Somerset Campers

Discussion in 'Camper Manufacturers & Manuals' started by mostlyok, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. mostlyok

    mostlyok We're Mostly OK!

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    Wow,
    we were just at the Tampa RV show and I spotted something that looked almost familiar. Paul said "the name says Somerset", and I said "That is where the Fleetwood/Coleman plant was [PU]."

    I know some will say "Oh, old news" but I had not heard of them before.

    One of the men there said he was from the old factory and that six of them had gone up the hill to the Aliner plant and are starting a new line of trailers that are very much like our old friends. He also said they will be supplying parts.

    Time will tell if they make the grade but it was nice to see them trying to keep the line alive.
     
  2. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    Yup, the people who build Aliner bought the rights to build the "Coleman" parts and systems and are now building PUPs as well as A-frames. They named the line Somerset as a "nod" to the location of the old plant. As I understand it, several employees from the old Coleman plant are now working on the Somersets for Columbia Northwest.
     
  3. KJcachers

    KJcachers Active Member

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    yep, they look like the E series of Coleman pop ups. glad those will still be around.
     
  4. jeicher

    jeicher Member

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  5. ghacker

    ghacker Active Member

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    Last I heard they planned on selling 4 models-2 geared for offroad and 2 for the higher end traditional PUPs. They are listed as an exhibitor for the Chgo. RV show in Feb. so I may go to take a look.
     
  6. bondo54

    bondo54 Active Member

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  7. hvac1877

    hvac1877 Old Dominion Iron Chefs Highland Springs, Va

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    When i was at the Richmond Rv show they had a a liner rep there. I stop and talked to him and they employ alot of old coleman/fleetwood people. He said the new somerest are basicly the ecat same as coleman was selling since they had parts on hand. They will be making changes down the road but right now. I wished him the best and told him when i am ready for a new pop-up i willl consider there line.
     
  8. JETent

    JETent JT

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    Portal-

    I was at the Austin(Tx) RV Expo this afternoon and had chance to see one of the new Somerset Evolution units (E2) first hand. As mentioned earlier in this thread, Somerset's www page is up at SomersetRV.com. The products will be sold in the Austin,Tx area at Princess Craft Campers in Pflugerville (princesscraft.com).

    Great conversation with the Somerset rep regarding peoples response to the product. The unit on display was an E2 and was identical in most ways to the Fwood/Coleman units. I spent about half an hour going over (under and through) the unit. Some improvements (in my opinion) of note were the aluminum roof, LED interior lights and beefy looking/feeling screen door. Minus cosmetic changes, it was the same unit as Coleman/Fleetwood.

    I was encouraged by our discussion regrading Somerset providing repair parts for Fleetwood/Coleman Evolution owners. He indicated that they were finalizing some part cross referencing and felt that Somerset would be making parts available in a matter of months.

    Based on passer by comments and reactions, there is potential for Somerset to do well with the Evolution line.

    On a side note, I was unexpectedly impressed by the Forest River R-Pod "tear drop" trailer. We have seen a few of these at the coast and state parks. Surprisingly roomy interior versus cramped exterior appearances. The factory standard screen room is real cool. We won't--however--be giving up the 08 E3 anytime soon.

    Here a few pics of the Somerset E2.
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]

    Later,
    JT
     
  9. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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  10. ghacker

    ghacker Active Member

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    Of course this may not apply to a new brand like the Somerset but something I found interesting at the Chgo RV show was that the "Special show price" was in the neighborhood of 25-30% off on most of the RVs. Just FYI.
     
  11. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    In general, shows usually offer good deals on most products. We were just at the Seattle Home Show (planning on doing a "gut job" remodel of the master bathroom) and the deals being offered on everything were very good. I think that this year, with the economy still suffering, business is slow for vendors of discretionary purchases and that means the deals are even better.
     
  12. Kleinburg

    Kleinburg New Member

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    Does anyone know who will be carrying the Somerset campers in Ontario, Canada? I have contacted Somerset RV but they have not been very helpful. So... maybe that is my answer.
     
