View Full Version : HELP!!! What type of trailer to buy?

08-26-2008, 10:35 AM
I have been in the market for a newer used Trailer. With so many different types of Trailers out there, it’s really starting to get me confused on what to buy.

We live in South-central New Jersey and I am married with 4 wee ones. 2 boys ages 10 and 8, and 2 girls ages 2 and 4. My towing vehicle is a 01 Ford Expedition 2wd.

I’ve been trying to figure out what would be best for my family. My wife likes the ideal of having a bathroom in the trailer for the wee ones, but I think it’s more for her own comfort.
I do like the Hybrids, but I am concern about the tent part leaking during the rain and my wife has a hard time sleeping with fabric separating her from the outside.
Another option that I really like is a double bunks on one side of the trailer, and a Queen slide out on the other. That would be my choice, but after reading the camping treads with all the campers bring their own Electric Carts, I’m am now thinking of some sort of Toy hauler, or is there other options on how people are bringing their own carts?

We tent camped at a Family run amusement park in North-eastern Pa, (Knoebels) and had a fantastic time. The only problem was my wife’s discomfort in a tent.

Our plan is to get back to Disney, but this time camp at the Fort. Last time was last October for 10 days at Riverside. We all had a blast but the weather was HOT! With our luck, the east coast was having a heat wave.

Any advice on this subject would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Michael

08-26-2008, 10:42 AM
I'd look at quad bunk travel trailers. You can find some lite weight models from Dutchmen that you could probably pull with your EX.

I saw this one at my local dealer that could give you an idea of the floor plan I'm speaking of:


No offense but you don't have the tow vehicle for many of the larger trailers/toy haulers so I'd be very leary of my weights when I started looking at trailers.

08-27-2008, 07:19 PM
Too bad you live in NJ. I am selling one that would be perfect for you. It has the 2 sets of bunk beds and the queen bed slides out the back. It is a Kodiak Skamper 26QS. The GVWR is 6,000 lb. You may want to look into one similar to this. It is fairly easy to tow (I do it alone). Setup is easy as well. I do agree that having the bathroom is very nice when it is raining or it is the middle of the night. It is by dutchmen. If you happen to be in louisiana, you can buy mine. :rotfl: I am sure you can find a dealer there somewhere. Try www.rvtrader.com . You can search by area, price, etc.

One warning, stay away from camping world dealers. Both times we bought from them, we were ripped off. No offense to anyone who likes them, but we just had 2 bad experiences. The 2nd one I just found out about when I went to find out loan payoff. Turns out they stuck us (meaning dh) with a loan that you have to pay all of your interest up front and it is a 10 year loan. I now owe more than we borrowed on it!!!!!!:scared1:

Be careful!!!

09-19-2008, 12:20 PM
Thank for all your feedback.
This is the size and type of trails I was looking at. If anyone has any info on how good they are, or any other types of make and models I may want to look in to?




Thanks! :banana:

09-19-2008, 12:52 PM
First part of your problem, move out of NJ.

09-19-2008, 01:26 PM
The biggest issue you're going to face is weight. From the Trailer Life Towing Guide:

2WD 4.6 V-8 5,800b
2WD 5.4 V-8 6,600b
2WD 5.4 V-8 7,600c,g
2WD 5.4 V-8 8,100d,g
b = Requires 3.31:1 axle ratio
c = Requires 3.55:1 axle ratio
d = Requires 3.73:1 axle ratio;
g = Requires 16- or 17-inch (P275) wheel option

I don't know your vehicle specifics but I'd guess your 01 Expy 2WD can tow, at most, 6600 lbs if you have the large V8. Could you tow more than that? Sure, plenty of people do it all the time but I think the consensus you'll find among RVers is to stick within the weight limits of your vehicle to minimize damage to the engine, trans, etc. If you can tow the recommended max of 6600 lbs, keep in mind that it includes the total weight of your TT and all the stuff you need to carry. You also want to keep an eye on GCVWR, the total of the loaded TT and loaded TV. This is another important figure that shouldn't be exceeded.

There are many different makes/models that should fit your needs but stay open to other ideas. My brother tows a Keystone Passport with an 04 Expy, small V8, that has a single bunk, a double bunk and a hard queen rear slide. The couch and dinette also convert giving his TT sleeping room for 7 comfortably or 10 uncomfortably. Sure it can be a hassle to make the couch or dinette into a bed but his TT is within his weight limits and he feels comfortable towing it.

09-19-2008, 01:52 PM
I don't think you have the right tow vehicle to tow a toy hauler. Especially when you add a golf cart. Golf carts are around 1k or more.

If you want a toy hauler you would need at least a 3/4 ton TT.

