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Post Info TOPIC: Dynamax Trilogy Tour at North Carolina Show


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Dynamax Trilogy Tour at North Carolina Show


Howard, I am so glad to read you toured the Dynamax Trilogy at the North Carolina show!  As you must know, there has been a great deal of discussion on this board about the Dynamax Trilogy.  It is actually one of our absolute FAVS!  Would you be so kind as to post YOUR thoughts on this particular fifth wheel... in detail?  I believe many of us would be very interested in getting your take on it.  What do you think about the frame as far as full-timing?  Your "likes" and "dislikes", in general, and whether or not you think it is suitable for full-timing overall.  Sub-zero package? I would also like to know why you think there is no ladder.  (I'm curious about that.)  Also, I spoke with Jeremiah on the phone a while back and he said they were going to make the skylight over the tub/shower smaller, or tweak it in a way it does not let so much light (aka heat) in the coach.  Do you recall what they have done, if anything, over the shower?  Warranty?  We want it all!!! clap.gif

Thank you soooo much, Howard!  I look forward to "hearing" what you have to say.



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I know that Mary has seen this blog posting of mine, but since the subject has come up again, I thought I would post this link to my observations about the Dynamax Trilogy.  Anyone who should happen to see this forum thread and wonder about the Trilogy as well, can also have the opportunity to see my comments.

Personal Observations on Dynamax Trilogy Fifth Wheel

While the Trilogy did seem to look nice and included some nice features, I found there to be things about them that were lacking, at least from the outlook of Jo and myself.  Hopefully, Dynamax will eventually address those things to make them a better option.

Terry



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Hi, Terry!  Even though the Trilogy is an awesome unit in so many ways, I do think, Mr. Terry, that you have convinced me the DRV Mobile Suites is the way to go!  Since it seemed Howard sounded a little impressed, I wanted to get his take.  There are so many things to like about the Trilogy, but what changed my mind is the small fresh water tank.  The underbelly is all propane and not enough water!  I believe the Trilogy is only 60-65 gallons.  The DRV Mobile Suites has around 100.  I just don't want to wear ourselves out going back and forth to the dump.  We look forward to boondocking one day and I want more than 60-65 gallons.  Besides, the DRV Mobile Suites has pretty much everything we want and more.  I love the walk-through bathroom (sorry Terry!) for a number of reasons.  One being it opens up the bedroom.  Too many fifth wheels have bedrooms like are too cavelike for my liking.  Anyway, that's my take.  AND, it seems a good price can be had with those folks you know up yonder (in Kansas?  Mississippi?).



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"Kansas....Mississippi?"

I guess I missed on that one.  Unless you are referring to other DRV owners.

Keep in mind that the fresh water tank is 100 gallons on most of the DRV's, but the black and gray tanks are smaller.  75 on the gray tank and 50 on the black one.  I say that because of your remark about not wanting to wear yourself out going to the dump.

However, I'd rather "wear myself out" going to the dump than wearing myself out by cleaning up after a full black tank situation came about.  In that sense, I NEVER trust the tank indicator lights, but rely on using a flashlight to look down the hole when I flush.

Terry



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Oh, my, Terry... THAT's gruesome!  hmm  What I meant to say is that if the fresh water tank is big enough, the other tanks will also be sufficient!  60-65 gallons just don't seem big enough for me.  Of course, I'm not even there, yet, but what the heck!  I'm still dreaming!



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Mary,

Those folks you referred to Terry about are Rolling Retreats in Elk City, OK. We also want to hear Howard & Linda's take on the Trilogy as well when they have time.

Sherry

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Mary,

The Trilogy they had at the show was the 3800RL.  Here are some impressions after looking at it and going over it twice.  These are just our pros and cons and our opinion only.  Some of our likes and dislikes are a big deal and some are minor, even picky.

Note:  There are four floorplans - 3800RL, 3850RL, 3650RE, 3650RL.  "RL" means Rear Living Room and "RE" means Rear Entertainment Center.  The 3800 and 3850 are both 41'10" long (a bit too long for our liking).  The 3650s are 38'10".

Only the 3800RL has a split bathroom with the shower on one side and the toilet/sink on the other side.  Like you, we prefer the split bathroom and that floorplan has two sinks (one in the toilet closet and one in the bedroom) which we think is a minor plus.  The other floorplans have all-in-one bathrooms with the shower, sink, and toilet in one room (no extra sink) and they have corner showers.  Honestly, we prefer the corner shower to the elongated shower in the 3800RL (that big skylight is an issue, and we noticed the one in the show model was cracked).

