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Old 12-13-2017, 02:04 AM   #1
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New Excel Owner → 2007 L30RKE

After several months of back and forth thinking about it, we popped for the 2007 Excel L30RKE at RV Sales in Moriarty, NM.

It was a long but swift drive from our home in NW Washington to NM. I left home at 10 PM on Sunday night and arrived in Moriarty Tuesday evening. I discovered that the Ram computer wouldn't let me set the cruise control over 85, so I got passed a lot in Idaho and northern Utah. The return trip home included a side trip to San Diego to visit my daughters and grand kids.

There were some problems with the coach that RV Sales supposedly took care of that continue to be problems. More on that after I discuss the ongoing issues with RV Sales.

As you can see from the photo, the Ram is a bit tall for the low slung Excel. Not surprising since our previous Arctic Foxes also needed a boost to tow level. Flipping the axles will be a priority project in the Spring.

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Old 12-13-2017, 08:23 AM   #2
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Congrats on the new-to-you Excel!!! Make sure you spring shackle bolts are in lowest hole giving the Excel the highest ride. And being just a tad nose high is not a problem. Hope you have a ton of fun with the rig!
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Old 12-13-2017, 01:47 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, the nose is too high for our needs, and the suspension is already at its max height.



The biggest problems is that the rear end won't clear when we pull into our driveway. We tried very slowly, but ran out of clearance. So we used a neighbor's driveway with a more gentle approach and then a few hundred yards up the hill, we crossed the field between driveways.

I doubt that we'll get it to be as off-road capable of our Arctic Foxes, but we'd still like to be able to traverse some terrain without risking damage to the rear jacks, etc.



The other issue is that the opposing slide design makes it nearly impossible to use the galley with the slides fully in. We've been able to get our previous coaches level enough to use the slides while hitched. Sometimes we're lucky and it's level enough without doing anything. Other times making adjustments with the air hitch, air bags or a couple of Lynx Levelers gets the job done.
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Old 12-13-2017, 01:53 PM   #4
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I see.....thanks for the additional info. It's makin' sense now.
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockintom View Post
I see.....thanks for the additional info. It's makin' sense now.
It's beginning to make sense to us, too.

The bad news is that we've had this issue at our place for years, so we expected this problem with the low-slung Excel. Some RVs like Arctic Fox have better angle of departure. Others, like our Beaver Patriot were not. We got it stuck crossing the field twice. A friendly neighbor let us put in a connecting gravel road about 10 years ago. The new folks that own that property didn't like the connector road and took it out.

The good news is that the problem is easily solved with the Excel.
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Old 12-13-2017, 04:32 PM   #6
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Nice looking rig you got. We have been very happy with our 2007 Excel 30RSO. We bought ours from Kay's RV right next door to RV Sales. We're located in Santa Fe, NM so our pickup drive was only 45minutes down the road. Both outfits are great.

Only real issue we had was the Never-Lube bearings were bad at time of purchase. I replaced the entire axle/spring system with 7,000lb axles and disk brakes from Dexter. Done a ton of upgrades to it, but that has been the only problem areas.
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Old 12-13-2017, 04:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by rarebear.nm View Post
Nice looking rig you got. We have been very happy with our 2007 Excel 30RSO. We bought ours from Kay's RV right next door to RV Sales. We're located in Santa Fe, NM so our pickup drive was only 45minutes down the road. Both outfits are great.

Only real issue we had was the Never-Lube bearings were bad at time of purchase. I replaced the entire axle/spring system with 7,000lb axles and disk brakes from Dexter. Done a ton of upgrades to it, but that has been the only problem areas.
We had Never-Lube axles in a Holiday Rambler Presidential we bought new in 2005. While I enjoy the freedom from maintaining the wheel bearings, I don't like the risk of failure and greater sensitivity to wheel offset, larger tires, etc. So, shortly after buying the HR, we headed for Indiana and spent a week having the same MOR/ryde axles and disc brake upgrade you did. One of my favorite investments. Unfortunately, my wife has sour memories from the rig and the QC of HR & Monaco that taint her taste for everything about that rig, including the upgrades.


Especially the disc brakes. I could have used them about 4AM on Monday morning just a few miles from home when a herd of elk bolted from the forest onto Hwy 101 right in front of me. The ABS on the truck struggled while the trailer brakes proved very marginal for a full boat anchor stop from 60 MPH. Three of them turned and ran in front of me while I literally ran up to less than 3 feet from their rear ends.

RV Sales has a 2007 Excel 30RSO in stock they want to sell with an older Ram. I'd planned on looking at it just in case I liked the floor plan better than the RKE, but got busy doing the deal on our RKE and forgot about it.

Do you know what the "E" and "O" stand for in the model names?
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:19 PM   #8
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Upgrade thoughts

I'd appreciate your thoughts and experiences with some of these upgrades I'm mulling over . . .

1. Drawer glides. We have the ball bearing drawer hardware. Some of the drawers stay closed OK. Some don't. Three of them in the bedroom will open just sitting there on a level pad. I'd like to do something that will keep them securely closed even on rough roads.

2. Water heater. The Excel has a traditional 10-gallon LP/120VAC water heater. The thermostat is defective and overheating, so I need to do something anyway.
  • Fix it?
  • Replace with an new conventional water heater?
  • Replace with a tankless unit?

3. Generator. I built the genset unit below some years back and it's been mounted on the last couple of trailers. It houses a Yamaha EF3000iSEB 3KW generator with remote start. Note: the Excel does not have the generator prep.


