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Well, I done did it - bought a travel trailer
Old 03-22-2008, 06:12 PM   #1
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Well, I done did it - bought a travel trailer

Today I signed on the dotted line for a Fun Finder X 160 travel trailer. It is a very light weight bunk house model that sleeps 5, has a (tiny) full kitchen, bathroom, etc. yet can still be pulled by my minivan. Reasonable example photos here: Listing Photos (Although we opted to avoid the "bordello red" color scheme).

Importantly, there is a bunk for each kid in this thing, plus a queen size bed for us (and an extra bunk). Should be lots of fun, and it cost half as much as my last (non-luxury) car purchase.

It was a bit of a challenge to part with the money, but I have small kids and have not been camping since DW was pregnant with the first, so time to live a little. As a modest plus, it will double as a guest bedroom, as the camper witlll live in the back of my driveway when not in use.

Must be getting back to my rural SE Ohio roots (close to WV), seeing as how I opted for a trailer. Does this count as a single-wide?
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Old 03-22-2008, 06:29 PM   #2
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Looks like a fun Fun Finder. Your kids will have a ball in that thing and really enjoy camping. You and your DW might not mind it so much either...

When our kids were small we had a tiny pop-up trailer that we later upgraded to a larger pop-up. We had some great times on weekend camp outs. My two kids must have had a good time, since now that they are in their 30's with kids they want to take their kids camping too.

Does it count as a single wide? Who really gives a damn...
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Old 03-22-2008, 06:33 PM   #3
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I think taking kids camping is a great thing. DW's dad took her and her sisters camping in th Rockies from an early age. As a boy scout, I went a weekend a month every month (including Jan, Feb, etc. - lots of fun in a lean-to in upstate NY), plus a couple weeks of summer camp. We both have an enduring liove of the outdoors that I would love to pass onto my kids.
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Old 03-22-2008, 06:36 PM   #4
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Good on you Brewer! What are you going to be towing it with? Mind if we ask how much it set you back? We're looking for something for just the two of us (for when we FIRE in a couple years or so), and when the kids are off to college. In all honesty we were looking at an RV first, then a larger travel trailer, but Mr Market is not being too cooperative.

BTW, how many gallons in the fresh water tank?

R
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Old 03-22-2008, 06:38 PM   #5
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That's a nice lightweight little trailer. It should be just the ticket for some fun family camping. No need for a monster size full time RVer type unit with its proportionally high fuel demands.
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Old 03-22-2008, 06:40 PM   #6
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We will be towing it with our Honda Odyssey. The dry weight is about 2500#, vs. the tow rating on the van of 3500#. The trailer itself was a shade over 13k. Dealer fees and hitch, etc. add to that figure.

The 2008 that weare buying has a 25 gallon fresh water tank (32 gal grey water and 25 gal black water). The 2007 and earlier have much smaller tanks, which is why we ended up buying new rather than finding a used one. Fun finder actually makes the 139, which is smaller than the 160 and would be ideal as a small trailer for two people.

We thought about a motorhome, but the purchase price, higher maintenance and insurance costs, and crappier gas mileage were big deterrents. If I had known I could find something that would suit us this inexpensively, I would have done it a while ago.
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Old 03-22-2008, 06:48 PM   #7
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It looks good. I think it was a smart move.
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Old 03-22-2008, 06:50 PM   #8
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nice brewer. some of my very best memories are of vacations with my parents. enjoy it in good health and make lots of great memories for your kids.
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Old 03-22-2008, 07:09 PM   #9
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Sounds like a good deal. I guess we could tow something like this with our Odyssey (2005, 272hp if I remember correctly) but I have always (for some reason) felt more comfortable towing with a RWD truck. Thanks for the info. Will check out the 139 as well.

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Old 03-22-2008, 07:10 PM   #10
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seeing as how I opted for a trailer. Does this count as a single-wide?
I didn't realize things were getting that tough on Wallstreet
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Old 03-22-2008, 07:21 PM   #11
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Cool Brewer! Just in time for a spring trip. I sure you will have a blast and be comfortable at the same time.
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Old 03-22-2008, 07:40 PM   #12
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Good decision ! Time with your children is priceless !
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:00 PM   #13
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Oh, Brewer! I have SEO roots also.... Morgn Co! Right now I am in my travel trailer enjoying the wonderful sun of southern NV. 77° here today!

