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Old 03-01-2019, 05:34 PM   #1
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Choosing between trailers

Hoping for some insights from owners of these vehicles.

I'm in the process of researching small(ish) travel trailers for the possibility of a year-long trek around Canada. Coast to coast to coast.

Given that I'd be experiencing weather extremes, particularly cold, I'm looking at so-called 4-season trailers.

Tow vehicle would most likely be a Dodge Durango; v6, or v8 depending on the trailer.

I live in Ontario and neither the Arctic Fox, nor ORV are sold here, so choosing one of those would be sight unseen.

I'd not be staying in campgrounds much; especially in winter, obviously. I know that in winter I'd be using a lot of electric & propane. I can plan the trip so that extremely cold winter locales (e.g., Far North) would be visited in spring, or fall.

I've pretty much narrowed my search to the following:
ORV 18/21RBS, 20SK
Arctic Fox 22G
Lance 1995

Upside of the ORV models is price. They seem to ring in several thousand less than the others. I like the ability to include a decent generator, the higher propane tank capacity, the larger water tank capacity, the option to have 4 batteries and the floorplan. Downside is that they only will install a heat pad on the fresh water tank, although I know I could get other tank/pipe heaters installed aftermarket.

WRT the Arctic Fox, it's a bit larger than the others. It can come with tank/pipe heaters on all. It too can be had with a generator, although a bit lower powered one than the ORV. I don't know that the Azdel makes much difference. You're limited to 2 batteries & a smaller propane volume, as well as smaller water/waste tanks.

I think I've pretty much excluded the Lance; however, input is appreciated. The Lance doesn't seem to be as solidly 4-season as the others. You can add a 3rd propane tank, for a total of 60 lbs which matches the ORV. It only accommodates a single battery as far as I can determine. It's also the most expensive of the three.

I'm aware of the Oliver trailers. They are very expensive and there are no Canadian dealers.

I'd appreciate thoughts from owners of any of these trailers, or others in the same model family.

Thanks.
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:32 PM   #2
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We own a 2016 ORV 23RKS. It is one excellent trailer!


When considering an ORV trailer, I would advise you to consider the hitch coupler height of the trailer, which will be quite high, possibly somewhere between 28" to 32". Also consider the actual hitch weight, which will be about double the posted dry hitch weight, possibly somewhere between 1100lb to 1300lb.


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Old 03-01-2019, 06:46 PM   #3
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The 22G and the ORV's are too much for you Durango. The Lance would be a better fit.
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:10 PM   #4
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Well, I was going to suggest an Oliver!

But on your list is the ORV 20SK. I would do that with max solar and the Gen.

I might suggest Lithium Batt if your budget allows. You can put 400 AH (320-360 usable) and only weigh 120 lbs for 4 units helping with reduce tongue weight . Put them in the forward storage area as they do not like the cold (sub 25F) outside and venting is not required. Use the solar normally and Gen as a backup for those extended cloudy/rainy periods. Plus they charge MUCH faster. No use is spoiling the quiet listening to a Gen run for hours or disturbing the neighbors.

The Lance can hold 2 Batt. FYI May not be the best choice for this journey even with the factory lift. Plus it has a slide that may malfunction/leak as the 20SK does not.

As you probably already know, make sure you have enough payload with your chosen tow vehicle and use the GVW of the TT x 12.5% + WDH to get a Approx. TW. Find our where that 78 gal water tank is mounted as that could have an impact as well.

Sounds like a fun trip, Enjoy!
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cumminsfan View Post
The 22G and the ORV's are too much for you Durango. The Lance would be a better fit.
OP: Decide on the trailer first and then find a TV that will be capable to tow the chosen model.
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldShu View Post
OP: Decide on the trailer first and then find a TV that will be capable to tow the chosen model.
Yep, wise words right there.

We own an ORV and have been very happy with it. I would look at them first if I was looking for another trailer.

