Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-11-2020, 01:41 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
Greenjeans's Avatar
 
2020 16' Caravel
Garland , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 28
New 16ft Caravel. The Good, the Bad & the Ugly.

Love my new Caravel.

The Good. The basic build is very good. Our replaced trailer had a dexter axle as does the Caravel. Shocks on the Caravel are standard and what a difference they make, combined with the axle. Things inside stays in place and towing is smoother. I want go into the tire pressure thing on this thread. lol. The vented A/C/Heat pump makes all the difference. Some what quieter & no hurricane going on inside. Aluminum panels, flooring, trim, windows, etc, well done AS. No apparent leaks after 12ins of rain. Roof caulking. etc. Good job. 2 lifeline batteries! Solar OK. Battery cut-off includes the CO2 sniffer. The Nova Kool refrigerator cools down to 32 in less than an hour. Also like its hinges. All systems tested on a trip to the woods of E Tex and a trip to the coast, Mustang island, everything works. Have not been off the grid yet. Living in Texas, I carry a medium size Yamaha Gen when the temps are constantly above 90 and visiting Nat. Parks, etc.
Very good AS.

The Bad. The HW heater, has no anode probably because of a different liner, comes with a nylon plug that's difficult to get to and has to be very tight. My first time with a hot, cold water mixer, it sucks so far. Winter camping so far, so the water out of the faucet is very cold and about 50% of the time Ive had an uneventful shower, hot to cold, cold to hot. Ive been hooked up to park water where pressure varies so I might try turning on the pump to see if that helps with constant higher pressure. The hand held shower line is way to stiff and the hot water outlet knob turns forever. On my first trip the converter panel fell off, turned out the screws were stripped. European hinges are a bad idea in the storage area under the bed. The hinge button gets pushed by the shifting luggage and leaves the doors hanging. Gotten good at reinstalling. The bathroom door was hung to low, hard to open & close. The back aluminum window frame covering was extremely bowed and the screen was screwed up. Inside the outside trunk, two aluminum panels where not riveted together causing a "cut hand hazard". I'm an experienced riveter so the trunk wasn't a big deal, but the rivets had to be done from the wrong direction to avoid taking apart the trailer. A rubber cover hides the issue. After some tinkering just about everything is better than new. Nothing really serious here, just kind of questioning AS quality control.

The Ugly. The TV installation was a bad joke and in the process messed up a perfectly good dark walnut laminated wall. Have to admit the wall is only visible from the bed and when the TV is being watched, but dang, such an easy problem to avoid. The TV mount was installed crooked, not close to level, and mounted 6" from its correct location, not allowing the TV to clear the bathroom wall so you could view it from the front of the trailer. I've redone the wiring, moved it 6 inches and leveled, patched the wall with a kind of matching filler. Its now where it should have been. Don't have to watch with your head cocked any more. lol. I have a 10" square of thin aluminum sheeting I could use under the base if the patch job bothers me. I'm anal, I know. To top it off the screen also came with a good deep scratch.

This is not my first rodeo with trailers, just a first with AS. I get it. Most of my issues have to do with labor. Hopefully AS has a handle on the appliances in the trailer. Now it time to modify or make the trailer mine.
Very happy with my Caravel and it will probably last longer than I do. Maybe one of my kids will want it. Happy camping!
__________________

__________________
Eddie
Cosmic Turtle
2017 Tacoma
Greenjeans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2020, 04:08 PM   #2
2 Rivet Member
 
Greenjeans's Avatar
 
2020 16' Caravel
Garland , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 28
TV before & after pics.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6158.jpg
Views:	40
Size:	261.2 KB
ID:	365620   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6166.jpg
Views:	45
Size:	343.0 KB
ID:	365621  

__________________

__________________
Eddie
Cosmic Turtle
2017 Tacoma
Greenjeans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2020, 10:28 AM   #3
1 Rivet Member
 
2020 16' Caravel
Shoreline , Washington
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 15
Fellow Caravel owner

