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Old 10-17-2020, 11:32 AM   #1
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Forest River Ibex vs Geo Pro

Hello, and thank you for taking the time to look at my post. I've been researching campers with the intent to purchase for days and have checked out specs, walk through, and reviews for everything ranging from a $80k Black Series (which frankly is too expensive to purchase anytime in the immediate future but those things look awesome) to a $10k Wolf Pup. Given my desired features I've narrowed it down to 2 potential campers. These desired features are as follows.

- No slideouts! I've heard horrors happen with them getting stuck out and they're also an unnecessary point of failure that require extra maintenance and have the potential for leaks and lessening R-values.


- Potential to use for cold weather camping: I have a desire to camp in winter and where I live "winter" means temps below freezing and it's not abnormal to see temps in the teens. In extreme cases it's been -15F with -40F wind chill but that's highly irregular and not something I would be camping in. This is hardly a necessity but it is a nice to have if it's possible.


- Long Lasting: While regular maintenance is a given and issues can happen to campers at any build quality some campers are built in a way that have a much higher chance of issues happening. Subpar rushed assembly methods, cheap materials, or other issues.

- Shower: The misses has given an ultimatum no camping without a usable shower.
- Bunks/Sleeps 4+: No kids atm but if I'm spending 20+K several years down the line we could need the extra beds.


- Oven: We like to cook that includes the occasional baking of cookies.


- Solar: "Boondocking" as it's apparently called or dispersed off-grid camping isn't out of the question so a pre-wired solar system with the potential for adding batteries/panels is a must. Also it's nice to have one already on there.

- <6000lbs: My Silverado can tow around 7000lbs max (max trailering capacity) but I want to keep well below my max.

- <20ft: max size. Just a preference seems to be the "sweet spot" for me it between having a usable amount of space/amenties for longer stays but not defeat the purpose of camping or prevent wanting to actually go outside. I've seen 15 foot models that work too but they usually include slideouts.


- ~20K price: Once again just a sweet spot I could afford more but I don't want to be near the max of what I can pay every month additionally going lower seems to cause a compromise on some level. So I'm ruling out things twice as expensive like an Airstream basecamp or cheaply made like a wolf-pup.


So with all that preface out of the way. I'm looking at potentially purchasing the Geo Pro (specifically the 19BH) or the Ibex (specifically the 19MBH).

Both the campers I'm looking at have an aluminum frame with bonded fiberglass so the frame can't rot or have any major unexpected issues. They have nice more upscale interiors with better quality materials not stickers on particle board. The Ibex has a full heated and enclosed underbelly but the Rockwood only has heating pads on the water tanks which I'm not sure is enough. They also have a standard 100W solar on the roof which is nice to run the lights at night. They both have off-road packages but I've seen at least 2 users of the Geo Pro have the dump valves come loose from going off-road. They're from the same parent company (the namesake of this forum) but I can't find any direct comparisons. A lot of individuals want to compare the Geo Pro to the No-bo which is fine but I've ruled that one out due to a few less standard features. The Murphy bed is an unneeded extra bit of weight/moving part in the Ibex but I can deal with it. All in all they are very very similar and I'm looking for something to set them apart.

I'm also open to other suggestions/brands as I've found out constantly I keep running into brands I've never even heard of even within the forest river line.

Did you make it to the bottom? That was a lot of info I realize so if not the title should be sufficient for your discussion needs Thanks in advance for any tips.
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Old 10-17-2020, 02:24 PM   #2
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First, the Ibex is a brand new line for FR. I think there are only a couple of Ibex owners here. So you probably won't get much feedback on them. Lots of GeoPro owners here though.
Second, neither trailers are equipped for true cold weather. They are 3 season at best. There are only a few 4 season brands out there, like Arctic Fox and Outdoors RV.
Third, right now RVs are flying out of dealerships and factories are rushing them out. The RV Industry has already had a low reputation for quality for years and it's worse rignt now.
Fourth, we would never have a RV without a slideout. Ours have been relatively problem free, other than a blown fuse.
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Old 10-17-2020, 03:11 PM   #3
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First, the Ibex is a brand new line for FR. I think there are only a couple of Ibex owners here. So you probably won't get much feedback on them. Lots of GeoPro owners here though.
Second, neither trailers are equipped for true cold weather. They are 3 season at best. There are only a few 4 season brands out there, like Arctic Fox and Outdoors RV.
Third, right now RVs are flying out of dealerships and factories are rushing them out. The RV Industry has already had a low reputation for quality for years and it's worse rignt now.
Fourth, we would never have a RV without a slideout. Ours have been relatively problem free, other than a blown fuse.
As far as the 4 season thing I was afraid that was the case. The smallest Northwood arctic fox is bigger than I'm willing to go sadly so it's a no go.

