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Old 06-12-2020, 12:47 PM   #1
coloradoguy
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Thumbs up First thoughts on our Amerilite 199-DD

Maiden voyage is complete so wanted to share some observations:

PROS:
* Didn't realize how much I'd love being able to pack fridge before trip, and keep it cooling during the journey. This is a game changer from the old dig it out of the soggy ice chest.
* All the complicated stuff worked nicely: solar, indicator dashboard, fridge auto mode, heater, water pumps
* We managed to get this guy into a tight space in very remote area. I was pushing my luck.

CONS:
* Didn't realize there is such a thing as "short queen" mattress
* Lost a bumper end cap and apparently this is very common. Why not solve the damned problem for us with a little latch or something?
* Under our short queen mattress, the wood doesn't extend the width of the bed. It's about 2" to 3" short. Is this a manufacturing defect?
* The steps aren't aligned correctly. Slightly not parallel to trailer and slightly too far inside

Overall thrilled with the trailer. 2nd trip planned for next week.
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Old 06-12-2020, 03:10 PM   #2
UAHaerospace
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if that's your only 'issues', you've fell into good favor with the RV Gods!

Bumper end caps are basically useless anyway. It's just to 'pretty up' the open ends.
A 'short queen' is used in many RVs because it allows the RV Factory to 'claim' you have a 'queen' mattress, WIDTH wise, but your feet will not feel so lucky, if they care at all.
The factories don't often bring the bed plywood platform all the way to the edges of the mattress because it could be a potential for an owner to injure themselves, with a cut or scrape against a cut piece of plywood.
Not sure what you mean about the steps, other than what a picture might better explain...
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Old 06-12-2020, 08:23 PM   #3
atreis
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Camco makes some nice replacement end caps:
https://www.amazon.com/Camco-40324-I.../dp/B00C5SSDUO

As the other reply pointed out, the platform being cut a bit smaller than the mattress is actually a feature to keep you from scraping a leg on the rough edge.

I'm fortunate to be a fairly small guy. I fit nicely in a short queen. That is something to watch out for though if you're on the taller side.
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Old 06-13-2020, 09:29 PM   #4
coloradoguy
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But the bumper caps keep the sewer hose in the bumper, right? Otherwise I wouldn't care.
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Old 06-21-2020, 03:53 PM   #5
daltontr
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We've had our 199DD for about a year and a half now and we love it!

Yes, the bed is short, but we never noticed as I'm only 5'8" and my wife is 5'4". The plywood is cut short to prevent you from pinching a finger, hand or arm between the plywood and the back of the dinette. It's more about safety than being cheap.

Speaking of the bed. The very first mod I made was to add two 67 lbs gas struts underneath the bed. It was a very simple project and has been working great for the past 18 months. It makes it much easier to lift the bed and it supports it in the open position. Much easier and safer than using a prop. It was really cheap too, so much so that it makes me wonder why it isn't like that from the factory.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Concerning the bumper caps. We've been lucky, we've never lost one. However, I purchased a new 15' Rhino sewage hose and it won't fit in the bumper. So, I bought a Valterra expandable hose carrier.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The Rhino fits perfectly in the carrier, but I had some difficulty finding a good mounting point due to the gas line being run below the frame rails. I ended up mounting it just in front of the forward front stabilizer jacks. This allowed me to use two of the pre-drilled holes that secure the jack in place. All I needed to do was drill two additional holes to complete the install. Easy access and unobtrusive, but I would have preferred having it mounted behind the rear wheel.

FYI, we like to start the fridge the morning before we leave, then load it that same night. Also, the fridge tends to stay colder longer when it's full. We usually just added water bottles, drinks, etc. to fill in the unused space.

Our biggest con is the tank read outs. I think we made maybe one or two trips before they started to become a little unreliable. The fresh water tank is always correct and the grey water tank is usually pretty accurate, but the black tank is hit or miss. Not uncommon really, but it can be a little annoying.

Lastly, I would be interested to hear your experiences with the Solar connection. I know virtually nothing about Solar and have never used it on our camper, but I'm curious enough to want to buy a portable panel to try it out. I assume you just plug it in and it charges the battery?
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Old 06-21-2020, 09:08 PM   #6
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regarding solar, I had it pre-installed so it's mounted on roof. It's been awesome, I don't fuss about battery charge ever as it's always ready to go. Now I just fuss about fresh water levels because we've been camping without hookups. Just finished 2nd trip and no complaints ... loving it.
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