Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-02-2017, 12:28 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 20
Thinking of trading my trailer in for another

So I have a 2017 rockwood 2703ws bumper pull. Iím not the happiest with this trailer and the company hasnít been the greatest when it comes to problems. Speaking of problems I feel there is just to many parts breaking and repairs for a brand new trailer.
The wife and I (plus our 10 month old son and husky) have kinda out grown the trailer. We trailer almost full time with my job. So an upgrade is a topic we discuss a lot now.

Whatís everyoneís opinion about FR? Should I stick with them? Is there anyone else youíd go with? FR is my first brand owned so I know nothing about other types and the dealerships are really trustworthy to get an unbiased opinion on because all they want is a sale.

We want to upgrade to a fifth wheel for more space but Iím limited on towing capacity with my truck. Just bought 4 months ago a 2017 Ram 1500 gas but itís designed to tow 10,500lbs.. so canít really trade it in.

Sorry rambling... iíd just like to hear from others that are RV veterans .... opinions, comments, concerns, likes, dislikes, ......anything really that will help guide me to make the best choice for me and my family..

Thanks all in advance

Mcaruthers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 12:46 PM   #2
Fulltime family RVer
ependydad's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 19,721
First, for your current unit - almost all new trailers have issues. They're slapped together quick and use the same crappy parts across brands. For the most part, buying a RV is a crapshoot.

Second, living in it is hard on them unless it is specifically fulltime rated. The fulltime rated are generally significantly heavier and even then, still often come with the same crappy appliances that non-fulltime rated units come with. Trust me, I know- we are in a non-fulltime rated trailer and fulltime in it; little stuff breaks and we deal with it. In my Fulltime Family circles, "it's always something" is a common mantra. You just have to roll with it.

Third and lastly on the topic of your current trailer, you mention that "the company hasn't been the greatest when it comes to problems"... who are you referring to? And who are you getting your information from? I had some pretty major problems with my Sabre a few years back- I skipped the dealer and worked directly with Sabre and ultimately was taken well care of. I developed a great relationship with them. My dealer, though- the PITS.

A lot of the FR cheerleaders you find around here are ones who have a decent dealer (rare) or a good relationship with their brand specifically.


As for another trailer - your payload rating is going to be a huge limiting factor on that Ram 1500. By the time you put yourself, your wife, your son,the dog, and a fifth wheel hitch into the truck - you'll find that you're quite low on remaining payload. Even if you ignore the truck's GVWR and opt to look at rear axle rating and/or the tire load capacity and you'll find that you can max those out pretty quick with most fifth wheels. Remember that fifth wheels push 20-25% (typically) of their total weight down onto the truck bed.

Brand-wise, FR really does treat folks well most of the time. You have stories like mine (love them) and like others (horrible) - I personally think it's how the person treats FR in their communications (golden rule and all that) but I can't back that up at all other than my online reading impressions.

Other brands- Grand Design gets really high regards right now from a customer service perspective. Their rigs are also slapped together with a hasty pre-delivery inspection before delivery to the dealers. But, time and again, I'm reading that they take care of their customers with problems. They're on my short-list for my next rig.

2018 Ram 3500 DRW/crew cab/long bed/4x4/4.10 gears pulling a 2017 Spartan 1245 by Prime Time
Checkout my site for RVing tips, tricks, and info | My family and I have fulltimed since June 2015
ependydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 01:12 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 20
... long hardy clap for that amazing response.
As far as the problems, I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on my unit. Issues should be expected. But like many others, you include... when you pay on that huge price tag you have this expectation that things “should” be perfect and when they aren’t... the problem should be addressed promptly. Which I recognize now that the aggravation is more self induced. Get my head out of the fantasy world that even if brand new things will never be perfect and back to reality that.. stuff breaks.. even new!

I always tried to deal with the dealership for my concerns being that they’re slogan is we value our customers. Which was the First red flag of caution I missed because after I signed the dotted line it’s like they immediately forgot my name. No, I’m not a naive person but in the world of RV I’m completely green!
The trailer I’m currently in wasnt my first choice but everything was based on the ability my truck at the time could tow. Which the dealership lied about and after a few months of towing realized my truck was severely maxed out. Hence the immediate and forced upgrade to a new truck. Should I have gone with a Diesel, well now that we want to trade in. Yes! Ugh. But I’m locked in to this truck and once again am forced to buy according to the ability of my truck...

Yes I am that guy that makes all the mistakes first before learning.

