Need Help Choosing New Trailer

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.

CdnBea

Member
Joined
May 25, 2005
Posts
21
HI all, I'm new to this forum. I'm shopping right now for a travel trailer for myself, 3 children (one is almost 6' tall) and an 80 lb dog.

I'm down to Nash (26Z) or Outdoorsmen (2505 or 2809) (Frontier in the usa) the price difference is about $5 000 (more for the nash it is a 4 season type).

Any feedback about any of these would be great.

I am completely and totally inexperienced with towing and backing up. I guess I have a steep learning curve ahead.

I'll go read some posts and learn.

Thanks!
Bea :eek:
 

Ron

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Posts
18,082
Location
Home is where we park it
Hi Bea,

Welcome to the RV Forum.  You have found the right placefor information.  I'm sure somebody familiar with trailers will jump in and give you the information you seek.

Thanks for joining us.

 

Steve CDN

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Posts
2,388
Location
Canada/U.S.A
Hello Bea and Welcome to the RV Forum.  In order to get maximum exposure to your query about your trailer purchase, I've moved your posting to tis section where people familiar with trailers can see it.

What type of tow vehicle are you planning to use with your new trailer?

When it comes time to learn to drive and back up with your new coach, get someone to help you in a large parking lot, preferably using plastic road cones to test your accuracy.  Keep your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel, and turn the wheel in the direction you want the trailer to go.

Since I don't have experience with current models of trailers, I'll defer to other Forum members with more knowledge.

Hope you enjoy the RV Forum!
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
CdnBea said:
HI all, I'm new to this forum. I'm shopping right now for a travel trailer for myself, 3 children (one is almost 6' tall) and an 80 lb dog.

I'm down to Nash (26Z) or Outdoorsmen (2505 or 2809) (Frontier in the usa) the price difference is about $5 000 (more for the nash it is a 4 season type).

Any feedback about any of these would be great.

I am completely and totally inexperienced with towing and backing up. I guess I have a steep learning curve ahead.

Travel trailers are pretty simple machines -? a box on wheels actually.? Five grand more for the four season Nash is about right.? If you are planning to trailer in the winter the four seasons option is well worth while.? Otherwise, why pay the money?? ?

Your experiences towing will be a function of your tow vehicles adequacy for the task, and your hitching system.? ?You will need a Class III or IV system for your weight of trailer.? That means a heavy duty ball mount, spring bars appropriate to the tonque weight of the trailer, and a good anti-sway system.? ? Realize that it will take a bit of backing and forwarding to get into most back-in sites.? ? If people volunteer to help, pick one to do the job and listen to him only.? ?Best is to train a member of the family to do the job.? That person should tell you where to move the rear of the trailer so that you can move your steering wheel in the fashion I told you.

Backing a trailer is easy once you learn the trick.? ? Place your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel.? ?As you back you push the wheel from the bottom, in the direction that you want the rear of the trailer to go.  Station a person behind to direct you.  They should signal the way in which the rear of the trailer needs to go.  They should not tell you which way you need to steer, you know that already -- your hand is on the bottom of the wheel and you are pushing the wheel in the way you want the rear of the trailer to go.  Gottit? ;D

BTW, you should have only ONE person directing you. 
 

CdnBea

Member
Joined
May 25, 2005
Posts
21
Steve said:
What type of tow vehicle are you planning to use with your new trailer?
I have a 2003 Tahoe 4WD w/ towpackage. I know the engine is the larger one but please don't ask about gearing etc...lol  ::)  I went to the dealership to find out what I could pull. They told me 7400 lbs dry. I'm looking at units around 5 000 lbs. I'm thinking water et al is around 600 lbs so that's taking me close to the max weight. I'd rather not hit that weight anyway. My brother in law thinks I should try to stay under 28' (he drives a semi for a living). MOst that I see are 26-29'. The pickings are slim since I don't want to wait until the summer is 1/2 over to get it

