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Old 06-27-2016, 04:33 PM   #1
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THOR #4184
Observations and Lessons learned from our 1st long trip with 2017 Axis 24.1

Warning , this post is a bit lengthy. We just returned from our first 7 day / 1500 mile trip with our new 2017 Axis 24.1. The 4 of us (2 teens) traveled from NJ through PA down through VA , (tubing on the Shenandoah) to WV (Whitewater rafting on the New River) to KY (Kentucky Horse Park and Mammoth Cave) to IN ( visiting family in Nashville / Kokomo ) and home across 70 and the PA turnpike. It was a jammed packed vacation and we stayed no more than 1 night in any place. We gave the coach a workout. My heart and prayers go out to the flood victims of WV. We were in the area 2 days before the rain and flooding hit, such beautiful country.

The Good:
1. In my husband’s opinion, the coach performed well in the hills and mountains of PA, VA and WV. It was also extremely hot in KY (heat index 102) No problems due to heat. Somehow we managed not to encounter any rain except for a brief down pour while at Kentucky Horse Park, so we cannot comment about driving in the rain in this coach.

2. This is a perfect size coach for us, no more space than needed. With the addition of memory foam to rear beds, pull out couch and drop down bunk, we all slept well. The 15.0 BTU air conditioner kept up very cool during the hot KY weather. We used the generator for a couple of short spurts to cool the coach while driving in KY as the front air con could not keep up. We were fine in the front, but the kids on the sofa were beginning to bake!

3. We stopped on the PA turnpike on the 1st day of the trip to call Thor, as both Fridge lights were flashing and the refrigerator was not cooling. The tech was professional and helpful. The diagnosis was air in the line. We turned on and sparked the stove, turned the fridge off and back to auto and we were back on the road in less than 15 minutes. We did not encounter anymore problems with the fridge during the rest of the trip. We did keep a close eye on it, as we had purchased an AcuRite 00986 wireless digital thermometer for the fridge and freezer. The thermometer was most helpful in determining the Fridge temperature setting (usually 4 or 5 in the heat) . It is convenient, as the magnetic display can be attached to the metal range hood.

4. Our goal in purchasing the coach was to see as much of America during the kids’ vacations before they head off to college. Our first trip was exactly what I hoped it would be. We all had fun and made some memories. No major problems with the coach and it is convenient and easy to use . There are some areas where we would like to make modifications. The next big trip is the during first week of August to the UP of Michigan. Hoping it will be cooler, a couple of the sites we reserved do not have hookup.




Areas of Improvement:
1. My number one complaint about this coach is the noise. I have no previous experience with other RV’s so this may just be the nature of the beast, but it seems like Thor could spend a little more engineering time (or money) in sound proofing. If it adds too much expense to the coach, then make it an option. I would pay for that!! My husband put fat mat in the doghouse and it took it from 85 db to around 80. It did do a lot to reduce the heat coming from the doghouse but not much soundproofing. I would be most interested in hearing how others have sound proofed , how they did it and their coach’s db.

2. My husband is the primary driver but I drive it too. I don’t mind driving long distances in my van, but in this vehicle, not so much. The combination of wind and winding roads is least enjoyable… downright not fun! It helps when I wear a wrist support to keep my carpel tunnel from flaring up (probably from clutching the wheel). We are looking into mods to help with drivability comfort. My husband is looking into sumo springs. If you care to comment on your experience, it would be most welcome.

3. My teen’s number one complaint is lack of USB outlets in the sofa area where they are obliged to be belted during travel. (one of our future mods). They also found the couch not very uncomfortable when riding long distances, their solution was to stack the two rear bed inserts, cover with a towel (Mom’s requirement) and use it as an ottoman.

4. My husbands’ number one complaint besides sound proofing, is unique to him, he is a bit of an audiophile so he is working on plan to replace the front audio system.

5. So far the only modifications made prior to leaving, was the installation by my husband of a Surge Guard model 35530. He installed it under the bed on the passenger’s side. The dealer made it clear they would not repair problems during the warranty period of problems that occur from not using a surge protector.

Lessons Learned:

1. With 4 people, dump your black and gray before completely full. From now on, if its at two thirds full and there is a dump site available, we are dumping.

