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Old 08-17-2013, 10:15 PM   #1
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First BIG trip, new Coachmen Mirada, several problems arise...

Well, we've had our 2013 Coachmen Mirada 34bh since December, spent several 3 or 4 day weekends on her, and thought we had the bugs worked out... Boy, were we wrong! Just returned from an 18 day trip through 8 states and, while we had a great time, it was despite the many problems that our coach threw at us. Here's my list...

1. Shower drain leak. This began slowly, filling up the small plastic pan underneath the trap after about 4-6 days of showers (family of four), but progressed to requiring a sponge-out nightly. Thank goodness that there is a catch pan under there, but having to sponge out shower water every night... Not a fun way to enjoy a new coach! Water leaks from the first plastic threaded connection, though I'm unable to tighten it any more. Weird.

2. Hot water heater failed. After testing the motherboard and thermo cut-off by a Camping World technician, both failed the test. I was able to buy the thermal cut (looks like an inline fuse), but since I'm still under warranty, I wasn't going to she'll out 200+ for a new Motherboard. I got it to work...sort of... With the new thermo cut installed and the original motherboard. But it's buggy. Sometimes it works fine, other times it seems to fight itself. Lights and then quits, then lights, quits. This happens so quickly it is as though it can't decide what to do. If I open the door from the outside, the additional air seems to stop the odd behavior. But should I really have to monitor it that closely, and open up that door on an as-needed basis?

3. LP/CO alarm is acting up. Went off for no reason at 2AM one night and could not be reset without pulling the fuse. Believe me--no gas or fumes. Opened up the whole coach, shut off propane entirely, replaced and pulled fuse several times... No success. I was plugged into shore power with good (new since December) house batteries so unless my on-board battery charger was failing, I don't think it was alarming due to low DC power. So we had to play the game of pulling the fuse out until we needed to pull in the sides, since they share the same fuse. Then... It would work for about long though to pull in one side before beeping again. This continued for several days and 3 diff campsites. Oddly, after returning home today and cleaning out the coach, I put the fuse in to pull in the sides and guess what? No alarm. Just in time for the service guys to think I'm nuts!

4. While driving down the road doing 60 MPH, the auto leveling system sounds its alarm, all lights flashing, and the "jacks down" light illuminates! Wholly crap! I pulled over immediately and examined all four jacks. All were up, but the Back/left one was drenched and dripping hydraulic fluid. Catastrophic failure of some sort. Stuck on the road and on our way home, it seemed ok to drive it--except for the alarm that would sound off for about 20seconds of every minute or two....for the remaining 6.5 hour drive. Nice. Oh, and my toad is now drenched with this fluid from front to back, and it totally covered the entire back wall of the coach... as high as the rear facing camera (the image is significantly blurry now from the oil slick).

The first avail appt for service at the place where i bought it is October 8th (a 5 hour drive from home), which stinks because, living in Texas, we are just now coming into the good camping season where temps aren't blazing hot.

I read a lot about new RVs and appreciate that there are sometimes some new-purchase "bugs" that need to be worked out, but honestly, this seems a bit over the top! Are there other Mirada owners out there who bought new and had similar experiences? Or did I just get a lemon?

While we are at it....is there any recourse for a situation like this?
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Old 08-18-2013, 02:11 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Statgeek View Post
Well, we've had our 2013 Coachmen Mirada 34bh since December, spent several 3 or 4 day weekends on her, and thought we had the bugs worked out... Boy, were we wrong! Just returned from an 18 day trip through 8 states and, while we had a great time, it was despite the many problems that our coach threw at us. Here's my list...

1. Shower drain leak. This began slowly, filling up the small plastic pan underneath the trap after about 4-6 days of showers (family of four), but progressed to requiring a sponge-out nightly. Thank goodness that there is a catch pan under there, but having to sponge out shower water every night... Not a fun way to enjoy a new coach! Water leaks from the first plastic threaded connection, though I'm unable to tighten it any more. Weird.

