We had a 2000 Tradition with the 300hp ISC engine. Great motorhome. Gave us excellent service and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Put 90,000 miles on it. It does have a rubber roof, but never gave us any problems at all. Ours was equipped with the 4 door Norcold refrigerator and that also gave us no problems. If you get it, I wish you the best with it. it think you'll enjoy it. It is definitely a quality coach.
My point was that if someone wants a residential refrigerator, more power to them, go for it. But please don't think that it won't draw any more current when dry camped for a night or longer than an absorption refrigerator running on LP. The current consumption is probably, around 10 times as much.
Personally my wife and I are happy with our Norcold 1200 RIM refrigerator. We occasionally camp with no electric hookup and like the Norcold under these conditions. We have a number of friends who have residential refrigerators in their motorhomes, and love them. They rarely, if ever, camp without electricity, and they enjoy the added volume and the lack of need for leveling the motorhome. I just get uncomfortable when I hear that residential refrigerators don't draw any more 12 volt power when running off batteries or solar panels than do the absorption refrigerators.
You guys all have me confused. If I accept your claim that your residential refrigerator averages about 1 amp. That is at 120 volts. Roughly, that means that at 12 volts, you will be drawing about 10 amps. That is the power consumption that is important if you are dry camped. I'm not sure what the Norcold draws of 12 volts when running on propane, but there is no doubt in my mind it is WAY less than 10 amps.
I know this ancient history, but actually there was a time that Chrysler was the only Class A chassis manufacturer. Back in the 1970s and until the first time Chrysler almost went bankrupt, the Chrysler chassis was the only one available for RV's. I believe the reason that they got out of the business was that part of the government aid at that time, they were directed to drop that line because it was too volatile.
Then Chevrolet came along next with their chassis. Their big claim to fame was that they had an independent front suspension compared to Chrysler/Dodge's solid beam axle. After Chrysler left the scene, another manufacturer came along that offered a chassis much like an updated Chrysler chassis. It's claim to fame was that it had a solid beam axle!!!! (the name of this manufacturer slips my mind - getting old)
Interesting. We have the bottom line Newmar diesel motorhome, and it came with little night lights at floor level between the bedroom and kitchen that can be turned on when wanted. Thoughtful feature that cost Newmar little, but certainly improved our satisfaction and enjoyment of our motorhome.
I tried the Woodall's directory a couple of years ago and was very disappointed. Many of the directions to the campgrounds were wrong. One CG owner told me "I've told them again and again their directions are wrong, and they won't change them".
I have used the Good Sam/Trailer Life directory for years. The last one I got though (2014, I think) disappointed me. It seems there are an awful lot of RV parks that are not Good Sam Parks, that have no write-up in them. All they have is the name, an address, and a phone number. They don't even give the number and size of the sites. Seems there are a lot more of those than there used to be.
Having said all that, though, I still think the Good Sam/Trailer Life directory is the best available.
If your stove works okay, then I do not believe that you have a propane problem. You have a furnace problem. Sounds like you have an intermittent problem where the furnace does not ignite. In my experience that is most often a bad control board in the furnace.
The problem with all of the hot air furnaces we have had is that if the furnace does not ignite, the fan just continues to run until either you turn it off, or if you aren't plugged into power, your battery runs down. From what you have reported that is my guess as to why the furnace is running continuously.
If I had your problems, Don & Mary, I too would go for the residential refrigerator. Problem is that we haven't had a lick of a problem with ours, in almost 20 years (had the last one 9 years). And yes, it will keep things nice and cold when the temperature is 90+ outside. We are very familiar with those temperatures here in Florida in the summer.
Well, we have had the infamous Norcold 1200 type refrigerator in motorhomes for the past 20 years and have never had a problem. In our last motorhome, we had the "fix" put in and it continued to work just fine. Regarding the 38 degrees, we have never had a problem keeping our refrigerator cold, even here in central Florida. I do go to pains to ALWAYS have the motorhome level when sitting still, even to the point of turning the refrigerator off on lunch breaks if we aren't level. I think that is the cause of a lot of older Norcold refrigerators not cooling well. I know the manufacturers say it isn't as important as it used to be, being level, but I am still leary of off level usage.
To me, that is the only disadvantage of the propane refrigerator. We must be level. That is not important with the residential refrigerator. We purchased our latest motorhome just about a year ago and one of our requirements were that it have another Norcold 1200 refrigerator in it. I know some say we are behind the times, but so be it. It works for us.
Having had 3 motorhomes with a side radiator, I definitely agree that is a good feature. However I have found that motorhomes with side radiators are costing more and more. To the best of my knowledge, Winnebago does not make a motorhome with a side radiator in spite of the fact that their top of the line Tour is close to $400,000. I don't you will see any motorhome less than $200,000 with a side radiator.
Regarding the engine, I believe that in 2015, the ISC engine is rated at 380hp, and the 6.7 liter Cummins is now rated at 360hp with 800ft-lb of torque. We have the 340hp engine in our 34' Newmar Ventana LE (with a rear radiator:() and I am very pleased with it. Our previous motorhome had a 400 hp CAT engine with 1150 ft-lb of torque, and I find the Newmar is just as nice to drive, even in hilly country, as the previous motorhome was.
I too watched the video. It is definitely a nice motorhome. I believe that engine is the IXB 6.7 Cummins. Ours has 340 hp, but I understand that now it comes in a 360 hp version. I believe the current ISC is rated at 380hp.
I thought the motorhome was nice (didn't really notice the lack of windows in the bedroom), but I'm wondering if dealing directly with the manufacturer, do they discount their price like dealers do?? If they don't that is a little disappointing price. We actually paid less than that for a 35' Newmar Ventana LE a little less than a year ago.
All in all though, it is probably a good addition to the marketplace.
Actually, only the higher priced Newmars have side radiators. I know that at least the Ventana and Ventana LE diesels have the rear radiator. Having said that though, the Newmar motorhomes do offer a lot for the dollar. We have had many RV's over the past 40 years, and are continually amazed at the thoughtful little features that we find in our Newmar.
I don't know if you'll get mold behind the shower stall, but I do know that years ago I had the same issue with our trailer and I just ran a bead of RTV around the top edge of the shower stall to seal up that area.
I would suggest you be careful of low cost emergency road service. One year I decided to use the $30/year road service with my Progressive Insurance rather than Coach Net. Well, we broke down on the highway, and I learned that Progressive's insurance didn't like to pay the towers the going rate, so they had a VERY difficult time getting someone to come out to tow us. I learned my lesson and went back to Coach Net.
I would certainly recommend the Fantastic Vent. I just had a wonderful sample of their great customer service. My motorhome is a 2013 left over, that we bought new just under a year ago. I recently called Fantastic for some technical information. As I was explaining the situation, the representative said, well our motors do fail on occasion, I'll send you a new one - no charge, no need to return anything. She then took all the details, and immediately mailed us the motor. I told her that I thought she had gone "above and beyond".
I know some will say, well it was under warranty. You are correct, but there was no issue at all. I didn't have to "prove" that the unit was still under warranty. She took my word for it, and was a delightful person to talk to as well.