Originally Posted by electrician549
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!