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Narboza 02-07-2014 11:52 PM

2014 Blue Ridge 3715BH
We will soon be getting this new 5er for our vacationing. It was a show unit at this year's Tampa RV Super Show. The build quality seems very good and the dealer is in the process of their pre-delivery work, as well as fixing the initial items I found during two informal walkthroughs.

I will get to those lists later in this thread, but for now I have two questions concerning the installed equipment.

1. The trailer comes with a Dometic 915 model power awning. The Dometic website describes that model as having a “Polar White weathershield [that] protects the awning during travel.” I did not see a weathershield when I retracted the awning. I asked for the weathershield to be installed. Are they normally included or omitted by FR on new units?

2. One of the standard features of all 2014 Blue Ridge fifth wheels from the FR website and the sales brochure is an ‘“Easy Diagnose” LED fuse indicator’ on the DC power panel. The panel manufacturer’s website (Progressive Dynamics, Inc.) shows their 18-position panel as having an optional LED blown fuse indicator. The installed panel on the trailer has space for an LED by each fuse with its associated dropping resistor, so it appears that the trailer was built with the wrong DC fuse panel. I asked the dealer to install the correct DC power panel. Does this sound like a case of using older parts despite what their advertising says? What's there is functional, but not correct in my opinion.

Anyone have experience with such questions?

BigJohnD 02-08-2014 07:21 PM

1) If you don't see the metal wrap / weather shield, you have to change at least the fabric I believe. I may be wrong. Never seen one added, but the way they look, you would have to get another fabric with the shield included. As far as whether they're normally installed, all depends on the brand. Ours has it, but it's not a make or break for us. We've had it both ways, and both last fine.
2) On the easy diagnose fuse indicator, probably what you said. Used the parts available. There's that small print in the brochure that says they can change things without warning, and that the brochure doesn't always depict what you'll get. Just said in a more lawyer like way. Sometimes we've gotten more than we bargained for, sometimes we didn't get what was shown.

You might be out of pocket on some of this, but, you never know, dealer may take care of you to make you happy. If I wanted it bad enough, I'd get it whether they paid for it or I did. Some things, are better left alone. I've took stuff in to get switched out or fixed, and left in worse shape. Now, I do almost all of my own work due to too many bad experiences. Me, I'd leave the 12v panel alone. The awning, that's an easy fix.

Narboza 02-08-2014 09:18 PM

BigJohn: Thanks. My PDI was supposed to be yesterday, but a school urgency had me doing a child pickup instead. The dealer agreed to add slide toppers as a condition of sale and they supposedly arrive on Monday, so I rescheduled the PDI for next Friday. If there is nothing major wrong, I will pick it up then.

The sales guy did mention that it was "how they received it from the factory." My response was a simple "That does not make it right. Please fix them." I'll see in a week how well they do with these two and the rest of my list. I have not been able to check anything propane or hydraulic, nor everything electrical.

Courtesy of some forum checklists and some research of my own, I have assembled a pretty comprehensive PDI checklist both for acceptance as well as my own education since this is my first fifth wheel. I've rented Class C's before, but this is a whole new thing ... and exciting! The family can't wait to camp.

BigJohnD 02-08-2014 09:55 PM

Sounds like you're on the right track with the homework. I think yall will love the fifth wheel. 3 things we like the best about them: 1) Square footage for the $$ 2) Easiest to tow and hook up 3) Storage and usually plenty of it.

We've had everything from the popup to Class A, and now are back in a fifth wheel for space, money, and storage for full timing. This fifth wheel makes the 7th RV, so I guess we finally got a feel for what we like the best. We've ordered half of them and bought the other half off of the lot, and one thing we've learned is always expect the worse, hope for the best, and be pleasently surprised when everything works as it's supposed to. This has helped a little in me keeping my sanity. If you go into it expecting perfection, especially in modern RV times, you're in the wrong business.

