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What is a durable TT for a little rough roads then normal?


Johnhoward

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Hi all.  I am new here.  I am looking for advice on durable models of Travel Trailers that are built to handle a little rougher roads.  I am not talking about off roading here, just rougher gravel and dirt roads.  I plan on living in and doing extensive travel in this trailer in the far Northern hemisphere.  I won't but up there during the winter months, but I still would like a fours seasons model.  Just wondering if ya'll could help me with some advice.  I am looking for something in the 24 to 28 foot range.  I am looking for used and not too expensive.  It does not have to be fancy, just well built.  Thank in advance for the help.  

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There are 2 schools of thought for rougher terrain TT's. Full aluminum framed light and flexibles or "tanks". ;) Sounds like the latter would be the best fit for you.

For a durable all season "traditional type", Northwood TT's don't really have many competitors in their class. They are HEAVY, all-season, and customizable... however... they aren't terribly "fancy" in the interior department and they don't come cheap. They would have slide options that might give you a little more living space.

Another option might be to go with an all fiberglass like the Olivers. Really good all-season TT's, would handle a bit rougher terrain quite well and are very low maintenance. The main drawback being that living/storage space is limited (as is cargo capacity), there isn't much in the way of selection and they ain't cheap. For many though.. they are a GREAT fit.

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59 minutes ago, Yarome said:

There are 2 schools of thought for rougher terrain TT's. Full aluminum framed light and flexibles or "tanks". ;) Sounds like the latter would be the best fit for you.

For a durable all season "traditional type", Northwood TT's don't really have many competitors in their class. They are HEAVY, all-season, and customizable... however... they aren't terribly "fancy" in the interior department and they don't come cheap. They would have slide options that might give you a little more living space.

Another option might be to go with an all fiberglass like the Olivers. Really good all-season TT's, would handle a bit rougher terrain quite well and are very low maintenance. The main drawback being that living/storage space is limited (as is cargo capacity), there isn't much in the way of selection and they ain't cheap. For many though.. they are a GREAT fit.

Thanks.  There are many Northwood models, are all model built rugged, or should I look for specific models?

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34 minutes ago, Johnhoward said:

Thanks.  There are many Northwood models, are all model built rugged, or should I look for specific models?

For your purposes.. I would be looking at the Artic Fox (Classic) as the entry level for build and all-season. (Nash's are their "economy" rigs). From there... the Snowy River's have a little nicer interiors, a bit larger, and a bit more cargo capacity, but the main construction and suspension is going to be very similar (independently certified "off-road" chassis).

The Artic Silver Fox editions have a few nice additions. Some with larger tanks, 16" E rated tires, etc., but construction is very much the same as the standard Artic Fox's. Basically... a larger Artic Fox with a few bells and whistles.

If you take a look at the last page of their Arctic Fox brochure it helps outline the differences between the "Classic" and "Silver's".

I travel solo, so if I were shopping Northwood's... I would be perfectly happy with a Classic, but would flip the axles and upgrade the suspension and tires. ;) However... I also deep back road camp. Their standard shock suspension and D/E rated wheels shouldn't have much issue with a bit of gravel road.

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5 minutes ago, Yarome said:

For your purposes.. I would be looking at the Artic Fox (Classic) as the entry level for build and all-season. (Nash's are their "economy" rigs). From there... the Snowy River's have a little nicer interiors, a bit larger, and a bit more cargo capacity, but the main construction and suspension is going to be very similar (independently certified "off-road" chassis).

The Artic Silver Fox editions have a few nice additions. Some with larger tanks, 16" E rated tires, etc., but construction is very much the same as the standard Artic Fox's. Basically... a larger Artic Fox with a few bells and whistles.

If you take a look at the last page of their Arctic Fox brochure it helps outline the differences between the "Classic" and "Silver's".

I travel solo, so if I were shopping Northwood's... I would be perfectly happy with a Classic, but would flip the axles and upgrade the suspension and tires. ;) However... I also deep back road camp. Their standard shock suspension and D/E rated wheels shouldn't have much issue with a bit of gravel road.

Thanks a million.  My problem is that I live in Texas and there just aren't any Arctic Foxes anywhere around here.  Or Outdoor RVs for that matter.  Let me ask you this.  I have been up there before 15 years ago.  I had a 1996 Fleetwood Wilderness 29S back then and it did okay.  There is a 2009 FLEETWOOD WILDERNESS 270DBHS for sale within 150 miles of me.  Are the newer Wildernesses built as good as those back in the 1990s?

