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Old 07-07-2013, 05:09 PM   #1
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New 3010DS -- Initial Impressions

We picked up our new 3010DS two weeks ago, and spent the past week camping in it in Northern Wisconsin. Even though we were in my parents' driveway, we still basically lived in the unit just as we would of in a camp ground. I must say that we are very impressed and pleased with the unit. Other than a few little things (most of which can be remedied fairly easily), we really haven't found anything wrong with the RV. It's a GREAT fit for the wife and I (and three pooches!), and easily sleeps guests as needed. I can't wait to start using it on more extended trips, but we wanted the maiden voyage to be "low-risk" in terms of getting to know the systems while trying to travel from point A to point B and beyond. We were a bit worried initially that we had made a mistake in going back to a class C from the 40' Diesel Pusher...however those fears are gone at this point. This thing is really all we need--even for trips of 3-4 weeks in duration.

Having said this, I will say that there are a couple things that I just shake my head at. First is the location of the access door for the water pump. I'll post a picture in a day or two when I get a chance, but I have to wonder why the access door couldn't have been placed 3" farther left, or the pump couldn't have been placed 3-4" farther right? That way it would be MUCH easier to disconnect the line to winterize the RV myself. But instead that fitting is to the left of the access door, making it more difficult than it really needs to be to get at that fitting. I don't look forward to that procedure at all.

The other thing I shake my head at is the plastic ends on the pneumatic strut for the entry door. Ours broke! After a few days of the door pulling on the end of the cap nearest to the chassis because the cab was slightly lower than the aft coach, the VERY thin plastic material simply broke. The design of that thing must be improved, the way I see it. Either make the end caps out of metal of the same thickness, or make the plastic end caps significantly thicker. But the current design is very weak and I can't imagine that there aren't more problems exactly like we had.

Other than those two things, we really haven't found much to worry about. The accuracy of the thermostat needs to be verified because it seems a bit off in that sense--but that should be a pretty simple matter. The screws holding in the frames around the back basement were applied in an *interesting* fashion as well: For most screws, they were applied on the inside edge of the frame (inside the basement doors). However then there are two screws that were inserted on the outside of the frame, on an angle. The ones installed on the inside look very neat and unobtrusive, and quite professional--however the others look like they were installed by Ray Charles...on a Monday morning. Not sure I understand that at all, to be honest.

Anyway, we're still overall very happy with the unit. Simple put, it fits us very well so far. I think Forest River is to be commended on a very sound product as far as I can tell so far. Time will tell more of course, and I'm looking forward to spending much more time on the road in our new RV!

TB
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:17 PM   #2
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I do have a question for other Class C owners though, so I'll post it in a reply...

When we had our Class A Diesel Pusher coach, I was very close to pulling the trigger on a coach monitoring system from Silverleaf Electronics. But they don't seem to offer their product(s) for gas coaches however, so I am not sure what options there are for the Ford V10-equipped coaches? In addition to a tire pressure monitoring system, I would really like to have fuel flow and range information if at all possible. As a long-time pilot I've grown accustomed to having as much information available to me as possible--especially on long trips when fuel economy is very important.

So I'd appreciate any information others might be able to provide on products available for the Ford engines. I've been looking on the Open Roads forum as well as by simple Google searching--but so far I've come up empty.

Thanks in advance!

TB
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:58 PM   #3
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About the location of the water pump,yours sounds like the one in our 2300, I had purchased a bypass kit but after seeing where the water was I decided not to use it. Instead I position the coach so the passenger side is low then I just pour the antifreeze in the waster tank. I only use about 2 gallons. And. Since the low point drains are by the pump it is very easy to dewinterize in the spring.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:08 PM   #4
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I wondered about doing something like that actually. It seems like it would be FAR easier than trying to disconnect the fitting behind the wall, 3" past the edge of the access panel. It's one thing if it were exposed and easy to get to...but entirely another thing where it's located.

Thanks for the tip.

TB
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:57 PM   #5
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Nice update. Keep them coming. The access door to the valves on the hot water heater is also a pain. But easier than the water pump. I use a TPMS from tire minder and I'm pleased. I will buy the scan gauge 2 probably. We have now been to Maine, Hilton Head and Upper Michigan and have Colorado coming up in two weeks. I got mine recently aligned after 5000 miles. The shop made a world of difference in handling. It was out of alignment a lot. Bob Clemens should I submit a claim on that?

