Stay in Wall, the see Rock City of the West. Its worth it just to say you did. It is on the edge of the Badlands. The restaurant in the Badlands has lousy service but a great gift shop.
If you get there early enough you can take the tour down to the launch capsule for the old Minuteman 1 silos. You have to get there early because the tour fills up early.
One friend of mine said he saved $6,000 on his 3500 by not getting 4WD. He said that was good because that was the same cost of getting a good winch system after he got stuck several times.
If all you are going to do is stay in RV parks and avoid situations where you might need 4WD good luck to you. However, if you look around at new and used 3/4-1 ton diesels you will find it difficult to find one without 4WD.
I have used my 4WD in RV parks when I was on a rather steep incline when I hit gravel. I would have stalled or slipped backwards on the gravel.
Still I camp on gun ranges since we do Cowboy Action Shooting. 4WD won't get you out of every situation, but when it doesn't just remember with 2WD you would not have moved at all.
The big downside to class A & Cs are mechanical issues. If something breaks you lose both your house and your car. Of course most people tow a toad.
The nice thing about them is one button and your camping or driving. I very nice luxury.
5vers and TT are nice since the TV (tow vehicle) and the trailer are separate. I had a problem with the TV once, and we settled into a Walmart parking lot while I got the diesel serviced. Likewise if the trailer has a problem, you have the TV.
Of course, you could have what happened to me in Florida. The person who hit me wasn't satisfied with just taking out my trailer, they ripped off their left front wheel and bent the right front wheel assembly on my TV.
Just remember when you leave the US you are subject to the host nation's laws. Not all laws you are familiar with are the same across the border. If your plan is drive south be aware of all the laws especially where your pets are concerned--both ways.
You also do need to be concerned with crime and political strife. Traveling in groups, especially with people experienced in travel south of the border is an excellent idea.
I sure it would be exciting to go to some of the off the beaten path places. Mexico is rich with history. Exciting as it is, do your homework and avoid being a story on the national news channels.
You could be right, but the antenna the rig came with was an AntennaTek.
I was pretty sure I could modify the wingman to work with the AntennaTek (after all it is only a clipon Yagi) but if it didn't work any better I would be out $25.
But again the real thing I discovered were the loose connectors. It also seems from other posts elsewhere, this seems to be a common find.
I haven't replaced the AntennaTek power head with one from Winegard. I think the way it powers the antenna is not different from the Winegard, but who knows if there is an impedance mismatch?
One of the things to check on Jayco and Keystone is what you can and cannot get to when the slideout is in. It looks like you might have acccess to the bathroom and galley. If that isn't important to you than no problems.
We have had our 2800BH for several months now. I have few complaints.
The thing I wish Grand Design would do is put closeable louvres on the vents. The air system does not balance well, but works just fine. The worse is when the AC comes on while you are showering. It really pumps a lot of cold air into the bathroom.
The entertainment system would be the first thing I would replace. The Furrion is a lousy system and the TCL TV has little going for it other than it is big. Why Grand Design does not put in an HDMI Blu-Ray player is known only to the gods at Grand Design.
What the Imagine line has that makes it wonderful is the huge forward hold under the master bedroom. It is so tall you could easily keep your Honda 2000s in there upright. I have never seen a TT with a compartment that large. The 5ver utility pedestal is a nice touch, and it has 120VAC on the pedestal. That makes it very easy to charge your drill or run an air pump.
With the slideout in you have full access to galley and bathroom. Master bedroom is blocked, but the bunks are available. You are going to need to add cushions to all the beds as the padding is quite thin.
Clothes hanging space is pretty marginal but rather typical on trailers this size and configuration.
Now, GD has added a new trailer designated 2670RK (I think). It has dual slideouts at the rear of the trailer. Makes for a cavernous living area with popup TV and a kitchen island I believe. I think it has a bigger closet but the documentation is not clear. You cannot get to the galley with the slideout in, but the bathroom and bedroom is accessible. If you rarely travel with extra people it could be very nice.
Internal storage other than hanging space is not bad. Considering the bunk space and the foldup bunk you really can carry a good bit. The galley area can accept a rather large amount of cookware. The cupboards are rather large and pretty. You would still need to secure glassware or anything hard. Otherwise you might knock out the glass windows in the cupboards.
The sink is great but I wish it were steel and not plastic. The sink facet/wand combo makes it look luxurious, however, I wish I had a place for a water filter.
I wish they had put some plastic around the stove so that splatter will stay of the walls.
The problem with all these trailers are 12 volt outlets. There are none. I was going to string some in, but I realized just buying a portable 12 pack, would cost less than stringing 12 volts and lot more practical.
