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Old 03-14-2016, 07:18 PM   #1
2021 Forest River 26FKBS
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Location: North Georgia
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New (Used) Purchase/New Owner

My wife and I just bought a 2014 Catalina 25RKS Deluxe (pending inspection). The trailer has only been used three times and has less than 300 miles on the tires. It "appears" to be in mint condition. That being said, it has sat winterized in the weather here in North Georgia. Could use some advice on common problems on this model and what we need to check carefully for during our inspection. I have already gone over it it with fine tooth comb to check for water leaks. There are a few areas where caulking needs some touch up but nothing that would have let water in.

Any advice pointers would be greatly appreciated. We feel that we are getting a very good price for the unit and the upgrades it had. Original owner had replaced all upholstery with leather and a electric...sleep mate bed up front. All TV cables have been replaced with HDMI.
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Old 03-16-2016, 10:39 AM   #2
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I don't have experience with this model but are doing the inspection yourself?
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:27 AM   #3
2021 Forest River 26FKBS
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I used several PDI checklists from various sites I had seen. We inspected yesterday and the only defects were a small corner chipped off cabinets and the water pump did not work. Already having those repair by owner and then we will close. My "assistant" was a repair technician at a local camper dealer...needless to say it took us about three hours to inspect everything....
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:31 AM   #4
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As far as flushing the water system. Need to get some Vinegar thru the system to clean out the antifreeze if it has been in a couple years. Then follow up with a bleach solution to sanitize. I pour Vinegar in the fresh water tank. I do not leave it in the system and flush the hot water tank and pull the anode rod. We have really hard water and this reduces calcium build up.
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:00 PM   #5
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If it has an antifreeze inlet for sucking antifreeze into the water system, you can use that to suck vinegar right out of the bottle. Drain the hot water tank and then use the water pump to suck the vinegar into the system and fill the hot water tank. Let it sit for a while to dissolve on hard water deposits. Then flush the system with fresh water.
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:46 AM   #6
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Check roof carefully. Plan on new tires before long.
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:53 AM   #7
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It will not hurt to see if you can camp in it for a couple of days to make sure everything works. When we bought our Aviator in Oregon we took that advice and glad we did. When we arrived at the site to set up the AC blew within 15 minutes. The reading light fell off the wall and there was a water leak. Took it in the next mooring to have repairs done before hitting the road.
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:11 PM   #8
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It looks very similar to our Flagstaff... We love the layout with the rear kitchen. Hope it all works out for you! Definitely recommend the 'close to home' camp-out -- maybe even in your driveway at home!
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:34 PM   #9
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Tires may only have 300 miles on them, but if they were left uncovered out in the sun they may have checked. My dad moved his FW from Texas to Oklahoma after sitting in Texas a couple of years, I told him to get new tires. He thought they looked fine and headed home anyway; yep had a bad blow out. Thankfully some nice Texas boys stopped and helped him. Did not want a 85 year old with a bum ticker changing a tire.
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Old 03-17-2016, 02:14 PM   #10
2021 Forest River 26FKBS
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New tires already thought out. I found some Load range D to replace the crappy C's from factory as well as a TPMS. New tires are high on the purchase list. A camper is sort of like a boat...which is a black hole in the water that money disappears into....
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Old 03-30-2016, 02:36 PM   #11
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Congratulations on your purchase!
I have always characterized our camper as an Amish woman. Kinda plain, but hard working and dead reliable. There isn't a lot of fluff to these units, but they seem to be put together well. We never used our warranty for anything.
We bought ours new in 2013 and have used it almost continuously since then. Even when we aren't on the road, I have power, water and sewer connected at home and am in and out all the time. Just before the first freeze of the year, I'll go ahead and remove the water line and winterize the camper, leaving power connected with an electric space heater inside. I'll often go out to the camper to watch t.v. when we have conflicting show schedules.
Things to be aware of:
I didn't even try to use the electric part of the water heater until the end of the second year, since the auto light is so easy. Turns out my element is blown (probably during PDI). It's a pain to change, so I haven't really gotten around to it yet. I might get to it one day.
All the water lines are PEX, which is good, but all the connectors are plastic. The crimp rings are the kind that compress on one side (not my favorites). At some point I intend to replace the plastic fittings with metal and use proper crimp rings.
We had our first water leak several months ago. We were in Charleston, SC in torrential rains and the gasket around the slide leaked. I had never paid much attention to that gasket, but have since noticed that sometimes it doesn't completely roll over. It "flips" from one side to the other as the slide moves in or out like a wiper or squeegee.
There is a pick up tube under the sink area. Use a square head driver to remove four screws to take out the dividing wall under there to get access to the back of the water heater, the bypass valves, pump, and pick up tube. Sadly, the fresh water tank is under the floor, but you can see the fill tube to get an idea of where it is located. The fresh water tank also has a low point drain under the camper. There are also low point drains for the hot water and cold water lines up near the black and grey tank drain valves.
You have the older Deluxe model, which means you have the black tank flush which is mounted on the curbside near the bathroom door. These have a poor reputation and were discontinued in mid year production when the "Deluxe" moniker was dropped. Just be sure to get it completely drained and maybe figure out a way to get some pink stuff in the line (it's pretty long) when you winterize. I'd say that's the single toughest item you have to take care of.
I inject wheel bearing grease prior to every trip. Just make sure you inject it slowly while spinning the wheel and it'll work just fine.
I can't think of anything else, but if you do, feel free to give me a holler!
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