What are somethings I should make sure it has and what is wastd money in your opinion(s)? I live in Saskatchewan and do not plan on winter camping. The Nash so far is the closest, it would be darn ner perfect if it didn't have the 4 season kit (it's standard). ONe I saw today (OUtdoorsmen...frontier) was good but not the right colours inside and I don't want to pay that much money and hate the colour. (Wine interior w/ a yellow lab who sheds ALOT  :p )
All the units I looked at have stab jacks. The outdoorsmen have the queen slide out at the back and not alot of outside compartments but has an outdoor stove. I can't then get a ladder or haul 4 bikes (they are not going to go inside to bounce around). WIth the Nash (And  a FOur winds) I can have a hitch put on the back to attach the bike rack I already own (slides into aa reese hitch), I have no idea how to do it on the outdoorsmen altho the salesman said they could 'jerry-rig' something).
If anyone has other suggestions on TT that would be awesome! It has to have bunks (2 single, 2 doubles, triple whatever). I don't need a queen bed, I'm happy with a double)
Thanks for the advice on towing/backing up. My 14 yo son will be the designated eyes at the back. Oh! Do I need different mirrors?
 

Karl

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
5,154
Location
Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
Hi Bea, and Welcome!

I have no idea how to do it on the outdoorsmen altho the salesman said they could 'jerry-rig' something

Can't offer any advice on what rig to buy, but I'd run, not walk, away from that salesman. :mad:  He wants to make a sale and will tell you anything you want to hear. You want a rack that's purpose built for your rig and don't want something that's going to break loose, weaken the existing hitch, or stress the rear, top, or sides of the trailer where things weren't specifically meant to be hung or mounted. 
 

N Smock

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2005
Posts
246
Location
Long Branch, NJ
Bea
<WIth the Nash (And  a FOur winds) I can have a hitch put on the back to attach the bike rack I already own (slides into aa reese hitch), I have no idea how to do it on the outdoorsmen altho the salesman said they could 'jerry-rig' something).>

If you look around you can find an attachment that can be used on a STEEL bumper that bolts to the bumper and will handle a standard reciver mount bike rack or other item. I have one but can't remember where I got it.


Nelson
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
I
have a 2003 Tahoe 4WD w/ towpackage. I know the engine is the larger one but please don't ask about gearing etc...lol    I went to the dealership to find out what I could pull. They told me 7400 lbs dry. I'm looking at units around 5 000 lbs. I'm thinking water et al is around 600 lbs so that's taking me close to the max weight. I'd rather not hit that weight anyway. My brother in law thinks I should try to stay under 28' (he drives a semi for a living). MOst that I see are 26-29'.

7400 lbs is about right.  Now leave yourself a 20% headroom if you plan to tow in the West.  10% if you tow in the East.  (Mountains you know).  20% leaves you with a 6,200-lb limit.  40 gallons of water is 320-lbs.  Allow about 500 lbs for stuff, now you have a dry trailer weight limit of 5600 lbs.
 

CdnBea

Member
Joined
May 25, 2005
Posts
21
Carl Lundquist said:
I

7400 lbs is about right.  Now leave yourself a 20% headroom if you plan to tow in the West.  10% if you tow in the East.  (Mountains you know).  20% leaves you with a 6,200-lb limit.  40 gallons of water is 320-lbs.  Allow about 500 lbs for stuff, now you have a dry trailer weight limit of 5600 lbs.

Thanks for doing the math for me.  ;D As of now I plan on avoiding mountains completely. I live in Saskatchewan and plan on camping only on the prairies right now. (I won't even drive in a car through the mountains.) Where I am you can sit on your front porch and watch your dog run away for days and days....  ;) it's so flat. lol

Here is a link to the Nash that I like. http://www.northwoodmfg.com/26z.htm it's all giged up with the triple bunk. So far the asking price is $28 G (Canadian dollar). Thoughts? Is this a good one? I plan on keeping it for quite a few years.
I'd really like your opinions as experienced rv-ers.

Also thank you for the advice on towing. I'm nervous about it but I'm sure I can do it.

Bea
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
Thanks for doing the math for me.? ?As of now I plan on avoiding mountains completely. I live in Saskatchewan and plan on camping only on the prairies right now. (I won't even drive in a car through the mountains.)

The issue with towing capacity is not mountains but elevation.? ?Your engine, if not supercharged, will suffer with increased altitude.? ? There are a number of passes in the US West with altitudes in the 7000 foot range.? ? A rig that pulls 10,000 lbs at sea level is going to do bit of wheezing at 8,000 lbs going over a reef pass in Utah on I-70 or Lookout Pass in Idaho on I-90

Here is a link to the Nash that I like. http://www.northwoodmfg.com/26z.htm it's all giged up with the triple bunk. So far the asking price is $28 G (Canadian dollar). Thoughts? Is this a good one? I plan on keeping it for quite a few years

Nice looking rig but the manufacturer's specs give the dry axle weigh at 6420 lbs.? Your hyperlink lead me to the Arctic Fox.? ?That is going to give you problems with a 7,400 lb tow rating.? ?The Nash of the same model designation is only 5509 lbs dry axle weight, which is more like it.


