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Old 07-26-2021, 01:23 PM   #1
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Researching a move from a Keystone Passport to ORV/Nash

Hi all,

My family purchased our first trailer 3 summers ago. We chose a 2019 Keystone Passport 2950BH as it fits within the limits of our F150 SCREW 5.5 bed with 3.5 ecoboost (albeit barely within the limits). We really like the layout of the trailer but are not thrilled with the overall quality (frankly it scares me and I think it might just fall apart in the next few years). I kind of want to get rid of it while it is still in good shape and worth something. To me it would only make sense to do this if I can get a superior product. I don't want to do another Keystone, FR, etc..

That brings me to ORV, Northwoods and to this forum. I would ask in the northwoods but it doesn't look like it gets much activity and it appears there is enough similarities to be relevant (especially since it looks like Nash recently started using aluminum framing and added a front cap. Seems like they are pretty close to the mountain series ORV and I assume the core construction is very similar).

I am interested to hear others that have made the transition from one of the Indiana brands (even though my trailer was built in Pendleton I think) to an ORV/Northwoods. What drove you to the decision? Are you happy you did? What are the things that you aren't super impressed with now that you have made the transition?

It seems like there are obvious differences in Frame, solid floors, thicker walls, better insulation which all really appeal to me, but also interested in the fit and finish aspect. Do the ORVs/Nash's have a bunch of stripped out screws holding things together, staples that back out easily fastening trim pieces that break when you look at them wrong

Due to having the Tow Vehicle I do I realize that as much as I would want to get something like the 28BKS, it just isn't a wise move without also upgrading my truck. I don't hate how it tows my current trailer but I also don't love it, especially in windy conditions or anywhere a heavier, longer wheelbase truck would provide more stability. The truck has no issues at all pulling the trailer we have uphill.

With that in mind, it has me considering something like a 23DBS or Nash 24B which have similar dry weights to my current trailer but with a much smaller box. My hope is while the weight is similar, the smaller box will tow better since it doesn't have as much surface area. Maybe folks would tell me I am wrong

I really wish ORV has a better option in a sub 28 bunkhouse. There appears to be very little storage in the 23DBS as compared to the Nash 24B. When we bought our trailer, one of the things that steered us away from a 24 bunkhouse (what we originally thought we would get) was the lack of storage. The 24B has way more it appears then just about any other 24 BH I have seen. Any thoughts on the Nash 24B vs ORV Mountain 23DBS? I know it is a bit more no frills but if it has similar core construction and quality assembly I am not sure I care. Any better Bunkhouse option coming from ORV I should be aware of?

Thanks in Advance.

Brett in Snohomish, WA.
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Old 07-26-2021, 01:53 PM   #2
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The Passport is a lower end but not bottom end TT. I think if you jumped up to a Cougar or Wildcat for instance you'd be more on par with ORV/NW. You wouldn't have that cheap feeling.
I bought our ORV because I had a NW before and thought that being a sister company that ORV would be in the same QC as NW. And they were in Oregon where I'm at in case I needed some factory repairs.
Well it worked out great as I did need factory repairs. My 2013 NW was better constructed than my 2019 ORV. And prior to the NW I had a Heartland Northtrail that never needed anything but a few minor fixes on occasion.

I wouldn't get your hopes up that you'll be getting a better built TT if you jump ship. As I found out the sum of the parts doesn't always equal quality fit and finish. There's lemons from every brand.
On the upside if I finally get all the issues resolved then I have a better product than most.
Our NW Fox Mountain was virtually trouble free except for a couple minor issues.
Not so with our ORV. Even the non ORV parts are failing.

If I had to do it again I'd of stuck with NW but they didn't have the floor plan we wanted in a TT. Hindsight sucks.
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Old 07-26-2021, 04:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cumminsfan View Post
The Passport is a lower end but not bottom end TT. I think if you jumped up to a Cougar or Wildcat for instance you'd be more on par with ORV/NW. You wouldn't have that cheap feeling.
I bought our ORV because I had a NW before and thought that being a sister company that ORV would be in the same QC as NW. And they were in Oregon where I'm at in case I needed some factory repairs.
Well it worked out great as I did need factory repairs. My 2013 NW was better constructed than my 2019 ORV. And prior to the NW I had a Heartland Northtrail that never needed anything but a few minor fixes on occasion.

I wouldn't get your hopes up that you'll be getting a better built TT if you jump ship. As I found out the sum of the parts doesn't always equal quality fit and finish. There's lemons from every brand.
On the upside if I finally get all the issues resolved then I have a better product than most.
Our NW Fox Mountain was virtually trouble free except for a couple minor issues.
Not so with our ORV. Even the non ORV parts are failing.

If I had to do it again I'd of stuck with NW but they didn't have the floor plan we wanted in a TT. Hindsight sucks.
Thanks for the thoughts and experience. Not exactly what I was hoping to hear but I appreciate the honesty. I was hoping that it wasn't just the that they used better materials (at the core). I was hoping that they would have better focus to assembly, trim pieces quality and quality control.

