Looking to upgrade my travel trailer

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Mandie

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Hello!
I’m looking to upgrade my current Jayco that sleeps 5 to a trailer that sleeps 8. I’m feeling overwhelmed in my search and thought I would find an RV community where I can seek advice from experienced RVers. I plan to use the trailer during the summer months to vacation with my teenage kids so won’t be used all year long. I was also wondering if there were any travel trailers that sleep 8 that don’t have a slide out. Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated!
Mandie
 

steveblonde

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You really need to get out and look yourself, asking for this sort of advise is like asking what you should have for dinner? What floor plan do you like? Colour? Budget? Tow vehicle?
I want a new tattoo what should i get?

Its really that personal

Start by going to somewhere like rvtrader
You have do some homework
 
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Mandie

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New york
Thanks! I have gone out to a few dealerships and search RV Trader all the time. I even bought a book on RV Reviews. I’ve liked many of the Jayco’s but the sales people are so focused on making the sale immediately. I thought asking RVers that have more experience then I do and no conflict of interest trying to make the sale would be a good idea. I’m interested in the bunk house floor plan at about 30,000. I have a Ram Big Horn as my towing vehicle. I found this forum listed In the book purchased. Thanks for your advice and I‘ll continue my research.
 

Rob&Deryl

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Big Horn is a trim level. Which Ram do you have?
Hint, add to your signature and it will help us help you.
As you can see in mine, I have a Ram 3500 Longhorn.

Another important thing is to know the capacities of YOUR truck vs the brochure numbers. Find the yellow bordered sticker on the drivers door latch post and look for text like “passengers and cargo must not exceed xxx lbs”. Let us know that number. It will be the limiting factor on trailer selection.
 

scottydl

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thought I would find an RV community where I can seek advice from experienced RVers.

I thought asking RVers that have more experience then I do and no conflict of interest trying to make the sale would be a good idea.

You found the right place... welcome! :)

For trailer upgrading, I agree that understanding the exact towing/carry capacities of your current truck is job #1. A bunkhouse trailer that sleeps 8 will almost definitely be in the 30+ foot range, and that could be an unsafe towing experience for many 1/2 ton (1500 series) trucks. We can explain more once we know what you have.

Slide question... do you NOT want slides? And if not, why? You'll have a hard time finding a trailer the size you're talking about without slides, at least for anything made in the last 15 years. After owning RVs both with and without slides, I think they're about the greatest invention since sliced bread! It's amazing how much square footage and open "feel" is added with that technology.
 

Mandie

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Big Horn is a trim level. Which Ram do you have?
Hint, add to your signature and it will help us help you.
As you can see in mine, I have a Ram 3500 Longhorn.

Another important thing is to know the capacities of YOUR truck vs the brochure numbers. Find the yellow bordered sticker on the drivers door latch post and look for text like “passengers and cargo must not exceed xxx lbs”. Let us know that number. It will be the limiting factor on trailer selection.
Thank you! I have the Ram 1500 Big Horn Hemi engine. This is the sticker I see by the drivers door. Is this the correct sticker?
 

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Jeff in Ferndale Wa

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I’m interested in the bunk house floor plan at about 30,000.
Most RV dealer's websites have a search function that will narrow down the selection closer to what you are looking for.
You can search with or without slides,number of people it will sleep,etc.
Usually they will have a diagram of the floor plan for you to look over.
Start there,looking at different floor plans for a while,then start visiting dealers.
You will find that many of the different brands will have very similar floor plans. Then you will have to narrow it down to those within your budget, the quality of the workmanship, the capacity of your tow vehicle, and a general feeling of how the rig fits your needs..
 

Mandie

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New york
You found the right place... welcome! :)

For trailer upgrading, I agree that understanding the exact towing/carry capacities of your current truck is job #1. A bunkhouse trailer that sleeps 8 will almost definitely be in the 30+ foot range, and that could be an unsafe towing experience for many 1/2 ton (1500 series) trucks. We can explain more once we know what you have.

Slide question... do you NOT want slides? And if not, why? You'll have a hard time finding a trailer the size you're talking about without slides, at least for anything made in the last 15 years. After owning RVs both with and without slides, I think they're about the greatest invention since sliced bread! It's amazing how much square footage and open "feel" is added with that technology.
Thank you Scott! This is why I decided to post with a community of experienced RVers. I guess some of the information out there just talks about leaks when it comes to slides and making sure seams are sealed properly that I become concerned about the maintenance of a slide. My current RV is small so it doesn’t have one. Then articles I read talked about hydraulic vs mechanical and I thought if there was a trailer without a slide Id like to see and consider it. :). All the sales people I saw flat out said no one doesn’t exist but I also know their goal is to close the deal. Here is the sticker I found on my truck but I’m thinking there may be another one somewhere because this doesn’t look like the information about towing. I will go back out to the truck to look for other stickers.
 

