rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Fridge Defend
RV Life Magazine RV Park Reviews RV Trip Wizard

Author Topic: Buying our first trailer  (Read 489 times)


  • Posts: 1
Buying our first trailer
« on: July 24, 2017, 08:06:09 PM »
Hello! I am new to the forum and we are very interested in buying our first trailer. I love backpacking, my wife likes camping and we now have a 1 1/2 and a 2 1/2 year old so we think a trailer would be a good fit.
We are looking for something with 2 bunks and really like the forest river Rainer 245bh. This is an exclusive brand from Poulsbo RV, a local WA dealer, but salesman told me today that it is the exact same as forest river vibe, just with private branding.
I have read some reviews on Springdale and some other trailers and just don't want to end up with a lemon or having multiple issues out on the road. 
Any suggestions regarding quality from you guys that know much more than I would be appreciated! How do you know it's good quality and what manufacturers/brands do you recommend? Is there a consumer reports for tv's?

Thank you! We appreciate any feedback!

Tom and Summer

MN Blue Skies

  • ---
  • Posts: 1252
  • Favorite saying: "It depends."
Re: Buying our first trailer
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2017, 08:21:25 PM »
Hello Tom and Summer. 

I'm not an RV expert but my DH (dear husband) and I learned the hard and expensive way that it is important that your tow vehicle (TV) can safely pull your travel trailer (TT).   This is where the "weight gurus" can help.   

We also underestimated the size of RV we needed/wanted.  It took us several truck and RV purchases to get it right.  It was a very expensive way to learn. 

You will find lots of friendly, expert advice on the RV Forum.

A girl called Max, her husband Eric, Princess Kitty, and Molly the Service Dog in training.

2013 Cougar High Country 315 RES ( A 35' 5th Wheel)
"Big Blue" 2012 RAM 3500 Big Horn (Cummins Diesel 1 ton)

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 64818
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Buying our first trailer
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2017, 11:45:48 AM »
I have read some reviews on Springdale and some other trailers and just don't want to end up with a lemon or having multiple issues out on the road.

There are [at least] two aspects of quality: design & materials and build quality.  Design and materials are largely controlled by the price range of the RV, and cheaper is pretty much always  lesser, though the shortcomings are often well hidden "under the covers".  Build quality, on the pother hand, is a crap shoot. Some [all-too-large] percentage of RVs built have significant defects in the assembly process. This is regardless of brand or price range, so any rig you buy may be a lemon or at least have more than average number of defects. Maybe 1 in 10? Reliable figures are not available, but anecdotal evidence suggests something in that range.

I hope this doesn't sound too negative, but I'll be blunt:  In the size and style of RV you are looking at, few buyers are willing to pay a premium price so most models are targeted at the low end. That doesn't bode well for quality upholstery, flooring, cabinet work, hardware, etc.  Chassis, axles and tires are likewise going to be selected for least cost.  Appliances, though, are probably no different than any other RV, so probably no shortcomings there.

These trailers are intended to be suitable for light usage, weekends and maybe a vacation trip. They need care to last, so neglect can run one down quickly. Water leaks are the most likely source of damage in the longer term, so pay attention to roof & side seams and windows.
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


  • Posts: 4
Re: Buying our first trailer
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2017, 05:56:54 PM »
With trailers like cars one rule I have is when looking to buy new, don't just look on the lots. Try and find used ones to look at to see how they hold up. Look on forums, especially ones dedicated to the same model or mfgr. Even if the complaints are over represented in forums they do give you a starting point for potential issues to look for. Pretty shades and some trendy items are nice but if you enter it after a day towing to find a cabinet pulling away from the ceiling it won't matter.

They build them to a price to make a profit. (like any business) The cheap end of the they do cut corners and have cheaper build methods and materials that end up costing you in maintenance and reliability costs.

Sales are way up and they are increasing capacity and hiring new inexperienced employees. Recipe for spotty build quality.