus was by far the best quality 5th wheel we found. We looked at everything from Redwood to the Montana and in between. The Columbus impressed us the most and we love the 340RK floor plan. Now we just have to wait for it to be built. It will not come soon enough.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:44 AM   #3
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Qualify your dealer FIRST before you buy from them. Find out how long they have been in business, talk to other Columbus owners that have bought from that dealer, go look at dealer's service dept. and talk to the techs about Columbus. It does you no good to buy local of your dealer sucks.

Download the PDI checklist and go over as many items as you can on that list. Do not let the dealer rush you through your PDI. Have dealer actually show you all items work, not just point out this is the furnace, stove, AC, shower, etc. Hook up electricity and water and actually turn everything on and off. Confirm it works. Move slides in/out a few times and watch/listen for excessive noise, gaps in seals, etc. I think you get the idea here.

After PDI is done, there will be a laundry list of things that may need fixing, adjusting, etc. Let the dealer do these items. Then have a 2nd PDI. Think of this as a professional home inspection that is done for you before you close on your house. That professional is either you, or if you are a rookie at this, find a person to do it for/with you.

Bottom line, do not sign off on purchase agreement and take ownership of RV until you are 100% happy with the deal and RV. Once you sign off, you are now just another customer awaiting for warranty repair. AKA get the back of the bus and wait. During PDI time, you are at the head of the line and control the game.

ALL RVs will have problems, warranty repairs, etc. Do a few dress rehearsal full hookup test runs with your RV after you buy it. Learn the ins and outs. Get the warranty stuff fixed. After that long process, then go on your dream vacation. If you go on your dream vacation right after you buy the new RV, chances are the new RV will have problems and it very well could mess up your dream vacation. Don't be a sucker and fall into that mess.

Armed with this info, it doesn't really matter what brand you buy. However, know that Palomino is standing by the Columbus brand and taking care of the customers.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:48 AM   #4
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Well said, joelek.
You also might spend a night or two at a campground near the dealer so of you find a serious problem, you can easily return.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:16 AM   #5
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Appreciate the responses on this . I have been looking for a year. The Solitude I think is in the first year of production and worried that they may be going through the problems that I sen on this forumwith the Columbus. I was always told that a Forest River product is one of the best in the RV industry.
On another note i plan tohaul the 365RL with a 2012 Ram Crew Cab with the 6.7 Diesel with a 3.73 rear axle. Does anyone see a problem?

Cajun Happy
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:32 PM   #6
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2500 or 3500?
SRW or dually?
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:56 PM   #7
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2500 Crew Cab
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:50 PM   #8
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I took delivery last November of a 2013 365RL. I bought the RV at RVW in Ohio, and had it delivered to Florida where it sits now in a RV park. My wife and I spent 4 months in it last winter and absolutely loved it. Like you we looked around for a couple years and for the price and quality you can not find a better fifth wheel. We have had basically no problems with it. I don't tow it so I was concerned if something needed to be repaired I was at the mercy of the local dealers and FR. But after being down in Florida with it and seeing all the problems other people were having with fifth wheels that cost twice as much I really felt I purchased the right one. I did get the extra warranty from FR, but so far have not needed it. I met a guy who had a $250,000 MH, and after his wife saw my 365 they traded it in on a fifth wheel. I can't wait to get back down to it in a couple months. I did go to the factory to see it being built and I think that helped with me getting a unit that was built correctly. I hope this helps, and good luck with your decision.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:02 AM   #9
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After 8 months of searching and comparing, I bought the Columbus 320rs and the only problem I found with it was the factory forgot to caulk the bottom shower rail (almost any new and complex item will have some kind of problem either major or minor and a simple $5 tube of caulk fixed the problem). IMHO, these 5th wheels are among the best made and Forest River will stand behing their product. Dont read too much into many comments people make about their RV's problems, people are either pointing out problems to watch for during a PDI or just plain enjoy complaining! Go for the Columbus 5th wheel and you wont be sorry.
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cajun Happy View Post
Appreciate the responses on this . I have been looking for a year. The Solitude I think is in the first year of production and worried that they may be going through the problems that I sen on this forumwith the Columbus. I was always told that a Forest River product is one of the best in the RV industry.
On another note i plan tohaul the 365RL with a 2012 Ram Crew Cab with the 6.7 Diesel with a 3.73 rear axle. Does anyone see a problem?

Cajun Happy
I have essentially the same truck with 4x4. I expect that it will pull it just fine. I pull a 11k boat/trailer with only tandem axle and you barely know it's back there driving down the road.

My HOPE is the 12k 5th wheel will be only slightly different = better,
since it's a gooseneck. If it squishes our trucks too much, I suggest air bags for the suspension. Supposed to be excellent for controlling squat. Since it's well within towing capacity, there shouldn't be any problems for either of us.

Good luck with yours. We'll have to trade pics.
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