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Topic: Best places to find listings of small, used TTs?

Posted By: rajdude on 06/17/11 01:04pm

Hello everyone,
Here is a big HELLO from a total newbie to RVs!

The RV bug recently bit me and now I am looking for a small lightweight travel trailer. I am limited by the tow capacity of my Tow Vehicle – a ‘07 Mercedes R320 CDI. It is rated for 3500 lbs tow / 350 lbs tongue. No weight distribution allowed. It has a diesel engine with makes as much torque as a gas V8. I know people successfully tow travel trailers in Europe with this vehicle.
However, I am limited to only small travel trailers, less than 20’ long. I can see there are quite a few models we like.

The problem is: where do I find listings of small used TTs?


Every used RV website has only large TTs listed. Most of the small ones on those sites are brand new ones.


-Raj
rajdude.com
'02 Fleetwood Terra 26Y MH


Posted By: rajdude on 06/17/11 01:05pm

While we are at it.... which small travel trailer would fit our needs...

We need to fit 2 adults and 2 small children and a big dog in the TT. I prefer not to convert the dinette to a bed every night.
After searching [mostly] online here are the TTs we like:

Forestriver's R-pod
These models seem ideal, aerodynamic, look good and lightweight. Bathroom may be too small.
http://www.forestriverinc.com/nd/default22.asp?nav=rec&page=rpod&choice=brochure

Heartland's MPG
Their models are similar to r-pods but tongue weight is higher
http://www.heartlandrvs.com/index.php?p=35&c=ultralight&sc=MP&view=floorplans

Skyline Nomad Retro 186
http://www.skylinerv.com/floorplans/186.gif
This is the perfect floor plan but it not good looking from the outside. Not aerodynamic.

KZ Sportsmen Classic 19BH
Looks identical to Skyline Nomad Retro 186. Not aerodynamic
http://www.sonnysrvs.com/rv/kz/traveltrailer/497/KZ_SPORTSMEN_CLASSIC_19BH
http://www.mm-rvcenter.com/pre_owned_detail.asp?veh=1668036&nv=y

Amerilite 15BH
http://www.gulfstreamrvtrailers.com/amerilite/floorplans/15BH.php
Does not have a bed in front, have to convert the dinette


Maybe an old Shadow cruiser or Fun finder model?
http://www.cruiserrv.com/fun-finder-x/gallery.html
Current models’ floor plans don’t look interesting.


Forestriver's Rockwood Mini ETC model 185 but hitch wt is 367lbs
http://www.forestriverinc.com/nd/default22.asp?location=rv&unittype=&page=floorviewertt&model=185&choice=rk&nav=rec&name=3994&series=MiniETC

Hybrid [pull out tent covered beds]:
We have not seen hybrids yet.
Forest River's Shamrock Model 17
http://www.forestriverinc.com/nd/default22.asp?location=rv&unittype=&page=floorviewertt&model=17&choice=roo&nav=rec&name=4002&series=Expand


Fiberglass eggs:

Scamp
These look just too small
http://www.scamptrailers.com/Showroom/16Trailers/16FloorPlans.aspx

Casita
http://casitatraveltrailers.com/index.html


Is there any other model you would like to recommend instead?


Posted By: twaldher on 06/17/11 01:17pm

I used crazedlist heavily to find our new to use TT.

Once you get yourself narrowed in on a floor plan you like, it gets easier to refine the search.

You'll also notice the letters hanging off the end of the number, they all mean something and it's generally the same thing"

BH - bunkhouse
BHS - bunkhouse w/ slide
BHSS - bunkhouse w/ super slide
QB - queen bed
FK - front kitchen
FKS - front kitchen w/ slide
RK - rear kitchen
RLS - rear living w/ slide
EX - extendable?, referring to a bed tent trailer style slide out. could also mean extra-light.
RB - rear bath
TH - toy hauler

The length is also buried in the model number in the first 2-3 numbers of the model. 308BHS would be a 30' Bunk House w/ slide.

Not that you are going to see many of those on your hunt, but they should give you some idea how the model numbers break out.


1998 Chevy Crew Cab 4500 4x4 454, Auto, 4.10 Gears
2003 Nomad M-308 (30', bunks, 14' slide)
Prodigy P3 Brake Controller



Posted By: xteacher on 06/17/11 01:20pm

With your tow vehicle, I would recommenda pop up. I've towed an R-Pod with a vehicle rated to tow 3500 pounds (a Ford Escape), and it wasn't good. Front wheel drive vehicles aren't meant to tow. Plus, the bathroom/shower is VERY tight in the R-Pod. There's also little to no storage. Keep in mind that it's not only the weight/tongue weight you have to consider, but the incredible wind drag the front of a TT causes as you tow it.

