Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-06-2016, 04:11 PM   #1
Member
 
Chessie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Maryland
Posts: 34
2017 Berkshire XL 40BH -380

Hello all,

In a few days I will be picking up our new Berk and I have a few question so:


1- Do I need to run the genset while driving to use the fridge as I afraid to run down the house batteries or does the residential refrigerator run on propane also?

2- How do I charge the house batteries while on the way other than running the genset? I have a 2100 miles run from Michigan to CA and I will not stop at campgrounds. I will either pull at truck stops or Walmarts to sleep, so no way to plug in. I think the alternator will only charge the chassis batteries not the house, but I could be wrong. I have the same inverter on my boat and it charges the batteries when hooked up to shore power. is this the same with the Berk or is there a separate charger to charge the house batteries?

3- Will I have enough DEF to make the trip. I understand I can get it at truck stops, but I am just curious. Is there a gauge on the dash to indicate levels or must I physically check the DEF tank. I know not to let it go down too low.

4-is there a break-period? I will not be setting speed records but I hope to be running around 65 mph, road and road condition permitting of course so that should give the coach a nice break in.

5-how good are the headlight? I may start early in the am

6-is there AC at the dash like in cars or do I have to to use the coach Roof AC system? Weather next week seems to be in the 90's on my route. If that's the case then that will answer some of my previous questions.

7- how do I get propane tank refilled? I exchange my barbecue tanks at Lowe's, some gas stations have a propane fill stations, but usually near the tire inflation set up and not much room to maneuver a 41' behemoth. Do truck stops have propane?

I am probably a million more questions as this is my first MH, but I will stop there for now.

Thank you in advance for your assistance
__________________
Elisabeth, Jacques and 7 year old Gabriel
Maggie (10 year old Otterhound) and Bodhi (30 months Golden Doodle)

2017 Berkshire XL40BH-380
Chessie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 04:14 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
oldkeywest91's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Jersey Shore
Posts: 104
I won't touch this one with a ten foot pole
oldkeywest91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 04:37 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: West Michigan/Fort Myers
Posts: 3,927
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldkeywest91 View Post
I won't touch this one with a ten foot pole

You don't have a ten foot pole. Lol



Phil57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 04:39 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: West Michigan/Fort Myers
Posts: 3,927
Ok I will answer as many as I remember.
You will have plenty of DEF as long as it is full.
The gen will charge the house battery.
The fridge will run about 12 hours on batteries.



Phil57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 04:42 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: West Michigan/Fort Myers
Posts: 3,927
You shouldn't need LP on your trip home. Just find a place that has room. Most truck stops have LP
65 should be a good speed for BI



Phil57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 04:44 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: West Michigan/Fort Myers
Posts: 3,927
You will want to run the gen when it's that hot to run the AC. If you are alone the dash air might keep you cool.
I have a 2011 and the headlights suck huge. I have heard lots of complaints on the 15-16's also.
Have a good trip.



Phil57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 04:47 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: West Michigan/Fort Myers
Posts: 3,927
I'm going to send you a PM that might be helpful on your trip. Check your messages.



Phil57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 05:04 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
CAT-RN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 7,185
2017 Berkshire XL 40BH -380

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jgpapillon View Post
Hello all,



In a few days I will be picking up our new Berk and I have a few question so:





1- Do I need to run the genset while driving to use the fridge as I afraid to run down the house batteries or does the residential refrigerator run on propane also?



2- How do I charge the house batteries while on the way other than running the genset? I have a 2100 miles run from Michigan to CA and I will not stop at campgrounds. I will either pull at truck stops or Walmarts to sleep, so no way to plug in. I think the alternator will only charge the chassis batteries not the house, but I could be wrong. I have the same inverter on my boat and it charges the batteries when hooked up to shore power. is this the same with the Berk or is there a separate charger to charge the house batteries?



3- Will I have enough DEF to make the trip. I understand I can get it at truck stops, but I am just curious. Is there a gauge on the dash to indicate levels or must I physically check the DEF tank. I know not to let it go down too low.



4-is there a break-period? I will not be setting speed records but I hope to be running around 65 mph, road and road condition permitting of course so that should give the coach a nice break in.



5-how good are the headlight? I may start early in the am



6-is there AC at the dash like in cars or do I have to to use the coach Roof AC system? Weather next week seems to be in the 90's on my route. If that's the case then that will answer some of my previous questions.



