Friday, February 21, 2014

Giant Recreation World Review! Winter Garden, Florida

And how we got to be the owners of a new Travel Trailer. 

The hubby and I have been looking for the perfect TT (Travel Trailer) now that we decided we were not going the route of the HTT (Hybrid Travel Trailer).   Read post before this one to see the "TT" we bought. 

We looked up different Manufactures and looked at hundreds of floor plans.  And the hard part was knowing what we wanted and trying to find all those things in one layout.  Its like buying a house and having a list of must haves and what your willing to give up.  It works the same way with a "TT". So get your list ready.  Have no more then 3 floor plans in mind. And go see them in person, this is real important to know the feel of the size and layout.  And most important.  KNOW WHAT YOU WANT WHEN YOU GO! So you aren't talked in to something else. 

So here is our "Must Have"  and "Prefer to Have" List:

Must be under 23 feet total length (Box, bumper and hitch) to fit in our driveway and ease of towing. And still get into ALL the state park spots. And the last minute smaller spots. 

Must have Dedicated bed (Walk Around) so no climbing over or bumping head on over head bunk.

Must be light weight (Under 6000 lbs loaded) for ease of towing and not kill out gas mileage.

Must have "Full Length Awning"  It just drives me nuts that you have these 28 foot travel trailers and they only have a 14 foot awning. Didn't matter if it was power or manual. 
Prefer :Double Fridge ( We camp for a week at a time so this will be handy)

Prefer: 3 burner stove with Oven (Hey, we like fresh made biscuits with gravy when we camp and was using a Coleman camp oven. it worked but this is better)

Prefer: Double or large one section sink.  (Just handy but not a deal breaker) 

Prefer: Couch or U shaped Dinette over booth (but not a deal breaker) 

So with our list ready to go.  We decided on the 2014 Coachman (Forest River) Freedom Express 192 RBS.  It fit EVERYTHING on our list.  So now the search began. 

(Note: This is a stock picture of the specs and layout of the standard 192 RBS. The 50th Anniversary Edition is a little heavier and the Fresh water tank is 49 gallong /300 lbs full, Gray and Black are 32 and 34) 

We searched all the local dealers in our area.  Lazydays, Tampa RV (Used to be Bates), Camping world of Tampa (Used to be Longview) Camping World of Bartow (Used to be Dusty's RV) and Lakeland RV.  Lakeland RV was the only one with some in their Internet Inventory. I emailed them just to find out the 3 they had were already sold.  So I started searching outside my area. Which we found our area is pretty high in price as outside our area is better priced. 

When I do a internet search, I Google "RV dealers" in my area.  Then turn the map to satellite view and look at how big the dealer lot is. This will tell you how much inventory they carry and gives you lots of choices to look at.  verses going to a small dealer and only having a few to look at.  Then I do a Google search for the dealers name with "Reviews" in the search. Just to see what people are saying. You can't go 100% off of those. But it will give you a idea what to be on the watch for while your there. 

So this lead me to Giant Recreation world in Winter Garden about 1.5 hours from me.  They had 2 on their lot and low and behold. They were 50th Anniversary Editions.  That was a BONUS! I wasn't even looking for one.  This is a picture of their lot. Look at all that inventory and look how big the main building is. Main building is sales and inside showroom, and camping supply store. On the side is the service bays. 

 So we were going to head out to their lot on Saturday, but found out, they were going to be at the Ocala RV show that weekend (Feb 8,2014) which is about 2 hours away. So just went there thinking they would have it there. It was storming so bad that day but we were on a mission.  And got soaking wet.  We get there. And the first sales guy we came to was James Scott, we tell him we are looking for a 2014 Coachman Freedom Express 192 RBS. He says, they didn't bring that one, it's on their lot.  So he picks up his cell phone and tries to call Mark Scott at the Winter Garden store but can't get him so I said, send him a text. Letting him know we were headed back that direction.  He did just that and as we pulled up in the lot we were greeted and taken right to the "TT'.  Hubby and I looked it over and agree, that is it!  So we head inside, he gives me a price, I didn't like it and he comes back with a price we are happy with, Signed some papers. And in 30 minutes we were in there and out of there.  No Pressure!  It was awesome. 

So we had to wait for all the paper work to get in order and since we live almost 2 hours away. We couldn't get back out there till the following Saturday. Which was perfect because we decided to have the Duratain protection put on. 

So now, its following Saturday. We leave home at 7am and get there just at 9am.  And we are greeted at the door and everyone there knew which one we were there for. Then met up with our Technician. Jason O'pry. He spent 3 hours with us. Showing us every single little nook and cranny of our new "TT' and how everything worked. And what to check if it don't work. And answered all our questions. I had a bunch. LOL!  You really need to ask for this guy when you pick up your new rig.  He totally rocks! 

