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Old 08-11-2013, 08:19 AM   #1
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Owner Reports on Thor 33SW Diesel Class C

Haven't been able to find any owner reports on 33SW, other than one list of squawks threatening legal action. On its face, this is a very interesting model. Can anyone point me in a direction? Or, better yet, if you own one, tell us about your experiences. Thanks.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:27 PM   #2
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I purchased a 2014 Chateau 33SW on 6-22-13. First thing I did was to install a Progressive Industries EMS-LCHW50C surge protector.

I live near Frederick, MD and took my shakedown trip to Lake Raystown up in PA. About a 200 mile trip. Next trip to Lancaster, PA, about 250 mile trip. Just got back from Charleston SC, about a 1200 mile trip. I love it. It handles very well. Did not get blown around when big rigs pasted me or I pasted them. That 6.7 diesel has got more power then you will ever need. I have not set up a tow vehicle yet. Ford rates the chassis to tow 15,000 lbs but Thor only put a 10,000 lb hitch on it. The hitch requires a 2 1/2" ball mount, but you can buy a reducer to use 2" ball mounts.

When I was looking for a motorhome, I wanted one that could tow 10,000lbs, have a diesel engine, have a good carrying capacity (3000 lbs), have hydraulic levelers, have a residential refrigerator and didn't break the bank.

Don't get me wrong, I do have some issues with it. It is at the dealer now fixing a bunch of minor issues like pantry not mounted correctly, replacing a window screen that was made wrong, sofa bed not mounted properly, microwave door binds when opened, one compartment leaks, blind bracket broken but the biggest item is that they are replacing the whole floor. When it was installed at Thor, they did not clean the floor before installing the vinyl and it looks like there was small gravel or wood chips under the vinyl or even screw heads that had popped off, as well as some cuts right in the middle of the floor. The dealer says that they see this a lot. They will have to take almost everything out to replace it (sofa, bed, cabinets and even partially remove the slide to do the job right).

After I get it back from the dealer, it will have to go to Ford as I believe that there is a problem with the drive shaft. One of the drive shafts and carrier bearings I believe is too small or it is out of aline when torque is applied when driving.

Even with these problems, I would still buy it again if I had to do it over again as I believe that when all is fixed, I will be a very happy camper.

rvin soon,

rvingrampa
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:37 PM   #3
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Very interesting and informative. Thanks a lot. Please post follow-up on how well they do in fixing the more serious items.
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:50 PM   #4
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where you able to figure out your mpg on any of those trip's ?
I would think mid teen's not towing ?
I just got a palazzo and everyone is saying around 10 mpgs towing and I will be very happy with that , I get my tow dolly at the end of this week and have a trip planned in 2 week's to test.

