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 06-17-2016, 11:44 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 33
Planning on purchase...Need experienced advice

Hello all. My wife and I are getting ready to take the plunge to purchase a travel trailer (our first). We have only tent camped with our 3 boys to this point. I'm curious what advice you all may have regarding a few particulars associated with the features of the (too) many models of TT out there. Let me give you a quick run down of where I'm currently at...

I'm most recently looking at a bullet 335bhs, bullet 311bhs, passport 3350bh, among about 20 other bunk house models. One thing I know I want is a bunk house with slide in that area.

1. How useful is the outside kitchen as opposed to "assembling your own"? (I have a canister stove I could use and could put together some sort of washing station, I suppose.) Secondarily, how beneficial is the full size outside kitchen as opposed to the smaller 1/2 door version? I'm asking since I'd like 4 bunks instead of 3, generally speaking, but can sense the potential benefit of having a roof over your head while cooking outdoors.

2. Do you find that an island in the kitchen causes too much of a log jam inside, or is the extra counter top space more beneficial? Follow-up, would a kitchen/stove slide result in an annoying lack of lounge space under the awning, or is it small enough to work around comfortably?

3. How important is a direct outside access to a bathroom (i.e. 2 entry doors total)?

4. In general, what is an approximate weight of cargo you typically carry? I have a 9200 tow capacity (15100 gcwr). I'm targeting a 7200lb or less dry weight trailer. Is that reasonable? I've weighed my vehicle with full gas tank at 6050lb and am estimating weight + growth of kids+ dog+ parents conservatively at 900lb. I do plan to visit Colorado and mountains occasionally.

5. How much more difficult is it to maneuver a 37' trailer as opposed to say a 34' trailer (hitch to bumper)? How about stay options at RV parks/national parks (generally speaking since apparently there are many restrictions in length for older campsites)?

6. For these lightweight trailers I'm looking at, how concerned about durability should I be?

7. Any comments on quality or manufacturer warranty support for Bullet 335/311, Summer land 3030, Passport 3350, Tracer 305/3150, Premier 31, Mallard M32, Flagstaff 831, KZ 322, Jayco SLX 32BDSW, Springdale 301, Radiance TSBH or any other model that I could potentially tow would be welcome.

Thank you very much for any advice you may give... My head is spinning from all the model options and features!
__________________

__________________
Molmen 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 06-18-2016, 12:18 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Arch Hoagland's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Clovis, CA, USA
Posts: 5,666
I have a question about your pickup truck.

What year, make, model and engine does it have?
__________________

__________________
2004 Monaco La Palma 36DBD, W22, 8.1, 7.1 MPG
2000 LEXUS RX300 FWD 22MPG 4020 LBS
Arch Hoagland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 06:34 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 33
2016 Ford Expedition EL XLT with HD tow package and 3.5L ecoboost. After reading some other posts, I checked my carrying capacity from the door sticker -1531lb. My estimate on family weight was very conservative at 900lb (probably closer to 750lb right now), and vehicle weight of 6050lb was without driver or passengers.
__________________
Molmen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 07:29 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Oregon
Posts: 338
Quote:
Originally Posted by Molmen View Post
2016 Ford Expedition EL XLT with HD tow package and 3.5L ecoboost. After reading some other posts, I checked my carrying capacity from the door sticker -1531lb. My estimate on family weight was very conservative at 900lb (probably closer to 750lb right now), and vehicle weight of 6050lb was without driver or passengers.
You have to deduct the tongue weight of the trailer from the payload of the vehicle as well. You would be wayyyy overloaded. Ideally you want 10% - 15% of the trailer weight on the tongue. There is also a tongue weight rating for your vehicle you need to stay under. You'll max tongue and payload before anything else.
A 7200lb dry weight trailer puts you in 3/4 ton territory.


We have at least 1000lbs in cargo. More if we're dry camping as I have a full water tank and gear in the bed of the truck. Gear adds up FAST.

