Great interview with Nate Goldenberg on the Model G

Fantastic interview with Nate with some details on the individual parts and pieces that make a Model G so much better. One of the best parts is he addresses SumoSprings and LCI frame failure due to Gen-Y or other hitches.

For prospective owners Nate is Co-Owner & Operating Partner at Brinkley. He leads the development and design on the Model G line.

Watch it here:

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I heard the same type of things from Grand Design before Winnebago bought them. Now we’re seeing all kinds of frame issues with the bigger Grand Design models. The fact that a GenY hitch is a factory options is heartening. As a prospective Brinkley buyer I sincerely hope the company will stand behind what Nate is saying here.

I think the interview can be slightly out of context, it is a factory option on the Model G as of late 2023 to switch from a king pin to a gooseneck. A TON of Brinkley Model Z owners are putting them on at the dealer prior to pickup though.

According to the manual they only recommend the Reese Goosebox “warranty” purposes, I reached out to Brinkley and this is the email they sent be prior to delivery. I also contacted GenY and they were fabulous to help verify the correct model was ordered. They also let me know that if the frame that Brinkley designed has a failure because of the GenY hitch that Nate wanted to know about it and they would take care of it, not to worry about a frame flex issue because of the hitch.

Copy of the email sent to me from Brinkely customer service

That is correct, the usage of the GenY hitch will not void the warranty. (I will send the GenY information below over for our records.)

Have a great day!

{redacted for privacy}

Customer Care Specialist

Phone 574.501.4280

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I know General RV did three of them while we were picking up. The sales guy reached out a couple months later and asked how it was doing, he had a few more customer request it and seemed a bit confused why, I explained how buttery smooth it was vs a standard king pin even before I broke it in fully.

My rant frames:

  1. Lippert does not make a standard frame. They make frames in concert with the OEM it is just that they specialize in frame construction. It is like a iPhone, you can’t blame Apple when an app crashes from a 3rd party developer. Apple created the hardware and software tools to make the app but that does not mean the people programming the apps did a great job. Same with Lippert, they have frame components but it up to the OEM to help decide what and where those parts go.

  2. The thing that bothers me so much about the frame flex issues is we don’t really know what is going on with each rig. Defiantly some of the issues clearly are design defect like the rear kitchen model having outrigger collapse. How do we know if any rigs are overloaded? If they bottomed out like two GD frame issues did. I will give owners the benefit of the doubt because it is an epidemic in the industry to maximize profits and keep costs low at the expense of long term usability.

  3. I watched Paving New Paths - “Grand Design Or Grand Deception? They Don’t Stand Behind Their Products! Selling Broken Dreams!” video the other day. I appreciate they may have with a used 5th wheel and are asking for GD to help them fix it out of warranty. The tone of the video came across to me like they felt entitled to get a free or discounted fix because other people are having problems and that GD should group all those problems together as one large issue. If the questions they sent via email are actually what they sent, I they were leading question and would put anyone on the defensive. The entire video rubbed me wrong, the demands seemed a bit over the top.

I agree as a former Grand Design owner. They were customer forward at one point but have grown so much they lost the culture they had when they started. It was alluded too on a factory tour that the culture and being customer first was one of the reasons the ownership team wanted to start a new company.

Brinkley really seems to care. Ride the wave while you can, if a larger entity comes and acquires them someone else will popup and replace them (like Alliance/Brinkley did). I truly hope that does not happen and they continue to innovate. The indication from everyone I have talked to at Brinkley indicates that they are doing everything they can to build culture and do it for the long haul.