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Old 09-16-2012, 01:55 AM   #29
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I would agree it should increase the value quite a bit, only I'm curious how the PVC holds up to the sun. I can see it might want to get dried up and brittle and crack or mold but maybe I am not picturing it right? Anxiously awaiting the pics. Never heard of that type roofing material. I think I'll google it here in a minute.
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:58 AM   #30
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This might be what there doing, not sure.PVC Roofing Membrane for RV - PPL Motor Homes
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:51 PM   #31
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Which freedom Express model do you have and what can you say(good,bad,) about it? Also, what do you tow it with? My wife & I are looking at the 304 and/or 305rkds,we like the floor plans,but I'm still trying to figure out the weight my '06 gmc 1/2 ton 4x4 can safely handle. We're new to rv'ing-so much to learn! Thanks for any help!
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:30 AM   #32
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Which freedom Express model do you have and what can you say(good,bad,) about it? Also, what do you tow it with? My wife & I are looking at the 304 and/or 305rkds,we like the floor plans,but I'm still trying to figure out the weight my '06 gmc 1/2 ton 4x4 can safely handle. We're new to rv'ing-so much to learn! Thanks for any help!
We have the 304fkv V nose front kitchen. The roof can't handle ANY STRESS, branches etc, cost me $9k to replace because of a few overhanging tree limbs that I THOUGHT I was getting under. The DVD entertainment system STINKS! It won't play over 3/4 of my DVDs because of a region issue, which means the DVD player was made for Canada or Mexico use. I'm waiting on 3rd replacement now. A few other minor issues handled by dealer. I had a Dodge 1/2 ton when I bought it, and it pulled it with load leveling and 2 sway bars, but due to safety concerns I bought 3/4 ton Ford and it pulls much better, can get to 65mph, dodge was scary at 55mph. I wouldn't buy it unless you can get a 3/4 ton. On the other hand if your trips are going to be less than 100 miles, I may consider it with load equalizer s and sway bars (2). Hope that helps.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:58 AM   #33
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I was in my very early 20's when I noticed a pattern in my life. That pattern was: everytime I learned something it cost me $$. My dad would always say 'well you learned that the hard way'. And add 'that was a good lesson'.

The Freedom Express is a travel trailer and much lower than the 5er that I lug around. I drive in the middle of the road coming into my sub-division.

I also ran a test. The way branches catch things it would be easy to rip off an A/C unit. As the branch catches it does not glance off but rather digs in and under the A/C unit. Then the direction that it is being pulled acts as a very strong rope. Even a very thin branch can not be pulled apart.

Dead branches will dig in. That looks like what happened to you. Ugh.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:08 AM   #34
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My wife & I are looking at the 304 and/or 305rkds,we like the floor plans,but I'm still trying to figure out the weight my '06 gmc 1/2 ton 4x4 can safely handle.
GCWR will indicate the max weight you can pull. GCWR is based primarily on engine, drivetrain, rear axle ratio.

But most half-tons can pull a lot more than the hitch weight they can haul without exceeding the GVWR of the tow vehicle.

Load the pickup with all the people, pets, tools, spares, etc. that will be in in when towing. Go to a truckstop with a truck scale, fill up with gas, and weigh the wet and loaded pickup. Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded truck from the GVWR of that truck and the answer is the max hitch weight you can have without being overloaded. Divide the max hitch weight by 15% and the answer is the max GVWR of any travel trailer you want to tow.

The GVWR of your pickup is on the Federal Certification Label on the driver's door or doorframe. It's the label that includes VIN, year/month of production, tire size and PSI, paint code(s), and several other codes for things such as your rear axle. The ordinary GMC 1500 has a GVWR of 6,200 pounds, which ain't much.

The Coachmen Freedom Express TT model 304RKDS has a dry weight plus cargo capacity of 8,950 pounds, so count on wet and loaded hitch weight of up to 1,344 pounds.
Specifications - Freedom Express - Coachmen RV

That will overload any half-ton GMC with normal load of driver, passenger, tools, and maybe a pet. The model 305 is heavier still, with max hitch weight over 1,400 pounds. So no, you need to either look for less trailer or invest in a heavier-duty tow vehicle with more payload capacity available for hitch weight.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:10 PM   #35
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The real culprit in my opinion is that rubber roof. Whoever thought that was a good idea on a "recreational" vehicle must have a loose screw somewhere- unless they thought RV's never go into the woods.

