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Old 11-28-2010, 05:17 PM   #1
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Newbie Light Weight vs. Regular TT

Hello Everyone and greetings from Salt Lake City!

Hope to purchase first TT sometime in 2013 or 2014. After reading about the rather new lightweight TTs's for SUV's,and small p/u's,etc. Was wondering if I'm better off to purchase a heavier, more standard 30' TT, about 7K lbs. for my TV:
2002 SIlverado 3/4 LB ext, 6.0 4:10 dif. 4 spd auto. Thanks in advance. My apologies if this has been discussed in previous posts.
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:21 PM   #2
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There is a huge amount of information available on the web that can help you make an educated decision. I can tell you that you don't want to make the mistake I made. Even though the manufacturer of my truck (Dodge RAM 2500 turbo diesel) said my truck could tow X number of pounds, it turns out that while yes it physically can, when the GVWR and the GCWR were calculated, I was way overweight and now must purchase a truck with much higher capacities. Check out this site for amazing information on weights for RV's etc.
HowStuffWorks "How Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) Works"
Talk to owners of trailers like the one you are interested in. Research quality issues on the web and ask lots of questions. Good luck!
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:00 PM   #3
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Rick;

Thanks very much for your rapid reply and the towing link. Also great advice. Thanks again. This forum is one of the Best!






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Old 11-29-2010, 02:24 AM   #4
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Your truck is a 5yr older version of mine. The biggest difference is the 6spd transmission. I tow an AF 22H (24') that tips the scales at around 5800lbs. I hardly know it is back there. You should be able to easily handle up to 7000 lbs - as long as you have maintained your truck well. As for "liteweight" TTs I have owned a Komfort Lite (1986-1998) great TT had 2x2" wood frame, alum siding, but got its lite wt from being only 6'9" wide and 20' long - its GVWR was only 3800lbs. My next Lite was a TrailLite (1998-2005) big difference in construction - foam sandwitch, alum frame (around the outside of the walls) 7' wide 21' long GVWR 4000 lbs. The first leak was a clearence light, next came a roof seam that caused $2K of damage - the water wicked between the foam and interior luan and ruined the entire front end of the TT. One advantage to fiberglass batts is that if you do have a leak it is localized to that area and creates less damage. However my biggest complaint is that the TT simply felt weak and whimpy. Now when I step in my Arctic Fox (2005-present) it feels solid and strong. I have looked at the newer Lightweights and am still not impressed - esp the longer ones. Somehow I don't think you will find too many of them around in 20 or more years. Now look at how many TTs from the 70's and 80's that are still doing fine. Now you say you are looking at a purchase in two or three years - If you last that long (once you start looking the bug bites hard - I know). Take a look at the type of camping you think you are going to do - do you want to travel and stay in RV parks or go back into the wilderness on BLM or National Park campgrounds. If you are aiming for the latter - I would suggest a real well built unit with a sturdy frame (chassis) as well as good wall framing - either alum or wood - just make sure the unit has studs and cross bracing.
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:09 PM   #5
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Randy;

Thanks also for your reply! You must have read our minds. We plan on FT with a well-built & insulated TT, before leaping to a 5'er someday? I've noticed the SLC Arctic Fox Dealer each day on my bus route. Appreciated your personal TT stories & bumps along the way, so to speak. Seeing long johns are my usual attire 6 mos of the year, double pane glass & extra insulation is much desired.
We plan on attending first RV Show this Feb. and thanks again for giving me alot to think & look at. A newb sure has alot to ponder over for any first time RV!
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:07 PM   #6
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Why not make the leap to a fiver now? However if you stick to your plan I highly reccommend an AF (or Nash). They are well built and the factory stands behind them 110%. Take a look at a website for owners of these rigs www.afnash.com. The 22H is one of the best selling floorplans and there are folks who FT in them. I think if I were going to do it again I would look at the 25R or 25S - now that I have the TV to handle them with - my old 99 Tahoe would barely took care of the 22H. Size is everything - the trick is to small enough to fit into some of the older National and State Park campgrounds and still be big enough to fit what you need inside.