2. Flying J is very RV friendly and you get a discount on gas and rv dump station as a Good Sam member.

3. Avoid pulling into campsites after dark if you wish to maintain a good marital relationship

4. Agree upon signals prior to assisting your partner backing into campsites, again if you wish to maintain good marital relations.

5. Iphone maps navigation usually sends you the shortest route not necessarily the best route for a 25 foot RV. Some of the state parks we stayed in were off the beaten path and down hilly narrow roads. In future, I will compare state park website directions to make sure we take the best route. My bad. Also ..print maps to your destinations, we did not have Verizon coverage at our stay in Shenandoah River state park. The Ranger was kind and printed us a map to our next destination.

6. Have and USE a checklist, we learned this one on our first short weekend trip after pulling away with the awning still out….yikes… We got lucky and missed a tree by 6 inches before discovering our error. Phew!

7. I’m sure there are more to come during our future travels. As they say.. the memories are in the journey not the destination.

Safe travels.
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Old 06-27-2016, 04:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by sepesce View Post
3. Avoid pulling into campsites after dark if you wish to maintain a good marital relationship

4. Agree upon signals prior to assisting your partner backing into campsites, again if you wish to maintain good marital relations.

These 2 are going on my checklist!!!!

Thanks for sharing your experience. We get ours on Thursday and its great to hear stories on what we can expect!!
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:04 PM   #3
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LOL Those are two we had to resolve after our first trip.
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:08 PM   #4
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A couple of resolutions for you:
1) Buy a GPS that supports your RV size. I use the Garmin RV 760LMT. I keep it mounted above the instrument display in my line of sight. This allows you to monitor your speed without taking your eyes off the road. You enter your length, width, height, and GVWR so that the GPS will avoid short, narrow, roads, etc.

2) I swapped out the Axxera with a Pioneer AVH-4100 NEX. It supports Apple Carplay (or the Android version), has a brighter display, supports marking on the camera displays to help gauge distance, etc.
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sepesce
3. My teen’s number one complaint is lack of USB outlets in the sofa area where they are obliged to be belted during travel. (one of our future mods). They also found the couch not very uncomfortable when riding long distances, their solution was to stack the two rear bed inserts, cover with a towel (Mom’s requirement) and use it as an ottoman.
Look in this thread: http://www.thorforums.com/forums/f27...orts-3116.html

Quote:
3. Avoid pulling into campsites after dark if you wish to maintain a good marital relationship

4. Agree upon signals prior to assisting your partner backing into campsites, again if you wish to maintain good marital relations.
We've also learned these two very early on in our camping experience.

Quote:
The next big trip is the during first week of August to the UP of Michigan. Hoping it will be cooler, a couple of the sites we reserved do not have hookup.
The UP is great in August! Where are you going?

Sounds like you had a great time!
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbrown View Post
A couple of resolutions for you:
1) Buy a GPS that supports your RV size. I use the Garmin RV 760LMT. I keep it mounted above the instrument display in my line of sight. This allows you to monitor your speed without taking your eyes off the road. You enter your length, width, height, and GVWR so that the GPS will avoid short, narrow, roads, etc.

2) I swapped out the Axxera with a Pioneer AVH-4100 NEX. It supports Apple Carplay (or the Android version), has a brighter display, supports marking on the camera displays to help gauge distance, etc.
Great suggestions! Thank you , did not know there GPS's that support RV size! I'll let my husband know your sound system suggestions.
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Old 06-27-2016, 06:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Look in this thread: http://www.thorforums.com/forums/f27...orts-3116.html


We've also learned these two very early on in our camping experience.


The UP is great in August! Where are you going?

Sounds like you had a great time!
Thanks Jamie will checkout the USB install recommendation, you may have just averted a teenage insurrection!

We are headed to the Porcupine Mountains, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Mackinac Island (hopefully will get the bike rack purchased and mounted before then). We were planning to head across 80/90 thru Chicago (It will be a Saturday) up thru Wisconsin to the Porkies across the UP to Pictured Rock then down to RT 2 over to Mackinac and then down back through lower Michigan and pick up 80 to head home to Jersey. Any heads up I should know about, other than the black flies that I hear are the size of Pterodactyls!?
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Old 06-27-2016, 06:05 PM   #8
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THOR #4184
Quote:
Originally Posted by PDXKara View Post
These 2 are going on my checklist!!!!

