New White Hawk - Initial Observartions
I am grateful for this forum as a resource because in the first week of ownership of our new Jayco White Hawk (28DSBH), I’ve observed both abnormalities with the equipped Furrion DV3100 “Entertainment System” that have been reported here by fellow users on multiple occasions. First is the bizarre altering of clock display, ranging from a simple AM-PM change to random digits, and secondly, the intermittent loss of Bluetooth connectivity thus requiring a system reset to restore.
Reports that Furrion is responsive and sends our replacement units is encouraging; however, it would appear this is more of an appeasement than actual solution since both problems persist. In the case of the random clock changes, one user reported that he eliminated the issue by holding the Zone B button for ten seconds to disable RDS. This function is not documented and it suggests the root of the problem lies within the unit’s improper response to broadcast data via RDS. I will implement this fix because it’s more useful to me to have a clock than a display of the program content from a given radio station.
One user posits that Furrion products are worthless while another made comparisons to more commonly known brands such as Samsung. I would argue that it’s a matter of perspective. For example, I didn’t buy an upscale Airstream trailer but rather a lightweight unit that I can tow with my half-ton truck. Our attraction to this particular floor plan was the bunk configuration with our grandkids in mind for camping trips to nearby state parks or occasional road trips. And while there is nothing exceptional about the Furrion products, the core functions are acceptable.
Our White Hawk replaced the Jay Feather 23B Expandable we bought in 2005. Although we did shop across brands, we are happy to remain with Jayco. And again, it’s important to distinguish market segments or price points when it comes to things like build quality. The fact I can tow this trailer with my truck without suffering too much loss in mileage is a direct result of light weight materials. I think Jayco executes well whereas this is concerned.
I must point out, however, whereas the craftsmanship in cabinetry is consistent with the heritage and culture of northern Indiana, I was disappointed with a lack of same when it came to the “entertainment” wiring. Our camper includes three sets of speakers but the Furrion DV3100 only has two zones thus necessitating a separate external switch for choosing between the outdoor speakers and those in the bedroom. As an aside, the Furrion product inconsistently labels these both as Zones A and B, and as Zones 1 and 2.
Jayco’s placement of the external switch was in a peculiar location behind the sliding door to the bedroom thus requiring movement of the door to access. I relocated this to the former space occupied by a plate with a prominent RG6 cable loop that anticipates a satellite set top box. This was a simple fix and though I understood Jayco’s logic for this placement, I simply had a different preference, particularly since we have no plans for using satellite in this camper.
However I was stunned by the amount of excess cable that was literally wadded into a ball and shoved into the cavity behind the DV3100. I think this reflects back to the culture of the workers assembling these trailers. It would seem familiarity with wood and similar products is extensive; electronics or entertainment systems, perhaps not so much.
Whereas apparently I have the option to disable RDS in order to maintain the correct time, it appears I’ll have to keep a paper clip nearby to reset the unit every time it loses Bluetooth connectivity with my iPhone. Incidentally our primary use of this feature would be for listening to our Kansas City Royals via the At Bat app when we’re out of town.
One can only speculate as to any long term fixes to these problems. And again it’s important to maintain perspective. I feel RV consumers represent a captive market, much smaller in size than we might prefer to think. The food chain narrows rather quickly toward the top with fewer players calling the shots as time rolls by. Jayco’s recent acquisition by Thor Industries is just the latest example of this.
Last summer (July 2015) Furrion was acquired by Lippert Components Inc., which itself is a unit of Drew Industries Inc. When announcing the acquisition, LCI’s CEO Jason Lippert described the synergy between his vision and that of Aaron Fidler, Furrion’s CEO and co-founder. Of course such is routine rhetoric for these transactions. Also bear in mind that entertainment systems like the DV3100 are but a tiny slice of the components pie.
As consumers or end users, what we have to remember is that LCI’s customer is Jayco, now Thor, and that between us and the OEM is the dealer from whom we bought our rig. It’s great that Furrion has earned good marks by those consumers who’ve swapped out their units but I’d rather see the company focus on improving its technology expertise in Hong Kong. Both of the issues we are all experiencing are easily solvable.