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Chief Rick
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After a weekend of hotel hell a couple weeks ago, we are looking at getting a small TT.

 

We've been looking online and it seems that camper prices are running on par with vehicle prices.

 

All we want is a queen size bed, toilet, shower and A/C.

 

We found this Heartland Mallard Pathfinder P16SRD and really liked it over several other new and used campers that we looked at.

 

Dry weight is ~3500 lbs, GVWR ~4900.

46 gal fresh water, 30 each black and grey, and a 6 gal hot water heater.

WiFi HD antenna

1200W inverter

110W solar panel on roof, solar monitor

2 20 lb LP tanks

"I believe" room for two house batteries

 

I realize that a TT is not saving money when compared to getting a hotel room for most people.  We miss staying on the range and this could allow us to extend our summer vacation.

 

On the extreme off chance - anyone have any experience with this brand or model?

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If you are handy I bought mine from repo at a local credit union. It's a couple years old and needed some work but at half the cost of the used lot.

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I have heard Pathfinders are good.

I tell ya, small spaces can spoil your fun just as quick as a bad hotel.

Does your rig have at least one slide?

Our couch slid out on both our small campers...it made a huge difference!

Don't rush into one, untill you've visited several...walked in, sat, walked out...walked back in.

Trust me...worth the looking.

Photos when you decide...and it is a good investment.

We use both the 5th and the little tag a long at least once a month. And when sitting idle at the house, they are used for Cowboy Hotel travelers...

Our SASS members!

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17 minutes ago, Singin' Sue 71615 said:

I have heard Pathfinders are good.

I tell ya, small spaces can spoil your fun just as quick as a bad hotel.

Does your rig have at least one slide?

Our couch slid out on both our small campers...it made a huge difference!

Don't rush into one, untill you've visited several...walked in, sat, walked out...walked back in.

Trust me...worth the looking.

Photos when you decide...and it is a good investment.

We use both the 5th and the little tag a long at least once a month. And when sitting idle at the house, they are used for Cowboy Hotel travelers...

Our SASS members!

Looking at the slides on the smaller TT's, I don't like what I see.  They almost all operate via wire rope/cables.

 

We've had a TT before and we find that the only time we were in it was to change clothes and sleep.

We prefer to do our cooking outside (and this camper has an external LP gas connection).

The additional floorspace would be nice, but I don't want the extra weight and complexity.

 

We could see using this one at least one a month going to local matches (our local matches are at least two hours away).

These would also be more boondocking experiences.

 

We could see using State Parks when travelling but we'd rather stay on the range(s) when possible.

Neither of us care for today's RV parks.

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I agree with skip the Slides ....

They often become Mouse High-Ways into your TT.

We now have a Class "C" motor home With-out slides .

We have Had , TT , Truck Camper 

 

Jabez Cowboy

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What are you going to tow with, and what is it's tow rating? Back when I used to tow a travel trailer, my practice was to keep the trailer's GVWR below 2/3 of my vehicle's listed rating. Don't ever believe a salesman who says "Don't worry, your ____________ will pull this, no problem".

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17 minutes ago, Chief Rick said:

Looking at the slides on the smaller TT's, I don't like what I see.  They almost all operate via wire rope/cables.

 

We've had a TT before and we find that the only time we were in it was to change clothes and sleep.

We prefer to do our cooking outside (and this camper has an external LP gas connection).

The additional floorspace would be nice, but I don't want the extra weight and complexity.

 

We could see using this one at least one a month going to local matches (our local matches are at least two hours away).

These would also be more boondocking experiences.

 

We could see using State Parks when travelling but we'd rather stay on the range(s) when possible.

Neither of us care for today's RV parks.

Buy it, treat it nice. so when you trade it in for a 5th wheel with two slides you will get top penny.  It rains, it snows, it blows, getting you and your friends inside might be important.  Or not your mileage may vary.

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23 minutes ago, Chief Rick said:

Looking at the slides on the smaller TT's, I don't like what I see.  They almost all operate via wire rope/cables.

 

We've had a TT before and we find that the only time we were in it was to change clothes and sleep.

We prefer to do our cooking outside (and this camper has an external LP gas connection).

The additional floorspace would be nice, but I don't want the extra weight and complexity.

 

We could see using this one at least one a month going to local matches (our local matches are at least two hours away).

These would also be more boondocking experiences.

 

We could see using State Parks when travelling but we'd rather stay on the range(s) when possible.

Neither of us care for today's RV parks.

Our old tounge pull, 23' couch was a manual slide...I could easily pull it out myself. No issues.

The new one is on power...love it...

Outside is great...untill it rains.;)

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and you will be surprised how your useful load of #1400 pounds shrinks as you load it.

