Please tell me it will be alright... - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 04-13-2013, 08:31 PM   #1
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Please tell me it will be alright...

We have a brand new Dutchmen Denali 311 bhs that has made me just sick to my stomach. Last weekend we brought the trailer to the house to de winterize it and prep it for summer travel. After rinsing antifreeze out of the lines to the outdoor kitchen we started to get water running out of the underbelly (which is totally enclosed)! i Managed to pull out the drawer beside the sink and see that the p-trap WAS NOT HOOKED UP AT THE FACTORY! How is this possible? Well I went ahead and pulled down as much of the underbelly as I could without cutting it (WOOSH CAME THE WATER WITH WITH EVERY SCREW) I raised the front of the trailer as high as I could (WOOSH more water). As soon as I could get it to down to just dripping I grabbed the creeper and went under for a better look and could feel standing water in the cavity between the outside wall and frame where there is a much softer plastic underbelly material. I could not stand the thought of water sitting in there soaking into stuff that is not supposed to get wet so I slit the black plastic stuff with a razor knife (WOOSH water down the arm). After 24 hours of drip drip drip it finally slowed to just drip. I stuck my hand into the cavity under the sink from the bottom of the trailer and the insulation was soaked as far as I could reach in both directions so out it had to come. I pulled waterlogged insulation from the rear steps all the way to the back wall. At that point I was able to get some fans placed into the under sink area from the top and blew air down into the insulation cavity. I also placed a fan blowing into the center underbelly blowing t'ward the tanks. On Monday I went to the dealer where we purchased the 311bhs and told them we have a problem. They told me that it would be a week before they could get it in so I asked what they would do and how (hoping that drying it out like I had started) would be priority. Well so far so good I was assured that what I have done so far will not void any warranty and help keep the time in the shop down. They will open it up further and check for more wet area and put new insulation in and seal things back up. Now that I have cooled off a little I was able to get the drain attached and leak tested. While leak testing the rest of the water system I found drips at the water heater bypass (the valve itself is bad) the pressure side of the water pump, and the bathroom faucet hot side dripped at the connection to the pex. The dealership will have to replace the cheap plastic valve but the other drips just needed another turn to make them stop. These were not the only things we noticed while it was here this weekend. The rear corner of the slideout flap seal is tearing at the corner and a few more times operating the slide and it will no longer touch anymore (They are going to look at it). There are a few screws missing from cabinet door hinges (they will fix). The thing I am the most concerned about is the gap where the right side of the trailer meets the drip rail, front panel, and roof. There ia a 4 inch long 1/8 to 1/4 inch gap where the corner molding does not meet the side! This is not just a skip in the caulking but an actual GAP where the molding does not touch the fiberglass sidewall! The dealer will have to send pictures to Dutchmen to have this one approved and figure out how to fix. If this were a 10 year old trailer I would just run a bead of caulk down it and call it good, BUT this trailer is brand new and I don't want to "watch it" for years. I am also fearful that they will have to replace the whole side and that is just crazy to have to rip a whole brand new trailer apart to fix it. I just can't stand the thought of owning this trailer now and it has never been on a trip with us. Tell me it will be alright... Please.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:19 PM   #2
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Hopefully they will do the right thing and fix it..If you have a problem with them you could try using Good Sam's as an arbitrater they can be helpful....Just a silly question did you use a pressure regulator on your water connection?
Not the greatest of answers but just wanted to let you know that people do read this forum...Steve
PS We are very happy with our dutchman and hopefully you will get this resolved and be a happy camper...
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:31 PM   #3
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Memgrove,

I'd like nothing more then to say, 'everything will be just fine and don't worry about a thing".

The dealer will do whatever they get authorized to do from Dutchmen. Structural issues & gaps are a lot to be desired from a dealer.

Look at some threads from Aronious. I've got threads here, also.

The only thing that you may have that we didn't, is that your in manufacturer territory. Anything that the dealer can't do I'm sure Dutchmen manufacturing can.

