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Old 09-03-2013, 05:51 AM   #1
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First Impressions 3200BHT

It's been a busy couple of weeks at work. But I did manage to squeeze in 4 nights at my favorite park in southern Ohio.

Of course our maiden voyage wouldn't be complete without a spot of rain... A monsoon right as we were pulling into the park. But we found break, setup and managed to relax. The rest of the days included a passing shower during the overnight hours but nothing else of note whether wise.

Temperatures hit around 80 and at 72 the A/C kept the unit cool and dry without running 24/7. The fridge really impressed me. The fan in the "chimney" really improves efficiency compared to what I'm used to. Even in the afternoon sun, the fridge stays cold. FINALLY!

The outside kitchen which I didn't think I'd use ended up being a great place to store drinks. I found myself making many less trips into the camper afternoons and evenings during dinner and around the fire. Someone here pointed out that the extra length does cause a little more of a shake than my previous model. It's true but at the same time its not bad or enough to bother anyone, but it is noticeable.

Just for fun I cranked up the antenna when we first arrived and the TV's channel scan pulled it something like 30 (yes 30) stations. About a third of these were too weak to actually view. However subsequent scans throughout the trip yielded less and less stations ironically. Eventually bottoming out about 5 stations. This was an oddity. My old rigs antenna typically picked about 5-8 stations so this isn't unusual, but it is strange that it kept dropping with each scan through the days.

The main kitchen layout is outstanding! The additional counter space is a Godsend. Moving up from a low end Keystone, everything in the PTM feels better built and classier. The additional cabinet space is again outstanding with two minor complaints. First the draw space is limited and small compared with the cupboard space. A few extra places to put knives and ladles would've been perfect. But they can go in cupboards since there is plenty of space there. Secondly, I would've liked to have seen some additional support across the bottoms of the cupboard decks. Putting heavy items like pots and pans or cans of food causes noticeable depression in the bottoms and I would worry overtime this may cause damage. This is mostly in the large cupboards in the back of the kitchen.

My father helped me christen the new rig. So as always I play the role of a good son and let him sleep front side. He praised the comfort and stiff support of the main bed. I got the distinct impression he liked this better than his mattress at home. I slept in the loft. I've got to say if you have kids, this is the unit for you! They will love the loft and sleep-n-play sofa. The loft's pad is a bit thin for an adult of a heavy kid (teenager), I would recommend buying a cheap mattress. I'm thinking a cheap memory foam mattress or a shiki futon would be perfect. Height is a consideration here so no more than a 6 inch mattress should be considered. The sleep and play is also an option for large kids or adults. But I wanted to sleep up top. The twin size bed didn't cause me the "headroom" issues I was expecting and proved to be a restful place to sleep once I got over the plank firmness of the bed. I'm really not complaining if that's how this comes across, but giving as close to an unbiased review as I can.

The living area is well thought out. Considering the amount of space given to the kitchen, you don't give up much in the living area. The angled TV gives optimal viewing from the couch and the dinette which hasn't been the case in many TTs over the years. The couch is super comfortable! I didn't fold out the bed and try it but if it's anything like the seats it gotta be an experience. The only complaint I have is the dinette size. The table has to be smaller to fit about the island when retracted and traveling but they also sacrificed some gut room for bigger Americans who have lived life to the fullest (shall we say.) Even 6 more inches would've alleviated this but it's also a case where many people would find an issue. Mt plan is to convert this table to use a collapsible base (found in many TTs recently.)

All in all, this was a great trip and the camper performed admirably. It should serve our purposes more than well for many years.
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:07 AM   #2
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:20 AM   #3
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Glad you like it, we have the same one (but in white) and we love it. Plenty of room for the 5 of us, the outside kitchen is a huge bonus. I never go inside for drinks.

We got a true test with ours this past weekend when it rained most of the time, and we weren't cramped at all when we were all in it during the day.

