How to assess/value brand quality differences

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rbstern

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We're in the market for a destination trailer. The purpose for us is an approximately 3 year full-time dwelling on our rural property. We'll likely build a pole shelter for it. We'll probably sell it after that time.

We've visited one dealer in our area so far and looked at a Forest River Cedar Creek model, with a selling price in the mid-70K range. Salesperson was straightforward, described reasons why the model was priced higher than models from competing brands. Primarily difference in the shell (aluminum studs and trusses, better roof, better insulation, plus upgrades in the systems, bells and whistles.

Next visit will be a Palamino dealer. Several of the Puma models are very similar to the Cedar Creek models (same parent ... Forest River). While we haven't seen them yet, we have gotten pricing, and the selling prices are likely about $20K less than the Cedar Creek.

I've done as much reading as I can on them. The Puma seems to use wood-framed construction, with an aluminum roof instead of the gelcoat roof on the Cedar Creek. As best I can tell, finish work is similar to the Cedar Creek. A bit less fancy.

Looking for feedback on how to put value on price vs. quality, durability, resale impact, etc., between these (and any other) brands.

Thanks in advance for any comments.
 

Kirk

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Salesperson was straightforward, described reasons why the model was priced higher than models from competing brands.
Salespeople are always very good at explaining why the one they sell is more quality for the money than the competition. Part of the reason that they are good at what they do is that really good salespeople actually believe the BS that they spew out,even if they make it up as they go. If you have not done so, you should take a look at some park models. Since you only expect to keep if for 3 or so years, you might be wise to consider on that is used.
 

Isaac-1

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Look at the components, be aware many trailer are marketed as lite / ultra-lite this usually means you can tow it with your half ton truck, but if you weigh more than the average person you might fall through the floor because it is only held up by styrofoam and a skin of 1/8th inch Luan. Also look at the other materials, fiberglass shower surrounds outlast plastic (which gets brittle with age), everything beats EPDM for roof material. When it comes to membrane roofs, EPDM is at the bottom, TPO is a step up, then there are a half a dozen "better" membrane roof materials that have came on the market in the last decade.
 

Tom

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Based on our prior research, we'd opt for the Cedar Creek.
 

rbstern

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Salespeople are always very good at explaining why the one they sell is more quality for the money than the competition. Part of the reason that they are good at what they do is that really good salespeople actually believe the BS that they spew out,even if they make it up as they go. If you have not done so, you should take a look at some park models. Since you only expect to keep if for 3 or so years, you might be wise to consider on that is used.

My b.s. meter is pretty good. I checked his claims for accuracy in terms of what he represented about the construction in the brochure, and couldn't find anything that he didn't represent fairly. Only claim he made that I find questionable is the aluminum/foam R-value vs. traditional wood frame/batting.

When you say "park models," is that different than a desination trailer?
 

PancakeBill

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Based on my viewing at shows, I would stay away from the Palomino brand. The aluminum.foam is a better way than the studs and fluff. The Cedar Creek is a good one, many friends have them here at the SKP park in AZ. As a part time tech for a dealer I have worked on them. Some little issues but construction seemed sound. Issues I had to deal with, 1- bad motor in electric recliner, not their fault and fixed under warranty, bad alignment of slide out shelf in pantry. easily fixed. When looking, check everything. Pull every drawer, close every drawer, doors, etc. Open and close every window! That was 3rd item, window would not stay up. all warranty. All taken care of, but sounds like you won't be that close to dealer, so be sure before it leaves the lot.
 

PancakeBill

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Palomino/Puma. Get in middle of floor and bounce. Tells you a lot. Have not been in their destination, but noticed in the TTs and TC's. Indicative of the constructon.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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When you say "park models," is that different than a desination trailer?
Yes, substantially different, including built to a different construction standard (ANSI A119.5 Park Model Recreational Vehicle Standard). Still considered an RV, though, designed for use as temporary quarters .
A "park model" is intended to be moved over a highway only for delivery to a site where it will remain long term. Since a park model is not intended for regular road use, it can exceed the 8'6" max width for highway vehicles and be up to 15 ft in width (meaning a wide load permit may be required to take it on a highway). It is designed for a full hookup site and will not have 12v batteries, water pump, waste or fresh water tanks. Park models may have porches, peaked roofs, and other features that are not practical for highway use vehicles.
 
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