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Old 10-20-2013, 07:28 PM   #1
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Newbie looking at truck / 5er combo

Hi to all forum members.
My wife and I have recently retired and one of my desires is to travel the country in an RV. We'd never camped before, but this summer rented a travel trailer and had a great week at Mackinaw Creek Campground in Michigan. I really think we'll like the lifestyle and we are both anxious to try it.

We've looked at TT, have friends with MH's, and have talked to folks about 5ers as well. We are leaning toward either a 5er or a MH... but will buy used in order to get a better understanding about the lifestyle before making a large purchase. I currently own a Chevy Avalanche, so we need a different truck to pull the 5er.

We've been online looking at units, as well as to local dealers, but recently came across a private party selling a 2001 F250 XLT Super Crew diesel with a 4 spd hooked to a 2007 Bristol Bay (SunnyBrook) 3150 unit.

I'm going to call up the owner this week and see about taking a closer look at this combo, and will be talking to some local RV dealers about the cost of an inspection on the 5er (since I don't really know what to look out for).

My question(s) to all of you are:
What do you think of this combo?
Do you have any experience with the Bristol Bay line or SunnyBrook in general? Are they quality units? Before taking it to the RV dealer for inspection, what should I be looking for to make sure I don't have a lot of potential problems? I know I'll need new tires for the unit... the ones on there are original and while the tread appears ok, they were manufactured in 2006 and so should probably be replaced now.

While the truck is 13 years old it only has 59,000 miles on it and looks to be in great shape. My friend (an auto mechanic) will give it the once over as well before I make an offer.

I'm sure there's lots more I could ask, but at least this is a start.

BTW, while we won't be full timing (with 4 grandchildren no way mama will let that happen yet!) our plans are to spend a lot of time traveling and maybe a few months in warmer climes after the holidays!

Thanks in advance for your help and expertise!
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Old 10-20-2013, 07:38 PM   #2
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According to the specs I found, that trailer grosses at 15,000lb, pin weight is over 2000lb and that is dry. It is far too heavy to pull safely and legally behind an F-250. And you will come to hate that manual transmission. I would pass.
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:26 PM   #3
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According to the specs I found, that trailer grosses at 15,000lb, pin weight is over 2000lb and that is dry. It is far too heavy to pull safely and legally behind an F-250. And you will come to hate that manual transmission. I would pass.
I agree with the over weight statement, except for the legal part, however the transmission if 4 spd it is an 4R100 automatic the manual trans was a ZF 6 speed. The trans is the weak point in the equation.
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:51 PM   #4
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Our neighbors has a Bristol Bay 3150 RL. A very very nice unit however its a 15xxx GVWR unit and very heavy after loading. They pull it with a '08 6.4 F350 DRW 4x4 truck. His pin weight runs 3000-3200 lbs depending on how they load the trailer.
Your going to be full time and travel a lot so the trailer is going to be close to fully loaded IMO.

The F250 simply runs out of axle/tires and wheel capacity plus a truck that old may not be the best for lots of miles pulling a trailer that heavy.

If I wanted the combo I would buy it and sell the F250 with the 7.3 and a manual tranny are highly sought after rig around here anyway. Or buy it and make a short run then drop by a scale house for some front and rear axle weights. That way you know what your working with.

Legal weight issues will be the trucks registered gvw (if required by the state) and axle/tire load ratings. I'm sure this trailer once loaded will put the F250 6084 RAWR/tire ratings over their capacity.

IMO the 3150 BB is in the newer gen 350/3500 SRW or any DRW truck territory.
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:33 AM   #5
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Thanks for the quick replies! I had (obviously) not looked at the weights involved... assuming that the combo would work since this individual was using it ... and had been for some time.

I'll pass on this setup and keep looking... at least it's a good time of year to look for deals.
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:34 AM   #6
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... assuming that the combo would work since this individual was using it ... and had been for some time.
.

There are a lot of folks out there pulling over loaded and not a care in the world. It is apparent they they did not travel much with the low truck mileage.

Just because someone else does something, does not mean that it is the correct thing to do.