Good luck!
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:02 PM   #4
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I too own a 311BH and I also work for Dutchmen Mfg service shop in Clackamas Oregon. Whatever the Dealer cant/wont fix will get sent to a Dutchmen MFG service shop to be repaired just stay vigilant and make sure that you get your unit fixed. I see many issues like you have explained on a daily basis. They crank out units from the plants. Our plant here in Oregon puts out 8 new units a day. Stuff get missed even in the QC portion which IS NOT acceptable but it happens. It keeps me employed but I can completely sympathize with your issues. Thor the parent company of just about every RV MGF out actually just put the President of Keystone and his mgmt team in charge of Dutchmen. Keystone prides themselves on building a great unit so that issues like you have dont happen. They certify every trailer before it leaves the plant. Good things to come for Dutchmen.
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Irish Maniac View Post
I too own a 311BH and I also work for Dutchmen Mfg service shop in Clackamas Oregon. Whatever the Dealer cant/wont fix will get sent to a Dutchmen MFG service shop to be repaired just stay vigilant and make sure that you get your unit fixed. I see many issues like you have explained on a daily basis. They crank out units from the plants. Our plant here in Oregon puts out 8 new units a day. Stuff get missed even in the QC portion which IS NOT acceptable but it happens. It keeps me employed but I can completely sympathize with your issues. Thor the parent company of just about every RV MGF out actually just put the President of Keystone and his mgmt team in charge of Dutchmen. Keystone prides themselves on building a great unit so that issues like you have dont happen. They certify every trailer before it leaves the plant. Good things to come for Dutchmen.
If what your saying is true that's great. I hope that there will be good things to come. Obviously, there have been problems within the Dutchmen Manufacturing.
With issues that I've had in my recent past I will not be purchasing another THOR product. Dutchmen or any other Thor product. It's been too much on my wife and I. We're older and should have been enjoyng our purchase and not fighting and negotiating issues all the time with dealers and Dutchmen. I will say that I had a wonderful warranty liason (Cindy Walker) at Dutchmen.
My wife and I love our 5th wheel coach. We hate the situation that we were in in this past year.

It's water over the dam, now.
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:45 PM   #6
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Well Irish, I sure hope you are right. I am concerned now about the length of time it will take for repairs. We are serious weekend warriors and book just about every other weekend from April to November with a 10 trip in the middle. I hope they can get it in and out fast and do a good job all at the same time.

I have not had a warm fuzzy feeling with this dealer from the first day of ownership when they tossed us out into the frozen tundra at delivery to set up my WDH in the snow (after being told "sure you can just back into the shop and do it here where it is warm").

Oh and on Edit... Welcome to the forums Irish Maniac, it is nice to have you here.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:31 AM   #7
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Irish Maniac...welcome to the forum and keep the "Guinness" warm.


Didn't realize there was a Dutchmen plant in Oregon...who do u suggest to contact in the Dutchmen organization to let them know of the very unhappy customers and to get some real action?


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Old 04-16-2013, 10:31 PM   #8
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Well, the Denali is back at the dealer for repairs. Scot (the service manager) seems to think it will be done tomorrow or Thursday. I had everything dried out but they are going to check further than I could get and replace the insulation that was drenched. He just started to laugh when he saw the four cabinet door hinges each missing one screw. As for the side wall not reaching the front panel and corner trim, he will make a decision when they pull off the duct tape to see what happened. He thinks the corner trim was installed from the ends towards the middle and it just popped out with the change of weather. If that is the case they will replace the corner piece correctly. They are going to check the slide seals because I think they are tearing in the corners. Today is the first time I have left this dealership feeling like I have talked to a person who "Get's it".
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:24 PM   #9
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We all really wish you well and hope things get fixed quickly. Please keep all of us updated.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:22 AM   #10
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Factory Service Center Clackamas

As mentioned in a previous thread, last August our large bedroom slide essentially self-distructed while retracting. After bracing from the inside with my Ford's truck jack and plastic leveler blocks we managed to limp into a Dutchman dealer. Looking at such a major repair, the dealer techs were sratching their heads so I contacted customer service directly at Dutchmen. Dutchmen arranged to have our unit transported to the factory service center at Clackamas OR (4 hours away) and performed the repair. I believe they make Kustom 5vers there. Dutchmen also extended our factory warranty for another year.

We just got back from our first trip of the season to the WA coast. Had a good time- clam season! I found a couple of minor issues (floor creaking in one area and bedroom door not closing well). If possible, I am going to see if I can just use the factory service center directly and have things fixed right by the guys like Irish Maniac who build them.

Mark
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:55 PM   #11
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Memgrove:

I too have had leaks with my 3 wk old Denali. Leak one was a bad water pump and I think about a gallon of water went through the floor to the underbelly. Dealer replaced the pump next day, but we did not address water damage yet. Leak two was on the following weekend (shake-out trip) when I was flushing the black tank I found water pouring out of the back of the trailer. Found that where the city water hooks to back of trailer for the flush line was loose under the bathroom sink (I fixed). I would say about 2-3 gallons of clean water went through the floor and into the underbelly before exiting. I aired the trailer out both times with forced air for 2-3 days. I poked a few holes in the underbelly and found no water!!

I will be taking the trailer in for more extensive warranty work (they owe me some interior and exterior damage parts) and I intend to address the possible damage then. I am very interested to see what you discover now that yours is dried out and being repaired! Please keep us posted it will help me and others I am sure.

Hope your outcome is a good one!

