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Unread 09-16-2020, 05:07 PM   #1
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Considering a Northwood Product

I like the build quality with the 'four season' availability, the off road suspension and the available options. Not crazy about the floor plans or the rustic interiors, however that wouldn't be a deal breaker for me.

What I am interested in is the common problems that these units tend to share. This forum seems pretty bare for complaints, which is a good thing unless that's a result of the other forum getting more traffic.

So if anyone is aware and would care to list some of the areas of concern with these units I would greatly appreciate the feedback.
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Unread 09-16-2020, 06:19 PM   #2
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I hate to disappoint you by not being able to answer your question, but my 2013 Arctic Fox 27 – 5L fifth wheel has worked great for me in my life as a fulltimer. It's my third fifth wheel and since I'm a boondocker I drag the Arctic Fox down a lot of beat up dirt roads and its still holding together.

Knowing the kind of full time life I was going to live I was far more interested in the strength of the frame the carrying capacity of the axles and the shocks than I was on floor plans and upholstery colors. Because believe me if your broke down on a dirt road somewhere because your frame broke the last thing on your mind is going to be how pretty your drapes are.

So I don't have any serious complaints about my Arctic Fox. If a piece of trim gets loose I get out my screwdriver, fix it and keep heading on down the road.

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Unread 09-16-2020, 06:57 PM   #3
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I hate to disappoint you by not being able to answer your question, but my 2013 Arctic Fox 27 – 5L fifth wheel has worked great for me in my life as a fulltimer. It's my third fifth wheel and since I'm a boondocker I drag the Arctic Fox down a lot of beat up dirt roads and its still holding together.

Knowing the kind of full time life I was going to live I was far more interested in the strength of the frame the carrying capacity of the axles and the shocks than I was on floor plans and upholstery colors. Because believe me if your broke down on a dirt road somewhere because your frame broke the last thing on your mind is going to be how pretty your drapes are.

So I don't have any serious complaints about my Arctic Fox. If a piece of trim gets loose I get out my screwdriver, fix it and keep heading on down the road.

theboondork.com
The second reason I'm considering this brand is to drag it down dirt roads.

How deep into the weeds are you able to take your 5er? All 'overhanging branches' and tight squeezes already acknowledged. Does it truly handle going off road, or do you a fairly good dirt road to manage it?
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Unread 09-17-2020, 08:13 AM   #4
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Does it truly handle going off road, or do you a fairly good dirt road to manage it?
When I had my '04 24-5N, I took it to Inuvik NT over the Dempster Highway. The Dempster is about 458 miles long and at the time had almost 80 miles paved IIRC. The unpaved portion consisted of some really good gravel and some not so good, but not really filled with a lot of potholes. Some washboard, some miles with mud a couple inches deep, some pretty bumpy, but a nice couple day drive each way.

I also drove up to Coldfoot, AK on the Dalton Highway in an early spring adventure. This is mostly gravel and, not knowing anything about frost heaves, hit a big heave at about 40 MPH. I swear the truck went airborne. There were two things damaged during this short flight. First, a jar hit the glass shelf over the vegetable drawers in the refrigerator. A bit of cleanup, but no big issue. I never replaced the glass shelf. Second, my dining table pulled away from the wall, inverted, and all 4 legs came off and were laying side by side within the overturned tabletop. The table wasn't really damaged, it was more like the screws pulled out. This was fixed better than new with a stop at the BORG in Fairbanks on the way back (this cost me a drill bit set and longer screws). And yes, I now know what it means when I see those thin sticks with the ribbon on top, on the side of the roadway.

I've been on a couple of off-road jaunts. Well, one was completely off-road and a couple other were more 4WD roads. Driving much slower, I had no issues with the Fox staying in one piece.

Back to morning brew . . .

PS: For those acronym deficient folks, BORG refers to a hive collective of home improvement stores that have effectively assimilated smaller stores with the goal of 'achieving perfection'. Resistance is futile. BORG = Big Orange Retail Giant.
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Unread 09-17-2020, 09:25 AM   #5
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That's an excellent question because there's all kinds of dirt roads from 60 miles an hour to Jeep trails, so I believe you're asking how bad of a road do I take my Arctic Fox on?

the best answer I can give is... I take it on roads that I have scouted with my GMC Duramax 2500 four-wheel-drive pickup to make sure the boondocking spot is worth the drive. That I'm not gonna get in a place I can't turn around. And this is important, I'm not going to damage my Arctic Fox fifth wheel, because it's my home and is the only one I've got. So no I don't go on gnarly dirt roads, and the older I get the less gnarly my roads become.