Nice rig
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:15 AM   #4
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Another happy Tracer owner... spot on with your remarks. I added some firing strips under the shelves your talking about in the pantry beside the kitchen. Cut them to fit and nailed them in.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:30 AM   #5
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Glad you enjoy it! The layout you have is really similar to the Coachmen(dont recall the number) and the Surveyor 305. Yours is VERY close to the Coachmen and I have hear nothing but Good things about either of these. Glad to hear the same about your PT Tracer.

We seem to always be hosting another couple or two so having the separate back bedroom has been working out wonders! We don't have any children running around yet but can only imagine how much they will love that area!

How do you guys like pulling yours? Any complaints in that respect?


TomStacey, how do you like using the BlueOX hitch on yours?


Really glad to hear you are happy with it!
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:35 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by avolnek View Post
Glad you enjoy it! The layout you have is really similar to the Coachmen(dont recall the number) and the Surveyor 305. Yours is VERY close to the Coachmen and I have hear nothing but Good things about either of these. Glad to hear the same about your PT Tracer.

We seem to always be hosting another couple or two so having the separate back bedroom has been working out wonders! We don't have any children running around yet but can only imagine how much they will love that area!

How do you guys like pulling yours? Any complaints in that respect?

TomStacey, how do you like using the BlueOX hitch on yours?

Really glad to hear you are happy with it!
I think it pulls better then my 27' Shasta revere we had. The semi spread on the axles make a difference (to me anyways).
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avolnek View Post
Glad you enjoy it! The layout you have is really similar to the Coachmen(dont recall the number) and the Surveyor 305. Yours is VERY close to the Coachmen and I have hear nothing but Good things about either of these. Glad to hear the same about your PT Tracer.

We seem to always be hosting another couple or two so having the separate back bedroom has been working out wonders! We don't have any children running around yet but can only imagine how much they will love that area!

How do you guys like pulling yours? Any complaints in that respect?


TomStacey, how do you like using the BlueOX hitch on yours?


Really glad to hear you are happy with it!

The BlueOx is a dream... simple to hook up/unhook, quiet and works as designed. I'm on link 7 from the bar, with 2 1/2 chain links showing at the bottom... and rides fantastic. Oh, 1000lb bars....
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:05 PM   #8
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Tom -- great idea with the bracing under the shelves. I was going to look at it this weekend to see what we could do, but armed with this I think I'll grab my brads and some firing strips...

Avolnek -- I think it pulls better than my old Springdale that was nearly 1K lighter. I notice the weight going up hill on the highway but the truck didn't loose speed (though we didn't gain any either ). On flat terrain she's rolls at 65 like a champ. However coming home we did have one issue. Tried to flip on the truck's A/C and it was blowing hot air. Checked the gauges and everything was all green... However a heavy merge caught my attention and I left it blowing hot air for a min while I made sure to avoid any Darwin Award Nominees and "Clunk" ... "Hiss". I pulled to the side of the road and did a visual inspection. No tires blown, no engine parts displaced, no trial of fluids. I think I blew my A/C compressor though. I'm taking my truck to the mechanic this Fri to get it checked out. Here's hoping this is something simple and relatively inexpensive. But I have a bad feeling it won't be either.

That said, I don't believe this is in anyway connected to the drivetrain. Nor do I believe it to be a result of towing other than perhaps a little higher than normal engine temp.

Wrapping up this trailer is half ton towable IMHO assuming you have a big 8, your reasonable about how much weight you load into the truck and trailer, and you don't live in the Appellations. (I'm amazed at how quickly 9300lbs of capacity goes away with a 7600lb trailer, 600lbs of flesh and bone, housewares, and a few days worth of wood.
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Old 10-04-2013, 01:40 PM   #9
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We are looking at one now... my wife is concerned with the lower ceilings,,, and the small awning
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Old 10-04-2013, 02:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by goofey chuck View Post
We are looking at one now... my wife is concerned with the lower ceilings,,, and the small awning
I have the model and we found that the smaller awning really wasn't a problem. It rained one weekend and we all (5)sat nude it and had no issues and stayed dry as well. As for the low ceilings, I'm not that tall to be worried about them. I'm under 6'
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