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Old 11-21-2009, 04:11 AM   #1
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Prospective buyer, a few questions

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!

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!

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.

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?

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

CJ
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Old 11-21-2009, 04:49 AM   #2
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Quote:
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!

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!

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.

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?

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

CJ

You sure do have lots of good questions. I can only answer a few of them.



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!


I run two airs but not that one will not do it but I like to run the bedroom air during the time I am in the main body of the coach and at night I’ll run the Living area air. That way I do not have to hear the air running over my head. I was in 115 degree tempts for two weeks and I was comfortable.


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 have all wood floors except for the slide outs and it had to be place there to hide the side out mechanisms. I have not had any scratches from any of the three slides.

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Old 11-21-2009, 04:54 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum. Enjoy your quest for your new rig. We enjoy our 35' TKE very much.

I will give my 2 cents on a few ?'s. As for A/C, we have one unit and have found it to be adequate thus far. We have not experienced heat long term though. We been able to cool the unit down to 78 w/o difficulty and we're comfortable with that.

The wood floors have held up under the slide thus far. I can't speak to animal nails though.

Weight is probably the one thing we've watched very very close. We are under 17,500 and have no problems with the rig. The problem is keeping it under 17,500. We went from 3700 sq ft to 388 sq ft and I like my fishing gear . Really though, we have more than enough room for what we need in the rig.

We did not go with the disc brakes, Morryde or J tires and so far so good.

We also opted for storage instead of w/d.
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:35 AM   #4
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It looks to be oh so easy to pop in a second AC in the bedroom roof vent, even an AC outlet is wired and ready to use. We have only been in S. FL a few weeks this fall and one AC unit has been all we needed since an oak tree is assisting us with some morning and mid-day shade.

When you go to the Cat Scales you can easily set your rig up to have each axle weighed individually which will give great insight for setting the air pressure ideally to how you have the load balanced. The axle ratings are probably different on the two units you are comparing, so where one requires 3 axles the other gets by on two without issues.

More important to us was the GCWR of 23.5K of our truck which is why we had to stick to a 5W with a GVWR of 15K since our 11' flatbed is a bit heavier than a regular LB box. I was confident that our truck had enough oomph to pull 17.5K GVWR, but stopping it in a panic stop was our main fear.

I am proud to say we survived a few very short and quick stops navigating the 50 stoplights on HWY 27/80 coming up to Ft Myers recently with our drum brakes. The real test will be with our Allison 1000 transmission on the 13.5K' pass and 2K' deep canyon we will have to navigate this summer going to our KOA workamping job in Ouray, CO.

Dave
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:53 AM   #5
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Thank you for the responses. I need to research our towing capacity a bit more, we purchased a new 2008 Ford F450 last year to replace our Kenworkth T2 (we no longer fulltime) so towing capacity is definitely a worry now. We have the 4:30 rear end without the high capacity towing option... I think the GCWR is 26k, but I won't swear to that, and we don't know the curb weight of the truck yet either.

The Excel model we are looking at weighs less than the Nuwa... a definite plus. I think we'll be fine with the Excel... but we'd probably be pushing our truck with the Champagne.
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KU9L View Post
It looks to be oh so easy to pop in a second AC in the bedroom roof vent, even an AC outlet is wired and ready to use. We have only been in S. FL a few weeks this fall and one AC unit has been all we needed since an oak tree is assisting us with some morning and mid-day shade.

When you go to the Cat Scales you can easily set your rig up to have each axle weighed individually which will give great insight for setting the air pressure ideally to how you have the load balanced. The axle ratings are probably different on the two units you are comparing, so where one requires 3 axles the other gets by on two without issues.

More important to us was the GCWR of 23.5K of our truck which is why we had to stick to a 5W with a GVWR of 15K since our 11' flatbed is a bit heavier than a regular LB box. I was confident that our truck had enough oomph to pull 17.5K GVWR, but stopping it in a panic stop was our main fear.

I am proud to say we survived a few very short and quick stops navigating the 50 stoplights on HWY 27/80 coming up to Ft Myers recently with our drum brakes. The real test will be with our Allison 1000 transmission on the 13.5K' pass and 2K' deep canyon we will have to navigate this summer going to our KOA workamping job in Ouray, CO.

