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Old 01-09-2016, 05:50 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 27K
State: Arizona
Posts: 237
THOR #2005
A REAL shakedown cruise!

We recently returned from our real shakedown (literally) cruise in our 2016 Hurricane 27K. Prior to this trip, we had been out in it a total of 3 nights, and to places only a short distance from home. This round trip was a little over 2000 miles, from our home in southeastern Arizona to Pleasanton CA, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our trip was 13 days of adventure, challenges, inclement weather, learning about our RV, and trying to not get too stressed. While we have taken the same route too many times to count in our car(s) over the past 13 years, this time we saw things through a very different windshield!

Our first night was at the campground at Lake Havasu State Park, right on the lake. It was a really nice place - not busy and very scenic. Our second night was in Bakersfield CA, at the River Run RV Park - a very nice clean park with all the amenities.

Our next 6 nights were spent at the Fair RV Park in Pleasanton CA. It is located on the edge of the Alameda County Fairgrounds, and was mediocre at best. But I’ll leave the review for another time/place. Our last night in the coach was at Orange Grove RV Park, just east of Bakersfield CA. The whole park is in an orange orchard, and we picked lots of fresh oranges to take home with us - free! The last 3 nights of our trip were spent with friends, not in the coach.

The good news is, we had no serious issues with the RV. We ran into lots and lots of rain, and did not find any leaks. We fought very strong winds, and managed to stay on the road - both of us with white knuckles at times.

We found our way around the interior, trying to stay organized but sometimes finding we had to keep moving “stuff” to go to bed or to get in the shower, etc. We know this process will take some time as we become more accustomed to using our little home on wheels, and not bringing/packing a lot of extra stuff we don’t really need. One thing we brought, and were glad we did, was a small portable electric ceramic heater with a thermostat. We had some pretty chilly nights, and the little heater did its job keeping the coach from getting too cold.

We found the king-sized bed comfortable if not a bit hard (for me). We have the factory mattress, but may change it out down the road. I added a fluffy mattress pad and that really helped. I just keep thinking we’re basically sleeping on a sheet of plywood. We appreciated all the storage in the bedroom area, but found we really would have liked a couple coat hooks - maybe one inside the closet and one outside to hang a jacket or hat.

The bathroom is doable, but tight. I have mobility issues and need a step to get up into the shower, and then find the enclosure very very snug. We plan to change out the sliding glass door to an adjustable rod and curtain. We also find a lack of towel bars. We’ve thought of installing something on the wall behind the toilet, but are not sure what - a bar? Some coat hooks? A couple more towel rings? The towel bar device on the door doesn’t cut it.

The kitchen was fine for our needs. I prepared a few simple meals on the trip, but we ate out much of the time with family and friends. Since we have no toad yet, we had to prepare for not being able to go out to eat once we got set up for the night. All that worked just fine.

The sofa/dinette area is in need of some modification for us. The sofa itself is not comfortable for “relaxing.” It is narrow and stiff. We have removed the larger table and put the smaller one in one of the holes, allowing us a smaller dining area but more walking around space. We would like to think of removing the sofa and putting in some loungers.

We averaged around 8.5 MPG on the trip…guess that’s within the normal range. We are not towing anything - yet. We had the pantry door fly open just once, and plan to add a latch to remedy that. We also found that the upper left cabinet over the couch/dining area popped up each time we would take sharp left turn. Another latch will be installed. All the other doors stayed in place during our travels.

Rattles, squeaks, noise & frustrations:

• the TV over the entry rattled even on smoother roads & we’ve be troubleshooting that - no solution yet
• the driver’s side window and/or frame rattled incessantly, more so when we had a cross wind coming from the left. I know several folks have mentioned a similar issue, so I’ll be searching the forum for solutions
• there was some kind of “banging” noise coming from the passenger’s side wall - could not isolate it. It sounded like a big marble on a string, banging on intermittently on the wall. Not sure what it is, but will continue to search for a solution
• the buffeting from strong cross winds was scary and took lots of effort to stay on the road in places
• the road noise was so bad it was impossible to listen to the radio, or even carry on a conversation in normal voice levels
• many of the highways we travelled were in terrible condition…full of ruts, potholes, cracks and roughened surfaces. We felt really beaten up by the jostling, bouncing and bumping over these roads, but know that traveling in a larger RV is very different than in our regular cars. It was just exhausting to experience these bad roads in the RV.

