Jump to content

About to go full time, lots of questions


user3977

Recommended Posts

Let me get a little of the back story out before i flood y'all with the questions. My wife is about to start travel nursing and we (me and 2 kids) will be traveling with her. The kids will be home schooled, that is all figured out so no issues with this part. Now on to the fun stuff. Our Tow vehicle is a 2016 1500 crew cab silverado short bed texas edition with the tow package (no built in brake controller). Thinking of adding a camper shell to the truck, not positive on that at this time. we are looking at the following units.

 

http://www.unitedrv.com/rv/2017-DUTCHMEN-KODIAK-EXPRESS-246BHSL-NTT2518 (TT1)

 

http://www.unitedrv.com/rv/2017-KEYSTONE-HIDEOUT-28BHS-NTT2688 (TT2)

 

they have a few big differences

TT1 27' 4" 4920lbs dry

TT2 32'9" 6820lbs dry

 

would TT2 be a stretch for the truck?

 

What could we do to help make it safer to tow / travel with the TT?

 

Aftermarket trailer brake controller, looking at the P3 is it worth it or is there a better one out there?

 

we currently live in Ft. Worth Tx, once we go on the road we will have no home of any sort. Thought is to just use our brother in laws home as our address. Is there any issues we should have with this or would it be better to go the route of a mail service?

 

Is there any RV clubs / associations that are a good idea to join?

 

What recommendations do you have for the WD hitch / sway control?

 

Is there anything that we should look into buying to add that will make life easier on the road?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to start some dialogue you did not state size of pickup. Is it a 1500 ,2500 ? Camper shell would be good for extra storage and security. look at you tube video on how to build some long drawers for storage. in the bed and have more usable space. Don't max out the tow vehicle. Stopping is key for safety.

I will let other more knowledgeable comment on trailers and hitch systems. Best of luck and have fun.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to start some dialogue you did not state size of pickup. Is it a 1500 ,2500 ? Camper shell would be good for extra storage and security. look at you tube video on how to build some long drawers for storage. in the bed and have more usable space. Don't max out the tow vehicle. Stopping is key for safety.

I will let other more knowledgeable comment on trailers and hitch systems. Best of luck and have fun.

 

fixed that, its a 1500.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the Escapees Forum!!!

 

Here are a couple of links that may help you learn and understand what you need to know to match a tow vehicle and trailer: Trailer Weight Calculator, How Long a trailer

 

i have no clue how the trailer weight calculator works, even using the lighter trailer it suggests i use a different trailer. :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1500 series trucks most often fall short in payload capacity ending up over GVWR and/or RAWR. For a start compare 15% of the trailer's GVWR to your trucks payload capacity. For trailer #2, this would be 9665 x 0.15=1,449#. You then need to add the weight of all the passengers, fuel and cargo that is not included in the curb weight of the truck to see if you have enough payload capacity. In my opinion, the best way to do this is to load the truck with everything as it will travel and get it weighed. Subtract this weight from the GVWR on the door sticker and you will have the maximum payload you can add. Any safety margin would then have to be subtracted from that. After that you can move on to other numbers such as RAWR, GCWR, etc.

 

Another thing to be aware of is the hitch weight calculation. The calculator uses 15% of the trailer GVWR as the default. So for example, my hitch has a rating of 12000# with a maximum hitch weight of 1200#. The calculator using the 15% default shows my max trailer weight as 8000#.(8000x0.15=1200).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You need to do some study and learn about RV weights.

Start here - You need to learn about weight terms (GVWR GAWR GCWR)

 

You need to know the capacities of your truck. Start with the Federal compliance label (door jamb - GVWR and GAWR of the front and rear axle) and the owners manual or here to find you manual. (GCWR look in the Driving and Operating section and the Trailering and Towing subsection - around page 333 you will find the charts needed to determine GCWR).

You need to know what kind of tires you have. Passenger car tires or Light Truck tires. You will want Light Truck tires.

