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Old 09-17-2015, 06:00 AM   #1
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Another Rookie Question

I'm asking this question for my son-in-law. He's been lurking around this forum and learning but might not know the right questions to ask from you old hands. He's never had an RV and is in serious negotiations for a used 2015 Sonic SN 200VML from Optimum RV in Ocala, Florida. He plans on towing it with a 2015 Chevy Silverado LT 4X4, 1500. I think he has a factory installed brake controller and a 5000 lb towing capacity. What else does he need to safely tow this trailer? Is a weight distribution hitch a good idea or a must have? Anything else? Also, I'm sure Optimum RV is a reputable dealer but he has asked that his deposit be refundable, contingent on a inspection of the trailer if any noted deficiencies cannot be resolved to his satisfaction. The dealer does not seem to be willing to give him a written guarantee of the deposit terms. Bob lives in Wyoming and the dealer as stated is in Florida. Recommendations on how he should proceed. They've already agreed on a price he can live with, it's just the deposit terms that seem to be a fly in the ointment. Bob, feel free to jump in here if I got a detail wrong. Safe travels ALL.
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:30 AM   #2
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Bob,

I don't see your son having much issue towing this with the stock 1500. Tongue weight is about where it needs to be for this size trailer and should tow pretty nice. A weight distributing hitch is not needed in my opinion, but if he feels better having one then that is up to him. Me personally I would not waist the money, unless I found it necessary after towing, but I doubt it..

Buying a coach sight unseen can be daunting task. I bought my last coach from Lousiana sight unseen. The dealer can't legally keep your deposit unless it is spelled out in the buyers order and says that the deposit is none refundable. Other then that he should be fine. Just keep the deposit to a minimal. They don't want a unit tied up on the lot anymore then your son wants his money tied up.

Call an inspector and have them check out the coach and then do a walk through with him on the phone. This is what I did.. Even after all that once I got to LA I found few issues that I didn't like and even though the coach was for sale AS IS, the dealer still fixed the issues rather then loss a sale.

I can't speak for the reputation of the dealer in Ocala as I have never had any dealings with them...

Best of luck..
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:36 AM   #3
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Thanks Boostable. Just talked to him and the deposit issue seems to be resolved. Getting a independent inspection might be a good idea before he heads east.
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:20 AM   #4
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Anybody that's actually towing a trailer like this with a 1500 Silverado 4X4 care to weigh in on the need for a WDH or anything else he needs other than a brake controller and a checkbook? Us motorhome guys don't deal with the same issues.
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:32 AM   #5
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His 1500 should tow that trailer with no issues. The trailer is only about 4000# with around 300# tongue weight.

For comparison my 1500 Ram tows my 21' bass boat that's 4400# (boat/trailer) with 340# tongue weight like it's not even back there.

I would say he shouldn't need any weight distribution. He'll need a brake controller though.
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Old 09-17-2015, 11:31 AM   #6
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I would say he shouldn't need any weight distribution. He'll need a brake controller though.
Pretty much what Boostable said. Thanks. If the deal happens his first trip will be thousands of miles. Trial by fire.
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Old 09-17-2015, 01:07 PM   #7
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Wait a minute!!

My 5100# dry/5800# loaded 26' TT loads the heck outta my 2013 RAM 1500 4x4! It pushes the rear axle way over the GAWR and unloads the front axle waaaay too much. And if you lower the tongue weight to correct that the rig will become seriously unstable.

I wouldn't drive it over 35 MPH without an adjusted WDH.

Let us know how it works out for Bob.
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Old 09-17-2015, 01:42 PM   #8
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Wait a minute!!

My 5100# dry/5800# loaded 26' TT loads the heck outta my 2013 RAM 1500 4x4! It pushes the rear axle way over the GAWR and unloads the front axle waaaay too much. And if you lower the tongue weight to correct that the rig will become seriously unstable.

I wouldn't drive it over 35 MPH without an adjusted WDH.

Let us know how it works out for Bob.
Specs on that trailer show a 3800# weight with 310# tongue weight at 21' OAL. My boat weighs more and is longer OAL. No WDH needed.
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Old 09-17-2015, 02:40 PM   #9
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I completely accept and endorse your experience, but your boat may have a lower crosswind profile - and wind/traffic blast is a real deal. Plus The distance from the boat trailer hitch to the boat trailer axle may be also shorter than that on the TT (more leverage for the TT to push on the TV)
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Old 09-17-2015, 03:47 PM   #10
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Anybody that's actually towing a trailer like this with a 1500 Silverado 4X4 care to weigh in on the need for a WDH or anything else he needs other than a brake controller and a checkbook? Us motorhome guys don't deal with the same issues.
Six 1500's, three 2500's and one 3500 dually later, that 2015 will haul it without issue. I didn't always have a class a.
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Old 09-17-2015, 03:57 PM   #11
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WyoBob, my retired Navy Chief SIL is still lurking and reading every post. Thanks for the info folks and keep it coming with anything that might help him. Any tips on setting the brake controller would help too. It's factory installed on his Silverado.
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Old 09-17-2015, 04:03 PM   #12
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One other piece of advice I would give is to have him find a spot close to the dealer and spend the night in the new unit to give him a chance to shake it down before he heads home in case he needs help with anything or has issues to get addressed.
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Old 09-17-2015, 05:08 PM   #13
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I would never pull TT without a WDH and sway bars because of side winds provided by nature or passing trucks.............
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Old 09-17-2015, 05:17 PM   #14
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I would never pull TT without a WDH and sway bars because of side winds provided by nature or passing trucks.............
X2 on the WDH. They aren't expensive. Also a brake controller will be required because of the weight of the TT.
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