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Old 12-19-2015, 08:34 AM   #1
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Down to 2 - thoughts?

In the new camper saga, we are down to two (I hope!); both are Coachmen Freedom Express models. I have linked them below. I would appreciate thoughts, experiences, advice. My TV is a Silverado 1500 crew cab, 5.3L, 4WD, with the Z71 package.

I am a middle school science teacher, so there is probably no way you could hurt my feelings! I look forward to reading and discussing your responses.

231RBDS
Coachmen RV - Manufacturer of Travel Trailers - Fifth Wheels - Tent Campers - Motorhomes

248RBS
Coachmen RV - Manufacturer of Travel Trailers - Fifth Wheels - Tent Campers - Motorhomes
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Old 12-19-2015, 09:05 AM   #2
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Where do you sit in the 231? The 248 has a couch that may make up into another bed and additionally, seems to have more 'living' space (longer? I didn't look at the specs). Then, that 1/2 ton pick up - you have to ensure that it can haul whatever trailer you purchase as, I believe, a Z71 only denotes an off road package. You need to at least consider suspension, transmission cooling, sway bars and brakes in the equation.

A question since we moved on from a bumper pull to a 5er - a front bed jst seems 'wrong' after having a couple. Our last TT as well as 3 back were a rear bed, center bath, front LR with kitchen and to me worked very well.
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Old 12-19-2015, 02:51 PM   #3
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Our TT has a front bed and no couch. We have managed to thoroughly enjoy camping. Pick one you can safely tow and have a great time.

X2 on the no hurt feelings. I teach at a community college.
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Old 12-19-2015, 02:59 PM   #4
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I think you should check the weights on your truck very carefully. At first glance it appears the truck will be overloaded.

The weights to check are GCWR, GVWR and GAWR.

Load the truck up as you will travel with it and get the weights. Full fuel, tools, bikes, firewood, passenger, etc. Then do the math.
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Old 12-19-2015, 09:24 PM   #5
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I have a Coachman 249RBS. I like that I can close the door on the bedroom. Also the couch is nice when people visit. Depends on your family and how you will use it. Your truck should pull either one fine as long as you don't overload.
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Old 12-20-2015, 01:22 AM   #6
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I have the 292BHDS. One thing I will say about the dinette is that it is very uncomfortable to sleep on. The cushions move around and you wake with your hip directly on the table. Needs something to keep the cushions together or a topper. I'm thinking of trying a rug liner under the cushions to see if that keeps them in place.
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Old 12-20-2015, 03:20 AM   #7
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My preference is based on if your truck is adequate for towing either of these trailers...
I prefer the 248 model- it "feels" a little more like 'home' to me...It gives you a place to sit besides the dinette. It is also suggested by many that you should not have a TV in the bedroom-which would default to the 248 model. (We have decided NOT to have a TV in the bedroom for the first time with our RV remodel)

Good Luck making a decision that fits you and the others involved..and Happy Camping!
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Old 12-20-2015, 09:29 AM   #8
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I would take the 231 over the 248. Absolutely zero counter space in the 248. How would you cook anything. I realize not everyone cooks inside a lot, but even making a sandwich would be a chore in the 248.
Also is te sofa comfortable? If not then you're stuck. It's a built in version so you can go to your local furniture store and get a replacement. I would sit in it for 30 mins and see if you like it. Most all RV furniture in lower cost RV's is mediocre at best.
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:47 PM   #9
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I don't care for either one of them.
I suppose that's why I went with the Catalina 25RKS.
Less fluff, but a better built camper in my opinion, and better to tow with a half ton (look at the Catalina 233DS).

248RBS - good bathroom (I have that shower and like it), but bad location for entertainment center.
231RDBS - not much of anything to like here. Not a fan of revolving televisions.

Don't like 'U' shaped dinettes at all. They are pure torture for an adult. Much better to have a table and four chairs.
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Old 12-21-2015, 01:41 AM   #10
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I had the same truck. I think you'll be in the market for a 3/4 ton truck soon.
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Old 12-28-2015, 10:30 AM   #11
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I'm getting ready to buy a Catalina 243RBS. We are downsizing in overall length but going up in weight! Makes me so glad I bought the 3/4ton Yukon even when I didn't need a 3/4ton.

Look at the 243RBS...we absolutely love it! It has tons of space when the slide-out is open.
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:46 PM   #12
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Any time you start looking at so called Ultra Lite trailers you really need to do an extensive inspection. Most have lower R values, smaller appliances and holding tanks. Also some are at their limit on axle/tire weights. Also look at the frame and suspension. See if they have adequate bracing and are using thick enough frame parts.
Most furniture will be barely adequate comfort wise too. You basically get what you pay for.
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Old 12-29-2015, 08:45 AM   #13
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It is also suggested by many that you should not have a TV in the bedroom
What? I've never heard this. I think your use of "many" may be more limited than you think. I read on here and other RV boards a lot and your post is the first I've ever heard of people purposely avoiding a TV in the bedroom. I love the center TV console that spins around to be able to watch in the bedroom.

While I will agree that it's not AS comfortable to hang out on the U-shaped dinette as it is on the hide-a-bed sofa (but this model only has the jack-knife kind), my husband and I do it all the time. We sit and play games there, read on our ipads there, watch TV from there. There is nothing wrong with hanging out at the dinette. I've even laid down on the long side and napped there with the table still up! On my current list of mods is to create an extra board and cushion (hoping to get FR to sell me a spare cushion in the matching upholstery) that will let me turn my u-shaped dinette into a lounge when the table is stored away under the bed. It would double the width of the section behind the table.

To the OP, you really need to get your payload for the Z71. Add up all people and stuff that will be inside the truck, add the weight of the WDH, then add the weight of the tongue of the fully wet and loaded TT. Dry weights listed on site are not useful. If you want to know if your truck can handle the tongue weight of the maxed out TT, take 12% of the GVWR of the TT. If your truck payload can handle that, plus people and stuff, plus hitch, then you're on the right track.
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Old 12-29-2015, 09:45 PM   #14
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When I researched my truck I found the Z71 package actually lowered the tow rating for Gm products. The 5.3 engine can haul a lot of trailer but I opted for the GMC 6.2 litre engine. In a 1500 truck it can tow 12000lbs. The 5.3 is not far behind but the towing package gives all the goodies that make towing fun
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