Born Free Leap'n Lions RV Club

This forum is for Born Free Owners and those interested in owning a Born Free.
It is currently Sun May 09, 2021 9:11 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:21 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:06 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Harrisburg, PA USA
Looking for a small RV to drive long distances into somewhat remote locations to spend several weeks at a time - favorite locations are in NW Canada. the 20' Mini intrigues me and I hope some of you owners will share your thoughts on comfort, handling, reliability, ease of servicing, gas ecomomy, and long-distance travel. Also, how did you choose your model? What did you think made Born Free the right choice for you? Thanks in advance for any responses. Regards, Grayling2012

_________________
Grayling2012
Harrisburg, PA


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:49 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:33 pm
Posts: 1138
Location: Near Ashland, OR
I just went to the factory.
Didn't see any 20 footers.
Scott told the most popular selling was the 22 foot with corner kitchen.
The 20 foot has a "wet bath", the 22 foot does not.
I would not want the wet bath.
Just my 2 cents :D

_________________
Steve
2011 Born Free 22 foot/ corner kitchen, E350, 30k miles.
Our first RV. Lots to learn. Thanks.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:03 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:07 am
Posts: 157
Location: Seattle, WA
The BornFree constantly gets compliments wherever we go. Due to small looking size (20 feet long),
people assume that it is tiny inside. Once they enter through the back door, they are always shocked
to find out just how large and fully contained it is inside. They running joke is that it is like the
"Tardis" (for those SciFi 'Dr. Who' fans out there).

The Pro's of this model are many, but it is true that there are some very minor limitations also (or
compromises made for the small length of the vehicle). Here is our list of those:
A couple of the Pro's:
> Drive and park the vehicle in any situation. Cities, store parking lots, crowded visitor sites.
> 12 mpg (fully loaded with water, fuel, food, etc.)
> It has everything the larger RV's have, so it is fully self-contained.
> No need to use any other bathroom facilities. This has the ability for showers and personal bathroom. A major plus!
> I'm 6' and have plenty of headroom throughout the vehicle.

A couple of minor limitations:
> Minimum storage ability. This is also a plus though. I've heard that the more storage locations you
have, the more stuff you fill it with. ;)

When we travel for long trips, I pull a small versatile trailer. We can put bikes on top of it, a small
boat, or just pull the trailer and for all those "extra" items that we want.

We just finished a 1 week trip up to Banff, Lake Louise. Stayed 2 nights in Banff at Tunnel Mountain
with no hookups (since we are self-contained). 2 nights at Lake Louise by the Bow River with Electricity
hookup only (heck, it was available at the site). One night we stayed in the Fairmont Hotel overlook
Lake Louise. The other nights were spent exploring on our way up to Banff and on our way back.

I've added a few extra additions that we enjoy.
> Upgraded the house battery from 1 battery to 3. This greatly improved our Dry Camping.
> All lights are LED bulbs, so battery draw is minimal.
> Cell Tower antenna repeater. (if there is a cell tower within 50 miles, we can pick up the signal.
I've gone from no signal, to 4 bars with this antenna)
> Sound dampening in the cab area. (this wasn't necessary, but I am one who wants as little road noise
as possible while driving).
> An under counter coffee pot. (this took a bit of work to find one that does not emit a lot of steam
while making coffee. This was a must for me!)

Additionally, our goal has been to keep the BornFree as close to factory stock as possible. We like
keeping it clean, well-organized and looking just like day we bought it.


Attachments:
2012 Lake Louise 3.jpg
2012 Lake Louise 3.jpg [ 326.19 KiB | Viewed 12849 times ]
2012 Banff Tunnel Mountain 2.jpg
2012 Banff Tunnel Mountain 2.jpg [ 320.03 KiB | Viewed 12849 times ]

_________________
Alan and Jeannie Wolfe
2014 Born Free Freedom


Last edited by bbwolf on Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:09 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:23 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Camarillo, CA
I would like to hear more on your "sound dampening" in the cab.
What did you do?
Did you do it yourself?
Did you take any befor and after sound readings to quantify the improvement?
Etc.

Jim


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Sound Dampening
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:29 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:07 am
Posts: 157
Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Sound Dampening

Yes I did take before and after readings. It has been a few years ago now, but it was definitely a significant difference. I used a sound gauge that I purchased from Radio Shack for the testing. While we drove down a rough section of highway, the worst sound came from just above the left and right wheel wells, located at our feet. I wish I remembered the exact readings and the changes for you.

Yes, I did the work myself. I removed the two front seats and added two layers of Dynamat (very sticky) to the floor boards and up as high under the dash as I could reach. Then one layer of DynaPAD. I then reinstalled the floor mats and two seats.

Also, I added a double layer of Dynamat inside the Driver and Passenger door cavity, then an additional layer on the outside of the inner door (prior to reinstalling the inside door panel).

The next thing I did was way overboard (more than most people would do) and added sound proofing under the length of the RV. Not sure that this was necessary since I can close the curtain behind our seats and cut out the noise from the coach itself while we drive....

You can definitely tell the difference! Even when you simply close the door, the sound reduction is significant and noticeable.

Glad I did this modification.

