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Everything posted by rmatteucci

  1. The summer of 2014 we traveled from New Jersey to the Grand Canyon and back. Highlights of the trip in Grand Canyon and New Mexico area were - starting from an overnight in Amarillo Texas where we had dinner at the Big Texan Steak Ranch and the next day headed on I-40 and turned on US285 North to Santa Fe, NM. Spent a day there could have spent more time. Lots of shops and museums made a point to see "the Miraculous Stairs" at the Loretto Chapel - well worth it. Next we headed to Durango, CO. Spent two days there and took the Durango and Silverton Railway. worth the trip through the mountains to Silverton. Could have spent more time in Durango as there were some nice restaurants we passed on due to time. Next we headed to the Grand Canyon South Rim to stay at the Trailer Village RV Park on the way we stopped at the Four Corners to see the monument. Most of the day we were traveling through an Indian Reservation which was interesting. Trailer Village RV Park is right in the park, has full hook ups and was reasonably priced. Free public transportation from the RV Park throughout the South Rim. Took several tours within the park, had lunch at the El Tovar Hotel did some driving around in the dingy. Spent four nights three days. Again more to do if you are into biking or hiking the trails or going down into the canyon. After leaving the Grand Canyon headed south on Route 64 through Williams and on I-40 headed towards Gallup, NM. Passed by Flagstaff and the Petrified Forrest leaving them for another trip. Stayed at the USA RV Park in Gallup, NM - real nice operation. From there took I-40 through Albuquerque, leaving that also for a later trip,continued to US285 and took it South to Roswell, NM. Stayed several days in Roswell at the Towne and Country RV Park. While there took the Roswell UFO tour. Great tour by someone in the know. Well worth it. For all the stories and how much the city touts the UFO connection there is not one sign marking the locations. The tour guide showed us all and explained everything. From there went for a night stay in Lubbock, TX before heading to Dallas, TX and eastbound.
  2. About a year ago (February 2015) I was getting marks on the floor below the sink peninsula (area that sticks out from the wall) on my 2015 Sunova 33c also I noticed the spacing under the sink trim was less than before. I took it back to the dealer and their solution was to shave off some of the wood from the lower piece of trim so it wouldn't drag on the floor. Then in August 2015 while on a month long summer trip, three weeks into it, my long slide failed me. The motors started skipping when put out and when I tried to bring it in it started going in crooked so I put it back out and waited for road service. Road Service came out and they disconnected the motors and when pushed in it went in crooked damaging the floor, wood trim and slide it self. I took it to the dealer on August 12th and got it back fully repaired 16 weeks later in mid December. Winnebago took care of the entire cost under the warranty (even though the 1 year was up in May 2015). This is part of the longstanding issues on 2013-15 models with Lippert slides. Apparently the main issue is the slide mechanism doesn't like anything other than the specified tight tolerances and anything which will slightly move the slide (un-level conditions, extreme road bumps, etc.) will cause the gears to not properly mesh. Some people who had slide issues had failures again after being repaired. There is a thread on the IRV2.com forum about the failures and repairs. Some people were given those expanding bars to lock the slides while traveling to lessen the movement. I can't help thinking that if the initial repairs were handled in a different manner the slide would not have failed later in August. I believe that the marks are indicative of the slide out of adjustment I would take it to get looked at before you end up with other issues.
  3. I've had Coachnet for five years used them twice had no issues. I got the top of the line plan and cancelled my AAA I had for my two cars as Coachnet covers them all. One of the situations was a lock out from my RV and they sent someone within a half hour the other was a slide failure at a campground and they sent someone out. Not an issue being in a campground. There are companies out there that are good at what they do and Coachnet is one. With the Internet and introductory promotions you can always find something cheaper in cost but not know how much cheaper in service it will be until you need it.
