rv shopping...opinions please!!******UPDATE********

Discussion in 'Camping at Disney World' started by Lisa L from MI, Feb 7, 2001.

  1. Lisa L from MI

    Lisa L from MI <font color=0099CC>Just call me the handing out ke

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    We own a pop up but are tired of the hassle and looking now for a travel trailer. We narrowed it down to 2 (I think)
    1) Shasta Phoenix 308BHSL...It is a 31 foot, with slide out dinette and living room area. Bunkbeds and front queen bedroom. I love the decor, the set up and the overall look of it all.

    2) Sunline Solaris T-267 SR...It is a 27 foot, with slide out dinette and living room area. Bunkbeds and front double bedroom. The decor is nice and the set up is ok but not as nice as the Shasta. My DH said it is alot better made than the Shasta (cabinets, etc...)

    Anyone familiar with any of these??? The Sunline is a few thousand more than the Shasta eventhough it is smaller. I know my DH prefers the Sunline since it is "better made" but I think I prefer the Shasta...as far as "looks" are concerned.

    So, would you look for "quality" or appearance????

    ***UPDATE***
    We went to another camper show tonight and wanted to look at only the ones listed above.....WELL...we decided on a Jayco 31 footer with the superslide and bunks....It actually has everthing we wanted plus some extras....outdoor shower...outdoor gas BBQ. I picked out "orchid" for the color, which, is kinda funny....On the Shasta above, he agreed on the "green" because he said "at least it isn't "purple""......Well....we got the purple in this one!!LOL But it isn't really too bad...We were going to go for the brown but it just seemed to drab......So I got the orchid (purple!!LOL)
    [​IMG]

    [This message was edited by Lisa L on 02-18-01 at 12:41 AM.]
     
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  3. Disney Campers

    Disney Campers Moderator Moderator

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    Check the weight information, take the Gross Vehicle Weight rating and subtract the trailer dry weight, the difference is what you will be able to load into the trailer.

    Of the two manufacturers you have listed I would say go with the Sunline, they do make a good quality trailer.

    You may want to check out the following rv discussion forum, you will get a lot of good responses from those people.
    irv2.com

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  4. TwinMommy

    TwinMommy Earning My Ears

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    First of all be sure of your towing vehicles maximum lbs to tow. Our trailer weighs 5,000 full and our truck can tow up to 8,000. Believe me, you do not want to get close to the maximum for your truck. Also, have you thought about sway control? Which trailer is more aerodyanamic which would make it much easier to tow.

    Our trailer is 25 ft and it is hard enough to manuever into small campsites. I wouldn't personally go over 27 or 28 ft in length and I do 1/2 of the driving on our trailer and all of the backing (dh is much better at backing directions than I am) so I know what I am speaking of. We also went from a pop-up to a trailer and it is a world of difference towing a trailer. You just feel so much bigger and longer going down the road.

    With that said I would definitely go with the Sunline. They are one of the highest rated companies and their workmanship is excellent. I have also heard that their customer service is great.

    Take your time with your decision. We have always been grateful that we took a long time to decide on our trailer. We feel we are safe when driving down the road and with kids in the truck, that is of our utmost importance.

    Good luck!
     
  5. TinkerbellRules

    TinkerbellRules DIS Veteran

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    I second TwinMommy's opinion. We looked at the larger TT with slide out. They add way too much weight on the camper plus length. Be sure to check the towing capacity for your tow vehicle. Be careful. We were told ours would tow a heavier TT, but it didn't. Sometimes salespeople are just that! If you want to, let me know what it is and I can look it up in a book.

    Also, you're gas $$ will go up from the popup to the TT. Be aware of that. We have a 25 TT (queen bed with DB bunk) and always plan on double the amount without the camper. I've also heard people have more trouble with slideouts (mechanical), but they are nice! YOu might want to consider looking at some "lites". Ours is a Nomad Lite. Definately need a sway bar for the longer TT. Actually, we have one as well. You wouldn't believe how semi's can make the trailer sway! You also must consider the gas stations you enter. We pulled into one after driving 8 hrs (at midnight) and DH almost hit the cement posts protecting the gas pumps. My sis and I screamed "STOP" just before. He was literally an inch away from scrapping the whole side of the TT. We had to ask people to move their cars so we could get out. Scary! I also recommend checking out the Flyin J website before you go. They have nice, big RV gas pumps. We learned the hard way!

