2016 307 rls - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 05-21-2016, 06:22 PM   #1
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2016 307 rls

Hi all .. just want to share some thoughts and experience with our new camper. After 3 trips out. Overall .. were pretty happy. Feel free to comment, ask questions or share your experiences.

Warranty issues so far:
- Electric water heater not working (propane ok)
- Water leaking from rear right of underbelly
both fixed at our dealer (thats another story for another time). Dealer reported bad wiring at the power panel and poor sealing on a corner piece allowing water to stand on the plast underbelly. We only discovered this after seeing water dripping out the back while parked on a incline.

Good :
- we love the floor plan. Lots of open space in the living room/kitchen area.
- windows - we really love the interior views outside
- pulls great even though its about a thousand pounds heavier than our old camper. breaks work great, pin box seems well built, seems to be a solid frame and the overall mechanics seem like they will hold up well. I'm not sure about the Chinease made tires, but they seeam ok and the internet reports are favorable so far. These are new radials and seem to be a good tire.
- exterior finish, we like the decals and colors and design
- although there are no scare or porch lights, the LED lighting on the awning is bright and makes for perfect lighting outside steps and awing area
- heating/furnace system - works great... a bit hot in the bedroom area, but I put louvered floor vents in for more control in that area. The furnace is quite and seems efficient. Weve used it a fair amount and I imagine were less than a third thru one tank of propane. We camped in Ohio frosty cold weather -- upper twenties and were very comfortable and cozy. No issues there .. I've turned on the AC, but we havent really used it yet, but all seems well there too.
- fake fireplace - I could do without this really, but the built in electric heater keeps us warm enough without running the propane
- Lighting - camper really shines here (lol) ! a great mix of LED and filament style 12v lighting. Very happy with the number and location of lights. Some have a little glow in the dark button on the bottom which is handy. The accent lighting is awesome .. Dutchman really did a great job with the lighting .. Our unit has some nice accent lights by the stove, I noticed that not all 307's had that. The lights in the island and main storage cabinet look great. There is some LED lighting in the hitch area that works good too. I would like to have more lighting in the basement, but thats minor. Very happy with the lighting.
- TV/Audio - While Im not a fan of the Fusion name, the TV is good and AV receiver are a good match. The surround sound actually actually works very good for the camper and the setup limitations. A sub woofer would be cool ... bet hey, we are camping right ??! The exterior speakers are another story, but from home theater guy, this setup was surprisingly good for movies. For music, its only sufficient. The antenna and booster system work fine. Plenty of channels. I did install a small TV in the bedroom. I had trouble finding the plywood mounting area. Ended up using a swing arm from Amazon and mounted it upside down on purpose to clear the ceiling.

- Vacuum cleaner system -- This is a nice feature we didnt have before. I've used it to sweep out the basement (aka storage area) and it worked great for that. My wife hasnt used the interior side yet but I'm sure we will. A interior on/off switch is needed. I may do that latter .
-Storage space -- seems like my wife is happy with the kitchen and living room area storage. I'm happy with the basement area. Theres a nice compartment with a lid towards the front.
Water heater - I really like the 10 gallon water heater, lots of hot water and makes for good showers.
- living room/kitchen area - this is were this camper really shines and really seems to be the focus of this floor plan. When were not outside .. this is were we will spend 90% of our time and works great for us.
- fold out couch works great and seams comfortable for our granddaughter

Bad and not so good
- generally I see signs of keeping costs low but I know thats a necessary evil. I see press board, glue and staples. Fit and finish are generally good but I think over time, I'll be patching/gluing/replacing pieces. Examples - screws in the cabinet pluming access area are not aligned well and the little access panel fits poorly - its way to tight and I have to pound it in place. Plumbing lines under the sink were unsecured and banging into each other when using the sink faucet. Wiring seems haphazzard and not labeled. Same with the water lines. A couple stick on labels sure would help us figure things out.
- bathroom pocket door - hits a screw from the medicine cabinet as you push it in
- dual night stands would be nice, storage in the bedroom area is a bit lacking
- water pressure - could be better, I had to enlarge the water restriction hole in shower head
- flooring material - we have a mysterious dent already, I'm not sure how that will hold up in the long run.
- power panel - some switch placement makes no sense, a couple more labels would be good - or put the light switches out in the living room area. Type up the labels on the breaker box instead of hand writing.
- holding tanks and monitoring LEDS - I know these are notoriously inaccurate, ours is no exception. On the freshwater tank, we go from 2 of 4 lights to empty in like 1 dish washing. So basicly ... when we hit 1//2 a tank on the indicators, we're almost empty.
-exterior speakers - these will be replaced eventually ... its all about costs, but these speakers are like $3 speakers at the most. They have no bass and sound like a $3 speaker.

