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Old 08-06-2013, 09:37 PM   #1
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Just a few questions about the Rockwood HW296

So as I'm new to pop-up camping I had a few questions about them. In particular the Rockwood HW296. I was curious how and where is the usable storage in this unit? Also curious about the 4 bike rack, It is mentioned as a option on the website, does anyone have it and is it decent? Also what about things like firewood, chairs, etc. As a tent camper I'm used to packing these in my vehicle and firewood usually on one of those tow hitch cargo racks. I like to take some wood with me as I have access to it for free. Is there room for it or do I need one of those safari racks on my tow vehicle. Also how essential is a cover if I plan on storing it outside. (no snow where I live, only hot summers and rain) Any other tips, essentials, or pet peeves I should know about would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:51 AM   #2
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I can't speak for the bike rack, as we don't have one, but as for storage, it is minimal. There are small storage areas under the sofa, under the microwave, and under the dinette. All of these are accessible from the outside as well as inside. I would not recommend them for firewood since they do have inside access and you will introduce dirt and creeping crawlies into the camper. Larger items like chairs, etc. we just lay in the floor inside the door. Note the "sofa table", as shown on the floorplan, is simply a small table with folding legs and is not permanently attached, so it is not in the way of using that area for storage while traveling. Since we tow with a pick-up, that solves a lot of the cargo issues.

Bob
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:41 PM   #3
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Have you seen one in person? It sounds like you need to look through several of the different floor plans. Do not have a bike rack, so can not really speak on that, but from the pics, it looks like it fits on the HW256G with the front trunk space. Not sure how it fits on the other models. And a roof top bike rack - oh my - I would never be able to get the bikes up that high.

Storage experience, I find the storage pretty good in my HW 277 and that is with a 14 foot box as compared to the 16 foot box of the HW296. We fit quite a bit of stuff in it (make me wonder about my weights). Chairs, roll up table, cords, and the tire chocks all fit in the dinette seats with outside access. The bathroom can hold a large bin, the hanging pantry/wardrobes, fold up clothes rack and a three step ladder. The floor space in front of the bathroom fits a external waste water tank like a blue boy and a narrow folding table and a fold up canopy/screen room. Under the dinette table, the grill and water hoses fit. The floor in front of the door can hold several bins or the cooler. Under the stove, we have a milk crate that holds the pots and pans. There is also some storage under the sink, and the drawers are adequate - though there are only two of them. One thing to consider, the location of the fridge - and access to it when the camper is closed up - that is one item that made us pick the 277 -it is easy to turn on and fill up when the camper is closed so I do not always need to bring a cooler. With all that, we still have stuff in the car - (after all we are a bunch of gals )

One of the biggest space things when in use is getting the hanging pantry and wardrobe. We got two of the wardrobes - and put one in the bathroom as we use the bathroom as a closet. That way,there is a wardrobe for the front bunk and one for the back. And I absolutely love the amount of counter space we have.
My dollars worth
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:55 PM   #4
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I have been checking out that model as well. I love the idea of the pull out kitchen and the fridge access. Not sure if not having the tandem axles is a bad thing. The prices are very similar too. I am in the research stage but should be ready to purchase very soon. Just want to know what I'm getting into. I have three daughters 4, 10, and 13 and they love to bring friends so I want to have something rather roomy.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:11 PM   #5
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fully understand. That pull out outside kitchen was the other deciding factor and that we wanted the U dinette. We use it ALL the time and love it. We have had a max of 6 people sleeping in the camper, but usually camp with 4. With using the dinette as a bed, we often leave it as the bed and use the picnic table - and that is where the outside kitchen really works well. Can get breakfast started and leave the girls with their beauty sleep. We did reinforce the dinette bed as the table sits on one narrow strip of wood on each of three sides, each strip held in with a couple of screws. (we did break it -but were able to fix it.) and added some vertical wood strips to act as support legs for the table support strips.
Are you planning on pulling that with the Flex? Does that have the towing power and payload for a HW 296 - The HW296 is a bit heavier.
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We spend alot of money to go sit in the woods
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:04 PM   #6
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I have a sport rack with 5 bikes work great. I have a rockwood 2317g with a front storage box and have a lot of storage under dinette and under rear couch. All with outside storage access bag chairs go in the rear duffle bags under one dinette bench and kitchen items and stuff under other. Plates and forks and measuring cups in the cabinet by door. Sleeping bags with bag chairs. Big chairs grill and cooler in back of tow vehicle. More room in them then you think.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:23 PM   #7
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I also like the u table. The Flex has a max towing of 4500lbs and 450 tongue. I got the factory tow package. The explorer which is nearly the same vehicle tows 5000. We would be right about there fully loaded. It also has trailer sway control and is prewired for the trailer brakes. From what I understand they tow really well. I am leasing so I will either be upgrading to the ecoboost version or (if/when its released) the diesel durango. If they make the purposed Jeep Grand Wagoneer(jeep badged durango) maybe that.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:25 PM   #8
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I'm glad they have a decent amount of room for everything. I like to travel prepared but also want to keep the 7 passenger seating in my vehicle. Just don't want to drive a suburban any more.
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:13 PM   #9
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You may be a bit lite on the tow capacity with that Flex for the camper you are looking at. I did that. I towed the first year with a Grand Caravan and was at tow capacity. Always had to take two cars. Did not take long to start looking at a better TV. I wanted no less than 7000 lbs tow capacity so I had extra capacity and the total gvw of the camper is 3800 lbs. I still have to pay attention to what I load in the durango. If you estimate the tongue weight to be 10 to 15% of the camper weight, the tongue could be 380 to 570 lbs. I have a 1400 lb payload, so I have only 830 lbs for people and stuff in the car. We are easily 500 lbs with just passengers. Just be sure to run the numbers and do not take the word of the salesman. You want to be safe on the road.
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HTT: "EscapeII" 2016 Shamrock 23WS (current)
PUP: "Escape" 2010 Rockwood HW 277 (gone)
TV: "Bruce" 2011 Dodge Durango V8 Hemi Crew
Just us gals (me, Sis and our daughters)
We spend alot of money to go sit in the woods
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Old 08-09-2013, 01:32 AM   #10
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Very true. Been doing some calculations. Would be ok with a fully loaded HW277 and passengers in the Flex. Plus the wife loves the outside kitchen and fridge access. I will probably get something with a slightly larger capacity when this lease is up.
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