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Author Topic: Just Sold Popup, need help with travel Trailer  (Read 7178 times)

Chief

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Just Sold Popup, need help with travel Trailer
« on: July 09, 2005, 05:46:32 PM »
Hello Everyone, good to be here.

My name is Joe, I have a wife and 2 kids. 6 & 8 years old.

We bought a '97 palomino yearling in 2002 and I just sold it. Went within 48 hours of the ad. It served us well, but we want something for colder weather camping. Also got tired Of the folding routine. Might sound funny, but we use the camper in our yard most of the time. If we are not on vacation camping, it's ready for us to use in the backyard.

Our family went shopping today. Bunkhouse, slideouts, pullouts. 3 dealers, good prices. I almost had a deal but the saleman was getting pretty mouthy and I finally just walked away from the deal. It was a new '04 Salem bunk, no slide or pullout, 27 ft. The deal was 16,500 with a weight dist. hitch installed. I already have the class iv receiver and brake controller. Was this a good deal? I thought the quality was ok, but the jayco and gulstreams had it beat build wise. At least to my mind. Having owned 1 Palomino and looking at the new ones, I think the quality is ok, but is beat by others. Plus the price is not much less. I'm not ruling out used either. It doesn't even need air, but most have it.

Well if anyone has any opinions on brand or slideout pullout on trailers, please speak out. Also is there a good way to get the best deal online?

Sorry for the haphazard post, I'm still a little wound from the shopping  :) 

I really need some recources, invoice prices, opinions on brand, financing etc. Where to deal online.   

Thanks,

Chief

Carl L

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Re: Just Sold Popup, need help with travel Trailer
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2005, 08:20:34 PM »
Quote
Our family went shopping today. Bunkhouse, slideouts, pullouts. 3 dealers, good prices. I almost had a deal but the saleman was getting pretty mouthy and I finally just walked away from the deal. It was a new '04 Salem bunk, no slide or pullout, 27 ft. The deal was 16,500 with a weight dist. hitch installed. I already have the class iv receiver and brake controller. Was this a good deal? I thought the quality was ok, but the jayco and gulstreams had it beat build wise. At least to my mind. Having owned 1 Palomino and looking at the new ones, I think the quality is ok, but is beat by others. Plus the price is not much less. I'm not ruling out used either. It doesn't even need air, but most have it.

Well if anyone has any opinions on brand or slideout pullout on trailers, please speak out. Also is there a good way to get the best deal online?

Let me start with my usual mantra -- a travel trailer is a simple box on wheels stuffed with furniture and appliances made by a small group of manufacturers:  Dometic, Coleman, Suburban,  etc..   Those appliances all come with their own QC and warranties.   Beyond the appliances, in terms of fit and finish, what you see is what you get.    Shop for floor plan and price.   One the model you purchase, make the sales rep or tech operate everything before you leave the lot.

I am dubious about slide outs.   With a vacation trailer, most folks spend a lot of time outside of the rig, sittiing in the patios.   After all they do call them campgrounds.    :)    Furthermore, a slide out is Just Another Bloody Thing to Go Wrong.   But then I am a grouchy old pessimist.   You may well be a cheerful young optimist.  Just like I used to be.   ;D

One of the advantages of an RV is the ability to use it for lunch and toilet facilities on the road.  Slideouts can interfere with that.  If you decide to go with a slide out model, be sure it does not block such use when the slideout is retracted.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Jim Dick

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Re: Just Sold Popup, need help with travel Trailer
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2005, 11:14:32 PM »
Hi Chief(Joe),

You were smart to walk away from a mouthy salesman. There's no need for that at all!

Even though I work part time for a dealership I can't say if that was a good deal or not. I'm not on the sales side of the business. I do know that Jayco is less expensive than a Sunline for the same model. Jayco is made of aluminum framing and Filon where Sunline is still wood frame construction. I won't try to debate which is better.

A slide is a definite advantage when it comes to resale. As Carl has mentioned, be sure you can utilize the interior with the slide in. There may be many times when you will want to make lunch or use the facilities when traveling and this can be a problem if you cannot do that without extending the slide.

As far as purchasing is concerned, do NOT be in a hurry. Do your shopping and check all dealers and deals. Then come back here and ask your questions. There are many folks here with good input and it will pay in the long run. Good luck in your quest!!!

Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Just Sold Popup, need help with travel Trailer
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2005, 08:27:28 AM »
Take your time, Joe.  There are lots of Rvs and lots of dealers, so you are in the driver's seat, both literally and figuratively.

Personally I think a slideout adds a lot of usability and the extra space can be a godsend on the occasional cold or rainy day.  Yes, there is some risk of something going wrong, but using that logic you would also avoid refrigerators (stick with the ice chest), water heater (put a kettle on the fire), etc. etc.  As can be seen in another thread here, galley slides have some complexities (plumbing) that can lead to greater risks of problems, but generally speaking the typical living area or bedroom slide will be trouble-free.   But slide or no slide is a matter of personal choice.

I too would be inclined toward the Jaycos or Gulfstreams for quality reasons, but I know almost nothing about the Salem brand.  As for price, you are shooting for 20+ percent off the MSRP.  You may not get that much in the price tier you are looking at, but don't be afraid to try.  Walk away if need be - the chances are excellent that the salesman will call you back the next day. If not, try another dealer or shop online.  Shoping a local dealer a quote from someone else, even someone hundreds of miles away, can have a remarkable effect on their willingness to bargain.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Chief

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Re: Just Sold Popup, need help with travel Trailer
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2005, 09:07:05 AM »
Thank You Carl, Jim, and RV Roamer. I really appreciate the replies.

Carl, I'm more on the grouchy old man side too and basically look at the RV as something we just USE once we get it. We don't sit around looking at how pretty it is. The whole reason I'm in this situation is so I can cold weather camp. I won't be using the plumbing once temps drop. All I will use it for is shelter and heat, that's why I'm skeptical about slideouts. I don't want problems with snow and ice when I have to pull it in, and if decide not to extend the slideout it's only cramping the inside.

The other option I'm considering is the Hybrids, hard trailers with foldown canvas beds on one or both  ends. The advantage is more room (in warm weather only), they don't use much interior space when folded, and open air sleeping. Disadvantantages are canvas, security (most pullouts don't lock from the inside) and possible leaks when folded although the basic design seems simple enough to work well. Do you guys have opinions on the end bed pullouts?

Jim and RV ROAMER, I really needed to be told to slow down. There are a few different units I can rent from work if need be for the trip I have planned in a month and all I'll miss is the backyard stuff. I wish there was a source to get their invoice numbers like there is with cars. I have access to a yellow NADA first edition of this year, but it only gives trade in, resale, and MSRP, no dealer invoice.

I also subscribed online to a local ad paper. I can see the deals before they hit the stand. I know there are some great deals to be had and I'm not afraid to buy used, but according to my better half that's not gonna happen. I want her to be happy on this one as well, I plan on getting a unit and keeping it for a long time so I guess I need to haggle with the dealers. Maybe my knowledge of what the year old used ones are going for might help me.

RV Roamer, the Salem is a line by FoxRiver. To me it looked like the fit/finish was about midline.

Thanks Again, and I'll be spending some time shopping and doing homework for now.

Joe Chief

 

 

Jim Dick

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Re: Just Sold Popup, need help with travel Trailer
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2005, 12:52:27 PM »
Hi Joe,

I've seen a few hard trailers with pull out bunks. Stay away from used ones unless they are in very good shape. Most I have seen have problems with the hinges on the end bunks. They tend to rust and the wood deteriorates. Check that area really close.

You are wise to keep your wife's wishes in mind!  You don't want to start out on a negative note because it's a looong uphill battle from there.  :)

Since you have an opportunity to rent a unit that might be a prudent thing to do at this point. Then you can take your time and really research the units that are available.

Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

Carl L

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Re: Just Sold Popup, need help with travel Trailer
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2005, 03:04:11 PM »
Quote
The whole reason I'm in this situation is so I can cold weather camp. I won't be using the plumbing once temps drop. All I will use it for is shelter and heat, that's why I'm skeptical about slideouts. I don't want problems with snow and ice when I have to pull it in, and if decide not to extend the slideout it's only cramping the inside.

Oh you will use the plumbing -- unless you like using outhouses in the winter.   I would particularly check this with your wife.    If you want to go for winter use, look for freeze resistant pipes.  If you heat the trailer, your tanks should be ok.


