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Old 03-26-2014, 03:22 PM   #1
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Compare the ride and drivability of these 2 26'ers

I like both of these and wonder what differences I would feel or see in driving each, and would I really notice that much difference or have to give a lot more thought when driving either over the other:

1. 26' Born Free
2. 26' Safari Trek

Some of the other differences I see would be in amount of storage, openness of the floorplan, and driving higher on the road in the Trek.

But still wonder if one would be a lot easier to drive and more comfortable in tight spaces like pulling in and out parking lots or on smaller roads/hwys off the beaten track.

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Old 03-26-2014, 03:36 PM   #2
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We have owned both an A and a C. I have found the A has a lot more room and the view while driving is tremendous.

Neal and Deb + Mya and Gizmo, the pup's
2003 Winnebago Sightseer 30B

May the roads rise up to meet you, May the winds be always at your back...
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:51 PM   #3
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Born Free is still in business and has a solid reputation.

The Trek is out of business.

Which chassis and engine are in each?

Amateur Radio Operator (KE5DFR)|Full-Time! - 2012 6.7L Ford Crew Cab Dually -2013 HitchHiker Champagne 38RLRSB - Travel with one Standard Schnauzer and one small Timneh African Gray Parrot
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
Born Free is still in business and has a solid reputation.

The Trek is out of business.

Which chassis and engine are in each?

The Trek is a Workhourse with GM 8.1 liter engine.

The Born Free is E450 Ford chasis with 6.7 V10 engine

Any cons about either? Any difference in handling and mpg.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:37 AM   #5
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Hi Bob,

I'm a two-time Trek owner, so somewhat biased, but here's my response:

Born Free is a high quality class C that has produced essentially the same model for many (15-20?) years- with detail refinements (similar to Lazy Daze). This is actually better than having to produce a new gimmick each year to display at the RV shows.

Safari Trek is a very high quality class A with a very loyal owner base. Originally introduced by Safari in 1991, and continued until 2006 after purchase by Monaco. The 8.1 engine Trek on a workhorse chassis was introduced in 2003. See: http://www.nwtfc.com/forum/active.asp for brochures, floorplans, and lots of information.

The Trek will have much more interior space due to the bed retracting into the ceiling. Since there's no bedroom, this gives floor space of a 36' coach in 26' length

Some say a class C is easier to drive because it feels like a van from the drivers seat. However, the big house section is still behind you.

The view from the class A Trek windshield will be much better than the Born free, and the Trek will have significantly more storage.

I think both Ford V-10 and GM V-8 8.1 are suitable for RV use. While the 8.1 has been out of production for a while, parts are still available. The V-10 runs at higher RPM, and some owners have complained about excessive engine noise. The Trek workhorse chassis had a major brake caliper issue, so be sure you have documentation of the recall repair.

The Trek has:
Full body paint. No decals
Solid wood cabinets with clamp-on hinges. No hinge screws to come loose
Corian style countertops
Inverter standard
80 gallon fresh water and large holding tanks.
Basement model construction, and enclosed holding tanks.
Full size bathroom with large shower
Leveling jacks
Ducted ceiling A/C
Power step
Rear camera

While not necessarily true of the Born Free, some of the class C Ford RV's have had the chassis cut and lengthened and, to my eyes, appear way too long and unstable. The class a Trek seems like a more stable platform, although some owners add handling upgrades - especially a Track bar (panhard bar) as we did. Mileage might be less on the Trek, but this is really dependent on driver styles.

Our first RV was a class C Midas mini. We loved it, and drove it for 97,000 miles. We then had a class A Winnebago Chieftain for 114,000 miles before buying a new '95 Safari Trek then a used '99 (Trek mileage total 162,000). Our choice is a small class A with no slides, not "bigger is better". Your final choice may come down to what you like, and how you will use it. Both RV's are good value.

Originally Posted by SissyBoyBob View Post
The Trek is a Workhourse with GM 8.1 liter engine.

The Born Free is E450 Ford chasis with 6.7 V10 engine

Any cons about either? Any difference in handling and mpg.
George Schweikle Lexington, KY
1999 Safari TREK 2830, FMCA 190830, Safari International chapter
1995 Safari TREK 2630, 1983 Winnebago Chieftain, 1976 Midas Mini
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