Overall, the trip was a good one and we feel we learned a lot from our first big adventure. We look forward to tweaking our coach to suit our needs, and to adding some things to make our trips more comfortable. We are also thinking of shopping for a toad, but that will take a lot of thought and research.

Eileen in AZ
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:18 PM   #2
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Enjoyed your write up of your trip. Glad you made it back home safely and are feeling more comfortable in the RV. Hope you're able to find the causes of the annoying noises you mentioned. It appears that you have a good coach to enjoy on future trips. Tweaking it according to your needs can be fun as well.
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Old 01-09-2016, 08:32 PM   #3
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Eileen -- I have a Vegas 24.1 and had a similar banging on the passenger side wall coming from the kitchen area. Was driving me crazy. Found it was the blind on the small window above the sink. We put the blind all the way up and the banging disappeared. Don't know if that is causing yours but it's worth a check.
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Old 01-10-2016, 08:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bevedfelker View Post
Eileen -- I have a Vegas 24.1 and had a similar banging on the passenger side wall coming from the kitchen area. Was driving me crazy. Found it was the blind on the small window above the sink. We put the blind all the way up and the banging disappeared. Don't know if that is causing yours but it's worth a check.
Thanks for the suggestion, Ed! We'll check it out next time we take the RV out for a spin. The weird thing is that the banging noise was intermittent...no real pattern that we could discern. Guess there's nothing like a good mystery!
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:39 PM   #5
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Model: Hurricane 27K
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What we found to due away with the all the rattle are; Towel wedge in between the TV and the wall, Blinds behind the sink all the way up, Towel between the stove burners and grate, Dinette table rattle, put Scotch Tape strips 4 2" long top and bottom of each tube length wise.
The over head door coming open, the lock should keep it closed. The TV switching box is there with a lot of extra cables. Make sure the cables are not in back the that box. Check the lock it just might be bad.

Good Luck on your future adventures.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:38 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by fivejackie View Post
What we found to due away with the all the rattle are; Towel wedge in between the TV and the wall, Blinds behind the sink all the way up, Towel between the stove burners and grate, Dinette table rattle, put Scotch Tape strips 4 2" long top and bottom of each tube length wise.
The over head door coming open, the lock should keep it closed. The TV switching box is there with a lot of extra cables. Make sure the cables are not in back the that box. Check the lock it just might be bad.

Good Luck on your future adventures.
Thanks for the suggestions to tamp down the rattles! We've so far not had any issues with the stove top, but will try the towel thing on the TV.

With regard to the overhead door popping open - it's actually the one on the cabinet that doesn't have the switching box (and our DVD player) and cables in it. As far as we can tell there is no latch or lock at all...at least nothing visible. It just pulls upward to open and back down to close. The one side stays closed just fine. But we will probably put a latch on each just to be safe.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:38 AM   #7
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We have a new ACE 27.1 and the drivers window is noisy when we have certain wind, etc. Look at the locking latch to see if it actually goes into the slot to hold it tight. Ours is not and won't lock. I ordered 4 new locks from Lippert and will install 2 locks on each window, correctly. Thanks for the nice write-up.
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Old 01-12-2016, 05:13 AM   #8
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What a nice write-up! It's refreshing to hear someone share their experiences without whining about the little things that every new owner needs to deal with.

As a comment to needing more hooks and hanging options, we've found that the over-the-door type work quite well, even for our towels. We had a travel trailer before our A.C.E., and put a Command hook in the bathroom to handle an extra towel. Well, it pulled the wallpaper (if you could call it that) and created a big bubble in it. We panicked, took the hook down, and fortunately didn't damage the wallpaper. Amazingly, over the next month or so the wallpaper "un-bubbled" and we couldn't see where we'd put the hook. So, we've avoided using them wherever there is a chance for condensation or there's anything that remotely resembles wallpaper.