Quote
The other option I'm considering is the Hybrids, hard trailers with foldown canvas beds on one or both  ends. The advantage is more room (in warm weather only), they don't use much interior space when folded, and open air sleeping. Disadvantantages are canvas, security (most pullouts don't lock from the inside) and possible leaks when folded although the basic design seems simple enough to work well. Do you guys have opinions on the end bed pullouts?

Frankly, a hybrid as a cold weather trailer seems problematic to me.   The ones I have seen, expand for the beds.  Folded the trailer is not very roomy,   Other problems may arise if  you encounter cold rain or snow.   I would stick to convential TTs and go for a longer length.   Also hybrids with a front bed extension may require unhitching and set up of the trailer.   This would be a nuisance for overnight stops.    Check that out with any hybrid you are comptemplating,
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Chief

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Re: Just Sold Popup, need help with travel Trailer
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2005, 09:27:14 PM »
Thanks Carl and Jim,

Your insight and thoughts about the pullouts is greatly appreciated. I'm just looking for a reason to choose one over the other (a 2 ft slideout longer unit vs a little shorter pullout.

I've already discussed the water usage with my wife and it's ok. Any camping we do when it's cold will either be in the backyard or at state campgrounds that have facilities. We'll get away with what we can. Maybe there is non toxic antifreeze for flushing? If not it will work out.

The floorplan we like best so far is on the Palomino Thoroughbred. It's model 26-BHSL and we really like the layout and features that other units didn't have. Saleman said it listed for 21,000, his offer was 16,500. According to his figures that is 27 percent off of retail although I'll go for a little more, at least my hitch.

My source says that unit lists for 20,541. At that list my discount would still be 24 percent. Wish I knew the invoice.

What are your impressions of Palomino? My popup was a palomino and I think it rated 2nd to some others like Fleetwood and coleman. The finish on this looks like it is on par with my old popup, but I'm not saying it's not a good unit. It has what we want. At the right price it would be worth it to us.

Also, I've heard people say that they got their best deal at these big RV shows that usually take place in the fall. When they tell me what they got, the deals appear to be similar to the offers I'm getting now. I think at an RV show, the ones that have the real advantage are the dealers, especially for the people that go there prepared to buy 'right now'. The only advantage to the buyer at a show is having a ton of units to look at in one location. Please your thoughts on this also.

Guys, Thanks a Whole bunch as I truly value your opinions, not having much if any experience getting into another class RV.

Joe Chief

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Just Sold Popup, need help with travel Trailer
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2005, 07:09:48 AM »
I looked at the Palomino 26 online and did not see any mention of cold weather features such as dual pane glass and extra insulation.  Most entry and midline RVs do not perform all that well in cold weaher (or vey hot weather either).   Other than that, it looks like a decent rig.

Since you specifically want cold weather use, I would suggest looking at models built in/near Canada, such as  Nash & Artic Fox, Golden Falcon & Travelaire from Glendale RV, Okanagon, etc.  Canadian built rigs generally are designed for better cold weather use and also tend to have good quality cabinetry.

You should definitely get a trailer with dual pane glass because single pane has tremendous heat loss as well as major condensation problems  in cold weather.   Also make sure the floors are well insulated (in addition to roof & walls, of course).  Skylights and roof vents are another major source of heat loss, but they can be insulated pretty easily with blocks of foam rubber.  Another point: Rv furnaces are major consumers of both propane and 12V power, so you will want larger than usual propane tanks for cold weather use (or you can carry extras) and if you will not have shore power available, you will need more than the single battery that is standard in most trailers. Running out of 12V power in the middle of the night is not nice!
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Ron

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Re: Just Sold Popup, need help with travel Trailer
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2005, 12:14:47 PM »
In addition to those Gary mentioned I understand the Teton trailers that are built in Casper Wyo are excellent for cold weather.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Chief

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Re: Just Sold Popup, need help with travel Trailer
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2005, 04:12:05 PM »
Thanks for all the suggestions guys, much appreciated!!!!!!!!!1

A friend of mine has an Arctic Fox model and he is very happy with it for cold weather.

Maybe I wasn't real clear in that I got rid of the popup so I could start my season earlier and end it later. Realistically I  can't afford what it would cost for a winter trailer. When temps become borderline freezing or when the canvas would stiffen up is where I feel the hardbody would come through through for me. I'd be looking for a model that would still be functional with the slide-out un-extended, a 2 foot sofa slideout for instance.

