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Old 09-10-2013, 03:40 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2012
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Best two person trlr; 3,000 lb towing capacity

DW and I are looking at purchasing a TT to be used for long weekend get aways. Towing vehicle has 3,500lb towing capacity so looking at a TT 3,000 lbs or less. There will be two of us plus a small terrier (and within a year a grand daughter). Primary use will be in RV parks with hook ups for long 3-4 day weekends.

This is our first RV. We are 60 years old and are looking for the easy get away option.

Must-haves - toilet and shower (maybe), small inside cooking option, sleeping for four, refridgerator, ???

Any suggestions will be very usefull from the seasoned campers.

Thank you....Dirk

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Old 09-10-2013, 04:59 PM   #2
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I saw these being built on the How It's Made tv show and thought it was cool. Kinda pricey though. The biggest one is under 2,000lbs.

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Old 09-10-2013, 08:46 PM   #3
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TowMini All Aluminum Ultra Light Campers, Ultralight Campers, Lightweight Campers, Ultra-Lightweight Campers

Scamp Trailers: Small Lightweight Campers, Easily Towable - Scamp Trailers
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:17 PM   #4
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I would look at the Forest River R-pod trailers. Don't know much about them or their quality. Pretty sexy looking and they have a lot of amenities in them for the size.

We camped next to one recently that had a family of 2 adults + 3 teenagers in the hybrid model plus a dog.
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:23 AM   #5
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When my DW and I were looking for a similar trailer to tow behind her 2004 Toyota Highlander we looked at the T@B teardrop, pop-ups, High-Low, A-Liner type etc.etc.

You really can not get everything you want in a comfortable trailer that weighs only 3,000 lbs. My DW and I quickly realized that we could not tow even a small Fun Finder Trailer.

So - if you stay in campgrounds you can use the campground shower and bathroom. (Not good in the middle of the night).

Again we looked at all the small stuff. Ended up with a F-150 pulling a 22' Streamlite 5,000 lb. trailer. It had a walk around short queen bed, a nice bathroom and shower, a kitchen w/microwave, dinnett that converted into a sleeper. It did not have any slides.

Go to a dealer and look around. I would recommend a pop-up to start. They can be safely towed with a small SUV. They expand to be rather roomy, they give you a feeling that you are 'camping' with their tent material, when camping and it storms they close up to keep wind and rain mostly out, they will have a small refrigerator and maybe a fold out shower / bath area.

Else buy a bigger tow vehicle and go with a decent sized, fully contained 5,000 to 6,000 lb. trailer with a slide that can be towed with a 1/2 ton truck.

Good luck
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:46 AM   #6
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Ya, 3000 pounds really limits your options. A Scamp or pop up is about it. I'm not familiar with the other ones listed.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:45 PM   #7
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Hi. We've looked at a few and have narrowed it down to an Ascend 17rd or an RPod. They both have full fibreglass roofs and seem to be well made. RPods(Forest River) have quite a few floorplans, one of which should suit your needs. The Ascend(Evergreen) is a little heavier and is almost identical to the Vista(Gulfstream). The new Vista's are heavier than the old ones since they had quite a few issues with the axles being too light. We currently have a 13ft, but would like more room on those inevitable rainy days. We too are limited to 3500lbs, and the Ascend is at the top range.
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:10 AM   #8
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A pop-up or a hybrid will give you the most space when set-up i.e. a tent camper with a ten foot box provideds two good sized bunk ends and you still have a 10 foot box equipped with smaller fridge, stove and possibly toilet/shower.

Best thing to do is visit as many RV dealers as possible and/or RV shows. Remember the the "dry" weight of a unit isn't it's actual weight...you have to add in all options such as awning, propane tanks, battery, etc. So, you probably need to look at a unit with dry weight of 2,000 lbs., which gives you 1,500 lbs. for trailer options and gear.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:17 AM   #9
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Lots of small, molded fiberglass trailers will meet your needs. Scamp, Casita, Lil Snoozy, EggCamper, Escape, etc. These all-fiberglass trailers cost more than the stick and staple traditional trailers, but hold their value and are generally better built. One problem with them is they aren't sold through dealers, you have to go to the factories to buy one. If interested, the fiberglass trailers have a web site dedicated to them where you can learn all about them: http://www.fiberglassrv.com/

I just noticed that you are in Tacoma; Escape trailers are made just across the border in Chilliwack, BC Canada. They will deliver them to the US, taking care of all of the border details for you.
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:17 AM   #10
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More comments:

If your first travel trailer, consider buying a used one or even renting one. A common thing is for people to buy their first TT and then find they'd like something a little bigger with more features. Happened to us within a year.. But then you may need a larger tow vehicle and you are into even more money. If you do decide to upgrade, you should consider resale value as it's not easy to sell a used RV privately and you can lose a lot of $$ too.