And as for rattles, the suggestion to cushion things with towels seems to be fairly universal. We put one between the range and stove cover. And we use a couple of them in the cupboard where we store coffee cups. It helps.

Motorhomes are not quiet vehicles, we've decided. Very different from driving in our big Expedition & pulling a trailer. But we wouldn't trade it for the world!
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Old 01-13-2016, 06:19 AM   #9
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Model: Windsport 27K
State: California
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Our Windsport 27K

Congratulations on your new RV! We have the Windsport 27K (which is the sister to your RV) and love it. We have had it for a year now and have taken it out at least once a month. Usually weekend trips and 2 longer ones (first was a week in february and second was 2 weeks in august).
We have noticed some of the same challenges as you have.
My Dw put up hooks with command strips by the front door for jackets and leashes for the dogs and has worked out very well so far.
We also get the rattle from the table and have not fixed yet, but that is on my honey-do list along with lifters for the bed so one person can get things out. It gets pretty heavy lifting up the bed, mattress, mattress pad, sheets, comforter and a small dog!
We had noticed the whistling around the windshield and had the dealer re-set the windshield. Better but not quiet. But at least we can hear the radio and talk.
The RV is pushed around by the wind a bit but not too bad. First thing we did was make sure the tires were inflated properly (they had too much air in them) and then got an alignment. May do the CHF sooner or later-seems to handle pretty well.
My DW also got another thick mattress pad to go over the mattress and it helps a lot. Very comfortable now (and gotta love the king bed!).
We use tension bars for the pantry door-works great and easy to do.
We drove in a rainstorm just after Christmas and found our outside storage behind the rear wheel on the door side had become filled with an inch or so of water.
Our batteries were bad-the dealer replace with 2 interstate deep cycle with 160 AH each. We also have a folding solar panel (160 W) that is sufficient to recharge/keep charged our batteries during the day.
I like the idea of using the small table at the dinette-much more room to get around. Will have to try it this weekend.
What heater did you buy? We have looked at the Buddy and that may be our next purchase.

All in all we are very pleased with our unit.
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Old 01-13-2016, 03:07 PM   #10
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Isnt that first big trip fun? We bought our Freedom Elite 28H back in March and our first big trip was in October from our home in Wisconsin down to New Orleans. Besides have two of our three dogs slip out the back at a toll booth (we since make sure the door is latched proper and yes the state patrol found them within 2 hours and we got them back. Its a story unto itself) we found it to be fun and relaxing lifestyle. We are heading to Florida in Feb for 10 days and then our big one is driving to Labrador to see the Viking ruins. That will be a 4000 mile round trip. I am still a bit nervous but we are getting better and better at planning for trips. We bought our toad last month, a 2014 ford focus. Retirement is a year away and we already have two years of trips planned. Wife and I really love the RV lifestyle. We just have to slow down a bit and limit our driving to 6 hours a day. That's a new thought process.
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:42 PM   #11
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State: Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHomeOfReligion View Post
We have a new ACE 27.1 and the drivers window is noisy when we have certain wind, etc. Look at the locking latch to see if it actually goes into the slot to hold it tight. Ours is not and won't lock. I ordered 4 new locks from Lippert and will install 2 locks on each window, correctly. Thanks for the nice write-up.
Thank you for that suggestion!

I know I've read comments by others in this forum of similar issues with the noisy side windows/frames. I'll try searching a little more. Thanks for the comments!
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Old 01-13-2016, 06:29 PM   #12
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Model: Hurricane 27K
State: Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedsmom View Post
What a nice write-up! It's refreshing to hear someone share their experiences without whining about the little things that every new owner needs to deal with.

