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Old 07-06-2009, 04:13 PM   #1
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Smile First RV purchase, Any Suggestions?

We are a family of 4 who are tired of renting cabins and have decided to purchase our 1st. travel trailer. I know that we need an RV that sleeps 6 but we don't want anything longer than 25or26 ft. I've seen so many after researching online but I am not familiar with the different brands and hoped to get some suggestions. Can anyone give me any suggestions about purchasing a new rv? ( good brands, bad brands , what to look for, questions to ask dealers) I already know about tow weight, we have an Expedition XL so 5th.wheeler is out of the question.

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Old 07-06-2009, 05:05 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. Some one with more knowledge than I have will pop in and have a lot of suggestions for you
You might consider a Trail Manor. It's a low profile that raises and both ends extend. I had a pop up years ago that was great.
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:25 PM   #3
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Storage either in the front or back and side of the trailer look for ones with slide outs that will help equal out the trailer when set up example: one side haveing two slides and one having at least one large slide. check to see how big the grey,black and fresh tanks are..with 4 people you need a little extra if you plan to dry camp.
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:42 PM   #4
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You might want to look at a hybrid trailer. You get the most bang for your buck. Most hybrids will have a front and rear queen bed, along with a couch that folds out to a bed. Our couch is called a "jack-knife" couch because all you do is pull the back of the couch forward and it flips into a full bed. Now one of the layouts I would think you might like would have a hard sided queen bed slide-out out the rear, and 2 bunks up front. One model had a couch-slide the other didn't. With 4 - 6 people I would really look at a floorplan with a slide-out. It really opens up the aisleway. Our Aerolite Cub hybrid is a 8' wide trailer and is 24'. The dry weight is 3800, wet I would say I'm running 4600. With the small slide-out for the couch it really opens up the space. The Aerolite's really didn't have that floorplan I mentioned. Take a look at the 21 KS and 21 QS floorplans. Neither one had a slide-out, but both are 25' and weigh 4300 dry. I'm trying to think who made that floorplan. The Aerolite Cub is the hybrid, and the Aerolite is the regular lightweight trailer.
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:49 PM   #5
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For a 1st time RV, I'd consider a nice used trailer, 3 to 5 years old to give a try. The depreciation on a new trailer is really bad. Buying a used trailer will let you buy a little higher end trailer for a lot less $$$$. Then when you go to sell in a few years, you won't get hit so hard.

Good brands to look at are Jayco and Arctic Fox.

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Old 07-06-2009, 08:35 PM   #6
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Check out Trailmanor.

We had one and loved it (3124KS). Rigid walls but collapsible from 31 feet to 24 feet in minutes. They are pricey but the construction quality seems excellent (though the finish is just OK). Pulled easily with an SUV.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:12 AM   #7
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Thanks for all these replies , you all have given me some much needed advise and this website is a gem of information in itself. I look forward to more replies. Our family is getting more excited by the day to become new rv owners.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:52 AM   #8
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Good brands to look at are Jayco and Arctic Fox.


I can second what Ken said about Jayco. Look for a 3-5 year old unit that's in good shape. That way you are not taking the depreciation hit. Jayco is very interested in always doing the right thing for their owners. They are one of the very best in customer service and will go the extra mile for you even if your unit is out of warrenty. No, I do not work for them. I am just a two time Jayco owner and they always have gone beyond the gold standard in customer satisfaction.
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Old 07-08-2009, 01:09 PM   #9
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Personally I would NEVER buy a new RV as a first timer. Buy used and figure out exactly what you want/need/like/dislike in an RV. What is your budget for the trailer and all of the stuff necessary to actually get out of the driveway? For your SUV I depending on motor would not consider anything much over 22 feet in length. Just too much trailer for the SUV.
Lots of questions not enough answers yet.
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:14 PM   #10
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maybe the Outback by Keystone, check on ebay, there a few being auctioned.
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Old 06-24-2010, 03:32 PM   #11
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Family of 4... How long will your family be staying in the trailer? How often?
Get the biggest baddest thing you can afford. Don't waste thousands or even 10's of thousands trading out and trading out and trading out. Solid sides, slide outs a must, even 1 1/2 baths for your family (another must). We have 1 1/2 baths.. Whew!!! a life saver. The restricting thing you have is an Expedition is not going to handle much for what you'll wished you had. We live full-time in a 42 footer, 1 1/2 baths. Our previous MH a 1 bath and 38 footer was just too small. We have opposing front slides and one rear slide. The opposing slides really add space.