 

In order to determine some basics of what you have and what you might be able to safely tow, find a platform scale - A truck stop usually has a CAT Scale that can work for these basic determinations. Load up the family and stuff you THINK you might carry in the bed and go to the scale and get a real weight. Subtract that weight from the GCWR of the Truck and that will let get you the max amount of trailer you might be able to tow. Do not consider a trailer with a GVWR near this amount.

When you look at a trailer find the GVWR of the trailer (federal compliance label on front drivers side of trailer) and take 15% of that weight. This is an estimate of the tongue weight which will be added to the weight of the truck.

 

Dry weights of trailers mean nothing. As a full timer the probability is that you will be near or exceeding the GVWR of the Trailer.

You need also need to learn about trailer tires and their issues.

 

These things will get you going in the right direction. We each are responsible to understand and know about the vehicles we drive, especially the big heavy ones. Happy studying!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How old/big are the kids? Can they store stuff (clothes and toys and school supplies) in bins on their beds? Two tiny closets for 4 people could be a problem. Plus storage for other stuff is pretty minimal in the trailer itself in either model. How often do you want to fetch from the truck in the rain or high winds? I think I'd start by gathering the things you most need to take and weigh them and evaluate where you would store them. You might well find yourself trying to put the third set of something in the same cupboard. Been there; done that and found ourselves leaving a lot more behind than we anticipated.

 

Linda Sand

Link to comment
Share on other sites

so i think i figured the travel trailer weight site out. entering all the information not counting the trailer that i could they say a max of 8,000lbs for the TT. this is contradicting what everyone is saying that the 4900 lb trailer is to heavy and the other one is blowing away the rating. can someone explain a little better how that site functions? not sure if this will function properly by copying and pasting the link but here goes.

 

http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-trailer-weight-tt.shtml?truck_gvwr=7000&truck_gvwr_unit=e&truck_gcwr=15000&truck_gcwr_unit=e&truck_gtwr=11000&truck_gtwr_unit=e&truck_tongue=1200&truck_tongue_unit=e&truck_rgawr=3950&truck_rgawr_unit=e&truck_gvw=5800&truck_gvw_unit=e&truck_rgaw=&truck_rgaw_unit=e&trailer_gvw=&trailer_gvw_unit=e&trailer_tongue=&trailer_tongue_unit=e&margin=&tongue_percentage=

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How old/big are the kids? Can they store stuff (clothes and toys and school supplies) in bins on their beds? Two tiny closets for 4 people could be a problem. Plus storage for other stuff is pretty minimal in the trailer itself in either model. How often do you want to fetch from the truck in the rain or high winds? I think I'd start by gathering the things you most need to take and weigh them and evaluate where you would store them. You might well find yourself trying to put the third set of something in the same cupboard. Been there; done that and found ourselves leaving a lot more behind than we anticipated.

 

Linda Sand

we figured everything will be in the TT, the one we are looking at has decent storage. We have lived out of 2 pelican 1660 cases for 3 weeks before with just the pickup and a tent so were used to going minimal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

so i think i figured the travel trailer weight site out. entering all the information not counting the trailer that i could they say a max of 8,000lbs for the TT. this is contradicting what everyone is saying that the 4900 lb trailer is to heavy and the other one is blowing away the rating. can someone explain a little better how that site functions? not sure if this will function properly by copying and pasting the link but here goes.