Dave
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.
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjtinkle View Post
I need to research our towing capacity a bit more, we purchased a new 2008 Ford F450 last year to replace our Kenworkth T2 (we no longer fulltime) so towing capacity is definitely a worry now. We have the 4:30 rear end without the high capacity towing option... I think the GCWR is 26k, but I won't swear to that, and we don't know the curb weight of the truck yet either.
Your F450 is probably about 28K GCWR, but they rated the 2009 version at 33k. I don't think you'll have a problem with either trailer. We took a 2009 36 LGKE fairly loaded over Teton pass (west of Jackson, WY) with the only issue that we moved the IBC gain up from 3.5 to 5.0 on the way down. You do want disc brakes on the trailer. Ours came with dexter and they're working fine with the Ford IBC. Only issue we've had with the Ford is it has a real sharp downshift into 1st when making a quick (panick?) stop when you're loaded. If you haven't done so, already, go over to thedieselstop.com and read through the 6.4l threads located there.

Didn't see it mentioned above, so if I missed it, sorry!! For the Bomber leather couch: Take a look at the 2010 Excel brochure and look at the interior pictures for the limited model. That's a bomber leather interior and includes the couch. Nope, it's not one from the models you're considering, but it'll give you a good idea of what you're considering. I can assure you that it's a great couch to sleep on while watching TV. While the Bomber leather interior is not an interior we would have ordered, we're very, very happy with it and don't regert it at all!

Suspension: Read through the threads here. There's nothing wrong with the standard spring suspension the Excels come with, but I really want a smoother ride for our trailer. We have the MorRyde IS on our list to have added this coming year. Our 36 LGKE has a significant over hang behind the trailer wheels. So far we've launched the coffee table into the wall and we're noticing the glass shelves in the cabinets around the TV aren't having the best of rides, either. Some of that has to do with the person driving the tow vehicle, though.

Some of us with F450s are noticing we're running a little front high on the trailer. If you have the MorRyde IS and you happen to have that issue, MorRyde can adjust for you. Bed clearance is fine. We have a minimum of 6 inches and we use at least 5 of them going in and out of our driveway.

On the iRV2 forum is an administrator with the user name Richard. He pulls the HH floorplan you're looking at. Send him a personal message asking about his trailer. David
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:20 AM   #8
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CJ - Richard goes by "Hitchhiker". Sorry!!!!
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:25 PM   #9
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Laminate flooring and pets

I have the woodlike laminate in my Excel. Brandi (my very active 60lb pitbull) has had no effect on it at all.
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:25 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by cjtinkle View Post
Hi all,
Does the optional Whirlpool stack w/d function well? Will it wash and dry the queen size sheets in one load?
We have a king size bed in our Excel and I can wash and dry both sheets and all pillow cases (4) in one load, so you shouldn't have any problems at all with queen size sheets.

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Does anyone have a picture of the couch in the 35 or 36 TKE models in the Bomber leather?
If you download a copy of the 2010 catalog, there is a picture of both the couch and the recliners in leather.
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:13 PM   #11
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Welcome!

cjtinkle.... I am going to go for just a moment so I can welcome you to iRV2! You will find many folks here on the forum ready to answer all sorts of questions you may have...so we hope to see you visiting & posting often!

OK..back on topic..
I do not feel I can really help you in regards to your rig comparisons..but I do feel that you could make up the cost of the second AC when you consider usage and then re-sale value when you get rid of it...

Good Luck with your decision making!!



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Old 11-21-2009, 11:44 PM   #12
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We have a 33RSE with thermopane winders and a heat pump for AC/heat. Temp goes up and the heat pump only keeps it 10 degrees cooler. Thus 90 = 80.

Our solution stay out of hot weather. Not looking to tow any more weight around.

My F350 diesel with towing package and 26k GCWR handles the 25k of weight just fine. Just don't forget about those disc brakes on the trailer. Priceless!
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:31 AM   #13
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David, I did see the Bomber sofa and chairs in the brochure, and I have a paper brochure along with the upgrade options. My question stemmed from the fact that all the sofas are the same style, except for the Bomber leather one, the sofa is completely different, so I was curious if the styling on the wrap around sofa's was different as well.

Also, the listed options show the upgrade for the mainstreet sofa and the magic sofa, but not the wrap around one.... so I wasn't sure if it were even an option?

Quote:
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Didn't see it mentioned above, so if I missed it, sorry!! For the Bomber leather couch: Take a look at the 2010 Excel brochure and look at the interior pictures for the limited model. That's a bomber leather interior and includes the couch. Nope, it's not one from the models you're considering, but it'll give you a good idea of what you're considering. David
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:32 AM   #14
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Well that was my NEXT question. I thought we would want the heat pump option on the a/c units... does it mean they don't cool as well?

CJ

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We have a 33RSE with thermopane winders and a heat pump for AC/heat. Temp goes up and the heat pump only keeps it 10 degrees cooler. Thus 90 = 80.

Our solution stay out of hot weather. Not looking to tow any more weight around.
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