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yeswonderful

Looking for a trailer for my Flex. First time trailer for me!

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Hi all! I joined up so I could get some information and advice on buying a trailer. It'll be my first travel trailer, and I've been doing quite a bit of research over the past few months. My partner and I are looking to be on the road traveling more often and would like a small traveling home to take with us when we don't have a friend to stay with in the places we go. However, we do have the limitation of only having a Ford Flex with a Class I tow package. So that limits us to 2000Lbs towing capacity. I've been searching and searching for a trailer that might fit the bill.



Here's our current list of requirements:


-Not a pop-up (due to possibility of encountering weather extremes on occasion, though we're hoping to avoid them as much as possible)


-My partner is tallish, so he wants something with decent head room (over 7' is preferable)


-queen bed


-toilet and shower (wet bath is fine)


-stove


-sink


-fridge


-counter space of some kind for food prep (we cook a lot)


-enough space for two people and two medium sized dogs to have a place to sleep without the dogs piling on the bed (because they make sleeping impossible lol)



I've recently been interested in the Scamp 13'. Some of the Prolite models have intrigued me as well. However, since I'm a noob at all this, I thought I'd get some advice from people with more experience.


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There are many really clever small trailers, however, I think that 2000 lb. tow capacity is going to be a real issue for you. My daughter-in-law's folks have a "bean" type trailer and the GVWR is more than 2000. The smallest of the Aliner trailers, which only weigh 1150 unloaded, have a GVWR of 2500 pounds. It really is very easy to add a lot of weight very quickly and you could quite easily find yourself overloaded.

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With the proper trailer hitch the Ford Flex is rated to tow 4500 pounds. Here is a link to a PDF from Ford with the info you need.

 

As you say, you have the Class 1 towing package, rated for 2000 pounds. However the main restriction may be the hitch and not the car itself.

 

One thing in the Ford document is the "engine oil cooler". You do want to be sure that is on your car. If it isn't it may not be difficult or expensive to have one installed. It probably is just an adapter added between the oil filter and the engine with hoses to a small radiator near the front of the car.

 

You must have a weight distributing hitch for your trailer. If you don't know what that is, google it. Lots of info available.

 

For safety reasons try to stay with the weight of the trailer in the 3000-3500 pounds though.

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First! Think Ford Explorer with the 3.5L that can pull 5,000 lb. Don't forget to order the $395 Class II Trailer Tow Package with it.

Second find a TT it can pull.

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Here is another link with info about towing capacities of the Ford Flex.

 

Keep in mind the 4500 pounds is the max towing capacity. The max capacity will also be limited by how much stuff, including passengers you have in the car.

 

Towing 4000 pound, you will NOT be very speedy and you will definitely know the trailer will be back there. You will also probably get quite a bit of sway from the trailer when large vehicles pass you. I would strongly recommend you not exceed 55mph when towing a trailer.

 

Also don't plan on driving more than about 200-250 miles in a day with the trailer. It will be pretty tiring driving and keeping the trailer under control.

 

Not trying to be negative about the towing aspects. Just don't want you to be surprised by the challenges of towing a trailer with a car.

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Before you do anything else, go into your kitchen and gather your preferred ingredients and cooking utensils including pans. Weigh them. 2000 ponds doesn't leave much available for packing anything. Even water weighs 8+ pounds per gallon. When we traveled in a lightweight trailer, we prepared as much food as we could before we left home so as to only have the serving/storage dish weight. And we used Tupperware for as much of that as we could.

 

Linda Sand

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I think the following websites will be a good place to research: riversidervs.net, tab-rv.com, forestriverinc.com/rpod, casita traveltrailers.com, scamptrailers.com, aliner.com, chaletinc.com.

 

I am looking for small, lightweight, comfortable too!

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Welcome to the Escapee forums. I wish that I had better news but there simply are no solid wall travel trailers which weigh less than 2000# when loaded. . The 13' long Casita only weighs 1880# dry weight but you could easily exceed that 120# of cargo with your clothing and nothing to eat! The 17' long R-pod weighs in at 2726# when empty! Scamp doesn't list their weights on the website but I happen to know that they are similar to the Casita in weights. The mentioned A-liner weighs under 2000# when empty, but you can quickly exceed your limits and since it is related to a popup I'd doubt that it is what you want. Unless you can do something to increase the safe towing capacity of your Flex, you are pretty much limited to the smaller popup trailers. And keep in mind that nothing you do will be sure to solve the problem as towing at or above the maximum weight limits is not only unsafe but it will be tiring for the driver and hard on the tow vehicle. Have you considered changing your tow vehicle?

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Thanks for your responses!

 

What I've decided to do is trade in my Flex for a 4Runner. It has a 5000lb tow capacity (V6). Plus, it's more of the kind of car I want, anyways. The Flex just isn't my style (I ended up with it after my previous vehicle, a Subaru Forester, was totaled)!

