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Old 07-28-2008, 11:57 PM   #1
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My husband and I are moving up from a tent trailer to a travel trailer. We are looking for something under 20 feet. We will be towing with a Jeep Grand Cherokee Outlander 4.7L with a towing capacity of 6500 pounds.
We have been looking at a Dutchman 18B, a Fleetwood Pioneer 18CK and a Keystone Hideout19FLB. All have similar floorplans and options. Any opinions would be most welcomed. It is a little overwhelming and scary making this purchase without a lot of information or experience.
Thank you and much appreciated. We are very excited to get started on our new journey...
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:57 PM   #2
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My husband and I are moving up from a tent trailer to a travel trailer. We are looking for something under 20 feet. We will be towing with a Jeep Grand Cherokee Outlander 4.7L with a towing capacity of 6500 pounds.
We have been looking at a Dutchman 18B, a Fleetwood Pioneer 18CK and a Keystone Hideout19FLB. All have similar floorplans and options. Any opinions would be most welcomed. It is a little overwhelming and scary making this purchase without a lot of information or experience.
Thank you and much appreciated. We are very excited to get started on our new journey...
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Old 07-29-2008, 03:21 AM   #3
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lori99,

Welcome to iRV2, we're really glad to have you here as a new member and are looking forward to reading your posts about your RVing experiences and adventures. You'll find a great bunch of folks on this site who are very knowledgeable of RVing, the rigs we use, and the places we go in them.

I'm not familiar with any one of the three trailers listed but hopefully someone else will be and they'll be eager to help and share their knowledge and experiences with you.

Again, welcome to iRV2, we're glad you joined.
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Old 07-29-2008, 04:09 AM   #4
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Lori99, glad to have you here on iRV2. Lots of good information at your fingertips.

Personally I am not a big fan of using the smaller SUV's for towing due to the short wheel base and high center of gravity.

The 6500# tow rating is a maximum and based on a stripped GC, no cargo, no passengers, no hitch and only a 150# driver. So once you ad the missing items to the base weight, you reduce the towing capacity by the added weight. If you do n ot know you exact vehicle weight, most folks use 80% of the maximum tow rating or 5200# as a maximum loaded trailer weight or trailer GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating). Ignor the dry weight on trailers as this is a base number and does not include option such as the A/C, awning, batteries, microwave and so on. It is very easy to have 1000# more than the dry weight.

Be sure and get a good weight distributing hitch with a sway control. Also you will need a good brake controller. Lots of people use the Prodigy controller with no problems.

Another thing is to add an external auxilliary transmission oil cooler to help the transmission and change the transmission oil at 20,000 mile intervals.

Make sure the dealer sets up the hitch correctly so that the trailer is level and the GC squats the same amount front and rear when connect to the trailer. Also make sure you understand the procedure for setting the hitch yourself.

I dealing with the dealer, first rule is to never believe the dealer or sales person. Next is to make sure that they put everything promised in writting in the contract or sales order.

When you pick up the trialer, do not accept it, sign or pay for it until you have everything 100% to your satisfaction. You should not have to bring it back for warranty work to get things fixed from the start. Once you give them the money, you no longer have control of the deal.

All of the RV's you are looking at are considered as "entry level" units. With slowing RV sales, you should be able to get 25 to 30% off MSRP (sticker) without any trouble, but try to get moer if you can. If a dealer is not prepared to work out a deal, go to the next one and get a deal there.

have fun shopping, just take you time and do not let them pressure you.

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Old 07-29-2008, 06:05 PM   #5
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Thanks for your reply. We do have the transmission cooler and are planning to buy the tow package and brake controller that you suggest. Today we looked at some Jay Feather TT's. I believe that they are a step up from the others. We especially liked the independent suspension and the lighter weights. We were looking at the 197 and the 218. Even the 218 is lighter than the previous ones we had looked at.
We are weekend campers and camp for several longer trips in the summer. We do not plan on driving long distances, mostly to campgrounds within an hour or two drive from home. Any opinions on the Jay Feathers?
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Old 07-29-2008, 06:17 PM   #6
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Jayco generally has a good reputation in the industry.

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Old 07-30-2008, 02:01 AM   #7
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lori99, welcome to iRV2.com. We are glad to have you join us here and we look forward to helping where we can. I am sure you will enjoy this website and forum as much as you will the camping and RVing lifestyle. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:38 AM   #8
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lori99;We recentely moved up from a pop-up camper to a TT, we decided after looking a long time on a Coachmen Captiva Ultra Lite. This is a great unit and tows like a dream. Absolutely no problems so far. Yoou might want to visit the Coachmen Web site and look at them. Welcom to irv2 and the best of luck in your new TT purchase. Keep us informed of your decision. Happy Camping.
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:41 PM   #9
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lori99, Hi and welcome to the forum.
You picked the right place to find answers to your questions and to get help. I can't help with your selection of trailer. It has been too long since I bought one. (1972 - 15' Scotty, wonderful entry level trailer of the time.) TXiceman gives excellent advice in "dealing with dealers". Set your sights as high as you can and when the dealings done, have a ball.
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Old 07-30-2008, 01:32 PM   #10
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My suggestion is that you avoid buying a TT with the kitchen in the rear. There is more "bounce" in the rear of a tt. The best spot we've found for the kitchen area is in the center. Dishes, etc, don't rattle around as much. This makes it much easier to pack up your trailer for your trips.
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Old 08-02-2008, 06:37 AM   #11
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Lori99, Welcome to iRv2.com
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Old 08-07-2008, 11:15 PM   #12
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Your Grand Cherokee is similar to my old 99 Tahoe (4dr). I towed a 4000lb 21' lightweight with no problems. As to the independent suspension - I did not like the rubber torsion arms when it came to setting up the TT for living - you just could not get it stable - it always wanted to wiggle around.

Jayco, Coachman both have good reps.
Buy something where the mfg is close to you - if you have to take it back for repairs you don't want to drag it accross the country. Also look at how long the dealer has carried the brand. I have found that Jayco dealers are quite loyal and stick with the brand for a long time. I am not sure about Coachman.

Also lightwights are just that light in weight which also means light on structure - do not expect them to stand up to lots of hard use. I was told this back in 89 when I bought my first lightweight TT and it was true back then and is even more true today.
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:49 PM   #13
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Thank you to all of you for the warm welcome! We are still looking at the Jay Feathers. We are now interested in one with a power slide queen bed at the rear. Do slides require more maintenance? Do they leak more frequently? We are looking forward to our new travels and to letting all of you know how we do!
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:51 PM   #14
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One other question. What is the opinion on used travel trailers. Our dealer has a 2007 Jay Feather which would save us about $8000 off of the price of the new one. Everything looks well looked after, but being new to RV'ing, we are a little nervous about buying used. Any opinions?
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