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Old 10-03-2011, 05:50 PM   #21
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We looked at r-pods early on. I actually liked the T@b teardrop far better. I thought the facilities in the r-pod took up too much living space and made it feel overly closed in/cramped. The A122 came on our radar after bing unable to find a T@b for purchase.
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:04 PM   #22
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My A122's defects

I got my A122 in June and have camped about 30 days so far including a trip from Cincinnati to Kalispell, MT and back (the long way back via Duluth, MN. All in all I am happy but I did have some problems. I don't think they are common according to the Forest River Warranty man but still not right.

The main problem I noticed upon delivery inspection. One of the four Sidewall clamps (large handle that clamps the walls and roof together) would not engage the opening in the roof. It seemed to be too short. I had planned my trip for the next week so the mechanic at Tome Raper RV (Richmond, IN) drilled another hole in the handle so that it could reach the slot. Unfortunately that made it too long to clear the roof on the way into the slot. I had to lift the roof slightly and push the wall outward to get the clamp to latch. Even then it didn't sit well in the slot. They talked me into accepting the "temporary" fix for my trip and promised to fix it when I returned home. I wanted to go so I agreed. Still whenever the winds got strong, I wondered if it was really secure. With only two latches per sidewall, even losing one latch seems important. I made it home.

The guy at Forest River Warranty (Sam Buckles) was very helpful. First he shipped me a new clamp handle since we thought maybe the original was improperly drilled. It seemed plausible since the "temporary" fix hole had to be spaced a ways from the existing hole (cant't drill on the edge of the existing hole). This was no good...back to delivery day. Next he shipped me a special handle made with three holes that all intersected to form a long scalloped hole with three adjustable positions. None of the holes solved the problem.

Finally I put on my detective hat and carefully studied the three good clamps and the offending one for differences. Eureka!

If you clamp the roof and look at a good connection, the handle is rotated fully into the roof slot AND perpendicular to the wall edge (and the ceiling). The bolt the clamp rotates on is located to allow this geometry. I found the bad clamp had the bolt located so that when I rotated the handle perpendicular to the ceiling, the clamp was only half way into the slot. The factory had drilled the handle bolt about a handle width from where it belongs. That's why the geometry didn't work.

SInce it was impossible to clamp the camper open, I really wondered about the quality control at Forest River... and Tom Raper RV who supposedly prepped and pre-inspected my unit for delivery.

Minor problems:
  • Porta potty one side clamp would not securely clamp.
  • Stainless fridge is actually plastic painted stainless color.
  • Poor sewing on curtain tiebacks... Velcro loose.
  • The vinyl fabric propane tank cover disintegrated and littered US Hwy 2 somewhere east of Havre MT.
  • The sliding window over sink only opens about 8 inches. Sam Buckles says the factory installed the windows for a while with too large scres causing the aluminum track to swell into the window track restricting the movement.
  • On delivery one of the tail lights had not been wired at the factory.
  • The door on the CD player broke almost immediately. Maybe they know this is a problem since the replacement they installed is a slot loader.

On the upside, I had ZERO water leaks and I have really had fun traveling in the A122.

Heads Up: Sam Buckles said the new model versions for next year will offer an extended from with some exterior storage areas like some of the pop-ups have. Much needed storage unless you have a pick-up with a cap as I do.
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:59 AM   #23
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Which handle was it? I ask because I have one lock handle that fits less well than the other three, though not as bad as you describe. Mine is the rear one on the door side.

If its the same one, maybe the jig used at the factory to set the drilling locations is getting out of whack over time. I had that happen on a bookcase I made once; as I drilled dozens of holes for shelf supports, my spacing jig got looser and looser. The final product had noticeably sloped shelves. Not one of the Great Moments in Cabinetmaking.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:25 AM   #24
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My 128 has an issue with the door side handle on what I call the front end - going in the door, it is on the right. Been that way since we got it and is one thing I am going to address when we take it in for service. Just doesn't work smoothly like the other 3. Have to really push on the wall to get it to latch.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:37 PM   #25
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Well the offending handle is on the door side front end (tongue end).

Here is a photo with the bad handle 90 degrees to the ceiling, Only half way into the roof slot.(click for larger photo)



It has badly scratched the bracket plate on the roof as I have gad to push up in the roof and out against the wall to get it into the slot



Here is what the geometry of a good clamp looks- 90 degrees to ceiling and fully seated in toof slot.



Another picture of the bad clamp



I will upload a few more in another post
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:39 PM   #26
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My problem Roof latch

A right angle shows how the pivot bolt should be positioned with respect to the roof slot when properly installed



This shows where the center of the bad handle's axis falls with respect to the roof... note it is off about half a handle's width. The pivot bolt needs to move to the right.