The bathroom is great. GD does not put in a toilet paper holder. They let you figure out where to put one. When running on shore power you can switch in gas and electric on the water tank and you never run out of hot water. Storage in the bathroom is exceptional, but the open cabinet by sink tends to let items bounce out and roll under the bathroom door. You have a porcelain toilet which is a great touch of elegance.
I have only recently decided I like the outside kitchen. In the past I regard these as a waste of space. But I started to realize I could put the larger pots and pans out there, plus all the soft drinks in the fridge. Since we keep the trailer at home, when the pardette goes to school she can grab a a coke or two right out of the fridge.
People who have added ladders will sometimes put their gas grill on the later and pipe it up to the outside kitchen.
The antenna is by Antennatek. It is a Winegard clone. I am sure it is cheaper, but I do not think its performance is less than the Winegard. When I replaced the AntennaTek with Winegard Rayzar, I discovered the antenna connection on AntennaTek was loose. I haven't check any of the other ones, but I expect they are likely loose as well. I would make sure they are all tight during inspection.
The TCL TV apparently lacks audio output. So besides the stinky Furrion entertainment system, the TV leaves a lot to be desired.
It is wired for a wireless backup cam. There are two versions: one is backup only; the other you can use while driving as well.
It really is a very nice trailer and you will not be disappointed.
Doesn't sound like a synchronization issue. When you run the Schwintek in and out always hold the switch active for 2 or 3 seconds after it stops moving. The motors try to rezero themselves at the end of travel.
If they get out of sync, retract the slide a few inches (maybe 6) and then extend it again. Repeat this 3 times.
I installed the Rayzar. Turns out the antenna on trailer was a Antennatek, a Winegard clone.
It performs marginally better the Antennatek. I did find the cable was loose on the Antennatek which makes careful analysis pretty difficult. I am also going to check the connector between the mast and the trailer.
You are going to need to size the trailer to your tow vehicle if you have a TV you are planning to use.
Whatever TV you have selected it will need a tow package. There are several things a tow package has but most importantly it has a transmission cooler and brake controller.
You are still going to need to focus on GVWR and other factors. You want to avoid front wheel drive vehicles.
As you will be on unimproved surfaces 4WD will be essential unless you are looking for frequent tows.
You also need to mention what you are willing to spend. Does it need to be new, or are you willing to go used while be aware a trailer can hide serious problems even from the experienced.
Mission creep can be a real problem. Smaller lighter generally means better MPG. BUT smaller might be much more trying.
Pop-ups can be nice but you have to clear everything off the counter tops before you close up. It also means more setup time and when you are time taking an hour to setup can be exhausting.
You need to decide how you are going to work in your trailer. Is there enough room to work?
FYI, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standard UL 2034, the February 28, 2008 edition of the standard requires all CO alarms produced
after August 1, 2009 to have an end-of-life signal. This signal is to activate once the device reaches its projected end-of-life.
CO detectors have a typical lifespan of 5-7 years. So it is possible, based on the June 2014 replacement date, that the CO detector may have been manufactured before the Aug 1, 2009 compliance date. Even so a call to manufacturer may reveal that they were only manufacturing UL 2034 compliant units as they are usually aware of code changes well in advance of the release date.
One trailer I had manufactured in late 2011 had a CO detector fail. They are hard to ignore when they fail.
You have not mentioned what the source of CO was.
1. when researching national parks I've noticed most have 30'-35' spots at best. So does that include my truck or just the trailer, and if it is just trailer would it be a big deal to have a trailer that is 35'8"?While this is both trailer and tow vehicle, in practical terms in many places you can detact the TV park it sideways or sometimes along side without any problems. You mileage may vary, but I have parked a 30' TT with my GM 2500 in the same space.2. Do I need a sway bar?Short answer, yes.
You will probably travel in places you have never been before. Weather conditions may be trickier than you think. You may lose a tire or more than one tire. That sway bar may be thing that keeps your vacation going, or keeps the claims adjuster from giving you the evil eye.3. Kind of an opinion but what brands do you like? We have looked at many new ones so far. Our budget is gonna be around 30k, looking for a bunk house type, with outdoor kitchen, a bed for me(6'2"), durability to go across country, and possibly some "kid space". We seem to like Dutchmen aerolites, keystone premier, and Jayco Jayflights. If you think one has a certain feature the other two don't please let me know or if you like a brand not listed let me know also please.Grand Design Imagine series. Take a good look at 2800BH.
I am partial because I bought one.
If you look at their largest, both you and kid(s) will have a room with a door, but that TT is above what you want to spend.
But let me give you a tip. Learn to negotiate. On my 2800 the spread between my top offer and my bottom offer was $6,000 (3 different dealers within 100 miles). It is possible that had I sold my other TT instead of trading it in, I probably could have gotten even more off.
