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Old 01-16-2019, 12:31 AM   #1
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Default 2019 Coachmen Crossfit

I'll start this thread and jot down a few comments on my CrossFit. Feel free to hijack it for any Crossfit related topics.

I have a 2019 CrossFit since October & have a few thousand miles and a dozen and a half nights in it. Here's my thoughts (as of now).

Transit chassis:

Compared to a circa 2015 half-ton pickup, it's rough riding, noisy, under powered, and wanders all over the road on windy days. I had the toe-in adjusted to try and help. I have no idea how it compares to other cargo vans. It's the only one I've driven since I got rid of my 1981 Chevy van thirty years ago.

Seating and driver position is OK for me, but not for my petite wife. Adjustable pedals and/or the 10-way seat would help a lot.

On my 2019, I have no Sync3 or lane keeping. Both would be nice. I'd prefer Sync3 and steering wheel controls to the Kenwood that Coachmen installs. There is nothing special about that Kenwood. Actually, it kind of sucks.

Dual RW, 2-wheel drive, 4.10 open differential:

Mine doesn't have a locking diff. So far this winter (very mild, very little snow) it's been about as good in the snow as an ordinary RWD pickup. The stock tires on the 350HD are Hankook's, which for me have adequate traction in snow considering they are only all-seasons. I'm not in the mountains though - it's pretty flat around here.

I'm paying attention to the after market locking differential market and eyeing up Nokians just in case.

Ford 3.7:

Adequate. Having owned a 3.5l egoboost F150, it's under powered. But it's still more than adequate for what's approaching a 9000lb vehicle. The 6spd seems to be a decent transmission. I like Ford's hill descent, tow/haul and shift buttons. Better/simpler and more intuitive than Chevy.

FWIW - I'm getting an indicated 15mpg over 4000 miles. I figure that as heavy as it is, and with dual wheels and at 8500-9000lbs, that's fair enough.

The coach:

I like the space behind the driver seat, the option for either E/W or N/S sleeping, the coach build quality, fit/finish, etc. It's well designed, well thought out, well laid out, and very usable. They put alot of thought into minor things that make life easier.

I like the passenger-side galley - the side that has the most window is the side that usually faces the campsite.

Coachmen uses factory Ford windows from the passenger van, which look great and are functional. The design allows for lots and lots of light - something that is essential for us. They don't tip out though, so venting the campervan in the rain will be hard.

The fresh water and plumbing is inside the camper & presumably a bit less temperature sensitive. I camp year-around in Minnesota & like the idea that I can keep it wet a bit longer in fall and earlier in spring. I'm watching the temperature inside the walls where the fresh water is plumbed, to see how cold they get vs. the outside temp.

The Truma is slick. This is the first time that I've not had to trip over electric heaters in the aisle when winter camping. But Coachmen didn't put a bypass on the Truma, so it's annoying to winterize.

The sewer connections are neatly hidden under the running board and don't hang down too far, but as a result are tough to get to without going on hands & knees. The sewer hose storage was hanging down below the rear bumper and looked like it would drag pretty easily, so I moved it up under the passenger side running board. Now it's even harder to get to than the sewer connections.

Batteries:

Poor, poor, and poor - considering it has a large compressor fridge and a sizable parasitic power draw. There is no way that I can keep either the fridge or the Truma furnace fan going overnight without hitting the 12.2 volt automatic battery disconnect. The stock coach batteries are lead acid 105ah, and either because they are already shot or because its cold outside, I'm not getting anywhere near the expected amp-hours. They are up under the rear fenders behind the rear axle, so even getting at them is a PITA.

I'm assuming that new AGM's under the coach combined with some lithium inside the coach will get me decent battery life.

Storage:

Lots of overheads and drawers, but very little cargo space other than that. The space behind the couch is all that's available for camping gear & bedding. The fresh tank takes up the space under the couch and the benches have power and heat under them. The space behind the drivers seat is usable though.

The manufacturer:

Coachmen was very responsive to an e-mail request for a cabinet part that got lost and an e-mail inquiry about the coach batteries. The former showed up in the mail a week later, and the latter was addressed by the engineer who designed the coach calling me directly about an hour after I initiated the query. That was unexpected. kudos to Coachmen's 'B' team.

It's a Class B:

I've been tent camping for fifty years and have had a travel trailer for a handful of years, but this is my first cargo van/class B. We're still figuring out how to shrink down to the available space and how to get along without a separate vehicle. I'm used to a pickup bed full of camping junk, so this is a change for me. I'll have to figure out if a cargo box is the way to go. Not sure yet.

It's tough to track down all the rattles. Ugh...who ever thought is was a smart idea to drive down the road with your kitchen six feet behind your ear.
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:34 AM   #2
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Check out some transit forums (I don't know of one, but they're surely out there) about the handling. Yes, class "b's" ride rough, but I've not heard anything bad about the Transit chassis, so maybe you'll find a tweek or two that will help.

The coach batteries should be tested because you should have enough power for an overnight boondock. It's not unusual for batteries to abused or neglected between the factory and the buyer. Could have been left run-down while on the dealer's lot.

Rattles are a problem in most all class "b's", and I'm still chasing my Moby Dick somewhere in the galley area. But so long as it is not a high-pitched squeek (and mine is not) I really don't notice it until I think about it.

You'll get it sorted out, and then you'll have to write us about your adventures!
.
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:27 PM   #3
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Great write-up and I agree with most of your points.

The only Transit forum I know is this one, although there may be others:
https://www.fordtransitusaforum.com/

We think the handling is great. We hit crosswinds coming across the California desert that was forcing semis out of their lane and had no problem. You might see if you can drive someone else's Transit Class B to see if yours is appreciably different. Ford uses a system of selective braking when it senses gusts so perhaps the sensor in your van isn't working correctly.

