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Old 08-12-2020, 12:13 PM   #1
214skier
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377FL and 376FL owners thread

I thought I would start a thread for 377/376 FL owners--good spot to discuss any tips, tricks or questions about these unique floor plan rigs!
 
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Old 08-12-2020, 04:22 PM   #2
Patrickdoran
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Good idea. We bought ours sight unseen. We are very happy with it. However, I noticed how low the back end sits. I have a pretty level driveway, but where it meets the road it slopes up quite a bit and I was dragging the back end. I posted a thread about it here in MOC. I was going to go with a skid plate, but I ended up having small wheels welded on the rear. They work pretty well. I've had a lot of small ankle biter issues I had to fix myself. They weren't worth taking the whole rig in to get fixed under warranty.
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Old 08-25-2020, 07:50 PM   #3
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Our rig

thought i should post a photo.
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Old 10-17-2020, 11:52 AM   #4
NixonFamilyRV
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Greetings RV Friends,

I’m hoping to connect with other MHC 376FL owners here. We ordered ours in March of 2020, and just took delivery the first week of September. Bought it sight-unseen, though we had been able to take a tour of one in February before we made the final decision.

I feel like I’m struggling with a lot of disappointments with the RV. This isn’t my first new RV purchase, nor my first sight-unseen purchase. I fully expected numerous little ‘ankle-biter’ issues, and for the most part I’ve deal with the most annoying issues. But, honestly, we feel like Keystone really missed the mark in the quality department on this unit. We expected more for a “luxury” class unit. I’m waiting for the dealer to assist with a warranty claim for the LED strip that’s supposed to be across the top of the front cap (the unit arrived with that strip having been torn off and only about 6” of it were left, and it was pointing UP toward the roof...). I’ve recently discovered my rear AC does not appear to produce cool air, just blows outdoor air into the coach. That was a very unfortunate discovery while on our first trip out with the unit in Kansas City, MO. Yuck. It was HOT, and we were pretty miserable. There are a LOT of other dumb little issues I’m working through, like they mounted the microwave really crooked, we have blinds that don’t stay down when you pull them, other blinds not mounted even close to center to the window, one screen is the completely wrong size for the window and it just falls out, etc...

Right now, my main problem is the low tail. The dropped frame on the back, plus the length from the rear axle to the tail, seems like a bad combination. Additionally, the fresh water drain is clear back there at the tail, and I’ve scraped the tail enough times that the drain pipe has started leaking. It’s presently being held together with a generous amount of electrical tape, and I’ll be looking at options for relocating that drain. Seems that even the slightest of dip, even just getting in and our of some gas stations, was all it took for me to scrape the tail on the pavement. I’ve read online other owners have had little wheels welded to the tail to help. Is that really a viable solution? Wouldn’t that just put strain on the frame every time I whack the tail on the ground?

Another part of my trouble could be that my truck holds the trailer a little nose-high. Full disclosure: this is my first fifth-wheel trailer, but I’ve had several travel trailers. When building the hitch rig for this trailer, I opted to go with Pull-Rite’s CBT (clean bed technology) industry standard rail system. This system uses rails that are a little taller than standard rails that are bolted to the floor of the bed. I’m also using Pull-Rite’s Super Glide auto-slider hitch, which doesn’t have any height adjustment to it. I have a little over 9” of clearance between the bed rails and the bottom of the trailer overhang, which seems like a bit much. If I could get it lowered a couple of inches, I think it would really help.

Now that I’ve rambled a bit, this brings me to my second question for the group here. Does the 2021 MHC 376FL with the Lippert Rotaflex pin box offer any height adjustment? I’ve looked it over, and visually it appears that I cannot raise the pin box to lower the trailer. The pin box is already pretty close to the fiberglass that’s right above it, and I don’t see any holes left that would raise the box. It appears to already be at its highest adjustment point. As I mentioned earlier, I have just over 9” of clearance at the bed rails; bed floor to the top of my fifth wheel plate is almost exactly 20”. Partly because the Pull-Rite CBT ISR system uses rails that are about 3.25” tall, instead of the standard bolt-down rails that are closer to 1” off the bed floor if I’m not mistaken.

