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Old 10-11-2013, 06:50 PM   #1
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Quality trailers?

My wife and I are currently looking into purchasing a TT. We have two small children ages 3 and 7. We went to the dealership with the intent on buying a deer lease trailer but found ourselves looking at the new ones. We determined that we would like to purchase a new trailer 29-32 foot give or take. We really like the floorplan with the "bunkhouse" type area for the kids. The trailer will spend part of the year at the deer lease and will be traveling with it the rest of the year off and on. Tow vehicle will be a Chevy 2500 HD crew cab. My question is this: after looking at several models and then checking this forum I have realized just how much I do not know. I am in the process of doing my research but could use a little help. Does anyone have any suggestions on which brands make quality TTs with that type of floorplan. Which ones to stay away from? Budget is around 25 to 30k. Any help is appreciated.
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Old 10-11-2013, 06:58 PM   #2
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At the risk of further complicating your decision, since you already have a suitable truck, you might also consider looking as some fifth wheel trailers. For a given length, the 5er will have 4 to 5 feet more usable space. It will have lots more storage space. It is also a lot easier and safer to tow.

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Old 10-11-2013, 07:07 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response Joel. We have considered that also. I have been reading up on the pros and cons of both. With so many makes and models it is hard to narrow it down. I feel that I have really just scratched the surface on all this. Do you know of any quality brands? My wife an I tend to keep our vehicles for a long time so I don't anticipate trading the TT or 5'er in very often and would like to buy a well built one.
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:25 PM   #4
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You will do much better looking for a gently used (3 to 5 year old) trailer rather than paying for a new entry level trailer. The depreciation on RV is really bad, so buying used, you will let someone else suffer the major financial impact.

Since you have a 3/4 ton truck, you need to be concerned with the payload capacity and the GVWR. The trailer tongue or pin weight are part of the payload capacity.

Weight your truck and work out the maximum numbers you can live with.

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Old 10-11-2013, 07:35 PM   #5
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Quality and travel trailer is something that rarely is mentioned in the same sentence. One of the best built brands is Arctic Fox as they use their own well built frames. When searching for a trailer, look at the frame and axles first. There is no point in buying the perfect box if it is built on low-end junk. Ask me how I know. Well, back to replacing my broken spring now.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:02 PM   #6
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Try to find 2013 left-overs new. You should get 30% off MSRP now. I'd love to give you a shortcut, but it took us about 6 months of shopping and driving all over the southeast. You'll find all the options you want on a hundred different units. Challenge is finding the right combination of features and the right price AND good quality.
We wanted bunks for the kids, outside kitchen and a bunch of other stuff in a 28 footer. We found those and walked away from half a dozen of them because the quality was not to my standard. Then we found the Winnebago towables!
TT or 5th wheel, you should put them on your list!
Winnebago Towables

On a personal note, we ended up happily buying a smaller unit than we were looking at most of the time. Glad we did. My kids are 8 and 10 and we have two big dogs.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:22 PM   #7
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Quality of any towable RV is a contentious issue. They are made mostly the same way as 30 years ago and market usually reject anything of higher quality but at much higher price. 99% of problems have nothing to do with frames or suspensions, they are about small breakdowns, leaks and delaminations, switch failures etc. My trailer has 100% aluminum skeleton, very light and I don't see the reason to have a different one since it welded very well and will not decay like wood. No point of carrying extra weight.
Problems may be annoying but usually not very expensive to repair or can be fixed by owner except delaminations or major alliances failure. Many of the issues had nothing to do with the manufacturer, but with quality of the supplied parts, and they are mostly standard.
I like Keystone products, passports and other, as well as Jayco's, especially new White Hawk series. Airstreams are very durable due to different skin, can last for decades, but superexpensive and there is not as much storage space. Our friends had an Arctic Fox for eight years , very well built, exceptionally heavy but eventually it started to leak as well.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:41 PM   #8
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Hardly anybody gets it right the first time. Until you spend some time living in an RV, you really don't know what features are important to you. You will be much better off buying a used trailer and figuring that after a year you will trade it in for what you really want.

When it comes to a used trailer, the floor plan and (especially) the condition are much more important than the who made it.

