Travel Trailer Option Choices

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Altazi

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2021
Posts
10
Location
West Linn, Oregon
As I look at the Rockwood Mini-Lite 2205S, I see that it is available with a number of options. I would guess that these options would apply to just about any trailer we are looking at. Perhaps you all could comment on the choices?

1. Gas-electric or 12V electric-only refrigerator? We won’t be doing any boondocking, so the availability of electricity shouldn’t be an issue. Also, my truck doubles as a 7.2kW generator.

2. Manual or power stabilization jacks?

3. Thermopane windows ($653 option) or regular windows? I don’t expect to be out in freezing cold weather. Under what conditions would the thermopane window justify their cost?

4. The 2205S comes with one 190W rooftop solar panel and a 1kW inverter. Is the second rooftop panel worth the cost ($450)?

5. Small slide topper (&290) - yes or no?

Also, the total price for the 2205S is coming in north of $40k (!) what kind of negotiations are possible on this?

Thanks in advance for your kind assistance!

Altazi
 

Kirk

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 30, 2005
Posts
1,265
Location
Full-time , Escapee
1. Gas-electric or 12V electric-only refrigerator?
My best answer to this requires that I know just a little bit more. If the 12V only refrigerator is what I believe it is, it would be one of the new compressor type units and I believe that would be superior to the optional gas/electric one. If that 12V standard refrigerator is an absorption refrigerator, get the optional one.
2. Manual or power stabilization jacks?
Part of this depends on your age and physical conditioning. Since it has jacks on all 4 corners they should work fairly well but when used to level the RV, power jacks would be much less work.
3. Thermopane windows
A lot of this depends on your use of the RV. Not only are they expensive but they also add significant weight and so lower the carrying capacity. If you expect to use the RV in hot or cold weather, thermal windows make it far less difficult to maintain the temperature and they also don't sweat from condensation like single pane windows. For full-time use I would not be without them but for vacation & weekend use I chose one with single pane windows because I didn't buy them.
4. ............ the second rooftop panel worth the cost ($450)?
If you will use the RV without electrical connections and so make significant use of the inverter, now question, get it. When you use the RV with 120V power connections available the solar serves no purpose.

Since I have never had an RV with a slide, I have no opinion on the slide topper. I now have the sixth RV we have owned but still never a slide. I kind of wish that we had gotten one with our present small trailer.

When it comes to negotiating prices, you are buying in a market that has been historically strong and as a result high priced. It used to be that a discount of 20% from the MSRP but that isn't so true now. Throw in the fact that unlike with cars, RV dealers do not have to show the customer a factory MSRP and as a result those who do show customers one have often made it up themselves and don't show you the real one. The only way that I know to be sure is to price compare by finding more than one dealer with the same RV, which usually means a lot of travel since they tend to be located well apart.
 

Ex-Calif

Well-known member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Posts
1,872
It's all opinion so I will play.

1. Gas-electric or 12V electric-only refrigerator? Both - You don't wanna idle your truck full time if you have no power somewhere in the future.

2. Manual or power stabilization jacks? Power - I'm lazy

3. Thermopane windows ($653 option) or regular windows? I don’t expect to be out in freezing cold weather. Under what conditions would the thermopane window justify their cost? - Pass - Improving insulation/glare etc. in and RV is kind of a waste of time unless you are gonna get real serious about it.

4. The 2205S comes with one 190W rooftop solar panel and a 1kW inverter. Is the second rooftop panel worth the cost ($450)? Pass - You've said you aren't gonna boondock. Solar systems need to be thought out (first is why you need solar and how much) so that the entire system can be planned and integrated with the battery system.

5. Small slide topper (&290) - yes or no? No opinion. I understand the primary purpose is to be an "awning" of sorts over the slide when it is out to prevent leaves and other falling things to be pulled into the trailer when the slide comes in. I'll defer to those who have them.

Also, the total price for the 2205S is coming in north of $40k (!) what kind of negotiations are possible on this? Everything is negotiable in a free market system.

Thanks in advance for your kind assistance!
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,990
Location
At my Silver Springs FL home
I'll agree with Kirk on 1-4 but add the opinion that a slide topper is a nice feature if you will camp under any sort of tree cover. Leaves and twigs accumulate on top of a slide and the topper shrugs them off as it rolls up. Convenient!

