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Old 09-03-2013, 10:34 PM   #15
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You'll be getting a lot of advice. Take it with a grain of salt. I'm 69 retired and taught automotive for 35 years. I have camped for 40 years from tents to a 34' motor home. We decided in 2010 to go to TT's. Not trying to scare you but after a MH a TT for us was a mistake and here's why. I can fix or build just about anything and even for me the learning curve for a TT was very steep. After 4 years and 3- TT's we went back to a MH. TT's are usually under axled (the axle is rated under the maximum weight for the TT).
Our last TT had 6-K worth of axles and was rated to carry 7-K lbs. The same will be true for the tires. The frames are very thin so they can reduce the weight. That makes them flex a lot when you are camped. Walking is kind of like being on a trampoline. There's a lot of shaking and movement. There will be a lot of things to fix so it would be good if you are handy. If you are not then it's $$$ that will keep things fixed. Just last March we were in FL for a month and we used the furnace 28 of the 30 days we were there. During our stay the brand new furnace worked intermittently at best. After a week of calling, checking for a local repair guy to look at it under warranty I finally found a loose wire and fixed it myself.
The overall lack of quality especially in the smaller ultralight units bothered me. They have to make them light so they end up feeling cheap. If you are handy and can overlook some things you can find a unit that suits your family. Keep an eye on the tires, tire pressures, suspension parts and get yourself a good TPMS to monitor the tire pressures as you travel. That will give you piece of mind.

TeJay
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeJay View Post
You'll be getting a lot of advice. Take it with a grain of salt. I'm 69 retired and taught automotive for 35 years. I have camped for 40 years from tents to a 34' motor home. We decided in 2010 to go to TT's. Not trying to scare you but after a MH a TT for us was a mistake and here's why. I can fix or build just about anything and even for me the learning curve for a TT was very steep. After 4 years and 3- TT's we went back to a MH. TT's are usually under axled (the axle is rated under the maximum weight for the TT).
Our last TT had 6-K worth of axles and was rated to carry 7-K lbs. The same will be true for the tires. The frames are very thin so they can reduce the weight. That makes them flex a lot when you are camped. Walking is kind of like being on a trampoline. There's a lot of shaking and movement. There will be a lot of things to fix so it would be good if you are handy. If you are not then it's $$$ that will keep things fixed. Just last March we were in FL for a month and we used the furnace 28 of the 30 days we were there. During our stay the brand new furnace worked intermittently at best. After a week of calling, checking for a local repair guy to look at it under warranty I finally found a loose wire and fixed it myself.
The overall lack of quality especially in the smaller ultralight units bothered me. They have to make them light so they end up feeling cheap. If you are handy and can overlook some things you can find a unit that suits your family. Keep an eye on the tires, tire pressures, suspension parts and get yourself a good TPMS to monitor the tire pressures as you travel. That will give you piece of mind.

TeJay
Just out of curiosity, could the reason most of the storage for travel trailers be in the front pass through to put weight on the tongue in lieu of the axles?

When our kids were younger, we had a travel trailer and I'm glad we did. The travel trailer gave us a little space. Ours was set up so the master bedroom was in the front and the kids had a bedroom in the rear. Now we have a Class 'A' motor home and our kids are older (one a jr. in high school, the other in college) and we feel cramped. We bought the MH because we know they won't want to camp with us much longer. Our TT was not light, so I can't speak about the flexing of the structure, but when we put the stabilizer jacks down, it was solid.

Rob
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:49 AM   #17
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Welcome to the forum. The 150 will do the job, but is marginal. If you can, go with the 250 and you'll be a lot more comfortable and have that safety margin. Also in a few years you may want to go with a slightly larger camper and you won't have to change trucks. Good luck....
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeJay View Post
You'll be getting a lot of advice. Take it with a grain of salt. I'm 69 retired and taught automotive for 35 years. I have camped for 40 years from tents to a 34' motor home. We decided in 2010 to go to TT's. Not trying to scare you but after a MH a TT for us was a mistake and here's why. I can fix or build just about anything and even for me the learning curve for a TT was very steep. After 4 years and 3- TT's we went back to a MH. TT's are usually under axled (the axle is rated under the maximum weight for the TT).
Our last TT had 6-K worth of axles and was rated to carry 7-K lbs. The same will be true for the tires. The frames are very thin so they can reduce the weight. That makes them flex a lot when you are camped. Walking is kind of like being on a trampoline. There's a lot of shaking and movement. There will be a lot of things to fix so it would be good if you are handy. If you are not then it's $$$ that will keep things fixed. Just last March we were in FL for a month and we used the furnace 28 of the 30 days we were there. During our stay the brand new furnace worked intermittently at best. After a week of calling, checking for a local repair guy to look at it under warranty I finally found a loose wire and fixed it myself.
The overall lack of quality especially in the smaller ultralight units bothered me. They have to make them light so they end up feeling cheap. If you are handy and can overlook some things you can find a unit that suits your family. Keep an eye on the tires, tire pressures, suspension parts and get yourself a good TPMS to monitor the tire pressures as you travel. That will give you piece of mind.

