keystone zeppelin

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gawelsh

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2006
Posts
10
Hi - we're new to the RV world.  We're on the verge of purchasing a new Zeppelin 278 (ultralite - towing behind a V-8
SUV).  Does anyone have experience with this brand of RV ?    We're impressed with what we/ve seen, but we're also
novices, so we may be 'off-base'.

Related note - we love this Forum.  It looks like a great place to meet folks and exchange info.  We live in central PA and
will be RV'ing in-state and in MD, to begin with.

Hope to hear back from you !![br]Date Posted: June 24, 2006, 06:36:58 AMWe're on the verge of buying a new Keystone Zeppelin 278 - ultralite for towing behind a V-8 SUV.    It seems like a really nice
RV, but honestly, we've only evaluated the competition on-line (although we spent 2 hours in the Zeppelin yesterday).

Does anyone have experience with these types of RVs, either Keystone'ss or another brand ??    We'd appreciate input from
some experienced RV'ers  !!    THANK YOU !
 

ywilson68

Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Posts
6
We are also looking at Zepellins, only smaller.  We like the pop out beds on the hybrids, but would like a bigger interior sleeping area, in case of bad weather.  Good luck on your search.  I haven't heard anything negative about the company so far.
 

Ralph

New member
Joined
Jul 13, 2006
Posts
4
Location
Fort Worth, TX
We bought a 2006 Zeppelin271 in May, it weighed abought 4800 lbs. It was a nice trailer but our tow vehicle wasn't quite large enough. We have a 2005 Dodge Durango with the small V8, even though it is rated to tow 7300 lbs. it was a strain on any kind of incline.
 

Skip

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Posts
11
Ralph, your message has me quite concerned since we are very close to buying a Zeppelin.? This will be our first trailer purchase.? Our van has a towing capacity of 6600 pounds and our calculations (using the directions from this website) say our van should be able to pull the Zeppelin Z303, which weighs 4800 pounds empty before appliances, etc., with some extra weight to spare.? We even thought we could pull a 5200 pound Outback but that would reach our max of 6600 pounds when we add in all the extras.

Your vehicle can tow more than our van and you weren't able to easily tow a 4800 pound trailer?? How badly was your vehicle straining?? Were these BIG 'inclines' like the ones in California?? (You didn't say mountains but I'm hoping).? Based on your note, it looks like we will be limited to towing a pop-up which does not interest us.

I'll be watching this thread closely!
 

Skip

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Posts
11
Ralph, I just noticed from my 2006 brochure that the Z271 is only 4460 pounds (dry weight).  The one we are thinking about buying is 4800 pounds.  That's even worse.

Has anyone else had similar concerns?

 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
Work with the Gross Vehicle Weight of the trailer:  dry weight + carrying capacity.  That is a safer number to use than the dry weight, which is a calculated weight, not an actual one and may not include things like awnings, extra batteries, propane tanks etc..  The GVWR of the Z271 appears to be 7000 lbs.  That exceeds your stated tow rating of 6600 lbs.  We like to see people using a 10% safety factor in tow ratings to allow for hills, varying state of engine tune, and aging drive train.  That would put your max trailer GVWR at 5940 lbs. 

If you plan on towing in the mountain or Pacific west make that safety factor 20% to allow for long 6-8% grades and 8000+ foot passes.  Now your tow rating would be 5,280 lbs.   

Of this I know from where I speak.  I have a 6600 tow rated vehicle.  I tow a TT that I have actually weighed, and it comes in at 4650 lbs dry.  I would not want to tow a trailer an ounce heavier.  I do an awful lot of 1st gear getting over passes here in the far west -- and I am talking good roads, interstates even, not backcountry goat tracks.
 

ShastaKatt

New member
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Posts
4
Hi...
We're new to the RV world also and are on the verge of purchasing a previously-owned Safari Sahara.  And we also live in PA...Southwestern PA.  We lived in MD for 20 years and my daughter is still there, so we'll be in MD often.  Maybe we'll see you on the road sometime.

Pat

gwalkingstick said:
Hi - we're new to the RV world.? ?We're on the verge of purchasing a new Zeppelin 278 (ultralite - towing behind a V-8
SUV).? ?Does anyone have experience with this brand of RV ?? ? We're impressed with what we/ve seen, but we're also
novices, so we may be 'off-base'.

Related note - we love this Forum.? ?It looks like a great place to meet folks and exchange info.? ?We live in central PA and
will be RV'ing in-state and in MD, to begin with.

