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Northwood TT, does anyone actually own one


RyanJAD

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This seems to be the most common brand that is recommended to me, but not by actual owners. Does anyone here own one? Are they that much better quality than a Forest River? I am looking for something to live in full time that will be towed at least every week and for long distances. I plan on buying new since I have looked at tons of used ones and people just don't take care of them. I plan on keeping it for many decades to come.

Thanks

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Not a TT but a 5th. Short answer, yes. We used to own a forest river. Go in one and bounce...you will find that the floor isn't springy.

 

Before we bought, we noticed that a lot of fulltimers / long timers were buying AFs..and if they were selling, they were buying another. NW have a smaller dealership network so they are not pounding out RVs like Carters liver pills..

 

As will all other rigs, QC seems to be suffering since 2014.

 

We didn't but you can take a tour of the plant if you like..they are quite open. There is also a NW specific forum that you can belong to.

 

The downside (upside ??) is that they are heavier than the normal sized rig so you need a bit more TV...and some say that they are not upscale (blingie ?) enough..but I will take solid over bling.

 

In the last year, we have pulled ours over 11K miles over rough highway w/o issue.. frankly, I am kinda surprised when I compare it with our SOBs.

 

Good luck

 

 

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Not a TT but a 5th. Short answer, yes. We used to own a forest river. Go in one and bounce...you will find that the floor isn't springy.

 

Before we bought, we noticed that a lot of fulltimers / long timers were buying AFs..and if they were selling, they were buying another. NW have a smaller dealership network so they are not pounding out RVs like Carters liver pills..

 

As will all other rigs, QC seems to be suffering since 2014.

 

We didn't but you can take a tour of the plant if you like..they are quite open. There is also a NW specific forum that you can belong to.

 

The downside (upside ??) is that they are heavier than the normal sized rig so you need a bit more TV...and some say that they are not upscale (blingie ?) enough..but I will take solid over bling.

 

In the last year, we have pulled ours over 11K miles over rough highway w/o issue.. frankly, I am kinda surprised when I compare it with our SOBs.

 

Good luck

 

 

 

We purchased an Arctic Fox TT (the infamous last RV). We were very happy with it. Then we decided to go full time for a while. After selling our fifth wheel we went shopping for a TT for weekends and short trips. We were going to buy a Nash. The closest dealer was 166 miles. We got there and were very disappointed in the appearance of both the Arctic Fox and the Nash. I don't know what happened since we bought the last one. But, it's not good.

 

I never thought I say this, but, we bought a Rockwood Ultra Lite 2304DS. The biggest 25' TT I've ever seen.

 

Newt

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Welcome to the Escapee's RV forums! We are here to help and we will do the best we can.

Does anyone here own one? Are they that much better quality than a Forest River?

Northwood is the builder of the Artic Fox, mentioned by Newt. Forest River is a fairly new company that is best known for low priced RVs and average quality. They don't have the history of factory support that Northwood has. If you really want to compare the two company's products the RV Consumer Group is by far the best way of doing so. Your profile doesn't indicate any previous RV experience so I believe that you may benefit from joining them to take advantage of the educational materials that they make available to their members. Rating the quality of an RV is not a simple thing and the construction and materials used vary widely.

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I owned a 15' (12' inside) TT that I partially built. A startup built a prototype shell that I purchased. I built the inside and used it mainly for weekending and hunting. The only other experience I have is staying in other peoples' and they were all hybrids. The Forest River Surveyor 266RLDS is almost perfect in my eyes. I am not a fan of walk through bathrooms, but they do give you more room. I love the slideouts. The weight is great, but the CCC is kind of lacking. It makes me fearful of not only overloading it, but just how good are those axles? It looks like for about $600-700 I could upgrade the trailer myself after the warranty expires with dual 7000# axels. This wouldn't necessarily increase the capacity by 4000#, but I would feel way more comfortable carrying max advertised load. I could also stiffen up the frame anywhere I can throw a piece of 2" angle iron. (I have looked at a few brands and they use tiny 1")

 

So, I guess my big concerns are things like roof leaks, appliance longevity, furniture prematurely wearing out, things like that.

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Another former owner of an AF fiver. Yes, it is built very solid. They build their own frames and you can compare them in size to almost any other equivalent rig and you will see it is much heavier. You can find other rigs that are much fancier with more bells and whistles--for the same price--but that tells you where they have put their money. When we got off the road the only reason we didn't buy a AF trailer is we wanted a used, cheap thing to bounce around in for week-ends and short trips. There is an AF users forum you can check out.

