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Old 02-22-2018, 06:19 PM   #1
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Are lights/ultra light campers lower quality?

The wife and I are looking for a bigger camper (around 30') and i will be pulling it with my trusty old 2000 f350 drw that is totally over kill especially pulling the 19' tt we have now.
Anyhow a friend told me to stay away from the light/ultra lights because to save the weight they make everything out of lighter and cheaper materials.
Is there any truth to this?

Pulling a heavier trailer does not matter to me. That truck gets 12.5 mpg empty and 12.1 mpg pulling a 15000 loaded flat bed.


I am just after the best camper I can get for around $15K.
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Old 02-22-2018, 06:34 PM   #2
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Are you familiar with the engineer's triangle?


Well the RV triangle is similar but the corners are Cheap, sturdy, and lightweight.
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Old 02-22-2018, 06:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
I am just after the best camper I can get for around $15K.
I "new" or "used" 30' RV in the $15k range?
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Old 02-22-2018, 06:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freqz View Post
Are you familiar with the engineer's triangle?


Well the RV triangle is similar but the corners are Cheap, sturdy, and lightweight.
No but being a photographer the one you listed is the same exact tripod triangle.

Difference being I know about photography. rv's, not so much
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Old 02-22-2018, 06:45 PM   #5
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I "new" or "used" 30' RV in the $15k range?
definitely used, sorry should have qualified that .
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Old 02-22-2018, 06:58 PM   #6
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If your looking for one of the more higher quality RV trailers (Arctic Fox, ORV, Lance) Maybe throw in Highland Ridge or Winnebago. Very few come on the used market. They tend to hold their used value more so than the cheap stuff. Those are your heavy / solidly built tt's.

My 28' ORV Timber Ridge ( new) was $35k, a similar sized "Light" RV trailer could have cost $16k to $28k. Was it worth the extra $10k. To me Yes...I wanted a tank...I bought a tank...Went from a 26' ( 4400 dry) tt to a 28'6" (6600 lbs. dry) tt. Who puts a true MorRyde 3000 suspension with Monroe gas shocks on trailers. Thermal Pane windows standard.

There are a lot of deals on the bottom of the heap cheap trailers 3-6 years old.
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:50 PM   #7
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Very happy with this unit.....after reinforcing the shelf and cupboard bottoms......also has a bunch of miles with 4 coast to coast trips
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Old 02-23-2018, 12:23 AM   #8
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There is also very little truth in advertising when it comes to RVs. Just because it says "ultra lite" does not mean it is actually lighter than the next trailer.

I would be more focused on what materials they used in the frame, floors and roof deck. Chipboard in the floor or roof would not impress. Every trailer gets wet at least once in it's life and that stuff turns to mush.
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Old 02-23-2018, 04:57 AM   #9
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Having just wandered through some 'Lite' and 'Ultralite' TTs at a small local show, found that there can be a world of difference vs a 'conventional' TT. That world is the dollar figure. Ultralight trailers can be pretty stark or very nicely equipped and as I said, the difference is the dollars you want to spend. Construction wise - really about the same thoughts. A new $15K TT will (may?) not be as well built as a $30K TT and for sure wont have much in the way of amenities.

For $15K you can buy an great many very nice several year old TTs. You just cannot get much travel trailer for $15K in a new one.
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:15 PM   #10
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Which is stronger, a tank or a Ferrari? Which would you rather drive?

Okay which is more durable, a Farrarri or an F -250?. They are made from the same materials. But most would say the F-250. Still when used as intended both do their job well.

Finally how about one of those old fiberglass fly rods or the new graphite composite?

The point is if you judge a TT buy weight you will go for the heaviest TT you can buy. If you need a light weight TT that is made from the same material and construction methods, it is reasonable to assume the lighter unit will be less durable. Less durable does not lower quality, it means that unless you want to pay for titanium frames and carbon fiber walls you have to use each as intended.

My 25 ft. "Lite" model does not allow me to walk on the roof, it probably would not do well off road, it certainly does not do well in sub-zero weather. However, I have towed it behind an F-150 for 30,000 miles over the last four years.

All TT have to match the anticipated needs of their owners.
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Old 02-24-2018, 09:22 AM   #11
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To the OP, would agree with your friend. They have to save weight somewhere. My folks had an ultra light and it was okay, but dinnette, etc. Had to be reinforced after just a couple years of use.

JMHO
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Old 02-25-2018, 05:57 PM   #12
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One of the easiest ways to make a trailer lighter is to use smaller I-beams. This will in turn allow more flexing. More flexing can lead to joints separating, which means leaks.
I was at an RV Show last weekend and while in a Lite model noticed that the counter on the island was only 3/4” thick. Anyone leaning on the corner could have snapped it off. It made me wonder where else they skimped to cut weight. Some of the Lite models I saw did look really nice inside, but I really question how durable they will be.
Beware of the phrase “half-ton towable.”
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Old 02-25-2018, 06:04 PM   #13
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I bought a trailer that weighed 7800 lb empty. It was wood framed 27 ft long fibreglass sides. A real pig to pull.
Took it to the auction and never looked back.

Bought a 30 ft aluminium frame fibreglass sides and roof.
Empty weight 5000 LB GVW 6495
Pulls like a dream.
It is built like most motor home chassis's.

Next time your at home DEPOT Pick up a 2X4 and a chunk of aluminium and compare!
I have had many aircraft that were strong for the bush but never made out of wood!
Don't get me wrong it is only as good as the construction methods used. If you are going to buy light don't buy cheap. I'm not sure how that fits into the triangle!
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:20 PM   #14
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We bought a light weight 2017 Heartland North Trail. Dry weight before all the additions of the Calibur Edition was 5700. It has held up very well for us. We've talked to several other North Trail owners and they have all been pleased with their purchase. Our has a walkable roof. A camper currently 2 sites down from us is in a 5th W Keystone Cougar. He told us that his first TT was a North Trail. He is on his 3rd TT/5thW and he said the North Trail was the sturdiest built of any of the 3 that he has owned.

We've been very pleased with our "light weight" unit.
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