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Old 08-03-2015, 03:18 PM   #1
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Small TT with a Bunkhouse

I've spent quite a bit of time reading on hear, but we are getting serious so I thought I'd post to get more ideas.

We are a family of 4(kids are 1 and 4 years old). Both me and the wife grew up in families with pop-ups, although my parents in my teens upgraded to a MH and once we all moved out full timed in an new RV for a few years. We are mostly decided we would rather do a Travel Trailer as we tend to be the type that likes to drive around and explore an area when we are visiting(mountain roads we wouldn't want to drive a big MH), and the cost of MH combined with vehicles that can't be a Toad make that not really an option.

We have spent hours upon hours looking at floorplans online and were pretty sure we didn't like bunks, but then we went to a few dealers and after seeing them and how our 4 year old loved them we are pretty sold on the idea of a bunk house, with a separate bed for us. Plus then we don't have to bother with converting a dinette or sofa everyday unless we have people coming along.

We have a 2015 Silverado 1500 with tow package(wife has never been truck gal and couldn't deal with 2500) with trailer brake controller. I know from reading here the towing capacity doesn't mean everything and so we are trying to keep GVWR under 6000lbs or so based on RV tow check(it said 6,667lbs) The lighter the better as we live in the Seattle area and a lot of camping locations involve going over mountain passes, and neither of us are very experienced with towing a trailer, so the safer the better. This is also why we want to keep the length under 30'(again shorter is better, but want to have space).

Sorry this is getting long, but I'm wrapping up I promise. We looked at some hybrids and really liked the Jayco 23B, but our concern is that we'd like to use this throughout the year and while winter isn't below freezing often here, it can be close and also quite wet, so concerns with the canvas sides and keeping warm as well as putting away wet. So we have been looking for trailers and finding it hard to find one with a bed for us and BH for the boys that isn't over 30'.

Two we looked at yesterday were the Lance 2185 and Minnie Winnie 2451bhs. We really liked the Lance and GVWR is right at 6,000 with the options the dry weight was only 4260. The floorplan worked well as had a slide so we don't run into each other, a murphy bed couch for us and triple single bunkhouse for the boys. One thing we were impressed with is their all weather package they had on them and just how solid built it was compared to others we saw. The Minnie Winnie was stylish and similar layout, however on those we kept seeing issues like screw holes in the slide with no patching, gaps in the bed to where you could see light from the outside(through the underneath storage), and knocking on the slide the side wall gave and was kinda gummy, where the Lance was rock solid.

The downside of both were the MSRP were in upper 30ks where Jaycos were closer to 20k, so they were quite a bit more expensive, and in Lance it seemed more quality built(although the dealer left some to be desired). Does anyone have any feedback on these trailers or brands? Any other suggestions of trailers were should look at?

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Old 08-03-2015, 03:44 PM   #2
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We have a 2013 Minnie Winnie 2451 BHS and we're very happy with it (although it is up for sale due to a change in our plans). It comes with a sealed bottom so light winter weather won't bother it. Heat is ducted through the floors so no chance of freezing while its running. Well insulated we just used a small space heater for heat. It has a short queen for a bed (only 75" long so if you're over 6' tall forget it), no couch. Big bunks for the kids and tons of storage. The slide out is very comfortable though, both as a couch and a dining room. Make sure you get an awning for the slide with it. The trailer is solid fiberglass, more like a boat than a trailer, a quick wax and it looks like new. The list on these now is $29K and if you twist your dealers arm or go to a show for the special price you can probably get 3-4 K off. There are plenty of these and probably Lances as well very lightly used, 2-3 years old for 40-50% off the List price. RVtrader is a good place to start. You might really consider used as depreciation is horrible the first few years. Good Luck.

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Old 08-03-2015, 04:24 PM   #3
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We owned a Shadow Cruiser for a couple years. The model 260BH. Had what you needed. Light enough, inexpensive (list around $30K but easily found for under $20K new) and was an good entry level experience for us. We actually paid $18K for a new one that was at the end of the year and it worked well for us for two years. No problems at all.
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Old 08-03-2015, 04:41 PM   #4
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Small TT with a Bunkhouse

I've had a popup, hybrid, and TT, and I'd recommend the TT over the hybrid.

You will grow tired of setting up and packing away the bunk ends, especially since one of you will be entertaining the children for some time to come.

Rain is another big reason not to get a HTT. You will have to set it up all over again at home to let it dry out.

