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Old 12-04-2017, 01:25 AM   #1
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Initial Thoughts on our new Freedom Express 248RBS

We traded our 6 month old Clipper 17FQS in for a Freedom Express 248RBS, using a fantastic dealer (Carl Cox RV in Belleville ON). Without discussing it, they automatically included a trade for the weight distribution hitch system, upgraded to Maxx Air Vents, went over the trailer top to bottom for their own PDI, including checking AC/Furnace/Hot Water Heater/adding more caulking to the roof, etc. I did a quick PDI, they set up the new WDH, and off I went to Algonquin Park for a short weekend getaway. I decided I didn't want to re-winterize, so we opted not to fill up with water on the way in.

Some background: wife and I are "DINKS", so it's just the 2 of us, with a 80lb black lab mix lapdog. Tow vehicle is a 2016 Ram Rebel, Hemi, 3.92 gears, 8 spd transmission, factory tow mirrors, factory brake controller, etc. We are apartment dwellers (long story that I won't get into) so we don't load up the back of the truck. I'm guessing we are a couple pounds over out 1092lbs over our cargo carrying capacity, but under the axle ratings.

1. This trailer tows beautifully. Factory dry weight is around 5500lbs according to the sticker, and according to my dealer just over 700lbs of tongue weight with propane and a single battery. This puts us around 12.7% tongue weight, which is great for stability. The spread axles work well with bumps and railroad tracks, and the trailer swayed at all even up to 65mph. Hubs and brakes were slightly warm, but not hot after 200km.

2. The detachable power cord is nice, but you do have to deal with all the cord being out instead of just pulling out what you need with the Clipper. Not a big deal, just a point I noted.

3. Due to the weather hovering around freezing, we opted not to use the outdoor kitchen. The indoor fridge was more than big enough for the food for the 2 of us for a weekend.

4. The jack on the rear "passenger" side was mounted backwards, so I couldn't lower it. The trailer was still stable without it down, but it's the only thing I've noted so far for warranty repair.

5. The amount of floor space is awesome in the main living area. It is, however, a little tight around the queen bed in the bedroom, but it is definitely still doable.

6. Fit and finish were good, and it was definitely built a lot sturdier than the old Clipper.

7.Biggest issue we had all weekend: the ducted furnace has all the ductwork running through the kitchen area and into the bathroom. The furnace has a duct on the end of the kitchen counter aimed into the bedroom doorway. Unfortunately, the thermostat is mounted right next to the doorway, so the furnace cycled a lot more often than it should have...the hot air would cause it shut down after a few minutes, and then fire up very soon afterwards. The bedroom was cooler, and it was more noticeable in the very front, which is most likely due to the passthrough storage under the bed.

8. Not a lot of storage in the kitchen itself, with one lower cabinet, one upper cabinet, and a narrow pantry. However, there is so much storage around, including above the couch, under the couch, under the wrap around dinette, huge linen closets in the bathroom, decent storage in the bedroom, and a very large passthrough, that it's not a problem.

9. The awning lights and the nose cap lights are awesome. The LED strip in the passthrough is epic. It made setting up in the dark a whole lot easier, as I could find everything.

Overall, we are extremely pleased with the trailer. With the Clipper, after our first 4 day trip we were already talking about what we wanted in the new trailer. With the 248RBS, there was no such discussion. We bought it based on the floorplan, and keeping the trailer short enough for the Ontario Provincial Parks we have been exploring all summer.



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Old 12-04-2017, 01:41 AM   #2
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Unless boondocking we use the furnace to keep the trailer above 65F and electric heaters to trim to comfort. If you are not on electric service you might be able to make a deflector for the 'stat and use velcro to attach when needed. Deflection should result in a lower pressure behind so cooler air should prevail. Personally I think this is a great idea, I prefer cooler temps for sleeping, my wife doesn't hence dual control electric blankets and cats.
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timtation View Post
Unless boondocking we use the furnace to keep the trailer above 65F and electric heaters to trim to comfort. If you are not on electric service you might be able to make a deflector for the 'stat and use velcro to attach when needed. Deflection should result in a lower pressure behind so cooler air should prevail. Personally I think this is a great idea, I prefer cooler temps for sleeping, my wife doesn't hence dual control electric blankets and cats.
I figure a little experimentation on the next winter outing will resolve the issue. The thermostat isn't in line with any of the AC vents, which is where 95% of the use would come from anyway. I just ran the furnace, no electric furnaces, just to see how it did. The enclosed underbelly kept the floor significantly warmer than I expected as well...it wasn't warm, but it definitely wasn't freezing either.
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Old 01-29-2018, 12:57 AM   #4
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Well, took it out for our second weekend trip. I made some adjustments to the vent that blows into the bedroom, and that stopped the short cycling of the furnace. I'm really looking forward to taking out in nicer weather and actually all the features of the trailer...like the water tank and such. Still really impressed with the trailer.
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Biggest issue we had all weekend: the ducted furnace has all the ductwork running through the kitchen area and into the bathroom. The furnace has a duct on the end of the kitchen counter aimed into the bedroom doorway. Unfortunately, the thermostat is mounted right next to the doorway, so the furnace cycled a lot more often than it should have...the hot air would cause it shut down after a few minutes, and then fire up very soon afterwards. The bedroom was cooler, and it was more noticeable in the very front, which is most likely due to the passthrough storage under the bed.
when you speak of this what do you mean?

1. The furnace and fan kick off and on becuase the t stat gets to temp before the interior of camper?

2. The furnace heats, then overheats and trips the over heat sensor? The fan will keep running but the ducts will blow cool air. When the overheat thermister cools enough the burner will refire. This will continue until the t stat is reached.