I spend my Summers in Colorado and my winters boondocking in southern Arizona, southern Texas, southern New Mexico, so if you're familiar with dirt roads in those kind of places, that's mostly where you will find me.

I have a slide-in pop-up camper that I carry on the back of my GMC truck during the summer for excursions into the Colorado mountains where I do go on Jeep trails that would be too difficult, or too damaging for the Arctic Fox. So I would say that the roads you can go on with a 27 – 5L Arctic Fox is based mostly on how willing you are to take a chance on breaking it, and how deep your pockets are if you have to fix it.

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Unread 09-17-2020, 09:42 AM   #6
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I have had an Arctic Fox 26X for ten years. We had a few cosmetic issues when we took delivery, and those were fixed under warranty. No issues after that.

We had one window start to leak this summer, but that was an easy fix.

I bought a new Outdoors RV (sister company to Nash and Arctic Fox) and hope to take delivery next week. I hope the new trailer works out as well as the old one!
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Unread 09-17-2020, 09:59 AM   #7
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We owned two smaller AF TTs ove a 12-year period starting in 2003.

Our experience was like others here. We had very few issues on either unit and AF always went above and beyond on the one or two issues we did have... even long out of warranty.

Personally, I would not call them true “four season” TTs. More like 3+ season RVs.

They are heavy and ours were both under tired from the factory and that led to problems. Especially when we were newbies and replaced blown tires with identical tires thinking the factory wouldn’t put tires on the trailer that were not rated for the weight.

When we owned ours Ron Nash was alive and running the company. I’m not sure what has changed without him there.

The stodgy interiors and floorplans are one of the main reasons we left the brand.

PS. It was always super easy to sell a used Arctic Fox and for a reasonable price. Our 8-yr old 22H sold for asking price in one day. Our 5-yr old 25S took longer but sold to the first person to look at it.
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Unread 09-17-2020, 03:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theboondork. View Post
That's an excellent question because there's all kinds of dirt roads from 60 miles an hour to Jeep trails, so I believe you're asking how bad of a road do I take my Arctic Fox on?

the best answer I can give is... I take it on roads that I have scouted with my GMC Duramax 2500 four-wheel-drive pickup to make sure the boondocking spot is worth the drive. That I'm not gonna get in a place I can't turn around. And this is important, I'm not going to damage my Arctic Fox fifth wheel, because it's my home and is the only one I've got. So no I don't go on gnarly dirt roads, and the older I get the less gnarly my roads become.

I spend my Summers in Colorado and my winters boondocking in southern Arizona, southern Texas, southern New Mexico, so if you're familiar with dirt roads in those kind of places, that's mostly where you will find me.

I have a slide-in pop-up camper that I carry on the back of my GMC truck during the summer for excursions into the Colorado mountains where I do go on Jeep trails that would be too difficult, or too damaging for the Arctic Fox. So I would say that the roads you can go on with a 27 – 5L Arctic Fox is based mostly on how willing you are to take a chance on breaking it, and how deep your pockets are if you have to fix it.

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This is sortof my plan. Scout first, drag 5th wheel second. I've also considered the truck camper for the exact same reason. Where do you keep the second truck, since the 5er is your home?
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Unread 09-17-2020, 03:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by creativepart View Post
We owned two smaller AF TTs ove a 12-year period starting in 2003.

Our experience was like others here. We had very few issues on either unit and AF always went above and beyond on the one or two issues we did have... even long out of warranty.

Personally, I would not call them true “four season” TTs. More like 3+ season RVs.

They are heavy and ours were both under tired from the factory and that led to problems. Especially when we were newbies and replaced blown tires with identical tires thinking the factory wouldn’t put tires on the trailer that were not rated for the weight.

When we owned ours Ron Nash was alive and running the company. I’m not sure what has changed without him there.

The stodgy interiors and floorplans are one of the main reasons we left the brand.

PS. It was always super easy to sell a used Arctic Fox and for a reasonable price. Our 8-yr old 22H sold for asking price in one day. Our 5-yr old 25S took longer but sold to the first person to look at it.