If I can’t lower the trailer at the pin box, my other options will require a fairly major change to the rig. Different hitch, different rails, maybe installing a gooseneck ball on the truck and trying the Andersen Ultimate, or changing trucks altogether and buying something with a factory puck system so I can attach the hitch directly to the floor of the bed.

In closing, I really want to love this trailer, but I’m struggling a bit. There’s plenty I do like about it, but right now I’m apprehensive to take it anywhere until I get it to ride level on my tow vehicle. I’m very hopeful that if I can lower the nose a couple of inches, it may help alleviate the headache of the tail dragging everywhere. Advice and questions are very welcome.

Thanks for reading,
Russ
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Old 10-17-2020, 12:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by NixonFamilyRV View Post
Greetings RV Friends,

I’m hoping to connect with other MHC 376FL owners here. We ordered ours in March of 2020, and just took delivery the first week of September. Bought it sight-unseen, though we had been able to take a tour of one in February before we made the final decision.

I feel like I’m struggling with a lot of disappointments with the RV. This isn’t my first new RV purchase, nor my first sight-unseen purchase. I fully expected numerous little ‘ankle-biter’ issues, and for the most part I’ve deal with the most annoying issues. But, honestly, we feel like Keystone really missed the mark in the quality department on this unit. We expected more for a “luxury” class unit. I’m waiting for the dealer to assist with a warranty claim for the LED strip that’s supposed to be across the top of the front cap (the unit arrived with that strip having been torn off and only about 6” of it were left, and it was pointing UP toward the roof...). I’ve recently discovered my rear AC does not appear to produce cool air, just blows outdoor air into the coach. That was a very unfortunate discovery while on our first trip out with the unit in Kansas City, MO. Yuck. It was HOT, and we were pretty miserable. There are a LOT of other dumb little issues I’m working through, like they mounted the microwave really crooked, we have blinds that don’t stay down when you pull them, other blinds not mounted even close to center to the window, one screen is the completely wrong size for the window and it just falls out, etc...

Right now, my main problem is the low tail. The dropped frame on the back, plus the length from the rear axle to the tail, seems like a bad combination. Additionally, the fresh water drain is clear back there at the tail, and I’ve scraped the tail enough times that the drain pipe has started leaking. It’s presently being held together with a generous amount of electrical tape, and I’ll be looking at options for relocating that drain. Seems that even the slightest of dip, even just getting in and our of some gas stations, was all it took for me to scrape the tail on the pavement. I’ve read online other owners have had little wheels welded to the tail to help. Is that really a viable solution? Wouldn’t that just put strain on the frame every time I whack the tail on the ground?

Another part of my trouble could be that my truck holds the trailer a little nose-high. Full disclosure: this is my first fifth-wheel trailer, but I’ve had several travel trailers. When building the hitch rig for this trailer, I opted to go with Pull-Rite’s CBT (clean bed technology) industry standard rail system. This system uses rails that are a little taller than standard rails that are bolted to the floor of the bed. I’m also using Pull-Rite’s Super Glide auto-slider hitch, which doesn’t have any height adjustment to it. I have a little over 9” of clearance between the bed rails and the bottom of the trailer overhang, which seems like a bit much. If I could get it lowered a couple of inches, I think it would really help.

Now that I’ve rambled a bit, this brings me to my second question for the group here. Does the 2021 MHC 376FL with the Lippert Rotaflex pin box offer any height adjustment? I’ve looked it over, and visually it appears that I cannot raise the pin box to lower the trailer. The pin box is already pretty close to the fiberglass that’s right above it, and I don’t see any holes left that would raise the box. It appears to already be at its highest adjustment point. As I mentioned earlier, I have just over 9” of clearance at the bed rails; bed floor to the top of my fifth wheel plate is almost exactly 20”. Partly because the Pull-Rite CBT ISR system uses rails that are about 3.25” tall, instead of the standard bolt-down rails that are closer to 1” off the bed floor if I’m not mistaken.