Hope to hear back from you !![br]Date Posted: June 24, 2006, 06:36:58 AMWe're on the verge of buying a new Keystone Zeppelin 278 - ultralite for towing behind a V-8 SUV.? ? It seems like a really nice
RV, but honestly, we've only evaluated the competition on-line (although we spent 2 hours in the Zeppelin yesterday).

Does anyone have experience with these types of RVs, either Keystone'ss or another brand ??? ? We'd appreciate input from
some experienced RV'ers? !!? ? THANK YOU !
 

Ralph

New member
Joined
Jul 13, 2006
Posts
4
Location
Fort Worth, TX
    I just looked on the Keystone web site and the Zeppelin 271 has a "shipping weight"  of 4865 lbs. We live in the Fort Worth, TX area and there aren't any mountains, just hills. Our Durango would shift up and down constantly at 60 MPH. our Durango weighs over 4800 lbs and felt a little light. I think it would have pulled it OK if we didn't plan on going more than 50 or so miles from home but I was concerned that it would shorten the life of  the vehicle if we went on long trips. I don't think it would be adequate at all in mountains. Also be careful when listening to sales people, they will tell you excatly what you want to here.
    We traded our Zeppelin 271 back in on a Keystone VR1 after one trip. But we also bought a new diesel 3/4 ton Dodge truck, because we plan to do some serious sight seeing.

Good luck
 

Skip

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Posts
11
I went to the website and checked out the weight you quoted.  Would this be the weight for the trailer with all the included options and accessories like the awning and the appliances?  If so, that is less than I estimated.  Thanks!

I'm still unclear why I have to look at carrying capacity and include it in my calculations if I have no intention of loading up my trailer that heavily.  These trailers are advertised as being able to be pulled by lighter vehicles.  Here's what the website says:

"Designed for today's family vehicles like Mini Vans, Sport Utilities(S.U.V.'s), V-8's, and small trucks."

It's beginning to sound like that's not the case.

 

Ron

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Posts
18,082
Location
Home is where we park it
What the folks here are telling you may not be what you want to hear but believe me they know what they are talking about so I would recommend you seriously consider what they are telling you.  Remember this they have nothing to gain whether or not you buy and start towing other than maybe our safety should we be traveling in the same area as you if you are overloaded.  On the other hand the manufacturer and salesman have a financial incentive to get you to buy their product.  Unfortunately they may not have as much interest in your safety as folks here.

Carl as well as others here know what they are talking about and have had a lot of experience towing.  I would bet the sales person you are dealing with hasn't ever towed and if they have not much.

PLEASE for your family and your own safety heed what is being discussed here.  I am absolutely sure the information given here is accurate and much more reliable than you will get from the seller.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
77,654
Location
West Palm Beach, FL
I'm still unclear why I have to look at carrying capacity and include it in my calculations if I have no intention of loading up my trailer that heavily.

Everybody says that. And each trip a few more goodies get loaded into the trailer (or the tow vehicle), until pretty soon it is indeed loaded to somewhere near its max weight rating.  It's sort of a Parkinson's Law for Trailers: "The gear onboard expands to fill the available space & weight". Eventually you end up overloaded. We've all been there and it happens regardless of the size of the trailer or motorhome.  That's why we advise the way we do.

Bottom line is that it is best to start out planning for the maximum load you might ever carry. Betting that you will NOT load to maximum is short-sighted and you are gambling with your family's safety as well as the mechanical health of your very expensive tow vehicle. 

But this is merely advice, and free advice at that. You don't have to follow it.
 

Skip

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Posts
11
We went back to the drawing board on the trailer purchase.  Nixed the Outback and the Zeppelin due to weight.  The Outback would have been a great trailer.

After many hours of researching and a weekend trip to the 'city' to look at several trailers, we have chosen to get the Jayco 26L.  The quality of the Jayco trailers seems very impressive especially when compared to a couple other hybrids we were considering.  This particular trailer has one pop-out queen tent bed and a slide-out of the sofa and kitchen area.  It doesn't slide out far but even an extra foot helps. 

The unloaded weight of the trailer is 4475 lbs. and the gross vehicle weight is only 5800, considerably less than the Zeppelin we were considering. 

Since our tow vehicle has a rating of 6600 pounds, I think we should be fine with pulling this trailer. Right? 

Thanks for the all the help.  Without you, we might be in a ditch before too long.
 

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