Pros:

  • 17.5-inch, H load range, Goodyear G114 tires (only on 3800 & 3850);  We would request upgrade to those tires/wheels on 3650s
  • 8,000 lb axles & Equa-flex Center Point Suspension (although, we would still prefer the Mor/ryde Independent Suspension and request an upgrade, which would eliminate the axles)
  • Full body paint
  • Huge basement storage
  • Slam Latch Doors to basement (they open out to the sides rather than up)
  • Water Manifold System (nice, but not as good as the one we have now)
  • 6-Point hydraulic leveling system
  • Construction seems very solid (although we haven't had time to review that in detail)
  • More interior storage than most full-timers would need
  • Stainless Steel Deep Sink in kitchen
  • Ducted Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Independent slide-out controls
  • Trailair Pin Box (although we prefer the Mor/ryde pin box)
  • Dark Tinted Dual Pane Slider Windows (we prefer the slider windows over the frameless windows)
  • Carefree Power Awnings and slide toppers with metal covers
  • 50-Amp detachable marine cord with own compartment for plug-in and storage (we currently have)
  • Dual battery compartment (we would need more, but most fifth wheels only come with one battery)
  • 1,000 Watt inverter (again, not enough for us, but most fifth wheels don't come with an inverter at all)
  • 90-gallon gray water tank(s) and 45-gallon black tank
  • 12-Gallon water heater
  • All LED lights everywhere
  • MCD pull-down shades
  • 8'8" interior height in living area
  • Electric fireplace
  • 55" LED LCD TV (not that big a deal to us, but very nice)
  • Nice picture windows
  • 22.6 cubic feet stainless steel residential refrigerator (although I would prefer it without the ice maker and water dispenser)
  • Huge pantry
  • Huge drawers and storage space in the kitchen
  • Solid drawers and cabinets (although not thrilled with the plastic latches)
  • King Bed (option)
  • 32" LED LCD TV in bedroom (again, not that big a deal, but nice)
  • Generator Prep
  • Washer/Dryer Prep (although I agree with Terry, the washer/dryer in the bedroom closet is a mistake)

Cons:

  • 3,062 pounds of cargo carrying capacity - a little less in the 3650 floorplans (not quite enough cushion there, especially if you add a built-in generator)
  • Bedroom closet configuration - Terry is right, once you get the clothes in there on hangers, it's a pain to get to the wall storage behind and it would be a pain to use the washer/dryer
  • City water connection & black tank backflush in basement (a leak at the connection or a busted check valve could be a big problem)
  • 64-gallon fresh water tank (a bit too small for us; we currently have 100 gallons)
  • No propane oven (big deal for us, but it could be added)

Some have asked us about the stove cook-top and, to be honest, we didn't even take the cover off to look at it.

Regarding the lack of a ladder, we were told it is strictly a liability issue.  If folks are on the fiberglass, rounded edges roof, there are liability concerns.  Of course, proper maintenance requires somebody get up on the roof from time to time.  The lack of a ladder isn't really a "con" for me, as I prefer to use my own, sturdier ladder, that extends a couple of steps above the roof line.

The other big thing is that instead of two 30 or 40 lb propane cylinders, they have a 97-pound propane tank like in motorhomes with a 20-lb cylinder back-up (30-lb cylinder optional).  My first reaction to the built-in tank was negative (inconvenient to have to move the entire rig to have it filled in the places where we tend to park).  But it does give up to 127-pounds of propane capacity over the usual 60 to 80 pounds, so it would last a long time.  However, the part that really bugs us is the location of the tank.  It's right between the axles.  That's good for supporting the weight, but it makes us nervous regarding a potential tire or wheel bearing fire.  We would probably need to talk more with an engineer and fire experts before making a final evaluation on the underbelly propane tank.  But our gut doesn't like it as of right now.

I'm sure I've forgotten or left out some things, but that is what we think upon a fairly quick review.  It's a great unit, but there are some tweaks we would make if they were open to it.  smile

 

 

 



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Great review Howard, you always point out things we didn't think to look at. I downloaded the 2013 brochure and Jesse point out the shortage of counter space on the smaller units and the distance from the fridge in the longer units. If taking something out of the refrigerator it appears you would have steps to the counter. I really, really wish they would put the rear tv on a lift behind the fireplace & add a big window back there.

