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Thread: Guts vs Glam...R-value calculation, frame size, brake size, A/c

  1. #1
    Connor McGillicuddy
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    Guts vs Glam...R-value calculation, frame size, brake size, A/c

    I'm shopping the Reflection against other 'shorties' (that I can find)...Arctic Fox, Silverback, Alpine/Avalanche clones, Eagle Premier. I'm much more concerned about the guts than the 'goodies', or 'glam'...those can be changed (of course, being single, I NEVER do!).

    I must say first that I'm impressed with the effort GD put into its website, relative to other mfgs. Still, as a prospective buyer, there can never be too much information available. Although I hate the idea of more Fed regulation, I look forward to the day when 'window sticker' type rules from the automotive industry are applied to the RV industry. The next step would be mandating product training for RV salespeople.....(like THAT will ever happen...ha!).

    Now, to my questions:

    1) R-values are SUCH a game among mfgs. Walls, roofs, & floor are all--within an inch--the same for every unit out there; and only so much insulation can fit in a space. Does anyone know what type (and how much) insulation GD puts in a particular place to come up with their advertised calculated values; i.e., foam, batten, and radiant tech., and in what combinations? Jayco is the only mfg. I know of who actually tells you how much of what is used in a particular spot, and in what combination.

    2) Does anyone know the frame sizes of the Reflection 293, 303, & 337; i.e., 8" or 10", and whether they are I-beam, boxed tube, or a combination?

    3) I realize these are not rated as 'trekkers', like RV Consumers rates Arctic Fox, but GD seems, nonetheless, to be allowing very little margin for error with 5080-lb axles on the 303/293. Anyone know if they are Dexter, Alcon, or Lippert?QUESTION ANSWERED...THANKS!

    4) Anyone know the brake size? Are they the 'never-adjust' sort?

    5) Is the bedroom slide a Schwintek worm, as with so many of these lighter weight 5'ers?UPDATE:QUESTION ANSWERED...THANKS!

    6) Anyone know the cubic ft of the basement pass-through?

    7) What brand is the refrigerator? In the pics & videos I've seen, it appears to be something besides Norcold or Dometic.QUESTION ANSWERED...THANKS!

    8) Is the whisper-air system a Dometic, Coleman, or Advent? Also, a 2nd A/C could be unnecessary, but is the 293/303 at least wired & framed for it?QUESTION ANSWERED..THANKS!

    9) Furrion made their name in the marine industry; Jensen is the (12-volt) RV standard. Anyone having issues with their Furrion TV and/or stereo unit?

    10) Anyone had cans fall out of their pantry while traveling & break that glass-front door?

    11) What size is the converter, and is there space for more than one battery?QUESTION ANSWERED...THANKS!

    Any of these question that anyone might answer would be a big help. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Re: Guts vs Glam...R-value calculation, frame size, brake size, A/c

    Go to the Grand Design home page, then
    Reflection
    Service
    Service Video & Resources
    Resources
    Component List--Reflection

    This will answer many of your questions.

    I do not know of any manufacturer who has never-adjust brakes as standard. Hitchhiker has an option of disc brakes. Never-adjust brakes cost less than $60 per wheel and can be added after a trailer is purchased. Brakes are 12 inch, I believe.

    Schwintek slides are on the Solitudes. Reflection main slides are Lippert rack and pinion. If a motor fails, you will have a crank which can manually move a slide in (or out). Much easier than some trailers where you have to be inside the trailer in a very tight space with a portable drill moving the slide in. No resistence from the motor when cranking in or out.

    The battery is mounted in the front compartment--in a metal drop don space with a vented cover. There is adjoining space to place several more batteries--if you secure and vent them.

    Our 337 is the fourth 5th wheel I have owned over the past 35 years. We love it -- especially the king bed which was our only option. We spent months looking before ordering it. Went to 6 dealers including 3 very large ones. Looked at just about all online. There were 2 companies on my do-not-buy list. This was based upon excessive complaints reported online, feedback from owners I know, and feedback from service centers not associated with a manufacturer. I do not believe it is appropriate for me to list them on a forum, but suggest you do diligent research.

    What I would have liked from any manufacturer -- disc brakes, better tires, low profile air conditioner. Never-adjust brakes if no disc available.

