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Old 01-07-2021, 11:03 AM   #1
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Difference Between Brands--Say Rockwood and Salem?

I am a newbie here who is looking at two trailers: a Rockwood Mini Lite 2205S and a Salem Hemisphere Hyper Lyte 19RBHL.

I have only seen them online since dealers locally don't have them. Just reading the specs, they both seem very similar.

Is one brand suppose to be better/different than the other?

Thanks
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Old 01-07-2021, 11:21 AM   #2
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Rockwood and Flagstaff are better than Salem in many ways.

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Old 01-07-2021, 11:36 AM   #3
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Shop hard!

Prices go all over the place.

There are too many options. Brands are less relevant than in the past. Several big companies have bought them up. Remember the big deal about Chevrolet engines in new Cadillac’s. It is far further along than that.

Quality is now nearing its low of all times.

Keep looking around.
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Old 01-07-2021, 12:14 PM   #4
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Hello and welcome.
The answer to your question about brand differences is both yes and no.
A lot of times the differences in brands amount to the differences in some of the details and ammenities. Things such as decor, colors, some quality of components (i.e. plastic sink vs. stainless sink). Of course floor plans, while similar, do have some differences even on comparable models.

look carefully, even if you can't see your exact model at a dealer, look at examples of the brand and that can give you an idea of quality of components and workmanship.
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Old 01-07-2021, 12:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomad297 View Post
Rockwood and Flagstaff are better than Salem in many ways.

Bruce
Hello Nomad,
I'm curious to know your insights into the differences.
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Old 01-07-2021, 12:34 PM   #6
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Be careful with the term "better." Different, yes, but better, maybe.

Companies with multiple product lines, like Forest River. are probably just positioning products at different price points to be able to grab all markets. If there are people willing to spend more, or only willing to spend less, the company has a product offering for that customer.

Now the problem come in where companies try to decide, hopefully with market research, what they can add to a product to be able to price it higher and get customers to pay that higher price. Maybe they decide customers would like touch screen control panels, or solid surface countertops, remote control ceiling fans, or HDMI switch boxes, etc. So, the company builds the product with those feature and hopes they can sell for a higher price.

The problem is, some of those more expensive features may not be undesirable to some people. For example, I don't want touch screen controls and I don't want three televisions, or an electric entry step. So to me, some of the upscale brands are not attractive at all. I would rather buy a base level and modify it to my liking, in custom ways that aren't even available for sale from the manufacturers.

My point is you need to look at the product line and chose what works best for your needs, and it could just as well be at the low cost end of the price spectrum as the high end. Sometimes when you pay more, well, you just get to pay more.
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Old 01-07-2021, 12:56 PM   #7
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There are differences that may make one model more attractive to you than the other. Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC), the capacity of the holding tanks, the appliances (one has a residential refrigerator, one a gas/electric which is better for boondocking), etc.
When we bought our trailer, we were newbies and bought the floorplan we thought would work for us. We got lucky.
When we bought our small motorhome, we knew a lot more and wanted the things we liked in the first unit plus better 'finishes'.
But there is nothing like walking through the rig to see if it will fit your style. For our mh we basically drove 300 miles to see if it was 'the one'
If you can, print out all the specs and do a side by side comparison. If you don't understand something, ask your questions here. Lots of people willing to help.
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Old 01-07-2021, 01:05 PM   #8
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We spent two years shopping.

I found the color factory brochure the best source.

I want three d views of the rv. Because structural integrity is important. No Luan floors. Metal studs. Better walls. Drop frame. Caps.

About 20 areas. About two hours to explain each!

Establish your got to haves and sorta wants and dive in. When we started looking I knew nothing about our must haves. Washer dryer and a king bed!

Go look at an rv that costs a lot more and see if the value is there. Will educate you. A two piece shower vs a one piece, golly! It is everywhere. Plastic toilet vs ceramic! Tires. Counter tops. Shades. Fridges. Beds. Batteries. Steps. Awnings. Hitches.

Read this site. Daily!
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Old 01-07-2021, 01:21 PM   #9
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Just looking at the new TT's my neighbors have purchased this last year, compared to mine, (theirs=Rockwoods, mine Flagstaff) the difference is a lot like the car manufacturers different brands in the same house. Ford/Lincoln, Chevy/Olds, etc.

Different floor plans, some optional items in one brand being std equip in the other.

