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Topic: B+ motorhomes

Posted By: Daniel C. on 02/25/02 09:07pm

I just bought a Trail Lite B+ 211s with 8.1 Chevy
engine. This is my fifth motorhome (others range
from an old 20' Vagabond, and three Winnegagos, from 19 to 32'. This vehicle is fantastic. I am
using it as a mobile office (and sneaking in a fun
journey from time to time). It gets about 9.5mpg
and I believe I could pull a bus behind it if I wanted! I paid low $40's which is about what I had expected to pay for a five or six year old Chinook with a nicer interior, but fewer features
(slide). I am delighted thus far.

* This post was edited 08/20/07 10:14am by an administrator/moderator *

2006 Lexington 235S; 6.8L Ford E450,
2005 30RLS Outback Sydney Edition,
2007 Jeep Compass
2009 Mini Cooper S

Posted By: bagman on 02/26/02 03:22am


Posted By: labtek on 02/26/02 03:13pm

Daniel, There is a tremendous interest in the Trail Lite B+. Please keep us posted as you roll up some miles. For starters,how do you like the dual wheels as they affect handling and ride? I expect the fuel mileage will improve after break- in. Any thoughts on that? Finally,any comments on the bed? That is one feature that seems not up to par with the rest of the design. Thanks for any thoughts you might have.-------Labtek

Posted By: Daniel C. on 02/27/02 06:37pm

Labtek; I have already driven 1500 miles in two weeks!. I will average about 500 a week for the next couple of months,then about 1200 a month. I do not expect mileage to increase much, but I am having so much fun with that engine that I really don't care (a different tone will prevail when gas returns to $2 a gallon!). I had driven about four different brands from a couple of Rialta's, and three van conversion brands, one with fancy air bags, that could be adjusted from the cab and all at least 20K more new, and none with the same room. They all were rather vague on the highway. My Trail Lite is much more stable (due to the duals probably). I plan to use the slide a lot, and that may be achilles' heel in the construction. I suspect that the mechanism was not designed for repeated use, and may begin to separate over time. Added screws will help there. I plan to put a swivel under the passenger's seat at some time in the future. I also plan to get some pads for the couch and dinette (for better sleeping). Both are only about 40" wide, and though the unit is rated to sleep 4, I suspect that they grow pretty small people at the factory!
Since I do not plan to sleep in the unit much, I am not much concerned with that. In fact, I have been thinking about getting a sizeable trailer in the future to pull behind the B+ when I am retired and want to stay in one place for longer periods than a couple of days. Sorry for the long reply.... I have obviously been obsessing a lot over this vehicle over the past few months!

Posted By: mdreilly on 02/27/02 09:15pm

I just noticed on the Moturis website ( that they have a new D-21 'supervan' for rent, and it looks like the Trail-Lite 21 ft. They have locations around the country so it might be a good way to try one and see if you like it.

Michael Reilly
Golden CO
Reilly's Law: You can prove something is possible by doing it. You can not prove something is impossible by not doing it.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 02/27/02 10:08pm

The Motorhome in Moturis is a Trail Lite, but not the slide model. The slide uses a different couch, which is somewhat smaller, but with better quality covering. With the slide extended, the interior gives the feel of a much larger coach. I drove a version like the one listed in Moturis, but, with the 5.7L engine it is not as inspiring to drive in traffic. Those two additions (engine and slide) give an entirely different feel (driving and parked) to the 211s model with the larger engine. To put the power in perspective, drive a class A with the 8.1 workhorse chassis, then imagine the same engine with about 5,000 fewer pounds, a low center of gravity, and begin to grin.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 03/11/02 09:00pm

Update time!

Another 1000 miles. Engine is using about a quart of oil every 2000 miles. Settling in on about 10 mpg. I am still "playing" with it some,and haven't really tried to get the best mileage, but do not anticipate better than 10.5. On the other hand, if I wanted to, this vehicle would easily top 100 mph! And quiet on the road! I have had some discrepancies though; the slide is going to need adjusting - the bottom makes contact before the top, so leaking will be a given until fixed. I love that slide, but suspect I will be cussing at it in a couple of years! There have apparently been a couple of errant screws that caused some engine electrical problems (fixed quickly at factory expense), and the factory stereo only works on mono (I suspect that there may be a speaker wiring problem causing this - I will get fixed, because I want to put my own better stereo in and don't want to have to troubleshoot the speaker wiring myself). The dealer and factory have been great on making things right. I haven't bought a new rv in fifteen years, but am very pleased. Any time I am tempted to wish I had gotten a more expensive unit (any Dynamax, Chinook, even an Xplorer), I get in my new PT Cruiser Limited Edition and take a ride (about the difference in the next more expensive unit).

Posted By: AJRV on 03/11/02 10:09pm

We just purchased a new B Touring Cruiser by Gulf Stream. 23.9'with slide. It has a V-10 Ford engine. It sounds similiar to the Trail Lite B. I'll give an update on ours after we take a few trips in it. We moved up from a Roadtrek. We needed a bit more room. I sure hated to part with the Roadtrek but, life goes on. AJ

Posted By: crewcut on 03/12/02 10:35am


I have also been looking at the Gulfstream - is your coach on the Chevy chassis or the Ford? Please keep us posted on your experience with it.


Posted By: Daniel C. on 03/12/02 08:55pm


Looks like you got a sweet RV. I was not aware of that unit when I was shopping, and it looks like the price is about 5+K more. It also looks like you have some trim upgrades over the Trail Lite (wheels, bath, steps, etc.). Is your slide an electric or manual unit? Mine is manual. Probably more reliable, but I never know how much to twist the crank at the end of travel. I am currently driving about 600 miles a week and will continue to drive at that pace until May, when I plan to get the discrepancies fixed, and start sharing my work driving with my PT Cruiser. I really believe that you will be excited about the increased stability of the duals over the usual single rear tires of B's. I find the handling deceiving. Sometimes, I inadvertently forget the mass I am hauling and lean too much in turns (too fast). The chassis can handle that fine, but the usual junk in the cabinets complains as it shifts around! Curious about your gas mileage as you go. I have read that the V10 gets a little better mileage than the chevy 8.1. It is interesting what drives a buy decision in a vehicle of this size. I suspect that you will forget your B shortly, as you stretch out, and perhaps have a better handling vehicle to boot. I was trying to compromise between my old 1986 28' Winnebago Chieftan (bought new in 87), and a fairly new Winstar. I sold them both for the Trail Lite.

Posted By: Br- on 03/14/02 04:05pm

I just bought a new B+, 26 ft. model 251, 8.1 Ltr.
Haven't been on the road with it yet. I have been reading your comments with interest, and was wondering if your's came with a jack. Are your outside mirrors adjustable up and down or just left and right? Any tips you can offer?


Posted By: Daniel C. on 03/14/02 08:15pm

The mirrors are adjustable in both directions. If you look up the mounting stalk, you can see a pivot for up and down movement. I didn't get a jack or lug wrench. I let the tire down and looked behind it to see (I'll send you a cleaning bill for my trousers). I did note that the owner's manual discourages owners from tire changing! I changed the inside dual on my old Winnebago one time several years ago, and will probably use the cell phone jack instead of a tire jack from now on! I'll try to keep folks posted as time goes by, since I plan to put 15-20K miles in the first year.

Posted By: Br- on 03/16/02 04:34pm

Took the B+ on a test drive, 70 mi. to relatives house. Two miles before we got there, the "check engine soon" light came on. No idea what caused it, maybe an emmission problem. Drove 70 mi. home and two blocks from our house the trans started acting up. Pulled in the drive, backed up to straighten out and couldn't pull forward.
Wouldn't move. Dealer said to have it towed to a chevy dealer and they would pay for it. So there it sits! Won't know anything until monday.

Hope it's just a computer glitch and nothing major. Still on the first tank of gas. And you think you have problems with dirty pants. (just

Bruce & Sue
2007 pleasure-way excel-ts
Previously owned:'02 Trail-lite B+

Posted By: Daniel C. on 03/16/02 07:23pm

I am just about convinced that if you can get through the first 5-10k miles, the rest is easy.
Sorry to hear about your problems. I assume that the Chevy dealer you talked to has sufficient lift capacity to handle your unit. Otherwise, it shouldn't be much different than getting an Impala worked on. The transmission you have has been around for awhile, so you can either figure that the problem is minor, or it is good to get a defective transmission replaced early in the wear cycle. My unit had an engine light show up before I took delivery. The service department set up an appointment before I got the coach with the Chevy folks, and they replaced an Oxygen sensor, but found (after several hours of trouble shooting)that a screw had penetrated part of the vehicle wiring harness during the coach construction. In spite of the potential for mutual finger pointing, R vision authorized payment with no delay. Total time down was two days! I look at the first couple of months as more of a "shakedown cruise" than buying a new car and try to be patient about some system failures, resulting from one of many suppliers of equipment for the coach.

Posted By: Br- on 03/19/02 02:59pm


Apparently the clutch housing was cracked in the process of installation. The stress of driving broke the housing apart and in turn destroyed the clutch. New parts on the way and we should have the RV back on thursday or friday. Things happen I guess, but never expected something like this.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 03/19/02 05:08pm

I assume you are talking about the transmission clutches in the automatic transmission. You could have had the same thing happen on a 100k Chinook with the same chassis! I guess we could get angry with quality control with the Canadians whom I believe built the chassis! Good luck on your repairs. I have determined that my slide is out of adjustment. the bottom makes contact before the top when extended - a recipe for leaks. As long as it is buttoned up, I am fine. I have already notified the dealer of a number of items to be fixed in about three weeks. They are very cooperative, and will coordinate my leaving the coach with them for a few days.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 03/24/02 05:41pm

Just changed the oil for the first time. The Chevy dealer quoted $69 for an oil change! I got it done at Jiffy Lube for $32! That engine appears to use a quart every 2,000 miles, which is comparable to the 454 chevy in my last motorhome. I can tell that I am a little more tired after driving it in traffic, but the difference between the B+ and a regular commute vehicle is really minimal. One difference I seem to notice is that other traffic assumes I cannot accelerate as well as other cars, and pull in front quite a bit. Parking is pretty easy also. Last week I parked in a parallel spot, and cars parked on either side of me with only about a foot of clearance on each end. Though it took several "back and forth" movements I suprised myself how easy it was to get away. The back steps protrude a few inches, which gives some additional movement when turning sharply in both directions. Also the overhang swings the rear more.
I am looking at replacing the rims and hubcaps with aftermarket wheels (aluminum or stainless). I would get the stainless liners, but am concerned about wheel balance with those - especially the rear wheels. Any ideas on replacement wheels for $5-700?

Posted By: Br- on 03/26/02 12:32pm

Update on B+ transmission:

Chevy dealer worked on the trans last week, replaced a few parts but it was shifting hard. They decided to replace the whole trans, supposedly ordered one from Detroit. We are still waiting as the trans has not come in yet.
We were planning to leave saturday for Virginia Beach, and right now it looks like the trip will be canceled. Kind of ironic, the chevy dealer said the trans was built right here in Toledo. The dealer we bought the RV from has not been very helpful. They just want to know what the problem is so they can decide if they will continue to sell the B+'s or not. At this point we are very disgusted with the whole mess.

Hope you have better luck with yours.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 03/26/02 06:43pm

I am sorry that you are having such a problem with your new vehicle. There seems to be an unspoken tension between chassis manufacturers and rv manufacturers. Imagine if the chevy dealer felt that the crack in the transmission case was the fault of a blow during the coach manufacturing process! I know that here (New Braunfels, Tx), the relationship seems to be pretty cooperative. While my coach was in the chevy shop getting a oxygen sensor replaced, the dealer was troubleshooting a misfire that I had complained about. They found that an errant screw had penetrated a vehicle wiring harness during construction - cost to troubleshoot and fix was over $600, and the R-Vision people approved the work almost instantly. The total time my vehicle was out of commission was two days. Don't give up on your trip yet. If they can get the transmission in by Thursday, they should be able to slap that baby in Friday and you could leave Saturday easily! Please give yourself some time to get used to your vehicle before deciding that having a hotel on wheels is folley. I have put about 4,500 miles on a similar chassis in less than two months, and am really pleased with its performance overall.

Posted By: CJB on 03/26/02 07:03pm

I agree about the tension between the Coach and chassis manufacturers. I have had quite a fight with Dodge with our Roadtrek- it seems that their pat answer with any problem is that it is the "conversion" that is causing the problem. I have also had bad luck with the Roadtrek dealer being willing to fix certain things, while Home&Park is very good about calling back and saying such problems should have been fixed under warranty. My problems and others that I have heard about have made me feel very reluctant to ever purchase new again.

Posted By: MacHokie on 03/26/02 09:47pm

Hey Daniel C. What is the latest with your 211s slide out? My wife and I are on the fence about purchasing a 211s. We really like the unit, but we don't want to deal with a rash of quality issues. Any thoughts? Thanks!

*This Message was edited on 26-Mar-02 09:48 PM by MacHokie*

Posted By: Daniel C. on 03/27/02 04:30pm

I can understand that you are worried about quality issues, especially after reading the thread. I have bought five new (and four used) rv's over the past thirty years. The highest dollar model was a 1986 Winnebago Chieftan. They all had problems for a while after I took delivery. I cannot talk to the high dollar vehicles (like Xplorer, Dynamax products, or Chinook, but many of the appliances are similar. Usually the exterior and interior trim is the difference. In short, if you are satisfied that you like the way the 211S rides, and looks, I would get the best price and go for it. If the slide is what you are attracted to, I don't believe that there are any other offerings than the Gulf Stream, and Trail Lite. I am not familiar with the Gulf Stream personally, but believe that it is a little better trimmed, a little longer, and a few thousand dollars more. I am very comfortable driving my motorhome, both in rush hour traffic (San Antonio), on Interstate driving, and on two lane highways. I have very good power (I do not recommend the chevy 5.7 engine which was only adequate at sea level, and probably only gets 15-20% better mileage). The Ford engines may be good also, but I do not believe that the V10 gets any better mileage, and the chevy seems to have much better numbers for the same price. Maybe the 5.4L Ford would work well, since the motorhome is pretty light. I get about 10mpg in all around driving, which is acceptable to me. Be sure to get a quote from if you are working with a local dealer. Their price does not include delivery, so figure at least a thousand (maybe a little less to the Boise area) for that. I assumed from the beginning that there were going to be more warranty claims than other units I have bought, but the difference in price, and the fact that most of the vehicle is the same as more expensive ones convinced me to go for it, and I am still delighted. I assume from your profile that you are in the Air Force? I retired about 13 years ago out of Nellis - staying in for a 20 year career was one of the few really smart life decisions I ever made. Good luck in your career!

Posted By: mdreilly on 03/27/02 07:00pm

It's maybe a little more expensive but the Phoenix Cruiser offers slide outs in the B+ category. Our local dealer has a 21" with slide that looks very nice.

Posted By: MacHokie on 03/27/02 10:19pm

Thanks for the words Daniel. We thought the 5.7 liter would be sufficient with it's 325lbs of tourque on such a lightweight rig. We are still debating our options. Not too many dealers out here in Idaho, we have to travel quite a ways to see the rv's we are interested in. I would love to take a look at the Phoenix Cruiser 21 footer. That's a 7 hour drive to the neartest dealer though. The Gulfstream with the slide is too big for us at 23 feet. I am in my 9th year on active duty, currently flying the F-15E Strike Eagle. I hope they let me keep doing it for another 11 years! Thanks again!

Posted By: Daniel C. on 03/27/02 10:52pm

I would urge you to drive a 5.7 unit before buying one. I drove one in Boerne Tx, expecting to order that version. The salesman urged me to order the 8.1. I found the smaller engine adequate, but not inspiring, and followed his advise against my instincts that I ALWAYS know better than a salesman! Think of towing a boat or other vehicle, before deciding. As for test drives, get in touch with some dealers in Las Vegas, and strike Nellis with your Eagle. Then you can decide if it's worth driving down there with your family!

Posted By: Tilla on 04/01/02 09:31am

Dear experts on the American Motor home scene!
I sincerely hope someone will take the trouble to enlighten me on the following: I am a South African mother visiting my son who is graduating (grade 12) at Interlochen, MI. I would love to rent a motor home (minibus converted into a caravan, we would say in South Africa.) This I would like to rent in Michigan (any city) or even in Chicago for 2 weeks. Do small motor homes exist in the USA? Is the normal drivers licence for sedan legal? Thank you in anticipation! Tilla Henkins

Posted By: Daniel C. on 04/06/02 02:51pm

I just looked at a 24' Conquest (by Gulfstream) at Camping World in New Braunfels. I must say that the unit looked pretty impressive to me. I will try to compare the strengths over the Trail Lite and the disadvantages
Pluses: Conquest has better seats (leather front seats), better wheel covers, dry bath, a little nicer interior, larger 2door refer, electric slide (I'm not sure it's better, but is more expensive than my crank out system), electric steps; Extended, it appears a little roomier inside.
Minuses: Conquest appears to be $7-8,000 more. It is 2 feet longer, and heavier. Has the Ford chassis (I prefer the Chevy 8.1). I didn't drive it, but I suspect that the heavier weight makes it feel more like a motorhome than the Trail Lite (I believe that the Trail Lite is about 8,500 lbs wet and loaded, with a chassis capability of 12,300 lbs).
I am still happy with my choice, but the marketplace is waking up to B+ sizes, which is good for everyone shopping for a good "in between sized" motorhome. I also wonder if resale will favor the Trail Lite, since every vehicle regresses to $0 in time!

*This Message was edited on 06-Apr-02 02:54 PM by Daniel C.*

Posted By: Daniel C. on 04/15/02 09:37pm

Just got my Trail Lite back from a list of things needing correcting. My first concern was that the bottom of the slide was making contact when extended, and I feared leaking during a rainstorm. The factory rep told the dealer that this is planned, and the large seal at the top will keep water out. There is still some reinforcing that needs to be done on the front of the slide - just quality control. The dealer has several in stock and I will begin looking at some of the construction to see if they continued making some of the same mistakes. I had a fantastic vent installed (with the thermostat, but not the rain shutoff feature), and love it. When I ordered the unit, I didn't order the $300 CD player, so I installed a Kenwood, with a pair of Kenwood speakers in front. The stereo went in easily, but the speakers were a pain in the a**. the door has a rivited extension to accomodate the factory 6.5 " speaker, and I had to work with my dremel to fabricate a suitable secure mount for the replacement speakers (which frankly don't make a lot of difference in the sound). I believe I am going to put in a "canceling" phone jack in the back to mount some old Radio Shack bookshelf speakers I have to replace the factory speakers when I want to plug in the other speakers. I will have to use the other type of jack to not mess up the impedence of the rear speaker circuit.
I am still getting about 10mpg. Planning a trip to the Valley in Texas in about a month. I will drive 65 for that trip to see what kind of mileage to expect under the most conservative conditons.
still love it!

Posted By: bhk on 04/21/02 09:07am

Please tell us, how do you like it?
we are lookingat the BT cruisers

what problems have you had (if any)?

Posted By: Daniel C. on 04/23/02 10:28pm

I am beginning to see some binding in the slide. Fortunately, I don't have to worry about an electric motor freezing up, since it uses a manual crank. Don't really know if there is an adjustment I can make to get everything to go smoothly. Also am struggling with an annoying problem of water being syphoned out of the water tank. I do a lot of driving in city streets and the water probably sloshes around a lot as a result. I had thought that it was being pulled out of the vent tube, but I now think that it just gets pushed out of the fill tube. I may have to install a one way valve of some sort to correct this (easier to do this myself than to leave two or three days at dealer). Driving on rough roads is taking a toll on the drawers (I can't keep any weight in them, because they get bounced off the rails, and the microwave is apparently supported by the shroud around it - it needs more support on the bottom. The bouncing is tearing the shroud at the corners. Those things will get done by the dealer. I already have 6,000 miles that I have driven on it in about 10 weeks! Got to start sharing the driving with my other car, but I just love having my "office" with me! The 211S model really has 2 single beds rather than doubles (40"wide and a single mattress is 39"). Stay thin if you are more than 2 people!

Posted By: Br- on 04/24/02 07:31pm

We just got out B+ back yesterday from the rv dealer, sat there for two wks. and hadn't even been looked at until we called the owner of the dealership and told him what was going on. Very
poor service. Anyway, an oxygen sensor was replaced (check engine light) and they also replaced the fuel filter, but not sure why. Poor reception in the radio, but nothing was done about that. A few other minor problems were taken
care of. We also had a problem with the drawers bouncing around some. One with the silverware actually flew off the track. The fresh water tank was also dripping from the drain tube, bad shutoff valve. We'll be taking our next trip the middle of May and will check for any more problems then. You're right about the beds, not quite enough room, but we can live with it.

Posted By: Wade K. on 04/24/02 07:58pm

Gee guys, you're scaring me away from B+'s! ;^)

Posted By: Daniel C. on 04/24/02 10:40pm

Are you actually in the market? I am finding problems that seem to mirror Br's to some extent. What I am experiencing is primarily a combination of a few engineering errors, and some quality control problems. I feel like a test pilot in the "lead the force" program (an old Air Force program where they would identify a number of new aircraft and fly the crap out of them to see what problems they would have after accumulating a bunch of hours). The problems I am having are mostly annoying, because I don't want to be without my unit while they get fixed (I am spoiled). They are going to need to add some support for the microwave, and the drawers. "Why is it that there is never enough time to do it right, but there is always enough time to do it over"! The Trail Lite B+ series is in its second year, and the slide is new this year. Overall, I am pretty happy, and the more I drive it, the more confident I am with the overall power, handling, and versitility. I plan to drive about 20,000 miles the first year, and 15,000 or so the second and beyond. I am going to look at how well it is holding up at about 34,000 miles and decide if the quality is sufficient to last 100K+ miles. If not, I will sell before it is out of warranty; if yes, I start saving for the inevitable repairs (that I can't do). As I had said before, if I were going to primarily use it for personal use, and the extra couple of feet are not a driveability issue, I might be tempted to look more at the BT Cruiser. They are "prettier". I just don't know how they would feel in the kind of driving I do. I saw one at Camping World in New Braunfels, and was impressed with how nice it is for a few thousand more (about 3-5K), but there is not as close a comparison as the Chinook, due to the different layout. I am frankly not sure if the light weight was a big engineering priority, but I might have added a couple of hundred pounds of gelcoat, better hardware, and deeper carpet, and charged another $2000. I would have still bought it!

Posted By: Wade K. on 04/25/02 01:00am

Hey Daniel, Nope, just a fan for a few years before I buy. The hightop Class B era looks about over. I expect quite a few more B+ models soon. I just can't get enthusiastic about them until I seen a floorplan I like. Idealy for me it(non hightop) would have a rear living/sleeping area. But that's a personal preference. All in all, as long as Sportsmobile will let me design my floorplan I'll buy from them. With good planning the size difference will be minimal. Wade

Posted By: Daniel C. on 04/25/02 06:07pm

I seriously doubt that you will ever see a couch in the back, due to the overhang. I suspect that seating will usually stay in the front, near the center of gravity for passenger comfort. Now, a permanent bed is another matter. Br's 25' B+ has a bed in the back now. I believe his wheelbase is longer than mine (mine is 139"). I can turn it almost as sharply as my PT Cruiser! Anyway, I would anticipate that R Vision will start adding a slide in that model soon, and it will still be lighter than most of the other brands. If you are still a few years out from a decision, I can imagine there will be some neat additions by then! I suspect that there are some really good RV's available in Europe, since they have had to think smaller from the beginning.

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 04/27/02 03:15pm

AJVR -- your post of March 11 indicated you bought a BT Cruiser with slide. How's it working out? We've got that one, the Phoenix Cruiser 21' and the Trail Lite 211S in our sights.


Posted By: Wade K. on 04/28/02 11:41am

You're right about no couch in the back but the real question is: is a 25' motorhome a B+? Nope, it's a C, albeit with a sharper design than your average Class C. If you're going that long take a look at Phoenix USA's 2550 model, possibly the sharpest "B+" out there, although it's a C. Don't understand why they went with a rubber roof though. Wade

Posted By: Daniel C. on 04/28/02 02:39pm

I guess you are right about the size. I am struck by my ability to park in a standard sized parking space. Usually, I look for one where I can pull up into an adjacent space, or back into an end space. I took my wife, son, daugher in law, and grandsons (2) to the night fiesta parade in San Antonio last night. I parked two blocks from the seats I had purchased, and the only delay working my way out was waiting for the car in front to leave. There were 500,000 people there and I never felt "too big". I also agree with the rubber roof. WHAT IS THE DEAL with rubber roofs. It's like fixing a problem that didn't exist. My 15 year old Winnegago had a sheet of aluminum on the roof with the same sealing on the edges as my current roof. It did require resealing every few years, but remained secure from the time I bought it for fifteen years. I cringe every time I pass under any leaves making contact wiht the roof, let alone branches wiht my RUBBER ROOF!

Posted By: Daniel C. on 05/05/02 10:38pm

I now have 8300 miles (actually 6900 that I drove). Second oil change. Still using about one quart per 2000 miles. I am spending $32 for an oil change and lube. If I did the work myself, it would cost me $15-20 in parts/oil. A good deal. On the other hand the Onan costs $50-60 to change about 11/2 quarts of oil and no filter (I guess there is no oil pump on the 3600rpm models - uses splash method of lubricating the bearings(?). That doesn't inspire confidence, but Onan warranties the unit for two years, so I don't care. I changed that myself. I "tried" to keep speed under 65 on highway in my commute last week and got 11mpg. I am going to drive 300 miles non-stop this week, and will force myself to cruise at 65. We'll see if those claims of 12 are realistic.

*This Message was edited on 05-May-02 10:40 PM by Daniel C.*

Posted By: Daniel C. on 05/12/02 09:06pm

Well, I thought that I was going to get such great gas mileage on a "real trip". I drove from New Braunfels, tx to Harlingen, then to South Padre Island, then back over three days. I purposefully limited speed to 65mph on the way there, but had a 20-30 constant head wind, and got just under 10 on the way there. I basically said to hell with the speed and returned at about 70 with a similar tail wind and got about 10.5 on the return. Handling was easy throughout (especially during the return). Once in Harlingen, I set up the slide and put an "isoform pad" that I ordered from a hospital supply company on the net (twin size) on the couch and made up a regular bed for my wife. I slept on the dinette with a sleeping bag, so I could get up and have a place to sit early in the morning with minimum hassle. The bed (couch) was incredibly comfortable. I really need to get another pad for the dinette. they can be stored under the couch during travel, and in the front seats when the slide is extended. I had enough room for an extra large kennel (wire folding) for our male Boxer in front of the couch, backed into the cab area with the seats forward. I put the other large plastic cage on the other side of the couch (for our female Boxer). That was just too restricting for access to cabinets, so I will make different arrangements next trip (probably put a folding gate on the other side to keep the female from "visiting" during the night. There are plenty of places to keep bedding, dog cages, computers, and other gear, and really a minimum of noise. The drawers on the bottom need strengthening, and the microwave isn't supported sufficiently in the back.
Once back this evening, we cleaned out the vehicle, and I prepared it for "work" tomorrow.

Posted By: Wade K. on 05/12/02 10:51pm

Aren't Boxers great?! Had 1 when I was a kid. True story: When I was 6 months old my mother set me on a blanket outside while she hung the wash out. She screamed when she saw a rattlesnake about 3 ft from me. Bo the Boxer ran up and killed the snake! One pampered dog after that! Wade

Posted By: Br- on 05/13/02 10:57am

After heavy rain here yesterday, decided to bring the RV to the house and check it out. Apparently water is getting in around the dinette window as the dinette seat cushion was wet. Also found some water coming in around the door seal. We have a short trip planned next weekend, so taking it back to the dealer again will have to wait. No way we would get it back in time. Also had to recaulk around the tub, very poorly done. It seems we're finding a lot of little things that apparently were hastily done on this unit. Most I will try to take care of myself since it seems to be in one shop or another more than it is on the road. I also plan to get an email off to Trail-lite and voice my opinion about the quality of work done on this unit ( not that it will do any good).

Hope you have better luck with yours. I'll post after our trip if we find any more problems.

Posted By: captnaselli on 05/14/02 03:01pm

Bruce I know the name is strange, but believe me it works. Captain's Folly creeping crack cure is a product that is easy to get at any marine supply store. It will seep in the crack and seal same. I had the same leak same window and it did the job.

Posted By: Br- on 05/16/02 12:49pm

Thanks, found Captain Tolley's crack cure at a marine store, but the gap we found above the window was too big. I believe the crack cure is for hairline cracks, so I tried silicone caulk and hope that works for the leak. Getting tired of running it to the dealers, but now we are having problems with the cd player. Very poor quality, it seems, on this unit.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 05/16/02 06:14pm

I know it's too late for you, but I purposefully didn't order an optional radio with mine. I found that putting an aftermarket stereo (cd or whatever) is pretty straightforward, and more satisfying. I have already replaced the front speakers, with some difficulty and will soon do the same in the back. I am really sorry you are struggling so much wiht your unit. I have several problems that have been identified and I will get fixed eventually. I anticipate from your comments that you are pretty disgusted with the small (and big)problems that keep hounding you. Were you told that the vehicle was going to be trouble free when you got it? That sounds sort of insipid, but the dealer here cautioned me that I would have a list of things to get fixed after driving the unit a couple of months. I do get frustrated with some of the discrepancies, and fix them myself (as you attempted with the window).
Can you say how you feel driving the motorhome? How does it handle, and what about the power? Did you test drive a smaller unit for comparison? I guess I am wondering how you like the idea of that size vehicle?

Posted By: Br- on 05/16/02 07:24pm

Dan, the radio we have, which is a Sanyo, came pre-installed with the RV. The dealer said he would reimburse us for the actual value of the radio, which is about $200, so we will most likely have a different brand installed on our own. The leak around the window seems to be ok since I caulked a wide gap at the top. I'm going to try the door leak myself also.

As far as handling, it does very well. Easy to drive, the power is exceptional. The size is comfortable and adequate for what we need. This is the first one I drove, and didn't do a lot of comparing. Not many dealers in our area for this type of unit, mostly they handle the class C's. In fact, this is the first B+ the dealer has handled, so it is somewhat experimental for them, too. Maybe in five years or so we'll look around a little more and see what's available. It does get annoying with these minor problems turning up, but I guess all in all, we are satisfied.

Posted By: Br- on 05/17/02 07:28pm

Dan, sent you a reply to your questions, but somehow it posted about 4 messages up in case you missed it.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 05/17/02 10:06pm

I did read your reply. It sounds like you are falling into the necessary "fix it yourself" category of those of us who worship a lesser motorhome quality control deity!
As far as the stereo goes, I put a 200watt Kenwood cd/fm receiver in place of the standard Sanyo stereo tape player. It seems to have plenty of power, but I am somewhat disappointed in the bass, even though I replaced the front speakers. I don't think the factory baffles give enough "reflex" room for good bass. I am going to also replace the rear speakers at some point, since I am a little hard of hearing and like to "feel" the low notes. I do NOT get into the room sized speakers/amplifiers/changers thing, but like to hear the full range of sound. Just about all the aftermarket brands (JVC, Pioneer, Sanyo, Kenwood, Sony, etc.)have many models that will fit easily in the space. You will have to take out the "cage" that the unit fits in, but that is easy, and the new ones will have their own mounting hardware, and I doubt you will need any adaptors. Just some simple soldering skills (or solderless connectors - I just prefer to work with solder). It took me about an hour to make the conversion.
I have concluded that some things are better done by me, than to wait on the dealer. They are very cooperative, but they are 50 miles away.
Your unit is less than 1000 lbs heavier than mine, so you probably are getting spoiled by the stability of carrying less than 9000 lbs on a 12,300 lb chassis. You owe yourself driving some other motorhomes, so you can see how much more stability you have than most.

Posted By: Br- on 05/20/02 08:37am

Well,here we go again. Just returned yesterday from a 600 mi. round trip. Almost reached our destination when the "service engine soon" light came on again. Third trip, third time the light came on. Hopefully just another oxygen sensor.
Used the water heater and noticed black soot coming thru the vent. This whole ordeal is getting unbelievable. Anyway, it's going back to the dealer today. The wife is really getting upset with all of this and told the dealer as far as she's concerned they can take it back. Not likely though. We're planning a trip to Texas in June, plan to be gone about 10 days, but somewhat hesitant at this point for fear of something else going wrong after we leave.

I can still say it handles very well, no problem on curves or tight turns. Mileage was around 11 or 12 per gallon, doing 60 or 65. No complaints there.

At least one good point of the trip, Niagara Falls was nice!

Posted By: Daniel C. on 05/20/02 07:22pm

And the beat goes on. My list of Dammits has just grown. I started detecting mildew over the weekend. I cannot tell where it is coming from. The only thought is condensate from the dash a/c. I will put up with a lot of things, but odors is not one of them. I have noticed that the water heater doesn't work as I would expect (only keeps the water at about 140 degrees.
I wish I didn't like driving this thing so much, so I could indulge in unbridled anger. I noticed that the GVCR is 17,000 lbs. That means that I could tow an 8,000 lb. trailer! I wouldn't do that because of several feet of overhang, but I wouldn't be afraid of a 25-27' trailer @5-6,000 trailer!
I can thrive with a number of ongoing problems - but I will be parking my motorhome at the dealer's until the odor problem is fixed.

Posted By: Br- on 05/21/02 06:57am

Dan, dropped the unit off at the dealers and as far as the water heater goes, burners probably need adjustment. Then off to the Chevy dealer again. The service guy was not very friendly, so the wife let him have it. He just laughed it off as if this is all a big joke. As we were leaving a couple were looking at the same unit you have. Well, I had to get my two cent in and tell him all the problems we are having. He was buying one anyway, said two of his friends have the Trail-lite and have never had any problems. I say good luck to him. The owner of the dealership called about the radio reimbursement, $200, and said the dinette window will have to be pulled out and redone to effectively stop the leak. I'm afraid this will cause more problems, but have to wait and see. I can live with the minor stuff, but I'm more concerned about the darned engine light coming on.

No mildew so far, but we haven't had a need to use the air yet. Will keep a check on that also.

I was hoping to keep the unit for five years, but if the problems continue I may consider selling in a year or two. Also checked into the lemon law here, but it seems to apply only to motorhomes, not RV's. I may eventually pursue this further.

Even though I'm satisfied with the handling, power and size, can't say I would buy another Trail-lite.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 05/21/02 07:22am

Mildew odor diminished this morning. I am hyper about odors because I use my vehicle 4 days a week for my counseling business, which is a problem for clients, and scheduling maintenance. The vehicle has almost 10,000 miles and is just a littel over three months old! I am working on a scheduling protocol that will lower mileage to about 1600 a month. The mildew was a wild card, but I am going to steam clean the carpet to eliminate the possibility that I spilled something myself, and will monitor the moisture from the a/c. I have seen some behind the rt front wheel, but can't find the drain tube.
I hope that the word gets back to the factory, that either haste or inexperience is damaging their reputation. I am convinced that they have a good product potentially, and use known appliances, but need a much stricter quality control process to avoid the quantity of problems that you and I are experiencing.
I had an engine light on my unit when it was delivered, and the Chevy dealer found a screw in the coach that had penetrated the wiring harness after several hours of troubleshooting. If you continue to get the engine light, that may be a possibility (another QC problem).
Poked around some BT Cruisers at Camping World locally last weekend. They look nice, but are much closer to the max weight of the chassis. I am just not willing to give up that edge for the way I use the unit.
Where in Texas are you going?

Posted By: Br- on 05/21/02 08:54am

Dan, still planning to head out to Frisco, Texas, just north of Dallas. We have a friend who's lived in that area about 10 yrs., loves it and just recently built a new house.

I haven't gotten around to composing a letter to Trail-lite, but I will be sure to do that this week. It may help them for future reference, who knows. I agree they need to improve on their quality control. I would have gladly paid a little more to have better quality. I'll also mention to the dealer the problem you had with the engine light, may help pinpoint the problem.

Posted By: bhk on 05/21/02 12:22pm

Hi Dan and everyone; drove our 21' BT cruiser from FL to NC with no problems except super windy conditions; the monroe gas magnums are a blessing.
(ford e 350).

problem getting refrig to work on gas, so bled the line and now it works. The dealer never tested the gas function on refrig. And the license plate screws are all stripped and impossible to access.

What tire pressure are you using? We have the firestone lt225/75R16E; FORD sez 65 psi front, and 60 rear; Our GVWR is 10,700.

We don't trust Ford OR firestone on this info, so advice from actual users will be helpful.

Posted By: ARcruiser on 05/21/02 03:55pm

"Also checked into the lemon law here, but it seems to apply only to motorhomes, not RV's. I may eventually pursue this further."

As far a your rig goes, I thought it was a motor home. My belief is that "rv" encompasses pop-ups, travel trailers, fifth wheels AND the various types of motorhomes - Classes "A", "B", "C", and Diesel Pushers.

Your rig is fully self contained with sleeping, cooking and bath facilities, isn't it? And you drive it? How is that not a "motor home"?

NADA lists it in the "motor home" section for appraisal purposes. ( under "R-VISION" )

Did the lemon-law info come from the dealer or somewhere else?

just thinking out loud........

*This Message was edited on 21-May-02 04:00 PM by ARcruiser*

Posted By: Daniel C. on 05/21/02 05:30pm

Glad you are enjoying your RV. I use 65lbs front and back which is both the pressure listed on the door and the tire. I suspect not too much thought went into figuring that! Interesting that you have E rated tires, while I have D (my Chassis is rated at 12,300). I am using General 225/75R 16 AMERI 550 AS tires. At 10,000 miles I can see no wear. When I took delivery the rear tires had 40 lbs and the front even less! I keep a small 110v compressor on board all the time. The ride is a little harsh, but boy does it corner! I am going to have to drive a BT Cruiser at some point. I really wished the Trail Lite had a few more amenities, because I really need the rear entry, so I can park in regular parking spots, and can load some equipment for a small stained glass business. I haven't done much with the glass in the past couple of years, due to the higher demand for counseling (at a better $ return), but will eventually get back to the shows, and this motorhome will be ideal for that as well.
I had to take out the rear window of my old Winnebago in Palmer Alaska when it was two years old in 1988 and reseal it myself (at that time warranty was one year only). It held for at least 13 more years!
When you write the Trail Lite folks, mention that over 5,000 people who are interested in B+ motorhomes have read our comments in the past three months.

*This Message was edited on 21-May-02 05:35 PM by Daniel C.*

Posted By: Br- on 05/22/02 06:06am

Found the lemon laws for Ohio on the internet, but I'm not sure how accurate it is. Motorhomes are described as a complete living unit that has been entirely constructed on a bare, specially designed motor vehicle chassis, like a bus. RV's
are described as a recreational vehicle that is a motorized or towable vehicle that combines transportation and temporary living accommodations for travel, recreation and camping.

I would think my unit, with kitchen, bath and sleeping, should classify as a motorhome. I haven't really pursued this any further yet, just waiting to see the outcome of the latest problems
and what develops down the road.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 05/27/02 08:30pm

I believe that I received a package with Lemon Law requirements for Texas when I got my unit. The mildew odor has diminished somewhat, but still perisits. I found several areas around the skylight that were not waterproofed (the sealent was too thin on application, and essentially "split" opening the area to outside moisture. I am assuming that is the entry point for the moisture. I covered it with the "universal antidote" (duct tape), as a temporary fix until I take the unit back in for several loose items. The drawers in the back all need work some work, due to being thrown upen when driving over railroad tracks in downtown San Antonio (I avoid the tracks whenever possible now). Poor design for drawers to be that far behind the rear wheels without some positive latching device (they are notched, but when the back bounces off track, they happily open up, then get banged around until I can stop.
On the good side, I am getting better mileage (about 10-10.5)without altering my driving habits much, if any. Also, it looks like my oil consumption has dropped to less than half a quart per 3K miles.
I am developing a "love/hate" relationship with this unit. I suppose that the relative newness of the trail lite B+ models account for some of the engineering mistakes, but can see no excuse for poor workmanship. The cost to the manufacturer will far exceed any financial benefit of speedy assembly, with poor quality control. I doubt that the lack of quality is a deliberate choice anyway; more likely the results of plant management that doesn't have a good appreciation for strategic thinking in the pursuit of quantity at any cost.
They really have something special in this unit, but will ruin it if they don't think a little smarter. I deliberately bought the least expensive brand, that met my needs for room, appearence, and perfomance. I expect to pretty much use it up in my business over the next few years. I plan to "dog" the dealer to get everything fixed as well as the engineering will allow during the first year. I have over 10,000 miles already, so the problems I am having will show up in other units as they age. I will outline everything that needed fixing and detail the fix in a few months (probably in a new thread). For now updates.
One more thing. I spent about $350 on a different cd player and speakers. I bought a 180 watt Kenwood cd/stereo, a set of 6" Kenwood speakers for the front door speakers (not much better than the factory speakers, frankly), and some pretty good Kenwood 6X9" speakers to replace the 6" speakers in the back. I looked at the factory speakers in the back and they weren't much better than paper cups with a magnet - I was surprised that they worked as well as they did. Had to cut an oval out in the wood that the other speakers were mounted, but got them both in in a couple of hours, and they sound great. A much better choice than letting Rvision put in their optional radio.

Posted By: Br- on 05/28/02 11:05am

Dan, as far as I know, dealers are required to inform you of lemon laws, but I have no such papers. The info I do have states that any minor adjustments, such as to doors, latches, ect. will be done only during the first 90 days of warranty coverage. After that it's our responsibility. They are working on the window leak today, and another sensor was causing the "check engine" to come on again. Don't know about the water heater yet.

Waiting to get it back so I can take care of the radio. The speakers seem ok, so I think I can slide on that. I'm sure down the road there will be more things that go wrong, and no doubt I will have to take care of them myself. I'm trying to look at this as a lesson well learned instead of a bad experience. But it's still a hassle.

I did send a letter off to Trail-lite, but won't hold my breath waiting for a response. I'm sure your list of problems and fixes will be very interesting. I may do the same, just to inform
others out there of the potential problems.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 06/01/02 04:54pm

Did you ever get that engine light fixed? Also, I believe you have a longer wheelbase than I. Mine is 139". I wonder if you feel tight on street corners when you turn? I can certainly tell I'm not in a car, but am really not intimidated by downtown driving (aside from the beating the hardware behind the wheels gets when I go over urban railroad tracks!).
Have you ever driven larger motorhomes? I would be curious to hear how that larger B+ compares to the shorter ones, and the larger ones.
I never turn off the refer. When I get home from seeing my clients, I plug in at the house, so there is either propane or electric (about 7 hours of propane a day). I refilled the propane for the first time since early March yesterday!

Posted By: Br- on 06/02/02 06:02pm

Just got the RV back on friday, left saturday for a short trip, 200 mi. Everything seemed ok so far. All I was told about the "check engine light" was that another sensor was replaced. Water heater burner was adjusted, leak around dinette window was fixed. Still have the water leak around the coach door, but Trail-lite has to be contacted to see if the door should be replaced or adjusted. I can't see how an adjustment will work, but have to wait on that. Also received the $200 for the radio replacement, so that's next. The dealer also replaced two plastic roof vents that were cracked by hail while at their lot.
This is the first unit I've driven, but I can say it corners great, I've been through heavy,in town traffic with no problems. Down the road I'd be interested in trying a few others out and compare. We did have a chance to try out the air this weekend, and both the dash and rooftop work great, so far. We're also still on our first tank of propane, used it for the furnace a few times, water heater and the stove burners a few times. We cool the fridge before we leave, shut it off until we hook up at the campsite. Seems to work pretty well that way.
Should know more about the coach door leak in about a week.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 06/02/02 10:33pm

I believe you will begin to really enjoy your rig in a few months when all the "bugs" get worked out. One advantage I believe we all have (Trail Lite B+ owners), is that our vehicles are all very light compared to other brands. I think they could have added a couple hundred lbs of insulation (sound, not heat)and certainly could have done a better job of assembly, but we weigh about the same as the smaller B's, and have a lot more room and power. I drove a couple of used Roadtreks, several Rialta's, and two of the "widened" vans (but not B+). None of them had duals, and every one was much more vague and wanting more power. I haven't driven any of the new Workhorse based motorhomes, but think I will soon, just to compare to the old Chevy chassis (I had a 28' Winnebago Chieftan that I bought new in 1987, and just sold six months ago). I bet the cutaway chassis is fun to drive before the motorhome is built! The chassis weighs about 3,500 lbs, and with 340 big block horsepower, I'd go looking for a corvette at a stoplight!

Posted By: Br- on 06/03/02 07:38am

Dan, I'm impressed at the power of the unit, easily passed big rigs on the interstate with no problem. If it wasn't for the few "bugs" and construction problems, I'd be completely satisfied. Right now we're getting some rain, and the coach door seems to be leaking more than before, so I had to hang some plastic over the door. This problem won't wait a week or two, so I'll be calling the dealer again.
Two questions for you. Do you have a remote switch for the water heater? Ours is on a panel in the bathroom that lights up when turned on. From what I can find in the instruction manual,
the light should go out after 15 sec.,if not, turn the switch off and try again. Does your light go out or continually stay on?
Also wondered if you've given any thought to automatic levelers. I made my own from wood, but they're a pain to use. Don't know how much of an investment I want to make at this point, since I may keep it only a few years.

Posted By: Br- on 06/03/02 05:04pm

Update: Dropped the unit at the dealers. The dinette window is still leaking, apparently wasn't fixed right the first time. The dealer had two other units on the lot, just got them in. I guess I really got upset when I saw that these units had a different, better constructed door and rain gutters over all the windows and the door, plus a better radio. As far as our door goes, they have to call the manufacturer of the door and either order a replacement or adjust
this one. The door we have was made two years ago. I still can't see where an adjustment will do any good. Either way, we're stuck with it as
the new doors will not fit our opening. So we left the dealer looking at the door and window covered with two sheets of plastic. More rain and hail predicted for tomorrow (maybe more cracked vents?). The wife doesn't know whether to laugh at all of this or cry. She's ready to drive it through their front door and leave it. I just might let her do it.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 06/03/02 06:35pm

I honestly can't say about the water heater. I think that the light stays on continuously, but I am not sure. I have only used it once, since I have only stayed overnight one time.
The fact that your door won't match the opening, doesn't necessarily mean they won't replace the door. The frame may have close enough clearence to use the newer design instead of trying to match the old one. They may have to do that anyway.
I used strips of 2x6 to level my old Winnebago. With this unit, I am using the plastic blocks that Camping World sells. They are pricy, but light and work well. Levelers would probably be better for stability, since they secure "unsprung weight" to the ground instead of leveling the wheels, but in a unit our size, it seems like overkill to me.
What made you decide to get an RV? Were you led to believe that buying new would be a problem free experience? I must say that the manufacturing defects are more plentiful than I expected, but, assuming your marriage isn't at risk, the problems will eventually end. I am personally more interested in how the unit performs as I approach the end of warranty (in about one and a half years from now). That will help me decide whether to keep it long term, or get rid of it before the chassis warranty is over.

I just went out and started the heater. There are two lights. There is a light in the switch that stays lit, then there is a light (led) that goes out as soon as the fire starts up.

*This Message was edited on 03-Jun-02 07:20 PM by Daniel C.*

Posted By: Br- on 06/04/02 06:29am

Dan, thanks for checking the light. We don't have the led, so must be a different model.

We had been thinking about moving West in four or five years and then looking into an RV, but we stopped at an RV show here in January and that sparked our interest. Actually, the one we looked at was the 211 model. We started looking at some used class c's for a starter unit, but didn't care for them. Ended up at the dealers one afternoon and saw the 251 model and it snowballed from there. Our 13 yr. old grandson lives with us, plus our dog, so the size seemed adequate. The drivability was also impressive.

Did we expect problems? Sure, but not to the extent of it being tied up for repair 6 wks. out of the three months we've had it. Seems a bit excessive to me for a new unit. Sometimes it may sound like a broken record, but these posts may help inform someone else of potential problems. I know I would've thought twice.

For now we'll have to put up with the trips to the dealer and like you, see what happens before the warranty is up.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 06/10/02 05:44pm

I took my 211S in for several repairs today. The dealer had a 251 in stock, so I went to the control panel in the bathroom, and it is the same as mine. Look at your panel and see if there is a little hole between the two switches (water pump and heater). That is the LED. Let me know if yours is different.
If you are listening, I looked at the Stratus you were talking about in another thread. It is a pretty nice motorhome. Built on a 14,800 Workhorse with a 4speed auto, with a ccc of about 2,000lbs. It has a long slide and is pretty roomy inside. Still has some QC assembly problems. I certainly hope the Rvision people take notice, because I really like their products, but cannot, for the life of me understand why they don't do a better job of assembly. I have a really good dealer, and am confident that any problems I have will be corrected, but that costs the factory over $70 per hour (and there are going to be a lot of hours), most of which could have been avoided by better assembly. I know and accept that some of their materials are not top of the line, but am mystified at sloppy assembly! They must feel that disruption of the assembly line to fix problems is too costly, but I would love to capture the warranty costs compared to the cost of doing it right in the first place.

Posted By: Wade K. on 06/10/02 08:24pm

Hi Dan, Just from what I'm reading seems their plan is to attract customers with innovative styling and lower prices and make the profit with volume and lower standards. May be wrong but looks that way. Word of mouth will kill them. I like the Stratus style although too big for me. But I was struck by the low quality of the interior after looking at the Born Free. The 24' BF is as big as I'd ever go and if I ever spend that much at least I'd have peace of mind! Wade

Posted By: Daniel C. on 06/10/02 10:00pm

I remember studying the "rule of good enough" when I was working on a business degree many years ago. It appears that the threshhold they set wasn't high enough. I suppose that they can have a strategy of having dealers do the "finish work", anticipating that most customers won't have the wear early that I do. I am not trying to tear it up, but am surprised at the things that would have been much cheaper done on an assembly line, such as securing the back drawyers better, better reenforcement on trim pieces, more careful sealing, more accurate placement of screws, etc. I will eventually have what I bought (a quality built, economy priced motorhome), because I will insist on it, and the dealer in Boerne is anxious to make things right. But I suspect that the factory will have to pay over $3,000 correcting careless work before I am through. If that is their strategy, they won't be making them much longer, because They could be losing money on each unit built!

Posted By: Wade K. on 06/10/02 10:25pm

Great thing about the internet: word of mouth is immediate! If companies haven't figured it out they'd better. You're right, a guy who parks it 48 weeks a year will probably be happy for a few years. Wade

Posted By: Br- on 06/11/02 01:20pm

Dan, I don't recall seeing any spot for the led light, but I did contact Atwood and was told that some maufacturers used their own switch instead of one from Atwood. Another fluke on the part of Trail-lite I guess. Right now we're still waiting to get it back. We take it to the dealer about 20 mi. from us, but we found out the owner of the two dealerships picked it up and it is now at the main dealership 1 hr. away. Apparently a new dinette window and coach door were ordered, but the owner said if they aren't delivered today, he will send someone to pick them up. Most likely in Indiana. Needless to say, our trip to Texas is indefinitely postponed.

There has been no response from Trail-lite regarding the letter I sent them. Maybe they're all too busy trying to figure out how to improve the quality of these units!

Posted By: Br- on 06/12/02 07:43pm

Just picked the RV up today and was very surprised to find that the coach door and window were not replaced. The dealer said Trail-lite wouldn't ok replacements, to do a repair on what we have. Well, as far as I can tell, the window doesn't seem to leak (yet) and the coach door now has a rain gutter above it, which should have been installed at the factory to begin with. The door still does not seal good, though. But wait, this is the best part. When I got home from the dealer I just happened to be looking in the glove box for a cd and found a work order from a Chevy dealer in the town where the RV was. It was dated monday, and the reason for the service was the "service engine soon" light came on again. This was while it was in the possession of the dealer. The fourth time it's come on, the fourth time it's been taken in for the same problem. The dealer never even mentioned taking it in for service for the light. There will be a few phone calls made tomorrow, one will be to Trail-lite.
I think maybe I should send my aspirin bill to them!

Posted By: Daniel C. on 06/12/02 08:08pm

Lemonade anyone?
I believe that I could set up a "trojan horse" if I wanted to, but the truth is that I really want my unit to work.
If you have had enough, consider a BT cruiser if you don't have to have a bed. Their 23' with a slide is about the same space as your 251, for not much more money.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 06/14/02 05:30pm

Just got my Trail Lite 211S back from the dealer following a long list of discrepancies. Since I drive my unit almost every day, I wait purposefully to accumulate a list. My motorhome was new in Feb (took delivery on Feb. 11, 02). I have put 10,000 miles on it in four months for a total of 11,400. The dealer spent over a day going through my list of mostly minor problems, and corrected every one, including a couple of things I hadn't mentioned!
The main issue that was troubling me was the odor of mildew that started about three weeks ago. The dealer determined that gaps in sealent around the skylight allowed moisture to grow mildew. they are anticipating partial disassembly to gain access and repair the source of the odor.
the dealer (and I) are advocating fixing the unit locally, rather than moving it back to the factory. This is going to be an expensive repair, and will tie up the motorhome for about a week, if done here and much longer if done at the factory. While I am aggravated at the problem, it is a relief to hear the dealer acknowledge that I had nothing to do with the intrusion.
The impact of this is that I am sure that any profit on my unit has been lost, due to carelessness on the assembly line. I certainly hope that they take heed and devote some additional resources to inspecting their units before putting them on the road.
Would I recommend a trail lite? I still like the way my motorhome drives, and it suits my needs very well (absent the repairs). I would recommend that any prospective buyer set aside a couple of hours to inspect the unit for fit and finish before taking delivery. It never occurred to me to look at the roof when it was new - won't make that mistake again.
I will update again when the mildew repair procedure is decided upon.

Posted By: Br- on 06/14/02 07:34pm

Dan, sorry about that mildew problem. Hopefully you caught it in time before more damage is done. Sounds like you have a pretty good dealer to work with. When we take our unit in for repairs it's at least two weeks before we see it again. And repairs are shoddy. I did talk to the dealer about the engine light coming on again while in his possession, and he actually started to stutter, couldn't figure out how I found out about the light. His response was that he didn't want to bother us with it, and that we should drive it anyway, that eventually GM would find the problem. Sure, maybe after 10 or more trips. Anyway, since our Texas trip is on hold, we decided to head up to the Wisconsin Dells on monday. We'll be stopping at South Bend, IN.,and my wife pointed out that Warsaw was only an hour from there. So, why don't we stop at Trail-lite and have them check out our leaking coach door. I called Trail-lite and explained the whole situation, all the problems we've had and they said to bring it in. Someone would take a look and most likely replace the door on the spot. I'm looking forward to that visit, as we will be sure to voice our dissatifaction with the quality
of workmansip on these units. Good luck with the mildew problem, will post results when we return.

Posted By: SBW on 06/19/02 09:05am

We are seriously looking into buying a BT Cruiser, either slide-out or not. Can you please tell me what your experience with yours has been. Thanks very much for any input.
What kind of gas mileage do you get with it?

Posted By: SBW on 06/19/02 09:06am

Did you ever buy a BT Cruiser? If so, what do you think of it? If not, what influenced your decision. (We are seriously thinking of one.) Thanks for any input you can give me.

Posted By: Br- on 06/21/02 06:00pm

Update: Took the unit in to have the oil changed before our trip and as the service guy was pulling it into the bay, he noticed the "service engine soon" light came on again. He put it on a meter and said it showed another sensor. He cleared the computer, the light went out. Stopped at Trail-lite in Warsaw and they replaced the entire frame/door. Still showed some leaking around the door gasket when they hosed it, added extra gasket and said that was about all they could do. Apparently the door we have is one of ten that were put on the B+'s before they changed door manufacturers. The service manager did say to stop back on our way home if there were any more problems, but we're going to wait and see how the new door works out. I also mentioned the various problems we're having, especially the engine light. He put in two cans of "dry gas", said moisture could be causing the problem. We put on 1,000 mi., and so far no engine light. For the most part, they were very willing to correct the door leak. I was also given a short tour of the plant and it seemed to be very well organized, however, the quality and efficiency of the assembly appeared to be much better than the end result. All in all, no problems on this trip. Did you find out anything more about your mildew problem?

Posted By: Daniel C. on 06/21/02 09:00pm

You are not going to believe this: I leave the vehicle home on Wednesday's to get the interior cleaned with the rest of our house. My wife went out to check how cool the interior was after turning on the roof AC, to find that it had not cooled at all! I called the the dealer the next morning, and he said he would replace the unit in about an hour this morning and I could wait on it. Oh yes, I thought the mildew was stronger when the hot air was coming out of the AC!
I arrived at the dealer at 8:00A.M. this morning, and at 9:00A.M., I was driving out with a new AC unit. The dealer also replaced the thermostat on the hot water heater, because I didn't think it was getting very hot.

The mildew odor tonight is GONE! I was going to wait for a couple of days to update, but the difference is so dramatic that the AC has to be the primary offender! My theory - I had noticed that the AC froze up a couple of nights when I had the fan on low. I had thought that I needed to run higher fan speeds when the ambient air is around 70 and humidity (hello Texas)is high. Turns out that freon was low from the beginning. I suspect that some parts of the coil were freezing much of the time trapping moisture in the unit, causing mildew! I had pulled off the cover once before, but couldn't see any spots - they were probably inside the coils.
So, as it stands now, I am about out of complaints. I am still syphoning water out of my tank, but I believe I have a fix for that and will report on it once done.
Did you get a stereo? Also did you ever find the errant led for the hot water heater? What kind of mileage did you get on your trip at what speeds?

Posted By: Br- on 06/22/02 02:16pm

Dan, glad you found the mildew problem. Your dealer sure seems to be on top of things. No problem with our roof air, but I wish it had a thermostat so it wouldn't run continually. I had a JVC radio installed,$200, which is what the dealer reimbursed us for. Sounds good, so no complaint on that. Trail-lite also replaced the heater switch,with the led. They said sometimes they use a different switch, depending on their stock. Still averaging 12 mi. per gallon, 60 mi. per hr. Hopefully these problems we are both having will diminish soon. I'd like to post positive remarks for a change.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 06/22/02 07:07pm

Still catch a hint of odor from time to time, but I am really not worried about it. I could mask at this point, but want to not do that for a while to determine the complete absence. I am going to shampoo the carpet (and some of the ceiling) after the 4th weekend. Planning to transport grandkids to fireworks at a family show on Galveston Bay, so will be adding some additional dirt. I drove my wife to the military commissary on Randolph AFB today (I have been retired from the Air Force 14 years), and had a couple of people look inside and inquire about the unit when I was loading groceries. Due to my wife's poor health, it gives a more comfortable form of transportation when I anticipate that she will be exerting herself.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 06/29/02 07:44am

This is an unusual update. My wife died suddenly earlier this week, so I haven't been on the Net until today. I used the 211s for a spare bedroom while family and friends came from out of town. There is a site on the web (I'll find it and insert later if there is interest) that sells foam pads of various thicknesses, targeting thet hospital population. I have bought two of them, and they basically eliminate any potential discomfort from folding down dinettes and sofas for use as beds. they can be folded up to an acceptable size for travel. My wife had complained that I replaced an RV with a bed with one without until she slept on that bed! Within the next couple of months, I will convert to a new thread summarizing the updates I have made on this one,
Have you done any more traveling with your 251?

Posted By: ARcruiser on 06/29/02 01:54pm

Dan, I'm sorry to hear of your sudden loss.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.


*This Message was edited on 29-Jun-02 01:55 PM by ARcruiser*

Posted By: Wade K. on 06/29/02 04:35pm

Hi Dan, I'm sorry to hear that also. Wishing you the best. Your thoughts are very much appreciated on this forum. God bless you, Wade

Posted By: Br- on 06/30/02 11:11am

Dan, so very sorry to hear about your wife, our
prayers are with you and your family.

Our next trip won't be until around July 9th, probably down to Kentucky for a few days. Looking forward to your new thread.

Posted By: smallcamper on 06/30/02 11:41am


Very sorry to hear of your tragic loss.

Your Forum Friends thoughts are with you.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 06/30/02 02:18pm

Thank you all for your sentiments. I was reluctant to bring that up, but needed to change my signature. Have lots of family and friends right now, but may be spending lots of time on here in future weeks. I am going to start seeing my clients (I'm a counselor in private practice) a few at a time this week, and be back to the full load by next week. Again, thanks for the kind words. I'm sure my wife is aware of your support as well!

Posted By: Dave. on 07/03/02 09:16pm


We have been looking and thinking about the B+ for some time, so I've been reading your posts with much interest over the last few months, and have really appreciated all the info. I am so sorry about your loss - Our prayers are with you and your family.

We finally ordered a 2003 B+ and expect delivery in 1-2 weeks. I was hoping that maybe they would iron out some of the problems on the new model?? If there is interest, I could also update on whether this is true or not.

2003 Trail-Lite 211

Posted By: Daniel C. on 07/04/02 05:54am

It is always exciting to get a new vehicle. I hope you realize that buying a new RV is more like buying a boat or house, than a car. In other words, anticipate several things that need correcting in the first year. Did you get the slide? I love the extra space, but life would be much simpler without it. I have a seal problem right now that is going into the dealer tomorrow.
It would be interesting to figure a way to consolidate our mutual likes/dislikes with this brand. Would probably be useful to the manufacturer as well! Which chassis are you getting? Will they start out the 2003 coach on a 2003 or 2002 chassis?

Posted By: Br- on 07/05/02 10:44am

Dan, off topic, but we were just wondering what the flood situation is where you live. New Braunfels was mentioned on CNN. Any problems so far?

Posted By: fanman on 07/05/02 05:06pm

Hello Dan,
Sorry about your loss. I trust God will keep you in his arms throughout your ordeal. You had mentioned previously about some sort of foam product to cover a bed and a website. Could you give me the website information?


Fanman. . . usually blowing a lot of hot air!
2011 Newmar Bay Star
2005 Saturn VUE

Posted By: Daniel C. on 07/05/02 07:00pm

The site is
Sorry that I am not smart enough to set up the link directly for you. It took almost a month for me to get the first pad (I used the 1" pad and that was plenty). Since you have the 211, you may want to measure the bed surface opened up, and order accordingly. On the 211S, I have two sleeping surfaces that are 40" wide, so the single size is what worked for me. The product is called isoform mattress pad.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 07/05/02 07:20pm

I am still in shock about the flooding. We had a "100 year flood" in 1998, where the Guadalupe river was about 20' over flood stage. This flood is similar, except that the water is coming behind the Canyon Lake dam about fifteen miles upstream from New Braunfels. In the previous flood, most of the rain occurred below the dam.
There are about 200 houses lost thus far (not including the severe damage that will occur downstream with three other communities that are on the river.). There is supposed to be another surge of water later tonight, which may raise the flood level 10-15' above the previous flood, and that will likely take another 100 or so houses. I am fortunately about 30' (I think) above the river. There are going to be a lot of people suffering from their losses which will again demonstrate the sharing of our community.

Posted By: bhk on 07/06/02 11:28am

Just returned from our trip, Dan

Sorry for your loss, our thoughts and prayers are with you, as well as the flood victims in your area.

Your posts here are a help to all; thank you!

Posted By: Daniel C. on 07/06/02 02:06pm

Thanks for your words. I am going to be getting food together for the relief effort later this week. New Braunfels is an incredible community for supporting each other, and I anticipate that will happen again. I noticed your statement in another thread about Trail Lite. I must say that the dealer that I am working with is most helpful. Since I use my vehicle in my daily work, it hurts to have to leave it with anyone for repairs, but they have worked with me a lot to get me back on the road as soon as possible.

Posted By: RV_Traveler on 07/09/02 05:03pm

Were very sorry about your wifes loss. Our thoughts and prayers go out to your family. It's bad that flooding has occured on your area. We have been hearing about this on the news. Are you going to take any trips in your 211S Trail B plus. You probably not take any trips and still use it as a office. When are you going to post your new thread. RV Traveler Having an RV is a great investment.[URL] *This Message was edited on 10-Jul-02 08:18 PM by rv_traveler*

Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.

Posted By: Br- on 07/11/02 05:19pm

Dan, any updates on the flooding? Just got back from a short trip and no problems. Hopefully the major bugs have been worked out. Several people stopped and showed interest in the unit. I had to be honest about all the problems we've had, might give them some insight into what to look for if they decide to buy. We only averaged about 10 mpg this trip. Road construction and some heavy traffic slowed us down. Did you get the slide fixed?

Posted By: Daniel C. on 07/11/02 08:04pm

The flood waters receded by Monday. The river is still some over its banks, and the lake upstream is still at historic levels, but everyone is getting busy with recovery now. I will be giving some canned goods this weekend (my wife was a "pack rat" and kept a several weeks supply of staples, which can be used now). Will also give some money for the relief effort, since I was spared.
Now for the RV. The slide seals were leaking during the rain (both exterior when it was closed and interior when it was extended at first). The dealer will have my unit for another week while new slide pieces are delivered to better conform to teh curvature of the side, and new (hopefully better) seals are installed. May be getting new carpet also, if they can't get the moisture out before mold/mildew sets in. I must say that I am as impressed with the dealer as I am unimpressed with construction quality control. I believe I had voiced concerns about the slide several months ago. Even with all this, I still like the motorhome and intend to stay on the factory like stink on "you know what", until my vehicle is made to the standards it was supposed to be. Once again, the factory seems more than happy to make things right; only wish they had saved themselves and me the expense of all the repairs. I don't expect for anyone to have this problem, unless they have the slide (which is also available on the class A Trail Lite). I am getting about 10-11 mpg now, and expect that will be what to expect. My vehicle weighs within 500-1000 lbs of yours, so I suspect that driving speed, prevailing winds/terrain, and cross sectional area are stronger determinants of our mileage than any other factor (within the 9.5-12mpg range). Our cross sectional areas are the same.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 07/11/02 08:48pm

I have to be careful about recreational travel and still keeping the RV as a business vehicle, but do plan to take some trips in it. I may be making a presentation at a conference in Colorado next winter, and will take the RV if I do. In the meantime, I visit my son near Houston about every other month with the RV. It is a pleasure to drive on the highway. Thanks for you words. I will start the new thread about the end of this month.

*This Message was edited on 11-Jul-02 08:51 PM by Daniel C.*

Posted By: Daniel C. on 07/19/02 06:09pm

The dealer still has my Trail Lite 211S. The service manager told me that he cannot figure out how the factory expected the slide to seal in the out position. He is dialoguing with the factory on a seal that is used on larger RVision motorhomes, and he believes will work. He said that a new 211S on the lot also leaked during the recent rains! If you have a slide model - water test it with the slide in and out, and don't forget. I was getting moisture inside even when the roof AC was running for an extended period of time, and drained onto the slide, so even if you don't plan to leave it extended in a rainstorm, make sure you check that out!

Posted By: RV_Traveler on 07/19/02 10:54pm

They make the 210 to 212 models on a Ford chassis. If you want one. It says on the brochures If you contact them. The hyperlink didn't work.


*This Message was edited on 19-Jul-02 10:55 PM by RV_Traveler*

*This Message was edited on 19-Jul-02 10:56 PM by RV_Traveler*

Posted By: Daniel C. on 07/30/02 10:02pm

FINALLY got my unit back with profuse apologies from the service manager. He replaced the slide seals (inner and outer)with seals that are much more substantial, and showed me where the old seals had failed. If any of you have a slide unit, please spray water on it opened and closed while it is still under warranty!
I realize that it is difficult for readers to work through all the entries, but I am a little reluctant to stop the thread until a couple of more months pass by and I get about another five thousand miles on it.
Please let me know if it is useful to maintain the thread until I am confident all the manufacturing issues are resolved, then start a new one summarizing all the plusses and minuses covering about 18,000 miles of driving in the first year. I have noticed that though there have been no new entries in a while, there continue to be new looks at the thread.

Posted By: Br- on 08/01/02 03:17pm

Dan, hope your slide is finally fixed right. I still follow this thread, and I have to say that at this point I've had no further problems. We've taken several short trips recently and all seems ok for now. I've also noticed several other posts regarding the B+'s and I hope these posts have given some insight to others. I think future posts might be helpful also.

Posted By: John P. on 08/01/02 05:55pm

Hello everyone,

I am a new member but I have been following the posts for sometime.

I have been shopping for a B+ for the last 18 months. It was a future purchase and there were a lot of manufacturers to check out. I finally settled on the B+ By R vision because of it's unique combination of size features and price.

I read this post with interest because I have inspected close to 20 units of models 211,210,etc.
at numerous shows and dealerships. It appears that the workmanship / quality is quite variable. I Look under, inside and outside.
I have have found new units sitting on dealers lots with open seams at the endcaps allowing water to enter. One on a dealer's lot had exposed wood on the floor underneath where it would certainly soak up water from the road. The entire underside would have to be sealed with something.

These are a few of the problems I have seen of many different units. BUT NOT ALL had problems. Many were just fine.
I have decided to get a
2003 with the 6.0L engine. Perhaps this will achieve a bit better fuel mileage. I will not order one of these unless I have right of refusal after inspection at the dealers' lot. I am hopping to find one that has been ordered by a delaer for stock that I can look over and decide if it is ok. If any one else is getting one, find someone you trust who knows about motor homes and have them look it over before you buy. I cant speak to warranty repairs since I haven't yet experenced them.

Well I hope this is not too much in one post but I felt this need to be said and hope it helps others in the market for a B+.

Thanks, John P.

Posted By: Dave. on 08/08/02 11:34pm

We just picked up our new 2003 Trail-lite B+ 211 (On 5.7L Chevy Chassis). Thanks to all the posts on this and other threads, the delivery inspection went very well.

We recently took the camper out for an extended weekend - everything worked great so far. With time, I'm sure we'll find some things to deal with.

I did notice one possible problem with the camper, however. I'm still trying to figure out if this is a big problem or if I'm being paranoid. The camper seems to lean a bit to the driver side (even on level ground). I've posted this to the "Beginner RV" area to get some feedback from others on this problem.

