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Old 04-05-2012, 09:20 AM   #1
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Location: Weatherford, TX
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Pricing differential

Hello out there in RV Land!

Wow! Dee Dee and I are considering upgrading from our 2010 Shadow Cruiser 18FBS. It's a bit too small for comfort. I've been looking at 25 - 28' trailers with more sleeping capacity (BH type - grandkids ) and have seen prices (new) as low as $14K and as high as 3X that much... and they all seem to have the same brands of AC, Refer, water heater... etc... etc. Some are appointed a little nicer and so forth, but 3X the price...... What gives? That makes no sense to me. Sure I understand that the glass exteriors and aluminum frames are a bit more expensive... but not that much. And, no, I'm not talking about Airstreams...

Admittedly, I went into the Shadow Cruiser deal without much education in the RV world. I'm trying not to make the same errors...

My 2011 F-150 is rated to pull 9,800# but I'd like to keep that under 5,000# if possible. My Shadow Cruiser is 7' wide and loaded weighs about 3700#. Everything I've been looking at is 8' wide and considerably heavier. On a recent trip from Amarillo to Phoenix and back, I averaged 11.2 MPG per the trip computer. What kind of hit will I take on mileage? OBTW... the F-150 has the 5.0 V-8 and 3.55 axle ratio.

Thanks in advance for any help and advise...

J & D in windy Amarillo... 18 months and counting to retirement!

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Old 04-05-2012, 10:45 AM   #2
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Location: Hillsboro, OR
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My 2011 F150 4x4 6spd 5.0 3.55 got 10.3 mpg towing our 29 foot 5300 lb TT.

Price differences? Weights go up with build "quality or features".
Thickness and type of cabinet materials
Density of foam cushions
Window glass - maybe double pane too?
Thickness of floor
Walk on roof
Electric tongue jack
Electric stabs or not - individual manual stabs are lighter - self adjusting power stabs are heavier
Curtains, window shades, blinds
Heating blankets on tanks
Stronger wheels
Stronger axles
Bigger, heavier tires - and the spare is too

Many of the features that make a unit more expensive and heavier are normally unseen.

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Old 04-05-2012, 11:08 PM   #3
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Location: Nashville, TN
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We just purchased a 2012 Coachman 271BH to accomodate wife, myself, and two girls (6 & 3). Great floorplan, very light (4500 lbs. dry weight), 28', very cool. Of course this is our first, but after shopping for over a month (online mostly), this one met our needs and budget. I know it can be had through our dealer for $12, 640. or thereabouts, here's a link, let me know what you think. Happy Easter too.

Catalina 2012 271BH
TT: 2014 Puma 32DBKS
TV: 1995 GMC Z-71 4x4, 5.7L (restored)
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by schrederman View Post
My 2011 F-150 is rated to pull 9,800# but I'd like to keep that under 5,000# if possible. OBTW... the F-150 has the 5.0 V-8 and 3.55 axle ratio.
You don't include much info on your F-150, but the only 2011 F-150 with 5.0L engine and 3.55 axle and a 9,800 pounds tow rating is the 4x2 regular cab. The more common SuperCrew 4x4 has a tow rating of 7700 for the shorty and 7500 for the 6.5' bed. SuperCabs are about 300 pounds more, and 4x2s are about 400 pounds more.

The tow rating is overstated because it assumes your truck has no options and absolutely nothing in the truck but a skinny driver. For example, my GCWR is 14,000 and my tow rating is 8,400, which leaves only 5,600 pounds for my wet and loaded F-150. But my F-150 weighs over 6,000 pounds when ready for the road, so my tow rating is overstated by at least 400 pounds.

But the trailer weight limit for an F-150 without the HD payload pkg is almost always hitch weight and not trailer weight.