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6 minutes ago, twelve mile REB said:

Buy it, treat it nice. so when you trade it in for a 5th wheel with two slides you will get top penny.  It rains, it snows, it blows, getting you and your friends inside might be important.  Or not your mileage may vary.

Yup. That little tag a long took care of us for 12 years...and we it.

It went in to bring the 5th (3 slides) home!!!

Had 10 of us eating in there at CAC!!!

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We went to a 23' Class C Forest River on a Ford E-350 Chassis.

It had been rented the year before, so all the usual bugs and problems, encountered by those who bought new, had been ID'd by the renters the year before (And fixed or the thing wouldn't have been rentable! LOL)

My wife and I made some long trips in it, but I now use it mostly now for trips to the range and overnighting there, boon-docking.

The on-board generator will run the lights, A/C, frig, microwave, TV and DVD player but It can be a bit noisy, so I also have a nice quiet Honda 2000 to run if we don't need the A/C.

When camping, for us, the downside is having to drive a 23' motor home to the grocery store for a quart of milk or a loaf of bread.

038.JPG

Edited by Cold Lake Kid, SASS # 51474
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16 minutes ago, Rattlesnake Slim said:

What are you going to tow with, and what is it's tow rating? Back when I used to tow a travel trailer, my practice was to keep the trailer's GVWR below 2/3 of my vehicle's listed rating. Don't ever believe a salesman who says "Don't worry, your ____________ will pull this, no problem".

F-150 with ~1900 lb payload capacity and ~11000 lb towing capacity - based on door stickers.

 

Of course, I already have 500-600 lbs of the payload spoken for with topper and other stuff.  500 lb tongue weight should be no problem.  I also still have a load equalizing hitch from my last TT.

 

I'd like to have more buffer room but that should be plenty.

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24 minutes ago, twelve mile REB said:

Buy it, treat it nice. so when you trade it in for a 5th wheel with two slides you will get top penny.  It rains, it snows, it blows, getting you and your friends inside might be important.  Or not your mileage may vary.

If I buy, I will treat it nice.

 

As for getting me and my friends inside...:lol:

 

I'm not really fond of 5th wheels.  Too big for a lot of places that I currently go.  And while I can't prove it, I believe too many on the road today are too big for the 3/4 and 1-ton trucks pulling them.  Adding helper springs and air suspension doesn't change the rated capacity of the trucks even if it levels out the load.

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22 minutes ago, twelve mile REB said:

and you will be surprised how your useful load of #1400 pounds shrinks as you load it.

Believe you me, I know how fast weight ads up.  Especially when loading for multiple CAS matches for two.

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21 minutes ago, Cold Lake Kid, SASS # 51474 said:

We went to a 23' Class C Forest River on a Ford E-350 Chassis.

It had been rented the year before, so all the usual bugs and problems, encountered by those who bought new, had been ID'd by the renters the year before (And fixed or the thing wouldn't have been rentable! LOL)

My wife and I made some long trips in it, but I now use it mostly now for trips to the range and overnighting there, boon-docking.

The on-board generator will run the lights, A/C, frig, microwave, TV and DVD player but It can be a bit noisy, so I also have a nice quiet Honda 2000 to run if we don't need the A/C.

When camping, for us, the downside is having to drive a 23' motor home to the grocery store for a quart of milk or a loaf of bread.

There are a few places we currently shoot that are not very good with heavy two-wheel drive vehicles, especially after it rains (South MS and LA).

 

I would love the ability to just pull over and step into the back to use the bath-room, especially as I get older.:o

 

A quiet-run generator would also probably be necessary to run the A/C during the summer, even at night, down here.  I would think a 2000W generator would run the A/C.    Maybe not...

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7 minutes ago, Singin' Sue 71615 said:

Well....being I don't have personal experience in the trailer/brand your asking about...I'm out.

No other imput seems to be needed.

You have lots of experience.  Just because it's not in the particular unit I'm looking at doesn't mean you don't have valuable input.

 

My wife and I do enjoy sitting around a campfire BSing and eating but we've never been into "entertaining" inside the camper.

 

I'm trying to not be impatient and jump in to something without weighing all my options.  That's where questions and comments from people like you help.

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While you are kicking tires, look at the Northwood Mfg Nash travel trailers.  Off-road frame/suspension, generator ready, and great insulation. 

I've got one on order and can't wait to try it out. 

 

Good luck, 

BS

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As a general rule, an RV will loose 1/2 its value in the 1st 5 years.  That applies to $500,000 Class A to the $8,000 popup camper.   And it doesn't even matter if you use it or not.  Consider it an entertainment expense.  You can save a lot of money by buying used and letting someone else take that big depreciation hit.  Travel trailers are not that complicated or hard to work on.  The biggest thing to watch out for is water leaks/water damage.

