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Old 03-23-2016, 07:29 AM   #1
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Finished our first shakedown trip questions, comments pics

We wanted to set a weekend trip. Shakedown of the camper, but also to figure out what other stuff we need, what goes where vs what we think should go where, etc. Get the kids used to sleeping in it, dogs adjusted, all that.

We set a simple overnight trip to Lathrop State Park in Colorado. Simple 90 mile trip and the temps were predicted warmer than at home. Nice park, had electricity and shared water, vault toilets, playground. Is pretty open (not a lot of shade or trees but some medium sized greenery), fair number of spots, access to 2 decent size lakes (by Colorado standards). Rating campgrounds is very dependent on what people are looking for, I'd go back if we were doing water sports OR wanted to golf; does have a course in the park.

We did have a couple issues for warranty. Bunk door has to be replaced. Elastic band connects the wall to the door to keep the door stationary during travel, the button on the door end pulled out. Part of the curbed trim by the front tv is coming off. Bad design IMO, the bend seems extreme to expect a sheet of plywood unless heavily glued and nailed. Outside kitchen cabinet sagging causing separation at the sink, looks like support failure underneath. All should be easy warranty fixes.

Questions
  • who still uses their hard plastic propane cover? With no easy to see gauge, and that the rivets have separated on half of the cover, I either need to add a viewing window, fix the rivets that hold the clam shell together and still have it be a PITA to see the levels or just go with no cover.
  • Since we were on shore power, I put two household electric heaters at either end of the camper to warm and try to minimize propane use. Worked, but I am now looking for low draw, electric camper heaters. Anyone have preferred?
  • For those with outdoor kitchens, what do you store out there? Since we haven't set on inside vs outside cooking, we have everything inside.
  • Insulation for the access panel to the water heater and electrical box. It was down in the 30s Friday and Saturday, and the access panel below is the only thing separating the outside from the inside for the 8x8 section the electrical cord is stored in. Anyone add insulation to that area?
  • What about a better solution to the panel for on and off access?

Overall, we spent most of Sat inside cause it was cold and then most of sunday AM outside. Saturday with everyone inside was a treat, whereas in the popup it would have been miserable. Already very happy with the new unit and def happy with the CR. We keep telling each other "this thing is great".





Happy campers
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:00 AM   #2
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First off, nice RV, beautiful location, and really cute kids!

As for your questions:

1. We still use the propane bottle cover but it is more for ascetics over function. We have heard stories of people coming back to their RV with their tanks missing so hopefully this will keep them out of view.

2. For space heaters, everybody has their favorites. Ours is the Arcon ceramic heater. It also doubles as a fan during the summer. It has a very sensitive tip over switch which we like, has setting for both 750W and 1500W, and has really good adjustability on both power settings. Runs about $40 at Amazon. We have Amazon Prime so free and very fast shipping. Here's the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Arcon-64409-Co...=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

3. Our outdoor kitchen (Hill Country HCT-26RB) comes with a small fridge, sink, and the bumper mount grill. There is enough room in the cabinets to add a small microwave if you want. You may need to cut a small hole in the base of the over-sink cabinet to run the power cord to the outlet that will be shared with the fridge. As for what is stored in the outdoor kitchen, we keep all of our BBQ items -- gloves, mits, utensils, foil, coozies, etc., out there. Sauces and adult beverages go in the fridge.

4. Not sure about adding insulation to the electrical spaces -- probably not something I would do for no reason other than I'm not sure what else is down there. In my unit, the DC charger/converter cooling fan is in that area so restricting airflow may not be a good idea. Hope someone with more technical knowledge on this topic will chime in soon.

5. As for better panel access, the only other option that comes to my mind is industrial strength Velcro. That probably works well for the interior access but not sure how that would work as an exterior mod to the access panel.

HTH.
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Old 03-23-2016, 01:55 PM   #3
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Thanks. It was a nice campground, but we get spoiled here camping in Colorado. Wait till later in the season when I get more pics.

