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Old 01-21-2011, 07:53 PM   #1
andyrad
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Hello from Calgary, Alpine 3450RL

Tomorrow is the delivery day for our Alpine 3450RL. We have been thrilled with the dealerships attitude and friendliness. Racetrack RV, so far so good. As soon as we take delivery we are bringing it home to load up and then it's off to Kananaskis Country and the Mount Kidd RV park for a night of shakedown. Fingers crossed that it all works well. This is our first trailer bigger than 12 feet and there will be a ton to learn. Thank Mother Nature for the timing of this Chinook so we can do this without getting much below freezing if at all. Normally we would be at -25C at night
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:26 AM   #2
antiqfreq
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Welcome on your new camper!

Please let us know how the shakedown cruise goes.

If you have any questions - please feel free to post them for us.

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Old 01-23-2011, 08:05 PM   #3
andyrad
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So this was my first ever tow with a real trailer or 5th wheel. We had a 60 km/h headwind which the truck didn't have a problem with. It did sway a bit and caught me off guard when it did because the gusts out here are freakin unpredictable. The truck bucks a bit but I guess thats just part of towing a heavy load.

The trailer set up very easily and everything worked well. The heating system is more confusing than trying to figure out the problems between Israel and Palestine. I have two air conditioners, one with a heat pump, and supposedly two heating zones. I could not for the life of me get zone two to come into play. Maybe its because they told me that the bedroom AC is not working and I need to bring it back for some work. Maybe they turned off Z2 and it all runs off Z1. When it's freezing out I don't care about AC but two heating zones would have been nice. So the living area was a bit cooler and the bedroom was warmer. Speaking of beds, I don't think the king size bed is actually king size, more of an RV king size due to the fact that the sheets didn't fit real well. Not a biggie as we can sort that out.

Back to the heat. The furnace is incredible, both in heat output and dB. Man is that thing loud. If the system was on auto it would run the AC heat pump, I think, and the furnace would barely come on. I need to play around with this setup more once they have the bedroom AC fixed and zone 2 operational. Under the recommendation of a co-worker I brought a small ceramic heater to help out and kept blowing the breaker outside, only 30 amps. I had the TV going, 1/2 the lights, the fireplace, fridge, and the furnace. I guess thats more than 30 amps. I decided to just run the furnace to keep the bedroom comfortable and keep the fireplace on low to heat the living area while we watched Calgary beat Vancouver in a wild shootout victory.

It was very windy up in the rockies and the trailer held strong only shaking in the wildest of gusts. Pulling out this morning was a bit trickey as this trailer is HUGE and we brushed up against a few branches. No damage, not even a scratch. On the entire drive we averaged about 10.7 mpg and I normally get about 16 without the trailer. The truck (2011 Powerstoke F350) had no problems holding the speed limit up Scott Lake Hill which kills more than its fair share of trucks each year. Not sure why as it's really not that steep or long, but it is the highest altitude on the Trans Canada Highway.
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:38 PM   #4
geo
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Welcome

Andyrad -

Zone 2 does not heat. That is an cooling a/c only. Zone 1 controls both the heat pump (not efficient below 4.5C) and the furnace. I too have not accomplished the change over from heat pump to furnace automatically, but manually - I've done that!

Bed is not "standard" as you find in your home. It is 178cm x 203cm. I ordered special sheets from BedderBedding.com. A little pricey but very, very nice. Well worth the price! Magnitudes better quality than WalMart (known as Wally's World in the States.) Warning, pillowcases are priced each, so if you order 1, you will get only one!

When it is freezing, remember it is the furnace that keeps the plumbing in the basement warmed. You MUST run the furnace. In a future post on the Modifications thread, I'll talk about the warm air circulation I completed today. Just be careful about using space heaters keeping the cabin warm and not running the furnace.

And how I have experienced the wind! Alberta and Oklahoma have something in common - the only thing between you and the North Pole is a barbed wire fence, and that's half way down. (I have spent time in Calgary, Drumheller, Banff, and Field.) We camped in Norman, OK during the US Thanksgiving holidays. Took broadside winds at 55km/hr with gusts at 88km/hr. Let me tell you, the Dometic slide awnings popped louder than a seventh grade boys' locker room wet towel fight! Sonic booms they were! Finally parked "The Beast" on the north side near the bedroom slide to give a wind buffer! Got up, dressed, and braved the -10C wind chill to check the landing gear three times during the night. We did great!

Good luck, and see you in Kananaskis or hiking at Yoho sometime!

Ron
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