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Author Topic: RV Novice Questions  (Read 2011 times)

Beerbrewer

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RV Novice Questions
« on: January 20, 2018, 01:48:31 PM »
My wife and I have long talked about buying and RV and touring this great country of ours but neither of knows a lot about RVing.  So please forgive me for asking some stupid questions.

Right now we are interested mostly in Travel Trailers.  Just to be safe we are going to rent one first and take a short trip, just to make sure RVing works for us.  Frankly it would surprise both of us if we didn't take to it, but better safe than sorry.  Most of the rental places that I've found thus far don't rent travel trailers, just coaches and pop-ups.  Does anyone know of good travel trailer rental place on the east coast (Mid Atlantic region)?

Assuming the trial RV experience goes well, we'll be in the market for a used trailer.  Since we a new to RVing and because our tow vehicle is older, we thought that we shouldn't invest in a new trailer just yet.  As of right now we are planning to use our 2006 Toyota Tundra as our tow vehicle.  I know the Truck is 12 years old, but it only has 55,000 miles on it and its never given me any trouble.  According to the manual my Tundra can tow 12,000 lbs total (trailer + cargo + truck).  So my truck weighs 5200 lbs with me, my wife and a full tank of fuel, so that leaves 6800 lbs for a trailer and cargo.   I heard that the tongue weight also effects towing capacity, is that true?  I was told that if a trailer had a 500 Lb tongue weight that my towing capacity would be reduced to 6300 lbs.  Is this true?   So to be safe I was thinking that my maximum trailer Gross Vehicle Weight Rating should NOT be greater than 5000 lbs.  Which means we'd be looking a a trailer in the 3000 to 4000 weight range.  Am I on the right track?

My truck has 271 HP and it has a 128.3 in wheelbase?  Based upon my trucks wheelbase what is the maximum length trailer that we should looks at.

Lastly, where is good place one the East Coast to look at used trailers?    If we get into RVing more, as I suspect that we will, we'd probably upgrade the truck and trailer.   

donn

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2018, 01:57:11 PM »
Friend has an older Tundra that she tows a small Lance TT with.  She is happy with the setup but would not go larger.
To honestly figure out how much TT you can tow, load the truck up like your going camping and drive across a set of scales. That will give you the starting point.  Now search and find your trucks GCWR  which is how much Toyota says the truck,load, and trailer can safely be.  Subtract A from B. That is the maximum TT weight.  If you use the TTs GVWR and your under that you will be a happy camper.  Uea, I know you may never reach the trailers GVWR, but you will never see its dry weight either, so better safe than sorry.

spencerpj

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2018, 03:58:17 PM »
Here is a link that might help you find a rental

https://rvshare.com/rv-rental/delaware/?lat=40.3301&lng=-76.0805&sort=undefined&sleeps=1&min=&max=&from_year=&to_year=&max_length=&min_length=&start_date=&end_date=&location=Delaware&is_booking=&rv_class=Travel%20Trailer&rating=

If I were you, considering you've never used a travel trailer, I would rent a 16-21 foot TT.  You'd get a feel for the whole process.  Start out too big, without getting into a complete 3 page debate over Payload, Hitch weight, water weight, and dog weight, etc.  If you start too big and it intimidates you, it might end the whole grand idea.  Rent small, stay somewhat local, and you can always say "ya, let's try a bigger one, and do it again" 


Lynx0849

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2018, 04:25:20 PM »
The east coast is pretty big. Perhaps if you narrow it down?

I met a lady at the Springfield MA RV show last year who rented MH & TTs.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2018, 04:26:55 PM by Lynx0849 »

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2018, 04:40:43 PM »
Quote
I heard that the tongue weight also effects towing capacity, is that true?  I was told that if a trailer had a 500 Lb tongue weight that my towing capacity would be reduced to 6300 lbs.  Is this true?

It's important, but not in that way.  You already counted the tongue weight as part of the total trailer weight, so you would not count it a second time.  However, you need to assure that your truck has sufficient Payload (Cargo) capacity to carry passengers, gear and the tongue weight. Half ton trucks typically have cargo capacity of 1200-1500 lbs, but learn what your specific Tundra can carry. There may be a sticker on the driver door post or in the glove box giving the exact number.

Quote
So to be safe I was thinking that my maximum trailer Gross Vehicle Weight Rating should NOT be greater than 5000 lbs.  Which means we'd be looking a a trailer in the 3000 to 4000 weight range.  Am I on the right track?

A safe bet would be to limit the trailer GVWR to about 90% of what you calculated as the max possible trailer weight. You said 6800 lbs of trailer and cargo in the truck, but you probably won't have more than 300-400 lbs of additional cargo (including the trailer hitch). Let's call it about 6000 lbs to keep it round numbers, so 90% of that is 5400.

You probably don't need to worry about a trailer in that weight range being too long. A full size truck like the Tundra should handle travel trailers up to about 30 ft, though 26-28 ft might be a better target.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

grashley

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2018, 05:40:01 PM »
Welcome to the Forum!  Thanks so much for coming here BEFORE purchase!