Dave
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:37 AM   #12
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Dave, I have not heard from the dealer today. The good part about our major water problem is that the p-trap for the outdoor kitchen sink is under the floor level (osb floor is cut out for clearance). So we don't have damage to the structure just the insulation. When I get it back and see what Scot has to say I will let you know how it turns out.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:02 AM   #13
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Stopped into the dealer today while driving by in my work truck and caught the shop guys having a pizza party. Scott said he had the trailer all wrapped up and ready for the weekend. BUT they had to order the valve from Dutchmen and it would be in next week. When he gets the part he will call and I can run the unit back and they will install it while I wait (not even unhook the truck). He even went and got his punch list and everything had been checked off...I went after work and picked the unit up. When I got home and got the trailer set up so I can open the slides I went inside and found the water heater cover on the floor (I know how to reinstall it but I should not have to). the four door hinges missing one screw each STILL MISSING ONE SCREW EACH! He showed me the punch list and this was marked done. UGH I know this is only four missing cabinet door screws BUT it is Four missing cabinet door hinge screws that should have been INSTALLED TWICE NOW! Maybe they were just trying to get my unit back so I could have it for the weekend but I am beginning to wonder if they have any clue what their techs actually do? I will be back tomorrow to see what they have to say...UGH

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Old 04-19-2013, 12:13 AM   #14
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memgrove if the dealer fails to fix your unit and you are not satisfied call dutchmen customer service and express that and ask that your unit be sent to the Dutchmen service shop to be fixed.
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:56 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dogrunr View Post
As mentioned in a previous thread, last August our large bedroom slide essentially self-distructed while retracting. After bracing from the inside with my Ford's truck jack and plastic leveler blocks we managed to limp into a Dutchman dealer. Looking at such a major repair, the dealer techs were sratching their heads so I contacted customer service directly at Dutchmen. Dutchmen arranged to have our unit transported to the factory service center at Clackamas OR (4 hours away) and performed the repair. I believe they make Kustom 5vers there. Dutchmen also extended our factory warranty for another year.

We just got back from our first trip of the season to the WA coast. Had a good time- clam season! I found a couple of minor issues (floor creaking in one area and bedroom door not closing well). If possible, I am going to see if I can just use the factory service center directly and have things fixed right by the guys like Irish Maniac who build them.

Mark
So a creaking floor is a repair? If so that is a 'new' issue for us. The floor at the top of the stairs that go into the living area creak! How could that be repaired?
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:51 AM   #16
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72mach,

I haven't looked to see where your stairs are to your living area.
Our stairs to our bedroom are to the left. Once on top of the stairs we have a bathroom door to the right before entering into the bedroom. If we enter into the bedroom there is a heating vent in the floor. Then as we walk through our bathroom we have another door, to or from, the bedroom. As we enter from that area in the bathroom to the bedroom we notice a creek. It appears to be inline with the heating duct from the bathroom to the bedroom. My basement storage is just below where the creek happens.
It's unclear to me whether that creek could be fixed.
Please let me know if you persue a fix.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:06 AM   #17
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We went out camping again this past weekend and had another water problem. The water pump was shooting water out of someplace that was not a hose connection! So from the campground I called the service dept. and left a voice mail about the issue and told the voice mail to expect the trailer when they get to work on Monday. On Monday on my way to work I dropped off the trailer at the dealer with a note of things they missed the first time and the new pump problem.... In the employee parking lot at the front door she sat! After a few hours about 8:30 I gave them a call and asked Scott if he found my trailer. Yep he said and it was in the shop now and they are working on it and hope to have the water pump re built and the list completed by the end of the day... Nope! I want the pump replaced I told him. and in that case it may be a day or two to get a new one from Dutchmen. I can not believe this place does not stock some factory parts that go into every trailer made! Maybe he will call tomorrow with good news as we have plans to run out again for the weekend.

One thing we learned last weekend is that 17 people can have breakfast in the 311 bhs while it is raining outside. And the oven has a hot spot right down the middle.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:21 AM   #18
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Keep smiling..... the sun will rise tomorrow..like what u did dropping of the TT at the dealers with the note more folks should do what u did.... maybe not there wouldn't be room for the employees to park

17 people in your TT...I hope they were friends or relatives....it must have been " cheek to cheek" so to speak for breakfast

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Old 05-01-2013, 02:52 PM   #19
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Hang in there I know it is very frustrating. I can't beleive they wanted to rebuild the pump! Also find it hard to beleive they didn't have one. I have done the same thing as you ahve dropping it off at the door, the problem is I'm 90 minutes away.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:55 PM   #20
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Yes coop, we had 17 people in for breakfast of Sausage gravy and biscuits with scrambled eggs and fruit. We had 7 kids and 10 adults it really was not that bad (fed kids first and shew'd them to the bunk room). I do miss the great big table we had in our airstream, but having the floor space the super slide creates outways the table.
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