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Travel trailers, what’s most important ?


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TIRES !

Almost all trailer manufacturers sell their products with the cheapest available tires mounted.   These tires are literally time-bombs.  They have minimal ply ratings and little if any reinforcement.  Trailer tires take punishment on road surfaces, curbs, and other road hazards.  Pressure monitors are great, except they don't help much in a sudden tread loss or major puncture.   

If a tire loses pressure, even on tandem axles, figure your rear mounted sewer piping will be destroyed.   

When I bought my tow-behind, Sinful and others recommended I immediately change out the dealer tires for something reliable. 

They uniformly recommended Good Year Endurance Trailer Tires.   Made specifically for trailers, they have heavy ply ratings and thickened  sidewall protection against curb rubs.  Their ride and pulling smoothness is excellent even at higher speeds.  

Don't spend big $ on all the other features, but neglect this critical component.  It hurt a bit to dump the brand new dealer tires, but by the time I pulled the unit home, I understood the difference.  Thank you Sinful!

 

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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12 hours ago, Three Foot Johnson said:

I did a little reading on the Forest River forums, and... I'll be dawged, 12 volt only refrigerators, unheard of only 3-4 years ago, are starting to be fairly common, at least with Forest River, with names like Nova Kool, Ever Kool, and Ever Chill. Some of the members seem to like 'em, some hate 'em, and some say, "There's no such thing as an RV 12v only refrigerator." :lol:

My first was a Furion, currently a GE. When I bought the TT I told the salesman that I only boondock. He said with the stock battery I would get 7 days out of a battery! Wrong, 7 hours at best. After about $700  in battery's and solar, we're getting better. The dealership said I'd be better off spending 3K to convert to a propane unit. Tried to trade at 3 dealers when it was 6 months old and would have taken a 50 % loss. After being on the FR forum for a few years I've learned that experienced camper owners just expect the poor quality and accept it. Even the expensive units are poorly built,but with better materials. They don't even have switched by the door anymore!

 

 

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14 hours ago, Texas Joker said:

Needs active solar installed to keep the Batts topped off. But I think the cherokee/graywolf use a 50 watt panel and it takes care of everything.

 

It's a true compressor fridge not absorption.

You'll need to add hundreds more, trust me! The 50W gives you a trickle charge while the camper is parked and not being used. Bring a generator!

Edited by Eyesa Horg
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My understanding is the compressor pulls up to 6 amp while the compressor is running but like your house fridge it doesn't run constantly. Even with line loss, unperfect conditions and resistance a 50w panel should keep you from going flat off the fridge itself. But there are always other power draws. 

 

I use 300w charging 2 group 24s with a 2k pure sine inverter on my hideout when I boondock and still have a suitcase genny for backup. 

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Another thing to check is your fresh water tank. When full, mine sagged down till it hit the axle, after 2 tanks, they finally put some bracing under it! Still can't get the last 10 gals out. Also, add a shut off to the overflow, they don't run it up to the vent by the fill port, you will lose about 2/3rds.  by the time you get where you're going. Took me 3 trips back to the dealer to convince them of both of the above. Buying a brand new unit is not the joy you would expect! Should have kept my 20 year old Keystone, all it needed was a new roof! It seems to never end! Oh, on my second entry door as well. Spring is coming and I can get back to trying to get the fridge fixed. Been 6 months and GE can't seem to provide the parts that their tech broke! Yea.

Sorry if I seem disgruntled, I am!

 

 

Edited by Eyesa Horg
Mega phone typos
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Tough subject, RV's are. I just got #18 about a month ago. I've owned at least three of everything except Toy Haulers. Had Motor Homes, Class A & C, 5th wheels from small to large and the same for Pull Trailers and Tent Trailers. I once had 3 at the same time. The first thing I can say is that it's easy to "Fall in Love" with a RV that is bigger than you need. My wife always likes the one that has as many slide outs as possible, Big Island Kitchen, enough seating to accommodate the entire posse for a party with plenty of room for the band. So just be careful that you keep in mind what you are really looking for when you go RV shopping, and know full well how you plan to haul it if it is something that requires a pull vehicle. We just traded in our 2018 Minni Winnie 26A on a Outback Pull trailer and New Chevy LTZ. 

