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Old 01-30-2014, 10:04 PM   #1
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2014 24S Option Detail

As a prospective buyer (we are planning to order a rather fully optioned 24S for delivery in mid July) I have been frustrated by the lack of detail about certain options listed for the 2014 Solera 24S. I sent this question to Brian Clemens, and he suggested that I post this to the forum for more responses. I have foure questions about which there is little info I can find. 1) Any details on the satellite TV/Dish option. I'm told it will be in-motion and Dish based. Will the receiver be 12V powered or is this the standard 211 that is 110V powered? Any other details such as the manufacturer of the satellite dish? 2) With and without the Bigfoot option, what is the ground clearance of the 24S? More specifically, what is the lowest hanging part? If, for example, it is the generator exhaust, could this be modified to increase the ground clearance? 3) Any info on the current corner bed (ie, the one that would be used in the build for a early summer 2014 build)? Is is a combo of innerspring and memory foam or? and 4) By my calculations, with full water, diesel and LPG tanks and 345 pounds of family, there is only about 200 pounds of cargo available before one exceeds the Gross Vehicle Weight listed for the Solera platform (specifically the 24S). This suggests that a 200 pound overload (about 2%) is highly likely. Are there aftermarket suspension or brake mods that can be added to raise the safe weight limit by around 300 pounds?

Appreciate any info you can give.
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:46 PM   #2
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Regarding question 3--we were just at the Tampa RV show where they had two Soleras. The one with the corner bed had an all foam mattress that was very comfortable. Much much better than the coil spring one that previously came on them.
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Old 02-01-2014, 01:33 PM   #3
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Yesterday, we found a relatively local dealer with a Solera 24S in stock. We were able to lie down on the bed for a short comfort test. I had expected, based on some of the previous disappointing reviews, that the bed would resemble a an overused 30 year old motel mattress! Instead, we found it extremely comfortable with good support. It did seem to be at least largely foam. Your reply helps clarify this. Clearly the factory has upgraded this offering. Also, the bed and available compartment space was much more generous than we expected. Frankly, we were far more impressed with the 24S than the 24B or 24R for our needs.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:18 PM   #4
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Sorry, FrankGrun. I mainly meant the clearance issues to be posted here. I was on the road and so figured someone here could get those measurements quicker.

1. Our most cost effective Sat option is an automatic. It is not in motion, but locks on when you park and comes with a Dish VIP211 receiver. In motion is an option but at a much higher price. That is Dish or DirecTV but does not come with a receiver. Satellite dish is King Controls in either application if I'm still current. We find lot of people are going with the little mobile units.

3. mattress is 100% foam. You can request an upgraded mattress, but I am making that standard anyway. It will have 2" of memory foam in the top going forward.

4. Attached is weight calculation. UVW is based on full fuel tank and full propane. So no need to add that in. jacks will take away from weight capacity. I added in 345lbs of family.
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Old 02-08-2014, 12:25 PM   #5
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Brian,

This was just the information I was looking for. You very suspiciously entered the exact family weight of the wife and I in your spreadsheet! The cargo margin is now much more doable.

In the interim since I first posted the original message, I found the National Highway Safety Administration definition of UVW which clearly defined that full loads of fuel and propane were included in the number. This and your reply cleared up this confusing term, which is often misinterpreted on the various RV Forums.

With some searching, I have also found that the GVWR can be increased from the as delivered state from the factory. This entails chassis mods like suspension component replacement or simply upgrading the tire load rating. This generates two more questions: 1). What is the size and load rating of the standard tires delivered with the 24S? (And is a spare still included?) 2). Can you find out from the engineering group what is the GVWR limiting component of the Mercedes 3500 chassis? For example, it would be very interesting if the standard tires were Load D rated and merely replacing them with Load E tires would increase the GVWR by 300#!

And, finally, I'm still anxious to learn what the ground clearance is, and the clearance limiting component.

Sorry for the detailed question, but its hard to turn off 40 years of science and engineering just be retirement!
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:51 AM   #6
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I'm not sure if I "suspiciously" put the exact amount in. You sort of gave me the number in your post.

Typically the GVWR has more to do with the transmission, brakes and axles than tires. I would be wary of anyone telling you that you can increase the factory stated GVWR.
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:05 PM   #7
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Let me clarify about increasing the GVWR. following your clarification about the UVW value, I can easily see that the additional cargo weight of food, drinks, cooking hardware, clothes, books, computers, tools and bedding could bring the overall weight to between 200 and 300 pounds over the GVWR. This cargo list is what I would think would be needed for a multi-thousand mile cross country tour. My concern was then for any modification that would bring this 2 to 3% overload back to a realistic safety margin.

We plan to tow our Jeep Cherokee 4x4 for such trips and it weighs in at 3875 pounds, so there is some margin to place other materials in the Jeep, but the inconvenience is high. In my limited experience, most of the loaded-for-a-long-trip Class C RVs weigh in at at least 400 pounds over the GVWR (Ford 350 chassis).
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:59 PM   #8
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I tow a jeep jk rubicon which weighs right at 4000
No problem
Towed it from San Diego to upper Oregon over grades
No problem
We did put a 1st class braking system in the jeep
It actually stops better with jeep in tow
I do travel light with holding tanks empty and little fresh unless dry camping
That mercedes is a beast
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:03 PM   #9
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This is really helpful! I was concerned about hauling the Cherokee around and you have removed that concern from the list. There will be a few electrical mods needed to install our brake controller system but I'm now sure this will come together! Amazing that the Mercedes system can pull it all. What kind of mpg penalty did you par for towing the Wrangler?
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:18 PM   #10
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I kept track and towing was 12-13
Not towing 14-16
I was kinda surprised
Wrangler rubicon gets 15 to 18
Horrible drag coefficient but I guess it kinda drafts the solera
Way cheaper to tow it
Just keep your solera light and you will have no problems
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