Have you looked at Escape or Bigfoot trailers?
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:55 PM   #7
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Both the ORV and the Arctic Fox are nice units, so decide on what you like the best. As mentioned, I think you will want something heftier than a Durango for towing a four season trailer loaded for a long trip. You're far better off having "too much" tow vehicle than not enough. And for a long trip, a pickup with a covered bed will provide extra storage if you want to take a bike and/or other gear. Good luck with your search, and then have a great trip!!
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:05 PM   #8
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The Durango is not a true body-on-frame SUV. Rather, it is a unit-body Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV). Donít believe the 7,400 lb tow rating; the rear axle and payload rating will give out long before you reach itís tow rating. Count on being able to tow nor more than about 5,000 lbs gross with the Durango. For those TT, you need a truck.
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:19 PM   #9
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Probably the ORV 20SK would be the best fit for your camping needs and tow vehicle. These rigs are tongue heavy and the published wt does not include bats or LPG so you can easily figure 100 +lbs more just in those two items. The Backcountry series comes with both solar and a gen set. In most small TTs the freshwater tank is also ahead of the axles and also adds to the tongue wt. I put an emphasis on tongue wt because it is probably the most overlooked wt and goes against the payload of your tow vehicle. Which could put you in trouble with both your GVWR and GAWR.
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:58 PM   #10
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Northwood | Arctic Fox 22G

We pulled a Nash 22h through the western parts of Canada with a GMC 1500 with the 5.3 engine. Couple steep mountains up there for sure!

The only thing we disliked in our Nash 22h was the crawl-over bed. I see the Arctic Fox 22G has a walk around bed. Nice.

As the brochure points out the 22G is pretty heavy.
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Old 03-02-2019, 07:17 AM   #11
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Thanks

Thank you for all the feedback. Any additional is most welcomed.

The Durango isn't set in stone. I'm looking at that type of vehicle because I'd be teavelling with dogs and would prefer them not be in the back seat. I know it's a unibody construction. As far as the towing capacity, the manufacturer runs legal risk if the vehicle isn't up to the task of meeting the ratings it states. As said though, not set in stone.

I haven't looked at the Bigfoot, or Escape trailers. Taking a quick look at the Bigfoot, I don't like the lower propane capacity, or the water capacity. Not really a fan of the crawl-over bed layout either, although could deal with it.

The Escape are quite lightweight. Is it possible to create a '4-season' trailer that light? The fact of only 2 batteries and small tank capacities is worrisome.

Someone mentioned the slide and yes, that is a consideration and my preference would be without.

Wasn't aware lithium batteries were an option. Definitely worth looking into. I have a little Noco booster and it's terrific. I'm a photographer, so well aware of those batts not liking the cold. Was considering adding a 2nd lithium/solar generator anyway, so lithium main batts make sense.
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Old 03-02-2019, 07:40 AM   #12
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There’s really not that much of a price difference between a Durango and a Nissan Patrol/Armada...
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Old 03-02-2019, 08:18 AM   #13
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You need a larger vehicle like an Expedition or suburban to even think of towing those trailers on an extended trip. Most folks with those trailers end up getting a 3/4 ton shortly after getting them home. You have the chance to save yourself the extra expense by getting a 3/4 ton in the first place, which is what I suggest you do.

Get a crew cab 3/4 ton and either put the dogs in the bed with a canopy or let them have the back seat. SUVs are made for hauling people comfortably, not for hauling heavy loads so the suspension is not optimized for heavy towing. Right off the bat you are playing catch-up and trying to make the vehicle do something it is not designed for.

If you look around there are tons of threads of folks that wanted to do just what you are suggesting. They mostly go the same way, the person digs in and insists it will work even though they are told repeatedly that it will not be comfortable or safe and then after driving the setup for awhile they get a bigger truck, usually costing them a few thousand to make the swap. You can save that headache and just buy the right truck first.
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Old 03-02-2019, 08:25 AM   #14
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Thereís really not that much of a price difference between a Durango and a Nissan Patrol/Armada...
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