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Kirk W

Anyone familiar with either of these RVs?

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We have been doing some research on upgrading our tiny travel trailer as the health issues that brought us off of the road are much better controlled and we have been doing more travel. Our little 19', no slide travel trailer gets a bit cramped after a few months, especially if weather is ugly. But I have not followed the industry of late in the way I once did so I'm looking for the thoughts of you folks who have been more active in the market of late. We looked at a Springdale 202RD, and we liked the floor-plan and feel but it seems a bit on the flimsy side in construction. Anyone have any experience with a Springdale by Keystone? All comments would be appreciated. 

We also looked at a Shadow Cruiser, 225RBS which is built by Cruiser RV. It seems to be of significantly better quality and the one we saw is a left-over 2018 so they are willing to deal. Again it is one that we have no direct knowledge of so seek the thoughts of any and all who read this.

Thank you all in advance for any opinions or experiences that you may have. 

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I have no experience with either. Which doesn't stop me from giving my opinion. :)  I much prefer the Cruiser floor plan. More usable kitchen and storage from what I can see. I prefer a dinette to a couch because I am comfortable sitting sideways at a dinette with my feet up plus I like always having a table at hand. There's not as much separation between the bed and the living area in the Cruiser but in a rig this size there's not much separation anyway. My main concern about the Cruiser is bumping elbows when brushing teeth in the bathroom. And I have no information on tank sizes in the Cruiser which might be a problem. But, I am sure whatever decision you make will be the right one for you.

Linda

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Have not had either of those models, but currently have a Dutchman Aspen Trail product that is much like the Springdale line. It has served us well for five years at about 16,000 miles per year. When you call Dutchman for warranty, you are dealing with Keystone so the link is likely more than both being owned by Thor. Like the Springdale it is aluminum sided.

Having had both aluminum and composite trailers, my experience is that the aluminum ones are not as well insulated although they don't have the cold spots from the aluminum frame that some of the composites do. I did not compare the R-value of the models you are considering. The finish on the aluminum seems to hold up better than the composite. After five years, our composite trailer had decals pealing and a less than glossy gel coat despite constant efforts to maintain the finish as recommended by the manufacturer. After five years, the aluminum finish is still looking good (although there are some small dimples on the front above the rock shield) with far less maintenance.

I think you would find that the slide does make a difference in the feel of the trailer's living space. The Shadow Cruiser also has about 500# more cargo capacity, but given the capacity of your Sportsmen, that is likely not much of a concern. Your Dodge diesel pickup should do well towing either one.

Edited by trailertraveler

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We had a Springdale before we went fulltime and it is the only RV we have owned that never had a single problem. After we got off the road full-time we looked for a used one with the floor plan we wanted but couldn't find one so bought another brand. Even though it's not a high end unit I wouldn't hesitate buying one. 

 

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22 hours ago, trailertraveler said:

Having had both aluminum and composite trailers, my experience is that the aluminum ones are not as well insulated although they don't have the cold spots from the aluminum frame that some of the composites do

You have some good points and reminded me of some that I know but didn't think of. One issue that we just thought about is that in weak phone or wifi signal areas, the metal skin does tend to block the signal where fiberglass does not.

8 hours ago, theeyres said:

We had a Springdale before we went fulltime and it is the only RV we have owned that never had a single problem.

Now that is impressive.  Keep the comments coming, please. We plan to look some more today but won't be buying until research is complete. Checking out KZ and a couple of others today.

Perhaps I should mention that we are not easy to please in this as I have some clear ideas of what I will and will not consider. We are at an age where I will not go back up in size or price too much as we know what we want and won't change unless we get it. We are thinking of something in the range of 20 - 24' in length, with a slide and weight of not much more than 7k.

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Kirk,  FYI--Cruiser RV is a division of DRV/Heartland and owned by Thor.  At the price point, I would expect the Cruiser to be a tad better than some of the competion, but have no direct experience with them.  But hear a lot of negative comments about Thor products...Explore USA (old Marshalls RV place) isn't too far from you? Have you looked there?

Joe

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We looked at a 2013, Cougar 21RBS from Keystone yesterday. It looked pretty good but is priced to the high side of NADA.  

9 hours ago, jblo said:

Explore USA (old Marshalls RV place) isn't too far from you? Have you looked there?

We plan to stop in there later today. 

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Re the Wi-Fi signal in a metal clad trailer: we have found it is true that it can block a weak signal. We use an inexpensive booster system. I can't remember the name of it but we stick the antenna on a window with a suction  cup, it amplifies the signal then makes a hotspot in The trailer that all of our devices  can use. Works like a charm. The trailer is in storage so I can't get the name of the system right now.