    My tires are Westlake, made in China. For a modest amount more GD could install Goodyear Marathon, still made in China but with many more dealers all over the country. I am considering installing Michelin XPS ribs, LT instead of the ST which are standard.

    Narrow your choices down to 3, then go to the factories and tour their facilities and watch them being built. Read all the items in this forum if you cannot, and read about one person who watched their trailer being built and why they think GD trailers are the best out their in their price category and much better than most more expensive ones.

    Good luck on your search and with whichever trailer you choose.

    Robert
    Amarillo


    2014 Reflection 337 RLS (#238)
    2013 F250, diesel crew cab, short bed, 4X4, 45 gal. aux. tank, B&W Patriot hitch


    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

  3. #3
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    Re: Guts vs Glam...R-value calculation, frame size, brake size, A/c

    Welcome aboard Conner!

    I believe Grand Design is closed this week but if you will check back Monday afternoon you will have a message from Grand Design with a name and contact number who can answer all your questions. You might also PM Bill Fenech with your phone number, if he see's this he'll probably call you this weekend.

    Good luck with your search.

    Red
    Location - Wherever the road takes us...Full-timers
    2015 Momentum 380
    Chevy Silverado HDR 3500 Dually 4x4

  4. #4
    Connor McGillicuddy
    Guest

    Re: Guts vs Glam...R-value calculation, frame size, brake size, A/c

    Thanks, Robert!

    I, too, have been RV-ing for 35 years. Knowing HOW to buy one is not the issue.....but thanks for the heads up on the service video.....1 point to GD for putting that stuff on their website, but 1 demerit for putting it under 'Service'......silly me.....for thinking that OWNERS might be interested in a page tab called Service, but why would a BUYER need Service?...ha!

    btw...1 good tip deserves 1 in return.....check out Jayco, Heartland, Keystone to name a few.....all have models with never adjust brakes as std equip.

  5. #5
    Connor McGillicuddy
    Guest

    Re: Guts vs Glam...R-value calculation, frame size, brake size, A/c

    Thanks, Red!

    That explains why nobody answers the phone.

    There is no notification on their homepage about being closed this week, nor anything on the recording, when one calls them........I'm not sure if you have inside info, or have a cousin who works there....lol....but thanks nonetheless.


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    Re: Guts vs Glam...R-value calculation, frame size, brake size, A/c

    There was an earlier post about somebody wanting a factory tour today and Bill said they would be closed. Bill is nice, easy to talk to and one of the owners. I'm sure he'll be in touch. No he's not my uncle. LOL!
    Location - Wherever the road takes us...Full-timers
    2015 Momentum 380
    Chevy Silverado HDR 3500 Dually 4x4

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    Re: Guts vs Glam...R-value calculation, frame size, brake size, A/c

    Thanks Conner,

    I had narrowed my search down to a Heartland trailer before I saw the Grand Design. Looked at a Solitude 369 and really liked it, but did not want one that long. Nor the 1-ton trucks I test drove. Finally decided (we thought) on the Reflection 303. Then they brought out the 337 and we ordered that.

    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

  8. #8
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    Re: Guts vs Glam...R-value calculation, frame size, brake size, A/c

    Hi Connor

    Sorry for the delay in responding. I am at the Fort Myers airport returning from vacation with my family. I don't look forward to the cold weather that I am returning to.

    I would be more than happy to speak with you about our company and our products. You had some great questions and I hope they were answered to your satisfaction. It is great how the Forum members step up to help out and answer questions.

    Please feel free to send me your contact information if you would like me to call you.

    Regards,

    Bill Fenech

  9. #9
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    Re: Guts vs Glam...R-value calculation, frame size, brake size, A/c

    I didn't see if anyone answered or not, but the frame is 10" I Beam. The Bedroom slide is Schwintek, main slides are Lippert
    Steve and Schlonda- Virgie, Kentucky
    2017 Momentum 328M
    2015 Chevy 2500HD LTZ Duramax CC/SB/4X4
    B&W Companion Slider

  10. #10
    Connor McGillicuddy
    Guest

    Re: Guts vs Glam...R-value calculation, frame size, brake size, A/c

    Thanks, Glazier.....but just to clarify, because I see you're pulling the 337, would that be a 10" I-beam across the entire Reflection line?

    I was thinking that if they going to drop down to the 5080# axles on the 293/303 (and, given their lower GVWR), they're probably going to use an 8" I-beam.

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