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Old 06-25-2014, 03:27 PM   #1
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Location: Bay Saint Louis, MS
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3051s Review - LONG - very VERY LONG

We took delivery of our 3051s the first week of April and since then have used it for 9 weeks and put a couple of thousand miles on it. Since that is a pretty good shake down I now feel capable of writing a fair review.

Our 3051S was ordered and the mods that we ordered it with were to leave out the sofa and the 2 big sky lights in the living area and bath vanity area and we got the entertainment center rather than a bunk. With the sofa out there were a bunch of wires just kind of laying on the floor and the sub woofer was in the way but both of those were easy fixes to stow the wires and removed the subwoofer as we don't really need that in this small area for good sound. So very happy that we deleted those 2 skylights - they are very large and I cannot imagine the amount of heat that they let in to the coach. We also did not get the satellite dish offered as an option as we have used Directv since 1997 and the one offered will not get HD with direct. So we purchased our own Winegard dish and the dealer installed it.

First the great - we got a 2015! Expected a '14 so were very pleasantly surprised to get the '15. We love this unit and have lots to compare to - we have had 2 travel trailers, 4 5th wheels, 3 Class A's and 2 Class C's.

Items that were wrong upon delivery:
Entry door sticks and hangs up.
Turn signals could be heard through rear view monitor
No remote for Jensen radio/gps
Left front jack screeches
Icemaker did not work
Pantry latch broken.
AC vibrates very irritatingly.

This is a really small list and our dealer jumped on getting things fixed. Issues we still have are the entry door still sticks after being adjusted twice and the left front jack still does not sound right - hard to believe that it is ok screeching like that.

Where the sofa was supposed to be we put in a Euro style recliner for DH and I sit at the dinette which is fine with me except for the depth of the seats. These are the worst dinettes seats we have ever had. Very short in depth and just generally uncomfortable. Have not figured out what to do about that. I prop a pillow by the window and sit longways on the bench much of the time.

The entertainment center - excellent Vizio TV and great storage on either side. The pullout/sliding insert on one side is very handy - makes the space much more useable. We did install a shelf above that as there was a ton of wasted space there.

The Jensen radio/gps. Is okay. Radio gets good reception, Bluetooth works perfectly. The GPS is just ok. Not great but it is not much of an issue with us as I route us in advance and always have the route handy on the phone or tablet. We hear a lot of "recalculating" from the Jensen. Have not used the DVD portion.

Kitchen - the glass top on the stove looks nice and was immediately taken out. If you use it you cannot use the knife rack in back as it won't fold all the way back with knives there. Anyway I have one of those wood cooktop covers that I have moved from rv to rv and I love it that was put in place of the glass cover. I rarely used the gas cooktop - I have an induction cooktop that I use and highly recommend that everyone get one - saves on propane and does not heat up the coach like the gas does. Microwave/convection oven is adequate. Works well.
Sink is great - double and nice and deep. Great pullout faucet. Love the trash setup - with the hole in the counter top and the basket outside. Great use of space! And speaking of space - there is plenty of storage space in this coach. Lots of cabinets and the pantry is excellent. Except - when using the pantry always pull it out slowly. I did not one time and the rice container took a tumble and it was not a pretty sight in the bottom of the pantry. Very difficult to clean up. Counter space is great and the flip up extension is SWEET! We had had the 4 door fridge in our last 2 units and it was the one thing I was really not willing to give up moving back to a Class C. Even more than the fridge - I love having a big freezer space. It is amazing how much stuff I can fit in the freezer.

Electric outlets at the dinette are the pits - unless you like crawling on your head and standing upside down to try to plug something in. It is a pretty easy fix with a power strip but really - we don't all have 10 year olds with us to crawl around and do that kind of stuff.

The full-wall slide - works better than any slide we have ever had. Quiet and quick. Love it. However, we have an issue now where it looks like the the lower front edge is separating.

