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Old 08-04-2016, 08:34 AM   #1
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TT virgin looking for help!

Hi everyone, just wanted to say I was lucky to find this site, by knowledge base has grown just from reading through old posts.

My wife and I are looking to get into the world of camping and are looking for our first tt. Until now, our only camping experience has been with a tent and a motorcycle, so this is going to be a huge difference.

I've read enough comments to know that when choosing a new trailer, choosing the one you like the layout of is about the most important thing. I would just like to know if there are any brands out there that we should avoid? We are looking at something in the 20-25 foot range since it's only the 2 of us. We plan to do a couple of long trips a year, plus some weekend getaways here in Florida.

The other question I have is what type of things should I look for as far as accessories that I may want the dealer to install before pickup. I have read about pop out covers etc, but wanted to know what other things I may need that aren't included in the trailer purchase.

I will be pulling with a Chevy Avalanche that has not been set up with any towing equipment other than the standard hitch. How much should I expect to spend on hitch and stabilizing equipment from my dealer?

These are the trailers that I have looked at:

Coachman Catalina
Forest river cruise lite
Forest river surveyor

One last thing, what do you guys thing about buying from an out of state dealer to get a better price vs buying local, paying a bit more, but having a rapport with your dealer?

Thanks in advance, I know it's a lot of questions, but I assure you, I used restraint as I have many many more! Lol

Thanks
Rick
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:55 AM   #2
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Just think about it like this.... price matters.

The cheaper the trailer, the cheaper the build.

So look across the entire range of prices, avoid the bottom.

Forest river is a respectable brand, so is coachman.

You might also look at the Winniebago trailers, the instincts look nice to me.

Lance is another popular brand, and of course any airstream, you can save a few duckets with a slightly used version.

There's not of things to think about that you simply won't know yet.

Simple thing, like... does the air conditioning ducts open and close OR are they always 100% open?

Can you actually see the TV from where you want?

and so forth...

If you're really serious about keeping a TT, I'm in the camp of spend what it takes to get quality. If you're unsure, get a popular cheaper model to get your feet wet with.

You could pay around $600 for a hitch, blue ox is pretty simple setup. Pray your selling dealer does you right on setting it up... some dealers are..... glossy..

Just watch the tongue weight. The Avalanche is like a 1500 truck?? or is it on a suburban frame?

At any rate, what's your payload sticker inside the door say? It will say "Cargo and passengers should never exceed *****"

Your trailer tongue weight would be considered cargo, but short trailer usually have light tongues... my 28 foot trailer puts in something 780lbs... so I would suspect a 20 foot trailer to be less. 25, maybe less, maybe more depending on the build.
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:58 AM   #3
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Northwood is another good brand

Evergreen is talked about a lot.

Outdoor rv is another
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:28 AM   #4
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You might buy a less expensive used trailer with the idea of selling it and trading up in a year or 2. That will let you know what layout and features you really want before you spend a bit more on a quality trailer.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:07 AM   #5
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Congrats!! Best advice is to go visit a lot of campers, if you can wait and attend a Boat & RV show, that is a great way to shop without a high pressure sales pitch. Scope creep is easy when you start shopping. We wanted a nice used camper, but the ones at the dealers were priced as much as some entry level new trailers. So we started looking at new without a slide, and light enough for my old truck. But for just a little more we could get a slide. And just a little more, the next trim level, and just a little more, a fully enclosed underbelly with ducted heat for cold weather camping. And on and on. And don't let price worry you, because you can finance these for 15 years, a low low payment of $199 for a $25,000 trailer :-)

So, decide up front what you really need and want. Shop a lot. And then get what you want. We got a Jayco, largely because of the brand reputation and the 2 year warranty. Never used the warranty, and after 4 years camping with friends, I don't know how much difference there is between brands. Really look at the one you are buying. Look for cheap quality items and see if it is something you can live with.

Good luck!!
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Old 08-04-2016, 11:12 AM   #6
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Before you trailer shop, you have to know the cargo capacities and towing capabilities of your Avalanche. Your buying sphere can shrink or expand based on the capacities of the tow vehicle, and not so much your initial desires of the trailer you want.

Don't believe the sales people when they tell you that your vehicle can tow anything on the lot. They are in the business of selling trailers, not making sure you are safe.
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:23 PM   #7
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Very true! Every sales person has a brother or friend who has your exact vehicle and tows an even heavier trailer!
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:34 PM   #8
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Not knowing anything about your vehicle I will say this. If it is not a tow package you may have to do modifications if you try to hit the top end of your toe weight. Ie oil coolers for transmission also.1bigmess is correct don't let the salesman talk you into anything. Research your tow vehicle first to see how far you can go in weights can towing capacity. Go from there and enjoy camping is great... Dusty
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Old 08-04-2016, 02:01 PM   #9
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when you say "no towing equipment" do you also mean tow packages.

If yes, this may not be the vehicle you need. A tow/haul option will

help your transmission, stops the constant shifting. i'm sure there are

more options you will need. What year is the vehicle???

