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Old 03-26-2013, 12:01 PM   #1
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Who is full timing in their Encounter?

Problems, issues, experience?
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Old 06-02-2013, 12:35 AM   #2
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I am also curious who is full timing in their Encounter. I am considering purchasing one at the moment and plan to be full timing for the next two to three years at least. Has anyone had problems?
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:15 AM   #3
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I am also curious who is full timing in their Encounter. I am considering purchasing one at the moment and plan to be full timing for the next two to three years at least. Has anyone had problems?
New or used, you didn't say. I assume it will be new since there are probably not many used available yet.

Some things you might want to consider....

Dual pane windows, heated tanks if you can get them, most open floor plan available, (which is not the TZ 37), counter space, and have them add a couple of solar panels, (or one high capacity unit), extra house batteries, autotransfer switch and auto gen start (can be added at the time of sale). Be sure to order with the Onan gen set and upgrade to 7500 if you can.

Otherwise, (and my friends on the forum here may have different opinions), the Encounter is really more of a weekend or vacation coach. You definitely could spend a few months out in it, (I plan to) but I don't think it was constructed with the wear and tear of full time living in mind. I think you'll find these kinds of changes more suited to full timing and helpful for year round occupancy. Just my opinion of course and I have never full timed, but it did look like an interesting alternative to traditional living so I asked a lot of questions and researched Diesel Pushers for over 2 years. Then one day while we were perusing an RV show the DW sidetracked me with a "This is the one" statement after walking through (what is now our) TZ 37 Encounter. God love her, I know I do, but it wasn't what I had planned for.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:10 AM   #4
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Concur on the dual pane windows and tank heaters. You also want to get the pipe wraps on exposed piping (black and grey water) which are available from the tank heater company. You would also need to make a windshield insulator (like reflectix) to insulate out cold or heat irradiation, makes a huge difference. Propane is always an issue and you can go through a lot of it. You might consider replacing (or negotiating if new purchase) the AC units with a dometic combo heatpump/AC ducted unit. Links:

http://www.dometic.com/9ad940dc-efdc...af0d81ae.fodoc

http://www.dometic.com/b97fb7b3-584c...758792f7.fodoc

We chose the 37TZ just because you could separate the living areas out. This was a feature we wanted for possible full timing. The only disappointment was no washer/dryer. I am still pondering that and am checking to see if it can be installed by the entry where there is a cabinet with a countertop, I will check the measurements. Camping for short periods without laundry machine is fine as there are always laundromats, but full time? No, I would rather have the machine onboard.

Just a thought.
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:54 PM   #5
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New or used, you didn't say. I assume it will be new since there are probably not many used available yet.
Yes, it's a new 2014 Encounter 36BH.

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Dual pane windows, heated tanks if you can get them, most open floor plan available, (which is not the TZ 37), counter space, and have them add a couple of solar panels, (or one high capacity unit), extra house batteries, autotransfer switch and auto gen start (can be added at the time of sale). Be sure to order with the Onan gen set and upgrade to 7500 if you can.
It has dual pane windows and heated tank. The 36BH feels pretty open to me, but this is my first MH. I also feel the counter space is pretty ample, but again, I don't have the most experience. It has the Onan gen set but I'll be sure the ask about the upgrade. Thanks for all the recommendations. How many extra house batteries would you recommend?

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Otherwise, (and my friends on the forum here may have different opinions), the Encounter is really more of a weekend or vacation coach. You definitely could spend a few months out in it, (I plan to) but I don't think it was constructed with the wear and tear of full time living in mind. I think you'll find these kinds of changes more suited to full timing and helpful for year round occupancy.
I only plan on full timing for 2-3 years as I have a traveling job where I'll be moving every 2-3 months. I get a housing stipend I would rather put towards a MH than throw away on an apartment. My SO and I can't afford the DPs but want something we can live in for a while. We'd love to keep it after a couple years of traveling as we start up a family and use it as a vacation MH.

