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Old 02-09-2013, 06:13 AM   #1
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Thor Challenger Owners Unite!

We just traded in our Damon Outlaw for a new 2013 Thor Challenger with a DT floor plan. Although I'll miss having a garage for the bike, a screen room and party deck, having a new coach with a floor plan we both appreciate, a higher end build and more room should make it all worth it.

We live in Jersey and it's winter! When we picked it up last Saturday it was pretty cold. We drove it home and started working on setting it up a bit before we put it up for the remainder of the winter.

The first thing I found was that the heat coming through the register in the john was WAY to hot compared to the rest of the floor registers. As high end as these are, this was where they saved a bit of cash, there are no balancing slats in the registers to choke off the air flow.

I went to Home Depot and bought 5 really nice 2" x 12" registers with balancers. This was the smallest type they sell so with the help of a multi-tool I was able to lengthen the floor opening enough for them to fit the improved registers. It took me about ten minutes to measure and cut each one. Now I'm able to control the flow of hot air and they fit the look of the coach much better as well as being just beautiful.

The other thing I had to do was to winterize it as I wanted it domo'd wet rather than winterized. I needed to check this thing out top to bottom including the operation of the water system. They were a little surprised when the saw me break out my fold-able mechanics creeper and disappear under the thing with a flashlight in had only to pop out from under it in a different spot and shoot back under it to look at another location. But I wanted to be through!

Once I got it home I had to winterize it which is exactly what I wanted to do. I had never done it on a coach with an ice maker and a washing machine. These two items take a little more knowledge to be able to do it right. I finished dumping the water and filling the system with antifreeze right up to and including the washing machine. The last item was the ice maker. This is a little involved in that you have to over ride the water solenoid to get water flowing without simply asking the freezer to demand ice. Since it was so cold, these small lines had in fact frozen including the shut off valve located in the outside compartment. A hair dryer did the trick and after making up the 120 VAC bypass plug I was flowing antifreeze into the ice tray! Mission accomplished.

The one thing I found which was also a help to another Challenger already was that the water heater and bypass as well as the inverter are located under the master bed and covered with panels that require that you remove a bunch of screws to gain access to them. This is an issue mostly with the inverter because I've tripped the circut breaker on an inverter and had to reset it. This one would be a PITA to get to and reset. Once I look at it I'll see if I can make a remote reset that can be accessed from the outside.

So, my hope is that as with the "I Love my Damon Outlaw" thread I started, this might be a place for us Challenger owners to come to to talk about things specific to our coach. Too many threads are started to complain about issues with their coach. This one I would hope will be a place you can go and get real time answers specific to our Challengers.

I bought mine from Camping World in Lakewood, NJ. I have had great experiences with them and their service department and expect no less with this new coach!

Congratulations to us all that have moved into our Thor Challenger Motor Coach!
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:05 AM   #2
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Congratulations!!!!! Definitely post some pictures. I really like that floorplan!

(Come on, SPRING!!!!!)
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:13 AM   #3
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Thanks neighbor! I haven't gotten a chance to take photos yet but once this white crap disappears I'll shoot photos of the floor cutouts and registers I installed. I'm also planning on making a XM holder with power for my Roady 2 in the outside entertainment center. If I come up with a clever way to reset the breaker on the inverter without removing the cover I'll be posting that up as well.

Did you get much snow where you are? I ended up with only about 3" maybe 4.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:30 AM   #4
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Same here about 3"-4". Thank goodness it wasn't worse! Our rig is stored outside, so I'm hoping it melts soon, too!

Looking forward to reading about your mods! Really like the Challengers!
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:56 PM   #5
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Mine too. I stopped by to put tennis balls under the wipers so the snow wouldn't settle on the arms and put all that weight on them. Good thing because when I got there they were already holding up a lot of snow and there was more ready to slide off the front cap.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:50 PM   #6
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congrats on the new coach... just ordered a Palazzo from CW in Lakewood today. Coming from NNJ... we have 18". im so done with winter.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:40 AM   #7
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Congrats! Hope you enjoy it as much as I am!
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:32 AM   #8
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Congrats! Your skills will serve you well...Camping World in Statesville NC has gone above and beyond for us...bent over backwards! Here is a question...maybe a dumb one...did you use compressed air to blow water out of all your lines...then pour antifreeze in the Ptraps? I have never done it before...but I think I will give it a shot next winter...the ice maker sounds tricky!
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
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congrats on the new coach... just ordered a Palazzo from CW in Lakewood today. Coming from NNJ... we have 18". im so done with winter.
Wow! That's a lot of snow to move around. My wife is from the Lake Tamarack area and I'm from Upstate NY so we're both used to snow. I'm pretty happy when we don't get it now.

I'm sure you're going to have a great experience with the people at Lakewood. I found a great checklist on line for picking up a new coach. It was so detailed that we sent the tech who was walking us through it away so we could go through it one line at a time. When we left we had a good size list for them of things we wanted done. I got the idea of bringing my creeper down on the walk through from that check list.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:56 AM   #10
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Congrats! Hope you enjoy it as much as I am!
Thank you!
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:13 AM   #11
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Congrats! Your skills will serve you well...Camping World in Statesville NC has gone above and beyond for us...bent over backwards! Here is a question...maybe a dumb one...did you use compressed air to blow water out of all your lines...then pour antifreeze in the Ptraps? I have never done it before...but I think I will give it a shot next winter...the ice maker sounds tricky!
In my Outlaw I did because I read that you could get away with only doing that. I was nervous that I didn't get all the air out. Now I just drain it using the low point valves and start flusing from there so that all the valve seats see antifreeze. The washer dryer combo took almost a gallon. In total I put in 4 gallons of AF.

The ice maker was pretty simple but you have to be able to crimp on female spade connectors to a electric cord. With that you can energize the solenoid to get it to flow AF without having to turn the freezer on.

The dealerships can't tell you how to do it because of a liability issue. Why they don't include a bypass for winterizing is beyond me. I can assume that with that one item, they can get you in and charge you for a winterizing, oh, while you're here, we can go over all of the seals, and how about an oil change?

Thank you all for the congrats on the new rig. We're pretty excited. Buying this time of year in the North East kind of sucks since we get to wait for warmer weather with only the occasional drive by the storage yard to wave to it.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:21 PM   #12
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We recently traded in our small (27ft) gulfstream for a 2008 Damon Challenger, 36ft. Well we just love it. It may not be new but it was gently used and with 3 slides, the space is just unbelievable.
Happy to see this topic on the forum.

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Old 02-11-2013, 06:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
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congrats on the new coach... just ordered a Palazzo from CW in Lakewood today. Coming from NNJ... we have 18". im so done with winter.
Here is a copy of the PDI inspection checklist that I found online and modified for my Challenger. There is absolutely no substitute for a line by line checklist when buying something as complex and expensive as a motor home. You'll also find things on the drive home at which time you adjust your punch list

If you find this useful I can email you an Excel version to modify
Attached Files
File Type: pdf challenger check list.pdf (12.3 KB, 1607 views)
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:50 AM   #14
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Thanks for your post with the checklist, it's very timely. I'm on going to sign the purchase agreement this morning on a new 2012 Challenger 36FD. This will me our first motor home (previously owned a 5er). We will use the MH as our snowbird home here in the lower 48.
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