Guaranty RV Super Centers

We have offered guaranteed savings to our customers for more than 50 years! From the moment you contact us until after you find your perfect RV, we strive to give you the best customer service in the industry. Stop by one of our showrooms in Junction City, OR. We'd love to share a cup of coffee and learn more about how we can help you.
Guaranty RV Employee - Shane Pennebaker

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At Guaranty, we love RVing! We know we’re lucky—we get to spend all day every day thinking about RVs, researching the best makes and models, learning about great road trips and campgrounds, and generally keeping up on the latest RV-related trends, news and lifestyle tips. Best yet, our team of RV-enthusiast bloggers get to share all of that with you! If you’re curious about the latest and greatest in RVs and RVing, we invite you to visit the Guaranty Blog. Be sure to check back with us regularly for updates.

What Do RV Model Numbers Mean?

To those who know how to decipher them, RV model numbers tell you the floor plan – vehicle length (many times this is the box length, not the overall length) – and option packages of the vehicle in question. The problem is that like much of the RV industry there is no universal way to do things, so there is no universal language for model numbers. Luckily, like the romance languages, if you can speak one model number language you can be generally literate in them all.

Those of you who are not into delayed gratification you can scroll down to the list of the 20 most common model number elements and their definitions below. For the rest of us, let’s start with why there are soooo many models of RV, sometimes from the same manufacturer. The simple answer to why there are so many models is public demand. Most manufacturers look at industry sales trends and build according to what is popular at the time. Some even try to foresee what the demand will be and design future units to stay just ahead of demand trends. Either way the factories build what sells, or what the consumer wants, same thing. The RV industry continues to attract a large and varied customer base from singles and couples who are outdoor enthusiasts, to families young and old, to the traditional retired and loving it folks who have been the lifeblood of the industry. With varied groups adopting the RV lifestyle in unique ways, the manufacturers have had to broaden their offerings. While still important in some respects the old days of how long is it and how many does it sleep, have given way to where does my kayak go or how do I make sure Fido is comfortable when we leave him in the RV all day.

Some manufacturers prefer to broaden their offering with multiple model numbers and some prefer to offer limited model numbers with a multitude of option packages, and some do both. Jayco, for example, offers a Jay Flight – Jay Flight SLX 8 – and a Jay Flight SLX 7. These three trailer lines combine to offer 27 floor plans, a Customer Value Package – Elite Package - Baja Edition - and a Rocky Mountain Edition giving us by my math roughly eighty-five bazillion different configurations. My math may be a bit fuzzy but you understand what I mean. The Jay Flight SLX is a lighter weight version of the Jay Flight and the 7 or 8 tell us the vehicles width in feet. So if we see a Jayco Jay Flight SLX 8 212QBW, you have a 21-foot living quarter light weight Jay Flight that is 8-feet wide and has a queen bed (the W stands for Western edition and means the unit was built in Idaho. Not very important but I am sure some of you were wondering). Newmar on the other hand offers one model number for each floor plan, but the ability to customize each motorhome built, to the extent that two identical model numbers may bear little resemblance to each other with the exception of the layout. A Newmar Ventana 4002 will always be a 40-foot 10-inch long diesel motorhome with a bath and a half and king bed. After that the ability to customize a Newmar built motorhome can create one of a kind vehicles.

