Gulf Stream Owners RV Forum
 


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Old 04-08-2018, 11:47 PM   #1
Steveg
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Default New Amerilite 241RB Issues like tissues

I’ve owned 3 other RV’s but this is my first New travel trailer. My neighbor has a 21’ model similar to ours that we liked, and we got a good deal in December 2017, so we bought a new one for a bit less than we were planning to pay for a used one. Since it was bitter cold, I didn’t do a once over for quality control issues, which in retrospect was probably a mistake. The first problem I discovered was a leaking water heater. The hot and cold lines simply had never been tightened sufficiently, so instead of sleeping, I found myself taking a panel off, and tightening the fittings, getting all our towels soaked in the process.

We soon discovered a leak in the bathroom sink. Again the drain fittings were simply loose, and needed snugging up with my hands. Again, some more personal items soaked.

The shower also leaked like a sieve. Turns out the shower walls apparently are installed on the outside of the drain pan lip instead of the inside. So any water that splashes onto the three sides of the shower runs under the shower pan instead of into it, and down the drain. They put some plastic molding to cover the joints. Only one of 3 sides had any caulking, and it was poorly done and didn’t stop any water.

Structural leaks are the worst leaks you can have. We had rain water showing up on the cheap MDF board shelf over the bed. I traced it down to a poorly caulked right front marker light, which made its way through the light, and eventually dripped out of the paneling over the bed and down onto the floor.

When draining the water heater, I noticed the water was running under the caulking between the water heater unit and the exterior siding. Most all the caulking done on this unit was never feathered out or dressed up in any way. This is not just a cosmetic improvement, but it also creates a better mechanical bond by pressing out air and forcing caulk into the microscopic pores.

We also have problems with the media player. It changes input regularly on its own. We can’t listen to the radio for any length of time, it will try to read the disk holder, or change to Bluetooth. It randomly tries all its input sources.

The nail holes in the paneling are apparently filled with Sheetrock mud. There were white smears about 12” in diameter around every nail hole. We were able to wash these off with a damp rag. We asked the dealer to do it, but many reappeared after we got home.

The dealer told us that all lights were LED, but our outdoor light beside the door burned out within the first few hours of use, and it was an incandescent light. I had some 30 watt equivalent LED bulbs left over from a restoration I did on a 1977 Chevy truck, so I replaced that bulb.

Our third trip out we were 70 miles closer to the dealer in Columbus Georgia than the 100 mile trip from home, so we decided to call about taking it by for some warranty repair work. I actually bought the RV from Ashley Boat and RV in Opelika AL, but they are an extension of the Columbus GA store, and referred us to them for warranty work. In 4 hours of calling we couldn’t get anyone to the phone in the repair shop, and to this day they have not returned our calls as promised. The salesman, Shaun, encouraged me to take it to a dealer closer to home, assuring us that all Gulf Stream dealers would do the work. The closest dealer was in Temple GA, about 75 miles away. They said they were 165 days out on taking repair work. Wow, 5.5 months wait for a repair. They too tried to get us to go elsewhere for the work. We eventually called every dealer in Alabama and Georgia, a 4.5 hour ordeal, to discover that there was no way to get these things fixed in a timely manner. I knew there would be extensive damage to the frames, paneling, floor, and furniture by allowing it to leak that long and besides, we wanted to use it. So I ordered some appropriate caulking and did the work myself. I consider myself twice as skilled as anyone who worked on building this rig. My Dad taught me at a young age to repair HVAC (including Ammonia gas Refrigerators in RV’s), as well as the other skills such as wiring, plumbing, carpentry and welding. So if we go full-time, I’ll tske some tools and do a little on site repair for fellow campers.

