New Somerset E3 Owner - Joining the group!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Eric96-MI, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. Eric96-MI

    Eric96-MI New Member

    Jun 10, 2018
    SW Michigan
    Just joined the world of popup owners. Momma wanted more room so I swapped my SoCal Teardrop and just brought home a new Somerset E3 Evolution.

    I’ll be posting my thoughts shortly as there are already a few things I’ve noticed about it.

    Look forward to talking through things with everyone!

    Attached Files:

  2. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2011
    Macomb County Michigan
    Welcome to the portal from SE Michigan! Looking forward to your thoughts.
  3. Eric96-MI

    Eric96-MI New Member

    Jun 10, 2018
    SW Michigan
    Thanks! We’ve got some major rain coming so my initial thoughts will be postponed a bit.

    I’ve got nothing but great things to say about the group at Prosser RV that I bought this from. Mike was great and gave me a smoking price. No frills just prompt responses and a willingness to work with me. In and out within an hour.

    Now the fun starts, and I’ll do my best to document everything I’m planning to do. Stay tuned.
    njmarks and eoleson1 like this.
  4. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

    Oct 3, 2007
    Waterford, Ct
    6ad4135f4a202c41426d6f8c1f8a6abc--welcome-to-group.jpg from the Connecticut shoreline.
  5. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    Welcome to the Show.
  6. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2018
    What are you going to tote on the front deck?
    I looked at a model with a toy hauler deck on it, but it was too small for my big motorcycle so we passed it up.
  7. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

    Oct 15, 2006
    Graceville, Florida
    Welcome aboard from N/W Fl Panhandle. Congrats on the new PUP. It is a Nice looking unit.
    Wishing ya'll many great adventures in the future with the PUP.
    Good Luck and Happy Camping
  8. megcabra

    megcabra Well-Known Member

    Welcome and greetings from North Carolina to the exciting world of Pop-Up camping!
  9. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Active Member

    Jun 11, 2014
    Houghton MI
    Welcome from the UP! Will you be up to visit us this summer??
  10. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2016
    King George, Virginia
    Welcome from Northern Neck Virginia...

    You gonna love your E3 Evolution trailer with the front deck. This is almost the same as my 2008 Starcarft R/T 14 Off-Road Popup... I looked at those back when I looking in 2008 and picked the Starcraft for its massive 6-inch frame...

    We only use our front deck for supplies and things we want to bring along with us on our outings. We like to camp off grid most of the the time up behind Harrisonburg VA and Skyline Drive sites. We go up and down the Blue Ridge Parkway some... About the only so called trips we make is down to Myrtle Beach SC and then always like to come back to Virginia going through the Smoky Mtns at Gatlinburg... ALso like going to Cloudland Canyon site at the Trenton GA exit off of I59...

    Between the 5X8 deck and my truck bed I can carry some serious camping supplies...

    Momabear watches her HDTV and I like to work the Ham Radio bands. We carry our own WIFI to run our tablets and computer etc. Like to check in with the kids every evening and do some bills and surf the internet some. Don't have a big enough WIFI setup to do any large down-streaming of TV... Always able to find something to watch OTA using my portable setup BATWING antenna looking at a nearby town.

    Will be watching to see what things you may be doing with your off-road machine...

    I am working on a new BATTERY Bank using two parallel groups or two 6V GC2 batteries in series. This will bring up my older 255Ah banks to 430AHs... Got my GC2 6V batteries from local Battery Plus store just a month ago. Should be ready to go this camping season.

    Never got the urge to do any long Distance RV Traveling. I guess my many years of Tent camping from the 60s and 70s makes me always want to go local camping...

