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Author Topic: Coleman Bayside or Fleetwood/Coleman Niagra?  (Read 19770 times)
Handle Cranker
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« on: June 25, 2008, 05:22:09 PM »

Yet another question for you all!  I've come across two pups that I'm interested in purchasing.  The first one is a 1999 Fleetwood/Coleman Niagra and the second one is a 2002 Coleman Grand Tour Elite Bayside.  Those of you who have owned or do own either of these models, can you tell me what you liked/disliked about them and any problems you may have had with them.  

The Niagra is about $1500 cheaper and at a dealership about 2 hrs away.  The Bayside is through a private seller I found closer to home.

My TV is a 2005 Ford F150 4WD V8 5.4L.  I read another thread that was discussing the weight and sway factor of the Bayside and I just wanted to check with you all to see what you thought about my setup for towing and if I might have any problems.  As for the hitch, I don't know anything specific about it.  It was on the truck when we bought it.



Me '80, DH '76, DD '02, DS '04
Sammy '00 (Our Yappy Pomeranian)
Ford  Pickup Grey '05 5.4L V8 F150 Supercrew (Silly boys!  Trucks are for girls!!)
 PopUp Green ?? Coming Soon!!


Me '80, DH '76, DD '02, DS '04
So far, 7 nights camping in '08
 PopUp Blue Pickup Grey Ford
2007 Fleetwood Bayside
2005 5.4L V8 F150 Supercrew
(Silly boys!  Trucks are for girls!!)
Parking Heckler
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2008, 10:46:14 PM »

I'm sure someone will chime with the ABS roof gamble.  They were a great idea, but their manufacturing was flawed, leaving them subject to developing all sorts of damage.  Know what to look for.Niagaras tend to run right at their gross weight, because the weight of the slide reduces the cargo carrying capacity.  The Niagara/Williamsburg also doesn't have much aisle storage while traveling because of the dinette.  Not only is it a slide, but the cushions can't travel on the dinette, so they go under it or in the aisle.  Fleetwoods with front trunks can run tongue light, which can lead to sway.  I don't think the Swayside is more prone to sway than the Niagara, despite its nickname.  The PUP was designed for the trunk to be used, to add to the tongue weight, so fill it.  Within a few years of our '99, they flipped the floor plan, so the water tank is in front of the axle and doesn't lever weight off the tongue when filled.  We tow with empty tanks because of the gross weight issue, so it doesn't much matter where the tank is.Either of those models has the regulated high pressure propane line outside.  I use a standard propane stove hooked up on this line, instead of the crummy low pressure stoves for use on most PUPs equipped with a low pressure line.The biggest difference I see is the potty/shower combo in the Niagara but not the Bayside.  I love having ours, but that is a matter of preference for you to decide.Baytoven(Me)Kisses & Gdog(DH)Evil[st-AZ]DS('92) DS('95) DD('97)'4 Expedition/'99 Niagara (aka Williamsburg)  PopUp Green SUV Red

Baytoven(Me) & Gdog(DH)
DS('92) DS('95) DD('97)
'04 Expedition/'99 Niagara (aka Williamsburg)  PopUp Green SUV Red
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Chatham, Ontario Canada

« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2008, 11:24:17 PM »

What you read about the Bayside can be applied to the Niagara also! much the same trailer. If these trailers are set up with a friction sway control they are excellent units! Do research on the roofs and other things to look out for the same as with any trailer purchase. I'm partial to the bayside, I don't want my toilet and shower taking up floor space. We use a porta potty that goes in the front storage trunk during the day.Scott21 coleman bayside 25 Dakota 4.7  3.92 husky sway control[popgreen][pu-k]1 Garmin GPS giving   directions1 DW retired from giving directions2 kids fightingFYBO 4 Survivor FYBO 5 Better Than O.kFYBO 6 What a blast

2001 coleman bayside(sold) 
Durango HEMI
2008 palomino 26 bhsl
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1 DW
2 kids
Bella the Pup

FYBO 04 Survivor
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2008, 12:48:40 AM »

I know they were using the ABS roof on 1999s because we had to replace the roof on our UTAH.  I don't know when they changed it.  Maybe the 22 models do not have the ABS roof.  If that is the case, that would be a big part of my decision if I were you.I don't understand why some of the ABS roofs had problems, which others don't but it is a gamble.SherrySherry & Family26 Niagara25 Nissan Titan

