I wanted to write back with a littel update here, after owning the 35S for about three months.
We have taken in to a couple horse shows and race car events. My kids ride horses and I race cars, so an RV is a great item for us.
I'll start this off by cigars, dinner, and drinking - and also wathcing in-car race videos on the outside TV.
So what has gone wrong
Well, I'll say this - everyone who I have ever talked to says that all RV's are "quirky". Doesn't matter if its a
+400k or a 60k+ model. You are driving an apartment down the highway, thinks rattle, come loose/etc - that's just how it is.
So here are a few things we have encountered.
1) I see the "quality" issue people have mentioned. I am not that particular on stuff like that, meaning - I see
the door handles on the cabinets are not all in a perfect line/etc. There are some small workmanship issues like that
where I think you really have to be looking to find them. I don't mind small little things like that.
2) The door was difficult to close. Seemed like it needed alot of force, almost to slam it closed. I had some
down time at the racetrack and took the strike plate apart. I grinded down the face of it, chamfered it a bit more
and now it closes nicely. So that was a 30 minute fix - no problem.
3) The water heater. This was mentioned to us at pickup. Girard has some issue with the propane valves so the
water heater doesn't always fire up. My unit seemed only to be effected once. Meaning, once you get it running
it seems good for the whole weekend. Girard sent me a warrenty notice and I will be taking the RV back to a local
service center to have the new valves installed - hopefully this corrects the issue. TBD on that.
4) The microwave - very odd!! It died and wouldn't heat anything after the third weekend. I bought a spare one
at walmart for $30 so we could heat breakfast sandwichs. I removed the microwave, took it to my local applicance center,
and they fixed it under the manufacturers warranty. I just re-installed the microwave today and it works again. Odd one.
5) The faucet. Ok - this quality issue is hard to overlook. The faucet is installed so it only rotates onto 1/2 of the sink.
You can rotate it almost to the window/backsplash, but not the the second half the sink. I will have this fixed at the local
service center when they take care of item #3.
6) The TV in the bedroom does not receive signal for the blueray player. This is due to the poor way they chose to
extend the HDMI signals. Using CAT5 and converter devices. There are much better ways to do this than with Cat5. H
I installed a spare DVD player in the bedroom so its direct to the TV. Problem solved there.
7) The biggest item was the ride quality. I heard the 35S had the "best ride in the industry". Ok. Well, when I picked it up
and we drove it on the highway, it felt a little disconnected from the road. It wandered a bit and I always had to apply
some inputs to the steering wheel to keep it going the direction I wanted it. Very subtle but I noticed. I then inflated the
tires back up to max cold PSI (about 105-110psi) and we took it out on a weekend horseshow. The ride quality had improved and
the steering seemed better - so I thought problem solved. Then - two weeks later, I put my race car trailer behind it.
Wow ... it was pretty sketchy towing. I had to keep countersteering alot and the steering wheel really had about a 2-inch dead
zone it of slop in the steering. Going around corners on the highway, you had to keep the steering wheel hard to the left/right
and then get ready to countersteer it out of the corner. I towed for 6 hours with it like that - wasnt fun. The next day at the
racetrack, I fixed it. The issue is "steering lash" and there is an adjuster on all steering boxes. I added about 1/2 turn of
adjustment and it drove very well on the way back home. Maybe as 1/4 inch of slop/lash. I could tow at 70ish mph and it drove fine.
Maybe Jayco/etc never reset the lash? That could have been a big headache for someone, luckily I knew what I was looking for
so it took 10 minutes to fix.
Overall - I do like the 35S and Its a nice upgrade from my 2002 Winnebago Adventurer. I bought that and drove it for a year.
We put 13,000 miles on it in a year between horse shows and race tracks. I think we all got hooked on the "RV Life" after that.
So that's my update - for now :P