Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > Expandables, Hybrids, & Lightweights Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-17-2010, 02:18 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 4
New to everything, looking for advice!

Hello all! First I just want to say thanks for all the advice to come. I am big on reviews from people who love to camp and am extremely appreciative for the time spent on helping me out.
OK...I am looking into purchasing a travel trailer. My parents never took us camping at all, but I love it. I have only camped in a travel trailer once. All other times I just used my tent, or if it rained, slept in the truck! I have a wife and 2 y/o son. I have a 2002 F-150 Super crew 4x4, but is has the baby 4.6L engine. I believe the towing is right around 6,000 Lbs. `My wife and I are working class people and really hate debt. I say that because I want something that is affordable, but I also want it to last so that my family and I can enjoy it for many years.

We both work, so we will probably only be using the trailer maybe 10-15 times per year at the most. Most of those will be short 2-3 days camping excursions with an occasion weeklong journey.

I currently live in Omaha, but as soon as I can sell my house I will be moving back to my hometown of San Diego, CA. I only mention this because most of my future camping will probably be in a much more stable climate. I don't really do the desert, but I love beach and mountain camping. I am looking for probably a hybrid trailer, but not one that has the "tent" like expandable at the end. If it is a hard-side slide out bed, that will be fine. my wife is very adamant about this. I am sure we are going to grow our family, so I would like something with bunks in the back for the kids to sleep and a queen bed in front. I am a large man (6'3 280lb). My wife is 5'10(she is not a large woman, but would hate it if I put her weight on here so I won't ) I say this because if we do end up with an expandable I want it to be able to support our weight.

I can't see us spending a ton of time in the trailer, so the living area will not have to be too big, just enough for us to sleep, cook, and use the restroom.

Ok....if you are still with me, here are my questions:
1. Good/reliable brands to look at?
2. Advice on what to look for when going to purchase. (Dealer vs. private seller, problems to look for, what will meet my needs, what should I do before I buy, etc...)
3. Any advice for people new to trailer camping
4. Any advice on added expenses? ( I am looking only to spend about $8,000 or so, but will pay more for quality. Also what am looking at as far as insurance, campsite fees, or anything else I am totally overlooking because I am new...I know the trailer payment isn't the only thing I'll be paying for!)

OK...I think that's it for now. If anybody has any more questions/need more info to give me advice just let me know. Again, I appreciate any help you can give me, and THANK YOU for your time!

To all Military and Law Enforcement: THANK YOU for your service! YOU ARE appreciated and your sacrifices DO NOT go unnoticed.
__________________

__________________
Melrose is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 08-17-2010, 06:02 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
450Donn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Dallas,OR
Posts: 2,554
Personally I would be looking at a tent trailer. Plentiful and cheap, and best of all your truck will tow it easily. That will leave you room for toys, bikes or what ever in the bed of the truck and not be overloaded.
Coleman was always the number one name brand, but there are several other brands that make as good or better ones.
__________________

__________________
Don and Lorri
2007 Dodge 3500 dually
Resident Dummy.
450Donn is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2010, 02:29 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Randy the sly old fox's Avatar
 
Outdoors RV Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Hillsboro, OR, USA
Posts: 756
I understand your lack of debt issues so I think you should be looking for a used unit of some sort. Check the classifieds or Craigs list for units in the 3-5yr old bracket - these units have already lost most of their value and if you really enjoy camping then you can sell or trade and not loose a ton of bucks. Use the NADA guides for pricing info. Also look at current models to find out what floorplan will work for you. As for the TT itself I know of three options for you to consider instead of a Tent Camper - HI LO (now out of business but used units are still out there) Trail Mannor and Outback. The first two offer the advantage of a hard side TT but both colapse down for towing to reduce wind resistance.The Outback is a full hardside TT but the main bed slides out of the rear of the TT -there are some of these models that have front bunk beds - great for the kids. BTW there was a company called Outback - it was bought by Keystone who used the Outback as a model name at the same time it kept the slide out rear bed. Jayco and others also copied the same plan and have similar models. BTW I agree with the no tent camper. As for your truck - I would not want to put much more than 4000 lbs behind it. Otherwise you will not enjoy the drive to and from the campground - esp in the mountains. If you find the RV lifestyle is right for you, you can start the never ending upward sprial of larger TT, and TV
__________________
2017 Chevy 2500HD LTZ DuraMax Diesel Silver Ice Metallic
2017 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 25RDS Mountain Series 4X Off Road Suspension Pkg
Randy the sly old fox is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2010, 11:50 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
jperry29's Avatar
 