I do have a feeling that the % of getting a poorly assembled trailer has increased drastically due to the massive demand for trailers and the struggle for companies to find people that actually want to work. At least I assume the RV industry is having trouble keeping up with demand while pumping out quality. I had heard it isn't the best time to buy a new trailer, besides the absurd premium they are selling for. Heck, I think I can sell my passport right now for more than I paid 3 years ago.
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Old 07-26-2021, 06:05 PM   #4
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I am with Cumminsfan on this. I moved from a NW (Arctic Fox) to an ORV last fall. I like the layout of the ORV, and love the big holding tanks, but the AF seemed to be built better.

I have a soft spot in my floor, trim is falling off, and my shower was not assembled straight.

Some of the choices TT manufacturers make are baffling.
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Old 07-26-2021, 06:43 PM   #5
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Brett, you should take the ORV factory tour. That's what sold us on their quality and workmanship. We bought our 280KVS from Apache in Everett last year and it's been great.
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Old 07-26-2021, 09:28 PM   #6
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I had three Indiana built trailers before purchasing my ORV. The quality difference is significant. There will always be issues with hand built trailers and even lemons as pointed out in a previous post. My experience has been overwhelming positive and I have zero regrets in my purchase of an ORV trailer.
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Old 07-27-2021, 10:31 AM   #7
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1) Your truck is too light for the 23DBS; at 27'9" and 9995 lbs GVWR this trailer is WELL into 3/4 ton territory. ORV's have large propane tanks, large water tanks and tow heavy with significant tongue weight. My 21RBS has over 1,000 lbs on the tongue. I don't want to burst your bubble but it doesn't do you any good iun the long run to have your head in the sand on this.

2) I find that with RV's and TT's it's about managing expectations - NONE are built like a new car so if that's your metric, you are setting yourself up for disappointment REGARDLESS of brand.

3) I went with the ORV because I feel they build a better trailer; better frame, better suspension, larger tanks, more insulation, thicker walls, double pane windows, etc. etc. ....I think they are likely put together a bit better but count on some minor items to deal with. On mine, I has a loose screw on the water fill door, a loose panel on the furnace, some wood shavings and crap under the cabinets and a couple other similar and minor things. I'd buy it again.


2 cents,
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Old 07-27-2021, 11:44 AM   #8
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I'm with Dave on this one. I went from a Nash to an ORV. IMO, the northwood products are a bit more dated in appearance. The new units reminded me of a 20yr old trailer. I preferred the more modern look and feel of the ORV's. As far as screws stripping/falling out. I arrived at a campground to have a screw missing and another half way out of my microwave. Things like that happen with them all. Quick tip here. Dip a toothpick into some glue and stick it in the stripped out hole. Break it off flush and put the screw back in. This works great and I've never had to redo one of these fixes.
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Old 07-27-2021, 11:50 AM   #9
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Welcome to the forum, Brett! Alan and I bought a Jayco Jay Flight bunkhouse model new in 2006 and moved on to our ORV in 2017 when our kids aged out of camping with us on a regular basis. Spent a year and a half researching the purchase and really liked the ORV features that make dry camping easier and more comfortable and also allow us to extend our camping season here in the northeast. We have no experience with Northwood other than having friends who had one and said it was the best trailer they ever owned. We would have considered an Arctic Fox by Northwood but they didn't offer a floor plan that appealed to us at the time we were shopping.

We loved the Jayco, had very few problems with it, and put over 40,000 miles on it. But I can't speak to the quality of Jayco units being built today.

We traveled cross-country to buy our Creek Side, sight unseen, based upon the hours and hours of online research we had done. At the time, Jayco did offer a floor plan similar to our 26RLS, but our research had indicated that the ORV unit was a better built product with many more features than Jayco offered. On our way to pick up our Creek Side at Apache in Everett, we stopped for the factory tour in La Grande, and we liked what we saw and learned about their construction process.

You had asked about the transition from an Indiana trailer to an ORV. After camping with our Creek Side for more than four years, I'll tell you that there's not one single outing where I don't say, "I love this trailer" at least once. It feels, works and lives like it's built better. It's not that we haven't had issues; we have. Our backflush valve was installed backwards and we actually had to return to the factory to have our back wall replaced due to a failure in the luan. (In all fairness, ORV offered to ship a new wall back east to us, but there were no dealers in our area that we trusted to handle such a major repair.) We weren't happy about incurring the expense of a return trip (all repairs were covered under warranty), but we don't have a single regret about buying an ORV.

I believe that ORV (and every other RV manufacturer out there) needs to concentrate more on quality control. That being said, I'm sure that part of the problem is securing the proper labor force - which has become even more difficult in recent times. I have a feeling that staff shortages and quality control issues are problems that every manufacturer deals with. I just think that ORV takes the concept of building RVs for outdoor enthusiasts more seriously than many other companies. Having had both a Jayco and an ORV, I can honestly say that we'd probably not even look at anything other than an ORV or Northwood product if we ever decided to spring for a new rig.

As others have indicated, ORV rigs are heavy, and we did move up from a 1500 to a 2500 when we bought ours for safety and ease of towing.

No matter what route you decide to go, best wishes for many happy camping adventures ahead!

