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Old 05-30-2014, 04:24 PM   #1
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Questions about traveling with TT

We are totally new at this -- used to tent camp when the kids were little, that's it. We're retired now and want to get a lightweight smallish TT (looking at the Evergreen Ascend). I've read a bunch of the great threads on here but most seem to be big MH or fifth wheels or bigger TT. (There are just 2 of us and our dog.)

I know it's relative to different individuals but I'm trying to learn from others' experiences and not have to learn everything the hard way. What advice can you give a new traveler wanting to go on a 2-3 month trip? (We will go on a short weekend trip the first time after we get the TT so we can 'practice') What do you wish you knew before you started? Those that have opted for smaller (25-26') TT, have you regretted it? Is it feasible to want to go on a 2-3 month trip in a smaller TT?

I have lots of questions but thought I'd throw this out and see if I can get some insight before we sign on the dotted line.

Thanks so much. This is such a great, informative site!

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Old 05-30-2014, 04:47 PM   #2
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We have a 2013 25' hybrid (Aerolite) and do 50-60 nights a year. The one we have now is a 2013, but our old hybrid 2005 (24') (Aerolite also) we had 380 nights over 7 seasons...

The Ascends are a narrower tt at 7' 7". Most tt's in the 25'+ range are 8' wide. Their fresh water tank at 36 gallons is so so. Some manufacturers included the 6 gallons in the hot water heater as fresh. Not sure what Evergreen does. We have 53 fresh in our Aerolite.

We do many 2 week vacations of 200-500 miles during the summer. Plan to retire in 2016 and go to Alaska in our 25' tt. Was up in AK. last year and a full timing couple had the tiniest egg-shell camper, and were happy. You have to kind of picture yourself relaxing in a smaller tt and say to yourself. Does this feel like home? or should I say a home away from home.

For us the the must haves were. #1 large fresh water tank (20 -30 in a tt is small, 30 - 42 is average 43 and above is what I was looking at. Our 2005 had a 47 and now our 2013 is 53 gallons)

#2 A couch where in the evening I can relax on
. Not one of those 48" or 54" ones. Ours is 68"...just enough for me to lay down and watch TV or read in the evening. You have to remember, there are going to be days / evenings where the weather outside is rainy, cold...what ever.

#3 slide slide...Just can't say it enough. A slide just opens up the whole inside. Or 2005 had just a couch slide...or 2013 the slide opens for the couch and kitchen.

#4 cabinet storage and total counter space. Where is all your "stuff" going. We have enough space where every cabinet is for a certain "stuff" ( paper products, snacks, beverages, shower tote bags...) My wife even gave me one cabinet I could do what ever I wanted...I keep a small vacuum, air pump for my inflatable kayaks, small box of bike repair parts...

#5 I knew I wanted a 8' wide tt. There is a big difference between 7' and 8'...wide. When we were first looking at tt's we had a pop-up. The 04' Aerolite's were 7-1/2' wide the new 2005 Aerolite's were 8' wide. Just those 6" are huge....

A slide is a must.....The Evergreen's seem kind of small.

What kind of tow vehicle do you have and it's towing capacity?

I just going to throw this out there..Take a look at the Winnebago Minnie 2351DKS. Nice double slide in a 26' tt. or in their Ultralite line the 27RBDS, again a double slide but at 30.5 feet. The winny's are a little pricey, but I felt they were rock solid while I was at RV show this past Jan. The floors seemed stiffer and the cabinets seemed to be put together with a better "fit & finish".

Jim, Diane & Robert ~ NE. OH.
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Old 05-30-2014, 05:01 PM   #3
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There are a lot of people tripping in 24-30 ft trailers and C class motor homes. A lot depends on how the layout suites your lifestyle. You also have to decide what you will use for a tow vehicle with a TT. Plan on a 3/4 ton P/U or equivalent van. Smaller will not work well or feel safe. If you do not want a truck like that then look at the equivalent Motor Home and plan on towing a small car. When looking at a TT pay attention to the change in size around 24-27 ft. Most brands suddenly go taller in that range. That adds weight and wind resistance that may not be worth the cost and reduced fuel consumption.

