Seriously considering new Parkliner - help please - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-12-2015, 06:54 AM   #1
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Name: Bryan
Trailer: Casita "Cozy-Casa"
Central Virginia
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Seriously considering new Parkliner - help please

Tell me your thoughts on this unit - I have never owned a travel trailer and I love the look of this one. I have heard about tire fitment - that is resolved by the new mold now as well as the battery issue - what other things are there? I want the floor a/c but have heard it is weak - I was hoping somebody could direct me to a 6-8000 BTU unit with almost the same dimensions. I was talking with Chandler and he advised the side exhaust hole could be enlarged and baffled different and a slightly larger unit could be made to fit - how cold does the air get coming out of the standard unit? I know the fridge is small - I have found a larger 12V/110V only fridge to fit in the standard spot - 2.7 cubic feet - small but workable. What is the exact size of the rear window? I have found escape windows that are for a 20x30 cut out and have a 22x32 outside dimension - I was hoping this would be the right size so the escape hatch could be eliminated. How does this thing tow - I am planning on using a new Jeep Cherokee with tow package and am scared about traveling highway speeds etc.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:26 AM   #2
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Bryan, We don't own a ParkLiner, but we once strongly considered buying one, so I've followed their threads on FGRV closely for some time. That said, here are my two cents worth of opinion - adjusted for inflation, somewhat even less than that, I'm sure. If you are a self-reliant, do-it-yourselfer kind of guy when it comes to fixing and modifying things, then you'll very likely love the ParkLiner (as many do). However, if you want a company that will dote over you and make your every wish and whim their highest priority, you'll likely be disappointed (as many, even with more serious concerns, have been). But that's just me. I'm sure others will chime in to give you their opinions - first hand or arm chair. Whatever you do, get a camper and get out there as soon as you can. It's a big, wonderful world out there beyond those office walls....
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:49 AM   #3
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The problems with Parkliner are with Parkliner not with their customers expectations or abilities IMHO
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:55 AM   #4
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My thought (armchair variety, since I only have an icebox) is that I wouldn't give up propane operation of a fridge. Lots of nice places don't have electric hookups, and 12V operation of an AC/DC fridge is not very effective and sucks battery power. There are some fancy (think $$$) 12V-only fridges that people use with solar and 2x6V battery set-ups (think more $$$), but propane is tried and true.
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:23 PM   #5
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Thanks for the insights - I have thought about NO propane because I want a clean outer body - no un-needed vents, handles, outlets, etc... on the outside. I have found several 110V water heaters that draw 13 amps that should fit where the furnace would have been and a 2.7 cubic foot 12v/110v fridge that draws 3 amps and have been told it would run fine for days on 2 group 24 100 AH Trojan deep cycle batteries that will fit in the standard battery box. The bonus is it can run without being level. I was thinking of no stove - just an electric hot plate, microwave and a butane hotplate for times with no electricity. If I can get proper venting for the floor mounted a/c I would think a 6000 BTU unit would work ok - I could even hook up a 12v electric car radiator fan from Summit Racing and clip it to the outside vent if needed in hot/humid times - or a small 110v 8 inch fan inside the cabinet to blow against it. I am still looking to hear from folks about what to watch out for with this trailer and in general with a newby. Towing concerns, MPG while towing, etc. I was thinking of a new Cherokee AWD V6 tow package - Andersen hitch - DirectLink trailer brake controller - electric trailer mounted sway control - Japanese made Yokohama 185/14 LT tires rated at 1850 LBS each vs. the standard ST205/75R14 (Yokohamas are just about 1/2 inch less in diameter for the extra bit of clearance)
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:25 PM   #6
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I would not hesitate to specify a 12V fridge with Danfoss compressor, such as a Truckfridge. I feel confident that the battery could be kept charged with about 100W of solar.

As for the A/C, an 8000 BTU should do great. 5000 is not enough, 6000 might be enough, but go 8000 if you can get it in there some way. If they say they can enlarge the vent and stuff, tell them to go for it.

Your Cherokee should do well enough at 60 mph, and probably ok at 65 when it's not too hilly. Expect to get around 14 to 16 mpg while towing, IMO.
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Old 01-12-2015, 06:55 PM   #7
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I have a 2014 PL and the v6 Jeep Cherokee with The factory tow package, I couldn't be happier. My worst mileage was 17 (strong headwind and quite hilly terrain) but on average I get 20 towing the ParkLiner. Anyone with the trailer around the vintage of mine seems to love it as much as I do. So far after over 5000 miles I haven't found anything to really complain about. Both the TV and egg have been awesome!
It may be true the company is still struggling with communication issues but from my vantage point it appears they have overcome their start up problems with the design. If mine were destroyed by tornado or fire tomorrow I would order another one as soon as the insurance check came in.
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:37 PM   #8
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Greetings Bryan and welcome to the forum, best wishes on your research and possible purchase whatever you decide!

