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Old 08-23-2012, 11:27 PM   #191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Columbus
Ok, I'm going to do some serious talking with the rep that supplies the battery disconnect. I will post what he has to say.
Please, remember that I'm just a camper myself and happen to work for Columbus. I don't wish to upset anyone. I only wish to help.I should get someone else to help on some of these questions.
Chris
Either the case ........ overjoyed your here to put up with us numb skulls !
Besides who then would we scream at ?
Ron
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:16 PM   #192
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Well guys, my 320RS has NON of the operational and electrical problems you guys are talking about. You know by now if yours was and early build for the particular Colmbus model. If you buy a 1st year model, expect problems.

Regarding mine, dealer tested everything and then demo everything as possible to me at delivery is what I experienced. Things like sinks, shower, toilet, furnace, water heater and AC were not actually run during my delivery demo. These major items are tested at factory, and again tested at dealer prep before delivery to customer. The 3rd test is camp close to dealer for a maiden voyage.

I towed mine about 500 miles from dealer to my seasonal park and that was it. Mine had screw fasteners in floor coming loose and a upper corner molding on bedroom slide is loose. Oh ya, the ceiling trim strips too but they fixed those with a air nailer with tiny finishing nails. I am 100% convinced that the more you tow, the more things will get messed up and need maintenance and repair. Mine is 3/12/2012 for manufacturing date and sold as a 2013 model. Like you I wanted to buy a 2012, but decided to wait till the 2nd production year model came out. We all know LOTS of bugs are fixed in the 2nd year.

Regarding electrical and disconnect switch. I have to test things and so can you but I would believe when unplugged from 30/50 amp power cord that the major electrical appliances would not work at all. If they do, they are running on an invertor which takes battery 12vdc and turns it into 120vac. They are high watt appliances and the battery would die quick as in hours not days. Again, do your own testing. Who knows, maybe the fridge/freezer can run on propane/battery. Maybe the AC and heat can run on battery instead of being plugged into 120 shore power cord. No way in heck the LCD tvs, dvd, surround sound work on 12 volts but again, maybe an invertor circuit runs these also. Again, just unplug your 30/50amp cord and start testing. I'll be doing it on Sunday.

Assuming major appliances all need 120vac to work, this would be the reason to keep your RV plugged in at all times. If you want major appliances to work, you need to be plugged in. You also need to be plugged in to keep battery charged but that goes without saying.

Minor (low wattage 120vac) devices and 12vdc items of course work on battery power. Lights, water pump, maybe the tank heater blankets - haven't tried those yet, landing legs, back stabilizer legs, awning, and slides all work from battery power.

What supprised the heck out of me is when battery disconnect is switched off, the front landing legs still worked and I believe the rear stabilzer jacks worked. Again, I need to do testing again to confirm this.

I'm willing to bet the factory is taking power for the jacks from the hot side of the switch instead of the switched side. This allows the camper to be moved in an emergency if the slam doors are locked. When locked, you can't get at the battery disconnect switch.

The proper service procedure is to disconnect wiring at battery when repairing electrical items. That way, it doesn't matter what position the disconnect switch is in.

Regarding the comment you have to keep RV plugged in all the time or you will blow out the circuit boards in appliances, power distribution panel, etc. is probably false. I totally believe the appliance will eventually shutdown if voltage is low. But to self destruct a circuit board because of low voltage is not how modern electronics are designed. They are designed to self protect from low voltage damage and reverse polarity issues. However, high voltage, power spikes/surges, lightning, static electricity, etc. is another story. That will burn out circuit boards quickly!

And yes, my background is in electrical/electronics. I'm one of the few nuts out there that actually enjoys repairing laptops. But don't ask, I retired in 2009 after 25 years of computer repair as a hobby/side business.
Sooooo, to sum it up, don't believe everything you read on the internet. Especially on forum boards like this. Believe it or not, there are clowns out there that will post false information on purpose just to mess with people. Do your own testing, fact finding, etc. Forum boards are great for gathering information. However, you have to decide for yourself if the information is true or not.
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:38 PM   #193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Columbus
Hello Happy Campers,

I am doing my best to navigate this site but I was out camping during computer class....so I might be a little slow. Please hang in there.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns regarding the new and exciting Columbus 5th Wheel by Palomino. I will do my very best getting back to you in a timely fashion....unless I am camping then you will have to wait.

