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Posted: 4/26/2016 8:11:41 AM EDT
I spent Sunday at the NASCAR race in Richmond...buddy is PCSing to Germany and wanted to go so a bunch of us went with. Anyways, we were tailgating in some lot and the guys across from us had a great RV set up and I realized how many problems they solved (food storage, beer storage, comfort, blah blah blah). Now, I've started looking at trailers for camping/events and have NO idea what I'm looking at. To be honest, I won't be getting one anytime soon, but I'm always up for a discussion and don't mind learning something new in the process.

Odds are said travel trailer "camper" will be towed by a GMC 1500 5.3L w/ the H.D. tow package, which I think just means a transmission cooler.

What size is practical, can be towed (see above), what brands and features should I be looking at or avoiding? Tips and tricks, what have you learned over the years?

ETA:
Towing max for the truck is 9,600 lbs. if that helps narrow the search.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 8:15:45 AM EDT
[#1]
If you are going to buy an RV hit the used market and save yourself a ton of money. Just keep in mind the wife will be a big input as to what you buy.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 8:20:12 AM EDT
[#2]
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Quoted:
If you are going to buy an RV hit the used market and save yourself a ton of money. Just keep in mind the wife will be a big input as to what you buy.
View Quote


I saw a few used ones in the 30' range for under 15K. I have no intention of buying new.

Also, not looking for an RV, but rather something I can tow.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 8:25:04 AM EDT
[#3]
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Quoted:
If you are going to buy an RV hit the used market and save yourself a ton of money. Just keep in mind the wife will be a big input as to what you buy.
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This. And go fiberglass exterior.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 8:30:07 AM EDT
[#4]
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Quoted:



This. And go fiberglass exterior.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
If you are going to buy an RV hit the used market and save yourself a ton of money. Just keep in mind the wife will be a big input as to what you buy.



This. And go fiberglass exterior.


I'm fine with that considering she's the one who would be cooking and making it "our" space. I just care about function, weight, and ease of towing.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 8:32:27 AM EDT
[#5]
I prefer the 20' range for towing. It is not like you are going to spend a whole lot of time inside of it.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 8:32:55 AM EDT
[#6]
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Quoted:


I saw a few used ones in the 30' range for under 15K. I have no intention of buying new.

Also, not looking for an RV, but rather something I can tow.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
If you are going to buy an RV hit the used market and save yourself a ton of money. Just keep in mind the wife will be a big input as to what you buy.


I saw a few used ones in the 30' range for under 15K. I have no intention of buying new.

Also, not looking for an RV, but rather something I can tow.

I haul travel trailers for a living, but still take this with a grain of salt. With that tow rig I'd look for a trailer in the 20ft range weighing in at no more that 6500lbs. It wont bog the truck down too much and you wont get pushed around on the freeway too much when a large SUV blows by you at 75mph. Definitely go used and do a thorough inspection before laying out any cash.

Take a ladder with you and look at the seals along the top edges of the rig. Those are goong to be exposed to the sun more than anything and may dry out and cause leaks. Check the seals around doors and windows and move cushions inside to look for leaks and water damage. Water will destroy travel trailers. Don't be afraid to crawl under the trailer and look at wiring plumbing fittings. If the trailer has a side pop out run it in and out too see if anything underneath might get caught up during its in and out movement.

Along with those things just keep an eye out for scratches and dents that could be an indication of damage. You'll want a spare tire along with a decent bottle jack and wooden blocks if you need to change out a flat. Thats all i can think of for now. Shoot me an IM if you have any specific questions.

Hope that helps.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 8:33:38 AM EDT
[#7]
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Quoted:
I prefer the 20' range for towing. It is not like you are going to spend a whole lot of time inside of it.
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that's a good point. We're talking 4 people or so. Could always bring tents as well and kick the kids out.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 8:34:57 AM EDT
[#8]
I have a 26' (29' w/ trailer tongue) Forest River Grey Wolf. I pull it with a 2015 Silverado 1500 (5.3L) that has the tow package and I believe the trailer weighs around 6,000-7,000 and it does it with ease. Does your truck have the built in trailer brake package? That makes it so much cleaner and simpler not having to install an aftermarket brake controller.

Things to consider on towing a travel trailer:

-get a good weight distribution system; helps with sway, bouncing, and puts weight back on the trailer
-airbags, not necessary but I just had some installed and it keeps the truck level and keeps my OCD under control
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 8:36:26 AM EDT
[#9]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

I haul travel trailers for a living, but still take this with a grain of salt. With that tow rig I'd look for a trailer in the 20ft range weighing in at no more that 6500lbs. It wont bog the truck down too much and you wont get pushed around on the freeway too much when a large SUV blows by you at 75mph. Definitely go used and do a thorough inspection before laying out any cash.

Take a ladder with you and look at the seals along the top edges of the rig. Those are goong to be exposed to the sun more than anything and may dry out and cause leaks. Check the seals around doors and windows and move cushions inside to look for leaks and water damage. Water will destroy travel trailers. Don't be after to crawl under the trailer and look at wiring plumbing fittings. If the trailer has a side pop out run it in and out too see if anything underneath might get caught up during its in and out movement.

Along with those things just keep an eye out for scratches and dents that could be an indication of damage. You'll want a spare tire along with a decent bottle jack and wooden blocks if you need to change out a flat. Thats all i can think of for now. Shoot me an IM if you have any specific questions.

Hope that helps.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
If you are going to buy an RV hit the used market and save yourself a ton of money. Just keep in mind the wife will be a big input as to what you buy.


I saw a few used ones in the 30' range for under 15K. I have no intention of buying new.

Also, not looking for an RV, but rather something I can tow.

I haul travel trailers for a living, but still take this with a grain of salt. With that tow rig I'd look for a trailer in the 20ft range weighing in at no more that 6500lbs. It wont bog the truck down too much and you wont get pushed around on the freeway too much when a large SUV blows by you at 75mph. Definitely go used and do a thorough inspection before laying out any cash.

Take a ladder with you and look at the seals along the top edges of the rig. Those are goong to be exposed to the sun more than anything and may dry out and cause leaks. Check the seals around doors and windows and move cushions inside to look for leaks and water damage. Water will destroy travel trailers. Don't be after to crawl under the trailer and look at wiring plumbing fittings. If the trailer has a side pop out run it in and out too see if anything underneath might get caught up during its in and out movement.

