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Old 07-18-2014, 10:11 PM   #1
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Dynamax Trilogy or Lifestyle?

Thinking about trading in our 2011 Brookstone 367RL. Any thoughts on the Trilogy or Lifestyle units? Main thing we want is more room to move around a King bed, night stands, or at least a ledge on at least one side of the bed, individual slide controls in the unit. Or at least ability to still access the sink and fridge when slides are in. Also, any thoughts on front lounge floorplans?
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Old 07-19-2014, 07:05 AM   #2
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First off I don't like the front living floor plans. Since the living area is where we spend most off our time, I prefer the higher ceiling that the fifth wheel offers which is lost in the front area.
I have looked at the Trilogy since its introduction. Its a very sharp looking rig with the curved walls. The fiberglass roof was a nice addition, however, it is no longer offered. There are some things about it that I thought were nice but not enough to make me buy one. Pricing is easily obtained in the lower $70's. Don't overpay like many do on many brands.
Trilogy is built on an I-beam frame like the majority of fivers. Originally, a rear ladder was not offered and there was no disc brake option. Both have been made available now.
I had a 2011 Carriage Cameo and loved the quality of the build and the especially the fact that it had an in-house built box frame. We traded it in on a 2014 Lifestyle LS36fw that we ordered to our specs including the disc brakes. We love it.
The Lifestyle is pretty much a direct carry over of the former Carriage line with improvements. It is still on a in-house built box frame.
The bedrooms are not the largest but many plans offer very large dresser and a night stand at least on one side of the bed.
Ours has a full width front close PLUS the hall closet which accommodates a side/side washer dryer.
Evaluate your needs, look closely at quality, and review warranty then make your choice. Good luck. Phillip
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Old 07-19-2014, 08:22 AM   #3
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Personally, I wouldn't put the quality of a Trilogy at the same level as the Lifestyle. Frame being one of the big differences. However, I've not owned or priced out either one. So it may be that the price point on the two models reflects the difference. I would expect the Trilogy to cost significantly less and that may be what your looking for. If not, I would definitely lean towards the lifestyle of the two. Good Luck
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Old 07-19-2014, 10:40 AM   #4
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We had a Carriage several years ago that we loved. Quality was wonderful. Will look more closely at the Lifestyle at the California RV Show this fall what about Grand Design? They make the Solitude. I agree about the ceiling height with a front living area. We are tall people...so we'll need to test that out
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:06 AM   #5
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There has been a major changes in the Trilogy for current units. Gone is the fiberglass roof, gone is the rounded interior, gone is the inboard tank (positive). There are more but these are the major changes. They look basically like any mass produced unit now. The previous units had no insulation in the front cap. Don't know if this is still true on new units. Only negative on Lifestyle I know of is no wide body offered.
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Old 07-19-2014, 06:13 PM   #6
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I know I'm going to get shot for this
We were in the exact same position last year when we were thinking of trading in our 2008 Royals International. We learned to live with so many problems that we thought it was normal, like slideouts not closing properly on the top, slide motors failing, flexing in the "neck", kitchen slide marring the floor, water entering somewhere and exiting in the generator compartment, crack in the rear cap, underbelly coming loose and more.
The real problem is which salesman do you believe when you ask specific questions.
We looked at the Lifestyle, DRV, Excel and Trilogy. True, the Trilogy sits on an I-Beam but it's a 10.8# 12". The Lifestyle we looked at was nice but only measured 96" wide and I am 6'4" tall so a good ceiling height was very important to me and the Lifestyle did not have that (neither did the Royals). They also claim to have superior insulation, but how much R-Value can you really achieve in these skinny walls. The specific Lifestyle we looked at had definitely insulation missing in some sections of one sidewall (I could feel it by moving my hand over it) and everything we wanted was an option.
The DRV was very nice, but had a few minor things we didn't particular like but it was finally the price which turned us off.
The Excel, we looked at the Limited and the Winslow, were probably the ones we liked the most. I couldn't find anything I didn't like, especially the insulation but wooden sidewalls bring back some unpleasant memories (not saying there would be any issues with the Excel)
We finally decided on the Trilogy because mainly because of the price difference compared to the Excel.
We were able to work with the dealer and ordered the unit exactly the way we wanted incl. axles, suspension, brakes, additional vent fan in bedroom and more and we love it. We do not feel a noticeable difference in insulation compared to the Royals and we only spent a few nights in below freezing temperatures (mid teens) with the furnace set to 60 deg. but a 300 Watt heater kept us nice and warm during the night. I do not see the I-Beam being an issue either and so far the only breakdown we had was one 15 Amp fuse that blew when I retracted both awnings simultaneously . Customer Service at Dynamax seems to be very responsive, I had one hypothetical question which I received a reply to within minutes.
I don't doubt that the Excel has better insulation, but this works for us.
Dynamax did make some changes on the 2015 Trilogy that they hopefully will not regret: no more fiberglass roof, straight sidewalls, no under mount LPG tank and a number of things that used to be included in the standard configuration but are an option now.
