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somebody here has to have a travel trialer


telcoman

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The low CCC would be a deal breaker for me for FT use. The Cougar 30RLI only has 1780 lbs. of CCC. With "options" and battery, water, and propane you could barely take a weekend's worth of food and clothing, let alone all your worldly possessions a full timer will need. The 33RES is only marginally better with only 2085 lbs. of carrying capacity available. I do like the floorplan of the 30RLI.

 

Keystone's 319MKS Sprinter has a similar floorplan to the Cougar 30RLI with over 1,000 lbs of additional CCC (2975 lbs.) in a wide body design that will come in handy for a FTer.

 

Chip

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sushidog, Don't limit yourself to new trailers. There are some really good used ones around. In fact, some of the older ones have a layout that is more in line with full-timing. Some of these features may be small (such as, ours has a built-in laundry hamper and a shower stall with a bench in it). In particular, the Airstreams built from 1983 to 1994 (the "narrow" body ones) are excellent and relatively inexpensive.

Trailer = 1987 Airstream Excella 32'

Truck = 1999 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel

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Due to budget constraints I will be looking at a used TT 3 yrs from now. So what is new or almost so today by then might be just the ticket. A floorplan I like is the Sprinter 300KBS like these: http://www.rvtrader.com/search-results?keywords=Keystone%20Sprinter%20300KBS&sort=geo_distance%3Aasc&

 

The CCC is only around 3000lbs though. I was wondering if anyone had upgraded their running gear to get more CCC? It looks like they equip them with 5,100 lb axles and 15" wheels. I wonder how difficult/expensive it would be to swap them for some 6,000 lb axles and 16" wheels (or to add a 3rd 5,000 lb axle), as I could sure use an extra 1,000 lbs of CCC?

 

Chip

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...The CCC is only around 3000lbs though...

In my experience, there are not many non-custom made, non-toyhauler travel trailers that have 3,000# or more of CCC. One brand that does/has made some models in that category is Sunnybrook. Before they went out of the towable business, Monaco had a couple of models in the Silver Creek line that had high CCCs.

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Thanks for the link, Trailertraveler.

 

The ones that are at the top of my short list are the Openrange JT337RLS at 3,925 lbs., the now defunct Forest River V-Cross Platinum 28VFB (2014 and earlier) at 4,811 lbs., the Forest River Wildcat Maxx 28RKX, from 3,683-4,061 depending on the year. I am also looking at a couple of toy haulers that may fit my needs. Heading this list is the Forest River Work & Play 36FKBS (toy hauler) at 4,461 lbs and the Jayco Octane T32C with 4,120 lbs of CCC. There are a couple other models that get honorable mention on my short list, that I would consider if I could pick one up at the right price, the Open Range Light LT282RKS at 3,523 lbs., both the Forest River V-Cross Platinum 33VFLS (2014 model) at 3,706 lbs. and the V-Cross Platinum 32VFKS at 3,626 lbs. also both the Forest River Sierra Select 31FK and its clone the Sandpiper 31FK both at 3,628 lbs. and finally the Coachman 297rlds at 3,817 lbs of CCC.

 

Like I could find a salvaged running gear, perhaps off of a storm damaged fiver of suitable capacity I would consider switching it over. I realize that the frame strength limits the weight capacity too, especially at either end, however I plan on putting my heavy items (like 800 - 1,000 lbs of batteries) directly over the axles (or as closely as possible), centralizing the mass and minimizing this weight's impact on the chassis.

 

Chip

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I would think it difficult to even get 3K of cargo into that Sprinter. JMO, but I barely have 3K in my 45' 5th wheel, and that includes the furniture. What the heck will you carry? Weight lifting equipment?

Jack & Danielle Mayer #60376 Lifetime Member
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http//rvsueandcrew.net this lady has a interesting setup and posts the best travel pictures. Interesting read.

 

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I would think it difficult to even get 3K of cargo into that Sprinter. JMO, but I barely have 3K in my 45' 5th wheel, and that includes the furniture. What the heck will you carry? Weight lifting equipment?