RV gas/electric fridges are mostly poor quality in terms of actual refrigeration. A compressor-driven fridge, whether 12v or 120v, will nearly always be superior at cooling, more energy efficient, and frost-free. The only advantage of a gas/electric fridge is the use of LP gas when electric power is not available or in short supply. If that is rarely or never a concern for you, forget the LP gas fridge option.
 

donn

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Posts
4,929
Rockwood has never been one of Forest Rivers greatest product lines. At around 7500 pounds GVWR its going to take a heavy duty 1500 or a standard 2500 to move it around. Do you have that much truck?
As for the options? Slide toppers are a definitely must IMHO.
Get the 12VDC only refer. They have a compressor rather than an absorbition system. Better performance.
Get the auto levelers. Manual jacks and a cordless drill is cheaper, but not as convienent.
Since your in West Linn have you driven to Apache Camping center on 82nd just north of Clackamas town center and looked at both Northwood and OitdoorRV products. Far superior products at fair prices.
 

steveblonde

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Posts
4,085
Location
calgary alberta
3 way fridge
Power jacks
I had double pane windows on my last unit and they were nice when it drops to or below freezing
Solar is a rip off
Slide topper - take it or leave it. A few leaves or a little rain water in the trailer wont kill it
We bought a new 5er this year at 45% off msrp
 

Altazi

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2021
Posts
10
Location
West Linn, Oregon
Again, thank you to all who have replied. There is some good advice in those responses.

My tow vehicle is a 2021 F-150 crew-cab 4x4 with a 6.5ft bed. It has the 3.5L PowerBoost hybrid engine, and has the trailer tow package. Also, it can act as a 7.2kW generator when needed.

I am leaning strongly to the 12V-only refrigerator, as we will never be without electricity. I am on the fence about adding a second solar panel & battery.

Although at 65 I am in reasonably good shape and fairly strong, I appreciate ease and convenience. The power stabilization jacks sound like the way to go.

The slide topper sounds like a good idea, as I expect to be camping under trees. It's not THAT expensive . . . $290.

I am totally undecided on the Thermopane windows. At $653, they are one of the most expensive options. I don't expect to be camping in freezing weather, but do expect to be out when it's hot. As for the condensation and noise issues, I have zero experience with this. Then there is the added weight . . . Argh.

Also, I do not expect to take the trailer off of pavement, with the possible exception of a smooth, grassy area.

I welcome any other thoughts and suggestions!

Altazi
 

Kirk

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 30, 2005
Posts
1,265
Location
Full-time , Escapee
I am totally undecided on the Thermopane windows.
I have had both types of windows in RVs and far prefer Thermopane® or dual pane windows over the less costly single pane of glass. Yes, they do add a bit of weight, but the sound deadening and insulating value is awesome. If you have never had them you probably won't miss them but if you have you will want then in every RV. Believe me I know because our present RV doesn't have them and we wish that it did. Things like highway noise never bothered us when we had them.
 

Carbonation

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2021
Posts
93
Location
Midwest
12v fridge.
Power jacks.
Thermo windows.
No extra solar. Useless.
Slide topper.
Everything should be negotiable in a normal world. Today's emerging from Covid, current administration, supply and demand business: you may not have as much leverage as in the past.
40k for a 22 foot Mini-Lite (in my mind) is outrageous.
Browse the web, call other Forest River dealers, and find your best deal. Travel and bring it home, camping along the way.
I have no good idea what you could get it for, but in my mind, that's a 20 to 24K unit new.
 

JayArr

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2020
Posts
786
Location
Mission British Columbia Canada
Speaking of auto levelling jacks - I say go for it with one caveat.

If you are negotiating for a new unit have them supply a spare electronics board for every option. Power jacks, fridge, HW heater, furnace etc. The replacement boards will all be available now since the RV is new but five years from now they may not be. They should also be either inexpensive, like $200 per board or get them thrown in for free at the end to close the deal.

I had a customer come in last month with the circuit board that runs his auto leveling jacks. one of the jacks wouldn't work. I tried replacing the relays but it didn't help because the CPU chip had one bad output. The long and short of it was that there were no spare parts or circuit boards available for this model of jack system and since I couldn't fix it the only option the dealer gave him was to install a whole new system with new jacks. (thousands$)

I'm sure if you're handy you could buy another controller and figure out how to make it work with the existing jacks but the dealer wasn't interested in that. It's hard to warranty a frankenstein system so they just want to install a whole new one.

Anyway... Now is the best time to get spare parts for all your electronics. You carry a spare tire - you should also carry a set of spare electronic boards for your rig.
 
Top Bottom