Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > Travel Trailer Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-26-2015, 12:40 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
TandCplusRV's Avatar
 
National RV Owners Club
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 120
Worst (& Best) Things About Switching to Travel Trailers

My wife and I sold our Class A last year and have been looking to downsize. We've looked at every Class C from Sprinters to the traditional Ford/Chevy chassis', to the new ProMaster units and just haven't been able to pull the trigger. We really like the B class, but I think while awesome for traveling, they wouldn't work for our actual camping requirements. Of late, we have started discussing travel trailers. I have a GMC Sierra 1500 and the ability to pull most of the 18-23 foot trailers we've liked so far (Winnebago Minnie Towables are at the top of our list FYI). After spending almost eight hours (my wife is a wonderful woman ) at the Fort Myers RV show Friday we're awfully close to firmly committing to a trailer.

I've never pulled anything in my life outside of the occasional lawnmower or furniture on a cheap-o little trailer and, though the size of the A was disagreeable, there were sure a lot of pros with that unit. My wife and I are young professionals who mostly camp from Friday to Sunday with occasional 3 or 4 day weekends and once or twice a year 1-3 week outings so the trailer makes financial sense and seems more practical than the motorized unit- especially because we live in a gated community and have to store whatever we have someplace offsite.

So, I'm looking for expert opinions: what are the worst things about towing a travel trailer? What are the best? I'd be particularly interested to hear your opinion if, like us you moved into one from some type of motorized unit. Is it still the same if you can't pull into the turn lane, put the flashers on, run back to do your business, and grab a salami sandwich on your way back up to the cab????
__________________

__________________
2017 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 w/ Duramax Diesel
2018 Lance 1475
2006 National Seabreeze 1350 (SOLD!)
TandCplusRV is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-26-2015, 01:22 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Mcdonough, Ga.
Posts: 4,382
I have had two trailers. The saving grace of a trailer is you can replace four tires (or six) and eight bearings and four sets of brakes and you have all new running gear. If you already have a truck, you are half way there. If you need a truck and trade every few years, that is even better. The bad part of a trailer is having to stop to go to the bathroom, get a snack, get a coke, etc. You also can not lie down and rest while underway. (my wife likes to take a 30 minute nap each noon, while traveling) Once you get to the destination, camping is the same. It does take a little longer to hook up and unhook. Make sure you get the electric tongue jack to speed things up.
__________________

__________________
1998 Pace Arrow 35 ft. F53 Ford V10 2012 Honda Civic toad
32 years mechanic at Delta Air Lines 15 year motorhome service manager. 3 popups....2 travel trailers....5 motorhomes....loved them all.
ga traveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2015, 01:31 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Paradise, Ca.
Posts: 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by TandCplusRV View Post
My wife and I sold our Class A last year and have been looking to downsize. We've looked at every Class C from Sprinters to the traditional Ford/Chevy chassis', to the new ProMaster units and just haven't been able to pull the trigger. We really like the B class, but I think while awesome for traveling, they wouldn't work for our actual camping requirements. Of late, we have started discussing travel trailers. I have a GMC Sierra 1500 and the ability to pull most of the 18-23 foot trailers we've liked so far (Winnebago Minnie Towables are at the top of our list FYI). After spending almost eight hours (my wife is a wonderful woman ) at the Fort Myers RV show Friday we're awfully close to firmly committing to a trailer.

I've never pulled anything in my life outside of the occasional lawnmower or furniture on a cheap-o little trailer and, though the size of the A was disagreeable, there were sure a lot of pros with that unit. My wife and I are young professionals who mostly camp from Friday to Sunday with occasional 3 or 4 day weekends and once or twice a year 1-3 week outings so the trailer makes financial sense and seems more practical than the motorized unit- especially because we live in a gated community and have to store whatever we have someplace offsite.

So, I'm looking for expert opinions: what are the worst things about towing a travel trailer? What are the best? I'd be particularly interested to hear your opinion if, like us you moved into one from some type of motorized unit. Is it still the same if you can't pull into the turn lane, put the flashers on, run back to do your business, and grab a salami sandwich on your way back up to the cab????

Stopping at a rest area to make lunch for us is a nice break from driving.
We travel a lot, but we are not full time. I like having a camper shell on the truck (no weight fees is a plus) so a travel trailer fits our needs the best. I went from a 28' TT to a 35' TT and the most notable difference is weight. I guess the worst thing about towing a trailer would be the ride, even when you are set up correctly, you can have an uncomfortable ride if the road is rough. It may not be the "best" but a tt tracks behind the tv, easier to make the curves and backing up is not difficult (always have a spotter)