Why would two of the biggest names in the industry choose such widely different approaches to model numbers? Once again it is based on consumer behavior. The Jayco Jay Flight has been the number one selling travel trailer for a decade and Newmar is at the top of the gas and diesel motorhome class year after year. They both sell an incredible volume of units, but the definition of an “incredible volume” differs for each manufacturer. Jayco’s definition dwarfs Newmar’s and the disparity is due solely to the percentage of RVer’s who camp in towables versus the percentage of RVer’s who camp in motorized units. Far more trailers are sold per year than motorhomes, not that one is inherently better than the other there are just more customers that can afford and justify the cost of a towable in comparison to a more expensive motorized RV. These trends drive not only factory production, but dealer inventory. If a dealership offers both motorized and towable RVs for sale, the vast majority of these dealers will have a significantly higher number of towable RVs in stock than motorized. Why? Because they sell more towables than motorized and just like any retail business you stock what sells. So for simple math let’s say a dealership sells towables ten to one compared to motorized. They should have ten trailers for every motorhome. (We really are about to answer the question as to why model numbers are not built the same, hang in there.) Another interesting observation is that most motorhome customers are upgrading from a current RV and a large number of consumers who purchase towables are making their first RV purchase. Customers who are making their initial purchase are eager to get the first trip under their belt. I can’t tell you how often a towable customer takes delivery and immediately embarks on their maiden voyage. A motorhome customer has a little more of a “been there done that” attitude, and while their love for camping hasn’t changed their eagerness to go right now is tempered. In summary a towable customer wants to take delivery of the RV they have purchased a.s.a.p., while a motorized customer may be more inclined to wait for a unit that has been specially ordered to meet their exact wants and needs. (Here we go with the long awaited answer.) This means that a dealership needs to have a large and varied towable inventory, but can have limited motorized inventory thanks to consumer behavior. So taking this information into context it makes sense for towable manufacturers to offer far more models than a motorized manufacturer would. The more models, the more likely to have in stock what the consumer wants. Since more consumers want towables it is good business practice to have more models of more towables, so to keep them straight a manufacturer creates more model numbers. It’s a bad analogy, but the more fish in the barrel the easier they are to shoot.

Hopefully that helps us understand why there are so many model numbers in the RV world. Now let’s take a look at what is and isn’t consistent across the various model number structures used by the myriad RV manufacturers. Most of the time when we encounter a model number it is during an Internet search. You search for Winnebago RV for sale and the Google results include the model numbers of the current motorhomes for sale in your area. If we think about online research as an onion the initial search for Winnebago RV for sale removes that weird brown papery layer, then identifying the model or models we are interested in removes another layer, and as we narrow the focus of the search more and more layers of the onion are removed. Come to think of it the model number could also be visualized as an onion, and reading right to left we remove layers of said onion. Most times we will see a model number as our Jayco example from above, Jayco Jay Flight SLX 8 212QBW. Jayco is the brown outer layer, Jay Flight is the next layer, SLX another layer, 8 a layer, 212 yet another layer, QB a layer, and W is the final layer. The majority of manufacturers follow this sequence, Manufacturer – Model Name – Option – Floor plan. Most floor plan identifiers are three or four character numeric sequence with the first two numbers being a rough estimation of the RVs length. Again this is usually the “box” or living portion when dealing with towables, not the overall length. That is your basic RV model number decoder ring, now we need some entries for the English to model number dictionary.

1. SLX, XLT, Xlite – A light weight offering of an existing floor plan or a light weight RV
2. BH- Bunk House
3. DB – Double Bunk
4. TB – Triple Bunks
5. WS – With Slide
6. S, SL – Single Slide
7. SS – Single Slide or Super Slide
8. DS – Dinette Slide
9. RS – Rear Slide
10. MB- Murphy Bed
11. QB – Queen Bed
12. CK - Central Kitchen
13. RK – Rear Kitchen
14. FK – Front Kitchen
15. IK – Island Kitchen
16. RL – Rear Lounge or Rear Living
17. FL – Front Lounge or Front Living
18. RB – Rear Bath
19. FB – Front Bath
20. FE _ Front Entertainment

These are some of the most common abbreviations but it might take two lifetimes to list and define all of the floor plan codes used by RV manufacturers today, luckily we have an abundance of folks here in all departments that are fluent in RV. So if you need some help determining what a model number stands for either on your current RV or your next RV call 1-800-283-9163, click or come by Guaranty RV Super Centers and ask for someone who speaks RV.

If you want to learn more about RVs and the RV lifestyle join us for one of our informative monthly RV Seminars the second Saturday of every month through October, at 10 am in the Guaranty RV Travel Center and RV Park 93668 Oregon 99, Junction City, OR. View the schedule and topics here. Please register by calling Tharon Wilson at 1-541-998-4285 or by clicking here. Seating is limited, so make sure you sign up early.

This information is current as of the day it was posted. Being the RV Industry it may not be current tomorrow. The only constant in our glorious industry is that nothing stays the same. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions regarding model numbers or even just RVs in general please contact me via a simple web form.

The Best Deals Start With The Best Dealership

Buying a new vehicle is exciting and stressful all at the same time. No matter if you are in the market for a new or new to you, car, truck, SUV, or RV when all is said and done you want to feel like you got a good deal. The trick lies in not only knowing what a good deal is, but where to find one.

