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Old 09-13-2011, 08:34 PM   #1
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Default New owner of a used 189 FBR

When I first started reading through the posts on this forum I thought, "Uh, did we make a mistake?" Lots of negative things posted about the Fun Finder. I have wanted a camper for 2 years until my wife finally gave in after a hellacious tent camping trip to Virginia. I wanted one so bad that I even sold my Jeep Rubicon I used for rock crawling to by a Ram Hemi just to pull it. After two years of driving the Ram, we finally bought a 2007 189FBR.

We went to Charleston, SC to buy it and camped that night at James Island. I love it. The previous owners took very good care of it. The only worry I have is leaks (which seems to be a common concern from what I've read.)

I'm a auto technician, so I plan on doing the maintenance myself. I haven't seen any evidence of water damage, but there are a few places where the caulk is coming loose, but that's to be expected out of a 4 year old camper that spent most of it's life in Arizona.

Questions- If I keep the roof cleaned and coated with the proper chemicals, how long of a life will can I expect?
-Is a slight sag on the roof at the AC normal? Maybe not even a sag, just looks like the weight of the AC weighing down on the roof. Nothing major, just noticed it. I expected the roof to have more of a "hump" to aid with drainage.
-How often should I repack the wheel bearings?
-Any trouble areas on the 2007 FBR that I should be aware of?
-Overall, is the 2007 189FBR's a decent trailer?

Thanks guys,
Billy
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:53 AM   #2
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Congrats on your new trailer.

I wouldn't put too much weight on the negative comments. A few folks here have gotten a lemon and then had the problems made worse by unreseponsive dealers. When something like that happens people tend to voice their dissatisfaction. If you check out other forums you'll find plenty of other people who've had major problems with every brand of trailer. Nobody posts about it when nothing goes wrong. Don't think I've ever seen a thread titled "Took my trailer out this weekend and nothing broke!"

As an automotive tech you shouldn't have any problems with trailer maintenance. Much less complicated than a modern car.

Leaks are really more of a maintenance item in my opinion. Over time the sealant can dry out and crack. Not to mention towing the trailer causes flexing which can also lead to breakdown of the sealant. Since you just purchased it you'll probably want to do a thorough inspection to make sure the sealant is in good shape. No major cracks or gaps, and repair any damaged areas you find. You should check at least once every season to make sure everything is sealed well as part of normal maintenance.

As for your other questions the roof membrane should easily last 10 years and probably a lot more. I think the warranty on mine was for 12 years. Here's some info from a sight that I've found pretty helpful;
http://rvbasics.com/techtips/rv-roof-care.html

Hard to tell about the sag. From you description it doesn't really sound like an issue. Just make sure when you park it between uses that you angle it so water doesn't pool on the roof.

Wheel bearings should be repacked annually, here's Dexter's maintenance schedule:
http://dexteraxle.com/i/u/6149609/f/...edule_6-11.pdf

I don't think there's any specific trouble areas with your year/model of trailer. Just like cars - keep up the maintenance and you should get many years of enjoyment and trouble free service.

If it meets your needs, then its a good trailer.
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Old 09-14-2011, 03:55 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info! The only thing I see is that the brackets that hold the awning to the roof. The one towards the rear of the trailer seemed to be coming loose, thus pulling the caulk... thus causing a big crack in the caulk. I cant find any evidence of water intrusion. However, I tightened one of the two sheet metal screws in fine, but the other seems to be stripped. Meaning I can tighten it, but once in it just keeps turning. I think I'll try a bigger screw, but not too much bigger. The weird thing is, as I tighten the screw and pull the bracket back towards the roof, it starts to pull the trim on the roof away from the roof, as well as pull the caulk loose there as well. It's not doing that on the front roof bracket.

I think for now I'll just use a bigger screw and use ample amount of caulk where it seems to pull the moulding away.

Even with the one screw holding the bracket, it feels very sturdy, but I would feel better with both screws intact.
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Old 09-14-2011, 04:14 PM   #4
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Now that I think about it I don't think I'll use a bigger screw, may cause damage I can't fix. What do you think about coating the screw with an appoxy and screwing it in. After it hardens it should fill in the gaps. I like this idea better than expanding an already stripped hole. Your thoughts?

