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Old 02-08-2023, 04:21 AM   #1
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Newbie 2023 Georgetown 5 36B

Hello all,

We just bought our 1st mobil home from an rv show its A 2023 Georgetown 5 36B. Just looking at some threads here, there's a lot for me to learn.
We are excited to take possession of it in a couple of weeks.

We have had a couple of travel trailers, so I understand some of the basics.

But are there things I should do look out for in buying from a rv show?. ( I've seen some horror stories on this site).

Also I've never driven a class A any recommendations on that? I will look at all the threads that deal with that.

Any info, help, and or knowledge will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you just introducing myself as a new Class A buyer.
Rob
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Old 02-08-2023, 11:08 AM   #2
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First, Congratulations!

Second, prepare to be overwhelmed at first. Since you had a trailer you're actually in a better position than many new owners who never RV'd before.

Do you have any large vehicle driving experience already? My wife and I are retired firefighters so she and I had training and experience in driving large vehicles already but we decided to hire a professional driving school because these are different beasts. We went with RV Driving School: https://www.rvschool.com/

If they do not show an instructor near you just contact them. Many of their instructors travel in the summer and can come to you. We live in northern Ohio and the instructor we got lived in Florida but he visited family in Ohio in the summer.

He drove his Class C to our home where we keep the motorhome and he parked at a state park about 45 minutes away overnight.

Ours was a two-day class with about two hours of "classroom" teaching in our living room followed by four hours of driving each day. They focus on the things you do not do often, such as backing, turns, fueling, etc., the things where you can make a very expensive mistake if you're not careful as opposed to just driving down the wide, open roads.

Four years ago the cost was about $700 and we figure that training and expense would help keep us from having to pay an insurance deductible and all of the hassles that goes along with an accident. So far it has.

This is an older but still great driver training video:

This is a good video on what off-tracking is and off-tracking has caused a lot of accidents:

Good luck,

Ray
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Old 02-08-2023, 12:44 PM   #3
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Wow, thank you for the recommendations and videos.



I have never driven anything the size of this RV. It is a bit overwhelming, so yes, we plan on taking a driving courses I think it will be good for my wife to be able to drive it too.
I appreciate the advice.
Rob
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Old 02-08-2023, 12:51 PM   #4
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Congrats Rob.

I'm also a "newbie", not to just to my Class A but to RVing in general. I can only speak of my recent experience.

I too bought from a RV show, Hersey PA back in September 2022. My PDI was this past January.

I should have paid attention where the dealer was from, turned out to be 4-1/2 hours from my home. Not sure it would've been a deal breaker but 4-1/2 hours, one way. I did get some experience driving it back home

I've been driving 24 foot long, 12-13 foot tall delivery trucks in NYC. The big difference I found, you are sitting over the front wheels and the front is much wider. Driving back on the highways with other traffic like 18 wheelers, there's a bit of a push when the 18 wheeler passes you and then you are correcting after they pass because the air drags you back into their lane. There's other threads discussing this and about what options you can add to the suspension. I'm still researching.

If you haven't done your PDI, don't let them rush you. Take your time and take notes. Maybe do it over 2-3 days. I had to squeeze mine in on just a Saturday because of family obligations. Think about a GoPro, mount on your head/hat and record everything.

Another thing I learned, of course after my PDI, if there is anything you come across that's not correct like a drawer latch not holding the door close or a piece of trim that fell off or a cut on your slide-out awning you need a Forest River Tech to document with photos. You should take photos too for your notes, but your photos don't count to Forest River.

KRMann has a PDI checklist that he forwarded to me. It helped a lot with my PDI. The dealer's PDI was outdated, there was a check box to make sure the VCR was working correctly.

Good Luck!

David
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Old 02-08-2023, 01:12 PM   #5
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My canned thoughts on PDI's (pre-delivery inspection) and dealer responsiveness:

YOU MUST take control of the PDI process. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, RELY SOLELY ON THE DEALER PDI!

You must do your own. Dealer PDIs usually are cursory and maybe a few hours long because they have other things their people need to do.

What we did on our Georgetown:

We took three full days to do our PDI. Our dealer was very accommodating because we told them in advance what we were going to do. My wife started at the back while I started at the front and we each worked to the other end.

The first day was on shore power and city water at the dealer. A major issue we found was that the bed slide was binding a bit. It would stick on one side briefly and then jump to catch up. The more we ran it, the more it bound up. That's unacceptable, even though the dealer said it was "normal". We later found where multiple screws and staples were sticking up too far from the bed platform's carpeting and causing the binding.

The second day was on generator, propane, and tank water at the dealer. Your first generator oil change is at 20 hours and yes, running it for six to eight hours during this day of the PDI will get you close to your first generator oil and filter change.  

The third day was to scrutinize the exterior, from the undercarriage to the roof, very, very closely. Remember, any dings, scratches, cracks, etc. that you report after you drive off the lot may be deemed to have occurred after you took delivery. Don't go there.

