The DW and I (sans kids) were able to get away with the new RV for a weekend at Elk Neck State Park in Maryland.
Link to Pictures
This was the ďtry everything out and make sure it all works before we head to Myrtle Beach for a week with the kids
Ē weekend. The following are some of my thoughts about our new RV, but overall, I have to say I love it.
This trip also helped confirm that moving to a Class C was the right decision for us. We wanted a bigger camper, wanted a bed for all the kids (not the couch or dinette), but we also didnít want to pull/tow a bigger rig and buy a giant pickup to do it. So a Class C turned out to be the right answer for us.
Now, I have opinions on every nook and cranny of the RV, but Iíll spare you some of it (unless you ask) and just share a few with you here.
I thought the steering was a bit spongy.
Lots of play and constant correction needed. I got used to it and Iím sure itís just a change from driving a car/suv, but wish it were a little tighter. I may have this looked at by the dealer in the near future, just to be sure all is ok.
I thought the ride was smooth, very good.
Seat is comfortable, and lots of cupholders and center console areas to keep things (maybe too much
The Ford E450 had a ton of giddy-up and go. Very happy with engine performance, and I feel confident behind the wheel.
I thought the breaking was great!
More research needed here, but the Bluetooth connection between my phone and iPad was very easy. I haven't tried out the Bluetooth microphone yet, but I think I found it in a box in a drawer, so I don't think one is installed. The Navigation works fine, and is very usable. I might stick with my iPhone, though, as Google maps is so easy and it plays through the speakers via Bluetooth. There are some cool features on the Nav that will track your trip, etc.
Using all the speakers is still a question that I need to work out. Not sure if volumes can be adjusted individually...cockpit, vs. Interior vs. Exterior. More research needed.
I was initially overwhelmed
when looking at all the settings available for the for the inbound water supply (2 dials with 3 settings on each). These switches are located on the wall in the garage. I'm sure someone has posted on these, but it took me a minute to figure them out. Here's what I think (please let me know if I'm close)
- City Fixtures - Use this when hooking up pressurized water (CG, hose, etc). I used this one at the campsite where I had pressurized water and it worked great.
- City Fill Tank - ??? My guess is that you use this to fill your fresh water tank from pressurized water
- Country Fill - ??? No idea what this meains, but maybe it's to fill the fresh tank from a well (non-pressurized?)
- Normal - I think this is for boondocking, when your fresh tank is full, and you are using the water pump
- Sanitize/Winterize Lines - HW bypass for running anti-freeze through your lines
- Sanitize Tank - Used for sanitizing fresh water tank, and doesn't flow to faucets
The only reason I'm mentioning this feature is because there is a lighted switch in the outside shower compartment. No idea what this switch is for. Any ideas?
Tankless Hot Water Heater
I know this is a controversial subject on this forum, however, it worked like a charm, Iím very happy.
The greatest invention since sliced bread? Maybe. If you follow the directions and know how it works (not like a regular HW heater), it should work for you. It was a very cold weekend (30 degrees) so we had the control knob up to about ĺ of the way. Very hot/nice showers. Latency was very short, to all the faucets, so not a lot of water wasted, either (certainly no more/less than a tank). Both my wife and I took back-to-back showers with no issues at all (we also washed dishes, no problem). I made sure that no other water was being used, while taking a shower, so that the pressure remained constant/steady, which is key to the system. I know that some folks on this forum have ripped these tankless units out and put the 6 gal units back in, but I would say that if your unit is not working, itís broken and get it fixed/replaced by the dealer, donít swap it out for the old kind. Also, the amount of propane used by this unit is tinyÖso donít let that deter you. It only kicks on when hot water is demanded and itís very efficient.
I learned a lot about the heating system. First, there are two unique components in this rig.
1) The AC unit, which is also a heat pump (electric) and is ducted through the ceiling, and
2) the furnace (propane), which is ducted through the floor.
Since I was hooked up to shore power, I wanted free heat, so I had my thermostat switched to electric heat. However, I started to notice over the night and morning, that I would hear the furnace kicking on (it was a very cold weekend). What I found out, talking to another camper that actually does HVAC work, is that my thermostat is actually a ďsmartĒ thermostat. Since I had it switched to electric heat, the heat pump would crank out as much hot air as possible, but since it wasnít reaching my desired temperature, the thermostat knows to kick on the furnace (assuming the propane is turned on, which is was). I loved this feature and we stayed toasty warm as the thermostat and heaters kicked on/off appropriately to get the RV to the right temp.
TV While Traveling
If you are not familiar, Jayco puts a relay switch on the outlet in the bunk over the cab (where the main TV is plugged in) that kills the power to that outlet when the engine is on. I fixed this by cutting the red wire, and putting a wire cap on the red wire. Very easy, and now kids can watch TV on the way to wherever we are going.
Replaced the factory showerhead with an Oxygenics unit
, for 2 reasons.
1. The Oxygenics showerhead will save water when the water is actually flowing, and 2. The factory showerhead had no on/off switch to save water when you arenít using it, like suddsing your head, etc. The new showerhead does.
I saw a mod on youtube about how to extend our queen bed for sleeping. I'm 6'3" so I had to do this. Works awesome. I went to upholstery shop in town and for 20 bucks, I got a piece of cushion (cut to right dimensions) and he even sewed some nice fabric around it (he had it left over from something else). Here is the video.
Much more to share too at another time.