On the other hand, it's not going to compare to a smaller, lighter F150 with the 3.5 Ecoboost no matter what you do so perhaps this is a good as it gets.

Here's a list of our rattles - might be a good place to start if you haven't found them all already:

*Lids on cooktop and sink - we padded with small cloths.
*Microwave plate - also padded with a towel.
*Chain that releases TV - we taped it to the wall so it wouldn't go tick, tick, tick...
*If you have the propane cooktop, there is a glass shield suspended under the cabinets. If the knobs aren't tightened or the rubber washers are missing, it will rattle and eventually one of the knobs will fall off.
*All the rest were self-generated, like dishes and pans in the drawers - we wrap dishtowels between stuff.

We're looking at a way to attach the sewer hose carrier above the running board on the driver's side. Should make it easier to get to.

We can manage overnight on the stock LA batteries, but haven't been where it's really cold. Will replace them with something better when the time comes.

We have the Kenwood and probably would have preferred the Sync3, but have found that it grew on us - you can sync your phone and have the map displayed on the screen, angle the screen to reduce glare, adjust the brightness, and can get continuous a rear-view image on the screen while driving, if you want to keep track of something behind you.

If you're not already, you might consider joining the Crossfit FB group: Coachmen CROSSFIT RV Class "B" Owners & Prospects

Congratulations on your new van!
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Old 01-24-2019, 05:57 PM   #4
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I bought a stowaway cargo carrier due to the lack of storage in my Roadtrek. Wouldn’t leave home without it now.
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Old 01-24-2019, 08:36 PM   #5
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We have a SylvanSport Easy Go. 350 pounds, easy to tow and holds all our misc stuff we “Have to Have!”
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Old 01-24-2019, 09:34 PM   #6
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Lead acid batteries don't perform well in cold weather. You were saying that you are using your van up north and that the batteries are mounted outside the van. 100ah of usable battery at normal temps can be allot less in cold temp esp if you're pulling allot of power at once.
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:41 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=Phoebe3;86148]Great write-up and I agree with most of your points.

The only Transit forum I know is this one, although there may be others:
https://www.fordtransitusaforum.com/



Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoebe3 View Post
We think the handling is great. We hit crosswinds coming across the California desert that was forcing semis out of their lane and had no problem. You might see if you can drive someone else's Transit Class B to see if yours is appreciably different. Ford uses a system of selective braking when it senses gusts so perhaps the sensor in your van isn't working correctly.
I'm still figuring that out. Seems like the front end alignment helped a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoebe3 View Post
On the other hand, it's not going to compare to a smaller, lighter F150 with the 3.5 Ecoboost no matter what you do so perhaps this is a good as it gets.
Egoboost … not Ecoboost. Ford spells it wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoebe3 View Post
Here's a list of our rattles - might be a good place to start if you haven't found them all already:

*Lids on cooktop and sink - we padded with small cloths.
*Microwave plate - also padded with a towel.
*Chain that releases TV - we taped it to the wall so it wouldn't go tick, tick, tick...
*If you have the propane cooktop, there is a glass shield suspended under the cabinets. If the knobs aren't tightened or the rubber washers are missing, it will rattle and eventually one of the knobs will fall off.
*All the rest were self-generated, like dishes and pans in the drawers - we wrap dishtowels between stuff.
Yep - I've already lost a knob for the glass shield, taped up the wires and tin shield under the range top, separated the TV, plates, glasses, etc. Still have a thunk down low someplace and a couple of squeeks where the cabinets hit the ceiling. I'll track them down eventually. Gives me something to do while my wife is driving.

My wife found what I guess are 'felt pot protectors' that do a nice job of separating pots, pans, plates and bowls.

Turns out that the black bumper/knob that's fastened to the cabinet behind the TV is actually a super strong magnet. So I velcro'd a thick steel washer to the back of the TV, and let the magnet catch the washer and hold the TV against the cabinet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoebe3 View Post
If you're not already, you might consider joining the Crossfit FB group: Coachmen CROSSFIT RV Class "B" Owners & Prospects
Ugh... someday I'll have to join Facebook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoebe3 View Post
Congratulations on your new van!
Thanks!
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvrdwn View Post
Lead acid batteries don't perform well in cold weather. You were saying that you are using your van up north and that the batteries are mounted outside the van. 100ah of usable battery at normal temps can be allot less in cold temp esp if you're pulling allot of power at once.
I figure that's part of the problem. I might be losing half the capacity before I even start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kdbjones View Post
We have a SylvanSport Easy Go. 350 pounds, easy to tow and holds all our misc stuff we “Have to Have!”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thevon View Post
I bought a stowaway cargo carrier due to the lack of storage in my Roadtrek. Wouldn’t leave home without it now.
I'm thinking about & and researching cargo carriers. I'd lose the backup camera though. I'm spoiled by those things.
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Old 01-29-2019, 10:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by @Michael View Post
I figure that's part of the problem. I might be losing half the capacity before I even start.





I'm thinking about & and researching cargo carriers. I'd lose the backup camera though. I'm spoiled by those things.

Here is the cargo carrier I am thinking about. It's been highly recommended by some folks on the Coachmen Crossfit facebook page:
https://www.stowaway2.com/hitch-cargo-carriers
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Old 01-30-2019, 01:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkTX View Post
Here is the cargo carrier I am thinking about. It's been highly recommended by some folks on the Coachmen Crossfit facebook page:
https://www.stowaway2.com/hitch-cargo-carriers
I use the StowAway SwingAway Frame with my own custom ebike platform. works well.

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