Good review Greenjeans, we picked up ours on Sat and have had a few of the same issues and a few that you didn't mention having... gladly, our doors are hung straight and we haven't happened upon any sharp edges. TV does seem to be mounted off but we can live with it. Just want to confirm with you since its the exact same model, are you getting dvd sound in your surround sound speakers? I cannot get that to work, (sound through tv just fine, so I know the hdmi cable works properly) and I'm thinking the dvd player is not communicating with the JL Audio unit. Looks like I need to go out and look to see if there are rca cables coming out of the back of the tv as a first step. Unfortunately, they've made it impossible to get to the cabling behind the sony and JL Audio so I hope that isn't where the problem lies.


thanks
Barb
bparrish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2020, 10:53 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
PB_NB's Avatar
 
2019 22' Sport
Port Coquitlam , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 591
Images: 9
Blog Entries: 1
It seems that the cable TV source does not go back into the stereo but into the TV directly so you would not be able to get the audio source to come through the stereo. At least that's how they did it in my Sport. Since the car stereo head unit outputs to RCA jacks and then uses an RCA to HDMI converter to send the DVD signal to the TV, then are able to send the audio to the speakers.

To get stereo sounds from the antenna feed, you would need to find a device to sit between the TV and the wall outlet and convert the signal into the various feeds and then send the audio portion back to the stereo probably in the AUX input if that is available.

If the TV that you have has an audio output or headphone jack, you could run that signal back to the stereo but that would mean trying to pull wires which would be a real pain.

I just took our 22" LG TV out and replaced it with a 24" Samsung computer monitor so I could have an audio output on the TV to plug in my Bose speaker. Now I just run DVD's with a separate Sony DVD player and don't have the hook up for the TV. I could find a TV converter in the future if need be.

Much better for watching movies!
PB_NB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2020, 12:08 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
2016 16' Sport
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 738
If you are just looking to get the DVD player to play through the stereo there is an easy fix.
You need a digital to analog converter. You can find one for a bucks 20 bucks on Amazon. It has an digital coaxial input and RCA outputs. The DVD player is installed with double side tape. Just pull up and slide it out. Remove the faceplate on the stereo head.you will see it’s held in with about 4 screws. Pull the stereo out a bit and you will find RCA jacks marked AUX.
Shiny16 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2020, 03:20 PM   #6
1 Rivet Member
 
2020 16' Caravel
Shoreline , Washington
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 15
Thanks Shiny16- for some reason I was under the impression that the dvd/blueray player came connected to the JL Audio via aux. Appreciate the help.
bparrish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2020, 04:05 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
2016 16' Sport
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 738
Quote:
Originally Posted by bparrish View Post
Thanks Shiny16- for some reason I was under the impression that the dvd/blueray player came connected to the JL Audio via aux. Appreciate the help.
Your welcome.
The JL has no digital coaxial input.
Shiny16 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2020, 09:10 AM   #8
1 Rivet Member
 
2020 16' Caravel
Shoreline , Washington
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 15
Thanks PB_NB, very good info and I'm not doing any of it! :-) at least right now.


I'm just glad it works as intended, I thought something was wrong.
bparrish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2020, 10:50 AM   #9
2 Rivet Member
 
Greenjeans's Avatar
 
2020 16' Caravel
Garland , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 28
Thanks bpparrish.

Weve been doing some of our first off grid camping in N. New Mexico, & C. Colorado. Looks like with the 90W roof solar panel and partly cloudy weather we can easily get 2 nights with our compressor fridge (NovaCool) and heat at night. Were headed next to Galveston, then home, and Ill order another 90W portable panel. When were going to be off grid more than 2 nights ill pack the generator, just in case. We have a rescue conure (bird) which requires warmth at night. Without the heat at night we could probably easily get 3 nights (no heavy shade) some stress on Lifeline batteries. We had an ammonia frig. (larger) on our previous RV and because of the fan (TX humidity) not that much difference in battery usage. Time will tell if the advantage of a compressor fridge (instant cool) outweigh the other.

Love our new 16ft Caravel and from the response were getting on the road, and like our last RV, will be an easy sell in the future if we decide to make a change.

Our experience with the TV, JB, Blue Ray is the same as others that have posted.