If I can’t lower the trailer at the pin box, my other options will require a fairly major change to the rig. Different hitch, different rails, maybe installing a gooseneck ball on the truck and trying the Andersen Ultimate, or changing trucks altogether and buying something with a factory puck system so I can attach the hitch directly to the floor of the bed.

In closing, I really want to love this trailer, but I’m struggling a bit. There’s plenty I do like about it, but right now I’m apprehensive to take it anywhere until I get it to ride level on my tow vehicle. I’m very hopeful that if I can lower the nose a couple of inches, it may help alleviate the headache of the tail dragging everywhere. Advice and questions are very welcome.

Thanks for reading,
Russ
I can offer nothing to this other than the puck system can be added on some trucks. Ours didn't come with it, I negotiated with the Ford dealer to include the factory kit. Our son helped me (actually he did most of the work) install it in his driveway. Only had to raise the bed 4" and block it with 4x4's.
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Old 10-17-2020, 01:10 PM   #6
214skier
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Originally Posted by NixonFamilyRV View Post
Greetings RV Friends,

Iím hoping to connect with other MHC 376FL owners here. We ordered ours in March of 2020, and just took delivery the first week of September. Bought it sight-unseen, though we had been able to take a tour of one in February before we made the final decision.

I feel like Iím struggling with a lot of disappointments with the RV. This isnít my first new RV purchase, nor my first sight-unseen purchase. I fully expected numerous little Ďankle-biterí issues, and for the most part Iíve deal with the most annoying issues. But, honestly, we feel like Keystone really missed the mark in the quality department on this unit. We expected more for a ďluxuryĒ class unit. Iím waiting for the dealer to assist with a warranty claim for the LED strip thatís supposed to be across the top of the front cap (the unit arrived with that strip having been torn off and only about 6Ē of it were left, and it was pointing UP toward the roof...). Iíve recently discovered my rear AC does not appear to produce cool air, just blows outdoor air into the coach. That was a very unfortunate discovery while on our first trip out with the unit in Kansas City, MO. Yuck. It was HOT, and we were pretty miserable. There are a LOT of other dumb little issues Iím working through, like they mounted the microwave really crooked, we have blinds that donít stay down when you pull them, other blinds not mounted even close to center to the window, one screen is the completely wrong size for the window and it just falls out, etc...

Right now, my main problem is the low tail. The dropped frame on the back, plus the length from the rear axle to the tail, seems like a bad combination. Additionally, the fresh water drain is clear back there at the tail, and Iíve scraped the tail enough times that the drain pipe has started leaking. Itís presently being held together with a generous amount of electrical tape, and Iíll be looking at options for relocating that drain. Seems that even the slightest of dip, even just getting in and our of some gas stations, was all it took for me to scrape the tail on the pavement. Iíve read online other owners have had little wheels welded to the tail to help. Is that really a viable solution? Wouldnít that just put strain on the frame every time I whack the tail on the ground?

Another part of my trouble could be that my truck holds the trailer a little nose-high. Full disclosure: this is my first fifth-wheel trailer, but Iíve had several travel trailers. When building the hitch rig for this trailer, I opted to go with Pull-Riteís CBT (clean bed technology) industry standard rail system. This system uses rails that are a little taller than standard rails that are bolted to the floor of the bed. Iím also using Pull-Riteís Super Glide auto-slider hitch, which doesnít have any height adjustment to it. I have a little over 9Ē of clearance between the bed rails and the bottom of the trailer overhang, which seems like a bit much. If I could get it lowered a couple of inches, I think it would really help.