Sorry for all the questions. Never owned a camper before, and like all my big purchases, I'm fairly anal about the condition of the product for a while.
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:48 AM   #5
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Default FunFinder quality

As LJAZ and others point out, there's a few lemons in any trailer line and you are most likely to see posts regarding those trailers. I bought my 2009 FF189FDS new and have never had a major problem. However, I do have a fairly aggressive maintenance program. As for the top, I wash the top after each use with Murphays Oil Soap (a suggestion I found in the manufacturer's literature) using a long-handled brush I bought from my dealer. The brush is medium stiff with a large number of bristles-not the cheap Pep Boys issue. I have noticed that the roof sags very slightly around the A/C I think this is normal as I don't see any sign of damage or leaks. However, it does suggest that standing on the roof my not be the best practice. I also use a cover regularly. This prevents sun damage to the decals and roof as well as providing some protection from small falling limbs (lots of pine trees on my property). I do a wheel bearing repack and break adjustment annually. I hope you have saved your brake pad star adjuster tool. I had to dig deep for mine. Their kinda like church keys if you're old enough to remember those.
Good luck with your trailer.
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:07 AM   #6
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Is it necessary to repack the bearing if there is a grease fitting on the hub? I don't know when the previous owners repacked or lubed the bearings, so today I shot about 5 squirts of grease in each hub.
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:03 AM   #7
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In theory no... On a used TT, since you don't know what the previous owners did (see below), it might not be a bad idea to "open them up" for an inspection of their condition before a long trip.

That being said, I still recommend, every three years, a "general inspection" of what is going on inside, sooner, if you notice a heat build up in the bearing. I carry one of those laser guided infrared heat gauges and check the bearing/hub and tire temps at every fuel stop. The dangerous part of E-Z Lube bearings is the extreme ease at which it is possible to "blow out" the rear grease seal. Grease guns generate a huge amount of pressure with very little effort on the handle...the bigger the grease gun, the more grease pressure is generated with correspondingly less effort. It is way too easy to "hit it with 5 pumps" and, in an already full bearing, blow the rear seal. When this happens, the bearing will work the grease out into the brake hub and allow water and grit in.

E-Z Lube bearings are great, if you know the dangers and heed the cautions. A routine 3 year "opening" up, IMHO, of the brake drums is still needed to check over-all bearing condition, brake lining/drum condition and the brake activation mechanism.
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:11 AM   #8
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I have just returned from a nice three week stay in Eastern Washington wine country. We own a used '08 FunFinder X 210. So far we are very satisfied with our buy! What is the old saying "I'd rather be lucky than smart."? I do happen to think though that you make your own luck for the most part. I inspected the roof thoroughly before the walk-through.
I have just taken my trailer in for winterization and a wheel bearing pack. I did this as I had bought the trailer used and didn't have a clue about the history. However, this trailer appeared to have little previous wear and tear. The trailer mechanic said that a repack should be done at least every 5,000 miles. One of the bearing seals was leaking and was replaced. The electric brakes needed cleaning, but were in good shape, generally. Brake inspection should be done at the same time as the bearings. During this work, technicians noticed that the awning supports were loose. I knew the rafter brackets seemed to be at an odd angle. They quoted another $350 to work on this and some minor caulking around the vents. I basically said "Get lost!".
I worked on this today and have exactly the same problem as you have described. I used bigger screws 5/16"X2" versus 1/4". There is a bull nose vinyl strip above the awning rail which is pulled forward when tightening. It appears that the bracket straddles a split in this strip as this material probably comes in certain ordered lengths. Also the bracket hole alignment doesn't allow the hook end to properly seat in the back. I toyed with putting small screws in eack end of the bull nose to tack it down, but decided otherwise. I, like you, have one screw which doesn't tension and would like to know what the heck we are fastening into. I caulked heavily and called it a day. Good Luck!!
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westysplace
I, like you, have one screw which doesn't tension and would like to know what the heck we are fastening into. I caulked heavily and called it a day. Good Luck!!
I just bent the stripped aluminum back in somewhat to give the screw something to grip, coated the screw with liquid nails and gently tightened it. That was over a month ago. I checked it after a 300 mile, one week trip to the beach and all was well. I noticed that the upper awning brackets really do not bear a lot of weight so I believe my repair will be suffice.

Regarding the other part of you post, inspecting the brakes is on my to do list.

Oh, and what were fastening to? I believe it's the aluminum framing in the walls.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
you said: I noticed that the upper awning brackets really do not bear a lot of weight so I believe my repair will be suffice.
I agree , but wind load is a different story. As you probably know, most awning support damage is due to this. I think we'll both be O.K., if we are mindful of this. I am sure previous wind exposure pulled my awning rafter brackets up and easily loosened them.
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