Along with those things just keep an eye out for scratches and dents that could be an indication of damage. You'll want a spare tire along with a decent bottle jack and wooden blocks if you need to change out a flat. Thats all i can think of for now. Shoot me an IM if you have any specific questions.

Hope that helps.


Greatly appreciated. I'm learning as I go and this will most certainly help.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 8:39:34 AM EDT
[#10]
Take 66% of your tow rating as max.  Go cheap to see if you like it and upgrade later.  Ba able to fix stuff often--these things require much more maintenance than you'd expect.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 8:40:11 AM EDT
[#11]
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Quoted:
I have a 26' (29' w/ trailer tongue) Forest River Grey Wolf. I pull it with a 2015 Silverado 1500 (5.3L) that has the tow package and I believe the trailer weighs around 6,000-7,000 and it does it with ease. Does your truck have the built in trailer brake package? That makes it so much cleaner and simpler not having to install an aftermarket brake controller.

Things to consider on towing a travel trailer:

-get a good weight distribution system; helps with sway, bouncing, and puts weight back on the trailer
-airbags, not necessary but I just had some installed and it keeps the truck level and keeps my OCD under control
View Quote



Not sure if it has the brake package, but it does have the "haul mode" so it changes the shift points and uses the engine to brake. According to the built sheet (provided by an ARCOM member) I have the PDU, Z85, and Z82 upgrades. So H.D. cooling, towing suspension, H.D. towing equipment.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 8:40:19 AM EDT
[#12]
I picked up a Camp Lite 21' used last month. All aluminum and poly absolutely zero wood so no rot which is often a problem in campers. Best part is the previous owner had a bumper mount diamond plate box made for it that fits a 3000 watt Honda generator. When I travel I can stop and overnight at Walmart with the genset running and secure and enjoy all the comforts of home. I also like that the interior doesn't look like my grandmas house like so many other campers. I use mine for hunting trips and a few float trips down in the Ozarks over the summer. My 14 F150 5.0 with brake controller and anti sway bars pulls it like its not even back there.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 8:41:22 AM EDT
[#13]
Look at hybrids, typically fairly light. Ends fold out if your overnighting but can remain closed if your just using it for tailgating etc.

here is an example...  (I have no connection to this company, just using as an example)

Hybrid camper
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 8:42:16 AM EDT
[#14]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Take 66% of your tow rating as max.  Go cheap to see if you like it and upgrade later.  Ba able to fix stuff often--these things require much more maintenance than you'd expect.
View Quote


Also remember that the advertised trailer weight is dry weight. You'll have to figure in your water tanks and anything you may have in the trailer as well.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 8:48:12 AM EDT
[#15]
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Quoted:


Also remember that the advertised trailer weight is dry weight. You'll have to figure in your water tanks and anything you may have in the trailer as well.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Take 66% of your tow rating as max.  Go cheap to see if you like it and upgrade later.  Ba able to fix stuff often--these things require much more maintenance than you'd expect.


Also remember that the advertised trailer weight is dry weight. You'll have to figure in your water tanks and anything you may have in the trailer as well.


That's a good point. I assume that's why you guys are recommending staying at 66% of tow rating?
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 8:48:54 AM EDT
[#16]
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Quoted:


Also remember that the advertised trailer weight is dry weight. You'll have to figure in your water tanks and anything you may have in the trailer as well.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Take 66% of your tow rating as max.  Go cheap to see if you like it and upgrade later.  Ba able to fix stuff often--these things require much more maintenance than you'd expect.


Also remember that the advertised trailer weight is dry weight. You'll have to figure in your water tanks and anything you may have in the trailer as well.




Also manufacturers miss the estimates for weight often . My brother just bought a new camper and it weighs over 1,500 pounds more than the manufacturer stated for the dry weight . My brother took it over a scale he thought it felt heavy
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 8:57:51 AM EDT
[#17]
If you can manage it at all, go fifth-wheel.  They tow much better, especially in high winds.  I find hooking up with a fifth-wheel to me MUCH easier because I have to do it alone.  I now have a much smaller travel trailer and it's OK, but I miss my fifth-wheel.  

I would highly recommend using 3/4 of your rated towing capacity as an absolute maximum for trailer gross weight, 7,200# in your case.  Remember that everything you stick in the trailer counts towards gross weight, including fresh water, gray water and black water.  It's REALLY easy to get overloaded.  

If your tow vehicle is a stick, plan on doing a lot of shifting in even moderately hilly country.

The bathroom is where it's at!  I can deal with small appliances, dining area, and not-quite-queen sized bed, but having a tiny shower SUCKS.

Trailer camping is a blast!  I've dragged mine into some truly beautiful places and met a lot of very nice people.  I used to do a lot of tent camping, but now I want my creature comforts.  Did I mention the bathroom being important?  When I want to rough it, I don't set up the satellite dish.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of manufacturers out there.  When you get closer to buying, check back in and I'm sure the people here can give you a long checklist of what to look for and look out for.

You may want to consider renting a trailer just to see if you like it.  Plan a week-long trip somewhere just far enough away that you can't run back into the house for things you forgot, like the bathroom.  Anyone can put up with a trailer for a weekend, but after five days or so the little things start to wear on you.

ETA:
I forgot to mention that trailers are like wives.  Some are great, but some are high maintenance and will punish you severely if they don't get the attention they want.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 9:02:31 AM EDT
[#18]
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Quoted:
If you can manage it at all, go fifth-wheel.  They tow much better, especially in high winds.  I find hooking up with a fifth-wheel to me MUCH easier because I have to do it alone.  I now have a much smaller travel trailer and it's OK, but I miss my fifth-wheel.  

I would highly recommend using 3/4 of your rated towing capacity as an absolute maximum for trailer gross weight, 7,200# in your case.  Remember that everything you stick in the trailer counts towards gross weight, including fresh water, gray water and black water.  It's REALLY easy to get overloaded.  

If your tow vehicle is a stick, plan on doing a lot of shifting in even moderately hilly country.

The bathroom is where it's at!  I can deal with small appliances, dining area, and not-quite-queen sized bed, but having a tiny shower SUCKS.

