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Old 10-21-2014, 08:45 PM   #1
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New to us 2012 831RLSS

Hi to all,

I am new to this forum. My wife and I looked seriously at campers for the past year before purchasing a new-to-us 2012 Flagstaff 831RLSS recently. We camped in it one night while bringing it back home and we look forward to using it more in the Spring.

We feel lucky to have found this unit as it is the only one we saw with this exact floorplan and GVWR. It is listed on the title as a 2012 but it is the RLSS (not RLBSS) so it doesn't have the bedroom slide. And this is good for us as the RLBSS is more weight we wanted to pull. But this 2012 831RLSS has a GVWR of 8500 lbs instead of the 7700 or so of the other 831RLSS models we looked at. Only thing I can figure is that FR put on the 4k axles getting ready for the extra weight of the bedroom slide.

I have two questions about this unit.

One question is on the slide out. It seems to work perfectly but when all the way in there is still a 1/4"-to-3/8" gap between the slide and the side of the camper. The slide has a topper awning. The dealer said this was normal. Is this normal or not?

The other question is about the water heater by-pass. We had the dealer do the winterization and the water heater was by-passed during our walk-thru, but they didn't show us how & where to undo the bypass. Would the bypass be under the entertainment center where the internal water filter is, or would it be in a different place?

We were extremely pleased with how our 831RLSS towed in the Tn mountains behind our 3/4 ton 7.4L Suburban with Equalizer 1k/10k hitch. On our 5 hour pull coming home the only vehicles that made us take notice when they passed were the Prevost busses going fast. The other big rigs hardly caused us to notice.

Oh yes, two other questions - on the tires - are the stock factory tires ok on this unit or do they need to be replaced with better ones (they look new). And these tires have the green air caps showing that they have been nitrogen filled. Can we use a standard air gauge and air them up to recommended pressure with plain air if they are low on pressure, or not?

Thanks in advance to all,
Marty
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Old 10-23-2014, 04:44 PM   #2
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I realized the water heater is located under the kitchen sink/cabinet, so I'll look there at the back of the water heater for the bypass kit.

But it seems that other owners of these units could possibly answer some of the other questions. Thanks.
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Old 10-25-2014, 10:19 PM   #3
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I got the answers I needed (from other sources).
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Old 10-26-2014, 10:34 AM   #4
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I got the answers I needed (from other sources).
Care to share what those answers are in case others in your thread also need to know? That would be a nice way to "close the loop" you started.
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2014 Flagstaff Super Lite 27RLWS Emerald Edition | Equal-i-zer 1200/12,000 4-point WDH
2010 GMC Sierra SLE 5.3L | K&N filter | Hypertech Max Energy tune | Prodigy P3
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Old 10-26-2014, 12:02 PM   #5
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Tires - they are junk OEM "Trail Express Power Towing" from China, lots of bad stuff about these tires all over rv forums by doing google searches. Many folks very upset at FR about these tires. I'll end up changing all of them, maybe wheels too.

Slide - ok, it comes all the way in until it hits a large trim piece. Even on front and rear.

Water heater - bypass kit under sink at back of water heater.

Nitrogen in tires - non-issue as air said to be 78% nitrogen anyway. Many folks say the nitrogen is just a way for tire folks to make a little more $$ and running much cooler is myth.

Best of luck to all.
Marty
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Old 10-26-2014, 01:12 PM   #6
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Marty -

Many thanks for the update.

As for the tires - I have had Chinese GY Marathons on my previous RV without incident. I now have Chinese Westlakes on the current RV and they have so far performed flawlessly. There are a lot of garbage "testimonies" on the Internet, none of which are verifiable by any of us. It is not like any of those who suffered would admit that they loaded the tires wrong, and just because these are the only accounts that are out there does not make that message true.

Note - I am not saying that Chinese tires are the "best" - just that for every post on the Internet that they are no good, there are thousands that would have a different opinion. If not surely they would have been pulled off the market. Yes they are inexpensive but if they meet the spec then that is all that is needed by the manufacturer who is looking to keep costs down in order to be competitive.

That said, I am now a big proponent of TPMSs that can tell me instantaneous temperature and pressure for each tire. To me that investment is worth every penny and trumps any anecdotal information on the Internet. If I had Michelins on my RV, I would still use the TPMS system, and for the same reason that I use them now on my Westlakes.

Nitrogen - the only advantage is that the molecules are larger and should hold the pressures better. That is it. Low pressure causes tires to overheat so if the nitrogen maintains the correct set pressure then it will not overheat. That is different from and cannot be translated into "running cooler" so I agree with you on that.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 10-26-2014, 01:15 PM   #7
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Nitrogen filled tires purpose is to help stop bouncing on the highway.


Life is a highway!!!!!
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Old 10-26-2014, 01:49 PM   #8
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Thanks Wayne and Jim,

I probably should have phrased the tire thing a little differently. There are several threads specifically on the Trail Express going bad on new or relatively new units when the owners say they were at proper pressure, not overloaded, etc. I should have said "others say they are Junk"... Not meaning to bash anyone or anything, but I want to get these tires off our TT asap. We shopped for a TT for a solid year and from owner comments we realized several month ago that we wanted a FR product. I'm disappointed about the tires, but not about the TT purchase. The replacement tires will most likely be LTs, and there will definitely be a TPMS too.

Thanks to all
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Old 10-26-2014, 02:35 PM   #9
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The China bombs are a problem. Get a decent set of tires. I replaced mine right off the lot.


Life is a highway!!!!!
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Old 10-26-2014, 03:21 PM   #10
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Thanks Wayne and Jim,

... I'm disappointed about the tires, but not about the TT purchase. The replacement tires will most likely be LTs, and there will definitely be a TPMS too.
Understood. Good plan about the LTs and the TPMS. I am all for load capacity margin over what the axle is rated for. When I replace mine that would be my approach.
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