 

CdnBea

Member
Joined
May 25, 2005
Posts
21
Carl Lundquist said:
The issue with towing capacity is not mountains but elevation.  Your engine, if not supercharged, will suffer with increased altitude.    There are a number of passes in the US West with altitudes in the 7000 foot range.    A rig that pulls 10,000 lbs at sea level is going to do bit of wheezing at 8,000 lbs going over a reef pass in Utah on I-70 or Lookout Pass in Idaho on I-90

Nice looking rig but the manufacturer's specs give the dry axle weigh at 6420 lbs.  Your hyperlink lead me to the Arctic Fox.  That is going to give you problems with a 7,400 lb tow rating.  The Nash of the same model designation is only 5509 lbs dry axle weight, which is more like it.

Yes it's the Nash that I"m looking at, same floor plan by the same Company as the Arcitc Fox, different specs and build.

Should I be looking at something lighter?I've found the K-Z with pullout queen bed that is lighter. That's the one with the salemans telling me he could jerryrig something for the bikes. HEre is the link for those specs/floor plans

http://www.kz-rv.com/frontier/frontier_2505qssf.php before bartering with him $23 600

http://www.kz-rv.com/frontier/frontier_2809pqsf.php before bartering $24 900 This has a side slide out

Both have pull out queen bed in the rear, 4 Stab jacks, outdoor cooking area, ducted a/c etc

Big downside to these
- I can not see where I would put 4 bikes (2 adult, 2 youth)
- they are searching right now for the interior colours I like.
- the bed is a manual slide, how hard is it to put in and out? (I do plan on trying to do it at the lot before making a decidion)
- the 2505 does not have a side slide
Big positives  with the 2505
- 4773 lbs Unloaded Vehicle Weight
- with the slide in it is  26'3" long (3 feet shorter than the Nash, 2 feet than ther 2809Frontier/outdoorsmen) makes it easier to park(right?)
- front bunk room with a sliding door to seperate the children from the living area.

Thank you again for the help! My husband and I were looking before he was killed. My job was to look the interior (as he said 'the pretty stuff') , his was the specs etc. 2 years have past and I can't remember what he had said about that plus I have updated the vehicle.

Bea
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
Big downside to these
- I can not see where I would put 4 bikes (2 adult, 2 youth)
- they are searching right now for the interior colours I like.
- the bed is a manual slide, how hard is it to put in and out? (I do plan on trying to do it at the lot before making a decidion)
- the 2505 does not have a side slide
Big positives? with the 2505
- 4773 lbs Unloaded Vehicle Weight
- with the slide in it is? 26'3" long (3 feet shorter than the Nash, 2 feet than ther 2809Frontier/outdoorsmen) makes it easier to park(right?)
- front bunk room with a sliding door to seperate the children from the living area.

OK, bike rack.? ?Take a look at the Camping World catalog -- Click here.

Manual slide.? ?Do indeed try to extend it on by your own effort.? ?Consider also setting up camp in a rainstorm.? ?Myself, I tend to regard slideouts with a jaundiced eye.? ?Is your trailer usable without them being extended?? ?We like to have lunch on the road in our trailer.? ?Slide out mechanisms are just another bloody thing to go wrong.? OTOH we are a married couple with a 40-lb mutt in a 23 foot trailer.? ?

Most folks seem to over estimate the size of vacation trailer that they want.? They should consider the trailer as a fancy camping tent:? a place to sleep with toilet and kitchen facilities and shelter from the rain and cold.? ?Your awning is your living room, camp chairs, and a park table is your living and dining room.? ?In short, you will spend most of your waking time out of doors.?

Parking.? Parking difficulty is only crudely related to length of trailer.? ?Yes, a 19 footer is easier to site than a 34 footer.? ?However, a 24 footer is not much different than a 28 footer.