Hope these help explain the problem. click thumbnails for larger picture.
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:37 PM   #27
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hardsider,


I have a very similar problem. My door side wall is off-center. See the attachments.

Because the Door halves line up perfectly, I cannot move the upper (folding) wall 1/2" to the left to center the wall. All of the seals work fine and are air and water tight. I had to elongate the hole in the left handle by an inch for the handle to properly engage the top. I am embarrassed I never noticed this on the walk through. The left side of the wall was actually held in place by the handle hitting one of the top plate screws (first photo). Elongating the screw hole towards the handle grip allows for proper engagement. I would take it back to Forest River, but since they got it wrong the first time, I don't trust them to make the repair.

My dealer's walk-through person had to know this problem existed since they sell a lot of these trailers. I had him show me how the wall went up and down. If I had taken the time to do the setup myself I would have caught this before delivery. Another life lesson learned.

Dave
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:46 PM   #28
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Along with my other issues, my dinette side stereo speaker did not work. After removing the POS stereo I found the problem. The factory actually crimped a connector on the wire coming from the stereo without attaching the speaker wire. (Yes, they actually put a wire crimp on a single wire.) The speaker wire was never even touched (unstripped).

It is safe to say the QC at the factory is poor and my dealer's prep guy isn't very thourough.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:28 PM   #29
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I can see the off center issue in those last pics. Wow.... That's a bummer. I also noticed a bit of rust starting to show on the latch hole cover. I'll watch for both issues should they arise in the future. I haven't had any issues with any latches thus far, whether I have my jacks up or down. Being a giddy kid at delivery, I insisted on operating most everything myself. I was lucky and had a good tech for delivery. Only thing I've found wrong so far on my A126 was the hot water heater bypass valves weren't set right (all valves let opened keeping hot water from flowing) and my gas furnace has been hard to start, I've only used it once so that might have been air in the gas lines.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:38 PM   #30
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The furnace will often be hard to start, run one of the burners on the stove for a few seconds and this will prime the line and th furnace will start right up.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:14 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveinpickerington
My door side wall is off-center.
Mine is too, Dave. I bet all of them are. It's one of the first things I wondered about when I got the camper home the first time. After some reflection on why this should be so, my opinion is that it's designed this way because the two roof sections must overlap completely when closed in order to keep rain and road splashes out when the unit is stored or is traveling. To make that happen the aluminum angle (maybe it should be called the skirt) that runs along the side edges of the front roof section is wider than on the rear section. This makes the bottoms of the front and rear skirts--where the gaskets are attached--come out even (or mostly so) when the roofs are down. So I've come to believe the sidewall isn't off center, it's just that the amount of "extra" roof side skirt is greater on the front roof section than the rear.

That doesn't excuse the latch handles being wrongly set, but it's a different issue, design versus assembly.

I spent some time looking at how the roof seals to the sidewalls when the trailer is packed down, and decided it was pretty well designed. The same gaskets or seals used when the camper is up are used as seals when it's folded. Which explains how I've never had a drop enter the unit even after a full day of driving in the rain.

It's like we used to say in the early days of computers: "That's not a bug, it's a feature!"
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:07 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rawlus
The furnace will often be hard to start, run one of the burners on the stove for a few seconds and this will prime the line and th furnace will start right up.
Yep, tried that. We were expecting ( and got) temps below 40F, actually bottomed out at 38F. I recalled the cool cat manual saying no heat below 45F so i wanted to make sure the gas furnace was ready. I burned all three burners on the stove for about 30 seconds or so after the first 5 or 6 furnace fails. Still took a whole lot of tries to get flame on the furnace.

Funny thing was once it lit, I let it cycle (mostly). The smoke detector went off from the "new" burn off scaring the DW and I both.

Edit: just read the heat pump manual section. No heat pump below 40F (+/-2F). I got lucky and temps stayed in that +/-2F range. Another degree or two and we would have had to switch over to furnace in the middle of the night. I would have been an Unhappy camper had we needed to go to furnace in the middle of the night and the smoke detector gone off must after laying back down, lol. I need to give it a good cycle here at the house before our next cold weather trip.
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:38 AM   #33
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I think these roof issues are ... well non-issues. Like Hamguy stated, one end lays on the other end, so geometery predicts that you will not get equal amount of "overhang" on both roof halves. As far as the latches are concerned ... i learnt from the first time setting up that you should not crank down the stabalizers too much or else you will flex the frame (god knows how that would happen as its 4 inch tube steel) but it does happen. The tollerances are so tight within the perameters of these little trailers that this flexing will cause latch issues when setting up your trailer.
So what do i do ?
I chock the one wheel, and BAL level the other.
I snug up the stabalizers, I never crank them down.
I do believe that these trailers have extremely tight tolerances, almost like the roof sides have been cut electronically. Any flexing of the frame will throw off the cut and entry points all over the unit .. and will eventually lead to demise of your trailer.