As my mom says "Every momma chicken thinks her baby chick are the cutest in the yard".

1. I have debated the security vs look vs other. Have a lock I used on the popup that worked, but I do store it in secured storage, not at home.
2. thanks for the link, I just know ours are not the best for the RV.
3. Hmmm, I am still questioning how we will use the outside, def want to get some trips in where we are outdoor before I pull the trigger on anything.
4/5. Yes, freezing may not be your biggest concern! We happened to get a cold snap (and another today) so when I had the panel off, the heat was rushing out of the camper through the portal. Velcro is a solid idea, bit less complex than what I was devising in my head. Dealer says "eh, you won't be in there that much" when I asked about 6 screws every time?



The side on the right where the electrical cord lives, it has direct access to the outside, the only insulation is the 1/8 plywood and the exterior plastic door.
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Old 03-23-2016, 02:17 PM   #4
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Maybe put some of that foam board insulation in there if you are concerned. That would help some. You know the pink or blue styrofoam sheets I am referring to? I am in Northern Colorado and am really glad I have not de winterized yet with today's blizzard, lol
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Old 03-23-2016, 02:29 PM   #5
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Hmm, yep, the little sheets you can buy. Then a couple clips on the outside and do away with the screws completely.

Yeah, I had to re-winterize it due to today's weather. Last week softball canceled due to snow, likely this week will be as well.
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Old 03-23-2016, 03:00 PM   #6
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I have seen people use Eden_Pure type heaters in theirs. I know that they make a tower style for small places. We use one at home of the box type for supplemental heat and it is cool to the touch for childrens safety. Reflextex foil insulation may be an answer for the cabinet. Thin and can be glued into position with silicone sealant or spray glue.
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Old 03-23-2016, 03:23 PM   #7
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A lot of my friends use Buddy Heaters. Some of them use the screw-on fuel canisters and one friend even snakes a propane line through his window. That seems a little ghetto to me, but he is always the first one at camp for our New Years trip. He gets there on Christmas day and stays through New Year, so he has to stretch his resources. His ghetto setup works great for him.

Anyway, Buddy Heaters seem to be worth checking into.
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Old 03-23-2016, 03:41 PM   #8
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The side on the right where the electrical cord lives, it has direct access to the outside, the only insulation is the 1/8 plywood and the exterior plastic door.
Had a similar situation on my previous unit. I used rigid foam board on the inside of the electrical cord section only. Top, sides and the back that faces the interior. But mine was even worse, instead of a 1/8 inch panel, it was a metal grill, so air moved freely from outside to inside. My compartment was large enough that before insulating, I screwed a small bucket to the floor and wrapped the cord around it, this keeps the cord from getting tangled. Then small adapters and misc. items could be stored inside the bucket. Once the cord was 'trained' to coil it was ez to feed it into the compartment and around the bucket.
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Old 03-23-2016, 05:10 PM   #9
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I would put insulation across the whole front where you took the panel off it would definately help
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by AbbaZabba View Post
Thanks. It was a nice campground, but we get spoiled here camping in Colorado. Wait till later in the season when I get more pics.

As my mom says "Every momma chicken thinks her baby chick are the cutest in the yard".

1. I have debated the security vs look vs other. Have a lock I used on the popup that worked, but I do store it in secured storage, not at home.
2. thanks for the link, I just know ours are not the best for the RV.
3. Hmmm, I am still questioning how we will use the outside, def want to get some trips in where we are outdoor before I pull the trigger on anything.
4/5. Yes, freezing may not be your biggest concern! We happened to get a cold snap (and another today) so when I had the panel off, the heat was rushing out of the camper through the portal. Velcro is a solid idea, bit less complex than what I was devising in my head. Dealer says "eh, you won't be in there that much" when I asked about 6 screws every time?



