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Old 01-03-2017, 02:03 PM   #1
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Picking up your first coach yippee! What do you think of this?

I've read many posts on PDI's to ensure you do all you can to do everything reasonably possible (before driving off the lot) to find Any problems and have them attended too.

My PDI will be on a new DP at the dealer location. It is also my first motorhome or RV of any kind. I tell you this because many of you come from years of RVing and maybe even multiple motorhomes. So you know what you're doing and things to pay special attention too that I couldn't possibly know.

If you can put yourself back to that time when you were new and share the things you should of done, could have done and/or forgot to do. I'd really like to hear from you!

A friend of mine told me to video the entire PDI and that's sounds like a capital idea! I have an iPhone, would you use a cell phone to video or a more dedicated video camera?

I'm just thinking about being all excited about my new coach and missing and forgetting many of the things I was shown and told about. It would be great to have a video to go back over whenever needed.

You guys are the best,

Harry
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Old 01-03-2017, 02:10 PM   #2
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My firs pdi was at Lazy Days ( actually so was my second ). They wouldn't allow me to video it. I convinced the tech to spend more time with me . It took three hours and he took a little heat as less than an hour was the allotted time. It got me off to a good start. I was not on any forums at that time and was totally green. Shortly thereafter I attended the Winnebago Grand National Rally and went to every seminar I could.
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:12 PM   #3
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What make/model/year are you getting, might help for others providing comments.

My first RV as a Class C with simple systems that I could figure out. We had a limited PDI, didn't take any notes but somehow we survived. The manual was ~50 pages it that tells you anything.

Our second coach was a 2002 Windsor, when we first went to look at it before buying the dealer walked us through almost all the systems. We did the deal about a week later over the phone and I flew back to pick it up. It was 11PM at night and I was given just enough info on how to drive it safely. We were on our own from there and I spent countless hours pouring over the manual and individual systems manual.

My advice is try and get a copy of the manual before going for the PDI. Spend time reading it and any aspect you don't fully understand have them explain it. The systems manuals are also required reading. Prioritize on what things you will use first and are the most complicated.

When we go on a trip I still crack open the books and study. We've had our coach for ~+8 years and I'm still learning something new, mostly from reading the posts on a couple RV forums I belong to.
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:24 PM   #4
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I would look at maintenance items like winterization, water heater bypass valves, water pump locations etc...
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:31 PM   #5
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Wyo- It will be info overload after about 20 min with the tech during PDI. Go ahead and be attentive, ask lots of questions, sit down behind the wheel and push all the buttons yourself.

And when the tech says 'do you have any other questions', ask him to watch you as you 'pretend' to park, level and set up for your first nite in the MH. I had the hardest time with our MH which requires that you 'level first, then operate slideouts', seems counter-intuitive but works. Hands-on; take your time (and get your tech's phone #!)
Enjoy!
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:46 PM   #6
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Definitely do a video!!!! And not you but have a third party do it along side of you ...DW, relative, friend, etc.

I think back on my first purchase and PDI as a new RVer long ago and as Bill said above, overload will overwhelm you quickly and I'll take a guess that you'll forget a lot of what is being pointed out if you're like a lot of us.
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:52 PM   #7
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I'm defiantly going to do that unless they have rules agains it. I hope that's not the case because it would sure be helpful after the PDI and beyond! Even a recoding without the video would be very worthwhile!
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:55 PM   #8
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Wow, such an exciting time!! Indeed, you will be in information overload after about 25 minutes. Video taping is a great idea, but I knew that going in, and yet I failed to tape it because it was just too cumbersome. So if you can bring a family member or friend who is completely dedicated to video taping the whole thing, that's a good idea.

I highly recommend that you stop your PDI person after he shows you each item in the list, and then you do whatever he just showed you yourself. That'll help to cement it. And if you are in this with a spouse or partner, have them do it too. That way you have three chances to see if, make mistakes, and learn from them.

But ultimately the real learning happens when you drive off. Definitely use the heck out of that new RV in the first year, while your warranty period is still in play. And if you can arrange for a "big" visit for repairs at the manufacturer at about month 8-10, that would be a nice way to solve the problems that come up. They will come up. There are just too many systems in these fancy dream machines for everything to go off without a hitch.

If you read on this forum long enough, you'll see a trend in service/repair satisfaction. I agree with many that the best service is done at the factory. As inconvenient as that may be for those of us who aren't retired yet, it's still the case. See if you can work with that idea-at least for your first visit, if not annually or bi-annually.

Congratulations! With the right attitude, you'll learn fast and become proficient in no time!!
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:00 PM   #9
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Wow, my first MH PDI was in 1988 and I sure didn't take pictures nor remember much about it. The rig was a factory demo, driven to shows by a rep. EVERYTHING was perfect, as it should be on a show rig.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:05 PM   #10
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Thanks guys, very good suggestions! I'm not exactly sure how agreeable Forest River / Coachman is on the factory doing the warrantee work? I have to find out more about that?
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:09 PM   #11
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Wow Mr. D, back in 88 it would have been a camcorder that you'd put on your shoulder! After about 10 minutes you'd have to hire someone to take over!
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
What make/model/year are you getting, might help for others providing comments.

My first RV as a Class C with simple systems that I could figure out. We had a limited PDI, didn't take any notes but somehow we survived. The manual was ~50 pages it that tells you anything.

Our second coach was a 2002 Windsor, when we first went to look at it before buying the dealer walked us through almost all the systems. We did the deal about a week later over the phone and I flew back to pick it up. It was 11PM at night and I was given just enough info on how to drive it safely. We were on our own from there and I spent countless hours pouring over the manual and individual systems manual.

My advice is try and get a copy of the manual before going for the PDI. Spend time reading it and any aspect you don't fully understand have them explain it. The systems manuals are also required reading. Prioritize on what things you will use first and are the most complicated.

When we go on a trip I still crack open the books and study. We've had our coach for ~+8 years and I'm still learning something new, mostly from reading the posts on a couple RV forums I belong to.
Really good advice! Both diesel pushers I down loaded the owners manual from on line. This really worked out well. Then I just made a check list on my phone.Regards
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:22 PM   #13
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I'm on the third reading of the Owners Manual. Its the manual for the 2017 coach but major changes were made for 2017.5 that are obviously not there. Major changes have been made to systems that run the coach by a touch pad system and the ability to control much of the coach by iPhone.

What I do get out of the manual is invaluable no doubt about that! But I'd sure like to get my hands on the information for the new systems!
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:24 PM   #14
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We are on our 2nd RV. We had a Class C and the PDI was about 3 hours long. They were willing to spend the time but we just could not absorb it until we went camping. Go camping soon after delivery while it is still fresh.


On our 2nd RV -- I did read the manuals, made a list of questions, and found some checklists online for PDIs that folks have posted. I pulled out the questions that were most interesting to me and sent that list of questions to the dealer before the PDI and they made sure to cover my stuff as part of the PDI. Made things go smoother.


I also watched some PDI videos. There are some on YouTube for some RVs. I also purchased a class A PDI video from RVEducation101 that really helped me get a good idea about what would happen before we arrived.


I agree that having a 3rd party on the camera will let you focus on the task at hand. I ended up video taping the really important stuff -- like the sewer tasks -- and read up on the others after the fact.


If it is a good dealer -- they are willing to answer your questions later as well. We had a notebook on the dash that we would add questions or items we found that either needed fixing or needing some user education. There was a lot of user education that occurred on that first RV.


Enjoy the process and know that the first trip out will be an adventure and a learning process. Many people have their silly RV stories of crazy things from that first trip. We sure do -- for both of our RVs.


Hope that helps. Have fun!!
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