 

Each type unit has it's advantages and disadvantages. In general, the larger things get the more critical some things become. Next, EVERY RV is Junk. Yes, I've had the "High End", High dollar units and they "Can Be" higher quality, but the fact is, if you pull a drawer out and peek back up into the No-See-Em zones, you will see where the guy assembling things just went off the edge shooting staples until he finally hit something. Most of the guys building these things are not skilled labor. The next thing to remember is this... There are no Christian RV Sales people. They are all going to hell, I'm sure. They will look you in the eye and tell you ANYTHING in order to make a sale. They are all the same, so keep that in mind when you are making your deal. 

 

I sounds like you have a basic idea of what you are looking for. You can never have too big of a pull vehicle or too much power. It simply does not exist when pulling. However, if your take the time to research and BE HONEST with yourself, you can get yourself fitted for a well matched setup. There are many newer rigs today that are built to be Extra-Lite, or Ultra-Lite. Some of better than others, but the fact is..... they are ALL made to be light weight. That means that they are NOT as strong as some of the old Battleships that use to go down the road. But that's OK. Some new construction techniques, like a Z frame do have some strength building advantages. In general, a trailer with a curb weight of 6,000 or less and max vehicle weight of around 9,000 lb is suitable for most 1/2 ton pickups. Yeah, yeah, yeah.... I know that some of them talk about their 12K pulling limit. Stay with the 9K and you will won't have any problems. Floor plans vary, but I don't want anything that requires me to crawl over someone to get in and out of bed. I want a decent place to sit for a meal, to read and watch TV. I like a Potty that I don't have drop my drawers and then back into. I want something that has enough frame to allow me to mount a small rack to carry a generator large enough to run the AC. Solar panels are a must for me, as is a SMALL inverter to run my coffee pot. Those items are easily added if you are "Handy", or can be installed by most shops. I prefer a membrane type rubber roof and an electric awning. Given a choice I want 15" or larger wheels, however, with today's Ultra-Lite trailers that is hard to find... 14" seems to be the standard. Change tires at LEAST every 4 years no matter how good they look, and install a tire pressure monitoring system. It WILL save you from blowing out the side of the trailer. There is a huge controversy about batteries. Being a life long Electrical Engineer I have my own ideas about it and the facts to support my opinion. 

 

So. Bottom line is don't be tempted to go larger than you ought to, stay WELL within your tow limits. Don't tow too fast, and have fun. 

 

Snakebite

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2 hours ago, Texas Joker said:

My understanding is the compressor pulls up to 6 amp while the compressor is running but like your house fridge it doesn't run constantly. Even with line loss, unperfect conditions and resistance a 50w panel should keep you from going flat off the fridge itself. But there are always other power draws. 

 

I use 300w charging 2 group 24s with a 2k pure sine inverter on my hideout when I boondock and still have a suitcase genny for backup. 

50 watts will give you a couple amps at best if you are in full sun in a field. The fridge uses triple that! You'll find out like we did. Go to bed and get up to a 50 deg. Fridge because it cuts out at 10 .8 volts and stops running. When it's working the extra room and we'll below zero freezer are great, just park next to folks that don't mind listening to your genny all day.

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On 3/16/2022 at 12:22 PM, Chas B. Wolfson, SASS #11104 said:

If a tow behind, this is the best style of hitch to use.  I use one and it does effectively control sway.

71u4iSIkptL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
 

 

Check out the "eaz lift reCurve R3".

It's the nicest hitch I have ever used. The sway is built into the hitch, the weight bars and all pivot with the trailer, no squeaky, no clunks. Just works great.

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All those repair stories are the same reason why I continue to drive a 1991 Toyota truck, instead of a new one.
If'n I was a younger man... I'd look into a 1976 pickup, and rebuild it to perfection with the $$$$$$$ I would spend on a new one.
Here in CA, 1976 is exempt from smog laws, so one could build the tow engine of their dreams... simple and strong.

I look at how Sue and Shanley have invested the sweat equity to get past some of the crap construction quality that is inherent in most RVs today.
Kudos, folks. 

I also understand that the combined GVWR of the trailer and truck must be under the truck rating, or the insurance company will cancel your claim if you get into an accident.

Edited by bgavin
added a couple more thoughts
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1 hour ago, bgavin said:

All those repair stories are the same reason why I continue to drive a 1991 Toyota truck, instead of a new one.
If'n I was a younger man... I'd look into a 1976 pickup, and rebuild it to perfection with the $$$$$$$ I would spend on a new one.
Here in CA, 1976 is exempt from smog laws, so one could build the tow engine of their dreams... simple and strong.

I look at how Sue and Shanley have invested the sweat equity to get past some of the crap construction quality that is inherent in most RVs today.
Kudos, folks. 

I also understand that the combined GVWR of the trailer and truck must be under the truck rating, or the insurance company will cancel your claim if you get into an accident.

