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Old 08-27-2020, 02:05 PM   #1
MAWilsonPE
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Smile 2021 3120RL Legacy FBP SSF

Hello everyone!

My name is Mike and my wife of 31 years is Doreen. We are long time campers just outside Charlotte, NC. We started with a Rockwood popup 30 years ago, progressed to a bigger Rockwood popup (with a slide out dining area!) and then to a 32' Prowler tow behind. We have 18 years on the Prowler and decided to upgrade to a new Montana. We have three children, my oldest son, now 25, went camping for the first time when he was 6 weeks old

We have ordered a 2021 Montana 3120RL, Legacy, FBP (Sterling) with Super Solar Flex! It is due to arrive in mid-October. We are very excited and can't wait to take delivery and go boondocking at our favorite trout stream in the NC mountains.

I traded my '03 Chevy 1500HD gasser with quadrasteer (286k miles!) on a new 2020 Chevy 2500HD diesel. I do miss the 4 wheel steering. Now I have read the forums here and before you tell me I should have gotten the 3500 dually, I ruled that out since it won't fit in my garage and I needed a daily driver. I could not find a High Country 3500 SRW so went with the 2500. Per the door sticker, my truck has a GVWR of 11,350 and can carry 3050 lbs. The 3500 SRW only added 400 lbs of carrying capacity anyway. Me, my wife and doggos weigh in at about 400 lbs, B&W hitch is 160 lbs so I know I am cutting it close. Pin weight is supposed to be 2280 empty. We are not full timers so I don't plan to carry a bunch of stuff in the camper. I will be careful how I load it and double check my weight on the scales to be sure I am at or below the carrying capacity, just need to keep the pin weight under 2500 lbs.

I have enjoyed reading the tips and trick on this forum and look forward to posting pictures and my impressions of the super solar flex system!

Happy Trails, Mike
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Old 08-27-2020, 02:55 PM   #2
sourdough
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Welcome to the forum and congrats on the new rig! And sorry....

You should have gone with a 3500 srw at the least. Either the truck drives the trailer purchase or trailer drives the truck. In this case the trailer was driving the truck size. Trailer dry, if at all accurate, at 12056, would result in a pin of 2411 at 20%. If you actually put clothes in that front bedroom, tools, jacks, cribbing, ice chest, food, pots/pans, toiletries, etc. etc. etc., that you absolutely have to have, you will eclipse the payload of that truck before you get started if not very careful.

I understand not finding the 3500 you wanted. I couldn't either. I spent almost 2 years looking for one then bought the current one in FL (I live in TX) because they found one in St. Augustine (I was S of Tallahassee). I wouldn't buy a larger trailer until I found a truck that could pull it. I already had a great 3/4 with a 3190 payload; not enough for the trailer I bought and it is lighter than what you are getting.

If I were you I would take the trailer immediately to the scales before you put anything at all in it (LP and batteries should already have been added) to see where you are. You may be overloaded as soon as DW and the pups get in the truck..... Just don't be lulled into thinking everything is fine because you are loading "light" - and check that scale like you mentioned right off the bat to give you and idea of exactly what you can put in it.

Good luck. Not trying to rain on your day but that's a lot of trailer for that truck and just want you to be mindful as I know you are by your post.
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Old 08-27-2020, 03:07 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum! If you're going to use that truck, you should consider some tires for the rear with exta sidewalls. Most truck tires, no matter how many plys they advertise, only have two ply sidewalls. There are a couple of manufacturers that make stonger tires than that but they won't be what came on it.
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Old 08-27-2020, 03:17 PM   #4
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Mike and Doreen,

Welcome to the forum! Enjoy your new rig. That solar package should be great. Tell us about it after you have used it a few times.
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Old 08-27-2020, 03:21 PM   #5
MAWilsonPE
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Thanks Sourdough for your comments. I do appreciate it. There is a scale 10 miles from the dealer so that will be my first stop. I have already weighed my truck as is so I know how much is on each axle now. They told me the trailer would not be long enough to weigh get all three weights (truck front axle, rear axle, and trailer) so having this base weight first is key.

I have been sweating this for weeks now and crunching the numbers. I am committed to not overloading the truck and will do everything I can to keep it under. I have read a few tricks like filling the fresh water tank which is behind the axle will take some weight off the pin but need to be careful as too little weight on the pin will induce sway. As a last resort I will consider going to a spring shop, adding a leaf and getting it recertified.

