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Old 08-19-2005, 12:59 PM   #1
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In 2003 we bought a new Outback TT, 25 feet long. I loved it at the time and still do love it. But over the past two years I am a bit surprised at all the work it has required.

1.Most of the trim has come off on the inside, the staples just didn't hold, so I am constanlty using super glue to put it back on. It seems like every month a new piece comes off.

2. Then the material that make the enclosed undercarriage for easy towing came off while towing over the mountains. This had to be replaced and pop-riveted into place.

3. Then the salanoid (sp) where the main fuse is mounted on the front of the frame went bad and needed replacing.

4. Our hinge on the compartment above the bed broke off, and we hardly use that compartment.

5. The drawer below the pantry broke and I had to re-enforce it.

And other small issues along the way.

The amazing thing is that we have no kinds and only camp a few weeks out of the entire year so it's not like our TT gets hard usage, it mostly sits in the driveway.

I have to admit, as much as I like it, I am surprised that is hasn't held up well. I didn't think that lightweight automatically meant "cheap".

What are your experiances?
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Old 08-19-2005, 12:59 PM   #2
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In 2003 we bought a new Outback TT, 25 feet long. I loved it at the time and still do love it. But over the past two years I am a bit surprised at all the work it has required.

1.Most of the trim has come off on the inside, the staples just didn't hold, so I am constanlty using super glue to put it back on. It seems like every month a new piece comes off.

2. Then the material that make the enclosed undercarriage for easy towing came off while towing over the mountains. This had to be replaced and pop-riveted into place.

3. Then the salanoid (sp) where the main fuse is mounted on the front of the frame went bad and needed replacing.

4. Our hinge on the compartment above the bed broke off, and we hardly use that compartment.

5. The drawer below the pantry broke and I had to re-enforce it.

And other small issues along the way.

The amazing thing is that we have no kinds and only camp a few weeks out of the entire year so it's not like our TT gets hard usage, it mostly sits in the driveway.

I have to admit, as much as I like it, I am surprised that is hasn't held up well. I didn't think that lightweight automatically meant "cheap".

What are your experiances?
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Old 08-19-2005, 08:45 PM   #3
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Cheap is cheap, lightweight is lightweight, and some units happen to be both. Some brands are know for poor quality Outback I think is a Keystone product - usually known for OK quality. I had an 1986 Komfort 20' lite that lasted until 1998 - everything still worked when I traded it in. The last two yrs of ownership it started to leak. The unit was lite because of several things 1 it was only 6'9" wide and 8' tall. It did not have AC or an awning. The walls were wood 2 x 2 with alum siding and luan plywood with std batt insulation. The floor was a honeycomb of cardboard with alum skin on both sides and wires that were spot welded between them - hard to describe, but it is just like an airplane floor. Interior drawers etc were made of thin luan stapled together, drawers were plastic.

Today a lightweight TT has walls of fiberglass,styrofoam, and wallboard glued together with a frame of alum wrapped around it. One leak and it is toast. Styrofoam will not hold screws very well - so behind the curtins they stick a piece of sheet metal between the foam and wallboard to help hold the screws. The same thin plywood is used inside. All is OK as long as you take care of things and treat it with kid gloves. My 1999 Trail Lite was of this construction.

My new TT is an Arctic Fox - a heavyweight at almost 5000 lbs for a 24' TT. But it has solid 2x3 walls with 1/4" wallboard and fiberglass exterior. All the interior is 1/4" or better including the seats, bed and cupboards not to mention drawers. The insulation is rated R7 in the walls and R11 in the floor and ceiling. The unit simply feels solid.

I also looked at Komfort as they use alum framing instead of wood - but they did not have a floorplan I liked.

Lightweight is a realtive term esp at lengths above 20' I think that the new construction methods don't provide enough strength to hold everything together. I believe that a good alum framed TT with either alum or fiberglass siding is a good compromise between light weight and strength. Now if you had lots of money I will build you a TT out of composite material and use a titanium frame etc.
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Old 08-21-2005, 04:49 PM   #4
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I agree with Randy on everything he said.

I too once owned a "Super Lite Weight" Trail Lite Travel Trailer. My experiences were similar to Randy's. It looked nice when it was new. But it lacked in the areas that count for years of durability.