Trailer camping is a blast!  I've dragged mine into some truly beautiful places and met a lot of very nice people.  I used to do a lot of tent camping, but now I want my creature comforts.  Did I mention the bathroom being important?  When I want to rough it, I don't set up the satellite dish.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of manufacturers out there.  When you get closer to buying, check back in and I'm sure the people here can give you a long checklist of what to look for and look out for.

You may want to consider renting a trailer just to see if you like it.  Plan a week-long trip somewhere just far enough away that you can't run back into the house for things you forgot, like the bathroom.  Anyone can put up with a trailer for a weekend, but after five days or so the little things start to wear on you.
View Quote


Truck is 6 speed auto, but I have the tow package so it allows me to "shift" or hold in gear longer.
I never thought of renting. That's not a bad idea at all.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 9:06:37 AM EDT
[#19]

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Quoted:
That's a good point. I assume that's why you guys are recommending staying at 66% of tow rating?
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Quoted:



Quoted:


Quoted:

Take 66% of your tow rating as max.  Go cheap to see if you like it and upgrade later.  Ba able to fix stuff often--these things require much more maintenance than you'd expect.




Also remember that the advertised trailer weight is dry weight. You'll have to figure in your water tanks and anything you may have in the trailer as well.




That's a good point. I assume that's why you guys are recommending staying at 66% of tow rating?




 
No, gross trailer weight plus people and shit in the truck.  Tow ratings they give for trucks these days are way optimistic.  My 2011 F250 tow rating is 12,500.  My trailer tare is 6700.  I carry a lot, maybe 8,000 or 9,000 after all the stuff and don't ever want to go higher.  
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 9:10:11 AM EDT
[#20]
also look at hitch weight, factor that in with what max payload your truck can do (say 1700 lb) and factor in other passengers, baggage, cooler, golf cart or whatever you would put IN the truck.

I've always taken the max vehicle weight of the camper + the weight of the truck (btw, take a trip to your local dump, most weigh you going in and out to figure how to charge you) + truck cargo weight and figure that against max combine vehicle weight.  

Most people I know only put 1000-1200 lb of stuff in their camper.  If you can, fill your water when you get there.  

I found several campers that were good on their weight but they had a dry hitch weight of 800-900 lbs?  So watch that wen you are shopping.

Also what year is your truck?  is it a flex fuel.  My 2015 is a a flexi and the E85 bumps the hp and tq to just about the 6.2 engine.  Even running 93 in the newer 5.3 will put you between the hpt / tq of the 5.3 and the 6.2

On the hybrids, my thing with them is the canvas.  If it rains you have to leave it open to dry out when you are done.  You get to hear all the country sounds but you also get to hear the hippies in the next tent doing the boom boom.  The hippies also get to hear you and your lady boom boom.

Slides give you more room, watch for water leaks. They require service like anything else.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 9:28:20 AM EDT
[#21]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
also look at hitch weight, factor that in with what max payload your truck can do (say 1700 lb) and factor in other passengers, baggage, cooler, golf cart or whatever you would put IN the truck.

I've always taken the max vehicle weight of the camper + the weight of the truck (btw, take a trip to your local dump, most weigh you going in and out to figure how to charge you) + truck cargo weight and figure that against max combine vehicle weight.  

Most people I know only put 1000-1200 lb of stuff in their camper.  If you can, fill your water when you get there.  

I found several campers that were good on their weight but they had a dry hitch weight of 800-900 lbs?  So watch that wen you are shopping.

Also what year is your truck?  is it a flex fuel.  My 2015 is a a flexi and the E85 bumps the hp and tq to just about the 6.2 engine.  Even running 93 in the newer 5.3 will put you between the hpt / tq of the 5.3 and the 6.2

On the hybrids, my thing with them is the canvas.  If it rains you have to leave it open to dry out when you are done.  You get to hear all the country sounds but you also get to hear the hippies in the next tent doing the boom boom.  The hippies also get to hear you and your lady boom boom.

Slides give you more room, watch for water leaks. They require service like anything else.
View Quote


2010. It will take flex fuel, I've just never used it. Thanks for the info. I think I'm looking to keep it around 6300 lbs.

You mentioned a dry hitch weight of 800-900 lbs. Does that mean they bought hitches only rated for 900 lbs?
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 9:31:19 AM EDT
[#22]


Any info on brands?

Found a 2010 KZ Sportsmen KS220 for 9,995.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 9:47:45 AM EDT
[#23]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Any info on brands?

Found a 2010 KZ Sportsmen KS220 for 9,995.
View Quote


Campers are one of those things where only a few companies actually make them and slap somebody else's name on the side. A person I know used to own a RV dealership and did a lot of repair work for Thor industries which is the maker of many brands out there. His opinion was that everything they made was garbage. Honestly in my option they're all junk for the most part with some less junky than others. Keep in mind with a camper you're going to get all the trouble of a car combined with all the trouble of a house. It will leak eventually, they leave the factory sealed but after a few years of being pulled around stuff warps and flexes letting in water. Everything is cheap and flimsy in the name of saving weight. Plastic plumbing and fixtures, cheap thin windows, cheap carpet and so on.

Just accept going into it that you'll be making repairs along the way. Especially if you use it more than once or twice a year. Pick the floor plan and weight that works for you.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 9:53:29 AM EDT
[#24]
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Quoted:




Also manufacturers miss the estimates for weight often . My brother just bought a new camper and it weighs over 1,500 pounds more than the manufacturer stated for the dry weight . My brother took it over a scale he thought it felt heavy
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Take 66% of your tow rating as max.  Go cheap to see if you like it and upgrade later.  Ba able to fix stuff often--these things require much more maintenance than you'd expect.


Also remember that the advertised trailer weight is dry weight. You'll have to figure in your water tanks and anything you may have in the trailer as well.




Also manufacturers miss the estimates for weight often . My brother just bought a new camper and it weighs over 1,500 pounds more than the manufacturer stated for the dry weight . My brother took it over a scale he thought it felt heavy



All this.  I have a 1500 Suburban and used to have a 26' gulfstream that said it was 3,500lbs.  After luggage, supplies, food, water etc. it was closer to 6,000lbs.  Could I tow more?  Probably.  Did I want to tow more?  No, especially with the terrain here in east TN.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 9:57:51 AM EDT
[#25]
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Quoted:



All this.  I have a 1500 Suburban and used to have a 26' gulfstream that said it was 3,500lbs.  After luggage, supplies, food, water etc. it was closer to 6,000lbs.  Could I tow more?  Probably.  Did I want to tow more?  No, especially with the terrain here in east TN.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Take 66% of your tow rating as max.  Go cheap to see if you like it and upgrade later.  Ba able to fix stuff often--these things require much more maintenance than you'd expect.