As for the rest are yous saying there are no high quality campers able to be purchased right now?
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Old 10-17-2020, 04:03 PM   #4
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As far as the 4 season thing I was afraid that was the case. The smallest Northwood arctic fox is bigger than I'm willing to go sadly so it's a no go.

As for the rest are yous saying there are no high quality campers able to be purchased right now?
If you've read the number of complaints about Covid Campers(units being sold since Covid started)that I have, I would have to say no.
You do know that RV sale have been at an all-time high, since Covid started, right? And factories are backordered and parts are delayed, as are factory deliveries?
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Old 10-17-2020, 10:24 PM   #5
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If you've read the number of complaints about Covid Campers(units being sold since Covid started)that I have, I would have to say no.
You do know that RV sale have been at an all-time high, since Covid started, right? And factories are backordered and parts are delayed, as are factory deliveries?
Nope but I appreciate the heads up I'm just nearing a point where a camper would be a good addition to my life and have been looking. Hopefully things will calm down in a few months.

I did have one RV dealer I talked to say something along the lines of "these are great trailers when we can hold on to them we can't even keep used in stock" but some equivalent of "if you don't buy it today you won't find it here tomorrow" is such a common sales tactic in the auto industry I just assumed it was just some version of that to pressure me into buying.
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Old 10-17-2020, 10:44 PM   #6
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Nope but I appreciate the heads up I'm just nearing a point where a camper would be a good addition to my life and have been looking. Hopefully things will calm down in a few months.

I did have one RV dealer I talked to say something along the lines of "these are great trailers when we can hold on to them we can't even keep used in stock" but some equivalent of "if you don't buy it today you won't find it here tomorrow" is such a common sales tactic in the auto industry I just assumed it was just some version of that to pressure me into buying.
Nope, it's been a real thing since March. since people haven't been able to fly, do cruises, hotels/resorts closed, RVs have become a viable family vacation option during Covid. plus many no longer want to stay in hotels or on cruise ships.
so RV sales has hit an all time high and adding the RV factories shut down for awhile, inventory has been low all over the country and dealers are getting top dollar for them, without having to negotiate with the customer.
IMHO and many here and on other RV forums, next year may be the time to buy, as those new to RVs didn't count on all the maintenance required and the bloom will be off the rose, once everything gets back to normal. there'll be a lot of used 1 year old RVs for sale and RV dealers will find sales much more difficult.
we're in the market for a new 5th wheel but there's NO way we'd buy one this year. Quality is way down, due to demand and prices are too high. we'll wait and see how next year looks.
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Old 10-18-2020, 01:05 AM   #7
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... Solar: "Boondocking" as it's apparently called or dispersed off-grid camping isn't out of the question so a pre-wired solar system with the potential for adding batteries/panels is a must. Also it's nice to have one already on there. ...
Take a pass on the prewired solar. The size of the wire is inadequate, the location is less than ideal, and it's over-priced. You're much better off doing it yourself or hiring someone. You'll get a better system at lower cost.

PS: I speak from experience. I paid for the option and regret it. I removed it, parched the roof hole, salvaged the wire, and will use it in much more robust system I'm installing later this month in a different location.
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Old 10-18-2020, 11:12 AM   #8
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Geo Pro owner here.

We haven't had any major problems with ours, but we've only been on a few shakedown runs. Everything works just fine and I've only had to make minor repairs and take care of a few cosmetic issues. We may have purchased a lucky "Wednesday" trailer. None of the trailers in your price range are going to be of exceptional build quality, but ours is light years ahead of the old Casita I used to own. No particle board, but the materials are thin and quickly assembled. You can tell the assemblers were in a hurry once you start taking panels off, and peering into the recesses where all the equipment is mounted.

Offroad package:
These packages don't really turn it into an offroad trailer...more like off pavement ready (offroad trailers are a real thing, but these aren't it). The added ground clearance is very nice though, and it makes working on things below the trailer much more convenient. Not many worries on rubbing concrete when transitioning into parking lots with high grade entrances either. There are guards that help protect the drain valves, but if you hit a huge object it will damage stuff underneath. The straps that hold up the plumbing are the weak points. Luckily mine has very short runs and they don't hold up a lot of weight. I would recommend the package. Make sure you bring a jack (and blocks if necessary) tall enough to reach the frame to change a tire. I use a portable hydraulic body shop equipment kit.