just my .02

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Old 10-06-2011, 11:28 AM   #34
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On another topic that I think fits this thread, sealing leaks, my wife found some rave reviews on a Chalet user forum for a product called "Capt. Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure". It sounds like the perfect thing for fixing hairline cracks in the bubble window. MikeG had some warranty replacement done on his new unit for a cracked bubble window, and although I've not had that problem yet, it could happen someday--probably the day after the warranty runs out. Gotta get me some! See www.epoxyproducts.com/7_repair.html.

There are references to this stuff on the FR forum too. Search for the word "Tolley's". The thread is titled "Leaks.. Best caulk to use?"

I thought since several of us, myself included, are newbies to this forum we should call attention to good stuff when we find it.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:46 PM   #35
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My A122 goes back to the dealer tomorrow for the following repairs;
- Replacement of tinted sky light window
- Replacement of sink due to a crack.
- Replacement of a roof assist bungie, the original was frayed at time of
purchase.
- Adjustment of roof panel, it will not fully close unless someone
pushes in on the door.

I will let everyone know how this turns out, it should be done by early next week.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:52 PM   #36
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Best of luck Mike. I hope your dealer has competent service personnel.

Hopefully, they are more qualified than some of the people at the factory who put our units together.
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Old 10-14-2011, 04:23 PM   #37
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D-mo: I will back you up on these issues of frame distortions. When I had my flagstaff tent trailer set up on the jacks it would take only a little more stress on one jack to distord the unit and preventing the door from closing and even causing some stress on thevinyl specially around the door fitting. The aframe is mostly a tent trailer with a solid top. Even if I had a 3 inches frame on my tent trailer a 4 inches will cause some wrapping because there is no solid walls and roof combined in one unit to help the body to be ridgid.
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:55 PM   #38
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[QUOTE=Mike G;138397]My A122 goes back to the dealer tomorrow for the following repairs;
- Replacement of tinted sky light window - FIXED
- Replacement of sink due to a crack. - FIXED
- Replacement of a roof assist bungie, the original was frayed at time of
purchase. -FIXED
- Adjustment of roof panel, it will not fully close unless someone
pushes in on the door. - STILL AT THE DEALER, THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT REPLACING THE WHOLE ROOF PANEL.

Sorry for all of the caps, but i had rotator cuff surgery yesterday and i only have the use of one hand. they should have it done in a couple of weeks.
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:00 PM   #39
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Sorry about the surgery, but happy to hear your problems are being taken care of.
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:21 PM   #40
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5 weeks at dealer and counting

I had the problem with the mis-drilled roof latch handle I have described before. I posted some pictures here on the forum. I contacted Sam Buckles at Forest River Warranty Service ( a top notch guy who has gone out of his way to help me) and had the correct parts shipped to Tom Raper RV in Richmond IN. I bought my A122 there and they have a large shop so I thought they would be able to handle the job. I insisted that the metal edging at the top of the sidewall be replaced when the correct hole was drilled...I shouldn't have an empty hole in my wall. They agreed. Anyway I made sure they had my part and scheduled the repair. I took the RV in on Sept 15th for a repair that was to take about a week. I left a detailed typewritten explanation of my problem and what was needed to fix it. I finally got tired of waiting and called after 13 days and was informed it was just finished. Drove the 90 minutes from Cincinnai to Richmond the next day to find the original problem untouched. The mechanic had removed the sidewall edge, re drilled the wind lock bolt and reinstalled it. Kind of like when they amputate your good leg and leave the bad one. The repairman never got my note. It should have been obvious while he was working that the handle didn't lock but he didn't. I went home without my camper and they reordered the part that had been wasted in the incorrect repair.

Two weeks later I called to see if my camper was ready and they said that they had gotten the wrong part. Yesterday I called again and they said that the part had just come in that day and it was the wrong part again! I told them to call Sam Buckles at FR after the first wrong part as he shipped the misused correct part.

At this point I am not sure they are telling me the truth. I am very frustrated having missed six weeks of some of the best camping weather of the year. I think I will talk to the the Manager of Tom Raper RV to express my dissatisfaction with the service department. It all started when they delivered the RV to me with the obvious defect in the roof latch handle and talked me into taking it on my vacation with a temporary fix until the end of the summer.

Russ
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