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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-29-2007, 06:21 PM   #21
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

You guys are great, full of wisdom, as I had hoped. Fortunately for me DW won't retire until 2016. So I have plenty of time to act up on your collective insights.

First, I'm going to act upon Audrey's suggestion, and buy myself a used one in the 20' - 24' range. i don't figure to need more than that because the longest we'd be in it for now will be two weeks. More likely just a week here, a week there, and the odd weekend.

This will also give me a chance to see if my truck is worth the extra money I paid for it and to register it each year. It's a Dodge Ram 1500, so it's technically a half-ton. But it came with a factory tow package, a Class III hitch, and a PA Class 2 registration. Which means that PA recognizes it to be a one ton capable truck. So I pay an extra $50 a year for registration.

I've carried two scoops of topsoil in it several times and as long as I turn off the overdrive the truck doesn't even slow down.

Elderdude, those Trailmanors are really very attractive to me, and a lot lighter than anything else in their class. But I have some time to look around.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-29-2007, 07:27 PM   #22
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

When we purchased our used trailer (years ago) we did a lot of tire kicking. There wasn't any Consumer's Reports type document available. If we were in the market now I would spend a couple dollars on something like this: www.rv.org

Has anyone seen their reports?

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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-29-2007, 08:16 PM   #23
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

We purcahsed our first trailer 5 years ago. It is a 22' Lite model with all the goodies. It is a wonderful way to camp and you will enjoy the experience.

We have camped with a Trail Manor and do not recommend them. The set-up and take down is harder than you would think due to the work involved inside. Also you lose a ton of storage due to the shape of the cabinets.

Trailering is much easier than I thought it would be, with a good hitch and the proper truck it is not at all scary. Just make sure you are set-up right in the first place. Use about 65 -75% of the tow vehicles capacity and make sure you have at least 125" of wheel base. Buy a good name hitch with good dual sway bars. After that the rest is cake. Your 25 footer will tow like a dream.

Start out right and you will enjoy the experience, if you start out wrong you will not. There is no subsitute for tow vehicle capacity OR wheelbase.

We started out like many others, with a half ton and a poor setup. We persevered because we had owned 2 motor homes prior and knew that we enjoyed the RV lifestyle. I would not go back to a motorhome, but in order to pull a trailer safely and enjoyably you must use enough tow vehicle.

Skip the entire 1/2 ton idea, you will just end up ruining a nice truck.

Happy Trails

Modified to add:

I see where you already have a Dodge half ton. This was my first tow vehicle, it handled fine and the engine was great. It ate 2 trannies over three years. Make sure you have a Tranny cooler and keep an eye on the fluid. I would add a tranny temp gauge as well. I pushed the second tranny hard thinking all my problems were over. I cooked it pretty badly. A more careful driver would have been OK, rather than face another rebuild I bought an Alllison.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-29-2007, 10:41 PM   #24
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by plattj1
I would not go back to a motorhome
Please explain why not?
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-29-2007, 11:26 PM   #25
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by plattj1

Modified to add:

I see where you already have a Dodge half ton. This was my first tow vehicle, it handled fine and the engine was great. It ate 2 trannies over three years. Make sure you have a Tranny cooler and keep an eye on the fluid. I would add a tranny temp gauge as well. I pushed the second tranny hard thinking all my problems were over. I cooked it pretty badly. A more careful driver would have been OK, rather than face another rebuild I bought an Alllison.
Love those Allisons
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-30-2007, 12:53 PM   #26
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

Dh and I just came back from looking at travel trailers. He's looking at the type that let you load on the bikes, I'm not so sure about that type. We plan on looking more when we get home, ER is a couple years away but I want to make sure we are well informed before purchasing. I just have to remember to hide the checkbook from Dh.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-30-2007, 04:32 PM   #27
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

How about renting first before you commit any cash outlay.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-30-2007, 05:19 PM   #28
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

I have owed one pop up trailer, went on to one Travel Trailer, and ended up with one 5th wheel. Easily we enjoyed the 5th wheel the most.

Some of the answer you're looking for is the degree of luxury that you want and can afford. For example, our 5th wheel had a slide out. WE LOVED the advantage of the slide out, made a HUGE difference as far as livability. We would never go back to a non-slide out, but of course, the slide out will cost more. I would agree.... go to some rec-vehicle shows and take a look.