The Internet Doesn’t Do Background Checks
Thanks to the multiple websites dedicated to helping you buy a vehicle it is easy to get the impression that a low price is what makes a good deal. Problem is we all know that guy who scours the Internet and manages to find deals that seem too good to be true. Too bad those deals turn out to be self-fulfilling prophecies. He may have spent six bucks on a three year old truck with a hundred miles on it, but come to find out it was submerged in a river for a week and it only cost eight billion dollars to get it back to reliable. Somehow that doesn’t seem like a good deal anymore. Private party sales are risky because if the vehicle is not as promised there is very little real recourse and now you have to spend more money to fix it or lose money and sell it for a loss (Assuming you are more honest than the previous owner). Of course there are good deals to be found on the Internet, but you better hurry my brother-in-law is probably calling them right now. Seriously they are out there but few and far between, and it takes some amount of luck to recognize them. Every Automotive or RV dealership will be on the web, either with a site of their own and or on the sales sites. Buying from a dealer poses an interesting dilemma, on one hand buying from a dealer does afford some confidence in the transaction but it also means that you have to deal with a salesperson whose job it is to sell vehicles for the highest price possible, not the lowest. Not to mention just because a dealer is on the Internet doesn’t make them a good place to do business with. Seems like we are still looking to find a good deal, and define what that means.

What Makes A Deal A Good Deal?
Easy answer is any deal that makes you feel happy about the vehicle you purchased. Still pretty vague though. We have talked about price and it is definitely a factor in any formula used to calculate the quality of a purchase, but not the most important. I just lost some of you, but bear with me a moment. Our time on this planet is limited, who wouldn’t happily pay a little more each day to ensure we live to a ripe old age. Longer life costs a little more, but in my opinion is the better deal. Buying a vehicle for a higher price can turn out to be a better deal when you consider what the quality difference is from the lesser to the more expensive vehicle. Just like our friend who finds those amazing Internet deals a cheaper option can cost twice as much. How do we insure that if we do pay a little more we get a little better vehicle that may have a longer life span? It becomes more and more confusing and eventually we end up in the same place our fore fathers did, asking friends and family which dealership to trust. Turns out that the best deals are found at the best dealer because a good dealer will stand behind the vehicles they sell and sell only vehicles that they have confidence in.

How Do I Find a Good Dealership?
Googling “dealers near me” will give you multiple results, but you may not find the best vehicle or the best dealer with a single search. So how does one find the best deal from the best dealer? Again, research. Online reputation and good old word of mouth are reliable indicators of the quality of customer care a dealer provides, but how long a dealer has been in business may say more. As with most industries getting into the dealership business is easier than staying in the dealership business. So a long standing dealer with a quality Google review is a good place to start, but no sure thing. Like all of the world around us patterns exist in the behavior of both good and bad dealerships. And because who doesn’t like a bullet point list, here you go.

Bad Dealer
• Treat customers as transactions and practice shoddy or dishonest operations
• They do not sell new inventory, only used (carrying new vehicles means that the manufacturers and financial institutions trust a dealer enough to extend them credit)
• They are unlikely to stay in business for long, but may reappear under a different name at a later date

Good Dealer
• Has a large and varied selection of new and used vehicles
• Abides by fair advertising and business practices
• Understands that the best way to stay in business is repeat business
• From the sales process to after sale service a good dealer is trying to earn your business, even if they already have it
• A good dealer knows that NO vehicle is built to perfection and that they will all have an issue from time to time, when these issues arise it’s an opportunity to prove to the customer they made the right decision in buying from their dealership
• A long standing dealer with a quality Google review
• Recognized by industry publications, distributors, and manufacturers with awards and commendations
• A dealer that services what they sell

