Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > Travel Trailer Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-10-2017, 04:34 PM   #1
Member
 
MysticalMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Grass Valley CA
Posts: 86
Newbie here - am freaking out. HELP! There's so much to learn!

Hi!
I am a single female with 2 small dogs. AT 51 years of age, I have been a renter my whole adult life. And, I am DONE with renting. I have a small inheritance that I am planning to use to:

1. buy (and live in a travel trailer)
2. buy land
3. build a tiny house

I am a semi-retired high school teacher and I know next to nothing about RVs and travel trailers. However, I have been doing my homework for a few months as I plot my escape from the world of landlords. But, now that I have been given yet another deadline to move out (end of June) the time to take the leap of faith is here!

99% of all blogs that I have come across about living in a travel trailer full-time are written by couples - can I DO this alone??

Secondly, how in the world do I start to narrow down my choices for buying my travel trailer? New or used? Single or double axle? Aluminum or fiberglass? Custom?? Look in CA or elsewhere? I have driven across the US 3 times by myself, so traveling to Indiana or Alabama or Phoenix - not an issue. I live in Northern California.

My budget is semi-flexible. I wanted to keep the TT under 14K BUT I could spend more and have less to purchase land and my tiny house.

Lastly, what is "hail damage"? There are some brand new 2017 TT's in Alabama and Tennessee, with MSRP at 22K but selling for 9K due to hail damage. I have not called them bc I do not know the right questions to ask.

Well, that is my into Please help give me some direction if possible.

My "rig" lol is a 2011 Honda Pilot 4WD - can tow up to 4500 lbs so definitely limited in my choices but still seems like a TON out there.

Peace, Maria B
__________________

__________________
MysticalMama is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-10-2017, 04:49 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
cruzbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Oroville, CA
Posts: 1,498
Don't freak out, Maria!
Your tow vehicle has a limit on the tongue weight of the trailer, 500#. That will restrict you to small 18-20' travel trailers. One suggestion; 2010 Sunnybrook Harmony 20 (or 21)FBS. Best made small trailer (We've owned each). You'll need a weight distributing hitch. Good luck!
__________________

__________________
Bill, Kathi and Zorro; '05 Beaver Patriot Thunder
2012 Sunnybrook Harmony 21FBS (SQEZINN)
2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland
cruzbill is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2017, 04:50 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
cruzbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Oroville, CA
Posts: 1,498
Oops, meant to say 2010-2012....
__________________
Bill, Kathi and Zorro; '05 Beaver Patriot Thunder
2012 Sunnybrook Harmony 21FBS (SQEZINN)
2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland
cruzbill is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2017, 07:04 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 29
Lots of solo females out there living the RV life. You'll do great.

"Hail damage" is just what it sounds like; big pieces of hail came down from the sky and messed it up. Unless you want hundreds of little dents all over the RV, I'd avoid those.

Used RVs are easy to come by until you start looking for a specific model. There are so many models out there it's very difficult to find a used version of one exact model. A new RV will come with a warranty, so that's something to consider.

In order to narrow down your choices, you need to look at the weight limits of your Pilot. Aside from the tow rating, it will have a max tongue weight limit and a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) which will determine just how much weight you can put on the trailer hitch. Do a google search on those two things and you can start to understand it. Additionally, you really don't want to push that 4500lbs tow limit. I'd suggest a trailer with a dry weight of no more than 2500-3000lbs. Once you determine your weight restrictions, that will narrow down your choices enough for you to have a manageable amount of trailers to choose from. Check out the R-Pods. Those are nice.

Good luck!
__________________
Wilde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2017, 07:42 PM   #5
Member
 
MysticalMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Grass Valley CA
Posts: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzbill View Post
Don't freak out, Maria!
Your tow vehicle has a limit on the tongue weight of the trailer, 500#.!
I have read and re-read the different weight categories and still do not understand. Tongue weight limit is new one. Did you look that up for my Pilot? Is it because of my hitch? Why would one truck have a different tongue weight limit?

Thanks!

ps: I am looking into the Harmony 20 and 21...they have a lot of what I am looking for - better than average storage, a slideout and extra windows and super light weight! One thing I do not get is the sink in the bathroom. I stayed in a 24 foot TT for 3 days on Airbnb and never used the bathroom sink bc it was too low - I used the kitchen sink instead!

How easy or hard is it to make modifications like removing the sink to add storage? I do not plan on moving around too much, especially once I buy my land. Thanks again!

Peace, Maria B
__________________
MysticalMama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2017, 07:47 PM   #6
Member
 
MysticalMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Grass Valley CA
Posts: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilde View Post
Lots of solo females out there living the RV life. You'll do great.

Are there any forums that you know of?

"Hail damage" is just what it sounds like; big pieces of hail came down from the sky and messed it up. Unless you want hundreds of little dents all over the RV, I'd avoid those.

I get it, thanks. If it was just cosmetic, I would not care but I am guessing it could have damaged unforseen things like the AC?

