Excellent Site! Newbie with Questions on TT...

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

foneguy9

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2006
Posts
11
Greetings to all!

I have been looking through this site and it has a wealth of practical information!  You'all make it great!  I wish for your help and wisdom in my search for a TT!

My wife and I have decided to sell our house and move into to a smaller place in Utah.  We have a golden @ 70 lbs about 5 years old.  Quincy, our golden, will come with us on our trips.  We will be needing an RV for extended travel to the New Orleans area for volunteer relief work.  When I say extended stays, thats about 1 to 3 months, possibly more at one time.  Then travelling back to Utah. 

This is a research phase as I am still concentrating on selling our house but possible about the same time that this house is sold, we may need to use this TT as a temporary home so as to get a small place in Utah without the tension of not having a place to stay or renting  :'( :'(  Everything else will go to POD.

This may go on for a couple of years so I was looking for an RV for this purpose.  I had decided on a TT since once arriving I will be using the TV to run around town.  I was thinking about an SUV (Suburban for Example) or my wife has always wanted a Volvo station wagon.  This could double as a transport to ferry a few volunteers around once there.  Of course, this all depends on the weight being towed as I have learned on this site and the potency of the vehicle.

Anyhow, I had thought that a 30' to 35' would be fine for us and a possible 2nd couple, for these trips.  I would need a small office and Internet access.  I already have Internet access with my Nextel, however, I am also looking at alternatives in case I have no signal.  I still need to be on call for work :-\  I don't mind purchasing a used TT but am open to any and all suggestions.  I defer to your experience.

Of course, I will be RV'ing to other destinations to wind down.  So, this will also be used for fun time ;D

I have read about others on this site that are newbies and appreciate the candor with which you'all respond.  I hope this is enough info to get started on getting your advice.  As to financials, I am looking at about 60 to 70K for the purpose of setting this up.  Comfort is important as well as space since this may be a permanent temporary home (?) for 6 months.  Not sure if I explained myself there.  :-\
Thanks...


Off the wall, I was looking at the A/C on these RV's and haven't found any indicating a Split Air type system.  Do any of you know if this can be an option?  These are extremely quiet and I have installed a few in my home 9300 BTU's each.  I'm sure the less noise in an RV the better!  As well as electrical consumption, which Split Airs are notorious for sipping electricity.  Thanks again...
 

foneguy9

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2006
Posts
11
By the way, there is an RV show in Pomona, Ca.  that I will be attending either on Friday or Saturday to 'kick the tires' of some of these RV's.  I am open to any suggestions for me to ask while there...  I will be getting into the shower, getting in and out of bed, looking over the floorplans available and keep a log of what I find.

I was also thinking that a used MH and tow an SUV may also be a solution but I don't have any definite plans as to the type of RV yet either...  I have read about pros and cons but not sure how to apply these to my particular needs. 

By the way, I do not have a tow vehicle yet and this would also be purchased along with the RV.  Letting you know just so we are on the same page. 



 

Shayne

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
Might suggest you look at something in the 26 to 28" units and think about used.  My reasoning is If you aren't satisfied with RVing, it's not quite as bad a loss when you sell and also earlier to sell a lower priced item then a NEW unit.  Also please check in here and have all your facts and weights along with specs on the tow vehicle  before you buy and allow these gents to advise you as to wheather you have selected the right tow unit.  The small unit you can get by with the easier it is to find a unit to tow it;.  Just my opinion.  Good Luck
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
This may go on for a couple of years so I was looking for an RV for this purpose. ?I had decided on a TT since once arriving I will be using the TV to run around town. ?I was thinking about an SUV (Suburban for Example) or my wife has always wanted a Volvo station wagon. ?This could double as a transport to ferry a few volunteers around once there. ?Of course, this all depends on the weight being towed as I have learned on this site and the potency of the vehicle.

Anyhow, I had thought that a 30' to 35' would be fine for us and a possible 2nd couple, for these trips. ?I would need a small office and Internet access. ?I already have Internet access with my Nextel, however, I am also looking at alternatives in case I have no signal. ?I still need to be on call for work ? I don't mind purchasing a used TT but am open to any and all suggestions. ?I defer to your experience.

