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Old 07-18-2016, 04:45 PM   #1
bsolomon
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3820 purchase

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
DQDick
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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!
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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!
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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
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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
TLightning
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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).
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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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Old 06-17-2018, 04:55 PM   #11
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Bought our 3820 Oct. of 2017. So many problems! The dealer (Curtis Trailer, PDX) has done over $5000 in warranted repairs. It's engineered well but the quality of workmanship is amazingly poor. Hope everything breaks before the 1 year warranty expiration.
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Old 06-17-2018, 06:27 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Justme44 View Post
Don't play on just 30 min for the walk through. It will take some time.
Dennis
Our PDI took 2 days. Day one we did a PDI and listed the issues we needed to be corrected. When the dealer called and said all was corrected we did the PDI all over again.It was 4 or 5 hours the first day and 3 or 4 hours the second day. We did the same with our first Montana the 06 3400.
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Old 06-17-2018, 06:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jcurtis934 View Post
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
Good advice on the tires. Just make sure the wheels are compatable with the high pressure G or higher rated tires. And, run the snot out of everything early as possible and write down everything that doesn't work correctly. Have it corrected as soon as possible.
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Old 06-17-2018, 07:52 PM   #14
jimandlaurie
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We are scheduled for our PDI next Saturday on our 3820fk...we will be doing all the things, if not more as previously suggested.
A comment on Duratain...we got it on our 2013 3750fl, and despite the cost,we are doing it on our 3820fk. It is definitely a money maker for the dealer, but it has done very well on the 2013.
Except for using Collinite wax on the nose, we have just washed the unit and it has kept it's shine and luster,and no decal problems at all. Hopefully it will perform as well on this one too.
Good luck on your new Montana.
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:34 AM   #15
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As a 3820FK owner, the design is unique and we enjoy it as part time use. If you plan to be a full timer, you may find the lack of a large basement compartment detrimental for storage. My front boxes are full with a generator and batteries. Get the dealer to install a second battery as part of the package. The Legacy package of two years ago was worth the extra price for sun shades and perks, exterior cap, etc. However, I understand they have reduced the perks this year and they are extra costs. The 3 big CONS are the length of 40 ft. (13 feet of swing), the buffet dinette gets old swinging the table top around to enter or open refrigerator and the Bluetooth connection for In-Command (syncing up takes a long time when you are trying to setup or tear down). Make sure they have the highest quality of tires installed before accepting, Sailuns appear to be the standard they have installed during the last year or two. Good Luck and feel free to PM if you have a specific question about the 3820.
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Old 06-18-2018, 08:34 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by TLightning View Post
You'll need one huge truck for that RV...at nearly 17k GW, it's over weight for my dually.
That's interesting that you say it's overweight for your dually, I only seeing DRW towing that model. I have the 3700LK and the specs are close to the 3820FK and I'm within my limits of my DRW Duramax.

How much overweight are you on your DRW?

As for the OP: Do a thorough PDI. We did 2 on our 3700LK, one when it came in and marked the issues with blue tape, when we picked it up, we verify those were fixed and spent about 6 hours in the actual PDI, did everything from walking on the roof, to hooking up and unhooking a few times, ran the AC, heater, heat pump, showers, etc. and then we we got home did it all again, and then our first trip, did it all over again. So far we haven't had any major issues but we haven't used it in in a month or so nor in the heat that's been around.
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Old 06-19-2018, 12:51 PM   #17
TLightning
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That's interesting that you say it's overweight for your dually, I only seeing DRW towing that model. I have the 3700LK and the specs are close to the 3820FK and I'm within my limits of my DRW Duramax.

How much overweight are you on your DRW?
I'm not over weight because I do not have that Montana. The duallies you see towing could be 4500/5500 models.

As for my truck, do the numbers:

GCWR, 23,500 - wt of tow veh (use GVWR) 11,400 = tow rating 12,100

RV weighs 17,000, PW of 20%= 3,400.

17000 - 3400 = 13,600 weight to tow

So even using the numbers listed, I'd be 1,500 over weight.* My cargo capcity off the sticker is 4207, so if I put 3,400 in the bed as PW, that would leave me only 807 for everything else, hitch, etc...plus I have an extra 450 lbs of fuel.* So, I'd have to leave off some fuel and reduce the PW.* Of course if I reduce the PW, that will put the weight of the trailer even farther over weight than the 1,500 noted above.
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Old 06-19-2018, 03:01 PM   #18
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TYLightning, I have to ask: If you have a Dually, why are you using the SRW GVWR??
The GVWR on a recent GM Dually is 13000 up to 2016 and 13025 for the 2017 & 18s.
My SOB is pushing 19K and I'm still within the Limits as my GCWR is 31100
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Old 06-20-2018, 06:51 PM   #19
TLightning
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TYLightning, I have to ask: If you have a Dually, why are you using the SRW GVWR??
The GVWR on a recent GM Dually is 13000 up to 2016 and 13025 for the 2017 & 18s.
My SOB is pushing 19K and I'm still within the Limits as my GCWR is 31100
I am using the weights for MY truck....07 DRW GVWR is 11,400, SRW GVWR is 9,800.
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:14 PM   #20
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Sorry then, didn't realize they had changed that much. Don't have any of the specs left over from my '05, only the '11 and now the '18
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