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Old 12-09-2009, 10:46 AM   #1
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Buying my first TT. I could use some input.

I have wanted to snowbird in AZ for a couple years now and I'm finally doing it. I bought a 2010 Toyota Tundra 5.7L/V8 with tow package and now I need to find a TT to pull. I'm hoping to dry dock in the BLM lands.

In the running:

2008 Jay Flight G2 25RKS (stick and tin, no heated tanks or underbelly, 46/65/32.5 gallon fresh/gray/black water tanks, a few differences in the floorplan that I really like)

2009 Jayco Eagle Super Lite 256RKS (alum and fiberglass, heated tanks, 36.5/52/22.5 gallon fresh/gray/black )

2010 Jayco Eagle Super Lite 256RKS (alum and fiberglass, heated underbelly but not tanks, 36.5/52/22.5 gallon tanks)

And a RV dealer just called with a 2006 Trail Bay TB27DS by R-vision.
I don't know anything about it but it is 2 feet longer than the Jaycos (not a good thing).

I know the aluminum is heavier than the fiberglass and that it can be damaged easier than fiberglass and is harder to repair (I'm a do-it-yourselfer so would like to be able to do maintenance myself). Anything else?

I live in Maryland and my daughter lives in Dallas so I'm thinking I need some heat in the H2O system just in case. How hard would it be to add heating pads to the tanks in the 2008 Jay Flight? Is it necessary?

I have been told I can get a Jay Plus warranty on the used Jayco that I figure would take some of the risk out of buying used. Any experience with a warranty on a used Jayco TT?

The used TT looks like new (except the good mattress and the good DVD/CD player were removed) the dealer says they will inspect it before I buy it. Do I need to get a private inspection or can I do it myself with an inspection checklist? Or will the warranty cover any problems (how about something like the refrigerator that had it's own warranty that has probably expired)?

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. I feel like I am drowning in options with no clear guidlines to make an informed decision.

Thanks
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:38 AM   #2
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Actually, aluminum should be lighter than fiberglass--generally, a trailer will weigh about 400lbs more with fiberglass sides over aluminum. If you are going to do any cold-weather camping, an enclosed underbelly w/furnace heat is a necessity.
In talking with a long-time RV salesman who has handled dozens of brands, he indicates Jayco to be very good on warranty/customer service and does recommend the extended JAYCO warranty--beware of other after-market policies. And Jayco is still a solid company.
Joe
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:39 PM   #3
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To be really on the safe side, load your truck up like you will normally have it loaded when traveling and make a trip to the scales. Now, you have the weight of the truck. look up the trucks GVWR and GCWR numbers from the manufacturer and subtract your scaled weight from that number. That is your net capacity. Now go shopping for a trailer with a GVWR equal to or preferable less than that number. without these numbers firmly at hand you will be shooting in the dark as to how well/comfortably your truck will do with any trailer. Then pick the one YOU like the best. It is after all your money you are spending
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:52 PM   #4
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As far as the outer skin of the trailer. The fiberglass will hold up much better and easier to clean and wax. If your doing some dry camping the larger 46 gallon fresh tank is a must. We have a 46 gal. which will get us thru a week of washing dishes, bathroom duties and maybe a shower or two.
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:33 PM   #5
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outdoorlady,

Welcome to iRV2. You've come to the right place to get answers. I know it's all very overwhelming but there are plenty of fine members here that are knowledgeable & will be very helpful with your search. The TT's you have chosen seem to be within your Tundra's towing capacity. But just to be on the safe side:

As 450Donn stated, you need to load up your Tundra with all your stuff/people/full tank of gas - just like you would do when ready to go camping - & take it to a scale to get it weighed. You need to start there to be able to figure out what weight/size TT you can tow.

Once you've done that, go to THIS site & run the numbers. I used Ken's info when buying our first TT & then our previous 5-r & it was SO helpful. Armed with the info from your calculations, you can then check the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of each of the rv's you have in the running to see if they will be compatable with your Tundra. Remember, never go by the unloaded weight numbers on the rv's in calculating & never, ever believe what a salesman tells you your Tundra can tow. They will tell you anything to make a sale, whether it is safe or not.

I don't think you can go wrong with a Jayco. They are solid units & the mfr stands by their product.

The fun is just beginning for you. Please post back if you have any further questions.

Lori-
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:40 PM   #6
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Welcome to iRV2. Personally I would hire my own independent inspection of the RV. Make sure he inspects and operates all systems. The dealer is only got his interest and not yours to look at.

Visit this site for a good review on the size and weight limit issues. At the bottom of the page is a spreadsheet which will help you with the weight limits.

The Tundra is a very capable truck, but you do need to stay within it's limits. Personally to would not go over about 25 or 26' with a 1/2 ton truck, but there are others out there that are pulling larger trailers.

The thing to remember is that there is more to towing than just the weight. You have to have a truck larger enough to control the trailer.

If you are going to do camping in cold weather, you will need a heat source to keep the tanks from freezing, a heated basement model (larger trailers). Most of the trailers you are considering are considered 3 season trailers and are not really suitable for freezing weather use.

Another issue is keeping the trailer from freezing up while on the road. Do you plan to run the furnace while towing or drain the water system and basically winterize the trailer?

