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Topic: Anybody have a Fleetwood Caribou??

Posted By: wingtip85 on 07/27/02 10:52am

I was curious how people felt about the fleetwood line of truck campers. Specifically the Caribou. I have a 2002 Caribou 11J with a slide-out and had a few quality issues on delivery. But other than that it has been good to me...used in the blizzards (last winter) and other kinds of bad weather with no problems.
I was kinda forced into buying a Fleetwood because my Lance dealer would not take a travel trailer in trade.
Just looking for opinions...


- Don -
2002 Fleetwood Caribou 11J
2001 Chevy 3500 8.1L/Allison Tranny


Posted By: aelenz on 07/28/02 07:38am

I own a 95 Caribou, model 10F. Bought it used in 97 and have enjoyed it ever since. I only use it in the Summer and Fall. The only problems I have had with it is the refrigerator not running on gas. I ordered a new board last week and hope to install a new Dinosaur board soon.


Posted By: Elkhunter on 07/29/02 04:45pm

I had a 1996 Fleetwood Elkhorn 11X. Pampered it and maintained it faithfully. Absolute piece of junk - nothing but problems with it. Maybe mine was just a lemon but Fleetwood and my old dealer would certainly not stand up for their product. Ended up dumping another $3,000 into it and finally got rid of it. In a Lance 1121 slide-out now. No comparison to fit and finish and quality of the Lance vs. Fleetwood. Lance also holds retail value very well while the Fleetwood line kills you on resale value/depreciation in a hurry. Just my honest opinion!


Posted By: BSH38 on 07/30/02 07:25am

You live right next door to me so you must know of the new Arctic Fox dealer in Chichester. They dropped Fleetwood line of truck campers because of the quality issues they had.

I live in a retirement mobile home park & the owners stopped selling the Fleetwood mobile homes because the quality was absolutely el stinko & the service was even worse - basically non existent.

Not too much good, if any, can be said about Fleetwood as far as I have heard.


2000 Ford F-350 4X2, DRW, CC, 7.3 PSD, 3.73:1 Rear, Firestone Air Bags, Rancho RS9000X shocks
2006 ARCTIC FOX (Silver Fox) 1140 Dry Bath, custom built, loaded
Me (Retired), wife Cathy & Pokey - who really is a Poodle although he thinks otherwise.


Posted By: Berticus on 07/30/02 01:31pm

Ok now everyone. I have a 91 11jx Caribou and I have done lots of work to it but the repairs were due to the previous owner. He did no maintence at all to it. Which is why I bought it very, very cheap, put in about $200 at lots and lots of elbow grease. I really do not see any differences between the different campers. What I see is the difference between owners. By the way I also owned a fleetwood 14x70 moblie home, which I found nothing wrong with and even sold it for more then I bought it for.
I think that there is a % of all campers that are crap and a % that are good. I find that true for just about everything I buy.

I am very happy with my Caribou, Robert.


The Setup:
96' Serro Scotty 25'Dodge,4x4,Diesel,Class-C, 86 20' Chris Craft LTD.



Posted By: Elkhunter on 07/30/02 01:59pm

Robert, sounds like you got lucky to me. The fit and finish on the Fleetwood is just not comparable in my opinion. The roof weight rating alone is a good clue...200 pounds for the Fleetwood vs. 2000 for the Lance. I am very happy for you that you ended up with a good Fleetwood product...maybe they paid more attention to quality 10 years ago than they do now. What I do know for sure is that mine was a piece of junk that I maintained scrupulously and it still fell apart. Several others have had similar "luck". One of the faithful viewers and posters in this forum has a saying on the bottom of his replies that says something like "If you have an RV you don't need a hobby". Can believe it with the Fleetwood line...constantly worked on mine doing something or another. Just for fun...go to www.nadaguides.com and "book" your Fleetwood. Depreciation on it will scare you!


Posted By: camachinist on 08/02/02 03:31am

The '91's, like our 9EX, were the first year for the Caribou, so I might have expected teething pains. I wasn't disappointed, but it wasn't as bad as I might otherwise had expected.

We bought ours used in '99 and, other than some fading caused by outdoor storage in the desert and inattention to detail by the PO, it was in pretty good shape. Only major problems I've fixed since purchase have been the front to side wall frame attachments (noted some separation down low and caught it before any damage was done) and a leaking seam where the rubber roof meets the front aluminum cap (easily fixed). Resealed windows/door/trim as a matter of maintenance.

Appliances, electrical, water, waste and gas systems have been reliable; no problems to date other than routine maintenance.re-sealed bathroom faucet base to basin. Oiled and cleaned heater blower. Replaced fresh water fill and vent hoses and sewer waste valves.
Personally, from my inspections prior to purchase, I don't think the PO did much routine maintenance...if so, my experiences would lead me to believe the unit has performed well for its age.

Would I buy another Fleetwood camper? Used, after careful inspection, if the price was right...maybe. New? Never...but I feel that all new campers are way overpriced.

Personally, I buy RV items just like I buy vehicles...let someone else take the depreciation hit (like the seller of the Caribou did, to the tune of 12K). I'll spend a few hundred on maintenance and lose 1-2K on resale in a few years but that's fine by me; the use and memories will be worth it. Could I have bought a similar year and model Lance? Sure, if I had wanted to commit twice the cash (and I pay cash for toys like RV's, race cars, etc.). I'd do much better on resale with a Lance or equivilent but the carrying costs would be higher (insurance, etc)

My advice to the thread starter.....do your maintenance and pay attention to detail. Store the unit indoors or under cover if possible (I store ours in one of the back bays in my machine shop...it still looks, 3 years later, like the day we bought it). Be willing to take the hit on resale or stay in it for the long haul.

And, most of all, enjoy yourselves! That's what you bought it for, yes??

Pat


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