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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just uploaded my review of my new Coachmen Apex Nano 187RB to YouTube.

I thought that some of you might enjoy viewing it. Get a cool drink and some snacks. It is long but full of insights and details you'll not find anywhere else.


Enjoy,
Ken
 

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Wow.

I wouldn't purchase a Coachmen after viewing this video. Nor would I purchase from Haylett. I've just permanently crossed off both from my list of manufacturers and dealers.

I know that many travel trailers have quality issues, but there are just too many significant problems here for a brand new trailer. All the rust, multiple windows not fitting properly into the frame, peeling decals, panels improperly secured into soft wood, missing critical parts, uncaulked roof fixture and shower pan, leaks, improper faucets, improperly mounted and binding door, poor steps, awning issues, Chinese tires, improper bolts, horribly squeaking windows, loose bolts, poor component access, poorly operating stabilizer jacks, etc. Obviously, Coachmen's building practices and quality control are lacking.

And where was Haylett, with all of their online bragging about being the best and looking out for their customers? They should have found and repaired many of these issues before delivery. With all of these many issues, as well as all of their experience, it appears that they perform no quality control for their customers.

Ken, I think you're being way too forgiving about all of this with both Coachmen and Haylett. You purchased a brand new travel trailer and yet you were handed all of these problems by both the manufacturer and the dealer. You have the patience of a saint. I would be furious.

I've read about and observed such issues with other manufacturers as well, but that's just no excuse for any of them for such poor building practices and lack of quality control, and to pass these issues onto the buyer. When/if I decide to buy, I'm now going to do extensive research on the quality of the brand I select, and then perform an intensive inspection before I accept delivery and insist that all problems are fixed or I walk, even if this means I don't purchase any travel trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I occurred to me this morning that if you chose to watch this video from here on the Ascent forum, and just enlarged it, that you wouldn't see the information that I provided in the description on YouTube.

YouTube Description Information
This is a review of our 2020 Apex Nano 187RB, purchased from the Haylett RV Supercenter in the middle of May, 2019.

I have an article Online that discusses how we arrived at our decision to purchase this particular travel trailer and why we chose Haylett RV to be our dealership.

That article might be of interest to folks with a 5000 lb. maximum towing capacity and a maximum tongue weight of 500 lb.

My Thoughts and Research On Towing with the 2019 Ascent

A list of the items that we’ve placed permanently in the trailer, along with their respective weights, is at
http://theampeer.org/thoughts-on-towing/Actual-RV-Essentials-in-RB187.html

The items that we loaded into the trailer for our first camping trip, that were not already in the trailer, are also noted along with their actual weights. The total trailer weight was 3685 lb. for that trip.

We have added more items that now ‘live’ in the trailer. The the weights shown now reflect the items that we’ve added.

I have a Log that I’ve kept on this trailer since its purchase. It includes EVERYTHING that I have learned, done to or with the trailer. The Log is LONG, but someone might enjoy reading through it to learn, step-by-step and day-by-day, what I’ve had to do to get this unit ready to use. The Log includes ALL of the problems that I ran into while getting this trailer ready for our use. Several of the obstacles that I had to overcome are not mentioned in the video, but they are noted in the Log. The Log is in the Adobe Acrobat PDF format and continues to grow as the days go by.

An Excel spreadsheet can be down loaded that shows our expenses to date for items purchased for use with this travel trailer.

“Does Shower Wall Paneling Matter? with Josh the RV Nerd”

Josh, the RV Nerd, uses THIS trailer in his “2020 Apex 187RB Summit vs Standard Edition AZDEL Ultralite Couple's Coachmen Travel Trailer” video.

It also occurred to me that because the video is so LONG that you might miss some of my tips and tricks that might be helpful in outfitting your travel trailer. I have a lot of them in there, but I thought that these two might be of general interest. Even though the starting photo looks the same, showing the shore power connection, the following two video segments start at the point I wish to share with you.


 

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Wow. I can't believe you didn't return the camper. Of course, 90% of the campers sold these days aren't any better, because most people aren't willing to actually pay for anything quality.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There were a few 'rough' spots to iron out.
I really didn't expect as many 'issues' as showed up, but for the most part they were minor, and I already planned on updating and fixing as necessary.
I just wished that there had been an easy fix for the stabilizer jacks.

We really do like this trailer a lot, so 'messing' with it to get as many things 'right' as possible was an easy task, for the most part.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow.

I wouldn't purchase a Coachmen after viewing this video. Nor would I purchase from Haylett. I've just permanently crossed off both from my list of manufacturers and dealers.

I know that many travel trailers have quality issues, but there are just too many significant problems here for a brand new trailer. All the rust, multiple windows not fitting properly into the frame, peeling decals, panels improperly secured into soft wood, missing critical parts, uncaulked roof fixture and shower pan, leaks, improper faucets, improperly mounted and binding door, poor steps, awning issues, Chinese tires, improper bolts, horribly squeaking windows, loose bolts, poor component access, poorly operating stabilizer jacks, etc. Obviously, Coachmen's building practices and quality control are lacking.