Sherry

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A comment on frameless windows vs sliders.

Like Howard we originally did not like the frameless windows, believing that we would have better ventilation with the sliders. While that is "kinda" true, we did not properly evaluate the frameless windows before we owned them. We have now had frameless and framed (slider) windows in two identical RVs. We by FAR prefer the frameless windows.

Why? The only negative that we ever had about the frameless windows was "less ventilation". That is true, but only marginally, in practice. When on shore power it is a moot point, since running a roof vent on low pulls in far more air than an open slider - even all of them open. When boondocking there is slightly less ventilation with the frameless if you do not run the roof vent, but it is negligible, in our opinion. And we still run the roof fans on low without much negative effect on our power usage. That is the only negative we associate with the frameless...

Now to the positives on the frameless. The first BIG one is WAY less air movement inside the coach when the windows are closed. WAY less. The sliders simply do not seal well, no matter what you do. The frameless come down onto a bulb and seal extremely well. This makes the entire coach feel much warmer in cool weather. Air movement in the coach is at least as important as insulation R value in how you feel inside. A coach with less air movement feels far warmer.

The next benefit is that you can leave the windows open when it rains and still use the fan (or not) to pull air through. I did not think this was a big deal until I experienced it.

The look of frameless is much better. More importantly, they are easier to maintain and to clean.

For us, when we sleep with the windows open the frameless allow us to "tune" how much air is coming in far more than the sliders or double hung windows....You have infinite adjustment, vs only certain places where the double hung next to the bed will adjust to.

Bottom line: we will never have slider again (or double hung). The frameless double pane are far superior in our opinion.

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Jack, great information on windows, thanks!!!

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Hello to all!

My name is Chris Saal - I am a sales rep. for the Trilogy Fifth Wheel line by Dynamax (a Division of Forest River).

I haven't had a chance to read all of the questions and comments on the Forum - I will do that tonight.

I wanted to let everyone know if you have ANY questions regarding our product (or any others) - I will do my best to answer each and every one of them!

There are a lot of different products out on the market - and Forest River is a very large company recording $2.5 Billion in sales just last year.

I say that because - When the Trilogy Fifth Wheel was developed - we had the choice to build it any way we wanted... with any ammenities that we wanted.

We set forth a fifth wheel that, we believe, is second to none in our price-point!

I can go over what we have and why we have it if you would like~!

Please let me know where I can help!

One thing I did see on the Forum was regarding "Why we don't have a roof ladder"

We don't by choice... We have a one-piece, Fiberglass roof (ipo Rubber roof) and it has the tendency to be very slick when it is wet. So - we chose not to put a ladder on our units as we did not want to encourage people to get up on the roof and potentially slip and fall.

The Fiberglass roof is not a petroleum based product and will not "black-streak" like the rubber roofs will do.

 

I look forward to talking to everyone soon!

Chris



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Thank you Chris and welcome to the forum!!!!

The trilogy has been a very popular subject lately and its nice to see a factory Rep on the forum to give us first hand information.....

Sharpen your pencil I'm sure they will keep you busy!!!!!



-- Edited by Lucky Mike on Tuesday 29th of January 2013 04:11:15 PM

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Chris,

I have sent you a private message, and I'm posting here in the event you "look into" the forums but don't "log in."  When you log in, you will notice a message indicating that you have received a private message.  Click on that "message notification" to be taken to the private message.

Now for a question, since Dynamax has chosen not to provide a ladder to the roof, is one NOT supposed to access the roof-mounted air conditioners for routine and preventative maintenance?  Thus, if the owner does not do that function, I presume that they must assume additional liability should they then decide to hire someone to perform that maintenance.

Terry Miller

Moderator



-- Edited by Terry and Jo on Tuesday 29th of January 2013 04:31:25 PM

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Terry I'd just like to mention one thing.If you talk to the biggest share of full time RVers you will find most don't trust using factory ladders for much more than hanging the REAL ladder you tie to it that you actually use to get up on the roof.As for Liability issues why should Forest River care if you the end user assumes additional liability issues because they didn't provide you a ladder to get on the roof with.Liability issues are probably the reason they left it off in the 1st place.Just saying.smilesmile



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Chris Saal wrote:

Hello to all!

My name is Chris Saal - I am a sales rep. for the Trilogy Fifth Wheel line by Dynamax (a Division of Forest River).

