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Old 02-19-2012, 10:39 AM   #1
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Question Picking the "right" Travel Trailer can be hard


With all the different brands out there, it takes awhile to research and decide which RV/TT will best suit our needs! We've been looking for well over a year, and finally narrowed it down to our 'most desired', considering length, weights, quality, price, floorplans, etc. We are mid 60's, retired, and ready to travel, sometimes for few days, sometimes for a month, for our camping enjoyment. We are basically healthy, but realize we might want to add the Electric Hitch/Jacks. Most of our "fun days" have been in State parks, and family owned campgrounds. We started 17 years ago, camping in 2 different pop ups, 24 ft. TT, then went to a 36' Class A (Winnebago), and now we are considering going backwards -- to around 28-30 ft. range TT----Mainly because of our 2011 RAM 1500, Hemi, 5.6, with the tow package. With data that we have looked up, our max weight for the truck would have to be somewhere under 8,700 lbs. Also, we do not carry very much (we weighed it!), and most likely would never hit the "cargo weights" that some of these TT's are putting on their yellow stickers. Most weight is added once we are "parked" and set up.

Would like to hear other's comments on these units, if possible....
2012 Crossroads Sunset Trail Reserve 29RL, 2012 Keystone Cougar xLite 30RLS, and 2012 Coachmen Freedom Express 296REDS or the 297RLDS.

With so many brands these days, it's hard to know where the quality is, even though they "look" great, and their specs/standards/options are basically the same.

Any opinions or thoughts on these? Always good to hear from others, besides the "salesmen"!!

Enjoy this forum.........very interesting topics and we learn from others!
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:11 AM   #2
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I'll tell you why we chose the one we did. We also looked hard for over a year.
Electric tongue jack and stabilizers
Powder coated frame
Torsion axles - lowers frame and center of gravity, reduces overall height
Heated underbelly
Heat blankets on water tanks
2 30 lb propane tanks
20 foot awning covers both doors
Ladder
Full walk on roof
29 feet long
Screwed and glued cabinets
Hardwood doors
Walk around "real" queen bed w/ Sealy mattress
Usable counter space
Smooth exterior
Power awning
It is being built right down the road from us in Oregon


We decided that we did not want
A TT over 30 feet long
A TT that is almost as tall as a fiver
Slide out on curb side
The foot of the bed against a wall
A small television 12 to 15 feet away
To have to use a little flip up counter extension or the table for prep
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IWillRVToo
I'll tell you why we chose the one we did. We also looked hard for over a year.
Electric tongue jack and stabilizers
Powder coated frame
Torsion axles - lowers frame and center of gravity, reduces overall height
Heated underbelly
Heat blankets on water tanks
2 30 lb propane tanks
20 foot awning covers both doors
Ladder
Full walk on roof
29 feet long
Screwed and glued cabinets
Hardwood doors
Walk around "real" queen bed w/ Sealy mattress
Usable counter space
Smooth exterior
Power awning
It is being built right down the road from us in Oregon

We decided that we did not want
A TT over 30 feet long
A TT that is almost as tall as a fiver
Slide out on curb side
The foot of the bed against a wall
A small television 12 to 15 feet away
To have to use a little flip up counter extension or the table for prep
What was the TT, name ?
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:30 AM   #4
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:46 AM   #5
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Electric stabilizers? Naw! get yourself a cordless drill motor and use that to screw the stabilizers down. Much cheaper to have one multi-tasker tool than two very expensive uni-taskers IMHO.
As for your choice of trailers, all of them are considered light weights for a reason.
The "yellow" sticker you are referring to is as I understand the weight as the unit left the factory. It is unreliable, as you will never get close to that number once you add batteries, propane, food, clothes, bedding,etc,etc,etc. I would suggest you first do two things. Load your truck up like you are going camping and get to the scales. Second, get the trucks GCWR and subtract one from the other. You might be really surprised at how little actual capacity you have left over. Lastly, please reply back with your findings and the trailers GVWR numbers.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:38 PM   #6
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"...get yourself a cordless drill motor and use that to screw the stabilizers down..."
Been there done that. We are moving from a pop up to the TT to be spoiled and have faster and easier setup. Or, no setup at all for a park and sleep stop.