Also remember that the advertised trailer weight is dry weight. You'll have to figure in your water tanks and anything you may have in the trailer as well.




Also manufacturers miss the estimates for weight often . My brother just bought a new camper and it weighs over 1,500 pounds more than the manufacturer stated for the dry weight . My brother took it over a scale he thought it felt heavy



All this.  I have a 1500 Suburban and used to have a 26' gulfstream that said it was 3,500lbs.  After luggage, supplies, food, water etc. it was closer to 6,000lbs.  Could I tow more?  Probably.  Did I want to tow more?  No, especially with the terrain here in east TN.



Interesting point because I'd be using it a lot up and down 81 here in VA. All along the Blue Ridge
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 10:02:04 AM EDT
[#26]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


2010. It will take flex fuel, I've just never used it. Thanks for the info. I think I'm looking to keep it around 6300 lbs.

You mentioned a dry hitch weight of 800-900 lbs. Does that mean they bought hitches only rated for 900 lbs?
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
also look at hitch weight, factor that in with what max payload your truck can do (say 1700 lb) and factor in other passengers, baggage, cooler, golf cart or whatever you would put IN the truck.

I've always taken the max vehicle weight of the camper + the weight of the truck (btw, take a trip to your local dump, most weigh you going in and out to figure how to charge you) + truck cargo weight and figure that against max combine vehicle weight.  

Most people I know only put 1000-1200 lb of stuff in their camper.  If you can, fill your water when you get there.  

I found several campers that were good on their weight but they had a dry hitch weight of 800-900 lbs?  So watch that wen you are shopping.

Also what year is your truck?  is it a flex fuel.  My 2015 is a a flexi and the E85 bumps the hp and tq to just about the 6.2 engine.  Even running 93 in the newer 5.3 will put you between the hpt / tq of the 5.3 and the 6.2

On the hybrids, my thing with them is the canvas.  If it rains you have to leave it open to dry out when you are done.  You get to hear all the country sounds but you also get to hear the hippies in the next tent doing the boom boom.  The hippies also get to hear you and your lady boom boom.

Slides give you more room, watch for water leaks. They require service like anything else.


2010. It will take flex fuel, I've just never used it. Thanks for the info. I think I'm looking to keep it around 6300 lbs.

You mentioned a dry hitch weight of 800-900 lbs. Does that mean they bought hitches only rated for 900 lbs?


No think of it like this... the hitch on the front of the camper is going to push down on the hitch on the truck, more or less like you just put a bunch of weight in the bed of the truck.....  This is a function of how the camper is built.  Some will carry more weight forward putting more weight on the hitch.  Your truck can not only pull so much weight, but it can also only handle so much down force weight.  See what I mean.  

When I was shopping I saw 28ft camper that had a hitch weight of 400-500 lb up to 800+ lb.  The more the hitch weight, the less cargo you can carry in your truck.  

a buddy always carries a ATV with him (400 lb)  When he got his new camper the hitch weight was 800 lb which put him close to max cargo weight.   Just be careful
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 10:06:07 AM EDT
[#27]
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Quoted:


No think of it like this... the hitch on the front of the camper is going to push down on the hitch on the truck, more or less like you just put a bunch of weight in the bed of the truck.....  This is a function of how the camper is built.  Some will carry more weight forward putting more weight on the hitch.  Your truck can not only pull so much weight, but it can also only handle so much down force weight.  See what I mean.  

When I was shopping I saw 28ft camper that had a hitch weight of 400-500 lb up to 800+ lb.  The more the hitch weight, the less cargo you can carry in your truck.  

a buddy always carries a ATV with him (400 lb)  When he got his new camper the hitch weight was 800 lb which put him close to max cargo weight.   Just be careful
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
also look at hitch weight, factor that in with what max payload your truck can do (say 1700 lb) and factor in other passengers, baggage, cooler, golf cart or whatever you would put IN the truck.

I've always taken the max vehicle weight of the camper + the weight of the truck (btw, take a trip to your local dump, most weigh you going in and out to figure how to charge you) + truck cargo weight and figure that against max combine vehicle weight.  

Most people I know only put 1000-1200 lb of stuff in their camper.  If you can, fill your water when you get there.  

I found several campers that were good on their weight but they had a dry hitch weight of 800-900 lbs?  So watch that wen you are shopping.

Also what year is your truck?  is it a flex fuel.  My 2015 is a a flexi and the E85 bumps the hp and tq to just about the 6.2 engine.  Even running 93 in the newer 5.3 will put you between the hpt / tq of the 5.3 and the 6.2

On the hybrids, my thing with them is the canvas.  If it rains you have to leave it open to dry out when you are done.  You get to hear all the country sounds but you also get to hear the hippies in the next tent doing the boom boom.  The hippies also get to hear you and your lady boom boom.

Slides give you more room, watch for water leaks. They require service like anything else.


2010. It will take flex fuel, I've just never used it. Thanks for the info. I think I'm looking to keep it around 6300 lbs.

You mentioned a dry hitch weight of 800-900 lbs. Does that mean they bought hitches only rated for 900 lbs?


No think of it like this... the hitch on the front of the camper is going to push down on the hitch on the truck, more or less like you just put a bunch of weight in the bed of the truck.....  This is a function of how the camper is built.  Some will carry more weight forward putting more weight on the hitch.  Your truck can not only pull so much weight, but it can also only handle so much down force weight.  See what I mean.  

When I was shopping I saw 28ft camper that had a hitch weight of 400-500 lb up to 800+ lb.  The more the hitch weight, the less cargo you can carry in your truck.  

a buddy always carries a ATV with him (400 lb)  When he got his new camper the hitch weight was 800 lb which put him close to max cargo weight.   Just be careful


Makes sense. Thanks for that. Does that mean if you had a higher hitch weight you'd be better off transferring some of the weight you might have in the bed or cab of the truck to the camper (as long as it wasn't exceeding anything)?
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 10:09:53 AM EDT
[#28]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
also look at hitch weight, factor that in with what max payload your truck can do (say 1700 lb) and factor in other passengers, baggage, cooler, golf cart or whatever you would put IN the truck.