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44 minutes ago, Johnhoward said:

Are the newer Wildernesses built as good as those back in the 1990s?

As a general rule of thumb... there really aren't many mfg's out there that are building like they used to even a decade ago. However... Fleetwoods do have a good reputation for being tough little rigs with very few issues. You should be aware though that 2009 was the last production year of travel trailers by Fleetwood. They went belly up, were bought out of bankruptcy and now only produce motor homes.

If you've got a good rig, it's not an issue, but parts or replacements for anything just ain't gonna happen without getting lucky at an RV surplus store. ;) Armed with that knowledge, It certainly wouldn't hurt your negotiating ability to pick up a decent rig at a song, but it's certainly something to factor in to your decision making process.

If it's been taken care of properly, and the price is right, I would certainly consider it if your budget is tight. You have to consider too though that a 8 year old rig is bound to have "some" potential issues so it would be wise to budget in an "upgrade/replace/repair" budget into your planned purchase price. Maybe something in the neighborhood of $5-$8k.

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First of all, the Wilderness was mid range in quality & price when those were being built, but you should also remember that 2009 was the last year of the original company and was just as they were going into bankruptcy. The court sold off the motorhome building part of the company to new owners but failed to find a buyer for any to the trailer lines that they were building so there is no support of any kind for them and the final RVs build could have a reason for concern. I have personally known several owners of Wilderness trailers and most were reasonably satisfied, but I do know one person who has nothing good to say about them.  The unit that you are considering is listed in the NADA RV buyer's guide for an average retail price of $13,900.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

            images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQqFswi_bvvojaMvanTWAI

 

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Outdoors RV, Northwood Fox Mountain are not the same as Northwood Silver Fox. The Silver Fox marketing is understated.  Outdoors RV marketing is overstated. 

"4 Season" ratings are 80% marketing

The Silver Fox uses Astro foil in the roof where it works....somewhat.  Outdoors RV wraps the bottom of the trailer even the bottom of the slide claiming "R15 rated".

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/stay-away-foil-faced-bubble-wrap

 

With the exception of $1M custom RV nothing is built as good as it was 15 years ago. Back then a trailer was built buy a crew of half as many people getting paid 3 times as much that took pride building something with their hands.  Most of them  could build a trailer from the ground up themselves. 

**Trailertravel make a good point. No matter what you get...giving the trailer a better ride makes it last longer.

 

I'm doing what you are looking at (except 5th wheel, 4 people + 90lb Lab and 4 Season ). Maybe we'll meet on the same logging road :D

We had 3 options

Option 1: Buying new custom built.

Option 2: Buying new/used AF32-5M, adding Bigfoot leveling, 5" of lift, installing independent suspension and 17.5" ties/wheels.....options that Northwood won't consider doing.  

Option 3:  Buying a used and modifying it.

We chose option 3

While were were talking to the salesman about the 32-5M "he said" that the old (pre 2007) Kofmfort trailer they used to sell before Thor took over Komfort were build better than Silver Fox.. When I look at the price of them I think hew was right.

 

 

 

2011 Cameo 34SB3

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32 minutes ago, Kirk Wood said:

First of all, the Wilderness was mid range in quality & price when those were being built, but you should also remember that 2009 was the last year of the original company and was just as they were going into bankruptcy. The court sold off the motorhome building part of the company to new owners but failed to find a buyer for any to the trailer lines that they were building so there is no support of any kind for them and the final RVs build could have a reason for concern. I have personally known several owners of Wilderness trailers and most were reasonably satisfied, but I do know one person who has nothing good to say about them.  The unit that you are considering is listed in the NADA RV buyer's guide for an average retail price of $13,900.

I am pretty handy and have done all the repairs on my current trailer (2005 Kodiak 19FL).  I replaced the blower motor in the furnace a couple years ago, a feet the dealer said could not be done.  I pulled the motor out and used the motor model to find one motor online (not from the dealer because they did not sell it as a separate unit).  So I am not daunted by a few repairs, as long as I can find the parts.  

My problem is that I want a bunkhouse model and I can't find an Arctic Fox or Outdoor RV that comes in a Bunkhouse model.  

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22 minutes ago, Johnhoward said:

I can't find an Arctic Fox or Outdoor RV that comes in a Bunkhouse model.  

True. The 31D would likely be the closest thing with the fold out and drop down bunks, or the entertainment center top bunk.

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1 hour ago, Johnhoward said:

I am pretty handy and have done all the repairs on my current trailer (2005 Kodiak 19FL).  I replaced the blower motor in the furnace a couple years ago, a feet the dealer said could not be done.  I pulled the motor out and used the motor model to find one motor online (not from the dealer because they did not sell it as a separate unit).  So I am not daunted by a few repairs, as long as I can find the parts.  

