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Old 12-24-2015, 02:04 AM   #1
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Downsizing - a lot

A year ago we had a Winnebago Tour 42QD, a 43' diesel class A. The maintenance costs weren't a problem but the tags and insurance here in AZ were running $7400 per year. We tried a couple of gas class A motorhomes, but with a few changes, it looks like we'll have a summer home and a winter home. The RV side needs to become minimal.

I now drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee so I'm looking at mini travel trailers to suit how we'll RV. I'm leaning toward a Keystone 195RBWE or maybe a Winnebago 2106DS.

I'm looking for feedback from people who've spent some time with this class of travel trailer, especially these two models. Both look good for efficient use of minimal space and low weight. Both of the trailers are available locally at roughly the same price.
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Old 12-24-2015, 02:58 AM   #2
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While I am interested in the answers you get, I am also curious if you can load a smaller combo like before and enjoy the space? I have seen the coaches have much more storage than even the 5s have, unless it is a toy hauler? How do you feel about the space difference?
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:30 AM   #3
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Though I'm not a fan of their paint schemes, I'd have to pick the Winnie over the Keystone.
The Winnie uses more metal in the sinks than the Keystone, and the space seems to be better utilized with the Murphy bed type arrangement.
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:52 AM   #4
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We tow the predecessor to your 2106ds, our 2012 Sunnybrook Harmony 21 FBS with our 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Its a match made in heaven! Tows great with our WD hitch. If you tow with a full (ours has 43 gal) fresh water tank it feels a little heavy on the hitch, but still tows fine; I try to tow w/ no more than 20% full fresh tank. Only complaint is jackknife sofa, uncomfortable. Had a welding shop relocate the spare tire to the front underside of the trailer, it stows using a Lippert winch; the same shop reinforced the bumper and installed a 2" receiver hitch for our bike rack. 2x12vdc Group 24 batteries up front. I installed a SeeLevel tank monitor (easy) and LEDs to replace the 921 bulbs in the trailer.
Ours came with a Progressive Dynamics converter/charger (PD), don't know if Winn saved bucks by using a cheaper charger, but I would replace with PD as they are the best and will save your batteries.

BTW, we just bought a 2005 Beaver Patriot Thunder (525hp Cat) 40' w/tag axle. Lots to learn. Enjoy your Minnie!
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Old 12-24-2015, 10:17 AM   #5
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Downsizing - a lot

My wife and I used our 2005 Grand Cherokee (5.7L Hemi) to tow our 2016 Coleman 192RDS over 6,000 miles this past summer. We used a WDH and friction sway bar. We traveled from FL to TX, NM, CO, WY (Grand Teton and Yellowstone), MT, SD and then back to FL. The towing went very smoothly. The only real issue we had was towing up some fairly steep roads on I-40 while running into a strong headwind. Not really a lack of power as much as the tranny could have used another gear or two. We recently traded the GC off for a Ford F-150 Supercrew Platinum 4x4 with The 3.5L Ecoboost, Max tow package, 3.73 rear. While the GC towed our TT okay, I hardly know the TT is back there now. I believe the newer GCs have more Horsepower and more gears in the tranny, though, so should do even better than ours did pulling our ~5,000 lbs of trailer.

The GC and TT
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The F150 and TT
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Old 12-24-2015, 11:24 AM   #6
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Look at Outdoors RV to see if they have something you like before you decide. I'm really happy with my 19B, and they have models that are smaller, but they tend to run heavy for their size. I have really liked having the two inch thick insulated walls in hot and cold weather, along with the air conditioning and furnace.