Then we were sent to meet up with Paris to go over the paper work, warranty's and sign paper work. She is a Hoot! We talked about Kids, Grand kids and Fur babies. 

Then we were went shopping for a few things Jason suggested in the Camp store with out $50 gift certificate. 

Then went back to meet up with Jason so he could show us how to "Unhook and then Hook up" the new distribution hitch and Sway control system.   As we had no clue how to work one of those.  And then told us how to work the Brake controller we had on our truck. We never used it before.  And when we were ready to go.  He opened my door and wished us well and sent us on our way. About 1:30 and made it home around 3:45

I have to say, having heard about several dealers and how they operate. We were scared to go to a dealer, especially one far away. But it turned out for the best and we could not be happier with our experience with this dealer. And we will not hesitate to take our "TT' back there if it ever needs servicing. 

Thank you so much Giant Recreation World of Winter Garden for such an awesome experience and easy transaction.  

I rely a lot on reviews to give me much needed information. So I feel it's important to give a review in return when possible, whether  it's good or bad.  You need to do reviews.  So this review is my own experience with Giant Recreation World of Winter Garden and are my own words. No one has paid me or compensated me to do this review. These words are my own!  I hope you have a wonderful experience as well.  

With that being said. I hope you enjoyed my review and if you have any questions please drop me a comment. The comments are all moderated and have to be approved by me before being posted. If you would like a private reply. Put your email address in your email. As most are non reply. 

Thanks for stopping by!  
Next post will be some mods we are working on this weekend. 



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2014 Coachman Freedom Express 192RBS 50th Anniversary Edition

I posted big things were coming!  Well, they have. And this past Saturday we picked up our new Travel Trailer.

Are you as shocked as I am?

Remember we sold our totally renovated pup. The 1985 Coleman Chesapeake. We loved that old girl. And have been really missing her. Used that money to upgrade out (TV) Tow Vehicle so we could get a Hybrid. And for the past year and half. We have been debating which one to get. The Jayco 23B or the Roo 21SS.

So a couple weeks ago, January, we went to the huge RV Super show at the Florida State Fair grounds. Just to see these two models.  Well, both were there.  And hubby decides he don't like either of them. And so me in total shock, we head out of that dealer and he comes a cross this Coleman 194QB and fell in love with it. But I was still in shock from going there to get a Hybrid and him changing his mind. So we by passed it, then on the way out he finds this Tracer 235AIR. This was bigger then all of them. We some how got to the point of almost signing the papers and for some reason I couldn't do it. So we left.

Head home, discussing how we got from HTT to TT.  And I guess I can see his point. Its just us 2 so we really dont need all the extra sleeping space.  So the plan changes and we spend hours now searching hundreds of floor plans. And looking for a small one under 23 feet. This is no easy job when your looking for a great floor plan. And decided we loved the floor plan of the Coachman 192RBS and started calling, and everyone we found online had been sold. So found two at Giant Recreation World in Winter Garden, Fl. 1.5 hours away.

So we find out, they will be at the Ocala RV show. 2 horus away.  Last minute Friday night, we decide to get up and run over to the RV show to see these in person. And guess what. They didn't bring them. So we left there and back tracked to the dealer. We were there for only 30 mins. And decided, This one was it and got the paper work started.  And a week later we picked her up.

How do you know if the one your looking at online is a 50th Anniversary? Look at the front on either side of the TT.  Where you see Coachman.  If you see just Coachman, its a regular model.  If you see Coachman, then a brown line with the words 50th Anniversary Edition, then this has every available option. Here is a picture of the front of mine.  Not a great picture, but you can see where its dark under Coachman.

This is the floor plan.

Now! If you are looking for this model. You need to pay attention to if your buying a First run 2014 or 2nd run 2014.  I say this because. The first 2014 were not made with the 50th Anniversary upgrades.  And you could be paying the same for a lesser model.  So the specs above from the website are for the Original 192RBS.  The weight of mine changed to 3858, so of course my Cargo changed to 2000. Which is still a ton of cargo weight. The fresh water tank changed to 49 gallons and now weighs 300 lbs full. And the Gray and Black tank changed to 32 and 34 gallons. So these changes are what makes up for the increased Base rate. But still the camper will weigh 5900 full if you use all the 2000 cargo.

This is what is in the Anniversary package!

Loving that it has the LED lights though out the inside. In the middle of the room, Over the sink, Over the couch, Over the bed, in the bathroom, under the front step, In the front storage. (the LED lights run from one side to the other) Outside light and Runs along the 14 foot Awning. Totally awesome. saves on battery power. Also in the front Storage, Make sure you bend over and look up! The 24 x 48 white resin outdoor table is strapped to the top of the front storage area.  Also not on this list is the upgraded AC, most come with 135000 BTU but this one has 15000 BTU, this will come in handy with this hot heat here in Florida. Also this one does not have a crank for the 24 inch flat screen like most do. This one has a Roof mounted stationary low profile Antenna with a Booster. So no messing with it or worrying about leaving it up.

