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Old 07-15-2012, 10:38 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 185
RV Residential Package

Hi,
We own a 40' KZ Escalade REB that we have modified with our own version of what we think would be a "Residential Package" like you might find on a Park Model trailer.

We are both full-time working professionals. I work for Microsoft near here in Redmond....although I mostly work from home these days. We have a 4 year old Rottie name Ben.
We live on space we rent from a home owner with 5 acres in the foothills (Fall City) near Seatttle. We have full hook ups, 30 amp service and tons of privacy and quite. It is a truly beautiful place to live.
We just moved so I will have to get pictures soon to post.
1. RV-500 on demand tankless hot water heater PrecisionTemp.com: For Recreational Vehicles and Boats.
This tankless water heater has been fatanstic to use most of the time because you can take an endless shower which my wife does. It is also good for hot water therapy on my neck which might sound weird but really helps at times. We don't boondock so that is not an issue for us. It has been a challenge to get running right because the first tech who istalled it did not understand how much propane it needed and also there have been other issues which I consder safety issues with the wiring and so forth, but I will say the people (especially Gary the senior engineer) at Precision Tech back their product with service like I have rarely seen before and they know I did not buy it new so that is even more kudos to them. If you want to learn more from us on this issue just ping me and I will write something up here in the forum. We are into this for about $1,000 so far which is a normal price new. I purchased it slightly used for $400. My one comment about this experience is that I think it would help for people to really understand the nuances of what it takes for one of these unites to run properly. I did my research and due diligence before purchasing but still had not gathered enough information. i relied on the tech who installed it and sold it to me to understand those needs. I would highly recommend working with Precision Temp in finding someone who understands what it takes to get one of these working correctly in your trailer.
2. Store Bought Residential King Sized mattress. Our KZ came with the OEM King Size RV quality mattress from KZ but we had one in storage that was a very high end brand named pillow top which we just loved when we had our house. We were not sure it would fit but it did and boy are we glad.....wow....what a great night's sleep. The difference between a KZ OEM version and ours is like comparing a piece of 1" foam to a real bed...just no comparision and a mod you will never regret. Add a CPAP machine and you will be shocked at how much sleep you never got.
3. 18 cubic foot GE Residential Fridge. This is our current project. Many are using the Samsung 197 but with the KZ you don't need to pay the price of the Counter Depth fridge and the GE costs half the price. Our current NorCRAP was giving us trouble and when we looked online and saw how much it was to replace ($4500) before install, we just said no way. Couple that with the fire danger from the manufactures recall and I'm glad it broke. The residential is $600 and is much larger capacity and will run much better. There is a ton of information out there on this if you are so inclined. RV Fridges are a thing of the past for rigs like ours unless you need to boondock. I don't think too many people boondock with rigs like this anyway.
4. Handmade B&K Residential Stereo. Of course this is my favorite. This is a fabulous professional quality stereo that just gives us really great sound for our Flat Screen TV and my music. This is not a surround sound system which I have considered for our TV watching. This a two channel stereo with 125 watts per channel high quality sound.
5. PC as TV. We use our main 32" LG Flat Screen TV as our PC computer screen. It is provides us with so much more rich content than I could every find on our Comcast TV channels. The things you can watch from high qaulity videos on the web showing on our TV screen is just facinating. Of course we use it for stuff like Netflix and so forth but Discovery channel's web site and so many more make it great to have hooked up like this.
6. Furniture.. Our adult daughter had to live with us for a few months last year and she found the sleeper sofa that came with our big wrap around couch in our Escalade was just intolerable so we are in the market for a new couch which will will be more comfortable. We also use a rolling office desk that is very handy for an all purpose table to eat on or work on.
7. We have a 40' x 24' vynel RV canopy that protects our rig in the winter. We paid $3800 for it from a company here in Seattle and after a couple winters in it we just loved it. We sold it to the person who took over our last spot but it was fantastic and provided so much protection from the Sun regarding deterioration and so much protection from water as well as just making life a lot nicer living in our coach. We are shopping for another one now. Probably will go backt to the same company since they did such great work. They are called "Northwest Canopy" and you can find them here: NWCanopies: Canopies, Tarps, Carports, Garages, Fittings and Accessories . Ask for the owner Mike Bates.
Anyway, we have found our KZ Esclade to be the most well made RV we have owned and a really cozy place to live in the winter. We of course have the fireplace, air conditioners, sat dish and more. These amenities are nice, but it is the build quality of the KZ that really shines. Everything is just so well made and solid that if really make for a durable, beautiful environment to live in.

Hope that gives you all some ideas. If you have any questions on any of these points please don't hesitate to ask.

Keith Caravelli
Fall City, WA
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:37 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tempe, AZ
Posts: 1,833
You've done what I plan on doing once I get over some physical problems I've been having. I plan on installing either an RV500 or the larger of the two new tankless Atwoods that are supposed to hit the market soon (they were supposed to have been out already), a residential fridge, washer/dryer, a computer desk, losing the gas furnace and putting in a Stand-Alone Cheap Heat (central resistive electric heat) and a pair of heat pumps. I'll lose the water pump and tanks and put in a residential toilet. The big trick will be finding a TT I can do this in. I had been looking at the Jayco 330RLTS that came out in 2011 but they cheaped out big time in 2012 and discontinued it for 2013 so I'm looking again.
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:51 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 5
Question General questions about RV living in rainy Seattle area

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcaravelli View Post
Hi,
We own a 40' KZ Escalade REB that we have modified with our own version of what we think would be a "Residential Package" like you might find on a Park Model trailer.

