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Old 02-16-2018, 12:20 AM   #15
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Bernard , Maine
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I calculated our mileage on paper many times, and we got 15-18 mpg depending on conditions. I guess we can’t expect much better than that.
I took it to have oil changed and tires rotated a few days ago, and they said they couldn’t rotate the tires because the vehicle is too heavy for their lift!
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Old 02-16-2018, 12:27 AM   #16
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Bernard , Maine
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You’ve made some good repairs and improvements, but you’re much more ambitious than we are!
The thermal door covering for your back windows—-how does that stay in place? I found when we sleep the rear curtains kept getting caught under and behind our pillows, so I used a couple of corrugated plastic blank white signs from Home Depot and cut them to fit. They’re fairly rigid and will sap into place between the glass and plastic frame. I’m not sure how that will work. Your covering sounds better,
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Old 02-16-2018, 10:06 AM   #17
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2012 Avenue Coach
Corpus Christi , Texas
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That's terrific gas mileage! Maybe my trip computer was not as overly optimistic as I thought. Hope I can report the same result once we start making trips. I was the one who wanted a motor home, but now as we get closer to making a trip, my wife says more and more often that she's looking forward to it. Yeah!

Glad to hear you like your Avenue Suite so much. We are pleased with ours and plan to make more driving trips than camping trips so it should work out perfectly.

I wanted the absolute smallest rv that still had everything, including the enclosed bath, and this model fit. It was just hard finding one until ours came up on a Houston rv dealers website. They sure hold their value don't they. We paid $57k and that was about $10k cheaper than I'd seen that model for. Guess it's what you get when you buy in a hot market.

I'm 6'2" and never expected to be able to stand up straight inside, but when I'm directly under the Maxx Fan vent, I can! That extra inch of clearance is just enough (even with shoes on). That was quite a welcome surprise since the specs show interior height only as an even 6 feet.

I removed the large Airstream lettering and so far no one has reported me to our neighborhood association. I really don't want to have to store it off site, and besides, here in Texas there are big pickups on every street that are actually a few inches wider and longer so height is the only thing that stands out.
I know what you mean about getting service. I thought I could take it to any Chevy dealer or garage, but most don't want to touch it. I think it's because it is a motor home and not the weight. They try to deny they can work on it because of a 10' height clearance. When I tell them it's only 9'3" they switch to saying their lifts can only handle 10,000k lbs. When I tell them it's under that weight, they just make another excuse. I finally found a local garage recommended by a local rv dealer and they have been great so far.
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Old 02-16-2018, 10:40 AM   #18
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Corpus Christi , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mainiacs View Post
You’ve made some good repairs and improvements, but you’re much more ambitious than we are!
The thermal door covering for your back windows—-how does that stay in place? I found when we sleep the rear curtains kept getting caught under and behind our pillows, so I used a couple of corrugated plastic blank white signs from Home Depot and cut them to fit. They’re fairly rigid and will sap into place between the glass and plastic frame. I’m not sure how that will work. Your covering sounds better,

Yes, I find the rear curtains in the way when reclining the bed and more so hanging near your head when sleeping so I tie them out of the way.

The reflectix I cut works like you describe your plastic on the original Chevy pop-out windows. I cut it a little over-sized for the glass and just tuck the edges behind the surrounding door plastic. Stays in place well and I don't use the rear windows or rear view mirror for driving so they will stay covered full time. I tilted the rear view camera up a bit and use the front monitor and side mirrors when driving.

As far as the Airstream side windows on either side of the bed, I had to be more precise in cutting the reflectix to the exact size and I use inexpensive spring-loaded curtain bars (Walmart) to keep them pressed in place when we don't have the windows open. The bottom section of the passenger window is a little different. I just put the reflectix in place and crank down the window to hold it, so that piece is actually sandwiched between the outer glass and the bug screen. I'm thinking of attaching suction cups so it doesn't fall out when opening the window.

I like the privacy of these covers on the windows and they do a much better job of insulating against cold (and more likely in our case) the heat.
They also block light better than curtains so it's hard for others to tell if you've got lights on from the outside.

