January 1, 2001

TT #18 BOA Berne Rally: Armrest Removal, Bounder Diesel update

By: Rob Lowe

Technical Tips #18 


BOA International Rally at Amishville, (Berne) Indiana (continued)

This is the third article on events at the Rally.

Bounder Armrest Removal: Have you ever wanted to remove or rearrange the armrests on the FlexSteel seats that are standard on the Bounder? On our Bounder the foam on the drivers left armrest was flattening out and rotating the seat with another seemed like the solution. I was not looking forward to the job of unbolting and moving two complete seats. In the Rally "Goodie Bag" there was information from the FlexSteel supplier showing all the accessories and optional seats available. I called them and they provided the following procedure to remove and exchange your armrests: Move the seat forward as far as possible, then recline the seat back as far back as it will go. While facing the armrest from the outside, grab the armrest you wish to remove and rotate it to the 2 o'clock position. Press in on the armrest at the base where it is attached, against the spring pressure and rotate it downward as far as it will go. Jiggle it and it will move outward and finally come away from the seatback. On seats with a seatbelt attachment you will need to loosen the bolt retaining the attachment and rotate it out of the way of the armrest as it swings down to in the lowest position. The process sounds complicated, the reality is that it is quite simple. Try it if you want to rotate armrests. Reinstall by reversing the steps and remember that you must reinstall on the same side of the seat, otherwise the armrest will be on upside down.

Bounder Diesel Update: While in Florida over March Break, I ventured into LazyDays RV and had the pleasure of seeing a number of production Bounder Diesels. What an impressive rig it is. Best of all many of the suggestions made by Bounder owners at the Amishville BOA Rally and the post rally test drive of the Discovery with the Bounder power train were incorporated into production. Even the marketing brochure boasts that this Bounder was developed with the input of current Bounder owners.

Small items like increasing the size of the battery compartment to allow easier servicing of the four coach and two chassis batteries and making a couple of bins without carpet lining near the engine area that can be easily washed out, are there as requested. The ladies (especially shorter ones) will appreciate that the 39Z has the microwave mounted lower near the sink/dishwasher area. Most overhead lighting in the dining/living area is fluorescent with a dual 48" house style fixture over the work area. Since the coach has a 2000-watt inverter, these lights work without running the generator or connecting to campground power. The large fixture is so simple to re-lamp that you will wish that changing a bulb at home were as simple as on the Bounder. Dual 20" TV's are standard, together with bedroom radio speakers.

For the driver there are dual auxiliary windshield fans and an ACC switch on the left side console by the transmission control, similar to more expensive rigs. The ACC switch allows the driver to flash all clearance lights as a thank you after passing a transport truck. Typically when you pass a transport truck the driver will flash his headlights to let you know it is safe to pull in front of him. As a courtesy you flash your lights to acknowledge and 'say' "Thank You". Until now this has been awkward, since you had to grasp the headlight switch mounted low on the left side of the dash which is not lit at night. The ACC switch lies right beside the left armrest easily located and it is a simple rocker switch that your hand almost falls onto. Not only is this a courtesy, safety and good communication with drivers behind is important when you drive such large vehicles. Now, if we could get Fleetwood to mount a high mounted, center brake light we would have another safety item covered. The Monitor panel is higher on the dash, much easier to reach and read.

All diesels have E-Z Glide gear operated slide-outs with bins that move out with the slide. The propane tank is up front under the slide-out, fixed to the frame with the filler at the back on the right side just ahead of the rear panel. Interestingly, this filler is located in the "centralized electrical compartment" just below the inverter. Weight seems to be well balanced between the axles and side-to-side. It looks much better balanced than some previous late model Bounders with over 5,000 lbs. of carrying capacity. The trailer hitch is also rated at 5,000lbs. so those sport utilities and pickup trucks can be safely tethered. Overall, congratulations to Fleetwood for re-introducing the Bounder diesel, and most importantly to listening to the abundant suggestions of Bounder owners. It shows!


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