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Author Topic: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?  (Read 14071 times)

debsuecarr

  • Posts: 4
Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« on: May 20, 2013, 01:51:46 PM »
Hi,

I am new to the forum and just starting the research into a travel trailer purchase for my husband and I.  We are tent campers graduating up to a trailer when daughter heads off to college.  We'll be using the trailer for 1-2 week road trips around the upper midwest, probably 4-6 weeks per year.

We tried an RV, but we really want to have a vehicle to drive.  We do not want a giant trailer to pull or to tow a vehicle behind an RV.  The sticking point is that we absolutely want a walk around bed.  It would be icing on the cake if the bed could be left up full time, so that a small dining area is separate from the bed area.  Small space is OK since we are used to a tent and screen house combination.

Don't want much, do we?   ;D

Any suggestions for small models to look at would be greatly appreciated!

Wavery

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  • Posts: 1111
  • Fallbrook, California.......... (San Diego County)
Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2013, 01:55:26 PM »
Not clear what you are looking for... :o

Are you looking for a travel trailer (as in your title) or a motorhome (as in you description)?

This statement is confusing, "we really want to have a vehicle to drive.  We do not want a giant trailer to pull or to tow a vehicle behind an RV."

A Travel trailer (TT) has to have a tow vehicle to pull it around. A motorhome (M/H) has it's own engine, therefore doesn't need another vehicle to tow it. Often times, owners of larger M/Hs will tow a small vehicle for getting around town, after parking the M/H.

Some owners of smaller M/Hs will use the M/H for getting around town and not tow another vehicle.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 02:02:15 PM by Wavery »
Wayne
Wife, Carolyn...... 5 kids.... 19 grandkids.
1998 33' Winnebago Adventurer ('97 Ford 460 V8, F53 chassis) 33WQ -Banks PowerPak, Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer, Monroe Gas-Magnum RV Shocks
Retired GM Service Manager driving a Ford....What's the world coming too??

debsuecarr

  • Posts: 4
Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2013, 02:03:28 PM »
Whoops--sorry for the confusing lingo.  We want a TT, as small as possible. 

What we don't want is to pull a vehicle behind an RV or to have a large TT.

Alfa38User

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  • Posts: 6113
Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2013, 02:11:22 PM »
The very first thing you have to do is figure out the safe towing capacity of your proposed tow vehicle. Then you can define "small trailer".

If you need help in this, simply post the make, model, year of the vehicle you intend to use and its CGWR and rear axle ratio (if possible). CGWR is usually found  in the vehicle manuals.
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

Wavery

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  • Posts: 1111
  • Fallbrook, California.......... (San Diego County)
Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2013, 02:16:58 PM »
The very first thing you have to do is figure out the safe towing capacity of your proposed tow vehicle. Then you can define "small trailer".

If you need help in this, simply post the make, model, year of the vehicle you intend to use and its CGWR and rear axle ratio (if possible). CGWR is usually found  in the vehicle manuals.
^ ^ What he said ^ ^

Remember the GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) of the tow vehicle (TV) is far more important than the tow rating. The tow rating is only valid information after all other weight ratings have been considered. It's also important to know the max combined weight of all of your cargo (including passengers, pets & fuel). Even if it's a guestimate..... say 500# in cargo, full tank fuel ~100#, 6 passengers ~750#... and the 100# pouch....... it all adds up and makes a difference in what your TV will have to handle.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 02:20:22 PM by Wavery »
Wayne
Wife, Carolyn...... 5 kids.... 19 grandkids.
1998 33' Winnebago Adventurer ('97 Ford 460 V8, F53 chassis) 33WQ -Banks PowerPak, Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer, Monroe Gas-Magnum RV Shocks
Retired GM Service Manager driving a Ford....What's the world coming too??

debsuecarr

  • Posts: 4
Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2013, 04:38:12 PM »
Thanks so much for the education!  We have some flexibility in vehicles if I had to do a trade-in, though it would be great if we could stick with a Chrysler Town and Country minivan since we have had one for eons. 

From my current owner's guide:
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 6,050 lbs. GVWR
Max Trailer Weight 3,600 lbs. towing capacity
Maximum GCWR  7,000 lbs. GCWR
Curb Weight  4,652 lbs. curb weight

No information about rear axel ratio in manual or on Chrysler's website.

What does this all mean in terms of deciphering what is safe?

THANKS SO MUCH!  :)

Wavery

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  • Posts: 1111
  • Fallbrook, California.......... (San Diego County)
Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2013, 04:46:32 PM »
Thanks so much for the education!  We have some flexibility in vehicles if I had to do a trade-in, though it would be great if we could stick with a Chrysler Town and Country minivan since we have had one for eons. 

