If you are considering buying a Braxton Creek RV/travel trailer then this site is for you. It includes details of our own problems with this low quality product and gives you comments of other dissatisfied Braxton Creek customers. Do not purchase from Braxton Creek without reading this website.
Like a lot of people we were getting cabin fever during the pandemic. Conventional travel was out of the question and having two dogs has always made travel a challenge. While we had a tent and sleeping bags, that is not how we saw spending our retirement. So, we started our search for a small travel trailer.
Our criteria was small but with a kitchen, toilet, and inside shower. After looking around we found the Bushwhacker 17 series from Braxton Creek. The catch was we needed a new car that could haul the trailer. We found a very low mileage used Ford Escape with a towing package just 2,000 miles away. But hey, I am retired with lots of air miles from my business life so getting there was not a problem.
In looking for a dealer I was not too concerned because how much can go wrong to a brand new travel trailer? Boy was I wrong!!! But more about that later.
As I was already going to travel east to get the car, the pool of dealers I could buy from was much larger. The closest dealer to us in Tucson was 100 miles away and become of their travel costs, the Bushwhacker was far more expensive even though they looked to be a very professional organization. We settled on Southland RV near our old home in Atlanta. They did a great job and I arrived with my newish car at 9AM, they installed a new wiring harness in my car for the electric brakes, we did the inspection, training and finalized the paperwork having me on the road to Tucson by noon. I have a lot of time for Southland RV.
I headed west and was home in Tucson two and a half days later.
The following is the nightmare we have endured since our purchase and I will say up front that Braxton Creek doesn't give a damn.
For our first trip we wanted something not too far away as a bit of a shakedown trip. We headed to the beautiful Chiricahua mountains on the Arizona-New Mexico border. It was freeway most of the way but the last 29 miles was a very good quality Forest Service dirt road.
When we arrived and went in the trailer, there was sawdust on the floor and a screw that had come out of the fire extinguisher on the wall. Sawdust showed up on our second trip also. We started the first of several water problems with a leaky sink that I fixed. The elbow joint below the sink was not tight.
On our first night we didn't have hot water. I tried everything to get it working but no hot showers on this trip. As there are both propane and electric options you would think there was some way to get it working, but no. During the night everything was turned off except the refrigerator (in propane mode), the water pump (to service the toilet during the night, and the propane furnace as it was in the 40's at night. At 2AM the smoke alarm started chirping like when the batteries are dying. Presto, we had two scared dogs on our bed trembling (they are sensitive souls, rescues). I investigated and found our trailer battery was dead. Having no experience with in this area I assumed it was normal and I went outside and fired-up the generator. It was a Forest Service campsite and thankfully the residents were well spaced out and our closest neighbors were very understanding.
The cabinet door under the stovetop kept falling open so we could not use it for storage. It was just poor quality installation that I fixed after our return.
The door to the fuse box still falls off every time we move the trailer.
A cover to the light over the stove has repeatedly fallen off.
Repairs. On our return I contacted Southland RV who set-up a phone appointment for a technician to take me through some diagnostic steps. Part of that process was to take a panel off that was below the sink to check some pipes and valves. When I took off the panel there was a lot of sawdust, bits a wire and a short piece of plastic pipe on the floor. That is the kind of sloppy work that we have come to know as the standard for Braxton Creek.
Earlier I had not had the call with Southland and placed a call to Braxton Creek. A gentlemen called back when I was on the call with Southland so I said I would call if we were not successful. When Southland could not do any more for me they referred my to Braxton Creek customer support and this time I spoke to a woman who seemed surprised that I was calling. She said there was nobody there who could help me I needed to call the manufacturer. Hold on, I thought Braxton Creek was the manufacturer! But no, I needed to talk to the component manufacturer. Think about that. If you are not near a dealer when you have a problem, it is your responsibility to talk to the component manufacturer to resolve your problem. That is the water heater, water pump, stove top, microwave, heater, air conditioner etc., need I go on?
I contacted the water heater manufacturer and they were very helpful. While they didn't have an easy solution for me over the phone, they gave me a list of authorized dealers in Tucson who could do warranty repairs. The first two I called, both large RV dealers, both sent me to voicemail and never called me back. The third did give me an appointment for two months out. The fourth attempt was a small Airstream dealer who gave me an appointment for the next day. They fixed the water heater in seven minutes, it was a loose wire.