I think where you will notice the most differences other then towing will be hooking up & un hooking the trailer as well as leveling the trailer. No auto levelers side to side, front to rear is done with the tongue jack, get an electric tongue jack. You will be downsizing, less room inside, less storage space and smaller holding tanks. I think you will find the travel trailer will fit your needs quite nicely. Your 1/2 ton pickup may be rated to pull the a trailer but could be overloaded when you add cargo, you really need to check the numbers.
__________________
2017 Cardinal 3250 5th wheel
2016 Ram 3500 Crew Cab long bed with Aisin Transmission
1010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2015, 01:57 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Paradise, Ca.
Posts: 409
Regarding your GMC 1500 and towing, check out the "Towing & Tow Vehicles" site. There are some real Gurus on the site that will be able to tell you what you can actually tow with your half ton.
__________________
2017 Cardinal 3250 5th wheel
2016 Ram 3500 Crew Cab long bed with Aisin Transmission
1010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2015, 02:22 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 568
I am looking to move from a 28 ft. TT w/ 1 slide to a class A with 2 slides. I usually stay local but like to do the WD trip evbery year and that is a long ride. I've done it wioth my TT a few times and it's not very easy. My saving grace is the Hensley Arrow that keeps me relaxed and my hands loose on the wheel. I think it really was the difference between selling the TT or just using it locally and going from Jersey to Florida. Not one moment with a white knuckle as opposed to local trips with the old WDH where I lost control on the slightest breeze.
__________________
RVGuy1966 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2015, 02:41 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 65
I've never had a Class A but have borrowed my parents' Class C. We currently have a 34' travel trailer. I think the biggest obstacle for you will be learning to back the TT into a spot, since you say you've never towed anything before.

In addition, setting up and tearing down will take you longer because there's more to do: hook/unhook trailer; connect weight distribution; level/remove levelers; etc. Plus, if you want to go to a dump station, you can't just unhook water and electric and drive to the station, like you could in your Class A.

As for when you're actually going down the road, not a huge deal so long as you're TT is properly set up and balanced for your truck, meaning the correct tongue weight, appropriate weight distribution/stabilizer hitch, and the TT isn't too big for your truck. You'll get moved around more by large vehicles and more susceptible to cross winds, so you'll have to be a little more careful. But once you're actually driving, I think you'll be fine since you're already used to driving a bus
__________________
drewtk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2015, 04:43 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Posts: 581
You will have your truck with you now (if it wasn't a toad) so you can get firewood or other things a truck comes in handy for. You won't have to do oil changes on a TT like motorized units.


I have a 27' toy hauler with a heavy tongue weight, and I have no need for an electric jack. Try yours before up grading to see if you need one and if not, save your $.

Setting up takes a minute or two more as you have to pull or back into a spot, get out and check side to side level and if NOT level, pull forward 2 feet and lay down leveling blocks or boards to park on the low side to level. Then park on the leveling substance, chock wheels, and unhook from truck. Then use tongue jack to level front to rear. Stabilizer jacks are just that, STABILIZERS - not meant to lift trailer, but to give a firmer feel while parked. I use a cordless drill with a socket to raise and lower my stabilizers. If it is raining, it becomes a bummer setting up or breaking down a TT vs. an A class.


I stop in parking lots to fix a sandwich or bathroom breaks. Never a problem. Also, to practice backing up, find a large empty parking lot and practice backing away from objects that will damage your trailer. Once you get comfortable backing into lined spaces, then move on to areas with structures. Also, I have no problems finding restaurants with parking within walking distance.


I recommend a battery disconnect and a solar trickle charger if you have to store it for more than 2 weeks. Smoke detectors and CO2 detectors kill batteries quickly.
__________________
Bob and sometimes - Nina - a Staffordshire Terrier/a SPOILED pit and her kitty Spaz
2006 Dodge SLT 2500 4x4 Cummins Quad Cab w/AT and 3.73
2007 Salem Sport LE 26FBSRV (TH) w/ my Victory Motorcycle in it or a EZ GO Shuttle cart.
NFlcamper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2015, 08:01 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: North Ridgeville, OH
Posts: 532
We've only owned pop-ups and two travel trailers, so I can only address the towing issue. We have the Minnie 2201DS and it works well for us as we're retired and only travel with the two of us staying in the trailer. At around 6,400 lbs. loaded with everything for a longer trip, the Tundra handles it without a problem and the Equalizer hitch has worked ot very well....not a hint of sway. I'm comfortable towing at 65 mph. The 2201DS is 26'9" long (total length) and is a nice size for getting into most campsites and navigating around gas pumps. Our previous trailer was 30' overall and just a little bit more difficult in some tight spots.

With a TT, you do have to allow for set-up, and you have to consider your water, gray and black tanks tend to be smaller. We tend to stay at campgrounds with full hookups, so that isn't an issue. I also carry a blue tote for situations where I have to empty the tanks and don't have sewer hook-ups.

But, the bottom line is everybody has their own preferences so only you can find out whether you would be happier with a class C or with a TT, or replace the truck and get a FW.

