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Old 02-10-2012, 03:25 PM   #1
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Location: Metro St. Louis Area
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Catalina 28DDS

Hi all….wanted thank who ever added the coachmen section here! Not a ton of info out there on them in way of TT. I see lots of them in the Midwest and locally here in St. Louis but not much internet feedback. We recently purchased or first RV….a 2011 Catalina 28DDS and are awaiting the chance to head out for a few nights to really give the unit a thorough check over. After looking Forever at new units on the various dealers lots, shows and endless internet searches we elected to buy from a dealer locally. Fact is I think over a year of searching….I was getting burned out. Turns out we found a gently used 2011 that was one of the exact units we initially had on our short list last year. My wife and I liked the Coachmen off the bat…it seemed that they used a bit higher quality materials and things feel a bit sturdier than some other brands in our price point. We rented a few times last year and a Coachmen is of much nicer quality I feel. The endless Amazon shipments have started to trickle into the house….and we found a home for the trailer last week. I have visited it regularly!
I plan to review the unit and post any details pro and con of the RV as well as some modifications I plan on doing in preparation of the upcoming season. I see lots of fun for my family in the next few years and we are all very excited!! I have attached some photos of the unit.
Anyone else own the same RV?
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:33 PM   #2
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Congrats on the new unit! From the pictures I can see why you are excited.

Have fun camping!

Great choice for "Living within my means" and camping for one...

2011 Salem Cruise Lite 20RBXL & 2011 Toyota Tundra Dbl Cab
Camping History: 45 Trips / 133 Nights / 3736 Miles
FRF Social Group: Campers of the West
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:06 PM   #3
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My wife and I just purchased a 2012 28DDS and can't wait to get out camping this year. We are planning to pick ours up next week as long as the weather doesn't get bad (mid Michigan). Just curious, what will you be towing your trailer with?
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:17 PM   #4
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I am pulling with a 2011 Ram 1500 W/ 3.92 gears and the tow package. Its rated for 10K of trailer. I was sold on the Husky Centerline hitch....its very similar to the Equal-izer brand but with a few minor changes. Overall the trailer tows very well with the combo.

How about you?
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:50 PM   #5
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Congrats on the new to you TT. You might check on the Coachmen web site for a local Coachmen club. I know there is one in St. Louis area. Ours is an oldie but goody, a 2000 Catalina 297 RKS. Been a good TT so far. Good luck, John
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:41 PM   #6
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We will be towing with a 2003 GMC Yukon. It is a 1500 4WD 5.3L with a 3.73 gear and the tow package. It is rated at 7400lbs and this trailer weighs 6000 empty so I'm hoping the Yukon will not be taxed. We live in Michigan and it's pretty flat country up here.
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:37 AM   #7
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Hi and congrats on your TT. I just got my freedom express last Jul and have been enjoying the time I have been out in it. I wish I could go out more but the wife and I are busy working maybe that's why we have so much fun when we can get out and spend time together.
2004 Silverado 2500HD
2012 Coachmen Freedom Express 296REDS
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:31 PM   #8
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I have a 2010 Coachman 27 BHS...5800 lbs dry weight. This is the older model to your beauty. I originally pulled my with a Tahoe similar to your Yukon. A word of caution is that this is not a great tow vehicle. Its not because of the Engine but due to its short wheel base. I experience a lot of swaying going up on the freeway. I eventually upgraded to a Silverado Crew cab and it tows great. If you are going to stick with this vehicle make sure you get a good anti-sway hitch. Like a hensly or equalizer. Good luck
Lito, Tass, Alex and Sam
2010 Coachmen Catalina 27BHS
2011 Chevy Silverado Crew
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:24 PM   #9
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We have towed our 22ft boat with this vehicle and never encountered sway - but the boat is 8ft shorter and 2,000 lbs lighter. We will be using the eaz lift leveling bars and the reese sway control bar. I guess until we know how the truck does with it we will keep our speeds around 60mph.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:42 PM   #10
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Congratulations on your 28DDS purchase. I purchased a 2012 Catalina 28DDS in April of 2011. The RV has been a fantastic experience thus far. But consider this:

I tow with a 2010 Tahoe LT w/ HD Trailering package. 4WD 5.3L V8 . I can tow up to 8200 lbs. I use the Husky Centerline WDH. The Tahoe has no problem pulling the trailer. My GCVW (actual scale weight) was 13,465 lbs, which is below the 14,000 GCWR of the 10 Tahoe. How does it tow? It tows "heavy." By biggest concern is the wheelbase of the Tahoe. Working in public safety, I am always thinking of the "what if's" which of course, no dealer is enthusiastic about discussing. Eventually I'll go to a Silverado 1500/2500. As for sway? The extra $ in the Husky Centerline was worth it. My brother follows me on most of my camping trips and he cannot believe the trailer doesn't sway at ALL. Even on windy days. I towed all over Michigan camping 28 nights last season. I never felt like I was "pushing the safety envelope." My advice is don't speed, maintain a adequate stopping distance (5-8 seconds depending on weather/road conditions). The other downside is the 10mpg the Tahoe gets while towing the 28DDS.

As for the actual coach? The only big complaint I have is Coachmen doesn't sell the coach with a ladder. But FR customer service sent me a schematic on how to do it noting the studs are in the wall to do so. I had a few issues with the laminate separating from an internal slide out wall. I determined this was due to the material being cut "too long." My dealer was very responsive to the issue (Klines RV, Warren, MI) but it took them a couple visits to correct the issue. The DVD player never worked from day 1, but the dealer worked to get me an replacement (different model).

Anytime I have e-mailed customer service from FR (Coachmen) they have been fantastic. Sending me whatever information I asked for.

Safe travels!


Sterling Heights, MI

2012 Coachmen Catalina 28DDS
2014 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT
Husky Centerline WDS
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