Now that Iíve rambled a bit, this brings me to my second question for the group here. Does the 2021 MHC 376FL with the Lippert Rotaflex pin box offer any height adjustment? Iíve looked it over, and visually it appears that I cannot raise the pin box to lower the trailer. The pin box is already pretty close to the fiberglass thatís right above it, and I donít see any holes left that would raise the box. It appears to already be at its highest adjustment point. As I mentioned earlier, I have just over 9Ē of clearance at the bed rails; bed floor to the top of my fifth wheel plate is almost exactly 20Ē. Partly because the Pull-Rite CBT ISR system uses rails that are about 3.25Ē tall, instead of the standard bolt-down rails that are closer to 1Ē off the bed floor if Iím not mistaken.

If I canít lower the trailer at the pin box, my other options will require a fairly major change to the rig. Different hitch, different rails, maybe installing a gooseneck ball on the truck and trying the Andersen Ultimate, or changing trucks altogether and buying something with a factory puck system so I can attach the hitch directly to the floor of the bed.

In closing, I really want to love this trailer, but Iím struggling a bit. Thereís plenty I do like about it, but right now Iím apprehensive to take it anywhere until I get it to ride level on my tow vehicle. Iím very hopeful that if I can lower the nose a couple of inches, it may help alleviate the headache of the tail dragging everywhere. Advice and questions are very welcome.

Thanks for reading,
Russ
Hey Russ,

So sorry your time with the 376 is off to a rough start. We took delivery of ours in August and had very good luck. We are coming from a Grand Design Solitude--and in my view the two rigs are very comparable from a "luxury / quality" POV.

A few comments--not sure if they will be helpful or not.

1) We tore off our front-cap LED, it caught a tree limb heading up our driveway. Keystone sent us a replacement I installed (using a little silicon to help really adhere to the rig).

2) We had our rig in 104' temperatures in August and the bedroom (while it didn't 'pump' cold air) it got the temperature down below 75' in the master bedroom which made it plenty pleasant for sleeping. Yours should be the same.

3) As you will note in my other threads about height--we have struggled with this issue too. We are running on a 2019 F350 Platinum and the 5th wheel sits about 2" ish higher front to back. We did upgrade the tires on the rig that helped lift the box closing some of that gap--but there is still noticeable lift. We also run airbags for extra stability. I have found that I need to dump the air in the bags if I approach any "tall" gas station entrances, and this seems to help. I am still considering doing a body lift on the Montana to bring it level and gain extra clearance in the drop frame. I am pretty confident that this will correct any drag issues in the future. My local shop that does suspension work quoted me $600 in labor to install the leveling blocks on the 5th wheel. I am thinking about 1.5" will bring everything square. Will report back when I do this.

I do share some frustration here. we didn't discover the height issue until AFTER we signed--obviously the last step is hook up to truck and leave. Our Grand Design rode perfectly level with no issues--so why would I ever consider there might be a problem with Montana. What is astounding to me is the fact I can not believe Keystone didn't consider F350 dimensions when they designed the rig--that does not seem likely. so what was the trade off?

4) Rear water drain. One of our early trips, I drug the rear end and shaved off the drain valve. It leaked for me too. Fortunately its a 1/2 standard fitting that was easy to buy a brass valve from the local hardware store and replace the factory solution with something less protrusive.
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Old 10-17-2020, 02:37 PM   #7
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I can offer nothing to this other than the puck system can be added on some trucks. Ours didn't come with it, I negotiated with the Ford dealer to include the factory kit. Our son helped me (actually he did most of the work) install it in his driveway. Only had to raise the bed 4" and block it with 4x4's.
Thank you for reading my rant, and taking the time to reply! I will investigate what my options might be to have the factory puck system installed. Frankly, knowing what I know now about my truck, I wish I had just done that in the first place. Now I have 4 big holes drilled in my truck bed for the Pull-Rite ISR system, and I'm pretty sure that the factory puck system puts the holes in slightly different places. I would likely have to remove the expensive hardware that I bolted to the truck frame under the bed, and accept the fact that I would have 8 big holes in my truck bed. I'll have to consider if that's OK, or if I'm better off starting over with a truck that was built with the puck system to begin with.