Read up on all the trailer towing terms and how to correctly check the weights for the rig.

Ken
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:13 AM   #7
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I like the reply from JIMLIN--7.3 Fords are very much in demand. If the body isn't rusted from MI winters, it should bring a good price by itself. Then buy a truck suited for the fiver.
Joe
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:23 AM   #8
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Actually the truck looks remarkable for it's age. I was thinking that they may have used it only for towing the 5er.

I have been looking for information on this trailer for several weeks... but hadn't found the right sources. When I was on this site yesterday I saw a 'links' page. Maybe that's where I could find all the weight and other info of the rigs I'm looking at?

With all the info here I could spend the next several years just researching! And while I like to do that, I also know when to reach out and ask for help.

So thanks for setting me straight on this one.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:26 AM   #9
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Txiceman hit the nail on the head about people towing with underpowered vehicles and not a care in the world. Wife and I did our due diligence on the truck we wanted and the rigs we were looking at to make sure we would be g2g. Research everything and be meticulous. Try and go to some rv shows if possible and see what's out there.
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:22 AM   #10
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Tow Vehicle

Consider a heavy Duty Truck. Look at the HDT forums here and on the escapee's web site. Both have HDT forums and you'll be surpriseed at the price and safety difference between a large pick-up, an MDT, and an HDT adapted to Rv use.
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:12 PM   #11
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Thanks Mark and floncto. I've actually looked at some web sites on HDT conversions... and I'd go for one in a heartbeat... but not sure the wife would! Have no idea where I'd park it at home! But it would be fun.

We have been to one RV show... and need to get to others.

Right now I think I'd like to confirm that my wife will enjoy the rv traveling lifestyle before we sink a lot of money into it... so we are looking at good, used units. I've been down that road with a boat before... and don't want to experience it again.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:24 AM   #12
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We started out with a 31 foot ultralight travel trailer that we could tow with my old 1500 Ram or her SUV. It only took a few months for us to realize we loved the freedom owning an rv allowed us when vacationing. We knew we wanted something larger and recently pulled the trigger. I traded my truck up for a 3500 HD and we ordered our fiver. The smaller trailer allowed us to try the lifestyle without significant financial obligation.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:27 PM   #13
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I agree with Marksfam. We bought an entry level 30 footer but went with a F350 which at the time I thought was too much truck. Within a year we traded in for a 40 footer and was glad to have the ton truck. Start small and inexpensive to see if you like it and then after a bit you may really find out what you want.
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:43 PM   #14
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Thanks for the input everyone... new question.
Wife and I went out looking today... and I was surprised when the last unit we looked at (at the third dealer) was really liked by her.

It's a 2006 Cedar Creek 36RLTS. Not exactly a small unit! But she loved the layout. It was very clean. And the asking price is $23,900. Of course, this means we have to buy a truck... so tomorrow I'll start looking for a 1 ton. Again, we'd prefer late model used, but for the price I've seen lately, new might be the way to go if I can find a 2013.

With the 5er, the dealer will provide me a new house battery, full propane and will assure everything works. No warranties of course on this old a unit.

Part of my negotiation will be to ask for new tires all around. The ones on there now are 8 years old (manufac. 3rd week of 05). I don't think they ever had a problem with a tire because the spare tire still has the label on it!

Here are my questions:
1. If you were replacing tires, is there a specific brand you'd be asking for?
2. I asked about battery and dealer offered a second house battery for about $70. Is that a reasonable price? Maybe ask for that as part of the package as well?
3. Any knowledge of what this unit is like? Pros? Cons? Build quality? Anything I should be looking out for?
4. Dealer mentioned a warranty package from a company called Protective Asset Protection. He quoted me the XtraRide Platinum Coverage. $100 deductible is $3366.00 for 5 years. Anyone know anything about this company / coverage? Is it worth it?
5. I don't have any preference of what 1 ton truck I buy... any strong feelings about which is the best to purchase? How to outfit it? Should I get a long or short bed?
6. I'll obviously need a hitch for the new truck. Any suggestions on which way to go with that?

I'll be reading lots of material on the forums tonight and for several days, I'm sure, so any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
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