The longer the trailer the more campsites you rule out. You'll find some for you in the parks, just less of them.
As far as brands i'm not a fan of keystone(owned one), at least their cheaper entry level stuff. Not thrilled about Jayco. I do like anything from Northwood such as arctic fox, outdoors RV, Nash. I also like Lance.
__________________
2015 Ram 2500 6.7 cummins, Crew Cab
Mid 2016 Outdoors RV Creekside 23DBS, w/backcountry x4 and armor options.
archer75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 09:42 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
ricndot's Avatar
 
Outdoors RV Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: bay st.louis, mississippi
Posts: 213
many of the question you asked are prime for personal preferences, but here it goes.
rv design, by nature, is a game of compromises.
we don't care for the island kitchens, outdoor kitchens or slide out kitchens for all the reasons you stated.
our "outdoor kitchen" sits in the bed of the truck, under cover. along with firewood, bicycle, generator and so on.
our experience with "ultralight" type trailers was not so good. i nicknamed
our 2014 bullet 204rbswe "the flexi-flyer". i won't bore you with how it got it's name. after only 5 months of ownership it was traded, for a substantial loss, on an orv product.
2 doors is nice but the manufacturers need to design a shade system for the bedroom door window. and every hole in an rv is another route for water intrusion.
__________________
Ric
2017 Ram 2500 CTD
2016 Timber Ridge 240rks
ricndot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 09:53 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Nut4speed's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 201
I agree that big of a trailer is going to be pushing it, 5000-6000lb capacity is probably the ball park you'll want to stay in.
As Archer said, gear adds up a lot faster than you think it will, even if you try to pack light, especially since dry weight won't include the battery or 2 propane tanks which will be sitting on your tongue. Also, that 9000lb tow rating isn't considering what you're towing has the aerodynamics of a giant square box.
I have a Passport 2670bh.
The outdoor kitchen is handy but looking back I think I'd prefer the storage space as both the gas stove and the mini fridge are pretty anemic, would be better off with high BTU camp stove and a cooler. That little electric fridge doesn't run driving down the road and will really only keep things already cold cool. Trying to get it to cool warm things down when it is only plugged in here and there is a joke so non perishable drinks are about the only thing we trust to put in there.
As far as the Passport and Bullet, both are good models, they run them off the same assembly lines as they are basically the same unit just with cosmetically different features (ie Chevy and GMC). I've had no issues with mine and no surprises. Yes there may be some "better built" brands out there like Lance, but from my research there just isn't really enough there to warrant a 30+% premium over a comparable Keystone or Jayco, especially if you aren't full-timing or "most-timing" in them.
__________________
Nut4speed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 09:55 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 33
I understand (now) what you all have been saying with regard to carrying capacity. That's disappointing since I had purchased the vehicle with HD tow package for the future intent to get a travel trailer. It is interesting that no salesman in the RV business have mentioned this (carrying capacity), and I've had more than one say that I could pull a 7500lb+ dry weight trailer. I've even had one who said I could go up to a dry weight of 8300lb! I thought I was being conservative to consider 7200 as a "max" - so much for that.

As a side question, since I'm mostly hauling adults, kids and dog on the interior, the large majority of the gear seems better suited to be placed in the TT for the ride. So, 1530lb (total capacity) - 750lb (people&dog) = 780lb. The 780lb of rated capacity remaining would have to be enough to support the tongue weight of the trailer (10-15% of dry weight) + hitch weight + whatever else is to be carried in the tow vehicle, correct? How much weight would the "hitch work" (that an rv dealer installs) add to a vehicle that came with a "tow package"?
__________________
Molmen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 10:01 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ricndot View Post
many of the question you asked are prime for personal preferences, but here it goes.
rv design, by nature, is a game of compromises.
we don't care for the island kitchens, outdoor kitchens or slide out kitchens for all the reasons you stated.
our "outdoor kitchen" sits in the bed of the truck, under cover. along with firewood, bicycle, generator and so on.
our experience with "ultralight" type trailers was not so good. i nicknamed
our 2014 bullet 204rbswe "the flexi-flyer". i won't bore you with how it got it's name. after only 5 months of ownership it was traded, for a substantial loss, on an orv product.
2 doors is nice but the manufacturers need to design a shade system for the bedroom door window. and every hole in an rv is another route for water intrusion.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this since I have very little concept of the functionality/annoyance for some of these features. I agree, compromises abound, as I'm finding out with my tow capability (grrr...).
__________________
Molmen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 10:05 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
plasma800's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 3,188
Blog Entries: 1
oh man, the salesmen will let you drive away with ANYTHING!! Seriously, they either don't know or don't care.

