parfsten
Hi,
I am a new member to the forum and joined looking for feedback from retro owners.  I am looking at the 166 and have a couple questions on this model specifically and the company in general.  I believe Riverside has been in business since 2009.  I wanted to take a factory tour but it is not allowed during actual production.  Some questions I have:
How is the birch interior attached to the interior?  Curious if any of you have experienced buckling or separation?  Any problems with roof leakage?  What is the sub-floor made of?  I have heard both pressed, ply or ??  Any problems with separation of cabinets from the walls?
I guess, in general, I would be interested in hearing about your overall impressions of the quality of these cute little trailers... and your feedback on Riverside's responsiveness to customer concerns.

Thanks 
Patricia in California
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Alabama Jim
We developed a leak in the roof after 6 weeks use.  We had traveled to SD and was in a campground.  After calling Riverside we were asked if we could take it back to the dealer for inspection.  I suggested that we come visit them at the factory and look at it together.  The factory visit was not only accepted, it was exactly what they hoped for.   After 15 minutes they said we could have any unit on the lot that was like the one we had.  They were so kind, polite, and apologetic for the product failure. I asked for a plant tour and Danny Yoder gave us the grand tour.  I was impressed with the attention to detail they gave and their desire to build a quality product.  You just don't see many companies these days dedicated toward customer service, but pleasing the customer is a top priority with Riverside.

The unit we came home with has been great and we enjoy it very much.

Jim
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Robin C
Hi Patricia,
I have a 166, which I bought at a dealership in Denver last February. I had it parked in the driveway from February to June and never had a problem with the roof leaking, even through several snows.

I don't know how the birch interior (which I also have) is attached, nor do I know the answers to any of your other questions, but I haven't had any problems so far with cabinets coming loose. I have noticed one spot - the left side of the cabinet under the stove, right next to the main door of the camper - where the plywood (?) bows out slightly, but it's not hurting anything so I'm living with it.

Hope this helps.

Robin
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barry4495
Hi- I have a 166 with the "birch" interior and so far so good. The camper is mostly of good quality but just like any other camper under $40k there are a few minor issues. I hate the "emergency window" which with a thick mattress is hard to open. Don't even think of removing the screen on it; it is difficult (well, for me anyway) to put back on. Speaking of windows, I was disappointed that the front window does not open and I wonder why not? They could have put some sliders on these like the other windows (save for the emergency window!) on it also. No roof leaks. I would recommend that you purchase the lift kit for your camper should you decide on one. It gives the camper another 3 inches or so of ground clearance. The camper tows really well with mine and it was a few hundred bucks installed. Also, I would recommend getting a "fantastic fan" installed. I had one on my [pop up and I miss it. I had some very minor issues with the front door latch. It is kind of flimsy but a bit of glue helped it. I am also disappointed in the awning that came with the camper and so are many other owners. I can't tell you how many times I smacked my head on the arms that hold it up. It is also kind of small and basically kind of useless. There is a thread here about replacements you can read. But overall the camper is really fun and has some nice features- most important, the 166 is pretty light so if you are towing at elevation like I am and have a 6-cyl truck, it works without the big V8 purchase. Oh yes, my only other "complaint" is that the holding tanks are small (I guess this keeps the weight down) but the most important tank- fresh water is only 8 gals I believe which is smaller than what I had on my Chalet RV pop up. Also, there are no level indicators on any of them so you have to learn from experience when they get filled or are empty.- My recommendation is to buy one or the 177 which is slightly bigger (and heavier if you can handle it!)- Cheers-Barry, Longmont, Co
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parfsten

Thanks Jim, Robin and Barry for your feedback!  I have not found many reviews on the Riverside trailers from owners so your comments help a great deal.  I sent my questions to Riverside but have not heard back from them.  That concerns me some as customer service is a major selling point for me.  I have been camping for 35+ years - started with a Coleman Sequoia pop up and a couple years back moved "up" to an Aliner Ranger 12.  The Aliner is a wonderful improvement regarding set up in comparison to the Coleman (my knees completely agree... [wink] ).  I really like my Ranger so why switch...?  I am thinking it would really be nice to not have any set-up per sae at all regarding the camper itself.  I looked at the Airstream Sport but I simply can not justify the cost given the amount of camping I do (~6-8 times annually) so that is when I stumbled onto the Retro 166.  I found my dealer was not very informed about the issues I am interested in so my post on this group.  

Barry - why did you switch from your Chalet to your 166?  It seems to me that I have much more storage with my Aliner than the 166 - everything is a trade off.  Thanks for the suggestions regarding the lift kit and the awning.  I agree about the front window... would be great it if opened.  The jury is still out for me.  Thanks again for all your helpful feedback!

Patricia
Petaluma, CA

 

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V & T
Patricia,
We upgraded from an Aliner Ranger 12 also. We almost bought a 166, but went with the 177 because we wanted the island bed. We're to old to climb over each other in the middle of the night. We had zero problems thus far. BTW, Ruverside rarely responds to emails.
Van & Terri
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parfsten
Hi Van and Terri,
What is your tow vehicle?  How has the 177 changed your camping life??  [wink]

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Retro177Kit
Hello, Patricia. Prior to buying a 177SE last November, my camping experience was usually wet and/or snowy tenting with my 3 sons and their Scout Troop in the Colorado mountains and high plains. My wife never camped. Ever. Last summer she read an article on "Glamping" and decided that might be worth a try. Our sons, Army Captain daughter, and I were stunned speechless. I rented a teardrop for a weekend trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park expecting the worst, but she loved the experience.

A quest began.

