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Old 06-21-2013, 02:10 PM   #1
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Why doesn't anyone build a well built small ultralite with luxury features and slide?

After many months of research online, rv forums, purchased TT guide review and other methods of investigating TT for sale out there I have come to the conclusion that no one builds what I am looking for with the features I want. This is very disappointing. There are so many brands and models out there you would think that there is nothing new under the sun being built. There are features I need and features I want. I need a small (20-22 feet) well built (not industry standard, disabled hubby can't do repairs) with a slide (will be snowbirding so need the room), ultralite weight (no more than 5500-5900 GVWR), shower (can't be tub/shower combo because my disabled hubby can't lift his feet to get in the tub), power with manual override (awning, stabilizer jacks, tongue jack), heated enclosed underbelly, black tank flush, TT.

I want solid surface counters, leather furniture, frameless tinted windows, slam latch luggage doors, flush dinette slide out, upgraded faucets in kitchen and bath, couch/murphy bed combo with just enough counter space to fit my coffee pot.

It doesn't exist. If I could only talk Livin Lite and Outdoors rv into makeing me a custom TT!

Since that isn't going to happen, does anyone out there have any suggestions for getting as close as I can to my ideal?

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Old 06-21-2013, 02:33 PM   #2
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Ultralite trailers are called that for a reason. To achieve their light weight, they often use less substantial construction materials, have limited options, lighter frames and axles, etc. Once you start upgrading materials and options, it will no longer be light in weight.


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Old 06-21-2013, 02:49 PM   #3
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Well, we're in not the exact situation as you but have come to a similar conclusion that we're either going to have to go to a custom manufacturer or do after-market modifications.

We are not going to be using our TT for recreational purposes but rather a specific purpose that we won't go into at this point. We want something lightweight for as we explained in another thread, we will be towing it at almost maximum capacity as our tow vehicle will be a truck camper at a likely weight close to its GVWR and we most likely have the trailer at close to its GVWR also. We will only be towing minimally (distance wise) but still have to be safe as if we were towing long distances.

We've ruled out having a custom trailer made as it is just too expensive for what we will be using it for.

Therefore we are looking to have after-market modifications made and plan to spend up to $10,000 to equip the trailer to our desires.

We want a Splendide Washer combo installed which will we'd want 50-amp electrical, a 10-gallon water heater, and custom cabinetry done. If you've read our thread on this, the responses we've received from the nice experts on this forum seem to coincide with what we've found by contacting some RV renovators that this should be in the $5,000 range to do.

We'd also like some different furniture and little things such as single-handle faucets and custom locations for TV, etc., etc.

As the RV renovators have told us, they can do just about anything we want. It is just limited to the amount of money we want to spend.

This would be our suggestion to you too. Find the trailer that suits your needs and then contact an RV renovator that can do all that the manufacturer refuses or is not equipped to do. We too have contacted LivinLite and Outdoors RV as well as other manufacturers about doing custom modifications and as you know, they will not.

As one manufacturer said, they not only are not equipped to make huge modifications to their products or grant customer requests but there are certain regulations which prohibit them from doing so.

So our suggestions is to pick the closest product possible that meets most of your desires and then have those things the trailer doesn't have, added later. It seems to us that all the things you've mentioned can be added or changed-out later.

One manufacturer cautioned that there could be some factory warranty issues involved depending on the modifications but suggested that a third party warranty be purchased. He didn't think, however, that it is a huge issue as most manufacturers will try to work with you on certain mods pertaining to warranty issues.

Anyway, that's the direction we're headed.
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:58 PM   #4
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Rusty makes a very good point. If you do start putting nice heavy leather furniture, heavy counter tops, heavier beds, etc., the trailer no longer is "lightweight" and you'll eat up all of your CCC just installing upgraded things (usually heavier) permanently in the trailer.

I haven't read your previous posts ...I'll have to go back and read them... as to why you're looking for a lightweight trailer. Can you upgrade your tow vehicle so that you can purchase a more substantial and deluxe TT? Excuse me for not knowing this. As I say, I'll have to go back and read your prior posts.
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:59 PM   #5
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RustyJC hit it on the head. It can't be an 'ULTRA LITE' with power everything, solid surface countertops, leather furniture, etc. I'd suggest you expand your search to Class B or C RV's, perhaps even handicap accessible.

