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Old 10-31-2017, 12:28 PM   #41
fredetteb
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Propane Usage

We've only got 2 week left in Columbia, MO before heading to FL for the winter. For the past 2 weeks temps here have been mid 50 days and upper 30 nights with 1 or 2 upper 20s nights. We've been using the fireplace and a small space heater to help the main furnace with the thermostat set on 72°.

Even with the supplemental heaters propane usage seems very high. We've been through 2 30lb tanks in 2 weeks. Other forums seem to agree this is fairly normal but out last RV didn't take that much.

I did a quick visual inspection of the furnace by removing the intake grate on the steps and the ducts looked fine. I may try and remove the bulkhead in the front storage bay to get a better look. Before I start taking stuff apart (much to my wife's dismay) and go crawling around under there I was hoping for some feedback.

Can't wait to get to FL and back to 70° days!
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Old 10-31-2017, 01:25 PM   #42
BuilderBob
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Welcome to MOC. It's not unusual to go through that much propane the furnace uses a lot of propane to heat the rig.Make sure all the holes were water lines come up through the
floor are plugged up with great-stuff and any were else cold air can get in.

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Old 10-31-2017, 08:03 PM   #43
ldmstewart
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Anyone changed their control pad for the jacks to where the gas bottle is if so how hard is face of control board to get off
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:01 PM   #44
ldmstewart
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Does your carpet in bedroom have padding under it
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:19 PM   #45
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My friend mounted his control to a RAM mount like you use for depth finders on bass boats. It is now very easy to see and he can swing it out of the way.
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Old 11-04-2017, 07:39 PM   #46
ldmstewart
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Went and picked mine back up today still did not fix everything been at dealer 2 times for a total of 5 weeks out of owning it 8 weeks said they couldn't put pad under bedroom carpet because slide would drag slide is about 2 inches above floor
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:22 PM   #47
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Punctuation saves lives.
Let's eat grandma!
Let's eat, grandma!
It also makes posts easier to read!
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:04 PM   #48
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Oh no the grammar police!.?!'/. LOL
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:45 AM   #49
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Good to see a thread on these TH's!
Perfect floor plan for me. As mentioned, I have a jet ski and motorcycle that will fit individually in the garage.

I took delivery of mine in July and have been living in it full time the last 2 months.
The only problems I've had so far, was the sawdust and collapsed a/c ducts. One blind didn't function properly. Just made a small adjustment and it works fine.

I knew I wanted a full living area that most TH's cramp due to the garage. I'd been looking at alternative ways to carry a bike. Previously, I was nearly set on a 3100RL. I liked the GD but it was priced out of my budget.
The 380TH is genius.

I've made several additions with plans for many more.
I will say the mattress slept ok to begin, but has compressed quickly. I'll be looking hard at mattress deals come Black Friday. The full queen with ability to walk around is great. With the superbag for bedding, making the bed is a snap.

I'm extremely pleased with this purchase. I fully expected to have more repairs. Pleasantly surprised so far that everything functions as it should.
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Old 11-07-2017, 03:16 PM   #50
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CamoGreg,


Glad it is working out so well for you. Similar to you we have a motorcycle and jet ski plus a few more toys. As I have mentioned, Grand Design while a little better built missed the mark badly with a shorter garage (Lord knows I tried everything I could to convince them to make it longer to no avail) was also 30K higher priced! Needless to say I can do a LOT of repairs to the keystone for that much difference. Besides we actually prefer that the Keystone does not have a slide in the middle of the awnings. Having that much awning space is great! After all don't you buy a camper with the idea of spending a lot of time on the outside of it???
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Old 11-07-2017, 03:42 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by mtlakejim View Post
CamoGreg,


Glad it is working out so well for you. Similar to you we have a motorcycle and jet ski plus a few more toys. As I have mentioned, Grand Design while a little better built missed the mark badly with a shorter garage (Lord knows I tried everything I could to convince them to make it longer to no avail) was also 30K higher priced! Needless to say I can do a LOT of repairs to the keystone for that much difference. Besides we actually prefer that the Keystone does not have a slide in the middle of the awnings. Having that much awning space is great! After all don't you buy a camper with the idea of spending a lot of time on the outside of it???
The long dual awning is very nice. There's a few things I'd like to see different. Like the black and grey tanks.
I ditched the cheap kitchen chairs right off and replaced with padded bench seats for more inside storage space.

I'm fulltime living in mine. Cold northern climate. The low level in the kitchen tends to stay cold. You're idea of it raised with a basement would not only give it more room, but help with that as well.

The shades and windows are great. I have a blue flame heater installed that is helped much by the ceiling fan.

