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Old 07-09-2019, 11:24 AM   #1
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Review: Third season with our 274 DBH

After reading another post where someone took the time to post a good review of their 2018 26 DBH, I decided it was overdue for me to do the same for our 274 DBH, now that we are on our third camping season. The Cherokee Wolf 274 DBH is the less-common twin of the Grey Wolf 26DBH. I think the primary difference between the two models is that the 274 has higher ground clearance, a slide out that is flush with the main floor, and there is an extra window on the side of the slide out, and the other slide-out windows *might* be larger(?). This also translates to slightly higher weight. Otherwise, they are identical.

In summary, the trailer has been great for our family of four (the kids are now 9 and 5). Now in our third camping season and averaging around 20-25 nights/season, we still feel it was a great choice. No buyer's remorse. We came from a pop up to this, and initially debated buying the smaller version without the sofa, thinking we didn’t need it. But we didn’t want to regret it later, and are so glad we made that decision. The extra seating space is wonderful! As for the rest of it – full-size bunks are great. Living space and slide out is awesome. Kitchen area and large pantry are highly functional with a lot of storage, and the bathroom is very adequate in size. We never wanted an outdoor kitchen, and find the self-storing cook stove (which we loved on the pop up) and outdoor mini fridge to be an excellent combination. That extra fridge offers valuable extra space and keeps us from hauling an extra beverage cooler and ice. It was one of the minor, small features that actually sold us on the camper.

Before I get into what we have done on the camper, let me say this: We never thought we were buying a high-end RV, and know that these things are built “cheap.” That said, extensive reading of this site helped us scrutinize the daylights out of the camper during our PDI (we had several minor items fixed that that time), ask many questions, and helped us ward off future problems by being proactive about maintenance and keeping a watchful eye on others. We can’t do “all the things, all the time,” but try to prioritize and stay ahead of repairs as much as possible, and hope for some good luck. RVs of all types are nothing if not maintenance, maintenance, and more maintenance. But hopefully you camp enough to make it worth it, and we’ve made a lot of great memories thus far.

Repairs via Dealer:
We took it back to the dealership after season one to replace the awning that was showing signs of failure (stretched seams at corners) despite having never been in high wind. We also had some minor wiring connections fixed, had new skids put on the bottom of our slide out (apparently a known issue due to it scraping the floor), and had them secure some interior trim where staples were popping out. DH had to reconnect some shoddy wiring from the TV to roof antenna - now it works great. Fingers crossed we continue to stay problem free for a while.

Updates and mods:
-Oxygenics shower head - because using the pump and fresh-water tank equated to a drizzle.
-Added blinds from the manufacturer to the bunk windows (why it comes without, I don’t know)
-New Goodyear tires - we didn't want to experiment with CastleRock
-New shower curtain (though still on the original track)
-Faux "tile" to the sink in the bathroom
-Ordered a matching cabinet door from our dealer and cut an access panel in the bedroom under the cabinet for MUCH easier winterizing (props to the person on here who posted that mod!)
-Added a winterizing bypass valve
-DH has gradually been adding Eternabond to areas on the roof for insurance
-Added a Fantastic Fan vent cover
-Replaced the crappy factory outdoor speakers
-Added cheap, one-inch pieces of egg-crate foam under the kids’ thin bunk mattresses
-Our own mattress was rock-hard, but we discovered that a 1" piece of firm latex foam (via Amazon), layered on top with 4" of inexpensive memory foam (also via Amazon) had turned the bed into something amazing and totally worth the extra $$

Future upgrades:
-We've been looking into surge protectors and EMS...still researching and considering.
-We notice the interior fridge struggles and the fins freeze over in high temps despite a battery powered fan, but I think it's the nature of the beast. We could hard-wire a fan that would work better, but haven’t gotten to that point yet.
-DH wants to remove the spare tire and mount it under the frame - he has always been suspect of the extra weight on the flimsy storage rack, and the stories about poor welds have him concerned.
-More Eternabond on seams. We’re fans, and of the mindset that the roof warranty was never worth much to begin with, so we’d rather be proactive and keep leaks out.

