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Old 08-29-2019, 12:22 PM   #1
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246RKS

Hi all. We are considering selling our Rockwood 2504s and going a little bigger. One of the final few units under consideration is the 2020 246RKS. I would like to hear any feedback from owners, likes, dislikes, good or bad construction ect. Many thanks in advance. Jay
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Old 08-30-2019, 06:55 AM   #2
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We have a 279 liberty edition and are very happy with the quality and construction. We've had no problems with the unit after delivery. Which is uncommon but nice. My parents did have your unit and loved it. They didn't have any problems with it either. Only real dislike was the TV location. The trailer was deceptively heavy after fully loaded and ready to roll, so be aware of this and your tow vehicle. Spread axle towed nice. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-30-2019, 10:58 AM   #3
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Thanks FL Clipster. They all get “heavy” lol. To me the 246 looks a lot bigger inside even though the slide is like 12-14 inches deep. Another Coachman we are considering is the 248RBS. I like the 246 better. Jay
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Old 09-15-2019, 04:02 PM   #4
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We have a 2015 246RKS. My main complaint is the corner round shower. I'm just not a fan of those at all. Ours also did not have a heat duct in the bathroom. Not sure if the 2020's have that or why ours did not. The furnace is right next to the bath, so it was an easy fix. Other than that, it's like most trailers. There are things the owners want to customize or change out to suit their liking after purchase.

If yours has Marathon tires on it from the factory, negotiate for the dealer to install Endurance as part of the purchase. The marathons are literally like 40 pounds over the total axle capacity of that trailer and if you are a little low on air, the tires are overloaded. That is the main reason people blow out so many marathons, they are just barely (and I mean barely) rated for the max load of the trailer in a perfect world. The Endurance has a much larger margin of safety as it has a higher load rating in the same size as the marathon (and you can go up on the same rims for even more margin of safety).
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:13 PM   #5
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2019 246rks

I have a 2019 246RKS. I like: the great towability, massive amounts of storage (I probably have only used half), the TV location, the moveable dinette table, the sofa (you'll need an ottoman), the good conversation seating with the dinette and sofa, the overall appearance of the outside and inside, and general coach layout. I also like that it is carpetless - so nice. It has plenty of tinted windows that all slide open and two windows in the kitchen area which are very nice. I do like the dinette on the camp side of the coach. I do a lot of computer work in mine, and having the nice view from the dinette is a plus.

Issues I have had include a buzzing Furion radio (probably a grounding issue - it has been replaced once but same problem), the furnace fan got blocked but was easily fixed, an outlet that was poorly installed but easily fixed and a single screw that poked through one of the nightstands.

What I wish were different or dislike include: the mattress (common complaint for most TTs), the omni-directional is not the greatest and the location of the outside shower - I wish it was on the door side. I don't mind the corner shower, but i did replace the shower head with a 1.75 gpm head - just to help save on gray tank space.

There is plenty of room, even with the shallow slideout, for two people. More than that, I could see it being crowded.

Overall, I really like my 246RKS. I like the looks of the 2020 models with the front windshield, but I'm not sure about the white skin, it may show dirt and black streaks more readily than the slightly tan skin on the previous models. But, that would not stop me from owning one. I think the overall construction was fine. I did add a MaxAir fan in the bathroom but wish I had installed it over the bed.

I was also looking at the 248RBS, but there is very little counter or prep space. My 246RKS did come with the outside pocket grill, which is nice. I also like the rear entry of the 246RKS compared to the 248RBS and its side entry. It seems to provide a more cozy coach and more private, even without a door to the bedroom. I like the location of the bathroom in the 246RKS compared to the 248RBS since it is near the bedroom.

If you like the Coachmen 246RKS layout but want recliners, one model you should check out is the Prime Time Tracer Breeze 24RKS. I know nothing about Prime Time TTs other than they are also a Forest River product.