I was surprised that a 3500 srw only added 400 lbs of capacity, I think it is because of the 20” wheels on the High Country. It is my understanding that the 2500 and 3500 have the same axles and brakes. You don’t get the big bump in capacity until you go dually.

Anyway, safety first!

Mike
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Old 08-27-2020, 03:29 PM   #6
MAWilsonPE
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Thanks DQDick for that suggestion. I thought my rear axle would be more limiting as it is rated for 6600 lbs, the tires say 3750 @ 80psi x 2 is 7500 lbs (load range E).

Thanks, Mike
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Old 10-16-2020, 07:04 PM   #7
MAWilsonPE
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Just drove 800 miles to pick up our new camper. Keystone did their quality check, dealer did theirs, supposed to have been good to go. Got there, no trailer brakes! I bought the adapter recommended in this forum to work with my Chevy but the hydraulic actuator does not work. Pulled the break away pin, nothing! I am so disappointed, have to drive 800 miles home empty handed. Dealer agreed to deliver at no charge. We have beach reservations in one week!
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Old 10-17-2020, 04:54 AM   #8
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I can't believe it left the factory that way. How did they deliver to the dealer? I recently bought a 294RL HC and checked out the brakes in the lot so I could adjust the brake controller in the truck. A few days later, I put the breakaway cable in a new location in the bed of the truck which pulled on a turn. Thought I hit something because it would not move. It didn't take long to realize what had happened. It worked like it was suppose to. I hope they fix the problem soon.
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Old 10-17-2020, 01:22 PM   #9
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So the dealer showed me how they “test” the brakes. They have a dolly with a 12V battery, a bunch of switches and lights. Plug the camper pigtail in and they can turn on the running lights, turn signals etc. When he turned on the “brake” switch the brake lights come on and another light comes on indicating continuity to the electric part of the brake actuator. Sorry Bub, just ‘cause you have power doesn’t mean their going to work. I don’t think there is any way to really test the brakes without trying to pull the camper. I imagine the hydraulic actuator is a pump that you could hear running, but even that doesn’t mean it’s building pressure.

The dealer kept saying it must be my truck. They sent me with the camper to a trailer specialty place just up the road, supposed trailer brake experts. Immediately they said it must be my truck. “Seen it many times before” They pulled out a similar test dolly, “looks good”. They wanted to install an aftermarket brake controller, run new wires, cut old ones, and lighten my wallet by several hundred dollars. Why is it, amongst “experts” I had to suggest pulling the break away pin? “Hmmm, scratch, scratch, that’s a good idea”

I feel badly for those less mechanically inclined who would have gone through all of that and then... no brakes.

I imagine that Keystone tests them the same way and relies on Dexter that the actuator will work. As far as the delivery driver, who knows... didn’t notice, didn’t care, gotta get this delivered and collect my check. Uggh. Home now, headed to the Scotch cabinet, hoping they can fix it and deliver next week 👍
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Old 10-17-2020, 01:42 PM   #10
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By adapter I assume you mean the CAM Module. Be advised they can fail and you end up with no brakes. Went through the same thing you're going through a few years ago. Again has to be the TV, made it to MORryde where we had some service scheduled and did some resistance check between our CAM Module and a new one. Over 1000 Ohms on ours, but only a few Ohms on the new one. GMs send a pulse signal down the Blue Brake line looking for that low resistance, if they don't see it the brakes won't work.
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Old 10-17-2020, 01:52 PM   #11
MAWilsonPE
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Yes, I bought that adapter but we never got that far to see if I need it. Camper has a bad actuator. TV unplugged, pulled the break away pin and could easily pull forward.
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Old 10-17-2020, 06:24 PM   #12
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With a 2020 you shouldn't need an adapter, that need went away with the 2017 Model year, I should have gone bad and checked your year.
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Old 10-17-2020, 06:47 PM   #13
jimandjuliet
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u mite want to check the brake power fuse in truck fuse panel under the hood. mine was bad showed hooked up up but couldn't get any gain.
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Old 10-18-2020, 02:26 PM   #14
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We have a 2020 3121 legacy package and have a 2020 GMC Denali. Like earlier models, the 2020 does have to have a CAM module to operate. Look up Bulletin PIT5509F from GM. It directs you to use the brake rite CAM adapter to get the truck to recognize the Dexter actuator. I verified through my GMC dealer and through the GM zone service manager that this was their verified fix.

