Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-19-2015, 01:43 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 203
Exclamation Put a deposit down on 2016 Apex 300BHS

My family has been looking at RV's for a couple of years now, and just put a deposit on the Coachmen Apex 300BHS, delivery is Wednesday. I knew features we wanted, and we settled on a couple items; jack knife bed vs pull out, no dinette in bunkhouse, but all in all we really like this. We wanted the Freedom Express 310 bunkhouse with all its upscale features but chose to save some weight for easier travel, and better gas mileage.

I'm just now digging into the research and complaints of travel trailers and might be giving myself cold feet.

So far I've read about the following issues on this model:
-Furnace issues; the brown vent in the bunkhouse was said to provide heat while the a/c came from the ceiling vent. I've read contradictory information on this, saying its freezing in bunkhouse and bedroom - we plan on camping in winter too.
-Slides do not go back in- I had experience of this on a class A rental and do not want to worry about this again.
-Caulking not done in outside storage caused rotted floor, and photos make it look like the tub could use more as well- is this to be a concern?
-I do not recall seeing any outlets in the kitchen for a toaster or coffee maker

I'd love to hear some honest feedback from those with experience with this same model, or older model.

Also, should we purchase an extended warranty? I cannot find the warranty info online for this, and I don't know what it provides, what voids it, etc. Any link to that??

I'm scaring myself into thinking we're going to have a very expensive paper weight, and that the warranty won't cover anything. Please give this first time travel trailer owner a realistic run down on things to look for at signing (in 2 days!!), or if I should take our deposit back and run!

Thanks in advance!
__________________

__________________
ApexBunk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2015, 01:56 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 49
I can't speak to your model specifically but we just finished our first year with our 2015 Apex 259BHSS. So from the perspective of the Apex product I could not be happier. We spent around 20 nights (including a 6-night trip) in it have have not had a single problem with the trailer itself. The microwave was replaced under warranty but I don't see that as a build/quality issue.

I have inspected the roof a couple times and keep a close eye on the caulking all around. No issues so far. Not sure exactly where you feel the tub needs more caulk but the area where the bottom of the surround meets the tub should not be caulked. It's open to allow condensation or any water behind the surround to drain into the tub.

The kitchen layout is different but we have an outlet in the bottom of the upper cabinet next to the range. So it's pointing down at the countertop and you wouldn't see it unless you looked under the cabinet.

I did get an extended warranty because ours has 2 slides. I figured one major slide repair would pay for the warranty.

Though it's only been one year if I had to do it over again I would not hesitate to get another Apex.
__________________

__________________
____________________
2015 Coachmen Apex 259BHSS 50th Anniversary
2017 Silverado 3500 Z71 CC / L5P Duramax/Allison
rjc1024 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2015, 03:04 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 203
Thanks for the reply RJC. I'm really glad to hear you've had no trouble. Do you know about their warranty? There are a couple things I'd like to modify (aesthetically) and a few mods my husband wants to do (we were told it had outdoor LED lighting and it does not). I don't want to void any warranty obviously. Ours has two slides as well, and was reading about slide toppers, I'll have to look into those.

I would love to hear from others as well. Please feel free to share any insight, I'm a complete NEWBIE!
__________________
ApexBunk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2015, 08:33 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 49
I don't have specifics about things that would void the warranty but I think they would be more along the lines of frame work/modifications, roof modifications, etc. I have made a few mods that I have no concern with voiding the warranty - added an access panel in the bottom bunk for the water heater bypass, added a progressive industries power management system, insulated the front pass through, added a battery disconnect among others. Changing lights to LED and aesthetics won't void the warranty.

I have thought about adding a slide topper to the dinette slide but not to the kitchen slide. The kitchen slide is under the awning so seems kind of repetitive to me. I guess it could be useful in a storm when the awning isn't deployed though.
__________________
____________________
2015 Coachmen Apex 259BHSS 50th Anniversary
2017 Silverado 3500 Z71 CC / L5P Duramax/Allison
rjc1024 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2015, 07:50 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
KDHfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 964
We really love our Apex. Given the price tag, we feel its a very good bang for the buck. Not sure if it's laid out like our 288, but ours has an outlet for the toaster underneath the upper cabinets. Just remember... They sell thousands of these each year... A handful of bad units is normal no matter what brand you purchase. Do a thorough PDI.