Thank you!
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Old 10-17-2020, 07:51 PM   #8
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214skier,

Thank you for your reply. Your comments were very helpful indeed:

1) The dealer is helping with the warranty claim on the LED strip. I asked that they just send me the LED strip for me to install myself. Super minor issue, but super annoying that it arrived that way. But, ok. Stuff happens. We'll fix it.

2) It's really quite reassuring to hear you say that your coach is comfortable in hot weather, because that was definitely not our experience a couple of weeks ago. I wasn't being too analytical of the A/C performance at the time because we were just parked on a family member's property on plain old 15A residential service, so I was only trying to run one A/C at a time anyway. But when I got it to an RV park later in the week on 50A service, I was expecting a nice cool down from having both A/C units running at full power. That's when I discovered that the rear unit isn't chilling the air coming in at all, it was just blowing warm ambient air in from outdoors. Bummer. I don't have a dealer local to me, so I'll find a way to handle that issue eventually.

3) I also run airbags on my truck for stability. I also started to learn that dumping air out of the bags when coming into town limits made it a little bit less stressy getting in and out of gas stations and parking lots. However, even when I let the truck squat as much as it's going to, I'm still nose-high, and tail-low. I'll attach a photo of the rig that was taken at a rest stop on the first trip out about two weeks ago.

Regarding lifting the suspension on the trailer to help level it with the truck, does that make the trailer actually ride taller on the road? That's actually a concern of mine, I don't want to make the trailer any higher than it already is. I'm at about 13' 6" at the top of the front A/C when hitched to my truck with the airbags pressurized.

Thank you!
Russ
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Old 10-18-2020, 11:38 AM   #9
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214skier,

Thank you for your reply. Your comments were very helpful indeed:

1) The dealer is helping with the warranty claim on the LED strip. I asked that they just send me the LED strip for me to install myself. Super minor issue, but super annoying that it arrived that way. But, ok. Stuff happens. We'll fix it.

2) It's really quite reassuring to hear you say that your coach is comfortable in hot weather, because that was definitely not our experience a couple of weeks ago. I wasn't being too analytical of the A/C performance at the time because we were just parked on a family member's property on plain old 15A residential service, so I was only trying to run one A/C at a time anyway. But when I got it to an RV park later in the week on 50A service, I was expecting a nice cool down from having both A/C units running at full power. That's when I discovered that the rear unit isn't chilling the air coming in at all, it was just blowing warm ambient air in from outdoors. Bummer. I don't have a dealer local to me, so I'll find a way to handle that issue eventually.

3) I also run airbags on my truck for stability. I also started to learn that dumping air out of the bags when coming into town limits made it a little bit less stressy getting in and out of gas stations and parking lots. However, even when I let the truck squat as much as it's going to, I'm still nose-high, and tail-low. I'll attach a photo of the rig that was taken at a rest stop on the first trip out about two weeks ago.

Regarding lifting the suspension on the trailer to help level it with the truck, does that make the trailer actually ride taller on the road? That's actually a concern of mine, I don't want to make the trailer any higher than it already is. I'm at about 13' 6" at the top of the front A/C when hitched to my truck with the airbags pressurized.

Thank you!
Russ
HI Russ,

Yes, the body lift on the 5er will increase its height overall; however, if you are moving to level the rig, what is increasing in height is mid and rear, bringing that to level with the nose. So generally, you will not be increasing height above the highest point on your rig right now.
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Old 10-18-2020, 12:00 PM   #10
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HI Russ,

Yes, the body lift on the 5er will increase its height overall; however, if you are moving to level the rig, what is increasing in height is mid and rear, bringing that to level with the nose. So generally, you will not be increasing height above the highest point on your rig right now.
Ok, gotcha. That makes sense. Any idea if raising the trailer does anything to the warranty?

Thank you,
Russ
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Old 10-18-2020, 12:04 PM   #11
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Trying again to attach a picture of the rig, just for fun. I greatly appreciate connecting with other owners of the same unit. You can see that I'm a little nose-high here.
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Old 10-18-2020, 12:48 PM   #12
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Ok, gotcha. That makes sense. Any idea if raising the trailer does anything to the warranty?

