We are in the same boat and looking for a large bunk house trailer. We are currently looking at the 36QBOK right now. We like the room and accept the fact there will be places and campgrounds that we might not be able to get into due to its length. We are also considering the Gateway 3650BH which is a five slide bunk house as well. We will be looking at both during the winter rv show in February. Ryan
The Sabre 36QBOK is a pretty awesome camper, if I do say so.
I would worry a little with the 3650BH with it's cargo carrying capacity. 2,500 pounds seems like a lot but with a 42' camper with a family in tow- it's not hard to end up loading that much into it. Especially when you end up carrying nominal amounts of water in the various tanks (likely 3 gray, 2 black, 1 fresh and water heater). Just something to think about. I do love the layout- Heartland didn't always offer the small U-shaped dinette (they only offered the big "party U" dinette back when we were shopping).
Depending on how important it is to you - the 36QB doesn't allow you to get to the fridge with the slides closed until you step onto the unsupported slide floor (which the factory rep discouraged). With the 3650, you'd be able to get to it.
The TV in the 36QB is 90-degrees to the seating area. But on the 3650BH, you have to look over the sink area (where people might be prepping meals/in the kitchen). Looking at pictures of the 3650, it looks like the TV is up pretty high, so it might not be a problem.
Windows-wise, both are pretty limited on the camp side of the camper. The 3650 seems worse in that regard.
The bunkhouse in the 36QB gives you one extra bed that the 3650 doesn't have.
I do love the extra main living area seating of the 3650 AND that there are a set of seats that run perpendicular to the others. We had 10 people staying total on one trip and the adults had a hard time talking while sitting inside because the seating is all in a line in the 36QB (love seat and dinette) unless someone stood or pulled a camp chair in.
Looks like the 3650 has more counter space in the kitchen.
The bookshelves in the 3650 are a nice touch. And I like the bathroom layout in it, as well. Looks like you can brush your teeth and shave without the fear of banging your head. But, the dinette table would be a no go for my wife- she didn't like the look of those kinds of legs.
Well, I've geeked out enough for now. :D
ependydad I LIKE HOW YOU THINK....
DW says I use a spreadsheet to decide what to have for breakfast... lol
I honestly don't know how people plan anything without spreadsheets. I've even "trained" my wife that if she wants to have a discussion with comparing things, it needs to be in spreadsheet form. She has even admitted that it helps not that I'm sure she would tell anyone else!
Our purchase planning was in spreadsheet form, trip planning, our trip itineraries and all sorts of stuff. For instance, here was our trip planning for a Thanksgiving Trip that didn't happen (sad face):
It let me compare a few things:
1) To do the "full vision" (Home --> Williamsburg --> NC), how much would it be
2) To do the "full vision" taking both car + truck and leaving the truck/camper behind in Williamsburg (mileage was my killer cost)
3) To do the trip to NC but staying in hotels
4) To do just Williamsburg and skipping NC
And it gave me a travel itinerary with places that I planned on staying, things we wanted to do, etc.
My Sabre 36QBOK has dual slides in the bunkhouse. The Sierra 365SAQ and 365SAQB all have dual slides in the bunkhouse.
This list is a couple of years old, so it is missing a lot of recent models, but here is a spreadsheet that I created at the end of 2011/early 2012 when we were looking for a bunkhouse RV:
I have a column for "Slide in bunk house?" and have a value in the column as "Y (2)" for when there were dual slides in the bunkhouse.
Would you open all of your slides if you were parked on the street in front of your house? Assume you cannot put the camper in the driveway due to the slope, but you want to bring it from storage and park on the street to pack. This to me does seem like a situation where you DO need certain access, such as fridge, with the slides in.
This is how it is for me and honestly- I just manage which way I'm parked on the street (with or against traffic since it's a small side street) when I need access to slides on either side. 3 of my 4 slides are on the driver's side and that gives me access to 90+% of my camper. I just pull in front of the house facing the wrong way so that they're over the grass before the sidewalk.
The few times that I needed access to the passenger-side slide in the bunkhouse, I pulled in going with the street but still had to have orange cones and someone outside because I can't get to my slide switches without opening our main living room slide somewhat (on the driver's side). That's only temporary for loading purposes. On the road, we've been easily able to make do without opening that slide.