The holding tanks are on that side, but I'm noticing the leaning even with empty tanks. I would like to weigh the camper before I get too frantic. I've measured from the ground to various areas on the camper frame (1-1.5" difference from one side to the other), as well as from the axle to the frame (about .5" difference). This may seem insignificant, but when I look at the camper, it seems very obvious.

I'm planning to weigh the vehicle and talk to the dealer about this soon.

Other than the leaning problem, we are very happy with the camper so far...


Posted By: Br- on 08/09/02 11:09am

Hope you enjoy your new B+. So far, we've had no more problems. I can honestly say that Trail-Lite has been very willing to correct any defects in our unit. We had a problem with the coach door leaking, and after two trips to the dealer the problem still wasn't corrected. We called Trail-Lite, stopped at the factory on one of our trips, and they replaced the door and frame on the spot. As Dan told us when we first bought our B+, it's normal to experience a few problems. Good luck and enjoy!

Posted By: Daniel C. on 08/09/02 09:29pm

I am really using my 211S for what I intended, finally. I have been working with individuals with multiple disabilities for several years, and have always wanted to provide a safe, comfortable meeting place for me and them to meet. I commute about 35-40 miles to San Antonio and meet with my clients at their homes, day programs, or jobs. My motorhome gives me an alternative place for them to meet, gives me a "mobile office" to write notes, make calls, fix lunch, hold meetings when necessary, and take a break when I need to.
I am vain enough to wish for a fancier vehicle, but mine is really nice enough. The bonus for me is that the relatively light weight on a relatively heavy duty chassis, and with that obscene 8.1 engine is a pleasure to drive. I choose to ignore the gas mileage (about 10 now), because I know I can "run with the traffic" when I need to.
If I were going to buy strictly for camping, I might not get the Trail Lite. On the other hand, I might very well stay with the brand, and get one of their larger motorhomes. Since this is my fifth motorhome in 28 years, I must say that it is easily the best overall to drive, and has surprising room inside with the slide.... but I still worry about the slide long term.
Rvision and my dealer have been great fixing all the problems. I sometimes think like a shareholder instead of a product owner, and wonder outloud why they don't improve their production line, instead of spending such high figures on repairs. I live near Stahmans in New Braunfels and would have loved to have that convenience for repairs, but they just couldn't match the value of Trail Lite for me; even including the inconvenience of driving 50 miles for service.

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 08/15/02 08:17pm

Here is another great resource for purchase/competative pricing when considering the Trail-Lite B+ vehicles: World Wide RV in Mesa, AZ. You can "build" your unit with the options you wish and they will get back to you with their price, which I found to be LESS than Campers Factory Outlet. Clint Mock there is AAA: available, attentive and affable. Plus, when I told him of this forum he immediately went online/read it/forwarded it on to his Trail-Lite rep who was most interested. He is great; we just ordered the 2003 211S with the new Chevy chassis and 6.0 liter V-8, anticipate delivery by late Oct/early Nov. Find them at

2003 Trail-Lite B+ 211S on
2003 Chevy 6.0 liter V-8

Posted By: AJRV on 08/16/02 12:44am

Update on our Gulf Stream 24'B Touring Cruiser. It is now 4 mo. old and serving us well. Although, I love the Roadtrek, we enjoy the extra room that the Roadtrek didn't have. The V10 is a great motor. We had the extentions put on the dual tires. They do loose air pressure easily. We have to put air in the tires every 2 weeks before we travel. We are delighted with the size of the ref. and bathroom. I could use a bit more cabinet space. The kitchen in the middle has worked well for us.

The 2 sofa beds aren't the most comfortable. I use a l" foam pad under the sheets. The slideout makes a world of difference. We love the extra space that it provides. The sofa on the slideout needs to be reconnected. The back comes out from the wall a couple of inches and the foot section to the sofa slides out too easily during traveling. We would like to see Gulf Stream change the angle of the inlet to the fresh water tank. The water must go in slowly or the air sends it backward.

Our mileage is around 11 miles to the gallon. I forgot the awning. The screws came loose on one side of the awning over the slide. The dealer installed longer screws on both sides. It works well now.

We solved the foot pedal problem. Short people have difficulty reaching the gas pedal. The seat doesn't move up & down or foreward. We put a 2X8 board long enough to extend from the pedal to the seat to rest our heal on while driving. Over all, we are pleased with our purchase. Sorry, I took so long answering Crewcut, Daniel, Gary & SBW's questions. sometime ago. We were out enjoying the RV and meeting some wonderful people.

Posted By: Br- on 08/19/02 09:58am

Update: Well, maybe I spoke too soon. Took a short 300 mi. trip last week and the "service engine soon" light came on again. Will be taking it to the GM dealer on wednesday. They have to check with GM to see what to do since this is an ongoing problem. We only have 4,906 miles on it and this is the sixth time for the light since March. Will post more when I find out what's going on.

Posted By: Cluemeister on 08/19/02 09:36pm

AJRV said:

"We had the extentions put on the dual tires. They do loose air pressure easily. We have to put air in the tires every 2 weeks before we travel."

You might want to try putting loc-tite on tire valve threads and then screw on the valve extensions. The loc-tite has kept my valve extenders in place, and they don't leak air.

Heard about it from someone else on this forum.


Posted By: Daniel C. on 08/19/02 10:03pm

A couple of items. One is that I intend to eventually take off the wheel covers and have the outside wheels chromed, eliminating the need for wheel covers, and extenders. I will have to put some hub covers on but that is not a big deal for me.
The other is that my 211S still leaks some in rain. I believe it is migrating from somewhere on top, but since rain in south Texas is a rare event in late summer, I am trying to wait until mid Sep to get it fixed. I have already consulted with the service manager at the dealership and he agrees with my plan to put a sprinkler on top and work my way back from the low point to the high point to try and localize the leak for him when I take it in. I must say that the combination of the relatively high output generator (4kw) and AC make the unit a pleasure to use in my work during the 100 degree days. I still enjoy commuting in it, and am confident that any remaining problems will be fixed well.

Posted By: Br- on 08/21/02 11:18am

Just stopped at the dealer to pick up some paperwork, and looked at another Trail-lite B+ with a new floor plan they're putting out. 21 ft., has a rear/side entry, rear kitchen, rear bath w/tub, large sofa and dinette, sleeps 2. Saw a lot of visible flaws inside. The dealer said they are having a problem with the door retainer (holds the coach door open). It is screwed into the door with 4 screws and they are pulling right off the door. Again, another example of poor workmanship and quality control. Our dealer also told us that any work they did on our coach was at their expense, not reimbursed by Trail-lite. I find it a little hard to believe that a dealer would eat the cost of repairs due to poor workmanship.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 08/21/02 07:59pm

I remain baffled about the factory mentality. They might not be big enough to be able to analyze the long term cost of poor quality control from a perspective of customer satisfaction, dealer satisfaction, and repair costs. Sounds like your dealer might not be getting pre authorization for work done (maybe he charged you enough to eat some of the costs!). I'm pretty sure my dealer is getting paid for everything. I have determined that the seal is indeed the source of my latest leak. The beat goes on. Yet, I still like it!

Posted By: Br- on 08/23/02 10:46am

Just picked the unit up from the GM dealer. They said the wiring connecting the oxygen sensors to the main wiring harness was making a poor contact, a GM assembly problem. They seem confident this is what was causing the service light to keep coming on. Time will tell.

Posted By: AJRV on 08/25/02 04:59pm

Thanks, Cluemiester.
I'll check into the loc-tite for my tires.

Posted By: AJRV on 08/29/02 12:21am

You asked in one entry, if you should keep this thread alive for a while longer. I would vote yes, until a lot of us get "most of the bugs" worked out of the BT Cruiser. I looked under the drawer that is under the stove to check the water lines (must have been ESP) and found another water leak. We bought some Epoxy Putty at the Hardware store in Ardmore, OK. The E. Putty sure works well. Now, to include that with the sofa adjustments at the dealer next week.

*This Message was edited on 29-Aug-02 12:23 AM by AJRV*

Posted By: Daniel C. on 08/29/02 08:00pm

I guess I will keep it going for about a year. I should have about 27000 miles on my Trail Lite 211S by then! It rained hard today and the slide that leaked a week ago from the air conditioner condensate, didn't leak! For some reason, when the vehicle is tilted slightly towards the side with the slide, it leaks. I would have thought that it would be the other way, but I guess that there is some sort of "wicking" at the bottom of the slide that draws moisture inside at the bottom. Aside from that, I still have some drawers and the microwave support that need work. Overall, I cannot imagine anyone getting a more concentrated workout on their motorhome, so I hope that readers can anticipate problems from my experiences. I guess some of the other brands are getting aired out in this thread too. Oh yes, I just bought a Chevy Tracker to tow behind, so I will be changing my signature soon (replacing the Maxima - I need to slow down).

Posted By: Daniel C. on 09/04/02 07:23pm

Guess it's time for an update:
Looks like my average mileage is up a little from 10. It's hard to tell accurately, due to the extensive use of my generator presently (I am averaging about 5-6 hours a day during the summer temps). I am still having some minor problems with cabinets, microwave mount, etc. Those are probably due to the extensive urban driving I am required to do. Overall, I am still pretty happy with the unit. I am really getting excited about traveling cross country with it next month. I will be driving hard with a friend of mine (who is also retired military and in a similar situation), and my two boxers. Planning to stay on the AF Academy grounds for a few days, then to Arizona to see family. I may add some comments on the way, since I will have one of my laptops, and may have an interconnect device for my cell phone by then!

Posted By: Wade K. on 09/04/02 08:44pm

Nothing beats a good road trip! Highly recommend Hwy 50 from Pueblo to Salida then after touring Buena Vista area head over Monarch Pass and on to Durango and Four Corners. Excellent alternative is head south thru Alamosa and on to Taos and Santa Fe. Man I envy you! ;^) Wade

Posted By: Br- on 09/06/02 06:00pm

Dan, where in AZ will you be going? We flew to Vegas last year, rented a car and drove into AZ, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon. Would like to take the RV there next year if all goes well with it, might consider retiring there in four years or so.
Haven't made any more trips, so can't verify about the engine light. Will probably go next weekend for a few days. Have a safe trip and enjoy!

Posted By: Daniel C. on 09/06/02 09:02pm

Br- and Wade:
I am following a sort of late summer ritual in Colorado. I used to work at the Air Force Academy and have several close friends in the mental health field who live near there. I plan to camp on the Academy grounds and visit some favorite haunts nearby, as well as getting some closure with them, since they were friends of my wife as well. So that part of the trip will be bittersweet. My mother moved to Payson Az a year ago to be close to my sister and her husband. Payson is about 90 miles northeast of Phoenix and southeast of Flagstaff. I have never been there, so that part of my trip will be an adventure. The friend who is going with me likes to drive hard to get to destinations, so we will be driving straight through on each leg of the trip, trading sleep breaks. I am frankly excited about having my B+ for this type of trip. It will be a different experience to have a rig that doesn't tire me out like a traditional motorhome (excluding the high dollar ones), but still has room to stretch out once parked!

Posted By: Daniel C. on 09/09/02 05:30pm


Well, I drove my motorhome in hard rain all day today, and NO LEAKS! I guess I just didn't have the slide jacks tight enough, or crank in the slide enough. I let out the slide before the rains came over the weekend, and found an area on the top of the slide where the leaking had apparently happened a couple of weeks ago. I would be sooooooo glad if I finally have that problem licked. I haven't had the courage to see how it does with the slide extended yet, but that will happen this weekend. There are still a few vibration related problems to fix on the factory dime before I start using some self engineered fixes on some items. I have already put a shutoff valve on the water tank vent tube and almost completely shut it off, which eliminates the syphoning out the vent tube. If I need to have additional venting when I fill the tank, I'll just open the valve completely while I am filling. Other items will be putting velcro on the face of several drawers to help keep them in place when I am driving over urban RR tracks. My only lingering concern at this point is the number of miles I am driving. It looks like I will have close to 30K miles by the end of the first year! Glad I'm not putting all those miles on a Chinook! I am already thinking of having the interior reupholstered in a couple of years, depending on how well the interior holds together, but, aside from some wrinkling on the dinette seats, there isn't any apparent wear.

Posted By: Dave. on 09/09/02 09:34pm

We just got back from a trip to the Grand Canyon. Spent 10 days/9 nights in the B+. Really had a great time. We now have our laundry list of items for the dealer, however. Most are not too serious.

One thing that happened on our first evening concerned me a bit - A fuse blew for the exterior lights and the dash. Blew again upon replacing. Since we were traveling over labor day weekend, and not too many chevy dealers at the Grand Canyon, we had to plan our trip for only day-time travel (ended up ok, but needed to plan for it). On our way home, chevy dealer said it was an RV problem (Apparently not the first time they've seen something like this on an RV).

(By the way... we averaged about 13 mpg on the trip. The 5.7L engine seemed to do pretty well in the mountains too - Took I-70 most of the way home)

*This Message was edited on 09-Sep-02 09:38 PM by Dave.*

Posted By: David_J on 09/09/02 10:33pm


Do you still have the leaning problem? You mentioned that you found a 1 to 1.5" lean on your chassis in August. What's that about?

Posted By: Daniel C. on 09/10/02 06:29pm

Sounds like a short, likely in the running lights that are hooked up to the parking lamp circuit I believe. As for gas mileage, I have noticed that gas mileage improves in all my vehicles at high altitude. I think that the air sensor detects less air moving into the intake, and delivers less fuel (I believe the horsepower loss is about 3% per 1000 ft.). If your engine has enough taxible horsepower to not strain, gas mileage improves.

Posted By: Robert_D on 09/14/02 12:42pm

Daniel C., et al-- Thanks so very much for educatcating this neophyte in the vicissitudes of owning a B+. The eyestrain of reading all the posts here was indeed worth it My wife and I have a deposit on a 225 '03 Ford V8 with A Ford Chassis and I pray we get a peach rather than a lemon! Sincere and deepest condolences with regard to the loss of your life mate. The flower that smiles today Tomorrow dies; All that we wish to stay Tempts and then flies. What is this world's delight? Lightning that mocks the night, Brief even as bright. [Shelley]

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Posted By: Dave. on 09/19/02 08:29pm


I still notice a lean on my RV. It did not appear to be a safety issue (according to a chevy dealer who took a quick peek). I'm having a hard time figuring out if it is a true lean in the chassis, a weight distribution issue, or a spring....I have an appointment next week with the dealer to take a look at it, plus our list of items that need some tweaking.

Many have written on this forum regarding quality issues about RV's in general, and some regarding the trail-lite specifically. The problems we have are all pretty minor - The wiring issue being the biggest problem. I can say that we definitely do not regret our purchase, and look forward to more trips in the future.


Posted By: Cluemeister on 09/22/02 09:07pm


A sincere thanks for all the posts regarding your Trail Lite.

My mom's considering a B plus, and your posts have been very helpful.

'02 Adventurer 32V
98 CRV toad

Posted By: Voyager2000 on 09/23/02 06:13pm

Dan, Bruce, Sue, Dave, Wade & All-
Thanks for all of your posts concerning Trail-lite's B+ units. We have been lurking for a while, looking around for a unit for the two of us. Finally, because of (and sometimes despite of) your postings, we have placed a 2003 Trail-lite 225 on order (the short one with the DRY bath!!). We intend to use it much the same way that Bruce & Sue are; Looking around the country for a place to retire to.
We hope to take delivery at the end of the first week in October. Thanks to you guys, I feel like I have a pretty good feel for things to look for (and have fixed) before bringing it home. Wish us luck!
-Danny & Linda

Danny & Linda
2003 Trail-lite 224
on a 2002 Chevy 3500/5.7L V-8
Practically First Timers

Posted By: Daniel C. on 09/23/02 06:56pm

Voyager2000 and Cluemeister:
Thanks for your comments. I have really enjoyed working on this thread (I know - get a life!). I have enjoyed some type of RV for over 30 years, and felt it might be useful to share some of my experiences with a brand new unit. That you and others keep responding, plus all the viewings of the thread, seems to attest to some value in continuing. I hope you either contribute to the thread or start one of your own. In spite of its many shortcomings, I am still pretty happy with my choice, especially for the purpose I use it.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 09/23/02 10:27pm

Daniel, I (formerly Robert_D and not to be confused with another Robert D, here) have changed my name to avoid confusion.

Nevertheless, I still have a gazillion questions if I can impose upon your generous spirit yet again..

We pick up the Plus on Friday and that's the day I get my "vehicle orientation." Do you have any advice for that process--is there anything I should check for, specifically?

I was also wondering if the Plus comes with an inverter or a high-output alternator because of the automatic energy selecting (3way) refrigerator?

I'm also wondering if there are any other dealer modifications you'd suggest . . . like waste tank heaters or an on board charger--we'd like to go up to Arcadia in Maine in November and March and I know you have been to Alaska.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 09/27/02 08:23pm

Wow, what a day--I'm exhausted!

Got up at six drove, about 90 miles for a 9:30 AM orientation that lasted until 3:30 PM and then drove back in the Plus in a steady rain.

Parked it in my back yard and it now looks twice as big as it did on the lot next to all those luxury behemoths!

It drove like a dream and there were lots of surprises--good ones, but I'm too tired to expand.

Just one major design flaw, IMHO: The house battery is VERY difficult to get at for checking and filling. Other than that, this is a honey of vehicle.

Sweet dreams!

Posted By: Daniel C. on 09/28/02 02:33pm

I have yet to check my house battery. I know it is a pain to reach. I assume it will die in a couple of years or sooner, and I will just replace it. I suppose there is a more compulsive alternative, but I am already compulsive enough, and will just keep a volt meter handy to measure voltage when it isn't charging. I had a fantastic fan installed where the vent is on the roof. It really makes a difference when I don't want to run the generator. I also installed an aftermarket stereo, and I am not finished with that. Just got the tires balanced at Discount tire with a lifetime balance feature for $90 (includes rotation). My ride got a little "lumpy" after a few thousand miles. My trip starts Friday. I'll make a couple of inputs while gone (especially if I get the software to hook my laptop to my cell phone).
I am excited for your acquisition. Aren't toys that we can justify for business purposes wonderful!

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 09/28/02 09:25pm

"Aren't toys that we can justify for business purposes wonderful!"

You betchya!!!!

We went to a state park today and my wife took to driving it like a tractor trailer veteran.

The tire deal seems first rate and well worth the money. Coincidentally, I was looking at my tires and wondered why they didn't have any lead weights anywhere.

We came home after sundown and discovered we have no dashboard lights. Is this something I take to the Ford Dealership? I assume it is.

Daniel, we had two "Max-Air-Vents" installed ($24 EA.) and they are wonderful and very easy to install--no holes in the roof, whatsoever.

You can keep your vents open in pouring rain and they also protect the somewhat flimsy stock vents underneath.

We had our first lunch on a pond where my brother and his new English bride took me for a picnic forty years ago.

He had just gotten discharged from the Air Force and was working as a Fuller Brush salesman--I was his delivery boy. Within six months, he was back in the AF.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 09/28/02 09:30pm

Oh I forgot to add that the guy who gave me the vehicle orientation, suggested the Maxx Vents because it cleared up a mildew odor problem.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 09/28/02 09:45pm

By the way, click on the installation guide when you view the cover.

Question: My sales contract says it's a 2003 Trail-Lite B-Plus, but my Ford Owner's Manual says it's a 2002 Ford.

Is this typical . . . and legal?

Posted By: Daniel C. on 09/28/02 11:21pm

It isn't unusual at all for early "next model year" RVs to use previous year chassis. The first time I had that experience was with a 1986 Winnebago that was built on a 1985 Chevy chassis. I was haunted for years that I would discover that I was sold a year older motorhome. I imagine that either the 2003 chassis wasn't available when you ordered your motorhome, or there were left over 2002 Fords with the engine selection that you wanted. Regarding your dash lights, usually that would be considered a chassis problem, but have your dealer troubleshoot it first, in case there was a short in the running lights on the coach somewhere. You can check the fuse under the dash for the dash lights and see if it is blown also, but I am mildly suspicious that the coach construction is probably somehow responsible for your problem.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 09/29/02 09:42pm

Thanks for the info, Dan. We are headed up to Vermont early Tuesday and I wonder if the local Ford Truck Dealer will give me an appointment Monday--on the same day? We've been working frantically to get up to speed for the trip--amusing our neighbors to no end. They asked if we "bought the vehicle for pleasure or to put us in an early grave?" I had to trim six hemlocks to accommodate the RV's height. . . . and countless other things! [I crawled under the vehicle and found lots of sensor wires (to the various tanks) just fastened with electrical nuts and no tape--no wonder people complain about their tank sensors going dead so soon.] Still in all, the Plus is nicely conceived and it's just a bunch of slackers at the factory whom, I assume, hate their jobs.

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Posted By: Daniel C. on 09/30/02 06:24pm

I have gotten so blase' about my vehicle that once I looked at the lack of dual exhausts, and located the aux battery, I essentially lost interest in further exploration. I suppose I do need to check the sensors now, though I assume the innacurate black water level is the result of errant effluent (pleasant thought)!
I am getting excited about my trip. I put toilet paper in a water tight plastic container to accomodate the wet bath. Also put some velcro on one of the drawers that likes to open at the whim of crossed RR tracks.
The adventure continues. Air Force is undefeated thus far; I may try to get to the Navy game at the Academy by Saturday, since I will be camping just across the stadium.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 09/30/02 07:46pm

The best laid plans of mice and men are equal!

I took the Plus to my local Ford Truck dealer at 8 AM this morning and told him of my pligh with regard to my trip to Vermont tomorrow. He said "I'll try to fit you in but no guarantees."

I called at 5PM and the night shift guy said the dash on my vehicle was completely apart and I "should call in the next day or two."

I did the same thing with toilet paper yesterday, Dan. Enjoy the game for the both of us!

Posted By: Dave. on 09/30/02 09:54pm


We have a very similar situation. We have a "2003" Trail-Lite on a 2002 Chevy.

On our recent trip to the Grand Canyon, our dash lights went out (first day of the trip). Our dealer thought we should have the RV dealer take care of it since they thought it was probably caused by an RV assembly problem.

It will be interesting to hear if we have the same problem. I will let you know as soon as I get it back.


Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/01/02 06:17am

Thanks Dave, if I get it back today, I'll tell you what the Ford people said.

It is suspicious, though, isn't it?

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/01/02 07:18am

Just Got word from the Ford dealership--there was a crossed wire that caused a short--they are redoing the dashboard wiring and waiting for a primary part that blew.

If I'm lucky, I'll be getting the Plus back at 2PM--otherwise I'll probably cancel the trip.

How was the Grand Canyon trip, Dave? Did you find the lack of storage a problem?

By the way, where did you stow your sewer gear? I'm looking into these types of storage options:

Posted By: Daniel C. on 10/01/02 06:49pm

I bought a 10' hose and cut it off until it would fit in the tube stingily supplied by the manufacturer - it ended up being about 7.5-8'. Then, I bought an extension that I will carry in the outdoor storage. I am hoping I won't need it, but if I do, I will clean, then put in a garbage bag and put back in the outdoor storage!

Posted By: Dave. on 10/01/02 07:21pm

We had a wonderful time at the Grand Canyon. Spent 2 nights on the south rim, 2 nights on the north rim, and also made it to Zion. Definitely NOT enough time to fully appreciate, but had a great time.

We took three 10 hour days to drive down. The one thing that stood out for me was the drive-ability. It really does drive like a van!

Storage did not seem to be an issue for the two of us. But then, we don't need much to keep us happy. Actually, we were impressed with the amount of inside storage available for food etc -We didn't use it all. We decided not to have the TV, so we have a bit more storage in the front area.

I have been using the hose that came with our camper. It fits in the manufacturer given area for storage. This is all we have used so far.

The crossed wire that was found by the this a Ford issue or an RV issue?


Posted By: Br- on 10/02/02 02:16pm

We've made two short trips in the last couple of weeks, and so far the engine light has not come back on. I have noticed another small problem, the inside plastic trim around the driver door is popping loose. The dealer checked with trail-lite and they said it's GM's problem. Took it to a GM dealer and they said since the trim was altered by trail-lite, it has to be fixed by trail-lite. Too much of a hassle, so I'll try and take care of it myself. Hope you have a nice trip, Dan. Keep us posted.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/03/02 03:49pm

FYI Department:

More info regarding my new B-Plus having no dashboard lighting.

The mechanic showed me the blown parts from the dash and it happened as a result of poor workmanship in the after-market stereo installation. A bare wire, which should have been taped, crossed a metal part and shorted out the dimmer and another dash element.

(My wife thought she smelled "a strange odor," but Mr. Know-it-all 'splained to Lucy that "it was merely the new exhaust.")

It certainly was NOT Ford's responsibility to fix it, and yet, they did--instilling great confidence and loyalty in THIS customer--needless to say!

I'm going to flag Trail-Lite to alert them of this situation and the fact that their staff isn't bothering to use electrical tape on the sensor wire nuts to the vehicle's holding tanks. How expensive is electrical tape?

Posted By: Br- on 10/03/02 05:19pm

Robert, I sent a letter off to trail-lite last May voicing my dissatisfaction about some of the problems we were having. I also mentioned all the people who were reading these posts and how they needed stricter quality control. Never did receive a response from them. Maybe you'll have better luck.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/03/02 06:59pm

Bruce- That's discouraging to hear, but on a more positive note, we have just returned from a two night trip to Vermont and the vehicle performed flawlessly.

We parallel parked in a small town, made a drastic U-turn after missing an exit, took showers and cooked an extravagant meal in a thunderstorm.

We even had to make an emergency stop while doing seventy on the interstate because some young kid decided to cross the highway in search of his plastic bumper that fell off his vehicle. The Plus stopped on a dime!

However, I did find a 3/4 nut, welded to a 2 inch washer, under the couch and next to the potable water tank. It was just sitting there and I have no idea where it is supposed to go--nor did the head mechanic at the RV dealership!!!???

Posted By: Br- on 10/04/02 12:25pm

Robert, I have to say our unit does handle very well, even around town in heavy traffic. We are still getting 12-13 mpg, keeping our speed around 60 -65. We also found stray bolts and screws lying around the unit, never found where they belonged. Most likely just leftovers they forgot to clean up. We ran into our dealer a few weeks ago at an RV show, and he mentioned getting complaints about stress fractures on fairly new units, but supposedly trail-lite won't cover this type of problem. No problems with that here so far.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/04/02 04:00pm

"STRESS FRACTURES!!!" Where, Bruce--on the frame/chassis?????

Our salesperson called to see if we were happy with the vehicle and she mentioned that the "Trail-LIte Guy" was saying that the company was still looking for a good stereo system to fit in the Ford cab.

Have you noticed that the Trail-Lite website only has a "Contact" link for people interested in PURCHASING a new Trail-Lite—rather than providing a "Contact" for problems or questions?

I went looking for floor mats for the cab and it's such a ridiculous and asymmetrical configuration--there wasn't anything remotely close. Lots of Ford "F" floor mats, but nothing for "E's." What good is an upholstered cab if you can't protect it from mud and wear?

Posted By: Br- on 10/04/02 05:51pm

All the dealer mentioned was a few mirrors cracking in the bathroom, and I believe he said something about cabinets in the kitchen area. He didn't go into a lot of detail, and I don't recall him saying anything about the frame/ chassis. I hope he was only refering to the insides of the coach. The radio that came preinstalled with our unit, a sanyo, was useless, cd player wouldn't work. The dealer did reimburse us $200 towards a new one which we had installed on our own. I know what you mean about the floor mats. Right now we're using carpet scraps cut to fit.

Apparently trail-lite disregards any mail sent to them, and it seems they don't want to be bothered by e-mail. The only way for contact is by phone.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/04/02 07:11pm

I remember your post about the Sanyo; ours came with a Blaupunkt and it can miss the CD tract on a good sized bump--I wish we had the stereo our Passat came with. However the FM tuner on the Blaupunkt is quite good, so I shouldn't kick.

We used it a lot for NPR news and background CD music during meals—
running it off the accessories switch on the vehicle's starter battery—which in all candor, I don't know if this is wise? I'm wondering if I should invest in an inverter.

With regard to the TV, in town we can get quite a few local TV stations, but up in the Green Mountains of Vermont, we didn't get one channel--so you're not missing anything and I'm sure the extra storage comes in handy.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/04/02 07:14pm

That should have been track instead of tract above . . . sure wish I could edit!

Posted By: D'Crus on 10/07/02 08:26am

Hi AJRV re the water fill problem.
Option 1. Get a relatively thin and hollow plastic tube and fit one end with a small floating device ( a bit of cork etc) cut the tube long enough to float on the inside of the tank and leave 2-3 inches outside. Then insert the water hose beside the tube and fill. The tube allows the air pressure to release and fill float up as the tank fills.
Option B. Fit the top of the tank with a air release valve - same type of device as in the back of most portable 5 gal gas tanks. In this case one would have to reach in and open the valve when filling the water tank.
Good luck.

Posted By: D'Crus on 10/07/02 08:44am

To Daniel C re storing extra sewer hose.
I use a length of drainage pipe,( with holes to allow for air circulation) and two plastic end caps to provide no fuss storage in the outside bin. I also cut it to just force fit between the walls of the bin so that it does not flop around.
Good RVing

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/07/02 03:54pm

FYI Department:

More info on the welded nut&washer I found under the couch: Under the front seat, I found two more nuts and a large 3/4x6" bolt with a two inch thick rubber mount around it that the washer/nut is meant to keep on.

One nut, okay— but finding THREE MORE and the bolt was too vexing to ignore, so I took them down to the Ford Truck dealer and they said it was a mount that's meant to keep the cab affixed to the chassis. I have to bring the Plus back in this week for an inspection.

I also asked about extensions for the tire valve stems and the mechanic who fixed the dash asked if I'd ever heard of, "Cat's Eyes for truck wheels?" I said no of course and he showed me some he had installed on another RV.

They are snake-like metal hoses that connect to the double rear wheels with a gage (that looks like a cat's eye when the pressure is correct) letting you know if you need more air.

They also equalize the pressure in both tires— which is somewhat hazardous when they aren't equal.

And finally, they ordered me the proper Econoline front mats--which they said, I'd never be able to find in an auto parts store.

Posted By: Br- on 10/07/02 04:46pm

A bolt that holds the cab to the chassis?? I hope that one's a stray, and not one they forgot to put in. Maybe another example of poor quality control. I'm going to check into those "cat eyes". Thanks for that tip.

Posted By: Dave. on 10/07/02 06:55pm

Just got the B+ back from the dealer...

The "lights out" for the dash and exterior running lights problem was not found. They replaced the fuse and could not find what was causing it to short (It did not short for them, of course). When I was on my trip, I had immediately tried to replace the fuse and it blew right away. So whatever is causing the short may have jiggled away...for now.

Also, the dealer verified the leaning issue with my unit (leans about 1" to one side). They also noted the same issue with some of the units on their lot. The have alerted the engineers at R-vision and will get back to me about it. I Will try to update once I find out

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/07/02 08:51pm

Dave--You're killin' me here--it's so discouraging to here of your plight.

Did you tell them about my problem with the CD/stereo wire having no tape causing the same kind of problem? . . . or the extra cab mounting bolts and nuts?

My mechanic was incredibly diligent, but he works for Ford and NOT the RV dealer. Have you considered taking it to the truck and chassis dealer for another a second opinion?

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/07/02 08:52pm


Posted By: Dave. on 10/08/02 07:57am

I mentioned the stereo possibility. I'm thinking they replaced the fuse...and since it didn't blow right away, didn't check anything else out. If I have a chevy dealer look at it, I may not be as lucky as you and find someone willing to not charge me for it - since it would appear to be an RV manufacturer issue.

I have not seen any bolts - were these left off or did they come off afterwards?

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/08/02 09:24am

Why not let the Chevy dealer find the problem (especially if the vehicle is still under warranty) and if they want to charge you, call the RV dealer and tell them the bill is going to them?

If they refuse, you will least know that the RV dealer is disreputable, and taking him to small claims court will soon change his attitude—and cost you nothing.

I have not seen any bolts - were these left off or did they come off afterwards?

The bolts must have been removed to retrofit the RV to the cab & chassis and MAY have not been reinstalled. This is why the Ford dealer wants to look at the Plus again . . . and if they charge me, the bill is going to the RV dealer and, I assume back to Trail-Lite/R-Vision.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/08/02 11:29am

Here is the URL for the Cat's Eye inflation system. . .

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/08/02 11:36am

[Not being able to edit is driving me nuts and the moderator doesn't even bother to answer my emails any longer!] CAT'S EYE cont'd . . . The system I'm having installed by the Ford Truck dealer is costing me $130 plus labor. It's not cheap, but years of crawling around underneath wheels and wondering about the pressure when I'm too lazy or too old to do it seems well worth it to me.

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Posted By: Dave. on 10/08/02 11:02pm

To edit: When looking at your post, hit the "Edit" button. Type in your User name/password. Edit your message and "Submit"
I am now faced with the dilemma of having a dealer attempt to find a solution to a problem that is currently not there. I appreciate the info on the stereo problem, so I may have them at least check that out. Otherwise, I may have to wait for the lights to go out again!

As many previous posts on this site have shown, problems like these will always be there. For me, it hasn't been much more than an annoyance. We still do not regret having purchased the B+ and are looking forward to getting through these initial problems. I am just glad that these problems are showing up now during the warranty period.


Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/09/02 05:44am

Oh, I know how to edit but for some reason this forum's software doesn't recognize my "cookie" when I try to edit. This is the message I get:

"Sorry, but you are not the message's author and you are not a moderator/administrator. Only the messages original author can edit the message and the forum's moderators/administrators."

The powers that be, here, have tried to fix it but, evidently, they've given up.

I wonder if having a MAC is the reason?

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/09/02 06:45am

Dave, I forgot to mention that I have also just noticed the eggzak[/] same 1&1/2" lean to the driver's side that you mentioned.

Anymore info on that? I vaguely recall someone mentioning that it was a common problem with the Trail-Lites, but I don't remember where I read it.

When I take the vehicle in to the Ford Truck people for the inspection, I will point out the lean also.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/09/02 06:47am

[/i] NUTZZZZZ!!!!!

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Posted By: Dave. on 10/09/02 09:55pm

Sorry, didn't mean to insult you about the edit problem! Hope they get it fixed for you.

The Cat's Eye sounds very interesting. Any idea if it causes any problems with keeping the wheels balanced?

As per the leaning issue - My dealer recently notified R-Vision about the problem (noticed on others in their lot). No further word yet. Wondering if anyone else noticing this (i.e. Daniel or Bruce?) I will post immediately if I hear anything.


Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/10/02 07:04am

No insult taken, Dave and I'll do likewise with regard to the Ford inspection.

I'm not sure if the cat's eye will effect the balancing--they're fairly light and the tires are pretty heavy--but, I'll ask.

Being in Minnesota, have you winterized your vehicle yet? Like me, is it your first time doing this procedure?

I was considering holding tank heaters so I could get more use in the colder months, but the tech-guy at my RV dealer said they were more trouble than they're worth because they are such a constant drain on the house battery.

He also said windshield wiper fluid was just as effective as RV antifreeze, but much cheaper to use. I wonder if there are any chemists out there who would know if this is a good tip?

Posted By: Br- on 10/10/02 09:12am

Haven't seen any noticeable lean, but I will check it out again tomorrow. Hope this isn't going to develop into another problem with these units. We've had our share of trips to the dealers.

Posted By: Dave. on 10/10/02 10:48pm

I have not yet winterized...I will be doing it this weekend, though. We're expecting some below freezing weather (already!?) this weekend. Yes, this will be my first time winterizing.

I have the holding tank heaters. I'm wondering why I got them...In below freezing weather, the heaters will not protect against freezing in any of the lines, only keep the tanks from freezing.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 10/10/02 11:23pm

I am currently visiting my sister and brother in law in Payson Az. I now have about 20,000 on my motorhome, and haven't really had any of the stray parts, or the leaning that you discuss. I did notice that the bumper is slanted about an inch, but that seems to be a bumper to frame problem, and I haven't really addressed it yet, because it hasn't caused any problem driving or sitting. Overall, I have been pretty satisfied with the performance of the unit going to Colorado Springs, and Payson. I went over Raton Pass at 70mph in cruise (smiling greatly). My mileage has been about 10+ mpg, but I have been driving 70-75 mph. The quality of ride has been good, considering the size and weight.
One thing that I would advise is to pay attention to tire balance, and rotation. I did not. I have reconciled that since I waited until I had 17K miles, I have to live with balance and cupping problems until I replace the tires completely in about a year.
More to follow when I return at the end of the week.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/11/02 07:11am

Dave- I found out on another thread that the winter wiper fluid is a bum steer so don't use it.

I also have a winterizing checklist from a video I bought that is pretty comprehensive. I will scan and post it if you like?

If I can dupe the video somewhere, I'd be happy to send it--I had planned on sending a copy to Dan also--as a surprise--but I'm having difficulty finding a duping machine.

Dan- I will definitely take your advice about tire rotation to heart. How are the dogs?

Posted By: Br- on 10/11/02 06:53pm

Checked again and can't see any "noticeable" lean on the unit. However, as Dan mentioned, our rear bumper is also slanted down on the right side. I noticed that back in March after we got the unit, but I assumed it was just misaligned when they attached it. We're leaving tomorrow for an overniter, but when we get back I'll crawl under and check that bumper out further.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/12/02 07:20pm

Bruce- I put a four foot level on my rear bumper and it was about an inch and a half out of level, but now, because of your post, I'll have to check other surfaces like the roof and the sink counter. Thanks for the input.

Posted By: Br- on 10/13/02 02:44pm

As far as the bumper goes, it seems to be just cosmetic. It apparently wasn't connected to the frame as straight as it should've been.
We have a freeze warning up for this area tonight so I just winterized. Hate to see this cold weather coming so soon! Most likely this weekend was our last trip for the season, but I hope Dan continues to keep us updated on his unit for future reference. Maybe he can offer more input on the bumper problem.

Posted By: Dave. on 10/13/02 10:26pm

My bumper is slanted, too. At first, it was difficult for me to determine if it was the bumper or whole RV. I have measured a few additional areas (ground to frame) to confirm, and the dealer has confirmed this as well.

I am also looking forward to continuing updates from Daniel - I had to winterize yesterday since lows will be below freezing all week.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 10/14/02 09:47pm

Just got back Yesterday evening. I am convinced that I should have a bigger unit if I ever full time again, but was able to flourish well for a week with the dogs and one traveling companion. I did develop a problem with the slide, noticing that the bottom has pulled apart from the side. I had noticed that the floor brace (with the roller attached)pulled up at the end of securing the slide, so that the roller is about half an inch in the air. It appears that when it does that the fiberglass side is supporting the entire weight of the couch when the slide is in. The weight of my dogs on the couch was enough to pull the bottom away from the side of the slide! I am leaving the slide secured while I decide when I can get the unit in for repairs. Other than that, I have been able to drive the motorhome like a car for the entire trip, cruising at 75 mph at times (and making excellent time). I got about 10 mpg for the entire trip.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/15/02 07:12am

Welcome back, Dan and sorry to hear about your problems with the slide-out. In comparison, my dilemmas seem insignificant. Will your warranty take care of the situation or has it expired?

Also, in the questions department, at what psi do you keep your tire pressures? On my tires (Firestone LT225/75R16Es), it says: "80 psi Cold Maximum."

In my Ford "Incomplete Vehicle Manual," however, it reads: " Front: 65 psi Cold" and "Rear Dual: 60 psi Cold."

It's always somethin,' huh?

Posted By: Daniel C. on 10/15/02 07:16pm

I am still covered by the factory warranty until Feb, 2003. I am really not worried about the situation. My dealer is good enough that I am confident that it will get repaired properly (in addition, I will be involved in the process with the service manager). Since it is sealed pretty well right now, I can use it without worry as long as I don't put it out! It is my understanding that tire pressure is supposed to be determined by the anticipated max weight on the rig. There was a thread about that some months ago. I carry 60lbs of pressure, which is about 5 less than max posted on the tire and the sticker on the front door sill. I am probably going to replace the tires in a few months anyway, and get a better brand, plus maybe get new wheels as well. The ride has gotten pretty lumpy in the past few thousand miles, due to my lack of rotating the tires. I could probably get them "trued", but don't feel inclined to spend the money for that at this point.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/16/02 08:46am

Thanks for the input, Dan.

I'm beginning to wonder if these things aren't more trouble than they're worth. We've only had one real sojourn in the Plus yet it's consumed more time and effort than I care to add up.

I put a level on various flat surfaces inside and outside the unit and there is definitely a 1"+ lean to the side that has the refrigerator--which I assume is causing the lean. I find this ironic because in the frig manual it says that the unit must be level in order for it to function properly.

I also talked to the parts person at the truck dealership who said I was correct to order the 80 PSI Cat's Eye (after I mentioned that Ford suggested a lower inflation pressure) and he said, "You always go with the tire manufacturer rather, than the maker of the vehicle." I still had my doubts because I got the impression he didn't want to reorder another Cat's Eye, so after hours searching and reading the Bridgestone/Firestone website, I found absolutely no information regarding my dilemma. Finally, I gave up and emailed my specific question to them, but they haven't replied yet. So now I have an expensive piece of equipment ready to be installed that may be a waste if it's the wrong type.

Ever get the felling that the world is overrun with Sorceror's Aprentices?

And finally, I'm finding that my house battery isn't being charged when the unit is plugged into 110 AC--so something must be draining the thing, but for the life of me I can't figure out what exactly!!!

Sorry for the rant, but when I share these problems with my wife, she just shrugs and asks if we made a mistake? AGHHHHH!!!

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/16/02 09:13am

[Addendum] Dan, I just found out (from Firestone) that your pressure (60 PSI) is the correct pressure for the dual rear tires and 65PSI for the front.

Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 10/16/02 07:23pm

You are going to have to reconcile yourself to becoming an expert on your unit. I presume that you plan to put a lot of miles on it once you get started on your tour. I currently have 21,000 miles, and will have aobut 26K by the end of the first year. I am also convinced that everything will be as good as it can be by then. In a way, I am lucky that I am putting so many miles on the unit, so I can get to any defects that would usually show up after three or four years of service. I am actually pretty happy with my coach, even though it is a pain to go through all the adjustments. I have yet to drive any vehicle that is as useful in a variety of situations, yet is as easy to drive in any situation from bumper to bumper traffic, to 70mph in a hard rain. I averaged about 65mph on the last 625 miles of my trip, which would rival any vehicle in the same situation (actually faster, because I didn't have to stop long to use the "facilities". The list of repairs will be long again, but I plan to leave the unit with the dealer for a couple of weeks next week if necessary.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/17/02 10:30am

You have a healthy attitude, Dan and I am indeed adjusting to my new responsibilities--but in candor--I didn't expect it, however--which says something about my naiveté, I suppose.

But you are right, it is a terrific piece of adventure with many more possibilities for exploring this wonderful country than a car with hotel rooms could ever offer.

I spent some time underneath the unit and saw where the rubber mounts have been used and where they were not. I suspect that Ford includes extra mounts for the many different types of body options for their chassis.

I also found out why my vehicle wasn't charging the house battery--the AC adapter plug came loose and I left the thermostat on during a cold snap, so it ran the battery down.

I've now installed a night-light in the AC outlet over the sink which will tell me automatically if I'm on AC or 12 V DC.

Posted By: Br- on 10/17/02 04:59pm

Dan, nice to hear your trip went well, aside from the slide problem. Hope your dealer can get that taken care of.
Robert, I also didn't expect the problems we experienced with our unit, but most of the bugs seem to be worked out for now. My wife wondered as well if we had made a bad choice, but all in all,we have enjoyed the short trips we have taken so far. Next year will really put it to the test as we're considering a trip to Olympia, WA. where my brother lives. Has your dealer heard from Trail-lite regarding the lean issue?

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/17/02 07:57pm


I've come to the conclusion that it's not a serious issue, but I will still get the master mechanic at the Ford Truck dealer to look at it when he installs my Cat's Eyes.

Two things have persuaded me not to be concerned: 1) When I was underneath the chassis, I measured the difference from a number of areas on the underbody (including the leaf springs) to the ground and all of the measurements were within a 1/4" of the opposite side. 2) While parking in a Lowe's Home Center lot today (which was level), I measured my counter with a two foot level I happen to still have in the unit, and it had the exactly opposite lean that it had when it was parked in my driveway. Weird huh?

My wife has a conference in Portland Oregon in early June and we've decided to drive out via New Mexico and Arizona and return by way of Banf and Toronto about a month or five weeks I figure.

Posted By: Todd K on 10/18/02 08:27am

Hi all,

Thanks to all that have posted here. My wife and I found the info here very helpful and picked up our 2002 B+/Ford last week. We’re spizzed! In the end, we decided that the problems that were being reported could easily occur in any rv, and that the difference in price, small-yet-bigger-than-a-B size, and slide-out made this the right choice for us. The fact that the majority of the issues listed on this board were minor (and were subsequently resolved) gave us the confidence to stroke the check.

One question though: Does anybody know of a bike rack for the B+ that will allow the use of the back door even when the bikes are on the rack? (If we use a ladder rack or hitch-mounted rack, the bikes would still block the back door.)

Thanks again for all of the input.


P.S. For others who are still shopping: We specifically wanted a barely used 2002 211S/Ford. We combed the net and found it with 3,900 miles for 36k. We found the cheapest quotes for new ones to be from ($41k for 2003 Ford V-10 B+ 211 w/ slide-out) and (under $42 for the same thing). Also, there is a 2002 211S in Hudson, MI for sale w/ 12,000 miles. Asking is 39k. They’d probably take 36k (total guess). The unit is posted on . Best wishes.

Posted By: dukepv on 10/18/02 11:00am


Those links you gave are invaluable. Thanks for your contributions, and I look forward to your trip reports.

Two things are holding me back from following your lead. One is the "quart of milk" issue. After you've settled in your campsite, opened up the awning, and put on dinner, you discover you need a quart of milk. What's your solution? I don't think bikes will get you to the nearest store in many cases.

The other is the Gulfstream BT Cruiser. One poster had horrible issues with it, but I'm thinking (hoping) she got a one-time lemon. I like the look and layout of the BTC 5211 interior and have this feeling it's more solidly built. Did you look at it and make a comparison?


*This Message was edited on 18-Oct-02 11:11 AM by dukepv*

Posted By: Todd K on 10/18/02 12:31pm

Hi Duke,

Glad the links helped.

The B+ worked better for my wife, my two year old and I than everything else, the BT Cruiser included. And, although I can explain why we made the decision, our criteria is a little different than most. (We are traveling the states for a month and then converting our B+ to 4x4 and going to South America for a couple of months this January. Afterward, we hope to ship the B+ to Africa for three or four months this summer/next year.) Given the number of ships/rough terrain, we wanted the smallest self-contained vehicle that we could find.

We looked at the BT Cruiser, Kodiak, Phoenix and every conventional (although too small) class B. The 211S was the smallest (21’) and lowest B+-type unit with a slide (which is great if you have a two year old that needs moving-around space).

So, it made the most size-sense. In the end, the BT Cruiser and Kodiak both have a slightly nicer finish, but the designs of all three makes have the same basic functionality. I’m not against a little more luxury, but we didn’t think we’d have any more fun just because the upholstery and cabinets were prettier. (Plus two year olds are hard on interiors anyway.)

I agree, although I’m not sure why, that the BT Cruiser does seem more “solid”. But I can tell you, we have been driving the B+ as aggressively as an SUV with no problem. Ultimately, I think the decision is, do you want/need a slide? If so, are you willing to go to a longer 24’ BT to get it? If you want the 21’ BT w/o the slide, are you willing to pay the extra $5-7,000 for the upgraded interior?

For my family, small size, slide, and a reasonable level of satisfaction with the B+'s interior made it the right choice. If your criteria is different, though, I don’t think that you’d regret buying the BT Cruiser.

Best wishes.


P.S. I would add that in the end, you'll probably care less about the cabinets and more about where you go and what you see.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 10/18/02 05:43pm

todd k:
Before you ship your unit overseas, please pay attention to the problem I am currently having with the slide on my unit. I discovered (after seeing the side break away from the bottom support) that the side supports the entire weight of the couch if the rollers on the bottom of the couch lift up when the slide is secured in the driving position. I wondered about the alignment when I first got the unit early in the year, and on my recent trip of 3000 miles, the separation occurred. It doesn't seem like a major fix, but aligning the slide so it doesn't happen again might be! I echo your delight with the handling of the B+. The main advantage of the Trail Lite is weight saving, though some shoring up of appliances and drawers might be in order for rougher roads, which will add some weight. I have the chevy chassis and frequently forget that I am not driving a regular van.

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 10/18/02 09:11pm

Todd -- I was stunned to read that a ladder mounted bike rack will block the door. I researched racks for the 211S to carry our tandem, and concluded the ladder rack (TopLine) would be our only choice if we wanted to use the door without first getting out of the cab and swinging a Yakima swingaway hitch rack aside. We currently have the rack here and are awaiting the delivery of our 2003 Chevy 211S from RV World in Mesa, AZ. I have to admit, I never measured the door/ladder distances and can only hope you are in error. If not, we are in trouble!

*This Message was edited on 18-Oct-02 09:14 PM by Gary Swanson*

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 10/18/02 09:21pm

Todd -- I failed to mention, the TopLine ladder bike rack hangs the bike(s) vertically, and I can't imagine the door would end up being blocked. I got our from Camper World. Also, please please keep me posted re your 4x4 conversion. I am VERY interested.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/20/02 08:47pm

Heads Up Department:

We left for a two day trip to Point Judith in R.I. to check out a campground and have some lobster and little necks.

Whenever I pull out or back into our driveway I scrape the back end of the Plus and specifically the spare tire. I've tried to give it as much of an angle as possible, but more times than not, it hits the dip in our driveway/sidewalk.

When we returned from R.I. today, our neighbor told us he had to roll our spare tire up into our backyard because it was lying in the street after we pulled out!

After investigating the spare's cabling system, it wasn't difficult to figure out what happened. The cable winch is made of plastic and covered with a metal plate. It now has a hairline crack in it and one of the two square tubular bars (welded to the frame that protects the holding tanks from the spare) is now somewhat bent by the spare tire's collision with the ground.

The multiple jarring must have finally loosened the spare enough to let it just drop. This is the second design flaw (IMHO) I've found--the first being no where near as serious -- poor access to the house battery.

WARNING: There isn't a whole lot of clearance below the spare tire and its cabling system is too simply too small for the size of the spare.

Moreover, there's no locking mechanism to safeguard the tire from loosening up and falling out.

Also inadequate, are the tubular safety bars that are meant to protect the holding tanks from coming in contact with road hazards. They should either be larger or there should more attached

Posted By: Todd K on 10/21/02 08:28am

A second on the dragging spare issue.

We turned into a very unremarkable parking lot that ripped off the spare (along with the sewer cap) from the bottom of the vehicle. The spare rolled into the street. I found myself on my back under the vehicle in a Walmart parking lot getting it re-attached. We’re adding a cargo rack to the top. It is a much better place for the spare, won’t protrude any higher than the roof ac and will prevent the back end from dragging.


*This Message was edited on 21-Oct-02 12:02 PM by Todd K*

Posted By: Todd K on 10/21/02 08:30am

Thanks for the info. I’ll check the slide. A solution might be to weld a flat steel piece above the caster that would act as a track and prevent the caster from rising. You’re right about a little reinforcement of the drawers, too. I think that it can be done by putting small blocks in the corners.

Posted By: Todd K on 10/21/02 08:37am

I held my bike (26” wheels) up to the ladder and it definitely blocks the door. I ordered the same ladder rack (which will arrive this week), but I’m doubtful. I’m hoping I can rig it somehow. Let me know if you get it to work. I'll do the same.

P.S. There are two companies that really specialize in the 4x4 conversion. is probably the best known. But seems to have more post-rv-conversion experience. We’re going with Salem Kroger because they can also add heavier shocks, sway bars, a winch and brush guard. It ain't cheap ($8-10k), but it’ll enable you to take your B+ to some really remote places.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 10/21/02 06:05pm

Todd K:
The problem with interfering with the travel of slide is that it won't properly align to the side of the outside wall if the travel is restricted at the end of the retraction. Does you slide take the tension off the rollers at the end of the travel in? The service manager at my dealership said that they have some teflon shims that might fit the need for me. I am wondering if the sides might be made a little longer also, since it seems to travel in and out just fine with the bottom about one inch down from where it belongs.

Posted By: D'Crus on 10/21/02 06:11pm

TRy the biles on the front.

Posted By: Br- on 10/21/02 06:14pm

Robert, sorry to hear about that spare issue. Our driveway is no problem, but when I have a chance I'll take a look at the spare on ours. Good to know for future reference. Our battery is located behind the side entrance step, so it's fairly easy to get at. Had it out in 10 min. By the way, how was the lobster?

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/21/02 07:32pm

The lobster was very fresh, sweet and perfectly cooked, Bruce, thanks!

And you are very fortunate indeed with regard to the battery.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/21/02 07:36pm

Thanks for the input Todd. I'm curious, where and how will the rack be attached to the roof and isn't it a bit risky with regard to possible leaks?

Posted By: Todd K on 10/22/02 07:07am

I'm going to have it installed on the roof, in the center, behind the roof a/c. There are a ton of products to prevent rubber roofs from leaking. (Plus, I'm having this done by a pro.)

Posted By: Daniel C. on 10/22/02 09:07pm

Made a side trip to the dealer today, so we could talk about the repairs to be done on the slide. We observed together that all the 211S models on the lot lifted up at the end of the travel. The service manager is ordering more of the fiberglass that the side of the slide is made of, and will try to correct that problem. He also ordered some repair parts and I will take in the unit for repair when all the parts are in. I am going to look into a subwoofer to hook up to the Kenwood I installed several months ago. I sold my wife's Maxima with the Bose system in it after her death, and I am missing that "kick ass bass" sound. I will keep you posted on my low dollar efforts. I must say that I have never encountered a dealer so eager to please as the folks that I bought my unit from (Ron Hoover RV in Boerne Tx - free add).

Posted By: bhk on 10/24/02 02:13pm

If you have a BT cruiser, the same happened with our sewer pipe. It still bottoms out on occasion, but the sewer pipe was the worst. Well check the tire, thanx for info!

We wanted to put the caster/rollers on the bumper, but there is no way to do so (?)
tho will review this issue again having finally got the rig back after 3 months in the shop.

We were told NOT to put a ladder on, or anything on the roof, because it VOIDS the manuf. warranty (2 years), fiberglass

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/24/02 04:58pm

I hope my dealer will prove to be the same, Dan.

For those of you who don't have a rear door and are looking for extra storage, please check out my $300 aluminum solution . . .

Posted By: jrf on 10/26/02 10:57pm

Did I understand correctly that someone is contemplating mounting the spare tire on the roof?

Poor weather, rain, ice, wind, heavy truck traffic, big flapping yellow raincoat, flashlight in one hand, wrench in the other, poor attitude of vehicle (tilted, possibly in ditch) come to mind as one is trying to wrestle the spare to the ground when necessary. Tires bounce and roll too if dropped or tossed, usually human bodies don't. Be careful.

It's been a long time, but I've seen spares mounted on the front bumper. Also tilt down racks that lay the tire almost on the ground for you (but that was on the back bumper, darned door).

Could one fabricate a tire rack on the rear step that folds downward with the step? Or something like that? It would prevent opening the door from inside until the tire is moved from the outside.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/27/02 10:05am

Thoughtful points, well taken, Joel (wrt ToddK's idea).

I've decided to keep mine where it is; I'll just cable and lock it to the frame--now that I'm more conscious of the six inch clearance from the spare to the ground.

Posted By: dukepv on 10/27/02 11:33am

What a great thread this is. But it always takes a lot of clicks to get to that most recent post!

Does anyone know a way to reverse the order of the posts, putting the most recent FIRST? Or a way to get to page 21 directly?

Posted By: jrf on 10/27/02 07:46pm


The amount of memory space occupied by a twelve foot or so fall is way out of line with the time the fall takes. So many quick acting experiences are that way I suppose. One broken bone, wrist, I finished my job and made the hospital about six hours later. Made it difficult to change the diapers on my just born son. Hmmm. There were some advantages after all.

Better choice I believe keeping the tire low. Don't go after the spare if you have to jack up to get to it. Find another solution. Perhaps drop spare, attach tug rope (or vicee versee), then jack, then drag out the spare.

I've got a crippled ex-brother-in-law with one eye who is proof you don't crawl under a jacked vehicle. Stupid Navy orders on a ship at sea.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 10/27/02 08:26pm

I suppose I could ask the administrator to block entries to this thread, or have them automatically transfer to a new thread. Anyone up for that? Wizard, you have a side entrance door don't you? Why don't you just get a bumper mount for your spare - there are several nice ones available at truck/suv suppliers.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/27/02 09:24pm

Hi Dan. I think I can live with the spare where it is--besides, I have a license plate (with a lite) I'd have to move and my water heater vent (that can't be moved) can't be obstructed because of the hot exhaust.

Also, I now have the hitch-box which helps in the storage department. Did you see the pic?

Posted By: jrf on 10/27/02 11:19pm

I like the idea of having around 25+k visits to this thread. That can be documented and perhaps used to help any of ya'll that have problems with a dealer. ????

I've been experimenting with some other navigation options. Clicking thru is a hassle I'll admit, but some of the other options look promising.

Let's test them out before implementing a change please.

I agree, Good Thread.

Whatever ya'll do on the spare tire issue, do it safe, think ahead. If I were on a trip to Africa, I'd stack tires wherever I could stack them; if I were heading down the road ten miles, I'd contemplate leaving the spare at home. There's a good middle in there somewhere.

BTW-on our old Halliburton pickups we had little homemade cranes rigged up out of two inch or so oilfield tubing and a little hand winch like on boat trailers. It only has to work long enough to get the job done. Hmmmm. Spike on the back bumper (vertical), slide a tight fitting piece of tubing over that (vertical) plus maybe another interlocking section on that (vertical-or screw on) to gain necessary height, a brace to a horizontal section to clear roof line, a cheap boat winch (hand crank), a little cable and walla!! They rotate horizontally by hand, vertical is handled by the winch. We used them to pick of cementing heads when alone (100#-200#) Store the tubing and winch in space available. Not something I'd do for everyday driving, but going overseas may consider. Ours were bolted or welded to the pickup bed. Looked hokey but when one needed it, nothing else would do.

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 10/29/02 03:55pm

Scare-The-Hell-Out-Of-Me! Department:

Firestone Steeltex Tires- Buyer Beware

Posted By: Daniel C. on 10/30/02 08:26pm

I just don't like the idea of putting that weight on the roof for two reasons: one is the addition of about 100 lbs that far above the center of gravity; the other is having that extra weight on a part of the roof that wasn't designed to carry weight. the AC port is already stressed for the roof AC unit, but with that rubber/vinyl/paper/chewing gum roof that many are using now, I don't plan to put anything up there that would compromise the seal, or the structural integrity. Additionally, I suspect that putting anything like that on top would void warranty.

TheWizzardOfWhimsey: when are you starting your tour? I didn't think to talk to you about watching driveway dips - sorry. I have developed a method over the years of minimizing that by leaving steep drives at an angle, and don't see that I have rubbed the tire yet.

Posted By: B-Plus on 10/30/02 10:12pm

I have a new 225 B-plus on order and I can't wait. I really like your rear carrier that you put on yours and I would like more information on how you did it. I ordered the new 6.0 Chev Vortex engine and hope that the gas is not to bad on it. I am from New England also .

2003 6.0 Chev Trail-lite B-Plus 225
2007 6.0 Chev 170 Roadtrek ( Daily Driver )
1976 Corvette

Posted By: Daniel C. on 11/04/02 07:11pm

Do you have Firestones on your RV? I have Generals, and know there is a problem with at least one of them. I have had them all balanced twice in the past month, and still get a lot of boncing on the road. I apparently have one or more tires out of round, or with a tread separation that isn't visible yet. I am thinking about getting new Michelins later in the Winter, but am annoyed with the balancing problem. At the same time, I will likely get some aftermarket wheels, so I don't have any hubcaps to alter balance.
I am embarking on another adventure. I am selling my house, and moving back into San Antonio, since my work is there. I am searching for deed restrictions in some of the historic areas of town so I won't get a surprise when I try to park my motorhome. At the same time, I will be looking for a house that will allow me to park the B+ in back, so it isn't visible. I have to also figure out how to work my stained glass business into the mix.

*This Message was edited on 04-Nov-02 07:14 PM by Daniel C.*

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 11/04/02 08:48pm

Dan- Coincidently, I just priced the Michelin LT225/75R16Es today at BJ's Wholesale Club and they were $149 ea. with lifetime balancing and rotation.

Here is an informative link, you should be aware of:

Congrats on the new move and new life in San Antonio. Is there a high crime rate there with regard to parking the RV in sight of the street?

I just bought some copper & brass foil at the following website and I was impressed with the price and speed of delivery. Have you ever used them?

Posted By: TheWizardOfWhimsy on 11/04/02 08:56pm

[Addendum] Dan, I forgot—my wife wanted me to thank you for our new foam mattress and the better night's sleep she now gets. (She has always driven me nuts with regard to the amount of times she moves around during the night trying to get comfortable. That has all ended with the special foam.) We decided to try it on our bed first and now she won't let me take it off! I'll have to get another one for the Plus.

Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 11/08/02 08:01pm

I have heard of Cathedral, but have not bought from them. I mostly use wholesalers, since I have a tax certificate (for resale), and a commercial operation (when I am operating!).
Isn't that foam wonderful. I get as good a night's sleep on the marginal arrangements in my B+ as I do in my expensive mattress at home!
Your price for Michelins is about what I have been quoted. For now, I am going to have to "chill" a little, until I sell my current home, as I may be making double house payments for a few months, so will tolerate the lumpy ride for another few thousand miles. Don't know about increased vulnerability parking in front, but believe that the city requires that RV's be parked off street. Getting mine out of site is more of a courtesy to my anticipated neighbors, than a security concern.

Posted By: Br- on 11/10/02 07:21pm

Dan, good luck on your future move. Any more news on the slide? Our unit is now covered for the season, and I hope covers will be available soon for B+'s. I couldn't find one anywhere. I had to settle on a cover for a C, and the fit is not the greatest. Had to do a lot of adjusting, and the next time I go over to start it up I will probably find the cover hanging from the nearest tree blown there by the wind!

Posted By: Daniel C. on 11/12/02 08:12pm

I called the dealer earlier today. He has ordered just about all the panels needed for the slide, and other repair items, none of which have arrived from the factory yet. Since I really don't use the slide, it is still funcional of sorts, and it doesn't leak, I am in no hurry. I now have 23+K miles on my unit. I am anticipating moving within three or four months, so expect my mileage to plummit once I am in San Antonio (thank goodness!). I will anticipate that after the first 30K miles in about 13 months, I will settle into about 12K miles per year.
I just put the spare on the front right, and am buying another tire to put on the other side. I am probably not going to rotate those tires, and anticipate that they will wear out in about 20 or so K miles, at which time I will get Michelins all around, and get back into a reasonable rotation schedule. I have learned my lesson that if you don't rotate from the beginning, all kinds of driveability problems begin (like pulling to one side, and an inability to balance). I could have the tires shaved (trued), but I frankly don't think those tires are worth the expense.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 11/21/02 07:52pm

Still haven't heard on when the slide parts are due in. I am not especially concerned, since my unit isn't leaking, and I don't really need the slide in my daily work. I now have 24K miles.
Wizzard: I apparently have gotten some sort of virus on my email, and am not receiving any emails. I have contacted Earthlink. Have you been affected? One of the emails I got earlier had your name mentioned. I am intrigued that some enlightened folks apparently got my address from here and felt I was having too much fun living my life without their input!
Wizzard, since you have my phone #, give me a call if you have been affected. I am afraid of the email until I get my computer fixed.

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 12/07/02 11:06am


Posted By: Gary Swanson on 12/07/02 02:16pm

We took delivery of our 2003 Trail-Lite 211S about the 1st of Nov, and now have nearly 8000 miles on it. In line with many prior posts this unit suffers from shoddier workmanship and poorer quality control. Major Items: The slide leaked despite the dealer's assurance that they fully water tested it during the PDI. The bracket to hold the rear door open ripped out with a wind gust. The cold water supply line to the hot water heater came apart at the heater and we ended up with about 20+ gallons of fresh water pumped onto the floor.

The Chevy part has worked great. We averaged about 11.5-12 mpg with the new 6.0 liter V8, driving a fair amount in mountains. I returned the TopLine ladder mount bike rack because the many water bottle cages on our tandem made it impossible to mount it on the rack. I am strongly considering mounting two shortened Yakima cross bars to the ladder (either with Yakima's LockJaws or just beefy U-bolts) and carrying the bike vertically off the back. I saw this done on a class C and talked with the owner, who had his tandem carried on it. Works great, no problems in two years of use. Just a bit ackward getting it on.

I have already done some interior remodeling, and want to put two reading lights in the slide. I am considering recessed overheads vs side wall lights. Any thoughts regarding wiring or the best of these locations??

*This Message was edited on 07-Dec-02 02:17 PM by Gary Swanson*

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 12/08/02 09:47am

Another Trail-Lite owner has joined the forum.
It should be ready this week.

Posted By: thisforumisrunbyidiots on 12/08/02 04:59pm


Posted By: Br- on 12/11/02 06:45pm

Hope you guys enjoy your new B+'s. We learned very quickly about the poor workmanship of Trail-lite, but all in all, we are looking forward to start using it again in the spring. Waiting to hear if Dan got his slide fixed yet or any other info he might have to offer, but I assume he's very busy with his move. Keep posting, always interesting to hear good and bad info about the B+'s.

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 12/11/02 06:59pm

Check the "New Owners" thread for my comments about workmanship.

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 12/12/02 07:17pm

*This Message was edited on 21-Dec-02 03:26 PM by wlbjrincctx*

Posted By: Daniel C. on 12/15/02 11:14am

the dealer got the slide repair parts in and will do the rebuild this week. I now have 27+K miles on the unit. My mileage is about the same and oil consumption on the 8.1 engine is about one quart per 2K miles (better than my previous 454 in a Winnebago - the 8.1 is an improved version of the 454). Overall, I am pleased with the performance and utility of my unit.
As I have said before, Please get a good dealer to buy from, because the quality control that is missing from the factory can be partially made up by a good dealer (Ron Hoover RV in Texas has been great - I got my unit from Boerne, Tx. but there are several franchise dealers in the state). I believe that by the end of the first year, I will have 30K miles, and the easily correctable items will be fixed. At that point, I may look to some modifications on my own to improve the lower drawers, tighten some of the rattles, and improve the water/sewer system a little. Overall, I just get in every day, drive, and use!

I have changed my dial up information/email, so don't try to email me at the address listed on the profile. I had to make extensive repairs to my computer thanks to an email virus gotten through this forum, so until I figure out a better way to communicate to any of you directly, we will have to use the forum itself.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 12/19/02 06:27pm

Just got my unit back. Took two days to get the repairs done. It looks like they decided to reinforce the existing walls, and resecure, rather than take the whole slide apart. Frankly, I am happy with that solution for reasons of alignment. They also reset the wheels at the bottom of the slide so there is constant contact with the floor, taking stress off the wall panels. It already rides quieter, with all the repairs done. BTW, I bought the Camping World extended warranty a few months ago, including the slide coverage - hence my lack of panic.
I am approaching the end of the year warranty, but overall, I am pretty confident that I can keep up with maintenance between the items still in warranty, the extended warranty, and my own inherent ability (to stick my fingers where they don't belong) to do some repairs.

Posted By: Plusit on 12/19/02 09:10pm

Dan, if I can be nosey, what is a Camping World extended warranty, what does it provide and how much does it cost?

I have a a Trail- Lite B+ too, btw.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 12/20/02 09:27pm

The plan is called CSP offered through Camping World as part of the Good Sam Club (I believe all those are affiliated). In fact, I believe that you can get a quote on this site. I can't tell you how well this program pays, since I still have a couple of months of factory warranty left, but the price seems really good for this coverage. Be aware that it is breakdown insurance, meaning that a smoking engine that still runs, isn't covered.

Posted By: Plusit on 12/21/02 12:45pm

Much appreciated. I'll look into it. Thanks.

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 12/24/02 02:19pm

Update on my Trail-Lite B+225:
Gas mileage on first tank; just over 10 mpg.
Total 9080
Front 3280
Rear 5800
Full fuel, water and LP. Two adults and a Sheltie. Clothes, but no food.

R Vision sticker states:
GVWR 12300
UVW 7554
36 water 299
9 LP 42
SCWR 4@154 (HA!) 616
CCC 3790

Ford Sticker:
GVWR 10700

Merry Christmas all.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 12/27/02 07:06pm

I suspect that you got the sticker that belongs to the Chevy chassis. The dual wheel 3500 Chevy has the 12,300 lb weight limit. I saw a 225 on the dealer's lot recently, and was impressed wiht the arrangement. My first motorhome was a 20' class A Vagabond. It was a nightmare to drive, got terrible gas mileage (about 6-7).
I have almost 28,000 miles on my 211S, and it is a joy to drive, with plenty of power. I was passing cars on a 2 lane highway returning to my home from my son's house near Houston as easliy as my minivans of the past.
I really am enthused about the versatility of having light weight, ample power, and full self containment. Though I have had some annoyances with quality control, I am generally very satisfied with my unit - especially considering that I have put about three years of wear on it already. In fact, my last motorhome was a Winnebago Chieftan, which I bought new in 1987, and kept for 15 years; but only put about 45,000 miles on it total. I will have that in two and a half years (I am getting ready to move into San
Antonio, so I will cut down dramatically on my mileage in a couple of months).

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 12/27/02 07:23pm

You are probably correct about the sticker. It also listed D rated tires with 65 lbs in them. I have E rated Michelins and have 80 lbs in them.
Rides great, handles great and everything works with no problems.
Great dealer, Ron Hoover in Corpus Christi. I mentioned your dealer in Borne (sic) to the manager here and he said that that guy was a very customer oriented guy.
Thanks for all the posts. They really helped me make up my mind. This unit is a great buy for the money spent.
Happy New Year Dan.

