Same price, 3 choices. Can you help clarify?

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Slayer33

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Hi all,

First post here as you guessed it this will be our first travel trailer for our family.

Prices are crazy, and unfortunately that's where are at. We locally have found 3 unique trailers that we really like and after hours of research we haven't been able to figure out what is best and before we lean one way or another we wanted to hear what the opinions other than the sales persons are...

Here in Calgary, Alberta Canada our budget is $50k CAD.

ALL 3 TTs we like are the same price. 3 different dealers though.

2021 Keystone Outback Ultra Lite 291UBH

2022 Dutchmen Kodiak Ultra Lite 296BHSL

2022 Forest River East to West Alta 2900KBH

The Alta 2900KBH has a different floor plan to the Kodiak and Outback. But there's literally no information on this unit as it's too new.

We've watched all the YouTube videos on the other 2 and some on the other Alta versions.

Just wanting to know real owners opinions on all 3 brands.

Thank you in advance. Towing isn't an issue so weight isn't a concern.
 

Isaac-1

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The BIG question here is what sort of tow vehicle do you have, and what are the specific ratings for GCWR, towing capacity, payload capacity, etc? As a general rule for trailers that size you are going to want at least a 3/4 ton pickup truck and a 1 ton is not a bad idea.
 

steveblonde

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As Isaac says what are you pulling with?
The Keystone and Dutchmen are the same manufacturer the Forest River is a different manufacturer i have a Voltage by Dutchmen made by Keystone.
Thorindustries.com and Forestriver.com are 2 web sites to check out. The other considerations are the dealerships service reputation.
I too am from Calgary - welcome


ps- Western RV and Field of Dreams are both owned by the same guy Bruce Urban but his son Brandon is taking more of a role. Good guys we bought our current Voltage in Airdrie service has been great
 
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steveblonde

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Did anybody read the last statement in the original post?
Yep famous last words people with 1/2 tons thinking they can pull a space shuttle cause they saw in a commercial lol i personally saw 3 overturned 1/2 tons 11/2 hrs east of Calgary blown over in one of our very common windy days
 

JudyJB

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But they may be planning to have the new trailer towed to a permanent site, instead of towing it themselves. That would be a good reason why towing is not an issue, so better to stick to answering the questions asked.
 

Ex-Calif

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Not a real owner but the floor plan on the Alta might be my choice of the three. The galley and head layout looks slightly better. I like that the L-galley is against a bulkhead. It's also the only one with a king bed - if that's important.

TBH not a fan of the mid coach head but maybe that's a trailer thing...

OTOH the Outback has the head across from the shower as opposed to sited with the shower.

I'd have to get in both coaches to see which one I'd prefer.

I know you are probably looking for real world owner's review and, of course, I'm not an owner...

Someone said that when they are all new they are all great. I have seen gobs of Keystones but can't recall seeing an Alta.

(And I agree with Judy and Pappy - The OP wants to talk about the trailer, not his truck) Too many of these threads (all?) devolve into a towing discussion when that is not at issue)
 

Isaac-1

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Sorry, I missed that, but we really need to know what is going on to give good advice. If this is going to be a stationary trailer, then my advice is to not buy anything with LITE in its name, as they all sacrifice everything else to make them "lite", this often means floors made of nothing but a couple of layers of 1/16th inch Luan glued to a piece of styrofoam, so that when the glue fails so does the floor. See
 

Slayer33

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Did anybody read the last statement in the original post?
I know the tow vehicle is always a touchy subject, like I said though I really wanted to know if there were any specific brands to avoid... I know the Keystone/Dutchmen don't have Azdel but is that a really big issue?

The East to West Alta uses really thick walls and roof when I watched their features video. The Alta is fairly new to the market from what I understand, but the 2900KBH only shows a floor plan and nothing else so really we have nothing to compare it to when it comes down to it. The Alta 2800KBH would be the closest in terms of styling and features.

The Dutchmen Kodiak and Keystone Outback have the exact same floorplans and length but the Dutchmen actually weighs 800lbs less (6800 vs 6000lbs respectively). I know a couple small differences like 13500 vs 15000 AC and plastic vs porcelain toilet but I don't see how those things can make up 800lbs.

The Alta is going to be around ~6900 lbs. These are dry weights of course. We also plan to go to sites with full hook ups and tow with the tank empty.

We also considered the Winnebago Minnie 2801BH as we were told these have a better build...

But to answer the vehicle question, my tow vehicle is a 2007 Ford F350 SRW, bulletproofed 6.0 diesel.

She's an older truck but she can tow. Our other vehicle is a 2012 Ford Expedition which is capable of around 8600lbs, but we don't plan on towing with it unless something happened to our F350. And if that was the case it would be slow and flat conditions if we absolutely had to.
 