My problem is that I want a bunkhouse model and I can't find an Arctic Fox or Outdoor RV that comes in a Bunkhouse model.  

We pulled he couch out and custom built bunk beds.

 

 

 

2011 Cameo 34SB3

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9 hours ago, Johnhoward said:

My problem is that I want a bunkhouse model and I can't find an Arctic Fox or Outdoor RV that comes in a Bunkhouse model.  

That does complicate the issue as some of the best RVs are not built in a bunkhouse model. If you have not looked at the Airstream line, they are known for durability and the owners are nearly cult-like about the quality of construction. I have never liked them much because their shape severely limits the storage cabinet space and the fact that they are also far higher priced than any other travel trailer. They do have a 30' bunk bed model and a new one a new one can be purchased for only about $90k!  I did a search for used and did find a few for somewhat less.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

            images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQqFswi_bvvojaMvanTWAI

 

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2 minutes ago, Kirk Wood said:

That does complicate the issue as some of the best RVs are not built in a bunkhouse model. If you have not looked at the Airstream line, they are known for durability and the owners are nearly cult-like about the quality of construction. I have never liked them much because their shape severely limits the storage cabinet space and the fact that they are also far higher priced than any other travel trailer. They do have a 30' bunk bed model and a new one a new one can be purchased for only about $90k!  I did a search for used and did find a few for somewhat less.

 

Yeah, Airstream is so far out of my range I have not even looked at them.  And I also agree with size limiting shape statement. My philosophy of life when it comes to quality is, "You can always find expensive quality and cheap garbage, but quality at a reasonable price is a treasure much sought after but hard to find."   I am after quality at a reasonable price.  I think the Arctic Fox is about the best I could hope. 

Let me ask you this.  Northwood makes both he Arctic Fox , the Snow River, the Desert Fox and the Nash. What are the primary differences between them?

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17 minutes ago, Johnhoward said:

What are the primary differences between them?

Arctic Fox - Smaller, 4-season, Heavy rigs.
Snow River - Larger, a bit more bells and whistles "lite" rigs.
Desert Fox - Larger toy hauler line. Built in gensets, more bells and whistles.. an upscale Arctic Fox.
Nash - Entry level "weekender" "lite" rig. Pretty sturdy, but fairly low cargo capacities and typically lower load ratings.

For your purposes, IMHO, the Artic Fox Classic's, Silvers, and Desert Fox's would likely be the most suitable based on durabiliy, all-season, and extended stay capability with the larger cargo capacities and load ratings.

There are also some construction differences. One piece roofs and/or sides. Fiberglass vs. Aluminum.

I would download their varying brochures and print them out for side by side feature comparisons.

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10 hours ago, Johnhoward said:

 

My problem is that I want a bunkhouse model and I can't find an Arctic Fox or Outdoor RV that comes in a Bunkhouse model.  

New this year is the Nash 29S with full size bunks. Nash is built as more of an off road trailer, sits higher off the ground and has the same heavy duty frame as all Northwood products. http://northwoodmfg.com/travel-trailers/nash/nash-29s/

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27 minutes ago, Yarome said:

Arctic Fox - Smaller, 4-season, Heavy rigs.
Snow River - Larger, a bit more bells and whistles "lite" rigs.
Desert Fox - Larger toy hauler line. Built in gensets, more bells and whistles.. an upscale Arctic Fox.
Nash - Entry level "weekender" "lite" rig. Pretty sturdy, but fairly low cargo capacities and typically lower load ratings.

For your purposes, IMHO, the Artic Fox Classic's, Silvers, and Desert Fox's would likely be the most suitable based on durabiliy, all-season, and extended stay capability with the larger cargo capacities and load ratings.

There are also some construction differences. One piece roofs and/or sides. Fiberglass vs. Aluminum.

I would download their varying brochures and print them out for side by side feature comparisons.

So, Snow Rivers are not Four Season?  I just asked because I found a really nice one in California.  I found an Arctic Fox in New Mexico last night about 1:00am, but now I can't find it again because the RVtrader site is down.  Not a whole lot of those Arctic Foxes for sale in the south.  

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11 minutes ago, Johnhoward said:

So, Snow Rivers are not Four Season?   

