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  1. #1
    Left The Driveway
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    Electrical Nightmare on Momentum 397TH

    I have owned my unit for just a little over a year now.
    Had to deal with two major water leaks which resulted in rework to the underbelly. This alone needs to be redesigned as it is not even close to a good system. Sags and doesn't refasten very well.

    My nightmare started in the middle of that crazy winter storm here in TX. All was going well, but two days ago, I started to smell like something burning from the fireplace. So I shut it off. Then the heater kicks on, and I start to smell smoke and at this point is visible. I shut the unit off and the smell filled the unit, but ceased. Next I hear the circuit breaker trip for the converter. It would not engage, so I figured I blew a fuse and the batteries stop charging and I was losing one electrical device and finally the lights. Tried the generator, that was not helping as smoke started to fill the unit again. So I shut it off.

    Three days later at below 25 degree temps and everything freezing, I finally got a mobile electrician to look at the unit since I had zero power. Turns out the two outlets that power the vacuum and converter got wet and blew and started to catch fire. 1st I cant imagine why they would have installed them on the deck to start with that is behind the water systems in the first place. Not smart at all. 2nd concern is the converter, also mounted to the same deck right behind the water system. At this point, there are so many things I will be scrutinizing when and if I ever buy another Grand Design unit. I am by far not impressed at this point. Presently, have a bypass on the electrical till I can get the unit back to the shop, which by odd chances has been more times than I visit the doctors office in one year.

  2. #2
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    I feel your pain... but, unfortunately, if these RVs were built like a house, they would weight 30,000 pounds or more. Even a $250,000 RV like LUXE has to lighten its weight to about 26,000 GVWR, and it ain't perfect either.

    That said, were are also complacent... consider the $30K RV that is even lighter and "cheaper" built than our $140K rigs. Then look at the $200K-$300K rigs. There is a reason they cost that much... labor and materials. And, they really are not that much nicer than ours. Then comes the question... do you want to Camp/RV/Glamp? or, do you want to tow a Museum piece around?

    Seeing what you see and experiencing similar issues, I simply decided to learn and rebuild parts of my 399TH... I knew that going into this purchase as well.

    I posted some of my handy work (on this forum) in replacing the horrible and very sloppy wiring in my Gen/Battery Compartment. I decided that after seeing that Riverstone, Design Suites and Luxe were only slightly less sloppy overall but cost significantly more. So far, I'm in it about $800 including US Made batteries (most parts and all of the wire is Made in USA). However, I'm in it about 50 hours of building it. I'm guessing doing what I am doing would add about $3K-$4K to the price of the rig... and that's just the front compartment. When I get to the panel under the bathroom with its plug drilled directly into the floor in a really dumb spot (like yours), I will properly box it up and make it safer too.

    Bottom line... I don't blame Grand Design. Over all, they make a very good product and I am very happy with my unit and what it is. Sure, they cut corners here and there, but overall, it's leaps and bounds above others. Another thing to keep in mind is that the "building code" and even the DOT guild-lines are the minimum standards. 70% is still passing, right? If I want 90%, I'll have to either rebuild some parts or shell out $250K for an ultra luxury RV... and then still probably fix some things on it.

    I do see the point of safety as you mentioned. That sounds like a "fail" by GD. In fact, I'm about to post pics of my grounding project and show how incredibly pathetic the "grounding" is on our RVs. The screw is a #12 screw (possibly a #14)...but still, that it! Yes, a safety fail issue to me, but 70% right? Ummm, maybe.

    Good luck to you on yours... ;-)
    Last edited by grandseahawk; 02-19-2021 at 08:06 PM.

  3. #3
    Left The Driveway
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    You don't blame grand design...
    Who is at fault then, the consumer?

  4. #4
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    The market carries what the market carries... that's what I'm saying.

    There are far worse RV out there and although GD does "cut corners" from time to time in my experience (like everyone else, but I think less), they are overall a very good RV brand... that's what I'm saying.

