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Old 12-13-2006, 02:42 PM   #15
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Yes, it does have the wt.dist. hitch. The vr4 code says that. Also has Z82 - HEAVY DUTY TRAILERING EQUIPMENT on mine that included an oil cooler, tranny cooler, heavier duty radiator. You did catch that it has R8L - HAIL DAMAGED UNIT didn't you. MM is at work so thought I would respond.
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Old 12-13-2006, 04:34 PM   #16
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Yes, I did read that it was a hail damaged unit, but figured that would only be superficial. I looked and there are no noticeable dings, so not a biggie unless you know something I don't.
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Old 12-13-2006, 06:37 PM   #17
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Sandra, just want you to know you are pushing the limits pretty well. And kids do not get any lighter in weight as they grow sand get older. Also have you considered that one may want to bring along a friend from time to time?
I Know you are in love with the 1/2 ton, but thing about what would better serve your purpose with the load and the cargo.

The 3/4 ton will haave a heavier rear axle, larger brakes and a beefier transmission. Personally, I'd feel better with a 3/4 ton chassis for your application.

Also, the code for a WD hitch is only the hitch receiver...not a complete WD hitch head, weight bars and sway control.

Ken
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:28 PM   #18
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Mamaloya..
You are welcome. If you go through with it - just make sure there is not a salvaged title on it. Also insist on a Carfax to be run on the van and get a copy of the report if you buy the vehicle. (I can probably run that from the office if you need me to also)
Did you mention how many miles were on it?
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Old 12-14-2006, 04:54 AM   #19
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MonacoMama, there are 73K miles on the van. Not too bad IMO. What is a carfax?

Ken, we won't be bringing any more kids as all the seats are full. I did not think about them growing though, you would think that would occur to a mom who just got done buying 5 kids new winter clothes because they outgrew last years. That is a point very well taken.

I did discuss this with my husband and he is set on this van more than I am. He would rather get a smaller camper. We did see a camper with the 4 bunks and queen end that was only 5100lb. Would that be better? I guess the lighter the better.

One thing we talked about is the different between the dry weight of the camper and the GVWR, which is substantial. We are light packers and never carry water in our tank. If we did fill it to dry camp we would drain it before we left. dh just does not like the idea of traveling with water in the tank. I would think that the water swishing as you turn and start and stop would be a bother. JMO.

He also said that if the tow capacity of the van is 6600 and the GVWR of the camper is 5800, isn't the 5800 considering the full water tank? That leaves 800 for "stuff" in the van. Not that we would pack that much. I never pack more than 4 days of clothes as I wash halfway through. Most of our trips will be in summer with lighter clothes as well.

OK, I guess what I am going for is this. dh wants this van. He is set. Unless something happens to change his mind before we sign tomorrow, we are getting it. He does have a point that we will spend more time in the van than in the camper. So what it boils down to now is finding the camper that will fit our van. I was trying to find a van for the camper we want, but dh is set. It is also next to impossible to find a van like he wants bigger than a 1500. The LT only comes in 1500.

I guess I will look into the Cub or Kodiak 23BH w/ a GVWR of only 4840. What about the Jayco Jayfeather 213 at 5500? There is also the Fleetwood Orbit 260XP at 5400? According to you the Kodiak or Cub is the only one we should be considering. Is that correct?

Also one more question. Another thing dh wants is that when we stop en route for one night here and there, he would like to avoid unhitching. The Cub and Kodiak have the 2 bunk ends that are queen. Can we fold out the one on the hitch end with the van still hooked up? The ones with 4 bunks and 1 fold out can be found with the fold out in the back so you can fold it out when hitched. Does anyone know if you can fold out a bunk end with the van hitched?
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Old 12-14-2006, 05:40 AM   #20
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Sandra, the GVWR of 5800# on the trailer is what it is rated to weight full loaded to the max. This includes water, camping suppies and what ever else you want to cram in there. Hopefully you won't hit that limit.

Look inside the cabinets of the trailer for a weight sticker. This should list a dry weight for the camper as it left the factory. That will give you an idea on how much room you have for "stuff".

"MOST" hybrids are designed such that the hitch end bunk can be put out while still connected. Just look at it and see if the hitch is at least even with the end of the bunk. The trailer hitch on the van will usually extend 10" or so past the rear of the van.

Carfax is a service that will look up the repair/damage history of a vehicle. You can see if the van has been damaged provided it was handled through a participating shop or insurance. Also shows the title history of the vehicle.