I've always taken the max vehicle weight of the camper + the weight of the truck (btw, take a trip to your local dump, most weigh you going in and out to figure how to charge you) + truck cargo weight and figure that against max combine vehicle weight.  

Most people I know only put 1000-1200 lb of stuff in their camper.  If you can, fill your water when you get there.  

I found several campers that were good on their weight but they had a dry hitch weight of 800-900 lbs?  So watch that wen you are shopping.

Also what year is your truck?  is it a flex fuel.  My 2015 is a a flexi and the E85 bumps the hp and tq to just about the 6.2 engine.  Even running 93 in the newer 5.3 will put you between the hpt / tq of the 5.3 and the 6.2

On the hybrids, my thing with them is the canvas.  If it rains you have to leave it open to dry out when you are done.  You get to hear all the country sounds but you also get to hear the hippies in the next tent doing the boom boom.  The hippies also get to hear you and your lady boom boom.

Slides give you more room, watch for water leaks. They require service like anything else.
View Quote



E-85 has about 30% less energy than Regular Gasoline, most E-85 users report less mileage and performance compared to conventional gasoline.

BIGGER_HAMMER
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 10:14:14 AM EDT
[#29]


Thoughts and or opinions on this

2010 Coachmen Freedom
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 10:18:03 AM EDT
[#30]


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I saw a few used ones in the 30' range for under 15K. I have no intention of buying new.





Also, not looking for an RV, but rather something I can tow.
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Quoted:


If you are going to buy an RV hit the used market and save yourself a ton of money. Just keep in mind the wife will be a big input as to what you buy.






I saw a few used ones in the 30' range for under 15K. I have no intention of buying new.





Also, not looking for an RV, but rather something I can tow.



I have an 18' Keystone camper trailer.  Weighs about 5,000 lbs. loaded up.  I bought it when it was 10 years old, and it's been great.





My Sierra (same set up as yours) tows it fine, but I wouldn't want to tow anything much bigger than that.  I think a 30-footer is a bit ambitious.





Whatever you buy, spend the money on a quality load-balancing anti-sway hitch.  And, while my truck can handle a short trip towing my camper without it, an electronic brake controller makes a huge difference.  In hilly country, I wouldn't attempt it without it.





 
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 10:23:19 AM EDT
[#31]
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I have an 18' Keystone camper trailer.  Weighs about 5,000 lbs. loaded up.  I bought it when it was 10 years old, and it's been great.

My Sierra (same set up as yours) tows it fine, but I wouldn't want to tow anything much bigger than that.  I think a 30-footer is a bit ambitious.

Whatever you buy, spend the money on a quality load-balancing anti-sway hitch.  And, while my truck can handle a short trip towing my camper without it, an electronic brake controller makes a huge difference.  In hilly country, I wouldn't attempt it without it.
 
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Quoted:
If you are going to buy an RV hit the used market and save yourself a ton of money. Just keep in mind the wife will be a big input as to what you buy.


I saw a few used ones in the 30' range for under 15K. I have no intention of buying new.

Also, not looking for an RV, but rather something I can tow.

I have an 18' Keystone camper trailer.  Weighs about 5,000 lbs. loaded up.  I bought it when it was 10 years old, and it's been great.

My Sierra (same set up as yours) tows it fine, but I wouldn't want to tow anything much bigger than that.  I think a 30-footer is a bit ambitious.

Whatever you buy, spend the money on a quality load-balancing anti-sway hitch.  And, while my truck can handle a short trip towing my camper without it, an electronic brake controller makes a huge difference.  In hilly country, I wouldn't attempt it without it.
 



Well, there's something else I don't know anything about.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 10:24:21 AM EDT
[#32]
We Just bought a camper a few weeks ago. its 24ft with a total length of about 27ft. dry weight claims to be around 5500lbs. I will say this. Buying a camper was a HUGE PITA. Not to say the experience wasnt enjoyable. But shopping for it took a while. Going here going there. See as many floor plans as you can. Think about options you want or might need later. Get one that has at least a 50 gallon grey tank. A power jack is a nice option. Dont forget to factor all the other cost in as well. Any boon docking and youll need a generator, water hoses, Electric cable..  It can get costly fast. But its fun. Weve had the camper for 3 weeks, and the past 2 weekends have been spent in it. Leaving out Friday to do it again...
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 10:24:35 AM EDT
[#33]
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Quoted:


Thoughts and or opinions on this

2010 Coachmen Freedom
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It may be nice, but a close inspection is warranted.  Also, I've run into a few RV parks that won't allow trailers more than five years old.  Some have a ten-year-old limit.  They're trying to keep out the trashy old crap and the people that usually have trashy old crap.

Link Posted: 4/26/2016 10:24:37 AM EDT
[#34]
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Quoted:

I haul travel trailers for a living, but still take this with a grain of salt. With that tow rig I'd look for a trailer in the 20ft range weighing in at no more that 6500lbs. It wont bog the truck down too much and you wont get pushed around on the freeway too much when a large SUV blows by you at 75mph. Definitely go used and do a thorough inspection before laying out any cash.

Take a ladder with you and look at the seals along the top edges of the rig. Those are goong to be exposed to the sun more than anything and may dry out and cause leaks. Check the seals around doors and windows and move cushions inside to look for leaks and water damage. Water will destroy travel trailers. Don't be afraid to crawl under the trailer and look at wiring plumbing fittings. If the trailer has a side pop out run it in and out too see if anything underneath might get caught up during its in and out movement.

Along with those things just keep an eye out for scratches and dents that could be an indication of damage. You'll want a spare tire along with a decent bottle jack and wooden blocks if you need to change out a flat. Thats all i can think of for now. Shoot me an IM if you have any specific questions.

Hope that helps.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
If you are going to buy an RV hit the used market and save yourself a ton of money. Just keep in mind the wife will be a big input as to what you buy.


I saw a few used ones in the 30' range for under 15K. I have no intention of buying new.

