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Old 02-27-2012, 10:12 PM   #1
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Sport vs. Select suspension

I'm wondering about the suspension on the SP280/other Sport models. Any reason the Sport models come with leaf springs and only the Select come with Torsion suspension? After owning trailers with both types the Torsion seems to give a smoother ride. Will we be able to tell a difference between towing a Sport model vs. a Select model? We've got a Rockwood Roo now and love the way it tows and we've had a great experience with Forest River so far. We need to keep the weight under 4500-4800 lbs so the SP280 and SP260 have really caught my eye.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:53 PM   #2
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Well, since you've towed both kinds, you are probably more qualified to answer your own question than any of us on the forum!!

We have the torsion suspension on our Surveyor and all I can say is that I love the way it tows. I also think you get slightly better towing mileage because they sit a good 18" lower than almost any other trailer.

Good luck with your decision. Happy camping.
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:33 AM   #3
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[QUOTE=acadianbob;165018they sit a good 18" lower than almost any other trailer.QUOTE]

That's probably the exact reason the Sport is only available on leaf springs, I would expect the sport model is built to handle the back roads and unimproved roads which would need the higher clearence.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:18 AM   #4
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Bob makes a great point that is often overlooked. The trailer sits much lower, thus a little less "sail" effect.

I believe the "sports" are at a lower start point (with less content), at least in my area. That's not to say that the sport isn't a great trailer. From what I understand, torsion suspension is more costly, it may be the biggest reason it isn't in the sport.

I've followed all kinds of trailers traveling on highways, the biggest thing I notice is the bounce associated with a leaf spring suspension, especially in smaller utility trailers. You won't drive your truck without shocks, why are trailers any different? Better dealers will install or offer shocks for leaf spring setups.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:07 PM   #5
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We have a 2011 SP260 and tow it using a 2004 F150 and Equalizer hitch and it tows great. I've never had any sway or excessive bounce. Even in higher winds I've never had an issue. We love ours.
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:28 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for your responses. Its interesting that Rockwood has placed the Torsion suspension on all of their Roos/Shamrocks but Surveyor is keeping leaf springs on the Sport models. We have definitely noticed a difference going from our old Starcraft with leaf springs to the Roo back in 2008.

I do need some clearance in the rear for our driveway and it did look like the SP280/SP260 might sit-up a bit higher in the back with leaf springs when compared to the SV291 with Torsion.

Bob-how do you like your 235RKS? That is another model we have looked at and I really like the compact size which is very comparable to our 233 Roo. Our big concern with it is not having access to the kitchen table and couch while traveling along with what seems to be lack of storage/closet space inside. Its too bad Surveyor doesn't extend "up" the wardrobe by the front bunks/door all the way to the ceiling for more space like Jayco and Keystone do. It doesn't make sense to me.

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Old 02-29-2012, 11:40 AM   #7
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Bob-how do you like your 235RKS? That is another model we have looked at and I really like the compact size which is very comparable to our 233 Roo. Our big concern with it is not having access to the kitchen table and couch while traveling along with what seems to be lack of storage/closet space inside. Its too bad Surveyor doesn't extend "up" the wardrobe by the front bunks/door all the way to the ceiling for more space like Jayco and Keystone do. It doesn't make sense to me.

Andy
Hey Andy. Well, you "pegged" the 235RKS pretty well. Storage is a little short for clothing and not a lot of floor space on a rainy day with kids. The table and couch is a non-issue for us because it is so easy to run the slide out. Electric and takes but a minute. BUT, we love our 235. Lots space to store things though where the bunks are in front; bikes, telescope, dog kennel, you name it. And very compact for the features; easy to tow; light weight. We chose this model primarily because we go to a lot of "out of the way" National Forest Service campgrounds. Rough roads, tight turns, smaller sites; so this trailer is perfect for the 2 of us and our 2 little dogs. Been to a lot of beautiful places where a bigger trailer would never have made it.

Happy camping man.
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:44 AM   #8
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Andy, for what it is worth, here is another reason I like torsion suspension. It essentially gives you independent suspension. When one side smacks something, the other side of the same axle is undisturbed; resulting in a more stable tow. With leaf spring, one side effects the other.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by acadianbob

Hey Andy. Well, you "pegged" the 235RKS pretty well. Storage is a little short for clothing and not a lot of floor space on a rainy day with kids. The table and couch is a non-issue for us because it is so easy to run the slide out. Electric and takes but a minute. BUT, we love our 235. Lots space to store things though where the bunks are in front; bikes, telescope, dog kennel, you name it. And very compact for the features; easy to tow; light weight. We chose this model primarily because we go to a lot of "out of the way" National Forest Service campgrounds. Rough roads, tight turns, smaller sites; so this trailer is perfect for the 2 of us and our 2 little dogs. Been to a lot of beautiful places where a bigger trailer would never have made it.

