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Old 09-17-2019, 06:52 PM   #1
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Why a Solaire instead of a Roo or Shamrock?

I'm going to upgrade from my Rockwood HW-277 PUP to a Hybrid.
I've settled on a Roo 19, but the Solaire 163X appears to be a badge engineered variant.

What made you choose a Solaire over a Roo or Shamrock?
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Jim & Renee
2014 Forest River/Rockwood HW 277
2006 Ram 1500 4WD Crew with Firestone Airbags
Typical season is about 30 nights camping, usually nearby boondocking in the National Forests or at Lake Wellington
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Old 10-29-2019, 06:44 PM   #2
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why a 163x owner

Hi jimmoore13,
We chose the 163 for a couple of reasons, primarily UVW, bathroom space, and quality of materials. Our Jeep Cherokee has a max towing GVWR of 4500lb. That doesn't leave much room for luggage, food, etc. in the Roo or Shamrock. My wife was really sold on the 163's bathroom. That little bit of extra space does make a difference. The 163's materials looked to be a higher quality than the Roo. I have to say, the 163's layout is exceptionally efficient, but I haven't been overly impressed with some of the 163's workmanship. So far, I've had to re-secure the medicine cabinet, front rain gutter, and kitchen faucet. The workmanship details weren't visible until after a few trips, so couldn't say if the Roo or Shamrock were any better or worse. Overall, we really love the 163. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-30-2019, 10:45 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Hi jimmoore13,
We chose the 163 for a couple of reasons, primarily UVW, bathroom space, and quality of materials. <<SNIP>>
Thank you. Good info on your choice.

As for build quality...
After 6 seasons with my HW-277, I've come to expect lots of minor repairs and things rattling apart. The Forest River products might look somewhat shoddy when analyzed on their own, but after looking around at other brands, I think they are superior.

It's just that you can't pay $20,000 for what amounts to a fully-equipped home on wheels and expect Fort Knox build quality. I often compare to AirStream, only to be chastised that AirStream has its issues, too, and you'll pay $80K for one of a comparable size. Are they better? Sure. $60K better? Probably not.

Suggestions for keeping your rig in one piece:
~ equip yourself with a divided storage box of stainless screws, nuts, bolts, etc. of many sizes. Why stainless? They are good inside and out, and stainless is compatible with aluminum...no galvanic action. You'll spend $10 to $15 more on your stash...not enough to worry about.
~ if a screw comes loose but the hole is tight, use Gorilla Glue (GG) on the screw when replacing. It's like LocTite for wood.
~ if the screw hole is a bit sloppy, size up the screw and add GG.
~ when possible, replace screws with thru-bolts and nylock nuts...especially in particle board.
~ drill and add stainless screws to BBQ support rails and such. That's hard duty, and the few aluminum screws into particle board or whatever just don't do the job.
~ if rivets get sloppy on stairs, use a cold chisel and hammer to shear them off and replace with 1/4" bolts and nylock nuts.
~ keep small tools, a cordless drill and drill bits in the rig. You'll want the drill for the stab jacks, but have a set of bits handy to deal with small problems in the field.
~ and so on.
~ and if you use your fresh tank, reinforce it...or you'll lose it.

Don't let it go until you get home. If you dragged your real house around on wheels, you'd expect damage. Well, you're dragging a $20K house around, and it will have issues.

Today my PUP is better than the day I bought it by quite a margin. But they really can't build them this way at the factory, or the price would double.

I'll take a close look at the Solaire. You convinced me.
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Jim & Renee
2014 Forest River/Rockwood HW 277
2006 Ram 1500 4WD Crew with Firestone Airbags
Typical season is about 30 nights camping, usually nearby boondocking in the National Forests or at Lake Wellington
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Old 10-30-2019, 02:03 PM   #4
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When we were shopping for a hybrid, there were no Palomino hybrids in the entire state of California. There were only a handful of California dealers that sold Palomino and none had any plans to order any hybrids.

The opposite was true for Roo/Shamrock. There were 4 Roo dealers within a 100 mile radius. Numerous dealers with large internet presence, like RVW and RV Direct, sold Roo at heavily discounted prices. Never found any such dealer that sold discounted Palominos.
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Old 10-30-2019, 09:48 PM   #5
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When we were shopping for a hybrid, there were no Palomino hybrids in the entire state of California. There were only a handful of California dealers that sold Palomino and none had any plans to order any hybrids.

