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Messages - Capt J-rod

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I attached a link for my 2015 21rbs... The weights are the same as your single axle 16?

My 2006 jayco 19 was a single axle. It was always a balancing act and truly was a pain in the ass.

Here's the specs for the 16TBS...

Why is it so much heavier?

Keep up with the Latest from Livin' Lite / Re: CampLite will live!!
« on: February 13, 2018, 07:07:03 PM »
Aluminum has increased in price pretty serious. I believe we put a tariff on Chinese aluminum as well. Welding aluminum is a pretty tricky job that requires skills. Time is the next factor. Jayco cranks out 30 trailers a day, I have no idea how many camplite makes in a day. Fiberglass is easy and fast. It cuts costs and saves time. When a company is merged and purchased it is a business move. If it doesn't make money then it wasn't a good investment. Bean counters are savage when it comes to production and margins. Guess who loses? The end user and purchaser of the product. I camper land they incorporate planned obsolescence into the design. They are designed to wear out and need replaced. None of these tactics were part of the camplite design or mission. The features which I was most attracted to were the first to be eliminated. Why was I attracted to an aluminum roof and floor? Because I replace both of those in a rotted out 7 year old Jayco. Pressboard cabinets? Really? In a $30k trailer? The same cabinets in your $17K trailer? They are still better than most of the competition. They will still outlast the stick built trash. Are they what the founder set out to accomplish? I don't think so. Now will it ever be feasible to mass produce an all aluminum trailer again with materials, labor, margins, overhead and a profit for a decent sale price? Only the market can answer that question.

Keep up with the Latest from Livin' Lite / Re: Where's Dan?
« on: February 01, 2018, 02:31:52 PM »
Retirement is a moving target. I own and remodel rentals and my wife is in medicine. At age 39 I have 7 units an 4 properties. I also do HVAC, Plumbing , and mechanical consulting for commercial HVAC and sick buildings. Work and income have become less of a concern, but the health insurance and unknowns keep us working and saving at a feverish pace. Right now the wife provides insurance leaving me free to pursue my own business and properties. I always saved and worked, but my new mission is how to maintain this quality of life on a limited fixed income at some point. Best wishes to Dan and the other early retirees on here that broke the mold. I hope to join you guys at age 50... With out big goals you lose your motivation lol!

Keep up with the Latest from Livin' Lite / Re: Where's Dan?
« on: February 01, 2018, 11:12:03 AM »
There are a ton of threads on this. The history of Campsite was a small privately held company that set out to build amazing quality light weight campers. In my opinion they succeeded. Thor is a mega company that controls the entire camping industry. They buy up all the competition and stream line the production. The original camplites were all aluminum with barely any wood. The labor and materials were probably pretty intense and the skills needed of the fabricator were also high. Thor wasted no time eliminating aluminum floors and roofs. Pressboard cabinets were introduced but the aluminum package was still available. Now they have composite floors and are offering composite walls. Brunswick did this to boats like sea ray, Boston whaler, and Lund. When the creator is the owner he truly cares about every trailer. When a factory absorbs a product line and the original team is gone? well you decide. Dan was the last of the original guys that knew every screw and every system. He will be greatly missed.

Keep up with the Latest from Livin' Lite / Re: Where's Dan?
« on: February 01, 2018, 08:58:55 AM »
I hope that Dan was able to transition on his terms and not other's intentions. Mergers never seem to go well. As an engineer I understand that there are profits and deadlines. I also understand the real meaning of planned obsolescence. If the product lasts significantly longer than the competition then the number of people interested drops down. Now there are exceptions such as upgrading or downsizing. I had a different post describing the "Jayco Owner Experience"... I will get out of camping if I have to purchase a Jayco or similar stick framed camper. Dan came from the old company as I understand it. He went above and beyond to help people on the site, myself included. Best wishes to Dan in retirement. As for Thor and KZ, They are yet to represent the customers best interest in the design changes and reputation.

I was looking for the tandem axle 16 dbs as well, but I found a super clean 2015 21rbs. Expect to pay $20k for a nice one. In all honesty I don't think the 21 pulls any harder than the 16 would, but I do tow with either a 2015 v6 tacoma or my v8 sequoia. I use a husky centerline weight distribution hitch. Both trailers are excellent. Go out and join the Facebook group, that seems to be the most active membership. Used trailers float through all the time. You may have to travel a ways to get one. FYI I have seen some early 2016 models that are still all aluminum. Good luck and I'll let you know if I see anything.

Thanks Gerald. I have maxxaire covers over the fans that are in there. I looked those fans up and they seem to offer a lot of nice features. Now you've got me leaning in that direction. Thanks for the info!

CampLite Travel Trailers / Re: Why are camplites so light?
« on: January 31, 2018, 04:16:30 PM »
Camplites were designed to fill a void. Fuel prices were high and people sold their gas guzzlers and massive campers during the recession. Most families had a small suv that could tow a small light weight trailer. Quality of regular trailers were very poor and the leaks and failures were and still are quite frequent. Many still wanted to go camping and camplite let it happen without buying a new tow vehicle as well as a new camper. They were very expensive for their size, but the quality was pretty obvious.

I have two vortex in my 2015 21rbs. They move a lot of air, but they are very loud. I am considering swapping out the front one for a fantastic fan. For those that have done it, is it quiet enough to have on while you sleep for is it similar to the vortex?