Ken
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Old 12-10-2009, 11:07 AM   #7
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In all of your information on the various trailers you're looking at, nowhere did you mention their GVWR.

As 450Donn mentioned, you need to first get your truck weighed fully loaded for a trip and subtract that weight from the truck's GCWR...that will give you the maximum loaded trailer weight you should be towing (look at GVWR of the trailer, not dry weight).

Once you know the maximum GVWR of the trailers you should be looking at, THEN you can start comparing the features.
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:20 PM   #8
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I have done some of the work that you suggested. I haven't weighed my truck but I did do the weight calculations using my truck's curb weight plus cap and bed mat and both trailers' dry weights. I think the critical numbers are available truck payload (for the gas, people and junk in my truck) and the available towing capacity ( for the water, lp, and junk in my trailer). For the Jay Flight, those numbers are 700 and 3486 lbs respectively and for the Superlite they are 820 and 3555 lbs ( the dry axle weight is 6149 for the Jay flight and 5570 for the superlite, the stick and tin weighs almost 600 lbs more than the fiberglass TT I assume because of the wooden framing). I can't imagine carrying that much stuff so I am assuming that I could pull either trailer. It does tell me that I should pack as much as possible in the trailer and as little as possible in the truck.

The reason I am in such a quandry is because the superlites which are fiberglass, are lighter, have either heated tanks or underbelly are more expensive (because they aren't used) and have smaller tanks. The Jay Flight is aluminum, is heaver, doesn't have heated tanks or underbelly is less expensive, has larger tanks and has those small differences in floor plan that I'm having trouble ignoring. I'm also trying very hard to ignore the obnoxious upholstry fabric but it's hard.

Since my truck can pull either trailer I shouldn't worry about weight and I guess I can carry extra water with me so I could deal with the smaller tanks. That leaves heated tanks or underbelly which I really think I need. Has anyone had any experience with adding heating pads to the tanks?
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Old 12-11-2009, 12:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outdoorlady View Post
...but I did do the weight calculations using my truck's curb weight plus cap and bed mat and both trailers' dry weights.
I can't express enough now important it is to not use curb weights & dry weights in calculating for towing.

If you don't weigh the truck loaded, you won't start out with the true, actual weight (the way you will be using it camping) & that can throw off the entire calculation. You will be surprised at the difference between your loaded truck & the curb weight.

Also, the dry weight on a TT is for a bare bones unit (i.e. no awning, no propane, no a/c's, power vents, spare tire, attached ladder...etc). You do not want to run your calculations with the dry weight or, once you account for all those items that may be on the TT & you load all the stuff in the unit you'll be using (pots/pans, bedding, food, water, clothing, bikes, tools....etc) you may possibly end up over the limit for your truck & over the GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) for the combination of the TT & truck.

We want you to tow safely & doing the calculations with fully loaded weights, both truck & TT, will ensure you have a well matched combination you can be confident driving & get many years of enjoyment from.

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Old 12-11-2009, 07:47 AM   #10
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ok, I'll see if I can find a truck scale.
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:14 AM   #11
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Outdoorlady. Everyone has stressed the need to weight the truck and that is a must. Now for the construction of the TT. Wood frame is heavy and can be damaged from water leaks that pop up around the seams and windows. I would go with a alum framed TT everytime. We have encounted leaks and water damage to older TT that we owned. Heated underbellys mean there is an alum sheet covering the undercarrage and the heat comes from the heater duct work. heat blankets warm the tanks not the lines. In most TTs the lines are inside the coach and are warmed by the heaters. Traveling to Dallas, I would winterize the TT and wait till you are out of the freezing weather. I would never add any water to the system in freezing weather unless you intend to turn on your heater while traveling. Even that, the exposed water traps under the TT will freeze up.
We travel to Florida every winter and never dewinterize the coach until we hit warmer weather. we carry our water in gal jugs and store them in the shower for drinking and flushing the toilet. Our rig has heat blankets and can be used to keep the tanks warm if needed Since were in the coach, we have used the heater to stay warm when parked and the prophane to keep the ref running between stops. Normally the heater off the engine keeps the rig warm when traveiling. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
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ok, I'll see if I can find a truck scale.
Most any large travel plaza will have one. Try Flying J, Pilot or Travel Centers of America (TA). As a matter of fact, I have extended family that used to live in Silver Spring a few years ago & there's a TA about 20 minutes from there, just off I-95.

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Old 12-11-2009, 07:54 PM   #13
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I'll see if I can find the TA. Thanks Charlie
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:38 PM   #14
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I had the exact set up you are talking about, a Tundra and a Trail Bay 27DS. We loved the Tundra, it was a hotrod and lots of power. We loved the layout of the TB and the fact it had a separate bedroom. It is a fiberglass trailer, I dont understand your statement about it being aluminum. As far as hauling the trailer the Tundra had no problems pulling the trailer. The only issue we had was wind. We live in Texas and it is always windy here. We had a very good setup and am very experienced at hauling TT's. But anytime it got windy pullling the TB I had to slow down alot cause it was white knuckle time. Trucks passing on the Interstate were also fun. The only thing I can think of is the length was just too much for the truck. Also remember the water tank is under the rear bed right on the rear bumper, so when you fill the tank and it was setup while empty, it will throw everything off. Have since traded both for a 5er and diesel.
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