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Old 08-28-2015, 09:40 AM   #15
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Winnebago and Jayco, to my knowledge, largely use the same construction techniques as Keystone. I've owned Jayco. 2 main differences that I ran into:
1) Much better factory support with anything that doesn't have a "keystone" name to it.
2) Better quality control on the minor stuff. Keystone is still busy mislabeling the tanks on new trailers. Little stuff like that drives you crazy.

In terms of either one being substantially better construction, I'm not sure that that is the case. I see better construction with 5ths like DRV, but then you're going to pay quite a bit more.

Whatever you do, you need to find someone independent who can inspect it for you. Especially if you're not familiar. Buying a brand is great, but it won't protect you from owner neglect - especially if you don't know what to look for. I've seen lots of ruined $250k+ (when new) diesel pushers that dealers were selling as "everything works". Just be careful and don't be in a hurry.
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Old 09-07-2015, 06:39 AM   #16
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Just my $.02.

I am a soon to be retiring (Dec. 31) master cabinetmaker getting ready to buy my 1st TT.

I have been researching for about 7 months now, and have become somewhat active in this forum. I also have a very high mechanical & electrical ability beyond cabinet making.

What I have found to date:

Northwood & Outdoors RV products - sister companies. They build their own chassis, and are touted to be a much more rugged RV. They are true 4 season trailers that are well insulated, which works both ways in hot or cold weather. Beyond that, they use most of the same components as the rest. I am currently leaning towards the ORV Creekside line due to floorplans, size & weight. My problem is the closest dealer is in the Denver area about 1700 miles from me, but I am willing to fly out there for a look see, and finalize choice of floor plan. Northwood - Arctic Fox has a dealer about 120 miles from me, but the dealer wants to sell at MSRP plus delivery, as they know they are the only game around. I don't deal that way, PERIOD !!!! There are other dealers, also Denver area.

Locally I have 5 dealers within a 25 - 30 mile distance, whom I have visited. I have looked at Winnebago, Jayco, Cougar, Coachman, KZ, Flagstaff, & Cruiser RV lines. I heavily scrutinized the build qualities, chassis & suspension, CABINETRY, fit & finish, tank capacities, weight, etc. My findings are that they all are pretty much the same. Winnebago has the nicer fiberglass exterior, but lacks in tank capacities. Fit & finish is on par with Jayco, with Jayco having slightly better cabinetry than Winnebago. Both seemed a little flimsy in that regard. The rest were somewhat behind. None of them had shocks on the suspensions like the Northwood or ORV products. They all have been in my opinion coming out of pretty much the same mold. The last issue is customer support / warranty after the sale with Winnebago being in the lead over the generic rigs. ORV has a much longer warranty, and they will approve a local certified dealer to handle any warranty issues if needed - BUT ----- if I need something taken care of, will it be a hassle???? Right now I'm leaning towards ORV, and am even willing to travel to see them, as well as pick up the rig halfway across the U.S. I am somewhat reserved as to whether all of this will be worth it, or settle for a lesser quality coach that would be more local. I would really like to have 4 season capability, as my retirement will be doing a lot of traveling, and seeing much of this great country. Boondocking will be often, and want the extended seasonal use / versatility. I will be attending the show in Hershey, Pa. in two weeks to see more, and to check out the Lance line. I would gladly appreciate any direction that all of you may provide, as I am faced with a long distance purchase if the ORV product does come out on top, or just get a cheaper rig.

Regards,
Bill
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:10 AM   #17
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I'm sure ORV makes great products, but that's just too far for a dealer.

As to the interior stuff, most of these have the same appliances and cabinetry. It is not supposed to be custom residential quality... it's supposed to be light and basically functional.
I would suggest you get whatever trailer you like the best for the floorplan and extrior. With your skillset, you can easily upgrade the interior later. As you have seen, it's just basic stuff.
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:13 AM   #18
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As you have found, they are all much the same. Northwood & Outdoors RV products build a much stronger frame so that is what I will go with next time. My current KZ has given me numerous problems and although I repaired and upgraded these issues, I still have a weak frame that could fail again. As a cabinetmaker, you have the ability to improve your new trailer to where it fits your needs, but why put the time and expense into a unit that will never be dependable?

You probably won't find Northwood & Outdoors RV products at Hershey.
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:28 AM   #19
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I have never seen a Northwood trailer in person. I have been to the Tampa and the Hershey shows which are huge shows but I guess Northwood is more a regional trailer.

