First of all, your TV should be able to handle the trailer you are looking at. Whenever someone comes here with a question like yours you can bet money that before the thread runs its course you will be told to get a big diesel and spend thousands for a hitch.
Having a hitch with built in sway control and a good proportional controller are good ideas. There are many hitches out there and many have been around for a long time. I bought an Equalizer when I got my first trailer that was about the size of the one you are looking at. I towed it with a 4Runner and I really liked how it felt. Of course, I have never had a different brand so I can't tell you anything about the others. But.....when people want to criticize the Equalizer, I really don't believe much of what they are saying. Go to the Equalizer website and enter your numbers. They will come up with a suggested size. If you have further questions give them a call and they will help.
I have a prodigy 2 and it works great. I am not sure if I would like one that applies the brakes whenever I am going down hill. I could imagine a problem with that. The Equalizer, as most others, has a manual lever to engage the trailer brakes independently. I have mine set for normal towing but when I get into the mountains I simply adjust the "boost" feature and it helps on the grades coming down.
Equalizer and Prodigy have both been around a long time. They are tested and both work very well. They are not the cheapest options but the Equalizer is no where near the price of the top of the line hitches out there.
While I am of the position that it is better to buy locally, there is a point at which I will go somewhere else. Getting the "lowest price" shouldn't always be the main goal. Dealing locally with a small business does have its benefits. Can you find a good local business is the first question. The second one is just how much more are you willing to spend for the same item you can get elsewhere?
I don't consider CW a local business but rather a very large chain whose business decisions are made by folks in far off places. I do believe that they are honest, have a very good inventory of parts and do as good as work as you will find elsewhere. In cases like this, it comes down to price.
I just purchased a new toilet for our trailer. CW's price was something like $176 on sale before taxes. I got the exact same unit for $134 including all taxes and shipping. Saving a dollar or two is not a big issue but when it comes to something like this, it is hard to justify buying at CW. I find their catalog filled with overpriced items. Take a look at the price they want for a Honda 2000i generator.
Will I shop at CW? Probably yes, but only for small items that they have in stock. It makes little sense to go online for a drawer organizer or a set of salt and pepper shakers if they have the ones you want.
You might want to take a look at the Anderson hitch. It is relatively new on the market but it does have a pretty good following.
First, weight distribution. You might not need it. As long as your loaded set up doesn't drop the rear end of your truck to the point where the front wheels are too light, you should be good. Losing 160 pounds doesn't sound like a dangerous situation to me.
Sway control? All trailers are different. Some just tow easier and more stable than others. I tow and Airstream and it really rides nice back there. Do I need sway control? Probably not. I choose to have it since I do need the weight distributing hitch. I am glad that I have it because you just never know what kind of situation you might find yourself in.
I was coming down a very long and winding hill in California a few years ago. It wasn't all the steep but at the bottom there was an Airstream on its side in the median with the TV on the right side of the road. He was towing just on the ball and it looks like he lost it to swaying. There were marks on the road that looked like it was going side to side before he lost it. Speed, wind, hills, passing cars/trucks, bad road conditions, rain, snow are all issues that can create sway. Having a good anti sway hitch does not absolve you of all threat but it does help keep things under control better than the alternative.
My feelings on the matter is that most people need a weight distributing hitch while all people should have an anti sway hitch.
A big 1 ton PU towing a relatively light trailer might not need any weight distributing but.....every trailer should have some anti sway prevention in place. Yes, some trailers are much better than others at the non sway thing but you just never know. Years ago, many years ago, when I was looking for my first hitch I stayed away from anything that you would have to unhook when backing up. At the time this included add on tension sway bars and many hitches like the Reese where you had to snap the chains in place. I got an Equalizer and have been happy ever since.
The Reese is a great hitch as are many others and the improvements have been impressive. I think your options today are much better than years ago. I would suggest that you get a weight distributing hitch with built in sway control. I think you will be glad that you did.
I am pulling a 25FB with my half ton Tundra and I use an Equalizer hitch with 1K bars. It works great for me. I am a fan of the Equalizer but there are some issues out there you need to be aware of.
On the Airstream forums, the Hensley and its sister the ProPride (I believe) are the consensus go to hitches. If cost is no issue than you should look in this direction. If you go with a more traditional hitch it is very important to get the right sized one. If you "over hitch" your Airstream the forces applied can actually damage the trailer. People can easily pop rivets and even, in some cases, crack the skin if the setup is too rigid. If you have a very stiff 3/4 ton truck you still need sway control but the need for weight distributing might be less than if you have a sissy little half ton like mine.
My Equalizer is dialed in nicely. It is easy to hook and unhook and the trailer follows nicely behind the truck in all kinds of conditions. I did not go in the Hensley direction for two reasons. First was the cost and secondly was my perception of the difficulty in hooking up. You don't just drop the trailer on the ball but you have to drive the stinger into the hitch. People who have them say it is easy once you get the hang of it but others say that it is a challenge especially when on uneven ground.
