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Old 08-20-2020, 08:05 PM   #1
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Multiple Issues with new camper... help!!!

So I picked up a brand new 2021 Forest River Salem lite 273qbxl a couple weeks ago, got it from out of state because they were the only place that had one in stock. I live in VA... it was just outside of Atlanta, GA (Gander RV of Atlanta) about 12 hours away. I got a good deal on it so I arranged to have it delivered to me, it just made sense considering the gas and and taking two days off work.

The guy I purchased it from said he would have someone call me on the phone to review things... because I wasnít going to be on site picking it up. Well that never happened...

So the last week or so I have been figuring things out myself and have found multiple problems:

1) there is issues with the brakes. I have a 2020 Jeep gladiator with a REDARC elite brake controller. This setup has worked perfect... I have a big Tex trailer ... works perfect, always w no hiccups. As soon as I hooked up the 273, the REDARC was throwing errors. I called REDARC, they were supper helpful. Everything on their end and the Jeep checked out normal (used a multimeter etc). I ended up calling a local gander/camping world (about an hour away). They said they couldnít help me until maybe the end of sept, but I finally got this nice guy on the phone, he said bring it by he would glance at it and try and get it going. When I got there he said everything from the Jeep was good, and then wiggles a few things on the trailer and it stared working! I left, half way home, it stopped working.. but by the time I would have got back to the store they would have been closed.

Got hope... was messing with it, pulled the brake pull chord from the trailer (pulled it straight out) and the end was broken off inside the unit. I then found one of the power wires to one side of the trailer brakes was fried. Also now that it was dark... the upper drive lights arenít working! So here I am stuck...

2) the tv antenna... when I cut on a second TV... the powers antenna cuts out. This is intermittent... no clue whatís going on. Though it was a bad TV... brought that back... they all do the same. I have 3 in the camper.

3) when I was on top of the camper checking the antenna.. sound out the antenna wasnít sealed all the way around ... one area could clearly leak

I Called good sam... talked to a tech. They really didnít have a clue about the trailer or antenna. It was a waste of time.

Any advice on how to escalate this? My purchasing dealer is out of site out of mind... my local dealer I didnít buy it from them... Iím the back of their list. Officially my camping trip next week is going to have to be aborted. I had 6 nights booked, bummer for the family. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 08-20-2020, 08:25 PM   #2
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First let me say welcome to the RV family. This is a great place to learn from those who have "gone before you"!

A walk-thru or pre-delivery inspection of a new rig is VERY important. It catches all the problems right away. The dealer should have done something with you over the Internet. That being said... you need to look around for a local RV Tech Shop... not necessarily a dealer... who can do warranty work, because I believe that is what you have here. I can offer only suggestions on what the problems could be.

The wiring issue is likely a loose wire or two. Most travel trailers have a box near the tongue probably tucked under the frame where the wires run from the 7-pin to the various places to connect lights and brakes. Check there first.

The roof sealant issue around the antenna is easy to fix. Go to a place where they sell RV parts and stuff. Buy some sealant appropriate for you rig's roofing material. Get a caulking gun and fix that one yourself. You can check the other seams on the roof to be sure there aren't others like it needing attention.

The TV antenna cut-out issue is beyond me without research online.

Hope some of this helps. Good Luck!
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Old 08-20-2020, 08:36 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply! The roof sealant I agree that’ll be an extra say fix, more annoying considering the other issues. I looked all through the trailer wiring box.. couldn’t find any issues. The only thing I found was the burned up wire on the one side of the axel.

The antenna... that’s really frustrating me. I tried a indoor antenna on each TV while they were all on... and they worked.

Any idea how to find RV tech shop or does warranty work for forest river? Good sam said to bring it to the local dealer I did today who could get me in for a over a month
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Old 08-20-2020, 08:44 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply! The roof sealant I agree thatíll be an extra say fix, more annoying considering the other issues. I looked all through the trailer wiring box.. couldnít find any issues. The only thing I found was the burned up wire on the one side of the axel.

