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Old 08-09-2012, 12:03 PM   #1
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Quality and durability of Flagstaff Classsic Super Lite 5ers

Hello all. New to the Forest River brand. Very interested in the rear kitchen Flagstaff Super Lite 5ers. I have owned a 2001 Arctic Fox 29-e 5er for approx. 5 years. looking to get something newer. I like the floor plan with the TV across from the sofa. It seems very hard to find this type of floorplan. How do they make these coaches so much liter than any other brand of the same length. Are they as durable as other coaches being so much liter? I would like to stay in the dry weight of 9,000lbs or less rating. These are way below that, but I question the construction and durability factor. Thank you.

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Old 08-09-2012, 12:23 PM   #2
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Location: Desert SW - Arizona
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Hi and welcome.

With a dry weight of 9,000lb plus 3,000 lbs stuff will get you into a full size 5th wheel.

My Ultralite was 6,800lb plus 2,000 lb stuff only got me up to 8,800 lbs behind my F-250. I sold my rig and now running a Georgetown motorhome.

When I had my Ultra lite 5th wheel I immediately noticed the light weight axles and the smalled cheap narrower tires and rims.
If you want to later upgrade your tires to something larger you can't without buying new rims as these rim are only rated at 55 psi and better tires are in the 60-80 psi range.

It is easy and light weight or short trips and no long term living as you will find that the floors are thin and flexable. Water, grey and black tanks are smaller than other.

Most of the rest is about the same, wall, windows, roof, AC and bed.
Contruction is still aluminum on a light weight flexable metal frame.

If you have a resonable truck with a good engine I'd compare this to a regular 5th wheel and compare what you get with a regular model.
To me the good axles weight (4K or more), suspension typre, frame strength and good quality tires will make you travel and sleeo better in the long run.

2012 Georgetown XL - 378TS 49,000 miles
(2013 - 98 days) (2014 - 117 days) (2015 - 67 days) (2016 - 115 days)
USAF Retired - MSgt

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Old 08-09-2012, 10:40 PM   #3
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Location: Lebanon MO
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I think after doing research that the frames on the lites are totally different and not always well constructed. Some have complained of weld seperation.
I did purchase a super lite. My next Rv will not be a super lite. Not that I have had problems. I have only owned it for three months. I did get a great deal on mine, so for now, I am happy with it.
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Old 08-11-2012, 03:44 AM   #4
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Location: Canada
Posts: 520
2011 831 RLBSS Flagstaff classic supelite.

Overall, we like the trailer. Looks nice and functions well for us.

However, I am disappointed with the quality of the components. Thin easily damaged panels, pastic everything faucets, water lines really thin and cheap, squeaks, creaks, moans, minimalist construction, rust breaking out all over and barely a year of light use, cheap common appliances and just generally doesn't deliver on the appearance of quality the trailer gives.

It's just over a year old and we're beginning to replace the cheap bits (ie; plastic faucets with actual faucets) with new pieces because they are either failing or are showing the wear of one year of light use.

It might be a bit more acceptable had we not paid so much for the unit. The asking price is too high for what you get.

They bill them as "superlite" and point to the plastic and thin components as weight savings schemes when I know damned well it's not about saving weight. It's about minimizing their production costs per unit and maximizing profit. That all this Chinese sourced crap (yes, Chinese crap, everything I've replaced for either failure or about to fail has had "made in china" stamped on it) is "lite" is a by product that they can use for marketing hype.

I didn't pay 35-40 grand for a unit that would require replacement parts after the first year.

That's crap no matter how you slice it.

Saying that price and construction is the same/similar/competitive for all the manufacturers just illustrates that they're all waaaay overpriced for what you get.

Would I buy another FR product?

Dunno, everybody seems to be making the same crap so I can't say yes or no because there doesn't seem to be a viable alternative product.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't......

2011 Flagstaff Classic Superlight 831RLBSS "Atrium slide"
Husky Centerline Hitch
1998 GMC Sierra SLE K2500 6.5 Turbo Diesel
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:55 AM   #5
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caddy, I assume you are talking about the 28-foot fifth wheel?
There are many things that make these campers lighter.
The frames are not true I-beams but are built out of three pieces of sheet metal welded into the shape of an I-beam. Much lighter, and much weaker.
The walls are only one inch thick, most others are at least 1.5 inches, and many are 2 inches thick. That means they are harder to heat/cool.
There are no rafters at all in the roof. It is just a sandwich of thin plywood over styrofoam. So don't jump on the roof!
There is no real plywood sheeting on the floor. Most campers have 5/8 or 3/4 inch flooring, the Flagstaff/Rockwood lightweights only use that thin "plywood"/styrofoam/ "plywood" sandwich again.
The axles are only 4000-lb rated, which would save a few pounds, but are the bare minimum. Some similar weight campers have 5000 lb axles.

So while these campers are indeed very nice to look at, there are compromises. I own one, and really like it, but that doesn't mean I won't tell you the truth.
Where we live, there are licencing restrictions that forced us to buy a lightweight. Without that, I would have bought a Sabre or another brand in that general dry weight range, but with a much higher GVWR. The Sabres have a full aluminum cage, and other brands have the thick walls and real I-beam frames.
If you are willing to go to a dry weight of 9000 lbs, you have lots to choose from, you don't have to compromise.
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