Could you elaborate on your experience with these in the winter months? How long, how cold, what issues etc. Thanks in advance.
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Unread 09-17-2020, 05:33 PM   #10
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We just sold our 2005 Nash 19B and it was still rock solid. Sold in 2 1/2 days for asking price to the first people that looked. Our 2020 Nash 23D is much more stout and capable of handling rough roads which is our intent, in fact we leave tomorrow morning for a two week jaunt doing strictly BLM lands in Nevada, Idaho and wherever else we end up.

So while the interiors and floorplans may seem stodgy to some they make them to work, not so much on the glitz and for that I'm grateful because i know they'll hold up. As for floorplans, you can only do so much with a box.
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Unread 09-17-2020, 05:48 PM   #11
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We just sold our 2005 Nash 19B and it was still rock solid. Sold in 2 1/2 days for asking price to the first people that looked. Our 2020 Nash 23D is much more stout and capable of handling rough roads which is our intent, in fact we leave tomorrow morning for a two week jaunt doing strictly BLM lands in Nevada, Idaho and wherever else we end up.

So while the interiors and floorplans may seem stodgy to some they make them to work, not so much on the glitz and for that I'm grateful because i know they'll hold up. As for floorplans, you can only do so much with a box.
Any leaks ever?
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Unread 09-18-2020, 09:00 AM   #12
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To answer your question about how I manage dealing with a fifth wheel and a slide in camper as a fulltimer. During the summer I boondock in my daughter's yard. No hookups, don't need them. And I go to a nearby state Park to dump my tanks every once in a while. During that time I will usually have a slide in camper on my truck so I can go to the mountains anytime I feel like it and spend a week or two. In the fall I take the slide in camper off the truck and leave it at my daughter's house in a fenced in area. I put my lightweight easy to install Andersen fifth wheel hitch in the bed of the truck, hitch up the Arctic Fox, and head South.

You asked someone else about leaks in their Arctic Fox so I'll answer that question also. My 2013, 27 – 5L Arctic Fox that I bought new has never had a leak in it as far as I know, and it's been through some pretty good wind and rain storms. If you think about it when you're driving down the interstate in the rain you have almost hurricane force winds blowing rain at the trailer but I've never had a leak which to me is pretty impressive.

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Unread 09-18-2020, 02:07 PM   #13
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To answer your question about how I manage dealing with a fifth wheel and a slide in camper as a fulltimer. During the summer I boondock in my daughter's yard. No hookups, don't need them. And I go to a nearby state Park to dump my tanks every once in a while. During that time I will usually have a slide in camper on my truck so I can go to the mountains anytime I feel like it and spend a week or two. In the fall I take the slide in camper off the truck and leave it at my daughter's house in a fenced in area. I put my lightweight easy to install Andersen fifth wheel hitch in the bed of the truck, hitch up the Arctic Fox, and head South.

You asked someone else about leaks in their Arctic Fox so I'll answer that question also. My 2013, 27 – 5L Arctic Fox that I bought new has never had a leak in it as far as I know, and it's been through some pretty good wind and rain storms. If you think about it when you're driving down the interstate in the rain you have almost hurricane force winds blowing rain at the trailer but I've never had a leak which to me is pretty impressive.

theboondork.com
That's a real issue for me with build quality, and I just don't see folks talking about leaks here (or on the ORV board).

I was in a brand new Phoenix Cruiser after a heavy rain looking at the floor plan, and there was water on the floor by the corner of the slideout.

Oofa.

I still intend to put the rv armor roof system on whatever unit I buy, but I'm glad to see that there are so little of those issues with these rigs.
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Unread 09-21-2020, 05:55 PM   #14
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I like the build quality with the 'four season' availability, the off road suspension and the available options. Not crazy about the floor plans or the rustic interiors, however that wouldn't be a deal breaker for me.

What I am interested in is the common problems that these units tend to share. This forum seems pretty bare for complaints, which is a good thing unless that's a result of the other forum getting more traffic.

So if anyone is aware and would care to list some of the areas of concern with these units I would greatly appreciate the feedback.
My wife and I prefer to have a quality built interior as opposed to a bunch of fluff that will not last. That is the reason we are on our second AF 27-5L. The 2018 checked off every box that I wanted corrected on our 2000 model.

We still go to RV shows and look, but when you walk across the floor and it is spongy as most Indiana built units are, how long is that going to last.

The biggest areas of concern on our 2018 was stripped wood screws. That's it. It was frustrating until I fixed them, but that was the extent of our problems. I am not one to go to the dealer when I can fix something. The dealer we bought from was 500 miles away, and we never needed them.
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