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navajas 11-30-2019 10:24 AM

Coleman / Somerset Lineage quality vs. Others
Weíre deep in a mire of variables for our first RV purchase and one of the two main contenders, Opus and Somerset, took some rally big shots to the face this weekend. Iíve had my heart set on an Opus for many, many years. Turns out, bafflingly, the beds are *very* small in an Air Opus. Iíve never heard anyone mention this between gushing breaths about how awesome the Opus is, ďHey, by the way, if youíre over around 5í4Ē, might want to look elsewhere.Ē

And... the Somerset. Cool enough, I guess, but the bullet proof quality everyone always beams sure doesnít make it through from the frame to the interior. The dealer damn near broke the galley just deploying it. I donít know. It was still fairly high on the list for the open air ambiance we like and the sleeping accommodations that actually fit, but the cabinets, interior wood... I mean the floor was sagging under our feet.

But I always heard, ďoh my god, do NOT even consider a tent trailer thatís not part of the Coleman DNAĒ. On a goof stepped then, just to solidify how crappy anything out of Indiana must be, I stepped into one of those high wall Flagstaffs. Uhm... Drawer glides. Cabinets that actually lock. A real galley. A sort of real bathroom, storage space, same seating, etc...

Well, if that wasnít a shock, what about Aliners? Everything I read says, OH, Aliners, donít even THINK about buying an A frame thatís not an Aliner. And given how disastrous the Opus trial went, the Aliner had moved to the top of our list, and after kind of *meh* experience in the Somerset, it maintained that position. But, gosh darn it, Aliner doesnít really sleep four, except in the new Family, and itís ďpull outĒ kitchen is pretty sad compared to the Opus et al. Too bad Aliner canít figure out a decent floorplan for families with children.

So, again, on a lark, opened the door to a Chalet on the lot, glanced right and saw... BUNKS?! Stepped in, again, much better cabinets, a useable four person floor plan, real galley, better attempt at a make-believe bathroom, nice size dinette...

So, have I just spent years reading propaganda about Aliner / Somerset? I mean, I did see the vinyl tent covered risers on the Flagstaff Iíve been warned off, and I was so disillusioned I forgot to look at the frame on which it sat, but....

Ugh. I donít know. Any thoughts? Is Somerset / Aliner quality *really* so prohibitively better other companies arenít worth considering? Also, Iím not sure where I picked it up, but, it was after either the Flagstaff or the Chalet that I noticed I was getting a sore throat. This happened before at an RV show when I was in a Forest River A Frame. It smelled strange with a chemical over tone and almost immediately my throat started to hurt.

Iím rambling, I realize. Any Chalet owners care to challenge Aliner claims of supremacy? And Flagstaff wonder care to chime in with testimonials? Iím falling down a rabbit hole here, falling past my previous hopes and desires while new things Iíd never considered of like Trail Manor and Chalet float by.


Desert Flyer 12-03-2019 08:58 PM

Coleman / Somerset Lineage quality vs. Others
Our ďcurrentĒ (just gave to my son but still in our yard) píup is a 2000 Coleman Tacoma, which has been great as a camper. While it is not an RV by any stretch of imagination, it satisfies the camping bug just fine. Previous píups have been a Ď69 Coleman 480 (parents), Ď82 Starcraft StarFlyer (parents then mine), and now the Tacoma. All three served their intended camping (not RVing) function superbly. But make no mistake, these were never made nor priced to be on par with a TT, interiors especially. Light weight is paramount and flimsyness is a consequence. That being said, the two Colemans held up better than the Starcraft with age. A number of the wood frame members started failing including the rear box top cross-member which supported the rear bunk. In this regard, the Colemans were superior. The interior and livability of the Starcraft was nicer/better than Coleman so showed nicer. It was well built as far as a wood-framed trailer can be, given the time, elements, and miles.

If I was looking for another popup, it would be Somerset for me. However, as I age when the time comes for shopping it will be a basic TT for less back-braking setup, proper supportive bed, true kitchen, and more storage. I donít understand spending a lot of money for a heavy, wood-framed high wall popup that is trying to be more luxurious than what a popup started out being. IMHO, a well-sized (not tiny) pod type of TT is a better, lightweight, more aerodynamic compromise between a popup and a TT. There are several makers of these that will sleep 4 including at least two normal size adults, notably RPod by Forest River and MinnieDrop and some Micro Minnies from Winnebago. Also Satellite and Comet by Starcraft. Everyone is different; that why there are so many different kinds of campers/RVs...itís just fun to get out there and enjoy this great country whether luxurious or frugal.

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