    Been there, done that, going back!

    Check my site: http://www.geocities.com/tinkerbellwdw2000/

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  6. camper

    camper Mouseketeer

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    We traded our pop-up towards a TT last year. We looked at a sunline also and it did seem to be very good quality. We bought a citation only because we got a better deal, and I did like the set up better. I noticed the sunline even had flexsteel seating-very good in my opinion. The hard wood cabinets were important to my dh also. We want something that will last.
    I was amazed at the difference the tt made in our gas mileage! And I think the sway bar is a must!
    I would look at how much each weighs and take that into consideration also.
    Good luck and let us know what you get!
     
  7. Cold Iron

    Cold Iron Just "lurking" around!

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    I expect you will really enjoy the TT.

    You have gotten some good advice for your choice. The only thing I have to add is watch the weights of both the TT and your tow vehicle. A few days ago over on the RV-Talk site a 45 ft. Marathon XLV/Prevost bus conversion was discussed, it weighed 43,600 lbs. and had a GVWR of 45,000 lbs. which left a total of 1,400 lbs. for cargo and people. And all this for only $725,597.

    Keep in mind that RV salesmen and used car salesmen are closly related. All they want is your money.
     
  8. Lisa L from MI

    Lisa L from MI <font color=0099CC>Just call me the handing out ke

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    Thanks for all your opinions and please keep them coming!!! I know...I am now really thinking weight wise too. I found an RV salesperson on the boards so hopefully they can help me with an unbiased opinion and expertise!!

    I keep thinking about the length too....I think even a few feet would make a difference!!! I would like to be able to tow it myself too, without being petrified.

    We are going to go to another camper show next weekend to check them out again...

    Thanks for all your thoughts!!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Camping Griswalds

    Camping Griswalds DIS Veteran

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    Cold Iron Where is the RV talk site that you referred to?? Is it the same as the one posted above?? Does anyone know where I can find a listing of local RV shows?? Thanks.
     
  10. Cold Iron

    Cold Iron Just "lurking" around!

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    Camping Griswolds, The site that Disney Camper mentioned http://www.irv2.com is a great site, it's set up like this DIS board. The site I mentioned is http://www.rvclub.com then go to rv-talk section. This board is set up as e-mail responses. You'll get about 30 e-mails a day, kinda confusing but it's easier for the people on the road.

    I searched for some RV shows, try http://www.campers-online.com or http://www.rvadvice.com/rvevents.html There are others but most are related to local states.
     
  11. Camping Griswalds

    Camping Griswalds DIS Veteran

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    Cold Iron...thanks so much for the reply!! After I got done posting it here, I put it under it's own subject too. Thanks for the great info, I'm going to try out those sites!!
     
  12. TinkerbellRules

    TinkerbellRules DIS Veteran

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    Lisa: What type of tow vehicle do you have? I can look it up in a camping book we have (which I just got).

    When we first started looking, we had a Ford Supercab F150 4x4 Flareside (red). Boy was it awesome! We loved it. The car dealer told us we could tow just about anything. What a lie! We found it didn't have the right axle or something. So when we started looking for campers the next year, we found it wouldn't tow what we wanted. Plus, we discovered my DD grew too much to ride in the back in our opinion. Her head was above the seat which meant she would hit the back of the window if we stopped quickly. That was the deciding point for us. DD and I both cried when we traded the truck. That's kind of funny now, but anyway... We purchased a full sized conversion van and boy do we love it for traveling! So much room and so much more comfortable especially for our DD. Still love to have another truck though ;) We also have a minivan.

    Bottom line is be careful of salespeople on both sides. Maybe they just aren't educated or just deceiving!

