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Old 10-06-2013, 12:35 PM   #1
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2014 Georgetown 351 shakedown report

Howdy folks -
We put over 3000 miles on our new GT 351 in the first 30 days so we've been able to put most everything to the test. A few observations -

This is our first class A, moving up from a class C, and we are absolutely loving the class A experience. Asking ourselves why we waited so long. I'm quite pleased with the handling of the coach - in fact it's more comfortable and stress-free to drive than our previous class C. I was concerned about the shorter wheelbase of the 351 relative to the XL, but so far, my experience is that the ride is stable and refined, for a gasser anyway.

We love the front drop-down shade. No more wrestling with Velcro and snaps to try to achieve privacy for the night.

We love the electric awning, and the storage underneath is plentiful. DW is loving every aspect of the kitchen - the residential fridge, beautiful countertop, recessed sink stylish backsplash, etc. It's a very livable coach with lots of style points that we're liking very much.

Love the 5.5kw generator (it's more quiet inside and out than our previous 4.0kw) and also appreciate how quiet the water pump is - you can barely tell it's working inside the coach.

Like others, we'll have a list of warranty things to address after one more trip...

The sub woofer does not work. I haven't poked around for loose wiring, but it needs to be addressed

When the levelers are fully deployed, the entry door is difficult (if not impossible) to close. Will require a door adjustment or ...(?). Possibly related the this, the door squeaks very loudly going down the road.

The auto transfer switch sometime emits a *very* loud humming noise. At one stop I simply turned off the breaker at the post and turned it back on, and the humming was reduced. No problems with it functioning, but will have it checked out

There are a few minor cosmetic things that we'll have addressed, but hardly worth calling out here. One issue is curious though, and I noticed this on several other new GT's that we looked at - the screws inside certain storage bays are *extremely* rusted. There must be some chemical reaction that occurs while painting the coach (?) or some other process that causes this, as it couldn't possibly be simply from moisture. We took delivery on our coach less than 7 days after if left the factory so it's some kind of reaction causing the rust. I'll replace the screws w/ stainless in due time.

One of my pet peeves with every coach we've owned is the disorganization or simple lack of documentation on the coach and components. The "owners manual" is, for the most part, worthless. It's written in very generic terms for an entire product line, and for any substantial info, it directs you to refer to "OEM documentation". But...we didn't receive any documentation on the auto levelers, the awning, or fridge. We'll track down the doc's, but it's a drag to have to do so. The documentation that was included was piled in one very large plastic zip-lock bag. We will organize this by category and put in file folders.

Hmmm what else? I love the tow/haul feature, and used it often driving through western North Carolina. The transmission shifts quite smoothly. I did notice on a couple occasions when accelerating from a stop that it seemed to want to start in a higher gear, giving the sensation of no power. A quick tap on the accelerator made it drop into first, and all was well, so maybe it's just a matter of me getting used to it.

Oh, yes - one more thing - one of the closet rods fell from the ceiling on our first trip. It was not overloaded with clothes by any stretch. The three screws, which appear to be fine-threaded self-tapping screws, simply didn't hold. I'm contemplating reattaching w/ coarser threaded screws or letting the dealer address when I take it in.

Overall we are happy with the coach, and I'll report back after we've given the dealership/FR an opportunity to address the issues.

Happy motorhoming,

Mike
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Old 10-06-2013, 02:32 PM   #2
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I had a similar issue with the sub woofer. There is a tiny amp above the radio. You can look see it if you lay down from the passenger side. It has a level knob that faces the rear end of the coach. Mine was turned all the way up (CW) and it was overpowering the amp and it would automatically shut down. I turned about half way and it now works fine. Yours may be turned all the way down.
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:03 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by alparmmer View Post
I had a similar issue with the sub woofer. There is a tiny amp above the radio. You can look see it if you lay down from the passenger side. It has a level knob that faces the rear end of the coach. Mine was turned all the way up (CW) and it was overpowering the amp and it would automatically shut down. I turned about half way and it now works fine. Yours may be turned all the way down.

Thanks for the tip. I located the amp and turned the level down about half way. Still no action out of the sub woofer. Maybe there's a reset button or something. Actually it looks like some kind of button next to the level knob but I didn't press on it.

