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Old 02-22-2021, 10:29 AM   #1
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2021 Southwind 34C / Initial Review / long winded

Hello all!

I was lucky enough to pick up a Southwind 34C mid February in the current RV climate. Climate meaning the current buying frenzy and during the Northeast winter weather.

I would consider myself a quick learner, but much closer to a Newbie to the RV world with just a year of actual drive time. Like many, I looked online and followed the do's/don'ts, the must haves and joined forums.

A little back story. My first class A was a Thor ACE 30.2. Having never drove a class A before, I white knuckled it home from Buffalo, NY. I averaged maybe 50 mph being tossed back and forth with every passing vehicle larger than a Prius. I threw about $4k in suspension work. (Safe-T-Plus, front and second rear sway bars, Sumo springs, and Koni shocks) Luckily I'm handy and installed everything myself otherwise it would have cost much more.
The family and I did a few nearby local State Parks no more than an hours drive and one trip to Disney. The big rigs were still pushing us a bit, but with an eye on the rear mirror, I can prepare for the eventual push.
If you are unaware of Thor's ACE products. They are entry level RVs. The quality was not there and everything rattled. The motor was loud and I felt isolated while driving even though the family was 3 feet away. The layout of the 30.2 sucked with the slide in. You had to walk thru the bathroom to get to the bedroom. Things started falling off, plumbing not glued, shower walls with gaps, silicon slapped on dirty surfaces, drains without caulking and a slow leak in two of the tires. What a mess!

Now, for the the initial review. The Southwind is considered Fleetwood's tier 4 Gas Class A. The revamped 2021 has lived up to the hype. The sway bars are two inches thick! The bump stops are almost touching the axles. The larger tires made for a better ride. The quality is much nicer. There are a few issues with fit and finish with some of the storage doors not being flush and the water heater cover being slightly warped, but I am happy with it aesthetically even with my OCD. The full paint is shiny. It drove nicely without any noticeable sway and so much quieter than my trade. The V-8 roars a bit when getting it going, but then tones down. I guess we'll have to wait and see how the V8 will last being the first year out. The new dash is a nice upgrade with an info screen. I averaged 7.5 mpg while pulling a 5000lb Jeep. All the holding tanks are much larger than my previous ride. I have on order the Safe-T-Plus with new mounting bracket and according to Henderson's RV in OR, the Roadmaster 1139-149 auxiliary sway bar still fits and they're working on adapting their SmartSteer gear for the 2021s. Overall, I'm happy with my new toy.

I know some people worry about the CCC on the 34C being around 2K. We're not full-timers and even with a full tank, we can manage with the 22K frame.

I almost forgot. While driving home, I stopped in a small town to get gas, and at the toll booth in NJ, 10 miles from home, I heard some scrapping. Reminder to self. Slam your door and make sure its closed tightly. Otherwise the steps will extend outward each time you hit a bump. I told you I was a Newbie!

I know the forum likes pictures, so I'll post them in a few days after the current snow. If you want something pictured, let me know.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:39 AM   #2
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Thank you for the report. I wish you many years of happy travels in your Southwind.
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Old 02-22-2021, 12:03 PM   #3
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Awesome! Congratulations!

We have a 2019 Southwind 37F and the first 1 1/2 years, was like all brands of RV's, a constant struggle, with little things. After that its been smooth sailing and we LOVE the coach and wouldn't trade it for anything!

Safe travels!
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Old 02-24-2021, 04:27 PM   #4
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Pics

Here are the promised pics.

We got up to 52 degrees today!

I installed the Safe-T-Plus and removed the panel in the rear closet in prep for the W/D combo. Sorry about the dusty dash pic.