If you aren’t a handyman, buying a new camper might not be a good idea. The cost to go back and forth to a dealer would get into the hundreds of dollars quickly. The low QC makes me want to start a company that makes RV’s with the same QC as cars and trucks. I know they have to use cheap, light materials to keep the cost and weight down, but there is no excuse for such poor, sloppy, and even dangerous workmanship. A few other issues I noticed were, when leveling the unit, I figured the best way to level was to use a 4’ level in the floor near the center of the camper. I did that and installed the leveling vials on the back and side exterior surfaces. The tongue of the trailer does not agree with the floor inside, nor the rear bumper. I noticed that the plywood flooring bends down about 3/16” in the last 10” before you get to the wall. I’m not sure how this happens or why, but it’s a bit unsettling to see, as if the walls are only supported by the plywood.

Also, my neighbor told me to go ahead and find my best deal on tires because these factory tires wear out very quickly. I noticed they are bias tires, not radials. And there is no spare.

I also noticed a huge air gap at the head of the bed about 2” wide, which allows cold air from the front storage compartment to come up and chill your head and neck. We had to go to Hobby Lobby and buy a piece of foam rubber and trim it to fit, which helps make the bed longer, and warmer.

I’m angry that I had to put in several hours of labor to finish building the camper. I’m also angry that despite buying a new rig, a great deal of the building materials have been soaked with water, including the paneling, the plywood in the walls and floors, the MDF laminated furniture/cabinets, and the insulation under the floor. The paneling and Furnature will eventually delaminate and show in years to come. I’ll send the manufacturer a bill for my work, but how much value is lost to depreciation from repeated soakings? Camping can be a lot of fun. As a child my family wore out two campers, then I had 3 different ones raising my kids. This rig was to be for my wife and I to relax and have fun. That has yet to happen.
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Old 04-09-2018, 04:09 AM   #2
Serge
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Hi Steve

I owned an 2018 Ameri-Lite 199DD which is in my opinion a starter in that world and I faced the same problems.
The drain of the sink and the shower were not tight and the water started to flow on the floor on our first camping trip.
The delay for the repair was too long with our dealer and the camping season here in Cananada is too short to wait for repair, even if it's under warranty.

So I disassembled all the walls of the shower, bathtub and sink, redo all caulking joints.
In addition, the edge of the bath had no support, so I had to add a piece of framing.
I took the opportunity to stick the walls with silicone because they used just nails off course !!!
I think you need to have good skills to own a trailer and whatever the price you put in it. My parents own a big motor home $$$$ and they have similar problems.

I chose my trailer for the price, it's my first one and I'm lucky because I worked for a manufacturer of yactchs for several years, so I know how to do right and fix things. I don't think Gulf Stream is bad, I think it's a problem for all manufacturers.
I think the employees have to go fast and that's the biggest problem. Just watch the videos on the Net...
If I had to build a million dollars yatch at this speed, it would have given the same result.

I wonder if Gulf Stream read the messages of their customers on this forum ???

I am really sorry for all your problems and I hope you enjoy your trailer.

Best regards!
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Old 04-09-2018, 08:51 AM   #3
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Thank you. Yes I wonder if GS reads these comments. I bought this entry level camper because I wanted an aluminum framed rig I could pull with a 1/2 ton truck. We downsized our 2500 Chevy to a 4x4 Ford F-150 and love the mileage and additional traction. I’ll check out the videos of them being made. My Dad went to Indiana to pick his new one up. Saved $1000 delivery fee and got to tour the factory. I guess the pressure to produce lowers the quality. Thanks.
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Old 04-09-2018, 09:02 AM   #4
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That kind of floor plan is very similar to what we'd like to buy on our next (last) TT unit. However, as in your case (a little worse than ours was, new) we all seem to find how totally crappy these things are slapped together. (See the link attached for a 'tour') We also find that we're going to have to address the issues ourselves or wait a ridiculous, unacceptable amount of time before a 'dealer' will address the issues, and the more the issues, the ever longer wait for service and to get it back if it ever makes it to service. Top ten RV manufacturers: http://rvroadtrip.us/top10/rv-manufacturers.php
Our 2006 Gulfstream Amerilite rotted down around our ears, entire perimeter of the roof, entire back end with the bath, water heater, closet, shower, all the floor under that 'dissolved' by water leaks. Best idea, new units especially, is to go over EVERYTHING that protrudes through the unit's 'skin' on the roof (pipes, vents, AC box, fridge system vent, antenna, etc) OR the walls (windows, vents, lights, power connection, hose line ports, etc) and seal the he>> out of all of them, along with the joints where the roof, side walls and end caps join with good ol' Eternabond http://www.eternabond.com/RV-Leak-Re...ducts-s/22.htm
Jayco put out a promotional vid on how their junk is put together. Surprising these jokers were rated at #9 of 'top ten' manufacturers. 7 hours to slap one together from naked frame to rolling out the door.
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Old 04-09-2018, 09:30 AM   #5
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Wow, that was helpful. I’d love to see one built with an aluminum frame. Thanks for the link.
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Old 04-09-2018, 08:38 PM   #6
McKannick
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Default Keystone RV construction

