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Old 10-18-2014, 12:06 PM   #1
Wally15
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Happy Camper!

I tend to "lurk" on this forum a lot to catch up on the new posts and get some fresh ideas for my 2013 Laredo 308RE TT. Some folks have some really bad experiences with their new Keystones and/or dealers. DW and I are extremely pleased with our Laredo and have had no real problems and have had no reason to take it back to the dealer. Had it for 9 months now. A couple of things are minor irritants; queen bed uncomfortable (memory foam solved that), couch bed uncomfortable (ditto memory foam, but still has a "sag" in the middle. If I get my hip into the sag, my feet stick off the end.). Also, the swivel rockers will definitely be upgraded to recliners by next year. Also the cable TV wiring was mis-wired. Took me a while to figure that out and correct it.
Perhaps my biggest gripe (design flaw?) is that the pantry is next to the fridge and the thin wall separating the two transfers the fridge heat into the pantry. Can't leave bread or other "perishables" in there very long or they spoil or get moldy. Thinking about putting two vents top and bottom to create an air flow - might have to drill some holes in the shelves to make that work. My current "guy solution" is to just leave the pantry door slightly open. DW thinks that ranks right up there with using the bathroom with the door wide open????
The TT has been parked at the beach for 6 months now, 2 months at Tyndall AFB Fam Camp, 4 at Rustic Sands, Mexico Beach. Tons of rain, no leaks, except for a/c condensate drips in the 110% humidity. Had as many as 5 adults and 2 small kids in there for a LONG weekend. But perfect for just DW, the dog, and I. Bringing it home in 2 weeks to clean it up for winter storage. Not much winterizing required in S GA.
As 1st time RVer's, and admittedly we bought the camper solely as an inexpensive summer place at the beach, I consider myself lucky to have gotten as good a deal as I got on the Keystone Laredo, and VERY fortunate to only have the minor problems I've had with the unit. Hopefully I won't be in the market for another camper for quite a few years, but if I do, Keystone will be my 1st and only choice. Unless somebody else is giving them away Mine was built in January, during the slow sales season. Could it be the workers weren't being rushed and took their time and did things right? I do empathize with the people who are upset with their purchase and the hassles of getting things fixed.
We looked at a lot of brands and floor plans over several months, I was primarily trying to match a good floor plan and camper to my existing TV (Ram 2500 TD). I didn't do a very good PDI, I didn't really know what the heck I was even looking at most of the time, so I consider myself a lucky rookie. And this forum has helped me learn a lot. And cost me a bunch on $ on upgrades, darn you guys.
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Old 10-18-2014, 12:13 PM   #2
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We are happy campers as well. Just ended our second season with our Springdale. No problems at all.
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Old 10-18-2014, 12:19 PM   #3
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Its always good to hear success stories, not enough of them anywhere.

On to your heat issue. Where are you thinking of putting the vents? I hope not in the wall that separates the fridge compartment from the cabinet. Codes REQUIRE that the fridge be installed in such a way that NO exhaust fumes can enter the coach. Same as the heater, and if you breach that barrier you could put yourself and others in harms way.

It may take a bit of work but here's what I would do. Open the bottom access panel on the outside. Unhook all the connections, and look for a couple of screws through the framing used as anchor points. Make sure the LP is OFF and insulate the 12VDC wires.

Then go inside and pop the top control panel loose, exposing the two mounting screws. Take those out and the whole refer will slide out the front. They aren't that heavy but two people makes it a lot easier. Then just install the heat shield that's used in automotive industry. Jegs, Summit are two good sources, that way you'll never see any holes and have to worry about carbon monoxide poisoning. Adding a fan to the compartment will help too.
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Old 10-18-2014, 01:14 PM   #4
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I was planning on putting the vents on the opposite wall from the reefer (couch side) and hopefully natural convection would pull the warm pantry (non CO) air into the camper for the a/c to handle. I'm thinking that an extra benefit (perhaps even better than the thermal insulation you suggested) would be to make the fridge more efficient by helping dissipate the heat. I have noticed that the fridge seems to make ice faster and run less when I leave the pantry door ajar. It's the small fridge, and 3 or 4 ice trays basically take up most of the freezer space. I do like my brown beverages on ice. DW does NOT want me poking holes in the pantry door. I have a small 12V low speed fan that might be my Plan B. Haven't gotten around to the "how and where to wire the thing" stage yet.
Does DW stand for Darn Wife?
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Old 10-18-2014, 01:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally15 View Post
Does DW stand for Darn Wife?
That's one... then there's:

Daring- when she's willing to go anywhere you say

Darling- when she's your best buddy

Devious- when she gets you to eat food you don't like because she has disguised it as something you do like.
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Old 10-18-2014, 01:37 PM   #6
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If you read the installation manual for the refrigerator carefully (Keystone doesn't) you'll see that the top and sides of the reefer should be insulated from the back of the reefer. That is to keep the box from being exposed to the heat generated by the absorption unit.

When Keystone builds our trailers, they don't insulate the bottom or the sides of the refrigerator cabinet. Once they slide the refrigerator into the slot, they "sometimes do/sometimes don't" seal the edges of the refrigerator box from the back. There also is supposed to be a fiberglass mat that lays on top of the refrigerator. Even if they do seal the sides, there's about 10" on each side of the refrigerator (close to the trailer wall) that aren't insulated at all. This area is adjacent to the inside of the trailer, in your floorplan, to the pantry, in mine, to the area where the two recliners are located. Yours will contain heat, mine is dissipated into the cabin for the A/C to remove.

