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3 brands and cold weather camping

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I'm all over the place on what travel trailer to get.  At least I narrowed it down to a travel trailer. 1st  a used bullet 2017 243bhs supposedly like new $15k-17k, new goes for around 25k.  A 2020 new imagine 2400bh/2800bh discounted price between 25k-29k from 35k-39k.  Or a northwood acrtic fox 25w for mid 40s down from mid 50s.  Does a lippert frame have the issues on a travel trailer too or is that mostly for the 5th wheels?  From reading around it seems like the northwoods and outdoors are better quality trailers.  But then I've also read that the newer models may have lost some of that.  And all rv's are junk so is it worth it to spend an extra 20-30k to still have issues.  I can deal with stripped screws or cabinets that don't line up but I don't want leaks.

And for cold weather camping I would not use any water just propane heat and electric.  Or should I just go with all electric space heaters?  I will only be in the camper for diner and sleeping.  With doing so would there be any issues with cold temps.  All the issues I've read is from freezing lines and tanks.

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Personally, I would give the Bullet a thumbs down.  I have heard that Northwoods isn't what it used to be (of course, none of them are, and yes, kind of junk compared to what they used to be), and I often wonder if their higher price has more to do with the cost of transportation of goods into the state and the higher wages paid there which doesn't add to the value.  There was a Cedar Creek by that Outdoor one in the park, and from the outside I saw no remarkable difference for the money.   Keep in mind that those that advertise the most pass those costs onto the consumer.  We are currently considering, and planning to go out of town to look at a Grand Design Imagine XLS.  The insulation sounds really good.  We have done 3 winters in central KS in a Hi-Lo, so we know quite a bite about wintering.  

Will you be in an RV Park?  In winter areas, they usually insulate and heat tape their water connections.  You can do a DIY insulated water hose.  When temps remain below freezing during the day, with or without a wind, it can be very unpleasant.  A hairdryer is a nice thing to have for frozen anything, and Reflectix is well worth its cost when it comes to covering windows, even backing cupboards or skirting an area.  A lot of contractors are forced to winter here due to current projects.

OK, looked at your other post and you plan to put this next to your house while renovating.  Keep in mind that RVs depreciate very quickly as to avoid disappointment when you are ready to sell, think "Major" disappointment as you'll probably lose 25% of whatever you pay for it when trying to sell it, and depending on the market, it may be difficult to sell with so many used units on the market although that is area dependent to some degree.

Edited by SnowGypsy

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Am I correct that you do not plan to keep the RV once your house has been renovated? How long do you expect to be living in the RV? If you aren't going to use any water in it then you must also plan to use the toilet in the house and not the travel trailer? 

3 hours ago, bridge said:

And all rv's are junk so is it worth it to spend an extra 20-30k to still have issues.  I can deal with stripped screws or cabinets that don't line up but I don't want leaks.

I currently own one of the lower priced RVs and have no major problems with it after 7 years of use, but did have 2 warranty trips to the dealer. We use ours for several months each year so we put quite a bit of wear on it and like any lower cost RV it has had maintenance issues at times but the only major item was the power converter failed and had to be replaced. If you do not plan to travel with it but just sit in one place it shouldn't require a really expensive RV but keep in mind that the cheaper ones are more difficult to keep warm in cold weather and to cool in hot weather as they aren't as well insulated. Where are you located, as you will need more if in really cold climate. 

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I have an 2016 Arctic Fox which we got around the turn of the year. So I don't have any experience with the 'old version'. But I'll say that while ours has some irritating and stupid items, electrical box installed in the wheel well and not waterproofed for example. On the whole it is much better built than any other RV we have ever owned.

Most of the problems are just stupid and careless assembly issues. Water lines improperly installed for example, not major structural issues.

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Thanks for all the replies.  I'm in CT so usually there are a few really cold weeks every winter but nothing to crazy.  I may use the house for the bathroom but I also have relatives near by and a gym membership so I may not.  I'm just wondering what it takes to keep a trailer say 60-65 in the winter.  For nights only wouldn't need it warmed up during the day.  And for the 1st year or so just used at the house but then probably take a few trips a year.  Eventually I'd like to have it hooked up with water and into a clean out but that could be a year or two down the road.  And I may keep it or sell it for a class c or a smaller class a depending how the family likes it.  I did just see a used arctic fox forsale, but possibly a scam price seems pretty good. But I'm going to look into it.  The other issue I'll have if I buy a new arctic fox all the dealers are out west.  I have heard that arctic fox will let a qualified shop do the warranty work.   I'll probably just end up with one of the cheaper brands and see if we like it.