09-19-2008, 03:31 PM
OK, that's some really good stuff.
My engine is a the 5.4L Triton.
Where do I look to find the axle ratio of the vehicle?


09-19-2008, 07:39 PM
If you call Ford and give them your Vehicle Identification Number, they should be able to send you all the information on the specifics of your vehicle like the gear ratios and towing capacity.

They may even have a feature on the website that might allow you to look that up.

I ran into this with my 07 Tundra which did not have the owners manual. Shortly after I bought it, I learned that they changed things half way through the production year, and I needed to know if my truck was an early 07 or late 07. With the VIN, they could tell me the day it was made, what the options were and whether the guys on the assembly line were drinking Coors or Kungaloosh.

09-20-2008, 12:01 AM
Here is a link to a toy hauler that weights 5900 empty and 8000 fully loaded. Could maybe work for you. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Other-Vehicles-Trailers_RVs-Campers__CHEROKEE-WOLF-PACK-TOY-HAULER-FREE-GENERATOR-FREE_W0QQitemZ160284290191QQddnZOtherQ20VehiclesQ2 0Q26Q20TrailersQQadnZRVsQ20Q26Q20CampersQQddiZ2828 QQadiZ2799QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item160284290191&_trkparms=72%3A727%7C39%3A1%7C65%3A12%7C240%3A1308&_trksid=p4506.c0.m245

09-20-2008, 08:20 AM
Along with the weight issues, you need to look at the wheelbase of the Expedition vs a longer truck like the Excursion. All things being equal the longer wheelbase will tow better.

09-20-2008, 11:28 AM
I would google campers and that should give you a list of manufactures you can then look at floor plans and weights etc. there is a few dealers in the area where you can look just to get ideas i'm in central NJ there is 2 in lakewood one on 88 Scotts its betwen the parkway and rt 9 then there is a camping world on rt 9 by rt 70 there is driftwood in the atlantic city area there is 2 of them plus there is one at the rt33 circle by collingswood auction so here's some to get you started good luck
first i would check your weight rating so you know what your limits are

09-20-2008, 12:09 PM
We have a wonderful lightweight travel trailer made by Trailmanor. It is a collapsable hard-side and very unique. When we tow it our gas mileage only goes down 2 miles per gallon. Ours is a 2720 -- it's 27 ft when open, 20 ft when closed. It has room for six with a queen bed in the back, and two doubles up front (a permanent, and a dinette that converts). We have everything we need...bathroom w/shower, stove, refrigerator, etc. It also has a swing-away hitch that allows it to be stored in a standard garage depending on model/garage size. They're pretty spendy when you buy them new, but used ones can be found for a decent price. Here's a link to the manufacturers website as well as an owners forum:

09-21-2008, 08:42 PM
Just a thought there should be a camper show coming up in edison Nj also there may be one in atlantic city i'll check and get back this would allow you to look at a lot of dealers and get brochures to look at floor plans and they will have weight and other info

09-21-2008, 08:55 PM
Here's a list of shows
Fall NJ rv show (edison) Oct 3-5

Fall Rhode Island Rv Show Oct 3-5

Fall Atlantic City Rv Show Oct 31-Nov 2

Nj Rv and Camping Show (edison) Jan 16-18 09

Rhode Island Rv and Camping Show Mar 6-8 09

Atlantic City Rv and Camping Show Mar 6-8 09

you can look these up at www.macevents.com for more info such as times and ticket info they usually have a coupon for money off tickets also
good luck and any ?'s just ask or pm me

09-22-2008, 12:26 AM
I had an expedition, 2000 model, 5.4, 3.55 gears, rated 7800lbs. I pulled my 30 ft trail-lite dry weight 4650lbs, from texas to the Fort. It did ok, power was no problem, but had a little more sway than I had hoped for. I only used a basic round bar weight distributing hitch with one friction anti-sway bar. These hitches are inexpensive but the anti sway bars don't help much. The longer trailers will tend to "pull" your expe around more than a shorter trailer. Most experienced rv guys will tell you to pull a 28 ft max with a short truck like an expedition. They also say, your trailer loaded with all your stuff should weigh no more than 80% of your rated tow capacity. I recomend you to find a trailer that is 5000lbs dry wt and 28 ft max length bumper to hitch. A tow hauler with a golf cart is just going to be too much. Maybe consider a medium sized trailer and a nice cabin style tent for the boys. I think most people get caught up in the bigger is better thing when shopping for rvs. Remember you are going camping, not to live in it. I do love my Trail-lite 8306S. This brand is one of the first ultralite, low profile trailers, been around for many years. Good luck and happy hunting for that trailer. If you get a 28 or 30 ft trailer, you should spend a little more on the hitch in order to controle sway. The Reese dual cam is widely acclamed and is not too much more. The ultimate is the Hensley Arrow, very expensive.