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 12/29/02 11:20am

We have had a ton of rain over the last two weeks, and I took the opportunity to open the slide for a good water test. It has remained dry as a bone, so hats off to the leak fixer at the dealer! We have ordered day/night shades to replace the rattly miniblinds, and are going to replace the existing side wall table mount with a freestanding pedestal mount. Still looking at options for reading lights in the slide; am concerned about voiding any warranty if I cut in to anything. All in all this is a great unit, even more so at the price. The new Chevy 6.0 V8 has PLEANTY of power and gives ~12 mpg.

Any tips on winter care and driving with this rig? We don't plan to mothball it as we like to go XC skiing in various mountain areas.

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 12/29/02 01:43pm

I spoke too soon. I found the carpeted box that covers the driver's side rear wheel well soaked. I think I found the cause: the bottom of the slide "receiver" is made up of metal "pans" that are adhesive caulked together. The front and rear two pans are below the front and rear slide openings, which are also open to rain. The pans have lipped inside edges and apparently catch any water that gets into the slide openings. To keep any water from running over into the central pan below the couch (not completely lipped due to slide mechanisms) there are dam (not d**n) gaskets. It appears the gaskets may be leaking and allowing water to enter the central pan, where the poorly caulked rear butt seam allows water to drip through at a good rate. I plan to heat up and dry out the inside today, then recaulk and examine the gaskets tomorrow.

The fabric skirt over the wheel well was also soaked up to the bottom of the couch, and I am hoping it was by wicking action. I say hoping because I also found a small (hopefully tiny) water leak at the top seam of the slide window, complete with water drops down the middle of the miniblinds. We shall see... I would appreciate any help or feedback from others of you about these leaks.

*This Message was edited on 29-Dec-02 01:46 PM by Gary Swanson*

Posted By: Daniel C. on 12/29/02 06:43pm

I have had similar leaking in the past, though in the front of the unit because I park it with a slight tilt forward. You should let your dealer work this, since it may involve replacing some carpet or panels to make it like new.
I believe that the thing that will fix the leaks is a better seam (caulk) on the inside of the pan, where the sides are "lipped" and the joint is welded (but not waterproofed I suspect). I think that if those welds are caulked, any water that gets past the rubber seal will just be diverted back outside. To be honest, I haven't looked at the rear seal, to see if there is another avenue for the water to intrude into the coach. These are obviously engineering problems that the manufacturer hasn't corrected (since my unit is a 2002).

Posted By: CJ&SCOTT on 12/30/02 07:16pm

We just got our 250 Trail-Lite and we noticed some air bubbles in the roof when we looked out our window, did you notice anything like this on yours? Seems like there is an outer thin skin coating which the air bubbles are under.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 01/03/03 07:58pm

I had made a reply, but it apparently didn't make it to the forum. I would worry about the bubbles, since it indicates a delamination problem to me. That roof is pretty flimsy to begin with, so any further compromise would be very worrisome to me.
I am going to be pulling a trailer behind my 211S tomorrow. I am moving my Stained Glass studio into storage while I sell my house preparatory to moving back to San Antonio. I will let everyone know how it feels to pull about three thousand lbs behind!

Posted By: Voyager2000 on 01/04/03 04:54pm

I posted to this forum in September, expecting delivery of my 224 B+ in early October (actually a 225, dealer modified to be a 224 with twin couches). Well, we just took possession of the motorhome on December 20th. It was a circus of problems, mostly with the dealer and not with the unit itself or with the Trail-lite people. So I am now a new owner on the forum.
We haven't had a chance to go out in it yet. I have only put about 120 miles on it so far, and more that half of that was put on it when I picked it up and drove it home. This was on a quite windy day, and the unit did drift a bit in the gusts. Even at that it was not an unenjoyable ride.
The unit appears to be water-tight (it does not have a slide, but the windows and door and other seams are staying dry). There are no major rattles or creaking when the unit is in motion. The generator set and appliances are pretty good quality, and the convection/ microwave oven is superior to the one we have at home.
With the cold weather, we plan only one trip before spring. However, that trip will be a two-weeker to Florida. We are in the process of buying those items that we think we will be needing.
The only negative impression I have of the Model 224 so far is that it is woefully short on storage space. I have compared it to small Gulfstream and Born Free units, and the thing that stands out is that the Trail-lite has no "basement" storage areas. There is a single opening accessible from the outside, and it opens into the area under the second couch. This will make it tough to store any ground covers for under the awning, blocks for leveling the unit, tools, hoses, cables, lights, and all of the other "stuff" that is nice to be able
to get to from the outside.
Inside there are lots of cabinets, but it would have been nice if they could have been made a bit deeper. This is especially true of the cabinets over the refrigerator and over the couches. They are about 9 inches deep at the bottoms, and even shallower at the tops. As it is, we are going to be hard pressed to get enough stuff into it to support a two week trip. We are planning a barebones wardrobe and pantry, with several stops for laundromats and additional food.
We are still pretty optimistic about the whole thing, though still short in experience with it. I will keep issuing updates here as time goes on and I get more experience.

*This Message was edited on 04-Jan-03 05:03 PM by Voyager2000*

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 01/04/03 06:56pm

You are absolutely right, the B+ does not have much (?adequate?) ouside storage. But you knew that going in, as did I. My problem is that I just found out from the R-Vision horse's mouth that my plan to put a storage pod (in this case a Yakima SpaceCadet) on the roof to the rear of the A/C will void many (maybe all?!) warranties. What I DIDN'T know and was NOT told prior to purchase is that the Trail-Lite B+ line is not built or certified to carry any additional weight or objects on the roof. (It does have a factory installed roof ladder, so the roof can at least carry my own 200 pounds transmitted to the roof through my ~ 1 sq ft footprint). I think the emphasis here is on "certified", as the factory rep I spoke with hung more lawsuit crepe than I could ever have done while I was practicing medicine. I am not even allowed to see or receive a fax of the roof framing/structure for fear I will use that info to install something that will result in an accident that will in some obtuse way result in significant liability to R-Vision. This is absurd but nevertheless their stance and policy. I should back off, but ....

ps - if anyone out there has mounted a roof pod or carrier, please email me:

Posted By: Plusit on 01/06/03 07:17am

Daniel- Good luck with the move to San Antonio. By the way, I highly recommend a current movie, "About Schmidt." Jack Nicholson plays a recent widower who takes his RV across country to his daughter's wedding. It's a funny and poignant film well worth seeing.

V2000 & Gary- The following link from another poster with a B+ may provide a solution to your storage problems--provided you do not have a rear entry.

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 01/06/03 07:23pm

Todd -- I am keenly interested in finding out if you did indeed put a roof carrier on your 211S, as I have been foiled by both the dealership and R-Vision itself (see my posts to the list in general dated last week). I looked inside the A/C install and the roof looks to be 2" thick with 1/8"-3/16" plywood sandwiching insulation and the aluminum framing matrix. It would seem a no-brainer to simply have the mounting screws go through-and-through with adequate size interior ceiling "washers". I just wish I knew where the roof "rafters" were and weren't. Please email me directly ( or reply to the list. Thanks.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 01/07/03 06:18pm

I am guessing that I was towing about 3,500lbs (give or take 500) - some glass, a kiln, a compressor and pressure pot, furniture, and display stuff. I could tell I had some weight, and without any kind of equalizing, it bounced some, but I had more than adequate power. I could have towed another three thousand lbs with proper equalizing, and still have adequate power to move with traffic. If I were going to make a habit of towing heavy loads, though, I would split the exhaust, since I could hear the pipe wheezing any time I accelerated.

Posted By: povertyhill on 01/09/03 10:51am

I own a Trail-lite Class A model 242 motor home. I considered a B+ but the storage area & baath were too limited. I have been satisfied with the Trail-lite coach construction, but have had several Workhorse Chassis problems(engine misfire). But overall the coach has been fine. Drives like a SUV! You can have a heck of a lot more room and comfort for about the same money ($40-42,000) with a Trail Lite Class A. I have just upgraded (awaiting pickup at dealership) of a new 2003 Trail-Lite Condor with two slides. Can't wait to get that baby home. Overall I have been satisfied with Trail-lite considering the amount spent vs the size and quality of the RV. Happy traveling to you guys.

Poverty Hill
2003 Condor (Model 1281) 28'
2000 Dodge Dakota 4X4 Toad with Brake Buddy
Deep in the heart of Dixie
FMCA #330516

Posted By: Daniel C. on 01/15/03 07:46pm

If it were for just camping, I would still be driving a class A, but for the combination of commuting/office/and some camping, I am happy with a smaller vehicle, so I can get into and out of parking places easily. I am going to need surgery soon, and having my "B+" is going to be crucial to my recovery, with the ability to rest between sessions.

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 01/18/03 10:09am

I have been struck hard by slide water leakage on my Trail-Lite 211S. Somehow water is getting into the slide and collecting on the carpeted slide floor under the jackknife couch, soaking the carpet and the fabric valence that hangs below the couch. The metal pan under the slide floor itself seems dry. The wall surfaces of the slide are dry, only a small dribble of water coming from the lower right of the window to the floor. The top and sides of the slide look well caulked expept for the diagonal corner seams of the outside slide wall, which have a 1/16-1/8" gap and have never been caulked. Somehow water is getting inside the slide walls and pooling out at the bottom. Also, the top and bottom of the slide are tipped slightly in when the slide is out(unit itself is level to even low on the slide side) so water does not tend to run off but rather in. Then when the slide is pulled in the top squeezee wipers push the water over the sides of the slide and onto the inside floor of the unit. I still need to use a sponge to mop up lots of remaining water on the slide top.

We're in to the dealer this next week for repairs, wish them and us well. This should not be happening.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 01/19/03 12:54pm

If you have water standing on the top of the slide when you crank it in, I am not surprised that it spills on the carpet. If your seals are like mine, there isn't a way to guarantee water being pushed to the outside of the unit when you bring it back inside. actually, I suspect that it goes in the pan and through the corner of the pan (which is welded, but not sealed), or maybe just wicks down along the inner seal when you are cranking it in. Does it leak when you have it out all the way? Mine was leaking also, but adjusting the seals, then replacing them fixed that. Good luck on your repairs. You may have to reconcile to wiping down the top of the slide before bringing it in (which is fun if it is raining when you do it in the first place).

Posted By: eresweber on 01/19/03 05:10pm

Hello everyone,

I’ve been following this thread because we are interested in the Trail Lite B+. We saw one in Colorado and when we stopped to talk to the owners they invited us in to look around. Then they handed us the Trail Lite brochure. They said that since they got their’s, so many people stopped to ask about it that they got a stack of brochures from the dealer to hand out.

I contacted Trail Lite on their web site and they sent me the name of the dealer closest to us, which was in New Orleans. Since then, I contacted that dealer but was told they no longer handled the B+ because it didn’t sell well for them. I’ve tried contacting Trail Lite three more times since to find the next closest dealer, but never heard from them.

Does anyone know the best way to find an RV dealer that handles Trail Lite B+?

The size seemed to be just right for us. The only things I didn’t like were the small wet bath and the rear door. It looks like they corrected that with a newer model just for us! . But we’d really like to see it in person, if we can only find out where. Any ideas?


Eric R.

p.s. I’ve been taking notes from this thread for when we get ready to buy. I've learned one thing for lots of inspecting before accepting delivery.

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 01/19/03 06:39pm

Ron Hoover has a location in Houston. Long drive from Zachary, but if you decide to go call first and ask for "Discount Dennis". He claims that he can beat anybody's deal.
Bought our B+225 in Ron Hoover's Corpus Christi location. Got a great price and terrific service. It has a dry bath and a side door. V10 Ford with all the goodies including holding tank heaters. Everything works and have not had any problems.
Good luck.


Posted By: Gary Swanson on 01/20/03 10:16am

In answer to your question, the slide leaks ONLY when it is out; dry as a bone with it in. I also recall in the thread that your dealer thought the factory slide seals were small and inadequate, and was going to replace them with beefier seals used by Trail-Lite on their bigger trailer slides. Did that happen and make a difference? Also, what is the bottom line you have found for the reason the slide "tips up" when cranked in fully and "tips down" when fully cranked out? These actions certainly change the level plane of the slide in relation to the body of the B+, affecting both the levelness of the jackknife bed and encouraging water on the roof/in the pan to run in rather than out.

Your comments are greatly appreciated. It's in to the dealer this week, and I may look to see if a slide awning would be a good idea if Trail-Lite cannot come up with a fix for the seals/wipers.

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 01/20/03 10:22am

Sorry to post this twice, my first was not to the list as a whole. :-(

In answer to your question, the slide leaks ONLY when it is out; dry as a bone with it in. I also recall in the thread that your dealer thought the factory slide seals were small and inadequate, and was going to replace them with beefier seals used by Trail-Lite on their bigger trailer slides. Did that happen and make a difference? Also, what is the bottom line you have found for the reason the slide "tips up" when cranked in fully and "tips down" when fully cranked out? These actions certainly change the level plane of the slide in relation to the body of the B+, affecting both the levelness of the jackknife bed and encouraging water on the roof/in the pan to run in rather than out.

Your comments are greatly appreciated. It's in to the dealer this week, and I may look to see if a slide awning would be a good idea if Trail-Lite cannot come up with a fix for the seals/wipers.

Posted By: eresweber on 01/25/03 06:35pm


Thanks for the information and the web link. I figured that someplace like Houston will probably be where I'll have to go.

I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying your Trail Lite, especially after reading some of the problems with some of them. That's encouraging.

I thought of a question for you. Daniel mentioned problems with the drawers behind the rear wheels bouncing a lot. With your kitchen in the rear, have you had problems with things bouncing around more than you'd like?

We managed to look at a couple of BT Cruisers locally. They seemed very nice inside, but a little larger and heavier than the Trail Lite, which seemed more our size. We also looked at a Winnebago Vista, which is a 21 ft. Class C. We were impressed with the interior. It was roomy, had a large bath room, basement storage, and a cab-over bed. The price wasn't bad, and it's supposed to get pretty good mileage with the V-6 engine.

But we had some concerns about it, so scratched it from our list. We wondered if it would have enough power with only a V-6 (Volkswagon chassis). Also, the gas tank was only 20 gal., and all the holding tanks were small. And it had only single rear wheels.

So the Trail Lite B+ is still at the top of our list.


Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 01/25/03 08:01pm

I thought of a question for you. Daniel mentioned problems with the drawers behind the rear wheels bouncing a lot. With your kitchen in the rear, have you had problems with things bouncing around more than you'd like?

One of the rear drawers, the middle one, has to be securly closed to keep it from opening accidently. Once we discovered the trick to keeping it closed (just close it all the way), we have not have any problems with drawers.


Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 01/25/03 08:19pm

We also looked at a Winnebago Vista

CCC is listed at 455 lbs. That's two adults and a couple of bad thoughts.

Nice unit, but no carrying capacity and very few service places.

The Trail-Lite units without a slide seem to be very problem free.


Posted By: happybonzo on 01/26/03 05:14am

Wait til "gas" hits $5.78 like it is in the UK...

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 01/26/03 04:09pm

It is 5 dollars a gallon or liter, (whatever), because you people tax the crap out of everything to pay for your socialist gov't!


Posted By: libertydg on 01/27/03 06:57pm

We are considering a BTouring Cruiser Model 5230. I wasn't sure what size engine you have on the 24' and if you were happy the power. We plan on towing a 22' substantial boat. Overall, are you still pleased with the BT? We narrowed the choice between Trail-Lite and this one. Thanks!

Posted By: Daniel C. on 01/28/03 06:20pm

It seems to me that your leak is coming from one of two places. One would be water being driven in or leaking down along the side seal when the slide is out. I suspect that the more likely source is the lip on the inside of the bottom tray. In my unit, that corner is stitch welded, but is not sealed, and water easily works past it. I am planning (but have not yet)to seal that area with silicone. In the meantime, I don't extend the slide when it is raining!

Posted By: barjim01 on 01/29/03 05:26pm

I agree Larry, my Trail-Lite B+225 does not have a slide and has been water tight. Ive had the unit for 5 months, four sleep over trips to date. One of the main things i really like about the rig is its payload capacity and strong chassis. Its very roomy for two.

2003 Trail-Lite B+ 225
Stainless steel wheel sims
Rear bumper tire mount
Max Air fan

Posted By: smallcamper on 01/29/03 05:35pm

Jim, I can't find the model 225 on Trail Lite's website. Am I looking in the wrong place, or have they just not updated the website yet?

I wanted to see the floorplan with the dry bath.

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 01/29/03 05:47pm

Trail-Lite rarely updates its site.

Look here:


Posted By: smallcamper on 01/29/03 05:54pm

Hey thanks Larry, that works. We looked at a used model 211 a few months ago. I was surprised, it was very nice especially for the price.

The one we looked at had 2 sofas instead of the sofa and dinette. I guess that was/is an option?

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 01/29/03 06:27pm

225 and 250/251 have dry baths. 250/251 have dinete (sic) or two sofa option. 225 is dinete only, unless you have dealer install two sofas (see post about a B 224!).

The unit handles great. We have very gusty winds in Corpus Christi, host the windsurfing championships every year, and the Trail-Lite is more stable than the E-250 with single rear wheels that I drive every day.

Would have considered Pleasureway or Roadtrek, but no local dealers.


Posted By: crewcut on 01/29/03 07:37pm


Blanchards Trailer Sales in Baton Rouge has recently taken on the Trail-Lite B+ line. They are located on Airline Hwy.


Posted By: barjim01 on 01/30/03 07:47am


Model 225 is not on their website yet. My 225 has a passenger side rear entry door that lead into the kitchen. The dry bath is at the rear drivers side. This setup allowed me to relocate the spare to a rear bumper mount to allow more clearance compared to the stock underside location.

2003 Trail-Lite B+ 225
Ford V8

Posted By: eresweber on 01/30/03 09:03pm


Thanks for the tip! Blanchard's is not far from here. We'll be checking them out this week-end.


Posted By: GizmosMom on 02/04/03 05:11pm

Your thread is almost a year old now! Are we going to have a party? I wonder if this thread is the longest running, most replies, views, etc.?

Will it go away [emoticon] after it is a year old? I hope not. It is very informative.


Marilyn w/ Joe, 2016 Class C Sunseeker 2430 SF, often pulling a Ranger bass boat.
Smudge, (in photo) a Shih Tzu/Yorkie Mix and Gizmo is waiting at the Rainbow Bridge

Posted By: Daniel C. on 02/04/03 09:07pm

I intend to keep it alive. I haven't heard from the administrator about curtailing the thread in any way. In a way it would be nice to work it so the most recent comments could be viewed first. I have really enjoyed sharing my experiences over the past year, and now that I am essentially out of warranty, the problems/fixes will be a mix of mine and dealer. I did purchase the warranty available through Camping World, but haven't used it yet. I now have about 30,000 miles on my unit, and will continue to add miles for another couple of months (when I hopefully sell my house in New Braunfels and move to San Antonio, where my business is).

Posted By: B-Plus on 02/07/03 01:27pm

Finally received my new B-Plus 225 with the Chev 6.0 engine.! I was told that my unit had been put on the list for the new assembly plant that was created just for the B-pluses. That was what the delay was about. They seem to be good sellers.
Had only a few minor problems that I was able to correct myself ,other than that everything is great, just need some good weather now. I removed the 19" TV and replaced it with a smaller AC/DC TV/VCR unit that can be hung below the front corner shelf. I can use the area that the big 19" tv occupied instead for extra storage. I also wired in a 3 plug DC outlet for the TV and any other DC items that I need to run. I am hooking up a Macerator pump now. The 70' 3/4 hose is going to be stored in a compartment that I am going to install in the rear right hand corner right adjacent to the steps. I ordered a compartment hatch 10x20. That corner has an unoccupied space of 24x24x12 perfect for an added outside hatch area.
Funny thing about the tire pressures that I have been reading on some of the other units, my GVWR WT is also 12,300 pounds and my door sticker reads 50 PSI for both front and dual wheels in back. I have Uniroyal Laredos 225 R75 16 tires.

Posted By: Plusit on 02/10/03 12:40pm

Bravo, Dario--would love to see some photos of the TV and additional storage.

Posted By: B-Plus on 02/10/03 02:15pm

I will take some pictures as soon as I replenish my budget. The Digital Camera is on the "GET LIST"
right after my Back-up Camera. The money isn't comming in as fast now that I'm retired! My wife spends like I'm still working!


Posted By: Plusit on 02/10/03 03:38pm

Dario, I understand—believe me!

You emailed me for details about the aluminum rear storage box that I put on my B-Plus; are you still going to include that as well?

Posted By: B-Plus on 02/10/03 07:14pm

Probably, I really liked the looks of the Alum Box on the rear. I need to get a little more practice on backing up first before I add another 3ft onto this baby.

Posted By: Plusit on 02/11/03 06:29am

The next time you're at your dealer's, pick up one of those plastic fish-eye lens sheets and attach it to the rear window over the sink.

I think you'll find it a significant improvement and a great help in backing up—as well as a safety feature.

It's also the only way you'll know if a smaller vehicle is directly behind you when you are stopped at a light.

Posted By: B-Plus on 02/11/03 08:00pm

Thanks Bob, just went and picked one up today , its a 8x10 angle window lens. Seems to work OK siting in my drivway, after the snows gone and this mess clears up I am going to take it on the road. Got a question for you, I should have asked at the dealer but I forgot, does your water heater have a temperature setting control on it? I can't seem to find it on mine ,it should be the same as yours.
I also picked a new GPS system , it's the StreetPilot 3 with Auto-routing and Voice. Seems like a real nice unit, this way I can pull a little shut eye while the wife chauffeurs me.( She dosen't know that yet )


Posted By: Ellne on 02/11/03 08:59pm

My dealer spoke with Trail Lite. The larger Chevy engine is no longer avaliable. I am wondering what your towing capacity is with the Chevy 6.0. We will occasionally need to tow one of our cars (probably the Blazer) behind for business usage. Do you think it will work?

2004 BT Cruiser 5230

Posted By: Daniel C. on 02/11/03 09:33pm

I'm pretty sure that you can still tow the same amount with the smaller engine, though you will likely notice the lack of torque. The water heaters do not have a temp guage. I had the temp probe replaced twice on mine before it began to really put out some hot water.
I had heard that the 8.1 engine is in such high demand that the vans were deprived - pity. I love mine, and as soon as I get 36K miles on it, I am going to look at some intake and exhaust improvements (it's almost obscene isn't it).
I recently had fairly major surgery, and have been relying on my MH for rest during the day, and frequent "stayovers" in San Antonio, allowing me to see my clients less than two weeks after surgery! Most of the early problems are cured, and I am still delighted with my 211S. I do realize that I will pay a price for the slide, but don't need it much and really enjoy the extra room when I do need it.

Posted By: Plusit on 02/12/03 08:52am

Dario- I'll always defer to Daniel on matters technical. My hot water comes out steamin' !

Daniel- All best wishes for a speedy recuperation and total rejuvenation of body, mind & spirits!!!

Posted By: TonyTiger on 02/18/03 10:15am

Getting ready to accept delivery of our 235SL. Of course, we just got 2 foot of snow here!
Any one else take delivery of a 235SL? What should we look for specific to this brand?

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 02/18/03 05:42pm

New brochure for all Trail-Lite B+'s posted. Spec page only, if you want the whole thing, let me know and I will post it. Go to photos and click to full size.

Larry B

Posted By: B-Plus on 02/18/03 05:54pm

I can't seem to be able to get it large enough to read, why don't you post the whole thing, I would be interested to see it.

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 02/18/03 06:28pm

Try here

Larry B

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 02/18/03 06:57pm

Page 2 and page 3-1 are posted, just click on the full size.

Larry B

Posted By: Ellne on 02/18/03 07:41pm

It would be great if you could get the specs page on here somehow. I could not figure any way to enlarge the image. (Yahoo forum is a lot harder to use than this one)

Posted By: Daniel C. on 02/18/03 08:04pm

I don't have the time now, but intend to write a summary of problems I have had the first year of ownership, along with the strong points. Overall, I am still really happy with my unit. I am already thinking about getting new upholstery in a couple of years, but mine is holding up pretty well, given that it gets used almost every day of the year. I have noticed on other threads that owners claim to get 12-14mpg with B+ units. I am getting a little better than 10, but drive at traffic speeds, which is about 10mph better than others claim to drive. Frankly, I believe that one of the advantages of my unit is that I can easily drive the speed limit, and arrive more rested at my destination!

Posted By: TonyTiger on 02/19/03 07:58am

I'll be looking forward to your log. It looks like out unit has come in to the Dealer and is being prepped. We're having them add power seats (which were somehow not an option and a storage pod with a hitch platform in the back. I tried to order the Chevy Vortec engine but it was already dropped as an option. I liked the Ford V-10 but my wife likes the space that the Chevy cab gives around the seats. Guess who won.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 02/19/03 08:06am

I'm having some v shaped metal skids welded on to protect the spare and dump cap. Hopefully I won't end up with the skids engaged and the rear wheels spinning.

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 02/19/03 04:22pm

Pics are also posted here:

Be aware that these are large files, may take awhile to download. If you are using Internet Explorer 6, the pic will load full size, then immediately reduce in size. Go to the bottom right and click on the enlarge icon.


*This Message was edited on 20-Feb-03 03:57 PM by wlbjrincctx*

Posted By: Ellne on 02/19/03 09:55pm

Thanks for the brochures. Does anyone know how much storage there is (if any) on outside of the 211?

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 02/20/03 05:16am

Does anyone know how much storage there is (if any) on outside of the 211?

Ask Dan, he owns one. I have a 225. It has no real outside storage, but it does not bother me.


Posted By: B-Plus on 02/20/03 05:55pm

I noticed that the new brochure for the b-pluses state that the black water tank is only 22 gals? Has anyone with a 225 measured to see if they have 33 gals as stated on the old brochure or 22 gal as noted on the new brochure.
I have had my new 225 sitting in my driveway for the last two weeks with 24" of snow on it. Little by little I have been checking out everything and everything seems to work OK . I did not try the fridge yet. The only problem that I have is the chassic battery has a constant drain on it and is running down the battery in about 2 or 3 days. I charged up the battery and disconnected it until I get a chance to bring it back to the dealer. I don't know if it is a Chev problem or an R-vision problem. I am interested to see when I take it back to the dealer if he passes the buck on to a chassic problem and tells me that I have to go to the Chev dealer?

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 02/20/03 06:19pm

Did you use the battery disconnect switch?


Posted By: Plusit on 02/20/03 06:47pm

Larry's right, Dario. It's located on the lower right near the side entry door. If you haven't turned it off, it will drain the house battery.

Nevertheless, it's a good idea to run the generator from time to time in cold weather and it will top off the battery as well.

You can also leave the vehicle plugged in if you have an outdoor outlet.

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 02/20/03 07:36pm

Unless the battery disconnect is used, the coach battery runs the tank monitor panel with its sensors as well as the water heater and refrigerator circuit boards (I think!)
I may be wrong (I was wrong earlier this year, but it turned out to be a mistake and I wasn't).

I will call my dealer in the morning to make sure.

Larry B

Posted By: B-Plus on 02/20/03 10:02pm

My short , I think it's a short, it acts like one is in the chassic part of my RV not the house part, I was able to start the motor by using my coach battery switch on my dash board. I did have my RV pluged 110v from my garage so that battery is OK. I also make sure the house battery is switched off with the switch by the steps when I leave it . There is definatley something using juice from the chassic battery. I put a Volt meter on the battery after I charged it up and it read 12.67 Volts ( about 95% ) , I left it connected overnight and checked it the next day and the reading was 12.45 ( about 70% ) the next day it read 12.14 , so something is really sucking juice from it. I just returned from Canada so I did not have a chance to bring it back to the dealer , and next week I have to go again so everything has to wait until I return. I am trying to do my driving between snow storms, we just got about 21" of it here in CT Monday. Thanks for your response Dan & Larry.

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 02/20/03 10:22pm

My mistake, I thought it was the coach battery that was the problem.
Since it is the chassis battery, it should be a Chevy problem.


Snow? What is snow? Oh, that is the stuff I see on TV.
From balmy Corpus Christi, Texas.
Larry B.

*This Message was edited on 20-Feb-03 10:25 PM by wlbjrincctx*

Posted By: fanman on 02/22/03 09:43am

Yhis has got to be the longest thread.

Posted By: Plusit on 02/22/03 11:23am

Welcome to the end of the internet, fanman!

Posted By: Daniel C. on 02/22/03 01:18pm

There is an outside compartment that is approximately 20"x20"x32". It holds a good amount of stuff. I put additonal cords, tools, hitch, jumper cables, sewer hose, and other things. I have never had a problem with storage in my unit (which has some less due to the slide on the right side).
Just had my carpet professonally cleaned to try and eliminate a large coffee spill from last week. Lesson learned: the carpet isn't apparently scotch guarded - an expensive lesson. I will apparently need to have the carpet dyed to remove the stain. I may elect to have the carpet replaced in a year anyway and live with the stain!
Now that my warranty is up, I am going to be rebuilding some of the drawer hardware, and strengthen the microwave mounting, both of which have been a chronic weakness of the factory arrangement. I suspect that the amount of urban driving I do aggravates the wear on those components. I really don't fault the factory much, since they rely on much use of their product, unlike my pattern. I would suspect that the wear I am seeing will begin to show up after about three to four years of traditional use. My coach battery is showing signs of wearing out, with relatively short periods of holding it's charge. My experience has been to only have one to two years of useful life from those "deep cycle" batteries anyway. I will be replacing it soon.

Posted By: Ellne on 02/22/03 09:18pm


The moral of the story is--put in coffee colored carpet.

Many pages ago you mentioned that you were planning to make the passenger seat swivel..did you do that? Sounded like a good idea, wondered if you figured out how to do it.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 02/23/03 08:09pm

I haven't gotten to that yet. I believe that the first step is to convert to a pedestal that is designed to accept the chevy seat. I had done some research on that, but it was about three personal crises ago, and I haven't gotten back to it yet. I did find a pedestal from a van supply company I believe that had swivel pedestals fitting the chevy van. My next mod is to put some type of additional amplifier in the 4 way Kenwood speakers I put in the back instead of the ones supplied. I am trying to decide whether to add another amp for the back speakers, or leave them alone and get a sub woofer of some sort. Right now, I have more sense than money, so that will be a month or so off. Then the seats; then the wheels; then redo the upholstery, etc., etc.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 02/24/03 09:19am

We're trying to add power adjustment seats to our new 235S. Not having much luck. Most swivel pedestals on the aftermarket add 4 inches to the height of the seat. That puts your knees about in the steering wheel.

SECOND THOUGHT and a Question???
I'm looking at adding a luggage box to the vertical wall behind the kitchen under the window. This clears all vents and windows. Anyone done/heard of doing this? I found something on the internet called a "Carry All Box" that was made for vertical mounting on the back of Vans, etc. Manufacturer is Omnistor.

Posted By: Ellne on 02/24/03 08:33pm

I found this information on a website for van conversions:

"Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standard (FMVSS) 208 was set by the Department of Transportation in 1992 to reduce the injuries caused during collisions involving van conversions. Van conversions created after 1992 must have all seating and tables locked down to the floor. Also, captain's chairs can no longer swivel. Adapters are available for pre-1992 vehicles"

That seems to mess up that idea!

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 02/24/03 08:48pm

I don't think B+'s are really 'van conversions". They are Class C's since they use a cutaway chassis.
I may be wrong; I was wrong last year, but it was a mistake, and I was not wrong afterall.

Larry B.

*This Message was edited on 26-Feb-03 09:14 PM by wlbjrincctx*

Posted By: Ellne on 02/24/03 09:09pm

That's a good point. I think you are saved again from being wrong!

Posted By: CAcruiser on 02/24/03 09:45pm

Even the roadtrek 200 is a b+ because it runs a cutaway. A lot of people like the B+ but the 200 has single rear wheels instead of dual ones. What do you think the Roadtrek 200 really is.

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 02/25/03 12:55am

Depends upon the VIN. If the builder's VIN calls it a cutaway, I think it it is a class c. But, what do I know? And I own a Class B+ (and is really a class c; a Trail-Lite B+ 225).

Larry B.

Posted By: GizmosMom on 02/25/03 08:49am

This topic is a year old today! What a good one!

Our Xplorer has dual wheels but is a Class B van (I think)


Posted By: Daniel C. on 02/25/03 06:58pm

I believe that the Xplorer follows the same rule as the 200, since you have a fiberglass body!
Isn't it amazing what drivel we disperse to keep this thread alive!

Posted By: TonyTiger on 02/25/03 07:19pm

I don't think a power seat would violate the rule since they come standard in several other C's and B+ Motorhomes. I wasn't planning on the swivel idea, the thought of that spinning loose at 65 mphs is scary.

Posted By: ARcruiser on 02/25/03 09:23pm

I agree that if it's a cutaway, its a C, or B+, or C minus. But definitely not a B. My understanding is all true B's use the entire van body - doors etc, except for the fiberglass roof.

In my mind, my RT V200 is a C due to its cutaway chassis.
Now, as a former owner, I have always wondered about how I feel about Pleasure-Way. The Lexor models are definitely B's. But the Excel models have had the body widened, which violates my B rules..... but they still use all the factory body panels and doors, which is in line with my B rules.... so I still consider them a true B - or at least a lot closer to a true B than the 200 Versatile is.

2 Big Cruisers, The Little Man, and Bailey / ARcruiser's Class B's (the first 8)
Rig #8 Under Construction! / Here's the Project Thread - I'm actually working on it again!

Posted By: PUPTENT on 02/25/03 10:51pm

To me, it is simple. The PW Ford /Dodge widebodies are B+. The RT 200 is a C-. All currently called B+ motorhomes are C-. If it isn't a van conversion, then it can't be a B anything. All current B+ motorhomes are listed in RV books as Class C motorhomes. A B+ mh would be adding to a B, not taking away from a C, as the B+ mh do.

Where did the B+ designation for cutaway vans come from? and for what purpose - marketing?

No wonder so many newbies are confused as to what they are looking at at RV shows.

There - I've vented. I feel good now. Time to go for a run.

PUPTENT - Barry and Wife
2003/02 Pleasure-Way Ford Excel RD V8
Novato, California (SF Bay Area)

"I never met a campfire I didn't like."

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 02/26/03 09:33pm

You are right.

*This Message was edited on 26-Feb-03 09:34 PM by wlbjrincctx*

Posted By: barr_xx on 02/28/03 05:08pm

In my mind it's a class B be if it uses the stock van frame. If it uses an extended length frame it's a class C. It's not the witdh of the coach that makes it a C its the length. MYOP.


*This Message was edited on 28-Feb-03 05:09 PM by barr_xx*

*This Message was edited on 28-Feb-03 05:11 PM by barr_xx*

Posted By: Daniel C. on 02/28/03 07:09pm

2 B or not 2 B+ ; that is the question

Posted By: PUPTENT on 02/28/03 10:02pm

What converted van sits underneath a Phoenix Cruiser, a Gulfstream BT Cruiser, or a Trail-lite? These are Class C motorhomes (C- IMHO). Even though you are adding one foot to the chassis of a PW Ford Excel you are converting a stock Ford van chassis.

Posted By: RexD on 03/01/03 06:36am

The reason for the B+ designation is that it means something. Bs are vans and, let's face it, small. Too small for some people. Cs are big, and we all know the downfalls of Cs...that is in most cases what swung us to looking at Bs. The B+s are in most cases an honest attempt to achieve something in between, and for the most part they have succeeded. They really are a different class, they really aren't Cs or Bs, they are a hybrid of both types of RV thinking.

Posted By: PUPTENT on 03/01/03 09:22am

Happy March, everybody. Enjoy the open road!

Posted By: lopakamac on 03/02/03 07:08am

I have a question about the Trail-Lite B-Plus. I have read through every post since Daniel C. started this and it has been a BIG help to us. We went to an RV show, here in Detroit, last Thursday and will return again this afternoon. The new 2003 B-Plus can has the option of the Chevrolet Vortex 6.0L V-8. Does anyone have any experience with this engine? I seem to recall Daniel C. saying he gets 10-12 mpg with the 8,1L which is no longer available, Does anyone have good stats on the mpg for this 6.0L engine?

THANKS Daniel for starting this topics.

Lopaka Mac

Posted By: Daniel C. on 03/02/03 07:35am

I actually get 10-10.5 mpg. I commute in my vehicle (and use it for an office). To me that means driving with commuting traffic at those speeds, so realize that I am driving 70+ mph alternating with urban traffic (and road conditions). In that environment, with about 1 hour of generator time per tank in the winter months, I have been in the range above. The only trip I made was to Colorado/Arizona and drove at least as fast as I would have in a car and got about 10 mpg. I suspect that if one would drive 60-65 mph, 12 is reachable. Now, the 8.1 engine is an improved version of the 454, and I suspect that it gets better mileage than the 454 in spite of having substantially more power. The story about the 6L engine is similar. I am frankly not as familiar with that engine, except that I know it is a "small block" engine. I believe that it has modern valve/cam technology, but is basically the same design as the small block chevy engines of old. The 5.7L engine would get about 12, and I suspect that the 6.0 would get about 12-13 in similar driving to what I do. As much as I LOVE that big block engine, I would have gotten the 6.0L engine if it were available last year. It has almost as much horsepower as the Ford 6.8, and I suspect that it has enough extra power for most towing needs anyone could imagine. If your plans are to tow over 5,000 lbs routinely (which would require a different hitch), maybe the Ford is a better choice. My suggestion if you are trying to decide, is to drive both drivetrains, and compare the stability, room, smoothness, and power on the road. Then add about 1-2 mpg, and see how your decision feels.
It would be difficult to get much better information in comparison from other drivers, unless they have driven both drivetrains in a similar manner (as far as mileage goes), and you deserve to drive both for your own decision.

Posted By: darger on 03/07/03 12:54pm

You stated last year you had purchased a BT Cruiser 24'. How do you like it? Any complaints.

Posted By: bigmac112233 on 03/08/03 10:33am

I can't help with mileage figures but I just drove the 6.0 in a B+ yesterday. I have also driven the 8.1. I liked the 6.0 much better than the old 5.7 (in the B+). If I had bought the B+ I would have got the 8.1 (the 8.1 was a rocket!!) as the 5.7 felt underpowered (to me). The 6.0 feels just right. I own a BT Cruiser with the v10. The smaller and lighter B+ that I drove did feel much like my Cruiser (23' slide) and I didn't feel like I had to rev up the 6.0 to get to the power like I do with the v10. I was very impressed with the 6.0.

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 03/10/03 07:26pm

Another entry from Trail-Lite.

Go to the Condor B+ link.

I do not know nor have I found any specs on this unit. It seems to come under the heading, you think about it and we will build it!

*This Message was edited on 10-Mar-03 07:33 PM by wlbjrincctx*

Posted By: ARcruiser on 03/11/03 12:16am

They are stretching the "B+" designation to new limits..... It's bigger than some of their "C" rigs.....

Maybe Prevost should build a 40' rig with a B+ designation [emoticon]

Posted By: Daniel C. on 03/11/03 09:10pm

I don't know what they called the old Trans Vans (from Champion I believe), but some of those were pretty long. I was pretty hot to buy one of those until I found the Trail Lites about a year and a half ago.
I must say that, while I have been quick to point out deficiencies, I have really enjoyed my B+ over the past year. Not only has it fit very well in my professional work, but it has provided me access to my work weeks earlier than would have been possible if I had to travel to a fixed office or use a regular vehicle to see my clients. I have been able to briefly rest, fix meals, relieve myself, and drive easily to the extent that I was at work (at about 75 - 80% of my pre-operation efficiency) within two weeks of major surgery.
Now, a little over a month later, I am back close to my regular routine, even though I am still recovering from the surgery. I can not imagine a better tool for my work in this (or my regular work environment)situation.

Posted By: Plusit on 03/17/03 02:10pm

Glad to hear you're on the mend, Dan!

Questions: Does the house battery on a the Trail-Lite B+ get charged (by the genset and/or the engine) when the battery disconnect is on or off? In other words, does it matter?

And finally, does one charge the battery faster or more efficiently than the other?

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 03/17/03 04:03pm

House battery, the coach battery, is charged by either the gen set or when you are plugged into 110 volt line. It is charged by 110 even with the battery disconnect is disconnected.
The engine's battery is only charged by the engine.
It is quicker to use a separate battery charger when using the gen set.

*This Message was edited on 17-Mar-03 04:07 PM by wlbjrincctx*

Posted By: Plusit on 03/17/03 04:10pm

Thanks Larry, but does the engine also charge the house battery when we drive . . . regardless of the disconnect status as well?

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 03/17/03 06:09pm

Thanks Larry, but does the engine also charge the house battery when we drive . . . regardless of the disconnect status as well?
No, the engine only charges the engine battery.

*This Message was edited on 17-Mar-03 06:11 PM by wlbjrincctx*

Posted By: captnaselli on 03/17/03 09:48pm

Greetings from Captain Joseph L. Naselli

In my unit a model 211 w/ 8.1 L Chevy vortex engine, the engine charges the main battery as well as the two house batteries as you drive down the road. The gen-set also charges the house and engine battery when I am at a site. Using the 110V power cord, the house and engine battery are charged off the 45 amp converter. This is accomplished by the Intellitec system, a circuit board that separates the main battery so that it can not be discharged when you are not plugged in as there are one way solenoids on this board. Therefore you will always have voltage to start the vehicle. If you should leave the van lights on, then by switching the emergency toggle, you will get power from the auxiliary batteries to start the main engine.

Posted By: Plusit on 03/17/03 10:14pm

Thanks Capt. Joseph. I was under the impression that the batteries indeed were somehow linked and I appreciate the info.

Now to my original query—is the battery disconnect NOT an issue with regard to charging the house battery?

Posted By: Plusit on 03/17/03 10:17pm

By the way, Captain Joseph, did you install the second house battery, yourself? And if so, where did you find the extra room — I'd love to see a photo.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 03/18/03 09:58pm

Thanks for your comments. I just replaced my factory battery with a 105 amp/hour series 27 battery from SAMS, which they installed free and total cost was about $56! Your question about which would charge faster, I suspect would be the engine system, since it charges at about a 100+amp charge, and the converter is about 45-55 amps, as I recall. I realize that there are other draws on each system, but I suspect the engine will charge about twice as fast usually.

Posted By: Plusit on 03/18/03 10:48pm

Thanks Dan. My wife and I have come to the realization that were more boondockers than campgrounders, so I'm trying to prepare and outfit the B+ with the appropriate equipment and accessories.

Any advice is welcome.

Our planned trips are all on the east coast this year: Acadia & Mt. Desert in May; Lake Champlain & The Adirondacks in June & July and Cape Breton, N.S. & Newfoundland in September.

Posted By: captnaselli on 03/19/03 10:56am

Greetings from
Captain Joseph L. Naselli USCG
To Plusit
Subject: Batteries

In inquiry to the disconnect switch, when in the "store" mode, all connections to the coach battery are severed. There is no way that any charge can go into the battery or in like manner be taken out of same due to the fact that there is a solenoid switch that does this. You will notice that there is no power to any of the coach equipment.
When in "use" mode all power is restored and charging, is taken over three ways. If you are driving by use of the alternator, or by using a power cord the inverter is activated or use of the gen-set. I have the original schematics of the B + if you want me to make a copy to mail to you.
As to the installation of the extra battery, it is rather simple, just opposite the battery that is supplied by the factory, have a platform fabricated of aluminum, the size has to be 13L x 7 wide x 8 and one half inches high in a L shape. Make a small lip on the front and cut slots for a tie down strap on that lip. This is the same size as the present box that the factory supplies with the unit. Mount this box on the underside outside wall of the motorhome using (lag bolts), off set it from the present box. Make your wires long enough so that you can check the water in the batteries, although I now use a mirror and can see the cells and add water with a large size eye dropper. The battery weighs 41 pounds, so use a lag strap from the propane tank to the top of the box for added support. Add the cloth tie down straps ($5.00) to keep the battery in the box. That's it, cost $39.00 ea. for the batteries and 10.00 for the welded box. I bought two Interstate batteries HD-24DP, CCA 405 - MCA 505 amp hours. This I connected to a solar panel system which is to lenghty to discuss at this time. If you need additional help call me in my quarters aboard ship 561 743-4508 from 0800 hrs to 2100 hrs. This will be handled as a regular long distance call using the high-sea marine operator, there is no additional charges. Thank you

Posted By: Plusit on 03/19/03 03:34pm


Many thanks, again, for the pertinent battery info—it clears up my nagging muddle. I noticed that when the unit's power cord is plugged in, the disconnect "Use" light is always on and can't be turned off.

With regard to the electrical schematic, if it comes with the unit, then I must have it with my paperwork—but at this point I don't need it.

Regarding the second battery, I'm lost without pictures and I just can't picture it in my mind with words.

I'll read your instructions again in front of the house battery compartment.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 03/20/03 08:34am

Interesting comment. The Captain's advice is quite helpful. Plusit, I'm having a Trail Lite problem where the battery does not charge when connected to Shoreline power. In fact, I can turn the Store/Use switch to store while connected. When I do this, the coach is dark but I can run the TV! My 235S is in the dealer again today to try to figure out what is miswired. Any of you "elec techs" have any ideas??

Posted By: captnaselli on 03/20/03 11:36am

Greetings from
Captain Joseph L. Naselli

Tony, The TV is operated on 110Volts unless you have purchased an inverter (12v to 110v). The main 110 volt panel located under the sink, brown in color, is control to the 110 Volt TV, and also the 110 Volt converter which changes 110v to 12volts, has that been tripped??? If so, you will not get any battery charging. The use - store control by the doorway is only for 12 volts.

Posted By: HercDriver on 03/24/03 05:31pm

To All,

Thanks for all of the useful information regarding the 211. Not wanting to eat the initial drive-off depreciation of a new unit, I decided to locate and purchase a 'near-new' used 211.

Using this thread as a checklist of things to look for in a used unit, I was able to quickly inspect a 2002 211 before making a final purchasing decision.

Practically every problem reported was detected and is being repaired or replaced by the dealer (the unit is still under mfg warranty). I opted for the extended warranty coverage 6yrs/80,000). May be the best $1900 I ever spent.

Most, if not all, of the Drawer Rails were loose or broken. Which would have been odd because the unit appeared well taken care of. No, this a 211 issue ... poor choice of railing mechanisms.

The Spare Tire is gone. So I wonder if it had been bumped loose along the way and is alongside one of our highways. Dealer will mount a new spare and ensure the mounting hardware works or is repaired.

The end caps on the sofa decided that being attached to the frame was too much to bear. Go figure. Dealer will repair (rebolt) them.

The GenSet wasn't pretty, oil everywhere. Dealer to Service and Cleanup the Gen.

The Awning has a tear (perhaps the unit parked a little too close to a tree). The Dealer is replacing the canvas.

I guess the rule here is, when purchasing used, purchase one from a qualified service dealer while the unit is still under warranty.

This unit has 16k miles and is mounted on the Ford 460 chassis (That's more than fine, I'm partial to the 460 engine anyway).

Also, regarding the +/- 1" lean to Left or Right, the previous owner had air-shocks installed. Which I'm going to assume was done to correct that problem. The air-shock system controls and meters are located on the left-side bottom of the driver seat. The system was professionally installed with both mfg & installer plates. At first, I was shocked by the presence of the apparatus on the left side of the drivers seat., but consider it an additional + to this B+.

I noted that the inner cabnet bottoms are rather flimsy and bow downward at the slightest touch. Likewise, the exterier bottoms of the cabnets bow upward. This leaves me to believe that these are constructed of 1/8" ply with about 1" of air in between the inner and outer surfaces. A couple 1x1/2" cross members should have been used there to support the inner bottoms. I doubt that the tail of the unit would drag with the additional weight of those. Post-Manufacturing of the cabnets doesn't appear to provide us with a means to incorporate the cross-members now. So, I'm thinking of replacing the 'air' with injection foam, by drilling two small holes at each end of the cabnet. One end for injection and the other to allow the air to escape and the foam to fill the void. When set, the hardened foam should (inconjunction with the upper & lower panels) form a more solid bottom for the cabnets. I'll post the results of this experiment when I give it a try.

The Dealer just called to let me know that the unit will be ready in 7-10 days. Had to order replacement awning material. Fine by me!

Have a good day...


Posted By: TonyTiger on 03/25/03 06:51am

Be careful and do some research. Most "expanding foam" sold in home supply stores uses formaldehyde and releases that as a gas. It is usually used for outside work. Of course, most of our toilet products use something much the same, but that is vented to the outside.
Is it possible to insert toggle bolts from the sides? The expanding action of the toggle might add support to the top and bottom of the cabinet surface.

Posted By: HercDriver on 03/27/03 10:02am


Thanks for the advice.

I contacted DOW Chemical regarding the product (Great Stuff Ployurethane Foam) and was told that the product doesn't contain formaldehyde and would be safe for use in an enclosed living space (rv). However, the product and its fumes are highly flammable during dispensing.

In addition, some discussion was had regarding the application of the 'expanding' foam and the possibility of the foam bowing the panels outward. They suggested applying weight to the upper panel and upward presure to the bottom panel and apply the product slowly to allow it to expand properly in the direction of least resistance.

That said; I'm seriously considering 'Plan B'. Measure, Cut and Place 1/4" Plywood bottom panels (floors) into the cabnets (on top of the existing). This may be a better approach.

Posted By: Tara03 on 03/29/03 03:00pm


After reading and scanning through the very informative Trail-Lite B+ messages, I thought I'd stick a single woman's 2 cents in, in the hopes that my experiences will help others.

I purchased a 2002 model (no slideout) in July 2001. I average 13 to 15 mpg. I drive 68 to 70 mph on the interstates (Chevy told me not to go over 70 with ANY van-type vehicle). I work full time, so I have "only" been able to drive my Trail-Lite 13,000 miles since I bought it....

The first thing I did was have the sofa bed converted to a twin-size, permanent bed, keeping the storage area beneath the bed intact. (I had this done at a private shop, not the RV dealer.)

The wheel covers that came with my Trail-Lite had to be removed everytime I wanted to check tire pressure. Ridiculous! So the second thing I did was replace the wheel covers and add valve stem extenders on ALL FOUR of the back tires.

I purchased a DFS 7-year extended warranty for $1200 from the dealer (I negotiated the price down from $1800).

After almost 2 years, I am very happy with my Trail-Lite B+. I had two previous, very top-heavy camper vans, and the Trail-Lite is BY FAR the best way to go.

Most of the problems with the chassis and the coach occured within the first 15 months. I won't tell you how frustrated I was during this lengthy break-in period.

Here's a summary of what went wrong the first 12 to 15 months:

(1) Power steering fluid leaked (Chevy replaced gear box).
(2) Wheels terribly misaligned. (Chevy will realign the wheels if you bring it in before it is 6 months old.)
(3) "Service engine soon" light came on(sometimes steady, sometimes blinking) on four occasions.
(4) Engine bounced and coughed at startup (on two occasions)(reason for the blinking engine light). After 2 weeks in shop, Chevy fixed problem with guidance from GM's tech support by increasing air gap between crank shaft reluctor and crank sensor, using a factory-built part that contained a shim. Do I understand this? Heck no, but whatever they did, worked!

(1) Sewer hose storage compartment end cap not glued on, so hose went out other end and onto parking lot. This happened during the dealer's walk-through.
(2) Bathroom skylight cracked in two corners. After it was replaced, bathroom leaked like a sieve when it rained because skylight hadn't been sealed properly when reinstalled. Rainwater worked its way in from there to bathroom light fixture, then out onto floor. Rainwater staining on upholstery by ceiling had to be dry-cleaned.
(3) Dinette table wouldn't fit into tracks for bed conversion. Table had not been mounted properly.
(4) Wallpaper trim peeled off behind stove. Discovered that rain was leaking in from outside the coach where stove exhaust fan exits.
(5) Microwave worked its way out of cabinet because screws were inadequate. Replacement screws aren't adequate, either. I'm "making do" for now.
(6) Two big drawers (one under microwave and one under closet) bounced off their tracks, and tracks broke. (A common complaint from owners.)
(7) TV antenna wouldn't turn from the inside. Had to have extra sealant on roof removed.
(8) Entire bathroom installed on a SLIGHT angle so that sink water AND shower water won't totally drain. Dealer talked me into living with this problem, which would have been a major and time-consuming re-do and still might not have solved the problem, depending on my Trail-Lite's floor.
(9) Coach battery did NOT charge when Trail-Lite was driven, and battery disconnect switch could not be turned off (red light was always on). Dealer replaced isolator and battery switch and reconnected wiring, which had been loose and not making contact.
(10) Trim on top of curved ledge that runs along side of kitchen counter (between sink and dinette) popped up. Dealer re-glued, but it hasn't worked. I'll figure something out myself.
(11) Two upholstery buttons missing (one on back of dinnette seat, one on TV wall).
(12) Kitchen window mini-blind wouldn't open - had it replaced.

CONCLUSION: Except for the slightly angled bathroom (which affects the floor and sink drainage), I am now, AT LAST, very happy with my Chevy Trail-Lite B+. I've had it on the interstates, on 2-lane country roads, on dirt roads, in the mountains, and all the way to Canada (I live in New Mexico). This summer I'm planning a 6000-mile trip, besides several weekend camping or fishing trips in state.

Happy Traveling, from Tara

Posted By: Plusit on 03/29/03 07:52pm

Gee Tara, if I had read your post before I purchased my B+, I wonder if I would have bought one.

And I now consider myself quite fortunate with regard to break-in problems.

Good luck and best wishes for problem-free future travels.

Posted By: ARcruiser on 03/29/03 09:15pm

Great report!

Glad to hear you pretty well have your rig "up to snuff".

Enjoy ! ! !

Posted By: JAGM on 03/30/03 05:36pm

HI. This is my first post. I read the entire posting today. My husband and I have looked about 5 years for the perfect small motorhome and just purchased a 2003 Trail-Lite B+ 225 with a Ford V-10 Chassis. We have never even slept one night in a motorhome but are not totally ignorant, as we have some close friends who have full-timed it 2x and have given us good advice. We also bought from a very reputable dealer who has been in business 35+ years (actually 70+ years selling Fords). We were assured we could take this on w/o too much difficulty. We decided to buy new so we wouldn't have problems. Now, I'm wondering if we did the right thing. We go April 11th to pick up our RV and we have a half day training session at the dealer's. We go through the RV with an inventory check list. Does anyone have any advice to offer us before we drive it away (specific questions for the dealer, certain things to make sure and check)? Thanks. Judy

Posted By: Plusit on 03/30/03 06:34pm

Congrats, Judy and don't worry because the vehicle has a lot of bang for the buck.

Click on the spy glass (search feature) and type in various subjects with regard to "lists" that spell out what to look for when taking possession of a new RV.

Also ask any specific questions in the "Beginning RVing" thread that have perplexed.

And above all, don't let the dealer rush you into signing off on the RV dealer's final punch list. If you aren't satisfied or if they're trying to give you the bum's rush before you've checked everything out, just walk away and see how quickly their attitude changes..

You might even rent a similar unit before you get the new one—to see how the various elements of a typical unit work. You'll understand the walkthrough with more awareness.

Posted By: Tara03 on 03/30/03 06:51pm

Dear Plusit,

My RV dealer told me that many new, expensive class A's have more problems than my Trail-Lite did - and that I was lucky I had "so few," and that most of that was minor stuff. They may have been minor, but the nuisance of having to bring it back to the dealer after every trip I took was NOT minor to me. I was furious! But, as I said, all is pretty good now.


Dear ARcruiser,

Glad you liked my report. Don't know if you compared Trail-Lite to BT Cruiser (is that what they're called?). I like the BT's bathroom better than Trail-Lite's (because it has a separate shower), but (1) it doesn't have as much inside storage space as the Trail-Lite; (2) I don't like the driver/passenger cab section, which seems smaller than Trail-Lite's for some reason; (3) I like Trail-Lite's kitchen galley better; and (4) I REALLY like Trail-Lite's back door and window, whch the BT doesn't have. I put one of those plastic things (are they called "fish eye" or something?) on the back door window, which gives me a good field of view. Before I added that, when I'd look in my inside rear-view mirror, all I saw was the solid middle panel of the door, and I'd have to almost stand up in my seat to see above it. I think you'll be very happy with your Trail-Lite.


Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 03/30/03 07:22pm

I have a 2003 Trail-Lite B+225, Ford V-10. Only problem so far was a bad board in the power converter. Replaced under warranty.
BTW, the center drawer in the galley will fall out unless it is firmly seated in its spot. I will adjust the rails someday.
Also, the table will rattle like crazy. Either have the dealer put it on pedestals like some other owners have done or lower it into the area between the two dinette seats when driving.
Great bang for the buck unit.

*This Message was edited on 30-Mar-03 07:32 PM by wlbjrincctx*

*This Message was edited on 30-Mar-03 07:33 PM by wlbjrincctx*

Posted By: wlbjrincctx on 03/30/03 07:35pm

The 225 has a dry bath with a separate shower.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 04/04/03 08:57pm

Another update:
I have discovered that the problem I was having with the slide has returned. I was wondering if anyone else out there with a 211S is having problems with the bottom of the slide breaking loose from the side. I really use my RV, so others may not have enough stress on the couch to pull those areas apart. I have known for some time that the design appeared to put all the weight of the couch on those two areas of the slide when the area is flush (and the rollers don't even make contact with the carpet). I hope they have corrected this, but I am going to have to use another means to fix it than warranty, since it is out of warranty now. I also have developed a slight propane leak, which I will have to troubleshoot with some soapsuds. Otherwise, I am still really happy with the unit, and am really getting all the use out of it - I have about 36,000 miles in 14 months of use! My last motorhome was a 28'Winnebago I bought new in 1987 and kept for 15 years: it had 45,000 miles on it after all those years. This unit will be long gone/worn out by then!

Posted By: Plusit on 04/05/03 10:09am

Danie, how did you know you had a leak--smell or otherwise and where?

They just did a segment on RV Today on how to find a propane leak. Make sure you don't use a soap that will corrode the parts. Plumbing stores sell a special non-corrosive spray for a few bucks that is designed especially for detecting gas leaks.

Also, RV Dealers have a special tool for plugging into the stove top to check for pressure drops and leakage in the burners.

How are you feeling, btw?

Posted By: Br- on 04/05/03 07:09pm

Dan, glad to see this topic is still going after a year. I've been following the posts, but nothing to report since the unit is still in storage. Did manage to get the cover off this week, finally had a few nice days. Getting the oil changed and tires rotated next week. It's been a long, snowy winter, and can't wait to get on the road over Easter.

Hope you're feeling better, and sorry to hear you still have problems with that slide. Any chance it would still be covered since it's been an ongoing problem that apparently was never corrected?

I was wondering if you or anyone else here might have some thoughts on this. We'd like to have a few window awnings installed, but I'm not sure if there would be enough support around the windows to do this. The only info I have says aluminum framed laminated construction, with fiberglass skin. Would hate to see awnings ripped off in the wind like the door catches were on units I'd seen. Any thoughts on this?

Take care

Posted By: Daniel C. on 04/06/03 09:57pm

I found where the leak is yesterday. There is a iron pipe that carries the gas across the chassis to the hot water heater, and one of the joints was leaking. I was afraid that the joint had split, but the sealant apparently worked loose. I had to take the connection loose at the hot water side (copper to iron), then loosen the pipe, and put fresh thread sealant on the pipe, which fixed it.
I am waiting to hear back from the dealer about the slide, but have already figured that using a sheet metal patch; shoved into the L bracket along the base of the side, and extended about a foot or so up the side along the fiberglass would work. I would make several rows of screws to distribute the load of the couch more evenly on the side, then paint the patch on each side. I believe this would be a better solution than just replacing the sides, since the faulty engineering would persist if the fiberglass is simply replaced. I am going to see if the factory has a suggested fix (and offers to fix it here). Otherwise, I plan to fix it myself.
For those asking, I am feeling pretty darn good!

Posted By: TonyTiger on 04/07/03 09:08am

Good to hear you're feeling better, Dan.

We spent our first weekend this past weekend in our new 235S. The roller wheels seem to stay engaged with the flooring in the new model. I still get heartburn when I see the slide sorta pitch up at the end, but it stays in contact and sealed well. It was a rainy, windy, day and night. We were in Central/Southern NJ all weekend. No signs of leaks. I was glad I got the awning over the slide as an option.

My electrical problem is solved. A bad circuit breaker was stopping the shore line power from charging the house battery. My only currently known problem remaining is that the fresh water drain valve is leaking (the one used for winterizing). I corked the drain pipe and used duct tape to hold in while in motion. Bless duct tape!

I have mentally filed the fix you described for the slide. Love to hear what happens.


Trail Lite 235S Gone; Four Winds Siesta
Me, the wife and the boys (2 Border Collies)

Posted By: fanman on 04/08/03 06:09pm

This has got to be the longest thread on the forum

Posted By: Daniel C. on 04/08/03 10:03pm

I talked to the service manager at the dealership that I got my unit from, and he is going to propose my fix for the slide. He agreed with me that the current arrangement is a design weakness, so using a steel (thin) plate on each side should distribute the stress over a greater portion of the fiberglass than just the bottom of the side. I will update as I hear.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 04/18/03 06:42am

Has anyone used Qualitec to have custom seats made for their coach? Trail-Lite didn't offer a power seat, which I wanted at least for the driver's side. Qualitec seems to make almost any type of seat and uses the same material as the manufacturers. Any experience with them?

Posted By: Daniel C. on 04/20/03 07:42pm

I am going to the dealer tomorrow for pictures of the slide area that has separated. Actually, the only part that separated again was in the back, where it was difficult to get screws into the bottom, so that may be the only area that will need an "extraordinary" fix. I found that my fix for the propane fix is not holding, so I may have a split pipe (or just a poorly done repair). I will update as I try one more time to fix it with Joint sealant.
Finally, I am having some ongoing problems with the factory tires. I replaced both front tires last fall, and am getting a noise, almost like a tread separation (though I can see none). I am hoping for another fifteen thousand or so miles (I currently have 37000), and will get some Michelins, and new wheels, if I can afford them!

Posted By: TonyTiger on 04/24/03 01:22pm

Update on our 235S. We do love it! Next trip will be the first weekend in May for 2 nights.

It's now back from the dealer. I had them install the second coach battery. The day/night shades are now installed to replace the noisy blinds. The right rear upright panel has been replaced with an undented/uncracked one (opps, Did I forget to mention the 'run in' with the Platinum Coach in the dealer's parking lot? :<) )

The leaking (brand new) valve on the water drain was replaced under warranty and a grounding problem was checked which required all of the wiring to be be retightened.

Now I'm on to installing a 90 degree removable pipe on the generator exhaust so that I can mount the Genturi (exhaust redirector), the slide out actually comes out over the generator exhaust pipe, the Genturi device runs the exhaust up over the roofline of the Motorhome. The angle pipe lets me mount the Genturi clear of the slide.

Has anyone installed wheel liners? Removing the hubs to check the tire pressure is stupid. I'm looking for recommendations.

Posted By: JAGM on 04/24/03 06:30pm

We took our first trip in the 225 Trail Lite B+. We were gone for four days and drove 20 hours total. We have about 1100 miles on it. It had 600 from the dealer due to the drive to Iowa and a couple of sporting shows. The best news is NO PROBLEMS!! WE LOVE IT. We got 11 mpg and no drawers or hangers came loose. We bought a foam mattress cover and the sleeping was very comfortable. I have one simple question. Our walls are a rough paneling. I tried a suction soap holder in the shower and it promptly fell off the wall paneling and off the wood. Has anyone used anything else for a few extra hooks, etc? We weren't sure we should screw anything into the paneling. Judy
2003 Trail Lite 225, Ford V10

Posted By: TonyTiger on 04/25/03 08:34am

Same problem with the suction cups. We mounted the soap dish down low at the corner above the tub. The tub holds it in place.
We used to use the suction hooks that mounted to the wall, but they won't stick. We begun using clips with a magnet on the side of the range hood, etc. Anywhere it could find a metallic surface.
I also bought four of the hooks that pull down and have aspring that makes them retract into the holder (chrome). I mounted them on the side wall of the refrigerator near the side exit door of the 235. There is a small ledge above the refrigerator that they mounted on quite well. I don't recall the floor plan of the 225.

Posted By: B-Plus on 04/25/03 03:42pm

When I purchased my 225 I called Trail-Lite and asked them if I could order the surround Tub that comes with some other models ( the 250 + 251 ) I was told that I could not because of the curved back wall on the 225 that it can't be done. So I went to Lowes and bought a cheap surround for a shower that is 60" tall and put it in my-self,it works great , it has built in shelves in the corner ( wrap around ) for the soap and shampoo bottle, and all for $39.99 and a little cutting with a razor knife. It was pretty easy except for the back wall that curves, all you have to do is trace it with school compass that has a pencil, like you would do if you were doing tiling and needed to fit a piece in a blind corner and put it up with liquid nails.
Also today I installed dual batteries # 24 interstate Marine /RV . If you bend down the battery tray metal lip in front you can set in both batteries side by side , only about 2 inches of the battery overhang and I straped them in from the back using two nylon strapes, it came out very neat and the batteries are nice and stable. I have done quite a little items that were erking me a little bit, I yanked out the 19" TV and installed a 13 " that runs on 12/120v and has a built in VCR . I also installed a 12V 3 outlet socket by the cable booster and I ran the wires so I am using my coach batteries. I installed a screen door lock so when the screen door is in use you can lock it and I did that with a nice looking brass slide bolt that after you drill a few holes ,the bolt slide through the door frame and into the screen door locking it. ( a must for my wife!! ) I also installed a vinal venetian blind over the entry door ( 27x72 ) so when you are using the screen door you have some privacy. I won't bore you because the list goes on and on LOL. But if anybody is interested in some of the other things that I have done e-mail me. I am in the process of putting in a 7x22 inch hatch door in the compartment that I made adj to the rear steps ( left hand side ) there is an empty space there that measures 24x24 and I will use it to store the 3/4 hose for the Macerator pump that I hooked I can dump at home. On the brite side, I am getting about 12+ with the 2003 Chevrolet 6.0 and it's as quite as mouse running, my wife thought that I was coasting to save gas because you can't hear the motor running at all, a few times when I first got it I would try to start it twice and get that grinding noise from the starter ( very embarrassing ) . And for the coach items everything is working great and I anve not had any problems , other than the aftermarket radio that Trail-lite put in ( had a short in it )

Posted By: Daniel C. on 04/26/03 11:05pm

Trail Lite must have gotten a deal on defective radios! I didn't even try to get them to replace mine (which wouldn't receive in stereo), and put in a medium priced Kenwood myself (replacing all speakers with Kenwoods). I still don't get the Bass that I like to hear, so will be putting in a Sup Woofer when I have the money. Seems kind of silly in order to listen to "talk radio"!

Posted By: B-Plus on 04/27/03 07:15pm

Actually Dan it's not a bad radio , other than the short that it has. I have to say, they made a good effort because it's a Blaupunt that has a removable face plate and a CD player. Believe me, of all the problems that you could have with buying an RV I'm quite happy with the bad radio because that is an easy fix. I have to say that Trail-lite really did a good job on manufacturing my RV everything works and my wife and I are completely satified with our 225 and with the money I saved over the Chinook I am concidering purchasing a new Vette , I guess that's called having your cake and eating it too!

Posted By: bobo35 on 04/28/03 11:32am

Wow got to the end of this. Congrats to daniel
and the others who are so patient with their dealers. Looking at the Trail-Lite's at Blanchard's in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Anyone have experience with them? Thanks

Posted By: Dave. on 04/29/03 11:20pm

I know this may be more appropriate under a different post, but I have a question in regards to the standard Trail-lite air conditioner.

When I was using the air conditioner on our 211 last summer I noticed that the compressor would turn on, nicely cooling the air. Once the temperature went down, the compressor turned off and the fan continued to run (as many units do). The problem was that the fan seemed to be bringing in the outside hot and humid air, very quickly bringing up the temperature and making for a very uncomfortable hot/cold cyle.

Is this normal or is there a problem with the air conditioner?

Posted By: Daniel C. on 04/30/03 10:44pm

I'm pretty sure that there is no vent in the stock A/C, and what you are feeling is the recirculation of the warm air at the top of the motorhome. One problem I had (and still have) is keeping the thermostat too low in the low fan position, which results in the evaporator freezing. I haven't found the ideal mix of fan speed and thermostat setting yet. I did install a fantastic fan in my unit when I bought it, which gives pretty good circulation inside any time the temp is lower than about 80 degrees. I see my clients in my unit, and use that fan to minimize the use of the generator during the days.

Posted By: Dave. on 04/30/03 11:10pm

Thanks for the information. I was just surprised at how humid the air was - It didn't make sense that it would be taking the outside air.

I just recently installed a similar fan. I tend to prefer the quiet breeze.

Posted By: ARcruiser on 05/03/03 12:13am

a gentle bumpity-bump for TopZ.

Posted By: Br- on 05/03/03 08:21am

Update: Took our first trip of the season over Easter weekend, put on 700 mi. and so far everything works. The only problem was with dewinterizing. Flushing and draining the fresh water tank was awfully slow, so I decided to use the pump for a while. It kept shutting off after a couple of seconds, wouldn't build up any pressure. My first thought was "what now". After doing a search on the forum to see what the problem could be, I traced it to a leaking city water check valve. Went to the nearest dealer and picked one up for $22. Just out of curiosity,
asked what it would cost to have them put it in. I about fell over when he said $100, plus the part. It took me a total of 1/2 hr. to do it. Like I said, everything else seems to be fine so far.

Posted By: JTHarley on 05/05/03 06:45am

I just picked up my gulfstream 5230 BT Cruiser and took it on a 350 mile "break in" trip to test all the onboard equipment. Prior to delivery I asked the dealer to install a Surflo smartsensor 5.7 water pump.....(supposed to be silent). Well.....the rig worked great but the water pump sounded like a distressed buffalo!!! Before I trek back to the dealer is there something simple (stupid) that I should try? I turned on all the faucets and shower and the pump is loud almost as if it where trying to prime itself....