Bath area. Love the big sink and plenty of counter space. Great medicine cabinet. However, the med. cabinet doors cannot be opened without knocking over the soap dispenser, tooth brush holder, and anything else over 3 or 4 inches high. Also the med cabinet mirrors are for short people. I'm 5'9" and have to duck to see myself like when I'm blow drying my hair. I totally understand why it is made that way - due to the slide and can live with it - just an observation. The shower area - the shower is really small and I knew that when we bought - but it is really small. Due to the small size of the shower/toilet room there is really no where for the humidity to go and with a couple of wet towels and sun coming through the skylight it is a sauna in there. We have covered the skylight with reflective bubble stuff and replaced the bath fan with a fantastic fan that will really move some air. We leave the bathroom door partly open most of the time and that helps. A water pump switch in the bath area is needed.

Bedroom. Great reading lights. Very comfortable mattress - best in an RV that we have had. Have always replaced them before this. Also for the mattress being so good it is surprisingly light weight - great weight saving. Under bed storage is adequate but a real pain to get to. I'm used to gas struts holding up the bed/storage cover. Here you lift the mattress (glad it is not very heavy) then lift up a raw piece of plywood then hold it open by setting the mattress on the opened cover. Not good for the mattress I assume but it is what it is.

LED lighting throughout the coach is fantastic. That stuff is not cheap - we looked at replacing all the lights in our last Class A with LEDs and it was cost prohibitive. They look the same but the others were halogen or something and put out tons of heat. Thanks for the LEDs! Plus there are plenty of them and placed very well. The ones over the kitchen counter are much appreciated.

The thing I miss the most - 50 amp service. I see no reason that a Class C could not be offered with 50 amp service. I hate having to worry about - well the AC is on and the hot water is on so I have to turn one off to run the hair dryer because the fridge might kick on and can't have the coffee maker on with all that and with my induction cooktop turn off the hot water and don't used the microwave at the same time and on and on. I think the manufacturers - not just FR - feel that without 2 AC's you don't need 50 amp - which is not right. I would definitely pay a premium for 50 amp service.

Would also like to have had the option of MCD shades - the double night and solar type - instead of the "night" shades this came with.

We have had 2 water leaks to deal with - one was when I walked into the bedroom and on to wet carpet. Removing the mattress and the plywood underneath it revealed soggy carpet and loose water fittings. Hand tightened and fixed. The other was noticed when there was a puddle by the entry door. Water was coming down through all that spray in insulation. Assumed it was the hot water heater due to location. Took some investigation but found a very small slit in the ice maker tubing inside the coach under the fridge. That could have been a major disaster - as a slow leak over time can do so much damage but the handy man in the house removed the tubing, cut out the bad spot, and bought a new fitting and reinstalled and works great.

Outside: plenty of storage space.
The LED rope light under the awning is AWESOME!
Fresh water tank fill is in a really odd spot but I'm sure the engineers had good reason to put it there.
If you open the passenger and driver's doors in the cab - like in the morning when the AC has been on at night - and you are stowing the jacks - get ready for a shower as the roof gutters dump right there on the doors. I don't know that there is anyway to avoid this if it is raining other than don't use those doors.

Be very careful to have the outside storage doors on the driver's side closed when moving the slide. Would be very easy to crunch a door and or the slide.

I'm sure I have left out some items.

For the final rating - I give this coach a 9.5 out of 10. It is super roomy and plenty comfy (except the dinette benches), lots of storage, space has been utilized very well. It has lots of upgrades not expected in a Class C. We looked at every make, model, whatever before we finally decided on this coach and so far it is the perfect choice for us.



