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Old 09-05-2013, 10:37 AM   #57
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The Avanti is a lightweight Class A and the back is made of fiberglass. When I was checking the rear video camera, accessible through a plastic door in the cabinet above the bed, I looked into the space which is the inside of the back. I don't believe that there is sufficient strength to put a ladder on the back. I bought an Extend ladder that I carry in one of the undercoach compartments. I think it is superior to a ladder on the rear. Reid
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:47 AM   #58
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In an earlier email I commented about getting a 17' Dometic WeatherPro awning to replace the original 12' and that the area behind the old awning was not painted. The stark white really showed. I got the paint codes and went to an auto paint company. The paint company had a product called Preval spray system. It is essentially a glass bottle you fill with the paint, add the required amount of thinner, mix and then attach to the aerosol top. It is like making your own can of spray paint. The paint colors I will apply are not finished until you use a clearcoat cover spray. The Preval spray systems were not too expensive... about $7 each. BTW, the quote I got over the telephone for having this job done at a auto paint place was about $800. Even if I don't do a perfect job, the area when awning is closed is barely visible and when awning is deployed, you have to basically be standing under the awning to see this area. But the white color stands out very much so any painting I do will be an improvement.

Update: Well, I tried the Preval paint system. I got the first mixture too diluted with thinner and it ran a little. The biggest challenge was getting the tape down to continue the swoop design in the different colors. The end result would not pass a close inspection but 90% of the newly painted area is covered by the awning when closed; and when awning open, your eye doesn't automatically go to look up under the awning. I think with a little practice, the Preval aerosol paint would do a suitable job.
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:06 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timwoodburn View Post
I don't have a ladder on my Avanti 3106. Did they ever come with one? What do other owners do to get up on the roof?

We also carry two ladders:

- 12.5 Foot Telescoping Ladder (Extend A Step) - $150.

- 7 Ft. Double Sided Compact Folding Ladder (Amazon) - $186.
This ladder fits exactly in the pass-thru compartment on our 2806.

They are heavy, but have saved us more than once, such as in Portland, OR when water leaked through the awning into the bathroom (unsealed awning wiring).
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:34 AM   #60
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Are you still happy with your avanti? We are considering. Thank you...would love to talk to as many current owners. My email is thoplife@live.com

Update on our Avanti 2806 after 30 trips (since Jan-2011):

Average distance driven per trip: 1,000 mi, hence 30,000 miles on the chassis.

The RV’s we have met are the best – friendly and helpful and we have chosen many different places within the Western US to travel.

Overall fuel mileage (including occasional generator use while driving across the deserts that surround Tucson): 13.0-13.25. I do not use the Freightliner Trip mileage calculator, as it always reads higher than reality. I do it the old fashion way – maintain accurate records and a little arithmetic. Also, we drive at a steady 60 - 63 miles per hour on the interstates.

This unit still suits our needs exceptionally well. The model 3106 had much better outside storage, but the interior layout was not to our liking. Also, some State and Federal parks limit the RV length to 30 ft (I doubt that 31 ft would be disallowed, but we wanted to play it safe).

The shining star of the Avanti is the Freightliner MC-L chassis. It has performed flawlessly and always gets us home on time. The chassis was selected because we liked the coach, but now we realize, we should have selected the chassis, then the coach. Freightliner may be expensive, but for my money they have been worth every penny.

The build quality of the “house” and support from the factory has been the (disappointing) issue. During the first year, we were to receive “concierge” service – didn’t happen, and their technical support was just plain wrong or so general (“visit your dealer”), as to be useless.

The house repairs (as well as I can remember) to date in no particular order have been:


Repairs


Corrected wiring of A/C heat pump (thermostat wired incorrectly at factory)

Frame extension on driver side weld failed. Repaired by re-welding

Frame extension on passenger side weld failed. Repaired using long bolt & nut

Attachment from frame extension to inside dash (self-taping screws) failed. Repaired with long bolts, fender washers and nuts

Replaced house battery as it was physically damaged during assembly of coach

Replaced 1 of the 2 chassis batteries (still under warrantee from Interstate Batteries)

Replaced missing sheet metal screws on slide-out that allowed rubber seal to fall out of its channel

Replaced failed CO / LP Gas Monitor

Adjusted slide-out under the couch rollers (incorrect installation was making a serious dent in the RV flooring)

Replaced rotted & leaking washer / wiper hose (less than 1 year?)

