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Old 03-14-2019, 02:47 AM   #1
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Kodiak 255BHSL

Hi all, I am new to the TT world and have all but settled on the Kodiak 255BHSL as my familyís first trailer. I am curious if there are any owners here who could provide some general feedback on quality, single bunks, general enjoyment, etc? This has been an exhaustive processes and hope that it is almost over, Iím ready for some family fun

Thanks,
Johnathon
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:53 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum and the RV world! There are several pre delivery check lists on this forum. Search for them or someone will post a link. Do the most you can to get issues resolved BEFORE you take delivery.

Good luck!
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:11 PM   #3
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Welcome!


You are considering the one we probably should have bought
We have the 2018 243 BHSL. Missing the couch. We thought the "dinette" would suffice as the seating area. WRONG!



For my wife and I and Stella the Rottie it is doable. If you are taking kids along. Well, I do not know............


Our biggest issue was the 1500 BTU AC failed in less than a year. Fixed under warranty. Build quality is fair to good. Depending on what you are talking about. The woodwork is subpar. Roof adhesives are cracking already badly. I am in midst of resealing now. UGHHH


Good luck! And have fun!
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:49 PM   #4
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Missing the couch. We thought the "dinette" would suffice as the seating area. WRONG!
It's really easy to rip out the dinette and add a couch, we were to save the table base, so we can still use it for prep space and eating. Best RV decision I've ever made, zero regrets.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:20 PM   #5
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I very much appreciate the information. Also appreciate the comment concerning the couch. My wife and I considered layouts with the u-shaped dinette only, thinking we could perhaps get by. After spending some time in them with the kids, I determined that the couch would be pretty necessary. I thank you for that confirmation!
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:23 AM   #6
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Hi. 2018 255BHSL owner checking in. We were looking at the same campers but ended up with the 255. We have a toddler and some extra nephews who go with us from time to time. We picked the 255 for the couch, bigger entry and extra storage under the rear bunk. We love the couch and the dinette. It was our best decision to give up the bigger dinette for the couch.

I noticed when getting into the 243 the kitchen was closer to the door and it felt more cramped when getting in. We never had an outdoor kitchen and we felt the small one would be more work than it's worth.

Build quality. We started by shopping Salem Cruise lites and the Kodiak is worlds above that line. I'm super picky and overall I'm pleased with the build. Wood working is put together well with no obvious issues. Storage bins are sealed tight and look good. I've only been on the roof once but it looked good. We store it indoors over the winter but it does sit out during the summer.

If I had to do it again I'd buy the 255 again. I think the only thing I want different is the rear grill and I might add one this summer.
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:06 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Aumegrad View Post
Hi all, I am new to the TT world and have all but settled on the Kodiak 255BHSL as my familyís first trailer. I am curious if there are any owners here who could provide some general feedback on quality, single bunks, general enjoyment, etc? This has been an exhaustive processes and hope that it is almost over, Iím ready for some family fun

Thanks,
Johnathon
We bought a new 2018 255BHSL a few months ago. Our first travel trailer too. Love it, and learned a lot about it during our first season. I have much to say about what I do and don’t like about it. May have to post tomorrow.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:28 AM   #8
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Here are some of the PDI's:
Attached Files
File Type: pdf PredeliveryChecklistForTrailer2.4.pdf (150.2 KB, 31 views)
File Type: pdf PDI_V113_2.pdf (92.8 KB, 33 views)
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:55 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Aumegrad View Post
Hi all, I am new to the TT world and have all but settled on the Kodiak 255BHSL as my family’s first trailer. I am curious if there are any owners here who could provide some general feedback on quality, single bunks, general enjoyment, etc? This has been an exhaustive processes and hope that it is almost over, I’m ready for some family fun

Thanks,
Johnathon
Ok, so here is my list. It is only of the things that concerned or bugged us. EVERYTHING else about this trailer we LOVE (if you want me to end on a positive note and list many of the features we love, I can do that if you request). This was our first RV as well, and we had NO IDEA what to expect. That said, I have learned a lot about trailers in the past 8 months and it has not all been pleasant. I did a ton of research before our purchase and am HAPPY with our purchase and the unit has all of the basics we wanted, but there is much you can only learn by owning/using one. I naively thought trailers would be like a new Lexus (I was wrong). Relatively speaking, we didn't pay all that much for our rig, so I have been using this first purchase as a great learning experience.