I loved the Lance with that same floor plan. I almost bought it myself. They are a bit pricier though.

I went with a Coachmen freedom express 292bhds, which is I little long and heavy for you but they make smaller Bh Models, as well as the Apex line which is shorter and lighter. Take a look there.

Oh ya, and check the payload on your truck first. Be sure it can handle all people and stuff plus hitch plus tongue weight. Payload it the first limit hit, generally, on 1/2 tons.
2015 Coachmen Freedom Express 292BHDS
2013 RAM 2500 4X4 Laramie CrewCab, 6'4'' bed, 3.42 RAR, 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel, Payload 2547, Max tow 17,480, Blue Ox WDH
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Old 08-03-2015, 04:50 PM   #5
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What about these

Forest River Vibe 272BHS. 27'

North Trail 28'

Forest River Surveyor. 24'
RV: 2016 40' Chaparral 360IBL Fifth Wheel
TV: 2016 Ford F450 Platinum Crew Cab 6.7l 440hp/860tq. 31200lb Max Tow
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Old 08-03-2015, 04:57 PM   #6
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We are one our first travel trailer and first season. Purchased a Keystone Bullet 230BHS. We've been very pleased with it in all respects. It is 24' and just over 4k. Well built, enclosed heated underbelly. I pull it with a Toyota Tacoma with no problems.

2015 Keystone Bullet 230BHS
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Old 08-03-2015, 04:58 PM   #7
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That surveyor plan is pretty popular. Also can get the master bed in a Murphy bed option to have more space during bad weather.
2015 Coachmen Freedom Express 292BHDS
2013 RAM 2500 4X4 Laramie CrewCab, 6'4'' bed, 3.42 RAR, 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel, Payload 2547, Max tow 17,480, Blue Ox WDH
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:48 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the responses. We looked at the shadow cruisier online, but then here and some other places I saw a lot of negative feedback on them so we never tracked down a dealer.

I agree on the hybrid and the problem with setup at home is in the winter t can rain for weeks at a time so drying out would be hard to do as I don't have a huge garage to have it fully extended.

I'll have to check out the bullet and surveyor some more, the other two seemed a bit too long and heavy.
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Old 08-03-2015, 07:09 PM   #9
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We had the same debate with the same concerns. Length, weight, bunk size. Ultimately we decided to go with the coachmen 288bhs and tow it with an f150. It tows no different than our 19 foot Roo did for the most part. It's about a foot longer than you want (31') but only weighs 5000 pounds from the factory. As my wife said to me, the kids won't get any smaller. Buy the one you will need in three years, now.

And as someone above said, you'll get sick of the hybrid fast. We lasted three years with ours and i wish we had upgraded a long time ago.
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Old 08-03-2015, 07:15 PM   #10
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I have a winnebago Minnie 2301BH which is discontinued, but you can still find new leftovers or slightly used ones. Quality is excellent. It has lots of counter space and storage, which is impossible to find in any other 23' bunkhouse in the quantity.
It has an outside kitchen with extra fridge, which is perfect for juice boxes for the kids, etc.
We have had no issues and you can get 30% off MSRP.

And although we were initially worried about space, we LOVE not having a slide. This was actually the smallest trailer we looked at and after 2 years and 107 nights, we are still very happy.
Manny & Larissa
2013 Winnebago 2301BH-Red
2012 Ram 2500 Megacab HO CTD
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:52 PM   #11
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Check out the Jayco 23mbh, grandkids love the bunks and the Murphy gives you extra room plus slideout
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:34 PM   #12
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We have a Rockwood 2306 and love it. Murphy bed, bunks. Very light. By Forest River. They have a line called Flagstaff which is identical to Rockwood, just different colors.

Look at the 2306, 2504s, 2505s. Hit the floorplan tab below the photo once the page opens.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:51 PM   #13
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We just picked up a Shasta Oasis 18BH and are towing it with a Ram 1500 with a tow package.


Has 2 single bunks, a dinette, and a short queen bed. Didn't want a slide.

No worries about towing with the 1/2 ton. The Shasta is well made and we are very pleased with it. Got it new for under 10k.
2016 Shasta Oasis 18BH, 2015 Ram1/2 ton Hemi
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:51 AM   #14
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Check out Kodiak and Coleman. They both make small bunkhouse trailers that are good quality.

Manny & Larissa
2013 Winnebago 2301BH-Red
2012 Ram 2500 Megacab HO CTD
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