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Mr. Light
04-11-2021, 09:48 PM
Hello,

First time poster in this forum as we've owned a Rockwood Roo (hybrid) for the last couple years.

We're getting ready to upgrade and have narrowed it down to these two: Bullet 273BHSWE and Cougar 25DBSWE. There's things I like about both and having a very hard time making a decision. Is either one better than the other in terms of build quality?

I have read so many comments saying "pick the floor plan you like" but there has to be.more to it than that? I liked the floor plan of a Tracer but everything in the trailer felt so cheap and flimsy, I would never consider it.

The Bullet is obviously bigger but the Cougar feels pretty spacious and has some nice extra features. If I knew it had a better build quality that would probably seal the deal for me.

Anyone have experience with either or both?

Thanks in advance

flybouy
04-12-2021, 02:56 AM
Welcome to the forum. Picking a trailer that's "right for you" is a personal choice. bWhat's important to you may njot be of ant concern to me. My advice is to spend some time in it. Set in it everywhere and think about where you will put stuff. mY OTHER ADVICE IS BOTH OF THOSE TRAILERS REALLY NEED MORE THAN A 1/2 TON TRUCK TO TOW COMFORTABLY. Don't beleive the sales hype or the salesman that your truck can tow it "just fine".

Mr. Light
04-12-2021, 03:04 AM
I appreciate the response. I did upgrade to a 2008 Duramax this year after struggling with a 4.6 Tundra so weight is an issue no more. I’ve spent a good amount of time in the Bullet as my friend has that exact model.

I’m also curious if the extra 2’ will inhibit me from some national parks?

If only I could “borrow” the Cougar for a few trips :)

chuckster57
04-12-2021, 04:11 AM
After working on both, I would lean towards the cougar. Not that Bullets are bad, itís just that to me the cougars seem to be a little more stout.

Ken / Claudia
04-12-2021, 05:15 AM
It won't matter about the little stuff if you do not like the floor plan, you will not enjoy the trailer if the floor plan does not work for you.
Next is budget, no point in thinking about any that break the bank.
You have taken care of the Tow vehicle part, now go into the trailer you picked and spend a few hours without the salesperson telling you you must buy it.
In the end it's all about what you like, you can get a Lemon in any RV, car, pickup, boat, house etc, etc.

SummitPond
04-12-2021, 05:34 AM
I recall reading somewhere on the forum there was a particular "problem" with fridges in slides (overheating? I don't recall exactly what the problem was). Has this issue been cleared up?

The Cougar does have the access hatch to the bunkhouse, and a walk-in shower (versus a fairly useless-sized tub), which are nice features.

JRTJH
04-12-2021, 07:57 AM
If you think back to the Chevrolet marketing in the 60's and 70's, the "big car lines" had three "stepped up pricing and stepped up standard features"... They were the Biscayne, BelAire and Impala. Ford had a similar marketing strategy.

Keystone does the same with the Bullet line. There's the Crossfire, the Bullet and the Premier lines within the Bullet family. The Crossfire is the "cheapest and least "feature filled" of the Bullet family.

The Cougar line has only one level in the travel trailer line and two levels in the fifth wheel line, the Half ton (light weight) and the Cougar "standard weight"....

Comparing an "entry level Bullet" with a "mid level Cougar Half Ton" is difficult.

First, the Bullet is built on a NoCo frame (lightweight riveted frame) and the Cougar is built on a traditional welded frame. Both are built with a "laminated sandwich floor" (now hyperdeck rather than luan).

Essentially, when you compare the price per foot, (the MSRP divided by th elength) of both, the Cougar costs about $250 more per foot.

In the end, I'd make a list of "+" and "-" features that are important to you and see which trailer has the most "+" and which has the fewest "-" checks on the list.

LHaven
04-12-2021, 11:53 AM
I recall reading somewhere on the forum there was a particular "problem" with fridges in slides (overheating? I don't recall exactly what the problem was). Has this issue been cleared up?

It's not a build problem, it's a problem with the underlying physics. Fridges not in slides can have roof vents, and convection takes care of most of it. Fridges in slides need to vent out the wall at 90į, which is tougher and requires engineered airflow and fans.