Thanks for sharing your experience. We get ours on Thursday and its great to hear stories on what we can expect!!
Congratulations on your new coach!!! Let us know how it goes. We are eventually hoping to get out to your neck of the woods but that is one long drive from Jersey!!!!
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Old 06-27-2016, 06:25 PM   #9
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Spend some time around Munising, you won't regret it. One of my favorite areas of the U.P. And if you have the time try to get up into the keweenaw peninsula. Spectacular area. Lot of history from the logging and mining days.
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Old 06-27-2016, 06:33 PM   #10
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Sounds as if you had a great trip. Those memories are priceless.

Happy and safe future travels to you.
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Old 06-27-2016, 06:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sepesce
We are headed to the Porcupine Mountains, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Mackinac Island (hopefully will get the bike rack purchased and mounted before then). We were planning to head across 80/90 thru Chicago (It will be a Saturday) up thru Wisconsin to the Porkies across the UP to Pictured Rock then down to RT 2 over to Mackinac and then down back through lower Michigan and pick up 80 to head home to Jersey. Any heads up I should know about, other than the black flies that I hear are the size of Pterodactyls!?
Black flies are over in July..you shouldn't see many in August.
Like Swix says: If you have time try to make it up the Keweenaw penninsula; Copper Harbor is really nice.

If you are coming back down I-75 on a Sunday double your time allotment--it gets really busy from all the weekend traffic returning to the Detroit area (you can mitigate that a bit by hopping on US-23 south of Flint(although a lot of the traffic is North of Flint), or even better grabbing US-127 at Clare--almost NO traffic taking US-127 down). Once you get to I-94 its safe to take that East to either US-23, or I-75 into Toledo and pick up I-80. I'd guess, though, that you'd be coming down that way earlier in the week if your desire is to return home to NJ on a Sunday.

Also note: The RV stops in the Ohio turnpike service plaza's are really nice. Most of them are back-in though so if you're pulling a car its easier to hang out with the trucks.

The City of Houghton's RV Park is really nice too:
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Old 06-27-2016, 06:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Swix View Post
Spend some time around Munising, you won't regret it. One of my favorite areas of the U.P. And if you have the time try to get up into the keweenaw peninsula. Spectacular area. Lot of history from the logging and mining days.
We were planning on stopping to tour a copper mine in the area. Not sure we will make it to Keweenaw. So much to do... so little time. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 06-27-2016, 07:03 PM   #13
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http://www.thorforums.com/forums/f17...ns-3086-3.html

Great post. Sounds like you are having a great time with your Axis. See above thread post # 52 for some noise reduction suggestions in addition to the dog house. They have made a difference in my 2016 Axis.
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Old 06-27-2016, 07:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Black flies are over in July..you shouldn't see many in August.
Like Swix says: If you have time try to make it up the Keweenaw penninsula; Copper Harbor is really nice.

If you are coming back down I-75 on a Sunday double your time allotment--it gets really busy from all the weekend traffic returning to the Detroit area (you can mitigate that a bit by hopping on US-23 south of Flint(although a lot of the traffic is North of Flint), or even better grabbing US-127 at Clare--almost NO traffic taking US-127 down). Once you get to I-94 its safe to take that East to either US-23, or I-75 into Toledo and pick up I-80. I'd guess, though, that you'd be coming down that way earlier in the week if your desire is to return home to NJ on a Sunday.

Also note: The RV stops in the Ohio turnpike service plaza's are really nice. Most of them are back-in though so if you're pulling a car its easier to hang out with the trucks.

The City of Houghton's RV Park is really nice too:

Thanks for the heads up regarding Michigan traffic, its been a long time since I was in the area. I use to travel a lot to Flint and Detroit in a previous life working for a division of GM . After living in Jersey for 10 years there is very little traffic wise that shocks me anymore and always happy to hear how to avoid it.

I was also happy to hear that the Ohio service plaza's are nice. What is your experience ? I hear some of the plaza's on 80 even have RV electric hookups and you can overnight. Do you know, are they usually crowded or general available ? We were not going to make reservations on the Friday afternoon we leave and are going to try and drive until we get tired. I expect we should be along 80 in Ohio somewhere. We were hoping just to pull into a turnpike plaza (we are not pulling a car) It might be hot, so hook up would be nice. I'm a planner so not knowing exactly where we will be stopping is a little out of my comfort zone. Getting out of my comfort zone occasionally is a good thing!!!
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Old 06-27-2016, 07:57 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Oneilkeys View Post
http://www.thorforums.com/forums/f17...ns-3086-3.html

Great post. Sounds like you are having a great time with your Axis. See above thread post # 52 for some noise reduction suggestions in addition to the dog house. They have made a difference in my 2016 Axis.
Thank you for your kind comment... We are indeed having fun .

