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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  Small TT's

 > Requirements for towing and setup of a TT 3500lbs or less

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bgum

South Louisiana

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Posted: 12/13/20 08:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have a mh and tow the work is nearly the same. You will have to put the stabilize down that is all extra. Disconnecting the tv or towed is same. Hooking up services is the same. Rest stops are different in that you have to exit your vehicle to get to your rv.

Grit dog

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Posted: 12/13/20 08:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don’t need a wdh with a 1/2 ton and little trailer like that.
Yes, chock the trailer wheels when it’s disconnected.


"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.

rjstractor

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Posted: 12/13/20 09:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gjac wrote:

That was part of my question what is the lot more work or other difficulties that I am not seeing?


Several things- a trailer takes more skill to back and park than a motorhome. Not an issue once you've done it a few times. You have to get out and disconnect the trailer from the truck when you set up (unless you're overnighting in a parking lot or something) The big one is leveling, especially if you had automatic levelers in your motorhome.

I've done both types of RVing. With a motorhome, if it's late, cold and pouring rain when you arrive at your site, you can literally throw it in park and go to bed. (assuming you have enough propane and battery of course) With a trailer, you're gonna get wet. Setting up a TT is not bad, but it is a bit more work.

Gjac

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Posted: 12/13/20 10:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To make the set up a little easier can't stronger jacks be added that would lift the TT high enough to level it? Just thinking a small TT would weigh much less than a large one. The jacks look similar to scissor jacks used to jack up cars that weigh about the same but actually lift the tires off the ground.

TomG2

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Posted: 12/13/20 01:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gjac wrote:

To make the set up a little easier can't stronger jacks be added that would lift the TT high enough to level it? Just thinking a small TT would weigh much less than a large one. The jacks look similar to scissor jacks used to jack up cars that weigh about the same but actually lift the tires off the ground.


Manufacturers do not recommend frame jacking. That's why they are called stabilizers.

I am an old guy, but it is incredibly easy to permanently mount a couple of levels on the trailer (front and side). The front level can be calibrated to tell you how many inches one side is lower than the other. Place the required blocks in front of the low side tires, pull forward, and you are level. Takes longer to tell than to do. The front can tben be raised or lowered with the tongue jack to complete the job. At 3500 pounds, the OP is almost certainly dealing with a single axle trailer. Very easy.

Have you never seen a front window popped out of a Class A from jacking the front end?

As far as hitching/unhitching, not every lot is a pull though, and it is just as easy to do a trailer as a toad.

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 12/13/20 01:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gjac wrote:

To make the set up a little easier can't stronger jacks be added that would lift the TT high enough to level it? Just thinking a small TT would weigh much less than a large one. The jacks look similar to scissor jacks used to jack up cars that weigh about the same but actually lift the tires off the ground.


Trailer frames are not really designed to have the weight supported via jacks on the corners only. Doing so is going to tweak the frame in ways it shouldn't be, sometimes enough to make it difficult to open/close the trailer door.

Trailer frames should be supported mainly by the axles, basically you will need to put a board or plastic lego things under the wheels on one side to get the side to side fairly level. Then you use tongue jack for front to back leveling, then you can use the stabilizers to stop the up/down bounce.

While you could use "stronger" jacks or stabilizers, it is not recommended.

To make life a bit easier some stabilizers are bolt on so all you need is a cordless drill to run them up and down.. You can get a electric tongue jack..

A trailer can be a bit more work to setup and tear down than a motorhome with fully automatic powered levelers. Hitch/unhitch plus manual leveling a trailer can be some work but once you get a feel for it, it goes quickly.

But to me, I would rather use a trailer.. If my tow vehicle has problems I can have the the tow vehicle towed to a repair shop and I can camp in my trailer.. A MH,well you might be camping in the repair shop lot or end up in a Motel/Hotel..

I can replace just the tow vehicle and not the entire RV as the tow vehicle wears out.. And replacing the tow vehicle in most cases is considerably cheaper than replacing an entire MH..

We can also replace the trailer and keep the same tow vehicle..

I don't mind getting out of the tow vehicle at a rest stop to get into the trailer, gives me the chance to walk around and stretch before getting in the trailer..

Snacks, well, we pack a few chips and water in the tow vehicle so we do not have to stop if we want to snack.

Backing up with trailer is not all that of a problem, just requires some practice. Just need a empty parking lot that has some room to practice to get the hang of it.

Depending on the size of MH you are moving from, a trailer may be even easier to park, backup and fit into small spaces.

AJR

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Posted: 12/13/20 08:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gjac

I don’t know your age or health. I can tell you this. Since 2004 when I bought my first 19’ TT. Not a single item associated with any RV has managed to stay the same weight. With time they all seem to gain weight. Funny how that works. The same is true with steps. The fewer the better now days.

Now if you are still using a P30 I know the cost of maintenance of one those chastises. I had one. Nothing is cheap. That was one of the reasons I went to class Cs. First a Ford & now a Chevy. Good mechanics can service them at reasonable prices. Also fewer steps and more doors. I now tow a car. None of the “towing” accessories necessary for hitching up on the road weigh more than a pound each. You know that if you tow with your P30.

With age getting off of my knees has become more of a task. I am not up to getting leveling gadgets off of the ground anymore. I like pushing a button to level. I also like the holding tanks sizes I have now. My two TTs had smaller tanks.

I do not miss banging a shin bone on a hitch. Nor do I miss grease on my pants. Or mucking around with the weight distribution bars on my second TT on a nice day.