  4. We too thought about renting an RV before purchasing more to explore the camping experience rather than selecting the model. Prior to this we spent several years looking at different models at shows and dealers and we were able to see the model we settled on. A local dealer in NJ - Driftwood had a 31 foot Class C and a 34 ft Class A they rented out. I got a quote on the Class C as we were looking into a Class C and as of April of 2011 it was (cut and paste from their email) "The cost for 4 days use of a Class C - 31' slide out motor home including 600 free miles is $1250.00 plus tax. Miles over free cost $.35 per mile. Pricing is based on your projected July dates. We also include 10 free hours of generator usage. A refundable security deposit of $1000 is also required." They wouldn't allow the use of the awning. This is before stocking it with supplies, gas and campground fees. I would imagine the Class A was a bit more. Looking at Cruise America today they are getting for their 31foot class C just over $925 for a week. Considering the cost we decided to apply the rental to the down payment and accessories for the new RV. In our mind it was simply was not worth renting unless it was the exact model we planned on purchasing. If you are just looking for the camping experience Cruise America has Class C's at their place in Richmond. If you are looking for a Class A I checked out rvshare.com and search Richmond found seven Class A's (gas and Diesel) going for between 200-350 per day.
  5. The Sunova 33c is 34' 7" in length and has considerable storage however you make some good points on the CCC or OCCC. The best I could find online was a 2013 Sunova 33c with a cargo listing of 4,008 lbs. (probably totally empty). It seems to be a secret until you look at the individual unit sticker as the different options would change the Cargo capacity. Even the several reviews I found online did not mention CCC. According to the RV Buyers Guide the 35 foot Sunova has a CCC of 3,600 and the 30 foot Sunova has a CCC of 5,300 it would hopefully be for the 33c somewhere in between. Nonetheless a good point to consider.
  6. After visiting the Atlantic City RV Show last month and looking at some of the features on the mid-sized class A's the wife and I are considering to upgrade from our Itasca Cambria 30c to the Itasca Sunova 33c. The Sunova 33c has many of the features that we saw and are attracted to. The price is affordable and the trade-in tolerable. We are up sizing with the hopes to become snowbirds in a year or so. The Cambria is a great unit for short trips but doesn't have the room and storage we need for longer stays. The area that I am trying to get a grip on is the incidental costs such as maintenance, not necessarily numbers but any anticipated differences between the "C" and "A". On the surface I don't see much change from the Ford E450 V-10 to the Ford F53 V-10 chassis. In making the transition I just don't want to overlook anything in the decision making process. Any comments appreciated.
  7. Thanks for the suggestion. I will try to do that next trip. I also have to take advantage of the GPS feature of tracking MPG and re-reading the instructions on how to calibrate my Scan Gauge. Once I get them working and I will compare them against the actual mileage. I remember the old days when I used to take the Police Cars to the get calibrated on a dyno at the county. Every one in a while we came across a car that the speedometer was off at a sliding scale in that at 70 it would be several miles per hour off. Don't know how much of an error there is on a GPS (as well as the RV) but I know the road doesn't change.
  8. While I don't have an Class A - I have a Class C - 2011 Itasca Cambria and just got back from a trip to St. Augustine Florida and back. The Cambria has the Ford V-10 and I was towing my Jeep Wrangler. Most of the time I was on I-95 with the cruise control on as I was taking my time I purposely went at different speeds between fill-ups to see the differences. MPG was simply calculated by dividing the odometer reading by gallons of gas. Going at 60-62 MPH I averaged 8.5 mpg. 65-67 MPH I got 7.6 mpg while the first day I got a late start and was making up for lost time and for the most part was at 70 MPH plus I averaged around seven. I am wondering if any of these numbers mean anything. My GPS shows one speed and my Scan Gauge another speed. The speedometer needle covers several speeds. My Scan Gauge show a slightly different MPG Average than I get when I divide the Miles by Gallons. Also what factor does the tire size play into the equation I have brand new 18 inch tires thanks to he Michelin Tire Recall while many of the units discussed have 22 inch tires. Just some rambling . . .