My list of things I didn't like, expect, or appreciate about the 255BHSL (in no particular order):

(1) Heating system. Please note that this particular model (30' long total, with a 26' box length) does NOT have ducted heating. It is a 19,000 BTU direct discharge heater only. Some may argue it is undersized for the trailer length, but our main concern was how to get heat to the master bedroom that completely closes with sliding doors. We have made it work, but just be aware. It is by design, for some reason.

(2) Tire clearance. This rig has extremely low clearance between the top of the tire and the bottom of the trailer. Only about 2 inches. When being transported from Indiana, they must have hit a bump and the tire rubbed against the trailer bottom, removing the cheap tarp-like material and exposing wood. Not a huge deal, but on any future trailer we may purchase, I would appreciate more clearance.

(3) Bunks. The upper bunk is only useful for a smaller child. Since the bunks are singles, it is just too small for someone to crawl up the crappy ladder into that small space. Great for little kids. Not so much for teenagers or adults. We end up not using that upper bunk too often.

(4) Trim. Because it is a lightweight trailer, much of the wood and trim are thin and cheaply made. Some delamination on the slideout trim and staples were clearly visible from the beginning. A heavier/nicer rig would have a little nicer furnishing.

(5) Laminate floor. Our laminate floor has been bubbling/waving up. The dealer told us it is a free-floating foor by design, but we had waves showing up after only 6 weeks of use. They are a little unsightly and if they get worse, would be a trip hazard. Just stupid how short of a time things like this last. I may ask the dealer to address before our 1-year warranty is up (anyonne have any words of wisdom on securing flooring?).

(6) Powered TV antenna. I wish it was connected to 12 volt DC power. It is not.

(7) Light switches. All of them are individual. I wish some of them were tied to a single master switch. When we want all lights on, we just have to go through and turn them ALL on/off. Perhaps this is more normal than I think.

(8) Bathroom access. You cannot gain entry into the bathroom without the slide out. Again, probably typical for trailers like ours, but we didn't see that one coming.

(9) Underbelly insulation. Despite the "all seasons" marketing rating, there is no insulation. The underbelly is "covered" and a heating duct sends quickly-lost heat to the underbelly when the furnace is operating, but there is no insulation whatsoever. Not sure if this is typical or not.

(10) No roof ladder. Not a huge deal, but I would appreciate a connected ladder. The manual says the lack of a ladder indicates a non-walkable roof, but this is not always the case. You need to call Dutchmen to confirm with your VIN. Ours is an Alpha Superflex TPO rubber roof, and is considered walkable (although I'm not sure I believe it).

(11) Couch. The couch is not the most comfortable. It is fine, but somewhat cheaply made to be lighter, I think.

(12) Dinette area. We decided we DIDN'T like the wrap-around seating, but I like that it has the option. We removed the bench and use it as a booth (4 people usually at a time). We like that better. However, to make a bed, you have to put the bench back in and drop the table. HOWEVER, the table top does is not level with the bench, so there is a 1-2 inch drop in the middle of the bed. Stupid. Should be all level in my mind. It can be fixed (which we have done), but just sayin'.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:55 PM   #10
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It's really easy to rip out the dinette and add a couch, we were to save the table base, so we can still use it for prep space and eating. Best RV decision I've ever made, zero regrets.



We are seriously considering that. Just trying to find the appropriate sofa or chairs.


Have fun!
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:38 PM   #11
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We are seriously considering that. Just trying to find the appropriate sofa or chairs.


