Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-08-2014, 08:13 PM   #1
Family Vacation Member
 
MidOhioHunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: OH
Posts: 131
Our First Big Trip with the ST270BH

Well, this post is way after the fact now but that's what happens when life keeps you busy. I warn you now this will be long so, here we go....

Back in March when we took possession of our new Sunset Trail 270BH my wife and I decided that we would take our new home on wheels on a long trip to South Dakota in June so our kids could visit with Great Grandma and experience our 120 yo family farm (something I always enjoyed doing as a kid up through high school). We made plans to take our new trailer and truck combo on at least 2 or 3 trips prior to making such a bold trip, since neither of us had ever traveled that far towing anything before. Weather cooperated and we got our three trips in by early June soooo... plans are set; leave June 25th and return home on July 6th.

First day was a nice, easy drive across Ohio and Indiana on US RT 30 to our first night destination, Rock Island, Ill. Stayed at a KOA, nothing special but quiet. We forgot about the time change so we could have driven 2 more hours but what the heck.

Day 2, oh how things change. Driving across Iowa on I-80 we approached what appeared to be the black wall of death right at Des Moines. Wind had picked up significantly and weather was threatening. We turned north and avoided what I later learned was a real mess of a storm and headed to Albert Lea, MN. By the time we turned west again, out side Albert Lea, the winds were sustained 25mph with gusts in excess of 40mph. We hit one that just about sent us off the right hand side of the road. I literally had the wheel cranked 45 degrees to the left and we were still going right. I got control of it halfway through the right berm and pulled it back. Fought terrible wind all the way to our destination outside of Watertown, SD. Times I was going 45mph, max I drove 55mph. I thought I learned a lot this day, I was wrong.
OhioMark warned of the winds in MN, and I see now why there are so many wind farms up there.

We stayed at the farm for 3 nights, had great weather and a great visit with family and friends. Farm house needs lots of work inside and I plan on adding a 30 and 50 amp outlet somewhere in the next year so we can have full power for this camper and any upgrades in the future.

So we leave the farm on Sunday, June 29th. Nice morning, little breezy where we are but not bad. Had our route picked out, we would travel through to Huron, SD and angle down to pick up I-80 about an hour west of Mitchell. By the time we got to Huron the winds were back again, this time we are driving straight into it (southbound). Winds at 20mph sustained. HERE'S THE SHOCKER. I saw this thing in my side mirror fly across the road so I slam on the brakes and stop on the berm. I said to my wife, I think we just lost our antenna off the trailer, it just went across the road. So I hike back about 300 yds and sure enough, there it lays. See pic I took as it laid on picnic table. Well being Sunday and 200 miles from civilization, nothing is open. Good Sam roadside didn't help because we were able to move. All we needed was a patch to keep rain/bugs out of the hole in our rubber roof. For 2 hours we tried to get any help via phone calls, nothing. We stopped at a truck/gas stop and the folks there were really nice by letting me borrow a ladder and their raised loading dock to attempt to fix this hole with duct tape and a small piece of tarp I cut. But to no avail, the fix didn't hold. So we prayed for no rain and that the rubber wouldn't completely fail driving and we drove another 3+ hours to Wall, SD where we had planned to stay.

Monday morning, 6 AM we started calling (since it was 8 am EST). We called insurance first (mistake, we cancelled any claim with them and here's why), next I got a hold of Terry Baughman at Crossroads customer service. I told him that we found the only crossroads dealership near Rapid City and they were willing to get us in right away and make an emergency patch job. Forum members, the people at JACK'S CAMPERS in Piedmont, SD deserve a BIG thank you from us for meeting & exceeding our needs during this time. Very helpful and courteous, they have a nice store there too. Terry from Crossroads told me to have Jack's bill them as this is a warranty claim. We got the patch job, breakfast and on our way in 2 hours. What else can I say, they were great. Roof still bellowed as we drove, but I didn't have a gaping hole up top (see other pics)

So 4 nights at the Rafter J Bar Ranch Resort (oh boy, highly recommended), and some more perfect weather, great site seeing, and good food made me forget about the troubles we had. Time to head back on July 4th.

