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Need opinions on....... Make that a different one now~


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#1 Kirk

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 08:25 PM

We did some RV shopping today and are looking at three different ones that are pretty similar and with nearly exactly the same floor plans and that are in the same size & weight range as well as general price range. If anyone here has any experience with or knowledge of any of the three, we would greatly appreciate your evaluations.

The three candidates are, Layton, by Skyline, the Escape by KZ, and also the Jay Flight, Swift from Jayco. All comments and opinions would be helpful.

Thanks for you thoughts! :)

Edited by Kirk, 26 March 2012 - 01:52 PM.

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#2 AffinityBob

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:15 PM

Kirk - I have never heard of any of those. Are you sure you are not just trying to stump the readers.

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#3 StarDreamers.us

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:15 AM

Would be interested in hearing about the ones you are looking at, and why those are listed? Thanks!

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#4 trailertraveler

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 06:53 AM

I have seen quite a few of each of those brands over the years. I believe there are a number of models and lengths of each. The most common small Layton I've seen recently are the Joey models. Although in the past some Aljo models (and I think also Koala) also carried the Layton Logo. A good friend had a 40' Layton that he used for over 20 years with few problems, but it only moved from one semi-perminent site to another a few times.

Another friend (single fulltimer) has a Jayco Swift that is 5 years old. He is happy with it and no plans to upgrade. His model only has about 700# carrying capacity which is OK for him along with what he keeps in the mid-size SUV tow vehicle all the time.

How old are the ones you are looking at? Are they all aluminum sided like the Swift or are some filon composite? Around 2004-2006, a lot of companies that made small light weight, entry model travel trailers were having trouble with delamination that they blamed on changes in the luan plywood manufacturing process. About that same time frame, Lippert was having a fair amount of problems with their frames and Alco was having some problems with their axles. So, who made some of the componants may be as important as who assembled the trailer.

You may already be considering these things; but, If it were me looking used, I would be looking at the condition over all, then how much it appeared to have been used and any indication of how much it had actually been towed (the less the better). I'd prefer aluminum or molded fiberglass over Filon.

What size are the tires? There are a lot less choices for quality tires in 13" and 14". Small trailers often come with tires rated very close to the GVWR of the trailer and may not have room between the axles or in the wheel well to change to a larger size and if you change to a larger size, you may have to re=align the axles to prevent uneven tread wear. What are the weight ratings of the axles? Many small light weight trailers are built on axles that do not even equal the GVWR of the trailer thus leaving little safety margin.

Hope this helps and good luck with your search!

#5 Kirk

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:41 AM

Thanks for the comments, thus far.

All three of the trailers listed are new, as we have not found much in the smaller, used trailers that are up to the standards that we hold. A few things that also apply are the fact that this will not be a fulltimer home as we have now returned to a home-base lifestyle and so are looking much smaller. We do plan to spend up to a month at times in ours, but having just come from fulltime in a 36', gas powered, slide free motorhome, small space just isn't a big concern for us. We want to get one that is small and light, preferably towable by a V-6 powered truck and one that is under 4K# in weight. In addition, this RV will be stored when not in use, inside of a fully enclosed building as our home base has an RV port that has complete walls/sides.

The leading choice at this point is the Escape, from KZ. It is fiberglass construction, and an EDPM roof.

The second position at the moment is the Swift by Jayco.

In third position is Layto Retro.

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#6 marnindale

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:46 AM

They all look nice and all three are known to be good manufacturers. What size trailer are you interested in?

Which comes with the best warranty and how are they rated in the RV Consumer Guide?

And, it all comes to what the two of you like the best and feel you can get the best deal on. I wish you great success in buying your trailer and many years of happy travels in it. I am looking forward to seeing pictures.
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#7 waynehill

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:35 PM

Thanks for the comments, thus far.

All three of the trailers listed are new, as we have not found much in the smaller, used trailers that are up to the standards that we hold. A few things that also apply are the fact that this will not be a fulltimer home as we have now returned to a home-base lifestyle and so are looking much smaller. We do plan to spend up to a month at times in ours, but having just come from fulltime in a 36', gas powered, slide free motorhome, small space just isn't a big concern for us.  We want to get one that is small and light, preferably towable by a V-6 powered  truck and one that is under 4K# in weight.  In addition, this RV will be stored when not in use, inside of a fully enclosed building as our home base has an RV port that has complete walls/sides.

The leading choice at this point is the Escape, from KZ. It is fiberglass construction, and an EDPM roof.

The second position at the moment is the Swift by Jayco.

In third position is Layto Retro.


