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Old 11-03-2011, 06:32 AM   #15
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 39
I will try emailing Dan rather than the phone this time. Below is the letter I got from Dutchman on my previous inquiry. This doesn't cover the slide roof that was built with a sag in it that I repaired myself.

My email to the Dutchmen

Subject: 2010 Grand Junction comments

This is going to be a pretty wide ranging email, as I have a number of
comments about different areas. Some of these comments are really aimed
at the dealer (which is very aware of them) while some are more
targetted at you (the manufacturer/designer).

Please feel free to distribute as appropriate within your company.

We originally looked at a 2010 Grand Junction 345RE at Camping World in
Katy, TX in the spring of 2010. We did not purchase one until
September. We
like the layout and the looks of the trailer. Camping World gave us
we believe) to be a pretty good deal on our tradein and financing.

We have towed the trailer about 8K miles in the last 10 months with a
2008 Dodge 3500 dually. We are currently (and for the foreseeable
future) living full time in the trailer in the Houston, TX area.

The trailer was delivered to us dirty and it took several trips back to
Camping World to get it fully cleaned. Besides the surface dirt from
sitting on the lot, the water lines/faucet areators were clogged with
dirt. We have had significant amounts of wood chips fall into the light
fixtures on the ceiling. There was so much wood chip/dirt in the
furnace vents that I was concerned about fire. I am still finding new
wood chips in the basement area from the vent down below, despite my
efforts to vaccuum it out. We had white powder that continued to show
up for several months (to a lesser degree now).

After our first trip, the molding over the top of the kitchen slide fell
off. We also have several other pieces of molding that have popped off.
The "solid wood woodwork" turns out to be veneer over plywood.

After the first couple of trips we noticed that the king sized bed was
bowing. Upon inspection we found that there was NO support in the
middle of the bed. 1/2" OSB/chip board is NOT going to support any
significant weight on a 6' span. I am surprised that it did not break
under us. (I built a support frame for it).

The remote docking light control was not explained to me at purchase
(you can turn on the front lights with the remote). That is
understandable, but CW actually rewired part of the trailer trying to
"fix" them. (If they are turned on with the remote, they can not be
turned off by the manual switch). It was only a random comment by a
tech that helped us figure it out. Obviously, CW does not understand
the product they are selling. Since the lights would stay on until the
battery was drained, this led to an early replacement of the main

In the process of trying to get the docking lights fixed, I asked for a
wiring diagram of the trailer (I like to understand what is going on,
plus my confidence in CW was dropping). I was informed by Dutchmen and
by CW that each trailer is "custom wired". REALLY??? You have no
diagram, even high level of what gets hooked up to what??? I find this

As I've looked at the trailer, I find corner cutting at, well, every
corner. The plug for the electrical cord is screwed into the fiberglass
bumper cover, with no backing. Obviously, the plug comes out unless you
hold it in with one hand while pulling the cord with the other. This is
apparently a known issue with your product line as the techs told me a
standard fix (a small piece of plywood).

It appears I may have bent the floor of the basement by sitting in it (I
weigh about 240#). There is no mention of a load limit for that area.
The walls of the basement are screwed to cheap 1x1 furring strips, with
some of the screws missing the boards entirely.

The slide supports (running parallel to the edge of the trailer) are
C-Channels, not full box tubing. They are already bent and I will be
surprised if the ticky tack welds hold up. (I'm planning on having an
independent shop check all the welds). There is rust running down the
frame from behind several of the plates and braces that have been welded
on. This is happening because they are only spot welded on and the area
behind them was not painted. Water is getting between the brace and the
main frame and creating rust.

The couch supports (webbing under the cushion) broke when our daughter
(about 150#) sat on it.

As delivered to us, the basement doors could be opened while latched and
locked (misaligned catches).

The generator transfer switch (which I did not know the trailer even
burned up. I was told it was 'generator ready', but we do not have a
generator and I was not aware of the technology involved. Apparently
of the main lugs was not tightened correctly. I started noticing the
smell of burning plastic one evening It took me about 15 minutes of
"following my nose" to locate the source of the smell (the generator
transfer switch). The manufacturer of the transfer switch states it
"should be installed in an easily accessible area". All I had to
do was remove the aluminum strip at the bottom of the basement wall,
remove the basement door support, remove the wall of the basment which
required breaking the plywood since one of the screws is behind a wiring
bulkhead. That got me to where I could see the transfer switch smoking.
I tried to open it, but it was mounted in such a manner that you could
not get to the main latch. By prying open the hinge side of the lid,
I was able to gain access but still could not remove the lid because it
was held in place by the wood that supports the basement door support.
I think I removed over a dozen screws, plus a 2'x4' piece of plywood
(which I had to break), a 7' long aluminum strip, and a door support.
Not what I call easily accessible. CW states that they had another
Grand Junction with the same issue. It is entirely possible that the
trailer would have burned up if I had not traced the issue and unplugged
the trailer. Obviously not very comforting. No breakers or fuses were
tripped and the only indication we had was the smell of smoke/hot
which did not set off any of the
(functioning) smoke alarms. Interestingly the inverter is also mounted
in the same area (next to the plumbing) and I'll bet it is supposed to
be easily accessible as well.