-Mike
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:22 PM   #4
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There is no reset button, it's automatic. Does the power led light up? You may have to unscrew the bl ck shiny plastic bezel to get to the amp to see if there is a lose wire or something.
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:27 PM   #5
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I am glad all considered, things are good. Just so you are not alone, My hanging rack in closet pulled loose on our first trip, dumping our clothes in bottom of closet. Fix with multiple screws at dealer and no issue since.
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Old 10-11-2013, 01:09 PM   #6
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Have had our new 2014 351DS for one month as well so it was interesting to read your shakedown report and compare notes. Most problems on ours are minor as well. No problems with home theater system sound. It is not as good as the one in the house but doesn't sound to me as bad as some say. Don't know if the 2014's have better speakers or not. TV antenna must have a bad connection as it picks up nothing even with booster on. I can plug a set of rabbit ears to the antenna input and pick up 17 channels here locally.

A few things a bit more serious are two of the wiper/seals on the slides don't flip as they should and actually have a chunk torn off the top. I can see water getting in that very easy. Also the gaskets on three of the windows are either not seated correctly or are the wrong ones as they catch on the arms when the windows are cranked in.

One other issue and the main reason for my response is front end alignment. The steering felt OK but the steering wheel is not centered correctly. I contacted FR and got approval for reimbursement to take it to a local shop and get it checked. Mechanic said it was good I did as right side camber was way to high and would have caused tire wear. He also said that he is amazed at the number of brand new MH's that are not aligned correctly. Still didn't fix the steering wheel issue but FR said that is not uncommon and if the front end alignment didn't correct it that it was an easy fix for the dealer. It does steer better though.

We have had it out on three different trips and love everything so far. Do have a list of other issues but so far all are what I consider minor and will make an appt today to get back to dealer for repairs.
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:23 PM   #7
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Regarding alignment not correcting the steering wheel being centered - I am told that the last step in aligning any vehicle is to center the steering wheel. It's part of the alignment process. So, while a vehicle with a steering that's not centered may or may not be out of alignment, the steering wheel should be centered as the last step of the alignment process.

I'm just relaying these observations from the owner of our local, and respected, shop which aligns vehicles including heavy equipment and RVs.

-M

>One other issue and the main reason for my response is front end alignment. The steering felt OK but the steering wheel is not centered correctly. I contacted FR and got approval for reimbursement to take it to a local shop and get it checked. Mechanic said it was good I did as right side camber was way to high and would have caused tire wear. He also said that he is amazed at the number of brand new MH's that are not aligned correctly. Still didn't fix the steering wheel issue but FR said that is not uncommon and if the front end alignment didn't correct it that it was an easy fix for the dealer. It does steer better though.<
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Old 10-12-2013, 07:53 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=43D18;479445]Regarding alignment not correcting the steering wheel being centered - I am told that the last step in aligning any vehicle is to center the steering wheel. It's part of the alignment process. So, while a vehicle with a steering that's not centered may or may not be out of alignment, the steering wheel should be centered as the last step of the alignment process
I'm just relaying these observations from the owner of our local, and respected, shop which aligns vehicles including heavy equipment and RVs.[QUOTE=43D18;479445]


That is true. When I took mine in to get it aligned, the last thing the tech did was center the steering wheel, it took him about 10-15 minutes.
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Old 10-13-2013, 04:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 43D18 View Post
Oh, yes - one more thing - one of the closet rods fell from the ceiling on our first trip. It was not overloaded with clothes by any stretch. The three screws, which appear to be fine-threaded self-tapping screws, simply didn't hold. I'm contemplating reattaching w/ coarser threaded screws or letting the dealer address when I take it in.
I had the same thing happen. It is just screwed into thin luan plywood behind the padded ceiling vinyl. Additionally, my wife hated the ceiling closet rod with the individual hanger holes. I replaced the fallen closet rod with a section of Closet Maid shelving. It was necessary to attach 1"x3" wood strips along the end walls to the internal wall framing. Then the Closet Maid shelf is attached to the 1"x3" strips using their wall end mounts. I installed the shelf about 4" from the ceiling so we also gained a small usable shelf area above the hanging clothes.
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Old 10-14-2013, 06:08 AM   #10
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Did not know that last step of alignment should have included straightening steering wheel. I didn't think anything of it because the last thing April at FR told me was don't worry if a front end alignment does not bring the steering wheel to center position as this is a common problem and the dealer can take care of easily. Even told me if the dealer did not know the procedure to have them call. Either way will check back with the garage that did the work.

That's what is so great about this forum. I always learn something new every time I post.
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