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Old 04-24-2013, 02:30 PM   #29
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Good question, OP. I have yet to see reviews anywhere that are objective and tell it like it really is.

I really wish that there was a Consumer Reports type of review and ranking out there.

Many reviews seem to gloat over the layout features, the wood panelling, how many people can sleep in it and the like. I've yet to see a review that discusses the quality of components and their longevity, consumer complaints, safety issues, warrranty coverage, etc. I've read a number of reviews in Trailer Life and they always seem to say nothing but nice things about each and every RV they review. It bugs me when all you can find is a bunch of pretty pictures and comments like "it tows and handles really well" and "is great for a family of 4" without getting into the construction details and components.

I think most manufacturers have 1 year warranties, but I know that KZ for one has a standard 2 year warranty. You can buy extended warranties for around $1500 - $2000. Some say they are great while some say a waste of money. If you have to duke it out with a third party supplier like Lippert, good luck, especially after a couple of years....

I imagine you are already, but do all the research you can on the internet and go to forums and ask for comments on specific brands. This is a good forum as it is "non-denominational" while some are brand specific and more likely to be biased.

We just bought a new KZ trailer, partly based on the positive reviews of the manufacturer and dealers. But, one day after we took possession of it, we discovered bent suspension brackets. The frame is made by Lippert. I sure hope KZ and the dealer do the right thing and insist it is fixed properly. My point is, just reading reviews on the internet alone may not be sufficient to paint the entire and true picture.

When looking at units on a lot, look closely at things like the construction details of cabinetry. Are things lined up and true? Do drawers and doors open and close properly? Look inside cabinets and look for things that don't seem right. Look underneath for bent components, missing grommets, things not attached or coming off. Take lots of notes. Ask about things that aren't right or don't seem right and don't let the dealer try and pull the wool over your eyes. When you have narrowed it down, spend lots and lots of time at the dealer looking the unit over. You'd be surprised how many little things can be overlooked until you get your unit home.

Go to a campground and ask some owners how they like their units. Your eyes may be opened! We've run into some owners in campgrounds who end up crying about their lemon of an RV.

The manufacturers of some components have a history of problems, like Lippert's frames, hydraulic systems, and more. Just google to see. If we ever bought a trailer again, I'd look for one without any Lippert components. They have a poor reputation for fixing problems when still under warranty. They will typically tell you that you did something wrong and tell you to take a hike. Sorry for the rant, but have been there twice now.

Another really important thing to do is to research the dealer you are considering buying from. Many have awful service support. You can end up leaving your RV at their lot while they find time to look at your problem(s), contact the factory for approval, then wait 2 or 3 weeks for parts to arrive, then they tell you they have to find time to fit your job into their busy schedule. You can be RV-less for 1 - 2 months. Not good if at the height of camping season. There are some really good dealers out there and I would highly recommend seeking them out. A last dealer was terrible for service time. Would never go back to them. Sorry for the rant on this too, but am telling it like it is from our own experience.

If this is your first trailer, the above is really important as you may ultimately go through the school of hard knocks if you don't do your homework up front. In terms of pricing, I'd suggest that you "shop 'til you drop" in the internet for each make/model you are considering so that you are better informed to be able to negotiate with the dealer. When it comes to options, you should negotiate the price of each one individually not as a lump sum.

One final thing, before you sign on the dotted line and hand over any money, ask the dealer to sign off on ALL the standard features and options that are supposed to be included. Otherwise, you could find that your trailer has different components than you were lead to believe and the dealer will simply point to the manufacturer's fine print "subject to change".
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:54 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myredracer View Post
Good question, OP. I have yet to see reviews anywhere that are objective and tell it like it really is.

I really wish that there was a Consumer Reports type of review and ranking out there.

Many reviews seem to gloat over the layout features, the wood panelling, how many people can sleep in it and the like. I've yet to see a review that discusses the quality of components and their longevity, consumer complaints, safety issues, warrranty coverage, etc. I've read a number of reviews in Trailer Life and they always seem to say nothing but nice things about each and every RV they review. It bugs me when all you can find is a bunch of pretty pictures and comments like "it tows and handles really well" and "is great for a family of 4" without getting into the construction details and components.

I think most manufacturers have 1 year warranties, but I know that KZ for one has a standard 2 year warranty. You can buy extended warranties for around $1500 - $2000. Some say they are great while some say a waste of money. If you have to duke it out with a third party supplier like Lippert, good luck, especially after a couple of years....

