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Old 12-30-2012, 12:23 PM   #91
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Sam, sorry to hear about your fridge. Looks like it's going to be a long winter for you. And as you said, we are just starting to get into the cold weather. Good luck from here on out. We're thinkging about you.
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:35 PM   #92
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So, in the latest development our Dometic RM1350 Fridge is broken. The entire cooling unit needs to be replaced. Lucky that it's plenty cold out here so keeping things cold is not an issue, but what a pain in the ass. We need to have it removed which will have to be done at the dealer, and as we're pretty much entrenched here, that will not be done until March. So no fridge until March. I have nothing nice to say about Dometic, their customer service, or their local contractor Yuhalla, Brothers.

I however have GLOWING things to say about Norcold, their products, service, etc. So the jacks are still broken, and we will need to manually retract each one to get this thing to the dealer. The fridge is busted... I'm still a fan of the Columbus, but I have to say, my Itasca Sunova 35J saw this weather and more and did better.

Your stock is going down Forest River...and it hasn't even gotten cold here yet.

I'm beginning to see a 3 season, non-fulltime rated coach here. I could go on, but this will begin to sound like the typical forum bitch session.

Yours,

Sam.

Oh, the Ice Castle is rocking along like a champ. Still just one 900watt electric heater and it's currently 77deg F in there. We spend most of our time in the Ice Castle. With it's Norcold Fridge...

Over to you Forest River...
What happened to your jacks? How did they break? It makes me nervous seeing the Columbus is what we want to purchase?
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:16 PM   #93
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Well the jacks themselves are fine. Frozen, but fine. The control module is not working and will have to be replaced. How this happened is unknown. It began to flash a out of level error and beep constantly. No matter how many time this was corrected the error code persisted.

You have to manage your expectations when it comes to an RV. ESPECIALLY a new RV. Things will break, and it will be in the shop a bunch at the beginning, then it will even out and run like a champ for years without a peep. That's the way of it. We live in our RV in very extreme conditions, and push it to the max. We do get frustrated, however, at what appears to be a systemic quailty control problem at Forest River. This late into the production run, many of these repeted problems should have been corrected on the line long long ago.

Maybe it's time to review your production system and apply some TPS principles, maybe add some Kanban cards Forest River? I can help.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:24 AM   #94
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Well the jacks themselves are fine. Frozen, but fine. The control module is not working and will have to be replaced. How this happened is unknown. It began to flash a out of level error and beep constantly. No matter how many time this was corrected the error code persisted.

You have to manage your expectations when it comes to an RV. ESPECIALLY a new RV. Things will break, and it will be in the shop a bunch at the beginning, then it will even out and run like a champ for years without a peep. That's the way of it. We live in our RV in very extreme conditions, and push it to the max. We do get frustrated, however, at what appears to be a systemic quailty control problem at Forest River. This late into the production run, many of these repeted problems should have been corrected on the line long long ago.

Maybe it's time to review your production system and apply some TPS principles, maybe add some Kanban cards Forest River? I can help.
"Kanban" is primarily "lean" practice.
FR could definitely use "Kiazen" as an element of "continuous improvement". However, these practices focus on driving efficiencies in production practices not necessarily the product.
"Six Sigma" quantitatively evaluates the process against return of defects. "DMAIC" (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) and "DMADV" (define, measure, analyze, design, verify).

FR could definately benefit from a comprhensive quality program.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:04 AM   #95
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ranchand

This thread has been enlightening by revealing how the Columbus takes extremely cold climates. I shiver when I read what the family is experiencing. Hope this does not turn out like the Dr. Zhivago movie Thanks for sharing your experience!
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:31 AM   #96
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"Kanban" is primarily "lean" practice.
FR could definitely use "Kiazen" as an element of "continuous improvement". However, these practices focus on driving efficiencies in production practices not necessarily the product.
"Six Sigma" quantitatively evaluates the process against return of defects. "DMAIC" (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) and "DMADV" (define, measure, analyze, design, verify).

FR could definately benefit from a comprhensive quality program.
You forgot (WWJD)! Youroo!!
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:57 AM   #97
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Well we still have some room between us and the bolshevik revolution, but it's coming fast. It's really not all that bad, the rig has definite design shortfalls for sustained cold weather camping, in fact so many that I'd really call this a 3 season rig (though I have found that if an RV can't handle cold, it can't handle hot...we'll see but this may be dropping to a 2 season rig if it can't handle 100+ degrees). We make it work, but it's a daily struggle and systems fail at an alarming rate. We removed and discareded the POS screen door as it was constantly frozen. Honestly even if it didn't freeze up, it was cheap and flimsy.

We've also had some warm weather, so I removed the vent in the bunkroom, applied SILICONE CAULK Forest River, SILICONE CAULK, S-I-L-I-C-O-N-E CAULK. I don't think I can say it enough. Refitted the vent assembly and re-caulked the roof, and it now no longer leaks as the snow melts.

The rigs are great, but I feel as if the factory built the rig to about 85% completion, and it's a guessing game as to what the remaining 15% will be that the consumer has to finish.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:01 AM   #98
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You forgot (WWJD)! Youroo!!
What would Jesus drive?
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:46 PM   #99
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You exemplify "when the going gets tough, the tough get going" Hang in there. Glad to learn about the screen door. I saw a new model on a lot and noticed that the factory started putting on screen doors and I want one. Looked into it and the entire factory installed door has to be replaced with a new door/screen door and frame. Over $800. Too much for me! I agree with you--fit and finish could be a little better. The factory assembles these units in three days. And, I have spent a couple 100 degree days and the air conditioners run a lot! I installed a 12' awning over the dining room/living room slide windows. Looks like that will help knock off the sun and help with the cooling. Won't do much for -15 degrees! Big windows????
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:15 PM   #100
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my shower enclosure had to be siliconed as well. i bought in 2002.

for some of the problems to continue, i wonder how much feed back the factory actually gets on problems.

i wouldn't even think abt camping in weather that cold. i've threatened to camp in show abt a week just to see snow...don't think i will now. didn't think abt the propane going out in a couple days. very enlightening.

i'm enjoying ur post.
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