Sherry & Family
2006 Niagara
2005 Nissan Titan
Oz and Us
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2008, 01:07:45 AM »

Originally posted by SherryandFamily
I know they were using the ABS roof on 1999s because we had to replace the roof on our UTAH.  I don't know when they changed it.  Maybe the 22 models do not have the ABS roof.  
It does ... the ABS roof disappeared with the introduction of the 23.5 model year that featured the AlumiTite roof.  Both models mentioned by the OP are earlier floorplans versions and have the entry door rear of the axle ... later model floorplans were reversed in hopes of improving the trailers' weight distribution which in these earlier version tended to make the trailers rear heavy / tongue light, which could easily lead to sway.  One would want to definitely use sway control with either of these trailers.As a former Fleetwood ABS roof owner my recommendation for anyone looking at a used Fleetwood with an ABS roof is to pass unless you know what to look for or have a friend along with you that does.  Make the wrong decision and it could cost you thousands later to correct the situation.
27 TrailCruiser C21RBH   Hybrid Pickup Blue 26 Chevy Silverado 5.3L 4x4 CrewCab
2 Fleetwood Santa Fe   PopUp Green / 1998 Jayco Eagle 1UD  PopUp Purple / 1967 Coleman  PopUp Green
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"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy!" -  RED GREEN
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Grand Rapids, MI

« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2008, 04:56:02 AM »

We love our 1 Niagara!  When we were looking I did research on the different brands of PUPs & discovered the roof problems with Fleetwood/Coleman - but we had owned a Flagstaff & used my aunt's Jayco quite a bit.  We preferred the Jayco brand at the time since we weren't thrilled with the quality/features of our Flagstaff.  We carefully inspected the Niagara before we bought it & were thrilled that the previous owner had kept it indoors every winter & kept it in great shape - we have continued to do that as well & watch the roof carefully.  It was in beautiful shape & we got a great deal - for what we paid, if we have to shell out $$ for a new roof eventually, we still got a great deal!  If we hadn't gotten it for so little $$ we probably would have passed on it.  One of our favorite things about it is that it is paid for - we had originally thought we were going to have to buy new & finance something to get the features we wanted.It has exactly what we wanted & those are our favorite features - the layout with the slide out dinette, the toilet/shower combo & the front trunk to compensate for the lack of aisle storage (as well as the AC & the King size bunks).  We do have problems with sway when we get over 65 mph, but a friendly former PUP owner on our local popup club gave us a sway bar from his old Bayside which he also towed with a Tahoe & we also take it easy on our trips!  The sway bar has helped tremendously.  It is also very long & we don't have space at our house to store it so we rely on a friend to let us store it at his place during the summer.We are very happy with our Niagara  - the toilet/shower combo was important to DH so we would have chosen the Niagara over the Bayside, but we also were trying to stay newer than 2 in our search.  If you can get the Bayside for closer to the price of the Niagara (we paid about $15 less than the private seller was asking for our Niagara last spring) & the potty isn't important to you, I'd probably recommend that one!Good luck!Ann..wife to DH Jeffmom to DS Caleb - April 6mom to Furry friend- Remy (5 yo newfie/lab mix), who's banned from camping since he likes to howl whenever he's in the camper!1 new-to-us coleman niagara - so far we love it!!97 Ford F-15, need a new TV soon!23 Chevy Tahoe - finally got a new one!!


wife to DH,Jeff
mom to DS '06 & TBD '09
mom to Furry friend- Remy (5 yo newfie/lab mix), who's banned from camping since he likes to howl whenever he's in the camper!

