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Old 05-12-2021, 07:40 AM   #1
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Bunk curtain fail due to cheap manufacturing

My daughter sat down on the bottom bunk and in the process got the curtain caught underneath her. Half of the curtain rail ripped right out from the ceiling. When I tried to put it back up I realized that it was screwed directly into the thin sheet of wood that covers the ceiling and nothing else. Why would FR do this? I would expect the rail to be screwed into something that provided support, but no. The more I inspect the materials used for my trailer the more I realize that it is not worth what I paid for it, let alone MSRP or the dealer's asking price.
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Old 05-12-2021, 07:47 AM   #2
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My daughter sat down on the bottom bunk and in the process got the curtain caught underneath her. Half of the curtain rail ripped right out from the ceiling. When I tried to put it back up I realized that it was screwed directly into the thin sheet of wood that covers the ceiling and nothing else. Why would FR do this? I would expect the rail to be screwed into something that provided support, but no. The more I inspect the materials used for my trailer the more I realize that it is not worth what I paid for it, let alone MSRP or the dealer's asking price.
What did you pay for it? A lot of people expect a Porsche when theyíve paid for a Kia.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:43 AM   #3
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Most campers are built with lightweight inexpensive materials and care is needed not to damage it. To Dustman's point, if they made it to the same quality as your house it would be very heavy and likely outside the towing capacity for most vehicles.

You may need to purchase larger screws or modify the mounting hardware. Add a photo and maybe we can come up with some ideas on how to address.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:57 AM   #4
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I wish I knew what their production costs are for an average trailer and what the actual mark up is. I have not been able to find any information online. Is it an industry secret?

I am new to trailers so I have to tread with a little caution when I vent but the curtain issue is just plain idiotic. How in the world do you screw a curtain rail into a thin piece of wood that measures less than a quarter of an inch and expect it to hold? If anything, place a piece of 1x2 across the roof frame to screw into and support it.

I already have a solution for it but thanks for offering to help. They could have easily screwed the curtain rail into the wooden frame that goes across the top of the upper bunk area. This is what I am planning on doing but I will have to modify the rail in order to do so. I'm just bothered by how stupid the placement was for the curtain rail.
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Old 05-12-2021, 04:21 PM   #5
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I'm not sure if you sit on any curtain, you will either tear the curtain or rip it loose from the installation hardware. We have to accept that RVs are fragile. If expecting to be super solid like our stick built house, you would never be able to pull the beast.
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Old 05-12-2021, 04:30 PM   #6
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I'm not sure if you sit on any curtain, you will either tear the curtain or rip it loose from the installation hardware. We have to accept that RVs are fragile. If expecting to be super solid like our stick built house, you would never be able to pull the beast.
I am not arguing that point at all. My issue is with the way that they installed the curtain rail. How do you screw into something so thin and expect it not to break?
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Old 05-12-2021, 04:30 PM   #7
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I wish I knew what their production costs are for an average trailer and what the actual mark up is. I have not been able to find any information online. Is it an industry secret?

I am new to trailers so I have to tread with a little caution when I vent but the curtain issue is just plain idiotic. How in the world do you screw a curtain rail into a thin piece of wood that measures less than a quarter of an inch and expect it to hold? If anything, place a piece of 1x2 across the roof frame to screw into and support it.

I already have a solution for it but thanks for offering to help. They could have easily screwed the curtain rail into the wooden frame that goes across the top of the upper bunk area. This is what I am planning on doing but I will have to modify the rail in order to do so. I'm just bothered by how stupid the placement was for the curtain rail.
They donít expect kids to sit on the curtain or for anyone to put pressure on them. Thatís a standard install, has worked for years. It was a freak accident, donít blame FR.
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Old 05-12-2021, 09:20 PM   #8
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Yes, it was an accident. I am not arguing that. It could have happened to anyone. Since you are defending FR, how do you explain the fact that the curtain rail was screwed into a thin piece of pressed wood which provided very little support?
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Old 05-12-2021, 11:36 PM   #9
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Yes, it was an accident. I am not arguing that. It could have happened to anyone. Since you are defending FR, how do you explain the fact that the curtain rail was screwed into a thin piece of pressed wood which provided very little support?
Hate to throw this back, but you are missing the concept on how RV are fragile and built so they can be towed. As pointed out by another person, just accept there was an accident that millions of RV owners could be subjected to but are careful to avoid with care. Myself, I'm on my 4th RV. First camper was when my kids were in diapers and that was 40 years ago and had absolutely nothing ever broken or torn by them. If you can't accept the way RVs are constructed, perhaps you would be happier towing a mobile home.
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Old 05-13-2021, 07:17 AM   #10
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Come on Bob, a curtain rail!?
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Old 05-13-2021, 07:29 AM   #11
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It's an unfortunate fact with RVs that quality is not job 1. The goal is to build them as least expensive and as lightweight as possible. One thing I found with RV ownership over the decades is the owner has to make up for these short comings.

