New to TT but excited!

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PilotBMP

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
Posts
12
So I went to the Columbus Boat and RV show yesterday with the wife.  We have a 2 year old and a 4 year old.  We plan on camping with grandparents, aunts/uncles, friends so room is a plus.  I looked up the info for my 2011 F150 with tow package and so I decided we are looking for a TT with a GVWR of 7,800lbs or less.  We are down to 3 models we really enjoyed:
--Rockwood Ultra Lite 2910TS
--Cross Roads Zinger ZT28BH
--The Coachman Catalina 292QBCK
Also looked at Avengers and Tracers.  Has anyone had any luck with these models or Brands for that matter?

Thanks and hope to see you guys out there!

Ben
 
Looking at the floor plans I would buy the Rockwood Ultra Lite 2910TS.  My kids are 9 and 10 now, but we started with a 27' trailer about 4 years ago.  The Rockwood should keep you for at least 10 years in my opinion.  Our issues with our trailer with no slides was general move around space when we were all inside (e.g. getting ready for bed at night or eating when it is really cold outside).  As we looked ahead to our kids teen years and a desire for them to still want to go camping we decided on a floor plan that would allow our kids some personal space and their own little entertainment area.  We purchased a Enterra 303BHS (floor plan is available in dozens of brands).  The outside bathroom access is a nice to have since kids track a lot of dirt into the trailer with their bathroom needs and a lack of a desire to remove shoes.  :)

Happy hunting.
 
Welcome to the world of TT's and we're glad you are so excited.  But before you dive into a purchase, there's one very important thing you need to know:  For nearly every 1/2 ton pickup, including your F150, the limiting factor in how much trailer you can tow is htch weight.

The DRY hitch weight of the models you have chosen range from 810# to 892#.  To that DRY hitch weight you must add the weight incurred by water and camping gear, and depending on how the manufacturer determines hitch weight you may also need to add propane and battery weight.  CONSERVATIVELY, you can figure on an additional 200#.  That means your actual on-the-road hitch weight will be at least 1010# - 1092#, right at the 1100# limit of your F150's hitch.

But wait, there's more!  Your F150 also has a cargo capacity limit, most likely in the area of 1500#.  (The exact capacity will be on a sticker, on the driver's door frame I believe).  To calculate the cargo you are carrying, you must add up the hitch weight, the weight of all passengers, fuel, and any gear in the bed or passenger compartment.  Without a doubt you will be exceeding your F150's cargo capacity with any of the trailer models that you are considering.

IMHO you should not pull any of the trailers you are considering with a 1/2 ton truck.  Is it feasible?  You will find the occasional poster that will say yes.  Is it prudent and safe?  Absolutely not.
 
Well thank you all for the information!  And with that, as quick as my wife entered the RV we are leaving it.  We will stick to the hotel rooms.  Safe journeys all!
 
I hate to see you get discouraged and give up. 

Keep looking....there are a lot of conventional travel trailers out there that fit your needs and fall into your weight category.  My 2012 Palomino Ultra Lite is 30', has a big slide, an outdoor kitchen, and still weighs in at 7800 lbs gross.  We pull it with a 1989 F250....and some of the modern half tons have the same capacity as my old 3/4 ton.  And we pull in mountainous, very steep terrain.  The truck is well within it's rating, and it pulls great.  Below is a pic.

 

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And an interior shot.....plus outdoor kitchen

 

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Heck, my 35' Enterra is only 7500 lbs.  Other options are any of the Aerolite trailers.  My brother just purchased a 28' with a full length slide (only comes out half the distance of normal slides) with bunks and it weighs in at 4600 lbs.  That can be towed with a V6.
 
I pull a Cherokee Light 28ft trailer, one slide, with my 1/2 ton Dodge and it weighs 6300 lbs loaded.
 
I appreciate all the help and those are some FINE photos.  I think what got me was the gentleman's comment not about the payload (I have found plenty within my means), I think what got me was the tongue weight comment.  Is he correct as most of these would be out of that range or does a equilizer bar help reduce that weight (actually shift it to the frame payload envelope)?

Thanks again!
Ben
 
All the bar do is shift the weight from the rear axle of the truck to the front axle of the truck. So the weight is still there but not allowing it to pull the rear of the truck down to sagging and lifting the front axles.

Like in my pictures in my link the WD bars keep both level. Without the WD Bars the rear of the truck sags down some what but the lighten the front axle creating a steering issue. Typically the tongue weight is roughly 10-13% of the total RV weight. So using mine for example 850 to 1105 pound on the tongue at full GVWR of the trailer. This will be applied to the trucks GVWR now. So now what is the GVWR of the truck and what the truck current weight for both axles.

