PDA

View Full Version : rv shopping...opinions please!!******UPDATE********


Lisa L from MI
02-07-2001, 05:08 PM
We own a pop up but are tired of the hassle and looking now for a travel trailer. We narrowed it down to 2 (I think)
1) Shasta Phoenix 308BHSL...It is a 31 foot, with slide out dinette and living room area. Bunkbeds and front queen bedroom. I love the decor, the set up and the overall look of it all.

2) Sunline Solaris T-267 SR...It is a 27 foot, with slide out dinette and living room area. Bunkbeds and front double bedroom. The decor is nice and the set up is ok but not as nice as the Shasta. My DH said it is alot better made than the Shasta (cabinets, etc...)

Anyone familiar with any of these??? The Sunline is a few thousand more than the Shasta eventhough it is smaller. I know my DH prefers the Sunline since it is "better made" but I think I prefer the Shasta...as far as "looks" are concerned.

So, would you look for "quality" or appearance????

***UPDATE***
We went to another camper show tonight and wanted to look at only the ones listed above.....WELL...we decided on a Jayco 31 footer with the superslide and bunks....It actually has everthing we wanted plus some extras....outdoor shower...outdoor gas BBQ. I picked out "orchid" for the color, which, is kinda funny....On the Shasta above, he agreed on the "green" because he said "at least it isn't "purple""......Well....we got the purple in this one!!LOL But it isn't really too bad...We were going to go for the brown but it just seemed to drab......So I got the orchid (purple!!LOL)
http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/lisascs/plutomorganandmadison.gif

[This message was edited by Lisa L on 02-18-01 at 12:41 AM.]

Disney Campers
02-07-2001, 10:02 PM
Check the weight information, take the Gross Vehicle Weight rating and subtract the trailer dry weight, the difference is what you will be able to load into the trailer.

Of the two manufacturers you have listed I would say go with the Sunline, they do make a good quality trailer.

You may want to check out the following rv discussion forum, you will get a lot of good responses from those people.
irv2.com (http://irv2.infopop.net/2/OpenTopic/a/cfrm)

<Font Size=2><Font Color=blue>Scott</Font><Font
>
Co-Moderator Camping @ Disney Board (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=16209898)


DisneyCampers@wdwinfo.com
<center><Font Color=ff0066><Font size=4>www.disneycampers.com (http://www.disneycampers.com)
</Font></font></center>
<marquee>http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/family/wavey.GIF </marquee>

TwinMommy
02-08-2001, 05:25 AM
First of all be sure of your towing vehicles maximum lbs to tow. Our trailer weighs 5,000 full and our truck can tow up to 8,000. Believe me, you do not want to get close to the maximum for your truck. Also, have you thought about sway control? Which trailer is more aerodyanamic which would make it much easier to tow.

Our trailer is 25 ft and it is hard enough to manuever into small campsites. I wouldn't personally go over 27 or 28 ft in length and I do 1/2 of the driving on our trailer and all of the backing (dh is much better at backing directions than I am) so I know what I am speaking of. We also went from a pop-up to a trailer and it is a world of difference towing a trailer. You just feel so much bigger and longer going down the road.

With that said I would definitely go with the Sunline. They are one of the highest rated companies and their workmanship is excellent. I have also heard that their customer service is great.

Take your time with your decision. We have always been grateful that we took a long time to decide on our trailer. We feel we are safe when driving down the road and with kids in the truck, that is of our utmost importance.

Good luck!

TinkerbellRules
02-09-2001, 09:43 AM
I second TwinMommy's opinion. We looked at the larger TT with slide out. They add way too much weight on the camper plus length. Be sure to check the towing capacity for your tow vehicle. Be careful. We were told ours would tow a heavier TT, but it didn't. Sometimes salespeople are just that! If you want to, let me know what it is and I can look it up in a book.

