There is a down side. If you lose power to the RV, the batteries will drain. I keep mine on a separate charger/maintainer plugged in to an RV AC outlet with the battery switch set to OFF. If power fails the charger will just stop but the batteries are disconnected from the parasitic loads of the RV so no discharge. You can guess why I do this...yeah I had a power failure and the batteries drained.
I also have a Trik-L-Start for the chassis battery.
Even in rural Texas, I am seeing ProMasters available for sale and being serviced, so the days of trying to find a Five Star Dodge dealer are gone. FCA (Fiat-Chrysler Autos) seems to be doubling down on the PM in the US, so my confidence on finding parts or service if broken down is high.
The Rialta would be hard to recreate, as a lot of it depends on the VW chassis, which hasn't been seen in the US since 2005. I'd say the Travato is a unit like the Rialta in many ways, even bringing some of the Rialta's quirks as well (the sump pump for the shower pan for example.)
The Trend, OTOH, is a different ballgame. I think it will attract the same cult following as the Rialta, but it doesn't have as many annoying quirks as the Travato. It is a foot fatter, taller, and two feet wider than the Travato, but it isn't huge.
So far, here are a list of things I've read about that are notable about the Trend:
1: The water heater appears to be a Girard heater. You use this somewhat opposite of how you use a normal tank heater. To lower the temperature of the water, you turn the hot water on more, turn the dial on the water heater control lower, or slowly add cold water. Oddball, but for unlimited length hot showers, not a bad trade-off in such a small rig. Beats trying to go into a bath-house where the stuff on the floor starts trying to eat your shower shoes.
2: The drop-down bed. It supports max 450 pounds. The 23B floor plan, you will get acquainted with this bed rather well (it is pretty much a couple inches short of a full queen in both dimensions). Make sure to knock over the seat cushions that are upright before dropping the bed. The 23L has a rear quarter bed... not really queen size, but large enough for two people. With the 23L floorplan, the drop down bed isn't really needed, but it is useful in a pinch to sleep that friend or family member, and is about 3/5 the size of the one in the 23B layout.
3: The generator is a 2800 watt model. It will start the 13.5k BTU/hr A/C with 300 watts to spare (as per Onan's documentation), but you are not going to be running the microwave or even the Keurig coffee maker with the compressor at full tilt.
4: The furnace has a thermostat, but the A/C has separate controls, which are located on the lower part of the unit on the ceiling. Another trade-off (since most "C"s tend to have a single thermostat for heat and A/C these days), but not a deal-killer unless one is too short to reach them, or has range of motion issues with the shoulder.
5: The propane tank is 13 gallons. With overhead for vapor, that is about ten gallons. I highly recommend an Extend-A-Stay unit be installed with this rig, so one can bring a couple 20# bottles on a hitch mounted rack.
6: With a 24 gallon fuel tank, you have 18 gallons of gas for the generator (the last 1/4 will be reserved for the engine), and at the genset running full tilt, that is 36 hours of use... to 72 hours, if the generator is only lightly loaded. One can always use a hitch mounted rack with five gallon fuel cans to extend this if needed.
7: The 23L floorplan has more outside storage by almost a factor of two than the 23B, due to the space taken up by the corner bed. However, the 23B has a bigger bathroom and kitchen.
8: From what I was told, the RV converter is a single stage model, so a three stage converter upgrade is a must. With the limited battery capacity (~110 amp-hours, I'm guessing since there is just a single group 31 AGM battery), there isn't much point in anything but a 300 watt inverter for charging tablets, smartphones, cordless tools, and such. There isn't much outside storage, so I don't think there is much room for a secondary battery bank.
So, for boondocking, the solution is probably a solar array, coupled with having a small 1000 watt generator whose sole goal in life is to power the converter. The onboard genset can do this, but .1 gallon of gasoline used by a 1000 watt generator is definitely more thrifty than 0.2 gallon per hour of a 2800 watt genset. Plus, the 1000 watt generator can be moved a distance away for less vibration/noise.
Of course, I can tee off the propane line near the stove (adding a ball valve after the tee fitting for safety reasons), and plop a Buddy heater on the kitchen counter. This would definitely spare the battery and provide adequate heat, but I rather avoid that unless nothing else will do, especially if the coach is not completely winterized.
Another idea for long boondocking runs is an enclosed cargo trailer with a couple solar panels, a few batteries, and an inverter (so the Trend can be plugged into it for charging its relatively puny-tastic house battery. Expensive, but since I go to a festival and have the same campsite for months on end, having a trailer sitting there with full batteries ready to be plugged into is a better alternative to running a generator at night.
9: No solar, although I'm sure that can be retrofitted. I am not sure how much usable space exists on top, but I'm sure 200-300 watts of panels can be added on with a MPPT controller to keep the AGM house jar topped off.
10: It has heated tanks (electrical), and optional heated drains. Be aware that these eat battery life, as they are electric heating elements, so these are not that usable while boondocking.
Hate to be long-winded, but I like taking the time to doublecheck quirks about a rig before buying.
Good writeup. Did you by chance get any OCCC numbers for them?
Call me crazy but I'd suggest you follow the manufacturer's instructions while that '14 is in warranty. Besides, those (many OPs here) who use the MotorCraft SynBlend Oil (and their brand of filter) haven't had complaints.
Ford's recommendation, Ford's change intervals, keep receipts. Sure, if something goes wrong, Ford "has to prove" that your deviation from their plan contributed to the problem, but why set up for a potential issue?
If the oil meets the spec Ford calls out for the vehicle they have nothing to complain about if there's a warranty claim.
As has been said be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendation as to break in period before switching to syn (if any).
