New 5er Purchase Shake Down

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Conquest2011

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Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Posts
213
Location
Cumberland, Maryland
Finally made it back from Kuwait and on our way to a second retirement. Took delivery of GMC Denali day after of being home and now taking delivery of our 2019 GD Solitude 375 RES. We are currently at Hershey RV resort shaking her down. A little cool out but the weather is great; no rain.

Went to fire up the gas stove top and it wouldn't light. Went out to the propane tanks unstrapped the tanks shook them and they felt empty. I called the RV service center about it and they were to bring out new tanks. So, I went back out to take the tanks out and discovered they were full. So, I called them back to tell them never mind I am an idiot. But still unable to lit the stove, a service tech walk me through the process of the tank switch on the main regulator. Still the stove would not light off. So, the tech came out to our site.(Decided to shake down close to the service center). He came out while I was out parking the truck and he lit the stove straight off. You have to hold the gas knob down on the stove at the same time you hit the igniter.

That was our major difficulty with our rig. Except for a few missing minor parts. We are missing the microwave glass plate ring that stabilizes the plate and 3 blind pull cords. So, far that is it. During the PDI, I went and checked all the major components. Roof, doors, floors, walls, appliances and even the VIN#. We were surprise how much of the tiny miscellaneous items you overlook. I was looking up the torque sequence and requirements for the wheels when I discovered and over look the fact that I had Chinese made tires. First thing I change out when we go full time.

It has been a long journey for us of our goal of full timing. Still have more milestone to meet, but on our way. I do have to say that this forum is the best. I appreciate all the good and fine folks on here. You have taught me so much valuable information about RV's and about the RV life. You guys are the best.

A short story before I let you all go for now. On the way to the RV park I missed right turn and never having driving a something is long and big the DW freak the heck out. So, I made a left onto a road that would double back where we came from to catch the turn I should have made. Well, this road was typical back road with a narrow bridge on a slight curve. I tell you DW was doing the freakydeeky, I reminded her that this road is much better than the road we live on and this is good practice. All went well.

Much more to follow.

I look forward in contributing much more to this forum to give back much more than what I have received.

Any tips for shake down would be appreciated.
 

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Hanr3

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Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Posts
392
Location
Central Illinois
Thanks for your service.
Enjoy!
I'm still shaking mine down, going on my 3rd month with it. Summer shake down went great. One thing we discovered we needed was an adjustable step for the entrance. On level ground the standard fold out steps are perfect, however a not so level site and that last step can be a drop off. I purchased a cheap plastic step from Menards for $10 to hold us over the wekeend. Next campout was with a group of friends and one of them also bought a new rig. His has the steps the fold up into the door with levelers on the bottom and didn't need the metal platform step anymore. I bought it off him cheap.

On the Marine Corp birthday and Veterans Day weekend I head out with some old Marine Corp buddies for a weekend of fishing and celebrating. Then off to southern Illinois for a week long hunting trip. Temps are to average mid 50's during the day and mid 30's at night. I'm going to test out the cold weather package on the rig and take notes. It has a heated and insulated under belly, well most of it is insulated. I found a few areas that need insulation and plan to add it within the next couple weeks. I also want to wrap reflectix insulation on the drain pipes to at least slow down freezing, and will add RV anti-freeze to my waste water tanks (black and gray) to prevent the drian lines and valves from freezing. Next summer I'll box and insulate the drain lines.

I also camp/fish as soon as the ice is off the lakes. Again the temps hover around freezing. The camper is a nice upgrade from the tents I was using for the past 40 years.

Enjoy that new set-up and I look forward to future trip reports.
 

grashley

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May 7, 2015
Posts
6,591
Location
Western Kentucky
WELCOME HOME!!!

My DW does the same freak out bit.  I just ignore her or ask if SHE wants to drive  ;D

Nice looking rig!!  Thanks for the pic!  Upgraded steps, I see!

On our stovetop, if the gas has been off, I turn on one burner and light it with a long nose butane lighter.  It sometimes takes a minute or more for the gas to get there and the burner to light all the way around the burner.  There is a good bit of air in those lines!  Once it lights, all future lights work well, quickly.

Make sure to take a shower in the camper, check A/C units and furnace.  Make sure tank drain valves open and close (WHEN HOSE IS CONNECTED!! :-[ )  Check all lights, inside and out.  Being close to the Service Center is a great move!
 

