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Old 05-21-2018, 08:35 PM   #1
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Unhappy Problem with 2018 2906WS "crabwalking"

We have a brand new 2018 Rockwood 2906WS. We purchased it from a dealership 3 hours away from our home. Looks like we may have gotten a lemon :-( But my question is that the worst problem is that the cottonpicking thing is "crabwalking" when being towed. We thought the first trip out that it was the wind making it so difficult to tow, but yesterday coming home from a short trip it became very obvious that the wind wasn't the problem. The dealer that we bought it from says that it could be one or more of the hangers may be out of alignment. When I called Forest River/Rockwood warranty service line "Jake" was very rude and said that he was almost positive the problem wasn't in the trailer, that it was our truck or hitch. I told him we've been towing the exact same length/weight trailer for 7 years, but he's still insistent that it's the truck (2006 Dodge 2500 5.9 diesel) or hitch. He did concede that it "could" be the camber of the frame or axles. Has anyone else had a problem like this? Part two of the problem is the dealership here in town, while a Forest River dealer, won't repair the trailer under warranty and so we'll have to pay upfront for repairs and then be reimbursed. Has anyone had to do that? Did it work? Did Forest River reimburse? Are the warranty/service people always that rude? Other problems include a faulty thermostat (we hope) - furnace wouldn't cut off, water heater not working quite right, and one fender skirt cracked first trip out. Not a very good endorsement for what was supposed to be one of the better built travel trailers!! Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated! Our previous tt was a 2011 Salem 30KQBSS that never gave a minutes trouble. Kind of regretting buying the "retirement" trailer!
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Glenna View Post
We have a brand new 2018 Rockwood 2906WS. We purchased it from a dealership 3 hours away from our home. Looks like we may have gotten a lemon :-( But my question is that the worst problem is that the cottonpicking thing is "crabwalking" when being towed. We thought the first trip out that it was the wind making it so difficult to tow, but yesterday coming home from a short trip it became very obvious that the wind wasn't the problem. The dealer that we bought it from says that it could be one or more of the hangers may be out of alignment. When I called Forest River/Rockwood warranty service line "Jake" was very rude and said that he was almost positive the problem wasn't in the trailer, that it was our truck or hitch. I told him we've been towing the exact same length/weight trailer for 7 years, but he's still insistent that it's the truck (2006 Dodge 2500 5.9 diesel) or hitch. He did concede that it "could" be the camber of the frame or axles. Has anyone else had a problem like this? Part two of the problem is the dealership here in town, while a Forest River dealer, won't repair the trailer under warranty and so we'll have to pay upfront for repairs and then be reimbursed. Has anyone had to do that? Did it work? Did Forest River reimburse? Are the warranty/service people always that rude? Other problems include a faulty thermostat (we hope) - furnace wouldn't cut off, water heater not working quite right, and one fender skirt cracked first trip out. Not a very good endorsement for what was supposed to be one of the better built travel trailers!! Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated! Our previous tt was a 2011 Salem 30KQBSS that never gave a minutes trouble. Kind of regretting buying the "retirement" trailer!
Furnace problem could be the fan setting. Go to the fan mode turn it to "Auto." As for the axel, Measure from tongue to one of the wheels. Now go do the same on the other side. Be sure to use the same points of measure. Also you can measure from the corner of the frame back to the tire. Do the same on both sides. Can't help with the water heater without more info as to the problem. Not working quite right doesn't do much for me.
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:14 PM   #3
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More info.