Had a camper staying with us for the winter with a high-end rig, residential fridge in a slide. "Improved" his venting by having a third identical vent installed in the center of his slide wall. It was a beautiful cosmetic job, and all very "common sense." Fridge burned out while he was with us, because the additional vent starved the cooling flow in the lower half of the compartment. Expensive repair.

sourdough
04-12-2021, 01:05 PM
I am with Chuck. Personally I would prefer the Cougar if it had a floorplan that worked for me. As John mentioned, the Bullet is the entry level trailer (comfort) and is built that way so will have cheaper construction materials, appointments etc. The Cougar is the top of the line model (luxury) and will have nicer appointments and "stouter" construction.

wiredgeorge
04-12-2021, 01:13 PM
Doesn't matter how much you study trailers because until you take out that seemingly perfect trailer you will find things that you don't care for. Not enough counter space, carpet where it makes more sense to have vinyl, tub isn't wide enough for a full figured ol boy, toilet too low, television hard to see from the location of sofa/chairs, cabinets too high for the missus to reach. Each floorplan has good and each has bad. Once you have camped in the trailer you think best you will already be thinking about either how to modify the issues or another floorplan that resolves some or most. ALL trailers have things you will love and things not so much. Many folks buy their first trailer and put it on a 20 year mortgage only to find that: 1. out the door depreciation makes them upside down and 2. they don't think they did good as far as picking the trailer.

My solution is to buy a used trailer, pay cash and see how many things you would change/modify or even buy into with a new trailer you like or desire.

Mr. Light
04-12-2021, 02:18 PM
If you think back to the Chevrolet marketing in the 60's and 70's, the "big car lines" had three "stepped up pricing and stepped up standard features"... They were the Biscayne, BelAire and Impala. Ford had a similar marketing strategy.

Keystone does the same with the Bullet line. There's the Crossfire, the Bullet and the Premier lines within the Bullet family. The Crossfire is the "cheapest and least "feature filled" of the Bullet family.

The Cougar line has only one level in the travel trailer line and two levels in the fifth wheel line, the Half ton (light weight) and the Cougar "standard weight"....

Comparing an "entry level Bullet" with a "mid level Cougar Half Ton" is difficult.

First, the Bullet is built on a NoCo frame (lightweight riveted frame) and the Cougar is built on a traditional welded frame. Both are built with a "laminated sandwich floor" (now hyperdeck rather than luan).

Essentially, when you compare the price per foot, (the MSRP divided by th elength) of both, the Cougar costs about $250 more per foot.




This is the answer I was looking for (was hoping for a more definitive answer :lol:)


Is a welded frame stronger? Any difference structurally? Walking into the Tracer (that was parked next to the Cougar) felt like I might fall through the floorboards. It shook more, felt like it was going to fall apart when I touched it. The Cougar on the other hand was very sturdy, didn't seem to move as much just walking around.......just felt more solid.....is that a thing?



I'm starting to lean towards the Bullet a little more, just based on storage and space. I know my wife will appreciate the more modern interior as well. I have two pre-teen kids and the storage in the Cougar is lacking. It's potentially too small where the Bullet is slightly too big. I think I'd rather have a little too much room, I'm sure no one will complain. The extra 2' isn't going to make THAT much difference parked in the driveway.



Cougar pros:

-holding tanks are huge
-18 year warranty on roof
- King size bed
- TV placement is much better
- Door towards rear for easy bathroom access on road trips
- Bike storage (I'm an avid cyclist, kids also bring their bikes)
- Outdoor kitchen
am I missing anything?







Bullet:
- $5-6k cheaper (There's a place in central CA that is selling them below list)

- Bigger, more space, more storage
- Extra sofa is a nice feature
- Wife likes the doors on both sides of the bed
- Modern interior design (wife also prefers)



While the Cougar has some major selling points, ALL of the Bullet pros are kinda a big deal. I'm definitely leaning towards the Bullet now.



Anyone had any experience with the dealer in Turlock CA?

Mr. Light
04-12-2021, 02:22 PM
I am with Chuck. Personally I would prefer the Cougar if it had a floorplan that worked for me. As John mentioned, the Bullet is the entry level trailer (comfort) and is built that way so will have cheaper construction materials, appointments etc. The Cougar is the top of the line model (luxury) and will have nicer appointments and "stouter" construction.