I imagine you are already, but do all the research you can on the internet and go to forums and ask for comments on specific brands. This is a good forum as it is "non-denominational" while some are brand specific and more likely to be biased.

We just bought a new KZ trailer, partly based on the positive reviews of the manufacturer and dealers. But, one day after we took possession of it, we discovered bent suspension brackets. The frame is made by Lippert. I sure hope KZ and the dealer do the right thing and insist it is fixed properly. My point is, just reading reviews on the internet alone may not be sufficient to paint the entire and true picture.

When looking at units on a lot, look closely at things like the construction details of cabinetry. Are things lined up and true? Do drawers and doors open and close properly? Look inside cabinets and look for things that don't seem right. Look underneath for bent components, missing grommets, things not attached or coming off. Take lots of notes. Ask about things that aren't right or don't seem right and don't let the dealer try and pull the wool over your eyes. When you have narrowed it down, spend lots and lots of time at the dealer looking the unit over. You'd be surprised how many little things can be overlooked until you get your unit home.

Go to a campground and ask some owners how they like their units. Your eyes may be opened! We've run into some owners in campgrounds who end up crying about their lemon of an RV.

The manufacturers of some components have a history of problems, like Lippert's frames, hydraulic systems, and more. Just google to see. If we ever bought a trailer again, I'd look for one without any Lippert components. They have a poor reputation for fixing problems when still under warranty. They will typically tell you that you did something wrong and tell you to take a hike. Sorry for the rant, but have been there twice now.

Another really important thing to do is to research the dealer you are considering buying from. Many have awful service support. You can end up leaving your RV at their lot while they find time to look at your problem(s), contact the factory for approval, then wait 2 or 3 weeks for parts to arrive, then they tell you they have to find time to fit your job into their busy schedule. You can be RV-less for 1 - 2 months. Not good if at the height of camping season. There are some really good dealers out there and I would highly recommend seeking them out. A last dealer was terrible for service time. Would never go back to them. Sorry for the rant on this too, but am telling it like it is from our own experience.

If this is your first trailer, the above is really important as you may ultimately go through the school of hard knocks if you don't do your homework up front. In terms of pricing, I'd suggest that you "shop 'til you drop" in the internet for each make/model you are considering so that you are better informed to be able to negotiate with the dealer. When it comes to options, you should negotiate the price of each one individually not as a lump sum.

One final thing, before you sign on the dotted line and hand over any money, ask the dealer to sign off on ALL the standard features and options that are supposed to be included. Otherwise, you could find that your trailer has different components than you were lead to believe and the dealer will simply point to the manufacturer's fine print "subject to change".

Appreciate the great information, just so much to have to think about when you want the best bang for your buck. We've spent the last 3 weeks visiting as many RV dealers as we could within 100 miles. Saw several floor plans we liked. We have a list of 12 units that we liked after looking at many more. I've spent what seems like countless hours reviewing the features of each and working on creating a short list.

Here is our current ranking of our top 12 from 1st to 12th;

Keystone Cougar 21RBSWE
Keystone Laredo 240MK
Keystone Hideout 23RBWE
Primetime Tracer 230FBS
Rockwood Mini Lite 2104S
Keystone Hideout 24RLSWE
Pacific Coachworks Tango 21FBS
Keystone Passport 2100RBWE
Dutchmen Aerolite 248RBSL
Keystone Springdale 212RBLSWE
Dutchmen 202RBS
Colemen CTS191QB

I just took the list and placed it into a spreadsheet and the DW and I identified the must haves and likes from each coach and then applied points to each of the coach features. From that we have the above ranks. The points are close between some of the units so still have some work to do, but should have it down to a shortlist of maybe 5 units shortly.

Then comes the next challenge, which is getting the best price possible. The list above is priced locally from about 19,000 to 24,000. Of course the dealers list their prices as a great savings to me because they've lowered the price from MSRP

I've negotiated car purchases before, but going in armed with Consumer Reports gives a strong baseline to start with. However we don't have that with TT purchases. So my question is where do you start based on the above price range? How much lower do you start?
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:53 PM   #31
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25 ft trailer

we just upgraded from a 19 ft to a 25 ft Fleetwood Wilderness. It has a walkaround queen bed, decent counter space, slideout with a sofa that faces the tv, saving my neck. this was a used trailer, seems in great condition and it meets all the "must haves" my wife and I were looking for. Took a long time and I must have looked at a thousand floor plans on the web until we found this unit
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:19 AM   #32
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We just bought our first TT. And what a job it is. My issue was floor plan and trailer weight. I had to stay about 3000 or under.

