Which Brand To Buy?

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by davidbrandee, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. davidbrandee

    davidbrandee New Member

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    Feb 27, 2008

    I posted this on another forum before I saw this one.

    My fiancé and I are looking at buying our first pop up camper this fall. We would like to buy a new one with all the extras we want, as we plan to use this for years to come.

    Our favorite, right now, is the Forest River Flagstaff HW series. We love everything about it. But, we're not sure how it stands up to other popular brands. We can get one fully loaded for around 15K. For a Fleetwood like we like, we're look at closer to 20K.

    Any opinions/advice would be appreciated.

  2. Digger

    Digger Foothills of Central Virginia

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    Nov 27, 2007
    Foothills of Central Virginia
    Welcome to the Portal David and Brandee!

    You'll find fierce devotees of every brand out there. And generally all of them are pretty well made. Some folks claim that Fleetwoods are constructed slightly better...and their prices are higher...probably because of some differenct construction techniques, and the fact that they own the lion's share of the market.

    Some of the more important issues to keep in mind:

    1. Is the floor plan right for your needs/wants/desires. Send the salesman away and sit in the camper for 30 minutes imagining how it'll work for you.

    2. The dealer you buy from is also important if you will be taking it back for maintenance or purchasing supplies froom them. Working with a customer-friendly dealer is huge!

    And of course, do the research to make sure your tow vehicle is capable of <b>safely</b> towing whichever unit you buy. Don't rely on the dealer's word on this...run the numbers yourself. There is a good Towing tutorial towards the bottom of the homepage of this site.

    As you go through the search process, post questions...you'll find invaluable help here.


    2004 Fleetwood Westlake - StonyBlue
    2002 Econoline E-150
  3. Tikker

    Tikker Member

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    May 9, 2007
    Humboldt, Saskatchewan
    1) floorplan is EVERYTHING

    2) floorplan is also second most important

    3) Can you safely tow the PUP you like? (if your vehicle has a 2000lbs tow capacity you can NOT tow a 1900 lbs trailer)
  4. ktn

    ktn New Member

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    Dec 28, 2007
    I am pretty stunned by the vast difference in prices for the same brand and model across the country. Colorado and the coasts seem to be on the high end while Texas and the midwest seem to be on the low end. I found a $4000 spread for our P283 by shopping on the internet.

    Shop the 'net for a bit and see what they are selling for nationally. Just a bit more info....

    Keith and Claire
    2006 Tacoma
    2007 Palomino P283
  5. Luv2ridebikes

    Luv2ridebikes New Member

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    Apr 17, 2005
    Granger, IN
    There is little distinction between products as far as appliances go because RV appliances (hot water heaters, A/C, cooktops) are made by 3 or fewer companies. Fleetwood uses full box framing underneath which is stronger than open C channel, but that doesn't mean that C channel products will fail. Fleetwood also uses structural metal framing in the sidewalls and internal cabinets. Many other lines use wood framing. Again - I've seen plenty of well maintained pop ups made with wood framing that hold up just as well.

    Most manufacturers have their own tenting fabric. I know that Fleetwood and Starcraft have been using specific tent materials for years. I believe Jayco has as well.

    I would say that the dealer is first priority. Make sure your dealer is committed to pop ups and doesn't treat them as nothing more than an entry line. Some dealers can't spell your name the day after sale if you didn't buy a Class A Motorhome or deluxe 5th Wheel.

    The second is floorplan. Make sure it fits your needs.

    Towing capacity is an absolute regardless of product line.

    Explore all the major lines. Every one of them has a highwall unit series. And most of the current lines have been around for many years so I would say they are proven products.

    Steve& Deb (the boys are grown & gone)
    Aspen & Riley (the 4 legged children)
    05 Fleetwood Sequoia THE QSR
    Trek, Giant, Cannondale, Univega <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_bike.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Bicycle"><img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_bike.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Bicycle">

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