While I originally considered a W/D combo, I decided against it. Not wanting to have that weight with the possibility of a water leak too. I've shelved that cabinet and it became quite valuable as storage.

I weighed the rig when I first brought it home. Once it's completely set-up, I'll hit the scales again. A little extra cargo capacity would be nice. I think adding an additional sub floor and the ability to carry more cargo would probably tax the GVW as well.

The floor plan, with all those windows to let in natural light, really gives the rig a spacious feel inside.

I've also added several hook racks since there isn't a good place to hang coats and jackets. Planning to modify those rear skinny cabinets in the bedroom too. They can be more usable.

It may be a challenge to keep the weight down the way I plan to use this rig. But isn't that always the case?
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:03 PM   #52
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CamoGreg,
Keep us posted on your improvements. We are on the other end of the spectrum, using the camper on weekends and vacations only (we have a wonderful 20acre estate in the Arkansas Ozarks and have a few years till retirement).


I, like you, am surprised that none of the manufactures have hit upon the idea of building a true two story 5th wheel with a full length basement garage/cargo bay. The 381 is just one step away from that concept. All they have to do is raise that kitchen floor up level to the bedroom and living room. It seems like such an obvious next step.....
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Old 11-07-2017, 07:41 PM   #53
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Mtlakejim,

Will do.

I have also had problems with the streetside "red" regulator. Brand new, it would "squeal" when propane flowed through. Eventually toning down to more of a low buzz.

I have an aux 100lb propane tank that originally was positioned and connected on the streetside. It wasn't constant, but at times, propane flow would be stopped and I'd have to unscrew the pigtail and reconnect it to resume flow.

I didn't seem to have that problem with the furnished 30lb tank. Although the regulator still squealed.

Since I'm gone a good part of the day, the furnace is set to come on at 50 degrees to keep things from freezing.
I can't have the propane being interrupted when I'm not there to notice.

Hooking my 100lb tank to the curbside has solved all those intermittent flow stops. I'd suggest using that side without the red regulator for the main source. Make streetside the secondary side.

I also blocked the vent from the bedroom to the garage. I have no desire to heat or cool the garage. It's nice to have that capacity. Like if storing something that may be damaged by freezing or excessive heat.

On that same vein, in the summer months, temps here were well into triple digits for days on end. I cut to size and placed magnetic vent covers over the furnace vents. Also, cut, stained and weatherstripped some nice birch plywood to cover those large furnace cold air returns on the forward stairs.
This helped with keeping the place cool by not sending precious cool air into furnace areas and the basements.


Even in the now cold temps, I'm using a magnetic vent cover in the front living room. Being close to the furnace, that vent is the warmest air. The rear kitchen thermostat reads so far away from the living room, it'll get hot up there while the rest of the rig is still cold.
The low level of the large kitchen vent allows for plenty of heat to climb into the living room without having an open vent.
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Old 11-10-2017, 02:47 PM   #54
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Sorry for being so silent since starting this thread folks. We're just about done moving out of the Outlaw and have relocated to a cottage in Niagara on the Lake for the winter until we take delivery of our 381 in April.

Greg, we full-time as well (this period between RVs excluded). Are you planning on wintering in Lewiston in your 380?
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Old 11-11-2017, 04:25 AM   #55
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..........

Greg, we full-time as well (this period between RVs excluded). Are you planning on wintering in Lewiston in your 380?
Yep. All winter. I"ll keep y'all posted on how we both winter....me and the 380.
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Old 11-15-2017, 06:59 PM   #56
kescue
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Montana 381TH

Picked up my Montana 381TH in July!!!! I looked at a ton of Toy Haulers and my wife and I liked the layout of this unit the best. Also, as others have stated was about $30K less than other I was considering.

Quality – I was also surprised on the quality control of the unit. But I also have read a lot of forums of other RV’s that have same issue. I found a lot of small metal pieces all over the place. I spent about an hour one day with shop vac going thru all the places to vacuum them up. (I am a perfectionist so go figure!) Some staples in carpet were sticking up some so hammered them down.

Took Montana from Florida to Chattanooga recently. Let me find all the stuff that needed fixed. The DVD player only played in black and white. They use the regular cables that come with TV vs HDMI cable. Found that input on back of TV for regular cable was bad. So just ran HDMI cable and fixed the issue. Door handle screws were not exactly industrial strength, so I replaced those myself.
Just some other minor stuff to repair. Took it dealer and dropped it off for them to make the other repairs.

Washer/Dryer – liked everyone’s input on this. For now still deciding. Neighbor just has dryer in his class A to dry the towels. May just go with that. As someone else mentioned, one less water item to worry about.

