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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Help choosing something like Cougar

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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 03/22/20 09:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

And handye9 is in for the win!
Doo all that and you can't "tow" hardly anything. Classic 1 ton needed to tow a TT analysis...
I just don't know how all the people who aren't that OCD about it make it thru the day and live to see the next sunrise! Lol


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

wowens79

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Posted: 03/22/20 09:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just remember the kids will grow faster than you want them to. We bought a camper with 4 smaller bunks, but now that my 16 year old is 6’2”, and 200 lbs, he’s not real comfortable on the 6ft bed.


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OleManOleCan

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Posted: 03/22/20 11:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

Start off with where do you believe you’ll be camping. Private RV parks usually can take all sizes. Boondocking down a dirt forest service road may be 4x4 and 20 foot TT...or even TC only. I picked a 22 foot TT box with a 4x4 TV to go many places...but I can’t go everywhere. Most federal, state and local government websites list their max lengths.



Lots of RV sales people are like Car Sales People.
They will say anything to make a sale.

A long time ago I was in your position. Hard to tell which was the biggest liar. I was sold too much trailer for the Under powered Chevy 1500 I had. One trip to the mountains (Harrowing) and I came home and traded my nearly new Chevy for a F-250 Diesel.
I never had a problem towing when I got Enough Truck.

If you trade your 'Grocery Getter' for a Tow Vehicle, you will see how badly sales people lie to you.

kellem

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Posted: 03/23/20 07:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We recently bought a new trailer, went to many RV shows as to get hands on, Google closest dealers but your going to have to get in a unit, sit down and relax and play different scenarios in your mind as if you were camping.

I really don't think in matters that much about manufacturers as we've found similar priced units built very similar across the board.
Personally don't like spaced axles.

Grand Designs, ORV and Keystone were are favorites and ended up with a Keystone Outback, it simply came down to floor plan.....and what the wife liked.??

Found out many years ago that the dealers tow numbers never match that of the vehicle manufacturer, odd.

When you decide on trailer, have dealer throw in a WDH installed.

GrandpaKip

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Posted: 03/23/20 08:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mtbfamily wrote:

Thanks so much everyone for your detailed and clear explanation. I can't believe the RV dealers we went to didn't provide the same. You are right that the towing capacity is calculated based on just one 150lb person driving. After I did the math you provided, I ended up with just a 5100 lb towing capacity. We just towed a trailer 3 hrs each way that's 6875 lb dry (not counting the weight distribution / sway hitch). I don't think my family will be happy with anything smaller than that trailer, so it seems I now need to look for a tow vehicle as well.

So, let's ignore the towing capacity for now and just focus on figuring out which TTs we should be looking at. Can folks help me with that please?

Actually, this is a better way to go about it.
Tis much better to match a truck with a trailer than the other way ‘round.
As far as the trailer goes, I’m pretty sure every manufacturer will have a floor plan that is close or meets your requirements. The search can be enjoyable. We visited every dealer within a 100 mile or so radius to see what was available, even staying overnight in one area that had several dealerships.


Kip
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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 03/23/20 10:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mtbfamily wrote:

Thanks so much everyone for your detailed and clear explanation. I can't believe the RV dealers we went to didn't provide the same. You are right that the towing capacity is calculated based on just one 150lb person driving. After I did the math you provided, I ended up with just a 5100 lb towing capacity. We just towed a trailer 3 hrs each way that's 6875 lb dry (not counting the weight distribution / sway hitch).

So, let's ignore the towing capacity for now and just focus on figuring out which TTs we should be looking at. Can folks help me with that please?


A. Not a surprise. Why would you trust a RV salesman any more than any other commission based salesman?
B. You just did the weight cop calcs and found out that your nice 1/2 ton "can't" pull squat if you believe that.
C. You just towed a 8000lb trailer 6 hours (6875lbs dry + + + + = 8klbs ish). How did it feel? Were you comfortable doing it? Did the combo handle appropriately? Refer back to B. above.
D. You and everyone else on this thread is now wrapped up in the towing capacity and payload semantics. Can't choose anything until you decide which side of the fence you're on.
Besides, size, weight, features, layout, etc is all easily determined for every model and brand out there on their websites. Complete with a host of pictures inside and out. That is far better info than you're going to get here. Here you will get folk's personal preferences, mostly from folks that don't match your demographic or even your generation.
E. You will not find a camper made of helium. If your family isn't comfortable in a smaller, more sparsely appointed camper then you're going to be towing a bigger camper.


Good luck camper shopping! Seriously, as said before, if you stick to 8klb max gvw campers, you can find everything you're looking for and the truck will be fine too.

flyflotr

Nevada City, CA

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Posted: 04/04/20 03:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

camp-n-family wrote:

With an 8500lbs tow rating I’m going to assume that you have a 1/2 ton truck? The Cougar you list is way too much trailer. At 7400lbs dry weight you will be well over 8500lbs loaded to start. Keep in mind the tow rating of newer vehicles is calculated assuming 150lbs each for a driver and 1 passenger. Any other weight added to the vehicle reduces your rating pound for pound.

The tow rating is not the only number you need to be concerned about. You also need to consider the vehicle payload and axle ratings. The payload must be enough to support the trailer tongue weight and weight of all passengers and stuff in the vehicle. Trailers should have at least 12% of the loaded weight on the tongue to be stable for towing. That’s at least 1k right there.

I suggest you do more research and as a newbie learn about towing, ratings, wd hitches etc before jumping in to anything. This forum is a good starting place. You’ll probably find yourself limited to trailers under 6k dry weight. Don’t forget that your kids aren’t going to get any smaller.

To give you an idea, we have a similar sized trailer that weights 1k less (empty)than what you are looking at. Lightly loaded we were 7600lbs which is just about the empty weight of that Cougar. We towed it the first year with a 1/2 ton truck. It pulled it ok, plenty of power, but we were always 400lbs+ over payload, right at the rear axle rating and hitch rating. We added airbags and load range E tires to help and used a $3k Hensley hitch. Not the most enjoyable experience. We now use a 3/4 ton diesel Ram in complete comfort.

Consider the length as well. At 34’ you will be limited in site selection and won’t be able to fit in a lot of places. Gas stations etc can be a challenge too. That is a long trailer for a newbie with little or no tow experience. If I were to buy again I would keep it under 28’.


Absolutely agree, much too much trailer unless you have at a minimum 3/4 ton. Consider something smaller and pack along a tent for kids and guests.

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