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Old 08-15-2013, 05:27 AM   #5
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As far as too many people telling you how they like their Super C 33SW, from what Thor told me, it has not been in production that long and what my dealer told me was that they got one on the first ones back in December and sold it in five days and I bought the second one that they were able to get in. I haven't figured out the mpg the old fashion way yet. When I got it from the dealer and went on my first trip, I forgot to hit the reset button on the computer and it was only reading 9.4 mpg, but the engine had like 19 hours on idle time on it from I guess the factory, the delivery driver and the dealer showing it. I was hoping to get 10 mpg as my old gas class c I only got 7 mpg. To my surprise, so far the computer is telling me my best mpg is 11.6. The generator had around 3 hours on it when I bought it and now it has around 13. Had all the grandkids in the back on one trip and it got a little warm back there so I fired up the generator and AC for them which cuts into the mpg. After it finishes breaking in and I get all the bugs worked out, I might get to see a couple more mpg. The generator also gets used if we are going to stop for a couple hours some where and we have the refrigerator running as the house batteries don't last that long. Another thing that the dealer is supposed to check out (maybe a bad battery) as I feel they should last more than just a couple of hours. Will update when I get it back from the dealer.
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvingrampa View Post
As far as too many people telling you how they like their Super C 33SW, from what Thor told me, it has not been in production that long and what my dealer told me was that they got one on the first ones back in December and sold it in five days and I bought the second one that they were able to get in. I haven't figured out the mpg the old fashion way yet. When I got it from the dealer and went on my first trip, I forgot to hit the reset button on the computer and it was only reading 9.4 mpg, but the engine had like 19 hours on idle time on it from I guess the factory, the delivery driver and the dealer showing it. I was hoping to get 10 mpg as my old gas class c I only got 7 mpg. To my surprise, so far the computer is telling me my best mpg is 11.6. The generator had around 3 hours on it when I bought it and now it has around 13. Had all the grandkids in the back on one trip and it got a little warm back there so I fired up the generator and AC for them which cuts into the mpg. After it finishes breaking in and I get all the bugs worked out, I might get to see a couple more mpg. The generator also gets used if we are going to stop for a couple hours some where and we have the refrigerator running as the house batteries don't last that long. Another thing that the dealer is supposed to check out (maybe a bad battery) as I feel they should last more than just a couple of hours. Will update when I get it back from the dealer.
diesel's take 20 to 30,000 mile's to break in compared to a gas motor .
I would think even with the gen running all the time you should get a minimum of 10 mpg +
if these class A's are getting 10mpg's and are bigger and heavier you should at least get the same I would think , I just don't no how fuel efficient the ford motor is compared to cummins

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Old 09-04-2013, 05:42 PM   #7
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What can you share about use of the fuel additive/cost on that diesel.
Also, dry camping with the residential fridge and only two batteries. You mentioned a issue with that and we do alot of dry camping in colorado and I can't believe the two batteries would not run out of juice quickly and while using generator is fine I would like to go a few days without batteries being dead and generator on alot. What happens at night if batteries get low and generator needs to kick on. I was under the impression it was unsafe to run generator while sleeping. Have had class A with propane fridge 10 years and never had issue and don't run generator at night. Have they said they would look at more batteries (like larger Class A's with residential fridge) or offer propane option? Any others with knowledge on battery life in this unit would be appreciated.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:34 AM   #8
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Bakeryman,

So far I have not used a fuel additive. I have about 4k on the engine and have not had to add any DEF fluid yet but the monitor says I have less then a half of a tank left. Going to wait until it tells me to add it the first time so I get an idea how far it will go on a full tank of DEF. I just came back from Tennessee and was running around 70-75 mph and got around 10.4 mpg. On my more leisure trips up to PA with more up and down mountains, I got 11.6 mpg. Speed makes a big difference.

When you are driving, the engine charges the house batteries, which the inverter pulls off of to power the frig. No problem. On my way down to Tennessee, we stopped at a truck stop to catch some shut eye and I went to fire up the generator and it would not fire up. Without the engine running the alarm for the inverter went off to let me know that the batteries were running low after about 2 to 3 hours. It turns out that the generator had a bad fuel pump from Cummins and is being replaced under warranty next Tuesday. The batteries that come in the unit are 12 volt and not the best. My dealer said when they go bad, I should replace them with 6 volt deep cycle batteries like in a golf cart or such. I would just have to find ones that would fit in the same compartment and maybe add more in another compartment. I was also told, if you add more batteries, you might have to replace the charging unit to a bigger one to accommodate the additional batteries.

As far as running the generator at night while sleeping, that is another story. The unit does have a CO/LP detector. I have heard many stories on running it while sleeping like, if the slide is not out you should be okay, if the windows by the exhaust are closed no problem, face the motorhome so the wind will blow the exhaust away from the unit, they also sell a Gen-Turi Generator Exhaust System that might work in your case, but you have to feel safe with whichever way you go. I did not want a propane frig and to my knowledge they do not offer a propane option. They do offer a LP generator. Don't know if it puts out any harmful fumes but that might work for you. My dealer sold one with a LP generator in it and the person wishes he had the diesel generator as the LP tank is not big enough if you run a generator, stove and furnace all at the same time.