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Slayer33

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Sorry, I missed that, but we really need to know what is going on to give good advice. If this is going to be a stationary trailer, then my advice is to not buy anything with LITE in its name, as they all sacrifice everything else to make them "lite", this often means floors made of nothing but a couple of layers of 1/16th inch Luan glued to a piece of styrofoam, so that when the glue fails so does the floor. See
Hi there, it won't be a stationary trailer...
 

Slayer33

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The BIG question here is what sort of tow vehicle do you have, and what are the specific ratings for GCWR, towing capacity, payload capacity, etc? As a general rule for trailers that size you are going to want at least a 3/4 ton pickup truck and a 1 ton is not a bad idea.
07 F350 6.0 bulletproofed diesel SRW
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The 2900 Alta may be a new floor plan, but odds are strong that the construction is essentially identical to the 2850 & 3150, with a UVW between those two. It's surely not a new design. The basic description of the Alta line is fine, e.g. aluminum framing, Asdel, laminated sidewalls, etc. Somewhat better than the very cheapest, which would have wood framing and corrugated metal sidewalls, but still designed primarily for light duty use and modest price.

Looking at some Alta reviews, they appear to have the usual run of shortcomings for a mid-range travel trailer. Probably not much different in overall quality than the other two you like. Just about all travel trailers these days are near-all designed to be "lite" for towing, as low-priced as is practical, and with assembly line quality that is hit or miss. Every manufacturer is turning out some percentage of lemons along with some near-perfect ones, and every gradation in-between.

Weight differences are typically an accumulation of small weight reductions here and there, but sometimes the strength of the chassis and associated axles/wheels is a substantial junk of that.
 

steveblonde

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That ought to shut down the weight police. :D
Nothing to do with weight police, we have extreme weather here in southern alberta. We can get winds of 80-90mh the worlds most destructive hail storms, snow squalls and temperature changes of 30f within an hour. Plus we are 1 hr away from the rockies and 5 hrs away from the coqahalla hwy. Every year there are hundreds of trailers rolled and written off on Alberta Highways due to adverse driving conditions and overloaded trailers due to ignorance highway patrols are stepping up road side checks. On commercial and private rigs for safety infractions.
In a recent stop check 85% of commercial vehicles we found to have infractions and were taken off the road, untill fixed.
This time yesterday morning it was -22c today +7c and raining with ice rain 1 hour away and closed highways
 

Slayer33

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Nothing to do with weight police, we have extreme weather here in southern alberta. We can get winds of 80-90mh the worlds most destructive hail storms, snow squalls and temperature changes of 30f within an hour. Plus we are 1 hr away from the rockies and 5 hrs away from the coqahalla hwy. Every year there are hundreds of trailers rolled and written off on Alberta Highways due to adverse driving conditions and overloaded trailers due to ignorance highway patrols are stepping up road side checks. On commercial and private rigs for safety infractions.
In a recent stop check 85% of commercial vehicles we found to have infractions and were taken off the road, untill fixed.
This time yesterday morning it was -22c today +7c and raining with ice rain 1 hour away and closed highways
I agree there are a lot of people who buy or get sold a trailer and do not have a proper tow vehicle or also have towed over the manufacturers ratings. Even things can happen to the most experienced of haulers out there.

That being said, I have the tow vehicle that can handle 7000lbs dry easily. I have towed (grew up in rural Alberta) for years, everything from horse trailers, grain carts and boats.... I just wanted some advice on travel trailers that we are trying to decide on.
 

SpencerPJ

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Buy the one that you like best. Any trailer can have it's issues, most are minor and trivial, most can be corrected by a somewhat handy owner. Luck of the draw if you get a lemon, odds are you won't. Do a careful inspection, have them correct everything prior to your last signature, that seems to hold the most corrective action power. I am pleased with my Forest River.
 

steveblonde

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I agree there are a lot of people who buy or get sold a trailer and do not have a proper tow vehicle or also have towed over the manufacturers ratings. Even things can happen to the most experienced of haulers out there.

That being said, I have the tow vehicle that can handle 7000lbs dry easily. I have towed (grew up in rural Alberta) for years, everything from horse trailers, grain carts and boats.... I just wanted some advice on travel trailers that we are trying to decide on.
Read my first post here i know the folks at western rv well lol

There are more Albertans that dont know wrong from right that do lol
 

Slayer33

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Read my first post here i know the folks at western rv well lol

There are more Albertans that dont know wrong from right that do lol
I've been dealing with Western RV in Airdrie, we really want to buy from them as the service has been excellent so far... we just aren't sold on the Kodiak vs the Outback and Alta. The Kodiak is the lightest at 6000lbs, we just want to know why its the lightest and if that is a bad thing.
 

steveblonde

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I think heavier is better as some others have said especially seeing you have a solid tow vehicle. Sometimes saving weight comes at a cost
 
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