RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-23-2019, 07:16 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 42
Design that boggles the mind

I have a HW 277 pop-up and, at the start of the summer, I noticed that the air conditioner wasn't working. It didn't operate in any mode - not even fan mode. Other appliances, like the microwave, worked just fine. (BTW, I have 30 amp service where I park the camper at my home.) I eventually took the camper in for service and, $200 later, I learned that the power cord that takes power from the electrical panel up to the roof had become unplugged at the electrical panel. Just as a reminder, as part of the set up process, you pull this cord out of it's storage port until fully extended and plug it into the outlet in the roof before raising the roof.

The RV repairman said that to diagnose the problem and fix it, he had to remove the electrical panel. Note, the problem was that the plug had been pulled out of its socket on the electrical panel - the plug on a cord that you're supposed to pull out of its storage location through a small port... No one at Forest River thought to design-in a retention mechanism that would prevent the cord from accidentally becoming unplugged!

Every time I gain more understanding of the design of this camper the less I'm impressed and, often, the angrier I become.

I miss Fleetwood!
khackbarth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2019, 08:04 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Northwest Indiana
Posts: 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by khackbarth View Post
I have a HW 277 pop-up and, at the start of the summer, I noticed that the air conditioner wasn't working. It didn't operate in any mode - not even fan mode. Other appliances, like the microwave, worked just fine. (BTW, I have 30 amp service where I park the camper at my home.) I eventually took the camper in for service and, $200 later, I learned that the power cord that takes power from the electrical panel up to the roof had become unplugged at the electrical panel. Just as a reminder, as part of the set up process, you pull this cord out of it's storage port until fully extended and plug it into the outlet in the roof before raising the roof.

The RV repairman said that to diagnose the problem and fix it, he had to remove the electrical panel. Note, the problem was that the plug had been pulled out of its socket on the electrical panel - the plug on a cord that you're supposed to pull out of its storage location through a small port... No one at Forest River thought to design-in a retention mechanism that would prevent the cord from accidentally becoming unplugged!

Every time I gain more understanding of the design of this camper the less I'm impressed and, often, the angrier I become.

I miss Fleetwood!
Yep, instead of having the plug receptacle outside, they install inside a cabinet. My 2007 Starcraft did the same thing but in the bench seat of the dinette. It's not the electrical panel, it's just a 20 amp plug receptacle instead of a standard 15 amp. Only difference is that the neutral blade is a horizontal (20 Amp) now instead of vertical (15 Amp).

Mine has came unplugged a few times and had to plug it in. I just pull my top drawer out and stick my hand in to plug it back in. The female end comes out the port hole that goes up to the ceiling.

There's no electrical panel that it plugs into, just the plug receptacle like you have for your TV and other 120VAC things that plug in. All receptacles are wired back to the converter that offers it's own built in breaker panel.

I'd honestly find another dealer, they ripped you off. Any of my dealers I had would be honest enough to tell me to just plug it back in. They have told me how to fix more complicated things to help me and get me camping faster.

Without knowing this, you obviously would take it to a dealer but for them to even charge you is so ridiculous let alone for so much.

I have to say, I've been fortunate enough to have some pretty good dealerships with honest techs, for the numerous campers I've owned.

Good luck to you and thanks for sharing so others don't have to pay for that.
__________________
2019 Ford F150 Race Red XLT Sport, CC, 4WD, 145" WB, 3.5L Ecoboost, 10 speed, 3.55 Locking Axle, 1830# Payload, 12,700# Tow Rating, pulling a 2020 Rockwood Premier 2716G Pop Up, with a 14' box. Previously had 2012 Jayco Jay Flight 26BH and 2008 Jayco Jay Flight 19BH Travel Trailers. Also previously had 2007 Starcraft 2406 Pop Up with 12' box and bathroom, Previously had 2005 Rockwood 2290 Pop Up with 12' box and porta potty cabinet. Trucks and Trailers.
Mike91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2019, 08:25 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 42
No easy access

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike91 View Post
Yep, instead of having the plug receptacle outside, they install inside a cabinet. My 2007 Starcraft did the same thing but in the bench seat of the dinette. It's not the electrical panel, it's just a 20 amp plug receptacle instead of a standard 15 amp. Only difference is that the neutral blade is a horizontal (20 Amp) now instead of vertical (15 Amp).

Mine has came unplugged a few times and had to plug it in. I just pull my top drawer out and stick my hand in to plug it back in. The female end comes out the port hole that goes up to the ceiling.

