Upgrading from hybrid to hardside TT

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steveh1521

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Jan 16, 2023
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Chippewa Falls, WI
Hey everyone!

New to the forum, but I've been enoying the read so far. We are looking to upgrade from our current Rockwood Roo 23SS that has served us well, moving to more of a couples trailer (kids are grown). Everything we're looking at is a lot bigger, so I'll be asking some more specific towing questions in the other forums. But I'm sure a bunch of you have been down a similar upgrade path.....any general advice or thoughts are appreciated!

These are some of the models we've been most interested in:
  • Grand Design 2600RB
  • Grand Design 22MLE
  • Keystone Passport 229RK
  • Salem CruiseLite 24RLXL
There's some variation in size/weight here, but all of them are a lot bigger to tow. I've got at least 15K miles towing our Roo 23SS on long hauls was comfortable with it on long hauls. But wondering how much different the towing "experience" will be with a bigger rig.

Thanks! Steve
 
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Western Slope

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518
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81643, Colorado
Greater than twice the dry weight and over three times the GVWR of our hybrid. Our 25.25 foot TT has a 100 gallon fresh water versus a 26 gallon on our 17.5 foot TT hybrid to start. Everything else is larger too.

The difference is a much more stable towing experience versus one of which our Ram 2500 4x4 6.4L has the power to toss our lighter weight trailer around. The 25.25 TT has an Equal-i-zer 4 point weight distribution hitch versus an anti-sway bar on the 17.5 foot. It's easier to 4x4 with the 17.5 TT for remote boondocking. At 80 MPH our 17.5 foot finds the deep truck grooves on I-70 in Eastern Utah, whereas, the 25.25 foot stays put. I've towed both on snow and ice and feel less likely to jack knife with the heavier TT.

20230116_123142.jpg
Dated 1/16/2023 photo
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Once you get past the popup/teardrop size, I don't think an increase is very noticeable until you exceed 30 ft or so. Assuming you have a capable tow vehicle, of course. Anytime a tow vehicle is over-matched by the trailer it is going to be an uncomfortable drive. In some ways, the larger trailer may actually seem more enjoyable to tow. Your Roo isn't really small or light, so I don't think you have anything to worry about.

You will be, however, into the territory where a pickup truck or large SUV is a must. Probably still half-ton truck, but don't skimp on the configuration. All pickup trucks are not the same.
 

steveh1521

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Chippewa Falls, WI
Thanks! (Added my vehicle info to the sig.)

The 2014 Silverado (and similar 2003 Silverado before that) has hauled the Roo easily, but yeah definitely not tiny (4600 dry, 6400 GVW, 500 Hitch, 9.5ft high). I've been learning all of the numbers w/r/t towing, and all of those appear to fall with spec, but much closer to the top end for the 1500.

I know a new TT will feel huge at first (longer and 1-2ft higher). But comparing between the models we're interested in at the moment:
  • GD Imagine XLS 22MLE: 26-1 len, 5176 dry, 6995 GVW, 594 hitch
  • Keystone Passport 229RRK: 27-3 len, 5227 dry, 7200, GVW, 575 hitch
  • Salem Cruiselite 24RLXL: 28-11 len, 5063 dry, 7550 GVW, 550 hitch
  • GD Imagine 2600RBS: 29-8 len, 5795 dry, 7850 GVW, 594 hitch
So everything is under 30 and +/- 3.5ft, and +/- 850lb GVW). Given my TV, would I really see much difference in the towing experience between the heaviest/longest (2600RB) and the lightest/shortest (22MLE)?
 