OK you are talking big trailers, Volvo station wagons are out. ? Suburbans can be in tho. ?For that size of trailer, you are looking at a 2500 'Burb with the 8.1 L engine and 2wd. ? That machine with a 3.73 rear end has a tow rating of 10,600 lbs; with the 4.10 rear end get you 12,000 lbs.

Trailers should be judged by Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). ?That weight can be found on the DOT plate on the drivers side front side of the trailer. ? When you are doing the show, look for it on models that interest you. ? Since you are talking Utah your are talking mountain west with its high altitudes and long long steep grades. ? Discount the tow ratings by 20% for those factors. ? Thus using that Burb as an example, with the 3.73 rear end, ?you are looking for trailers with a GVWR of less than ?8,480 lbs; with the 4.10 less than 9600 lbs. ?

If you want to go heavier that that, you are out of the Burb league and into the big 3500 pickups or the Ford line of very heavy duty trucks. ?
If you are in to that, it is time for you to go to the Trailer Life Tow Rating Tables. ?Click HERE to see them. ? ?Apply that 20% safety factor to the ratings. ?Turbo diesels can cut that back a bit, maybe 10%.

When you do the show, look for floor plans in the trailers with GVWRs in your range. ? Frankly I doubt if you are going to find a trailer with a floor plan that can handle two adult couples -- they may exist, but I have never seen one. ?Getting in the shower is good. Sit on the throne too. ? Most places in Utah are four seasons country so you may want to consider winterization -- hard to find in a Southern California show by the way.
 

foneguy9

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2006
Posts
11
Excellent!  Good info... 
IF the Burb wasn't enough, is would this be something like what you are referring too?
2007 RAM Chassis Cab 3500

With 4.10 Axle Ratio You Can Tow 10400 lbs
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating(GVWR)=12500
Payload=6044
Curb Weight=6456
Curb WeightFront/Rear=3613/2843
GAWRFront/Rear=5200/9350
Gross Combination Weight Rating(GCWR)=17000


I found the following TT but not sure if these are any good/ well made...  But the following is pricing and the info is from the Keystone web site:

2006 Keystone Outback Sydney 30RLS

http://www.rvsearch.com/findrv/index.cfm/a-d/tc-36261/vid-268720/

Sydney Travel Trailers Model 27RLS 30RLS 31RQS
Weight                               6220 7105 7260
Carrying Capacity             1780 2495 2340
Hitch                                     710    655      830
Length                                 30' 2   33' 6    35' 1
Width                                     8' 8' 8'
Height                                 10' 11  11' 1    11' 1
Fresh Water                         50   50   50
Waste Water                       40   40 40
Gray Water                         40        80   80
LPG                                     60        60    60
Tire Size                   225/75D15D 225/75D15D 225/75D15D
Rim Size                         15 x 6  15 x 6  15 x 6

Looking at pricing as well, and all looks possible within that range... 

As to the other couple, its a maybe on that.  The other couple are my in laws!  Depending on their health, they may not be able to accompany us.  Of course, if they go, they will get the regular bed.  ;)


 

foneguy9

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2006
Posts
11
Also found the following on the Dodge Web site when I looked up the 3500:

While it's not listed in the charts, tongue weight is also an important consideration. The recommended tongue weight is between 10 & 15% of the trailer weight. However, the maximum tongue weight on Class III (The bumper ball) is limited to 500 lbs, and Class IV (The receiver hitch) to 1200 lbs.
This requirement overrides any recommended GTW rating, between 10% and 15% of gross trailer weight (GTW). Additionally, the GAWRs and GVWRs should never be exceeded.

Secure payload to prevent shifting of weight during braking, acceleration, cornering, or bumps, etc. If loads shift during dynamic conditions, load distribution could change resulting in an unsafe condition, or could exceed limits of recommended tongue weight. Incorrect tongue weight could result in increased yaw or vehicle instability. A negative tongue weight could unload the rear suspension of the tow vehicle decreasing vehicle stability. Negative tongue weight could cause the trailer to squat and potentially become disengaged from the tow vehicle resulting in a runaway trailer condition.

Towing capacities may vary. Consult your dealer to for full details on the towing capabilities of the vehicle.
 

Shayne

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
Towing capacities may vary. Consult your dealer to for full details on the towing capabilities of the vehicle.