2. Hot water heater failed. After testing the motherboard and thermo cut-off by a Camping World technician, both failed the test. I was able to buy the thermal cut (looks like an inline fuse), but since I'm still under warranty, I wasn't going to she'll out 200+ for a new Motherboard. I got it to work...sort of... With the new thermo cut installed and the original motherboard. But it's buggy. Sometimes it works fine, other times it seems to fight itself. Lights and then quits, then lights, quits. This happens so quickly it is as though it can't decide what to do. If I open the door from the outside, the additional air seems to stop the odd behavior. But should I really have to monitor it that closely, and open up that door on an as-needed basis?

3. LP/CO alarm is acting up. Went off for no reason at 2AM one night and could not be reset without pulling the fuse. Believe me--no gas or fumes. Opened up the whole coach, shut off propane entirely, replaced and pulled fuse several times... No success. I was plugged into shore power with good (new since December) house batteries so unless my on-board battery charger was failing, I don't think it was alarming due to low DC power. So we had to play the game of pulling the fuse out until we needed to pull in the sides, since they share the same fuse. Then... It would work for about long though to pull in one side before beeping again. This continued for several days and 3 diff campsites. Oddly, after returning home today and cleaning out the coach, I put the fuse in to pull in the sides and guess what? No alarm. Just in time for the service guys to think I'm nuts!

4. While driving down the road doing 60 MPH, the auto leveling system sounds its alarm, all lights flashing, and the "jacks down" light illuminates! Wholly crap! I pulled over immediately and examined all four jacks. All were up, but the Back/left one was drenched and dripping hydraulic fluid. Catastrophic failure of some sort. Stuck on the road and on our way home, it seemed ok to drive it--except for the alarm that would sound off for about 20seconds of every minute or two....for the remaining 6.5 hour drive. Nice. Oh, and my toad is now drenched with this fluid from front to back, and it totally covered the entire back wall of the coach... as high as the rear facing camera (the image is significantly blurry now from the oil slick).

The first avail appt for service at the place where i bought it is October 8th (a 5 hour drive from home), which stinks because, living in Texas, we are just now coming into the good camping season where temps aren't blazing hot.

I read a lot about new RVs and appreciate that there are sometimes some new-purchase "bugs" that need to be worked out, but honestly, this seems a bit over the top! Are there other Mirada owners out there who bought new and had similar experiences? Or did I just get a lemon?

While we are at it....is there any recourse for a situation like this?
i cannot help with the other troubles, but here is my fix for #2, the water heater. the thermal link is there to burn out when the flame back flows into the outside. that is a good thing. the links are not expensive at radio shack.
i removed the plastic viewing window cover from the water heater door. this made a hole of approx. 1/2''. just in case that would not be enough, i drilled about a dozen 3/16'' holes in the bottom of the door flange for more air and to drain the compartment.
that fixed my water heater problem. you didn't say which water heater you have but i believe both the atwood and the suburban have a flame adjustment. you don't want the flame to roar. check this resource.

Service Documents

#3. my propane alarm is near the floor between my norcold fridge and the bedroom. when i had 2 12v marine batteries installed in my vented and open battery compartment under the stairs, my propane alarm would go off while the batteries were charging. i guess they were gassing. i replaced my batteries with 2 each 6v lifeline agm batteries and do not have this problem any more.
my co detector is on the ceiling in the bedroom. it has alarmed when exhaust gases from the engine or the genny got into the coach. that is a good thing.
you can update the signature box in your profile with info about your rv. this helps members trouble shoot your problems.
see my signature box below.
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Old 08-18-2013, 02:24 AM   #3
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Dam sounds like the trip from hell
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Old 08-18-2013, 05:10 AM   #4
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Uh.... #2: Did the tech blow out the burner tube and vent area then run a bottle brush through it? Of the coaches I work on I get 1 or 2 of those a month that have had spiders or wasps or something else nest in the burner area. I can tell you first hand that behavior you describe is exact to a nesting insect causing a blockage as they love propane. And yes you DO want a roaring sound as it's burning - anything less is most likely a yellowish lazy flame which is incorrect - evident by excessive/heavy black sooting in the exhaust area.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:10 AM   #5
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Thanks guys. I installed those screens on the HWH to help prevent any bug entry, but I suppose a small bug could fit through the screen? The tech did not have an opportunity to check for that, as I brought in the electronic parts for him to check. (Coach was at campsite and I was fairly convinced it was an elec issue, as when it completely failed I didn't even get a click when I turned it on.) I will check today. I am not inclined to start drilling holes in the door yet, as I suspect that'll void my warranty. But... Don't you think if a spider web or nest was inside there, it would quickly turn to dust on the first flame? I could understand a mud dauber nest causing a problem (mud, not a silky web), which is why I installed those screens. But something tiny enough to squeeze through those motor home screen... I guess it's possible, so I will look around for something.

