In February of 2016 we drove up to the manufacturing facility for Forest River Trailers; in Elkhart, Indiana and picked up our shiny new 14′ Dump Bed trailer. Little did we know at that we were in for an adventure. The trailer was factory direct through a dealer in Wisconsin that was facilitating the sale. Due to snow that week the trailer was pulled into the load bay of the shop so that we could look it over. Christopher had a check list for features and it was our chance to inspect the trailer. First off the spare tire that we had paid for had not been mounted on the trailer, so someone pulled the spare and rack off of another trailer to put it on ours. One of the tail lights was also malfunctioning so the team at Forest River worked to put a new assembly on the trailer, but no one unhooked our truck and blew the fuse in the truck as they pulled the harness through the metal channel. Luckily there was a fuse that we could use in the truck to make sure that we had lights going home. There were also little things about the trailer as we first looked at it that seemed a little off, but alone didn’t raise too many red flags; serial number not on the trailer, valve stem caps on the tires didn’t match and the a fore mentioned items. The team at the factory had reasons for each of the deviations that we accepted without too much question.
The days and weeks that followed after getting our shiny new trailer home proved to be quite trying. Christopher being well versed in product quality started working with the trailer to set it up with the wooden riser sides, hooks for the tarps and other modifications to make it meet our needs. In this time he kept finding problems that alone would not have been much, but together made us wonder about the long term quality and durability of the trailer. After weeks of sending emails and phone calls requesting that warranty cover the problems. After close to two months at last Forest River choose to send us a new trailer rather than continue with the list of problems that we kept finding.
The new trailer was delivered and we went over it to check each item that had been flawed on the first trailer to make sure that this trailer had been built properly. Finally we had our new trailer, and Christopher was able to get started with his upgrades. He added boards into the tracks to raise the sides and installed fold flat hooks on those boards to connect to a rope that he had installed on the provided tarp.
He also added some hooks to hold the set chains up closet to the trailer as can be seen on the back of it. The rod that allowed the gate to be locked down would shift back and forth so he added collars to hold it in place.
The final modification had to do with the tool box where he installed a proper battery bracket and made room for a crate with heavy duty straps to be stored with the trailer where they will be used for the tractor when it is in transit.
Once the upgrades were all in place this trailer has been wonderful. We have used it so many times to haul rocks to the creek wash outs, and to move debris from the current house remodels that you will have to wait to see what has been going on there. C&L Rausch Farm has been quite busy over these last few months.