CampLite Travel Trailers / Re: Why is it so hard to find used Camplites??
« on: January 31, 2018, 04:07:01 PM »
I agree the floor gets cold, but some rubber workout mats help a lot. The exposed water lines make winter and cold camping a bit of a pain. I am very strong minded when it comes to the new "improvements" in the line. I had a jayco prior to my camplite. The 5 year old roof had a leak which resulted in replacing the entire roof as well as the sheeting and some structural wood. I also had to replace part go the floor where the water rotted out. The quality of that trailer was pitiful at best and they really made no provisions for repair. Once I found camplite I immediately discovered that most if not all of the flaws in the Jayco were addressed and eliminated in the superior design. The aluminum roof is loud in the rain, but is awesome for durability and longevity. The aluminum floor is bulletproof. Access to wiring and plumbing is excellent. The welded structure is amazing. The lack of wood was a great asset. Ironically one of the only common problems was from a door that they purchased from challenger that has a habit of corroding and blistering. Overall with the materials and design, and proper maintenance, an older camplite can be preserved and used for decades. As an engineer I can almost see where they identified weakness in the other's design and corrected it. As for the new trailers? there are still some great features carried over from the original design, but the mission is getting lost to the profit margin. Just my thoughts and observations...

CampLite Travel Trailers / Re: Why is it so hard to find used Camplites??
« on: January 27, 2018, 04:11:15 PM »
My 2015 is one of the last years that the all aluminum construction was used.... Its not for sale LOL. Never another plastic roof, never another wooden or composite floor. Towable with damn near anything. Also remember the price point fell into a strange place. A stick frame was 1/2 price and an airstream was more. It took a while to get mine used but I was never so happy to write the check. FWIW I paid more used for a 2015 RBS than my dad did for a new 2017 24' Starcraft launch.

CampLite Travel Trailers / Re: Number of Axles
« on: August 31, 2017, 04:54:03 PM »
I wouldn't get too hung up on number of axles. A well maintained single axle with GOOD tires will serve you fine.

Keep a spare tire on hand and be vigilant about tire pressure, keeping them covered when parked to block the sun is a good idea.

Nice thing about a single axle is there are only 2 tires to buy, 2 hubs to grease, and the camper weighs less.

I agree but there is one weakness. Chinese trailer tires are very questionable. They blow out with no warning. My previous rig had a single axle. It came with 13" Chinese tires. After two trips of 500 miles each, the tires started to show weakness and sidewall cracks. I immediately upgraded to 14" rims and Goodyear marathon radial tires. I never had a blow out, but my friend was not so lucky on his R-pod. It literally ripped the fender off the trailer and did serious damage. Needless to say that during the repair the tires were changed. I am probably going to use light truck tires this time. A single axle is fine, but be very aware of what happens when one blows. The tank valve assembly was completely destroyed in that accident. When I changed to the 21, the second axle was very welcomed for peace of mind. You are very correct with your advice on bearings, and tire inflation. Also verify the speed ratings of the tires on your rig. Most trailer tires are rated for 65mph.

General Q & A / Re: Utensil drawers
« on: August 28, 2017, 08:39:16 PM »
After a long searcher my 21, I am building mine. We have the aluminum/azdel cabinets. The width and depth just kept me out of every option I looked at. This winter in the wood shop I will fire up the dovetail jig and get some therapy time building a divider. I know this probably doesn't help your cause. If there are any amish cabinet guys by you then they can custom build what you need.

The changes that have been made are generally consider neutral at this point. The TPO roof is applied over azdel, so there is no wood waiting to rot in the event of a leak. Not as durable as aluminum, but not the end of the world. The flooring is a laminated composite... Again zero wood for rotting, and not nearly as cold. The floor and roof are what made me purchase my 2015 rather than a new unit. My wife is not in love with the cold floor. The wooden pressboard cabinets are considered an upgrade. I don't know if there is an aluminum frame under the pressboard. I love the aluminum framed azdel cabinets in my trailer. It is a different type of trailer. It is not "plush". The problem I have with the other mfg's "plush" is that it is all a cheap knock off. Wallpaper that looks like tile, press board that looks like wood, cheap fabrics and foam that look like a luxury sofa, and none of it is built to last. If I want plush, then I will stay at a marriot hotel. If I want a camper that was designed to be used for 25 years and not self destruct, I will use my camp lite. These "glampers" are just lipstick on a pig. I will say that the frame and walls are still intact on the new units. They are still a much better option than the stick framed mfgs that spit out 35 campers a day. When it comes time to change campers it will be a hard process. I can't honestly say that I would own a camplite if I would have had to buy the new model with the changes. I also see that they are making a fiberglass unit now. I'm not excited or impressed. Only the future know where the changes are taking the product.

Which model do you have? I have a 21'rbs... The front is a queen. I guess I generally gravitate away from convertible sleeping arrangements. I view them like a Swiss army knife. They are useful, but they usually don't do anything well. We have a jack knife couch. It is not the most comfortable couch, and it is definitely not a comfortable bed. We keep a memory foam topper stowed behind the couch that makes it better. I am going to re upholster the couch this winter and add high density foam. Hopefully this makes it better. I guess if you need the space more than the comfort, go for it. FWIW I have awesome storage under and around my front bed that I would never give up. If it's a toy hauler then that is a different story.

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