7- how do I get propane tank refilled? I exchange my barbecue tanks at Lowe's, some gas stations have a propane fill stations, but usually near the tire inflation set up and not much room to maneuver a 41' behemoth. Do truck stops have propane?



I am probably a million more questions as this is my first MH, but I will stop there for now.



Thank you in advance for your assistance

1--set you controller to "inverter on". Frig does not have LP. You do not need to run the generator for the frig while driving. Alternator should keep everything charged up.

2--the alternator will charge all batteries When you get to Walmart run your generator for as long as you can. If your batteries are full charged you should make it most all night. If not your frig still be ok.

3--DEF if full will make it just fine--there is a gauge on the dash and also a gauge on the DEF tank

4--these new motors are broke in at the factory. Drive it like you stole it. Lol. I still like to take them easy for the first 1000 mile or so. But 65 or 70 no problem.

5--don't drive much at night so I really don't remember. Think mine junk tho ??

6--if your the only one in the coach the dash air might be OK?? But running the generator and shutting off the dash air is probably about a wash as far as fuel is concerned. Generator need to be run on a regular basis anyway.

7--flying J and some truck stops have LP. easy to get to. I used one tank full from Nov to April. And lived in the coach 110 days. So you won't use much. Should be full from dealer.

Just a note: if your frig does not come with a door lock make sure to Velcro or strap the frig doors together. I've never had an issue with my freezer door.

Have a safe trip and enjoy the Berkshire.

Russell
CAT-RN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 05:09 PM   #9
Member
 
MotoxDad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 96
Here's some answers that will might help a little:

- while driving, the alternator will charge the chassis batteries first, then the house batteries secondary. (You will know it's charging house batteries because the )

- when on shore power it is the opposite, it charges house batteries first, then chassis batteries secondary.

- there is a DEF level indicator in the cab. It is on the gas gauge and will have green bars that indicate the level.

- a full tank of DEF should last about 3 full ups of diesel.

- headlights are not the greatest stock. I'm not sure if they have changed a significant amount from my year (2014). I upgraded to Sylvania ultras because I had a tough time seeing at night with stock bulbs. I'm sure others with newer coaches will chime in on this issue.

- there is dash A/C and heat in the cab that works really well for the two passengers up front. Anyone who is sitting behind you will not be able to feel it. You will need to run genset and run roof A/C if passengers are hot.


- propane can be refilled at a lot of places. Most places are set up for Mohos to pull in and be filled. It's as simple as googling RV propane refill station I'm sure tons will come up in your area.

Congrats on the rig!
__________________
John
2014 Berkshire 400BH
Motocross Dad
MotoxDad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 05:19 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
ilmor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 822
I was thinking of that movie The Long Long Trailer.
__________________
2017 Forest River Sunseeker 2250SLE

ilmor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 05:38 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Dbt803's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Peekskill, NY
Posts: 373
Congratulations on the new rv. Have fun and travel safely. In this heat run your generator to stay cool, it is made to run and uses very little fuel. My generator goes on at the beginning of my trip and doesn't get turned off until I reach my destination.
__________________
Debbie
"Midnight Pearl" - 2011 Berkshire 390 BH
Dbt803 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 06:00 PM   #12
Member
 
Chessie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Maryland
Posts: 34
Thank you all for your great advice. more questions to come soon I am sure as I lay awake between 2 and 3 am....lol
__________________
Elisabeth, Jacques and 7 year old Gabriel
Maggie (10 year old Otterhound) and Bodhi (30 months Golden Doodle)

2017 Berkshire XL40BH-380
Chessie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 08:08 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
dan-nickie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Dallas TX
Posts: 1,674
If your propane tank is full it will last a long time. Manny campgrounds have propane. I think all of the KOA Campgrounds to.

Starting a generator and running the roof air conditioners down the road is very common by the way.
__________________
Dan
2014 Berkshire 390RB-60
dan-nickie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2016, 05:56 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 143
Looks like most of your questions are answered, but...

Just curious why you don't want to run your generator? I've got a 2015 Charleston 430BH, and with the very low MPG's of the coach, generator on or off really doesn't seem to affect my mileage. The generator draws very little diesel compared to the chassis. So, run it, and enjoy the comfort.