  9. What a dilemma . . . take a chance or purchase a dolly . . . Well after reading all the comments on the various posts considering only one person had no problems while others had used their Escapes for various amounts of time and mileage before their transmission went I have made up my mind. Unlike many here I still am working (at least for another 10 months) and have only a window of time for my trips so I really don't have time to play with an unexpected break down away from home. I still had one last component to purchase for the Escape and that was a braking system. Since the braking system is around $1,300 installed I am going to cut my losses and lessen my anxiety by adding a few bucks more to get a tow dolly which will have brakes. I will keep the tow bar and in a few years when I trade the Escape or my second car in I will get something that can be flat towed without issues. Next year after retirement the trips are going to get longer and further away from home base so this course of action makes sense to me at this time. I ordered a dolly from American Car Dolly in Colorado and it will be delivered in 30 days before my first trip of the summer which will be the NE Area Rally in Vermont. Thanks to all that posted comments to either my or others posts the information was very useful.
  10. Thanks - next question does the transmission act differently when the transmission fluid is at the lower tow level - does it slip, etc. and do you keep it at the lower level all the time or when you are back from a trip bring it back to the second level (lowest non-tow level) ?
  11. I am one of those people that purchased a 2012 Ford Escape in December 2011 and outfitted it for flat towing in April 2012 only to find the same vehicle if manufactured after February 16, 2012 cannot be flat towed. I am thinking that the transmission failures are more of a financial problem to Ford rather than the percentage of transmissions failing are reaching a large proportion otherwise I would think they would prohibit all Ford Escapes from being towed. My impression after reading the posts on the many different message boards that many are duplicates and there may only be 20 or so failures at least from the computer savvy towing RV'ers. Therefore I would imagine that many more people flat tow the Ford Escape without issues. What I would like to learn is what do the people that have no problems do along the way to assure the transmission has no failures. is it exactly following the instructions? Checking the transmission level after towing 6 hours? Adding transmission fluid to keep the level at the lower mark? Perhaps more frequent stops, say every 3 hours? Whatever it is can you please share it with the rest of Escape owners? I have two trips planned for later this summer where I will be flat towing my Ford Escape for the first time and don't need any issues. Thank you in advance.
  12. I'm in the same boat as everyone else a 2012 Escape that is equipped for towing - can you tow it or not?? Well my dealer tells me that it applies to 2012 Escapes manufactured after February 16th, 2012 (which would explain why I didn't get a letter from Ford) Mine was built in October 2011 and purchased in late December and equipped for towing in April. Nothing has changed on the vehicles except Ford made a decision not to cover (or allow) flat towing made or purchased after a certain date. Does that make me feel good, well no, but hopefully my car will not have problems if I follow the instructions. I will create another message for those that flat tow Ford Escapes and have no problems and perhaps we can learn tips to make what seems as the inevitable not happen.
  13. Greetings . . . I am in the similar situation I purchased a Ford Escape in December and in April had it outfitted for flat towing. On Friday I was looking through my newly arrived FMCA magazine and found the notice about flat towing. Today I called my dealer and at first was told that I could tow it and I explained the notice in the FMCA magazine. He send an email via their internal email system which they enter a VIN number and a few minutes ago he called me and the response came back that this (no flat towing) only effects 2012 Ford Escapes built after February 17th and as mine was built in October 2011 it can be flat towed. While I know of no difference between the ones built before and after the February date I will be flat towing it and hopefully it is one of those that has no problems.
  14. Thanks for the reply - I was mistaken when I looked at the lightweight I took it didn't have brakes as it doesn't come with a controller (which I found can be purchased separately for around $150), You are correct both do have brakes and the only difference is the steerable wheels or swivel deck. I have a FWD Ford Escape and it can be flat towed but with all the horror stories about transmission failures I'm having second thoughts on flat towing. Looking at the other options the dolly is about the same price or cheaper and I wouldn't have to worry about the transmission failing on a trip. As I don't have a towing solution yet I am open to anything. I guess what I am really looking for is there any noticeable different between flat towing and dolly towing. Also any other things you know of like the storage fee at a campground that someone new to a dolly would need to know. I don't yet towed anything with the RV. Thanks.
  15. I will be doing something similar - I have a 31 foot Class C and I have a Ford Escape. I'm wondering what the merits of the lightweight Roadmaster dolly compared to the cost of a braking system,plus wiring the lights, tow bar and mount with the installation both come in around 2K. The lightweight Roadmaster dolly does not have the electric brakes - are they necessary? any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.
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