Also, you're gas $$ will go up from the popup to the TT. Be aware of that. We have a 25 TT (queen bed with DB bunk) and always plan on double the amount without the camper. I've also heard people have more trouble with slideouts (mechanical), but they are nice! YOu might want to consider looking at some "lites". Ours is a Nomad Lite. Definately need a sway bar for the longer TT. Actually, we have one as well. You wouldn't believe how semi's can make the trailer sway! You also must consider the gas stations you enter. We pulled into one after driving 8 hrs (at midnight) and DH almost hit the cement posts protecting the gas pumps. My sis and I screamed "STOP" just before. He was literally an inch away from scrapping the whole side of the TT. We had to ask people to move their cars so we could get out. Scary! I also recommend checking out the Flyin J website before you go. They have nice, big RV gas pumps. We learned the hard way!

Been there, done that, going back!

Check my site: http://www.geocities.com/tinkerbellwdw2000/

Off-site 87, 88
All Star Music 97
All Star Music 98
All Star Movies 99
Ft Wilderness Oct 00
BWV/WLV Oct 01

http://www.geocities.com/pete164/flyTINKERBELL.gif

camper
02-09-2001, 11:53 AM
We traded our pop-up towards a TT last year. We looked at a sunline also and it did seem to be very good quality. We bought a citation only because we got a better deal, and I did like the set up better. I noticed the sunline even had flexsteel seating-very good in my opinion. The hard wood cabinets were important to my dh also. We want something that will last.
I was amazed at the difference the tt made in our gas mileage! And I think the sway bar is a must!
I would look at how much each weighs and take that into consideration also.
Good luck and let us know what you get!

Cold Iron
02-09-2001, 01:38 PM
I expect you will really enjoy the TT.

You have gotten some good advice for your choice. The only thing I have to add is watch the weights of both the TT and your tow vehicle. A few days ago over on the RV-Talk site a 45 ft. Marathon XLV/Prevost bus conversion was discussed, it weighed 43,600 lbs. and had a GVWR of 45,000 lbs. which left a total of 1,400 lbs. for cargo and people. And all this for only $725,597.

Keep in mind that RV salesmen and used car salesmen are closly related. All they want is your money.

Lisa L from MI
02-09-2001, 01:50 PM
Thanks for all your opinions and please keep them coming!!! I know...I am now really thinking weight wise too. I found an RV salesperson on the boards so hopefully they can help me with an unbiased opinion and expertise!!

I keep thinking about the length too....I think even a few feet would make a difference!!! I would like to be able to tow it myself too, without being petrified.

We are going to go to another camper show next weekend to check them out again...

Thanks for all your thoughts!!

http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/lisascs/plutomorganandmadison.gif

Camping Griswalds
02-10-2001, 05:12 AM
Cold Iron Where is the RV talk site that you referred to?? Is it the same as the one posted above?? Does anyone know where I can find a listing of local RV shows?? Thanks.

Cold Iron
02-10-2001, 06:34 AM
Camping Griswolds, The site that Disney Camper mentioned http://www.irv2.com is a great site, it's set up like this DIS board. The site I mentioned is http://www.rvclub.com then go to rv-talk section. This board is set up as e-mail responses. You'll get about 30 e-mails a day, kinda confusing but it's easier for the people on the road.

I searched for some RV shows, try http://www.campers-online.com or http://www.rvadvice.com/rvevents.html There are others but most are related to local states.

Camping Griswalds
02-10-2001, 12:55 PM
Cold Iron...thanks so much for the reply!! After I got done posting it here, I put it under it's own subject too. Thanks for the great info, I'm going to try out those sites!!

TinkerbellRules
02-11-2001, 05:50 AM
Lisa: What type of tow vehicle do you have? I can look it up in a camping book we have (which I just got).