Ken's response: That was absolutely not the intent of the video. I had expected problems 100%. As I stated in the video, I really don't think that Coachmen is any worse than many others and I know it is a lot better than the some of the travel trailer's that we scratched off our list that had even more apparent problems. It is an industry wide problem for sure.

And where was Haylett, with all of their online bragging about being the best and looking out for their customers? They should have found and repaired many of these issues before delivery. With all of these many issues, as well as all of their experience, it appears that they perform no quality control for their customers.

Ken's response: I think Josh is representing his business the best that he can. I feel that some of the folks at Haylett are not performing as well as Josh represents them to be, or wishes that they should. I was a bit disappointed in their PDI as well, but it is what it is.

Ken, I think you're being way too forgiving about all of this with both Coachmen and Haylett. You purchased a brand new travel trailer and yet you were handed all of these problems by both the manufacturer and the dealer. You have the patience of a saint. I would be furious.

I've read about and observed such issues with other manufacturers as well, but that's just no excuse for any of them for such poor building practices and lack of quality control, and to pass these issues onto the buyer. When/if I decide to buy, I'm now going to do extensive research on the quality of the brand I select, and then perform an intensive inspection before I accept delivery and insist that all problems are fixed or I walk, even if this means I don't purchase any travel trailer.

Ken's response: I really don't regret purchasing the trailer from Haylett at all, as other places, like my local dealer, General RV, are much, much worse to deal with.

Ken's response: I thought that I'd prepared myself with all of the info I had gathered. I didn't hurry through the delivery at all, yet I still missed a lot, like the window frames that don't fit into the window openings in the sides of the trailer. I never would have thought to actually go under a brand-new trailer to look for rust on the frame. Only much later did I see the placard on the fame that noted that it was built in 2018, so it must have been sitting around awhile.
 

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Most of the issues you have highlighted really are industry wide, I talked with several coworkers who have campers and they all noted the same types of problems. We also have noted a few on our used camper, but thankfully most of them are just minor issues, and a single issue with water intrusion during strong rainstorms that appears to be caused from the freshwater fill port.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I totally agree that the issues, problems, or whatever you want to call them are indeed industry wide. My extensive research, before purchasing our trailer, demonstrated this over and over.

Like Ruben has noted, most of the issues with my 187RB were minor and could either be fixed or ‘lived with’. At least so far.

I’ve added a link to the Coachmen “Our Story” page.

If you took the time to view my video, you can easily see that 99% of what is written on this page is “puffing”, as Judge Judy likes to call it.


This type of self-promotion is not just a Coachmen ‘thing’. It is industry wide, and you’ll find similar “puffing” on all the manufacturers’ Websites and in their written literature. I only chose to point out Coachmen, as they built my specific trailer.

I don’t believe that most people know that once you sign the papers and drive off the dealer’s lot, you are on your own. The dealer is done with you and the manufacturer will do very, very little, or even anything, to correct even major issues.

There is NO consumer protection for the owner of a travel trailer or other type of RV. The “implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose” does not apply to travel trailers or other types of RVs as they are “sold as”, even new ones.

I knew that going in, so I was not surprised with what I had to do to fix, or change, what I felt were the minor problems and annoyances.

I know, that if you viewed the video, you might get the impression is that we don’t like this trailer, but we do like it very, very much.

All that being said, we can’t wait to get out on next trip with our travel trailer.
 

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Hi Ken, I'm looking at purchasing a 2020 Apex Nano. It's between that and a Micro Minnie, which is about 5k more. Would you still recommend purchasing a Coachmen?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi tdudley74,

I assume that you've watched my video and looked at the associated Web pages that continue the story of my Coachmen Apex Nano 187RB. I may have used the terms "problem" and "issue" in the video and on the Web pages, but none of them were really issues or problems with the design, they were more irritants to ME. We like our trailer very much and it works for us.

I keep looking for various Apex Nano trailer YouTube videos. They've slowed down a lot, since all trailers reaching dealerships have slowed down a lot and the demand is extremely high. Physically finding one on a lot might. be difficult at this time.

I've done a lot of research on the 187RB that we have and its latest iterations and CANNOT recommend it with the "off grid" package, especially since it cannot be used off grid/boon docking. The new versions, with "off grid" package, have a 50 gallon fresh water tank and still have the 3500 lb. axle. If the fresh water tank is filled, along with the water heater, and both propane tanks (there are two on the off grid version) that leaves a lot less than 100 lb. that can be loaded into the trailer to reach the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 3800 lb. If a version without the off grid package can be found, I can still recommend it.

