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Old 10-28-2020, 02:03 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Maryland
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New member looking for opinions on Shadow Cruiser

Just joined after often reading. Any advice much appreciated. Hopefully you all can help. We are looking to purchase our first TT as soon as possible. Looking for max abt 28' and to keep GVW under abt 7500 max. In next couple years want to hit many National Parks. Will pull with '16 Expedition with HD tow rated to 9200lb. Just looked at new Shadow Cruiser 2400BHS and really liked it but dealer is 2.5 hrs away. Not many of this brand around and really not a lot of current info/opinions in forums. Feel free to comment especially on quality. Mostly just the wife and I will be using but would like to have space avail for young adult kids if they'd ever join us. We were looking at no bunks until we saw this. We could go either way but want reasonable secondary sleeping options for adult size. We also liked Keystone Outback 221UMD (dinette bed option was short and cushions do not even fit tight), Open Range 2410RL, and a used FR Surveyor 243RBS. Comments on any? Also feel free to comment on Towing set up with our Expedition, trying to learn as much as I can.
Can't wait to get out there.
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Old 10-28-2020, 02:13 PM   #2
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All of those trailers will have close to the same quality. I would also look at Rockwood/Flagstaff, Winnebago, Starcraft, Coachmen and Jayco.

Since all these are in the same build quality as the trailers you mentioned pick the floorplan you like.

I am kinda in the same boat as I am looking at both travel trailers as well as small 5th wheels.

I like the Winnebago BAL frame the best. But also like the PVC roof of the Starcraft.
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Old 10-30-2020, 03:04 PM   #3
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I do think you will be pushing that expedition to its limit with the Shadow Cruiser from what I can tell.
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Old 10-30-2020, 06:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dustyone View Post
I do think you will be pushing that expedition to its limit with the Shadow Cruiser from what I can tell.
Thanks for the feedback dustyone. The Trailer is 5200 dry with 2321 CCC and 7560 GVWR. so if I understand all of this (which I may not but that's why I'm here), if I had it fully loaded with 2300lbs of stuff, I'd be at about 82% of my 9200lb tow rating. Is that too much? I probably wouldn't normally fill it with the full capacity. Is that pushing the limit? What do you think would be a better top GVWR?
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Old 10-30-2020, 06:50 PM   #5
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For whatever it's worth, I recently posted this comment on another Cruiser thread:

I've had two trailers made by Cruiser -- a 2003 Shadow Cruiser T139 and then a 2012 Fun Finder X139. Both of them were great trailers, able to handle gentle off-pavement towing. (Slow speeds on rocky roads.)

Cruiser is a good brand -- not the best, though. I think that Lance's newer trailers are higher quality. But for the money, the Cruiser products are quite good.

To that, I would add that we have a total of 150,000 miles of happy towing experience with Cruiser products. As always, your mileage may vary!
2012 Fun Finder X-139 trailer (12 feet long!)
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Old 10-30-2020, 11:49 PM   #6
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Pushing the 80% weight by itself is not your only issue. You have your tongue weight of the trailer. the expedition as well as the rear suspension is made for a smooth ride. A trailer at 30 feet will be like a sail. And big rig as well as side push will make your tow experience a real white knuckle drive. Can it be done yes. Only you know your skill. Also out here on the east side of the muddy river you will find many of the state's and national campgrounds only have limited sites for that long a combination.
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Old 11-01-2020, 10:03 AM   #7
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I have a Shadow Cruiser and pulled it with Ram 1500, rated at 10k. The weight distribution has to be meticulously set up, tires had to be 10 ply and inflated to max PSI; even with everything perfect, towing was... interesting.

Will your Expedition tow it? Sure it will. Will you and your wife enjoy the experience; probably not.

We upgraded to a 2500 Ram and itís a world of difference. Get a bigger truck or a smaller trailer.
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Old 11-01-2020, 10:08 PM   #8
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Expeditions and Suburbans have relatively low payloads compared to trucks due to all the extra stuff back there like seats, glass, carpet, steel, etc., plus soft springs for cushy ride. (My wifeís Caddy XT5 has more payload capacity than an Expy)! Pay no attention to that 9,200-lb towing capacity. You must check payload, rear axle GVWR, GCWR, hitch reciever capacity, etc.

I thought I read in Fordís towing guide that the receiver is max load at 930 lbs. If that is the case, then the absolute max towed TT weight would be 6,800-lbs. Multiply by 12.5% for proper tongue/hitch load for stability = 850-lbs. then add 80-100 lbs for WD hitch and you are maxed out.

Can anyone with a late model Expedition hitch verify the mfrs hitch capacity? Can it be replaced with a heavier duty receiver hitch?
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