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Author Topic: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT  (Read 2620 times)

babyboomer

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Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« on: January 22, 2018, 10:52:13 PM »
Hi All. Every time we think we have found the perfect TT, we read awful, scary reviews. Airstream is too expensive for us. We like the Coachmen Freedom Express Ultra Lite 248RBS but have read extremely negative reviews. What is the best brand/model out there? Do we need to spend a fortune to get a quality TT? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

lynnmor

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2018, 01:05:37 AM »
Very easy question to answer, there is no quality TT produced. 

SeilerBird

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2018, 03:43:38 AM »
Spending a fortune won't solve the problem. The problems you are reading about online are nothing to worry about. No one publishes positive reviews. People only complain when something goes wrong and something will go wrong with every RV ever made. It is impossible to have perfect quality control in new RVs. Even if it is perfect coming off the line after a few hundred miles of vibrating and shaking going down the road at 70 miles per hour things will break and loosen. I think the mistake you are making is looking at new units. I would suggest looking at units a few years old. They will usually have most all of the bugs worked out by that point.
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kdbgoat

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2018, 06:55:54 AM »
Tom offers solid advice there. Every manufacturer sends a lemon out the door, and then sends a perfect unit out right behind it. One of the reasons Forest River gets so many bad reviews is that they produce so many units. And as Tom said, people will post negative reviews in a heartbeat, but very few post positive reviews when they are deserved.
As far as new units, if you know for sure exactly what you want in an RV, then you can consider new. If you're not 100% in knowing what you want, used is a better way to go. The depreciation on new RV's is staggering. Just ask the folks that had mine for the first year of it's life. They bought it, put less than 1000 miles on it, only used it three or four times, then traded for something else that fit them better. It worked out great for us because we were at the right place at the right time to pick it up for considerably less than a new one like it would cost. They bought it at a local show, and traded it the next year at the local show. We were riding by the show with nothing else to do, so we stopped in. My wife had been wanting a Leprechaun class C for a couple of years. When we found out the story, we went for it. We didn't like the numbers they put on the paper, so we lined their numbers out and wrote down ours. The salesman did his best Fred Sanford act, but being we had bought two units off of the dealer already, and had sent business their way, the manager told the salesman and finance guy to give the deal as we wrote it. I'm sure they didn't take a loss though, as they pretty much made all the money to meet their requirements off the people that traded early and bought another unit from them.
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UTTransplant

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2018, 08:13:22 AM »
I do think any trailer advertised as an ďultra liteĒ could have more problems than a traditionally built one. To get the weight down you have to cut corners some place, and that is generally in frame and structural components. Take a look at something more traditional, am done yes, it will probably cost more. A good used trailer can be a good deal if you know enough to be able to inspect it for yer damage (the biggest issue in all trailers).
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Oldgator73

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2018, 10:09:40 AM »
We are looking at a Camplite TT. Probably trade our Winnabego in the next 18 months or so. But everyone that has posted so far are correct. There are no guarantees that whatever you purchase will be worry free. No such animal out there. Purchase the floor plan at your price point and try your best to be happy with it.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2018, 10:20:43 AM »
Hi boomer and welcome.

As others have already replied, quality in the RV industry is very inconsistent and even the more expensive models often suffer from production defects. There is no reliable data, but all the manufacturers produce some "lemons" and some think the frequency of lemons is in the 10-15% range. Furthermore, the RV manufacturers leave it to the dealers to sort out defects prior to delivery, and few do that very effectively. Basically they let the customer find the problems and bring it back for repair. And such repairs are often lengthy in time, even if simple in nature.

The higher priced models are made with some better quality materials, more rigid chassis, and that sort of thing, and often have better workmanship under the skin, e.g. well protected and labeled wiring, plumbing shut-off valves, better cabinet construction, etc.  RVs are extremely price competitive, so if there is a notable difference in MSRP for similar size and equipment, it is a safe bet the cheaper one cut corners somewhere to get the price down.

