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Old 03-13-2011, 10:48 AM   #1
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Looking to buy used

I'm interested in purchasing a used travel trailer, probably not more than 7 years old. I have a family of 4. Our sons are ages 2 and 4. The vehicle we will be using to tow is a 2008 4x4 v6 Nissan Frontier. After doing some research, it sounds like we don't want to go much heavier than 3000 dry weight. We would like to keep the purchase at less than $10,000. Anyone have any brand suggestions, or perhaps brands to stay away from?

Thanks.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:23 AM   #2
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First off, welcome to the forum.
Now, start by doing some reading using the search function above. Terms like "dry" or 'shipping" weights are totally meaningless. You will NEVER tow or see any RV that will come close to this mystical number.
To help you determine exactly how little you will have for towing capacity I would suggest that first you load the family, and everything else you might have in the SUV when going camping and get to the scales. get an accurate ready to travel weight. Next, look up your vehicles GVWR and GCWR. Last, subtract those numbers from your scaled weight. that will give you a close approximation of how much trailer you can safely handle. IMHO you will find that one of the smaller tent trailers is about all you will be able to handle. Nice ones can be had for around 3 to 5 thousand.
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Old 03-13-2011, 01:09 PM   #3
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Hi, Jaycle . You've come to the right place for answers.

Don is correct. In order to make suggestions & not guesses on what you will be able to tow, we need to know how much your Frontier weighs with:
  • A full tank of gas
  • All passengers inside (including pets)
  • Bikes on the back & any gear/toys you take when you go anywhere with the family
Load everyone/everthing up in the Frontier, fill up the gas tank & then go to your nearest scales to get weighed. Report back with that number & the GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) number from the sticker on the door jamb. Then we'll have a better idea where you're at for a TT.

Lori-

You can also run the numbers yourself using the table in THIS article from on of our members, Ken Lenger.
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:09 PM   #4
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Calculations

Here are the specs for my 2008 Nissan 4x4 v6 crew cab long bed Frontier:

GVWR= 5815

Scaled weight with passengers and gear = approx. 5000 lbs.

GCWR = 11,133

11,133 - 5000 = 6133

So, I should be able to comfortable pull a trailer that weighs less than 5000 lbs.
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:30 PM   #5
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Jay , a popular thing evolving now is cargo trailer conversions... You can really deck them out and still have a comfortable Light trailer, and for a lot less than you could buy a standard commercial TT for ...and they are Durable and can actually be left outside ... Here's a link , just FYI.. Teardrops & Tiny Travel Trailers :: View Forum - Cargo Trailer Conversions
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:45 PM   #6
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Somehow, I can't see a family with 2 kids (see post #1) in one of those. I'd go stir crazy just sharing something that small with my DH.

If you can find a used hybrid with a floorplan like the Jayco X23F or X18D you'd have plenty of room. The slide in the X23F really opens up the area & with either, each kid would have their own bed. Both of these are new floorplans, so you might not find them used this soon.

You might also try late model hybrids or pop-ups (Jayco, Thor, Coachmen, Coleman...etc) that have the couch that hinges down into a bed for 1 of the kids if both won't/can't share a bed.


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Old 03-13-2011, 06:07 PM   #7
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As a Jayco Feather Sport (197) owner, I really can NOT recommend them ... Roomy , yes , but the quality is just Not there...I've had Many $$$$ problems already (another long story), and it is Highly suggested that it be stored Inside.. !!!!!!
Here's the new Jayco that's just a big cargo trailer ...but all the amenities use up the cargo weight (500# Family and a bag of cookies) Good idea , just overloaded with non essential camping gear for the looks and salability ... Jayco 2011 But Pricy
All in what you need to go camping eh ...??? Bottom line Jay is whatever you get , get something with a really good roof !!! Metal is Best !!!
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:33 PM   #8
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Narrowing down my options

With some more research, I've found a few brands/models that seem to fit the bill. Any input in these or other similar brands would be helpful.

1. The new Jayco Flight Swift SLX model 184BH, unloaded vehicle weight of 2690 lb. About $9,900 new.

2. Apex Ultra-lite, model 18BH, unloaded vehicle weight of 2650 lbs. About $14,000 new.

3. A used 2005? Palomino Thoroughbred, UVW of about 3800 lbs. They are asking about $10,000.

The Jayco only has 1 axle and the Apex has dual axles. Website says dual axles help with towing, but not sure if it's worth paying an extra $4,000. We like the Palomino, but not sure of the extra weight is going to be a problem?
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:08 PM   #9
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IMO, having a dedicated bed for you as parents (the Apex) would be preferrable to having to convert the dinette to a bed everynight (the Jayco) & back into eating space every morning. Would both boys sleep together in the Apex overhead bunk? Both have GVWR's & GCWR's within your towing capacities so you'd be ok w/either. Can't say about the Palomino without a model number &/or GVWR to search on.

If they are new, are those MSRP (list) prices? If so, you have wiggle room. Our first TT, a 25ft Aerolite 25FB, was MSRP at $13,995 (back in 2000) & we got it tax/title/out the door for $10,499 (why can't they just round up to the nearest dollar! ).

Yes, you will have more stability with dual axles. Also, if you have a blow out, you'll have more tires to spread out the weight than if you had just a single axle.

Lori-
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