New Horizons Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Cumming, GA
Posts: 225
Melrose,

For your price range a used rig is probably the way to go. But don't write off a pop-up. My family of four started, like you, in a tent, but when we finally decided to be off the ground and dry no matter what the weather, we went with a PU.

Like you, I get my clothes at the tall/big man store. At 6'5", getting a camper that I could both stand up straight in and fit in the bed was important. It was a rare case that a travel trailer could meet either requirement but the PU's were surprisingly generous. For many reasons we chose a Coleman Niagara but the two king-size beds were a major factor. And as for construction - there are pictures of something like 12 people standing on the bed platform without it being overloaded in the Coleman literature. And after years of enjoying my Niagara, it lived up to it's as-advertised durability.

But recently I had the pleasure of helping some friends pick out their first camper. They too had small children (2) and more may be in the works. We started out looking at PU's but while at a RV show we came across a hybrid made by Flagstaff, the model name was Shamrock. This rig blew me away, it had all the conveniences of a travel trailer (a hard-walled bathroom, counter space in the galley, and open floor space for moving around) and the head-room of a PU and 3 large beds (each was a fold-out with a conastoga roof like in a PU). Here is a link to see what one looks like: http://www.ptrv.net/brochures/flagstafftent.pdf.

The couple fell in love with it, they bought one in October of last year and have been camping at least once a month since, even through the winter.

I think that anything more than a PU you will need to watch your weights closely. My Coleman Niagara weighed right at 3,000# when I got it all loaded. The Shamrock (the bigger one) may exceed your F-150's capacities.

A PU will need for you to have a brake controller and sway control bar installed. A travel trailer will probably require a weight distributin hitch (WDH) and brake controller. The sway bar is relatively inexpensive (around 100 bucks) but the WDH can start pushing $300. Reese and Hensley are popular suppliers of these devices. The brake controller commonly used is the Prodigy (manufactured by Tekonsha) and it runs around $125.

Then there are a whole bunch of one-time purchases you will need/want to make. Must haves are things like a potable water hose and a waste water dump hose, leveling blocks and wheel chocks. Optional, but good to have are a whole-house water filter, water pressure regulator, surge protector and power cord connector adapters. I would recommend browsing Camping World's catalogue, it is available on-line. You can start building yourself a "wish-list" and get a good idea of what kind of cash you'll need to get all the toys you want.
__________________
'06 F-550 PSD Tow Boss
2012 37' Majestic by New Horizons
BLOG: www.CuRVWander.blogspot.com
jperry29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2010, 07:23 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 4
2008 Forrest River Cherokee 26bh

So....I have been actively looking and may have found a sweet deal. A friend of mine knows someone who wants to get rid of their camper. It is a Forrest River Cherokee Gray Wolf 26bh. It has a queen bed up front and bunks in the back. 29ft long and weighs 4300lbs. I can tow it and it has everything we want. The price is $6,000 and includes all hoses, equalizer hitch and leveling jacks. The deal with this is...the owner bought it and used it three times. it's been sitting for a year and has not been used. earlier this June it got hail damage. Cosmetic only(from what i understand). Owner took a claim on his insurance, but did not fix it. Title is clean, not salvage. Owner just does not use it, does not need the $, and just wants it gone. The guy who is telling me all of this is a friend of a trusted friend. Anyone here know anything about the quality of these trailers? I looked at the NADA value and the price is $1500 below the low-end value, so it seems like a pretty good deal. I will go look at it tomorrow. Any advice? I know to look for leaks and make sure everything works. Anyone had one of these or knows about them. I have heard mixed reviews about Forrest River products.
__________________
Melrose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2010, 09:02 PM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
 
TXiceman's Avatar


 
Vintage RV Owners Club
Texas Boomers Club
Oklahoma Boomers Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Full Time, TX Home Base
Posts: 17,150
Blog Entries: 21
I hate to tell you that loaded, that trailer will be too much fro your truck. Honestly, you need to be in the 22' range on a trailer to make towing enjoyable. I'd look at a pop up to start with.