General caveat.? ?Anytime a salesman promises to 'jury rig' something, you are dealing with what car salesmen used to call a would-ya-take.? ?Just something to get you started to saying yes.? ?When the time comes, you will find that you are dealing with a real duct tape and bailing wire thing or sorry, he guesses that it really won't work.? ?Make the lad show you where it has actually been done.

Couple additional thoughts.? ?Get a electric powered hitch jack.? They are the greatest thing since sliced bread.? ? Since you are a lone woman with kids, consider getting a Hensley Arrow hitch system.? ?Expensive, but a great stabilizer and an easy system to hitch up.? ?An old buddy of mine, who is a real rocket scientist, has one and thinks it is the best going.?
 

CdnBea

Member
Joined
May 25, 2005
Posts
21
Thanks again for all the advice. I drove into the city today and visted 4 other dealers. Found two that I likebut they are getting long.

http://216.26.167.97/rvision/product.asp?page_id=134
model TC30QBSS

http://216.26.167.97/rvision/product.asp?page_id=223
model 8304S  this I really liked had alot of storage but no jack and jill

http://www.jayco.com/html/catalog/floorplans.php?prod_id=75&mod_id=339


http://www.jayco.com/html/catalog/floorplans.php?prod_id=75&mod_id=342

Thoughts on brands? These were the lightest.
I'm getting very confused.  :eek:

I hopeyou all don't mind me picking your brains!
:-*
Take care
Bea
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
Thoughts on brands? These were the lightest.? I'm getting very confused.?


Before we get started, consider this little blurb on the Jayco trailer site:

"Dry Weight." UVW means the typical weight of this trailer as built at the factory. The UVW, as used in product literature and other promotional materials, does not include cargo, fresh water, LP gas, options or dealer-installed accessories.

In short, anything that the dealer tacks on is going is not going to be in the dry weight spec..? ?Fortunately on a travel trailer that should not be much.? ?Nevertheless it is a good question to consider when adding dealer or after-market items.

OK, now let's get serious.? ?Your main consideration in choice is the floor plan.? ?Within the weight limits that you have, pick the best floor plan for your use.? ?You have three kids.? Odds are good that at least two can share the same bed.? ?That would indicate to me that a combo with a queen forward and a double with and overhead bunk aft would be ideal for you.? Fold down beds that have to be raised and stowed every morning are a pain.  ?I like a configuration that has a couch across from the dinette -- more sociable when entertaining.? ?

There are numerous occasions, like overnight stops or rain on arrival, on which you want to camp but not unhitch.? ?A slide-out bed that requires unhitching would be a real pain.? ?If the slide-out extends over the ball socket on the hitch frame that would indicate a problem.

A big item is the throne room.? ?When you are deciding on an actual floor plan, do not be shy about going into it, shutting the door, and seating yourself on the throne to see if it is comfortable for you.? Step in the shower stall and see if that is ok, it will be tight at best, but is it do-able for you.

Quality.? ? Remember I said that a travel trailer (TT) is a simple thing.? It is just a box set on a simple ladder chassis with horse and buggy suspension, leaf springs usually not even with shock absorbers.? ?All the complex stuff, air conditioning, fridge, microwave, stove, battery charger, etc., are obtained from a handful of vendors like Coleman, Dometic, and such.? ?They carry their own warranties.? ?My Fleetwood Prowler trailer came with a bunch of stupid QC problems.? The exterior light switches were mis-wired.? One of the convenience outlets was attached to the wall largely with forlorn hope and wire tension, decorative railings were attached only with staples and not many of those.? ?I was able to repair all of those with a screwdriver and a bit of glue with only moderate cussing.? ?In short, with a vacation trailer, QC is not as big an issue as it is with a motor home.

Good things to have the dealer add:? Patio awning.? That is your living room and main shade.? ?Electric hitch jack.? Best $200 you will ever spend.? Get a high capacity one.? ?Get a second house battery, if it does not come with the unit.? ?Heavy duty sewer hose, 20 feet in two 10 foot pieces.? ?Some campgrounds have a quaint idea of where to locate the sewer inlet.

Relax.? Get a trailer that fits you for sleeping and domestic arrangements.? Take the kids when you try them out.? ?It will help if they like the arrangements before the purchase.? ?Once you get it, plan a few long weekend trips not far from home to shake your unit down.? That way you have your dealer handy to natter at.?