I like your choices with Skyline being at the bottom of the list ....we have a skyline Joey and its not that well made.  I do not like the single axle on a TT...  a tandem to me is much more sound and not that more in added weight.  Good luck, Be safe



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#8 richfaa

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 02:55 PM

We are familiar with the Jay flight by Jayco.Several of our friends have this model and they are popular as we see many at the campgrounds. The Jay flight is more of a occasional use unit but we know you are cutting back nf your travel and Rv use. We have looked at them recently helping a friend choose a camper for occasional use.IMO one gets their monies worth with the Jay Flight.
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#9 steve & sandy

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 04:20 PM

A friend had a Layton trailer. 6yrs ago. It was new & she had a leak under sink took several trips into the dealer & then a private RV repair person to get it fixed. The factory was Very Slow to pay for the repair under warranty. She also had a decorative mirror just fall of the wall & break almost landing on her foot. Among other minor things. I think they still have it though. It's not traveled in much. Mostly parked on rec. property.
Have you thought about the Artic Fox by Northwood Manufacturing?
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#10 skypoke

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 08:12 PM

A friend had a Layton trailer. 6yrs ago. It was new & she had a leak under sink took several trips into the dealer & then a private RV repair person to get it fixed. The factory was Very Slow to pay for the repair under warranty. She also had a decorative mirror just fall of the wall & break almost landing on her foot. Among other minor things. I think they still have it though. It's not traveled in much. Mostly parked on rec. property.
Have you thought about the Artic Fox by Northwood Manufacturing?



#11 skypoke

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 08:20 PM

Yeah, what about the Arctic Fox? The interiors are somewhat spartan but the build quality is up there. Another one you might look for, unfortunately hard to find though, is a Bigfoot. Our Bigfoot camper set the standard for motorhomes when we decided to make the leap from a truck camper to a class A. The Foretravel we bought is the only rig that equalled the interior construction quality of the 'foot. In some ways the fit and finish of the Bigfoot was better.... There is one qualifying factor that would be a deal maker/breaker for me. It must have a 100% fiberglass molded exterior. Park it and forget it, covered or not.

What fun, RV shopping again. Enjoy the hunt. ''

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#12 trailertraveler

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 07:10 AM

.....Have you thought about the Artic Fox by Northwood Manufacturing?


Yeah, what about the Arctic Fox?



We want to get one that is small and light, preferably towable by a V-6 powered truck and one that is under 4K# in weight.


To the best of my knowledge Arctic Fox does not make a light weight trailer. The smallest current model has a GVWR of 7500#. The lightest ones in the Northwood Nash line have a GVWR of 7000# and in the Snow River line 8500#.

Edited by trailertraveler, 25 March 2012 - 07:12 AM.


#13 Kirk

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 08:11 AM

The smallest trailer that I can find by Arctic Fox is a 17' Nash that weights in at 4300#, which is a bit more than we want and the nearest dealer is more than 250 miles away.

Good travelin !...............Kirk
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#14 trailertraveler

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 01:49 PM

The smallest trailer that I can find by Arctic Fox is a 17' Nash that weights in at 4300#...


Kirk,

I have been looking at Northwood trailers for a while now. What model only weights 4300#? According to the Northwood website both the Nash 17K and Nash 18L have a GVWR of 7000#. Or are you talking about dry weight?

#15 Kirk

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:16 PM

I have been looking at Northwood trailers for a while now. What model only weights 4300#? According to the Northwood website both the Nash 17K and Nash 18L have a GVWR of 7000#. Or are you talking about dry weight?

That is the one I was referring to and I failed to state that it was dry weight.

Right now we are leaning to the Escape, by KZ. We are considering this Spree and also this one.

Good travelin !...............Kirk
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Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure
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#16 harry bellerby

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:29 PM

I always need a place to sit,so the sofa is a must,espically on a rainy day.
c u on the road


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#17 2gypsies

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:34 PM

The E19SB looks like it would be much more comfortable than the other. It also has more capacity holding tanks. Since you're an experienced full-timer you could probably be very conservative with your water usage but the smaller unit has such tiny tanks. To us, it wouldn't be fun but your choice, for sure! Good luck in choosing the right one for you.

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#18 Kirk

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 01:58 PM

We went back to the leading dealer today and spent a couple of hours going over the leading contender and the result was that we have decided that we are not ready to downsize quite that much! No more 14" trailers for us as that is just a little too much "togetherness!"

So now we need to know if anyone out there has owned a KZ Sportsman? We are now dealing on a Sportsman 190. It has a 19' interior and an exterior length of 22'. It has a GVWR of 3500# and an NCC of 750#. Check it out and give us your opinion, good or bad. Once we figure this out it will be time to shop for a tow vehicle and that will be a whole new subject. We are debating between an SUV or a small truck?

Good travelin !...............Kirk
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#19 sandsys

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 02:42 PM

We are now dealing on a Sportsman 190.

The only place I see to do food prep is on the dinette table. That means you have to put away all projects, prep the food for cooking, than and only then can you set the table for eating. I couldn't live like that, can you?

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#20 trailertraveler

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 02:54 PM

I know a few folks that own Sportsmen trailers, not that model, that are happy with them. A dealer that I dealt with for repairs use to be a Sportsmen dealer and changed brands because of problems with Sportsmen. This was a very small dealership at a campground that probably only sold a half dozen trailers per year so the problem may well have been his position in the pecking order.

Have you considered any of the lightweight hard rear slide models? They give an impressive amount of space for their towing size and weight when the bed slide is extended.