Judging by your questions, it sounds like you're new to this... I was new to this as well 2 years ago... Here's some things I wish I knew from the outset:

One thing I learned the hard way regarding AC units is not to short-cycle your rooftop A/Cs. When you are connecting or disconnecting from shore power to the generator (or briefly shutting off your generator), turn off all your A/C's before interrupting power. Leave the power off for a 5-10 minutes, and then turn it back on once you're transitioned to the next power source. If you leave the A/C's powered when the power is interrupted as the transfer switch transitions from shore to generator (or vice-versa) the A/C breakers will throw and you'll get very hot. This problem gave me fits my first few times out...

I would also highly recommend taking the "Camp Freightliner" class. It was definitely worth the trip to Gaffney, SC. It's much better to know exactly what maintenance you need to perform and when rather than being at the mercy of the wherever you bring it for maintenance.

I don't know if they still use the Magnadyne GPS headunit in your year, but if you have one, you better have a backup system. I've had 3 of the Magnadyne's fail in two years of having my rig. I use a Good Sam GPS from Camping World - it's been very reliable. In addition to having a backup (especially if you wholly rely on the GPS to navigate), I prefer to use the in-dash unit for the cameras only when driving. If you have the side-view cameras, whenever you signal a maneuver, your in-dash screen will switch to the camera and off your GPS. It stays on the side view camera for several seconds before switching back to the GPS. If you're in a city with complicated interchanges, you'll be staring at your camera when you're wondering where to turn. Having the stand-alone GPS as a second screen eliminates this problem. I've blown many a turn before I changed to use the two screen solution...

If your slides have cables in addition to the hydraulic cylinders, you need to have the tension in the slide cables checked periodically. I didn't think of this, and the cables stretched to the point that the slides sagged so badly that I could not open the basement doors fully. It also affected the angle the slides sat when retracted. The slides came in so steeply that the crown moldings shattered when they hit the inside roof of the coach. The cables will stretch when they're new - you may want to have them checked after a few months of use. After that, I'm hoping they don't require more than annual adjustment.

Find a good RV shop to perform maintenance and repairs. My experience is that for chassis-related issues, Freightliner dealers turn the work much faster than an RV dealer. If you join the Freightliner Chassis Owner's Club, you'll also get 10% off repairs at Freightliner. They're all over the country, and some of the shops operate 24/7/365.

If you have trouble getting things fixed, call the Forest River Diesel Motors Division. They really helped me out. The first RV dealer I took mine to for repairs was sitting on my unit for months, and breaking more things than they repaired. Mike from FR tried to work with them, but was unsuccessful, so he sent a driver to return my rig to the factory for repairs. They fixed everything and even offered to drive it back to my house for me (1200 miles one-way) all under warranty.

Just curious, you're picking up your Berkshire in Michigan, and returning to California? I live in Oklahoma, but when we wanted to buy the Charleston, the only two that were available were in Michigan. We drove to Detroit to pick it up and had our baptism by fire on the drive home.

I wish you well! Drive safe!

Carl
ckabrahamson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2016, 09:54 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
hordok's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Indiana
Posts: 111
Good advice Carl. Experience makes a big difference.

The A/C power switching point is a very good one.

Elisabeth and Jacques, congratulations on the new coach and hope you and your son have lots of miles of fun. Looking forward to hearing about your trip home.
__________________
2016 Charleston BH
2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon - purple - toad
hordok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2016, 10:52 AM   #16
BobbyJ
 
Bobbyj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: State College, Pa
Posts: 153
Your questions and concerns have been answered by the most knowledgeable RV owners in the world. I would add a couple of suggestions for your trip. Purchase the Garmin RV760 GPS for your trip. You will have peace of mind with that little tool. I promise. Restaurants, fuel, speed, time of arrival, travel partner. It is awesome!
Second, Use your rear camera full time, keeping track of the folks behind you, especially when passing. Measure a 30' distance behind the coach (place a cone or bucket back there) and place a thin line of sticky tape on the screen to help you negotiate distance when switching lanes. You may have to climb a ladder to loosen the 6 screws and adjust the camera up to get an approximate 3' to 150' view in your screen.

Safe travels,

Bobbyj
State College, PA
Bobbyj is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
berkshire

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:03 PM.