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Old 09-19-2016, 02:36 PM   #1
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Salem Cruise Light 261BHXL

Salem 261 BHXL owners:
Hey all I just picked one up but haven't taken it out yet. Any insight? Comments? Things to look for? What is your Tow Vehicle?
Thanks
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:22 AM   #2
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I got mine in July. I use a 2012 Ram 1500 quad cab with 4.7 V8. I have taken it over the Cascades to Mt Baker and to around here in the desert highlands. My truck pulls it at 65mph no problem uphill or down. What bothers me on mine is the roof covering is not tight. It actually is lifted along the edges like a big air bubble is underneath. Also, the gray water tank is tiny. The black water tank is okay, and I try to use the campground facilities, but the wife and kids use the camper more often than not. The shower is not too bad. The fridge takes a day to cool down, and if you use the curtain to hide the queen bed you block the cold air coming from the AC. The construction is decent, but you can tell it is built with 2x2's. It uses common sized trailer tires too. Overall I really like my 261BHXL because it is traditional and there is nothing really noteworthy about it. No slides to break, no exotic materials, and simple systems. Lots of cabinet space too.
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Old 10-03-2016, 02:38 PM   #3
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Congrats on your purchase. This is such a great budget trailer that seems to get slammed alot in the forums (not so much here on the FS Forums).
I will echo russjbecks comments on construction but heck, we know that going in. You can pay twice as much and not get twice the quality.
We purchased ours for 14k back in February. 5000 miles, six states and 58 nights of camping later it miraculously didn't fall apart or even come close. We tow with a Ram 1500 with the 5.7 which does just fine. A bit of a workout in the mountain states but that's probably due to 3.55 rear end.
A couple of things to watch for. It's really low! Watch the sewer outlet on inclines including driveways. New larger wheels might help that issue. Power stabilizers are great but even after some tightening up they don't really provide great stability when camping. Maybe try one of the many wheel chock options to help that. Queen mattress is not great, we bought a new one. No USB plugs, we added our own.
I don't mean to be insensitive to the folks that have had some problems with these trailers. They're not perfect and I hope for the folks that have had issues, they can get them resolved or maybe just tinker a bit to fix yourself if that's possible. That's part of the fun of camping right!
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Old 10-04-2016, 03:52 PM   #4
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I will be taking mine out in two weeks for the first run. Some things I noted so far... I agree with the low profile. I scraped the skid bars pulling out of the storage lot. It was an incline but not a drastic one. Luckily there is another exit without the slope.


Limited outdoor storage. I am looking in to add a storage box on the back bumper. I thought it was crazy FR did not include any charging stations other than the one designated for a television. I added a dual (12 volt/double usb) charging receptacle on each side of the queen bed next to the night stands. Wired through the pass through to the primary junction block on the frame, under the front.
Added a 12 volt 28" LED TV to the wall above the dinette.
I didn't like having one group 24 battery for my only power source. You know there is no room to add a battery to the trailer tongue. I added two group 29 reserve batteries to quick connect plugs wired to a selector switch. I mounted two battery boxes to a moving cart. When I get to my destination I drop the batteries in the boxes hook them together and plug in. This makes it easy to remove them for transport to my home for maintenance/charging as the trailer stays in storage.
I tow with a 2005 F-150 5.4 and will be climbing in the mountains this trip. From the sound of other owners this should tow fine even in the mountain grades.
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:24 PM   #5
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picked-up mine about 2 months ago only problems I have had is hot water line from tank was too long & would kink. the skylight above the bath tube would leak with heavy rain. both problems were taken care of at the dealer. over all really like this trailer. towing with a 2009 f-150 4x4 with the 5.4.
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Old 10-17-2016, 09:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbreeze21 View Post
I will be taking mine out in two weeks for the first run. Some things I noted so far... I agree with the low profile. I scraped the skid bars pulling out of the storage lot. It was an incline but not a drastic one. Luckily there is another exit without the slope.


Limited outdoor storage. I am looking in to add a storage box on the back bumper. I thought it was crazy FR did not include any charging stations other than the one designated for a television. I added a dual (12 volt/double usb) charging receptacle on each side of the queen bed next to the night stands. Wired through the pass through to the primary junction block on the frame, under the front.
Added a 12 volt 28" LED TV to the wall above the dinette.
I didn't like having one group 24 battery for my only power source. You know there is no room to add a battery to the trailer tongue. I added two group 29 reserve batteries to quick connect plugs wired to a selector switch. I mounted two battery boxes to a moving cart. When I get to my destination I drop the batteries in the boxes hook them together and plug in. This makes it easy to remove them for transport to my home for maintenance/charging as the trailer stays in storage.
I tow with a 2005 F-150 5.4 and will be climbing in the mountains this trip. From the sound of other owners this should tow fine even in the mountain grades.
First - congrats on your new Cruise Lite! I brought a different CL unit 6 years and still very happy with it.

Adding almost anything to the bumper could void the warranty so I would recommend doing some research first. Some of the bumpers are made up of light weight material that can bend easily.

Good luck and happy camping!
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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 10-17-2016, 11:26 PM   #7
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I bought mine new in April for $16k. Six months and approximately 6000 miles later, I still love it. It's a lot of trailer for the money. I have had some minor issues that needed to be dealt with (who doesn't?), and the fit and finish isn't the greatest, but it has been a good first trailer for my family. I do not regret my choice at all. Bigger and more expensive RV just means bigger and more expensive problems to fix IMO.
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