    The OP made good points on some safety and design issues... that's what i'm saying

    And, at this level of quality and price, I still think it's a good value... that's what I'm saying :-)

    Have a pleasant day :-)

  5. #5
    Site Team D2Reid's Avatar
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    @iflores2k2, First off welcome to the forum. I am sorry you have had so much trouble. It's frustrating. One would think that the amount of money that we pay for these things would yield a product as well built/engineered as automobiles, but sadly that is not the case.

    l love my Momentum. Going into the 4th year of ownership. I am constantly working on something, this month it's lights. I accept it the way it is, wish it was better.
    Dallas
    2017 Momentum 376TH, 2019 Ford F450, Dual Rear Wheel, 4x4, diesel.
    2015 Harley-Davidson Street, XG750

  6. #6
    Left The Driveway
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    Well, just found out that the part needed to be replaced, Mother Board that controls everything is now on backorder.... So lets see, put new RVs or send a replacement board to a customer that has had their unit less than 1 yr. Let profits rain! This totally sucks. I have to wait 2-3 months for a new motherboard. Guess I'm going back to a house. yes, this was unexpected, but you'd think they would place customer service above all else. Guess not.

  7. #7
    Setting Up Camp
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    I agree the market allows this. I just bought a new rig knowing I was going to have to go thru it on my own and fix things like the ATS mounted right next to the pump under all the pluming lines....

    That being said. If one company, I think GD is close, would takes some time to “automate” some of this they could save more and make customers happier. There are plenty of things that would cost pennies that they could design into the rig. How about an easily assessable cable track for the wiring.

    When I retire I am going to go to GD and see if I could help them fix it. It needs to happen in the design phase though.

    I think the leadership needs to read “The Goal” they could corner the market.
    2021 F350 6.7
    2021 Momentum 353G

  8. #8
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    On my 397, i added an EMS (see pic). I put it on the bay wall. The ATS was just too difficult to move because the 6 gauge is just too short and I was concerned of breaking more than I was fixing. So I took sealant and filled the 3 connectors and then sealed the lid . So Im fairly confident it reasonable water tight.

    The converter sits next to the ATS on the floor. Fortunately its wires run up to the distro panel so it was easier to move. I mount it on the other bay wall next to the sink drain that runs right there. Because it is fan cooled you cant really seal it. So I mounted it fan down then I fabed a small sheet metal hood that I placed over it with the bottom open for cooling. Should afford pretty good protection.

    Then I tried to organize the other wiring best I could, segregated 12v from 110v and tried to group each and label if i could figure it out. Very difficult. On the plumbing side it is a jumbled mess. First thing I noticed is the pex clamps rub against pex tubing. In a house who cares but this thing is bouncing down the road, so I put split conduiting over any pex that was rubbing and tried to zip tie others to get some seperation. Again very difficult and who knows if it will matter.

    As for GD all these units are basically designed the same with the exact same components. Ive had Jayco, Keystone, Forest River, I even had a Fleetwood Class C. Folks are brand loyal and they want to think their brand is best. They are all the same. This is my 7th RV and they ALL have their issues. Thats why when I bought this one I knew I was going to have to go through it with a fine tooth comb roof to belly and everything in between and I will still have problems. It literally is the nature of the beast.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20210316_124851.jpg   20210316_124901.jpg  
    Last edited by 210craig; 03-18-2021 at 09:46 PM.
    2021 Grand Design Momentum 397th
    MORryde Rubber Pinbox, CRE 3000, Sumo Springs
    2020 F-350 CC DRW Diesel, LoadLifter 5000 Ultimate
    B&W 20K Companion Hitch, ATTA 50g Aux Fuel Tank

  9. #9
    Fireside Member
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    Sorry I got on my soapbox on that post. Something I really try to avoid.
    Last edited by 210craig; 03-18-2021 at 09:44 PM.
    2021 Grand Design Momentum 397th
    MORryde Rubber Pinbox, CRE 3000, Sumo Springs
    2020 F-350 CC DRW Diesel, LoadLifter 5000 Ultimate
    B&W 20K Companion Hitch, ATTA 50g Aux Fuel Tank

  10. #10
    Setting Up Camp
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    Quote Originally Posted by 210craig View Post
    Sorry I got on my soapbox on that post. Something I really try to avoid.
    No need to apologize, I agree. All I am saying is if one company really took it to heart to design the ability to trouble shoot into their trailers (easy access to things, plug and play components, etc) they could really build a following.

    I too added that same EMS I put it on the ceiling. I called Hughes and they said you can mount it any way you want. I haven’t moved my ATS yet because I was going to do that with an inverter install here shortly.
    2021 F350 6.7
    2021 Momentum 353G

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