The proto 385 BH is almost completed (cross your fingers) should be ready later this week.

Happy Camping,

C. Columbus
I am trying to move my warranty work due to the distance from my home. What do I need to do?
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:39 PM   #194
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Originally Posted by amxpress
All the televisions ar HD and digital. The primary one is LED. Mine both are Toshiba in my 320RS. Watched a DVD last trip. Between the picture quality and the Panasonic surround sound, it was AWESOME to say the least.
How did you hook up the surround sound?
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:26 PM   #195
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I would call Bryan Randall at Columbus. He handles the warranty at Columbus. I will PM his number to you.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:31 PM   #196
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How did you hook up the surround sound?
I'm not quite sure what you're asking.
My surround sound is only heard when using my Panasonic DVD/AM/FM receiver. The television does not come connected for surround sound through the receiver, from the factory. You can connect them to the surround sound system by using an HDMI cable & digital audio cable; though I would have to refer to my Panasonic & Toshiba manuals to tell you how. There are some earlier posts on here explaining the procedure.
To use my Panasonic system, I have to change the "input" on my TV to "DVD". I can then read the operating options for my Panasonic on the screen of the TV.
Confusing, eh?
Quote:
I am trying to move my warranty work due to the distance from my home. What do I need to do?
As for your warranty work, go where ever you want to go for warranty repairs; providing they are an approved Forest River dealer willing to work on your Columbus. Some are sensitive to the fact that you didn't buy your trailer from them, but some are glad for the work. Don't need permission from Forest River or Columbus.
Good luck.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:35 AM   #197
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Anyone out there have the 325RL model? We have not seen it yet, but have been in a 320RS which is quite a bit similar. We are very impressed, even after reading these 20 pages of problems you people are experiencing.
I am gathering the 325RL is a model that was not available when Palomino first started selling Columbus 5th wheels? Is it possible they will have the same problems you all are having with the 320's?
We are very excited to make this purchase when our dealer comes up with a reasonable price. The 320RS on their lot is going for $45,xxx. Can't remember exactly but under $46,000. Really wish I could walk inside a 325RL though. The closest one is in Buffalo, but it's about 2 hours plus the fun border cross.
I have learned a lot from reading the preceeding 20 pages. I will definitely go with the 6 stabilizing jacks, and get a tripod for further unit stabilization, even though we are currently on our 2nd 5th wheel and have never used one. Doesn't mean we don't need one, but I really never knew anyone who used one, and therefore did not realize it was actually of benefit. Definitely going to upgrade to a King bed.
Are there any other changes/upgrades you experienced Columbus' campers can recommend so we can research and be more knowledgeable when it comes time to purchase?
Any help would be appreciated!
Cathy
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:10 AM   #198
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Cathy, before you buy I would recommend making sure you get into a 2013 model with a build date of March 2012 or later. Mine is 3/12/2012 and doesn't have the problems described above. 1st year production release of a new model anything is typically plagued with issues.

Regarding king bed, have fun walking around the bed to make it much less getting in and out. The queen is plenty tight as it is. I've never seen a king version but I doubt they make the walls any wider. Probably just loose the 2 small nitestands.

Shop the entire USA for your RV. Get a written quote by the low bidder. Then take that to your dealer in Buffalo, NY and see if they will match it. Heck, ask your dealer that question first!

Your dealer will also be HUGE in your good or bad experiance. My dealer was Cheyenne camping center in Walcott, Iowa. Ya 400 miles away from me as I have a Columbus dealer 20 miles from my house. The local dealer did not impress me much. The Iowa dealer is huge and has been around since the 60's. They had the best price and they know how to setup these Columbus rigs correctly. They also got great reviews here on this forum.

Be advised the 320RS sells quickly and prices are going up not down on these rigs. A comparable RV in other brands is 55-70K. The Columbus was a new model in 2012 for Palamino so they let them go for 40-45K just to get the name out there. It's getting to be end of model year closeout pricing time as fall is upon us and dealers don't want to carry stuff over into next year. The Columbus line is already at rock bottom pricing so I doubt they will move much for you.