Good luck, you are going to like the Airstream. It will be an unbelievable experience towing if you have towed a conventional trailer before. Oh, I am also a big fan of the Prodigy controller.
in the states, you go by the rule of the state you are in not from. Most don't allow lengths over 65 ft and most if not all don't allow triple towing with a travel trailer. some states don't allow triple towing at all.
Exactly! Motorcycle helmet laws are another good example. It doesn't matter where you are from, it matters where you are. Like they say, ingnorance of the law is no excuse. You really need to check into each state/providence you plan to pull this thing into.
I own a Ford and love the brand but as my friend who owns his own auto body repair shop said "just wait till someone dents one and gets the bill". I think the benefits outweigh the potential downside though.
This was my first reaction to seeing the new Ford PU and hearing how Ford was going to do a little gambling on the all aluminum body. While it is true that body shops are quick to R&R body panels there are cases where fixing a dent or repairing a scrape is still done. Will the cost of the panel go up? Will labor go up when working on aluminum vs steel? Will insurance rates on all aluminum trucks be higher than conventional vehicles? This could be an interesting thing to watch.
I am also not a fan of LED lights. Why would you want to pay the extra money? The alternator is producing the current to run the lights, there is no "saving" by using LEDs.
I like what Ford is doing. They are getting out front of the innovation curve and offering many options for customers. I am a Toyota fan because the Tundra fits my needs. It would be nice to be able to choose a heavier suspension but that isn't an option. I was looking at the Ford website and saw so many ways to configure a PU I became dizzy quickly. Kudos to Ford. Now watch all the others try to follow. This is why having many brands of successful trucks is a good thing for all of us.
What do you have to lose by giving this a try? I pull a trailer with a GVW of 7200 with my "little" half ton Tundra. Folks on this forum say over and over again it won't work. I especially love the response, "Can you pull it, yes but will you be happy pulling it?" Unless you have a heavy duty 3/4 ton diesel, you should just stay home on the weekends.
Towing anything at the limit of the specs will always be a bit iffy. In these cases it would serve you well to really look at how you plan to use your trailer. Are you the type to load the truck heavily with toys, wood, generators and such? Do you drive fast and want to speed up the hills? Well, if so, then you do need to heed the "advice" given by the bigger is better crowd. If not then I would say that the company truck will work for you. Is there a way you can give this a try? What is the chance of talking your boss into a slightly better truck?
We have a data plan through AT&T for my iPhone and iPad. We hook into WiFi at the campgrounds when possible but can connect without....usually. We check our bank, pay bills, send pictures to the family and read our local paper and latest edition of Newsweek. It is a pretty slick set up for us oldsters.
The aerodynamics of a trailer really does make a difference. I can't quote actual numbers here like others will since I don't know if you save 2 or 3 mpg or not. But I can tell you of my experience. I used to pull a 21 foot hybrid with my current truck. I changed to a 25 (actually 26) foot Airstream. Using the same truck, going the same places, packing the same equipment and traveling the same speed I found that my mileage did not change. Even though our current trailer is 5 ft longer and 2000 pounds heavier, we get the same mileage. The only other variable here was the shape of the trailer.
Some people question what a few hundred extra pounds will do to their mileage. The extra weight of the water or equipment is a minor issue when compared to the size and design of the frontal area of your trailer.
Nice job with the links.
I am not the type that looks for "deals" like the $70 jack. In the long run you usually end up paying more. What kind of guarantee do these have? Are they similar? While I like places like Harbor Freight, I try not to purchase anything that I will have to depend on over a long period of time.
I would look for what's right for you....
Then fill it with beer, good luck
OK, I am going to take this as a tongue in cheek attempt at humor. While I agree with the filling it with beer part, I fear that all too many purchase a trailer based solely on layout. Quite a shame if you ask me.
You have received some very well thought out advice. Floor plans are very important and once you have found one, make sure you make your decision based on quality not glitz. I personally would stay clear of anything called "ultra-light" and would second the prior recommendation of trailers made by Northwoods Manufacturing. I have a cousin with an Arctic Fox and while it is quite heavy, it is very well built.
Enjoy the search, don't be impatient and see as many as you possibly can. Simply walking in one, opening and closing doors and cabinets, looking at the fit and finish and see all the spaces can give you a pretty good feel.
There have been a lot of good responses to your question. I agree with most of them. Camping in a Casita will be different than camping in a larger box trailer. Only you can decide to what extent that will impact your decision.
But, to answer your question, the Casita will be an easier tow, perhaps not a lot easier but easier than the larger box. A wider an longer trailer is a bit harder to deal with. Backing, parking and pulling into gas stations and tight spots is easier with a more narrow trailer.
I pulled a white box and now tow an Airstream. The Airstream is wider and it is harder to see around and I have to be more careful when towing it into tight spots. It is also 5 feet longer and 2000 pounds heavier than my old white box. Towing both of them with the same truck I get the same gas mileage and that is all because of the shape of the trailer. Those who have mentioned this about the Casita are spot on. I also don't worry about how stiff winds and passing trucks affect the Airstream. For ease of towing I can't see how you could beat the Casita.
I don’t pull a big rig but I think its self evident that the bigger one is the more difficult it is to maneuver tight places and fit in others. The key, though, is where you want to go. If you are happy with commercial parks and well developed camping locations the length should not be a problem. If you like the scenic roads and less developed scenic areas, then that size will likely be a severe handicap.