Posted By: TonyTiger on 05/07/03 11:26am

If they mounted the pump directly to wood, they may be creating an amplifier box like stereo speakers. I installed some thick scrap rubber under each leg which insulated the sound somewhat. If, however, it is the pump itself squealing then that might indicated that the bearings (or bushings) are out of alignment or that the shaft is binding for some reason. On most of the pump units made for RVs it is nearly impossible to take the load off of the motor to test for free rotation of the shaft.
A less likely source of the problem is for some metal scraping or some mineral particles to be in the actual pump assembly.
I'm not an expert on pumps, but I had some experience on my previous unit (which sounded like a muffled machine gun) with mounting noise.
There are some good people on this forum that might know more.

*This Message was edited on 07-May-03 11:29 AM by TonyTiger*

Posted By: JTHarley on 05/13/03 12:34pm

After taking the rig back to the dealer we found that they did not install "flexible" hose in and out of the new pump causing vibration to the wood. They also did not adjust the pressure screw located on the end of the pump to accomodate the small size of my rig vs. a big class A model. With about 700 miles on it now we could not be happier with the layout and performance but the true test will come when we take our first "real" trip in June.

Posted By: Dave. on 05/16/03 11:33am


I also discovered a leak in my city water check valve (coincidence?). I will also try to repair myself.


Posted By: Br- on 05/16/03 12:29pm

Dave, regarding the city water check valve, it was easy to install a new one. Make sure all of the old caulk is cleaned off good before you replace. My valve had caulk behind it as well as around it. Still can't get over the dealer here wanting $100 to do it.

Posted By: Luap on 05/22/03 12:49pm

Have read it all and am just a confused as when I started looking at the B+. Quality seems to be an issue, however most of you seem to have had the majority of problems resolved. We (my wife and I) have finally decided to take the plunge and buy an RV. Tried to find a decent used class C, but that has proven to be harder than selecting a new one. Settled on a new 2004 21' Trail-Lite with 6.0 Chevy. Found one, but the rubber roof had two bubbles near where the roof meets the sidewall. Dealer does not seem to eager to fix this potential problem. Will try another dealer. Thanks to you all for your input.


*This Message was edited on 22-May-03 12:52 PM by Luap*

*This Message was edited on 22-May-03 12:52 PM by Luap*

Paul & Gail
2004 TL213 6.0 Chevy

Posted By: Daniel C. on 05/25/03 07:56pm

i've been out of pocket for a couple of weeks while I moved to San Antonio. The only new issue I am wondering about is a possible exhaust manifold leak. I have always felt that there was some extra noise under the hood, but I am starting to believe a leak is present. I had experienced similar problems with the 454 Chevy, but thought that they had corrected the problem with the new big block. Will keep you posted. I also had a thorough alignment done, and suspect that it had never been correct from the factory. The difference in handling is remarkable, and the chronic "wheel balance" problem I was experiencing was apparently the right front tire being pulled to the left, and pealing tread off the front tire as a result.

Posted By: Ellne on 05/26/03 12:26pm

I am trying to decide which way to go! I have found a Trail Lite 211S with the Chevy 8.1 engine like Daniels. I am trying to decide whether I would rather have that or a BT Cruiser with slide and Ford V10 engine.

I love to drive! I really wanted the 8.1 engine, and I will be towing sometimes, either light weight travel trailer, spare car or a boat.

What I don't like about the Trail Lite is the real entrance door, wet bath and quality issues. However, I really seldom shower in unit, usually use camp facilities unless it is really cold or rainy.

The BT Cruiser is prettier and has side entrance. What are your thoughts?

Posted By: PSW on 05/26/03 02:49pm


We spent a year looking at these issues you mention. We opted for the BT Cruiser because of the roof, side door, and just liked the unit better. I have had Dodge and Chevy MHs before, and I must say the BT with the 450E chasis and V10 is very nice and I think we will find it really satisfactory. We decided for the 23 ft and slide, figuring for 2 feet more length we got a lot more unit. We researched all this on the Internet for a year, went to several RV shows and bought a few RV magazines with articles about these coaches. We are happy with the purchase and even drove to a dealer 200 miles away from one 4 miles from our home to get the unit we wanted! Something about territories, politics between branches of the same dealer and all that junk. Going from a 19 ft Roadtrek to a 23 ft BT Cruiser is like going from a small apartment to a big house as far as size is concerned, but the BT quality is not as good as the Roadtrek we have loved for six years. But the price is less also. Finally, we figured just go for it and enjoy!

Oklahoma City

*This Message was edited on 26-May-03 02:51 PM by PSW*

Posted By: wlbjrincctx1 on 05/26/03 03:36pm

What I don't like about the Trail Lite is the real entrance door, wet bath and quality issues.
The B 225 has a dry bath, side door, and the quality issues seem to be getting better as they produce more units.
Good Luck with whatever you buy.

2003 Trail-Lite B 225
Ford V-10

*This Message was edited on 26-May-03 03:37 PM by wlbjrincctx1*

Posted By: TonyTiger on 05/27/03 12:38pm

I think you'll find that the Trail Lite 225 and 235S both solve your problems with a dry bath and shower and a passenger side exit door. Both are available with Chevy or Ford chassis. The Ford has the V-10 engine.
I traded up from a 99 StarFlyte in February for the 235S specifically for the slide and for the dry bath. If you read the posts you'll find Dario went for the 225. Obviously we thought it was worth the trade. For me a few electrical kinks had to be worked out, but for the last two trips this month it's been humming along.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 05/27/03 12:42pm

Welcome back! Hope the move was uneventful and hope you are feeling well.
First time I was in San Antonio was in 1967 to enter the Air Force. The Riverwalk was a mud walk, still under construction. When I saw the Alamo, I wondered why old Santa Ana didn't take his troops around either side to the short wall! ...or they could of stood on their Trail Lites and jumped the side wall.

*This Message was edited on 29-May-03 09:04 AM by TonyTiger*

Posted By: J & W on 06/06/03 03:51pm

We bought the Trail-Lite 23ft 225 with the Chevy 8.1 V8 last August. We love it. The floor plan is great and with the V8 Vortec engine, there is loads of power. We're getting around 12 mpg.
As it seems, all motorhomes come with their own particular glitches and we've had a few....all of ours were fixed at no cost of course.
Our longest trip so far has been to Tucson. We're leaving soon for the Grand Canyon and New Mexico...about a 3 week trip.
Just waxed the body with a spray on wax from Camping World. That was an easy quick wax and looks great.
We love our B+. Happy Trails!
J & W and Jodie (terrier)
Wimberley, Texas

Posted By: TonyTiger on 06/09/03 07:37am

Great report.
What mileage are you getting?

BTW, I've noticed that the passenger side carpet is getting wet in heavy rain. The top carpet that we use as a floor mat isn't wet, so it is coming from the side, not down. The wet extends all the way back to the box storage under the front dinette seat behind the passenger seat. Anyone else see somethig like this with a Trail Lite B+? It was pretty heavy rain here Saturday we were in a campground in southern NJ about 30 minutes from Atlantic City. The news said we got 1.35 inches. I'm thinking a leak must originate at a seam of the body or a gasket around the door or hatch.

Posted By: J & W on 06/09/03 09:37am

Tony Tiger - Is your leak from the entrance door? We have had the entrance door worked on several times as it has always closed very hard. On one fix they took off the frame as well and did not caulk properly around the top (I guess you would call it a drip rail that is part of the door frame) it leaked really bad in the next rain. We took it back for re-caulking and has never leaked again. You have probably already checked that, but that is my only suggestion as it was strange the rain came straight down to the floor and totally missed the padding above the inside door. Guess that happened because door is curved. Anyway we are still not pleased with our door and next time will request new door and frame be installed.
On our 225 we think we get about 12 mpg on the highway. Let us know when you trace the leak.

J & W & Jodie(the pup)

Posted By: TonyTiger on 06/09/03 02:04pm

No, the leak is in the front on the coach passenger door and the front seat of the dinette. The 225 and the 235 are the same layout except for the change due to the slide out. So it would be the happening somewhere between the front of the passenger door and the front dinette seat itself.
Our entrance door seems fine so far, it's rear, passenger side mounted as well.

Posted By: JWahlsten on 06/13/03 05:35pm

There is a company called Cruse America and one called El Monte RV. They may not have Rv's as small as you have. But you will do fine. We rented a "MauI" for two weeks in Australia. Great trip.

Posted By: Br- on 06/20/03 08:20pm

Well, here we go again. Planned a nine day trip to the Black Hills, reservations, everything set.
Brought the RV from storage and plugged it in wednesday to get the frig cold to leave tomorrow, it was working fine.
I was out of town for a few days and the wife called me yesterday to say she had to move the RV.
Turned off the frig first, then unplugged from the garage. Plugged it back in 1/2 hr. later and the frig wouldn't work. I got home this eve and checked fuses, breakers, all ok. Frig won't run on electric. Since I am not electrically inclined, it's going back to the dealer again when we return from the trip, luckily the frig is still under warranty. It is now running and cooling on propane. We just have not had good luck with this unit. One thing after another.

Posted By: B-Plus on 06/22/03 12:30pm

We just got back from a nice trip in my B-Plus 22.5 . I have had this unit since the begining of Feb and have had only one problem and that was with the aftermarket radio that was put in. I have the new 6.0 Chevrolet engine and I am running Mobile 1 Synthetic oil. My milage went from 10 City 12 Highway to 11.5 City 14 Highway. I am really happy with my gas milage . I wonder sometimes if someone at night isn't putting gas into my car as a joke. My dad did that to a neighbor one time about 40 years ago, he had just bought a new car and was checking the gas milage on it everytime he filled it it, my dad would fill up a 5 gallon gas can every other day and pour it into his tank at night. A few weeks later he mentioned to my dad how pleased he was with the gas miliage on his new car , it's getting aroung 35 miles a gallon ( it was a big LTD Ford ).

Posted By: B-Plus on 06/22/03 12:47pm

We just got back from a nice trip in my B-Plus 22.5 . I have had this unit since the begining of Feb and have had only one problem and that was with the aftermarket radio that was put in. I have the new 6.0 Chevrolet engine and I am running Mobile 1 Synthetic oil. My milage went from 10 City 12 Highway to 11.5 City 14 Highway. I am really happy with my gas milage . I wonder sometimes if someone at night isn't putting gas into my car as a joke. My dad did that to a neighbor one time about 40 years ago, he had just bought a new car and was checking the gas milage on it everytime he filled it it, my dad would fill up a 5 gallon gas can every other day and pour it into his tank at night. A few weeks later he mentioned to my dad how pleased he was with the gas miliage on his new car , it's getting aroung 35 miles a gallon ( it was a big LTD Ford ).

Posted By: B-Plus on 06/22/03 12:49pm

We just got back from a nice trip in my B-Plus 22.5 . I have had this unit since the begining of Feb and have had only one problem and that was with the aftermarket radio that was put in. I have the new 6.0 Chevrolet engine and I am running Mobile 1 Synthetic oil. My milage went from 10 City 12 Highway to 11.5 City 14 Highway. I am really happy with my gas milage . I wonder sometimes if someone at night isn't putting gas into my car as a joke. My dad did that to a neighbor one time about 40 years ago, he had just bought a new car and was checking the gas milage on it everytime he filled it it, my dad would fill up a 5 gallon gas can every other day and pour it into his tank at night. A few weeks later he mentioned to my dad how pleased he was with the gas miliage on his new car , it's getting aroung 35 miles a gallon ( it was a big LTD Ford ).

Posted By: JAGM on 06/22/03 04:30pm

We just returned from our first long trip in our Trail lite. We had only used it 4 nights before this trip. We are newbies and chose the Trail Lite 225 for this reason. Good choice. We drove 4500 miles though N.D.; Montana including Glacier NP; Banff, Jasper and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and the Canadian prairie provences to get home. We had a great time and no major problems. We were on mountain roads and VERY bumpy roads in Canada. The only problem we had was after 8 days out the water heater leaked. My husband duct taped it and we will have it looked at by the dealer now that we are home. Other than that, our Trail Lite was top notch. We really appreciated our Ford V10 in the mountains. It ran like a dream. One thing we discovered is that we would like a storage box on the back bumper for the outside things like the lawn chairs, hose, etc. That would free up more space. Also, I took a queen size foam mattress pad-about 2" thick. That took up an enormous amount of space. Do you all use them? It really made the bed comfy, but I am wondering if a thick mattress pad would be as good. Judy, 2003 Trail Lite 225, Ford V10.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 06/27/03 09:11am

There have been posts regarding boxes.
I ended up buying a hitch haul platform (with a fold up adapter that lets it fold up when not in use)and a Stowaway box that also fits into the 2" hitch on my 235S. Depending on the need I go back and forth.
I had found a product that mounts to the back wall of the motorhome with L shaped brackets but it is not available in the US. It was made by Omnistor and called CarryAll.
On a previous post someone had installed one of the diamond finished steel boxes across the length of what looked like a hitch haul platform. That mesage also has a link to a picture. It is in this thread. Somewhere around page 15 I think I remember.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 06/27/03 09:22am

Opps, sorry it was more like page 26!

Guess I don't remember as well as I used to....

Posted By: JAGM on 06/27/03 03:12pm

Thanks TonyTiger. It was actually on page 29. I emailed Plusit to give me some info.

Posted By: Plusit on 06/27/03 10:55pm

Hi Judy,

The all aluminum Hitch Haul can be found at the following link:

The five foot aluminum box was purchased at Lowes for $200 and the four stainless steel carriage bolts, nuts, wide washers and lock washers to attach the box (from underneath) were also purchased there.

Weight capacity is 500 lbs.

Good luck!

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 06/29/03 02:23pm

TonyTiger -- check up on the roof to see if the rubber boot for the TV cable has come off its through-roof fitting. Mine had and water came in during rains, appearing in the passenger side forward over-dinette cabinet. Leaked down from there. Quick "reboot" fixed it permanently.

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 07/10/03 10:10pm

I have had a rattling while driving of what I thought was the Slide Topper awning that I installed over the slideout. Come to find out the rattling is due to the metal arms on the outside sides of the slide. A compressable rubber sleeve on the top of the verticle slide pole has been compressed out of functionality and no longer provides tension on the diagonal arm when the slide is in. Quick fix for now is a split garden hose washer slipped under the sleeve to act as a spacer. Plan on converting to an appropriately sized metal spring when needed.

Posted By: Br- on 07/11/03 12:29pm

To Trail-lite B+ owners, you might want to check the location of the frig drain hose in the outside frig compartment. My installation manual calls for the drain hose to be installed so it exits down thru the bottom of the coach. Instead, my hose was attached with a plastic clip to the wood base of the outside frig compartment, leaving any water to drain onto the wood. My dealer now has the hose hanging out of the outside louvered panel. A sloppy fix, in my opinion, for something that should have been done right to begin with.

Posted By: wlbjrincctx1 on 07/11/03 06:31pm

Just finished a 5600 mile trip in our B-225 V-10. West Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Black Hills, North Dakota, Minnesota, and back through Iowa, Kansas, OK, to Corpus Christi, TX. No problems up or down any pass anywhere. Gas mileage average 12-14. Only incidents; ding in windshield and bad tail light bulb.
No problems with the Trail-Lite or any systems. Everything worked as advertised.

Larry B
Doing our part to keep America bug free.

Posted By: driveswithcats on 07/11/03 08:25pm

Aero Beds are so comfortable. Just plug them in and inflate them. They can be firm or softer. My Explorer conversion van has a very comfortable bed but if i needed to take care of that problem that is what I would do. Also on the bed in my van I have the egg box shaped padding you can buy at Walmart or like stores. This really helps too. Sometimes I just go out somewhere and land up 200 miles away, I just pull off the road and take naps and read my book and maybe make a cup of tea. I drove 10,000 miles across the US but the biggest problem for me was crooked auto mechanic, een the ones you think you can trust. It was heartbreaking. Had my two cats with me too, they did great. Their fur grew long in Reno as they are Florida cats. Josephine.. ``


Posted By: Plusit on 07/13/03 12:57pm

Bruce, I just checked out the Dometic fridge compartment on my '03 and my drain hose, which doesn't correspond, whatsoever, to the schematic and advice in the manufacturer's manual, is connected directly to the compartment's grill cover.

There is a kind of plastic diffuser inserted in the hose end and the water is shrewdly displaced in the upper slide feature of the grill.

There is absolutely no need to drill a hole in anything, so I think the dealer may have gotten it right.

Posted By: Br- on 07/13/03 05:29pm

To be honest, I never paid much attention to the drain hose until my wife noticed some water in the outside compartment and told me where it was coming from. I also plugged a few holes on the end piece, seemed to be drawing warm air into the frig. Just wonder if it's common to have the drain coming thru the vent or is it just on the Trail-lites.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 07/14/03 11:27am

I'll be darned, we have the same problem on our 235S. We thought at first it was pots and pans but it was forward of you when you walked to the back. I'm trying to find som nylon spacers. Do you know if the arms have tension on them when the slide is open? I was planning the pull the hitch pin and try to slide the spacers over the rod.

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 07/14/03 11:04pm

TonyTiger -- can't say for sure whether it's ok to "pull the pin". I'd run that idea by my dealer. I can tell you that our just completed long weekend jaunt was unnaturally quiet thanks to the "split hose washer fix". Tomorrow I think I'll call a patent attorney...

Posted By: Luap on 08/05/03 07:51am

Well, we finally did it. Bought a new 2004 Trail-Lite 213. We have the Chevy 6.0 and really like this engine. Milage for first trip was just over 12mpg. This is our first motor home and getting everything working was quite amusing. The first night it rained, boy did it rain. The following morning we could not start the water heater due to the fact everything in the outside compartment was soaked. Wiped everything off and waited, finally it worked. Also had leak around outside access panel to storage under couch that has us concerned as this wet the carpet pretty good. Already have appointment with dealer for this problem.
Does anyone know where we could get some info on holding tank general maintenace, chemicals etc. Need advice about when to add chemicals, what chemicals to use, how much water to keep in tank etc etc.

Mr. G

Posted By: Plusit on 08/10/03 05:36pm

Hi Paul and welcome.

I'm partial to Enviro-Chem® non-formaldehyde biodegradeable enzyme-eating-type chemicals.

Go to Camping World and click on Toilet Chemicals:

An ounce or two of this for a 36 gallon tank is adequate and a cap ful of biodegradable deodorant and you're good to go. They also make hot-weather versions if you travel to the southwest.

* This post was edited 08/21/03 06:40pm by Plusit *

Posted By: cwmr on 08/10/03 09:17pm

We bought a 2003 BT Cruiser on March and have about 5000 miles on it. So far no major problem. Two minor ones, the water heater switch was replaced and the roof A/C cover also replaced. It drives well and gets about 10 to 11 miles per gallon. Good luck.

Posted By: Luap on 08/26/03 06:09am


Thanks for the info...found what we needed. Now, if there is anyone out there that have any ideas on how to get the refrig cold. We have a new Trail-Lite RV that has a Dometic "Americana: single door refrig that seems to take forever to get cold. This unit does not have any settings control. It has factory settings only. Takes two days, a full (48) hrs, for the unit to get cold enough to put food in the regular food compartment and the food/beverages had better be cold before hand. The freezer gets cold very quickly. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Mr & Mrs G
2004 213 Trail-Lite MH

Posted By: wlbjrincctx1 on 08/26/03 03:59pm

Look here:

Larry B

* This post was edited 08/26/03 04:25pm by wlbjrincctx1 *

Larry B
Corpus Christi, Texas
2003 Trail-Lite B 225, V10.

Posted By: Luap on 08/28/03 10:43am

Larry B,

Thanks for the thread....I guess our refrig is working the way it is suppose to. Being a newby, I was probably expecting to much.

Mr G

Posted By: TonyTiger on 08/28/03 11:37am

I can suggest some ways of helping it cool faster. We are down to about 24 hours.
1. We plug it in a day in advance
2. We bought a battery powered small fan (Campingworld) that runs on 2 D cell batteries and moves the air around the refrig. Placed this on the bottom of the fridge blowing up.
3. I bought a computer fan (about 3" across) and two alligator clips. Cut the computer connector off the fan at the white plastic end and solder the alligator clips to the red and black wire.
4. Open the exterior fridge vent and place the fan so it blows up over the coils of the fridge. (I used four wood screws as legs and mounted them by screwing into the screw holes of the fan). Put a 6 volt lantern battery in the compartment with the fan and hook the alligator clips to the battery. Fan should only work when connected correctly.

These "helps" have helped the fridge cool a little faster. The only other way is to buy a lot of blue ice packs and freeze them in the house and load them into the fridge compartment to help cool all of the fridge down :<)

Posted By: Bob & Pat on 08/30/03 03:55pm

We just joined the "Forum and wanted to post a message regarding
B+ motorhomes and somehow it posted in "Conversion Vans".

We'd appreciate if you would reply and tell us how you post a message
in the B+ motorhome category.

We are planning on purchasing either a Trail-Lite or B Touring
Cruiser (20 or 21'-no slide-out) and were wondering if most owners
tow a car or don't feel it necessary because of the compact size and
would appreciate any tips on deciding which one to buy.

Bob & Pat 5210 ?
N. Cape May, NJ

Posted By: wlbjrincctx1 on 08/30/03 06:28pm

Just stay right here. Most B+ owners and soontobes post here.
Have a 2003 Trail-Lite B 225 Ford V-10. Love this vehicle. Completed 5600 mile trip through Colorado, South Dakota, Minnesota and back to Texas with no problems. Don't need a toad.

Larry B in Corpus Christi, TX

Posted By: SteveQ on 08/30/03 08:20pm

Just an extension of Tony Tiger's post about adding a fan. It really does work. We have a houseboat and the side with the refers (yes plural) is often baked by the sun. Our refrigs have vents at the bottom and top and air is "supposed" to curculate by convection. But when it's 100+ outside, nature just don't get it. We went to a electronic surplus store and picked up some really good 4" 12VDC "muffin fans" for like $8 each. We then built some plenums to stand them away from the vent slats a bit so they would move air better. The refrigerator has 12VDC to it to run the ignition module so we pulled power from there. We bought an adjustable thermostat and put it inline with the power. We adjusted it so that the fan comes on when the temp inside the vent housing gets above 95. We pull air in that the bottom and push it out at the top. The fans are really quiet, don't draw much power and the refrigs work very well.

Steve Quiett
2002 Chevy 2500HD 4x4 shortbed, crew cab, Duramax/Allison, Kelderman air bag rear suspension, PullRite UltraGlide Hitch, TransferFlow Aux. tank, Americana 34/35 RL 5er

Posted By: Davidzhang on 08/31/03 03:27am

I want to drive from Arizona to Atlanta in a coming trip. Can anyone tell me how to find camp sites near I-40 druing my driving to Atlanta?
Thank you in advance!

Posted By: SieraSam on 08/31/03 08:25am

How did you keep the generator exhaust pipe from bottoming out and getting ruined. My friend down the street bought one just like yours.
The first time he went over a deep dip the gen. exhaust pipe got mangled.

Class A, FMCA #F269745

Posted By: SieraSam on 08/31/03 03:22pm

Go to "search" and type in "" then track I-40 state by state and you should get your answers. Between Albuquerque and Oklahoma there is not much to brag about, but everywhere else you should be able to find some nice CG's. If you want to save $$, you can join PASSPORT AMERICA and save 50% of your camping fee most of the time except on holiday weekends and other very busy weekends. If you join, call each CG where you might stay in advance to determine if the amenities are adequate for you and if that particular CG will honor your PA membership when you get there. Otherwise you may be dissapointed when you get there. I have followed this procedure routinely and thus been able to avoid dissapointment while saving a lot of $$.Use my membershi number CW-100624 as a reference.

Posted By: Dave Pirnack on 09/02/03 08:37am

Hi....about to purchase a Trail-Lite 213 (pick it up tomorrow). Let's keep in touch with any info/tips either of us pick up. One difference: ours has a Ford V-10 chassis and no slide. We've finally come to our senses after a 38' diesel which had lots of problems and too long to park in wooded state campgrounds. dave p.

Posted By: Luap on 09/02/03 11:05am


Congratulations. We purchased a 213 about 5 weeks ago and so far we really like the unit. We have the Chevy chassis and it is averaging 12.5 MPG. A couple of things that needed to be done on our unit was:

1: The outside storage compartments leaked and needed to be Chaulked.

2: Some of the penetrations in the floor needed to be sealed (a good entry point for mice).

The dealer fixed these items. For us, (me and the wife), the size is just right. The unit is very comfortable, quiet, and able to go almost anywhere. This is our first MH, so we have nothing to compare it against, but it serves the purpose for which we bought it.

Mr. G

Posted By: Luap on 09/03/03 10:39am

Bob & Pat,

We bought our Trail-lite 213 MH because of the size. We did not want to tow a car and so far have not needed one, we just unhook and off we go. B Touring Cruiser or Trail-Lite 213. We looked at both and found good and not so good about both of them. The price in our area was about the same, given similar options etc. We basically selected the Trail-Lite because the dealer was much closer to home than the Gufstream dealer.

Good Luck
Mr. G

Posted By: Luap on 09/03/03 10:39am

Sorry, posted twice

Posted By: TonyTiger on 09/11/03 06:38am

6 Month Update on the 235S

At 6 months I've discovered no new issues.
The wet carpet under the forward dinette bank - I went back and recaulked the roof and seam of the coach body in front. I also doubled the gasket at the hatch opening for the storage book under the seat.

Storage - we added a Stowaway 2 to the hitch, holds the grill, some tarps, the folding grill stand and some dog supplies.

Double Battery - the additional battery has worked great, excellent capacity for weekend boondocking.

I'm now looking at a remote starter, security alarm, temperature monitor combo at Circuit City. Thought this would be helpful when I leave the dogs in the home with the air on. Anyy opinions on this purchase?

Posted By: Plusit on 09/12/03 06:14pm

Sounds terrific; I didn't know they even made such things, Tony. What is their cost—including installation?

Posted By: TonyTiger on 09/15/03 08:17am

I assume you mean the alarm, not the Stowaway box? The alarm is an AudioVox that they sell at Circuit City among other dealers. The prices range from $300 to $450 with about a $90 installation charge. Some vehicles require a relay box to hold the key chip (if you have such a key). The relay box is about $30. I think the temperature sensor one is the Audiovox 996A. I can't read my notes that I scribbled. There were also some nice Viper security boxes there. The newest models have a display key fob, that provides definitive feedback, like showing exhaust on an icon of the car when it actually starts with the remote start.
I started out looking for just a remote starter.

If it was the Stowaway box, do a search on Stowaway2 and you'll find dealers and a direct link to Stowaway.

Posted By: Plusit on 09/15/03 12:06pm

No, thanks, that was the info I was looking for—appreciate it!

Posted By: Gene in NE on 09/15/03 02:39pm

First of All, Thank You Daniel C. for starting this topic.

We are satisfied owners of a 2002 model 211-S with the 5.7 Chevy. Seem to be getting about 12-14 mpg depending on wind and speed. Have had adequate power. Have not had any problems with the coach in the first 4,000 miles. Had a leak around the dinette window fixed by the dealer before we took possession. Was raining on pickup day.

The posts have been educational and have provided a checklist for things to watch for. Several have asked about the raising of the couch front when the slide is pulled in. This is normally caused by overcranking because of how and where the jack screw is located. I have placed a rubber door stop under the rollers while traveling with the slide pulled in. This should minimize the load on the side walls of the slide if the rollers are carrying some weight.

I replaced the dinette table leg adjustment device with a bolt - this eliminated one minor rattle.

Road Trek's have a swivel passenger seat in the Chevy chassis. Should be able to order and fit to the B+ Trail Lite.

More later.

Posted By: Kayci on 09/17/03 09:25pm

Yes, I second that, thanks Daniel C. This dicussion is so helpful to those of us searching for that elusive first motor home or trailer! We check in here every evening for more information. No word from you, Daniel C, for a long while. Is all going well with you and your B+?
N.E. Ohio
(Looking to move up from a PU...retirement coming soon, we hope!)

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 09/21/03 11:33am

Just a general update as the one year anniversary of our Trail Lite 211S is coming up. I continue to successfully deal with various squeaks, rattles and leaks, the latest being the microwave (long lag screws to secure the cabinet surround to its adjacent cabinetry), sink countertop (more screws to both pull the top down onto the underside mounting boards plus the mounting boards into the surrounding walls). The house battery tray also broke thanks to the rough LA freeway system and had to be repaired and rewelded. (I carry two 12v deep cycle batteries on the tray.) I foam caulked many, many open seams and cracks underneath the rig where dust and dirt were easity getting in. I added another layer of back door weather stripping for dirt and water intrusion. I silicone caulked the outside rear door windows for water leakage.

The slide has been a challenge, but after talking with Duane at the Liftco factory I took the plunge (since the local dealer remained unable to do anything) and fixed it myself. First off, it is normal for the slide to "tip up" at the bottom when it is brought fully in, and to "tip down" when fully out. The best seal is obtained when the slide's horseshoe seals make contact at the top first and then the bottom. Duane says it is normal for the inside support roller wheels under the couch to lift up from the carpet during final "tip up". He says it is designed to be OK to sit on the couch with the wheels off the carpet, but he personally would be careful and do it as little as possible (bases covered).

The large hex bolts at the lower outside corners of the slide are for adjusting the verticle height of the slide. This works in conjunction with the inside roller wheels to adjust fore and aft "tilt" of the slide (and couch) when the slide is fully out. What I have found what works best for me is having the inside roller wheels adjusted all the down (closest to the carpet) and the outside hex bolts fully counterclockwise (lowest slide verticle height). This gives the couch the best tilt for comfortable sitting and flat sleeping AND keeps the inside roller wheels in somewhat firm contact with the carpet when the slide is in. We sit on it with impunity and the wheels don't rattle during transit (I did add shims on the roller wheel axle to eliminate horizontal rattling of the wheels).

Next, the rattling articulating side arms on the outside side of the slide. When the slide is fully in, the arm assembly compresses a rubber sleeve bushing at the top of its 5/8 inch verticle support rod. This is designed to put enough tension on the arm assembly "joints" to keep them from rattling during transit. The problem we found is that significant bumps and jolts can actually cause the entire slide to recoil upward momentarily, which super compresses the rubber compression sleeve. Over time, the sleeves/bushings began to deform and lose their verticle height. The deformation was initially a concentric bulging out of the middle of the sleeve, then progressed to where the bottom half of the sleeve was being pushed up and almost inside the top half. Now, the compression sleeves were too short to make contact with the arm assembly when the slide was brought in and they rattled like crazy while we drove down the road.

Duane said there was no factory recall or design change (current or planned). He suggested replacing the compression sleeves with 5/8 inch ID gas line hose (length to be experimentally determined) which should not deform like the OEM sleeve. I suggested springs, which he agreed would work also but had concerns about noise they might make in windy conditions with the slide out. I opted for the spring fix. Duane said it was doable even though the space to work in is unbelievable tight.

Extend the slide fully (out). No support underneath was needed. Remove the retaining clip/pin at the bottom of the long arm and slide the arm off the rod. Manually move the arm assembly as though the slide were being brought in. You'll get the idea how the compression sleeve works on the verticle rod. I then removed the pin where the short arm hooks to the long and got them moved out of my way as much as possible. Next, the 7/16" retaining bolt in the bottom of the verticle rod has to be removed so that the rubber sleeve can be replaced with spring (or hose). Space is very very tight -- be well prepared and good luck. If the verticle rod turns while trying to unscrew the retaining bolt, you can remove the rod's top clip and insert a long something into the clip's hole (I used one jaw of my needle nosed pliers) to keep in from turning. The spring I used was a #154 from my local hardware store's spring cabinet -- fairly stout and about 1.5" long. Reassembly was a bigger pain than I anticipated due to small spaces and need for alignment of wiggly parts -- again, good luck and patience. The end result is no more slide noises, and for me it was worth the effort. Should these springs ever provide less than adequate tension to the arms, I plan on an easy "upgrade" fix: 1/4" piece of old 5/8" garden hose, split it, put it on the verticle rod above the spring, mend the hose split with a 1/4" strip of duct tape. This would require no disassembly/reassembly.

My additions of an outside shower, a Yakima SpaceCadet box on top, non-rattling day/night window shades and an EZ sewer hose carrier have been great. The remodel to a U-shaped dinette with cushions and two half sized pedestal tables (rarely use the second one except when using the area as a bed) is highly recommended. We just added a little 300W inverter ($35 at WalMart) for use of battery chargers, laptop, TV/VCR, stereo. I am thinking about one solar panel, an outside LPG quick-connect for outside cook stove, etc.

Overall, we like this unit a lot. No rig is a perfect solution for us, but so far this B+ concept and this unit are just right. We continue to get about 12 mpg keeping up with any and all traffic. We bushwhack in to many places we probably shouldn't even be thinking about, but we're still small enough to make it in (and out) and have a great time while we're there.

I continue to enjoy this forum, and am grateful to Daniel and the rest of you for your input. Finally, sorry for any typos; I don't have time to proof this one.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 09/21/03 07:49pm

Hi, I'm new, but I've been corresponding with Dario regularly.
It's possible to plug in the BPlus to house electric? I thought they used a special plug.


Chas Morristown, NJ
Trail Lite


Posted By: Plusit on 09/21/03 09:00pm

" . . .My additions of an outside shower, a Yakima SpaceCadet box on top, non-rattling day/night window shades and an EZ sewer hose carrier have been great. The remodel to a U-shaped dinette with cushions and two half sized pedestal tables (rarely use the second one except when using the area as a bed) is highly recommended. We just added a little 300W inverter ($35 at WalMart) for use of battery chargers, laptop, TV/VCR, stereo. I am thinking about one solar panel, an outside LPG quick-connect for outside cook stove, etc.

Wonderful ideas Gary—any pictures you can share?

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 09/21/03 11:06pm


I have not as yet taken any pictures, but I may do so in the next few days and post them to an Ofoto album. If that happens I will post an access address in this forum. The installation of the U-dinette and the SpaceCadet box were described in one of my prior posts (I think). You might do a search for it.


Posted By: TonyTiger on 09/23/03 12:15pm

It's a standard 30 amp 110 volt outlet. You need an adapter to take the 30 amp male end of the MH plug to a 15 or 20 amp male plug for the home socket. Such adapters are available at Camping World, Campers Choice or your local hardware store. Take a trace of the MH male outlet with you to the hardware store.
Please remember when you use the MH this way you can only draw the maximum amps of the home outlet! That means you will not be able to run your TV, Air Conditioner and Microwave at the same time.
However it works great to charge up the battery and/or cool down the refrigerator the day before you leave on a trip.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 09/23/03 02:27pm

Gary S. - you have really had to do quite a few fixes. Thanks for sharing your method of fixing rattles in the slide. So far, we have not experienced any rattles except for the rollers that lift off the carpet when fully cranked in. I used the rubber door stops as a fix for that.

The microwave is still intact (can you see the fingers crossed?)

My first enhancement was the applying of a "fish eye" to the lower window of the rear door. Had to place it upside down as I was interested in viewing farther back from the vehicle.

Had to apply some tapered plastic pieces to the ledge on the dinette seats to keep the table top from falling between the seats when in the bed position. Without these spacers the table top could slide fore and aft sufficiently to fall between the ledges.

The wife found a plastic hanging basket at the dollar store to use in the shower. This basket is shaped perfectly to hold the T.P. up by the shower curtain rod - keeps it dry. She also found some round sticky back towel holders. These are the kind where you push the corner of the towel into the holder and it stays put until you tug it out. We use that to suspend privacy curtains in the rear of the coach. Still looking for the right towel holders on inside of the bathroom door. Anyone found one they like?

A couple people wrote about a drain line incorrectly routed from the fridge. Looked for some drain line on mine and could not find any. Do I have a different fridge?

Our 211-S overall has been great. Really enjoy driving this responsive 350 Chevy - drives like a half ton pickup.

Daniel C - where are you?

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 09/23/03 10:13pm

All those interested in pictures of my Yakima box installation, U-shaped dinette remodel, outside shower install, sewer tube install and anti-rattle slide spring, go here:

Yakima box was chosen because of size restrictions (L/W/H). Roof ribs (1” wide x 1.5” high) were located by probing with a small-gauge nail through the interior carpeted ceiling. 2.75” carriage bolts with large fender washers (both pre-painted to match ceiling carpet) were threaded up through drilled holes into roof placed flush T-nuts. Bolts were tightened into T-nuts via temporary double locking nuts topside. Four T-nuts and bases of protruding bolt studs were caulked with rubber roof caulk. The rest was simple.

Dinette involved removing OEM table and hardware from wall. I had two table tops made of plastic laminate on 5/8” plywood, each ½ size of OEM. I installed pedestal mounts on each with corresponding floor receivers. I ordered fabric from R-Vision and had a seat cushion made the size of one new tabletop, and also a back cushion for along the wall. We have never needed to do it, but we can put up both tables for large gatherings (ha ha). Much of the time we have the tabletop and leg stowed for comfortable sitting, lounging, etc. Plus it’s where our Golden Retriever likes to be.

Outside shower is from Camping World. Compression T-fittings from plumbing or RV parts store and water heater bypass hoses completed the install.

E-Z hose carrier was bolted to rear bumper (after holes were drilled), the remainder of the carrier is held in place by long plastic zip fasteners. As you can see, I carry no spare tire but I do carry a lug wrench and a bottle jack (I will temporarily rob Peter to pay Paul) and a AAA RV-Plus card.

See my post of Sept 21 to fully understand the slide spring.

We have done at least one more thing that you might like to know about. Behind the new dinette wall cushion we have a ¾” x 14” x 71” Melamine board. One long edge is L-lipped with ¾” x 2” piece. The non-lipped edge has four female halves of some Rockler invisible hangers. The four male halves are mounted on the outside isle face of the dinette seats. We installed the hangers so this board becomes an isle-way bed extension (vertical height with wall back cushion placed on it equals the height of the dinette seat/bed cushions), and is supported on its free L-lipped side by three legs that are screwed into (what else?) T-nuts embedded in its topside. The void left by the too short wall back cushion is filled with a foam block that we carry in the microwave. How does this work? We put a fitted full size sheet on this area, a fitted twin sheet on the flattened jackknife couch, and bring the slide in until their long edges “kiss”. Pillows are put on the passenger side under the dinette reading lights, our feet go out on the jackknife couch. Voila, we have a queen+ size bed that is amazingly comfortable. We were worried about possible water intrusion during winds and rain, so I installed a Slide Topper awning. I will try to take some pix of this the next time we are out and then post them to the Ofoto album for you to see.

Happy trails,

Posted By: Br- on 09/24/03 07:29am

Gary, great idea on the dinette. Any idea on total cost to redo it? Also, did you order the fabric directly from R-vision or did you go thru a dealer. R-vision should've thought of something like this. Thanks for the pics.

Posted By: Br- on 09/24/03 07:44am

One more question. Where do you store the table when not in use?

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 09/24/03 09:38am

Br- and all,

Dinette remodel cost approximately $250: $145 for the upholstery shop, $78 for the two table tops with oak edging and the rest in fabric and hardware. I ordered the fabric through the dealer. The upholstery costs included upgrading all seat cushion foam to "standard RV" which made an incredible difference in sitting and sleeping. I store the table top behind the passenger seat, flush against the back of the dinette wall and held in place with a pivoting L-hook that is lagged into the dinette wall frame. Pole storage spots are dealer's choice.

I hope to take pix of the queen bed conversion today and upload the pix to Ofoto. That conversion along with the dinette were planned as a unit and are the BEST.

Posted By: Arcy on 09/24/03 08:38pm

Larry: We also have a B+ 225, and I'm curious to know what you have done about bedding. So far we have used ours just one nite, and making up the bed was a bear!!

Posted By: Plusit on 09/24/03 09:49pm

Bravo, Gary! The pics really make all the difference.

Posted By: Arcy on 09/24/03 10:01pm

Robert: We have a 2003 225 B-Plus, and would ask how you are handling the awkward making up of the bed? Do you use regular sheets, and if so, what size? Thanks!

Posted By: Arcy on 09/24/03 10:06pm

Gary: How do I access your pics, and would the U-dinette work on the B-Plus 225?

Posted By: Plusit on 09/25/03 05:04am


Robert: We have a 2003 225 B-Plus, and would ask how you are handling the awkward making up of the bed? Do you use regular sheets, and if so, what size? Thanks!

Arcy- Making the bed is indeed awkward and tiring. but it does, at least, induce sleep. We bought a queen-size (one inch thick) piece of that magic foam that conforms to your body (Daniel C's suggestion and very comfortable); we cover it with a fitted sheet and then use a king-size flat sheet over it. The foam stores nicely, rolled up under the couch. In colder weather we use a double sleeping bag and no sheets—but because space is a premium, the rolled up sleeping bags aren't the best option.

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 09/25/03 10:39am


Gary: How do I access your pics, and would the U-dinette work on the B-Plus 225?


Go back to my post and either copy or type the Ofoto URL into your browser's address line. Follow your nose once you get there. As for your 225: I don't know that floor plan, etc. You'll have to figure that out or enlist the creative design help of someone who's got one or can see one. Good luck.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 09/26/03 09:35am

The 225 is quite like my 235S, so the change should work. The 235S has about a foot added to it for the slide out and on the dinette side has a pantry added to fill that foot. It is actually three cabinets stacked on top of each other. There is one good site that shows layouts that I have found:

Posted By: Gene in NE on 09/26/03 01:51pm

TonyTiger -
Good site!

Have you visited the site lately? Not bad under products. Wish they would keep an archive copy of pictures and floor plans for future reference. Even the new 225 is different than the prior 225 in the area above the driver and passenger.

Trail-Lite B-Plus 211-S

Posted By: wlbjrincctx1 on 09/26/03 04:10pm

Older brochure pics posted here.

Larry B in Corpus Christi, TX

Posted By: wragans on 09/27/03 02:35pm


I have a 2002 Trail-lite, Ford chassis, 211, 5.4 liter engine.

I bought it July 2002, it now has 29750 miles on it. I have been to Alaska all the way down the west coast back to Iowa the to the Florida area.

Milage for the first 17000 was 11.73 including running the genorator.
Boondocking is my way. I have paid for only two camping nights, both in Los Vegas 111 degree weather.

Few problems. One the locaion of the spare tire the other the location of the microwave-convection oven.

Both dealer and mfgr have been great.



Posted By: TonyTiger on 09/30/03 11:57am

Gene in NE
Thanks! I just looked at the Trail Lite site, they updated it for 2004, new models listed 236S (rear door) and a new longer one, 28'?
They now have the floorplans listed for more than 3 models and added pictures.

I had two triangular skid bars added to protect the spare tire and the Drainage system. Early in this thread there were several comments about banging the under mounted spare and losing it on the street.
What's the problem with theconvection oven? Is yours located in the rear next to the exit door? We got used to it, a little hard to bend over and set the thing, but the oven is a super cooking machine.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 09/30/03 02:10pm

TonyTiger - The site for the Trail-Lite B+ was recently updated in a number of areas. I like what I see, wish they would take a lesson from Winnebago which has a link on their home page "Previous Model Year". Here you can see floor plans of 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 models. My unit a Model 211-S is no longer shown by Trail-Lite which means that I need to do a search at other sites. Does not take that much space and would provide a great service.

My unit was a "never been sold 2002" and it appears to have some of the more common problems fixed. The drain hose from the refrigerator is tightly fastened and drains to the outside. The fresh water tank has a nicely routed vent line that does not siphon out the water. The spare tire does have a "v" shaped protection strap on both sides. The drain plug for the water heater is high temperature plastic. So far the convection/microwave is solid in the frame. Maybe mine was built on a Tuesday?

2002 B+ 211-S

Posted By: wragans on 09/30/03 06:32pm

Toni, The oven is under to stove and you have to get on your knees to set it. Should have been above the vent ont the stove and forget the convection part.

Dan C. Enjoyed the pics of your upgrades. I might run with out spare.


Posted By: wragans on 10/06/03 06:28pm

2002 211 Trail lite Ford chassis 29,500 miles for sale $29,500


Posted By: Ellne on 10/06/03 07:36pm


What a fabulous idea for the dinette. I have the Gulfstream BT Cruiser with a sofa and dinette. I had been feeling sort of bad that I didn't get the 2 sofas...but you have figured out how to get the best of both worlds.

I am going to go out and look at mine with your creative idea as a place to start!

The pictures are great. Thanks.

Posted By: Ellne on 10/07/03 07:20pm


Already have the remodel underway...

How deep did you make the new cushion area of your U-shaped seat? The cushion I purchased is 22" deep. It seems pretty comfortable, but before I upholster it I thought I would get your input. With the 22" depth I have only 14" for a small table. However, I'm not sure how much difference 2" will make.

I am also pretty sure that mostly we will use it as seating area...My little Westie has aready given it his seal of approval.

Posted By: jlfon on 10/07/03 08:23pm

I have repeatedly tried to find the Trial Lite b in NADA and RV net Classified. Who manaufactures this great vehicle. I have seen it at shows. I would like one with a smaller engine. Does that exist? Thanks, Fay

Posted By: Ellne on 10/07/03 09:57pm

It is manufactured by R-Vison. You can go to their website at

I bought the Gulfstream BT Cruiser, but looked at the Trial Lite very seriously. We are in process of selling our Trial Lite travel trailer that we really love.

In NADA try R-vision and Trail Lite.

Good luck.

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 10/09/03 08:27pm

Hi Ellen,

My Trail-Lite booth seating is 40" deep, so each new table top is 20". I had the cushion made 20" as well, but remember, I have a 3/4" thick bed extension piece hiding behind the new wall cushion and the U seat cushion hits this. I made the U cushion 20" so it would overhang the table top/seat bottom a bit. In any event, the U cushion ends up on one of the front seats when not in use. Ain't this fun?!

Posted By: Ellne on 10/09/03 08:42pm


I went ahead and cut mine down to 20" also. It looks better now, more in proportion. My husband has been out of town, so my renovations were a surprise to him...And he liked it!

I haven't done all the detail work yet, I wanted to be sure it passed the spouse approval test.

I have to order fabric from Gulfstream. Tonight I found perfect wood for table top's butcher block. I'm not going to bother with making a nice table for the portion under the new seat. If I ever feel the need for that much table area, I'll drag the original out of storage.

I am thinking of making two bins to go under the new seat area. We would just pull them out to acess them. At last, a place for all the shoes!

I am always looking for things to do to camper...this is my favorite. I really think it has improved the livability and will be really cute when I get the upholstry done.


Posted By: Gene in NE on 10/15/03 12:00pm

Gary S.

In viewing your pictures you have posted at:, had some questions.

The slide topper (in pic 1) looks like a good way to keep rain from finding a way into the unit if not parked tilted the correct way. Was this a do-it yourself project? Order of magnitude on price?

Noticed (in pic 5) that you do not appear to have a spare tire under the rear. My 211-S (5.7 Chevy) has a spare with "v" shaped protectors bolted to the frame on either side. Have you done away with your spare or found another creative answer?

Have you found a towel rack that works for you?

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 10/15/03 10:06pm


The awning was a DIY job, not too bad with some key help at times from my wife, cost a bit over $200. We found the upper rubber seal for the slide was utterly ineffective in sweeping water off the top of the slide, and the residual water would run off either side and soak the carpet on the floor. Plus all the added humidity and mold potential.

We carry no spare but do have AAA RV roadside service. I do have a bottle jack and a star wrench, and if necessary would rob one of the dualies to limp into a town. If we head to MX I will probably get a spare.

Towel racks - we use lots of 2-pronged brass coat hooks. Two on the outside of the wardrobe door, two on the outside and two on the inside of the bathroom door, and two on the front-of-vehicle inside bathroom wall. Plus one of those little wash cloth/drying racks with three pivoting arms that we put in the corner over the sink. All screws into the bathroom walls have been dredged in and covered with silicone sealant.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 10/16/03 02:46pm


Thanks for the response. We also experienced a little water coming in on the side of the slide which wet the carpet after a real downpour. I blamed the leak on the fact that the camper was leaning a little to the right and little low on the front. I think you are correct that the seal leaves something to be desired.

Went to the salvage yard and got a heavy duty scissor jack and the lug wrench/pry bar that comes with a stock 1 ton Chevy pickup. Seems to work okay. A little afraid to do without a spare. Like your idea of borrowing a tire from the duals temporarily.

Have also thought about using just hooks for the towels. Did see a rather compact 4 towel rack on the inside of the bathroom door in another brand. Do not remember which brand. We looked at Coach Houses, Gulf Stream BTs, Chinooks, Europas, and Rialtas. The rack consisted of two parallel vertical strips of wood fastened to the door with screws. Then bridging across were four wires shaped a little like this --|_____|--. Was going to order from the factory, but don't know which one to go to.

Gene in Ne
2002 Model 211S w/5.7 Chevy

Posted By: Ellne on 10/20/03 07:38pm


I got nearly done (not upholstry-that's the last step) and went back to 22" for the new section of the seating. After I put the cushions in place on the back, the new seat was too narrow for comfort. Luckily, the cushion I had cut down to 20" can be cut down further for my last back cushion!

I got pedestal for my new table, with a short 12" pedestal for converting to a bed.

I really wanted to put bins under the new seat, but got over-ruled...the dog's bed gets to go there! Fortunately, he is a small dog.

Anyway, thanks again for the great ideas.

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 10/20/03 08:08pm

Hi Ellen,

Good for you! Our Golden Retriever camps in the foot well of the "U" while driving but is banished (sob) to the area between the front seats when our bed is out. He has realized that his early morning antics in that area are ignored by my wife, so he plays Marine and belly crawls down the isle under the bed to my side. I cannot resist that face and his little peanut head, and so the scratching and petting and daybreak begins. Were it not for the lattes I make every morning I'm sure our marriage would be in trouble.

Posted By: Ellne on 11/01/03 04:53pm


What do you use to anchor items to wall of motorhome? I want to remove the original medicine cabinet and replace it with a larger one, but I'm worried about getting it secure enough.

I sure don't want to be driving down the road and have medicine cabinet crash to the floor!

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 11/01/03 11:15pm

Gosh, Ellen, I'm not the Bob Villa you think I am. A medicine cabinet? I would think regular screws (sheet metal with threads on the whole shank) would work just fine. Now if it's really an amoir, all bets are off...

Posted By: cheeze1 on 11/02/03 12:54pm

Hi all, After attending the NJ RV show a week ago, my wife and I are strongly leaning towards the RVision Trail-Lite BPlus, 21' and most likely the side entry model. After comparing it to a PleasureWay, (which was beautiful) the reality of the roominess is too much to ignore. We also looked at the BT Cruiser, but it was $6000 more than the Trail Lite. We are going to rent a small Class C, and go to more shows before we make a decision.
Those of you out there with the BPLus, how are your vehicles running, and how are the various pieced of equimpment working out?

Posted By: doogym on 11/02/03 01:14pm

We have had our B-Plus R-Vision 235s since August, made three trips to date, two close to home just to check everything out and one 1000 mile trip to Georgia ,every thing worked just fine,the slide is great
gives us a lot of room to move about.

Posted By: captnaselli on 11/02/03 02:42pm

Greetings from
Captain Joseph L. Naselli USCG

Dear Chas,
Our 2001Trail-Lite Model 211, (rear Door) B Plus w/the famous 8.1L Chevy Vortex engine (first service is at 150,000 miles) was the third unit off the line in Indiana. I have close to 30,000 miles on this rv, and rotate the tires every 10,000 miles (still have the original set) have had no problems what-so-ever.
The only time I ever had a call from my wife was when she noticed some water under the sink. A loose coupling on the drain pipe. A quick hand tightening and the water stopped dripping.
I think the best part of ownership is the fact that you can get around narrow streets, park in any downtown space, and drive with ease up any grade to date (12%) without ever shifting from any lower gear (4 to 3 only, never 2nd).
Now this may just be a fluke, however the best was last year when we where in Indiana driving past the factory. The years warranty was long gone, when they took this unit in and at no cost to me did the following:
Recaulk around sink and stove
New circuit boards (2003) and solenoids replaced
Two new cutting boards for sink
Two new white exterior mirrors replacing black ones
12 volt onan/hour start switch over sink (original still on dash)
New drawer rails on all drawers so they do not open on curves
New outside awning - original had a slight wrinkle in it.
New carpeting laid over original carpet which was never walked on.
I received tons of nuts, bolts, screws, wire, etc, etc, etc.
Again no charge and I never asked for all this attention. Can you see why I am so impressed by this R-Visions company. I wrote a letter of thanks and the owner of the company.
I was really impressed when Mr. William Warrick sent me an invitation to return anytime. Remember the warranty was long since past due. I can only shout praises for this Company. All for under $45,000 with every option available from the factory.
Now on to the sad part of this e-mail. Being a sea captain on duty, I never get to use the unit, so I have to think about selling same. Not happy about this, but what good does it do to sit idle in the garage.
So there you have the story of how Trail-Lite treats their customers, pretty impressive I think.

[red][b]Captain Joseph L. Naselli USCG[/b][/red] US Coast Guard 500 Ton Licensed Ocean Going Operator[/email] 2002 Trail-Lite Class B Model 211 8.1 Chevy Vortex 340 hp

Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.

Posted By: Ellne on 11/02/03 03:57pm

Bob, Oops, I mean Gary,

You DO seem as good as Bob Villa! Sorry about the medicine cabinet was on another post where someone installed a larger one.

My unit has a very small medicine cabinet and a lot of empty wall space. That's something that just begs for replacing...

Posted By: Arcy on 11/02/03 08:05pm

I have a 2003 #225, side entrance, and installed a large med cab over the sink. If you use an electronic stud finder, you can locate solid wood suitable for anchoring the cab directly at 4 points with wood screws. If you have no stud finder, then tap on the wall and use a tiny nail to locate the center of the wall studs.

Posted By: Arcy on 11/02/03 08:05pm

I have a 2003 #225, side entrance, and installed a large med cab over the sink. If you use an electronic stud finder, you can locate solid wood suitable for anchoring the cab directly at 4 points with wood screws. If you have no stud finder, then tap on the wall and use a tiny nail to locate the center of the wall studs.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 11/03/03 03:14pm


As you have already read, we love our Trail-Lite 211S. Have only driven it 4,500 miles, but still cannot find anything wrong with it. For the price $40-45k new, it is hard to beat. Have averaged 12-14 mpg. We like the rear entry for a couple reasons. 1. I can see everything behind me or my passenger can walk back and look without getting out of the unit. We pull a small trailer with motorcycle. 2. The other reason is that when someone steps in or out of the unit, it does not tip side to side like a side entry. We have not had a need to put down stabilizing jacks. Everyone to his own choice.

I may be wrong, but I thought my 211S was aluminum framed laminated construction with polystyrene block foam insulation - no wood studs? Have I interpreted the spec's incorrectly?

Trail-Lite Bplus Model 211S w/5.7 chevy

Posted By: Arcy on 11/03/03 06:40pm

My vanity is located on the inside stud wall facing forward, not against the laminated exterior wall.... Arcy

Posted By: Gene in NE on 11/04/03 01:40pm


My apologies - my mistake, I should have looked at the floor plan of a model 225 and it may have dawned on me. I was visualizing mine in which case it would have been against an outside wall.

How do you like your 225? We considered a new 2004 model 225 built on a Chevy chassis with a 6.0 liter engine. It did not have a slide and the dealer in Lincoln wanted about $5k more money. We had decided that we would put up with the extra problems, if any, with a slide for the feeling of more space. So far, we have not had any problems with the slide. Have had a great response from the dealer in Madison with a radio that did not light up at night - maybe a fault with the Sanyo brand. Resolved to my satisfaction.

Trail-Lite BPLus Model 211S

Posted By: Arcy on 11/04/03 09:52pm

Illness has prevented us from more than a one-nite trip, so we can't give a realistic appraisal. We purchased our 225 with all available options from a dealer in Wisconsin for $39,300, and so far the only problem I've had is the poor fitting kit. drawers. We will need to get used to the inconvenient bed arrangement, but the price appears to make it a reasonable trade-off..... Arcy

Posted By: cheeze1 on 11/05/03 08:21am

Arcy, was that brand new? Do you remember the list price?
I have been keeping a spreadsheet of pricing so I know how to deal when the time comes. AND if I can save a few thousand, coming out to Wisconsin is a nice way to start rving!!

Posted By: Arcy on 11/05/03 09:28am

Yes, it was new. The posted list price at another dealer was around $56-57K. Here are the particulars:

Hello Arcy!! Here we go :

2003 TL 225 Class "B+" (peweter color)
raised panel cabinet doors
deluxe cd player
sink cover
stove cover
DSI (direct spark ingnition) water heater(no need to light with a match)
13,500 BTU roof air
4 KW Onan generator
19" color TV w/ TV antenna/booster/cable ready
microwave convection oven (microwaves and bakes like a regular oven)
spare tire package
trailer hitch with wiring
fiberglass running boards
rear ladder
a/e awning
heated holding tanks
RVQ outside gas grill

That is EVERY option available my internet friend !!
Your price is $39,300 (this unit only... no orderouts at this price)
Let me know ASAP


Posted By: Gene in NE on 11/05/03 01:37pm

Everyone wants to think they got a deal. You certainly did. I paid a little more than you for a new 2002 Model 211-S. Have essentially the same options, I did not get the raised panel refrigerator door, heated holding tanks and outside gas grill connection. Mine was advertised on so nothing special to me. Had to travel about 430 scenic miles.

2002 Trail-Lite 211-S

Posted By: wacushing on 11/05/03 02:11pm

We recently finished a trip to MT, ID, UT, CO and back to SD in our 2003 B+ Trail-Lite with Ford V10. Mileage was from 10-14 mpg depending on the wind, mountains and speed (60-65 works well). Convection oven is a must; refrigerator seems to be working, lost the spare tire first time out (no help from R-vision).
Drives great, but constantly having problems with doors, valances, and other internal decor. The slide out is manual (big mistake) in such a small camper you want space all the time, cranking is a pain (3/4 in. drill will work), slide is not smooth, and leaks when out in the rain. Currently having problems with Onan generator, but that is an Onan problem with gas/carburetor varnishing.
If we were doing it over we would get the same Chassis, length but find a manufacturer that pays attention to details. If buying a Trail Lite use a dealer close to your house for ease of maintenance.

* This post was edited 11/05/03 09:24pm by wacushing *

Posted By: Arcy on 11/05/03 06:07pm

We also got a 2 burner grill (with canvas carrying bag), that mounts on an outside bracket just above the Gas connection. However, it must be stowed under the dining table unless aux. storage box is mounted to the rear end.... Arcy

Posted By: doogym on 11/09/03 06:24pm

I have a 235S Trail-Lite and I want to install Leveling/Stabilizer
Jacks to cut down on the movement when getting in and out of the side door ,and when working in the cooking area.Has anyone installed jacks?
on their B-+, I would be happy to hear from you on the instalation,
thanks in advance for any help.Doug

Posted By: Plusit on 11/10/03 08:15am

Great idea and question, Doug. I'd be eager to hear about it too.

Posted By: B-Plus on 11/10/03 07:57pm

Hello Doogym, I'm curious, is your 235s on a Chevrolet or Ford chassis? I have a 225 on the Chevrolet chassis and I get very little movement from someone entering ( side entrance ) or moving around. I go about 190lb and I can jump in side my unit and it only moves slightly , I was only wondering if the difference in the GVWR 10,500 for the Ford and 12,300 for the Chevrolet would make that much difference. Thanks

Posted By: Arcy on 11/11/03 06:59am

Same with my 225 w/ chevy engine. Little to no movement. Arcy

Posted By: doogym on 11/11/03 08:36am

The 235s just has movement not a lot it may be with the slide out I realy dont know, the first one we were going to buy was the 225 Chevrolet and it seemed to have less movement than the 235S, we had orderd the 225 and before we took delivery we changed to the 235S- Ford. The slide is great,dont have to climb over each other to get out of bed and the added room works out for us. Doug

Posted By: TonyTiger on 11/11/03 09:35am

We have the 235S with the Chevy also. Very little movement except if one of us goes to the head at night, I feel a little swaying. Don't really notice it with the door or door step.
I'd be VERY interested if someone has a levelling solution. I've been manually doing it with two bubbles and Lynx Levelers. Is it worth the cost to try to add hydraulic levellers "after market"? I looked at the trailer type levellers that mount to the bumper and have two jack posts, one on each end. They don't seem strong enough to lift the coach two inches or so to level it.

Looks like Camping World sells the HWH levellers as an aftermarket install.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 11/11/03 11:49am

I am still sitting here with awe on the deal that Arcy received on his 225. He should feel really lucky.

On the latest subject, I have been able to find a level enough spot to park that levelors were not needed. I also use two (2) bubble levels on the walls and have been able to merely adjust the parking location. Also start with a reasonable level spot. I doubt I would want to spend the money for the one time that they would come in handy.

I too have a Chevy chassis and it seems so stiff that rocking motions are not a problem. I'm 6'-3" and weigh about 190 and I would have to jump up and down to make any significant movement. Merely walking does nothing. As I mentioned prior, one of the reasons we wanted a rear entry was to minimize the side to side motion.

2002 Trail-Lite B Plus 211-S

Posted By: cheeze1 on 11/11/03 02:37pm

I guess felt the rocking motion because we were in a quiet indoor rv show, and maybe was more noticable because of that?

Posted By: Luap on 11/13/03 10:15am

I'll have to agree that with the chevy chassis, there is not much motion caused by walking around inside the unit. At first we thought this was going to be a concern, but it is not really bothersome. As for leveling the unit, we now use the Lynx blocks. Started with wood 2x8's and that just did not work, safety issue, if blocks were not attached to one another they have a tendency to slip. Bought one 10pc set of Lynx blocks and were given a second set. These are really easy to use.

We took our first extended trip at the end of September to Niagara Falls (Ontario) for a week. The unit performed as advertised and mileage averaged 13mpg for 1200 miles.

Paul & Gail
2004 Trail Lite 213
Chevy 6.0

Posted By: wragans on 11/15/03 07:28pm

Hi, Have a ford 211 Trail-Lite B+ 30,000 miles. Have never used leveling device or blocks. Just never found a need for them.

Lost spare tire three times. Is this only on the Ford Chassis?
I see several have had problems with this.


Posted By: janeyiv on 11/15/03 10:13pm

I don't find much movement in mine. It is the Ford chassis.

Say, has anybody had this problem? I can't seem to get the tank to fill up all the way at most gas pumps. Sometimes I can barely get it to go up to 3/4. Improper filler? Improper venting? Think it's time to take it to dealer for correction? I'm tired of stopping for gas every 200 miles.

Ivy (retired single girl)
Lady (Border Collie Mix guarding, guarding, guarding)

The Cookie Hauler (1990 Lumina APV, in which I camped before I got an RV and quit camping)
The Bee (2003 Trail Lite B-Plus on Ford E350)

Posted By: cheeze1 on 11/16/03 05:06am

While we are throwing around model numbers, of the 2 vehicles I checked out, the 225 was 6" shorter than the 213. Does that compute??

Posted By: jrhinse on 11/16/03 06:55am

Hi Ivy,

We have a 2003-225 with Ford chassis. I have read posts in this forum and others and concluded that this is a common problem with Ford chassis owners. Half the time I will only be able to fill the gas tank 3/4 full. I asked the Ford people via the Roadside assistance line and they referred me to the manual!

I noted though that if the gas flow (when you fill up)is either very slow or very fast, it fills up OK

2005 Georgie Boy Landau 3402
Toyota Echo Hatchback 2004

Posted By: doogym on 11/16/03 01:09pm

Hi Wragans:- I removed the tire from my 235S as it only cleared the ground by about 3ins,I have a hich -hual on the back with 9ins offset
so it sits high and wont hit the ground when coming out of driveways,
I am going to mount my spare on a front tire carrier and put a cover on the tire.not what I realy want to do but I cant fined any other way out.Tire carrier and cover from j.c Whitney with shipping $61,
hope it works out and looks OK when installed.Doug

Posted By: Gene in NE on 11/17/03 03:10pm

doogym - Are you not afraid of blocking the airflow to your radiator?

The low slung position of the spare and fuel tank filling must be the only drawbacks of the Ford chassis.

cheeze1 - I wish that motorhome manufacturers would be a little consistent in numbering their models. If I did not know better, I would guess that the 213 is 21'-3" and the 225 would be 22'-5". I would be wrong. My 211-S is 21'11" overall. I guess it could be worse.

Trail-Lite 211-S w/Chevy

Posted By: wragans on 11/17/03 06:20pm

You live in FL. Heat may be a problem. My insurance has tow in and my agent said it would it would cove towing for tire repair. I may take mine off. In an emergency you could rob the dully on the back for a front tire. You can mker it in on one back tire. Just a thought.


Lenox, Iowa
211 Ford

Posted By: wlbjrincctx1 on 11/18/03 06:13am

I installed a spare tire carrier on the rear bumper to fix the departure angle problem on the Ford chassis.
When I gas up, I try to have the unit parked with the right front lower than the rest of the vehicle. The vent pipe is located aft of the fuel fill pipe. By keeping the vent pipe higher than the fill pipe, I can fill up the tank.
I don't have any stability problems with the Ford while parked and have never had a problem finding a level spot.
11000 miles, 5600 on vacation last summer. No problems, except the stupid way the table is made. Changing mounting system this weekend.

Posted By: wragans on 11/18/03 06:48am


Agree on the table. Rattle, Rattle, Rattle. I found a diffent wall mount at the camper store in my home town. Another Trial-Lite owner had the dealer install a two post mount table and did away with the wall mount.

I installed a curtain in front of the rear door so I can pull it accross when stoped for the night. Don't need to open the door and the screen to close the little ones on the back windows. I used a adjustable shower rod to hang it, no holes. Also put matching curtain accross the isle about four feet in front of the back door. It slids to the side and is held against the wall with a velcro tye back. Give a little privacy and also you can change during the day with out haveing plul al the shades. Wifes idea and a good one.

You all have great ideas. Maybe some of ours will help you.


Lenox, Iowa
Trail-Lite Ford 211

Posted By: Gene in NE on 11/18/03 07:14am

wragans - Good suggestions on the curtains. I also thought about the possibility of borrowing one of the tires from the rear to replace one on the front if need be. However, I remember years ago when driving a loaded straight truck that when one of the rear tires was either low or had a blow out, the second was only a few miles or feet before it blew also. I am afraid that I do not check the air pressure in the rear duals.

My flimsy dinette table did some rattling, found it was the adjustment in the leg support. Removed the adjustment and replaced with a bolt and the rattle went away.

211-S Chevy

Posted By: cheeze1 on 11/18/03 04:53pm

Boy, I enjoy this forum. I think I HAVE to get a BPlus just so I can keep tossing ideas around with all you nice people!!
Anyway, about the rear tire mount on pre-2004 models, what about a hitch mount? I have seen them, wouldn't that cure the bottoming out problem?

Posted By: wlbjrincctx1 on 11/18/03 05:46pm

Hitch mount will work of course, but you lose the hitch and a bunch of dollars. J.C. Whitney bumper mount about 25 dollars. Hitch mount about 60 dollars.

Posted By: wragans on 11/18/03 06:05pm

Hitch mount for the spare not a bad idea but most of us have a rear door with the Trail-Lite 211 212 etc. So hitch mount not a good idea.

Weight is not a problem with a motorhome as with your straight truck with dullys, Gene. Sounds like you must be an old farm hand from NE.

I have run straight truks an goose necks in my day and haven't had trouble with the tires going flat on the dullys. Have run several miles with inside dual flat and got to a repair shop.


Lenox, Iowa
Ford 211

Posted By: Luap on 11/19/03 05:56am

The length of our 2004 Trail-Lite 213(Chevy) is 22'-1". Also, I would like to know where everyone is camping that they do not need levelers of some sort. Up here in the Northeast, its almost a given that we will have to level our campers.

Paul & Gail
2004 Trail-Lite 213

Posted By: Plusit on 11/19/03 06:23am



Agree on the table. Rattle, Rattle, Rattle. I found a diffent wall mount at the camper store in my home town.

Lenox, Iowa
Trail-Lite Ford 211

Willie, can you provide us with the manufacturer's name who made the alternative mount?


Posted By: Gene in NE on 11/19/03 07:17am

wragans - you are correct, from the farm and proud of it. Right on the second count as well - the straight truck would always be grossly overloaded for the tires. Crossed the weigh scales okay, but the tires suffered. Fortunately, we only traveled slowly and only a few miles on the highways.

luap - the Northeast has hills. Have you ever been out here in the flatlands? You can see for miles. Seriously, we have been lucky picking our spots at Yellowstone and others where the site is almost level to begin with. I do like functionality of those yellow blocks, will have to buy some for those cases when the lot is not level.

B Plus 211-S, w/Chevy

Posted By: TonyTiger on 11/20/03 12:50pm

On the 235S we had about 6 inches of clearance under the rear tire. I had two triangular drag bars welded to the rear of the chassis to protect it. Way early in this thread I remember someone talking about having lost a spare going down a driveway. That made my mind up.

I also hate the table mount. Mine has taken to shakin' and rattlin'. It looks like the bracket with the tongue on the table has bent open a bit so it doesn't pull the table tight enough. I'll try to fidget it with this weekend while we're camping.

Posted By: Plusit on 11/20/03 01:58pm

That was me with the spare, Tony and good for you that you're still going out—we put ours to bed for the Winter.

Posted By: Luap on 11/21/03 10:13am


Your right about there being hills out here. About the only flat places we have is at Wal-Mart, in the parking lot. And that's not our idea of camping.

Paul & Gail
2004 Trail-Lite 213

Posted By: Gene in NE on 11/21/03 11:57am


Yah, but you have scenery in your hills. Been there, seen them. Out here, where it is flat, we have to drive to see something. However, being in the middle of the USA we are not that far from anywhere. I like it!

When you are surrounded by beauty, where do you drive for a vacation? The Wal-Mart parking lot does not seem too exciting.

The one thing wrong with this forum, you cannot see if the writer is smiling or scowling. I'm smiling.