The less you can act enthralled with the trailer the more likely they will deal with you. Since we knew exactly what we wanted, it was basically a "this will do" so I could keep of the apparent disinterest in the TT facade.
The dealers all know what their competitors can offer so they pretty much know when you are blowing smoke at them.
As long as you are buying new, you have a little less to worry about with defects. They are going to fix them as part of the manufacturer's warranty.
What I like about GD Imagine series are that they are well made, and have excellent customer service. The interiors are well thought out. The materials are aluminum and composite, which has its advantages over tin and wood. The master bedroom has a wood door. They also feature a 47 cubic foot storage bin which is huge for TT. I had a big Puma Toyhauler before, but the bathroom is much larger than the one in Puma, though their footprints are almost the same.
Their 3150 has a walk-in closet, but also has bunk room. The kiddo might appreciate that since it will be the kids room. It will probably be nice when you have several kids over.
The 2800BH is nice as the bunks have black-out exterior curtains, and the curtain to the living area will remind you of a train sleeping car curtain.
The pardette and I do lots of dry camping amd we shoot Cowboy Action Shooting. So we have plenty of space to stow both our long guns, pistols, ammo and costumes.
It has reasonable fresh, gray, and blackwater tanks that are insulated. The other thing that is nice is that you can fill the freshwater tank from the utility station. Very handy.
The 2800 also has 3 roof vents which should make dry camping even easier.
4. Should I get a KOA membership and be done with it?Depends on you. Many campgrounds have KOA, but they may also have AAA rates.
What you really should have is Good Sam's Club. AAA will not tow anything over 9,500 pounds. Good Sam's will. Good Sam's will tow a bus if need be. The only time I had problems with Good Sam's was when I was in Montana and I could not get them on my cell phone.
There are others that do a similar job, and I am sure you will read about them before long.
BTW, may come prewired not for the Furrion Observation and Backup cam. But it on Amazon and save over $200.
I have gotten tired of satellite and its expense for what we get out of it. The new Imagine 2800BH has the Winegard batwing. I have not been that happy with the batwing as we are more than 60 miles from some of the local stations.
Before buying another add-on to improve the bat wing, I want to see if there was anything better. I see Winegard is selling the Rayzar and considering adding a Yagi to my batwing is $25, it might make sense to install Rayzar for $50.
What has stopped me is the lack of any real information showing me the Rayzar is any better than a batwing with the yagi, or how the Rayzar might be better.
I had the Jack on my old trailer but I cannot tell if it was any better than the batwing.
Everything I seeing is too vague to tell what might be a waste of time or money.
Buying used also saves a lot of money. A camper just a few months old will lose 10-20 percent of its sale value.
Buying new or used has its pitfalls. In the used category leaks are a big issue and its impact changes with the type of construction.
The "tin and wood" construction is cheap and heavy. It is also the most sensitive to water leaks. It is also a lot cheaper to fix than composite bonded structures that are both light and expensive.
Water rots wood quickly. In tin and wood trailers it is not always easy to detect. Water might travel a considerable distance from the source to where it may pool. Fixing any leak and the damage can be extensive, but at least for tin and would the skills required are not extreme or that special. Chances are if you repair them yourself, both the materials and repair will be of better quality than the original build.
Detecting such damage can be done with your Mark I nose (you can sometimes smell the rot) and pressure from your hand or foot. Pay attention to surfaces below doors, windows, and other penetrations. You foot may detect a sag. Be sure to walk the roof and check for sags or signs the chalking was not kept up with. Check the decals. Decals can indicate damage.
If you can get dealerships to compete for your business you can save a lot. For any used TT you consider get the wholesale value of the trailer with whatever optional equipment was installed. As you approach that number with the salesman, you are getting about as low as they will go.
When someone buys a new trailer and has an old one for tradein the wholesale value is just about as much as the dealership will sell the unit for. Actually they can sell it it is less than that because they are offsetting possibly buying the used unit for too much in the price of the new unit. Still it is important to know that number so you know who is giving you a deal and who is not.
I agree with the other posters here. The manufacturers will say their unit sleeps X. My old Trailmanor was rated at 5, but with 2 the other three better be gnomes.
I had my daughter and my grandson stay with us once in FL so we had 4 in the Trailmanor (TM). The only reason we got along without killing each other at night is that I was married to the one in the bed with me!
What I am saying is if you think you are going to inside the unit more than outside take a good look at the living space. You have a bed to setup every night, and when you set it up you are going to lose table space.
There is no reason 4 people cannot stay in that unit, but you need to be aware just how tight it may be at night.