Have fun!
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:29 PM   #12
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I thank you all for your superb input! That checklist will come in real handy, thanks for providing.


18 and Hart, I thank you both for your thoughtful responses. You have both confirmed my thoughts/feelings. We have a 10, 7, and 5 yo and we had them climb all over this RV with us inside and realized that the bunks would suffice for now, but would likely get a little tight in a few years. I also considered cutting out some of the paneling below the bottom bunk and add a small mattress for the youngest (I know I won't have the full length, but he still comfortably fits the existing flat space). Use this as a potential backup plan in the event the jack-knife sofa didn't work out.

Hart, you're U-Shaped dinette comment cracked me up because we discovered the same thing! The 5 and 7 yo fit the back side, but none of the rest of us ... not even close! Was good they leave that as convertible as it was simply too tight.

We are looking at a new 2018 model and I plan to have an electric hitch, slide topper, and backup camera installed. My only immediate concern from reviewing it is rusted hardware and piping on the outside (I know it is iron and will corrode if not properly treated, but still). Some of the wood paneling was coming off as someone mentioned in another thread, but nothing major. The bed is simply ineffective. But overall, seemed to fit our needs (for a few years anyways).


Thanks again for your input, it has been insightful. I suppose it's time to pull the trigger!
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:30 PM   #13
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La-Z-Boy is having a sale!

Yaba Daba DOOOOO!
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:59 PM   #14
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I thank you all for your superb input! That checklist will come in real handy, thanks for providing.


18 and Hart, I thank you both for your thoughtful responses. You have both confirmed my thoughts/feelings. We have a 10, 7, and 5 yo and we had them climb all over this RV with us inside and realized that the bunks would suffice for now, but would likely get a little tight in a few years. I also considered cutting out some of the paneling below the bottom bunk and add a small mattress for the youngest (I know I won't have the full length, but he still comfortably fits the existing flat space). Use this as a potential backup plan in the event the jack-knife sofa didn't work out.

Hart, you're U-Shaped dinette comment cracked me up because we discovered the same thing! The 5 and 7 yo fit the back side, but none of the rest of us ... not even close! Was good they leave that as convertible as it was simply too tight.

We are looking at a new 2018 model and I plan to have an electric hitch, slide topper, and backup camera installed. My only immediate concern from reviewing it is rusted hardware and piping on the outside (I know it is iron and will corrode if not properly treated, but still). Some of the wood paneling was coming off as someone mentioned in another thread, but nothing major. The bed is simply ineffective. But overall, seemed to fit our needs (for a few years anyways).


Thanks again for your input, it has been insightful. I suppose it's time to pull the trigger!
All factory RV beds are "ineffective". You could easily switch it out or add a mattress topper that would improve things. Unless you're living in it fulltime, a topper is good enough for us.

I know I didn't send you a list of things we LIKED. But the walk-around bed is one of them. So many TTs of this length do not allow you to walk around the foot of the bed. Just little things like that make it nice. I tried to find a better ladder, but never could. I DO agree and wish that the storage area under the bunks had a panel to the main part of the coach. We did not install a power hitch but I never have even desired one. Not a big deal for me.

I love that all the hookups are in one place. I love the large pass-through storage that is not encumbered by a water tank or something. I switched out all of the 751 keys ($10 each).

Again, we've enjoyed ours. We were mostly at hookups last year and are hitting the dry camping/boondocking thing harder this season. Wish us luck!
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Old 03-20-2019, 11:49 PM   #15
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I again appreciate the info. I locked in my 255BHSL and will pick it up next Friday. We are excited to begin this new journey and anxious to see where it takes us!

And thanks again for the checklists MJ, they will be used!

