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Old 04-15-2014, 03:44 PM   #1
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Apex 151 experience?

Hi all! My wife and I are long time tent campers, new to trailers. We have three boys and are looking to start with an Apex 151 expandable.
Does anyone here have experience with this model? We have also considered a pop-up, but like the ease of setup of the expandable.
Any thoughts?
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:03 PM   #2
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I have one of these hybrids and like the reduced setup tune from our old popup. Like a pop-up, you still have to open it up if you pack up in the rain to dry out the canvas.

My recommendation is to get a few queen size air mattresses to take the place of the included bunk pads. We were much more comfortable after doing this.

You have a family of 5, and may be cramped for space while inside. Especially if you have the table and couch setup as beds as there is only a small walkway in between them. We also found the table to realistically seat 2 comfortably.

There is no provision for outdoor cooking and using the stove inside will rapidly increase the temperature inside and nearly always require the A/C.

We are larger folks and found the bathroom very small (you can't ask for much in a 15' box).
As we are taller than most, we also found it difficult to maneuver around each other on the bunks without disturbing others inside.

Overall, it's been a good camper, just didn't fit our family or camping style. We were also limited by our tow vehicle when we purchased it (99 Chevy Blazer, I wouldn't highly recommend this combination, but it managed). We are now upgrading to a Cougar 31SQB and have a Silverado that will better suit our "entertain friends and family" style of camping.

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Old 04-15-2014, 07:31 PM   #3
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first, what will you be towing with? with a GVWR of 3890lbs., this eliminates nearly all minivans and CUV's as tow vehicles.

second, with 3 boys, you'll have to make up the sofa or dinette for a bed every nite and then undo it in the morning. this would also be true for a popup.

third, there's a common saying in the RV community: "Buy your second trailer, FIRST!"
this means many newbies go conservative and buy a smaller RV, only to find out after awhile, that they should have bought a bigger one.

with 3 rambunctious lads, that tiny trailer will get even smaller when it's rainy outside.
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Old 04-17-2014, 04:55 PM   #4
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Bikendan... Are you everywhere?!?!!! LOL!
This is Jason from the canvas campers forum. Same tow vehicle, 2014 Honda pilot 4wd with 4500 lbs towing.
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:04 PM   #5
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I think your Pilot will be overloaded. I know my Traverse (5200 lb) was.
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jthewood View Post
Bikendan... Are you everywhere?!?!!! LOL!
This is Jason from the canvas campers forum. Same tow vehicle, 2014 Honda pilot 4wd with 4500 lbs towing.
yea, i'm on 6 different Hybrid forums, with the same username!

could be an addiction!
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:23 PM   #7
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Your Pilot will be overloaded. Especially for "compact" suv's, it's more about the "barn door" you're towing than the weight. The frontal area of the Apex that is above the roofline makes the trailer seem heavier.

Same trailer behind my Silverado didn't seem to exist. Then again, the extra 200 horsepower might have something to do with that.

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Old 04-19-2014, 09:47 PM   #8
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I had a 2013 Apex 151RBX, and was impressed with the quality and construction of the unit.

My tow vehicle was initially a 2003 Acura MDX, somewhat similar in nature to your Honda Pilot.

I did all kinds of things to try and improve the towing of the MDX; airbags, WDH, etc, and it was a white knuckle experience all the way. When I would get up to 55mph it was downright scary.

Last June I got a Toyota Tundra and that was the fix for the towing experience. If you'd have told me a couple years ago that I'd be buying a pickup I'd have said you were crazy. However, there's just no comparison to a solid rear axle. I went from a vehicle which was bursting at the seams to even try and keep up to something that is made for the task.

The hybrid was a great step up from the 1997 Palomino Pop Up-- and had somewhat same layout as the popup.. The hybrid was cozy and fun-- but decided that with dogs, Nebraska's neverending wind, sometimes extreme summer heat, AND now that I have a capable truck; time to upgrade. So, I now have a 2014 Apex 288BHS.

Have been able to camp in much colder weather, lots more room, much improved cargo carrying capacity, larger fridge, etc. The slideout is also nice, as well as larger dinette area.

The 151RBX was fun, took it to Colorado for vacation, and if I lived someplace where it isn't windy and hotter than hot then the hybrid could have really been workable.

If you spend most of your time outside, and only sleep in the camper, I think the 151RBX could be a good fit. Be aware of it's low cargo carrying capacity of about 890 pounds. If you use a WDH, that will further diminish the cargo carrying capacity as ~15-~20% of the tongue weight will end up back on the trailer axle, which on mine was rated right at 3500lbs.

I wouldn't recommend using a Honda/Acura product to pull it though. (Maybe the Ridgeline, but dollar for dollar I think a full fledged body-on-frame pickup will be much more adept to the task..)

If I had it to do all over again, I should have gotten the truck first, then the camper. The 2nd camper.

Sorry to be so down on the MDX/Pilot, but this sums up my experience. I wish they were better built for towing.
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:58 AM   #9
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Thanks all for the replies and feedback. We've decided, based on your shared experience, to go with a high wall pop-up, one with a slide so we'll have a little extra space. I don't regret buying our Pilot, it's a great vehicle for a family of 5, but I am surprised at the limited towing capacity. This means we'll be shopping for a BIGGER truck in the future, (which will make my wife happy).

The expandables are sooo tempting! Lightweight and spacious with easy setup, but I agree with others who have posted, I'm not going to risk my family's safety. We'll look at them in a few years when we have a better tow vehicle and can get a style/size that completely suits our needs and wants. No reason to force anything...maybe that's the lesson here!

Thanks to all for your reply's and experience! I'd hate to start our towed camper lives with a disaster!
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Old 04-20-2014, 01:02 PM   #10
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jthewood, i think you made the right decision and Congrats!!

when the auto manufacturer doesn't even recommend using a WDH for towing, that tells you that the manufacturer doesn't even consider their vehicles as competent towing machines.
if they can't trust a WDH connected to the vehicle's frame, then what does that tell you.
no other car company, other than Honda, has such an exclusion on their vehicles.
and i seem to remember that the 4500 number was for towing boats and not for a travel trailer and their air resistance.

this was a big reason that we didn't buy a Ridgeline.
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