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Old 07-14-2018, 11:42 PM
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ESOXangler ESOXangler is offline
 
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Default First travel trailer

Well kids are finally old enough and mama wants a trailer. I've been a tent guy for awhile so I'm looking for some opinions. Biggest thing is I'm pulling it with the 1/2 ton for now. If it all goes good I'll truck up. Tow rating on the truck is 9100 gvwr and a 1700# payload.
So far I'm thinking hard shell instead of tin. Needs bunks, doubles preferably. And the debate right now is on whether we need a couch too or can just get by with the kitchen table. I'd prefer to skip the couch as it adds length. Part of me thinks it'd be good to have it though but really dislike having a long trailer.
What are thoughts and opinions?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 07-15-2018, 12:13 AM
fishead fishead is offline
 
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Hard shell, pull out if possible, good fridge/freezer, maximized sleep set up as you are size restricted. Cooking is better done around the fire and campstove anyways so inside amenities meh.
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Old 07-15-2018, 04:53 AM
Rastus Rastus is offline
 
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I agree, campfire and cooking outdoors is fine, but not for the cook. I went through the campfire thing as well. Got a canvas top (21 ft) and thought I had the world by the, you know what, wrong. Went for an fully enclosed trailer with the seating divided, bed in back and seating up front, wrong. Ended up with a fully enclosed trailer with all of the seating up front, right. Here is my reason, as much as we do not like the rain it is there. All of the seating up front you have everyone together, and cooking is at hand. You can still have a fire outside and sit around the campfire and cook, but when it rains. Also that canvas top must be folded down and when you get home that canvas must be put up and allowed to dry. Now money was no object, within reason, but this was the way I decided to go.
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:36 AM
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bloopbloob bloopbloob is offline
 
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Definitely hard walls. I have a 27' that is just a little too big for my liking. 1/2 ton truck, still very towable though. If i could do it again, 25' would be better, maybe even a 23'. Backed up tight to the garage, the tongue is maybe an inch from the sidewalk. Stove is never used, just to store pots. Slideout is nice, adds a lot more room than you may think. Couch turns into a double bed, not sure why you wouldn't want a couch? Generally, the couch is adjacent to the table, so shouldn't add length. A/C has never been used, as I never camp anywhere with full hookups anyways.
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:22 AM
calgarygringo calgarygringo is offline
 
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Watch your trailer weight as that GVW number doesn't mean much. You will probably run out of load weight long before. That 1700 lbs will disappear fast. Your weight, mama and the kids and your fuel, crap in the back of the truck comes off of that first. That will leave you what is left for pin weight on your trailer which will probably be 15% or so of the loaded weight of the said trailer.

Those bunk trailers especially with couch and dinette get long as you say but the weight goes up too and can be overweight quickly on a half ton. And also don't believe the weights you see advertised as most find out when they take their units to a weigh scale they are always way more especially tongue weights once water, propane etc. is added.
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:35 AM
Lefty Bryan Lefty Bryan is offline
 
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I would really watch the payload with a 1/2 ton and hit a self weigh. 1700lbs payload sound like lots - but if you think 500lb - 1000lbs (9-15% of the gross trailer weight) dry trailer tongue weight, add 150lbs on the tongue for propane and batteries, 100 litres of water in the water tank (225 lbs) another 100lbs of gear in the trailer in front of the axel leaves you 225 - 725lbs for a family of four (500lbs?), dog (?) (50 - 100lbs), fuel (75lbs) and any other gear in the truck. Chances are you'll never get pulled into a weigh station in AB but it is a safety consideration as well.

Most guys just take the payload from the spec sheet of the dealer / manufacturer which is different from reality, so weighing your actual truck as set up is the key.
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:36 AM
270person 270person is offline
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I picked up an older trailer early part of the year for a really good price. It's a 22 ft and had exactly the layout I was looking for. Wanted one myself and two hunting buds could comfortably overnight in without stepping on one another's faces if we had to move around. Bunkhouse layout was exactly what I was looking for providing 3 separate sleeping locations and some distance in between. Granddaughter makes a beeline for the top bunk every time of course.

Davenport folds down into a queen, dinette's are really only for one, then a set of bunks at the rear. Brother is a seasoned rv owner and helped point out the good and bad when I was viewing. I wouldn't have paid much attention to things like the rear sink being outside the washroom but it's actually a really good feature. Told me this 22 had as much or more storage than his 27' and that I'd come to appreciate "storage space".

Has everything I needed for options, the AC was a bonus for the once a year you need it in Ab but I wasn't looking for it, and so far everything works 100%.

Grabbed an inverter generator, a two burner camp chef with griddle and bbq off kijiji, changed out the 12v battery for two high end 6v's, slapped on 4 quality tires and so far I'm really happy.

[IMG][/IMG]

Last edited by 270person; 07-15-2018 at 06:43 AM.
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:37 AM
Lefty Bryan Lefty Bryan is offline
 
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Calgarygringo typed faster - same points.
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:29 AM
NCC NCC is offline
 
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If you buy a hard wall, check it closely. Hail will cause very small cracks that are hard to detect but will allow the water permeate the exterior walls and rot your trailer from the inside out.

