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Old 05-22-2014, 04:05 PM   #1
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Really really new to all this

Planning on retiring in 6 months. Started by looking at the Rockwood Mini-Lite 1809S. Then got serious about a 2109S... Now am getting serious about the 2503S. What has caused the interest in a larger Mini-Lite? Is that I bought a truck with more towing capacity. My literature says 9100 lbs. I called GM and they said 8100 based on my VIN. I have the heavy duty suspension optition and factory towing package including the 3.73 gearing.

Now some questions. What is the life expectancy of a Mini-Lite? Does indoor storage preserve the life. Are most RV centers procificent at winterizing for outdoor storage? I live in the greater St. Louis area. So we have summer heat and cold winters.

Will the floor stand more than occasional use...

How does the vaccm-bonded laminated construction do in the real world. I had an old Explorer Motor Home and am not impressed with stick builds with aluminum siding and batten insulation.

The new construction seems a lot sturdier.

Please educate me. I am early in the decision process.
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Old 05-22-2014, 04:24 PM   #2
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1. What GM truck? 2500 3500?
2. What engine does it have?
3. 3.73 gear is generally good for all around driving.
4. If you have a 3500 GM with heavy duty suspension and tow package I would worry about the weight but you have to look at the Dry weight and the Gross Weight.
If it was 9,100 lbs MAX Weight which includes stuff I see no reason why your truck couldn't pull it.
Good Luck
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Old 05-22-2014, 04:46 PM   #3
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Actually none of the above. Since this is my daily driver I went with a "heavy half"
That is why we still looking in the mini-lite line.
Here is a link to the trailer specifics.
Mini Lite Travel Trailer by Forest River

Gross Trailer Weight is around 6100 LBS. Planning on an equalizer hitch and a brake controller. No crossing the Rockies is planned. Empty trailer weight around 4400 lbs. on the actual units I have looked at.
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Old 05-22-2014, 05:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by inspireart View Post

Now some questions. What is the life expectancy of a Mini-Lite? Does indoor storage preserve the life. Are most RV centers procificent at winterizing for outdoor storage? I live in the greater St. Louis area. So we have summer heat and cold winters.

Will the floor stand more than occasional use...

How does the vaccm-bonded laminated construction do in the real world. I had an old Explorer Motor Home and am not impressed with stick builds with aluminum siding and batten insulation.

The new construction seems a lot sturdier.

Please educate me. I am early in the decision process.
The easy one first - indoor storage is by a mile, the best thing you can do to preserve your RV. The sun and the elements take a toll. Most of us don't have that luxury, but it makes a huge difference.

Yes, any RV dealer should have no problem properly winterizing your unit. And the better dealers will let you watch their tech do it, so you learn how to do it yourself in the future if you want to.

I don't think the floor will have any issues with frequent use, and the laminated side walls seem to hold up fairly well. Granted, there are always a few "lemons" regardless of manufacturer, but as a rule, the wall and floor should be free of issue for many years. I like the smooth fiberglass over the ribbed metal for looks and ease of cleaning, but either is OK. Trailers are built to be light weight and reasonably inexpensive - so within that realm, they are reasonably sturdy - but you'll never mistake one for a brick house.

Just as a rough guess - I would say a typical trailer should last more than 10 years without major issues. After that, it really depends on how well it was maintained. Some older rv's are in great shape for a lot longer. Others looked whipped and have major problems. But for sure, with older units you will have more maintenace.

Good luck in your search. We love our Rockwood Roo, and the Mini-lites and Ultra-lites have many happy owners on here as well.
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Old 05-22-2014, 06:19 PM   #5
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We've got an old '97 (I think) Dutchmen pop-up camper that we've taken relatively good care of, and it still holds up quite well. It's never been stored out of the elements, and even the original appliances all work properly. Trailers can get some good life out of them if they are taken care of.
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:21 PM   #6
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Thanks to everybody who has responded so far. Good info...
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Old 05-25-2014, 05:58 PM   #7
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I'm really new to all this as well. I have a 2011 Ford F-250 6.7L Powerstroke diesel towing a 2015 Palomino Sabre 33 CKTS about 13,000 lbs. The weight on the 5th wheel hitch is modestly effecting the my front end incline and I am wondering whether to add a spring leaf or air suspension shock absorbers. Can someone direct me to the right forum or will this thread be alright?
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Old 05-25-2014, 06:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanuuk View Post
I'm really new to all this as well. I have a 2011 Ford F-250 6.7L Powerstroke diesel towing a 2015 Palomino Sabre 33 CKTS about 13,000 lbs. The weight on the 5th wheel hitch is modestly effecting the my front end incline and I am wondering whether to add a spring leaf or air suspension shock absorbers. Can someone direct me to the right forum or will this thread be alright?
You really should take it to a set of scales loaded the way you would for a trip and check the axle weight of the truck and trailer combined.

Air bags are a good option but will not allow your 250 to haul more than it is rated for.
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Old 05-25-2014, 06:15 PM   #9
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Thanks for the quick reply. Good advice and something I was planning to do. We've only had her out once and now the unit is back at the dealer for a few small warranty items. I thought I could shore up the truck before then for the ride and perhaps for long term stability.
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Old 05-25-2014, 06:47 PM   #10
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My son bought a 21' Rockwood a couple of years ago and has had ZERO problems/issues with it. He stores it in our "motorhome building" which really is the best of all worlds for storing a RV. Because of his experience with the Forest River product, we bought a new Wildcat Maxx 29' TT to park in Seattle when we visit family there. You WILL like the quality and reliability of the Rockwood brand!!!
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