my husband and I have four children ages 4-8 and we want to buy a used trailer in the $10,000 range. we will be full-time camping across America for about a year and roadschooling.
we know we want a quad bunk room on one side with a queen bed on the other side and a middle slide for the living area. I could add more options I'd like to see but the more I add the more I make it difficult to find a reasonably priced trailer. My main reason for posting here is to find out manufacturer's I should avoid or seek out. If there is a good resource for used and new trailer reviews and how well they last I'd like to know. I don't need luxury but I do need enough quality to stand up to full-time living in and four children.
I know of other options I want to have and I'm curious to hear your recommendations as well. If there is already a post on this topic please direct me to it. We plan on purchasing a suburban or excursion with maximum available towing capacity. thank you in advance for your time and thought!
There are a lot of bunkhouses that will probably work. Most new will cost more than your budget; used you might find something but then you are more at the mercy of what is available and is in good condition. There is a difference between something used for occasional weekend useage and a trailer for full time living for a year or so. Lots ot things to consider like fresh water capacity; grey and black capacity; solar; generator; the ability of the coach to be a 'four season unit'; condenation issues; and, of course, size. If you can handle the weight of an Arctic Fox, as mentioned previously, that would be a good start but you may find the limit of around $10,000 a challenge.
Just this week I spotted 2 Lance employees playing Canasta when they were supposed to be doing the electrical. And I saw a lot of Lance employees playing slip-n-slide in the water pressure bay!
What has the world come to?
Were you at the factory? Getting warranty work done??? What is really the story?
I did have a situation up in Redding where my light turned green and I started to pull out when I realized that a tractor/trailer coming down off the hill wasn't going to be able to stop at the light. I nailed it and even with my trailer on the back, I spun those 20's for probably ten feet. I was totally surprised at that....it just speaks to the torque the diesels have with those twin turbos.
With the pin weight of at least 2000 pounds in the bed to be able to spin the tires is absolutely amazing. That is what 800 foot pounds of torque can do.
The seals are fine, so how could it have gotten there.
I would certainly figure out where the grease came from and fix that first, then address the cleaning of the brake shoes/drums or replace. I wonder if you have EZ lube hubs?
I am not sure I can help either but are all four brakes receiving the same voltage/amperage? Is the 'cold' one due to a loose connection somewhere especially where the wires go into the axle? You should be getting the same voltage approximately at all brakes. Lastly, and I know this is not fixing the brakes, but get an infrared temp sensor/gauge and take readings periodically. I usually get about a 10-15 degree reading differential comparing all four hubs when at a rest stop. I think that is very acceptable. As you fix the brake issue and the hub gets warm you will want more than a hand felt temp to ensure all four are performing approximately equally.
Hmm guess i need to get comfortable adjusting the brake controller then. I understand the principles behind setting it, i just need to hook up my trailer and actually do it myself a few times to get the feel for it. Thanks guys
Before you start checking contacts in the hitch connector and use a volt meter on the magnets why not drive it a half hour and use the brakes some to see if rust is the issue. That would be my first effort at a resolution especially since it worked just right before it was put away for the winter.
This should be pretty much flat after Tahoe right?
Depends on you define 'pretty much'. Tonopah is at 6000 feet elevation about the same as Tahoe. Nevada is a basin and range state with lots of north-south mountain ranges. None of the hills will be as long as US 50 from Placerville to Tahoe but it is not flat like Sacramento or Kansas.
Fill up when your fuel gauge says half. Don't leave Tonopah without a full tank. Be careful if you travel at night as there is a lot of free range for cattle. Black cow, black night standing on a black highway kind of thing.
Not really 6K is it.
The Truck Camper magazine article estimated the weight at around 6000 pounds. It is not that dissimilar in weight to a production Chalet truck camper that also weighs about 6000 pounds.
It might be the heaviest truck camper but it is not far above the heavier Arctic Fox, Lance, Host etc campers that can weigh 5000 pounds on the truck loaded and ready to go.
Hey guys , I will be traveling from Cameron park CA to kanab Utah, I have the choice between going down I-5 and cross over at Bakersfield towards Vegas or going up 50 to Tahoe over Carson city and then down 95 which is the shorter route. But is it better? I will travel beginning juli, so I need to consider heat as well and also hill climbs. Anybody got a suggestion which is easier for me and my vehicle, will be traveling with my loaded toy hauler. Thanks for any help.
