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Author Topic: Advice for family vacation with first TT  (Read 3149 times)

Ryan F

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Advice for family vacation with first TT
« on: January 14, 2018, 11:52:43 AM »
We are a family of four and looking to purchase a TT this spring. We are thinking about going to Disney World this summer, taking the TT and staying at Fort Wilderness campground. We live in Ohio so itís about a 900 mile drive each way.  We would be in the Orlando area around 2 weeks.  Have some concerns that this trip might be too long (miles and time) since we have no previous TT experience. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
2017 GMC Sierra 1500, 6.2L 4x4

TonyDtorch

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2018, 12:16:01 PM »
my son wants a T/T and we've been looking at them.

It is said no trailer tows as well as an Airstream.  And almost every Airstream is safely tow-able with a 1/2 ton pickup truck. 

but Airstreams are expensive.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 12:19:56 PM by TonyDtorch »

RedandSilver

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2018, 12:18:34 PM »
Welcome to the forum.

Before we give you any advice on a TT - WE would NEED to know what vehicle you plan on using to tow a TT.
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TonyDtorch

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2018, 12:21:28 PM »
I assumed he's got a 2017 1500 CMC as in his signature.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 12:24:19 PM by TonyDtorch »

Ryan F

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2018, 12:42:07 PM »
It looks like I wasnít completely clear in my initial post :) lol. I was asking if it would be a good idea to take that trip having no previous TT experience.

But for a TT, we are looking at the Highland Ridge Open Range Ultra Lite 2802BH.
2017 GMC Sierra 1500, 6.2L 4x4

steveblonde

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2018, 12:44:44 PM »
Airstreams are amazingly nice but exoensive and very heavy if pulling with a 1/2 ton full of 4 people


https://www.airstream.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Trailer-Motorhome-Weights.pdf
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Roadhappy

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2018, 01:08:11 PM »
Ryan,

Trailers are fairly easy to pull.  At the end of 900 miles you will be a pro.  If you have enough truck for the trailer you want, there should be no problem.  My husband and I pull a fifth wheel all over the place and I drive as much as he does.  As far as a long trip, 900 miles is a trek so plan on pulling over and resting.  Your family will have a blast!!  Fort Wilderness is a great place but don't expect to save much money.  Breakfast is where you will save.

Robin
Robin & Charles
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TonyDtorch

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2018, 02:47:45 PM »
I think his truck has a towing cap of over 9k lbs...that should cover just about any Airstream. 

420 hp , 460 torque, curb weight of 5500 lbs. the trailer he wants is about 7500 lbs.

One of the first things an Airstream salesman told us is every trailer on this lot is towable with a modern 1/2 ton truck.   
there is even a 1/2 ton Ford 3.5 V6 Ecoboost that has a 13,200 conventional towing cap.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 03:39:53 PM by TonyDtorch »

HappyWanderer

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2018, 03:27:28 PM »
Disney would be a great destination for your first big trip. The sites have full hookups, everything you could need or want is nearby. No worries about the kids getting bored and whining about having nothing to do. The only downside that I can see is that you'll compare all future campgrounds to Disney.

Two days is good for a 900 mile trip. Plan on 50 MPH average when towing, which includes fuel and rest stops. Find a campground at about the halfway point that's close to the highway. I wouldn't recommend Walmart or a similar place for your first night on the road. Don't know how old the kids are, but a pool and playground are good for burning off energy.

Once you get your TT, camp out in the driveway for a couple of nights then weekends in nearby campgrounds. You'll be a pro in no time at all.
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massspike

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2018, 04:11:29 PM »
Basically did that trip a few years back. The drive is pretty good for pulling a TT -- the worst part is going through Atlanta. There are some big hills along the way but the trucks aren't doing 65 on them so you don't have to -- just keep up to the one in front. One thing to watch out for as you get further South (Georgia) is the afternoon thunderstorms -- they are no fun to drive, never mind tow, through and I would hit the first exit and wait them out.