Finally, the market for travel trailers is dominated by price-sensitive buyers. Those who are willing to pony up extra $$ usually also want 5W trailers, so that's where the better built models are mostly found. They still suffer from the lemon factor, though, and there is still a range of prices and design quality.

Everybody wants 'quality', but "Airstreams cost too much" is the near universal cry. They aren't perfect either, but they are generally well built & equipped.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 10:30:06 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
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kdbgoat

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2018, 10:21:51 AM »
One of the areas that I have found that manufacturers skimp on to save weight is the flooring. Some are no more than luan. A quick way to check flooring thickness is bring a #2 square point driver and pop off the cover and look underneath the shower/tub. You can usually check out the flooring thickness where they have cut it for the drain.
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Hammster

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2018, 10:40:46 AM »
Yeah, it seems rigs at all price points have their problems, but since you've asked for recommendation, I'll recommend Northwoods products. I have one of their Arctic Fox line travel trailers. Sort of Northwoods' higher end line. Nash is another one of their lines that costs a bit less than the Arctic Fox line but seems to be pretty good quality too.

RGP

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2018, 10:41:59 AM »
We went for a used TT. A recently traded three year old model. But I is always a gamble. We figured the easy dealer fixes had been done and if the owner kept it three years or so it was not going to fall apart. However there is no guarantee of that.

I would really be upset if I bought a new TT and had any serious issues.

Living next door to the RV capitol. Nash, Lance, Bigfoot and the other high dollar names do not that too many dealer in the area.   

As mentioned price is quality but floor plan is everything.

Debra17

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2018, 03:30:44 PM »
Iíll second what Hammster wrote regarding Northwoods products. They are well constructed and have very good reviews from their owners. I have had my Nash for 7 months and am full time. Iíve only had a couple minor repairs needed. Northwoods allows you to choose what service center you use for repairs. They donít require going to one of their dealers. This was a huge plus for me so I wasnít stuck waiting around to get into a dealer. I would also recommend their sister company, Outdoor RV.

Both companies sell in the western US. So depending on where you are located you may or may not have access to them in your locale.
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DDevers

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2018, 05:09:22 PM »
I have an Arctic Fox 25R that we bought new based on reviews I read.  If it's a "quality" trailer, I am most happy we didn't buy lesser.  The rivets for several of the brackets holding the side skirting and front fascia have have snapped or come undone which necessitated me buying a set of drill bits for traveling to remove them and replace with stainless bolts/screws.  While in Nenana, Ak., we discovered their wise mosquitoes could go between the window panes quite easily and seranade us prior to their nocturnal feasts (solved by taping the seems with wide painters tape).  A roller for our slide worked itself loose and went for an expedition inside the trailer; many hours for the shop to fix (I don't know why the factory doesn't use loctite on the thread so they won't work loose).  Several screws around our side door and water heater panel had their heads snapped off, and left that way.  The siphon breaker for our toilet started leaking and spraying the backside of the toilet area and hadn't much use at all.

Our friends have a 25Y they bought new and have had more electrical associated problems than I care to list because of poor connections; slide, jacks, lights not working to mention a few. 

Our 26 year old Bigfoot was a far better trailer than our Arctic Fox.  I do not know how they are now, but there isn't any comparison between our old one and the new Fox.

Many wise ones on here speak the truth: expect to perform maintenance or pay out the ear for it.  I have learned to be prepared for things I never imagined and budget for the unknown so we won't be too upset while we travel.  Quality in the RV realm is quite questionable.

VallAndMo

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2018, 05:08:51 AM »
Hello everyone,

Great discussion so far.

What about Heartland TTs? We've seen a North Trail 26LRSS nearby and are considering it, but as all our research so far was directed to 5ThWheels, we know next to nothing about TTs...

https://www.heartlandrvs.com/brands/lightweight/north-trail/nt-king-26-lrss

Cheers,
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   Vall.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 05:11:22 AM by VallAndMo »

jackiemac

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2018, 05:25:36 AM »
Hello everyone,

Great discussion so far.