If any issues arise, there are a LOT of knowledgeable people on this forum that can help. This forum can save you a trip to the dealer. If you don't have the forum mobile app, I'd recommend it. I've seen people on here fix things while camping thanks to the iPhone, pictures and the forum.

I hope everything gets fixed to your satisfaction and yall enjoy your new rig.

mike06081969 02-09-2014 05:19 PM

Congratulations on your new Blue Ridge, Narboza. I had a BR 3705BH, and I absolutely loved it once I got the kinks worked out of it. I think you've done yourself a huge favor taking the time to go over it well before you take delivery of it. That will save you time and trouble down the road. I sold mine and bought a cheaper fiver just because my employment future is uncertain, but it was the perfect camper for a family and I would still have it if not for that.

Narboza 02-09-2014 11:40 PM

As I mentioned above, this trailer was bought at the Tampa RV Super Show last month. We did not have a choice of ordering options, but the ones built into the trailer satisfied most of what we were looking for. Here is what it comes with in addition to the standard features.

Interior Options:

- 32” HD television, front bedroom
- Serta deluxe pillow top mattress (IPO premium innerspring mattress)
- Sofa with Hide-a-bed in bunkroom (IPO lower bunk and trundle bed)

Exterior Options:

- Dometic Quiet Cool 13.5 ducted A/C in bedroom (2nd AC for front bedroom)
- Heat pads for holding tanks
- Level Up, Lippert one-touch 6 point hydraulic auto-leveling system
- Bike hitch (not a rack as advertised, just a Class 2 hitch)

Dealer Installed Option:

- Slide out awning toppers

The second AC is mandatory for FL, and was a key DW requirement. I liked that it brought 50 amp service with its addition.

The automatic leveling will save lots of effort. I watched my brother go through his manual leveling process, then scissor jack stabilizing process. I hope this will save those 15-20 minutes each time we set up.

The toppers were negotiated as part of the show purchase. With five slides, toppers would have cost us over $2K using our rough math.

We likely will not need the heating pads. I would have liked the rear heat pump option, but the fake fireplace space heater should be a suitable substitute. I probably would have ordered the generator prep and the MOR/Ryde pin box. All in all, we are happy with the unit -- now to get it home.

BigJohnD 02-10-2014 12:14 AM

You'll probably want to add the MorRyde or TrailAir at some point, if you tow a lot. Major difference. On the generator prep, we've always opted NOT to have them on the towables since they eat up our space, and cargo carrying capacity. We've always opted for the 2 Honda 2000 inverter generators in parallel. We don't boondock, and seldom need them, but we have them just in case. Plus, I don't have to leave those with the trailer when we trade or sell.

Narboza 02-10-2014 10:38 AM

I cannot currently envision a case where we would need a generator, but I would use the generator prep power wiring to handle a possible future inverter setup. I am not sure there is any resale benefit to having the generator prep.

Narboza 02-10-2014 08:26 PM

Here is what I found so far and asked the dealer to correct. The major items are things they have to fix before I will accept the trailer. The minor items I prefer them to expend labor on instead of me. This came out of the emails to the dealer. An important thing for all dealer communications is to get them written down in some form.

- Center coach hydraulic leak from belly pan forward of axles
- Belly pan repairs from hydraulic fluid damage
- GFI outlet under microwave cannot be reset

- Bunkroom couch pull strap detached
- Bunkroom duct rattle from AC
- Bunkroom front wallpaper bubble by door to main room
- Bunkroom wall paper damaged by left upper bunk slide frame
- Bedroom window screen bent
- Bedroom French doors not attached
- Dinette table scratch
- Loose underbody seam tape above RR wheel
- Remove masking tape ID label on pin box
- Awning support rear lower attach point can be flexed due to the lower screws being incompletely driven in
- Loose interior trim above bedroom closets (adhesive failure)
- Docking storage compartment hard to latch
- Washer box not fastened on right side (right side of bedroom closet)

- Wrong DC fuse panel is installed ("Easy Diagnose" LED blown fuse indicators are missing)
- Awning weather shield missing

Narboza 02-15-2014 10:11 PM

It's Home!
Picked up the trailer today. :thumbsup: The dealer did not finish cleaning it. :( They fixed the major stuff, but half of the minor list was ignored. :mad: I found the toilet paper holders in a fire extinguisher box in the refrigerator when I got home. Is the mounting location that personal that they could not be installed before delivery?

