Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-15-2013, 10:29 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 6
2014 351DS and 350TS XL and Residential Refrigerator: Battery/inverter setup

Hi there!

I'm a long time lurker and about to purchase either a 2014 351DS or a 350TS XL. I've been really impressed with the job Forest River has done "dressing" these rigs up over the past 2 years and I've pretty much narrowed my search down to these two beauties. I have two questions and I'm hoping some of the forum experts and experienced RV'ers can help me out.

1. Forest River has done such a good job dressing up the 351DS that I'm not completely sure its worth the $12000-$20000 extra I'm seeing for the 350TS XL. I'm a fan of the full basement but the interior amneties of both are very very close. I plan on being a weekend warrior mostly putting 700-1200 miles a month all year round as I escape Miami to the real beauty of Florida. Does the 350TS XL drive much better than the 351DS? Is there much much more storage? Any tech differences besides maybe a front TV? Both are beautiful rigs and maybe I'm just too focused on the full basement look to be honest... I will be towing a small toad via a dolly as well and thank you to a few members already that show that works without a problem on both.

2. The residential refrigerator is a concern to me. In that past I've driven a Tiffin 2012 35QBA with a propane/electric fridge that stayed cold enough when not hooked up to electrical. My question is what is the battery/inverter setup in both the 351DS andf 350TS XL? Is it easy to expand that battery capacity to say 6 6V batteries using the same inverter? Can the stock battery setup last a night with the fridge on until morning?

I've been really impressed with what Forest River has done with these two models and any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I promise once I get mine to post pics and mods I do for others as well!

Thank you!
__________________

__________________
stoyles1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2013, 11:09 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Western New York State
Posts: 902
There will be a differenc in ride between the two models. The 351 will be on Fords 22K chassis with 19.5 inch wheels/tires and the 350 will be on the 26K chassis with 22.5 inch wheels/tires, same size as trucks. There will also be alot more basement storage space with the full basement 350 with at least three pass through compartments (some rigs have none!). I don't know if it is a fair comparison but my older Allegro had the small chassis tire combo and I can not believe the ride difference in the larger combo on my 330TS. Dishes don't rattle in the cupboards nor do you get any creaking sounds from the interior of the rig as a whole.

As far as the inverter set up goes, I am sure there wll be more responses from those that already have them. They started out being only found in higher end or DP but now it appears they are creepin down to the mid level rigs. I see it as another example of Forest River trying to give you the most bang for a modest buck in comparison to other mfg's. One thing I would look for though is that the inverter set up has an automatic transfer to the generator that if the battery levels drop to low the genny will automaticallly start up to recharge the batteries. Can't see the system being that good with out that feature, especially boon docking or long days on the road. Good Luck on your decision and keep us posted on what you decide.
__________________

__________________
sherman12
2011 Georgetown 330TS
Kia Sportage on MasterTow Dolly
sherman12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2013, 11:40 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 6
"One thing I would look for though is that the inverter set up has an automatic transfer to the generator that if the battery levels drop to low the genny will automaticallly start up to recharge the batteries. Can't see the system being that good with out that feature, especially boon docking or long days on the road."

Thats an excellent point sherman12...it should be automated! Seems like the bulk of the 351's I see out there have the residential now so hopefully someone will share their experience...

Thanks!
__________________
stoyles1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2013, 12:09 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoyles1 View Post
Thats an excellent point sherman12...it should be automated! Seems like the bulk of the 351's I see out there have the residential now so hopefully someone will share their experience...

Thanks!
That was one of my questions, being a new 2013 351 owner and 1st time Class A....coming up from a TT. My 351 does have the residential fridge however does not have the auto gen. Since I'm new to the whole game and not electrically inclined, I'm attempting to see what it'd take to make that an upgrade on my rig. However, most of my travels with the family are to full hook up sites so it's not a HUGE issue for me...
__________________
Chris
Cumming, GA
2013 Georgetown 351DSF

http://curban.smugmug.com/Urban-Fami...rgetown-351DSF
ChrisMSNT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2013, 01:44 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 6
Thanks Chris! Would this be the holy grail we are looking for?

Cummins Onan RV Generator Energy Command AutoStart Control

Costs $525 on PPLMotorhomes.com.

Whats the room like for extra batteries in your 351?
__________________
stoyles1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2013, 02:07 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 251
There are two batteries. I'm sure something could be constructed to hold more in the holding area to the right of the stairs. The question I have about this one is... my understanding, I'm driving down the road and the motor alternator is charging the house batteries which are powering the residential fridge. Does this unit understand that the house batteries are low and kick in the gen? I'd assume not. I think once power is at zero, then this kicks the generator in. Anyone have thoughts? A quick price check is that there's a few places for cheaper but that's in the ball park.
__________________
Chris
Cumming, GA
2013 Georgetown 351DSF

http://curban.smugmug.com/Urban-Fami...rgetown-351DSF
ChrisMSNT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2013, 03:07 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 6
Based on what I read that unit does exactly that. Once the battery is at half (or even a preset higher if you want) it turns on the generator that tops off the battery. It even has presets that will top off the batteries at night before specific times. Looks pretty cool actually. However with only 2 batteries I'm not sure they would last all night for the fridge. However with the autostart it would sense when the batteries got low and kick in the generator. From what I have read to keep your batteries well you need to never let them go below 50%.
__________________
stoyles1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2013, 08:51 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
VinceU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 3,502
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoyles1 View Post
Based on what I read that unit does exactly that. Once the battery is at half (or even a preset higher if you want) it turns on the generator that tops off the battery. It even has presets that will top off the batteries at night before specific times. Looks pretty cool actually. However with only 2 batteries I'm not sure they would last all night for the fridge. However with the autostart it would sense when the batteries got low and kick in the generator. From what I have read to keep your batteries well you need to never let them go below 50%.
Don't think the autostart feature comes standard in any FR product. However the alternator is charging the house batteries whenever the engine is running. You need to think carefully about adding more batteries, you'll be using up cargo weight (CCC), esp in the smaller chassis.
__________________
VinceU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2013, 10:22 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Western New York State
Posts: 902
Didn't Georgetown kick up the alternator from like 85 amps to 150 amps to provide that charging power while on the road?
__________________
sherman12
2011 Georgetown 330TS
Kia Sportage on MasterTow Dolly
sherman12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2013, 01:51 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 4
So far with our new rig we have seen that the fridge is running off the inverter from the batteries while driving down the road. We have not ran it overnight yet to see how long the batteries will last with that big fridge. We will keep you posted.
__________________

__________________
girlscout is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




ForestRiverForums.com is not in any way associated with Forest River, Inc. or its associated RV manufacturing divisions.


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:18 AM.