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Old 01-23-2012, 08:26 PM   #15
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I have had this happen to me. Did not know that my ex had added a whole bunch of weight, to the trailer (which took us over the limit). Was coming out of the mountains, of New Mexico, and suddenly the TV (tow vehicle) was being pushed by the trailer. I've never been so scared in my life (up until then anyway)! I was being pushed into oncoming traffic toward the guard rail (which was right before a drop-off). To this day I could not tell you how I got that thing undercontrol, back in my own lane, over to the shoulder & stopped.

Sheila
You had a worse outcome than I did. I was aware of it at the time but it didn't really hit until I got a bigger truck. I wasn't over weight. I was 1400lbs under the GVWR. I am lucky because I have a lot of CC.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:53 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by PNWGirl View Post
I have had this happen to me. Did not know that my ex had added a whole bunch of weight, to the trailer (which took us over the limit). Was coming out of the mountains, of New Mexico, and suddenly the TV (tow vehicle) was being pushed by the trailer. I've never been so scared in my life (up until then anyway)! I was being pushed into oncoming traffic toward the guard rail (which was right before a drop-off). To this day I could not tell you how I got that thing undercontrol, back in my own lane, over to the shoulder & stopped.

Sheila
This almost sounds like that 1953 movie "The Longest Trailer" w/ Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:01 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by StarGazer-1 View Post
This almost sounds like that 1953 movie "The Longest Trailer" w/ Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
Yeah Although it is a whole lot funnier, on the screen, than when you're being pushed off a mountain, for real. Took me a decade before I could see the funny in that However, it sure made me appreciate NEVER overloading your TV!!!

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Old 01-25-2012, 06:12 PM   #18
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Ray, Welcome to the forum. Floorplan should be your #1 concern and you can also get the quality you want if you shop carefully. Be cautious with your tow capacity. A 30' TT may just about reach your limit if not put you over it. You should leave some of that tow capacity for reserve. Good luck...
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:19 PM   #19
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The Heartland North Trail 32BUDS being 36' and 7600 dry seems to be a lot of tt for a F-150. And that 7600 my be with-out options. Also, I noticed the fresh water is only 36 gallons. That is kind of small for a family of 4. Were looking at the new Aerolite's and Kodiak's which for a much smaller tt's are 52 fresh.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:20 PM   #20
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Congrats on thinking on getting into the RVing lifestyle and welcome to the forum. We also have 2 young sons and had a 1/2 ton Tahoe last year when we were looking for a larger TT. We looked at the North Trails several times over the course of several months. We ended up going with a Crossroads Sunset Trail Reserve 29SS. Same features you stated you are looking for, bunks, slides. Etc. Weight as delivered was 6300. We towed it with the Tahoe because it was half ton towable. (5.3L, 3.73 rear end, heavy duty tow package). It got us there and back with no real problems. Mountains in New Mexico put a strain on it. Length was the primary culprit behind the white knuckles. I broke down and bought a 3/4 ton Yukon XL and it is a world of difference towing it. The 1/2 ton Tahoe did the job, but the drives to and from are much more enjoyable with the New TV.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:55 AM   #21
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You all are Awesome - Thank You!

Thank you to everyone for your practical advice. We truly appreciate all of your input.

We've have put about 12 full hours of local RV shows & showroom browsing over the past few days (tough for me as I had my knee replaced last month) as well as countless hours online doing research. The good news is we have scaled back our expectations and are now concentrating within the 29' or less and 6500 lb or less range. Hopefully, I won't need to upgrade my truck, but time will tell. I am now looking at the following models:

Coachmen Freedom Express 292BHDS (Base Weight: 5590)
Keystone Cougar 29BHS (BW: 6460)
Keystone Cougar 29RBK (BW: 6500)
Sunset Trail 29SS (BW: 5689) - we love the rotating fireplace

They all seem very well built with lots of amenities. If anyone has feedback on any of them, I'd appreciate it.

Like I said... you all are awesome and it affirms our desire to get into the RV community.



Ray & Lisa
Rochester, NY
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:30 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Rysh View Post
Congrats on thinking on getting into the RVing lifestyle and welcome to the forum. We also have 2 young sons and had a 1/2 ton Tahoe last year when we were looking for a larger TT. We looked at the North Trails several times over the course of several months. We ended up going with a Crossroads Sunset Trail Reserve 29SS. Same features you stated you are looking for, bunks, slides. Etc. Weight as delivered was 6300. We towed it with the Tahoe because it was half ton towable. (5.3L, 3.73 rear end, heavy duty tow package). It got us there and back with no real problems. Mountains in New Mexico put a strain on it. Length was the primary culprit behind the white knuckles. I broke down and bought a 3/4 ton Yukon XL and it is a world of difference towing it. The 1/2 ton Tahoe did the job, but the drives to and from are much more enjoyable with the New TV.
Thanks Rysh,

We spent a lot of time looking at the 29SS and love it a lot. It is definitely on our possibility list. If there is any other feedback you can give me on it (good or bad, favorite things, comfort, etc.) I'd appreciate it. Congratulations on the purchase and on your truck upgrade. I love my 1/2 ton Ford, but I know I wouldn't be too heartbroken to 'upgrade' to a bigger rig (arrrr arrrr).
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:43 PM   #23
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You also might look into a brake controller to help you stop that T.T.
I know my sig doesn't match my avatar but will soon update it.
i'd say this brake controller is an absolute must if he does move forward with a 29 footer.

