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 Post subject: Built For Two Questions
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 7:31 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Macon, Georgia
I am interested in buying a BFT, but I have 2 concerns that I would appreciate input on:
1. No spare tire - I am concerned about being caught out where it would be difficult to find a tire, and the time that could be wasted in finding one.
2. Generac generator - I have read much on other forums that Generacs are noisy, questionable quality, poor warranty response, etc. Seems that Onan is a much better unit.
Thanks in advance for your help.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 8:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 9:16 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Savannah, GA
I'm not sure that most of us with the Generac generators have had them long enough to have put a lot of hard hours on them, but someone else may feel differently. We have the Generac QP40G in our 2004, 26RB and have had no problems in about 90 hours of use. I'll admit that I had misgivings when I learned the generator would not be an Onan, but so far, so good.

As for the spare tire, most owners who were sufficiently concerned about that lack have found a way to carry either an unmounted tire or a complete wheel. That issue has been discussed elsewhere on this board with some carrying tires under the sofa, on mounts fitting into the trailer hitch, custom made mounts, on the roof or in the toad for some who are towing. One owner told me he had actually driven about 1000 miles after having a flat by using one of the dually set and driving on a single tire. I certainly wouldn't recommend this except in an emergency since you would badly overload the remaining tire.

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Randy & Fayrene
2004 Born Free 26RB/RSD
2005 Honda CR-V Toad


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 Post subject: BFT
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 8:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:14 pm
Posts: 381
Location: Seneca, SC
Road: We have a BFT 2004, and have solved the spare issue by carrying a fully mounted and functional spare in the back of our toad, a 2000 Chevy Tracker Automatic four wheel drive. We feel that the Tracker is an ideal toad, because of the 4wd capabilities that have gotten us out of several misadventures unscathed. As my knees aren't what they used to be, I particularly enjoy the additional highth of the 4wd stance which makes it much easier for me to exit the vehicle. As for the Generac, we have had no problems yet.

Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 12:58 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:21 pm
Posts: 165
Location: Woodinville, WA
The spare tire issue is one which will bring out many opinions. I have seen many long threads on the subject on other forums such as RV.Net. You might do a search there and read the threads. I can't answer for you but can pose some questions for you to ponder as you decide. I think it boils down to how you will be using the coach and what risk you are trying to protect against by carrying a spare? Are you going to be changing the tire yourself or will you be calling an emergency service? Many of us will opt for the latter for many reasons....the weight is greater than your average passenger sedan, the weight of the tire itself is not something we want to wrestle with, the torque of the lug nuts, (125ft-lbs) is more than we want to play with. You might also ask yourself if you did have a problem, how hard would it be to find a tire and have it mounted? Is the size that unique that none would be available somewhere near where you had the problem? Based on my research and we have a 2005 BFT, the tire is pretty readily available as its used on many pickups. Are you going to be using the RV in remote areas or will you be relatively near roadside assistance? If you do opt for carrying a tire, can you live with one of the storage solutions posted in other replies to your question?
As for the Generac, I have owned both Onan and Generac. They were both reliable and worked flawlessly when I started them. I can't really say that I find the Generac noisier but that isn't based on any scientific study, only my sometimes failing memory. I have been impressed with the way the Generac is designed for easy routine maintenance which I did not find with the Onan. We don't have high hours on the units because we don't boondock a lot but I do/did run them regularly for maintenance. Again a search on the Tech Issues forum of RV.Net should provide more opinions as the topic comes up fairly often on that forum.

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David and Janice Potter
Zoey the mutt
2005 Born Free Built for Two
2001 VW Cabrio


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 2:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:00 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Shawnee Mission KS
Roadtech ~
Your questions are exactly the same as mine, and the reason I held off buying a Built for Two for a year. Other qualities of the coach finally overcame my concerns and I bought a 2004. The generator is not a big problem for me although I have always had Onans in the past and knew of the poor reputation of the Generac. I think they have improved the design recently. Mine has worked well for about 100 hours and I have not found that the new Generac is any noisier that the small (4 KW) Onan BUT the necessity to prime the engine from the outside panel if it hasn't been run for awhile is primtive and bothersome to me. I never had to do that with a Onan. (The book says that it is only necessary to prime if the generator has not been run for two weeks but I have found that the period is about a week or ten days).

I will not tow an auto (the reason we bought the BFT) so the spare tire problem has been a much bigger one for me to overcome - and I haven't acomplished that yet. I nervously travel without a spare and plan to do as the prvious poster wrote -- use one of the duals as a replcement for the flat and limp to nearest place for a fix. Not a good plan. I have bought a bottle jack, a large lug wrench and a long cheater pipe and hope for the best. I have also installed tire pressure monitors on all the wheels to try to catch any failure early. The BFT has limited storage space and and my wife has been very reluctant to give up any of it for a mounted spare.

The only other issue I have with the fine quality of the Born Free is the electrical converter - whitch is REALLY primitive. But that can be overcome and is the subject of many posts elsewhere on this site.