There are several weight limits to keep in mind. 
GCWR, is the weight of loaded truck and trailer.
GVWR is the max the truck or trailer may weigh, weighed independently and different ratings apply.
Rear Axle WR is the weight carried on the rear axle
Front axle WR is rarely an issue.

You have already done the most important thing in getting it weighed.  Your GCWR calculation is correct.
The REMAINING Payload is the truck GVWR minus 5200#.  (Technically, payload does not include any passengers)
The weight of all ADDED cargo, passengers, WD hitch and tongue wt can not exceed this remaining payload.

Gary's 90 % rule is good advise, as well.

Note my sig on dumb questions.  Read lots of threads and keep asking!
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
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It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

RGP

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2018, 10:45:45 PM »
Welcome aboard.

Lots of good advice, and renting is a smart move. We rented one to take to the Ozarks from IN before we spent the big bucks.

Here are some numbers to consider. You will get 10 mpg. Drive about 250 to 300 miles a day. Drive at 55 to 65 mph. You will be passed by everything on the road. Trucks and wind will buffet you.

We bought our trailer four years ago when I retired and have towed over 30,000 miles. We love it but everyone has their own concepts of RVing.

Punomatic

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2018, 09:30:58 AM »
I agree with all the others. I am replying because I want to know where you will be camping. With your screen name, I assume you are a home brewer, which means you are likely to have some of your product along. I brew, too...so where will you be camping? Beer tasting, anyone?
2016 Riverside White Water Retro 195
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kdbgoat

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2018, 09:35:07 AM »
You said Mid-Atlantic, mind getting us closer to home as far as a location?
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

danajdelarosa

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2018, 08:28:40 PM »
I agree with all the others. I am replying because I want to know where you will be camping. With your screen name, I assume you are a home brewer, which means you are likely to have some of your product along. I brew, too...so where will you be camping? Beer tasting, anyone?

Yes please...where will both of ya'all be camping? I would like to volunteer as a beer taster! :)
Dana and Julio
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henkelphoto

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2018, 02:00:26 PM »
Hi, welcome to the forum! I used to own a 2005 Toyota Tundra, very similar to your 2006. When I bought it, I was interested in the larger cab than the Tacoma and had no plans to tow anything. And the truck was a great truck! Mine was a double cab, 4x4 with the tow package. I had 160,000 on it when I sold it, and I truly believe that it will go another 160,000 mile with little problems.

That said, it is not the best tow vehicle around, as you might guess. A few years ago, we purchased a pop-up A-frame camper that only weighed 2200 lbs. The truck towed it fairly well, but on hills that small 4.7 liter engine really got tired. Also, here’s the little secret that Toyota didn’t tell anyone. Even though the Tundra was the “big” truck, it shared many components with it’s little brother, the Tacoma. This includes the brakes (note the drum brakes on the rear), rear axle and differential. That’s why it has a relatively low tow rating even though the truck is pretty big. It should really only be used for trailers that can be comfortably towed by the Tacoma. Now Toyota corrected these problems with the next generation. Larger engine (5.7 liter) and real ton capable rear axle and brakes.

When we decided that the A-frame was too small for us, we realized that we would not only need a new camper, but a new truck as well. We went with the Dodge Ram 1500 because the price was right, but I really like the new Tundras also.
Dodge Ram 1500
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Beerbrewer

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2018, 04:02:12 PM »
Thanks for all the input!

I should have mentioned that we live out on Long Island, about an 1.5 hour train from Manhattan, but we'd travel to Florida if need be to find the right trailer.

Since I made my original post I've done a tone of reading and research on RVing.  I've even watched quite a few You-Tube Video's and I've learned a lot.  One thing I learned is that I may want to up grade my tow vehicle.  Even though I LOVE my Tundra, it may not have enough gusto for pulling an RV trailer.  I ended up with it because it was the largest pick-up truck that I could fit in my garage!  My wife and I enjoy home remolding (we've owned 3 handyman specials) so I wanted a truck that would permit me to transport 4x8 sheets of dry wall and plywood between the wheel wells and fit in the garage!  I used to own Dodge Dakota (lice truck) but it was PITA because the bed wasn't wide enough.  I had three kids all with their own cars at the time.  In my area, we aren't permitted to park in the street over night, so all of the cars have to fit in the garage or driveway.  Since my driveway can only fit 3 cars I had to fit my truck in the garage. :)  My kids would have fought to the death to park in there, so bought the Tundra!  So I may...may consider a larger truck.

Even if I get another tow vehicle, I don't think that we want or need a huge trailer, since its just the two of us.  I'm thinking that I'd like to keep the trailer under 24 feet in length.  Assuming for a moment that we stay with the Tundra, I'm thinking that I should keep the total weight of the trailer and cargo under 5000 lbs and that includes the other crap that we may thrown in truck bed, even though the manual says that I can pull 6800 lbs.  Does anyone know or have any experience with Prolite Trailers (https://www.roulottes-trailers-prolite.com/en/)?  They have what look like nice lite trailers.