Once we got out of the hills we hit wind again. This time it's 25mph sustained and gusts near 50mph. I'm thinking I can't catch a break. We'll we slowed it down and took our time, but we had a long way to go back to Albert Lea, MN. About halfway there I realized that I had the bracket jackets on my Equalizer L-brackets the whole time and that they were known to decrease the sway control, after all, metal on metal provides more friction than metal on plastic. THIS WAS MY FIRST AH HA MOMENT. We stopped, I popped them off and voila, I felt a little difference. Now I'm thinking, OK, I can handle this. (more wind later) And now tired from driving for 8hrs, I kept asking myself, what can I do to get more control of this trailer, it just felt all over the place. ENTER AH HA MOMENT #2. I asked my self, how does this WD/anti-sway system work; well, the anti-sway works on friction at 4 pts. I removed the jackets earlier and then I realized that I still had my newly installed Airlift airbags inflated to help level the ride a little more. Dummy me put too much air in them. So I stopped again and took out about 10 lbs of pressure and WOW, now it was working like it should. Don't get me wrong, it was still windy and trucks passing would still make me nervous, but I wasn't all over the road like I was the previous 3 days driving in wind. We got to Albert Lea and just to top off a long, grueling day we had a flat on the trailer. Good Sam road side assistance to the rescue and it was replaced.

So it took us 2-1/2 days to get back from Hill City, SD where we stayed for 4 nights. We fought the wind back across on day one returning. Day 2 was better, we stayed just outside of Indianapolis.

So, what did we learn from this trip. 1) drive longer on days when you travel west and change time zones. 2) drive shorter on days when you drive east and change time zones. 3) Driving across plains states is NOT like driving in Ohio. I get better gas mileage travelling in Ohio! 4) Remember how much we fought the wind prior to making small changes to hitch/truck set up to produce more downward force on spring bars to control sway better. 5) Make sure you have a good dealership network in the destination you are going. 6) Learn how to use roadside assistance and other forms of assistance in case you need them, ours was trial by fire.
6) Don't let the hard times ruin a good trip, it will all work out.

I will end by telling you this, we got back to Ohio and immediately called Sirpilla RV/Camping World Akron, where we bought our unit. Dale Costicky has been helping us there and got us in quickly to assess the damage. They did, submitted for warranty repair with Crossroads and we are approved, all in about one week. I unfortunately must tell you we are in need of an entire new rubber roof as half of it pulled up from the adhesive. We are now waiting for a roof to come in and NOT ruin our next trip over Labor Day. So far, all customer service persons have done their job well and have seemed happy to do so. I just hope this is done correctly for years of trouble free use. And yes, I will argue with Crossroads to start my warranty over from the day it's finished.

By the way, the reason for the antenna failure; only 2 screws & some adhesive holding it down. Detailed pics to Crossroads made it a slam dunk case for me. Thanks for reading.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMAG0434-20140630-074820713 (1).jpg (230.9 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg IMAG0455-20140707-134426955 (1).jpg (78.3 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg IMAG0459 (1).jpg (76.1 KB, 16 views)
__________________
Jeff & Stacie + 2 kids
2014 Sunset Trail ST270BH
2014 Ram 1500 4x4, 5.7L Hemi 8 speed, 3.92
Propride 3P, Airlift 1000
MidOhioHunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2014, 08:34 PM   #2
Full Time Camper
 
Tim D's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: So IL
Posts: 1,811
Wow, Sounds like you certainly had an experience! Hope you get it all worked out to your satisfaction.
__________________

Tim
13 ST25RB
08 F-250 SC 6.8L XLT 4x4
Tim D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2014, 09:50 PM   #3
Site Team
 
mark5w's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: PA
Posts: 4,641
What a story and good information. Tomorrow I will putting some Eternabond tape in the Rv for roof emergencies.
__________________
Mark & Susan
Lehighton, Pennsylvania

'13 Cruiser Patriot 335SS - '13 Ford F150 SCREW - PullRite Superslide - Roadmaster Active Suspension
Member - "Northeast Crossroad Rally" & "Mason-Dixon Bunch"
mark5w is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2014, 04:11 AM   #4
Full Time Camper
 
Loneoak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Winchester, ON
Posts: 1,177
Thanks for posting! We can all learn something from other people's experience. If you don't get your dealer to fix it quickly, you can always go to the factory. It is not as far for you as it is for some of us. They do great service there.
__________________

2012 Cruiser Sahara 330SS
2015 F250 Super Duty diesel
Loneoak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2014, 07:23 AM   #5
Full Time Camper
 
Tim D's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: So IL
Posts: 1,811
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark5w View Post
What a story and good information. Tomorrow I will putting some Eternabond tape in the Rv for roof emergencies.
One of the first things I did. Water damage from a tear would happen quick.
__________________

Tim
13 ST25RB
08 F-250 SC 6.8L XLT 4x4
Tim D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2014, 08:53 AM   #6
Family Vacation Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: NC
Posts: 228
Jeff,