Personally I wouldn't believe a dealer about any specs.  He'll tell you any thing to sell the unit.  I'd believe Carl anytime but never a dealer  I was one and I know how they work.  Once reason I got out of the business.
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
With 4.10 Axle Ratio You Can Tow 10400 lbs

Don't completely follow you but that seems to be less than the big 'Burb's 12,000 lbs. ?No?

Trailer websites can be coy about GVWR. ? It can be calculated easily tho: it is the sum of dry weight plus carrying capacity.
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
While it's not listed in the charts, tongue weight is also an important consideration. The recommended tongue weight is between 10 & 15% of the trailer weight. However, the maximum tongue weight on Class III (The bumper ball) is limited to 500 lbs, and Class IV (The receiver hitch) to 1200 lbs.


So go to Class V, with a 1,700 lb rating.  A trailer with that as 15% of its weight equal to 1,700 lbs would have a total weight of 11,333 lbs and that my friend is a helluva big TT.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
76,588
Location
West Palm Beach, FL
The 17,000 lb GCWR on that RAM 3500 is rather low for a 3500, so I'm guessing it has 5.7L gas engine.  With the diesel it would be rated at 23,000 lbs, which would increase the tow rating to the 15,700 range.

A new, big, truck is going to eat up a substantial portion of your $70K budget and even a used one is expensive. Big pick-ups are popular and thatkeeps the price up.  Check around for F350/3500 class diesel trucks in your area. The Fords, Chevies and Dodges are all excellent vehicles.  You might also be able to get a full sized van in the F350/3500 class and theyy are excellent tow vehicles for travel trailers.  But I suspect a Suburban 2500 with an weight distributing hitch would tow a sizable travel trailer for you too.

There are lots of travel trailer floor plans available. Check the web sites of Keystone, Newmar, Fleetwood (Terry, Prowler & Wilderness), Holiday Rambler, KZ-RV, Forest River, Skyline, Thor, Teton Homes, Arctic Fox & Nash, Sunnybrook, New Horizons, etc. for a selection.

New Horizons will buld a trailer to suit your needs and cost no more than other qulaity brands - might be an ideal way to get the office and living space you want.  Check out New Horizons RVs
 

foneguy9

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2006
Posts
11
Thanks Carl and RV Roamer!

First, deciding on the floor plan, size of the TT will help me with determining the TV.  If I could, I want to keep the burb 2500 as the TV option and work from there.  So I'm looking for a GVWR of 9600 lbs at MAX. I checked out a couple of the websites that Roamer suggested and  :eek: :eek: on the Teton Homes!  I could get used to living in one of those full time!!!  Unfortunately, seems that these are 5ers only.  :'(
As to the New Horizons RV, those look good as well.  I will be calling them to test out there customer support.

Now, I did check out rv.org and they didn't seem too favorably inclined for the TT since it seems to be 'dangerous' if hooked up incorrectly, especially for novices.  The site makes it sound that the learning curve is high.  But, I would think if you didn't understand the systems you are setting up anything that you drive could be dangerous. 

From what is being said on the RV's the ones referred to above are 'quality' brands.  I have checked out Keystone, Fleetwood, Teton, and New Horizons.  I've read negatives on the Artic Fox roofs.  Since there are so many to chose from I will keep to the ones that have favorable remarks. 

:D  This is great!!  Having all this feedback and knowledge on tap!!!
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
Now, I did check out rv.org and they didn't seem too favorably inclined for the TT since it seems to be 'dangerous' if hooked up incorrectly, especially for novices.  The site makes it sound that the learning curve is high.  But, I would think if you didn't understand the systems you are setting up anything that you drive could be dangerous. 

Nuts.  If a person cannot figure out how to hitch up a travel trailer, they probably should not be allowed to operate machinery as complex as a motor vehicle.  Certainly not as complex as a  5th wheel hitch.  It is a simple process that followed once or twice becomes a rote procedure you can do blindfolded.  The best of the systems, the Hensley Arrow simplifies it to simply backing the trailer and truck couplers together and snapping a lock closed.  All the complexities are handled at the intial installation by the installer.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
76,588
Location
West Palm Beach, FL
Now, I did check out rv.org and they didn't seem too favorably inclined for the TT since it seems to be 'dangerous' if hooked up incorrectly, especially for novices.