The antenna... thatís really frustrating me. I tried a indoor antenna on each TV while they were all on... and they worked.

Any idea how to find RV tech shop or does warranty work for forest river? Good sam said to bring it to the local dealer I did today who could get me in for a over a month

Did you have the antenna booster turned on? Maybe an issue with the booster?
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Old 08-20-2020, 08:48 PM   #5
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search google for MOBILE RV tech in your area... they come to you... doing warranty work takes pre-approval which in your time frame might be tough, but they can usually fix you up with you paying for the repair... The brake situation just needs some troubleshooting experience. Brakes are not all that complicated for someone that understands how they work on a trailer.

Forget taking to a dealership, especially a BIG one... a tire shop or specialty trailer shop might help... or even a small independent RV shop.
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Old 08-20-2020, 08:52 PM   #6
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Daniel, your profile indicates you live in Richmond. A quick GOOGLE search shows a number of hits for "RV repair shop".


Some look to be dealers. Should be at least a couple that are only repair shops. Call them and ask if they can help.


BTW, a "burned up wire" on one of the axles is NOT a good sign... could be a short somewhere. Could cause a fire. Be careful.
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Old 08-20-2020, 09:01 PM   #7
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You should contact FR first, for nearby dealers willing to do the warranty work. If none will, let FR know that you'll find an independent RV shops or mobile RV tech to do the warranty work. You just have to get pre-approval from FR and be willing to be reimbursed.
If you had come here first, for advice about your plan, we would've STRONGLY advised you to pick it up yourself. The PDI/walkthrough is EXTREMELY important so you can find what needs to be fixed BEFORE completing the sale.
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Old 08-20-2020, 09:23 PM   #8
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Booster is on, signal works with one TV on. When I power on a second... the signal drops...
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Old 08-20-2020, 09:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
You should contact FR first, for nearby dealers willing to do the warranty work. If none will, let FR know that you'll find an independent RV shops or mobile RV tech to do the warranty work. You just have to get pre-approval from FR and be willing to be reimbursed.
If you had come here first, for advice about your plan, we would've STRONGLY advised you to pick it up yourself. The PDI/walkthrough is EXTREMELY important so you can find what needs to be fixed BEFORE completing the sale.
I will reach out to FR tomorrow.

I emailed GA the sales manager, the GM and Marcus Lamonis VIP.

Your right about the walk through. I would have picked it up but.. but it was like 1100 miles away and a difference was like 3k, and it was the only dealer on this side of the US that could get the model I wanted before the end of the Year.

Issue is... even if I would have picked up... wouldn’t have known about the antennas... I had to install the TVs. But... probably would have figured out the brakes before leaving.

The REDARC Support guys are on point when I called for help. Very nice, know what they are talking about and we’re very precise. They said it was probably a short w wiring on the trailer.

My dealer said they would do a virtual walk through with the tech.. that never happened. I called once.. they didn’t call back. I kinda just dropped it.
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Old 08-20-2020, 11:22 PM   #10
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Congrats on the RV. You did save the time and money picking it up but it sounds like you took a hit on the service as a result. Typically you should not sign for delivery until everything is addressed. If someone else picks it up you have no leverage once they have your money. Unfortunately RV dealers and car dealers are very different breeds.

I suggest skipping the worthless dealer and contacting FR, getting preautorized for RV tech repairs. They will provide you a list of nearby dealers for repair but I try to stay clear of dealers in favor of RV techs and trailer shops. Generally you will have a much better experience dealing with FR than playing telephone through a dealer...they live to blame their shortcomings on the OEM not all but most.

Remove the TV amplifier from the wall. Check for a possible short on the hot lead (not likely with your symptoms but it happens) but more impotantly check all the connections are tight. You are going to see a drop in performace with each TV but it should only interupt service if on the fringe. Know that the RV antenna is not great and I have had better success with alternative antennas but I typically don't go camping for the TV but the DW does so I get it.

You should get comfortable with dicor self leveling lap sealant and roof repairs or you will lose a lot of RV time. Its easy and quick and a little preventative maintenance here will extend the life of your rv. Cleaning for a good bond is key and eternabond tape is much better than dicor in most cases.