Joel
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Old 10-12-2013, 07:48 AM   #9
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I agree with above post. You will find that what works for you now may not in a couple of years when the kids get bigger and start bringing friends. If new to the trailer life you will soon find out the difference between entry level and upper end construction. Find a floor plan that you like then look at differences in each one from each manufacture then goggle problems and you will find out so much info on the web. I have a jayco eagle that i bought from my brother and it is a top quality built trailer. A good site to look at different floor plans is ppl they sell alot of trailers and floor plans are posted with description and weight. Good luck
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Old 10-12-2013, 08:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ET8300 View Post
My wife and I are currently looking into purchasing a TT. We have two small children ages 3 and 7. We went to the dealership with the intent on buying a deer lease trailer but found ourselves looking at the new ones. We determined that we would like to purchase a new trailer 29-32 foot give or take. We really like the floorplan with the "bunkhouse" type area for the kids. The trailer will spend part of the year at the deer lease and will be traveling with it the rest of the year off and on. Tow vehicle will be a Chevy 2500 HD crew cab. My question is this: after looking at several models and then checking this forum I have realized just how much I do not know. I am in the process of doing my research but could use a little help. Does anyone have any suggestions on which brands make quality TTs with that type of floorplan. Which ones to stay away from? Budget is around 25 to 30k. Any help is appreciated.
Hi there,
So you went looking for a deer lease trailer and did a 180, and decided on a new "quality" TT (you have a mid-to-high budget for it), no trade in to worry with, and you want a bunkhouse floor plan. I'd recommend what we have, which is a 2013/2014 Keystone Passport ultra light Elite 28bh (the 32fb or 32bh work also). It's got a shipping weight of 5,550 and aluminum frame. The Elite in the name means a higher-quality fit/finish (like leather couch and solid surface countertops), and we got ours with no trade-in at the low end of your listed budget.

Can't say what to stay away from...all makes and models might be great or awful depending on the factory and dealer QA to catch problems. Just be diligent at the walk-thru to test all systems before you take possession. Keep in mind that a unit stored under protective cover from sun and rain and lived in more often to discover critters like mice will last longer than one just parked outdoors at a deer blind.
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Old 10-12-2013, 12:30 PM   #11
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All of the response are on the mark. We bought a new TT Wind River for Outdoor RV Man...subsidiary of Northwood Ind.who build Arctic Fox. If I had my druthers I would have bought used or at the end if season to save the depreciation ,however ,couldn't find the frame /chassis and the interior layout and extras.
Looked a 5th wheels but the overhead cupboards where too tall for the wife and it would have been too tall where we will park and store it for the winter. Not interested in paying monthly storage costs when we can park it I our yard for free ....our truck had a hitch and wiring already for a bumper pull...was quoted $2000.00 can. for a 5 th wheel hitch set up on the truck...so save around $1500. on the hitch by not buying a 5 th wheel and we like to use the box in the truck.
As was previously said this is a contentious issue...I look for frame,chassis, aluminum frame, tandem axel, good size tires and rated appropriately, budget, and naturally overall good condition with no leaks and for me a nonsmoking unit.
If you can...visit one of the manufacturing places to see how they are made.
Before this trailer we had a Kodiak made by Dutchmen...trailer was fine but different quality for what we have now.

Hope this helps
Coops

Ps we replaced the rv supplied mattress on both trailers with one from a reputable mattress store..
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:14 PM   #12
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We're pretty happy with our Airstream so far, but we haven't put that many miles on it yet. They do have a fair assortment of layouts available.

We've replaced the mattresses in our sailing catamaran with hi-end air mattresses ( AeroBed) and plan to do the same with the travel trailer when the time comes. VERY comfy night sleep, individually adjustable, weighs almost nothing, and you can fold it up and use the bunk as a workbench if needed.

At least, we do on the catamaran.
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:37 PM   #13
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If you want a quality travel trailer, look at the silver Avions from the 1980's. You can get good deals on them, but the prices are coming up. Spend a few $$$ on updates and rehabs and you will have a very nice high end trailer. The Avions were built better than the Airstreams, but were not marketed like the Airstream.

Ken
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:08 PM   #14
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Cypress? Cool. I'm Cy-Fair class of '69. Do you know another Ken W5DLQ? Old family friend.

I kinda have a policy of not giving advice unless I have first hand experience with something. Never had an Avion. Have had a Mobile Traveler, Fleetwood Jamboree, and this Airstream. So those I can talk about. I note Airstream are still in business.

What year Avion did you have?
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