I am sure your kids will have lots o' fun campin' with Dad & Mom.
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:46 PM   #14
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Brewer,
You will have lots of fun with it. We have the 189 FBS which is just a little bigger than yours and really enjoy it on weekend trips. Just took it out last weekend.
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Old 03-22-2008, 09:10 PM   #15
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Brew...I think you made the best investment anyone can make...your family.
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Old 03-22-2008, 09:19 PM   #16
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looking fun brewer...i've been trying to talk the old lady into a camper....and now that you mention the 3500 lb tow rating on the van....we have a 2005 nissan quest with a hitch already hooked up....hmmm....


does your trailer have electric brakes?? i hope so....a good brake controller goes a long way. and if you havent already,GET A BIG TRANNY COOLER...it's a must unless you are planning to use this only 2-3x/yr short distances. I hope the dealer also talked you to into a nice Weight Distributing anti sway set-up for the hitch.

I'd wonder what the thing weighs when fully loaded?? I'd guess you will be over 3000lbs (25 gal water x 8lbs each- 200lbs, propane, gear, battery, grill, bikes, etc). Take a look at the Van's GCWR rating...I guess its around 8400 lbs. Then weigh the van with your family and gear in the van as you would be to go camping. This weight is subtracted from your GCWR to tell you the actual safe TOW rating. If you do exceed this, it doesn't mean imminent death....but be careful....trailers can be tricky. The tow rating on your van likely assumes only the driver...no gear or passengers in the van. And your trailer likely weighs more than the listed weight, as most options like AC aren't included.

I'm not trying to rain on your parade...but want to make sure you guys are safe and dont ruin that van!!

Hope it all works out though....looks like a blast!!!
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Old 03-22-2008, 10:26 PM   #17
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Looks like alot of fun brewer. We're completing an overhaul of a 70's era Boler (a 10ft fiberglass trailer) we plan on weekending with for now and then longer trips after FIRE.

DD

PS: German pils AG went into the fermentor friday. Go to have those lagers ready for the summer heat. (Yeah it does get warm here in the PNW).
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Old 03-22-2008, 11:30 PM   #18
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My oldest kid is 33 and I was camping long before she came along. I was always a tent camper, but once upon a time when it looked like I would have to work out of town for a few months I bought a trailer.

One early spring weekend looked promising so I took the family and trailer out for a test. Trailering was completely new to me and I wanted to see how everything worked before I had to go out of town. The weather turned to caca, and I was simply amazed by how much more fun everyone had than we did in the tent when the weather turned bad. I think the kid was about 5 at this time. With the heat on, hot chocolate at the table, board games, cards, and a warm, dry, toilet, we had a blast. We about wore that trailer out dragging it around places no sane person would. And we made a lot of good memories.

I still tent camp, my tent is 12X14 and has wood heat, but for family fun a little trailer is impossible to beat. I still have an older 19' 5th wheel in the drive. You will have a ball, just go slow and easy until you learn the ropes.
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Old 03-23-2008, 07:45 AM   #19
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looking fun brewer...i've been trying to talk the old lady into a camper....and now that you mention the 3500 lb tow rating on the van....we have a 2005 nissan quest with a hitch already hooked up....hmmm....


does your trailer have electric brakes?? i hope so....a good brake controller goes a long way. and if you havent already,GET A BIG TRANNY COOLER...it's a must unless you are planning to use this only 2-3x/yr short distances. I hope the dealer also talked you to into a nice Weight Distributing anti sway set-up for the hitch.

I'd wonder what the thing weighs when fully loaded?? I'd guess you will be over 3000lbs (25 gal water x 8lbs each- 200lbs, propane, gear, battery, grill, bikes, etc). Take a look at the Van's GCWR rating...I guess its around 8400 lbs. Then weigh the van with your family and gear in the van as you would be to go camping. This weight is subtracted from your GCWR to tell you the actual safe TOW rating. If you do exceed this, it doesn't mean imminent death....but be careful....trailers can be tricky. The tow rating on your van likely assumes only the driver...no gear or passengers in the van. And your trailer likely weighs more than the listed weight, as most options like AC aren't included.

I'm not trying to rain on your parade...but want to make sure you guys are safe and dont ruin that van!!

Hope it all works out though....looks like a blast!!!
Fully loaded the trailer will be 3200# or less. I will be having my mechanic add a tranny and power steering cooler. Whole shebang is ithin the limits of the van. The next size trailer up might have been OK, but pushing it. I think the 160 will be fine.
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Old 03-23-2008, 07:59 AM   #20
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Hey Brewer, when you take it out for your first trip/weekend, pls let us know how it works out...what you liked, potential concerns, etc. I don't know much about trailering or RVing...but been tent camping lots when I was younger. DW won't go w/o shower, so gotta have a trailer or something because I love mountains ank lakes/rivers.
Thanks
R
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