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Old 11-15-2019, 02:36 PM   #1
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First experience with our new Geo Pro 19FD

We finally took delivery of our new travel trailer a few weeks ago, but before we could go camping with it we needed to get familiar with all the functions and processes, and also beef up the coach-to-frame attachment points.

However, we got all of that done — as well as winterizing it before the cold weather rolled in — and decided to go dry camping last weekend. We treated it as though we were tent camping, just with a really cushy rigid tent.

We hauled the trailer to the Blackwater Falls State Campground (BFSC) in West Virginia, and stayed there for two nights. BFSC closes the bulk of their facilities at the end of October, but they keep open a small loop of sites that offer 30-amps of electricity throughout the winter, but nothing else — no black or gray water dumping, the bathhouses are closed, no ranger on duty, etc. Trash servicing is restricted to a small 55-gallon metal trash can (no dumpster) for the entire campground, which the ranger empties once per day when he rolls through to keep an eye on things.

And?

It was AWESOME!

We discovered that the propane furnace is too toasty and loud to use at night, but is perfectly fine for daylight hours when it doesn’t seem so loud (terrific for raising the temp to cozy levels in a hurry). Instead, we used a tiny ceramic space heater to keep condensation off the walls and windows during the night.

The propane stovetop range worked perfectly for heating up coffee water; the microwave unit worked great to warm up coffee cups that had gotten cold; the bed comes with a built-in electric heater, similar to an electric blanket, but between you and the mattress (setting #2 was all we needed — everything above that was too hot and caused us to sweat).

We used Cleanwaste GO Anywhere toilet bags to line the toilet bowl, which worked perfectly in the cold and no issues with dropping them off at the trash can on the way out of the campground when we left on Monday. We’ll probably make our own gelling agent in the future, since it’s so expensive even through Amazon (nearly $70 for 5lbs).

We figure we’ll go completely off the grid sometime next year when we have some more things straightened out. We want to replace the crappy battery that came with the trailer; instead, we’ll buy two Lithium deep-cycle batteries, and add one more solar panel to the roof. Also, the tires are the “Chinese bombs” and we want to replace them before we do any serious boondocking.

Pulling it with the 4Runner is okay... not great, but okay. The 4Runner hobby-horses a little bit with the trailer at speeds below 40 MPH, but it smooths out above that. We do *not* go above 65 MPH, due to the tires and their reputation. Going up grades is a slow process; the trailer produces enough drag that you can just coast down grades up to 8%, above which you either use brakes or downshift to keep the rig from going too fast.

All-in-all, we’re very pleased with our new toy. It’s light years beyond tent camping — at least in terms of comfort. We really like this trailer and think we got a “good one” from the factory (not a lemon).

Mitch
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Old 11-21-2019, 12:52 PM   #2
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Congrats on the new purchase and having a great experience getting out. Not sure what you did to beef up attached to frame attachment points? I did read some had loose fasteners which I did check on my Geo Pro FD19 without issues.
We have only used ours twice before I stored it for the winter, so haven't used it to its full potential. We did run the coffee maker using inverter as a test and passed.
You have figured out the battery and solar going forward to make the boondocking more pleasurable. I also take 2 collapsible potable water containers and a drill pump with silicone hose to transfer water into FW tank if required. The pull out drawer under the seat needs to be beefed up, as I and others have had the bottom fall out after first trip. DW overloaded it I think!
We downsized slightly to enjoy the simplicity of this trailer as its spacious and easy enough to get parked at the waterfront sites where the larger units can't.
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Old 11-21-2019, 03:37 PM   #3
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We used the nylon lock nuts to beef up the factory nuts that attach the coach to the frame. We didn't have any of the factory nuts that were loose, but were forewarned by others sharing here.

However, upon returning home, we *did* find one long wood screw on the floor near the table, but have yet to find the source so we can put it back in.

We've used our 19FD three times in the driveway -- dry runs to work some of the early kinks out and to get familiar with everything -- and then took it for a decent distance over the long Veteran's Day weekend -- so we could get familiar with towing, backing, refueling the TV, etc.
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Old 11-21-2019, 05:30 PM   #4
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Congrats! Sounds like our experience thus far. Test your A/C in the Spring as early as you can, ours was bad from the get-go. Our drawers and cabinets are all holding up fine, the only thing in that big drawer is a portable vacuum, tablecloths, and other light doodads. Our frame bolts are still tight, nothing loosened up. We have the off road package, so have decent Lakewood tires with aggressive tread, they seem to be fine, but I did install a TPMS, which give me additional comfort. We only did 5 trips in this first year since we got it, maybe 1000 miles of towing? Maybe a bit more. Check your connections in your water filter compartment, I had FIVE leaky clamps by the end of the first year on the flexible braided hoses. The little heater is the way to go, use the propane furnace for a quick warm up. I added the optional heatstrip in the A/C unit, works great and that fan on low is not obnoxious but the fan has to stay on low all the time with the heater on. it is good white noise actually.