My TT now weights just under 7k lbs. and my truck pulls it beautifully. Which I have seen some fifth wheels that range around 8k lbs mark and I assume my truck should be able to handle it. But with your remarks am worried that the lighter rigs are built poorly..

Big sigh! But this is what I need to hear. The hard truths from the experts over the sleazy lies from salesman.

Thank you
Mcaruthers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 01:36 PM   #4
Fulltime family RVer
ependydad's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 19,721
Bypass the dealer and go to Rockwood directly. Polite and friendly are the way.

While under warranty, you can usually get a few issues dealt with at one time by a mobile RV tech. You'll likely be on the hook for the service visit, but it saves dragging your home to a repair shop and trying to live out of it there (or worse, holing up in a hotel while it gets worked on). Just contact the manufacturer first for authorization on the repairs that are needed. You might have to pay out of pocket and get reimbursed, but mostly - it's worth it.

Dealers mostly suck (unfortunately!). They often blame the manufacturer when it is usually their tricks that are at fault (waiting to order parts or holding on shipping to have stuff delivered inside of a new unit they've ordered- all while blaming big bad FR for the delay).

Lastly- connect yourself or wife up with the "Fulltime Families" Facebook group. There's a crap-ton of us out there fulltiming. Having a tribe/community of other folks who are living like this helps. As frustrating as it is, it's good for me to hear other people's slides went out, or their generator took a crap one weekend, or they sprung a leak. It's nice to know it's not just ME dealing with this crap.

Hell- after experiencing frame damage, a friend was able to send me 30-40 photos of what they did to fix his (at a campsite no less!). Yes, 2 of us had non-impact frame damage.

So yeah... welcome. Frustrations and all, it's hella worth it at the end of the day.
2018 Ram 3500 DRW/crew cab/long bed/4x4/4.10 gears pulling a 2017 Spartan 1245 by Prime Time
Checkout my site for RVing tips, tricks, and info | My family and I have fulltimed since June 2015
ependydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 01:37 PM   #5
Fulltime family RVer
ependydad's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 19,721
If you decide to pursue a new unit, start with the "tire and loading capacity" sticker on your doorjamb.

A 8,000 lb. unit is going to have anywhere from 1,600-2,000 lbs of pin weight. Add that to your weight, your wife's weight, the boy's weight + carseat, and the dog. You'll find that you'll quickly overload that 1/2 ton truck.
2018 Ram 3500 DRW/crew cab/long bed/4x4/4.10 gears pulling a 2017 Spartan 1245 by Prime Time
Checkout my site for RVing tips, tricks, and info | My family and I have fulltimed since June 2015
ependydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 01:49 PM   #6
Senior Member
SlfMdeFam's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: SoCal
Posts: 463
Youíre a perfect example of why trying to tow with a 1500 is such a battle. Iím a firm believer of buy what youíll need later rather than buy what you need now kind of guy. Unfortunately youíre kind of stuck in a hard spot. Good luck.
SlfMdeFam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 02:16 PM   #7
Senior Member
Semperfi24's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Maryland
Posts: 534
Aside from what has been mentioned, my first concern for you with regard to trading in your unit is that you are going to get "nothing" for your trailer. The "trade" value will be (I hope I'm using the right words here) the black book "wholesale" value. In other words, if you can sell it in a private sale for $19,000 (just making up a number), the trade in value will be more like $11,000. So unless you owe less than their trade offer, it can quickly get out of hand on the price of the new unit. The game then becomes "you are upside down by $8,000 so we'll just add that to the price of the new unit...". Obviously don't know your particular situation with regard to what your trailer is worth versus what you owe (if you owe), but being a newer unit, you may not get a trade offer that makes it feasible for you

2019 Ford F250 Lariat 6.7 Powerstroke
2020 Cherokee Arctic Wolf 287BH
Semperfi24 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 02:17 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 4,591
Do what you feel is "Right for You" !!! You're going to be living in it, you know what you need. Son looked at new toy haulers this year...what did he do ? Looked at older better constructed units and found one he loved.
TheWolfPaq82 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 02:21 PM   #9
Senior Member
Iwannacamp's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 7,298
As touched on donít get a lot of 5er for 10K#. Then load her up and itís heavy quick. You need most of 3000 cargo to get a decent size 5er. Out with the half ton and most 3/4s. Bumper pull is prolly a friend of 1/2T RVs. YMMV
2017 Puma 297RLSS
2005 Ram 2500 4X4 diesel SMOKER!!
I love puns, irony and tasteless jokes...
born in Texas.... live in Arkansas
Iwannacamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 02:26 PM   #10
Site Team
bikendan's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 20,008
Yep, your choices for a 5th wheel are going to be extremely limited, ESPECIALLY with a Ram 1/2 ton.
They have the worst payload capacities in the Industry.

