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 > 320G first impressions

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RoyBell

Chicago

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Posted: 11/25/19 06:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I know this is a newer model, so I figured I would share my impressions of our first trip with it. The post is a bit long, so bear with me. I also posted this on the GD forums for those that aren't on that one.

We ordered it from the factory. Every option except King bed and double pane windows. It took about 8 weeks to get over summer. I will preface this with our previous campers- A pop-up for 4 years, 28 quad bunk for 4 years, and now the 320G.

I prepped the camper best I could for the 3 weeks before our trip. More below on that. We left Chicago, stopped in the middle of Kentucky, Northern West Virginia, Gatlinburg, Western North Carolina, Nashville, Effingham IL. About 2K miles of towing averaging 2 nights a stop. I did not weigh the camper, but in the garage we had the spare wheels, my Harley Ultra, portable grill. Assume approx 1200 lbs total. I ran with about 100 gallons of fresh water to offset the weight in the rear. Approx 800 gallons. I am assuming total weight of camper to be roughly 15.5-16K lbs loaded up with everything.

Tow vehicle is a '16 Ram 2500 Megacab. It is tuned and deleted (although I only towed with the lowest +50 hp tune). I installed airbags and gooseball on the truck solely for this camper. Once we got the air pressure right on the hitch and airbags, it towed fantastic. I was afraid the single wheel 2500 would be unstable, but it was not. It towed 70mph all day no issues. I did not feel unsafe towing at all. I ordered a spare (2nd) spare tire for the camper AND my truck incase anything happened along the way. It did not luckily. The sweet spot for the airbags seemed to be 35lbs. Less air and it was a bit bouncy. More air and the truck was too high making the camper a little tail happy. I was going to buy the offset gooseball hitch, but did not. I would had to lower the hitch and inch to make up for the added height. Out of the 6 stops, 4 were back-ins, 2 were pull-thru. I had no issue backing in with the shortbed truck + regular gooseball. My biggest issue was swinging the front of the truck around and not hitting anything (tree, staying on the concrete, etc).

I will start with the things we did to the camper first.

We removed the factory kingpin from the camper and installed a Reese 20K lb goosebox. That's listed above. It was super easy to unhook and hookup. Some of the times I would have the wife back the truck up so I could lower the camper on the ball. It speed the process up because she was not willing to do that part. At most it took 3 tries backing up when we were at a weird angle to get it lined up right. Most of the time it was 1 or 2 tries.

Installed Furrion observation cameras in pre-wired locations, plus installed the 4th camera in the garage to keep an eye on the cargo while traveling. I made a post here about it. The side cameras are useless because there is no frame of reference of where anything is, plus the distortion. The rear camera was awesome while traveling. It allowed me to keep my eyes forward without checking my mirrors constantly. I could see cars coming up from behind and going around me easily just by glancing at the screen. The camera in the garage allowed me to check on the bike when we were on rough roads and if I heard something funny and I thought the bike fell over a couple times.

I seen some youtubers install the Level Mate Pro. It was helpful because I could see how far off level I was. I could be off approx 3.5" before the autolevel would lift a tire or 2 off the ground on the high side. All our sites were pretty level left to right so I didn't need to do any leveling beyond self leveling. I have it mounted on by the front storage area. Bluetooth seemed almost out of range there. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not. I will probably relocate it to the driver side storage, or possible front storage to get it closer to the driver seat.

I installed straps for the ladders under the loft bed in the garage. They are out of the way and secure.

We found containers for all the storage areas. Cheap plastic ones from menards worked great in the fridge. The fridge is so wide that it allowed us to keep stuff separated, secured and allowed us to pull out stuff without keeping the door open all day. I have read that stuff will scrape the frosted glass so we made sure not to have anything that could touch the glass.

I cut some boards for the bathroom cabinet. It worked great having 3 shelves for towels and bath supplies. Nothing is nailed down/glued, and it stays up fine. I will likely do the same for the big one in the kitchen above the pantry. A case of wine will fit perfectly up there, along with 3 jugs of water though.

