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Old 07-29-2012, 09:58 PM   #1
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First time 'ouch' with our Columbus 365RL

We were excited to finally pick up our Columbus RV and roll down to New York for our first weekend away. We all know and expect that not everything will be perfect on your first time out, but we were extremely disappointed with the number of problems that came up over the weekend. Although we are confident that between our dealer and Forest River all of the defects will get corrected, it was still a bit of a bummer and not something we expected from this high end fith wheel. We are curious to get some feedback from other Columbus owners what their experience was. Here is a brief list of some of the problems.

1. We extended our pop outs to find an ugly deep scratch cut across the floor. After investigating we found that the four screws holding down the base of the dining room table were too long. There are other scrapes (scratches) from the entertainment pop out as well. Not sure what caused these.
2. The kitchen pop out cut a gouge in the moulding on the adjacent cabinet.
3. We couldn't get any reception from the outside radio. Maybe antennae not connected or not there at all?
4. Inside sound system is supposed to have surround sound, but to have surround sound doesnt there need to be a sub-woofer. We couldn't find one! Overall the sound system sounds like crap - very tinny. On top of the inferior sound from the system, one of the speakers crackled. Our Flagstaff travel trailer that we traded in had a superior sound.
5. Love our full size shower BUT the water didn't stay in the shower. Had my first shower in my new RV Saturday night to find a pool of water on the bathroom floor and leaking down into the vent. Couldn't figure it out until we noticed that the shower door moulding was put in backwards and instead of the water running down the inside shower door and then draining into the shower, the water drained outside the shower.
6. We have the double fridge and found the door hard to open. No problem with the freezer door, just the fridge. There must have been something wrong because the handle snapped off in my husband's hand.
7. Some seams on the ceiling moulding are buckling.
8. Decals on the outside have streak damage (noticed when we picked up and they are supposed to be replaced)
9. Only one of the two sockets work where the microwave plugs in.
10. Wine rack popped out
11. Bike rack?? really has anyone figured out how to load up two bikes when the wheels don't fit in the groves. We ended up having to lay the bikes down and stack them on top of each other.

Having said all this, we still love our Columbus fifth wheel, but maybe by posting our experience will help others in knowing what to double check before leaving their dealer's lot.

Happing camping all!!

The Rolling Stones
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:10 PM   #2
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We had pretty much the same feelings. We thought there would be some problems but not this bad.
Below is the link to the post where I listed some of ours. Repairs are on going at this time.

A few issues with Columbus 385BHS
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:28 PM   #3
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The gouges in the floor should have been noticed during the walk thru as should some of the other items.

The problems with walk thrus is that there is too much to take in, its also embarrasing to take all day going thru everything with a fine tooth comb, however it should be encouraged due to the shoddy workmanship these days.

I would suggest to any new owner to do the walkthru then suggest to the assistant that you want to be left alone for a couple of hours, take photos and make lists of what you think is wrong, discuss and get them to fix the items on the spot if they can.

Also spend the next 2/3 nights at the very nearest campsite so you can check out everything.

Hoping to collect and be home the same day or have your new rig delivered to your home is a mistake, allow 3 or 4 days anytime you buy a new rig and be prepared to stay in a hotel whilst they fix things in needs be, they should pick up the hotel bill at least.

Sorry to hear of your problems I hope your dealer was better than mine.
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:36 PM   #4
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Update to first time 'ouch' with our Columbus 365RL

We had the RV for a few days before leaving for the weekend and the floor scratches only appeared after traveling a number of kilometers down the road. Before leaving we had opened and closed the pop outs without the long table screws causing any damage. The movement of the travel must have shifted something. Taking possession of a 40' RV is like taking possession of a new house and it is almost impossible to get everything right the first time, too many suppliers and manufacturers of various components. We spoke with our dealer Alexandria Camping Centre in Alexandria, Ontario, Canada, and we got the excellent service we have always experienced with them. Our Columbus is already in the shop and ALL problems are being repaired or replaced. We didn't have any plans for the next two weekends so leaving our Columbus with our dealer is no big inconvenience. We're looking forward to our next trip out!
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:32 AM   #5
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Ours is at Alexandria Camping Centre also and I agree with the service it is excellent and they try to work very hard around your schedule.
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:54 AM   #6
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We picked up our new 2015 Columbus 365RL 5th wheel on 18 June for our trip to Kalispell, MT. During the drive up, the driver's side forward wheel severed the gas line and the water line to the refrigerator. Also, first morning taking a shower flooded the bathroom and the storage area beneath the bathroom. The wood trim above the master bed is bowing and the lights above where your head lies in bed are both cockeyed. Nothing for one of the three screws to bite into. Coming back home, the latch on the shower doors failed, and damaged the shower doors. Just can't make this stuff up. Very disappointing. Almost wish I had my Open Range back.
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:29 PM   #7
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Welcome to Columbus quality.....



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Old 07-30-2015, 12:37 PM   #8
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Guess I got a good one.. No problems other than needing to tighten a couple of screws..


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Old 07-31-2015, 08:28 AM   #9
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The problems with walk thrus is that there is too much to take in, its also embarrasing to take all day going thru everything with a fine tooth comb, however it should be encouraged due to the shoddy workmanship these days.