I probably spent a half-hour underneath and found wires hanging loose, a broken screw on a propane bracket, and hydraulic lines rubbing. Take a lot of pictures so you'll know how things looked when new. Climbing up the ladder I saw a large jagged gouge in the rear cap. It appeared someone had come down the ladder with a tool in their pocket or something.

Yes, we found many things the dealer missed and they were OK with that because we did their job for them.

- DO NOT ACCEPT DELIVERY AND THE TITLE UNTIL every problem is either fixed or until you know when and how a problem will be repaired. We left ours at the dealer for a full month until most things were repaired.

Remember, once you make the final payment to the dealer the warranty starts.

Your initial goal is to get as much as possible resolved before the warranty clock starts. That gives more time for other things to break while under warranty. ��

- DO NOT schedule a trip immediately, before PDI defect repairs are completed, thinking you'll check more things over on your first trip and the dealer will have a more comprehensive list. That. Never. Works.

"GetItHome-itis" WILL cause you a LOT of grief as things go unresolved. It also can leave you stranded somewhere.

But once you have a post-repair delivery date, schedule a few days on the road because there is a lot that can only fail once you've actually used it a few times. We went to a local state park for three days. And then did it again.

- DO NOT LEAVE THE DEALER WITH ANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ON HOW A SYSTEM WORKS. You will regret it.

- During your PDI, turn EVERY screw gently and write up every one that will not fully tighten. We found several. Open every cabinet. Look behind the drawers with a flashlight to see if anything looks wrong. We had a drawer that needed pushed harder than the others to latch and it turned out the drawer was hitting on some wiring behind it. Literally, go through everything with the proverbial fine-toothed comb. And then do it again.

- Build your tool bag during your PDI and leave it in the motorhome. You'll need some S-tip screwdrivers for all of the square-headed screws on these things. I bought this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

- Read voraciously on various forums to learn about problems others have had and specifically look for them on yours, especially on this one.] I found a lot of things common to others once I knew to look for them and I refused delivery until they were corrected.

- If the dealer tells you something like "They all work that way" and you think it's wrong, DO NOT ACCEPT THAT. Get it made right. Write it up repeatedly if you need to.

- When, not "if", the dealer says "We're waiting on Forest River to approve the warranty claim" or to send parts, whatever, IMMEDIATELY ask them for the claim number and other details. Tell them you will personally be calling the manufacturer the next day to find out what the delay is. Almost every time I did that the dealer's rep said "There's no need. We'll call them again today" and voila, by magic things moved faster. Once or twice they did tell me to call and said they hoped I had better luck. As the customer, I did.

- Run every appliance for a while when you're doing your PDI, not just on and off a few minutes later. We had an air conditioner that would trip a breaker after a few hours of operation. We found that on the second day of our PDI. We brought along a few clothes to test out the Splendide combo washer/dryer and it was fortunate we did. That thing vibrated so badly it shook the hold-down bracket off the wall.

- ALWAYS WRITE UP EVERYTHING, NO MATTER HOW MINOR. You are establishing a written history to help protect your interests in the future. If you have to repair something, WRITE IT UP and ask the dealer to double-check your work to assure it was done properly.

The goal is to get EVERYTHING, no matter how "minor", listed in the manufacturer's warranty system. Again, no matter how minor. One item I thought was very minor turned out to be major and required that the entire refrigerator be replaced.

- Take a LOT of pictures so there's no question about how something looked when new. Those pics will help you later if nothing else.

- ALWAYS re-report something that is still awaiting repair. DO NOT assume that the dealer is keeping track of those pending items.

- IMMEDIATELY REPORT ANY WATER LEAKS! If you call it in, follow-up with an immediate email so there is a written record of your contact. Many warranties only cover seals and similar for 90 days, not the full year.

If you see even a small dribble of water where it should not be, REPORT IT! Water is very destructive and you have no idea how long the problem has existed, just how long you've seen it.

- Provide the dealer with a good, written description of every issue and include pictures if applicable. Dealers almost always need to submit pictures with their warranty claims. Make them your pictures. Your goal is to enable them to duplicate the problem and to make it easy for them to do so. Step by step instructions on how to make something act up helps them a lot.

Over the first year, I had 98 pages of problems although a few were carryovers (not repaired on a previous service appointment for some reason). There were a lot of pictures in that 98 pages so it's not quite as bad as it seemed.  

I wrote everything up in Microsoft Word and kept every item in its own section with its own title so there was no doubt where one issue ended and another began. I then saved it as a PDF and emailed the PDF to the dealer about a week before our appointment.

Be certain to ask the service department if they passed your original write-up to the techs that will work on your unit. Ours would not so I ended up printing it out and leaving it on the dash when we dropped the unit off.

- Upon leaving a service appointment, ALWAYS schedule the next one so you'll have a slot. There are months-long delays at dealer service centers and your goal is to jump to the head of the line on your timetable.

YOU must be your own advocate. Be persistent but not rude or disrespectful but don't let them ignore you or walk on you. If that happens it's OK to get a bit upset.

