The Cedar Creek had been sitting in storage long enough. Mary nor I had anything pressing on our calendar for the next three days. We started weighing the issues with taking the RV for a mini trip. It is winterized - the hot water tank is empty, all water lines have been blown out, there is antifreeze in all the traps, all storage tanks are empty. If we take it out we either will not have any water or we will have to de-winterize it and then re-winterize it when the mini-trip is over. It is some work, but we have owned the RV since September and has been sitting on the storage lot all this time. We selected an RV park not to far away, made arrangements to spend time with friends while there and the plans were made.
Normally we keep everything we need for a trip in the RV (except food) so there is no packing involved, we just fill the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets with food and we are on our way. Since this is a new RV, we don't have everything in it yet. I spent yesterday putting some things we will want in the RV and getting it ready for it's maiden voyage. We will still have to put more things in it before we head across the country, but for now it is fine.
After many years of traveling, we knew how to do everything in a quick and efficient manner with our old RV (the SeaBreeze). The Cedar Creek is not the SeaBreeze and very few things work like they did in the Seabreeze so there is a lot to learn. We do have some huge advantages in learning to travel with the Cedar Creek - we know how to attach it to the truck and how to drive the truck with it attached; we know how to get waste water from the RV to the septic tank; we know how to maneuver through truck stops; we know how to park it; and many more things that apply to all RVs. These are all things that we did not know when we first got the SeaBreeze. While the learning curve with the Cedar Creek is steep, it should not be near as steep as with the SeaBreeze.
Hooking the SeaBreeze to the truck was a multistage project that involved crawling around the exterior of the RV and manually cranking up the rear jacks; then getting the RV hitch pin at just the right height so the truck could be connected to it; once the SeaBreeze and truck were connected, the SeaBreeze had to be lowered onto the truck; finally we had to climb under the SeaBreeze and manually raise the landing gear. According to the manufacturer of the "six point leveling system," with the Cedar Creek, all we do is push a button and the rear jacks come up on their own and the hitch pin is automatically set at the perfect height for hitting up the truck. We then back the truck hitch into the hitch pin, push the button again and the RV landing gear rises by itself. At that point we can drive away. In other words, this job should be much easier with the Cedar Creek, but the whole thing is new to us and pushing buttons that make the RV move on its own is a little intimidating. I am sure with time we will gain confidence in the hydraulic system and just push the buttons and let it do its thing, but for now, we still question ourselves, cross our fingers and hold our breath every time we push the button.
The Cedar Creek is advertised as an RV for experienced RVers. We consider ourselves experienced and we are intimidated by all it's buttons, levers, and switches not to mention the sheer number of ways to really mess things up.
Our drive to Sundowner RV Village in Hayesville, NC was uneventful. We were off to a good start. Mary took a little longer than usual backing the RV into our designated spot, but it was not the easiest spot to back into. Mary insist that we chock the wheels of the RV because we have always done it. I don't think we should because the RV is going to be moving on it's own and I think the chocks might be an issue. Mary's logic wins and we chock the wheels. We hold our breath, cross our fingers and push the button that raises the RV off the truck. The led panel tells us that we can pull the truck away from the RV. We pull the truck away and push the button again. The RV starts moving and legs start dropping to the ground. Within a few minutes, the LED panel says "legs down, RV level". Mary checks the level and we are perfectly level.
Mary starts hooking up utilities and I head inside to get things set up. Things inside look great and Mary gets everything outside hooked up with ease. We call our friends and spend the afternoon hiking.
We later discovered that we had no hot water. I double checked everything we knew to check and still had no hot water. Forest River has an online forum for Cedar Creek owners. I decided to see if anyone online could help. I posted what we had done and that we did not have any hot water. Within a couple of minutes I had four guys helping me a list of things to check and with photos showing me what things to look for. Within ten minutes, the problem was solved. The Cedar Creek has a maze of levers that control the water system. When winterizing the RV some levers turn one way and others turn a different way. When the RV is not winterized, levers have to be turned a different way. According to the guys on the forum - the way the levers have to be turned for normal water operation does not make sense, but non-the-less is the way it works. I took a photo of the levers set for normal operation so that I can post it in the RV utility bay for next time. Issue #1 solved.
I turned no the TV only to discover that we had "no signal". After about 15 minutes of pushing buttons we had a signal and were able to get cable stations and connect to ROKU. Issue #2 solved.
The electrical panel for the Cedar Creek is just as convoluted as the water system. Most things in the panel are labeled, but who knows what the labels mean????? We spent some time messing with switches and figured out what most were for. Two of the switches were identified for us by the fellows on the forum who were helping troubleshoot our hot water issue. I took a photo of the electrical panel so I can identify what everything is for and put it inside the panel door. Issue #3 solved.
Issue #4 turned out to be an issue we could not solve. I decided to take a shower. Fortunately while I was in the shower, Mary decided to do something in the RV basement. I am in the shower and I hear Mary yelling "Barbara, stop!" I call back, "Stop what?" and she tells me to turn off the shower. The shower was leaking massive amounts of water into the basement from two different areas. While Mary cleaned up the mess, I contacted the RV dealer to see if we could drop the RV off to be repaired on our way home.
Despite the warranty issues and operating issues we are having with the Cedar Creek, we still really like it. We know that the warranty issues will be solved and the operation issues will become easier for us with time. There are so many thing that we like about the Cedar Creek and we keep finding more things we like the more we are in it. Yes, it is a challenge right now, but long term it is going to be a great home for us. It is a beautiful rig both inside and outside and it has too many features to name that make RV life more pleasant than it was in the SeaBreeze (and life in the SeaBreeze was pretty fantastic).