"...two very expensive uni-taskers..."
2? What do you mean? 2 stabs? There are 4.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:52 PM   #7
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Electric stabilizers? Naw! get yourself a cordless drill motor and use that to screw the stabilizers down. Much cheaper to have one multi-tasker tool than two very expensive uni-taskers IMHO.
As for your choice of trailers, all of them are considered light weights for a reason.
The "yellow" sticker you are referring to is as I understand the weight as the unit left the factory. It is unreliable, as you will never get close to that number once you add batteries, propane, food, clothes, bedding,etc,etc,etc. I would suggest you first do two things. Load your truck up like you are going camping and get to the scales. Second, get the trucks GCWR and subtract one from the other. You might be really surprised at how little actual capacity you have left over. Lastly, please reply back with your findings and the trailers GVWR numbers.
We've found the weights fluctuate with every one of the "most desired" ones, when we go see them at different dealerships or RV SHOWS, and are different too, than the brochures. We do know we don't want to max out the weights and put our truck under excess pressures. With the yellow stickers that is everything that particular TT is equipped with, minus the cargo, before it leaves the factory......or so we've been told.

Example: Coachmen FE Liberty Edition 296REDS, is: dry wt. 7074 lbs., hitch wt. 667 lbs., cargo 2784 lbs., and GVWR of 9858 lbs. Knowing that we will not carry that much cargo, it would put it within our 8700 range. (We actually weighed our belongings plus ourselves and were close to 1,000 lbs.---this would be what we'd be traveling with on the road, not loaded with groceries or full tanks, of course....only travel with about a gal of water, just enough if we have to use the potty, and no restroom around....which is rare.

Appreciate all that are responding.....never hurts to get other's input.
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Old 02-19-2012, 06:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by IWillRVToo View Post
I'll tell you why we chose the one we did. We also looked hard for over a year.
Electric tongue jack and stabilizers
Powder coated frame
Torsion axles - lowers frame and center of gravity, reduces overall height
Heated underbelly
Heat blankets on water tanks
2 30 lb propane tanks
20 foot awning covers both doors
Ladder
Full walk on roof
29 feet long
Screwed and glued cabinets
Hardwood doors
Walk around "real" queen bed w/ Sealy mattress
Usable counter space
Smooth exterior
Power awning
It is being built right down the road from us in Oregon


We decided that we did not want
A TT over 30 feet long
A TT that is almost as tall as a fiver
Slide out on curb side
The foot of the bed against a wall
A small television 12 to 15 feet away
To have to use a little flip up counter extension or the table for prep
Thanks....that is very close to all the things we are looking for, in a TT. So, it seems we are on the right track, at least with living arrangements, inside and outside, too. As you would guess we are spending a little more time on the "weight" issues, because I know some dealers will "hoodwink" buyers with encouraging them to tow more than they should. So, dealers here in Florida are pretty honest, and will not try to sell you just "anything", and first thing they ask is what kind of truck you have, etc.....or what is our "desirable" weight that we are looking for. OR, could be we've already told them, we've had 2 pop ups, and a smaller TT, so they will know after that answer, that they won't be able to sell us "just anything". Anyone familiar or have one of the TT's with the "molded fiberglass caps" (front), that wrap around the edges, in front? Be interested to see what other people have heard or if they are better than the regular aerodynamic fronts?
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:13 PM   #9
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I doubt that any newer TT has ever been in a wind tunnel, although it could be a big selling point. The rigs with the front caps LOOK like they would be more efficient but I've never read anything about an advantage.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:31 PM   #10
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I don't know what you consider the most important factor in your decision.

My thought would be to pick the one that has the best layout and your wife likes the most and go with that one.

Yes, the other points are important but layout means more than all of the others put together.

Just my humble opinion.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:46 PM   #11
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+1 on the layout. The right floorplan makes all the difference.
We got a Puma 26rlss because of the rear lounge seats and walk around queen bed.
Good luck.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:52 AM   #12
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And for goodness sake , make sure it has a GOOD Roof !!!!
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:26 PM   #13
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taking your time looking is a big benefit for choosing a new TT. You have to ask yourself what kind of camping am I going to do what are my likes and dislikes. then comes the construction features and what have I got to tow this beast with, will my truck do OK towing this unit. many get over excited on one type of unit and can not see the right unit is parked right next to it. I always felt that if the unit didn't reach out for me and grab me, then it is not the unit for me.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:58 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by kasha 10 View Post
2012 Keystone Cougar xLite 30RLS,
One of Keystone's medium-priced trailers. So it's not an "economy" or a "starter" brand. One excellent thing about it is the tires = ST225/75R15D. Most RV trailers have barely adequate tire weight capacity for their GVWR, so the first thing I do with a new RV trailer is replace the tires (which usually requires changing to wider wheels). But those tires are rated for over 10,000 pounds gross trailer weight, much more than the 8,200 GVWR of the 30RLS. So I wouldn't expect any tire problems with those tires.

I have an MBA from a good school, so I'm more more sensitive about marketing flaws than most. But why in the world would Keystone make radial tires a "mandatory option"? Is that to bring it to your attention that your trailer has radial tires instead of the usual bias-ply trailer tires?
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