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Old 07-24-2012, 06:32 PM   #1
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2000 mile Silverback shake-down report

OK, so we decided to trade campers at the last minute, just before our annual trip to Prince Edward Island in eastern Canada. We traded for a 2013 Silverback 29RE. No time for a local shake-down, so off we went. We do the 1000 miles to PEI from south eastern PA in 2 days, the first day to Freeport, Maine, then on to PEI. The roads are everything from nice new, flat highways to battered old roads with as much as 9 to 10 percent grades. We've been making this trip for 28 years and it is, without a doubt, the most taxing trip we do.

We were, frankly, concerned about how well our Ford 2011 6.2L gasser with a 4.30 rear would do. After a trip to the scale we found were were at about 85% of capacity. Only a 15% margin, but what it is is what it is!!

Well, out fears were unfounded!! The truck performed great! Even on the steep hills of Rt. 9 in Maine and Rt. 1 in New Brunswick we had no trouble holding our speed and even accelerating up hills as much as 4 to 6 percent. Acceleration and breaking were very good and overall towability was as good, if not better, then with our old 2006 Sandpiper, which was a good 2K lighter. Even my wife, who does a lot of the highway driving, commented on how well it towed.

We try to keep our speed to between 60 and 65 on the highway and at that we averaged 8.5 MPG. I did try 92 octane on the trip up and the mileage was a little better, but no where near enough to justify the price difference with no noticeable improvement in performance.

All in all, we couldn't be happier with our new baby. At the campgrounds we stopped at we found ourselves giving tours of the Silverback to other campers. I should ave charged admission!!




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Old 07-24-2012, 06:44 PM   #2
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OK, so we decided to trade campers at the last minute, just before our annual trip to Prince Edward Island in eastern Canada. We traded for a 2013 Silverback 29RE. No time for a local shake-down, so off we went. We do the 1000 miles to PEI from south eastern PA in 2 days, the first day to Freeport, Maine, then on to PEI. The roads are everything from nice new, flat highways to battered old roads with as much as 9 to 10 percent grades. We've been making this trip for 28 years and it is, without a doubt, the most taxing trip we do.

We were, frankly, concerned about how well our Ford 2011 6.2L gasser with a 4.30 rear would do. After a trip to the scale we found were were at about 85% of capacity. Only a 15% margin, but what it is is what it is!!

Well, out fears were unfounded!! The truck performed great! Even on the steep hills of Rt. 9 in Maine and Rt. 1 in New Brunswick we had no trouble holding our speed and even accelerating up hills as much as 4 to 6 percent. Acceleration and breaking were very good and overall towability was as good, if not better, then with our old 2006 Sandpiper, which was a good 2K lighter. Even my wife, who does a lot of the highway driving, commented on how well it towed.

We try to keep our speed to between 60 and 65 on the highway and at that we averaged 8.5 MPG. I did try 92 octane on the trip up and the mileage was a little better, but no where near enough to justify the price difference with no noticeable improvement in performance.

All in all, we couldn't be happier with our new baby. At the campgrounds we stopped at we found ourselves giving tours of the Silverback to other campers. I should ave charged admission!!




An interesting read. Has anyone else who owns a Silverback (any floorplan) ever noticed how few of them you see on the highways and/or CG's? We visited the factory in Topeka, Indianna this past April and there were dozens and dozens of them waiting to be shipped out.

We get compinemented (sp) on ours during our travels, especially the color scheme.

Perhaps it is just me or I am looking too hard, but I just don't see many of them.
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:47 PM   #3
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The 29RE is a great floorplan and you've got a beautiful looking rig. I'm glad to hear your truck handled the towing with no problems.

I think the cathedral ceilings attract people to the Silverback. Everyone we meet is very curious about what the inside looks like after they see the outside.
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:05 PM   #4
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Good to hear everything went well.
Just an observation, in your photo it looks like the front axle is a bit under loaded.
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:16 AM   #5
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Good to hear everything went well.
Just an observation, in your photo it looks like the front axle is a bit under loaded.
I don't have the scale ticket right in front of me, but, as I recall, steer axle weight is around 4400#.
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:34 AM   #6
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I am glad you had a great time and I'm glad your truck performed well. Many fleet managers around here are switching back to gassers due to the problems associated with oil dilution, DPFs and the like of the diesels. Not to mention the price. The power company in our area has used diesels for their light duty trucks, but no more. They only use diesels in their heavy rigs now. I am glad to hear a favorable report for a gas burner.
On a side note, I have an F350 and it towed a couple of inches low after hitching so I installed air bags and WOW what a difference. Especially on rough roads. The truck rides and tows much better when it is sitting perfectly level. They will be the first mod to any future tow vehicles that I buy.
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Old 07-27-2012, 07:52 AM   #7
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We do have a set of Timbren bump stops installed. That improved the levelness of the truck and also improved handling. It seemed a good alternative to the more expensive air bags. I might still go with air bags, but so far the bump stops seem to have done the trick.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:12 AM   #8
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WOW - This is an awesome looking trailer just admiring it from the outside!! Whatta load! Always great to hear when trips go well!
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:59 AM   #9
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I don't know why there aren't more on the road either. We found the floorplan on the fr site but I wanted to see one in person and had a heck of a time finding a dealer that had one in stock. They are great campers and we love ours.

Oakman-we give regularly scheduled tours also
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:49 PM   #10
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I traded a 2009 keystone cougar 29bhs for my 2012 silverback 29re and love it tows great with my f-250 5.4 3.73 rear2010 and yes everyone stop and asks about the ceilings
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