I would buy a lower cost unit and run it for a year so you know exactly
what you want on the second one.

One advantage of a camper over a tent is that you don't have to spend hours unpacking the truck and drying everything out when you get home.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:09 AM
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bat119 bat119 is online now
 
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My evolution of camping
tarp>tent>tent trailer>truck camper>17' Boler>22' Shasta> 29' Jayflight BHS.

As we aged our needs changed and comfort trumped the bravado of "roughing it". I haul the Jayflight (5600#) with my 1500 Dodge with no problem handles the crosswinds and hills just fine. My trucks GVWR is 8600# total weight of the loaded trailer 6650#.
We just did a 5 week tour, put on 3500 kms. around Southern Saskatchewan so no mountains. Fuel cost was 37 cents a Klik

Tips
Travel dry as possible water is available almost everywhere.
Empty black tank often
Don't carry extra stuff everything weighs something if you take something and don't use it leave it at home next time.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:34 AM
oilngas oilngas is offline
 
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As other have said be very careful about weights. Please take truck to scale c/w full fuel, usual junk in it etc. figure out what truck will actual weigh with kids, mom etc. on board. Before you buy trailer take it to a scale, add weight for water, propane, food, stuff (stuff can weight a lot) etc. then do the math. Also before you buy trailer, check axle design weight, brake drum size, trailer under frame etc. I believe some of the "ultra lights`` possibly have very tight weight tolerances.
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  #12  
Old 07-15-2018, 04:45 PM
calgarygringo calgarygringo is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bat119 View Post
My evolution of camping
tarp>tent>tent trailer>truck camper>17' Boler>22' Shasta> 29' Jayflight BHS.

As we aged our needs changed and comfort trumped the bravado of "roughing it". I haul the Jayflight (5600#) with my 1500 Dodge with no problem handles the crosswinds and hills just fine. My trucks GVWR is 8600# total weight of the loaded trailer 6650#.
We just did a 5 week tour, put on 3500 kms. around Southern Saskatchewan so no mountains. Fuel cost was 37 cents a Klik

Tips
Travel dry as possible water is available almost everywhere.
Empty black tank often
Don't carry extra stuff everything weighs something if you take something and don't use it leave it at home next time.
29 foot bunk only weighs 5600 loaded? I hope you have weighed it. Sounds a quite a bit light or you have no water batteries or propane and empty cupboards. I would bet depending on exact model you are running in the 7k range or so. You probably do ok but I bet you would be close or over on your load weight if you get pulled over in places like B.C. Just sayin do your math.

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Old 07-15-2018, 04:59 PM
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bat119 bat119 is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bat119 View Post
My evolution of camping
tarp>tent>tent trailer>truck camper>17' Boler>22' Shasta> 29' Jayflight BHS.

As we aged our needs changed and comfort trumped the bravado of "roughing it". I haul the Jayflight (5600#) with my 1500 Dodge with no problem handles the crosswinds and hills just fine. My trucks GVWR is 8600# total weight of the loaded trailer 6650#.
We just did a 5 week tour, put on 3500 kms. around Southern Saskatchewan so no mountains. Fuel cost was 37 cents a Klik

Tips
Travel dry as possible water is available almost everywhere.
Empty black tank often
Don't carry extra stuff everything weighs something if you take something and don't use it leave it at home next time.
I did weigh read my post again 5600 is dry
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:28 PM
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Trochu Trochu is offline
 
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If the time comes, I'd like to do something like this, just an enclosed utility trailer with some bunks and storage. Then, if I've need of a utility trailer, I just take the bunks out or fold them against the wall.

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Old 07-16-2018, 01:28 AM
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HalfBreed HalfBreed is offline
 
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I have a hybrid, apparently they are no longer in production.

With the bunks out, it's a larger unit. If weather sux, it's a turtle.

It's light and has all amenities. It is 2 retired vets with 2 med sized dogs.

I'll be sad to cross over since it will have to be a hard wall in the end.
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:24 AM
JB_AOL JB_AOL is offline
 
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My two cents..

Rent first, if you've never RV'd before. You'll find out real quick if you like it and what you like (and don't like) about the trailer. There's plenty of sites similar to airbnb where you can try different kinds.

2nd Buy used. One of the two following things ALWAYS happens:
1. You decide the trailer you bought isn't ideal for what you want to do, whether that's layout/size/type/etc. and you end up changing in a year or two.
2. You decide the hassle (cost/storage/towing) of a trailer is not for you.

If you buy used, you won't lose much money compared to buying new. Trust me. I know 4 people in the past two years who were "campers" before they bought RV's, Only one still has their trailer, but it's been parked this year (gas prices).