In a PUP (pop up), you'd have a lot more room for your family. The wind drag would also not be an issue. The cons of a PUP are the tenting and most have no toilet, a porta potty, or a cassette toilet. As long as you have a toilet of some sort, it's doable. Just use the bathhouse for taking showers. Some PUPs have showers, but again, it's a shower/toilet combination, which is very tight. A used PUP can be found for a very good price, usually.

Good luck in your search!


Beth and Joe
3 Grown, Non-camping children
1 Future Camper - Granddaughter Alice (born 6/25/14 )
2 Camping Rescue Pups: Maddie (malti-poo/westie?) and Sunny (toy poodle)

2014 Starcraft AR-ONE 14RB
2010 Nissan Pathfinder


Posted By: jeep63 on 06/17/11 01:40pm

We scoured craigslist for a long time before landing the used TT we recently purchased. Knowing what your limits are help thin the herd, but you will spend some time culling the scammers out before you find the handful that are good values. Spend some time here searching for the check lists and inspection lists that can be found in various posts. don't let your excitement get you into a camper that is more than you want. It took us 2 years to find the 'right' one for us, but we are very picky and stuck to our budget.

Good luck; once you get one there is a lot of fun to be had.


2009 F150
2007 Keystone Passport 200QS


Posted By: Eyegor on 06/17/11 01:46pm

It looks like you have been doing a lot of researching. Good for you. Now it is time to get out and start trying some on. Some things look different in person.

Your list included most of my personal favorites. I like the various Rpods and came very close to purchasing one. DW and I decided we wanted a MH instead.

When you combine small, used, and lightweight trailers my mind automatically goes to the fiberglass trailers. Used ones may appear ratty but they last forever. Boler, Trillium, EggCamper, are just a few of the older models.

Also consider pop-up trailers. While I have used and enjoy PUPs I would hesitate to buy used unless I had a really good feeling about the seller. PUPs are often not properly cared for. I guess you could say the same about any RV but there are more areas of concern with a PUP.

* This post was edited 06/17/11 01:59pm by Eyegor *


87 Mallard Sprinter 24' Class C Ford E350 w/460 gas "The Runny Duck"
Shiny side up, Rubber side down.



Posted By: MTTitan on 06/17/11 07:41pm

Rajdude,

Thank you for a wonderful link in how another part of the world enjoys what we all do here and using far less money and resources than most Americans do. I bet that the end result is everyone enjoying the pleasures of RVing.


2004 Titan LE w/tow pkg
2006 Pioneer 180CK


Posted By: cpaharley2008 on 06/17/11 07:59pm

here you go http://www.fiberglassrv.com


2009 Dodge Ram Hemi 4x4 11,300miles- lifetime warranty
2012 Toyota FJ-500 miles
2014 Escape 21' All Season trailer


Posted By: cpaharley2008 on 06/18/11 08:12am

Fiberglass rv's last forever and they hold their value. They do not leak, there is no roof replacement nor yearly resealing required. Most fg trailers are still in existence, some 30 years old. I doubt you can find that in conventional rv. They, like Airstreams are more expensive but unlike Airstreams, cost 50% less. A new SCamp/Casita/Egg can be had for around $20k, about $20k less than Airstream and maybe $5k more than a conventional one. But in 10 years you will still have a slightly used trailer you can sell for at least 50% of the original cost. I doubt you can get that return on your investment in a conventional rv.
One more item, they weigh less and tow better, you mpg will not suffer. So over all they are more economical to own and use.


Posted By: Whiskeyjack44 on 06/18/11 10:16am

I own an RPod and am very satisfied with it, but they are not for everyone. All of them except maybe the tent models would be pretty crowded for a family of four. Also, they are tall enough that they push a lot of wind. If you wish the best available mileage while towing, you're limited to a lowriding tent or folding trailer or something like a Casita that sits low enough to hide behind your tow rig. Every RV made comes with its own set of compromises.


Posted By: maxil on 06/18/11 10:00am

One thing I can say, is down here in Georgia small campers are harder to find. I checked craigslist as well as craiglook which checks tons of sites.

When one would pop up, if it was a really good deal it would sell faster than I could get it. My Layton 17' doesn't look terrific on the inside or outside, but everything works and doesn't leak.

It sometimes takes a while to find a good small camper. I will probably buy one that hasn't sold at a local dealer next time. We have a couple in our little town from 2007 and 2008 that I may can get a deal on.

Hope you find what you are looking for.

P.S. if it looks too good to be true, it probably is, be careful


1998 4Runner V6
1997 Layton Skyline 17'


Posted By: rajdude on 06/18/11 06:49am

I looked at Fiberglass TTs, something seems wrong with their prices (both new and retail). They are just too high!

Why would I want to pay 15k or even 18k for a 16' fiberglass TT when a brand new conventional 19' TT is available for 10k?

Used prices are even ridiculous!

