Trailers Off Our List
Our budget will not allow for the expensive custom trailers. I’m not interested in a much older used unit because the technology has changed such as LED lighting. Also not interesting in buying the size truck it takes to pull real heavy units. I also may take trailers off the list because the brand went out of business and I’m not confident in after sales service availability. In cases were they went out of business, I might leave them on the list to buy because of reputation as being a quality trailer with the possibility of better than average resale. Some of the trailers like the Hitchhiker might be an example.
New Horizons – 2014 (off our list): Not saying one of the most expensive fifth wheels necessarily uses the best construction methods, but — New Horizons is one of the most recommended. They build custom units as well as stock units. Way outside our budget. I often go to their web site to find out what people that can afford to buy the best are getting for their money. So far, I’ve not found any other brand that builds a floor plan like the New Horizons Majestic 102-F37RLTSS. I corresponded with a guy in a forum who owns the F37RLTSS who says it’s their #1 seller. Unbelievable no one has copied it. As of 1/10/16 I can’t find a single thing I don’t like about the layout.
Continental Coach – 2015. (off our list) Although out of our price range I need to research their construction methods which a 25 year veteran RVer said and very user friendly. Here is a cool video. You can usually spot fifth wheels in this class by the triple axel. Lots of weight to haul around. They went out of business in 2017 although apparently were going to sell the brand name.
Peterson Industries: (Off the list because they stopped building them)Well known builders of the Excel. Went out of business in 2015. They were also building the NuWa Hitchhiker– 2014 (they invented the fifth wheel) located in Kansas. As of 2015 the Hitchhiker is not being built. Hitchhiker is considered a rig to judge others against. I think they look a little plain inside.
- 11/23/15 – The NuWa website dealership only has 2013 used units in stock. By the time we buy they will be too old. To be in our price range we would have had to start with a three year old unit which would place us with a six year or older unit. If we spent six years on the road the unit would be 12 years old.
Lifestyle – 2016: (Off the list because they closed their doors and I’m worried about after purchase service) One of the units I was interested in as of 2015. They were being built using the same designs and floor plans from the well respected Carriage, Inc. who went out of business. Several well known quality brands went out of business when sales of RVs plummeted because of the economy. On 8/26/15 I read in a forum post Lifestyle will not be building their own frames. Like DRV and other Evergreen products, they are going with frames built by Lippert. For my budget I’d most likely have to buy one a couple of years old. Their full slide sides are way cool but may be eliminated because of frame design changes. Heard the Lifestyle is going through some big changes for 2017 – going lighter with Lippert building their frames. I like their 38RS floor plan. Read in the RV Dreams blog, Evergreen may be going out of business because they lost their financial backing. Suppose this will void their warranty.(June 2016). I’ve also read Dutchman, a division of Keystone (Thor) bought the Lifestyles Luxury RV plant but not the brand.
Bay Hill – 2016 (Off the list because they closed their doors and I’m worried about after purchase service) is where I noticed how much room there is in a hallway leading from the stairs in their 100″ wide-body rig. Here is a massive forum thread on the Bay Hill. They just added the Bay View Select in 2016. I’ve not checked it out yet much. First impression is they are cutting trailer weight which is not necessarily a good thing for fulltime rigs. Read in the RV Dreams blog, Evergreen may be going out of business because they lost their financial backing (June 2016).
DRV introduced the Traditions – 2015 model which is a lessor priced unit than the Mobile Suites. I’m finding myself searching this one out on the internet a lot. I’m very interested to see it up close. Since it is a new line of fifth wheel I’ll have to wait and see how the reviews turn out. Rob and Me in Our Little RV Blog bought a new Tradition in 2012 and have several construction issues. I’m going to have to ding DRV on this one. Saw a photo of an area for plumbing and heating runs. Never would have passed a home inspection because the wiring and all is disorganized. I noticed the Tradition was not on the DRV (Thor) website. Talked to the DRV Rep. at an RV Show. Tradition is gone, they were not selling well against the competition. (1/14/16). I’ve read Thor drops units from their lines if it is not selling well. At the price range of a Tradition there are a lot of competitors. In 2017 DRV announced the new lighter AIRE.
Redwood’s Sequoia is a step down in price from the Redwood. Production stopped in 2017. I’m not going to buy anything not still in production although trailers are similar enough they should be able to be repaired by most shops. In my opinion, it is likely discontinued trailers are out of business for a reason and eventually their technology will lag behind the others.
Keystone built the Big Sky – 2014 which is their more high end unit. Suspect the resale value might be good on the top selling brand Montana. Thor Industries owns Keystone. Update 1/16/16, heard the Big Sky is going away. Apparently the Montana (Legacy Addition) cut into the Big Sky market.
Trilogy – 2015 by Dynamax (owned by Forrest River). The rig comes with a lot more upper end structural items like a 12″ beam and the heavier duty Morryde suspension. They are heavier than others at same lengths, hence the 8,000 pound axles. Here is a review of the Trilogy by a forum poster. The weight alone should put it in the high end category. Come standard with the 8,000 pound axle, H rated Goodyear tires and Morryde 4000 suspension which all good stuff. As of today 1/17/16, I can’t find any videos or internet stuff on the 2016 Trilogy models. Dynamax had been around since the 1990s and is known for class C/B type motorhomes. Forest River bought them around 2011/2012 and Trilogy was created as their top of the line fifth wheel. In 2015 Forest River introduced the Riverstone as their top end. Forest River has stopped building the Triolgy as of 2016.