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Old 01-21-2013, 07:59 PM   #1
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Took out our Columbus 295RL for the first time

So we took our Columbus 295RL out this weekend for the first time. Even though our ideal situation would have been to do it in warmer weather, I decided it would be a good test to see how everything holds up in fairly cold weather (We have been ranging from low 20's to mid 30's the past couple of weeks).

I'm happy to say that the trip went very well. Towing was great (I'm still getting used to 11-12k versus my old 6500 TT) and I am totally hooked on 5th wheel towing versus a TT. The Auto Level system in my mind was soooooo worth the money and makes life so much easier and less frustrating when setting up the trailer.

My wife and I usually have our own routines down for when it comes to setting up the RV. She gets everything setup on the inside and I do everything on the outside. We were totally out of sorts on this trip since it only took maybe about 15 min to set everything up on the inside and outside. We were used to it taking a min of 30-40 min with our old TT (everything was manual on leveling). We got the heat turned on and also turned on the Electric Fireplace and the RV warmed up in no time. Once I actually read the directions on programming the thermostat things were great.

The floorplan works out awesome for us and the amenities are much like being in a real house that we totally felt like we were in our own home. My wife actually had trouble opening the fridge because she forgot we were not at home and she spaced the fact the fridge has a safety latch. We both started cracking up both realized that we are definitely confident that we made the right choice with the trailer.

The bed was very comfortable (We have the serta trumph series) and we are used to sleeping on a tempurpedic. The bedroom was very accommodating for all of our clothes and extra items. Plenty of storage, which meant I kept telling my wife that she doesn't have to fill it all up

The central vac system was awesome. We were able to sweep up all the dirt and dog hair (we have 2 labs with us) and didn't have to use a dust pan or sweep it out of the door.

Again WE LOVE OUR COLUMBUS

Problems I ran in to:
(Most are very small and easy to fix)

A few things that I ran into trouble with was the sliding bedroom privacy door. When we arrive the door had detached from the roller guide. It had stripped the screws out of the door. I noticed the screws were fairly small in diameter and the threads are very shallow. I repaired the door, but it stripped out again on the way home. Also the buttons that hold the door in place while travel did not seem to hold the door. I plan on replacing the factory screws with some wood glue and more coarse screws to support the weight of the door. I also plan on trying to figure out a more secure way of securing the door with something like what the closet doors use to pin it to the floor.

I also encountered the problems with the surround sound not being setup correctly. I will be ordering the fiber optic audio cable and following the directions for the TV and the Samsung Receiver to get that fixed.

I also experienced a problem with the TV signal going in and out when my wife turned on the bathroom fan. I read another thread before going out on our trip that commented about check all coax connections and I found the TV coaxial cable end was not crimped. The cable simply slid out of the connector. I will end up replacing that cable with a higher quality coaxial cable.

I had to trim about 1 to 2 inches off the fender flares over the tires. My buddy noticed that it was rubbing a lot on the tire when backing over the curb to put it down the side of my house. I simply did this as a precaution so it won't rip the fender flare off or take a big chunk out of it in case during travel I hit some bumps or something that would catch.

Everything I listed I don't believe is anything major and totally does not phase me especially since I know how to do anything from small to major fixes. The list was just for information and others to look for in case they run into the same problem.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:21 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting.

Glad you had a good time... the 295RL is on our list to consider.

Where did you camp?
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:31 PM   #3
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We went to Champoeg State Park, Oregon. My wife and I like the park since it is quiet, large RV spots, bike / walking trails and plenty of scenery.

We just camped about 30 min away from our house (just since it was our "shakedown" trip). In case something went wrong we wanted to be close to home.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:02 AM   #4
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Glad you had a great trip!!! I can't wait for Spring... The Earth Station sits there waiting for temps to rise!!!
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:16 AM   #5
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Congratulations! That is what I would consider a great shakedown trip. I hope ours goes that well, the items you mentioned were minor, and I would take them anytime. Glad things went well.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:22 AM   #6
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I have to say that my wife and I were very thankful for all the reading I had done on this forum. It helped me realize the surround sound issue and TV connection issue was not a big deal and was about to troubleshoot it in a matter of minutes.