09-22-2008, 06:16 AM
I second the idea of a spare tent set up for older kids, they enjoy sleeping later anyway. See the photos from our trip to the Fort with a tent for two teenage boys set up with the AC.

We could probably tow a bigger/heavier trailer if needed with our current truck, but using the tent and screen house gives us the extra room we need. Really like the idea of extra floor space with slides in a trailer, but nervous about the extra maintenance, weight and potential water damage.

I have to say, the used Jayco we bought has taken the abuse of kids very well. The trailer we rented once had to have several small repairs on the road (latch for the screen door came off twice, some fittings, etc.) and it was less than a year old.

09-22-2008, 07:29 PM
Abagpiper 5 where is south central NJ i'm in central nj morganville in monmouth county hope you find a camper thats what you are looking for both the Edison and Atlantic City shows are pretty big you should have a good selection of stuff to look at they have little pop ups all the way up to 1 million $ fancy bus type motor homes but you can get some brochures at least so you can see all the floor plans and options or just look up the manufactures of several if you go on those dealers web sites i mentioned before you can get to the manufactures sites to see all the models
these should help
both scotts and campers world carry keystone just different levels so does driftwood they carry keystone same as campers world this is where i bought my last camper it's a keystone cougar and it's been great for the last 3 years we have had it before that we bought a keystone from scotts it was a cheaper model and still was nice had minor problems but dealer took care of things before that we rented a motor home twice to go to the fort well if i can be of any help just let me know

09-25-2008, 10:03 AM
I live in Manchester and I have look at the places youíve listed. It seems that they want top $$ for their used trailers.

I am trying to convince my wife that we should drop the wee ones at her parentís house in Jackson so we can go to the RV Show in Edison.
She is now concern about the economy, and is trying to convince me that we should hold on to what we have and wait to see if things will get better, or priceís come down.

I have been keeping an eye on EBay and Craigslist looking for deals. I still will love to find a trailer with the floor plan that I linked earlier in this thread, but I am finding some nice Hybrids out there too.

It so confusing! :confused3
As far as my weight issue, I did go to Scottís, and they were showing me trailers that were between 4400 and 6000 lbs. And told me I should be fine pulling something that heavy. I personally do not want anything close to 6k. I would like to stay closer to 4000 to 4500 dry weight.

I do want to thank everyone for their help and suggestions.

09-25-2008, 02:46 PM
It seems that they want top $$ for their used trailers.

Dealers can ask for whatever they want but it doesn't mean that they will get it. Make an offer that you are comfortable with. If the dealer wants to sell it then he will.

09-25-2008, 04:21 PM

This is a 2005 Jayco 25G. I don't know if you can find one on rvtrader or not. It has the quad bunkbeds in the back and a hybrid queen bed in the front. We wanted one of these when we bought our 19H but our tow vehicle couldn't handle the weight. I would buy another Jayco in a minute over our Keystone Outback.


09-25-2008, 10:44 PM

I would buy another Jayco in a minute over our Keystone Outback.

Shelley While most trailers are built about the same in quality, Jayco does seam to have a loyal following of proud owners. As a matter of fact, when i was looking for my light weight low profile trailer for my Expedition, I focused my search on the Jayco Featherlite, the Trail-lite, and the Forest River Rockwood. These brands have been around for a long time and are really nice lightweights. There are many floorplans of Rockwoods that are suitable to be pulled with your Expedition. I bought my Trail-lite because I found a like new used one for thousands less than a new one.

10-11-2008, 06:50 PM
OK, I went to the Edison RV show and was very disappointed. I did cruse thru the RV place near my home and I think I finally found something that will fit my family for a few years. :banana:
Itís a Hybrid.
2004 Jayco Jay Feather 23B
Itís really clean, and the price is right.
Hereís a link to the floor plane.


If anyone has any experience with this type of trailer, please let me know how you like them.

10-12-2008, 09:40 PM
We started in a Jay Feather 25E. I loved it but DW wasn't keen on it. The straw that broke the camel's back was the last time we packed up in the rain. It was a nor'easter in the Outer Banks. The next spring we traded up. We love this TT also but I also loved sleeping "under the stars" so to speak, especially in cool nights.

10-16-2008, 09:48 AM
The hybrid campers are nice and are lighter the big thing you need to watch is if they are the canvas type that they don't leak they are like a popup and you need to take care of them right you need to air them out and spray with the proper canvas spray and they will last a long time if not then they can go bad from sitting wet they can rot and replacing canvas can be pricey not to scare you but just look it over real good make sure they open it up for you look for rips or mold spots this would give you a idea if the last people took care of it good luck and happy camping