At some point soon, I will need to quit fiddling and get on the road!
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Old 02-17-2018, 06:57 AM   #19
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Bernard , Maine
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Thanks for all the info rowiebowie, it’s great to chat with another Avenue owner! Please post after your trip and let us know how it performs.

Anne
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Old 04-11-2018, 09:33 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Mainiacs View Post
Thanks for all the info rowiebowie, it’s great to chat with another Avenue owner! Please post after your trip and let us know how it performs.

Anne


We left for our first road trip in the Avenue Suite I bought last Fall. We couldn't make a trip earlier because of our oldest dog's age-related health problems. He passed one week after his 14th birthday in mid March. We miss him, but we had our other standard poodle (Age 11) with us and he did well.


Since we were taking our first trip, we didn't want to go too far or be gone too long. Just did a 3-day tour of the Texas Hill Country checking how everything works and getting used to living out of a van.



This trip we stayed in Garner, Blanco, and Gualdalupe State Parks and drove a big loop through the narrow, winding, highways there.


Weather was nice with night time temps in the high 50's with sunny days in the high 60's and low 70's due to a recent cool front. We were plugged into electricity each night. We used the microwave instead of the stove top for heating water for coffee and soup. There was plenty of room in the fridge for cold drinks and it kept the food cold and the ice frozen. We had plenty of storage and came back with half our clothes unused and 2/3rds of the food we took.


The Chevy engine is a beast. Plenty of acceleration for the steepest hills or merging with Interstate 10 traffic going 75 mph. We went the speed limit on most roads and stayed 5 MPH under on roads with 75 mph limit. One crazy stretch after leaving Garner Park was 75 MPH posted speed limit on a narrow, no-shoulder, scenic route. Way too fast. Other roads, strangely, had curves listed at 25 MPH or 35 MPH that we took easily in the van at 10 MPH over that. So posted speeds often made no sense. Final gas mileage figure was 15.03 MPG for the 730 mile trip. Pretty great for hilly roads in a 9000 lb. van.


We only saw one other 20 ft. Class B RV our size. Others were big boxy class C's (the ones that look like a UHaul truck) or $200K+ bus-sized class A motor homes. As far as travel trailers went, there were mostly huge 5th wheels. But a few smaller trailers, one pup-up, and a dozen or so tent campers. Of course, it's the off-season, so the parks were only half full.



The biggest surprise was the number of bicycle riders we passed on the less-traveled roads, especially between Kerrville and Luckenbach. To top it off, the bikers average age was probably 70 yrs. old! How they could ride 30-40 miles up and down those hilly roads is beyond my comprehension. I couldn't get 5 miles on flat land, let alone those hills. Today's 70 yr. olds must fall into one of two categories. They're either riding electric carts around Walmart aisles, or they're pedaling 4-5 hours through some of the most difficult roads in Texas.


Here are a few pictures. The last one is me dumping the "tanks" before heading home.
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:11 AM   #21
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Bernard , Maine
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 21
Wow, great pics!

I feel like I’m looking at our Avenue’s twin, except we have the lighter cabinet color!
It sounds like your camper did everything you asked of it. We too, found that after being so careful about packing, we had more than adequate storage. And coincidentally, we stopped in Luckenbach too! We stayed in New Braunfels and enjoyed Gruene Hall immensely.
We find unfortunately that we’ve messed up something in our electrical system. We had been plugging a small electric heater into the overhead compartment receptacle, and using it fairly heavily. I had not realized how much of a load they draw—-1500 watts, which is the peak capacity of the Tripp-lite inverter. We had the TV and some devices plugged in on the same circuit, and finally the breaker shut off. We were able to reset it once, but not again, so the circuit with the TV is no longer working for us. We’ve also tried resetting the inverter, but no luck. Beyond this, we aren’t interested in going much further, so we’ll have to find a pro that can take a look. Just a caution about not overloading your circuits!


