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Old 07-23-2013, 09:23 AM   #1
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Please explain brand differences to a rookie.

My wife and I have been wanting to join the RV crowd for years. We have a 2.5 year old son and 7 month old twin girls. We want them to have great travel experiences growing up, and think an RV is the best way to do that. Our TV would be our new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe LWB, which has a factory tow package, Class III hitch, and a 5,000 towing capacity. I just have to add a brake controller. We are limiting our search to trailers with dry weights of about 3,000 lbs and GVWR under 4,000. We have spent quite a bit of time looking online at different models and have found a floorplan we like, but it is available under several different ďbrandsĒ and I canít tell the difference. Can anyone help with that? Here are the models.


Salem Cruise Lite 195BH
Evo Factory Select T195BH
Wildwood X-Lite 195BH


Also, if there are any lighter models that will support my family as my kids grow, I would appreciate the advice. I havenít found anything lighter that can sleep 5-6. Thanks.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:42 AM   #2
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Great plan to get outdoors early with kids & family...IMO, even the small TT's going to be a challenge for your current tow vehicle, you might fit within your tow specs but that "tissue box" shaped camper is going to put a strain on you & TV while traveling, especially when weather conditions are not perfect.

I'd either keep your search to popups/A frames or move up in tow vehicle to better handle your desired lightweight TT choices.

Again, only my observations...enjoy the search & get out camping!



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Old 07-23-2013, 10:01 AM   #3
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the only main difference is the fresh water cap. of the EVO, it will hold more, sometimes the difference of brands are the "standard" colors -fabrics-vinyl.
just remember that EVERYTHING adds weight to the trailer, a gal of liquid is about 8 lbs (water- fresh -gray-black, propane)
Hope that this helps some. Good luck and happy looking and enjoy the children and teach them to love the great outdoors.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:09 PM   #4
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Hi. The more you look the more you will probably see the same basic unit with a different name and color scheme. For example go on Forest Rivers website and you will see just how many sub brands they are responsible for. The same goes for Keystone, Thor and others. We have a Sandpiper 365saq 5th wheel. The Sierra 365saq is the identical unit but with different exterior color scheme, different interior colors, and a whole other range of available upholstery.
As mentioned sometimes there may be subtle difference in gadgets or tank capacities but the same unit off the same assembly line. Shop around but don't make yourself crazy about it. Do your homework and don't believe what every salesperson tells you about tow vehicle capacities. Know before you go. You seem to already but be aware of added weight. Things add up fast. Good luck with it and enjoy. Keep us posted.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:33 PM   #5
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the Salem and Wildwood are definite twin brands, which are common in the RV industry.
the EVO looks like the triplet but there are some differences in specs, while the other two have the same exact specs.
i'm guessing the EVO is a little better appointed trailer, than the other two.
it's got a larger FW tank and is slightly heavier.

i will say that you'll soon find out that your Santa Fe's 3.3 engine will struggle with a full height trailer's air resistance.
and i'm betting that it has a frontal area limitation, that any full height trailer will exceed.
that 5000 number is based more on boat towing than real TT towing.

you'll soon be looking for a bigger tow vehicle.
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:06 AM   #6
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Would an r-pod teardrop be any better? I am also looking at the high wall pop ups. A major requirement for my wife is a shower. She is also nervous about security in a popup, since she feels insecure in a regular tent.
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by dwschoon View Post
Would an r-pod teardrop be any better? I am also looking at the high wall pop ups. A major requirement for my wife is a shower. She is also nervous about security in a popup, since she feels insecure in a regular tent.
Considering your tow vehicle, family count, shower requirement & tent less feel, the R-POD 182G would be a unit I'd checkout in detail and similar units to it



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Old 07-24-2013, 09:29 AM   #8
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Considering your tow vehicle, family count, shower requirement & tent less feel, the R-POD 182G would be a unit I'd checkout in detail and similar units to it
My wife's hesitation with popups is mostly re: the kids. I think the RP-176T would be acceptable, since the popout is only on the large bed. I like the bunks. Properly setup, my TV is up to this task?
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by dwschoon View Post

My wife's hesitation with popups is mostly re: the kids. I think the RP-176T would be acceptable, since the popout is only on the large bed. I like the bunks. Properly setup, my TV is up to this task?
Yes, this would be a model equipped for your TV...R-Pod is only 9.5' tall & dry weight of 2600lbs plus max payload of 1100lbs, that'll easily get you camping at about 3500lbs on the road, much more manageable than the heavier, taller & boxier TT's...IMO of course



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Old 07-24-2013, 04:16 PM   #10
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I towed with an 03 SantaFe LX 2.7. I would think the 3.5L would pull the RPod.
Casita may work as well. Also for your consideration is the load you will put in the TV. If you look carefully at the numbers I think you will find that you do not have enough capacity to pull anywhere close to 5k lbs in higher elevations. Hope this helps.
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:53 PM   #11
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Perhaps renting may help getting an idea of what your vehicle is capable of -- I am not sure how far away this place is but they rent camper trailers:
RV Vacation Rentals-Oklahoma RV Rentals | Motorhome, Travel Trailer, and Pop-up RV Rentals in Oklahoma
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:03 PM   #12
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I hope I don't get kicked off the forum for this, but have you checked out the Trailmanor line ?? The 2619 or 2720 (not SL or SD models) would sleep 6, no canvas, and tows great since they folds down. We had a 2720, but had to give it up because of the wife's bad back....the fridge and much of the storage is down low, and the beds are high.

The other big drawback is they are expensive new !! We were lucky to find a great used 2720 when we bought.
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:37 PM   #13
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If you can rent or test drive the camper you want then do it. We were pleasantly surprised at how well our v6 explorer tows. We don't ever plan on high altitude towing either. You might want to look at a vibe too. I am not sure if the have a floor plan to suit you. They are bigger than an r-pod (nicer bathroom too) but lightweight and less wind resistant than a full front trailer.
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:08 PM   #14
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I agree with all these opinions. If you really are just starting out I would look at a minimum investment until you really know your TV capabilities. Make sure the trailers weight is stated loaded with water, gas, food and everything you need for fun! A lot depends on where you want to go. Capacity is seriously degraded if you hope to go uphill from OK! If you are finding all else equal in your choices except brand name maybe you could look up resale value for each brand. Some identical rigs with different "names" re-sell better than others in another part of the country! Anyway welcome to the lifestyle. Great way to share family time!
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