Used RVs are easy to come by until you start looking for a specific model. There are so many models out there it's very difficult to find a used version of one exact model. A new RV will come with a warranty, so that's something to consider.

New ones are def. above my budget which is why the hail sale RVs seemd good but I wonder if the warranty would be void - hmmmm, there's a good question!

In order to narrow down your choices, you need to look at the weight limits of your Pilot. Aside from the tow rating, it will have a max tongue weight limit and a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) which will determine just how much weight you can put on the trailer hitch. Do a google search on those two things and you can start to understand it. Additionally, you really don't want to push that 4500lbs tow limit. I'd suggest a trailer with a dry weight of no more than 2500-3000lbs. Once you determine your weight restrictions, that will narrow down your choices enough for you to have a manageable amount of trailers to choose from. Check out the R-Pods. Those are nice.

So the 4500 limit includes the Pilot and the trailer??

Good luck!
Thanks!!

Peace, Maria B
__________________
MysticalMama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2017, 11:12 PM   #7
RPr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 167
Lots of good advice but before you buy, rent a similar sized unit for a couple of weeks. You will learn a lot.

Also, there is a lot more maintenance on a TT than most folk realize and the depreciation is quite steep.

As for weights there are several. Dry TT weight is the empty TT, Max TT weight is the limit of the load you can add plus the weight of the TT. Max cargo is how much your vehicle can carry including passengers, camp gear and tongue weight. Tongue weight is the amount of the TT weight that is carried by the hitch and transferred to the back of the tow vehicle.

Unless you plan on traveling to warmer climes in the winter, you might be better served with a small house. If you want to see the country, an RV is a good match. Be sure to check the long term camping rates in the areas you intend to stay in for an extended period of time.

Given your tow vehicle I would say the 18 to 20 ft single axle or such is a good start.

Good luck.
__________________
RPr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2017, 11:54 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticalMama View Post
Thanks!!

Peace, Maria B
The 4500 is just for the trailer. Here's a quick rundown on weights and limits:

GVWR: The max weight of the car/truck. Your pilot weighs x,xxx lbs and the GVWR is x,xxx lbs. Subtract the weight of the car from the GVWR and that's how much weight you can carry (passengers, cargo, and tongue weight). This is also known as payload capacity.

Tongue weight limit: The maximum amount of weight that can be attached to the hitch of the car.

Tow rating: The max amount of weight of the trailer.
__________________
Wilde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2017, 12:08 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 198
I'll give you my perspective from a perpetual RV shopper (one who is always looking but has not bought, yet).

Sounds like you want a travel trailer to hit the road and see America and then also have some land as a home base to come back to? If so, should you then still be living out of your TT once it is parked back on your land or is that where a Tiny House comes in?

How old/new is your Honda Pilot? If you are going to want to live in the trailer most of the year, here is what I'd recommend.

If your Pilot is new enough you trade it in for a Ford F-150. You then have a truck that not only can tow any trailer you would probably ever want but it may be a more practical vehicle if you own land as well. It will tow your trailer and give you much more room and capacities for extended living with your travel trailer.

It may be a good idea to befriend a couple that could help you along the RV purchasing journey. Seems like a lot of people think buying a several year old unit is good as the prior owners may have worked out all the "bugs" of a new trailer?

While it sounds li,e you need to be out of your current place in a month or two, I would not rush into an adventure like this without proper planning and thought. Best of luck.
__________________
Parks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2017, 01:00 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Randy the sly old fox's Avatar
 
Outdoors RV Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Hillsboro, OR, USA
Posts: 736
Do you plan on traveling before buying the land and building a Tiny House, or they going to be all done at or near the same time? If your master plan is to buy a plot of land and live in a TT until the Tiny House is complete then you could buy a larger TT and have it hauled to the site. As far as the septic system is concerned you could hire a company to empty the tanks as needed. Solar or Generator could provide power to an array of batteries.

Now if that is not the scenario and you plan on traveling with the TT prior to the land and Tiny House you must follow the advice given by others. Find a lightweight TT that can be towed easily by your Pilot, or trade the Pilot for a 1/2T Truck (which might come in handy when building that Tiny House). Then your TT choices get much broader.

If you decide to keep the Pilot then you should look for extreme lightweight TTs - from what I have learned about the Pilot is that the 4500lb rating is for utility trailers and boats - the rating for "other" Trailers is only 3000lbs. Finding a TT that is truly livable that weighs only 3000 lbs fully loaded is slim to none. Units like the R-POD come to my mind - fine for camping - but I am not sure I would want to live in one. This style of TT is also conducive to the overall aerodynamics of the Pilot.

