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Old 07-18-2016, 04:45 PM   #1
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I am in the process of purchasing a Montana 2017 3820 and It seems like a wonderful design... Does anyone have any tips or things that I should be aware of or if there are good practices with Maintanence of the 5th wheel. I also am interested in the Duritain coating and if you have an opinion.

Thank you and have a great day,
Barry Solomon
Salem, Or
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Old 07-18-2016, 06:20 PM   #2
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Have a much older model so I won't comment on that, but let me say welcome to the forum! May your new rig bring you many years of wonderful memories.
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Old 07-19-2016, 01:54 AM   #3
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The first step is doing a thorough walkthrough and PDI to ensure any issues are caught before first delivery and get a good relationship going with your dealers service center to be able to handle any calls/questions that may come up (in addition to this forums help) as they will be your warranty path. Maintenance is pretty simple now a days, keep it clean & dry, wash & wax on occasion (lots of threads on waxes), watch for loose items/hardware, etc, especially the first few trips as you'll find out what wasn't tightened well at the factory. If you aren't familiar with these units already, s part of the delivery see if you can get them to walk through the electrical system and plumbing system, including tanks, so you know the inner workings of these, not just where the valves and breakers are because that is where you may have to do emergency maintenance at some point. Make sure you have two of you at the PDI, one listening and one taking notes (some people film it). Take a short, and close by, shakedown trip with the plans being learning and using everything you can on the unit to make sure it works right and you know how to use it. Most important, enjoy the new rig!
2016 Montana 3160RL w/MOR/Ryde IS and Disc Brakes
855W Solar System, TriStar MPPT-60 Controller, Magnum 2800W Inverter, 6 Trojan T-105REs
2015 Chevy Duramax SRW SB Crew Cab

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Old 07-19-2016, 02:23 AM   #4
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If new to fifthwheeling, several good instructional manuals out there, available at camping world, other RV outlets that will provide a wealth of information on RV ownership. Unlike Mark above, I think maintenance has become a bigger issue rather than getting easier. Seems like I am always fixing something. Except maybe for appliances, most things, such as electrical, plumbing, etc are pretty easy if you are handy. These rigs take a beating on the road. Seldom hard, just seems to be more of it. Owners manuals that come with the rig provide guidance on using and maintaining appliances, levelers, wheel torqe, etc. If new, take an experienced knowledgable RVer with you to do the PDI. Get everything squared away before you pull off the lot. Congrats on the new rig!
Mike and Lorraine
2002 3655 FL, 2005 3650RK
2010 3665RE, 2015 3910FB
F350 crew cab dually 6.7
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Old 07-19-2016, 03:41 AM   #5
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You have a good start already by consulting this forum. There is much useful information in so many topics. Question for you, what is Duratain?
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Old 07-19-2016, 05:58 AM   #6
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Make sure ubolts are torqued to spec! Look at the tires that are on the rig...unless load range g, have them changed out. Only acceptable chinese tire at this point is sailun load range g. Make sure you take your time to understand the unit. Understand the leveling system if six point...not just auto level. John
2012 F350 6.7 L dually, 2013 3800RE with 6 pt leveling, Sumitomo 17.5" load range h tires, Samsung 18 cu ft residential fridge, 8k Morryde I.S. with disc brakes scheduled for 6/2018.
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Old 07-19-2016, 06:13 AM   #7
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The advice I would have after many years of being on this forum would be to make sure it does NOT have Marathon tires or any other cheap ST tires on it. They WILL give you trouble on such a heavy camper. Then you won't be back here with a story we have heard many times of how you had a blowout that did several thousand dollar in damage to your new Montana.
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:08 AM   #8
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You'll need one huge truck for that RV...at nearly 17k GW, it's over weight for my dually.
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:15 AM   #9
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Mike - I wasn't implying maintenance form the repair standpoint is easier, I took it as the general upkeep type maintenance. I agree, a trip hardly goes by that doesn't involve tightening some nut, bolt, screw, etc or doing quick checks to see if that new creak or groan you hear isn't something bigger.

It comes down to how handy you are or are willing to become. This forum and other sources online are a great data point to do things yourself. A key is to not get behind on any of it. Work the upkeep into your normal routine, develop a pre-trip and post-trip checklist/routing of items you check. Set aside a little bit of time each trip to take care of something planned or unexpected. To do this, you'll develop a set of must have tools and items to take (keep this small to avoid the weight) and then bring the extra items for a trip if you have a project to do. When you are working on your rig at the campground, you'll be surprised how much free help you'll get and you may learn some new tricks along the way.

Also, checklist in general are great for packing, setup, tear down, etc. The more organized you are on the aspects that apply to every trip, the easier it becomes and more consistent it becomes. We have several laminated sheets for checklists, how to control our solar/power setup, clearer breaker panel markings, etc. We also make food/meal lists to ensure we have what we need and minimize the need to go to camp stores or trips to the local places for that one thing. I'm sure this is in part from 10+ years as a boy scout leader and throw in being an engineer that adds the attention to being detailed (my DW my say obsessive LOL).
2016 Montana 3160RL w/MOR/Ryde IS and Disc Brakes
855W Solar System, TriStar MPPT-60 Controller, Magnum 2800W Inverter, 6 Trojan T-105REs
2015 Chevy Duramax SRW SB Crew Cab

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Old 07-21-2016, 12:44 PM   #10
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Don't play on just 30 min for the walk through. It will take some time.
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