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Old 05-26-2016, 04:44 PM   #1
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New 2017 Forest River Salem Hemisphere Hyper-Lite 26RL report so far

We took delivery of our first TT, a 2017 Forest River Salem Hemisphere Hyper-Lite 26RL from dealer Coates RV in Hugo, MN on April 26 after a 2+ hour PDI (dealer installed WDH at same time). Trailer was our compromise over the bigger/heavier Hemisphere 282RK and only felt like we were giving up a little bedroom storage and optional exterior kitchen. Glad I took video on phone of thermostat and water heater operation. One of the first things I did was download and PDF manuals to phone for trailer and every appliance for those times when we have no data coverage. We chose the bench dinette over the free-standing w/chairs for the extra sleeping capacity, optional Whirlpool residential refrigerator, La-Z-Boy leather rocker recliners and outdoor shower (good for muddy paws).

Minor problems mitigated right away at dealership before we signed loan:
  • The support rail on dinette bench seats mounted too low for tabletop to line up evenly when converted for sleeping. (moved rail)
  • One small trim piece missing from kitchen cabinet (replaced trim)
  • Unfortunately it was 40°F and rainy here in MN so we didn't get to really check the AC fully. While sanitizing the fresh water tank at home I tested AC myself, main fan of ceiling AC unit blew cold air like a champ but no movement out any of the 4 ceiling ducts. After some investigation I figured FR may have never punched holes in lightweight aluminum fan shroud for the AC ducts during construction. One 30-minute service appointment later on 5/9 and my suspicions were confirmed, dealer tech cut the two approx. 2" x 6" holes needed with a utility knife and all was good.
We did a shakedown weekend 5/13-5/15 with full hookups about 25 miles from home at Lebanon Hills Regional Park campground in Apple Valley.
No issues, really nice park, lots of walking trails, corgi-friendly and hosts Don and Judy were super nice. Low temps of 34°F at night but we stayed toasty warm in trailer. I highly recommend campground if you are visiting Twin Cities area, less than 10 minutes from I-35E with easy access to Minneapolis and Saint Paul downtowns and Mall of America.

Last weekend (5/19-5/23) camped at Lamb’s Resort in Schroeder, MN about 80 miles up Hwy 61 from Duluth right on Lake Superior’s North Shore (475 mile round trip). I knew we’d get a late start after work and didn’t want to drive two-lane highway in the dark so we planned to sleep overnight at the Thompson Hill rest stop just outside Duluth but at the last minute decided to try Spirit Mountain campground instead. Early breakfast Friday morning at Duluth Grill had the Deluxe Biscuits and Gravy with Red Flannel Hash, DW ordered Huevos Rancheros Skillet (we’ll be back!) Leisurely drive up the North Shore, arrived at Lamb’s Resort just after noon, set up at nice flat-well drained gravel pad at campsite with full hookups backed up to Lake Superior. Spectacular view of sunsets over Lake Superior out rear picture window from the La-Z-Boy chairs. Woke up to no heat, determined propane cylinder #1 ran out overnight, switched over and fired right up. Our next-door neighbors were on their inaugural trip with new 2016 Keystone RV Bullet 308BHS. We definitely noticed their furnace roaring when in use compared to our relatively quiet unit. Learned we probably don’t need to turn on gas water heater unless back-to-back showers as the electric water heater kept up just fine all weekend. No strong television signal where we were, glad I brought a stack of DVD movies for at night. I also picked up a RCA to mini plug audio cable so television sound will go through A/B/C overhead speakers when not using DVD. I don’t see us adding satellite any time soon though, but that could change.

I haven’t done much in the way of modding the trailer yet…
To support my 6’5”-ness, we extended the camper queen mattress to 80” length by filling in between the head of the bed and camper wall with foam. I cut three 20”L x 6”W x 8”H high density foam + chair foam blocks using a electric carving knife and DW sewed a pillow case. (total cost <$30 with Joann Fabric 60% off and retailmenot.com coupons). Cut a 59” x 24” piece of sanded plywood with rounded corners to slide under foot of bed to support mattress, push it back when not in use. Added a 4" Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper and bed is *almost* as comfortable as ours at home.

Honestly no mechanical issues the whole trip. We averaged 10.4 MPG towing, top AT fluid temp 204°F climbing bigger hills like Silver Creek Cliff tunnel. Drove into 20MPH winds all the way home but sway was manageable. We have at least 5 other trips planned this camper season including Colorado/Wyoming, and I have it on good authority that Father’s Day will bring a Coleman Road Trip LXE gas grille to my arsenal.

