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Old 03-26-2019, 08:56 PM   #1
Tammie2
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Advice needed :-)

Hi!
We are currently looking at a bullet 308bhs, we love that it is a "2 bedroom" as we have 5 kiddos(18-15-7-5-4)& we plan to FT for 4-6mos between home closing & new home being ready.

We had been considering a TT before & now seems to be the perfect time!! It will virtually pay for itself(if you get creative with the math...thats what im telling hubs anyway ;-)) seriously, short term rental would cost close to the same& then we will have a TT for future travels when its over!!

Our entire family loves to travel, we do mostly short trips of 2-6hrs away, some mid level(8-15hrs), with the occasional long trip(20+hrs)

We have a Nissan NV 3500 HD SL passenger V8 with tow package.

Is this enough?

If not, what adjustments need to be made(TT to keep TV & TV to keep TT...want to be open to both options)

Growing up we had a coachman class C, a mirage micro mini(im showing my age, i know-i remember watching it being made at the factory in elkhart-cool stuff that probably wouldn't be allowed today!!), & my grandparents had 2 holiday ramblers(one stayed at a monthly site 90min from the house, closer to her work & the other was 3-4mos in Florida & 8-9mos in the driveway in chicago)...but i was young when she was back & forth, so i don't remember much about it. This will be my first TT as an adult/owner, completely different experience from being a kid who just enjoyed the top bunk ;-)

Anyway, thank you very much in advance for any help or advice!!

PS if it matters, we will likely do some weekend trips, maybe once a month or so during our 6mos waiting time.
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Old 03-26-2019, 09:18 PM   #2
sourdough
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Tammie, can you post the sticker numbers from inside the driver door stating payload, gawr (front/rear) and gvw? That would at least give us/you a place to start.

And welcome to the forum!!
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Old 03-26-2019, 09:37 PM   #3
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Without knowing exact numbers, you would be on the very uppermost limit that van can tow. You add all weight going into van with hitch weight of trailer with all your gear for camping you might be okay, the max tow capacity of that van if same on Nissan site is 8700lbs, and max payload is 2490 lbs. GVWR of trailer is 7600 lbs. You have some wiggle room, but not much. If you go that route, a weight distribution hitch with sway control, pay attention to your tires and make sure they are worthy of that load, not P rated, try LT tires.
What concerns me with that set up is that trailer is light for its length. It might wag the dog, so to speak.
There will be folks waking up soon that are a lot more knowledgeable about towing than me. They will steer you in the right direction. Good luck
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Old 03-27-2019, 12:19 AM   #4
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Cargo max is 2480 and towing max is 8700 if online figures are to be trusted. Seems to match the figures Northofu has used. The tongue weight is listed at 760 so it will probably be in the 1000 pound range loaded and ready to roll.
If I estimate the weight of your family I'm treading on thin ice, but let me use the figure of 900 pounds. When adding in one dog, 2 cats, one parakeet and the kid down the block who always has to go you are absolutely maxed out on weight. As Danny mentioned, the stickers on the inside of the door will tell us more, but this will be very close. One thing Northofu mentioned bears looking into also: You might want to expect a white-knuckle experience if you travel on a windy day.
Members more knowledgeable and experienced than I with respect to TT's will be up and posting shortly. Hopefully they will be of more help to you.
And welcome to the forum!
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Old 03-27-2019, 01:43 AM   #5
Tammie2
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Thank you so much for the welcome as well as the initial advice :-)

What i have in my manual is
tow capacity-9700#
& gcwr-16000#

Its a smidge more than the numbers above, but its still close enough :-)

My concerns are mostly in the way of experience over numbers so to speak, numbers are definitely important, however I believe overall experiences speak volumes & are something i cannot get anywhere else from anyone else, so thank you very much for that!!...somewhat like northofu has expressed, maybe the combo would cause "the tail to wag the dog"(love that expression!!)

I am an experienced driver, i have driven well over a million miles(thanks to living all over the US & going back to chicago a few times each year, Plus several cross country moves(one from NY to CA, just me & my dog :-))-not to mention just the love of travel), I have obviously driven in all types of weather & conditions, BUT there is definitely something/everything to be said for having the right set up to make the experience less stressful & more enjoyable-5 kids are typically stressful enough!! I do not want to buy what i believe to be this amazing travel enhancer for my family only to have the driving experience be so horrible that I dread traveling-that's kinda counter intuitive to what I am hoping to achieve here ;-)

Please keep the advice coming!! We will be new to TT ownership on our own & greatly appreciate anything you have to offer!!! I am looking forward to beginning a new adventure, i just want to do my best to start this journey on the right foot!! Enough will go wrong on its own(which is what makes an adventure-&typically some great memories :-)) without me making foreseeable newbie mistakes that could have been avoided by asking for & following the advice of the "seasoned professionals"
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Old 03-27-2019, 07:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tammie2 View Post
Thank you so much for the welcome as well as the initial advice :-)

What i have in my manual is
tow capacity-9700#
& gcwr-16000#

Its a smidge more than the numbers above, but its still close enough :-)

..."
The above figures you quoted are from the owner's manual and are generic to all models of the vehicle covered by that edition of the owner's manual.