From my current owner's guide:
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 6,050 lbs. GVWR
Max Trailer Weight 3,600 lbs. towing capacity
Maximum GCWR  7,000 lbs. GCWR
Curb Weight  4,652 lbs. curb weight

No information about rear axel ratio in manual or on Chrysler's website.

What does this all mean in terms of deciphering what is safe?

THANKS SO MUCH!  :)
Take your GCWR of 7,000# and subtract your curb weight (4652#) plus all of the passengers and cargo...... Say 2 adults @300# and 300# of camping gear plus about 360# of trailer tongue wt (that's your max)..... that leaves you with 1388# left for your trailer (that's like a jet-ski trailer)....... at that you would be absolutely maxed out....

You may want to upgrade your TV to a 3/4 ton pick-up before you start thinking about towing a travel trailer large enough to have a walk-around bed......  There are a few tultra-lites that can be towed with a 1/2T but I don't recommend towing maxed out. If you need to buy a different vehicle, it's best to buy one that is meant for towing and has the best towing pkg available for the vehicle.

NOTE.....GCWR is the max amount of combined weight for your fully loaded TV and fully loaded trailer.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 05:00:28 PM by Wavery »
Wayne
Wife, Carolyn...... 5 kids.... 19 grandkids.
1998 33' Winnebago Adventurer ('97 Ford 460 V8, F53 chassis) 33WQ -Banks PowerPak, Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer, Monroe Gas-Magnum RV Shocks
Retired GM Service Manager driving a Ford....What's the world coming too??

R. J. Barton

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  • Posts: 218
Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2013, 05:13:47 PM »
Thanks so much for the education!  We have some flexibility in vehicles if I had to do a trade-in, though it would be great if we could stick with a Chrysler Town and Country minivan since we have had one for eons. 

From my current owner's guide:
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 6,050 lbs. GVWR
Max Trailer Weight 3,600 lbs. towing capacity
Maximum GCWR  7,000 lbs. GCWR
Curb Weight  4,652 lbs. curb weight

No information about rear axel ratio in manual or on Chrysler's website.

What does this all mean in terms of deciphering what is safe?

THANKS SO MUCH!  :)

Ugh! No offense, but I'm not sure I'd tow a popup with a minivan.

Probably be much better off with an actual truck.  ;)
2011 Coachman Catalina 27BHS
2006 Ford F250 PSD CC FX4

kjansen

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Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2013, 07:08:49 PM »
I have a good friend that drives a Chevy 1500 and pulls a 22' TT with a front bedroom that you can walk along both sides.  They have been all over western US and no problems other than slow up mountains.  There are TT out there, just keep looking.
Keven Jansen
'06 Chevy 2500 Duramax
'02 Montana Big Sky
Alexandria, Mn

Mopar1973Man

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  • Dodge Cummins Powered / Jayco Eagle Living
Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2013, 07:12:40 PM »
Be careful of the smallest RV comment. I would find a RV that your comfortable in. What good is it to buy a tiny RV and its too small to be comfortable to sleep, cook or even get yourself cleaned up. So since you don't have either a RV or truck right now I would highly suggest you take a ride to a RV dealer and walk around some RV's and see what fits you best before. Then once you have a idea what your looking for then you can base your tow vehicle idea around the trailer. Simple way is to use the GVWR of the trailer which I hardly doubt you'll ever reach but the fact it give you room to breathe on finding a tow vehicle and not over loading it either.
Mopar1973Man (AKA: Michael Nelson) located out in the state of Idaho with...
2002 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9L Cummins Turbo Diesel
2000 Jayco Eagle FBS 296
2013 BigTex 70TV Utility Trailer

debsuecarr

  • Posts: 4
Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2013, 09:52:18 PM »
Thanks much for all the great information and suggestions!   :)

I'll share all of this with my husband and see where we come out.


Great Horned Owl

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  • Lake county, IL
Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2013, 07:31:58 AM »
If you do end up buying a truck for a tow vehicle, you might want to consider a fifth wheel instead of a pull behind. It is easier to tow, has lots more usable space for a given total length, and tends to have a lot more storage space.

Joel
Joel & Dorothy
Retired electronics engineer. Avid photographer, paddler & birder.
2011 Silverado 2500HD, Duramax, 4x4,crew cab, 8' bed
Palomino Puma 253-FBS  27' 5th wheel
1994 19' Class B Horizon / Chevy

Mopar1973Man

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  • Dodge Cummins Powered / Jayco Eagle Living
Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2013, 08:16:06 AM »
If you do end up buying a truck for a tow vehicle, you might want to consider a fifth wheel instead of a pull behind. It is easier to tow, has lots more usable space for a given total length, and tends to have a lot more storage space.

