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Old 09-23-2016, 02:53 PM   #1
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After one year of ownership. My story.

Bought my first and only RV almost exactly a year ago. New 2015 Winnebago Forza 36G. My wife and I went from looking at lake cabins to purchasing a cabin on wheels literally over night. We saved our nickels for a long time and for some reason decided to purchase an RV instead of the lake cabin literally at the last minute. Honestly, we do not regret the RV purchase at all. We love the RV lifestyle. We can go to any lake we want now. We put a little over 5000 miles on black beauty in one year. I will admit I wanted to shoot something a time or two learning the RV systems. We were lucky and did not have any major issues with our Forza. A few punch list items and several weeks at the dealer getting stuff fixed and all seems to be good. I hope it stays that way. The Forza 36G is a great coach and served our needs well. Now to a few newbie funny stories.

Me and the black tank have not got along from day one. After a weekend of boondocking pulled into the Flying J to fuel up and empty the tanks before heading home. I removed the cap to install the sewer hose and oh my!! The black tank valve was open? Who knows why? I proceed to panic while being covered in black tank sludge. By the time I gathered my thoughts it was beyond too late. I am covered from head to toe with filth. To make things worse the Flying J attendant filling a propane bottle saw the whole thing. The only person laughing harder was my wife standing off to the side. I finally saw the humor in the situation after a few choice words. Did the best I could to clean up my mess, took off my soiled clothes and threw them in the trash and made a mad dash almost nude to the entry door on my RV. Not a good day.

I made a decision to interpret the Texas law in a manner that suited me. I learned real quick my interpretation was wrong. I chose not to take my non CDL B endorsement test simply because I figured I was good since my RV was for personal use. Boy was I wrong. A very nice Texas DPS officer proceeded to pull me over. I eased off to a safe place and wondered what I had done wrong? Failed to use my turn signal when entering the freeway. That seemed silly but an infraction nonetheless? He ran my license and informed me I was not qualified to drive my own RV? My response was polite and honest and the nice DPS officer understood. He was very nice to not write me a ticket, but would not allow me to drive the RV since I did not have the proper credentials to drive my own coach. I had to call a buddy on a Sunday night that was a CDL driver to come and drive my RV home for me. How embarrassed I was is actually hard to explain? When my buddy arrived we had lawn chairs out and was watching TV on the side of the road with the nice DPS officer. For some reason he stayed with us until my buddy arrived? I did not know they could actually prevent me from driving my own RV? Nonetheless, I now have my Texas B non CDL endorsement.

This is just a couple of self inflicted issues I had during my first year of ownership. Honestly, I would not trade any of these memories made, including the black tank incident, for nothing. My wife and I made great memories this year and looking forward to many many more to come.
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Old 09-23-2016, 03:01 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing Scott.

It sounds like you kept the S&B's.

I don't retire until 2020 and I'm leaning towards an older "dream" Class A.
I'm afraid that when the time comes to pull the trigger I won't be able to buy something so expensive that depreciates.

The black tank story is too much!
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Old 09-23-2016, 03:06 PM   #3
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Great stories, thanks for posting!
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Old 09-24-2016, 10:47 AM   #4
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Close to same boat

I too just bought a new 26 ft Itasca Spirit. I got sprayed with black water sludge twice! In 2 different campgrounds. The hose hook up is farther back than normal and is hard to turn for an old lady. It slipped off twice before I figured out the trick.
My MH has also been in the shop a lot which has made me think twice about my purchase. I have only had mine for 2 months.
Thanks for sharing your experience I don't feel quite so bad now. At least they did not charge use for hazardous waste clean up. Ha ha
What is a CDL B and when do you need one?
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Old 09-24-2016, 10:57 AM   #5
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I too just bought a new 26 ft Itasca Spirit. I got sprayed with black water sludge twice! In 2 different campgrounds. The hose hook up is farther back than normal and is hard to turn for an old lady. It slipped off twice before I figured out the trick.
My MH has also been in the shop a lot which has made me think twice about my purchase. I have only had mine for 2 months.
Thanks for sharing your experience I don't feel quite so bad now. At least they did not charge use for hazardous waste clean up. Ha ha
What is a CDL B and when do you need one?
Just a thought for you before you pull that black tank vale open open the gray water valve first to test that the water flow is not leaking and and all connections are as they should be and if it is not no harm done then run/drain the black tank which has more pressure because of the content. It's not 100% fool proof but better than the alternative.

Nothing helps if the black tank was left open except keep your mouth shut and push the handle back in.
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Old 09-24-2016, 01:20 PM   #6
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The non CDL B endorsement is for a personal use RV that has a GVW or weighs over 26,000lbs.