Thank you,
Russ
I am fairly certain it would void any suspension warranty. I am leaning this way and taking the risk on warranty--there are several threads here and on RV.net talking about the viability of this. Most guys have very good luck with no long-term stability issues.
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Old 10-18-2020, 12:48 PM   #13
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Trying again to attach a picture of the rig, just for fun. I greatly appreciate connecting with other owners of the same unit. You can see that I'm a little nose-high here.
Our rigs sit the same.
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Old 01-04-2022, 04:26 AM   #14
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Hello!

376FL HC owner full timing for just over a year now and still love it. Wife and I often compare our needs to other layouts/campers and this still fits the bill for us. We haven't modded much of the camper. In fact we bought it used and most of the modifications came from the previous owner. An upgraded relay for the jacks, rollers on the back, and a few cabinet reinforcements.

I can say that it has held up beautifully through the year we've lived in it. We've been through the hot days just fine. Redirecting the vents and a well placed fan by the stairs can get the place pretty cool. I thankfully haven't had a need to modify the pins or hitch and it runs (pretty close) to level. Check out the attached image.

I really just wanted to say hi to other 376fl owners and see how you all thought about the rig after owning for a bit.
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Old 01-04-2022, 05:57 AM   #15
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MHC 375FL owner here. Your models (376FL and 377FL) came out the year after we purchased our 375FL. The floor plans are (almost) identical, except the 376 and 377 have the loft over the master bedroom. And the kitchen counter is slightly different. Even the 374 and 375 models and floor plans have the refrigerator and kitchen table swapped back and forth in their positions.

Still, when the 376 and 377 came out, I got a little envious and kind of wish I would have waited another year and got the 377 (residential refrigerator). So, I've been following threads about the 376 and 377 and this is the first one I've stumbled into that addresses the rear drop down dragging. On mine, I never had the problem of the rear dragging, but the rear jacks drug way too many times. I ended up raising them as high as I could (about 4 inches), and that pretty much stopped the dragging. Those poor things were getting pretty beat up. I lost one foot pad, so always remove them when traveling now. Those foot pads cost over $50 each to replace. That pretty much took care of my dragging problem.

With the length of these campers, another problem is parking on unlevel campsites (unlevel front to back). With the shear length, even a slight incline can cause the rear to touch the ground while the front is high in the sky, or just the opposite with the nose on the ground and the rear in the air. This was also a problem I had to over come, but found adding boards under the tires to raise the entire trailer higher often takes care of that and provides enough clearance on those sloped campsites that the trailer can achieve level.

Also as stated above about the quality of the 376, 377, mine was no different. I had over 80 items in the first year of ownership what required warranty work (serious stuff like wheel hubs and brakes that fell apart), to simple stuff like trim and cabinet doors. Much I fixed and repaired myself. The rear closet completely collapsed on our maiden voyage. It took 2 attempts to finally do a repair to took the shelf and cloths rack from collapsing. It's since never fallen again, and never will the way I rebuilt that closet.

Like you guys, the floor plan cannot be beat. It's a great floor plan. And the back door on the opposite side has been fabulous for us. We had an awning installed over the rear door, with a LED light strip that matches perfectly the front awning. We use the back door 90% of the time. Love that door on the opposite side.

Mine tows pretty level. My dealership did a good job on setting me up with the right hitch and adjusted the king pin height. Still, that did not stop the rear jacks from dragging. I'm towing with a Chevy and evidently mine sits lower, so I don't have that unlevel problem. However, I have only about 5 inches of bed rail clearance, and I have made contact a couple times. I was able to fix the fiberglass cracks myself, and you never knew what happened, you'd never know or see it now either, my repair turned out pretty good.

One thing is certain that I completely agree with another post above, once you've experienced this floor plan, nothing else matches it. (especially the use of that back door on the opposite side).

