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Old 06-14-2015, 06:39 PM   #1
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195BH vs 241QBXL vs 261BHXL

Hey guys, As i mentioned in my welcome post My Wife, 3 Kids and Myself are looking at purchasing our first Camper. We have looked around at different makes and models for about a little over a year and I feel as it is the time to venture out and just pull the trigger on a camper.....(i'm a overthinker).

Our Vehicles are:
2012 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ AWD V6 3.16 Gears (5200 lbs Towing Capacity)
1985 Chevy C10 4.3 V6, TH400 Trans, 2.73 Gears (weekend truck)

Our Budget: $15k

Our needs:
I want a camper that will last, (Especially while the kids grow)
Carry Our Parents if They would like to go
Pull decent with the vehicles we have
overall being safe while traveling

Destination:
We live outside of Charleston SC, And would mostly camp around the south. Maybe the most furthest trip would be Disney World.......Maybe.
With this being said, We have physically looked at the all three models listed, I want to get the most bang for the buck however be safe while traveling.

195BH - We like the Room, We Hate the Room. We like the Bunks and could sleep 6 like a sardine can. I see upgrades if we purchased this one, however I hate that the campers GVWR is @ 3900lbs and The UVW is @ 3000lbs. Seems like just with the family, Tanks and some stuff that would fill up rather quickly!

241QBXL- We like that is has more room, however it doesn't sleep as much and there is no bunks. We like the power options(jack, awning, stabilizers) She likes the Fridge being larger, and the bathroom sink but there is no Tub/Shower combo for "bath" time. With the UVW @ 4400 I think I just curious is that too much strain for either vehicle especially if we load anything into it.

261BHXL - We like that it has the most room and will sleep 6-8 head, However its 26' long overall length and might be a bit too much for our vehicles even tho its in range of UVW and the size of our vehicles. The bunks are perfect, the amount of room is awesome. Really No negatives other than being curious if our vehicles will do the job.

With this being said, I'm asking for all Suggestions Positive or Negative since this is our first.

Thanks Ryan
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:42 PM   #2
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Have you looked at the 26tbud by salem. Still a FR product. I think the weight is close to the 26bhxl. But the 26tbud has triple bunks! Not sure of the price though.
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:46 PM   #3
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Our daughter bought a 26tbud early this summer

It was $16k something
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:51 PM   #4
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Depending on your cargo load I can say we had the 262bhxl with a 1998 f150 4x4 5.4l v8. We added a weight distribution hitch, air bags and found it was an easy pull on the highway until high winds or passing big rigs. Hills on the other hand were an issue. With 2 adults, 8 year old, bikes and a dog it felt as if we wouldn't make some of them. Most of the time the truck was running in 2k range for RPMs. We ended up upgrading to a super duty for the comfort of towing. Just because they claim half ton towable doesn't mean it's going to be a fun tow


SK2 Camping Crew
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Old 06-15-2015, 02:08 PM   #5
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I have the 2014 261BHXL. I think you're fine with your heaviest puller. It's lightweight but I wouldn't load it down. I bought a 1500 Ram Hemi to pull it, which is rated way more than necessary. I did that so for future upgrades. We really like it. The previous owner had it a year before deciding he couldn't keep up with payments.

We have 2 little ones who love the bunks. And, our folks have stayed the night once. We gave them our queen bed and slept on the couch. The couch isn't great, but I've slept on worse (ie: sleeping bag in tent).

We like it, but we see where we'll upgrade in about 5 or so years to something more luxurious and with slideouts. Slideouts will add weight, so be wary.

Previous owner pulled it with his Nissan Armada, but I believe that was rated for 8k Lbs. Do some research. If it can pull the weight, why not? Just make sure it's rated for it.
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:33 PM   #6
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I'm a newbie too, but wanted to say we have the Salem 195bh, with just one 3 year old. I can't see that being a good option with 3 kids, not sure of you age range but you will outgrow it fast. Yes the tub is great for bathtime, but sleeping would jut be too cramped.

Look around I'm know you can find something that will fit your family, the salem is the same as the wildwood just different decal and decor.
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Old 06-15-2015, 04:42 PM   #7
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We have the 241qbxl. It will sleep 6! Queen bed, sleeper sofa and dinette makes a bed also. We pull it with a 2005 Chevy Tahoe z71 with 3.73 gearing pulls great except for steeper sections of highway.
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Old 06-15-2015, 06:18 PM   #8
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We have a 2014 BHXL, Found quite a few minor problems with it, it was in the shop 8 weeks the first year. All minor stuff, put a pain in the rear in any case. The queen sized bed is for shorter folks, Note the length of it. I am 6' and my feet almost hang off the end. The other thing that I was surprised at was that there is no under floor insulation. I am in the process of installing 2" foam on the undercarriage. I tow with a 1995 C-20 1/2 ton Van with a small V8 I use a weight dist. hitch. I plan on air-shocks soon. I am dumbfounded how much better the 26' trailer tows than the Coleman Niagara I had before. I have made numerous modifications and plan more. See my post under "what did you do on your camper today".
What ever you get make sure that the floor is sealed to keep mice and other critters out. The BHXL has ready access for them in under the tub. As I found out when after one of the 2 week service visits presented us and our cat with a new pet.
Good luck!
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Old 06-21-2015, 10:13 AM   #9
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Ok Guys, So we now have a 2016 Forest River Salem 261BHXL. We traveled to Opileka Alabama yesterday to pick it up. Our local camping worlds told us there was no mark up in campers.....pshhhh. These guys had the lowest price advertisement that I could find. We pulled it with my dads 02 sierra and it did the job. I will probably create a new thread for mods. Thanks for all your inputs!

I bought it at www.columbuscampercenter.com
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Old 06-21-2015, 08:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfenters View Post
Ok Guys, So we now have a 2016 Forest River Salem 261BHXL. We traveled to Opileka Alabama yesterday to pick it up. Our local camping worlds told us there was no mark up in campers.....pshhhh. These guys had the lowest price advertisement that I could find. We pulled it with my dads 02 sierra and it did the job. I will probably create a new thread for mods. Thanks for all your inputs!



I bought it at www.columbuscampercenter.com

So what did u think of the dealer? We bought our 195BH from them two years ago
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