Happy camping man.
Bob has summed it it pretty well. The space was never an issue for our family (2 kids, 2 adults), but the lack of storage was. I took care of most of that last summer, I did exactly what you said and extended the wardrobe to the ceiling, along with a few other tricks! The 1/2 door and storage space when the bunk is folded will fit all of our bikes and more. The only real knock I have is that the bed is 74" long and obviously not walk around. Compact over convenience I guess.
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:03 AM   #10
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We have a few questions for you guys with the 235 RKS rear slide. Can you climb on the bed when the slide is "in"? I've seen some posts, I think by owners of the Keystone Outback, that they have been told to stay off the bed when it is stored inside the camper. And what about packing up at camp after any rain, etc? Do you have to dry off the slide before retracting it? Seems like you could end up getting water inside because your stowing the slide over your dinette and couch.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:07 PM   #11
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We have a few questions for you guys with the 235 RKS rear slide. Can you climb on the bed when the slide is "in"? I've seen some posts, I think by owners of the Keystone Outback, that they have been told to stay off the bed when it is stored inside the camper. And what about packing up at camp after any rain, etc? Do you have to dry off the slide before retracting it? Seems like you could end up getting water inside because your stowing the slide over your dinette and couch.
Andy, you can get in the bed with the slide in; no problem. I do that when I sleep in the trailer at our hobby farm, and we do it camping if it gets super cold; don't HAVE to but it is easier to heat that way. Capacity of the bed is 1,000 pounds in or out.

Yes, you could get a little bit of water in the trailer if you pull the slide in with water on top of it. Not much as it does a "big tilt" on the way in and nearly all of the water runs off; just a few dribbles. That being said, I always have a step stool along and we have a mop for the floor, so I just run the mop over the top of the slide; takes the water off and cleans the surface at the same time. Seems like there is always a little debris on top too. I suppose that you could always use one of those slide covers; but personally I don't see the need.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:45 PM   #12
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just a note about rear bed slides and slidetoppers.

i've yet to see any slidetopper made for such a model.
i've seen lots of posts asking about one but all the answers state that they don't exist.
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:57 PM   #13
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just a note about rear bed slides and slidetoppers.

i've yet to see any slidetopper made for such a model.
i've seen lots of posts asking about one but all the answers state that they don't exist.
HA! Didn't know that!
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy F
We have a few questions for you guys with the 235 RKS rear slide. Can you climb on the bed when the slide is "in"? I've seen some posts, I think by owners of the Keystone Outback, that they have been told to stay off the bed when it is stored inside the camper. And what about packing up at camp after any rain, etc? Do you have to dry off the slide before retracting it? Seems like you could end up getting water inside because your stowing the slide over your dinette and couch.
We have slept on our bed in and out, the kids like to play on the bed with the slide in also... As far as drying the slide off, i have finally bought a telescoping ladder (start of last summer) and a car wash brush (the extending type) to remove any crap and water on the roof. A friend reminded me of closing the slide with acorns and crap might not be a best practice (sounded like he was talking from personal experience). Call me anal but I clean the slide roof every time. I've thought about making my own cover with marine vinyl and some snaps but mostly because the rain keeps me awake at night!
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:20 AM   #15
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Thanks guys. I was going to ask about slide toppers for a rear slide but I forgot. I didn't think about the rain hitting the top of the slide at night when your in bed. I wonder if its louder than sleeping under canvas as the rain hits it. Thanks again for all the insights. My wife and I continue to ponder if we'll be making a move this spring or if we'll stay with our Roo for a few more years. Our tow vehicle is paid for so any RV purchase/changes would have to fall under our current tow limit of 6200 pounds.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:58 PM   #16
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I think rain noise is substantial and inevitable no matter what configuration one has.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:16 AM   #17
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We first picked out an SP-280 and I was just about to make a deal for it. I took DeeDee to see it and she saw the SV-264... and... as they say... the rest is history!
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:48 PM   #18
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We went out looking at campers and ended up jumping over to Keystone and bought a Bullet 281BHS. It has the leaf spring suspension but in the wide-stance axle set-up. The towing and ride is smoother than our Roo which we sold on CraigsList. We're very happy and I have to say the quality of the Bullet is equal to or a bit beyond that of the Rockwood Roo.
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