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Old 07-29-2018, 12:24 PM   #21
JRWard
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Trailer Size

I tow a 5200 pound (when empty) trailer with a GMC Yukon XL. The truck is rated for up to 8400 pounds. A long wheel base is a good idea. They are a good match. I would not want any bigger (heavier) trailer than that. You need lots of margin to tow comfortably. We have gone on trips as far as 1200 miles one way.
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Old 07-29-2018, 12:28 PM   #22
Wxman
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The sticker OP posted shows GVWR of 6500. Base curb weight for the vehicle starts at 5004 and looks like closer to 5400 or more for a loaded up V8 model. Looks like it could be very payload limited as others have alluded to, especially with kids to consider in TV. It seems these manufacturers post numbers that are only good for pulling a haywagon.
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Old 07-29-2018, 12:41 PM   #23
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Almost all of us that are over 50 remember that as children, we lived in a 3 bedroom, 1 bath house that typically was less than 1200 sqft. Some had a carport (single because "nobody had 2 cars") and a few had a garage, but most "got wet when it rained if we had to go to the car. Many of us didn't even have a car in the family, but most knew a relative to call if we had an emergency. Speaking of calling, most were on a "party line" and knew our "distinctive ring" and when "not to answer because we'd get yelled at to "GET OFF THE PHONE" !!!!!

That said, today, most feel that if it's not 2500 sqft+, 3 or 4 bedrooms, 2+ baths, at least a double carport, (triple garage is better) with at least 2 cars, a 4 wheeler, golf cart, probably a boat and a trailer parked nearby....

What I'm "getting to" is that "expectations" today are much greater than in the past. What was considered a luxury years ago is now a necessity and what most of us grew up knowing we'd never own is typically in most driveways..... It's that way with travel trailers and motorhomes as well as with homes and cars.... In the 60's a typical travel trailer was less than 20' long and usually towed by the family station wagon (or if a "diehard", the IH Travelall). The longest trailers of the day were around 30' and fifth wheels were a novelty that we seldom saw. Today, many believe that if it's not "at least 37', it's impossible to relax and travel.

Times have changed and so have expectations for living arrangements. At the same time, we buy economy cars governed by CAFE standards, 8 and 10 speed transmisisons and MDS systems to squeeze every mile out of every gallon of fuel.... For most, the two, "big travel trailers" and "economy vehicles" are the norm, but they simply are not compatible when it comes to towing. Therein lies the "framework for thought" that most newcomers to RVing bring to the table: I have a F-150, what is the biggest trailer I can tow?" Not: "I have a F-150, what is the appropriate sized trailer I can tow?"
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Old 07-29-2018, 12:58 PM   #24
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Spend a lot of research time on weights and capacities. Nothing seems straight forward. Tow weight is one thing, tongue weight another. Then add axel weights and the tire specs. All are important for your safety.
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Old 07-29-2018, 01:20 PM   #25
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Sticker weights are deceptive

I have a 2016 Bullet 251RBSWE that I was towing with a Chevy Tahoe that had 7,800lb tow capacity, 13,000 lb. GCVW. Although I “could” and did tow it within all the weight parameters, I was so close to maxed out that I decided to upgrade the TV this year. What I found was the stickers mean almost nothing. The TV had a factory curb weight of 5,200lbs but a scale weight of 5,980lbs. with full fuel and 2 people. My Bullet has a sticker weight (factory dry) of 5,139lb. but a scale weight of 6,566lbs wet, and ready for camping (almost 1000 lbs of that is on the tongue on a 14,000lb Equalizer hitch). Gross combined weight of 12,546. The Bullet is a well built, easy to tow trailer. My PDI had nothing on the punch list and everything still working at 2 years in.
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Old 07-29-2018, 02:14 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Kuwanger23 View Post
Hey guys and gals,

My wife and I have been looking for a little over a year now for our first travel trailer. We have a towing capacity of 7200lbs with our jeep trailhawk.

I think we have it narrowed down between three trailers. But first let us list or wants, preferences and needs:

Wrap around dinet
Bunks
Outdoor kitchen
Bathtub (for my son who turns two next month)

The more we can get of the above the better. And we have other nit picky things that I won't bother to list here.

We are still learning. A lot. Learned something about flush systems yesterday that seems like a big deal. But without further ado, here is what we think we are looking for. Of course we are open to this groups wisdom and suggestions as you guys have hands on experience:

Jayco Jayfeather 25BH

Keystone Bullet 243BHS

Shadow Cruiser 240BHS (saw that it has a similar weight, build, layout to the above two but haven't looked at one yet).