That said, with my kitchen layout and unsupported slides - my main slide has to be out somewhat to get around the peninsula where the sink is to get to the fridge. And, unless the slide is out fully, we don't step on that floor meaning that the majority of my living space is unavailable. We CAN get to both bathrooms and the master bedroom without putting slides out.
I had a discussion with a dealer last summer re Mobile suites , their dealership request that the factory move the axles forward to lessen the pin weight.
As soon as you get into dually territory the customer pool almost vanishes.
So a scale is your only option if you plan on 'dancing on the edge ' of TV limits
Agreed on the scale, but how do you do that with a new model for a manufacturer even before dealers have them? That was my exact situation - we literally were sold on this camper from pre-production pictures from a factory rep 2 full months before any dealers had them on their lots.
There has to be some way to guesstimate that is more precise than 20-25%.
I think you are going to need a Tardis, ie one that is larger on the inside then the outside (it's a Dr Who joke)
I've long said that I wanted a Harry Potter wizard's tent for the same reason!
To the OP - the shortest that I found was about 36' or so, but it still had a dedicated room for the bunk house.
Really don't understand why anyone would want to base pinweight on "empty" or "dry" weight, you might possibly tow it like that one time...from dealership to one's home to fill it up.
The 20% would really put on in the ball park...AND, I'd use the 5er's GVW to figure, not an empty or dry weight...that would give one a much more accurate "ball park" of where to start looking for what size TV one needs.
Eveyone loads differently...someone with a trailer like mine where it's just the wife and myself and two boxers would load it differently and it would probably weigh less than someone with an identical 5er and a family of 5, mom, dad and three teenagers...(it's going to be heavier)...Someone out for a weekend is going to load lighter than a "full timer" towing all over the US...there are a LOT of variables.
The SCALE IS THE BEST CALCULATOR....BUT, if one is trying to "figure" or get in the "ball park" on what TV they need to tow a 5er with, then 20%-to 25% of the 5er's GVW is going to get you into the "right TV" area
My 5er, "empty" is just a little over 14,000#..can be loaded up with another 2,950# for a GCW of 16,950#...a lot of territory to play with.
I agree with you wholeheartedly - dry weight is fictional and shouldn't be used for planning. However, my usage of the dry weights was simply to establish a percentage. My camper's dry percentage (dry hitch / dry weight) is 16% and it's loaded weight (scaled pin / scaled weight) is 18%. You can ballpark the load.
I was hoping to come up with a utility to help estimate actual weights better than just throwing out 20%-25%, especially in that my camper is apparently the oddity in being < 20%.
BUT- it's seeming to be an exercise in futility in that there is a lot of variability in how heavily people load and how heavily that effects the pin weight percentage.
I offer both the dry percentage calculator and a simple 20-25% calculator on the page now because of that.
I also hear you on GVWR. I think each person needs to make an accurate assessment of what kind of packer they are. With 3,000+ pounds of CCC, even I'd be hard-pressed to fill it up (and let me tell you- we're *over packers*). I recommend GVWR on the site, but also give the "standard line about 1,000-2,000 pounds over dry weights is "average"".
Ok, so here it is in its hopefully "final" form:
Tongue/Pin Weight Calculator
I tried it to see if it matches the Excel spreadsheet I wrote a few years ago. Couldn't get it to calculalate anything after having entered data - all it says everywhere is "(Enter Numbers Above)", and I had already done that... :h
It was broken for Internet Explorer. I forget how much I use Google Chrome for browsing the internet and didn't test it out in IE.
My apologies. Can you give it a shot again, please?
Ok, so here it is in its hopefully "final" form:
Tongue/Pin Weight Calculator
Note, it doesn't work from mobile devices.
That said - I took the input here and have both an advanced calculator (what I original wrote and thought of) and added a "simple" calculator to use the standard 20%-25%.
Hopefully it helps someone!
On another forum, someone wrote about using Show room transport a couple of times, out of Northern Virginia. (http://www.showroomtransport.com) with good success.
It's hard to tell with the information that you provided. Calculating based on the 15,000 GVWR of the 5th wheel is a good plan as it helps you prepare for a worst case scenario. Typically 20% - 25% of that weight is going to be carried by the truck in the form of pin weight (3,000 - 3,750). There are fringe cases where the pin weight percentage is less (like my camper- at 17-18%) but, imo, it's better to be conservative.
