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Old 05-28-2014, 01:51 PM   #1
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First Timer - Newbie at This

We are starting to look at 18 to 22' TT's. We are new to this, and realize there are many options and opinions. Only thing I have driven in the past is dump trucks with CAT diesels and Allison transmissions. We will start small, then work our way up if this fits our needs.
I am looking at used Airstream Bambi or a Minnie Winnie -19 to 21'.
Tow vehicle right now: 2014 Toyota 4Runner 4WD, with tow package.
Tow cap. 4700 lbs. GVWR - 7K +, guessing here.
Plan on the correct tow pieces needed for sturdy unit. I prefer two axles, except the small Airstream is single axle. Most travel, east coast visiting Civil War history, far west as TN, north to PA. Some mountain and hills.
Not interested in a big mack daddy pickup at this time. I decided to turn to this forum for the best advice from experienced travelers.
Any comments appreciated.
Hobe Sound, FL

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Old 05-28-2014, 02:32 PM   #2
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You should spend time getting educated before spending money. Learn the capacity of your tow vehicle, be aware that it's capacity is probably based on one 150 lb. driver with nothing else in the truck. You might wish to read these sites:

Understanding RV Weights

RV and Vehicle Weight Definitions

Be aware that the dry weight listed in most trailers is fiction, that's without any extra weight like A/C, awnings, etc. Only way to really know is to take it to a scale and weigh it.

Also don't believe a seller when they tell you your TV (tow vehicle) can handle the trailer they're trying to sell you. By handle it they often mean just pull it off their lot. Do your homework and the math to be sure.


Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:42 PM   #3
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Thanks Bob

Will do. Research, learn from others, thanks for the reply. We are ex-Cincinnati. Deer Park, Rossmoyne, Sharonville, Westchester, then on to NC and FL.
Thanks very much for the info sites.
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Old 05-29-2014, 01:56 AM   #4
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Trailer weight, details, etc.

Bob - Thanks for the weight, etc., sites. Valuable info, I will study it carefully and apply from it. Lot of trailer action in Florida, suppliers, etc.
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Old 05-29-2014, 05:05 AM   #5
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:59 AM   #6
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Be aware Payload is likely going to be your deciding factor. Bflinn181 Has you hooked up with good info there. Many look at the towing capacity and think "Yea, I can tow that trailer" but soon come to realize that the payload capacity is based one 1-150 lb. driver.

Add the other passenger(s), maybe a 50-100 dog, load the cooler in the truck bed and a few hundred lbs. of other gear and then add your tongue weight and your over the limit.

The other thing to consider is wheel base. You don't say if you have a normal, extended cab or quadcab but longer is better and IF you can make the other numbers work, will give less of the tail wagging the dog feeling.

I pulled a two horse trailer with an extended cab small truck for a while in my early 30's before I knew anything about proper towing. A couple white knuckle, sway induced near disasters and I went and got a truck suitable to pull the load I was hauling.

Look carefully at ALL the numbers and be realistic and I'm sure you can find something you will love towing and camping in. Hollar if you need someone to help double check before you leap. People on this forum are awesome. Good Luck!
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:02 AM   #7
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Tow Info

Thanks all. This is great info for us. I have been reading BFinn's sites.

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Old 05-31-2014, 07:27 PM   #8
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Winnebago Minnie 18'

Looked at Minnie Winnie today. Yes, it is small, very small. Should fit our needs at this time. This unit new: 18K+ everything else that is going to be needed. Will research others. Annual use: About 90 days of the year. May rent something for a week, get our feet wet. Will get tow vehicle prepped. Thanks for replys.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:19 PM   #9
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If you like the Minnie. Maybey look at the holiday rambler 187qb very similar floor plan.

My wife and I liked the HR over the Minnie because the HR had a big window at the table. And we are surprised even though it is smaller than most traliers we still spend time inside with no issues and after a year of towing it all is well with it. Also weighs less than the Minnie.

But can't go wrong with the Minnie. Good luck on your search.
2006 chevy colorado xtream.
Holiday Rambler 187qb.
Jason&Shantelle&Bella,the Weimaraner.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:51 PM   #10
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We had three TT's and I always chose a TT that was at or below 70 to 80% of our maximum towing capacity. I usually tried to stay closer to the 70%.

Also bear in mind that most TT's are built on the edge of maximum for the tires and axles. They don't build units with any safety margin and don't even offer options so you can upgrade for your safety and peace of mind. A lot of TT manufacturers recommend that you carry little or no water in your fresh water tanks. They are just not built to handle the weight. It was for these very reasons that we switched back to a MH. At least they are built on a truck chassis and do have some margin of safety in the suspension and tires.

Welcome & Good hunting

TeJay Auto Instructor/4-yrs USAF/ Liz: RN/ WBGO 2014 Vista 30T/ F-53/CHF/5-Star/Koni * Bella & Izzy * Golden /Cocker mix/ Louie The Cat* All Retired
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Old 06-01-2014, 04:21 AM   #11
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I can't speak for anyone else's pocket book, but, being you first tine TT purchase and know you are going to upgrade in a few years ( i think sooner than you think ) why not look at 2 to 3 year old units, a lot are as new and will save your wallet a lot of jingle !!!!

Just a thought ! Jim
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:48 AM   #12
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Trailer Advice

Jim. You are the third person to advise us on that. Since you posted about used, I have looked at the same model across the state, for $4K less, and a year old. Very good advice, and thanks.
TeJay. I understand, and for this tow vehicle, the Minnie Winnie, it all comes in at about the weight parameters you describe.
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:20 AM   #13
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Yeah, even if you are thinking, ok, I want a new one, look at the used ones and see how the different brands are holding up. Not all TTs are created equally, and some seem to deteriorate faster than others. You can find one of the checklists online to be used to go through the different components and systems on the units you are interested in. Don't take anything for granted especially on a new TT. It can be stressful finding the right unit for your needs and likes, but its better to go through all that before the money goes down than after, believe me.

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