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Old 03-01-2016, 11:56 AM   #1
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Question Newbie needs help picking 10 person TT - Thank you so much for all help!

First, Thank you so much for your help!!!!

We have 5 young kids and are looking for a TT. As a kid, camping each summer was one of the highlights of growing up. I want to give that awesome experience to my kids but could really use some help. Back in the day, my dad took care of everything but he is gone now, I could really use other's help in figuring out how to pick out/buy a camper.

Ideally, I would love something to sleep 2 adults and 5 kids - without having to fold down the couch/table (I remember what a pain it was to clear and lower the table every night).

I dont get the prices of campers. Help! I have found a 2016 Forrest River Cherokee Gray Wolf 26DBH for $16,900. Other brand campers with the basic design USED cost more than this. Why? Is the Forrest River a junky brand? We would love to keep this camper for 10+ years, so dont want to buy junk. Does age matter that much? What its made out of?

Any brands to look at or stay away from? Seems like most used campers are listed for almost as much as new ones. Is that just people wishful thinking or are they really getting that much? Is it easy to spot damage in a used camper? Worried I wont know what to look for buying used and will get something with major problems.

I am very thankful for all help you can give me! Thank you!!!

PS. No vehicle yet, thought we would get it after we knew how much weight it had to pull. Would rather buy a lighter camper to make picking out a vehicle easier.
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Old 03-01-2016, 01:03 PM   #2
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Did some research and this seems to be a good fit for you and your family! Best bet is going with a new model, higher quality materials means it should (in all hopes) last longer! The Jayco Jay Flight 32TSBH seems to be right up your alley!
4 bunks in the rear (which could be made into sleeping for 5 little ones), master queen bedroom upfront, tons of storage throughout, exterior kitchen and you won't have to lower the dinette to sleep anyone!
Makes me want to get a new TT!
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Old 03-01-2016, 01:45 PM   #3
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OK, this is your first post. I have no idea what part of the country you live in, or where you would like to go camping, so my opinions are based on the lack of information.

First, define where you want to go camping, and figure out if you can get a trailer that can sleep ten in there in the first place. You'll be very disappointed if you go through the research and buying process and then can't take it to the national park you wanted to go to because your trailer is too long.

In my opinion, you cannot begin to look at large trailers without also defining how much you are willing to spend on a tow vehicle if you need to buy one to handle the trailer you want to use. In order to haul ten people, you are probably going to need an SUV, and it will more than likely need to be a 3/4 ton chassis based SUV. Research this, too, before you buy the trailer.

Don't discount the fun of having some of the kids sleeping in a tent outside the trailer on good nights. This instantly makes a crowded trailer feel roomier when the kids want to do this.

Due diligence! Keep safety foremost in your mind and do all the research, including checking what others tell you.
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Old 03-01-2016, 02:17 PM   #4
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Hello & welcome to iRV2. You've come to the right place for answers.

#1 Budget. How much do you want to spend for the TT? How much do you want to spend for a vehicle to tow it? Our members can better advise you if you can, at least, start with giving that info.

#2 New or used? Mfr's are putting more sleeping capacity in late model TT's.

#3 How/where are you going to use it? Weekends/week-long vacations? State parks/private campgrounds? Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter?

#4 Go window shopping. If you are close to any part of the country that has RV shows, go to one & go to a big one if there's one nearby. Sans that, find a dealer in your area with a large inventory to view. Don't be googly-eyed over the glitz. Pay special attention to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating), length, tank capacities and storage (both inside & out). With that large of family, tanks & storage will be very important.

#5 When you find something you like, don't buy anything until you determine you can purchase the proper vehicle to tow safely tow/stop it. Do NOT believe the salespeople. They will tell you a Mini-Cooper will tow a 10,000lb/28ft TT just to make a sale.

Half the fun is in the research. Post back with any questions.

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Old 03-01-2016, 02:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1bigmess View Post
In order to haul ten people, you are probably going to need an SUV, and it will more than likely need to be a 3/4 ton chassis based SUV. Research this, too, before you buy the trailer.
Actually, the OP wants to haul 7 people, with 5 being younger kids. The 10 person camper is so that they don't have to turn the dinette into a bed each day.

