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Old 04-08-2014, 06:34 AM   #1
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Suggestions for buying 1st camper

I'm new here and to owning a camper and I'm a single woman. I've finally narrowed down my choice of travel trailers that I am able to haul with my SUV with 5000lbs max. I plan to purchase the new Coachmen Freedom Express 192RBS, second choice is the Apex 22QBS. Both of these campers are around 22' in length. What do I need to know about buying a camper? I've been attempting to do my due diligence with research but don't want to be taken advantage of or neglect something myself. Does anyone have any concerns about either of these 2 campers? Any lessons you have learned that you can share?

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Old 04-08-2014, 06:55 AM   #2
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Hi Seadreams42,
Welcome to iRV2. I can not help you with these specific RVs. However, consider purchasing the unit that has the best floor plan for you. One will live in the unit much more than one will tow the unit. Welcome to the RVing lifestyle. Many happy memories are waiting for you.

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Old 04-08-2014, 07:24 AM   #3
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Both of these trailers have a GVWR of over 5000 pounds. That coupled with their height and width may tax an SUV with a 5K tow rating (lots of aerodynamic loading on top of trailer weight). What is your SUV?
Fran, Mary & Zoey (silver Cocker)
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:31 AM   #4
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Hi and Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the bunch!

Sorry I don't know anything about those campers. Enjoy the forum!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:43 AM   #5
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Howdy and welcome aboard. Can't give any advice on the TT question but I'm sure you'll get plenty of input. Good luck and hope you find the one that works best for you.
Steve & Sally / Hudson Our Little Pom / Heidi, Houston & HiTee Forever in our Hearts
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:53 AM   #6
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A 5000 lb. Travel Trailer would be pushing the weight limit of your stated 5000 lb. towing capacity SUV and that's before you add your personal items and things you can't live without. Also, the advertised weight is empty, as in no propane, batteries, spare tire, water, and any retained fluids both gray and black. I think you might need to downsize the RV or upsize your tow vehicle.
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:19 AM   #7
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My SUV is a 1998 Toyota 4 Runner Limited with 4WD. I know it's old but it's been well maintained by me. The Freedom Express brochure has a shipping wt of 3535lbs and ext ht of 10'. The Apex base wt is 3608 ext ht 9,5'. I know fully loaded I may be pushing it to my max GVW of 5000. Thinking I would only carry 1/2 tank water. I just read an article on jack knife accident so now I'm scared but hope to make sure everything is installed correctly to prevent this.
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:27 AM   #8
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You might want to take your SUV to a Well known shop and have them install a trans cooler to help keep the transmission from over heating. This should not cost you much more than a couple of hundred dollars, but it's a whole lot cheaper than the 2 grand to replace the transmission if it were to go out while camping! Now if your SUV is a Manual Trans, don't fret it!

BTW, as for the RV, make sure you chose one that has the most storage and floor plan you like the best!
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:29 AM   #9
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We have a 2013 Freedom Express 233RBS. We have owned it for a year and taken about 8 trips in it. We are very pleased with the unit.

The 192RBS is bumping the tow limit of your vehicle. If your tow vehicle isn't set up for towing with a tow package, you would need to probably add at least a transmission cooler.

Advice I can give for purchasing is to shop around. Different dealers offer different deals and incentives. Since you are new to towing try to negotiate a good quality Weight Distributing Hitch with built in sway control into the deal along with proper wiring, a brake controller and class two hitch if your SUV doesn't already have one. The way I normally do this is to get their best deal on the trailer then start the negotiation of the accessories. If you had them include all of the above, they would probably try to add on about $1,500 but you should be able to work them down to less than $500.

Good luck!
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2013 Coachmen Freedom Express 233RBS
Prior: Jayco Pop Up, Shasta Bunkhouse, Rockwood Pop Up
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:47 AM   #10
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I too am no help on the TT but get what fits you, stated above you'll be in it a lot more than driving around.
I wouldn't go around with a 1/2 tank of water if you are going to be Boondocking you'll need all you can carry and then some... I always leave home with all the tanks full (except Gray/Black). You might get stuck somewhere for a few days and you will need .
Have fun and enjoy it. You'll find a lot of help on this site for sure.

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Old 04-08-2014, 09:36 AM   #11
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In the past we had an Aliner which was a dream to tow!! It is especially easy to set up. You can google Aliner and see the various floor plans.
Also remember, the GVWR seems to creep up pretty fast when you add folding chairs, BBQ pits, cases of water, etc. (Yes, we RVers bring a lot of STUFF!!)
My mom and her husband ran into the same problem with Tow vehicle/GVWR. By the time they were finally hitched and ready to go the back of the SUV was dragging!! They traded the SUV/TT and ended up with a cute little 23 foot C-Class. It has a van front so it is easy to drive. Yes, they still fill it up with STUFF, but the F350 gives them plenty of power!!
Good Luck in whatever "rig" you end up with!

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