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Old 07-27-2019, 08:44 AM   #1
kaydo36
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Close to purchase - Springdale / Bullet

Hello all, I've narrowed down the search and am close to purchasing my first trailer which I plan to transition to full-time mobile living. It'll be me, two pits and three cats. I know, sounds nuts...

I've been aiming for something on the smaller side because I am(was) an occasional van-lifer and prefer camping along the less-traveled paths, which is often synonymous with less-traversable, but still big enough to give the zoo a little space. Yes, they're the whole reason I'm upgrading from van to trailer . Also avoiding slides since I don't want to rely on hookups.

The frontrunners...

Springdale 202RD
Springdale 2020QB
Springdale 202QBWE
Bullet 210RUDWE
Forest River Wildwood X-lite 241QBXL
Grand Design Imagine 20BHE (one small slide but unobtrusive when in)

What really grabbed me about the Springdales/Summerlands was that panoramic rear window. Before that I was only hunting for bunkhouse models which seemed perfect for the cats, but man, that window! Made bunks seem like a waste of space for the little critters. Then of course the positive reviews and other features sold me.

For other Springdale owners - Are there any differences between the 202RD, 2020QB and 202QBWE other than the obvious like a couple inches on height and tank size? Seems like it's a matter of East or West model, which I don't fully understand the purpose of other than frustrating my search. (I'm east now but plan to move/drive west)

And other full-time RVers, any advice for immediate mods or upgrades I should consider to improve quality of life? The list of things I'm already planning post-purchase include...
- Second battery
- 3-4 solar panels
- Replace queen with murphy or replace with full and rotate flush against wall
- Add composting toilet, combine gray/black tanks

Finally, any other recommendations or suggested models I should check? Tow capacity is 6700. 28' is the max length I'm considering.

Thanks for having me and sorry for the lengthy first post!
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Old 07-27-2019, 09:15 AM   #2
travelin texans
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What will you be towing with? I would recommend a truck rather than a SUV for a rv that length. A 28' tt is pretty long to be in very tight spots in remote areas. Also a 4 wheel drive would be handy if in the woods alone with minimal cell service.
Wouldn't combine black/grey tanks, then it's ALL black. The grey will fill quicker & if off the beaten path & no one watching you could water trees/bushes with grey water, but once mixed you'll always have to find a dump station.
Don't know anything about a composting toilet, but sounds nasty!
One other thing to consider as well, most every RV park & most campgrounds DO NOT allow pitbulls or pit mix, along with a list of other breeds, something you'll need to ask before reserving sites.
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Old 07-27-2019, 09:31 AM   #3
KeithInUpstateNY
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Couple of quick thoughts, first congratulations and good luck.

I would not do any permanent mods to combine the gray and black tanks. I boondock five to six months out of the year in a State Forest camping area. If I need to "balance the tanks" to get an extra day or two before I dump I just drain off five gallons of gray water into a bucket and dump it down the toilet. I can usually do this twice before both tanks are full and I have to do a full dump.

As for major mods, find the floorplan you like best without having to do any major mods. If you want a Murphy bed, buy a Murphy bed model. If you want a corner bed, buy a corner bed. Personally I prefer a front walk around queen for ease of making the bed and so I can just straighten the bed in the morning and be done with it. I replaced the camper queen mattress with a standard full foam mattress from Amazon. It's more comfortable, I can buy sheets of the shelf anywhere, the length is the same and I gained three inches of space on each side of the mattress. But that's personal preference.

Those big windows are nice, the trade off is you lose storage, fewer overhead cabinets.

I LOVE my Prime Time Avenger 21RB. It weighs in at around 4600 lbs, so it is on the high side of what you should be looking at. They moved this model to the Avenger ATI line, so it now doesn't have all the features mine has, but I have been super impressed with Prime Time customer service.

Another model to look at that I seriously considered is the Prowler Lynx 18LX. It doesn't have the loveseat for lounging my 21RB has, but it is under 4000 pounds and the tongue weight is way less, which might suit your tow vehicle better.

One mod I have done in my last two campers, the Avenger and a Bullet 220RBI, is insulate the pass through storage so the bed stays warmer in cold weather.Click image for larger version

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Old 07-27-2019, 09:37 AM   #4
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Also, if the trailer you decide on comes with Trailer King or other $50 Chinese tires I would replace them asap. I didn't have any problems, but there are a lot of horror stories on these forums.

TPM system is a good investment.

