Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Travel Trailers: Looking into getting first TT
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 > Looking into getting first TT

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mleekamp

Washington, IL

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Posted: 09/22/21 03:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Something else not mentioned, if you go with a 3/4 ton truck option (4 door crew cab) to pull your TT, you can always have a chaser car with the rest of the family. Not ideal maybe, but its a better way to travel than stuffing all in one.


2019 Jayco Redhawk 29XK Class C, Ford V10 E450 with Roadmaster Hitch Mounted Spare Tire holder, Bigfoot Hydraulic Leveling

valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 09/22/21 04:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Get a full size body on frame VAN.

2 Bathrooms: Unless you plan to boondock a lot, plan on using the campground bathhouse unless it's a late night need. Even boondocking, water consumption and waste storage will be very difficult to last more than a night or two with good water conservation.

Keep in mind, those kids will want to bring along friends...or they won't want to go camping with you.

Payload: Just bodies could eat up 800-1000lb of payload before putting anything in the truck or the trailer on the hitch.

PS: Youngest of 10 here, took 3-4 week trip each summer...


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wowens79

Georgia

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Posted: 09/22/21 05:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Consider a hybrid camper, you will have more bedspace, and it will be lighter. It won't be as roomy, but it would be easier to find a tow vehicle for.

Like everyone has said, a suburban, or a expedition won't handle it. The problem is the payload capacity of the tow vehicle, which is the amount of weight that can be added to the tow vehicle. This includes weight of passengers, and anything packed into the car, as well as the tongue weight of the camper, which when loaded will probably be 1000lbs. I can see needing 2000lbs of payload easily.
Overloaded like that, those campers will be wiggling that suv all over the road, and will be miserable to pull.

Also, the bunks in campers are pretty small, we bought our bunkhouse when our son was 12, and like 5'6, now he is 6'2" and does not fit on the bunks, so we end up having to use the couch for him, so think about growth.

Sorry to be a downer on the SUV, but I've got 2 friends in the last year that listened to the dealer and bought campers like what you are looking at, and had 1/2ton trucks. Both were miserable towing, and ended up buying 3/4 ton trucks.


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KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 09/22/21 05:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The best SUV for those trailers is a 2500 series Suburban. They stopped making them in 2013. However, in 2007 thru 2013 the hitch was limited to 1,000 pounds of tongue weight which really isn't enough to be able to take advantage of their 9,xxx pound tow rating.
If you go with a 2001 thru 2006 2500 Suburban with the 8.1L big block they were rated to tow up to 12,xxx pounds and didn't have the same limitation on tongue weight. So, that would be just about your only choice.
The other option is a Ford Excursion made from 2000 to 2005. If you go this route look for one with the V10 gas engine. The 6.0 diesel is a nightmare. A very few had the 7.3 diesel which was a good engine but quite old in design, and loud. Despite that, since they were far more reliable then the 6.0 diesel they command high prices.
If you don't like any of these choices you can go the van route. Which isn't bad, I'd get a Chevy with the 6.0 gas or even a Duramax.

jaydoh

NJ

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Posted: 09/22/21 05:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I really appreciate everyone's feedback. I have lots to think about

I just getting overwhelmed because I want to experience this with all my children before my older ones graduate HS.

Dadoffourgirls

China, MI USA

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Posted: 09/22/21 05:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I own a 2017 3500 Express 15 passenger van to tow my trailer. Although my youngest turns 21 in a week, I still enjoy the van for family towing.

I will admit that since I have had the Express, the most passengers I have had while towing is 2 people or 2 dogs.

I took my camper to Iowa this summer, and averaged 8.9 mpg. I added a wind deflector to the roof the day before I departed. There was only one passenger, and I kept my speeds below 65 mph.

The Express is not a daily driver, but does great service when taking day trips to wineries or breweries or weddings. I have not had issues in the snow, I have a dedicated set of wheels/tires that I install, and add 200lbs to the rear (or add passengers).

Vans are not as cool, but the pricing had been fantastic. I bought my 2014 in 2015, and my 2017 in early 2019, and both were under $24k used with less than 20k miles.


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APT

SE Michigan

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Posted: 09/22/21 07:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have said 2500 Suburban. Some of the TTs on your list would push my comfort limit even though I have plenty of suspension. 7k dry TT means 8500-9000 pounds loaded with a larger family and all their gear, with 1100-1300 pounds of loaded TW.

If you are open to full sized vans, the Nissan NV3500 and GM Twins (Chevy Express or GMC Savana 3500) would all work for most on your list.

If vans more not an option for you, are you planning on more short trips (<2h each way) or longer ones (5+ hours)? The last 2 seasons we have been driving two vehicles on most of our camping trips. My wife or daughter drive it, which helps limit load on the tow vehicle as well as ability to take more stuff, like bike rake, kayaks, PWC, boats, etc. If driving 2 vehicles is an option, then I recommend any 2011+ 3/4 or 1-ton crew cab pickup and whatever current vehicle you have.


A & A parents of DD 2005, DS1 2007, DS2 2009
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2017 Subaru Outback 3.6R

Lwiddis

Monterey, California

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Posted: 09/22/21 08:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Follow the rule! Buy or select the TT first. Then buy a tow vehicle that can comfortably pull and carry the TT’s weight.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist14 yr. Army vet-11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 09/22/21 10:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

Follow the rule! Buy or select the TT first. Then buy a tow vehicle that can comfortably pull and carry the TT’s weight.


But the devil is in the details:

Assume the GVWR for the trailer...not the empty weight. Then figure 12-15% will be hitch weight that counts against the truck payload.

Also estimate the weight of passengers and gear that will be in the truck. 6 humans (maybe 8-10 if they bring friends) can weigh quite a bit.

Too many people use the empty trailer weight and assume 10% on the hitch then totally ignore people and gear in the truck...only to find the truck is struggling with being overloaded.

wing_zealot

East of the Mississippi

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Posted: 09/22/21 10:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

Follow the rule! Buy or select the TT first. Then buy a tow vehicle that can comfortably pull and carry the TT’s weight.
Well that's a stupid rule. Can't hardly buy a TT than not be able to find a vehicle to handle the TT with enough seats for all the butts going camping. Seems to me you should work in parallel; buy a TT and TV that meets all the requirements.

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