Hope that helps! Good luck and happy camping.
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Old 08-21-2020, 06:54 AM   #11
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First and foremost I wouldn't cancel the trip you have planned for any of the issues you listed above except the brakes. Since you've already found the bad wire I would continue troubleshooting and repairing that myself and see couldn't I fix it at least enough to go camping.

I suspect the tv problem is the splitter/power injector. I would just stop by a local RV place and purchase a new one and not fret over it. Consider the money you saved on the RV part of warranty.
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Old 08-21-2020, 07:40 AM   #12
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Hopefully you don't intend to pull that weight trailer with the little jeep.

Most RV/Camper repair of problems like you mention are simple DIY. Something on the roof not sealed to your satisfaction? Caulk it.

Plenty of time to troubleshoot the TV connection(s).

The trailer was delivered to you with (I assume) working brakes on the delivery vehicle so I suspect your controller or wiring on the Jeep. I'm unfamiliar with your controller. My Ford is Plug-n-Play on every trailer I've connected to it.

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Old 08-21-2020, 09:29 AM   #13
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It is possible the antenna problem is from the COAX being on the wrong port of the booster/splitter. It can be a bit tedious to test them all but with a VOM and jumper wire it can be done. Disconnect the COAXs at the splitter and the TV, short the center pin to the shield at the TV then go to the splitter and look for the short with the VOM on ohms.
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Old 08-21-2020, 10:28 AM   #14
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What wires did the RV tech move around that made everything start working? That is where you need to start, it could also be a bad 7 pin connector going into the camper, I would splice a new piece of wire into the brake wire where it is burnt, then make sure all wiring is secured with wire ties so they doesn't rub on any thing, that could have just been caused by it rubbing on something and shorting out once it went thru the insulation, then watch it to see if it happens again, if it does than you know there is a problem in the wiring somewhere.

For the Antenna, I would go onto amazon or walmart.com and order a powered outdoor antenna and connect it to the outside antenna/cable port to see if that solves your problem, if you do this just make sure you turn your power off to the camper antenna, I always carry one of the outdoor (powered) antennas, I don't always use it but I have it just in case. I had a problem several years back similar to your. it turned out to be several staples was driven thru the coax when the techs installed the walls, with a little bit of troubleshooting you can determine if the issue is with the cabling or power to the antennas.
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Old 08-21-2020, 10:29 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Daniel S View Post
So I picked up a brand new 2021 Forest River Salem lite 273qbxl a couple weeks ago, got it from out of state because they were the only place that had one in stock. I live in VA... it was just outside of Atlanta, GA (Gander RV of Atlanta) about 12 hours away. I got a good deal on it so I arranged to have it delivered to me, it just made sense considering the gas and and taking two days off work.

The guy I purchased it from said he would have someone call me on the phone to review things... because I wasnít going to be on site picking it up. Well that never happened...

So the last week or so I have been figuring things out myself and have found multiple problems:

1) there is issues with the brakes. I have a 2020 Jeep gladiator with a REDARC elite brake controller. This setup has worked perfect... I have a big Tex trailer ... works perfect, always w no hiccups. As soon as I hooked up the 273, the REDARC was throwing errors. I called REDARC, they were supper helpful. Everything on their end and the Jeep checked out normal (used a multimeter etc). I ended up calling a local gander/camping world (about an hour away). They said they couldnít help me until maybe the end of sept, but I finally got this nice guy on the phone, he said bring it by he would glance at it and try and get it going. When I got there he said everything from the Jeep was good, and then wiggles a few things on the trailer and it stared working! I left, half way home, it stopped working.. but by the time I would have got back to the store they would have been closed.

Got hope... was messing with it, pulled the brake pull chord from the trailer (pulled it straight out) and the end was broken off inside the unit. I then found one of the power wires to one side of the trailer brakes was fried. Also now that it was dark... the upper drive lights arenít working! So here I am stuck...