Materials were all the same as mine. I think workmanship differences are a function of the culture existing in either factory which can often vary with each shift change.
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Old 01-07-2021, 01:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
Just looking at the new TT's my neighbors have purchased this last year, compared to mine, (theirs=Rockwoods, mine Flagstaff) the difference is a lot like the car manufacturers different brands in the same house. Ford/Lincoln, Chevy/Olds, etc.

Different floor plans, some optional items in one brand being std equip in the other.

Materials were all the same as mine. I think workmanship differences are a function of the culture existing in either factory which can often vary with each shift change.
Do you know anyone with a Salem you could review here as a comparison to Rockwoods?
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Old 01-07-2021, 01:54 PM   #11
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Do you know anyone with a Salem you could review here as a comparison to Rockwoods?
Nobody I know has purchased a Salem but I could drop in to the Camping World North of me if I head that way and walk through a similar model to what I and my neighbors have on my next trip up that way.
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Old 01-07-2021, 02:00 PM   #12
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Wife and I just bought a 2021 Wildwood 22rbs yesterday after almost 4 years of researching and debating the pros and cons of each brand/model. We found each brand had different price point models that have a sister brand in the same price range. Wildwood and Salem are built on the same assembly line, as are Rockwood and Flagstaff. Also found that ALL have the same quality issues, no matter the brand.
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Old 01-07-2021, 02:04 PM   #13
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Rockwood/Flagstaff are considered as a higher level than Salem and it generally reflects in the pricepoint and what features come standard, instead of as an option.
I have also seen over the years way more Rockwood/Flagstaff owners continuing to own a succession of R/F trailers and rarely with Salem owners. And R/F has higher satisfaction and loyalty, based on my 15 years on various RV forums.
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Old 01-07-2021, 02:15 PM   #14
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Forest River Roof

Forest River has its one of a kind roof laminator machine, look on YouTube, this machine presses the interior panel to the foam insulation with aluminum supports and the roof sheeting, the other trailers have a fiberglass insulation in the roof space, leaving open space, if the roof leaks water can disperse in any direction damaging large areas.
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Old 01-07-2021, 02:21 PM   #15
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We have a 2017 Salem hemisphere 34 ft trailer. We purchased it new. We like it. Have had minor issues such as speakers shaking loose and needing a new sink that was defective in its finish. If you're planning to use your camper in Winter conditions be sure that you get the features you want on it perhaps heated tanks as an example. Also do not push the boundaries of weight your tow vehicle can handle. Good luck
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Old 01-07-2021, 02:21 PM   #16
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Rockwood is very good. Excellent customer service. Not all FR divisions are equal. I know Rockwood from personal experience builds a great trailer.
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Old 01-07-2021, 03:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oxcamper View Post
Hello Nomad,
I'm curious to know your insights into the differences.
Mostly build quality and attention to detail.

Bruce
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Old 01-07-2021, 05:47 PM   #18
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Salem versus Rockwood

I had a 2011 33 foot rockwood,this was an excellent trailer. We pulled it up & down the east coast Maine to Florida & as far west as Wyoming. It had bunks & was great for the grandkids. In 2018 the grandkids grown we wanted something more comfortable for us as we got into the snow bird lifestyle. We chose a salem hemisphere 34 footer with a front kitchen. We are very happy with this trailer & hope to keep it 10 years or better.Did not have any issues with it other than a new valve for the dometic toilet. All in all we are happy with our purchase. Good luck with your choice.
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Old 01-08-2021, 09:28 AM   #19
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Our Salem Hemisphere is a 2015 model, bought in April 2014. I used it as my home away from home from 2014 - 2019 full time each season (April 1 - Nov1) when I worked 250 miles from home. It was better than a 1 bedroom apartment. For daily use, all appliances, plumbing, and features worked flawlessly. We have a rear kitchen model and have no problem recommending taking a good look at the Hemispheres.
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Old 01-09-2021, 03:08 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oxcamper View Post
Our Salem Hemisphere is a 2015 model, bought in April 2014. I used it as my home away from home from 2014 - 2019 full time each season (April 1 - Nov1) when I worked 250 miles from home. It was better than a 1 bedroom apartment. For daily use, all appliances, plumbing, and features worked flawlessly. We have a rear kitchen model and have no problem recommending taking a good look at the Hemispheres.
Love the Salem Hemisphere 282RK. Have had one since 2017 and love everything about it. No issues. Would not change a thing. Best floor plan ever.
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