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Thread: Just found grand design have several questions

  1. #1
    Tigerbug
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    Just found grand design have several questions

    To all forum members:
    We were very close to pulling the trigger on a Cedar Creek Silverback 5th wheel and visited one last dealer who showed us the Grand Desgn products. Now we put a hold on things until we can learn more about GD.

    Background
    We will be purchasing a new F350 diesel, SRW, 4 x 4, 6.5' bed. Do not want to go into a DRW. This is also our first 5th wheel but we are confident in going this route as we love the national parks, nature, and want to bring along our 2 Australian Sheperds, Skye & Finn. Our dealer showed us the Reflection series as being in line with our needs. The 337RLS seems to fit us best within that subline.

    Questions
    We really want a 6pt level up system (avail on the Silverback) but it is not avail on the Reflection 337RLS. Can someone share more details on their 4pt electric system and how it works? Pros & Cons. Is a 6pt really needed to easily level a trailer or is it more of a convenience? I have a call into Jeremiah at GD but due to the holiday it may be a bit before he can get back to me.

    If we moved up to a Solitude 305RE will our truck handle this well, especially in mountain driving. Our #1 priority in a 5th wheel is the ability to easily & safely get up and down in mountain terrain. If this is not the case then we would have to stay in a trailer that will and give up on other desired features. Really looking for an honest answer on this one.

    Any other guidance anyone wants to share is greatly appreciated. We do like what we have seen so far in the GD products but I will have a tough time giving up on the 6pt level up system if the Solitude is simply too much trailer for our truck.

    Glad I found this forum as my searches on GD were coming back with little to no user experience.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Site Sponsor Dave and Monica's Avatar
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    Re: Just found grand design have several questions

    [quote author=Tigerbug link=topic=165.msg827#msg827 date=1385494458]
    We really want a 6pt level up system (avail on the Silverback) but it is not avail on the Reflection 337RLS. Can someone share more details on their 4pt electric system and how it works? Pros & Cons. Is a 6pt really needed to easily level a trailer or is it more of a convenience?[/quote]

    We're picking our Reflection 337 RLS this Thursday. I did have a close look at the set-up that they have on the camper. The front is conventional electric landing gear found on any 5vr. Instead on having a set of stabilizers near the rear of the camper, they have another set of landing gear immediately behind the rear-most axle which should take the movement out of the suspension when you're set-up. The 6 pt auto-leveling is a whole other animal...one button and it's taken care of. To me, the auto-leveling is a convenience...one man's opinion. With the Reflection set-up you'll still have to level side to side with boards/blocks, set the front landing gear to get level front to back, then drop the rear set of landing gear to stabilize. I'm planning on installing a set of SteadyFast stabilizers from our previous 5vr to reduce movement when set-up.

    I think you have enough truck even if you chose the Solitude.

    Dave
    Dave and Monica - Gore Bay, Ontario
    Vitus the Hungarian Vizsla
    2014 Reflection 337 RLS #129
    2008 F250 V10 CC Lariat RWD

  3. #3
    Tigerbug
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    Re: Just found grand design have several questions

    Dave, thanks for the quick response. We would actually prefer the 337RLS as we like the entertainment center on the side rather than the back of the trailer. Seems to make the most sense for watching the TV (straight viewing rather than on an angle) I opened the door to considering the Solitude because I really would prefer the 6pt level up system. Never having had a 5th wheel it just seems so much easier to get the trailer set up. I was hoping to speak with GD to see if they could even install one on the 337 if a customer special ordered.
    I also like the lower weight of the Reflection 337 my thinking is if you can be happy with a lighter unit that is still built well then there are multiple benefits to that (fuel efficiency, wear and tear on the Tow Vehicle, etc).
    We also are not fans of the bathroom sink in the Solitude. Not sure my wife can get past that one.
    Keep us posted on the forum about the 337. The forum is so new and not too many are posting yet, and most of those posts seem to be on the Solitude line. I am eager to learn more about your experience with your new trailer.
    Thanks, Tigerbug

  4. #4
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    Re: Just found grand design have several questions

    I have a Reflection 337 which I pull with a F250 diesel, short bed 4X4. Pulls great.

    We looked at the Solitudes, but I did not want one quite that long and would have needed a F350. A dually is not necessary, but you can look over the Solitude section of this forum and see what others use to pull their Solitudes.

    I certainly think that your F350 will handle the Solitude 305 quite well. Might need airbags on your truck, though.

