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Old 04-10-2013, 11:16 PM   #1
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Travel Trailer Comparisons

I haven't really been able to find any type of comparison sites similar to Consumer Reports for travel trailers. So Iíve decided to pose the question to you all.

In the market for our 1st travel trailer and looking for one in the 24í range with slide out. Itís just me, the wife and our Rottie. We like the floor plans with the dinette or couch slide out and the walk around bed. Several manufacturers have models like this, which brings the decision down to the manufacturer.

So how do you decide which one to buy? What are the most dependable manufactures and are there any you would stay away from? I know this question is probably treading on dangerous waters since owners have strong feelings about their TTís, but your opinions will help out a newbie.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassindmax View Post
i haven't really been able to find any type of comparison sites similar to consumer reports for travel trailers. So iíve decided to pose the question to you all.

In the market for our 1st travel trailer and looking for one in the 24í range with slide out. Itís just me, the wife and our rottie. We like the floor plans with the dinette or couch slide out and the walk around bed. Several manufacturers have models like this, which brings the decision down to the manufacturer.

So how do you decide which one to buy? What are the most dependable manufactures and are there any you would stay away from? I know this question is probably treading on dangerous waters since owners have strong feelings about their ttís, but your opinions will help out a newbi

come on folks, for those with good knowledge, please take a minute and give this poster some replies or where they can get comparisions. Thaks
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:47 PM   #3
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That's a good question. We have owned 2 MH's and in the past 4 years 2 TT's. Our first TT was a Heartland North Trail 24-RBS. We never saw a unit in person, mistake. The kitchen couch slide only went out 19" and that made for a small living area. Also the main bed was in the front and the front sloped down and you could not get around the bed. There was no wardrobe space. When you travel to FL in the spring you need three seasons of clothes. Also we were not impressed with the overall quality.
Our next unit was a Forest River Flagstaff 26-FKWS. It's about 27' long, has Dexter axles with Tor-Flex suspension. You can look that up on the net. That set up is real nice. The Dexter axles are way better than the Lippert axles. We had to fight for them to change the 2-3,000 LB axles for 2-3,500 axles. The quality was way better than the first TT.

The Flagstaff unit has a couch dining table & chair slide that goes out 39". That really makes the living area very large. We also opted for the dining table and 4 chairs because most dinettes are not very comfortable. Most dinette cushions wil deteriorate after a few years. We also only carried 2 of the 4 kitchen chairs with us so we even have more room. We bought 2 folding lawn chairs for extra seating and stored them next to the couch.
I would put the Flagstaff at about 5 times better than the North Trail.
Good luch in your search. If you want more information PM me.

TeJay
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:57 PM   #4
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Aluminum v. fiberglass

We have a Dutchmen Aspen Trail with a spacious floorplan that we love.

However, this is not a recommendation for a manufacturer--just something else to consider. We have aluminum siding, which made the trailer more affordable when we bought it. Aluminum is supposed to be less aerodynamic and more difficult to clean than fiberglass siding. I was talking today to the service manager, and he mentioned that aluminum is also more prone to hail damage.
He emphasized, though, how much easier and less expensive it is to repair aluminum siding because it is assembled from separate strips. With fiberglass, they have to cut any damage out of a solid piece and then patch it. Fiberglass can also delaminate (?) which leads to water leaking in.

I didn't even know to ask these questions when we were shopping, but I ended up lucky because we are very happy with what we chose. Good luck to you!
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:05 AM   #5
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Hi again,
One more item to really, really consider. It's important to find a unit that you'll be happy with but even much more important is to find a dealer that will treat you with respect and deal with issues that you may have.

I taught automotive repair for 35 years so I have some experience. Finding a good automotive technician is difficult. Finding a good RV technician is almost impossible. They have to fix all kinds of issues and sometimes getting schematics for the units is difficult. You will have issues with any TT. There may be more than one dealer in your area. Some RV places will service your unit even if they don't sell them. What I would do is this. Once you settle on a manufacturer call their customer service dept. and have them give you a list of dealers in your area that sell and or service their units. Then visit each place and ask for some references. Talk to some of their customers to see if they are satisfied with the level of service. We bought our first unit from a dealer 120 miles away. I took it back once for warranty repairs. When I watched them use a pipe wrench to fix something I knew I was in trouble. The next time I called customer service and they gave me names of 2 other dealers that were 10 and 20 miles from us. If you do your homework finding a decent service facility you will be very grateful later.

