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Old 06-27-2020, 07:27 AM   #1
kb0zke
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Vantage for full-time?

We've been full-timers for six years in a 40' motor home. It is now for sale, and when it sells we're going to go to a travel trailer. We've been looking at used Airstreams, and a neighbor suggested we check out the Vantage. I found a few on rv trader, and a couple look interesting. All of them are 2012 models, and it seems to me I read somewhere that the Vantage was only made for a short time.

1. Is that last statement true? How long were they made? Why are they no longer made?

2. Are they of sufficient quality to stand up to full-time living? What are the known issues that should be checked?

3. Is there some place where I can see the various floor plans, lengths, models, etc.?
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Old 06-27-2020, 07:49 AM   #2
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Never heard of the Vantage line but I have lived a sheltered life. Probably not many sold. Appears they are all 35' and lightweight meaning likely not the best choice for full timing as light generally means flimsy materials and little insulation. I am sure some of the smarter folks can chime in here. BTW... you can full time in any trailer and a lot depends where you full time; Light trailers are not as likely to be a good idea where the temps get sub freezing a lot and a 30A power cord means one A/C and in a 35' camper that won't cut it in South Texas at least. I think there were only a couple floor plans based on this review:
https://www.trailerlife.com/rv-gear/...vantage-32fls/

The 32QBS appears to be a bunk house model. Last issue regarding full timing is small gray/black tank sizes; that might be important if you are traveling in the camper or want to boon dock.
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Old 06-27-2020, 07:58 AM   #3
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I have never understood a draw to an Airstream. Not just a little cramped, but VERY cramped. I know it is a 'to each his own' world, but I see very little about them to draw an interest.
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Old 06-27-2020, 08:21 AM   #4
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I have never understood a draw to an Airstream. Not just a little cramped, but VERY cramped. I know it is a 'to each his own' world, but I see very little about them to draw an interest.


^^^^^x2! An Airstream has never been a thought for us as an RV; SO many drawbacks. I've got a friend who owns a nice RV park and he has 2. They cost a fortune to maintain and to go in one and think about actually staying a week? Ain't no way. Maybe for a novel 1 day weekend but to actually spend time...won't happen for us.
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Old 06-27-2020, 08:51 AM   #5
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Our biggest interest in the Airstream is the lack of slides. I'd be much more interested in the Vantage if there was a no-slide plan. The floor plan of the Vantage reviewed above is pretty much what we are looking at in an Airstream, only without a slide. Yes, there are differences, but they are pretty minor.

The biggest drawback to an Airstream is the aluminum skin is riveted to the aluminum wall framework, and then the interior aluminum skin is attached to that, with only a bit of insulation between the two. No matter how much insulation there is, though, heat will be transferred between the inside and outside.

The tank sizes are very much like the Airstream. Most of the Airstreams we've looked at also have a single a/c and 30A service. We would upgrade to a second a/c and 50A service in any trailer that doesn't have those things.
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Old 06-27-2020, 09:10 AM   #6
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You may want to rethink buying a 30A and then trying to make it 50A. Depending on the trailer that could be a daunting, not to mention very expensive, task. Trying to equally redistribute power for the 50A in a trailer never meant to be that way could prove to be problematic very quickly. I would be looking at a 50A from the gitgo.
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Old 06-27-2020, 10:43 AM   #7
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Don't forget that if you do purchase a 30 amp Airstream and decide to upgrade it to 50 amps, there's no way to run the ROMEX for a second air conditioner "through the walls/ceiling"... You'll be removing the inner skin to access the ceiling spaces since the outer walls are "buck riveted" with blind rivets that can't be replaced if the interior walls are attached to the ribs.
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Old 06-27-2020, 11:01 AM   #8
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Airstreams to full-time in, NO WAY for us! They have very limited storage inside & next to NO storage outside, you'll have tow it with a long bed truck with a topper to haul all your stuff you had in the motohome, at least that's what we determined.
Another NO WAY for us would be the "no slides", we had a 40' 5th with 3 slides that we fulltimed in for 10+ years & there were times it felt very cramped. Moving from a 40' motorhome to a 25-30' TT, especially an Airstream, with no slides will feel like you've moved into a closet.
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Old 06-27-2020, 11:31 AM   #9
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Friends, don't worry about the slides or the apparent difference in length. We're in a 40' motor home with now slides. The driver's and navigator's seats, although turned 90*, are still pretty much useless for us, but have been claimed (both of them) by the cat. From where they are to the front bumper is about 6', so a 34' Airstream inside is actually about the same inside area as what we now are in. Part of what attracted us to this MH, and now to the Airstreams, is the NO SLIDES. We don't want them! Since we're buying used, we'll take what we find that best suits us, knowing that it won't be exactly the way we would design it if money were no object.