Have you had any problems with wear and tear so far? What would you be most concerned about as far as wear and tear in your rig with additional use? Everything seems pretty solidly constructed compared to some of the other gas rigs we've seen. It's not like the DPs, but at 99K it's in our price range. Thanks for all the info.
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:40 PM   #6
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We chose the 37TZ just because you could separate the living areas out.
Yup! Wife liked that too and I admit, having not found a single other floor plan with such distinct "rooms" I was impressed too. As sexy as they seem though, it does not provide for much "milling about" floor space.

Never realized and didn't care until we had sister and brother in law in the coach with us one time and discovered we were bumping into each other.

But... I do like the French doors between the living room and kitchen.

Roll
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:17 PM   #7
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Yes, it's a new 2014 Encounter 36BH.
It has dual pane windows and heated tank. The 36BH feels pretty open to me, but this is my first MH. I also feel the counter space is pretty ample, but again, I don't have the most experience. It has the Onan gen set but I'll be sure the ask about the upgrade. Thanks for all the recommendations. How many extra house batteries would you recommend?

Have you had any problems with wear and tear so far? What would you be most concerned about as far as wear and tear in your rig with additional use? Everything seems pretty solidly constructed compared to some of the other gas rigs we've seen..
First, since you are committed to the Encounter, congrats; and in spite of my comments we are very happy with our rig. You will have more floor space in your model I believe. I'm jealous about the dual pane windows and heated tanks, wish I had those upgrades.

I do suggest the auto transfer switch and the Onan auto gen start set. You can negotiate for these in the price but if that does not work, you can have about any motorhome dealer with a service shop install them for you. If you will camp without electric at any time, you'll find the auto gen start very helpful. It will automatically start your generator if your batteries get low (and recharge them) and will also start your gen if the inside temp hits a predetermined setting.

We travel with an old K9 friend, Vivian. We can't take a chance she will suffocate in the coach if the power goes out and the inside temps go up. Thus the auto gen start (to run the ACs) for us was necessary. We hope to do some dry camping someday but for now we are comfortable that if shore power goes down on a hot day and we are away from the coach, the gen will auto start and will continue running the AC's.

On batteries, I had the dealer exchange the two 12-V batteries that came with the coach and replace them with four 6-V batteries. The voltage stays the same at 12 volts but the amperage goes up (more reserve power) when using 4- 6V batteries, (which are connected in series and in parallel).

One-N-short can probably explain how the 4 6-Vs provide more reserve power since he's a submariner among with things (for at least a portion of his life)

On wear and tear, well about all you can do it treat it like a motorhome and not a permanent house structure. Don't hang on cabinet doors, don't slam anything shut or yank anything open, just be reasonable and gentle in how you treat the coach. The walls are very thin, appliances are adequate but not heavy duty, space it tight but will do, and you can't wave your arms around in the shower or you'll bang them into the shower doors. You may hit your head on the medicine cabinet when you bend over to brush your teeth too. Not to worry, many of already have done that.

As a guy once said to me, it's not a truck, don't try to drive it like one. It's not a car, don't drive it like that either; its a house on wheels. Easy does it is the best approach.

