Our New RV Rig

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During September and October of 2018 we traded our F150 Ecoboost for a new 2018 Ford F350 Lariat 4×4 Diesel and our Bullet for a new 35′ 2019 Keystone Montana 3121RL 20th Anniversary Edition fifth wheel trailer using a new 20,000 pound rated B&W Companion Slider hitch.

During the PDI it was discovered our oven did not work and it had to be replaced under warranty.  That was completed in November of 2018.

The model, 3121RL, designates this trailer has a residential refrigerator.  It is a double-door, 18 cubic feet unit with a built-in ice maker.  We really like it.  No more worries about trying to keep stuff cold.  We set the fridge to 38 degrees and the freezer to -2 degrees and that is where they stay.  Since a residential fridge runs on 120 volts AC, the trailer came with a 1,000 watt Pure Sine Way (PSW) inverter, so when we are not plugged into shore power the fridge runs of the inverter that converts 12 volts DC to 120 volts AC.

The trailer has a one-button 6-point hydraulic leveling system and I love this feature!!!  Unhook from the truck and push one button and several seconds later the trailer is nice and level.  No more levelers to drive on and off, etc.  Simple and fast.  If not unhooking from the truck I can still manually level the trailer, too.

As of May 2019 we have completed several fairly short trips and one extensive, 5,000 mile round trip out West.  We have had no major issues, but I have had to do some minor repairs inside the trailer on things like the roll down shades, the bedroom barn door and a piece of trip that came loose.  These, sadly, are fairly normal issues with most RVs these days.

We are really loving the new rig.  The big turbo diesel pulls the trailer wonderfully, whether up or down mountains, whatever.  It is a very relaxed tow for me.  No more push/pull when a semi-truck and trailer blow by us.  Very solid rig.

I have made some major improvements to the new trailer.

  1. Installed a hard-wired Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C 50 amp electric management system with remote readout (in the cabin).
  2.  Installed a remote switch for the fridge inverter so it can be turned on/off from inside the cabin.
  3. Installed a 300 watt solar system to power the trailer and charge the batteries and modified the 100 watt portable panel so it can quickly be connected in parallel to the 300 watts if needed, for a total of 400 watts.  The three 100 watt panels are mounted flat on the roof of the trailer (see pictures below).
  4. As part of the solar install I mounted a Trimetric monitor inside the cabin to keep track of charging/discharging and the batteries state of charge.
  5. Installed a new battery box and two 6 volt (in series for 12 volts) GC2 true deep cycle batteries.
  6. Installed a second 1,000 watt PSW inverter with a remote switch and electric outlet in the cabin.  This allows us to run some AC stuff inside if we want or need to.
  7. Installed MaxAir vent covers over the two MaxAir vent fans to allow for air circulation in the trailer when traveling or in storage.  We can leave the vents open and the covers allow air, but not water to enter/exit.

Some photos of the inside:

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EMS remote (upper right), remote fridge inverter switch (upper left), second inverter remote and outlet

Some more outside photos:

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Some additions:

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Second 1,000 watt PSW, solar charger and wiring I installed

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New battery box with two 6 volt deep cycle batteries
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300 watts of solar on the roof–wiring held down with Eternabond tape and Dicor lap sealant.

 

Author: Bill & Jeri RV Travels

This tells about the RV adventures around the country of Bill, Jeri and our intrepid dog, Sugar Belle.

One thought on “Our New RV Rig”

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