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g1barron

macon ga

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Posted: 03/27/21 09:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wife and I are thinking about buying a Travel Trailer in the 25ft range. My total experience towing a TT is all of 40 miles on an interstate when I was 17. Now I do have a small 8' utility trailer I pull and still have problem backing it up.

What are your recommendations as do we forget it or just jump in? Don't have any friends with TT's and can't find any training around my area.

I sure don't want to buy one and then pose a danger to you folks with many miles towing a TT or anyone else.

larry cad

ohio

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Posted: 03/27/21 09:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

An 8' trailer is much harder to back up than a 25' TT. 8' will "flip" left and right very quickly, a real pain.

Driving it forward is fairly easy. Drive the truck/car and the trailer will follow.

Get the TT, and go to a large parking lot and practice backing and parking in a lonely spot. You will get the hang of it.

Might also want to search youtube for training videos. Have fun.

P.S. My first trip towing was from Ohio to Arizona, with my 40' motorhome towing a 28' car hauler trailer. Total length was around 70'. I and the rig made it alive and we learned a lot.


Today is my personal best for most consecutive days alive.

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Merrykalia

Appalachian (apple at chun) Mtn in the GREAT SW Va

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Posted: 03/27/21 09:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree with Larry Cad. We started with a small popup and DH and I took it to a school parking lot. We had 4 cones that i borrowed from our local police department. We set them up, drove around them, between them,etc. going forward. THEN, we started backing into place. We laughed, we yelled, we giggled, but we finally got it. It was not a quick process.

We finally settled on me backing the camper and DH out spotting for me.

It has worked for over 30 years with us backing in that way. Both of us can do it, but I am a bit more proficient. We have had 6 different campers in that length of time from the popup, hybrid, bunkhouse TT, 2 5ers and now with have a diesel pusher.


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Kavoom

Kansas

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Posted: 03/27/21 09:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Make sure your tow vehicle is up to towing whatever you buy. Be careful. Threads involving towing can be like black holes of opinions. Carrying capacity is your usual limiting factor. My truck can tow 10,300 lbs... BUT I can only put 1500 lbs IN THE TRUCK when I tow. So, when you put a 500 lb hitch weight add 150 lbs of battery and propane tanks, people and dogs and anything in the back of the truck and a full tank of gas at 8.3 lbs per gallon, you suddenly are there at your capacity and you haven't even put anything in the back of the truck... and if you have an SUV, usually worse...

What kind of tow vehicle do you have? Longer trailers are easier to back up than short ones. Much easier. Short ones will give you fits as about an 1/8th of an inch turn on the steering wheel is enough to make them go sideways.

Always assess anyplace you are pulling into to ensure you don't get stuck or have to back out of some place with other people coming in...

They are all roughly the same quality unless you have money squirting out of your ears. Consider a one or two year old unit to save money and have the original owners work the bugs out. Buy new and YOU will spend the first year working the bugs out. BUT in 2021, the costs of used ones has gone up dramatically. I had a three year old 22 foot bunk house and was going to sell it for what I owed. The dealer gave me that in trade. Essentially I got to use it for three years for about a thousand bucks. Well worth it. So, new may be better at this point in time. My dealer put my 3 year old unit up for sale for the same price I bought it. OH, And with a new one, THERE WILL BE BUGS...

Look at RV trader for pricing information. Put the model number in and you will see prices being asked. You will see as much as 5 to 10K differences in pricing with the lower ones being in some cases deals and others used...Look. You will also see a bunch in a range. That is the general average. High price units will negotiate. Some dealers are easy to work with. Some dealers are like shady used car lot shysters...

Do you want a TT for you and a wife? Or a family? It is is just you, then having one main bed up front can work. If you got kids, a bunkhouse may be in order. Oh, those little dinettes they say you can sleep two in? Yeah, right if they are four feet tall and do not grow. Bunkhouses are few and far between under 25 feet and look carefully. Many bunks are like 28 to 32 inches wide... Trailers themselves run either 7 feet wide or 8 feet wide. I personally lean to the 8 footers as I have a pick up and good mirrors and sometimes they have full bunks even in relatively short lengths. It will give you more room inside.