As I said before if you need or want further information just PM me.

TeJay
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:11 AM   #6
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[QUOTE=BassinDmax;1527264]I haven't really been able to find any type of comparison sites similar to Consumer Reports for travel trailers. So Iíve decided to pose the question to you all.

In the market for our 1st travel trailer and looking for one in the 24í range with slide out. Itís just me, the wife and our Rottie. We like the floor plans with the dinette or couch slide out and the walk around bed. Several manufacturers have models like this, which brings the decision down to the manufacturer.

So how do you decide which one to buy? What are the most dependable manufactures and are there any you would stay away from? I know this question is probably treading on dangerous waters since owners have strong feelings about their TTís, but your opinions will help out a newbie. [/QUOTE


THERE IS POTENTIAL TO SAVE THOUSANDS, BUYING FROM AN INDIVDUAL, RATHER THAN FROM A DEALER, A GOOD MANY DEALERS ARE STUCK ON A SET PRICE AND EVEN IF THEY NEGOTIATE, YOU USUALLY LOOSE, DECIDE ON 3-4 BRANDS THAT YOU LIKE AND CHECK YOUR AREA AND SOME WITHIN 1-2 HUNDREDS MILES OF YOU AND LOOK ON CRAIG'S LIST. YOU CAN FIND ALMOST NEW TT OR SOME WITH A FEW YEARS THAT HAVE BEEN WELL CARED FOR, MANY WITH ALL THE BUGS WORKED OUT AND IN LIKE NEW CONDITION, BUT AT A MUCH BETTER PRICE AND MOST INDIVIDUALS ARE REALLY WILLING TO NEGOTIATE WITH YOU. LOOK AT NADAS AND DECIDE ON A PRICE YOU WANT TO PAY. WE HAVE HAD EVERYTHING, MOTORHOMES, 5TH WHEELS, POP-UPS, AND NOW AS WE ARE OLDER, BACK INTO A TRAVEL TRAILER. GOOD LUCK TO YOU.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:31 AM   #7
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I would also ask what your tow vehicle specs are. The weight of a 24 foot TT with a slide can vary from maybe 3500 GVWR to 7000. Based on your tow vehicle it may help you choose.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:28 PM   #8
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I would also ask what your tow vehicle specs are. The weight of a 24 foot TT with a slide can vary from maybe 3500 GVWR to 7000. Based on your tow vehicle it may help you choose.
I'll be pulling it with a 2004 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax Diesel Allison tranny
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by TeJay View Post
That's a good question. We have owned 2 MH's and in the past 4 years 2 TT's. Our first TT was a Heartland North Trail 24-RBS. We never saw a unit in person, mistake. The kitchen couch slide only went out 19" and that made for a small living area. Also the main bed was in the front and the front sloped down and you could not get around the bed. There was no wardrobe space. When you travel to FL in the spring you need three seasons of clothes. Also we were not impressed with the overall quality.
Our next unit was a Forest River Flagstaff 26-FKWS. It's about 27' long, has Dexter axles with Tor-Flex suspension. You can look that up on the net. That set up is real nice. The Dexter axles are way better than the Lippert axles. We had to fight for them to change the 2-3,000 LB axles for 2-3,500 axles. The quality was way better than the first TT.

The Flagstaff unit has a couch dining table & chair slide that goes out 39". That really makes the living area very large. We also opted for the dining table and 4 chairs because most dinettes are not very comfortable. Most dinette cushions wil deteriorate after a few years. We also only carried 2 of the 4 kitchen chairs with us so we even have more room. We bought 2 folding lawn chairs for extra seating and stored them next to the couch.
I would put the Flagstaff at about 5 times better than the North Trail.
Good luch in your search. If you want more information PM me.