I don't think you can go wrong with the 246RKS, but I am biased. I paid about $22k for mine (North Carolina) and that is with the MaxAir fan. I wish you well.
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Old 09-25-2019, 10:25 PM   #6
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Again, thanks for the replies. The DW said that the bedroom curtain made the bedroom “private enough” even though ANY other camper we looked at with a curtain instead of a door was immediately rejected by her. One of the other models we are considering is the 248RBS, but the counter space is small. We don’t cook a lot inside, but need space for the coffee maker and toaster oven. To me one of the pluses is the slide out. There will be no problems with the tires slinging water inside the slide when driving in the rain,also there is a metal inner fender in case of tire failure. Jay
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Old 09-25-2019, 11:19 PM   #7
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We settled on the 246RKS as for the trailers we could tow with my existing truck that was one of the more versatile floor plans. It's just the 2 of us and the 246RKS is a very good couples trailer.

Now, if we ever out grow it, I also like the Grand Design Imagine 2670MK. That would mean a new truck and I have a resistance to another vehicle payment. I love the kitchen island and rear desk area. This to me is the perfect couples trailer on many levels.

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Old 09-26-2019, 11:11 PM   #8
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We have looked at Grand Design also. They have some very nice features like the 1-1/2 inch fresh water tank drain. Not sure that I like the water hose connector inside the front pass through. I don’t want another new truck either, and I don’t want to go much longer. Jay
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Old 09-26-2019, 11:35 PM   #9
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Again, thanks for the replies. The DW said that the bedroom curtain made the bedroom “private enough” even though ANY other camper we looked at with a curtain instead of a door was immediately rejected by her. One of the other models we are considering is the 248RBS, but the counter space is small. We don’t cook a lot inside, but need space for the coffee maker and toaster oven. To me one of the pluses is the slide out. There will be no problems with the tires slinging water inside the slide when driving in the rain,also there is a metal inner fender in case of tire failure. Jay

After doing a ton of research, my wife and I settled on the 248RBS. For my wife the lack of counter space was a drawback just for leaving the coffee maker out while camped. We (I) do most of our cooking outside so the outdoor kitchen is really convenient. The U shaped dinette is long enough for adults to sleep on if we have company overnight which is exactly why we like the rear bath. Having a mid bath is convenient at night but my wife is a fairly light sleeper so she’d hear every little sound that went on in there. PLUS, the way the doors are on TT baths we’d be sleeping right next to effects of the chilli everyone had for dinner. My wife loves the storage in the 248RBS bath. The way the floor plan is laid out we have easy access to the bathroom, kitchen, dinette and bedroom while traveling without having to put the slide out. Great for meals on the road.
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Old 10-26-2019, 04:42 PM   #10
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Hi there. We have a Freedom Express 2015 246RKS. Like other posters I love the towing characteristics and general layout. Issues we have experienced include: less than great water pump quality (replaced); slide microswitch cutoff malfunctioned...and impossible to replace without expensive repair (we now operate without this); and a major defect that just came to light this year: water leaking at the front roof flange under the front fibreglass panel (very expensive repair). I am not a big fan of any of the mass produced "Warren Buffett" trailers, but was too cheap at the time to buy Lance, Outdoors RV or other independent manufacturer. If I was to buy again I would shop around for the smaller independent manufacturers that produce high quality RVs - you pay for what you get. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:46 AM   #11
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Update: we are down to 7 possible campers and the 246RKS is still on the list. I want to say thanks again for the replies. Tcoape-Arnold, what was the slide out micro switch cut off do? What happens when it failed? Jay
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:03 PM   #12
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Micro switch

Hi Jay. The slide mechanism has two hidden microswitches - one to cut off power when the slide is fully out, another to cut off power when fully in. The play on these switches is controlled by two brass fittings under the slide. The switches themselves are only accessible if the slide is removed - which is very expensive requiring a technician and fork lift. These fittings have a hex nut on them which if loosened can adjust the play in and out. In my case I adjusted the fitting to make the slide come in 1 cm more. To my consternation, when I the brought the slide in and out again, the in switch stopped functioning - presumably damaged in some way. I can still move the slide in and out fine, but must be careful coming in not to put too much torque on the slide motor. I have purchased a new switch, and with help of the slide manufacturer, figured out how to rewire. But havent yet figured out how to retrofit the new switch.

