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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers

 > Downsizing to Lightweight Trailer

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GBlack

Evansville, Indiana

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Posted: 10/03/09 10:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

(Also posted in Folding Trailer Forum)...

Hello, I mistakenly jumped into RVing "head over heels" by buying a new F350 diesel truck and large 5th wheel. By the time the camping trip was over, I was a nervous wreck -- mostly because I never got comfortable manuevering & backing up the big 5er. Also, I couldn't justify keeping an expensive truck (and 5er) sitting around while using my old Honda Accord as a daily driver. We only camp a few times per year (10-15 days per year), and so I don't want to insure, maintain & store a big truck and 5er just for that.

Anyway, I just sold my truck and 5er. I plan to replace my old Accord (207,000 miles) with a 4-cyl Toyota Highlander SUV with a tow rating of 3500 lbs to use as my daily driver. I have a few questions:

1) Are there decent liteweight trailers or popup campers available that can be towed with a 3500 lb tow rating? I guess I'd prefer a hard-sided model if possible, but will consider a popup. Jayco and Heartland seem to have a few choices, but I wasn't sure how many other choices I'll have across all brands.

PS - I could increase my tow rating to 5000 lbs (instead of 3500 lbs) by buying a V6 model Highlander instead of a 4-cylinder (at $2000 extra cost). Will 5000 lbs give me alot more RV options to choose from?

2) Can air conditioning be added to any lightweight/popup? I wasn't sure if the ones with screened bed areas can have A/C (since it'll be discharged outside anyway thru the screens). I like to be comfy!

Thanks!
Gary

* This post was edited 10/03/09 10:29pm by GBlack *

DesertHawk

Las Cruces, New Mexico

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Posted: 10/03/09 10:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

[emoticon] Here are some molded fiberglass travel trailers:
Scamp, Casita, Oliver, Escape, and Trillium and US Trillium.

Our Scamp

Our 16' Scamp has the Side Dinette, & we keep the bed as a bed. Layout 6 ******** Video

Escape has a 19 Foot trailer in the works.

And Oliver also have plans for a 22 Foot. Perhaps too heavey for what you are wanting.

This one is very roomy for the size but some are all electric, but I believe you can get gas as well. All Electric EggCamper.

It would also depend on how many you will be sleeping in some of these.

The standard Scamps have narrow beds, my only gripe with them. But can be gotten wider in the Custom wooden interior ones. Custom Deluxe Wood Interiors

[emoticon] There are some small non-molded fiberglass trailers as well. The Fun Finder X are one and I have also seen 7' wide trailers Cikira. There would be more of these hybrids out there I would think.

A little larger TTs, the Lance , the new one at 20'9" looks good, and the 19'10" Bullet by Keystone is another example. Bullet Not sure about towing weights.

Small and Retro Serro Scotty

A 17' 4" travel trailer with a Queensized bed, large holding tanks and large fresh water tank Palomino Gazelle G-150

The Dutchmen Eco 718QB seems to be a neat unit as well.

Another neat Floor Plan. The 2010 KZ Sportsmen Classic 16BH. It might be nice to have bunk beds, even for a retired couple.

R-Pod Ultra Lite travel trailers by Forest River with 7 floorplans available; a teardrop shape.

Teal Camper a very new lightweight, new concept camper.

[image]
Mammoth Campground Yellowstone

* This post was last edited 04/05/10 02:40pm by DesertHawk *   View edit history


">DesertHawk- Las Cruces, NM USA
*2015 Lance 1985~Casita de Campo~23' 4" Tongue to Bumper, Dinette Slide
160 watt Solar Panel/GoPower! Solar Controller
*2009 White Ford F-150 Reg. Cab
Long Bed with A.R.E. Molded Fiberglass Topper
*Previously~ 2005 16' Scamp


GBlack

Evansville, Indiana

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Posted: 10/03/09 11:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you, DesertHawk!

Guero

Oregon USA/Aguascalientes MEX

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Posted: 10/04/09 12:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A small but roomy pop-up trailer that might interest you is the Chalet XL manufactured here in Oregon by Chalet RV.

Also built by Chalet RV is the Takena Trailer with two models offered with the Takena 2265EX weighing 3175# at 21'6".

Northern Lite RV (page 13 PDF) in British Columbia manufactures a nice 16' fiberglass camp trailer that weighs 1980#. The craftsmanship on all Northern Lite products is premium.


Güero, beautiful Wife, sweet toddler girl, angelic baby girl & spoiled Chihuahua
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tr4

NY

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Posted: 10/04/09 04:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd go with the v6, the gas cost won't be that much and it will drive better. and you have lots more choices. if you had a 5er, a 16' might be too tight.
Good to see you realize that bigger doesn't mean better and keeping up with the jones is for morons

jml

Laval, Québec

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Posted: 10/04/09 04:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have the choice for the tow rating, I would go for 5000 lbs. At 3500 lbs you must limits everything with a hard side trailer, including extra weight of an air conditionner.
We don't know if you travel alone(or 2, or a family), for sure this will influence your decision.
Your got a large 5er, going to 16ft will be a major change. 5000 lbs tow rating with you stuff will give you more options(19 or 21 ft).
Just my 2 cents.

Road Ruler

Canada

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Posted: 10/04/09 07:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Agree with jml. Go with the V6 and you will have so many more options for a PU or TT. Also consider an aerodynamic trailer. This will allow you to have more space for the same amount of pulling power as the box type trailers.

DocP

Macedonia, OH

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Posted: 10/04/09 09:12am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, the V6 is the way to go, and it opens up a lot more options for a lightweight TT (and increases your cargo-carrying capacity).


2021 Palomino Solaire 260FKBS
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dewhit

Bishop Ca.

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Posted: 10/04/09 02:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 2008 Toyota Highlander sport 4wd v6. I have not towed with it but i love the car. Plenty of power and around 22 mpg highway, I would deffinatly recomend the v6.

BarneyS

S.E. Lower Michigan

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Posted: 10/04/09 02:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We are thinking of leaving our large trailer in Florida and getting a smaller one to tow around in the summer up in the North country with my wife's Mercury Mountaineer V8. On our short list are the following lightweight trailers.
All of them have an air conditioner as optional equipment and no canvas to deal with.

Heartland "Edge"

K-Z Sportsman "Classic"

Forest River "R-Pod"

Plus the Casita, Skamp, Oliver, and Escape that have already been mentioned.
Barney

* This post was edited 10/04/09 02:22pm by BarneyS *


2004 Sunnybrook Titan 30FKS TT
Hensley "Arrow" 1400# hitch (Sold)
Not towing now.
Former tow vehicles were 2016 Ram 2500 CTD, 2002 Ford F250, 7.3 PSD


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