When we first started looking, we had a Ford Supercab F150 4x4 Flareside (red). Boy was it awesome! We loved it. The car dealer told us we could tow just about anything. What a lie! We found it didn't have the right axle or something. So when we started looking for campers the next year, we found it wouldn't tow what we wanted. Plus, we discovered my DD grew too much to ride in the back in our opinion. Her head was above the seat which meant she would hit the back of the window if we stopped quickly. That was the deciding point for us. DD and I both cried when we traded the truck. That's kind of funny now, but anyway... We purchased a full sized conversion van and boy do we love it for traveling! So much room and so much more comfortable especially for our DD. Still love to have another truck though ;) We also have a minivan.

Bottom line is be careful of salespeople on both sides. Maybe they just aren't educated or just deceiving!

Oh, I meant to add earlier. We looked at the Sunline which seemed very nice, but the price kept us away from those. Seems like we might have looked at the Shasta but didn't like the "quality" of them. Have you thought about buying used? We purchased our 25' 98 Nomad Lite last year. Saved lots of $$ that way. We looked for over one year for a camper. Used vs new. We obviously decided used was best for us. Saved about $4,000 and nobody can tell it was used.

Sorry, I don't mean to confuse you more ;)

Been there, done that, going back!

Check my site: http://www.geocities.com/tinkerbellwdw2000/

Off-site 87, 88
All Star Music 97
All Star Music 98
All Star Movies 99
Ft Wilderness Oct 00
BWV/WLV Oct 01

http://www.geocities.com/pete164/flyTINKERBELL.gif

Lisa L from MI
02-17-2001, 08:44 PM
BUMP---I always think an update would bump it up

http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/lisascs/plutomorganandmadison.gif

Disney Campers
02-17-2001, 09:28 PM
COngratulations :D :D

Did you order one or take delivery of one from inventory on the dealers lot??

Jayco makes a good product, we love ours its just to small for us now, we also are looking for a 31 footer with bunks and super slide, that slide room makes such a big differenct.

Going from a pop up to full size trailer with slide is quite an upgrade, better sign up for the Presidents Club at camping world, it will save you 10% on what you purchase.

Best of luck on your new trailer, lets see some pics of it when get some.

Now the best way to break in a new trailer is by going to Fort Wilderness :D :D :D

<Font Size=2><Font Color=blue>Scott</Font><Font
>
Co-Moderator Camping @ Disney Board (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=16209898)


DisneyCampers@wdwinfo.com
<center><Font Color=ff0066><Font size=4>www.disneycampers.com (http://www.disneycampers.com)
</Font></font></center>
<marquee>http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/family/wavey.GIF </marquee>

Firefighter Mickey
03-05-2001, 12:56 PM
We've been going thru the same exercise the past few months. We have a Class A 25' Southwind that sleeps 3, which doesn't work for our 2 adult and 2 teen family. We made it thru our last visit to FW by extending the dinette bed space with a board and some supports and then putting a queen size air mattress on top, but it's a real pain. Luckily at FW about the only time we spent in the RV was when we were sleeping.

I've found the IRV2 (http://www.irv2.com) site to be very helpful. Along with a book titled "How to select, inspect and buy an RV" from www.rv.org (http://www.rv.org)

I think we've narrowed it doesn to 3 choices, and interestingly enough there's a lot of variation in the 3:

Sandpiper by Forest River
Prowler by Fleetwood
Nash by Northwood (this was a recent addition to our list after an RV show this weekend)

In all three cases we're looking at bunks and a slideout, and I've been keeping a real close eye on weights (including the hitch weight since we're looking at a 5er rather than a TT).

Right now the Nash is my favorite, and has the advantage of being rated one of the safest and highest quality in its class by one of the RV rating groups. The only drawback to the Nash is that it is a little more expensive than any of the others, and is pushing our budget a little bit. The good news is that the "sale" (hah!) price we saw for the Nash at the RV show may actually still be closer to the MSRP than what a dealer may actually sell for; so I'm hoping for some good news in the next few days from an Internet RV seller that will bring the Nash in with our budget and keep it in the running.