This is a problem with the design of the slide mechanism, and perhaps my adjustment. It should not really affect your decision on purchase.
As another aside - the Freedom I purchased did not have the solid fibreglass cap on the front. Mine has the more lightweight flexible material. I have experienced warping of this material due to water leakage at the junction with the roof. And an expensive repair. I would recommend looking at the Freedom model with the fibreglass cap - they now seem to come with a very nice front window. Freedom are now using PVC roof material - better durability. Hope this helps with your decision. Before you purchase have a look at the Lance and Outdoors RV trailers. In my opinion they are very well constructed. More money, but less issues over the long haul. Cheers
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:54 PM   #13
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Even if the slide motor failed or is not used, you can open or close the slide with a manual crank as a backup. It's not fun and takes a good bit of cranking, but it provides a workable backup to get you home if needed.

I think the newer models all have the fiberglass front cap. I think it fixed a design issue and IMO it looks better also.

I have the older style panel cap in my 2015 246RKS. I think the problem is not necessarily that the caps leak, as people with no identified leaks also report the warping or rippling of the panel. I think it is more related to temp changes and the interior moisture level of the camper causing humidity to condense on the back side of that panel, which is just cardboard. This causes the cardboard to get soft and allows the thin panel to warp or ripple with temp changes. It seems to be worse in hot weather when the panel has expanded. To me, the fact they changed the design speaks that it was identified as a problem and they worked to resolve it. Does not do much for the owners of older models who may in fact have a design flaw vs an actual leak. When it's opened up the default answer is "oh, you had a leak" as the cardboard has been wet and softened. But condensation on the inside will do that without an actual leak.

Heck they are even finding some well insulated homes have condensation inside the insulation in the walls of the house depending on the design, so there is a lot of science involved with how it happens. That's where vapor barriers become important to keep vapor moisture out. I'm pretty sure RV's don't have vapor barriers (yet). Even if my 246rks had a vapor barrier in the interior walls, the cargo pass through has a wiring cutout that leads up into the front cap for the marker lights. Clear path for moisture laden air to get in the back side of that cap. Just needs temp difference to cause that moisture to condense out on the back of that panel (warm trailer, cold outside would do it just like the windows in winter time). Warm moist air rises also.
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:26 PM   #14
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Yes the 2020 2nd Design, which is what we have looked at does have a big front
“windshield”, and fiberglass front cap, which is white. I myself don’t care for front caps much after seeing how bad they look at some units at various campgrounds. Seems like the darker the cap, the worse it is after a few years. Hearing about PVC roof material is a plus. I think if we end up with a 246RKS it will most likely have to be ordered. I want the radiant heat barrier that most dealers probably won’t have on their lots. It’s impossible to add later too. Another downside to the 246 IMHO is the Dometic AC unit. I prefer a Coleman- Mach unit. Maybe the dealer would swap out the AC? I look for the 246 to make it into the next round after a camper or 2 have been eliminated from the list. Has anyone added a rear rack to a 246? Jay
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Old 11-12-2019, 01:59 PM   #15
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Hi Jay, we have a 2018 246 and love it. Had some minor little things that I fixed myself as it was less trouble than taking it to the dealer. Nothing major so far and that is after nearly 20K mi of travel. One of the reason I liked this over some other models is that its overall height is only 10ft 4in which is good when towing. Most other models are now at 11ft plus which you can definately feel that difference during trips. I find the beige/tan exterior better for appearance than our last trailer that had the white skin which showed all the dirt and black streaks.

The AC on ours is Doemtic and no issues and is quite enough as it is ducted. Previous 3 trailers we owned also had Dometic AC and never an issue. I wouldn't let that hold me back from getting a unit that you like.

I would buy another one if this one needed replacing. The only other one that we considered was the Surveyor 264 RKLE (now discontinued) but wife preferred the FE 246 as it only had one door, she really didn't like the double doors.