When at the RV shows, collect brouchures, take a camera and notebook to keep track of the units you look at. Something I have done is to pretend I am camping - go into the bathroom - shut the door - take a seat and check for knee room - step in the shower and check for headroom and elbow room. Lay on the bed, sit on the sofas and dinettes. I also look into all the cabinets and cupboards and look for building errors - on some rigs I have seen daylight when looking in the under sink cabinets and even under beds and dinettes. I usually reserve this level of inspection to the final two or three units that I think will fit my needs.

Good Luck
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy the sly old fox View Post
...When at the RV shows, collect brouchures, take a camera and notebook to keep track of the units you look at...
Great tip from Randy. And while you're at the shows crawl underneath and rap your knuckles on the frames. The so-called I-beams and C-channel under most of them, especially the lightweights, will sound like tin. That's OK if they don't have slides or if you're sure you'll never bounce them hard when towing. A hard bounce can tweak a wimpy frame just enough to bind the slides. Repairs are expensive.

A heavy frame will sound like structural steel when struck. It increases a trailer's weight compared to similar units, but IMHO that's what you want.
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:46 PM   #8
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Randy/KTM:

Great info regarding RV SHows and the "Real Look- See Underneath". DW will think I'm at another "boring" Car SHow. LOL Also thanks for the AF/Nash owners link! Thanks again Guys!
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:49 AM   #9
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I had a Nash 22H and pulled it just fine with a 99 GMC 1/2 ton with the 5.3. The Nash was a great trailer but it has one major flaw.
The bed is in the corner and somebody has to crawl over somebody to get out. Look for a RV with a bed in the center.

Nash/Artic Fox has a great fifth wheel. I'd strongly urge you to look at a fifth wheel if you are going to full time. You can't go wrong with a Nash.

It's good to see you are looking at this with a few years to check it all out.
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:12 AM   #10
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Arch, I agree with the bed in the 22H, however it is far superior to a rear corner bed floorplan as there are two entry/exit points on the 22H while most corner beds have only one. I also don't feel walled in. My previous TT had a rear corner bed and the one before that we had to make up the bed from the dinette every night - a real PIA.

That would be the only reason I would move to the 25 series - also the new AF 22H is a wide body - I have not seen one in person, but I can see where an extra 6" would make the passage way to the bathroom as well as the sofa to door passage easier - they made the bed longer so the bed to wall distance remains the same.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:15 PM   #11
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Arch/Randy;

Appreciate your sage advice about the bed locations. Never considered it I guess, I'm sure DW will! LOL Went to the Northwoods Video Site. Sure liked the AF Silver Edition frame model. What a beaut! Couldn't see much difference between the AF or Nash? But as a newb I'll learn. Looks like the new Snowriver is the bells/whitles model? Gotta join the AF.Nash group and learn more. Thanks again.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:07 AM   #12
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When we got our TT, the AF with the same floor plan was an upgrade to the Nash.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:29 AM   #13
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The differences between the AF and Nash were once quite large including alum siding vs filon. There are still some differences - the AF line has better window treatments and chrome wheels and come std with skylights, AC, Awning, Micro, TV etc. You really have to look closely at the two to find all the differences. I know that the AF 22H is a Wide Body while the Nash 22H is std width. There are no more Nash 5th wheels - they have been replaced with the SnowRiver line. SilverFox Editions are alum framed with styrofoam insulation - as is the 27T in the Nash Line. For the most part, they are all built on the same assembly lines so there is no difference in the mfg or quality. It seems that the list of std features for the AF has grown adding such things as Flat Screen TVs, fantastic fans, and more. You need to read the brouchures carefully and seperate the Arctic Fox, AF Siver Fox Editions, and Nash units std features and options by comparing model to model.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:28 PM   #14
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Cd & Randy:

Thanks for helping me understand the AF & Nash differences. Enjoyed watching their factory build videos. Also joined the AF/NASH forum, at least the part that's free. Thanks again.
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