Is it worthwhile attending RV shows?  I saw that there is an RV show in Rockland Community College in Suffern NY on February 16 - 19.  Is this a good RV show?  I'd like to be able to see a bunch of RVs up close and walk inside them all in one location.  Most of the RV sales places I've seen usually only have a couple different makes on site.  Is there a better show somewhere on the east coast (anywhere)?

Lastly, yes I brew beer.  I've been doing it almost since Jimmy Carter made it legal...at least 25 years or more.  I'm hoping that RVers like beer as much as I do!

Thanks

Bob

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2018, 04:34:13 PM »
Depending on the size trailer you choose, the Tundra may be fine. It should handle most 24 footers. but need to see the actual weights of the models you like.

I've never been to, or even heard of, the Rockland CC RV show. It sounds like a regional show,  so selection may be better than just a few local dealers. Leave your checkbook home and just look at what is available. The sales people will try to tempt you with once in a lifetime "show specials", but it's just sales BS. They will sell it to you for the same price next week or next month. Maybe even less.

There was no meaningful info that I could find on the Prolite website, no floor plans, no weight or size specs, etc. Maybe it was well hidden? In any case, photos usually look great but they are near-always deceiving.  You need to look at floor plans and weights, and go sit & walk around in a lot of trailers to find what is comfortable for you.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 04:38:34 PM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

OBX

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2018, 05:10:13 PM »
The RV show should be good to start figuring out what you like.  I recommend taking some road trips to see more options at dealers as well.  There are 3 RV dealers up 87 in the Albany area.  There are RV dealers in Connecticut such as Bristol, Windsor Locks, South Windsor and East of Hartford (Campers Inn) but I forget which town.  I'm sure there are probably many near you as well.  The more you see the better you are but your head may start to spin.  Take home literature, mark the makes and floorplans you like and throw out the rest.

Beerbrewer

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2018, 06:06:15 PM »
Gary RV_Wizard.  Try this link.  They do have an odd web site.


https://www.roulotteprolite.ca/produits.php?cat=1

Beerbrewer

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2018, 06:10:06 PM »
wow I didn't realize there were that many dealers up in Albany.  Are they very large?

grashley

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2018, 06:21:44 PM »
By all means, go to the RV show!  As Gary said, DO NOT BUY!  Go through as many campers as your knees can handle.  Look at floor plans, bathroom layouts, kitchen size, dinette comfort, etc.  You will eliminate certain  floor plans fairly quickly and find some other features that are must have.  You will be in a much better position to know what you really want.

I strongly suggest buying used.  3 to 5 year old gently used campers are much less expensive, all the initial quality issues have been resolved,  you do not lose months of use waiting for warranty repairs, you get a much better idea of how it will hold up, and if you do choose to trade after a short time, it will be much less painful.

ENJOY THE HUNT!
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

Beerbrewer

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2018, 08:52:34 PM »
Grashley that is our exact plan!

Badlands Bob

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2018, 08:18:15 PM »
Shop around and find the size/weight trailer you and the Mrs. would be happy with.  You may find that it's time to upgrade your 12 year old truck.  The trailer you will be able to comfortably pull with your current truck is going to be pretty small. 
2015 Ford F-150 5.0
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UTTransplant

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2018, 08:30:21 PM »
Wrong post -sorry.
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Lynx0849

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2018, 04:22:12 PM »
This is RV show season in New England. Boston was a couple of weeks ago.
Coming up should be Hartford, Springfield and Worcester.

We plan on buying one in a couple of years so, over the past 3 winters we went to all of them to see what we could learn and what we might buy used in a few years

OBX

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2018, 05:59:59 PM »
Springfield (West Springfield) MA RV show is this weekend at the Big E fairgrounds.

oldschoolhdmike

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2018, 08:09:46 PM »
outdoorsy.com

jandk

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2018, 02:01:04 PM »
If you can wait, the RV Show in Hershey PA will allow you to see a myriad of trailers and rvs of all sizes. But it is in September every year.  Check it out online. It is so much fun to attend. Workshops as well.  We have enjoyed it the last two years as we make up our minds on a fifth wheel for fulltiming in our retirement. 

BinaryBob

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2018, 03:18:26 PM »
Lastly, yes I brew beer.  I've been doing it almost since Jimmy Carter made it legal...at least 25 years or more.  I'm hoping that RVers like beer as much as I do!

Thanks

Bob

Welcome Bob! From another home brewer. If this keeps up, we'll need the Home Brew Sub-forum!
Good luck on the trailer search.
2004 Itasca Suncruiser 37B
2016 Winnebago Adventurer 37F

RGP

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Re: RV Novice Questions
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2018, 09:45:58 PM »
Welcome aboard, renting is what we did. You learn a lot really quick about gas mileage, acceleration, travel etc.

The biggest issue we faced was our F-150 has a max cargo of 1411 lbs. our 5000 lb. dry weight TT weighs 6200 lbs. across the scales. With 750 lbs. on the hitch two adults, a dog and camp gear we were maxed out on cargo weight.

Most truck can tow more than they can carry.

So when you rent what you think you want, go to the CAT scales and get the weight on each axel, then the weight on the truck axels alone. Then you will have to true weight numbers, before you spend the big bucks.     

 

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