Edited by theeyres

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We have pouring over the reviews, and to sum it up, "They don't make them like they used to."  It appears to be more "hit and miss" with most accepting that there will be problems, which is what I think drives the lack of quality control anymore.  I think you are on the right track and have a sense of which are better constructed just by doing a walk-thru.  Years ago, I got a book from Escapees about choosing an RV written by the founders of Escapees and one thing that always stuck with me was to look around for what basically amounts to sloppy work and avoid those units.  Makes sense.

Was really glad to hear about health issues being more controlled.  Have followed you for decades now through the forum.  

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After visiting 6 east TX dealers over a 30-mile radius, we have begun to wonder what happens to small RVs that are traded for new? We have only found 2 dealers, each with 1 trailer between 20' & 25' in length that is used but in good condition. The best offer by far was a 2018(never sold) Shadow Cruiser of 24' and 1 slide, but even then it is more difference than we are willing to pay at this point in life. They also offered the most for our 2012 KZ Sportsman but that still ranges from a high of 35% of what we paid (not MSRP) to the majority who are offering 25 - 30% against used RVs. 

We have about decided to continue to look around and monitor some of the private sale travel trailers, but we will probably not put a lot more effort into this. The RV prices today seem to have exceeded what we feel the upgrade would be worth to us. No matter how fair a price may be when compared to the current marketplace, we are comparing that to what impact it's purchase will have on our financial future. We have historically kept all of our RVs for longer than 5 years and average almost 10 years but we have reached the point in life where age & health will probably limit the length of time that we will be able to use any purchased RV. We have made our little Sportsman work for us now for 7 years and if we have to accept "make it do" as a standard or exceed our comfortable cash purchase price, we are thinking that we just as well keep what we have. Whatever we might trade up to would most likely be our last RV, so it either has to meet our standard for quality, size, and price or there will be no purchase. 

Thank you all for your thoughts and any additional thoughts are still very welcome!

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55 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

we have begun to wonder what happens to small RVs that are traded for new?

I would suspect that dealers may send them to auction immediately as is often the case with lower priced and older model cars and pickups that are traded to new car dealerships. Owners of the smaller units may also have a greater incentive to try private sale to maximize their recovery of costs.

Edited by trailertraveler

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1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

 We have made our little Sportsman work for us now for 7 years and if we have to accept "make it do" as a standard or exceed our comfortable cash purchase price, we are thinking that we just as well keep what we have. Whatever we might trade up to would most likely be our last RV, so it either has to meet our standard for quality, size, and price or there will be no purchase. 

This and most of your post has me thinking of folks that remodel their home vs buying a new one :) Painting the woodwork can go a long way, and the table mount could be fastened to just about any other type of table that would work for you. And then there's the dinette that can be replaced with recliners to work with your table modification. A freshening or changing of the décor using the KISS approach could give you a new RV :) 

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4 hours ago, Kirk W said:

we have begun to wonder what happens to small RVs that are traded for new?

Many of our Class of '08-'09 are trading their large RVs for smaller ones. Or parking the larger ones and buying smaller for travel between summer and winter places. Maybe there's more competition for small than there used to be?

Linda

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Some RV dealers  take names and RV desires and let the prospective buyers know when something comes in.  With TTs and Class C, decent used smaller units are almost impossible to get because of their desirability.  Doesn't hurt to ask if a dealer will take your name and what you are looking for and let you know when something comes in that might be a match.

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7 hours ago, rm.w/aview said:

Painting the woodwork can go a long way, and the table mount could be fastened to just about any other type of table that would work for you.

If it were just redecorating that was the issue, that would be a good idea but no amount of paint that we have found will increase the space inside and replacing the dinette isn't viable in this one since the wheel well is under the dinette bench. What it really comes down to is that when we bought the Sportsman we thought short trips wIn the time since that her doctors have done well and we now spend far longer in the little 19' long, slide free travel trailer than we thought would be possible. But since we have managed as much as 5 months by staying where the weather is good, and we aren't getting any younger, we may well just keep what we have. The idea was to move to an RV that was a few feet longer and has a slide.  😏

54 minutes ago, SnowGypsy said:

Doesn't hurt to ask if a dealer will take your name and what you are looking for and let you know when something comes in that might be a match.

That is kind of what we have come to as well. In the meantime, we will just continue to manage with our tiny trailer. 

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