Conquest2011

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Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Posts
213
Location
Cumberland, Maryland
Thank You Hanr3 and Grashley,

Finally made it home without major issues. The shakedown was a success. We learned a lot about what to do and things we should have done.
What we failed to do was:
Failed to secure all the doors on the rig. Doors a flapping in the wind. Pulled over fixed that asap.
Failed to engage the electric brakes on the rig. Luckily 8 miles from the center service to camp ground.
            Fixed that issue for the trip home.
Failed to extend the truck mirrors for towing. Didn?t realize it until about 25 miles from home. LOL.

What we did successfully:
Successfully navigated safely to and from the camp ground with out causing massive damage and loss of life.
Successfully emptied a 30-pound tank of propane in 4 days. Dam was it cold. Heated the water with propane and tried to maintain it with electric. It is a 12-gallon tank. Don?t know if the that was a good idea or not.

We successfully had a wonderful time doing what we like to do.

Right now, we have the rig down by the lower garage leveled out. However, I am about 10 feet too far from the 50-amp outlet. I have a 2-car garage; the back of the RV is blocking the right-side garage door, leaving the left door accessible. I knew I should have placed the outlet to the right of the right-side garage door and not in the middle of the two garage doors. Need to get 15-foot 50-amp extension, amazon here I come. More $$$$$
 

grashley

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Joined
May 7, 2015
Posts
6,591
Location
Western Kentucky
You had a great shakedown!  I was not quite as lucky.

On the HWH, it can be heated with gas and / or electric.  Using both at the same time gets water heated faster.  To maintain temp, either one will work.  I use electric when available to save propane unless I am on a 30 Amp line and need the power elsewhere.

On power at home, I had the same issue.  Bought the 15 ft cord, and all was well, then she wanted it parked somewhere else, and I needed a 50 ft extension.  I got a 50 ft 30Amp cord and 2 dogbones for half the price of a 50A cord.  I must be aware of the amps used, because breakers on both ends are 50Amp.  My Progressive EMS makes this easy.
 

Conquest2011

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Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Posts
213
Location
Cumberland, Maryland
Hey Grashley,

You made me realize something, just now. I forgot to flip the switch for electric at the HWH during the shakedown. I flipped it on at the control panel in the rig but not at the water heater itself. Hmmm, how about that?

I know I will need to get 30 amp adapters in the future. I also, picked up a Progress EMS next major project along with a water softener and filtration system. I figure it take a few more trips to work out the minor bugs and get somewhat settled.

Tomorrow I will post some pics on how the rig is set up in front of the garage. I have a rental house which has a detached garage about 30 to 40 yards away, I kept that for myself. The garage also has a unfinished 2nd floor, which I may finish for future use for using as a home base. We may rent out our residence while we are full timing for extra income.
 

Hanr3

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Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Posts
392
Location
Central Illinois
Congrats on the shake out run.

I too forget to extend the mirrors, all the time. Mine are manual so I have to stop to extend them. The first 4 trips I forgot to move the sliding hitch from maneuvering position to towing position. There is a pull out on the road about a mile from the house and I have stopped there every time.

I recently discovered they sell vent insulation pillows. Pillows that you stuff into the vent opening in the ceiling, helps keep the heat in and the cold out, or vice versa.

I use electricity to heat my water. Shore power is paid for. Saves the propane for heat.
Also did some research into electric mattress pads (not blankets) for the bed, and looking at a programable thermostat. Set it up so the temps drop when we are sleeping, and gone. Then about 30mikes before reveille I bring the temps back up for the morning routine. Drop it back down for the day, and bring it back up for the evening activities, drop it down for bed. Now I do this manually.

I also suggest you open every hatch and look for insulation on all outside walls. Also check the belly. I have "trays" made of plastic that are between the frame and outside wall in the floor. There is no insulation under them. While my belly is heated, they allow a cold entrance. I will be adding insulation under them.
On my last campout I noticed a frost line on my stool outside wall. It was about 4" tall cross the length of that wall. I suspect there is a gap in the insulation in that space. Looking at adding expanding foam to fill the void. First I have to confirm I don't need that channel for wiring or plumbing access. On your next cold weather campout, take a look around and see if you can find cold intrusion. A match will show a breeze, careful not to light anything else on fire. A point and shoot thermometer will show cold spots. 
 

shelley354

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2018
Posts
13
Not sure if you are on Facebook but search "Grand Design" there are a whole load of GD  groups on there and they are very nice people.