We made sure we are within limits.

Our rig is an light/aluminum (?)  rig.

It definately does NOT have the weight of a 4 seasons insulation!!!

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Extended warranties are sold based on Buyers insecurities and are a scam IMHO.

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I have never bought a new car, or trailer, or truck.

You can see if something has been cared for...and a new ANYTHING can break down just outside of the lot just as easy.

Howlin' Wolf  bought a new, great big rig, packed it up and drove it straight off the lot to Whitewater for CO State shoot one year. Beauty of a rig.

So happy...untill he went to shower the next morning...and flooded his rig.

They had not conected/glued and installed improperly the shower trap!!!!

Let us know what you decide on!!!

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i always learn a lot listening to others talk of their camper creations , this was a fun thread , i picked up a couple things im looking into 

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Anxiously awaiting our 1st trailer.  It's highlights:

- Northwood Mfg Arctic Fox 25R 

- 4 season trailer, plenty of insulation. 

- 27'3" long, ~ 6400 lb dry wt, ~ 4k cargo capacity. 

- dual pane windows. 

- walk around queen bed. 

- dinette and sofa (2 seating areas).

- on-board generator. 

- Goodyear tires from factory. 

- solar: 45w factory and 190w dealer installed. 

 

Definitely not cheap.  We were offered either a 15 or 20 year loan.  If I'm not mistaken, the interest is a tax write off.

 

If you are seriously looking at new trailers, try to find a 2022. Northwood Mfg prices are going up ~29% for the 2023 models.  I'm thinking that most manufacturers will do the same/similar. 

 

Good luck with your search, 

BS

 

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11 hours ago, Matthew Duncan said:

Extended warranties are sold based on Buyers insecurities and are a scam IMHO.

No doubt that they can be a lucrative way to separate folks from their money. But I don't believe they are all a scams. There was a time when I could do just about anything that might need to be done on my vehicles. That is no longer the case. I now Always purchase an extended warranty on any vehicle that get. That includes my new travel trailer I bought last month.  I've had a 5th wheel trailer BREAK IN TWO, coming home from WR!  I do shop around, but usually end up buying directly from the dealer if we can reach an agreement. ALL prices are negotiable.  Both GM and Ford Mo Co. will sell you a warranty on most brands of used cars if you buy it from one of their dealers.  I Bought a use Honda CRV from the Ford Dealer, and also a FORD Extended Warranty on the car. Within the year I had my money back after needing engine repairs. A month ago I bought a 2017 Chevy LTZ. It only had 15,000 mi on it. It was bought new in 2017 and the owner passed away and it spent most of it's time sitting in the Garage for 5 years before it was traded in to the local Chevy dealer. Here was a "New Truck" with zero warranty. You bet your little 4-legged burro that I purchased a Bumper to Bumper, zero deductible warranty from the dealer. With all the Whiz-Bang stuff this truck has on it, and the fact that I got a virtually new truck for close to half of what a new 2022 LTZ was selling for, I was more than willing to pay for the dealer's extended warranty coverage on this truck for what might easily be the rest of my life. Other than normal wear, like brakes etc, it's covered up to 90,000 miles. I bought a new 2004 Chevy Duramax. The LB7 diesel engine went through Injectors like a baby through diapers. This was the first series engine, before the LLY that made the injectors easy to change. Every time it cost $5,000 to replace the injectors.  Chevy covered the first two replacement sets, then I was out of the 7 year window, and the warranty replaced the 3rd set. That cost was more than double what I paid for the extended warranty. If my car outlives it's Extended Warranty, I'm not upset, I'm pleased, and have had peace of mind the entire time I had the vehicle. My wife's Ford Escape Limited Titanium edition is full of High tech both under the hood and inside. It looks like we might outlive it's warranty, so I'm glad I bought the extended warranty. For me, it's just part of the price of buying a Car, Truck or Trailer. MY CHOICE, and it has defiantly paid off for me. I must emphasize again that buying from a reputable dealer is important. I think there are a lot of warranty scams out there, so be careful. Just my opinion, and experience with Extended Warranties. IMO it's no different than buy Medical Insurance. After a few Million Dollars spent on me that turned out to be a good deal too!

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12 hours ago, Singin' Sue 71615 said:

I have never bought a new car, or trailer, or truck.

You can see if something has been cared for...and a new ANYTHING can break down just outside of the lot just as easy.

Howlin' Wolf  bought a new, great big rig, packed it up and drove it straight off the lot to Whitewater for CO State shoot one year. Beauty of a rig.

