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Old 08-11-2014, 07:02 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Central Indiana
Posts: 285
New Solaire owner

Hi all from Central Indiana,
Just got the first weekend under our belts in our new Solaire 269BHDSK. It still seems like there are not that many posts out there about this model so I thought I'd share our experiences so far.
First, by way of background, we are former tent campers (pre-kids) who have spent the last 10 years in a Coachmen Clipper 1270ST pop-up. It gave us great service and while we were sad to see it go, we were ready for a real bathroom, better climate control, and a bit more space.
So, after 2+ years of looking/researching, we finally got serious this summer and took the plunge. We were able to get a new 2013 unit from our local dealer for a really good price (had been on their lot nearly 12 months).
We are towing with a 2013 RAM 1500 quad cab with 5.7L Hemi, 3.55 rear end, 4x4, 6 speed auto. We also found a used ProPride hitch on line and got it for about 50% off new price. It has 1,400 lb lift towers on it.

Quick rundown of our first weekend:
1. We LOVE the trailer. Looked for a shorter bunk bed floorplan with a separate queen bedroom, and this fit the bill. With the opposing slides, it feels like a much larger unit on the inside.
2. Quality issues - a couple of very minor things - a couple of pieces of loose trim that need a dab of wood glue to stay in place, and a couple of staples that either need pounded in or pulled/replaced.
3. Warranty issues - we'll be taking her back to the dealer this fall to replace the LED light strip in the awning (several elements are burned out), and to replace the counter in the outdoor kitchen (got wet at some point and swelled).
4. We got the second year factory warranty ($150) so we are feeling confident that despite sitting for a year on the lot we should end up with a good unit that will serve us well.
5. The RAM has rear coil springs which are causing more rear end squat than I'd hoped for. We are well under payload capacity, so it isn't a matter of overloading the vehicle. We are seeing 5" of drop in the rear and 1-1.5" of rise in the front of the truck. I suspect I need to further adjust the WD bars and/or the angle of the ProPride stinger, plus I may need to investigate replacing the stock coils with a heavier set and/or adding airbags. Any input/suggestions on this would be welcomed!
6. We love the ProPride hitch. It is a bit intimidating at first (at least compared to the simplicity of hooking up our former pop-up), but we practiced hooking/unkooking several times in the driveway and had no issues on our maiden voyage. I'm new to a full size TT, but have towed many other things in the past and thus am very familiar with sway. Gotta tell you - there just isn't any sway with this hitch. Works exactly as described and we are glad we spent the extra $$ on it.

So, with all that said, we're anxiously planning a couple more trips for this fall before our season closes, and looking forward to really getting to know our new home away from home.


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Old 08-11-2014, 09:07 PM   #2
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Terier's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 8,737
Welcome to FRF! And congrats on your Solaire too.

Many of us started off with tenting camping before upgrading. I only made it through a few campouts before I brought my TT. I love tent camping but wasn't so good at it. No sooner did I zipped it all up and got comfortable that I realize I needed something from inside or out of the tent.

Happy Camping!
Great choice for "Living within my means" and camping for one...

2011 Salem Cruise Lite 20RBXL & 2011 Toyota Tundra Dbl Cab
Camping History: 45 Trips / 133 Nights / 3736 Miles
FRF Social Group: Campers of the West
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