We are definitely on the same page with our complaint. Obviously Thor did not make any improvements in the sound deadening department in the 2017 models. My husband is thinking that if he takes off the dash he could install more sound insulation. If we used the coach for short jaunts, I don't think I would find it quite so annoying, on the longer trips, a quieter coach would be most welcome. He is ordering more insulation but some of the places he would like to put it is quite difficult to get to in the engine compartment. I will certainly post any successes we have in our quest to quiet Odie (his name).
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Old 06-27-2016, 08:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sepesce
Thanks for the heads up regarding Michigan traffic, its been a long time since I was in the area. I use to travel a lot to Flint and Detroit in a previous life working for a division of GM . After living in Jersey for 10 years there is very little traffic wise that shocks me anymore and always happy to hear how to avoid it.

I was also happy to hear that the Ohio service plaza's are nice. What is your experience ? I hear some of the plaza's on 80 even have RV electric hookups and you can overnight. Do you know, are they usually crowded or general available ? We were not going to make reservations on the Friday afternoon we leave and are going to try and drive until we get tired. I expect we should be along 80 in Ohio somewhere. We were hoping just to pull into a turnpike plaza (we are not pulling a car) It might be hot, so hook up would be nice. I'm a planner so not knowing exactly where we will be stopping is a little out of my comfort zone. Getting out of my comfort zone occasionally is a good thing!!!
If you are coming down on Friday you'll be going against traffic--I'd still recommend US-23 as that keeps you out of Detroit in general and all the I-75 construction going on (Rouge River bridge, South of Detroit, etc.). A good website for Michigan traffic is MDOT's "Drive" which gives you live traffic: MDOT - Mi Drive Interactive Map

Here is all the info you need on the Ohio Turnpike RV stops (pdf). Our experience has been pretty good with them. The RV spots are away from the trucks so you get less noise and you can plug in. (Personally I think they have been the nicest places to stop anywhere we've been.) The general service plaza website can be found here: Service Plazas
Here we are with our old 5th wheel in the RV area:

Here we are with the trucks in our Axis (and car):

Note that the RV spots are completely on the other side of the building in this picture.
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Old 06-27-2016, 09:15 PM   #17
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Nice, I think we will give it a try and let you know how it turns out! Thanks for posting pictures.

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Old 06-28-2016, 01:48 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by sepesce View Post
Thank you for your kind comment... We are indeed having fun .

We are definitely on the same page with our complaint. Obviously Thor did not make any improvements in the sound deadening department in the 2017 models. My husband is thinking that if he takes off the dash he could install more sound insulation. If we used the coach for short jaunts, I don't think I would find it quite so annoying, on the longer trips, a quieter coach would be most welcome. He is ordering more insulation but some of the places he would like to put it is quite difficult to get to in the engine compartment. I will certainly post any successes we have in our quest to quiet Odie (his name).
Taking the dash apart is difficult and a lot of work. I was able to reach most of the areas under the dash in the engine department by standing on a box and crawling into the space above the engine. It's not easy but it is doable. Every additional piece of insulation makes a difference. After putting 25,000 miles on my first Vegas, I am much happier with the noise level in my 2016 Axis. Everything is relative.
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Old 06-28-2016, 04:13 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbrown View Post
A couple of resolutions for you:
1) Buy a GPS that supports your RV size. I use the Garmin RV 760LMT. I keep it mounted above the instrument display in my line of sight. This allows you to monitor your speed without taking your eyes off the road. You enter your length, width, height, and GVWR so that the GPS will avoid short, narrow, roads, etc.

2) I swapped out the Axxera with a Pioneer AVH-4100 NEX. It supports Apple Carplay (or the Android version), has a brighter display, supports marking on the camera displays to help gauge distance, etc.
Can you tell me where you got the custom sink cover.
Thanks,
Kevin
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Old 11-04-2016, 04:18 PM   #20
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Where did you get that windshield cover!? Thanks
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