Very interesting information. Is this already factored into the occupancy percentages at snowbird parks, or is this a new problem? If new, is Canadian business expected to drop more than it already has?
I asked around some while in AZ last year, and heard several stories about Canadians selling out just due to the exchange rate. I did not hear the insurance problem mentioned.
Bordercollie, that's a good summary. Yes, the system is broken. As my wife keeps saying, imagine if I was not handy with these things. Most of the repairs were just work, not parts. When I weighed the hassle of taking it back again or doing it myself, properly, I felt better about doing it myself.
I don't know if this is an argument for buying used. Well, if the first owner is conscientious, then yes, it probably is. The second owner gets the benefit of all the bugs being fixed. But what if the first owner just lives with all the flaws, and they get worse, etc.?
I came down on the side of buy it new but cheap, expect to fix things, have a good rig in the end. I think that's how it worked out.
This is not a gripe post! I just thought it might be interesting to see a probably typical list of factory defects. This is for our 2014 Sunseeker Class C.
I will add, I fixed most of them myself. The dealership said they fixed some of them, but they didn't. They did fix the genset switch that was erratic. Other than that, they did not do much. We like our Sunseeker. I'm just saying, whatever you buy, be prepared to deal with stuff. Here it is:
2014 Sunseeker 2300 Chevy chassis, list of repairs
PROBLEMS FROM FACTORY OR SOON AFTER DELIVERY:
Dinette seats and table mis-installed, table won’t fit between seats
Dinette top works loose from mounting bracket (not enough screws)
Bath door latches poorly; pops open during travel
Polyethylene baggage bins poorly attached to body
Fuse box door won’t stay latched
FW fill hose has upward loop
Genset while off will make clicking noise. Once, it started up on its own.
Genset choke goes over-center and gets stuck there
Gasketing of battery compartment under step missed the corners, was in mid-air.
LED lights cause AM radio interference
Entry door binding and bending
Can see daylight around lower part of door area
WH T&P relief valve weeps when on electric heat (replaced, still happening).
Reverse-wired cig lighter 12v outlet by dinette, fried my 12v USB charger.
Roof-sidewall trim screws exposed to weather, not Dicor’d.
Rain gutters dump right onto inside of opened cab doors when exiting in rain.
Compartment in front of right rear wheels takes on water (poor application of foam sealant).
Poor radio reception (common in Class C’s with fender antenna).
Entry door gas strut too strong, bottom of door too weak. Flexing, will break.
(And, the flexing allows the door to slam into the awning arm if it’s out.)
Backsplash trim wallpaper in kitchen has bubbles. (Not a moisture problem)
Need to caulk exposed screws on ladder and bottom flange of compartment door openings.
Upgraded Serta mattress does not hold up. Replace with aftermarket.
IMO, as follows. Some are only offered as B+ models.
Top 3 quality:
LD is a traditional design, well thought out, refined over many years, you can tell it was built to camp in. Great airy feel due to big windows.
The other two are sleeker and more enclosed feeling.
A step down is Phoenix Cruiser. They only sell narrower B+ plans, with less exterior storage than traditional C's.
Nexus looks good to me. Owners seem to like them.
Next, probably Winnebago, maybe Jayco. They each have premium and value lines, though.
The value brands bring up the end of the list. (And we own one and like it.) Forest River Forester, Sunseeker, Coachmen; Thor, Fleetwood... am I missing any?
When you see the slab side construction, including the front facing wall behind the cab doors, you are in some part of "value" territory, and not in premium territory. IMO.
I'm not saying any of the above are bad. Every one represents some proposition of quality vs. value.
Regarding what you say are American's criticisms of the Acme, I would say that talk is cheap and most of those points are silly on the face of them.
How is the stress on the car any worse than four down towing?
I do hear the 10" tires wear quickly. But you can buy a lot of tires for the price difference of the swivel dollies versus the Acme. I'm told they are a standard boat trailer size, but in a less common heavy load range.
Arguing against LED trailer lights is stupid. They are common as dirt today.
Toad brakes get the same exposure behind the MH, and I have never heard of it being a problem. Brakes live in a nasty environment anyway.