Happy trails, rowiebowie!!
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Old 04-12-2018, 08:28 AM   #22
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2012 Avenue Coach
Corpus Christi , Texas
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At first, packing was a challenge, but once we moved things around to their best position, we found plenty of room. The big front overhead compartment was initially stuffed full with our light weight bedding (pillows & sleeping bags) In the sideways picture of me in the back lounge, you can see we discovered we could roll up our sleeping bags with pillows inside them and stuff them to the sides in back. This made them much easier to access and left the front cab-over compartment nearly empty. Before our trip, I removed the heavy table from behind the driver's seat and also removed the pedestal base from the rear floor. It was just too big, too heavy, and we took a lightweight folding table instead, but never used it.

Sorry to hear of your inverter problem. I too, found out the battery/inverter would not run the microwave (about the same watts as your heater), but fortunately it did not cause the problem you have. Maybe because I only tried to run it a few minutes. Turns out the batteries and inverter are just not capable of putting out max rated power (mine is rated at 750 watts with 50% overboost capable, but the batteries cannot handle that kind of load).

I ended up replacing my nearly new batteries because I had a week cell and they would not hold a charge just sitting with the battery disconnect off. Did I damage the batteries trying to run my inverter at max capacity? Maybe.

Anyway, I've got everything on 12v power (including TV) so we did not have to turn on the inverter. Without that additional drain or the propane switch on, we can run the fridge overnight, the maxx fan overnight, and using a few lights we can stay unplugged and still have 75-80% battery the next morning.

Good luck finding a good rv mechanic. My first RV dealer here was expensive and incompetent/and or fradulent. They charged me $300 to diagnose three problems and wanted another $1600 for what turned out to be a leaky gray dump valve, bad macerator impeller, a blown fuse on the tank monitor (they said the monitor panel was bad and needed replacement). The only good thing, besides never going back to them, is I decided to tackle things myself and fixed all problems for less than they changed to incorrectly diagnose.
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Old 11-13-2018, 06:28 AM   #23
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2019 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Chapel Hill , North Carolina
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 59
Hello Avenue owners.

Rowiebowie - I have seen your posts on the Interstate Nineteen thread and finally noticed you have an Avenue. I never knew the Avenue existed and after googling information and pictures last night - I love it.

Although I would like an Interstate Nineteen, I hesitate because the MY 2019 Nineteen is built on an outgoing Sprinter chassis and it is the first year of production. The MY 2020 will be on a first year Sprinter chassis. I hate buying new vehicles. And the price for a new Nineteen ......

Enter the Avenue.

From reading the few posts on Airforums, including this one, you owners seem to like the Avenue. I found 2 for sale on RV Trader. One is a private seller and one is at a dealer. Both with the 4 captain seat layout which is my least favorite layout. Both around 30,000 miles and both selling for around $66,000.

First, should I wait for one of the other 2 layouts to become available or are they so rare I should just take what is available?

Second, what is a reasonable price to pay for a 2012?

Look forward to responses.
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Old 11-14-2018, 06:33 PM   #24
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Corpus Christi , Texas
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Originally Posted by MLWilcox View Post
Hello Avenue owners.

Rowiebowie - I have seen your posts on the Interstate Nineteen thread and finally noticed you have an Avenue. I never knew the Avenue existed and after googling information and pictures last night - I love it.

Although I would like an Interstate Nineteen, I hesitate because the MY 2019 Nineteen is built on an outgoing Sprinter chassis and it is the first year of production. The MY 2020 will be on a first year Sprinter chassis. I hate buying new vehicles. And the price for a new Nineteen ......

Enter the Avenue.

From reading the few posts on Airforums, including this one, you owners seem to like the Avenue. I found 2 for sale on RV Trader. One is a private seller and one is at a dealer. Both with the 4 captain seat layout which is my least favorite layout. Both around 30,000 miles and both selling for around $66,000.

First, should I wait for one of the other 2 layouts to become available or are they so rare I should just take what is available?

Second, what is a reasonable price to pay for a 2012?

Look forward to responses.

Private message sent.


.
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