I'm more interested in the questions I posted in the first post. Why the short life of the Vantage? Is it up to full-time use? Are there any known issues with them?

Current trailers of that style all seem to be limited to about 24' or less. I've been told that making bigger ones is very difficult. Is that why the Vantage line went away?
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Old 06-27-2020, 11:55 AM   #10
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JMO, it seems to me the bigger trailers in TT and 5ers are all looking at sq ft floor space. Current park we are in as trailers with as much as 6 slides. Nearly all have at least 3. Older units may only have 2.
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Old 06-27-2020, 01:37 PM   #11
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OP, I had heard of Vantage trailers but I've not seen one or heard of anyone on this forum that has one. I could be wrong, or someone may have owned one but I don't recollect the trailer being in a signature of a member.

I think your questions about the Vantage may be several years too late. Looks like they were made 2012-13? A copy of the Airstream style, all fiberglass top to bottom, heavy, no room and more expensive. I may have just highlighted some of the reasons it met its demise. The field of potential buyers was small and I figure the trailer was more expensive to make to Keystone so it couldn't carry its weight. They have done that before. I was looking at a brand they had a few years back (for the life of me I can't remember the name) that was VERY nice, with slides, full fiberglass and paint. I think it met the same fate for the same reasons. The Keystone Cougar High Country I bought new was the same deal. It was very nice, upgraded all kinds of stuff but had sat on the lot for more than 6 months. The owner told me they could not move them because the price was in the 5th wheel range and that's what people would buy at that price point. Bought it the last day of Feb. 2014, had warranty work performed in August and the parts for it were already obsolete and the line discontinued.....
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Old 06-27-2020, 05:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kb0zke View Post
<CLIP>

I'm more interested in the questions I posted in the first post. Why the short life of the Vantage? Is it up to full-time use? Are there any known issues with them?

Current trailers of that style all seem to be limited to about 24' or less. I've been told that making bigger ones is very difficult. Is that why the Vantage line went away?
I didn't do a search of the site, but I seem to recall there was a thread suggesting Keystone had never attempted construction such as the Vantage line had and was having some serious manufacturing quality issues (which I don't recall what they were) which is why they terminated the line after a short while.

There are some photos that pop up at the top of the main page of a Vantage trailer, so someone at one time or another had one who used to frequent this forum. I'm not sure if there's a way to search for a user and their model; one of the moderators will have to chime in about that.
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Old 06-27-2020, 05:14 PM   #13
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Thanks. I hadn't thought about the fact that parts may be unobtanium. The 32FLS looks very much like the Airstreams we're considering, but is somewhat lighter, slightly more cargo weight capacity, and considerably less expensive than a similar age and size Airstream.

One of the moderators did, indeed, tell me how to contact a Vantage owner. I have sent a PM to one who is active here, so maybe I'll get an answer or two soon.

Thanks to all of you who have helped in my research.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:32 PM   #14
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I remember them. We walked through and them and thought they were nice. But again, space was a premium.