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Old 06-21-2013, 03:22 PM   #6
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I know it's a hard thing to find!

thanks for all your input. I do believe it is possible to have what I want at a weight I want. You only have to look at the Idea Cobblestone (doesn't have a slide) but has all the other upgrades or the Winnebago Minnie (many of the features but industry standard on chassis and axels, no frameless windows or black tank flush) to see that is is possible. There just isn't any one model I can find with everything. I like the NASH for build but too heavy and doesn't have the couch or upgraded faucets. That is what I run into is that there are a lot fo models out there but none with just what I want. I have a Tundra that tows 7300lbs max. I like the Camplite 21rbs but doesn't have the nice faucets, furniture or windows. Don't really want to buy a Class B or C as I would still have to tow a vehicle and they cost more than a TT so way more money output and still towing. Any one else have any suggestions! Amanda-h have you chosen a model yet?
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:39 PM   #7
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Our Rockwood 2304s Ultralite has most of the features you are looking for, minus the leather furniture. Easy to upgrade fixtures yourself. If you opt for the "Emerald" upgrade you get the corian counters, slam latches, and tinted frameless windows. Power awning, power jack, power stabilizers available. Big bathroom with shower, murphy bed, huge dinette slideout which really opens it up. We love ours! We tow with our F150 which is rated to tow 7800.

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Old 06-21-2013, 04:07 PM   #8
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how is the build on those?

Who builds their chassis and axles? How are the floors, walls and roof constructed? What is the r rating for the floor, walls and roof? It appear to be pretty heavy from what I looked at and I think adding any of the options would put it over our tow rating.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:29 PM   #9
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No, bandsmills, we haven't chosen anything yet. We're still exploring but we do know that we will have to do after-market alterations so, as explained, we are compiling a bunch of possible add-ons and mods so that we can present them to an RV renovator for bids.

Yes, I can imagine how frustrated you are for finding a trailer that has a GVWR of under 6,000 lbs. It is going to limit you greatly. At least we can go up to 8,000 lbs. GVWR but ideally would like to be around 6,500-7,000 lbs. GVWR.

Those Rockwood Ultralites all seem to have GVWRs above 6,500 lbs. If those are considered "ultra lites" then I guess you are looking for "super ultra lites."

We'll let you know if we run across something you may be interested in as we are doing our research.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:38 PM   #10
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What Rusty said! You can't have an ultralight with granite counter tops, heavy duty and high quality construction materials, ect. Remote leveling jack system could add close to 400lbs. A slide and hardware to operate upwards of 800lbs, depending on size. Right there is a 20% increase in weight and you're just getting started. You have 3 choices: 1) get the best you can get with your max 5900lbs. 2) get a higher end with more GVWR and get a larger tow vehicle. 3) scrap the TT idea and get a MH.

I just read the renovate post. Yes you can find anybody to do anything however, if you start with an ultralight and start piling that weight on, you would need bigger axles and tires. Then is the actual frame overloaded? How about the CC that's left? What will it weigh when they are all done? Will they guarentee it will be safe, within all weight ratings and not exceed the capacity of the TV? Yes you can change faucets, furniture and other and other such items that doesn't add much weight. I'm just going on your requirements in your original post.

The bottom line is ultralight = cheap, price and quality. Luxury, amenities, quality, convienience = $$$ = weight. Good luck, perhaps you can find a balance you can live with.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:59 PM   #11
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Yes, agreed, cylon. That's why I had to add in my next post that adding a bunch of modifications --assuming that those mods stay within the GVWR-- would greatly limit the CCC to a point where very little cargo could be added.

I think, as the suggestions of everyone to others in the same predicament, is to upgrade the tow vehicle --the truck-- so a more substantial trailer can be purchased where all the amenities desired could be included without worrying excessively about weight.
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Old 06-21-2013, 05:07 PM   #12
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Lite + cheaper construction in the USA. A European style can meet some of the requirements, but it is heavier.

You might look at smaller Airstreams or older Avions. They are built better.

In a more current style, look at Arctic fox or Nash. But they are not lite weight.

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Old 06-21-2013, 05:11 PM   #13
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Did the Airstream tour a week ago and have to say each one is different and they are a luxurious as you want to pay for in a very well built trailer.
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Old 06-21-2013, 05:15 PM   #14
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We have one Nash model that is at the top of our list but even though they are described as "lightweight" by Northwood, they will be way heavier than the OP wants. The Arctic Fox even more so.

Airstream does have a few models under your desired weight but, remember, they are expensive (but quality throughout ) and they have no slides.

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