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  • Risk of kitchen island collapse - Solitude 310GK

    I didn't find anything on this topic doing a search. I've read in several places - and Laura just watched another YouTube yesterday - about the kitchen islands in the Solitude 310GKs (may happen in other models, too) coming off their bases or collapsing during travel. People who have had this happen have described the islands being held to the bases with "two screws." Does anyone have any knowledge of this issue and, if so, whether it pertains to specific years (or if GD has fixed the issue). Do I need to dismantle the interior floor to the island to see how it is mounted and beef it up if necessary?

    Thanks,

    Rob
    Rob & Laura
    U.S. Army Retired (Rob)
    2012 F350 DRW CC Lariat PS 6.7, PullRite OE 18K
    2020 Solitude 310GK-R, MORryde IS and disc brakes, solar, BB LiFePO4, DP windows
    (Previously in a 2016 Reflection 337RLS)
    Full time since 08/2015

  • #2
    Originally posted by Second Chance View Post
    I didn't find anything on this topic doing a search. I've read in several places - and Laura just watched another YouTube yesterday - about the kitchen islands in the Solitude 310GKs (may happen in other models, too) coming off their bases or collapsing during travel. People who have had this happen have described the islands being held to the bases with "two screws." Does anyone have any knowledge of this issue and, if so, whether it pertains to specific years (or if GD has fixed the issue). Do I need to dismantle the interior floor to the island to see how it is mounted and beef it up if necessary?

    Thanks,

    Rob
    There's been one report on the forum I'm aware of, Rob.

    https://gdrvowners.com/forum/operati...kitchen-issues

    Howard
    Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

    2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

    Comment


    • #3
      Having worked as a cabinet builder, its the construction method and materials used. Since the island "floats" the support structure is recessed completely and all of the weight is sitting on the bottom shelf. MDF or plywood materials do not do well with carrying the loads applied across the thickness. Looking at the video you notice that the island used the center divider as a pivot point since is is the only part that could carry the vertical loading into the base structure. The ideal way to help prevent this is to make it such that on the ends they put an interior sidewall that sits on the bottom shelf instead of being screwed into the end of the plywood.
      Joseph
      Tow
      Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
      Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
      South of Houston Texas

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks, guys. Looks like I'll be emptying out and tearing into the island before we start rolling again. I would hope that the gentler ride on the MORryde IS would subject the island to fewer shocks than the OEM suspension, but probably not a good idea to rely on just that.

        Rob
        Rob & Laura
        U.S. Army Retired (Rob)
        2012 F350 DRW CC Lariat PS 6.7, PullRite OE 18K
        2020 Solitude 310GK-R, MORryde IS and disc brakes, solar, BB LiFePO4, DP windows
        (Previously in a 2016 Reflection 337RLS)
        Full time since 08/2015

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Jlawles2 View Post
          Having worked as a cabinet builder, its the construction method and materials used. Since the island "floats" the support structure is recessed completely and all of the weight is sitting on the bottom shelf. MDF or plywood materials do not do well with carrying the loads applied across the thickness. Looking at the video you notice that the island used the center divider as a pivot point since is is the only part that could carry the vertical loading into the base structure. The ideal way to help prevent this is to make it such that on the ends they put an interior sidewall that sits on the bottom shelf instead of being screwed into the end of the plywood.
          I'm sure you know what you're talking about, but I don't have a clue. Can you draw a sketch and take a picture of it and upload it? I'd like to re-enforce my island mounting, but I can't figure out your advice.

          Thanks.

          -Steve
          2018 Solitude 310GK, disc brakes
          Morryde SRE4000/XFactor with heavy duty shackles, V-Brackets in spring hangers
          2012 Ram 3500 SRW 6.7 Diesel, air bags
          18k B&W Companion, non-slider
          640 watts solar, 400 amp-hour Lion Safari UT 1300 battery bank
          Aims 1500 watt inverter/charger with ATS
          Somerset, WI

          Comment


          • #6
            steve&renee Steve, give me a couple of days to get you a sketch.

            In simpler terms, if you look at the flow path of the weight starting with the counter top, the counter top with sink weight is supported by the 3 side walls, the drawer divider and the face frame. These 5 items all take the weight on their ends, no mechanical fasteners support the weight. Follow me so far?