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Gjac

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Posted: 12/14/20 07:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

Gjac wrote:

To make the set up a little easier can't stronger jacks be added that would lift the TT high enough to level it? Just thinking a small TT would weigh much less than a large one. The jacks look similar to scissor jacks used to jack up cars that weigh about the same but actually lift the tires off the ground.


Trailer frames are not really designed to have the weight supported via jacks on the corners only. Doing so is going to tweak the frame in ways it shouldn't be, sometimes enough to make it difficult to open/close the trailer door.

Trailer frames should be supported mainly by the axles, basically you will need to put a board or plastic lego things under the wheels on one side to get the side to side fairly level. Then you use tongue jack for front to back leveling, then you can use the stabilizers to stop the up/down bounce.

While you could use "stronger" jacks or stabilizers, it is not recommended.

To make life a bit easier some stabilizers are bolt on so all you need is a cordless drill to run them up and down.. You can get a electric tongue jack..

A trailer can be a bit more work to setup and tear down than a motorhome with fully automatic powered levelers. Hitch/unhitch plus manual leveling a trailer can be some work but once you get a feel for it, it goes quickly.

But to me, I would rather use a trailer.. If my tow vehicle has problems I can have the the tow vehicle towed to a repair shop and I can camp in my trailer.. A MH,well you might be camping in the repair shop lot or end up in a Motel/Hotel..

I can replace just the tow vehicle and not the entire RV as the tow vehicle wears out.. And replacing the tow vehicle in most cases is considerably cheaper than replacing an entire MH..

We can also replace the trailer and keep the same tow vehicle..

I don't mind getting out of the tow vehicle at a rest stop to get into the trailer, gives me the chance to walk around and stretch before getting in the trailer..

Snacks, well, we pack a few chips and water in the tow vehicle so we do not have to stop if we want to snack.

Backing up with trailer is not all that of a problem, just requires some practice. Just need a empty parking lot that has some room to practice to get the hang of it.

Depending on the size of MH you are moving from, a trailer may be even easier to park, backup and fit into small spaces.
Thanks for your explanation I just thought a pair of scissor jacks would solve the problem not realizing the frames were not strong enough. When considering smaller units the TT's main advantage to me over larger TT's or 5 wheels is the truck can be used as a DD. I would not want a dully as a DD. Also having had two major breakdowns while out west I found few places have lifts to handle large class A's and the truck stops that do want to work on trucks not class A's. Your right about having to overnight in a repair facility, had to do that once and once had to drive home from Mt in my tow car and hotel it along the way the fly back 3 months later to dive the MH back home, not fun. I figure any Ford place can work on a F-150 truck if there is a problem. When I looked at TC's and 5th wheels you lose the truck bed for storage. The other trade off is a 24 ft Class C without a tow car but you still need blocks to level and have less storage than a truck TT combo and I think after a while I would miss not having a tow car. I don't have a truck now so a truck TT combo would probably cost more than a 24 ft class C but the truck could be used as a DD. I was looking at the Ford hybrid power boost which is about $1900 over the ICE but is suppose to get 20% better fuel economy or about 26 mpg which is more than my older Honda CRV gets, so to me that looked like a good option. Every RV is a trade off and there is no perfect solution.

GrandpaKip

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Posted: 12/14/20 08:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For a small camper, look into the Andersen Hitch and Andersen type levelers.
Both of these simplify having a TT.
With the right 1/2 ton truck, you can go up to 6 or 7k gross weight campers.
Ours is 6k gross and 5k loaded.
I set up by myself while my wife walks the dog. If I hurry, (hardly happens) I can get everything done in about 30 minutes. I usually mosey about, sipping on a Guinness, and am done in less than an hour. This includes all the outside stuff, too. So, really, I can’t imagine setting up takes much more time in a TT than your MH.


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Gjac

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Posted: 12/14/20 08:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

AJR wrote:

Gjac

I don’t know your age or health. I can tell you this. Since 2004 when I bought my first 19’ TT. Not a single item associated with any RV has managed to stay the same weight. With time they all seem to gain weight. Funny how that works. The same is true with steps. The fewer the better now days.

Now if you are still using a P30 I know the cost of maintenance of one those chastises. I had one. Nothing is cheap. That was one of the reasons I went to class Cs. First a Ford & now a Chevy. Good mechanics can service them at reasonable prices. Also fewer steps and more doors. I now tow a car. None of the “towing” accessories necessary for hitching up on the road weigh more than a pound each. You know that if you tow with your P30.

With age getting off of my knees has become more of a task. I am not up to getting leveling gadgets off of the ground anymore. I like pushing a button to level. I also like the holding tanks sizes I have now. My two TTs had smaller tanks.

I do not miss banging a shin bone on a hitch. Nor do I miss grease on my pants. Or mucking around with the weight distribution bars on my second TT on a nice day.
I will be 74 in Feb and yes have knee arthritis and a torn meniscus in left knee, 3 torn rotator cuff tendons in left shoulder. I can pull, just can push 3 lbs over head. And yes spent a small fortune on that IFS front end, that is what also caused me to look at a small Class C or small TT. My wife never liked the large A or how it leaned when traveling mountainous roads out west. Two front end failures did it for her. I think a C would be somewhat better but would be almost the same HT as my A. Some like the BT Cruiser or Phoenix Cruiser have a lower profile and I hear owners say they like the way they handle. The real trade off for me now, is the RV will probably be used less and less as we get older, having a truck as a DD,(see above post to Gdetrailer) vs a MH that sits on the side of my house most of the time. Does that off set the difficulties of a TT set up? Also will the truck TT combo handle better that a 24 ft Class C? I am trying to determine those answers.

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