Rough rule of thumb for a trip that long is that you need the bed/bath/food areas plus you need to consider what else you will be doing. Do you need a comfy chair for reading that does not disturb your spouse who has gone to bed. Can you get in and out of bed without disturbing each other. Sit on the toilet and make sure it is at a comfortable height. Ditto stand in the shower and move around a bit. Lay on the bed. Sit anywhere sittable and lay anywhere layable you envision doing it. Check storage space. Where will you work on the computer when somebody is making dinner? Do you need space for crafts or an office? Will you be in a park all the time or dry camping some of the time? Generator? Outside storage? Cold weather use? Will it work with the slides in? Sort through that stuff and folks here can come up with more issues. ;-)
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Old 05-30-2014, 05:43 PM   #4
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Yes, a lot of good points. There are some floorplans where the frig is blocked when the slides are in. In our 2013 tt (25') I have 3 smaller outside storage doors / bays. The one in the rear is just for 2 toolboxes, 30amp power cord, wheel chokes, small bottle jack and a power surge thingy.

With the hybrid, even thou we are pulling 25' of tt, when opened we have the space of a 32' tt because of the two smaller queen sized beds are not taking up trailer length. We have our 20 year old son with us, so two beds was a must.

Weight wise were at 5100-5200 lbs (wet). We were towing with a 2005 Toyota 4Runner (V-8) rated for 7200lbs. Was a super combo that we used for 9 years....The 4Runner makes for a great daily driver when not towing too. We traded it in for a 2014 Tundra (5.7L V-8) rated at 10k...
Jim, Diane & Robert ~ NE. OH.
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:53 PM   #5
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Hi. We looked at the Ascend and I loved the mid bath 19ft model. We had a 13ft tt last year but traded to an 18ft Apex this yr...wanted a large dinette. We used to boat and spent a lot of time camping on the water with less square footage with no problem. The smaller tts can fit almost anywhere and we didn't want it to be a chore to tow. You are right, there are a lot of big units out there, but get what you are comfortable with, remember, if it's nice you'll be outside anyways.
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:27 PM   #6
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We had a 22 foot Nash travel trailer that we started doing all the western states and Canada with. Pulled it with a 1999 GMC 1500 pickup that had the 5.3 engine. The trailer didn't have a slideout but that didn't bother us.

Had a great time with it and learned a few things.

Always close the awning when you leave the trailer to go exploring. The wind blew our awning off while we were in town exploring.

Turn off the campground water supply when you go exploring. Had a pipe break one time on the back of a toilet while were in town....pretty good flood.

Always get a walk around bed. The Nash had a bed where one person had to crawl over the other person to go to the bathroom during the night.
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:50 AM   #7
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I wish I knew more about payload before we started... Otherwise agree with everyone's comments here
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:52 PM   #8
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There is no doubt the smaller trailers are just easier to tow. If I were to do it over I think I would try one of those T@B teardrop trailers.

Small trailers are easier to park, fit in most camping spots.

Another trailer I like with larger fresh, grey, and black tanks that I Linda like is the Skyline Koala 24'.

Good luck.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:24 AM   #9
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There are two of us and a dog in a 14' with no slides. While we are mostly 2 night trip campers, we do 2 week trips with no problems.

I do bring a 4 person 8' x7' instant tent as an outdoor room so we can each have a personal space and it does well as an outdoor shed if rainy. There are a few campgrounds that only let you have either a trailer or a tent, not both, but I have a 10'x10' screen room that I use for the same purpose and campgrounds don't seem to mind the screen room. Sometimes I use all three
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:58 AM   #10
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Our first TT was a 20ft, the ONLY thing we did not care about it, it no slide out.
if one of us was at sink or stove and the someone needed to use the bathroom or get up from the table, you could not get past the one at the sink area, they had to move way out of the way. just really inconvenient, we just bought a 30 ft with a slide out.
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:34 AM   #11
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has their own priorities and budget to deal with. We are very similar to you. Our camping was limited to a used popup when the kids were little. Newly retired now we wanted to get out and do some traveling around and the RV seemed like the way to go. We considered all ..... Class ABCs, 5ers a and TT bumper pulls. We set our budget and decided buying new was important. That eliminated some rigs right off. Our choices now were between a Class C and a 3/4 PU w small 5er or bumper pull. I liked the bumper pull because it leaves the PU bed available for storage while underway. We wanted a unit small enough to get into all kinds of parks but large enough to not feel cramped. One other item to consider.... Are you big people? I am 5-8 and wife is 5-1 so we fit nicely in a TT sized queen bed and the lower ceilings in a low profile camper are not an issue. My brother is almost 6 feet and his wife is taller and they just feel right in their 5th wheel. Of course they have been at it for a long time and know what they want. They leave theirs parked most of the year so towing is less a factor.
Bottom line.... we spent way more on the tow rig (3/4 4x4 diesel) and less on the TT (26' w single slide) so if after a year or so we decide the TT is not what we prefer, we can move up or go to a small 5er. I just felt that we would lose more depreciation on the TT than the PU, so the higher percentage of the investment is in the PU.