Next piece of advice, Get as small as trailer as you can to suit your family. Bigger is NOT better. While the big 40' 5er's are nice that you have all the comforts of home including sleeping for 20, it's not worth the hassle. Any trailer above 30' and most campgrounds are a pain. You usually get stuck with the ****ty sites. Plus you're towing with a 1/2 ton, so you should be looking for a smaller one anyways.
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Old 07-16-2018, 09:03 AM
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ESOXangler ESOXangler is offline
 
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Thanks for the time and replies so far!
Ive spent many, many months in a trailer. It was in a different capacity though, deep in the Bush of NWT Ontario where you don't have to worry about online booking in March to secure a spot. I'm more imexperienced in the type of RV camping that Alberta has for sure. The comment about anything over 30' being a pain is exactly the type of stuff I'm looking for!
Thanks!
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  #18  
Old 07-16-2018, 10:12 AM
JB_AOL JB_AOL is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESOXangler View Post
Thanks for the time and replies so far!
Ive spent many, many months in a trailer. It was in a different capacity though, deep in the Bush of NWT Ontario where you don't have to worry about online booking in March to secure a spot. I'm more imexperienced in the type of RV camping that Alberta has for sure. The comment about anything over 30' being a pain is exactly the type of stuff I'm looking for!
Thanks!

That's good to hear you have the experience, the hassle is also related to towing. Making roadside stops at farmers markets or whatever, was pretty much a no go, unless it was in a town.

Just for reference. We went from one extreme to the other. 17' no slides to 36' with dual slides. We sold our trailer two years ago when job security was an issue, plus we were looking to downsize. I found when my kids where toddlers we wanted room, but once they hit 5ish, they stayed outside the whole time (even in bad weather). We used to camp every weekend from may long til sept long. But priorities have changed and we only end up camping one week a year. So we either rent/borrow something for that week. With that being said, I picked up a tent a couple weeks ago. lol. More work on my end, but more experience for the kids. Simpler life.

Booking sites can be a pain, especially if you always camp with another family. Trying to get two sites relatively close together was usually a 30min mad scramble on the computer 90 days previous to get good sites.

Oh, and one a couple more things. Most campgrounds were not designed for large RV's, which means sometimes even driving to the site involved creative use of trees, hell my dad used to take an extendable branch trimmer. Most of the old campgrounds that have made room for newer RV's (30'+), have basically created a parking lot. As an example look at the Bow Valley Campground.

Not trying to be all negative. Just a realist. RV'ing is a great experience, My family will ALWAYS remember it and the times we had, just some people don't realize it's still a lot of work.

Last piece of advice.. Get the best Weight distributing/sway hitch you can afford, and learn how to set it up yourself. It makes a WORLD of difference.
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  #19  
Old 07-16-2018, 11:35 AM
250mark1 250mark1 is offline
 
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imo having a dedicated bed for myself and the wife is a must
its a pain in the azz if you use the kitchen table as a bed and the couch beds suck to sleep on

i would also steer clear of the ultra light and some of the lite models as they tend to not be built as well to save weight ( ie 3-4 ft spacing of the cross members )

i prefer the hardwall trailers as there is way less leak points and much more hail resistant than tin sided trailers

as mentioned buy used nothing depreciates in value like an RV
when looking at used check all the interior walls in the corners and around windows etc for soft spots and bubbles which will indicate leaks
also check the floor behind the wheel wells and around the main door for soft spots as these are areas that leak quite often

i have been helping a friend look at buying a used RV and there is a lot of junk out there and everybody says no leaks or never leaked ( 3 out of 4 trailers we looked at had evidence of leaks after the owners said no leaks )
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Old 07-16-2018, 02:51 PM
nick0danger nick0danger is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HalfBreed View Post
I have a hybrid, apparently they are no longer in production.

With the bunks out, it's a larger unit. If weather sux, it's a turtle.

It's light and has all amenities. It is 2 retired vets with 2 med sized dogs.

I'll be sad to cross over since it will have to be a hard wall in the end.
Forest river still makes hybrid rvs

http://www.forestriverinc.com/travel...staff-shamrock
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  #21  
Old 07-16-2018, 03:36 PM
NW Tradegunner NW Tradegunner is offline
 
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What we found through camping evolution, tent, tent trailer (rented - once), small antique travel trailer, Bigfoot travel trailer, motorhome, 5th Wheel, small motorhome, larger motorhome, now a Pleasure Way Van, was when we had children, the best deal was the first motorhome. Being on the road, I didn't have to pull over every time they had to go pee! With all the other units, it was Dad! I gotta go! Until such time it was a switch to the 5th wheel. What we noticed we missed from the motorhome was videos. Whilst I was driving, Wife and kids would watch videos. Wherever town/city that we camped around; we'd stopped at a video rental, give 'em our stall # at the campground and the kids would be entertained for the next while. Otherwise we brought videos from home. Now that the kids are gone, my wife & I are split between a motorhome and the Pleasure Way Van. We still do some historic reenactment stuff with canvas wedge tents, costumes and cooking over the fire but not as often as we use to. Oh! And we had a teepee (1st North American Moblie Home!) at one time too! The kids loved that and still talk about it to their kids! That's my 3 cents!
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