In LA, I'd be concerned about flood damage, just like I am around the Houston area.

With a 18 and 15 year old, they will be trying to avoid going places as they will have other activities ...school...friends, etc. So your clan will soon be thinned.

You ever get over Houston direction, be sure and look us up. We live NW of Houston in Cypress.

ken
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Old 12-14-2006, 06:34 AM   #21
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I tow regular trips from Michigan to Colorado and IF your trips will be short then this does not apply. But you must know WIND is the enemy of a trailer. Low profile trailers such as hi-lo or trailers like Airstream present a much more stress free tow than conventional designs. So the rule of thumb from my experience is the biggest truck and smallest railer you can live with. It sounds as if you are approaching max conditions, so plan to keep your trips short at first, go with top of the line weight dist and sway control and go slow. One other thing is if you are in high altitude you are in trouble already. Remember the frontal surface of the trailer acts like a sail, it huge factor in powerrequirements and overall towing capacity of the Van. Good luck.
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Old 12-14-2006, 07:34 AM   #22
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Ken,

My dd18 is in the army and getting married next week, so she is not a factor in this. If she did go with us, her and her husband would either follow in their own car, or meet us there.

We are from Louisiana, but are currently in NC. dh is stationed at Fort Bragg. We were told that we will be sent to Fort Polk, LA in March, but no orders have been issued yet. Depending on when we move, we may or may not buy here in NC.

If we get it after move back to our home state, we will be close to Texas, will Houston be a better place to buy a camper? dh's family settled in TX back in the 1500's or 1600's. I did not even know TX was that old. Turns out there was a ship that landed in Pinedas(sp?) in like 1560 or something. His family was on it. He wants to spend a lot of time there exploring and doing research. We will definitely give you a holler if and when we make it out that way.

Can you recommend any dealers in Houston? I think Houston is closer to Fort Polk than New Orleans. Fort Polk is just north of Lake Charles if I remember correctly. Since we don't plan on buying a new camper until next fall, we will more than likely be there for the purchase. Although there is word that he will be deployed shortly after our move there, so if he gets deployed, I won't buy one until he gets back. I don't think I could pull one by myself. Just pulling the popup is a strain on me.

The only reason I am stressing over what camper we are going to buy right now is so that I don't buy a tow vehicle that won't work on the camper we want to buy later. A little OCD, but I am a long term planner kind of person. Only prob is that in the army, any thing can happen and I must rewrite our 5 year plan on a regular basis.

Anyway, I will ask about a carfax report. Also, glad to know that some hybrids are made to open the hitch end bunk while hitched, that makes our selection easier.

I looked at the Rockwood Roos, but the only ones with bunks are hard slides and the weight is too high. Will keep looking until we find just the right one. Thank you all for all of your tips and help. It is great being able to come to you guys to help figure things out beforehand rather than asking how to fix a major mistake.

I will let you all know how it goes. In the meantime, if you know of anyone selling a hybrid that sounds good for us, please let me know.
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Old 12-15-2006, 09:29 AM   #23
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Well, we will pick it up this afternoon. They are putting 4 new tires on it for us. They just called to ask us what kind of tires we wanted. I have to say we are having a pretty good experience with this dealership. Only prob is the back screen won't turn on. There are 2 viewing screens. The one in the middle works fine, the one by the back back seats won't come on. They brought it to someone to have it fixed for us, but they were told that they needed to replace the system and it would be $1600. I am sure it is something minor though. In a couple of months we will have it looked at. It is not a big deal. It will be cool being able to do 4 different things at the same time though. dh and I can listen to the radio while someone listens to the CD player via headphones. Someone else can be watching TV with headphones. Then they have a jack for a game as well. We just need to get the rear screen working. Not a big deal at all though.

Can't wait to pick it up this afternoon.

Oh, I also talked with dh about the hybrid with only 1 set of bunk beds and he said that is fine as long as we can open both bunkend with the van still hitched. Now to begin praying about and looking for a hybrid. Also to look for a buyer for our popup. Don't want to sell it before we buy our hybrid though, don't want to be stuck w/o a camper.
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Old 12-15-2006, 10:34 AM   #24
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Lots of good deaers between texas and LA. I have had good luck with Camperland in Conroe, Texas. One of our moderators here, Don W5IT, works for a dealer in Baton Rogue.

As the time gets closer, keep us posted as to your progress.

We sold one trailer before we found amotorhome and it was a miserable few months without anything to camp in. Sure was glad to have a roof back that had wheels.

Ken
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