Check out Alpine 349FL, Heartland Bighorn 36 foot, and Brookstone Diamond 361 RE models for comparable units. Prices are way higher on these. The Alpine was my 2nd choice.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:35 AM   #199
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Cathy, regarding features and options.

We have 2013 385BH. We ordered it sight unseen based on the schematics once the prototype was off the line. We have had a couple of issues which were resolved by our dealer. The big one was the AC. We convinced them to replace both front and rear AC units. Sure glad we did as we just came back from a week on the South Carolina coast. These new AC units are a bit more quiet and push out more cooled air. The only problem on the warrantee work was that it took a month.

The only issue on this last weeklong trip was a small leak near the refrigerator when we went through a torrential rainstorm. I plan to take a close look with a ladder now that we are back and seal the edges. The leak was near the middle of the slide. Water runs so it is difficult to isolate a water leak. Not wanting it to take a month or so for this issue, I am not taking it back to my dealer (3 hr drive) at this time.

Options: My wife told me that if I could have a Dish, she could have a washer and dryer. We checked the prices from local stores as well as installation and even though we could have save a little bit of money going that way, we chose to buy the unit with the washer and dryer. She has been very pleased. We have now been on two week long trips and she has used it every time out. She does have to run a load of clothes twice through the dryer to get things completely dry. It is a 110 dryer.

We went with the Trump mattress Ė Queen. We decided getting around a King would be a little difficult.

We have the outside kitchen. Only wish it had a sink as well.

We went with a booth dinette as my wife wanted the extra sleeping space option when the grandchildren will come along. I don't like the tightness of the booth and wish that we had the table. But, that is what she wanted.

We have the single side refrigerator and it works fine. Of course we do have the outside kitchen with the refrigerator and microwave.

Only wish in the kitchen is another shelf for the coffee maker or food prep. She has gone with electric grills etc instead of using the range and using that space for food prep.

I added the TrailAire Glide to the King Pin as well as putting air shocks on my 2012 F250. We still have some chucking issues on rough roads and especially going onto and off of bridges where the bridge and the road are not level.

We also have the issue of the surround sound ONLY working with the Samsung CD/DVD that came with the camper. We have added a BluRay and a Dish. I have been unable to get either one to work with surround sound. The BluRay in particular only has an HDMI port. I bought the Audio Fibre Optic cable referenced previously by others. I have yet to figure out where to connect it to get the surround sound that I want.

So far, we are pleased with our unit now that we have the AC issue fixed. Finally also got the Black 1 to read empty. Something must have been hung on the 2/3 level sensor as that is what it always read.

Regarding the power issued referenced of late. When stored, our unit is under cover and connected to 30 amp service. When I am driving, I keep the "battery connector" turned off and then turn it on when I connect to power.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:35 PM   #200
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Ok, you guys have made a good point about the king bed. We have a queen in our Wildcat and it's not been a problem. We have a king at home, but of course walking around our king isn't a problem in a large bedroom. I think I will take both of your advice(s) and stick with a queen.
I was thinking of getting the washer&dryer at time of purchase so that it is up to them to factory install the vent. I have heard of ventless, but where does that heat/steam go???? Has to go somewhere inside the trailer I would imagine.
About the outside kitchen (which is the main reason we are going for the 325RL and not the 320RS-as I like the kitchen on the 320 better), from all the pictures I have seen, the kitchen appears to have a sink on it in addition to frig, micro, 2 burner pull-out stove, 2 cupboards and a bit of counter space to spare. I definitely want a sink also!
I was also thinking on the Trailaire Tri-Glide Air Ride upgrade. I want everything I can get to make it a smoother ride. We have been down to Myrtle Beach 4 times and our quickest route is through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia etc. We seem to spend at least half or more of our 17 hour drive to Myrtle Beach bumping and chucking along. I want to try and improve that!
There are some options I have seen listed that I am not sure about:
heat pump for main a/c - what is that and is it necessary?
dual pane windows - do they keep out a substantial amount of heat/cold compared to the regular stock windows?
The Fiberglass rear cap - what does one get if you don't "upgrade" to this - I thought that was stock???
Low profile bedroom a/c - is it necessary to have that second a/c for destinations like Florida or Myrtle Beach where we might likely go to???
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