Weights - Palomino Solaire 239DBSH vs Coachmen Freedom Express 257BHS
I am in the market for a 25-28' bunkhouse travel trailer. I have narrowed my choice down to just a few models. Two of the top contenders are the Palomino Solaire 239DBSH and Coachmen Freedom Express 257BHS (there are 2 other non-Forest River brands that are also in the mix).
From the brochure & websites:
Freedom Express = 4,873 lbs and 660 lbs hitch weight
Palomino Solaire = 5,390 lbs and 800 lbs hitch weight
IMO That is a big difference. It is potentially a game changer for me, until I looked at the little yellow stickers. I found 8 2015 Freedom 257BHS models and 2 Palomino 239DBSH models for sale on RVTrader.com where the seller included a photo of the yellow sticker with the weight.
Average actual "yellow sticker weights":
Freedom Express = 5,281 lbs
Palomino Solaire = 5,346 lbs
A difference between the 2 models shrank from over 500 lbs to a meager 65 lbs! Is the Palomino's hitch weight also less than the claimed 800? Should I assume the Freedom's hitch weight is more than 660?
There are a lot of important measurements for the consumer to consider, but the weight has a major safety implication. I have found numerous errors in weights, measurements, capacities and specs in all brands' brochures and websites. I find it difficult to understand why the industry is so careless, especially when safety is at stake.
Asking a dealer rarely yields better answers (I've always just been given an answer straight off the latest brochure). Brochures can be out dated, but a website? There's no excuse.
I am very close to eliminating the Freedom from consideration. If they missed over 400 lbs, then what else did they miss?
As for the Palomino... I almost eliminated it from consideration because of its high weight and hitch weight. Now I'm not so sure... The Palominos actually weigh less than the claimed weight?! That must be a first in the RV world.
I'd love to hear if anyone has their own stories, advice, etc regarding weight calculations.
PS I am planning to buy a Ford F-150 with approx 8,000 lbs tow capacity. The bigger concern for me is tongue weight since traveling with 5 people and lots of gear may put me very close to the maximum payload capacity.