2002 B Plus 211-S w/Chevy

Posted By: wragans on 11/21/03 07:04pm

After stoping at Wal-Mart for several years I have started taking advantage of State and City camp areas. I wish some one had a book of all the small places to stay that are not comerical. The internet is good but not great. I have found some great state parks in Utah, Nebraska and Iowa.

Shame on all of you that put your units away for the winter. Plan on using mine to go to Omaha for a suprise party for my sister this week end. Snow who cares.


Posted By: Luap on 11/24/03 09:35am


I'm smiling also.....This is our first RV, and we can't wait for the spring. I guess that's why we have RV's, to see what there is out there, regardless where we are from.........


Posted By: Luap on 11/24/03 09:35am

Sorry...I keep double clicking.

Posted By: Br- on 11/24/03 05:00pm

Just wondering if anyone hears from or knows what happened to Dan C. Seems like it's been quite a while since he posted.

Posted By: WAGM on 11/24/03 08:05pm

Hey Guys, I fixed the table rattle by putting a rubber foot on each side of the table between the table top and the wall. These feet go on the bottom of things like air compressors, battery chargers etc, got them at Home Depot. I also put velcro pads on all the drawers and doors, that MH is soooooo quiet now that we can whisper going down the road.[emoticon]
See yall in the funnies, Warren

Warren and Gwen SKP 1605
1985 Transtar THE CHUCK WAGON
on Chev G30 van, 350 w/4.10 drw 23 feet long


Posted By: captnaselli on 11/25/03 11:55am

Greetings from
Captain Joseph L. Naselli USCG
Can you be a little more specific about how you applied the Velcro strips to the opening drawers? Thank You

Posted By: WAGM on 11/25/03 07:56pm

Hey captnaselli, I got the velcro in 1" by 36" strips and cut sections off to make 1X1 pads, it has self-stick backing. Put one pad on each top corner of the drawers and when the drawer goes in and down that sets the velcro really good. On the doors it went on the corners opposite the hinges. You can get super stick and it holds up well in the heat. It is also good for hanging pictures and small hooks for towels etc.
See yall in the funnies, Warren

Posted By: Gene in NE on 11/26/03 08:29am

Br-(Bruce & Sue), I too wonder what happened to Daniel C. His last post using this profile was May 25, 2003 on or about page 39 on this thread. I did a search for other profile names using his real name and found none. Business must be good in San Antonio. Maybe his possible exhaust manifold leak soured him on RV's. I doubt that. Can you see me smiling?

WAGM, Hooray for Velcro. I too like the super stick in a roll (cost about $7.50) and then decide how much I need for a particular application. Never thought about the little rubber feet for vibration dampening.

Our unit is eerie quiet on a smooth black top road, but does get a little noisy on certain concrete highways with raised tar strips.

Trail-Lite B Plus 211-S w/Chevy

Posted By: B-Plus on 11/26/03 11:31am

Just something that I would like to share. I have a B+ 225 and I really hate to run the Air –Conditioning in the early or late summer months. I tried unsuccessfully to find a screening system for the front Van doors. Here is what I came up with.
Get some fiberglass screening and 2 ft roll of self stick Velcro. I used white because my Van is white. Cut 8, 1 inch pieces of Velcro for each door . Open your front doors of the van and cut the screen to the same shape as the window leaving about a 3 inch border.
On the door itself place the I inch hook side of the Velcro equally spaced to the border of the window door frame, outside of the edge where the rubber door seal hits the door. Now hold up the screen to the window and match up where you have to attach the mating side of the Velcro to the screen. I attached the Velcro onto the screen itself by overlapping the Velcro to itself on the edge and using a staple to hold it closed. Now attach the screen to the door on the door, it looks like a loose fit but when you close the Van door the rubber seal creates a seal. You can still open and close the window as much or as little as you want. They are easily removed in only a few moments and take up no space to store ( just fold ) and very cheep to replace if lost . If you need further information just let me know.

Posted By: Arcy on 11/26/03 01:11pm

I also have a 225 on a Chevy chassis, and I'm having trouble following exactly how you fit the screen. Is the screen fitted to the inside of the open door, or the outside? I like your idea, so please try once more, and pretend that you're talking to a dummy!

Thanks! Arcy

Posted By: B-Plus on 11/26/03 02:04pm

Arcy, yes the screen is put on the inside of the open door so that the door seal will hold it tight when the door is closed. Arcy try this:
Cut out a piece of screen the size of your window except leave 3 extra inches to the outside edge all the way around. Go out to your RV and hold it up to the window (after you open the door! ) and you should be able to visualize from there on how to attach it with the Velcro as I previously described. If this doesn’t help you let me know and I will give it another shot. All that the Velcro is doing is holding it in place until you can close the door to get a seal.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 11/26/03 02:30pm

Dario, I too have been searching for some good ideas on screens for the van windows. There is a pricey solution at: BugBarrier - about $80. I think I like your idea of Velcro better.

I have thought about using magnets with the screen on the outside of the door, but the magnets have to be powerful enough to hold through the screen material. Then they are clunky bouncing around in the van when not in use.

What about using a hot glue gun for fastening the Velcro to the screening?

This past summer, the grasshoppers were so bad that they ate through plastic screening. So...keep that in mind wherever you park.

B-Plus 211-S w/Chevy

Posted By: wlbjrincctx1 on 11/26/03 03:54pm

Bug screen material:
Shades out the sun also. Used it for cockpit screens on my sailboat for years. Very durable.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 11/26/03 04:53pm

Ok, guys, I have to jump in here.
Dario, one question. What makes the seal at the bottom of the screen, as it hits the interior part of the door? Do you velcro across the whole length?
Gene, go to:,42363&ccurrency=2&SID=
(if it doesn't open, go to the main url, then click on woodworking, then magnets, then circular rare earth. I bought some from them and they are the strongest little guys I have ever seen. I took some and merely backed up a rattling magnetic cabinet door catch, and it's so strong the door doesn't rattle anymore!
Put two together and try to pry them apart in a straight motion. Can't be done. You have to 'get under' one of them and slide it off the top and HANG ON![emoticon]
Trust me, they will hold the screen real tight if you don't want velcro.

Posted By: B-Plus on 11/26/03 05:46pm

Chas, yes I went with a full strip on the bottom of the window where there is not a gasket to seal it , this idea can be used with a car as well, anytime your out in a shoping parking lot waiting for the wife at night and don't want the bugs to bother ya!

Gene, I never tried a hot glue gun on the velcro but I found it held really well with the sticky side of each velcro and the screen in between plus the staple worked fine, none of mine have come apart yet after a whole season.

Posted By: lloydje1 on 11/30/03 06:10pm


Did you purchase your Trail Lite from a local dealer? If you don't mind sharing the name of the dealer, I live just outside of San Marcos and would like to see a Trail Lite in person.


Posted By: Br- on 12/01/03 08:48am

lloydje1, seems Dan hasn't posted here for quite a while, but in one of his earlier posts he mentioned he bought his trail-lite at Ron Hoover RV, Boerne, Tx. Hope this helps.

Posted By: lloydje1 on 12/01/03 07:01pm


Thanks for the info. Has anyone had any dealings with in Wisconsin? They advertise that they will beat anyone's price. However, it seems that one should buy locally in order to get service and work through the aftersale kinks. They offer the unit with bare bones or additional options. From reading the posts it seems it would be better to buy it somewhat barebones and add higher quality options outside the dealer.

Jeanette -- interested in the 235S Ford V-10
San Marcos, TX 512.357.0173

Posted By: captnaselli on 12/01/03 09:38pm

IIoydje 1
Check with Barry at Campers Factory Outlet. I found him to be very honest, fair and most of all a real friendly sincere person. I bought one of the first Trail-Lite units off the line in 2001 and he became a friend, never was a salesman.
After I picked up the B Plus I had very little trouble with the 211 model. What little trouble I had with the charging system was fixed by a dealer in California no questions asked as to where it was purchased as there is a one year warranty on the unit.
I had all the options from the factory as I felt that it was easier to add them at the time of building rather than do it later as an add on job. He did add a Maxx-Air unit and the work was very neatly done.
I had researched the prices and no one could even come near his low prices.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 12/02/03 07:59am

lloydje1 - I believe you have to determine for yourself, if you can be comfortable with the person you are buying from. As "captnaselli" stated, he found an individual that he considers his friend. In all the years that I have bought vehicles and insurance, have always found that it was the person, not the company that made me happy.

I bought mine from a regular RV dealer in Madison and found the salesman easy to work with. That was before I learned about "campersfactoryoutlet", so do not know whether I got the best price. The best deal is the one you get and the one that makes you happy. Price is not always the biggest factor.

wlbjrincctx1 - Thanks for the website on the fabric screen. Will be ordering some of that. Their "poly-mesh" also seemed to be suitable. At those prices, will probably order 1 yard of each.

cheeze1 - Would you say that these magnets are stronger than similar sized ones that you can buy at a "hobby-lobby" (arts and crafts store)? Have bought some of those and they also appear strong when attracted to each other, however, if required to hold photos to metal are a little weak.

Thanks people for all the good advice.
B-Plus 211-S w/Chevy

Posted By: TonyTiger on 12/02/03 08:13am

We purchased the 235S with the Chevy 6.0 L. I previously had a Ford V-10 on my Starflyte. It is a gutsy engine with a ton of torque. You need to watch the oil level, they have a tendency of burning oil at speed. I checked it before each weekend. Make sure you specify NO Firestone tires if you order the Ford. We had two blowouts in the sidewalls on non recalled tires. One I contributed to due to a nail in one of the duals that allowed a slow leak that may have weakened the tire. I didn't catch it (inside dual tire) until after a trip. The other went all on its own with less than 20,000 miles on it. Now I check the tires also before nearly every weekend trip.
We've had the 235S since March. Used it nearly every Spring and Fall weekend for Dog Shows. Love the slide out, made some enhancements inside and out. Don't like the rattle in the slide when pulled in and driving, don't like the lack of check out that the dealer did. BUT, I even have had some friends buy the same model! So we love it! We went with the Chevy mostly because my wife liked the leg room the Chevy gives you versus the Ford in the cabin area. Check out both of them.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 12/03/03 10:14pm

Gene, they are called rare earth magnets and they blow the other type away. A little 1/4" version of the ones I have would be stronger than 4 of the other type.
Go here:

Great website, lots to see.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 12/04/03 11:42am

cheeze1 - Thanks for your latest website link, they do sound interesting. Never had heard of stronger magnets due to the type of metal. I've requested a catalog.

Are you still looking for a daily driver? I can tell you that we do not mind driving ours around town in rush hour traffic. However, the rear view is a little restricted when backig out of a parking stall. The "fish eye" helps. It drives and handles almost exactly like a 1 ton dually pickup.

Back to the latest question, I'll be trying to place screening on the outside of the door as I think the seal does not have to be as tight. Flying insects usually land on the screen and then crawl to the edges looking for a way to squeeze in. They are not as likely to crawl back under the screen if on the outside. I like the suggestion that wlbjrincctx1 had proposed for screen material.

Someone needs to offer another question to solve. I'm smiling.

Trail-Lite 211-S w/Chevy

Posted By: cheeze1 on 12/05/03 05:17pm

Gene, thanks for the inquiry. Yes, I still want my vehicle to be the daily driver for me. I just worry about ultimate length, and the fact that the rear ladder might be too much temptation for the kids in the high school I work in!

Posted By: jim1632 on 12/05/03 08:15pm

Re screens discussion ---

I purchased custom front-door screens from for my Ford chassis. They are supposed to make custom-fit screens for various van models. Only cost $49 so I figured it was worth a chance compared to searching around for materials and rigging my own. Very satisfied - they fit closely enough, go on easily and require almost no space to store. At least give the site a visit to get some ideas even if you want to make your own.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 12/09/03 08:14am

jim1632-Your post really sounded interesting, but I had a hard time learning more about it on the internet. I keep getting some computer center in Chicago instead. Tried some variations of your web address and could not find anything on your screens. Could you please re-visit the subject. Was that $49 for a pair?

cheeze1-I enjoy your posts. You made me believe you may have already purchased one. The length is one thing, of many, that has not been a problem. You raise an interesting point about the rear ladder - it could be a problem when constantly around kids. That would not be unique to the B+, however. Hope to keep reading your future posts.

B Plus 211-S w/Chevy

Posted By: jim1632 on 12/09/03 01:53pm

Sorry mislead you a little on the site.

Correct address is

Just found it on Google.

Posted By: wragans on 12/14/03 10:10am

Any one traveled in the winter in a Class B+ WITH OUT HEATERS IN THE HOLDING TANKS?

Have made several tripis in cold but not extreeme cold. I plan to trave in January and February from Iowa to Florida and know I will hit some below normal Temps.


2002 Trail-Lite Ford 211

Posted By: TonyTiger on 12/16/03 11:34am

My previous B+, a Starflyte, did not have waste tank heaters. I used a half a gallon of antifreeze in each waste tank (and poured a little more in the traps before bed each night. I also added a gallon of antifreeze to the fresh tank (we DON'T drink it, use bottled water exclusively). We were out in one snow storn in Massachusetts with it and survived okay. None of our experience was with sub 20 degree weather however.
My new B+, the Trail-Lite, we got tank heaters. Had one night in the upper teens this November and didn't worry once.

Posted By: wragans on 12/16/03 04:22pm

thanks Toni,

We will give that a try.


Posted By: Lyle & Janet on 12/17/03 07:52am

While traveling on our first big run to Florida from Iowa last April, we found that we could not put much gas in our unit also. Men on board were VERY frustrated. FINALLY, figured out that the air vent to the gas tank (I think this is right) was dropped down. It had been fasted up with black electrical looking tape (go figure!) and couldn't stand the journey. Anyway, once that was fasted back up with one of those little plastic securing ties that my husband had on board, we have been fine ever since. Did hear quite a bit of interesting language before he crawled clear under the unit and found the problem.

Lyle & Janet
Worth County Missouri
Chevy Chassis

Lyle & Janet
Trail-Lite B+ 2003 211

Posted By: wacushing on 12/23/03 06:00pm

Sorry to get in this so late, but are you sure about using the dully on the front in an emergency. My dealer said that was not an option, but he didn't seem to want to sell me a spare either. We have a Trail Lite 221S on Ford 350 chassis with V10 and would sure like to know for sure, then I can forget the spare we lost last year or any other ideas, thanks.

* This post was edited 12/23/03 06:12pm by wacushing *

Posted By: wlbjrincctx1 on 12/23/03 08:31pm

Same wheels, same tires. You just turn them around. What went against the inside rear wheel now goes to the outside when you put it on the front.

Bumper mounted spare tire carrier; 25 bucks. Blocks your rear door..move it over a foot or so.

Posted By: wragans on 12/24/03 07:13pm

Wcushing and wlbjrincctxl,

Yes all the wheels a interchangeable on the Ford 1 ton and 2 ton chassis. The outside dual is dished in and the inside dual is dished out. The front tire is dished out.

You can in an emergency take ther rear outside dual and put it on the front end. You will have one tire on the rear. This can be done for an emergency situation.

Again if you have tow in insurance (which is very inexpensive)your insurance company will tow it to the closest shop for repair.

As for the rear bumper tire holder, I found that it will cover the rear tail lite if you install it on an motorhome with a rear center door. I have seen one that had an extra tail light and turn signal installed above the tire.

I would contact Trail-Lite about loosing the spare. Don 't give up, the squeeky wheel gets greased. maybe you could sing the old song "You picked a fine time to leave me loose wheel"

Lots of luck and Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night..

Willie and Susan
Trail-Lite 211
Lenox, Iowa

Posted By: wacushing on 12/30/03 03:15pm

"You picked a fine time to leave me loose wheel" is Kenny Rogers retiring? I tried the manufacturer, pictures, begging, and threats. Thanks for the confirmations on the wheel flop; it's seemed like the best back-up. We do have towing insurance but sometimes it's easier to do it yourself if possible, we spent better part of a day with the last tow. You did so well with the tire solution, what do you have for the leaky slide-out, it only seems to be a problem if we're leaning to the right? (I know don't lean to the right, but sometime we must or AARP will sell us down the drain).
Thanks Again Bill

Posted By: wragans on 12/30/03 06:29pm

Don't have slide so cant help you there. I see you are from S.D. We are in Southwest Iowa. If you are down our way look us up.

We will be leaving Lenox, Iowa January 25th for points south. Hope to see Kentucky, Alabama, Florida, Louisana, Texas then home. Maps out about 5,500 miles in a little more than a month. Hope the weather holds untill we get futher south. Happy Trails.

Willie and Susan
2002 Trail-lite 211
Ford Chassis

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 01/05/04 05:37pm


Search my posts in B+ motorhomes thread. You will find my answer to the leaking slide plus lots of other problems and fixes.

I currently am scheduled to have the slide worked on once again. The "base" the slide slides on is loose, and as a result the slide loudly and harshly and slowly grates/grinds its way in and out. This loose base allows the slide to "sink" just enough during driving (or with a person's weight on the couch) to remove the tension on the slide's articulating side arms. This allows these arms to rattle (which was one of my complaints long ago) and the "sunken" slide to scape along on its base when moved in and out.

The convection microwave trim piece/mount also broke on our last trip. I removed the oven and found the factory added subfloor in the cabinet was installed so as to provide no support for the oven's front legs. The oven's front trim piece has therefore been the sole support for the front of the oven, and it ultimately broke. Correctly repositioning the subfloor took about 5 minutes.

Quality of workmanship is miserable on these units. It is miserable on most RVs regardless of price paid. I hope this will be my last complaining post, but I am neither young nor nieve. Nevertheless, I am keeping this rig because it suits our needs and gets better and better with each fix.

Posted By: wacushing on 01/11/04 09:45pm

Thanks for your comments, I feel the same way as you, RV's have a poor record for craftsmanship. With the Trail Lite having the popular chassis, Onan gen, other proven appliance I'd hoped to get something average out of the unit, but should have looked closer at the slide-out. I too am not giving up but hope it will hold together. One point though I had a swing-out accident (turned out back end hit RV parked next to ours) with the unit, other older unit was badly damaged ours suffered practically no damage. My feeling on that is that the Trail Lite basic structure must be solid (?).
Drive Carefully.
Weary Willie

Posted By: Gene in NE on 01/12/04 10:37am

Gary - I think you described your unit adequately about quality. I also agree with you that the more I drive ours, the better I like it. It is too bad that RVs in general do not have better quality control. I suspect it is a money issue. Spend time on every unit to ensure quality, or spend time to fix only the ones that are not quite up to spec.

Weary Willie - Gary and I have the same type of unit, he scares me with some of the latest problems he has written about. I did a visual check of my slide and microwave, but not detailed enough in the specific areas that Gary is mentioning. Our unit is in storage now, so will do further checking when it warms up. I too like the brand names of the appliances...and in general they seem to be built sturdily.

Anytime that I feel we may have bought an inferior product, I read some of the posts on the higher priced BT Cruiser. Makes me feel much better.

211 - S w/Chevy 5.7

Posted By: B-Plus on 01/12/04 12:34pm

I think that the same will happen to the RV industry as it did with the Auto industry. If Japan ever gets into the RV industry their in trouble. Right now they have a captive audience, wait until they get some quality competition! Unfortunately I don’t think it will be any time soon.
I retired from Pratt & Whitney Aircraft as an Engineer for 30 years and I saw our company do a complete turn around on quality. My job the last 10 years was to work with the Japanese consultants that the company brought in, which cost them Millions of dollars do. The only reason they did it was because of competition.
Why do you think that the Auto Industry cleaned up their act? It’s not because they were concerned about quality to the consumer, it’s because the consumer had a choice of other quality products that were far superior to theirs and they were losing money. That’s the bottom line. Until this happens in the RV industry we are ever stuck with these inferior products.
Although I have to say my trail-lite B-Plus has been trouble free so far for 12 Months and 13,000 miles. Knock on Wood !!!

Posted By: wacushing on 01/13/04 09:29pm

Trail Liters
While I have your attention, a question, on our unit(211S)there is a red switch (right beside the water pump) that says heater. It comes on and off just like the water pump switch, but seems to do nothing. My wife says the Dealer said it was the hot water heater at the same time he showed me how to manually lite the water heater outside. Possible on some models this is the water heater (with an igniter)? Can't find anything in the manuals! Just thought I'd ask.

Weary Willie

Posted By: wlbjrincctx1 on 01/13/04 10:49pm

If your water heater is a DSI unit (direct spark ignition), then turning on the switch will start the water heater.
Flip the switch and listen for sounds from the water heater. I was not told how to manually light the water heater, since my unit is a DSI heater.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 01/14/04 07:27am

wacushing - Our 2002 211-S has the 6 gallon (DSI) heater and I suspect yours does too. The owners manual for the water heater states that the light will come on when you first switch it on and then go off. I believe it is only on while the igniter is attempting to light the gas. Be sure you have the bypass valves in proper alignment (under the sink) before you attempt lighting the heater electronically. In other words, you should have the water heater full of water. Mine blew a fuse the first time we used it - there was no water in the heater.

Trail-Lite 211-S w/5.7 Chevy

Posted By: HercDriver on 01/16/04 09:59am

Greetings Fellow 211 Drivers,

Its been nearly a year since I picked up my Ford Chassis 211. And equally as long since I posted last. Here's a long overdue follow-up.

I take my 211 out once a month. Each round-trip averaging 500mi to some of my favorite fishing spots. Not over-working the 211, to say the least.

Being an aerospace computer support engineer requires that I be in position to perform corrective tweaks and fixes to the networks of my customers via remote. So I've installed a MotoSat DirectWay satellite system on the 211. An expensive tool ($6500 for the gizmo and $100 a month to operate). But then, I can now fish for a few hours and then perform network status checks for my pay... and then fish a little more. [emoticon]

I originally had the 'FireBoom' (Firestone) tires. Never had a blow out, but the ride was terrible ... very rough. Four months ago, I mounted Michellins and the ride was greatly improved. Also, the original tires where LT225/75R16 ... replaced with LT245/75R16 to add more rubber. Ford offers LT245s optionally for this chassis., and I believe the LT225s are insufficent for the 211s. Seems I was right. The rig seems to have a firmer grip of the road, more stable, better clearence and smoother ride.

To increase my DC-AC conversion time I installed two solar panels (125w combined) and replaced the TV with a flat panel LCD version for use as TV, DVDs & Laptop. During daylight, the panels power my gear with placing a drain on the coach battery., which leaves me a full battery at dusk for leisure web surfing or DVD watching. Havn't drained that single battery yet, using this configuration. Still, looking into adding another battery for a dual config. For the LCD panel, I hung a bottom openning door where the TV was and mounted the LCD to the outside of the door. Now I have nice new storage unit too!

As for the Microwave bouncing around in its flimsy harness., after getting tired of reinforcing, I decided to fill the voids of the enclosure (Top and Sides) with expanding foam from Home Depot. Less than one can did the trick. The Microwave is now sturdy as a rock!

WARNNING!!! Check the coach-to-chassis welds! I don't know when, or how, I managed it., but I discovered broken welds on the angle-iron mounts R-Vision employed to anchor the coach to the chassis. I travel high-country dirt roads slowly (2miles/hr in tough spots), which often involves some chassis torc. Still, nothing that would justify the broken anchors. In fact, one of the flimsy pieces of angle-iron had torn like a piece of paper. My welder cut out the original angle-iron anchors and replaced them with heavier grade angle-iron. Being an ex-naval aviator, I've gotten into the habit of doing complete 'walk-around' inspections before every trip ... they now include a good look underneath too.

One the whole, I'm still VERY VERY happy with my 211. Its kept me comfortable in the heat and cold while I chase the elusive thropy trout of california's sierras. Its the perfect size to get me into places bigger coaches can't.

Sorry for the lengthy post. Consider it my annual contribution. [emoticon] Happy Trails to All.

Posted By: jjnj on 01/18/04 12:41pm

Please HELP
we have a 2003 Trail-Lite 211s. We have had it back 5 or 6 times for a leak coming in the slide when the slide is closed...not with it open. They have done all kinds of tests and always find something they say "fixed' it. And, today, it is drizzling and it is leaking yet again.
Any thoughts or similar problems? The service mgr does seem to be concerned and had twice actually picked up the rig from our home!

J and K

Posted By: Plusit on 01/18/04 02:54pm


I originally had the 'FireBoom' (Firestone) tires. Never had a blow out, but the ride was terrible ... very rough. Four months ago, I mounted Michellins and the ride was greatly improved. Also, the original tires where LT225/75R16 ... replaced with LT245/75R16 to add more rubber. Ford offers LT245s optionally for this chassis., and I believe the LT225s are insufficent for the 211s. Seems I was right. The rig seems to have a firmer grip of the road, more stable, better clearence and smoother ride.

Great post Herc- Thanks!

Questions: The added width of the new Michelins won't effect the ABS on your Ford when you brake quickly? Also, did you go to a truck dealership for the tires or are there any tire places (or big named discount stores like Coscto) that can handle the height and weight of an RV on a lift to change the tires?

Posted By: Plusit on 01/18/04 02:56pm

Joan, check the earlier posts of Daniel C. whom, I believe, had the same type of problems with his slide out.

Posted By: wlbjrincctx1 on 01/18/04 04:00pm

And speaking of Dan C; where is he?

Posted By: Br- on 01/18/04 05:00pm

I've wondered the same thing. His last post was on 5/25/03. Hope he's ok.

Posted By: wlbjrincctx1 on 01/18/04 05:06pm


I originally had the 'FireBoom' (Firestone) tires. Never had a blow out, but the ride was terrible ... very rough. Four months ago, I mounted Michellins and the ride was greatly improved. Also, the original tires where LT225/75R16 ... replaced with LT245/75R16 to add more rubber. Ford offers LT245s optionally for this chassis., and I believe the LT225s are insufficent for the 211s. Seems I was right. The rig seems to have a firmer grip of the road, more stable, better clearence and smoother ride.

Before you get larger tires, you might want to look here:

* This post was edited 01/18/04 05:16pm by wlbjrincctx1 *

Posted By: jjnj on 01/19/04 07:57am

I have tried to find his post, unable to..or at least as far back as i could get to. Does anyone recall what the outcome was? We are taking it back AGAIN tomrw...thanks

Posted By: Br- on 01/19/04 08:17am

If you do a search (search word slide, author Daniel C., any date) you will find quite a few posts from Dan about the problems he was having with his slide. Don't recall a post saying it was ever fixed right, though.

Posted By: Plusit on 01/19/04 10:26am



I originally had the 'FireBoom' (Firestone) tires. Never had a blow out, but the ride was terrible ... very rough. Four months ago, I mounted Michellins and the ride was greatly improved. Also, the original tires where LT225/75R16 ... replaced with LT245/75R16 to add more rubber. Ford offers LT245s optionally for this chassis., and I believe the LT225s are insufficent for the 211s. Seems I was right. The rig seems to have a firmer grip of the road, more stable, better clearence and smoother ride.

Before you get larger tires, you might want to look here:

I couldn't quite figure out that schematic—are the 245's acceptable?

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 01/19/04 02:59pm


See my posts to this forum dated 12/29/2002, 01/18/2003, 01/20/2003, and 01/05/2003. See Daniel C.'s post of 01/19/2003. Water leakage has been a major problem. Good luck.

Posted By: jjnj on 01/19/04 03:33pm

thank you...I read them, as well as about everything else...seems like our problem is unique (or at least I did not see the same one).
Ours leaks when it is closed, not open. If we keep it open, it stays dry.
After several 'fixes' it looks like the water comes in somehwere and sits on the outer top edge(both sides) of the slide...then works it's way down the sides. They have replaced the seals/added a top drain moulding and recaulked everything (to quote the dealer).
We;ll see what happens next!

Posted By: jjnj on 01/19/04 03:45pm

Hi again...I jusr re-read them and altho they do not address the slide-out in, they may have provided the least I hope so.
The one mentioned that the slide tilts down when in andnthat may explain how the water is seeping in, maybe getting back to a caulking problem...this is an interesting bit of info for me to give tomrw when we take it to the dealer.
Thanks...keep your fingers crossed!

Posted By: Gene in NE on 01/20/04 01:43pm

Joan - I rec'd two jack screws with my 211-S that I use when my slide is brought in and ready for transport. The dealer did not make much of an issue with them, implied that most owners did not use them. These jack screws can be placed between the frame of the B+ and the lip of the slide. By turning the middle portion, the slide is pushed inward and pressure is applied to the exterior seals. I questioned the value of this myself, but have been doing it. It could be that your unit needs these jacks, if it did not come with. Some B+ bodies and some slides may be twisted ever so slight and need this additional pressure on the seals. I never place much tension on these as I do not want to flatten the seals when the unit sits for a couple months.

How many others have these jack screws and do you use them?

Model 211-S with 5.7 Chevy

Posted By: TonyTiger on 01/20/04 02:50pm

You know mine came with the inside jack posts and the dealer said no one used them, that they are "there as protection to keep the slide from going out while driving". I didn't see how that could happen with the drive mechanism that the slide uses....BUT I never thought they also keep the slide in contact with the frame! Haven't had a slide leak yet, but I kinda agree with the caution that too much compression will also cause future problems.

Those of you that heard of my leak, I think I fixed it. I had a leak in my 235S that was showing up as a damp carpet in the forward storage box under the dinette behind the passenger seat and sometimes extending to a damp carpet immediately behind the passenger seat. I sealed the lip where the body parts come together, I sealed all the windows and passenger side screw holes to no avail. Finally a tip from Gary made me look at the TV antenna. The hole where the antenna entered the body through the rubber roof looked like the cable connector could move up and down allowing some rain into the cavity. The slope of the roof allowed the water to roll down between the wall and outside wall and apparently exited into the carpet at the flooring level. A tube of RV Goop sealed the hole and sealed the boot cover into place. I think I have it beaten for the time being.

Moral of the story is that the water doesn't always come from the obvious place.

Posted By: jjnj on 01/22/04 06:25am

Hi yes we have the jacks. however, it leaks whether we 'jack it' or not! Funny, the dealer also told us the same thing about optional use. We had another problem with the jack...if we use it while moving, the loosen and fell, scaring us to death! If they're tighter, then it does compress the seal. Not exactly a good design!
but, evidently, not the problem. we are now waiting for R-Vision to come out!

Posted By: Gene in NE on 01/22/04 11:54am

jjnj (Joan) - If your jacks are slowly loosening and falling, that may be a clue. Our jacks have a rubber pad and stick rather nicely in place if they are clean. I do not have to tighten them too much. I might speculate that there is a slight twist between the coach body and the slide body. The shifting of the mismatch would relax the tension and the jacks would slowly fall. You would need to tighten enough to twist the slide to match the body to avoid the jacks from becoming loosened.

Will be interesting if R-Vision is coming out. Your dealer must have some clout.

TonyTiger also has a very good point. Just because the water enters the coach near the slide does not mean that the slide is the culprit. But, in your case I know you said that the problem changes when the slide is in or out. certainly sounds like the problem.

Model 211-S with 5.7 Chevy

Posted By: jjnj on 01/23/04 10:50am

when we inserted the jax and really snugged them pushed the front moulding loose (top front of slide), so we loosened them. The dealer inserted them the last time, to what one would think would be the correct tension, still leaked. the water puddles on both left and right edges about 1/2 way between the inside/outside. doesn't even matter how hard it rains, more like how long! they know that and have (so they say) looked at a traveling problem...
stay tuned!

Posted By: Ian Cameron on 01/23/04 01:04pm

I'm finally getting caught up on the list - in a post some time ago someone said "They replaced the fuel filter but I don't know why." Because they buy filters at $2 and sell them for $5. When I was in university I worked as a mechanic, and the rule in every shop was "Whatever you do, replace the fuel filter. The customer doesn't know if it's dirty, and if he just replaced it tell him he had a tank of bad gas."

Ian Cameron

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 01/24/04 04:13pm

Joan (jjnj),

Here's another 2 cents of mine. Could it be that with the slide "in" the threshold/support plates underneath the slide (3 white pans with lipped edges) are tilted inward, whereas when the slide is "out" the plates are either level or tilted outward? On my unit these threshold plates/pans collect water that comes from above. They should all three be welded together at their lipped seams and waterproofed (caulked?). They should allow the collected water to drain to the outside. If their tilt is wrong when the slide is "in" and/or if they can leak water at their seams you/we may have at least part of the answer. This is what was happening with my unit. Dig around under the slide out (you may want to remove the couch's fabric covered skirt board), looking and feeling for water in the pans.

The source of my water leak when the slide was "in", as noted in one of my posts, was the diagonal inside seam of the slides perimeter trim. Other possible sources are too many to even think of listing.

As always, good luck.

Posted By: Lyle & Janet on 01/29/04 08:47pm

Gary, sorry to be interjecting here, but am trying to figure out how to post on this thread. I have done it before with no problems, but after having had my windows updated, there is no post on my screen under the B+ thread here. Can you help by telling me what is on your screen when you pull up this thread for you to post on?

I have a couch that is darned uncomfortable for sitting and riding on and would like to know if anyone has replaced their couch with an upgrade and where/how they did it.

Thanks for the help.

2003 Trail-Lite 211

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 01/30/04 11:33pm

Maybe this is a more straightforward question that I think, but I'm not sure what you are asking. I saw your post at the end of page 58, I clicked Reply, I get a page requiring my name/password, it shows subject, person who started the thread, and my choice whether to reply just to you or the thread (topic) in general. Then I type in this message box and finally click Post Message button at bottom.

I can't answer your couch problem. Ours is ok, many others are both better and worse. I'd suggest you tour your available RV dealers and note who makes the comfortable couches you might sit it. I sat on one in a Kodiak B+ that was pretty nice. All I recall is that it was made in Canada, so that's no help.

If you need more help, call out to someone else!

Posted By: Lyle & Janet on 02/01/04 11:58am

Thanks, Gary, for the help. Looks like things have been changed on me and I'm slow on the uptake.

So, for anyone else out there? Has anyone changed their couch in the Trail-Lite B+? What did you get? Has anyone gone to the company to see what they have available. I have the Mastercraft phone number that made our couch and I may call them again. Last time I called they had just had a major fire and were kind of stressed, so didn't call back. I may try to call them and see if they have a showroom of different couches they have to see.....and we may just have to go see them.


Posted By: burt101 on 02/01/04 01:25pm

I guess I am really a beginner on the computer. How do I get the pictures that Gary posted at ofoto? I put the address in and get amazon, but do not see where to go for the pictures. Have quickly gone thru all the posts and did not see an answer to my question. If there is one, sorry, I missed it. Gary's solution (dinette)sounds great-would love to see the pictures!! Thanks for any help you might give. Pat


Posted By: Br- on 02/01/04 02:55pm

This is where I found pics of the dinette. Gary's photo album should be right on the left side of the page.

Posted By: burt101 on 02/01/04 03:23pm

Thank you for your help. However, I cannot get the pictures. The site says that the pictures may have been removed due to posting date. Do you know if the pictures are still there and I just have typed the address wrong? (Triple checked it, but I could still be wrong). This is as bad as when I tried to list a mh for sale online-ended up hiring some one to do it and still did not get it done so had to send the pictures by mail. Pat

Posted By: Br- on 02/01/04 05:10pm

Pat, I just tried and I can still get the pics. Try the link below and see if that works.


Posted By: burt101 on 02/01/04 05:49pm

Thank you!! It worked. Now I will be able to sleep tonight and not get up at 4am to try again! Thanks again-I REALLY appreciate it! And, will still try to get it on my own and learn something. Tomorrow. Pat

Posted By: WAGM on 02/01/04 10:18pm

Hey Janet, I fixed our couch by taking the cushion off the frame, adding 2 inches of foam and a 1/4 inch lauan plywood then reinstalling the frame. That took care of the bars that you sit on, or lay on, makes it smooth and soft and doesn`t change the look of the couch. Hope this helps and is much more easy than removing the whole couch.

See yall in the funnies, Warren

Posted By: Gene in NE on 02/03/04 09:11am

WAGM - I know I am not completely understanding your explanation. You took the cushions off the frame - that I understood. Don't know how easy that will be on the 211? Then you took apart the cushions and inserted additional foam? Or you merely added plywood to the frame and covered it with added foam? Could you explain that part a little slower?

We also are having a slight problem with comfort riding on the couch while traveling. I think our springs (on the Chevy chassis) are a little too stiff, the couch tends to jolt you when the wheels hit "tar strips" on the highway.

B Plus 211-S w/5.7 Chevy

Posted By: paradisegirl on 02/03/04 11:01am

Hi, We just bought a 2004 Trail-lite. We will be traveling for about a year and wanted to change the bed situation and have more space for travel essentials. What we are doing is removing the couch, building in light weight cabinets at either end and leaving the middle for the spare tire, our inflatable boat, etc. Over the top will be a platform bed 30 wide and 70 long with a nice thick pad. This will sleep one and the other will sleep in the dinette area. We are both short and can actually sleep in the dinette together also.

We hope this helps...


Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.

Posted By: WAGM on 02/04/04 08:19pm

Hey Gene, I took off the base foam, mine doesn`t have cushions that are loose, from the pipe frame then put a plywood sheet on the frame then a layer of foam then put the foam base back on. The cover on the foam base has plastic strips sewed on the underside and the strips have a curled under edge that go around a 1/8 inch rod that runs around the inner edge of the frame, this holds the cushion cover on. This whole assembly bolts down to the base that holds the back of the couch and the swing assembly that lets the back fold over to make a bed. I got this idea from the dinette seats, they are made of foam and sit on a plywood bench, then for a bed the backs are put onto the table top (plywood) and that makes a very comfey bed.

Hope this is of some help, Warren

Posted By: AggieDad on 02/05/04 11:55am

Well, after lurking and reading everything for a while, I am now ready to join you all.

We just bought a new 2003 Trail-Lite 251 with the Chevy 8.1 liter engine. We will pick it up on Monday, Feb 16. I'll visit it this weekkend to go over it and make a punch-list of items that might need attention.

Our existing RV is a 1994 Dodge Sportsmobile (The AgWagon) with the pop-top roof. We have enjoyed it for the past 4 years, but as we expand, it seems to contract. I know the Trail-Lite will feel like a palace in comparison.

Even though I have read this thread from one end to the other, I'd love to know anything we should be on the watch for with the new Trail-Lite. Thanks in advance!

Be of good cheer!

Don Simmons
2006 Winnebago Voyage 33V pushed by a 2014 Chevy Captiva
Never ask a man where he is from.
If he's from Texas, he will eventually tell you.
If he's not, well... don't embarass him.

Posted By: Plusit on 02/05/04 02:59pm

Welcome AggieDad and all best wishes for a trouble free experience with your B-Plus.

Posted By: Br- on 02/06/04 07:06pm

AggieDad, first of all, let me say this is a great forum and you will learn a lot here. Our B+ is our very first RV, and I wish we would have known what to look for when buying. We had a lot of initial problems, which so far seem to have been worked out.

I would run "everything" at the dealers before you take it home, fridge,generator,furnace,air,etc. Make sure the radio and cd player work. Ours had to be replaced. Pull the drawers out in the kitchen area and check the supports. Ours are very flimsy and have had drawers fall out onto the floor while driving. Fixed the supports myself. If possible, have them run a hose over the RV and check for window or door leaks. We had leaks in both. If you have the dinette, drop it down to a bed. Our table would not fit between the bench seats, also fixed that myself. If you have a good dealer, he will be more than glad to go over things with you and may save you a few trips back.

We also have the 8.1 and it handles great. The size is comfortable for what we need.

Hope you have many good trips and few problems. Let us know how things work out for you.

Posted By: MONTERRY on 02/06/04 09:13pm

Checked out a Kodiak 24' B+ on Ford chasis c/w V 10 today at RV show.
Looks pretty good!


Posted By: lady bonee sue on 02/07/04 08:58pm

How are you liking you BT Cruiser now? We bought the BT Cruiser in October 2003 (27.9 with Slide). All I can say is we love it so far. Some days we just take off and drive around locally. We are chomping at the bit - anxious to take some trips. We are planning a trip to the Outer Banks (NC) in May.

Kay S. Brock

Posted By: cpadoc on 02/08/04 05:29pm

Daniel C. :

i just read in the local paper that the Rio Grande Valley area of Texas is, for some reason, suffering for people to rent RV space. So, you may want to call ahead to a nice RV park and negotiate a discount. Good luck.

John Guerrero
Galveston Island, TX

Posted By: J & W on 02/22/04 11:19am

We have a question to trail-lite owners who have only one battery. Ours is a 225, 8.1, 2003 model and since most of you have the same size appliances, heater etc. wanted to post here for your input. We would like to start camping in parks with no hookups, however we are permitted to use the generator during certain daytime hours (8:00 am to 8:00 pm). We have one SRM-24 CCA 550 MGA 690 RC 140 Mins Interstate Battery

For one night can we run[emoticon]? the frig on propane, the propane furnace, the LP detector (comes on automatic when battery switch on). We can use an independent battery lantern, bottled water/jug water for personal items such as toliet etc. We can think of no other charge on the battery. Tv booster off, no hot water heater, no water pump (however would be nice to know if water pump could be included).

Would using just those three items (frig, heater, detector) run the battery down over 50% for one night? We would turn on the gen set the next morning to recharge up.

We really like out rig - have had one and a half years (20,000 miles) had some of the fix-ups mentioned on the forum but nothing too serious. Have read about batteries everywhere but gets confusing trying to figure AMP hours. Some hints would be appreciated on figuring that. Love this forum and have learned a lot from all of you.

Thanks J & W

Posted By: wlbjrincctx1 on 02/22/04 04:00pm


We have a question to trail-lite owners who have only one battery. Ours is a 225, 8.1, 2003 model and since most of you have the same size appliances, heater etc. wanted to post here for your input. We would like to start camping in parks with no hookups, however we are permitted to use the generator during certain daytime hours (8:00 am to 8:00 pm). We have one SRM-24 CCA 550 MGA 690 RC 140 Mins Interstate Battery

For one night can we run[emoticon]? the frig on propane, the propane furnace, the LP detector (comes on automatic when battery switch on). We can use an independent battery lantern, bottled water/jug water for personal items such as toliet etc. We can think of no other charge on the battery. Tv booster off, no hot water heater, no water pump (however would be nice to know if water pump could be included).

Would using just those three items (frig, heater, detector) run the battery down over 50% for one night? We would turn on the gen set the next morning to recharge up.

We really like out rig - have had one and a half years (20,000 miles) had some of the fix-ups mentioned on the forum but nothing too serious. Have read about batteries everywhere but gets confusing trying to figure AMP hours. Some hints would be appreciated on figuring that. Love this forum and have learned a lot from all of you.

Thanks J & W

My wife and I routinely stay overnight without hookups with no problem. We run the fridge, all the detectors but only turn the water pump on when needed. (Once the water system is pressurized, it will usually be good for the rest of the night.)
We use the 12 volt lights as needed and have never had a problem.
Hopes this helps.

Posted By: B-Plus on 02/22/04 06:28pm

Hello Larry B!
J & W. Maybe this will help you. I also have the B+ 225 and I wanted two batteries and after checking out the battery holder I measured it and realized that two SRM-24 batteries will fit into the holder if set side by side and if you bang the lip down on the front of the battery tray. I did mine more than a year ago and now never have to worry about running low on power. Just take your battery out and bang the lip doen flat so that the batteries will sit flat and than use a nylon strap to strap them in. They fit nice and snug . Measure your battery and than measure your tray and you will see what I am talking about. The lip takes a little work to bang it flat but it works out great!

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 02/25/04 08:43pm

Like Dario and others, I have added a second battery sitting side by side in the battery tray. I did not go to the trouble of hammering or bending down the tray lip. Instead, I added some plastic spacer material (I used plastic nursery plant trays) cut to size that brought the tray bottom up to lip height. All has worked fine for the last year, but I am thinking about the slideout battery tray that Lance uses in their truck campers ...

Posted By: J & W on 02/26/04 08:03am

RE: Battery Questions
Thanks everyone for the responses. Gary, I am extremely interested in your idea of the slide-out battery tray. If you are able to get this done, I hope you post the process. Where located, cutting through the outside wall, etc. I want to get it done. Checking that battery in its current location is very difficult as everyone knows. Younger folks can handle it I'm sure but to some of us we just have to get someone to check the battery for us. Which is a hassle as no one really wants to do it. When we go in for service at the dealerships we request the aux battery be checked but I have a feeling they don't do it half the time. Even local service shops, gas stations etc. and on the road frown when you ask them, so I just say please do it and charge me. The result I just got a new battery installed at Camping World only after a year and a half which we should not have had to do. We are newbies to the RV World - so still learning also. I remember one of Daniel C's posts - he said he would just get a new one too much hassel. Oh well the price of getting older. Thanks again for the responses. J & W

Posted By: im5150too on 02/27/04 09:01am

I'm actively looking for my next rig, and have looked at the BT Cruiser. With all the negatives on the forums, how do they stay in business? Even the salesman that showed me the unit said "we have a lot of problems with them". It's too bad, cause there's a lot to like about the floorplans.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 02/27/04 03:15pm

im5150too - You hit the nail squarely. I also thought the floor plans on the BT Cruiser used space efficiently. My wife and I were attracted to their units. I only had one complaint about the floor plans we looked at. You could not see immediately behind you when backing out of a parking stall. Would have to either step outdoors myself or have my wife do so. I was willing to consider a rear view camera. Fortunately we found the Trail-Lite that did not have that blind spot and the price was about $5,000 less. Any difference in quality is debatable. We have had great luck with ours. There are many opinions in this thread on likes and dislikes. The advise is free.

Good luck in your hunting.

Trail-Lite B Plus 211 S w/Chevy 5.7

Posted By: TonyTiger on 03/01/04 07:13am

I just hit one year with our 235S. This coming weekend will be our first time out in 2004 (nuisance of a winter around here). I've been getting itchy to move.
We also looked at the BT Cruiser as well as the Phoenix, Kodiak and Platinum. The 235S layout is very much like the 225 as my friend Dario has pointed out. The hard flooring at the back door makes cleaning up on muddy days much easier (remember we've got two Dobes running in and out). The vision straight back is good especially with a plastic view expander attached. In fact, I have a rear view camera from my old rig but haven't hooked it up since the cheap plastic thing works so well.
On the double battery, before I heard from Dario about turning the battery sideways to add another one, I had the tray extended and added one in parallel (both electrically and physically). For this I loosely followed one of Captain Jack's ideas.
| \

Kinda looked like this with channel steel used to support the tray and a support arm welded on. It works.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 03/12/04 07:51am

Okay, we all knew they were made inexpensively. I have the Trail Lite 235S (side rear door with bath in the driverside rear corner). This design is much like the 225 in the rear. My slides for the bottom, rear, large kitchen drawer to the right of the microwave have failed. One screw pulled out of the back wall when the other broke. What seems to have broken is the plastic L shaped piece that supports the hardware slide and drawer by wrapping around the top, bottom and outside of the slide hardware. It was secured by one screw with a lot of air between the plastic and the wall. I plan to use some 1x2 inch moulding to beef up the support. The plastic support split separating most of the bottom foot from the side of the L.
Does anyone know if this plastic support is available on the open market? I found one web site but they want to sell it in a carton of 100 packs which includes the hardware slide.
Any help will, as always, be appreciated.

Posted By: Br- on 03/12/04 11:08am

TonyTiger, I've had the same problem with these drawer supports, very poor construction. I had to order thru a dealer, couldn't find them available anywhere. But I still had to add a piece of wood onto the wall behind the plastic support. The rail was cut too short to extend firmly into the plastic support. I even checked around at local cabinet shops, but no luck.

Posted By: Br- on 03/12/04 11:25am

TonyTiger, I found the online ordering catalog from my dealer if your interested. Parts can be shipped to your home. First do a keyword search for "drawer slide", you can order the kit or just the drawer guide for $.59. Then do keyword search for drawer "guide skts" for another part, 2 for $3.69. Hope this helps.

online catalog

Posted By: TonyTiger on 03/12/04 01:32pm

Gawd I love this forum, ask and someone knows!!
Thanks, Br-


Posted By: TonyTiger on 03/12/04 01:37pm

Could you give me the website in url form. I'm getting a "Can't open" with that link


Posted By: Br- on 03/12/04 02:08pm

TonyTiger, try copying and pasting and see if this works.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 03/12/04 02:17pm

TonyT - I also am amazed at the resources available on this forum. Looks like the trick is to put something behind that rear support between the wall and drawer guide to keep them closer together.

Bruce - Thank you for the information. For TonyT sake here is the address:
Not sure what part number you would use for just the guide support, but there is always the telephone or email them. The "guide skts" are interesting. Looks like they do the same thing but are inserted into the guide.

2002 Trail-Lite 211 S w/5.7 chevy

Posted By: TonyTiger on 03/12/04 02:32pm

Got in, must have been a temporary server or traffic overload. Made the order. I'm thinking of using 1x2 to line the back where the bracket sits and the side where the glide rides. We've had trouble with that drawer since day 1, I have a suspicion the bracket was cracked when it got here. But hey, this is the fun. It's amazing that everyone finds the same problems :<]

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Posted By: Br- on 03/12/04 05:31pm

TonyTiger, glad you could get the parts. I would like to think that Trail-lite has improved it's quality in the newer models. I'd gladly have paid a few thousand more on my B+ just for better quality where some things are concerned, but overall we're satified with it. Let us know how you make out with the repair.

Posted By: wlbjrincctx1 on 03/13/04 02:57pm


Like Dario and others, I have added a second battery sitting side by side in the battery tray. I did not go to the trouble of hammering or bending down the tray lip. Instead, I added some plastic spacer material (I used plastic nursery plant trays) cut to size that brought the tray bottom up to lip height. All has worked fine for the last year, but I am thinking about the slideout battery tray that Lance uses in their truck campers ...

Slide out trays:

Posted By: SweetLady on 03/13/04 05:45pm


I'm actively looking for my next rig, and have looked at the BT Cruiser. With all the negatives on the forums, how do they stay in business? Even the salesman that showed me the unit said "we have a lot of problems with them". It's too bad, cause there's a lot to like about the floorplans.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 03/22/04 07:41am

Okay, the new drawer glide brackets are in and everything is back to the original operation. Now I'd like to improve it. For some reason to open the bottom drawer, between the microwave and sink, of the 235S (much like the 225 back end), I have always had to lift the bottom right corner a bit then lift the handle like normal to open it. Does this mean the left rear bracket attachment is too high or the right front bracket should be raised?

BTW, I lined the area behind the drawer slide bracket with 1x2 and screwed it to the backwall. Anticipating the bouncing our homes get I mounted the wood so its bottom would ride with the floor and positioned it vertically. With the wood the bracket engages the slide an inch more than before. It was hanging precariuosly on the front 1/2 inch of the bracket before. According to my measurements a new 24 inch drawer glide wouldn't fit and the 22 inch drawer glides wouldn't fully enter the bracket. I was able to secure two screws for each bracket into the wood.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 03/23/04 08:44am

TonyTiger - What all did you replace? Just the plastic clip in the rear that looks a little like a lazy "C"? The 1x2 (resting on the floor) behind the clip certainly sounds like a good idea.

It is amazing that we all experience the same type of nuisance issues. Our 211S also has a sticking bottom drawer. Ours is below the microwave. We have not had ours long enough for me to get down on my belly and study what is catching. Minor shimming should fix the problem. There has to be a catch of some sort to keep the drawer from sliding out while traveling. Suspect it is hard to make the catch just right.

Let us know what you find on your drawer.

2002 B Plus 211S w/5.7 Chevy

Posted By: AggieDad on 03/23/04 06:40pm

What is the deal with the drawer below the microwave? Mine also is difficult to open. Like Gene, mine is new, and I have not yet explored the problem thoroughly.

This past Sunday after washing the RV, I decided to look into the problem. However, when I took the drawer out I found some water. Fortunately it was not a big deal. It seems the outside receptacle was not properly sealed, and being hit with water from the hose brought the problem to the fore (I doubt that rain would have caused a leak here). So the drawer was put aside and I spent my time re-sealing the outlet.

I'll be interested in any fix anyone has for that drawer.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 03/25/04 08:38am

>TonyTiger - What all did you replace? Just the plastic clip in the >rear that looks a little like a lazy "C"? The 1x2 (resting on the >floor) behind the clip certainly sounds like a good idea.
I had to replace the bracket, looks more like a 'T'. The broken one split right where the foot attaches to the upright
/ Kind of like that.
The new ones look more like an "L" with a thick foot to accomodate the drawer slide guide.

I ordered new brackets, mounted the 1x2 to the back wall, then mounted the brackets to the 1x2. The drawer slide guides themselves slide into the bracket. I tried to use a level but I could be off a bit.
Still haven't figured out the hard opening. You really need to lift the bottom right front of the cabinet about 1/8" to then lift up on the handle to open normally. Even though mine is off set from the microwave (they put a swinging door on the compartment under the microwave on mine) I'm sure it is the same drawer hardware.

Posted By: B-Plus on 03/26/04 04:56pm

Hello Tony! I had to replace my plastic drawer channel holders too. I also installed some plastic horseshoe type clips on my draws to help them stay closed.
I think what you are talking about on your draw situation is the built in securing clip on the bottom of each rail so the drawer will not open up while driving. On my drawers I have to lift up (about 1/8 inch) and then pull out. I think what you have is normal. I added the horseshoe clips to my draws after one trip over the George Washington Bridge. As I was driving I noticed (to late) all of the wheel Hubcaps on the side of the road right before I hit all of the 6” deep holes! Every drawer and cabinet opened up and everything wet flying out. I haven’t taken that Route since. Other than that my Unit has been a peach to own. Even with the new mix of gas that we are getting in Connecticut I am managing to average around 13 MPG with the 2003 6.0 Chevy.
As I was de-wintering the unit I was wondering to myself that when the time comes to clean my Refer exhaust stack how am I going to get to it. The only way looks like you have to remove the unit out of its space to get to it, I looked down from the top and I could not see anything, plus it was 3 ft down. Here is what I did; I believe that you have the same set-up as mine. The cabinet over the fridge, you can remove the back of the cabinet and you are right at the back of the Fridge , you can get to the baffle for removal and you can run a brush down the chimney right from there. When you go to replace the back of the cabinet install a removal panel so that you can clean it out as often as needed. Most of what I have read on the forum people are having to remove their units for this. I think we are pretty lucky have this cabinet above ours.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 03/29/04 10:33am

Hi Dario, good idea on the frig.

No, I have to lift the bottom right about 1/8 inch then lift the handle 1/8 inch to open it. We end up not pushing it all the way back in for ease of opening. Of course, we forget we left it like that and first stop...boom out comes the drawer. I think I need to look for those clips you're speaking of.

I made the GW bridge crossing once, never again!

Posted By: Gene in NE on 03/30/04 07:14am

Dario and TonyTiger - All right guys, you bring up a topic which I had never ever heard of. Cleaning the chimney or stack from the refrigerator? I have cleaned the refrigerator coils at home, but had never thought of cleaning the camper fridge. I can imagine that the propane burning would cause some soot in this chimney vent - is there anything else? Are there cleanable coils? Guess I never looked for any.

Our drawer below the microwave also has a catch that you lift the drawer to clear, but sometimes you need to jostle it quite a bit to get it to release. Like I said, will have to lay on my belly to study the problem.

2002 Trail-Lite B plus 211S w/5.7 Chevy

Posted By: Plusit on 03/30/04 07:50am

FYI Dept: [I posted this in the Tech thread, but thought it might be of interest here as well.] I have a Trail-Lite B+ and I converted my original single house battery tray into a double by bending down the ridge of the tray and rotating the original battery around and then connecting a second batery adjacent to it. However, it's impossible to to check the water level or do battery maintenance because the batteries sit so high up with very little space between the terminals and the chasis. It's also too dark in that area to see anything even with a mirror & flashlight. Kwikee makes a sliding battery tray for two standard -size house batteries for around $100. There is room for the sliding tray as well as a small latched door for access, but I'm at a loss as to how to mount this tray in a lowered more convenient area.    My local RV dealer said they can install it, but they had no idea how long it would take or what the labor charge might be. Needless to say I became suspicious when they said this. Is there anyone out there with some experience with this kind of problem or advice as to how to go about installing it? Many Thanks!

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Posted By: B-Plus on 03/30/04 12:03pm

Hello Gene. I have read about this cleaning elsewhere on the forum posts so I checked it out in my Repair and Maintenance manual. Here is what it says:
The flue, which is located directly above the burner flame, should be cleaned periodically to remove rust, scale and soot. How often this is done is determined by frequency of use, quality of propane and region of country.
After removal of the flue tube, the spiral baffle inside the tube must be carefully removed. Than a shotgun bore brush or a special brush available from the refrigerator manufacture is used to clean the tube.
I read on some of the other post on here that people had to remove their units from the RV to do this , so looking at my situation ( and possibly yours too ) I saw an easier way to do this without removing the unit. I don’t think that the problem comes from burning the propane I think that it is the type of metal used in the manufacturing of the stack that is causing the problem due to flaking. If I ever have to remove my unit for any reason I am going to have a replacement stack made of Stainless before I re-install it.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 03/31/04 11:51am

Dario always analyzes things and finds the simplest solutions.

Way to go, my friend.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 03/31/04 12:09pm

Dario - Did your repair and maintenance manual give you any ideas on what is meant by "frequency of use, quality of propane and region of country."? For example, the house refrigerator coils probably should be cleaned every other year - It runs continuous. It likely means wait a couple seasons, check it and if clean wait a couple more and then check. You will learn how often to clean based on your style. All I know for sure is on my previous 1977, the flue was never cleaned by me and the refrigerator still worked great.

Just wondering?

2002 Trail-Lite B Plus 211 S w/5.7 Chevy

Posted By: TonyTiger on 04/26/04 10:14am

One of our friends bought a new 2004 Trail Lite 235S after seeing ours. I had a chance to see it this weekend. Some great improvements:
Out side storage compartment is larger by the addition of a pan that extends it from the floor line downward. This looks like it required the movement farther aft of the battery tray making it more accessible.
The nose of the roof shell is more bulbous, coming out over the windshield. This allowed the TV and front cabinets to move forward and permitted a larger cut out where the driver and passenger get up to go back into the coach. That change also added a cabinet on either side (over the driver and over the passenger.
There is a heat outlet in the bathroom now but the main heater outlet looks like it was eliminated for 3 round outlets (under the dinette, in the bathroom and on the curbside wall.
The refrig is now a two door version with a freezer up and refrig down.
A spare is mounted on the back wall on the driver side. It looks like they added drag bars (exactly like I had made).
Sounds like R-Vision is actually listening to customers,
Two things I didn't like are no fantastic fan in the aisle and they separated the oven and microwave. The mic is now above the range and the oven below, effectively eliminating the cabinet over the range.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 04/26/04 10:16am

I'll be joining you in retirement as of May 28th. Looking forward to reading the maintenance manual and finding all the things I have to do.
Maybe we'll get to cross paths on the road!

Posted By: B-Plus on 04/26/04 11:58am

Hello Tony And Gene:
I have been off of the forum for a little while so I missed a few post.
I was diagnosed in March with Prostate Cancer, I am 57 years old my readings were Psa of 4.2 and a Gleason score of 6 , after doing quite a bit of reading I decided to have the nerve sparing radical prostatectomy surgery which was scheduled for April 15 th. I am home and everything is fine now, they removed 100% of the cancer. Insist that your Doctor do a PSA test at your next checkup !!!!
Funny thing, after I found out I had it I contacted an old friend that I was in VietNam with and he also was just diagnosed with Prostate Cancer a month before I was. He has been in contact with a few of our old Unit Comrades that were in Vietnam back in 1967 and out of 30 of us 9 have come down with Prostate Cancer! COINCIDENCE!
I’m looking forward to some Rving in a few weeks. Tony, your going to love retirement!!. I have looked at the new 235s on a few web sites and they sure do look nice. I think that I would like the extra cut-out in the cab area, but not enough to give up my great running B-plus that I have now, I may not be so lucky on the next one . Mine is running like a top. I did notice one item on the 2004 ‘s that I wasn’t sure about. It looks like it has ducted air and the roof seems to be about 7-8 inches higher ? I don’t want anything higher than I have now.

Posted By: Plusit on 04/26/04 02:38pm


Welcome back and all best wishes for a total and speedy recovery!

Posted By: Gene in NE on 04/26/04 03:09pm

Dario - Welcome back from me as well. I too like our overall height and not too sure about some of the other changes. Our swept up area over the cab might be a little kinder to gas mileage than the larger nose. However, the nose cones they place on enclosed cargo trailers have that nose.

Anyways, great to have you back as a reader and contributor.

2002 Trail-Lite B Plus 211 S w/5.7 Chevy

Posted By: WAGM on 04/28/04 03:37am

Hey Dario, Good to see you are back up, thanks for the tip on taking out the back of the cabinet, I NEVER would have thought of that.The other alternative is a true PITA.

See yall in the funnies, Warren

Posted By: TonyTiger on 04/28/04 08:36am

My friend Dario, welcome back. In today's world, they can treat nearly anything, if you find it EARLY. Sounds like a good thing for you. My father died of prostate cancer in 1969, so I get checked every year and get the PSA test as well. Best of luck to you, I was wondering what happened to you. I landed in Viet Nam Feb 1, 1968, just in time for New Years!. I was USAF and a SAR medic, the helicopter riders.

The new 235S was parked next to me. It looked taller, but the lady didn't remember the overall height. It is definetly squarer though. If you look at our rear corner crash panels they are curved. The new one has straight ones, so they found some space in the upper corners. The slide out is also flat on the street side wall, where the 235 slide and the 225 wall is curved.

Posted By: redeagle313 on 05/01/04 02:27pm

So happy to have found this forum. We are in the process of researching and hopefully purchasing a motorhome. Have been specifically interested in the 2004 Trail-Lite 6L Chevrolet 235S or the 251. We are very new to RVing, rented a rather rattly 29 ft. Tioga last spring and took our daughters (1yo and 6yo) to Mammoth Cave. Even though it was a less than stellar trip, we are seriously thinking about buying one of our very own.

The closest Trail-Lite dealer is about 100 miles from our home...not real convenient if we end up with some repair issues. One of our dilemmas is that the sleeping arrangements in either set up seem less than ideal. The 235 has no place for one to go for "separation", like naps for our little one, or containment, like her crib at home provides. Although the 251 addresses that issue, it doesn't seem like the most economical use of space, or the most comfortable, for that matter. Also, is one model more marketable than the other if we decide after a year that RVing is not what we had in mind?

Has anyone eliminated the gas oven since they currently have the microwave/convection oven? Why would you need both? Have not read any comments about the RVQ grill...any input on that option? Would a Fantastic Fan in the bathroom make sense? The rental unit we used was quite unpleasant and I would like to avoid that situation in our own motorhome. Is the skylight/fan adequate? Has the drawer slide issue been resolved on the 2004?

Enough questions for now. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Tim and Randi

Lucky Man with a Beautiful Wife & Two Darling Daughters
2005 28' Airstream International CCD
2007 Chevrolet Silverado Classic 2500HD Duramax
Equal-i-zer & Prodigy

Posted By: wlbjrincctx1 on 05/01/04 03:01pm


So happy to have found this forum. We are in the process of researching and hopefully purchasing a motorhome. Have been specifically interested in the 2004 Trail-Lite 6L Chevrolet 235S or the 251. We are very new to RVing, rented a rather rattly 29 ft. Tioga last spring and took our daughters (1yo and 6yo) to Mammoth Cave. Even though it was a less than stellar trip, we are seriously thinking about buying one of our very own.

The closest Trail-Lite dealer is about 100 miles from our home...not real convenient if we end up with some repair issues. One of our dilemmas is that the sleeping arrangements in either set up seem less than ideal. The 235 has no place for one to go for "separation", like naps for our little one, or containment, like her crib at home provides. Although the 251 addresses that issue, it doesn't seem like the most economical use of space, or the most comfortable, for that matter. Also, is one model more marketable than the other if we decide after a year that RVing is not what we had in mind?

Has anyone eliminated the gas oven since they currently have the microwave/convection oven? Why would you need both? Have not read any comments about the RVQ grill...any input on that option? Would a Fantastic Fan in the bathroom make sense? The rental unit we used was quite unpleasant and I would like to avoid that situation in our own motorhome. Is the skylight/fan adequate? Has the drawer slide issue been resolved on the 2004?

Enough questions for now. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Tim and Randi

Welcome to the forum.
Has anyone eliminated the gas oven since they currently have the microwave/convection oven? Why would you need both?

You don't get both. You get the micro/convec oven and a gas cooktop. Handy for cooking or heating something up w/o hook ups or starting the gen set.

Has the drawer slide issue been resolved on the 2004?

I resolved it on mine by removing drawer, taking the front off of it and making a door out of it. Gain almost 6" of room that is wasted under the drawer.

Also, is one model more marketable than the other if we decide after a year that RVing is not what we had in mind?

Don't know the answer, but you might check NADA or RV Trader to look at prices of used units.

Good Luck with whatever you buy. (or don't buy)

Posted By: Plusit on 05/02/04 09:14am

My Two Cents:

1. Consider putting the fan in the kitchen area. We put a MaxAir Turbo fan with a thermostat because a) we like to camp on the beach and don't want to run the AC constantly (the fan can pull in cool air or exhaust hot air automatically) and b) it blows out the cooking fumes and heat build up from the stove.

2. WRT the 100 mile dealer issue, it will only be a problem during the first year when the warranties are in effect, but that will only concern the RV systems--the local Chevy truck dealer can service the vehicle. Subsequently, any repairs or additions can be accomplished by a nearby RV dealer.

Posted By: Marcellissimo on 05/14/04 09:04pm

Hi Plusit !
Like you, I have a Trail-Lite B+. I am also considering the single house battery conversion into a double, using the same technique as you did. A few questions then :
- did you keep your previous battery and add a new one or install two new batteries ?
- how long have you been using your new battery set-up ?
- has your house power been really improved ?
- do you believe in this "two parallel battery killing each other" theory ?
- even if both batteries become damn hard to check, do you recommend this doubling scenario the way you did it ?
- any other scenario to propose ?
Txs a lot

Posted By: Plusit on 05/15/04 01:32pm


Hi Plusit !
Like you, I have a Trail-Lite B+. I am also considering the single house battery conversion into a double, using the same technique as you did. A few questions then :
- did you keep your previous battery and add a new one or install two new batteries ?
- how long have you been using your new battery set-up ?
- has your house power been really improved ?
- do you believe in this "two parallel battery killing each other" theory ?
- even if both batteries become damn hard to check, do you recommend this doubling scenario the way you did it ?
- any other scenario to propose ?
Txs a lot

Yes ,Marcellissimo, I kept the old battery and just added the same type. I’ve had it for over a year now and it makes a great difference—a vast improvement. I’m not a believer in that theory and I now have a telescoping shelf for the batteries—which makes checking them easier—however, it was a ***** to install and it’s not as convenient as I had hoped. So bending down the original shelf to accommodate two batteries would get my vote in hindsight. Besides, batteries aren’t that expensive and you can spend too much money, time and effort to save a little money—if you get my gist?

Posted By: B-Plus on 05/17/04 03:42pm

Hello Plusit,
You mentioned that you installed a telescoping battery tray. I have been tinkering with that idea too. You mentioned that it was still not as convenient as you had hoped it to be.
I’m not sure how your works but if it is on the same set-up that I am thinking of putting in here is a suggestion. If you water level is hard to check because of the small access flip
door that we currently have to check our batteries ,than you might want to consider this. The panel ( fiberglass skirt ) below the floor line has no structural value and is used just to cover the area. I am going to cut out about a foot and a half of the panel install a few hinges so that the cut –out piece will flip up on the hinges to have clear access to the batteries .
I just got back from a week in Lancaster PA with the B+. When I get back to feeling 100% I will start on a few more projects. I had been thinking of replacing my wheel Hub caps with a nice set of Stainless Steel wheel liners but could not justify the cost, well I can now I lost one on the road , my wife still thinks I did it on purpose!

Posted By: Plusit on 05/17/04 09:16pm

Hi Dario, your prostate may be giving you a bit of trouble, but your brain is working just fine! I never even considered that solution. And I know what you mean about the wheel covers. We must have the same kind of AR/perfectionist genes.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 05/18/04 07:43am


Last weekend I had the yellow oil can warning light come on, but it went away. When we were leaving the site it came on again and then went off in a few minutes. Both times I checked the oil and the filler rod reads full.

Anyone have an experience like this? What was it?

Posted By: TonyTiger on 05/18/04 07:45am

Losing the wheel cover to get inserts is what I did! But the wife helped, she crunched the wheel cover on a toll plaza curb. Now I have to install them!

Posted By: B-Plus on 05/18/04 11:26am

I really like the looks of the Stainless steel wheel inserts and can’t wait to get them, but I hate having to remove the old wheel covers because I have realized that at toll booths they don’t look like duals so I have gotten away with cheaper tolls. In fact sometimes the attendants get of the booths to actually see the rear duals. The Stainless steel wheel inserts are a dead giveaway that you have duals. I also made sure that I purchased the BOLT ON type inserts!!

Posted By: Gene in NE on 05/18/04 01:06pm

TonyTiger - I have not had that problem on a Chevy, but it sounds a lot like the problem you would get when the sending unit sticks. I would hope that as long as you checked and have sufficient oil and you heard no lifter clatter, you are okay. Easy for me to say as it is not my engine. Sending units are fairly inexpensive - or I should say were inexpensive. There really is only a couple things with oil you are concerned about - enough oil and the pump circulating the oil. If the pump were not circulating the oil, bad things would have already happened.

Dario - Nice idea on cutting the skirt and hinging it up for access to the battery. You made a smart decision to get the bolted on type of stainless steel inserts. Out here in the midwest we do not need to worry about toll roads. The one thing I would like about the inserts is the ability to check the tire pressure.

I've seen the advertisements for the little transmitters that screw on the valve stem and send a signal to the dash displaying low tire pressure. Would like to find someone with a year or so experience with these. One such company is the TireSentry . Always a little afraid that either the battery would quit without my knowing it, or that the device itself would leak small amounts of air.