I haven't had a chance to read all of the questions and comments on the Forum - I will do that tonight.

I wanted to let everyone know if you have ANY questions regarding our product (or any others) - I will do my best to answer each and every one of them!

There are a lot of different products out on the market - and Forest River is a very large company recording $2.5 Billion in sales just last year.

I say that because - When the Trilogy Fifth Wheel was developed - we had the choice to build it any way we wanted... with any ammenities that we wanted.

We set forth a fifth wheel that, we believe, is second to none in our price-point!

I can go over what we have and why we have it if you would like~!

Please let me know where I can help!

One thing I did see on the Forum was regarding "Why we don't have a roof ladder"

We don't by choice... We have a one-piece, Fiberglass roof (ipo Rubber roof) and it has the tendency to be very slick when it is wet. So - we chose not to put a ladder on our units as we did not want to encourage people to get up on the roof and potentially slip and fall.

The Fiberglass roof is not a petroleum based product and will not "black-streak" like the rubber roofs will do.

 

I look forward to talking to everyone soon!

Chris


 Chris , I'm sure many of the prospective buyers would appreciate your input. and I can tell you we were looking at the Trilogy but we were very concerned about the actual R-Values and as hard as we have tried we have not been able to get an answers....its disconcerning , anyone who would consider the Trilogy for fulltiming would want to have that information, hopefully you can be of some help .



-- Edited by Defiant on Tuesday 29th of January 2013 07:14:12 PM

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Racerguy wrote:

Terry I'd just like to mention one thing.If you talk to the biggest share of full time RVers you will find most don't trust using factory ladders for much more than hanging the REAL ladder you tie to it that you actually use to get up on the roof.As for Liability issues why should Forest River care if you the end user assumes additional liability issues because they didn't provide you a ladder to get on the roof with.Liability issues are probably the reason they left it off in the 1st place.Just saying.smilesmile


 

George,

Forest River probably doesn't care.  And as to the ladder being "untrustworthy," I don't use mine either, even though I have about 75 pounds of leeway between my weight and the ladder's capacity.  However, when I go onto the roof, I do use the top of the coach ladder (and the luggage rail at the rear) to steady myself as I climb onto the roof.

The main thing is that someone does need to do occasional preventative maintenance on the air conditioners.  The reason I mentioned the liability is because some have said that they won't climb onto the roof, thus it becomes necessary to hire the job done.  By my mention of that, owners here will know that they will be liable if their "hired maintenance man" happens to fall.  After all, Chris has already mentioned that the fiberglass roof (which also happens to be curved, not flat) is slick.

One poster here did tell me that Forest River told them that they (Forest River) didn't want the liability, and that was why the ladder was left off.

As for me, I won't tie a ladder to the coach's ladder.  Too much of a chance of motions weakening the rear ladder.  My ladder is a multi-ladder and will be carried in one of the trucks.

Terry



-- Edited by Terry and Jo on Tuesday 29th of January 2013 07:09:19 PM

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Terry.....Just giving you a little jazz.I have a very good friend who is the "King of What if" also and I kid him a lot about it.He and his Wife are planning on going full time in a couple years and like you  He leaves no stone unturned.winkwink



-- Edited by Racerguy on Tuesday 29th of January 2013 10:27:56 PM

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Good morning!

"R" values being a topic...

Great question!

Trilogy "R" values:

Walls - R9

Roof - R18

Floor - R27



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Racerguy wrote:

Terry.....Just giving you a little jazz.I have a very good friend who is the "King of What if" also and I kid him a lot about it.He and his Wife are planning on going full time in a couple years and like you  He leaves no stone unturned.winkwink



-- Edited by Racerguy on Tuesday 29th of January 2013 10:27:56 PM


 

Heh.....

.....around our place.....

.....there are NO stones.  Someone might trip on one of those things.

Terry



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Pondering.............Why would they not put down a white no skid adhesive path from the ladder to the service area on the roof or at least offer it?

just washing the roof would be difficult while on the road.............second question would be....is the wall reinforced to handle a ladder if one chose to have it installed.

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Chris, welcome to this FANTASTIC board, and thank you so very much for chiming in.  As mentioned, there has been a TON of chatter about the Trilogy.  I don't mean to be caddy, but we have asked (as others have, as well) over and over and over again about the R rating.  Why is it so easy for you to provide that information here, but no other rep has ever been able to give us that information?  We have been told that 'it just isn't possible to rate and, if we did, it would not be that accurate'!  Hmmm...