Generator – priced out adding a generator when I bought the Montana. Big $$$$$. So I am looking at just getting a Honda 3000. I won’t use it much for camping but can get dual use out of it. Live in Florida and can use it for the house when the Hurricanes come swinging by!!!!

I haul a Harley Fat Boy Lo in the back. Have not fully crafted this yet, but I have to disconnect Montana from truck and raise front of Montana to reduce the arch on the door ramp so Harley will not bottom out going up and down ramp. Small detail… FYI - my bed raises up and down with no issue.

But overall I really like the Montana 381TH. Love the layout. Plenty of storage for what I need. Love the front room with the recliners. Garage big enough for what I want to carry. Plus the color looks great with my Black F350!!!
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:40 PM   #57
mtlakejim
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kescue,
Welcome onboard the thread. I knew when I suggested this floor plan to the industry it was going to be a hit. Now if they would just listen to me again and raise the kitchen area floor up and make the garage full length of coach, I don't know about yall, but they will be building my next unit!!!
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:58 PM   #58
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Yes, welcome kescue.
I love the floorplan for the same reasons you've stated.

Mtlakejim, I've looked at your proposal on the full basement idea. I don't see it as a great idea when other things are taken into account.

The entry door is already fairly high. It requires 4 steps to enter the rig. Adding a basement there would be another 2 steps at least. It would be quite a balancing act standing up that high to unlock the door after rolling out a huge staircase.

Also, the kitchen slide would have to be shorter. That lovely full sized fridge would no longer fit where it does. And with the slide's depth, anyone approaching 6 foot would have to duck in order to get back in the dining area. You'd also lose quite a bit of those wonderful tall cabinets in the kitchen.

I imagine the designers took some of these things into account. Sure, more basement would be nice. But there'd be other compromises.
It's pretty good just the way it is.
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Old 11-16-2017, 12:15 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kescue View Post
.....

Generator – priced out adding a generator when I bought the Montana. Big $$$$$. So I am looking at just getting a Honda 3000. I won’t use it much for camping but can get dual use out of it. Live in Florida and can use it for the house when the Hurricanes come swinging by!!!!
......
I bought a Champion 3400w inverter generator.
It was specifically made to power RVs with the bigger 15k btu a/c units.

It doesn't have electric start. But like you, I don't plan on using it frequently. I got a great deal on mine when it went on sale. I actually bought this generator before the RV. Knowing a big a/c unit was something I wanted.

Champion has made a big effort to win over generator market share. They have a decent rep as a result. Mine starts first pull everytime I've used it. It's quiet and rv plug ready.

Also, if you plan on a smaller generator (or even if you don't) take a look at microair easy start.
I plan to eventually add one of these easy starts to my a/c. Reportedly, it allows smaller gens to run our a/c or something like the Champion idle in econo mode.
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Old 11-16-2017, 01:00 AM   #60
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CamoGreg,
There isn't much in this world that without some thought cannot be engineered to work. My first thought is that you did not take into account that the basement is not the full width of the trailer (in fact my original idea was to make the garage only as wide as the inside the frame rails and to use rectangular tubing on it's side for the floor area between the frame rails (done properly that would have given the basement an additional several inches of height--granted it would have required stronger materials for the frame). My original thought was the LENGTH of the garage is more important than the WIDTH (think kayaks and canoes). With that in mind it is easy to see where additional steps could be added inside the door so that the outside entry would stay at the same height as current (which granted is pretty tall now). As for the fridge, that will require some additional thought but good point. Given some time I am sure I can come up with a solution. After all the INITIAL response I got to the current design concept was "it can't be done" and "not enough people will want it". Since Grand Design first came out with an actual model, my push on the industry has been to make the garage LONGER. Even if it is not as tall (IE: even if you don't raise the kitchen floor to same level as bedroom) as the rear section. While the current floor plan is great for folks that have a motorcycle and nothing else, at 10' it still misses a LOT of people with canoes, boats or other toys that are long but don't require the height of the garage. Keystone did at least listen a little and made the garage 10' and the extra 6" over the Grand Design is the primary reason we chose the Keystone. Even at the lower price we WOULD NOT HAVE PURCHASED the Keystone if it's garage had been the same length of the Grand Design. The shorter garage of the GD simply does not meet our needs. At present we can carry our motorcycle or jet ski in the Keystone. We would love to be able to carry both at the same time. And I think that would be possible in an extended length garage (the jet ski doesn't require nearly the height of the motorcycle (with windshield). Just think being able to take a trip to Florida and having both your motorcycle and jet ski with you........
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