How about lead weights (batteries, which will be placed as close to the axles as I can get to minimize frame stress)? Note: A lot of weight will be in solar panels on the roof and a super high efficiency heat pump outside (on the tongue or rear bumper) and on one interior wall.

 

8-GC-2 batteries for 48v system (67 x 8 = 536 lbs)

2 GC-2 batteries for 12v system (67 x 2 = 134 lbs )

7 -50lb solar panels = (350 lbs)

Rack, cables, boxes, inverter/charger, controllers, etc. for both systems (180 lbs)

12,000 BTU mini-split heat pump (110lbs)

Total just for the off-grid electrical system = 1,220lbs

I will probably start with this system with cheap "learner batteries," progressing to better batteries when the learner batteries need replacing. I may decide to go with LiFePO4 batts if they drop substantially in price by then. If not, I will go mature technology - with a heavy, yet very durable set of 8 Rolls Surrette S-550s as my long term battery solution, as I've run the numbers and they are the most affordable currently on a cost/watt hr/cycle basis. $2,584 (current best price from ECO direct) for 10-12kw usable power depending on cycling depth and rate of discharge with a 10 yr. warranty.

 

If I use 8 Rolls S-550 batteries instead of 8-GC-2s for 48v system (123 x 8 = 984 lbs.)

Total just for the off-grid electrical system = 1,668lbs

 

Add: 60 lbs propane

spare tire 50 lbs.

full water tank (avg) 85 galons x 8.33 = 708 lbs

food in refrigerator, pantry, pots, pans, dishes, silverware, knives, etc. 200 lbs

Kitchen Appliances ((toaster oven, blender, rice pot, coffee pot, slow cooker, etc.) 40 lbs

TV & DVD/SAT, stereo equipt. 75 lbs

Computer, printer and supplies, important papers, keepsakes, jewelry, 75 lbs

Clothing, coats, shoes, (4 season's worth) bedding, foam topper, towels, etc. 200 lbs

Cleaning supplies, wonder washer/spin drier, laundry and cleaning chemicals, personal care items 60 lbs

2 recliners (less couch removal) 100lbs.

Camping items such as (bbq grill, charcoal and utensils, 2 folding chairs, screen room, etc.), lanterns, flashlights, table, door mat, sewage hoses, fresh hoses, water filter, water bladder, surge protector, extension cords wheel chocks, leveling gear, etc. 200lbs

Pet supplies, cages, air compressor, portable heaters, guns, ammo, fishing gear, 150 lbs

Misc goodies 100 lbs

 

Total for everything so less the off grid electrical system: 2218 2218

Plus the heavy electrical system 1668 Plus light weight electrical system 1220

Total 3,886 lbs. 3,438 lbs.

This doesn't include the 2 motorbikes, riding gear, spare gas, generator, tools, etc. That will be carried in the back of the truck under a topper - est. 800 lbs. total in bed (this leaves sufficient capacity for tongue wt.)

 

I think this a very realistic, pared down cargo list, as accurately as I can estimate at this point. Comments? Criticism?

 

Chip

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have a 2011 Forest River Rockwood Ultralite. And I hate it. I started out with a smaller 5th wheel, bought a larger 5th wheel, then decided it was not smart for a single traveling woman to be getting in and out of the truck to go to the trailer alone. So I got a Class A gas. Loved it. Then started traveling with my partner and we traded our rigs in for a 2005 Allegro Bus. LOVED IT. But wanted to travel more and argue less, so I got a new truck and a TT. And it's the worse mistake I ever made. I didn't realize how time consuming it was too hook up and unhook. I didn't realize how unstable it would feel on the road sometimes. I didn't realize a lot of things and now it's up for sale and I'm getting a motorized RV. Anyone? It's listed in the marketplace on this forum . . .