Buying new, no makes a 3/4 SUV anymore. There's a Suburban HD coming, but for fleet/government only. Its main purpose is to be able to support all the weight bullet-proofing adds.

Used, Suburban 2500 were made as late as 2013. When looking at them, make sure it has the 8-lug wheels. Otherwise, its just a 1500. In theory, a 1500 is rated to pull a decent trailer, but not when you put a lot of people inside and then try to pull a BIG trailer. The Ford Excursion was awesome, but hasn't been made since 2005. The Expedition is 1/2 ton only. A big trailer plus a car full is a bit much for it. If money is no object, there are companies that make "new" Excursions by taking a full-size pickup and grafting the back part of the SUV on.

The full sized Chevy or Nissan vans make decent tow vehicles too, as well as used Ford E-series vans, as long as you're starting with at least the 3/4 versions. The Sprinter and Transit are too limited in GCWR to pull much beyond a tent trailer.
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Old 03-01-2016, 02:32 PM   #6
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Thanks for clearing that up and getting new info in front of all of us. It's appreciated.
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Old 03-01-2016, 02:33 PM   #7
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Welcome to the site. Hope you have as much fun camping as I do. It is a great way to spend your time. Especially being I'm retired. As to sleeping arrangements don't know the size or age of your young young ones. But think of alternate sleeping arrangements such as a tent. The kids will enjoy sleeping on their own close to the camper. Other ways to do the camping think out of the box.
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:35 PM   #8
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A bunk house is going be your fit. We have a bunkhouse with double beds which can sleep 4 older kids with no problem. Depending on your kids size
you could get 3 or 2 X 2 and one on the couch.

There is also 3 and 4 bunk houses but most often they are single beds.
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:57 AM   #9
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Smile Answers to questions - and more questions!

You guys are all great, I am so impressed with the people wanting to help - I am very thankful! You are bringing up very good points, things I had not considered before.

Let me try to give more information. I would love to hear what you have to say when I fill in some blanks.

First off, we have no specific camp ground we want to go to. We thought we would try to visit as many different places as the wind blows us to. What are the common size restrictions?

As for a tent, my oldest are actually 7 year olds, born prematurely, who as a consequence have breathing/lung issues. They have to sleep with pulse ox on to make sure they get enough oxygen. And guess who gets to monitor those alarms all night long - us! So while I love the tent idea, it wont work for us.

Budget - we started out wanting to buy an old used SUV (used only for towing and as a back up family vehicle) and an older but good camper. We were thinking less than $20,000 total. I am quickly finding that I have the couple more thousand dollar itis, and its rapidly adding to 40K. We really would rather not spend this much and are trying to get back to our original budget.

We have been tent camping with the kids and it was LOADS of fun for everyone but all of the packing/unpacking, weather concerns, worries that alarming medical equipment would bother others... We feel like a camper is a much better option for us. But what if we buy it and dont use it? This is another reason to keep the budget on the low end.

Vehicle. We would ideally like something under 15K. The gross weight of the campers we started looking at were around 7000lbs. It seemed totally doable - we were thinking a used Ford Expedition with towing package. Then I found this neat private party 2009 Palomino Puma 31BHSS Travel Trailer for $13500. Gross weight on it *I think* is 10700lbs. Out will go the expedition. I dont even know what kind of vehicles will pull that much weight and have room inside for 7 people.

On the subject of the 2009 Palomino Puma 31BHSS Travel Trailer, what do you guys think about a price of $13500? It looks like it is good shape, but of course, I dont know much beyond cosmetics. Anyone like/dislike the brand? I am so confused on if I should spend more money on a trailer with laminated/non-wood/aluminum sides or if I just keep it covered, if wood is okay?

And what about a newbie buying a 2009? While it might be in our price now, are we buying something that will become a money pit due to age? There is a 2014 for 19K. Should we consider it too? I am concerned about there being a point in a campers age where things really start to fall apart. While I am more than happy to learn, I have zero experience fixing things. Buying used, I would like to buy well before we reach that "everythings falling apart stage".

