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Old 03-16-2016, 06:14 AM   #1
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Catalina 253RKS

We are thinking of trading in our 2011 Roo 19 on a Catalina 253 RKS, I know we are going to take a financial hit but besides that what are the thoughts of the Catalina line i.e. build quality. This will probably be our last camper that we buy and we are hoping for something that will last.
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Old 03-16-2016, 01:32 PM   #2
2014Catalina 25RKS Deluxe
 
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We just stumbled upon and purchased a 2014 25RKS Deluxe which was the predecessor to the 253. We had also looked at the 253 new. To me, the construction suffered a little as to materials when they renamed it the 253. The 2014 we found had been used three weekends since the older couple that were original owners had bought it. It was in just about mint condition. Being so, it was about 15K cheaper than the brand new Lance 2285 that was our second choice. All being said I believe the Catalina's are pretty good trailers from what I have seen. As with any TT, they depreciate like H$ll and you must make a diligent effort to protect them from water leaks to make them last. One thing to look at. The ST205/75R14 tires they put on them are 'C' rated and already overloaded if you put a gallon of milk in the fridge. It took me forever to find a decent 'D' rated replacement tire and that was fudging up to a ST215/75R14 on same RIMs. From other owners of these trailers...you WILL blow those tires. Plan on replacing them ASAP and hope you don't damage trailer when they blow...and buy a TPMS.
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Old 03-30-2016, 03:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrician549 View Post
We are thinking of trading in our 2011 Roo 19 on a Catalina 253 RKS, I know we are going to take a financial hit but besides that what are the thoughts of the Catalina line i.e. build quality. This will probably be our last camper that we buy and we are hoping for something that will last.
I've got about 10,800 miles on my factory tires and have had no problem. I keep them at 50 psi, adjust the brakes, and lubricate the bearings before every trip.
We bought ours new in 2013, so have had it nearly three years now. I never had a warranty issue, either.
It is my unscientific observation that manufacturers use the same frame under all their models, so the 18 foot model has a nice stout frame that travels really well, while the 38 foot model rides like a noodle. The 253RKS seems to fall under that break point where campers get too big for their suspension.
The GVWR is 7500 pounds with 3500 pound axles. The dry weight of my unit was 5451 pounds leaving 1990 pounds of water and cargo. A full tank of fresh water weighs 367 pounds, so you still have 1623 pounds of cargo capacity.
Things I really like about this camper:
1. Bathroom door - I had another TT once with the second door in the bedroom. This never made a lot of sense to me. Now having outside access to the bathroom makes all the sense in the world. When we come back from the beach all sandy and hot, we just go straight into the bathroom to shower.
2. Slide - the slide is only 18 inches deep. It's eleven feet long, but the shallowness means it's easier to fit into places and there is less weight hanging out pivoting on the frame around the slide wall.
3. Rear kitchen - even with the slide in, everything is accessible. Except for the bedroom and bathroom access is from outside. Of course, with such a shallow slide, I can run it out even in a rest stop parking spot without extending into the next parking spot if I need to.
4. Television - it's in about the best spot a TT can have. The cabinet allows for a maximum 37 inch. You can watch from the sofa or dinette. Of course one bench is off limits while the tv is on.
5. Shower - I fit! At 6'4" and 270 pounds, this is a big deal.
6. Toilet/bathroom - Again, fit is a big deal. For a TT, this bathroom is capacious.
7. Walk around bed - not so much a big deal these days as everybody has them, but my last TT had a queen in the corner. A real bear to get in and out of.
8. While we are admittedly light travelers, there is still quite a bit of storage available. We don't even have anything in the dinette cabinets.
Things I'm not fond of:
1. Outside shower is in a bad place. It should be on the same side as the doors. No point in showering off then walking through grass to get back to the front of the camper. I don't even use it. Just go straight into the bathroom.
2. The jackknife sofa is not the most comfortable, there is a cabinet at one end, which is good, but nothing at the kitchen end, so there is nothing for an arm rest or to keep the bolster cushion from falling off.
3. There really is no living room. The bedroom and bathroom get the most space and the kitchen is pretty roomy too. So the living/dining room suffer. The jackknife sofa does not lend itself to being replaced with any other piece of furniture, and sitting at the kitchen end is rather uncomfortable. I use a couple small inflatable exercise balls as ottomans to put my feet up on when relaxing. This makes a lot of difference.
Hope this helps!
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Old 03-31-2016, 08:15 PM   #4
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Thank you that is very helpful.
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Old 04-03-2016, 05:37 PM   #5
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As you can see, we have a 2013 Catalina Deluxe Edition. (28'4"). Which is similar to the 253 RKS.. I agree mostly with wrvond. We had a 33; 2014 Wildwood with rear Kitchen, which was totaled in an accident. Even though the 2014 was larger, we realy like this TT, We will replace the C rated tires soon with D rated tires. They will probably be Carlisle as I can't afford Michelins. We've had Coachmens previously and think you won't be disappointed. Good luck on your choice.
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Old 04-06-2016, 01:07 PM   #6
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STG1, where did you find Carlisle D rated tires in 14 inch rim? The only ones I could find were the Taskmaster ST215/75R14 Radial Trailer Tire - Load Range D at etrailer.com. They get 5 star ratings in every single review.
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Old 04-06-2016, 02:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffdawgfan View Post
STG1, where did you find Carlisle D rated tires in 14 inch rim? The only ones I could find were the Taskmaster ST215/75R14 Radial Trailer Tire - Load Range D at etrailer.com. They get 5 star ratings in every single review.
The last ones I purchased where from Discount Tire for my 2006 Coachmen. That's been about 3 yrs ago. I hope they still carry them as I want to change to the "D" tires when these (WESTLAKE) wear a little more.
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Old 04-06-2016, 06:59 PM   #8
2014Catalina 25RKS Deluxe
 
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Sorry but no longer available. The ONLY D range tires I have found in 14 inch rim is the
Taskmaster ST215/75R14 Radial Trailer Tire - Load Range D at etrailer .com. Even then you have to move up to a ST215/75R14. That tire is about 1/2 inch taller and wider but will fit our trailer better. I still have the original Westlake tires on my 2015 25RKS. Planning on making a cross country trip in late June so I will be putting the new Taskmasters on before I go. IF you find a D rating tire anywhere else please post but I have search high and low on all the tire sites such as discount and tire rack.
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:00 PM   #9
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IF you want to buy new 15 inch rims then you have many more choices available. You can even go up to a E rating.
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:11 PM   #10
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We bought our Catalina 273DBS in October and have been pleased so far. Everything works good and it's been a comfortable camper. Build quality is pretty good for what they sell for. Ive been in some really nice campers with impeccable build quality but that comes at a price.
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