rgrimm

Hello Everyone,

We are Russ and Arlene from Yulee, FL (Northeast Florida), but originally from Pennsylvania. We started RVing in 2011 with a used 39’ ball to bumper TT, then went to a new 36’ 5th Wheel and in 2013 sold the 5th wheel and our F250 PSD and purchased a 2006 Winnebago Journey 35’ Diesel Pusher.  The Journey was a perfect RV fit for our style of travel and from 2014 until we sold it in October, 2019,  we managed to put about 50,000 miles on it. When we sold the Journey, we thought we were done traveling, but we soon realized we missed RV traveling, the freedom it offered us and the many people we met along the way.

So here we are, once again looking for out next home on wheels, but downsizing to better fit our current travel needs. We started looking at under 30-foot travel trailers back in early February, then this Covid-19 side -tracked our search until recently. Today we went and looked at a Retro 265BHS (red and white) and were pleased with the layout for a 28’, under 5000 lbs (unloaded) weight. Riverside Retro RV was not a manufacturer I had researched. While my wife loves the Retro look (it fits our age ,  I guess) but I focus more on the build, quality and durability. So, when I got home from the local dealer, I started to do some research to become more familiar and knowledgeable about the Riverside lines. I was surprised that I was unable to find what I’d call basic information on the build and materials used that I usually could find on most manufacturers website and/or brochure.

Since I still host the Owners Forum for the brand I started with (Open Range now Highland Ridge), I looked for a Riverside Owners Forum, a place I hoped that I could learn about Riverside RVs, in particular their Retro Line.

I hope to hear from some of the members here about their experiences with their Retros (good and bad) and what you like and dislike about your Riverside Brand.

Russ and Arlene

 

Russ and Arlene
Yulee, FL
(was considering 265RB)
TV - 2019 F150 with Towing
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mkevenson
Russ and Arlene, welcome to the Riverside, Retro forum. We can not compare our RV ownership or experience with you. Our RV ownership started 2 yrs ago at age 67. We have owned a Casita which we liked a lot and now a Retro 179 SE which we like even better. You obviously have had experience with longer RVs and more costly. I believe that dollar for dollar the Riverside Retro can hold it's own, at least ours has. Not perfect, by any means but unique in it's appearance and a practical 3 season trailer. We are looking forward to being able to travel again, hopefully this year. See you on the road and perhaps in your campsite!
Mark and Cheryl
Mark
Please buy Made in USA
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rgrimm
mkevenson wrote:
Russ and Arlene, welcome to the Riverside, Retro forum. ......... See you on the road and perhaps in your campsite!
Mark and Cheryl

Mark, thanks for the welcome. Our goal was to find a small travel trailer to have our own space to use when we travel back to PA to visit Family and friends. We decided to look at Bunk house floor plans to have a place for those times when we have our 3 1/2 year old grandchild with us. Being from Florida and only 3 1/2 hours from Disney we have found ourselves at Disney's Fort Wilderness campground often. We can use the Bunk area for storage, like extra clothes, when we make the longer trips back north. With a new granddaughter (daughter in PA) due in September I suspect we'll have some extended stays in PA. 

We had 3 models, all different brands, of travel trailers that were 26 foot long (actually 25' 10")  that had 'stay made' Murphy beds that we were focused on until we came across the 265RB Retro that caught our eye. Unfortunately the Retro has a regular bed so the only seating is the dinette. The 26' Murphy Bed models all had a couch that was available when the bed was up as well as the U shaped dinette. Thanks again.

Russ
Russ and Arlene
Yulee, FL
(was considering 265RB)
TV - 2019 F150 with Towing
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gelswick
Russ and Arlene

Welcome!!

