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Old 12-29-2009, 11:51 AM   #1
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Alternatives to Excel RT 26TRW?

Hi, I'm a newbie. I tried to post this last night right after I joined, but I don't see it today so I guess I did something wrong. Please forgive me if it did get posted already.

After hours and days of looking at 5th wheels and plunging around the internet, I've tentatively decided to buy an Excel RT 26TRW. But before I do, I'd like to make sure there's not another unit that would meet my needs as well or better. This community has so much knowledge I'm pretty sure you will know if I missed something.

My wife and I will take lots of 3-5 day trips with our trail riding club (Northern Colorado Trail Riders Home) to primitive campsites in the Colorado mountains and Utah deserts. We'll drive unimproved roads and short off-road sections with two dirt bikes on the back of the camper (Hydralift or Idaho Tote). We also plan to spend a month or so of driving rough roads in Alaska. We'll pull with an '09 diesel F250 with Timbren auxiliary springs on the rear making it what I call a "stealth F350."

Three features of the 26TRW seem unique and led me to choose this model:
  • Bed slide - I can't find another unit this short with a bed slide.
  • Payload capacity - At more than 50 percent of unloaded weight, nothing I've found comes close.
  • Frame strength - As I imagine you know, PI offered until recently a Hydralift installed on the back of their shorter RTs. I talked with a local shop foreman who said that such an installation will damage the frame rails of most 5th wheels. He usually won't install even a receiver hitch without reinforcing the frame. He added that the so-called I-beams or channel members of most 5ers are actually sheet metal, which would fail on a flatbed without walls to support them.
I've looked at at the specs for Keystone products, NuWa, Arctic Fox, SunnyBrook and some others I can't remember at the moment. For the attributes I list above, nothing else compares. I'm not saying that Excels are better than these other brands. Just that the 26TRW seems best for my application. But maybe I missed something.

I'd be grateful for any advice you have to offer.

Bill
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Old 12-29-2009, 04:15 PM   #2
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Bill

I also am looking at Excel to carry a V-Strom on rear frame. I have much information to share and can show you how to calculate how much weight will come off the front king pin if you are interested.

Bob
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:17 PM   #3
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Thanks, Bob! I figured it would be a mass-moment equation, but I don't know the front-rear moment ratio. I'd appreciate any info you have to share. -Bill
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:18 PM   #4
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Bill, not too many options there, on the short 5th wheel market.

We too like Excel RT trailer for virtues you just listed. The model we like is next size up, RT28.

My understanding is that 2010 will be RT's last year. Apparently it will be replaced by Winslow, which is a beautiful trailer, but somehow heavier.

We're right now on our way to Mesa, Az to take a closer look at Excel models. But definitely, we're interested in RT28.
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:39 PM   #5
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LOOK AT THIS THREAD
There is some discussion on carrying a motorcycle on the rear of a 5er. There is a link to a thread where a fellow had his fall off and an explanation of the mass-lever arm calculation of how the weight unloads the pin.

Also KTM Guy, welcome to iRV2.

Ken
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Old 12-29-2009, 10:08 PM   #6
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KTM Guy...Welcome to iRV2! I want to let you know that you have come across some very knowledgeable RV owners when you decided to join here!
I will also let you know that the only other post before this one is the one you posted here ... and don't worry - we are pretty patient here- we allow some mistakes - especially from new members.
Again- welcome ...We hope you visit and post often.
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:12 PM   #7
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Based on the lack of even a single suggestion of an alternative camper, I'm feeling pretty good about my selection. Thanks everyone for all the advice!
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:39 PM   #8
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We are owners of an Excel RT 26TRW. We spent the summer traveling in 14 states, including Alaska, and covering over 12,000 miles. We spent the last three weeks of our summer adventure camped at 8,300 feet in the mountains of northern Colorado -- off the grid. The camper handled the rough roads and tough terrain and looks good as new. We are extremely happy with the performance and the comfort we enjoyed. Since we like to ride ATVs in the mountains, we are thinking of hauling them on a trailer behind the camper. Happy traveling to you.
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Old 01-03-2010, 10:40 PM   #9
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Hi currently living in a RT 32FSE, In central Minnesota, Did some straw bail skirting and have had the past two nights at -30 degrees, and have not had plumbing freeze, all I'm saying that this Excel is performing great in cold weather, I did a lot of research before buying, and am very satisfied with this unit, as far as loading the back with a bike, the stock frame work is rated for maximum weight on the reciever and should be listed on the specs on Excels web site, I do know there is a weight rating listed on the trailers themselves, I believe most of the newer models say 400 lbs. Max. tongue weight, I think you will be fine loading 1 dirt bike on one of these. But may need some frame mods to handle the weight of two, as far as effects of tongue weight I do not believe it will change the towing dynamic's that much, especialy since you are looking at a shorter unit.
Good luck Jay
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:28 PM   #10
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MN G'ma

Quote:
Originally Posted by MN G'ma View Post
We are owners of an Excel RT 26TRW. We spent the summer traveling in 14 states, including Alaska, and covering over 12,000 miles. We spent the last three weeks of our summer adventure camped at 8,300 feet in the mountains of northern Colorado -- off the grid. The camper handled the rough roads and tough terrain and looks good as new. We are extremely happy with the performance and the comfort we enjoyed. Since we like to ride ATVs in the mountains, we are thinking of hauling them on a trailer behind the camper. Happy traveling to you.
Thanks for your note. Very encouraging! Have you looked at an Idaho Tote to carry your ATVs? Pricey to be sure, but it's self steering so you can back up your 5er with it attached, unlike a conventional trailer.
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