I'm sure glad I've got a solid molded fiberglass trailer- it'd take a lot more than a few branches to tear a hole in that puppy...

And I've got the "Sierra pinstripes" on both the roof and the the sides of the trailer (and the tow vehicle) to prove it!
Right! I have an old 1989 cargo trailer with a fiberglass roof, which has never leaked, nor received any treatment of any kind; it just is.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:35 AM   #36
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Thanks to all for the info. My wet/loaded truck is 6500 lbs. I was going off of the vehicle manual that shows with my axle ratio and tow pkg the Max trailer wt is 7400 lbs,gcwr is 13,000 lbs, and max tongue wt is 1000 lb w/weight distributing hitch. GM's figures max trailer wt is 6500 lb. The 13,000 gcwr - 6500 wet/loaded t.v.=6500 lb. The door sticker shows gvwr= 7000 lb. so I'm still 500 lb under that. With your formula, my tongue wt = 500 lb.(7000 gvwr - 6500 wet/loaded wt = 500 lbtongue wt.) Divided by .15 = 3333 lb gvwr trailer wt.! Soooo, which numbers should I go by?? Thanks again for all of the help!
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:37 PM   #37
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The 13,000 gcwr - 6500 wet/loaded t.v.= 6500 lb.
GCWR mius truck weight = the heaviest trailer you can tow without exceeding the GCWR. But GCWR is not your limiter.

Quote:
The door sticker shows gvwr= 7000 lb. so I'm still 500 lb under that. With your formula, my tongue wt = 500 lb.(7000 gvwr - 6500 wet/loaded wt = 500 lb tongue wt.) Divided by .15 = 3333 lb gvwr trailer wt.! Soooo, which numbers should I go by??
You should go by the actual tow rating based on GCWR minus actual weight of your wet and loaded tow vehicle,
or
by your calculated max trailer weight based on GVWR,
whichever gives you the lightest trailer weight.

The tow rating of 7,400 pounds max trailer weight includes the word max. Your pickup can tow a trailer that weighs 7,400 pounds only if there is nothing in the truck but a skinny driver. And probably not even then if the truck has any options. But there is something in your truck besides a skinny driver if it has a curb weight of 6,500 pounds.

The GMC published tow rating is computed as GCWR minus the shipping weight of your truck and minus a 150-pound driver. But the actual tow rating would be the GCWR minus the actual weight of your wet and loaded truck, or 13,000 minus 6,500 = 6,500 max trailer weight.

But your Owner's guide includes he caveat that you should NEVER exceed any of the weight ratings of your GMC. GCWR, GVWR, GAWRs, receiver weight limits, hitch weight limits, tire weight limits, etc. I have observed that pickups with single rear wheels are almost always limited by the GVWR. If you don't exceed the GVWR of the pickup, then you won't exceed any of the other weight limits either.

Yes, if your max hitch weight is 500 pounds, then the max gross trailer weight you can tow with a hitch weight of 15% without exceeding the GVWR of the truck is 3,333 pounds. That's nowhere close to the actual tow rating of 6,500 pounds, and even further from GMC's tow rating of 7,400 pounds, but it's your personal tow rating based on your actual truck weight and payload capacity.

Lesson learned: if you want to tow a heavier trailer with that truck, then you have to get rid of some of the weight in the truck - to create more unused payload available for hitch weight.

Or maybe the trailer you settle on has a wet and loaded hitch weight of only 12% or 12.5%. In that case the max trailer weight goes up to 4,000 or 4,166 pounds. But you won't know the actual wet and loaded hitch weight percent until you are on the road in the middle of a camping trip. That's a bit late to find out you're overloaded. So if you use 15% hitch weight in your estimates, then you probably won't be in for a big surprise after it's too late to buy the right truck/trailer combo.

