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Old 09-04-2010, 03:28 PM   #1
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What are the best options to get?

Hi,

I am new member to this forum though I have visited many times in the past looking for wisdom and experience on our last unit (a Roo trailer). The Roo served us very well but we would like to do some longer cross country trips and feel a motorhome will provide us a greater level of comfort for the long drives.My wife and I are going to order a Georgetown 350 with bunks in the near future and are trying to decide on what the best options are. I would appreciate any comments on the available options.

I am especially interested in knowing about

Arctic package as I am hoping to go skiing

Heat Strips, do they work

The generator choices, Is the Onan better than the Generac?

is the power seat worthwhile?

I have yet to see a picture of the standard chair in any of the pictures. Does anyone have a picture and does it come with a seat-belt?

The television options seem expensive, why?

I find the FR website and brochure rather lacking in info and I have found that most of the sales people I have met don't provide reliable product knowledge.

Any other information would also be appreciated. I am planning to order the unit from RVdirect as they seem to have the best prices by far.

Thanks,

MIke
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Old 09-04-2010, 03:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeA View Post
Hi,

I am new member .....do some longer cross country trips and feel a motorhome will provide us a greater level of comfort for the long drives.
Thanks,
MIke

Great start! You are asking the questions and that is great. Do you have a dealer locally to check what they have? That would be a starting point..

Then I would look around online for the model you are considering and look at used ones to see what they have in them. Generator size, 1 or 2 AC units, backup camera, self levelers, 1, 2 or 3 slideouts, Storage below, Engine type and size. These are just a few things I would checkout if I was considering a MH.

I'm sure others will be here shortly to add additional comments.

Good luck!
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Old 09-04-2010, 06:38 PM   #3
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Heat strips work well and will save you a lot of propane.Very important is dual pane glass.It cuts down on outside noise and keeps your coach very cosey in cold and hot.My wife would not leave home without her splendide[brand] washer dryer [you need one of the larger coaches for this option].
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Old 09-04-2010, 07:11 PM   #4
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Fantastic Fans! Wouldn't own another RV without the Fantastic Fans! They are , well, Fantastic! The Georgetown already comes with an impressive list of "standards". We have the fireplace in our 378 so didn't bother with the heat strips. Also went with the Onan generator. As we do most of our camping where heat is required not AC I opted against the 2nd AC unit, wished I had gotten it. Also agree with the above statement about dual pane windows, they are a must.

I got the side view cameras but honestly my brain has been trained after years of RV ownership to look in my mirrors, I forget the cameras are there. We like our power seat. I also went with the undercoating. after 2 years the underside of my rig shows no sign of rust, they did a great job with it.

We bought from RVdirect and found them to be very very good at going over the order several times with me to make sure we were getting what we wanted. Some of the packages can be confusing as ordering one will negate the need for another. RVD was great at sorting this out. The entire transaction was very very smooth. If you order the full body paint you may also get the front Invisibra with it. Ours came with it, I don't know if everybodys rig did or not. The full body paint was very well done.
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Old 09-04-2010, 07:23 PM   #5
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I had a heat strip on our front A/C in our fifthwheel. I wouldn't spend the money on it. It didn't seem like the air it was pushing out got very warm. Now, if you get a 378TS you'll get a fireplace, that is a great option. But, I think you can only get it on the 378 and it comes with it not an option. We use ours all the time in our fifthwheel. Basically it puts out the same amount of heat as a 1500W elec. heater. Put a 1500W heater in the bedroom and with the fireplace you'll be nice and toasty till it gets below 40 deg.
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:47 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info. I will be sure to order the double pane windows. I guess that one is a no brainer if I am going to use it in the winter. Is the arctic package just tank heaters or does it include some additional insulation perhaps.

I would like a power seat if it offers a greater range of adjustment than the standard one. I especially like the up/down tilt option that OEM car/truck seats have.

Does the Onan generator operate more quietly or is better built? Has anybody had any problems with the Generac unit? Perhaps one is better in the fuel consumption department.

The fireplace is not an option on the 350TS and I would like to have the capability of heating the motorhome without running the furnace when we have hookups. We use a ceramic heater in our TT and it worked OK but would cause the kitchen circuit to trip. I have never known anybody that had them and don't know what their output is like.

I have yet to find a picture of the standard barrel chair in any of the pictures I have found on the internet. If you have one could you let me know if it is OK and if it has a seatbelt. I think that the 350TS only has 6 belts unless the barrel seat has one making 7 which is how many of us travel together.

I find the tv options quite pricey, but though that maybe there was extra equipment that the price included such as a switcher or signal amplifier. I am surprised that FR does not have a detailed description of their options available on their website. In our last unit (a trailer) there were a couple of options that I ordered that I was disappointed with due to the inaccurate descriptions given to me by the dealer. I am hoping that I can avoid that this time. I don't mind paying if it is worthwhile.

I have spent a lot of time reviewing the forums here in the last couple of weeks and it is great to see the sense of community. Carol and I are quite exited about our "graduation" into the new motorhome and the fun times we will have. I had a lot of fun doing some major (and minor) modifications to our last unit and know I will likely do the same to our new unit.