Here is the list of trailer accessories we purchased prior to delivery, mostly from Amazon.com, some from Tweetys.com:

Electrical:
  • Progressive Industries EMS-PT30C Portable 30AMP Electrical Management System
  • Camco 55165 RV Power Grip Dogbone Adapter - 15A Male - 30A Female
  • Camco RV Power Grip Dogbone Adapter 30A to 50A
  • Marinco 701 Battery Disconnect Switch
  • JawayTool 120 Pieces Car Truck Automotive Fuse Assortment 5,7.5,10,15,20,25,30 AMP
Fresh water:
  • Camco 22833 Premium Drinking Water Hose (5/8"ID x 25')
  • N13-0349 Lead-Free - Water Pressure Regulator
  • Camco 40043 TastePURE Water Filter with Flexible Hose Protector
  • Camco 22505 90 Degree Hose Elbow
  • Reliance Products Desert Patrol 6 Gallon Traditional Jeep Style Rigid Water Container
  • Camco 36003 Hand Pump Kit
  • Camco 22484 Water Bandit
  • E-Z Water Fill w/Shut-Off Valve
  • White Body Spa Oxygenics Shower with 60" Hose
Sewer/Sanitary:
  • Camco 39741 RhinoFLEX 20' Sewer Hose Kit with Swivel Fitting
  • Camco 43051 20' Sidewinder Plastic Sewer Hose Support
  • Camco 39847 RhinoFLEX Clear 45 Degree RV Sewer Hose Swivel Fitting
  • Camco 39533 Sewer Hose Rinser w/ Shut-Off Valve
  • Camco 40325 Bumper End Cap vented 2 pack
  • 10 ct Porta-Pak Holding Tank Deodorizers
  • Scott Rapid Dissolve Bath Tissue, 4 Count (Pack of 12)
  • 50 pack nitrile Gloves
  • Camco 42141 Flying Insect Screen - FUR 200 - 2 Pack
  • Camco 42151 Flying Insect Water Heater Screen - WH 400
  • 50 ct Nitrile Exam Gloves X-Large
  • Hand Sanitizer
Security:
  • Trimax TCP100 Keyed Alike Towing Kits locks Combo Pack with Carrying Case (UMAX100, TC123, and TS32)
  • Trimax VMAX6 Multi-Use Versa Cable Lock (6 ft long x 10mm cable) for 30AMP EMS
  • Trimax ST30 Trimaflex Spare Tire Cable Lock (Round Key) 36" x 12mm
Stability/Doors/Steps:
  • 2x BAL 28014 X-Chock Tire Locking Chock - Extended
  • 2x Sav-A-Step Braces 7"-14"
  • 2x Graduated RV Levels
  • 2x Aluminum Stacker Jacks
  • Quick Products (QPLSJS) Deluxe Scissor Jack Leveling Socket
  • Camco 44595 Stabilizer Jack Pad - 4 pack
  • 2x Camco 43981 Aluminum Screen Door Standard Grille
  • 1x Camco 42183 Screen Door Cross Bar (Black)
  • 2x Prest-O-Fit 2-0205 Wraparound Radius RV Step Rug Black 22" Wide
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Bill & Cheryl - Woodbury, MN USA. Pembroke Welsh Corgis Freyja & Loki. 23 nights reservations 2017 so far/35 nights camping 2016. 2015 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew, Reese Pro-Series Round Bar WDH, 2017 FR Salem Hemisphere 26RL
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Old 12-05-2016, 11:37 AM   #2
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Picking mine up this Friday at the same dealer. Same model and equipment as yours. I will make sure we have them double check everything you mentioned during demo.
Happy travels!
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:02 PM   #3
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2017 Salem Hemisphere Hyper-Lite 26RL

I have just purchased our first Travel Trailer and it is a 2017 Salem Hemisphere Hyper-Lite 26RL. Dealer storing it inside a building until mid-March for us. Sure can't wait for spring to use it.
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Old 04-09-2017, 10:38 PM   #4
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2017 Salem Hemisphere Hyper-Lyte 26RL

We just took ours out this weekend for the first time. We love it and everything worked fine. One question that we can't seem to find an answer for is the gray holding tank.

The control panel has Gray Tank 1 and Gray Tank 2. The specs say the capacity is 60 gal. Our gray tank 1 was reading full after only 2 days and very limited water use. Gray tank 2 was showing empty. Hoping maybe one of you knows the solution.