Not sure if my friends will want to travel out west just to look at a trailer unless it is head and shoulder above the run of the mill trailers.
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:10 AM   #20
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I have been pretty active with the ORV owners forum here, and have picked up a wealth of knowledge, and helped others in their problem solving. My feeling was to make a little vacation out of flying to Denver for a look, as well as determine which floorplan I like the best. I was considering extending the trip by renting a car and visiting another well respected dealer in Montana for competitive pricing, then swinging out to Oregon to tour the plant. The Northwoods plant is about 2 miles from the ORV plant. Unfortunately there is only one Arctic Fox model that I can tow safely. The build schedule is about 6-7 months from order placement, and I would like to have a rig before this time next year. If I should pull the trigger on one, I was looking at going out to take delivery, camp out nearby for a week, then slowly return east as a good shakedown, provided that the factory has set up a warranty repair dealer in my area, which they said they would do.
If I settle for something else, as of now it would seem to be a Winnie Minnie, which can be had locally. I just don't like the smaller tanks, and less insulation, also don't think there is a thermopane window option. Lance seems a bit overpriced & spartan compared to others, along with a lot of customer complaints lately, but we'll look anyway. I'm trying to keep dry weight under 5500 lbs.
I checked out the Oliver website - great build, but too spartan, and a lot of money for a 22 foot.
Any suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 09-07-2015, 02:30 PM   #21
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If you're looking for used, look for a Sunnybrook built before Winnebago bought them. The 27FKS and the one I had, 26CKS were really well built.
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:48 AM   #22
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Highway,

I have been checking out used to a degree. I'm still not settled with the other life's issues yet, but have been seeing used stuff that is not really worthwhile. I think I'd rather go new instead of potential headaches.

Bill
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:54 AM   #23
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I wouldn't hesitate to buy a NW or ORV trailer if out of state. Lots of them are bought that way. Although we bought or NW 5er 300 miles away I would've went even further. NW has made warranty work easy as they referred us to a local RV repair shop. Closet dealers are 50-75 miles away. NW also sent a couple small parts allowing me to fix a couple issues. We're on our 3rd camping season and except for a tiny water leak the 1st week of ownership the 5er has been great. There were some cosmetic things I addressed my self that didn't take much effort.
We frequent RV shows once or twice a year and you can tell the cheap RV's from the more solid built RV's. NW and ORV build some of the more solid TT's and 5ers out there. Yes they have issues like the rest. But the basic platform is what's important IMO.
I'm not too worried about stuff like crooked cover plates, a faucet that breaks, a loose fitting, etc. They all have those issues. In the end when all the little things are taken care of you then have a solid, tight, well insulated trailer. On SOB's after you fix the little stuff you are still stuck with a run of the mill trailer built on a run of the mill frame.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:28 PM   #24
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IMHO...my preference is to buy local. It stimulates the local economy..and keeps the money at home. Find a good reputable local dealer with excellent customer service...and deal with them. I bought a TT about an 1 hour one way from home..it was a big PITB when warranty work needed to be done. Once I left that dealer I was a non entity. However with the local dealer....I know him /her and he/she knows me...good and bad.
Just think if you owned local business and people went out of prov. state, county for the same work or product your business provides...just because of a few dollars savings. If really looking to save money look to Canada with the favorable USA to Canadian dollar exchange rate....for the same TT built in the USA.
As some one said to me......purchasing a TT it's like buying "the best house in a poor neighborhood" unfortunately a trailer is a trailer..no mater how you slice it or dice it. just my humble opinion.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:39 PM   #25
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If a local dealer wants my money then they need to offer their trailers at a decent price. Unfortunately I live in a one horse town. Even if I did find a 5th wheel I liked I would still have to pay more. Why? just so the dealer would like me better till the warranty runs out, then I'm just another RV owner needing a repair. I'm certainly not going to settle for just any RV just so I can buy locally. What if the only dealer in town sold Airstreams or Tiffen motorhomes? I didn't ask the local dealers to carry the brands they do. It's not like buying a car or truck in that the same car or truck can be had in any state.
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Old 09-20-2015, 10:14 AM   #26
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Just to add to the thread,

I went to the Hershey, Pa. RV show yesterday. I didn't waste a lot of time looking at the run of the mill rigs, but wanted to spend some in depth time looking at contenders for what I consider plan "B". Plan "B" would be to settle for a little less in my search for a quality true 4 SEASONS rig.
My "A" LIST is still ORV Creekside 23RBS, but being here in the east, I have yet to have the opportunity to see one. That is still in my plans.

At the show, I focused on Winnebago Minnie 2201, and my 1st looksee at the entire Lance lineup.