When I say "crabwalking" I mean that the camper is traveling down the road at an angle behind the truck. I also did want to say that when I called warranty service, all I wanted was to know how to proceed with this. Dealer said we would need to get a pre-approval on the repairs, which I understand and I was trying to find out what needed to be done in order to get that done. I also wanted to find out what we should do about payment if this got as bad as I'm afraid it will because of having to pay upfront. I know we're going to get stuck paying the difference between what Forest River pays the dealer and what they charge. I never did get that information because "Jake" was all about it being the truck/hitch and said that they'd see IF it turned out to be the trailer after measurements are taken. Plus he got all defensive like I was attacking him and I truly wasn't. I understand that the dealer that we have looking at it doesn't want to do warranty work on a trailer they didn't sell because I figure they don't get paid as much for warranty work. But the problem is we CAN'T take it to the selling dealership because it's dangerous to tow it. We almost hit a bridge because of the "crabwalking". Even the selling dealership said that it shouldn't be towed. In my opinion, Forest River should step up and tell their dealerships that if a Forest River customer comes in with warranty work that needs to be done (especially potentially danger causing issues), they have to do it no matter where the unit was purchased. It would look much better for Forest River's customer service if that were the case. Show that they truly care about their customers and their name (which I know they obviously don't!) The same thing applies to all the RV manufacturers. If you buy their unit, you should be able to get warranty work done at any of their dealerships. Plus they should pay the going rate to the dealership (as long as the dealership isn't "gouging).
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:32 PM   #4
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Unfortunately, it isn't the fan. We had to shut the propane off to get it to stop running :-( Thermostat was set at 73 when we went to bed and it was 84 in the trailer and rising when we got up the next morning. We thought if we turned the gas off and starved it out, it would be good enough, but as soon as we turned it back on for the water heater and grill, the furnace kicked right back on even though the thermostat was off. Only way to keep it off was to disconnect one of the wires (our son's an hvac tech, so he knew what to do). Right now the camper is at the dealership because we'd set up an appointment to get the other stuff fixed when we realized we had another potentially really bad issue. We'd taken it out this weekend to make sure there wasn't anything else wrong and figured we'd drop it off on the way home so we can't do the measurements. It was on the way home that I could see the trailer being dragged at an angle down the road as I was in front of my husband. As for the water heater, it isn't recovering as quickly as it should or get as hot as it should even with both gas switch and electric switch on for quick recovery (which we were told to do by both the dealer that we bought this trailer from and the dealer that we bought our previous trailer from). Water was barely lukewarm and was even cooler by the time I finished the dishes (water not running the whole time). My husband had taken a shower about an hour before and had plenty of hot water... We usually run the water heater on electric only and only do both when we need hot water fast...
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:01 PM   #5
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So sorry to hear of the troubles. We have the same trailer and hopefully will not have the same issues.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:14 PM   #6
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The axle mounts can be shifted a few mm each directions. When I installed the lift I noticed that the holes in the mount were slotted so I had to take some measurements. The tires could be straight ahead but slightly our of line with the trailer.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:18 PM   #7
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I'd definitely be concerned about the furnace. Luke warm water could be a result of the furnace malfunction if it's stealing all the propane.

I definitely wouldn't pay up front at the dealer. I gave our dealer a punch list of things that needed fixed on our 5er when we were under warranty. They pre-approved the repairs with FR, ordered parts and scheduled an appointment. We were without the RV for 3 days while they did the repairs and haven't been back since.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:20 PM   #8
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Do you have an outside shower?? Be sure both valves are turned off. Not just off by the shower head valve. If they are on the water is mixing. Same for the inside shower.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:24 PM   #9
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I'd definitely be concerned about the furnace. Luke warm water could be a result of the furnace malfunction if it's stealing all the propane.

I definitely wouldn't pay up front at the dealer. I gave our dealer a punch list of things that needed fixed on our 5er when we were under warranty. They pre-approved the repairs with FR, ordered parts and scheduled an appointment. We were without the RV for 3 days while they did the repairs and haven't been back since.
And I completely forgot about your "crabwalking" problem. I would do a test tow without your WDH setup. If it's still not tracking it's obviously an alignment problem. Again the dealer should contact FR and investigate. These are not issues you should pre-pay the dealer. You will never get that money back.
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Old 05-22-2018, 04:10 PM   #10
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Since you have rubber torsion axles it should be pretty ez to take some measurements. Like from the hitch to the edge of the front axle mounting bracket (or bolt) on each side, then the spacing between front and rear axles on both sides. Also put an 8 ft level or other straight edge across the outer edge of the tires on each side, for both axles to be parallel, the front and back edge of both tires should be a straight line between all 4 points. Check both sides of the trailer, there are 4 independent swing arms and any one could be bent or misaligned in the axle tube.