We love the Coach. Had a cabinet door latch fail on the Michigan trip. Will fix that this week along with putting some shocks on the bed frame for easier access. We also are looking at some things to make it easier for my DW for a mirror and her hair dryer etc. I also want an outlet on the back side of the bed like is on the front for her computer in the evening.

I also need to do something about my sewer hose not going down through the provided opening. We also are going to add leather to our seats.

We love our Sunseeker and actually got 9 mpg on the latest trip to Michigan so the mileage seems to improving 6200 miles so far. It's a real cruise machine and has plenty of power. I run 68 mph which shows up as 65 on my GPS.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:39 PM   #6
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Excellent! I just ordered the Scan Gauge II tonight, actually. I am researching TPMS now, and have been looking at the Tire Traker vs the unit from EezRV. The latter now offers a flow-through pressure monitor ($7 extra per unit) so you don't have to take them off to inflate a tire. Seems worth it I guess, although I am not entirely sure if it is necessary to recalibrate the sensor receiver once a sensor is removed? If so, then it's definitely worth it. If not, then maybe not so much--although there is of course something to be said for saving time, and if it's a one-time purchase of $84 (for the 12-sensor system), then I could probably justify that extra amount.

I am going to take a couple pictures tomorrow and will add them to the thread. As I said before though, thus far we are VERY pleased with the unit--and I would certainly recommend it to anyone else looking for a Class C coach. You've got a lot more experience with yours than we do though, as ours only has about 900 miles on it right now...and 451 of those were on it when we picked it up! But it's great to hear how well you are doing with mileage at 6200 miles. At $3.39 per gallon here right now, we definitely want to do whatever we can to maximize fuel economy--not to mention the other benefits of the Scan Gauge.

By the way--make sure to get the Scan Gauge II unit with the "XGauge" features. It adds a bunch of extra features, apparently. I called an RV friend with a Ford V10-based Winnebago Class A coach, and he has that unit. He uses it for several of the XGauge features, and highly recommended I go that route. So I ordered it on eBay while on the phone with him. I'll try to PM you that link to the seller I got it from.

TB
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:27 AM   #7
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Thanks for the tip on the scan gauge, I will order mine tomorrow. I think it is worth it over the Ultra Gauge, looks like it does not have the transmission temps which I really want to monitor. The TPMS does not need to be reprogrammed every time you take it off to check the pressure, only on initial setup. The only thing wrong with Tire Minder is the pressure accuracy. It is off a few psi.
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:27 AM   #8
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Pics would be awesome!
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:19 AM   #9
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I will take some pics today (if it stops raining, lol) or tomorrow.

On the Tire Minder thing--I wouldn't mind it if the unit was off a few PSI...as long as it's consistently off by that much. If it's "irregularly irregular" then it's only marginally useful at best. Certainly it would be useful to indicate that there's a tire not consistent with the others, but that's about it really.

I am going to call the people at Tire Traker and at EEZ RV Products today and talk with each. Both look like great products, but I have a couple questions for each. So in addition to that basic information, I guess we'll see which is more helpful to someone who calls their customer service department. I'd like to get this system ordered within the next 1-2 weeks, so we can use it in early August. My Scan Gauge II system should be here by the end of the week.

TB
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:25 AM   #10
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To MikeRP, The part you need to fix you sewer hose problem is called a {deck Plate} you can get them from a boat store. I replaced the the factory one with a 6" one and now sewer hose goes through just fine.
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:46 PM   #11
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As for the door strut, those come with the door itself. Challenger is the supplier. They used to be metal, they went to plastic. We've asked them to go back to metal. It is frustrating when a supplier makes changes (probably to prevent a price increase) instead of coming to us asking the question first.
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:09 PM   #12
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Can a customer call them to give that sort of input? It sounds like that's what they need to hear. In the meantime, how does a guy go about getting a replacement? Maybe they offer replacements with metal ends...lol.

I will work through the dealer of course, but I agree Bob that it sounds silly to have made the change for such a "critical" portion of their product. Not that it's critical in the sense of human safety, but it certainly critical in the sense of proper operation of the mechanism. So I really don't understand that decision at all. First semester Mechanics in engineering school will easily show how easily that end will fail, in terms of forces applied.

TB
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
As for the door strut, those come with the door itself. Challenger is the supplier. They used to be metal, they went to plastic. We've asked them to go back to metal. It is frustrating when a supplier makes changes (probably to prevent a price increase) instead of coming to us asking the question first.

OK...I spent an hour digging into this more.