TeJay
To each his own. For me I have looked at motor homes and would not want one. As a solo camper I would have to buy a toad to pull behind or else once I got to the park I would be stuck there with no transportation. By the time I add up the license and insurance on both a motor home and a little car to pull behind me. Plus the added maintenance cost of both it doesn't work out for me. But, I'm glad it works for TeJay and it all depends on your style and what you want to do with it.

But, as for a lot of the other stuff he says he is kinda right. There are well built TT out there but, they come with a cost. They cost more to buy in the first place and they are heavier. A lot of the TT you purchase these days are sold as "light weight" and for some ; not all ; but, some of them that means cheaply built. And, although there are ways to set up a TT so that's it's really solid a lot of the factory stabilizer jacks are not that good and walking in it can seem a little spongy. Again, this is a case of you get what you pay for. If you want a really solid trailer there are manufactures of after market stabilizing systems that can take out the shake but, they cost more and you have to pay .

You have to do a lot of research and careful shopping before you buy. It's a leaning curve and that's why I recommended buying a used one for your first purchase. Then you don't have too much money tied up in it and if it doesn't work out for you and your family you can try something else.
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:06 AM   #19
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This is a good post for me. I just bought my first travel trailer, and did a ton of research beforehand. I am going to take delivery of it next week. My TV is a 2010 Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab with a 5.7 Hemi. I would suspect it has a lot more towing capacity than Honda Ridgeline and the eco-boost F150. And I am still sweating the towing a little bit. I am converting from a Boat to an RV, so I am used to towing big heavy things, but not all the time, or for long distances. But the boat is heavy and awkward, and doesnt tow very smoothly. I am anticipating that with a proper setup and a WD hitch, i will enjoy towing the camper. We ended up also with a Forest River Wildwood. But we kept it to a 28 footer with a dry weight of 5600 lbs. I really liked the build quality and the layout. I hope I am happy with it. But to the point, it was very confusing researching towing capacities and trailer weight ratings, etc. There are many numbers to look at, and it is very mind numbing for a newbie. After many hours of research I think I am going to be well within the capacity of my TV. Would I do better with a 2500? Sure, but I dont currently have one. But thanks for the useful info. I am picking up my new trailer next week. Fingers crossed on the towing.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:49 PM   #20
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Since this would be your first TT, I would go to the Forest River forum and look into the unit's quality and possible issues and see what other owners have found. I would also try and look into the quality of the dealer you'd be using.

That 312QBUD is getting to be a long trailer at nearly 36'. If you've never towed a TT before, it's going to be a handful at first. You want to make darn sure you've got the right truck and the right WDH and the WDH set up properly before you even get off the dealer's lot.

Specs. may say the dry wt. is 6840 but the actual wt. for a TT that large is likely to be another 1500 lbs or so, and will depend on options which can add a lot of weight. Can't find a GVWR figure but that may be what they call "trailer weight" which is 9500 lbs. Hard to speculate, but maybe the actual wt. would be around 8500? They say the dry tongue wt. is 855, but that's going to go up. If you go by the usual/recommended range of 10-15% of trailer wt., you could have a tongue wt. of up to around 1,275 lbs. or so.

So you want to have a truck capable of pulling at least 8,500 lbs. But unless you've weighed it, I'd use the GVWR of 9500 lbs. Then you need to have an actual available payload capacity of the tongue wt. plus all of your passengers, pets, groceries and other stuff for camping which is easily another 400-500 lbs. So you probably want a truck capable of around 1700 lbs or so of payload. You should probably also look at the GCWR.

Some will say that some 1/2 ton trucks are capable but you'll need the HD max. tow packages/options. Looks to me like you'd be far better off going to a 3/4 ton with something that long and heavy. 3/4 ton tons are just built stronger all around - brakes, frame, suspension, etc.

Make sure you have a WDH that is correctly set up and that you have sway control. Don't buy the spring bars until you know for sure what the actual tongue wt. is otherwise you can easily end up with undersized ones and you won't be able to get the wt. distribution right. Lots of recommendations here for WDHs. I love our Reese dual cam WDH.

Nice looking TT....
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