I can’t make a flat statement, but I suspect a very large amount of the state parks would be off limits, too. It’s really a tradeoff between size and comfort and ability to go where you like. Sort of a you can’t have your cake and eat it too type thing. Even 30’would be far too restrictive for me, but as said where you want to go is key.
Great advice,listen to this one. As far as finding camping spots, it will depend on where you want to go and how much trouble you are willing to deal with. I like the state and national parks. I can tell you that many of these like Mt. Rainer and Glacier park have sites available but not all of them can accommodate large trailers. When I had a 21 footer I could camp anywhere. When I moved up to a 25, I could still find spots but some of the sites wouldn't work. Now imagine a 39. There probably would be some sites that would work but not many. So, if you want to ALWAYS call ahead and reserve spots you might be in luck. If you camp during peak times, you will have to plan closely.
On the other hand, if you frequent private campgrounds you should be just fine. I think KOAs are set up for very large rigs.
If you feel that way then why do you subscribe to the magazine???
Advertising in TL had nothing to do with the survey of "TL READERS". BTW, Consumers Reports gets their annual auto survey from "users" of the products. ... I do my own research and TL happens to be one of many sources.....
I like TL for the same reasons you stated. I do like to read about new products and see pictures of the new trailers and such. My point was simply, I don't take what they say as "gospel" as you also stated. I also have no problem with their reader surveys. It is the over the top coverage of Ford trucks in their tow magazine that I was talking about.
I just read my copy and agreed with a few of the "winners". I look at this as a popularity contest, nothing more. Those who have 'em write about them and as you often see in this forum, the more money you spend on something, the better it has to be.
I have a little more respect for CR in that they try to be objective whereas TL has a lot more advertising money involved. Have you even noticed their annual Towing Guide? Almost every other page is a full glossy of a Ford PU. I really question their ability to be impartial.
Exactly how is changing from a Travel Trailer to a 5th wheel trailer an "upgrade"? Good luck with your search for a different kind of trailer.
Always has to be a jerk off in the bunch more money than brains? Or are you in your Moms basement playing on the computer when you are not supposed to be?
Some really angry folks here on the old forum. I didn't feel that robsouth was being nasty, but there was no question that calamus has an issue..
Here is what I got from the first response. Moving "up" to a trailer, 5er or motor home is always a move up. We went from a PU to a Hybrid and then finally a hard sided trailer. I said "finally" because when we weigh everything against the pluses and minuses we don't want to get any larger. When we changed from our hybrid to the trailer we gave up a LOT to gain some things. People who own the large diesel pushers have different interests, needs and desires than I do. It usually has little to do with their economic status in life. Give people a break. Everyone likes their RVs and just because it isn't the same as yours, there is no need to flame others.
I think a lot of this has to do with WHERE you live. I won't argue that it is most likely illegal in most places but, the impact is not nearly as dire as most of you suggest. In my town, all of the storm drains are tied into the sewer system so all of the storm water gets treated at the local plant before it is released into our river.
Aside from the emotional argument I have little issue with releasing small amounts (very small) of gray (NOT black) water into the street. I always empty my tanks at a station after a camping trip. There are times when I am cleaning a sink or flushing the hot water tank that I will drain a gallon or two of "clean gray" water. I sleep just fine, have not been arrested and all the pets in the neighborhood still have the appropriate number of eyes, ears and tails.
And in my 33 years at my house I have cleaned more smashed squirrels off the pavement than I want to remember. It seems that the rain water than follows hasn't caused any big problems with water quality so I don's see my miniscule amounts of dish soap throwing nature's balance off......much.
If I lived near the coast where rain water drained directly in the ocean I would probably not do this. Of course if I lived where they dumped water that carried oil, animal remains and excrement directly into a river or ocean that would concern me more than the honest RV owner and his gray water.
Agreed. You simply can not reasonably tow what you want with that. Sway control helps, but it will still sway unless you get a Hensley or p3. You would need towing mirrors too. I've been there. No way you could tow it for 5 hours straight either.... Just too nerve racking.
Have you considered an class c or older dedicated towing truck? Maybe something from the early 2000's? Or even a used E350 work van? This could be a low cost solution.
This is the classic "You can't tow that with this!" Get a 3/4 ton truck and a $2500 hitch and all is good.
I towed a 21 foot white box trailer with a GVWR of 5500 with my 4Runner and I had very little trouble, none actually. I used an equal-i-zer hitch and didn't have any trouble with sway. Drove it around for 3 years through the mountain passes of the pacific northwest, through the windy Columbia Gorge and all through the plains of eastern Oregon and Washington. Passed trucks on the 2 lanes and had them pass me on the freeways, all without incident.
I did have the V8 which was an excellent power plant for the 4Runner. The SUV itself was sturdy and when hooked up to the trailer it rode nice and level.
I did sell the 4Runner and got a Tundra because we were going to upgrade to a different trailer that was 5 feet longer and 1 ton heavier. If I were looking at the trailers you have mentioned I would not hesitate to pull it with the 4Runner.