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Old 03-19-2012, 05:35 PM   #1
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Used trailer purchase.

Hello,

I am new to camping/travel trailering. I have been looking foe an inexpensive trailer to start out with for my family. I found a 2005 Salem le 29' bunkhouse for $8000 obo. It look to be in good condition and has one large slide. I have read different opinions on forest river trailers. I also have a 2005 5.4 super crew lariat truck to pull it with. Would this be big enough to pull this trailer? Is forest river Salem a good unit? How much maintenance does it take for one these. Is it ok to store outdoors? I read a couple of threads to store indoors only. I will accept ant and all advice. What should I look for when inspecting the trailer? Thanks for any help
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:43 PM   #2
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as to storing out doors would depend on where you live, I suspect. I live in Southern California, where the weather is pretty mild (in comparison to the northeast). We store outdoors all year round. Extreme weather conditions may warrant storing indoors or under a cover of some sort.

As to Forest River being a good unit, as with all opinions, you will get good and bad. Look at the wear and tear of the unit. What does the flooring look like? Is the carpet worn or stained?

This is like a moving house. You will need to check all screws regularly, maintain generator if it has one, the slide will need to be lubricated, check the roof for cracks or leaks around the housings. Batteries will need to be checked.
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:01 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I live in Florida by the way
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:06 PM   #4
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Salem makes a good unit, but like all RV's, it is the TLC that you provide which really makes the difference. We pull ours with a 5.4 Triton Supercab Lariat and have no problems. You will find that the mileage is disappointing, but it does the job.

Remember to check it over prior to and after each trip, this will prevent lots of headaches on the trips. We live in Spring Hill, Fl, and it is stored outside year around. UNLIKE our NORTHERN friends.
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TnT1231 View Post
I found a 2005 Salem le 29' bunkhouse for ...and has one large slide.
Interpolating from the 2012 models, that trailer probably has a GVWR of 11,000 pounds. It will probably weigh over 10,000 pounds by the middle of your third long trip.

Quote:
I also have a 2005 5.4 super crew lariat truck to pull it with. Would this be big enough to pull this trailer?
If your truck has the 3.55 axle ratio, then about 7,200 pounds max trailer weight would be on the verge of overloading the tow vehicle. If you have the 3.73 axle ratio, then you can probably tow up to about 8,200 pounds without being overloaded. And even that requires you to have nothing in the truck but two skinny adults and two little kids and maybe a small dog. Either way, you cannot safely tow a TT that weighs about 10,000 pounds. That's why they make F-250s and F-350s.

Quote:
Is it ok to store outdoors? I read a couple of threads to store indoors only.
That trailer probably has a "Full Walk on One-Piece Rubber Roof w/ 12-year Warranty", same as the new Salems. That's the component that the UV rays from the sun will attack and try to eat. The other thing is the trailer tires. The UV rays will try to eat the tires too. So if you must store it outside, then add some sort of a tent over the roof, and cover the tires so light cannot get to the tires.

I keep my RV trailer in a barn. We sold the 2001 Sprinter last year, and it still looked like new, and the rubber roof was in good shape. Our new one is a 2012 Nomad Joey, and it lives in the barn too.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:01 PM   #6
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This travel trailer has aluminum siding. I thought that would make it lighter. I emailed the owner to ask about the weight. Thanks for all the great advice. Any suggestions on units I should look for are welcome.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:44 PM   #7
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Any suggestions on units I should look for are welcome.
Payload capacity to handle the hitch weight without exceeding the GVWR of your pickup is probably your limiter.

Load the pickup with people, pets, tools, coolers, and anything else that will be in it when towing. Then go to a truckstop with a certified automated truck (CAT) scale, fill up with gas, then weigh the wet and loaded rig. If you don't have your weight-distributing hitch yet, then add about 50 pounds to the scale weight to get the total with the hitch installed on the pickup.

Subtract that wet and loaded truck weight from the GVWR of the truck. That's the max hitch weight (or trailer tingue weight) you can have without being overloaded. Divide that max hitch weight by 12 percent (0.12) to determine the max weight of any TT you can tow without being overloaded. Then look for a TT with a GVWR of not more than your calculated max weight of the TT.

Example: Your truck has a GVWR of 7,200 pounds and weighs 6,400 pounds when wet and loaded for the road. So max hitch weight is 800 pounds. 800 divided by 0.12 = 6,666 pounds. So don't look at anything with a GVWR over 6,666 pounds.

One possibility in a new one is the Skyline Joey model 268. The Model 268 is an "ultra light" RV with no slides. GVWR is 6,200 pounds, and it's a bunkhouse. It's 29'7" long, including the hitch. The model number tells you that the body of the TT is about 26' long. Slides are heavy, and trying to find a 26' bunkhouse with a slide and with a GVWR of less than 6,666 pounds is a real challenge. Skyline makes that exact trailer under at least 4 different brand names: Nomad Joey, Layton Joey, Aljo Joey, and Mountain States Joey. They also have a very similar trailer with their Koala name.
Travel Trailers, Ultra Lite, and Fifth Wheel Recreational Vehicles by Skyline
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