Thanks again.
__________________
Eddie
Cosmic Turtle
2017 Tacoma
Greenjeans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2020, 10:59 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
2016 16' Sport
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 738
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenjeans View Post
Thanks bpparrish.

Weve been doing some of our first off grid camping in N. New Mexico, & C. Colorado. Looks like with the 90W roof solar panel and partly cloudy weather we can easily get 2 nights with our compressor fridge (NovaCool) and heat at night. Were headed next to Galveston, then home, and Ill order another 90W portable panel. When were going to be off grid more than 2 nights ill pack the generator, just in case. We have a rescue conure (bird) which requires warmth at night. Without the heat at night we could probably easily get 3 nights (no heavy shade) some stress on Lifeline batteries. We had an ammonia frig. (larger) on our previous RV and because of the fan (TX humidity) not that much difference in battery usage. Time will tell if the advantage of a compressor fridge (instant cool) outweigh the other.

Love our new 16ft Caravel and from the response were getting on the road, and like our last RV, will be an easy sell in the future if we decide to make a change.

Our experience with the TV, JB, Blue Ray is the same as others that have posted.

Thanks again.
Zamp makes 45 watt panels. Basically half of the 90 slim that I assume you have now. They will fit much easier on the curbside of your roof then adding another 90. These panels are not advertised. They are used by Zamp for their portable units. I was able to order two through AM Solar. Additionally consider using the wing bolt mounts from AM Solar. You will be happy when you need to work on the roof and need space to walk.
Shiny16 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2020, 01:21 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
Greenjeans's Avatar
 
2020 16' Caravel
Garland , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 28
Thanks Shiny16,
Yes, will order the 90W P to chase the sun. Did not realize a 45W would fit. Might have to do that also.
__________________
Eddie
Cosmic Turtle
2017 Tacoma
Greenjeans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2020, 02:31 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
2016 16' Sport
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 738
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenjeans View Post
Thanks Shiny16,
Yes, will order the 90W P to chase the sun. Did not realize a 45W would fit. Might have to do that also.
Sorry I misread your post and thought you were ordering a 90 for your roof. That will not fit. That is why I suggested the 2 45s.
Shiny16 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2020, 08:51 PM   #13
1 Rivet Member
 
2020 16' Caravel
VICTORIA , British Columbia
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 7
Love our new 16ft Caravel and from the response were getting on the road, and like our last RV, will be an easy sell in the future if we decide to make a change.

Our experience with the TV, JB, Blue Ray is the same as others that have posted.

Thanks again.[/QUOTE]

Just curious How is the Wet Bath working for you. What are you loving about the 16. We are very close to getting one. thank you
Lockie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2020, 09:34 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
2016 16' Sport
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 738
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lockie View Post
Love our new 16ft Caravel and from the response were getting on the road, and like our last RV, will be an easy sell in the future if we decide to make a change.

Our experience with the TV, JB, Blue Ray is the same as others that have posted.

Thanks again.
Just curious How is the Wet Bath working for you. What are you loving about the 16. We are very close to getting one. thank you[/QUOTE]

Ive never had an issue with the wet bath. Just pull the curtains take a shower. Done. If you pull the curtain separating the bedroom area you have plenty of room to step in and out of the bath with access to the closest while maintaining privacy with anyone else in the trailer.
Shiny16 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2020, 09:37 PM   #15
Rivet Master
 
2016 16' Sport
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 738
The curtain separating the bed area is also a great way to conserve propane and battery power for the furnace. Since the thermostat is in the bed area I pull the curtain across so only half the trailer has to be heated.
Shiny16 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2020, 08:22 AM   #16
1 Rivet Member
 
2020 16' Caravel
Shoreline , Washington
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 15
Caravel stuff

Quote:
and I’ll order another 90W portable panel. When we’re going to be off grid more than 2 nights i’ll pack the generator,
this is another bit of conflicting information I've gathered lately... some folks say the portable panel will override the panels installed on top, instead of them working together. Something about competing charge controllers. Others are indicating they should work simultaneously.