Also, good luck on your boondocking!
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Old 03-21-2019, 03:50 AM   #16
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We have a 2018 285BHSL. Not the exact trailer, but close. The couch is NOT comfortable. We bought 2 small collapsible ottomans to put our feet up on; it helps. I sit sideways in the booth dinette, with my feet up and my back up against the wall. My butt falls asleep pretty quick. I wish the bed had struts when you try to get under it. I keep toothpicks and wood glue handy, because screws keep backing out. Make sure you check the lap sealant and silicone sealant during PDI, and a few months later.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:11 PM   #17
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I again appreciate the info. I locked in my 255BHSL and will pick it up next Friday. We are excited to begin this new journey and anxious to see where it takes us!

And thanks again for the checklists MJ, they will be used!

Also, good luck on your boondocking!



Any updates? Pictures? Feed back??


Hope all is well.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:58 PM   #18
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Well, I picked it up 3/20 with my F150 and had no issues bringing it home. However, after taking it by the scales, considering various things, and coming across a great deal on an F250 (getting more for my f150 than I paid), I decided to upgrade. That said, we are actually setting out on our first trip tomorrow for the weekend. Wish me luck! I will provide some feedback once complete.

I will try to post a link if I Can figure out how
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Old 07-12-2019, 02:40 PM   #19
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Well, I picked it up 3/20 with my F150 and had no issues bringing it home. However, after taking it by the scales, considering various things, and coming across a great deal on an F250 (getting more for my f150 than I paid), I decided to upgrade. That said, we are actually setting out on our first trip tomorrow for the weekend. Wish me luck! I will provide some feedback once complete.

I will try to post a link if I Can figure out how
Outstanding!

Have fun on your first trip!
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Old 07-19-2019, 01:54 AM   #20
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Well, quick update from our inaugural trip ... WE ARE HOOKED!!!! We had an absolute blast. Started off a bit shaky when I was setting up to leave though. The fridge wouldn’t cool and dealer installed electric hitch wouldn’t work. Undeterred, I purchased 10 bags of ice and packed every cooler I had and just manually hitched and unhitched the trailer. Later corrected the hitch due to blown fuse and faulty wiring. The fridge simply wasn’t level enough (though it worked previously in the same position). Regardless, we got to our destination and setup in 10min with no problems. After a 2 night stay, got hitched up and traveled home with no problem. The fridge was cold and usable after ~20hrs.

Now for the trailer. It suited us perfectly (me, wife, 10yo, 7yo, and 5yo). Two of the kids wanted bunks while the 3rd wanted the gold out couch, so that worked quite well. We had purchased a 3” foam topper for the queen bed and added our bamboo sheets, plus 2 clip on fans. We slept comfortably. I purchased a 8’ length 4x6 and cut twelve 9” long pieces for setup that worked well. The AC took a bit to catchup to the Alabama heat and humidity, but we were able to maintain 70-72F. However, tropical storm Barry helped with the overcast. I can see that being an issue on sunny day’s with no shade. I lost count of how many times I told the kids “SHUT THE DOOR” . The trailer is well appointed. The grill was adequate, but I foresee an upgrade there. I also just bought propane griddle, extra quick connect gas line and quick connect splitter. This should be nice for our next trip. I plan to install some led lights on the undercarriage for nighttime visibility, visions of copperheads kept dancing thru my head. We were able to all take showers in the trailer in secession and maintain hot water. While we were quick and conservative with it, I’d like to extend the showers to better understand our limitations. I turned gas and electric on during shower time. The external nozzle sprayer on the outside was nice for the dirty kids. Speaking of kids, perhaps the greatest things was watching other campground kids come grab our shy kids and play games all evening, laughing hysterically the whole time. Reminded me if my childhood AND that we need to occasionally lose all their electronic devices.

I’m sure there are other random thoughts, but I will suffice them all to say that I wish I would have done all this earlier in life. There was something about waking at 5:30am and sitting outside alone with a cup of coffee. That alone defined relaxation for me. We are already planning our next trip in 2 weeks. So many campgrounds, such little time

If I ever learn how to post pictures, I will ensure to do so. Also, I will try to keep this updated with general observations of the 255BHSL. But as it stands right now, thrilled with our selection.
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