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Old 02-17-2014, 09:45 AM   #1
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2007 Holiday Rambler Ambassador SKT design glitches

We have a 2007 HR Ambassador 40' SKT that has a few design/layout glitches and I am wondering if others have similar concerns and/or ideas to solve them. First of all we really like our rig - we have only had it since Sept 2013 and we are on our first long trip. Following are my concerns:
  • The insulation doesn't seem to be as good as what we experienced with our 2003 Alpenlite Augusta. The sidewalls are rather warm to the touch when in the warm sun and cold to the touch when in cold weather. It seems to be more of a heat gain/loss than we experienced in the Alpenlite. We will have to live with that with the exception of adding some insulation to the windows - insulated interior window coverings that we can make from the insulated 'Warm Windows' fabric available at Joanns Fabrics.
  • In the bedroom and the hallway approaching the bedroom the windows are 60" H X 30" W in bedroom and 60" H X 60" wide in the hall. Both are about 15" above the floor and have day/night window shades that lift from the bottom. The shades don't lift up without getting all scrunched. If we want to get light and/or open the windows for fresh air it is a pain in the neck. Then if we leave them open we lose all privacy. With the window open and the shades pulled any small breeze causes the shade to billow in and get further creased. Our solution may be to get new window coverings that open from the top and bottom so we can get light up high and keep the privacy down low. We may be able to utilize half of the existing shade for the top half and get a more permanent covering for the lower part.
  • The kitchen storage and work space is ridiculously small. We realized this going into the deal so it was not a surprise. Whoever set it up should have made it a little bit larger - which would take space away from something else however. Some genius at the factory? put a 12' X12" X12" sub-woofer in the 21.5 wide cabinet beneath the cook-top that almost made the cabinet unusable in an effective manner. I removed the sub-woofer and built 2 drawers to fit in that space. It holds a lot of cookware and canned goods. The bank of three drawers in the cabinet is only 9" wide which doesn't give much usable space. I made a removable knife tray for the middle sized drawer and I may do the same for the large drawer. I am considering building a removable extension of the counter that would extend about 12" or more over the small sofa between the kitchen cabinet and the TV wall but then there is always the chance that something would be more likely to spill on the sofa. The other alternative is to remove the sofa and build a permanent extension to the kitchen cabinet and put in a small recliner in the remaining space. So far I think that I am losing on both of those ideas.
  • The microwave has a fan but it is a recirculating fan that does nothing as far as exhausting cooking steam. We will have to live with that unless the microwave goes bad and we need to replace it. Perhaps it can be modified to be and exhaust fan.
  • The rear closet loses about 15"+ due to the hot water heater and the breaker box. The way that it is set up, the sliding glass doors don't allow complete access to the closet space because the doors cover the entire rear of the coach so that on the side toward the heater and breaker box the door closes to the sidewall. We will probably have to live with this unless I replace the glass doors with smaller doors ($$$$$) to only enclose the actual closet area and we then leave the section with the HW heater and breaker box exposed - this is not a bad deal as the cabinetry is all finished and there is even a drawer that would be exposed.
Any comments or suggestions will be appreciated.

Lee
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:38 PM   #2
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Went online a found one just like yours forsale here in Az and I see what your talking about with the windows.
When we were in the market to buy most I talked to told us to get the floor plan that you really like, kept saying floor plan, floor plan. We looked at coaches all over as far east as MH Specialists in Alavarado, Tx until we came across this Beaver. As soon as we walked into it,,,sold.
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Old 02-17-2014, 05:37 PM   #3
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We have the same coach... We've had it for just about 2 years now

  • The insulation doesn't seem to be as good as what we experienced with our 2003 Alpenlite Augusta.
It definitely gets warm (we stay away from the cold). I have no suggestion or solution for this.

  • Big Hallway and Bedroom Windows
We are in the process of installing MCD Day and Night Shades throughout our coach. They make it way easier for opening and closing the windows and you can put the day shade down and get some privacy (and shade) during the day while allowing some airflow. We pull the night shades down at night and when we need total privacy but it does block most of the airflow.
These shades don't solve your problem but they are so much better than the standard pleated shades.

  • The kitchen storage
I built 2 roll out trays in the cabinet under the stove and a two layer rollout tray under the sink. These cabinets are deep and the rollout trays allow full access to the space.
  • sub-woofer
My factory subwoofer is in the cabinet under the kitchen table.
  • knife tray
We have a door mount knife holder in the cabinet under the sink
  • small sofa and small recliner
We are completely remodeling the living room. We are replacing the short couch with a custom sofabed that has a full size air mattress. This allows the bed to not block the walkway when opened.
We are replacing the large couch with two swivel recliners that can be repositioned for better TV viewing.
  • The microwave has a recirculating fan
An exhaust fan would be nice but this fan does help to keep the smoke detector from going off
  • The rear closet
The rear closet door has a stop on it (I think) that make closet access difficult. We removed the stop so our doors slide all the way from one end to the other. This allows much better access to the closet. I like the water heater and electric panel access, it is much easier to work on when needed than some of the other configurations I have seen.
We don't fully utilize our closet anyway (we don't have many hanging clothes). We have actually built a computer desk into the right end of the closet. It still allows shirts to be hung above there and you just move them out of the way when you use the computer.

We have done countless other changes and modifications to this coach and LOVE EVERY MINUTE WE SPEND IN IT.

Please feel free to contact me about any questions you might have.
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Old 05-01-2014, 01:57 PM   #4
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I was just looking at a SKT online this morning that is in Vegas. How good or bad is the engine axcess? What kind of fuel mileage are you seeing? I love the layout and will only be using it for extended weekend trips and maybe a week or two here and there.
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:22 PM   #5
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Like most coaches, engine access is through the floor in the bedroom. It is not too bad, I've been in there to check stuff and tighten my exhaust manifold but haven't tried to do anything too serious.

Fuel mileage: We seem to get between 8 and 9, so I guess we average about 8.5. We have traveled the east coast mostly. This includes the hill country of central New England, the mountains of Pennsylvania, and the flatlands of Florida.

We love our SKT, we may eventually trade it for a larger tag axle rig to get more space but the SKT is awesome for our needs.

We have had it for about 2 1/2 years, let me know if you have other questions and I'll try to help.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:14 PM   #6
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:45 PM   #7
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Lee.....We had an 05 Diplomat 36' SKT and loved it. We found that when we were not using the coach, we lifted the night shade all the way up and let it get a "set". This seemed to solve the issue of then folding funny. We also lifted them slowly which helped. We eventually replaced all of the shades with MCD's. They were easy to install because Monaco used deep valances which allowed replacement without removing the valances.

I would also add that I bought MCD's for the entire coach and was not impressed. I think the Auto Motion shades work better and are less expensive.

I'm guessing the Alpenlite was a TT or 5th wheel. You can't compare trailers to RV's for insulation.

We had the mirrored wardrobe doors and ours didn't open as far as we would like. On ours, if you removed the mirror stop, the mirror would slide too far and switch the circuit breakers off.

Our sub woofer was also under the buffet. It rocked the motor home when the surround sound was on.
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