Born Free Leap'n Lions RV Club

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 Post subject: new owner with questions
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:34 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Bozeman, Montana
First I want to say how appreciative we are to have been able to access this BF site as we were in the process of deciding which motor home to purchase. Not only are we new to Born Free, but this is our first experience with RV'ing. The Born Free owners on this site have provided us with a wealth of information, much of which has been printed and carried along in our manual for reference. Issues addressed concerning tire pressure, Firestone airbag pressure, winterzing and more, have all been incredibly helpful. Lessons learned from this site, and other research as well, helped us greatly in our final decision to purchase our 2005 26RB, a decision which we've made with absolutely no regrets.

As you can imagine, we still have many more questions. Kim at Born Free has been wonderfully responsive and helpful, yet we also appreciate hearing from other BF owners experiences as well.

1. At the RV Life on Wheels conference, (highly recommended) we attended a workshop on weight/tires sponsored by the RV Safety Education Foundation. After picking up our coach in Iowa in August we had it weighed by RVSEF w/ full water/fuel/LP and found that the rear of the coach is about 200lbs over the recommended axel weight and that the rear driver's side tires are about 60 lbs over weight (calculating 80psi rear/65psi front). It was suggested that we drive w/ less fuel/water, which we can do. We would like to carry two bicycles and debating whether we should put a hitch on the front of the coach and carry bikes/chairs up front where we are 900+lbs underweight. We would appreciate your thoughts/insights re: rear axel/tire weight issue...how to remedy with other suggestions....front hitch option.

2. We live in Montana and would like to do some late fall/early spring camping...(not mid winter, however). It was suggested that we could put 1gallon of RV antifreeze into each of the holding tanks and as long as the coach was warm enough for us when in use, that the water lines and fresh water tank would be fine. We purchased a cube heater, which we haven't needed yet, and not sure if we can use it efficiently while dry camping. In between these weekend trips, we've been leaving the coach parked in our driveway where temps are now near freezing at night. We set the furnace for 50-55 degrees and opened the cabinet for the fresh water tank. Along with the antifreeze are there any other suggestions for these in between periods before we fully winterize? Would also appreciate any thoughts/experiences with adding insulation to holding tanks/water lines/other places that are vulnerable to cold weather, ie. outside shower.

3. Our preference is for dry camping, so we equipped our coach w/ two solar panels, two additional batteries and an inverter. We are still learning how to maximize the use of these additions and would appreciate your thoughts.

4. With the couch/jack knife bed slanting somewhat toward the wall when it's opened I would like to know if others have found a pad/remedy of some sort.

With a few more trips I'm sure we'll have many more questions. It's good to know that there are so many experienced BF owners out there whose knowledge we can tap into.

MB & Tony Goodman

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MB & Tony Goodman
2005 26RB


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 2:33 pm 
With regard to your #4 we use a memory foam mattress on the sofa which helps level things out.

Ed


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 4:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:11 am
Posts: 2
Location: NJ
We are considering a BF 26RSB and would like to have more solar power for dry camping also. Would you describe in more detail the solar system and inverter you had installed? Do you have a generator? I've seen some coaches replace the generator with larger AGM batteries, solar panels and a true sine wave generator. They even run the AC unit from the inverter. Check out earthroamer.com for AC/DC power innovation.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 4:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:11 am
Posts: 2
Location: NJ
I meant a true sine wave inverter not " generator" Sorry.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 8:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:34 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Bozeman, Montana
lmlstudio wrote:
We are considering a BF 26RSB and would like to have more solar power for dry camping also. Would you describe in more detail the solar system and inverter you had installed? Do you have a generator? I've seen some coaches replace the generator with larger AGM batteries, solar panels and a true sine wave generator. They even run the AC unit from the inverter. Check out earthroamer.com for AC/DC power innovation.



Since we ordered our coach directly from BF, we followed their recommendations on solar panel installation and manufacturer. The inverter is a 2000 watt model, also from a manufacturer recommended by BF. It is a modified sine wave. Yes, we do have an Onan generator as well. Jim Downing in FL assisted us throughout the entire process.
Couldn't have made these choices without his assistance/guidance. Hope this is helpful.

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MB & Tony Goodman
2005 26RB


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 Post subject: New owner
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 2:39 pm
Posts: 617
Location: North Scituate, RI
We also have a 26RB, a 2002 with the upgrade package and had it weighed fully loaded as you did and the rear axle is over the ford listed maximum by approximately 400 lbs. We have 47K miles on the coach with no apparent problems but I would definately keep the rear tires at 80psi as recommended by ford and also by the charts from the tire manufacturers.

We also use a memory foam pad on the sofa and it does help quite a bit.

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Mel & Connie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 11:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:13 pm
Posts: 3
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Be sure to pour a little antifreeze down the shower drain, as it’s trap in under the floor and would not be heated by the furnace.

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Ray Shively
1999 24RB
1998 Saturn SL2 Toad


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:45 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 9:16 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Savannah, GA
Most of us have found our BF's are a little overweight on the rear axle, but I haven't heard of any problems due to it and some of the units have a lot of miles. Our rig is about 250 lbs. over, but still ok on the tires at 80 psi. We have dual sofas and use mattress toppers for additional comfort. Also, my wife likes a strip of egg crate foam on the back portion by the wall for additional leveling. Our bedding is two Hacksacks.