2002 Trail-Lite 211S w/5.7 Chevy

Posted By: TonyTiger on 05/19/04 08:26am

OK, finally checked the manual. The 'steady on' oil light means that the computer has determined that with the mileage and temperatures experienced it is time to change the oil. Since I just did this with the inspection three months ago I have to assume that:
1. I changed the oil early
2. My nephew didn;t reset the oil analysis (tricky, you need to turn the key on, step on the gas pedal three times, do a little jig) really! read the manual about it.

FLASHING yellow means you are in deep dodo!

Posted By: TonyTiger on 05/24/04 03:52pm

Gene- I couldn't find what the pressure monitors cost on the site, any idea?

We've been out every weekend in April and May and really enjoying the B+. The size is great for running out to dinner or to friend's houses after the days Dog Show. I finally solved the leak problem in the forward dinnette storage area. The 'rough' cut for the hatch door (sometimes an inch away from the shape of the hatch) leaked. The caulk looked okay but under water testing it leaked slowly. A rainy day was more than enough to saturate the carpet. I've tried mildew remover (bleached the carpet but it is in the storage box) and tryed some Husky Bio Forms (a protein eater that is used commercially to remove odors in old folks homes). Any other ideas on killing mildew?

Posted By: Gene in NE on 05/25/04 01:52pm

TonyTiger - I just did a search in this forum looking for Remote Tire Pressure the last 6 months in the "Tech Issues" and found some discussion on the Tire Sentry and another type called "SmarTire". I learned of the Tire Sentry in the Consumer Reports and in the Highways magazine of Good Sams. There is some debate on how much they cost ranging from $200 to $625. I do not know if the difference is between cars and 18 wheelers. As I recall you paid $xx for the receiver with digital display and then $xx for each individual wheel transmitter with a certain pressure range. Likely $XX for individual wheel transmitter with a higher pressure range. Sometimes price is of little consequence when you ruin a tire or tear up some fiberglass panels from an overheated tire that blows out. Really want to hear from several who have them and hear comments on whether they work like intended.

Spent the past week-end in Western Illinois and we got a little water on the carpet right behind the drivers seat. We sat in a driving rain with the slide pulled in. It appears as though the water runs off the roof and rolls into the top seal of the slide. If the slide is not sucked all the way in a little water runs inside the home. Seems like a simple "rain gutter" like the older cars would have been nice at the edge of the rubber roof. Wish I had an answer to your question on mildew.

We also like our Class B, made it easy for driving around town looking at Antique shops.

2002 Trail-Lite 211S w/5.7 Chevy

Posted By: Luap on 05/26/04 07:32am

We have had our motorhome for almost a year and love it. One little problem. Where do you store a sewer hose longer than the midget they provide. The built-in storage tube can not handle anything longer. Thought about a plastic storage tube (64") which handles hose and fittings, but the only place to mount it is on the bumper. Any suggestions??????????

Paul & Gail
2004 Trail-lite 213 chevy.

Posted By: AggieDad on 05/26/04 11:15am


You are right. The only hose that fits in that silly short tube is a 10' very thin (really cheap junk) hose.

We keep our hose (complete with end fittings) coiled in a 5 gallon plastic pail. With the lid snapped on securely, it makes for a nice mess-free storage container.

Over on the R-Vision Owners Website there is an article by someone who mounted a storage tube under the bed with an access door in the outside wall. It looks really slick, and I am considering this mod for my rig.

I hope this helps.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 05/27/04 08:08am

Luap and AggieDad - Check the website "Click Here" where Gary Swanson posted his modifications on 09/23/03 in this forum. Pictures 2 and 5 show how he installed another storage location for his sewer hose. Works for the 211S, don't know if the space is there for the other models.

2002 Trail-Lite 211S w/5.7 Chevy

Posted By: AggieDad on 05/27/04 09:35am

Howdy Gene!

Thanks for the link. I took a look at the photos. Very interesting!

Posted By: Marcellissimo on 05/27/04 02:31pm

Indeed, this mini-built-in-storage-tube for our sewer hose is not the idea of a Trait-Lite genius who has camped a lot!!! I measured it : it is exactly 1 foot long ! They could at least have added a foot : there was space for that.
To correct this stupidity, I cut the end of the foot-long tube, bought myself at Home Depot a 6 foot-long flexible aluminum tube (4 inch type) used for the standard clothes dryers. I slipped it gently over the midget tube, taped it firmly and had the rest of the tube make a natural curve towards and along the B+ chassis. Before fixing the whole thing and in order to close the new tube, I taped also the short vinyl piece (previously cut) at the end of the aluminum tube. Last precaution, I punctured the tube a few times to allow the inevitable water to leak out but I am not sure this is necessary. The addition holds now solidly in place with a few plastic attachments and can now receive a 20 foot hose sold at Wal-Mart... instead of the 6 foot one my dealer had equipped our rig (model 251) with!
And it has worked well since then.

Posted By: Luap on 06/01/04 06:37am

Problem Solved for now. I bought a EZ sewer hose carrier (64") and attached it to the rear bumper with bungee cords. It holds the hose and fittings. Can't wait to get on thr road. Off to a slow start this rear. Usually have spent at least one weekend away by now, but we have been moving into a new house which has taken up most of our time.
Thanks for the responses....Hope you all have a safe and happy camping season.

Paul & Gail
2004 Trail-lite 213 Chevy 6.0

Posted By: wacushing on 06/07/04 03:26pm

To All
There is a forum at which is not limited to Good Sam people, but does strictly relate to R-vision people. They must just be starting and are desperate for some good Motorized RV input. They have mostly trailer related info, which is very good, if you are that type user. With all the info necessary to keep Trail Lites in shape thought people here could help. There is an inquiry there now for some tips on the 235S, we have a 211S so do not feel qualified to respond, anyone interested go for it! Thanks!

Posted By: WAGM on 06/15/04 10:19pm

This past week we updated our dumping situation by adding two electric dump valves to go with the macerator pump, NOW dumping will be a breeze. Eventually plan on mounting the pump to the valve so all that will have to be done is screw on the 3/4 inch hose and push a botton. Yhooweeee[emoticon]

See yall in the funnies, Warren

Posted By: Gene in NE on 06/16/04 11:41am

WAGM - I like your idea. What brand or where did you buy your electric dump valves? Have been looking for some on the internet to order and could not find anything. It sounds like a good idea when camped with full hookups to be able to fill the black water tank and then hit the switch to dump versus going outside and trying to get to the manual valve.

2002 Trail-Lite 211S w/5.7 Chevy

Posted By: WAGM on 06/16/04 02:31pm

Hey Gene, I got them at CW on sale for $35.98, about half price!! Called Drain Master, someone on the forum or irv2 said they were a piece of junk but as you read the installation was junk. They have a 3 year warranty.
See yall in the funnies, Warren

Posted By: TonyTiger on 06/21/04 04:37pm

OK, you know that the 2003 235S and most other B+ models have only a VHS Video Cassette Player. Circuit City had a non progressive scan DVD player for sale for $39. It is a slimline only 13 1/2 inches wide and less deep than the existing VHS player. I was able to mount it over the VHS player and under the switcher box. I replaced the RF cables with a longer set and used a modulator to convert the L and R audio and the video RCA connectors to an RF cable that could be used as the Aux input to the TV.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 07/06/04 02:56pm

WAGM - Thanks for the information. Well, I tried to get a couple of the electric drain valves from CW - hoping they were still on sale. They told me that they no longer offer them in the catalog. Connected me to parts and the gentlemen there told me he can still get them, but they have gone up in price to $109+ each cause they now have a red light on the switch to let you know the valve is open. Measured my existing valves and found one to be 2" from the gray water tank and 3" from the black water tank. The 2" would require some adapter kit. Really did not need the light to tell me I had just opened the valve - did not plan on leaving it open for an extended time. It would have saved me from going outdoors to activate the valve when connected with full hookups. Unless I hear of a better deal, I don't feel like paying close to $250 for something that I'll not use that much.

2002 Trail Lite 211S w/5.7 Chevy

Posted By: JAGM on 07/07/04 09:08am

Thought other Trail-Lite owners would like to know: We just returned from a long trip to the Canadian Maritime provinces. We had about 10 couples ask us about our MH, how we liked it, etc. Some were people moving up and some were people with a huge MH, wanting to downsize. We even had one person offer to buy it. Some people were Canadian, but many were from the states. People with other Trail-Lites liked our layout and full bathroom with the little tub. Anyway, we felt very good about the resale possibilities. We drove 5000 miles, had a great trip, and the Trail-Lite performed like a dream. We really do love this vehicle. Judy Mully, 2003 B+ Trail-Lite, Ford V-10, model 225.

Posted By: backwoodsman on 07/07/04 04:10pm

JAJM, Try the forum on r-vision camping. This is a forum for Trail~Lite Trailers & Motorhomes. There are several B+ owners posting there.


Posted By: Gene in NE on 07/23/04 01:35pm

backwoodsman - Did go to the website you mentioned and found a couple new forum names of Trail-Lite B+ owners. I had some time to waste the other day and assembled a list of 38 different contributors to this forum and the one mentioned by you.

Have not heard from several for quite some time. Guess that means "no complaints or questions" that have not already been discussed. Or...the owners have gotten tired, or everyone is out enjoying their unit.

I like to think that we are all out enjoying. We certainly have enjoyed ours the last 8,000 miles.

Trail-Lite 211S w/5.7 Chevy

Posted By: Class B Buddy on 07/24/04 03:01pm

Please give me any info on trail lite b+, Thanks

New, Looking for right Rv for two.

Posted By: ARcruiser on 07/24/04 03:40pm

Class B Buddy, I have looked at all 6 of your posts over the last 9 months and you seem to always ask the same generalized question.

After reading all 67 pages of this thread, as I am sure you did, what specific questions do you have?

Posted By: TonyTiger on 08/10/04 03:46pm

My 235S has still had a leak somewhere on the curb side. It shows up as a damp carpet in the forward storage box under the rear facing dinette section.
So far I have:
caulked the storage door outside
caulked the roof seam
caulked the window next to the dinette
caulked the awning connection to the body
caulked the TV aerial entrance 9caulked too much it stopped turning and had to cut a new groove for the antenna to rotate)

the wetness is pretty bad and on really bad days extends to the carpet between the seats.
Any ideas?

Posted By: AJRV on 08/10/04 08:39pm

Have you checked all water lines? Just a thought. We had one leak that traveled down and around. It was a water line.

Posted By: WAGM on 08/10/04 10:03pm

Hey TonyTiger, We had the same problem in the same location, the water heater is about 18 inches back of that booth storage,which has the airconditioner evaporator in it and the top connection on the heater was leaking (looked to be for a long time). Hope you find your problem soon.

See yall in the funnies, Warren

Posted By: Chrisbo on 08/11/04 01:36am

We are considering the Trail Lite B+, too. I couldn't find the 211 model, is that new for 2005? Does it have the back door? I saw that they have the rubber roof. Is there any maintenance problems with them? I always see the 'black streak' problem when people are talking about them. Any options that you have or should have gotten? We have a local deal, so warranty shouldn't be a problem. Do you have the slide? What is the worse mileage you get?

Posted By: backwoodsman on 08/11/04 09:58am

Chrisbo, I think the 211 was a 2003 model. It did not come with a slide. In 2004 the 235S was a slide model with side door. The 236S has a rear door.
There have been many improvments on the 2004 & 2005 models.
We have a 2004 236S and are very pleased with it.
The rubber roof is definately the way to go. Have owned two motorhomes prior to the 236S with rubber roofs with no problems.
If you should cut or tear it an EPDM patch kit is inexpensive and very easy to use.

Posted By: Chrisbo on 08/11/04 02:09pm

So confused on the rubber roof issue. Hubby isn't good at maintenance, is it something we have to take REALLY good care of? With the 110 degree weather in Vegas and in the eliments, it doesn't sound like it would do well here. Any thoughts?

Posted By: Gene in NE on 08/11/04 02:18pm

Chrisbo - As "backwoodsman" pointed out the 211 is an older floor plan that has a rear door. The older 210, 212 and now the 214 have the rear entry door on the shorter units (I believe). No problems with the rubber roof so far. An older Coachman, I had, with a metal seamed roof always needed a little tar patching.

TonyTiger - Since you have a different model than mine, I can only guess what you may have under that seat. In my unit, I have the fresh water tank under the rearward facing dinette seat. My dinette is also behind the passenger seat like yours. One of the things that we had the dealer fix before we drove off his lot was the window by the dinette. We were fortunate that it was raining rather hard while we were sitting in the unit outside his dealership. We noticed a slight trickle of water running down the wall under the window. They completely removed the window, recaulked the opening and re-installed. Have not had a drop of water since. As others have mentioned, other things can cause water leaks besides rain - loose water connections. Does yours only leak when it rains? Hope you find the cause.

2002 Trail-Lite 211S w/5.7 Chevy

Posted By: Reno3 on 08/11/04 04:43pm

Quite interested that there's such a long list of posts re The Trail LIte. We just bought one in May as a 2nd MH for short trips and weekends. We like to camp in the Adirondacks and most DEC campgrounds are too small to get the Endeavor into, so we've been looking for a smaller unit. This is an '03, 22' with the rear door and a manual slideout. It's on a '02 Chevy chasis one ton. Only problems we've had so far is both kitchen and bathroom faucets leaked but both have been replaced so hopefully every thing is now ok. We bought it used with less than 5000 miles on it. It looked new, wonder if first owners ever used it. So far its been avg between 11 and 12 mpg (depending on whether we towed the car or not. We've been having so much fun with it that the Endeavor has sat in our yard all summer. We're going to Maine to a rally in Sept and are seriously thinking about taking the B+ rather than the Endeavor. It drives like a car and the ride is quite decent also. Hope to enjoy it for many years.

Dick & Judy
'05 Montana Mountaneer TT 35'
'03 Trail Lite 211 S
'05 Saturn Vue Toad
1 Bassett Hound - Beauregard

Posted By: Chrisbo on 08/11/04 05:10pm

So much good info from owners, thanks all. It's good that everyone is honest about the pros and cons on the Trail Lite. Surprisingly less problems than the more expensive lines. There are always cons, haven't found one yet that is perfect. It seems like more have the Chev Chassis than the Ford. If we can't find a good diesel in a Class C, we really would prefer the Chevy, from the sounds of it, gets better MPG than the Ford, TRUE? Noticed a difference in the size of the gas tank. I have the 2004 booklet, so the model line starts with 213 and the 214 have the back door. Any benefits to either side or back door? Do the dinnett and couch go into one bed? We really wanted a permanent bed, but looks like if we want to go small, we will have to compromise. Thanks again for any input. We've been leaked on in our camper and our Class A, don't understand why they can't make it waterproof.

Posted By: lone-ranger on 08/12/04 08:35pm

There seems to be a lot of trail-lites out there and I'm wondering what changes you have made to your unit to make it more liveable? I have so far : changed the way the shower curtain was mounted, installed some drawers in the cabnets, blocked out the back window,removed the dinette and installed two comfortable chairs and have started to use the areas under the bed for storage. I have had no trouble with the unit and I would buy another one.

Keith C.
EMCM (SS), Retired
2002 Trail-lite 251

Posted By: wragans on 08/13/04 01:32pm

Chrisbo, The rubber roof is a one piece membrane. When we went through the factory, in Warsaw, IN, They told us to clean the roof with liquid Ivory soap and warm water, once a year, after allowing the roof to dry, remove the caulking and re-caulk with rubber roof calk. This is a special caulk for RV ruber roofs, USE ONLY THIS SPECIAL CAULK.
The job is not complacated and the old caulk is easy to remove. The first time (when the unit was two years old) I saw a few spots that were starting to seperate from the ruber roof, and could have caused a leak.
We have had our 211 in Alaska twice, Florida three times and all of the western and midwestern states. With 45000 and not so much as a spark plug replaced we are very happy with our B+.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 08/13/04 02:28pm

Chrisbo - I was told by the dealer that the models 210, 211, 212, 213 and 214 without the slide would allow the dinette and jackknife couch to touch. Since I have the slide version, they do not touch even when the slide is in. It does create a minor problem as each location is approximately 39" wide - not wide enough for two. However, we would not want to be without our slide - makes a big difference on walking around space when camped.

On gas mileage, I think there are too many variables to claim Ford or Chevy get better mileage. Both seem capable of getting between 10 and 14 depending on driving style (speed and idling), towing, wind, loaded weight etc.

We like the rear entry door as the unit does not rock when someone enters or exits. Easier to get into the unit from a standard parking space at the grocery store. I pull a motorcycle trailer and it is easier to see if it is following correctly. I am also able to back it into parking spots for unloading easier with the rear door visibility. These are very minor issues.

lone-ranger - I believe Gary Swanson wins on the numerous significant changes he made. See his posting of 09/23/03 on this website:

2002 Trail-Lite 211S w/5.7 Chevy

Posted By: Chrisbo on 08/13/04 05:08pm

Thanks for the info, that is something to take in consideration. Most of the other makers that had the rubber roofs have changed, I was hoping Trail lite would, too. But, it's probably like caulking in our Class A. Anytime there is something on the roof like an air conditioner, there is going to be a leak if your not cautious about caulking.

Posted By: Chrisbo on 08/13/04 05:13pm

Thanks Gene, also great info. It's so nice to be able to do my homework on this before we buy. When we got our Class A, just loved it, knew nothing about it and was sorry we didnt' do our homework. It was a Champion and orphaned, so couldn't get any help when another company in Canada took it over. The most problems we've had are the electrical gremlins, can't seem to cure them. BUT, the cummings diesel is great, I think it will run forever, have had very little mantenance on it, I wish we could get one in a small unit. We are still leaning toward the Trail lite, especially comparing prices. Really like the back door, visibility is a big concern for hubby. What did anyone pay for theirs? The place here has them for over $50,000, but haven't even tried to bargain yet.

Posted By: sladetrading on 08/13/04 06:55pm

Dan, After reading 12 pages of comments on the Trail-Lite B+ I am sitting here biting my lip so I must respond. We purchased our 211 (no slide) new in June of 2002. 8.1L chevy engine. No on pushes me up those mountains. Now have 31,000 miles on it and I must say that next to my wife and my MacIntosh computer, I love my B+ better than anything in the whole world. Over the first 22,000 I averaged 12.6 MPG driving under all conditions-80MPH through Wisconsin and Minnesota and crossing the Rockies at Sheridan. Two weeks in the Smokey Mountains, two weeks in Florida, Branson Missouri,etc. The engine has used no oil at all. I change oil every 4,000 even though Chevy says 8,000. Rode a little rough at first with recommended 65psi front and rear but I now run 52 all around and check presure often. Have had to make a few adjustments and tighten some screws at times but that is normal with most any RV. I won't say that Trail-Lite makes the finest RV in the world but I believe that it is an exceptional value for the money. We use it as an RV, a truck, and a vehicle for transportation at times. Even load it up with junk to take to the local flea market. Kids borrow it to take grandchildren "camping". ENOUGH.

Frank & Mary Jane
2002 R-Vision Trail Lite B+
Chevy 8.1L

Posted By: cheeze1 on 08/13/04 07:01pm

Hi Chrisbo, Its been awhile since I was on this forum, dunno why, I guess I never subscribed. I have been told by various people to expect 15-25% off the list price of a T/L. (The 25% was from a non T/L dealer who told me they are low end)
Worldwide RV used to give a quote online, and the best discount I was quoted was 22%. When I visited a T/L dealer yesterday, he gave me a quick ballpark figure of mid 40's without a fight, for one of the 3 smaller units.

Posted By: lone-ranger on 08/13/04 10:35pm

Gene. Looks like I lost a contest that I didn't know I was even in. Don't you just hate it when that happens?

I really enjoy my Trail-lite. I had two fifth wheels before getting it and it is really a joy to travel in. Last year I went to Seattle by way of Key West and Boston. No problems. I get a pretty steady 10mpg, believe this is caused by the problem of my heavy right foot. Plan on leaving the Memphis area on Sept 7 and returning home in early Nov.

Posted By: J & W on 08/14/04 07:23am

Slade - I noted your comment about running tires at 65 psi and now you run them at 52 psi. Did you mean 62 psi? Anyone else please comment about your tire pressure on the Load Range D tires that came with the unit. There is a constant source of different info out there about tire pressure and would like some good information from trail-lite owners. Thanks

Posted By: cheeze1 on 08/14/04 05:42pm

Re: Tires, I read once that Born Free uses a special tire that does not require a spare. Anyone familiar with that?

Posted By: sladetrading on 08/15/04 01:28pm

Daniel C--Nope, I meant 52 PSI. All of the research I have done gives me no definite information on MIN tire pressure. Everyone says run recommended pressure but that pressure on this unit with the General 550 tires will beat everything to death.
I have tried everywhere I know of to get a number for minimum pressure. They say that most tire failures on these rigs are due to underinflation, but what exactly is underinflation. SOOOOO I will run 52 psi until I can get some definite answers or until some type of tire failure occurs,

Posted By: cheeze1 on 08/15/04 05:25pm

Dario, did you hook them up paralell or series?

Posted By: B-Plus on 08/15/04 09:19pm

I added another 12 volt battery and 12 volt batteries have to be wired in parallel. when going to the 6 volters, you must wire pairs of them in series to produce the needed 12 volts.
I think that was what you were asking me Chas?

Posted By: cheeze1 on 08/16/04 07:30am

Battery Tray thread:
As I get closer to actually believing I will be joining all the nice people here on this forum, the more I want to put in my 2 cents and try to help where I can.
Not knowing what the battery compartment looks like is a handicap for me, but coming from a family of mechanically gifted people is a help.
Is there anything about the Kwikee or other "RV specific" slide out battery trays that would make them the only possible alternative? What I am thinking about are the myriad types of slide brackets available for the cabinet industry that are easily capable of holding a large TV. Is corrosion a problem?? I am picturing a tray exactly the size of the present one, mounted on slides that attach to the one already in the truck. The new tray could be made of a variety of materials, possibly a heavy plastic? I would not want metal because of the impending corrosion. I even have a scrap of Corian that could work.
What do those interested in a second battery think?
(btw, this is not an advertisement!!)
Chas, the WANNA-B+

Posted By: cheeze1 on 08/16/04 07:32am

Dario, that is exactly what I was asking. Now what about the problem of checking them? Also, did you make up your own cables? I'm sure we don't need the full length, right?

Posted By: cheeze1 on 08/16/04 07:43am

Quothe Dario:"I am going to cut out about a foot and a half of the panel install a few hinges so that the cut –out piece will flip up on the hinges to have clear access to the batteries .
I had been thinking of replacing my wheel Hub caps with a nice set of Stainless Steel wheel liners but could not justify the cost, well I can now I lost one on the road "

Dario, by making that cutout, will you be able to see over the tops of the batteries well enough to check the level?

What is the difference between the hub caps and wheel liners? They look the same to me, tho' I might not know what I'm looking at.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 08/16/04 07:52am

Regarding sewer hose storage:
Please excuse me if this has been answered, but I am catching up on months of forum!
I have seen some people mounting PVC pipe somewhere under the vehicle with a removable cap at one end for sewer hose storage. Depending on where it's mounted, one could have a very large hose stored there.
Chas, the Wanna-B+

Posted By: cheeze1 on 08/16/04 08:20am

Chrisbo, regarding the permanent bed, the Carri-Go by Dynamax has a permanent bed in a couple of their smaller models. However, the trade off is a wet bath. For us, it's no thanks, but others might find it ok.

Posted By: B-Plus on 08/16/04 01:26pm

Cheeze1 ( Hello Chas) I never got a chance to do the cut-out before I got sick , hopefully I will still get to do it. I was able to purchase a set of cables that were just about the right length so I went with them.
My hub caps are attached with spring like clips that catch on the rim of the wheel and would make all sorts of squeaking noises when moving .They were prone to falling off so I lost one ( thank God ) and that gave me the opportunity to buy Stainless wheel liners. The wheel liners ( at least the good ones ) actually bolt under the wheel lugs so they will never come off by hitting a pot hole. Have you ever seen the pile of hub caps on the side of the George Washington Bridge, right before you hit that pot hole that made all of your draws open up and spill the contents all over the RV and as a final insult you discover your $40.00 hub cap was added to the collection there. I avoid that Bridge altogether now. The only regret I have about the wheel liners – versus - the hub caps are at the toll booths, they had a hard time telling if I had duals or not with the hub caps, now with the liners they can tell at a glance.
I also added the tube with the screw cap to carry an extra hose, I went with a 6’ tube but I could have went to 10’ because I had room under my RV.
Wet bath –versus – dry bath , to keep an RV to a size like I have 22.5 ‘ you have to give up something to get something else. My wife was pretty flexible on almost everything I wanted, but when it came to the Wet bath –versus – dry bath it was a no issue with her, dry bath or nothing!!! Some people enjoy public bath-houses, so an RV set up is not important to them, my wife is one that does not , before our RV, public bathrooms were a big issue for her. For a guy, if the public bathrooms were that bad you could always stand back a few more feet!

Posted By: cheeze1 on 08/16/04 04:47pm

That is a list of truisms!!
I heard something about the lugnuts working loose more easily with the liners. Is that true?
I've seen that pothole on the GW. It must have a name of some kind, don't you think?
I find that many wet baths are just too small no matter what, so I am happy with the dry bath too. I could use public baths, but prefer my own also.
How many exhaust fans do you have? I was wondering if it's worth having 2 Fantastic fans instead of just the one that most rigs come with. Since I have the 2 pups, I will be leaving them in there at times, and would like them to have as much ventilation as possible.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 08/24/04 07:52am

Chrisbo - You had a question back on 8/13/04 about what price is fair to pay. If you have read this entire thread, you will find a couple of mentions of buying new small Trail-Lites for around $40,000. Those were 2002 and had sticker prices around $57,000. I still think the Trail-Lite is the best value for the money. The appliances are the same as the rest in this size. The woodwork is solid (maybe a little thin in spots) and looks good. Most have not had any real problems.

Here is a website that appears way out of date, however, I used it when I bought mine. - provides some data on construction and features.

2002 Trail-Lite 211S w/5.7 Chevy

Posted By: cheeze1 on 08/26/04 06:49am

When I visited Sunbird RV in Lakewood, NJ, they had a new Dutchmen 21' Dorado on a Chevy Chassis. It had manual windows. Does everyone else with the Chevy have the same?

Posted By: Gene in NE on 08/26/04 07:41am

cheeze1 - Don't know about other brands, however, my RVision has a very well equipped cab. (i.e. power steering, power locks, power windows, power brakes, cruise control, tilt wheel, map lights, factory dash air conditioning, AM-FM stereo radio w/CD, door pockets, cup holders, carpeted etc.) I have added a rear view mirror which displays outdoor temperature and compass. I have driven a well equipped 1 ton dually pickup and the feel is approximately the same. The bucket seats are very comfortable (do not swivel).

* This post was edited 09/02/04 08:02am by Gene in NE *

2002 Trail-Lite Model 211-S w/5.7 Chevy (click View Profile)

Posted By: cheeze1 on 08/26/04 07:49am

SEE?! Thats the trouble! Every time I doubt my feelings for RVision, someone comes along and makes me want one more!!!
Thanks!!! [emoticon]
Color me: "champing at the bit"

Posted By: Gene in NE on 09/09/04 08:56am

cheeze1 - It's time to buy a B+ and start enjoying. the interim, rent one. Rentals are not cheap, but you would not wind up owning something you are unhappy with. Noticed in that RVAmerica had a used rental for sale some time back. So...they must be available to rent someplace.

backwoodsman - I'm still waiting for some description of how you modified your jacknife couch.

Dario - How do you like your wheel liners? Are the stainless as shiney as chrome? Approximate cost?

Posted By: B-Plus on 09/09/04 10:26am

Hello Gene!
I love my new SS Simulators, best thing is that they are " bolt on "
so I don't have to worry every time I hit a pot hole . Plus they don't squeek like the wheel liners did. I purchased them on e-bay for $139.95 the name brand is Pacific Dualies and their Web site sells them for $250.000. I talked to the guy on the phone one day ( real nice guy ) for about a hour about our project cars. Funny thing for you is that he lives in Waverly NE so you are probably close enough to drive there and pick them up. His name is Arlan and his e-mail address is .
Chas, my 2003 Chev has power everything, except seats, which in fact I find very comfortable on long trips. 6 way power seats would be a big PLUS if they had them.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 09/09/04 03:23pm

Gene, you are so right! We are going to the Harrisburg show saturday and we are very excited. We thought a lot about rental, but I would rather put the money towards a purchase.
Anyone have any 'good' questions I should ask the mfr. reps at the show?
Dario, those wheel liners were the price for the set?

Posted By: B-Plus on 09/09/04 03:50pm

Chas, that was for the set of "4" no bidding, that was the "buy now" price. I know that he does a very good business and sells quite a few sets on e-bay ,so it was not a one shot deal, those were his everyday prices. Not a bad price at all for BOLT ONS !!! They do sell some that are only clip ons but then you have the same worry about them flying off when you hit a pot hole.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 09/09/04 05:19pm

Dario, from what I have seen, that is a good price. I just checked ebay and found others from Sarasota. Did you check those as well? There seems to be a limit as to which trucks they will fit.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 09/10/04 07:25am

Dario, couple other things.
Did you ever add the second battery to the coach?
Why did you chose the 225 over similar model/length TL'S?

Posted By: cheeze1 on 09/10/04 07:27am

Does anyone know if Trail Lite has solved the leaking problem with the slideouts?

Posted By: backwoodsman on 09/10/04 04:02pm

Gene in NE, Sorry I haven't taken time to answer you . No Pictures yet so I will try to tell you how I solved our problem.
first removed the kick panel under the couch. Then our good dealer supplied me with a piece of 4" x 12" heavy foam rubber the length of the couch. Also he ordered matching upholstry material from the factory for me.
I cut a piece of 3/4" plywood for the backing & covered it with the foam & material. (easy job)
Then I made three supports out of 1"x1" heavy wall pipe for holding up the extension. The supports I Hinged a leg on to reach the floor & a cut out notch to fit the existing 1x1" rail under the couch.
When the supports are in place the 12" extension sets on them.
I had to build up under them to match the height of the seat cushion.
I removed the "hooks" that fastened the original kick panel & re attached them to the back of new Padded extension.
When the couch is in the up position the ext. fits nicely under the front & does not interfere with the slide out operation.
I also installed a hinged "table" 6" by the length of bed & extension on the slide out trim that I fold down when in the bed position. This becomes an extension for a pillow when we are sleeping. (no padding needed under the pillows)
I hope this explains somewhat of how I did it..
We are leaving Sept. 13 on an extendet trip thru South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Arivona, New Mexico & back to Texas.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 09/14/04 08:23am

backwoodsman - I now have a general idea on what you did for your couch extension. Pictures would sure help when you get time. We just got back from a short trip to Clear Lake, Iowa. Hope you enjoy your excursion.

cheeze1 - I don't think the Trail Lite's had a leaking problem with the slideouts. Out of over 40 owners that have commented in this forum, I believe 1 or 2 may have mentioned the need to fix or adjust the seal. Ours leaked once when we had the slide out and the unit tilted so that the rain was forced to run off the top of the slide toward the seal - my fault. Some of those problems can be easily fixed by paying attention how I park during a rainstorm.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 09/18/04 10:42am

Sure hope there are people still monitoring this thread!!
Has anyone had any structural or other problems with their T/L cabinets? What about under coach storage areas? Are there enough?

Posted By: Reno3 on 09/18/04 01:31pm

Cheeze1 There's never enough storage area no matter how big a rig you have. You learn to compromise lol.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 09/23/04 08:00am

I have had to replace the brackets for the slides on my large cabinet in the 235S. I also had to restaple the facing to the frame. Several have used wood blocks in the corners to reinforce the cabinet. You might find that earlier in this thread (in the page 20-35 range).

Slide out leakage. I found a leak that I thought was on the curb side of the 235S, showing up in the storage box under the dinette. This was the result of a driver side leak at the slide draining on the slight grade that I park on the the curb side. Upon inspection there is a roof gutter spout (curved side wall model only, mine is a 2003) that drains right onto the forward seam of the slide. I replace that spout with a new one that discharges more forward and further out. I'll let you know if it works.
I also found a leak in the skylight in the bath. The curb side edge of the skylight lifted up and cracked the roof lapping allowing water to enter.
The new 2004 235S has flat side walls and no spout so that should not be a problem at the slide.

Posted By: z..geo on 09/29/04 06:34am

Off your topic: Sorry im new at MH and the computin stuff, I posted a new topic but wanted to be here as im real interested in the R-Vision, still checkin models. My interest lies in building a (i call it FL room) on the rear extending from the hitch to carry my (toad) a motorcycle. Id like to know something about permissable weights. Im leaning toward the smaller of the Visions. thanks........z


Posted By: Gene in NE on 09/29/04 11:42am

z..geo - Good question. First thing to consider is the weight ratings. According to the RVision brochures, the Chevy chassis all have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 12,300 lbs and the Ford chassis have a GVWR of 10,700 lbs. This is true for all models. Then there is a front axle rating (GAWR) and a rear axle rating. The tow hitch is rated at 5,000 lbs with a tongue weight of 500 lbs. These are all maximum ratings and none should be exceeded - however, most Class C's exceed these maximums. Not a good thing, just fact. When a unit is produced it has an unloaded weight (will be different by the different models) and then the customer adds options (i.e. awnings, air conditioners, heaters, ladders, generators, etc.) which will affect the shipped weight. Then the owner adds personal belongings, supplies, people, gasoline, propane and water. This will now give you the curb weight. The additions all vary based on the wishes of the owner. The only way to really answer your question is to get the curb weight of the unit you are looking at (good guess on what you will add) and then subtract from the maximums to see how much and where you can carry the weight of a motorcycle.

I too prefer to have a motorcyle as my TOAD. I have chosen to haul on a light weight trailer. My road bike weighs around 600 lbs and I just felt it would be too much for the hitch even if re-inforced. The trailer is not even noticed when being TOWED.

As to being in the correct topic, It seems like anything about a B+ should fit this topic as that is the title. I am guilty of answering and asking a lot of different things in this general topic.

Posted By: Ress on 09/29/04 05:16pm

Gene we just bought a new 05 B+211 and I am intrested in the mirror with the temp and compass you installed on your MH, could you please tell me where you bought it and info on the installation.


Posted By: z..geo on 09/29/04 07:43pm

Gene, HI, thank you....youve given me the published weights that ive seen too, data i cannot find is the empty weight of each vehicle.It would fit into my equasion of wt X distance
x time +HP and i think that a big part of the fuel economy which i am searching for in a "gas" unit.
And as for the bike: i havnt rode in a few but am looking for a street legal below 300 lbs. Im wanting to toad (?) it off a metal rack off the rear. Ive a mini van and just came thru Boniville UT last week. they were runnin on the flats.........i saw a class record holder on a bike that was goin for 300!! his record was 299 and i never heard the results. The meet got winded out....ty

Posted By: Gene in NE on 09/30/04 01:00pm

Ress - There is a customizer here in Nebraska that installs after market products like air conditioners, running boards, wind deflectors, grille guards etc. Went to the Chevy dealer first and they would install the different rear view mirror for around $350. These mirrors are optional on certain SUV's, Pickup's etc. Went to Jones Automotive here in Nebraska and had the swap done for $299. A little pricey, but once you have one - you really learn to like it. Many times am running the air conditioner un-necessarily or need to slow down as the wet highway is approaching freezing conditions. Usually can keep my directions straight until the sun goes down and I am on winding roads in a mountain valley. Then a compass is very handy.

You could do the install yourself and order the mirror from the Chevy dealer or even JC Whitney.

Posted By: Bordercollie on 09/30/04 03:15pm

My folks, now camping in heaven, used to have a Dodge van and a Jayco TT in the early sixties as their camping rig. We drove a 72 Dodge Maxi-Van Family Wagon bubble top conversion since new for over 30 years. It was the most useful and overall fun vehicle we have ever owned mainly because it could be adapted for hauling,transportation, local/kid events, airshows, etc easily parking anywhere. It became my wife's get-around after we bought a 79 Delta 23 footer in 1990.

Posted By: PSW on 09/30/04 05:36pm


I had a Delta about the same vintage years ago. Does yours have those "beams" in the coach interior and the artificial stained glass lights? It was quite a RV and we really enjoyed it for years and traded it on a Horizon Class B in the mid 80s. I still think about that interior!


Posted By: Wallnut_61 on 10/05/04 12:20pm

My thanks to all the great posts. It took me two days to go through them all. My wife and I have looked at some units and are leaning heavily toward a T/L 251 on the Chevy chassis. Anyone out there have this unit? Any specific problems with this unit not otherwise mentioned. Thanks to posts, I see numerous leak problems with slides. We like having the permanent bed and a dry bath. Checked the website at Campers Factory Direct and their price appears about $5K below what we we quoted here in OK City.

Posted By: agoaliemom on 10/05/04 08:32pm

No experience with that model, but do check the dealer in Batavia, OH. He was cheaper than any place I tried in the entire U.S. Maybe you already did check there, but people came from Alaska, Florida, California and other places to buy their units from him.

I flew into Cincinnati and they were waiting to pick me up at the airport. They said they do that all the time.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 10/06/04 07:32am

Wild_Weasel - I also went through all the pages of this thread and prepared a tabulation of those that confessed to owning a Trail-Lite (48 names). I also noted, when available, the model the poster mentioned. I hope I don't reveal more than what I should. Here are the "Message Authors" that had or have the model 251: AggieDad, Br-, ehearn, lone-ranger, Marcellissimo and mpatrick2.

Some of these names may have posted in other threads within the last 6 months. You should be able to do a search for these names (spelling is important) and see if they have made pertinent comments. Some have permitted private messages. Happy hunting.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 10/06/04 07:56am

Gene, you are a forumstatistician!! What genius!!
I find your statistics very helpful.
I guess you have seen I'm getting closer to a purchase. Carri-Go and FourWinds this saturday, I will update everyone!!

Posted By: cheeze1 on 10/11/04 12:36am

Hello group!
We are VERY close to a deal! It will be a T/L 213, Chevy Chassis, and most of the bells and whistles. Holman's prices in Ohio(thanks goaliemom) were a big help in establishing a 'base' price.
As I mentioned a few posts ago, we went to Crestwood, and we were both too cramped in the Ford chassis of the Carri-Go and Four Winds.
After coming back from Crestwood, we found out that our dealer & salesman were at the North Jersey Show, which was 10 min. from our house. So we went over, confirmed our desires, and made an 'almost' deal. He is supposed to call me today.
I will keep you all posted.
Hey Gene! How many are 'we' now??

Posted By: cheeze1 on 10/11/04 04:34pm

I just joined the club!!!
I ordered a Trail Lite 213 today, almost all the bells and whistles, got a great deal, partly due to the ads that Holman in Ohio has on the web.
I bought it at Campers of America,Farmingdale NJ, and I was treated very well by Bill, one of their best salesmen.
We are very excited, and can't wait to use it!!

Posted By: Gene in NE on 10/12/04 08:14am

cheeze1 - Congratulations on your decision to buy a unit. I believe I mentioned some time back to just go for the one you like and start enjoying it. Every owner will experience different "I like or I don't like", that's why we are all different. How boring if we all liked the same thing and my grandmother would have been extremely popular. Opinions of others really do matter whenever several say the same thing. Else, just an isolated opinion or problem.

To answer your earlier question, you are now number 49 (owners of RVision Trail-Lite models)on my list.

Posted By: WAGM on 10/12/04 02:13pm

Hey Gene, I got an easy question for ya, how many Transtar owners are there on the forum?[emoticon] AND welcome #49 have a great time and go to Branson, Mo for some REAL driving experiences. Oh yeah don`t forget to erase the Wanna in your sig. hahahahahahah

See yall in the funnies, Warren

Posted By: Wallnut_61 on 10/12/04 02:38pm

We looked at the BT Cruisers last weekend. To be honest, I don't see you get all that much more for the extra $20K. T/L is still at the top of the list. Wife says immediate future is buy a house and then we'll get the T/L. We are both ready to get on the road.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 10/12/04 02:47pm

Hey Warren, how's this sig?:

Posted By: Gene in NE on 10/13/04 09:33am

WAGM - Your question on number of Transtar owners was fairly easy, only know of one. Had to double check using the search button. Did locate a 1985 Transtar for sale at "Mark's RV" in Indianapolis for $9,985 - did not specify how many miles. Your signature threw me for a loop the first time I read it. I am familiar with the International Semi-Tractor model Transtar.

I hope people reading this do not get the wrong idea, I own a RVision so started making notes to myself on who owned what model of the RVision. This list grew to the point that I made a spreadsheet with pertinent information.

I'm still looking for a good deal on an electric drain valve like you got. I would like one for both tanks. Prices around $100 each just seem too much for a small convenience.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 10/15/04 06:32am

Gene, I used to belong to the Toyota Land Cruiser Club of America when I had an FJ-60. I had a member number. I think I'm going to have 49 be my member number when I get my rig.
Trouble is, no club, just a number. Oh well. According to Rocky Balboa math, my number almost adds up to 14, a good omen. [emoticon]

Posted By: Class B + Buddy on 10/21/04 05:12pm

Hello...Help!! I'm kinda new..verry new at all of this so just what is the difference in the Bt cruser& the T/L Price? or more. Please send email to

Posted By: reddogsmt on 10/23/04 05:54pm

Greetings all,

After lurking for many months, it's finally time to sign up and join the growing number of Trail Lite (R-Vision) B+ owners on this forum.

We bought an '04 R-Vision Condor 1290 B+ six months ago. Like many of you, price was the big factor in our purchase. Although not perfect, our B+ seemed like the best value available in a new small motorhome. At 29 feet it's big for a B+, but it still has many of the B+ advantages.

I welcome the opportunity to participate in the forum and share experiences and opinions... good and bad.


2004 R-Vision (Trail Lite) Condor 1290 B+ V10

Posted By: My Roadtrek on 10/23/04 05:57pm


Welcome to the B+ area of the Camping Van Forum.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 10/23/04 10:41pm

Welcome to the group reddog and lots of luck! I still have about 3 weeks till I get my T/L 213. Since you have a vehicle and I don't, should I be welcoming you or you welcoming me??

Posted By: backwoodsman on 10/24/04 12:42pm

Gene, Do you have the localaties & models of Trail~Lite B+ owners ?
Since I have a 236S would like to know if there are many more owners in our 4 State area. Texas, Louisaina, Oklahoma, & New Mexico.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 10/24/04 02:30pm

Gene, it looks like you have been elected secretary!!
Anyway, backwoods, I believe there are a number of 235-6's on the list. Dunno where they are tho. Neat thing about the the shorter B+'s is that they are all close in size, so there is lots of shareable info.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 10/26/04 08:54am

Class B + Buddy - I made our decision to purchase the T/L versus the BT Cruiser mostly because of price. The best price we could get for the T/L was $4,800 less than the BT Cruiser. The appliances appeared to be of the same quality and brand. The other factor was that I could not see out the rear of the B/T from the driver's seat. Would have needed to order a camera. Hint: better not to put your email in your postings as you may get a lot of junk messages.

reddogsmt - Congratulations on your purchase of a recreational vehicle that can be used for touring. We found ourselves floundering trying to decide between all the different modes. We concluded that we wanted to be able to travel cross country and yet not feel cramped on extended stays at one place. The fifth wheels, bumper pulls and class A's suit the extended stay better while the slide-in, Class B and C suit the traveling crowd. The slide-in and the Class B seemed a little cramped for the extended stay and the C seemed to be a little too unwieldy.

backwoodsman - You are the only one on this forum that I have identified as owning the 236-S. There are 5 on my spreadsheet that have not identified which model they own. As cheeze1 mentions, all the models have similarities except for the floor plan. There are 5 that have indicated they own a 235-S. Owners of T/L in your 4 state area are from Missouri City, New Braunfels, Wimberly, Corpus Christi,TX, Alberquerque, NM and Oklahoma City, OK.

Posted By: backwoodsman on 10/28/04 08:53am

Gene in NE, Thanks for the info.
Did not know I was electing you secretary, Mabye if my vote is so strong I need to run down & vote for the President of the U.S.A

Posted By: cheeze1 on 10/30/04 03:19pm

Hey Gang, Backwoodsman, Gene in Ne, and I have been spending some time on the RVision Camping forum at the following address:

(I'm the newbie of the bunch)
I saw it awhile ago, and thought it was just for RVision campers other than Motorhomes, but there is a motorhome forum there that would be even better if more of us visited. You have to sign up to get deep into the website, but it's no charge, and is company specific.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 11/04/04 05:29pm

Hello Gang! It's getting closer! Dealer called a couple of days ago, the factory had an identical unit as my order finished but it had an oven and backup monitor. We said no since we really want the cabinet space rather than the oven, and they wanted $455 for the monitor.
Get a call today, the company replaced the oven with a cabinet and will throw in the monitor!!! So we went for it. I couldn't understand why they were so generous, but the salesman had no idea either.
We should be getting it next week. HOOray!!!

Posted By: Gene in NE on 11/05/04 07:35am

cheeze1 - Talk about getting lucky!! Congratulations, I think you will find the rearview camera very helpful. There have been times when backing my trailer, the rear door was just not enough to see what was happening back there.

backwoodsman - Your vote is strong. I don't mind being the keeper of who has what kind of T/L on this thread. Hope you did run right down and vote for the President of the USA.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 11/05/04 08:06am

I'm starting a campaign: GENE in Ne. for President of the USA!!

Posted By: bcampbell on 11/05/04 11:38am

Can a non-Trail-lite join?

Dodge Dakota Crew Cab
FMCA 164852

Posted By: cheeze1 on 11/05/04 07:00pm

The vote for Gene campaign??

Posted By: tjwords on 11/06/04 10:50am

Hello - I've been lurking here because you all seem to have such great info on the B+'s. Hubby and I bought the 2004 BT Cruiser on the Chevy this summer. We got a great price and we love it!
We go fulltime in March 2005, and we can't wait for winter to pass quickly. We are here in MN.

Do you have anyone out there that has the BT Cruiser?

Teresa & Alan

Teresa & Alan
2004 BT Cruiser (Chevy)

Fulltimer's Graduation Rally - January 2006 - Quartzsite...waaahooo!

Posted By: augiedog on 11/07/04 10:19am

Congrats T&A. I envy you being able to go fulltime. I can't wait. But right now we are just getting ready to winterize ours. A sad time. We did get to make a very nice trip this summer to Utah (from MD). Just my wife, myself, and our small dog. We spent the better part of a month in the Cruiser, and put around 6k miles on it. Last year I trekked out to Wyoming for an Air Force Reunion with a buddy. The Cruiser is great on the road. It has plenty of pep, is comfortable to drive, and is very accomodating inside for two.

Mostly I use it for small fishing excursions to Western MD and PA, or short trips down the East Coast to find beaches.

I was one of the originals with bad squeaking problems. But now they are mostly corrected, and the unit has served us well.

You will find a small cadre of Cruiser owners who regularly visit this site.

Welcome, and many happy miles!

23' 2003 Gulf Stream BT Cruiser

Posted By: cheeze1 on 11/07/04 03:28pm

Augie, I was thinking of going to Frederick, Md. for a couple of days fairly soon. What is winter like out there, and are there things to see? We like historical sites, antiques and locally made 'stuff'.

Posted By: z..geo on 11/09/04 02:35pm

THIS JUST IN: im sure anyone here knows who HOLMAN is and they got 2 TL 213 USED in stock with less than 6k miles and the price is 34 and change..they are 2004.... z

Posted By: augiedog on 11/09/04 03:27pm

Frederick is about the same as New Jersey in the winter as far as temps. It's in the foothills (I refuse to call anything on the East Coast a mountain!) so pretty chilly. Most of our leaves have already fallen so don't expect pretty colors.

As for things to do, yes, it has antique stores and general shopping (outlet mall closer to Hagerstown). It also has a small historic downtown area. It is rich in Revolutionary and Civil War history. Both Antietam and Monocacy Battlefields are nearby. I volunteered at both for several years. Antietam is one of the most pristine in the nation. It's a relatively small town but highly trafficked.

If you approach it from I-70 near Baltimore, there is a nice little antique rich town on the way there called New Market. A one-street pass-through just off the interstate that is a fun stroll for a few blocks.

Hope that helps.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 11/09/04 04:32pm

Thanks Augie. We are planning to go on our first trip if the rig gets here in time over thanksgiving. We were planning on Hudson, NY, but I'm concerned about the cold snap we are in the midst of and maybe Frederick might be safer?
Also, do you know of any campgrounds in the area?

Posted By: augiedog on 11/11/04 05:43pm

Google Ramblin' Pines Campground. It's about the biggest one in the general area. There are several smaller ones, but I'm not sure if they are year-round. I don't know of any that are real close to Frederick. Usually 10-15 miles away or so. There are CGs near Hagerstown (west of frederick), and Harpers Ferry (southwest). They should all show up in a Woodalls directory.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 11/12/04 08:20am

cheeze1 - I'm staying way far away from any campaign. The last 3 months have been enough.

bcampbell - If you are asking me, can you join in this thread, the answer is YES. Although I have about as much authority as your little finger.

tjwords - There are many BT Cruisers on this forum and several have posted to this thread. Since the topic of this thread was started by an owner of a Trail-lite and titled very generically many items of interest have been discussed. A good example is augiedog.

I did not keep track of the owners of BT Cruisers as there have been many topics started by those owners. And....I merely liked the units, but bought a Trail-Lite.

z..geo - Wonder about the used T/L's at Holman. Are they fully equipped. Are they problem ones, are they rental units? Worth checking in to by potential buyers as the price is not bad. We wanted new to be the only ones using the bathroom and sleeping on the beds. Our own dirt, not someone elses.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 11/12/04 02:11pm

Both are 213's with a little over 5k miles. Shouldn't be too much wrong with them?

Posted By: z..geo on 11/17/04 05:04am

Just got in from Batavia... the 213 were fully equipped and acording to the salesman were traded in on a larger unit. One had the holman sticker on it and the other was "cisco" dont know where that is. Holman is a big truck dealer. They do have RV rentals. Not a B+ but the storie is: they`ve got this C thats a forrest river, Chev frame and its 29 foot, equipped 05 model for $37k. Salesman says it was built for their rental fleed as its not got carpet in it but vinyl. I thought that was a good feature as im a tracker-o-dirt. I was leaning toward the 251 T/L but at 45k the forrest river gives ya a little more room, walk around bed, and 8 grand buys alot of gas, i dont care what the price is. I went to buy but balked as they would only give me 6 k for a 03 kia minivan. Their prices are pretty firm.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 11/19/04 08:00am

MONDAY!!! Yes, gang we are getting our 213 on monday, and will be trying it out over Thanksgiving in the Lancaster area of Pa.
Very excited and a little trepidatious, (is that a real word?) but with all the great info from this forum, I'm sure we will make it!!

Posted By: Gene in NE on 11/19/04 08:34am

Cheeze1 - Congratulations again. Trepidations is to mean anxiety, apprehension or foreboding, so one who has those feelings might be called trepidatious. You will be just fine. Those units drive like a pickup. When you park it in a campground or a Wal-Mart and several people stop by and ask questions about it or give you admiring glances, then you feel serene. And....maybe a little smug knowing you own something with a lot of features and less money than many SUV's.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 11/21/04 05:40am

Thanks Gene, we sure are excited!! Can't wait to get the wheel liners on! I have a gentle slope to my driveway so I figure I will bring it to school and park it in the auto shop (my class is in there) and use the big floor jacks to lift one corner at a time. I got the liners from Arlan, btw.

Posted By: cwmr on 11/28/04 06:23pm

We have a 2003 BT Cruiser 21 footer. We like it. So far the longest time we were out RVing on it is about three weeks. We do not need to tow another car for sightseeing and it is very easy to setup. Enjoy your BT Cruiser.


Posted By: cheeze1 on 11/29/04 07:51am

We are back from New Holland,Pa. We stayed at Spring Gulch Campsite, a very large area with full hookups in the woods at the top of a mountain. It was beautiful, and the RV performed very well, and was fun to live in.
I never got the truck into the auto shop, it was too tall! Glad I got there at 6, with an empty lot, so I did the wheel liners there.
Major problem with the unit was a leak due to an incorrectly fastened fitting on the fresh tank, resulting in a portion of wet rug and ruined dinette paneling. It's a slow drip, but no one knew about it because the plastic was over the rug on delivery. I have slowed it with gas tank sealer, but it needs to be fixed properly. Another problem was after an unexpected 'big' bump, the tv 'jumped' the 1" cleat behind it, and was leaning against the fiberglass front. Luckily I had my driver drill with me and removed the face retention molding and put it back in place, rerouting some rattling wires in the process. Shouldn't a tv be held down with a strap of some kind?
Despite that and some other details, like a screwy radio, all the important components worked great, and the truck is fun to drive. Initial gas mileage was 11, which I don't think is too bad considering it's a new engine and we used the generator a little.

Posted By: agoaliemom on 11/29/04 05:13pm

z..geo - Wonder about the used T/L's at Holman. Are they fully equipped. Are they problem ones, are they rental units? Worth checking in to by potential buyers as the price is not bad. We wanted new to be the only ones using the bathroom and sleeping on the beds. Our own dirt, not someone elses.[/quote] I bought a used T/L 213 from Holman (I flew in from Duluth, MN, to get it!). Mine was (is) fully loaded (I'm not sure what fully loaded is, but it has power windows, locks, a Blaupunk stereo, etc.). We haven't used it much. My husband accidentally knocked the a/c unit off when he parked in a place with a lower clearance than he thought. $706 to replace it. :-( Yes, he feels horrible (and he is such a sweetie that I feel horrible for him) since money is very tight for us (this is a second car. Because our kids have severe allergies & asthma we can't go to most motels and this is our only way to go on vacation). Anyway, we haven't driven ours much, but friends have used it as a guest bedroom when they visit us. :-)

Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.

Posted By: wragans on 12/11/04 04:22pm

There is s 2002 213 Trail-Lite with 6000 miles on Ebay


Posted By: gkreutzer on 01/31/05 05:32pm

A little help? I would like to add an inverter to my 2003 Trail-Lite B+ 211 LE to use while boondocking. I am looking at a 1750 W inverter. After connecting inverter to batteries, with a fuse on positive cable, I would like to simply plug the shore power plug (with adapter) into the 3-prong receptor on the inverter. I hope this will make all AC outlets in unit active (including TV and Microwave). I would turn off the converter and not use generater while connected. Will this arrangement work? Thanks.

2003 Trail-Lite 211 B-Plus LE
Chev. 6.0L Vortex

It's more than a motorhome,
It's a car I can go to the bathroom in.
– Homer Simpson

Posted By: backwoodsman on 01/31/05 06:08pm

Sorry, This wont work for you. Do some research on inverters.
You would be trying to charge your battery or batteries from themselves.
Give more info as to how many & what kind of batteries you have.
The more info you post the more help you can get.

Posted By: on 01/31/05 06:55pm


A little help? I would like to add an inverter to my 2003 Trail-Lite B+ 211 LE to use while boondocking. I am looking at a 1750 W inverter. After connecting inverter to batteries, with a fuse on positive cable, I would like to simply plug the shore power plug (with adapter) into the 3-prong receptor on the inverter. I hope this will make all AC outlets in unit active (including TV and Microwave). I would turn off the converter and not use generater while connected. Will this arrangement work? Thanks.

Yes, I am confident that it will work as you describe it if the inverter does not include a battery charger/converter feature. I do what you describe with a 1750watt Portawattz inverter.

If you do not turn off the converter, the converter will be trying to charge the batteries from themselves. The amount of trouble this will cause depends on the particular converter.


1980 Born Free 22' Class C (minus) - 1985 Honda Scooter

Posted By: gkreutzer on 02/01/05 06:52pm

Thanks for the info on my inverter question. My inverter doesn't have a built in charger/converter, and I plan to turn off the converter and stay away from the generator until I need to recharge my 2 - 24 type batteries.
Plugging shore power into the inverter's AC plug with an adapter seems the easiest way to power AC plugs for TV, DVD, etc.

* This post was edited 02/05/05 11:49pm by gkreutzer *

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 02/12/05 09:17pm

We spent the 8 weeks of November and December on the road in our 2003 TL 211S. It really performed flawlessly as we toured through CA, UT and AZ. The Achilles heel for us is storage space despite the fact we have a Yakima Space Box on top. We are a sporty couple and want to bring our bikes (with attendant helmets, shoes, etc), snow shoes and/or XC skis (with boots, etc), and on and on. We actually manage well enough but climbing up that ladder in cold/windy/icy weather gets old in a hurry. I am thinking about a cabinet box that could be body mounted on the driver's side of the center rear door, something that doesn't stick out past the existing back door steps. Anyone have ideas?? We can't and won't use the cargo boxes that use the hitch receiver, as that would interfer too much with use of the back door and/or be unavailable because our swing-away bike rack is using the hitch receiver.

Posted By: ciaranroe on 02/13/05 11:48am

I am really curious as to how the Yakima box was secured to the roof. Did you use a rack? Which rack and how was the rack secured through the roof? How far did the box over hang the door? I've got the same problem with space.

We put two truck-bed bike mounts (from secured them to the ladder tube-frame and steps with stainless U-bolts covered with rubber tubing. I will send a picture if you wish. So 2 bikes (or 1 bike and a tandem) mount vertically to the ladder secured by their front forks and a couple of bungees. Been out to Nova Scotia and back with bikes there. They stay a bit cleaner than a low-mount hitch rack. 26" front wheels bungee nicely inside the ladder frame (skewers removed)

Still have problems with skis (alpines fit under the bed/sofa) and boots etc. We also have a dog we renamed Visa - she's everywhere we want to be!



Posted By: Gary Swanson on 02/16/05 09:30pm


You and I may well be kindred spirits -- search my posts to this thread and see for yourself. As for skis --- I am looking to order the Mohn locking side mount ( which will hold up to 4 pairs of skis plus poles on the passenger's side. I have had this rack before in my Suburban days, and it works. I am currently carrying the skis on a vertically mounted Yakima rack on the ladder (see below) but it is a pain.

Bikes --- now that is still an issue. As you can tell from my prior posts, I have gone the ladder route with shorty Yakima bars for a verticle carry as you are doing. Too much lateral sway for me to feel comfortable with (our tandem). It actually loosened up the roof top ladder screws necessitating a dealer repair (warranty!). And the DIRT that covers the back of the rig and our bikes ... And, it makes getting up to the roof box hard if not impossible. I am planning to look at a front rack for bikes, be it a bumper mount or maybe a front hitch receiver install.

How I did the Space Cadet box is detailed in my prior post, complete with link to pix.

My next quest, maybe at the same time as I look for a rear storage cabinet box, is quiet/electricity sparing heat for winter camping. I have gone the Mr. Buddy route, but it locks out above ~5000 feet. I have reviewed and spoken with the folk at Platinum Cat, and that may end up to be my solution.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 02/17/05 07:32am

Gary Swanson - Nice to have you back. By the way, the last time I tried accessing your picture website as specified in your 9/23/03 posting, I was not successful.

I like your idea of a vertical storage box to the left of the rear door. Will have a minor problem holding the rear door open. Should be able to have a fiberglasser build some mold to fit the curvature of that space. These guys are good - met one just North of Ames, Iowa. They make a positive, then a negative, as prep for the finished product. Keep us posted with your latest.

Have thought of putting on a front receiver hitch and using a variety of accessories. I weighed our unit and have about 1,040 lbs of extra carrying capacity there.

We also had a great experience with our last 3,200 mile venture to Las Vegas over Christmas. No problem whatsoever, averaged 13.7 mpg, coldest evening 7 degrees near Denver, warmest in the middle of Kansas 64 degrees. Spent several nights in Wal-Mart parking lots. Showered in Flying J truck stops. Really enjoyed winter camping.

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 02/18/05 06:26pm

Gene, Ciaran and others who might be interested in my remodeling escapades:

Gene reported that the link was dead, but as of now this one is indeed alive. BTW, I have done a few more things that I hope to share with you all once we get done with our "big" house plans.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 02/19/05 03:43am

Hi Gene, that is quite trip!! AND your gas mileage is great!!! That's more than my Land Cruiser would have done, and none of the comfort.

Gary, I assume (tough word) that you installed your own outside shower? Since we have only camped twice with our 213 and in cold weather, we haven't had a need for an outside shower yet, but I'm thinking that time might come. Where did you get the setup? Was it a kit?

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 02/19/05 12:02pm

Cheese1 -- I bought the "kit" at Camping World and believe it's made by Phoenix. I coaxed R-Vision to fax me the roof and both side wall blue prints of the rig to make sure I knew in advance what I was cutting into. Used that info in locating the roof ribs for installing the Yakima box as well as the outside shower.

Gene -- I routinely get 11+ MPG driving at and above the speed limit (80 in a 75 zone is comfortable). What speeds and driving styles are you holding to to get such incredible mileage?

Posted By: Gene in NE on 02/19/05 12:31pm

Gary Swanson – Tried your web address for photos and was greeted with the Amazon login screen. Guess I will have to create a user I.D. and password to get past that welcome screen.

As for the mileage, I was rather proud of that result as well. I keep a diary and a mileage/maintenance record. Part of the high mileage figure is because of a nice tail wind several times and dropping from an elevation of 5,000’ + to just over 900’. Also had very cool and a little humid weather - no air conditioner load. Had a 700-mile segment that we got over 15mpg. I do usually run about 5 mph below the speed limit – trying to not hold up traffic, but slow enough to do some relaxing sight seeing. The 5.7 might be a little more fuel-efficient than the 6.0, but lacks some of the power. I normally expect mileage to be 11.5 to 12.

Cheese1 – Welcome back, what did you think of cold weather camping? We drove fully winterized meaning empty tanks. That helped the mileage as well. Carried a gallon milk jug sitting in the sink for hand washing and one in the bathroom for emergency flushes. Liked the quiet ride with no A/C or open windows. We were impressed how the cab heat on low fan speed warmed the coach to a pleasant 70 degrees when the outdoors was in the teens.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 02/19/05 01:04pm

Thanks for the info Gary. Because of my initial fresh tank leak, I have an intimate aquaintance with my outside walls!
Gene, been here all along, but this thread does get quiet sometimes.
I loved the winter camping. It got down to 12 one nite and the furnace kept us nice and warm. We traveled fully 'unwinterized' and the only problem I had was with frozen dump valves. I plan to get those heaters from
to stay ahead of that problem from now on. My pups love the cold, so the walks in the snowy woods adjoining the campground were appreciated by all of us.
When we hit the snowy area, my wife was driving, and it was our first time with the 213 on snow. I have to say I was very impressed. We had to cross a center divider with deep snow, and with an incline against us, and the big baby happily motored right thru!!
We are planning our Easter trip now, just trying to figure where, since we want to go warmer. (Like the 18 degree trip to Maryland!)

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 02/19/05 09:12pm

Gene -- try this link to my pix, and click the BLUE View Photos button under the picture. Hope it works; this is annoying!

Posted By: TonyTiger on 03/08/05 08:36am

Folks, it looks like I'll be leaving the Trail Lite forum. We ordered a new Four Winds Siesta 24BB with a double slide out. It's 26' and has the same height as the current 235S from Trail Lite.

I've enjoyed the comraderie and help that everyone provides so freely. Especially Gene, Gary, Dario and Captain Jack. If I missed someone I apologize. I'll probably stop back once in a while to see if the community has stayed alive.

Here's a toast to Daniel C. for starting this thread. God bless!

Posted By: kyotesue on 03/08/05 08:55am

We just bought a 2002 Dynamax Starflyte, our first motorhome, and am looking for anyone who might have a similar rig and points and tips about what we need to know. I am reading voraciously here on the forums, but thought I would jump in with some specifics.

One specific...anyone have any trouble with leaks with these rigs? We noticed some mold under the mattress, but will have to track it down. Helped to get the price down considerably, so we hope we haven't made a mistake here! Whew.

2002 Dynamax StarFlyte 21 feet
Ford 350 V10
Tent campers new to RVing so this is our first rig

Posted By: B-Plus on 03/08/05 01:21pm

Congratulations Tony, hope that you enjoy your Four Winds Siesta. I also considered another RV for this year because we thought we wanted a full time bed set-up. It came down to how we use ours now and decided that keeping the size we have now , plus the B+ 225 has worked out great. We only use the bed about 20% of the time and the rest we use it as a regular vehicle. I am still getting 12-13 MPG average and because of its size it’s a get into vehicle and drive, rather than having to plan on taking it because if its size. Maybe if we decide to do more Rving in the future rather than how we use it now I may decide to start looking again (which I dread) my Trail-lite has really treated me well and I love the Chev 6.0 engine.
Good luck with your new RV and do keep in touch!


Posted By: cheeze1 on 03/08/05 01:27pm

Congrats Tony, I was considering that vehicle too, but didn't like the dealer. Anyway, I'm like Dario with my 213. That being said, there's no reason for you to leave!!! I would love to hear more about your new rig, especially since I was considering it!

Posted By: TonyTiger on 03/09/05 07:40am

I just remembered, we also had a leak in the Starflyte (1998). The leak was at the front of the rear driver's side window. We think the window frame was filling with water from rain then dripping into the coach. I tried scraping the bottom of the frame and drilling an extra drain hole on the outside but nothing seemed to fix it until I removed all of the caulk from the window and resealed it.

CHEEZE1 and Dario- Don't worry I'll stay in touch. Dealers really can make or break the deal. I think the one I found is better than my previous one. I liked my previous salesman but their service department! Oh my.

Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 03/09/05 06:08pm

I have been reading this thread from the start and it has the best people on it I have ever seen. No smart coments about anyone you all are their to give help and good information. That speaks well about every one on hear.
I have a B+ and just love it we down sized from full timing in a 34ft 5w and this is working out great now that we have put down roots again.
What ever hapened to Daniel C he seamed to be very nice.

Retired we had been fulltime in the RV for three years but have now put down roots in the great state of AR.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 03/12/05 09:53am

Cowboy 66 - I also wish I knew what happened to Daniel C. He really contributed a lot to this thread. You are correct, there has not been any "bad mouthing" in this thread and very specific helpful hints have been provided.

TonyTiger - Good luck in your choice and as others have said do not forget about us. We really like our current unit, but are always looking at our next unit.

Gary - The link now works to your pictures. Thanks for all your help.

For general information on the so called B+ units, we took a short trip to North Central Iowa this past week and touched the "Born Free" model built for two. Very nice people to deal with. I would call it a very well built solid unit. I would say that the cost is justified.

Then we travelled to the Winnebago factory and were able to see the prototype model of the "VIEW". The Lichtsinn Motors website shows a picture of the VIEW, the prototype we saw was painted "VUE". Now there is a unit that will sell. They are the only manufacture that has been able to get a sprinter chassis in a cut away. It is definitely a class "C minus" with a diesel. Nicely done interior with a floor plan similar to some of the Trail-Lite or Gulfstream BT cruiser. Has a slide out couch behind the driver across from the dinette. The kitchen is behind the slide out "jack knife" couch with a dry bath across the back. Entry to the coach right behind the passenger front seat. They hope to have at the dealers later this summer.

* This post was edited 03/13/05 07:31am by Gene in NE *

Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 03/13/05 11:59am

Gene in NE- Yes the Born Free is a great unit one of the people in the Village has one and is very happy with it, just a little out of out price range. I have heard that the Winnebago factory gives a good tour, I like to see how things are built. We lived in DeWitt IA. for years and have never been to the Winnebago factory just to close I gess. We just got a B+ Lexington 255DS last summer and we like it very well. It works great for getting in to the state parks in our part of AR. we have many pretty parks with in about 100 miles. Cant wate to start camping again.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 03/13/05 03:30pm

Hey Cowboy, I teach technology, and I used a variety of sources, one is the Winnebago factory video. From what I can see in the video, the live factory tour must be great!
Also, my wife's cousin lives in Mountain View. Ever been there?? Its in Stone County.

Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 03/13/05 07:15pm

Cheeze 1- Yes we went to Mountain View for the first time last fall. We had a great time going to the folk center and spending time on the square listening to the music we cant wate to go back this spring. We just moved to Hot Springs Village AR. about a year ago. After full time in the RV for three years. We just love AR. it is a pritty state with many great state parks.

Posted By: Reno 3 on 03/16/05 05:05pm

Hi, Glad to find this thread again. Read it faithfully a while ago and then lost it. Brousing tonight I found it again. To make this short we bought a used Trail Lite 211 last May a 2003 model on the Chevy 1 ton chasis. Did n't get to use it too much last year but hope to head for Yellowstone with it in June. We like to camp in the Adirondacks and the big MH is just that tooo big to get into the DEC parks so for what we want it for the 211 is just the right size for the 2 of us and the dog. Hope to continue monitoring the thread and maybe picking up some knowledge. Thanks to all.

2001 HR Endeavor
2003 RVision Trail Lite B+ 211
2003 L200 Saturn Toad

Posted By: cheeze1 on 03/16/05 05:11pm

Glad you are back Reno! For two reasons, just that you are back, and that I would love to know more about camping in the Adirondacks!
We stayed at Camp Sagamore a few years ago, and the smell of balsam was incredible!

Posted By: kyotesue on 03/16/05 05:31pm

Hi there
I am learning a lot by reading this thread. Even though I came in long after Daniel C left, I too, appreciated all he wrote.

Just wanted to say that we finally bought the Dynamax Starflyte last weekend, 21 feet long, on a Ford 350 V10. Driving home down I-5 in Oregon was incredible, since that V10 just cruised along passing up all the semis on the passes. Nice.

A question. I am trying to find information about just how far I can go without winterizing again. The dealer cleared everything out for us, and now we are home where there may be cold night temperatures, but not really much below 25 degrees and only for a short period at a time. I am hoping we don't have to winterize again since we are planning on taking her on a trip in early April.