I ALMOST bought a 4runner to tow with, then thanks to this forum, I went bigger and got a good used F150. Very happy. Our tires are rated up to 75 mph, but I usually don't tow above 65 for better mileage (11-12 mpg towing).
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Old 11-22-2019, 09:19 AM   #5
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Thanks!

We don’t have an A/C unit with ours yet; instead, it came with two Maxxair fans — one in the bathroom and one where the A/C normally is installed. Why? Because that’s the way the original customer ordered it. We took the order over at the Hershey Show, and we’ll adjust it to what we want over time.

We have the off-road package with Westlake tires, though we were strongly encouraged to replace them as soon as possible by staff at Camping World at the time that we took delivery of the trailer. We have a TPMS that came with the trailer as part of the original customer’s order.

Understood on the water hoses. No leaks yet, but then we also winterized everything as soon as we got it home from the dealer as well.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 11-22-2019, 09:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeissler View Post
Thanks!

We don’t have an A/C unit with ours yet; instead, it came with two Maxxair fans — one in the bathroom and one where the A/C normally is installed. Why? Because that’s the way the original customer ordered it. We took the order over at the Hershey Show, and we’ll adjust it to what we want over time.

We have the off-road package with Westlake tires, though we were strongly encouraged to replace them as soon as possible by staff at Camping World at the time that we took delivery of the trailer. We have a TPMS that came with the trailer as part of the original customer’s order.

Understood on the water hoses. No leaks yet, but then we also winterized everything as soon as we got it home from the dealer as well.

Thanks for the info!
I wouldn’t sweated over the Tires as you can get by a couple years on China bombs and replace with Good Year endurance. I got 4 years out of last China bombs on last trailer before changing without issues. I will likely ride these out for a season as well. Keep them covered no matter what brand.
If you boondock you won’t miss the AC anyway.
We usually have no issues on waterfront sites with a fan at night that plugs into USB port.
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Old 11-22-2019, 09:34 AM   #7
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Hah! Ordered mine at the 2018 Hershey show. So weird, the Camping World staff at Hanover PA never said a thing about the tires. Years ago there were known issues with Westlake, and they got slammed with lawsuits. Haven't heard anything bad about them lately. Our trailers are pretty light compared to other people who have had failures, so I'm not going to change them until they get older. The only brand new thing I replaced right away in the trailer was the outside speaker. What a cheapo piece of crap that is. Let me know if you ever need a replacement, I still have it!
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Old 11-22-2019, 09:52 AM   #8
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When I DO replace the tires, I want the same look/tread/capacity as the originals. I have found the larger size and aggressive tread are indispensable traversing some of the treacherous mountain roads I have towed on in Vermont. I think they help reduce side slip and definitely provide better ground clearance. My F150 was struggling on some of those roads for traction.
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Old 11-22-2019, 10:17 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by NJKris View Post
Hah! Ordered mine at the 2018 Hershey show. So weird, the Camping World staff at Hanover PA never said a thing about the tires. Years ago there were known issues with Westlake, and they got slammed with lawsuits. Haven't heard anything bad about them lately. Our trailers are pretty light compared to other people who have had failures, so I'm not going to change them until they get older. The only brand new thing I replaced right away in the trailer was the outside speaker. What a cheapo piece of crap that is. Let me know if you ever need a replacement, I still have it!
Agree the entire system is crap, but is easy to upgrade if you wish. I found this outdoor speaker replacement, which would replace the plastic can:

https://www.fusionentertainment.com/...kers/rv-fs402w

The Furrion head unit is not so good and not even in stereo.
One upgrade leads to another or continue to use my Bluetooth speaker with tunes from iPad or phone. It's not that I want to blast neighbours, but enjoy sound quality.
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Old 11-22-2019, 10:23 AM   #10
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Charby, that's the unit I used to replace my speaker with, it's great! Even at low volume sounds great, and when nobody else is around, it puts out great undistorted volume even with the crappy Furrion head unit. The only thing I like about head unit is it is very low power, which will be good when boon docking eventually.
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