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Old 08-10-2015, 07:30 AM   #1
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First Travel Trailer

Good morning! My wife and I are looking for our first camper. I grew up camping, and I have great memories from those experiences. We would like to to provide something similar to our 1 year old daughter. We are looking for a lightweight travel trailer (less than 6000lbs), since we will pulling it with our Chevy Tahoe. There are so many brands/models, we are getting lost in the number of choices. I am hoping to get some suggestions here. Please help!


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Old 08-10-2015, 08:52 AM   #2
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You will want to look for a lot less than 6000 pounds.

Factory tow rating is made up with one 150 pound driver and a full tank of gas that's it.

If I were you look for something with a dry weight starting at 3500 pounds.

2006 chevy colorado xtream.
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:00 AM   #3
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Something in the 17 to 21 foot range will serve you well. There are a lot of great brands and even more floor plans to choose from.
I am partial to Winnebago. They have great quality, reasonable prices and a style that is generally more fun than most rigs on the road.
2013 Winnebago 2301BH-Red
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Old 08-15-2015, 04:30 AM   #4
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I would deffinatly check out some popups, very light and tow well with lots of space when set up. Or if you are looking for something to use for not just the warmer months I would look at some A frames. Only downside to them is you cant really be used on the road as you have to set them up fully to be able to get inside.

We were the same way and started out by renting a lot. Popups, a frames, full hard wall trailers, and even a motor home. We made our decision from there on what we wanted and we have been very pleased with our decision but what works for one person might not work for another. Have at it.
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:17 AM   #5
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The Tahoe is a fine tow vehicle with just the 3 of you. Just load the trailer with your stuff instead of the Tahoe so you don't go over your GVWR. I have a wife and 2yr old daughter and we are full timing while I'm on a clinical rotation and we have a coachmen 320bhds. However when we were just camping for fun we had a 2006 Keystone 242 with bunks and it was a great camper. Towed easily behind our suburban and weighed in at 5k loaded. I would try and stay at the 6k and under GVWR for the camper and less than 25ft. The wheelbase of the Tahoe is a tad short so get a good hitch and brake controller. Possibly some LT tires and you'll be set for an enjoyable towing and camping experience. Something like the Keystone bullet 243bhs would be perfect if we were downsizing.
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Old 08-23-2015, 04:28 PM   #6
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New to the forum, but if you truly enjoy camping, think about getting a "hybrid" trailer. Basically, it is fully enclosed, but the ends fold out for sleeping (similar to a pop-up) and gives you full dinette/bath/kitchen etc. Mine also has a slide-out for the dinette/couch so it has plenty of room. Plus, I love the feel of "tent" sleeping, but the advantage of comfort. Mine weighs in at 3995 lbs.
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Old 08-23-2015, 05:44 PM   #7
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First Travel Trailer

My wife and I were in a similar position earlier this year. We purchased a new 2016 Coleman (made by Dutchmen) 192RDS. It's 23' from hitch to bumper, has an empty weight of just under 4,000 lbs and an empty hitch weight of 470 lbs. While I haven't had a chance to actually weigh it on scales, I'm estimating that loaded, including the the reefer with food, pantry, clothes, tools, hoses, etc., in other words, ready to trip, I'd say its weight is probably around 5,000 pounds or so, maybe 5,500. We are pulling it with a Hemi powered Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, using a weight distribution hitch and an anti-sway bar, along with an electric brake controller, of course. I discussed all this with my local Jeep dealer and he said it should not be a problem, although he did recommend a transmission cooler and I had that installed. The rig pulls fine and handles real well, but we're heading out west soon, so we will see how it does on an extended trip and at higher altitudes (we live in Florida), but so far we are loving it! Do I know the trailer is back there? You bet. But as long as I keep the cruising speed at 55-60 mph no problems (so far).
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:00 PM   #8
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My husband and I pull our Primetimetravel trailer with our SUV. It is light weight and with the towing package we aren't having any problem.
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:53 AM   #9
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Consider one of the smaller Winnebago Minnies or the Micro Minnie and keep your weight around 20% or so of your maximum tow rating and you'll be happier with the towing performance.
Retired but busier than ever!
2013 Winnebago 2201DS - 6,200 lbs. or so loaded!
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:16 AM   #10
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Although a hybrid TT would fit your weight requirements, I wound't recommend one simply due to the setup/teardown process and having a 1 year old.

One of you is going to have to be entertaining the baby while the other one has to do all the setup/teardown work. I'd try to minimize the amount of work, and a HTT isn't the way to accomplish that.

Also, while a HTT is a great way to get a decent sized camper with a low weight, they also have some drawbacks that you don't have in a regular TT:

1)If canvas is wet, have to reopen the bunks when you get home and let them dry.
2)If raining when you arrive, have to set up in the rain and try not to get the beds wet.
3)Noise/light pollution is pretty bad when in public camp grounds. If you mostly boondock, then it might be nice to be under canvas. In a campground you will see and hear everyone that walks or drives by, and it's hard to make it dark inside to sleep in! Also noise pollution goes both ways... a crying baby is gong to be easily heard by your neighbors through those canvas bunk ends.

Don't get me wrong, I liked our HTT, and we got a lot of use out of it. It just had many of the drawbacks of a popup without the benefit of better gas mileage. The setup wasn't as lengthy as with a popup because things could stay in place for the most part inside the HTT (didn't have to move everything to the floor to close the roof). The bunk ends weren't bad to deal with in good weather, but when it rained I hated it. it did add 15 minutes or so to the setup/teardown time to open the bunks, secure the canvas, put in the poles, etc. Also, I missed being able to leave my bed madeup. At least in a popup I could leave the beds made. But in a HTT the mattresses have to fold in half, and there wasn't enough room to leave the beds made.

Maybe something like a Trailmanor, La Casita, or A-Liner would fit the bill for weight without adding to the setup/teardown and still offering more privacy.
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:34 PM   #11
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Look for some RV shows in your area. There will be all kinds of TT's there and you can have a great time looking. Jot down questions you have before you go so you won't forget anything that is important. We went to the state RV show in Tampa, Fl last January and had a real good time and picked up a few odds and ends for our trailer while we were there.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:27 PM   #12
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Find the floor plan you like. The the TT in your weight class
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:09 PM   #13
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While I loved my 14ft Dutchmen, my new 18ft Shasta BH is wonderful -lightweight and well built. We pull it with a 2015 Ram Hemi 1/2 ton

Dry Hitch Weight 349 lbs; GVWR 3,830 lbs; Cargo Carrying Capacity 686 lbs

Have so much more room compared to the 14ft that I usually grab extra blankets and pillows to take up space in the cabinets.

We camp to be outside, but realize some days you have to be inside, and this TT is great for the two of us and the occasional toddler grandkid. We stayed with a no-slide unit. Really, all we have to do is level it, add water hoses and hook up the electric cord (or level it and fill the fresh water tank if boondocking) and we are good to go. All the stuff that used to have to be moved out of the way to get inside -such as lawn chairs - are now on the bunk beds when we travel.

2016 Shasta Oasis 18BH, 2015 Ram1/2 ton Hemi
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