Towing:
We tow our 274 DBH with a 2013 Toyota Tundra 4WD, locked out of 5th gear when going through hills. Crunched a lot of numbers, went to CAT scales, etc. We’re pushing the official numbers, but the set up works well for us and feels secure. We aren't towing through mountains though. We use an Equalizer WDH and Tekonsha P2. DH did a lot of reading and spent a lot of time to get the Equalizer dialed in correctly. He noticed a big difference in towing comfort after doing so. Even in cross winds, the trailer has pulled steady with this setup.

Random Extras:
-X-chocks - They do seem to help stabilize the camper, but not a huge difference. We have tried it with and without. DH says he notices less movement when the kids are running through it. We own them, so might as well use them. But they aren't an absolute necessity in our book.
-Lego blocks - We use when needed for extra height, but often just use our --Anderson levelers (see below).
-Anderson camper levelers - we really like these and they make leveling on hard surfaces very easy, but in sandy areas (think shoreline dunes), they will sink. For that, plain wood boards are also a necessity.
-90-degree elbow and water-pressure regulator - We use both. The latter is a very basic brass version, but we figure it's insurance at full hook-up sites. We typically camp Michigan state parks, which don't have water hook ups.
-Rhino sewer hoses – They get the job done, and we’d rather not cheap out on sewer hoses.
-Clear sewer elbow - We like this to get a sense of what is or isn't coming out of the black tank. And on that note, I will join the masses who like using Calgon water softener in the black tank. However, we can't do full-on GEO method because of needing to minimize water usage. Detergent wasn’t cutting the smell, so we started using Happy Camper – mixed feelings on that. Now we are experimenting with Calgon and RV Digest-It pods.
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:03 AM   #2
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I'd have to agree with MILover. I've been nothing but happy with our trailer. I also have the 274DBH, which don't seem to be very popular as some of the other models. I'm also on my third season, but have almost double the days as you do first year was 41 days second 51 and currently have 20 this year. With many more trips planned. We don't travel much with it and that's why we are able to use it so much, we have a nice piece of property we keep it on during the summers.
Like the OP my only failure was the awning, and had it replaced under warranty.
I actually moved the spare tire to under the bed, I just didn't like it being weathered. We have a nice sized family also with 3 kids oldest is 13 and my twins are 11. They haven't complained about the mattresses so haven't needed to do anything with them yet. But we came from years of tent camping so have lots of sleeping bags, so we have a under the bag they sleep on as cushioning. As for our mattress we put a 4" memory foam topper on it and is working great.
The space is good we've spent many rainy days together playing uno and the game of life, which the big table is great for. It's also nice for when you have company, my brother is six foot and fits ok on it I couldn't imagine how he would fit on a smaller table bed.
As far as upgrades I haven't done much of any besides motion lights in the storage areas and changed out the stabilizers. Only reason we changed the stabilizers was one of our first trips we set up in the dark and the ground wasn't very level in which 2 of them bent. Luckily the camper has high clearance because heading back we weren't able to put them all the way up. Which was ok because I bought stronger one's to replace them, and actually put the other 2 good ones the original in front of the tires. Really helps with the bouncing on the longer trailer.
My only complaint would have to be the insulation. And I shouldn't expect it to be any better than it is with these being entry level campers and the price point. If I would do it all over again I'd buy one with better insulation. When I took it for servicing in the spring I saw one with the extreme weather package which I'd love. And it does fine as is, and have used been in several snow storms in the camper and have been fine. But this last year I used it for my hunt which we got over a foot of snow and the day time high was in single digits and night time in the negative teens. The camper struggled to keep me warm. I only ran the thermastate at 40 but the heater would not shut off all night. And thank God I harvested the day I did because when I got back and checked the tanks both were completely empty.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:19 PM   #3
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We have been very happy with our Ď18 274DBH. Only real problem has been the doors sticking a little and the chrome on the wheels falling off, both supposed to be fixed under warranty soon. That and I bent my stabilizers also... dumb move.
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Old 08-05-2019, 11:03 PM   #4
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Iím also on the fourth year of my 27DBH trailer, we are a family of five and everyone absolutely loves it. Knock on wood I have not had any major problems that I havenít been able to rectify myself. I think for the lower price point, high list of features, it makes this trailer a great buy. Many of my friends have campers that have cost almost double or triple the price point of ours and they have nothing but problems. My only concern has always been the roof, I do my due diligence and try to maintain it as best as I can but ultimately you know itís a game of time before you get a leak.
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Old 08-09-2019, 02:25 PM   #5
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We too are on our third season with our 274DBH. We have been extremely happy with it, and have not had any major problems and any of the very few problems we have had, they were easy fixes. Friends of our bought their trailer from another manufacturer at the same time as us and have had nothing but problems - we joke that they got the Friday afternoon special trailer! LOL

