Little Guy Max Trip Report, Defects list, some thoughts and suggestions

msundstrmsundstr Posts: 9Member
I'm now back from my 22 day, 3,500 mile round trip from Ohio to the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas. The Little Guy Max performed extremely well in all kinds of conditions. Really looking forward to my next trip, once I get a few things fixed. I'll share my list of defects below, along with some general comments and suggestions.

- Solar panel does not work -- never has
- DVDs do not play on the bedroom TV (they work fine on the dinette TV)
- No owners manual
- Padded cover over the top of the front window falls off in travel
- Long gray molding strip above the front window is detached
- Quarter round wood molding fell off during travel
- Several plastic corner pieces for the windows have detached during travel
- Plastic cover piece at the front of the awning is broken
- Large kitchen drawer below the fridge opens during travel and now is off its slider
- Bedroom ceiling window screening not all in place, allowing leaks
- Master Interior Light switch does not control some of the interior lighting
- Missing component manuals, including: Dometic Thermostat Controller, Electric Jack, Awning, and some minor components

General comments and questions.

I suspect most of these questions would be cleared up by an Owner's Manual. While it's true that individual component installation instructions and manuals are provided, what's really needed is how these systems are integrated and interoperate in the Little Guy Max. In additional, standard procedures and best practices for common operations and troubleshooting should be included in an Owner's Manual. 

For example:

- the Master Interior Light Switch (one of the red switches) does not turn off some of the interior lighting. Is this a wiring error or intentional? In my unit, it does not turn off the kitchen light, the shower/bath light, or any of the 4 reading lights. 

- The Owners Manual should indicate what circuits are controlled by which fuses and circuit breakers; ideally this would be written directly in the spots provided in the Power Converter. I should not have to discover this information on my own by experimentation.

- My electric jack operates even if the battery switch is in the disconnect position. I'm not sure this is a great idea. Are there any other electrical components for which this is true? (I do not have a user manual for the electric jack, either).

- What are the proper maintenance/care procedures for the windows and their shades and screens?

- The Systems Monitor panel is really only useful for the fresh water and gray water levels, as the black water level indicator is in the bath/shower and the LPG indicator is nonfunctional. One can get used to this, but it's not ideal.

- The entertainment system is great, but figuring out how to operate it is difficult, even for a computer geek like me. The Owner's Manual should cover how these multiple systems are integrated together in the Little Guy Max. Multiple remote controls each with dozens of buttons is not the way to do this. Seriously -- remote controls with 60 buttons is an idea from the 20th century that should have died with smartphones -- a smartphone app would be a much better approach and almost every owner of a Little Guy Max going to have a smart phone. (I will say that being able to stream music, podcasts, and audiobooks from my smartphone to the Little Guy Max is a fabulous feature!)

- As far as I can tell, from a one-time experiment, you need to press a switch buried under the dinette in order to power on the TV antenna, vs. using a cable TV connection. This is not explained anywhere. I am mostly not a TV/Cable user, so I might not have this right, but this is clearly something that should be covered in an Owner's Manual.

- Another Owner's Manual thing -- the "A" speaker system is inside, the "B" speaker system is outside (and defaults to ON after a power outage), and the "C" speaker system does not exist. Good to know so you don't blast your fellow campers with unwanted noise.

The lack of a gauge for the propane tank is a problem. I am considering swapping out the tank for another tank with a builtin gauge. This is particularly a concern when I'm traveling in colder weather, as the only source of heat is the propane furnace. I have previously owned a travel trailer that had an A/C unit with electric heating strips, so I wonder why the Little Guy Max does not also have this feature.

Finally, I found my gas mileage while towing to be lower than I would have guessed. My median mileage was 9.8mpg and it ranged from 7.8 to 10.9. I've no prior experience with a rig this size, but I would have guessed 12-13. Does anyone have numbers they can share? I'm towing with a F-150. 

Hope y'all found this useful!

Comments

  • silverliningsilverlining Posts: 2Member
    We have 2 good trips under our belt and drive a Colorado.  We are averaging about 10 mpg a trip also- but we are Florida to Tennessee so hills but not mountains. 
    A few things- yep- we discovered the button for the antennae/ cable also.  We remembered to push it before we put the table back up when we were setting up camp this last time and had a cable hook up.  
    SOOOOO agree with you on multiple remotes- design that App!!!  
    Lastly though I might be able to help with your dvd problem- check your connections under the sink at the back of the dvd player.  The back of the component is too close to the sink on some of the earlier models. We had an RCA jack that had broke off.  Once fixed it was all good.
  • msundstrmsundstr Posts: 9Member
    @silverlining suspect you are right on the connections under the sink for the DVD problem ... it's quite a rat's nest under there though so I think I'll let the dealer fix that one. I expect I have one of the earlier models. Thanks...

