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Old 06-01-2018, 10:27 PM   #1
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Smile What is the real length of the Forester GTS 2801QS?

The factory calls this a 28 foot motorhome, but brochures show 31 feet long. Is that the length with the rear slide out? If so, what is the actual length of the coach with the rear slide in? If the coach is actually 31 feet long bumper to bumper, how would you keep it cool with only one air conditioner? It would seem the bed in the extended slide would then be almost 34 feet from the front of the coach and at least 20 feet away from the a/c. Can anyone provide real experience in the Southwestern United States?
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Old 06-02-2018, 12:26 AM   #2
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RV lengths are almost NEVER the same as the number in their model number. They are almost always longer.
Never believe that the model number has anything to do with its actual length.
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Old 06-02-2018, 01:31 AM   #3
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Thanks... I fully understand... that's why I am asking the exact length with the rear slide closed (in?)
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Old 06-02-2018, 03:21 AM   #4
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Well, I've always found the brochure numbers to pretty accurate.
Now brochure weight numbers I'm always suspicious of, but not the length numbers.
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Old 06-02-2018, 06:53 AM   #5
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Thirty feet, four inches. Noting that the bed slide does not extend from the rear of the coach. It extends from the rear wall. There are corner pieces, top piece (kind of like a little eave) and of course, the rear bumper assembly that protrude past the closed slide out. The true length is measured bumper to bumper.

Now on to the meat of your question. The Air Command A/C that FR is using is a 15,000 btu heat pump. It is a fully ducted unit so measuring the distance from the unit to any point within the coach is fairly irrelevant. I live further south than anyplace in the southwest and I can tell you that the single A/C is adequate. I will also qualify that by adding that in order to prevent the A/C from struggling to maintain a comfortable temp (I use 74*), there are things you can do to mitigate heat absorption. Solar or sun blocking shades, window/windshield coverings for the cab, skylight heat shields (very important), door glass insulator and vent fan covers and insulators. Closing the cab area off with an insulating curtain also makes a difference. Now that you have created a “cave”, there are things you can do outside aside from parking under a canopy/tree. Awnings over the windows and the patio awning really help as well.


Edit: We will be heading to Vegas in August so I’ll have experience in this unit at that time however we have already been there in a 29’ Class A with a single BriskAir II and had no problem in the July heat.
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Old 06-02-2018, 07:26 AM   #6
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Unhappy

I really appreciate the feedback. I was going to order one, but am now reluctant. With the rear slide extended, this coach is 33 feet long and only has a single air conditioner. Cooling it in Arizona must be impossible. I love the look of the GTS model, but I want to be able to use the coach year round.

I have 40 years of motor-homing experience -- mostly Class A's. I want to scale down to a Class C, but the sharp edges and boxie look have prevented me from doing so up to now. Forest river has really nice floorplans (the Forester 2421MS is an awesome floorplan) but the outdated box shape with no aerodynamic shaping to the edges makes it hard to fall in love with that or any other Class C. A perfect coach would be a Forest River Class C with GTS styling and sufficient A/C to handle the American Southwest. I thought the Forester 2801QS or Sunseeker 2800QS might be the solution. Oh well, I can at least dream about one with a 500 watt generator and 2 a/c's.
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Old 06-02-2018, 07:34 AM   #7
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Duckogram… I didn't read your whole post before my above response... I see you added some valuable info on cooling... it's good to hear you think A/C may be adequate... a recent experience frightened me about the class c and heat. I used a 2017 Thor Chateau 26B in Texas in March 90 degree temps with a single a/c and the coach would not get below 80 degrees during the day. I know Forest River uses 2" walls instead the 1 1/2" walls on the Thor unit... does it make that much difference?
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Old 06-02-2018, 07:37 AM   #8
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You probably would like one of these euro-styles then:
https://www.knaus.com/en-uk/motorhomes/
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Old 06-02-2018, 07:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Loewenhagen View Post
Duckogram… I didn't read your whole post before my above response... I see you added some valuable info on cooling... it's good to hear you think A/C may be adequate... a recent experience frightened me about the class c and heat. I used a 2017 Thor Chateau 26B in Texas in March 90 degree temps with a single a/c and the coach would not get below 80 degrees during the day. I know Forest River uses 2" walls instead the 1 1/2" walls on the Thor unit... does it make that much difference?
The added insulation does make a difference. It’s 95* and 95% humidity here and I run the A/C when I work on my little interior mods. It’s very comfortable.
I can also tell you that the reason I bought a portable solar system is specifically so that I can park in the shade. I have stayed at Cactus Country RV park southeast of Tucson and had no problem in my Class A.
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Old 06-02-2018, 07:50 AM   #10
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Thanks... the Knaus units look nice on the outside, but when you are camped you need floorplans that open up with slides. As I noted, I like good ole American floorplans and Forest River appears to have the best ones... after your comments about cooling in the Southwest, I'm back to thinking about the Sunkeeper or Forester GTS... you mentioned skylight sunshades / insulators... do you have to make your own for the shower skylight (i.e. Styrofoam board from Home Depot or Lowes)? I noticed FR appears to have a shade for L/R skylights, but have never seen anything for the shower skylight.
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Old 06-02-2018, 07:56 AM   #11
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I'm going to check out Cactus County RV park... never been there. I live in Casa Grande, AZ. I'm retired Air Force and at that point in life where wife and I want to just move around and visit different places. We raised our kids in forests and parks bare-base camping with Class A's. Lots of off-road experience with motorhomes as well. We've rarely used full service RV parks, but getting to the point of probably doing that now. We just want to find parks that are in attractive settings. We've been spoiled by years of mountain settings.
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Old 06-02-2018, 07:59 AM   #12
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Yes you do need to make your own skylight shades. See my post in the sunseeker section - 2800QS mods. The only difference in the Forester vs Sunseeker are the bells and whistles. I upgraded my Sunseeker with all of the good stuff but left the über fancy out. Glad I did due to the one-control issues I have been reading about.
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Old 06-02-2018, 08:13 AM   #13
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I've looked at all of your mods... you do nice work... I'm pretty handy at building and fabricating, so duplicating some of your mods would be feasible for me... When you have time, I'd like to hear more about the one-control issue with the Forester GTS... I haven't seen anything on it, but I imagine using computer tablets to fulfill simple switch functions could lead to massive failure if the module dies. It take it Sunseeker does things with simple switches, while the Forester is trying make everything electronic - is that correct?