Load up your F-150 for a towing trip with everything except the trailer. Passengers, tools, jacks, whatever you haul in the pickup when towing. Include the heavy shank and ball mount of your weight-distributing hitch. Drive to a truckstop that has a CAT scale, fill up with gas, then weigh the wet and loaded F-150. Subtract that weight from the GVWR of the truck and the answer is the max hitch weight you can have without being overloaded.

Divide that max hitch weight by 12 percent (0.12) and the answer is the max trailer weight you can tow without being overloaded - assuming a 12 percent hitch weight. But TT hitch weight can be over 15%, and mine is a hair over 15 percent. So if you want a better estimate of the max hitch weight you may have, use 15 percent instead of 12 percent.

For my truck, assuming 12 percent hitch weight, the answer is 900 pounds max hitch weight, or about 7,500 pounds of max trailer weight. So I had to find a TT with a GVWR of less than 7,500 pounds. There are a few available. The one ChiefGeek found has a GVWR of 7,000 pounds so it will fit. Notice his does not have a slide. But add 9 inches of length and a slide to that trailer and the GVWR goes up to 7,600 pounds.

I don't like to get even close to my weight limits, so I found a TT that suits us just fine and dandy. Skyline Nomad Joey 196S. GVWR 5,600 pounds. Walk-around queen-size bed. Seperate shower/tub in the bathroom so we don't have to sit on the pottie to take a bath. Large closet. Dinette that converts to a bed in case grandkids are with us.

That weight sounds like we should have all sorts of wiggle room, but the CAT scale says we will have to be careful of what we haul in the TT if we don't want to exceed the GVWR of my F-150.

Perhaps more suitable for your needs is the Model 249 (bunkhouse)

Still no heavy slides, but 5' longer than mine, with three bunk beds as well as the dinette, and with a GVWR of 6,200 pounds. So even if your F-150 is a SuperCrew 4x4, you should be able to tow that Joey without being overloaded.

Skyline has several brand names, and most of those brands have identical trailers. The Joey 196S, for example, is available with my Nomad brand name, as well as Aljo Joey, Layton Joey, and Mountain States Joey. I have an MBA from a good school, but I don't understand their name-brand
proliferation. It's worse than GM was before they became Government Motors. :(

Nomad Recreational Vehicles by Skyline
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:28 AM   #5
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With respect to the fuel useage....We towed our 21FBS (with a small dinette slide) in the sig across the continent this winter (Port Huron Mi to San Diego Ca and back to Port Huron area via Smokey's place, Fla and Charleston SC so encountered most of the hwy conditions available) with the 2011 F150 super cab and ecoboost with max tow pkg. The GVW of the trailer is 6900 and we try to stay well under that but.....realistically we would be over the 6000lb mark . Average for the trip was 10.2 mpg (US). I try to have a light foot and cruise usually btwn 60 and 65. Although the truck is quite happy at 75 the person buying the fuel for it is much happier at 55 so we compromise. I don't see that your Coyote V8 would be much different and I have not heard of great differences btwn the 3.55 axle and the 3.73 that I have, however there is a price to pay for having the 4X4...I figure 1 mpg while towing...a bit more than that empty however where we live it is not an option I can do without.
I used to tow 10,000 lbs with a diesel F350 and am happy with the 150 but even though it is rated over11,000lbs I would want more truck to tow anything much longer or heavier. I have been towing all manner of RVs since 1975 and I like to think I have a feel for what a vehicle (and I) can do with comfort....
FWIW , Smokey's been towing a few years longer than I and has a better sense of the weights involved.
The advertised towing ratings are really much higher than they should be. The pin weight on my 10,000 lb 5th wheel put me at the max for the GVW of the truck despite the fact that I was nowhere near the GCVW. One salesman was convinced that I could tow a unit that would put me almost one ton over the GVW of the truck, all because it was within the combined weight rating from Ford.

Ian & Lyn. 2011 white Scab F150 4X4 ecoboost with max trailer pkg...now towing a North Trail 21 FBS .
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