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Old 07-21-2013, 09:54 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: On the Bench
Posts: 51
Crusader 335BHS - trip report

Just wanted to pass along some experiences with our Crusader 335BHS on our first 'real' trip out with it....

Spent our first 3 nights at Hartwick Pines State Park (Grayling, MI) - nice, quiet park. Had a site with full hookups. Made the 3 hour trip with a full fresh water tank - actually pulls better with a full tank and loaded for a week long trip. Got 12 MPG pulling also. Temps were in the upper 80's and humid, the single AC did a good job keeping the whole rig cool. Only one real issue with the Crusader - the auto-leveling system wanted to lift the tires off the ground again to level the rig (on a flat, paved, level site). After some serious analyzing and a few beers, I finally figured out the issue: my Crusader rides nose-high when hitched to my truck, and when I was arriving at camp to unhitch I was pulling the pins to manually extend the front legs down onto 6x6 boards. Then, I would use the leveling system to electrically raise the front of the coach a bit to unhitch. Once unhitched, I would also pull the rear pins and manually lower the rear legs onto boards and then push the auto-level button. The problem is that because I did not power-extend the front jacks before unhitching, I could never lower the front of the coach to level - so, the auto-leveling system had to raise the back end to get to level, raising the tires off the ground. So, what I do now is prior to unhitching, power-extend the jacks about 3 inches then pull the pins and drop the legs down onto the boards. Then, raise the front of the rig a bit to unhitch. Once unhitched, I can lower the front down to about level, extend the rear jacks, and then auto-level. Works without lifting the whole rig off the ground!!!

After 3 nights at Hartwick Pines, we headed another 3 hours north to Tahquamenon Falls State Park - had a site in the Lower Falls campground backed right up to the river. Nice level, dirt site - and used the method above the rig leveled itself perfectly (with tires on the ground). The mosquitoes were HORRIBLE.... Had to replenish my blood supply with a few more beers! Again, hot and humid weather but the AC kept up. 2nd night there we had a big rainstorm - our site was sitting in 2 inches of water for a bit. No leaks though! Did find that our galley gray tank handle fell off somewhere - 2nd time we lost it, first time was in the storage lot but I found it that time. Sent Prime Time a request for another handle and recommend they lok-tite them during assembly (which I will now do). This specific handle hangs out like a propeller under the coach - and, it's a PITA to reach into the hole in the frame to grab the rod with pliers to open/close the dump valve. We had another big storm blow through a couple nights later - again, site flooded even worse and the campground lost power around 8:30PM. Power came back on about 3AM - battery was still on full, fridge switched to propane without issue, no complaints. Overall, we were very happy with the Crusader - very comfortable, tons of storage, no real issues with any of the systems (except the soundbar radio reception is terrible), and we received many compliments.

After 5 nights at Tahquamenon Falls, we left for the 6 hour ride home... Again, camper pulled great even during a hard rainstorm. We did lose the spare tire cover somewhere along the way...

Overall - a great trip, and we were very happy with the Crusader! Next stop, Platte River campground and Sleeping Bear Dunes.....

Rig: 2011 F350 CC SB FX4 diesel, aka The Tow Beast
Summer House: 2013 Prime Time Crusader 335BHS
hockey dad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2013, 07:25 AM   #2
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Wildwood Danny's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Kansas
Posts: 236
Sounds like you had a great camping trip with all of the real life camping adventures and memories, bugs, rain, temp with a few minor RV problems being included and most worked around or solved. If all RV trips were perfect we wouldn't have a lot of the threads on this forum site.

On the dump valve handle, switch it out to a metal one with the thread lock (won't break off when pulling or pushing it). Also can use a jam nut to keep it from unscrewing.

Again, sounds like a great trip in the Crusader.

2006 Silverado 2500HD Duramax
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Wildwood Danny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2013, 05:16 PM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Chalfont, PA
Posts: 686
been hearing a lot of the dump valve handles....going to Loctite mine now!
2005 GMC Sierra 3500 SLT DRW 6.6 D/A
2013 Crusader 335BHS TE
EXGMTech is offline   Reply With Quote

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