The side on the right where the electrical cord lives, it has direct access to the outside, the only insulation is the 1/8 plywood and the exterior plastic door.
I think the water heater bypass valve is in the wrong position for normal use. It should be perpendicular to the red/blue line.
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Old 03-24-2016, 10:06 AM   #11
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I think the water heater bypass valve is in the wrong position for normal use. It should be perpendicular to the red/blue line.
correct ,,,both valves always in same direction . Either both horizontal for regular use or both vertical for bypass.
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:26 PM   #12
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Thanks. Will change, image was taken midway through projects so wasn't in use when i took the pic (see thread asking "what the heck do the values do to the water heater?".
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Old 03-30-2016, 08:56 AM   #13
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We have the same model in a fifth wheel version. Glad to hear everything worked out for your first trip. I think you replied to my other post about warranty work. We are hoping our dealer lets us barrow our trailer for our shake down trip this weekend. We figured it would be better to send ours in for warranty work as soon as we found a problem. We are upgrading from a keystone bullet and after all the little issues we didn't fix right away we quickly started hating the trailer enough to off load it after 7 months. Also thanks for the pics now I know what you use on the top bunks to keep our kids from hitting the floor. We are traveling with a 8,4,and 2 year old.
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Old 03-30-2016, 09:48 AM   #14
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Also thanks for the pics now I know what you use on the top bunks to keep our kids from hitting the floor. We are traveling with a 8,4,and 2 year old.
We hav a 4 and a 2 yo. Big likes the bunk, likes being up high, likes the adventure of it, an she asked for the rail to feel more comfortable. Little didn't think it was that great, so we are moving her to the pull out bed down low for now. We are also in the middle of resolving general bedtime issues, so.....

The rails were cheap from amazon and the newer design is even easier to flip up and down.

We knew we didn't need the camper for a couple weeks so let them have it. Yours should have no issue with you taking it our for the shakedown as long as they are not in the middle of a fix. At least that is what our shop told us.
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:32 PM   #15
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We also use the propane cover because it looks better than white bottles. Plus I think it adds protection on road.
In regards to the outside kitchen I store everything out ther since most of the cooking isn't one outside. I have some silverware, paper plates, spices, al my grilling tools, Pam, bug spray, lanterns, flashlights, paper towels, towels. Most importantly the fridge is stocked with beer, water and soda.
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:06 PM   #16
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I haven't looked at the layout for your trailer. Dwith the outside kitchen slide out do they still have the oven and burners on the inside as well
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:00 AM   #17
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Just a note on electric heaters, 1500 watts is 1500 watts regardless of what type of heater. They all draw the same amperage (about 12.5 amp @ 120VAC). The only decision is sound (fan) and "on-off" type heating vs. oil filled types which provide more constant heat.

Enjoy camping with the kiddos, it goes all too fast.
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Old 04-03-2016, 11:00 AM   #18
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Enjoy camping with the kiddos, it goes all too fast.
Amen to that.

Today we're detailing our old trailer to get it ready to sell. I've been taking calls all weekend on my truck too. It's so sad to see the truck/trailer that my kids grew up in prepped for sale.

Yesterday I had a guy in my driveway with full cash in hand ready to take my truck. I just couldn't sell my family truck to a tweaker hydroponics dealer. I couldn't do it. And then miracle of miracles, a friend of a friend called me to ask about the truck. I was making small talk with him and he said he was looking for a trailer too. We talked for a long time and today he's coming over to hopefully buy the truck and trailer for his young family. And he's a cop, not a tweaker.

Anyway, enjoy your years with your family.
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Old 04-03-2016, 06:46 PM   #19
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Good luck on selling both the truck and trailer. Hope you get what you are asking.
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Old 04-12-2016, 03:11 PM   #20
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I haven't looked at the layout for your trailer. Dwith the outside kitchen slide out do they still have the oven and burners on the inside as well

Inside has the full kitchen. Outside kitchen is sink, storage, prep space, fridge, proper connection (but no cooking components outside).
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