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Old 09-14-2021, 10:09 AM   #1
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New to Travel Trailers and new to ORV!

Hello everyone. First post here, sorry if some of it has been covered. I have been using the search feature frequently but still have some questions. My wife and I were van people for a few years. Not full timers but we would spend 50-70 nights a year in the van. We're based in Denver, CO and in three years made it to British Columbia 3 times, and Mexico once. We also fit in a trip to Santa Barbara, and a dozen or so trips to Utah. We put 53k miles on our Promaster before selling it earlier this summer. I had built it myself and it treated us awesome. It was mainly built for mountain bike trips. Thousands of miles of washboard road that felt like it would rattle your teeth loose and I never had to do a single repair. The attached photo was somewhere in Washington on a 3 week long trip.

Fast forward to our current situation- We now have 3 dogs and a newborn. The van just wasn't big enough. We never camp just to camp, and we never stay in paid campgrounds. I would imagine with the travel trailer and newborn we will spend 95% of our time boon docking and 5% in an area with a hook up. When I say we never camp to camp I mean all of our vacations revolve around mountain bikes, riding motos, paddle boards, rock climbing, elk hunting, snowboarding, etc. The tow vehicle isn't a concern, I have a 2022 F350 power stroke on order that should be here the end of the month. Payload should be around 3400lb.

I don't think we'll actually get to see any of these before making a purchase but the travel trailers we have in mind but can't decide on are the following. We certainly aren't limiting ourselves though-

The front runner-

Timber Ridge 23DBS
-I like the smaller size. Ideally I would like to stay as close to 25' as possible.
-I like the bunk beds with garage access (is it big enough though really?)
-Can you have a built in generator installed like the backcountry series?
-60x80 bed is a priority.
-separate sleeping area in back from the kitchen is a priority for the sleeping kid. I wake up early and like a cup of coffee without waking everyone up.

Next on the list-

22 TRX toyhauler
-discontinued as of last year but maybe we can still find one used
-60x80 bed
-toy hauler area for dirt bikes, mtb, etc.
-27'7" length
-higher ceiling
(New 24TRX is out because they put the tiny 74x60 bed in it... my wife and I are both 6' tall. This seems like a huge misstep).

Lastly-

24 KRS Backcountry
-just slightly longer at 28'8
-100 gallon fresh tank sounds awesome
-built in generator to run AC for dogs in the desert
-large LPG tank size
-bottom of the list because of the proximity of sofa sleeper to kitchen table for sleeping kid. I like the bunk bed option the best but don't want a 30' plus trailer.
-nervous about storage space too.

My priorities are for smaller size to get into more areas vs livability. We generally only go to areas with good weather and are used to living in a Promaster with two people and two dogs. Any size travel trailer will feel huge. Initially I didn't consider a toy hauler figuring I will put a camper top on the truck to store the bikes, paddle boards, or remove it if we're bringing motos. The idea of having that stuff inside sounds appealing though. That would free up the bed of the truck for the dogs then.

How long with the onboard generator in the backcountry series run the AC on 80lb of propane?

Is the backcountry different in construction to the mountain series?

Where is the best place to order an ORV? I keep hearing about Thompson RV and Dennis Dillon? Kettleson is the only dealer near us and I believe they are more expensive. Any idea on average wait time on an order?

I'm hoping someone else has been in our shoes and done all the guest work for us! I'd love to hear any advice anyone has!
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:04 PM   #2
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nobody? LOL... damn.
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:24 PM   #3
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nobody? LOL... damn.
Give it some time. You've got lots of things to consider. Much is, of course, personal preference. We have a 280KVS so can't really comment on the "best" trailer for you. But you can't beat Thompson as a dealer. And wait times will vary considerably. ORV only builds one model run at a time. And they're scheduled based on demand.
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:30 PM   #4
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I am trading my 24KRS for an Arctic Fox 27-5L 5er. Hope to make the trade tomorrow.

There are two of us, plus two dogs.

The floor plan is actually pretty good, and we love the big fresh water tank. The kitchen is surprisingly roomy. I was concerned about the fridge being right next to the door, but it is not an issue. In fact, the drawer under the fridge is remarkably handy for those things you want to just reach in and grab.

The bed is really comfortable, and the storage with the sliding tray is really generous.

The slide out uses the Schwintek in-wall system. I wonder if this slide is too big for a Schwintek, or if there were just some installation issues with this particular unit.

We did not get the generator, but the generator compartment is very convenient for tools and an inverter.

Note that the 24KRS has two waste tank outlets. You have to dump black and Grey #1, then pull forward a bit to dump Grey #2. Not a big deal, but was something I had not considered.
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:41 PM   #5
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Congratulations on the newborn, too!
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Old 09-14-2021, 02:52 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum and congrats on the new little one!

We have a 23DBS and there isn't any place that you could install an on-board generator. We carry a small Champion 2kw in the bed of the F-250 but it doesn't get used much these days. We have a 200w solar suitcase that stores nicely in the front passthrough as well as a higher capacity DC-DC charger so we have real charging capacity from the F-250 instead of the lower capacity from the 7-pin.

For sleeping arrangements we didn't want to have to tear down or convert anything to accommodate extra guests - our youngest daughter often meets up with us when we are down in the southwest - so the bunk model was a good choice for us. This may be a consideration as the little one grows. We also use the empty bunks for extra storage as the 23DBS is rather limited in that respect compared to other models like the 24RKS. I don't like the ladder arrangement for getting to the top bunk but given our usage it's not been much of an issue.