What about Heartland TTs? We've seen a North Trail 26LRSS nearby and are considering it, but as all our research so far was directed to 5ThWheels, we know next to nothing about TTs...

https://www.heartlandrvs.com/brands/lightweight/north-trail/nt-king-26-lrss

Cheers,
--
   Vall.

We like our Heartland, would struggle in really cold weather I think. Layout perfect for us, it's 31ft long external and seems to have a bit more space than the one you are showing although it is heavier.

There are complaints from some owners though. Ensure if you buy through a dealer they are responsive in fixing issues you find.

There is a Heartland Owners forum worth joining and a Facebook page too if you are interested...

https://www.heartlandowners.org

https://www.facebook.com/groups/869465723095632/

 
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billwild

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2018, 08:19:48 AM »
Have a good look at Black rock and Black stone trailers. They pride themselves on building good quaiity trailers. I believe they are built in Oregon.



Bill

NascarBobnBeth

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2018, 08:32:59 AM »
we are on our second arctic fox. the first was a 26x and now we have a 30u. bought both used, haven't had any problems with either one
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Memtb

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2018, 09:43:16 AM »
    Take a look at Excel.  Good ttís but heavy (heavy generally means bigger, better materials). Lots of storage for a tt!
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Kansas Farm Girl

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2018, 09:49:44 PM »
We picked up a 2014 Lance 19 ft model last spring.  We had looked at them in the showroom and liked what we saw.  The quality seemed better than most of the other brands we had looked at.  But we didn't like the price of the new models. We found a used one with all the options we would have ordered on a new one, for much less than a new one.  We really like the Lance.  We put several thousand miles on it in the first 6 months and have recommended it to several friends.  This was not our first trailer.  Our first trailer was a 10 yr old unit that allowed us to get to know trailer life and figure out what we really liked and what we really didn't like in a trailer.  It worked for us for many yrs and allowed us to make sure we liked camper life and worked for us until we were ready to upgrade.

We did tour the Lance factory in Lancaster CA this fall and saw them building new ones.  They are not perfect, but the tour validated our decision to get a Lance.

The2DLTs

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2018, 10:54:43 PM »
Outdoors rv.

Phrogman

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2018, 07:17:00 PM »
Recently purchased a 2018 Coachmen Freedom Express 246-RKS Ultra Lite.  Understand trying to figure things out with all the negative reviews.  We liked the floorpan, price and features so hopefully we got the one that just came out after the lemon.  So far so good.  Will be taking it to Las Vegas next week (~480mi round trip) and we shall see how it goes.  We understood what we were getting into but hopefully we will not have any major surprises. Good luck!     

RGP

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2018, 10:50:02 PM »
I believe if you are new to the RV world there are many things to understand. You will get 10 mpg, your will average 250 to 300 mile a day, you will be passed by everything on the road and there is a fair amount of maintenance required; after all you are pulling your hotel room and restaurant with you.

There are issues with TTs, some perceived some true. If something breaks , that is a problem, if you do not like the location or design of something that is an annoyance.  There are many things about RV's that could be better but that does not mean they do not work.

RVs are built to a price point, that is what the folks are willing to pay for.

For those say there are no quality TTs built, they should look at Tiny Homes type products, genuine 2x4 and 4x4 home type construction and features. You got the money, someone will build trailer to your specs.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 10:57:40 PM by RGP »

Oldgator73

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2018, 07:51:20 AM »
For those say there are no quality TTs built, they should look at Tiny Homes type products, genuine 2x4 and 4x4 home type construction and features. You got the money, someone will build trailer to your specs.

Tiny homes are not self contained so not really conducive to the RV lifestyle. I would also posit that towing a tiny home around as one does with an RV would cause great damage in a short amount of time.
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RGP

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2018, 12:57:07 PM »
Oldgator

You are correct off course but my point was, the travel type channels show many custom made RVs that you could darn near take to war. They are outrageously priced and very heavy and most are motor homes.

