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-   -   Thor Challenger Owners Unite! (https://www.irv2.com/forums/f121/thor-challenger-owners-unite-150811.html)

ctpres 05-12-2015 07:50 PM

5,000 mile report
 
Bought her in Oct 2014 and didn't hit the road until mid Dec. So far only two problems that dampened our enjoyment. Numerous others to be sure but none of them really bothered us. First problem was frig circulation fan went out and was repaired in the campground within hours by frig factory service. Frig got warm but freezer was OK. Recently the passenger side wiper arm wants to rotate over 180 degrees. Not an easy fix as parts must be ordered while we wait so we decided to dodge rain and get it fixed in Elkhart next week. Set factory appointment almost two months ago and Total Value in Elkhart is taking care of a couple problems that showed up after the factory approved our list. BTW - emailed Total Value early Monday and at 8 AM Tuesday they called to wrap up details for an appointment this Thursday. Tremendous response compared to what I got from three CW's and one independent. Like "did you buy it from us" or weeks out for appointment.
Ford part of the coach has been really great (comparing it to our 32 foot 2010 Damon with Workhorse/Chevy chassis, Allison six speed and Goodyear tires.)
Ford engine does make noise when asked to work - but just cruising down the highway it is pretty quiet, much easier to talk. Even though Challenger is quite a bit heavier it has more power for hills and will hold 60 mph towing a Ford Fiesta on six percent grades if asked. Engine braking with the six speed Allison was better and I find myself using brakes more than before. MPG is BETTER and that to me is a big surprise since Challenger is heavier. Just getting her broke in and we are getting at least 1/2 mpg better. At 5,000 mile mark no noticeable use of oil! Michelin tires and 22.5 wheels are a wonder. Much smoother quiter ride and almost ZERO air loss in seven months. Goodyears needed air almost on a weekly basis and suffered from rivering which Goodyear refused to cover under wty.
37KT floor plan is proving to be very comfortable living for two and entertaining four. We have been enjoying it daily for five months now and I am now convinced we can full time in it and really enjoy life on the road. Heat distribution needs improvement - more heat up front and less in the bathroom. Dual airconditioners with separate thermostats is a good setup. When watching TV up front we only use the rear unit and at night we only use the front - makes for a very quiet and comfortable environment. The cockpit table is installed anytime we stop for more than just one night - very useful. Lighting is very good overall, just needs a light over the cockpit table and in the stairwell. Storage is more than adequate. In fact if you fill it all up, you will probably be overweight. One fault for some may be the cargo capacity limits. We had four corner weigh and do need to go on a diet. Since we carry numerous toys, lots of tools and mod material I am not surprised.
Before we hit the Rockies in about one month I hope to have our weight under control.
In summary "We Love Our KT"

bigben 05-13-2015 06:07 AM

Suzie thanks for your update. We just got back from our 1200 mile shakedown - couple of what we call "ankle biters" and 1 "really annoying" issue. None that keep us from being safe and enjoying our unit. The annoying one is the noise in the dining room slider.

Glad to see others enjoying the unit like we are also. We love our Challenger 37TB.

sbleiweiss 05-13-2015 07:23 AM

[QUOTE=ctpres;2553771]Bought her in Oct 2014 and didn't hit the road until mid Dec. So far only two problems that dampened our enjoyment. Numerous others to be sure but none of them really bothered us.

Our experience at 15,000 miles is similar; both with the 37KT and with Total Value RV. Definitely love the floor plan. Leaving today for Jersey City and then Long Island. Wish us luck with NY metro traffic.

TheMrB 05-13-2015 09:53 AM

Thor Challenger Owners Unite!
 
Thanks for the post. We bought a GT in January and started a 6 month trip in April. So far our experience is pretty much the same. Had an issue with the furnace where water got in and caused corrosion on the control board. Not fun when the furnace doesn't work in 35 degree weather in Arizona. A1 service in Williams is great.

As for the wiper, we have the same issue on the drivers side. The taper(washer?) is split. Hoping to get it fixed in Phoenix.

ctpres 05-17-2015 06:57 AM

The Wiper problem update
 
Just wrapped up two day stay at Total Value in Elkhart for some wty work and a wash job. Big problem was wiper failure on passenger side that I previously mentioned. I was was worried they would replace with the same part that seems to be weak design. Nope we got a whole new motor and drive assembly. They also did an oil change, fixed a leaky toilet bowl seal and gave our baby a bath - LOOKS GREAT.
BTW if you need service and are near Elkhart, I recommend Total Value. Second time for us and great work both times. AND get a wash job while you are there - only two bucks a foot. Our wty appointment at Thor was moved to their new service facility in Wakarusa - headed there today and will report on that when done.

handyman1943 05-17-2015 10:57 PM

What sort of gas mileage are you getting? Ours has less than 900 miles and we just finished a 450 mile trip and only got 5.5MPG.

ctpres 05-18-2015 07:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by handyman1943 (Post 2561300)
What sort of gas mileage are you getting? Ours has less than 900 miles and we just finished a 450 mile trip and only got 5.5MPG.