We just purchased our second new camper this spring... I can not believe the shoddy workmanship that goes into these very expensive units. Our first one was a big pop up and we had many many problems that we had to go back to the dealer and have fixed. Now our new Travel Trailer has been in once already to have the dinette squared up... and because it was not put together square the table slipped off the ledge and broke... Our dealer, PleasurelandRV in Brainerd, MN, has been great! But now we are waiting for a new audio system to arrive as it plays for a while and then the speakers cut out... apparently a problem others have had with iRV33 radios.

I think RV manufacturers need their cages rattled like the Japenese did to auto makers in the 80s. We have tried two different companies... and both were shoddy... and judging from this thread they are all pretty much full of poor workmanship.

The other thing that should be changed is the warranties. While some components have multiple year warranties.. the standard one year bumper to bumper is good if you catch a problem on first summer of camping... but in Minnesota... winter is long and eats up much of the warranty period. I think two years or three would be better... then you would have 2 or 3 summers to see if there are more issues that should be covered by warranty.
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Old 05-02-2016, 03:06 PM   #10
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I purchased a used 14 340rk used in January. After using several times, Only minor problem with toilet paper not anchored in sidewall very well. Same for shower bar that shower rides up and own on. I notice a very very slight softness on floor at entry area. No big deal. How is your unit holding up after having it for a while. Thanks for any info you can send my way....John
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Old 05-02-2016, 05:11 PM   #11
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John ,
My 340RK is holding up real well.. I purchased new in early 14 and had the few minor adjustments of new.. The only Issues I have had was a roll pin break on the bedroom slide and had to manually push it in to get home from a 2week Florida vacation and my unit had the bad seals from the lippert recall and my dealership I94RV replaced all the seals and brakes under warranty..



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Old 05-02-2016, 05:16 PM   #12
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I never mounted the toilet paper holder, couldn't find a convent spot so DW bought one that sits on the floor and is movable, I have about 15,000 miles on the 5ver and that paper holder never falls over, we laughter about that every trip.


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Old 05-02-2016, 05:53 PM   #13
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towing

One other question,

How does the 25oo Ram pull your 340rk. I am trying to decide if I need a 2500 or 3500 dually. Your thoughts are appreciated...John
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Old 05-02-2016, 08:08 PM   #14
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We only had 2 similar issues as you, Our radio didn't receive well, reason...The antenna was missing on the roof, and our shower rail was not caulked so water leaked onto the bathroom floor, both easily fixed by me. The sub woofer for the radio is behind the fireplace and ours sounds amazing...much better than our Flagstaff which BTW, was such a piece of junk that we got rid of it after 3 years and bought our Columbus 320 in 2013. It has been the best of our previous 6 TT's. I would not hesitate to get another.
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:28 AM   #15
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My 2500 doesn't know my 340rk is behind me.. Mine is a Ram Tradesman with the Cummins Diesel. I have the towing Package and the snow plow package only for the skid plates, larger alternator and secondary cooling system.. On the Highway I average between 12.5 to 14 at 70 mph pulling my 5ver and 20 to 23 without it.. My Ram has 820 lbs of torque while a 3500 has 840.. The 3500 comes already setup for towing.. I don't have a need for the dual rear tires.. It's a personal thought..


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Old 05-03-2016, 08:26 AM   #16
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Not a Ram guy so not sure but doesn't the 2500 have a 10k GVWR? If so are you over on that with the 5th wheel? I don't think a dually would be needed but I think the extra payload of a 3500 would be for the 5th wheel. Engine and trans are all the same and should have NO issues with pulling.

Not trying to be weight police just wondering if you are able to stay under the GVWR on a 2500.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:57 AM   #17
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My Favorite Mod is by far the one I did for my wife. As you know the 340RK is a 340 square foot rear kitchen and has a small window above the sink.. DW hated that when she was looking out the kitchen window she saw the ladder.. So I modded the ladder.. But you would think that they could have moved it over to other side of the 5ver during construction..


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Old 05-03-2016, 10:40 AM   #18
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No Worries on asking and I did scale the TV just to make sure.. On the 2013 the GVWR is 10,000 with a short box base weight of 7383 plus 2617 payload my GCWR is 25000 with a Max Trailer weight of 17450.. On my 340rk my hitch weight is 1980 and my shipping weight is 10905 with a 13980 GVWR.

Fully Loaded I'm close, but I have a bit of room to spare and I never travel with water..




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Old 05-03-2016, 10:45 AM   #19
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Thanks for the info. On my F-350 the unloaded weight is 8271 leaving me 3229 for payload based on my yellow sticker. I know the F-250's weigh a little less so it leaves them with about 2k for payload. Wasn't sure if 2k would be enough for a loaded up 5th wheel. We just got the 320RS and I have not been able to scale it yet loaded for camping. Hoping to in a couple weeks.
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:27 AM   #20
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You should be fine with your 350.. I forgot to mention my 16k Pullrite Easy Glide was another 175 lbs in my bed.. Lol Great Hitch.. But heavy.. I take it out for Winter


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