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Old 06-21-2011, 10:21 PM   #1
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Need purchase help!

Hello Everyone,

Please forgive the NewBee . We have never owned a camper and are considering the purchase of a 2006 Forest River Cardinal 32TS - bumper pull: 3 slides, 1 ac, rear living. Cardinal is supposed to be the elite but inside this trailer there is only corner wood trim around the slideouts instead of full trim, shorter than usual cabinets over sofa, chairs, etc., no washer/dryer hookup, and other amenities that were in the older models. Did FR reduce the Cardinal quality or are these just surface alterations? Also, is this a good camper for the 'nearly retired' set?

Any help you can offer would be sincerely appreciated.


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Old 06-21-2011, 10:38 PM   #2
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If thie is going to be your first and ONLY purchase fore many years, look closely at what you want, and or need. Campers loose value faster then cars when you pull them off the lot. Make sure you get what you want, and spend 3 hours or more looking it over on the pre purchase inspection, and check everything, TWICE. As for the Cardinal brand over others, sorry, can't help you. They are "high end" trailers, but not sure what they had to save cost. Also you are talking about about a 5 year ole trailer. If you are comparing to the new models, no comparison.

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Old 06-21-2011, 10:43 PM   #3
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I second what windrider told you.
Also would like to add that no matter what brand you buy, all have options so some may have features that others don't.

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Old 06-21-2011, 11:27 PM   #4
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That looks like a pretty big trailer for a first purchase, while considering the trailer, make sure your truck is capable of handling this size of trailer
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:32 PM   #5
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hisword, Not sure where you live but if you're willing to drive you'll save big $$$. For example, I began shopping up here in the PacNWst and then started comping trailers in the midwest (Michigan and Ohio) and was stunned that the same unit would cost me $6k less than the local dealers here would offer. I was also told that the locals would have to honor the maintenance and warranty work...
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:52 PM   #6
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Cardinals are nice trailers. But a lot of what you are asking about are options the original owners did not buy. Again that is a lot of bumper pull trailer. Consider smaller for a first. At least be sure your TV is adequate. Meaning a 3/4 ton with a lot of motor.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:19 PM   #7
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We went with a 32 footer for our very first TT after tenting for 20+ years. I don't think you have to automatically go with a smaller one just because it's your first. Buy something your TV can handle and that you are comfortable towing. I say go with the biggest your TV can handle and you won't regret it.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:38 AM   #8
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I looked at number of Cardinals before we got our Puma. It seemed to me that bumper pulled models were not as swanky as the 5vers. Still even the older units were made well.

There are a number of things I would look at. First off is roof condition. However, a pretty good indication of roof condition will be the evidence of leaks. If you know the weather patterns in your area and know how long the trailer has been exposed to weather, there may be evidence of roof integrity. Drapes and blinds frequently reveal this history too.

Look in the storage areas. If there has been some problems with the unit, they are frequently exposed in the storage areas.

Like the other posters have said, "be sure to put your horse before the cart." Now we bought our cart, but we know what size horse we want to get. The '09 Tacoma is only rated to 6,500 lbs so it is going up for sale...

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