They were silent about the blown fuse LEDs, but we all learned something about the Dometic awnings. After the whole parts and service departments had a discussion, we examined the awning and identified what the weather shield really was. From the underside, you see the progressive color of the awning. From the top, it is black.

What threw us initially, was that the weather shield on our awning is solid black, not white the way the Dometic website describes it. The weather shield is a layer of vinyl on the upper surface of the fabric. When the awning is retracted, the weather shield becomes the last outer wrap and a half so that it acts as a waterproof layer for the stowed awning. I am not sure how it will last in the Florida sun, but I guess we will find out.

Now to let the mods begin! Since this is our first RV, we have to stock from scratch. Monday we go to Ikea.

BigJohnD 02-16-2014 06:49 AM

I've never had a dealer clean one like I do, so usually I tell them just leave it alone. They'll just use the old scratching scrub brush they used on the last one. Toilet paper holder, several manf do leave them off since people complain about where they're mounted. Now is the time if you want a better quality one.

As for the dealer not finishing the list, I can relate. Some will dwell, fuss and stay on the dealer wanting small things done or fixed. Me, sometimes I just let them know that I'm disappointed, and go do a better job than them when I get it home. Or, like recently, leave it on the lot and walk away and watch them get pissed. If you squabble over a bunch of small things, and the dealer is not politely cooporating, do you really think they'll do a great job? I don't want somebody working on mine with the wrong frame of mind. I wouldn't sweat the tattle tail fuses. Very easy to test fuses anyway. The weather shield you refer to is not what our weathershield is. Or, my terminology is wrong. Mine is black, but it's all metal for the last wrap or so. Same purpose.

Sounds like you're good to go. Now, load it, put it through its paces, and enjoy it. Keep us posted on your experiences and post away on the forum if any troubles arrise.

Narboza 02-16-2014 07:11 AM

The dealer's service department seemed pretty disinterested in delivering a quality experience. They are about an hour away from me. There is a closer FR dealer that I will be having a conversation with.

thomas.jackson 02-16-2014 09:16 PM

Picking my 3025 up this week
Hi, and thanks for the interesting read - will use some of the info posted for my own PDI/DI, will be picking up a BLF 3025RL this week. (Prior Class A owner, will be moving over a good deal of "stuff". You mention Ikea - what do you find of great use? Would like to find some type of compact shelving units to put in the basement bay.

- You mention Bike hitch (not a rack as advertised, just a Class 2 hitch). Was this installed from dealer or factory, wanting to add similar to carry a small rear carrier for the grill and bikes.

- Do you have the basement horizontal sliding TV mount? Trying to figure out what Mor Ryde mount is used - there are three on their website, it's dependent on the clearance depth where mounted to clear the door framing.

- Yep, was told the same on the the toilet paper holder. In that it is a personal location.

Narboza 02-17-2014 12:05 AM


Originally Posted by thomas.jackson (Post 543884)
You mention Ikea - what do you find of great use?

We have no RV equipment, so we need a new set of silverware, plasticware, and other kitchen stuff. The DW's eyes lit up when she realized she needed to do equipment shopping. Basement storage is somewhere on a long list of items, but interior livability takes precedence after some repairs.


Originally Posted by thomas.jackson (Post 543884)
You mention Bike hitch (not a rack as advertised, just a Class 2 hitch). Was this installed from dealer or factory, wanting to add similar to carry a small rear carrier for the grill and bikes.