There's no electrical panel that it plugs into, just the plug receptacle like you have for your TV and other 120VAC things that plug in. All receptacles are wired back to the converter that offers it's own built in breaker panel.

I'd honestly find another dealer, they ripped you off. Any of my dealers I had would be honest enough to tell me to just plug it back in. They have told me how to fix more complicated things to help me and get me camping faster.

Without knowing this, you obviously would take it to a dealer but for them to even charge you is so ridiculous let alone for so much.

I have to say, I've been fortunate enough to have some pretty good dealerships with honest techs, for the numerous campers I've owned.

Good luck to you and thanks for sharing so others don't have to pay for that.
Hi Mike,
Unfortunately, in the HW 277, there's no easy way to access the socket. I could only get a couple of fingers into the hole where the cord comes out. Best I could tell was that the cord didn't feel lose. From inside the cabinet it's a solid enclosure. I'd have to remove the fuse panel or pull the refrigerator out. And at the time I had no idea where the problem was. It could have been in the AC unit itself. It never occurred to me that the system had such a highly probable point of failure.
Ken
khackbarth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2019, 08:26 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by khackbarth View Post
I have a HW 277 pop-up and, at the start of the summer, I noticed that the air conditioner wasn't working. It didn't operate in any mode - not even fan mode. Other appliances, like the microwave, worked just fine. (BTW, I have 30 amp service where I park the camper at my home.) I eventually took the camper in for service and, $200 later, I learned that the power cord that takes power from the electrical panel up to the roof had become unplugged at the electrical panel. Just as a reminder, as part of the set up process, you pull this cord out of it's storage port until fully extended and plug it into the outlet in the roof before raising the roof.

The RV repairman said that to diagnose the problem and fix it, he had to remove the electrical panel. Note, the problem was that the plug had been pulled out of its socket on the electrical panel - the plug on a cord that you're supposed to pull out of its storage location through a small port... No one at Forest River thought to design-in a retention mechanism that would prevent the cord from accidentally becoming unplugged!

Every time I gain more understanding of the design of this camper the less I'm impressed and, often, the angrier I become.

I miss Fleetwood!

With respect I think your frustration is a little misplaced. These campers don't come with A/C from the factory. This is a dealer install item. Adding the cord, how long it is and a retention mechanism for said plug cord is up to the installer at the dealer or whoever adds it.

The power cord is not plugged in to the electric panel. Rather there is a power outlet mounted inside that compartment and a wire that goes in to the power panel to its own fuse. That outlet is what that the A/C "extension cord" plugs in to.

I also feel like you might have been taken advantage of a little there at $200 to plug in a cord. Step one if it doesn't turn on... test if it is getting power. That could have been tested at the cord end that plugs in to the roof. No power-> Trace the power wire back to the source. On my camper you can reach it by opening the small square cover under the swing galley and see the wire where it enters from the outside and coils up and the plug it goes to. I don't know how easy or not it is to get to on yours but experience on the repairman could have cut repair time down to less than 15 minutes.

Now, having said all that I will take a note from what you said and attach a retention mechanism to my cord. It is not likely it will get pulled out though because is is several feet longer than necessary.

UPDATE: Having read what I assume is the repairman post? Perhaps the time it took was warranted though my comment on experience with these things would have helped
flyerdp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2019, 08:27 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 42
from inside the "camper"
khackbarth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2019, 08:34 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyerdp View Post
With respect I think your frustration is a little misplaced. These campers don't come with A/C from the factory. This is a dealer install item. Adding the cord, how long it is and a retention mechanism for said plug cord is up to the installer at the dealer or whoever adds it.

The power cord is not plugged in to the electric panel. Rather there is a power outlet mounted inside that compartment and a wire that goes in to the power panel to its own fuse. That outlet is what that the A/C "extension cord" plugs in to.

I also feel like you might have been taken advantage of a little there at $200 to plug in a cord. Step one if it doesn't turn on... test if it is getting power. That could have been tested at the cord end that plugs in to the roof. No power-> Trace the power wire back to the source. On my camper you can reach it by opening the small square cover under the swing galley and see the wire where it enters from the outside and coils up and the plug it goes to. I don't know how easy or not it is to get to on yours but experience on the repairman could have cut repair time down to less than 15 minutes.