I think you will find that Retros are above average in quality. With your experience you should already be used to the quality control or lack thereof in rv's. The manual you will get is very general, not model or your build specific. The appliances are name brands you can research on line. Our dealer gave us a packet of "manuals" which turned out to be installation instructions, not how to use manuals. A search on line found out why, the manufacturer does not supply manuals. We have the new Dometic 12v refrigerator but an online search only yielded a picture of the unit and a sales video. The best manual that came with the unit turned out to be the axle manual.....
We also downsized from a 42' diesel pusher and have never looked back. Have a 193 now and love it.
One thing about the Thor Tuscany we had I liked was the yearly rally held near the factory in Goshen, Indiana. The factory would send techs out every day to repair warranty items and frequently make free out of warranty repairs. Other 3rd part businesses would be there also for sales, service and installation. An example was the Dish roof mount satellite dish was bought and installed for 2/3's what the local dealer would do it for.

Maybe we can get a Retro Rally going with recognition from the factory also....

Safe travels!!

Gary
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rgrimm
gelswick wrote:
Russ and Arlene

Welcome!!

I think you will find that Retros are above average in quality. ............ Gary


Winnebago (my motorhome brand) had a National Club (WIT Club), and holds a 'Grand National Rally' (GNR) every July in Forest City, Iowa (cancelled this year due to Covid-19). In 2016 at the GNR event I also had a Satellite Dome (Roadtrip T4) installed at the Rally. Yes, much less expensive purchasing at a Rally.  I was also an FMCA member and went to a few of their National Conventions (rally) held in Perry, GA, my last one was in March 2018. They are huge, about 2800-3200 RVs. And FMCA opened it's membership up to all towables. 

My first two towables were Open Range Brand, like Riverside RV, Open Range was a new startup RV company in 2008 and they managed to weather the 2008/2009 market crash that caused a number of RV companies to close. In 2011 I started, hosted and administrated an Owners Forum (Open Range Owners Forum) for Open Range Owners. I still host and administrate that forum of nearly 15,000 members today. Forums, especially brand specific owners forums, are great places to share ownership and travel experiences, solutions to issue, DYI projects and create a sense of community or family within its membership. As the Open Range Forum grew in numbers, since the company never created an official owners club, the owners forum members started holding their own rallies each year with their biggest one (up to 100 Towables) in the Elkhart, IN area. and usually two others each year (Texas Rally and a Northeast Rally). 

When we sold our motorhome last October, I thought we were done traveling/RVing, but by the end of the year we realized we had a need (desire) to have our own 'home' when we visited our family and friends, plus we missed the RV travel lifestyle, the people. So we decided to downsize so we could continue RVing.

So we'll see if we end up purchasing the 265RB Retro we looked at and become a more active member of the Riverside Owner's group. 

Thanks Gary.
Russ
Russ and Arlene
Yulee, FL
(was considering 265RB)
TV - 2019 F150 with Towing
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cadal99
Welcome!  I can speak for an experience of owning exactly one TT for about 1.5 years (Retro 176S) 🙂  e.g. not much to compare it to.  But we've loved every minute of it (not withstanding the small leak I'm trying to debug I just posted about in another forum).  So for a newbie who was pretty nervous about owning one, and never having towed something before, this has been a great experience so far (knock wood).  Love the style as well as overall workmanship and though we have a smaller unit, beyond the aesthetics, for something this size the floorspace and storage couldn't be beat by anything else we found.
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bamajim
Welcome aboard Russ and Arlene.   We have a 2016 195 and have thoroughly enjoyed it.  I pray God grants you many fun and safe trips. Don't forget to post pictures, we love them.
 
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xjtreax

Hi!  Just wanted to add that my husband and I bought a Retro 135 last year.  The small one with the rear entrance.  We’ve taken many trips and 2 long month long trips and haven’t had a problem with anything.  The speakers were wired backwards (which my husband fixed) and that’s it.  We love it!!!!!