We would appreciate any assistance to understand this.

Thank you!
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Old 04-10-2017, 02:28 AM   #5
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Re: Gray Tank 1 & 2

KS Jayhawk,

Don't you love the lake view out the rear picture window?!

The panel in the Salem Hemisphere Hyper-Lyte 26RL is generic to the Hemisphere line, the display and button Gray Tank 1 goes to the 60-gallon Graywater Tank, Gray Tank 2 indicator is a dummy that is hooked up to nothing (I believe the models with outdoor kitchens may have a 2nd gray water tank). The tank might not be actually full, I've noticed our indicator isn't necessarily 100% accurate. It would start backing up in the shower floor drain if it was really truly overflowing. On a Friday–Sunday weekend trip with dishes, handwashing and 1 shower each for the 2 of us I've always been good until we get to a dump station. On a 3-night trip at a state park with electric-only hookup and 3 of us taking 1 shower each I did have to carry and dump a couple 5-gallon buckets worth of gray water. I do now add a Walex TOI-61776 Elemonate Grey Water Deodorizer and Cleaner tablet down the kitchen drain every couple trips which eliminates (elemontes ) any sulfur-y odors (breaks down any greases and food particles).


Quote:
Originally Posted by KS Jayhawk View Post
We just took ours out this weekend for the first time. We love it and everything worked fine. One question that we can't seem to find an answer for is the gray holding tank.

The control panel has Gray Tank 1 and Gray Tank 2. The specs say the capacity is 60 gal. Our gray tank 1 was reading full after only 2 days and very limited water use. Gray tank 2 was showing empty. Hoping maybe one of you knows the solution.

We would appreciate any assistance to understand this.

Thank you!
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Bill & Cheryl - Woodbury, MN USA. Pembroke Welsh Corgis Freyja & Loki. 23 nights reservations 2017 so far/35 nights camping 2016. 2015 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew, Reese Pro-Series Round Bar WDH, 2017 FR Salem Hemisphere 26RL
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:09 AM   #6
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TooMuchDew....

Thanks for the good information. I kind of thought that was the case. We asked at Camping World when we did our walk through and the guy said it had two gray tanks. I suspected at the time that he didn't know. We de-winterized after setting up so that would have added some water to the tank initially. Still feels like for 60 gallons it filled up way too fast.

Yes!!! We love the picture window and being able to have a lake view!! This is the perfect trailer for us. It was a big upgrade from a 27' with no slide, however we really enjoyed that one also.

Your pups are cute and look right at home in their new camper!

Thanks again!
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Old 04-10-2017, 06:58 PM   #7
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Toomuchdew & KS Jayhawk,

We have used ours but mine is still winterized. Have not had water in tank , hooked up to water, or tried the water heater. I will dewinterize before our next trip. I did run the furnace and it stunk real bad at first, did yours do that as well ? We love our 26RL as well. I purchased a Blue Ox sway pro and so far, my trailer tailwags like crazy. Guess the Dealer did not set it up correctly. I watch a video on the Blue Ox and will check it out the set up next weekend. We are rookies but hoping to have fun this year as new campers.....
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Old 04-10-2017, 07:56 PM   #8
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Houseboater-2-Camper......

Congrats on your new trailer! We bought ours at the RV show in KC on January 13th and picked it up from Camping World on January 28th. It was a nice day but cold. They had the furnace blasting for our walk through and yes, the smell was awful. It's the burn off of something. They had the doors open otherwise it wold have been unbearable. We didn't use the furnace this past weekend but they said that smell would not be as bad next time we used it.

We had a standard weight distribution hitch with chains for our previous trailer but this time we bought an Equal-i-zer hitch which combines weight distribution and anti-sway. It's much, much easier to use than our previous hitch and the new trailer pulls great with it. This past weekend we had winds of 25 mph and stronger and we didn't have any issues with sway. Blue Ox looks like a good hitch also, so hopefully you an get it adjusted to work properly. Good luck.

Happy camping everyone!
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Old 04-10-2017, 09:05 PM   #9
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We love our 26RL as well. Easy to tow. We had some fish tail at first but, with a couple adjustments it was taken care of. Using a Anderson hitch system on mine. We have had ours 4 months. Used it 3 times in cold weather. Heater smell does go away after being used several times.
Happy camping!
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Old 04-26-2017, 06:37 PM   #10
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Waiting for my 27reis any one have one
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