The TT market is what it is because the folks are satisfied with the quality or at least are not willing to pay for more. The first TT maker to find a way to make drastic improvement in quality without adding cost will force the remainder to follow.

I addition when the TT manufacturers are on their third years of record production, there is not much incentive to change.   

Oldgator73

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2018, 02:09:32 PM »
Oldgator

You are correct off course but my point was, the travel type channels show many custom made RVs that you could darn near take to war. They are outrageously priced and very heavy and most are motor homes.

The TT market is what it is because the folks are satisfied with the quality or at least are not willing to pay for more. The first TT maker to find a way to make drastic improvement in quality without adding cost will force the remainder to follow.

I addition when the TT manufacturers are on their third years of record production, there is not much incentive to change.   

And we are willing to put up with the substandard quality the RV industry is famous for. Not to mention the terrible service after the sale (I'm most cases). So I guess we only have ourselves to blame.
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RGP

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2018, 12:00:51 PM »
I believe that when reading about TT complaints, one was to keep in mind the difference between design flaws and bad workmanship.

At a recent RV show my wife was coming down the stairs of a fifth wheel and the wall flexed when she bumped against it. We then started to notice it in other models. This is not shoddy workmanship, it is poor design. So too the tank valves that are hard to reach when dumping, the switched or controls that require a stool to read, the slide that blocks access when pulled in, the bed that butts up against the wall at both ends, a cushy feeling floor and a host of others. These are not errors in construction these are design choices and compromises made to provide the features people want in their TTs. Most important most were there, in plain sight, when you bought it.


Poor workmanship, of which one could write volumes about, are things that do not look or work because they were built wrong. If they were made correctly they would function as intended.

So when reading comments of product quality keep in mind is it a poor workmanship or poor design.   

       

Oldgator73

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2018, 02:36:09 PM »
So when reading comments of product quality keep in mind is it a poor workmanship or poor design.   

Poor design, poor materials and poor workmanship. Folks say if you buy entry level you get what you pay for. Should I not expect the same design and workmanship quality in entry level than I would in high End? In my mind the difference in entry level and high end would be finish and options. I would expect better "stuff" in the high end unit but not better workmanship.
Retired Air Force
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RGP

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2018, 06:30:01 PM »
Folks say a lot of things, many are simply opinions.

There is no credible proof that "Entry level" means shoddy. Typically they lack the features of the more pricey units. I have seen shelves instead of cabinets, no or little trim such as window valances, and drapes.

The use of particle board instead of plywood or wood printed vinyl covering instead of hardwood is an inexpensive option. If it does the job for 20 years, as in my PUP, it was a good idea.

Let's face it, which is the better automobile, a decade old Ford Probe or a decade old Lincoln Town Car. Both were made by Ford, both get you to work and back but the expectations are different for each. Different expectations does not mean one is shoddy.

TTs are built to a price point as are many other items we use every day.


kdbgoat

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2018, 05:51:50 AM »
I agree with the above. Entry level means lower grade furniture, most likely an el cheapo mattress, laminate countertops instead of solid surface, etc. I've owned two Coachmens. One was an entry level Catalina travel trailer, and now own a Leprechaun, that supposedly just a bit better than the entry Level Freelander. I've had a lot less problems than what I keep reading about a lot of other brands, including some highly recommended and Coachmen's customer service has been excellent. There's nothing like touting your supposedly superior fiberglass roof, then have it blow off going down the road. ;D
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gravesdiesel

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2018, 03:03:57 PM »
I have seen lots of very positive reviews about the Grand Design RVs
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Oldgator73

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Re: Looking for recommendations for a qualityTT
« Reply #29 on: February 21, 2018, 03:14:23 PM »
I have seen lots of very positive reviews about the Grand Design RVs

And I have seen not so positive reviews about Grand Design.
Retired Air Force
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