The only real issues you will have is the traffic in Vegas, either way you choose. If you get out of Cameron Park early in the am on a weekday you should have minimal traffic on US 50 through Tahoe. US 95 is for the most part a two lane road with minimal traffic all the way to Vegas. The heat will be an issue in southern Nevada. At Silver Springs travel to Yerington and then over to Schurz to pick up US 95 as that saves a few miles in deference to going through Fallon. If you can time your Vegas travel to be after the morning commute and before the afternoon commute the traffic will not be as bad but it still is very heavy and not much fun towing.
As an alternate you might look at going to Tonopah on US 95 and then to the Panaca area and into Utah as that avoids Vegas and the drive is a little better from a scenery standpoint.
I have a P2 Brake Controller. I installed it and went to pick up my first trailer, the guy i bought the trailer from got in my truck with me and set it up (programmed it to 6, then flipped the lever and the trailer brakes locked up, so he backed it off a bit til they didnt lock up.
Its been a month or two since then, i took my camper on its first outing and noticed when i stepped on the brake the display only read between 1-2 on the brake controller. Even when i was going down a steep hill or putting the brake on pretty hard if someone pulled out in front of me it didnt really go above 2.5 on the display. I kind of felt like i had to put the brakes on harder than if i didnt have a TT behind me to stop the truck. Is this readout normal for the brake controller? Should i feel any weight at all pulling my TT with the brake controller? The trailer fully loaded is about the same weight as my truck or a little less.
This topic comes up fairly regularly. In my experience the conroller is not a 'set it and forget it unit'. It does need to be adjusted for the differing conditions usually one setting for highway travel and another for around town or the brakes will lock up or as you indicated not appear to be working correctly. If your trailer has been sitting all winter you may have rust on the brakes and a few stops will usually take care of that.
I dont think anyone posted a link to this yet but here is TC Magazines review of the Chalet triple slide with washer and dryer. With pictures.
Chalet Triple Slide
Personally at 6k #s Im looking at other rv types. I dont see the point of such a big heavy TC. But there are some really nice design features worth a look and adaptation to a more practically sized TC IMO.
It would be interesting to see what kind of truck is needed to haul this camper. It is, as the article says, not a camper that will work with any dually. There are lots of travel trailers that do not weigh more than 6000 pounds, the estimated weight of this camper, and can be pulled with almost any of the larger SUVs, full size van or truck.
Tahoe is about 20 minutes from Gardnerville. Carson City has a couple of RV parks, one connected with a casino. If you make reservations early there are campgrounds at Tahoe. Check out Zephyr Cove on the east side.
Those reqirements are for the 1500 series. Not many 1500's are rated for over 9, 900 pounds if any.
Owners should read their own manual.
Except, of course, the Toyota half ton. It can pull the space shuttle. Oh wait, that is not in the owners manual either. My bad, carry on!
I have a 2009 Keystone Cougar X-Lite 29RLS (33' total). Never had an issue with the trailer and really like it, but on long trips it can be a little hard to pull at times. TV = 2012 Toyota with 5.7 L engine and TSS package. 10,500 lb rated I think.
What I like about the trailer is the light weight. These only weight about 6500 lbs dry.
So the wife and I are considering "down sizing" but I am not sure it is worth it. Most of the trailers I have found in the 27' range weigh just as much as this one does.
So does a shorter trailer pull a little easier even though the weight is about the same? If not, I think I will stay where I am.
This is not the answer you are probably looking for. But, 33 feet of trailer is a lot for the Toyota, space shuttle aside, and you will likely not see much difference between a 27 foot trailer that is more like 29-30 feet in towing. In some applications, like backing up, the shorter the trailer the harder it is. My suggesting is to find a bigger tow vehicle and the entire world of towing will be much more fun and easier. Keep the trailer if you like it and match it with a stouter tow vehicle.
I disagree and in general WDH with sway makes for a smoother and more comfortable towing experience.
This is almost totally dependent on the trailer and tow vehicle. I have towed on the ball and with WD and really cannot tell any difference. But, with some other vehicles or trailers it might be a different towing experience. I totally agree with the above poster that referenced the WD hitch as being necessary for the station wagon era of towing. Load the station wagon and tow the trailer and the back end was almost dragging the ground without WD. Many today tow with SUV's and trucks designed for towing. It is a different world than back in the '60's and 70's.