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We have owned two older Airstream trailers (1973 27' and 1983 31') a purchased new 2013 Flagstaff 34' front kitchen VLite and now currently own a 2016 Arctic Fox Silver Fox Edition 28F we purchased new last summer. The Forest River Flagstaff was a nice trailer for the price point. It had big windows but they were not insulated so they lost a lot of heat in cold weather and gained a lot of heat in hot weather. The first winter we were in Texas it seemed like we were constantly running to town for propane. The four corner stabilizers weren't adequate controlling movement when walking around inside so I added another pair just in front of the front axle which helped a lot. We soon realized the fit and finish of the Flagstaff would not stand up to our semi full timing and started looking for a replacement. Coming home to South Dakota from Texas last July we stopped in Pueblo Colorado at an AF dealer to look at what they had to offer. We were shown a 25' unit that had been closed up for several weeks and were amazed at how comfortable it was on the inside with no ac running. Continuing north we stopped in Casper Wy were the nearest Arctic Fox for us is located. Looked at a 28F with onboard Onan propane generator. Long story short, two weeks later we traded the Forest River Flagstaff for the Northwood AF 28F and have been very pleased with the rugged build of the camper. Had a few issues with it, most notably the Lippert Schwinntec kitchen slide. The dealer was able to resolve the issue and since then we have had no other major problems. Much warmer in winter and easy to cool in summer even with a 13,500 btu ac.

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So, I guess my big concerns are things like roof leaks, appliance longevity, furniture prematurely wearing out, things like that.

You will find the same appliances in just about any RV, regardless of the price/quality position of the RV in the market. Roofs and structural issues are another matter entirely. Different quality levels mean different materials for framework and interior parts of the RV as well as workmanship and attention to details. Such things as "fit & finish" are areas that make a huge difference. Things like solid wood for drawer fronts and cabinet doors and anywhere that is touched constantly so that it shows wear quickly. Higher end RVs will have all solid wood or at least quality plywood in all cabinets, while lower quality uses particle board with vinyl wrap to make them appear to be real wood. The vinyl looks very nice and costs/weighs less than wood but it doesn't survive well when in constant use for fulltime living. Then there are such things as cargo carrying capacities that tend to be much higher for the higher quality RVs because it costs more to use a heavy duty frame and axle system than to you lower capacity ones. Another factor that is often different is the size and quality of wheels and tires used on trailers. Suspension systems vary widely and that effects the ride and handling of the trailers.

 

Inside there are differences in things like the drawer slides used, the cabinet hardware used, the construction of the drawers, wall covering materials, upholstery material quality, window coverings, and many other interior issues. Exterior issues are things like window quality, dual pane windows, amount and type of insulation, insulated or un-insulated floors and storage, type and location of plumbing, size of waste tanks, are the tanks insulated for cold weather use, 30a or 50a power distribution, 1 or 2 air conditioners, 1 or 2 furnaces, and a host of other factors.

 

It is very important when shopping for an RV to examine things in great detail and look far below the surface. The deeper that you probe the more you will discover differences which account for the prices and quality ratings.

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Mentioned by others: http://www.nroa2003.com/forum/

 

You can join as a guest, long-term there is a cost because the forum is owned and operated -- NOT by Northwood corporate -- but rather by the owners of RVs made by Northwood.

 

I bought used -- it is a matter of:

1. waiting long enough (like 2 or 3 years) to find a model that you like become available,

2. doing your own walk-through / inspection for condition.

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  • 5 months later...

I have a 2003 Arctic Fox 30U. I have had minimal problems with it. It is pre alum. frame and is heavy. It is just shy of 12000 lbs. loaded and has 1400 lbs. tongue weight. Other than routine maintenance (brakes, A/C capacitor, one slide motor, cracked front rock window cover, tires, and a water heater circuit board) I have had no other problems. I travel about 10,000 miles per year. I upgraded the tires and the suspension over time (16" light truck tires). It has been stored under cover during its entire life. I would not buy another travel trailer other than a Northwood manufactured one. Just compare frames to Northwoods to those "light" Models. I have been pulling trailers for over 35 yrs and have owned several. I like some of the other manufactures floor plans but if buying again I will buy from Northwood. We like to one we have so see no reason to change............................after 14 years.

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We owned a Nash 23c and it was great, no major issues at all. Wanted something bigger and bought a 2016 Outdoors Wind River.