Re the batteries possibly triggering the CO/LP detector, my setup is as described above, with 2 batteries under the steps in a compartment and the gas detector in the hallway across from fridge. So they are fairly separated by space. Also, the battery compartment has a rubber seal on the stair door to prevent gassing into the living space, and holes in the bottom of the floor so gas escapes to the outside. I hate to toss 7 month old batteries just yet. Is there a way to test for gas that they might let off to help justify that sort of diagnostic?

Thanks for the tips guys. I do appreciate it!

Guys who have done RV plumbing.... Are the plastics compatible with PVC that you get at home stores?
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:37 AM   #6
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The 'joys' of getting a new MH! While things maybe hard to handle now, just think that down the road you will have a much better understanding of the functions of more systems. Hence you will be in a better position to handle them your self. We purchased a 'new' Class C many years ago and went through some of the same issues you are now. We even had to have a whole side wall replaced, which took about 4 months. Lucky for us it was early winter and the dealer was the one who winterized it and stored it for most of the winter.
Things will improve and you will have lots of good times!
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:26 PM   #7
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The waterlines in an RV is the same pex or poly used by the mobile home industry for years. Sewer & drains are the same also.

I'm a licensed plumber & electrician so work on my own rig.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:57 PM   #8
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The waterlines in an RV is the same pex or poly used by the mobile home industry for years. Sewer & drains are the same also.

I'm a licensed plumber & electrician so work on my own rig.
Thanks! So... Does that mean the same plumbing as the PVC that is in my stick n brick home, thus Home Depot also?
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:18 AM   #9
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Seal your mh then buy a couple of thpse gas bug bombs not the spray kind. The gas penetrates everything and everywhere. Nothing can survive it. Even you and your pets must leave for your hours. All lifeforms must breath even mold. The gas kills all. I used to do my brownstone every spring and fall. In 28 years I never had a bug in my house. Not to mention NO MICE! It turns your mh into a gad chamber. No more vermin!
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:54 AM   #10
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Statgeek, any Coachman dealer can work on your coach. You do not have to take back to the dealer you bought it from. If you can find a closer Coachman dealer I would call them and see if they can get you in any sooner than October.

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Old 08-21-2013, 09:47 PM   #11
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Statgeek, any Coachman dealer can work on your coach. You do not have to take back to the dealer you bought it from. If you can find a closer Coachman dealer I would call them and see if they can get you in any sooner than October.

Jerry
Thanks Jerry. Unfortunately the only one near me has proven to be terrible. I did, however, discover another qualified forest river place who can work via Coachmen warranty so I am trying that one.
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Old 08-22-2013, 04:48 AM   #12
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Thanks! So... Does that mean the same plumbing as the PVC that is in my stick n brick home, thus Home Depot also?

YES, all the same thing.
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Old 08-22-2013, 04:35 PM   #13
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Wow, I'm horrified hearing such problems on a maiden voyage. Sounds like you handled it well, I would have been beside myself with anger and frustration. It seems to go along with the experience of RVing, but reading all the stories have caused me to crossed off almost every brand RV from my shopping list. I know it is said to be par for the course in this game but that sounds terrible to have to face such issues as you did.
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:45 PM   #14
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We have gone through two seasons with our new Winnie Adventurer and have had only three small problems. But..........we may be just Iucky so far and probably shouldn't be talking about it. :-)
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