Best and worst of 20'-25' travel trailer quality

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FLmikervn

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May 26, 2016
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10
I'm looking into buying a tt in the 20'-25' range and would like to hear your top 3 travel trailer brands with
regard to quality construction and ease of maintenance. Also please list your bottom 3 brands so I can avoid
the duds.

Thanks,

Mike
 

kdbgoat

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Apr 16, 2014
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6,313
MSRP of each trailer is a way to start comparing. Better materials like nicer grade of furniture, solid surface countertops, porcelain toilet, better grade of floor covering, solid wood cabinets, etc. will be part of the difference. As far as build quality, every manufacturer turns out average built stuff, once in a while they build a jewel where everything is perfect, and the next unit off the line can be a lemon. I have owned two Coachmans now and they are built to a price point. Vinyl over particle board cabinet frames etc. One had a single problem with a window screen that the dealer took care of. The one I have now has had a few problems not the cause of Coachman. The vendors of the equipment took care of those problems, but I did the labor at my request. Lots of people will tell you to run away from Coachman, and cry you need brand zzz or no, you need brand xxx, but look at the owner's forums and see if they are really better than any other.
 

kportra

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Montana
We have a "low-end" Heartland Prowler Lynx 18LX.  It is about 23' tongue to bumper.  I know it is low end because it fit our budget  ;D
But we have had only one problem with it and it's a problem that anyone could have at anytime.  A leak where the rubber roof meets the front siding.  We bought a $10 tube of dicor and fixed it with no problems.  We also owned a Pioneer for 5 years with zero problems.  That was also a "low-end" model.  In these cases - low end means that the finishes were more entry level and does not mean anything about the quality of the build.  It has aluminum siding, vinyl flooring, faux wood cabinets etc.  The high end models will have fiberglass, tile, real wood, etc.  But the quality of the build is a totally separate issue in my experience.
 

Joereese2

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May 31, 2018
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I've got a 18ft Starcraft and have been happy with it, previous owners prob worked the bugs out. I have been studying Sunset Park RV for awhile and am considering buying one , plain and seem simple and are extremely light, just can't find anyone on here who has any experience with them but they seem legit and I like their Toy Haulers and a couple more models they make.
 

BruceinFL

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We have been looking to downsize and are really impressed with the Lance quality.
 

FLmikervn

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May 26, 2016
Posts
10
Thanks for the replies so far. I'm most likely going to buy a used tt less than 5 years old.
Please help me out.....3 best quality brands/models and 3 tt's I should run from. If you can't
give me the best please at least tell me the stinkers. Thanks folk....I'm getting excited about
hitting the road.
 

vinceherman

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Dec 31, 2014
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Location
Ohio
I think that brand is less a factor than condition when buying used.

Any indication of water intrusion is a clear sign that you don't want it.
Actually, go to the library here and read the articles on buying used.

Do you have RV experience?  Floorplans that meet your needs are a very important part of your decision making process.
 

FLmikervn

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May 26, 2016
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10
vinceherman said:
I think that brand is less a factor than condition when buying used.

Any indication of water intrusion is a clear sign that you don't want it.
Actually, go to the library here and read the articles on buying used.

Do you have RV experience?  Floorplans that meet your needs are a very important part of your decision making process.

I've been looking at floorplans and will rent a tt for a week before I buy. I don't have any RV experience but have towed many
a boat in my life. I'll probably hire a inspector to look at the trailer before I purchase. As I've said before..... I'm just looking for
a little guidance as to the "generally good" and "generally bad" brands so I can narrow down my search.
 

zebrex

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Nov 4, 2007
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11
The quality brands like Lance, outdoor RV, Grand design, ( I also like the all aluminum Livinlite and Aluminum trailer company trailers as they have little to no materials in them that can be damaged by water)  and Airstream tend to be heavier than the lower end stuff. Make sure you understand the difference between towing capacity and Cargo/payload capacity before deciding you can tow something you will need to be compliant with both figures to be able to safely tow your camper.
 

garyb1st

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Because most smaller trailers are entry level, and by design pretty but not substantial, I don't think you're going to find a quality trailer unless you look at Airstream.  They make some large trailers but also smaller models that will fit your size requirements.  They are however, very expensive. 
 

