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Old 09-26-2009, 05:43 PM   #1
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Considering Sport 186

I'd like some input on the Surveyor Sport 186. I now have a Casita 17, which is a molded fiberglass camper. I have never owned a stick-built unit, but I have been told that some of them have problems with leaking at the seams. The molded fiberglass campers have only one seam, right around the middle where the top and bottom halves are joined.
I am considering the 186 because it offers more space than the Casita and more options (I believe I saw one with an oven at a recent camper show).
I'm hoping some of you on this site will help educate me about the 186, with any issues pro and con. I saw another thread that talked about problems with plastic gears in the jack. Is that a widespread problem, or just something that happened to a few people?
I understand that the roof is rubber, and I wondered what, if any, maintenance is required.
Let me say that I have never heard of a Surveyor leaking; I'm just asking about stick-builts in general. But if any of you have had a problem, I'd like to know. I'm also interested in your opinions on the genral build quality and fit and finish of the 186.
Thanks in advance for your help. I'm sure I will have more questions as my research phase continues.
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:01 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjones12 View Post
I'd like some input on the Surveyor Sport 186. I now have a Casita 17, which is a molded fiberglass camper. I have never owned a stick-built unit, but I have been told that some of them have problems with leaking at the seams. The molded fiberglass campers have only one seam, right around the middle where the top and bottom halves are joined.
I am considering the 186 because it offers more space than the Casita and more options (I believe I saw one with an oven at a recent camper show).
I'm hoping some of you on this site will help educate me about the 186, with any issues pro and con. I saw another thread that talked about problems with plastic gears in the jack. Is that a widespread problem, or just something that happened to a few people?
I understand that the roof is rubber, and I wondered what, if any, maintenance is required.
Let me say that I have never heard of a Surveyor leaking; I'm just asking about stick-builts in general. But if any of you have had a problem, I'd like to know. I'm also interested in your opinions on the genral build quality and fit and finish of the 186.
Thanks in advance for your help. I'm sure I will have more questions as my research phase continues.
The sticks on a Surveryor are 2 inch alum square tubing that is all welded. This is from thier web site.
Quote:
Welded, Aluminum framed, laminated roof with 3" block foam insulation (R14) & ducted A/C (25' and above travel trailers)
Welded, aluminum framed, laminated roof with 1-1/2" block foam insulation (R9) (Expandables and 24' and below travel trailers)
Welded, aluminum framed, laminated floor with 1-1/2" wall with 1-1/2" block foam insulation (R9)
Welded, aluminum framed, laminated floor with 1-1/2" block foam insulation (R9)
Hope this helps.
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:59 PM   #3
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Thank you. I guess I'm more interested in how the seams hold up against water. Also, I wonder if anyone has an opinion on the plastic tongue jack gears that were mentioned on another thread. I think a couple of guys indicated the gears were stripped or were binding. Do the larger Surveyors also have plastic gears, or is it just the smaller ones? Should this be a concern, or were these just isolated incidents I read about?
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:23 AM   #4
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I just recently purchased a 186 in August. I had the problem with the tongue gears stripping out. However I had planned on changing over to an electric jack this just caused me to do it sooner. In all fairness I have the Equalizer WD set up and have to jack up my tow vehicle as well as the camper to install the weight bars. This may have caused the problem. However I still think plastic gears are cheap. The new jack is rated at 3000lbs so it should not be an issue. As far as build quality I am happy so far. No leaks. However just like any camper I have had to address some trim issues. Another thing to be aware of is the Sport models do not have all the so called "Standard Options" of the regular surveyors. I learned this the hard way as the website does not spell out all the differences. Do not get me wrong I am still very happy with the camper, I just found the advertising to be a little misleading. Some of it is my own fault as I had not looked at a sport before I ordered a brand new one, I just assumed. Forest River also changed some of the standard options between 2009 & 2010. The sports used to come with stove & sink covers and an outside shower. Mine did not and from what I have seen no 2010 come with those options any longer. I have seen 2009 with them though. Basically what I am saying is the floor plan is exactly what my wife and I wanted and we are very happy with our purchase. Many manufactures offer this same floor plan but I went with the Surveyor based on a recommendation, research and I found a dealer who gave me a great price. As far as the rubber roof this is my first so no opinion yet. Every manufacture uses them. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:19 PM   #5
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Kegstealer: Thank you. That helps a lot. One question about the electric jack: What is the advantage of it other than saving you some manual labor? I mean, with the use of the electric jack, will it help keep the gears from stripping again? I'm not sure I understand how switching from manual to electric would solve the problem. Thanks again for your help. I'm sure there is a good answer that I'm just not thinking of.
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:14 PM   #6
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An electric jack is whole replacement unit, and like most things, there are good and bad, some have problems, some don't. As for plastic gear problems, that depends on the jack manufacturer as to what they make the gears out of. The jack will save labor, as stated, one must/should jack up the trailer coupled to the tow vehicle before they snap up the bars on a WD hitch. Makes things easier and safer. Since you may have to jack up trailer to get hitched up, then lower hitch on to the ball and couple, then jack everything up and snap the bars, then lower the jack again.
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:26 AM   #7
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As Windrider explained the electric jack replaces the whole unit. So the plastic gears on the stock unit go with it. Very easy to install with basic hand tools and one wire hook up. You are right, just saves a bit of labor when hitching and unhitching. The other nice feature that came with my electric jack is lighting on the unit. On the 186 there are no lights up front the extra lighting is great for hitching up in the dark.
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Old 10-01-2009, 04:27 PM   #8
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Windrider and Kegstealer: Thanks so much. That is exactly what I needed to know. I appreciate the help. Hope to talk to you again soon or see you on the road. I plan to look at a 186 Saturday at the Country Roads dealership. I saw it at the Greensboro RV show but didn't get to spend a lot of time with it or talk to a salesman. Still, I may have more questions later, and I am thankful for the nice people on this forum and the expertise they are willing to share.
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