Also, not looking for an RV, but rather something I can tow.

I haul travel trailers for a living, but still take this with a grain of salt. With that tow rig I'd look for a trailer in the 20ft range weighing in at no more that 6500lbs. It wont bog the truck down too much and you wont get pushed around on the freeway too much when a large SUV blows by you at 75mph. Definitely go used and do a thorough inspection before laying out any cash.

Take a ladder with you and look at the seals along the top edges of the rig. Those are goong to be exposed to the sun more than anything and may dry out and cause leaks. Check the seals around doors and windows and move cushions inside to look for leaks and water damage. Water will destroy travel trailers. Don't be afraid to crawl under the trailer and look at wiring plumbing fittings. If the trailer has a side pop out run it in and out too see if anything underneath might get caught up during its in and out movement.

Along with those things just keep an eye out for scratches and dents that could be an indication of damage. You'll want a spare tire along with a decent bottle jack and wooden blocks if you need to change out a flat. Thats all i can think of for now. Shoot me an IM if you have any specific questions.

Hope that helps.

Best post ever.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 10:41:53 AM EDT
[#35]
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Quoted:


It may be nice, but a close inspection is warranted.  Also, I've run into a few RV parks that won't allow trailers more than five years old.  Some have a ten-year-old limit.  They're trying to keep out the trashy old crap and the people that usually have trashy old crap.

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Quoted:
Quoted:


Thoughts and or opinions on this

2010 Coachmen Freedom


It may be nice, but a close inspection is warranted.  Also, I've run into a few RV parks that won't allow trailers more than five years old.  Some have a ten-year-old limit.  They're trying to keep out the trashy old crap and the people that usually have trashy old crap.




That's interesting and good to know.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 10:43:12 AM EDT
[#36]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
We Just bought a camper a few weeks ago. its 24ft with a total length of about 27ft. dry weight claims to be around 5500lbs. I will say this. Buying a camper was a HUGE PITA. Not to say the experience wasnt enjoyable. But shopping for it took a while. Going here going there. See as many floor plans as you can. Think about options you want or might need later. Get one that has at least a 50 gallon grey tank. A power jack is a nice option. Dont forget to factor all the other cost in as well. Any boon docking and youll need a generator, water hoses, Electric cable..  It can get costly fast. But its fun. Weve had the camper for 3 weeks, and the past 2 weekends have been spent in it. Leaving out Friday to do it again...
View Quote


What were some features you knew you had to have? Which ones are just a waste of space and weight?
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 10:48:10 AM EDT
[#37]
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Quoted:



E-85 has about 30% less energy than Regular Gasoline, most E-85 users report less mileage and performance compared to conventional gasoline.

BIGGER_HAMMER
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Quoted:
also look at hitch weight, factor that in with what max payload your truck can do (say 1700 lb) and factor in other passengers, baggage, cooler, golf cart or whatever you would put IN the truck.

I've always taken the max vehicle weight of the camper + the weight of the truck (btw, take a trip to your local dump, most weigh you going in and out to figure how to charge you) + truck cargo weight and figure that against max combine vehicle weight.  

Most people I know only put 1000-1200 lb of stuff in their camper.  If you can, fill your water when you get there.  

I found several campers that were good on their weight but they had a dry hitch weight of 800-900 lbs?  So watch that wen you are shopping.

Also what year is your truck?  is it a flex fuel.  My 2015 is a a flexi and the E85 bumps the hp and tq to just about the 6.2 engine.  Even running 93 in the newer 5.3 will put you between the hpt / tq of the 5.3 and the 6.2

On the hybrids, my thing with them is the canvas.  If it rains you have to leave it open to dry out when you are done.  You get to hear all the country sounds but you also get to hear the hippies in the next tent doing the boom boom.  The hippies also get to hear you and your lady boom boom.

Slides give you more room, watch for water leaks. They require service like anything else.



E-85 has about 30% less energy than Regular Gasoline, most E-85 users report less mileage and performance compared to conventional gasoline.

BIGGER_HAMMER


30% less fuel economy so you are right on that, but being higher octane, so the new VVT DI 5.3 doesn't have to turn the timing back for detonation.

So on 87 octane you get 355 hp and 388tq  on E85 its 380 hp and 416 tq   Don't believe me go to the GMC towing guide.  One of the tuners put a new 5.3 on a dyno and got almost as good on 93 octane.

Its enough of a difference that you can feel in the the seat back dyno LOL.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 10:52:19 AM EDT
[#38]
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Quoted:


What were some features you knew you had to have? Which ones are just a waste of space and weight?
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Quoted:
We Just bought a camper a few weeks ago. its 24ft with a total length of about 27ft. dry weight claims to be around 5500lbs. I will say this. Buying a camper was a HUGE PITA. Not to say the experience wasnt enjoyable. But shopping for it took a while. Going here going there. See as many floor plans as you can. Think about options you want or might need later. Get one that has at least a 50 gallon grey tank. A power jack is a nice option. Dont forget to factor all the other cost in as well. Any boon docking and youll need a generator, water hoses, Electric cable..  It can get costly fast. But its fun. Weve had the camper for 3 weeks, and the past 2 weekends have been spent in it. Leaving out Friday to do it again...


What were some features you knew you had to have? Which ones are just a waste of space and weight?


That's going to vary greatly on the individual needs of the buyer. I knew I didn't want slide outs because aside from creating another point of water entry I also overnight in parking lots on my drive to the destination. Walmart and a few other places are cool with it until you roll out a slide. Another was some degree of separation from me and the kids at night when sleeping. So I selected a plan with front queen bed and rear bunks with their own partitions. If your going to use the bathroom onboard regularly you'll definitely want a dry toilet vs wet where the commode is in the shower.

Since you stated you want yours for tailgating primarily I would look for one with a nice big awning, outdoor "kitchen" and some have access panels that will let you flip the TV around for outdoor viewing. A friend of mine has one with a bumper mount grill on a swivel that's plumbed to the LP tanks. That would be a sweet feature for your use.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 10:57:51 AM EDT
[#39]
I've had several 5.3s.    For a typical TT, I try to keep the gross trailer weight under 7k lbs (under 6k preferably).   The rig can pull a lot more weight, but keeping it lighter makes longer trips much more enjoyable - especially in the West where every wind is a headwind, and every road goes uphill.

