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Old 11-22-2009, 06:20 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by golden View Post
If you have driven over Red Mountain Pass, you already know how nerve-racking that is. Also, it is recommended that large rigs not try it, although many do. I recommend that since you are coming from FL, to go by way of Cortez, CO and take 145/62 to 550 to Ouray. Yes, it is a longer trip, but you won't be in a hurry anyway. The views are probably just as breath taking, but the curves not NEARLY as dangerous. Maybe you could even take a couple extra days and go to Moab and then drive to Grand Junction and south to Ouray. Your call, naturally, but opting for safety can never be wrong.
We took our '92 SUV over Red Mountain Pass, a real experience with an under powered V6. We are coming from Iowa next May after attending our son's grad school graduation so we'll be coming through Colorado Springs, Salida, Monarch Pass, & Black Canyon after Blue Lake. Fortunately after that the passes are relatively minor to Ouray. We've tent camped up near Lizard Head pass, but I think we'll get our Volvo HDT before we drag our 5ers there.

Yeah, maybe the year after we will try for working in Moab ... workamping has allowed us to see the USA one piece at a time.

Dave
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:25 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by cjtinkle View Post
Hi all,
We will be upgrading our 2005 CedarCreek to a better unit after the first of the year, and our research has it narrowed down to either the Excel Limited 35 TKE or the HitchHiker Champagne 37 CKRD. We are having a really tough time with this choice, so if anyone has owned both brands, I would love some feedback! We also ended up with HH and Excel brands as our final short list. IMO, both are well constructed units with solid frames. For us the deciding factors were minor observations during tours of both factories and floor plans available at the time.

My questions regarding the Excels. Is one a/c unit really enough? I can't imagine that being so on a 36 foot unit, regardless of the thermopane windows and extra insulation. In our current unit, parked in Arkansas in the summer, both units cranked, we could never get the unit cooler than about 82 degrees (parked in the sun). We will be spending 2 years down in New Orleans at Waterford Nuclear, and dang it I want to stay cool! Can't speak from experience here as we do our best to stay out of HOT weather. We have one A/C with the heat pump option. I don't think the heat pump affect A/C efficiency/performance at all. The heat pump is simply the A/C pulling heat from outside and putting it inside rather than vice versa as when the A/C is working, I think. Nonetheless, I'd go for two A/C's where you're planning to be.

I'm also a bit concerned about the weight of the unit and it only having 2 axles. Opinions, problems? We'd definitely go with the Morryde upgrade, disc brakes and J tires. Do your homework on the F450 GCVWR. Our trailer is rated at 17.5k GVWR and we watch the weight closely. We're maxed out with the 6.0l Powerstroke + Tow Boss (4.30 ratio) + some other stuff. We have the Mor/ryde IS and disk brakes and wouldn't be without them. If you go with the Mor/ryde IS be sure that the rubber springs aren't the "softest" No. 11 springs. You'll want at leat No. 30's. Several of us have had 11's on our new trailers and learned the hard way that someone spec'd the wrong springs.

Does anyone have a picture of the couch in the 35 or 36 TKE models in the Bomber leather?

Does the optional Whirlpool stack w/d function well? Will it wash and dry the queen size sheets in one load? We're happy with this W/D set. We do the queen size sheet in separate loads, adding other items with each load. Be sure to use High Efficiency (HE) detergent.

Does anyone know what brand the laminate wood flooring is? Is it durable? We'd like to run it from the kitchen into the living area as well, we travel with a German Shepherd and a Schnauzer, so I was wondering how it stood up to dog nails as well as being safe from scratches when pulling the slides in. I believe the brand is Armstrong. Ask your dealer or call the factory. No dog so I can't help on that.

I appreciate any and all responses, sorry this was so long!

CJ
Great questions. You've come to the right place to get the real skinny. Enjoy the adventure.
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:37 AM   #17
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Thanks again everyone for all the responses, you've been very helpful! We really like the floor plan in the HitchHiker better (rear dining) but the Excel is swaying us with the fiberglass roof. We hate, hate hate cleaning the rubber roof on our current unit!

The Excel is also a little lighter in the 2 plans we're looking at , and a foot shorter, a plus in our book.

Is there ANY fake wood in the unit? Our cedarcreek has solid wood cabinet doors, but the cabinets themselves are the fake stuff. We've not had any problems with it peeling, but it doesn't look very nice. My husband said he thought he spotted some fake wood trim around the front door on the 35 TKE we looked at.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:44 AM   #18
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Oh yeah! I forgot the rubber roof on the HH. That mattered to us as well. The "Walk Anywhere" claim from Excel is legitimate. I'm up there to sweep off the top of the slides every time we move (frequently).
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Old 11-22-2009, 04:52 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by cjtinkle View Post
Thanks again everyone for all the responses, you've been very helpful! We really like the floor plan in the HitchHiker better (rear dining) but the Excel is swaying us with the fiberglass roof. We hate, hate hate cleaning the rubber roof on our current unit!

The Excel is also a little lighter in the 2 plans we're looking at , and a foot shorter, a plus in our book.

Is there ANY fake wood in the unit? Our cedarcreek has solid wood cabinet doors, but the cabinets themselves are the fake stuff. We've not had any problems with it peeling, but it doesn't look very nice. My husband said he thought he spotted some fake wood trim around the front door on the 35 TKE we looked at.

Good luck on your decision.I like your blog! My mother has been keeping a daily journal for forty years and it has been an accountable document in a court of law. Are these new blogs if written in daily considered a document legal for court?
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Old 11-22-2009, 05:57 PM   #20
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I have the woodlike laminate in my Excel. Brandi (my very active 60lb pitbull) has had no effect on it at all.
Steve,

And if Brandi's nails did scratch the floor......whata gonna do???....kick her butt!!!! Sorry, I couldn't resist!!!

BTW....she a gorgeous pup!
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Old 11-22-2009, 06:10 PM   #21
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We had a Discover America before we got the Excel 5 months ago and have found the Excel to be much better insulated. We added the second air with heat pump because we wanted a heat pump and being fulltime if one goes out I want the backup because you will have some time before you can get it fixed. I'm really happy with our decision to buy and Excel.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:29 PM   #22
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No photofinish, AKA fake wood, on any cabinets or doors, at least in my Limited model.

Quality.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:08 AM   #23
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Our trailer is a 2010 SKO Limited with the Bomber Jacket sofa, recliners, laminate flooring throughout and 2 A/C units all ordered from factory. I noticed you are from Russelville,AR we are in Jonesboro,AR would be glad for you to look at ours if you would like. carroll_duckworth@yahoo.com
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:40 PM   #24
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Carroll&Eva, that is really kind of you to offer! I will ask DH, and if he wants to make the trip, we'll holler back at you!

Woodhicker, I have no idea if anything written in a blog can be entered in court... mine is pretty much just me rambling about daily life, so I'm not worried about it.

We're now trying to figure out if we can skip the NUWA factory trip (which is only 6 hours from us, and somehow squeeze the Excel factory tour in on our very tightly scheduled Christmas trip to see all the family as promised... sigh. LOL I think it's more like 11 hours away.
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