Mine has done that #2 day one. Its a 30K btu furnace... WTF were they thinking. I can heat my house with it...

It over heats. Plus I only had 3 ducts installed. I added another duct. It helped but still overheats.

Im going to put a call into suburban before I take it to the dealer...
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:25 PM   #6
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#1: The thermostat would hit the target temp quickly because of the warm air blowing on it. Then, it would cool down because the interior of the camper wasn't warm yet, and the furnace would fire up again.


It was resolved my second trip by adjusting the vent and having it blow more towards the wall than directly at the doorway.
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BigWil View Post
#1: The thermostat would hit the target temp quickly because of the warm air blowing on it. Then, it would cool down because the interior of the camper wasn't warm yet, and the furnace would fire up again.


It was resolved my second trip by adjusting the vent and having it blow more towards the wall than directly at the doorway.
Your lucky thats all.. My furnace goes off on hi limit due to furnace either too big... ( Thats what I think) or gas valve adjustment is needed, To get to the gas valve the whole furnace needs to be removed...

Ongoing that no one wants to resolve...
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:22 PM   #8
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That definitely doesn't sound fun. How's your dealer been for warranty work? This would be the time of year to get it in to get it repaired in a timely fashion.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:12 PM   #9
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That definitely doesn't sound fun. How's your dealer been for warranty work? This would be the time of year to get it in to get it repaired in a timely fashion.
I have not been to the dealer... My issue is I bought the camper from keystone in PA... 4 hours from me... If its not major I can fix it myself.. Had the camper almost a year and fixed all issues myself... In Fact I probably did a better job then they could of..

The only time its been back to the dealer is when I had the electrical issue coming back from florida on our maiden voyage..


Excerpt from another post...I replied to..

Quote:
My TT certainly I thought was the worst as new trailers go...

Trap unhooked from factory and a flooded bathroom before we even went camping.

Short in main wire from batt to converter. Made my first florida trip somewhat of a nightmare.

Missing caulk on roof screw heads

Piece of wood stuck in underbelly

Missing duct ( IMO) and furnace overheat issue.. They only had 3 ducts for a 30 k btu furnace.. 29 ft.

wheel bearings completely loose. All 4.. And minimal grease in bearings

I did all repairs myself.

They sent me a $400 backup camera and reimbursed me for material I had to use.. Like throwing me a bone.. Gave me a $200 store credit too.

The dealer is 4 hours away is why I do the work myself..

I have a direct e mail with coachman east coast service manager for Catalina...
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:49 PM   #10
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Ouch. 2 short trips, and nothing serious found yet. A little nervous about spring and filling up with water...that will be the real test.
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Old 02-01-2018, 12:08 AM   #11
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Freedom Express 248RBS
Can ya tell us why there are 3 heat ducts in the bathroom and why theye is no A/C duct in the bathroom?

That was just a weird model IMO. I looked at it and with slide in you cant do much..

705lb TW was too heavy for me. Im sure 900lbs when loaded..

I only have a 1500 though..

The 246 rks was more in line with floor plan I like. Opposing couch and dinettes I like.. Plus 500 lbs TW...

But if you like what you got good luck with it and happy camping...

http://www.coachmenrv.com/product-de...delID=243#Main




But I got to tell you. I went and looked at this about a month ago.. I need more truck but this was the sh*t..

The large shower and bed slide sold me...

http://www.coachmenrv.com/product-de...elID=2096#Main



Cool video....

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Old 02-01-2018, 07:15 AM   #12
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There is only one heater duct into the bathroom. The other 2 vents are into the outdoor kitchen, which keeps it from being all sealed up and mildewey (is that a real word).


I'm slightly over my cargo carrying capacity (the Ram Rebel is a 1500 with some minor appearance and suspension upgrades). I know the weight police will get mad at me, but it handles extremely well, and, with the factory air suspension and WDH, it stays nice and level.


I looked at the 246RKS in detail, but the lack of outdoor kitchen killed it for me. The layout of the 248RBS says you can't use it much if the slide is in, but the full access to the fridge and bathroom make it worth it for me. It looks the 246RKS doesn't allow for access to the bathroom without opening the slide, and that's a deal breaker for the wife and I.


The opposing sofa and dinette is good for larger groups, but we usually only have the 2 of us in the trailer, so that wasn't a deal breaker. We can easily put some extra chairs in the trailer if we do have a bunch of guests, and the dog loves the large open area on the floor.


In the end, what works for us won't work for everyone. We feel extremely comfortable in our 248RBS, love the layout, and plan on holding onto it for a long time.
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:16 PM   #13
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We love our 248RBS the only thing I want to change is the couch. I would like to put a double recliner couch in its place, just have to find one that fits and will be able to recline with the way the dinette sticks out. Quick question, does your shower have a soft spot along the back wall? I removed the access panel on mine and there is zero support in that area and it feels like you are going to fall through the floor. I have an appointment on the 22nd to take it in and have it looked at.
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:41 AM   #14
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We love our 248RBS the only thing I want to change is the couch. I would like to put a double recliner couch in its place, just have to find one that fits and will be able to recline with the way the dinette sticks out. Quick question, does your shower have a soft spot along the back wall? I removed the access panel on mine and there is zero support in that area and it feels like you are going to fall through the floor. I have an appointment on the 22nd to take it in and have it looked at.
I won't have a chance to check in on the soft spot for a few days, due to 12 hour shifts and my trailer being in a storage lot a little ways away. I will check it out Monday or Tuesday and let you know.

I'm pretty happy with the couch so far. I'm not planning on changing it out anytime soon, but if you find one that works, please let us know.
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