If you are worried about the outside shower freezing, there is a cutoff valve just inside the coach behind the shower/water filler panel on ours. I assume that yours will have it too. BTW, where did you install the extra batteries?

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 12:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:05 pm
Posts: 2005
Location: Spencer, IA
I own a 2002 BF 26' RSB and I had all four corners weighed with gas, LP, and fresh water tanks full, fully loaded with both of us in the two front seats as we would travel down the road.

Our rear axle results were as follows: 1) Left rear axle - 4690 lbs, 2) right rear axle - 4530 lbs, with a resulting total rear axle weight of 9220 lbs. Now that is 230 lbs less than the 9450 lb rear axle rating. So I am concerned about the posts that show generally that their rear axle is overloaded in this particular model. Makes me wonder if my weight measurements were in error for some reason. Can anyone suggest a reason why my rear axle load appears to be 500 to 600 lbs less than others seem to experience??

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Bill Hemme - Spencer, Iowa
E-mail: whemme@earthlink.net
2002 Born Free (Ford E-450 V10) 26' RSB
2016 VW Golf GTI - toad


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:42 pm
Posts: 20
Location: St George, Utah
Bill, I have a 26' RB so you would think they would be fairly close. I do have HWH Jacks which add some weight. I keep mine pretty empty when it comes to carrying stuff. My weights are LR 4852 RR 4662 Total 9514 I don't carrry full water or holding tanks while traveling to cut my axle weight.

Jon Pollei
2003 26'RB


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 4:07 pm 
Bill:

Could the fact that several people have identified their units as being rear baths, while yours is a rear side bed have an impact on the difference in weight?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 5:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:05 pm
Posts: 2005
Location: Spencer, IA
Ed,

Good point. I thought all on this rear weight topic were 26' RSB units - after looking at the earlier posts, I see now that they were 26' RB units. I need my glasses checked I guess. But, I guess I am not sure why the RB units would be heavier in the rear then the RSB units. Just the way things are arranged I guess.

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Bill Hemme - Spencer, Iowa
E-mail: whemme@earthlink.net
2002 Born Free (Ford E-450 V10) 26' RSB
2016 VW Golf GTI - toad


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 6:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:34 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Bozeman, Montana
[If you are worried about the outside shower freezing, there is a cutoff valve just inside the coach behind the shower/water filler panel on ours. I assume that yours will have it too. BTW, where did you install the extra batteries?[/quote]

Thanks for the ideas about egg crates on the sofa and the shower cutoff switch. Winter has arrived early this year, at least for now, w/ temps going down to 18 degrees tonight, so we managed our first effort at winterization, w/ assistance from Kim via phone. Good to have info. on the shower, as we overlooked that part.

As to the extra batteries. The four batteries are all installed in the pull out drawer on the driver's side of the coach. I'm not certain, but I assume it is the same drawer that other's have their batteries as well.

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MB & Tony Goodman
2005 26RB


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 6:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:34 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Bozeman, Montana
whemme wrote:
Ed,

Good point. I thought all on this rear weight topic were 26' RSB units - after looking at the earlier posts, I see now that they were 26' RB units. I need my glasses checked I guess. But, I guess I am not sure why the RB units would be heavier in the rear then the RSB units. Just the way things are arranged I guess.


Our axle weights w/ full gas/water/LP/two adults in front seats and very little else on board, as we had just picked up our coach in Iowa and were en route home, were as follows:
Left Rear- 5000lbs/ Right Rear- 4650 = 9650....
Left Front- 1900/ Right Front- 1750= 3650....

Not certain about differences in RB vs. RSB, but do appreciate knowing that others have similar experiences and it does not seem to be problematic.

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MB & Tony Goodman
2005 26RB


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:36 pm
Posts: 143
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
MB & Tony,

Are you the couple who visited our 2001 24RB at the Idaho LOW "open house" afternoon? We remember a couple mentioning that they were excited to see a Born Free at LOW, because they were waiting for delivery of their new 26RB.

We also have the same problem with the wall side of the jack knife sofa bed being lower, especially since we had the bed "widened" a few inches. The suggestion of an egg crate pad to "fill" the space is a good idea. We use a simple foam pad that is wrapped in a light weight comforter, and then we place a pillow top memory foam pad on top to cover the entire bed surface. The pillow top pad was purchased from Camping World. It has non-slip surface on the bottom, which is nice on our ultra-leather upholstery. Then we use a Travasak for bedding.

Both foam pads are rolled up (two rolls) lengthwise and stored behind the sofa back. For us, it's a great place to keep them out of the way, and it keeps the cat from getting behind and under the sofa.

Our BF was weighed at LOW by the RVSEF folks, and we have the same rear axle "overweight" numbers. However, we already knew from our pre-purchase research about the slight overweight situation. The coach was fully loaded with water and gas at the weigh-in. We still travel with a full water tank when there's a possibility that we won't have hookups, and we haven't any problems.

Congratulations on your new Born Free.


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