Karen and I drove to Grain Valley Missouri. Just got done working a couple of 60 hour weeks and finally got some time off for rest and relaxation. We were needing to use the $25 Camping World coupon we received after joining the Good Sam’s Club in January. We used the membership to get half-off entry at the RV Show.
While in Grain Valley we visited the Cedar Creek fifth wheel dealership to compare the Cedar Creek Hathaway Edition against the less costly Silverback Edition. When we travel to small towns we like to drive down their main street looking for a popular place to eat. We found a nice barbeque restaurant and enjoyed each other’s company. We talked about how proud we are of our daughter and her husband and wondered if they enjoyed a trip they took.
Although I’ve not completed all the research I’m wanting to do about fulltime trailers, at this point I’ve rated the Cedar Creek as among the top five in its class when considering what we are looking for in a trailer. I found some of the main differences between the Silverback and Hathaway to be the lessor interior trim level in the Silverback, no drop frame so the basement area is smaller, string blinds rather than MCD style shades and no fully wrapped back cap. I’m sure there may be other differences but we decided there was no need to look closer because the smaller basement space took the Silverback off the list for us. The La-Z-Boy living room furniture that comes with both models of the Cedar Creek is very nice. For those that may not know, the Cedar Creek is among the few that are using hung wall construction rather than laminated side walls. So the insulation is not the foam board used by others. Personally, I think the blue Dow foam may be the best material. However, the fiberglass blanket insulation in the Cedar Creek could be better than some of the lessor foam products. And the hung wall construction would be easier to repair than the laminated walls used by others. The Cedar Creek wall insulation is glued in place. Some think it might settle over time. I’m currently studying wall construction methods, such as glued and screwed aluminum framing vs welded. More on that at a much later date.
(Silverback Edition basement on the left is not a drop frame)
We walked through the Camping World Store, who happens to be the local Cedar Creek dealership and spent our $25 on two flashlights. It’s interesting that both of us are now able to walk up and down the rows of RV related items and understand what all the parts and accessories are used for.
We also stopped at the nearby Jayco dealership hoping to take a look at the new Designer fifth wheel. Unfortunately, the trailer that was being shipped to the dealership was damaged in transport. Apparently something came loose under the trailer and put a hole in a laminated side wall, according to the driver. They sent the trailer back to the factory for repair. When a laminated wall is damaged you might have to replace the entire side of the trailer or take it to a fiberglass repair facility and hope you will not see the patch job. I’ve been wanting to compare the all-new Designer against others in its class such as the DRV Mobile Suites. Oh well, at least we have another reason to visit the RV dealership again. They also did not have a Champagne Edition to tour. This model is a step up from the Hathaway.
I should add we also went in one fifth wheel and noticed the dealership must have been preparing it after it was delivered from the factory. The microwave, water heater and fireplace had been pulled out. I noticed a lot of other minor repairs had not been completed such as a torn window screen and gash in the wood dinette top. I thought back to the last RV show when a Heartland Landmark factory representative blamed a lot of post-delivery flaws on the dealerships rather than the factory’s failure to check the quality of construction. Wonder if the reason the larger components were pulled out was because the dealership was fixing something or installing it?
We took some time to walk through the older used fifth wheels to see how they have held up. Boy they smell different. It was easy to tell which ones had animals in them or pipe smokers. And most had staining around the air conditioner vents, crushed down carpeting and rusted parts. The older units did provide a few more examples of floor plans and options we might want to consider.
For fun, we also walked through a Keystone Cougar fifth wheel, model 337FLS. This is the first front living room I’ve found which had no dinette slide under the main awning and good access to the bedroom and refrigerator with the slides in. Keystone needs to work on the seating arrangements in the living room and figure out how to get more outside storage and we might be sold on a front living room. We are still leaning towards a rear living room floor plan.
One last thing I want to pass along. For those that don’t follow Howard’s blog at the RV Dreams site, he is working on a post regarding what fifth wheel he would buy today. I’m thinking the article will include heavy construction. A while back he mentioned visiting with the folks over at Augusta RV. It will be interesting to see what he has come up with. I’m impatiently waiting for the results.