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Old 10-17-2014, 05:48 PM   #1
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Question TH Suggestions?

I am a COMPLETE ROOKIE & have been getting a terrific (eye opening) education from the well informed/experienced people here, so I am going to ask another question....
Currently researching which vehicle to purchase (trying to avoid DRW) but the trailer the wife likes so far is Voltage 3970 with a potential max weight of 20,000#.
I don't want a simple (light weight) TH but I would prefer not to have the heaviest one around either.
Any suggestions on a TH that has @ least 11foot garage, 2(maybe 3) slide outs & the seats in LR/Fam don't face the kitchen counter (like the 3970 does not)?
Probably a tall order but I am so new & do not trust the sales people, any input is greatly appreciated.
I would like to get a GMC 2500/3500 SRW or F250/350 SRW to tow (WITHIN LIMITS) to be safe. But so far looks like we may need the DRW of these models....

Thanks
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Old 10-17-2014, 06:35 PM   #2
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Well you've taken two steps in the right direction.
1. You know not to trust salesmen.
2. You realize that what the DW wants might just be the thing you have to get, and that will mean sizing your tow vehicle accordingly .

JMHO: Always get more truck than the numbers say you need ; you won't regret it.

EDIT: I will add; I've towed a 5er, with a P/U that was over GCWR, and fortunately lived to tell about it.
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:13 PM   #3
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I have looked a quite a few THs lately, since you seem set on the Voltage, I'm not going to try to sell you on the Cyclone 4200. On that I'll just say that it fits what my family requirements are the most out of all THs. That said, it's not perfect. I haven't found the perfect one yet. Either the LR couches don't face the kitchen but the TH lacks a second bathroom, or lacks pantry space, or it has an awesome bathroom setup, as the Raptor does (I like the double sinks, HUGE bathroom), but lacks in other areas.

A friend told me to check out the Road Warrior 390 because it has 4 slides, as oppose to the 3 most THs have. That allows you to have opposing couches so that you and your company are having a conversation OUTSIDE of the kitchen zone. We looked at a few of them. I really like that TH. But we travel with two kids so we need a second bathroom. None of the ones I came across had that and that's why I'm partial to the Cyclone. Because it's the only TH with a FULL second bathroom (though we'd be fine with just a 1/2 bath as the second lav).

Anyway, I wanted to chime on the DRW vs SRW. I have had both. Without a doubt, dually is better for towing. Do you absolutely need it? No, but if you're buying a truck to tow a 20,000 lb FW, it's something you should least seriously consider. I am convinced that having a DRW over a SRW saved me from a potential on more than a few occasions when driving in bad weather.

Let us know what you finally settle on. We're still looking but have thus far settled on teh 2015 Cyclone 4200. We're in the middle of a 6 month trip right now that will end in January. So I'll wait until some time in mid-winter to make my move on a new one. In the meantime, if someone can come up with a better idea for a TH FW, I'll be listening.
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:17 PM   #4
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Old 10-19-2014, 06:45 PM   #5
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Big TH's need DRW trucks. Maybe your wife should run errands in a 1-ton DRW P.U. to appreciate the fun and convenience they offer. Have fun.
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:18 PM   #6
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I just viewed a Forrest River 380 XLR Thunderbolt AMP online. It looks nice, the seller said it had a 13,400 lb dry weight. Does that sound right? Sounded light to me. It's 41'.

Are there any FR XLR thunderbolt AMP owners out there?
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:03 AM   #7
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Ask the seller to send you a picture of the TH, weight sticker.
That will provide the numbers/ proof, your looking for.