So happy...untill he went to shower the next morning...and flooded his rig.

They had not conected/glued and installed improperly the shower trap!!!!

Let us know what you decide on!!!

Met a Pard a couple years back, he bought a brand new Flagstaff and when he arrived at his first camping area, walked in the door to find the cabinets on floor. Not even one staple had hit a stud!

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1 hour ago, Eyesa Horg said:

Met a Pard a couple years back, he bought a brand new Flagstaff and when he arrived at his first camping area, walked in the door to find the cabinets on floor. Not even one staple had hit a stud!

WOW! It is a fact that the folks that assemble these things are very often just not qualified to take a dump. I've seen wood split into tooth picks by some nut using a staple gun like a full auto machine gun. I had a Fleetwood AX6 5th wheel break in two pieces due to Fleetwood's attempt to get the weight down. I talked to Lipert Industries, the company that built the frame for them and they told me that they warned Fleetwood that their specs were too light for the trailer weight, but Fleetwood had them build it anyway. I don't believe there is any industry that is as crooked as the RV industry. That goes for both MFG and Sales. I don't like to see Government interference, but it would be a service to the public if the Government put stricter requirements on the RV industry. 

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Been told by more than one to make sure the spring hangers are welded to the frame.Apparantly some from Lippert were missed by about a quarter inch. Met one Pard at a match that had his rear axle come out due to this. RV companies are absolutely criminal.

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4 hours ago, Barry Sloe said:

Anxiously awaiting our 1st trailer.  It's highlights:

- Northwood Mfg Arctic Fox 25R 

- 4 season trailer, plenty of insulation. 

- 27'3" long, ~ 6400 lb dry wt, ~ 4k cargo capacity. 

- dual pane windows. 

- walk around queen bed. 

- dinette and sofa (2 seating areas).

- on-board generator. 

- Goodyear tires from factory. 

- solar: 45w factory and 190w dealer installed. 

 

Definitely not cheap.  We were offered either a 15 or 20 year loan.  If I'm not mistaken, the interest is a tax write off.

 

If you are seriously looking at new trailers, try to find a 2022. Northwood Mfg prices are going up ~29% for the 2023 models.  I'm thinking that most manufacturers will do the same/similar. 

 

Good luck with your search, 

BS

 

Our local, longtime FAMILY owned RV sales...the grandkids now run it...is an Artic Fox dealer.

They chose Artic Fox after Excel stopped.

Artic Fox look to be very well made.

Pictures when you get her!!!

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25 minutes ago, Singin' Sue 71615 said:

Our local, longtime FAMILY owned RV sales...the grandkids now run it...is an Artic Fox dealer.

They chose Artic Fox after Excel stopped.

Artic Fox look to be very well made.

Pictures when you get her!!!

If I can figure out how to post pics I will do that.

Our closest Artic Fox dealer is in Mesa (big dealer).  We chose a small dealer in Silver City, NM to deal with.  Hopefully everything will go nice and smooth.

As a foot note - we had a Northwood Nash 24M on order since last June.  It was to be built June 2022 as a 2023 model.  When the price list for the 2023 models came out and the our Nash was going to cost an additional $13,500 we decided that we could move up to a 2022 Arctic Fox for about the same money as the Nash.  Same length, slightly different floorplan.

 

Take care,

BS

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1 hour ago, Barry Sloe said:

If I can figure out how to post pics I will do that.

Our closest Artic Fox dealer is in Mesa (big dealer).  We chose a small dealer in Silver City, NM to deal with.  Hopefully everything will go nice and smooth.

As a foot note - we had a Northwood Nash 24M on order since last June.  It was to be built June 2022 as a 2023 model.  When the price list for the 2023 models came out and the our Nash was going to cost an additional $13,500 we decided that we could move up to a 2022 Arctic Fox for about the same money as the Nash.  Same length, slightly different floorplan.

 

Take care,

BS

If things glitch in anyway, come on up to Moriarty, NM.

Moriarty RV Sales.

(Shanley and I will even put you up a night or two!!!)

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21 hours ago, Singin' Sue 71615 said:

So happy...untill he went to shower the next morning...and flooded his rig.

They had not conected/glued and installed improperly the shower trap!!!!

 

I had that exact same thing the first day we moved into our brand new house in Colorado Springs.
The upstairs tub drain was never connected to the plumbing, so it emptied into the kitchen ceiling.. which collapsed.
I understand the building inspector was on the take.. nearly 300 new homes in my section, all had mechanics liens on them at closing.

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