When I asked around about brands I got no strait answers - it was all 'just go look and judge for yourself' as if I were an engineer or QC expert or something. Why so many brands was one thing I wanted to know and have yet to get an answer.
My concern was construction quality - almost all use the same appliances, windows, are built in the same place and often different brands on the same line by the same folks/management. I found very little difference in the structure from brand to brand, once you get past what the salesman tell you (or don't).
We got a Cherokee Grey River, a less expensive model/line/brand from FR. After using it a few nights we found out why is was cheaper (and lighter) - not a big deal but at no point did any salesman (at 5 different dealers) point out such differences - perhaps we'd have bought a $5000 more expensive trailer had we known what we know now.
Little things - like light switches. They are only on the lights on the ceiling, not on the walls. Who cares? My 5' tall wife and the kids do. There are places for doors and drawers that are just blanked off - a mod I can do if I so choose, but it'd be nice to have a few of them as storage spaces.
Our water heater is manual light gas only. Auto light and elec would have been nice. Had we ordered ours that might have been on the option list.
Many of these details you only find out after you own it. The salesman talked about construction, warranties, windows, cabinet construction (ok, ours isn't solid wood, so what? It's not in our house either...). We noticed better trailer got better mattresses on the beds but for the 3 weeks a year we'll use it I can 'suffer' along as can the kids. Hey, it's a lot better than sleeping on rocky lumpy ground in a tent, right?
I didn't get into the axle and tire bit and hope everything is good. My father in law had issues years ago with a camper were all the heavy stuff was on one side so the tires on just that side were overloaded.
I'm sure as you spend more money you get better grades of cloth and vinyl and carpet, but if we use it 3 weeks a year for 10 years that's only 6 months of real use and even the cheapest goods last that long.
The only issues we've noticed with ours is the vent hose ffrom the freshwater tank wasn't installed at all and after a couple of nights camping I had to tighten the drains under the bathroom sink, but I'd been warned to check things as bumping down the road can loosen almost anything at any time. We had some issues with water pressure on the kitchen sink our first night but that has since worked itself out.
Jill & Chris, Wills (15) Evie (13) & Toby our collie (6)
2011 Grey Wolf 28BH
2013 Chevy K1500 Crew w/ Reese StraitLine Dual Cam
Nights camped 2011: 11 2012: 18 2013: 12 2014: 12 2015: 13 2016: 36