Mike
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeA View Post
Thanks for the info. I will be sure to order the double pane windows. I guess that one is a no brainer if I am going to use it in the winter. Is the arctic package just tank heaters or does it include some additional insulation perhaps.

I would like a power seat if it offers a greater range of adjustment than the standard one. I especially like the up/down tilt option that OEM car/truck seats have.

Does the Onan generator operate more quietly or is better built? Has anybody had any problems with the Generac unit? Perhaps one is better in the fuel consumption department.

The fireplace is not an option on the 350TS and I would like to have the capability of heating the motorhome without running the furnace when we have hookups. We use a ceramic heater in our TT and it worked OK but would cause the kitchen circuit to trip. I have never known anybody that had them and don't know what their output is like.

I have yet to find a picture of the standard barrel chair in any of the pictures I have found on the internet. If you have one could you let me know if it is OK and if it has a seatbelt. I think that the 350TS only has 6 belts unless the barrel seat has one making 7 which is how many of us travel together.

I find the tv options quite pricey, but though that maybe there was extra equipment that the price included such as a switcher or signal amplifier. I am surprised that FR does not have a detailed description of their options available on their website. In our last unit (a trailer) there were a couple of options that I ordered that I was disappointed with due to the inaccurate descriptions given to me by the dealer. I am hoping that I can avoid that this time. I don't mind paying if it is worthwhile.

I have spent a lot of time reviewing the forums here in the last couple of weeks and it is great to see the sense of community. Carol and I are quite exited about our "graduation" into the new motorhome and the fun times we will have. I had a lot of fun doing some major (and minor) modifications to our last unit and know I will likely do the same to our new unit.

Mike
One thing you'll be doing is adding 110 outlets, there just aren't enough in the Georgetowns. Also, an in the coach switch for the electric side of the water heater. We had our dealer add one and a 110 outlet in the bedroom. I'm sure I'll be adding more 110 outlets in the living room area.

The Onan generator is quieter than the Generac and a good option for the price. We are going to replace the 19" bedroom tv with a 25" we already have. About the only way you'll get one without the bedroom tv is to order one. Almost all the dealers order them with it. I sat in the driver's seat and the power seat is a good option for someone my size. Also, at least one Fantastic Fan. Ours has only one and I think we'll put another in the bath room. We are full timers and the bedroom A/C was a must. If it gets above 90 deg. a single A/C will have a hard time keeping up. The side cameras are another good option. They work automatically when you use the turn signal. I would replace the barrel chair with the euro-chair, its much more comfortable.
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:48 PM   #8
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Ditto what Nemo says about the AC, we don't full time yet but those rare occasions when we get into hot weather we are regreting not getting the 2nd AC. The dark colored full body paint doesn't help with that either.

The arctic pack is heat pads on the water and holding tanks and heated tape around the sewer elbows where water can gather. It is supposed to be thermostatically controlled to come on at temps below 40 I think. I haven't been able to check if they actually work but we kept ours turned on out in the garage last winter when the temps dropped into the low teens and no problem. I also think I would give a pass on the heat strips in favor of a portable space heater. If you are set up for 50 amp then it shouldn't be a problem. If you are wired for a washer/dryer like we are but don't have one you can use that outlet as it is on it's own breaker.

The adjustability of the power seat is nice. However we found it to be mounted too close to the steering wheel. The flanges on the bottom of the seat have several holes so I merely unbolted the seat, moved it back on the pedestal by one set of holes and bolted it back down. Works great for us.
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:41 PM   #9
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We have the GT 350 TS with bunks in a 2010 version. Ours came with the euro recliner and it does not have seat belt. Maybe the barrel chair does.
We have the convection/microwave and cooktop which gives you more kitchen drawers but takes away your regular oven. If the regular oven is important to you then you will not want that option. One note of caution, the micro convection takes some experience to operate. We have not mastered it and indeed it looks to be pretty daunting task if you have never used one before.
As mentioned by someone else, if you are a long time RVer or truck driver the optional side cameas will probably be redundant as you will find yourself automatically checking the side view mirrors instead. Some people who have never mastered the use of side mounted mirrors may find the side view cameras invaluable. My wife for example is not a ritual mirror checker so the cameras are useful to her.
As a matter of personal preference we got lino in place of the carpet mostly because it is easier to keep clean. In fact, we even had FR's lino removed and replaced with a cushon floor which gives better soundproofing if you go the lino route. If you spend much time in the hotter drier climates where infrequent rainfall is not sufficient to wash the pollution off the paved parking lot surfaces, you will find the accumulated crud tracked onto your carpets no matter how hard you try to keep it clean. If you live in the PNW and do most of your camping there, the parking lots are generally kept pollution free by the frequent rainfall and the need for lino becomes less critical.
You need to consider the kind of RV'ing you hope to do to determine whether some options are worth the cost. Some folks will tell you that they find the convenience of a washer dryer is great but if you do a fair amount of boondocking the W/D are big consumers of valuable water reserves and the need for water conservation necessitates that you don,t use the W/D. Yoiu will be better served by more closet space.
The dealer who ordered our coach selected every option for the 350TS except the dinette plus chairs. Because of their cost I don't think I would have chosen all of them but then what the heck. Now that we have them I'm sure we will appreciate them.
Although it is not an available option I would have preferred a dual 6VDC golf cart battery bank rather than the 2X12VDC batteries. I would have preferred penguin heat pumps, which give you efficient heating and cooling, since we travel in four seasons type weather. Here again they are not a listed option. They give the heat strips as an option for your AC but I have not found them to be all that great on my previous coaches. I would have liked an air compressor but it is not an option. Although I have never had one I think the weatherpro power awning is preferrable to the standard power awning since it puts away your awning if the weather changes while you are away from the coach.
And that's my $0.02 worth on the matter of options. There is a wealth of good opinions on this forum which should help you immensely.
Lloyd
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:22 PM   #10
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To work up specs to order a Georgetown 280DS, I talked with a couple of Forest River people plus my dealer, who also talked with FR. What I learned...