The Blue Ridges have a standard "Bike hitch" factory option ($217.50 list price). For that you get a Class 1/2 hitch. (My PDI mechanic said it was a Class 1 hitch. That could be true. They are physically the same except for the Class 1's tabs, and differ in weight rating only.) The rear of the hitch tube is welded to the top of the 4" box bumper. There is an additional transverse square tube just forward of the bumper that the front end of the hitch tube is welded to. I was expecting a fold down platform. Like the awning's weather shield, I was underwhelmed by what was installed.

There is also a lovely sticker on the bumper frame extension beam that warns that attaching any rear rack would void the frame warranty.


Originally Posted by thomas.jackson (Post 543884)
Do you have the basement horizontal sliding TV mount?

No, that is not a Blue ridge option. There is a carpeted 2x4 on the front bulkhead of the basement and an outlet at the front and rear of the door. The 2x4 would support a sliding mount very nicely. There is also a loose video coax on the front bulkhead, so all the prep work has been done.

Narboza 02-17-2014 12:22 AM

My PDI Checklist
1 Attachment(s)
Thomas: You might find this useful. this is a PDF of the inspection checklist I created from several online sources and my own brain droppings. If I had a question or wanted to know something, I wrote it down.

It is a working document that never got polished and served its purpose.

Narboza 02-23-2014 08:27 AM

Preparation in Progress
1 Attachment(s)
We have had the trailer at the house this weekend for cleaning (bad dealer prep work), minor repairs (bad new owner driving), and stocking. As first time owners, we have had to go out and buy new stuff for the trailer. We used Ikea for the kitchen and bedding. Amazon was a primary supplier for the miscellaneous items I have read about here on the forum.

Here is the new rig.
Attachment 46662

Other work includes sanitizing the water system, removing the Prop 65 tags from everything, cleaning construction debris from the P-traps, identifying what fuse powers what loads (still some unknown ones), measurements and pictures of everything we can think of so we do not need to drive to the storage facility, fixing the things the dealer did not, and miscellaneous comfort things.

We will be doing our initial camping shortly. We need to work out the kinks of our new style of travel.

Narboza 02-24-2014 07:17 AM

For anyone thinking of a BR trailer, here is a couple of expectation adjustments when you compare the FR BR advertising to the reality.

- "5-Function remote control with key fob" means you get a Alta remote control system for some functions, but it is not a small keychain fob. Our remote is relatively large - 2.5" x 4.5" x 5/8". At least it will be harder to lose. Since we have the Level-Up system, ours is a three-function remote - slides, awning, and patio light. Without Level-Up, it would have included the front and rear electric jacks. The control center wall buttons for these three functions connect into the Alta system. I am already using it regularly.

- "'Easy Diagnose' LED fuse indicator" YMMV, but ours had no LEDs in the 12V fuse panel.

- "Individual slide room selector switches" This could be true for electric slides, but ours are hydraulic. We have five valves on a distribution block near the pump that you have to open or close to control individual slides. From what I read here, there are other systems without the valves. If all valves are open, hydraulic fluid (ATF) moves to all slide pistons and the one with the least hydraulic resistance moves first.

- "Outside shower" Do not get excited with visions of an outdoor shower head. Instead, picture a kitchen faucet hand sprayer with a short hose. Ours reminded me of what my Mom used in her 1960's sink.

- "Shoe caddy" This is a nook with a shelf in the bedroom closet that cannot hold an adult shoe.

- "Protected/insulated pull waste valves" Protected means they are above the belly pan. Insulated means they are above the belly pan.

- "LED lighting throughout" This means most lights inside. You have decorative 12V bulbs in the vanity light bars. There are 12V lights in the pendant fixture above the galley sink, dinette table, and the adjacent wall sconce. You have regular 12V light fixtures in the front docking cabinet, basement and outside kitchen. You also have regular 12V bulbs on your side exterior lights (2 white, 2 yellow).