Not the best photo showing the back awning, but is is about the only one I've got available at the moment:



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2019 Montana High Country 375FL
2014 Chevy Silverado Duramax, 6.6L Dually
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Old 02-21-2022, 07:59 PM   #16
NixonFamilyRV
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Now that the 2022 RV season is just around the corner, I felt compelled to update this thread with some of my experiences with the 376FL. I’ve probably logged somewhere around 4000 miles with the rig so far, and have camped in very hot weather, and in moderately cold weather. We’ve had it in several wind storms, dirt roads, and some VERY tight RV parks with unlevel spaces. Here’s what I can share.

First, the length/low tail issues. After my simple 2” lift, I have found the tail dragging issue to be quite acceptable. in my case, raising the axles 2” probably gained me 4” at the tail because it leveled it up with my truck a lot better. I’m still a tiny bit nose high, but a different auto-sliding hitch could possibly resolve that last 1/2” or so. I’m very pleased with the result, despite it putting me at approximately 13’ 6” in height. I can report that despite towing with a Ram 2500 diesel, the road manners are exactly the same with the lift as they were before. It really didn’t seem to affect handling, even in nasty winds.

Next, hot weather. We camped for several days in 100F temps, and we found that the simple implementation of a couple of really powerful fans helped cool everything down a ton. It made a massive difference in our comfort levels.

Cold weather: no real issues. The rear bedroom gets chilly, so does the loft (we’re talking sub-freezing temps overnight, so I found this somewhat expected). Very small space heaters in each bedroom were more than enough to balance things nicely. I’m pleased to say that the furnace output is quite adequate, output to the rear bedroom is a little weak but can be improved by blocking the bathroom duct a little bit.

I had a major brake system problem that started during the third trip. Eventually, the problem was severe enough that my truck’s brake controller would not work with it at all. The unit was still under warranty, but I live quite far from a dealer, so I just limped the thing home and started taking wheels off in the driveway. I discovered that one wheel’s brake wires had come loose from their clip, and they had been rubbing on the inside of the drum until they had worn bare and were shorting against it. I was lucky that it was relatively easy to find, and easy to fix. It almost ruined a short trip, but otherwise not a huge deal.

Now that I have processed through all of the typical initial disappointments in a new RV, I feel confident in the rig, and I love it. The first several trips were not much fun because of the learning curve, but now I am enjoying the floor plan to its full. I have 3 kids, and we find this unique floor plan pretty awesome.

My current project is new tires. The factory tires have held up OK, but I typically only try to squeeze a couple of seasons out of factory tires. I’m finding the market for 235/80R16 Load range F tires to be a bit limited. I would like either the Goodyear or Carlisle product for a long-term replacement, but I can only find Load Range E’s and G’s in that size from those two manufacturers. I don’t really want to upgrade to a G tire because my TPMS sensors don’t go high enough for that. I’ll have to shop carefully and settle for Transeagle or Trailer King. I’ve had a few sets of Trailer Kings and they’ve always served me quite well.

I’m curious to hear feedback from other owners! We love it.
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Old 02-22-2022, 07:45 AM   #17
DutchmenSport
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Sounds like over the last year you've had some experiences with your new Montana (good, bad, challenging, and fun). And sounds like you've figured most things out and now can are really enjoying it.

It took us a year to flush out about 95% of all the initial issues with ours. It seem for the first year of ownership something was breaking for falling apart after every trip. And we traveled somewhere almost every week-end and several week long trips, and 2 week trips that first year. But always came back home disappointed at the next item that broke on us. It took a year of constant fixing, but finally everything started settling down.

The second year of ownership was absolutely fantastic! Not a single thing broke or needed fixing, except my stupidity when I turned on the electric on the water heater and there was no water in it! Oops! My fault though, not the camper's.