Quote:
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......look at the Lance and Outdoors RV trailers. In my opinion they are very well constructed. More money, but less issues over the long haul. Cheers
A very good friend has a Lance 2375 ($60K+ Cnd) model and it is at the dealer currently going through a major repair due to rear wall and side wall frames only having 2 screws holding them together. This caused the rear wall and entry side wall to come apart in the corner. You could actually see the gap into the trailer where they pulled away from each other. Lance won't replace the trailer they are taking it all apart and fixing it. Poor QC is the cause.

Another couple we know that camp with us have an Airstream ($100K Cnd) that had to have its clear coat replaced as it started coming off within 10 months of them owing it from new. Peeling off like the plastic protective covering that is put on appliances for shipping. Apparently a bad batch of clear coat material was used on a number of trailers, theirs wasn't the only one. Poor QC by the supplier in this case.

RVs in general regardless who makes them aren't built to a very high standard. But they are simple enough that most people can do the repairs themselves easy enough.
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Old 11-12-2019, 02:07 PM   #16
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...... Has anyone added a rear rack to a 246? Jay
I wouldn't add a rack to the rear. One thing with the 246 is that tongue weight is fairly light so you have to watch this. Our unit ready for a long trip is just a shade under 5600 lbs with a tongue weight of 625lbs. We put as much stuff forward of the axles as we can to ensure we get enough tongue weight and we are just over 11% of our weight. We don't carry water in our fresh water tank as it is right at the back of the trailer and would take away weight from the tongue. This is a problem with a lot of the rear kitchen models out there as the kitchens tend to be the heaviest thing in the trailer. But as long as you are aware of it its not a problem.
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Old 11-13-2019, 10:06 PM   #17
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Thanks a lot GGB. I was unaware that the fresh water tank was in the rear of the coach. I am aware that rear kitchen models were tail heavy but the fresh tank could make things worse if you were to travel with it full, which we sometimes do. I will admit that having 6 outside storage doors on our 2504s mini lite has kinda spoiled me as far as storage goes. (The ample inside storage is a selling point for the 246 for me). I really like having a rack on our current unit and use it a lot. I generally limit the weight on the rack to 100-120 pounds. One concern that I had was the laminate floor after watching my current floor flex as I walked across it. (No soft spots so far). So I called Coachman and asked about their floor construction on this model. From the bottom up this is how it is made:
Black vapor barrier.
Luan.
1-1/2 inches of styrofoam.
Luan.
2nd luan bonded to the first layer.
Floor covering that you see and walk on.
I also asked about how far the floor joists are apart, the answer surprised me. There is a full aluminum frame around the whole floor at the edge, then only 2 braces that run side to side in the bathroom area. There is one front to rear brace in front of the slide area where or near where you would walk to the bedroom. These are the only internal “floor joists”inside the floor. From what was said it seems like the internal “joists” are where you really need it. It’s good to know of your positive experience with the Dometic AC unit. The new PVC roof is supposed to really cut down on black streaks. Again thanks to everyone for commenting on this unit. Jay
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Old 11-13-2019, 10:47 PM   #18
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I wouldn't add a rack to the rear. One thing with the 246 is that tongue weight is fairly light so you have to watch this. Our unit ready for a long trip is just a shade under 5600 lbs with a tongue weight of 625lbs. We put as much stuff forward of the axles as we can to ensure we get enough tongue weight and we are just over 11% of our weight. We don't carry water in our fresh water tank as it is right at the back of the trailer and would take away weight from the tongue. This is a problem with a lot of the rear kitchen models out there as the kitchens tend to be the heaviest thing in the trailer. But as long as you are aware of it its not a problem.
My 2015 FE 246RKS has a sticker on the back bumper stating not to add anything to the bumper other than factory authorized accessories. Not sure what factory options there were as my spare is on the tongue under the batteries and LP tanks.

If you want the radiant heat barrier, it has to be factory installed. It's in the walls, ceiling and underbelly areas. You could add it to the underbelly later but that is a real pain to take off on any trailer with coroplast.