You could remove your refrigerator as Chuckster57 suggested, install 1" pink rigid foam along the back parts and that would eliminate any heat transfer into your pantry. If you do any "really cold weather camping" you'll find that that part of the pantry wall will be "frosted" rather than warm, so you'll get a "double whammy" from the cold as well as the heat you're currently experiencing.

If you do decide to add the foam, remove your lower vent cover on the reefer and mark the sides of the refrigerator so when you slide it out, you'll know where to install the foam so it butts up against the sides of the refrigerator when you reinstall it.

Just another thought to "improve on Keystone's quality work"
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Old 10-18-2014, 02:56 PM   #7
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Wally15
We are like you very happy with the 2015 303BHS we just picked up at end of season only a couple minor issues that were fixed quick and easy. I agree with mattress hardness but we are also adding the memory foam it will help some but since the wife and a 5lb Pomeranian takes up most the bed ill still have my little corner to sleep on.
We plan on enjoying our for years to come.
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Old 10-18-2014, 03:37 PM   #8
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You should try sharing the bed with a 45 lb dog that likes to sleep between us...and sideways. That's why I know the "lumps and bumps" in the sofa bed so well. If I had owned that spoiled worthless mongrel 30 years ago, I wouldn't have any kids today. But she loves me enough for the both of us.
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Old 10-18-2014, 05:07 PM   #9
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You should try sharing the bed with a 45 lb dog that likes to sleep between us...and sideways. That's why I know the "lumps and bumps" in the sofa bed so well. If I had owned that spoiled worthless mongrel 30 years ago, I wouldn't have any kids today. But she loves me enough for the both of us.

Ours is 80 lbs and likes to curl up in a tight ball in the middle. He may get a little sister next week from the rescue folks. We'll see if they BOTH want on the bed. Although I never thought about pulling out the sofa bed for him/them until just now. He'd probably go for that. I think he is trying to stay off of the cold floor.
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Old 10-19-2014, 12:31 AM   #10
Wally15
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If you read the installation manual for the refrigerator carefully (Keystone doesn't) you'll see that the top and sides of the reefer should be insulated from the back of the reefer. That is to keep the box from being exposed to the heat generated by the absorption unit.

When Keystone builds our trailers, they don't insulate the bottom or the sides of the refrigerator cabinet. Once they slide the refrigerator into the slot, they "sometimes do/sometimes don't" seal the edges of the refrigerator box from the back. There also is supposed to be a fiberglass mat that lays on top of the refrigerator. Even if they do seal the sides, there's about 10" on each side of the refrigerator (close to the trailer wall) that aren't insulated at all. This area is adjacent to the inside of the trailer, in your floorplan, to the pantry, in mine, to the area where the two recliners are located. Yours will contain heat, mine is dissipated into the cabin for the A/C to remove.

You could remove your refrigerator as Chuckster57 suggested, install 1" pink rigid foam along the back parts and that would eliminate any heat transfer into your pantry. If you do any "really cold weather camping" you'll find that that part of the pantry wall will be "frosted" rather than warm, so you'll get a "double whammy" from the cold as well as the heat you're currently experiencing.

If you do decide to add the foam, remove your lower vent cover on the reefer and mark the sides of the refrigerator so when you slide it out, you'll know where to install the foam so it butts up against the sides of the refrigerator when you reinstall it.

Just another thought to "improve on Keystone's quality work"
John, I think I can visualize what you (and Chuckster) are suggesting. Doesn't help me much right now that the TT (and fridge manual) are 200 miles away. BUT, if I pull out the fridge, then insulate the side panels and reefer back, I'm essentially trapping the heat back there against the exterior wall. Is that a good thing, esp. long term?
Since my fridge and pantry are in the slideout, with the fridge against the slideout side wall, should I only insulate the pantry side and let the heat dissipate through the back and side exterior walls? The engineer in me says it's better to have an active heat removal system than a passive one.
But the more I think this thing through, the better I like the idea of insulating as opposed to installing vents and fans. Looks like a fridge removal is in my future.
As for the "really cold weather camping", no thank you. I've got two a/c's, but only one heater. Only time I go to Michigan is every July on my way to Ontario walleye fishing. Other than last years "Polar Vortex", we normally average about 14 days a year that the temps get below freezing. The money I save on snow blowers can be spent on the TT.
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Old 10-19-2014, 02:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally15 View Post
You should try sharing the bed with a 45 lb dog that likes to sleep between us...and sideways. That's why I know the "lumps and bumps" in the sofa bed so well. If I had owned that spoiled worthless mongrel 30 years ago, I wouldn't have any kids today. But she loves me enough for the both of us.
Thats funny right there! Try a 15lb one that sleeps in the fold of your back camping or at home in a king bed and queen bed.
To solve the bed problem we bought a residential mattress for the camper and love it. it wasn't cheap but neither is good nights sleep.
Glad to hear you are enjoying your camper, I enjoy mine too.
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Old 10-24-2014, 07:19 AM   #12
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We too love our Laredo - we have had it for 2 years now. We will be replacing the swivel chairs next year. We put in a residential mattress (memory foam) this year and sleeping is so much better now. I have a 45 lb mutt that thinks the sofa is her bed. She will sleep on a "dog" bed once in a while but hates to sleep with us. Once we get out of the bed she will get in so I have no problem with that. I just need to make sure it is made up or I get dirt and sand to sleep in.
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