Outside storage seems to be lacking on this model, but I made due. I put hooks for all the power cords and adapters in the waterside of the pass-thru. The 50amp cord is so heavy that having it coiled up after each move and putting it on the hooked kept it neat and out of the way. It's coiled up with 2 velcro straps. My hose is coiled up with a velcro strap and carabiner and hanging off one of the propane tanks. I had my 15' rinoflex tube hanging on the other propane tank, but forgot that I never got a carabiner on it. 20 minutes into the trip I saw it drop and get destroyed on the highway. It was at that moment I remember that I had forgotten to get a fastener on that side. Oops.

I have a generator and 2nd battery so that takes up a lot of the front storage space. I fastened some unistrut on top of the generator box for my rubbermaid boxes to sit. There are electronics on the backwall and I did not want them destroyed in transit by the boxes hitting them. The strut prevents this and allows me to have 2 rubbermaid bins + the sidewinder sewer support up there. I have my sewer adapters in a box next to the batteries. I also installed a battery powered motion light since there is no light in the front bunk.

I ordered additional door bins for the fridge doors, but they arrived after we left.

That was the extent of the little things I did. I installed my TPMS from the other camper so I could watch the tires. Worked as well as the last camper.

Now for the camper itself. Awesome. It was just the wife and I, no kids, so the camper was more than large enough for the 2 of us. If we were full timing, I would opt for the 351 or larger model for the larger kitchen. The kitchen is fine on the 320G for 1 person at a time. Sometimes someone is cooking and someone else needs something out of the cabinets. Not happening. For our purposes of weekend camping, it is fine.

It averaged 20 degrees at night for almost the whole trip. We used the electric fire place set to 70, an electric oil filled heater in the garage and the furnance set to 70 to keep the underside/water area warm. We went through approx 75 lbs of propane over 2 weeks. Camper was warm inside, but the floor was cold when the temps dropped. I don't think the double pane windows would had made any difference with those temperatures. The rear bathroom has no heater so after a week I picked up a little electric 200 watt heater which was all it needed to stay warm.

The heated seats are awesome. We thought it was a gimmick at first. However, on the cold nights and early morning it was nice to keep our buns warm.

TV placement was perfect.

We toyed with the 328g because the open floor plan was nice. We didn't care for the TV placement and I liked the idea of 2 toilets. Originally I wasn't a fan of a slide in the "porch" area, something that Grand Design loves to do. However, after living with it for 2 weeks I actually prefer it. It makes perfect sense. Why would you want want your main window to be facing the neighbors vs your own side?

The 2nd bathroom was awesome for just the 2 of us. I used the rear bath and she used the front bath.

We had zero mechanical issues and only real issue was the swing door into the garage wouldn't stay closed during transit. I had to wedge a box between the door and strap to keep it closed.

The deck we only used a few times since it was so cold. The 3 season glass doors did a surprisingly good job of keeping the cold out. One day we were able to setup the rear bunk sofas and have coffee out there and watch the stream behind the camper.

The bed was pretty uncomfortable, but by the end of the 1st week my body was getting accustomed to it. I wouldn't mind a nicer mattress. It's a lot nicer than the last camper mattress though.

The sofa was very comfortable and the ambiance with the fire place was perfect.

We got the upgraded stereo. I can't comment much since we didn't blast it much. Initially it sounds great. The sub thumps pretty good the little we turned it up. The Jensen receiver is nice when it connects to my phone. A lot of control from the app like turning zones off, up and down, and choosing input. Interface from the deck and the app were a little clumsy to operate though.

The TV is not a smart tv which was annoying considering the price point of the camper. It was too cold for campfires so 4 days in I ordered a firestick and picked it up on the way to one of the campsites. At night we were able to stream our shows through our hotspot or the campground wifi.

One of the reasons we settled on the 320G was the length and CCC. We also wanted a dedicated garage for the toys vs being in the middle of the kitchen or having to unload them to use the camper. I am storing it in the dock at my office. It is 39' long which limited how big a camper I could get. CCC was approx 3K lbs whereas the 38' models only had about 2K lbs. That meant the Cycle and half tank of water at most. I really like the layout of the 351M and the under 40' length, however it just wouldn't have enough CCC for our needs+ a bit long for my storage.