Mary
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Old 07-27-2021, 12:26 PM   #10
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A couple people touched on the Nash/AF vs. ORV and I'd concur; the ORV's had better layouts and more features that appeal to boondockers IMO but I'd have no quality concerns with either of the others.

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Old 07-27-2021, 12:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dave Pelletier View Post
1) Your truck is too light for the 23DBS; at 27'9" and 9995 lbs GVWR this trailer is WELL into 3/4 ton territory. ORV's have large propane tanks, large water tanks and tow heavy with significant tongue weight. My 21RBS has over 1,000 lbs on the tongue. I don't want to burst your bubble but it doesn't do you any good iun the long run to have your head in the sand on this.

2) I find that with RV's and TT's it's about managing expectations - NONE are built like a new car so if that's your metric, you are setting yourself up for disappointment REGARDLESS of brand.

3) I went with the ORV because I feel they build a better trailer; better frame, better suspension, larger tanks, more insulation, thicker walls, double pane windows, etc. etc. ....I think they are likely put together a bit better but count on some minor items to deal with. On mine, I has a loose screw on the water fill door, a loose panel on the furnace, some wood shavings and crap under the cabinets and a couple other similar and minor things. I'd buy it again.


2 cents,
Dave
Thank you Dave. A couple questions for you and others as well as comments to check sanity. I have read that the tongue weights are heavy on these and that even the 23DBS most people say 3/4 ton. That said I had to look at the math and think about how we have used our current trailer.

Since I am not a total newbie to towing a travel trailer I feel like I know how we will use it and pack it. While I know people say use the GVWR for calcing tongue weight it doesn't make sense to me for a few reasons.
1) at most we will have 1000# of stuff in the trailer (not including propane, water, batteries).
2) In 3 years I have traveled with more than ~20 gallons of water in my front tank 1 time. Not saying it wouldn't be nice or would never happen but I feel like I know how I would use. we are weekend warrior campers that like full hookups or at least water.

so taking a mountain 23DBS at a weight of 6350 (I wouldn't add much if any options) + 1000 pounds of stuff + 60# propane + 130# for batteries + 224# (1/3 tank of water) puts me at 7764#. 13% tongue weight makes that 1009# which gives me ~800# of room for family, and stuff in the truck. I didn't add the weight of the Equalizer as it should put most of it's own weight back into the trailer. This may put it slightly over the hitch rating (1050 with wds) but keep me under or very close to GVWR. It sounds like it may take attention to loading to actually get 12-13% loaded (by loading heaving items in rear storage (love that mine currently has this as it makes it easier to load the rear) but should be possible. I am way out in left field on this assumption? I totally would love a 3/4 ton or bigger and know the half ton is right at it's limits (payload, rear axle and hitch capacities) but it seems doable.

Totally agree with 2 and that is why I am not upset. I knew going in I was buying a POS. I don't actually understand how they can build a 34 foot rolling condo with all the stuff they do for 25K let alone for whatever it actually costs them to have margin for the manufacturer, marketing, Warranty, dealer margin, etc... It really blows my mind.

#3 is the reason I am attracted to ORV/Northwood.
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Old 07-27-2021, 01:04 PM   #12
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I'm with Dave on this one. I went from a Nash to an ORV. IMO, the northwood products are a bit more dated in appearance. The new units reminded me of a 20yr old trailer. I preferred the more modern look and feel of the ORV's. As far as screws stripping/falling out. I arrived at a campground to have a screw missing and another half way out of my microwave. Things like that happen with them all. Quick tip here. Dip a toothpick into some glue and stick it in the stripped out hole. Break it off flush and put the screw back in. This works great and I've never had to redo one of these fixes.
Thank you for the response. thanks for the tips on backed out screws.

What is interesting is your comment about the dated appearance. Looking at the new Nash's with front cap they look a lot more modern than the ones from just a few years ago. That combined with the aluminum frame construction now likely has them more on par with an ORV I think but in a more basic setup (definitely doesn't have the bling).
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Old 07-27-2021, 01:06 PM   #13
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Mary, thank you for the detailed response. It is very helpful and confirming what is driving me to look at ORV/Northwoods. I wish we would have stopped at the factory when we passed it twice on our trip to the tetons.

Apache in Everett is where I bought my passport and who I would likely buy my next trailer from. Don is who we worked with. My drive to it is a bit shorter than yours. I think mine is 8 miles
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Old 07-27-2021, 01:10 PM   #14
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A couple people touched on the Nash/AF vs. ORV and I'd concur; the ORV's had better layouts and more features that appeal to boondockers IMO but I'd have no quality concerns with either of the others.

Dave
Thanks Dave. This actually has me thinking Nash may be more for us.
1) we like the layout of the 24B better than the 23DBS only due to more storage.
2) while I can appreciate the extra bling and more boondocker appeal, I don't care to pay for the extra bling and I don't know if I need all the boondocking stuff.

The ORVs sure are good looking though Anybody know if the Nash countertops are actual solid surface like the ORV? Our Passport counters are cheap wood wrapped in a vinyl that looks like marble. While they have been fine I don't think they are particularly long lasting.
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