Jim
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Old 08-04-2016, 02:21 PM   #10
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We towed two different TTs with an 0-5 AV several years and many miles over the Rockies and back several times. First TT was just a little over 4000 Lbs ready to camp and the other one just over 5000Lbs. Our AV had the tow package but I added a bigger trans cooler and gauge. Added a brake controller by just plugging it into existing connection and wiring and used an Equal-I-zer hitch. There is a AV site on line with a towing forum.I have bought a MH and a TT out of state and without problems. I would recommend RVW in Lakeview Ohio large operation and great prices. If you do out of state go pick it up so you can check it out.
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Old 08-04-2016, 07:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by sprayman View Post
when you say "no towing equipment" do you also mean tow packages.

If yes, this may not be the vehicle you need. A tow/haul option will

help your transmission, stops the constant shifting. i'm sure there are

more options you will need. What year is the vehicle???

Jim

Jim. It's a 2009. I had one of the dealers look at it and he said the truck is already equipt and that all I need is a stabilizer and a brake assist installed.
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:36 PM   #12
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That was the fun part looking at floor plans. Look at as many campers as you can. I'd keep it 28 ft or shorter for side winds and get a good hitch. I have an e2 I bought from my dealer and it works great.
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:57 PM   #13
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In the original post, you asked a couple of questions regarding accessories...there are many small options that can add up when setting up your first camper from utensils to towels. However there are other things you will need right away like your fresh water hose, water pressure regulator (goes in your water hose when using a full hook-up site), your sewer hose, mud-dauber screens for furnace, water heater, and refrigerator vents, etc. I recommend checking prices on Amazon before buying everything from your dealer's part department. You can often save quite a bit. You will find on some of these small items, the dealer is same cost while others have a significant difference.

You also asked about local vs. out of town purchase, we got a good deal locally, but may have saved a little by buying out of state. However, the relationship with the local dealer and getting dedicated service from the same place was worth the couple extra dollars to us. If you aren't saving thousands, I would suggest buying from a local dealer you trust that has a good reputation. They tend to get you in for service quicker and work harder to provide warranty repairs when they are the ones that sold it to you in my experience. Welcome and good luck!
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Old 08-05-2016, 03:11 AM   #14
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Smile TT Virgin here

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadTripper5 View Post
Hi everyone, just wanted to say I was lucky to find this site, by knowledge base has grown just from reading through old posts.

My wife and I are looking to get into the world of camping and are looking for our first tt. Until now, our only camping experience has been with a tent and a motorcycle, so this is going to be a huge difference.

I've read enough comments to know that when choosing a new trailer, choosing the one you like the layout of is about the most important thing. I would just like to know if there are any brands out there that we should avoid? We are looking at something in the 20-25 foot range since it's only the 2 of us. We plan to do a couple of long trips a year, plus some weekend getaways here in Florida.

The other question I have is what type of things should I look for as far as accessories that I may want the dealer to install before pickup. I have read about pop out covers etc, but wanted to know what other things I may need that aren't included in the trailer purchase.

I will be pulling with a Chevy Avalanche that has not been set up with any towing equipment other than the standard hitch. How much should I expect to spend on hitch and stabilizing equipment from my dealer?

These are the trailers that I have looked at:

Coachman Catalina
Forest river cruise lite
Forest river surveyor

One last thing, what do you guys thing about buying from an out of state dealer to get a better price vs buying local, paying a bit more, but having a rapport with your dealer?

Thanks in advance, I know it's a lot of questions, but I assure you, I used restraint as I have many many more! Lol

Thanks
Rick
HI Rick! I guess this is MY introductory post as well as reaching out to your post in particular...cause we've been where you are now! We're all newbies, at one time or another..this forum is wonnnnderful!! what a find!! So glad to have come across it...we'll both learn tons! Ok...my reason for responding is this...just for your consideration, may I suggest something to look into? We've looked at all the one's you have as well and though they're really wonderful, each in their own way, we've learned a GREAT deal about the advantages of a solid fiberglass unit. After tremendous research, we decided on a Lil Snoozy, made in St. Matthews, S.Carolina. A You Tube video, made by it's creator, completely captivated me!! The search was ON. There are very few as yet even made...so the search, and eventual find, was a Godsend!! We called the company, asked were there any at all in Fla. where we live, that we might see? One very kind lady agreed to show us hers. I was SMITTEN!!! This is an all electric trailer Rick. No propane, which had tremendous appeal to us. The fact that my husband is a BIIG guy, was a bit of a problem...he wouldnt fit, in the queen sized BED (yes, -Real- bed) and though they did and will still make twin beds, they're RARER indeed. To our utter amazement, one came available four hours away! We're now as of three weeks or so, the proud owner of "Pearl"! Because we purchased used...we're going to be able to make some custom modifications to make it our own. If you've any more questions or I can help in any way, please contact me. I understand...the obsession!! Though this one is ultra lightweight and can be pulled by a Ford Escape even, we plan to purchase an F150 sometime down the road. Super easy towing...incredibly efficient, smaller than you may want, but ya can't beat it's compact ease. The world of molded fiberglass trailers is really changing...even Airstream, just introduced it's first, which remarkably, looks a great deal like the Lil Snoozy!
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