This is NOT a Challenger door. It's made by Lippert Components. I talked to Challenger first, and then Lippert (there's a Lippert sticker on the door, LOL). Lippert tells me that that strut is an OEM add-on, and is NOT something that comes from them. So the report I am getting is that this is a Forrest River/Sunseeker issue, and not an issue with the door manufacturer.

So then it seems that we're back to square one in the sense that it's apparently Sunseeker that needs to make a decision to use a door opener strut with metal ends, instead of one with thin plastic ends.

Please correct me on any mistakes I've made in this sense Bob. But this is what I got from Lippert, when their technical support fellow checked the parts listing for the doors they furnish to FR/Sunseeker. By the way, I would have given him the model number from the sticker on the door, except that it was under two hinges! If whoever mounted the sticker would have only applied it 10-12" higher on the frame (where there is a 14-16" section without any hinges), then I'd have all that information. As it is however, the data on the sticker is pretty much unusable given the two large hinges mounted on top of it.

TB
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:35 PM   #14
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Sorry, I suppose I should have asked some questions first.

Is the strut mounted on the bottom of the door or the top?

We have used doors from Lippert as well. I just remember a passing conversation about those struts. May have been on the Lexington model which is a curved door and is supplied by Challenger (99% sure of that). I didn't seem to think we were buying them from 2 different suppliers, guess I was wrong.
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:38 PM   #15
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The strut is at the bottom of the door. The door is definitely made by Lippert--their sticker is on the window. I wish I could give you more information from the data tag, but I simply can't get much useful information from it given the hinge placement.

I'll work with the dealer to get a replacement strut ordered. Hopefully there is one with metal end-caps available.

Thanks again for all your help Bob. It's awesome that you take the time to read the forums. Don't sweat it about the Challenger red herring. All it took was a simple phone call and about 5 minutes to figure it out. No problem at all on my end...

TB
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:44 PM   #16
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Well, I'm gonna ask a few more questions. I remember the conversation, clear as day. We had switched from a top mount strut that we installed (Since it attached to the coach wall and then the door) to an undercount strut (that went from a post on the threshold to the door). It came in completely assembled from the supplier. It may have been a Lexington door, but not sure why we would buy them differently anywhere else.

I'll figure this out...just to satisfy my own curiosity.
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:47 PM   #17
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No sweat, it isn't critical right now. Let's get it figured out, so that I can tell the dealer what we need to do to get a new one. Hopefully the new one won't be thin plastic so that we have to do this again. If we had this problem, I'll bet the ranch that there will be more who do as well.

TB
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:54 AM   #18
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As I type this, the engineer is walking away from my desk and confirmed what I thought.

When it was a top mount strut, we installed the gas strut because the door may or MAY NOT get a strut. Sometimes it would just get a hold back. There was never enough backer up there so we switched to a bottom mount strut.

This is a special door. The bottom is shortened slightly to accommodate a gas strut. It mounts from the reinforced bottom of the door to a "post" on the threshold. We ONLY use this style of door on a unit that will get a gas strut (awning is in the way so a hold back will not work). So EVERY door we buy this way, the gas strut comes pre-installed on the door to the "post" on the threshold. So maybe there is an old part number or maybe the Lippert guy just doesn't know, but Lippert provided this with the door.

I confirmed that Challenger builds it this way for Lexington. Lippert builds it this way for Sunseeker/Forester and we're talking to Dexter right now, they will build it that way as well.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:25 AM   #19
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Not sure what you're telling me, other than that I probably need to call Lippert back to hash this over with them a bit more?

I've been to the strut manufacturer's website, in order to see if they offer the same strut with metal end caps. But their site is so user-UNfriendly that it's virtually impossible to know for sure. My guess is that Lippert would simply supply me with another strut with pieces-of-crap plastic end caps. I can't believe they thought this was a good idea--or that anyone actually did a free-body analysis on the strut. If they had done so, it would have been pretty obvious that any tensile forces on the end caps would have caused their eventual failure. Time to fail...about 4 days.

I'm sure they've saved themselves a buck or two on going with struts with plastic end caps, however how much does it REALLY save them when they'll simply have to replace structs with failed end caps? Someone should have that through a bit more.

Thanks for the information Bob. I'll take it from here.

TB
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:27 AM   #20
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Just confirming the strut provider so we could figure out next course of action. I'll go look at one on the line to see if they're back to metal or still using plastic.

PS. it's Brian. Unless Bob is like a general term of endearment...like Bub or Dude or guy.
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