Proud owners of a 38 foot 5th Wheel. Purchased this baby new, and filled it with all the bells and whistles.
What prompt me to write about my Columbus was one day this past summer, I was parked next to a Forest River River Stone Fifth Wheel. It is the luxury model although I considered the Columbus to be luxury too.
My first encounter with our first excursion was to our annual trip to the Florida Keys. At our very first stop, the fridge was found open and stuff on the floor. The Dometic double wide fridge uses plastic door locks. Found that if you stuff a sponge between the locks, fixes this problem.
The next problem was the string LED lights on the awning. Failed. Ordered some higher rated LED's tape string and fixed that.
After a month in the Keys, retracted the auto levelers (electric jack screws) and one if the tires were flat. Learned real and quick how to change the flat tire. The spare is mounted under the trailer and was fairly easy to get too. But, the winch and tire holder will not hold the regular Columbus tire. I now know how heavy the trailer tire is since I had to pick it up and put in the bed of my truck. Headed over to Sanibel Florida knowing there was an RV place I could get the tire repaired. The RV place called the next day and said that the tire and wheel was OK. The air valve stem is metal and the nut that holds it on place was loose. That prompted me to check the other wheels and yes, they too were loose but not enough to allow the tires to loose air. Easy fix.
Heading back home to PA. Stopped in Jacksonville, FL at Flamingo RV Park, one if the nicest parks in Florida. Notice uneven wear on the driver side rear wheel on the Columbus. Need to keep an eye in this.
Once back home and the Columbus was in driveway, checked the tire again. The inner part of the tire was bald. Made an appointment with a local RV dealer and they said the the torque on that wheel bearing was loose. Had all the bearings checked, repacked. Confidant that shakedown problem was resolved.
Since that first outing we have made repeated long trips up to 2020. Little problems like leaking water in the bedroom AC unit. Fixed. AC fan motor failed on bedroom AC unit. Fixed ( only after two previous fixes were attempted before the motor was replaced).
Central vacuum system failed. Manufacture wanted to replace the entire system because the failed control PCB was our of stock. Being an electronic engineer, I fixed it myself. Been good since.
The wear on the tire did not stop. Changed tires to Goodyear Edurance. No help. Swapped wheels with other positions thinking a wrapped wheel. NOT.
Then on a return trip on I 295 around Richmond, VA. (which no one should ever take) the roughness of the road made the truck and trailer rock several times. When I stopped In DC for the night I notice my trim on the overhang holding the pin box was slightly seperated. I can fix that too, maybe.
Lived with the tire problem and trim problem another a few years until the summer of 2020. The tire wear suddenly accelerated and I had to change and rotate tires on that position three times. Now I am worried. And two of my four auto levelers jackscrews either fell apart or siezed up. Worked my way through that and had a good vacation. Made an appointment to the original dealer we purchased our Columbus.
To make a long story short, cracked frame sections in the overhang. Axle is damaged. Jack screws worn badly. All four.
So I read up on the River Stone luxuary model by Forest River.
Many of the same problems with no attention to detail was reported by many write ups.
Columbus is still in the shop. Still don't know if the trailer can be repaired. New axle and Jackscrews required.... Oh, I almost forgot that our gray water tank developed a leaked and filled up the belly of the trailer which has insulation. Cleaned that up, but I could never drive the trailer with any water in the tank or accidentally over fill it. Told to live with it. Too expensive to replace.
Love My Columbus. Perfect interior layout. Even with the interior wall paper cringing and most of the drawers falling apart with wood screws too short to work. Yep, fixed that too.
Remember this name. Forest River.