Roll
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:27 AM   #8
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Great advice Roll, we are now looking at a Coachmen Georgetown 378TS to replace our Sanibel 3500 5th wheel. Approaching with caution due to v10 ford engine. Some say oh ya great! Others say stay away, confusing to be sure.
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Old 11-29-2013, 10:12 AM   #9
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This is sort of a one for all response. I have been inactive too long on the 'threads'. On the 6vX2=12 and four is better than two; to get the twelve volts you must have two 6 volts hooked up in series. This gives you 12 volts (6+6=12), but now you have two batteries to do it so you have more plate area than the two twelves (6's are BIG) and that gives you more effective current (power), now add two more 6 volts in series and hook the two sets in parallel that adds even more substantial plate area which gives you tremendous available stored current. Make sure you weigh the batteries and take their weight into your weight loading stats, they are heavy. Full timing or for that matter dry camping, when deciding on solar panels...add the wattages of what you will be running times time run (add them all together) and get the number of killowat hours. Look at the average KWH (killowatt hours) of the panels you are thinking of and buy enough to exceed the KWH you need by a small percentage. Now, there are two types of panes you can get. 1. Rigid glass panels that need to be mounted in a frame and 2. Flexible panels that can be glued to your roof. Both types are viable and it is a matter of aerodynamics as the rigid ones with their mounting frames can set up for 'noises' while driving. If boondocking retro ALL of your lights to LED!
Third party tank heaters and pipe wrap can be installed. For one tank the genset would have to be dropped to install. If you select that route I highly recommend you get the AC/DC model.
You can retrofit dual pane windows to a coach if you are not ordering one in advance with that option. Last time I checked it was $3K or there abouts.
Washer/Dryer combo units can be mounted in the space just to the left of the entry door. Thor has an RV that could be a twin to the 37TZ with that option. You would also need to get a custom cabinet to install it in to keep the existing countertop there (counter top space is precious). That same Thor unit also comes with heated tanks STANDARD! Why couldn't Coachmen offer that? A washer dryer is a personnal prefference. I have read hundreds of threads of both opinions...worth it, not worth it and yes, even neutral.
I have installed a dimmer on my TV room LEDs. It is an analog dimmer (manual) and works well. When I get my unit back (at dealer parts on order, warranty repair) I will install a digital (remote control intrigued me) and post a video dimming with both. Also my Flourescent tube replacements are in and I will post a video of those results. There are two types 1. A led tube and 2. An Led array. Both require a minor modification at the unit and are only about $10 in difference. The looser will replace the one in the kitchen as I prefer the brighter one in the bedroom.
Whew! A bit wordy but, I've said it all. Love my bluetooth keyboard...much better than touch touch pen. Doing this on my Android device.
Oh yes, almost finished my 'Coach enclosure', frames are built, next I assemble the frames and pull the cover over it. Pictures of process will be posted.
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Old 11-29-2013, 12:22 PM   #10
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Great advice Roll, we are now looking at a Coachmen Georgetown 378TS to replace our Sanibel 3500 5th wheel. Approaching with caution due to v10 ford engine. Some say oh ya great! Others say stay away, confusing to be sure.
Sam
I am in my 2nd RV with a V10 ford engine. Had my first for 10 years, not a single problem with the engine or transmission...it was a 20 valve. Just do your maintenance. New unit is a 30 valve with 5 speed Transmission with TowHaul. Old unit was a 4 speed no TowHaul. New is definately an improvement.
You just need to put things in perspective. Gas developes its torque at higher rpm's and the engine, being up front, will cause you much increased noise when requiring high torque power and when using engine braking. Diesel engine in back, low rpm for torque and noise stays in back.
There are a number of after market things you can do. Add a Banks cold air induction air filter (I did that one), add an engine tune (I did that as did Roll). There are two major players and a few less well known, Roll went with one, I went with the other. Both are highly praised in the industry and by their users. You could add a tuned exhaust system. There are a number of suppliers there. Banks is the most popular (Banks will run about 3K$).

Diesel or gas? With diesel your costs MH, Engine, maitenance...will be higher. With gas, costs are less. The choice is personnal. You will get plenty of advice and opnions on which to choose. They are just that, someone elses. What counts is; 1. What you feel is affordable. 2. What you want for the RV experience. 3.Your opinion and interpretation of the 'facts' and not necessarily in that order. I chose gas after comparing all the facts because that is what made me & my DW feel comfortable, and we absolutely fell in love with the encounter 37TZ Calet package floorplan. We could not find that in a diesel. Thor also has a model with that floorplan which deserves a 'look'...who knows that might work for you.

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