 

Most campers are equipped with a 13.5K or 15K AC unit.  You will need a 3400 watt generator to run these AC units.  Everything else in the camper can be run with a 2000 watt generator.

 

I easily pull a 27' Winnebago travel trailer with an F-150 equipped similar to yours.  Fully loaded for a 3 week trip, mine weighs about 6,200 lbs.  

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Never liked slides for all the reasons previously listed here. :angry:

Most 5th wheels would require a new truck. :o

Travel trailers don't provide the same on the road luxuries you get with a Motor Home/RV. :(

Thus we went with a previously owned Class B+. ;)

21', Ford 350E, Onan generator, etc.

 

20170616_200026.thumb.jpg.0aeca3578664afdb8eba409b3635719f.jpg

 

Edited by Father Kit Cool Gun Garth
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8 hours ago, Badlands Bob #61228 said:

Most campers are equipped with a 13.5K or 15K AC unit.  You will need a 3400 watt generator to run these AC units.  Everything else in the camper can be run with a 2000 watt generator.

This unit is equipped with a 14.K A/C and 20K furnace.

 

So would it be better to go with a single ~3500W generator or two ~2000W generators with a parallel kit for units with this size A/C?

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15 minutes ago, Chief Rick said:

This unit is equipped with a 14.K A/C and 20K furnace.

 

So would it be better to go with a single ~3500W generator or two ~2000W generators with a parallel kit for units with this size A/C?

Each has an advantage and both will work.  The 3500W generator is heavier but you only have to deal with one unit.  The duel 2000W generators are lighter to move around, easier to store but both require fuel, maintenance etc.  The 2000W generators will also use a pull start.  The single 3500W generator is probably cheaper to buy than 2 2000W generators and the parallel kit.  I went with the Champion 3400W generator but it weighs almost 100 lbs.  The remote start is what sold me.  I can use the remote  to turn it on and off as needed.  No more pulling on a rope.

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With my truck topper/bed set-up, I don't know if I can fit a ~3500W generator in the bed.

 

The question is; how often will I need a generator?  I don't know at this point.

 

I don't know if/how often I would use the camper for the remainder of this year if I were to buy it right now.

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I ran 2 Honda 2000 gens for 10 years. I added a 5 gallon exterior tank that they connected to. It allowed me to fill them, run for the  day. I liked the ECO mode as they sit there idling until a demand hits, like AC.

But, yeah theres always a but, I had to go outside to start and stop them. Cold and rain made that fun. Wakes you right up at night.

As I got older the lifting and carrying gens, fuels tank, and gas got to be too much. We now have an on board Onan.

One 2000 will not run your AC. With 2-2000's we still had the shut the AC off to run the microwave.

One by itself will keep everything topped off, batteries, and useable except AC.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Chief Rick said:

This unit is equipped with a 14.K A/C and 20K furnace.

 

So would it be better to go with a single ~3500W generator or two ~2000W generators with a parallel kit for units with this size A/C?

My suggestion is to buy 2 of the 2000 and kit.

Why?

Because together they produce about 3800...they will run all you need.

When you don't need AC

...you can take only one with you.

They are light enough for one to handle.

*** we bought 2 Preditor from Harbor Freight and the joiner kit for less than one Honda.

We have used them 4 years, use them often and have no issue.

Still quiter than most big name gennies of that age.;)

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1 hour ago, Chief Rick said:

With my truck topper/bed set-up, I don't know if I can fit a ~3500W generator in the bed.

 

The question is; how often will I need a generator?  I don't know at this point.

 

I don't know if/how often I would use the camper for the remainder of this year if I were to buy it right now.

***we always take at least one gennie and a trickle charger with us...just in case a battery dies (truck or trailer)

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38 minutes ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

I ran 2 Honda 2000 gens for 10 years. I added a 5 gallon exterior tank that they connected to. It allowed me to fill them, run for the  day. I liked the ECO mode as they sit there idling until a demand hits, like AC.

But, yeah theres always a but, I had to go outside to start and stop them. Cold and rain made that fun. Wakes you right up at night.

As I got older the lifting and carrying gens, fuels tank, and gas got to be too much. We now have an on board Onan.

One 2000 will not run your AC. With 2-2000's we still had the shut the AC off to run the microwave.

One by itself will keep everything topped off, batteries, and useable except AC.

