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Old 12-02-2022, 08:18 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Nebraska
Posts: 11
THOR #28338
Gemini 23TE

Hello Everyone. This is my first post here and I wanted to share my story about a 2023 Gemini 23TE I took delivery of this past Tuesday. Bad luck had us waking up to an unexpected snow storm the Rocky Mountains had been dumping all night and was continuing to do so. Roads were terrible, snow & ice covered, traffic was slow, plenty of accidents, and I had a LONG journey to get home with wife following me in the car. This being my first RV and first time driving anything bigger than a full-size pickup trucks, there were some white knuckle moments with a bit of anxiety. This model has AWD so that helped.

Okay, let's dive into some specifics. It came with a 12 inch infotainment set-up and SYNC 4. Pleasant surprise. I thought it would have the 8" screen w/ SYNC 3. SYNC 4 is just terrific compared to SYNC 3 that we have in the car. Heater and climate controls worked great in the below zero outside conditions. Seat was comfortable and the cab had plenty of cup holders, places for snacks and ports for phone. Phone pairing, navigation system and music sound quality were very good. The 310 HP & 400 ft-lb twin-turbo V6, 3.5L engine with 10-speed automatic had plenty of muscle for an 11000 GVWR vehicle. I only got about 11.5 average MPG but hey, driving conditions really sucked.

After getting home, activating Android Auto & Amazon Alexa was ezpz. FordPass App works great for remote start, lock/unlock, etc. Ford gave us a month of free bandwidth & teamed up with Amazon, some free streaming services.

The 40" (retractable into the countertop), Insignia Model NS-40D510NA21 smart? TV seems great. Has HDMI ports/included cable & a USB port. Might buy a blu-ray player for it. We were impressed with the thoughtful floorplan & Thor's choice of high quality appliances like the gas cooktop, microwave-convection oven, huge Norcold DC powered refrigerator/freezer, tankless hot water system, etc. The huge dry bath with plenty of storage is really sweet. Onan 4K gas generator works well. The queen size Murphy Bed is nice & easy to set-up.

Disappointed it didn't come with a ladder on the back for on-board roof access and that there is no sewer hose, but overall, we are quite pleased! Will report as learning process continues.

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Old 12-29-2022, 11:17 PM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Nebraska
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THOR #28338
Wi-Fi Hotspot Test

The chassis on this RV is a 2022 Ford Transit 350 HD. The plan was to setup up a Fire TV Stick on the RVs TV. An HDMI port is needed & the TV has more than one. I also wanted to use an Amazon Echo Studio device to stream my music and do the other things that Alexa does both on the road & at camp (inside and/or outside). To use these features when at camp, an unlimited data plan hotspot seemed to be the best option if a decent price could be found. I thought $20 / month was fair. To keep the hotspot on when at camp, the ignition switch needs to be in the Accessories position. Test time... I plugged the RV into shorepower and turned the key. Hotspot stayed hot for 3 hours until I stopped the test, satisfied it would stay on indefinitely. Batteries remained fully charged of course. The only electrical devices that went live in the Accessories position seemed to be the windshield wipers/squirter and the Infotainment Center. Dash, steering wheel controls, heater/fans all were dead. A fixed switch under the radio turns the busy infotainment screen to a simple time/date display to eliminate distraction. Happer camper 😁.
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Old 12-29-2022, 11:35 PM   #3
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Model: ACE 27.1
State: Florida
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THOR #7035
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkNEskies View Post
The chassis on this RV is a 2022 Ford Transit 350 HD. The plan was to setup up a Fire TV Stick on the RVs TV. An HDMI port is needed & the TV has more than one. I also wanted to use an Amazon Echo Studio device to stream my music and do the other things that Alexa does both on the road & at camp (inside and/or outside). To use these features when at camp, an unlimited data plan hotspot seemed to be the best option if a decent price could be found. I thought $20 / month was fair. To keep the hotspot on when at camp, the ignition switch needs to be in the Accessories position. Test time... I plugged the RV into shorepower and turned the key. Hotspot stayed hot for 3 hours until I stopped the test, satisfied it would stay on indefinitely. Batteries remained fully charged of course. The only electrical devices that went live in the Accessories position seemed to be the windshield wipers/squirter and the Infotainment Center. Dash, steering wheel controls, heater/fans all were dead. A fixed switch under the radio turns the busy infotainment screen to a simple time/date display to eliminate distraction. Happer camper 😁.