Once the snow starts to build, the hardbody would be in my yard, winterized. Then I could possibly spend a comfortable night there with the furnace going, maybe not. I know it's not camping out on the wide open road but for winter (and sometimes hot summer nights on a moments notice) they really are enjoyable times for my family in addition to the times that we actually do travel and camp. I also expect to do more traveling with the hardbody because the storage is always there, (less packing) and expect less setup time.

Do you think my expectations on a non-weatherized unit are unrealistic for the activities I'm describing???

Thanks Again Guys.

 :) :) :)

Joe Chief

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Just Sold Popup, need help with travel Trailer
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2005, 09:37:52 PM »
There is indeed an anti-freeze for Rv water systems - it is pink and non-toxic, so you can add it to the trailer water tank to have flushing water. You probably don't want to drink it, though.

The degree to which any standard hardbody trailer will please you in cold weather depends on your standards for personal comfort.  It will be better than a pop-up,  but plan on sweatshirts and sweaters!   And the furnace is noisy, so having it run all the time is objectionable to most people.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Chief

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Re: Just Sold Popup, need help with travel Trailer
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2005, 10:32:04 PM »
Thank You RV Roamer. It sounds like what I was expecting.

I don't care for the furnace noise myself but I'm sure there will come a point where it will sound tolerable as the temps drop. My brother has a coleman popup with a furnace.

Despite having the furnace in his, we have both used electric dual ceramic brick heaters to take the chill out. I bought a pretty solid unit and it's quiet. It has 1000 and 1500 watt settings, also a climate control. I only used it at the 1000 watt setting. I think the 1500 was pushing the circuits, can't remember for sure. With the space of the popup it took the chill out of most colder nights. Myself I prefer it kinda cold with warm sleeping clothes and gear.

I've been going through a mess with my tow vehicle. The owners manual states that there is a plug for a brake controller under the dash. After much effort and help, it appears on my trim it only goes to the firewall. I have looked thoroughly and found nothing that exempts my trim. The truck goes in the shop in one week and I will have to push them for factory wiring unless they find something I missed. Just trying to keep the manufacturer honest  :) :) :)

Another question please, I understand the principles and numbers of different hitches and ratings and limits, but don't have much experience on the class 4 weight distribution hitch besides having someone demonstrate its' operation to me about 2 years ago. Can I go to U-Haul or a similar dealer and shop around for the weight distribution hitch? Will it fit any trailer provided I have the right size ball or is the hitch trailer specific? Guys I talked to said just buy what is best and it will fit trailer to trailer. There really is no installation since I already have the class 4 receiver.

My tow capacity on my Titan is 6600 lbs, it doesn't list a number for a weight dist hitch although I do have the receiver. I have the XE trim. On the 2 other trims the tow limit jumps about 1000 lbs with the weight dist. so I'm guessing I'm good for about 7600. Mechanically I have everything that is included in the tow packages; lower rear, same trans cooling,same alternator. The only thing mine doesn't have is a trans temp guage, and largler battery, but it does have a dummy light.

The trailers I'm looking at have a dry weight of about 4500 lbs. plus about 2000 lbs payload.  know it all adds up quickly, but will be traveling with little or no water which will help some. Do you think 2000 lbs is a good cushion for payload?

Numbers;
4500 trailer
2000 payload on trailer
Add up to 6 passengers, maybe some cargo in the bed,
If the trailer is loaded to 2000 lbs I'm up to 6500 + passengers+ truckbed cargo.
Figuring I'll be using maybe half the payload of the trailer I feel comfortable that I'll be within recommendations. Any thoughts on this? 

Thanks Again,

Chief

Carl L

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Re: Just Sold Popup, need help with travel Trailer
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2005, 11:49:20 PM »
Quote
Another question please, I understand the principles and numbers of different hitches and ratings and limits, but don't have much experience on the class 4 weight distribution hitch besides having someone demonstrate its' operation to me about 2 years ago. Can I go to U-Haul or a similar dealer and shop around for the weight distribution hitch? Will it fit any trailer provided I have the right size ball or is the hitch trailer specific? Guys I talked to said just buy what is best and it will fit trailer to trailer. There really is no installation since I already have the class 4 receiver.