And, we really like the Minnie, especially the outdoor kitchen with a bar fridge, great bathroom with plenty of storage, and overall design and quality. You really have to look carefully at storeage if you plan to take longer trips. I haven't found any other similiar size trailer with the amount of storage that we have in the Minnie. With the 2201DS, you do need to put the slide out if you want to make a lunch stop but that usually isn't a problem. We take longer trips and will be taking a six week trip this summer. If we were going to be snowbirds, a bigger rig would be preferable. The advantage of the smaller rig is that exterior washing, waxing, etc. is a lot easier, less time consuming an can be done with a smaller ladder.

For us, I wouldn't want to drop down to the smaller 22'24' trailers. We don't care for floorplans that end up putting the TV in awkward locations for watching. The entertainment wall in the Minnie with the rotating television mount works really well for us, and it is nice for me (the early riser) be be able to get up and close off the bedroom so DW can sleep later.
__________________
Retired but busier than ever!
2013 Winnebago 2201DS - 6,200 lbs. or so loaded!
2007 Tundra 5.7
scbwr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2015, 08:32 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
tuffr2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Palm Coast Florida
Posts: 2,454
The very best thing about a trailer you can let them sit for years with too much worry. They winterize nice and sit nice during the winter months.
__________________
tuffr2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2015, 08:43 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1,275
How about the new Newmar Baystar. The small size is nice. I have a 24 ft trailer and really like this Newmar!
__________________
09 harley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2015, 09:19 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Jack1234's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 967
Quote:
Originally Posted by TandCplusRV View Post
My wife and I sold our Class A last year and have been looking to downsize.

Lots of good advice....we went from a 30' fifth wheel to a 38' Class A. While it sounds counter intuitive the 38' Class A was actually the "downsize".

With a trailer you will be 20' for your truck....22-24' for the trailer + 3' for the tongue and your total length is more or less 47'. This is nothing on the freeway .....but a lot (probably 10ft) more than our Class A when you get to the campground. With a Class A backing into the campsite is a piece of cake as the MH steers like your car and is our case under 40'.....backing in your new trailer is now +45' of articulated drama as you attempt to thread this awkward set-up into a narrow site!

No surprise....from a driving & maneuverability (downsizing) point of view .....we would never go back to a trailer. If you want to be smaller and more agile I'd go the truck camper route.
__________________
Jack & Maggie
04-Rexhall Roseair (37)
Cummins ISC / Spartan
Jack1234 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2015, 01:34 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Highway 4x4's Avatar
 
Outdoors RV Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: La Verne, Calif
Posts: 2,170
My truck is 20 feet and TT is 31 feet=51 feet total. I travel alone with a big dog. I take long distance trips and at times I am just beat from all it takes and still cook food. If you like quick weekend trips and don't need a towd I would stick with a small class A. With the A you have a generator, not with a TT. You don't get wet setting up in the rain with an A. There is more security with an A. I like my truck and TT set-up but at Truck $55K and TT $35K at a lot less than $90K I could have a nice class A and tow a Jeep.
__________________
2014 Wind River 250RDSW
2014 Ram 2500 Diesel Laramie 4x4, Snugtop shell,
One big spoiled Bernese Mtn Dog
Highway 4x4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2015, 01:00 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
TDI-Minnie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,733
I can't think of too many really bad "worst" things. Probably the extra hitch equipment you'll need to deal with. Maybe smallish holding tanks on some, but just buy a "honeywagon".

Best parts are low cost to buy and own, efficient use of space, light weight, and more layouts to choose from than you can imagine. Also, available cargo capacity with pickup truck.

Personally, I list the lack of hitch equipment as the best part of my setup. Hooking up or dropping my TT is as easy and quick as any utility trailer. I can hook up and go faster than any 5er or MH with toad. But I have a small TT and a big truck, so this won't work with a half ton and regular size TT.
__________________
2013 Winnebago 2301BH-Red
2012 Ram 2500 Megacab HO CTD
TDI-Minnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2015, 11:54 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Muscle Shoals, AL/Helen, GA
Posts: 968
What's nice about a travel trailer is that they're not so hard to climb up into when you get older and less mobile. And you don't have 3 more steps to climb into the bedroom of a fifth wheel trailer.

With a 28' travel trailer with a couple of sliders, you can get plenty of room for weekend use. And they're a manageable length.

Travel trailers are good to leave in a campground and for a month or three. If you're going to travel from place to place, many prefer a Class A and a toad.
__________________

__________________
Bamaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
travel, travel trailer



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Air suspension obtaining coach travel height GGW Entegra Owner's Forum 47 05-06-2014 07:47 AM
Travel trailer and fifth wheel comparison guide Halohalo8 Travel Trailer Discussion 1 04-11-2014 12:56 PM
Cold weather capable, older, travel trailers fighterpilot Travel Trailer Discussion 15 03-20-2014 12:37 AM
Where are your cats when you travel? vsheetz RV'ing with Pets 45 12-17-2013 08:42 AM
Upgrade Travel Trailer Electrical BassinDmax Boondocking 2 04-23-2013 09:53 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.