Why type of hotspot gives you unlimited data for only $20 a month and requires you to turn the ignition switch on?

A belated "Welcome to the Forum"! Glad to have you here.
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Old 12-30-2022, 12:19 AM   #4
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THOR #28338
Thank you for the welcome. Well, perhaps I may have counted chickens before they hatched but here's how it went down. As a new owner, I was setting up accounts such as FordPass and the Wi-Fi Hotspot. AT&T seems to have a firm grip on Ford vehicle data plans so I activated the 3 month, 3GB, free trial so I could test it and set up my 'network'. I truly despise those 'today only' special deals but they stuck a $20/month Unl data plan in my face. Seeing how I could cancel at any time, I took the plunge. The 'free' trial is ongoing, works, and allowed me to set-up my hotspot name & password. While traveling, anyone in a vehicle with a hotspot can connect to the internet through this wi-fi network. The potential surprise may be what 'Unl' actually means. I assumed it meant unlimited. Wi-Fi is always on while engine is running or ignition switch is put in Accessories position when it's off. What I didn't know was if the Accessories position would time out & shut off automatically. Putting a vehicle's ignition switch in the Accessories position for a long period of time, risks running the chassis battery down, unless...the vehicle is plugged into shorepower & the RV battery master switch is On. Alexa only needs a 120V outlet for power & wi-fi. I got this to work by putting an Alexa Echo Dot in my Chevy pickup .Did my longwinded reply help?
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Old 12-30-2022, 12:39 AM   #5
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OK, I see, you have the AT&T Connected Car Plan through the vehicle's LTE modem. In the GM world (OnStar) it had gone from $20 to $25 a month. I don't know what it is now.

The good news is: although not unlimited, you do get 22 Gb of high speed data each month, then you are "de-prioritized" if on a crowded tower, otherwise you still get full speed.

We have had the Connected Car plan for years (since they sold it with the OBD2 Mobley modems for vehicles that did not have a built-in LTE modem) and it has served us well in almost all locations. I think there was one spot on the Blue Ridge Parkway where the signal was too spotty for streaming, but still worked for email, etc.

Hopefully you'll find the same success with it.
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Old 12-30-2022, 12:46 AM   #6
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THOR #28338
I'm learning. Thx for info. Time will tell but I'm hopeful it will work. I'll need to pay close attention about video streaming and depleting my data too quickly.
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Old 02-07-2023, 01:31 PM   #7
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Gemini 23TE
State: New Hampshire
Posts: 4
THOR #28988
Ours didn't have the ladder either. We winter camp so we need it. To get the "right" one we ordered "0420698 LADDER, REAR, TFM5610, 97-1/2 X 25 X 11-1/4”, 6-STEP, LEFT SIDE, BLACK" from Thor. 6-8 weeks for delivery, $300 freight to ship, couple hours to install (need schematics from Thor to insure it is installed correctly on the supports, not just into fiberglass). All up about$1,000, which is really expensive. But we go all year when it snows and NH has a law about cleaning off the roof before driving so it had to be done.......
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Old 02-07-2023, 05:42 PM   #8
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Nebraska
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THOR #28338
Hello Mark & Linda. Congrats on your 23TE. Great RV for two. We also had a couple of minor issues that our dealer resolved. The pedestal centerline spacing was about 2 inches different than the table, but I fixed that one myself. Issues still unresolved include the factory installed HDMI cable that doesn't work. The inside entryway door handle snapped right off. The dealer never installed a front license plate bracket that is needed.

To take care of the ladder problem, I bought an Archom telescoping 13.5 foot ladder for $128. We store it in the closet & secure it with a couple of spring tension curtain rods. I removed the pedesral brackets from the closet & put the pedestals in the overhead area behind the front seats. By the way, the access panel in the closet is for the vacuum break (anti-siphon) device for the San-T-Flush black tank rinse.

We lived 55 years in southern CT and spent most of our vacations camping in the Green Mountains, White Mountains and Cadillac Mountain areas. Gorgeous country. Would love to hear how the Gemini handles cold weather in northern New England.

I also, was unimpressed by the single, somewhat wimpy house battery. Will consider trashing it next year and replacing it with a couple of AGM batteries with more Amp Hours.

Good luck & safe travels.
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