IBTripping

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Virginia
With a 1/2 ton pickup, I'd be concerned with a GVWR over 6,000. Look at the tag on the driver's door and give us the tow capacity and cargo capacity of your truck. Then we can calculate how much GVWR trailer will be comfortable and safe to tow. BTW - a couple of friends have Grand Design travel trailers and love them.
 

steveh1521

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Jan 16, 2023
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Chippewa Falls, WI
I've been looking all over my truck for the "Trailering" sticker that I've seen shown in so many posts, but could not find it! These are the two stickers in the driver front door opening. Is there somewhere else that full Trailering sticker could be hiding?

silv_gm_sticker.jpgsilv_tire_sticker.jpg
 

tlmgcamp

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Your combined cargo weight in the truck (people, gear, tongue weight) is 1715 pounds. 2nd sticker, line of text along top of red box
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Here is the 2014 Silverado Towing Guide. Find your truck on Pg 9 (conventional towing) and you will see it is rated for towing between 9500 & 9800 lbs depending on the box & wheelbase. Should be ok for any of those trailers as long as you haven't loaded the truck itself too heavily. Any cargo carried in the truck decrease the trailer max accordingly. Use the trailer GVWR as the estimated weight - dry weight is irrelevant. Estimate the tongue weight at 10-12% of the trailer GVWR and make sure that polus passengers & gear in the truck do not exceed the cargo capacity (the 1715 lbs). A trailer with a 7800 lb GVWR might run to 950 lbs of tongue, leaving 750 lbs for passengers, hitch, etc in the truck. Probably ok.
 

Kirk

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Former fulltimer, Mesquite, TX
But wondering how much different the towing "experience" will be with a bigger rig.
The other thing in addition to weight when towing one of those trailers is the length of trailer when compared to the wheelbase of your truck. That long, flat side will be subject to a push from passing trucks and can be pushed a lot by a sidewind. As a general rule of thumb, the first 110 inches of wheelbase allow for a 20-foot trailer. For each additional four inches of wheelbase length, you get one foot more in trailer length. Wheelbase is the distance from the center of the front wheels to the center of the rear wheels. If you have the 153" wheelbase that comes to 28' of trailer length, measured from the tongue to rear bumper. While it isn't a hard rule, it does give you an ideal of how handling will be. And the listed length of most travel trailers is measured inside of the trailer from front to back, not including the hitch or the bumper.
 

MN Blue Skies

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Hey everyone!

New to the forum, but I've been enoying the read so far. We are looking to upgrade from our current Rockwood Roo 23SS that has served us well, moving to more of a couples trailer (kids are grown). Everything we're looking at is a lot bigger, so I'll be asking some more specific towing questions in the other forums. But I'm sure a bunch of you have been down a similar upgrade path.....any general advice or thoughts are appreciated!

These are some of the models we've been most interested in:
  • Grand Design 2600RB
  • Grand Design 22MLE
  • Keystone Passport 229RK
  • Salem CruiseLite 24RLXL
There's some variation in size/weight here, but all of them are a lot bigger to tow. I've got at least 15K miles towing our Roo 23SS on long hauls was comfortable with it on long hauls. But wondering how much different the towing "experience" will be with a bigger rig.

Thanks! Steve
Hello Steve. Welcome to the RV Forum. You're at the right place to get all your questions answered plus a lot of advice from other RVers.
 

Martian

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Independent Republic of Horry
If you want a nice couples trailer that is well built and within your capabilities look at a Keystone Cougar. The 22RBS is a very nice couples trailer. GVWR of 7200 lbs. but when loaded for a big trip it rarely exceeds 6800 lbs. 27' overall and trailers well behind our Ram. King sized bed, theater seats and great counter space. I have upgraded mine and all the upgrades are now available as factory options at lesser cost than having it done later. Only upgrade not offered is to replace the dumb tv with a smart one. Almost three years and we still love it.
 

steveh1521

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Jan 16, 2023
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Chippewa Falls, WI
Thanks for the towing analysis, Gary and Kirk! My Silverado is the 143.5" wheelbase (just measured it), so by the 110 rule the trailers I'm looking at are violating that guideline (I'll have to double check that my measurements are hitch-to-bumper, or I'm WAY too long!)