When it comes to a 5th wheel, forget towing capacities and focus on payload capacities and pin weights.
Dan-Retired California Firefighter/EMT
Shawn-Musician/Entrepreneur/Wine Expert
and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255, pushing a 2014 Ford F150 SCREW XTR 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost w/Max Tow Package
Equalizer WDH
bikendan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 03:45 PM   #11
Canadian Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Eastern GTA, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,882
I'd like to add to a few of the other posts you've had already.

As ependydad said, work with FR directly for any issues if you're not getting satisfactory service from your dealer. I dealt directly with them to have repairs done to our Roo hybrid that I was the 2nd owner off. They agreed to ship replacement bunk doors if I agreed to pay my Rockwood dealer to install them. Can't ask for more than that considering I was the 2nd owner and the warranty that the original owner had, was expired.

I also agree that quality is suffering at all manufacturers. This is solely based on what I've seen on dealer lots and at RV shows. I had also heard good reviews of the Grand Design models and we looked at a 5th wheel at the Toronto RV show. A cabinet door came off in my hand when I opened it! They may be better than average but the bar is pretty low. RVs aren't manufactured with the quality that new cars today are. And the dealer networks have a worse reputation, but there are some good ones out there.

All that said, our current Rockwood Signature has been great. I am again the 2nd owner (I hate the initial depreciation hit on these things) and I've had no significant issues. Maybe the first owner fixed everything. He certainly was handy and added a few nice mods to it.

If you're going to go full time, the weight you'll add to your trailer will be significantly more than using it for just weekends or a few weeks a year. Ependydad may be able to speak to that but I'd suggest you should assume you'll be putting at least 2000# into it for fulltiming.

I don't necessarily agree with the adage that you should buy your last trailer, or truck, first. You just need to be disciplined and keep (i.e. live with) what you have for a while (say minimum 5-7 years), or buy everything used so the hit isn't nearly as bad. Admittedly, I haven't always listened to my own advice but I still believe it to be true.

If you're going to fulltime with a 5th wheel or a large TT and do a lot of travelling, you can easily justify a diesel truck, but its not necessarily needed for folks like us who use the trailer on weekends and a few weeks per year. For me, if the trailer is over 10,000# or you drive regularly in the mountains, its an automatic requirement, but if you don't do that a gasser may be more than adequate. That's why my F-250 is a gasser.

And finally, I agree 100% that if you upgrade you should sell your current trailer privately and not trade it in. You'll save thousands of dollars that you can put towards your upgrade.

Good luck!
2019 Rockwood Signature 8290BS, Reese Revolution pinbox and B&W Patriot 18K hitch
2016 Ford F-250 XLT SuperCrew, 6.2L, 4x4, 6'9" bed, 3.73, w/ snow plow & camper pkgs.
2011 Rockwood Signature 8293SS (2015 - 2018)
2010 Rockwood Roo 23SS (2012 - 2014)

itat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2017, 02:03 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 413
I can only speak from personal experience, but I just wrote a check for a down payment on a new 5er. My Cardinal is 10 years old and it seems that almost everything has been fixed or replaced over that period. I'm buying an Arctic Fox 5er because the company has always had a reputation for quality, although as previously stated, most of the elements are similar across brands. Also as stated, you're going to have trouble finding something with the space you need that's light enough for your truck. Good luck finding what you need.
Flemington, NJ
Former: 2007 Cardinal 30W LE
Now:2018 Arctic Fox 27-5L
2008 Ford F-250 Long Bed Diesel
Total of 30 Months on the Road Since 2008
DrLewie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2017, 06:00 PM   #13
Senior Member
CaptnJohn's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Eastern NC
Posts: 3,675
I doubt OP will be able to find a 5er he could be happy living in and certainly not one suitable for fulltime that a 1500 can tow.

I've had 3 NEW 5ers. A Montana, a Cougar, and the current Montana. Atwood sent a mobile tech for a furnace repair on the Cougar. Zero on the 1st Montana and nothing yet on the 2nd but have only been in it about 50 nights since purchased in June. Maybe just the lucky one but have a great dealer.....

2019 Montana 3761 FL
2019 F350 6.7 4X4 LB Dually
Edgewater 205 EX 150 Yamaha
CaptnJohn is online now   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:05 PM.