Thanks again for all the knowledge you share

Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 03/16/05 06:02pm

Hi Sue:
You are still cold at 25 but if you drain all the lines and blow them out you maybe fine. But still taking a chance. What do you think guys.
Good luck with the new Dynamax have a great time.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 03/16/05 07:49pm

Hi Sue, we are new to camping in general, but took the plunge to buy our vehicle and have loved it so far.
Our second trip, this past Xmas vacation was a 'baptism by ice' since we went to Maryland and had temps of 12-18 degrees! The only thing that froze were the dump valves, but some persistent application of 'hot water bottles' to the area eventually allowed them to open.
If your vehicle has all of the plumbing lines inside, and you can keep the vehicle interior well above freezing, you might be fine. We managed to get thru a bad spell where I neglected to winterize, and then couldn't until the weather got better. Everything was fine.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 03/17/05 06:18am

We had a 98 or 99 Starflyte for 4 years before the Trail-Lite. One technique I used with success will ONLY work if you don't drink the water, brush your teeth with the water and don't cook with the water. I added a small quantity (1 gal) of anti freeze to half a tank of fresh water and ran it through the lines to fill them. I added another half of a gallon of antifreeze to each grey and black water tank. On predicted cold nights I would put a small electric heater in the coach set to keep it around 50-55 degrees. I opened the cabinet door where the water heater was so that the heat could get to it and opened the dinette seat cover so the fresh water could be warmed.
You will love the V-10. My wife said I drove it like a performance car on the turnpike. Our Trail Lite has the Chevy 6 liter, but the new Four Winds Siesta we ordered is back to the V-10. Just remember to check the oil level frequently in the V-10. It has a tendency to use oil. If you smell 'burning grass' and think the pine barrens are on fire, stop and check the oil.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 03/17/05 07:41am

kyotesue - I reread your posting of 3/16/05 and concluded that the dealer winterized the unit and then you bought it, filled the tanks and drove it home. It might be a little risky to not do anything if it gets down to 25 degrees. I don't really know how cold it has to get before water freezes solid and breaks things. At 32 degrees it gets slushy. If it gets cold enough and breaks lines and cracks the water heater - you have big trouble.

You could follow TonyTiger's advice and put in an electric heater for those 1 or 2 nights when it gets that cold. I think he also added the pink RV antifreeze which might not be necessary with added heat.

Alternately, could drain the water heater and blow the lines as Cowboy66 suggests. This is not a major job. You can buy the simple adapter for an air line that screws in to the water fill connection. Just remember to keep at least one faucet open at all times. You can rupture water lines with frozen water or high pressure air.

Posted By: Reno 3 on 03/17/05 08:02am

Won't the anti freeze polute your fresh water tank?? Your water tank will retain the odor of the antifreeze for like "ever" Or else it'll take a lot of work to santitize it again. Rule of thumb is never put antifreeze in the water tank.

Posted By: kyotesue on 03/17/05 08:16am

You have all been SO helpful! Thanks. I will open the faucets, make sure the pumps are off, and plug in the mo'home and run a small electric heater. If I were plugged in and had plenty of propane couldn't I just set the thermostat for 55 degrees or something and let that do it when it gets too cold? Klamath Falls is warm and springlike during the day but still gets early morning low temperatures into May. ANother really funny thing, however, is that I live in an area with geothermal heat (my house is heated with it) and the pipes go under my driveway. Plants grow there that won't grow anywhere else in the basin. I'll park the motorhome over the pipes!

For some reason the home didn't come with an overall manual, so I will have to track down winterizing procedures sometime before next winter. I have written Dynamax, but as someone here said earlier, they no longer make my model, so I am not sure if I will be able to track anything down.

Winterizing seems pretty straightforward. Drain everything and open everything! We did learn how to do that.

Posted By: AJarand on 03/17/05 12:19pm


Won't the anti freeze polute your fresh water tank?? Your water tank will retain the odor of the antifreeze for like "ever" Or else it'll take a lot of work to santitize it again. Rule of thumb is never put antifreeze in the water tank.

You don't use regular anti-freeze... There is a special pink antifreeze for RV and boat water systems. It is not toxic. You can get it anywhere they sell camping supplies, Wallmart, home centers etc. Cost is about 2 bucks or so a gallon...
We winter camp when the weather in Illinois is decent.. When we get home, we just drain the system down, pour a couple of gallons in the fresh tank and run all faucets till the pink color shows up.
Next time out, flush water through till the pink is gone.
Whole process takes just a few minutes..
You should also turn on the water heater bypass and drain the water heater. It seems the anti-freeze is not good for the water heater for extened periods.

Alan, Marjie and Emily(15)

2006 Phoenix Cruiser 21' w/Slide
E350 Ford V10

Previous RV:
2005 Great West Classic Supreme (Class B)
On 2004 Ford E350, 5.4 V8 Chassis

Posted By: cheeze1 on 03/17/05 02:15pm

Sue, I have plugged my unit into the house, set the thermostat for the lowest temp I can above freezing, and so far no problems. I would have a concern about an electric unit heater running in the rv overnite with no one checking it.
Pink antifreeze seems to work quite well, and flushing it out is not as big a deal as I expected.

Posted By: Reno 3 on 03/17/05 04:54pm

AJ I do use the "Pink" antifreeze but I pump it straight out of the bottle through the lines (of course after draining all the water out of the lines and tanks and using the by pass valve on the hot water heater and then draining the heater) But have always been told to not under any circumstance put it in the water tank even tho its not toxic) If you pour it into the water tank it'd take a ton of antifreeze to get it back into the lines and also if you don't by pass the hot water heater then you're talking another 6 or 10 gallons of antifreeze to fill that up.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 03/24/05 03:17pm

I winterize with about 4 gallon jugs of antifreeze total. Drain the entire system including the water heater. Bypass the water heater. Put 2 gallons in the fresh tank. Run the pump and faucets until antifreeze shows up. Use the other jugs for all of the drains and holding tanks.
In the Spring, I use a pump and plastic hose to clear out the fresh tank, fill with fresh water and flush the lines. Drain the tanks again. Fill with water and sanitizer tab. Let stand for the presecribed time. Drain again. Fill and flush with fresh water two more times. Drain and fill. Open water heater. Run hot lines. Top off fresh tank and ready to go.

* This post was edited 03/27/05 08:59pm by TonyTiger *

Posted By: burlmart on 03/29/05 12:31pm

we just got our 1st Rv, a trail lite b+ 213 fromn Blanchards here in baton rouge.

took it to lake lincoln sp in ms for 1st weekend, and just returned from 8 days w/ stays in tishomingo sp, ms; timms ford sp. tn; fall creek falls sp, tn; and lake okitibbee water park, ms.

love it. waited too long to get one!

2005 Trail Lite 213 B-Plus w/ 6.0 Chevy

Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 03/29/05 02:39pm

Hi burlmart
Glad to hear that you have joined the RV world. It sounds like you had a great trip hope you have many more.

Posted By: burlmart on 03/30/05 05:13am

Thanks for the welcome. We had several small things that may need fixing, or maybe we just need to learn more.

For sure, one of the ceiling speakers is not connected to the dash eadio as is the other thus yielding a set of rear speakers. No biggie, and I may rather hook the TV (and thus CD/DVD player) to these anyway.

There was a leak that dripped off the tailpipe when we tried to hook to city water. I thought the pressure was low when I turned the fawcet down, but maybe no, or maybe the washer on the female hose end of the RV did not set well. We can easily live with refilling the FW tank and use the electric pump for pressure. Since we like to use RV as a car to see things, it is just as well that we don't have to fool w/ a hose anyhow - just unplug and go.

One annoying bug was that our FW monitor is not reading - the BW, GW, gas and battery meters are functioning. Is it likely to be in the tank or on the wall-mounted meter that the problem exists?

We could not light the gas oven. Our dealer urged us to try again, and we may, but we use the microwave's convection feature instead anyway.

If all 'bugs' are no worse than these, I'd be a very happy camper, indeed.

Has anyone discussed ways to improve the comfort of the king bed formed by the jacknife sofa and dinette makedown? No air mattress combo will fit the space well. I intend to make 10-11" props to stiffen the cantilevered end of the sofa where it meets the dinette.

Any help or insights would be appreciated.


Posted By: agoaliemom on 03/30/05 05:58am

Oops--it double posted!

Posted By: agoaliemom on 03/30/05 06:03am

For the sofa--have you used an "egg crate" mattress cover? If you get a king size one, you can cut it to size (if necessary). When not in use, fold it tightly and bungie it with two bungies to keep it small. It should store under the sofa. We haven't slept in it yet, and we don't use an egg crate--but we did with another RV we had.

Thanks for the idea of the props under the center of the sofa bed!

We bought ours last October to use as a second car in addition to an RV. We get a lot of snow here so we haven't used it much. We're down to our last one foot on the ground---now we should be able to use it more.

Posted By: burlmart on 03/30/05 06:17am

where in MN are you. martha is from st paul and I got my PhD at the U in 1990 (Iliked the snow and cold).

the props I mentioned would be for the end of the outstretched sofa where it meets the dinette. there is a metal angle on either side of the bottom and a 10" bloch should be right for propping the sofa at the two corners, otherwise, it sags a few inches and the edge trim board of the dinette becomes uncomfortable.

we may try the egg shell mattress cover if the props do not work well.

Posted By: AJarand on 03/30/05 06:30am

burlmart wrote:

Thanks for the welcome. We had several small things that may need fixing, or maybe we just need to learn more.

One annoying bug was that our FW monitor is not reading - the BW, GW, gas and battery meters are functioning. Is it likely to be in the tank or on the wall-mounted meter that the problem exists?


Our Great West van is new, and the fresh and waste water monitors sort of work, some of the time. The fresh seems more accurate than the gray, the black often shows full or 2/3 right after I empty it.
I think this is a common problem, as the levels are determined by electronic sensor and they get crud on them.
If your fresh water montor is simply not giving any reading, it could also be a bad sensor, or perhaps a fuse.
Alan J.

Posted By: burlmart on 03/30/05 03:30pm

Can anyone tell me where the FW tank is in my TL 213 b+?

Does it have a drain? Also, does the the hot water tank, which appears to be under the kitchen sink, have a drain?

Posted By: agoaliemom on 03/30/05 04:39pm

While we're at it--where is the extra battery in the 2003 213 B+ on the Chevy chassis?


Posted By: Gene in NE on 03/30/05 07:50pm

burlmart - There are 3 other members that have posted in these forums that own the model 213. They would be in a better position to answer. My model 211S has the FW tank under the dinette seat closest to the the cab. It has a drain accessed from the top very near the pump. The water heater has the bypass valves under the sink and mine has a plastic drain plug that is accessed from the outside. The coach battery on my unit sits on a platform fastened to the truck frame just a little back of the front passenger seat. You access that from the outside underneath.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 04/01/05 05:26pm

Burlmart, the fresh tank is under the forward dinette seat. Unscrew the cushion support board and...voila!!
The battery is in a compartment on the right side if I'm not mistaken.

Posted By: burlmart on 04/04/05 02:29am

we just returned from an overnite trip to fairview/riverside sp in madisonville, la (hoiur east of baton rouge) and we towed our boat.

the park is very nice and has ramp access to the tchefuncte river that empties into lake ponchartrain. the park has a nice pine woods area for rvs, and a less treed area by boat ramp for those more interested in the water.

after riding the boat saturday and walking thru town, we went back to the park, put the dogs in the rv, and re-crossed the river for a late afternoon supper at a riverside restaurant just across the river in madisonville. sunday morning we foolishly tried to run several miles across the north edge of the lake to eat at a nice breakfast place in mandeville. bad call! the light winds were from the south, bur across a 24 mile fetch of lake, this creats a chop the a little 16 ft bass boat w/ 40 hp outboard should not be in. we made it to the seawall at mandeville, but turned right around and got back to the safety of the calm river. me and the dogs were nervous, while martha looked upon it as an adventure.

the trail lite is doing fine. backing a boat is extremely hard w/ only mirrors. i was not much help w/ the walkie-talkie, either. we ended up w/ me rolling the boat trailer at the foot of the ramp and backing the rv up to it to connect and back into and pull out of the water. O.K. for short ramps and not too busy a place.

Posted By: agoaliemom on 04/04/05 06:19am

I'll look for the battery under the passenger side (which would be the right side!). Thank you.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 04/04/05 06:41am

burlmart - The only knowledge I have about your model of unit is looking at a floor plan. It looks as if you prop the bathroom door open, you might be able to see your boat through the rear window. The first item I bought for my unit is one of those "fish eye" pieces of plastic to apply to the rear window. Makes the entire rear of the RV visible from the drivers seat.

Glad you had a safe and enjoyable trip.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 04/04/05 06:56am

Yes, holding the bath door open would allow a view of the rear, and I've heard good things about that fisheye.

Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 04/04/05 08:42pm

I just purchase one of the Fisheye units but have not installed it yet. Hope it works so we can see our towed Ranger and the kayaks on top.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 04/08/05 07:46am

I've been using a 'fisheye' plastic lens on the rear window for 2 years. It even gives you a better view of the road while driving. Previously from the driver's seat I could only see the top of tractor trailers. Now I can actually see what's behind me.

Remember to get the bubbles out when you install. They distort the distortion.

Posted By: valoy on 04/09/05 09:45am

Does anybody know how to get in touch with the RVision Manufacture?

Me,Wife & minpin
Mineral Wells,Tx
2005 Georgie Boy
Landau LE 2450DS
Chevy 8.1
WH P32 Chassis

Posted By: Gene in NE on 04/09/05 12:00pm

valoy - Try going to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association or (RVIA) website Click Here Type in R-Vision. This is a very helpful website for definitions of RV's, manufacturer locations, RV shows, etc.

2002 Trail-Lite 211S w/5.7 Chevy

Posted By: valoy on 04/09/05 08:19pm

Thanks for the info.The link you gave worked. Git the address & phone number.I'm trying to find the low point drain to the fresh water tank?
Again Thanks,Valoy

Posted By: cheeze1 on 04/09/05 09:19pm

Valoy, which model do you have? I have the 213, and the fresh tank is under the front dinette seat. If the board under the cushion has a screw in it, just remove it, it just holds it in place. I never replaced mine.

Posted By: valoy on 04/10/05 06:46am

I have a 2003 Trail-Lite 225 B+. The water tank is under the couch,but I cannot find the valves to drain the water tank? Above the couch on the left end is a sticker that says low point drain.Ilooked under the rv behind rear wheels on drivers side & found 2 pipes,but are not pluged. On the lines at the water tank there is a little black object with a ring at the top.Don't know what that is,also the same thing in the lines from the faucets in bathroom.
Thanks for your response.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 04/10/05 07:56am

Valoy, one of those pipes must be the drain. I forwarded your message to Dario, who also has a 225. We will have an answer soon!
Mine is plumbed off the side to a 'right angle' petcock with a small handle to open the flow. I had to change what T/L had done because they used a semi rigid pipe and then forced it on an angle to the hole, resulting in a fresh tank leak that had the rug soaked and ruined the dinette paneling. None of this was known until I removed the plastic covering the rug.

* This post was edited 04/10/05 01:11pm by cheeze1 *

Posted By: B-Plus on 04/10/05 11:49am

Valoy, your water drain should be ( facing the couch ) on the right hand side about 6 inched from the tank towards the dinette. I also have those pull rings but I have never been able to pull them up so I just let them be and winterize the unit with the Pink stuff in the lines , I have not had a problem in 3 winters. I also have the sign "Low drain point " on the dinette side but as of yet have been unable to find anything to drain on that side. Again I have not had any problems yet with anything freezing or with leaks.

Posted By: valoy on 04/10/05 01:05pm

Thanks for the info.Valoy

Posted By: burlmart on 04/10/05 03:59pm

we have the 2005 213 b+ and would also like to get to scoop on draining hot and cold stored freshwater, not for winter, but to ensure that water really is fresh each trip. how long does it stay fresh before you gotta worry. for now, we run the tsnks empty from kitchen sink thru a hose out the door after trips.

thanks for location of freshwater tank info on earlier posts - opened dinette seat and found disconnected wire - now our freshwater mmonitor (and all monitors on panel in bath) works fine. there is a red spot between the electric and gas switches that must be selected in association with turning on hot water switch. is it a light? if so, when is it to come on (the red light comes on the hot water swithc on the monitor panel).

we got the oven pilot lit. we found that the city water was only leaking at the hose hookup gasket, so no biggie.

Thus, the only T/L defect we know of is the trivial unconnected roof speaker - they were wired to serving as a rear set for dash radio, so we fade to cockpit door speakers only. wish the speakers were wired to TV, but am not about to take all that stuff out (we have the 24" RCA set and a separate RCA DVD.


Posted By: TonyTiger on 04/10/05 04:01pm

The 225 is nearly identical to the 235S. I find I need to pull the rings upward to drain the lines. I also open the small valve which is under the heater vent pipe near the pull ring. There are also two pull rings in my bathroom vanity that I need to open to drain the system. I find after opening them and running the water pump for pressure (don't let it run dry) it drains quite quickly.

Don't forget to push the rings down when finished.

Dario, old friend - Is your ring already in the 'up' position hence you can't pull it?


Posted By: B-Plus on 04/10/05 04:28pm

Hello Tony, If the rings were in the up position I would imagine that the water would drain out. I have never tried to pull up real hard because I felt that if I did I would be having to replace them if I broke them. Anyway's I winterize with the attachment that goes on the water pump that siphons the antifreeze right out of the bottle. Neat little contraception for only around $15.00. No need to contaminate your fresh water tank with the pink stuff.
How have you been? So you store the RV in the winter. I keep mine going all year and just keep it off of the roads if its snowing. I just make sure that I keep the bottom real clean .Just turned 20,000 and its running like a top.

Posted By: valoy on 04/10/05 04:46pm

Thanks for the reply,don't know if I will pull the rings up or not, if they are hard i'll leave them alone. Is there another valve under the hot water heater? I didn't find that one.I've only had my trail-lite for 4 weeks.Right know i'm trying to make sure everything works.My drive is not very level & i'm trying to work on the frig.I keep hearing not to run if if the rv isn't level.What powers the frig to run while driving down the road? Thanks for your reply as we just retired and this is our first RV.Need all the help I can get.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 04/10/05 06:02pm

Burlmart, I have the 213 also. Your water heater access panel is on the driver's side. Open the cover by turning the little ring thing and you will see the tank. There is a plastic plug near the bottom that you unscrew, make sure the faucets are open and it will drain down to about a gallon, so nothing to worry about volume wise if there is a freeze. Use some teflon tape to reinstall it. I have heard that after a few drains the plug should be replaced. I'll believe it when I see it. I haven't had trouble with water being in the fresh tank for a long time.
The best way to handle the fridge is to get it cold by hooking up to your house electric the night before, put all cold stuff in there, and then switch it off while on the road. The gas setting uses a flame, and many people seem uneasy about a flame while driving. We have gone for 7 hours so far between hookkups and the food has been fine.
As for the hotwater heater light, who knows? Dario and I have figured out that it comes on if the heater, in gas mode tries to start but can't get a sustained flame. Thats just our not so humble opinion.

Posted By: backwoodsman on 04/11/05 12:39pm

Info on water heater. On my 04 236S the two switches with a red light between them are as follows. The left hand switch is for 110v electric & the rt. hand switch is for gas.
I think that 04 was the first year they installed the gas/electric as standard equipment.
I had leakage at the pop-off when I used the heater on elect. After checking the temp of the hot water & finding it well below the pop-off valve setting, took it back to the dealer & they installed a new pop-off valve which cured the problem.
Hope this helps.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 04/11/05 03:14pm

On the water heater plug, I have been using plumbers putty to reseal the plug after draining. Never thought to use teflon tape. Should work just as well. There are no ring pull drains in that area that I can find.

Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 04/12/05 06:35pm

Tony Tiger
Thanks for the INFO. we took our first trip of the year pulling the Ranger and the Fish Eye worked great can see the hood and front of the truck.

Posted By: burlmart on 04/13/05 12:51pm

Still getting used to how forums work...

i saw a fisheye on the rear window of the RV-like transit bus that brings me home from my job at LSU (I am a legally blind structural engineering professor). my wife, martha, does all the driving, and i could see how the fisheye would benefit her w/ backing in the boat. btw, she thinks the tl b+ is very easy to drive, except in older towns w/ narrow lanes.

i spotted the hot water drain on the outside access panel. if keeping freshwater in the tanks for an extended time poses no contamination issues, then we would not need to drain the system at all. how long is it before you are pushing some sort of problem? we will soon be storing the rv off-site under a covered roof the keeps out sun and most rain; I suppose the temperature inside may be about 90 degrees in the louisiana summers.

about fridge questions from others, our dealer said the tilted vehicle/fridge problem is not a real issue. we have had no problems w/ our gas fridge on a pretty significant tilt, so maybe the technology is better now and this is no longer at issue.

a few questions for whomever ...

where do you get a fisheye?

how important is a water pressure regulator for city hookup if you turn the fawcet on to a slight opening (my fluids knowledge makes me thing the pressure ultimately gets high no matter how constricted the fawcett opening).

why wouldn't there be a simple low point drain to evacuate ALL water from the hotwater and freshwater tanks?


Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 04/13/05 07:22pm

Burlmart- We got the fisheye at a RV dealer I think most of them will have one. It works very well but the distance of things behind you is not correct so keep that in mind.
I have heard that bacteria will start it grow in water if it is not used in about 7 days. Some one may know more about this than I do. You are doing just fine with your posts.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 04/13/05 10:15pm

burlmart - As Cowboy66 mentioned, we got our fisheye at a RV dealer also.

A common drain really would not work too well as your water heater is an actual pressure tank with cold water going in and hot water going out with some kind of heating element. Nice idea, but would require some engineering.

We have never had a problem with our refrigerator when the RV is on a slight incline. Really would not be comfortable sleeping if it was on a significant incline, so one problem is solved by another.

You are correct on the pressure regulator. You would eventually build up the coach pressure to the exact same value as the supply line pressure. How important is the regulator, well it is a small price to pay compared to a blown line that is hard to repair.

Posted By: gkreutzer on 04/13/05 11:24pm

Second Battery and Inverter Question:
Has anyone with a Trail-Lite 211 or 213 B+ added a second battery and/or an inverter (1750 w)? I would appreciate any ideas on how and where to attach these items. I thought I could flatten the battery tray lip and just slide two batteries crossways but the propane tank interferes with one of the batteries this way. I was hoping to put some sort of a splash proof box for the inverter somewhat near the battery since it's bracket and tray is open-aired on the underside of the coach along the chassis. [emoticon]

* This post was edited 04/14/05 12:09am by gkreutzer *

Posted By: cheeze1 on 04/14/05 06:32am

Gary, I have a 213. I was interested in adding a second battery before I even knew what coach I was going to buy. I was under the impression that most battery access doors were big enough to remove and replace the battery thru. Not in my case!! Anyway, I think the best way on a 213 to add a second battery would be to refabricate the present holder. Since mine resides under the couch, 2 more bolts to hold a larger, 2 battery tray is a non issue. I also think I would use the same design, but add a plastic tub/tray for the purpose you mention. I figure Target would have some kind of plastic storage box that would fit. I'm sure I will be doing this, but that's down the road a bit. Right now I'm trying to do a neat job with my side turn signals I (and Dario) are adding to the coach body.
Good luck!

Posted By: Gene in NE on 04/14/05 08:02am

gkreutzer - I have thought about adding a second battery myself. If you read all the posts in this thread, you will find someone who flattened the lip and installed a second battery turned the other way. Believe it was Gary Swanson who placed the bottom of a milk crate in the bracket and was able to install two batteries in a raised position.

On the inverter location, you would want it close to the batteries; but you would want a cut-off switch accessible from the inside of the unit.

2002 Trail-Lite 211S w/5.7 Chevy

Posted By: burlmart on 04/14/05 09:07am

what will you gain w/ an inverter and extra battery?

are you expecting to run the fridge, microwave, and/or TV? how many days would juice last?

no way on the AC right?

Posted By: gkreutzer on 04/14/05 09:59am


I want to use the TV&dvd, and maybe even the microwave (for the occasional 3 minute bag of popcorn) while boondocking without firing up the genset to do it. Just trying to keep my options open when boondocking or state park type camping w/o hookups. Converter off, refrigerator on gas, definitely no AC, and a quiet evening without fumes appeals to me. I also thought the dual battery and inverter would allow all kinds of choices when others are near. My 211 is for "movin' not sittin' " so recharging the batteries on the go or with the genset is always an option.

I guess fabricating some new type of bracket along the frame may be my best option for the two batteries. Bummer, I had read an old post about someone just turning the batteries in the old battery box with the lip bent down, but that pesky propane tank has me scratching my head. Thanks all,


Posted By: PSW on 04/14/05 11:19am

You all are talking about a Trail-Lite, but I posted in the "C" forum a couple of days ago about a similar battery issue. I have a BT Cruiser 23 footer and installed two batteries and am now going to three! I got various opinions about doing this, and finally emailed Gulfstream and their head electrical engineer emailed me back in about two working hours with the answers to my questions about three batteries.

We, too, boondock most of the time and wanted more juice. I am going to put three Series 27 batteries on board and increase whereby we can spend several days without recharging.

When we first got the BT Cruiser, I immediately added another battery for boondocking. It is really a neat thing to have two coach batteries. I encourage you to figure out where to hang that baby, because out in the boonies, you will really love not having to fire up the generator.


Posted By: burlmart on 04/14/05 12:23pm


we are new to the rv scene and have only done the sp water/electric hookup. are we allowed to rent a non-developed site and just pull in (probably w/ no generator running allowed) in a sp?

what about private campgrounds?

where can we boondock? i am concerned about going down the road and not having a place to stay with our rv - still a carryover from the car+motel mentality. what new avenues of freedom (boondocking) are now available?

Posted By: cheeze1 on 04/14/05 02:28pm

PSW, What does 3 batteries give you, as far as power is concerned? Can you run a tv or microwave? Was there anything special you had to do to mount 3? What about the wiring?

Posted By: PSW on 04/14/05 03:04pm


Try the National Parks and National Forests. Take a look at the Evangelene National Forest on the lake up by Alexandria and I think you will find a couple of examples of NF campsites. Some National Wildlife Refugees have campsites, most with no hookups. When you get into the National Forests in places like Arkansas, Missouri, Tenn, Colorado, NM and so on, you will find lots of "boondocking" campsites. You might take a look at the "campgrounds" posting forum on Also, Corp of Engineers have lots of campgrounds around their lakes.

We only stay in a KOA style campground getting to these kinds of places. Try it and you will like it.

If you are a AAA member, they can provide you with camping booklets listing all campgrounds, commercial and public for the US and Canada.


Posted By: PSW on 04/14/05 03:06pm


Three batteries get you 50% more amp hours than two batteries. Hook them up in parallel(positive to positive to positive and negative to negative to negative). Charger charges all three. The batteries need to be exactly alike and all the same age (condition) to maximize effiency in charging and discharge.

I bought and installed an inverter (600 watts) to run the tv and we also carry a dish antenna and satellite box from home when we travel for more than a short stay. Then, we can watch a little CNN out in the boonies. Or whatever. Still, you will drain those batteries pretty rapidly. So, we try to just use the batteries mostly for the waterpump and lights. My inverter isn't big enough to run the microwave, so we just kick on the generator for a short run when we need to use it.



2013 Phoenix Cruiser 2350
2014 Jeep Cherokee behind it
and a 2007 Roadtrek 210P for touring

Posted By: TonyTiger on 04/15/05 02:16pm

In my Starflyte B+ I had to replace the cooling element in the refrig. It turned out that installing a new frig was cheaper by $1000. ????
I had it for 4 years didn't worry about getting close to level. apparently the older design had less slope on the copper tubing that makes a repeating Z shape. If the hydrogen or ammonia can't move then you get a problem in the tubing that backs up the exchanger and burns it out....or so they told me. Had to replace it, it started not cooling.
I have always gotten near level with the Trail Lite.

Posted By: burlmart on 04/16/05 07:06am

how concerned should i be about the significant vibration of the tv when driving on bad/bumpy roads. i can grab the vibrating cab roof/tv shelf and feel as much as an inch of motion. also this is the only vibration noise zone in rv - the rest is pleasantly quiet, even on bumpy road.

also, what is the battery switch and the antenna/cable outlets in the dvd compartment?

Posted By: burlmart on 04/19/05 01:08pm

thanks to all who mentioned the fisheye. we bought and installed one on the bathroom rear window and will test it on the way to dauphin island, al this weekend.

is this thread growing thin? not much activity w/r a recent qeustion of overcab vibration.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 04/21/05 06:24pm

This thread had been going since Feb 2002 when Daniel C. started it. Sometimes it gets slow and sometimes it hops, but always people only answer when they have a good answer or have had experience. From the silence I would guess that no one has measured the movement of the upper shelf. Since my B+ bounces at least an inch on our local roads, I would guess that the upper shelf is moving that much also. The real issue is the relative movement of the shelf versus the frame of the motor home.
So I apologize for a poor answer since that is the limit of what I know on the subject. Any one else help?

Posted By: Gene in NE on 04/21/05 06:46pm

burlmart - As TonyTiger explained, If you do not get an answer; then maybe the right people are not reading or we don't have an answer. My unit is a 2002, so the construction is a little different above the cab. You have more of the roof cut out and the TV is farther towards the front bumper. Our unit is fairly solid.

I have a question for the moderator - I sometimes use the quick reply and other times the "reply to topic". My signature does not always appear automatically although the box is checked. Am I doing something wrong? I place the question here just in case others have noticed that also. The preview never shows the signature.

Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 04/21/05 07:28pm

I am sorry I don't have the answer to your question hopefully someone will come up with it.

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 04/21/05 09:54pm

burlmart -- my overcab compartment with three cubbies moves only with the cab itself. It does not vibrate and move independently of the cab. We carried a TV up there for a while, but with the rough roads we frequent the TV was moving and bouncing around too much. Plus we really never chose to watch it. I got a gizmo that allows us to watch TV over my notebook computer that is a bit cumbersome but adequate for those rare times.

this particular "thread" is VERY broadbased as far as topics, and is more a group of layed back friends who exchange ideas and comments. if you really want a timely answer to a focused question or topic, consider posting same as a new topic.

Posted By: My Roadtrek on 04/21/05 11:04pm

Gene in NE wrote:

I have a question for the moderator - I sometimes use the quick reply and other times the "reply to topic". My signature does not always appear automatically although the box is checked. Am I doing something wrong? I place the question here just in case others have noticed that also. The preview never shows the signature.

Sigs only show once per page. This was one of the changes with the new format.

Posted By: burlmart on 04/25/05 06:03am

we just returned from three nights at the dauphin island, al campground. very very nice place to slow down and enjoy - walked dogs on trails and beach and along rock jetties. the island is not highly developed like the florida panhandle or even gulf shores (we were told they are still in major hurricane repair mode on the east side of mobile bay, even the ferry is still out between dauphin island and fort morgan). dauphin island was not badly hit, and is back to normal.

the fisheye worked well as an additional rear view and should be invaluable when towing.

the inch of movement is better described as an 'estimate' of the total top to bottom flex of the free end of the cab overhead/tv shelf noticeable on bad bumpy roads with squeaks associated w/ it. no relative movement of the lip and the tv and cabinets seems evident. i am just concerned that the 24" tv that came w/ the unit is not going to lead to roof problems or some other form of detachment later. I would like to believe that r-vision thought the structural inplications through.

no offense intended on the 'thin thread' question, just was wondering...i see there is no problem here! i have followed the thread from time to time way back when Dan C first posted - i always learned from it. were his whereabouts ever determined?

Posted By: Reno3 on 04/25/05 05:11pm

To deviate a bit from the last few posts. I've got a question. We bought a used 2003 211 B+ about a year ago. I got to wondering if you others that have that model got a sewer hose with it?? If so how big a one did come with it (Length wise that is). I never pulled ours out to ck it. I'd just opened the compartment and saw that there was one in there. First week end we went out with it to a club campout when we left and stopped at the dumping station I went to pull it out and without exagerating it wasn't any longer than 3'. Luckily friends of ours were in line behind us and let me use their hose. To use the one that came with it you'd have to be parked right on top of the sewer hole and even then I doubt it would have been long enough. When we got home I took that hose out and tossed it and "tried" to put a 10' hose in place of it. Guess what, that wouldn't even fit in the slot. Ended up wrapping it up in a garbage bag and putting it in the storage compartment. Just curious what others did with this situation.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 04/25/05 05:21pm

Reno, did you try stretching the original hose? Mine shrinks down to 3' but stretches to about 10' when used. Another thing you can do, which many others have done, is to get a piece of 4" pvc pipe with a glued end cap, and a threaded cap at the other end. Mount it to the underside of the coach. Someone here must have pix of theirs.

Posted By: gkreutzer on 04/25/05 09:28pm

I got a 10' extra heavy duty sewer hose in the box with my B+ when I bought it. When I went to put it into that short little compartment...well, no way it was going to fit in there. So I carry it coiled up in a 5 gallon bucket wrapped around a Flush King down the middle. Also store rubber gloves in there. This goes in the storage compartment. I bought the cheapest 10' hose from Wally World and that does fit into the sewer hose compartment, I'll use that as a spare or if I need extra length. The difference between the two hoses is really dramatic! [emoticon] A good quality hose just doesn't shrink down that much! I've been thinking about adding an E-Z Hose Carrier (PVC pipe idea) under the back end but can't figure out a good place for one yet.

Posted By: burlmart on 04/26/05 04:03am

when we bought ours, i think the dealer cut the free end off of a longer hose so that our approx. 6' hose just fits in the compartment. i actually do not know what sort of connector exists on the free end of a sewer hose.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 04/26/05 06:17am

reno3 - We bought a new 211-S and it came with a fairly short hose about 6'- blunt end x twist on. It has been sufficient, but have to be careful when pulling up to the dump station. Have been getting out and surveying the location before deciding how to pull up (what direction etc). I have found that the short hose is actually an advantage for getting it to drain completely and easy to clean. Just hold it straight up and flush with water. As cheeze1 mentions, Gary Swanson has pictures on his website on his way of fastening an additional tube underneath.

gkreutzer - A small package of latex gloves bought from a grocery store is excellent for sewer dumps and other messy tasks.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 04/26/05 06:42am

Reno, try this link:

Gary's photos are there, and the hose carrier, Very nice job, seems fairly easy.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 04/26/05 06:44am

For those following my trade in of the Trail Lite, just to make things interesting I hit a deer Sunday. Two days before the trade in. Looks like I'm taking it to the new dealer and trading it in with a commitment to see the repair through with the insurance company.
The good news: No one was hurt (except the poor deer). The Trail Lite can take a hit like that without breaking stride. The front and driver's side fender got whacked pretty good, but it is driveable, no leaking fluids and the lights work, except one hangs downward.
The best news: it wasn't the new one.

Posted By: burlmart on 04/26/05 08:10am


what is the new model you want?

Posted By: burlmart on 04/26/05 10:48am


forget my previous question. i am getting the hang of these forums, and i see from previous posts that you have a 24bb with two slides - sounds roomy.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 04/26/05 02:49pm

Excellent search job, the forums are a bit intimidating at first. I went for months without realizing there were private messages! You got it right. It's a Four Winds Siesta 24BB.

We got to see it today. The factory sent it without the Day/Night shades. The dealer added the second battery for me. I'm holding off on the purchase until the estimate comes in and is approved by the insurance company...and until the shades come in.

Posted By: agoaliemom on 04/26/05 03:19pm

Regarding the sewer hose, I found that by using a very cheap hose I can get a ten-foot one in the little opening which comes with the unit. Yes, I'll probably have to replace it more often--but it's cheap. The three-footer which came with our unit was just about worthless, though the quality of the hose was better.

Posted By: burlmart on 04/26/05 03:31pm

i agree with the idea that a 6 ft hose is easy to rinse after use, though have no experience with a 10 ft hose.

tony, the picture of the fourwinds looks great, but my computer freezes at the web site and does not allow me to view products menu to see floorplans.

Posted By: Reno3 on 04/26/05 04:08pm

Thanks for all the idea's. I'd thought of trying to put a PC pipe under the rear but with the rear door and the spare tire there don't think there'd be room to do it

Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 04/27/05 10:53am

Tony Tiger- Good to know that you came out safe other things can be repaired. Sounds like the dealer is going to work with you on your unit. Good luck with the new unit.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 04/28/05 07:29am


Try working from the homepage
Follow Products/Fourwinds/Siesta
There is a floorplan for the 24BB to click on.

Otherwise send a private message to me and I'll respond with an image.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 05/03/05 09:47pm

TonyTiger- How's the trade coming? Tried the FourWinds website and they must be having problems as the Products, Information and Miscellaneous links do not work. Thought it was my computer for a while. Did a search on RV Trader OnLine and it looks like the floor plan is very similar to your Trail Lite 235S. Hope you enjoy your trade. I have noticed that the Ford cab seems to be a little tighter especially for the passenger. I have mentioned it before, but I have learned from Winnebago that they have altered the dog house over the engine to give the cab occupants a little more leg room. For me, I'd be trying to buy the cover from Winnebago.

Posted By: burlmart on 05/04/05 05:07am


I too had the problem with the Four Winds website and also thought it was due to my software...

We have the 213 w. a chevy 6.0 and get 11 mpg almost every time. what mileage do you get w/ the 5.7?

Also, to anyone, when my change engine oil light comes on for first time, how do I get it to go off if I change the oil myself. We have about 4000 miles on it so far.

Posted By: agoaliemom on 05/04/05 06:25am

Around town we get horrible mileage because we never go above 30-40 and we have no freeways to use regularly. When I drove it 836 miles back from Ohio (where I bought it), I got around 11. I may have even gotten 12 one time. If I were to drive it at 65, I know I'd get better mileage.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 05/04/05 10:00am

burlmart - Normally I expect to get 11.5 to 12 mpg, but I drive about 5 mph below the limit. Did get as high as 15 mpg coming back from Las Vegas around Christmas time. We were traveling down hill (dropping in elevation), had a tail wind, fresh water and waste tanks empty (winterized), no air conditioning, no trailer, and cool damp weather. All the conditions were right for higher mpg. The 6.0 has a little more power, the 5.7 is adequate.

As for the oil change light - must be new for either the 6.0 or the year. A simple call to any Chevy dealer service department should give you the answer. My Mom's Buick had a reset button to push in the glove compartment.

Posted By: B-Plus on 05/04/05 11:01am

Burlmart, I have the same engine as you and I am averaging around 12 all of the time. That's driving with full tanks and keeping it to around 55-60 MPH.
1st question to you is ,even though the system has an engine sensor to let you know when to change the oil,why would you wait that long. Personally I would never wait until the system told me to change it. I think my manual says somewhere around 10,000 miles the light will come on, and maybe longer if you are using synthetic oil. I use Mobil 1 synthetic and I change mine at 5-6,000 miles. It may be a little over kill but believe me its not well worth the cost.
I guess it up to the individual and if they plan on keeping their RV for a long haul. The only time I would run a conventional oil in an engine for that long would be in a rental, lease or an RV that I was only going to keep for 2 or 3 years. I plan on keeping mine for a long time so I give it the best care. Just remember, if you do keep your RV somewhere down the line you will be paying for those lack of oil changes. Remember when the Auto industry came out with the ball joints that didn't have the grease fittings and were suppose to be lifetime. Ya right!! Whose benefit was that for? Not yours. Same with engine oil changes, they would love to sell you a new engine . That's only my 2 cents worth, I guess I'm old school, running conventional oil I would never go more than 2,500-3,000 miles, but that's me. good luck with yours. Almost forgot your question, I don't know how to reset it because my light has never has a chance to go off yet.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 05/04/05 01:12pm

Fast responses:
The Four Winds is quite similar to the TL, and was our second(maybe should have been our first) choice.
Winnebago did a heck of a job on the cab and the engine cover, making it almost liveable. Trouble was the price in our case. Didn't think it was worth 20 g's more than the TL.
I get about 11 around town, almost 12 on the highway. I think my '05 is less aerodynamic than Dario's model.

Need advice: I am preparing to send a letter with a 'book' of information regarding my new vehicle problems which includes the dealer repair sheets. My dealer is now owned by Meyer's Superstores, a Freedom Roads company. My plan is to send this to Trail Lite, but do I send a copy to the local dealer, Meyer's management, or Freedom Roads?
To keep a long story short, they had my truck for 6 weeks, never repaired certain problems because wrong parts were shipped, and some of what they fixed was not done well.

Posted By: burlmart on 05/04/05 03:39pm

Boy, lots of info flying about. Thanks for mpg info. Gene, going uphill to Vegas should have cut into your mpg, did you notice any reduction? I remember reading about your mileage earlier and was hoping to see some for our unit, but 11 11 11 11 11...Of course, we got no up/down hills in South LA.

As for the book of repair info, Cheeze1, what will it be for, or are we all supposed to do the same as a standard procedure. I thought I remembered a posting that said R-Vision was a good group if you brought your unit to the factory - is this something an owner could schedule with them?

Our unit has been fairly trouble free so far (I fixed a disconnected freshwater meter wire, and a speaker in the ceiling is not connected to dash radio). Perhaps the dealer did a good prep job; however, they did not mention any fixes. The salesman said the vibration of the cab roof doesn't sound right and that I could let them look at it, but I know that there must be some vibration and noise, I just have no feel for how much is too much. I can live with the vibration if only I have a feel that it is natural.

Dario, I did not realize that the light is apparently based on oil degredation, not simply automatic every _____ miles. So if a person keeps oil up to a good standard, the light should never come on?

Posted By: Reno3 on 05/04/05 03:59pm

Cheese I'd copy the local dealer and also Myers. Myers has really expanded in the last few years' Used to be just one location in Caledonia NY. Then they took over the Winnebago dealership in Syracuse. Last I knew they had 6 locations and apparently now even more if they've expanded into New Jersy.

Posted By: TonyTiger on 05/04/05 04:10pm

My Chevy manaul has a procedure to trun off the oil light. But since it is in the shop I can't tell you. It's one of those turn the key three times, rub your head, things.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 05/04/05 05:15pm

Burl, apparently my 213 is one of the 'so-so' ones quality wise, while Dario got a good one. Its a long list of things that should have been taken care of. Also, reading your post, sounds like your dealer has more interest in your well-being. I also have heard that stopping at the factory is a good experience.

Posted By: B-Plus on 05/04/05 11:43pm

Burl, my manual says that the GM oil life system is:
Your vehicle has a computer system that lets you know when to change engine oil and filter. This is based on engine revolutions and engine temperature and not mileage. If you are driving under the best conditions the oil life system may not indicate that an oil change is necessary for over a year. However, your oil and filter must be changed at least once a year and at that time the system must be reset.
To reset the system
1) Turn the ignition key to the run position with the engine off
2) Fully depress and release the accelerator pedal three times within 5 seconds.
3) If the change engine oil light flashed for 5 seconds , the system is reset.

Posted By: burlmart on 05/06/05 03:38am

Thanks to all for the info. The procedure spelled out by Dario should prove invaluable should I neglect to keep up oil quality.

We plan to go to Lake Conroe RV Resort next week for a few days.

Posted By: gkreutzer on 05/10/05 08:53am

I have a 2003 Trail-Lite 211 with black and grey tank heaters (at least that's what the included literature says). Does anyone know where the on/off switch for the tank heaters is located? I haven't found any switches inside the coach yet. There is a 20 amp fuse on the DC distibution panel marked "Tank Heater." The included literature talks about turning the switch on for winter protection and off for summer. (More snow on the way for the mountains this week–this is getting old![emoticon]) Anyway, the heaters are from UltraHeat and their website shows a switch, I just can't seem to locate it. Thanks.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 05/10/05 04:45pm

Gary, dunno about the 211, but the heaters in my 213 are in the bathroom. Its a black switch with a red 'jewel' pilot lite in the middle.

Posted By: Reno3 on 05/10/05 07:01pm

The heaters in the '03 211 must have been an option. As far as I know there's no heaters in my 211 (other than the furnace that is lol)

Posted By: gkreutzer on 05/10/05 08:36pm

Thanks Cheeze1, but the 211 has a wet bath so no switches in there.
Reno3, the LE (Limited Edition?) has a bunch of extras thrown in and I guess these heaters are one of the options added. Still no idea where the switch might be. [emoticon]

Posted By: Gary Swanson on 05/10/05 09:21pm

Gary --- I too have a 2003 211(S) and ordered it with G&B tank heaters. The on/off switch is a black rocker switch with a lit red jewel when on. Mine is in between the furnace thermostat and the water pump / water heater switch bank, located on the wall to the left of the "kitchen" sink.

Others --- I continue to get 11-12 MPG driving 65-75 MPH. Dipped to 10.5 on our last trip doing 75-80 into a head wind. Oh well.

Other rigs continue to pique my interest, but in the end they also have similar or other unique "problems". I plan to stay with ours for a few years at least. The devil you know vs the devil you don't know.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 05/11/05 07:26am

Gary S: I agree about other coaches out there, but when one considers price, the T/L fares pretty well.
Gary K: Did you check if you actually have the tank heaters? They are flat pads not unlike a mouse pad glued to the base of the tank, with small wires coming from them. My unit even has a heater on the elbow near the tank.

Posted By: gkreutzer on 05/11/05 09:35am

Cheeze1: Thanks for your input. I crawled back under the rig this morning and the wires I thought were for the tank heaters are the level indicator sensors. Other than the fuse and owner literature, there is no other indication I even have tank heaters. I guess because it's an LE, I assumed it had about every option included. Thanks for your description. Now I know what it was supposed to look like, and I don't have them. Well, at least that mystery is solved. Thanks every one for your help. It sure is nice to have a "home" to check into for information.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 05/11/05 03:10pm

Gary, don't be [emoticon] ! Go here:
and check out their products. The website is a little weird sometimes, but I found it informative. I will be getting the pipe heaters eventually. Where you live, like me, you need them.

Posted By: Reno3 on 05/19/05 07:15pm

First problem with our 211 this past weekend. Water line came unhooked from kitchen faucet and flooded the MH. Which in turn shorted out the converter. Ext warranty refused to pay for the converter. I"m out $480. The dealer had replaced the faucet last year because it was leaking but he won't acknowledge any responsibility for the line coming off the first time we've used it this year. Didn't do any good to talk to the service dept to maybe share the cost. They offered to remove it if I didn't want to pay for it?? Last time they'll ever see my face.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 05/19/05 09:25pm

Reno3 - Had a similar situation on my previous motorhome. Apparently the winter freeze/thaw had loosened the connection on the under side of my faucets. Drained the antifreeze, filled tank with fresh water and turned on the pump. Fortunately, heard the spraying water, shut off the pump and did not have any real damage except wet carpet under the sink. Taught me to shut off the pump except when using the water.

Looks like that is a design flaw in the 211, no shielding above the converter and it is located right under the kitchen faucets. A simple plastic shield would divert the water elsewhere. I am making a trip to Nappanee, Indiana this week-end and hope to go North to Elkhart to see the R-Vision factory. Will try to remember to mention that to them. I would not go back to that dealer, might even tell the story to some of my friends.

Posted By: Reno3 on 05/20/05 06:00am

Gene this time we were hooked up to "city" water. My wife turned the hot water heater on before we went to a pot luck supper so she could do the dishes when we got back. so we weren't around to see the start of the flood. Carpet seems to be dried out now. Been running a ceramic heater out there for the last several days. Now have to get it repacked for the long weekend coming up.

Posted By: Luap on 05/24/05 11:35am

Has anyone installed Bilstein shocks on their Trail-Lite. Would just like to dampen the response to concrete highway expansion joints/ cracks etc. Drives me nuts, the harsh response my unit gives to these highway conditions. This is really the only complaint of our TL 213 and would appreciate any feedback.

2004 TL 213 6.0 chevy

Posted By: AJarand on 05/24/05 12:22pm

Luap wrote:

Has anyone installed Bilstein shocks on their Trail-Lite. Would just like to dampen the response to concrete highway expansion joints/ cracks etc. Drives me nuts, the harsh response my unit gives to these highway conditions. This is really the only complaint of our TL 213 and would appreciate any feedback.
2004 TL 213 6.0 chevy

You might also want to get your unit weighed, front and rear, and adjust tire pressures accordingly. (The tire maker will have full weight/pressure ratings on their web site).
My Great West came with 80lbs rear according to the weight of the unit only needed 55 or 60. I dropped down to 65 and the ride is much less harsh without compromising handling.
Alan J.

Posted By: burlmart on 05/24/05 12:59pm

This is almost exactly the issue I had w/ the vibration if my overhead cab roof/TV platform...It is most noticed on concrete pavements w/ regularly spaced joints...This indicates a "resonance" problem w/r to dynamic loading.

I knew I was not imagining a problem in my former posts, when I asked if other 213 owners were getting excerbated responses to road roughness.

I too am interested in possible solutions.

Posted By: gkreutzer on 05/31/05 10:36am

(Last day of May? How did that happen already?)

Posted By: burlmart on 05/31/05 11:29am

Lake Conroe RV Resort was nice - listened to Western Horizons timeshare pitch, but not our style.

Lake Chicot SP (Ville Platte, LA) was a bit depressing - do not see why this park is so popular. Heat, Bugs, rough trails, no pool (Memorial Day), and ugly lake water really does not add up to a desirable return trip spot. Left a day early to come home and watch TV.

We are still new to RVing, and are not fully acquainted w/ travel aids. Have been looking at other forums for info like...

1) Microsoft Streets and Trips - will it really show you where the campgrounds are, and better yet, would it also give phone numbers of these places, or is that too much to expect.

With phone numbers you would not necessarily need one of those guides from Woodalls or TL with the impossibly small print (legally blind copilot).

2) Just thought of there a good CD version of TL or Woodalls or something like this that does not need internet access. This would assist w/ the first item above.

3) What is the Simplest way to use cell phone as a modem so we can use Netscape Dial0up ISP on our laptop. (Until there is Wi0Fi everywhere.)

Not too tekki, but
4) is it possible to ckeck and add air to dually wheels w/o adding hardware. There seem to be a lot of different opinions on this. If it is possible, I would rather not make unnecessary changes to the RV.

Any help or discussion is appreciated.

Thanks for the Bump, gkreutzer!

Posted By: cheeze1 on 05/31/05 09:26pm

What is a bump? (Here on the forum!)
Burl, I have Streets 2003 on my desktop. Yes, it shows campsites, some that are not listed in the T/L guide. If you click on 'show information' you get complete address and phone.
I don't know how it compares to the other major computer-direction finder using GPS by Delorme. I saw Delorme in action, and it was very impressive.
I believe T/L is available on CD.

Posted By: My Roadtrek on 06/01/05 12:20am

A bump is a post that puts a topic back to the top of the first page. I only allow one bump per thread, after that PM me and we will see what we can work out.


Posted By: cheeze1 on 06/01/05 06:27am

Rodger, Ok, I think I get it.
My news: gang, I did it again! Broke my left tail light being arrogant thinking I could watch the wrong mirror and not use the back up cam, and cracked the rear 'bumper' area on that side as well. Luckily dealer said it was repairable. What a PITA. I am getting good at fabricating temporary tail lights with red tape, however.

Posted By: burlmart on 06/01/05 06:54am

Sorry, Gary, I thought 'bump' was like a knock on the door to see if anyone was home, since the forum had been quiet for a while.

What exactly got moved to where.

Thanks for the answers, cheeze1. I think I'll go looking for the software only - not sure I need the GPS added on.

Posted By: Keysgirl on 06/01/05 06:58am

Identity crisis: What is a Forest River Lexington 235. Would it be considered a Camper Van, or a small Class C? It is a B+, but it is difficult to get on a forum where the discussions are specific to RV's of my size. The Lexington is more boxy than some of the sleeker camper vans. I want to purchase a protective cover and really don't know if I should order a Class C or a large Class B. Any suggestions

Posted By: Gene in NE on 06/01/05 08:56am

We just returned from an enjoyable 12-day (2,200 mile) trip. Gas mileage averaged 11.9 with some segments as low as 10.3 heading directly into a strong wind and 13.2 with a tail wind. Learned the location of the factory for RVision. Headquarters is located in Elkhart with the plant in Warsaw, Indiana. We were able to tour the plant and saw how our unit was built. We also toured the Newmar factory (high end Class A’s) and the Gulf Stream factory (Class A’s, Class C’s, Class Super C’s, Class B+’s and Sprinter conversions). I have to admit, I was impressed with the RVision factory process, and the tour guide Mike was very co-operative and informative. It was reassuring to see the differences and similarities.

Keysgirl – The tour guide for RVision lead me to believe that they "coined" the term "B Plus". If that is true, then several other manufacturers have followed their lead. I think all the so-called B+ motorhomes really are narrower and smaller Class C’s. The protective cover likely should be for a small Class C. The Forest River Lexington 235 is in this class.

Luap - I did not feel the need to spend the money for Bilstein shocks. All reviews describe them as a great improvement in the rock, roll, sway, porpoising, and tail-wagging aspects of handling. We experienced the harshness of tar stripes across the highways not the bounce or other characteristics typically solved by different shocks. We found that additional weight and adjustment of air pressure made a big difference. I too would like to hear from someone who replaced the stock shocks and the effect it may have had on the harshness of bumps.

Cheeze1 – Sorry to hear about your misfortune of breaking a tail light. If your dealer cannot obtain the part, then a call to the factory should get you a new one.

Reno3 – On our tour of the factory, I mentioned the concern of not having some protection for the converter from water leakage. Mike listened and indicated that he would share that with the designers. I don’t know if they are still locating the converters under the kitchen sink on any current models. I now know the value of a pressure regulator in the city water supply line.

Posted By: agoaliemom on 06/01/05 10:31am

Days after getting my 211 or 213 (can't remember which it is) last October, I parked in a handicapped parallel parking space in Walmart (I have a handicapped sticker). I returned to my vehicle and was getting in when a guy came running over to me. Apparently someone had clipped my bumper/light, etc., and drove off. I didn't notice because I entered from the front and didn't think to check the back.

He got the license, and the police eventually got the person (who hadn't realized what she did supposedly).

Then, a month later, my dear husband (yes, I still love him a lot!) was driving the RV to a parking lot and ignored the 9' overhead warning sign--taking out our air-conditioning unit and vent!! It wasn't worth using insurance ($500 deductible), so now I have a new a/c, which I didn't need. :-)

Then, four months later, my sweet hubby went too close to a garbage truck which was parked in the MIDDLE of the road, and cracked the passenger mirror. I was shocked to find out it cost only $35 to repair.

We just returned from a 5000 trip with no mishaps, praise God! And yes, my dear hubby drove at least 2500 miles of the trip.

Posted By: burlmart on 06/01/05 12:23pm

Sorry to hear of all those dings going on.

Gene, the factory tour sounded real interesting. Was there a formal way to show them your unit and ask about any fixes?

Also, I am hearing a clicking w/ each revolution og the front wheel on the passenger side. It takes on a bit of a metallic rattle at about 30 mph, but more of a clicking at 5 mph. Only audible w/ window down. Any Hunches out there?

Just ordered MS Streets and Trips from WalMart - will be a week or so.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 06/01/05 12:52pm

Keys, you would be better off with a Class C. Our B+ are technically C's without the over cab bunkbed, tho' there are probably many other differences. Trouble is there are no regular B's out there that have the dimensions of the smallest B+. As far as finding the 'right' forum to hang around in, we are sortof neither fish nor fowl. I find the C forum and the Camping Van forum to be useful.
Burl, the GPS add-on for both Streets and Delorme makes your computer into almost as good a unit as you see in the new luxury cars at les than 1/4 the price. If I had a modern laptop, I would have bought one of them already.

Posted By: Keysgirl on 06/01/05 07:38pm

Thank you for your many responses: You have been most helpful, I'll be ordering a small class C cover for the Lexington. [emoticon]

Posted By: gkreutzer on 06/01/05 08:24pm

Please let us know what type of cover you get and how it fits. Other than ordering a "custom" cover, I wonder how a "C" cut cover will fit above the cab.

Posted By: burlmart on 06/02/05 09:01am


A friend told me when he put a cover on his RV it created a nice home for hornets. Only one story, maybe someone else can add to the info here.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 06/02/05 09:12am

burlmart - Sorry to say, the factory tour really is not set up for complaints nor customer repairs. I found Mike, the tour guide, to be fairly knowledgeable about all the different units and he listened and commented. The factory is just that - a factory. Don't know much about what services you might get at the Elkhart headquarters. My purpose was to see the guts, parts, and workmanship being practiced. I was not disappointed. On your rattle or click, sure sounds like gravel in your hub cap. Hope it is not a lug nut.

agoaliemom - Stop beating up these Trail-Lites. They develop small nuisances by themselves just fine. I'm smiling.

Keysgirl - You might want to re-think the cover. I bought one for my previous Class A and it was a little scary putting it on and taking it off. I had to climb up and walk on the roof carrying this rather large, a little heavy, cover and laying it out to throw down the sides without knocking myself off the unit. Removing was not too much better. How to climb up the ladder while lifting the rear of the cover then pulling up the sides and kinda folding it up to be able to toss it on the ground. All the while trying to avoid stepping on the vents, A/C, antennae etc. These B+ units are a little taller than a true Class B.

Posted By: burlmart on 06/02/05 11:21am

Thanks, Gene for the info.

I really have no issues for the factory, other than to ask if the squeaks from the 24" TV vibrating over the cab is common. I am pretty sure that removing that heavy set would bring the interior noise level when driving to a VERY tolerable quietude.

The front passenger wheel click is definitely too precise to be gravel in the hubcap - it seems innocuous for now.

I am trying to be less of a worry-wart engineer as I grow older, and am trying to get situated with the idea that things are not 'perfect'.

The trick is in knowing what is a real problem, versus one that might or might not occur. Engineers are trained to identify the former, and spend their lives focused on predicting the latter.

I sometimes wish I'd studied political science, or something else just as fuzzy.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 06/02/05 03:30pm

Burl, don't fret. I am a wannabe engineer, and wish I had all of your knowledge to look back on.
What kind of hubcaps/wheels do you have? I have stainless liners, and my center cap is not as snug as it should be, and makes that clicking noise. I just have to make an adjustment or inject some old reliable, silicone sealer!
As for the tv overhead, I had some of those problems too. First, take it out and make sure you don't have about 2 miles of romex and cable laying on the roof of the cab. I secured all of mine with zip ties and screwed in cable clamps. My dealer shimmed the tv against the frame. It helps, but I do question the wisdom of putting pressure on a plastic tv box. I added a rubber weatherstrip to the rear of the tv retention frame. its that hollow tube style. It all helped quite a bit, but my solution, in hindsight would be to let T/L keep their tv, and get a smaller LCD flatscreen, mount it to a sturdy door, and have more cabinet space behind it. Oh well...

Posted By: agoaliemom on 06/02/05 07:21pm

With four of us using the small rear-entrance Trail-lite, we needed some privacy using the wet bath. I went to Walmart and found two very small shower tension rods (the 40" ones for under $5.00 a piece). I put one from the fridge to the wall by the sink, and another one over the back door. I found a curtain panel (40" x 63") and got two of them for each rod. When the shower is being used, both curtains are closed and it makes a neat little dressing room.

Those of your with dry baths won't have a clue why this is necessary. In the small wet bath, the shower is taken in the actual room with the toilet. It is a great space-saver and we love it that way (though most people don't, I've heard), but there is no place to actually get dressed. Since we travel with our 17 yr old son and 10 yr old daughter, it's nice to have some privacy!

Anyway, if someone has a wet bath set-up, the shower rods work very well.

Posted By: burlmart on 06/03/05 03:37am

Thanks for the very solid info. I'd of never thought of a flexing hubcap, but that just might be it. The TV remedy is probably just a matter of time for us. Most assuredly it should have been an LCD flatscreen, but the benefit/cost for T/L is what drove that decision. We've thought about a laptop w/ a TV tuner, as is would contain all the media components needed (even TiVo-like DVR capability) in one TINY space. Could even buy a separate larger LCD monitor for nicer viewing.

Ths dressing room idea sounds perfect for agoaliemom and family. It mimics the way many class B vans handle the wet bath with large swingout door panels. Good thinking.

Posted By: agoaliemom on 06/03/05 06:26am


The bathroom door itself would normally cover the rear door when the bath door is opened, but we put an over-the-door towel holder on it (facing outward) since there was no place for towels. As a result, the bath door won't open fully to cover the rear door. That's not a problem for us to get in and out of the bathroom since we needed the towel holder.

As for the dressing area curtain, I saw that some more expensive Trail-lites have a little folding door there, along with leather seats and other niceties which probably added $20,000 to the price. :-)

Posted By: Luap on 06/06/05 07:44am

Keysgirl........I bought an ADCO cover for our TL 213 and it has worked out just fine. The cover is very light and very easy to put on (without getting on Roof) and slips right off. We are in the North East and the cover has performed very well during the winter with lots of snow.......The cover is listed as for a Class C of between 22-24 ft.

Posted By: burlmart on 06/08/05 03:19am

I have been busy looking at other forums, especially into tire pressure maintenance issues.

I am copying a post I made in a different forum (Lexington thread of Class C Motorhome forum) because I think it will help newbies to dual rear axle RVers like me...Hope you find something useful.


Hello fellow B+ owners!

I was looking at latest topics in forum menu and found your Lexington discussion. We have a new Trail-lite B Plus 213 (22 ft. no slide) that we got at Blanchards in Baton Rouge in March. We've been to SP's in LA, MS, TN, TX, and private ones at Lake Conroe and Dauphin Island, AL. We once pulled our small Dura Craft bass boat to Fairview/Riverside SP on the Tchefuncte River near Mandeville.

The TL is very similar to the Lexington, but it has a Chevy 6.0 V8. The alignment seems to be fine so far.

My wife and I were wondering why we never see B+ RV's around these parts, but it appears that there will soon be quite a few on the local roads.

I have been involved w/ some very useful discussions of tire pressure maintenance that many new RV owners of dually rear axles may want to know about.

One thread is in the Class C Motorhome Forum under the "Portable Air Compressor" thread.

Under the Forum on Tow Vehicles, this short thread "Tire Valve Extenders on Dodge Dually" was very enlightening.

Another interesting and short thread is "Trail-Lite B+ == Ride Improvement" under the Camper Van Conversion Forum, where you will also find the "B+ Motorhome" thread (Lexington and TL B+ and Gulfstream BT Cruisers are all in same family between Class B and Class C).

Happy Travels.

Posted By: gkreutzer on 06/16/05 10:48am

We took our first week long trip to Rocky Mountain National Park last week in the 211. Everything went great, except the weather. Sure beat the old days in a tent, especially those windy nights! Sharp Micro/Convection oven didn't work, it was our first time firing it up for a little popcorn but no go. Everything on the control panel and fan worked but nothing inside did (including the light). I've been in contact with Sharp and need to get it to a service center.
We are looking forward to a long western tour next month, Yellowstone, Glacier, Banff, Yosemite. Anyone else "on the road?"

Posted By: Reno3 on 07/03/05 04:27pm

GK sounds like you're duplicating our trip. We just got home this last Monday from a 3 week (6500 Mile) trip with our 2003 Trail Lite B+ . Ours has the 5.7 Chevy motor. We went to Yellowstone first and arrived in a snow storm. Original plans called for Glacier and Baniff Jasper but after the snow headed south instead. Hit all the National parks in Utah and did both rims of the Grand Canyon. Came back east on I-70 thru Vail, Denver and over the Rockies. Avg about 12.5 mpg for the whole trip. Trail Lite ran great and we had a ball with it. Waiting to get out again with it in a couple of weeks.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 07/03/05 06:05pm

We are planning on leaving Wednesday for Elkader, Iowa for a Moto Guzzi motorcycle rally. Quite a scenic place if you have never been to that part of Iowa. Not too far from the original Pike's Peak - so the sign says.

Reno3 - I'm glad someone else is enjoying their Trail-Lite as much as we have. For the money, the size, and the driveability - can't beat it when things go right. Does it beat the Endeavor?? Ours has been to Yellowstone twice now and we are ready to go again soon. We camped on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon just after last Christmas. Parked it late at night, got up the next morning and we were about 50' from the edge (in the parking lot). You put some miles on yours.

gkreutzer - We still have not used our micro/convection oven. Your experience makes me wonder. Will have to find the time this next week-end to test ours. You must be about ready to go for your next trip.

Posted By: Reno3 on 07/04/05 04:01pm

Gene at our age don't know how many more years we'll be able to drive the MH's. So figured if we're ever going to get out that way again we'd better go now. Driving and handling beats the Endeavor )Plus ease of parking). But for wintering in Florida I'll take the Endeavor. It's just the problem of getting it there when its snowing. The Endeavor hasn't even been fired up since we got home the end of April. We do have to take it out the first of August for a week and then in Sept. it has to go to Michigan for a week. Other than that it'll be the Trail LIte. By the way our Convection oven seems to work fine (at least it makes my wifes pop corn lol)

Posted By: cheeze1 on 07/04/05 06:17pm

Hey guys, our microwave works great too.
We took the T/L to my brother in law's wedding in Albany. Much more comfortable than any car, and we had mom in law in tow, so having the bathroom helps.
Of course the truck runs beautifully and is the best highway vehicle I have. However, a few more things have gone wrong, all T/L related. My running board mats blew off, and my black tank heating pad is 'ungluing' to the extent that a couple of wires pulled out of it, which I didn't find until I got to Albany. I have an appt for next week to have everything fixed, but I wonder for how long?

Posted By: doctort on 07/04/05 09:36pm

Hey Folks,

My DW and I just bought a new B+ (Gulfstream BT Cruiser 22'). I was wondering... after you pull in to the RV park and get it level, do you put any jack stands under yours or do something else to stabilize it? If so what? All we've been doing, so far, is put one of those stands under the bottom step on the side door.

Terry and Joan

"The Cottage" (2010 Forest River Surveyor SP189)
2008 Silverado 1500, 5.3, 3.73
Terry and Joan and the great outdoors.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 07/04/05 10:16pm

Hi Dr, I never put anything under mine, haven't had any problems.

Posted By: rld1015 on 07/04/05 11:34pm

New member, 1st post. Has anyone put leveling jacks on their B+? If so, what brand, what was the cost and are you satisfied??

Posted By: jim1632 on 07/05/05 08:51am

I have never used jack stands with my B+. I have looked at the scissors jacks as a possible way to add more stabily at the rear. My question is -- do you need to attach the scissors jacks permanently to the frame. For example, the BAL scissors jacks always mention welding the jacks to the frame.

My concern is that these would drag on steeper slopes and be damaged, so I would prefer to just store the jacks and use them as required. Has anyone else taken this approach?

Posted By: cheeze1 on 07/05/05 11:06am

Dario, one of the 'master fabricators" of this thread, installed a scissor jack crosswise in the front of his 225. I don't have the details anymore due to a computer crash, but he will gladly supply pix and advice. One of the perks of being a retired engineer!!

Posted By: B-Plus on 07/05/05 01:20pm

Hello Chas, I just got back from a trip up North for a little more than a week, B+ ran great. Yes I did install a 5 ton scissor jack in the front attracted to the two frame forks. I used a 4" x 6" steel I- beam and attached it to the frame with 3/8 inch bolts. I will send pictures if anyone request them. I use it only if I can not find a level spot and my nose in pointed down a few degrees, It enables me to raise it up so that my shower will not drain out of the tub on the edges if it is off a few degrees. For some reason the B-pluses are all nose heavy,so if you find a level spot the nose is always down a few degrees.
Another option that I installed were the electric stairs, my unit did not have the option when I purchased it. My wife thanks me everytime she uses it. If anyone does not have one its a pretty easy option to install.

Posted By: Slim & Retta's Pace on 07/05/05 03:10pm

Hi Terry & Joan, we have the same BT Cruiser 22' just got it in March, have been out once to Colorado River, near Yuma, place called Martinez Lake. Are you an MD, I am an MTSO

Slim & Retta B">

Posted By: Slim & Retta's Pace on 07/05/05 03:15pm

Oh yeah doc, we haven't used any jacks so far on the BT Cruiser!

Posted By: Gene in NE on 07/05/05 06:10pm

Reno3 - You're only as old as you feel. Sounds like you are enjoying yourself. Have you considered a "park model" for Florida?

gkreutzer - Have you learned what the problem was with your oven?

cheeze1 - I'm pleased to report our convection/micro also works. Sorry to hear you are having some nuisance problems with the coach part. Like you, our 3500 Chevy Express is the best driving vehicle we have - the most comfortable seats. If we are just driving, can sit for 350 miles (about 5 hours) before I have to stretch my legs. My wonderful wife gets up and fetches drinks and snacks which makes time go quickly.

doctort - We also have not done anything for leveling. Have been using the "seat of pants" feel for the best place to park. Our unit has a rear door so no need for the stand under the bottom step - great idea though.

jim1632 - The advantage of welding or bolting the jacks is storage. It will be in the place you will need it. Most class B or even B+ do not have space to spare.

Posted By: doctort on 07/05/05 07:42pm

Slim and Retta... No I'm not an MD. I'm a PhD engineer. So, have you had any problems so far with your BT? We've only had little details that are in the order of "why did they do it that way?" or "I'd have done it this way, instead." Guess it's the engineer in me. For example, we don't take hanging clothes with us, so we went to Target and got those lightweight plastic units with drawers, stacked them, and attached them inside the wardrobe. We have the two double couches facing instead of the couch and dinette and the long, double-legged table top is heavy and too large for us, so I made a 24" x 24" top to stand on a single leg. The best buy we've made, so far, is the wide-angle lense that goes in the back window. Now, I can actually use my inside rear-view mirror.

Posted By: doctort on 07/19/05 04:41pm

Here's a question for all of you B+ er's who have the "two couches facing" configuration. Our dealer said that it would make down into a king size bed. However, in our new BT Cruiser, when we put down the two couches, they is a 3 1/2 inch gap between them. They don't touch?

Posted By: Slim & Retta's Pace on 07/19/05 05:02pm

No problems except for the water pump, see some of our posts. Slim made appt to take to dealer soon to work it out. Otherwise, okay so far. I thought about those plastic drawers for the closet as well, they are handy, use them in our house. We are moving soon and may set them up in the BTC. We are trying to think of a name or slogan for BTC "Better Times Coming" "Back To Country" ha ha whatever. Going to use it as our hotel when escrow closes until we decide what we are going to do.

Happy BT Camping!

