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Old 06-07-2006, 07:57 AM   #1
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My wife and I have been camping for several years - mostly with slide-in-campers. We like being compact so we can get back in the mountains where people with bigger rigs can't go. But now we've just had our first child, and may eventually have a 2nd. This last weekend was our first outing with the our 7 month old baby in the camper, and I'll just say it was less than relaxing. We definitely need alot more room!!! (We also have a black lab.)

Is a Toyhauler or Patiohauler a good way to go? I like the idea of being able to open up the back and the extra storage room for bicycles, firewood, BBQ, baby stuff, etc. I do have a 4-wheeler that we may take sometimes also. We have snowmobiles that we used to take alot on winter camping trips, but I guess we probably wouldn't take a Toyhauler snow camping with sleds.

If a Toyhauler is a good idea for our situation, what are some good brands we should consider? Also, it seems that most are bumper pull instead of 5th wheel. Why is that? I want something off-roadable. I'm used to using low-range 4-wheel drive to get back into our camping sites! Thanks for the info!
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Old 06-07-2006, 07:57 AM   #2
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Location: Eastern Wash. state
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My wife and I have been camping for several years - mostly with slide-in-campers. We like being compact so we can get back in the mountains where people with bigger rigs can't go. But now we've just had our first child, and may eventually have a 2nd. This last weekend was our first outing with the our 7 month old baby in the camper, and I'll just say it was less than relaxing. We definitely need alot more room!!! (We also have a black lab.)

Is a Toyhauler or Patiohauler a good way to go? I like the idea of being able to open up the back and the extra storage room for bicycles, firewood, BBQ, baby stuff, etc. I do have a 4-wheeler that we may take sometimes also. We have snowmobiles that we used to take alot on winter camping trips, but I guess we probably wouldn't take a Toyhauler snow camping with sleds.

If a Toyhauler is a good idea for our situation, what are some good brands we should consider? Also, it seems that most are bumper pull instead of 5th wheel. Why is that? I want something off-roadable. I'm used to using low-range 4-wheel drive to get back into our camping sites! Thanks for the info!
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Old 06-07-2006, 09:50 AM   #3
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Ryan,
Wow, talk about opening a can of worms. Fortuately you came to the right place because we all love to talk about our trailers. Hopefully we can steer you in the right direction.

I don't know much about slide in campers other that the fact that evey one I have ever seen has amazed me due to the amount of area and amentaties that they fit into such a small space. Everyone that I know who has one only camps with his/her spouse and not much else. I would think a family of 3 plus maybe another one on the way and a dog would get cramped.

A toyhauler does offer a bunch more space and room which is great for four wheelers and BBQS, plus all the baby stuff. (Don't forget when they get older they want four wheeler too, plus bikes and strollers, and don't forget the play pin, oh and the crib, Barbie Jeep, the trike, scooter, gawd forbid they bring a friend so double that order, you get the point.) The draw back to the toyhauler is now your pulling a trailer, so you have all that to think about, but you can unhook and now you have a way to get around. Unless you do a Fun Mover (class C RV front, toyhauler rear on one frame) to the tune of $130k. Then you really have a serious peice of equipment.

I dont know about snowmobiles with a toyhauler, I would think the snow that is stuck to the sled when you load them would melt and water inside any travel trailer is not a good match. As far as hurtels to over come, that might be your smallest one though.

As far as a brand to go with, the sky is the limit. I have had two Weekend Warriors. The first one was a POS, the second I have been very happy with. I think just about every RV maker has a toyhauler at this point, and they all claim that theres is the best. I think most consumers will tell you the WW is the best, maybe that is because toyhaulers are all they have ever done, so at this point they have it figgered out. The best thing I tell you is find a good dealer with as best a selection you can get, or get Toyhauler magazine for a couple of months. You really have to deceide this one out for your self, just because there are so many options now. Like I said everyone makes one now all with different floor plans and price tags.

You have the truck to pull what every you want to get. I like 5th wheels because they tow better, and you get more trailer because 10-15% of it is over the bed of your truck. Of course now you have a 300lb. hitch in the bed of your truck. Sure you can take it out, with help from a neighbor or forklift. As far as hitting a gnarly trail in 4 low with a 19 to 40 foot trailer in tow, I don't know if that is the best thing. But hey, it's your set-up, you can make the call.

Hopefully this helped more that it confused. Good luck.

Rod
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Old 06-08-2006, 04:32 AM   #4
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Although I am far from an expert I recently went through the same thing.

My wife and I camped in a pop-up for 12 years the past 4 with my daughter. This past Memorial Day weekend we realized we needed more space.
We took two vehicles to go because I had to tow a trailer that had our two four wheelers on it...what a PIA to take to vehicles not to mention the extra fuel.

Anyway that being said a toy hauler was the only way to go for us. As been said there are lots of models to choose from. Figure out how much space you really need then add some (cus you never really have enough space). Think about what it is you want to haul, 4wheelers, motorcycles etc. diffrent models are designed with diffrent toys in mind, then apply all that to what you can afford and don't forget to take your tow vehicle into consideration.

For us we decicded we did not want a plush interior, oak cabinets etc. We wanted functional and easy to maintain and above all affordable.

I think we found it in the Keystone Hobbi. Time will tell haven't even picked it up yet.

Good luck in your search..
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Old 06-09-2006, 09:15 AM   #5
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My wife and I bought our 5er toy hauler not knowing all the capabilities. Now we go on trips without the toys all the time. It has been great for the kids to run in and out the back and not have to worry about them falling down the stairs or slamming the door all the time. Pull the screen down in the back and button down one side, and it keeps out the majority of the bugs. And like melon said there is room for a play pin in the back, or just make it a large play pin when weather is bad.

Another benifit is we are now the host of our family buffet style meals. Everyone can walk right in, searve thier food and walk right out without going threw the single door. It has been great. As long as everyone helps with dishes!

I can't tell you what type to get, but one thing we looked at was some double axle toyhaulers REQUIRE you to have a load while towing for proper towing and hitch weight. We went with a three axle trailer because it DID NOT require to have a load (your toys in the back) for proper towing and hitch weight. This does not say that I keep the very back empty. With no toys inside, I move back the coolers, chairs/rockers, ect to help with balancing.

Melon also mentioned about the heavy hitch for a 5er. You can check out my response to that in this forum: 5er Hitch Recommendations

Good luck
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Old 06-17-2006, 06:11 AM   #6
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My wife and I also started with campers, then went to Trailers, we now use a Fw toyhualer.
When we had our first child (now have 3) we ran into the same problem you are, lack of space. We were hauling our quads in the back of the truck and towing a TT. With toy hauler we have a lot more space, room for kids to play inside if weather is bad, room for kids toys, easy to haul quads, etc...

Many companies make shorter Fw toy haulers, Weekend Warrior and Rage'n make 28' and 30' Fw that are very easy to tow. Our first Fw was a LE3305 and had been lifted by moving the axles from on top of the springs to below the springs (axle flip), this gave us about 5" more clearance. It was originally done to make the Fw fit a lifted truck but the other benefit was lots of clearance under the Fw.

Good luck with the search.
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