01 Coleman/Fleetwood Niagara
2003 Chevy Tahoe
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Brampton, Ontario, Canada

« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2008, 07:34:55 AM »

I'd go with the Bayside because it is newer and has a better floorpan IMO.  With the roof down there is acces to the fridge and a large storage area on the floor.Towing wise the F-15 has an easy time in all elevations with a camper this size.  We use a sway bar to keep things straight.The 22 Colemans have an updated and improved version of the ABS roof compared to 1999 models.  We have had zero problems with our roof.1 Coleman Bayside[can] PopUp Green Pickup Grey 6 Ford F-15 FX4 Supercrew, 7 Ford Fusion SEL V6 Nights camped 25: 44, 26: 42, 27: 39, 28: 926 Campsites: Pinery, Inverhuron, Killbear-2, Port Burwell, Cape May NJ, OBX NC, Long Point-3, Awenda27 Campsites: Pinery, Long Point-2, Killbear-3, Ft.Wilderness FL, St.Augustine FL, Awenda 28 Campsites: Allegany NY, Long Point, Letchworth NY http://community.webshots.com/user/cdnbayside

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Sevierville, TN

« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2008, 08:06:02 AM »

I own a 22 Bayside and have been very pleased with it.  I does require more maintence then our previous '88 Chesapeak, but that is to be expected since there are more features.  We choose the Bayside over other models, because we didn't want to have the moisture problems that are sometimes associated with the toilet/shower models.  We love all the room with this floorplan.  Other than the crack on the front end I reported a couple of days ago, I've had no major issue.

2013 Trail Lite 200S
2002 Coleman Bayside - Loved the room, hated the roof.
2013 Ford Expedition
1988 Coleman Chesapeak gave us 14 good years
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Northern New Jersey - "What Exit"?

« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2008, 05:57:49 PM »

We have a 1999 Niagara that I just finished packing for our trip to the Glen tomorrow morning.  The previous owner had the roof replaced in 24 and I have had no problems at all with it.  I am still amazed how much storage space that it has.  Between all of the cabinets, underseat storage and the front trunk, our family of six has more than enough room for all of our stuff.  With little ones, the cassette toilet/shower combo has proven to be invaluable.  No more late night or first thing in the morning runs to the bathhouse.  I do agree with others about the sway issues.  I use a Drawtite friction sway control and have no problems towing it with my Suburban.1993 Coleman Destiny Rio Grande--SOLD1999 Fleetwood Niagara1996 Suburban (Family Truckster)DH '67DW '65DS '97DS '99DS '1DS '4"Some days your the bug, some days your the windshield"

1993 Coleman Destiny Rio Grande--SOLD
1999 Fleetwood Niagara--SOLD
2006 Fleetwood Niagara-- SOLD
2008 KZ Spree 289 KS
1996 Suburban (Family Truckster)-Retired after many years of faithful service.
2003 Yukon XL

DH '67
DW '65
DS '97
DS '99
DS '01
DS '04

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2008, 04:14:06 AM »

I've written a lot about my failing ABS roof. If you're handy and don't mind the appearance you can keep it functioning for a long time with minimal expense.I have removed the AC, which probably helps the roof. We never camped anywhere with hookups anyway. After removing the AC, all my sway problems went away. The compressor is high up and well behind the axle.South Carolina    PopUp Blue Pickup White  '96 Coleman Niagara; '2 Ford Ranger

Now in a tent.
Chuck S
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2008, 05:11:55 AM »

We had an '2 Bayside.  I still miss it many summer evenings.22 Bayside has Top-Down-Refrigerator-Access, front trunk, and a Glide Out dinette.  Three items at the top of our madatory features list.If the roof passes inspection (we sold ours in 25 in still-perfect condition) go with the Bayside.-- Chuck'2 Bayside '6 Roo 23SS behind '2 Explorer '7 Expedition out of ClevelandBayside  Rockwood Roo 23SS

'02 Bayside '06 Roo 23SS behind '02 Explorer '07 Expedition out of Cleveland
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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2008, 06:05:28 AM »

We have an 2 Bayside we bought new. We have air and the roof is still in great shape. It is always stored outside. We do have sway control on our hitch. it is necessary for this pup. One thing we do is keep the hot water tank filled when travelling. It hepls with the sway by adding some weight to the tounge. We drain the fresh water tank while on the road. We have a porta potty for the times when we are to far from the bathhouse. With the porta potty the only thing we do not have is an inside shower. Make sure you check the roof with either one.Steve 55LizSassy Lab Mix 95Cassy Cockerspaniel 952 Trailblazer2 Coleman Bayside

Steve 55
Cassy Cockerspaniel 95
Anna Beagle Sheltie mix 07
02 Trailblazer
02 Coleman Bayside
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