If you read on the PL owners you've probably seen our build thread. As for what War Eagle stated on PL as not one for doting and making wishes come true a priority... think that is in the eye of each individual PL owner. In the pre purchase phase and convos with Chandler he said yes to each of my requests with one exception... He knew my use would include off-pavement adventures and with a lifted AWD van as tow vehicle I really wanted to match the trailer's stance with that of the van...Chandler said there was no option to lift the PL from factory. BUT, he did all other requests ! And they were things that other manufacturers said no way to.

I'm a happy PL owner, and proud to have been an early (#35) adopter


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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
I would not hesitate to specify a 12V fridge with Danfoss compressor, such as a Truckfridge. I feel confident that the battery could be kept charged with about 100W of solar...
What Mike said!
And if my math is close to correct the "3amp" unit you mentioned would only give you a bit more than a 30 hour stent before depleting the 200ah bank to a point of needing a charge (50% draw down).

Cheers,
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:20 PM   #9
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Thom, that would be correct if the refrigerator was running without cycling on/off as they do. Bryan, the Parkliner was my 1st choice initially, because of its ample storage, roomy ness, & flexible floor plans with the bunk option. Since it doesn't look like we will be having any grandchildren, and we spend 3-5 months at a time in a travel trailer, the Lil Snoozy is what we decided on because of the floor plan with the comfortable couch across the entertainment center, & the full time queen bed. We have used a 12 volt only Donfoss compressor style refrigerator in our Scamp and now in the Lil Snoozy, in conjunction with 100 watts of solar, and would never want to go back to 3-way type of refrigeration. The Lil Snoozy is an all electric trailer (although I have added propane) with a "window style" air conditioner built-in at the rear of the trailer.
Best of luck in your search.
Dave & Paula
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:29 PM   #10
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Don't forget to read up on them denying warranty work. Sorry don't have the money to honor the warranty, you'll have to wait and no warranty in writing in the archive.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsedwebt View Post
Thanks for the insights - I have thought about NO propane because I want a clean outer body - no un-needed vents, handles, outlets, etc... on the outside. ....
Isn't a slick Egg.. wonderful? Slick, clean looks great!

Once upon a time, I though I'd pull all the propane out of my Scamp.. 'EL I don't use it, I'm always hooked up... or the generator can handle what's needed. Then by PM someone said.. BUG OUT. That doesn't necessarily mean leaving, sheltering in place also works. So yes, I think propane is good because I may not have electricity ALWAYS available. And while that slick outer body is neato... this is a travel trailer and needs to be functional for me, otherwise I'd be in a tent. YMMV
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:20 PM   #12
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I have a 2014 ParkLiner and love it! I've taken it to New Orleans, Florida, North Carolina and short trips to Georgia so far. I've had no issues and have actually had good communication with Chandler when I've had questions. It tows great! On our recent New Orleans trip, I drove 70-80 mph with no issues. Never knew it was there. My TV is a Toyota Landcruiser so gas milage sucks. I don't pay attention to it. I agree with Sid, if mine were destroyed, I'd buy another just like it. I think the early issues with tire rub and battery issues have been resolved.
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:45 AM   #13
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Mine is a 2012 and I am very happy with it. I have towed it many off road miles with no issues. The only reason I contemplate ever selling it is if I were to find my cabin in the woods lol.

The ac is not great. I do better with a turbo fan under it blowing straight up to help move the air around. I should think of adding an exhaust fan to help get the hot air from the ac unit outside faster. Or take some serious measurements and look for a larger unit that will fit.

