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Old 04-08-2018, 01:45 AM   #1
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Starcraft 5er

Hello all. Looking at upgrading my current jayco designer to a newer and more camping friendly 5er. Looking for something under 30k. I've pretty much narrowed it down to three trailers but I have only seen one in person. I'm looking at a Starcraft autumn ridge 265bhs. Next is a puma 286rbss. Last is a crossroads volante 270bh. Star craft and puma are pretty identical, Tin sided trailers. I've only really looked at the Starcraft. But it is more money than the puma and has quite a few less options. The puma comes with a tv, outside kitchen, power rear jacks, privacy curtains for the bunks, better/bigger swing out entry grab handle. Starcraft has none of that. Is the build quality better on the Starcraft? I want super impressed with the fit and finish or it, but dealer will fix anything I'm not happy with. I've heard lots of good things about the pumas for the price. Not much out there on Starcraft. The majority of what I did find wasn't great. Does anyone have experience with any of these trailers? FYI the Starcraft is 26,000, puma is 24,500, volante is 28,000. Thanks, Kyle.
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Old 04-08-2018, 04:28 PM   #2
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Any info or opinions on any of these trailers?
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:24 PM   #3
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Starcraft used to be a standalone operation then was bought out by Jayco. Jayco was bought out by Thor which now makes Starcraft a Thor subsidiary.

Thor RV's have a spotty reputation. The general thinking is that after Thor takes over a brand, cheap things begin to happen.

One thing going in Starcraft's favor is that it boasts a 2 year warranty. One negative is that Starcraft doesn't have a wide nationwide dealer network, meaning that the dealers are far and few. One might check to see if any dealer selling a Thor product can do warranty repairs. Most every RV dealer sells a Thor branded product as they have a ton of makes under the corporate umbrella.

We had a Starcraft RV years ago, back when they were a standalone company. It was a well built unit. 2 years ago we looked at a couple of late model Starcraft fifth wheels (rear kitchen models) that had been traded in at different dealers. Both had water damage at the base of the main slide out. Odd that they both had leaks at the same location.

Can't help with the other two brands. Good luck.
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katkinson1 View Post
Any info or opinions on any of these trailers?
Don't know about the Starcraft. I have a Puma toyhauler, it is ok technically but fit and finish is poor. Bought it because it was the only floorplan that would work for my disabled wife. Previous unit was a Crossroads Cruiser, the Crossroads Volante is cheap by comparison. But probably no worse than the Puma. In truth they all use the same suppliers for all the major components. Also quality of assembly probably varies just as much between two units of the same brand as between brands. You may get a trouble free unit from any brand. If not you need a really great dealer.
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:41 PM   #5
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I have a 2017 Starcraft Solstice 5'vr and the Jayco buyout had occurred when I purchased it in Nov. '16. Jayco, per online info, thought Starcraft was a strong product line and assured Starcraft they would be able to maintain their autonomy and management supposedly. Truth is, there are really only about 3 major upline manufacturers now days with some smaller self standing specialty brands. I believe Thor is the largest upline group and they hold the Jayco line as one branch I believe.

Starcraft has a couple patented systems they prided themselves on......I think roofing frame and I think maybe flooring, but I may be mixing that flooring deal with Jayco. Anyway, the two year warranty was something I gave attention to and helped steer me in final purchase decision. 17 months later and about 15 weeks of road and camping use now, I'm still very happy with my purchase choice of Starcraft.
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Old 04-09-2018, 01:16 AM   #6
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Thanks. I think I've ruled the puma out. It may have a few more options but I like the overall look of the Starcraft better. And I really like the door to the bathroom. Not to mention the Starcraft dealer treated us 1000x better than the dealer with the puma did a few months back when I checked it out. So it's between the Starcraft and volante. Haven't checked the volante out yet. My dad said he needs to go get some things for his trailer this week so he'd run out of town and go look at it and give me his opinion. We go to a lot of dealers/ shows and look at trailers for fun so we kind of look for the same stuff. He hasn't seen the Starcraft so he can't compare, but he can check out the quality of it. It's definitely more trailer/ options for the money, but I'm more worried about quality. Still like the look of the Starcraft over the volante as well but not sure if I want to go tin sided or fiberglass. Also about the dealers, I think I have 5 or so Starcraft dealers within 100 miles of me. The one I'm shopping at is the closest (45 miles away) and it's also where I bought my current jayco 3 years ago. The owner seems to be a pretty good guy. Thanks for the replays.
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Old 04-10-2018, 07:20 AM   #7
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Best of luck. At least if you have the two year warranty, things should be worked out before it's close to dropping off!
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:18 AM   #8
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We bought a Starcraft 27 RKS 2 years ago this month. So far we have just over 6000 miles on it and have been very happy with it. We have had some of the usual minor problems. Wheel bearings had to be tightened at about 3000 miles. I think that is pretty standard on all campers. A couple of pieces of trim inside came loose and had to be put back. Also something that I think is fairly common to new trailers. The mattress is not great but we put a topper on it and that helped.

So far it has never been back to the dealer. The trim needed a little glue and a tack. The wheel bearings I tightened.

The gas and electric systems have performed perfectly. The refrigerator works well on both gas and electric, same with hot water heater. Everything you want to work every time you go out has been good.

I did upgrade when we bought and got smooth siding rather that the aluminum. Also got the full wrap around insulation package as we camp in the winter sometimes and thought it would help with noise at some of the busier campgrounds.

We wanted a small 5th wheel for just the 2 of us and at about 26 feet it has been perfect for us.
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:16 PM   #9
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So if yours is fiberglass it isn't the autumn ridge correct? Thanks for the information. I really enjoy the shopping for a trailer but coming down to deciding is kind of stressful. Don't want to make the wrong choice.
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Old 04-18-2018, 07:11 AM   #10
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I am guessing it could be the Autumn Ridge now. It is the 27 RKS Starcraft with upgraded siding. Maybe they have changed the names around. I haven't been on their web site for a while

Yes, pulling the trigger is stressful. We looked for 2 years before we bought. That said our main criteria was small 5th wheel. We came down to 4. A Cougar at 27 feet, a Flagstaff at 27.5, the Starcraft at 26 and a Puma at 24.5. We agonized for weeks. Finally pulled the trigger on the Starcraft with a couple of upgrades. We have really been happy with our choice.

Good Luck and I hope you enjoy your trailer when you get it.
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:25 AM   #11
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I'd like to get something within a week or so. Want to go camping a few times before I start farming at the end of may. I've got mine cleaned up and fixed the small things so it's ready to trade in. Don't want to mess it up again now that I've decided for sure I want a new one.
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