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The heater burns a lot of propane so you'll be changing tanks frequently. The furnace blower uses a lot of 12V too. However people do bring electric heaters in, if you have electric power. Some of those quartz heaters seem to be popular one brand in particular but I don't recall the name only that is was very pricey.

Also put insulated skirting around the unit. I've seen people use foam board which would be cheap and effective but would have to be fastened down to keep it from blowing away. And some put heaters under the unit, that's probably in seriously cold climates.

 

Edited by agesilaus

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Of your 3 choices I only have first hand experience with Grand Design.  I currently own a GDRV, and would not purchase another.  We just spent the past 14 months deciding on a new fifth wheel.  GDRV was the incumbent, and they did not get on the short list.  Their construction is not that good - certainly not for the price that they demand.  I just saw this video yesterday, and it's a rather strong indictment on GDRV Imagine - and probably many others in this industry.

Arctic Fox seems to get really good reviews, and many people that I have talked with speak highly of them.

I don't know anything about Bullet.

Edited by Jim1521

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If you’re only going to need it for a year while renovating, I’d strongly suggest you look at used in the 2013 year or earlier.  Look at trailers that have “good bones”.  There are a lot of experienced people here who can recommend good ones.

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2 hours ago, bridge said:

Thats disappointing, I wish toyota made an rv. 

I must tell you that we just spent the evening with friends who are fulltime in a Grand Design, Transcend model and have been for more than a year now and they are quite pleased thus far. We also know 2 other owners of Grand Design travel trailers who are pretty happy with what they bought so not everyone feels as the post above. It is also very important to remember that there is no RV manufacturer that is so good that they have no unhappy customers and none are so bad that they have no happy customers. It seems that all of the manufacturers have a bad one from time to time and even the worst have a few that hold up. 

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I think the more one spends, the more they expect, which is reasonable.  This does give us "pause" though since we were planning a trip next week to look at GD.  We did see another video where a floor area near the bathroom entrance had to be ripped out and replaced, again it was OSB (not a fan of that myself). It was interesting to watch the person dig through that insulation trying to see if there was a leak.   One thing I find irritating is that construction details are nearly impossible to get as photos and brochures are mostly fluff:  "king size bed", "oven", "stereo system",  etc.   Roof decking?  Roof membrane?  Rarely do they tell you exactly what that is. 

I consider, for the most part, like everything else anymore, "luck of the draw".   If someone is only looking at the lifestyle short term (2 to 4 years), I recommend either used or entry level.  The good thing about entry level is that there is a market after a couple of years whereas those high dollar ones, tons on the market, especially fifth wheels  which do not seem to be in demand as a new one, maybe not of the same quality but all shiny, clean with new appliances, etc., can be bought for less than the used higher end.  Spend enough time in a used one to get a feel for any offensive odors as they can be VERY hard to impossible to get rid of.

So, thanks for the video and other comments here.

 

   

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Ok a lot more reading, and now I think I'm down to two.  2019 Nash 29s Msrp around 40k with the few extras windows,fans,tv.  Best price so far is 36k that includes about 3k to get it within 5 hours of me.  Or 30k but then a 6k mile round trip. Then next one is a Outdoor 28bks msrp around 49k sale price around 39k then either make the 5k mile round trip or pay 3500 to have it brought to me.  The layout is pretty similar rear bunks which we want outdoor has aluminum framed walls and nash has wood.  

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RVs are the worst of the worst construction. Of this bumper pulls are the bottom of the pile with 5ths being slightly better.   

Bunkhouse trailers are never built well...manufactures build bunkhouse trailers to fit a family budget. We bought a 5th and installed bunks in it.

I would never have a RV delivered.  My buddy's parents just bought their 4th RV.  After going through it for 1/2 hour they found so many issued they asked if a PDI had been done.  The response "We let the owners do the PDI".

If and I mean IF everything was assembled the way is should then I'd rate **Arctic Fox (not what it use to be) 5% above GD Momentum which is 5-10% above Outdoors RV which is 10% above GD Imagine and Nash.....BUT.....RVs are never assembled properly. That's why a inspection is so important.

Never pay for a new RV unless it has an 8-16 hour inspection in which each and every compartment was open and the water system was pressure tested.  If I found a roof (caulking) issue, water leak, frame/slide issue or bad electrical connections I'd refuse to take delivery.

You'll be allot further ahead buying used.  The first 3 years are the highest depreciation and the previous owner(s) gets to sort out any issues.

Putting a skirt around the RV helps allot with the heat.

**The issue with AF is they are build heavy (more than the brochure weight) which affects the carrying capacity. AF should have bigger axles.

