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Old 07-23-2012, 09:21 PM   #1
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Just Joined

I just joined the forum and if you like stories I have an interesting one.

Last year at the end of August 2012 we bought a brand new Dutchman 315BHSS. We were very happy with it and got out 3 times before winterizing and putting it away for the year. When we bought the trailer we were hard pressed to find storage as every thing was full.

We finally found a location and there was about 100 RVs already on the lot. Well, while we were in Hawaii late february we got a call from the owner asking us to come move the trailer to a new location. It didn't sound right, so as soon as we could, we were off to the trailer before heading home the moment we were off the plane.

Our trailer was gone!

It had had a Reese lock (the yellow one) on it. They must have been fast as they loaded up and drive over the chalks. We did a report. The police actually found our trailer 2 days before the automatic payout. Yes, they caught the guy and unfortunately he had sold it to a young guy who had been living in it with his girlfriend. I don't want to judge too much, but they had trashed it. They had also used the faculties with no water, so the black water tank was full. It was dried inside (caked) and stunk when we got it back. The was the first recovery for the dealership, so they offered us a good trade in deal on the same unit. We took it. We'd rather have the story instead of the stigma.

Now the guy who owned the storage didn't really own it at all. He was renting the house with the acre, and the other 100 acres behind the house was not his at all. He skipped town, with payments (he only took annual payment) for approximately 150 RVs. He also never paid rent (except 1st month and deposit) and rented the house to an unsuspecting lady before taking off.

So, we have our new trailer. We've been out a few times. We have less than 1000km on it and we get pulled over by the police. Seems we have a bent axel. No idea how we got it. I think the tires were cambered when we bought it, but this looks bad.

So, we are now parked at a Walmart waiting to hear back from warranty on how they are going to handle this. We are just over 200km from home.

I love our trailer, but it seems the quality is not what we expected. Oddly enough our touchscreen also started behaving badly on this trip.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:30 AM   #2
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Re: Just Joined

Oh my! That's all very unfortunate. I hope things start looking up for you.
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:27 AM   #3
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Re: Just Joined

Holy cow! What a story. I hope things improve for you guys drastically and quickly. Hell of a campfire story though.
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:42 AM   #4
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Re: Just Joined

Welcome! It does seem that your experiences can only get better - it would be hard to get any worse!
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:41 PM   #5
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Re: Just Joined

Yes, it does seem it can only get better from here.

Does anyone have experience with newer Dutchman Aerolites? Are the axels an issue? It seems they may have scrimped a bit in an effort to keep it light? The trailer was almost dry weight and we were on the highway.

How about axel replacement? If I wanted to put something better on what are my choices?

Anyway, we love camping. I'd like to take it to the next level where we are not dependent on electricity. My wife is nervous, but I think the kids would love it. Any advice? Do we need a generator for sure?
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Old 07-24-2012, 04:09 PM   #6
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Re: Just Joined

Personally, I want a generator when dry camping. Depending on how many days you're out, you could probably go without one or do some modifications that will allow you to go longer without one, but I appreciate mine.
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:43 PM   #7
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Re: Just Joined

Wow,what a bit of bad luck. I dont blame you for taking the offer from the Dealer. Even with everything cleaned up she wouldn't have been the same. Hope you have a better experience with your new unit....
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:38 PM   #8
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Re: Just Joined

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkeye64
I'd like to take it to the next level where we are not dependent on electricity. My wife is nervous, but I think the kids would love it. Any advice? Do we need a generator for sure?
We just did a 7 night/8 day dry camp and didn't use a generator. I had 2 12V Series 27 Deep Cycle batteries and had no problems. Just have to watch what you use.

Dave.
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:55 AM   #9
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Re: Just Joined

We spend most of our time dry camping so I installed all LED lighting and it's made a huge difference on the consumption of the batteries. We are using 2 - 6V in series and barely make a dent in them over a 4 day/ night period. We are going to the Yukon/Alaska for 3 weeks at the beginning of August, so that will be the big test. Not all LED lighting is created equal so do your homework, the ones I'm using are from RIGID Industries and they aren't cheap but are very bright and consume less than a quarter of the power the regular incandescent use.

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Old 07-25-2012, 01:44 AM   #10
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Re: Just Joined

Wow what a story...sounds like a movie script. We have a 2010 Dutchmen Kodiak I think it imay be similar to the Aerolite. So far we are very pleased with it with no problems. Agree with grump010 that LED lights are the way to go for dry camping..not to mention a generator. Another thing to consider is the size/capacity of your water, gray and black tanks. I wish my gray and black tanks were larger...but I guess I can buy a blue tote.
Nice write up and good luck.
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:03 PM   #11
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Re: Just Joined

@all, thanks for the tips on the battery life. We upgraded from the series 27 to the series 72 battery. It's supposedly lasts longer. I haven't had a chance to really run it through the ringer yet.

Right now the dealership has the trailer and will be fixing it on warranty, but I am still worried about the axles not being strong enough to handle the trailer. Our last trip was our longest and it was all highway. We didn't pull any water. The RV Park was a block off the highway. My wife and I did a "Tour of Alberta (Tour de l'Alberta)" ride of 100k and our 2 younger kids (8 and 10) did a 5k. Other than dishes, sleeping bags, etc., the bikes were on the back of the trailer (only the two big ones, the kids bikes were in the back of the truck). The axles still should not have had these problems.
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:47 PM   #12
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Re: Just Joined

I talked with the dealership today. They feel Dutchmen is putting on axles too small for the larger ultralites. They have requested to use the same axles found on the Denali's. We shall see.
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Old 07-28-2012, 11:21 PM   #13
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Re: Just Joined

Just got back from a visit from the local RV dealer just kicking some tires and seeing what is new...not a Dutchmen dealer...as we don't have one. On one of the ultra light units with a double axel the GVW was 7461 lbs...the tires were 14. in with a max load rating of 1760 lbs. So the max rating for tires 7040lb. I talked to to the sales rep that the tires were rated less than the trailer GVW...she said they have been selling this product and have never had an issue. She then try to find out what the axel ratings were...I explained to here if the tires were rated less for the trailer GVW.... the axel rating doesn' matter as the tires will fail first. She said she would talk to the factory rep about this and thank me for bringing this to her attention. The trailer was a Surveyor Sport Travel Trailer Model SP-260 from forest river. I checked my tires they were rated the same at 1760 lbs but my trailer's GVW is only 5400 lb. needless to say my preference is still a Dutchmen product but if and when I uppgrade to a larger unit I will make sure the tires and axels meet or exceed the GVW ratings on the TT.
The TT we looked at was a Surveyor Sport Travel Trailers Model SP-260.

Thanks to Hawkeye64 for bringing this issue up..as I would never have checked or thought about it..as I would have trusted the manufacturer.

Coops
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:26 AM   #14
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Re: Just Joined

http://www.crva.ca/
I sent a note to the Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association about the under rated tires compared to the GVW rating ...will let u folks know what, if any response I get. I do not have an E mail address for Forest River so wasn't able to send them one.
I hope this isn't more snake oil especially when the safety of the motoring public is involved. Just my thoughts.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:18 PM   #15
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Re: Just Joined

I talked with one of the mechanics at the dealership and he said Hurricane Katrina was to blame. He explained that when FEMA ran out of trailers, they passed some quickie laws allowing trailer manufacturers to "skimp", thus allowing them from building 11-15 trailers a day in a factory to 30-35 trailers a day. These supposed laws have a 10 year life and the manufacturers are still following them. I think perhaps some may be and others may be doing it right. I am quite upset at Dutchmen right now. It's obvious the axles are not sufficient for that particular trailer.
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