After owning our Rockwood 8329SS for 7 months and as we get ready for our second six week trip, I think it is time for a Progress Report.
We ordered our Rockwood from Giant RV in Montclair, CA on October 18th, 2015 and counted the days until it was finally delivered on December 18th. After a thorough PDI with a very competent tech, we hit the road for Pismo Coast Village for a two week trial run. Overall, our experience with our dealer has been positive. We did our research, knew what we wanted and what they were selling for, and negotiated, what we feel, was a good deal.
After reading so many posts on this forum from folks with a multitude of problems we were thrilled to discover only two minor issues on our initial trip: a burnt out light bulb on the outside, passenger side flood light, and that the switches for the the outside floods were wired up backwards. Simple fixes and everything is working properly.
Our only purchase regret became evident on this initial trip. Since we spend the bulk of our camping time at the beach we opted not to go for the 2nd A/C option. Back in October we had first seen the 8329SS in person at an RV show. A Forest River Rockwood rep was at the show and we questioned him extensively about the 2nd A/C option and the 30 amp vs 50 amp service. He assured us that since we beach camp, the single A/C and 30 amp service was sufficient. However, we quickly discovered that we should have gone for the 50 amp upgrade. The temperature on our initial trip dropped into the low 30's at night and we were a bit reluctant to run a brand new furnace while sleeping at night so we ran the fireplace and a space heater we purchased. We had three occasions where we overloaded the system and tripped the main circuit breaker. After a bit of thinking we switched the water heater from electric to propane and ran an extension cord from the space heater out past the slide seal to the park pedestal. We also discovered another issue at this time; you cannot run the fireplace and the microwave simultaneously. If the fireplace is on and you attempt to use the microwave, the fireplace automatically shuts off. This "feature" is annoying to say the least. From reading other posts on this forum it appears that this "feature" does not exist if you have the 50 amp service.
We returned from our trip and put the trailer in storage until my retirement date of April 26th whereupon we immediately hit the road again for a six week stay at Pismo Coast Village.
We spent a good bit of time on this trip discussing changes we wanted to make to the trailer during the summer before we returned for our second six week late summer stay at PCV. Our list included a solution for the bounce anytime someone walks in the trailer, MaxAir vent covers for the two vents without Fan-tastic Vents, dual batteries, and a satellite dish solution since the park cable does not carry the NBC Sports Network (NASCAR).
We ordered vents from Amazon and the install was simple with good directions and hardware included.
I am awaiting delivery of a set of Husky 76862 24 Stabilizing Scissor Jacks. I plan to install them on the frame in front of the wheels. I will report later on their effectiveness.
For the battery upgrade I am looking at the following: Torklift Central | Torklift International PowerArmor locking battery box
If anyone has any information of the effectiveness of the solar panel on the top of this box, I would appreciate it.
I was originally anticipating going with DirecTV for a satellite dish solution since we have AT&T for our wireless service. What a mess! The merger between AT&T and DirecTV has created much confusion and after a number of frustrating days full of phone calls and visits to the AT&T store, we have decided to go with DISH. I am looking at a Tailgater and the new Wally receiver using their "pay-as-you-go" service. I would also appreciate any feedback on this solution.
Finally, the basic clean-up / maintenance issues. After a thorough washing, waxing, and roof treatment the underside was next. I was very disappointed in the loose run wiring for the batteries and the electric brakes. I spent a good bit of time cleaning this up, predominately with zip ties. While under the trailer I saw a number of rust spots on the frame, propane line, axles, and running gear as well as a rubber propane line going across the underbelly with a single hose clip that had been screwed into the plastic underbelly stuff, but was dangling loose. I fixed the clip and secured it in multiple spots with larger screws. We will see if this holds. I attacked the rust spots with a wire brush and painted them with Rust-Oleum. Much better now.
However, the latest problem. While under the trailer scraping and painting, I discovered grease dripping from one of the brake backing plates onto the ground. I jacked the trailer, pulled the hub, and discovered that they had pumped too much bearing grease into the hub and it had leaked past the inner seal and got on the brakes. After a thorough cleaning of everything and purchasing a new seal and shoes, I have it all back together. My surmise at this point is that either at the factory or the dealer, someone used a pneumatic grease gun on the hubs. I was amazed at how much grease was pumped into the hub. This has convinced me not to use the built in zerk fittings on the Dexter axles, but to do all bearing re-packing by hand in the future.
My final little mod was to fix something that has bothered me from the beginning. Why are the stabilizing jack cross members painted yellow? I didn't like it a bit, so I pulled them off and painted them black to match the rest of the jack assembly. I hope I haven't violated some regulation somewhere as the original yellow paint appeared to be OSHA yellow. Oh, well, it looks much better now.
Thank you for reading and your comments. We are thrilled with our new rig and thrilled with retirement that allows me the time to piddle around working on it. I hope you enjoy your rig as much and safe travels.
The pictures below are the brake drum where you can see grease build up on the inside of the drum, the brake assembly where, if you zoom in, you can see bearing grease, and the yellow on the stabilizing jack cross members before I pulled them off and painted them.