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Old 02-11-2020, 10:51 PM   #1
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Talking Banzai! What am I totally whiffing on?

Greetings!

Obviously, Iím a new poster, and new to TTs and RVing to boot.

My wife and I have decided to get into this stuff. We have four little kids and a smaller dog. We really enjoy the outdoors and have done a fair amount of tent camping and road trips with the kids. Iím lucky enough to have a lot of vacation banked at work with flexibility to work remotely some as well. We want to get out there starting ASAP.

Home base: Oregon
Tow Vehicle: 2019 Tahoe XL 5.3/3.08
Payload Sticker: 1,584
GVWR: 7,500
FAWR: 3,600
RAWR: 4,200
Tounge: 1,000 (w WDH)

We are limited to less than 25í long for storage purposes, canít go for a beefier TV, and donít want to use a pop up at this time. We prefer a Murphy for our bed, and have zeroed in on double over bunks for the kids. Theyíre small, and given my stature and wifeís, they likely wonít be getting too large.

For the reasons above, I canít/wonít go with an ORV Creekside or a Lance, as much as those are really intriguing.

I anticipate doing some dry camping in the future, but probably not this first season. Most of our camping will be on the West Coast and in the PNW, but we hope to take a few longer trips east down the road.

Weíre looking at a Wildwood FSX 178BHSK:
https://forestriverinc.com/rvs/trave...x/178BHSK/4584

It seems like a decent compromise between floor plan, weight, features. Iíve been in a similar model locally. We plan to order from RV Wholesalers in Lakeview, OH and have it shipped out here. Iíve read enough about warranty work to be a bit leery of this plan, but with our limitations, I just havenít seen better options locally, new or used. Iím not MacGuyver, but I can wire a switch and run a circular saw.

My questions:

1) Does anyone know of another make/model I should be considering? Length canít exceed 25í and gross weight should be less than ~5,000lbs filled. Again, we need it to sleep 6, and weíd prefer double over bunks to sleep the kids.

AND

2) Iíll keep scanning the forums for Ďbest ofí greatest hits for new families hitting the road etc, but where are the blind spots in my plan? What do I just not know that I wish I did at this point - very generally.

Iíll thank anyone for their reply in advance, and the board as a whole for the shared knowledge here. I have really enjoyed digging in and learning about this world, and look forward to more of the same.
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:39 PM   #2
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Your family will have a blast if you make it that way. Stick with a 2 axle trailer. Look for a good used one. Find a friend that knows what to look for and what to avoid. Don't trust RV salesmen. You want to be able to sit inside, play a game, eat a meal and fix some food, have a place to sleep. You and wife geta bed, kids will be converting something to a bed or possibly bunks. Tires and brakes are very important. Any signs of a roof leak, walk away. You don't need a 4 seasons trailer for the 1st, you won't be camping in the snow or 110F heat. Your 1st TT won't be your last so just plan on keeping it for a couple of years then you'll know better what you really want. Search and read everything you can befor you buy. Don't be in a hurry. There is a ton of stuff to learn. Enjoy the process.
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Old 02-12-2020, 05:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway 4x4 View Post
Your family will have a blast if you make it that way. Stick with a 2 axle trailer. Look for a good used one. Find a friend that knows what to look for and what to avoid. Don't trust RV salesmen. You want to be able to sit inside, play a game, eat a meal and fix some food, have a place to sleep. You and wife geta bed, kids will be converting something to a bed or possibly bunks. Tires and brakes are very important. Any signs of a roof leak, walk away. You don't need a 4 seasons trailer for the 1st, you won't be camping in the snow or 110F heat. Your 1st TT won't be your last so just plan on keeping it for a couple of years then you'll know better what you really want. Search and read everything you can befor you buy. Don't be in a hurry. There is a ton of stuff to learn. Enjoy the process.
Excellent advice, every word of it - especially the part about RV salespersons. Some will assure you that your Tahoe can tow anything, so be sure you personally verify the specs of any trailer you're considering.

And welcome to the forum! This is a good group of people, and the forum is an excellent resource.

Good luck with your decision and, as Highway 4x4 said, enjoy the process!

Mary
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Old 02-12-2020, 06:40 AM   #4
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We have 6 people and wanted <25' LOA. You're missing tank sizes and you'll want double axles. If you really can go up to 1000lbs of tongue weight, you should seriously consider looking for a used Outdoors RV Black Rock 18DB/Creekside 18CK (same discontinued floor plan). Same floor plan as the keystone springdale 189, which would be another alternative. In any of those you lose the murphy bed, but you get a 60gal tank and double axles.
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Old 02-12-2020, 07:31 AM   #5
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1000 lb of tongue weight will leave you less than 600 lb of payload capacity. With six people, some cargo, and the WD hitch--yes, the weight of the hitch counts as payload--this is not enough. The 3.08 rear end is not going to help either.
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Old 02-12-2020, 08:00 AM   #6
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I would definitely start out with a good used one. The impact will be much less when you decide you love it and need something that has the stuff you figure out you really want. Or on the chance that one of the family can't tolerate or just hates the life style and you have to sell. Remember rule number one every RV is a training exercise to teach you what to buy next.
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:33 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum.

