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Author Topic: Is there a "lemon" of trailer manufacturers?  (Read 7953 times)
Niblet
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« on: May 17, 2011, 06:44:02 AM »

Hi,
So, i'm looking at a 2007 Rockwood 233.  Really unfamiliar with the trailer brands and what make is better than others.  Are the rockwood good trailers pertaining to overall quality and durability?  Anything that I should be aware of?  This one is a hybrid with 3 beds that pull out.
Thanks for the help.
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Geodude
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2011, 08:19:40 AM »

That has been a fairly popular trailer around the boards, so I'm sure the experienced ones will chime in.

FWIW, from knowing a couple of people with those, that's a lot of canvas.  It depends on if you see canvas in your future and don't mind dealing with it.  You do get some of the conveniences of a hard side trailer but then you're paying the price towing it down the road, not much more aerodynamic than a brick.  I find a lot of people either see it as the best of both worlds, i.e. a popup and a travel trailer or the worst of both worlds in that you go to the trouble of towing it but don't really get all the amenities.

It looks like you have the truck to have a lot of options.  I used to say that everyone ends up with a 30 foot travel trailer eventually.  It just depends on the number of hops to get there.  Of course, I don't say that any more!
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2011, 09:00:42 AM »

I find a lot of people either see it as the best of both worlds, i.e. a popup and a travel trailer or the worst of both worlds in that you go to the trouble of towing it but don't really get all the amenities.

When we bought our hybrid we were initially convinced it'd be the best of both worlds - shorter, lighter than a travel trailer and therefore towable with our existing 4.0L V6 Explorer.  Two short weekends trips and it became obvious that was anything but true and we replaced the Exploder with a 5.3L V8 Silverado ... that solved the towing issue but it sure didn't take long for me to ask myself why I was still fooling around with tenting when the TV we had could easily tow a mid size travel trailer.  After just two seasons with the hybrid I could take no more, traded the hybrid for our current travel trailer, and frankly don't ever see us going back to a hybrid, ever.  Different strokes for different folks of course but I'd suggest anyone looking to buy a hybrid think through very carefully why it is they want one and if that answer doesn't include absolutely wanting / needing to sleep under tenting then pass on the hybrid and go straight to where many eventually end up anyway, a travel trailer. Shocked
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2011, 11:07:58 AM »

Rockwood makes good quality trailers. We had a hybrid for a season (Jayco) with one pop-out in the front. Jayco is also a good brand of trailer, but being a hybrid, it was built with light weight (and therefore lighter duty) materials. I found the trailer to be on the fragile side - things broke a bit too easily. I didn't really mind the small extra effort to fold out and make the bed, and a hybrid setup really makes a smaller trailer seem a lot more open and bright inside. Camping at the beach was great - a sea breeze flowed through the large windows of the tent bed and the sounds of the ocean waves at night are something I still miss in our current hard sided trailer.

So, why did I move to a hard side? Well, for one thing our front bed was plagued with leaks for almost the entire year of camping in that trailer. The leaks, the resulting damage, and the other parts that broke due to the lighter weight materials used, resulted in the trailer being in the shop a couple of times a month. Also, while folding out and making the bed is not that big a deal, it is significantly more of a pain in the rear when you arrive or pack up in the rain or late at night. Our year of ownership was a particularly wet summer, and we always arrive late. Finally, the bed fold out thing really is not a good fit for overnightiing (one night stopovers on a longer journey). We do one or two overnights on long trips each year, and those nights were pretty aggravating - particularly because it always seemed to be raining. The rain also drove us inside the trailer more than if it had been dry - and that lead us to conclude that a 26' trailer, even thought it was a hybrid, was too small for our family of five (of course, that is a trailer size issue more than a hybrid vs TT issue).

We are very happy in our current TT now - coming up on our 3rd season.


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wavery
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2011, 11:31:48 AM »

To answer the question, "Is there a 'lemon' of trailer manufacturers?" ..................

I really don't think that there is a particular lemon "Manufacturer" but there are certainly lemon trailers that are built.

One is much more likely to get a lemon trailer than a lemon automobile because the assembly of RVs is much less controlled and depend on the experience of each person that individually works on his particular part of the assembly process. I think the turn-over of laborers is much higher in the RV industry. If you get a few new people, that aren't very competent yet, working on one trailer there is a likelihood of having some pretty annoying issues.

When buying new, there is a period of "Working out the bugs". If the original owner, just gives up and sells the trailer instead of taking the time to work through the issues, the next buyer will be stuck with a "Lemon" trailer that he has no recourse on. However, when buying used, you really have to pay attention and know what to look for.

This is one of the reasons that I would never buy a new trailer. I would far rather someone else work out the bugs and I buy a trailer that is in good condition and just needs the "Serviceable" items replaced, like tire, brakes, w/brgs, batteries etc.

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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2011, 11:47:13 AM »

We had a Rockwood Roo Hybrid...we didn't have any real issues with it but like a couple others have said...by the 2nd spring of owning it, we were sick of setting it up. Plus we had issues with condensation in the bunk ends that was leading to mold under the mattresses...not good...who wants to open it all back up when you get home to air it out...especially when it's raining. No matter what tricks we tried, nothing helped. The first year we had it we watched everyone else pull up in their travel trailers and set up in like 10 minutes while we were still messing with bunk ends, making beds (a pain in the butt), unpacking everything...yes, more convenient than a pop up camper but still more work than we wanted to do and then the mess of going home and tearing it all apart to dry out. Pain the butt. We just want to go home and kick back. So this year we bought a 25' TT. So happy we went this route, everything is electric right down to the awning, hitch and jacks!  Big Smile I still have to cook though!
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2011, 01:14:51 PM »

I was one of the 233 owners that Geodude mentioned.  The first night I slept in it I knew I made a mistake.  Like he said, it is a lot of canvas to set up with the 3 bunks.  More work than with my pop up.  And like Oz said, I thought it was the best of both worlds when in fact, for me, it was the worst of both worlds.  I also discovered that the I could not sit on the toilet without hitting the bathroom door.  THAT was a major annoyance. 

