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Old 06-26-2017, 12:53 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 30.3
State: Arkansas
Posts: 433
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First time purchase in Arkansas - Buy in September or Spring?

This will be our first RV. We've just about decided on a Thor Vegas (debating 25.2 vs 25.3), but also one Forest River might be an option, but hope to decide in the next week or so. I plan to order one from a local dealer, and want a 2018, so it looks like I wouldn't get it until mid to late September.

We will be using it mostly for weekend/long weekend trips at state parks, places like Branson and stuff. Since my job doesn't allow me much time off, we are hoping to do short mini-vacations (long weekends), since week plus vacations are so few and far between (sometimes years).

So, what I don't know is if it's a mistake to take delivery in late September with cold weather only a month or two away. I'm not sure how much past October we can go in Arkansas without winterizing, and am I then just blowing off 5 months of warranty waiting for spring to start using regularly?

Or, is Arkansas, or even Branson, MO, mild enough to use much of the winter (I imagine it would take multiple winterize/dewinterize cycles through the winter)?

Or, do I look at the time before cold weather as the time to do shake downs and then deal with the dealer for fixing likely new RV issues over the winter months.

As indicated, we aren't retired, hence the reason it will only be weekend/long weekend trips with the occasional week long trip thrown in now and again.

I've also done a bunch of searching on here, and I can't get a good feel for how well the Vegas would handle Arkansas type winters. Are the water lines in heated spaces, for instance? Do the holding tanks have forced air blowing on them, or completely rely on the heater pads?
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Old 06-26-2017, 01:23 AM   #2
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The waste tanks are under the floor and rely on the heated pads for freezing prevention.

All the fresh water lines are above the floor in a heated space.

How cold does it get in Arkansas where you live? That is pretty south you may be able to get away with using it year round.
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Old 06-26-2017, 01:39 AM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
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State: Arkansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
The waste tanks are under the floor and rely on the heated pads for freezing prevention.

All the fresh water lines are above the floor in a heated space.

How cold does it get in Arkansas where you live? That is pretty south you may be able to get away with using it year round.
Here's the monthly averages over the winter
Month high/low
Nov 62 / 37
Dec 51 / 28
Jan 49 / 25
Feb 54 / 28

There are large stretches of the winter when I don't wear anything but a light jacket, or light down jacket over short sleeved shirts. On the flip side, we can get stretches (week or two) under freezing or even in the teens, but those are few and far between. Maybe once a winter or three winters, we will get a stretch in the teens or single digits.

I didn't crawl underneath, but the black and grey pipes discharge pipes look to be pretty exposed. I guess based on what I've read that can be dealt with by pouring antifreeze into the sinks/toilet.
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Old 06-26-2017, 01:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnedator View Post
Here's the monthly averages over the winter
Month high/low
Nov 62 / 37
Dec 51 / 28
Jan 49 / 25
Feb 54 / 28

There are large stretches of the winter when I don't wear anything but a light jacket, or light down jacket over short sleeved shirts. On the flip side, we can get stretches (week or two) under freezing or even in the teens, but those are few and far between. Maybe once a winter or three winters, we will get a stretch in the teens or single digits.

I didn't crawl underneath, but the black and grey pipes discharge pipes look to be pretty exposed. I guess based on what I've read that can be dealt with by pouring antifreeze into the sinks/toilet.
Yeah that is cold enough that you'll have to do some form of winterization--either by blowing out the lines or pumping antifreeze through them (RV antifreeze--its non-toxic). If you have your own compressor that would make things easier as you could blow out the lines whenever you want.

For those nights that aren't that much below freezing you could make do with simply running the furnace or a small electric heater to keep the inside warm.
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Old 06-26-2017, 03:31 AM   #5
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I live in NW Arkansas and haven't Winterized in two years. I do keep my camper indoors and plugged in. I run space heaters in the camper set to 50 degrees all winter. If it is going to get below freezing for a long stretch highs and lows I will go winterize my unit. I have camped on New Year's weekend several times and had a great time doing it.
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Old 06-26-2017, 01:15 PM   #6
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: S.O.B.
State: California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnedator View Post
This will be our first RV. We've just about decided on a Thor Vegas (debating 25.2 vs 25.3), but also one Forest River might be an option, but hope to decide in the next week or so. I plan to order one from a local dealer, and want a 2018, so it looks like I wouldn't get it until mid to late September.