With a gas engine, you're relying on higher RPMS to get up those hills and push through those headwinds, and those higher revs aren't all that good for GM trannys. So keep the weight down - don't get sucked into thinking you need 8 slideouts and a garage bay for your Ferrari.    Keep the grey/black/fresh water tanks empty whenever you can, tell the wife she can only bring 3 pairs of shoes.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 11:02:53 AM EDT
[#40]
I will add this, as to feature, storage, storage, storage
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 11:07:38 AM EDT
[#41]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


That's going to vary greatly on the individual needs of the buyer. I knew I didn't want slide outs because aside from creating another point of water entry I also overnight in parking lots on my drive to the destination. Walmart and a few other places are cool with it until you roll out a slide. Another was some degree of separation from me and the kids at night when sleeping. So I selected a plan with front queen bed and rear bunks with their own partitions. If your going to use the bathroom onboard regularly you'll definitely want a dry toilet vs wet where the commode is in the shower.

Since you stated you want yours for tailgating primarily I would look for one with a nice big awning, outdoor "kitchen" and some have access panels that will let you flip the TV around for outdoor viewing. A friend of mine has one with a bumper mount grill on a swivel that's plumbed to the LP tanks. That would be a sweet feature for your use.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
We Just bought a camper a few weeks ago. its 24ft with a total length of about 27ft. dry weight claims to be around 5500lbs. I will say this. Buying a camper was a HUGE PITA. Not to say the experience wasnt enjoyable. But shopping for it took a while. Going here going there. See as many floor plans as you can. Think about options you want or might need later. Get one that has at least a 50 gallon grey tank. A power jack is a nice option. Dont forget to factor all the other cost in as well. Any boon docking and youll need a generator, water hoses, Electric cable..  It can get costly fast. But its fun. Weve had the camper for 3 weeks, and the past 2 weekends have been spent in it. Leaving out Friday to do it again...


What were some features you knew you had to have? Which ones are just a waste of space and weight?


That's going to vary greatly on the individual needs of the buyer. I knew I didn't want slide outs because aside from creating another point of water entry I also overnight in parking lots on my drive to the destination. Walmart and a few other places are cool with it until you roll out a slide. Another was some degree of separation from me and the kids at night when sleeping. So I selected a plan with front queen bed and rear bunks with their own partitions. If your going to use the bathroom onboard regularly you'll definitely want a dry toilet vs wet where the commode is in the shower.

Since you stated you want yours for tailgating primarily I would look for one with a nice big awning, outdoor "kitchen" and some have access panels that will let you flip the TV around for outdoor viewing. A friend of mine has one with a bumper mount grill on a swivel that's plumbed to the LP tanks. That would be a sweet feature for your use.


I should note, tailgating is one thing, but honestly, it would be used more for camping with friends and family. I grew up camping (in tents) and will most likely make the kids (if I have them) sleep in tents .
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 11:17:59 AM EDT
[#42]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I've had several 5.3s.    For a typical TT, I try to keep the gross trailer weight under 7k lbs (under 6k preferably).   The rig can pull a lot more weight, but keeping it lighter makes longer trips much more enjoyable - especially in the West where every wind is a headwind, and every road goes uphill.

With a gas engine, you're relying on higher RPMS to get up those hills and push through those headwinds, and those higher revs aren't all that good for GM trannys. So keep the weight down - don't get sucked into thinking you need 8 slideouts and a garage bay for your Ferrari.    Keep the grey/black/fresh water tanks empty whenever you can, tell the wife she can only bring 3 pairs of shoes.
View Quote


My truck has the manual shift mode when in haul mode so I can hold it in gear to maintain rpm
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 11:27:48 AM EDT
[#43]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


What were some features you knew you had to have? Which ones are just a waste of space and weight?
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Quoted:
Quoted:
We Just bought a camper a few weeks ago. its 24ft with a total length of about 27ft. dry weight claims to be around 5500lbs. I will say this. Buying a camper was a HUGE PITA. Not to say the experience wasnt enjoyable. But shopping for it took a while. Going here going there. See as many floor plans as you can. Think about options you want or might need later. Get one that has at least a 50 gallon grey tank. A power jack is a nice option. Dont forget to factor all the other cost in as well. Any boon docking and youll need a generator, water hoses, Electric cable..  It can get costly fast. But its fun. Weve had the camper for 3 weeks, and the past 2 weekends have been spent in it. Leaving out Friday to do it again...


What were some features you knew you had to have? Which ones are just a waste of space and weight?



As stated above, That's going to vary greatly between each person. We needed a toy hauler. So I was mainly looking at the garage part and how much room Id have for 2 bikes. I also wanted a front bedroom separate from the rest of the sleeping. We manage to find a garage big enough, front bedroom and an electric queen bed that comes down in the rear. Also has the 2 couches that fold out for additional sleeping. Granted in order to get some things you have to give up some things..Its a trade off and you have to weigh out what you want over what you can live with out.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 11:42:02 AM EDT
[#44]

I'm liking the layouts of the Coachmen Catalina. Big bed up front, kitchen in the middle, other beds in back. What other brands have this layout?
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 11:49:00 AM EDT
[#45]
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Quoted:

I'm liking the layouts of the Coachmen Catalina. Big bed up front, kitchen in the middle, other beds in back. What other brands have this layout?
View Quote


Thats like saying what other cars comes with air conditioning... You will see that alot of different companies come with a very similar floor plan. But the catch is. With each different one. They have subtle little differences. One might have a oven, the other one might have a smaller bathroom. Best thing for you to do is to go and walk in them. I looked at hundreds online. What you have in your mind might work and in the pictures it might seem fine. Until you actually see it in person. Things get smaller when your standing inside one.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 12:01:22 PM EDT
[#46]
Couple thoughts from a guy who has been doing this for close to 35 years, everything from a cabover camper to a 39ft. 5th wheel,, which is my current and hopefully last RV. Everything everyone else has said is real and valuable.