The Sandpiper is the least expensive of all 3, and there are things that we would have to "live with" with that option. Interestingly, the Prowler, while more expensive than the Sandpiper, does not appear to improve signficantly over the quality (a good example of how buying the most expensive RV doesn't always get you the best), and in some areas doesn't provide the same quality that the sandpiper does.

All in all, it's been quite an experience.

griff
03-05-2001, 02:42 PM
Hey we went from a 24' Alumalite, to a 27' Dutchman, with a slide out. It's like" Who threw out the anchor". I can't imagine pulling a 30' with a slide out. I would have to buy a new truck.
If you never travel very far, you can chance the long one. I have several friends with 30 footers. They love them when we go to parks 50 miles away, but none of them will pull them to Florida (700 miles).
Not to mention, I am getting about 7 miles to the gallon pulling that 27 footer.
GRIFF

Firefighter Mickey
03-05-2001, 04:13 PM
Alas, the only problem is that if you are looking at a Bunkhouse unit, you are almost always looking at 28' or 29' and better. I don't think I've seen a single 5er bunkhouse less than 28', though it might be possible in a TT (I've not really looked). And you can't just go by the model number as an indication. The Nash 28-5d we're looking at is 29+ feet (maybe the 28 refers to inside dimensions).

Lisa L from MI
03-05-2001, 04:23 PM
We ended up ordering it from Indiana....3000.00 cheaper than the "show" price here in MI. I am quite nervous about the size. But to have the bunks AND the slide out the smallest I think was 29 ft.

Now we need to change the hitch thingy on DH's truck (1994 chevy silverado w/a 350)and do something with the rear end (make it a 373???) So, we are talking even more money!!! Sometimes I think it's not worth it!!

I looked at the paper on it and it is 31.8 ft outside dimension....so that must include the hitch thingy too.

But our 2 major things were the bunks and the slide out. I know it seems like a big jump from a pop-up...At first I thought we could get away without the bunks but the thought of setting up the couch bed everyday and night...changed my minds and the kids 5 and 7 just love the idea of the bunks.

It should be in the last week of April and hopefully can post some pictures.

http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/lisascs/plutomorganandmadison.gif

Firefighter Mickey
03-05-2001, 06:06 PM
373 sounds like you are changing the axle ratio to 3.73. 4.10 would probably be a better ratio to change to if you have a gas engine; you'll get lower milage when not towing, but better pulling power when towing - however, I'm not an expert in this, and I don't play one on TV, so a professional opinion is probably in order.

The Chevy Trailering Guide shows that a Vortec 8100 engine has the same towing capability as the Durmax Diesel at 3.73, when the Vortec has the 4.10 ratio; with the 3.73 ratio with the Vortec you lose almost 2,000 lbs of towing capability.

Which Silverado do you have? I don't know a 350 from anything (unless you meant a 3500 - which is the 1-ton) - I usually go by model numbers in the trailing guide. If it's a 1500 or a 2500 I'd be worried about exceeding the capabilities of the truck. The best I see that a 1500 can tow (with the largest engine) is a GVWR of 8,800; the 2500 can go up to 10,200 with the 4.10 axle ratio.

[This message was edited by Firefighter Mickey on 03-05-01 at 10:17 PM.]

Lisa L from MI
03-05-2001, 06:14 PM
thanks firefighter...but I have no idea what you just said!!LOL!! I will see if my DH does. It is a regular gas truck...if that's what you mean...it's not diesel. I wonder if going bigger than the 373 would be even more money??

Just for the hitch stuff...sway bars, brake control thingy etc is going to cost about 900.00!!! I am wondering if we should just look into buying a new vehicle?? He has low miles on the truck though...only 55000...but I hate the fact of trying to sell it....we already have to sell the pop-up!!