    Oh, I meant to add earlier. We looked at the Sunline which seemed very nice, but the price kept us away from those. Seems like we might have looked at the Shasta but didn't like the "quality" of them. Have you thought about buying used? We purchased our 25' 98 Nomad Lite last year. Saved lots of $$ that way. We looked for over one year for a camper. Used vs new. We obviously decided used was best for us. Saved about $4,000 and nobody can tell it was used.

    Sorry, I don't mean to confuse you more ;)

    Been there, done that, going back!

    Check my site: http://www.geocities.com/tinkerbellwdw2000/

    Off-site 87, 88
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  13. Lisa L from MI

    Lisa L from MI <font color=0099CC>Just call me the handing out ke

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    BUMP---I always think an update would bump it up

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Disney Campers

    Disney Campers Moderator Moderator

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    COngratulations :D :D

    Did you order one or take delivery of one from inventory on the dealers lot??

    Jayco makes a good product, we love ours its just to small for us now, we also are looking for a 31 footer with bunks and super slide, that slide room makes such a big differenct.

    Going from a pop up to full size trailer with slide is quite an upgrade, better sign up for the Presidents Club at camping world, it will save you 10% on what you purchase.

    Best of luck on your new trailer, lets see some pics of it when get some.

    Now the best way to break in a new trailer is by going to Fort Wilderness :D :D :D

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  15. Firefighter Mickey

    Firefighter Mickey DIS Veteran

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    We've been going thru the same exercise the past few months. We have a Class A 25' Southwind that sleeps 3, which doesn't work for our 2 adult and 2 teen family. We made it thru our last visit to FW by extending the dinette bed space with a board and some supports and then putting a queen size air mattress on top, but it's a real pain. Luckily at FW about the only time we spent in the RV was when we were sleeping.

    I've found the IRV2 site to be very helpful. Along with a book titled "How to select, inspect and buy an RV" from www.rv.org

    I think we've narrowed it doesn to 3 choices, and interestingly enough there's a lot of variation in the 3:
    • Sandpiper by Forest River
    • Prowler by Fleetwood
    • Nash by Northwood (this was a recent addition to our list after an RV show this weekend)
    In all three cases we're looking at bunks and a slideout, and I've been keeping a real close eye on weights (including the hitch weight since we're looking at a 5er rather than a TT).

    Right now the Nash is my favorite, and has the advantage of being rated one of the safest and highest quality in its class by one of the RV rating groups. The only drawback to the Nash is that it is a little more expensive than any of the others, and is pushing our budget a little bit. The good news is that the "sale" (hah!) price we saw for the Nash at the RV show may actually still be closer to the MSRP than what a dealer may actually sell for; so I'm hoping for some good news in the next few days from an Internet RV seller that will bring the Nash in with our budget and keep it in the running.

    The Sandpiper is the least expensive of all 3, and there are things that we would have to "live with" with that option. Interestingly, the Prowler, while more expensive than the Sandpiper, does not appear to improve signficantly over the quality (a good example of how buying the most expensive RV doesn't always get you the best), and in some areas doesn't provide the same quality that the sandpiper does.

    All in all, it's been quite an experience.
     
  16. griff

    griff Earning My Ears

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    Hey we went from a 24' Alumalite, to a 27' Dutchman, with a slide out. It's like" Who threw out the anchor". I can't imagine pulling a 30' with a slide out. I would have to buy a new truck.
    If you never travel very far, you can chance the long one. I have several friends with 30 footers. They love them when we go to parks 50 miles away, but none of them will pull them to Florida (700 miles).
    Not to mention, I am getting about 7 miles to the gallon pulling that 27 footer.
    GRIFF
     
  17. Firefighter Mickey

    Firefighter Mickey DIS Veteran

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    Alas, the only problem is that if you are looking at a Bunkhouse unit, you are almost always looking at 28' or 29' and better. I don't think I've seen a single 5er bunkhouse less than 28', though it might be possible in a TT (I've not really looked). And you can't just go by the model number as an indication. The Nash 28-5d we're looking at is 29+ feet (maybe the 28 refers to inside dimensions).
     