  • CraigererCraigerer Posts: 22Member
    We have had ours for almost 3 months, have worked on it almost every weekend since the closest dealer is in Phoenix(we are in Las Vegas.Here's our list of stuff.
    -Missing screws in exterior trim around the border of trailer- holes not even drilled for several.
    - Shower leaking water around door frame, ran silicone stopped it for a while now leaking again from somewhere else.
    - All the buttons fell off from the valances on the windows, can't get them to stay on.
    -Drain from shower leaking, fixed once by putting teflon tape on plastic connections, now leaking again.
    - Turn on interior lights blows fuses, ran wires with a cable tracker found no break, possible loose connection on water heater switch?. Wife says "light prayer" every time we turn them on now.
    -All the cabinet hardware was loose, put locktight on all, seemed to solve that problem.
    -Front tv doesn't come through the speakers right above the tv. Not sure why that is.

    Im really getting tired of working on this every weekend. We might get rid of it as it is just too much to enjoy. I like the design and the quality put into it, however we just can't continues with this. Called the factory a couple of times, was supposed to call back but never did. Maybe our dealer will take it back.
  • msundstrmsundstr Posts: 9Member
    @Craigerer
    Wow I would be pretty unhappy with the set of issues you're dealing with. I'm glad my dealer is only 6 miles away, too. 
  • amarillodilleramarillodiller Posts: 21Member
    I picked up my Max on april 20th, and have discovered issues immediately as well after 2 trips, 4 nights total:

    Like yours, the solar panel doesn't work.  No indicator appears on the charge controller saying the panel is connected.  Didn't notice that during the walk through, and the kid that did our walkthrough did notice either, unfortunately.  There is no voltage at the controller, so who knows?  The user manual says there is supposed to be a fuse between the panel and the controller, but its not obvious where it can be found.  On the roof, it looks like there is simply a hole drilled, not the Zamp port that you can see comes with the panel on their website.  I'll write an update once I get it back from the dealer.

    The level sensors in that little touch screen near the radio...forget the LP and black tank indicators.  The LP I understand, but the black?  That's a fail.  Fortunately the one in the shower worked these past 2 trips, but the LED is not visible during the day time.  Honestly, its easier to look down into the black tank and visually check.  But this was pointed out to us in the walkthrough.

    Speaking of the black tank, i knew it was small when I bought it, not a big deal for us, but we were surprised just how quickly 2 people can fill 9 gallons of waste.

    On the outside, the trim pieces around the teardrop edge seem like they are separating.  

    Haven't used the front TV yet...will check on issues there next trip.

    Gas mileage, getting 13 from a GMC Sierra 1500.  Expected that, but it does hurt :-)

    Bed and dinette bed are more comfortable than I thought they'd be, but we'll be buying additional pads/mattresses.

    The door has a small, right angle plastic anchor piece that is supposed to hold it 1/2 way open.  It does, but if you forget to unlatch it before closing, you'll break it.

    No AC power in outlets when running on battery.  Maybe I missed that in the specs...is there an inverter?  Not a big deal for us, but firing up a generator to grind coffee gets old.

    The remotes are ridiculous, totally agree.  

    What has worked so far:

    Fridge, heat, A/C, water heater, water pump, all work great.  Tv antenna worked too, first try.  Sound bar on bedroom TV is great.  Drawers and cabinets stay shut while driving.  

    Overall, we really like ours.  I'll write an update on the solar later.