The 23DBS is about a foot shorter than the 24RKS and was actually just a bit longer than what we originally wanted which was an overall length of around 26 feet as we have some space constraints where we park the camper next to the house. However, we made it work and so far the slightly longer length hasn't been a problem.

Overall we are very pleased with how the 23DBS works for us. There will be compromises to make so spend some time thinking about how you will spend your time when inside and prioritize those things which are more important to you.
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Old 09-14-2021, 03:04 PM   #7
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Congratulations on the baby! Sounds like you are typical Colorado folks!

I originally wanted the built in generator as well. But upon doing some research on it decided I did not want one. Cons for me were.
1. When running on propane the output is not as high as from fuel/gas.
2. Seemed to have some reliability issues.
3. Did not want to loose the storage space.
4. Did not want another type of fuel container to carry around.

I was also looking for the shortest camper to fit into more boon docking spots as we really only camp that way. What I did not like about the shorter camper was it came with the outdoor kitchen which was useless for me. I do all my cooking outside and what they consider the "outdoor kitchen" was far from what I need and in my opinion is a waste of space.
Once I stepped in the 28BKS I knew that is what would fit our needs.
Obviously more storage room, I liked the extra kitchen counter space and pantry. But the thing I liked most was the outdoor kitchen was replaced with a large storage door that the bunk flips up on and gives you quite a bit of room for stuff back there. I have my 3 burner Camp Chef, with full size flat griddle with S.S. cover, two white folding tables, two zero gravity chairs, 6 regular camp style chairs, 6 50cal. ammo cans, numerous camping games and other small camp essential stuff.

We are also located in the Denver Metro area but ended up buying our 28BKS new from Stewart's RV in American Fork Utah. They were very easy to work with and would recommend them. We bought ours at the very beginning of the pandemic and ended up paying a few grand less for a brand new one compared to a year old one that was local here in the metro area.

So far I really am glad we went with the larger camper. We have one 11yo and two dogs. Once your kid starts getting older they will want to bring friends along on trips and having the extra space is nice.

I am not sure what the RV shops have for viewing pleasures but you are more then welcome to hit me up if you want to walk in one.

Curt
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Old 09-15-2021, 09:29 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. Generally we don’t go anywhere that even needs A/C and the extra storage space over the generator probably would be nice! Curt you said you were originally looking for something shorter and you ended up with one that’s nearly 33’. Have you found any issues boondocking with the extra length?
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Old 09-15-2021, 01:38 PM   #9
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We also have a 23DBS which we bought because of the extra bunk space, yet not too big to get into some smaller campgrounds. We have taken 30+ miles down forest service roads without an issue. We have 2 rooftop 170W panels and an additional 180W portable panel that we store in the garage area under the bunk. There are 3 of us and 1 dog but we have had various guests along and we have had enough room to move around. I would say storage is good and the 23DBS does have a hitch where you could add a bike rack though not sure how much jostling around the bikes would be subjected to back there (we haven't tried that yet).
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Old 09-15-2021, 01:50 PM   #10
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I've been impressed by the customer service at Thompson. I didn't get my 20 BD there but in Spokane. Not that impressed with the service where I bought it so once the warranty was up have found a couple other repair shops. The 20 Backcountry came with a generator but I already had a Honda 2200 so didn't go with the built in. Add a soft start to your A/C and the 2200 runs it fine.
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Old 09-15-2021, 02:34 PM   #11
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Thanks for the replies. Generally we donít go anywhere that even needs A/C and the extra storage space over the generator probably would be nice! Curt you said you were originally looking for something shorter and you ended up with one thatís nearly 33í. Have you found any issues boondocking with the extra length?

Not going to lie, there have been a few spots that I can no longer go to, but even with the shorter camper I would not have attempted to go back that deep. My previous "camper" was a 1996 Coleman pop-up that had a lift and I would take that places it probably should not have gone!

I will say, going from my previous set up that had an overall length of about 28'-30' to what I am now at about 50' it is a learning curve where you just need to realize you can't go as deep into the woods yet until you have a better understanding of your length. You are going to be worse then I, since you are coming from a van to a truck and trailer!

Since you obviously are a "growing" family I would consider buying bigger then you think you need. At least then you have room to expand more! You could never have to much storage space. I really like the forward pass thru as well. Though I think the new ones have the pull out's up front which seems nice, but in my opinion waste space. I have so much stuff packed up front I know stuff would fall off and jam up the drawers and piss me off!
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Old 09-16-2021, 11:41 PM   #12
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If you've been happy in a van then a Backcountry 20BD or 21RWS will seem huge. Storage? That's what the pickup is for. There's a fair bit in our 21RWS. My only complaint is the bathroom and shower size. Luckily I'm a large ballet dancer but pirouettes in the shower are a challenge. The built-in genny, large tanks, and large LP tanks are great.
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Old 09-18-2021, 10:35 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the replies. I think we have decided to go with a 24KRS. Hopefully it doesnít feel too big! I like the separate sleeping area and room to swap a chair with a crib 👍. Now to find oneÖ.

From what I have seen online pricing varies up to 10k. In the current economic climate is there any room for negotiating? The best published price I have seen is 55k.
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Old 09-19-2021, 12:36 PM   #14
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$55k seems like a lot. We paid a little under $41k for one last October. We got $37,500 for it in trade last week.

Ours did not have the generator. I do not know why that option is worth.

If you get this trailer make sure the slide will close completely and stay closed when you travel.
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