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Old 03-12-2016, 09:14 AM   #71
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[Mod edit]
...it's easy to pick any product apart without owning one. By the way I've owned Alpenlites, Ragens, Fleetwood, Lance, Arctic Fox, and Outdoors Rv Glacier Peak and guess what, they build a good product. Now as an owner who's not looking to run any company down and a poor guy who actually made his living with an engineering background building things that cost many times what these rv's cost, here's a qualified observation, all companies could build a better product but fewer folks would be able to afford them.
[Mod edit]
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Old 03-12-2016, 09:55 AM   #72
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[Mod Edit] There's no best case scenario when it comes to RVs because there's too many variables. Trying to narrow down the search to the one closest to perfect is fine, but how far do you take it? Too many things are out of the buyers control. You can find a well built RV but then again the components are still suspect. And all MFG buy from a pool of suppliers. Those parts are also built with parts from who knows where.
You can only pick them apart so far, because eventually you reach the point where the RV MFG has no control over the end product.
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Old 03-12-2016, 09:59 AM   #73
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With the words that we see on RV sites these days you would think that the finest, hassle free quality workmanship would be setting the standard. With the help of their attention to detail and cutting edge aerospace technological advancements, they would be pushing the envelope to fulfill all of our RVing needs. With the added benefit of personal excellence and decades of dedication striving for integrity and excellence, the industry is fully committed to providing us with an up to date modern miracle. Couple this with factory direct dealer pricing, they can provide us with a once in a lifetime experience.
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Old 03-12-2016, 10:50 AM   #74
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I firmly believe that NW builds about as solid a frame as they can in their price point. I've seen/owned what Lippert puts out for the Indiana MFGs. No thanks.
Northwood can spin it however they want but really it's just a solid in house built frame with shocks on some models. It's no double stack tube frame like a DRV Mobile Suites, but it's not costing over $100,000 either.
+1 Well said and I agree fully!
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:29 PM   #75
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?????????

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You should come over to the owners forum for Outdoors RV
VERY new to this forum stuff...... How do I get there?
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Old 03-13-2016, 04:51 PM   #76
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:22 PM   #77
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Aerospace Interference Grid Technology

I’m reporting back to the forum as I said I would, about the meaning of “aerospace interference grid technology” as used by Northwood in their advertising pertaining to the Arctic Fox fifth wheels.

I’d mentioned previously that I wanted to know what Arctic Fox meant when they mentioned “aerospace interference grid technology” in reference to the building of the chassis for their 5th wheels. I wanted to know what they hoped the consumer would learn or know about their product as a result of the use of that terminology. I for one didn’t know, and I thought it would be fair and reasonable to ask. I mean, they tossed the terminology out there in their advertising. They should be willing to explain their meaning. Right?

Before contacting Northwood I visited the web site of Pacific West Associates, Inc., the company that does the testing for Northwood. I wasn’t able to make much sense of the information presented there as to how it might apply to the Arctic Fox product. So, next I emailed Northwood and although I heard back from them in a timely manner I did not receive an answer that I thought really addressed the question and I told them so.

My question was then escalated, and today I got a call from Chuck Ballard, the president of Pacific West Associates, Inc. Chuck and I spoke for about 50 minutes! I was very impressed with his generosity by giving me that much time. He was very kind, and I told him so.

During that conversation I got a good idea of what it means to test an RV chassis using “aerospace interference grid technology”, and I learned other things too. It was both a very pleasant and informative conversation. I wish I could share more of it here. That which appears between the double dashed lines below is my explanation of what I learned as a result of speaking with Chuck Ballard in regard to the chassis testing they do for Northwood. I submitted a draft to him for corrections or comments he thought should be made before I post the information online. He wrote to me “Post looks good. I concur with the content.”

========================

Now, as to “aerospace interference grid technology”, this is what I came away with: first, this is a software analysis of the chassis performed on a computer. It’s very involved and it is costly. Essentially, specifics of the chassis including the metal beams, spring stiffness, tire size, expected load, etc., are programmed into a computer. A number of “nodes” or software listening devices are attached to the chassis within the simulation, hundreds or thousands of them. Then the software model is subjected to horizontal and vertical forces such as those they expect a fiver would be subjected during use. This includes acceleration, deceleration and bumps. The software nodes listen to sound created by the chassis. They can hear the chassis members “sing”. That information is then used to analyze the chassis for weak points. Again, this is all simulated on a computer. Based on the sounds produced by the chassis and recorded by the software nodes it can be determined where a chassis may need to be altered in order to strengthen it. Essentially, that’s the idea: using a computer to test the strength of the chassis in simulations. When I asked Chuck to express in simple, lay terms what the chassis analysis they perform means to a lay person he said “All this translates to is that the chassis has some engineering behind it that looks to identify weak points in order to correct them.”

