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Old 03-13-2010, 07:03 PM   #1
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Sure miss Sunline. Went to the RV show today

We went to the Columbus RV Super show today. Well at least as they call it Super. Not very big as prior years and understand why.

I finally made it inside a Hi Lo. I missed Frank at the Buttonwood M & G last summer. I remembered as I saw him drive away. They had some with a slide in it and a walk around bed. Different way of doing A TT. And I'm sure it beats hauling the big brick behind you....like we have.

Cindy and I both ended up with headaches from the fumes in some of the campers. WOW it was noticable.

It seems the spread axles are becoming more popular now. I saw then just starting to come on the scene about 2 years ago. They put a long equalizer link in to spread out the axles for a more stable tow. In theory is does help the TT track straighter easier however never been in one to know how much of an effect you gain.

The outdoor kitchen seems to becoming popular. Don’t know if it is really for us. I like our version of the outdoor kitchen better.

I was looking how the bottoms of the slide outs where being made. There is at least 4 styles now still ongoing in the industry.

And the biggest thing we walked away with, there was nothing there, even in the higher end 5th wheels that jumped out and said, YES this is it!! Like both our Sunlines did. Discouraging. Sunnybrook nor Artic fox where there so there may be hope still. Actually Jayco was not there either.

I guess when the day comes and we need a new one, well we can always do the ultimate camper mod. Redo it inside and out. A good winter project, once I get my outbuilding and reach retirement so time will not be an issue.

Hope your shows went over better.

John
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:19 PM   #2
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Hey John,

I've been going to the RV shows twice a year for quite a number of years now. I have seen the size of the show get smaller every year. This spring the show was a little smaller than before, but what struck me was the much lower number of dealers there. It turns out many of them did not survive the winter. One mega-dealer, General RV, had at least half the show it seemed. Remember, I am in Michigan so maybe the economy had something to do with that. Anyway, with fewer dealers comes fewer brands. We too missed Sunnybrook, Artic Fox, and I do not even recall seeing Carriage or New Horizons this time around.

Lots of Heartland (as General is a big Heartland dealer), and Keystone, and most of what remained was low end, entry level junk (ie Puma, Spirit of America, etc). Disappointing, yes. I like to see as many brands as possible because when I go to the show, I'm looking at construction methods, workmanship, and quality in general. Most brands share similar floor plans, so I want to be able to compare brand vs. brand from a quality standpoint. It's difficult to do that when so many of the brands are not represented.

Jeff
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:27 PM   #3
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John,

You & Cindy encountered exactly what Gary & I did at the Washington DC RV Show. We would see a neat idea here & there, but nothing really with that "WOW" factor. We both discussed the possibility of a replacement rig sometime in the future (should anything drastic happen to the 311) and as I said previously, Excel would probably be the way we would attempt to go.

As for the "current" trend of the outdoor kitchen, I feel it takes up too much of the valuable interior space. But, that's just my opinion.

SO, thankfully we have wonderful Sunlines sitting in our yards and with proper TLC they should last us a good long time.

Kitty
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:46 PM   #4
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I didn't get a headache, but I did plug up for about five days or so following the show.

I can't believe you were able to look at all the bottoms of the slides! I tried to take a lot of pics of enclosed, heated tanks since that was advertised a few times and people really looked at me weird when I was doing so...

I did notice more taking onto the spread out axles. I actually first remember seeing them on the SOA (Spirit of America), and I think that came out in like 2003 or 2004.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ihsolutions
We too missed Sunnybrook, Artic Fox, and I do not even recall seeing Carriage or New Horizons this time around.
Yeah, I was specifically watching for the Arctic Fox/Nash and Evergreen, and saw neither. I can't say I saw a New Horizons either. I do recall seeing a Carriage (Cameo to be exact), but I think it was the only one in the entire show. That's a big change compared to the past, where there were quite a few Carriages around there.

I don't think the Detroit area has any Arctic Fox dealers, so that's why we don't see any. We also don't have any Chalet dealers, which I'd also like to see at the show.

I don't think the Rock Financial show had much of anything high end this year, especially Holland Motor Homes. All the Jayco's there were pretty low end, from what I remember.

Jon
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Old 03-13-2010, 09:31 PM   #5
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John

By spread axles do you mean the distance between pairs of axles? How does this effect backing up if this is the case?

