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Old 05-06-2012, 03:32 AM   #1
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Need TT advice

My wife and I have been looking at new travel trailers, this will be our first, and think we have narrowed it down to either the Keystone Bullet, Skyline Koala, or Rockwood Mini Lite. All in the 21-23 foot range. This is all based on internet searches and manufacturer brochures. Although I looked at a Rockwood the other day and we are looking at a Koala today. Does anyone have any experience with these or recommendations?

My limiting factor right now is my TV which is a 2007 4Runner, V6, 4WD, 5,000 tow and 500 hitch weight. The above manufacturers all have a TT that falls within the 70-80% range of my TV capability. I will use a weight distribution hitch and would also like to know if by using a WDH will it allow me to increase my weight range on the TT. There is actually a new truck on the horizon but I was waiting on the 2013's to come out before I pulled the trigger on a truck and would really like to use the TT this summer. But if a better TV is recommended I would rather purchase a better TV now than tear up the 4Runner.

Any recommendations or advice on TT or TV is greatly appreciated.
Thanks
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:26 AM   #2
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When you look at the TT's look at the weight as delivered sitting on the lot.
Ours gained 1000 lbs from the website dry weight.
Add the weight of the hitch, battery and full propane tank(s) too.
Have fun!
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:36 AM   #3
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If the weight amounts on those trailers are dry weight you may not be able to pull any of them. Look for and at the GVW for each trailer and that should be the number to use. Then stay at the 80% range for towing purposes. When looking for a good TV make sure you think of the future. You will probably want a bigger TT and that means a TV that can handle the weight.
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Old 05-06-2012, 02:26 PM   #4
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without specific model numbers, can't really advise you.
don't know if you're looking at the fictional "dry" weight numbers or the GVWR numbers.

the WDH does NOT increase the amount you can tow. your Toy is limited to the 5000lbs. limit, WDH or not.

on smaller trailers, it's always a good rule to go by the GVWR. yes, there are some trailers that have huge CCC's, but not usually in the smaller one.

your biggest issue will be actual tongue weight.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:09 PM   #5
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We just got back from looking at a Skyline Koala 23CS. The factory tag says it weighs 3,880 lbs with the propane and added options. The hitch weight is 500 lbs. We really liked the trailer and think it will serve our needs nicely. But we are still going to look at a couple more models. The salesman said we could safely pull the trailer with no problem especially with a WDH. I know, I don't believe everything a salesman tells me either that's why I'm here.

I will buy an Equalizer hitch unless anyone can recommend a better one.

What's the consensus, can I safely pull this TT? It would just be the wife and me in the TV and whatever gear we think we need. This will be our first TT and the last thing I want to do is tear up my vehicle.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:55 AM   #6
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problem is the 500 is the fictional "dry" tongue weight. it'll weigh more than that with the options, battery, propane, and cargo.
and you have to subtract the WDH's weight from your tongue max of 500.

so, the tongue weight is the killer. and using a WDH doesn't change the 500 amount.
ask the dealer to weigh the tongue with the propane tanks full and with a battery installed. you're gonna see it closer to 600lbs.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:41 AM   #7
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I have an Equalizer and I can tell you it works great. I feel no sway even with tractor tractor trailers pass me. As far as weights the hitch is heavy so that is going to add tongue weight. Also keep in mind the added cargo you will add to the TV itself when figuring your weights. It might be a hassle but you might want to see if you can pull it to a scale before your purchase. I purchased my hitch from PPL Motorhomes and set it up myself.
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:35 AM   #8
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Thanks for the all the replies. It looks like the smart move is to upgrade my TV. That is certainly the limiting factor. Been wanting a new truck anyway but was going to wait until this fall when the 2013s came out. Upgrading to a better TV also opens up more TT options.