FWIW, we had a regular Silverado 1500 with a 5.3 litre V8. Our 5th wheel was a light weight version at 5800 pounds dry and the Silverado had a towing capacity of 8200. We had no problems at all pulling our "lite" 5th wheel with the regular Silverado. We did this for 5 years.... and the 5.3 litre got good gas mileage relative to the larger V8s.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-30-2007, 06:39 PM   #29
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRABBY JERRY
How about renting first before you commit any cash outlay.
I have called literally every dealer within 100 miles of my house and NOBODY rents trailers. They ALL rent motor homes tho. They all claim liability issues on the trailers?
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-30-2007, 06:42 PM   #30
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

CRABBY JERRY,

LOVE the avatar. MY Boru is an Airedale. Good thing I have a sense of humour.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-30-2007, 09:01 PM   #31
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdw_fire
Please explain why not?
Strictly money. The trailer is less expensive since I have to have a truck for other reasons. We had issues with the drive train due to the way we used a motorhome. It would sit for long periods, but when it was used it was driven hard over mountains and loaded heavily. My Allison equipped Duramax eats up the mountains and big loads and never sits for more than a week or two.

As far as comfort while traveling and ease of use with kids, a motorhome wins hands down.

I have owned a class A, a class C, a pop-up trailer and a travel trailer. When I ER and go on extended trips to see the USA it will be in a 5th wheel with a Duramax/Allison truck. It drives comfortably, stops well and I like it.

If I were able to retire with over say.. 6 or 7 million I would buy a diesel pusher bus, but that's not gonna happen.

RVing is great, everybody can drive what they want and enjoy themselves. If you like motorhomes better then drive one, your reasons are your own and they are the only ones that really matter!

Enjoy...
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-30-2007, 10:01 PM   #32
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredbop
I have called literally every dealer within 100 miles of my house and NOBODY rents trailers. They ALL rent motor homes tho. They all claim liability issues on the trailers?
retiredbop
I am late joining this thread but Cruise America rents trailers. They have added a 24 ft trailer this year to their RV Class C fleet.
We did our first RV experience with these folks on a late season repositioning rate that was very attractive. Check them out at http://www.cruiseamerica.com/rv_rentals/trailer.asp
You will learn a lot in your maiden voyages. We currently have a 29' Class A and will probably be bumping up to a 32-4 units in the next year. Common advise in the RV world is to buy used and consider your first unit a "learner" so do not over-invest. Biggest single cost of ownership is depreciation
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-31-2007, 08:21 AM   #33
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

NWSteve, thanks for link. Good info, one small problem....

Travel trailers are available at the following locations:
Orlando (Kissimmee), FL
San Francisco (Oakland), CA
Los Angeles (Carson), CA
Inland Empire (Colton), CA
Las Vegas, NV
Phoenix (Mesa), AZ

I live in PA. LOL.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-31-2007, 08:22 AM   #34
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

I think we'll look to buy a used unit in the $2500- $5000 range this year or next. Most of the scheduled vacations are already eaten up with motorcycle trips and bicycle races this year.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 02-02-2007, 03:14 PM   #35
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

I was looking through my trucks specs in detail and found (in fine print) that 2001 Silverado 1500's need one of several factory installed heavy duty suspension options or they are limited to a 5000 pound trailer. 5th wheels are also not permitted by the specs.

I would assume this is true for all Chevy 1500s. That definitely limits my choices if I don't include a new truck to haul my test trailer.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 02-02-2007, 04:10 PM   #36
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

I saw a VW rabbit in the wal mart parking lot the other day hooked to a trailer that had to be at least 5000lbs.

It didnt look too happy, but i'm guessing that most car/truck makers are pretty conservative about what the towing limits are.

I'm sure that trailer outweighed the car by a longshot.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 02-02-2007, 04:19 PM   #37
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
I'm sure that trailer outweighed the car by a longshot.
And if attempting to brake while going down a steep hill, "longshot" would accurately describe the VW's trajectory...

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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 02-02-2007, 04:28 PM   #38
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

Flat as a pancake around here, but some short yellow lights must lead to some exciting moments.

Considering the condition of the trailer, the rabbit and the guy sitting in the lounge chair next to the trailer...I'm not sure that braking is his biggest problem. In fact, bouncing all of them off a tree or two might have caused some improvements.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 02-02-2007, 10:07 PM   #39
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

We have a 38' travel trailer with a slide out. We're not quite "Fulltimers", more like "3/4-Timers". The picture of the one from you initial post, Mike wouldn't work for me... I can just imagine pulling into a campground at the end of a long day on the road, pouring down rain & having to "set up" camp. Nuh-uh!

The major concern for DH in regards to RV: have enough truck to pull it, but even more important: the ability to STOP.

I think you've made a wise decision to start with a small used unit. That will get you out there, talking to other RV'ers & picking up lots of useful info & testing the waters before you wade in with a big investment in something you end up not happy with.

Here's a great forum for RV'ers you might want to check out: Escapees--

http://escapees.infopop.cc/eve/ubb.x
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 02-03-2007, 11:54 AM   #40
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

Anybody have any knowledge of these things?
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