I apologize for this lengthy and maybe opinionated review.
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:47 PM   #7
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Cypressloser, great write-up. I felt your post was just you being honest about your experience and your reasons for your choice. Being candid and honest is what we all want here. You didn't bash another brand, anyone or anything else. You simply offered your opinion based on your experience. Great post. Thanks! Phillip
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:20 PM   #8
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jdpm, thank you for the kind words.
Trust me, it was not an easy decision going from a Royals to a little known brand and only very few years of experience building 5th wheels. We second guessed our decision more than once after placing the order but after owning the Trilogy for four months now we are happy to have made the switch.
I guess deciding on the right RV is very personal and not everyones taste is the same.
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:28 PM   #9
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I am surprised you went from a Royals International to a Trilogy. Not critical, it is your money. We would not, as long as we stay full time, go from our Teton to a Trilogy or any mass produced unit. I do agree that there is no problem with the weight of the chassis on the Trilogy unless they changed it too this year.
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:24 AM   #10
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We did not get the build quality and service we paid for in the Royals and then were completely left alone with all these little issues (even one of the front jacks was bent) that should have been taken care of under warranty. Carriage bragged about their 2 year bumper to bumper and 7 year structural warranty (if I remember correctly) and all they ever paid for was for new decals for the front of the trailer. The dealer and I fought tooth and nail to get issues resolved and spent countless time on the phone with 'was it Roger?' the Warranty manager at Carriage until it's final demise.
This is probably the main reason we didn't buy from a 'High End' reputable builder this time and I don't give a rats a.. for warranty promises anymore. We are not disappointed with our decision and as I said in my previous post buying an RV is so very personal.
I agree, a boxed frame is more rigid than an I-Beam but then what explains the flex in the neck when hooking and unhooking and there are these folks who say "how can you buy a trailer with all Lippert components" but they forget to mention that their own RV rides on under sized Lippert axles which have a reputation.
Dynamax started building 5th wheel trailers in late 2011 as far as I know and ours is SN: 0439 with Jan. 2014 as a build date, it is by no means a mass produced trailer and the Teton, Space Craft and Continental Coach are in a league we can only dream of.
I apologize when I was a little bit harsh in choosing my words, I get easily carried away , and I truly hope nobody feels offended in any way.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:03 PM   #11
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No way I'm offended. I asked for it. I have never personally toured a Royals International but everything I have read about them is top notch. When searching for our current unit I would have considered a Royals if I had found one. We were very fortunate to find the deal we found on our Teton. I am a working man and will not spend 200,000+ for my "home". We only paid 30,000 for ours and it is in excellent condition.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:12 PM   #12
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On the Trilogy I do believe they have gone down in Luxury department. When we first looked at them, 2 years ago, we were impressed. I am not easily impressed. Chassis was adequate, not the cheap thin steel on others. We were turned off due to lack of insulation after talking to factory rep (Mike). Front cap void of any. did not like the swing out pantry in the larger unit. Did not like the inboard propane tank. Did not like the w/d location. It was a beautiful well put together unit. The rounded rooms were nice. fiberglass roof big plus. Loaded with what is optional on others as standard. Most all this is gone now.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:03 PM   #13
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No way I'm offended. I asked for it. I have never personally toured a Royals International but everything I have read about them is top notch. When searching for our current unit I would have considered a Royals if I had found one. We were very fortunate to find the deal we found on our Teton. I am a working man and will not spend 200,000+ for my "home". We only paid 30,000 for ours and it is in excellent condition.
We didn't overpay for the Royals either, the dealer had it sitting in their lot for a year and couldn't move it due to the ailing economy.
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:39 PM   #14
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On the Trilogy I do believe they have gone down in Luxury department. When we first looked at them, 2 years ago, we were impressed. I am not easily impressed. Chassis was adequate, not the cheap thin steel on others. We were turned off due to lack of insulation after talking to factory rep (Mike). Front cap void of any. did not like the swing out pantry in the larger unit. Did not like the inboard propane tank. Did not like the w/d location. It was a beautiful well put together unit. The rounded rooms were nice. fiberglass roof big plus. Loaded with what is optional on others as standard. Most all this is gone now.
There is insulation in the front cap, but I don't know how much and if there is any behind the shoe shelf due to the lack of space. In the Royals we had the so called 'Arizona Room" (4 skylights in the diningroom slide) which really heated up the interior, living in an RV is always a compromise. I agree with you on the w/d location in the closet but where else would they put it in this floorplan and we are lucky not to have to do our laundry over night, I can totally understand where this doesn't work for some people.
We to thought the under mount propane tank would be a problem but the compartment for the spare tank is big enough for a 40 pounder, that and 85/90# under the belly gives us bragging rights.
The pantry style on the 3800/3850 was changed for 2014 to the same they install in the 3600/3650 only double wide, they did learn a few things.
I truly hope that the changes Dynamax introduced for the 2015 models will not backfire but like any other business they have to turn a profit somehow. If given the choice between a 2015 Trilogy and a 2015 Excel LTD., I would probably go with the Excel.
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