How Do I Guaranty I Get A Good Deal
Consumer Reports and multiple industry publications will give you an idea about the quality and durability of nearly every vehicle manufactured today. Once you have your target vehicle, do go on line and try to find an accurate price range. Remember lots of factors should go in to the selling price of a vehicle so if the price of your dream transportation varies widely look at miles, option packages, maintenance history, and of course current condition. Once you know what you want and what it should cost, it’s time to locate your target. This is actually where you begin to ensure you get a good deal, by going to a good dealer. Lots of advice about when to buy a vehicle exists, but most is just short of old wives tales. The most common is to go to a dealer an hour before they close on the last day of the month and they will be so desperate to sell something they will almost give it away. This does happen, but what does it say about that dealer that they have had all month to sell vehicles and they are still that desperate? Doesn’t seem to me to be the best vote of confidence that dealership will be around for the long haul. A healthy dealership won’t need that sale so desperately that they harm themselves in the process. Okay, here it is. The answer we have all been waiting for. To get the best overall deal go to a reputable dealer that has been in business for a significant amount of time, tell them what you want, and what you are willing to pay and let them work for you.
The last part of that statement is the most important. A salesperson worth their salt knows a sale can be a long process, but they are willing to do the work to get you what you want. IT’S HOW THEY GET PAID! You have lots of options when it comes to purchasing a vehicle and while those options can be daunting, there is leverage in them as well. If you find a salesperson that has their own ideas about what you should buy and how much you should spend, ask for a manger or find another dealership. One of the advantages of a larger, well-established dealership like Guaranty Locally Owned Chevrolet and Guaranty RV Super Centers is that our sales force helps enough customers into their dream vehicle that none of them are that desperate salesperson at the end of the month, and if they are they are given the opportunity to perfect their craft in the minor leagues.

The Moral of the Story
The best deal isn’t just about price. The best deal really is the one that makes you feel happy about the vehicle you purchased. A lot goes into that but the most important variable is feeling confident in the vehicle and in the dealership. Knowing that if and when there is an issue, it is an inconvenience, not a lesson in “cheaper isn’t always less expensive” goes a long way in instilling that confidence. So find your dream vehicle, know what you’re willing to pay for it, and give one of our sales people the opportunity to go to work for you.

RV Battery - Basics, Maintenance, Storage

Automotive batteries have come a long way since they became widely used in 1920 as cars began to come equipped with electric starters. What started out as inefficient, 6 volt lead acid type wet cell batteries have evolved into AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) sealed batteries and now even Lithium Ion batteries that have incredible amounts of available power and tremendous life spans. For sake of simplicity and because those fancy Lithium Ion batteries deal with cathodes and anodes, which I am sure are super boring even if I fully understood them, we will concentrate on the most common type of RV battery. The 12volt deep cycle wet cell lead acid battery.

Click here for a great explanation of how a lead acid battery works from our friends at Progressive Dynamics


Deep Cycle VS. Starting Battery

A deep cycle battery can be used as a starting battery in a pinch, but is designed to deliver a flow of voltage at a steady rate, making it ideal to power appliances and systems that require voltage long term versus in short bursts. Its available power is measured in amp hours, with the average group 24 deep cycle battery having around 100 amp hours. A starting battery can be used for this purpose but it is designed to deliver large doses of voltage on a sporadic basis. Its available power is measured in Cold Cranking Amps, which are specific to a vehicle starters demand for amperage. If a starting battery is completely drained of power it often will never recover where as a deep cycle battery is designed to be run nearly dead over and over again and still be able to return to full capacity. In fact with a deep cycle battery running it low and recharging it is actually good for the battery, like how exercise is good for you, from what I have heard. That doesn’t mean a deep cycle battery is maintenance free however.

Maintenance

To get the optimum life out of your battery keeping the fluid levels up is paramount. The liquid in the battery is a crucial part of the electrical process and if the levels are low damage can be done to cells and or the entire battery. Just like a chain is only as strong as its weakest link a battery that has a bad cell is unfortunately now a bad battery. There are several simple tools available to help maintain the proper water levels in a deep cycle battery, all of which can be found at the Guaranty Travel Center & RV Park.
The simplest is a battery fill jug that has a built in float that prevents the overfilling of any of the battery cells, but this requires you to have easy access to the batteries. If the batteries are on the tongue of your trailer or in the expansive front compartment of a fifth wheel you should have little trouble using the jug. If the batteries are in a compartment, even on a battery slide tray, some of the batteries may be harder to access.
This leads us to a second system, this particular system is from Flow-Rite and it replaces the battery caps with a semi permanent (the system is removable if you replace batteries and should fit provided you stay with the same voltage battery you are replacing) fill valve system. The system also has a series of floats that prevent overfilling and is designed to pump water into each of the batteries cells evenly and without having to remove and reinstall heavy batteries. More exercise? Not if I can help it!
Okay, so maintenance is vital to a long battery life and that maintenance has mostly to do with the water levels in the battery, but a visual inspection and cleaning of any corrosion at the battery terminals should be addressed as well. Corrosion can hinder the performance of the entire system both during charging and battery usage. Again there are products available at the Guaranty Travel Center that clean and prevent terminal corrosion and our experts can help you determine which product suits your needs.