As a comment to needing more hooks and hanging options, we've found that the over-the-door type work quite well, even for our towels. We had a travel trailer before our A.C.E., and put a Command hook in the bathroom to handle an extra towel. Well, it pulled the wallpaper (if you could call it that) and created a big bubble in it. We panicked, took the hook down, and fortunately didn't damage the wallpaper. Amazingly, over the next month or so the wallpaper "un-bubbled" and we couldn't see where we'd put the hook. So, we've avoided using them wherever there is a chance for condensation or there's anything that remotely resembles wallpaper.

And as for rattles, the suggestion to cushion things with towels seems to be fairly universal. We put one between the range and stove cover. And we use a couple of them in the cupboard where we store coffee cups. It helps.

Motorhomes are not quiet vehicles, we've decided. Very different from driving in our big Expedition & pulling a trailer. But we wouldn't trade it for the world!
Yikes! I had thought of those supposedly reusable/removeable hooks as well, but not sure now, especially if they mess with the wall covering. I know what you mean about the "stuff" on the walls. I assume a lot of it is some kind of printed vinyl or even paper and could be damaged relatively easily.

I have ordered a set of something called "Magic Hooks" that claim to be easily removable and reusable. They use micro suction cups to adhere to "nonporous" surfaces....not sure if the wall coverings in the RV qualify - but thought I'd try them out. They are sold @ QVC.com.

We're quite hesitant to be drilling holes in the walls to install things like hooks since we can't always tell what's behind the walls. Not sure if a stud finder would help in those cases!

I have also thought of some over-the-door racks, but haven't found any I like so far.

Thank you for your kind remarks about my post!

Eileen
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Old 01-13-2016, 06:52 PM   #13
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State: Arizona
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Originally Posted by Amochef View Post
Congratulations on your new RV! We have the Windsport 27K (which is the sister to your RV) and love it. We have had it for a year now and have taken it out at least once a month. Usually weekend trips and 2 longer ones (first was a week in february and second was 2 weeks in august).
We have noticed some of the same challenges as you have.
My Dw put up hooks with command strips by the front door for jackets and leashes for the dogs and has worked out very well so far.

We also get the rattle from the table and have not fixed yet, but that is on my honey-do list along with lifters for the bed so one person can get things out. It gets pretty heavy lifting up the bed, mattress, mattress pad, sheets, comforter and a small dog!
We had noticed the whistling around the windshield and had the dealer re-set the windshield. Better but not quiet. But at least we can hear the radio and talk.
The RV is pushed around by the wind a bit but not too bad. First thing we did was make sure the tires were inflated properly (they had too much air in them) and then got an alignment. May do the CHF sooner or later-seems to handle pretty well.
My DW also got another thick mattress pad to go over the mattress and it helps a lot. Very comfortable now (and gotta love the king bed!).
We use tension bars for the pantry door-works great and easy to do.
We drove in a rainstorm just after Christmas and found our outside storage behind the rear wheel on the door side had become filled with an inch or so of water.
Our batteries were bad-the dealer replace with 2 interstate deep cycle with 160 AH each. We also have a folding solar panel (160 W) that is sufficient to recharge/keep charged our batteries during the day.
I like the idea of using the small table at the dinette-much more room to get around. Will have to try it this weekend.
What heater did you buy? We have looked at the Buddy and that may be our next purchase.

All in all we are very pleased with our unit.
It's interesting that you've had good luck with the Command hooks! Glad to know that.

We haven't had any issues with the windshield - as far as I know. I think the noise that we hear is coming from the driver's side window area. Still haven't had the chance to look further into that issue.

We love the king bed as well...that's one of that major reasons for our choice of the 27K. We wanted a small/short RV but with a BIG comfy bed. We are going to install some bed lifters, too...they are on our list!

We're less than satisfied with the comfort factor of the couch/dining seating. Looking for alternatives, like maybe 2 theater-type loungers, or a loveseat-sized sofa bed...not sure yet what would fit into that space without major renovations.

We had no apparent rain water seepage in our storage areas...thank goodness!