Good Luck with your plans.
__________________
2017 Chevy 2500HD LTZ DuraMax Diesel Silver Ice Metallic
2017 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 25RDS Mountain Series 4X Off Road Suspension Pkg
Randy the sly old fox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2017, 03:46 AM   #11
Member
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 65
My wife loves watching that TV show on tiny houses. Keep in mind a tiny house is a very heavy travel trailer made using traditional building materials. I have been living in my Sunnybrook Harmony 21FBS for almost a month now. I can tell you that a small and lightweight trailer has some drawbacks for full time living.

The sink in the Sunnybrook is only about 2 inches lower than the kitchen sink which is at traditional height. The water heater is below the sink and accessible from the outside of the trailer so I doubt there would any easy way to make this space into storage.

Some observations regarding the Sunnybrook. First, it is pretty well made and today the Winnebago Micro Minnie 2106FBS is essentially identical if you want to expand your search for this trailer.

Next, the kitchen area lacks counter space. I bought a cover for my burner units to expand counter space but there is still lack of counter space. The "pantry" under the TV area is miserable as it is about 3 1/2 feet deep and impossible to see what is in it without getting down on your knees and a flashlight. The ability to put your clothes somewhere is limited to the cabinet in the bathroom. It is about 17x17 and shaped irregularly. I hung a closet hanging organizer in that cabinet and keep some of my clothes on the "shelves" in the organizer. The top shelf in that closet is where towels go. Most of my clothes are under the bed which lifts and provides most of the storage. The couch in the slide doubles as a fold out bed and is not real comfortable and I will try and find a piece of foam to go over the cushions and under a throw. I don't use the folding table but use TV trays as the table is a space waster.

All said, I would probably buy a trailer a few feet longer to gain a bit of space; especially kitchen counter but could live in the 21FBS full time if pressed.

If you are considering buying the travel trailer for full time living and taking it out to your land, buy a larger trailer than your little Honda is happy with and pay someone to move it there. As far as your land, if you live in the country, it takes time in many areas to get an electrical pole set and costs some money. It costs even more for a septic and well depending on your area and you need to figure in these costs. In the Texas Hill country, putting in a drive and area to park a trailer along with utilities mentioned would be about $50K at a minimum. If I were in your shoes, I would consider how much travel I planned and how mobile the trailer needed to be. I would very likely buy a longer/larger travel trailer to live full time and skip the tiny home as a nice trailer would be easier to live in full time but this all is based on my needs and not yours, of course. If the trailer will be used for quite a bit of traveling and you don't want to incur the cost of a big gas hog, then the 21FBS would be a good choice but smaller trailers have inherent size issues.
__________________
wiredgeorge Mico TX
1996 F-250 460 cid
2011 Forest River Wildwood X-Lite 22XLSRV TH
wiredgeorge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2017, 04:28 AM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 72
If you're going to buy and live in the TT, why the tiny house? Perhaps buy one of them first, then reassess your needs before buying the second. You don't have much time if you have to be out by the end of June. Go out and look at TTs that match your criteria, then base your decision on what you find. Don't forget to check with the county as far as placing a tiny house or an RV on a property, there may be restrictions (especially in CA). You may be trying to do too much at once, think it out slowly and methodically before making too many decisions in a short time period. I hope this helps?
__________________
DesertLass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2017, 01:49 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 47
Not to burst your bubble but my experience helping next door neighbor with a Pilot, it is NOT a tow vehicle even if you stay within it's ratings. He could not pull a TT that was usable for more than a week end at a time, if it had enough room to be at all comfortable it was too heavy, he pulled one of the "Roo's" and even moderate wind or hills became problematic, and I hauled his TT home more than once with my F350, just to get him home because his Pilot just was not up to the job in adverse weather or any kind of hills. He finally knocked the transmission out and traded for a F150.
__________________
renegade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2017, 02:00 PM   #14
Member
 
MysticalMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Grass Valley CA
Posts: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by renegade View Post
Not to burst your bubble but my experience helping next door neighbor with a Pilot, it is NOT a tow vehicle even if you stay within it's ratings. He could not pull a TT that was usable for more than a week end at a time, if it had enough room to be at all comfortable it was too heavy, he pulled one of the "Roo's" and even moderate wind or hills became problematic, and I hauled his TT home more than once with my F350, just to get him home because his Pilot just was not up to the job in adverse weather or any kind of hills. He finally knocked the transmission out and traded for a F150.
I am already convinced I need to do this first (trade it in for a truck) so I am currently comparing used 2011 - 2014 Tundras vs F150...yup
__________________

__________________
MysticalMama is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
newbie



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Freaking wiper blades Kirkian301 Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 35 06-07-2017 07:30 PM
Shopping a Thor Outlaw - Online reviews are freaking me out... Steven Groves Thor Industries Owner's Forum 9 04-19-2017 01:12 PM
Help! Power Control System freaking out! can only run 1 AC in Texas heat! mjeffrey Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 32 10-12-2013 08:33 AM
I am FREAKING OUT!!! tinpushernkt 5th Wheel Discussion 26 03-01-2012 05:03 PM
Mirrors Freaking Out Y-Guy Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 4 12-02-2008 09:19 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.