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Old 08-04-2013, 02:16 AM   #1
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We finally got a chance to go to our local CR dealer and see a Sunset Trail Reserve. This is a synopsis of our thoughts.

What we liked - Overall the quality seem very good. We looked at the one that has the slide out from the front, and were impressed with how much space there was at the foot of the bed. We were afraid it would be really tight in that area, but it wasn't bad at all. I noticed that sealant was applied where the walls met the ceiling, which I liked. The cabinetry was also good. The overall appearance was excellent for this price range - a very nice unit that we would be proud to own.

What we didn't like - The coverings of the bottoms of the slides were of a woven plastic material, but this is common. But perhaps the most critical thing we noticed was that it was quite warm in the RV. Keep in mind that it was a comfortable 82 degrees that day, and it was around 1:30 in the afternoon. This was the first RV we looked at for the day, so at that point we didn't know whether or not all of the RVs we would look at would also be pretty warm inside. Note that the RV was shaded with other RVs on both sides. I started to break out in a sweat, so I got out. I don't know if this particular unit had the Apollo reflective insulation or not.

We continued to look at several more RVs of different brands with varying degrees of insulation, but the CR Sunset Trail Reserve was definitely the warmest inside. We've decided that this one is off our list. Unfortunately, the dealer didn't have the Cruiser model on the lot, so that one is still on our list. But the CR STR is just not insulated well enough in our opinion.

How unfortunate, because they have the most desirable floor plans and inside kitchens and also offer an outside kitchen, which we really want.


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Old 08-04-2013, 03:42 AM   #2
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I think it is because of all the dark colors used. To me floorplan and usability are most important, turn on the A/C if you are hot it probably has two 15K units.
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beamer5
I think it is because of all the dark colors used. To me floorplan and usability are most important, turn on the A/C if you are hot it probably has two 15K units.
I agree that the dark colors probably have a lot to do with it. It was a good experience for us to be able to see just how much of a difference color and insulation make.

Thank you for pointing out the obvious. :P
Yes, I am aware that we can use two A/Cs if necessary. ALL of the things you mentioned are important, but since we plan on camping in cooler weather also, insulation is important. Obviously, what's important to us isn't important to everyone, and we have other options that offer great floor plans, usability, good insulation and a light exterior to deflect heat from the sun.

This is just our opinion and reflection. I am about using fewer resources than more. We plan on boondocking, and it's going to take a powerful generator to keep two A/Cs going. To me, it's just wiser to think about these sorts of things ahead of time, and make the best choice for us from there.
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:25 AM   #4
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Maybe call and ask the dealer if it has the apollo insulation or not and if not order one with it. Either way good luck in your search. Honestly in all my years on RVing you are the first I have heard eliminating a unit because it was warmer inside but loved everything else. Happy trails....
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Beamer5
Maybe call and ask the dealer if it has the apollo insulation or not and if not order one with it. Either way good luck in your search. Honestly in all my years on RVing you are the first I have heard eliminating a unit because it was warmer inside but loved everything else. Happy trails....
That doesn't surprise me. I'm an oddball! What does surprise me is that people don't think about insulation and such before they do buy.

Happy trails to you.
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:43 AM   #6
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Being from Canada, insulation is no doubt something we consider here. I usually camp with my SS reserve well into late october where temps are below freezing a night, sometimes even a bit of snow. Between the fireplace or the furnace the trailer stays more than toasty.
This week I am camping in plus 45C well over 110F and I care what insulation you have you better plan on running your AC or you will be sweating inside any trailer.
I would only be choosing trailer purely based on insulation if I was to be living in it year round through the -40 weather and then you will need the full polar package.
Just my 2 cents. SS reserves are fantastic trailers and living in a climate with 80C temp swings in the year I would buy a second one in a heart beat!
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beamer5
Maybe call and ask the dealer if it has the apollo insulation or not and if not order one with it. Either way good luck in your search. Honestly in all my years on RVing you are the first I have heard eliminating a unit because it was warmer inside but loved everything else. *Happy trails....
That doesn't surprise me. I'm an oddball!* What does surprise me is that people don't think about insulation and such before they do buy.

Happy trails to you.
I'm glad someone besides me has noticed how the new dark colors are hotter than the whites. Insulation is the same but the dark trailers are hotter.
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by avvidclif
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beamer5
Maybe call and ask the dealer if it has the apollo insulation or not and if not order one with it. Either way good luck in your search. Honestly in all my years on RVing you are the first I have heard eliminating a unit because it was warmer inside but loved everything else. Happy trails....
That doesn't surprise me. I'm an oddball! What does surprise me is that people don't think about insulation and such before they do buy.

Happy trails to you.
I'm glad someone besides me has noticed how the new dark colors are hotter than the whites. Insulation is the same but the dark trailers are hotter.
We actually made the comment in front of the salesman about how much hotter the STR was, and he said the same thing...difference in exterior color has a lot to do with it. So, it will help us to be mindful of that when making our final decision. We really wanted to go with the colored gelgloss finish, but we won't do it if it means we have to go with something dark.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:39 AM   #9
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We actually bought this model and love it. We've camped in cold, wet weather in Maine over Memorial day weekend where temps didn't reach 50 F. And we've camped when the temps were 98, humid and NO breeze what-so-ever! In both cases we remained very comfortable. Everyone that's been in our camper loves the layout, feel and overall looks. Plus, I've yet to see another one at any of the CG's we'vebeen at so it's sorta a focal point and great conversation starter.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kagex
Being from Canada, insulation is no doubt something we consider here. I usually camp with my SS reserve well into late october where temps are below freezing a night, sometimes even a bit of snow. Between the fireplace or the furnace the trailer stays more than toasty.
This week I am camping in plus 45C well over 110F and I care what insulation you have you better plan on running your AC or you will be sweating inside any trailer.
I would only be choosing trailer purely based on insulation if I was to be living in it year round through the -40 weather and then you will need the full polar package.
Just my 2 cents. SS reserves are fantastic trailers and living in a climate with 80C temp swings in the year I would buy a second one in a heart beat!
Thank you for your feedback! That's valuable coming from a Canadian.
As far as sweating in any trailer, I can't say I totally agree with that. There are some very well insulated RVs out there.