  • amarillodilleramarillodiller Posts: 21Member
    Solar charging issue turned out to be a wiring problem...factory didn't crimp the connection at the panel correctly . 15 minute fix by the dealer. 
  • westcoastLGMwestcoastLGM Posts: 31Member
    Our right angle door anchor broke the first day too.  When at the dealer, I noticed them broken on every LGMax on the lot.  During the walkthrough the service manager said they installed a new one on our Max and he broke it too.  So I replaced ours with a stainless steel version.  It hinges up with a spring when the angle is to the left, so I installed the part on the door upside down to utilize the spring action.  There's probably another one on the market that hinges the other way, this is just the one I ordered.  I also could have taken the spring out, but then the arm would have been hanging loose and I didn't want that.
  • WhodysseusWhodysseus Posts: 1Member
    edited May 2018
    Our LGM is so new it hasn't yet left the driveway. I appreciate the candor on this thread and will say that our electrical system is working fine. Like others, we did not receive an owners manual, but found one available online. It's very important to download and read, but I cannot understand why these are not being provided at purchase.
  • amarillodilleramarillodiller Posts: 21Member
    Another problem I noticed after this weekend's trip was with the front window.  When fully closed, and latched with all latches, there is a gap across the bottom, large enough to fit your fingers through, into the rig.  Same thing of course if you reach down from the inside, the gap is large enough for fingers.  We were wondering where all the bugs were coming from.  Towing in the rain would likely cause major leaks with this gap left unfixed.  Either the window isn't latching properly, or it isn't curved to conform to the front of the rig.  I will likely just fit some weather stripping in there until I can get back to the dealer.
  • westcoastLGMwestcoastLGM Posts: 31Member
    ummm, doens't sound good... is it fully closed or in the vent mode slot?
  • amarillodilleramarillodiller Posts: 21Member
    Yep, the latches are in the fully closed position.
  • elliottdahleelliottdahle Posts: 31Member
    @musundstr I purchased an LP Tank check with monitor. Sensor has magnet that allows it to attach to any 20 # LP Tank. Monitor was placed inside just above the gauge panel (in my case for a Mini Max). This might be more cost effective than a new tank. If you don't want the monitor, you can also use their free app to check the level. 
  • pondhockey46pondhockey46 Posts: 1Member
    Much of what all has been said I can relate to. Our new Max has not left the driveway yet but what we have encountered is frustrating.
    > No Owners manual / what? you get one when buying a vehicle why not this LG Max
    > Small white buttons on valances / falling off
    > Yes, latch to hold door did break / why not a metal one
    > Shower is showing water leaks along floor inside camper
    > Inside wall on mirror of shower has pulled away from ceiling / not sure how to fix
    > Outside water hook-up / too close together to attach / why not create larger space for both
    > Dealer is over 2 hrs away / did not get a through walk-thru about how or where anything is
    > I sent photos to Liberty but have not heard back as yet?
    > We really did our due diligence about purchasing our first camper and as with everyone else loved the idea of a tear drop and especially this one. However, we leave on our first trip middle of June and do hope that we do not encounter other issues going forward. 
    > We would appreciate a call or email back from Liberty regarding our issues in order to have them corrected. Any suggestions?

    Thanks
  • westcoastLGMwestcoastLGM Posts: 31Member
    Not getting a hard copy of the owners manual did not bother me. I downloaded it from this forum and have it on my computer and phone in iBooks . Always at hand when home or traveling and not a bulky book to carry around.    But that's just me, I'm used to digital manuals for most purchases.

  • amarillodilleramarillodiller Posts: 21Member
    Another weekend, another defect, with a quick fix.  Immediately after showering, I noticed water leaking from under our LGM.  Specifically it was coming from what looks like an access panel near the dump valves.  It's white, square, and held to the subfloor with sheet metal screws, exactly where the shower drain would be.  Took it off and sure enough, there's the drain...running the shower again produced a steady stream of water from the elbow that attaches to the drain, see picture.  Tightened that up, at the drain, not the trap, and no more leak.  You'd think they would check that at the factory.  Something else I saw that I was glad to see was the hepvo trap, installed at the factory.  That was a pleasant surprise!  www.hepvo.com.  
  • csturmcsturm Posts: 1Member
    Our right angle door anchor broke the first day too.  When at the dealer, I noticed them broken on every LGMax on the lot.  During the walkthrough the service manager said they installed a new one on our Max and he broke it too.  So I replaced ours with a stainless steel version.  It hinges up with a spring when the angle is to the left, so I installed the part on the door upside down to utilize the spring action.  There's probably another one on the market that hinges the other way, this is just the one I ordered.  I also could have taken the spring out, but then the arm would have been hanging loose and I didn't want that.
    Can you let me know where you got this replacement door anchor? We just got our Little Guy Max yesterday and have already broken the little plastic door anchor. This metal one seems like a much better option. Thanks!
  • ArfArf Posts: 20Member
    We just bought our brand new LGM and are going to the dealer tomorrow for the walk through.  We live in a condo so it will stay at the dealer until we leave to go south in early Feb.  We live in Worcester, MA.  We will take a list of all you guys found with us tomorrow and try to check as many as possible.  They will then have 2 weeks to fix anything we find, except the water system which will stay dry until we get to warmth.  We'll post here if we find anything at the walkthrough.  Wish us luck!
  • TomDTomD Posts: 88Moderator mod
    edited January 2019
    Relax and enjoy your camp. The mechanical problems will present themselves (maybe). When they do... deal with them. Most are easy to fix. My two cents.
  • westcoastLGMwestcoastLGM Posts: 31Member
    Welcome Arf....  Hope your walk through went smooth.  Looking forward to hearing about your first trip out in your LGM.  I keep walking past our Little Guy and can't wait for camping season to start up again soon! 
  • amarillodilleramarillodiller Posts: 21Member
    edited January 2019
    Our refrigerator went from working great all 2018 season, to not cooling at all on our most recent trip in December.  Temps were still nice for where we were lows in the 40s highs in the 70s.  Perfect weather, actually.  The rig is at the dealer now, and they're claiming its an airflow problem in the design.  I doubt that, since it worked so well over 10 trips in 2018, and in much warmer weather, until the recent trip, and then just suddenly stopped cooling.  Control board is working.  We've always run it level.  Check it every setup.  I'll update soon.