On the inside door pillar of YOUR vehicle are two decals. One will list the maximum weight allowance for the front axle (FAWR), rear axle (RAWR) and vehicle (GVW). The other, typically yellow in color, will list the PAYLOAD. It will say something like, "The weight of passengers and cargo should not exceed XXXX". Those two decals, not the owner's manual or some advertising website, are the capacities that "make or break" your dedicions. They are vehicle specific and apply to YOUR vehicle. Use them, post them for us to use. Don't rely on an "optimistic advertising slogan" of "properly equipped models" which is what you'll find in the brochures and online advertisements. It matters not what "some other vehicle can do when properly equipped. It matters what YOUR vehicle can do as it was built by Nissan. Don't get caught up in "slogans capacity"....
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Old 03-27-2019, 08:34 AM   #7
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Hi Tammie. Welcome to the site. What was already said is good starting advice as far as your TV.

As a 308BHS owner, I can tell you that for a very "mature" family of 7, you'll want to think about the space you'll be sharing in a fulltime rig. I have 3 little ones (8 and under) and it can be challenging at times. I couldn't imagine adding 2 more teen bodies to the mix in this 2 slide floorplan. Remember, it only has 1 small bathroom. Imagine the challenges at bathtime when everyone needs to wash, brush teeths, and use the "facilities". I'm sure it can be done, but it will take great planning and patience on everyone's part.

Also, these Bullets are very ultralight in design and are the farthest models from a fulltime coach. The floors comprised of 1/4 inch plywood with a foam board sandwiched in the middle. The roof is just 1/4" decking too and classified as non-walkable by Keystone.

I guess what I'm alluding to is there are much better Keystone models that are more appropriate to support a large fulltime family. They will be heavier unfortunately. So that may change your TV selection.

Goodluck to whatever you choose. I'd personally look a units with 3 slides, possibly two bathrooms (even if one is a half bath), and substantial roof decking and floors. That will make you 6 months of fulltime living more tolerable.

Again, good luck and welcome.
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Old 03-27-2019, 12:41 PM   #8
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I think you at least need a three bedroom Tammie :-)
Good luck with your family temporary living plan...it will indeed make great memories!
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Old 03-27-2019, 12:59 PM   #9
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Sleeping that many will be a challenge. An equally large challenge is how to transport them all along with a trailer that is a good fit for the vehicle. 7 seats isn't happening in a truck which leaves vans and SUVs (similar tow abilities).

I do recall a custom truck I saw years and years ago, it was a 1-ton with 3 rows (like a crew-crew cab).
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Old 03-27-2019, 03:55 PM   #10
sourdough
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tammie2 View Post
Thank you so much for the welcome as well as the initial advice :-)

What i have in my manual is
tow capacity-9700#
& gcwr-16000#

Its a smidge more than the numbers above, but its still close enough :-)

My concerns are mostly in the way of experience over numbers so to speak, numbers are definitely important, however I believe overall experiences speak volumes & are something i cannot get anywhere else from anyone else, so thank you very much for that!!...somewhat like northofu has expressed, maybe the combo would cause "the tail to wag the dog"(love that expression!!)

I am an experienced driver, i have driven well over a million miles(thanks to living all over the US & going back to chicago a few times each year, Plus several cross country moves(one from NY to CA, just me & my dog :-))-not to mention just the love of travel), I have obviously driven in all types of weather & conditions, BUT there is definitely something/everything to be said for having the right set up to make the experience less stressful & more enjoyable-5 kids are typically stressful enough!! I do not want to buy what i believe to be this amazing travel enhancer for my family only to have the driving experience be so horrible that I dread traveling-that's kinda counter intuitive to what I am hoping to achieve here ;-)

Please keep the advice coming!! We will be new to TT ownership on our own & greatly appreciate anything you have to offer!!! I am looking forward to beginning a new adventure, i just want to do my best to start this journey on the right foot!! Enough will go wrong on its own(which is what makes an adventure-&typically some great memories :-)) without me making foreseeable newbie mistakes that could have been avoided by asking for & following the advice of the "seasoned professionals"

Tammie, "smidges" and "close enough" really don't work when trying to tow a large RV with a large family. You need to "know", not guess, and err on the side of safety....not just wing it.

I've driven way over a million miles myself driving, towing and pulling all kinds of stuff along with many others on here I believe. "Experience" because you've driven a lot is really meaningless when you strap a large RV (sail) behind a vehicle - particularly if the vehicle isn't up to the task. The best "experience" that might come in handy then is how to break the glass on the door that's topside after you skid down the highway on the side of the vehicle. Not trying to be melodramatic, just realistic.

You've obviously never had a "tail wag the dog" experience. If so, you wouldn't love the phrase - it is literally a real life occurrence with a trailer and can end your day very badly (along with whoever else is with you). It isn't funny or cute....it scares the crap out of you.

I know you are excited about this "phase" and think experience trumps weights; that's wrong. Weights trump experience by a long shot. You want to avoid "avoidable" newbie mistakes and that is good. You have come to the most active and knowledgeable RV forum I belong to or know. Towing is serious business and needs to be viewed that way. Can you have fun? Sure. Should you be dead serious with that much weight flying down the highway? Assuredly.

Things to do to help assess; as was asked previously, post the numbers off the stickers inside the driver door with payload, gawr (front/rear) and gvw. You then have a starting point. You will have so many people what are their weights (or combined for all)? Just off the hip I don't see how you can take that many folks and pull it with that van - but the numbers will shed some light.
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:56 AM   #11
Tammie2
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I have replied TWICE yesterday & had them deleted, Ugggh!!

From inside the door...
9725# max(with specific tires & tire pressure)

I have more to say, but my kiddos are finishing breakfast & my break is over :-)
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Old 03-28-2019, 08:17 AM   #12
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Thanks Tammie. Sorry for the deletes. Hopefully the next post won't be problematic. If you could provide all the numbers from the stickers inside the door it would be very helpful and about the only way to even guess where you will be weight wise.
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