Sunday, November 5, 2017

Fall 2017 Get Together in the Rockies

We held our Fall Get Together - the "Get Together in the Rockies" September 29 to October 1 in Fort Collins, Colorado.    It was great.

Lots of Winnebago FusesWinnebago Fuses in a row

We had 14 Fuses and 1 wanna-be (the new term is "gonna-be") come to the event.   The Winnebago Engineer canceled at the last moment with an emergency, so we had to do the tech talk on our own.  There were enough experts in the group to answer most of the questions.

The Fuse Group from Ft. Collins

So what did we do.   On Friday night we had a pot luck.   And there was some mighty fine eating.  I am not sure it was the altitude or the cool mountain air, but everything was delicious.

The Fuse cup

The souvenir from the event was a little different this time.  We did not do wine glasses.  A comment last time was they were a little fragile for camping so this time we went with plastic cups.  They won't break and being lighter they might help with the gas milage.    If you want one and are traveling through Tallahassee, let me know.

Saturday morning we had the Tech discussion.  We will go into that a little further down the page.

We had leftovers for the group for lunch and then after lunch we toured the coaches.

Fuse PartyFuse Food

Saturday evening we had our Pizza party.  That was some good pizza.

Then unfortunately it was over and we all went our separate ways.  It was great to get and meet everyone.

Ok, so now what you were waiting for.  How did the tech talk go?

Before the meeting I was able to talk to Winnebago about what they are thinking about future Fuses.  I think we all like to know what Winnebago is thinking about.   A lot of what they are doing is happening on all of their small motorhomes so the real question is when it will happen in the Fuse.   Keep on the lookout for this as the 2018.5 and 2019 models come out.

Remember these are futures and subject to all sorts of factors, so there are no guarantees.  These may turn out to be standard features or options or not make it outside the lab.

One of the new items Winnebago is looking at for all of their motorhomes is using compressor refrigerator.s  For those that don't know, a compressor refrigerator is like the one in your house.  Runs on electricity only (DC) but does not care  if the motorhome is level or not.  Cools much faster but uses electricity.  The first compressor refrigerators in small Winnebago motorhomes were released on the models announced earlier this month.    (Look at the Norcold compressor refrigerator in the new Navion)

To make the compressor refrigerator work out there is discussion about making the batteries bigger.  Group 31 as opposed to Group 24.  And if they can find the space they might be able to squeeze in a third battery to add capacity.

They also want to make solar standard.  Not just with 1 solar panel but with 2 100w panels.  This will help with the extra electrical needs of the compressor refrigerator.

A lot of the feedback they are getting from potential buyers revolves around people wanting an Inverter.  They are going to try and get one in the Fuse for us.

Ford is making the drivers side seat swivel in the 2019 Transit (remember that the Fuse is a transit underneath). It should be available around the August, 2018 timeframe.  Once they are available they they will use this chassis in the Fuse.  The key to this is Ford will be moving the parking break from between the drivers seat and passenger to somewhere else (possibly electronic).  Ford may also have a different solution on the passenger side.

And as far as being a low rider.  Winnebago continues to look for ways to raise the rear.    The engineering team has taken our feedback very seriously on this issue.   One thing they are exploring is angling off the last couple of feet in the back.  It is going to require them to move some things around in the rear and they think they can without decreasing any storage or having to make major design changes.  They think that there is a good possibility that they can rake the last couple of feet in the rear and add a few inches of clearance.

The group also had some questions for Winnebago.  Since they could not make it I took them down and Winnebago said they would answer them for us.    Here is the list and the answers are underlined:

1). How many Fuses are on the road:  Over 600 

2) Why does the rear tv sound not come through the bed speakers on the T:  The rear speakers are connected to the radio/DVD player. The radio can only play audio from one TV.

3)  The consensus is that we really need a better way to access the batteries.  Is Winnebago looking at putting them on a sliding tray or something.  The current setup is really bad for checking water levels. We will evaluate.

4). Has there been some thought to moving the generator breaker to somewhere easier to access on the A.   Crawling under the unit to reset the breaker is problematic:  At this time we do not have a solution. We cannot move the breaker.

5) Have you thought of making the rear window the emergency exit window on both units: We would need to reduce the width and height significantly to clear the ladder and customer bicycles installed on the bike rack.

6) The wheel simulators and nuts seem to be a problem.  The nuts have gotten lost on the road and they cause issues accessing the tire stems.  People are replacing the stems or having to take off the simulators to add/check air pressure:  We would like some clarification on this issue. Do you think the 2 nuts that hold the liners on are not tight to begin with or are the nuts not staying tight? We do provide extensions for the inside duals which should be accessible. The outside dual require a dual head angled air chuck to fill or check tire pressure.  (I sent them information from the group so they could understand the issues)

7) What about factory TPMS from Ford: Not available from Ford on the Transit cutaway chassis.

8) The springs are fully loaded on most of the Units.   We measured all of the units.  Clearances range from 11-14-16 inches depending on year and what suspension mods have been made. We had several (including an 18) with additional leaf springs added and one with Sumos added:  We have evaluated the Sumo Super Springs. The springs raised the rear of the coach about 2 1/2´” At this time the testing required by Ford for Winnebago to install these springs has not been done by Sumo. They are available for a customer to add.

9) The rear bumper is attached to the plywood rear wall.   Lots of damage is caused when bumped like a bumper:  We will look into this issue.

10) What about replacing the bathroom door in the T with an accordion door.  One person did this and now several others will as well:  We had an accordion door on a rear bath in a past floorplan. Many complaints, we won’t do this change.

11) Have you changed out the drawer latches with heaver duty ones.  There seems to be a mixture depending on what unit is looked at.  We all agree we need the HD latches. We spec out a 10lb latch for large drawers and forward facing drawers.

12). More questions about how to make the Front table on the A model useful with the slide in. We are evaluating this suggestion.

13) Can you change the latch on the Front TV on the A so you can angle it to the couch as opposed to the door. This suggestion is also being evaluated.

14). Richard K.  Has reoriented the seating on his T to open up the front area much more than the default layout.  He posted some pictures you all should look at.   This seemed to be the hit of the show. I couldn’t find the photos. Could you send?  (I sent Richards article in response to this)

15). Still issues with Quality control.   Rust spots in the sink are common:  This issue should go through warranty. I will ask our warranty dept. for the sink warranty claims.

16) The Bents are having problems getting a new bathroom sink (cracked)  and trim for the pop up counter extension from their dealer.  The dealer is saying it is backordered from Winnebago.  Are repair parts backordered? We had a shortage of parts for production. We no longer have a shortage.

17) You would sell a lot of Fuse branded gear if it was available. I will pass this request on to the Marketing dept.

Then we went around the room for Q&A.  We had lots of questions asked and luckily we had a large number of experienced Fuse owners to answer them.   Lots of talk about raising the fuse.  Lots of hints and advice on storage and places to shop.   Just like the facebook group but live and in person.   It really was great.  I stopped taking notes because I became too interested in the discussion.  

After this and lunch we went and looked at everyones Fuses and the mods they had done.

Fuse Smart Car
Smart Car Tow Setup
Fuse 23T storage
23T storage organization
Fuse Slide Out
Slide out decoration

Fuse wheel Stems
Berg Stem Extenders

Fuse HD sewer hose
Wastemaster Premium Sewer hose

The big hit of the walk around was Richards mods to his 23T.  He has rearranged the bench seat to open up the front.  My photos did not do it justice so you can read his article here.

I also measured various Fuses.

Fuse HeightFuse HeightFuse Height

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