 

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dynodonz
Hi,

We absolutely love our Retro!     We have a 199FKS  LOVE the slide out and room it creates when it's open.
Depending on how often you will camp with your grandkids and how much you would use the table or eat outside.
The wife and I really like the layout of the 199FKS since we travel just the two of us 99% of the time and when we do have kids along (they are older) they sleep in a tent.   It works great for us!
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Dukeydrea
Hello Russ and Arlene, my husband and I looked for a year for. TT. We came upon our 195 after visiting yet another dealership. I just knew this was the one.( a gut thing) We have never owned a camper so we had nothing to compare it too.
It is only us who travel in it so perfect for 2. (But love the bunk house version)
We have come to find out that all rigs have stuff. We have been blessed  with nothing but enjoyment with ours. We use ours as often as we can (not retired yet) we have seen other retro looking TT and can tell the quality of ours is much better. The look has started many conversations ,along with thumbs  up from ppl as we travel. 
As far as good and bad points, well I think that depends on who you speak to. Yes we needed to look up some stuff online because the manuals were not as helpful as we would like. (We have heard this from other campers as well on different rigs too) my husband and myself are solution makers so if it needs to be attend to, we just do it. ( complaining seems a waste of time, which we would preferred using else where). For the cost we think it is a perfect and has the ability for us to put our personal touch. Ie. curtains, bedding etc... 
Other brands might have more extras but does not mean the extras are to our liking.  (The extras cost much more then doing it ourselves)
We camp with fullhookups and will be doing our first boondocking thus year. We need to learn a little more about it first lol
This forum has help us newbies with questions on the retro series. They are a great group of folks and we look forward to some east coast rally for us Retro members *we live in Long Island NY .

Good luck with your decision. I hope what ever you choose makes many wonderful memories for you and your family🙂
Andrea
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Richard Lowe
Quality  control sucks. New 169s came with three water leaks. Bathroom door latch was installed backwards. Heater overheated due to insufficient return air. Shower door always comes off the track while on the road. Had to modify frige door latch as it always come open on the road. 

I fixed all myself. Dealer was three to four weeks out for repairs even though they delivered the unit with the defects.

Very heavy tongue weight. Had to buy a weight equalizer hitch. For a 4000 lb. 16 foot camper!

Other than that, it's fine.
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mkevenson
Richard, sounds like at least a few of those quality issues should have been discovered at the walk thru by the dealer. You are lucky that you were able to fix the others. Hopefully you will be able to enjoy you new Retro now that the bugs have been worked out. I have no data to support this statement BUT I suspect Riverside has fewer qulity issues than some of the other builders, at least from reports here. The RV industry as a  whole is in need of more stringent quality control.
Mark
Please buy Made in USA
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rgrimm
Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there.

After a great deal of research, going to see a few RVs (ex. the Retro 265RB we looked at a week ago) and some discussion between my DW and I about what we hoped for in our next RV  we decided to go with a Forest River Vibe 21BH. While I had some concerns over build quality with the Retros, I am very aware that quality is an industry problem across all brands and that what is important is to find a good dealer. Both the Retro and the Vibe were at the same, local, RV dealer. My bigger concern and deciding factor with the Retro vs the Vibe was not having a couch to seat on, the Retro only had the dinette for seating, the fact that the Retro 265RB had no sky-lite in the shower area (I'm 6 foot tall) and the AC was only 13.5 BTU. The Vibe 21BH, while 2 1/2 foot short, with the use of a 'keep made' Murphy Bed was able to also have a couch for seating  besides the dinette. And this Vibe has a 15 BTU AC.  So I guess we'll see if our choice was good or bad over time.  But I expect there will be some issues (quality related) and most I will probably handle myself.

So safe travels to everyone. Stay safe and health. Perhaps our paths will cross alone the road. 

Russ
Russ and Arlene
Yulee, FL
(was considering 265RB)
TV - 2019 F150 with Towing
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mkevenson
Nice of you to visit fer a while. Happy Trails
Mark
Please buy Made in USA
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bamajim
Congratulations on your decision.  I pray you have a lot of fun and God be with you in your travels.
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