_________________
Alan and Jeannie Wolfe
2014 Born Free Freedom


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:57 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:33 pm
Posts: 1138
Location: Near Ashland, OR
Thanks. That was real informative on your 20 footer.
Plus gave me some ideas for mine.
Like the sound proofing.
Also the LED lights. Would like to change mine to LED.
Any additional info on how to do this or links would be appreciated.
Plus enjoyed the pics.... good looking rig!!

_________________
Steve
2011 Born Free 22 foot/ corner kitchen, E350, 30k miles.
Our first RV. Lots to learn. Thanks.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:13 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:02 am
Posts: 31
Location: Wichita, KS
We have the 22 ft. built for two with the wet bath. At first we were reluctant to try taking a shower in it, but it isn't that hard and it doesn't make as much of a "watery mess" as I thought it would. We always wipe the shower down after a shower even at home. We are pretty tall people, too. There are a lot of advantages of the smaller size. We do not get 12 mi per gal., but more like 10.5 avg. We do not tow anything and just spent 2 weeks on the road over approx. 2400 mi.

_________________
Charlie & Nancy
2008 BFT


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:59 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:07 am
Posts: 157
Location: Seattle, WA
grayling2012,

We looked at multiple Class B RV's before deciding on the Born Free. All other Class B products had too many compromises that would make using them miserable. A couple observations on them was, low ceilings that make a 6 foot tall person duck. Bathroom/Showers that require a reconfiguration of the coach to use them. Terribly small wall room where two people cannot pass each other. Most had terrible leg room for the driver or passenger in the front cab section.

When we found Born Free 20' Mini, it had none of these issues. Everything a larger Class C has, and yet short enough to go anywhere a normal extended cab truck can go. Our current lifestyle is met by a Class B, so you can imagine how happy it was to find the Born Free mini!

So, to answer your earlier question, definitely quality on this product. I do all my own maintenance so yes, everything is accessible and easy to reach. I cannot recommend Born Free enough.

_________________
Alan and Jeannie Wolfe
2014 Born Free Freedom


Last edited by bbwolf on Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:14 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:07 am
Posts: 157
Location: Seattle, WA
stevek,

Jay Leno is quite an advocate for cutting noise in his vehicles. He has a lot of videos on the web discussing this point.
http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/extras/ca ... ndex.shtml

There are two sounds to reduce, high frequency and low frequency. Dynamat reduced one, DynaPAD reduces the other.

Both products can be researched at their website:

Dynamat link:
http://www.dynamat.com/products_automot ... ction.html

Once you decide to buy, I recommend looking for it on eBay. Get the same product and save a lot of money.

_________________
Alan and Jeannie Wolfe
2014 Born Free Freedom


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:23 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Camarillo, CA
Thanks for the sound (pun intended) information. I am now in the process of researhing your leads.

By the way, I am amazed that no one asked about the two headed dog (head at each end) in your picture above.

Jim


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:29 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:07 am
Posts: 157
Location: Seattle, WA
LOL. Yes, we have a Shitzu and a Golden that travel with us. They are inseparable, as you can tell...... (the picture is pretty much accurate, eh?)

_________________
Alan and Jeannie Wolfe
2014 Born Free Freedom


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:17 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:06 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Harrisburg, PA USA
Thanks- all of this has been helpful. Recently went to the Hershey RV Show and looked over the offerings. The Born Free models were lovely. The 22 just seems a tad big for my more surgical camping ideas. I have to admit that I am challenged by the low mileage of the Ford V-10 in the Born Free and others. I know I will like the power, but 10mpg is just disappointing. Finally, I am struggling with the Gas Versus diesel in terms of longevity. Gas engines seem to become fragile after 100,000 miles or so. Anyone out the struggle with this and have thoughts?

_________________
Grayling2012
Harrisburg, PA


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:52 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:10 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Charlotte, NC
I am not sure of the fragility of gas engines. My 96 born free has a 460 V8 with nearly 100000 miles and I tow a Honda with nearly 150000 miles. The diesels are great for heavy motorhomes and are better at towing with their greater torque, and they have somewhat greater fuel economy. The downside as I see it is higher fuel costs, higher maintenance cost, and of course significantly higher initial purchase cost. Of course if you plan to drive your bornfree over 200k miles you may want to consider a diesel. I think a diesel might have been nice when I pull my toad up mountain roads, otherwise my old V8 works just fine. You need to get used to low gas mileage if you are to own a Motorhome as these are not cars and weigh much more than a car and not as aerodynamic as a car. I get 9 mpg when traveling and pulling my toad. Sometimes I get more and sometimes less and my bornfree is a older vehicle. There are all kinds of posts on mpg so you might want to read them.

_________________
William Higbie
'96 26 rsb
2000 Honda Accord


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:52 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 2:39 pm
Posts: 617
Location: North Scituate, RI
We currently have 101,000 miles on our V10 and as I have posted had a Ford analysis that showed all system are in great shape. The compression was excellent as were the coils etc. I have a friend who happens to be an excellent mechanic at a local Ford light truck facility who tells me they have many E450 V10 units with excess of 200,000 miles on the odometer that they service. He feels that considering how we RV'ers take care of our coaches that we should be comfortable well over the 100,000 mark. Unfortunately for Born Fee, I have faith in my long time friend and will not be in the market for a new coach for quite a while.

_________________
Mel & Connie


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group