Thank you to everyone that has posted issues / resolutions on the forum. It truely does help others and makes life a bit less stressful.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:37 PM   #7
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Glad to hear you had such a good trip first time out. Our 295rl is equipped and ready to go as soon as the weather warms up. (Wa. state).

We also traded up from a tt and look forward to hauling the fifth wheel. I hauled a 8-10K utility gooseneck dump trailer for 17 years for work, so I am very used to a fifth wheel style.

My major concerns are the height while traveling and parking. I just installed a set of electric/heated power tow mirrors on my truck(2001 dodge cummins 3500 4x4) so I can adjust my mirrors upward to better see the top front portion of the fifth wheel while backing and parking.

We can't wait to get traveling. We spent a lot of time prior to buying our Columbus 295rl. It sounds like you are as excited with all the well planned space in your trailer.

Would you please post the upgrades with the surround tv system and what you do with the bedroom door.

Keep us posted on your next travels.

Thanks.

Jon
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:37 PM   #8
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Congratulations on your successful shake down cruise. Sounds like the Columbus was everything you hoped it would be. Those items you discussed do sound minor and hopefully you can resolve those issues. I have not closed my BR sliding door so I don't know if it is hanging correctly or not. I will check it out now that you mentioned it. Maybe I can head that one off before it becomes a problem. We went out this week-end in our 295 and all went smooth. I don't have the auto level but in the flat area in which we live, it doesn't take me long to level both l-r and f-b. I have to agree 110% about the welcoming feeling of the inside of the unit. No matter how difficult a back in might be, when I open the door and take the first step into the salon, it was all worth it.
Do you have the single AC or did you get one in the BR as well? I am looking at a low profile for the bedroom. Does anyone have any experience they can share? mjm
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon_Celia View Post
Glad to hear you had such a good trip first time out. Our 295rl is equipped and ready to go as soon as the weather warms up. (Wa. state).

We also traded up from a tt and look forward to hauling the fifth wheel. I hauled a 8-10K utility gooseneck dump trailer for 17 years for work, so I am very used to a fifth wheel style.

My major concerns are the height while traveling and parking. I just installed a set of electric/heated power tow mirrors on my truck(2001 dodge cummins 3500 4x4) so I can adjust my mirrors upward to better see the top front portion of the fifth wheel while backing and parking.

We can't wait to get traveling. We spent a lot of time prior to buying our Columbus 295rl. It sounds like you are as excited with all the well planned space in your trailer.

Would you please post the upgrades with the surround tv system and what you do with the bedroom door.

Keep us posted on your next travels.

Thanks.

Jon
There is actually a thread on how to fix the surround sound with the fiber audio cable, but I will definitely post how I got ours to work when I get the cable. Last night I went ahead and replaced the screws that Forest River used with a larger diameter wood screw and I also put a few drops of wood glue into the pilot hole as well to help prevent the striping. As far as securing the door during travel, I am still looking at options that don't take away from the looks of the trailer inside. I will let ya know what I go with and take pics.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debarymjm View Post
Congratulations on your successful shake down cruise. Sounds like the Columbus was everything you hoped it would be. Those items you discussed do sound minor and hopefully you can resolve those issues. I have not closed my BR sliding door so I don't know if it is hanging correctly or not. I will check it out now that you mentioned it. Maybe I can head that one off before it becomes a problem. We went out this week-end in our 295 and all went smooth. I don't have the auto level but in the flat area in which we live, it doesn't take me long to level both l-r and f-b. I have to agree 110% about the welcoming feeling of the inside of the unit. No matter how difficult a back in might be, when I open the door and take the first step into the salon, it was all worth it.
Do you have the single AC or did you get one in the BR as well? I am looking at a low profile for the bedroom. Does anyone have any experience they can share? mjm
I chose to go with the single AC. I'm hoping that it will be good enough for our needs and since the bedroom is already pre-wired for a 2nd one I am not worried if I need to purchase another one. I'm also hoping that the fantastic fan in the bedroom will help suck out a lot of the hot air to keep the temp down so that we wont need a 2nd AC.
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