Joel

Touche'

Or consider the pull behind because you now can haul your ATV/UTV in the bed of the truck or put a canopy on and be about to keep gear and other things dry and cover in the bed of the truck where 5th steals your bed space and typically require you to tow doubles now.

Lots of things to consider.  8)
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 08:20:10 AM by Mopar1973Man »
Mopar1973Man (AKA: Michael Nelson) located out in the state of Idaho with...
2002 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9L Cummins Turbo Diesel
2000 Jayco Eagle FBS 296
2013 BigTex 70TV Utility Trailer

Alfa38User

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  • Posts: 6113
Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2013, 08:34:45 AM »
I am a bit surprised by the towing numbers for that Town and Country. I have a 2010 Grand Caravan, basically the same vehicle and my limit is 2000 lbs. MY 2002 Caravan was the same!! (Not saying the numbers are incorrect, just surprised is all :'()
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

darthmuffin

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  • Posts: 13
Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2013, 04:28:02 PM »
As for small trailers with a walk-around bed, we have a Chalet Takena 2265.  21 1/2 feet.  At about 3300lb it's still more than you can comfortably do with your mini-van, but you won't find a trailer much lighter.

Fun Finder makes a similar floorplan, but it's even heavier (4000+lbs).

jje1960

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  • Posts: 1556
  • Jim
Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2013, 05:31:00 PM »
Absolutely agree with very limited (certainly considering walk around) selection of trailer with Mini van.  However, no reason whats so ever to go past a 1/2 ton pickup with todays models.  Just for instance, we have a close friend pulling within safety and specs with a 1/2 ton Ford Eco Boost, 36' TT.  Personally, we pulled our 27QBSS RVision with our Eddy Bauer Explorer, however there was plenty of white knuckle experiences even though we were within specs....  Sounds like you really want to get out there, can't go wrong with a 1/2 ton and then choosing your unit!  Best of luck to you and hope you enjoy your upcoming RV experience!  Mine is just another humble 2c, lot's of experts here on the Forum to help you out.
Jim
2011 Ford F350 DRW 6.7 Diesel
2011 Cougar SRX

Wavery

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  • Posts: 1111
  • Fallbrook, California.......... (San Diego County)
Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2013, 05:58:26 PM »
Absolutely agree with very limited (certainly considering walk around) selection of trailer with Mini van.  However, no reason whats so ever to go past a 1/2 ton pickup with todays models.  Just for instance, we have a close friend pulling within safety and specs with a 1/2 ton Ford Eco Boost, 36' TT.  Personally, we pulled our 27QBSS RVision with our Eddy Bauer Explorer, however there was plenty of white knuckle experiences even though we were within specs....  Sounds like you really want to get out there, can't go wrong with a 1/2 ton and then choosing your unit!  Best of luck to you and hope you enjoy your upcoming RV experience!  Mine is just another humble 2c, lot's of experts here on the Forum to help you out.
I agree that a 1/2T can be a capable TV for some TTs..... however, if one is going to buy a truck anyway.... the likelihood is there for a larger trailer in the future or simply having a truck with plenty of safety margin.

Also.... there are 1/2Ts and there are 1/2Ts...... they can range from not being much more capable than the mini-van (due to payload capacity)..... all the way up to being nearly as capable as some 3/4Ts. The main bonus to a 3/4T is larger brakes..... after-all, safe towing is 90% about stopping and 10% about pulling. A person can buy a 1/2T that has a gigantic pulling capacity but should not pull a 5,000# trailer due to limited payload and stopping ability.

Wayne
Wife, Carolyn...... 5 kids.... 19 grandkids.
1998 33' Winnebago Adventurer ('97 Ford 460 V8, F53 chassis) 33WQ -Banks PowerPak, Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer, Monroe Gas-Magnum RV Shocks
Retired GM Service Manager driving a Ford....What's the world coming too??

red_shoes

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  • Posts: 6
Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2013, 09:39:31 AM »
You might look at the TrailManor products.

My husband and I are also looking for a lightweight TT with a walk around bed and are considering the Chalet 2265 which will have us end up close to our limits the other option for us are these Trail manor products. 

http://www.trailmanor.com/index.htm

We didn't want to be dealing with wet canvas so this appeals to us. It power opens and the parts you have to pop up do so quickly and easily. It does not have a walk around bed but the ones with king beds can be slept on in either direction and  the others provide 2 beds. These range from 2150 to 3185 dry weight.

