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Old 10-14-2016, 11:27 PM   #1
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Looking for opinions on light weight trailer purchase

Hello there!
My wife and I are in the final stages of choosing a travel trailer RV, our first! It is just the two of us and our two small dogs, the children have all left the nest, and there are no grand children on the horizon.Our search started two-years ago in upstate New York, and due to a change of employment, has continued to Oregon and Idaho…
We have narrowed our search down to a “final three” (depending on how one chooses to count):
R-Pod 179/180
Rockwood Mini-Lite 1905 / Flagstaff Micro-Lite 19FD
Apex Nano 187RB
The Winnebago Micro Minnie 1706RB has been off and on in the running, but it is not really relevant to this forum; however if someone wishes to offer an opinion on it as well, it will be welcomed!
Our tow vehicle for the foreseeable future is a 2009 GMC 1500 Sierra Truck with a 4.8L with a tow capacity of 5500#, and then applying the 80% rule leaves 4400#.
We are looking at primarily camping in the Pacific North-West, but have dreams, friends, and family beyond the region…
Most of our camping will probably be conducted at established campgrounds, but given the options available, camping off the grid may also happen from time to time.
Our key criteria has been weight, with quality, reliability, features, innovation, and reputation being part of a balanced mix relative to cost, dealers available, etc.
We would appreciate hearing your thoughts, experiences, etc.
Thanking you in advance – Dale & Lou Ann Winke
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:04 AM   #2
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We are new owners this season of a Micro Lite 23FB and we have had a blast camping this year and already making plans for next!
Very pleased with our ML, no issues at all.
Would not hesitate to buy one again.
The Rockwood or Micro Lite would get my vote, we also searched many similar small trailers like you are looking at and I kept going back to the ML.
I will say I was interested in the Winnebago but not having a local dealer steered me away (did look at a few in a RV show, very nice).
This is our first trailer so I wanted a local dealer for my own piece of mind.
Happy searching!
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:25 AM   #3
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Send a message via Yahoo to bob caldwell
There's a Rockwood dealer here in Vancouver, Wash.
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:48 AM   #4
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I would vote no for the Rpod and Nano.
IMHO, they're fine for weekend or short trips.
But not for extended trips.

It's also just the two of us and we've had our 24' HTT for 10 years.
The Rpod and Nano would be way too small for us.

Have you actually been inside a Rpod or Nano?
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Old 10-15-2016, 07:05 AM   #5
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I think the previous advice is great. Just to provide a counter point, we recently downsized from larger campers to an r-pod and we couldn't be happier. We primarily do weekend trips but we have the 183g which has very literally no room inside. We have some issues with the camper and I still love the thing.

The 180 and 179 both have far more room. I have heard of some trading their 179 for a 180, never the other way, but just depends on what is important. That said listen to Bikendan's advice. I doubt any camper is traded in quickly more often than r-pods because people underestimate how small they are in real world use and just get caught up in show room bliss. I am now a podder for life but I was able to own other models and figure out what was important to me in my camping style.
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Old 10-15-2016, 02:43 PM   #6
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We did not like the class a and decided to downsize to TT. It was 28' with 1 slide. It worked just ok for weekends. After the 2 full week it was 4 months old and traded on the current 35' 5er which is 3' shorter than the previous 5er. Not saying to go that big, just to watch how small you go. Just 2 of us and a small dog but realized this is as small as we are comfortable.
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Old 10-15-2016, 03:02 PM   #7
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We bought a Rockwood Mini Lite last year and enjoyed it and had no problems with it. Realized that it was going to be two small and uncomfortable for longer than 8 to 10 trips. Upgraded this year to a 32 5er by another brand, an Open Range Light 5er. WOW, what a difference in storage and comfort. Just got back from a 5 week, 3800 mile trip and have no second thoughts about the decision to upgrade or on the brand choice.
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:10 PM   #8
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We got the mini lite 1905 this year. We looked at the r-Pod as a serious option but decided that the 1905 had a number of attributes that made it the preferred choice. The r-pod is 7 feet wide and the 1905 is 8 ft. The extra foot makes a big difference as do the upright walls instead of the teardrop shape. We also love the Murphy bed because it makes day use much more pleasant. The bed is also accessible from both sides. The stove with 3 burners and oven is an attractive upgrade over the r-pod, which only has has a 2-burner. The fit and finish seemed better to us as well. Finally, having a dry bathroom with a nice cabinet really appealed to us.