Conquest2011 said:
Finally made it back from Kuwait and on our way to a second retirement. Took delivery of GMC Denali day after of being home and now taking delivery of our 2019 GD Solitude 375 RES. We are currently at Hershey RV resort shaking her down. A little cool out but the weather is great; no rain.

Went to fire up the gas stove top and it wouldn't light. Went out to the propane tanks unstrapped the tanks shook them and they felt empty. I called the RV service center about it and they were to bring out new tanks. So, I went back out to take the tanks out and discovered they were full. So, I called them back to tell them never mind I am an idiot. But still unable to lit the stove, a service tech walk me through the process of the tank switch on the main regulator. Still the stove would not light off. So, the tech came out to our site.(Decided to shake down close to the service center). He came out while I was out parking the truck and he lit the stove straight off. You have to hold the gas knob down on the stove at the same time you hit the igniter.

That was our major difficulty with our rig. Except for a few missing minor parts. We are missing the microwave glass plate ring that stabilizes the plate and 3 blind pull cords. So, far that is it. During the PDI, I went and checked all the major components. Roof, doors, floors, walls, appliances and even the VIN#. We were surprise how much of the tiny miscellaneous items you overlook. I was looking up the torque sequence and requirements for the wheels when I discovered and over look the fact that I had Chinese made tires. First thing I change out when we go full time.

It has been a long journey for us of our goal of full timing. Still have more milestone to meet, but on our way. I do have to say that this forum is the best. I appreciate all the good and fine folks on here. You have taught me so much valuable information about RV's and about the RV life. You guys are the best.

A short story before I let you all go for now. On the way to the RV park I missed right turn and never having driving a something is long and big the DW freak the heck out. So, I made a left onto a road that would double back where we came from to catch the turn I should have made. Well, this road was typical back road with a narrow bridge on a slight curve. I tell you DW was doing the freakydeeky, I reminded her that this road is much better than the road we live on and this is good practice. All went well.

Much more to follow.

I look forward in contributing much more to this forum to give back much more than what I have received.

Any tips for shake down would be appreciated.
 

Conquest2011

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Posts
213
Location
Cumberland, Maryland
shelley354 said:
Not sure if you are on Facebook but search "Grand Design" there are a whole load of GD  groups on there and they are very nice people.

I am a member there, but I like the folks here. Nothing wrong with folks over GD site, I like them as well. I do visit there and have gotten many good ideas and tips there as well and thanks for the tip,
 

Conquest2011

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Posts
213
Location
Cumberland, Maryland
grashley said:
Steve, did you get a hard wired or portable Progressive?  I can offer hints for installing the hard wired one.

I have not even started on that project yet, but yes it is a hard wired EMS 50 amp. I was wondering exactly where to hook it in. I appreciate any advice you may want to give.

I have been so dang busy with playing catch up since I got home from being gone for a year. Man-o-man, things do pile up. I am still about 3 cords of firewood shy for this year and a mess of other things.

I like to hook it up the EMS before my extension cable comes in, but we see. Dummy me I ordered the wrong the one, I wanted the one with the remote display just in case I needed it. I can always order the remote separate.

Thanks
 

Conquest2011

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Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Posts
213
Location
Cumberland, Maryland
More of the Shake Down,

Semi completed the Progressive EMS install. When I ordered the system I failed to order the one with the remote display and now I am inquiring about adding the remote to this system. For now it is it installed but not in it's final position.

Pic 1 show the EMS on the pantry floor, Pic 2 shows the bottom shelf support platform. The actual shelf is clamp to the second self above. You may see some of the clamp in the photo.

I am thinking about mounting the EMS to back wall of the pantry or located it on the shelf not sure.

If I am able to connect the remote display I will run it to the auto leveler control unit area. Looks like I have a hole in the floor for the gray tank that I may be able to fish the data cable. Oh it looks like a fishing rodeo to me.
Waiting on Amazon to send me the 50 amp extension.

Water softener and filtration system will have to wait until next spring.
 

