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Old 01-26-2011, 06:12 AM   #1
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Moving up in length

Hello to the forum. My wife and I entered the RV scene one year ago with the purchase of a 19' travel trailer and have found it interesting. We spent about 30 nights in the trailer this year.
Being just a few years from possible retirement we are exploring getting deeper into the RV life.
We want to stay with our Suburban as a tow vehicle and we do enjoy the travel trailer, but want a little more size. We have been looking at a 29' model. A friend has told me these are very difficult to handle and many people get them and cannot cope with the size. He told me not to go over 26' with a travel trailer due to the handling problems.

Therefore, my question: Is this a common problem and should I stay at 26' max length? I am looking forward to some advice from the experienced RVers. Thanks

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Old 01-26-2011, 06:26 AM   #2
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I had a 19' TT and pulled it with a Silverado. gas milage sucked. Fuel rang was short. And even with a blue ox and brake buddy it was not fun towing it. I traded for a gas class a, and now in a DP. Driving a Class A is easy and towing is no problem. Think about where you want to be in 2 or 3 years and buy that unit first. Also 5th wheels are the way to go if you want a towable. But then you have the added expense of the truck.

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Old 01-26-2011, 06:32 AM   #3
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I have all over the gamete in trailer sizes. The absolute worst towing trailer was a 30 foot Holiday Rambler. There are solutions for towing large trailers. Hensley Arrow is one of the best. But it is expensive. You do not mention whether your Suburban is a 1500 or a 2500 model. That will make a lot of difference. If it is a 1500 I would not consider towing much over a 22-23 foot trailer due to weight restrictions. With a 2500 model and a proper hitch setup you could get up to 30 feet OK> NO matter what, you must be very careful of weights.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:38 AM   #4
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We have a 26 ft TT we pull with our suburban. It is a light weight and only having had it a little while I can't speak definitively, but the sub has done good so far. Our sub (actually Yukon XL) has done great. I always keep it in 3rd and keep the tow button on. Most of ground we've towed it on has been fairly level and think it would be doggy in the mountains. Had different tow mirrors put on it and it does have the tow package for what that is worth. Looked at a 3/4 ton Ford crew, but with 4 kids that gets tight. Also have considered a used Excursion, but would prefer the diesel, and for their age they still get a lot of money for them. Just me, but i have a hard time buying a 10 year old vehicle for close to 20 grand. With the Excursion v10 figured we wouldn't be doing that much better gas wise. Will probably stick with the Burb until we start traveling greater distances or the kids get tired of us and stop going.
Also, most of the places we stay are full hookups so I don't worry about the extra weight of carrying a generator or water. Make fun if you wish, but we even try to make sure where we stay has wifi and cable hookups. That way at night or on rainy days I can still get some work done and entertain the kids.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by CoachDJS View Post
Just me, but i have a hard time buying a 10 year old vehicle for close to 20 grand.
There's a reason that well-maintained 7.3L Excursions are bringing the premium price they are. For a family tow vehicle, there's nothing else comparable (and I'm not a Ford guy).

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Old 01-26-2011, 08:49 AM   #6
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Hey RV & Bike,

I pulled a Jayco 31RKS (34' long) with a 1500 Siverado. If you're not in a big hurry to get where you're going, you'll be fine. Windy area's can be a pain with any size rig.

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Old 01-26-2011, 10:15 AM   #7
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I pull a 30' TT (see sig below) With a properly adjusted WD hitch you should not have any problems, making sure you stay within weight limits. At first I had some sway problems, but adjusted the spring bar tension and solved that. I've been towing this TT sice '06. Good luck in your search.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:34 PM   #8
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I personally feel the short trailers (like your 19') are far less stable than the longer ones. Watch those little guys out on the road. Most of them are wiggling all over the place. Maybe the owners just don't have them set up right.

I say,if you are going to bother pulling a trailer, then pull a T R A I L E R. When you get where you are going that extra room you have makes it all worth it.

I've only owned 2 TTs in the past. A 29' Wilderness and a 31' Avion. Pulled them with '67 1/2T Suburban with a 400 V8. I was young and stupid and didn't know that my old Sub was not up to the task. I guess the Suburban was too stupid to know it either . Never had a problem and they pulled just fine, even over mountain passes.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:07 PM   #9
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Two of the 7 rigs we've owned over the years were 30' travel trailers. Each towed extremely well. The first, back in the mid 80's, we towed with a Suburban. The second, about 5 years ago, was a so called 'light weight', and we pulled it with a Titan PU. Pay attention to proper loading (at least 10% of the gross should be on your hitch) and use the appropriate weight distributing hitch, set up correctly, and you'll have no unusual problems. Start getting longer and the rear overhang starts to be an issue (or excess hitch weight).
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:40 PM   #10
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I certainly appreciate the responses to my question.

The suburban is a 2003 1500 with a 5.3 V8. It does have a factory towing package. It pulls the 19' trailer OK, but most definitely burns some fuel. Some years ago I had a 3/4 ton Ford pick-up with a 7.3 diesel with a banks turbo that I had installed. That machine would pull anything. Miss it now.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:24 PM   #11
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Pulled a 1976 24 ft Shasta (not a light weight) at first w/Chevy class B (no light weig ht either w/350 engine) then with a ford 250 PU (360 engine) and finally w/2500 Suburban (350 engine). Went from east coast to west coast thru mountains with out problem. Would say that aprx 24 ft would be the limit in your case using WD hitch and anti sway (not the fricition type bar type as have problems backing). If mostly level driving then think would be ok. Add tranny cooler if auto trans
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:14 PM   #12
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Does your 19' TT have one or two axles? We have a 24' hybrid TT we pull with a V-8 Toyota 4-Runner. Very nice combo...12 - 12.75 MPG towing at 58MPH and 10-11MPG if I towed it at 65+ MPH......The V-8 can tow up to 7200lbs where were at about 4600-4700lbs. loaded with just a anti-sway (friction) bar...

The hybrid has a small couch slide that really opens it up....I bet with the 19' you don't have a couch....
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:13 PM   #13
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Our 19 TT does not have a slide out. We get about 10 MPH with the '03 Suburban with a 5.3 V8. We have gone through a few hills with the 19 and found it pulls down some, but is OK.

We are looking at one 24' and one 29' TT. Not sure this vehicle can handle the 29, but we do not want to buy a bigger vehicle for a TT or a fifth wheel.
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:39 PM   #14
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When we pull our 26 with the Burb we get around 8 to 10.

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