 

CdnBea

Member
Joined
May 25, 2005
Posts
21
Thank you so much Carl! The dealers I saw yesterday started off pointing ut the 'pretty' to me until I started asking the questions about more 'mechanical/technical' points. (most of what I've leared here) They sure changed their tunes quickly. I think I"m over thinking this (does that make sense).  You're right, I have to first stick with a floor plan that I like and you've described what I want (single over double, ). After talking with many friends it seems that lighter is not always better (too light isn't good for swaying).  A family friend ( A chev machanic) recommends staying around 25' in length b/c the Tahoe is a 'shorter tow vehicle'. I made up a list of what I need and what I don't need.  I realized I don't "need" a sofa. When we camped before (in a very old tiny tent trailer) we rarely used the inside). I really don't think I can handle a 30' as my first. I'm 'reining' myself in and reminding myself we are camping in it, not living in it.
Thank you for reading and answering  my questions everyone.  I'm making note of all your advice.

Can I say I think I love ya'll?  :-* :D

Bea ... who is going back to the drawing board....
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
After talking with many friends it seems that lighter is not always better (too light isn't good for swaying).

Nertz.? ?Heavy is not too good for swaying.? The biggest factor in trailer stability is the fore and aft balance (weight forward is good) and the hitch geometry.

A family friend ( A chev machanic) recommends staying around 25' in length b/c the Tahoe is a 'shorter tow vehicle'. I made up a list of what I need and what I don't need.

I tow a 23 footer with a Ford Bronco which has a 105" wheelbase.? ? Your Tahoe has a 116" wheelbase.? ?My rig is as steady as a rock.? My wife has no problems driving it.? ?The real clue is a good antisway system.? ?Tow vehicle wheelbase is way overrated.?
 

CdnBea

Member
Joined
May 25, 2005
Posts
21
HI again Carl. Thanks for the additional information. You are helping me a great amount with the tech/mech issues. IF I am getting this all correctis this a TT I could get and tow?

http://www.jayco.com/html/catalog/floorplans.php?prod_id=75&mod_id=339


Jay Flight 27 BH
Weights
Unloaded Vehicle Weight (lbs.) 4950
Dry Hitch Weight (lbs.) 585
Gross Vehicle Weight 7500
Cargo Carrying Capacity (lbs.) 2550
Measurements
Exterior Length 29'-1"
Exterior Height 126"
Bedroom Interior Height 81"
Tank Capacities
Fresh Water Capacity (gals.) 37
Gray Wastewater Capacity (gals.) 32
Toilet/Black Wastewater Capacity (gals.) 32

thanks!
Bea
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
HI again Carl. Thanks for the additional information. You are helping me a great amount with the tech/mech issues. IF I am getting this all correctis this a TT I could get and tow?

Looks like a nice rig.? ?The specs look to be within reason.? ?Since you all have a dawg, you are going to find that outside shower real handy on occasion -- I sure have.

What I do not see is provision for a second house battery.? Ask after that.? ?Don't forget that power hitch jack -- an easy add on and a real blessing.
?
Now comes your hitch rig.? ?Check out the Hensley Arrow at http://www.hensleymfg.com/whatisthearrow.html

And the Reese Dual Cam at http://www.reeseproducts.com/.  I use the Dual Cam system but there is a bit of grunt and groan involved with the hitching process that you may not like.
 

CdnBea

Member
Joined
May 25, 2005
Posts
21
HI Carl! I'm on my wy into the city now to test tow that rig and the one a step up size wise. The dealer mentioned they have DSD WD hitches. Can you tell me if they are good or bad? I asked him for details about it (so I could ask you) and he stated it is for 750lbs.
I have to rushnow, my gf's husband is going to meet me there to check both out with me.

http://www.jayco.com/html/catalog/floorplans.php?prod_id=75&mod_id=342

Jay Flight 29 BHS
Weights
Unloaded Vehicle Weight (lbs.) 5600
Dry Hitch Weight (lbs.) 715
Gross Vehicle Weight (lbs.) 7500
Cargo Carrying Capacity (lbs.) 1900
Measurements
Exterior Length 30'-6"
Exterior Height 126"
Bedroom Interior Height 81"
Tank Capacities
Fresh Water Capacity (gals.) 59
Gray Wastewater Capacity (gals.) 32
Toilet/Black Wastewater Capacity (gals.) 32

Thanks!!!
Bea
 
Top Bottom