For example on this site {fiberglass rv} people are selling 4 - 5 year old scamps for just a $1000 or so less than the MSRP of a brand new one! In fact there is one listing asking for 18k for a 16' scamp which costs 14.5k new !

Whats up?




cpaharley2008 wrote:

here you go http://www.fiberglassrv.com



Posted By: rajdude on 06/17/11 01:52pm

Thanks for posting your impression with the r-pod. I have not seen one yet but it seems to me that the bath is really tiny. Bathroom is very important to my wife. That might become a deal breaker on the r-pod.

About wind drag….isn’t the r-pod much more aerodynamic than a traditional TT?

Pop-ups are out of the picture because wife wants a proper bathroom. In her opinion….that is the whole point of an RV and I do agree with her on this.

About towing with the R-class Mercedes. Well, I have done some research about towing TTs with my R320. The R320 is 4 wheel drive.
For example read this post from someone towing with the same vehicle. He says “the R Class is great at towing my travel trailer - gives about 21 mpUKg at 60mph towing speed.” Some pictures are here http://www.flickr.com/photos/mayorofnewark/

A ford escape has a rather small engine and is only available in front wheel drive. Its 4 cylinder version has:
2500 cc
171 bhp
171 lb-ft torque

V6 has
3000 cc
240 bhp
223 lb-ft torque

Which one did you have?

In contrast my R320 CDI's engine specs are:

V6 Diesel
3000 cc
221 bhp
398 lb-ft torque

Notice the huge difference in torque? I am told that torque makes a big difference in towing.



Iteachmiddleschool wrote:

With your tow vehicle, I would recommenda pop up. I've towed an R-Pod with a vehicle rated to tow 3500 pounds (a Ford Escape), and it wasn't good. Front wheel drive vehicles aren't meant to tow. Plus, the bathroom/shower is VERY tight in the R-Pod. There's also little to no storage. Keep in mind that it's not only the weight/tongue weight you have to consider, but the incredible wind drag the front of a TT causes as you tow it.

In a PUP (pop up), you'd have a lot more room for your family. The wind drag would also not be an issue. The cons of a PUP are the tenting and most have no toilet, a porta potty, or a cassette toilet. As long as you have a toilet of some sort, it's doable. Just use the bathhouse for taking showers. Some PUPs have showers, but again, it's a shower/toilet combination, which is very tight. A used PUP can be found for a very good price, usually.

Good luck in your search!



Posted By: rajdude on 06/17/11 02:29pm

oh by the way, if you guys read the UK's Caravan Club's 2011 Towcar of the Year awards and find out which tow vehicles made the cut....I bet you would get a heart attack !

It is very entertaining to look at the pictures of all those vehicles towing big travel trailers. A must see!


We would never even think of towing a TT with a VW golf!
No way ! Gotta break out that monstrous dually! Are we americans spoilt?


Posted By: colliehauler on 06/18/11 02:55pm

rajdude wrote:

I looked at Fiberglass TTs, something seems wrong with their prices (both new and retail). They are just too high!

Why would I want to pay 15k or even 18k for a 16' fiberglass TT when a brand new conventional 19' TT is available for 10k?

Used prices are even ridiculous!

For example on this site {fiberglass rv} people are selling 4 - 5 year old scamps for just a $1000 or so less than the MSRP of a brand new one! In fact there is one listing asking for 18k for a 16' scamp which costs 14.5k new !

Whats up?




cpaharley2008 wrote:

here you go http://www.fiberglassrv.com
A fiberglass rv will last one heck of a long time is light weight and has great resale. You can look on E-Bay and Craiglist for small trailers.


Posted By: xteacher on 06/18/11 02:04pm

rajdude wrote:

Thanks for posting your impression with the r-pod. I have not seen one yet but it seems to me that the bath is really tiny. Bathroom is very important to my wife. That might become a deal breaker on the r-pod.

About wind drag….isn’t the r-pod much more aerodynamic than a traditional TT?

Pop-ups are out of the picture because wife wants a proper bathroom. In her opinion….that is the whole point of an RV and I do agree with her on this.

About towing with the R-class Mercedes. Well, I have done some research about towing TTs with my R320. The R320 is 4 wheel drive.
For example read this post from someone towing with the same vehicle. He says “the R Class is great at towing my travel trailer - gives about 21 mpUKg at 60mph towing speed.” Some pictures are here http://www.flickr.com/photos/mayorofnewark/

A ford escape has a rather small engine and is only available in front wheel drive. Its 4 cylinder version has:
2500 cc
171 bhp
171 lb-ft torque

V6 has
3000 cc
240 bhp
223 lb-ft torque

Which one did you have?

In contrast my R320 CDI's engine specs are:

V6 Diesel
3000 cc
221 bhp
398 lb-ft torque

Notice the huge difference in torque? I am told that torque makes a big difference in towing.