I installed and it does work. Now I have a brake system with parts from three manufactures to have the brakes work. I have since been working with the Zone manager to obtain information from GM engineering that this is a tested and verified resolution. It does not give me confidence that this is a totally reliable system. I have been promised information for over two months but have not received any further information other than the zone managers word. I am very unhappy with GMC for advertising a truck with supposed cutting edge electronics that will not operate rv disc brake systems without modification. Makes me wonder each time I use the brakes if they are actually going to work. GM is not responsive at all. You have to be a bulldog to even get past the dealer.

Good luck in getting yours to work. As I continue to work with my one actual GM contact, I will share any further information.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:08 PM   #15
MAWilsonPE
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Thanks DTH, I hope you can get a satisfying answer. My Chevy dealer told me that the IBC should work with an electric over hydraulic system so obviously they are mis-informed. Dexter now makes an adapter too (Dexter Brake Rite EHB Actuator 4846000/058-011-00) and I heard Keystone is going to install them on all future hydraulic disc systems, but cannot confirm that. Dexter now has an 8 week lead time for their adapter so that was not an option for me for pickup. Of course, HydraStar told me their HBA-CAM adapter will not work on a Dexter actuator but I read here differently. There are simply no straight answers out there. I am hoping for the best!
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:35 PM   #16
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My GMC dealer is good but I had to find the service bulletin and take it to them. They helped me finally get in contact with the zone mgr. I filed three cases with GM customer service and they never answered at all.

I had a 2019 High Country that I did the disc brake conversion on. Used a brake rite actuator and it worked fine with the same truck. Bought the 2020 and the truck would not work at all with the Dexter. Love the disc brakes but this is strictly an issue with GM electronics. Wish you well in getting yours operating.
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:11 AM   #17
MAWilsonPE
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A Dexter tech was able to solve this problem over the phone, actuator had shut down into a "safe" mode.

Email from Dexter: "This is an overcurrent fault that only triggers off of hardware to protect the EH actuator. When this happens the EH unit needs the power cycled to reset it (remove white or black wire for 15 secs). It takes a lot of over voltage or power to cause this and this is the only fault that requires this reset. Next time all they need to do is disconnect the black or white wire for 15 seconds and reconnect and all should work just fine."

So my big question now is what could have caused this "over voltage or power"?
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:26 AM   #18
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Since it wasn't working when you went to pick it up, wonder if the Hot Shot Delivery Driver did something stupid or maybe a run-a-alternator that exceed the threshold of the Dexter pump causing it to shut down.
Probably will never really know, but I would keep a close eye on it, just incase that pump is defective and shuts down on anything slightly over normal voltages.
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Old 10-19-2020, 12:06 PM   #19
MAWilsonPE
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Correction, that email above was from a Keystone tech, not Dexter. I have a call into Dexter to try to find our how much voltage is too much voltage to trigger this "safe" mode.
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Old 10-19-2020, 01:56 PM   #20
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I just spoke to an engineer at Dexter and he had already heard of the problem with my unit small world. The actuator will go "safe" (dead) if the supply voltage exceeds about 15 volts.

Two actuators that had failed on the production line at Keystone had been returned to him for evaluation with the same issue. He was told that both came from Super Solar Flex units and an installation error had created a ground fault resulting in tripping this "safe" mode. Since they reset on power disconnect the units he got back worked just fine.

He has no idea what the installation issue was, but in my opinion, since Keystone fixed that issue and installed a new actuator and by the time I got there, it had tripped again, this will be an ongoing issue. Not good.

Since there is no reset button on the actuator and you have to undo the wiring to disconnect power and reset the unit, I plan to install a switch (momentary, normally closed, essentially a reset switch) on the power to the actuator to reset it more easily if it happens again. He told me that it should not happen going down the road. If it ever does, the only permanent fix I can come up with is to install a dedicated (9A-Hr minimum) battery for the brake actuator and disconnect it altogether from the Super Solar system. This battery would have to have its own dedicated charger too, uggh. Perhaps even better would be a voltage regulator on the power to the actuator that clips anything over 12 volts.

The Dexter rep took my name and email and will send me the service bulletin on this issue when it comes out and update me on any fix they come up with, such a self-reset or a new design unit that will handle slightly more voltage when it occurs. I told him they should have some mention of this in their service manual as now it says nothing.
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