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Author Topic: Difference between Sportsmen Classic 18RGT / Starcraft 16RB / Apex 151RBX  (Read 1884 times)

wehner06

  • Posts: 1
We currently have a Coleman pop up camper that we just bought last year. Previous owner swore no leaks well after having it a year and leaks we are thinking about getting a new one. We are leaning towards a hybrid expandable. We can only tow with our  Toyota Sienna towing cam pastie 3500 lbs. We like the price point we can get in a Sportsmen Classic. I am wondering it those out there could help lend their expertise. We are new to the whole camping world we have 3 small children under 7. So far we are weekend campers with maybe a week or 2 during the camping season. We have looked at the Sportsmen Classic 18RGT, the Starcraft 16RB, and the Apex Coachmen 151RBX. Do you have a recommendation of one over the other?

Do you like having an oven in your camper? Or do you find that your really don't use it? Could you get away with a toaster oven?

Do you like having the air conditioner in the roof or on the side? We are skid dish of the roof because that is where the leaking in our pop up began.

Do you really need a surround for your shower or does what they apply to the walls really work?

Would you lean towards a larger refrigerator and freezer or whatever it comes with is fine?

What features can't you go without and which ones aren't as important?

Any and all help, advice, guidance is greatly appreciated. Lisa

Loraura

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  • Posts: 7
I'm not sure you will find a hybrid under 3500 wet (not dry weight) that will suit 2 adults and 3 children.  But I'll answer your other questions happily!

As point of reference I tow a 2004 R-Vision Trail Lite Bantam 19 hybrid with a Ford F150.



Do you like having an oven in your camper? Or do you find that your really don't use it? Could you get away with a toaster oven?  I've used the oven twice.  I usually store pots and pans in it.  I would be fine if it just had a storage cabinet instead of an oven.  Sure biscuits or cinnamon rolls are nice sometimes, but it seems like a PITA to me and the oven is tricky to get to a particular temp and to get it to stay there.

Do you like having the air conditioner in the roof or on the side? We are skid dish of the roof because that is where the leaking in our pop up began. I've had two RVs with roof AC's, neither have leaked.  I live in Texas.  Would not even consider buying an RV without an AC.  The gaskets must be maintained on any RV.  We pay for covered storage.  My worries about leaks are greatly minimized.  The only time it is exposed to rain is if it rains while I'm towing it or camping in it.

Do you really need a surround for your shower or does what they apply to the walls really work? My shower walls look like the other walls in the bathroom.  I use the shower all the time.  No issues.  Again, caulking must be maintained.

Would you lean towards a larger refrigerator and freezer or whatever it comes with is fine? Mine came with what I consider to be a large fridge with small freezer.  It's much much larger than the popup fridge (which I found mostly useless).  The freezer is inside the fridge (same door to open the fridge, smaller door inside for freezer).  I gave up on using the popup fridge shortly after we got it.  I use the HTT fridge every trip.  It's easy to load up, cools down much faster, maintains safe temps, and will make ice cubes in the freezer.  While I find the stock fridge fine, I would say bigger would be even better, TO A POINT.

What features can't you go without and which ones aren't as important?
Can't go without: Toilet and shower, AC, hot water,fridge,microwave,at least one Queen sized bed. 

Would hate to lose, and would look for in any future RV: Double sink. Great awning.

Have now but don't use much or really need:  Oven. Built in radio. Sink in the bathroom (the kitchen sink is right outside the bathroom door, why have two? I'd rather have a ceiling height storage cabinet).

Wish I had now: U-shaped dinette instead of couch + dinette booth.  Having a Ushaped dinette allows for easier camping if I do not tip the beds out.  I constructed a mod to connect the sofa bed to the dinette bed so we could have one large King sized bed if we want it.  I woudln't have had to do that if we had a ushaped dinette to begin with.  BUT it's just two of us 98% of the time. Also, we are short people, so the dinette and couch are perfectly acceptable for us to sleep on.  Some taller people can't make this work.   With 2 adults and 3 kids, you're probably tipping the beds out all the time anyway.  Bigger shower (the tub shaped ones, not the corner ones, or at least a bigger corner shower with glass doors).  When you shower in the tiny ones, you end up fighting with the shower curtain a lot! More electrical outlets, especially closer to the bunk ends. Be sure you have enough logical places to charge phones, etc. Bigger gray tank. Electric tongue jack (husband vetoed it, he hates having electric things that can break so prefers the manual crank.) Slide.