If you can upgrade your vehicle you will have many more options and there is a peace of mind not worrying about weather you can take this item or that or coming across a treasure at little shop in the middle of nowhere and not being able to buy it because you are at the edge of your weight limit.

Best of luck.
Laura
Kia Borrego V6
Looking for our first trailer!

Wavery

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  • Posts: 1111
  • Fallbrook, California.......... (San Diego County)
Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2013, 07:51:09 PM »
You might look at the TrailManor products.

My husband and I are also looking for a lightweight TT with a walk around bed and are considering the Chalet 2265 which will have us end up close to our limits the other option for us are these Trail manor products. 

http://www.trailmanor.com/index.htm

We didn't want to be dealing with wet canvas so this appeals to us. It power opens and the parts you have to pop up do so quickly and easily. It does not have a walk around bed but the ones with king beds can be slept on in either direction and  the others provide 2 beds. These range from 2150 to 3185 dry weight.

If you can upgrade your vehicle you will have many more options and there is a peace of mind not worrying about weather you can take this item or that or coming across a treasure at little shop in the middle of nowhere and not being able to buy it because you are at the edge of your weight limit.

Best of luck.
There is a perfect example of "Dry weight means nothing".... We owned 3 different TrailManors of a 6 year period. Loved the trailers..... great floor plan, fully self-contained yada-yada but our 2720SL had a 'Dry Weight" of 2675. On the scales, loaded for camping (2-adults only... no toys) 3980#.

NEVER use dry weight as a consideration when buying any RV. When buying a trailer (especially a "light wt trailer) I strongly recommend using the GVWR when considering what you can and can't tow.
Wayne
Wife, Carolyn...... 5 kids.... 19 grandkids.
1998 33' Winnebago Adventurer ('97 Ford 460 V8, F53 chassis) 33WQ -Banks PowerPak, Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer, Monroe Gas-Magnum RV Shocks
Retired GM Service Manager driving a Ford....What's the world coming too??

red_shoes

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  • Posts: 6
Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2013, 05:44:13 PM »
We just found another one the Coachman Clipper 17FQ.  With a GVWR of 3518. lbs.  It has a full time queen walk around bed.

 http://www.coachmenrv.com/products/clippertt.aspx?page=floorplandetails&floorplanid=5187

Coachman's Viking FQ appears to be identical

http://www.coachmenrv.com/products/vikingtt.aspx?page=floorplandetails&floorplanid=5186
Laura
Kia Borrego V6
Looking for our first trailer!

Frizlefrak

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  • Posts: 3579
  • El Paso, Texas
Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2013, 06:09:39 PM »
Go look at 100 trailers.  Seriously.  Spend hours and hours looking at every trailer you can until you fall in love with a floorplan.  Buy that trailer. 

Look at the gross weight of the trailer.  Add 20%.  Now go buy a truck with the capacity to tow it. 

See?  Wasn't this easy??

Get the notion of towing ANYTHING with a minivan out of your head. 
2014 Ram 2500 Cummins
2012 Palomino 30' TT

Mopar1973Man

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  • Posts: 3496
  • Dodge Cummins Powered / Jayco Eagle Living
Re: Smallest trailer w/walk around bed?
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2013, 10:55:19 PM »
You might look at the TrailManor products.

My husband and I are also looking for a lightweight TT with a walk around bed and are considering the Chalet 2265 which will have us end up close to our limits the other option for us are these Trail manor products. 

http://www.trailmanor.com/index.htm

We didn't want to be dealing with wet canvas so this appeals to us. It power opens and the parts you have to pop up do so quickly and easily. It does not have a walk around bed but the ones with king beds can be slept on in either direction and  the others provide 2 beds. These range from 2150 to 3185 dry weight.

If you can upgrade your vehicle you will have many more options and there is a peace of mind not worrying about weather you can take this item or that or coming across a treasure at little shop in the middle of nowhere and not being able to buy it because you are at the edge of your weight limit.

Best of luck.

Like others have said leave the dry weight number alone. Use the GVWR for figuring you tow vehicles abilities. Click on my link in my signature to see a example of the weight figures. Also take notice dry weight is never used on the figures.
Mopar1973Man (AKA: Michael Nelson) located out in the state of Idaho with...
2002 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9L Cummins Turbo Diesel
2000 Jayco Eagle FBS 296
2013 BigTex 70TV Utility Trailer