We are not purchasing based only on insulation any more than we are purchasing based only on floor plan or size of the shower or kitchen counter top space or outdoor kitchen or pin weight or gross vehicle weight, but it's definitely an important factor in our final decision.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:58 AM   #11
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I think insulation is important to all of us. The problem is getting it applied evenly and thoroughly. The excellent high quality Amish labor they brag about down there, seems to stand back and throw a hand full at each unit as it goes by. So good luck getting anything that's insulated the way it's advertised.

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Old 08-04-2013, 07:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gcross1468

We actually bought this model and love it. We've camped in cold, wet weather in Maine over Memorial day weekend where temps didn't reach 50 F. And we've camped when the temps were 98, humid and NO breeze what-so-ever! In both cases we remained very comfortable. Everyone that's been in our camper loves the layout, feel and overall looks. Plus, I've yet to see another one at any of the CG's we'vebeen at so it's sorta a focal point and great conversation starter.
Thank you for your feedback.

Yes, that slide out nose is definitely unique! And the STR is a beautiful camper. Like I said, it's definitely something we'd be proud of. The STR has the best layouts and kitchens, in my opinion.


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Old 08-04-2013, 07:27 AM   #13
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I think insulation is important to all of us. The problem is getting it applied evenly and thoroughly. The excellent high quality Amish labor they brag about down there, seems to stand back and throw a hand full at each unit as it goes by. So good luck getting anything that's insulated the way it's advertised.
There does seem to be a collective quality problem amongst the major brands of mass manufactured RVs lately.

And yes, you are right about getting insulation to perform as advertised. My understanding is that the reflective foil, for example, can be pretty useless if not applied the way it was meant to be, and that's just one example.

I guess my goal is to educate myself, get out there and do my comparison shopping, and make the decision I think is the best for us, all factors considered. This is a lot of money for us and we've waited, planned, taken steps backward and are sacrificing in other areas to make this happen, so I want to be sure I've made the wisest decision possible rather than saying to myself after the fact, "well, I should have done my homework."
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:55 AM   #14
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Guess I just never needed to worry about insulation living in CA
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:23 AM   #15
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Guess I just never needed to worry about insulation living in CA
I'm not familiar with the weather in CA, though I guess it's not humid there like it is here and you guys don't get snow like we do here in PA. Was your statement meant to be sarcastic or just an honest reflection?
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:48 AM   #16
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Haha no sarcasm we just have zero humidity and mild temps almost always. I think most all manufactures will be about the same unless you find a true four season camper, you will have too look into Artic Fox Northwood manufacturing types.
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:22 AM   #17
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Haha no sarcasm we just have zero humidity and mild temps almost always. I think most all manufactures will be about the same unless you find a true four season camper, you will have too look into Artic Fox Northwood manufacturing types.
OK...lol. I didn't know and didn't want to assume. That's what I've heard about CA. Lucky you! I've never been any farther west than my own state! Hoping to change that after we get a camper.

I have looked at the Arctic Foxes. They are very nice and do have a reputation for being a true four season camper, but they are a bit heavy for our truck.

A four season camper is sort of what we are looking at, which was how the STR even made it to our list. The first CR I looked at on the website was the Cruiser/Patriot, and I saw the PolarTec insulation and thought it was decent. Then I mistakenly *assumed* that the STR had the same degree of insulation, but I came to find out later that I was wrong. It's not quite up there with the Cruiser/Patriot. That was a bummer, but we were still interested.

Other ones on our list were taken off after our visit to this same dealer. We removed the Keystone Montana High Country and Keystone Cougar. Though the insulation is good enough, my 6'2" 200 lb. fiance simply cannot move around once inside that corner shower. He fits, but I'd have to bathe him!...lol.

We are still excited to see the Cruiser/Patriot and Elevation once the Hershey, PA RV show gets here. Are we there yet? I don't think we can get the PolarTec upgrade on the Elevation, but I hope to confirm that at the show. I've made two inquiries directly to CR, but no one replies.
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:19 AM   #18
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most lightweight trailers are going to be lacking a bit on the insulation as it adds weight. As stated above the artic fox will have the best insulation. That said, our zinger does pretty well. We have camped in 30 degree temps and stayed warm. We have camped in NC and SC summer heat and humidity and our 13.5 btu AC kept us cool. That said, you are gonna need a decent gen set to run that stuff boondocking. happy hunting.
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:04 AM   #19
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My 2 cents worth....we camp in cold temps in Ontario as well, so insulation values are a consideration.
I have discovered areas of interest after owning different brands.
1- roof vents, skylights etc-no insulation.
2- slide out floors-no insulation. (they get cold!)
3- covered underbelly-just a piece of plastic covering between the frame rails only.(didn't notice any difference in keeping anything warmer). We added a fresh water tank heater.
4-floor ducted furnaces- the metal ducting in the same thickness as the floor joists=no insulation anywhere they run.
Happy camping!
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