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Old 10-04-2013, 08:34 AM   #1
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Looking at a Spirit of St Louis tomorrow, opinions?

Hey folks,
I cannot help but notice a lack of pictures, video, and forum posts on the Aviator series. I know they are pretty new but... What gives?

My wife and I bought a Surveyor Select SV-264 last November and absolutely love it. The quality is very good and we love the layout. Seeing the larger rigs has us wanting for more room though. We thought we were going with an opposing-slide 5th wheel to get what we wanted until the Hershey show. The first trailer we walked into was a Surveyor SVF-293 5th wheel. It has a great layout, beautiful interior, and same high quality as our small Surveyor.

THEN... we saw the Pilot. It has almost an identical floorplan to the 5th wheel but it is a towable and is about $6000 cheaper. I cannot help but weigh the benefits of this guy: No 5'er hitch in my bed, no pin weight BS, lower, lighter, cheaper... My F-250 can pull either one so the TV is not a concern.

Any thoughts as to why the 5th wheel might still be a better choice?
Thanks alot,
Jamie
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:04 AM   #2
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well if you are looking at a spirit of st. louis than you are looking at a pilot not an aviator as FR has decided not to produce it as an aviator. I wish they had made it as an aviator but since they can't sell the models they did make I guess they decided to cut their losses as it would have been in the 100,000 MSRP range if my wright flyer had an MSRP of 90,000
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:57 PM   #3
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Hey Bob,
I was a little confused about that issue. I wonder if the Aviator line was not as successful as they hoped.

I might move my post to another forum then.

Thanks,
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Old 10-04-2013, 01:57 PM   #4
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no it was a disaster for them, they pretty much wholesaled them to dealers well below the cost it took to build them. At present the dealer where I bought mine will sell you a new Wright Flyer with every option for less than 54,000. its MSRP was 90,000. Resale for those of us who paid more than that will be rather upsetting. As it stands now I will have mine for a looooooong time before I can hope to get out of it.
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Old 10-14-2013, 04:23 PM   #5
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I think it's all a personal decision. I had a desire for a 5ver and the SVF293 met our needs. We put a couple thousand miles on it this summer had 35 days camping. We really enjoy it and have no regrets. Review the pluses and minuses and make your decision. I'm sure your list would be different than mine, so do your research and go for it!!
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Old 10-15-2013, 04:36 PM   #6
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Aviator MSRP's were all over the place too. From 76K to 90K . No one will really know what it cost to build one unless there's someone with inside connections willing to give it up. Ive said it before and will say it again, I didnt pay anywhere near MSRP but did pay more than what their selling for now. Time always reveals the quality of a product. Those that own an Aviator will either be blessed with it or cursed. As rar as resale no one on this forum will get what they paid new for their unit thats a promise.

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Old 10-15-2013, 05:31 PM   #7
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To answer Jamie's original question ... travel trailer works better for us. I didnt want to a fithwheel either. I believe the fithwheel design has a better turning radius than a towable. Im sure lots of pros and cons. The fithwheel by design is much higher in height and well as price more bells and whistles all the way around. I like it a simple as i can get it. Personal preference I guess. The only fithwheel I ever liked and would consider buying was the Newmar, and they too quit making the one i liked... dont remeber which one because they couldn't get what they wanted out of them.

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Old 10-15-2013, 06:00 PM   #8
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yes after a few dismal attempts to trade it I just can't do it, the best was 45000, too bad I owe much more than that, it does not help that my dealer still has 15 of them new on there lot for 50,000 to 56,000 for top of the line with 2 a/c and sony tablet. Looks like I finally stuck it to myself.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob34787 View Post
yes after a few dismal attempts to trade it I just can't do it, the best was 45000, too bad I owe much more than that, it does not help that my dealer still has 15 of them new on there lot for 50,000 to 56,000 for top of the line with 2 a/c and sony tablet. Looks like I finally stuck it to myself.
Only if you're truly unhappy with it... I still would like to have one... Who knows, if they still have some next year, I may be joining the Aviator Owners group...

Gotta get the TV upgraded, first. I'll be getting a new F-250 in January... I hope.

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Old 10-16-2013, 04:05 AM   #10
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not unhappy with it, just does not fit my needs any longer, need something larger
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:09 AM   #11
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I realize now that I loaded up this thread with 2 totally different points but the info has been good. It seems as though the Aviator travel trailers have been an interesting experiment. Sorry for those of you who would like to get out of them.

The "Pilot, Spirit of St. Louis" is a really nice TT and my dealer has one on the lot. We are going there on Saturday to look at several units, 5W and TT.

As for 5W versus TT, I am seeing a lot of nice travel trailers with 5W floorplans now. The Prime Time Lacrosse 327RES, 324RST, and Pilot have caught my eye. The Lacrosse is really loaded up with nice options inside. In the 5W category, we like the Crusader 325RES, Salem 327RES, and Surveyor SVF293.

I am going to look at all of them in the next week and then try to work out the 5W vs. TT thing in my head.

Thanks again,
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:59 AM   #12
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I just looked at the FR website to get an idea of what you are talking about. I believe the Aviator line was intended to compete with Airstream, while the Pilot line looks to be much like LaCrose, Coachmen, Surveyor etc is general appearance, however with nicer finish and amenities.

As to your question about TT vs. 5er, we have a TT mostly because our tow vehicle at the time was not a pick-up but a 3/4 ton SUV. Now I have roughly the same truck you do. I have thought about a 5er, and here are the things that stand out to me.

5er:
-more overall room, broken up with more clearly defined "areas".
-more basement storage
-theoretically easier to tow, manuever etc.

TT:
-lower profile makes it easier to store, less likely to hit gas stations etc.
-no inside steps, less broken up floorplan
-usually lighter overall, and less tongue weight means you can carry more stuff in truck.

So while we could step up to a 5er now, I don't really want to. The exception would be if we went to toy hauler, but that really puts me into a bigger truck, etc.
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:23 AM   #13
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I do not believe the Pilot line existed prior to this year, it was created to pickup the floorplans eliminated in the aviator line. the interiors in both lines seem to utilize all the same materials and electronics, which leads me to think they had a lot of materials on hand for the aviator line and had to do something with them, as far as I know the Aviator was the only line that used Sony products until the pilot line.
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