We upgraded our tires to Goodyear Endurance (supremely happy with them); put in the Lippert Solid Steps at our bathroom entrance (ONLY because hubby ran over a boulder and bent the fold-up ones on our first camping trip!! LOL but I always say, things happen for a reason!); replaced the mattress with a Sealy mattress from our spare room; and have added the keyless lock to the front door (again, ONLY because I forgot our trailer keys at home and we didn't discover that until we reached our campsite 2 hours away - thank goodness for my hubby's lockpicking skills for the front storage area, and thank goodness for having a little man who could fit and push the bed up to get into the trailer.....LOL). Other than that, we've kept everything else the same. This will be our last trailer until the kidlets are done camping, at which time we will downgrade to something smaller.
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2017: 30 nights; 2018 - 15 nights; 2019 - 22 nights; 2020 - 2 nights before the storm!!
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Old 09-15-2019, 05:08 PM   #6
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I just purchased a 2017 274dbh. Overall in excellent shape. I did notice a gap in the slide seal. It seems the slide isn't square in the opening. I still need to get it inspected (out of state purchase), so will have the shop look at it. Any recommendations on cleaning and conditioning the seal?

Attachment 215057Click image for larger version

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Old 09-15-2019, 08:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perry24 View Post
I just purchased a 2017 274dbh. Overall in excellent shape. I did notice a gap in the slide seal. It seems the slide isn't square in the opening. I still need to get it inspected (out of state purchase), so will have the shop look at it. Any recommendations on cleaning and conditioning the seal?
I use this. What was recommended to me. I like the wipes vs the spray. Depending on how diligent I am, I probably use a full container winterizing and de-winterzing otherwise I use 1/4 to 1/2 container each time I go around and treat the seals. Local Meijer runs specials buy one get one 50% off and I get a couple then.

https://tinyurl.com/y4aurx9l
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2019 Cherokee 274DBH
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by DonD View Post
I use this. What was recommended to me. I like the wipes vs the spray. Depending on how diligent I am, I probably use a full container winterizing and de-winterzing otherwise I use 1/4 to 1/2 container each time I go around and treat the seals. Local Meijer runs specials buy one get one 50% off and I get a couple then.



https://tinyurl.com/y4aurx9l
Thank you! I was considering the 303.

Not sure what happened to first picture, but this shows the gap at the top.Click image for larger version

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Old 09-15-2019, 08:34 PM   #9
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Also don't forget about the big seal inside on the top of the slide. Easy to reach and do if you just bring the slide in about 6 inches or so and use a step ladder. I didn't realize this seal the first couple times I treated the seals.
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2019 Cherokee 274DBH
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:54 PM   #10
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We're finishing up our first season with our 274vfk. We absolutely love this trailer! It's our 3rd travel trailer and it's by far the best built that we've owned. I've had to fix a few minor things and completely rebuilt and reinforced the cargo tray on the back and the spare tire holder broke and we almost lost our spare. Forest River Cherokee has since modified the spare tire holder and now uses an improved design.
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Old 09-20-2019, 03:42 PM   #11
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First trip this weekend. Think I have everything figure out, except for the outside fridge. How do you turn it on?

Nice view from our site.
Attachment 215432
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:45 PM   #12
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So, I found the thermostat tucked behind the fridge. You have to be a contortionist to turn it on. Didn't hear the compressor kick on, so hopefully it is working.