Shelley
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:15 PM   #2
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We just got a 2014 3171 forester. It is our second RV after having a coachmen toy hauler. I had so many problems with the coachmen and I was expecting the same with the forester. The only problems so far were one of the sensors were bent on the bigfoot jack but it doesn't affect the jacks. The other problem is the turn signal and brake lights are flip flopped on the back of the coach. So the brakes are the middle light on the right and the top light on the left. One other thing was the air release valve thing on the valve stem for the outside rear tires sticks out too much. So when you put on the valve stem cap it slowly leaks air. All really minor things that I'm not even going to bother going to the dealer for. Really impressed with the quality and my family loves camping in the trailer.
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:35 PM   #3
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Aprilfool When you said about the lower front edge seperating did you mean the steel strip with all the screws in on the outside of unit? If so I had the same thing in my 2014 3051s , factory said to drill new screws inbetween original ones and reseal that is what dealer did and hopefully it holds, still holding my breath on that one . But like you we love the unit just hope it doesn't go like the other guys 3051s who is having LOTS of problems
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:24 PM   #4
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Hey AprilFools, I think jfrauts is talking about me, yes lots of problems, but we still love our unit, we tow a m Ford transit and the rig runs just beautifully. The layout is spacious and we love the size of shower area. We are making some mods, I removed the jack nice sofa and very soon will remove the, to us ugly, dinette and install 2 wall hugger recliners, move the tv from above overhead a nd hang from bottom of shelving unit above where jack nice was. Also taking up carpet and putting in either laminate or a cork product flooring. For the pantry beside fridge there is a mod that makes the whole unit a pullout. There is a post with pictures from a guy that did it. We hope that all our problems get fixed and we get many years of fun out of it.
Overall I think the 3051S with the Ford chassis is the best out there so get in it and go exploring.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:26 PM   #5
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It's jack knife, I hate auto spell lol.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:35 PM   #6
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Great review, I certainly appreciate the common sense approach "Fresh water tank fill is in a really odd spot but I'm sure the engineers had good reason to put it there" You are correct. it is not in an ideal spot I asked if they could move it, but to balance weight we had to put the fresh water over there.

Glass cover, I'll have to look into that. The knife block is really just back there to fill the gap. I wonder if there is a way to put something more functional.

Dinette electrical outlets. I have some really cool prototypes for 110v/USB combos but because that table moves it limits what we can do. I'll ask the electrical engineer if there are any wall mount options.

Medicine cabinet: has been my pet peeve since the initial design. We have had 3 or 4 different "frameless" (edge to edge mirror) doors tested but none of the glass would stay put. I think we have a solution now...but when I tested one for a week, I ended up opening the bath door all the way and using the full length mirror. Worked well for me.

I'll have to ask about 50 amp service. I guess it would be a larger question of 50 amp availability at parks. I guess you could always use a cheater plug but I am told those are not actually code approved.

I just ran some MCD shades to test....we'll see where that goes.

Dinette benches. You say they are not deep enough? (thigh area?) We may have shortened those because people complained the table was too small, when increasing table size something has to give for it to make into a bed. I'll take a look a closer look at it, but I think it is the same size as all our dinettes.
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:20 PM   #7
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Brian, a 50amp rig can safely use a 30amp site with a 50-to-30 adapter; you're just limited to 30amps. When on a 30amp site, you have to be aware of what is/isn't on to avoid overloading the breaker at the campsite pedastal.

The cheater box that you speak of is a weird attempt at giving the camper more than 30amps but less than true 50amp service by using both the 30 and 20 amp sockets on the campsite pedastal.

I think offering a 50amp upgrade is an interesting option request. I see the OP's point- if you're willing to spend the extra money for a 50amp site, it does save you some hassle of worrying about what you're running at any given time.
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:10 AM   #8
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With regard to the narrow dinette benches, we had the same issue with our 2012 Solera. What I did was remove the back cushions and store them in front of the overcab "mattress" - they fit well up there, are out of the way, and we can get them in the unlikely event that we want to use the dinette as a bed. I cut two pieces of 1/4 inch plywood to fit from the bench plywood base up through the seatback cushion area. As the plywood sits on the seat bench base, it doesn't slip down. I velcro'd these pieces of plywood to the seatback area and "upholstered" them (the part above the seat cushion) with carpet runner from Ace hardware - picked a color that doesn't clash. The carpeted seatbacks are plenty comfortable and provide several inches of added seat bench depth. Works well for us.
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:53 AM   #9
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I wonder about cutting some thickness out of the cushion. To prevent it from bottoming out maybe we could increase the density but make the top 1" memory foam to add some softness. The key is to get maximum padding in minimum thickness. Always a catch 22.
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:01 AM   #10
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The cheater plug I was referring to was one like they have in 30 amp. Just an adaptor the takes the 30 amp plug to a 20 amp two prong. I was asking about shipping those with units and was told they were not code approved items.

I assume there is a similar adaptor as you suggest to convert a 50 amp plug to 30 amp.
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