Good luck and best wished ~~ Willie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:00 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Shawnee Mission KS
I apologize ~~ I have no idea why my post appears three times. Sorry.
Willie

Wille, your triple posting most likely happened because you hit the SUMMIT button three times. This probably happened because you are on a slower phone line internet connection and you thought it was ignoring your SUMMIT command, so you hit it a couple more times.    bfadmin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 6:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 11:59 am
Posts: 107
Location: Fort McDowell, Arizona
Willie,
I also have a BFT for which I recently designed and built a spare tire carrier. It came out well and will ease my mind on our trip to Alaska in a couple weeks. If it appears to interest you I can provide more detailed information, however, as a professional designer I do not want to subject myself to any liability situation. I believe this spare tire carrier would also fit other Born Free coaches. In designing this, a concern I had was its proximity to the water heater vent, so I did a temperature test and determined that is not a problem. I hope this will give a solution to your spare tire concern.

Virgil Dutton


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2006 22 ft BFT diesel
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 7:31 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Macon, Georgia
Virgil: Please send details on your spare tire carrier. It seems to be a great solution to this issue. Thanks for the other posts, I feel better about the Generac.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:14 pm
Posts: 381
Location: Seneca, SC
Virgil: What a neet solution ! I would like to know what you mounted the arrier to. Is it mounted on the bumper or is it attached to the back wall of the coach ? Any details that you feel you can divulge would be deeply appreciated. It would be nice to free up some of the tire space in the back of the Tracker.
Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 12:47 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:00 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Shawnee Mission KS
Virgil ~
That's a great solution you have come up with for the spare tire problem on the BFT ! I would certainly be interested in any plans or further pictures that you might be willing to share. Did you fabricate the mount yourself or have it done at a shop? Was it necessary to drill any holes in the bumper mounting bracket? Have you noticed any difference in handling of the coach with that much more weight that far back on the vehicle? If you are willing to send details but do not wish to post them on this website my e-mail is GWillieB@kc.rr.com. Thanks....
Bill Brent ~ Willie ~


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2006 11:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 11:59 am
Posts: 107
Location: Fort McDowell, Arizona
I am happy at the response to the spare tire carrier I showed on this forum. To answer some of the questions that were raised, It is strictly a bolt on unit. There is nothing to do to the coach except remove and replace, with slightly longer, the 2 bolts on the right side of the rear bumper. The forward mount of the carrier is a clamping arrangement to the 4 inch channel which is part of the bumper mounting structure. This mounting position does not obstruct the necessary visibility of the right tail light. The door of the right bumper compartment can still be opened to provide for storage of small items. It opens about 2.25 inches. The added weight does not seem to affect the driveability of my BFT. I had it on some mountain roads yesterday and today and it handled superb as usual. The weight of the carrier is about 45 pounds and a new spare tire with full tread mounted on a wheel, weighed in at 74 pounds. This carrier, being mounted entirely on the chassis structure, is very sturdy and robust. The rear entry door on the BFT is restricted to an open angle of about 110 degrees, but that does not hamper ingress and egress at all.

I am hoping Born Free would take this on as an optional accessary. If that doesn't come about I would arrange with some of the fabricators I know to produce it for those who would like to have one. Which way it goes should be known before long.

Thank you all for your intrest and if there are more questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Virgil Dutton

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2006 22 ft BFT diesel


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 Post subject: BFT Spare
PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 11:47 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:00 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Shawnee Mission KS
Virgil ~ Thanks for your response. I think that there might be quite a few of us who would be interested in solving the spare tire dilemma as, for what I can tell, the bracket would fit all models of the Born Free - not just the BFT. However, I don't think you will get much positive response from Born Free because previous discussions on this site concerning carrying a spare have reported that Mr. Dodgen is adamant about not providing one. I'm not sure why but I think it has something to do with the added weight because some models are pretty close to their GVWR.
If you could find a fabricator for this bracket I, for one, would certainly be interested. Driving without a spare is my biggest drawback to owning a Born Free. Regards ~ Bill Brent ~


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 2:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 3:43 pm
Posts: 509
Location: Klamath Falls, OR
We are interested but we're looking for a center mounting because we don't have a rear door to contend with.

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Mike & Jean
2005 26' RSS Diesel


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 5:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:56 am
Posts: 118
Location: Pickstown, SD
Mike & Jean....I do have a center mounted one that I had a Farm Machine Shop fabricate for me. Its made of 2" tubular steel and fits in the hitch reciever, so its not the answer for those who tow a toad. It carries the tire above the bumper without touching it or the coach, not behind it. The insert extends just beyond the forward end of the reciever and supports the forward end of the carrier and is pinned at this point. The rear end of the carrier is hinged with a steel bolt which allows the tire to be tilted backward and down allowing access to the center storage compartment.

The carrier weighs about 25 lbs. the mounted spare is 80 lbs. for about 105 lbs. Our 24RB loaded as we travel weighs in at 12320 with 3340 front and 9020 rear.

If someone could tell me how to shrink photos that would qualify for posting on this site, I would post a couple here. If not and you would like to see some, I would do so by E-Mail. Also we will be in Fort Dodge and Humboldt in June for the Homecoming.

Jack & Jan

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Jack & Jan
2005 24RB


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:56 am
Posts: 118
Location: Pickstown, SD
OK Folks...Thanks to Mike's Photo downsizing I'll post these to go along with my previous post. Also have other photos if you want.

Jack..


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Jack & Jan
2005 24RB
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