I'm very interested in your travels Greenjeans, and what you discover. So far we've just been in the driveway running all the systems and having occasional naps. We discovered the electric hitch doesn't work because the battery it is connected to is dead, so we've got to get that replaced. Also, one of the screws holding the passenger side rock guard window stripped out and so there's only one screw holding that in place. I'm going to take a crack at fixing that one myself.

Our first outing is in two weeks and we'll get to test it for real.

happy travels!
B
bparrish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2020, 05:26 PM   #17
2 Rivet Member
 
Greenjeans's Avatar
 
2020 16' Caravel
Garland , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 28
Everything has been great on our travels.

Our Caravel came with a dexter axle which I had on my last trailer. It was funny, AS specs showed shocks as standard on the 16ft C. I asked the salesperson if it had shocks when I was first looking at them. He said "no shocks". I got down and looked. This one has shocks. Weve traveled about 4K miles, some NM, CO mountains, and what a difference they make. Everything in the trailer is where I left it, after stowing for travel.

The AC vents help on the noise issues, but really enjoy the air being distributed evenly from front to back. We camped in Amarillo, TX a couple of days ago and it was 100 in full sun. It took a couple of hours for cool down, then had no issue keeping the trailer frosty. Had AC fan set at auto and cycled on & off, with mostly off. Very good.

Its my understanding when adding solar panels that each panel should have it own controller. Our trailer has 4 Zamp plugs on the roof and a portable plug on the tongue. Shiny16 might be able to answer that. Most Zamp panels come with a controller, but looks like the cost is $10-15 depending on the brand. Ive watched a couple of videos that others have posted in the electrical: Generators & Solar Power section of this forum.

Had not thought of using the curtain when boon docking to conserve battery with the heater. Good idea Shiny16.

Next issue Im going to look at is my passenger side hub runs a little warmer than the other. Its probably related to one brake being set tighter than the other. Ill research the forum and see if I can adjust the brake, individually.

This is a very good forum, with tons of information. Even down to the different rivets used.

Wife came up with a new trailer name. Had better go with it.
__________________
Eddie
Cosmic Turtle
2017 Tacoma
Greenjeans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2020, 08:40 PM   #18
Rivet Master
 
2016 16' Sport
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 738
I dont quite understand your question on solar. The panels should all be controlled by one controller. Do you have any solar now?
Shiny16 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2020, 10:02 PM   #19
Rivet Master
 
waninae39's Avatar

 
2017 22' Sport
NCR , Ontario
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,000
if the panels match they can be PARALLEL or SERIES and all go on the same controller

if the panels are different sizes and output they can be SERIES and all go on the same controller or each type would need its own controller

select panels carefully and try to match them.
its worth getting better quality panels with higher efficiency.
once you get clouds and shade you find out why
waninae39 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2020, 10:01 AM   #20
2 Rivet Member
 
Greenjeans's Avatar
 
2020 16' Caravel
Garland , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 28
I have a factory installed 90W Zamp roof panel & sunexplorer ll controller. I'm thinking about getting another 90W portable panel so I can chase the sun. AM solar has the Zamp panel without the controller, but I can get the panel with the controller at the same price, different dealer. Im also looking at another 45W panel for the roof. Harbor Frieght, down the street, has panels for about half the price? Like waninae39 I'll get the better quality, probably higher efficiency Zamps.

Ive figured out the controller and have used the top off battery feature once and it worked as advertised. Were headed to Galveston tomorrow and today would be another good test for the top off feature, coarse its cloudy today.
__________________

__________________
Eddie
Cosmic Turtle
2017 Tacoma
Greenjeans is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
caravel


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Our 2016 Classic - The Good, Bad, & Ugly FreshAirStmr 2016 - Current Classic (all lengths) 105 04-25-2018 11:03 AM
HAUNTED TRUCKS; The NOT-good, the UGLY & the BAD Distantdrummer Tow Vehicles 2 06-15-2010 06:11 PM
The Good, The Bad, and not so Ugly. FreshAir Waste Systems, Tanks & Totes 4 01-09-2007 10:16 AM
The Bad , The Good and the Ugly- 2006 Classic thecatsandi 2006 - 2010 Classic (all lengths) 4 10-19-2006 03:56 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:29 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.