            Now lets look at how 4 of those items are working (we'll skip the center divider for now). The outer shell of the cabinet has to transfer its weight to the bottom shelf of the island. This weight transfer is 100% mechanical from the 4 outer walls via the screws or nails (I think these guys actually us 23 gauge pins). This weight transfer being mechanical is subject to the strength of the fastener across its body (shear of the fastener). We can probably all agree that cross forces in MDF or plywood are not good and will separate the material via cracking, which usually starts when the screw or nail is put into the end of the MDF or plywood (don't believe me, put a screw into one without a cross board and watch remember no pre-drilling allowed thats not how these are built). Still following me?

            All of the weight is supported by the fasteners into the bottom shelf and are relying on chemical adhesion. If there are enough fasteners but not too many, it works well. But lets look at the drawer divider now. It's carrying weight on both ends vertically only, no fasteners to carry the weight. If you go back and watch that video again, you will notice that the island is roughly at the original elevation at that drawer divider. Also note that the bottom shelf is raised above the bottom of the door frame on the sink end meaning that end dropped, and on the other end the bottom is pulled down out of the cabinet. Since the bottom shelf is supported by 4 (or more) boards on end and no fasteners are carrying the load, the bottom never moved. Remember that see saw you played on in elementary school, here it is coming back to haunt you. Now the island is the cross board and its rocking on that drawer divider.

            Did all of this make sense? I know it's a lot to understand without a picture. The redesign of the island will have a few changes on the inside only because we need to find a way to avoid relying on the fasteners to support the 75 lb (or more) counter top and all of that stuff in the drawers. Let's also not forget anything that may be in the sink during travel.
            Joseph
            Tow
            Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
            Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
            South of Houston Texas

            Comment


            • #7
              hi Rob, we have a 2021 310gk and are currently in the process of rebuilding our island right now. Approximately 3000 miles on unit so far and not good results.

              when we took delivery the tires were inflated to 110psi which in my opinion is way too much. It"s been quite the process trying to get things fixed. Very disappointed with selling dealer and will never go back.



















              Comment


              • #8
                steve&renee Sorry it took so long to get the sketch. Been busy with mods to camper and work.

                Click image for larger version

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                Watched the video again and at 2:29 on the right hand side when she opens the door you see the delaminated floor by the nails. Again at 4:55 to 5:00 you can see where the nails pried the MDF apart ripping through it cross ways. In the sketch I noted the nails and their orientation on the ends intentionally as they are the only thing holding the sidewalls to the floor. If you note the center divider sits on top of the floor and thus became the pivot point. One side went up, one went down. On my Island i noted that the sink end sidewall is doubled (utilities run inside for gas detector and plug) which if done properly could cure the issue. The inner sidewall needs to sit on top of the cabinet floor and extend to the bottom of the countertop. This minor change ensures the nails are not carrying all of the forces into the floor prying the MDF apart like a wedge (In my experience nails in the "endgrain" of the MDF start splitting the MDF). I do not know how the drawer end is made, but a simple change like this would eliminate the issue. Even adding vertical strips from the cabinet floor to the countertop help carry the forces and minimize load into the nails.
                Joseph
                Tow
                Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
                Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
                South of Houston Texas

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've watched that same video. I think Grand Design has started adding a third screw according to the makers of that video. Was your island loose or is this just preventative action? I have a Reflection but I grabbed my island and pushed/pulled to see if there was any give to it and it's rock solid so I've left it alone.
                  2020 Silverado 2500HD LT, CC, 4X4 6.6 Duramax 3310LB Payload
                  2021 Grand Design Reflection 311BHS

                  Location: Southern Tier of Western NY

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jlawles2 View Post
                    ... a simple change like this would eliminate the issue.
                    Thanks much. Drawing helps a lot, and I understood your write-up this time, too. 'Preciate it.

                    -Steve

                    2018 Solitude 310GK, disc brakes
                    Morryde SRE4000/XFactor with heavy duty shackles, V-Brackets in spring hangers
                    2012 Ram 3500 SRW 6.7 Diesel, air bags
                    18k B&W Companion, non-slider
                    640 watts solar, 400 amp-hour Lion Safari UT 1300 battery bank
                    Aims 1500 watt inverter/charger with ATS
                    Somerset, WI

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RobWNY View Post
                      I've watched that same video. I think Grand Design has started adding a third screw according to the makers of that video. Was your island loose or is this just preventative action? I have a Reflection but I grabbed my island and pushed/pulled to see if there was any give to it and it's rock solid so I've left it alone.
                      Let me add that I do not think the construction is flawed, but could be slightly improved upon. The failure I see is from personal experience as a cabinet builder and having to fix those things which failed during my tenure. If cabinets could talk, sailors would be saints. I've seen failures that make rears burn. Mom's do not like it when you have to tell them the door did not fall apart but exploded as "little Billy" flung it open and it over rotated against the end of the cabinet ripping it apart. Billy ends up in hot water extremely fast because someone can point out the exact failure and demonstrate by the marks in what they bring in as to what happened. Billy did not stand a chance in getting out of that one by saying it just fell apart when he opened it.