2) the tv antenna... when I cut on a second TV... the powers antenna cuts out. This is intermittent... no clue whatís going on. Though it was a bad TV... brought that back... they all do the same. I have 3 in the camper.

3) when I was on top of the camper checking the antenna.. sound out the antenna wasnít sealed all the way around ... one area could clearly leak

I Called good sam... talked to a tech. They really didnít have a clue about the trailer or antenna. It was a waste of time.

Any advice on how to escalate this? My purchasing dealer is out of site out of mind... my local dealer I didnít buy it from them... Iím the back of their list. Officially my camping trip next week is going to have to be aborted. I had 6 nights booked, bummer for the family. Any advice would be appreciated.
Daniel S,

Thank you for being a part of the Salem family.

Please accept our sincerest apologies for any inconveniences that you have experienced with your new Cruise Lite. Your satisfaction is very important to us; accordingly, we invite you to contact Miranda Blackburn in our Customer service department through the following personalized and direct link: https://www.forestriverinc.com/Direc...35346056918413.

This direct link is provided for your convenience in order that we may resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. We will strive to respond to you within 24 hours of receiving your correspondence.

Respectfully,
Forest River
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Old 08-21-2020, 11:41 AM   #16
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First and foremost I wouldn't cancel the trip you have planned for any of the issues you listed above except the brakes. Since you've already found the bad wire I would continue troubleshooting and repairing that myself and see couldn't I fix it at least enough to go camping.

I suspect the tv problem is the splitter/power injector. I would just stop by a local RV place and purchase a new one and not fret over it. Consider the money you saved on the RV part of warranty.
Issue is there appears to be something loose ... Iíve checked all the connects I can trace
, everything seems fine. Itís not just one wire... multiple ones on the drivers side are burned up or looks like (picture attached).

Yea the Tv issue I will eventually work that out, not too worries about it... just an additional annoyance like the caulking /quality control.
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Old 08-21-2020, 11:50 AM   #17
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Hopefully you don't intend to pull that weight trailer with the little jeep.

Most RV/Camper repair of problems like you mention are simple DIY. Something on the roof not sealed to your satisfaction? Caulk it.

Plenty of time to troubleshoot the TV connection(s).

The trailer was delivered to you with (I assume) working brakes on the delivery vehicle so I suspect your controller or wiring on the Jeep. I'm unfamiliar with your controller. My Ford is Plug-n-Play on every trailer I've connected to it.

-- Chuck
The gladiator can tow up to 8133 and has a payload or almost 1600, it’s not your traditional 2 door wrangler.

My brake controller is plug and play too like your ford. No issues with the Jeep or controller. They work fine with my big Tex trailer. The tow set up worked for 8 months prior to the tt, and still works ... flawless every time w no errors. Confirmed everything worked w Jeep and REFARC, and the camping world dealer . So the issue is the trailer.

The guy who delivered it had a older 3500 dually, he didn’t have a controller hooked up. He said he doesn’t mess w it unless it’s over 7.5k.
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Old 08-21-2020, 12:21 PM   #18
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Cool. All the way from Atlanta with no brakes.

I'm now seeing 7650 pounds max towing on the Jeep website. First glance showed something around 5000.

-- Chuck
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Old 08-21-2020, 12:29 PM   #19
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Daniel S,

Thank you for being a part of the Salem family.

Please accept our sincerest apologies for any inconveniences that you have experienced with your new Cruise Lite. Your satisfaction is very important to us; accordingly, we invite you to contact Miranda Blackburn in our Customer service department through the following personalized and direct link: https://www.forestriverinc.com/Direc...35346056918413.

This direct link is provided for your convenience in order that we may resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. We will strive to respond to you within 24 hours of receiving your correspondence.

Respectfully,
Forest River
Nice customer service.
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Old 08-21-2020, 12:30 PM   #20
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Cool. All the way from Atlanta with no brakes.

I'm now seeing 7650 pounds max towing on the Jeep website. First glance showed something around 5000.

-- Chuck
Iím seeing 7650 as well for a gladiator. Seems like a lot of trailer for a gladiator.
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