  13. jeicher

    jeicher Member

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    CNW has been working diligently to bring the former Coleman dealers on board, but its been a tough sell since the former FTCA manufacturer left them hanging "high and dry". It will take a while to restore dealer trust especially in this soft RV market. CNW does not have the resources to floorplan dealer inventory at this point, but when the product increases in demand you will see more dealers jumping on board. Right now it looks like the closet dealer to Ontario is near Detroit, MI, M&M Camping Center, 2960 W. Jefferson
    Trenton MI 48183 www.mm-rvcenter.com
     
  14. renata manzo

    renata manzo New Member

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    What's up with these pop ups? Are they the same quality as the Coleman/Fleetwood campers? I'd love to buy one.
    On the other hand, who comes up with these dreadful color schemes? [?:~{]
     
  15. adrianpglover

    adrianpglover Active Member

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    I can't speak for anyone's camper but mine.

    I've commented on here about mine before. I haven't had much of any issues with it. The XLR connector comes apart (at the moment) when I remove the remote for the lift controller. Working with the dealer on parts for that one right now. Other than that I've had some caulking issues in the shoilet as well as a stink bug infestation.

    In short, we love ours and wouldn't trade it for anything.
     
  16. adrianpglover

    adrianpglover Active Member

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    Has anyone here toured the factory? I'm curious about some of the details in construction. From what I read on this forum and then go compare it to the build of my camper, it seems they made a lot of design changes from the old Coleman/Fleetwood/FTCA versions in the way of upgrades.

    First, I've seen that all of the pressed wood used for the flooring or bunk end bottom pieces are a type of coated OSB so that the wood is kept dry when camping or driving down the road.

    Next, from what I can tell the older versions of the pup that had an aluminum roof had a seam in it, either down the middle or down the edges of the roof. Mine only has a seam under the plastic corner caps.

    Third, in adding PUGs to the camper, the suggestion on the board is to attach Velcro to the wood under the edge of the camper roof using staples to help secure it. From what I can tell, the roof is made of a frame (I suspect metal, but haven't opened it up to be certain), large aluminum rails that make up the entire side of the roof, and foam on the underside of the roof.

    I've also noticed that every vertical seam in the box seems to be sealed with self sealing membrane before the screws were put in place.

    I'm wondering if these construction details are really there, and if so, why isn't Somerset advertising it more? From what I've seen of campers sold in the area from other manufacturers, these kind of design elements are missing from them.
     
  17. RyanS

    RyanS Member

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    Nothing to add but I completely agree with you Adrian and can report my new Somerset E3 has been solid also. No issues so far.
     
  18. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    Somerset discontinued the Niagara model? why?
     
  19. niagarafam

    niagarafam Active Member

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    Based on our experience with our Niagara and CNW, I predicted that they would drop the Niagara, and when they did I asked Somerset/CNW why they did. To my surprise, I was told that it was due to their poor dealer foot print and marketing failures. The customer care manager actually told me this. Prior to that conversation, the dealer that we bought ours from told me that they were having trouble with excessive warranty claims and getting paid on all of the Somerset models. Another dealer that we took ours to for a number of factory derelictions went through a bunch of junk getting paid, too. The 2013 and 2014 Niagara stickered at $22-24k. With a high MSRP like that, they needed to be really efficient with dealer support and customer care, and they needed to be much more thorough with their assembly. They struggled to meet the expectations for a high-end popup in all of these areas. There are not many dealers for the popups left. Our dealer dropped their popups and only sells Aliners now, and they keep one or two E models on site. I will not be surprised if CNW eventually drops the standard popup line. They will likely keep the E's. They hold a unique and solid market niche. The Aliner holds a solid footing in its market too.

    When consumers pay a premium for a product, the manufacturer has to deliver, especially when there are other makes available with similar designs and features (sold for several thousand less) (Rockwood, Flagstaff, and Jayco). We went with Somerset because the parts are obviously more substantial and higher quality. We could not have known about all of the assembly problems and poor customer care that awaited us. We are grateful that we did not pay sticker.
     
  20. adrianpglover

    adrianpglover Active Member

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    Our dealer (about 150 miles away) also dropped Somerset from their lineup. The only popup type they have is the cricket. However, I think the E3 and Niagara were the largest campers they sold. They tend to stay in the teardrop and bed camper markets. I haven't tried calling them to find out what happened. Now my closest dealer is almost 700 miles away.


    We also went with Somerset for the same choice of materials and design. We did pay sticker price, but DW and I hate haggling and the dealer wasn't going to move on the price as they knew I couldn't get a camper like that anywhere else. I just wish the Somerset brand would expand their dealer network more, but I guess that's not going to happen. I seem to gravitate toward niche devices/brands and end up picking one that doesn't do that great in the market. A great example: my DSLR is a Pentax. I guess my choice in campers is basically the same.
     

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