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Molex recall repair my way - I still don't like it

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  • Molex recall repair my way - I still don't like it

    I hope everyone is having a safe and healthy (OK fun) weekend, While running my wiring to the rear on my backup lights I had to undo most of the belly fasteners on the drivers side due to the frame cross bracing. I could not snake my pull wire very far without hitting one. While I had the beast open I fixed my speaker wiring (used closed end butt connectors and silicone closed) and tried to tie everything up. Then there was that darn Molex connector. I found the cover loose on the romex side, so opened it up. OMG the ground wire was not secure and the rest only had one knife connector engaged (there is supposed to be 2). So I secured the ground wire and zip tied it closed and secured it in place off the belly. Hopefully I will have the local mobile RV gentleman come and certify the recall fix. Nicholas Cotner at GD had been helpful in an alternate to having the dealer fix. But we shall see how this turns out

    So before I post any pictures about what I did a BIG question???????, is there a proper way to tie romex (solid wire) to the stranded wire cable other than the Molex connector with it's double knife connections?????? Do I use a wire nut as the info web says, or us a bulb end crimp, or solder and then crimp a bulb connection? Information is all over the place

    While I was there I fixed all the problematic crimp (knife connections) GD used for the speaker wiring etc..

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ID:	28833 The Molex connection as found. Can anyone verify that there is only one I need to tie up om my 220RK with it one slide?

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ID:	28834 The problematic speaker wire connections. Blue oval in white base. One fell apart as I was moving things around. These are crimp knife connections. The wire s pressed into a metal V that slices the casing and supposedly makes a good wire connection - NOT!!!! If done improperly as these were not - the knife portion cuts the wiring strands. I posted earlier that GD had mix/crossed wires before on my speakers. The GD folks at the rally helped pin point where to look, but could not get into the belly for some reason. Perhaps GD needs to re-think this policy, This is a fix my dealer said the made after the raspy sound in the PDI. Shame on me for not verifying before picking up.

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ID:	28835 After fixing the ground on the romex side I used zip ties to keep it closed.

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    So is there a better way to do this?

    More later
    Keith
    2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel. Reese R20 Titan hitch, Steadyfast system, 2004 F350 King Ranch dually

  • #2
    OK a bit more on my speaker wire fix- and securing the mess.

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    I replaced all the GD connectors with closed end butt connectors and siliconed the back to make waterproof.

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    The foam board is siliconed in place to support the excess wiring to the rear. It's wedged between the frame over to the gray tank valve. Maybe while I am at it I should do the zerk fitting on the valve as Rob posted about. The mystery bolt - its one of the bolts to hold up the rear manual jack. You lift the jack in place, get this one bolt to hold it, then your safe from it denting your head.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_0415s.jpg Views:	0 Size:	108.6 KB ID:	28842 I had a devil of a time getting the chloroplast (belly fabric) to behave, so I got desperate and went mid-evil. Tomorrow I am dropping everything from the front to the first axle - I have a mystery bulge over the first axle in the vicinity of the water tank. This is the area the dealer played before I took delivery. I wonder what I will find??????

    I have found ZERO insulation batting anywhere. just the foil (not properly installed). I am having to unfold and pull the foil into palace, especially around fittings, etc .. Possibly the insulation is in the floor covered up. While it is open should I add some bats along the sides of the tanks, etc?

    Well all for now
    Note to self - get up early while it is cool
    Keith

    Last edited by Yoda; 09-05-2020, 08:02 PM.
    2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel. Reese R20 Titan hitch, Steadyfast system, 2004 F350 King Ranch dually

    Comment


    • #3
      Yoda
      Hi Keith,

      Long before this became a recall campaign, I had a Molex connector fail. It was in the midst of a rat's nest of wiring that was being pushed around by slide travel. (As it turns out . . . my Reflection is not even covered by the recall) I replaced all the Molex connectors with standard "extension cord" replacement ends. There are three circuits going to my kitchen slide (the three white connectors in the second picture) and one going to the dining slide. I tied these connectors well up under the floor where they will not be affected by water in the underbelly or slide travel. Not a "factory" solution, but I am confident that this is a better alternative to the OE Molex connectors.

      Rob

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      Cate & Rob
      (with Border Collies Molly & Angel and their kitty Gracie)
      2015 Reflection 303RLS
      2014 Ecoboost F150 with Heavy Duty Payload Package (retired)
      2022 F350 Diesel CC SB SRW Lariat
      Bayham, Ontario, Canada

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Yoda View Post

        I have found ZERO insulation batting anywhere. just the foil (not properly installed) everywhere.I am having to unfold and pull the foil into palace, especially around fittings, etc .. Possibly the insulation is in the floor covered up. While it is open should I add some bats along the sides of the tanks, etc?
        This is "normal" for a Reflection. Only the Solitudes have batt insulation above the coroplast. This is probably a good thing for Reflection owners . . . the fibreglass batt insulation is a perfect sponge for water from anywhere. The foil is supposed to be "heat reflective" but the installation is a mess as you have found. I went with rigid closed cell foam insulation above the coroplast.