Yeah I definitely feel a difference when I step into the Cougar but it wasn't as pronounced compared to the Bullet. I'm just afraid we'll realize it's too small, especially as my kids grow and want to bring their buds places. I'm starting to answer my own question as I hear my own replies to you guys :)


I wish Cougar made a 26' or 27' bunkhouse

Mr. Light
04-12-2021, 02:44 PM
Doesn't matter how much you study trailers because until you take out that seemingly perfect trailer you will find things that you don't care for. Not enough counter space, carpet where it makes more sense to have vinyl, tub isn't wide enough for a full figured ol boy, toilet too low, television hard to see from the location of sofa/chairs, cabinets too high for the missus to reach. Each floorplan has good and each has bad. Once you have camped in the trailer you think best you will already be thinking about either how to modify the issues or another floorplan that resolves some or most. ALL trailers have things you will love and things not so much. Many folks buy their first trailer and put it on a 20 year mortgage only to find that: 1. out the door depreciation makes them upside down and 2. they don't think they did good as far as picking the trailer.

My solution is to buy a used trailer, pay cash and see how many things you would change/modify or even buy into with a new trailer you like or desire.


This is excellent advice. We have completed this step already (bought a used hybrid trailer a couple years ago) and are pretty clear about our current needs. The used market is really terrible right now, not saving much in buying a 2-3 year old trailer, especially not having a warranty.

chuckster57
04-12-2021, 04:33 PM
If you buy in central ca, understand that your local dealer will have no obligation to do any warranty work on your new unit. Paying a little more locally can save you a lot of frustration if/when you need warranty repairs. If your comfortable with doing any and all repairs yourself, then by all means get the lowest price.

Mr. Light
04-12-2021, 04:50 PM
If you buy in central ca, understand that your local dealer will have no obligation to do any warranty work on your new unit. Paying a little more locally can save you a lot of frustration if/when you need warranty repairs. If your comfortable with doing any and all repairs yourself, then by all means get the lowest price.




It's a new trailer, what could possibly go wrong? :lol:




I was told that the local dealer could handle the warranty repairs, is that false information? I can imagine that it would put me in the back of the line, behind all the people that bought their TT from this dealer.......

chuckster57
04-12-2021, 05:12 PM
If you have heard it from the service manager at your local dealer, then I would believe it, otherwise all bets are off.

sourdough
04-12-2021, 06:45 PM
It's a new trailer, what could possibly go wrong? :lol:




I was told that the local dealer could handle the warranty repairs, is that false information? I can imagine that it would put me in the back of the line, behind all the people that bought their TT from this dealer.......


The question is WHO told you the "local" dealer would handle all your warranty repairs. If you didn't buy the unit from them they may, or may not, honor the warranty. The selling dealer will, the rest is just a bet. And of course, you WILL be put at the back of the line of any buying customer that's came in ahead of you....behind you etc. Prepare for that "long summer wait".

chuckster57
04-12-2021, 06:56 PM
If itís the selling dealer Iím thinking of, even they donít do warranty work on units they sell.

wiredgeorge
04-12-2021, 08:17 PM
It's a new trailer, what could possibly go wrong? :lol:



Perhaps Keystone would pay you to use this as a marketing slogan! :nonono:

tanglemoose
04-18-2021, 07:18 AM
We bought the 25rdswe after owning a 21rbswe for years, both Cougars. I believe water storage is a whole lot different on the two... we have 76 gray, 38 black and 60 fresh. Also have better countertops, hinges on doors, etc... the Cougars have way better materials, hencethe added cost. Resale on them, I believe is better also.



We love the floorplan, with living area pushed out seems so much bigger. Be sure to get the solar package with inverter, etc ALL included!

goldtrigger
04-18-2021, 08:16 AM
Being a bit older, I always advise buyers to look at campers with the slides in and answer two questions-can you get to the bathroom and the fridge with the slides in? As we travel, I have to stop every two hours to pee and the Montana is most convenient. I also like being able to open the fridge when we stop for lunch. If you have to open slides to get to either bathroom or fridge, think about the design before you buy.

tanglemoose
04-18-2021, 05:59 PM
Interesting comments here, yes have to agree on bathroom. With the 25rdswe you have access to all when stopping BUT you have to open both doors... so a pain, but one I can live with...