Last year, 2021, because of Covid, my wife and I were tossed out of the buildings we worked at and told to take our company laptops and work from home full time until further notice. So, for almost all of 2021 we took "home" on the road. We started January 1 in Alabama and ended October 31 in Upper Michigan. The Montana did great! Except, a week before returning home, a slide cable broke. Slide worked ok, and made arrangements with our repair shop at home. It took about 6 week before it got fixed, but the fix took only about 4 hours, dropped it off, picked it up and done.

Then Covid changed our work environment again, and I decided to just go ahead an retire and get away from all the foolishness and uncertainty and threats. So, with all these changes happening in our private world, we stayed anchored at home since November 2021.

Now I'm officially retired. My wife is permanent work from home. So, we are already booking and planning our next leg of life. Our first outing is scheduled for the 2nd week of April and we've got campgrounds reserved from Indiana to South Carolina all the way through the last week of July now. In our plans, we will be within a short drive to the house, so we can swing by and check it over a couple times during that time period.

Meanwhile, the Montana has done really well. We didn't sleep in it this winter like we normally do. About the middle of December, Indiana weather got horribly cold and to heat the camper to continue using it in the drive way was just too costly. Oh, it heats very, very nice, even when the outside temperature is near zero degrees with supplemental heat from the fire place and a space heater in the bedroom. But the furnace never shuts off and we'll run through a 30 pound propane tank in about 36 hours. Too costly. So we stayed in the house this winter.

I'm glad to hear about your good and interesting report of your activities and successes with your Montana over this last year! I think that's great! Now that you've got the bugs work out, you'll enjoy the camper to it's fullest. You are absolutely right about one thing, this floorplan can't be beat! The back door on the opposite side is still one of it's best features too.
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2019 Montana High Country 375FL
2014 Chevy Silverado Duramax, 6.6L Dually
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Old 02-23-2022, 06:03 PM   #18
NixonFamilyRV
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@DutchmenSport, yes I agree that the back door on the driver side of the unit is a super cool feature. It really helps us when loading and unloading in the driveway because thatís the side of the trailer that faces our house. We love so much about this RV. BUT, this week I discovered a new problem, and itís a little bigger than any of my previous problems.

Iíve been chewing up one tire like crazy at the rear driver side position. I noticed it after the third or fourth trip while I was troubleshooting my brake failure. I swapped the two tires on the driver side. The one on the front axle hasnít gotten any worse, but again the rear tire on the driver side started quickly wearing excessively. Itís pretty much completely bald on the inside 1/3 or so after around 2000 miles on that axle.

I took it to the shop this week, and they told me today that the axle is bent. He went on to explain that it doesnít appear to be damaged, or to have become bent after it was built, it looks to him like it was just built wrong. Darn. The dealership I bought the unit from in Michigan hasnít gotten back to me yet, but I intend to inquire about axle warranty (which I think is 5 years from Dexter, but Iím not positive). Another hiccup Iíll have to deal withÖ if I canít get it replaced under warranty for some reason, itíll be around $2200 for a replacement.

This is the same axle that had a manufacturing deficiency that caused the brake system failure. Obviously, this is rather disappointing, and even if it is replaced under warranty, Iíll need to replace at least two tires - realistically I would just replace all four. Warranty wonít help me with tires, at least I wouldnít expect it to. Thatíll likely be somewhere around a $600 expense.

I also noticed that it looks like the front window somehow took a rock on the road, and thereís a big impact crack near the top of the glass. It doesnít appear to be spreading, and Iím considering having a glass shop fill it with resin to prevent further damage. But darn my luck. That rock had to have been 12+ feet in the air to hit where it did. How the heck, Iíll never know.

Hopefully Iím near the end of these little headaches. I have had a few frustrating moments where I started shopping online for new floor plans, but I keep coming back to this one as still being the very best for our family. So I guess I just keep fixing until itís all fixed.

Thanks,
Russ
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Old 03-01-2022, 08:44 PM   #19
NixonFamilyRV
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Good news! Dexter has agreed to replace the axle at no charge. All I need now is a new set of tires, and I should be ready to hit the road.

One step at a time, but this is shaping up to be a great RV season for our family.
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