The standard Jensen brand TVs are overpriced for what they are. Better TVs can be bought for less from Costco. The question then is, what about in-coach wiring and mounting?

The Jensen 19" bedroom TV is claimed to be HDTV 1080i but the specs posted by Jensen indicate it's just barely better than SD, not fully HD. But that barely matters because the connection from front TV location to the bedroom TV is a RF coax cable (not HDMI or component or even composite video/audio). If that coax is used to send the RF output of a satellite receiver from front to back, it will be SD no matter what kind of bedroom TV is installed. The only benefit of an HD bedroom TV is if it is fed from a bedroom DVD and/or a bedroom-installed satellite receiver.

The bedroom is said to be wired for TV even if it is not ordered. Supposedly this means a bedroom TV can be added later without major surgery on the coach. This seems to mean a coax cable runs from front TV to back TV, and the bedroom TV AC power outlet is in place, along with a backboard to mount the TV in the normal place. But these statements were always accompanied by "I think" -- even from the factory folks.

Note that adding a TV requires both the TV and mounting brackets, and perhaps some cables. Jensen's web site sells TV mounts, possibly useful even if a different TV is purchased (it can be difficult to locate a source of flat-TV mounts suitable for an RV).

A better bedroom TV can be bought for less than FR charges, though do-it-yourself is required to install. If bedroom TV specs is not critical and/or the RV owner must pay for someone to install it, the package TV from FR is easier and might be acceptable.

I don't know if the front TV can be omitted to buy a better one. FR said it just upgraded the 280DS to a 32" TV, not obvious because it is standard equipment, not an option. The risk with omitting the front TV is if FR also would omit the crank-up antenna and/or in-ceiling/wall cabling.

Full-body paint can add about 10% to the cost of the coach, and being dark it can make the interior warmer. Some say it looks better for more years, but since a coach can be repainted, it's mostly a matter of taste vs. budget. FR is just releasing new Georgetown full body paint schemes and styles.

Ordering Full-body paint requires also accepting the power awning, which some do not like because it can't be adjusted to deal with different sunshine angles. My experience with a prior 39' DP is that I was only sitting outside morning and evening, otherwise I was out and about. But the power awning was only useful for mid-day sun. So I never used it. Therefore, why pay more than necessary?

Too bad the A/C doesn't have a heat pump mode, so I'd get heat strips as better than nothing, and way better than burning propane.

Dual pane windows insulate sound and heat, very desirable, but they can fail over time, developing seal leaks that fog the glass, expensive to repair. Tough decision.

I agree that side cameras aren't needed for normal driving, lane changing, turning -- I see what I need to in mirrors. But... For slow movement and backing in tight campgrounds and parking lots, cameras can provide a view that is difficult or impossible to get with the mirrors without climbing out of the driver's seat -- posts and pipes and rocks and trees that must be missed, sometimes by inches.

The rear camera is useful, but understand it is not a road-behind view, it is a coach back-side view. The camera normally points almost straight down, to see the coach rear and whatever is just behind it (including the front of a towed vehicle). This helps backing, and monitoring the towed. Some owners eventually add a second camera pointed back down the highway to function as a rear-view-mirror.

In some models, adding Arctic Pack also adds an enclosed water compartment, otherwise it's just a drain pipe and valves behind the door, no compartment. I want a compartment to add a Sani-Con macerator, which I got used to (and love) with my prior coach.

However, to make Sani-Con installation easier I will be asking FR to route the sewer pipe differently to terminate inside the compartment instead of have it poke out the bottom (oddly ignorning that there's a compartment); FR promises to comply with the special request. I think my request should be standard design when there's a compartment, the same as Winnebago, Fleetwood and DPs already do -- it's actually less work/cost for FR and more useful to the owner to have the sewer pipe remain in the compartment so the hose is easier to connect, and even can remain connected (as is standard with Sani-Con).
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