Also, to the OP, do not discount the importance of a GREAT floorplan. It is hugely important, and not just a fluff thing that only women care about. People who buy one with a floorplan that doesn't work always regret it. Figure out what your needs and wants are and find a plan that suits that best.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:33 PM   #24
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Thank you to everyone for your practical advice. We truly appreciate all of your input.

We've have put about 12 full hours of local RV shows & showroom browsing over the past few days (tough for me as I had my knee replaced last month) as well as countless hours online doing research. The good news is we have scaled back our expectations and are now concentrating within the 29' or less and 6500 lb or less range. Hopefully, I won't need to upgrade my truck, but time will tell. I am now looking at the following models:

Coachmen Freedom Express 292BHDS (Base Weight: 5590)
Keystone Cougar 29BHS (BW: 6460)
Keystone Cougar 29RBK (BW: 6500)
Sunset Trail 29SS (BW: 5689) - we love the rotating fireplace

They all seem very well built with lots of amenities. If anyone has feedback on any of them, I'd appreciate it.

Like I said... you all are awesome and it affirms our desire to get into the RV community.



Ray & Lisa
Rochester, NY
It's just my personal oppinion but I am bothered by the numbers you are looking at First are you going to tow an empty trailer? You should be looking at the GVWR not the dry/base. My 28' TT has a dry weight of 6300 (I don't believe it) and has a GVWR of 10400, real world traveling weight of 9K. As I stated before it handles much better with my 1T dually than a 3/4T. Some points to ponder. A long trailer is a big sail. If you get hit with a good gust of wind in the side it takes more TV to hold it. Your base weights you are looking at are double the weight of your boat and it doesn't have a big frontal area or the big sail effect that an RV has. I'm thinking a light weigt trailer would be more suseptable to being pushed by wind than a heavier trailer (less weight on the tires). Also if you are one to want to drive 65/70, then you need a much bigger TV. If you are satified with 50/55 you can get by with smaller TV. More speed increases handling problems.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:50 PM   #25
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Congratulation on asking about things before you buy.

I agree with those who suggest a lighter trailer for your light truck and that high gear ratio, and shorter length, too. Of course, a trailer brake package. Not a great cost, but necessary at any cost. If you travel in mountains I'd add an exhaust brake, too. To rephrase what someone else said elsewhere, whoa power is more important than go power. Kids aren't easily replaceable, although you may wish they were with the occasional teenager.

I've had several 5.4 engines in Expeditions and Broncos, and I don't care what the specs say, I ain't pulling 8 or 9 thousand pounds with one regardless of what body it's in.

Personally, I want my travels to be comfortable. If you've ever driven a long distance in a blizzard, imagine that same continuous strain because you made a bad match between truck and trailer. And the blizzard goes away quicker.


Your wife is right. Say that to yourself over and over. Floor plan is everything - to her. That ultimately transfers to you and your pleasure!

Finally, I try to make my first purchase of almost anything something that I can afford to trade off once I've found out what I really want and need.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:09 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by rayk4e View Post
... The good news is we have scaled back our expectations and are now concentrating within the 29' or less...
Please be aware, none of the units you are considering are 29' or less:
Coachmen Freedom Express 292BHDS - 33' 5"
Keystone Cougar 29BHS / 29RBK - 33'
Sunset Trail 29SS - 32' 11"

As others have also stated, do not go by what you are referring to as the base weight. The "base weights" never include items such as the awning, microwave, fridge, TV's....etc. You need to be dealing with only the GVWR's of the units - especially because you are not going to be towing an empty TT. You really are in the realm of a 3/4T truck if you're seriously considering any of these units. It's not about being able to pull the TT, you have to be able to control &, most importantly, safely stop it in an emergency.

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Old 01-27-2012, 10:28 PM   #27
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i'd say this brake controller is an absolute must if he does move forward with a 29 footer.

Also, to the OP, do not discount the importance of a GREAT floorplan. It is hugely important, and not just a fluff thing that only women care about. People who buy one with a floorplan that doesn't work always regret it. Figure out what your needs and wants are and find a plan that suits that best.
Even with smaller trailers a brake controller is a good idea. I have a brake controller, anti-sway bar and wd bars for my lite weight 20 ft travel trailer. Never had any sway even with semi trucks passing.

There can be some compromise with the floorplan provided it works for you. Know what you really need is very important.

Lite weight trailers are built with lighter material to reduce weight. Quality can vary on several things including weight.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:41 PM   #28
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Even with smaller trailers a brake controller is a good idea. I have a brake controller, anti-sway bar and wd bars for my lite weight 20 ft travel trailer. Never had any sway even with semi trucks passing.

There can be some compromise with the floorplan provided it works for you. Know what you really need is very important.

Lite weight trailers are built with lighter material to reduce weight. Quality can vary on several things including weight.
I do agree with you on the brake controller, even on smaller TT's. I was just saying that with a larger one, it should definitely be something they get.

As for the floor plan, men don't typically think it's a big deal when buying a TT as they are concerned about other things they feel more 'important', but even men can find themselves with a floor plan that just isn't convenient once they begin to use it on a regular basis. So it's a good thing for him to let his wife take care of that part of it and he take care of the stuff he thinks is important, and like you said, arrive at a compromise.
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