Thanks again

http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/lisascs/plutomorganandmadison.gif

Firefighter Mickey
03-05-2001, 06:28 PM
I updated my post and just saw your reply. I would think that changing the axle ratio would be a fixed cost regardless of what ratio you changed too; according to the chart I have, the 4.10 ratio will give you the most towing capability regardless of model and/or engine (except for the diesel which only comes with 3.73).

Chevy has a very good Trailering Guide which you can download from the chevy web site or pick up at a dealer. I would not rely on the word of an RV salesman to tell me what my truck was capable of towing - they don't really know, and even the auto manufacturer is optimistic (at least that's my understanding). IRV2 has a board dedicated to towing issues; it's an eye opener.

I know the pain of trading up a truck. We had originally been looking at going with a Class C, and then changed our minds to go with the 5er because we would still have a vehicle to drive around once camp was set up. I had a 2000 S-10, and there was no way it was going to pull anything we were looking at. I traded it in at a loss of at least $2k and considered myself lucky.

We purchased a Silverado 2500 HD with the Vortec 8100 engine and the Allison Transmission; the 2500HD will tow most everything I've looked at, but because it's only a 3/4 ton, I have to carefully watch the hitch weight (I cannot exceed 2,500 lbs, and some of the dry hitch weights I've been looking at are >1,000 lbs, which leaves not much room for carrying things or throwing anything in the bed of the truck).

Frankly, I could not believe how much thought needs to go in to trying to match the correct truck with the trailer, in so much as that so many of the TT's or 5er's easily exceed the capabilities of most of the trucks that people want to use to tow with.

Lisa L from MI
03-05-2001, 06:39 PM
Thanks again Firefighter....DH truck, I think, is the 1500. The 350 is the size of the engine ( I assume)..it's got a 7 ft bed and extended cab.

The trailer book says
unloaded vehicle weight..6610
dry hitch weight..950
cargo carrying capacity..2790
gross vehicle weight..9400

I think the hitch he has now is 750?? Does that sound right??? Dealer told us we need
12000 class 5 hitch
1200 bars
sway control
break control 7-way

Does the trailer seem unusually heavy to you?? I would assume they would start making them lighter for more people to buy them

http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/lisascs/plutomorganandmadison.gif

Disney Campers
03-05-2001, 08:20 PM
We will take delivery of our new trailer today, it a Wilderness Model 31g, it has bunks in the rear, a queen in the front then a superslide with the dinette and sofa. the weights you mentioned seem pretty simular to ours.


The 750 you mention are Spring Bars, your new trailer has a higher tonque weight so your old 750 bars are to light, you will need at least 1000 pound spring bars.

<Font Size=2><Font Color=blue>Scott</Font><Font
>
Co-Moderator Camping @ Disney Board (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=16209898)


DisneyCampers@wdwinfo.com
<center><Font Color=ff0066><Font size=4>www.disneycampers.com (http://www.disneycampers.com)
</Font></font></center>
<marquee>http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/family/wavey.GIF </marquee>

Firefighter Mickey
03-06-2001, 06:00 AM
I forgot to add. Congrats on your new TT purchase; $3k below a show price sounds like a decent deal!

The weight of your trailer is pretty typical for the length, especially when you add a slide out (they really add the weight).

I hate to say this, but if I'm reading my chevy guide correctly, you are just over the limit if you've got the Vortec 5300 (I cannot find anything that relates a Vortec model number to the size in CC's) for the GVWR of your trailer. If you have a smaller engine, then you are way over the trailering limits. I've been using the GVWR rather than the dry weight because if I understand correctly, GVWR more closely reflects a loaded trailer (plus the fact that you are carrying more than just a driver in the pickup) and gives you some safety room. And, if the RV sales people can be believed (they have been fairly consistant with me anyway), in that weight/length range, you should be looking at at least a 3/4 ton pickup.

Before you spend any money on changing the axle with your 1500, my suggestion would be to get the chevy trailering guide, and talk over your requirements with a good chevy salesperson who understands trailering (if such a person exists); or run this combo by the experts that hang out at IRV2.

