The Open Range, mesa ridge MF367BHS is a great plan that is on the top of our list. There are many reasons... But, The rear bunk house has a dinette option (plus has 3 other bunks) So the kids can have their own table to do stuff, but at night, you can still sleep 4. So for our 2 kids, they can both have friends and they can all sleep in the bunkhouse comfortably.
It is not as heavy as some others mentioned at approx 11k
There have been many discussions in this forum regarding bike transport. My experience was opposite of a few, my bumper held up, but the rack broke and I lost $2000 of bikes and a rack!! There is too much bounce in the rear of a trailer (I was hauling 4 bikes though, live and learn)
Cost is always a factor, One of the best ways is to use a tongue mount, either make your own or purchase from ARVIKA. I have room in the bed of my truck, so I just lay them in there for now. Not the best, as they get scratched up, but 2 are kids bikes and the wife and I bought cheaper bikes this time around.
Unless the TT is built from the factory with a carrier, nothing will go on the rear of my bumper again.
( IMO, the ladder is meant for the weight of a person while the TT standing still, not the best for bounce either)
There is nothing "good" Within 7 miles or so, As a previous poster stated, you need to get off the island and drive over to St. Pete beach.
If you want to dress up and spend some money go to the Don Cesar, Maritana grill.. Pricey, but it is the DON.
X2 on the Hurricane, excellent food and nice, casual atmosphere.
The Salt Rock grill is also very good, about 10 minutes north of the Don, but worth it.
Many others in between, you just need to get Gulf Blvd from the pinellas bay way.
We LOVE our 07 Expy EL, and our Pioneer 180CK (younger sibling to your TT).
Here are the features we like so much about the Expy EL
1/2 Ton payload king. Our EL XLT 4x4 with leather, rear air and sunroof has 1672lbs payload. Other 1/2 SUV are less, some A LOT less. BE SURE to check the yellow sticker on the door sill of any SUV you look at. It will state exactly how much payload that vehicle with it's factory options can handle.
07 was first year for the EL, and also included the 6spd. EL comes with 3.73 gears standard, coupled with 4.17 first for an overall low of 15.55 That is lower than the old 4 speed with even 4.56!! It has no issue getting anything moving. The shifter allows locking into 1st, 2nd or 3rd. And yes, if you put in 3rd, it will stay in 3rd, even from a stop. In D the transmission will use 1-6, the OD button locks out 5th and 6th. 4th is actually a slight underdrive of 1.1:1, which gives a final ratio of 4.1. Yep, the same as towing in "direct" with the 4spd and 4.1 axle gears. A LOT of thought was put into the ratios for this transmission.
The 5.4 while maybe not the most powerfull, is still 305/385 and is proven. I get 12-13mpg around town and 17mpg highway crusing. About 9mpg towing. 33.5 gallon gas tank means range is decent.
As a family hauler the EL is awsome! Our 3 kids are all still in massive Britax carseats, all 3 fit snugly across the middle seat. A double and single B.O.B. live in the back of the EL with plenty of room for whatever else. The 3rd row is a 60/40 split. In about 2 minutes I can fold up the 40 section, move 1 carseat to the back, and have a spot for adult in the 2nd row with easy access to the carseat in 3rd row, with the 60 section still down I don't lose much cargo space.
Thanks in part to the fully independant suspension the ride is smooth, luxury car smooth. And very quiet. With good tires there is very little noise inside, and you really only hear the engine when you get on it.
The EL 3rd row has nearly as much legroom and seat height as the 2nd row. No complaints from 3rd row passengers. Even with 3rd row up we have room for 2 jogging strollers and several overnight bags. We took 8 people including our 3 kids and all our stuff to Vegas for a weekend. A bit tight but we made it.
Fold down the 3rd row (you do NOT HAVE TO REMOVE IT like GM) and you have just over 5ft of floor and a full 4ft between the sides. Fold down the middle row (again, does not have to be removed) and you have just over 8 feet. I have brought home all kinds of sheet goods and lumber from Home Depot. I have also brought home a full size reclining sofa!
Like said before, be sure you get the towing package. On the Expy EL this includes a bigger trans cooler, HD radiator, HD flashers, wiring for brake controller. For the Expy quick way to tell if has towing package is to look for the 7 pin plug on the back. If it is there, it has tow package, if just the 4 pin, no tow package.
I believe for at least the 2007-2010 timeframe the Expy EL was the best of the bunch.
Let me know if there is anything else you want to know about the EL. Good luck in your search!
X3 for all this.. Our 2008 EXPY did very well for our first TT and the 5.4 is still running strong. Very important to find that tow package (FACTORY 7 pin in the back) the sales men don't usually know that kind of stuff. The fords are easy to look up the window sticker with all the options with the VIN if you really want to make sure of options.