Oh... You'll need a BIG refrig and maybe an another smaller outdoor unit. Power? 30 amps can handle most stuff, but 50 will ensure it. Generators? 5k to 8k watts. Those air conditioners each up power. Propane? depending upon the climate.. You may go through lots of propane for the furnace or be using up electric and propane.

I guess don't forget about basic living day after day. Many people end up buying the floor plan that fits their needs. I really feel it's the Tow vehicle that's going to limit what you can get. I'm not sure what the Expedition can handle especially on hills or mountains? Expedition XL: Towing up to 9,200 pounds when properly equipped.

Maybe... and Maybe it'll handle it once or twice.. But dependable for many trips? So you're realistically, in the fully loaded 7-8k range. An empty TT of 5k -6k lbs is what you'll need. 18 ft to 24ft

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Old 07-01-2010, 05:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by sassyshay_99 View Post
We are a family of 4 who are tired of renting cabins and have decided to purchase our 1st. travel trailer. I know that we need an RV that sleeps 6 but we don't want anything longer than 25or26 ft. I've seen so many after researching online but I am not familiar with the different brands and hoped to get some suggestions. Can anyone give me any suggestions about purchasing a new rv? ( good brands, bad brands , what to look for, questions to ask dealers) I already know about tow weight, we have an Expedition XL so 5th.wheeler is out of the question.
We are in the same boat. Looking for a used TT (1/2 ton towable) with bunks for 3 small kids. We have found some really good floorplans that are affordable but so far the Jay Flights have the edge on quality, convienience, price and, if new, warrenty. We spent 2 days this week at 6 or 7 different dealers walking about 50 different trailers. We learned A LOT! Especially identifying the affordable NEW models that we do NOT want. A few dealers wanted to push us the New Affordable TT route ("beds never slept in", "nobody else ever been in it", "only $13,500") It quicky became apparent that these models were so poorly constructed and of very weak materials, that I honestly dont think some of them would survive even 1 camping trip. I'm not saying the Jayco Flight was the Best/Most 100% solid built TT that we toured, but all things considered it is definitely up there on our list. I'm hoping that we can locate aprivate party sale of a 26BH or 28BHS a few years old in good shape. Most of the used stock at the dealers was priced up to near new cost or in bad shape. My brother bought an 07 Feather 26 or 27? and loves it. His only complaints are that he would prefer the manual awning and wishes the slide had a canopy to keep out debris. Good luck in your search.
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Old 07-02-2010, 02:36 AM   #13
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I think that most of here can relate to your situation. I bought used because it was all I could afford at first. It also gave our growing family time to figure out exactly what we wanted while still enjoying camping. Since then I have owned only new rigs - but have kept them long enough to get my moneys worth. Right now I see that you have a nice SUV that could probably handle up to 6000 lbs easy. There are lots of nice units out there that fit this bill. As far as floorplans, you will have to decide what will work best for you - to do this spent some time in each RV - lay on the beds, sit on the chairs, sofas, etc - even try out the bathroom - can you sit on the head without your knees hitting the wall?? can you fit in the shower? There is no point of having these items if you can't use them. For kids I highly recommend bunks they provide each child with a place they can call their own. You will also find as they grow older they will want to sleep in tents. As for build quality, I find it is something you can feel - you can also look for it by looking closely behind the scenes - like inside the cabinets, esp the ones on the floor. I have seen daylight through some of them. Some brand names that have been around a long time and have a fairly good build quality include Jayco, Keystone,and Coachman - there are probably others but these come quickly to mind as being quality brands with wide distribution. the subject of slides will come up - they do add room-buy are one more thing to go wrong with the rig. When looking a slide units, make sure that access to key spaces - ie bathroom and kitchen are not blocked when it is in. I spent almost two years looking at RVs on line before getting my current rig - by now I had a real good idea of what I wanted - the problem was finding it. Once I found the floorplan I visited the dealer and the rest is history.
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:58 AM   #14
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We just completed our search, the top contenders were Airstream, cost way too much, Artic Fox, no dealer within 1300miles and EVERGREEN. The latter won due to
NO WOOD IN THE CONDTRUCTION none, not even plywood on walls nor in floor nor roof. Wood cabinets only! They are built like high end boats using vacuum baggeing. Really neat. See thier videos on the web.


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