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Old 12-24-2015, 03:06 PM   #7
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We are back to owning a stick home-base again and so have downsized also. We chose a Sportsman Classic from KZ and have been quite pleased with it. You may want to go a bit larger and get one with a slide for more room, but our 19' classic weighs in with a gross weight of only 3600# and tows well with our SUV. We have stayed in it for as long as 5 months on one occasion so are quite happy with it.
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Old 12-25-2015, 07:19 PM   #8
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My first one was a 19' TT and I thought I was going to be happy with it... I wasn't. It was just too small. The 29' I have is OK but we now need a bunk model. Glad I'm in Texas... $7,400- registration per year would be a deal breaker.
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Old 12-25-2015, 07:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjburns View Post
A year ago we had a Winnebago Tour 42QD, a 43' diesel class A. The maintenance costs weren't a problem but the tags and insurance here in AZ were running $7400 per year. We tried a couple of gas class A motorhomes, but with a few changes, it looks like we'll have a summer home and a winter home. The RV side needs to become minimal.

I now drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee so I'm looking at mini travel trailers to suit how we'll RV. I'm leaning toward a Keystone 195RBWE or maybe a Winnebago 2106DS.

I'm looking for feedback from people who've spent some time with this class of travel trailer, especially these two models. Both look good for efficient use of minimal space and low weight. Both of the trailers are available locally at roughly the same price.
I sure do wish you good luck with your choice. Where I live for tags and insurance is only around $1570 a year. Unless somehow I have misunderstood, that is a BIG difference. What's up with that in AZ ????
My unit isn't as big or costly as yours but that figure seems unreasonable... JMO
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Old 12-25-2015, 08:14 PM   #10
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Provided you have a late model, Mercedes based Grand Cherokee, I would suggest to go for Passport from Grand Touring line, 2250, 251 or similar. They are much more substantial, and the hitch weight is still around 500 lb. Due to short rear overhang and independent suspension your Jeep can handle much longer trailers than its wheelbase may suggest. However, good setup is essntial.
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Old 12-25-2015, 09:05 PM   #11
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Wolfcreek, AZ tags are based on MSRP with some depreciation over time. The Tour had an MSRP of $362,000 and that's what made the tags so expensive. AZ treats RVs like a car so it's not uncommon to see people here doing Montana LLCs and similar techniques to get around it. I don't know why the insurance was so expensive since we didn't have any claims or traffic violations.

The Grand Cherokee is a 2014 with the V-6 and eight speed transmission. Unfortunately, it didn't have the tow package so I've had a hitch installed. It's rated at 5,000 lbs or 6,200 lbs with a WD hitch.

Our current motorhome, a 2006 Tiffin 32BA is fine, but my wife traded our Ford Focus toad for a BMW. Our options now are to sell the motorhome and quit RVing, use the motorhome without a toad, or get a trailer the Jeep can tow.

We need to think about how much we'll RV now. Our second home has been the primary RVing destination, so it's likely that we'll RV a lot less, but I think we'll still want to travel to other places. We have a dog and cat, so bring our own lodging makes a lot more sense than hotels.

I haven't looked at any of the smaller trailers in the flesh yet. There are a few available locally, so we'll kick the tires soon.
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Old 12-25-2015, 09:09 PM   #12
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Geez, if I downsized that much I'd have to get a new wife, and I can't afford that.
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Old 12-25-2015, 09:14 PM   #13
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Since you now have a 10 yr old gasser, you are no longer paying those big $$ for taxes and tag. Why don't you spend $5k on a used Focus, or some other inexpensive toad, and continue RVing for another year? Find out if you want to continue RVing now that you have a second home. It would be a LOT cheaper than purchasing a trailer that you can tow with your Jeep, and selling your Tiffin for a big $$$ hit. My 2, good luck.
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Old 12-25-2015, 09:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miwok View Post
While I am interested in the answers you get, I am also curious if you can load a smaller combo like before and enjoy the space? I have seen the coaches have much more storage than even the 5s have, unless it is a toy hauler? How do you feel about the space difference?
I don't know about that yet. We have a lot of "stuff" in the motorhome and obviously we can't bring it all in a small trailer. Most of it will have to stay in the house.

Before the Grand Cherokee, I had a 2014 F-150 with the V-6 Ecoboost engine. It had a towing capacity of around 8600#. The problem was that it was too long for the garage at our primary residence and the vacation home. It barely fit in the garage and attaching the hitch made it too long. Back in the late 80s, I designed this house for my mother, so I have no one to blame but myself
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