Newbie... Good idea?

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tenortodd

New member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
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1
Hi all. A newbie here. I'm just looking for advice from more experienced rvers.

My wife and i have 2 small daughters. We all love hiking and the outdoors.
I'm a public school teacher and my wife stays home. Our budget is tight.

A month ago we visited my brother in Tennessee and his family has a nice new pop up.
He pulled it out and showed us all the features. We loved it.

However, after a LOT of online research and discussion, we think we would rather buy
A small hard trailer for the reasons: hard shower/bathroom, full kitchen, bunk beds, ac and heat, protection from animals, and more durable.

We wanted the pop up initially because we're in a neighborhood that doesn't allow rvs. We could put a pop up in our garage. But we found 2 outdoor storage places that only charge $25 per month.

Thoughts? Advice?

We're getting an suv that can tow 5000, so we should be ok. We've found 3 so far that are small and would fit us and are under 4000.

Since I'm a teacher, we're excited to spend 2 months away in the summers, plus go somewhere warm for winter and spring breaks.
 

Alfa38User

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Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Posts
6,678
Where did the "5000" come from??? IF it is the number stamped on the hitch receiver, that means the receiver itself can be used up to 5000lbs when installed properly. It does NOT mean your proposed SUV can handle it. The number you need is the GCVWR for your SUV. Don't forget to add all the weights like the LOADED trailer, the passengers, the dog, the gear you are to carry in the SUV etc.

The number you need for the trailer is the GVWR of that trailer. This will provide you with an acceptable safety margin for the loaded trailer weight (provided you adhere to it). 10-12% of the actual trailer weight must be carried by the SUV.

Take note that SUV's are not always good tow vehicles, the wheel base is often shorter on many models and that leads to uncomfortable handling, (not that it cannot tow it).
 

RVRAC

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Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Posts
1,499
Welcome to the forum!

The best advice is not to buy the SUV until you decide what to buy on a trailer.  If not, you can easily run into problems.  In looking for trailers, look for the numbers when loaded not empty.
 

RVRAC

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Jun 11, 2012
Posts
1,499
Look at this,

http://www.doityourselfrv.com/trailer-flipping/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email
 

grashley

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Joined
May 7, 2015
Posts
6,586
Location
Western Kentucky
Welcome to the Forum!  Thanks for asking BEFORE purchase!

That 5000 pound tow limit is for advertising purposes.  It is for a LIGHTLY optioned SUV, only 2 passengers at 150# each, a full fuel tank, and NOTHING ELSE!  Every pound of options on the SUV, every pound of cargo, kids, car seats, snacks, toys and diaper bags must be subtracted from that number.  Read the small print foot notes.

I have had a pop up and understand your concerns.  Once when our son was about 6 years old, we woke up to his yelling.  Somehow, he had wiggled off the edge of the mattress and onto the canvas and was hanging half out of the camper, and half in!  He was fine, but...  Now, he teaches 8th grade Social Studies and History.

Look for a gently used unit.  They cost less for the same camper, the factory oops have been fixed, and it will not spend months waiting for warranty repair while you wanted to be camping.

Ignore the dry wt the salesman loves to quote.  Nobody goes camping in an empty camper.  The true weight will be much closer to GVWR when camping.

GVWR less than 4000# should work for a SUV with a 5000 tow capacity.

Happy Camping!
 

RGP

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2017
Posts
139
As mentioned, your have to know the trailer before you buy the tow vehicle.

Dry weight means little, my 5000 lb. dry weight trailer weighs 6200 lbs. when loaded for the road. it has 750 lbs. of tongue weight (12%). My F-150 4x4 has a max cargo capacity of 1400 lbs. So I have 650 lbs. left for two adult a dog and some tool or camping gear. What is deceptive is my truck can pull 9500 lbs. but that means little when you can only carry 1400 lbs.

The max cargo is usually posted on the door jamb and it is different for every vehicle because of the factory options.

On other consideration is a hybrid trailer, they generally weigh less for a given sleeping capacity because the beds fold out.

Good Luck       
 

modeltford

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Joined
Mar 11, 2018
Posts
3
Location
Olalla, WA
DON'T take the salesman's word as far as the tow capacity of you SUV - go to the parts or service department of the brand and have them pull you a build sheet - THAT will give you the real capacity for that car. I found out the hard way - salesman said sure - will tow 5000 pounds... several years later, now we're looking at a new trailer - and find we're only good for 3500 pounds.... really limits what we can buy!
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,604
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
The tow capacity will indeed vary a lot by the specific configuration of the tow vehicle, so do beware of glib sales people who don't check the specifics (engine/tranny, trim level, 2WD/4WD, rear axle ratio, etc.). Likewise beware of ads and brochures, which hype the maximum achievable values, not what each and every model can do.  Just because the tv ad shows a similar model towing a huge load does not mean that yours can do the same.  The manufacturers tow guide, however, will have enough details to get pretty darn close for each major configuration option.
 

Frank B

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Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Posts
1,454
Location
Calgary, Alberta
There are canvas side pop up trailers, and there are hard wall foldable trailers. Perhaps a hard wall foldable unit would suit your needs?

http://www.forestriverinc.com/camping-trailers/rockwood-hard-side-pop-up-campers

The above link is just one example of the type. They are light, and offer a very little wind resistance when towing.  It would be very cozy with four people in the unit like that, but it might be worth looking at?
 

MN Blue Skies

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Feb 18, 2014
Posts
1,644
Location
Minnesota
You'll outgrow the pop-up in no time.  An SUV won't do the job as your family grows and you want a bigger rig especially if you plan to go to mountainous areas like Yellowstone.  You can rely on the advice of the weight guru's on this Forum.  I'm sure your family's safety is foremost. 
 

darsben

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Joined
May 30, 2018
Posts
2,494
Location
Central NY in summer beautiful Casa Grande AZ in w
ON A TIGHT BUDGET but;
Taking on payment for trailer, insurance, storage and cost of camping.

That's going to really impact other areas of your life.
I am of the opinion that the only true way to know what you can tow is to find the payload capacity of your SUV.It should be on a sticker somewhere near the drivers door.
If you can find that then post the number and we will see what you can tow..
A trailer will put at least 10% of its gross weight on the tow vehicle reducing payload by that amount.
Some SUV's have surprisingly low payloads

 

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