If you want to look at WD and sway mitigation as a seat belt or motorcycle helmet kind of thing to keep you safe from that unexpected issue some day that is fine. Most responsible motorcycle riders ride the same with our without a helmet. Just becasue they are wearing a helmet does not mean they take chances, ride faster, crazier, etc. Same thing with most responsible dirvers. We all tend to drive the same if we are wearing seat belts or not. I see the same issue with WD for those that really don't need it for axle loading issues. As I said earlier, WD can be a good peace of mind bolt on item. I would not drive any differently with or without WD so I don't bank on it saving my bacon some day. I do use WD some of the time and I drive as carefully as if I was not using it. Far more important is the matching of the tow vehicle to the trailer and the tongue's weight expressed as a percentage on the total trailer weight. Using 13 percent (real numbers not some guessestimate) goes a long way toward keeping you out of the ditch regardless of the hitch used.
If the trailer's tongue weight is sufficient to lighten the front axle of the tow vehicle and especially if it is lightened to the point of being dangerous, then absolutely get a WD hitch. That is not the case with most Dodge Rams, however, and that is the OP's tow vehicle.
As I said earlier and you commented on it, I don't see a WD hitch as a panacea for towing issues. It is a tool, it has a function, it is not necessary in all applications.
I understand your comments, but I like others thought your initial comment was more a statement of fact and not your opinion. I agree the HA, Pull-Rite, Pro-Pride are better and they should be for the premium price they command. I happen to own an Equal-i-zer and unlike you I have found it to be a fine system and believe it is on par with all the other offerings like the Reese DC, Blue-ox, Anderson, etc. and for me the simplicity gives it a thumbs up over these other hitches. All WDHs have their own unique limitations like the Reese being picky about how exact it's set up needs to be, the non universal fitment between vehicles for the Pull-rite, how heavy the HA is and all the parts to it, so the fact that the differing WDH bars require different socket size for the Equal-i-zer system is not IMO a "major design flaw" as you described it, but just how the hitch is designed. The one other "quirk" of the older styled Equal-i-zers was the torquing of the brackets to prevent moving. Over torquing would reduce the net "clamping force" and subject the bracket to movement over time.
In the end as you said you have now stated your opinion and what it's based on which is fine just as I have now done.
Larry. First, thanks for your response. I liked it. And if something works for you and most others, that is great. If it does not work for someone regardless if it a PullRite or Hensley or Equalizer that person probably is less enthused about the product than one where it all works just right. All I was trying to do was offer the OP the option of looking at all the hitches as I am sure the OP did when looking at tow vehicles and trailers and not be limited to only the one the dealer is pushing. I think that is what I would want if I was new to the game and seeking advice on this forum. What makes the forum good is the feedback we all receive from each other regardless if we agree or not.
I probably would not be a good candidate for the PullRite hitch even though I know it is perhaps the best hitch. It has some minuses. One is the weight, almost 400 pounds, and that is a lot for many many light duty trucks that have a payload of 1800 pounds or so. It also almost always requires a trip to the muffler shop for mods to the exhaust and it takes away from ground clearance in lower to the ground vehicles. It also is vehicle specific, it cannot be transfered to that new truck you just bought while virtually every other hitch can be transfered with minimal cost. But, it is still one of the best, if not the best, hitch out there. So, even great hitches have some compromises and might not be the ideal solution for all of us.
I have no experience with the Dual Cam and I have heard the same things you share that it is a little finicky getting it set up just right but I also know from many that use it that once set up it works well. If a dealer cannot set it up right the customer will be disappointed in it and the Reese probably takes longer and more effort to get it dialed in. But, in my mind that does not make it a bad hitch or a hitch to avoid.
The Anderson hitch is interesting, I have never seen one so I have no idea how it would work but it seems to be something new and that could be good. I do think the Equalizer is a very tired, stale and dated hitch and my suggestion to Progress Mfg. is they make a mid range hitch, something between the Hensley and ProPride at the high end and their standard Equalizer offering now. Maybe something that addresses people like me that tow with a stouter truck and really need more about sway than WD and if Progress could come in with a hitch that separates the sway function from the WD it would probably be a good selling hitch. Everybody, almost, wants a Hensley or ProPride, they just don't want to spend that kind of coin. This would bridge that gap for trucks that don't really need WD but still want a good sway feature.