Just saw your post. We also 'broke in' our trailer this summer as it's brand new to us to. Our trip was more modest, from NC to TN (Smokey Mountains), then down to Georgia state parks for a while, before heading back up to NC mountains and them home. Total trip was 2 weeks. Only major issue I had was smashing the set bolt on my Equlizer Hitch at my first camping stop because I thought taking off the sway bards was a good idea when backing into a tight spot. Wound up messing up my hitch a bit, but all was well.
Thanks for sharing your story and experiences. Sounds like you handled it very well. Good job. I'm going to order some of that really sticky/expensive tape to have in my trailer before the next trip. I don't have any plans to go through the mid-west right now, but it's good to know.
Don't know what those AirLift bags are your talking about. Never heard of them.
Good Luck on the next trip. Now that you are a pro through trial by fire, you can handle anything
Mike
__________________
Toyota Tundra 2014 CM 5.7L
Sunset Trail 2014 ST270BH
Equalizer 1000/10000
nachtmsk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2014, 09:33 AM   #7
Seasonal Camper
 
ZT211RD's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Ohio
Posts: 255
As my wife and I read this we felt like we had written it.
Glad all is working out and everyone is safe.
__________________
Gary & Angela - Kilo & Sierra (K9s) Southwest Ohio
2000 GMC Sierra - 2014 Z1 ZT211RD
2015 - 28 Nights - 2248.4 miles.

2014 - 47 Nights - 1445.8 miles.
2013 - 44 Nights -
2154.8 miles.

ZT211RD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2014, 12:20 PM   #8
Family Vacation Member
 
MidOhioHunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: OH
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark5w View Post
What a story and good information. Tomorrow I will putting some Eternabond tape in the Rv for roof emergencies.
Yes, I see Eternabond in my future too. Once we get it back I'll be ordering some in hopes I NEVER have to use it.
__________________
Jeff & Stacie + 2 kids
2014 Sunset Trail ST270BH
2014 Ram 1500 4x4, 5.7L Hemi 8 speed, 3.92
Propride 3P, Airlift 1000
MidOhioHunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2014, 12:33 PM   #9
Family Vacation Member
 
MidOhioHunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: OH
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by nachtmsk View Post
Jeff,

Just saw your post. We also 'broke in' our trailer this summer as it's brand new to us to. Our trip was more modest, from NC to TN (Smokey Mountains), then down to Georgia state parks for a while, before heading back up to NC mountains and them home. Total trip was 2 weeks. Only major issue I had was smashing the set bolt on my Equlizer Hitch at my first camping stop because I thought taking off the sway bards was a good idea when backing into a tight spot. Wound up messing up my hitch a bit, but all was well.
Thanks for sharing your story and experiences. Sounds like you handled it very well. Good job. I'm going to order some of that really sticky/expensive tape to have in my trailer before the next trip. I don't have any plans to go through the mid-west right now, but it's good to know.
Don't know what those AirLift bags are your talking about. Never heard of them.
Good Luck on the next trip. Now that you are a pro through trial by fire, you can handle anything
Mike

I read your post on the troubles with you hitch. It really sounds like it wasn't set up properly by your dealer (bolts not tightened to spec). Don't bother with taking the spring bars off when backing in, they'll be fine as long as you don't jackknife the truck & trailer.

The bracket jackets work really well for taking the noise away but don't aren't worth a darn for sway control. I'll scrutinize my use of this product for each trip this point forward.

As far as the Airlift bags, they are helper airbags I installed in my rear coil springs to help keep the truck riding level (eliminate rear squat). They work well, almost too well as I found out. I'm finding that my inflation point isn't as much as I thought it would be, initially was 25 psi, but now I'm more in the 15-20 psi range. Just trying to find what works best for each situation and sometimes you just have to go by real world experiences.

Glad to hear your first big trip went pretty well, love the Smokey Mtns. We'll pass through on our way to SC next spring. Even after all the trouble we are already planning our next trips, SC next year, Black Hills (again) in 2 years and Yellowstone in 3 years. Need to head NE sometime, gotta get to VT, ME and upper NY. So little time.....
__________________
Jeff & Stacie + 2 kids
2014 Sunset Trail ST270BH
2014 Ram 1500 4x4, 5.7L Hemi 8 speed, 3.92
Propride 3P, Airlift 1000
MidOhioHunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2014, 05:31 PM   #10
Full Time Camper
 
socoguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: , RI
Posts: 1,163
In spite of all the challenges sounds like you really made the best of it and did not let it get the best of you.
Go Well.
__________________
Al Laura (Lily & Breeze Portie Girls)
2011 F250 6.7 PS Tuxedo Black 4x4
11 305SKP- TPMS- RideRite air bags
Reese 16K Slider Wet Bolts
socoguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Crossroads RV or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.