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ip076

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Joined
Apr 11, 2017
Posts
139
What kind of tires do you have?  I?ve had good experience with the Sailun tires that came on my rig, even if they?re Chinese. I?ve got at least 15,000 miles on them and still have great tread.
 

grashley

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Joined
May 7, 2015
Posts
6,591
Location
Western Kentucky
Since you have it installed, my suggestions to make SURE the wires are long enough to bend inside the box to accept the "amp" rings is a bit late  :-[  It is a really good idea to be able to see the display.  If you can get a remote display, GREAT!  If not, place the box where the display is easily visible.

A policy I learned here was when hooking up at a CG, plug in with your main breaker OFF as your first step.  Check the EMS for power quality.  If there is a problem, stop right there, and move to a different site or otherwise resolve the power issue.  If all is good, turn main breaker ON and continue setup.
 

Conquest2011

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Posts
213
Location
Cumberland, Maryland
ip076 said:
What kind of tires do you have?  I?ve had good experience with the Sailun tires that came on my rig, even if they?re Chinese. I?ve got at least 15,000 miles on them and still have great tread.

When I checking wheels for lugs configuration I saw big gigantic, huge, big as all "get out" letter that read "Made in China" and was not too happy with that. When they wear out I will being to an American made brand. I don't like anything made in China, that's just me. I am sure I have good tires and will use them to the end of their life.

Appreciate your reply
 

Conquest2011

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Posts
213
Location
Cumberland, Maryland
grashley said:
Since you have it installed, my suggestions to make SURE the wires are long enough to bend inside the box to accept the "amp" rings is a bit late  :-[  It is a really good idea to be able to see the display.  If you can get a remote display, GREAT!  If not, place the box where the display is easily visible.

A policy I learned here was when hooking up at a CG, plug in with your main breaker OFF as your first step.  Check the EMS for power quality.  If there is a problem, stop right there, and move to a different site or otherwise resolve the power issue.  If all is good, turn main breaker ON and continue setup.

At the shakedown RV Park, we were at, I checked the voltage coming with the multi-meter and that is all I could at that time. At home I had the opportunity to install the EMS and when I opened the EMS box I discovered that it didn't come with the remote display. I checked my order and I didn't order what I wanted.

The order of hooking up I want to do would be to secure shore power by having the EMS do its thing and if the electric is good and then Auto level. Once that is done time for break and have a cold one. LOL. Move on to the slides, water hose, sewer hose and whatever comes next.

The pics shows the orientation of the 5er to the garage and 2nd story of the garage. This is the garage where we may have our home base while full timing and rent out our house. We are going take off next Fall and return in the early Spring and make our decision. Then during the summer I will finish off the garage space and prepare the house for a rental.

 

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Conquest2011

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Posts
213
Location
Cumberland, Maryland
samthetramp said:
Noob question here. What does the EMS do?

Hey samthetramp,

This what the Progressive Industry has on their website. Electrical Management System (EMS) helps to protect your RV against voltage fluctuations, power surges and incorrectly wired shore power which can cause severe and costly damage to RV appliances and electronics.

This just one of few EMS available on the market. It is very good insurance to protect your rig.

http://www.progressiveindustries.net/ems-hw50c

Hope this helps

 

grashley

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May 7, 2015
Posts
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Location
Western Kentucky
Good Question, Sam.

The Progressive EMS comes in portable (plug in at the pole) and hard wired versions. 30 amp and 50 amp units.  I have the HW50-C with the remote display.  The HW50 has a similar display on the unit itself.

The unit constantly measures the incoming power.  It will shut power off of the voltage gets too high or too low.  Power is automatically restored when the power returns to a usable voltage.  Either can do significant damage to electrical components.  It measures the frequency and likewise protects the camper.  It is a surge protector.  The display rotates through    L1 voltage  --> L1 Amps  -->  L2 voltage  -->  L2 Amps  --> Line freq (60 HZ, typical)  -->  Error code or previous error code  -->  L1 voltage.

For $300 or less, it is cheap insurance.
 

Rob&Deryl

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Mar 27, 2017
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On the road from mid NH
Conquest2011 said:
More of the Shake Down,

Snip....

Water softener and filtration system will have to wait until next spring.

In my neck of the woods, I have to test my water in order to know how much water treatment to set the unit up for.

How will you know what the local water needs depending on where you are?

What if the water is already too soft?
 
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