Discuss...
We tow a similar size trailer (5300 LB dry weight) to what you are considering with a Grand Cherokee with factory tow, air suspension, EcoDiesel and Equalizer hitch with no issues. We towed RV back from Toronto last November through very windy conditions through northern NB without any significant issues. We were certainly aware of the wind but manageable. We typically have 3 adults max but very little gear in TV. Loaded we estimate trailer is 6000-6200 which is 1000 below max rated capacity. We typically travel at 100 kph, and manage long grades without problem.
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Old 07-29-2018, 03:25 PM   #27
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Gonna be blunt here. Not trying to step on any toes, but probably will.

Estimating your weight is not the same as knowing your weight. Using the manufacturer's brochures is not a substitute for knowing actual weights. Using only one weight parameter to make a decision on which size trailer to buy is crazy. Telling yourself that your setup is great will not make it so.

You have to weigh it to know where you are at towing-wise. Guessing is not the way to go.

That said, there are a lot of us on this forum who have documented their experiences of having an undersized setup. But the difference is that we were aware of the limitations and made a plan to correct this as soon as possible. And we did.

It's about safety, for you, your family, and others. Will you have a wreck and kill everyone in the county just because you tow over the limits? Probably not, just based on odds. But the possibility of having a wreck with the potential to seriously or permanently hurt or destroy someone by using underrated equipment goes up exponentially every time you tow this way.

Food for thought. Carry on.
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Old 07-29-2018, 04:17 PM   #28
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Gonna be blunt here. Not trying to step on any toes, but probably will.

Estimating your weight is not the same as knowing your weight. Using the manufacturer's brochures is not a substitute for knowing actual weights. Using only one weight parameter to make a decision on which size trailer t ok buy is crazy. Telling yourself that your setup is great will not make it so.

You have to weigh it to know where you are at towing-wise. Guessing is not the way to go.

That said, there are a lot of us on this forum who have documented their experiences of having an undersized setup. But the difference is that we were aware of the limitations and made a plan to correct this as soon as possible. And we did.

It's about safety, for you, your family, and others. Will you have a wreck and kill everyone in the county just because you tow over the limits? Probably not, just based on odds. But the possibility of having a wreck with the potential to seriously or permanently hurt or destroy someone by using underrated equipment goes up exponentially every time you tow this way.

Food for thought. Carry on.


^^^^ xxx3 what he said!
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Old 07-29-2018, 06:10 PM   #29
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A proper TV/RV combo should not have any issues with the TV minor/major or significant.
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Old 07-30-2018, 07:36 PM   #30
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^^^^ xxx3 what he said!
What he said times 4
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Old 07-31-2018, 11:39 AM   #31
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You have a 3700 lbs rear axle. That will be 3700 lbs over axle weight with the weight of the SUV, gas at around (8 pounds a gallon) passengers and anything else you stick in the unit. I can tell you without a doubt that the units you are selecting for their weight will put you over axle load. Those are light axles with small brakes. People seem to think that GCWR is the only thing to be concerned with. It just boggles my mind. There are 3 concerns always.

1) True over axle weight. Hitches, fuel, water and anything else you put in that unit will add up on tongue weight. Anything in the vehicle will take away from usable tongue weight. You can only CARRY so much. Guaranteed your over with a 5500 LBS dry trailer with the axles on the Jeep. Has nothing to do with combined vehicle weight. To be safe you should have an equalizer hitch to prevent sway. Those aren't light. Again taking away from amount you can CARRY not tow. You can drag more across the ground on any vehicle out there, you just cannot CARRY it. Get in an accident, even a minor one and watch what your insurance does for you.

2) Stability. Longer wheel base means more stability. This is critical. You are going to get passed by semi's and they are going to move you with air. Trust me. Equalizer hitch will help this. Get air shocks to help with keeping the rear level under weight. You will need them. Your rear springs aren't going to cut it. When you drop the trailer on the hitch your front end should not move up more than 1" with a proper setup. Or close to it. Measure from ground to bottom of front wheel well and then re-measure again after load and equalizer hitch is adjusted. Check for the 1" rating.

Measure trailer from front to back to see if its level. Low front trailer will cause your truck front end to lift when brakes are applied hard. High front of trailer will cause rear of truck to lift. Get it? Its a pocket knife. The blade is strong when straight out but collapses when bent in.

3) Downhill. You need brakes and the ability to slow the unit down going downhill. Make damn sure you can hold this unit back going downhill without using a ton of brakes. Brakes heat up and fade, then you cannot stop and the unit runs away on you. Brakes are for maintaining desired speed. Apply to keep speed at desired level by applying the letting go. If you got to ride them to hold the units back your in trouble. They will heat up and fail.

