Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-19-2013, 08:46 AM   #1
Mik
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Australia
Posts: 2
Send a message via AIM to Mik
Default Fun Finder, KZ or Lance?

Hello everyone, This is my 1st time on forum. We have been looking for a layout to suit our family for 6 months now & we love the layout on the Fun Finder X-262BHS & the KZ Spree 240BHS is almost identical & Lance 2185 is similar with different bunk layout. All our research is internet based only as we live in Australia so can't physically go & view them. This is why we need your help. We are leaning toward the Fun Finder because of bunk layout although the Lance does look like a better made unit & well finished off with heaps of storage. 1st question re: FF Storage for kids? There is only one door under lowest bunk. Does this open up to the whole floor space under bunk & if not whats under there? If so how does one access it all? by crawling in? Is there an access door from the outside as with the KZ. Also do the 2 draws under middle bunk provide enough storage for kids clothes? remember there is 3 kids. The outdoor kitchen is great but seems to eat up a lot of storage space?
Q2, Am I right to assume that the greater the 'Cargo carrying capacity' in similar made travel trailers the better it is made? because it is able to carry a larger weight? If so the FF @ 2,950 lbs. over the Lance @ 2,100 lbs. & KZ @ 1690 lbs. is Made stronger?
I hope I havn't confused too many & waffled on too much.
Finally what are your thoughts on the FF X-262BHS? Build, storage, functionality etc.?
Sorry one more, the 2013 model just released has a full fibre glass front with no window yeah? & they changed this, from what I can gather & read, because of a cracking issue with the front window?
Thanks again for any help on these issues. Mik
__________________

Mik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2013, 10:57 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: South Central PA
Posts: 623
Default

I can't speak to the specific models that you are interested in, but, will speak to a couple of the generalities that you bring up...

The front window is problematic for many manufacturers and over the years, most have quit making them. Not so much for the cracking and breaking, but, for the leak proclivity. The front of a trailer, while traveling down the highway at 60-65 mph takes a heck of a beating and mix rain into the picture and leaks are not uncommon. The leaks can be prevented by vigilance and reapplication of the sealant around the frame, but, many people either didn't know they needed special attention or just got lazy and didn't follow the "rules" and had leaks...that leads to a lot of bashing of the brand of trailer and most manufacturers just quit making them in order to prevent the bad reps, even though the fault wasn't in the manufacture. That's for a "perfectly made" trailer and we all know there is no such thing...add inattentiveness by the assembler and you have instant water leakage problems. I, for one, was sorry to see the front window go away (it was actually one of the reasons that got us into our FunFinder in the first place). We did have one minor leak; I caught it really early, re-caulked and kept an eye on the sealant's integrity and never had any further issues with it. Don't shy away from a front window model because of what you've read. They make the trailer much lighter inside and bring an "open" quality to even the smallest models. Be aware though that they do require the "extra" care in maintenance; you should always inspect the caulking all over the trailer every 6 months, but, you should pay special attention to a front window's seal. In the 4 years we towed our 210WBS, I had the one leak episode (no damage - three drops of water on the pillow) and zero other problems once I fixed that one leak and we had many years of gazing out of an extra window and the daylight that it let in.

As for greater cargo space equaling a better build or heavier frame... There are several factors that affect how much storage (read cargo) a trailer is rated for. One is utilization of space. All trailer have oodles of empty spaces in them; inherent in putting "things" inside a box. One of the signs of a well thought out trailer is how easy that extra space is accessed. That really great space under a jack-knife sofa's box mounting is useless unless you can access it. Access to these spaces is a sign of thoughtful engineering and design. When these spaces are "opened up" to usage, that results in the ability to add more weight and adding more weight means having the frame and suspension necessary to carry that extra weight. So, yes, the additional cargo capacity usually speaks to a heavier duty frame, but, more importantly, at least to me, it speaks to the thought in the design process. If the design process has that much more thought put into it, it leads me to, possibly a mistaken impression, but, an impression, none the less, that the overall quality of the trailer may be raised a smidgen as a result. Well thought out designs do not always translate into a better quality build, but, if a company puts that much more effort into design, they usually tend to put some extra effort into build. Unfortunately, the way the market for RVs is, everybody wants a palace on wheels for a cabin in the woods price. The only way that happens is a cut on the manufacturer's build practices. Over the years there have been many "best built" or "quality built" RV manufacturers go broke because, we, the buying public, wouldn't pay the true cost for that quality.

