Why do I want a Brinkley?

I am a perspective buyer and I just went to a show this past week. I know the hype about the Brinkley’s but can some owners help me out and understand what really sets them apart? I love the look and some of the upgrades they do at the factory but I want to hear from owners who actually own one!!!

Can we be real? Can you tell me the good and the bad?

FWIW I am also looking at a grand design momentum and alliance valor as well.

Just look at the build quality of the coaches. It is the little things in the Brinkley that make them so nice. Many of them are features that RV’ers have been asking for but never were done from the factory. Yes all manufactures source similar parts but not identical and frankly most of them choose the cheapest options. Look at the handles, valves, plumbing and lights that Brinkley choose to incorporate and they are just so much nicer then the average rig.

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We just picked up our 3500G yesterday. We had a 2019 Solitude 310GK, pulling with a 2019 Ram 3500 DRW, B&W hitch. We liked our Solitude, but wanted a little more livability for longer trips. We thought about a class A motor home, even test drove a few 2024 NewMar Mountain Aire and Dutch Star’s and one super C. Wind noise was absolutely horrible in the class A- yes even the $700k (yikes) Mountain Aire was noisy at highway speeds.

We then shifted focus to a Brinkley and another fifth wheel. First time in the Brinkley we noticed it’s better made and comparable to the expensive class A’s interior. We were impressed with the quality. A few hours of back and forth on prices, we made the purchase. Is it perfect? No. Nothing is. But I think in the RV towable space they are hands down higher quality. So far no complaints other than the GenY executive king pin is a little stiff on the ride.

Many recent videos on YouTube regarding frame issues on Grand Design fifth wheels- even the toy haulers. I’d say go look at different manufacturers and determine if there is a difference. Also good videos out there on Brinkley factory tours - I think they’re doing it right.

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We came from a 22 Grand Design Momentum 351M-R. I never had any major issues with our GD, but my first walk through (dealer came in when they were closed on a Sunday) I could immediately tell the fit and finish was head and shoulders above Grand Design. Many of the items I fixed in our GD like getting rid of the flex hose with Pex was done right from the factory with Brinkley. One of my biggest complaints with our 351M was lack of storage - Brinkley solved that issue in spades on the G models with the pull-out MorRyde drawers, unbelievably huge pass-through storage and the storage area on the dovetail is genius. Very innovative company, and many of the items (like the area for shoes) are just like why didn’t someone think of that earlier. The unit is also very bright and modern which was appealing as well.

My first walk-through was in Sept, I ordered in Oct (G3500 w/8K axles & disk brakes; slide toppers; dual-pane windows & queen bed), showed up at dealer just before Xmas and took deliver the first week of the year. I will say that team Brinkley is all over their G owners group on FB, and the Brinkley partner/owner that has oversight on the G is responding to issues and question frequently. They listen, they respond and they act. Can’t ask for much more.

We got a 2024 z3100 in November, traded in a Georgetown MH, this is my first fifth wheel. I did a lot of research ahead, and after physically looking at many types the Brinkley does stand out as much better built than average.
You can find video reviews that list some of the things gone wrong.
We like it for the most part, much better than the MH we had, have not had anything go wrong really, here is a list of some of the annoyances we ran into, which a lot of this you probably find on many others as well. (Hint brinkley, things to improve):

  • the washer/drier compartment is short, and I don’t get exactly why as there is a pretty big open area on other side of back wall.
  • whasher floor has weird design, makes it very hard to take in/out. If you have a combo unit like we do, make a small platform, as I am sure you know these combos need to come out every few months for cleaning/lint removal.
  • the hole to access putting in a drier hose is too small, stupid design right there really. Need a kid to tighten the hose clamp
  • I have not found a way to adjust furnace hot airflow, it spits very little in bedroom, and a whole lot in bathroom. In very cold weather there is a lot of condensation on the bedroom windows, and it would be nice to keep it heated better during the day.
  • furnace thermostat on my unit was a mechanical and very inaccurate unit, I replaced with. Residential digital one.
  • shower head system is very fancy, and lacks shutoff knob (useful for sparing situations). I would have been fine with a regular Rv shower head. It works fine though.
  • inline water heater is great for not running out of water, but it is a small Rv unit and does not work as well as the rinnai in my house, it is ultra sensitive to pressure changes, like when the well pump kicks in it will cool several degrees for 10-15 seconds before coming back to setting. This is annoying.
  • also I think inline water heaters make it hard to spare water, like for dry camping or on the road.
  • the under-front-outside compartment is not heated, and a ton of condensation enters this area from above, so much that the opening handles froze in place and unable to open compartment (freezing weather). I can see condensation coming out around the hitch as well, I have no way to get into the above area to see where that condensation is happing, I suspect inside the front wall (the empty area in front of closet/washer).
  • the bamboo mattress it comes with is supposed to be the best, it is quite hard and very different from a tempur pedic in memory abilities, not my favorite, I need a quality topper on it anyway
  • the microwave does not have convection
  • the light under microwave is very weak
  • the baking Owen is typical RV underperformer. crank it up 50 degrees above what you need.
  • the shelves in pantry are not trivial to move, not the best design here, the hold screws are also anchors, and do not have great hold.
  • entry door could be better, requires slamming which ia not great for sleeping spouses.
  • floor insulation on slide outs quite thin, likely they where trying to keep the stepping low.

Despite all that, which half of probably applies to most fifth wheels, we are happy with it :slight_smile:
No issues so far, not a single screw has loosened on its own.

You are right, when the wind comes in at certain angles, that big windshield and mirrors can make some noise. I’ve been driving a 45’ Mountain Aire w/ 11L Cummins ISM 450 HP for the last 9 years, although a 2007. At other times, with the engine all the way in the back, it is so quiet you can speak to your co pilot as if you were sitting in your living room. After 9 years, we are trading it in and have ordered a G4000. We want to go back to our previous toy hauler days and have really missed the garage and patio. There just aren’t a lot 5th wheels that have anywhere close to the quality of build as the Class A’s without going to a Luxe, New Horizon, or above and beyond with a Spacecraft. We felt that Brinkley hit a sweet spot with quality, weight, and cost.

After 8 years of owning travel trailers, our GD 2970RL no longer served our need so we went shopping. We researched and found the GD Reflection a good fit for us. When we visited the dealers, to look at different models, they showed us a Brinkley z2900 and 3100. It was like a switch, we instantly forgot about the GD models and shifted entire focus to Brinkely and signed a deal that day. All the glamor about build quality and design choices are accurate, Brinkley has a better design and considerably better quality control.

I do have one big time gripe; the fill/pickup hose going to white tank has its connection on the side of the tank. That means you can easily fill the white tank to capacity, but you simply cannot get all that capacity out. Due to the location of pickup hose (side of tank) the pump will start sucking in air once water drops below the top of the pickup hose hole. That means once the tank drops to approx 13 gallons remaining, the faucet spits and has very little air flow. I sent Brinkley a detailed email about this and was told they could not put the pickup hose hole on the bottom of tank (or lowest point) for different reasons. This is the first trailer I have ever seen with such a design. All others (that I am aware of) have the hole much lower so only a gallon or so is not usable. I really hope this design error is timely corrected.

For it is that they don’t seem afraid to have a feedback loop from us the customers. They are trying to put in aftermarket parts and accessories that many of us installed straight at the factory.

Like any new RV I have had to deal with Brinkley for some issues and they have always been handled with great respect and empathy.

The hardest part with owning a RV is the dealers. They for the most part all difficult to deal with. Brinkley sets the bar high, the dealers just ruin the experience. I wish we had the option to purchase factory direct.