I would plan for 3 days. It is surprisingly taxing on the body/mind when you are towing. I can easily drive a car 12 hours straight but 6 seems to be my limit. I stay in the slow lane and follow the trucks but you have to keep your mind in-gear and cruise control may not work well with your setup (mine didn't). If you start first thing in the morning, then you can finish early enough to find a campground along the way and set up in daylight. I'd also recommend taking advantage of the Interstate rest stops since it isn't always easy to figure out what exit is the best to find a restaurant that can handle your TV+TT (and you are hauling around a toilet and kitchen after all).

Fort Wilderness is a very nice campground and worth the money if you are doing DW. It is big so the pool, shuttle boat, or other amenities won't necessarily be within walking distance. We stayed there for a week and then moved to Tropical Palms Resort in Kissimmee while we did Universal and other parks. It was a very good deal in the summer (it's huge and caters to the snowbirds) and we enjoyed it as much as FW. It also is a short walk into Kissimmee which has a surprisingly interesting downtown -- more beach town like if you get tired of theme parks.

My biggest beef with camping around DW were the grocery stores   -- if you've heard the term "grocery desert", this is it. I ended up driving 10 miles north to a brand new Publix. (My other beef with DW was the roads/drivers in the park -- I'm a cyclist and assumed I could ride around the 25+ miles of road but the drive into FW cured me of that idea and I just did laps of the FW campground which sufficed.)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 04:13:17 PM by massspike »

grashley

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2018, 05:26:44 PM »
Welcome to the Forum!      Let me try to answer your original question.

900 Miles is way too far to attempt to drive in one day TOWING A TT.  I have done it many times in the car, but not towing.  First, limit your speed to 65 mph or less.  Many TT tires are only rated for 65 mph.  Better (not good) fuel economy.  Much safer and better control of the rig.
If you average 60 mph for 8 hours, that is 480 miles, or  half way each travel day, and you will all be ready to get off the road for the day!!  Masspike suggests 5 hours at 60 mph for 3 day, 300 miles a day as his method.  I can not argue.  With younger kids, he will be right!

You will be using the camper as a place for breakfast, showers and sleeping.  The rest of the time, you will be out doing something.  Make sure it is big enough for those functions.  Remember only one person at a time in the bathroom unless you use the camp ground bath house!  ;D

One concern we always have is having enough truck to handle the load of a TT AND the family.  That has been addressed by others, and it appears you are okay.

I suggest buying a few year old used.  ALL new campers have "issues" that warranty will fix, but need fixed, and RV shops are notoriously slow to get them fixed.  Used will already have these things done.  Used cost less to start and depreciate less if you decide you hate camping or want something different.

Do a lot of reading about RV, such as here to get a better feel of what the RV life is like and MANY suggestions on how it is done more comfortably.

Ask lots of questions!

ENJOY!
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Ryan F

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2018, 06:21:20 PM »
Thank you all for the feedback. It sounds like some of my concerns (break-in of a new TT, several days on the road each way, and inexperience) are pretty valid. Iím thinking we may wait to try Disney with a TT until weíve owned one for at least a year.

For those that asked, the towing capacity of my truck is 11,700 lbs.  The UT2802BH that we are looking at has a GVWR of 7,450 lbs. We want to get one that will be big enough for our family, but still not pushing the limit of the truck.
2017 GMC Sierra 1500, 6.2L 4x4

steveblonde

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2018, 08:45:05 PM »
Thank you all for the feedback. It sounds like some of my concerns (break-in of a new TT, several days on the road each way, and inexperience) are pretty valid. Iím thinking we may wait to try Disney with a TT until weíve owned one for at least a year.

For those that asked, the towing capacity of my truck is 11,700 lbs.  The UT2802BH that we are looking at has a GVWR of 7,450 lbs. We want to get one that will be big enough for our family, but still not pushing the limit of the truck.