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steveblonde

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Bingo that the correct one you see where it says 1323 thats the magic number it means you and the kids dogs and cats stuff in the box of the truck and the hitch weight of the trailer must be less than 80-85% of that number.
When looking at a different tt look at the GVWR which is the gross vehicle weight rating. Typically on a 23-26ft trailer it will range from 6000 to 8000 lbs using 12% of the gvwr which in a 6000lb trailer would be 720lbs and 85% of 1323 being 1124 minus 720 means you have about 400lbs for you and the kids and stuff. Which is not a lot of wiggle room but that typically what happens with a 1/2 ton
 

Mandie

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New york
Thank you so much for all this helpful information. Let me make sure I understand. I’m really liking the Jayco Jay Flight 28bhbe. In the specs it says GVW which I’m thinking is the same as the GVWR. It’s GVW is listed at 6,640. So 12% of that would be 797 lbs. The 85% of my trucks max 1323 is 1124. The subtract 797 from 1124 leaving me 327lbs for kiddos and stuff. It’s a good thIng the kiddos so weigh too much. :)
 

Rob&Deryl

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Thank you! I have the Ram 1500 Big Horn Hemi engine. This is the sticker I see by the drivers door. Is this the correct sticker?
Yes. You have 1323lb of cargo capacity. That has to include the people, other stuff in the truck that didnt come from the factory, the trailer hitch (plan for 100 lbs), and 10% to 12% of the GVWR of the trailer. As an example, a trailer with a GVWR of 7000 lbs will use 700 to 800lbs of the 1323. In my example, 4 adults with nothing else will put it over the limit.

Also, please ignore dry weights. That is the weight when the trailer left the factory. On a trailer, add the dry weight to the trailer cargo carrying capacity to get GVWR.
 

Mandie

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This is so helpful! I was making the mistake of looking at the dry weight. This information has already eliminated some trailers I was looking at but allows me to readjust my search. Thanks again.
 

steveblonde

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All too often people think because they have a truck they can move the world and really its not their fault the manufacturers give a false sense of ability. Depending on your particular situation you may want to consider getting a 2500 or 3500 as they have a lot more towing ability, but of course there is always a cost factor. And although 1/2 tons are getting better they dont make for good tt towing. Great for things like boats etc.
 

scottydl

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We're glad to help! And yes as Steve explained, the 1323# numbers is crucial to understand payload / cargo carrying capacity (CCC) for handling tongue weight and cargo in the truck, i.e. how much the truck can "hold".

The other figure is your towing capacity, i.e. how much the truck can "pull" in forward motion. That info probably isn't on a sticker but can be looked up in Ram documentation or the Trailer Life Towing Guides (easily found on Google). The guides are sorted by year, then look up your make, model, and options... lots of them determine towing capacity. Engine, transmission gear ratio, 4x4 or not, cab size, bed length, etc. So there will be dozens of Rams for your year I'm sure, but you should be able to narrow down to your combo to learn the rated towing capacity.

EDIT: Another factor I didn't mention yet is the size of the trailer box itself. If you are nearing 30' on that measurement, that's a lot of wind getting picked up that will cause sway and will be tough for most 1/2 ton (1500) trucks to handle safely. That's mostly related to the heavier-duty suspension, brakes, axles, and tires that 3/4 ton (2500) and 1 ton (3500) trucks will have.
 
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Mandie

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Great! I will research and get that information about my truck. I found another sticker on the door. Any information on this one that will help me understand what the truck can tow safely?
 

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Bearcatrp

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Nothing wrong pulling with a half ton provided you stick with the limitations of pulling weight. You will want bunks for the kids and a slide out for the room to move around inside. A 3/4 ton would be better but if you have to stay with a half ton, don’t go much over max towing. It’s do able but stopping and control of the trailer could become detrimental. Slower speeds and learning your trailer will be key to a successful trip. Ignor these and your trip could be fatal for you and your family. Buy wisely.
 

scottydl

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Great! I will research and get that information about my truck. I found another sticker on the door. Any information on this one that will help me understand what the truck can tow safely?

Nope. That sticker shows the max weight each axle is rated for (GAWR) and the total 6900# that your truck is rated to weigh (GVWR). What's missing is the total your truck AND its towed load could weigh (GCVWR). With that you could subtract the weight of the truck, and the leftover would be the allowed weight of the trailer.
 

prnebs

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Welcome to the forum. You have found a great place to get your information. About the slide, you are going to find pros & cons to having a slide. I can't imagine having that many people and not taking advantage of having more space. Yes, there is going to potentially be some maintenance, but that is true with EVERYTHING on the trailer. There could be leaks from the vents, or under a window, even in new ones. There have been just as many people who have not had issues with slides as there are that have. Take time to look at trailers with an open mind.
Keep on researching, asking questions, read and look around. That way if you have to work with a dealer, you will be able to lead the conversation and have the knowledge to tell them what you want. The general experience is that most salespeople don't know as much as the customer does.
Good luck & let us know how it goes.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Back to the "go look around" theme...
The reason for doing a lot of window-shopping on the sales lot is to get an idea of what appeals to you and what you can get in the size (length & weight) trailer you can tow. And afford. Don't take your checkbook with you, but build a list of likes (and dislikes) and come back here to discuss them, e.g. slides or not, bath location & style, kitchen space & cabinets, etc. There are a zillion possibilities and they all involve tradeoffs in space, comfort, cost, and often maintenance too. We will keep offering advice and you can keep testing that with visits to sales lots to see with your own eyes what we are talking about.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Slides dramatically expand usable space. Yes, it's another thing that can break or leak, but the reward for the risk is huge. If you read much onine, you can quickly conclude you don't want slides or water heaters or furnaces or fridges in your RV - they all can cause headaches. So can a roof! Nobody ever writes in to complain their appliances never break.

Things do break down in an RV, and somewhat more often than a fixed site house. RVs get bounced down the road, jacked up on rough ground, and get exposed to extremes of temperature and humidity inside. Being on wheels is a hard life for a house.
 
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