Our model has the double bunk beds, which is useful given that we have have two grandsons. We noted that the new model has more cabinets above the dinette that should work well for you.
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:44 PM   #9
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We have the Flagstaff Micro Lite and love ours. The Rockwood and Flagstaff are made exactly the same, just the colors used inside are different. We went with the Flagstaff because it was priced a little less than the Rockwood (different dealers). Happy camping for whatever you choose!
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:40 PM   #10
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Some answers and expansion...

First of all I would like to thank all of you who have responded thus far…
To give you some additional background and to answer the questions that have been asked:
So as noted in my opening, my wife and I started this journey a little over two years ago. When we started we were living on essentially the east coast, in Baldwinsville NY.We visited dealers in and around Syracuse, Buffalo, Albany, down the Hudson River towards NYC as well as a couple dealers in Massachusetts.In the fall of 2014 we visited the BIG RV Show in Hersey – it was interesting but way too hot and way too crowded to do anything but glance at this that and the other thing.
Moving west to La Grande Oregon; we have visited dealerships in La Grande, the Portland Metro area (Rockwood dealer in Vancover WA), the Tri-cities in Washington, and Western Idaho (Boise, Meridian, Nampa). While traveling around the west we also visited dealers in Sacramento.And then there is of course the internet – MASSIVE KUDOS to Joshua Winters at Haylett RVs in Coldwater MI.There are several dealerships that post informative videos, but Josh sets the bar!If you haven’t seen his videos, I highly recommend taking the time…
So, have we been in R-Pods and Nanos – absolutely. I think the list of what we have not seen, or have not been in would be the shorter of the two lists!
So as you know, we’re down to the Micro/Mini Lites, the R-Pods, and the Apex Nanos.
The R-Pods were a focus of interest, well, because they’re R-Pods. My wife did not like green, and the lack of an awning – so with the 2017-1/2 models, they’re back in play.To me the key drivers were weight, and relative simplicity.The 179 has a great kitchen arrangement with good storage; the 180, the full bath.We like the clean lines and the general décor and finish.
The Micro/Mini Lites – they are a full package and they feel like home, call it cozy, call it efficient, call it intelligent. In a way they are almost like an R-Pod but on steroids with some addition luxury thrown in.We like the Murphy bed – it makes sense!Who needs a bed during the day – stow it.During our looking for a unit, we were relatively neutral on slide-outs.It seems the Murphy negates the need for the slider, and simplifies the unit and obviously helps with the weight of the unit.The idea of replacing the bunk above the dinette with storage in our book is also a potential winner, so it will be interesting to see that come out officially.
The Nano honestly came as an afterthought. We were essentially down to two/three makes/models when out of the corner of our eye we spotted the Nano 193BHS – bunks, not interested, however the elegant simplicity of the unit and the potentially rot free Azdel construction material was an attention getter!So looking through their other floor plans, we came up with the 187RB.We have heard that Apex may be optioning a Murphy in some of their models – that could potentially swing the tide.In short, we see the Apex falling between the Micro/Minis and the R-Pods.
A note on dealers – having been to so many, it is amazing the variety and the spectrum covered. From mom and pop, bare minimum operations, storefronts dealers that (perhaps unfairly) give the impression that at any given moment they could be gone, to some massively impressive operations.As for the salespeople – we’ve also met the lot, from the “take your time and come see us if you have questions” to the “swimming in a tank of sharks with a massive, bleeding cut”!And as unbelievable as it may be, there were dealerships that we slipped into and out of where no one said a word to us – at times, my wife’s favorite.
Well, this turned into way more than I expected, but there you go…
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