After searching for a year and I have no idea on how many company's we looked at. We went to a holiday rambler Aluma-lite. 19.8ft and just under 3000 pounds.

And from what I have seen so far everything looks to be built very well. I am very picky with things and so far only a few small things have come up. But no travel trailer will be perfect.

Take your time and you will be happy.
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:53 AM   #33
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We just upgraded. I had a pioneer 18t now have a Coachman Cascade dlx 26tb. We love it. Only wish would be a slide out. But unless it's raining or we are sleeping we are out side.
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:54 AM   #34
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Congrats fast. You will have years of fun. Enjoy.
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:53 AM   #35
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A friend of mine who has been in the TT business for 15 years told me that when you look at light TT's you're making things thinner to save weight and that will reduce some of the quality. Just accept the lighter weight as a plus and realize that it came at the expense of some of the quality and you'll be OK. That does not mean that it's bad just lighter and perhaps a little less quality.

Enjoy tour new unit and have any good days.

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Old 05-05-2013, 11:46 PM   #36
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I noticed that you didn't have any Palomino products on your list. DW & I factory ordered a Puma 25Rkss in 2010 and absolutely love it. It is very spacious for a 25 footer and has a dry weight of 5400 lbs. It has a queen size bed with it's own entrance to the bedroom and with the kitchen in the rear, the kitchen activity is not in the center of the trailer. It also has a fully self contained bathroom with a bathtub.

But, what sold me most on the Puma was the build quality in an entry level trailer. The deck of the bed and the dinette benches are plywood not flimsy (and crumbly strand board), The cabinette door frames are hardwood with plywood inserts.

I highly recommend the Puma line or any of the Palomino Products.



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Palomino RV - Manufacturer of Quaility RVs since 1968
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:41 AM   #37
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Try Rockwood Minilite TT, we have the 2109S, it's a very nice FP with slide. Lots of storage and only 4k max wet tow.
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Old 05-07-2013, 06:22 AM   #38
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DW & I factory ordered a Puma 25Rkss in 2010 and absolutely love it. It is very spacious for a 25 footer and has a dry weight of 5400 lbs.
We have a 2010 30dbss and are so far happy with it. I noticed, for what it's worth, Pumas of comparable lengths, weigh more than many other brands.
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Old 10-25-2014, 01:31 AM   #39
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For those of you interested, here is your checklist for what to look for: hard fiberglass sides, aluminum frame construction with brick foam insulation all 6 sides, ducted AC with option for 15K unit, lots of 110v receptacles in usable locations, finished basement lighted storage, Torflex axles, high chassis GVWR with low dry weight, 15" wheels with bearing buddies, power awning & stabilizers, front fiberglass cap with a floor plan/storage that makes the wife happy, maximized lay out to enable the shortest hitch to bumper length. I have found the one with all of the above requirements plus it has THREE slides. If you are interested post me a reply. :-)
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Old 10-28-2014, 04:05 AM   #40
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Our decision to purchase the Winnebago 2201 was based upon:
1. Quality of trailer...better than most that we looked at.
2. Lots of storeage space for a smaller trailer.
3. Outdoor kitchen which is under a large awning. Some manufactrurers are now putting less than maximum size awnings on their trailers.
4. Towing weight....wanted to stay around 6K.
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Old 11-15-2014, 10:46 PM   #41
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For those of you interested, here is your checklist for what to look for: hard fiberglass sides, aluminum frame construction with brick foam insulation all 6 sides, ducted AC with option for 15K unit, lots of 110v receptacles in usable locations, finished basement lighted storage, Torflex axles, high chassis GVWR with low dry weight, 15" wheels with bearing buddies, power awning & stabilizers, front fiberglass cap with a floor plan/storage that makes the wife happy, maximized lay out to enable the shortest hitch to bumper length. I have found the one with all of the above requirements plus it has THREE slides. If you are interested post me a reply. :-)
From my research the last several months it sounds like you might be describing a Northwood/OutdoorsRV unit.
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Old 11-16-2014, 05:57 PM   #42
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RUN from anything that says Lite or Ultralite!
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