Enjoy.
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Old 02-27-2021, 06:19 PM   #5
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Pics of the Splendide WDV2200XCD W/D Combo install

Enjoy!
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Old 02-27-2021, 06:22 PM   #6
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I had a 2004 Southwind 32 VS
It was a great RV.
I still think about my Southwind 17 yrs later.
Good luck, have fun!
Go RVing.
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Old 03-14-2021, 05:23 PM   #7
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Leak in driver's side rear caliper

I was under the MH on Friday to install the Roadmaster 1139-149 auxiliary sway bar and notice the caliper was sopping wet and splatter all on the inside of the rim. I'm sure it was like that at delivery and I wasn't paying attention due to my excitement and my unwillingness to get under the ride in 30 degree weather. Anyways, I dropped it off at a Ford Fleet Service Center on Saturday and it should be covered under warranty. I'll find out on Monday. I don't foresee any issue as its brand spanking new and has only 2000 miles.

I took a closer look underneath and noticed the hydraulics for the levelers were damp with tranny fluid by the reservoir and the passenger front leveler. I'll have to deal with that another day. I'm hoping a local RV service place will want the warranty work even though I didn't buy if from them.

I'll post pics of my aux. sway bar and trackbar install when I get the MH back.

Thanks for looking.
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Old 03-16-2021, 07:57 PM   #8
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Update: It was a axle seal leak

I got my MH back today. It wasn't a brake caliper leak. It was a pinched seal in the axle tube and leaking gear oil. They degreased everything and replaced the seal. (I would have referred they replaced the brake pads too).

NOW the ABS and Traction control dash lights are on! The tech tried to reset the error codes, but they returned on the ride home.

I know they are the same module, either the sensor was damaged or loosened during the service.

I had to set up another appointment with the Service Advisor for next week. I'm hoping they have the parts on hand to fix while a wait.

I'll take some pics in the morning.
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Old 03-16-2021, 08:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMan2021 View Post
.....I dropped it off at a Ford Fleet Service Center ......
CONGRATS on the Southwinds, glad they are getting the repairs done for you....


Where is this service center located ?
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Old 03-16-2021, 09:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandi View Post
CONGRATS on the Southwinds, glad they are getting the repairs done for you....


Where is this service center located ?
All American Ford in Old Bridge, NJ.

Very attentive staff. They text updates and send videos if you're into that.
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Old 03-17-2021, 11:23 AM   #11
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Pics of track bar and aux. rear sway bar install

The track bar is from UltraRV and the Aux. rear sway bar is the Roadmaster 1134-139. The hardest part was removing the axle U-bolts nuts. My 1/2 impact gun was put to the test and was borderline.

Enjoy.
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Old 03-17-2021, 02:54 PM   #12
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Awesome to see the track bar. I've got a 35k getting delivered in a week or two, and debating on a track bar or sumo springs. I'm probably going to do track bar first as the sumo springs can be a bit noisy over bumps

Have you been able to feel a difference with the track bar vs without? They've got such a long tail that I expect a good amount of getting pushed around from trucks. But didn't know if there is any reduction in this from the upgraded sway bars making it less necessary than before
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Old 03-17-2021, 04:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mack73 View Post
Awesome to see the track bar. I've got a 35k getting delivered in a week or two, and debating on a track bar or sumo springs. I'm probably going to do track bar first as the sumo springs can be a bit noisy over bumps

Have you been able to feel a difference with the track bar vs without? They've got such a long tail that I expect a good amount of getting pushed around from trucks. But didn't know if there is any reduction in this from the upgraded sway bars making it less necessary than before
JMHO. The stock 2in rear sway bar was adequate. There is very little roll now with the additional aux. 1.75in sway bar and the tract bar. As far as sumo springs for the rear, I didn't see a need since the new stock ones are touching the axles already. I may replace the front ones in the future. They sit about 3/4 to an inch higher than the axle.

If you haven't seen this....

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Old 03-21-2021, 12:38 PM   #14
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Round 2. The leak has returned.

I have appointment for tomorrow, Monday the 22nd.

You just cant get a quality garage anymore.

I'll ask them to change out the brake pads since they were soaked and smells of burnt gear oil when they check ABS and Traction Control dash lights and leak in driver's rear axle.

Thanks for looking.
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