Let's put it this way.. the Snow Rivers are "4-season" rigs. Artic Fox's are "true 4-season" rigs. :P A few different construction points and if R values mean much at all in a TT (which really depends on HOW they are insulated and other factors.. like aluminum framed windows or not, tubular framing or solid, stud overlay treatments, etc.) the Snow Rivers are published at R14 on the roof and R15 on the walls and slides. Artic Fox's are published at R15 on the roof and R18 on the walls and slides.

There is a lot more to it than just that though. Like what type of underbelly heating? Tank pads? Widow types? Wall construction? Furnace and/or A/C capacities? etc etc etc.

All of that plays a part, and a Snow River might be just the right fit for you. It's all about finding the balance between what is important to YOU rather than just the labels. Ie., roof construction might be a selling factor more so over R values. KWIM?

For long term use, load ratings are important. Cargo capacities. Tank sizes, if you plan to boondock much, or not, if you won't. Get my drift?

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31 minutes ago, Yarome said:

Let's put it this way.. the Snow Rivers are "4-season" rigs. Artic Fox's are "true 4-season" rigs. :P A few different construction points and if R values mean much at all in a TT (which really depends on HOW they are insulated and other factors.. like aluminum framed windows or not, tubular framing or solid, stud overlay treatments, etc.) the Snow Rivers are published at R14 on the roof and R15 on the walls and slides. Artic Fox's are published at R15 on the roof and R18 on the walls and slides.

There is a lot more to it than just that though. Like what type of underbelly heating? Tank pads? Widow types? Wall construction? Furnace and/or A/C capacities? etc etc etc.

All of that plays a part, and a Snow River might be just the right fit for you. It's all about finding the balance between what is important to YOU rather than just the labels. Ie., roof construction might be a selling factor more so over R values. KWIM?

For long term use, load ratings are important. Cargo capacities. Tank sizes, if you plan to boondock much, or not, if you won't. Get my drift?

Absolutely Listening to every word and I thank you for taking the time.  I love the Arctic Fox and that is what I want, I just can't find one within a 1000 miles that has a floor plan that is even approximate to what I need.  In my case, I have a wife and a 6'2" 15 years old.  We just sold off our last TT because it did not have a bed our son could sleep comfortably in because of his height.  It had a queen bed and a dinette/bed, but the dinette bed was only 5"10" when made down.  Like wise, all of the AFs I have seen, look similar in floor plan to the TT we just sold, having only one bed and a dinette/bed.  I can't tell from pictures how long of beds the AF dinettes make down to.  Some models I have seen have a couch that makes into a bed, but I can tell that it is a short bed, because they are run crosswise to the trailer and not length wise.  

Now I recently stumble on to this FOX CREEK 236FQ Northwood model that does have a floor plan I really like.  It has a lengthwise extra long couch that make down to a bed.  It also has the dinette/bed, so There is bedding for five or six people in this.  So my question, is it even remotely close to the AF, when it comes to build quality and R-values.  Boondocking quality are not as important to me as durability, insulation and rougher road handling (tire size, lift, shock absorbers, springs etc.)

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That might work if he doesn't mind hanging his feet off the end. That photo is a little deceptive in the perspective. That sofa isn't really as long as it appears. More like a typical 3 cushion love seat. The build was more in order with the Nash's. They'll handle the roads you described all right and were classed as an "all-terrain", "all season" (as opposed to a "true all season") entry level rig. Most of the chassis on all of their rigs are fairly robust, but the load rating was a C if I remember correctly and would be classed as a "lite" with limited cargo capacity. At the time, it was priced even lower than what the Nash's are.. if that means anything.

If I remember correctly.. they also had single pane windows.. but don't quote. It's been awhile I've seen one. That alone would be a deal breaker for me.. but I very well could be wrong about that.

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Ya know... a Desert Fox 24AS might just do what you're looking for. Those rear bunk/s run the full width of the rig. The kitchen is a bit small, but quite a lot of actual "living" space.

I know what you mean though. You don't see many Northwoods in the Southern states. Maybe folks don't realize they keep the hot out and the cool air in just as well as the keeping your warm in the North. ;)

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6 hours ago, AF25Y said:

New this year is the Nash 29S with full size bunks. Nash is built as more of an off road trailer, sits higher off the ground and has the same heavy duty frame as all Northwood products. http://northwoodmfg.com/travel-trailers/nash/nash-29s/

Anyone else notice the table at the u-shapeed dinette only holds two placemats? Where are the rest of the people supposed to put their plates?

Linda Sand

Blog: http://sandcastle.sandsys.org/

Former Rigs: Liesure Travel van, Winnebago View 24H, Winnebago Journey 34Y, Sportsmobile Sprinter conversion van

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