Sorry to be a damper, but I think you really may need to examine your truck size carefully. It's really a safety issue more than anything.

[This message was edited by Firefighter Mickey on 03-06-01 at 10:20 AM.]

Lisa L from MI
03-06-2001, 09:57 AM
Thanks....I checked out the irv2 site last night and really liked it. It was late so I didn't post but will today. I am going to show DH this thread to see what he thinks.

I will keep you posted...

http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/lisascs/plutomorganandmadison.gif

TinkerbellRules
03-06-2001, 10:07 AM
Someone mentioned that they hadn't seen smaller TT with bunks. Ours is a 25' Nomad with two bunks and is a lite (4300 lb). We looked into the fiberglass Cougars which were the same length with bunks and a dinette slide out. We just didn't want to spend that much money. They are out there. I wouldn't, personally, want to tow a larger TT. Ours is long enough (to tow, I mean).

Which Indiana dealer are you dealing with? (I'm from Indiana)

________________________
In memory of Dale Earnhardt, Sr....
________________________

Been there, done that, going back!

Check my site: http://www.geocities.com/tinkerbellwdw2000/

Off-site 87, 88
All Star Music 97
All Star Music 98
All Star Movies 99
Ft Wilderness Oct 00
BWV/WLV Oct 01

http://www.geocities.com/pete164/flyTINKERBELL.gif

Lisa L from MI
03-06-2001, 10:18 AM
Tinkerbell....We looked at 2 shows and on the lots. We wanted the "superslide" that both the dinette and couch area slides out. That we couldn't find under 29. Although, I think the Sunline had one but that was WAY above our budget!! MSRP somewhere 22-23,000 or so and I really didn't like the set up that much (think that was a 27 ft)

We ended up with Elkhart Indiana...haven't decided to pick it up or have it delivered yet.

http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/lisascs/plutomorganandmadison.gif

TinkerbellRules
03-07-2001, 02:20 AM
Good luck! Elkart does make a lot of campers. My uncles used to have a camper sales and service business and that's where they got most of them.

________________________
In memory of Dale Earnhardt, Sr....
________________________

Been there, done that, going back!

Check my site: http://www.geocities.com/tinkerbellwdw2000/

Off-site 87, 88
All Star Music 97
All Star Music 98
All Star Movies 99
Ft Wilderness Oct 00
BWV/WLV Oct 01

http://www.geocities.com/pete164/flyTINKERBELL.gif

Camping Griswalds
03-07-2001, 01:40 PM
I've read on that rv site that you should expect to pay 70 % of MSRP. Apparantely dealers pay 60--65 % of MSRP, and by you paying 70 % everyone should be happy. Watch out for those hidden costs...destination charges of 300-700 we've seen, also final dealer detailing 250-500. Come on!!!How much detailing does a brand new camper really cost. I am assuming these costs are negotiable as well because they are usually add ons after the MSRP.

Also has anyone thought of just purchasing a CLASS A?? We've seen some great ones, and using that 70 % idea, could get one, a nice one for 50 K. I know that sounds like a lot, but we have a 25 K truck and are looking at campers for 20--25K. It's definatley worth looking at . We were leaning towards a Class C, but price and size we could be into a base Class A for a little more, and there is no size comparrison. Any thoughts on this???

Lisa L from MI
03-07-2001, 02:30 PM
I am very happy with the price we got for our Jayco...17200...and almost every option included!!
That's out the door price. Here in MI, a show price was 20,000 with the same options. The only downfall is we bought it from IN...so either take a 4-5 hour drive to pick it up or pay approx 270.00 and have it delivered to my house. We are leaning towards having it delivered

http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/lisascs/plutomorganandmadison.gif

Firefighter Mickey
03-07-2001, 04:09 PM
I've had a lot of difficulty in getting MSRP's from some dealers. However, it's been my observation that show prices typically run 20-22% below MSRP. Also I'm pretty sure that 30%-35% below MSRP is considered an excellent deal, where 20% to 25% off MSRP is considered a good deal.