If you can swing it, look at a "small" slide out unit. A slide out will give you a lot more room. My big labrador retreiver hated backing up in the non-slide unit. Cooking and other things can involve a chinese puzzle like approach like OK, you sit down, the dogs better be on the bed, She goes over lights the stove, you get up and move to the bed, she gets the pots and pans out until she finally tells you to GET OUT and take the dogs and you go poke tires or get the fire going or something. With kids...even more interesting.

Youtube is your friend for research as are most of the manufacturer websites with the 360 degree view functions. Many often say, get your second unit first as people often get what they think they need...realize its limitations three years down the road and get what they want... That's where my slideout advice/suggestion comes from... The dog really hates backing up...

OK, do you like to boondock (no electricity or water) or do you want the full deal and intend to have water electric and sewer every single time you camp preferably on a concrete pad...or a bit of both. This can influence your decision. Are you OK with one axle? or two? Remember always, your gray tank is your limiting factor. For example, a 28 gallon gray tank is good for about three days with at least one taking a shower a day. How low is the unit? If you go off grid, make sure your shut offs don't hang too low. You can do things like "flip axles" to get an extra five inches on some units...

Do you care about an outside shower? How about an outside kitchen? Want to hook up a TV outside? I do recommend a San T black tank flush. It helps...

Just a few of the things to condider...

wing_zealot

East of the Mississippi

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Posted: 03/27/21 10:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This biggest thing is not getting a trailer to big for your tow vehicle. You can get a lot of information about all that here
Clicky

theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 03/27/21 02:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

  • Don't buy new ! You will save thousands, maybe over 10,000 buying one that is 2-4 years old !
  • Don't be too concerned about the floor plan on your first trailer. You will form better opinions after a year or two
  • Start with something smaller.
    Besides saving money, it will be easier to tow.
  • Make sure you have a large enough tow vehicle.
  • Your first outing should be within a couple miles of home. If things go very wrong, pack up and leave.


mr_andyj

Georgia

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Posted: 03/27/21 04:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Agree w above. Long trailers are easy to tow and easier to back up.
DOn't buy based on a fear of having to learn a new trick. Lots of not-so-smart drivers on this forum can do it so can you.
Get the smallest trailer you can. Bigger not always better. Lots of downsides to a big roomy camper too. A lot depends if you plan to drive it, or just park it mostly. SHort trips to a close campground are easy. Long trips to new destinations every night are easier with the minimal caper. things to think about.
Youre camping! Some concessions can be made by anyone. It is not your house.

Crowe

Merrimack, NH

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Posted: 03/27/21 05:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

g1barron wrote:

Wife and I are thinking about buying a Travel Trailer in the 25ft range. My total experience towing a TT is all of 40 miles on an interstate when I was 17. Now I do have a small 8' utility trailer I pull and still have problem backing it up.

What are your recommendations as do we forget it or just jump in? Don't have any friends with TT's and can't find any training around my area.

I sure don't want to buy one and then pose a danger to you folks with many miles towing a TT or anyone else.


Many of us just "jump in". I never drove any type of trailer in my life but then towed a pop-up, then a 5'er and then drove a Gulfstream Endura with a Chevy Tahoe behind it. Still don't back up very well but that job goes to the hubby! Go to an empty parking lot and practice again and again. If you get to a campground and feel stuck, ask for help. Pretty much anyone will help you.


I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be Douglas Adams

RV-less for now but our spirits are still on the open road.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 03/27/21 08:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Agree, just take it easy at first.
It’s much easier to learn stuff these days. Spend an evening watching YouTube videos and take some notes. Mental or otherwise.
Have a list of procedures for setup and tear down. Which, as a new camper, you’re probably less likely to forget than someone more seasoned.
While I preach that you can tow a lot with a (particular) size truck, err on the side of caution and have a little more truck than you absolutely need.
And have fun with it. New skills, new adventures.


2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29

jdc1

Rescue, Ca

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Posted: 03/27/21 10:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just go rent a trailer for a weekend, See if it fits your lifestyle. You might be a motorhome kind of family.

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