Models with outside kitchens will always be "slimmer" on storage and capacity than those without the extra kitchen. You can't add a kitchen and not loose storage space; a box has a finite number of cubic feet, that's just plain physics. Until we develop a TARDIS (you have to be a Dr. Who fan for that one), if you add "things", you loose space. A lot of people like the extra outside kitchen...we don't. If, when we are looking at RV's, we see an outside kitchen, we move on. Regardless of what the inside has to offer, I don't care to give up the "space" for having two kitchens to take care of, keep control of leaks, have to stock (do you duplicate things or do you have to remember which kitchen has the spatula?). An outside kitchen will also cut down on the cargo carrying capacity...that kitchen not only takes up "space", but, also reduces the cargo capacity by whatever all that kitchen stuff weighs.

As for quality of trailers you mention? The word quality is problematic with any RV made. Despite the claims, you will find that all the different makers use the same products to assemble their version of an RV. There are only a handful of appliance makers; Suburban, Dometic, Norcold, Atwood, etc. and all the manufacturers use these in their products. The Suburban refrigerator in the FunFinder is the same Suburban refrigerator used in a KZ... How they are "assembled" is a different matter. Unfortunately (and I tend to get on my soapbox when people complain about the "junk" they bought), we have brought the quality issue on ourselves. When you refuse to pay what it costs for quality, and then walk into a dealer and "demand" 30% or more off of that or there is no deal, then the maker has only one option, besides closing down, and that is to skimp and the only real place to skimp is assembly in order to keep the price down. Quality is going to come down to what you perceive and how much effort you are willing to put into keeping that mobile home on wheels (don't get me started on calling it "camping"!) operating and how diligent you are about staying on top of repairs and there will be, believe me, repairs. RVs are like boats; a boat owner has two moments of pure ecstasy...the moment he buys the boat and the moment he sells it. I bought a FunFinder, as opposed to the hundreds of others we looked at, because I saw an effort to build quality higher than the others, I saw a quality of the "pieces" used to build the unit (aluminum frames throughout and good quality filon walls) and the thoughtfulness of the overall design. I was never disappointed in our choice and was deeply saddened that FunFinder (CruiserRV) didn't make 5th wheels when we needed to go "really big" for part time living on the road.

Good luck in your choice and welcome to this forum and to the world of RVing. You'll have your ups and you'll have your downs, but, the folks, for the most part, are a great group and FunFinder owner's are the best (with a few Cougar owners thrown in for balance ).
__________________

__________________
My 2 cents, your mileage may vary...

Don
Bronwyn
2 Cats; J-Lo and Ragamuffin :R

2014 Thor Tuscany 40RX DP
2011 Ram 2500 Longhorn CTD HO
2011 Keystone Cougar 318SAB (now gone)
2008 FunFinder X 210WBS (Sadly gone)
webslave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2013, 11:48 AM   #3
Mik
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Australia
Posts: 2
Send a message via AIM to Mik
Default

Wow! thanks Webslave, I wasn't expecting that, but it's all good, all thoughts & insights at this stage are very welcomed. As you gathered I am an Aussie & have owned a TT here since 2002 that has a front window, which we too love & have never had a problem with. And I am shocking with maintenance. I do like buying quality however, so maybe this is why we've not had a problem with it.
I am definitely after purchasing a Quality built TT so it's great to hear your happy with your FF especially as you sound like you would of done your research thoroughly. After our 6 months traveling in the U.S. I will be bringing it back to Oz. because a TT as mentioned to purchase in Oz would cost around $80,000 plus over here. So I don't mind paying for quality with or without a front window.
As for greater cargo space equaling a better build or heavier frame...
This is where I maybe confused. The Lance 2185 TT have gone all out with storage space & easy access to it all from both inside & out, great for a family with 3 kids (except, didn't like the bunk layout, stacked on top of each other) & the KZ spree as well had better access to there available storage but the 'Cargo carrying capacity' was very low. The FF 262BHS however had the worse accessability to there storage (as in under the bunk at back of trailer with no outside access) yet had the highest 'Cargo carrying capacity'. Contradicting your thoughts on this whole thing (not disputing your thoughts, just saying!) trying to get my head around it all.
Not overly bothered about the outside kitchen either although it would be some what of a novelty here in Oz.
Something I've noticed in the TT's built here in almost all family van's is the inclusion of a washing machine, something I havn't seen in any of your TT's? But I suppose with a price tag of $80,000 you would expect it to have one & a dishwasher. Very soon apparently!
Our travels start in March 2014, Looking forward to it.
Thanks again for your input.
Mik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2013, 04:44 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: South Central PA
Posts: 623
Default