Winter operation:
Ours has heating pads on the tanks and drain lines, but I wouldn't camp in deep freezing weather. We haven't used the heating pads, so no comments on how well they work. If you consider purchasing a trailer with them installed, make sure you check to see how well they are attached to the tanks. Ours started peeling off after the first trip. I had to re-glue them with contact cement. There is also evidence of slight road debris damage to them, so keep an eye on that as well. The electric and gas water heat is nice. Gas trailer heat works well.


Longevity:
All trailers break at some point. No need to buy RV specialty stuff all the time to make repairs though. Much of what is used to build these trailers can be found at the local home improvement store. They are easy to work on however documents, manuals, diagrams, etc.. are typically not available or vague. If you are handy and mechanically inclined you will do just fine. This forum will definitely help.


Prewired solar:
we love our system and it works just fine. We don't plan on boondocking all that much so the single 100w panel on the roof is completely adequate for our needs. It keeps our two 12v batteries fully charged and has topped them off just fine when necessary. We have the "solar on the side" plug if we want to add more.


Slideout:
No problems with ours just yet, but there are indeed additional complexities. I've found a potential problem involving a pinched sink drain line that I'll have to address soon. If you cave in and get one with a slideout, just make sure you know how to manually retract it. It was worth the extra room in our small trailer.


No gas oven in ours, but if we wanted to we could remove the microwave and install a convection / microwave combo unit. I wouldn't consider it a deal breaker if there is no oven.



Weight:
Ours is rather portly, and with the setback single axle, two LP bottles, and two batteries mounted on the tongue, the tongue weight is pretty high. Mfg states ours is 420lbs, and I don't believe it. I think it's closer to 500. One day I'll get the actual weights.
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Old 10-18-2020, 02:22 PM   #9
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This is a bit of an apples/oranges comparison.

Ibex: https://forestriverinc.com/rvs/trave...bex/19MBH/5409
Geo-Pro: https://forestriverinc.com/rvs/trave...bex/19MBH/5409

The Ibex (IX) is just shy of 25' ball to bumper.
The Geo-Pro (GP) is barely over 20'.
That's a big difference.

IX is 4" narrower...a big difference in a no-slide camper.

The IX is MUCH heavier...7500# GVWR vs roughly 4250 for the GP. Your Chev will handle the IX, but you could possibly exceed the truck's tow capacity if you travel "heavy."

I presume the GP is single axle (based on weights) and the IX is 2 axles. That's the main difference weights and capacities.

Presumably, you know all this.

Observations: the GP has very narrow bunks (for kids) but the bottom bunk flips up to become a MASSIVE cargo hold. I have this on my x-213, and I can tell you that this feature is beyond, way beyond, awesome. My generator, gas grill, chairs, canopy, power cord, leveling wedges, and so on, ALL live in here. This is incredibly convenient. This was the deciding factor for our X-213. Downside...the 26" width of the GP's bunks is REALLY narrow. Great for kids, but when that kid is 16 years old, maybe a little snug. The IX bunks are, by comparison, huge.

Flip-side: if you aren't a giant, like me (6'6" and 250#) that murphy bed in the IX is awesome. Having a full "walkaround" bed, vs a crossover queen in the GP, is a convenience you'll grow to appreciate when one or the other of you gets up in the night to pee. Plus the cabin heat circulates better around the murphy than the crossover bed.

Both dinettes are very small, but the IX dinette is smaller than the GP. You will NOT fit 4 at the IX dinette, and probably will be VERY tight on the GP dinette. 2" difference isn't much, but when it comes to getting at least one cheek on the chair, 2" can be all the difference.

Bathrooms: The IX has a bathroom sink. The GP does not. Consider a kid who's just done a deuce and needs to wash his hands. First there's the bath doorknob, then a kitchen sink full of dishes...you get the picture. That one feature means a LOT more than you might think.

IX has a real fridge but no oven. The GP has a large "dorm" fridge but it has an oven. We use our oven for every meal. Ever make frozen potato puffs? Yes, the oven is very nice. But a 6' double door fridge is the bomb. We turn ours on in mid-May and shut it off when we winterize. We go shopping, and unload straight into the camper. Both were non-negotiable in our choice of the X-213.

Both seem to have the fold-away stairs...essential if you go off-road. The traditional undermount stairs are very vulnerable to getting crushed in the whoop-de-doos. My X-213 came with traditional stairs, and based on experience with my previous rig, I replaced them before my first trip. We boondock exclusively. Last time we went out with the X-213, we went about 1/2 mile into an ATV-motorcycle trail...no issues with dragging stuff.

