Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Day 28 - Six Months in the Motorhome - TT

It looks like rain for the rest of the day (at least) but it has toned down from the morning thunderstorm.

It’s been about six months since I picked up this coach from the dealer in GA and it may be a good idea to talk about our decision. It is definitely easier to travel with the coach than it was with the 5th wheel and truck. There was some initial concern when I first picked it up due to the 41½’ length but the width is comparable to the 5th wheel and it isn’t quite as tall. Backing into campsites is almost trivial after the car is unloaded. The length does make it more difficult to level front to back but the automatic leveling system is nice to have. The tow dolly is a hassle and does add to the stress on travel days. But it is nice to have the Prius to drive around with after arriving at our location.

We really should’ve had an inspector check out the coach before purchasing. We could’ve avoided the refrigerator hassle and some other minor problems. An inspection probably wouldn’t have caught any engine or driveline problems as they only check out the RV part.

Many have dismissed the combo washer/dryer as a waste of space since the loads are small and it takes forever to dry. Both true but it is very convenient and we use it all the time. On our initial “list” I wanted only two slides. We have four and though the additional floor space is nice, fewer would be better. Also, I would have preferred a Cummins engine instead of a Caterpillar. Mostly due to familiarity and easier to find service. The double pane windows are nice as is the 7.5kw diesel generator. It turns out that I don’t actually know the hours on the generator as the Hobbs meter isn’t  working. Two of the slides don’t seal well during travel. One due to some weather stripping missing and the other from damage to the corner of the slide. It looks like it caught on an open compartment door while closing the slide.

The Dicor on the roof sealing roof openings looked old and the salesman told me that they would reseal. They sort of did but didn’t do a very good job. The windshield problems are apparently common in large motorhomes due to flex in the body this especially true with multiple slides (too many slides). Everything else seems to work fine. Both air conditioners cool, the front one has a heat pump which has been getting a lot of use. Both furnaces work though the rear one puts all of its output on the inside. The front furnace splits it’s output between the water tanks and the interior. It ends up running for extended periods. The repaired refrigerator works great and even though I thought it was silly to have an ice maker, I like having it. The water heater works on both propane and shore power. No plumbing leaks. The modified sine wave (square wave) inverter works and charges the battery with 80 amps when on shore power or the generator. The four golf cart house batteries seem to be in reasonable condition though the two AGM chassis batteries seem to be a little weak. Something is still flaky with the right turn signal. I need to apply pressure on the lever to get it to blink. The four way flasher works fine so the problem is with the lever on the steering column.

The fuel mileage is a bit worse than I expected. While towing the Prius, it’s been averaging 7.2mpg. On the initial cross country trip, it averaged about 8.5mpg. Would we do it again? Probably though I really should have contacted a inspector before putting down a deposit. I hate dealers but I don’t trust private party sales either.

8 comments:

Lynne Goebeler said...

Wow, Richard, 6 months already! I really haven't had time to read blogs, but saw this title and had to check in. As always, you are assessing things logically. I definitely agree with the need for an inspection before purchase, and for some reason, I thought you had one. They may have caught some of your house issues. I'm glad that you're happy overall, though, and enjoying the ride! Happy trails 😁

SonjaM said...

The bigger the van the more the issues, I guess. In the long run it looks like you have made a good decision to go for it. Enjoy!

RichardM said...

Overall, the house issues are pretty minor compared to what there could be. I still wonder why the radiator was so clogged up. It’s something to keep an eye on. The windshield may be a recurring problem. Not sure what to do about that.

RichardM said...

Too many complex systems. A decent wiring diagram would simplify debugging some of the systems.

redlegsrides said...

Good recap after wandering about for six months in your Class A! Yep, lots of stuff that can break, but then again, it's the same with a regular house.

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

Richard, really appreciate this overview of your purchase as well as ownership experience. I see nothing quite this grand in my traveling future but I've learned a lot from all you've shared.

I can absolutely see the draw of 6 months in a coach like yours. Safe and enjoyable travel with your rig!

RichardM said...

Good way to look at it.

RichardM said...

Definitely nice to travel in though there are some odd repairs needed. I got a quote for the windshield. $900 +parts. 50% more than in Arizona. I think I’ll shop around a bit more.