The Lance line surpassed Winnebago hands down in construction as well a fit & finish. Winnebago has the nicer gel coat exterior. I really liked the Lance 2295, which has the same floorplan as the Creekside 23RBS.

What I was impressed with in Lance was the interior fit of walls to floor & ceiling. They do not use moldings to cover gaps. The CNC fabrication provides tight fits of the walls. There were no moldings capping panel gaps across the ceilings. Everything was single panel in each room. No luan in the wall construction, use Azdel instead. Structurally, it was all very solid, nothing flimsy. Cabinetry was not on the level of what I'm used to building, but I could not expect that, as weight is an issue with all rigs. The cabinetry was way better than Winnebago, with a lot of nice "extras". I didn't like the plastic drawers in one of the base cabinets, but that is something I can mod very easily. The storage compartments were all finished, not open framing, and I didn't see any particle board. Countertops were solid surface, which I believe is an option (??), nicely done. I crawled under, & on top of the rig, and saw no sloppiness. Tanks are enclosed in a PVC/Vinyl shell, which has insulation & ducted heat towards each tank. I believe there are also tank heating pads. Valves are also inboard & heated. Mattress on full queen bed was pretty comfortable. LED lighting everywhere. Plumbing & joinery of fittings, etc - very neat.
What I didn't care for:
Fabric prints seem out of date, like old style wallpaper. They are replacing their fabrics for 2017.
14" wheels, they offer a spacer kit that will raise ground clearance by 2" for some models (larger units). My concerns were for off road, boon docking, etc. Cannot upgrade to truck tires.
Approximate "R" values of walls, floor & ceiling are less than advertised ORV, Northwood, but units are still comfy well below zero, I am told. At least the rep was honest with "approx R ratings" Winnebago rep was stating R 22 floor & R 31 ceiling & tested at "0" F).
All in all, I was very surprised at what I saw with the Lance product line.
I also have two Lance dealers in my area, farthest being 1 1/2 hrs, closest 1 hr.
The ballpark discount on the rig seems a little small, and the MSRP is higher than the Creekside. The Lance will probably be about 4 - 5 K more, which is about what it would cost me in traveling out west to see the ORV & Northwood products, along with traveling out to bring the rig back. This is not a deal breaker at this time.
Lance warranty support is different with a major problem. They simply send out one of their trucks to deal with a factory return/repair/return, or have the dealer repair. No hassle, no out of pocket expense & reimbursement.
ORV is a 7 month turnaround when order is placed. Lance is 45 - 60 days.

Now the help I seek.

Is there anyone who has seen both products for comparison?
I am still open to anyone's added wisdom.
I have crossed Winnebago off the list, it is now between the Creekside 23RBS, or the Lance 2295

Thanks,
Bill
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Old 09-20-2015, 03:09 PM   #27
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To the OP, if you want days of reading and info, just use the search function on any of the RV forums. I think you will see a trend or pattern that might lead you to what most believe is a quality trailer. In a slightly twisted way, what you seek is the best house in a bad neighborhood. The best TT for you is the one you like the most and will use the most.
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Old 09-20-2015, 03:12 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wthesing View Post


Northwood & Outdoors RV products - sister companies. They build their own chassis, and are touted to be a much more rugged RV. They are true 4 season trailers that are well insulated, which works both ways in hot or cold weather. Beyond that, they use most of the same components as the rest. I am currently leaning towards the ORV Creekside line due to floorplans, size & weight. My problem is the closest dealer is in the Denver area about 1700 miles from me, but I am willing to fly out there for a look see, and finalize choice of floor plan. Northwood - Arctic Fox has a dealer about 120 miles from me, but the dealer wants to sell at MSRP plus delivery, as they know they are the only game around. I don't deal that way, PERIOD !!!! There are other dealers, also Denver area.

Locally I have 5 dealers within a 25 - 30 mile distance, whom I have visited. I have looked at Winnebago, Jayco, Cougar, Coachman, KZ, Flagstaff, & Cruiser RV lines. I heavily scrutinized the build qualities, chassis & suspension, CABINETRY, fit & finish, tank capacities, weight, etc. My findings are that they all are pretty much the same.
Bill
I'm coming to the same conclusion. I'd also say you need to look at what is included. For example, the NASH is solar ready and comes, I think, with a small solar charger and two batteries. Does Lance have that?

I'm in Atlanta and I have the same problem - there aren't many dealers near me. I emailed NASH to find one closer and they have not returned the email.
I might call them.
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