I hope I am not coming across as argumentative, just my observations on the Equalizer hitch. When I purchased my trailer I would have liked the dealer to offer a range of hitches to me, not push the one they have that I later did not like. And they told me it was a great hitch. Little did I know and it now sits in the garage in a corner gathering dust. I would have gladly spent some more to get a better hitch but the dealer was not interested in offering choices they did not sell. I guess as long as I learned something from my experience I got something out of it, but it also cost me money that I did not need to spend.
Virtually every trailer is delived from the factory to the dealer without using WD. Granted the trailers are at their lowest weight and most delivery folks use one ton duallys. I never really understood why with thousands of all kinds of trailers towed every day on the ball, why the RV folks seem to think that if we tow without WD and sway mitigation we will end up in the ditch. If you want the peace of mind towing then go with WD and sway mitigation but that is most likely all it is - peace of mind- because most that tow with a properly set up trailer, correct tongue weight, and a capable tow vehicle like the OP's Ram should never have a problem. If the OP does not need to transfer tongue weight to restore some weight to the front axle that was removed by the tongue then why mess with a WD setup?
i'm very happy with my Equal-i-zer and it's a third of the cost of a Hensley or ProPride.
why not post what you think are better WDH's.
I am glad you are happy with your hitch. As to those that I view as a better hitch--virtually any other hitch on the market and you did list two of the three best. PullRite would be the other top hitch in my estimation. But there are many hitches in a mid price range that are better including the Reese Dual Cam. As an aside I have used the 1200/12000 Equalizer and purchased it after drinking the 'cool aid' glowing reports on this forum. I have not found the hitch to live up to the reports in several areas including constant loosening of the L brackets, the inability of the hitch head to share differing weight bars (a major design flaw) for those that might like to tow two or more trailers with differing spring bar needs, and the Airstream folks have cited potential issues with the Equalizer hitch for tongue and body to frame damage. Husky makes a model that works similar to the Equalizer that I think is an improvement.
At the end of the day all the Equalizer hitch does for sway mitigation is based purely on friction; friction against sway and friction to straighten a sway episode back to straight. Even the Dual Cam Reese actually helps the trailer to return to straight; a feature lacking in the Equalizer. In my experience the Equalizer does little or nothing for sway mitigation and those like you that use it and like the hitch probably have a tow vehicle and trailer that is loaded correctly and most likely would not sway. All three premium hitches control sway not just mitigate it. They are not based on friction like the Equalizer. If the OP is going to purchase a hitch and the dealer not willing to throw it in to the deal for free (not that it would really be free) then I suggest the OP at least look at hitches beyond the Equalizer. The hitch is important and there is a lot of money tied up in the truck and trailer so why not get a quality hitch and not let money be such a limiting factor. So what if a hitch costs three times as much as an Equalizer, what does that have to do with safety? Especially when it controls sway and not just mitigates it. The OP can purchase an inexpensive hitch now and later spend more on a better hitch. That just adds to the overall cost of getting to the place where the OP has the final hitch. Been there done that! A premium hitch is really inexpensive when purchased initially and not as a progressive purchase of hitches to finally get to the hitch really wanted. My comments were directed to help the OP get to the hitch wanted initially and not 'enjoy' several hitch upgrade iterations with a few hitches now unused laying around in a corner of the garage all adding to the final cost of that best hitch for the OP's situation.
If you don't agree with my comments that is fine; I have said nothing about your satisfaction with your use of the Equalizer only my experience.
Another noob here to the world of hauling a TT. I've got a Shadow Cruiser 185fbs that I'm hauling with a Dodge Ram. The Shadow Cruiser is ultralight, 2600 lbs with a 300lb tongue weight. When I hook it up, the rear of the truck sinks slightly but still rides evenly. I've hauled it a couple times now and it seems to ride well.
I haven't had any issue with sway but I still plan to install a friction sway control for longer trips. My questions i need confirmation on are these:
1. Since the truck seems to ride evenly and handle well without weight distribution and the trailer is light, would there still be any reason to install weight distribution?
2. Without weight distribution, is it correct that friction sway control is my only option?
Thank in advance!
Doubtful you will need weight distribution. Sway mitigation is another issue. Check your receiver and go with a larger aftermarket receiver, like the Curt, TorkLift, etc. I tow a much heavier trailer and cannot really tell any difference with my Ram using or not using weight distribution. If you have the mighty Cummins, it is much heavier on the front axle than a gasser engine so any weight in the rear actually makes the truck ride better.