Our choices are:
  • Mount the Yamaha generator on the Excel just like it is on the Arctic Fox
  • Mount the Yamaha in the generator compartment of the Excel.
  • Install an Onan 3.5 to 5.3KW LP genset in the Excel. Would require a full genset prep done to the Excel
  • Carry the Yamaha in the back of the truck in lieu of current tool box set up.

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Old 12-13-2017, 06:07 PM   #9
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Steve,

The "O" stands for open bath....or the shower and sink are in the bedroom. Pot in a closet room by itself.

The "E" stands for enclosed bath....complete bathroom is a separate room from the bedroom.

I'm lost on you comments of a traditional and conventional WH. I thought in the Limiteds in '07 they only used the XT model Atwood. 10 gal tank with 16 gals capacity of 120*F water at the faucet.
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Old 12-13-2017, 07:13 PM   #10
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Steve,

We have a fairly standard type of drawer guides found un homes. Side guides with support wheels in the two tracks. We seldom have any drawer open even on rough roads unless we missed pushing it in fully.

For the WH, I suspect you got the same one I do, an Atwood, GE16 ET. I'd be inclined to replace the thermostat first, much lower cost. Assuming the tank, burner and other fittings are still good.

The gen set? That's all over the board. Almost totally depended upon your life style and needs. If you frequently use the genny, I'd do some kind on install on the trailer. In my case, I carry our Champion 3500 in the back of the truck locked to a large hold down. Sometimes we take it, sometimes not, depending if we're boondocking, RV campgrounds, some mix, etc, length of trip, weather.

I had thought about putting the genset on the rear end similar to your AF, but I carry our waste toad on a rear cargo rack, when needed. So our genset rides just inside of the tailgate on the passenger side. Easy to load/unload and fire up while at an overnight camp or extended lunch stop. For extended stays I'll unload it and lock it to a landing gear centered under the overhang against the trailer. I added a 6' flexiable exhaust extension so that exhaust fumes are ported away from the trailer. This works well for us. Other needs and styles will require other solutions.



Tom, While you're at explaining what the model letters mean, what is the R & S for in 30RSO?
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Old 12-13-2017, 07:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Steve,

The "O" stands for open bath....or the shower and sink are in the bedroom. Pot in a closet room by itself.

The "E" stands for enclosed bath....complete bathroom is a separate room from the bedroom.

I'm lost on you comments of a traditional and conventional WH. I thought in the Limiteds in '07 they only used the XT model Atwood. 10 gal tank with 16 gals capacity of 120*F water at the faucet.
Thanks for the "O" vs. "E" explanation. Good thing I brought the "E" home as she doesn't like open bath models.

I used traditional and conventional to denote an ordinary LP/electric water heater vs. something like an AquaHot or a newer instant water heater system.

Yes, I noticed the 2007 brochure said the Limited came with a 16 gallon water heater. RV Sales was in the middle of replacing the water heater with a used unit when I arrived because of freeze damage. It now has an Atwood GE16TE model, not the XT model. From what I can tell on the Atwood site, the TE model is 2004-2005 vintage instead of the newer XT model that came out in 2006.





It appears that Atwood changed the mixing valve design. How effective is it in emulating a real 16-gallon water heater? I don't have a clue. I did enjoy better than typical hot showers on my way home, but that could be because the thermostat was letting the water overheat and blowing off the pressure relief valve. A cheap and easy fix.
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Old 12-13-2017, 08:11 PM   #12
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The XT was an option in our 05 model. We've had good performance out of all 3 of our XTs. The big problem with the WH is the mixing valve. They get a build of minerals in the mixing valve and quit putting out hot water. We used a water softener in ours and never had issues. But others have had lots of issues. You can take the mixing valves apart and soak in vinegar and water while you boil on a stove.
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:38 PM   #13
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Thanks Fred. My wife was against moving the genset box from the Arctic Fox to the Excel because she didn't like the aftermarket appearance of the aluminum box on the back of the Excel. That didn't seem to bother her so much yesterday. Perhaps the cost difference between a small welding job and a whole new genset system sunk in?

We usually carried a Honda 2000 in the back of the truck when we towed a travel trailer, usually on a BedSlide under a canopy. It went in a receiver-mounted cargo box on the trailer we took to the Arctic. A 5th wheel, especially one like the Excel with all the tankage forward, isn't nearly as affected by the weight of a generator in the rear.

Does anyone know how the mixing valve works to increase the apparent size of the water heater? I'll have to take a closer look at the back of the water heater, but I suspect that cleaning that valve isn't a fun project.

As for the drawers in the bedroom. I've pushed and pushed on them and they'll walk back out while I'm watching them. No need for a bumpy road. A sure fire solution is to put in a series of eye screws with a long rod to hold the whole stack of drawers in place. I was hoping for a more elegant solution.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:16 PM   #14
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I agree that sure fired solution to the drawer opening is vertical bar- not pretty. There are a variety of self closing and some locking drawer guides that should be interchangeable with what you have. I have the self closing style and they work well for us. I'll drive gravel roads but won't take the Excel on any very rough dirt roads. Grew up on jeep trails and 4x4 style travel.

The mixing valve as I understand it has three connections. One from the WH output (very hot), one cold water connection and one for the mixed water. I suspect its unlike how hot and cold are mixed in a facet. Never taken one apart to know for sure. I do know they are not cheap, like $100 to $150.
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