Now, having said all that I will take a note from what you said and attach a retention mechanism to my cord. It is not likely it will get pulled out though because is is several feet longer than necessary.
You're probably right about who does the install but I doubt that the dealer comes up with the installation process on their own. That has to be Forest River or a vendor approved by Forest River.. A retention mechanism should be included in those instructions.
khackbarth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2019, 06:02 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
GalsofEscape's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Catonsville Maryland
Posts: 1,666
I think the highwalls can come with the AC installed from the factory. The brochure options for the highwalls specs states the AC is installed at the factory.
I always thought mine was factory installed.

Regardless, if the AC cord is only plugged in inside the wall where you can't reach it, I would not be happy. I think ours (a 2010 unit) was hard wired, along with the power cord, they were always getting tangled up and almost impossible to pull completely out of the little port holes.
__________________
HTT: "EscapeII" 2016 Shamrock 23WS (current)
PUP: "Escape" 2010 Rockwood HW 277 (gone)
TV: "Bruce" 2011 Dodge Durango V8 Hemi Crew
Just us gals (me, Sis and our daughters)
We spend alot of money to go sit in the woods
GalsofEscape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2019, 10:10 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalsofEscape View Post
I think the highwalls can come with the AC installed from the factory. The brochure options for the highwalls specs states the AC is installed at the factory.
I always thought mine was factory installed.

Regardless, if the AC cord is only plugged in inside the wall where you can't reach it, I would not be happy. I think ours (a 2010 unit) was hard wired, along with the power cord, they were always getting tangled up and almost impossible to pull completely out of the little port holes.
The 2018 brochure calls out two items for the High Wall:
  • Air Conditioner Wiring Kit
  • 13.5k or 15k BTU Low Profile Air Conditioner (Factory Installed)

Not clear what this implies for where the wiring is installed (factory vs. dealer) but Forest River has the responsibility for the design of how the external cord is connected to the system.
khackbarth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2019, 10:30 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by khackbarth View Post
The 2018 brochure calls out two items for the High Wall:
  • Air Conditioner Wiring Kit
  • 13.5k or 15k BTU Low Profile Air Conditioner (Factory Installed)

Not clear what this implies for where the wiring is installed (factory vs. dealer) but Forest River has the responsibility for the design of how the external cord is connected to the system.
I am certainly no authority on who did what here but I believe you would have had to factory order the camper from your dealer in order to have a factory A/C if you wanted it that way which is certainly possible. Every dealer I went to here in Texas had the units on the lot without A/C and it was an option. Then again, I wasn't looking at High Wall ones either.

Dealers definitely make more money on add on sales. That is the dealers game. Get you to agree and dial in the unit price first then up sell the hell out of you with add on items so they profit even more and the factory is out that money. I can't tell you the number of times I have had a dealer and I agree on a price and then they bring me financing papers and its like $150-$200 more a month than it should be because they summarily decided for me what add on items I wanted and or additional insurance types on the loan. They made me reject them. Hell I had a furniture place demand I provide proof of life insurance to reject the plan they tacked on to my bill.

At any rate, it may be crappy planning/design or install but a simple screw and a zip tie would suffice as a retention mechanism.

No one here is going to change the manufacturers mind today but I think what we should all take this as to go add a retention zip tie or two
flyerdp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2019, 02:05 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 182
Dealers definitely make more money on add on sales. That is the dealers game. Get you to agree and dial in the unit price first then up sell the hell out of you with add on items so they profit even more and the factory is out that money. I can't tell you the number of times I have had a dealer and I agree on a price and then they bring me financing papers and its like $150-$200 more a month than it should be because they summarily decided for me what add on items I wanted and or additional insurance types on the loan. They made me reject them. Hell I had a furniture place demand I provide proof of life insurance to reject the plan they tacked on to my bill.

At any rate, it may be crappy planning/design or install but a simple screw and a zip tie would suffice as a retention mechanism.

No one here is going to change the manufacturers mind today but I think what we should all take this as to go add a retention zip tie or two [/QUOTE]

There are a couple of ways I would address the root problem of the plug coming out accidentally, either of which "should" be done upon installation, or can be done in the field.
First, could not a well-placed cable clamp relieve strain on the plug, to avoid accidental disconnection? Or Second, replace the straight blade plug and socket assembly with a twist lock device, where you plug it in, give it a skosh of a turn clockwise, and it stays 'till you want to unplug it. Generic numbers (NEMA type numbers)would be L5-20P for the plug, and L5-20R for the receptacle. If the A/C is a small one, you could use a 15 amp device. The above are for the 20 amp, which I would use. Cost difference is small.
Photo Lab is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:26 AM.