Another lesson learned: if you want to tow a normal travel trailer with GVWR of 7,000 to 7,400 pounds without being overloaded, then you need a different truck = one with more GVWR (unused payload capacity). GMC makes them. 2500, 3500 SRW, 3500 dually, and even bigger for the biggest toy haulers, LQ horse trailers, and LQ race trailers. With your current truck loaded to 6,500 pounds curb weight, you're limited to pop-up camping trailers, and not even the heaviest of that type.

Of course, you can choose to ignore the weight limits and tow overloaded. You won't be the only idiot on the road towing overloaded. :(

History lesson: I was caught in the same fix. 1999.5 F-250 diesel. Tow rating over 13,000 pounds. GCWR 20,000 pounds. Powerhouse! But GVWR of only 8,800 pounds. I was overloaded by a few hundred pounds over the GVWR of my pickup with my fifth wheel RV trailer that weighed less than 8,000 pounds. 13,000 tow rating but overloaded with an 8,000-pound trailer!

So on my current rig I figured the numbers to include GVWR limits. Tow rating of 8,400, GVWR of 7,100 pounds. So I ordered a TT with a GVWR of 5,600 pounds, not even close to the 8,400 pounds tow rating of my F-150. But when wet and loaded for the road with a gross trailer weight of only 4,870 pounds, my GVW was 7,200 pounds with a GVWR of 7,100 pounds. Overloaded again! How did that happen? Easy, I used 12% for estimated hitch weight, but my trailer has a wet and loaded hitch weight over 15%. That's why I suggest you use 15% in your estimates.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:46 AM   #38
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Thanks to all for the info. My wet/loaded truck is 6500 lbs. I was going off of the vehicle manual that shows with my axle ratio and tow pkg the Max trailer wt is 7400 lbs,gcwr is 13,000 lbs, and max tongue wt is 1000 lb w/weight distributing hitch. GM's figures max trailer wt is 6500 lb. The 13,000 gcwr - 6500 wet/loaded t.v.=6500 lb. The door sticker shows gvwr= 7000 lb. so I'm still 500 lb under that. With your formula, my tongue wt = 500 lb.(7000 gvwr - 6500 wet/loaded wt = 500 lbtongue wt.) Divided by .15 = 3333 lb gvwr trailer wt.! Soooo, which numbers should I go by?? Thanks again for all of the help!
My total weight with truck and RV is 15,960, with 1/2 tank fuel, 6 people and all supplies loaded. All tanks empty. Hitch weight is around 900lbs in this configuration. I don't think your hitch weight is correct 500 lbs is something a 20-24ft would have. Mine is 30 ft. I would either go smaller RV or bigger truck for safety.
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:09 AM   #39
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I don't think your hitch weight is correct 500 lbs is something a 20-24ft would have.
He didn't say his trailer had a hitch weight of 500 pounds. He said his truck had a weight capacity that allows 500 pounds maximum hitch weight. So with that truck and his current load in that truck, the maximum trailer weight he can tow without being overloaded is between about 3,333 and 4000 pounds, probably about 3,500 pounds.

My 19 foot (box length) ultra-lite TT has a wet and loaded hitch weight of 650 pounds when the wet and loaded TT grosses 4,870 pounds. So it would overload his GMC half-ton.
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:21 AM   #40
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He didn't say his trailer had a hitch weight of 500 pounds. He said his truck had a weight capacity that allows 500 pounds maximum hitch weight. So with that truck and his current load in that truck, the maximum trailer weight he can tow without being overloaded is between about 3,333 and 4000 pounds, probably about 3,500 pounds.

My 19 foot (box length) ultra-lite TT has a wet and loaded hitch weight of 650 pounds when the wet and loaded TT grosses 4,870 pounds. So it would overload his GMC half-ton.
Gotcha. And I agree he would be overloaded.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:24 AM   #41
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The weight of the wet/loaded truck I gave you was with everything we take with us. If I take some of that weight out of the truck and put it into trailer then that will increase the max trailer wt I can haul. Still the same amount of wt, just not loading down truck. When I re-worked the numbers by reducing loaded truck wt. the max trailer wt is more in line with GM figures. You are right, I need to look at lighter trailer,or not take so much "stuff"!! Are we having fun yet! Right now it's either get a trailer or truck but not both. I want to thank you guys for all the help. I've learned so much from this forum and enjoy reading all the posts! This place is a wealth of information!
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