There is a nice Coleman gas grill that slides in the side. But I think I'm going to take this off (it is removable) because we only cook in our 10 x 10 screen room.  And think I will replace this with some thing else. I will blog post about that when I get to it. Have other mods to do first.

This is the back side. You can see the small slide. I love the small slide because it only slides out 18 inches. So you do not have to worry about parking 5 feet from anything on that side. Also because its small. When slide in, You still have a ton of room inside. And can still access every thing, bed, bathroom, fridge sink and stove. You don't even have to put it out if you don't want to.

 This is the kitchen with 24 inch flat screen that pulls out and swivels to the bed or the couch. Am/FM/DVD surround sound system with USB and MP3 hook ups. This system even has an alarm clock built in. You can select, A, B or C or all at one time. A for outside speaker, B for Over the bed and C for over couch area. Then you have storage and cabinets, little counter top, 3 burner stove with oven (if you go to dollar tree, and get their small cookie sheet, it fits perfect in this oven for making biscuits and stuff). Then built in Microwave with over stove hood. And Double Stone cast sink with high neck faucet. That section right under the sink with two knobs. That actually pulls out and has a silverware divider in there. How cool is that? Those frosted glass disc above the kitchen are the LED lights.

This is the Bathroom door, 50th anniversary clock, And the slide.  You can see the surround sound under the cabinet. And the Pattern is Truffle.

View from front of trailer. By the bed. You can see the Double 6 cubic feet Fridge and Freezer in the back by the door. Kitchen pantry is on the left of the fridge, Bathroom is on the right.
Slide in, couch comes to edge of the clock. So you can see how much room you still have.

Bathroom, Pretty basic here.

And this is view from back of camper where the entry door is. Looking at the Queen walk around bed with underneath storage.

So this is our new Travel Trailer. We love this and think its perfect for us two and if needed, the couch is a Jack Knife sofa to sleep someone.

We paid almost $10K under the MSRP price posted on this camper and think we got a good deal, So it was basically the price of the Base model.   And also we had the DuraTain coating added to the Inside, Roof, Awning, Side body and the underbelly so its fully protected from the elements.

Currently looking for some weekend local camping sites to test every thing out, but every thing is booked till June.  So just booked 5 nights at Fort Desoto in June. But still looking for a weekender or two in the mean time.

Until next post.
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Blog Update! New things to come!

Wow, can't believe its been almost a year since my last blog post.  I guess I haven't been in the posting mood since we sold our pup.

But we did take a camping trip this past July. With several family members. As we were headed to two family reunions.

One was in Iowa, and with us living in Florida. We drove in 2 cars with 7 of us.  And we stopped half way there at Baily's Point. OMG! That place is AWESOME!  Its so beautiful and your spot is over looking the lake.  We were only there 2 nights and camped in a tent.

 This is our spot, Our red truck, 10x10 canopy and 2 room tent with front screen room took every bit of this spot. I cant remember the number right now. I will look it up and add it later.

View from back of our tent at sunset. Just stunning! So want to go back here again.

Our spot is on the right, the inlaws are on the left.  The entire park was wonderful. And we used our Access passes so got it for $10 a night. 

We did do a quick few stops at Dewers Mark, Mammoth Caves, And Lincolns birth place. Wow that was a busy 2 days there.  We plan to go back there for a longer stay.

Then headed to Iowa for our 1st Family reunion with all my Husband's Mom's side.  We were there 3 nights.  We enjoyed seeing the family its been like 17 years since we seen them.

Next stop was Texas for 2nd Family reunion with Hubby's Dad's side. Again, havent seen them in about 14 years.

So we stopped in Oklahoma and camped 3 nights at Chickasaw National Park. And went to Turner falls.  Okay, Im not sure I will go back there but it was nice to see some thing out of our element. LOL!  There were snakes all over the place, scorpions walking all over the ground and while sitting by the campfire one morning. This huge Tarantula walked by. I liked of freaked and screamed like a girl. No way, No Thank you.  It was so hot in July. Luckily we were able to swim in the lake.  We camped at Buckhorn state park. Water and Electric. And used our access pass and stayed for $11 a night.

 This spot. You parked and had to walk a little to the pad. For sure not a trailer spot. LOL!  Spot 18

 Inlaws right next door on lot 17. Driveway in before the car is our spot.

And this Yucky thing is what walked by as we sat by the morning fire. My feet stayed on hubbys lap after this.

Well this was quite the trip. 4K miles from Florida stopping in 4 states, Kentucky, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas and back home to Florida in 13 days was a long trip. Most of the time was spent on the road. I wont do this again.

I will have a new blog post update maybe tomorrow. Trying to catch up because I hope to have lots of great things to be posting soon.

Thanks for stopping by!