Anybody can drive a unit on the flats and be reasonably safe. Be prepared for the above 3 things and your heading in the right direction. Those are the things that will fail you. I towed a 5800lbs dry weight Cougar on a 2008 F150 with tow package and once I scaled it I was only 200lbs under axle weight in rear and 250 under on front. This was with proper setup. My rated tongue weight on trailer was 550LBS. One of the lower ones on the market. Very well balanced trailer. Weighed more of course once hitch was attached.
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Old 08-01-2018, 04:57 PM   #32
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We raised our kids in a pop up. But had been looking for a TT for a few years that would meet our needs. We discovered the Keystone Passport Ultra-light Grand Touring 2400 BHS and fell in love with it. It has everything you mentioned. We bought it new in March and have been very happy! We are close to retiring but wanted the double bunks for grandkids. The bottom bunk also works wonderful as a bed for another adult without having to put the table down. A lot of storage space, too! Insist on the Teddy Bear mattresses. Very soft and comfy. We may need to replace the queen mattress, however.
From Liz: A comment on a new mattress. From our personal experience Mattress Insider in Colorado is the way to go. Excellent quality, made to the measurements you give them (they even call you to verify), you choose how hard or soft, and the price is right. Still happy after two years.
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:10 AM   #33
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Hi - we own the 243BHS, and initially started towing it with a Dodge Durango Citadel AWD with the 5.7L Hemi. Dodge's version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, albeit with 3rd row seating. It had the 7200 lb towing capacity. It also had 1200 lbs of cargo capacity. The TT did not come with an electric tongue jack. I had the dealer install one after I tried to hand-crank it up/down (it went down very easy, up - notsomuch). While we were at it, also had them install a slide topper. Wish I'd have thought about a fantastic fan or Maxxair or something along those lines as well. Back to the tow vehicle... We could tow with the Durango, but it was a handful. Trailer easily succumbed to winds and 18-wheelers moved you around when they passed. We had two kids and two dogs. Because of the numbers, we didn't carry anything in the Durango other than a small cooler for drinks/snacks that sat between the kids. Nothing in the back. The reason was, with the tongue weight of the camper and all of us in it, we were pegging the cargo capacity of the vehicle. After five months of towing with the Durango, we traded it in on a Ram 3500 crew cab. It has more room in the back seating area than the Durango had, and winds/18-wheelers no longer move us around. I can load up all I want in the bed, as we went from 1200lb cargo capacity to 3800lb cargo capacity. Basically, the truck doesn't care/know that the trailer is behind it. You never forgot it when driving the Durango. So much easier towing our camper now.

I'm not saying you can't do the 243BHS with the Trailhawk - you can. But you'll be right up there near your limits. Upgrade your tires to LT tires to remove the squishiness/wiggliness you'll feel, get a great weight distribution hitch and get it set up properly. Find a reputable trailer brake controller and get it dialed in. Distribute your items thru-out the camper - don't just load it all into the front storage. Get all set up for camping, all loaded out, and go! Hit the scales on your way out (research the proper weighing process for CAT scales - very easy and eye-popping informative). Don't get in a rush to get where you're going, and use tow/haul to help keep your engine/tranny happy. Enjoy your camper! Ping me for questions if you have any...
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:04 PM   #34
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The best advice I heard was - buy your second trailer first. When you buy new, you're going to have it a while before you can get out of it what you owe (presuming you finance it), so after living in it a while you might find some things that seemed like they would be a big deal, but they end up not being so important to you. I always wanted an outdoor kitchen, but the more I thought about it and the last several years of camping in our hybrid, I realized that's not as important as I once thought it was to me. Storage space wasn't real high on my radar when we bought our first one because we were upgrading from a pop up, but once we ran out of storage space camping became more of a chore because of all the loading and unloading every time. You might plan on using the dinette for a bed and think that's no problem, but two years in decide that's not going to work and you wish you'd have gotten one with one more sleeping space.
All that to say, you don't want to be stuck in a trailer that doesn't work for you because you didn't anticipate what you were going to need a few years down the road.

We bought a brand new Jayco Hybrid 7 years ago and just sold it this summer. I never had a problem with that camper except for the front bunk seal, but that's a very common hybrid problem. It even came with real tires on it.
We bought our passport just recently, and I've got several small things for the dealer to fix already, but they are pretty small things. What attracted us to it is the relatively light weight of the aluminum construction, giving us a lot more space and 2000 pounds lighter than other similar trailers I'd seen.

I like the floor plans you sent, but I wonder about inside seating in the bullet. If you're camping with friends, sometimes a couch is nice to have. The only seating space is at the dinette and that's not going to fit 7. A couch plus dinette is nice for having more than 2 adults inside a trailer for any length of time. Just a thought. Some people don't like them and would rather use the space for something else, but it all depends on how you will use your trailer.
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