Also the Puma is pretty big. I never had anything that big when I was a kid and we still had a great time (although we didnt have 7 people). I feel like this could possibly be over kill and would be more appropriate for camping weeks at a time? We will mostly do 3-4 day weekends and maybe a couple of week long trips each year. I have to admit, I love the idea of all of this great space but dont want to overdo it. Especially since we will have to get an even more heavy duty vehicle to pull it.

I am begining to think that we should do the following (would love to hear what you have to say about this idea).

Buy smaller, lighter, cheaper and make sure we use it. We could always upgrade after a few years. Get something that is old, but not so old its having major maintenance issues (what age do you guys think this would be?). Look for smaller bunks, resigning myself that the table and/or sofa will need to folded town each night, but remembering we would spend most of our time outside anyway. With the lighter camper, get something not so heavy duty (aka, not as expensive or hard to find) to pull with.

I say this then think to myself about all of that lovely sleep space and cabinets in the larger camper and start to drift back toward spending more money.

I very much appreciate all of the time you guys are taking to help guide us in the right direction and bringing up points I had not thought of.

Thank you again!!!!
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:07 AM   #10
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There are loads of trailers out there that will suit your needs so my suggestion is get on rvtrader.Com and use the advanced search to narrow it down to exactly what you want. Now as far as tow vehicles. I sold our 2002 yukon xl 2500 8.1 with 130k for $6500. Absolutely no issues with that rig. It towed our 9200lb TT from West Texas to Malibu, up and down mountain passes without missing a beat. Yes the MPG sucked but that's what you get for a capable family and toy hauler. So with the 2500 suburban/yukon and that Puma you mentioned, you're right at your original 20k budget.
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:53 AM   #11
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The 2 bits of advise I can share with you that we have learn ourselves.

1. Is don't over buy with the TV that you have or will buy. We were told our
Ford Expedition could tow our new TT by a sales guys, which we believed him. Well if the TT was empty with no pax and on flat land. Then he was
correct. We end up buying a 1 ton truck the next year. So ask for some input on weights and towing when get close to buying.

2. The other thing is to considered on Trailers with slide outs. We have one
large slideout which is great and make so much difference. But IMHO trailers with 2 slides in which one is on each side can be hard often finding
trailer sites in some locations. I would considered that when looking at
trailers with left and right slide outs.
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:24 PM   #12
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I still think your major hurdle at this point is the tow vehicle that can carry seven *and* the tongue weight of your prospective trailer. Your family's safety depends on this.

Length restrictions can sometimes be easy to find. A nearby campground I found on a map looked interesting, so I found some info about it at the USFS website for it:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coron...25684&actid=29
Scroll down to "Restrictions".

I stayed in Yosemite back in November after they had a foot of snow in the Yosemite Valley. Needed tire chains on the TV and trailer to get in, and I had both along with experience putting them on and driving with them. RV length restrictions there are found here:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/rvcamping.htm

Various state and more locally run government campgrounds could have all kinds of other restrictions, if you can even get a long rig in there in the first place.

If you want to Boondock/Dispersed Camping (camping outside of a campground on open lands), then the only concern is can you navigate the road to get to where you want to go and have enough room to maneuver once you get there. You might have to recon places yourself in order to find out, or you can use Google Satellite views to help if you can figure out the map scale and measure on your monitor how much room there appears to be.

Websites like allstays.com can also be very helpful once you learn to use it.

Good luck! Keep asking questions! You'll get there!
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:47 PM   #13
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I am not sure about your state but I believe it's like Pennsylvania's. I think that if you go over 10,000 on your trailer in weight. You may also have to go for a different classification on your driver's license unless you already have it. A lot of campgrounds around here some national and state., do not have the room for those large trailers. Didn't want to be the bearer of any of any added tidings, but thought you might want to check this out as well. Sorry to hear about the little one was needing extra help, but glad they're ok.
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:44 PM   #14
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Another question

Nissan's NV van says:

Wheelbase 146.1 in.
Height 84.0 in.
Mas Gross Weight 9500.0 lbs.
Max Towing Capacity 8700.0 lbs.

Does this mean it can pull an 8700 lb gross weight trailer? And that the trailer, people in the van, and gear in the van should not be more than 9500 lbs?

How do you figure out if the tongue weight is okay?
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