    Roy Ken
  11. friartuck

    friartuck Well-Known Member

    Nov 1, 2007
    Perry, MI
    Welcome from mid Michigan - Shiawassee County!
  12. DJS12354

    DJS12354 Well-Known Member

    Greetings from NEPA!
  13. RealDProperty

    RealDProperty New Member

    Jul 24, 2017
    Lake Orion, Michigan
    Greetings from Lake Orion Michigan!!!
    I just sold my 97 Coleman and I am considering either the Somerset E3 with cargo hauler or the Rockwood/Flagstaff Sport Edition with cargo hauler.
    I'm having a hard time finding any close to me and can't find any used ones.
    I'd love to hear your thoughts on your E3 once you get to use it.
  14. Rudy4536

    Rudy4536 Member

    Jun 13, 2018
    Hello from caledonia! we almost bought from Mike right off 94...we found a used Coleman e3 with the deck...really liking the e3, pulls straight and big solid frame.
  15. Eric96-MI

    Eric96-MI New Member

    Jun 10, 2018
    SW Michigan
    Well here's my initial summary and thoughts on the Somerset. Coming from a highly engineered, and precision crafted SoCal Teardrop to a "mass produced" pop up took some getting used to. The fit & finish isn't nearly what it was on the SoCal, but I had prepared myself for that. Being an engineer, it sort of irritates me when you see things such as the door & lock mechanism drilled at a goofy angle. That simply means the guy building this didn't take the time to drill it properly. Looks like someone tried to turn a drill bit in to a hogging bit, and just make the notch bigger so the latch would open and close. There are lot's of little things like this. A small piece of trim on the slide out wasn't screwed in but for one place and has since come off. One of the rails for the beds was slightly bent. A 12V recept over one of the beds doesn't hold the goes in but won't "lock" in to place like the other ones do.

    So yeah pretty much what you'd expect, well not really given that Somerset's have a $20,000+ MSRP, but still relative to all of the other pop up's on the market I got what I expected.

    Looks are fantastic! Finding one with a higher ground clearance was a must, so this was the closest thing to fit the bill that I could find. The front storage rack holds our camping Pelican case with no issues. The Ramp situation is a bit jerry rigged on how the connect it, and doesn't allow you to really use it to bolt anythign to. Just two cotter pins is all that holds it in to place. I'm actually looking at getting a slide out deck tray for the front so that I don't have to take the Pelican on / off every time we set up camp. It does make for handy storage for the larger things I take camping, so I'm glad I ended up going that route.

    Exterior things such as the "aluminum diamond plate" are probably the thinnest gauge material they make and predominantly for looks vs. actual purpose. It's gotta be 1/32" or so if that. Pretty flimsey, and wishing it was a bit more rugged.

    Setup / Teardown is super simple. This was something that I was a little concerned about, but thus far we've had no issues what so ever. If I'm moving fast and in a hurry I could probably get the camper set up in 15 minutes. Tear down is the same, but I typically take my time and within a 45 - 1 hour I have it all set. Only complaint I have is that the door setup is awful. Cheap plastic sliders, and the door has to be damn near dead nuts perfect in order for the locks to line up and turn. Always a frustrating part of the process, but again I knew that this wasn't going to be a highly engineered & precise piece of camping gear! Make sure you understand that!

    Interior wise the beds are like sleeping on a piece of plywood. If you go this route you'll want to find yourself a nice 1-1/2" foam mattress topper. I suffered through the first week without and said enough of that. With the topper it's fantastic!

    Tons of space for the family! We've had 6 adults 2 kids in there with plenty of room between the beds, table, and bench. Love this about it.

    Fridge is way too tiny. Not sure what you're going to keep cold in there since it may hold a six pack of beer, some water, and a few other items. I'd like to see them offer something a little more useful.

    Haven't used the grill or cooktop yet since I cook mainly on an electric griddle for everything. Either that or we're hitting up local breweries and enjoying the native food and drinks.

    It hasn't been cold enough to know if the heater works, and doubt I'll ever use it since I love sleeping in cold weather, and the mrs. has a -20 rated Bag so no idea on how well it maintains heat. Same goes for the shower/toilet. haven't used either yet. Made the rule that there's no #2's allowed in the camper, and working on getting it set up to use for a late night bathroom location. Again though haven't used it yet so can't really say good or bad. It's a standard toilet though so pretty sure it's like every other one on the market.

