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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: 10/15/20 10:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

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.


We have to use the vehicle as a daily driver when we’re not towing so we needed to figure this part out first, and then make sure to get the right camper that will suit us and the vehicle if that makes sense. That’s why we’re making sure the vehicle will be much more capable than we necessarily need it to be. It will have other “jobs” when we aren’t camping with it [emoticon]

Jas1317

NY

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Posted: 10/15/20 10:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mickeyfan0805 wrote:

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.


We may go this route in the future too! Right now our kids are little and we do need the vehicle to be a daily driver, as well as really wanting to be able to “detach” and go places without the camper when we are staying places! I wish the suburban made a true HD. The tow capacity isn’t very high on the new ones!

Jas1317

NY

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Posted: 10/15/20 10:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wowens79 wrote:

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.


Please tell me more about avoiding camping world. They had so many choices!

That’s a really good point about the bunks - I have 3 girls I think we’re going to be ok unless they get giant!

Thank you for the tips about the outdoor kitchen those are good points to consider!

Jas1317

NY

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Posted: 10/15/20 10:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

camp-n-family wrote:

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.


I’ll definitely check this out thank you!

Jas1317

NY

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Posted: 10/15/20 10:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

lane hog wrote:

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.


Good to know! Yes we’re hoping to find a good deal!

Mickeyfan0805

SE Wisconsin

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Posted: 10/15/20 11:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jas1317 wrote:

I wish the suburban made a true HD. The tow capacity isn’t very high on the new ones!


This has been one of my greatest frustrations in recent years. We babied our '06 got a long time, but in the end, the repair costs were mounting and we found we couldn't take trips because we were too afraid it would give out on us.

We bought it used in 2012 and got a lot of use out of it, but readily would have purchased a new one then (or in years since) had it been an option. Even the old option of HD vans is really a thing of the past. Larger families have little practical way to tow anymore.

Jas1317

NY

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Posted: 10/15/20 11:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mickeyfan0805 wrote:

Jas1317 wrote:

I wish the suburban made a true HD. The tow capacity isn’t very high on the new ones!


This has been one of my greatest frustrations in recent years. We babied our '06 got a long time, but in the end, the repair costs were mounting and we found we couldn't take trips because we were too afraid it would give out on us.

We bought it used in 2012 and got a lot of use out of it, but readily would have purchased a new one then (or in years since) had it been an option. Even the old option of HD vans is really a thing of the past. Larger families have little practical way to tow anymore.


It’s frustrating for sure! Back in the day they made that diesel ford excursion that would be great for this too. There really isn’t a good suv option for a bigger camper!

wowens79

Georgia

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Posted: 10/15/20 11:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jas1317 wrote:

camp-n-family wrote:

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.


I’ll definitely check this out thank you!


Reading reviews of Camping World you come across all kinds of bad stuff, from adding to the price at closing, taking months to do warranty work etc.


2002 Chevy Silverado 1500HD 6.0l 241k miles and climbing
2016 Heritage Glen 29BH
2003 Flagstaff 228D Pop Up

theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 10/15/20 12:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kellem wrote:

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

I have been thinking the same thing !

There will be a large number of 1 year RVs on the market by next summer. Some will be very inexpensive, maybe even repossessed.

falconbrother

North Carolina

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Posted: 10/15/20 12:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since you have your truck you know what your weights should be. You have lots and lots of options. There is no perfect. We bought ours new at CW in 2017. Lucky for us I guess we haven't needed any warranty work. Ours is officially a 27foot but a shade over 30 feet hitch to bumper. For two people and dogs it's plenty of room, especially with the slide out.

After towing a lot since 2017 I'd say you should have plenty of truck, weights and power. Just pay real close attention to your weights. Throw in an extra 1000 pounds on that trailer weight and stay well under your max. Get your hitch set up by a pro. If you can have a bedroom with a door you'll be happier. Bunkhouse travel trailers are everywhere so, that will be an easy find.

Think about storage when you're looking. You will run out of that in a hurry. We don't have the outside kitchen. Not sure I'd want that, or the outside television. The bathroom with an outside entrance might be a nice feature though, also a common feature. Get one with with EZ lube style axles. Very easy to maintain. Lippert and Dexter make them. Very common these days. We have had fiberglass laminate and aluminum sided. After 33 years of RVs I prefer aluminum. When laminate starts to de-laminate it's a mess. If you can find an RV with a fiberglass roof that would be awesome. Not sure if that's a thing in travel trailers, it is with some motorhomes. The rubber roof needs to be inspected and cleaned regularly.

The biggest thing. Enjoy the process. It's fun to buying an RV. I think we have bought our last one. When we get too old to tow it we'll store it at the beach so we just call and they can put it on a spot.

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