Travel trailers are notoriously inconsistent regarding how the lengths are measured. That trailer may be 23' overall length. Or, it may have a 23' box which would put it at 26' OAL. Something you may want to check on.

With that big of a crew, I would want to get as much interior space as I could. Two extra feet inside would make quite a difference. Good luck, camping with the kids makes the best memories.
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Old 02-12-2020, 11:02 AM   #8
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you may want to look at an outback, they have a bunk in the front that folds up to hold bikes/coolers/etc. The rear queen bed is a pop out so you dont loose much floor space. We had a 21urs and loved it but wanted more space which is why we now have an ORV.
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Old 02-12-2020, 11:12 AM   #9
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Stick with a 2 axle trailer. Look for a good used one.
Great advice ! The re-sale value of RV is very poor, so you should easily be able to find a 2 year model for LESS than 50% of the original price !

Dual axles tow much easier.
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Old 02-12-2020, 11:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spdracr39 View Post
I would definitely start out with a good used one. The impact will be much less when you decide you love it and need something that has the stuff you figure out you really want. Or on the chance that one of the family can't tolerate or just hates the life style and you have to sell. Remember rule number one every RV is a training exercise to teach you what to buy next.
^^^ What he said...

Another idea - just to see if your gang and the TT life are compatible: scout around your friends, neighbors, co-workers, fellow church congregation members, whatever groups you belong to (Scouting, Masons, Elks, etc) and see if anybody already owns a trailer (any floor plan, any length, just so it is compatible with your tow vehicle)... then borrow it for a week or two.

For this trip the length limitation won't be as much of a concern as you won't be storing it at your place.

Spend the first night in your driveway or in front of your house at your curb, plugged in to an extension cord... pretend that you are 100 miles from home and in a campground... the idea is to see what you forgot and learn. Learn what every knob and switch does, try out the furnace, the stove, etc. Then in the morning go into the house, get what you forgot and drive off.

Use the trip to find out what is a necessity, what would be nice to have, and what you won't need in your first RV. With your 4 kids you may decide that a 6 gallon water heater is mandatory... my RV has a 4 gallon propane-only heater - it's enough for 2 people as long as you let it recover for 20-25 minutes after the first shower in the morning... I'd really prefer a propane-electric as I'm plugged in all the time).


My policy is rentals / loaners are the way to go before a big purchase. I remember my mom looking around for her first car (back in 1959)... she wanted a 2-door car like her older sister had. My dad thought a 4-door was more appropriate for us, kept his mouth shut, shrugged his shoulders and rented a 2-door for a 3 day weekend.... two days into the weekend she was sick and tired of having to fold the seats to let the kids in and out. She got a used 4-door over a new 2-door. Ever since then I've always thought renting before buying was a good idea.


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Old 02-12-2020, 02:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway 4x4 View Post
Your family will have a blast if you make it that way. Stick with a 2 axle trailer. Look for a good used one. Find a friend that knows what to look for and what to avoid. Don't trust RV salesmen. You want to be able to sit inside, play a game, eat a meal and fix some food, have a place to sleep. You and wife geta bed, kids will be converting something to a bed or possibly bunks. Tires and brakes are very important. Any signs of a roof leak, walk away. You don't need a 4 seasons trailer for the 1st, you won't be camping in the snow or 110F heat. Your 1st TT won't be your last so just plan on keeping it for a couple of years then you'll know better what you really want. Search and read everything you can befor you buy. Don't be in a hurry. There is a ton of stuff to learn. Enjoy the process.
Wise post worth following. Nuf' said.
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Old 02-12-2020, 04:31 PM   #12
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From tent to travel trailer is a 100 times better I think. When I did it I could not get over running water, dry place to sleep, place to put stuff, hot water, being off the ground, less worry when you smell a skunk.

Would you consider a hybrid?
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Old 02-12-2020, 07:34 PM   #13
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Great stuff. Thanks yíall.

TheJohn - Weíre in West Linn too. Small world!

Steve - Thanks for the heads up on tongue weight. Iím definitely trying to learn about all the moving pieces regarding what really matters for tow ability and how to calculate them.

Tuffer2 - Sure, I suppose I would. Havenít yet, though. What are those, hybrid tent/pops w/ standard TT bones?

Appreciate the feedback. Some of the new names on the model front are super-helpful on the used hunt.
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Old 02-13-2020, 06:20 AM   #14
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The other two models I'd suggest considering would be the Grand Design Imagine XLS 198BWE (discontinued but still available new) or the 21BHE. Both of which are double bunks, dual axles and a murphy bed up front, 6000lb GVWR and have 43 gal fresh tanks.
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