Don't forget that GAS counts against your cargo rating.... that can add another 230lb and up.

A good hitch is going to weight 50+, some of them up to 200.... You could get a blue ox, which I'd highly recommend (the swaypro) and it weighs in the 80-90 range.

You could also consider changing your tires to E rated tires, the stiffer sidewall will increase capacity *some*.

TW's of trailers are always a heavier than they advertise on trailers. Mine is around 800 lbs on a 28 foot trailer. My neighbor has a 33 footer that comes in just over 1000lbs....
__________________
RVM#78 - -USAF- F-15 Eagle Radar Vet
'05 Fleetwood Revolution '12 Chevy 2500 '15 Airstream Intl Sig. 27FB
'14 Ram 3500 Aisin
plasma800 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 10:08 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
plasma800's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 3,188
Blog Entries: 1
Don't overlook the trailers made by Grand Design. They have a nice 28 footer...
__________________
RVM#78 - -USAF- F-15 Eagle Radar Vet
'05 Fleetwood Revolution '12 Chevy 2500 '15 Airstream Intl Sig. 27FB
'14 Ram 3500 Aisin
plasma800 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 10:22 AM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nut4speed View Post
I agree that big of a trailer is going to be pushing it, 5000-6000lb capacity is probably the ball park you'll want to
...
The outdoor kitchen is handy but looking back I think I'd prefer the storage space as both the gas stove and the mini fridge are pretty anemic,
Good info - thanks.
__________________
Molmen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 10:29 AM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by plasma800 View Post
oh man, the salesmen will let you drive away with ANYTHING!! Seriously, they either don't know or don't care.

Don't forget that GAS counts against your cargo rating.... that can add another 230lb and up.

A good hitch is going to weight 50+, some of them up to 200.... You could get a blue ox, which I'd highly recommend (the swaypro) and it weighs in the 80-90 range.

You could also consider changing your tires to E rated tires, the stiffer sidewall will increase capacity *some*.

TW's of trailers are always a heavier than they advertise on trailers. Mine is around 800 lbs on a 28 foot trailer. My neighbor has a 33 footer that comes in just over 1000lbs....
Also good info, thank you as well. I guess I'll have to optimize the TV-TT combo a bit more than I expected to get closer to what I am hoping to have (though it doesn't sound like I can make it all the way to that level). I need to remember that it is still camping, but I'm trying to make it as low impact on my wife/kids as possible to keep them comfortable/happy. The extra bunkhouse space (i.e., with slide) is something I think is almost a necessity to keep the peace with the kids.
__________________
Molmen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 10:34 AM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by plasma800 View Post
oh man, the salesmen will let you drive away with ANYTHING!! Seriously, they either don't know or don't care.
So true, it seems.
__________________
Molmen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 11:50 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 680
One thing that was important to my wife and I when we recently upgraded our TT to a new Bullet 269RLS concerning the slide was whether or not we would have full access to the trailer when the slide is in. (We do with our new Bullet.) Why was this important to us? Because sometimes when dry camping in some places we might not want or be able to extend the slide. And speaking of brands and quality—we have not had any problems with our Keystone Bullet after over a thousand miles of pulling it. Granted that's not much and I'll know more after our upcoming trip out West from Florida that will be for around 30 days and somewhere over five thousand miles. We did not want the outdoor kitchen since we tend to use our grill a lot.
__________________

__________________
parkerbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
advice, purchase



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
Trip planning/route planning app rfsod48 RV Trip Wizard - Trip Planner Topics 4 10-25-2015 01:29 PM
Need some experienced advice Hailguy iRV2.com General Discussion 7 07-16-2013 06:24 AM
A newbie needing advice from experienced Jeffreys 5th Wheel Discussion 13 05-18-2012 03:05 PM
Sorry for the length but I need experienced guidance Jimco MH-General Discussions & Problems 4 06-24-2009 06:37 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:06 AM.


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