Thank you
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Old 03-13-2010, 09:40 PM   #6
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JohnB, Everyone....

I've been getting the impression that the higher-price & quality trailer manufacturers are still on tentative ground. For example, last year, HiLo had 9 models....and this year they've compressed to four. And the prices for the HiLo models are almost Airstream-high. Although my current TT has its quirks....it does seem to be very well made.....but I certainly won't be out buying a new one.

About the spread-axle tendency growing on twin axle trailers. I understand the thought about possibly improving towing stability, but I wonder if there might well be a durability penalty to be paid. We all know about the "scrub" tendencies of twin axle trailers being backed on a curve..... It seems to me that the spread axle placement might well increase the scrub leverage on tires and suspension components. Any thoughts on this?

Frank
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:23 AM   #7
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Norm, Yes, spread axle means the axle are on purpose is spaced farther apart. You see this on semi’s that do a lot of long distance hauling. If we have a truck driver here on the forum they may be able to add more to this. Benefits have been talked about from loading perspective. Since the axles are further apart, the loads in the trailer are spread out more even between the trailer and the tractor. Verses sliding the rear tandem axle set to shift the loads. I have read that the spread axle on the semi helps in reducing the jackknife effects as compared to standard tandem setup. The spread axle tows more straight and stable on long hauls.

However the spread axle also can eat tires faster as the scrub is bad in turns. So now they are making newer types of tires to help offset that high scrub effect. You generally see the spread axle trailer on long hauls verses delivery stops around town due to the turning issues. Ted Ontario here on the forum works for a living driving truck and I’m sure he can add more creditability to the semi piece of this.

Here is some reading on the semi spread axle. This is about the new generation tires to run on them but it helps talk about the trailer itself.

http://www.greatdanetrailers.com/ett...volume=7&goto=

Now to the TT world of spread axles. I saw these about 2 years ago on a Pilgram TT. Pilgram went under here last year I think. And now I see this showing up on Keystone. The Pilgram setup was more beefy then the Keystone setup I saw.

http://keystone-passport.com/ There are some video links there where they talk about the spread axle. Along with a other marketing hype. When the guy starts out saying the Passport has absolutely zero effect on fuel efficiency and then says it even increases it…. Well, that sort of sets the stage. I agree the low drag and lower weight help but going to zero effect and actually increasing it??? Is a bit much.

http://keystone-passport.com/?page=videos2

The spread axle setups I have seen so far are only on the light weight TT’s. I’m reading between the print here but "I think" I know why they are only showing up on the ultra lights. They are trying to make the longer light weights be able to be towed and have better control by smaller TV’s.

I agree with the concept of better stability, however I was not impressed with the undercarriage setup on how they did it. These things are not built like a semi trailer made to haul 80,000 pounds. I know you can bend up standard issue TT spring hangers fairly easy in the normal thin light weight suspension setups doing 180 turns. I saw no extra reinforcement and the equalizer link in the center, now some 10 to 12” long had no extra reinforcement on it either and was made out of a formed piece of 1/4" plate. This is new to the TT world. In time it will sort itself out and they may beef up the suspension to allow it to be better. It won’t take that much but it will cost more to do it and price and profit in the RV industry with competition if fierce. A $100 more in raw material cost in a TT is a big deal to profits, however not to the owner.

Tires side scrub, yes that will occur for sure. The unknown is will a tire wear out from side scrub before it ages out? The average weekend camper may never get to that point of wearing out from side wear. Full timers and long distance towers may be the only ones who actually wear out a TT tire from miles of tread wear. Again providing the wheel alignment is right…. Wrong wheel alignment and the weekend camper can burn up tires in short order.

So far in the ones I have seen, the only change is a longer equalizer in added cost and what little bit comes from a longer wheel well and fender skirt. Since I have not yet seen beefed up suspension to go with it, this is a cheap upgrade that can be used as a selling point the other guys do not yet have. I have not seen them on higher weight TT’s. Like the 8,000# GVWR and up range. More weight harder on the suspension. A 30 foot TT heavy TT has the stable towing needs as a light weight 30 foot TT but the forces going on in the suspension are a lot more.

John
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nasa42a
JohnB, Everyone....

I've been getting the impression that the higher-price & quality trailer manufacturers are still on tentative ground. For example, last year, HiLo had 9 models....and this year they've compressed to four. And the prices for the HiLo models are almost Airstream-high. Although my current TT has its quirks....it does seem to be very well made.....but I certainly won't be out buying a new one.

