So, a couple of weeks ago we took our trailer out for it's first real camping trip. Prime conditions for finding out whether something might go awry: rain coming down in sheets, winds of 30-50 MPH and gusts of up to 60 MPH, with temps in the 40's. So, aside from the potential for getting wet or blown off the road we could look forward to a couple of nights dearly hoping no trees would fall on us!
Towing through that mess was remarkably unremarkable. Our trailer followed the TV like an obedient little turtle, with no trouble at all. We obviously drove more slowly than we might otherwise have done, but the tow was smooth and easy., even though the rain and other things were blowing horizontally across the road.
Even better, throughout the weekend we saw no leaks anywhere in the main body of the trailer. We obviously had a build-up of humidity inside as we lived, cooked and came in from the outside with wet coats and our dog. We were able to vent most of that by cracking open the windows from time to time and opening the fantastic fans between downpours. By contrast, the SOB next door was so badly fogged internally that they couldn't see out at all.
One exception to soundness of our AS was the door to the storage compartment under the front bed. As many have mentioned here, sure enough the door to that compartment had not been properly sealed. As a result, while driving through the rainstorm we got some dampness inside the forward storage compartment. We mopped it out. Then later I realized after dark that with the internal light on in the compartment I could see light coming out around the door in a couple of places, even with the door closed. They could easily have done that check at the factory or at the dealer, but I guess it had to be us doing that check after towing through the rain.
Another moment of oddness occurred when I was sitting at the rear dinette, looking at the entry door with a bit of daylight coming in through the window. As I looked down at the lower corner of the door, I realized I could also see daylight there. The entry door itself was not properly seated into the door frame. The entry door closed and latched properly, but when closed it didn't seal to the body of the trailer at the bottom of the door frame, leaving quite a gap. Again, this is something that could easily have been detected and addressed either before the trailer left the factory, or at the dealer.
Finally, we found that one of the drawers in the pantry was misaligned, making it difficult to latch it after pushing it in.
During a break in the rains, we opened all the windows, each of which was stuck shut. I used the "credit card" trick to gently separate the rubber gaskets from the glass, cleaned both the glass and the gasket, applied 303 Aerospace Protectant to the gaskets, let it stand for a bit, wiped the gaskets down and then closed the windows again.
Otherwise, everything we tried to use worked flawlessly, and despite the weather our weekend with the trailer was a genuine pleasure. We listened to music and books on audio, tried out the heat pump and the furnace, walked the dog between rainstorms, and took every opportunity to relax before towing the trailer back to the dealer for warranty work. The dealer was kind enough to let us drop the trailer off on the way home instead of towing it back to storage.
Warranty repairs made in very short order, thanks to our dealer:
- Removed and replaced our entry door, aligning it properly so that when it shuts we don't have that ridiculous air gap.
- Re-adjusted the door to storage under the front bed so that it seals tightly. It's almost too tight, but I think it'll do the job.
- Took apart, re-aligned and re-assembled the pantry drawers so they close smoothly.
- Replaced a burned out LED light that we hadn't even realized wasn't working.
On this trip we also learned the signal from our TPMS sensors wasn't strong enough to guarantee reliable reception in our TV. So, we had the dealer install a repeater on the front of the trailer, wiring it to the battery disconnect so it only runs when the battery switch is on. With the repeater on, the signal seems much more reliable, though it still takes a couple of minutes for all tires to register properly with the receiver.
When we parked our AS in storage, we left a huge bucket of damp-rid inside the trailer to ensure that any and all moisture would be absorbed while the trailer awaits our next adventure.
So, at least until the next run everything seems ship-shape, and we look forward to more fun on our future trips!