You talk about cold weather. Cold weather campers are special. If your black and grey dump valves are out on the ends of the pipe(s), they will NOT take the cold. 4-seasons campers have "remote" dump valves up inside the heated underbelly. Same with the fresh tank dump. If it's down on the end of a short hose...out in the open...or just sticking out through a hole in the underbelly covering, it will FREEZE. Same with an outdoor shower. I suspect neither the IX or GP are true cold weather campers. Maybe bit of extra insulation in the walls and a heated underbelly, but when you get down to 10 degrees, you'd better be winterized.

Again apples and oranges. These are NOT comparable trailers. But both are very desirable.

On solar. 100 watts in a single panel is not enough...not nearly enough. I've lived with 100 watts, and it requires enormous discipline with power use. If you are "pre-wired" for solar in both, go aftermarket for the solar kit. Forest River charges through the nose for solar add-ons, and they aren't enough. A good system will be 400 watts (4 panels) with 2 x 6 volt golf cart batteries. All up for about $1000. Downsides: you install, and it's not rolled into the financing. If you want to chat solar, it's my thing. PM me. I'm 71 and I installed my system myself. In sunny Colorado, we have 12 volt power to spare. We only use the genny for 120 volt loads like the microwave or espresso machine. I even have a small inverter to briefly run an electric blanket to take the chill off the bed. See below.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:30 PM   #10
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Brief comment about the stairs...


I absolutely love them. They are robust and adjustable which makes them nice when on uneven terrain. They aren't without issues though. You have to fully deploy them to enter the trailer, which means the door has to be fully open and there must be adequate room to swing them down. A quick run into the trailer to grab something at the gas station isn't always convenient. I've been in RV parking slots where people have parked close enough that this was not possible.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:44 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bomblord View Post
Hello, and thank you for taking the time to look at my post. I've been researching campers with the intent to purchase for days and have checked out specs, walk through, and reviews for everything ranging from a $80k Black Series (which frankly is too expensive to purchase anytime in the immediate future but those things look awesome) to a $10k Wolf Pup. Given my desired features I've narrowed it down to 2 potential campers. These desired features are as follows.

- No slideouts! I've heard horrors happen with them getting stuck out and they're also an unnecessary point of failure that require extra maintenance and have the potential for leaks and lessening R-values.


- Potential to use for cold weather camping: I have a desire to camp in winter and where I live "winter" means temps below freezing and it's not abnormal to see temps in the teens. In extreme cases it's been -15F with -40F wind chill but that's highly irregular and not something I would be camping in. This is hardly a necessity but it is a nice to have if it's possible.


- Long Lasting: While regular maintenance is a given and issues can happen to campers at any build quality some campers are built in a way that have a much higher chance of issues happening. Subpar rushed assembly methods, cheap materials, or other issues.

- Shower: The misses has given an ultimatum no camping without a usable shower.
- Bunks/Sleeps 4+: No kids atm but if I'm spending 20+K several years down the line we could need the extra beds.


- Oven: We like to cook that includes the occasional baking of cookies.


- Solar: "Boondocking" as it's apparently called or dispersed off-grid camping isn't out of the question so a pre-wired solar system with the potential for adding batteries/panels is a must. Also it's nice to have one already on there.

- <6000lbs: My Silverado can tow around 7000lbs max (max trailering capacity) but I want to keep well below my max.

- <20ft: max size. Just a preference seems to be the "sweet spot" for me it between having a usable amount of space/amenties for longer stays but not defeat the purpose of camping or prevent wanting to actually go outside. I've seen 15 foot models that work too but they usually include slideouts.


- ~20K price: Once again just a sweet spot I could afford more but I don't want to be near the max of what I can pay every month additionally going lower seems to cause a compromise on some level. So I'm ruling out things twice as expensive like an Airstream basecamp or cheaply made like a wolf-pup.


So with all that preface out of the way. I'm looking at potentially purchasing the Geo Pro (specifically the 19BH) or the Ibex (specifically the 19MBH).

Both the campers I'm looking at have an aluminum frame with bonded fiberglass so the frame can't rot or have any major unexpected issues. They have nice more upscale interiors with better quality materials not stickers on particle board. The Ibex has a full heated and enclosed underbelly but the Rockwood only has heating pads on the water tanks which I'm not sure is enough. They also have a standard 100W solar on the roof which is nice to run the lights at night. They both have off-road packages but I've seen at least 2 users of the Geo Pro have the dump valves come loose from going off-road. They're from the same parent company (the namesake of this forum) but I can't find any direct comparisons. A lot of individuals want to compare the Geo Pro to the No-bo which is fine but I've ruled that one out due to a few less standard features. The Murphy bed is an unneeded extra bit of weight/moving part in the Ibex but I can deal with it. All in all they are very very similar and I'm looking for something to set them apart.