On Warranty we have found that IF you are traveling out of our area , a local Keystone dealer would get us fixed and going... but if we bought from other dealer close by to save a few bucks, nope... back of line. For that reason we have bought our last two Cougars close to home... the Key is to USE your rv asap so any warranty issues will show asap.. unfortnately a lot of people buy new Rv, don't use enough to find problems and wham you are not covered.... our Countertop has owie, service gal said so glad you told me and sent pic, it is only covered for 3 months.. makesvsense counters get abused fast..

MXRacer
04-28-2021, 12:16 PM
We looked extensively for about three months and narrowed it down to a Jayco Eagle, Bullet Premier, and the Cougar. I liked the Bullet nearly as much as the Cougar, but the Cougar had the better floorplan for us and that was the deciding factor.

So we got the 25RDS SWE and are happy with it. The king size bed and larger holding tanks were icing on the cake. We looked at the Turlock dealer with the Bullet but decided it was worth the drive to get the floorplan we wanted in the Cougar 8 hours away. The difference in price was $3k.

Mr. Light
04-29-2021, 06:19 AM
Thank you for sharing your experience. I decided (a few weeks ago) that the Bullet fit the bill and it was more about the layout than anything else. The Cougar had a few advantages (such as larger capacity tanks) but at the end of the day it didn't have the storage we need as a family of four with two dogs. To get that from Cougar we would have had to go with the 29' Cougar and that's just too big. The 27' Bullet is already bigger than we wanted to go, I just didn't want to spend the money only to realize, a few months later, that we needed a bigger trailer.

I'm happy with the decision, it's a great layout and was always my favorite interior (light and modern). I put down a deposit on one that was already in order at the Turlock dealer. Hopefully it comes in when they say it will, next week!

Thank you all for your opinions and experiences

MXRacer
04-29-2021, 10:33 AM
Thank you for sharing your experience. I decided (a few weeks ago) that the Bullet fit the bill and it was more about the layout than anything else. The Cougar had a few advantages (such as larger capacity tanks) but at the end of the day it didn't have the storage we need as a family of four with two dogs. To get that from Cougar we would have had to go with the 29' Cougar and that's just too big. The 27' Bullet is already bigger than we wanted to go, I just didn't want to spend the money only to realize, a few months later, that we needed a bigger trailer.

I'm happy with the decision, it's a great layout and was always my favorite interior (light and modern). I put down a deposit on one that was already in order at the Turlock dealer. Hopefully it comes in when they say it will, next week!

Thank you all for your opinions and experiences

The overall length was also a deciding factor for us. The Bullet floorplan I liked was 29 foot and the Cougar was 25. I have pulled 30+ foot toy haulers and getting in and out of gas stations was a pain for me. I set a limit of 26 foot and ultimately decided the things I liked about the Bullet was outweighed by the length. The 25 is much easier to maneuver!

AudioRhino
07-24-2021, 09:00 AM
Interesting read on the prior thread comments. We just put a deposit down on a 25DBSWE at a dealer that is 2 hours away. The local dealer here had one, but the cost difference was $7K cheaper by driving 2 hours (New, but older unit that didn't have the price increase of the ones delivered most recently). Just couldn't pass that up. Hoping it doesn't bite me later for any warranty work. We'll pick up next week and put it through it's paces to check.

As for the floorplan debate here - we struggled. A lot. I love the Cougar 29BHSWE, and it has the PERFECT layout for our family, but it's just too long at around 34 feet. Unfortunately, we have a 90 degree hook turn to park the trailer at our house, and that 4 feet is the killer.

Wished that Cougar made a 27' bunkhouse - that would have been the sweet spot. We looked at the 25RDSWE - which was an awesome layout with the big dinette, but ultimately - dogs need a place to stay, and more storage. The 25DBSWE isn't great on storage either, but then again, with the spot under the bunk, we can use that for most everything we need.

I am surprised at how heavy these "half ton" trailers are. Not complaining, but like others have mentioned in the forums - while my 2017 F150 "can" tow up to 9000 lbs, doesn't mean it "should". I think we'll be ok with the firestone airbag kit to level it out. We rented a similar weight/length trailer and the truck hauled it fine, but a little sag in the back.