We found a Koala 23CS made by Skyline that has a nice floor plan. Does anyone have any knowledge or experience with Skyline and Koala. On the surface they don't appear to be any worse than any other TT we have looked at. Any other recommendations in the 23 foot range, Keystone, Rockwood, Prime Time?
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:05 AM   #9
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Since this topic is mentioning tongue weight, would adding a hitch & four bicycles 250lbs in the rear cause the tongue weight to decrease? acting sort of like a teeter totter? I always wondered how that would affects my hitch weight. Any experience out there in this matter? I may have to weigh mine to find out. Thanks, JD
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damiansnpvp View Post
Since this topic is mentioning tongue weight, would adding a hitch & four bicycles 250lbs in the rear cause the tongue weight to decrease? acting sort of like a teeter totter? I always wondered how that would affects my hitch weight. Any experience out there in this matter? I may have to weigh mine to find out. Thanks, JD
.

The answer to your question is yes. The problem with that kind of thing is a lighter tongue weight causes handling problems. Also for OP, only use GVWR for making TV decision as most RVers are at or near GVWR.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:56 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by CD View Post
.

The answer to your question is yes. The problem with that kind of thing is a lighter tongue weight causes handling problems. Also for OP, only use GVWR for making TV decision as most RVers are at or near GVWR.

I was only guessing, but thought it would work like that. You are right about being close to GVWR, I'm within 500 lbs. That is why I load everything in the front inside & underneath, this way my tongue is heavy & then it is offset by the bicycles in the back. It drive well like this, but I think before I go out in three weeks, I will weigh it to make sure. Hopefully my tongue is 10 - 15% of the total weight, we will see. Thanks, JD
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:31 PM   #12
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adding a hitch receiver and bicycles, to the rear of a trailer, is something to really research.
any bumper-mounted setup will eventually fail, on ultra-lite trailers.
doing a welded and braced receiver mod, will void most frame warranties.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:23 PM   #13
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adding a hitch receiver and bicycles, to the rear of a trailer, is something to really research.
any bumper-mounted setup will eventually fail, on ultra-lite trailers.
doing a welded and braced receiver mod, will void most frame warranties.
I will place some mods I've done soon including this one. Yes you are right, mounted to the bumper is not good. I had a shop weld 3" square 1/4" behind the bumper where you don't see it, from left frame channel to right frame channel. Almost 5 ft 6" long, 39 lbs plus the hitch & added steel maybe 15 lbs? 4 bicycles at a little less than 50 lbs each. Around 250 total lbs. That must give a teeter totter affect, lessening the tongue weight. I'm sure I have more than that weight loaded in the front to balance it out, but I will have to weigh it before I take off on the next trip. As for warranties, I'm pulling an older model year 2004, so I'm sure the warranties are long gone & if not I don't care. The bike rack is just wonderful, best thing I've added to the trailer. This is a great forum, thanks for the information. Damiansnpvp
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:08 AM   #14
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I have the V-8 4-Runner (2005) and my hitch says: "730 LBS hitch weight limit without a WD hitch and 1095 LBS. with a WD hitch". Both have a towing limit of 7300 lbs. I know when I bought my 05' 4-Runner the hitches were different on the V-6's compared to the V-8 models. On the V-8's they were attached to the frame in a much more husky fastion. The WD hitch makes I big difference, I should know. Our old 05' tt was about 450 at the hitch (loaded) and towing about 4500-4600lbs without a WD hitch. Our new 2013 tt is about 750 at the hitch and towing about 4700-4800 lbs. Had to get the WD for the new tt. Much better ride, no more "bucking". The 4-Runner has a coil-link suspension for a better ride, but when towing without a WD hitch it's a little too soft. Don't get me wrong, The 4-Runner makes for a nice riding daily driver. Even going on my 8th year in the Toyota, it still rides very nice...

I'm also looking to upgrade to a truck maybe in 12 to 24 months. I have had three 4-Runners...

**Funny story...Last summer I was biking around the state park campground and I spotted a RVer towing with a late model 4-Runner. I was kind of surprised he was towing such a large tt. The tt was about 30' and an older model heavy-weight. I struck up a conversation with the owner on how the 4-Runner handled his tt. He said he was at about 7500lbs. I said wow your kind of at the limit for your V-8 4-Runner. He said " O, I don't have a V-8 that is a V-6" I was like ahhh&rda3$6???? dud...I hate to tell ya, but you are so over the limit. She's kind of slow on the hills....Lord help me.....Some people don't have a clue...I was lost for words...
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