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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Dirt road travel

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carringb

Corvallis, OR

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Joined: 07/28/2003

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Posted: 11/17/20 12:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yup. The Northwoods chassis (which includes Outdoors RV) is simply more robust than anything else on the market. Frame rails are taller, thicker, and gusseted at all suspension points. Plus you get shocks and some models now have cushioned equalizers (I had to upgrade mine to EZ flex myself).

I had a weekend warrior previously, with half the frame even though it could weigh 50% more. It broke. Before that, I had Jayco, and it's frame eventually started sagging behind the axles. But that was after the water tank fell out the bottom, and one of the side walls started to collapse and had to be rebuild. At this point, it would take a lot to convince me to buy anything not on a Northwoods chassis.


Bryan

2000 Ford E450 V10 VAN! 450,000+ miles
2014 ORV really big trailer
2015 Ford Focus ST


trail-explorer

NM

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Posted: 11/17/20 01:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

carringb wrote:

Stick with a Northwood (AF-Nash) or ORV, and you'll be fine. I've hundreds, if not thousands, of off-highway travel with mine.

Definitely go with composite sides. Aluminum dents and gouges any time a tree branch looks at it wrong.


Ditto on Northwood or ORV (Outdoors RV)
Both companies build their own chassis in LaGrande, OR instead of using cheap / undersized frames from LCI / Lippert.

Northwood and ORV are sister companies. Frames for both come from their own frame shop.

The build their frames very stout.

time2roll wrote:

They are all about the same... marginal at best. Plan to upgrade as needed.


ORV and Northwood are the exception to that thought because they build their own frames instead of outsourcing them from LCI


Bob

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 11/17/20 02:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

trail-explorer wrote:

time2roll wrote:

They are all about the same... marginal at best. Plan to upgrade as needed.
ORV and Northwood are the exception to that thought because they build their own frames instead of outsourcing them from LCI
Yes I agree. Might be worth a call to see if they do any custom lift to get more clearance. 2" or 3" can be a big deal on some dips, ruts, rocks and road transitions.


2001 F150 SuperCrew
2006 Keystone Springdale 249FWBHLS
675w Solar pictures back up

campigloo

Baton Rouge, La

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Posted: 11/20/20 06:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We took our Outback tt across the top of world highway as well as gravel and dirt roads around the western US. I’m not endorsing Keystone or Outback and I don’t think most are any better or worse. What I did figure out is bring a compressor of some sort with you. When you get on one of these rough roads, deflate your tires on trailer and tv and go slow. Deflate makes a huge difference.
Reinflate when you get back to a real road.
I like fiberglass siding for a bunch of reasons.
Happy travels!

profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 11/23/20 04:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For whatever it is worth, I've carefully watched the videos on the Northwoods site, and I think they are different because they are specifically designed for off pavement towing, unlike my trailer. The frame is much beefier, for one thing. So is the axle and the suspension.

So since I have an ordinary ultra-light trailer (made by Cruiser), I have upgraded the axle, installed beefy leaf springs, and heavy duty shock absorbers, all with the goal of off pavement towing.

In order not to bust the lightweight frame or the standard-duty coupler, I go about 5 to 10 mph on very rough roads (up to 20 on good gravel roads). I have been doing this for the last 15 years, with no problems. Obviously, most of our towing is on pavement, with only the last few miles of each trip on forest roads.

But if I were going to do a LOT of off pavement towing (more than a few miles at a time), I would get a trailer built for that purpose, like one of the Northwoods models.


2012 Fun Finder X-139 "Boondock Style" (axle-flipped and extra insulation)
2013 Toyota Tacoma Off-Road (semi-beefy tires and components)
Our trips -- pix and text
About our trailer
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single list."


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