TeJay
The Flagstaff looks like a well built trailer.
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:00 PM   #10
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When we were looking for a trailer, we knew we wanted a queen bed. There were a few in the size that we wanted, (the same as what you are looking for) but the bed had to remain "in view" all the time. In order to get a separate bedroom, the trailer needed to be at least 26', which was longer than we wanted. Then we found the Rockwoods with the murphy bed. Takes a few second to drop the bed which stays made up. When it is put away, there is a nice sofa and there is also a huge dinette slidout and BIG bathroom. Works well as a couples trailer, not so much for a crowd! The trailer is just over 24', including the tongue, with a GVWR of about 6600 pounds. Something to consider!
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:56 PM   #11
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I'll be pulling it with a 2004 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax Diesel Allison tranny
We bought a 2010 30 ft Puma with the four bunk beds in back for the grandkids. Big mistake. They seldom want to go now so it's basically wasted space and it would be nice to have that a additional living space. Someone said to get a camper you and your wife like and don't worry about everybody else. I should have listened.
At any rate, the Puma has been good unit. It pulls well and with the additional stuff, fishing gear, food, ice,a little water in the holding tanks, and some stuff in the truck, weighs in at a little over 9,000. You know you won't have any trouble towing with the Duramax. I have an 07, tow in the mountains and pass gassers on the grades towing lighter loads. If my mileage didn't drop from 19-20 down to 10-12, I would know I had anything behind me.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by 4kids View Post
We have a Dutchmen Aspen Trail with a spacious floorplan that we love.

However, this is not a recommendation for a manufacturer--just something else to consider. We have aluminum siding, which made the trailer more affordable when we bought it. Aluminum is supposed to be less aerodynamic and more difficult to clean than fiberglass siding. I was talking today to the service manager, and he mentioned that aluminum is also more prone to hail damage.
He emphasized, though, how much easier and less expensive it is to repair aluminum siding because it is assembled from separate strips. With fiberglass, they have to cut any damage out of a solid piece and then patch it. Fiberglass can also delaminate (?) which leads to water leaking in.

I didn't even know to ask these questions when we were shopping, but I ended up lucky because we are very happy with what we chose. Good luck to you!
We have a Dutchmen dealer in town so we have checked them out. They are on our shortlist, but their owners also must be happy with their purchase because we haven't had any luck finding any used ones within 150 miles. We don't want to go to old so we've been limiting our search to about 2010 or newer. Thanks for the insight on trailer siding, I've added that to my list of items to check when researching trailers.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by TeJay View Post
Hi again,
One more item to really, really consider. It's important to find a unit that you'll be happy with but even much more important is to find a dealer that will treat you with respect and deal with issues that you may have.

I taught automotive repair for 35 years so I have some experience. Finding a good automotive technician is difficult. Finding a good RV technician is almost impossible. They have to fix all kinds of issues and sometimes getting schematics for the units is difficult. You will have issues with any TT. There may be more than one dealer in your area. Some RV places will service your unit even if they don't sell them. What I would do is this. Once you settle on a manufacturer call their customer service dept. and have them give you a list of dealers in your area that sell and or service their units. Then visit each place and ask for some references. Talk to some of their customers to see if they are satisfied with the level of service. We bought our first unit from a dealer 120 miles away. I took it back once for warranty repairs. When I watched them use a pipe wrench to fix something I knew I was in trouble. The next time I called customer service and they gave me names of 2 other dealers that were 10 and 20 miles from us. If you do your homework finding a decent service facility you will be very grateful later.

As I said before if you need or want further information just PM me.

TeJay
I need to decide if the convenience of having your dealer close by should sway my decision on brand or pick the brand I want and deal with service issues when that time comes.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:54 PM   #14
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When we were looking for a trailer, we knew we wanted a queen bed. There were a few in the size that we wanted, (the same as what you are looking for) but the bed had to remain "in view" all the time. In order to get a separate bedroom, the trailer needed to be at least 26', which was longer than we wanted. Then we found the Rockwoods with the murphy bed. Takes a few second to drop the bed which stays made up. When it is put away, there is a nice sofa and there is also a huge dinette slidout and BIG bathroom. Works well as a couples trailer, not so much for a crowd! The trailer is just over 24', including the tongue, with a GVWR of about 6600 pounds. Something to consider!
Our dealer in town does carry Rockwood's and we have checked them out. Nice trailers and they are on our list. There's a used one about 90 miles away that we're going to look at this weekend.
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