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Old 08-20-2015, 01:19 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37TB
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THOR #1020
Another Thumbs Up for Thor Warranty

We have put a lot of miles on our new 2015 Thor Challenger 37TB. Lots of folks post about poor experiences but this is a great one.

On a huge 8500 mile trip with grandkids, we encountered a problem with leaking 12v water pump. And we had a serious problem with drivers window - somehow it cracked.

Thor warranty had me buy a replacement pump and are sending a reimbursement check. Also had me send a picture of the window. Did a complete replacement of the entire driver's side window set.

Also, had the infamous rattle in the dining room slide. It is annoying but doesn't affect the operation of the slide.

Any and all of the problems handled without wrangling and hassles. I worked with Tom Overton and Mike Rink at Thor Warranty - they are knowledgable and responsive. Jake Shell at Paul Sherry's is the best service manager we've met and we've dealt with a number of other service departments.

We are hopefully through the new owner blues and won't need to talk with these guys.

So thumbs up for Thor support.
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:26 AM   #2
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Great words from Bigben, thanks for sharing the experience. I am still research for my own rig... and love the 37TB with the bunk.

Heard some comment regard to the GAS rig as follow, could you comment:
1 - Very noise from the engine... if so, could we damping it down with more insulation?
2 - Rough ride... did you experiencing this?
3 - Also heard that Thor changed out the slide on Challenger to the new 3Trak... does yours have these or the older style? How are they performed?

Thanks
TL
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Old 09-08-2015, 03:02 AM   #3
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Model: Challenger 37TB
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tamdle - here are some inputs.

1. Engine is noisy when running slamming down into 3rd gear. So a couple of things. First, take the doghouse cover off and add some insulation. We did this and reduced the noise level significantly. We bought the insulation from JC Whitney about $25 along with the spray glue for about another $15. Second, learn where the sweet spot is so the coach doesn't slam down. Ours is about 67 mph. Almost no down shifts, so no rise in noise.

2. Rough ride. This is a very subjective statement. We had a Georgetown 351 with 19.5' wheels. Better ride on the 22.5' wheels and the 252' wheel base. Given these two factors and the fact that most "gassers" are built on the F53 chassis, I'd say the ride is better than most "gassers".

3. We've have the standard trac vs 3Trak. Yep we had the built in noise from the slide but it was fixed and no rattle now.

When you look features that you get dollar for dollar coupled with the great service we've experienced - terrific buy (IMO).

Would we buy the Challenger again - yep and we've got 12k + miles on ours since April. Lots of first year issues - but getting them fairly well ironed out.
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Old 09-08-2015, 04:26 AM   #4
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Tamdle

I have the Challenger 37ND

Engine noise - I also insulated my doghouse but I did it differently. I used Dynamat sound deadening first and then Dynamat hood insulation over the sound deadening material. I posted the project in another thread on the forum. I also plan on using the Dynamat sound deadening under the driver's floor to eliminate some of the road noise coming from this area. Here is the link to my sound deadening project

Sound deadening the Challenger - Let the project begin

Rough ride - the Challenger ride is no rougher than my Class C was. I believe to get a smoother ride I would need to move to a diesel with air suspension.

Slides - the 3Trak system is only on select Challenger floorplans and it depends on the size of the slide. All 3 of my slides are 2 trak and with the exception of a wire coming loose during the shakedown cruise I haven't had any slide issues.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:09 AM   #5
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Bigbend and Dave, Very well explained. I really do appreciate. I will monitor your other upcoming post.

Have a wonderful time with the new rig. I still have few more months before full retirement when I will get one of this. I can not wait...
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Old 09-08-2015, 03:44 PM   #6
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tamdle - One of the questions you didn't ask and is one of the most pressing issues for new owners - drivability. Our Challenger 37TB vs our Georgetown 351 is night and day difference. I believe the longer wheel base and larger tires contribute to this the most. I can cruise very well at 68 mph with no white knuckle moments. After seeing some of the pics recently of coaches that were destroyed after blowing a tire, I added a Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer. The uncomfortable moments when you get hit by an unforeseen cross wind have been almost eliminated. The stabilizer really helps.
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:01 PM   #7
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Thanks, Bigben, I am learning quite a bit from you and others on this site...