Testing - Knowing Is Half The Battle

You’ve done all the maintenance but your battery is not lasting as long as it used to. It is time to test the battery’s performance and overall health. The most common battery tester is what is called a “toaster” tester, named because it works much like a toaster by using a resistance element to test the batteries performance. A resistance element demands a large amount of amperage and works by passing electricity over the element, which converts the energy to heat. Ohm’s law has some part in the math here, but we are already getting off track. The toaster tester will tell you how your batteries respond to being put under load, but if the response is poor it does not give you much diagnostic information. A hydrometer is a very useful tool because it gives you an accurate reading of the condition of each individual cell, allowing you to determine if you have a bad cell or just need a deeper charge. As I mentioned before a bad cell means a bad battery, which is always disappointing but is better caught ahead of a trip than discovered during. A bad cell can even pose a very minute safety risk, as the converter will continually try to charge that cell, to no avail, leading to boiling of the battery and in some extreme cases an electrical fire.

Storage

Maintenance is important for battery life and for safety, but you only use your RV part of the year. What about when it’s stored? If you are fortunate enough to have RV parking where you live and you can plug the unit in you can almost “set it and forget it”. Almost because even though the modern converters have charge controllers built in to prevent overcharging, over time fluid is lost due to the normal charge and discharge processes so checking your fluid level is still important. Some seasoned RVers will alternate weekly or bi-weekly between leaving the RV Plugged in and unplugging it, allowing the slow natural discharge of the battery to occur. This can “exercise” the battery, but if we forget and let the battery stay discharged too long it may have difficulty recovering as it ages, just like me. If you store your RV at a facility and do not have the ability to plug the unit in and your RV does not have solar panels then disconnecting the batteries is a good idea. There are many components in the RV that use small amounts of voltage even when they are “off”, like the propane/co2 detectors and the station “memory” in the house stereo etc., that can drain a battery surprisingly quickly. More and more RVs come with a battery disconnect switch, but if yours did not they are easy to install and multiple options are available at the Guaranty Travel Center. Yes, the Travel Center has just about everything for your RV. Be warned however that in my twenty-five plus years in this wonderful industry I would say, conservatively, 99.9% of theft or vandalism occurs while the RV is in storage. This means leaving your batteries disconnected but still easily accessible really only makes them easier to steal. Placing the disconnected batteries inside the RV makes them harder to steal, but does not address the fact they will most likely be dead when you return. Often the batteries are taken home and left on a trickle charger in the garage. Remember this will cause the fluid levels to naturally deplete, so we are right back to maintenance, and the lesser expensive trickle chargers may not have the correct setting for deep cycle charging and may not have a charge regulator. Don’t cost yourself money by saving money on the battery charger! There are some old timers that will tell you to never put a battery on the ground or concrete, as it will drain it. In the very early versions of the car battery the construction included wooden boxes holding glass plates and if those wooden plates absorbed moisture from the ground or concrete they could swell and break the glass plates, but the chances of a modern battery being affected are negated by its plastic construction. Temperature is going to have an effect on the charging and discharging of a battery, and the colder it is the less efficient it becomes, so garage storage on a concrete floor can affect a battery vicariously.
The moral of todays story is that no matter if it is mid camping season or the darkest days of winter, battery maintenance is the best way to ensure optimum battery operation and prolong a battery’s life span. Make it part of your pre-trip or post-trip checklist and the extra few minutes you spend might just ensure all your RV adventures are electric!


Please remember Guaranty RV Super Centers is here to help when you need it. We can test your battery, your vehicles 12 volt system, or anything in between. If you need to replace your battery Guaranty RV Parts can provide you with a direct replacement or an upgrade. For assistance from Guaranty's RV Service or Parts departments fill out our simple contact form or call us at 1 (800) 283-9163 seven days a week.

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