We are both full-time working professionals. I work for Microsoft near here in Redmond....although I mostly work from home these days. We have a 4 year old Rottie name Ben.
We live on space we rent from a home owner with 5 acres in the foothills (Fall City) near Seatttle. We have full hook ups, 30 amp service and tons of privacy and quite. It is a truly beautiful place to live.
We just moved so I will have to get pictures soon to post.
1. RV-500 on demand tankless hot water heater PrecisionTemp.com: For Recreational Vehicles and Boats.
This tankless water heater has been fatanstic to use most of the time because you can take an endless shower which my wife does. It is also good for hot water therapy on my neck which might sound weird but really helps at times. We don't boondock so that is not an issue for us. It has been a challenge to get running right because the first tech who istalled it did not understand how much propane it needed and also there have been other issues which I consder safety issues with the wiring and so forth, but I will say the people (especially Gary the senior engineer) at Precision Tech back their product with service like I have rarely seen before and they know I did not buy it new so that is even more kudos to them. If you want to learn more from us on this issue just ping me and I will write something up here in the forum. We are into this for about $1,000 so far which is a normal price new. I purchased it slightly used for $400. My one comment about this experience is that I think it would help for people to really understand the nuances of what it takes for one of these unites to run properly. I did my research and due diligence before purchasing but still had not gathered enough information. i relied on the tech who installed it and sold it to me to understand those needs. I would highly recommend working with Precision Temp in finding someone who understands what it takes to get one of these working correctly in your trailer.
2. Store Bought Residential King Sized mattress. Our KZ came with the OEM King Size RV quality mattress from KZ but we had one in storage that was a very high end brand named pillow top which we just loved when we had our house. We were not sure it would fit but it did and boy are we glad.....wow....what a great night's sleep. The difference between a KZ OEM version and ours is like comparing a piece of 1" foam to a real bed...just no comparision and a mod you will never regret. Add a CPAP machine and you will be shocked at how much sleep you never got.
3. 18 cubic foot GE Residential Fridge. This is our current project. Many are using the Samsung 197 but with the KZ you don't need to pay the price of the Counter Depth fridge and the GE costs half the price. Our current NorCRAP was giving us trouble and when we looked online and saw how much it was to replace ($4500) before install, we just said no way. Couple that with the fire danger from the manufactures recall and I'm glad it broke. The residential is $600 and is much larger capacity and will run much better. There is a ton of information out there on this if you are so inclined. RV Fridges are a thing of the past for rigs like ours unless you need to boondock. I don't think too many people boondock with rigs like this anyway.
4. Handmade B&K Residential Stereo. Of course this is my favorite. This is a fabulous professional quality stereo that just gives us really great sound for our Flat Screen TV and my music. This is not a surround sound system which I have considered for our TV watching. This a two channel stereo with 125 watts per channel high quality sound.
5. PC as TV. We use our main 32" LG Flat Screen TV as our PC computer screen. It is provides us with so much more rich content than I could every find on our Comcast TV channels. The things you can watch from high qaulity videos on the web showing on our TV screen is just facinating. Of course we use it for stuff like Netflix and so forth but Discovery channel's web site and so many more make it great to have hooked up like this.
6. Furniture.. Our adult daughter had to live with us for a few months last year and she found the sleeper sofa that came with our big wrap around couch in our Escalade was just intolerable so we are in the market for a new couch which will will be more comfortable. We also use a rolling office desk that is very handy for an all purpose table to eat on or work on.
7. We have a 40' x 24' vynel RV canopy that protects our rig in the winter. We paid $3800 for it from a company here in Seattle and after a couple winters in it we just loved it. We sold it to the person who took over our last spot but it was fantastic and provided so much protection from the Sun regarding deterioration and so much protection from water as well as just making life a lot nicer living in our coach. We are shopping for another one now. Probably will go backt to the same company since they did such great work. They are called "Northwest Canopy" and you can find them here: NWCanopies: Canopies, Tarps, Carports, Garages, Fittings and Accessories . Ask for the owner Mike Bates.
Anyway, we have found our KZ Esclade to be the most well made RV we have owned and a really cozy place to live in the winter. We of course have the fireplace, air conditioners, sat dish and more. These amenities are nice, but it is the build quality of the KZ that really shines. Everything is just so well made and solid that if really make for a durable, beautiful environment to live in.

Hope that gives you all some ideas. If you have any questions on any of these points please don't hesitate to ask.

Keith Caravelli
Fall City, WA

Hi there, I was really happy to see your post. We just moved back to the Puget Sound after living in eastern WA for a few years. No work on the east side of the mountains but housing is still very high on the west side of the mountains. We have a fifth wheel that we are currently living in while we decide what we want to do. Our hot water tank just went out so I'm researching what to replace it with. It is a 10 gallon tank I think. Are you happy with your hot water "RV-500 on demand tankless hot water heater" or have you had it long enough to know the + and -?