Remounted loose florescent light cover

Repaired 3 loose GFI electrical outlets

Repaired awning water leak into bathroom (electrical wire was not sealed as it exited the coach wall)

Reattached loose wood trim in slide-out (interior)

Reattached loose side table to U-couch (originally attached with four self-taping screws)

Remounted dining table to metal base using brass metal inserts and bolts (originally 6 self-taping screws that provided inadequate support from day 1)

Reinstalled roof vent (motor & fan were out of balance providing excessive noise)

Repaired loose wood trim under the kitchen sink

Tighten and adjusted all cabinet doors (some were ready to fall off)

Sealed leaking wheel well to large compartment on passenger side (no drain installed, so it collected substantial water). A drain was also installed

Installed heavy-duty latches for U-couch drawers (they opened when turning left)

Repaired frame extension that supports the fiberglass front nose

Reattached bathroom mirror (moved out of its mount on every turn)

Attached front wheel flaps to metal supporting frame (originally, 2 self-taping screws allowed mud flap to vibrate and make noise)

Attached rear wheel flaps to metal supporting frame (originally, 3 self-taping screws allowed mud flap to vibrate and make noise)

Repaired loose backing plates on several of the external storage doors

Remount thermostat in Bedroom (held on by 2 self-taping screws – one of which missed all wood supports)

Remounted loose (and fallen to the coach floor) stereo "base amp" unit

Replaced magnetic catch in bathroom under-the-sink cabinet door (plastic latch was broken during installation)

Sealed outside door corners from outside environment (leaked when it rained)

Replaced entrance door foam insulation (some was missing from the factory, some had failed)

Strengthened front dash (significant vibration at road speeds. As a result, the fake wood insert cracked)

Replaced failed coach step motor (the step was never installed correctly and bound with a significant "clicking" sound. By the time I was able to catch the mistake, the step motor gearing had failed). Also repaired stripped motor mounts (reason for original binding)

Repaired shower door hanging arms (one of the arms was missing its wheels, and another was outside of the aluminum shower track)

Replaced trailer light assembly (it never worked) with an active non-shorting trailer light controller

Repaired daylight driving lights (classic vendor finger pointing: TMC at Freightliner, Freightliner at TMC)

Replaced rear backup camera (original ASA camera failed within 6 months in the hot Arizona environment)

Repaired both bathroom door magnetic catches that stripped out of the wood door.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Notice that no major components have failed (Refrigerator, A/C, Levelers…), but an alarming number of small irritating items have had to be repaired / rebuilt. This indicates sloppy assembly with poor attention to detail and quality control at the factory.

Because we had poor warrantee support in Tucson, I have performed almost all of the repairs.

I late 2011, we met the new TMC president – he is not an RVer but a “bean counter”. We were told that all decisions at the factory were based on financial viability (as opposed, I assume to customer wishes). Margins in this industry can be razor thin. The real cost that the assembly plant can control is labor, so I can see even more pressure to hurriedly build units, perhaps even replacing experience (and more expensive) craftsmen with less experienced labor.

A TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) is an absolute must for safety.

As previously noted in this thread, the awning is useless.
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:17 PM   #61
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Ladder

Thanks Reid. I ordered one today. $175 from Amazon with free shipping.