One of my main concerns was that the pin weight would be too light. On paper, with 1000 lb bike in the back, it appeared as though the pin would be under 20% I didn't get a chance to weigh it, but with the water tank filled up it seemed to be just fine.

We were a little worried about moving into a 5th wheel and taller camper. It was no worries though. It's overall length is shorter when towing than my 28QB was (34' OAL). I was for sure worried I was going to rip the top of the camper off under a low bridge, but did not. I picked up a Garmin RV GPS before we left for peace of mind. It routes based on known bridge heights.

If anyone has any questions on the model, let me know.


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Mod Edit: Correct photos, when posting here please set the width to a maximum of 800x wide.
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* This post was edited 11/25/19 09:03am by an administrator/moderator *

dedmiston

So Cal

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Posted: 11/25/19 01:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice looking rig. I'm glad to hear you didn't have more gremlins. Usually a new rig has a long list of warranty items.

I like your convenience center. Did you remove a partition to fit your 50A cord like that?

I have to give you a hard time though: Is that actually three cans of WD40? That's more than a lifetime supply.

[image]


2014 RAM 3500 Diesel 4x4 Dually long bed. AISIN trans & 4.10 rear. B&W RVK3600 hitch • 2015 Crossroads Elevation Homestead Toy Hauler ("The Taj Mahauler") • Hooligan #3

Toys:
  • 18 Can Am Maverick x3
  • 05 Yamaha WR450
  • 07 Honda CRF250X
  • 05 Honda CRF230
  • 06 Honda CRF230



RoyBell

Chicago

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Posted: 11/25/19 04:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dedmiston wrote:

Nice looking rig. I'm glad to hear you didn't have more gremlins. Usually a new rig has a long list of warranty items.

I like your convenience center. Did you remove a partition to fit your 50A cord like that?

I have to give you a hard time though: Is that actually three cans of WD40? That's more than a lifetime supply.

[image]


I did not remove any partition. It's a passthru- kinda. The other side is a full rubbermaid bin width. Where the water is it angles in a bit, but is open all the way through. It's 2 bins deep before it angles, then there's about 3-4' of passage that's hard to reach unless you pull everything out. It may eventually our location for the bag chairs. I have heard of people reworking this area because they say there's a ton of wasted space behind that angle. If I get bored over winter maybe I will see if I can pull it off and rework it a bit. Angles are the devil for storage.

If you look close I have my surge protector hanging on the right of the cord. The other clips are for the 50-20amp and 50-30 amp adapters

The three cans are Slide lube, dry window lube and rubber seal lube/spray. They are in the white bin now.

I may rework the area in the future. There's a lot of wasted space in the truss area that I could possibly use somehow too.

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Hose storage.
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edit: fixed width

* This post was edited 11/26/19 06:11am by RoyBell *

K Mac

Lower Hudson Valley N.Y.

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Posted: 12/12/19 03:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm just starting to look at 5th wheel toy haulers, one of my concerns is the angle of the ramp as I have a 18' Road Glide Ultra that's 950 lbs., as I've gotten older I find I don't like steep ramps anymore.

jbc28

Gadsden, AL

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Posted: 12/13/19 05:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RoyBell, what campground is that with the creek right at the back?


2018 F450 Lariat Ultimate
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RoyBell

Chicago

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Posted: 12/19/19 12:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

K Mac wrote:

I'm just starting to look at 5th wheel toy haulers, one of my concerns is the angle of the ramp as I have a 18' Road Glide Ultra that's 950 lbs., as I've gotten older I find I don't like steep ramps anymore.


I imagine my Ultra is about the same. One way to combat the steep angle is to raise the front of the camper which will bring the back of the camper down.

While unloading at my house I did find out that you need to keep it in gear and modulate the clutch when backing it down. If not, the front tire can skid down the ramp. I found that out the hard way.

RoyBell

Chicago

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Posted: 12/19/19 12:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jbc28 wrote:

RoyBell, what campground is that with the creek right at the back?


Mountain Stream RV park, Marion NC.

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