Beverley Hughes

"Molly Marine" USMC Veteran

FT since December 2006

2011 Rockwood Ultralite TT

2014 Chevy Silverado

Traveling with Skye, Gracie, Angel and Peaches

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I have a 2011 Forest River Rockwood Ultralite. And I hate it. I started out with a smaller 5th wheel, bought a larger 5th wheel, then decided it was not smart for a single traveling woman to be getting in and out of the truck to go to the trailer alone. So I got a Class A gas. Loved it. Then started traveling with my partner and we traded our rigs in for a 2005 Allegro Bus. LOVED IT. But wanted to travel more and argue less, so I got a new truck and a TT. And it's the worse mistake I ever made. I didn't realize how time consuming it was too hook up and unhook. I didn't realize how unstable it would feel on the road sometimes. I didn't realize a lot of things and now it's up for sale and I'm getting a motorized RV. Anyone? It's listed in the marketplace on this forum . . .

Molly - sorry to heard about your experience with the Rockwood. I have a 2013 Rockwood 35' TT and there are definitely things I would change, too. But hooking up isn't that bad. At first it was until I had the weight distribution hooked up the right way (3rd time was a charm). With the sway bar and hardly feel any sway. The other day I road in my friends Class A and it was all over the place. My truck is a GMC 2500HD and I don't it know I'm pulling, it's so smooth. Maybe your experiencing the problems I had before I got the set-up done correctly. I sure hope you find an RV that you're comfortable with. Hopefully you can use the truck on your new choice....I don't worry about going between the truck and TT as I'm always in a park with plenty of people around. The best to you and safe travels.

Full-timer with my 2 cats FlipperDoodle & Buster

Originally from Northern Calif. (native)

2013 - 35 ft. Rockwood TT

GMC 2500HD Crew Cab

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  • 3 weeks later...

We're on our third trailer, love them all!! First was a 16' Forgot The Brand. Next was a 27' Midas - it was great! Should have never sold it! Trailerless for a while then 17 years ago, we got a 25' x 7' Aerolite and although a bit small, we love it. Dry weight is only 3,200 pounds, but we have the thing loaded for bear, so probably about 5,000 pounds we're pulling with my '02 F150, rated to tow 8,000 lbs. We've pulled this thing all over! I like the all aluminum frame and galvanized chassis. I can hook'er up in a New York minute (that's quick) with my standard leveling hitch. I'm wanting to do some upgrades, just ordered 3 LED bulbs, changing a few at a time. I've been looking at the Oliver site a lot, but would have to sell one hind leg to buy one. Also, would like an Airstream maybe. Now, if I can only talk Ethyl into going full time...

That old man, he don't think like no old man.

"I thought I was wrong one time, but I was mistaken." Command Sergeant Major

"He's pinned under an outcropping of rock. Lucky for him, the rock kept the dirt from burying him alive."

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  • 3 weeks later...

And that my friends, is the reason that I really am not a fan of "type specific" RV forums. It is just one more step in introducing social classes into the RV world that has been relatively free of that for so long.

ForestRiverForums.com has a category for everything including specific models. As a new RVer, having a forum on a specific model gives me a wealth of information and saves a lot of time trying to get answers. Just my opinion.

We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us

 

2012 Prime Time 230FBS Tracer

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What a great thread! I have often felt like an orphan child when I admit to pulling a TT. Between you and me and the bedpost, I can back my TT into any spot on a dime. I always had more trouble with the fiver. With the Andersen hitch I can hook up in a few minutes--maybe more than a fiver, but not by much. When we full-timed the fiver did have a lot more room inside with the high ceiling and great storage. But I make up for the storage with the truck bed. For full-time I would probably still go with the fiver, but I would never sell the TT short. If you want big, big and big, there is no doubt the fiver is the way to go. But if you like more compact and easier, don't sell the TT short.