Do not assume that "Tow Package" Trans cooler is enough. Have someone you trust that knows how tow rigs should be equipped take a look at it, and if this is going to be your tow rig for any serious work probably replace it with a larger aftermarket cooler. Cheap insurance, IMHO. Your trucks brakes need to be serviced and be in good shape.
A quality brake controller is made by Prodigy. You will need one, it interfaces your truck brakes with the trailer brakes.
http://www.tekonsha.com/

In my opinon only,  Eaz-Lift makes the best weight distributing hitches. Read and learn about them, and how they work.(At least 50% of the rigs I see towing with weight distributing hitches are not set up correctly. People need to read the dang directions and use them correctly.)

Buying used from a private party is the cheapest way, but look for the guy who takes care of his stuff, has the maintenance records, and knows his unit. Test EVERY system in the RV before making any offer. Make sure the refer runs on both or all three power sources...propane, 110v and 12v if optional.
Make sure the batteries charge when plugged in to shore power. Make sure the water heater fires, the pump works, etc.
Find out when the last time was the wheel bearings where packed. There are pre-delivery checklists all over the net, find one and print it. Use it.

Renting might be a good way to find out if this is something you want to spend money on. RV's are a blast, but they require care and repair. If the owner doesn't stay up on them leaks happen and the wooden structure rots...bad news. if you buy I strongly suggest looking for a coach with aluminum framed walls...

We tow a heavy toy hauler, filled with our Rzr XP1000 with a highly modded F350 4x4 dually, and love it. With 124 gallons of fresh water and 60 gallons of fuel, 6k generator and 200 watts of solar we can go 14 days without support with just the wife and I and the dogs.

My sons were born camping and RVing in the boondocks of the west, and they now are raising their own families doing the same thing...making memories..

ONE LAST NOTE:

I am 6-4 and about 260.
Not all RV's are designed for people over 5-6. Before you buy make sure you can sit on the throne in the bathroom and close the door. I have a dear friend who is the same size I am and he once bought a brand new class C motor home and didn't find out he could not close the door to the head while seated on the can until he'd made the first payment and was 200 miles from home in the middle of the desert...
Having to eject the family to do your business at 0800 in the morning does not make for a harmonious vacation experience.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 12:01:25 PM EDT
[#47]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Thats like saying what other cars comes with air conditioning... You will see that alot of different companies come with a very similar floor plan. But the catch is. With each different one. They have subtle little differences. One might have a oven, the other one might have a smaller bathroom. Best thing for you to do is to go and walk in them. I looked at hundreds online. What you have in your mind might work and in the pictures it might seem fine. Until you actually see it in person. Things get smaller when your standing inside one.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:

I'm liking the layouts of the Coachmen Catalina. Big bed up front, kitchen in the middle, other beds in back. What other brands have this layout?


Thats like saying what other cars comes with air conditioning... You will see that alot of different companies come with a very similar floor plan. But the catch is. With each different one. They have subtle little differences. One might have a oven, the other one might have a smaller bathroom. Best thing for you to do is to go and walk in them. I looked at hundreds online. What you have in your mind might work and in the pictures it might seem fine. Until you actually see it in person. Things get smaller when your standing inside one.



Again, really good points.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 12:04:12 PM EDT
[#48]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Couple thoughts from a guy who has been doing this for close to 35 years, everything from a cabover camper to a 39ft. 5th wheel,, which is my current and hopefully last RV. Everything everyone else has said is real and valuable.

Do not assume that "Tow Package" Trans cooler is enough. Have someone you trust that knows how tow rigs should be equipped take a look at it, and if this is going to be your tow rig for any serious work probably replace it with a larger aftermarket cooler. Cheap insurance, IMHO. Your trucks brakes need to be serviced and be in good shape.
A quality brake controller is made by Prodigy. You will need one, it interfaces your truck brakes with the trailer brakes.
http://www.tekonsha.com/

In my opinon only,  Eaz-Lift makes the best weight distributing hitches. Read and learn about them, and how they work.(At least 50% of the rigs I see towing with weight distributing hitches are not set up correctly. People need to read the dang directions and use them correctly.)

Buying used from a private party is the cheapest way, but look for the guy who takes care of his stuff, has the maintenance records, and knows his unit. Test EVERY system in the RV before making any offer. Make sure the refer runs on both or all three power sources...propane, 110v and 12v if optional.
Make sure the batteries charge when plugged in to shore power. Make sure the water heater fires, the pump works, etc.
Find out when the last time was the wheel bearings where packed. There are pre-delivery checklists all over the net, find one and print it. Use it.

Renting might be a good way to find out if this is something you want to spend money on. RV's are a blast, but they require care and repair. If the owner doesn't stay up on them leaks happen and the wooden structure rots...bad news. if you buy I strongly suggest looking for a coach with aluminum framed walls...

We tow a heavy toy hauler, filled with our Rzr XP1000 with a highly modded F350 4x4 dually, and love it. With 124 gallons of fresh water and 60 gallons of fuel, 6k generator and 200 watts of solar we can go 14 days without support with just the wife and I and the dogs.

My sons were born camping and RVing in the boondocks of the west, and they now are raising their own families doing the same thing...making memories...
View Quote



Great insight. Thank you. Just today, I've learned a lot more than I ever knew.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 12:09:41 PM EDT
[#49]
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Interesting point because I'd be using it a lot up and down 81 here in VA. All along the Blue Ridge
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Take 66% of your tow rating as max.  Go cheap to see if you like it and upgrade later.  Ba able to fix stuff often--these things require much more maintenance than you'd expect.


Also remember that the advertised trailer weight is dry weight. You'll have to figure in your water tanks and anything you may have in the trailer as well.




Also manufacturers miss the estimates for weight often . My brother just bought a new camper and it weighs over 1,500 pounds more than the manufacturer stated for the dry weight . My brother took it over a scale he thought it felt heavy



All this.  I have a 1500 Suburban and used to have a 26' gulfstream that said it was 3,500lbs.  After luggage, supplies, food, water etc. it was closer to 6,000lbs.  Could I tow more?  Probably.  Did I want to tow more?  No, especially with the terrain here in east TN.



Interesting point because I'd be using it a lot up and down 81 here in VA. All along the Blue Ridge


With mountains in play it would be smart to stick with a smaller trailer.
Link Posted: 4/26/2016 12:22:26 PM EDT
[#50]
I had a GMC 1500 5.3L w/ the H.D. tow package and towed a 35' camper.  It did OK on the flats but struggled in the N GA mountains.  So I would recommend 25' or less for that truck.
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