Edit: The refrigerator wasn't plugged in. Fortunately, my son was able to get it plugged in. Quite the task.
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:47 PM   #13
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Starting to come up with a game plan to winterize after our trip this week. When looking for the low drain lines, I came across a white hose with no shutoff. Does anyone know what this is for? It is around the hot water heater/water pump area.Click image for larger version

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Old 10-06-2019, 08:48 PM   #14
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Should be the fresh water tank overflow
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by billybigrigger View Post
Should be the fresh water tank overflow
Thank you!
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Old 07-03-2020, 05:30 AM   #16
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First trip with our 22 MKSE starts today. Excited !
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:16 PM   #17
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No more Cherokee 274dbh

Well, I had posted on this thread last year about us loving our 2017 Cherokee 274dbh. Unfortunately, in June 2020, we had a wicked hailstorm hit over where we store our trailer...driving into the storage lot, it looked like a war zone....and our trailer took a lot of damage - so much so that it was written off by our insurance company.

We were lucky to have Guaranteed Replacement Insurance on our trailer....however, we have found out that FR is no longer making the Cherokee 274dbh!! BOO!! We loved our Cherokee and were really disappointed in hearing that it is no more. Instead, the newer floor plan, 274BRB, is the replacement - unless you want to go to a Grey Wolf 26dbh OR the Alpha Wolf 264dbh. We are now in the dance with the insurance company as to which will qualify as our replacement (some days it has to be the EXACT floor plan; other days it can be "close") - not looking great at getting a trailer in Alberta for the rest of the season, as new trailers are barely trickling in from Indiana.

So, enjoy your Cherokee 274dbhs!!! We had a lot of great memories in ours!
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2017: 30 nights; 2018 - 15 nights; 2019 - 22 nights; 2020 - 2 nights before the storm!!
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:32 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by mlowther View Post
Well, I had posted on this thread last year about us loving our 2017 Cherokee 274dbh. Unfortunately, in June 2020, we had a wicked hailstorm hit over where we store our trailer...driving into the storage lot, it looked like a war zone....and our trailer took a lot of damage - so much so that it was written off by our insurance company.

We were lucky to have Guaranteed Replacement Insurance on our trailer....however, we have found out that FR is no longer making the Cherokee 274dbh!! BOO!! We loved our Cherokee and were really disappointed in hearing that it is no more. Instead, the newer floor plan, 274BRB, is the replacement - unless you want to go to a Grey Wolf 26dbh OR the Alpha Wolf 264dbh. We are now in the dance with the insurance company as to which will qualify as our replacement (some days it has to be the EXACT floor plan; other days it can be "close") - not looking great at getting a trailer in Alberta for the rest of the season, as new trailers are barely trickling in from Indiana.

So, enjoy your Cherokee 274dbhs!!! We had a lot of great memories in ours!
Sorry to hear that. We've camped about 20 days so far this year and love our 274dbh. Although we are considering trading it in the spring for a TT with a bunkroom.

I've seen 2021 models at RV dealers. Are they not selling them in CA?
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:42 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Perry24 View Post
Sorry to hear that. We've camped about 20 days so far this year and love our 274dbh. Although we are considering trading it in the spring for a TT with a bunkroom.

I've seen 2021 models at RV dealers. Are they not selling them in CA?

We had gone to the Cherokee dealer in Alberta and had asked for quotes on what it would cost to order in a trailer, since nobody in Alberta had the 274dbh in stock anymore - they were the ones to tell us that FR is no longer producing the 274DBH, and that the 2021s we were seeing online at various US dealerships were the ones produced earlier this year.
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2017: 30 nights; 2018 - 15 nights; 2019 - 22 nights; 2020 - 2 nights before the storm!!
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:44 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by mlowther View Post
We had gone to the Cherokee dealer in Alberta and had asked for quotes on what it would cost to order in a trailer, since nobody in Alberta had the 274dbh in stock anymore - they were the ones to tell us that FR is no longer producing the 274DBH, and that the 2021s we were seeing online at various US dealerships were the ones produced earlier this year.
I guess with the border being closed, you can't buy one in the states and take it back.
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