I use a Reese Dual Cam system.  The same equipment has been installed on two travel trailers and a boat trailer.   The only thing that is trailer specific is the spring bar ratings which must meet and preferably be 100-200# than the trailer's tongue weight.   My bars are 1000# rated and the latest trailer has a 750# tongue weight, as measured by me.

I would not use a U-Haul outfit, they deal with another variety of trailer.  Go to an RV shop that works on trailers.   If you have any ability to operate a really big crescent wrench and can read and carefully follow instructions, you can do the job yourself.   I have.

Quote
My tow capacity on my Titan is 6600 lbs, it doesn't list a number for a weight dist hitch although I do have the receiver.


That is the number:  6600# is all you should tow.  In fact I recommend less.   However, what year is your Titan?.   Trailer Life lists 9400# as the tow rating with a GCVWR of 14,6000 for the 2005 Titan Crew Cab and 9500# with 14,600# for the King Cabe.


Quote
The trailers I'm looking at have a dry weight of about 4500 lbs. plus about 2000 lbs payload.  know it all adds up quickly, but will be traveling with little or no water which will help some. Do you think 2000 lbs is a good cushion for payload?

Jeez Louise! 2000#?  What are you carrying in your trailer, a home blacksmithing set with a water-cooled anvil?   I would suspect your kit will be nearer to 500# -- I use that for an approximation.  Assume you have a 50 gallons of water on board, so add 400#.  Now you are up to 5400#.   If you leave yourself a headroom of 20% on your towed weight (for towing in the Mountain West), the weight with headroom would be 6480# and you are in business with a 6600# rating.  If the TL 2005 ratings do apply to you, you are well under and have absolutely no sweat.

Oddly enough, my trailer weighs 4650 dry and my tow rating is 6,600 and I ave towed that rig for 50,000 miles over a period of 9 years.

Passengers and bed cargo are not calculated against the tow rating, they are calculated against the GCVWR, which in 2005 for your rig was 14,600#.   GCVWR=>trailer weight + bed cargo + truck weight + truck fluids + passengers. 
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Chief

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Re: Just Sold Popup, need help with travel Trailer
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2005, 10:34:12 PM »
Carl, Thank you for the info. Especially the spring rates related to the tongue weight.

That is the number:  6600# is all you should tow.  In fact I recommend less.   However, what year is your Titan?.   Trailer Life lists 9400# as the tow rating with a GCVWR of 14,6000 for the 2005 Titan Crew Cab and 9500# with 14,600# for the King Cab.

Since both have the same GCVWR but the KC lists 100 lbs more towing, then the KC most likely weighs 100 lbs more than the CC?

The 14,600# is for '04 SE/LE Trim 2wd and tow package option with weight dist. hitch. For 4wd models it jumps to 14,800. This is with the available factory tow package, not offered on the XE.



The Tow Package is:

Class 4 receiver ( I installed a factory one)

3.36 axle ratio (I have this because  my truck has the offroad package) it is higher than the big 3 ratios, but very low when coupled to the nissan transmission, and 17 percent lower than the stock ratio.

Wiring

Transmission temp gauge

bigger sideveiw mirrors

Heavy Duty Battery.

I still cannot understand why the XE which is the lowest trim has the lowest towing capacity. It should be the lightest. As the other 2 trims go up, the towing  caps go down a bit. Is it perhaps because My bumper is different than the other 2 trims?

SE and LE  towing is 7400 and 7300 respectively. It jumps to 9400 and 9300 respectively when the tow package and weight distribution hitch are added. That is a 2000 lb jump. The manual will not list the jump for my XE because the tow package is not available from the factory. It is the same frame, driveline, brakes, frame, etc.

Carl, do you have any idea why my base towing would be 900 lbs less than the other trims? 

Also, since the owners manual has no provisions for it, why wouldn't the towing capacity on my XE jump 2000 lbs higher when the tow package items and weight dist hitch are added. That is what it states for the higher trims.


Jeez Louise! 2000#?  What are you carrying in your trailer, a home blacksmithing set with a water-cooled anvil?   I would suspect your kit will be nearer to 500# 

Perhaps I should pay more mind to learning the labels: The dry weight on this particular trailer is 4209 lbs. GVWR is 5788. That means it has provisions of 1579 lbs for 3 water tanks, all supplies,  battery(s) etc and this number is very high compared to what I should reasonably carry in it. Is that correct?

Thanks for your input and patience Carl,

Chief