If you really want to get serious do a 1000 mile oil change before the first scheduled change. That will help get any extra manufacturing debris out of the motor.
Here is another interesting thing I found out when insurance adjuster was here. She noticed a small spot on the drivers door window rubber seal around the window. It was a small cut right evan with the window lock for sliding window. On the inside of the window was a "dimple" lined up perfectly with the small cut outside. Is it possible that they know how to break in thru a window door seal. Doesn't seem likely the way the window frames are designed, but then, I am not a scum-bag crook, but it is ironic that it is there.
If you've ever seen somebody open a door with a slim jim, you'll never put much faith in a door lock again.
Like the others said, check the coolant level. Some systems may need to be burped when you fill it back up too to get an air lock out. Beyond that, the blocked heater core but that's a long shot. Also make sure the doors and baffles are actually opening to allow air flow to/from the heater core. Also if there's a valve that regulates the flow to the heater core make sure it's operating.
My bride changes the bedding in our rear corner queen (24' C), about once a week when we are on the road. It takes her all of about 5 minutes, tops. Fitted sheet on the bottom holds itself in place nicely, center and spread the top sheet and tuck it in, add a blanket or two as needed (we never bother with a bedspread) and you are done. Why is this so difficult for so many? :h
I guess since we were boaters for 35+ years it just does not occur to us that this should be a problem. We can both get in or out of bed without disturbing the other and we really did not want anything bigger than our 24 footer.
I think a lot of folks here are searching for a solution for which there is no known problem (the government does this a lot). :B
I'm still trying to figure out where the issue is too. We use sheets/comforter on top and in winter add an alpaca hide to the inside. Yeah we can't walk around it but no big deal.
Good grief, none of you were in the boy scouts????? I remember for the one level they gave me two matches and had to make a fire and cook .................. there was 15" of snow on the ground!
No problem other then finding dead wood, that done all that was needed was a knife and a hatchet. All the wood was frozen and wet! The key to making it very easy was finding some Birch bark (almost considered cheating). Birch bark burns very hot even wet.
Get a boy scout handbook an learn about camping!
I see you're from Michigan. Out here in the Pacific Northwet (intentional spelling) coastal region things are a bit different during the winter. You can ask Lewis and Clark about that. It is friggin' damp.
Having made that point, during the damp season I keep my kindling in the RV. I also empty the paper shredder and take the contents in a paper bag. It makes a pretty fast big flame to start things off. corrugated cardboard boxes used to haul stuff get re-purposed as fire starting material too. I tend to not use liquid fuels. Preparation of the fire before starting will get you where you need to be usually (and earlier post was quite good regarding that).
Regarding dealing with wet wood, the people that suggested splitting are right on. Generally if you open it up you can get to the dry core. I have my firewood in pretty large pieces and split it (as I use it) before putting it on the fire anyway. That helps keep it from getting soaked through. It often gets damp while being transported, even if under a tarp.
One shouldn't be putting 6 inch diameter logs on a fire unless feeding a raging inferno for a big group. Smaller pieces of wood work much better. I see lots of folks putting big lumps of wood on and then fighting to keep the the fire going as it peters out (how my brother does it).
It's pretty easy to do too. If you want to be clever you can add some strategic flexible couplings too. It makes plumbing less prone to stress cracking. It makes it so you can remove plumbing too if needed.
In addition to using the city sewer without paying for the service, her fresh water system didn't pass code either. There are rules for water systems for homes. There are methods for catching and purifying rain water (they are used in Hawaii) so it's not like there's no way to do it.
The paint from an air brush is going to be very thin compared to what was shot on the RV. You'll have the color but you'll still have the depth of the scratch (es). I'd give it a try. You can get a suction feed air brush at Harbor Freight for dirt cheap. You won't be shooting precision stuff with it so it probably will work OK.
with 4 of us we are about 600#. Again, I can't tow a trailer if I carry water? The owner carries 4 passengers (husband, wife, 2 kids) tools, clothes, food, extra 40 gallons of water (extra 40 gal tank installed under bed), and tows a trailer with 4 quads. Says it tows great and stops great. Never a problem.
Until you have a collision then find out your insurance is void.
I believe insurance co would hav eto prove that overweight CAUSED the accident. IMO...Assumption would not make a case for liability claim.
Part of insurance is in case you do something dumb...including illegal stuff. It would have to be written into the policy as an exclusion for coverage.
This s the exact reason the feds stepped in and standardized the weight rating and placarding process for RVs. Nowadays (since 2009 or so) OCCC is defined the same between RVs and the weights must be placarded in a standardized place.
OCCC is a bit different from most (and there are more than one) definitions of CCC.
OCCC is cargo + water (grey, black, potable) + people. The base weight of the vehicle is empty with all added options included in the weight +full LP plus full fuel (for motorhomes). They also are required to state the weight of water so you can make the trades to stay within weight if needed.
liked it until I got to the TPO roof. don't know why they didn't make it fiberglass.
Bumpy, I see a lot of comments from you against TPO roofing materials and they may steer perspective buyers in the wrong direction.
You should educate yourself on the pros and cons of TPO vs fiberglass as they are both excellent roofing materials.
Here is a good article for you to read.
There's a surprise. The head sales guy of a rubber roof company slagging on fiberglass roofs and pushing his product.
The only useful nugget I found in there was that the rubber roofs are cheaper. That says it all to me.
Good idea if you've got the space for it. We keep our iron in flannel bags (with a divider inside to separate the lid) made out of dish towels. We can keep them oiled that way, they don't attract dust bunnies, and the flannel stops any clanking while driving.