 

 

Will ANYTHING outside of an onboard gennie 'really' run both AC and Micro at the same time??:huh::rolleyes::ph34r:

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I / we were in your boots earlier this year. Ended up getting a Ford F150 4x4 with towing package, has the electronic brake system built in, with the turbo 3.8L v6. Camper shopping led us to a Forrest River Palomino Puma 25 ft. with slide out, 6300lb empty, 7400lb fully loaded. Lots of room and storage. We did not want to be cramped LOL. It has a 13.5 AC so went with the Predator 3500 generator, fits under the truck bed cover just fine, weighs about 100lb, but you can run it from right in the bed if you fold up the cover. Planning to add a remote start/stop package to it. Runs the AC fine, but do have to shut the AC off to run the microwave, not a big deal. Been to 4 big matches this year and it has worked out great. Advantage to the TT cuz you can park it at a nearby campground when there are no spaces left at the range and drive to the match in the pickup with all your gear already loaded.

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1 hour ago, Chief Rick said:

With my truck topper/bed set-up, I don't know if I can fit a ~3500W generator in the bed.

 

The question is; how often will I need a generator?  I don't know at this point.

 

I don't know if/how often I would use the camper for the remainder of this year if I were to buy it right now.

The 3500 (without the handle) would be questionable on height under the topper.

The 2 Raptors, side by side and height are equivalent to a smaller igloo cooler.

They were our best choice.

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Shop around. Prices vary a lot from dealer to dealer. Don't be afraid to take a couple hour drive and don't overlook the small dealers.  Some of the ones we looked are were nearly double in price at a big dealer compared to the smaller ones. 

 

Know that with only 40 gal of water you are going to run out if your are boon docking more than 2-3 days if you have to take a shower every day. Without bathing, 2 people will use 5-7 gal of water a day. 

 

Take a look at what outlets are in the trailer. I bought a 25 ft Forest River Vibe. First trip out discovered that it did have a single 12 VDC outlet anywhere. I bought an aux fuse block and added 3 outlets and plan adding a 4th this winter.

 

We bought a couple 12 VDC fans to use at night so we don't have to run the generator all night during the summer.

The built in entertainment system in the trailer would play DVDs so we bought a 12 VDC flat screen TV to go with it.

Now we only have to run the generator if we need the AC.

 

Battery was on its last legs so I bough 2 golf cart batteries from O'Reilly's. Last longer than 2 deep cycle and cost about the same.

 

Try out the bed. My mistake is I didn't. The mattress in ours gave even junk ones a bad name. Pay special attention to how hard it is to get in and out of. Ours is too high and is a PITA to get in and out of. Had to buy a set of exercise steps to make it easier to get in and out of and it is still a PITA.  Going to take care of that this winter as well.

 

The two generator setup is easier to load and unload but keeping them running means refueling more often. When i was shopping, Honda had recalled all their small generators so there were none to be had. Wound up buying a Generac IQ3500. It came with a 30 amp locking plug. It is quieter than a pair of Hondas and cost 1/2 as much. Runs the AC no problem. I have gotten a lot of complements on how quiet it is. With the temp being 100 degrees outside and sitting in full sun, it will run the AC for about 6 hours before it needs fuel. Even longer if I'm in the shade or it is only in the 90s. 

 

I have a Retrax bed cover and if I take the rubber feet off my Generac it just fits under the cover. The gas cap rubs but it does fit.  If I can ever find a proper rack for the back I plan to secure the generator back there.    

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If you go with the two generator option be sure one of them has a 30 amp plug. In the Honda line it is called a Companion generator. 

 

Seen more than one fire caused by trying to pull too much current through a 15 or 20 amp two prong plug.

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Not what you want to hear but when talking travel trailers there is Airstream and then everything else.  We bought out 27ft. Airstream 15 years ago, (it was 1 year old, traded in for a 30ft. one so in great condition) Sold it about 4 months ago for $5000 MORE than we paid for it. So besides the best quality they don't fall apart and depreciate like other units.  Got tired of crappy little generators so I bought a Honda inverter 6500watt generator. Could run the AC, microwave and other stuff at the same time even at 7000ft.  Always buy a bigger unit than you think you need.

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Check with RV Insider for their reviews. Here is their review of Mallard:

 

Heartland Mallard reviews

Liveability
3.4
Overall quality
2.4
Floorplan
4.0
Driving/towing
3.8
Factory warranty
2.0
 
Those numbers would have me looking elsewhere.
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I love my little tin can - Cruiser RV LLC FunFinder X189FBS.  Bought it used & it's showing its age but still a super-well-made little trailer.  Petey's looking to upgrade (wants more room in the bathroom & a bed you can walk around) but IDK...

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A consideration with any style motor home is the size of your gun cart. When I took our 26 ft class C to a match this year I had to tow our Jeep Liberty behind it to hold the gun cart. Even folded up my wooden 3-wheeled cart wouldn't fit through the door of the coach. A pickup towing a trailer won't have that issue.

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