Yes the fresh water tank is in the rear section of the 246RKS. Unless they have changed the design there are 2 u-channels outside the coroplast underbelly that support the FW tank (you should also see the tank drain hanging down on the curb side to confirm the location). IMO those 2 u-channels and a couple of sheet metal screws in the frame underside are not stiff enough to hold that tank with water in it while traveling. I know that is a whole different discussion and is not unique to the FE models but trailers in general (traveling with water in tank and lack of supports for same). I bought some lengths of 5/16" thick x 3" x 1.5" U-channel which I used to replace those thinner stock ones. It was only $88.45 total when shipped UPS (50 lbs rough weight). If you plan on traveling with water in the FW tank, I would upgrade those supports (or add at least one heavy duty one between them in the middle). I like to keep about 1/3 of the FW tank filled when traveling as it facilitates use of the bathroom and sinks on short stops. It's been a while since I did any serious boondocking, but for that I want my FW tank full as there are no water lines in the boonies.

Not a flaw, just something to be aware of. Most makers will tell you not to travel with water in the tank for similar reasons, but they have to give up something to keep those things ultralight.

-----------------------------------
Edit.....

Here are 2 youtube videos on the FE line of trailers where you can see the inner construction. In the 2nd one the model they are making for most of the video is a 246RKS, but it flips to a different model towards the end.



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Old 11-13-2019, 11:10 PM   #19
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..........(The ample inside storage is a selling point for the 246 for me)............ after watching my current floor flex as I walked across it. ...................The new PVC roof is supposed to really cut down on black streaks. ......... Jay
The wife loved the inside storage as well and that is what sold us on the FE 246 over the Surveyor 264, way more storage room.

No floor flex at all in our unit after 2 years of use and I am 6ft 2in at 250 lbs so not a small guy. Our previous Prime Time trailer the floor flexed all over the place under me. My wife doesn't notice stuff like that as she is 5ft 6in and 125 lbs wet .

I have heard the same thing with the PVC roofs but haven't had direct experience yet so not sure. I wash our roof twice a year and seal it and haven't had problems with streaking so far even after the winter. Did the same on our previous trailer but still had a bit of black streaks in the spring time.

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My 2015 FE 246RKS has a sticker on the back bumper stating not to add anything to the bumper other than factory authorized accessories. ............. I like to keep about 1/3 of the FW tank filled when traveling as it facilitates use of the bathroom and sinks on short stops..............[/URL]
Our unit didn't have the same sticker but I never put anything on the rear bumpers of any of the 5 trailers we have owned. The way they are mounted to the trailer its a suprise they don't fall of just under their own weight .

We keep two one gallon jugs of water in the bathroom for the toilet if we need to use during travel and hand sanitizer for hand hygiene. We don't do any boon docking anymore so not an issue for us not to have water until we get to the site. We do stay at our provincial parks for some trips (same as US state parks) but they have water filling stations at the entrance to the campground.

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Old 11-14-2019, 12:55 AM   #20
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dwarf 51 thanks for the videos. I had actually seen the second one before, but watching it again I was able to pick out that a good bit of the video is of a 246RKS being made. There is no way I would buy a FE without the radiant heat barrier. I am also glad to hear that there is no floor flex as I am about the same size person as GGB. The rack that I installed on our 2504 is not hooked to the bumper,but tied directly to the frame that I reinforced,so no problem there. I also reinforced our freshwater tank, so I would probably do the same thing to an FE water tank. You say that the freshwater tank supports are on the outside of the covered underbelly? We used to have to travel a lot with a full water tank to the various racetracks, but not so much anymore because we found water either real close or only a couple of miles out. To try and get a better front/rear weight balance in a 246 I would use 30 pound tanks, a possible tool box up front and AGM batteries under the dinette seat or some battery/storage box combination on the tounge. It may seem trivial to some people, but to me having a yellow porch light is a real plus. Any unit I buy will have one, Coachman just saves me the trouble of installing my own. Jay
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