        Rob

        Cate & Rob
        (with Border Collies Molly & Angel and their kitty Gracie)
        2015 Reflection 303RLS
        2014 Ecoboost F150 with Heavy Duty Payload Package (retired)
        2022 F350 Diesel CC SB SRW Lariat
        Bayham, Ontario, Canada

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Cate&Rob View Post
          Yoda
          Hi Keith,

          Long before this became a recall campaign, I had a Molex connector fail. It was in the midst of a rat's nest of wiring that was being pushed around by slide travel. (As it turns out . . . my Reflection is not even covered by the recall) I replaced all the Molex connectors with standard "extension cord" replacement ends. There are three circuits going to my kitchen slide (the three white connectors in the second picture) and one going to the dining slide. I tied these connectors well up under the floor where they will not be affected by water in the underbelly or slide travel. Not a "factory" solution, but I am confident that this is a better alternative to the OE Molex connectors.

          Rob

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          By chance do you have a link to those connectors?

          Also did you see the scond addition to my post. I saw your reply before I finished.
          Thanks for your wonderful help.
          Keith
          2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel. Reese R20 Titan hitch, Steadyfast system, 2004 F350 King Ranch dually

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Yoda View Post

            By chance do you have a link to those connectors?

            Also did you see the scond addition to my post. I saw your reply before I finished.
            Thanks for your wonderful help.
            Keith
            I got those “extension cord replacement ends” at a Harbor Freight store while on the road. There are better “twist lock” connectors available. As long as they are tied up out of harm’s way . . . any version will be fine. (Far better than anything Molex . . . in my opinion)

            Rob
            Cate & Rob
            (with Border Collies Molly & Angel and their kitty Gracie)
            2015 Reflection 303RLS
            2014 Ecoboost F150 with Heavy Duty Payload Package (retired)
            2022 F350 Diesel CC SB SRW Lariat
            Bayham, Ontario, Canada

            Comment


            • #7
              Yoda -- I suggest getting the recall certified before changing out the molex with something else. While I have no doubt that what Cate&Rob is stating is going to work, an independent inspector may disagree which will leave you with an open recall on your trailer.

              Cate&Rob -- from what I remember seeing on the production line all the Reflection (and Imagine) TTs had the laminated/aluminum frame floors (like the walls). All the 5vrs had plywood with the batted insulation.

              Note that GD's website specs under "construction" were not definitive. Keith's 220RK says it has an "Aluminum Framed Main Floor (R-30*)". But the 315RLTS and 303RLS also have the exact same wording, even though the floors in our RVs are constructed differently. (Technically I guess they are both "aluminum framed" and have an R-30 value, but GD gets to the R-30 using different construction techniques?)

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              As a comparison, the Momentum doesn't have a floor-related statement under each floorplan's specs. The flooring and insulation is listed under the general "Construction" section for the model line. This is what it says:
              Triple Insulated Main Floor (R-45)*
              The underbelly is lined with a radiant foil insulation barrier (Layer 1) and is then covered with fiberglass insulation that wraps all the way up the sides of the frame rails (Layer 2). The main floor enhances the R-Value with yet another layer of fiberglass insulation (Layer 3).

              The graphic associated with the wording is how I remember seeing all the 5vr floors being put together.

              Is the 150 series of the Reflection 5vrs like the TTs?

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              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.

              Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

              Comment


              • #8
                howson
                Yoda

                ​​​​​​​The recall is to secure a non-waterproof 120V connection (a Molex brand connector) in a location such that it cannot lie in water which could potentially be inside the coroplast. The recall does not define that a Molex connector is the only type of connection that can be used. Grand Design uses these connectors because they can be assembled quickly using a special tool. If a connection needs to be replaced without access to this Molex tool, choosing connectors that can be properly assembled using hand tools would be a better choice (in my opinion).

                Rob​​​​​​​
                Cate & Rob
                (with Border Collies Molly & Angel and their kitty Gracie)
                2015 Reflection 303RLS
                2014 Ecoboost F150 with Heavy Duty Payload Package (retired)
                2022 F350 Diesel CC SB SRW Lariat
                Bayham, Ontario, Canada

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yoda -- Rob's not kidding when he emphasizes "special tool"!

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                  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.

                  Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by howson View Post
                    Yoda -- Rob's not kidding when he emphasizes "special tool"!

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                    Cate&Rob

                    Thanks Howard and Rob
                    Hopefully I will hear from the mobile teck next week. Meanwhile I will finish up the reverse lights wiring and re-secure the belly, but leave the Moles area open. Hopefully this passes inspection being secured to the frame off the belly. I am going to investigate further the floor construction/insulation by looking at a few of the penetration holes GD made for sewer and water connections. Even if it is the bonded aluminum frame with foam, there is no way it meets R30, Best high density foam out there is about R10 per inch from what I know in looking at it before I had the stucco applied to my house. I may go with the foam board idea if there is room - good research project to see if I can find information on doing it.

                    Howard - that is one interesting tool - too bad it did not crimp one side of my molex completely leaving the ground wire loose just laying on the surface of the knife splice.