2007 Arctic Fox 32.5 rls for full-timing, now sold.

2014 Sunnybrook Sunset Creek 267rl for the local campgrounds now that we are off the road
2007 Silverado 2500 diesel

Loving Green Valley, AZ (just South of Tucson)

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Earl, one of the biggest criticisms I found about TTs compared to fivers is their lack of storage space. As you correctly observed there is more storage space and weight capacity in the back of most trucks, especially if you have a long bed model as I do. I plan on adding a custom built, light weight truck topper to store a couple small motorbikes, generator, fuel, etc. in the bed. I haven't found a fiver yet that had a big enough basement storage to hold a couple of motorbikes. I will remove the tailgate and bolt up the foldout ramp that I made in its place. That way I can ride the bikes in and back them down the ramp, easy peasy. Even if you could squeeze them in a giant fiver basement it would be a PITA getting them in and out. Plus who wants to store a generator with gas in the tank, or spare gasoline in their trailer? These must be carried in the truck bed, and without a topper you are forced to build a custom enclosure or just leave them out in the weather where they can be easily seen and pilfered.

 

TTs are generally about 1,500lbs lighter than an equivalent fiver too. They can have a lighter frame yet still be rigid, (especially Airstreams or Avions which use the aircraft designed, monocot body to add strength and rigidity) as they are carrying less weight too, due to their single level design. They are also lower, giving more overhead clearance and a smaller frontal area, all of which can contribute to a little better fuel mileage. Not to say one choice is better than another, they just offer different features and benefits. A fiver is probably a better choice for most people, as there are many more FT suitable fivers to choose from, but with aging FTers, the lack of interior steps is an often overlooked benefit of a TT for the mobility challenged, and is the primary reason we are choosing one for our FT adventure. They are also a little cheaper, due to less materials used in their construction (lighter weight frame needed and lower wall height) compared to a similar quality fiver. Unfortunately high-end (even mid-grade) TTs are hard to find compared to the wide variety of quality fivers on the market, so sorting through the large numbers of poorly constructed "entry level" models designed for occasional use camping can be daunting.

 

Chip

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  • 3 weeks later...

sushi, I think your last statement about quality is why companies like Bigfoot, Oliver, etc. are going to do really well. They make quality trailers!

That old man, he don't think like no old man.

"I thought I was wrong one time, but I was mistaken." Command Sergeant Major

"He's pinned under an outcropping of rock. Lucky for him, the rock kept the dirt from burying him alive."

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) are indeed quality units. However, while they may be adequate for a single FTer, most couples would find them a little small and even cramped due to the lack of available slides and the maximum length of only 25 ft.

 

If someone is shopping for a quality, small, slideless trailer they would be at the top of my shortlist. However I think my DW and I would be at each other's throats in short order in one. We currently have an Aliner, and are used to small spaces, but too much closeness can lead to friction in any relationship, even a very good one like we have.

 

We are looking at something closer to this size: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9PZZB76IUo or this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lJagBUQNEg

 

Or even something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Nr_oSmohb0

 

Chip

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  • 1 month later...

We have two, so should get counted twice, right?

Our first was a 1990 Gulfstream Innsbruck that we really enjoyed until we completely wore it out. Turns out that no matter how badly worn something you own is, there is someone that thinks it is better than what they have, so we gave it to somebody that really needed it.

When we gave that one away, we thought we were through camping for a while. That lasted exactly one day, then we were out looking at used units. It seems that in order to save any appreciable money, you have to buy units that are seven years old or older. So we went with new. In 2013 we purchased our 2014 Coachmen Catalina. It is roomier than the old one and has a small shallow slide, a walk around queen bed, and a bathroom I can actually use.

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Since my bride is a singe in a band that performs at state fairs and other outdoor type events, she wanted a mobile dressing room, So we got this 2016 Summerland mini. It's only 17.5 feet long with no slide, but has a rear living/dining booth. I stow the table and it becomes a 'U' shaped couch with big windows on all three sides. Along with the kitchen and beauty parlor (bathroom) she is in tall clover.

 

4A2D192F-28B8-47B4-BF7F-2ACCC2BB8C4D_zps

2013 Coachmen Catalina 25RKS

2016 Keystone Summerland Mini SM1750

2012 F250 Lariat Crew Cab 6.2L gasser

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