                      I have not modded my island. I did look at it briefly to see how it was constructed. Maybe before the first trip I'll have time to do a bit more investigating to determine if action is needed. The end wall on the sink end is 1/8" to 1/4" thick material on the inner wall, this is the one holding all the weight.

                      Unfortunately 2,3,4, etc screws help, but the de lamination or cracking is still there looking for the right opportunity to make someone have a really bad day. If you must add screws to MDF, pre drill the holes, then fill with glue, then install screw. Where possible add top and bottom hardwood strips screwed together (not to the MDF) by screws passing through the MDF. With campers it's not the first 1,000 bumps in the road that cause failure, its just the last one. The previous 1,000 were just testing the waters.
                      Joseph
                      Tow
                      Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
                      Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
                      South of Houston Texas

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Second Chance View Post
                        I didn't find anything on this topic doing a search. I've read in several places - and Laura just watched another YouTube yesterday - about the kitchen islands in the Solitude 310GKs (may happen in other models, too) coming off their bases or collapsing during travel. People who have had this happen have described the islands being held to the bases with "two screws." Does anyone have any knowledge of this issue and, if so, whether it pertains to specific years (or if GD has fixed the issue). Do I need to dismantle the interior floor to the island to see how it is mounted and beef it up if necessary?

                        Thanks,

                        Rob
                        Good morning,
                        We have a 2020 Solitude with the Moryde suspension and our island started to drop. I blocked up the island temporarily, very similar to one of the photos in this thread, and that got us through the rest of the 2021 camping season. I'm going to do a more thorough support job next spring, before we start our season. Our tow set up is a 2021 GMC Denali 3500 CC Denali, 10sp Allison, Duramax, with a B&W 25K hitch.

                        Thanks,
                        Bret
                        2021 GMC Denali, CC, DRW, Duramax, 25K B&W Hitch
                        2020 Solitude 310GK
                        Previous: 2018 Reflection 337
                        Previous: 2016 Imagine 2600RB

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Rob,

                          We have a 6/2020 build and I removed the island supports and replaced them when I installed our dishwasher. However, our unit had an angle iron support on the end of the island. There are four screws to remove the floor of the island in that section. After it is removed, you can see whether you have that angle iron support that holds the island end panel to the baseboard. If so, you should be fine.

                          Best,

                          Charles
                          2021 Solitude 310 GK-R. 2020 F-250LB, 7.3L, 4.30, Reese 27K

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Kings7248 Bret, look back at my post number 8. You may find that the flooring in the island has started to pull apart. In the videos referenced, and in my Reflection, I noticed that the construction of the island relies on nailing into cabinet floor. Since most of the materials is particle board there is little structural strength. I added a couple of strips of solid wood to the ends of my bottom shelf glued and screwed into the end panels to decrease the demand on the particle board bottom shelf.

                            The brackets if you notice extend out to the exposed side wall of the island thus relieving the demand on the particle board floor. You may find that a few strips of solid lumber, some glue and a few short screws will increase the strength of the island dramatically.

                            Also not that most of the failures are occurring on the end with the drawers. Most people fill all of the drawers with dense objects like silverware and other utensils that are HEAVY. All of the drawer loads are carried through the nails into the bottom shelf because of the way the drawer slides are anchored to the back wall and the face frame.
                            Joseph
                            Tow
                            Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
                            Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
                            South of Houston Texas

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Second Chance View Post
                              I didn't find anything on this topic doing a search. I've read in several places - and Laura just watched another YouTube yesterday - about the kitchen islands in the Solitude 310GKs (may happen in other models, too) coming off their bases or collapsing during travel. People who have had this happen have described the islands being held to the bases with "two screws." Does anyone have any knowledge of this issue and, if so, whether it pertains to specific years (or if GD has fixed the issue). Do I need to dismantle the interior floor to the island to see how it is mounted and beef it up if necessary?

                              Thanks,

                              Rob
                              I think Joseph has a good point. It is easy to support the side wall. This is an angle iron with 3/4" screws. This will support 5X to 8X the island weight.
                              2021 Solitude 310 GK-R. 2020 F-250LB, 7.3L, 4.30, Reese 27K

                              Comment

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