Also the canopy ....does this help with all the rain we get?
We are in an RV park now....but we are in Mt Vernon and need to move south some....do you like the private rental spots vs the parks better and maybe why?

Do you plan to move south in the winter since most of your work is done from home? I'm actually trying to get into Microsoft myself since they have more progressive work polices...I am a biz consultant / trainer with an MBA.
My husband is retired so I really want online work if possible.

Also interested in how you use your TV as PC screen....need to ck into that more.
I'm sure I will have more questions but as a newbie I just wanted to touch base and thank you for an informative post.

Jean Starling
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:16 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 185
Jean, Please see my answers to your quesitons inline.

Hi there, I was really happy to see your post. We just moved back to the Puget Sound after living in eastern WA for a few years. No work on the east side of the mountains but housing is still very high on the west side of the mountains. We have a fifth wheel that we are currently living in while we decide what we want to do. Our hot water tank just went out so I'm researching what to replace it with. It is a 10 gallon tank I think. Are you happy with your hot water "RV-500 on demand tankless hot water heater" or have you had it long enough to know the + and -?
We had the RV500 installed last fall just before winter set in. I really like the unit but we have had a lot of issue with it. Most of them were a result of the original "RV Tech" so he called himself....not understanding the RV500 and the proper installation. He had installed it in a woman's RV and said he pulled it out after a week or so because the gas scared her. So he gave to me for a song..

The RV500 requires a really good source of fuel. Since that fuel is propane you must be sure that your propane system is running well. For example, we have a auto-changeover valve for our two 40# tanks. The valve was not providing good throughput so the heater did not run right. That took some time and expertise to figure out. I now have a Master RV Tech work on it (Convenienece RV - Steve and Joanne 425-753-0155) Steve is a great RV tech and he has worked with some of these heaters.
The other thing that has troubled me is the wiriing on the RV500. My wiring has been fried and melted in a few places and nobody is sure why. The makers of the RV500 say it might be due to wind causing blowback or turbulance of some kind in the unit....anyway..not fun.
Overall it is fantastic to have the unite provide hot water without end as long as you have propane. But at this point, if the unit requires fixing one more time I will yank it and put in a 16 gal heater. I am not happy with the trouble and expense I have had getting the RV500 to work right.
I can say that I am also having problems because I am now on a well and the water pressure is not as stable as I would like so that confuses troubleshooting.
My advice is to really and I mean really understand how these things work and what affects them when running and then make your decision. If I had it to do all over again would i go with the RV500.....I'm not sure really.
i can tell you that the service techs who I call at the manufacturers (Precision Temp) are fantastic at working through issues with me and helping to fix the problem. Remember, bought this used so they don't really know how good a condition for sure it was in.
Bottom line, my wife takes really long showers and always has to do some adjusting of the water flow to keep the temperature right but it's not a lot and she doesn not mind so she is happy.....so I'm happy.

Also the canopy ....does this help with all the rain we get?
The canopy is the smartest thing we did. The canopy really, really makes life nicer in an RV and all the RV techs say it is the best thing I could have done to protect my unit. The one tech who I mentioned about who owns Convenience RV moved into my old site and bought the canopy from me. It will extend the life of your unit and make living in the RV in winter much nicer. I purchase it from a local shop.

We are in an RV park now....but we are in Mt Vernon and need to move south some....do you like the private rental spots vs the parks better and maybe why?No and I just deleted my tirade on that question. I have found somehow that I have a real knack for finding obscure land tha thas utilities and owners willing to rent space. It is cheap and the privacy can't be beat. We don't live around a lot fo strangers (Remember, RV parks don't run background checks on people). This one is a not brainer and a non-option for me. I must be on private land with a decent landlord. Oh almost forgot, the real reason I won't stay in RV parks to live is because they don't allow the canopy and that really sucks.

Do you plan to move south in the winter since most of your work is done from home? I'm actually trying to get into Microsoft myself since they have more progressive work polices...I am a biz consultant / trainer with an MBA.
My husband is retired so I really want online work if possible.
No, I currently live in Fall City, Wa. I work at MS and work from home. I also have an MBA and worked as a private consultant for years. We can and should have coffee and discuss this offline sometime.

Also interested in how you use your TV as PC screen....need to ck into that more.
Just get a RGB cable and or HDMI cable and the right adapter. My laptop hooks right up to my 32 in flat screen that way. I use three screens at once so it is a big help.

I'm sure I will have more questions but as a newbie I just wanted to touch base and thank you for an informative post.
Glad to be of help.

Jean Starling
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:35 PM   #5
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Hey Keith, just noticed this post. We are very happy you like our canopy we setup for you. With the 45+ days of sun getting splashed on by 14 minutes of rain breaking our streak, I decided to put one up over one of my RVs and my son's FJ40 that we will be restoring. Let us know when you will be ready to setup another one at your current location.

Cheers,
Mike
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