Separately, ask the local dealer to take measurements with you paying for his costs (you can seek reimbursement later). Since you are paying, he should give you a copy of his findings. Ask him to also send a copy to FR. Then you can ask FR for a solution and it is very likely that the local dealer would not be qualified to fix this problem anyway.
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Old 05-22-2018, 06:24 PM   #11
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Crab walking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenna View Post
We have a brand new 2018 Rockwood 2906WS. We purchased it from a dealership 3 hours away from our home. Looks like we may have gotten a lemon :-( But my question is that the worst problem is that the cottonpicking thing is "crabwalking" when being towed. We thought the first trip out that it was the wind making it so difficult to tow, but yesterday coming home from a short trip it became very obvious that the wind wasn't the problem. The dealer that we bought it from says that it could be one or more of the hangers may be out of alignment. When I called Forest River/Rockwood warranty service line "Jake" was very rude and said that he was almost positive the problem wasn't in the trailer, that it was our truck or hitch. I told him we've been towing the exact same length/weight trailer for 7 years, but he's still insistent that it's the truck (2006 Dodge 2500 5.9 diesel) or hitch. He did concede that it "could" be the camber of the frame or axles. Has anyone else had a problem like this? Part two of the problem is the dealership here in town, while a Forest River dealer, won't repair the trailer under warranty and so we'll have to pay upfront for repairs and then be reimbursed. Has anyone had to do that? Did it work? Did Forest River reimburse? Are the warranty/service people always that rude? Other problems include a faulty thermostat (we hope) - furnace wouldn't cut off, water heater not working quite right, and one fender skirt cracked first trip out. Not a very good endorsement for what was supposed to be one of the better built travel trailers!! Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated! Our previous tt was a 2011 Salem 30KQBSS that never gave a minutes trouble. Kind of regretting buying the "retirement" trailer!
Thats what we in thr South call “dog tracking”. Have someone follow you down thd highway and video the trailer. If the axel is out of alignment it will be easy to see and prove to mfg. Happy trails!! 👍
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Old 05-22-2018, 06:48 PM   #12
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In the trucking industry, we used to call what you are describing as "dog tailing". The axles are out of alignment. It can happen during transport when the trailer is being loaded, unloaded OR perhaps it was backed into a curb. Use that term when you describe your condition... You can confirm the condition at a DOT weigh station, get it documented, then submit to FR for warranty.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:38 PM   #13
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I like using a piece of string along side the wheels and you pull it out the whole length of the trailer so you can see the alignment or error better.
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Old 05-23-2018, 08:30 AM   #14
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Where I'm from, we called it "dog legging," because most dogs don't run in a straight line (for whatever reason).

In a addition to the static measurements (frame to wheel), I'd try to find a parking lot to replicate the behavior. Drive until the trailer is out of alignment and displaying the dog-leg/crabwalk behavior. Try to document that with measurements, angles, and photos.

And, the final advice is to use the "Enter" key and add some paragraphs to your posts. I'm getting a headache trying to sort through the massive text blocks!
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:15 AM   #15
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Where I'm from, we called it "dog legging," because most dogs don't run in a straight line (for whatever reason).
Hmm. So far as I'm aware, it's because a dogs leg isn't straight, as in "crooked as a dogs hind leg."

crooked as a dog's hind leg
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:41 AM   #16
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Since it's already at a repair center, have them take the measurements and record them. They should be willing to do that since it's already there for other service. It should take less than an hours time to properly take the measurements.
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Old 05-23-2018, 02:20 PM   #17
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I have to say my 2018 tows well, but I will admit quality of construction leaves me to wonder how bad they are cutting corners. So far under warranty which my dealer has been great for, sofa, sink faucet, 2 broken drawers fixed(one of which has the face attached at an angle) oven regulator, day night shade, propane hose, and dinette trim. the pivot arm that broke while opening the awning was refused coverage by Dometic and seems to have been poorly installed. I will probably go back to Keystone for the next one. My first two low end Passports didn't have any of these issues even though they used many of the same products. Sad considering I paid $10k more for the Rockwood than I did my Passport 35 footer.
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Old 05-24-2018, 02:57 PM   #18
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Hmm. So far as I'm aware, it's because a dogs leg isn't straight, as in "crooked as a dogs hind leg." [...]
In this context, we're talking about alignment and not the shape of an appendage.

If you watch a dog run, typically, the rear right leg doesn't land on top of the paw print from the front right leg. (Perhaps this isn't true with greyhounds and well trained/bred dogs.) But, with your typical dog, that rear right leg will not land in a line with where the front right leg was. It will be offset to one side. It will look a bit like this

^^^^^^^^
[FL].......[FR]


....[RL].......[RR]

And, this is exactly what a vehicle with bad alignment might look like. It goes straight down the road, but the rear end isn't tracking behind the front.

Here's an example of how that looks on a truck:


It's at least partially due to having a dominant leg (just as we're right handed or left handed) that kicks a bit harder. My mutt runs so poorly that the RL leg sits almost right on top of the FR line. In any case, that's why it's dog legging, dog tracking, or some other dog-related saying ... because it's an extremely common embodiment of this type of phenomenon.

The dog-leg you're talking about is more about static shape. So, on a golf course, we might say that the hole dog legs to the left ... which means that it has a similar shape to a dog's leg in that it goes straight and then bends to the left. Different context to the alignment issue we're discussing here.
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Old 05-24-2018, 03:52 PM   #19
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I used to a lot of trucks from a local utility company that were dog walking they were so hard on the rear suspension especially when they got stuck somewhere, they would stretch the u- bolts and break the center bolt on the leaf springs allowing the axle to shift. They were difficult to drive into the shop, start the front way over and the back would be scraping the door jamb on the other side.
As for dogs I thought they walked and ran that way so they would have a new traction surface for all the paws.��
Some off road vehicle had a wide tread on one axle and a narrow tread on the other axle so they didn’t follow the same rut or surface.
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Old 05-24-2018, 04:49 PM   #20
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These are dog leggingsClick image for larger version

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