An offshoot of Northwoods built in the same town, La Grande Oregon! Very well built as well, no complaints! In the current issue of the Travel Trailer & Fifth Wheel Comparison guide by Randall Eaton both Outdoors & Northwoods are rated #1 in the Above Average (middle) category since 2010! The book is well worth buying so you can read about all brands that are currently being produced. Check out the Creekside by Outdoors as well. Good luck!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Not sure if you have found your trailer yet but yes I have owned an Arctic Fox 25Y for the past 6 months and have been very happy with the purchase. After having owned a Monaco Dynasty coach and a Mobile Suites fifth wheel in the past 10 years, I feel I have a good handle on quality from a non-custom company. No issues with the Arctic Fox as of this time but only have 5000 miles on the unit. I really like the carrying capacity of around 3000 lbs but I have not reached that yet. Tows excellent with F350 DRW and 6.7 and have heard of some owners very happy with the F250 or Chevy/Dodge 2500's. Really like the arched ceiling as I am at 6' tall, also the full residential size queen bed and plenty of headroom in the shower. We wanted to downsize and the 30' length (hitch to rear bumper) makes it easy to get into most any campground or state/national park. Had to drive to Niemeyers in Minnesota to find this model but was well worth the trip. Spent some cool night in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in Oct/Nov and the heater ran very sparingly. Very well insulated and the 15kw A/C does excellent here in Fl. One last thought, I found it near impossible to find an Arctic Fox in either the 25y or 25W anywhere near Florida and the resale value on used units out west was very good. You pay al little more upfront for better quality but it comes back to you when you sell if you take care of it. Good luck on whatever you decided on.

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  • 3 months later...

We have a 2017 Arctic Fox 22G. The small one without a slideout. We really like it. It had a couple of minor problems right out of the gate that the dealer repaired under warranty. It seems really well insulated. I was out working in it one day and outside temps were in the high 30s. Ran the furnace to get the inside temp nice and comfy and shut it off. I'd say it held temperature for a couple of hours before the temp started to slip back down. 

Probably my only dislike about it is that the furnace registers are always open. They can't be closed. And since they are set up in the traffic pattern, things can fall down inside the ducting. I know I could replace them with registers that open and close the other complaint is they are easy to step on so kind of a pain for those middle of the night bathroom excursions. Anyway, my solution was to get a free flooring sample from our local NW dealer, bought some adhesive magnet sheets and made some covers. Kills 2 birds. Easy to walk on now and keeps stuff from falling in. Just need to remember to remove them when running the furnace. 

Really, a pretty minor dislike in the scheme of things, but something to consider.

Pic of one of the covers I made. This one covers the register next to the dinette.

_DSC7492_00003_25.jpg

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Just a heads up in case too many ducts are covered.  The output from the forced fan system can be affected if the minimum duct registers are reduced.  Here is a partial selection from the installation manual for a Suburban furnace.

"Suburban furnaces require that a minimum duct area be maintained throughout entire duct system including through the register. it is very important to adhere to the minimum duct area in order to keep the furnace from cycling on high limit and to assure proper operation of the sail switch (sometimes referred to as a microswitch.) NOTE: (Refer to the installation manual for the minimum ducted square inches area for

each model.) 

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9 hours ago, barlow46 said:

Just a heads up in case too many ducts are covered.  The output from the forced fan system can be affected if the minimum duct registers are reduced.  Here is a partial selection from the installation manual for a Suburban furnace.

"Suburban furnaces require that a minimum duct area be maintained throughout entire duct system including through the register. it is very important to adhere to the minimum duct area in order to keep the furnace from cycling on high limit and to assure proper operation of the sail switch (sometimes referred to as a microswitch.) NOTE: (Refer to the installation manual for the minimum ducted square inches area for

each model.) 

Yup, and why I mentioned being sure to remove them before running the furnace. 

 

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Missed that last sentence.  I had focused on you getting up in the middle of the night and stepping on the grate.  Figured you might be putting those covers on at night with the heat running.  In any case, it's a great solution to "hurting" feet and stuff falling in the register.  

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3 hours ago, barlow46 said:

Missed that last sentence.  I had focused on you getting up in the middle of the night and stepping on the grate.  Figured you might be putting those covers on at night with the heat running.  In any case, it's a great solution to "hurting" feet and stuff falling in the register.  

Yup, they won't really serve the purpose if we have to run the furnace at night especially. But, I think keeping them covered most of the time will keep things clean and safe to step on for the most part.

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1 hour ago, raychristina said:

Who has been in there Arctic Fox out west in direct sun when it was 115 degrees? What was the temperature inside with a/c on in your RV?

 

 

 

 

 

Not 115 degrees, but I've been in ours (22G) at temps in the 90s and can get it cooled to 78 inside. I didn't try for lower so don't know how low it could go. At 115 I'd be more concerned about the fridge maintaining temperature. But, that's from past experience many years ago. Maybe more modern RV fridges do fine at those temps.

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