As far as the model choice....as we keep looking, I'm seeing that we really have one foot in two different worlds. On one hand it is mostly the two of us.....but we also have one eye on occasional local camping trips with our 20s kids.....and one of them is married now, so grandkids in a few years! Comfortable...but manageable enough to take on trips to the mountains. So still wrestling with the tradeoffs!
 

Bearcatrp

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Central Minnesota
Suggest you pass on any new Keystone campers. My less than 1 year old keystone Cougar has been in the shop 5 times and still not completely fixed. Keystone is giving crap on one particular item. My previous 2 keystone campers were great though. My next RV will be a different brand.
 

Western Slope

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81643, Colorado
Thanks for the towing analysis, Gary and Kirk! My Silverado is the 143.5" wheelbase (just measured it), so by the 110 rule the trailers I'm looking at are violating that guideline (I'll have to double check that my measurements are hitch-to-bumper, or I'm WAY too long!)

I guess that I violated that wheel base guideline too. 149" on both our Ram 2500 Power Wagon and Ram Crew Cab 4x4 Cummins. Both are over 6 feet short beds. I haven't seen any late model Crew Cabs with long beds around here. Am I missing something with a 153" wheelbase for a 28' trailer? What current truck model would even have a 153" wheelbase?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The verb "violate" is too strong to be applied to any "rule of thumb" like the wheelbase to trailer "rule". Any such rule is merely a simplified and broad generalization intended to keep the unknowing out of trouble. A recommendation rather than an actual rule. They ignore the possible exceptions and focus on just one or two aspects of the problem and take a shortcut to the main point. Thus they are usually highly conservative and applicable only the more common situations.
 

Western Slope

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Did you mean exactly 153" or just "bigger than 149"? Lots of Ford Superduty crewcab models have wheelbase exceeding 149. For example, an F250 or F350 Crewcab with 6.5 ft bed has a 158.8" wheelbase and the longbed is 176".

Thanks for the info. Our 2500's at 20 feet in length already exceed the average shopping mall parking lot length by 2 feet. A front winch and deer guard doesn't help. Luckily in Western Colorado large 4x4 pickup trucks are common place.

"In North America, the standard parking space dimensions range between 8.5 to 9 feet wide by 18 feet long."
 

Moho81

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Jun 23, 2022
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Western New York
I just did exactly what you are thinking about doing. I went from a 23' hybrid camper with a small slide out to a 27 foot travel trailer with a large slide out. I was pleasantly surprised how little a difference the extra 4' and 1,500 pounds made on my towing experience to say I was nervous would be an understatement. Same half ton truck same equalizer 4 point WDH and really the only difference I noticed is slightly more bounce when hitting bigger bumps in the road. Getting up to speed and taking turns was nearly identical. The biggest difference was backing it in. It wasn't harder just different. I practiced in an open lot before our first trip with it and I was glad I did. I got to our camping spot and zipped that trailer back in to a tight spot on the first try with my entire extended family watching and waiting to make fun of me!
 

steveh1521

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Jan 16, 2023
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Location
Chippewa Falls, WI
I just did exactly what you are thinking about doing. I went from a 23' hybrid camper with a small slide out to a 27 foot travel trailer with a large slide out. I was pleasantly surprised how little a difference the extra 4' and 1,500 pounds made on my towing experience to say I was nervous would be an understatement.

Thanks, that's great info! Did you have any hill/mountain driving experience with the new rig? Also if you're willing, what model is your new TT? (Just for comparison to what I am looking at.)
 

Moho81

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Western New York
Thanks, that's great info! Did you have any hill/mountain driving experience with the new rig? Also if you're willing, what model is your new TT? (Just for comparison to what I am looking at.)
I have 2 younger kids, 12 and 9 so we got a 2020 Primetime Avenger 27DBS. Probably one of the lightest trailers we looked at but that's not why we bought it. We really liked the interior layout and finishes. We got it just before Labor Day 2022 and slept 4 adults 2 kids and a baby very comfortably the first night. We ended up using it a lot in just a few short months including a New Years camp out at my hunting property.
 
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