FLmikervn

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May 26, 2016
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zebrex said:
The quality brands like Lance, outdoor RV, Grand design, ( I also like the all aluminum Livinlite and Aluminum trailer company trailers as they have little to no materials in them that can be damaged by water)  and Airstream tend to be heavier than the lower end stuff. Make sure you understand the difference between towing capacity and Cargo/payload capacity before deciding you can tow something you will need to be compliant with both figures to be able to safely tow your camper.

Thanks! This is the type of info I'm looking for. I've never heard of Outdoor RV or Grand Design....will research them. I own a 2006 Chevy Silverado 1500 and want to purchase a tt well under tow capacity.
 

kdbgoat

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As I said above, there are no "good" brands or "bad" brands. Each manufacturer builds to a price point, and their models/prices reflect mostly what materials are used. They all build average ones, lemons, and jewels, as I stated above. As far as brand recommendations, most will tell you the brand they own is best if they haven't had problems with it and another person will tell you that brand is junk because they happened to get a lemon. Don't focus on brand, focus on the floorplan that best suits your need, then look at the actual condition. Being you are new to RV's, I suggest an independent inspection by a knowledgeable person before you lay your money down.
 

FLmikervn

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May 26, 2016
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garyb1st said:
Because most smaller trailers are entry level, and by design pretty but not substantial, I don't think you're going to find a quality trailer unless you look at Airstream.  They make some large trailers but also smaller models that will fit your size requirements.  They are however, very expensive.

I've heard the Airstream are of high quality but just can't make myself "appreciate" their looks.
 

Isaac-1

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SW Louisiana
On the smaller end of that scale you might also consider the fiberglass egg trailers like Scamp and Casita I think their largest model is 19 ft, they have not changed much in the last 20+ years, but also retain their value very well.  There is also a new player in this market lilsnoozy another 19 ft fiberglass offering.

p.s. New Casitas are only sold factory direct from their factory in Texas just south of Dallas, so you will only ever find used ones at rv dealers and rarely will you find those.
 

Gods Country

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North Central Pa
You will never get the answer you are looking for.  It's the same as asking Ford or Chevy.  There are duds in every line, and people who love and hate the same trailer based on their personal experiences.  Some people think their trailer should be built like a car, and complain about every screw and blemish, while others realize it's an unregulated industry and things go wrong.

The reality is they're all banged out by low wage employees, and subject to the problems that entails.  They all have the same appliances made by the same manufacturers.  Look for a trailer you like and suits your needs, and look for proper upkeep, and seal and inspect your trailer often.  Twice a year minimum.  Most trailers are barely used, and in the five year or less range, most should be in good shape.  But expect problems.  That's the rabbit hole you are going down.
 

donuts

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Oct 13, 2012
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Fair Oaks, California
Look for Nash trailers built by Northwood Manufacturing out of LeGrande, Oregon. Nash trailers are well built by Northwood Manufacturing who builds the Arctic Fox line along with Fox Mountain 5th wheels. Find a used Nash and you will be pleased with the quality.

Stan
 

FLmikervn

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May 26, 2016
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donuts said:
Look for Nash trailers built by Northwood Manufacturing out of LeGrande, Oregon. Nash trailers are well built by Northwood Manufacturing who builds the Arctic Fox line along with Fox Mountain 5th wheels. Find a used Nash and you will be pleased with the quality.

Stan

I've done a bit of research on Northwood and follow them on Facebook. I like what I see.
 

DDevers

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Sep 28, 2014
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If you can live without a slide and desire a TT that can handle the cold; I recommend Bigfoot.  They have a smaller profile to block the wind so you'll get better mileage pulling it.  Our 27 year old Bigfoot looked better and was far more comfortable than our Arctic Fox.  I can not recommend an Arctic Fox or any Outdoor RV product over the other brands because I know of too many issues owners have had with them.

If I had it to do all over, I'd fork out the extra coin for quality and longevity as well as comfort and buy another Bigfoot.

We made two trips to Alaska with our Bigfoot, and one with our Arctic Fox; got about 3 mpg more towing the Bigfoot over the Arctic Fox.  The layout in the AF is better and we have more room but it feels cold and damp when the heater is off in cold weather and we never experienced that with our Bigfoot.

The best thing about the Arctic Fox and Outdoor RV products is that they keep their value longer than other low end trailers.  That's good for us when we sell ours but I succumbed to their hype and feel I need warn you of it.
 
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