2015 Coachmen Apex 288BHS
2014 Toyota Tundra 5.7L CrewMax

Sent from my iPad using Forest River Forums
__________________
2015 Coachmen Apex 288BHS
2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax 5.7L
KDHfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2015, 09:12 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApexBunk View Post
-Furnace issues; the brown vent in the bunkhouse was said to provide heat while the a/c came from the ceiling vent. I've read contradictory information on this, saying its freezing in bunkhouse and bedroom - we plan on camping in winter too.
-Slides do not go back in- I had experience of this on a class A rental and do not want to worry about this again.
-Caulking not done in outside storage caused rotted floor, and photos make it look like the tub could use more as well- is this to be a concern?
-I do not recall seeing any outlets in the kitchen for a toaster or coffee maker
I have a 2015 300BHS and let me answer your questions for you in order.

Furnace - LMAO. Well, not really. I take mine for warranty service next week for a similar issue. The heat and AC duct work are completely separate. Turned on my heat for I'm going to freezing weather this weekend for a trip. Nothing blowing out of the bunkroom heater vent. Not even a puff. Everywhere else, it heats up great.I took apart the furnace and counting the take offs on it, I'm 99% sure it wasn't connected at the factory. As in, I think the duct work goes from the bunk room vent to basically nowhere. As for the AC, it blows out of the ceiling vents in all areas as expected. Used mine in Williamsburg, VA this summer in 110+ heat index for a week. Actually had to close one of the ceiling vents in the bunkroom because it was so cold in there.

Slides - I have yet to have any problems. I can tell you that the manual override is located behind a panel under the fridge. The front and back controllers are here if you need to reset them, etc. As for what to do when the motors die and you have to manually push in the slideout? That's the part I don't like or ever look forward to. You would have to remove the wood fascia molding on the inside edges of the slide out. Then you can get at the motors located at the top of the slide out at each end to put them in free wheel and then get the slide out in. My old trailer you could just go underneath and flip the motor into freewheel.

Caulking - I had a problem with water getting in, but it wasn't outside storage. The top gutter rail that ran the length of the trailer had a gully in it. Meaning, it wasn't installed straight. So the water came off the roof, collected in the gully instead of making to the end, and then overflowed down onto the outside kitchen door. It got behind the hinges and seal and made a puddle all the way into the bunkroom. I talked with Coachmen factory direct and discussed how to fix it. I ended up fixing it myself by reattaching the gutter correctly rather than going through the hassle of taking it the dealer, etc. Factory was extremely helpful and used my Youtube video I sent them as an example of what happens when you skip attention to detail during assembly. In the end, I was pissed I had to do the work myself, but I'm extremely handy and it took about 30 minutes to adjust the gutter and recaulk it with roof sealant.

Outlets in the kitchen - I thought the same thing. But if you look under the cabinets, there is a duplex outlet at each end of the counter. They are surface mounted underneath the upper cabinets. It's actually nice because it keeps most of the plug off the counter and out of the way.

LED lighting- Yes, it has LED lighting. But that's just a qualifying statement. The brake lights, exhaust fan light, and outside light are regular bulbs. I replaced them all with LEDs. Get them from Amazon. You can buy 2 packs, 5 packs, etc for what it would cost to buy 1 LED bulb at a local auto store. If you use the exhaust fan as a night light like I did, it won't last a week. Same goes for the outside light.

I've had 2 other problems. One is a fix. The blue LED lights on the front of the trailer died and this appears to be a common problem. Getting that done with the furnace issue.

The other problem, if you can call it that is the front TV swivel. It looks like a great thing but the reality is that it sucks for all practicallity. Yeah, try to sleep in the front bed while someone watches TV on the couch. And if you have the AC on, you might as well go sleep outside. I swear the TV is louder in the bedroom than on the couch! I ended up getting furniture grade plywood, mixing my own stain to match the glazed maple cabinets, and installed a foam/wood backer behind the TV. Now its pretty quiet in the bedroom and someone can watch TV without having to turn on the subtitles.

One other thing I did was move the medicine cabinet in the bathroom to the wall over the toilet and then got a $50 unfinished cabinet from Home Depot and hung it over the sink. The stain I made matches and now I have someplace to put my towels, etc.

Overall, I love the trailer. Light and its huge. Love the outdoor kitchen and the separate bunk room.. The build quality overall is good, but these annoying few issues are ridiculously unacceptable for $38K MSRP trailer. They really REALLY need to get a handle on that.

Would I buy it again? Absolutely. This is glamping at it's finest. 34' of trailer and only 6000 pounds? That's amazing. As for the few problems I had, it's a house on wheels. You have problems with your house that are just part of owning one. This is no different. Coachmen just needs to get better quality control in place than what its got. I'll get it all fixed under warranty, but I shouldn't have to worry about whether or not my heat ductwork is connected!
__________________
Major Malfunction is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2015, 09:24 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 35
One question for you since your are a newbie. What kind of hitch are you towing it with?