Sorry...I can't tell you the brand of ceramic heater. It was a little one that we had sitting in the garage for years...never had it out of the box. It's in the RV now, and I'll try to remember to check it out next time I go out there. It's small, maybe 15" high, roundish in shape & oscillates. It has a thermostat, high & low fan settings, and is very quiet. We sit it on top of the closed stove top at night. It was very inexpensive and I think the brand might be Hunter?

Do you tow a vehicle with your Windsport? We're casually shopping for a used car or small pickup. Can't decide!

Thanks for your comments and glad to know we have a "twin" out there!
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:11 PM   #14
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Model: Hurricane 27K
State: Arizona
Posts: 237
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulsterman50 View Post
Isnt that first big trip fun? We bought our Freedom Elite 28H back in March and our first big trip was in October from our home in Wisconsin down to New Orleans. Besides have two of our three dogs slip out the back at a toll booth (we since make sure the door is latched proper and yes the state patrol found them within 2 hours and we got them back. Its a story unto itself) we found it to be fun and relaxing lifestyle. We are heading to Florida in Feb for 10 days and then our big one is driving to Labrador to see the Viking ruins. That will be a 4000 mile round trip. I am still a bit nervous but we are getting better and better at planning for trips. We bought our toad last month, a 2014 ford focus. Retirement is a year away and we already have two years of trips planned. Wife and I really love the RV lifestyle. We just have to slow down a bit and limit our driving to 6 hours a day. That's a new thought process.
Thank goodness you found your precious dogs!! What a scare that would be! We have no pets at this time. It's just the 2 of us. Our grown son (48) lives in CA.

We've thought about what it might be like to have a small dog. We had larger dogs most of our lives, but when we lost the last one due to old age, we figured that was enough.

We've both been retired for 10+ years, and are pushing 70. We're not sure we want the full time responsibility of a pup. Getting into the RV lifestyle is enough commitment and responsibility for us right now!

What exciting trip to Labrador you will have - sounds simply wonderful! I looked at this area on the map and for us it would be a 4000 mile trip - one way! Hope you will write about your experiences when you return!

Hubby balks at trips longer than 2 weeks, so not sure how much of this beautiful country/continent we will be seeing in the coming years...hope we can both feel comfortable and willing to take off for a month or more at a time so we can take our time and enjoy the "getting there" as much as the destinations.

When we went to our former place of residence in northern CA last month, I planned our trip to where we wouldn't be driving much more than 6 hours a day. When we make the trip by car, we stay over one night on the road. This time we took 2 nights and it was just about right.

Thanks for your post!!
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:17 PM   #15
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 27K
State: Arizona
Posts: 237
THOR #2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry View Post
Enjoyed your write up of your trip. Glad you made it back home safely and are feeling more comfortable in the RV. Hope you're able to find the causes of the annoying noises you mentioned. It appears that you have a good coach to enjoy on future trips. Tweaking it according to your needs can be fun as well.
Thanks Larry! We do look forward to many enjoyable outings with our RV! We need to justify the investment - LOL

We know a lot of folks who have nice RVs parked in their yards, or in storage facilities, and they just sit there, year after year. That always seemed a shame to me.

I told my husband that we don't have to do a lot of long trips. There are so many interesting and scenic places to visit within a day's drive of us. We tend to prefer staying at smaller, less "resort" style parks, and we love the state parks! Next month we're going on a 4-day, 3-night group camping trip to a nice state park called Patagonia Lake - little over an hour from our home. We stayed one night there, our first outing!

Safe travels!
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Old 06-28-2016, 01:33 AM   #16
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: windsport 27k
State: Florida
Posts: 31
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Hi lots of luck on your 27K Hurricane. We have had our 2015 for about a year and a half. Improvement I made was having a safe-t plus steering stabilizer installed. It makes a world of difference. No more white knuckles.
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Old 06-28-2016, 04:23 AM   #17
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Model: ACE 27.1
State: Wyoming
Posts: 53
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We wifi do the same.

Appreciate the feedback. We plan on doing the same. I told my wife the white knuckles matched my hair. Having our aligned did help, though. Safe travels.
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