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Old 11-15-2012, 06:54 AM   #1
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Going to buy a new travel trailer, any advice?

Hello everyone, My name is Amy and I am new to this site...my husband and I are currently camping in our 2001 Starcraft popup and are in the process of buying a new travel trailer. For the past 2 years we have sat at our computer looking at hundreds of travel trailers out there, in fact my favorite TT was the 2009 Bullet and since then they have changed the floorplan and you cannot get that one anymore (thats how long we have been dreaming of a TT)! I was wondering does anyone on here have any personal advice or comments on any brand or experiences in their TT that they would like to share. Obviously I know it is a personal choice, but it would be nice to get some feedback on the TT's that are out there and what your likes and dislikes are! Thanks everyone in advance!

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Old 11-15-2012, 07:24 AM   #2
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You will get allot of feed back on this for sure. Get what you like and feel comfortable in. Have it inspected if buying used by an independent RV repair place. Used a few years would be the thing if you don't mind a new to you camper. It will save you big$$ and someone else took the hit for depreciation. Remember one thing if buying new. Do not fall for the oh we cant go lower on the price we paid to much for it. Most new RV's can be sold for 30 to 40% less than MSRP.
PS what ever you chose have fun and make memories

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Old 11-15-2012, 07:38 AM   #3
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Pick a trailer that has a GVWR within range of your tow vehicle. Otherwise your towing experiences will not be pleasant. Have you also looked at Arctic Fox? Very well build trailers still produced in one location by an independent manufacturer with a very good reputation for quality. However they tend to also be heavy. I would suggest that you visit at least a couple of RV shows so you can look at floor plans from different manufacturers. Once you have a couple you really think you would,like, go shopping. Get rid of the salesman and play house in it. Also look very closely at fit finish. It's amazing how fast you can find shortcomings on your favorite trailer once you start looking past the glitz and glitter. Don't make the shopping experience a choir, it needs to be fun.
Don and Lorri
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:26 AM   #4
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Hi Amy! Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you guys join the bunch here! I never owned a TT, pulled a 5er for 10 years, so can't help with your question. Good luck on finding just the right one for you! Have fun & God bless!
Joe & Annette

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Old 11-16-2012, 08:27 AM   #5
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Thank you all for your comments, yes 450Donn we do look at the GVWR before anything else. We do not have a 250 or a 350 truck and refuse to buy a new truck until this one is paid off. That combination would be more than what I paid for my house! Not happening!!! lol I know from looking at many TT that you can get caught up and if you really look closely you can look at just how cheaply some are put together. It is a sick feeling knowing that you pay all that money for a TT just to find out that it comes apart in the first year..I just wanted to see if anyone had just purchased a TT and what their experiences were...thanks to everyone for the warm welcome to the site too, it should be very helpful in the future!
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:42 AM   #6
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Personally, I'd steer away from anything with an Ultra Lite (or similar) label, regardless of manufacturer. There's a reason these trailers are lighter than normal - thinner walls, floor and roof, less substantial frame and construction, etc. Many of the complaints I've noticed have centered on problems resulting from this lightweight (all too often, flimsy) construction.

Jayco is another privately held manufacturer who has an excellent reputation for quality at its pricing points and standout customer service as exemplified by their 2+3 warranty (2 years bumper-to-bumper and 3 additional years structural).

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Old 11-20-2012, 02:40 PM   #7
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Hi Amy,
I found that in the Rv industry, you get what you pay for. Some travel trailers are poorly constructed and designed. I worked for an Rv dealer after I retired from the school system. I did the "walk-throughs" with new buyers once they purchased their unit. We actually had brand new units right from the factory fail to operate properly, ie engine, generator, frig, etc. I have owned several trailers and the best one to me is the one I own now, a Mobile Scout by Sunny Brook. I understand the the company is now owned by Winnebago. Look for fit and finish. Crawl under the unit and look for signs of poor workmanship, ie "hanging wires not secured, rust, etc. I bought a brand new Forrest River Cardinal 5th wheel. By the time I got it home to my drive, the right leaf springs completely collapsed, the trailer was leaning so bad that I thought it was going to roll over. The dealer picked it up and had me pick out a new unit. Stick with a known dealer who will stand behind their product. I found with my limited experience with working at an Rv dealership, that all Rv's have problems of some kind. The question is, will the dealer stand behind the product and fix the problem to your satisfaction. I hope this helps. Good luck, there is alot of junk junk out there.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:31 PM   #8
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My 2 cents:

I'd stay clear of anything that uses Luaun in the walls or floors, residential fiberglass insulation (the fluffy kind) and wood framing. These cause a lot of problems in my opinion. Oh yes, and OSB is a big no no!