Most trucks run out of payload long before hitting their other ratings. The payload is what the truck was designed to carry (itself, driver, all passengers, stuff in the truck, hitch, stuff in the bed, add-ons to the truck, etc.). You will have a sticker that tells you that maximum amount of cargo and occupants can be on your doorjamb - this is for your empty truck - everyone and everything decreases that number.
You need to estimate all of those things and then ensure that the pin weight from above can still be carried by what is left over.
Here's a write-up that I did for these kinds of questions:
What Can I Tow?
Hope it helps!
Lantley, I agree that the dry weights are notoriously low. There is a 400 pound difference between my advertised dry weight and my unit's yellow sticker. Add to that, I scaled my camper when I emptied it for its trip back to the factory and found that it's 200 pounds higher than it's yellow sticker for an "unofficial" dry weight that is 600 pounds heavier than what is advertised. (See my "Truth in Advertising post")
However, I was hoping that some truth would hold true between the dry percentage and actual wet percentages. In my case, they're close - my dry percentage and wet percentage are within 0.5% to 1.5% depending on how I'm loaded for a trip. No great surprises there when evaluating trucks or campers to trucks.
The problem comes when specific campers are 2% to 5% different in percentage points as I've now come to see real world/scaled examples.
So now I wonder if a "RV scaled weights database" would be a better utility/application for people researching units. The problem comes for new units where people haven't bought them nor had them scaled.
Compute 25 percent of the GVWR of the trailer. It will be that number or lower! Chris
I am at of just above 4,500# with 18K GVWR. 25%
Might I ask what the advertised dry weights are for your camper (and, more specifically, the calculated pin weight %)?
I have not hooked it up yet since I don't have my hitch installed, plus it's winter here and my dealer offered to store it for me over the winter.
I calculated the pin weight from the following info from the manufacturer. Dutchmen lists the dry weight of a base model at 9666# with a pin weight of 1430#. This works out to roughly 15%. The trailer was weighed with all options installed at 10400# at 15% this puts the pin at roughly 1560#.
There is no doubt that going to the scales is the only way to be 100% accurate, I'm just really hoping not to be over my trucks gvwr.
When you're loaded for camping, you'll likely see that pin weight percentage increase somewhat. The 64-thousand-dollar-question is how much- I've seen everything lately from a *decrease of 8%* to an increase of almost 5%. Mine happens to run from 0.5%-1.5% depending on how heavily loaded I am.
Take dry pin weight..divide it by dry trailer weight...then multiple that by trailer gross----that will get you close to wet pin weight
Example: 1026# (dry pin) divided by 6910# (dry trailer) equals 0.1484 times 11551# (trailer gross) equals 1714 for wet pin weight.
I prefer using the old 20% rule Trailer gross times 20%
11551# (trailer gross) times 20% equals 2310# wet pin weight
I have found that the 20% rule is closer to actual pin weight vs the above formula (almost a 600# difference in this example) 600# difference in pin weight can be alot.
This is exactly what I'm doing with my online calculator. You plug in the dry #s from the specs and it figures out the percentage. I offer a place to increase that from 0.5% - 1.5% (because that's the variance I have seen in my camper).
The problem is exactly what you described - I had one person test it and compare it against his actual scaled results. His dry percentage is 18% but his wet percentage is almost 23% - in his case, it was a 600-800 pound difference that not only put him over GVWR, but also RAWR and even a touch over tire load capacity.
Even weirder, I had someone else test it and they've described an eight percent LOSS of actual pin weight percentage from dry to (repeated) scaled weights. His wet pin weight is actually lower than the advertised dry pin weight.
I was hoping to be able to provide a tool that went above and beyond the standard, "estimate for 20%-25% with exceptional cases as low as 15%". But, at this point- I think it is proving to be a fruitless venture.
I agree with both of you. I was more thinking for those who are evaluating the purchase of a fifth wheel and are wanting an estimate for the pin weight.
On this an other forums, I've seen posts such as- "for those who own XYZ camper, can you tell me what your pin weight is?" Often times, those posts are met with crickets. This would give an alternative - a way of best guessing what a pin weight might be.
I have been working on a web page for calculating pin weight percentages based on dry weights + then estimated an actual loaded weight for folks who want to get an idea of what their pin weight might be on a specific camper. It's largely geared towards fifth wheels as that's what I'm most familiar with, but I think it should work with TTs.
Anyway, if you're willing to test this out and are relatively "in the know" on weights and calculations, please PM me.