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Friday, September 11, 2015

Two issues: RV improvement and flood

Clenoa,  PA

This has been an interesting few days.


We've had our 2014 Cedar Creek Fifth Wheel Trailer for just a little over two years.  There is a lot we like about it, but a lot we don't.   It is more spacious than our 2009 Montana, especially in the basement/storage departments.   We like the residential fridge with ice maker, the stainless steel double full-size sinks, the sofa bed instead of an air mattress, the walk-in closet in the bedroom, the larger shower with full-size seat, the taller commode, the self-leveling system.   What we DON'T like is the way it is manufactured.  The frame is not as heavy (our fault for not checking that out).  In the last couple of months we've had to replace two tires.

This units loaded out weighs just north of 16,000 pounds.  It sits on two 7,000 pound axles.  We are told that the truck carries 2,500 pounds.   All of our weight in the rig is carried on the left side.....fireplace; stove; fridge;  storage for dishes, pots, food, etc; shower, water heater, furnace.  In measuring it, the left side sat 1 1/2 inch lower than the right causing the axles to always be in conflict with the other one.

We've spoken to Forest River and Dexter who makes the axles.  No one takes responsibility. In addition we spoke to a local dealer here in PA who says this is a constant issue.  They get new rigs into the shop leaning like this.

Our solution, change to 8,000 pound axles.  Add heavier springs.  Will solve the unnecessary wearing of the tires and improve fuel mileage.    And hopefully we will be traveling safer.  This at a cost of $4,708.

We dropped the trailer at a local frame and alignment shop on Saturday only 15 miles from the daughters where we are pet sitting. The work was completed on Wednesday.   They have agreed to keep it there until Monday when we pick it up to head to Michigan.   If ever in the Lancaster/Lebanon counties of Pennsylvania and need this type of work done, we highly recommend


As I've written before, daughters house was once a grist mill built in 1832.  It sits near a stream that is partially diverted under the house.  In 2011 there was a flood that reached into the main floor.

Yesterday we had rains and for a while it looked like this might be a repeat.  Daughter and husband are away in Cape Cod on a vacation.

At first the we could see the stream running faster but no sign of water in the basement or over the banks.

There is a "well" in the house.  Actually part of the floor is Plexiglas with stone work around it to look like a well.  There are lights above the steam so you look down to see the stream running by. This is in their living room.

This is how the steam usually looks under the house.  See that canoe?  Good thing it was chained as the water came half way up over the canoe.

Within 1/2 hour we saw this.  Debris stuck under the passageway.  Much, much more there today but the water is lower and the opening visible.

The water continued to rise overflowing the bank and into the yard.  The area below is a patio.  We moved the chairs and table back.   The second picture is the patio about two hours after when some water receded.

To give an idea,  this green bench sits about 10 feet from the bank.  The first picture is when we first noticed the bank being breached.  The second, about 1/2 hour later.

The ducks loved it

This is Leonard  attempting to lasso and remove some of the logs from under the house. He is right at the edge of the patio.  One more step and he would be up to the knees.

The basement was flooded.  They have a huge sump pump that has pretty much taken care of the problem.  In parts of the basement I would guess the water was 4-5 inches deep.  They have most of the stuff up on shelves but still a lot down there they will have to go through.

What we found especially nice, within 1/2 hour three neighbors came here to see if there was damage and we needed help. They all talked about the 2011 flood and was concerned we faced similar damage.  One neighbor said a few years ago the Army Corps of Engineers had done flood control upstream then ran out of funds leaving those downstream now in a flood plain.   Before that this area seldom has this issue.

What a few days!


  1. Oh that brings back unpleasant memories! I'm sure they were glad you were there to take care of things.

  2. Yes flooding homes are horrible, the one I owned in NJ would flood all the time and the sum pump could handle the water and it just ran right back into the basement anyway. Hope they can get some action for this problem.

  3. It is surprising how many travel trailers and 5th wheels come out of the factory already over weight. It is, according to an insider I spoke to once, the combination of poor engineering and corner cutting to keep costs down. They start with a plan that should be with in weight restrictions then keep adding bells and whistles and the floor plan after two or three years of add-ons is grossly overweight or so close to axel weight rating that the customer can't put any thing in it.
    All units must have the actual, leave the factory weight documented and posted in the rig. Many manufacturers cut corners there, too, and unfortunately, customers don't pay attention to it and dealer rush the customer past it.
    Many TT and 5er buyers who are a-tune to safety will replace axels and tires first thing to get to safe standards.
    Some motorhomes come out of the factory overweight also.
    We can only hope that the buying public will pick up on manufacturers cost cutting and start to demand safety come first in the RV industry.