  18. Lisa L from MI

    Lisa L from MI <font color=0099CC>Just call me the handing out ke

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    We ended up ordering it from Indiana....3000.00 cheaper than the "show" price here in MI. I am quite nervous about the size. But to have the bunks AND the slide out the smallest I think was 29 ft.

    Now we need to change the hitch thingy on DH's truck (1994 chevy silverado w/a 350)and do something with the rear end (make it a 373???) So, we are talking even more money!!! Sometimes I think it's not worth it!!

    I looked at the paper on it and it is 31.8 ft outside dimension....so that must include the hitch thingy too.

    But our 2 major things were the bunks and the slide out. I know it seems like a big jump from a pop-up...At first I thought we could get away without the bunks but the thought of setting up the couch bed everyday and night...changed my minds and the kids 5 and 7 just love the idea of the bunks.

    It should be in the last week of April and hopefully can post some pictures.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Firefighter Mickey

    Firefighter Mickey DIS Veteran

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    373 sounds like you are changing the axle ratio to 3.73. 4.10 would probably be a better ratio to change to if you have a gas engine; you'll get lower milage when not towing, but better pulling power when towing - however, I'm not an expert in this, and I don't play one on TV, so a professional opinion is probably in order.

    The Chevy Trailering Guide shows that a Vortec 8100 engine has the same towing capability as the Durmax Diesel at 3.73, when the Vortec has the 4.10 ratio; with the 3.73 ratio with the Vortec you lose almost 2,000 lbs of towing capability.

    Which Silverado do you have? I don't know a 350 from anything (unless you meant a 3500 - which is the 1-ton) - I usually go by model numbers in the trailing guide. If it's a 1500 or a 2500 I'd be worried about exceeding the capabilities of the truck. The best I see that a 1500 can tow (with the largest engine) is a GVWR of 8,800; the 2500 can go up to 10,200 with the 4.10 axle ratio.

    [This message was edited by Firefighter Mickey on 03-05-01 at 10:17 PM.]
     
  20. Lisa L from MI

    Lisa L from MI <font color=0099CC>Just call me the handing out ke

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    thanks firefighter...but I have no idea what you just said!!LOL!! I will see if my DH does. It is a regular gas truck...if that's what you mean...it's not diesel. I wonder if going bigger than the 373 would be even more money??

    Just for the hitch stuff...sway bars, brake control thingy etc is going to cost about 900.00!!! I am wondering if we should just look into buying a new vehicle?? He has low miles on the truck though...only 55000...but I hate the fact of trying to sell it....we already have to sell the pop-up!!

    Thanks again

    [​IMG]
     
  21. Firefighter Mickey

    Firefighter Mickey DIS Veteran

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    I updated my post and just saw your reply. I would think that changing the axle ratio would be a fixed cost regardless of what ratio you changed too; according to the chart I have, the 4.10 ratio will give you the most towing capability regardless of model and/or engine (except for the diesel which only comes with 3.73).

    Chevy has a very good Trailering Guide which you can download from the chevy web site or pick up at a dealer. I would not rely on the word of an RV salesman to tell me what my truck was capable of towing - they don't really know, and even the auto manufacturer is optimistic (at least that's my understanding). IRV2 has a board dedicated to towing issues; it's an eye opener.

    I know the pain of trading up a truck. We had originally been looking at going with a Class C, and then changed our minds to go with the 5er because we would still have a vehicle to drive around once camp was set up. I had a 2000 S-10, and there was no way it was going to pull anything we were looking at. I traded it in at a loss of at least $2k and considered myself lucky.

    We purchased a Silverado 2500 HD with the Vortec 8100 engine and the Allison Transmission; the 2500HD will tow most everything I've looked at, but because it's only a 3/4 ton, I have to carefully watch the hitch weight (I cannot exceed 2,500 lbs, and some of the dry hitch weights I've been looking at are >1,000 lbs, which leaves not much room for carrying things or throwing anything in the bed of the truck).

    Frankly, I could not believe how much thought needs to go in to trying to match the correct truck with the trailer, in so much as that so many of the TT's or 5er's easily exceed the capabilities of most of the trucks that people want to use to tow with.
     

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