We just got back from our first long trip being a 4200 mile loop through the southwest and back through the Colorado Rockies. Camped at around 10 campgrounds over a 3 week period ( from a 15 minute walk to the Pacific to 10,000 feet elev at Leadville, CO) and we had a ball with no problems and now can not wait for another adventure. We are going out next week for a few nights to a nearby state park and have a site reserved in Maine for the entire month of September. GO RVING... the best fun you can have.
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:01 AM   #12
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We're still a couple of years from retirement, but last year my wife asked me if I would be interested in getting a camper. She grew up camping, and with our daughter recently married, she started thinking about it. After a lot of research and looking around, we bought a Camplite 21BHS. We love it and really enjoy taking it out. We tow it with a Ram 1500, which handles the lightweight trailer very well. We have no problems towing it and I'm getting good at backing it in. With the bunk beds in addition to e queen, we have plenty of room. Our daughter and her husband stayed with us over a weekend and it worked great.

More info at http://livinlite.com/camplite-models.php
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:37 AM   #13
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JMO but closet space is premium. I would look for a trailer that had ample closet storage. Our current 5'er is short on closet space. We knew that going in and gave that up for other features. We have been out for on one week trips. We can get enough clothes for a week easily. We would have to pack other clothes in storage bins and store them somewhere in order to make it two weeks without going to a Laundromat. I don't think many can go more than two weeks without washing something anyway.
The other thing is food storage. You'll need an 8 cuft fridge as minimum. 6 is too small. Also good pantry storage. On a week trip we fill the fridge and freezer, bit since our pantry is a decent size it's still not full. Most food if not frozen doesn't last more than a week anyway.
We get by easily with a 6gal water heater. I'm not sure a 10 gal would be any better. But it sure would hurt.
Also depending on where you're going to camp, either dry or full hookups you may want to make sure you have decent size holding tanks. I recommend at least 50-60 gal for fresh and no less than 40 gal for black and grey.

As far as living space goes. No way would I go that long in a non slide TT. I've had both and unless you spend every minute outside then having a slide with at least a sofa or 2 recliners is a must. It's very rare to have a booth dinette that you can sit in for more than 20-30 mins without your butt hitting the bottom. They just build booth dinettes as cheap as they can. It's nice to have another place to sit especially if it's rainy out or you just want to hangout inside and watch a movie or read.

Another very important aspect is how much carrying capacity the trailer will have. For a 2-3 month trip you'll want a trailer that can carry everything and not be maxed out. With just my wife and me we pack 1500lbs into our 28' 5th wheel. We take what we want and don't worry about being overloaded. It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. IMO for that much travel you'll need 2500lbs of CCC minimum. That will leave you a decent cushion.

If I were in the market I would look at a TT like the Arctic Fox 25WNorthwood Manufacturing: Arctic Fox Floorplan

Plenty of inside storage, good CCC and not too long.

It really just boils down to your personal comfort level. On one end you have the guy living under a bridge in a cardboard box and the other end you the guy traveling down the road in a $1,000,000+ Marathon motorhome. We're all somewhere in between that.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:42 PM   #14
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many campground rent t trailers on site-check out a few different styles for a weekend. Then make a list-Must Haves, Nice to Have and Don't care! Start looking around with those lists. We spent 3 yrs wintering all over the south and west in a 19' Road Runner which is 7' wide. Now we have a 25ft with a slide out. I can sit on a sofa and stretch my legs, with tv across from me (no kink in my neck). Wife wanted walk around bed and more counter space. So far the 25ft answers our needs. GOOD LUCK and enjoy

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