I'm also open to other suggestions/brands as I've found out constantly I keep running into brands I've never even heard of even within the forest river line.

Did you make it to the bottom? That was a lot of info I realize so if not the title should be sufficient for your discussion needs Thanks in advance for any tips.
There are websites that sell used, scrap vinyl from billboards. This material can be fashioned into skirting/underpinning to keep the cold from infiltrating your underbelly. Add some space heaters down there and you should be good to go.

Learn all you can about the PAYLOAD capacity of tow vehicles BEFORE you purchase the RV. Payload is on the yellow sticker inside the driver's door jamb. Payload includes people, dogs, cats, food, firewood AND trailer tongue weight. This total must be less than your truck's payload.

Happy camping!!
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Old 10-19-2020, 07:10 PM   #12
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Wow, thanks for all the comments so far. I'm glad to see so many individuals like the Geo Pro and the comments and payload and solar were super helpful too!
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Old 10-19-2020, 07:21 PM   #13
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Wow, thanks for all the comments so far. I'm glad to see so many individuals like the Geo Pro and the comments and payload and solar were super helpful too!
Just remember that the Geo/E Pro lines have been around a LOT longer than the Ibex and also have better brand recognition from the Rockwood and Flagstaff names. Also way more dealerships carry the Rockwood/Flagstaff lines.
So the Ibex will probably be harder to find and lots less owners.
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Old 10-20-2020, 10:30 AM   #14
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I have the IBEX 20BHS. Its longer and wider (at 8 ft) then the ibex 19MBH with a slide.

My recommendation is to make sure you see these two models in person. You will see the difference in person.

I compared the geo pro 20bhs and ibex 20bhs. I have a family of 4 so the bunks in the ibex were bigger and more open. The ibex was wider, longer, taller, and came with dual axles for a larger cargo capacity. Geo pro had more features inside [installed water filter, shower miser, oven, and etc].

I looked at the ibex 19mbh. It was too small for my family of 4. The dinette couldn't sit 4 people and it was more narrow. The bunk was larger but without the slides, its tighter.

Both brands are hand built.

Geo pro is a more established brand, which probably means there is more experience in the production line. A lot of geo pro owners here

The Ibex is new, yes, I've had quality issues which my dealer didn't catch. I had to fix a lot of things. My current issue I'm working with is in my dinette, the person that installed the dinette table used 2 wrong screws that were too long and punctured the slide's floor board. The result is every time the slide goes in and out, the 2 screws would cut thru the rubber seals. I have an appt with another dealer next month. But no major issues.

Shower, I believe both models come with a 6 gallon hot water heater. This means 5 min quick showers [shower head is about 2 gallons per min]. Your "misses" may not like that. My family takes long hot showers so I've had to use our old camping tankless water heater and tap into the hot water line. I'll be upgrading to a permanent tankless hot water heater soon.

Solar- Its not possible to boondock with the standard 100W solar panel, the standard battery, and standard 1000W inverter. It gets you started. You'll need to upgrade and spend money.

Fridge- its bigger in the ibex which is a plus

Ibex does come with a central vac. Similar to the nobo

If you can visit them in person, that's really the best comparison.
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Old 10-20-2020, 10:50 AM   #15
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Solar- Its not possible to boondock with the standard 100W solar panel, the standard battery, and standard 1000W inverter. It gets you started. You'll need to upgrade and spend money.

It is possible, but it's not very practical with a family. All the trips in my Casita were off grid "boondocking" using one 12v deep cycle battery and no solar, but I was by myself and was out for no more than 4 days at a time. A person really has to be good at power management and be willing to go without things that require electricity.
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Old 10-20-2020, 11:03 AM   #16
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It is possible, but it's not very practical with a family. All the trips in my Casita were off grid "boondocking" using one 12v deep cycle battery and no solar, but I was by myself and was out for no more than 4 days at a time. A person really has to be good at power management and be willing to go without things that require electricity.
Yes, I agree, I should have clarified more with a family.
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Old 10-20-2020, 11:15 AM   #17
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I think your point (and others above) is that the included solar isn't adequate for the average off grid excursion.



Yeah I was doing it, but at that point it was just glorified tent camping. Having a toilet, shower, and hot water was nice though.
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