We've currently got a class A, and besides the fact that it's too small for us, we would have to tow a car behind it for movement around an area where we set up camp (I'm tired of having to tear down camp to see the surrounding area). We looked at possibly purchasing a couple of motorcycles and a trailer, but then when we started adding up all the costs, a bigger truck plus a 5er looked like the better way to go. Plus, we have the truck to get around in once the 5er is parked. This meant I only have 2 autos to maintain (instead of 3), pay taxes on and insure.

Those were some of the things we looked at - the list will probably be different for others.

Lisa, I think you should pick it up. First, they'll usually go over the entire thing with you to make sure you know how it operates. Second, after that drive, it may help your husband in his decision on whether to get a new truck.

Camping Griswalds
03-07-2001, 07:25 PM
I know lots of people talk about unhooking to drive around if they have a class C or A and no tow vehicle, but I just don't know how necessary that is. I guess if you plan on staying in one spot for a long time that is a big consideration, we like staying in one spot for a week, sometimes maybe two so I doubt we'd need to un hook much, but we may not have enough true camping experience to really know one way or the other. It seems like when we go places we unhook and our vehicle sits there until its time to go. Exception was our Disney trip when we left for Seaworld one day, and IOA for one day.


We looked at lots of 5th weels, and to be honest my husband who is 6-3" can't stand up fully in any of the bed rooms. Not exactly a comfortable arrangement. Afraid to think what it would sound like if he got up in the middle of the night and forgot the low clearance...ouch!!! We have a 4 door crew cab with an 8 foot bed with a one ton susspension, its also 4 wheel drive, we've always been told we could basically pull anything, but reading all of this site makes me wonder. I'll definately research that if we decide the TT route!!

[This message was edited by Camping Griswalds on 03-07-01 at 11:40 PM.]

TinkerbellRules
03-08-2001, 02:30 AM
Be careful when they tell you "it can haul anything out there." We were basically told this about our former F150 4x4 Supercab! Everything that made it cool (short bed, 4x4, off road pkg - even supposedly the right axle rating!) substracted from the towability of the truck! And that was from the Ford dealer! Like someone suggested, look very closely into it before you purchase. I guess you just can't trust too many salepeople :(

I also like the suggestion of driving down to Indiana (hey, we're not that bad ;) ) since they will go over everything with you (how to hookup, discuss features, etc). Plus he needs to get used to towing such a long trailer ;) We looked at Jaycos when we first started looking. Our neighbor got a 30' for around $15,000, I think. I can't remember. Theirs did not have a slide out, but triple bunks and all the amenities.

________________________
In memory of Dale Earnhardt, Sr....
________________________

Been there, done that, going back!

Check my site: http://www.geocities.com/tinkerbellwdw2000/

Off-site 87, 88
All Star Music 97
All Star Music 98
All Star Movies 99
Ft Wilderness Oct 00
BWV/WLV Oct 01

http://www.geocities.com/pete164/flyTINKERBELL.gif

Firefighter Mickey
03-08-2001, 06:49 AM
Class A, C, TT or 5er really depends.

What we were finding with our Class A, is that we would go to an area, say Mount Rushmore, park at the KOA and then had no reasonable way to get around to see the attractions unless we unhooked and drove the RV. Same deal at Royal Gorge in Colorado. Unhooking meant having to secure everything in the RV again for driving along with the usual stuff of disconnecting power, water and sewer. This gets to be pretty old after not too long - especially if you get back after dark, which makes hooking things back up, getting stuff leveled, etc. a real challenge sometimes.

I expect it would be different if we went to some of these camping resorts (like FW/WDW :) ), where we basically stayed at the resort most of the time. but usually we like to go to an area, set up a base camp and then do day trips out from that to see the sights. And even at FW we found it very nice to have a car to hop over to IOA one day; get out and grocery shop, etc.