    My experiences pulling fifth wheels started in 1980. The Reflection is my fourth fifth wheel. I have pulled them all over the western US and Canada and on one 10 week trip to Alaska.

    Before buying our Grand Design I went to 6 RV dealers and many online sites. Grand Design has the best RVs, in my opinion.

    Robert
    Robert & Sheila, Amarillo, TX
    2013 F250 short bed crew cab, diesel, 4X4, Firestone air bags
    2014 Reflection 337, Michelin XPS Ribs, Anderson Ultimate Fifth wheel hitch

  5. #5
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    Re: Just found grand design have several questions

    While I was typing a response you got one from someone else and responded to them.

    I bought the 337 for the same reasons you listed--shorter, lighter weight, theatre seating across from the entertainment center. The 337 has a similar floorplan to the Solitude 369. We got the king bed, which is an option.

    I will consider a 4 point electric leveling system in the future. I like the 337 rear stabilizers being just behind the wheels and having snap pins. When I parked it here after returning from the dealer I could not detect any movement while walking around inside. Will have to go on a camping trip when the weather warms.

    Robert
    Robert & Sheila, Amarillo, TX
    2013 F250 short bed crew cab, diesel, 4X4, Firestone air bags
    2014 Reflection 337, Michelin XPS Ribs, Anderson Ultimate Fifth wheel hitch

  6. #6
    Tigerbug
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    Re: Just found grand design have several questions

    Keep the responses coming as I am eager to learn more. 5th wheels are a whole new animal to me so I am constantly reading on a variety of forums, vendor sites, etc. We were already narrowing down our search until we found GD. Now its like starting over again to an extent. I need to keep reading about their product. I hope this forum grows and the posts add up quickly as I now believe it to be my best source of information to learn about the Solitude and Reflection.
    I will be checking this site many times daily.

    Thanks to all of you early buyers who can now educate us.

    Thanks in advance for your posts, I find all of this very helpful.

    Tigerbug

  7. #7
    Ron S
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    Re: Just found grand design have several questions

    We upgraded from a 23' Hybrid Trailer (4,400 lbs) to the Solitude 369RL. I was using my 1/2 ton on the hybrid but, anticipating upgrading our trailer bought an F250 6.7L long bed. The Ford web site specs on the truck put the maximum tow weight at 15,900 with a 5th wheel and 3,000 payload. We saw the Solitude at a show and knew that was the trailer for us. The 6.7 has plenty of power to pull the trailer but we did need to add air bags to the rear.

    Transitioning to a fifth wheel was easier than I thought. The trailer tows great and maneuvers like a dream - despite it's size. I actually prefer towing the Solitude to my old hybrid.

    Hope this helps...




  8. #8
    Tigerbug
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    Re: Just found grand design have several questions

    Ron S.

    Your post does indeed help a lot. I sent an email to our Ford dealwer with specs on the Reflection 337RS and the Solitude 305RE, along with a Cedar Creek Silverback that is also still on our list (it does have the 6pt auto level system which we like). I asked him to compare the specs of each trailer to the F350, Diesel, 4x4, SRW truck we want to purchase. This guy really knows his stuff so I am going to wait to hear back from him and then we can make a decision.

    Thanks again for your reply.

    Tigerbug

  9. #9
    Site Sponsor Dave and Monica's Avatar
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    Re: Just found grand design have several questions

    Tigerbug...did you get any feedback from the Ford dealer yet?

    Dave
    Dave and Monica - Gore Bay, Ontario
    Vitus the Hungarian Vizsla
    2014 Reflection 337 RLS #129
    2008 F250 V10 CC Lariat RWD

  10. #10
    Tigerbug
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    Re: Just found grand design have several questions

    Yes I heard back from the dealer and he said the specs for the 2014 Diesel SRW 4x4 have been updated to 16,400lbs towing a 5th wheel. The Solitude 305re ws the heaviest of the three trailers I asked him to match up to the Ford. Bottom line he said no problem towing any of the trailers including the Solitude.

    I pressed a bit more asking about how it would tow in the mountains as we intended to take the trailer out West. He said it is fully capable of both climbing and descendng safely.

    This guy is the dealerships go to guy for trucks and towing. He shared that he goes annually to Fords proving grounds for continuing education on the changes they make each year to their truck lineup. He is definately a cut above several other Ford sales peope from other dealerships and also for GMC when we were looking at their trucks.

    I am confident in mathcing the Solitude to the Ford 350 Diesel. Now I just need to answer one or two more questions about the Solitude and I think we can pull the trigger and start talking dollars and sense with our dealer.

    Tigerbug

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