I would try to avoid the Ford air suspension as most have failed ( as did mine ) if it does fail, just bypass the air and replace with factory shocks, much cheaper and dependable
I have been doing a lot of research on those floor plans. Playing around with many at the dealerships. The one thing I noticed was that when using the burners of the kitchen (cooking bacon!) and washing in the sink etc... , you kind of stare right into the kitchen slide. So, you can't see directly to the front of the TT. The outside covered space was decreased a very small amount, not enough to really make a difference. IMO. Every one sets up differently so only you can decide. We actually rarely use our awning as I like to look up and see the stars! Most large outside kitchens are covered by the large door when they are opened anyway, so not really a big deal if 24" is taken away by the slide.
I think that is a nice combo. You will have about 500 pounds to work with inside the GC, (pending the fluid levels) take out the wife and your kids so you can do the Math on what how much you can load in your SUV. As far as wagging around, you may always feel something from the big rigs and fast SUVs in the left lane, but it will not be unsafe as long as you maintain your weight. The TT is light, just the payload as you mentioned, put as much as you can in the TT and you will be good.
What kind of WDH hitch did dealer install, (they are not all created equal)The GC is a nice SUV and a very capable TV when used correctly, you should not have a problem.
Congrats and have fun!
Since it is a well diluted solution of bleach water, I run all faucets and let sit about 30 to 1 hour. Depends on what I am doing. Bleach can be very damaging to all plastic and rubber gaskets, as I am sure you know, so very important to dilute a lot.
Since I am in Florida, I always flush the FW tank before every use and I sanitize 2 times a year. I use about 2 cups of bleach, add about 15 gallons, run through the lines, then drain it all. Add another 15 gallons, run through lines again and drain. I (we) are paranoid and have no desire to drink or wash with any possibility of mold. Vacations really suck with sick kids.
I am trying to figure out the best route over to NYC. Google/ bing and mapquest take me 3 different ways. Goodgle takes me I-90 to a short cut (taking rt 20 to rt 41 which leads to I-81) and then leading to rt 80, into 280 and leading into jersey city. Are there any restrictions I need to worry about? Any major issues to avoid on the route above? Any problems with the short cut? Should I just go through Syracuse per bing maps and keep it simple, maybe faster)?
I get the traffic thing, but I am looking for the most direct. I hope to be arriving in the most congested areas 1 or 2pm.
My biggest concern would be my length (about 55') and any hazmat concerns closer to the city.
Thanks for any suggestions.
In regards to pricing, that was why our first camper was a hybrid ILO a PUP, those were cheaper and you get to have all the same benefits of a regular TT.
Storing it is not that big of a deal. Mine is 25 minutes away in a grass lot with only RV's, sure I would love it next to the house, but not an option. BUT, we can fit the whole set up in the driveway, so I pick it up after work, take her home a day or 2 before we leave and we can pack and do any maintenance that is needed. The HOA or neighbors never care as they all know it is very temporary.
I guess it would be tough if I could not park truck / TT on the driveway, that would make a big difference.
It looks like you are looking at a gross weight of roughly 9300lbs on the trailer. The issue is going to be payload. Get a good weight distribution hitch and possibly bags or helper springs.
I tow a 8500lb TT with my 2012 Tundra CrewMax. I am over payload by almost 300 lbs. and it pulls fine. But I load everything in the trailer and keep bed empty because of the tongue weight. I am within all axle ratings. You need to decide if you are comfortable over payload rating or not. It will definitely tow it though, should you, up to you.
Not good for this poster or the OP.. Any truck/car can "pull" something, but just wait until you are around the big trucks and SUVs passing you and the set up is "wagging" all over the place. The wind and bad roads making you unstable.
If you are over your limits, than it is not safe and you should look for another TV or lighter TT.
I was just at my limits with my EXPY and I "thought" it pulled fine. Then we finally bought a capable TV and now I know how un-safe the old set up was. Experience is the best teacher, I hope you dont learn the hard way IF you ARE over your truck limits.
You can also use a simple "come along" if you dont want to invest in an electric winch. Using one of the two is really the only way to go. If you are attaching the ramps correctly (per the manufacturer specs) and are in the correct weight limit, there is no reason for any failure (even when wet) Riding any vehicle onto a pickup "could "result in falling no matter what your set up
We have had our TT with an outdoor kitchen through 2 hot seasons here in Florida. I have actually turned it up (warmer) as my top shelve beers have been frozen at times. I have not noticed any excess heat in the kitchen either, but, it is so damn hot at times I may not have noticed.
We loved Ft. M. Never been to skidaway, but we when looking into both, we specifically chose the fort due to its' surroundings and sites. Very nice campground! The fort itself is a nice couple of hours of exploring for something to do.
With a young family, we use ours as a traveling hotel. In and out, trying to see and do as much as possible. We do maybe one holiday weekend a year as a camping (stay vacation) , usually close to the beach, and just hang out.
We will hopefully have many years in the future to relax and just enjoy the doing nothing and taking in the surroundings.