About the spread-axle tendency growing on twin axle trailers. I understand the thought about possibly improving towing stability, but I wonder if there might well be a durability penalty to be paid. We all know about the "scrub" tendencies of twin axle trailers being backed on a curve..... It seems to me that the spread axle placement might well increase the scrub leverage on tires and suspension components. Any thoughts on this?

Frank
Hi Frank

Gee, did not know Hi Lo dropped to only 4 models. Ouch. I still get an email info gram from them as I inquired prior to buying the Sunline a long time ago. Seems I’m still on the list. And I see the new big widow up front and no rock guard…??? Don’t know about that, the older ones had a rock guard at least.

Yes the spread axle tire scrub is there….and it will for sure put strain in the suspension. As I was posting to Norm above, I did not “yet” see any increase in the hangers and mounts to handle those side forces. If someone gets one, take it real easy in tight turns, forward or backwards on hard surface pavement, blacktop or concrete.

I believe the design concept is good, however I was not impressed with the implementation. I will keep looking a few years from now after the warranty calls come in to see if beefier suspension comes from this.

John
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Old 03-14-2010, 11:50 AM   #9
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Re: Sure miss Sunline. Went to the RV show today

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
Cindy and I both ended up with headaches from the fumes in some of the campers. WOW it was noticable.

I was looking how the bottoms of the slide outs where being made. There is at least 4 styles now still ongoing in the industry.
John
I came to the conclusion that there are very few RVs that we could buy new because I couldn't tolerate the fumes ! Headache and watery eyes are almost instant for me. Why do they not use eco friendly materials?

You gave me a chuckle with the crawling under the slides because that's where I can find Steve if he's missing Must be an engineer thing.
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:28 PM   #10
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Re: Sure miss Sunline. Went to the RV show today

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweety
You gave me a chuckle with the crawling under the slides because that's where I can find Steve if he's missing Must be an engineer thing.
H'mm, I wonder if the Tweety response is the same as the CindyB response. "You have already seen 5 of them, how different can they be?"
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:51 PM   #11
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Sounds like we'd make a good match for RV Shows. You and Steve could crawl around UNDER the units while Cindy and I went and checked out the INSIDE
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweety
Sounds like we'd make a good match for RV Shows. You and Steve could crawl around UNDER the units while Cindy and I went and checked out the INSIDE
LOL... I was thinking the exact same thing!!!
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:42 PM   #13
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Eastside RV on Groesbeck in Warren used to sell Nash/AF products, but I don't know if they are still in business.
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viking
Jon,
Eastside RV on Groesbeck in Warren used to sell Nash/AF products, but I don't know if they are still in business.
Roar
Hmm, I haven't heard of that name before. They do appear to have a website, but it doesn't appear they carry any Nash/AF anymore.

http://www.eastsiderv.com/index.htm

I'm not sure what the fees are to come to the show, but I hear they aren't cheap. They sure aren't cheap for the small vendor booths. I can understand why they've moved to mostly Palomino's though because that part of town doesn't seem like it would do well for AF sales...

Oh, BTW, I recently saw I think it was Westland Camping Center got in a '04 2499 in Fern Blue...

Jon
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:01 AM   #15
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We've been in two Ever-Lites. Both had no fumes at all so they are truly eco-friendly and fume free. However, they are priced about $10,000 more than other travel trailers so the question is how many people will spend the additional money rather than buy a lesser cost unit.

At the Timonimum RV show, we actually spent over a hour with one of the Ever-Lite factory reps discussing the construction. I hope this company does well.

The Heartland travel trailers don't seem to have the fume issue as much as some other brands.

Buying a Sunline as our first travel trailer has certainly impacted us when looking at other travel trailers.
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Old 03-15-2010, 05:11 PM   #16
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Amy and I did a couple of small shows here in Rochester. The only trailer that caught my eye was a LaCrosse. We saw the 303RKS model. What I really liked was the slam latch compartment doors. Also, all the hookups were in it's own compartment. Nice ideas. Fancy toys on it like electic stabilizers, awning and a remote unlock entry door.

I did not like the slide out outdood kitchens. Seemed to be a lot of weight on the slides of some models. Others, I could not stand under the door without ducking.

www.primetimerv.com

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