Another lesson learned today. Check your lug nuts. Torqued mine today. Almost all needed a little tightening.

I have a punch list of stuff on a laminated index card I follow. In all CAPS is check the black tank valve!
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:04 AM   #7
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Non CDL Class A or B

I'm sure glad I read through this thread completely. I have been driving a 2004 Itasca Suncruiser for 12 years and just a couple of months ago traded it in for a 2016 40R Journey. Big, big difference! From a gas engine to a diesel pusher, but mainly big difference in length and weight. I was not aware that I must have a Class A or B license to drive this big old machine since the only endorsement I have on my Class C license is a motorcycle endorsement. I guess my next stop is at the DMV to see what I need to do.
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Old 10-04-2016, 03:20 PM   #8
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Great stories! Thanks! we are only into our s 5 months, but nothing as good as yours to talk about
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Old 10-04-2016, 09:31 PM   #9
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Awesome story. Lessons learned about the black tank, make sure the valves are closed, you can also add a valve at the main connection just encase one of the tank valves leak.
I must say though, poop on the clothes is just part of learning. At least yours was not under 100lbs of pressure.
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Old 10-05-2016, 05:39 PM   #10
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So, a question about the non CDL B endorsement. We are from Ohio, which does not require the endorsement. Say we decide to vacation in Texas in our motorhome. Would they require the non CDL B endorsement for out of state drivers?
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Old 10-05-2016, 05:47 PM   #11
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So, a question about the non CDL B endorsement. We are from Ohio, which does not require the endorsement. Say we decide to vacation in Texas in our motorhome. Would they require the non CDL B endorsement for out of state drivers?
It follows your state. If your state doesn't require, that is honored in any other state.
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Old 10-10-2016, 01:14 PM   #12
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Nice story glad you enjoyed your first year.

We too are newbies to the RVing world. We took our Navion 24V, 2017 on a 1200 mile journey to pick up our Marine to deliver him to his PDS (permanent duty station) MA to VA to NC.. When we were pumping out and the valve didn't want to close and spillage not much. We managed to close it and leave and tried again later in the day and long and behold with rubber gloves found a nice long piece of moulding in the black tank...took it out...all pumped fine! Geez, the guy assembling the coach just left it there...
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:15 PM   #13
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It follows your state. If your state doesn't require, that is honored in any other state.
Is this correct, for sure? I thought I'd read something about CA requiring some license or endorsement for big rv situations? We don't want any issues while traveling....that would really stink!
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Old 10-11-2016, 05:57 PM   #14
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Is this correct, for sure? I thought I'd read something about CA requiring some license or endorsement for big rv situations? We don't want any issues while traveling....that would really stink!
I don't want to say no exceptions, but I've always felt confident my CO license is good in all states I visit, just because of the logistics involved with trying to get a license in another state you hope to visit would be overwhelming. I don't think CA would even allow me to get a CA license in addition to my CO license.
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:26 PM   #15
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I don't want to say no exceptions, but I've always felt confident my CO license is good in all states I visit, just because of the logistics involved with trying to get a license in another state you hope to visit would be overwhelming. I don't think CA would even allow me to get a CA license in addition to my CO license.
No, but knowing how California likes to squeeze money out of people I would check to see if you needed a trip permit or something. California is very different than many other states.
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Old 10-11-2016, 08:43 PM   #16
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No, but knowing how California likes to squeeze money out of people I would check to see if you needed a trip permit or something. California is very different than many other states.
There is absolutely no argument there!
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Old 10-11-2016, 09:40 PM   #17
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Being covered in black water is a part of RV life. I thought that after 8+ years of Rving that I was safe. A failed black water tank valve proved otherwise. It can happen to anyone.
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Old 10-12-2016, 10:15 AM   #18
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Being covered in black water is a part of RV life. I thought that after 8+ years of Rving that I was safe. A failed black water tank valve proved otherwise. It can happen to anyone.
I am more than used to the black tank water. I load that tank up with the blue stuff. At least the black water smells decent as I attach everything.

Something to note for other newbies like myself. I noticed my slides were beginning to make a growling sound? I checked the manual to see if there was some trouble shooting info that might explain? Upon review of my manual the slide mechanism portion listed a totally different system than what is installed on my Forza? It appears I have the upgraded slide mechanism, but was not noted in my manual? After more research I found that I needed to lubricate and clean my slide rails. After performing this my slides move in and out better than new. Just an FYI for newbies.

I learn more about my RV each and every time we go out. Now off to Arkansas for another long weekend. Safe travels to all.
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