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 > Help buying a small travel trailer

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Max-4

Ontario

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Joined: 09/08/2021

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Posted: 09/08/21 11:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello, this is my first post and I am very excited to be joining this great group! My family of 4 is in the market for a small travel trailer in the near future. I am looking for something in the 21' overall length and around 4000 pounds gross weight. I own a 2017 Toyota Highlander with 5000 towing capacity so id like something that this SUV could manage without too much difficulty.

The particular model that we are looking for is called a "bunkhouse" so when you walk in we are looking for a permanent queen size bed on your right (not Murphy bed) and the bunk beds in the back. I guess most of these models have the designation "BH" after their model numbers to specify this.

I am fully aware of the way the industry works I know that there are only two major manufactures Thor and Forest river and they are all made within 10 miles of eachother. I am also located in Canada so if we quote prices you will have to keep in mind that I will be paying the CDN premium.

I have gotten an idea of what new models like the Wolf PUP 16BHS sells for which is $26,000 or the Salem 177BH which is $23,000 the Rockwood Geo Pro G19BH is $32,000 the Apex Nano 185BH sells for $26,000 and Jayco Jayflight SLX7 174BH is $23,000.

I guess my questions are am I going to find something with aluminum construction for the lower price of the Salem or Jayco? in these smaller travel trailers how does the quality of a Wolf Pup vs an Apex vs a Coachman vs a Jayco compare? I am also looking at a Salem FSX 177BH which im assuming is the same as a Forest River FSX 177BH?

Also is a 54x80 going to be the biggest "queen" bed I can get in this type of model trailer? Any information you guys could give me about build quality, add ons ownership would be awesome. is there any other manufactures by THOR that I should consider besides Jayco? Thanks

NamMedevac 70

Reno

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Posted: 09/08/21 12:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just for your general information only. I once owned a well made non aluminum R-Vision Trail Cruiser rear Bunkhouse (BH) model with a permanent queen bed up front. The trailer was 28 feet long and weighed 4500lbs plus when fully loaded and towed great behind my 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 V8 on the plains of Texas.

However I towed the same trailer in the Rockies and west coast mountains with a larger 2002 Ram 2500 V10 4x4. Both trucks had 16 inch wheels and I used Equalizer WDH. Although my Ram 1500 was authorized to pull a 6000 lb trailer I would never and did not attempt to pull the this trailer in the mountains with this truck.

Except on delivery one will never pull a empty dry weight trailer so the dry weight is only a starting point as one will add water, propane, personal items, food, drinks, bedding, etc., etc,. to the dry weight of TT.

In addition to the authorized gross combined truck and trailer load limits and hitch limits even with WDH one must not exceed the load limits of the current tires and wheels on the vehicle plus total gross weight of the vehicle per axle with driver, passengers, fuel and other items included. I used the much stronger LT truck tires with load rating of E on both trucks.

CAT scales at truck stops are your friend.

This information may be useful to others if not the OP. Cheers

bgum

South Louisiana

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Posted: 09/08/21 12:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You are asking a lot while only providing a limited towing capacity of only 5000 pounds. You are likely to exceed several weight limits.

Good luck in your search and let us know what you settle on.

NamMedevac 70

Reno

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Posted: 09/08/21 12:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NamMedevac 70 wrote:

Just for your general information only. I once owned a well made non aluminum R-Vision Trail Cruiser rear Bunkhouse (BH) model with a permanent queen bed up front. The trailer was 28 feet long and weighed 4500lbs plus when fully loaded and towed great behind my 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 V8 on the plains of Texas.

However I towed the same trailer in the Rockies and west coast mountains with a larger 2002 Ram 2500 V10 4x4. Both trucks had 16 inch wheels and I used Equalizer WDH. Although my Ram 1500 was authorized to pull a 6000 lb trailer I would never and did not attempt to pull the this trailer in the mountains with this truck.

Except on delivery one will never pull a empty dry weight trailer so the dry weight is only a starting point as one will add water, propane, personal items, food, drinks, dishes, cooking utensils bedding, etc., etc,. to the dry weight of TT.

In addition to the authorized gross combined truck and trailer load limits and hitch limits even with WDH one must not exceed the load limits of the current tires and wheels on the vehicle plus total gross weight of the vehicle per axle with driver, passengers, fuel and other items included. I used the much stronger LT truck tires with load rating of E on both trucks.

CAT scales at truck stops are your friend.

This information may be useful to others if not the OP. Cheers


Lwiddis

Monterey, California

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Posted: 09/08/21 01:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A 4000 pound TT will weigh a bunch over 5000 pounds loaded and wet. I’ll bet you’ll be over the Highlander’s payload max too…what does the sticker say?


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AMP Lithium battery. TALL flag pole. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


Lwiddis

Monterey, California

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Posted: 09/08/21 01:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are planning to camp mostly in RV parks with hookups ok. But if you aren’t, adequate fresh water and waste tanks are needed with a family of four unless you want to break camp every couple of days to fill and dump. Propane goes fast too heating water and warming the interior. How were you planning to recharge your batteries? Generators weight about 50 pounds.

capacitor

California

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Posted: 09/08/21 01:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

https://www.forestriverclassifieds.com/2021-forest-river-cherokee-wolf-pup-16bhs-1557https://www.forestriverclassifieds.com/2........orest-river-cherokee-wolf-pup-16bhs-1557



Let’s see if the link worked!!


Looks like it did. This appears to be in North Carolina.

toedtoes

California

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Posted: 09/08/21 01:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In addition to towing capacity, you need to look at the hylander's payload. That is where you are most likely to max out.

Payload must be equal or less than the sum of: weight of all passengers and pets, weight over 150lbs of driver, all supplies and stuff put in or on the vehicle, AND 10-15 percent of the trailer's GVWR (known as tongue weight).

Also consider the ages of your kids and how quickly they will have that major growth spurt. A girl of 5 will have years of being small, a boy of 11 can grow huge overnight. So work the numbers to make sure you won't outweigh your payload within a year or two.

In regards to the various brands, I would go look at what's on the lots and check the build quality in person. RVs aren't built by automation, so one trailer can vary in quality from another of the same make and model. Also, spend some time inside acting out your morning and nighttime routines - make sure this layout won't make it impossible to get everyone up and dressed without major contortions.

If you're kids are or near that "growth spurt" edge, make sure the bunkbeds will be big enough - some are short and narrow, some are claustrophic, and so on.


1975 American Clipper RV with Dodge 360 (photo in profile)
1998 American Clipper Fold n Roll Folding Trailer
Both born in Morgan Hill, CA to Irv Perch (Daddy of the Aristocrat trailers)

2112

Texas

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Posted: 09/08/21 01:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It doesn't meet all your check boxes but a Sportsmen 180BH or181BH may work for you. The 190BH may be pushing it.

I wouldn't buy anything new right now. I spoke to a Forest River rep a few weeks ago and she even admitted their quality has suffered due to COVID. Look for something 2 years old. When a manufacturer's parts rep says don't buy new I take note.


2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost SuperCab Max Tow, 2084# Payload, 11,300# Tow,
Timbrens, PullRite SuperGlide 2700 15K
2013 KZ Durango 2857


theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 09/08/21 01:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You will get a lot more space with a hybrid.

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