Ken
__________________
Amateur Radio Operator (KE5DFR)|Full-Time! - 2012 6.7L Ford Crew Cab Dually -2013 HitchHiker Champagne 38RLRSB - Travel with one Standard Schnauzer and one small Timneh African Gray Parrot
TXiceman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2010, 11:02 PM   #7
Community Administrator
 
NLOVNIT's Avatar


 
Pond Piggies Club
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
LA Gulf Coast Campers
Outdoors RV Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 22,297
Blog Entries: 1
I agree with Ken, that Grey Wolf is too much for your F-150. You say it's 4300 lbs, but I'd bet a dime to a dollar that's the unloaded weight (UVW). That model is 7402 lbs loaded (GVWR) according to Forest River's website for a 2011. Plus you'll have trouble controlling something that long. Look at pop-ups or you might even find a hybrid within the ratings of your truck.

Lori-
__________________
Lori & Dave - FMA #3415 | FMCA #F419886 | RV/MH Hall of Fame Lifetime Member
2006 Fleetwood Bounder 36Z & 2014 Honda CRV EX-L AWD, My iRV2 Photo Albums
How is it one careless match can start a forest fire but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
NLOVNIT is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2010, 07:43 AM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 4
You're probably right about the length/weight. Neither my wife nor I really want a pop-up though. Isn't the GVWR the maximum weight that the axels(spelling?) can support? As in with people in it and everything? That's how I understood it. Also, I wouldn't be towing this fully loaded (water anyways). Probably the only things we'd be putting in it are our clothes, food, and any toys we are going to be bringing on the trip. Most of our camping will be at campsites with hookups. I still think i'd be well under 6,200lbs, which is what my vehicle can tow. The length is an issue. I was thinking that was pretty long. So I guess my question now is....what is the right weight I should be looking at? I looked at a hybrid with a pop-out queen and four bunks in the back. It was exactly what we wanted, but the weight was exactly the same as this one....4300 UVW and 7500 GVWR. We didn't get that one for other reasons,but I am confused...That is why I joined this forum, so I can get the advice. I do appreciate it.
__________________
Melrose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2010, 08:04 AM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 4
I just went into the "towing Issues" section of this forum and printed off some great advice. You guys are right, with all the "extras" put in the trailer, i'd be way over my safe tow weight. Oh well, the search continues. I guess I'll have to look really hard at hybrids and find one within my limits....or truck upgrade (wife not smiling)
__________________
Melrose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2010, 09:24 AM   #10
CD
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Kingston, Wa. USA
Posts: 1,221
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrose View Post
I just went into the "towing Issues" section of this forum and printed off some great advice. You guys are right, with all the "extras" put in the trailer, i'd be way over my safe tow weight. Oh well, the search continues. I guess I'll have to look really hard at hybrids and find one within my limits....or truck upgrade (wife not smiling)
I agree with Ken on size. Can you tow what you want? Sure. You will be driving slower, climbing hills at a snail's pace and when a big truck or RV meets or passes you it will be a struggle to keep it lined out. After about 200 miles of driving you are going to feel like you were beat with a club. Then you and your wife will not be smiling. How do I know this. GUESS!
__________________
Cliff

'01 3500 Ram QC HO 6sp. BD Exhaust Brake
CD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2010, 11:08 AM   #11
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 99
The best hybrid on the market is Rockwood Roo, check out the hybrid forum, heres the link
Login
__________________
shipwreck1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2010, 01:36 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Randy the sly old fox's Avatar
 