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I don't know of any RV manufacturer that performs scientific measures on R value. It is generally calculated from the materials used. In some cases that is relatively easy and accurate to do, because the materials themselves have R values that are accurate and published. In other cases it is more of a guess. A manufacturer using wool batts or fiberglass batt, for example, often compresses these when installing in a narrower RV wall. So a product rated in residential construction for R-19 will have far less R value. That is just an example. Despite what people might like, in the RV world it is not an exact science.

As I have said before, warmth is not just an R value exercise. You have to account for air movement and windo quality as well. A leaky window is an RVers worse enemy, followed by leaky slides. ALL slides leak some....it is just a matter of how much. With the possible exception of a pneumatically sealed slides like used in a Foretravel or Newell.



-- Edited by Jack Mayer on Wednesday 30th of January 2013 10:55:24 AM

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Very well stated Jack~!

We (the RV Industry) all have similar suppliers (but not identical) using similar products (but not identical) at each "price-point" that will give us all similar (but not identical) results on such things as "R" Value... If the products are compared 'apple to apple'... This even 'spills' over into weights, heights, costs, etc.

Each Manufacturer will decide what will go into a product netting a desired result - i.e. LG counter-tops verses a laminate counter-top or "H" or "G" rated tires over "E" rated tires, etc.

So - a conglomeration of all products used (per sidewall, roof or floor) is how we estimate our "R" values.

We (Trilogy Fifth Wheels) do 'error' on the side of comfort - we have Thermopane windows Standard. MCD, Pull-down Shades (Day shade is good for diverting sunlight), and we've gone to Tinted Skylights.

We have dual (2) A/C units - both individually zoned (bedroom & living room) and each is individually thermostatically controlled.
We have a 42,000 BTU Furnace (LP), a 5,200 BTU Fireplace (Electric) and a Heat-strip in the Living Room A/C (the Heat strip will work to help take the chill off on cool nights of roughly 40* and higher - but is not designed to be used in temperatures below 40*)

I hope that all makes sense and is helpful...

Chris

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Thank you Mary~!!!

 

I'm glad to be here!

Hopefully I can be of some help...?



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Mike,

I understand what you are saying and where you are headed with your thought process... I'm not exactly sure how to answer or respond to your question... All-in-all... we decided it would be easier and safer for all if we did not include the ladder - or even have it as an option. Thirteen feet in the air is a bit of a fall...

I know that people will service their units differently - but most (generalization I know) people will only get on the roof once a year or so...
I recently had a retail customer that purchased a "retractable" ladder that he stores in his pass-through storage and keeps those "Noodle Floaties" (for a swimming pool) that he wraps around the ladder so not to scratch the paint.

We do not "back" the rear-cap or the rear-wall for the roof ladder...

If you absolutely must have a ladder... I can look into seeing what can be done to make that happen.

I'm out for today...

I'll be back tomorrow if anyone has any further questions!

Have a good evening!

Chris

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Chris,

Isn't the R-18 value in the roof a bit low? Thinking of hot Arizona sun here and cold days elsewhere.

Sherry

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Thank you, Chris, for that information about the 'R' rating.

Another topic of discussion has been the huge propane tank underneath.  'We' have concerns about the safety of having such a huge tank built into/attached to the underbelly.  The tank being compromised by flying road objects, being damaged/split by just about anything is a concern.  Additionally, it seems the size of the propane tank could be what diminishes the size of the fresh water tank... not sure. I certainly understand the idea behind the convenience of having a larger tank; however, with a smaller fresh water tank it's an either/or situation when boondocking.  For instance, either one must leave sooner to refill the propane, or one must leave sooner to dump the grey/black, and fill the fresh water tanks.  Additionally, comments have been made about the inconvenience of having to leave the location to fill the tank, as opposed to the convenience of carrying the smaller cylinder(s) to have refilled.  Personally, I would MUCH rather have a very large (100+/-) fresh water tank.  I could deal with everything else!

Also, a previous Dreamer mentioned a "walkway" on the roof made of non-skid material where someone could walk up there safely.  Safety is a MAJOR concern to most of us (as we are, well, more "mature"), and that idea seems to make a TON of sense.  After all, the roof must be accessed by any RVer who has anything up there (i.e., A/C, solar, etc.).

Your thoughts/comments are greatly appreciated!



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