Now you might say what's the big deal, it was only a loose wire? Well, that loose wire cut a trip short by two days, and took three days of phone calls and a trip to a dealer. I may be retired, but I have better things to do than chase up a problem that should not have happened. The water heater worked when I took delivery. It speaks to the quality of the Braxton Creek installation of the water heater that the wire would come loose on a good quality dirt road. After all, we bought this to get off the beaten path.
This was meant to be a 2000+ mile open ended exploration of the Baja of Mexico. We crossed the border at Mexicali , spent a couple of nights in San Filipe where we stocked up with provisions before heading south to Bahia Gonzaga where we spent a couple of days camped on a finger of beach between the bay and the Sea of Cortez. Following on from our first trip, we had to run the generator several hours a day and during the night just to keep the refrigerator running.
Next we stopped at the Bahia de Los Angeles. Because of the power issues we opted for a campsite with a power hook-up. It was foggy, windy and a little cold and we sprung a water leak. My inspection found that it was coming from the upper elbow joint going into the hot water tank. Water was leaking through the base of the cabinets causing the baseboard to ripple. There was also water coming out of the elbow joint at the bottom of the tank. In addition, the panel below the bench seat was coming off. the was a trim piece on one side and while trying to fix it, it broke. Now we had a broken piece of trim and a panel hanging off.
By this time staples were also coming out of the wall in multiple places and the fire extinguisher had off the wall. More examples of poor workmanship and poor quality control.
We pushed on to the next town of size, Mulege (population 3800) where I found some plumbers tape in a grocery store and was able to stop the leaks. Mulage was a delightful oasis town with some spectacular beaches just south of town. While it was not in the plan, we stayed five days before heading to Loretto.
Loretto is a great city and we planned to stay several days. On our first night we turned on the water heater to get some water for showers. After a few minutes we heard a loud pop and water started pouring across the floor. The elbow joint had actually exploded and was beyond repair. Between the water leaks and the power issues we were at the end of our patience. We cut our trip short again and started the 1,000 mile trip home staying at hotels along the way.
Repairs. This time I opted to do the work myself and got a new elbow joint from a local RV dealer. While it cost me $29, it was of much higher quality and we have had no further problems with that joint. The rippled base board remains.
The trim and hanging panel was interesting. It was affixed with staples, or was supposed to be. Some of the staples had completely missed the piece of wood they were supposed to attach the panel to. I repaired this by putting new trim up the side and across the top of the panel using screws.
Yet again we were planning an open ended trip starting with the Grand Canyon, through the Monument Valley to Lake Powell and then through to Southern Colorado.
The first two nights were at a full service site at the Grand Canyon. No real problems there. From there we headed through the beautiful Monument Valley (where John Ford made many westerns), through Mexican Hat where we had a nerve wracking trip up a winding dirt road up out of the valley to head to the Bullfrog ferry crossing to get us into the Utah side of Lake Powell.
There we went to the "dispersed camping " area that was dried lake bed from when Lake Powell had a little more water. We set-up our Bushwhacker Plus and stayed for three days. We had a good ten acres to ourselves sitting right on the shore of Lake Powell. Despite high winds and several sand storms, we were still able to do some kayaking on Lake Powell. However, the power problem was dire. To keep the refrigerator going, on propane, we were running the generator 12+ hours per day.
As a result of the power issues we decided to skip Moab and head to Cortez, Colorado where we would stay in a campsite with an electrical hook-up and take day trips. More unplanned stays at campsites that were not in the budget. While there, I checked the battery. What I found was two dry cells. I should have checked that sooner but there was no manual to set expectations on power usage. Even after filling the battery, it was by this time totally dead.
One day before we left for home, the seal on the wall in the bathroom separated and the wall behind the toilet bowed. This effectively renders the shower unusable.
Repairs. Not fixing this, it is the last straw.
If you look at each of the items it may not seem that much. But consider this was a brand new unit that clearly was the result of very poor workmanship. Sure I could let Braxton Creek fix it but what would be next? Whether our unit reflects the standard build quality or it was a Friday afternoon unit, I don't care. The quality is poor and it is not fit nor reliable if your really want a travel trailer that you can take off the grid.
The warranty is not transferable so to sell it just passes on the problem to someone else. I would have to be dishonest about the quality or take a big hit on the price. I am not dishonest.
If you agree or disagree, please feel free to press the button below to contact me.