BigJohnD 02-24-2014 08:53 AM

I can relate to most of the above. I always take the advertising with a grain of salt. I hate all the fancy sales words and descriptions. Just a few that irritate me: Radiant technology. This isn't new. Guess the "technology" is supposed to be catchy. Similar to reflective bubble insulation. "Radius" windows and doors. OK, who doesn't use these. Not a news flash. "Rotomolded" stuff. No more than an object that is made by injected the liquid stuff in a rotating form to make a tank or whatever. Not new. Enclosed underbelly. Yep, another one that's not a news flash. 99% of them have that now, which is usually no more than a sheet of that black plastic stuff. Some are in fact better enclosed and better insulated underneath, but stuff will still freeze regardless of this stuff, and as far as improving fuel economy, huh? Mine's 13k pounds dry and around 13' tall. Didn't by it for fuel economy and I doubt the underbelly is helping with that much. Solid surface countertops. Most have them now, and most aren't even close to the quality in a house, but there are those few that have the good stuff. In reality the stuff they use is not much better than formica, it just looks better. Outside shower. Every one of ours have been as you mentioned. I prefer what we have now, which is the quick connect hose with a regular garden hose sprayer. I can hook up another 50' hose to that if I want and wash the rig, kids, dishes etc with HOT water.

Our slides are the same way. We have the isolation valves in the basement, but unless closed the slide with the least resistance goes out first. You can always push on one if you want it to go first.

On the holding tanks valves and piping, I just with everybody would enclose the whole pipe, and just stub out the discharge. Our valves are in the underbelly, but you have quite the run of pipe that is exposed. Only good thing about ours is it all 5 tanks tie into one discharge, so only one hose needed.

I hope you enjoy the new rig. Sounds like you have been extremely thorough going through it and getting it ready to go. That's what we do before ever taking the first trip.

Narboza 03-02-2014 11:11 PM

Fun chaos! We have reserved a two-day stay at a nearby KOA in Kissimmee for the sea trials. The kids a psyched. Should be fun as we learn how we should have stocked the trailer. At least I know the systems will work. I will maintain gripe and packing lists so we can keep track of what needs to be fixed and what needs to be added to our load out. Should be a good weekend (70s during the day after some rain Friday).

Narboza 03-10-2014 05:58 PM

Sea Trials
2 Attachment(s)
We had a successful first run/sea trial/maiden voyage this past weekend. It was only 30 miles from our house to the Kissimmee, FL KOA. We wanted a short, simple trip to get into the fun.

Problems were few, but fixable or worked around. The rear black tank cutoff valve was always full open, so the initial connection was a true adventure. The hydraulic pump cut out several times while opening the slides. I found a loose wire in the control circuit which was likely causing a high resistance. It was certainly heating up since the insulation is discolored. After tightening, the system worked fine.

Our Lippert Level-Up system was not actually level. The trailer was nose-down and tilted left. I manually adjusted the jacks until we felt it was good. Without my carpenters level, I could not get it right on. I will set a new zero point before the next trip.

Because we cannot put out the road side slides when parked in our street, all the trailer setup was left until our arrival at the park. We spent Friday evening and a good portion of Saturday getting the trailer arranged, and figuring out all the things we forgot.

While looking at the trailer in more detail, I think FR and Blue Ridge are doing themselves a disservice by not advertising the quality components they use. While I knew there were Progressive Industries AC and DC power panels, I was very happy to find a PI PD9270 70 amp power converter/charger installed under the stairs. It is oriented to exhaust through a round vent into the basement. I have one of the PI pendants on order for the unit.

After using cheap RV plastic faucets, we really like the satin nickel faucets on the sinks. The same goes for the extra 110V outlets, the double SS sink, and full size microwave. You have to see it to realize things people here are doing mods for are built-in. The next trip will be in a couple weeks during the kid's Easter break.

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