So now my parameters have changed a bit. Looking for a trailer that's less than 3000lbs just to be safe. I'm interested in the same details in a trailer as above. I definitely like the look of R-pods. I'm going to try getting used if I can. Any advice or recommendations?

 

Thanks for all the great info!

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A Forerunner is definitely more capable than a Flex. I have had more than one Toyota pickup (basically same engine/chassis as a Forerunner) over the years and am still impressed at how sturdy and reliable they were. Good luck on your trailer hunt!

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So I've got vehicles narrowed down to a Ford Explorer, Toyota 4Runner, and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Test driving some on Friday to see what I like.

 

I'm still checking out trailers, with my favorites thus far being the R-pods. I definitely like the rear "garage" cargo areas on them.

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Just an idea, you could find a TT that you want first and then make sure that the

TV that you are looking for will do the job. Good Luck and welcome to the Forum.

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Just an idea, you could find a TT that you want first and then make sure that the

TV that you are looking for will do the job. Good Luck and welcome to the Forum.

This is what I'm doing. We looked for 3 years at trailers, 2 very seriously, and came up with a span of weights in the size trailers we would be comfortable with. Then we bought the tow vehicle knowing what capacity we needed. Maxing out is not an option for us as we want to be comfortable driving as well as be able to accommodate the occasional traveling guest and their cargo. We have yet to buy the trailer but feel confident our tow vehicle is adequate for the range of trailers we are looking at.

 

We started with an Xterra 4WD (we want 4 WD because we will sometimes BLM camp or end up with mud from rain, snow or??) but that's not for everyone. 4WD takes away some of the available towing weight and if you are on the low side of available cargo weight every pound counts. We ended up getting a vehicle that tows more than twice the weight the Xterra did and it is a 4WD gas truck. That 5000 pounds sounds like a LOT but towing includes the weight of the tow vehicle passengers and cargo in the tow vehicle and the tongue weight with the rest - it isn't just the weight of the loaded trailer (which is what I thought before I came to this discussion board for advice). Also know the CCC or Cargo weight of the trailer - sometimes it's pretty low and it is usually posted on the inside of the trailer door but sometimes on a sticker on the outside of the trailer. It will come with a warning usually that tells you how much a full tank of water weighs for the size tank included in the trailer. To give you an idea, 3 gallons of water weigh about 25 pounds so for every 12 gallons that's 100 pounds of CCC.

 

For several years we had a Chalet Aframe and that was fun, it weighed about 1000 pounds and we could spin it in our driveway to turn it around. Those have problems you should look into before buying though. Constant questions on the Aframe boards about how to replace leaky windows and roof panels warped by the sun. I would not buy another one unless I was limited in weight.

 

I would suggest you look and look until you know the trailer sizes and weights you will accept and then focus on the tow vehicle that will work for you (because you won't be able to tow the new trailer without an adequate tow vehicle so you'll need that before the trailer). Also know, if buying a NEW tow vehicle you probably cannot tow for the first 500 miles so you can't buy new and take off without voiding the new car warranty. My 2500 HD Silverado cannot be driven over 50 mph for the first 500 miles (it's up to 250 miles now) and not over 50mpg for the first 500 miles of towing which can't happen until the first 500 miles of non-towing is complete.

 

If you are only doing warm nights, tent trailers are lightweight with sleeping rooms that open out. These are usually the lightest trailers.

 

.... sign me

Still learning, too!

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I'm going with a used SUV largely because I'm limited by what is available in my price range. Every truck I've been interested in is out of my budget, unfortunately. Down the road a truck will probably be ideal, when I can afford two vehicles, but for now I'm looking for some that provides utility as well as the things I need in an everyday vehicle.

 

So that's why I'm settling on a Ford Explorer, as someone suggested above. Found a used 2007 with fewer miles than my current vehicle. It's 4WD 4L V6 with the Class III/IV hitch. We're not looking for a big trailer to haul, so it should fit our needs well enough.

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I'm going with a used SUV largely because I'm limited by what is available in my price range. Every truck I've been interested in is out of my budget, unfortunately. Down the road a truck will probably be ideal, when I can afford two vehicles, but for now I'm looking for some that provides utility as well as the things I need in an everyday vehicle.

 

So that's why I'm settling on a Ford Explorer, as someone suggested above. Found a used 2007 with fewer miles than my current vehicle. It's 4WD 4L V6 with the Class III/IV hitch. We're not looking for a big trailer to haul, so it should fit our needs well enough.

Congratulations! There are a lot of light weight trailers out there. Mine currently is a Dodge 350 Class B high top V8 with 108,000 miles. We just came back from Pike Forest, Colorado in it. I have been restoring it and will miss it. It is being replaced by my new truck but originally it was what we were going to use. That's the photo - it used to be white with brown stripes. I tore out the old linoleum and put in carpet to better insulate it and steam cleaned it all to get rid of things from 1989 to present. I still have to reupholster the front seats and then I'm done.

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