Can't Decide - Need Help

Hello All

My husband and I are soon to be first time rv-ers. We have been searching out units for quite sometime now and I have been lurking in many forums. We also attended an RV show last year and again Friday night & yesterday.

You guys are great with all the info you give to us first timers. :)

My dilema is that we have narrowed our search down from about 50 fifth wheel models to 5 but still don't feel like we have enough knowledge to know which is the best choice.

I have heard some very negative comments on almost each of these brands especially Forest River. In speaking to each sales rep though, they tell me it depends on which Forest River brand you select and more importantly what dealer you choose.

We are so confused. :(

I was hoping that some experienced rv-ers may have some input to help us choose. The floor plans and options are very similar in each and all are in our budget range. What we don't have a good handle on is factory quality control and service. Each sales rep obviously pushes theirs as the best.

The models are:

2007 Keystone Laredo 315RL
2008 Forest River Rockwood Signature Series 8288SS
2007 Forest River Rockwood Signature Series 8280SS
2007 Forest River Sandpiper 295RG
2007 Gulf Stream Conquest 297FWB (this unit seems to have a little less in the features)

Sorry for the long post and a big thanks in advance for any input.


Steve H

Senior Member
RE: Can't Decide - Need Help

I don't think anyne can pick what is best for you! That ischoice you will have to make keeping in mind the type of camping you want to do, how often you plan to use it, what "comforts" you want etc. I also would give credence to working with a reputable dealer above brand. This can be worth more than you might realize.

A very experienced RV'er told us that we would know immediately when we walked into the unit that was right for us. Funny thing is that was exactly the way it worked! It wasn't fancy nor was it a "top-of-the-line" but it was the one we liked and it fit our needs and budget. Have never regretted the purchase! (except maybe the 15 inch wheel issue)

This is only our first year with a 5th wheel and we are having a "ball". Best of luck and we wish you many years of happy camping! "Let the adventure begin"
RE: Can't Decide - Need Help

Thanks Steve.

Yes I agree with your long time rv-er that gave you that advise. I in fact fell in love with the Forest River Rockwood 8288SS last year and it is still my first choice.

My problem was that I had heard so many bad things about Forest River I got scared and started to search for others.

Therein lies my dilema. Unfortunately 2 of the others I liked are also Forest River. :(

Thanks for the well wishes!!! Glad you are enjoying your rv experience.

Re: Can't Decide - Need Help

You need to compare apples to apples. The Conquest matches up to the Sandpiper, as far as being wood frame, not enclosed underbellies, etc. I can assure you the Conquest is built better.

The Laredo would match up to Gulf Streams Canyon Trail or Mako. They are aluminum framed, fiberglass exteriors, enclosed underbellies, etc. Again, the Canyon Trail/Mako is made better. Take a serious look at them. They are the same except for the name.

I am not repeating what is all over the Internet about Forest River...............

Good Luck with your search. I also agree that you will walk into something and say "this is it". Just look some more.
RE: Can't Decide - Need Help

Thanks Ken. I have heard many good things about you and your company and will take your advise. I have been looking at alot of inventory lately as everyone is having big sales for end of season.

Maybe I should consider just ordering new.

I thought that a left over may give me the bigger bang for my buck but it limits the selections.

Thanks again I will continue my search.

Re: Can't Decide - Need Help

Hello Ken

Sorry Patriots and Red Sox playing yesterday. Now do you know where I am? ;) Actually we live in Massachusetts.

The features that we have been looking for in terms of layout are as follows:

1. Rear Kitchen (cooktop & oven) and dinette with central living area - 2 chairs and sofa (preferably with new air mattress).
2. Rear living area with corner entertainment center. I don't like the layouts with rear living room and and the entertainment center way on the other side of the dinette. Seems too far and odd to me.

3. Preferably with fireplace, tv, dvd, cd, am, fm, dolby surround sound and ceiling fan. (Fireplace not being a deal breaker but desireable)

4. Dinette banquette vs freestanding table need to sleep 6

5. Neo angle shower vs. garden tub/shower.

6. Walk up to master suite with or without side slide. Preferably with tv. Privacy preferrably with door not curtain.

7. Air conditioning

In terms of construction, it makes sense to have the enclosed underbelly even if we don't do 4 season rv-ing. I am told welded aluminum vs screwed aluminum.

1. Awning (preferably motorized)

2. Power leveling front jacks

Not sure what other construction features are critical to have.

I am sure there are things I am not thinking of at this time but that's all I can come up with right now.

Any suggestions for other units to check out would be appreciated.
RE: Can't Decide - Need Help


My husband and I are going out again tomorrow and we are going to try to see some of the Gulf Streams you mentioned.

Are there no differences at all between the Canyon Trail and Mako? Not even subtle ones?

Re: Can't Decide - Need Help

No difference, except for the name on the outside. That way Gulf Stream can have me as a dealer with Canyon Trail and they could go down the street and have a Mako dealer. If they did that, I could not do anything about it but thankfully Gulf Stream is a better company than that.

Forest River, on the other hand, when I sold Sierra and Salem, went 20 miles and set a dealer selling Sandpiper and Wildwood. They are also the same trailers with different names.

Canyon Trail Sedona Edition has a rear kitchen model and you can get Fireplace. My personnal trailer is a Sedona 33 FSBI. Rear bay window, chairs, side isle bathroom, kitchen island....

You do your shopping, call me with options you want, and I will get you a trailer. If I don't deliver it, a driver from Hoosier Transport will put it in your driveway.
RE: Can't Decide - Need Help

I looked at the 33 FSBI Layout and love it but I think that it may be out of our budget range. We were actually looking at the 29RLFW which also has the fireplace option.

We shall see ..........