Just reading that nonsense makes me think American is desperate.
I think the original idea was a swiveling dolly. Then someone realized it wasn't necessary because the car's front tires will swivel as needed. And it's a lot simpler, lighter, cheaper dolly that way.
As to the physics of the movements of each, you might be overthinking it. On a swivel dolly, the dolly tires track as needed, and the car swivels so its rear tires can do the same. On the Acme, the same thing happens. In terms of that tracking, the only difference is what is turning, the swivel pan or the car's steering.
A lot of newer cars don't have a steering lock. If you have one of those and you use a swivel dolly, you'll have to rig and un-rig your own steering lock each time you load and unload.
I found there is a pair of opposing holes already, on the front edge near the door side. I didn't have a bolt handy but I had a big spike nail the right diameter, so I cut it and dropped it in. It works.
I can no longer recommend the Chevy swivel base from Discount Van.
At least on ours, it can be swiveled without pulling the locking lever. More than once while going down the road, my wife has leaned around to the left to look at something or whatever, and the seat swiveled.
The latching setup is very crudely made. Photos below.
It looked like a simple fix. Just bend the round mild steel lever down to keep it in the notch, right? Well, it did not help at all. The lever contacts up high in the notch, at the top arrow in the photo. It never touches the notch in the vicinity of the bottom arrow, during any movement. When it contacts at the top of the notch, the notch just rides the lever on up and out. There must be too much play or deflection in the lever, and the notch is too wide.
Bending the lever down a reasonable amount did not help. And at some amount of extra bend, it creates an interference problem during the rest of the swiveling of the seat.
So far I'm thinking of drilling a hole in the two opposing plates, and dropping a bolt in. The other thing that seems to work in testing is to use a bungee to pull down on the lever. Or something else to keep the lever down until we release it.
A final idea is to use a round file in the upper part of the notch, and create an indent which would better capture the lever when someone turns the seat.
All in all, it's crudely made. Buyer beware. Photos below.
You might consider a 100w portable solar suitcase. With 100 feet of cable there will be some loss, but it will still be a useful setup.
I have one of those, and it's worthwhile IMO. I have since added 300w on the roof. That is great in the Southwest. But I still carry the portable.
Yes, if it is a 12v TV, you have a ground potential issue. I have the same thing in my 2014. I'll search my posts and see if I can give you the link to the discussion.
edit: Well, I cannot find it. But I can tell you the problem occurs when the TV is direct to 12 volts. If I run the TV off 120v, it's fine. There is some kind of ground loop potential problem. I'm not an electrical engineer.
One snag might be the pricing on 3 year old C's. I never see them at prices I like. If asking prices are accurate, I could get almost as much now for our 2014 as I paid for it. It was the same situation when we were in the market. It didn't make any sense to buy late model because they were almost the price of new. But we bought right by using a price from RVdirect.com to negotiate with dealers closer to home.
I think most people pay quite a bit more, and that keeps the resale up on late models. My suggestion is to get a price from RVdirect, apply 3 years worth of depreciation to that number, then see if you can find something. I guess 3 years of depreciation should total 25-30 percent?
I have not read the whole thread.
I installed two meters about the same as Mr Wizard got. I had a 200A one and a smaller one, 30 or 50A, I can't recall exactly. One for the whole house and one for the solar by itself.
After using them dry camping a few weeks last winter, I feel they are not all that accurate at measuring amps, unless you are in their sweet spot for current draw. I mean, they are "okay", barely. They will give you a rough idea of what you are charging or drawing.
They do net out the current if you are charging and discharging through the same shunt.
The controls are not super friendly. On one hand, it's a great little piece of tech for cheap, and a lot better than nothing. On the other hand, I can't recommend it. I think if you want good data and ease of use, spend more money.
Our Chevy Class C was fine, until it wasn't. Then it would barely take gas without shutting off. Then the next trip, after sitting several months, it was fine again. I decided it happened from topping off, and messing up the canister. So, no more topping off. So far so good.
I do seem to have to turn the nozzle to the side a bit, in any case.