    As far as service and support goes, one thing you'll find about most RV companies is that they really don't know very much about the systems they include. I had a few questions on the fridge and water heater, and the engineers at Columbia NW told me to call those manufacturers. They really weren't much help since most of the questions came from things they didn't manufacture or make. Same goes for the tires/wheels. They literally had no idea about the load rating and sizing of the tires, and what the maximum tire size could be. They didn't even know wheel offsets or bolt pattern diameter which was a little unnerving.

    My biggest issue is the RV Service side of things. With the nearest real dealer and service center about 3 hours away I have to hope and pray that some of the local big boys would be willing to help if/when there's something needed. I bought mine out of a small mom/pop dealer in Racine, and have nothing but good things to say about them. Super easy to buy and pick up so that was a bonus. They're just not set up to do major service work if it is ever needed. This is the biggest difference compared to my SoCal where I can talk directly to the guy that built it, and he knows every single thing about it, and can fix anything needed (or modify/add on if that's what you want as well).

    Lastly the thing tows great. No issues with my Tundra, and probably takes 1-1.5 MPG off when I'm towing. Doing a lot of treks up to Northern Michigan where I have to go up and down a lot of hills puts a hurting on the mileage, but bringing it back from Chicago along I-94 was super easy and MPG's didn't take a hit at all (relatively flat trip).

    All in all we couldn't be happier with the camper. I knew going in it wasn't going to be as nice of a fit/finish product as my SoCal. Still irks me when you see people taking short cuts on the manufacturing side, or just lazy. Purpose and usability wise it has delivered and that's the most important thing. The family loves it, I love it, it looks pretty sweet, and looking back if I had to do it all over again I'd probably find a Coleman or slightly older model that's pretty much exactly the same as this one.

    For the money I don't see why this would command more than double what a used one is selling for these days. You can save $5-8K by going used vs. new. I lucked out in that I simply traded my SoCal for a new E3. Hindsight 20/20 I'd have found a used one, made a few updates on my own, and been perfectly happy.

    Future upgrades are going to be:
    Slide Out Deck for my Pelican Case
    New Stereo & Speakers (stock ones are pretty much builder grade, and not much to get excited about)
    Possible mount for iPad for watching football games in the fall.....still researching options

    that's about it! It's a basic pop-up with a good look.

    Feel free to send me a few more questions if you'd like.

    RealDProperty and jnc like this.
  16. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2018
    Every new pop up, TT and RV I see these days look like they were built by drunken monkeys, on their bad day.
    Unless you're spending $50K and up, the build quality is horribly sloppy.
  17. RealDProperty

    RealDProperty New Member

    Jul 24, 2017
    Lake Orion, Michigan
    Thanks for the write up Eric96-MI!!!
    First off, where in MI are you and where did you purchase your E3? I'm about 30 miles North of Detroit.
    I've been looking for an E3 also and can't find any local dealers that have one. The closest E3 I found in stock is out in Maryland. I'm also considering a Flagstaff 23CSE (with toy hauler). The closest one I can find is in Iowa. I WILL NOT purchase anything from Camping World.
    Unfortunately, I can't find any used models. Ideally, I'd love to find a 2016+.

    After reading your write up, I'm not so sure I want to spend the extra money on the E3 versus the Flagstaff. It looks like about a $6,000 difference between the two. The Flagstaff has some nice features and a nice price but the E3 has a one-piece top, better lift system and smaller toilet area. The Flagstaff's toilet/shower area takes up a lot of space. The E3 has an extra sitting area that would be preferred over the toilet/shower that we will probably never use.

    The Flagstaff does come with racks mounted to the top for bikes or kayaks. It's nice to have but I'm a little nervous about it leaking in the future.
    I'm also an Engineer so I know your brain works with all the little imperfections!!!
  18. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

    Oct 15, 2006
    Graceville, Florida
    Hopefully it will hold up ok and give ya'll geed service once you do the mods to "make it your own. They all have their problems, we just need to either overlook them, or re-do what the manufactures did either wrong or not at all.
    Wishing ya'll many great adventures in the future with the new unit. Good Luck and Happy Camping

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