Back up camera makes solo traveling a lot easier.
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Old 07-27-2019, 02:30 PM   #5
kaydo36
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travelin texans - Thanks for the reply! Chevy Express 2500 is tow vehicle. I was saying 28' is the max I would tow, but the trailers I'm targeting are 25'. The composting toilet is what lets me combine the tanks because it separates solids/liquids and self-contains them. That way I don't actually have any black water. Since it's just me and I plan to primarily boondock, the toilet would only be used as-needed anyway. Understood about the pits, but won't be frequenting RV parks or campgrounds. I'm kind of a loner.

compeak - I hear ya on the floorplan, I just haven't found one that fits so I've just resigned to make some changes unless I stumble on something new. The Grand Design Imagine XLS is the only one that almost completely fits my wish list, but it's also $10k more than other models I'm considering. My biggest issue with the bed is I'm just not someone who uses my bed for anything but sleeping, even at home, so I hate to see it hogging so much space. For some reason, all the models with murphy's seem to have slides. Also a minimalist who's comfortable living out of a van for few month stretches so storage isn't a big problem. I'll definitely check out the models you mentioned. Good call on the tires, I'll look at swapping those out with some rugged ones too. I am adding a backup cam to my van for hitching, you're right, it'll save me some hops out to put one on the trailer too.
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:18 PM   #6
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Hi, I have a 2018 2020QB and pull it with a 2014 RAM 1500 with the 5.7 engine and 8 speed transmission. I have an upgraded queen mattress. We like the ability to walk around the bed.
There is lots of storage, lots of water. It pulls with no issues. We have a weight distribution hitch (really helps out). I added a second battery and have a pair of Honda i2000’s to run AC if needed.
The water pump is very noisy so I sound isolated off the deck with foam (fatigue mat from Harbor Freight, inch think) and much quieter
I added a bike rack over on the tongue and carry two bikes.

Check out https://www.fateunbound.com/

They also travel with a zoo and have made several upgrades.

Any questions?
Regards, Pete
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Old 08-02-2019, 07:29 PM   #7
KeithInUpstateNY
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It's difficult finding a model without slides period, market demand. When I bought my Bullet 220RBI as my retirement gift to myself in 2015 it was the smallest new unit my local dealer had on the lot and it had two slides. They were a pain boondocking and once I was on the forums and saw all the problems people have with them I knew I wanted out. Luckily he got the 21RB in on trade last year and I bought it the day after he took it in. I lost a few thousand dollars, but not so much as I could have. He actually gave me $2000 cash back and I'm sure he still didn't loose money, he sold the 220RBI in less then two weeks. I met the couple who bought it at the State Forest where I boondock two weeks later. They downsized from a larger fifth wheel for their annual trips from upstate NY to Texas because of the cost of gas.

As for the space the bed takes, I understand what you are saying, I use my bed just for sleeping too. But the pass through storage is almost two thirds of the floor space, and the under bed inside storage is another big chunk, plus there are the wardrobes and overhead cabinet so I don't see it as wasted space. And as I said previously, for me, the convenience of the walk around bed is a real plus. And my dog likes to lay on it during the day so he can look out the windows on either side when it is raining or too cool to have the door open.

At any rate, good luck with your search. Keep us posted on what you decide.
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Old 08-02-2019, 07:45 PM   #8
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Also, be sure you check out the actual lengths of the models you are interested in when looking at floor plans. My 21RB is a foot longer than my 220RBI was. Go figure.
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:32 AM   #9
kaydo36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PetesTrailer View Post
Hi, I have a 2018 2020QB and pull it with a 2014 RAM 1500 with the 5.7 engine and 8 speed transmission. I have an upgraded queen mattress. We like the ability to walk around the bed.
There is lots of storage, lots of water. It pulls with no issues. We have a weight distribution hitch (really helps out). I added a second battery and have a pair of Honda i2000s to run AC if needed.
The water pump is very noisy so I sound isolated off the deck with foam (fatigue mat from Harbor Freight, inch think) and much quieter
I added a bike rack over on the tongue and carry two bikes.

Check out https://www.fateunbound.com/

They also travel with a zoo and have made several upgrades.

Any questions?
Regards, Pete
Cool thanks for the info. Definitely adding a generator. Funny you should mention that couple. I've been following them since stumbling onto one of their videos about solar setup, and they're the reason I started looking at the Springdales to begin with!
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Old 08-05-2019, 03:57 PM   #10
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We have a Passport 195RB with a murphy bed, no slides and lots of storage.
We put on a lot of miles so I wanted something easy to tow and easy to get in and out of small towns.
The murphy bed makes our rig pretty roomy 3 or 4 weeks at a time and no divorce so far.
I didn't want a slide because they add weight and it appears, from my reading forums it's one of the first things to go.
https://www.keystonerv.com/travel-trailers/passport/floorplans/195rb-express-travel-trailer/``
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