In general, based on my experience, and what I've researched online, I don't believe the build quality is better or worse than almost any others in its price range.

Unless absolutely necessary, I don't believe that price point should be a major consideration. If the budget for the trailer and accessories, and there are a lot of accessories to purchase (we're gone over $3000 now), is limited, of course it is a consideration.

My personal order would be; dealership and service department, trailer floor plan (most brands have similar floor plans), brand (from online research), and finally, price.

Of course I'm only talking about trailers that can be pulled by our Ascents.
 

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Ken:

Thanks for all the information you've posted about your Ascent and the Apex Nano 187RB. I've viewed the video and scanned through your doc with all the links. But, as I continue to research, I'd like to ask one fundamental question. We have not yet purchased a trailer and, in any event, I will need a new tow vehicle. I'm interested in the Ascent because we've had good experience with our Forester and I don't want a tank for my primary vehicle. But, since we are starting from scratch, would you still recommend the Ascent for the 187RB or go to a larger capacity, such as a Jeep Grand Cherokee? We expect to use the trailer mostly for shorter trips but also don't want to preclude taking it out west (we're in north Georgia). Thanks again for all you've done on this.

Fred
 

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Many folks will find that RV dealers are worse than used car salesmen. Never trust what a dealer tells you. Research it yourself.

As for service, many will be horrified when they bring their trailers in, only to be told a problem will take months to fix. Many dealers will even tell you that if you didn’t buy the unit from them they they will either refuse to service your trailer to they’ll put you at the back of the line. And a good number of those repairs will be done incorrectly.

The industry is so bad that many owners have resorted to doing their own repairs rather than suffering through dealer service. If you’re lucky, some manufacturers will authorize a mobile repair service to come out a fix the problem. I’ve had good experiences with this approach.

I recommend you do extensive research before purchasing a particular brand. If that manufacturer has a forum this would be a good place to start.

Aim for 25-30% off MSRP. If your local dealer won’t deal and tries to give you the line about how they’ll only service the trailers they sell, run away from that dealer. Use the internet and your phone to find the best price. Many folks will buy out of state and make a vacation out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Fred,

Thank you for taking the time to look at the information on our Coachmen Apex Nano 187RB.

I was interested in the Ascent because I really, really loved the 2009 and 2011 Outbacks that I owned because they were so good, and I was impressed with all of the safety features of the, at that time, 2019, new Ascent. Unfortunately, one of those safety features has turned out to be a major irritant for me when pulling a trailer, the rear automatic braking (RAB), but that is another story.

I would definitely recommend the Coachmen Apex Nano 187RB without the off grid package to be pulled by the Ascent. That travel trailer works for the way that the wife and I use it and with a vary occasional granddaughter. Also, so far, the Ascent is doing very well in pulling the trailer.

I don’t know anything at all about today’s Jeep brand products today, so I cannot recommend or not recommend one.

I actually learned to drive on a 1946 Willy’s Jeep sometime around 1960. We always had a Jeep Cherokee or Comanche from the time they were introduced to the last year or their production. I also owned a 1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, that was the very best car that I ever owned, and it also pulled a Coachmen bunkhouse that we had at that time. Obviously, I’m not biased against the Jeep brand, but not having one in a long time, I can’t say anything about today’s Jeeps.

I do know that the Grand Cherokee does have a higher tow rating, when properly equipped, than the Ascent.

Knowing what I know now would I get the same set up? I can only answer maybe.

I’ve also had full-size Chevy pick-ups through the years, and personally did not find them tanks to use as everyday drivers, but today, with decreased parking space sizes in parking lots, it might be a different story. I live in the “suburbs”, which could also make a difference as well.

The following comments are only because you’ve kind of asked, and here are my thoughts on "if I had to do it again".

MY ideal trailer requirements for the two of us would still be pretty much the same. A walk-around bed (which we have), no slide (we don’t have a slide), tandem axle (its only a single axle now), oven or microwave conviction oven combo (only a microwave now with no oven), and rear bathroom (it is).

I’d probably purchase a full-size Chevy Silverado 1500 extended cab 4x4 with the tow package. The 1500 would not be good for medium to large travel trailers, but good enough to pull my ideal trailer, from above, and still get decent milage for grocery shopping. My last Chevy 1500 extended cab averaged 22 mpg over the time that I owned it. I also had a 2500HD extended cab for awhile, but I don’t remember the milage, as I was not concerned about it at that time. It was used to pull a much larger Coachmen bunkhouse and, on occasion, a two place motorcycle trailer.

I am, for the most part, quite happy with my 2019 Ascent Premium, except for the recalls and the RAB issue that I have, which not everyone seem to have.

My wife and I both like our Apex Nano 187RB and feel it is plenty of trailer for us for the way that we use it, which is NOT boondocking.

I guess you can say, that overall, we are happy campers. (Wow, that’s cheesy :) )
 
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