I dont have any experience with the older campers, but our 14 has held up well. We are the second owner and have driven mainly highway but have taken it on forest roads here in NM and CO. Ours is a hard side.
I almost purchased a palomino S550 popup from Cheyenne camping. After putting a $500 deposit down on eBay, the owner contacted me to make sure I understood gross vehicle weight, and whether or not that camper was the right fit for my truck.
It turns out it would have come come in quite a bit overweight, so the owner, who is quite a character but very honest, gave me a refund of my deposit.
I purchased a used 2008 FWC Grandby when a local one came up for sale about a week after the deposit refund.
The palominos were nice inside when I checked them out and was comparing prices. Sure seems like you get a lot of camper for the price.
It did seem however there was a lot of weight being taken up with cabinets and storage such as under the upper bed.
It also seems like the camper pops up why less then the fwc, so it's tall profile for a popup.