Overall, we're pretty happy with the camper so far. We drove a pretty tough deal and got it at the price we wanted. So far so good (with the exception of getting some warrantee work done - but thats a issues with our delaer ). I think we'll have many years of trouble free camping.

Hope you find this helpful. I'll try to come back once in a while and post updates and comments !

Bob B.
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Old 05-21-2016, 06:54 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. Glad no major malfunctions or defects. Sounds like you have the same issues many of us have regarding quality on the build. Gives you something to putz with when you're out camping. Best of luck.
Rusty
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Old 05-21-2016, 07:52 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum, Bob.

Sounds like your facing the typical irritants, of shoddy workmanship and cheap parts. I blame the shoddy workmanship to the speed that they move down the line, the workers are rushed and you get what ever they can get done within the work station. What doesn't get done or done poorly is sent out the door and maybe fixed by the dealer before the unit goes on the sales lot. Most times it doesn't get touched and the buyer is left with the decission to fixit yourself or lose weeks and in somecases months of use.

For your water pressure problem, have you taken the screens out of the spouts and cleanded them. There is a lot of construction debris generated durning the build and a fair bit gets into the fresh water system. The screen just before the water pump catches a bunch of junk as well.

Our water pressure went from a dribble to a good flow after the first cleaning. After a few clean outs the water pressure is good now.
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Old 07-24-2016, 05:04 AM   #4
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Frameless Window Question

Does anyone know why they went away from the frameless windows? Thanks just curious
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Old 07-24-2016, 05:08 AM   #5
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Bumper Strength

Another question to the group-I see the spare tire is mounted on the bumper in the rear of the 307RLS. Will the bumper support the weight of a kayak/bike rack combo. Is there a maximum weight called out somewhere I could read up on. Again, thanks for any info...
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brednose View Post
Another question to the group-I see the spare tire is mounted on the bumper in the rear of the 307RLS. Will the bumper support the weight of a kayak/bike rack combo. Is there a maximum weight called out somewhere I could read up on. Again, thanks for any info...
I personally wouldn't mount anything on a camper bumper, without beefing it up. They are pretty flimsy and they are prone to stress fractures. When you mount something on the bumper it will bounce, causing the bumper stress with the torque force. If it's me, I would build a receiver and go with a hitch mounted carrier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brednose View Post
Does anyone know why they went away from the frameless windows? Thanks just curious
Most likely a cost factor, if Dutchmen can save a dollar a unit on windows they well do it.
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Old 07-24-2016, 11:24 PM   #7
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In all the documentation I have from the dealer or Denali, no ratings at all .. I'm not sure there's a recommendation one way or another although from what I see, I dont think I'd want to put to much weight on there. Due to some warranty work, I have a square hole cut in the underbelly there. Next time I open that I'll comment on the length of the welding to the frame.

I can tell you that at least one I've seen advertised online had a wire rack on the back. Since it was new, I'm assuming that was a factory installed option. I can find nothing online to order one though. The other thing is, the ladder is hinged and can pull up out of the way.

We have been out 9 or 10 times, put about 900 miles on it and no issues, we're still happy campers
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Old 07-25-2016, 12:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobhifi7 View Post
In all the documentation I have from the dealer or Denali, no ratings at all .. I'm not sure there's a recommendation one way or another although from what I see, I dont think I'd want to put to much weight on there. Due to some warranty work, I have a square hole cut in the underbelly there. Next time I open that I'll comment on the length of the welding to the frame.

I can tell you that at least one I've seen advertised online had a wire rack on the back. Since it was new, I'm assuming that was a factory installed option. I can find nothing online to order one though. The other thing is, the ladder is hinged and can pull up out of the way.

We have been out 9 or 10 times, put about 900 miles on it and no issues, we're still happy campers
When I read an owners manual, if it doesn't say specifically that you can add any weight to the bumper, I read that as a no you can't do it.

You have to remember not all campers are created the same, but there are not many that are built to add weight to the bumper. The only camper that I have seen that I would be comfortable adding weight to the rear is a Cougar. They have a sliding rear bumper, pretty much the same square bumper most campers have, but they added a sliding structural member to the frame, then added the basket is warranted to carry a specified weight.

I haven't looked at adding a bike rack to the bumper, but I wouldn't be surprise me that adding a bike rack would void any warranty.

This may be the one you saw
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Old 07-25-2016, 02:41 AM   #9
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Bumper Strength

OK thanks for the information on this. I'm also trying to figure out why the bumper sticks out so far from the rear of the coach. Pictures make it hard to see. I had a 289RK and it had the cargo tray that folded down with the spare tire on it. From the pictures it looks like the spare tire is mounted on the bumper assembly (weight!) but I can tell if it is reinforced...
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Old 07-25-2016, 02:43 AM   #10
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Seems like manufacturers are moving to frameless not the other way around. The old style rubber frame windows certainly don't look as nice.
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