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Old 09-30-2014, 01:35 AM   #1
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New Member Intro & Seeking Trailer Advice

Hi Folks!
I am Gordon here in New Jersey. My wife and I are planning more travel now that we are almost empty nesters. We also will be spending time visiting relatives and going to roller hockey tournaments with our yougest son. We do have two relatively small dogs and we are both active Amateur Radio or Ham Radio Operator, so the dogs and the radios will go with us! We both love to cook and camp so a decent kitchen with indoor plumbing in a trailer is important. Our challenge is that our current choice of tow vehicles is limited to a Hyundai Tucson AWD or a 4 cyl. front wheel drive Dodge Journey. These are not great choices, so trailer options are going to need to be of the shorter, light weight types. I've reading about several models both current and discontinued with great interest, but would love some pointers. Thanks in advance!
Gordon, W2TTT
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Old 09-30-2014, 01:49 AM   #2
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Good luck with your choice.
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Old 09-30-2014, 04:05 AM   #3
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You will need a very light trailer to pull with these 2 vehicles. In fact I'm not sure if you will find one that fits your needs.
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Old 09-30-2014, 06:48 AM   #4
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Old 09-30-2014, 07:49 AM   #5
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If you want to keep your tow vehicles, I'd suggest looking at the Little Guy T@B. They have a website where you can look at the floorplans and colors.

They are small, but they are very light - under 2000 lbs - their size would give you alot of traveling flexibility. They are very good quality and reasonably priced (but not cheap) Very easy to tow and you could park in the driveway should you want to visit friends and family. They also make and sell teardop trailers, so you might want to consider one of those too.

You could also opt for a pop-up. They are usually on the lighter side and the wind drag is not so much. Used ones are really cheap. The downsides are using in the winter, they are generally cheaply made and the canvases can leak or rot.

Good luck!
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Old 09-30-2014, 02:00 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum!

As to finding a trailer, I suggest you do a lot of homework about towing weights, payload, etc. I think you will be rather limited by the towing capacity of the vehicles you have. If you provide more information about the towing capacity of your vehicles, you may get some good suggestions. I suggest you keep in mind that you don't want to be maxed out. In my case, although a Tundra can technically tow 10K, I feel I'm at pretty much the best weight at 6,200 lbs. after you factor in the gear that is carried in the truck bed. I feel confident that the truck could handle around 7k but much more than that and I don't feel the truck would handle mountain traveling very well.

So, if you only have a towing capacity of 2K, you are going to be limited to a pretty small hybrid, or popup, or something like a tear drop. With pets and two adults, it may or may not work out. Some folks really like traveling/camping with very small rigs and others have to have very large TTs, FWs or buses. So, take your time and figure out what will work for you.

We downsized to the Winnebago from a 29' TT. Although we're under 28', our trailer has plenty of storage space and we can take long trips without having any problems.

Good luck, and hope to hear more about your pursuit of a good trailer!
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:10 PM   #7
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Welcome. I fear that what you have will never tow what you will want to vacation in. They would feel the weight of them just being loaded with a roof rack. Do your own research and don't believe what a RV salesman says. Again, welcome and happy camping.
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:21 PM   #8
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Glad you're aboard Gordon. Best of luck in your search and decision. Enjoy your adventures and be safe.
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:30 PM   #9
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Welcome aboard. Wish you the best in your trailer travels.
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:17 PM   #10
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Thank you for the wisdom

Hi Folks!
Many thanks for the great comments! My wife and I will need to go to a large lot and walk through a bunch of camping trailers and campers. Then we will figure out what the new vehicle will need to be!
Pardon the typos in my intro and again for the great comments!
Anyone an Amateur Radio Operator with thoughts on that topic on the road?
Thanks & 73,
Gordon Beattie, W2TTT
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Old 10-02-2014, 02:37 PM   #11
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Here are a few forums for RVing hams - $9/yr
There are a number of nets that are on the air for RVing hams also like: Also "midcars", "eastcars", etc depending on location. Welcome to the forum, KT4W
Also check "RV Life Styles" on this forum and go to "Hobbies, Passions and Pastimes" to the sub forum "cb/ham radio"

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Old 10-04-2014, 05:50 PM   #12
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What are the towing limits on your two vehicles? Without that info it's hard to give any advice.
My first thought is that if you are serious about wanting to pursue the RV life style then you need to get a larger tow vehicle. You will soon out grow the small unit you are limited to and then you will take a loss on it when you trade up and purchase a truck.
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:33 PM   #13
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...4 cyl. front wheel drive Dodge Journey.
According to Dodge, that tow vehicle cannot tow a trailer weighing more than 1,000 pounds.
Dodge Vehicle Towing Capacity Chart | Towing Guide & Capacity | Dodge

That sounds like the fold-up camping tent trailer I bought back in 1968. Lots of fun in that camper while my two kids were growing up. The only thing inside our camper other than beds was a convertible dinette and an ice box. Our camping supplies included Coleman gasoline stove, lantern, catalytic heater and a slop jar with a comode seat. But it worked for us. Ours had an 8' long box, which is the smallest camper trailer.

Most of today's tent trailers are bigger, heavier, and more expensive. A quick search doesn't turn up any that you could reasonably expect to weigh as little as 1,000 pounds when loaded for camping. The smallest no-frills campers by Jayco and Forest River weigh around 2,000 pounds. So unless you can upgrade your tow vehicle choice to something with more power and payload capacity, then you probably won't find a decent camper trailer you can tow without exceeding the weight limits of the tow vehicle.

For about 10 years with my Wheel Camper tent trailer, my tow vehicle was a 1971 AMC Hornet Sportabout station wagon with 5-liter V8 engine. Little wagon, but relatively big engine. Perfect match of trailer and tow vehicle. We drug that trailer all over the lower 48 states. I'm sure it weighed a lot more than 1,000 pounds when wet and loaded for the road, but I wasn't stuck with a 4-cylinder Journey as a tow vehicle.

If you cannot upgrade your tow vehicle to something more suitable for towing at least a 3,000-pound tent trailer, then consider a luggage trailer hauling a big tent, plus the other things you need for camping such as the stuff we hauled in our camper - stove, heater, lights, porta-Pottie, plastic dishpan, jugs of water, Coleman white gas, etc. We did that for a few years too before I could afford that wonderful 1968 Wheel Camper fold-down tent trailer.
Grumpy ole man with over 60 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7'x16' 5,000-pound flatbed utility trailer, my tow vehicle is a 2019 F-150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCab with Max Tow (1,904 pounds payload capacity).
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