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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Choosing our first travel trailer! Big family

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Jas1317

NY

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Posted: 10/14/20 08:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I got so much help here narrowing down our truck choice/needs so I am going to follow up with a post for recommendations for choosing a travel trailer.
We will have a pickup with towing capabilities of 13,000lbs+
2 parents with mild towing experience (horse trailers not campers), 3 young kids, and 2 dogs looking to hit the road for several months-long cross country road trips [emoticon]
We have done a decent amount of research and visited camping world, checked out lots of new and used travel trailers.
We are honing in on something in the 30-33’ range with bunk beds in a back room type set up for the kids and preferably an outdoor kitchen. We have seen a lot of Jaycos. I will be so grateful for any insights you experienced people don’t mind typing out to me. Thanks in advance! We are complete newbies.

theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 10/14/20 08:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jas1317 wrote:

We are honing in on something in the 30-33’ range with bunk beds in a back room type set up for the kids and preferably an outdoor kitchen.

You want a bunk house where each kid get their own bunk. They will grow out of double bucks quickly.

Think hard about that outdoor kitchen. You lose space in the bunk room, and the appliances are just something else to break. Look for a propane grill that can attach to the camper and get a portable 12VDC compressor refrigerator maybe one that can switch to freezer mode. Carry an extra table for uses as your outdoor kitchen counter. These options give you a lot more flexibility.

Also something that large means it will likely come with 240V 50A electrical hook up to run 2 AC units. Do NOT buy a built in generator. Stick with a portable unit under <3000 watts, which will only run one AC at a time.

Also forget the propane refrigerator. Either get a 12VDC compressor refrigerator or residential refrigerator and four 6v golf cart batteries with a 2,000 watt pure sine wave inverter.

MitchF150

Puyallup, WA

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Posted: 10/14/20 08:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I hope your truck is at least a "25" series truck... That's what I would want at the minimum for your goals...

Good luck! Mitch
[image]


2013 F150 XLT 4x4 SuperCab Max Tow Egoboost 3.73 gears #7700 GVWR #1920 payload. 2019 Rockwood Mini Lite 2511S.

lane hog

Tucson, AZ & NW Chicago Burbs, IL

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Posted: 10/15/20 06:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jayco used to be a good name but the quality has dropped since being bought by Thor. We love our Grand Design.

If you're not in a hurry, there are gobs of trailers hitting the used market because of people who rushed into buying a RV when COVID hit, but realized it's not quite their thing.



  • 2019 Grand Design 29TBS (had a Winnebago and 3x Jayco owner)
  • 2016 F-150 3.5L MaxTow (had Ram 2500 CTD, Dodge Durango)
  • 130W solar and 2005 Honda EU2000i twins that just won't quit



valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 10/15/20 06:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Give some thought to a toy hauler in that size range. Many have double bunks that are the full width of the garage that move up to the ceiling when using the garage for toys.

That will allow plenty of room for storing bikes, dog crates and other stuff that they will want to bring and most are walled of with a door, so it can provide a little privacy away from the parents. If you want a big grill or blackstone, you can just wheel it in and out convienently.


Tammy & Mike
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kellem

Shenandoah valley,VA

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Posted: 10/15/20 07:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If your not opposed to buying used then you'll have many units to choose from when the Covid campers start dumping them.

After many years of pulling trailers we've found 30 ft to be the sweet spot for space and mobility but that length usually requires 2500 series trucks for the additional payload.

Biggest issue you may have is shuffling through all the trailer choices, so many today with variety of floorplans.

Grand Designs would be a good place to start, many happy customers.

Lastly, get a good weight distribution hitch and keep those trailer tires inflated to max PSI.

wowens79

Georgia

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Posted: 10/15/20 07:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Couple of thoughts for you.
1. Avoid Camping World other than the large variety to look at.
2. Kids are gonna grow. Our son was was 5'6" when we bought the camper, and now he is 6'2", and no longer fits in the bunks.
3. I'd avoid the outdoor kitchen, the appliances are not the best, I prefer choosing my own grill and stove. Just get a folding table, and make your own.
4. I really like my residential fridge, it works much better than the propane ones, and has more room in it. We always camp with hookups, so if you boondock, that may change your decision.


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camp-n-family

London, Ontario

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Posted: 10/15/20 08:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A model like our Keystone Bullet 31bhpr would fit the bill. There are several brands that have the same floor plan but I found the Keystone to be the lightest by a large margin and the quality was better than most.

It has a bunk room in back with king sized futon on the bottom and 2 single bunks above and decent storage. Outdoor kitchen with a sink (most nowadays don’t seem to have sinks anymore) and a 2nd entry door directly to the bathroom. A nice feature so the kids don’t track all the dirt through the trailer.

It’s 34’ tongue to bumper and only 6400lbs dry. 8k gvwr. I wouldn’t tow it with less than a 3/4t truck or van.


'17 Ram 2500 Crewcab Laramie CTD
'13 Keystone Bullet Premier 310BHPR
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Lwiddis

Camping near Pearsonville, CA

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Posted: 10/15/20 09:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hopefully you took the advice that you buy or select the trailer FIRST then match a tow vehicle to the trailer.

"We will have a pickup with towing capabilities of 13,000lbs+"

What is the truck's payload rating? How much weight will you carry in the truck? Kids, you, spouse, stuff, animals etc.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watts solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for flags. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560)


Mickeyfan0805

SE Wisconsin

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Posted: 10/15/20 10:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I know this is not what you asked, so I apologize in advance, but given your plans, I would encourage you to at least consider going the motorhome route. While your kids are young now, they won't stay that way, and a family of 5, plus two dogs, doing long cross-country trips in a pick-up, does not sound like a good time to me.

We towed with an HD Suburban for years until it finally gave out last year, so we bit the bullet and got a pick-up. Our older kids are in high school, so many of our trips are more local with multiple cars, but I will say that the idea of longer trips with our family of 5 is much less appealing to us, now, than it was when we had the Suburban. And, as far as the dog, we are forced to leave him home if we are only taking the truck - there's simply no room for him.

I entirely understand that you might already have a truck and/or will use that truck as a daily driver - all of which impacts the cost analysis (it did for us). If you are going out to buy all of this for the purpose of camping, however, a class C would at least be worth consideration.

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