When we bought our Wildcat, Forest River was trying to get us into their “Aviator” which was their airstream Knock off

https://www.smartrvguide.com/L51692447
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Old 07-01-2020, 06:03 AM   #15
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Look at Bigfoot or Oliver. They may not be big enough though. The Bigfoot is all fiberglass "clam shell" construction. Real gel coat fiberglass, not thin filon. No slides. Very low production numbers, very high quality. I assume Oliver is the same. Bigfoot is made in British Columbia Canada and Oliver is Tennessee, I think.
http://www.bigfootrv.com/
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Old 07-01-2020, 06:32 AM   #16
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David,

Something I'm sure you've considered (but maybe not) is storage space. You're coming from a 44' motorhome with a considerable storage capacity under it, as well as much of the "house functions" are built into the basement. Moving into a travel trailer will CRITICALLY reduce the available storage space compared to what you currently enjoy. In most travel trailers, there is "precious little" outside storage and even less inside storage. Things like a "full length wardrobe, a "honest to goodness" pantry, even storage for bulk paper products are significantly limited or even non-existent....

Do a thorough comparison of where you're going to put what you'll need with you in the trailer. Even things like a couple of lawn chairs may be "too much to fit" with the necessary items any full timer will need to carry.

Fifth wheels have considerably more storage space (front basement storage) but they don't compare to the basement on a 44' diesel pusher. Even with a large fifth wheel, many (probably not most) full timers will tow a small to medium sized enclosed cargo trailer behind their fifth wheel to provide a place to keep the "rest of the stuff" they need to live on the road....

Doing what you're anticipating in a Vantage, with the minimal storage available may make it impossible to travel extensively away from home base where everything else is in a storage facility....
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Old 07-01-2020, 06:46 AM   #17
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OP, I had heard of Vantage trailers but I've not seen one or heard of anyone on this forum that has one. I could be wrong, or someone may have owned one but I don't recollect the trailer being in a signature of a member.

I think your questions about the Vantage may be several years too late. Looks like they were made 2012-13? A copy of the Airstream style, all fiberglass top to bottom, heavy, no room and more expensive. I may have just highlighted some of the reasons it met its demise. The field of potential buyers was small and I figure the trailer was more expensive to make to Keystone so it couldn't carry its weight. They have done that before. I was looking at a brand they had a few years back (for the life of me I can't remember the name) that was VERY nice, with slides, full fiberglass and paint. I think it met the same fate for the same reasons. The Keystone Cougar High Country I bought new was the same deal. It was very nice, upgraded all kinds of stuff but had sat on the lot for more than 6 months. The owner told me they could not move them because the price was in the 5th wheel range and that's what people would buy at that price point. Bought it the last day of Feb. 2014, had warranty work performed in August and the parts for it were already obsolete and the line discontinued.....

I thought the Vantage would be heavy also being fiberglass however a 35' 10" OAL trailer with a 8200 GVWR is a lite style trailer. Our little Laredo 225MK less than 27' OAL has a 8K GVWR.
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:10 AM   #18
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Vantage was a "novel approach to light weight towing, intended to appeal to the "Airstream followers" at a cheaper price point... It was also one of the first steps into using NORCO stamped frames. The frame is extremely light weight, mostly held together with Huck fasteners (not welded). The trailers had some very innovative design features, both in how the trailer was built and also how it was equipped.

You can download the 2013 Vantage brochure here: https://www.keystonerv.com/media/2377/vantage-2013.pdf There was no Vantage brochure in 2012 nor in 2014, so it appears it was only "marketed by Keystone" in 2013 (which really means from around April 2012, when the 2013 models were introduced, through around March or April 2013, when the 2014 models hit the dealership lots.

Whether it will become a classic or a dinosaur ??? Like vintage Mustangs and Camaros or more like Furys and Belvederes, they will have a following, but how much value they hold and the collector's desire ???? Who knows....
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:37 AM   #19
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I thought the Vantage would be heavy also being fiberglass however a 35' 10" OAL trailer with a 8200 GVWR is a lite style trailer. Our little Laredo 225MK less than 27' OAL has a 8K GVWR.

I agree. The thought on it being heavy was conjecture on my part as part of a possible reason that it might have met its demise. The quality issues above would also seem to make sense.
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Old 07-01-2020, 11:01 AM   #20
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There was a forum member "Lumberwagon" with a Vantage trailer. Look him up on the directory for some interesting pictures of the trailer being towed by a Buick Roadmaster!
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