Aluminum framed laminated travel trailer construction.
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:50 AM   #7
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I found a video about Gulf Stream coaches. It was an advertising video so I had to endure a lot of propo stuff, but I did get to see the factory and how they go together. Looks like they put blocks of styrofoam in the aluminum frame which is good. It won’t retain water like fiberglass. Wish they would shoot polystyrene spray in, but I’m dreaming now. That would eliminate all air flow and make a waterproof shield, and increase structural strength. I see how mistakes are made. The assembly line is moving so fast there is no time to inspect one’s work.
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Old 04-23-2018, 06:58 PM   #8
Dave G
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Hello,

I have a 2017 AmeriNat Lite 274qb. From day one I have had nothing but problems. I have had the shower leak. Therefore I had to pull the trim off the bottom and caulk it. I had to put a new freshwater drain plug in. Not to mention the slide from day one when it comes in at the end it would raise up and touch the ceiling. The dealer fix is to just move the trim down instead of adjusting the slide. Plus I have seen the brake lines frayed. Needless to say I was not happy with this model. Looking at the walls they are poorly put together. I took pictures and sent it to corporate and they did nothing about it.

I fixed most of the issues. However, I noticed a little bit of water on my shelf above the bed after a hard rain. How were you able to see that it was coming in from the market light? I went ahead and caulked that as well as put Eternabond on the seal at the front of the roof. My next question for anyone is I just noticed after a week on city water that my fresh water is half full. Does anyone know what’s causing this or how to fix it?

Thanks for any info.

Dave
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:35 AM   #9
Steveg
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Hi. I don’t see how your water tank can fill while being hooked to city water. Let me know what you find. Regarding the leaking light: I started by the process of elimination. The caulking along the sides looked unbroken, so I reasoned that the light might be the source. When I pulled it off, it was obvious that water was still in the light fixture, showing that the caulking at the top of the light was bad, while the bottom of the light was good. This simply made the light fill up to the level where the hole is drilled for the wire. So I put caulking under the light, then went 360 degrees around caulking the edge where plastic meets siding. Since then I re-caulked every light. I noticed some of the light covers were poorly made and did not fit tightly. I put a dab of silicone on each side to hold the covers on. Otherwise, they would have blown off, as one did as we pulled out of the lot when we were buying it new. Hope this helps.
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:56 AM   #10
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Default Update: AC unit pollutes food and bed

We took our first trip that needed AC, at Lake Guntersville State Park, May 12, 2018. As my wife cooked we noticed trash particles all about the kitchen and floor. While eating I discovered trash in my food. Later that night, at bedtime we switched the AC vent to blow into the bedroom. We got up during the night because sawdust particles were in our sheets, causing great discomfort, and the inability to sleep. It was then I figured out that the AC vents were filled with trash, and they were slowly discharging the trash into our bed. Then I recalled trash in our food, and remembered that there is a vent over the stove top/kitchen table area. Wood fibers had blown into our chili. So we had to suffer that out until I got home. When home I took the shop vac and sucked the vent while the fan ran for an hour or so. You would think they would take steps to prevent their customers from swallowing the filth produced during construction, just for liability purposes. But, that would take a minute or so of labor they are unwilling to spend. I had to attend a funeral the next day, and felt terrible during it from the poor nights rest.
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