Good luck!
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Old 02-08-2023, 01:58 PM   #6
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Congrats on your new Georgetown.

And for the record…..”mobile home” is a retired term.
You now own a Class A or a motorhome.
There’s tons of help here, but just make sure you provide the year, make and model component of any question you post. Not all refrigerators, or stoves, or televisions are the same even in the same Georgetown.

Enjoy
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Old 02-08-2023, 07:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NXR View Post
First, Congratulations!

Second, prepare to be overwhelmed at first. Since you had a trailer you're actually in a better position than many new owners who never RV'd before.

Do you have any large vehicle driving experience already? My wife and I are retired firefighters so she and I had training and experience in driving large vehicles already but we decided to hire a professional driving school because these are different beasts. We went with RV Driving School: https://www.rvschool.com/

If they do not show an instructor near you just contact them. Many of their instructors travel in the summer and can come to you. We live in northern Ohio and the instructor we got lived in Florida but he visited family in Ohio in the summer.

He drove his Class C to our home where we keep the motorhome and he parked at a state park about 45 minutes away overnight.

Ours was a two-day class with about two hours of "classroom" teaching in our living room followed by four hours of driving each day. They focus on the things you do not do often, such as backing, turns, fueling, etc., the things where you can make a very expensive mistake if you're not careful as opposed to just driving down the wide, open roads.

Four years ago the cost was about $700 and we figure that training and expense would help keep us from having to pay an insurance deductible and all of the hassles that goes along with an accident. So far it has.

This is an older but still great driver training video:

This is a good video on what off-tracking is and off-tracking has caused a lot of accidents:

Good luck,

Ray
Great video for those that have no big rig driving experience. The other thing they did not mention was overhang swing. When parked and you turn hard like from a curb, the overhand will swing opposite your turn. Many bg rigs have damage on their right rear panels from hitting signs, fire hydrants etc.
Something to think about!
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Old 02-08-2023, 07:58 PM   #8
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Fuel pump islands

Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon900Guy View Post
Great video for those that have no big rig driving experience. The other thing they did not mention was overhang swing. When parked and you turn hard like from a curb, the overhand will swing opposite your turn. Many bg rigs have damage on their right rear panels from hitting signs, fire hydrants etc.
Something to think about!
Fuel pump islands too.
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Old 02-09-2023, 12:57 AM   #9
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Awesome info. THANK YOU NXR and all who posted greatly appreciated this will help our pdi with all the info you all posted.

I didn't even think about some of what your posts mentions. I'm more of a let's go enough with the talk.

But with this purchase we will take our time. And a recording is a great idea with pics of all we see is wrong. I will look from roof to undercarriage & wheels etc. While my wife is better at any problems with appearance or cabinet drawer issues and so on.

And with the size of this purchase I want it to be right and not just drive away with problems.

Thanks again for all the help I will gather all the knowledge I can before the PDI.
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Old 02-09-2023, 09:34 AM   #10
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Congratulations and welcome! As you can already start to see, the Forums is a great place for answering your questions. Safe travels!
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Old 02-11-2023, 12:02 PM   #11
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You’ve already received some great responses, so I won’t repeat what has been said. Here are some other thoughts:
  • A number of us have suffered catalytic converter thefts. Make sure you have a secure place to store your mh. Depending on your climate, you may want to look into covered storage to protect the roof or indoor storage to protect it from freezing.
  • Only drive when you are fully alert. You may find you want to take more frequent breaks than with a TT.
  • You can expect to have warranty issues. It’s in your best interests to treat repair department personnel and customer service reps with respect, no matter how frustrated you may become due to supply chain issues or local dealer priorities.
  • If your insurance carrier offers a no-deductible windshield option, take it. We’ve had to replace three windshields (different mh’s) over the years due to small rocks hitting them.
  • The windshield is a huge source of solar heat gain, making it difficult for the AC units to keep the interior cool. Solar screens for the windshield and front windows are inexpensive and do a wonderful job of knocking down the heat when camping in 90+ temps. They also provide additional privacy during daylight hours.
  • Side window awnings provide added heat protection, allow you to keep windows open when it is raining, and provide a little more privacy when camping in tight quarters.
  • You can’t back up when flat towing a car. So you may want to use a map app to look at parking lots and such before entering. Otherwise, you may find you have to disconnect and reconnect the car to back out of some places.
  • Enjoy your new toy!
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Old 02-11-2023, 01:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlgold View Post
Hello all,

We just bought our 1st mobil home from an rv show its A 2023 Georgetown 5 36B. Just looking at some threads here, there's a lot for me to learn.
We are excited to take possession of it in a couple of weeks.

We have had a couple of travel trailers, so I understand some of the basics.

But are there things I should do look out for in buying from a rv show?. ( I've seen some horror stories on this site).

Also I've never driven a class A any recommendations on that? I will look at all the threads that deal with that.

Any info, help, and or knowledge will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you just introducing myself as a new Class A buyer.
Rob
Maybe it’s just me but I couldn’t find any info as to what part of the country you call home. It sometimes helps with locals for your concerns.
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