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Old 06-27-2016, 05:31 PM   #1
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Grand Design 399th

Has anyone had an experience or own a GD 399th? I know most RVs have issues(some more than others) but I haven't heard to much about GD. I want to assume that the lack of reviews could me that the majority are satisfied and don't have the dreaded RV lemon thats stays in the shop for the first year. I hear a lot of naysayers mentioning that the owners are previously affiliated with Thor so stay away. I like the 399 a lot and haven't heard anything bad at all so I would love some insight. Thanks everyone!

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Old 06-27-2016, 11:06 PM   #2
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We just bought a 369RL-R (Solitude 5er). Not had it out yet (still at the dealer getting some extras we wanted), but we compared to several others and felt that it was very well built for its price point. We also have a DP MH and bought this (5er) for use when we are visiting our daughter's family in California. It is a new company about 3 1/2 years old, but their focus is on quality. The only 3 year warranty on the structure (1 year on everything else) in the business. Very responsive customer service. That's about all I can tell you at this point. Perhaps others will chime in. They do have their own owners forum. We did not look at the trailers/toy haulers so I can't really comment directly on the Momentum but the whole line is focused on quality for the price.

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Old 06-28-2016, 07:55 AM   #3
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So far so good on our Momentum 350M. The build has a solid feel as does the interior features. We've only had our's since April, but have used it several times. It seems like a unit that will last a long time with proper care and maintenance. Customer Service has been highly responsive to questions and correcting our minor issues. Truly a great unit so far.
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Old 06-30-2016, 11:07 AM   #4
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Go over to the Grand Design forum and ask. You'll get some great feedback.

GD has some of the standard manufacturing problems that all RVs have. You can't buy your way into a perfect RV. And they're relatively new. They were founded by ex-Keystone execs, but seem to have completely reversed the old support model... I got gag'd on one anti-Keystone forum for pointing out that Grand Design's support model has completely reversed from the current Keystone support model. They go above and beyond for their owners, interface with the dealer directly, and seem to get involved early and often. They seem to press the true "nationwide" warranty on dealers who would otherwise decline service on non-purchased RVs, etc. They are strongly "the" brand we're considering for our next RV.

Executives generally have some level of control, but once a company goes public, they have to hit targets. Hitting targets may limit what they can do for quality control as the impact of better quality isn't obvious on the bottom line. I have zero issue with them being (EX) Keystone executives... You can take that either way - a bad sign... Or a good sign as they no longer work there and have completely altered the customer service model.
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Old 06-30-2016, 03:25 PM   #5
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I lkike what cb1000rider said about "you can't buy into a perfect RV" I agree with that. I have other thoughts about his comment "when a company goes public" If investors are told up front that the business model includes a quality product, satisfied customers ,substantial long term growth and reasonable return on investment the company will endure.
For the management position, they must ensure the above, develop creative marketing strategies , control quality production, and have a downstream customer friendly service program.
This is not rocket science but basic business practice proven by successful businesses.

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Old 06-30-2016, 04:14 PM   #6
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Clifford, not to get too sidetracked, but having some visibility into this:

Businesses can project *exactly* what a price change will do to the bottom line. They can project exactly what a quality improvement will cost them (higher paid workers, more line time, more QA inspections). Quality improvements almost certainly COST money, at least short term.

In Keystone's case, they have control of the knob on repair costs, because they put the dealer between the consumer and the corporation (no direct customer support). They pay the dealer a rate that they approve for a given repair. Non-dealer repairs are not allowed. It's my theory that this "rate" isn't reflective of what would be charged for a private party repair and that's part of why many dealers (not just Keystone) don't really want to do warranty work. And this rate can be shaved here or there, if the dealer wants to sell the brand, they agree to the rate. That gives the manufacture a knob to control to meet expectations.

What isn't so obvious is that if run up your manufacturing costs to build a quality product, which cut into your EBITA (margin) immediately, if that's good for the business long term. It's not good for the business short term and immediately shows as a downturn in that quarter. You and I don't buy RVs like we buy cars, so it's hard to track brand loyalty or a lack of brand loyalty.

Saying it another way, if a manufacturer were to sink another 10% into line costs to improve quality - how would that affect dealer repairs (they already have some control on this)? How would it impact customer retention if people somewhat infrequently buy new RVs? Neither of those questions can be answered in the quarter or likely the business year.

Executives keep their jobs by making their numbers. That's the American reality.

I suspect that Grand Design (privately funded) is trying to make a name in the market for being great about responding to their consumers and building brand loyalty.

Some direct experience here, but not in the RV industry.. The rest is just me guessing..

And I'm not really picking on Keystone. They were bought by Thor years ago.
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Old 06-30-2016, 11:32 PM   #7
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I've had my Grand Design Solitude 369RL for over three years now, with over 25,000 miles. If I were looking to trade up, it would definitely be for another GD. I just don't think you can go wrong with any Grand Design unit...
2014 Grand Design Solitude, 369RL, #107
2016 Chevy 3500HD, SRW, Diesel/Allison
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:20 PM   #8
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The Grand Design 399 is a relatively new model, so there will be many more of their other models out there.

Grand Design is a customer driven operation, and they're in a class of their own in every way. How often will you catch the owners of a company answering your concerns online--and giving out their personal cell phone numbers. So many of their employees that assist customers are absolutely incredible in their jobs.

I've had my Grand Design Reflection 323BHS fifth wheel 2 years, and it's been just great. Any problems I've had were of my own causing--not the unit's fault.

Grand Design is the fastest growing RV company right now, and they're just sticking to fifth wheels, toy haulers and travel trailers. That's what got them where they are today. Whatever their business model has been--it's working.

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