I have not purchased any rig yet, but I do have a long document that were taken from all of the notes... I will implement them as soon as I get my rig...
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigben View Post
tamdle - here are some inputs.

1. Engine is noisy when running slamming down into 3rd gear. So a couple of things. First, take the doghouse cover off and add some insulation. We did this and reduced the noise level significantly. We bought the insulation from JC Whitney about $25 along with the spray glue for about another $15. Second, learn where the sweet spot is so the coach doesn't slam down. Ours is about 67 mph. Almost no down shifts, so no rise in noise. ....
So this meant your rig does not always run at 4000 rpm? What is your normal RPM if you did notice while on normal FLAT hwy?
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Old 09-09-2015, 05:11 AM   #9
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Bigben,

Could you explain what the fix was on the rattle in dining room slide. I recently purchased a Miramar and also hearing a "rattle" in the slide.

Thanks,
Rippa
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by tamdle View Post
So this meant your rig does not always run at 4000 rpm? What is your normal RPM if you did notice while on normal FLAT hwy?
Ford specs for F53 chassis shows they use different gearing on different chassis based Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, so your RPMs will likely depend on what model you buy. None of the axle gearing will result in 4000 RPMs in normal cruise.

Another difference is that starting 2016 Ford chassis the new 6R140 transmission will have a different overdrive ratio (actually has two OD ratios), which could also make your RPMs a little lower assuming everything else is equal, so if you buy new previous RPM data may not apply.

Also, because the 6R140 transmission gearing is much closer at top end, downshifts shouldn't result in as large a jump in RPMs.

Just saying your results may vary considerably if you buy a new coach with different transmission, and/or different GVWR.
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Old 09-10-2015, 01:46 AM   #11
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Chance is spot on. My Georgetown 351 would run 60 mph at about 2200 rpms. In my Challenger 37TB 68 MPH at 2200. Both F53 chassis but Georgetown had 19.5" wheels with a 228" wheelbase. Challenger has 22.5" wheels with a 252" wheelbase.

As I said earlier, spec changes or something in the setup really makes a huge difference in the drivability.

Relative to the noisy slide - go over to IRV2 Thor Forum. You will find a LOT of issues with the slide noise. For mine, it was being caused by the cable mechanism "slapping" under the slide cover as it goes from top to bottom. Jake Shell at Paul Sherry's kept after it until he ran it into a corner. He showed me a portion of the slide and there are 2 nylon mounting alignment pins that were broken. At the end of the day, Jake and his great crew actually wound up replacing the entire mechanism front and back. Then they carefully measured, squared and aligned the entire slide - bingo, bango, bongo - no more rattle.

I trusted my service department and Thor warranty teams that while the noise is annoying, it wasn't unsafe or inhibiting the function of the slide.

Hope that helps but the real help was a great service department along with Tom Overton and Mike Rind.
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Old 09-10-2015, 05:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rippa View Post
Bigben,

Could you explain what the fix was on the rattle in dining room slide. I recently purchased a Miramar and also hearing a "rattle" in the slide.

Thanks,
Rippa
Maybe an answer to the rattles in the dining room. I thought that silicone would be a good insulator for the metal to metal contact.

I sprayed silicone on a paper towel and wipe all the connecting metal surfaces. Since doing this I've only driven 9 miles and no rattles. We will do a longer drive in a couple of weeks for a good test.
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:31 PM   #13
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Thanks Bigben and fivejackie.

Rippa
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Old 09-11-2015, 12:53 AM   #14
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Model: Challenger 37GT
State: Ohio
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"I trusted my service department and Thor warranty teams that while the noise is annoying, it wasn't unsafe or inhibiting the function of the slide."


I agree with BigBen, the service dept can make a huge difference. We have a 37GT that we also purchased from Paul Sherry. We have had some warranty issues and Jake is very easy to work with and made sure they were all taken care of.
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