 

http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-trailer-weight-tt.shtml?truck_gvwr=7000&truck_gvwr_unit=e&truck_gcwr=15000&truck_gcwr_unit=e&truck_gtwr=11000&truck_gtwr_unit=e&truck_tongue=1200&truck_tongue_unit=e&truck_rgawr=3950&truck_rgawr_unit=e&truck_gvw=5800&truck_gvw_unit=e&truck_rgaw=&truck_rgaw_unit=e&trailer_gvw=&trailer_gvw_unit=e&trailer_tongue=&trailer_tongue_unit=e&margin=&tongue_percentage=

I believe the calculator uses 15% of the trailer weight as the tongue weight and 20% as a safety factor unless you type something else in those blocks. Those defaults result in a conservative trailer weight recommendation. In your post example, you list 5800# as the tow vehicles weight. Does this include your wife, 2 children and whatever you might carry in the truck plus whatever you may weigh above 150# (if any). You also need to include the weight of a cap if you install one on the truck bed. As mentioned in one of the responses, forget about the dry weight of the trailer. Use the trailer's GVWR in all calculations if you can not actually weigh the trailer fully loaded as it will be to travel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe the calculator uses 15% of the trailer weight as the tongue weight and 20% as a safety factor unless you type something else in those blocks. Those defaults result in a conservative trailer weight recommendation. In your post example, you list 5800# as the tow vehicles weight. Does this include your wife, 2 children and whatever you might carry in the truck plus whatever you may weigh above 150# (if any). You also need to include the weight of a cap if you install one on the truck bed. As mentioned in one of the responses, forget about the dry weight of the trailer. Use the trailer's GVWR in all calculations if you can not actually weigh the trailer fully loaded as it will be to travel.

 

i got the 5800 lb weight from the truck dealer. i was asking them the weights a few days ago when i got an oil change and trying to find out if the factory brake controller could be installed after purchase ( :( it can not ). they told me around 5500 with 4 adults. so i figured i would add a little extra weight. thats why i entered 5800. ill see if i can get out to a truck stop to weigh it in the next couple days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your biggest problem with trailer two is going to be wind shear. 32' is massively long and it is going to cause some serious trailer sway. WDH and sway bars will be a must and it's still going to be brutal. My wife, and I are getting ready to fulltime with three kids and two dogs. I traded in a Ram 2500 with the 5.9 to step up to a 3500 with 6.7 Not necessarily for more towing capability but for the dual rear wheels and fifth wheel. By going to a fifth wheel you move the fulcrum from behind the truck to over the axle, which is way more stable. Not that it's impossible to tow 32' bumper pull it was just way more headache than I wanted to deal with. There is a huge RV show at the Austin Convention Center 16-18 February. We've never been to one but the dealers we've spoken with say they are worth the trouble to go to. Good Luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...Your biggest problem with trailer two is going to be wind shear. 32' is massively long and it is going to cause some serious trailer sway. WDH and sway bars will be a must and it's still going to be brutal...

Owning and having actually towed a trailer very similar to the OP's trailer #2 for over 25,000 miles including 3 trips from the East Coast to the Mountain States and 4 trips from the Mid-Atlantic to Florida; I disagree that driving such a rig is brutal. I tow with a long bed crewcab using a Hensley hitch and have never had any sway from high speed passing trucks on two lane highways or crosswinds of 35 MPH with higher gusts. There is a discernable side push just as with driving a Class A or box truck, but I have never had any sway. Before the current trailer, I towed a 30' travel trailer for over 30,000 miles using the same Hensley hitch with no issues. Being retired, I will sit out high wind situations and get off the road as quickly as possible if caught enroute.

 

Yes, the larger the side surface area of the trailer the greater the side push from crosswinds or passing vehicles. But, this is not the only factor involved in trailer sway. The weight of the trailer compared to the weight of the tow vehicle, the wheelbase of the tow vehicle compared to the length of the trailer and proper tongue weight are all factors that can affect the tendency of a trailer to sway. The best sway control hitches like the Hensley, ProPride and Pullrite move the pivot point between tow vehicle and trailer forward changing the physics so that it is more difficult for sway to occur rather than simply applying friction resistance as most sway control systems do.

 

Because 5th wheels put 20-25% of their GVWR on the tow vehicle, the OP will find the number of 5th wheels his 1500 can handle will be even more limited than the selection of travel trailers. Yes, he could switch tow vehicles to a 3500 dually or even an MDT or HDT if he has the financial resources to do so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

we figured everything will be in the TT, the one we are looking at has decent storage. We have lived out of 2 pelican 1660 cases for 3 weeks before with just the pickup and a tent so were used to going minimal.

