Aerolite 213RBSL (New to us) - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 08-04-2018, 02:02 PM   #1
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Aerolite 213RBSL (New to us)

My wife and I just picked up our new to us, Aerolite 213RBSL in a private sale. We drove to Northern Virginia (about 160 miles away) to pick it up.

We have learned so much in this process:
O never finance through Southeastern Finance. They were highly recommended but the agent and closing agent messed up the paperwork so the deal that should have been done in 1-2 weeks took 4 weeks

O RVTrader was awesome.

O Buying used over new is mixed blessing. I love my local RV dealer (Grand Design) and their service is impeccable but we found a camper that hit 9 of 10 items on our checklist. Now I have to fight for repairs from a dealer that I did not buy from so I will be last in line.

O I was very fortunate to buy from a wonderful lady who is reinlisting in the Marine Corps and just wanted her camper paid off. Her and her husband spent hours with us newbies explaining everything and helping us hook up the WDH. Also, in the rain! Shew was meticulous in her documents and manuals and handed everything over to us....maintenance records, Malden # for every appliance with serial numbers, everything imaginable. Her husband already made dozens of upgrades that were not reflected in the final price. All I can say is Semper Fi!!!!!

O I have been in discussions on facebook about pulling camper with F150 and within moments my wife was already complaining about being pushed around and porpoising. I laughed and said “250”? And she just put her head down....what I have been saying since I bought the F150. But I stopped a couple times along our 160 mile journey back and made a couple of adjustments and last half of the ride was so much better. But, I made use it was not too much better so we can at least keep F250 on my Christmas list. It was funny though that we passed a used car dealership with a F250 diesel up front being sold for $19,999. Almost pulled over but saw it was a 2006 which have to be “bullet proofed” because of the design flaws. I will die if I see my wife scanning ford.com for Super Duty trucks!!

O Backing up a camper for the first time in pitch dark in driving rain with wife totally clueless about how to give instructions to the driver was challenging was still easier then unhooking the hitch. I did go into the neighbors yard by about 3-5 feet which will cause me about a cubic yard of dirt and a lb of grass seed. I did see on YouTube a couple said their ritual when setup is to ask “we still married” and then answer with a kiss 😘. Fortunately I got a kiss last night so good for one more backing in. 👍

O I already have 4 of the next 7 weekends booked for quick trips for shakedown, and a 3 day weekend planned to go to the Hershey PA RV Show billed as the largest in the country. My wife said we already have a camper so why attend. Well, it is to confirm you made the RIGHT choice or to look for your next camper.

Day 1 is in the books and we could not be happier. Wish we had done this years ago!!

Happy Camping and We are off like a herd of turtles 🐢!!
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Gregg & Darla Tulowitzky of Elkton, MD
2017 Dutchmen Aerolite 213RBSL
2018 Ford F150 Supercrew Lariat
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Old 08-04-2018, 03:53 PM   #2
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Sounds like your weight distribution isn't set up properly or your tongue weight is drastically off. There's no way that camper should be porpoising or pushing around an F-150.

My ritual to stay married is to go setup while she is at work! And I bought a truck with a backup camera to get the hitch connected.

I would also highly recommend a roof inspection at least twice a year, the more you travel the faster those caulk joints will crack and need attention. Water damage is by far the #1 enemy of campers.
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Old 08-04-2018, 06:56 PM   #3
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be careful with that camping show stuff... we went and came home with a new (and larger) RV when trading our first one in. Darned sales guys! LOL

Congrats on the camper and hope you enjoy years and years of great camping.
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:11 PM   #4
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Enjoy your 213, it’s a great camper! But you do need to adjust the WDH, it should ride smooth as glass once done right. I am pulling mine with a 2013 F150 with the 3.5 Ecoboost without any issues. Habpve fun and enjoy!
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Old 08-05-2018, 01:52 AM   #5
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I am going to do the WDH setup myself and see how far it is off. If there is still issues then I will take it to a local dealer for setup.

Thanks for the tips.
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2017 Dutchmen Aerolite 213RBSL
2018 Ford F150 Supercrew Lariat
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Old 08-05-2018, 01:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franktafl View Post
be careful with that camping show stuff... we went and came home with a new (and larger) RV when trading our first one in. Darned sales guys! LOL

Congrats on the camper and hope you enjoy years and years of great camping.
Lol that is my wife’s fear but the F150 will severely limit our options.
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2018 Ford F150 Supercrew Lariat
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Old 08-05-2018, 02:01 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by gjwinner850 View Post
Enjoy your 213, it’s a great camper! But you do need to adjust the WDH, it should ride smooth as glass once done right. I am pulling mine with a 2013 F150 with the 3.5 Ecoboost without any issues. Habpve fun and enjoy!
Going to try setting it up myself then have professional try it. It was originally setup for Jeep Cherokee and a F150 is quite different. We will keep trying.
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2017 Dutchmen Aerolite 213RBSL
2018 Ford F150 Supercrew Lariat
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:35 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by GTULOWITZKY View Post
Going to try setting it up myself then have professional try it. It was originally setup for Jeep Cherokee and a F150 is quite different. We will keep trying.
there are LOTS of you-tube videos on the setup of a weight distribution hitch. It's daunting at first, especially attempting to get the adjustable hitch set to the right level. it took me lots of tries to get it set properly, even to the point where I had to order new locking nuts because I kept taking them off to get the levels correct. Now I think I have it set properly but there is always a doubt. I would say, unless they have experience with WD hitches, The dealership probably can't help or they will set it up incorrectly and then you will have 1) wasted money 2) still have it wrong. the folks at this forum are VERY HAPPY to give GOOD advice.
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:57 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by franktafl View Post
there are LOTS of you-tube videos on the setup of a weight distribution hitch. It's daunting at first, especially attempting to get the adjustable hitch set to the right level. it took me lots of tries to get it set properly, even to the point where I had to order new locking nuts because I kept taking them off to get the levels correct. Now I think I have it set properly but there is always a doubt. I would say, unless they have experience with WD hitches, The dealership probably can't help or they will set it up incorrectly and then you will have 1) wasted money 2) still have it wrong. the folks at this forum are VERY HAPPY to give GOOD advice.
Thanks for the advice. I gave an experienced friend that is going to help.
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Old 08-05-2018, 12:14 PM   #10
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Thanks for the advice. I gave an experienced friend that is going to help.
While I was camping a few weeks ago, I noticed plenty of WD hitches that were installed completely wrong. One person had the bars so close to the frame that they were rubbing on the frame and his RV still was not level. It can take a while and you may go through several different settings but DON'T be discouraged, it will work out eventually.
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