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Lolead 04-14-2016 10:30 AM

Old guy in Missouri needs advice
As the title suggest, I would welcome any opinions good or bad. Wife and I are both retired, I from nearly 40 years in a dealership collision repair shop wife was a budget analyst. We are considering replacing our current TT, 2002 Jayco FB24. We both believe this will be our LAST RV. I have looked at both the Shadow Cruiser 225RBS and the Fun Finder215WSK. Any owners of either of these units ? If so, what are your likes and dislikes ? We want a unit that will give us reliable service long term. How do you view quality between these brands ? Thanks in advance for your help, Dave

profdant139 04-14-2016 04:19 PM

Dave, I am a loyal Fun Finder customer (we've owned two), but their units are not perfect -- a few folks have gotten lemons. I do not think that Fun Finders are inferior to other brands, but I do not think they are better built. I do think that the newer FF models are more well-insulated than the competitors' units.

The only brand that is famous for quality is Airstream -- and it'll cost you a bundle.

John_C 04-14-2016 06:35 PM

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Hi Dave,
I bought a 2008 CruiserRV FunFinder Xtra XT-190 Toy Hauler last year and for the most part, I have been content. This is my first Travel Trailer purchase and after previously building a custom Cargo Trailer designed for camping, I suppose I was expecting a much higher quality... :rolleyes:

I was disappointed in a number of things from:

A lack of insulation in floor... A Midwest Trailer sold in Northern Minnesota should have been better built to handle colder weather; however, this is obviously warm weather trailer and I am planning to winterize the floor and plumbing.

One pet peeve is that the plumbing could have been routed much better and better access to drain and bypass valves... This would have greatly facilitated winterizing and readying for summer use.

The interior walls lack screw strength and or lack studs to facilitate adding things as simple as towel racks and clothes hooks in the head.

There are other things that could have been better... However, with all that said, I purchased the trailer knowing these shortcomings and my wife and I have enjoyed the trailer. We have close to 9,000 miles on the trailer since it's purchase in early spring of 2015. It tows like a champ, even when loaded with a 600 lb. ATV, gear, and the water tank full. I am doing small upgrades as needed and plan to keep the trailer.

If I were to purchase a trailer new, I would skip any dealership sales and go straight to the manufacturer... There are several manufacturers that deal directly with the end buyer and will build to suit the buyer's needs/wants. Now, before anyone throws rocks at me, this is my opinion and if you want something different than seen at the dealer, you need to go up the ladder; bear in mind that cost may well go up...

For example, my cargo trailer was just under $3,000 before my special requests that took it up another $1,500, but I got what I wanted, from windows to insulation, to 3/8" plywood interior walls, to dual ceiling vents with fans, to additional bracing, RV door and screen door... and the lists on. I then added an awning, built a galley, added 120 vac, propane, a 12 vdc battery, shelving, and other stuff. NOW, with all that, I HAVE MORE INTO THE TRAILER THAN I CAN GET OUT OF IT. So the decisions are sometimes difficult to make...

Good luck with your purchase AND HAVE FUN!!! :D :D :D

Eagle 04-15-2016 12:01 PM

John C ~ interesting project there with the single axle cargo trailer conversion. That is one of those things that when built to your specifications w/modifications desired, one should never expect to get your money back ... much like rebuilding a 1960's muscle car. YOU do it because it's what YOU want and enjoy for what it is.

John_C 04-15-2016 07:55 PM

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Originally Posted by Eagle (Post 14292)
John C ~ interesting project there with the single axle cargo trailer conversion. That is one of those things that when built to your specifications w/modifications desired, one should never expect to get your money back ... much like rebuilding a 1960's muscle car. YOU do it because it's what YOU want and enjoy for what it is.

Absolutely Eagle,
I built the little (6' x 10 x 6-1/2' Inside height) specifically for prospecting in the boonies and when the axle is flipped, the trailer to ground clearance is 24".

However, I was actually trying to make a point that when buying, buy what you want within a budget... check it out (either new or used) and make a decision to buy or not. I also ordered the CT trailer with considerable changes, including moving the door to allow for a full length bunk. In recent article posted in Trailer Life, the author named several trailer manufacturers that will try to build what the customer wants...

In my FF, I felt like I was looking for Easter Eggs when trying to iron out the water system... while doing this I kept thinking how easy it would have been to place all the water valves in one location; in my case, inside the outer storage compartment would be great as it is located conveniently.

MY PERSONAL FEELINGS --- I like my trailer, but as many FF owners know, there are a number of things that could have and, I believe, should have been built better... AND if I was going to spend money to buy a NEW trailer, I would want input on what, where, and how. But you see I chose to purchase a used trailer that is solid and functionally okay for a VACATION trailer. It was a whole bunch cheaper that a new and serves my purpose.

Lolead 04-15-2016 08:18 PM

Thanks to everyone for your input and advice, I really do appreciate it. Now waiting on the dealership to see what kind of trade we can do. Speaking of building cars, I have built several hot rods and custom cars. Yes, you need to love what you do and never look at it as an "investment". Sorry to say I have either gotten burned out or just lost the fire in my belly. I have owned our current hot rod, 1947 Pontiac Streamliner, for almost 20 years and although I've done a few things, 30 years ago I would have had it laying in pieces by the 3rd month of ownership and already looking forming a vision of the final product. Well, sucks to be old !!!

N&K 04-17-2016 11:08 AM

This is probably too late for your request but...

I have owned a Shadow Cruiser 225RBS for almost two years. It is a 2015 model. I really like the layout. The build quality is good, not great. They have added some desired features in the newer models such black water tank flush, three step entry, LED lights, LED, heated utility area under the trailer, and outside light strip. I really like the way the trailer pulls, the location of the raised counter on the end of the cooking area, the overall height of the trailer, the set up of the shower with glass doors, and the amount of interior storage. I am not happy with the ineffective seal around the slide out, the fact that self tapping screws in the aluminum frame have stripped out causing leaks and potential leaks (got fixed in time), the lack of a 12 volt plug-in, and the noisy air conditioner/heating system.

Lolead 04-17-2016 07:41 PM

N&K, Thank you for your honest insight and you are certainly not too late. It may be awhile before we actually do anything. The thing I really like about the 225RBS is the total floorplan and the number of storage cabinets. Something that I wonder about is how can you mount a towel bar or toilet paper holder in the bathroom ? I have also looked at a Fun Finder 214WSD, I think that is the number, that looks like a fabulous floorplan but the dealership I have been dealing with does not have that model. They are a small family owned dealership and seem very honest. They are supposed to call with a trade estimate so we will see what that brings. Thanks again for your time and reply, I appreciate it, Dave

gmw photographics 04-18-2016 04:37 PM

Regarding mounting the towel holder and the TP holder, here is what I did. The towel holder was a "over the top of the door" style. I cut the part off that "goes over the top" so what I had left is what you see here.
I think I got that at camping world.

The TP holder came from Lowes or home depot, and as you see, it's on the inside if the vanity door.

Eagle 04-18-2016 04:49 PM

I mounted a standard house TP holder in the bath using the same method one would use in a house when mounting it to wall board/sheet rock. Drill the small mounting holes and insert the little plastic expanding thingys, then run in the screws. It's held just fine.
As for towel holders, we use the shower curtain bar...and two 'coat hooks' screwed to the bathroom door.

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