Iteachmiddleschool wrote:

With your tow vehicle, I would recommenda pop up. I've towed an R-Pod with a vehicle rated to tow 3500 pounds (a Ford Escape), and it wasn't good. Front wheel drive vehicles aren't meant to tow. Plus, the bathroom/shower is VERY tight in the R-Pod. There's also little to no storage. Keep in mind that it's not only the weight/tongue weight you have to consider, but the incredible wind drag the front of a TT causes as you tow it.

In a PUP (pop up), you'd have a lot more room for your family. The wind drag would also not be an issue. The cons of a PUP are the tenting and most have no toilet, a porta potty, or a cassette toilet. As long as you have a toilet of some sort, it's doable. Just use the bathhouse for taking showers. Some PUPs have showers, but again, it's a shower/toilet combination, which is very tight. A used PUP can be found for a very good price, usually.

Good luck in your search!


We had the V-6 Escape with a transmission cooler. The R-Pod would seemingly be very aerodynamic, but someone on the R-Pod Forum did a study b/c many people were curious as to why their mileage wasn't better (computer based), and he found that the wind goes up and over the top of the R-Pod and sucks up underneath it on the back side. This causes a drag effect, apparently. I found that the R-Pod did not give me better gas mileage than a small traditionally shaped TT, even when I upgraded to a better tow vehicle (a Toyota Tacoma with a heavy duty tow package), so I'm inclined to believe the guy's study is legitimate.

The R-Pod's bathroom is very tiny, as I mentioned, and unless you get one with a slide (which increases the weight, of course), there's not much room, especially for a family. We kept our clothes in the car, b/c of lack of storage.

If you're bent on getting a TT, you might want to check out the Fun Finder X models. Many people have one and are happy with them.


Posted By: cpaharley2008 on 06/18/11 10:54am

It is all about frontal surface area, check out the new Element RV with the lowest amount of frontal area.
A small airstream or my EggCamper has less frontal than your 2 pieces of 4x8 plywood you are trying to pull down the road with a conventional shape.


Posted By: Monaco Montclair on 06/18/11 10:31am

we bought a small rv from a place in yadkinville,nc-- did good too. ----happy-camping


Posted By: Monaco Montclair on 06/18/11 10:37am

we bought a popup at --out of doors-- dealership, nc, exit-208--sandyridge hill i think--off route -40w-from greensboro--man let me tell u, nagara by fleetwood--wow what a popup. 4090lbs--two king beds-hard side bath-and shower--mirowway--sound system--slide out dinnet---had to let it go. got something bigger. --happy-camping


Posted By: maxil on 06/18/11 11:23am

I pull mine with a 98' 4runner with a v6, max towing of 5000lbs. I can surely feel it is back there, but my engine isn't overly powerful to begin with. I would imagine that towing one of those egg shaped TT's would be much easier. The surveyor that I have my eye on has a very slanted nose, I would think that one like that would be easier to pull as well.


Posted By: rajdude on 06/18/11 10:39am

I have a question:

Comparing a RPod and a convention vertical front panel type body 17-18' TT {like the Layton 17}........is there any big difference in the aerodymanics?

Will the aerodynamics make any major difference in MPG?
Notice the Rpod is curved.


Posted By: rajdude on 06/18/11 02:26pm

Wow! This is an eye opener! If this is really true, I would go for a conventional TT instead of the Rpod.

Any chance you have a link to that guy's thread?

Thinking about it....the back of a conventional TT is vertical. That should create a lower pressure than a curved rpod. But then again, the rear curve is not that much.

My R320's 0.31 drag coefficient is lower than some sedans. But it also has a mostly vertical rear end. I am wondering if the rear end really makes that much difference or the front end is the deciding factor.

I have looked at Fun finder X models. I don't see a floor plan which I like (with bunk beds). However, I can find some used ones at reasonable prices.


Iteachmiddleschool wrote:



We had the V-6 Escape with a transmission cooler. The R-Pod would seemingly be very aerodynamic, but someone on the R-Pod Forum did a study b/c many people were curious as to why their mileage wasn't better (computer based), and he found that the wind goes up and over the top of the R-Pod and sucks up underneath it on the back side. This causes a drag effect, apparently. I found that the R-Pod did not give me better gas mileage than a small traditionally shaped TT, even when I upgraded to a better tow vehicle (a Toyota Tacoma with a heavy duty tow package), so I'm inclined to believe the guy's study is legitimate.

The R-Pod's bathroom is very tiny, as I mentioned, and unless you get one with a slide (which increases the weight, of course), there's not much room, especially for a family. We kept our clothes in the car, b/c of lack of storage.

If you're bent on getting a TT, you might want to check out the Fun Finder X models. Many people have one and are happy with them.



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