The cargo capacity on that truck is still only 1300-1400 lbs the hitch in the trailer is at least 750 lbs four people are probably close to 600lbs hitch is 75 your already pushing the limits of that truck to its max look at the yellow door decal drivers side door jam
2015 Voltage 3305 Toy Hauler - loaded
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Selling truck parts for 15 yrs plus
" If you're not living on the edge you're taking up too much space"
From Canada Eh

Ryan F

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2018, 09:28:30 PM »
The cargo capacity on that truck is still only 1300-1400 lbs the hitch in the trailer is at least 750 lbs four people are probably close to 600lbs hitch is 75 your already pushing the limits of that truck to its max look at the yellow door decal drivers side door jam

Iíve got the max tow pkg, so the cargo capacity is 1929lbs. I realize itís only a half-ton truck though.
2017 GMC Sierra 1500, 6.2L 4x4

steveblonde

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2018, 10:08:17 PM »
Iíve got the max tow pkg, so the cargo capacity is 1929lbs. I realize itís only a half-ton truck though.


Is that the actual number on the decal or the brochure? It seems high but maybe im wrong my old chev 6.2 with the trailer package was only 1340 lbs, please dont look at the brochure/website as thats a bear bone no option number if you have a slt or denalli it will be at least 500lbs less than that 1900lbs
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 10:11:06 PM by steveblonde »
2015 Voltage 3305 Toy Hauler - loaded
2014 F150 Ecoboost Reg cab (company truck) daily driver
2017 Black on Black F350 Diesel Dually loaded  5167lbs cargo/weight capacity
Selling truck parts for 15 yrs plus
" If you're not living on the edge you're taking up too much space"
From Canada Eh

RGP

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2018, 10:37:04 PM »
My advice is to rent a TT before you buy. We rented a unit similar to what we wanted to purchase for a week in the Ozarks. You learn a lot really fast.

Plus, you give it back and have time to review you needs, before you spend the big bucks.

TonyDtorch

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2018, 11:21:04 PM »
Iíve got the max tow pkg, so the cargo capacity is 1929lbs. I realize itís only a half-ton truck though.

Ryan,   In the U.S. there is no 'Yellow Sticker"  absolute weight law,  in the non commercial towing world.

 If you can control that truck towing that trailer then it's perfectly legal to do so. You can add air bags or overload springs if you want to.  Tire weight rating is the important thing.

Go hook up that trailer and see how it feels, it's not illegal.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 11:25:17 PM by TonyDtorch »

steveblonde

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2018, 11:24:46 PM »
Ryan,   There is no 'Yellow Sticker" weight absolute law that applys in the non commercial towing world.

 If you can control that truck towing that trailer then it's perfectly legal to do so. You can add air bags or overload springs if you want to.  Tire weight rating is the important thing.

Go hook up that trailer and see how it feels, it's not illegal.


NO ITS NOT ILLEGAL JUST REALLY poor ADVISE BECAUSE IF YOU HAVE AN ACCIDENT YOUR LIABLE
TONY YOU ARE OUT OF LINE SHUT UP BEFORE SOMEONE GETS HURT

edited for content by Sarge
« Last Edit: February 01, 2018, 07:47:32 PM by SargeW »
2015 Voltage 3305 Toy Hauler - loaded
2014 F150 Ecoboost Reg cab (company truck) daily driver
2017 Black on Black F350 Diesel Dually loaded  5167lbs cargo/weight capacity
Selling truck parts for 15 yrs plus
" If you're not living on the edge you're taking up too much space"
From Canada Eh

TonyDtorch

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2018, 11:34:07 PM »
 He's asking for opinions,  Everyone has one,   He's free to decide whatever he wants.  (you are liable for any accident that is your fault for any reason)

And yes Ryan...figure on an average of 350 to 400 miles per day towing.  Ohio as well as other states have a 55 mph speed limit towing,
 in SC the law is.. "A person driving a vehicle towing a house trailer must not drive faster than 45 mph". I can't imagine they enforce that law. ???

« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 12:44:35 AM by TonyDtorch »

Ryan F

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2018, 02:27:03 PM »

Is that the actual number on the decal or the brochure? It seems high but maybe im wrong my old chev 6.2 with the trailer package was only 1340 lbs, please dont look at the brochure/website as thats a bear bone no option number if you have a slt or denalli it will be at least 500lbs less than that 1900lbs

That is the actual number on the door sticker.
2017 GMC Sierra 1500, 6.2L 4x4

danajdelarosa

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2018, 02:55:13 PM »
Hi there and welcome to the forum!