Also, experience has taught me that the 2 highest failure items on a coach are slide mechanisms and hydraulic systems. With 4 slides on the Sunseeker GTS, what has your experience been? Are they all Schwin-tek mechanisms?
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Old 06-02-2018, 01:13 PM   #14
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Yes, Sunseeker has the old fashioned push buttons and rocker switches. For info specific to the One-Control, I suggest a forum search. I don’t have one so I’m not a good feedback source.

My Sunseeker has the Level-Up system. This is the 3rd unit I have owned with Level-Up and I have no issues with it. I will say that the inside frame rail mount for the pump on the 2800 is a pain.

Slideouts are a whole different ballgame. I had a full wall schwintek on my Class A and it was problematic from day one. I’m not going to get into the weeds on that here but I will say that the 2800 slideouts are very different. They are also much lighter and smaller making them a good match for the schwintek in wall. The key is installation. If they are installed correctly, they are great. If not, run away.
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Old 06-02-2018, 03:27 PM   #15
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We used to have a 1996 29' Itasca Class C. Single roof air with no ducts - just blasted front & rear. We camped in triple digit temps with it. My wife was always too cold while I was generally overheated from the exertion of hooking up. I cooled down fast with that unit. Temps below 95° left us in danger of freezing. So, I'm of the opinion that a single unit will do the job, with the understanding that almost all A/C units are designed to reduce temps to ambient - 20°
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Old 06-02-2018, 03:50 PM   #16
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Look at some of the "27" class, Class As. I have a Thor Windsport 27K. It is 29' 4" overall. Coachman builds a nice one also, I would have bought it, but I got such a good deal on the Thor.


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Old 06-03-2018, 12:36 PM   #17
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I think the dealer does not count the cab therfore the living space is about 28 feet inside . thats the only explanation i can come up with. I was told 28 also but when i book sight i use 30 ft.
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:02 AM   #18
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I'm pretty much sold on the Sunseeker... I'm curious as to whether the aerodynamic styling of the GTS 2800QS yields any significant mpg improvement. I have the same curiosity about the 2420MS with the trekker cap. Right now I get about 9 mpg on a 2017 Chateau 26B at 60 mph in tow haul mode.
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:04 AM   #19
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Aside from the definition of significant I will be able to answer that in a few weeks. But I only have 2000 miles on it now so whatever I get may improve when its broken in. That will also happen this trip but not until August. Another consideration is that my Tow/Haul is now the same as normal mode with the exception of the brake/downshift function and the dash light.

Edit: I just checked my maiden voyage post and I got 8.357 on my 1st tank full. That was at the same speed you drive but in strong winds. I’m thinking that I will end up in the 9-10 range which is good in my book.
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:32 AM   #20
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8-9 mpg that's about it
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