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Old 08-12-2019, 08:04 AM   #1
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Stick & Tin Battle: Aspen Trail vs. Wildwood

My wife & I are looking at stick & tin campers (due to budget) and have found floor plans we like in two brands that are available close by. One is a Wildwood (Forrest River)- specifically an X-Lite, & the other is an Aspen Trail (Dutchman/Thor).

I was wondering what thoughts & experiences you guys had on either or both of these brands. I understand that we are dealing with low-end campers and with the Wildwood being from the X-lite line it isn't exactly apples to apples. Still, any input is appreciated. Thanks.

- Neal
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:29 AM   #2
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For what it is worth, I view Forest River a bit better than Thor.

Also have you looked at the Winnebago line of smaller trailers? I view Winnebago as being better than average build quality. They make a lot of different sizes and floorplans.
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:41 AM   #3
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Thanks! I'll look into Winnebago, though I'm not sure many dealers around where I am. Will try.
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:17 PM   #4
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I agree with Winnebago being the best middle of the road in price range. Even though we purchased a Lance, Winne was my second choice.
Many folks will travel to get a better trailer, or a better deal.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fridge56Vet View Post
My wife & I are looking at stick & tin campers (due to budget) and have found floor plans we like in two brands that are available close by. One is a Wildwood (Forrest River)- specifically an X-Lite, & the other is an Aspen Trail (Dutchman/Thor).

I was wondering what thoughts & experiences you guys had on either or both of these brands. I understand that we are dealing with low-end campers and with the Wildwood being from the X-lite line it isn't exactly apples to apples. Still, any input is appreciated. Thanks.

- Neal
We looked at both companies offerings that you mentioned.

We ended up going with an aluminum framed, Azdel covered, Coachmen. Not much more in price and much better built from what I've seen.

In N. Canton, Ohio, General RV carries the Coachmen line.

We've traveled over 20k miles in ours and have been very satisfied.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:57 AM   #6
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KM - Thanks! Had seen a Spirit Ultra Lite (Coachmen) in the floorplan that we liked, but $7k over budget. If we end up delaying our purchase that could be in consideration next year.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:07 AM   #7
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Quality Travel Trailer Brands

Check out the following post.
Best value/quality brand
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:36 AM   #8
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I looked at Aspen Trail and turned it down. The build quality didn't match up to my expectations or the TT we bought. Pay real close attention to the fit and finish inside the TT. We bought a Palomino Solaire. Very happy with it. We in fact drove half way across the country to pick it up as the dealer had such a good price it more than paid for the trip. We did stay 2 days locally to check things out and even then we have had a couple of issues but that's going to happen with any RV now a days.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:47 PM   #9
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KM - Thanks! Had seen a Spirit Ultra Lite (Coachmen) in the floorplan that we liked, but $7k over budget. If we end up delaying our purchase that could be in consideration next year.
You may be surprised how flexible some RV dealerships are on price...especially on a "new" unit that is going to be a year old...like '19's right now.

That $7K over budget could disappear with the right dealership.

btw, like Cliffy, we don't mind traveling to get the unit we want at the price we want.

I flew to Florida and drove back our HDPP F150. The Ford Dealership there had what we wanted at the right price.

We bought our 271BL in Ohio, stayed in the area a few days to make sure all was good before heading home to Mississippi. Again, because the dealership had the model we wanted at the price we wanted.
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:54 PM   #10
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The two models I'm looking at are already year-end clearance at nearly 40% off MSRP. I can prob get $2-3k off the more expensive one, but then that pushes 40% too. I'm also a bit worried about how much I may need to finance already.

Unfortunately as a small business owner I don't have the liberty of traveling too far for a great deal. Will look closer to Cleveland a bit more than we have, but 3 hr drive each way is about the limit.

It seems there's definitely a preference for fiberglass over stick & tin, and that if I can't get a deal on one that puts it in the budget, then maybe we should wait to buy. I will keep that in mind. Thanks to all for the input.
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:26 PM   #11
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Prices drop with the temperature. Wait it out for awhile to get a better deal.

Also, be prepared to have a bunch of little things break within the first year of ownership. This happens to all price levels of trailers, from the cheapest to the top of the line.

Because of this, I would suggest buying a gently used, higher quality aluminum frame fiberglass model from a private party if possible. Lots of folks buy new, iron out all the kinks, then realize they wanted a bigger model and sell right away. This is your ideal purchase.
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:43 PM   #12
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I owned an Aspen Trail and was very disappointed. Everything I touched was built as cheaply as it could be. Many things broke from being underbuilt. The bunk fell off the wall and the master bed fell through to the ground.

I've also owned a Forest River, Surveyor. It was far better than the Aspen Trail.

It is less a comment about brand and more about price point. I would never recommend buying at the lowest price point (which Aspen Trail is). Shop at a minimum a step or two up, likely 20% higher in price.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:34 PM   #13
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Thanks again to all. Any thoughts on ultra-light models? Worry about build quality & durability, though I am limited to a 2006 F-150 right now. Also not planning on traveling too far for a few years, if that makes any difference.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:27 PM   #14
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FWIW, the Coachmen Spirit Ultra Lite model we were looking at was the 2963BH. Any thoughts on this line or nodel are appreciated. I'm wondering if it qualifies as being from the aforementioned 2nd tier of brands. It pretty much checks off all the boxes for the wife & I, and is light enough for my clunker to tow. Thanks.
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