It's nice to see another young family on here as well. We are also brand new to this whole camping thing, but I will tell you, don't be intimidated with just jumping in. It is 100% accurate that you will learn by doing, and you will learn fast. If you bought your TT and did a couple small trips (we have stayed within a 2 hour radius of our home), you will gain the knowledge and confidence to do your Disney trip.

Don't wait another year of your kids' childhoods....just jump in!...and this forum is incredibly helpful, so don't hesitate to ask ALL your questions here.
Dana and Julio
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Oldgator73

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2018, 03:01:31 PM »

NO ITS NOT ILLEGAL JUST REALLY STUPID ADVISE BECAUSE IF YOU HAVE AN ACCIDENT YOUR LIABLE
TONY YOU ARE OUT OF LINE SHUT UP BEFORE SOMEONE GETS HURT

Hey, turn it down. You woke the grandkids up from their nap.
Retired Air Force
2016 Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier

Oldgator73

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2018, 03:05:07 PM »
Just don't get what Dana has. He's pulling a 60' double wide.
Retired Air Force
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2016 Nissan Frontier

steveblonde

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2018, 05:16:23 PM »
That is the actual number on the door sticker.

cool thats really high for a 1500 gm and i must say im very very  suprised - i have never seen one so high but if it is that gives you a lot to play with.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 05:18:43 PM by steveblonde »
2015 Voltage 3305 Toy Hauler - loaded
2014 F150 Ecoboost Reg cab (company truck) daily driver
2017 Black on Black F350 Diesel Dually loaded  5167lbs cargo/weight capacity
Selling truck parts for 15 yrs plus
" If you're not living on the edge you're taking up too much space"
From Canada Eh

TonyDtorch

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2018, 05:28:23 PM »
You are learning all kinds of new stuff Steve..

A while ago,  you didn't know cars could tow travel trailers either.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 06:09:34 PM by TonyDtorch »

Gods Country

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2018, 05:49:23 PM »
First congrats on doing some research on your TV and TT, and having realistic expectations.  It's refreshing. :))
A soon as I read the title I said to myself, Oh boy here we go again. ;D

As far as your question, it's a good idea to take a few short trips with your trailer before heading on a long trip.
Be sure to get some highway/thruway travel in to get comfortable with towing on congested highways.  The common route to FL is heavily traveled.  There's a lot of small things with towing and setting up, that aren't complicated, but there is a learning curve.

steveblonde

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2018, 05:56:29 PM »
You are learning all kinds of new stuff Steve..

A while ago,  you didn't know cars could tow travel trailers either.

wrong again Tony we pulled a trailer all over europe up the swiss alps and the andes with a car  -15 countries 3 different times plus i pulled a trailer to San Diego when i was 14 with a Ford LTD Country Squire STATION WAGON  - try again my friend

besides i really want to see that door decal because thats a MONSTER payload for that truck and im all about learning something new
2015 Voltage 3305 Toy Hauler - loaded
2014 F150 Ecoboost Reg cab (company truck) daily driver
2017 Black on Black F350 Diesel Dually loaded  5167lbs cargo/weight capacity
Selling truck parts for 15 yrs plus
" If you're not living on the edge you're taking up too much space"
From Canada Eh

Gods Country

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2018, 06:19:22 PM »
besides i really want to see that door decal because thats a MONSTER payload for that truck and im all about learning something new

I believe 1929 is possible in the correct configuration.

GMC has the range of that vehicle with max tow at 1,650 to 2,250 lbs depending on options.
I would say they're not common, but they exist.

Oldgator73

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2018, 06:23:37 PM »
Tony and steveblond need to get a room.
Retired Air Force
2016 Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier

Ryan F

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Re: Advice for family vacation with first TT
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2018, 06:40:51 PM »
Here is the door decal
2017 GMC Sierra 1500, 6.2L 4x4