Outdoors RV Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Hillsboro, OR, USA
Posts: 756
Getting to and from your destination should also be as fun and safe as possible. That is why you can't have too much truck. I agree that when you look around you see lots of "lightweight" or "1/2 Ton Towable" units out there. I have also driven a combo that was right at the CGWR and it was no fun - taking at least 1/4 mi to reach Hy speed - climbing hills (5% over 4mi in 2od gear doing 30-35 or less). Not to mention extra wear and tear on the drivetrain. I can hardly wait for the new SAE tow rating system to come on board - they have a real life hill climb that must be done in 100 degree heat with the AC on and the truck and trailer combo must maintain an minimium of 45 MPH - the hill is located in AZ or NM. I am glad that you have seen the light and believe that you need to either scale back your TT or get a bigger truck. As I see it, the biggest limiting factor in your towing ability is your small engine - which will probably do OK with around 4000 lbs MAX. Again you need to look at smaller units - ie hybreds, tent campers, Trail Mannor, Outback etc. You can help yourself by making a list of all the features you want in a TT and then divide the list into two lists one of Must Have and the second of Nice to Have. Take the list with you when you go shopping to insure that all your must haves are taken care of along with as many nice to have features as you can afford.

As for the weight ratings - GVWR is the most that the vehicle can weigh - on the TV it is measured on the axles on the TT it is the axle wt and hitch wt combined.

CGWR is the Combined Gross Weight Rating and it is the maximum weight the tow vehicle and trailer can weigh.

Tow Rating - usually the CGWR less the curb wt of the truck+150 lbs for the driver. Note that it includes the entire payload rating of the truck - ie passengers, gear and anything over the 150lb driver.

NOTE: Trailer Mfgs Wts are APPROX (at best) and usually exclude optional as well as dealer installed equipment - like LPG and Batteries. Tow Ratings are usually derived from HP ratings at sea level and are subject to negotiations between marketing and engineering. Tow Ratings are generally INFLATED to make the truck look better than the rest and Trailer Dry Wts are generally DEFLATED to make the TT look lighter than it is - this is why most of us add some fudge factors into our real tow ratings.
__________________
2017 Chevy 2500HD LTZ DuraMax Diesel Silver Ice Metallic
2017 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 25RDS Mountain Series 4X Off Road Suspension Pkg
Randy the sly old fox is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2010, 06:52 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Superslif's Avatar
 
Thor Owners Club
Pond Piggies Club
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NE. Ohio USA
Posts: 4,707
I would look at a little shorter hybrid, but with a slide. When looking at any used trailer usually in one of the overhead cabinet doors or a sticker on the outside of the trailer there will be a "shipped" weight. A brochure may say a model is 4000lbs, but that may be a unit without an air conditioner, awning, oven, micro, large frig....factored into that brochures weight. Yes, you see just about all trailers with these options, but most hybrids and trailers put these into a mandatory option package.

Even in a shorter hybrid a couch slide really opens up the aisle way.....

We have the Aerolite Cub softsided hybrid that comes in at about 3800dry and about 4500-4600 loaded. I pack light, every spring I'll evaluated all items in each cabinet to upgrade to something lighter or see if I really need it.
__________________
Jim, Diane & Robert ~ NE. OH.
2018 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 24 RKS
2014 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7L
IRV2 Photo Album ~Let's Go Places~
Superslif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2010, 07:02 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Superslif's Avatar
 
Thor Owners Club
Pond Piggies Club
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NE. Ohio USA
Posts: 4,707
Another thing to look at is the fresh water capacity. Anything under 30 gallons is way too small. We have a 46 gallon fresh tank, where we have gone 4-5 days camping with showers (3 people) toilet use and a small amount of dish washing.....and have never run out of water.....

A trailer with a fiberglass (Filon) exterior is easier to clean and keep waxed, but tend to cost more new.....

Look at the amount of counterspace....and the total cabinet volume.

Cub #236
__________________

__________________
Jim, Diane & Robert ~ NE. OH.
2018 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 24 RKS
2014 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7L
IRV2 Photo Album ~Let's Go Places~
Superslif is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.