I'd stick with a composite substrate (Azdel, Compositek, etc) Aluminum framing and 2" block form insulation. Beaufloor material is also the way to go (it's not your fathers vinyl / linoleum)

Just my opinion!
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:22 PM   #9
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Welcome Amy! You've already taken the step that I would recommend...you are asking experienced people. This is the right place for that!

2 years of searching is nothing! We looked for 5 years! It is a big decision and I know you want to get it right. We bought our first TT a little over a year ago. We were looking for light weight and not too expensive. My DH didn't grow up camping like I did. He was afraid that we would buy something that would end up sitting in the driveway. I'm not a bit surprised that he fell in love with the adventure. We took 14 trips in 14 months! Only 4 of those were long trips (5 days or more). The rest were weekend getaways, but just as fun.

Here's what we did during those 5 years of searching. We attended every RV show that came to our area and visited every RV dealer in the area at least once a year. The manufacturers come out with new ideas all the time and we didn't want to miss a thing! Floor plan is very important. If you get the wrong one for you, it can be very disappointing after a few trips. Having said that, it's nearly impossible to get EVERYTHING you want in a floor plan. (i.e. "if I just had THAT bathroom in THIS trailer....") But you can get really close and be happy.

When talking to other campers, pay attention to what they "wish they would have considered with their trailers". One camper told me that they wished they had more counter space in the kitchen. Cooking was not an issue since they did most of their cooking outside, but one of the best things about having a trailer is being able to clean up and do dishes without having to carry water and heat it. They "wished" they didn't have to use their table to stack both dirty and clean dishes during the clean up process.

Another camper said they "wished" they had gotten a camper with the bedroom in the back. They said most of the campgrounds they go to, they like to back-in to their sites. Having the bedroom in the back would get them away from nighttime headlights.

Still another camper said he would never get another camper that had the television at a 90 degree angle from the couch. You may not plan to sit in your trailer and watch tv, but if you find yourself stuck inside on a rainy day, you can get a crick in your neck while waiting for the rain to pass.

We listened to all these things and ended up with a v-nose, front kitchen with the bedroom in the back and the tv at an angle. We love it! But alas, the very next year (yes we still look) I saw one almost exactly like it, but with a different bathroom that I like better. Oh well...since my DH is now sold on camping, this won't be our last one. As a matter-of-fact, we are considering full-timing in a few years!

I know this has been long, but I hope our experience helps. Be sure to let us know what you end up with and why you came to your decision. I'm sure someone else will benefit from it.

By the way, ours is a 2012 Palomino 829vfks made by Forrest River. It's an Elite Ultra Light. And, yes, some of the interior has some quality issues with the material, but that's to be expected when they are trying to build trailers light enough that people will want to buy them without having to purchase a new vehicle at the same time. I carry a bottle of crazy glue in my kitchen drawer and fix things as they happen. Our trailer is holding up fine and still looks brand new.

Best of luck!
Sherri2015 Ford F-250 Superduty with Powerstroke Diesel.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:55 AM   #10
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thank you so much for your reply. That is the information I was looking for! You really gave me a few things to think about and I really appreciate it! You will never be totally satisfied with your camper and I think that is the "key" thing to remember. They are like computers, phones, and flat screen TV's, they are always coming out with something better. We have a 10 year plan and we are planning on buying a TT that we can afford and pull with our truck now because it wont be paid off for another 4 yrs. and stay in the TT for 10 years and buy a new truck and then 6 years later a new fifth wheel. So it is important to us that we get a well made TT that we can enjoy for that long of time. I already know that I want a kitchen with some counter space, I have seen 100's of TT and there is only a few ones that have that, a larger bathroom or rear bathroom would be nice but so would a V-nose for better gas mileage. We hate the small dinettes and do not want a BH because we don't want to take ppl with us and feel it is a waste of space. It would be nice to get everything that you desire in a TT but I know that is not realistic..lol We will have to compromise on a few things...We are so excited about getting a TT and getting rid of that hellish pop up...lol I will not shed any tears with that dang thing is gone...lol I have paid my dues and I am too old and brittle to bend down and remove everything just to find that one pan...lol Thanks again for your input, it really did help me a lot and we are so happy to be able to financially move up in rank to one day graduating to the "big dog" of all trailers, the fifth wheel.....

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