As this unit sits right now, if you do not want to run the generator while dry camping, it may not be the right unit for you. Even with the problems I have had, that have all been fixed except for the drive-train issue which I will get it in to Ford next week after the generator fix, if I had to do it over again, for what I paid and what I got that I wanted, I would still buy it again.

The main things that sold me on this unit were; it had a residential frig, hydraulic levelers (big foot), diesel engine, will carry approximately 3,000 pounds without going over the GVW and can tow 10,000 pounds. I do not know of any other Class C units that have all these items for the price I paid.

If there is anyone out there that has one of these units that has any input, tricks or information to help us enjoy our units better, please chime in.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:31 AM   #9
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rvingrampa

I know this tread has been idle for awhile. Hope all is well. I was hoping you might be willing to give me an update (good and bad) on your new SW33 covering all that you have experienced since your last post. My model is similar to yours and I'm really interested in the drive line issue you mentioned with noise when the drive line was under torque. Please see my signature for my MH information. i drove the MH home for just a few days from the dealership (needed to just look at it) then off to storage. I notice a drive line noise while under torque like you mentioned on yours. What did Ford find out? I purchased the unit in late January so no camping till weather permits. The MH has 750 miles on it so I can't offer any input on mine. Has your floor issue been addressed and repaired to your satisfaction? Does yours have an inverter/charger installed. What model and watt capacity? Mine does but no literature given for me to study and I forgot to look at my model number before storage. Any other information you would want to share would be great.

Thanks
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:16 PM   #10
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33sw

Do not buy this unit if you plan on dry camping and aren't prepared to spend a bunch of upgrade money. As is, it is inadequate...

Propane Generator (standard) + small propane tank + power hungry refrigerator = not usable dry camping for more than a day. You might make a few days if you are ok with just shutting off the fridge for 5 hours at a time. Running the fridge requires (basically) running the generator.

You would need to either get the Diesel generator option and still plan on running it all night (horrible and not even an option in national parks etc...), and/or replace all the batteries with high capacity 6v + solar so you can make it through the night. I am hearing some luck with a 160w solar panel and 4 Lifeline batteries does the trick, but that adds a bunch of $$$. Again, as it comes from the factory, it is not adequate for dry camping period.

Other than that, the f550 chassis + the diesel engine combo is awesome. Drives very smooth and has loads of power. I have had a lot of cosmetic issues, a water leak etc...but my biggest issue is refrigeration...sounded like a great idea, but the reality is it isn't unless you normally stay in rv parks plugged in. If it wasn't for what Ford has done, I would say this unit is a complete bust unfortunately.
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:05 PM   #11
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We too found this to be the "answer" to what we have been looking for but we plan to use it for 12 hours dry and need the fridge for sure....
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Old 05-14-2014, 02:31 PM   #12
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We also found this coach to be just what we were looking for in a MH (our first). We plan to dry camp for the first time over the Memorial Day weekend. We added a portable 160w solar panel and upgraded the batteries to two 29 series (instead of the 27 that it came with). Anyone have any experience with solar and whether or not this will be sufficient with the residential fridge? We've read other posts that indicate if the inverter is turned off at night, that seems to save on the batteries and keeps the fridge cold as long as it isn't opened.

We have also had some cosmetic issues with the coach, and it's in the shop being repaired now (replaced a day/night shade, counter top was cracked, door into bedroom wouldn't shut all the way, a cupboard door was warped, pump in the fridge for the ice maker leaked). Now Camping World, who is doing the repairs--but is not the dealer we bought it from, is telling us the Schwintek slide system needs to be replaced as it was installed incorrectly. Having said that, like rvingrampa, we'd buy it again. Can't beat the diesel engine (we are getting 11.4 mpg without towing), the towing capacity, storage, and the king size bed is super comfy!
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:42 AM   #13
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Do you have the diesel generator?
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:00 PM   #14
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We wanted the diesel generator, but could not find one within 1,000 miles of where we live (we traveled about 500 miles to get this one) so we went with the LP.
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