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Old 08-13-2019, 10:53 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Fridge56Vet View Post
FWIW, the Coachmen Spirit Ultra Lite model we were looking at was the 2963BH. Any thoughts on this line or nodel are appreciated. I'm wondering if it qualifies as being from the aforementioned 2nd tier of brands. It pretty much checks off all the boxes for the wife & I, and is light enough for my clunker to tow. Thanks.
I doubt that you will be happy with how your F150 tows that 34 foot trailer.

It might not be (but probably is) too much weight, but unless you have a long wheelbase F150 and a great WD hitch...it is just too much for an '06 F150 to pull.

That said...if you are not going far, and stay on secondary roads, with no significant hills, you may find it acceptable.

Look at the stickers on your door jam as a first step.

There should be a total payload somewhere, like this one that shows 2607 lbs.




That is the total weight of all occupants (besides 150 lbs. for the driver) all other items in the truck, the weight of your hitch (probably around 100 lbs) and the tongue weight of the trailer. The one you are looking at has 760 lbs dry.

By the time you add propane, a battery, some water, clothes, food, etc., your tongue weight and hitch will be in the 1000-1100 range.

Then you have to add all the weight you are carrying in the truck besides the 150 lbs allotted for the driver.

You will probably be at, or over your max payload. Even if you are a little under it, it still won't feel comfortable to drive.

Sorry to be a downer post...but better to know up front.

We had a 2012 F150 with a Max Tow Package. With our 20 foot trailer that come in far under what Ford spec'd our truck at, when we pulled it just a short distance, the truck was really straining the power train, brakes and suspension.
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:51 AM   #16
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Don’t forget to tale a look at the Jayco Jay Flights.
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:51 AM   #17
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Budget, travel distance, tow rig...?

How about used, and a bit smaller bunkhouse trailer? Don't know much about the brand, but compared to your stick/tin entry level models, I get the idea you might get more for your dollar with something like this:
https://columbus.craigslist.org/rvs/...945362029.html

(Only decent video I could find for a 2017 version)
https://youtu.be/3dDkOcU4mzE

A big floorplan you love with an undersized tow rig, might cause you to hate it, (and your loan), real quick. Make a deal on a lightly used one, save the money for more camping trips.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:34 AM   #18
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KM - Yeah, I've only got 1349# of payload in the F-150, though I'd probably be delivering the trailer solo & the wife driving her Explorer w/the kid & most of our stuff (she prefers comfort while traveling :P ). That will help w/payload, esp. since you'll need to about double your driver wt. est. for me. Daughter's not even 3 yet, so we won't be going far & only long weekend trips for a year or 2 until I can upgrade to a SRW F-350. That would help keep trailer wt. down, as less to take, & we'd only be wet camping, so no water to transport. There are about a half-dozen campgrounds w/in 45-60 minutes drive of us (we're in the country), & state routes are the largest roads we'd need to travel. I'd prefer to keep the dry wt. under 6,000# and the length much closer to 30'. Your points about the F-150s ability to handle a trailer are correct & well-taken.

Back when I started doing my research really I liked the Coachmen Freedom Express Ultra Lite 275BHS. It checks most of our boxes, though doesn't likely have slide-in bathroom access (a plus I only though of when shopping).

Dave - I'll look into that Sunset model & the numbers. I'm not sure we want a full bunkhouse yet, but it certainly is a candidate. While it's likely that the original owner fixed a lot of the bugs, I am a bit leery of used in general due to lack of warranty & uncertainty about previous care. Guess it's a trade off.

Thanks again to all, & take care.

- Neal
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