That said.....what I would do is take down the entire curtain rod and then put up a 1"x2" piece of wood across the whole opening securing it with several screws along the piece. Then put the curtain rod back up on that piece. That way when (not even an if) your daughter sits on the curtain again, there will be more screws to distribute the load probably resulting in a ripped curtain instead of the rod coming off.
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Old 05-13-2021, 07:47 AM   #12
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Yes, it was an accident. I am not arguing that. It could have happened to anyone. Since you are defending FR, how do you explain the fact that the curtain rail was screwed into a thin piece of pressed wood which provided very little support?
These things are built to a price point. I was shocked at how cheaply a lot of things are made when I started fixing/upgrading things, and have been pissed about quite a few of them... But, you bought a Forest River, not an Airstream. You can get frustrated that people here are defending FR, but what's that going to accomplish? Are you looking for someone to agree with you that they mounted it stupidly? If so, I agree. But, what can you do about it, besides fixing/improving it and moving on.
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Old 05-13-2021, 07:57 AM   #13
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Yes, it was an accident. I am not arguing that. It could have happened to anyone. Since you are defending FR, how do you explain the fact that the curtain rail was screwed into a thin piece of pressed wood which provided very little support?
The walls are made of the same material, as stated before, to keep the weight down. I strongly recommend you take a trip to a factory and do their factory tour, once they open them back up, You will be surprised how these things are put together but then, probably not.
I have done
Forest River, Heartland, Jayco, Salem and Grand Design factory tours, material use is the same throughout, it's the quality of build that makes the difference.
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Old 05-13-2021, 12:59 PM   #14
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Here is a pic of the ceiling where the curtain rail was. Much to my disappointment, the wood that you see that covers the rail from view is screwed into the same thin material. I thought it would have been screwed into a joist or truss. I was going to modify and attach the curtain rail to it but it is not worth the trouble. It can pull right out like the rail did.

In the pic you can see the 3-4screw holes from the right to left. I removed those. The rest of the holes are unusable because the screws ripped right out.
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Old 05-13-2021, 01:48 PM   #15
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Here is a pic of the ceiling where the curtain rail was. Much to my disappointment, the wood that you see that covers the rail from view is screwed into the same thin material. I thought it would have been screwed into a joist or truss. I was going to modify and attach the curtain rail to it but it is not worth the trouble. It can pull right out like the rail did.

In the pic you can see the 3-4screw holes from the right to left. I removed those. The rest of the holes are unusable because the screws ripped right out.
Use some expanding anchors to screw into and you'll likely be able to use the same holes without much fuss.



Like the top two types.
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Old 05-13-2021, 02:01 PM   #16
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As has been said, the RV Industry has definite quality issues and has for decades. It's been widely known for years and is no secret. Anyone new to the RV world can find that information, before deciding to join it.
Your trailer is considered an entry-level RV, since it's stick and tin construction, which keeps its price point lower than other types of RVs. But even higher level RVs have the same kind of issues, even million dollar Class A diesel pushers.
Because I spent 2 years on RV forums, before buying my first new RV, I was very aware of what I was getting into and learned the steps to help lower the chances of having problems. I did a long PDI/walkthrough, with every issue documented with the dealer and made sure everything was resolved before the factory warranty expired.
And you purchased your new trailer at probably the worst time in history, to buy a new RV. With unprecedented RV sales, coupled with a pandemic that affected factory production and supply chain issues, quality on all RVs was guaranteed to get worse.
Unfortunately, IMHO, we will never see the kind of changes that the American Auto Industry went through, from foreign competition. So, that leaves either the public refusing to buy RVs until quality improves or government intervention.
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Old 05-13-2021, 02:03 PM   #17
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Those anchors work on drywall. The wood panels used in the trailer are too thin for those anchors to work. Unless there are some for thin materials that I have never seen before. If you notice, the first 3 have a gap that makes up the thickness of the piece of drywall being anchored into.

Thanks for the suggestion though.
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Old 05-13-2021, 02:03 PM   #18
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My daughter sat down on the bottom bunk and in the process got the curtain caught underneath her. Half of the curtain rail ripped right out from the ceiling. When I tried to put it back up I realized that it was screwed directly into the thin sheet of wood that covers the ceiling and nothing else. Why would FR do this? I would expect the rail to be screwed into something that provided support, but no. The more I inspect the materials used for my trailer the more I realize that it is not worth what I paid for it, let alone MSRP or the dealer's asking price.
Guess you could sell it as there are a lot of folks looking for RV's now.
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Old 05-13-2021, 02:19 PM   #19
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Not yet. I've only used the camper once. I need to use it much more before I can make that decision, but it's definitely an option.
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Old 05-13-2021, 02:26 PM   #20
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Those anchors work on drywall. The wood panels used in the trailer are too thin for those anchors to work. Unless there are some for thin materials that I have never seen before. If you notice, the first 3 have a gap that makes up the thickness of the piece of drywall being anchored into.

Thanks for the suggestion though.
Than get a thin wall anchor, not a drywall anchor.

Like this https://www.homedepot.com/p/Hillman-...6254/202243046
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