As far as the bedroom height on a 5er goes; I think this is something people would get used to - we don't like the low profile models, but the medium or high profiles are fine (and we can't stand up in any of them either). Also, there are models which put the MBR in the rear and a couch up front - the Prowler 31 5R is one example, and I'm sure there are others. But again, it's a preference thing.

HuckFinn
03-10-2001, 07:30 PM
I think the 350 you are referring to is a 350 cubic inch engine, now more commonly called a 5.7 liter engine. It's a great engine that GM has used in one form or another for about fifty years. It's GM's medium-sized V8, great for small trailers but not necessarily good for heavier ones. The 373 you mention is the gear ratio of the rear end. The lower the number, the better your normal gas mileage, but the less power you have for towing. It sounds like you have the economy rear end in your 94, which was the correct rear end to select when you did not know you would some day have a heavy trailer.

My personal experience involves owning an 87 half ton (1500) Suburban with a 5.7L engine and 3.43 rear end. It ran with reasonable economy and towed our 1200 lb. pop-up as if it weren't even there (much better than our Dodge Caravan). The trouble started when we bought a 32 foot, 6000 lb. travel trailer. The RV salesman assured us that the Suburban would tow with no problems. Only later did I find out that the 5.7L/343 configuration was rated at 6000 pounds maximum. Most experienced trailer people will tell you to stay below 75% of the towing maximum. The whole time I towed with the Suburban I had to limit our trips to flat terrain. I found that I could not exceed about 57 mph without overheating. I looked into changing to a 373 rear end to increase my capacity, but it would have cost about $1000 to do so. Eventually, I traded in on a one-ton dually with a 454 cubic inch (7.4L) enginge and a 4.10 rear end. The towing capacity was 10,000 pounds and it worked great. The problem with this truck was that it got 13 mpg with no trailer, and rode so hard that it kept shaking the running boards off.

In summary, don't listen to a salesman, they'll tell you anything to make a sale. You are facing a classic RVing problem, choosing between a comfortable camper that might be difficult(and unsafe)to tow, or a smaller camper that might not be as comfortable as you would like.

TinkerbellRules
03-11-2001, 04:11 AM
Huckfinn: When you stated the 75% rule (never heard of it - Thanks!), does that mean the trailer should be 75% of your towing capacity or of the gross weight? We have a CHV custom van (1500, I think) and it can tow 6000-6200lbs (?). The TT weighs 4300lbs so we're are withing that limit. You wouldn't believe the salespeople who said we could tow more than our TT! We didn't want to push it. We had trouble in the summer towing to FL. The check engine light keep coming on and found it was the oxygen sensor. We replaced it and it came on again! It really didn't like the added weight with the hot temps. No problem to WDW in Oct and we're towing again to Santa Rosa BEach (panhandle) in a few weeks.

________________________
In memory of Dale Earnhardt, Sr....
________________________

Been there, done that, going back!

Check my site: http://www.geocities.com/tinkerbellwdw2000/

Off-site 87, 88
All Star Music 97
All Star Music 98
All Star Movies 99
Ft Wilderness Oct 00
BWV/WLV Oct 01

http://www.geocities.com/pete164/flyTINKERBELL.gif

HuckFinn
03-11-2001, 04:28 PM
The 75% is a rough, rule-of-thumb number to use when shopping for a vehicle. I have even heard some people say they won't go above 60%. It applies to the towing capacity. The problem with going right to the towing capacity limit is that you may significantly exceed the gross weight rating of the tow vehicle, which includes the vehicle itself, everything (and everyone) you put in it, the trailer, and everything you put in the trailer. Sometimes customized vans are heavier than the literature says. Trailer manufacturers often don't include options, even air conditioning, in the advertised weight. Also, you should consider the shape of the trailer in conjuction with the tow vehicle. Air turbulence between a pickup truck and a travel trailer is effectively like extra weight