We'll pick up the unit next week. And will closely look it over for any damage/issues during PDI.

Ken / Claudia
07-24-2021, 11:24 AM
The best bet is plan the pickup with the 1st overnighter in the RV near that dealer. By using an RV for the very first time, you will find problems that need fixed and the dealer is still close by to take it back too. It may be difficult to have it at home and say next month when you camp you find that problem not found by the dealer or on your PDI and either take it back on a 4 plus hour trip or get it done locally.
Read through posts on here where people saved money by traveling to buy and after using it made a little or big list of problems they demand to be fixed. Then upset they cannot get work done where they did not buy it. Several 4 hour round trips later they savings was gone.
Really most items are a handy man fix and if your a hands on guy, fixing the little stuff at home is the best answer anyway.
That's about the best thing about this forum, ask a question about how someone fixed or improved a problem with their RV. Many on here have great answers for those questions.

flybouy
07-24-2021, 12:07 PM
"[while my 2017 F150 "can" tow up to 9000 lbs, doesn't mean it "should". I think we'll be ok with the firestone airbag kit to level it out. We rented a similar weight/length trailer and the truck hauled it fine, but a little sag in the back.]"

You need a good 4 point sway control weight distributing hitch, especially with a TT that size behind a marginal tow vehichle. Air bags will help with ride but will not be a substitute a WDH WITH 4 POINT SWAY CONTROL. Donít skimp out on the vital link between truck and trailer that your safety depends upon.

tanglemoose
07-24-2021, 02:29 PM
We had same issue with cost, but was honest with dealer, they came within 500 bucks and we bought it local. Which is good as getting parts in is a nightmare... you might have some trips back n forth just waiting.... but yes camping very close by for a few days is excellent idea. Our warranty was mostly finish work...



As to storage in 25rdswe, I think you will be surprised. I thought the same thing but there is tons of storage, above table is huge, pantry is huge, bathroom shelves are nice, 2 big drawers by table..are nice. We are putting shelves in closet area for clothes, put a bunch of hooks in bedroom to hold coats, and bunch of hooks in bathroom. Hooks in shower to hang towels... have fun, we spent 102 nights in ours after we picked up in January...

AudioRhino
07-24-2021, 03:39 PM
We had same issue with cost, but was honest with dealer, they came within 500 bucks and we bought it local. Which is good as getting parts in is a nightmare... you might have some trips back n forth just waiting.... but yes camping very close by for a few days is excellent idea. Our warranty was mostly finish work...



As to storage in 25rdswe, I think you will be surprised. I thought the same thing but there is tons of storage, above table is huge, pantry is huge, bathroom shelves are nice, 2 big drawers by table..are nice. We are putting shelves in closet area for clothes, put a bunch of hooks in bedroom to hold coats, and bunch of hooks in bathroom. Hooks in shower to hang towels... have fun, we spent 102 nights in ours after we picked up in January...

Yep - I called the dealer in town and mentioned the competing offer. I would have preferred to buy it here locally, but I was told: "Wow. That's a good price. There's no way we could ever compete with that. It's likely cause it's an older stock unit that landed before the 5-6 price increases that have happened since then." I tried! :)

Yes, the 25RDSWE is a sweet unit. Love the bathroom and the 2nd door off the master. But with 2 large dogs, their bedding, kids, bikes, etc. - My wife and I decided that would be the floor plan for when we retire. And jumped over on the 25DBSWE instead for now. Bunks will allow for a nice place to store some stuff, and we also get an outdoor kitchen (which we probably won't use much). I think the 25RDSWE is pretty awesome with that moveable table. So much so, that I ordered a collapsible set of table legs to convert the table from the twin posts in the 25DBSWE we are getting.

AudioRhino
07-24-2021, 03:47 PM
You need a good 4 point sway control weight distributing hitch, especially with a TT that size behind a marginal tow vehicle. Air bags will help with ride but will not be a substitute a WDH WITH 4 POINT SWAY CONTROL. Donít skimp out on the vital link between truck and trailer that your safety depends upon.

1000% agree with this. And am rolling with a 4 point WDH. No playing around with safety!