 

When traveling for 3 weeks you left a lot at home. When you have no other home things like tax records have to travel with you unless you pay for storage elsewhere. Most of us who started out in small rigs paid for storage until we realized how much that was costing. Then we whittled down even more stuff and/or bought a bigger rig until we could finally take the remains with us.

 

Linda Sand

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a travel nurse and have been for the most part since 1989. Things have sure changed. Started in an RV full time around 2010 maybe. Will have to look at a calendar for sure. My first trip was with my younger brothers Winners Circle 43 ft toyhauler. Left with it from Iowa right after the first of the year pulling it with a 1999 Ford F350 crew cab dually. Thought I had everything all figured out. Just needed to be sure I could live in an RV for an extended time.

 

It was in the negative digits when I pulled out. Ice and snow on the roads, but I was a seasoned winter driver and had no problems until I hit Hannibal, Missouri. No Ice or snow, but lots of hills and even more stop lights that were synchronized to make sure you had to stop at each and every one of them. I now avoid Hannibal Missouri whenever possible. ( I tried going slower, faster and right at the posted speed limits. Each time you would begin to cruise and the light would change causing near panic stops. )

 

Anyway, after getting through Hannibal. No other major problems. Made good time. Stopped about every 150 to 200 miles for fuel, but no other problems until I was less than 1/2 mile from my destination. I made the mistake of trying to use the surface street instead of getting caught on the freeway. Big mistake. Again with the stop and go traffic. Transmission temp not cooled by the 30 degree weather of Hannibal so kept creeping up and up. Stopped a couple times in hope it would cool off but finally it gave out at the worst possible moment. Middle of a six lane road. Spent 3 hours sitting there attempting to get a tow off the road before a Good Samaritan with a broken log chain and another F350 pulled me into a parking lot.

 

There's a lot more to the story.

 

I now have an HDT, a Custom Built Spacecraft Trailer with a garage for my car and a tool/motorcycle garage on the truck. My only regret is that I didn't start my RV process a long time ago and maybe in a couple years I will have everything just about right, instead of maybe another 10 years.

 

If your wife has questions about travel nursing please ask her to PM me and we will exchange email addresses. I don't know her specialty, nor her knowledge of the Nursing Compact, but I have years of experience and am willing to share.

Rod

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a travel nurse and have been for the most part since 1989. Things have sure changed. Started in an RV full time around 2010 maybe. Will have to look at a calendar for sure. My first trip was with my younger brothers Winners Circle 43 ft toyhauler. Left with it from Iowa right after the first of the year pulling it with a 1999 Ford F350 crew cab dually. Thought I had everything all figured out. Just needed to be sure I could live in an RV for an extended time.

 

It was in the negative digits when I pulled out. Ice and snow on the roads, but I was a seasoned winter driver and had no problems until I hit Hannibal, Missouri. No Ice or snow, but lots of hills and even more stop lights that were synchronized to make sure you had to stop at each and every one of them. I now avoid Hannibal Missouri whenever possible. ( I tried going slower, faster and right at the posted speed limits. Each time you would begin to cruise and the light would change causing near panic stops. )

 

Anyway, after getting through Hannibal. No other major problems. Made good time. Stopped about every 150 to 200 miles for fuel, but no other problems until I was less than 1/2 mile from my destination. I made the mistake of trying to use the surface street instead of getting caught on the freeway. Big mistake. Again with the stop and go traffic. Transmission temp not cooled by the 30 degree weather of Hannibal so kept creeping up and up. Stopped a couple times in hope it would cool off but finally it gave out at the worst possible moment. Middle of a six lane road. Spent 3 hours sitting there attempting to get a tow off the road before a Good Samaritan with a broken log chain and another F350 pulled me into a parking lot.

 

There's a lot more to the story.