I sold it after only 7 months of ownership.  I got my 2nd Rockwood and loved it.  After 4 years of ownership, we discovered a soft floor and a few other issues and wanted an outside kitchen, so we traded it in on our Bullet.
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2011, 01:44:00 PM »

I haven't owned a hybrid or a travel travel but the only way I would own a hard side is when my daughter is gone and I could own a shorter version of a hard side as I would like to be able to back it into some of the sites we now camp in.  As compfy these huge trailer are, you just can't put them in some of the most desireable sites and camping in a field along side 40 other campers (in plain site) is npt getting away from it all.  This is just me so I guess it depends what you want. 

Of course you still have canvas but it does have advantages over a pop up as it is easier to set up, you have a decent fridge, and of course you can load it easier.  Awning is much easier to set up too.

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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2011, 02:34:30 PM »

As compfy these huge trailer are, you just can't put them in some of the most desireable sites and camping in a field along side 40 other campers (in plain site) is npt getting away from it all.

As a popup owner who has admittedly never owned a hybrid or travel trailer you're buying into the same old worn out argument that travel trailers are by definition "large" and therefore can't be put on many campsites or will end up "in a field along side 40 other campers", all of which is complete nonsense.  My 10' Santa Fe popup was 22' opened up, my TrailCruiser hybrid was 22' 5" coupler to bumper but the front hybrid bed that overhung the tongue and the bumper mounted spare tire added another foot and a half making it in reality just under 24' long, my current 24' Spree travel trailer is 26' 9" coupler to bumper but because it has so much available storage I keep the spare tire in the front storage compartment and not hanging off the bumper.  That means that my queen bed / triple bunk bed travel trailer is less than 5' longer than my 10' popup and less than 3' longer than my hybrid, all of which means I've been able to park it on any campsite we've ever chosen to be on in the three years we've owned it, here in Ontario and any of the dozen and a half US states we've visited with this camper.  Hard as it may seem to believe we rarely camp where our neighbours are right next door but rather most often well off in the distance, such as this site and this site and this site and this site and this site and ................ Tongue Wink
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2011, 03:06:35 PM »

I don't think there is a lemon among trailer brands, but there are low cost models that cut a lot of corners.  One Outback dealer I contacted, commented that Rockwoods were like putting lipstick on a pig.  They look great but underneath they aren't that good.  Obviously this was an Outback dealer trying to make a sale and would say anytihng to get the business, but it was a funny comment.

As far as hybrids go, we did not consider a hybrid when moving from a popup to a travel trailer.  Almost all the people I've read about who owned hybrids only owned them for a very short period of time.  I did not want to make the same mistake.  Instead of a hybrid I'd buy a high sided popup if I wanted canvas.
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Geodude
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2011, 04:29:29 PM »

Quote
uch as this site and this site and this site and this site and this site and ................ Tongue Wink

Links don't work.
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2011, 05:28:27 PM »

Quote
uch as this site and this site and this site and this site and this site and ................ Tongue Wink

Links don't work.



Worked for me.
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2011, 06:35:59 PM »

My 10' Santa Fe popup was 22' opened up, my TrailCruiser hybrid was 22' 5" coupler to bumper but the front hybrid bed that overhung the tongue and the bumper mounted spare tire added another foot and a half making it in reality just under 24' long, my current 24' Spree travel trailer is 26' 9" coupler to bumper but because it has so much available storage I keep the spare tire in the front storage compartment and not hanging off the bumper. 

OZ,    My point is there are many sites I felt I would like to use which I couldn't back into.  I know they will fit into many sites, it's just that backing up in to some of the ones  can be a challenge.  One particular campground that we like is very tight for longer trailers as it is heavily wooded and the roads are narrow.  A lot of the sites in this particular campground would probably not be able to be occupied by 26 ft trailers as there is not enough space to turn.

I felt a hybrid would be a lttle easier to manuever.  All campers, which ever type you are talking about, have their pluses and minuses.

Scott
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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2011, 06:07:54 AM »

We got the same comment from our dealer about hybrids even though they sold them...he said almost everyone he deals with that owned a hybrid come back in a year or two and want a hard side instead. Luckily we were able to sell ours a year later for what we paid for it. They go fast in the midwest. Guy came and bought it the same day I advertised it, he was a dealer though...
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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2011, 08:02:56 AM »

I don't think there is a lemon among trailer brands, but there are low cost models that cut a lot of corners.  One Outback dealer I contacted, commented that Rockwoods were like putting lipstick on a pig.  They look great but underneath they aren't that good.  Obviously this was an Outback dealer trying to make a sale and would say anytihng to get the business, but it was a funny comment.

That's funny.  And so untrue.  As someone who owned 2 Rockwood Products and now owns a Keystone product, I can tell you that the "underneath" of the Rockwood was better than what I see now in my Keystone Bullet Premier.  One example is the framework of the dinette and bunk areas.  Rockwood uses a welded aluminum framework where Keystone usually uses wood.  It may not seem like a big deal having a welded aluminum dinette vs wood, but I can tell you that the first night I sat in my brand new trailer, I leaned back and heard "crack".  Now, I can resolve the issue by adding L brackets at all of the corners, but that was not the issue with my Rockwood.  Was it perfect?  No.  They all have issues.  But I will say that from an engineering perspective, I was quite happy with what Rockwood put out.  That trailer took a beating.  Literally.
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