During our most recent trip the bolt afixing the drive shaft for the
front landing gear to the motor fell out (somewhere in Arkansas). In
order to replace it, I had to remove the generator box (which was so
poorly sealed I'm glad I never put a generator in it). That's when I
realized the floor of the generator compartment is so flimsy that it has
been dented by some piece of trash.

We've now replaced 4 of the 5 tires (we'll replace the spare shortly).
1 tire had a broken belt, the other 3 developed bulges around the rim
seat. Compared to the replacement tires I bought, the OEM tires are
incredibly flimsy.

The brakes appear to be either inadequate or too cheap to hold up. With
a new Prodigy P2 controller we cannnot lock the brakes in emergency
mode. We've checked the voltage at the brakes (8V+) and the brake shoes
which appear to be fine. The consensus now is that the magnets are worn
out/cheap. I've weighed the trailer several times and we are below the
axle ratings and below the overall trailer weight (15,500#).

The black and grey water tank drains have very little slope to them,
making them difficult to empty. The "hose support" is ABOVE the
connector for the drains making a bad situation even worse. (I've
stopped using the hose support entirely).

I'm surprised that in a "luxury" 5th wheel, there appears to be no
carpet pad.

I've been surprised that there is no owners forum or online discussion
board of any kind that I have been able to find.

The air ride hitch is excellent, though it needs to have a grease
fitting added to the main pivot. Ours squeaks as it flexes.

The sad part for me is that I could propose fixes to many of these
for a few thousand dollars, or even $0 cost which would lead to a much
better, safer and more durable product. For $70,000+ list I expect a
lot more. At the very least, I expect components to be installed in
accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations (the transfer switch
and generator box) and to be appropriate for the use they are sold for
(the brakes and tires).

Needless to say I will not be recommending a Dutchmen product in the
near future.

Any assistance you can render will be appreciated.

Their reply

To: Jim Wildman <jim.wildman@gmail.com>
Subject: RE: 2010 Grand Junction comments, Vi n#658924

Thank you for sending the vin number. We have noted your comments in
your unit's vin file as reference. Your comments and concerns have also
been forwarded for review to the appropriate departments. Thank you for
informing us.

With a review of past claims, we can see that you have had contact with
your dealer. If there are open items that have not been addressed,
please prepare a list and present to the center. They will be pleased
to inspect the trailer, file a warranty claim, and make the necessary
warrantable items.

We are sorry that the production techniques of the Grand Junction have
not met your expectations and caused frustration to you and your family.

Thank you for contacting Dutchmen. We wish you a great 2011 camping

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Old 11-03-2011, 06:41 AM   #16
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 39
I think my account of the roof repairs should be visible here Sagging slide roof - Escapees Discussion Forum

Pictures available here

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Old 11-03-2011, 06:51 AM   #17
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Ray, I see you're on the Escapees board as well. Sorry for the double thread. I will try email as well to get ahold of Dan.
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:36 AM   #18
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Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 31
Thumbs up 2011 Grand Junction

We are really new to RVing and fell in love when we saw our 2011 Grand Junction 352MS. It has 3 slides and has a 38.2 ft length. We plan on going full time and thought this model had the best floor plan for us. We especially like 2 dressers and a full closet in the bedroom. I love cooking in my little kitchen. As far as any problems, we had the Norcold recall on the fridge which was a painless fix and it works great. Our baby is at the dealer as we speak due to our virgin trip where we tried EVERYTHING including the in house vacuum showed we did not have heat. Seemed our thermostat wasn't talking to anyone! The dealer has found the problem and fixed it. We are now waiting on a screen for the back window from the factory. Winterizing it was so easy we couldn't believe it. I would recommend it to anyone! We looked at all the RV's we could find in our area before our purchase and have gone to shows since, we still haven't found one we like better!
Cindy in Colorado
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:14 PM   #19
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I apologize to boymom for hijacking your thread.
Originally Posted by jawildman View Post
Ray, I see you're on the Escapees board as well. Sorry for the double thread. I will try email as well to get ahold of Dan.
Not necessary Jim, different websites are not double threads, just accessing a wider knowledge base.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member,FMCA."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:14 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by boymom View Post
hi all! I'm new here, so i hope this is the right place to ask for opinions on fifth-wheel brands! We're buying a new 5th wheel this weekend. We've been looking for several months now. We're somewhat limited, due to few rv dealerships in our area. We're torn between two models and would love any input from you all! We're either getting a 2010 starcraft lexion (355resa) 38' in length, and it's actually made by jayco (initially were hesitant about starcraft brand for a fiver until i heard it was bought by jayco. Loved the quality of our old jayco!) and the other option is a 2010 grand junction by dutchmen, again 38'. They're both lovely and seem really comfortable. Actually, the king bed in the grand junction is even more comfy than the one in the lexion! Both seem like really nice fivers. However, there's a lot more to it than just the "looks" and we want to keep this rv a while... I did buy the rv consumer guide you guys often mention here. Seems like dutchmen doesn't get great reviews. Starcraft so-so reviews, and jayco pretty good reviews. Would love to know if anyone has experience with either of these models we're looking at purchasing. Thanks for any advice!

jayco yes..........dutchmen......no
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:30 PM   #21
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Too bad there's not a Newmar dealer close by. They make great rigs but they are heavy due to that.

2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
Charter Good Sam Lifetime Member, FMCA, SKP
RV'ing since 1957, NRA Benefactor Life, towing '14 CR-V
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