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you get a anti-sway hitch, not just a weight distribution hitch. It's 34' of wind sail back there! I use a Equalizer hitch and it's amazing. It's a $500 hitch, but it's both a weight distribution and anti-sway assembly. As I go down the road, I see so many trailers "wagging the dog" and it's because they cheap out on the hitch. If you want confidence while pulling this thing at highway speed when a tractor trailer is passing you, you want this.

Just my $.02.
__________________
Major Malfunction is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2015, 03:58 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 203
Thanks for the great info Major Malfunction! I never got alerted of your responses, so I just saw this.

I agree that 6000 lbs and 34 ft of trailer is amazing, so did our neighboring campers this weekend. We did get an anti-sway/equalizer hitch but I will tell you that when going over bumps, you definitely feel it back there. We only feel sway when the wind is blowing directly into the trailer, or when a semi passes by. My husband wants to put airbags on the truck even though we're wayyy under tow capacity. We re-geared or Silverado 1500 4x4 and it can tow 9400 but vwc is 8400. Any thoughts on this? He's pretty much got his mind set on it.

When we opened the main slide after leveling at the house, the sofa piece (that connects on the bottom right) caught the entertainment unit and ripped off. Re-screwed it in, and it did it again at the campground. It's now sitting in a cabinet. The storage door came open (while locked) and driving. When locked you can literally open and close it with no problem. Is that normal??
The bed in the main cabin is absolutely horrendous to sleep on. Did the water damage the outside kitchen counter top or cabinets? I would be livid. We also found that occasionally the screen door sticks when trying to open the main door.

With all that said, I do love it. It is so convenient! Tent camping was fun but a lot of work. The bunk area is perfect for our needs, and our 3 large dogs all slept on the bottom bunk comfortably. The outdoor kitchen made things a breeze when making smores and keeping any bug off our stuff.
We dont have LED lights under our awning and that will be our next upgrade besides a mattress topper. We have a mechanics light we hooked up on the kitchen door when needed.
Have you ever used pots of any kind on the outdoor grill? It very clearly says not to, so we won't but having a burner outside would be nice.

Thanks for all that great information, that was super helpful.
__________________
ApexBunk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2015, 04:22 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 35
If your couch caught the entertainment center, something is wrong there. Either the molding was put on sticking out too far (I have 2.5" and I know that because I measured the other day) or the slide out shifted. I'd get that checked out immediately.

I don't have any problems with my storage doors. Locks work as expected.

Outdoor kitchen seal and hinges leaked and it got in a tiny space under the cabinets, which is really the floor of the trailer, and then got under to the entertainment center in the bunk room and onto the floor. Caught it quick, so was able to dam it with towels and duct tape the outside until perm fix could be done.

As for weight, I'm towing with a 2014 Ram 1500. I have a 3.92 rear with an 8 speed automatic and that lets me tow 10,050 lbs. I spec'd it out like that specifically to get me that amount of safety margin in towing weight. But the Ram uses coil springs in the back, not leaf springs like your Silverado does. The difference is that the Ram rides way smoother than the Silverado with no weight, but sags a lot when weighted down. Dodge offers an airbag levelling system for the Ram as a factory option at $1800. The solution was a set of Air Life 1000 bags from Amazon for $80. 1000 pounds of lift in the rear and now no squat at all when hitching up the trailer. You can do airbags with a Silverado, but its a different system and bit more expensive.

Yes, the front mattress is terrible. I bought a 3" memory foam topper on Amazon for $90. Used it last weekend for the first time. The wife and I loved it. Was like a new matterss for a fraction of the price: 3.3 Cloud9 Queen 3 Inch 100% Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress Topper Get the Queen size and you'll have to cut a few inches off the end with a pair of good scissors or a good serrated knife.

The grill that came with it. I read in the instructions about not putting pots or pans on it. I'm going to sell it on Ebay. I had an older Coleman combo stove that has a burner and a grill on it that I use instead. I had to cut a piece of sheetmetal to put in the slide out tray in the outdoor kitchen to hold it. The slide out is apparently made to hold the grill that came with it. Mine now sits perfectly in place. Can cook 4 burgers at a time or put my cast iron frying pan on the burner to cook bacon. Now the inside of the trailer doesn't smell like grease! You can get a camp stove like this at Walmart or Amazon for $50-$70. A good investment if you are doing a lot of glamping.
__________________
Major Malfunction is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2015, 04:30 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 203
You have 2.5" between the part on the sofa that is at the bottom right, and the entertainment center? Oddly, it didn't do it at the PDI. Sucks that the dealership is 1.5 hrs away. I wonder if a local place would adjust this, though doubtful.
__________________

__________________
ApexBunk is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




ForestRiverForums.com is not in any way associated with Forest River, Inc. or its associated RV manufacturing divisions.


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:20 PM.