So even though the GVWR of the trailer still fits within the GCWR of the your F-150 truck but will the rear axle weight be exceeded by just the tongue weight?
 
The tongue weight on my 28 ft TT is about 680 lbs and that is with tanks fulls, food, clothing and other camping items packed to the front of our TT.  You want about 12-15% of the total trailer weight to be  on the tongue.  My truck is rated to tow 8200 lb trailer and what I actually tow is 6300.  It has a slide out and two bunks, a queen size bed, stove , frig, microwave, small tv, dinette, fold out sofa, etc.  So you can find a model that will work for you.  There are lots of them out there.
 
ok, so mine is rated at 9,500lbs tow weight, though I do not want to exceed 7,800 lbs (cushion I guess).  So a tongue weight of 780-1170 should be ok.

Thanks a ton (get it), this opened some doors back up!

Ben
 
PilotBMP said:
ok, so mine is rated at 9,500lbs tow weight, though I do not want to exceed 7,800 lbs (cushion I guess).  So a tongue weight of 780-1170 should be ok.

Thanks a ton (get it), this opened some doors back up!

Ben

Exactly.

And those tongue weights should be fine on a modern half ton pickup, assuming you're using a Weight Distributing hitch.  You should be able to pull a lot of what's in the travel trailer realm with your F150.  Where half ton trucks generally get in trouble is trying to pull fifth wheels...not so much for trailer weight but tongue weight. 

Your truck would pull my 30' Palomino anywhere you want to take it.
 
Lowell said:
The tongue weight on my 28 ft TT is about 680 lbs and that is with tanks fulls, food, clothing and other camping items packed to the front of our TT.  You want about 12-15% of the total trailer weight to be  on the tongue.  My truck is rated to tow 8200 lb trailer and what I actually tow is 6300.  It has a slide out and two bunks, a queen size bed, stove , frig, microwave, small tv, dinette, fold out sofa, etc.  So you can find a model that will work for you.  There are lots of them out there.

Thanks! Lowell I was trying to remember the percentage... 12-15%...
 
Has anyone had any experience with Coachman?  I was looking at the Catalina Series.  After reviewing the above thread this thing fits perfectly in my guidelines.  Anyone live in Ohio?  I'm ready to go this weekend!!  lol, I know, whoa boy.  Thanks for all the help to everyone.

Ben
 
In the travel trailer world, Coachmen usually falls in the lower end of the quality/price spectrum.  That said, I owned an early 90's Coachmen fifth wheel for about 10 years, and other than the normal stuff that breaks, it was a good unit.  They're all going to break from time to time....that's just RVing. 

A travel trailer is essentially a box on wheels, filled full of furniture and appliances.  The furniture and appliances are generally made by a handful of manufacturers, and are pretty much standard across the board.  Where the lower priced units sacrifice is quality of cabinetry, insulation, and windows.  The other priority on a travel trailer is keeping weight down....this is done at the expense of a number of things, each of which means lighter materials.

Coachmen and Forest River get bashed a lot on here, but my Palomino is a Forest River product, and I love it.  I bought it new last year.  I've had one warranty claim for a malfunctioning furnace that turned out to be a wiring harness.  Dealer fixed it, all is well.  Other than that, it's been a dream.  I've towed it about 2000 miles now, and couldn't be happier.

Buy the floorplan you like above all.  Nothing is worse than winding up with a unit that doesn't fit your needs.  This is an area you shouldn't "settle" for anything.....buy the one you really want the first time.  Make three lists before you shop:

1.  What it must have.
2.  What it cannot have.
3.  What would be nice to have.

1 and 2 are hard and fast.  Don't break those rules.  3 is where you have gray area. 

Happy shopping.
 
Thank you!  That's what we were thinking.  When we went to the show we took a piece of paper and only looked a trailers that met our criteria of NEEDS and then put +/- next to each trailer on options that we liked or didn't like and what would be a deal breaker.  We are really looking forward to this camping season now.

Thanks again,
Ben
 
PilotBMP said:
Thank you!  That's what we were thinking.  When we went to the show we took a piece of paper and only looked a trailers that met our criteria of NEEDS and then put +/- next to each trailer on options that we liked or didn't like and what would be a deal breaker.  We are really looking forward to this camping season now.

Thanks again,
Ben

Ben, once you get your first travel trailer and go on your first trip, you'll be hooked!  Sounds like you're approaching the shopping process the right way.  When you see the trailer that is right for you, you'll know it immmediately.  It will just feel.....right. 

I'm glad you're still interested.  If you need any more help or advice, just post and we will be glad to throw in our .02.  ;D
 
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