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Old 05-21-2016, 10:49 AM   #1
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Coachmen Catalina build quality

Hello everyone. I am new to this forum. I am considering going from a 2016 FR RPod into a 2017 Coachmen Catalina 243rbs Legacy edition. Can anyone here speak from experience of any major build quality issues that I need to consider? I understand there will probably be small issues as with all trailers. I am mainly conserned with the construction quality. Also does anyone know if the wood frame cage constructed with screws or staples or both? Thanks in advance for your input :-)
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Old 05-21-2016, 11:27 AM   #2
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No idea. But I would personally spend the extra buck and opt for a aluminum framed trailer such as the Coachmen Apex or the Freedom Express (like I did).
These types have a layer of Azdel In between the walls instead of (wood) luan.
Which is a big plus, eliminates any delamination on your walls incase of a water leak.
That's just my 2 cents.
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Old 05-21-2016, 02:16 PM   #3
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Stick and Tin trailers are entry level trailers.
So they generally have less standard features than filon/aluminum frame trailers.
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Old 05-21-2016, 03:25 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 1996alnl View Post
No idea. But I would personally spend the extra buck and opt for a aluminum framed trailer such as the Coachmen Apex or the Freedom Express (like I did).
These types have a layer of Azdel In between the walls instead of (wood) luan.
Which is a big plus, eliminates any delamination on your walls incase of a water leak.
That's just my 2 cents.
I agree. The virtually same trailer can be had in the higher level model. Lighter and better.
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Old 05-21-2016, 03:55 PM   #5
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Im completely satisfied with the build quality of our 2015. Yes its stick and tin held together by glue, staples and screws. We've camped in all kinds of weather conditions from the upper 20s to the upper 90s with an occasional thunderstorm. No leaks and no concerns. I would not hesitate to buy another Coachmen product in the future.
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Old 05-21-2016, 04:15 PM   #6
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And yes aluminum frame construction is superior to stick frames, but the best built camper in the world will do you no good if you cant afford to use it. Buy what you can afford and enjoy!! Good luck!
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Old 05-21-2016, 04:54 PM   #7
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Im completely satisfied with the build quality of our 2015. Yes its stick and tin held together by glue, staples and screws. We've camped in all kinds of weather conditions from the upper 20s to the upper 90s with an occasional thunderstorm. No leaks and no concerns. I would hesitate to buy another Coachmen product in the future.
Is that a typo..would hesitate? Or did you mean wouldnt hesitate?
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Old 05-21-2016, 04:57 PM   #8
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Is that a typo..would hesitate? Or did you mean wouldnt hesitate?
Oh shoot! Yes thats a typo! I did edit the original post! And I would NOT hesitate to buy another Coachmen!!
Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:58 AM   #9
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2011 Coachman Catalena

Our 2011 gets a lot of use and it has had very few if any problems and it is stick and tin. Seams sturdier than the newer aluminum frame but it is heavier.
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Old 05-22-2016, 06:55 PM   #10
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Our 2015 Coachmen Catalina 263RLS is well built. Our only problem is that 3 water connections were not tightened at the factory (shower and both sides of water pump). After these discoveries, I checked every connection in the unit. All needed some tightening but none of the others leaked. I would definitely buy Coachmen again.
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Old 05-22-2016, 07:19 PM   #11
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I will let you know in a few weeks when my 283RKS comes in!
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Old 05-22-2016, 07:23 PM   #12
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And yes aluminum frame construction is superior to stick frames, but the best built camper in the world will do you no good if you cant afford to use it. Buy what you can afford and enjoy!! Good luck!
I'm not sure what you mean. The maintenance on my trailer is the same as any other.
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Old 05-22-2016, 07:51 PM   #13
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Unless the aluminum frameing is welded, its actually worse than sticks. Most of the RV's built with aluminum frameing join the aluminum pieces with little sheet metal (steel) clips with two cad plated steel sheet metal screws holding them together.Three different metals and just the moisture in the air (humidity) is enough to make a battery that will corrode the sheet metal clip.Then the only thing holding it together are some foam blocks and the inner/outer skin,same as a rotted out stick,but much harder to fix.Aluminum framed horse trailers,and high end bus conversions use aluminum frames,but they are welded.Of course they cost 4 times as much too.
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Old 05-22-2016, 08:06 PM   #14
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My personal choice is stick and tin. I have looked at several used(some almost new) and seen too much delamination. I have read some on the subject...it appears part of the problems are associated with the sun on the panels. It gets very hot here. I know most people don't have trouble, but I ran out of luck years ago. Just my observation.


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Old 05-22-2016, 08:20 PM   #15
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I'm not sure what you mean. The maintenance on my trailer is the same as any other.
Aluminium frames arent suspepetal to rot like wood. And I was refering to welded frames. But as I and others mentioned its expensive. The "cant afford to use it" was in reference to spending so much to own it that it sits in the yard because youre broke.
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Old 05-22-2016, 08:40 PM   #16
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Aluminium frames arent suspepetal to rot like wood. And I was refering to welded frames. But as I and others mentioned its expensive. The "cant afford to use it" was in reference to spending so much to own it that it sits in the yard because youre broke.
It is IMO better to buy what you can afford and then use it up!
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Old 05-22-2016, 08:44 PM   #17
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It is IMO better to buy what you can afford and then use it up!
Thsnks, thats exactly what I was trying to say!
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:09 PM   #18
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:54 AM   #19
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2016 Catalina

We gave up space in the bath @ bedroom for the extra room offered by the slide out! So far the negatives are no wall switch in the bedroom, the lift rods holding the bed storage open are inadequate. The Windows are all poorly designed to open and close. The screen door latch is poor! The Windows are my priority!!!! 😳
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:04 AM   #20
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Quality seems tight. Hopefully they used screws. The wood adds weight which concerns

Concerns me! The Aluminum siding also adds weight. For 400 more lbs I could have my ideal floorplan😟
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