We looked at the Airstream 16' Bambi ($40K? Really? $40K?) Then T@B (loved it, but I don't fit, and somebody has to mix the martinis and cook the steaks). Then many, many brown boxes (ugly, uninspiring, cheap junk). She spotted a red Retro 166 on the road near Ft. Garland, CO. We discovered a nearby dealer in Denver and she loved the red 166 and the red 177SE. The Riversides had much higher build and finish quality than the brown boxes we looked at at the same dealership. I can't comfortably stand in the 166, and we both liked the island bed in the 177, so we went with that. No problems with the exit window and mattress with the island bed, by the way.

The dealer wasn't very helpful, so we drove 130 miles to Poncha Springs, CO, and bought the same model for $3,700.00 less than the Denver dealership's final offer. The Poncha Springs salesman and service manager, who took us on a morning-long tour of the camper, were excellent.

We've had it out for several three day/two night trips since April 1, in Utah, Colorado, Montana, and New Mexico, and are planning a few more before November.

So far, there have been no issues- everything works, nothing has broken, nothing shook loose, and we have dragged it up and down some pretty lousy back country mountain roads- given it a real workout.

Riverside did not answer two phone calls I made during our quest phase, and has never returned any of the five or so emails we have sent. Their website was awful, but has recently improved.

Tow vehicle is a (red- of course) 2016 Tacoma V6. It runs at high rpm all the time while towing, but handles the mountain passes with no problem.


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V & T
We tow with a Dodge Ram Truck. Our model has a 500lb max tongue weight which is what I estimate our 177SE is. It tows beautifully with our Curt Weight Distribution Hitch with sway control. We still have the Teardrop when we go camping individually. The 177SE does make camping in rainy weather much more bearable than the Teardrop.


QUOTE=parfsten]Hi Van and Terri,
What is your tow vehicle?  How has the 177 changed your camping life??  [wink]

Van & Terri
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V & T
Retro177Kit wrote:
Hello, Patricia. Prior to buying a 177SE last November, my camping experience was usually wet and/or snowy tenting with my 3 sons and their Scout Troop in the Colorado mountains and high plains. My wife never camped. Ever. Last summer she read an article on "Glamping" and decided that might be worth a try. Our sons, Army Captain daughter, and I were stunned speechless. I rented a teardrop for a weekend trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park expecting the worst, but she loved the experience.

A quest began.

We looked at the Airstream 16' Bambi ($40K? Really? $40K?) Then T@B (loved it, but I don't fit, and somebody has to mix the martinis and cook the steaks). Then many, many brown boxes (ugly, uninspiring, cheap junk). She spotted a red Retro 166 on the road near Ft. Garland, CO. We discovered a nearby dealer in Denver and she loved the red 166 and the red 177SE. The Riversides had much higher build and finish quality than the brown boxes we looked at at the same dealership. I can't comfortably stand in the 166, and we both liked the island bed in the 177, so we went with that. No problems with the exit window and mattress with the island bed, by the way.

The dealer wasn't very helpful, so we drove 130 miles to Poncha Springs, CO, and bought the same model for $3,700.00 less than the Denver dealership's final offer. The Poncha Springs salesman and service manager, who took us on a morning-long tour of the camper, were excellent.

We've had it out for several three day/two night trips since April 1, in Utah, Colorado, Montana, and New Mexico, and are planning a few more before November.

So far, there have been no issues- everything works, nothing has broken, nothing shook loose, and we have dragged it up and down some pretty lousy back country mountain roads- given it a real workout.

Riverside did not answer two phone calls I made during our quest phase, and has never returned any of the five or so emails we have sent. Their website was awful, but has recently improved.

Tow vehicle is a (red- of course) 2016 Tacoma V6. It runs at high rpm all the time while towing, but handles the mountain passes with no problem.




We saved thousands by shopping the Internet. Our local dealer matched the price. We purchased a new 2016 177SE for $16,300 plus taxes and registration fees. They did make some of it back on the lift kit. We seemed to have over paid st $500.
Van & Terri
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Robin C
barry4495 wrote:
Hi- I have a 166 with the "birch" interior and so far so good. The camper is mostly of good quality but just like any other camper under $40k there are a few minor issues. I hate the "emergency window" which with a thick mattress is hard to open. Don't even think of removing the screen on it; it is difficult (well, for me anyway) to put back on. Speaking of windows, I was disappointed that the front window does not open and I wonder why not? They could have put some sliders on these like the other windows (save for the emergency window!) on it also. No roof leaks. I would recommend that you purchase the lift kit for your camper should you decide on one. It gives the camper another 3 inches or so of ground clearance. The camper tows really well with mine and it was a few hundred bucks installed. Also, I would recommend getting a "fantastic fan" installed. I had one on my [pop up and I miss it. I had some very minor issues with the front door latch. It is kind of flimsy but a bit of glue helped it. I am also disappointed in the awning that came with the camper and so are many other owners. I can't tell you how many times I smacked my head on the arms that hold it up. It is also kind of small and basically kind of useless. There is a thread here about replacements you can read. But overall the camper is really fun and has some nice features- most important, the 166 is pretty light so if you are towing at elevation like I am and have a 6-cyl truck, it works without the big V8 purchase. Oh yes, my only other "complaint" is that the holding tanks are small (I guess this keeps the weight down) but the most important tank- fresh water is only 8 gals I believe which is smaller than what I had on my Chalet RV pop up. Also, there are no level indicators on any of them so you have to learn from experience when they get filled or are empty.- My recommendation is to buy one or the 177 which is slightly bigger (and heavier if you can handle it!)- Cheers-Barry, Longmont, Co


Barry, are you sure about the size of the fresh water tank? According to the specs sheet, the 166 fresh water tank holds 11 gallons, the grey water tank holds 18 gallons, and the black water tank holds 5 gallons. Are you saying the specs are off?

Robin
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