We will be using it mostly for weekend/long weekend trips at state parks, places like Branson and stuff. Since my job doesn't allow me much time off, we are hoping to do short mini-vacations (long weekends), since week plus vacations are so few and far between (sometimes years).

So, what I don't know is if it's a mistake to take delivery in late September with cold weather only a month or two away. I'm not sure how much past October we can go in Arkansas without winterizing, and am I then just blowing off 5 months of warranty waiting for spring to start using regularly?

Or, is Arkansas, or even Branson, MO, mild enough to use much of the winter (I imagine it would take multiple winterize/dewinterize cycles through the winter)?

Or, do I look at the time before cold weather as the time to do shake downs and then deal with the dealer for fixing likely new RV issues over the winter months.

As indicated, we aren't retired, hence the reason it will only be weekend/long weekend trips with the occasional week long trip thrown in now and again.

I've also done a bunch of searching on here, and I can't get a good feel for how well the Vegas would handle Arkansas type winters. Are the water lines in heated spaces, for instance? Do the holding tanks have forced air blowing on them, or completely rely on the heater pads?
Personally speaking, I haven't read too many positive comments from those that have ordered what they want. Seems like there are so many variables in production and delivery that you won't have a clue when you will really get the call that your coach is ready for you to pick up. Again, my personal opinion here, is that if you really want to hit the road, don't wait. Let the dealership find one you like and hit the road as soon as you can. You might even get a better deal on a 2017. Good luck.
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:24 PM   #7
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State: Arkansas
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Yeah that is cold enough that you'll have to do some form of winterization--either by blowing out the lines or pumping antifreeze through them (RV antifreeze--its non-toxic). If you have your own compressor that would make things easier as you could blow out the lines whenever you want.

For those nights that aren't that much below freezing you could make do with simply running the furnace or a small electric heater to keep the inside warm.
I've been meaning to get a compressor for things around the house anyway. Would something like this work:

https://www.amazon.com/Bostitch-BTFP...itch+BTFP02012

There are some that are smaller and quite a bit more expensive, but I think that would be small enough to stow if in a bay if I needed to blow them out while on the road. I recall reading somewhere that for tires a relatively high PSI was recommended. Is 150 PSI enough for the tires.

I've glanced through the improved manual (sorry, drawing a blank on the name of the poster that put it together), but once used to doing it, how long would you say it takes to blow out the lines in a Vegas?

Also, if let's say I'm leaving Arkansas and it's cold (maybe in the teens or low 20s) and heading to maybe Florida or the gulf coast, can I warm up the coach, fill up fresh water and turn on the tank heaters and drive away and be good. Or, do I need leave it drained until I get to warmer climates and then fill up the water?

I know it was said the water lines are inside the heated space, but what about the outside shower? I know I read (not sure if it was on a Vegas) about someone who put an internal cutoff on the outside shower so that even if they prime the rest of the system, they can keep water out of the outside shower.
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:52 PM   #8
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.1
State: Michigan
Posts: 7,869
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnedator View Post
I've been meaning to get a compressor for things around the house anyway. Would something like this work:

https://www.amazon.com/Bostitch-BTFP...itch+BTFP02012

There are some that are smaller and quite a bit more expensive, but I think that would be small enough to stow if in a bay if I needed to blow them out while on the road. I recall reading somewhere that for tires a relatively high PSI was recommended. Is 150 PSI enough for the tires.

I've glanced through the improved manual (sorry, drawing a blank on the name of the poster that put it together), but once used to doing it, how long would you say it takes to blow out the lines in a Vegas?

Also, if let's say I'm leaving Arkansas and it's cold (maybe in the teens or low 20s) and heading to maybe Florida or the gulf coast, can I warm up the coach, fill up fresh water and turn on the tank heaters and drive away and be good. Or, do I need leave it drained until I get to warmer climates and then fill up the water?

I know it was said the water lines are inside the heated space, but what about the outside shower? I know I read (not sure if it was on a Vegas) about someone who put an internal cutoff on the outside shower so that even if they prime the rest of the system, they can keep water out of the outside shower.
When we took our coach from Michigan to Florida a few years ago: I dewinterized in Michigan (in freezing temps) turned on the heat and took off. If you're in it and its comfortable enough for you the lines will be fine (even the outside shower). I rewinterized when we got home.