On flat to nearly flat land we are getting mid 7 mpg. East coast mountains ran mid 6 mpg. That is with loaded weight right at max, cruising around 60/65 mph and towing a Ford Fiesta. Will report here on mileage in about a month for the west coast mountains. 5.5 doesn't sound right to me unless you are running 70 or more

ctpres 05-18-2015 06:04 PM

Thor wty service
 
1 Attachment(s)
New Thor service center Wakarusa, IN
Day one. Arrived Sunday afternoon to find parking place totally empty. Picture is of facility from the street - no signage yet. Facility opened for live customer business today and we were first in line. Not everything moved yet so it could get a bit complex till all moving is done. For example paint shop still at old location so we will need to move coach to the old facility to get a little paint work done. Coach parking spaces based on water/electric spacing NOT painted stripes. Park on concrete side - not blacktop. Dump is in front left corner. Dump parking spot needs some more fill - if it rains it will be a bit messy. When leveling you will be better off using manual level due to slope of parking space. Auto level will probably put your front wheels off the ground and jacks at max extension. Within thirty minutes of parking a security guard stopped by and gave us a phone number to call for any problems or emergencies. They patrol the area routinely - nice touch. Shop manager met us a little before 7AM and outlined the way things would work each day. Assigned tech met us at coach 7AM sharp to discuss each item on the list and within 15 minutes Larry had coach in service bay and was hard at work doing everything on the list that did not need parts to be ordered. When finished for the day he will return coach to parking space and plug it in to electric and lock the door with keys inside. So be sure you have a door key with you if you leave. Very interesting that he noticed a trim ring for windshield was missing and ordered it. Customer lounge (entrance at front of building) is a bit short on reading material right now, has small 20" TV but 40 inch should be there any day. Coffee and vending machines in the break room. Day one results: some of the ordered parts already arrived and were installed - fireplace and video switcher replaced, windshield trim ring installed, loose ladder mounts secured, entry door strut replaced and rearview mirror anti vibration clips installed. Materials ordered for the rest of work expected in a day or two. One problem was with slide arm shuddering on extension and retraction. No known fix for problem so Carefree (awning mfg) is sending rep over to look at it. Parts in hours or a few days and experts on call. I would say it was worth the trip to Elkhart for our wty work. More tomorrow. BTW Cooks Pizza in Wakarusa is worth the trip, great custom made to order large pizza and two drinks for under $20. Sorry no beer.

happycamperj 05-19-2015 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ctpres (Post 2561539)
On flat to nearly flat land we are getting mid 7 mpg. East coast mountains ran mid 6 mpg. That is with loaded weight right at max, cruising around 60/65 mph and towing a Ford Fiesta. Will report here on mileage in about a month for the west coast mountains. 5.5 doesn't sound right to me unless you are running 70 or more

I agree completely. We averaged mid 7 driving from Oregon to Tennessee last year. Tried to keep it between 65-70 also.I got 6 in "local" driving. We have a 2014.5 Challenger 37gt, with around 7,000 miles on it, pulling a Honda CR-V. Hopefully that 5.5 will improve after you get a few more miles on yours.

bdickson 05-19-2015 03:40 PM

Our 2013 37GT pulling a CR-V gets 7 to 7.5 without generator, 6.5 to 7 with genny running.

ctpres 05-19-2015 04:38 PM

Day 2 Thor Wakarusa service center
 
Work completed today: Door close/open step switch replaced (frequently failed with steps open), LED light strip in rear awning replaced (one three light segment out), convection microwave replaced (only had one glass panel in door), two full length trim pieces replaced on main slide (were warping and could not be held in place with pin nails or staples), one drawer travel lock on slide mechanism was replaced and one dash a'cond vent with broken louvers was replaced. Carefree awning rep showed up and determined awning shudder being caused by bad strut - will return with replacement. All work so far has been completed in a professional manner - tech even laid out cardboard panels on floor in work areas to protect floors.

handyman1943 05-19-2015 05:27 PM

gas mileage
 
In reading the owner's manual, I found a section that suggests a procedure to retrain the engine and transmission after the battery has been disconnected. Will try that before our next trip this weekend and hopefully mileage will improve. Mostly flat land and towing our Vue.

M72561 05-19-2015 06:15 PM

battery issues
 
We have owned a 2014 37KT for 2 years and get away in it as often as we can.We have always had issues with the chassis battery dying when we left it parked for 2 weeks or longer. We have replaced the battery under warranty as well as the alternator but the problem persists.I have a trickle charger I keep on it now when parked but it has died twice. I did have a banks power pack system installed shortly after I bought it and wonder if that could be the issue.I always cut off the house batteries when storing and they have never seemed to have a problem until today.The battery switch in the stairwell is not clicking when I switch it and I can't AUX start with the batteries or turn on the generator.I called Thor and they thought a 50,or 100 amp breaker must be tripped with the 100 amp being up front which I will manually have to move the RV about 2' backwards so I can open the front up. I have had an RV carport built and it just barely fits in. Anyone with similar battery issues

ctpres 05-20-2015 05:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by M72561 (Post 2563962)
Anyone with similar battery issues

We had problem with chassis battery discharging when parked for a while AND house batteries in store mod. Finally figured out that dash radio had two power leads, one direct to battery and the other to ignition on 12v source. I guess Thor wired both to battery just so radio could be used when parked. Problem with that is radio has very high current drain even when off - just feel front of it. A separate switch on radio ignition lead would solve that.


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