 

 

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15 hours ago, bridge said:

Best price so far is 36k that includes about 3k to get it within 5 hours of me.  Or 30k but then a 6k mile round trip. Then next one is a Outdoor 28bks msrp around 49k sale price around 39k then either make the 5k mile round trip or pay 3500 to have it brought to me. 

The biggest drawback to buying from a dealer that is far from you is that you could have warranty issues. While local dealers of the same manufacturer should do warranty for you, they will not be as quick to do so since the manufacturers do not pay full labor rates for warranty work when compared to the local rate for chargeable customers. It is only normal that they would put the people who buy from them first. I do not agree that all travel trailers are poorly built or that all fifth wheel trailers are better built than the travel trailers(bumper pull). There are reputable manufacturers of any type or RV if you are willing to pay for the better ones but they do cost more. In general it is also true that higher quality RVs will weigh more because materials like thin plywood or particle board cost & weigh less than solid woods and laminates. The same is true for chassis and framework materials. I have never owned either brand but do know the Nash line by reputation as I have known quite a few owners over the years and currently know 3 fulltimers in their RVs. Outdoor RV should be equivalent since it is from the same owners, but I have not known any owners of their trailers. 

It is interesting to me that comparing the brochure of the two, the 29S is 900# less in dry weight but has a GVWR 5# higher than the 28BKS. My opinion from only looking online is that either would work for you and quality of construction should be pretty much the same. I suggest that you talk with local dealers to see if they can match the price if you share what you have found. Keep in mind that there is added expense for you to ship one from farther away so you could pay somewhat more locally and still be ahead. 

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Thanks for all the info lots to think about. From what i rwad outdoors will work with a private rv repair shop if warranty work is needed. And anything serious the nash dealer is 5 hours away. I first started looking at arctic fox but no bunks.  I dont think there are any outdoor dealers east of texas so still 2k miles away. I wonder if there are any 3rd party inspection companies? Im sure I wouldnt be able to find many issues that were not obvious even if i did drive out to pick it up myself.  The weight isn't a concern to me. But now after more research it looks like Nash and most outdoors are 30 amp service only.   The gd 2800bh has a 50 amp option and the one local to me has that option no dual pane windows though. Not sure why they wouldnt be standard with the "4 season package".  Outdoor does have 50 amp service options in the blackstone class but no bunks. Just when i thought i finally decided on the nash. Not sure I want to always worry about only running a few things at once. 1000 watts for the furnace,  microwave 800 watts,  600 watts tv, 400 watts for fridge. Electric water heater 1000 watts?Plus lights and charging laptops and phones and what ever other small stuff. Im guessing all that wouldnt last. Then i guess ill need to run a separate outlet for an electric space heater too.  I plan to have electric for any long time stays in the cold.  I guess I could run 2 seperate 20w outlets plus the 50amp and dog bone it down to 30.  Just in case i ever get a 50 amp rv.

Im assuming the nash/outdoor is better for the cold than the grand design but 30amp vs 50amp has got me thinking.

So back up to 3 options 35k nash 29s, 40k outdoor 28bks plus 3k delivery, or the 29k gd 2800bh.  

 

 

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I can guarantee if you go and check out the Northwood products you will notice difference. I shopped for over a year and looked at countless trailers not wanting to spend too much, but once you hear all the horror stories about broken frames and units just falling apart it makes you think. My wife and I finally decided to drive 300+ miles to go to and Arctic fox dealer and see what they had to offer. We made a weekend out of it and stopped at a few different dealers on the way. It was August and was 95 degrees out and a scorcher. The firs day we looked a bunch of trailers from Forest river, Jayco and Grand design. All of these trailers were like ovens inside and stunk of chemicals so bad my wife was walking in and walking right out. The next day we went to check out Arctic fox ans Nash. Amazingly it was still 95 out, but the Arctic fox and the Nash were literally 20 degrees cooler than every trailer we looked at the day before. The most notable thing to my wife was the lack of chemical odor in the Northwood trailers. There is no fake wood in the entire trailer besides the center console of the Thomas Payne sofa. My wife loved the 25w and we ordered one that day. After about 8 trips this year we have had 0 issues and the trailer is built like a brick house. The AC cools the unit to 65 degrees in 100 degree weather and we use a small electric space heater when ii is cold at night keeping the trailer at 70 without running the furnace.  

This is just my observations and I am definitely biased, but I think most people would agree after checking the brands out.  BTW the Nash trailers were rock solid and would have been my choice if my wife could have warmed up to the more utilitarian interiors.

 

Good luck  

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4 hours ago, Kirk W said:

Welcome to the Escapee forums! Join in often. 

Thank you. 

I am still a new RV'er and have so much to learn. I love all these forums as there is always someone willing to help spread the knowledge. 

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