Never ran the tank heaters at all--you really don't need to unless you're camping in snow, wind and its super cold out. If you are concerned about the waste tanks simply dump a quart or so of the RV antifreeze into the waste tanks before leaving (and before returning to the cold).
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Old 06-30-2017, 04:22 PM   #9
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2016 Vegas 25.2
State: Florida
Posts: 1,797
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We love our Vegas 25.2 and it fits us just right. But RVs are like shoes, what fits me might not be the right style for you.

RVs are not like a car, where you expect few maintenance problems from a new vehicle. With the limited free time you described, you might want to consider a good used RV for your first one. Your investment will be less, and you can better determine your ideal rig. New RVs almost always have some issues that have to be resolved under warranty. You won't find many 25.2 or 25.3 models available, but there are many used Class C units available.

Two other ideas to consider, for a new one, you could wait until spring to order a 2019. We did this in 2015, and picked up our 2016 model in June of 2015. Every model year brings a few refinements, and you'll be rewarded when you go to sell or trade. (My 2016 with 15K shows worth $9,000 more than the same 2015, looking at low retail on NA DA.)

The other idea is to check prices from Total Value in Elkhart, IN and other dealers in that area. We saved a whole lotta $$$ in delivery fees by picking ours up in Ohio. Paul Sherry RV near Dayton gave us the best deal with our trade in.
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Old 06-30-2017, 04:52 PM   #10
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Model: Hurricane 32A
State: Florida
Posts: 1,519
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnedator View Post
I've been meaning to get a compressor for things around the house anyway. Would something like this work:

https://www.amazon.com/Bostitch-BTFP...itch+BTFP02012

There are some that are smaller and quite a bit more expensive, but I think that would be small enough to stow if in a bay if I needed to blow them out while on the road. I recall reading somewhere that for tires a relatively high PSI was recommended. Is 150 PSI enough for the tires.
More than enough... Something that will do 90 PSI is enough for most RV's - don't have an Axis/Vegas, but assume the max tire presure is in the low 80's...
A 6 gallon compressor may be a bit large for 'on the road'.. I carry a 2 gallon 'hot dog' compressor underneath (bolted into battery/hydraulics compartment).

Quote:
I've glanced through the improved manual (sorry, drawing a blank on the name of the poster that put it together), but once used to doing it, how long would you say it takes to blow out the lines in a Vegas?
Ed Felker is the compiler of the manual...
Should be about a 5-10 minute job once you do it a time or two... Be sure to set the regulator in the 40-50psi range as max - the plumbing won't appreciate over 100...

Buy a plug for the city water connection that provides the quick disconnect https://www.amazon.com/Camco-36143-B.../dp/B002XL2IEA (rather than a Schrader valve) - so you can just connect the hose - then go around the RV opening faucets... Be sure to do all... including outside shower... Drain and bypass the hot water heater to save time...

Remember - you still need antifreeze on the drain side... Enough to get down into those exposed drain pipes exiting from the tank - and to fill all traps.

Quote:
Also, if let's say I'm leaving Arkansas and it's cold (maybe in the teens or low 20s) and heading to maybe Florida or the gulf coast, can I warm up the coach, fill up fresh water and turn on the tank heaters and drive away and be good. Or, do I need leave it drained until I get to warmer climates and then fill up the water?
Leaving Michigan in winter in past - and not knowing how many days I might be below freezing - I always dewinterized on the road... VERY easy - especially if you just blow out the lines for winterizing...

Returning to Michigan with freezing temps - I blow out lines a few states south... Likely could do it when I get home - but one more thing to forget in the midst of unpacking...

From Arkansas - you will likely be out of freezing temps much quicker - I wouldn't be concerned with dewinterizing before leaving.

Quote:
I know it was said the water lines are inside the heated space, but what about the outside shower? I know I read (not sure if it was on a Vegas) about someone who put an internal cutoff on the outside shower so that even if they prime the rest of the system, they can keep water out of the outside shower.
Certainly can add additional cutoff valves - simple to do. but once you winterize a time or two - I think you'll find it simple enough to just blow out the lines when needed.
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