Tim

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reid View Post
The Avanti is a lightweight Class A and the back is made of fiberglass. When I was checking the rear video camera, accessible through a plastic door in the cabinet above the bed, I looked into the space which is the inside of the back. I don't believe that there is sufficient strength to put a ladder on the back. I bought an Extend ladder that I carry in one of the undercoach compartments. I think it is superior to a ladder on the rear. Reid
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:36 PM   #62
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Oil life

Just got our 2010 3106 with 10,000 miles on it. Owners manual says it's time to change the oil in the International diesel. That seems waaaay to long to me. If the Workhorse chassis had a gasoline motor i'd have had to do it every 3,000 miles. Can this be right?.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:12 AM   #63
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Just got our 2010 3106 with 10,000 miles on it. Owners manual says it's time to change the oil in the International diesel. That seems waaaay to long to me. If the Workhorse chassis had a gasoline motor i'd have had to do it every 3,000 miles. Can this be right?.
Cummins ISB for RVs is 15,000 miles / 12 months
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:19 AM   #64
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Jensen VM9022HDN

My Avanti 3106 has one of these in it. Did they come with operational GPS and satellite radio functions? I don't see antennas for these features and get them to work.
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:43 AM   #65
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My Avanti 3106 has one of these in it. Did they come with operational GPS and satellite radio functions? I don't see antennas for these features and get them to work.
Our '12 2806 had the Jensen vm9224 at that point, same basic unit.
No, the optional GPS module and XM modules were not included.

I replaced it with a VM9225 since those units are all fairly inexpensive and the XM module now available didn't work with the 9224. For antenna's, I put in a permanent mount roof antenna, hockey puck style. Fairly easy to fish the passenger roof pillar to access the roof just ahead of the drop-down bed hardware.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:23 AM   #66
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Our '12 2806 had the Jensen vm9224 at that point, same basic unit.
No, the optional GPS module and XM modules were not included.

I replaced it with a VM9225 since those units are all fairly inexpensive and the XM module now available didn't work with the 9224. For antenna's, I put in a permanent mount roof antenna, hockey puck style. Fairly easy to fish the passenger roof pillar to access the roof just ahead of the drop-down bed hardware.
Thanks, that was very helpful. Had a sat. radio in my old rig have got used to it.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:01 AM   #67
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We have a GPS unit in our 2011 Avanti 3106 (Workhorse / MaxxForce5) but the map data is current to the date when it was installed. At the last Good Sam Rally in Syracuse, Camping World had a good deal on their Good Sam RV-GPS powered by Rand McNally. This thing is great!!! It is updated with latest map data each time you connect it to the internet. You add in data on your specific RV.... height, length, etc. and it will route you away from overpasses, roads and areas where your rig won't fit. Also has speed limit info, data on next interstate crossroad, Flying J/Pilot stations, etc. Can connect to WiFi for current/forecasted weather. Big 7" screen too. We give it 5 stars!
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:31 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Reid View Post
We have a GPS unit in our 2011 Avanti 3106 (Workhorse / MaxxForce5) but the map data is current to the date when it was installed. At the last Good Sam Rally in Syracuse, Camping World had a good deal on their Good Sam RV-GPS powered by Rand McNally. This thing is great!!! It is updated with latest map data each time you connect it to the internet. You add in data on your specific RV.... height, length, etc. and it will route you away from overpasses, roads and areas where your rig won't fit. Also has speed limit info, data on next interstate crossroad, Flying J/Pilot stations, etc. Can connect to WiFi for current/forecasted weather. Big 7" screen too. We give it 5 stars!
That sounds perfect! I'll check it out.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:18 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcruc View Post
Our '12 2806 had the Jensen vm9224 at that point, same basic unit.
No, the optional GPS module and XM modules were not included.

I replaced it with a VM9225 since those units are all fairly inexpensive and the XM module now available didn't work with the 9224. For antenna's, I put in a permanent mount roof antenna, hockey puck style. Fairly easy to fish the passenger roof pillar to access the roof just ahead of the drop-down bed hardware.
I've ordered the proprietary cable and tuner assembly for this radio, but forgot to get an antenna. Do you remember which one you got?

How tough was the antenna to install? Do you just take the passenger side roof pillar apart and get access to a cable from the antenna you drop into a hole in the roof?
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:16 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avanti2806 View Post
Adjusted slide-out under the couch rollers (incorrect installation was making a serious dent in the RV flooring)
Is anyone else noticing this issue? I have a friend with an Avanti and have found that the floor has a serious depression that looks like it was caused by the slide
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