Things I've learned: My tandem axle trailer tires are so close together that tandem wheel blocks do not fit.  You are probably looking at single axle HTTs with your 3500 lb weight limit, though.  At first, not being able to see out of your rear view mirror is unnerving.  4 trips later it won't bother you at all.  Backing up will also become a non-issue with a little practice.  If your TV mirrors can not see the trailer tires where they hit the pavement and the rear trailer marker lights on both sides, get towing mirrors that will allow this.  It makes driving AND backing SO much easier.  Super Highwind Popup Gizmos are the exact same thing as the green-backed reflective tarps I bought on Amazon.com, with some bungees sewn into them,  Wish I had seen someone else's first.  I could have easily made my own for 100.00 cheaper.  The Amazon.com tarps or the PUGs both do help a great deal to keep the trailer cool in the heat of the day in the Texas summer sun.  Also, keeps the bunk ends darker in the mornings.

« Last Edit: June 26, 2014, 09:08:29 AM by Loraura »

Loraura

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  • Posts: 7
KZ Sportsmen Classic 18RGT:  Only has double beds on the bunks.  Hope you and your spouse like to cuddle!  This trailer is within your tow limits though.  Max Trailer weight is 3500, with 804 cargo capacity (which will still get eaten up somewhat by options like awnings and AC units and propane tanks).  I think this is doable for your tow limits but you will have to be diligent about not stockpiling stuff you don't need inside the trailer.  Put everything you want to load into the trailer on a tarp, then one by one, hold stuff while standing on a bathroom scale and tally up the weight you are adding.  You will be surprized how fast 500 pounds can go.    The dinette and couch are just shy of 6 feet, so should be good for kids or short people like me.  This floorplan shows hatches from the outside to access under dinette storage.  I have this and like it a lot.  No removing the cushions every time i need something.  This flooplan shows OPTIONAL for hot water heater, propane,furnace,awning.    The options are going to eat away at your cargo weight.

The Starcraft looks like it has NICE BIG WINDOWS and plenty of them.  I would like that.  Not sure if that couch folds flat or if you just remove the back pillows and it's a twin.  With 3 kids, I think that configuration would be fine, even if they all want their own beds.  One in back bunk, one on dinette, one on couch.  2800 lbs dry doesn't leave a lot for AC, Awning, Propane, dishes, cookware, bedding, food, camp chairs, gear.  You've got 700 lbs before you hit your tow limit.   Looking at the Starcrafts online, almost EVERYTHING is an option that will add to the weight.  Fridge, water heater, microwave, MINI BLINDS (really???), range hood, spare tire, stereo, awning, bunk mats, even the stabilizer jacks are "options".  You've just given up half your 700 pounds of cargo capacity, and you haven't added a single napkin or gallon of water.

The Apex 15 RBX is almost my exact floorplan.  My camper is a little longer, so to the left of the fridge I have a floor to ceiling storage cabinet.  My rear bunk is a double, wish it were a queen like the Apex.  My couch is the same length as my dinette, so when folded down, once I bridge the 6 inch gap to the dinette, it's one huge sleeping area.  That couch looks like it might be too short to sleep on once your kids get taller.  The starcraft and KZ had a better option for that since the couch area looked longer.  This Apex, however, exceeds your tow limit.  It's 2980 dry, 3890 max.  You'd only have 520 lbs for options and stuff, and with 5 people, I think you'll eat up that weight by the second trip and be overloaded for any family vacation trip.  Water weighs 8 pounds per gallon.  A Full 30g fresh water tank is 240 pounds alone.  Look for the sticker they put on the camper when it left the manufacturer listing the weight plus most options.  Ask the dealer if they added any additional options.  I think this trailer is too heavy for your TV when loaded up.

By the book, the KZ is probably your only true option for attempting to stay under 3500 lbs.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2014, 09:50:45 AM by Loraura »

 

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