“If you can smile when something goes wrong, that means you have someone in mind to blame” ~ Unknown
Beast (pronunciation “Beest”)
1. any nonhuman animal, especially a large, four-footed mammal.
2. the crude animal nature common to humans and the lower animals: Hunger brought out the beast in him.
3.a cruel, coarse, filthy, or otherwise beastlike person.
4.a live creature, as distinguished from a plant: What manner of beast is this?
We nicknamed out rig “The Beast” (I know…cliché) not because of it’s size, but, because of it’s mannerism. An inanimate object you say? No, this Beast is alive and it’s sole purpose in life is to challenge me!
Now, we’ve done some research since then consisting of reading the Thor Forum and watching YouTube bloggers like Gone With the Wynns, Technomadia (both of these full time RV couples are crazy talented with a wealth of FREE information) and certain other full-time RV’ers. Tempo and I have pretty much figured out that spending a lot of money on an RV does not provide the equivalent outcome of buying an expensive car (quoting the Wynns here) unless of course you spend a WHOLE lot of money on an RV. In other words, problems come with RV ownership so deal with it.
Without further adieu, these are some of the issues we’ve encountered (and overcome) to date. Keep in mind neither of us has previous RV experience nor are we even a little-bit mechanically inclined.
- Lippert Auto Leveling System – This is the system located it the cockpit that allows us to level our RV. Unless the RV is level you cannot open your slide outs and are basically stuck in a tube (think) coach airline seat). This system has failed on us three times with a “low voltage error” message. The first time we were able to reset (see manual) but the other two times we had to resort to using the manual buttons and leveling that way. No big deal, but, tired and late at night makes it a bigger deal. My mechanic thinks the wiring may be wrong from the factory so I’ll need to get it checked.
- We had no electrical power in the house portion of the rig, yet the generator was
on. This one was my fault. I had been servicing the house batteries and saw a red button above near the top of the side wall of the battery bay. Like a child I pushed the button and when nothing happened I moved on. What I had done was to disconnect the power to the house so nothing that ran on 110 (plugs, microwave, TVs) would work. After about an hour I figured out what I had done and reset the breaker. Darwin Award for that one.
- The rig’s furnace compartment got very wet during 36 hour driving rainstorm causing furnace to malfunction. All I heard was clicking and then nothing. I opened up the compartment and stared at it…for about 30 minutes. When nothing fixed itself I threw the toggle switch to the off position, went inside and drank beer. The next day the rain had stopped so I dried out the compartment gently with paper towels and a hair dryer and turned the toggle switch back on. It worked!
- One of our under cabinet swivel lights located just over our bed tore loose from the cabinet. I was trying to adjust the light and the screw just ripped out! After proper examination, several curse words and a beer, I noted that the screws were not long enough and only went through the cheap and very thin outer skin of the cabined finish board. Using longer screws (and one more beer) and was able to reach part of the cabined framing and re-secured the light
- The trim over the rig’s kitchen microwave fell off while driving. This is a 4″ X 2.5′ section of trim! After a thorough examination, and a beer, I noted the trim should have been mounted from the rear before the microwave was installed (not sure how that is done) because the mounts and screws were present but there were are no holes on the back of the trim which would have indicated the trim had been mounted and not compression fitted. Left off for now because micro vents heat through that opening but there is not other way for that air to escape and because I haven’t figured out a solution short of removing the microwave.
- When I first drove the Beast I felt like I was trying to carry a greased hog on an icy road! Every gust of wind and rut in the road would pitch me about like a sail boat in a storm. Not fun! Come to find out that the manufacturer “recommends you get the alignment and tire pressure checked AFTER purchase. Apparently loading a few pounds of Tempo’s stuff onboard throws off the handling. I had the wheels aligned and set the air pressure to spec and presto, the Beast handles great! I also bought an air compressor to carry along to keep the tire pressure checked regularly. I am also considering adding rear sway bar and steering stabilizer to help with high wind, but, the Beast is much easier to control after completing the first two fixes.
I think you get the picture so I’ll only mention a few other mini issues that we encountered:
The TV antennae handle fell off when retracting the outer TV antennae (thank you Anthony Perea for helping me fix). The Monoprice switching box for entertainment system was connected to two of the three TVs but not to the bedroom TV. The black, grey and water storage tanks are painfully small at 29 black, 44 grey and 50 water. The steering wheel is misaligned. The Beast steers fine but the brand emblem runs “downhill” when steering straight.
Owning and operating an RV is great fun. But, if you do purchase an RV, have your tool set handy!
December 2015 update: See The Beast is no more; Goodbye Beast!
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