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Old 03-14-2017, 08:00 PM   #15
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Airstream leadership had been in flux for years after the passing of Wally Byam, with control of the company changing hands several times in the next few decades. In 1980, stability came once again. Wade Thompson and Peter Orthwein, owners of Hi-Lo Trailers, saw the market starting to pick up and moved to form a new company, Thor Industries, and acquire Airstream. And that association continues to this day, over thirty years later. This was taken right from Airstreams site
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by campinfam13 View Post
Thor just bought out Airstream too so I predict their quality may plummet.
I currently have a Thor BH model, leaks destroyed floor in front storage that I didn't catch until to late. The cabinets fall apart as does most wood trim, very shody workmanship. Outdoor RV and Northwood Mfg. are both companies that Ron Nash has had a hand in, see a pattern here. I call the Lance the BMW of TTs small light extremely well engineered luxury. Northwood Artic Fox/ Nash/Desert Fox TH would be a Lincoln using car analogy, Outdoor RV Blackstone/Timberidge/Creekside I'll call the Cadillac, beautiful heavy and extremely well made and lastly I call the Winnebago a Chevy LTZ mostly well made, beautiful best in class gelcoat exterior. There are some complaints from Winnebago owners but most are happy. There are many other entry level brands that are light and cheap, some will be OK and some not so much. Watch the YouTube video called Don't buy an RV, it's done tongue in cheek but great info from a practicing attorney. Don't count on your warranty, they can give you 5 years but it won't matter of they blue you off. You've been warned!
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:15 PM   #17
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We have owned the Dutchman Aerolite 28DBHS (double bunkhouse model) and do not recommend at all due to such poor quality, the manufacturer replaced the end cap on their dime (and then it failed again 6 months later). Now, we will never, ever, ever own any product that rolls up under Thor Industries again (which seems to be most TT lines here in the western half of the US). We learned a lot about TTs through that experience as we watched ours go to pot in under 4 years....and my sisters, and my other sisters, and my aunts along with them (we all bought the same time). This with regular care and maintenance. Insurance and attorneys have been involved. The commonality - they were all made by Thor.

We have an Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 27BHS (again a double bunk house TT) made by Northwoods Mfbg on order with the factory. It is the same layout as the Aerolite we had, and I do recommend that layout for 3 kids. Having the back bathroom door was really nice and the huge slideout made the interior very spacious.

However, for living in, I agree with those who say consider a 5th wheel instead. I think they are made better than TTs (a hefty cardboard box and a tarp would hold up as well as most of the TTs I have had personal experience with ).

After much research, it appears to Northwoods Manufacturing is definitely among the top for highest quality for TTs, so we are hoping they deliver! And this time around, we are taking no risks - it's going under a shelter.
All brands will have issues, you are trying to build something light weight and will also hold up bouncing down the highway. Outdoors RV is about as well made as you will find, great choice. It saddens me to see all the people that waste money on junk the first time. People think RVs will be like cars and if they have an occasional problem they just run it in for repairs, sadly that's not the case.
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:17 PM   #18
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All brands will have issues, you are trying to build something light weight and will also hold up bouncing down the highway. Outdoors RV is about as well made as you will find, great choice. It saddens me to see all the people that waste money on junk the first time. People think RVs will be like cars and if they have an occasional problem they just run it in for repairs, sadly that's not the case.
Sorry just noticed you purchased Northwoods, they are top notch also and owned by same guy as Outdoors RV I believe.
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Old 03-14-2017, 11:56 PM   #19
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Sorry just noticed you purchased Northwoods, they are top notch also and owned by same guy as Outdoors RV I believe.
Yep Northwood Mfg does make Outdoors RV (and Arctic Foxes too).

And I too am saddened to see unsuspecting people buy junk, unaware that you cannot expect the hardiness out of a TTs that you can out of a vehicle, even though you pay as much or more. We would have loved the heads up about what to expect regarding quality, especially the biggest mass produced ones, the real deal about warranties, how absolutely carefully you have to watch all the components for issues, etc.
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Old 03-14-2017, 11:59 PM   #20
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Airstream leadership had been in flux for years after the passing of Wally Byam, with control of the company changing hands several times in the next few decades. In 1980, stability came once again. Wade Thompson and Peter Orthwein, owners of Hi-Lo Trailers, saw the market starting to pick up and moved to form a new company, Thor Industries, and acquire Airstream. And that association continues to this day, over thirty years later. This was taken right from Airstreams site
Thanks for clearing that up. When I looked up Thor's subsideraries a few weeks ago, I was surprised to see Airstream on there as they are so known for quality. I assumed it was recent, but apparently not!
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:57 AM   #21
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Thor is the new Fleetwood of TTs as they just added Jayco. I see they now also have Keystone - so much for that line.
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:17 AM   #22
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Thank you for all of your inputs. It can definitely be mind boggling to weed out potential lemons when looking at TT and 5vrs. What we are trying to do is take it step by step within our budgetary constraints. Keeping to about 7k dry weight will allow us to be able to adjust total weight below 13,500 including the f150. Not ready to upgrade TV at this time, so have to work with what we have.


We've been looking at Jayco 29QBS and Forest River Vibe 308BH. As for the growing kids, y'all preaching to the choir. My beautiful bride and I are planning to use this first purchase a minimum of 4 years, which will give us time to save up and get a stouter TV, F250, to pull a 5ver.
Again, thanks for all of your input, it has provided an additional research path and caution list for us.
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:43 AM   #23
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Thor is the new Fleetwood of TTs as they just added Jayco. I see they now also have Keystone - so much for that line.
Keystone's quality had gone to crap IMHO in recent times anyway and Jayco well if you don't know already I won't say. Sounds like anything with the Thor name might now be considered entry level, not my cup of tea.
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Old 03-15-2017, 03:21 PM   #24
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Not sure if Jayco has changed much, but we are about to start our 5th camping season in our 2013 Jayco JayFlight 28BHBE. Fit and finish is OK but it seems to be built solidly. 7050 dry, about 8,300 loaded (without fresh water). It's about the max I would tow with my F150. As a home, I would be concerned. The sinks and toilet are plastic and may not stand up to young kids who don't use gentle care. Our "kids" were already in high school by the time we bought ours and we've had no issues but we've probably spent 20-30 days a year in it, not 365. I would want something with more slides and maybe a bunk room with a door to give people some space to "get away" from each other. Good luck!
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