Probably what may be confusing is the size and number of the storage spaces. Many RVs have a plethora of storage spaces with the access to them, but, they may tend to be small or irregularly shaped. That lends one to think that it has "more" storage space, however, if you were to measure the square footage of that storage, it may or may not amount to more total volume than a trailer with even a single storage space. It is all in how that space is alloted, many small rather useless storage cubies is what the auto industry fell into a few years ago. Places that collect junk and dirt but provide little to no real usability. Now the cars are coming with thoughfully designed, larger, though fewer, storage ideas that are more useful. The same thinking applies to RVs. I've seen a lot that "advertise" tons of storage, but, when you actually look at them, due to the shape or the location, they were less than useful. When you look at storage space and spaces, you need to have a fairly firm grip on what exactly you are looking to put into these places. It does get very confusing, but, as you know, if you are looking to store a grill or lawn chairs, a lot of bread box sized storage areas are less than ideal.

As for the carrying capacity...most RV manufacturers will "max" out, in advertising what their units may carry, however, if one has a higher rated cargo carrying capacity, you could expect a likewise heavier chasis to support it. As I mentioned, the manufacturers are looking at ways to skimp and control costs. The frame is one area, if you cut out some of the support or thickness of the beams, you can save a boatload of money and all you have to do is reduce the rated cargo capacity; a number that quite a few never even look at when shopping for an RV. Ask anyone and they will tell you they'd never, ever, be able to load up a trailer with 1200 lbs of stuff, but, you'd be amazed at how easy it is to wind up with 2,000 or more without batting an eyelash or even knowing how much it actually weighs, unless you have your rig weighed which isn't as common with travel trailers as it with the larger 5th wheels and motorhomes (again, it is that thinking "I can't possibly pack enough stuff in my little trailer to be overweight..."). I know from personal experience that I worried far less in the FunFinder than I do in the 5th wheel, even though I weighed my FunFinder several times and had a Sherline tongue scale to make sure I stayed safe in the tongue weight department.

Many of the larger or more "upscale" RVs in the States have washers and driers and dishwashers, too, but, you will usually find those in the 5th wheels and motorhomes as opposed to travel trailers, there are a few TTs that can be had with them, but, very few. The 5th wheel that I have has an area in it that the dealer said was designed for placement of a washer and drier, but, I'd rather use the campgrounds washer and drier than lug my own all over the country!

I am always amazed at what RVs (and vehicles themselves) cost down in Oz...but, since everything has to be imported I guess that really drives up the price. Very similar to what happens over here when discussing prices on the mainland vs. prices in Hawaii or Alaska; transportation costs really balloon up when you have to ship or truck those larger items that distance. I worked with a young lady once from Hawaii and was floored by what she paid for things over there; that was why she was back on the mainland, she needed to save some money which wasn't happening in Oahu.

I certainly hope you enjoy your travels "up here" and visiting the "down under" is on our bucket list of things to get down before we are finished with our travels (however, we probably won't be RVing down there unless rentals are fairly reasonable...), I shudder to think what it would cost to ship my truck and trailer down under!
__________________
My 2 cents, your mileage may vary...

Don
Bronwyn
2 Cats; J-Lo and Ragamuffin :R

2014 Thor Tuscany 40RX DP
2011 Ram 2500 Longhorn CTD HO
2011 Keystone Cougar 318SAB (now gone)
2008 FunFinder X 210WBS (Sadly gone)
webslave is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.