Posted By: Gene in NE on 07/27/05 08:57pm

doctort - Don't know much about the Gulfstream BT Cruiser, but the Trail-Lite has a couch opposite the dinette. In the 2002 model, could get the 211 (without a slide) or the 211S (with slide). We bought the slide unit and the salesman acted surprised when the couch did not touch the dinette. There is quite a gap. Do you have the BT with a slide?

On a slightly different topic, I am planning on installing a fan in the roof opening. What are the arguments for the type of power to get for the fan? (switched from the nearest overhead light or un-switched from a farther away overhead light)

Posted By: doctort on 07/28/05 07:49am

Hi Gene in NE. We don't have a slide. When the two couches are folded down, they are only 3 1/2" apart. Kind of silly not to have them touch. Otherwise, they should have just made them end up enough apart that you can still walk between them.

Posted By: gkreutzer on 08/04/05 05:44pm

Just got back from a 3-week trip (our first major trip) of 4350 miles! The TL 211 performed well. I had to plug in a small microwave in place of the original which was still in shop being serviced (got a message on return that it's repaired and ready to be picked up). It worked fine as did my new 1750w inverter. We visited Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier Parks, as well as CoeurD'Alene, Idaho, Coast of Oregon and down to San Francisco to visit our daughter and her husband. Then on to Long Beach, CA and returned through Las Vegas, Zion, and Bryce Parks. Whew! Too much traveling and not enough staying!
The only concern I had was a banging noise on roof over cab when rough road or bumps. Probably same thing burlmart was experiencing and asked about in an earlier post. I suspected the TV since I can feel something when I place my hand on roof liner on rough road and something is bouncing around up there.
Anyway, I hope everyone is having a great summer. Gary

Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 08/04/05 07:50pm

Sounds like a great trip but you are correct that is a lot of miles in a short time. You saw many pretty places. Maybe you can go slower next time. Happy camping.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 08/04/05 09:42pm

Gary, I bet that rattling above the cab is either excess cable/tv wire, or in the case of mine, all of the above and the wire from the backup camera, which resulted in certain wires that WERE glued to the headliner to be flopping free. My tv also caused part of the problem, tho' that was more of a screech/creak, and one more thing: the cab roof itself, fluttering against the wood shelf above. A few well placed drywall screws, silicone sealer and spray foam took care of most of the problem.
Trouble is, mine is still full of rattles all over the coach, which is very disappointing since I hate rattles, and Dario has none in his 225.
Right now my 213 is at the dealer again for most of the warranty work that was NOT done the first time, as well as new problems, like a tank heater that is 'ungluing' from the black tank.
Wonder if the Four Winds vehicles have these problems?

Posted By: Gene in NE on 08/05/05 09:10pm

cheese1 - Thankfully, I corrected all of the rattles in our unit. None were significant, just annoying. The leg on the table was adjustable and the adjuster was loose - removed it and replaced with a bolt. The cover over the stove burners would rattle, bought different stick on rubber bumpers. The twist adjustment for the blinds would bang against the window if fully raised, now we don't raise the blinds clear to the top. Fabric covered wooden valance around the window was loose, tightened the screws. Steel roller under the sliding couch rattled, bought tapered rubber doorstop and let roller rest on that. Most were found when I was able to be a passenger. Rides so quiet now, it is almost spooky.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 08/06/05 03:53pm

Gene, I would like to rent you out when we come to Nebraska someday!! I am good at rattles and noises, but the amount that I have are ridiculous. I will file away some of your listed tips.

Posted By: dick1919 on 08/06/05 09:44pm

Re: BTC question regarding"two couches facing" configuration. In our unit ('04 BTC Model 5210B) the couches do fold down to make a king size bed. There is no gap. Interesting. What year/model do you have?

Posted By: doctort on 08/06/05 10:24pm

dick1919: Ours is an '06 BTC model 5211B.

Posted By: burlmart on 08/13/05 05:30am

Hello All!

Yesterday was my first day of retirement from teaching engineering at LSU at the ripe age of 50! Martha still has her work, so no major changes in RV use pattern. We've been doing overnight trips to local SP and a few private campgrounds mostly in the Hammond and northshore of Lake Ponchatrain area every three weeks or so. The south is so hot and humid that about all you do is walk the dogs around the park, sweat, jump in the pool if they have one, and cool off in RV w/ AC on continuously. We hope to take a few longer trips in coming months.

Caution to all.

Last outing the steering wheel went from even to a noticeable right slant of about 7 min. on an analog clock face, and a somewhat discernable leftward pull. We were at a private camp w/ unpaved sites and maybe martha had to turn wheels w/ more vigor.

None of 4 local chevy/GMC dealers would lift RV for alignment (one said his machine was out for a month), so we went to a local place that specializes in truck suspension work.

They found that the locknuts on both tierods were totally loose!!! This is from factory, as unit was just delivered from Indiana back in March. Check your front ends!

The repair folks had no trouble aligning the our 213 for $75.

My RV dealer gave me the RVision # so they can give me the Chevy # so they can probably tell me they won't pay for the fix, but I'll make the calls anyway.

Happy travels.

Posted By: agoaliemom on 08/13/05 06:48am

Wow--thank you! How many miles does your unit have on it (or maybe you put that and I missed it).

Ours is a 2003 213 (Chevy), so do you suppose that by now we would have noticed it? We bought it with 13,000 miles on is and have put 7000 more this summer.

Congrats on the retirement. My husband is 57 and teaches at a private college here in Duluth. We had our last little 'surprise' when he was 47 (I was 46), so he plans on working for quite a bit longer (so she can get free tuition!). [emoticon]

Posted By: burlmart on 08/13/05 10:14am


We have 5000 miles on our 213. With 20000 on yours, if the alignment seems good, you are probably fine. The nuts that were loose on each tierod are easy to see from front of truck. Ours were two big silverish nuts that butt together on the 1 in. (approx.) diameter black/gray-ish rod that slants downward to connect to the lower side of each front wheel.

On retiring. I am looking forward to the 'unknown and wide open' aspect of being retired. It appears to me that retirement can be dynamic and freeing! I am a big follower of Robert Pirsig's (from St. Paul, MN) thinking on Dynamic Quality, which, in his second book, Lila, he describes as the cause of the evolution of things towards ever-greater freedom.

His most famous and first book is 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.' If R-Vision would only follow Pirsig's thinking on Quality, we would have a whole different experience with our RVs.


Posted By: agoaliemom on 08/13/05 10:27am

Thanks--I read your reply to my husband who is sitting here drinking his coffee. We'll have it all checked out before our next big trip (though we use it as a second car, so maybe we'll get it checked at the next oil change!).

I don't know Pirsig (though his name is familiar, as is the Zen Motorcycle book). We're up in Duluth (about 150 miles from St. Paul).

Thanks again for the heads-up on the tierod!


Posted By: TonyTiger on 08/23/05 07:23am

After 3 months with the Four Winds, it has none of the rattles I had in the Trail Lite. They use some kind of metal straps in the walls to attach the cabinets, etc. Even the overhead TV cabinet is rock solid. Added benefit to me was that the double slides don't vibrate or clang like the 235 did. There was some talk earlier in this thread (getting hard to find) of using some rubber washers to quiet the rattle in the slide support arm, but I was afraid that it would bind up when retracted.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 09/14/05 07:37pm

Really had to dig to find this topic, there must not be much to add to the topic of B+ motorhomes.

cheeze1 - When are you coming out to Nebraska? You had jokingly alluded to that in your 8/6/05 posting. I would be pleased to ride with you and see if we could resolve some rattles in your rig. We have been putting on the miles on our unit. However, the higher cost of gas is getting to be a significant factor. Our last trip to Green Bay, WI cost $315 just for gas. The only price we saw in Wisconsin was $3.26/gallon.

burlmart - Just read your posting of 8/13/05 and noted your mention of Lake Ponchatrain. How were you affected by the recent tragedy in those parts?

TonyTiger - Nice to hear that your Four Winds is better than your former Trail-Lite. Our own Berkshire Hathaway decided that Four Winds was worthy of investment. Just to clear up something, the Trail-Lite has a network of imbedded aluminum square tubes in the walls for hanging cabinets and the fastening of other wall attachments. There are also several imbedded plastic conduits used for electrical runs. Saw those first hand on our visit to the factory.

Still waiting to hear some thoughts on how to wire a fantastic fan. Should it be wall switch controlled which also controls one of the ceiling lights or should it be hot wired and use the switch on the fan?

Posted By: TonyTiger on 09/15/05 01:47pm

I've had Fantastic fans in all three of my MHs. I would hard wire it so you can use it at night. The Fantastic has an option that detects rain and closes the hatch. Also a thermostat so it can turn off when the temperature drops at night.

That said, running the wires to it may not be that easy. Are there wires near your hatch for something else? In that case if you can run the "always on" wire through the roof you may be able to ground it elsewhere. If there is no always on (my lights have an embedded switch so thay have an "always on" wire, at least as long as the disconnect switch is "on") then running from an existing light may be a better option. You may be able to wire a switch into the light itself.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 09/15/05 09:11pm

Gene, looks like we won't be coming out for awhile. We just moved into a new house, a 1923 gem that we have wanted for years. So, I am busy all day, tho' I am retired! Unfortunately, we have to sell the T/L, because it wont fit past the house to get to the rear parking area. The town has ordinances about large vehicles visible in front of the house as well. I will be moving 'down' to a class B.

* This post was edited 09/15/05 10:20pm by an administrator/moderator *

Posted By: burlmart on 09/16/05 05:32am

Gene, thanks for asking. We are fine here in "New Baton Rouge" with our doubled population! BR suffered tree limbs and power downing in many areas, but most was fixed within a few days - we were out of power only 9 hours. There are 4 state parks in NO and Ponchatrain area closed from the hurricane and several private campgrounds on the North Shore as well. I am certain many campgrounds in Mississippi sufferred terribly as well.

We have not taken the RV out in a while, except to familiarize our 2 newest pups with the ride. We went to help out at the local animal no-kill shelter where we adopted our first 2 dogs, and came away with 2 more! We now have 4 mutts that we think will fit comfortably in the TL 213.

We hope to do some traveling soon, now that Fall is coming and Martha's job may be settling down a bit.

I am jealous of the noise-free overhead in the Four Winds, though I may not be paying much attention to our squeaks with watching the extra dogs and all such new distractions as I am sure they'll generate.

Cheeze1, we have a small lot and must store our RV off-site about 4 miles away. It is under an aluminum roofed shed so is protected from most sun and rain. This is better than sitting exposed to the direct elements, I am sure. It may be cheaper to similarly store than to trade your RV.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 09/16/05 06:09am

Thanks Burl, how does one find a place to store an rv? I don't know where to start looking.

Posted By: burlmart on 09/16/05 09:48am

Try local yellow pages under RV, RV storage, boat storage, or even some general storage sites. Call local RV dealers and ask if they know someone.

We left ours in the front yard a few weeks and a nervous neighbor volunteered the name of a small place where he stored his RV, and we got on the short waiting list and got a unit (shed w/ elec. line for light-duty use such as running the fridge or fans or power repair tools). Ours is only $60/mo, but some in town were asking $90/mo.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 09/19/05 11:28am

TonyTiger - Thanks for the response on the overhead fan. In our unit, there are two (2) overhead ceiling lights. One near the rear and one near the front. The 14"x14" roof top opening is closer to the front set of lights. Both have switches on the fixtures, however, there is a wall switch near the entry door which must be on before the front set will work. Makes it nice when entering the unit to flip a wall switch. The factory assured me that an embedded plastic conduit runs from both sets of lights all the way to the roof top opening. To make the overhead fan run if wired to the closest overhead light, would have to flip the wall switch on, shut off the overhead light on the fixture, and turn on the fan. But, then it would be easy to shut off the fan if leaving the unit. I guess I cannot think of a very good reason why either would or would not work well. Was looking for your opinion. Thanks.

Posted By: BoBrown on 09/20/05 01:49pm

We recently purchased the Lexington 210 and absolutely love it’s small size. Prior to the purchase we looked at most of the B size models and my wife found the small bath’s all unacceptable. The other main reason for our choice was the length. At 21 ft, 9 in. it will allow us to park where a 22 ft. max is allowed.

After reading this forum for some time we were really concerned about statements regarding Forest River quality. Remarks like “Low price = Low quality” and other such things, made us really check out the 210 prior to buying it. During our PDI we found that absolutely nothing was wrong or constructed poorly. During our first trip everything worked perfectly with the exception of a slight burning paint smell from the heater which cleared up after about 10 min. It drives like a dream, is very comfortable and we can park it almost anywhere. It amazes me that more folks on this forum looking for a small B+ have not considered this unit.

Happy travels to all,

Posted By: TonyTiger on 09/22/05 07:34am

Did the factory say if the embedded wiring had 'constant hot' wiring in it? If so, ask them what color to look for on the wire. Tapping off of that for the fan should have you working off of the battery disconnect switch, hence, desired result.
Otherwise, I would opt for the light that isn't switched at the door and see if you can run a snake above the ceiling cover and pull a wire through to attach the fan.

Maybe our friend Dario has an idea?

This is why I now have the factory install any items using electric I think I might want later. I learned from my Trail Lite.

Posted By: B-Plus on 09/29/05 04:20pm

Hello Gene,
I was away on a trip so I have not been on the computer much or the RV net board. I don’t know how your Unit ( 211 ) is wired but here is an idea for you , I wired a 12 volt plug outlet for my 12 volt TV up front in the TV area. I wanted a separate fuse (as you should have) so I wired it from the main fuse panel box which on the 225 is in the back of the RV by the bathroom. I wired it from the box by going up thru my closet up to my cabinet, taking down the panels in back of the cabinets on the wall and ran the wires in back and up to the TV area than put the panels back in place. That way you will have a live ( dedicated fused ) wire for your fan in the front of the RV than you can figure out what you need to do to get it the few inched to the fan from there.
Gene I am not sure if I still have your e-mail address or not. Send me an e-mail and I will send you a few photos of how I ran it forward from the panel.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 09/30/05 08:24am

Dario - Sent you a Private Message with my email address. I like your idea on a 12V outlet for all those accessories you can buy from JC Whitney (ie. Coffee pots, fans, popcorn poppers, chargers, etc.)

Posted By: TonyTiger on 10/07/05 09:27am

In my old 235 I wired a 12v outlet next to the fuse box. It was accessible by removing the drawer above it. I added an outlet box and wired it from a free fuse. I 'double tapped' that wire to run an outlet near the power cable access door for my 12v lug nut remover (if I ever needed it). I figured that I wouldn't be making popcorn and fixing a flat at the same time.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 10/07/05 08:24pm

TonyTiger - Thanks for your thoughts on the 12v outlet. I do like your idea of placing an outlet behind the shore power door. Could have a multitude of uses (i.e. air compressor, lug nut wrench, winch, beach ball inflator, trouble light, etc.) JC Whitney sells a switched 12v outlet which might be just the ticket. Your right about the popcorn, but what about the blender to make a smoothie after the tire change?

* This post was edited 10/12/05 10:24pm by Gene in NE *

Posted By: retirednut on 10/25/05 06:59am

I too didn't get a manual for my Dynaquest from Dynamax.

I have an appt in a few weeks for the RV winterizeing.

I might do it myself before then but I'm not 100% sure what I am doing.

For example, I can't figure out (yet) how the 3 valves shut out the water heater.

Also, I can't figure out yet how to drain the fresh water tank.

I have written Dynamax but so far no reply.

My unit has shore power 30amp 24/7 here at the house but we want to trek out during January (it should be interesting).


Posted By: retirednut on 10/25/05 07:16am

I have a new RV and I was thinking (winterize) of just draining all the waters and leaving the heat at 59degrees on shore power. I'll empty the water heater and take that drain fitting out and leave it out.

2005 Dynaquest

Posted By: Gene in NE on 10/26/05 06:40am

retirednut - Your posting might have gotten more response had you started a new topic. Although, this topic has gotten many postings and many viewings.

Your question on what the 3 valves do for you - They serve a couple purposes. Should your water heater fail (leak?) or be removed for repair, you could continue to operate your water system without major changes. The second reason is to make it easier to winterize. If you study the plumbing for a bit you will see that one valve shuts off the water going into the heater, the other shuts the water exiting the heater and the third (bypass) connects the incoming supply line and the heated water outlet line. For normal operation the valve alignment would be to have the in and out valves open and the bypass closed. For winterizing you would shut the in and out valves and open the bypass. This allows you to do two things. Drain the heater without the system refilling itself and secondly pump a minimum amount of antifreeze through the piping without putting 6 gallons of antifreeze into the water heater.

Your idea of draining and maintaining the heat at 59 degrees should be a good plan. I have the feeling that more people do their own winterizing than those that have their dealer do it for them. Start your generator at least twice during the winter to lessen the chance of evaporated gas residue building up in your carburetor.

Posted By: burlmart on 10/31/05 11:41am

Happy Halloween!

We just came from a two-nite stay at Lake Lincoln SP near Brookhaven, MS. The weather was very nice and very cool (70 degrees hi - 36 lo)

We now have 4 dogs: we adopted two just after Katrina to help make room at our no-kill shelter for refugees from N.O. It is a hard job herding 4 dogs and mixing our older two seasoned spoiled ones w/ two new and very energetic mutts!

We have had the 213 B+ since March, and I got to thinkin about whether we should winterize the RV here in Baton Rouge, where we typically encounter only a few nites where the temp stays below 32 for more than 5 or 6 hours (a hard freeze) all winter. We plan to use the rv all winter, and antifreeze in the system and all the things I read on the forums scares me into wondering if I could just get away with a minimum of:
a) do nothing
b) run an elec. heater on ptrdicted hard freeze nites to keep inside at 45 deg or so (I may have to see if the place where we store our unit allows this - we do have a dedicated elec outlet - the space is open to air, w/ only a roof covering)
c) drain hot water tank
d) drain hw and run a heater
e) drain both hw and fresh water tanks
f) drain both and use a heater

Any ideas and/or opinions?

Also, about draining, I did a rigorous search of the forums for winterizing, and especially several posts on this B+ forum back on 3/30 and 4/10 of this year. We were all talking about those pull rings located inside the coach next to the fresh water tank and the hot water tank (and someone said there was also a bathroom pull ring). Like several others said, these feel flimsy and feel like if you pull up on the ring, something will break. My salesman at the dealership returned a call and said his technicians said that these pull rings are indeed the drain valves.

Do these pull-up rings work smoothly?



Posted By: agoaliemom on 10/31/05 08:10pm

We have had the 213 B+ since March, and I got to thinkin about whether we should winterize the RV here in Baton Rouge, where we typically encounter only a few nites where the temp stays below 32 for more than 5 or 6 hours (a hard freeze) all winter.

I can't tell you what to do, but here is our experience.

We live in Northern Minnesota. We've already had it get to the high 20's when our unit wasn't winterized. We did get ours winterized this week, but it isn't crucial for us to do it until we know that it will be in the teens for a long time. Typically, we get at least two weeks of -30º, so we want it winterized before then, of course.

Water expands, obviously, so you want to make sure that the pipes don't freeze and crack. Around here, 32º isn't considered anything out of the ordinary, and if our temps hovered around the 30º's, we wouldn't do a thing. We've never winterized our units until the high temps were in the 30's, so we're early this year. If I lived where you do, I wouldn't winterize--but I am absolutely not giving you advice, only mentioning what we do. [emoticon]

PS--we had water (black, fresh & gray) when it hit the high 20's.

Posted By: capehank on 11/01/05 05:45pm

My husband and I are thinking about purchasing a class B MH. The big question for us is, can a class B tow a car safely?

We also are interested in towing our ATVs on a trailer with this size motorhome.

Any advise would be welcome.

Thank you.

Cheryl Tom
Mulligan -King dog -golden retriever 5 yrs
Teddy -1/10/06-6/29/11 tripawd, always with us!
Missy -American Eskimo 15 yrs at the bridge 4/7/15
Hank -Terrier mix 17 yrs at the bridge 9/7/16
Isabella - Golden Retriever 1/10/06-11/10/16 always with us!

Posted By: Reno3 on 11/01/05 08:02pm

Don't know if you mean class B or B+ ?? Anyways we have a B+ on a one ton Chevy chasis and we sometimes tow our Saturn car with it without any problems.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 11/02/05 08:05am

burlmart - As agoaliemom alludes, I would not worry about a few hours below freezing. Your choice b) should give you piece of mind. Be mindful of where you travel in the winter conditions, you stated you plan on using it all winter.

capehank - You should not have any problems with the shorter B+ units. It is all a matter of weight ratings. The one ton Chevy chassis has a 16,000 gross combined vehicle weight rating. My unit weighs right around 9,000 lbs, so it has the capability to pull a maximum of 7,000 lbs. The closer your tow weight gets to that 7,000 the slower you will go up and down hills.

Posted By: burlmart on 11/02/05 10:52am

Thanks Agoaliemom and Gene for the advice. I would feel better if I do use a heater on hard freeze nites for added insurance, I kind of wanted to get a small electric space heater of some kind for light winter camping anyway...any good recommendations?

Also still concerned with pulling up on one of those rings that supposedly attach to popup drain valves for HW and FW tanks. Thee things do not look very stout. Do they pull open well w/o any distress to the mechanism? I really sense that they might break if pulled on, but this is fear based on zero prior experience with such a valve.


Posted By: agoaliemom on 11/02/05 01:19pm

I always pay to get our unit winterized and dewinterized because I want to make sure it's totally done correctly (since our winters are so long), so I know nothing about drain rings. I don't mess with them at all.

I must admit I'm kind of chuckling over your definition of a "hard freeze." Up here we think a hard freeze is when it's about -25º for a few weeks. [emoticon]

Posted By: burlmart on 11/02/05 01:33pm

I am chuckling too because I lived in the Cities for 2-1/2 years and I do know how relative such concepts are! I often walked to the U on winter morns and returned late on winter nites at temps literally at -30 deg F when my beard was frozen with vapor from breathing.

To call several hours below 32 deg F a hard freeze does, by comparison, seem pretty weak! But when it gets in the mid to low twenties for a nite or two once every couple of years or so, it really does come as a shock by comparison to the normal lows of the mid 30's.

Architecturally, we are not set up for the "hard freezes", and they do damage that you never see in MN even at -50 deg. Poor preparations and planning and code development on our part.

Posted By: agoaliemom on 11/02/05 02:22pm

Also--many parts of the country have a much damper cold than we do here in Duluth. I was raised in Southern California (gag) and I remember when +40º was cold because it was such a damp, straight-to-the-bones, type of cold. I prefer our dry cold.

Posted By: burlmart on 11/02/05 02:46pm

True of Louisiana as well: the cold is so wet that it feels worse than the thermometer says. The high humidity worsens low winter temps as well as the high summer temps guaged by the 'heat index'.

Posted By: My Roadtrek on 11/02/05 03:33pm

Let's get back to discussing B+'s.


Posted By: agoaliemom on 11/02/05 05:14pm

I'm sorry. [emoticon]

Posted By: Gene in NE on 11/02/05 08:01pm

burlmart - I'll try to answer your question on the steel finger sized rings for opening the low point drain. On my unit, it is spring loaded so pull a little hard, but so far have not broken. My unit only has one. I usually do not worry about that short section of water tubing between the fresh water tank and the pump. I drain my holding tanks, the fresh water tank, the water heater, set the bypass valves on the water heater, dump 2 gallons of pink RV antifreeze into the fresh water tank, turn on the pump, open each of the faucets including the toilet until nice pink antifreeze flows. The "P Traps" are thus protected as well as a little protection for the holding tanks.

Posted By: burlmart on 11/03/05 04:33am

Thanks Gene. I am emboldened now to go ahead and risk a ring pull. I have also wanted to drain tanks in the hot summers when several weeks go by w/o using the RV to forestall any serious bacteria buildup, so this will be of double help.

Rodger, I too am sorry for the divergence. With so many people only conversant on the weather, we B+ owners who use this forum should feel pretty good about having so much more to discuss!

Anyone have thoughts on getting the Good Sam's extended warranty called CSP which covers appliances and chassis drivetrain in tandem with and then beyond the manufacturers' warranty?

Posted By: Reno3 on 11/03/05 07:37am

Gene, I put a "winterizing kit" in ours. That way can pump the "pink{ stuff directly from the bottle into the lines and can winterize ours using less than a gallon. We were always advised to not put the pink stuff in the water tank because you'd never get the taste out of the tank. I just leave the drain open and even if some water is left in the tank and freezes it at least has room to expand. In the spring just throw the switch the other way on the winterizing kit and flush out all the lines.

Burlmart. In my experience "ext. warranty's" aren't worth the paper they're written on. They have too many loop holes to avoid paying for expensive things.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 11/03/05 07:52am

Following Dario's advice, I also put in the winterizing kit. Made things SO much easier. Definitely worth the 20 min or so to install it.
Burl, I agree with Reno regarding the ext. warranty.

Posted By: RoundSparrow on 11/03/05 08:46am

Reno3 wrote:

Burlmart. In my experience "ext. warranty's" aren't worth the paper they're written on. They have too many loop holes to avoid paying for expensive things.

If your rig gets a lot of use... extended warrenty can be a good deal. Full timing especially.

Posted By: Reno3 on 11/03/05 10:10am

I'll go along with that roundsparrow but you have to read the fine print carefully to not get taken. I wrote that with my experience with my B+ this spring. Dealer had installed a new faucet that was leaking. First time out this spring when we were hooked up to city water. We left the MH for about an hour and returned to find it flooded. The water in turn shorted out the inverter. Dealer fixed the faucet but the ext warranty refused to cover the inverter and the dealer wouldn't either. Result I was out $450 for a new inverter. I argued with them that it was their fault that the faucet leaked and therefor they should at least split the cost of the inverter. They offered to take it out if I didn't want to pay for it. Thats my 2nd bad experience with that dealer over the course of 10 yrs. It'll be the last time they see me.

Posted By: burlmart on 11/03/05 10:43am

Thank you all for sound advice, indeed!

Reno3, your experience w/ the shell games of the dealer and EW adjusters and being forced to frustratingly try and negotiate an ethical solution says it all. In the end, no one can purchase fairness and no one can force another to act in Quality.

I guess EW contracts appeal to us as there is something in most of us seeking a security shield through life. I am reminded of the Louisiana state flag emblem, where the mother pelican pricks her own chest to bring forth blood to feed her brood. I suspect the folks in the lower 9th ward of N.O. who have placed such faith in the state may have a more informed notion on such thinking.

I will very probably not do the EW.

* This post was edited 11/03/05 10:54am by burlmart *

Posted By: Gene in NE on 11/19/05 10:27pm

I have some news for the majority of the contributors to this thread. You are part of the 55 owners I have identified that own the Trail-Lite brand of the RVision line of motorhomes. (Some call B+, some call C-, most call just Class C). I read on the R-Vision Camping Club (you have to join) website Click Here in the R-Vision General portion of the Discussion Forums that R-Vision has been sold to Monaco Coach Corp. The sale is for $60 Million in cash per the Portland Business Journal Monaco Coach is the largest builder of Class A diesel motorhomes and the 5th largest Class A gasoline motorhome manufacturer. Speculation is that the cost of the Trail-Lites will increase dramatically. Monaco is a publicly traded company and the stock market has already gone up. Maybe this acquisition will do away with the B+ nomenclature??? Any Hallelujahs?

Posted By: Reno3 on 11/20/05 06:23am

Read that in a RV magnazine a few weeks ago. The big get bigger and as a result customer service gets smaller or at least so it seems

Posted By: biker 1 on 11/28/05 07:33am

capehank wrote:

My husband and I are thinking about purchasing a class B MH. The big question for us is, can a class B tow a car safely?

We also are interested in towing our ATVs on a trailer with this size motorhome.

Any advise would be welcome.

Thank you.

* This post was edited 11/28/05 08:19am by biker 1 *

Posted By: biker 1 on 11/28/05 08:04am

We have a 213 with the chev.6.ol.Trail-lite says you can tow 3500 lbs.We tow a jeep Wrangler.When we're not towing the jeep we tow a trailer with are H.D.or are Yamaha trial bikes.Make sure you have a good tow bar for the toad.Just got back from Alaska, towed the jeep a little over 10,000 mi.Towed great, if it wasn't for the back-up camera wouldn't know it was back there.

Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 11/28/05 11:01am

We have a B+ and tow a Ford Ranger have had no problems. You should be fine, like they said get a good tow bar.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 12/08/05 06:51pm

capehank - As Biker1 and Cowboy 66 mention you should not have any problems towing a smaller car. I pull a trailer with a full dress motorcycle almost every trip. Have to keep checking my mirrors to be sure it is still back there. The limit Biker1 refers to on the Trail-Lite is likely the rating of the hitch. The Chevy chassis has a GVWR rating of 12,300 lbs (maximum that the unit should weigh) and a GCWR of 16,000 lbs (maximum that the unit plus the towed should weigh). This leaves you with 3,700 lbs for the towed. However, since my unit weighs in at around 9,000 lbs ready to go I still have a capacity of around 7,000 lbs for the towed. I am, however, limited by my hitch to 5,000 lbs.

I think the year of manufacture and/or model of unit determined whether you have a 3,500 lb or 5,000 lb hitch.

Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 12/09/05 08:47am

As Gene said ours has a 5,000# hitch also. The Ranger is about 3,012# a little more with all the firewood ect. loaded in it and two kayaks on top. Happy Camping.

Posted By: biker 1 on 12/14/05 12:05pm

It's not just the hitch, look at the frame extension that the hitch is bolted to and you'll see why trail-lite says only tow 3500 lbs.

Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 12/15/05 04:54pm

I should have stated that our Motor Home is a Lexington 255DS and the frame may be different. It is on a Ford 450 chassis but is only 25' long.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 01/10/06 07:22am

what will we call ourselves then?
Also, wanted to let you know I followed your original storage advice. I found an rv dealer 1/2 hour away with a storage lot. Cost $90/month + tax, and I got a 10% discount for prepaying for a year. Seems that there was a 'whispering campaign' among the overindulged 30-somethings in my new neighborhood.[emoticon] What is funny, is someone just started parking an ancient Cruise Aire class A down the street. [emoticon]

Posted By: Gene in NE on 01/10/06 08:00am

cheeze1 - I know you are referring to my 11/19/05 posting about the new owners of the Trail-Lite RVision motorhome company. They might do away with the designation of B+ for the unit that is narrower than the C, but without the body of a "B". I will just call myself an owner of a small motorhome. Sometimes I think these forums should be split into small, medium, & large motorhomes. Some class A's are shorter and easier to handle than the overgrown class C's. Just look at the Class C - 37' units on the Kodiak Chevy chassis. I would call them large.

I, too, have my unit parked about 1/2 hour away. Wish it were closer as sometimes I would just like to go over and sit in it or ponder some small change. We might even spend the night on some of those nights when it only gets down to 40 degrees. There is something about the coziness of the unit.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 01/10/06 08:38am

Yup, that's the rub. I have some self inflicted damage (scratches associated with the demise of tail light #3) and other things I would like to address when the weather allows. In addition, I do like to just 'sit' in it as well.
As for the B+, I sure wish Class C was actually D, so we could be sitting in the "C" seat. If it were numbers, we could have been 2.5's?

Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 01/10/06 06:53pm

I know what you guys are saying I like to go down and just look things over and sit and think about what to do next. We keep ours at a inside storage each unit is in a separate area for $950.00 a year. I am looking for a front bumper that will fit a Ford E450 for my next project.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 01/11/06 06:17am

Cowboy, inside storage? That is nice. I would love that, and the price is right. I tried around here, but all the doors are 10' max.

Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 01/11/06 07:29am

The building inspector hear built it for his retirement and it is working out well for him every thing is full. Looks like he will have it paid off by the time he is retired, good move on his part. I sure am ready to be out camping again.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 01/13/06 12:20pm

Out here in the midwest, we are lucky. I managed to buy a storage building in a small town that has room for my unit indoors and a little extra space I rent out to boats and trailers. Makes the cost of my storage reasonable. The cost of the building should be recouped upon sale - if I bought right.

Posted By: My Roadtrek on 01/13/06 01:55pm

See I do read this thread.[emoticon] Lets get back to the topic of "B+ motorhomes"


Posted By: cheeze1 on 01/13/06 02:47pm

Rodger, this a discussion of the trials and tribulations of storing a B+? Or did I miss something??

Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 01/13/06 08:30pm

Sorry Rodger we were just talking about working on our B+ until we can go camping again.

Posted By: My Roadtrek on 01/13/06 09:43pm

I understand.[emoticon]
I just didn't want it to get to far off into the RV structure building area. Even if it is a structure for a B+, it's not the same as discussing a B+.

This a tough thread to moderate, but I'm trying.[emoticon]


Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 01/14/06 07:14am

You are doing just fine. Keep up the good work, You don't find many bad comments in this thread. All of the posters are hear to pass on good information and very helpfull.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 01/14/06 07:30am

I agree with Cowboy. I don't think we were going much further at all. Now, does anyone have an idea for my "still existing' leak? I get wetness in the rug in the coach area directly in front of the dinette on my 213. The dealer that had it on consignment claimed they fixed it, but after some heavy rain at home, it came back. Should I remove those trim panels in the front of the coach? Will that give me a view of the 'water trail'?

Posted By: burlmart on 01/27/06 09:25am

Hello All

We've taken our 213 B+ about once a month over the past few months for 2-4 nights in parks or campgrounds within a few hours of home (MS, AL, FL).

So far this winter, no problem with freezes, and we have done nothing w/r winterizing (but I do keep an apprehensive eye on the five day forecast!)

On our recent trip to Wiggins, MS, we noticed something that has come up a few times before and in, I think, a similar manner. After taking a side trip to look at a nearby state park in Hattesburg (a 1 hour round trip), and with some blackwater in the tank from 24 hours of usage, perhaps 15 gallons at most, upon returning and flushing the toilet, a stromg sewer odor was released into the coach. After opening the fan vent in the bathroom, and with a little time passing, the problem goes away and flushes result in no further odor emissions.

May I have some venting problem/blockage, or is it merely that the sloshing creates more odor than the vent can handle?

Any ideas? Has anyone else had something similar?

Posted By: agoaliemom on 01/27/06 01:46pm

In our other RVs, that has been a very common problem. My kids used to have a fit when someone walked back to use the bathroom because they knew what would happen later. I'll be interested to see what people have to say about it.

What kind of chemicals are you using? I found that the natural, formaldehyde-free ones didn't work nearly as well as the toxic, formaldehyde ones.

Posted By: My Roadtrek on 01/27/06 02:05pm

Make sure the vent tube is clear. and if you don't have a "Quickie Flush" you might want to install one so you can give the tank a good flush.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 01/27/06 05:15pm

I've seen those before. I like your use of quick connectors. Is that neoprene hose?
Burl, Sounds like there is a venting problem. I've actually had blackwater in there for an extended time, and never an odor. Wish I could remember which chemical I use...

Posted By: burlmart on 01/28/06 06:25am

Thanks for the input

We have been using 'Thetford Campa Chem' which we get from walmart in six-packs of little 8 oz. bottles. They recommend 1 8 oz. bottle and 1 gallon of water per 40 gallon tank. Product is Methyl Alcohol and Formaldehyde.

After each RV outing and when tanks are dumped, we add the bottle of chem and the gallon or two of water, and that is how the unit sits for 3 or 4 weeks with no real odor problems when we load up and start out.

Like I mentioned, the problem seems to be associated with taking a drive with some blackwater in the tank.

Could it be that there is dried sludge on tank walls that is 'stink-reactivated' when the s;oshing rewets the walls?

If this easy answer is wrong, and we have a venting problem, can anyone briefly say how the vent piping system is setup in the blackwater tank, and how one would easily chech it to see if it is working?

On this matter, if a proper functioning vent system means you would not be having any smell problems, then why would anyone bother to use chemicals anyway?

Posted By: agoaliemom on 01/28/06 07:07am

It is my understanding that the chemicals also help break up solids and tissue to make it easier to dump (as well as neutralize the odor), but I don't know if that is true. I use the same chemicals you mentioned.

I do know that in our other RVs we had this same problem and we just learned to live with it. Apparently, it's not normal, so I am anxious to see what the remedy is. I know that on our current B+, sometimes there is that same odor and sometimes not.

Posted By: My Roadtrek on 01/28/06 03:50pm

Lots of info on the forum about tank chemicals, and vent systems, do a search, and you will find a lot to read.
Lets not get too far off the topic of B+'s.


Posted By: cheeze1 on 01/28/06 04:15pm

Burl, I think that because there are short times that the opening to the tank is open during flush, and the fact that the chemicals are designed to break down the waste as well, are 2 reasons we need the chemicals. The only thing, AFAIK, regarding the vent pipe is if it's clogged.

Rodger, you are a nice person and moderator, but we are all talking about problems with our B+'s. I don't see how we are off topic, since our point of reference is the same, and in Burl's and my case, exact same models.

Posted By: My Roadtrek on 01/28/06 04:49pm


Rodger, you are a nice person and moderator, but we are all talking about problems with our B+'s. I don't see how we are off topic, since our point of reference is the same, and in Burl's and my case, exact same models.

You keep telling me that, but this is not a topic specific to B+'s. Topics about chemicals, batteries, tires, camp grounds, RV parks, etc., should be discussed in the appropriate forums. I don't see why this is so difficult to understand. If I use your logic, then any RV problem, could be B+ related, and should be allowed to be discussed.

This thread is for specific problems concerning Class B+'s, not general RVing issues. An example would be "My Trail Lite model .... has this problem, does anyone have an answer?

Also this thread has become almost like a "Chat Room" between a few members, with posts that could, and should have been, handled through PM"S.

Maybe this thread has ran it's course, and should be closed, and future B+ posts be moved to the Class C forum, where they belong anyway.

On edit.

I have discussed this thread with Admin, and some of the other mods. It has been decided that, since it has become almost impossible to keep it on the topic of B+'s, to just let it run, and hope for the best. As long as the topics are RV related, and friendly, I will butt out. (which will make Charlie happy. [emoticon][emoticon][emoticon]) It would be nice though to try and keep it related to B+'s. Talking about toilet chemicals, tires, RV parks, etc. should be discussed in the proper forums.


* This post was last edited 01/28/06 08:41pm by an administrator/moderator *

Posted By: burlmart on 01/29/06 06:01am


On my 213 B+, do you know what path the vent pipe for BW runs from tank to roof, and more importantly, how do/did you determins if it is clogged.


In the past, found very specific B+ tire info that helped me immensely in understanding what our units require; I think it was Gene in NE who gave his scale wt readings that indicate lower pressures were warranted and this also implied (I think) that any alignment place should be able to do front end alignments on our units, as they are no heavier in front than a common chevy 3500 van. I spent many posts on a tire/air compressor forum getting other tire info, but this B+ specific tire info helped me to ask right questions.

Perhaps as a moderator, spelling-out which forum is most appropriate for a task-specific question is a means of keeping B+ on track, but then we would all be asking you for directions. I have seen lots more wandering than is going on here in other forums, like when I first got an RV and read post-after-post about water sanitation on a forum for beginning campers.

As for RV parks, briefly mentioning where we have travelled adds a friendly non-tech flourish to our posts. As for discussing the weather where we live, that info is very useful when handling water, tires, etc., both a) when the seasons change on our exposed B+, and/or b) we travel to other climates on an excursion.

I do agree that such talk must be limited before we have a chat club, and your point of staying in closer to the tech/specifics is well taken Rodger. As it stands, long periods of no-posting that we see here kinda tells me we are not in much danger of becoming a social club. Thanks for your efforts and advice.

Posted By: My Roadtrek on 01/29/06 06:44am

I can cite numerous posts that should have been asked in a different forum, but they weren't, and I wont bother to name any.
Remember I'm butting out, and leaving it up to you guys to take this thread where ever it wants to go. It's up to you guys, just keep it RV related, and friendly.[emoticon]

Good luck, and please notify me if anyone gets out of line.
Rodger (CVC Moderator)

Posted By: burlmart on 01/29/06 07:20am

I did a search using sewer odors and this interesting link came up

In this post, mention is made of downward air pressure during motion as follows:

"With the Fleetwoods, the Black water vent on top of the RV is designed to prevent water from pouring in when it rains. The Air Intake or Exhaust Cap on top of that Vent Pipe, Faces Downward, as usually next to the outside wall of the RV. This causes the Upward Wind Travel to pressurize that area and push air down the vent cap when traveling... or even during a slight wind traveling from that direction..."

This could be what some of us are experiencing. What do you think?

Posted By: cheeze1 on 01/29/06 09:24am

Burl, the only thing that bothers me about that theory is the effect of the rain cap on the vent pipe.
As I'm sure you know, the purpose of the vent pipe in a house is to allow Mama Nature to exert her 14.7 lbs/sq/in on the fluids in the system. This also prevents our black and grey tanks to become pressurized, allowing the free flow of liquid.
Now, from what I know based on my 'wannabe engineer' background, the venturi and Bernoulli's principles, would, I believe, state that in motion, there would be negative pressure in the vent pipe. But this might change if there is a rain cap on the top, possibly resulting in little pressure effect on the fluid or vapors in the tanks.
As for checking your vent pipe, if the cap is removable, maybe send a small shop vacuum hose down the length BEFORE hitting 'liquid' and see if there is blockage? Birds will try to build nests in the most unexpected places!

Rodger, tho' I'm sure you can quote many topics covered in this thread (which maybe should be its own forum) that were somewhat better somewhere else, the fact that so many of the responders are B+ owners helps keep the specificity of these topics within our group. In addition, you of all people know quite well how frequently this thread had long 'stretches' where a number of us, myself included, exchanged volumes of info and advice on which vehicle/mfr would be the best for our specific needs. The number of B+ type vehicles available seems to have increased, which makes this very long running thread that much more valuable. Besides, class C's as a group are different than B+'s, being much more massive in most dimensions. Perhaps we are a vehicle type without a good name. How about "Wannabe Chinooks"? [emoticon][emoticon][emoticon][emoticon]

Posted By: burlmart on 01/29/06 12:19pm

I wonder if chinooks ever stink???

I typed several combos of keywords in Google and this has led back to different forum threads where people have similar problems with a diverse range of solutions.

While I am not positive, I think our problem occurs as follows

a) initiated with travelling with a substantial amount of BW
b) strong odor was released with first flush shortly after parking (it was not noticed as coming into coach during travel, as some people have reported)
c) a little while later and an extra 8 oz bottle of chem, and all was settled again
d) the travel to the campground on a basically empty BW tank (except for the 8 oz chem and a gallon of water) and the first flush after arriving does not create a strong odor

At the moment, my theory is that with a tank somewhat filled with 'stuff' that creates proportionate amounts of odors especially after it is set into motion either overwhelms the vent pipe fume flow rate, or as one post mentioned, some aerodynamic oddity forces air down into the vent pipe during travel.

A low fume thru vent pipe flowrate could be due to blockage. Otherwise, it could be enhanced with a better cap that draws fumes out when in motion.

Of course, better methods of controlling odors produced in the BW could solve most of the problem as well. I have once heard of calgon method, and just read of two cups of vinegar method.

Edit add-on:

The calgon thing is explained at this link

* This post was edited 01/29/06 01:03pm by burlmart *

Posted By: Gene in NE on 01/30/06 09:20pm

Rodger - Thank you for your comments. I will do my best to follow your directions.

The current discussion of smell in your black water tank is not unique to B+ size motorhomes, but since it was brought up by an owner of a B+ it might get more attention in this thread. A couple years ago, I read this posting and it might be time to bring it up again. The posting discusses how to treat our storage tanks. It is called the The Geo Method about half way down page 2. I try to follow this and have had no problems.

Posted By: burlmart on 02/06/06 02:33am

We were thinking of making a one-piece cushion for the dinette/bed center cushion so we could leave the two dinette seatback cushions in place when converting to a bed. Has anyone tried this with good results?

We spent morning looking at Pier one, WalMart, Hancock Fabric, Lowes, and Michaels (home decor/hobbies shop) with no luck at finding right size foam or else a close sized substitute cushion.

Another option is to order two extra dinette chairback cushions from R-Vision (or Monaco now?) that duplicate the two we have.

Has anyone ever ordered replacement cushions from the manufacturer, and if so, what is procedure and reasonability of cost?

* This post was edited 02/11/06 02:04pm by burlmart *

Posted By: TonyTiger on 02/13/06 08:48am

A while back in this thread, someone discussed how to convert the dinette to three sided seating. I know that's not what you wanted to do but they also discussed how they made a cushion. It might help.


Posted By: burlmart on 02/13/06 12:17pm

Thanks, TonyTiger, I will try to locate that info.

It turns out that the best dimensions of a cushion to cover the dropped down dinette table top are 25"x38" and 5" thick; these are almost identical with about 3 standard portable baby crib cushions (24"x38"x2").

Anybody know where, besides WalMart online, you can go and find these items around town?

Posted By: Gene in NE on 02/14/06 09:43am

burlmart - The individual that did quite a bit of customizing on his B+ was Gary Swanson. His pictures were at Click Here. He discusses his changes in this "B+ Motorhome" topic. I had a hard time finding it today. Finally found it on page 45 for me and is dated 09/23/03 at 11:13 PM. Maybe Gary would respond to a PM and fix the link.

On edit may have correct the URL myself.

Posted By: burlmart on 02/14/06 02:48pm


Thanks so much! You always have such good leads and info!

I now have some new creative ideas to work with!

Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 02/14/06 08:11pm

Gary has put a lot of neat things on his coach always fun to see.

Posted By: sanantoniorvdan on 04/18/06 01:37pm

I started this topic four years ago when I ordered a Trail Lite 211s. My motorhome now has 82,000 miles and is still going strong. The main problem I have had is the slide. It leaked from the beginning, and is not well designed. I just don't open it up often, but lament the loss of space by the mechanism. The 8.1 engine is still a dream to drive. I have replaced the O2 sensor and the crankshaft sensor, and very little else. Some problems with oil leaking around the filter, and consumes about a qt every 1k miles - always has. It flew over the high passes in Colo last summer. I plan to keep it another 3-5 years - will need to recarpet and new upholstery in the meantime.

Posted By: doctort on 04/18/06 01:46pm

Hey sanantoniorvdan,

Awesome! I hope my year old BT Cruiser 5211b does as well. Only 5400 miles on it so far, but no major issues. We're loving it.

Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 04/18/06 01:50pm

I have wondered where you have been this has been a great thread. Thanks for starting it.

Posted By: Br- on 04/18/06 02:18pm

Hey Dan, glad to finally see you back.

Posted By: gkreutzer on 04/18/06 05:54pm

Hi Dan,
Glad to see you back also. I've learned a lot from your thread. Always nice to see the B+ thread pop up again. I'm really glad to hear the update on how your rig is holding up. I've got a long way to go to catch that mileage. Thanks for reporting.

Posted By: Ph on 04/18/06 06:59pm

We purchased a used 2001 Trail Lite 211 in January and have had fun getting acquainted with it. Several minor improvements and fixes are behind us such as toggle bolts to support falling stove hood, relocating support bases for micro wave, installing a sewer hose container made from 4 inch PVC and now for the real stumper. There is a rattle that sounds like it is above the drivers head but when a passenger sits behind the driver it sounds like it is in front of the driver!? Trim has been removed from the door post-nothing, upholstery at ceiling dropped--nothing appears loose. The fiberglass panels upon which the radio speakers are mounted can be unscrewed on the inboard side but then I don't know how to remove then further for inspection. Any ideas appreciated.

Love driving that machine with Chev 5.7L which seems to have adequate power. Will be driving to Illinois from Fort Myers in a week and will probably wish for better mpg.

Posted By: burlmart on 04/19/06 01:31pm

Hello All

Glad to hear from you Dan - fantastic update! I followed your new Trail Lite exploits long befote our RV purchase back when you started this thread, and while we never corresponded, I am sure the purchase of our 2005 213 is directly attributable to your postings, especially the decision to forego a slide. We have had our RV 13 months and it has 9300 miles - it has not been back to the dealership for any fixes! We just returned from the RV Rally in Daytona and a few days at Disney Fort Wilderness Campground (our first time at Disneyworld).

The mattress fix we used to cover the dinette top when making it into a bed was to purchase two 1"x24"x96" foam sheets at walmart and cutting them into 5 1"x24"x~40" layers and encasing it in cloth - did the trick for $22.

Ph, our noise problem is w/ a squeaky TV over our heads, so probably not much help to you.

Anyone...How many gallons in our 2005 213 with the 6.0 chevy engine? The Chevy 3500 Eexpress Van manual says 33, but a Trail Lite Brochure says 35. At 30 gallons, the empty light comes on. We need to know how many gallomns are left. (Mileage was only 10 mpg against a lot of wind).

Glad the thread is alive!

Posted By: ryegatevt on 04/19/06 02:37pm

burlmart wrote:

Anyone...How many gallons in our 2005 213 with the 6.0 chevy engine? The Chevy 3500 Eexpress Van manual says 33, but a Trail Lite Brochure says 35. At 30 gallons, the empty light comes on. We need to know how many gallomns are left. (Mileage was only 10 mpg against a lot of wind).

Glad the thread is alive!

I always wonder why folks wait until the "empty" light comes on. What if you are caught in a traffic jam with no fuel, or if the next gas station (happens up here!) is 35 miles away?

Steve & Bev
2005 Roadtrek 210
Tess, our Sheltie

Posted By: burlmart on 04/19/06 03:14pm

Precisely why I want to know - to plan ahead.

Whether I have 3 or 5 gallons left makes a difference if we are in a bind, and I know some vehicles (like a Toyota 4runner) have a large reserve after the light comes on.

At 10 mpg, I am very antsy with only 3 gallons remaining, but properly warned with 5. The question of reserve fuel addresses the level of warning being delivered to the driver.

* This post was edited 04/20/06 05:51am by burlmart *

Posted By: cheeze1 on 04/19/06 06:07pm

Dan, good to see you back. With our move to our dream home, we have had little time for our 213. I go visit her once a month or so.
Anyway, as for that rattle in the cab, take out the tv and get hold of ALL the wires running around in the overhead cap. Mine had lots of unnecessary romex, as well as other wire. I made hooks, used wire ties, and silicone sealer to fix them all in place. Those rattles are gone. (Helps to have had a 1978 Scout 2!)

Posted By: sanantoniorvdan on 04/19/06 07:28pm

Now for the rest of the story. I was trying to decide if I should get a somewhat larger MH, which I could still use for my counseling business, but had more comfortable beds, or get a different type of rv. I just purchased a 32' Keystone Outback Sydney edition pull trailer with a huge slide. Until I bought a HD 1500 (2002) Silverado 4X4 to tow it with, I was toying with putting a class V hitch on the Trail Lite and tow with it! I have not completely abandoned that notion, but need to get used to towing a trailer again first. I had the trailer delivered to my house, and once it was in our environs - it looks huge! I still have to troubleshoot the hitch wiring (factory), and adjust the trailer brakes, before I venture into the "outside world". Our plan is to move it to the Texas coast (maybe we can lure a hurricane here so there will finally be some rain after about a year) in an RV park for a couple of months, while we look for property to move it to and eventually ourselves.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 04/19/06 08:15pm

sanantoniorvdan - Welcome back from me as well. In case you missed my post, I maintain a list of current or previous owners of the Trail-Lite B+. I would suspect several are the result of your thread. We have certainly enjoyed our 17,000 + miles and have not had any major problems. Always wanted to say Thank You.

Posted By: sanantoniorvdan on 04/20/06 09:32am

What I forgot to mention in my last reply was that I am keeping the B+ for my work (and short/fast trips). I plan to refurbish the furniture and carpet in the next year. Mechanically, everything is sound, except the ongoing issue with the slide; so I see no reason to stop using it for my "mobile office". I must mention that I would get the slide fixed once and for all, except that I need the vehicle almost every day. I will probably not do any slide repairs until I get ready to sell in a 3-5 year period. In the meantime, invest in oil stocks! I changed my signature because I couldn't remember my old password, and moved to San Antonio three years ago.

Posted By: burlmart on 04/20/06 01:37pm

I think it appropriate for sanantaniorvdan to be restored as THE senior member.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 04/20/06 03:59pm

I vote senior too.

Posted By: Cowboy 66 on 04/20/06 07:10pm

I go along with that.

Posted By: sanantoniorvdan on 04/21/06 11:44am

Rained hard last night. Slide leaked!

Posted By: Reno3 on 04/21/06 12:32pm

We've never had a leak in ours (211s) It sat in our yard all winter while we were in Florida. Time now to get it repacked and ready to roll. First campout is weekend before Memorial Day. Then Memorial Day weekend we go out with the kids and grandkids including friends inlaws and outlaws. How's the gas prices going to affect all of you? Put 18 gallons in the 211 yesterday to top it off at 2.90.9 per gallon came to 52 dollars and change. Filled the car up with a bit over 9 gallons for $28 at 2.999 (two different stations) Guess we wont be taking any long trips this summer.

Posted By: Ph on 04/21/06 02:33pm

Thanks for the ideas in search of a rattle. I am about to give up and just live with it. I, however, did just notice that when I bang on the driver's outside rear view mirror it sounds much the same. I'll tape it down and take a trip over my favorite rattle inducing road.

Glad Dan is back-his old posts helped give me confidence we would like out 211 (no slide).

Posted By: cheeze1 on 04/21/06 05:18pm

Ph, I use silicone as a gasket as well as gap filler. Sometimes taking the offending part apart and reassembling with silicone between every surface does the trick.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 04/26/06 08:22am

Has anyone recently had the seals replaced on their B+ slide? I am wondering if the factory seal is still being used. Since my slide is hand cranked, I also wonder if I tighten it too much - giving way to failure and leakage? I would not be afraid to get new seal material and start over, but really don't know how to remove old material and what to replace it with.


Posted By: cheeze1 on 04/26/06 09:38am

Dan, why would you think you tighten it too much? That whole mechanism (I don't have one) is a lot bigger than you are. But the main thing is no matter how hard you tighten, how much pressure do you think you can really exert on those seals, since they are probably 3-4' from the cranking mechanism?
If I'm all wet[emoticon] here just let me know!

Posted By: Reno3 on 04/26/06 10:57am

Dan we have a 211S also (2003) Have never replaced slides and tighten them as much as I can when we put them in. To my notice we've never had a leak at least not due to the seals.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 04/27/06 03:06pm

Dan - We also have a 211S and only had a leak one time. We have not replaced the seals. The one time, I blame myself the way I parked the unit. The right front was low and the rain came from the left. My theory is that the rain poured on the outside roof of the slide ran against the unit and then forward - overwhelmed the seal. We had wet carpet, about as wet as spilling a half cup of water. Have made sure for all subsequent rains, the unit was parked with the right side slightly elevated. No problems.

Posted By: burlmart on 04/28/06 06:47am

Hey all you 211 B+ owners, check out this little gem for updating ideas...

Any guess as to selling price?

Posted By: gkreutzer on 04/28/06 02:39pm

Keewwl! [emoticon]
It really does have the same lines as my 2003, just a lot more "modern" looking interior and outside paint. Just makes me appreciate the one I have all the more, and I know I got a steal of a price compared to this little gem.
Thanks for sharing.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 04/28/06 10:01pm

burlmart - I found that same unit on the R-Vision website Trail-Lite. But there they call it the T&C Touring Sedan not the Sport. I searched the website as my dealer has a "Town & Country Sport" advertised for $58,414.00 and I was not familiar with that model. This must be the result of R-Vision being sold to the Monaco Coach Corp. Monaco Coach is the largest builder of Class A diesel motorhomes and the 5th largest Class A gasoline motorhome manufacturer. Do you suppose our units have now increased in value? .....fat chance.

Posted By: burlmart on 04/29/06 06:52am

Gene, as for Monaco creating upward pricing of the R-Vision line, it has gotta help, especially if some new ideas flow from Monaco to TL lineup. I was surprised that there is still a Class A lineup by R-Vision (as shown at the website you linked) since Monaco already covers that area.

On a somewhat related note, look at this picture...

Even if I were not legally blind, no one could blame me for mistaking the Four Winds Siesta 21BC for my TL 213 in a parking lot. Even if I entered the wrong vehicle, I would have to think for a while before realizing the mistake! Note the price is comparable to similar TL models.

Posted By: WAGM on 04/29/06 09:02am

Hey, I am glad to see that you guys are alive and kicking!!! I don`t read CVC anymore since all the B+ stuff gets booted over to "C" and I was uninvited to go to a "B" rally. We are still cruzing Oklahoma as when I was working we went all over the states, April 1 was our first outing this year and going again this weekend and into next weekend. The ole 86 B+ is still rolling along like it was a new one and Gene the macerator is still pumping poop, I think if it ever quits I gotta buy another one.[emoticon]

See yall in the funnies, Warren

Posted By: cheeze1 on 04/29/06 06:12pm

Gene, I saw the same website. It looks like the sport has a wet bath?

Posted By: TonyTiger on 04/30/06 06:22am

Fantastic to see Daniel back again.

When I had my Trail Lite with the slide I found that any time I had the right front side lower in parking, if it rained I got a wet carpet behind the driver and into the area between the seats. My assumption was that the lower right side exposed more of the slide and the nose down aspect "torqued" the slide just enough to cause a leak. I solved it by modifying the home parking space with some drive on wood blocks. On the road when we "bedded down" I made sure the rig was very level or slightly lower on the slide side.

My rattle was related to the slide's forward mechanism. The two arms met with a pivot rod that was retained by a hitch pin. The rod was longer than needed and let the arms rattle together. I tried rubber hose (recommended earlier in the topic), split grommets and even wrapping some rags. The rags worked the best for noise but I was afraid they would get caught in the arms and actually cause a greater problem than rattle.

My final solution was when I sold it and bought the FW Siesta 24BB with the double slide ;<)

With the wife and kids (1 Dobe and a brand new Border Collie)

Posted By: Daniel C. on 05/01/06 09:28am

The reason I wonder about tightening too much isn't just the crank, but also the slide lock mechanism I use inside. It may crush the seals, making them too hard over time, allowing leakage? At any rate, it rained again Friday night, and it leaked again. This time I had a pan sitting under the corner where it leaks, and that caught all the water! I may look like a modern version of Johnny Appleseed, with a pan on my head from now on! As others have mentioned, it does also seem to depend on precise leveling, as I sometimes don't leak, depending on where I am parked. Forgive my signature. I no longer live in New Braunfels - Now in San Antonio.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 05/12/06 10:06am

Please note that I have updated all my data. Finally had enough curiosity to Search for UPDATE PROFILE, and fixed everything....Now for my next purchase or move!

Posted By: poorstudent on 05/13/06 05:30pm

Hello all.

Is it rude for me to jump into a 106 page conversation? My wife and I just drove by a used Trail Lite for sale here on the Air Force Base. We are going to call for a look. She thinks she really likes it. Here are the details:

2002 Trail Lite
4k Onan
7,224 miles
No slide
23' (or so)

$34,620 (asking)

Thoughts on things I should look for specific to these B+'s/brand when we call for a full tour?

Thoughts on the asking price? Any other info necessary to make an opinion on price? I tried to look it up on nada, but all I see are Chevy engines.

Thanks in advance,


Posted By: Gene in NE on 05/13/06 09:34pm

poorstudent - I doubt anyone minds if you ask a question as we all have done that. I have posted a number of times to this thread and I have assembled a list that has close to 60 different owners of the Trail-Lite (13 have Fords, 33 Chevys, 14 unknown). Most have been very satisfied with their units - getting great value for the money. The asking price seems to be in the ball park since it has low miles. A new one like that probably listed for around $55-57k and sold for around $39-41k. A couple had leaks around the slide, one or two had a loose microwave, a few with drawers falling down, a couple had a rattle around the TV, I don't remember any problems with the chassis - you'll find the above by reading all 106 pages.

It should drive as easily as a 1 ton long box pickup with duallies. The seats in a Chevy have more legroom room than the Fords. I can sit in mine for 4-5 hours straight.

Posted By: burlmart on 05/14/06 05:49am


under used recreation vehicles, motorhomes, r-vision (maker of trail-lite), you will find specific trail lite model price data from NADA.

it is a good idea to search thru this 106 page forum thread for very pertinent info on the TL B+ units.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 05/14/06 10:11am

Poor Student, WELCOME, and feel free to ask. One of the great things about this thread is it's history and the great people on it. If you can tell us where the rear door/bathroom is, we can advise you on the model. Also, is it a Ford or Chevy? My '05 213 is a Chevy, primarily because of what was mentioned by my friend Gene up there. I had some leaking problems and a few other construction complaints that have been worked out. The Chevy drivetrain is great, and the TL is very easy to live with. You will see complaints about build quality, but luckily the various components are all 'typical' ones used by most RV Mfrs. including makers of much more expensive units. We love ours.

Posted By: gkreutzer on 05/14/06 12:35pm

Welcome "poorstudent," and congratulations on finding this thread! It's sort of hidden away here in the CVC Forum (much to some peoples chagrin). We all have jumped in over the years and I've learned a lot reading all 106 pages! I really enjoy my Trail-Lite. It's just the perfect size for my needs. I do think the price is right in the ballpark for low mileage like that. Hope it works out for you and don't be a stranger.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 05/14/06 07:58pm

That price seems high to me, especially without the slide. Which Ford engine does it have the V8 or V10? After 83K miles, I still greatly enjoy my 2002 211s, though I would have preferred to NOT have the slide. My needs were different when I bought it new. The average retail is about 20K. I spent 45K or so for mine new with the big block chevy, and all the options, except ladder and awning. I am thinking that wholesale is about 15K with good mileage. Check your credit union, and they can tell you the value.

Posted By: burlmart on 05/17/06 06:38am

just back from a local 2 nite camping trip to crooked creek rec area near mamou, la - a very nice parish (county) campground. for the first time (I think) we averaged 12 mpg with our 6.0 chevy 213 TL. we had a cool front and did not run the dash AC.

after some bantering with the class B owners, I studied our B+ and did some thinling of why we bought our TL and how it compares with B and C class rigs.

when we got our 1st two dogs 7 years ago, we saw the need for a way to travel and not be worried about a hotel refusing us at the end of a long travel day, not to mention the hassles of unload/loading in and out of room. martha drives (I am legally blind), and I REALLY was focused on the compact class B units.

we searched the web and eben traveled to sportsmobile in austin and stahmann's RV in new braunfels, tx to look at the class B vans (as well as chinook and isata). we are both pretty tall, and no matter how much I rationalized the driveability advantage over the space limits of the B, the chinooks and starflytes pointed to a more practical direction for us, but the $$ effect was too much.

after a few more years of looking at compact TT (drove by casita trailer factory in rice,tx) and back and forth pros and cons of all different RV classes, a trip to the new local campingworld where a gulfstream 22 ft BT cruiser was on display sort of created a synthesis of ideas for us:

- compactness, but complete interior that felt like a small motel room with pretty decor
- though not as outwardly compact as a B, I had come to reason that the TL and BT cruiser style B+ rigs were not all that bad for maneuvering, since my van transport for disabled non-drivers was a similar sized class C bus, and ladies zipped these things around baton rouge all day, everyday - they said they liked to drive the rigs
- after following this forum and remembering most of what Daniel C. had said, we called blanchards trailer sales and ordered a TL 213 sight unseen (we had seen some TL's along the way). chose TL over BT cruiser based on price and familiarity thru this forum - chose blanchards for good service (never needed, so far!)

i'm not sure why i am saying all this now, but it seems that all the recent resurgence of hoopla over RV classes has weighed on my engineer brain, and some solution to the fuzziness seems available, if not immediate. before they started stretching the TL and BT cruisers beyond their chinook-rialta-starflyte-born_free 21 ft lengths into huge 28 ft slide units that are clearly a class C in function and intent, the label B+ meant something - it filled a niche.

at least that is how we experienced it.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 05/17/06 07:09am

burlmart - Very well said - almost exactly the pros/con we considered. We took a slight diversion. I spotted a Rialta and liked what we saw, however, we are both tall - I am 6'-4". And....the Rialta did not have enough hitch capacity to pull our 2,000 lb trailer with motorcycle. We eventually spotted the TL which drives and parks much like the true Class B and has the height and pulling capacity. We like our choice, but do align ourselves much more with the Class B than the Class C.

Posted By: Daniel C. on 05/17/06 08:59am

Even though I just bought a 33' TT and pickup to tow it with, I still intend to use the B+ for short and/or "fast" trips for the forseeable future. After four and a half years of constant driving, My venerable B+ is getting somewhat long in the tooth with over 83K miles. I must admit that other than accomodating obvious issues for driveability, I have spent little on preventative work, and none on cosmetics. I am contemplating the following: 1. Resealing the slide to see if I can get it to stop leaking once and for all. 2. Recaulking the top - purely preventative. 3. Recarpet. 4. Reupholster the coach furniture (or replace the couch to make a wider bed and match the dinette material). Repair some of the drawer hardware. 5. Perform some maintenance on the chassis - brakes, serpentine belt, tune up. 6. Repair the TV antenna wiring (I had to replace the antenna after an unsuccessful attempt for it to climb a tree while the vehicle was in motion - the wiring is still not good). 7. Get some "bondo" work done on the plastic piece that holds the tail light - backed into a tree.
Once this is all done, I can figure another 50+K miles of reliable use before thinking about suspension parts. One of the joys of having an over capacity chassis is that the components are relatively understressed, so springs, bearings, CV joints, and other components will likely last a long time!

Posted By: poorstudent on 05/20/06 11:53am

cheeze1 wrote:

Poor Student, WELCOME, and feel free to ask. One of the great things about this thread is it's history and the great people on it. If you can tell us where the rear door/bathroom is, we can advise you on the model. Also, is it a Ford or Chevy? My '05 213 is a Chevy, primarily because of what was mentioned by my friend Gene up there. I had some leaking problems and a few other construction complaints that have been worked out. The Chevy drivetrain is great, and the TL is very easy to live with. You will see complaints about build quality, but luckily the various components are all 'typical' ones used by most RV Mfrs. including makers of much more expensive units. We love ours.

It's a V-8 Ford. (Which makes me think its an 03, not an 02.) I've printed out the NADA guide for the model, to bring with. We are going to go look at it this afternoon. Then I've got 107 pages of reading to do! Just got back from TDY to Virginia. Thanks for the great responses, I'll try NADA again.

* This post was edited 05/20/06 12:03pm by poorstudent *

Posted By: Daniel C. on 05/21/06 11:59am

The 5.4 Ford was available in the 02 Trail-Lite. Also remember that NADA values online are Retail, not wholesale. Your banker or credit union can give you that information. You can believe the sellor knows.

Posted By: poorstudent on 05/21/06 07:18pm

Daniel C. wrote:

The 5.4 Ford was available in the 02 Trail-Lite. Also remember that NADA values online are Retail, not wholesale. Your banker or credit union can give you that information. You can believe the sellor knows.

The seller stated that he had a buyer but the buyer's bank wouldn't finance it because it wasn't on NADA. Doesn't have seats in the dinette so I don't know what we'll do, since my wife is expecting.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 05/21/06 10:12pm

Poorstudent, did you find out which model it is? There is no dinette, or are the seats just missing?

Posted By: CJBill on 05/22/06 07:59am

Still learning and searching for a vehicle to travel in. The comments in this thread indicate most think the Trail-lite is small enough to drive and park conveniently. Is there a small Trail-lite with twin beds and no slides? The floor plans I have seen would seem to indicate they don't make such a thing.


CJ is the better half.
05/06 Roadtrek 190 Popular
Rockville MD

Posted By: Geoff H on 05/22/06 08:50am

My wife and I just travelled 12,000 miles in our 2003 Trailite 211 with no slide-outs. I slept on the collapsed dinette and my wife slept on the settee without unfolding it. This allowed our dog to sleep in the gangway between us and me to have my nightly bathroom call without disturbing anyone. Check your height though - I am only 5ft 9in and still only just fitted in when sleeping along the length of the vehicle.

Ontario, Canada

Posted By: gkreutzer on 05/22/06 09:47am

I've noticed the latest Trail-Lite models Here have gone back to the 2003 floorplans and body style without the large overhang over windshield. Might be related to Monaco taking over production. Anyway, same floor plan as 2003 model with dinette and jack-knife sofa which makes a great California King size bed. We add a memory foam topper (stored under the sofa) and our golden retriever sleeps in the gangway under the bed. No slide which helps weight. Looks like some can be found with 2 sofas and no dinette if you wanted twin beds.

Posted By: cheeze1 on 05/22/06 01:17pm

CJBill, I have an '05 model 213. That and the 214 are basically identical save for the layout of the bath/kitchen/rear door. That's a matter of what style you prefer. The beds in the standard layout are the jackknife sofa and the dinette. Like GK says above, both of those folded down into beds makes a wall to wall sleeping area. The dinette side is shorter, and tho' I'm 6', I prefer that side and my wife sleeps on the folded down sofa. Our 2 small pups find plenty room to sleep there also.
As far as driving, your take on this group's comments is right on. In fact, last Xmas vacation, I parked on the street in the small town of Berlin, Md, and the area had just had it's biggest Xmas snowfall in years. In parking lots, you take up 2 spaces lengthwise. I try to park away from the rest of the crowd, but there are people that must think the rv is collapsible, since they park right next to me.
Beware of the 2 new Town and Country Models. They seem to have a wet bath instead of a full one like mine.
Keep us posted.

Posted By: gkreutzer on 05/22/06 01:37pm

Yeah, I'm really surprised at the trip "back in time" with the wet bath. My '03 has one and it's very cramped (but functional). The new models are exactly like my '03 other than the updated graphics and fabrics, appliances shifted around a bit, etc. "Everything old is new again" at R-Vision.

Posted By: Gene in NE on 05/22/06 09:08pm

CJBill - Here is a link to a website CampersFactoryOutlet that for some reason shows the 2002 Trail-Lite models. This will give you an idea on the floor plans that are/were available. They have changed the numeric designations on a few. As noted above, the 2006 (on some models) have gone back to the 2002-03 floor plans. We have the wet bath and see no problem. We use the campground showers or the Lazy J truck stops. And....I do think they drive nice. Just returned from a short 640 mile trip where I sat comfortably in the drivers seat non-stop for 4-1/2 hours.

Posted By: burlmart on 05/23/06 04:35am

If you look at the B-Plus portion of the new Trail Lite web page