Pacific West also visits the Northwood plant something like every 90 days for on-site inspections that involve visual inspections of the chassis assembly and checking for proper calibration of Northwood’s test equipment. These inspections go beyond the chassis and include things such as plumbing and electrical, although only the chassis analysis falls under the terms of exclusivity I described above.

Currently, with regard to chassis evaluation, Pacific West has an exclusive two-year agreement with Northwood and ORV to test only their products. According to Chuck there are only three companies in the US that provide interference grid technology analysis.

========================

This sort of testing is, according to Chuck Ballard, used to test landing gear in the aerospace industry. I think Northwood could have simply used the phrase “interference grid technology” without "aerospace" but that it sounds better when aerospace is tossed in.

I think it’s probably safe to conclude that the testing performed by Pacific West for Northwood represents a real positive in terms of Northwood seeking to build a quality product.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:03 PM   #78
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[QUOTE=I think itís probably safe to conclude that the testing performed by Pacific West for Northwood represents a real positive in terms of Northwood seeking to build a quality product.[/QUOTE]

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Old 03-29-2016, 01:18 PM   #79
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I think I can shed some light on some of the differences between the Arctic fox 27-5L and the Glacier Peak 26 . I just bought a 2016 AF 27-5, and my sister bought a Glacier Peak 26. She also wanted the AF but it would not fit their RV garage. The AF is wider 8'6" and taller 13'5". The AF has a fiberglass cap in the front and the rear. The G.P. does not. The AF has 2 10 gal propane tanks the G.P. has 2 7.5 tanks. The AF has a 12" i-beam frame, the G.P. has an 8".The windows on the G.P. are flush, the AF have sliders with ruber frames,that have stood the test of time. The AF awning has a built in LED lights, and heavier supports. The holding tanks are larger on the AF. The bedroom slide in the AF is twice the size of the G.P. The AF also has a headliner for sound and insulation. The AF kitchen has a lot more drawers, a huge pantry and many more cupboards. The G.P. has a little more room between the bed and the bath wall. The AF does have a huge under bed storage area. The AF also does not have the awful steps by the bed sides. The AF also has a large wardrobe closet with drawers, and 2 nightstands. The G.P. has a little better outside storage compartment. The A.F. is pre-wired Gen ready. The G.P. has an awful separate twist lock cord that you have to find a space to store it. The G.P. sits very low on the front landing gear. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, do I think one is a better trailer than the other, yes. Dave-R
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Old 03-30-2016, 09:46 AM   #80
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Sounds like someone needs to go down to take the tours...... And BOTH frames come from the SAME line.....
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Old 03-30-2016, 09:58 AM   #81
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Sounds like someone needs to go down to take the tours...... And BOTH frames come from the SAME line.....
What exactly about the frames are you saying? Are you implying that because the frames are made on the same line that they are the same? Why would that have to be true? Here I should say that I have no expertise on the characteristics of assembly lines, but wouldn't it be possible to build different chassis to different specs on the same line? Doesn't Arctic Fox do exactly that as they build different frames for different models (I've heard each model has a frame design specific to that model)? I don't know. I'm just asking?
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Old 03-30-2016, 11:04 AM   #82
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Sounds like Northwood was speaking the truth when they interviewed on the ORV purchase..

Thanks Dave, that was an interesting back to back comparison.
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Old 03-30-2016, 11:08 AM   #83
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They are not the same frame. The G.P. frame is not as tall, to allow for a lower profile. That does not mean it has less strength. Might have a heavier I-beam.
Also another difference between the AF and the GP is the AF comes with the More-ryde pinbox. About 900$ more. Dave-R
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Old 03-30-2016, 11:38 AM   #84
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I think the weights of the unit itself is taken into consideration in the design faze. Given that these guys do use heavier axles and frames than many manufacturers as evidenced by final weights of units it's most likely a moot point. Many folks think they're heavy and opt for something lighter but they don't compromise and the proofs still on the road many years later!

By the way there's many other factors than the width of steel than can be utilized in it's manufacture & design to add to the flex or rigidity of the end product of the frame itself and these guys spend time and money doing some of them. So.......there's more than one way to skin a cat but we don't hear of Arctic Fox or ORV frames cracking so I guess they must be doing it right no matter what size you buy.

The rest is really a matter of preference in floor plan, tank size, windows, interior design and cabinets since the methods and materials are used in many higher end units and have proven themselves to stand the test of time. The trucks we buy today are better than the ones of yesteryear, and advancements in frame design are largely responsible for that so building a better frame pays off for all of us in the end. It doesn't matter how many horsepower you've got if you can't get it to the wheels and be able to support the load in order to pull it.

By the way Dave mine came with that same pin box as standard but I can tell you Arctic Fox offers many things as options, the ORV has as standard on some models so they build them for price points in both brands.
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