As you are aware, you should never size your tow vehicle to the dry weight, always to the trailer GVWR. Because the only time a trailer is dry is at the end of the assembly line.
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:26 AM   #8
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TH?, DRW?, SRW?, FW?
Now that's confusing!
Doesn't anyone use whole words anymore?
Mel
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mel s View Post
TH?, DRW?, SRW?, FW?
Now that's confusing!
Doesn't anyone use whole words anymore?
Mel
'96 Safari
I can't remember when the great switch to acronyms started; probably about the time when slow typers like me, started going online.
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Old 10-22-2014, 01:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mel s View Post
TH?, DRW?, SRW?, FW?
Now that's confusing!
Doesn't anyone use whole words anymore?
Mel
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Before I joined this forum I thought tv stood for television. Silly me!
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Old 10-22-2014, 02:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
I can't remember when the great switch to acronyms started; probably about the time when slow typers like me, started going online.
Unfamiliar acronyms are a PITA, (Pain In The Acro).
Mel
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Old 10-22-2014, 02:39 PM   #12
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I have the XLR Thunderbolt 300X12. It was the smallest toyhauler I could find with a 12' garage. I have 2 slides and the gross weight is 13,800. The main TV is over the entrance door so it is easy to watch form the couch. I have had my toyhauler since APR 2013, and have had a lot of fun with it. I have had a few problems, but they have all been handled under warranty. The only thing I would do differently would be to change the tires before I went on a trip. I pull mine with a DRW Chevy. The Chevy is my first pickup in 30 years (been driving vans) and I have found it easy to use for daily driving. One thing I am disappointed about (and is probably common to most toyhaulers). - if I load up with 3 bikes, clothes and food for a month, gas in the generator tank, and gas in the fueling station, I am going to be over weight.





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Old 10-22-2014, 10:11 PM   #13
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That's a really nice Thunderbolt, Andy. We had our heart set on a Cyclone 4200 but yesterday I came across a FR 380 AMP Tunderbolt XLR. Except for the lack of a residential fridge, we really liked everything it had to offer and found the setup to be almost perfect.

I'm thinking that we're going to looking into the FRs first before pulling the trigger on a Cyclone. A few of questions, if I may:

1) Do you find the customer service from FR to be acceptable?
2) What is your opinion on the build quality?
3) I see you fit 3 motorcross bikes in a 12' garage. Do you think 4 could be squeezed in?

Thanks!
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Old 10-23-2014, 04:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
1) Do you find the customer service from FR to be acceptable?
2) What is your opinion on the build quality?
3) I see you fit 3 motorcross bikes in a 12' garage. Do you think 4 could be squeezed in?
Customer service: I have had one issue where Forest River was involved. My fresh water tank had a small leak the first time I put water in it. My dealer contacted FR, and they agreed to replace the tank. The FR warranty reads like they are only responsible for the structure. My tire issue was handled by the tire distributor. My CO detector was replaced by the company that made the CO detector. I am currently dealing with a problem with my spring hangers. Lippert Corp. made the rolling frame, and I am talking to them about repair. I bought my unit from a "wholesale" dealer. The dealer is 800 miles away, so I have used a local independent repair shop for service. This arrangement has worked well for me.

Build Quality - I am a new RVer - the XLR is my first. I have been happy with my experience. My opinion, based mostly on what I have heard from others, is that quality on RVs is a crap shoot. Most manufacturers use the same parts - frame and slides by Lippert, appliances by Dometec, etc. Quality boils down to how well the unit has been assembled. My feeling is that assembly can be haphazard, like the auto industry back in the 70's. You didn't want a car made on MON because the workers were hungover. You didn't want a car made on FRI because a lot of the regular workers were off and the plants used whoever could walk to fill the assembly line. You didn't want a car when the assembly line was new because they (the workers) were still learning how to put the thing together.

4 moto-x bikes? - Yes with some thoughts. My 3 bikes are a Yamaha TW200, Kawasaki KLX 400, and a Kawasaki Versys (650 street bike). The bikes take up ~ 9 of the 12' of my garage. A normal load of food and clothes, plus the 3 bikes puts me right at my trailer's weight limit. I limit how much water I carry (20-30 gal) and how much fuel I carry (5 gal for the generator) to stay within design limits. I am able to use the excellent XLR tiedowns with my bikes loaded 3 across (I installed the wheel chocks). I am not sure how you would tie down 4 bikes. The biggest limitation I have noticed with 3 bikes is the width. The walls get in the way when loading and securing the bikes. If I needed to carry 4 bikes, I would probably hang the smallest/cheapest bike on the front bumper of my truck.
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