                    More later when I get it inspected.
                    Last edited by Yoda; 09-06-2020, 05:35 PM.
                    2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel. Reese R20 Titan hitch, Steadyfast system, 2004 F350 King Ranch dually

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cate&Rob View Post
                      howson
                      Yoda

                      The recall is to secure a non-waterproof 120V connection (a Molex brand connector) in a location such that it cannot lie in water which could potentially be inside the coroplast. The recall does not define that a Molex connector is the only type of connection that can be used. Grand Design uses these connectors because they can be assembled quickly using a special tool. If a connection needs to be replaced without access to this Molex tool, choosing connectors that can be properly assembled using hand tools would be a better choice (in my opinion).

                      Rob​​​​​​​
                      Gentlemen Thank you so much for sharing your vast knowledge, I've learned so much from reading all of your posts on any subject. Now I've got a better idea on what to look for and where to look for it. I noticed a small bulge in the chloroplast (belly fabric) around the stair area, while grease the wet bolts, with the material ripping away from the fastener and washer. I've been afraid to remove the fasteners due to rust and peeling powder coating on the frame, but that is another story of bad prep work prior to coating. After seeing this post I went for it and yes all my wiring was on the belly causing the bulge. I worked as an inspector in my other life so I'm going to reach out to my electrician friend and ask about other connectors that would work besides the Molex ones. Now to make sure I'm talking the right lingo: "These connectors/connections are for the slides electrical wiring transitions from solid wire to stranded wire and visa versa in the slide areas to prevent the solid wires from wearing out/ breaking from vibrations." Is this correct? If so I'll contact him this week. Again thank you for all that you do on this forum. I've gone from rookie to maybe novice with your guidance.
                      John and Teresa
                      "19" 2500 HD GMC Sierra Duramax SLT.
                      "17" 303RLS

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jbandtbone View Post

                        Gentlemen Thank you so much for sharing your vast knowledge, I've learned so much from reading all of your posts on any subject. Now I've got a better idea on what to look for and where to look for it. I noticed a small bulge in the chloroplast (belly fabric) around the stair area, while grease the wet bolts, with the material ripping away from the fastener and washer. I've been afraid to remove the fasteners due to rust and peeling powder coating on the frame, but that is another story of bad prep work prior to coating. After seeing this post I went for it and yes all my wiring was on the belly causing the bulge. I worked as an inspector in my other life so I'm going to reach out to my electrician friend and ask about other connectors that would work besides the Molex ones. Now to make sure I'm talking the right lingo: "These connectors/connections are for the slides electrical wiring transitions from solid wire to stranded wire and visa versa in the slide areas to prevent the solid wires from wearing out/ breaking from vibrations." Is this correct? If so I'll contact him this week. Again thank you for all that you do on this forum. I've gone from rookie to maybe novice with your guidance.
                        Yes the Molex connector is for connecting hard copper wire to stranded copper wire. The hard wire runs from the power distribution panel to the Molex connector which then changes to stranded wire for flexibility for the movement of the slide in and out.
                        Would you please post back with a recommendation from your electrician on a suitable replacement?

                        Brian
                        Brian & Michelle
                        2018 Reflection 29RS Oct.2017 build date, EMS-HW50C , Lippert Remote
                        2015 Chevy 3500HD CC LB Duramax , Reese Elite 18K

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          2018 reflection fifth wheel , bought at auction had fire damage, looks like cause by Molex connectors. Fire started in right rear Molex that fed recliners, went as far forward as the front axle. Destroyed water tank, load leveller sensor.inside was untouched

                          so I replaced all the wiring, water tank, sensors. I had an electrician do the 110 volt stuff, got rid of the Molex, used house boxes mounted to frame..the Molex i think are faulty and someone commmented that they lay on chloroplast and can get wet if water gets above chloroplast.i have other pics but I’m a bit of a Luddite with this stuff
                          Last edited by Rustebad; 09-07-2020, 07:41 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Rustebad View Post
                            2018 reflection fifth wheel , bought at auction had fire damage, looks like cause by Molex connectors. Fire started in right rear Molex that fed recliners, went as far forward as the front axle. Destroyed water tank, load leveller sensor.inside was untouched

                            so I replaced all the wiring, water tank, sensors. I had an electrician do the 110 volt stuff, got rid of the Molex, used house boxes mounted to frame..the Molex i think are faulty and someone commmented that they lay on chloroplast and can get wet if water gets above chloroplast.i have other pics but I’m a bit of a Luddite with this stuff
                            Welcome, Rustebad! That must have been quite a task to rebuild. What model? I hope you'll start a new thread and document (as much as you wish) lessons learned, improvements incorporated, workarounds, etc.

                            There's a bunch of forum-related info in the welcome letter you may find useful: https://gdrvowners.com/forum/main-fo...to-new-members

                            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.

                            Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sorry guys my friend could not give me any other recommendations for different connectors but to Google it. I found these on Amazon: HTCELLE Lever Wire Connectors,75 Pcs Wire Connector Assortment Pack Compact Splicing Connector Kit for Electrical Wires Solid Stranded Flexible Wires, 2 port, 3 port, 5 port

                              John and Teresa
                              "19" 2500 HD GMC Sierra Duramax SLT.
                              "17" 303RLS

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