    Arf, Tdebakker1 is right...things will come up.  The initial list I posted above has some minor things in it, which I fixed myself, and what I couldn't (only a few things) the dealer did, so far at least.  Enjoy your Max!  We're very happy with ours overall.
  • westcoastLGMwestcoastLGM Posts: 31Member
    We've fixed everything ourselves that have been an issue with the LGM.  2 hour trip one way to dealer is why we do not take it in for service.

    Our water heater control board went out after the third trip, we replaced it with another brand that is supposed to be more durable. The window blind/valance in the bedroom pulled off the wall (screw totally out) we have secured it with HD Velcro because when my husband tried with another screw, it went through to the exterior of the trailer!    (we'll be patching that before the next trip)  So far our fridge is ok... we'll keep an eye on it.

    As all have said..... Despite these annoyances we LOVE OUR LITTLE GUY!
  • CrankCrank Posts: 15Member
    What does the on board battery/solar operate ?  We have solar, constant 20.0 V, punch test, 14.4 V.
  • TexasLMaxTexasLMax Posts: 20Member
    Love the contributions, thank you. 

    Our Max is 3 months old, but technically a 2018.  Hilarious that the manufacturer has not yet figured out that the door anchor/holder is pretty useless.  The dealer broke ours during the walk through and replaced with another plastic one.  I recently put on a magnetic, piston door stop  https://amzn.to/2HgilW8  The reason I like this as opposed to the "holder" is it works as a catch when the door gets thrown open before the two windows hit.  $10 from Amazon.  The latch is just that, a latch to hold open the door and does not stop the door from slamming open. 

    Very much appreciate the idea on monitoring the propane tank.  

    No leaks yet, but I spent a fair amount of time under the trailer before hand making sure all holes are filled.  I did find a number of missing screws that hold on the trim and replaced those.  I also re-caulked all the bathroom corners.  
    My issue with the front and back windows is that the tension holders are not strong enough to hold the window open.  After tightening, they just slide closed.  Reason - Poor tension tighteners in the arms or they are attached too close to the hinges leaving way too much weight toward the end for these to hold up.  Just like putting too much weight at the end of a lever.  Moving the pistons closer to the end of the windows would fix this.  Have not done this yet.
    The other issue is the clip that holds the window shade closed.  The dealer broke it prior to our walk through and we didn't notice.  Closest dealer is 2 hrs away.  Anyone ever purchase a clip for one of these?  Is that possible?
    Last issue are the TVs.  BTW, agree with lack of a technical manual.  Will download digital.  For reception using the antenna, do you have to re-scan the TV to pick up channels that are local every time you go to a new location? 
    Has anyone rejiggered the propane and battery box to be able to accommodate two tanks?   
    Lastly, anyone running into an issue with the legs of the canopy not being able to stay expanded in order to keep the door from hitting the canopy?  Seems the legs do not have a tension stop to hold them expanded far enough.

    To answer a previously asked question, the solar panel is strictly for battery charging, nothing more.  You can add another 100W panel and combine the two with an inverter.  To be used by a self installed plug.  There was an owner who posted his how-to a month or so ago.  Look for "Permanent Inverter Install" by bobshroyer.  We will be on a longer trip this Thanksgiving here in Texas, so I'm looking forward to digging into all the issues mentioned above.  Thank you everyone. 
  • westcoastLGMwestcoastLGM Posts: 31Member
    Texas... there is a plastic tab in the middle of each canopy leg that secures the awing in the highest position so it will be higher than the door.  You'll need to push that plastic tab up and away from the trailer to lock the legs. It will seem like it's going to break the tab, but it doesn't.  I was hesitant to push it that hard to lock them in place...  But that's the way it's done.  The Max came with no paperwork for explaining that, our walkthrough did not cover it.  I could not even find it online, until I watched a video from Thule showing the operation of another one of their awnings.  Hope this helps :-)
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