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Old 08-21-2005, 06:53 PM   #5
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I a Rockwood Ultralite for 3 years. I will say the materials were not as sturdy as a regular unit, but ours held up just fine, even with 4 kids. I would not say lite equates to cheap. Reading through all the posts here regarding quality issues, one will quickly realize any new trailer, even top of the line fulltime units, can have problems. Normally you hear pretty good things about KZ units, but any manufacturer can make one bad unit.
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Old 08-21-2005, 07:35 PM   #6
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...if you have ever seen one in a crash - you know the answer.....only thing that is left is the kitchen sink and the tow vehicle may be the frame and tires and that is about it....saw one in Alaska in the 70's and the people were just standing besides the road looking real lost with all their clothes blowing around in the wind......geofkaye
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Old 08-22-2005, 09:19 AM   #7
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Going to the big RV show in Jan. 05 to look at all the other hybrids side by side to compair the quality I would agree some lower priced units were built cheap. The Aero Lites were at the higher price points but I felt they were made better with far better tolerances and materials.
Owning a Aero-Lite Cub for 6 months and 45 nights of camping, I'm very happy with the "fit and finish". I have a few items that I noticed at our delivery date of the trailer and thru out the season that I had the dealer enter into their computer to have fixed in the fall after the season. (#1 top trim cover on one of the dinette seats has pulled up, #2 around the wheels there is a plastic trim piece that when installing them at the factory they tightened the screws down too much and some small cracks have started near the screws. #3 water pump sounds extra load) the only other issue is during delivery I noticed is an area on the outside wall of the trailer that appears to have been repaired. It is about 4 foot long "blemish" in the fiberglass that looks to been filled, sanded and repainted.
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Old 08-22-2005, 11:51 AM   #8
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I like my Trail Cruiser R-Vision product. It is a good value for the money. I don't have a half a million to spend on the big rig that I'd love to have; so for now, I can live with my choice.
I personally have had minimal problems/complaints about my product. After 18 months of use and about 5,000 miles on it-it is holding up superbly!
I personally take care of my TT and it takes care of me - so far anyway !
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Old 08-22-2005, 12:09 PM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by KAYERIVERCITY:
...if you have ever seen one in a crash - you know the answer.....only thing that is left is the kitchen sink and the tow vehicle may be the frame and tires and that is about it....saw one in Alaska in the 70's and the people were just standing besides the road looking real lost with all their clothes blowing around in the wind......geofkaye </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have seen mid and high quality trailers in accidents with the same end result. An accident at 70 MPH, it is not a question of workmanship, it is the laws of physics at work.
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Old 08-22-2005, 12:49 PM   #10
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Hey all,

I just upgraded from a pop-up to a lite TT about 6 months ago -- so far so good, no problems with workmanship. I'll keep you posted though.
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Old 08-24-2005, 10:29 PM   #11
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After reading the other posts on this topic, I stopped in at my local R-Vision dealer and looked at new Trail Lites and Trail Crusiers. I saw five units in all they were between 25 and 30ft long. With posted weights around 5000lbs and GVWR of 7500 lbs - not much carrying capacity. I noticed problem in all of the units ranging from being able to see day light through the lower cupboard doors indicating a hole to the outside world. Inside the upper cupboards there were random pieces of wall board stuck in the joint between the ceiling and the cupboard front. There were also exposed wires in the upper cupboard running to the stereo. The floors felt mushey and the unit wiggled when I walked in it. The cushions were thin and the beds had cushions, not a mattress. A mistake I will never make again. The same dealer also had some Salem TTs made at the Forrest River plant in Dallas Oregon. These were regular TTs with alum siding wood frame etc. The fit and finish was much better - though the designs were lacking in some areas. The worst I saw was a front bed unit with the fresh water tank under in so all the weight was on the tounge. Most units put this weight over the TT axles. The Salem units were either 19, 22 or 24' units. They all had 7500 lb GVRWs. and dry wts in the 4000 lb range.

Trail Lite is still cheap and light. Salem is better built and a little bit heavier. I still believe that the construction techniques used to make the units lite is only viable on small TTs not 25'+units and heaven forbid a slide.
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Old 09-24-2005, 06:43 PM   #12
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My 17' Cabana hybrid is very well made IMO. Real wood cabinets, not the wood-simulated contact paper. It's a solid little unit and I dare say, nearly as well built as our old 70's pop up. Pulls easily at only 3460 GVWR.

The only real flaw I'm noticing is with the overall balance of the trailer. There seems to be more weight on one side than the other. Water heater, fridge, microwave, sink-counter, and overhead cabinets on the doorside...furnace, battery, wardrobe, and toilet on the roadside (freshwater tank is there too, but stays empty when we tow).
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Old 09-24-2005, 07:29 PM   #13
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My signature lists my trailer. We are very happy with the fit & finish, as well as the floor plan and the way appliances and waste tanks are distributed evenly around the frame. We have upgraded a few things, but the trailer fits us nicely and tows wonderfully.
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Old 09-28-2005, 09:18 AM   #14
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We are the proud owners of a Trail-Lite 1998 Bantam B17 on which the axle/running gear has been replaced. The camber was beat out of it from many trips and especially a Saskatchewan highway we took as an alternative to the Trans-Canada. The hot water tank also has been replaced because of a faulty indication that the tank was empty during the winterization procedure. I also did some floor repairs this spring. Other than that, it is as we bought it. Trips: 1998, to the west coast, Yukon and Alaska. 1999 - to the east coast/Maritime provinces. 2000 - one-week and weekend camping. 2001 - to the west coast again. 2002 - weekend and one-week camping. 2003 - another west coast trip plus the US northwest (Oregon, Washington). 2004 - down east. 2005 - to the Kootenays in British Columbia. Conclusion: the B17 is well-built and tough and we won't be tradingit in any time soon.

johny_maple
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