Beware of dry weights listed by manufacturers. They are always higher. It's not normally possible to determine this from a manufacturer since factory options aren't included and sometimes things that you'd be expected to be included because they are "standard" aren't, like a microwave. Try looking on brand specific forums if they have any or search the various forums for other's experiences with weight. Dry tongue wt. will go up too. By the time the dealer add the propane tanks, battery(ies), etc. and you add your cargo and accessories, you may very well add around 1,000 lbs.

You should also check your vehicle's payload capacity and GCWR. It's a good idea to take your tow vehicle to a scale to figure out the actual payload capacity (GVWR minus scale wt.).

It's not the best idea to be towing close to the max. towing capacity. You'll find it under-powered on hills, when trying to accelerate when you need the extra oomph and when it's gusty. There is a broad rule of thumb that the TT should weigh(dry wt.) no more than 80% of the TV towing capacity which would be 2800 lbs in your case. Some say this is too high and as low as 60% is better with what TT manufacturers are doing these days.

I would think sway control would be a good idea, esp. if you have a short wheelbase TV. The low tongue weights on the small trailers may not necessitate a WDH hitch so you can't use the ordinary add-on friction bars. Again, I'd research forums to see what other owners are doing.

As mentioned, you're not going to get all the amenities or the layout you want. I'm the same age (DW is behind a few) and at the top of our list is a walk-around bed. In our old 20' TT, we were constantly bumping bums passing each other in front of the kitchen counter. Our new TT has a slideout which makes a world of difference. In small trailers, you are going to get a shower inside a tiny tub or even the type where the shower is part of the bathroom. As time goes by, you may find it's not exactly comfortable getting in and out. I would definitely think about where you would be sitting for long hours when it's raining outside or too cold to be out. The dinette bench seats are not exactly comfortable. You may need to watch TV from bed, but often that doesn't work well because of the TV location or sloping bedhead wall. If you can, some comfortable chairs or even sofa make a big difference but this can mean a small bed. Lots of trade-offs and compromises....

Look into quality of the various brands and models. When it comes to TTs, they are prone to all sorts of problems. You'll often see people say that "light weight" means less substantial construction in order to save weight and it can lead to all sorts of issues. It's also a good idea to look into the quality of the dealer. Some are terrible (BTDT) and some are outstanding.

There must be fall RV shows coming up you can get to. I know there's one in Portland in early Nov. and there's one in Abbotsford, BC at the end of Sept.

Have fun!

ps: If you get bitten by the RV bug and end up camping a lot, consider membership in campground organization. I can save you a LOT in the long run. We have one and after 2 years, the initial fee is nearly 2/3 paid off. After paid off, it's free camping (except for annual dues). If you buy a new TT, you may get a "free" membership. Not usually worth much but you can always use it to bargain down the initial membership cost (we did).
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:17 AM   #11
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A few things I forgot to mention. We looked at hybrids, most are heavier than an Rpod. A slide is nice but adds weight, probably 250lbs. Tandem axles..250lbs. The extras do add up. Check the towing forums on this site, lots of good info. Our little 13ft does have air, furnace, fridge, micro, toilet, shower...a bit small,we do have an outside one though, but most campsites have really good shower facilities. Two other trailers to look at are the Apex 18bh(Coachman), and the Skylark...I think they were made for 3 yrs but have a v-nose, ducted furnace...some have a heat pump option, all in about a 20 foot pkg single axle, well finished inside and in the 3000lb range.
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Old 09-15-2013, 10:27 PM   #12
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Lance makes a very attractive compact 16 footer with most amenities and light weight. There are dealers near you in Tacoma. I agree with the reply about always wanting more than you originally thought. We were set on a Forrest River Pod until we looked around some. Our final choice was a 22' so we could bring grand kids. Then we had to buy a pickup as our Highlander was not capable of pulling it!
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:36 PM   #13
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Don't buy too small. You will not enjoy your trip and will eventually want a larger trailer.
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:20 PM   #14
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Purchased a 2012 KZ-Spree 200's. Best bet for the money sleeps four with REF, sink, stove , heat, and full bath with storage closet. We took a tour around the country 8000 miles with no problems and plenty of room.

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