Unless you are staying in camp grounds with power how are you going to run your fridge? I have only stayed in a campground with some electricity 2 or 3 times (not enough to run my ac unit though lol) I like boondocking in solitude!
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:31 AM   #14
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It's getting harder and harder to get a propane fridge. Trailer manufacturers love the compressor fridge because it is much easier to install. The problem is that most don't seem to read the installation instructions. Just like your home fridge, to work efficiently, you need to remove the heat. That means a vent needs to be installed. Some vent below the fridge (remember heat rises) into the living area making it hotter. Others don't provide any vent at all. Imagine taping a sheet of plastic to the back of your home refrigerator. To work at maximum efficiency you will need a vent to the outside no matter which fridge you choose. Raz
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:05 AM   #15
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Name: Pat
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Hi Bryan, I have a 2014 Parkliner which I picked up Labor day weekend. The trailer is basically for me to use with my dogs at dog shows and hopefully some travel. I have never pulled a trailer before and find that I hardly know it's behind me. I absolutely love my trailer, such wonderful quality and the cuteness factor is an extra added bonus. My husband and I drove down to Gibsonville just to see one before I ordered mine. I have only used it 3 times but have been able to get where I was going and back home and feel more confident with each use. I would, without a doubt order this trailer again, the feeling of space inside belies it's small size, I love the queen size bed and the storage is wonderful.
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:31 PM   #16
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After much research and viewing other fiberglass campers I placed an order with Parkliner in Feb 2014. The communication was not good and inconsistent with the factory (calls and emails). I used this website in my research and so many here were kind enough to provide information. I have to admit I grew concerned when I had placed reservations with a hotel in the area to pick up my camper and received an email from Chandler the evening before I was to leave saying the camper would not be ready (glad I checked my email). One of the members on this forum who had recently purchased a Parkliner suggested I call Tom Bass. Tom was helping Chandler out with customer service. Tom made the rest of my experience a very pleasurable one. In addition, Chandler delivered the Parkliner to my house - 8 hours away from the factory. He was very nice and answered all the questions I had about the camper. Our family loves the Parkliner. We used it all through the summer and fall. It is great. Just what we were looking for. I have not had any issue with the camper - all joy! My advice to you is to contact Tom Bass directly. If you do not have his phone number contact me and I will provide. I highly recommend the camper - Kevin
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Old 01-14-2015, 04:36 PM   #17
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Thanks to all - so far so good - I understand about the communication issues - I think I can deal with that so far but it is a bit slow process... I have been encouraged with the general comments about this unit - I went to see the factory and like the product but of course I want to customize it and that is what Chandler will let you do. Still looking for any insight - good and bad or indifferent - quality, issues, towing, things I should consider, options that should be a must have, etc. I have decided on going all electric with 2 batteries and no solar - we always use campgrounds and 90 percent of the time have 30amp service - if we stay for a night or two without power the batteries should be enough for the fridge if not opened a lot and the maxx air fan when sleeping - the tow vehicle will charge the house batteries when in motion for about 6-8 hrs
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:08 PM   #18
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Raz, we have used 12 volt compressor refrigerators with both of our trailers (13' Scamp & 17' Lil Snoozy), we never noticed any amount of heat in the interior, and they both only vented to the interior (2" space under & above the refrigerator). Perhaps it is because they were both very small compared to a home refrigerator. I too like the look of a smooth ventless fiberglass exterior.
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Old 01-15-2015, 06:12 AM   #19
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bsedwebt -

You should be OK with that setup, but I'd caution you to include the following since you are forgoing the solar -

Use two Group 31, 12 volt batteries. This should give you alot of flexibility to run that fridge and other devices before needing a charge - should be around 220 ah total, or around 110 ah useable. It adds up quick when a fridge uses 2-3 ah, a ventilator fan uses 1-2 ah, etc. Make sure these batteries are AGM if located inside without external ventilation, standard flooded are OK if you locate them with ventilation and can access them easy enough to check water levels.

Make sure your trailer wiring harness is a 7 pin connection. One of those pins takes 12v power from your tow vehicle while you are traveling and charges your trailer batteries. That will give you peace of mind knowing that after a long road trip, you are arriving at camp with topped off batteries.

Make sure your trailer's converter system includes a 3 stage, or "smart" battery charger that can handle the type of batteries you select. The Progressive Dynamics 9000 series converter is fairly well regarded. Otherwise, get a separate battery charger that can go thru the various charging modes.

Good luck!
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:54 AM   #20
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Name: Steve
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propane refrigerator

Quote:
Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
It's getting harder and harder to get a propane fridge. Trailer manufacturers love the compressor fridge because it is much easier to install. The problem is that most don't seem to read the installation instructions. Just like your home fridge, to work efficiently, you need to remove the heat. That means a vent needs to be installed. Some vent below the fridge (remember heat rises) into the living area making it hotter. Others don't provide any vent at all. Imagine taping a sheet of plastic to the back of your home refrigerator. To work at maximum efficiency you will need a vent to the outside no matter which fridge you choose. Raz
A friend of ours recently purchased a new 36 ft 5th wheel with a cost of over 40K
A propane refrigerator (3way) was part of an upgrade pkg and was available for only an additional $1200. The salesman' s pitch was that most people who own large 5th wheels do not camp without hookups and do not need a propane refrigerator . There is a huge cost savings to the trailer manufacturers to drop the gas refrigerator . I believe our group / type of campers would be more likely to use/ need a gas refrigerator and I for one would not purchase a trailer that does not have the propane option.
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