Several of us here are more than a little skeptical of rv.org because of their ultra-conservative proclamations such as this. They do no testing and are prone to making unsubstantiated statements with gospel-like rectitude.  But they are one of the few voices that emphasizes safety [above all else] in RV design and construction.
 

foneguy9

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2006
Posts
11
Thanks for the comments.  I have narrowed down the TT to a few options like the Keystone Outback or the New Horizons T29RK1.  But, I would like your advice on the following:
I look at this as an exercise in Towing in my particular case. 
About the GVWR, I have found the 30 RLS Keystone Outback 30 RLS Weight 7105# Carrying Capacity 2495# to be a possible candidate. 
From what I calculated on with this TT, then the 2007 Suburban 3/4 Ton LT 3LT 2WD should be a viable TV.  It comes with the Engine, Vortec 6.0L V8 SFI, (352 hp [262.5 kW] @ 5400 rpm, 383 lb-ft of torque [517.1 N-m] @ 4300 rpm).  Also, has the rear axle ratio of 4.10.  Keeping in mind the 20% safety factor I think it should workout.
But I was wondering if I still need to include the weight in the burb or is this an all inclusive number on the Chevy site about its capacities. Would I have the ability to have 'extra' towing/carrying weight?
I have read about this topic many times on this site, but can't quite get a handle on it. 

Your thoughts?
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
But I was wondering if I still need to include the weight in the burb or is this an all inclusive number on the Chevy site about its capacities. Would I have the ability to have 'extra' towing/carrying weight?
I have read about this topic many times on this site, but can't quite get a handle on it. 

Well yes, you would.  The number that handles this is the truck's Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR):  the maximum truck + payload + tow load.  Truck payload includes passengers and junk.

But let's take a look at what you have.  You have a trailer with a GVWR of 9,600 lbs.  Your truck, based on the 2006 tables has a tow rating of 9,900 lbs with the 4.10 rear end.  If you put in a safety factor of 10% that tow rating should be discounted to 8,910 lbs;  a factor of 20% gives 7920 lbs.

Your engine is too small, go for the 8.1 L engine and the 4.10 rear end.  That rating is 12,000 lbs or 9, 600 lbs discounted by 20%.  Right on the money.

The safety factor should handle most cab payloads unless you are into hobbies like amateur blacksmithing.
 

joelmyer

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Posts
1,058
Location
Georgia
RV Roamer said:
A new, big, truck is going to eat up a substantial portion of your $70K budget

My new Dodge 1 Ton Diesel + new Sunnybrook 2750 = $70K - just under, but that was 2004.

My advice would be new 1 Ton Diesel, used trailer/5th wheel if you find one you like.

 

joelmyer

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Posts
1,058
Location
Georgia
Carl Lundquist said:
Nuts.  If a person cannot figure out how to hitch up a travel trailer, they probably should not be allowed to operate machinery as complex as a motor vehicle.  Certainly not as complex as a  5th wheel hitch.

Now Carl!  Wanna race?  Easy hook up was one reason we went 5th wheel instead of trailer.
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
joelmyer said:
Now Carl! Wanna race? Easy hook up was one reason we went 5th wheel instead of trailer.

Sorry to hear about that Joel.? ;D

Most of my time is spent on backup and safety chains -- safety chains are because I use carbiners.  That is about to change.
 

joelmyer

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Posts
1,058
Location
Georgia
Carl Lundquist said:
Sorry to hear about that Joel.  ;D

Most of my time is spent on backup and safety chains -- safety chains are because I use carbiners.  That is about to change.

Safety chains, what's safety chains?  Backup? Ya just line up the lines in the back window with the hitch, back into it briskly, pull up the jacks, close the tailgate, plug in the brakes & you're off
 

Lowell

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Posts
2,221
Location
Tempe, AZ
joelmyer said:
Now Carl! Wanna race? Easy hook up was one reason we went 5th wheel instead of trailer.

Carl and Joel

I think to make this a fair race, you need to:
1. unhook the trailer.
2. Load a large ATV or refrigerator into the bed of the pickup(What, you have to remove the 5th wheel, what 5th wheel?)
3. Unload the bed of the pick-up.
4 Hook back up to the trailer.
 
Top Bottom