The opposite was true for Roo/Shamrock. There were 4 Roo dealers within a 100 mile radius. Numerous dealers with large internet presence, like RVW and RV Direct, sold Roo at heavily discounted prices. Never found any such dealer that sold discounted Palominos.
I see similar patterns here. Even dealers that carry various brands don't bother with some models. We have a bunch of Camping World dealerships, and despite claiming to sell quite a few different brands, the selection sucks. 20 of one model and none of the rest.

You're a primary contributor in these forums. Have you seen discussions of ordering from distant dealers and taking delivery?
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Jim & Renee
2014 Forest River/Rockwood HW 277
2006 Ram 1500 4WD Crew with Firestone Airbags
Typical season is about 30 nights camping, usually nearby boondocking in the National Forests or at Lake Wellington
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Old 10-30-2019, 10:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmoore13 View Post

You're a primary contributor in these forums. Have you seen discussions of ordering from distant dealers and taking delivery?
Yes, many of us on the West Coast have bought from Midwest dealers.
We drove from Napa Valley to Chicago and back, to get our new Roo, back in 2006. FR found us local dealers willing to do the warranty work.
Over the years, many have bought from far away and had no issues
Some dealers, like RVW, will deliver anywhere in between, lowering delivery costs.
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Dan-Retired California Firefighter/EMT
Shawn-Musician/Entrepreneur/Wine Expert
and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255, pushing a 2014 Ford F150 SCREW XTR 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost w/Max Tow Package
Equalizer WDH
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:17 PM   #7
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Thanks, Dan. I'm frustrated with selection locally, and I was uncertain about delivery from far away. Thanks again!!
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Jim & Renee
2014 Forest River/Rockwood HW 277
2006 Ram 1500 4WD Crew with Firestone Airbags
Typical season is about 30 nights camping, usually nearby boondocking in the National Forests or at Lake Wellington
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Old 11-01-2019, 10:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jimmoore13 View Post
Thanks, Dan. I'm frustrated with selection locally, and I was uncertain about delivery from far away. Thanks again!!
Your delivery costs would be way less than for me.
RV Direct/RV One did have pick up available in Iowa, for Roo and Shamrock.
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Shawn-Musician/Entrepreneur/Wine Expert
and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255, pushing a 2014 Ford F150 SCREW XTR 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost w/Max Tow Package
Equalizer WDH
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:04 PM   #9
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Roo for sure

Unless you like your bunks to be full of water, I would suggest a Roo. FR/Palomino did a re-design for 2020 which looks promising but left us 19' owners out to dry... literally.
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:24 AM   #10
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Jayco X-213

So, after all the waffling back and forth - including investigating Lance and every variation on the theme in hybrids, I ended up buying a Jayco X-213.
Total hard-side with a rear king-bed slide and a "garage/bunk room". (ours is a 2020 with a white interior, but this is the general idea: )

We boondock exclusively, so I'm going to set it up with 400 watts of Renology solar (there's already a gland on the roof and #10 AWG pre-wired, so I'll have to setup the panels in series/parallel to keep the amperage within the limits of the #10 wire). I'm going to add 2 x 6-Volt Trojans and - maybe - install a 1000 watt inverter/transfer switch to run a few outlets - say for an electric blanket to take the chill off the bed. I haven't explored the wiring yet, but I think I can jump into the circuit that feeds the two outlets next to the bed. I'll rely on a genny to run the micro, counter-top appliances and so on.

I have the panels already. Also installed a Morryde Solid Step in place of the conventional stairs. The rig rides pretty high, but the stair is about 4 or 5 feet in front of the axles, and from experience I know that makes it vulnerable in big whoop-de-doos. We go to some pretty rough locations, so it's not a matter of if but when we cream that factory step. The Morryde rides completely inside the coach, and it has adjustable legs that land on the ground....sturdy as home stairs.

I appreciate all your thoughts. In the end, Renee and I were done with "tent ends". I also learned - as I viewed them - that Hybrids have precious little outside storage. The garage/bunk on this thing will hold several bicycles, or an equivalent cubic volume of detritus (canopy, inflatable kayak, Weber, folding table, and my genny). I have about 1000 pounds of cargo capacity including 40 gallons of fresh water, and we generally travel pretty light...being pop-up campers. Good, because it would be easy to overload this thing.

Can't wait for spring. Nice days this winter I'll install the solar, inverter, sanitize the water system (then re-winterize with compressed air) and be ready to roll if we get a nice warm weekend in March....common here. I may drop the underbelly and inspect (and upgrade as needed) the supports on the fresh tank, because we will always travel wet. This is where we went 2 years ago in March, and the new rig has an arctic package, so my only inhibition would be getting snowed in.

Thanks to all for your support.
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Typical season is about 30 nights camping, usually nearby boondocking in the National Forests or at Lake Wellington
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