 

I now have an HDT, a Custom Built Spacecraft Trailer with a garage for my car and a tool/motorcycle garage on the truck. My only regret is that I didn't start my RV process a long time ago and maybe in a couple years I will have everything just about right, instead of maybe another 10 years.

 

If your wife has questions about travel nursing please ask her to PM me and we will exchange email addresses. I don't know her specialty, nor her knowledge of the Nursing Compact, but I have years of experience and am willing to share.

Rod

 

Thank you very much for the reply, she currently has 2 friends that she spent time working with that travel and i think thats where she got some of the bug to travel. I am not sure about the town in MO but there are a lot out there like that. I used to drive OTR construction for years so i know the pain of stop and go. try pulling some oversize equipment down 2 lane roads and you really get a feel for trailers fast. last time i drove a rig was backing a 30ft truck and 45ft trailer down a fire road in the mountians of GA.

 

Im going to message you a few other questions if you don't mind. some things i would prefer from experienced person with what we are doing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

When traveling for 3 weeks you left a lot at home. When you have no other home things like tax records have to travel with you unless you pay for storage elsewhere. Most of us who started out in small rigs paid for storage until we realized how much that was costing. Then we whittled down even more stuff and/or bought a bigger rig until we could finally take the remains with us.

 

Linda Sand

we will have a storage unit and we have our in laws place in MS that we might put a little. this next year is more or less a trial year but we have been looking at a TT for a couple years now so it just makes sense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Owning and having actually towed a trailer very similar to the OP's trailer #2 for over 25,000 miles including 3 trips from the East Coast to the Mountain States and 4 trips from the Mid-Atlantic to Florida; I disagree that driving such a rig is brutal. I tow with a long bed crewcab using a Hensley hitch and have never had any sway from high speed passing trucks on two lane highways or crosswinds of 35 MPH with higher gusts. There is a discernable side push just as with driving a Class A or box truck, but I have never had any sway. Before the current trailer, I towed a 30' travel trailer for over 30,000 miles using the same Hensley hitch with no issues. Being retired, I will sit out high wind situations and get off the road as quickly as possible if caught enroute.

 

Yes, the larger the side surface area of the trailer the greater the side push from crosswinds or passing vehicles. But, this is not the only factor involved in trailer sway. The weight of the trailer compared to the weight of the tow vehicle, the wheelbase of the tow vehicle compared to the length of the trailer and proper tongue weight are all factors that can affect the tendency of a trailer to sway. The best sway control hitches like the Hensley, ProPride and Pullrite move the pivot point between tow vehicle and trailer forward changing the physics so that it is more difficult for sway to occur rather than simply applying friction resistance as most sway control systems do.

 

Because 5th wheels put 20-25% of their GVWR on the tow vehicle, the OP will find the number of 5th wheels his 1500 can handle will be even more limited than the selection of travel trailers. Yes, he could switch tow vehicles to a 3500 dually or even an MDT or HDT if he has the financial resources to do so.

 

Couple of takeaways for the OP to consider.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

so brief update, wife and i went looking at a few TT's. Looked at Keystone Hideout, Heartland Trail Runner, Jayco SLX and jay flight. Our biggest take is confusion. minor things here and there like the type of LED fixture, color of interior but other then that they all have the exact same build. almost same weight. only big thing is the Jayco and the way they build the frame / tongue area. can someone shed some light on these? am i missing any huge details?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A bit more specifics would help a lot and particularly so in the two Jayco models. We don't really have enough information to be able to compare them. Did you look into the drawers to see how they are constructed? inside of cabinets to check construction? check insulation values in walls, ceilings, and floors? compare the type and construction of windows in each? roof materials and coverings? There are things that will be different buy you need to look beyond the outward appearance. Beauty is only skin deep.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

RV Cable Grip

All the water you need...No matter where you go

Country Thunder Iowa

Nomad Internet

Rv Share

Dish For My RV.

RV Air.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...