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Old 10-22-2012, 04:00 PM   #1
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Need help on TT size for TV.

I'm hoping you all haven't seen this message to many times and can give me a hand. My family (wife, son (8) and daughter (6), and I have been camping enthusiasts since both kids were very young and have been contemplating stepping up to a TT to let us get out even more.

I've been shopping for a long time and have been getting lots of different feedback from people and have started to get a bit discouraged. We own a 2007 Dodge Durango 5.7L V8 Hemi, with a 3.92 gear rear end. I've been trying desperately to figure out what we can safely and comfortably tow. The TT dealer tells me one thing, friends another and all types of different things online.

My vehicle has a tow limit of 8,750 lbs. I thought I would be good if I stayed withing the 5,000 to 6,000 range until people started to tell me that even at that weight if I purchase something to long (eg. more than 28 feet) I'll be all over the road. Having never towed anything like this before, I'm starting to get very concerned.

I was hoping maybe I could list a few of our main choices and see if people here might be able to give me some advice. I'm most concerned about safety and will be buying a top end equalizer and break control package whichever we end up selecting.

Keystone Outback 250RS - 27' 6" and approximately 5,900 lbs.
Rockwood/Shamrock Roo 25RS - 27' 5" and approximately 4,900 lbs.
Forest River Salem 27DBUD - 29' 6" and approximately 6,164 lbs.

Right now our preference is the Salem, but with everything I've heard about the wheelbase of my Durango, I'm very concerned it can't handle that length.

Please help!

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Old 10-22-2012, 05:01 PM   #2
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my opinion only, but i think you would be happiest with the bed where you didnt have to climb over each other getting into/out of. plus, it is only 2 foot longer and within a few hundred pounds of each other.

a good sway control/weight distribution hitch will solve lots of problems.

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Old 10-22-2012, 05:41 PM   #3
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alm265- I'll give you my thoughts as another Durango owner. I have a 2006 with the Hemi. I bought it one year old so I assume the smaller gear ratio to be safe which allows towing of 7200 puonds. My Mini Lite is 21'6" and dry weight was 3700 lbs.

The Durango tows my TT very well and I am happy with the combination. I average about 10.1 MPG.

I would be very concerned that the units you are looking at are too long and too heavy. The Roo is probably OK on weight but again is awfully long for an SUV to tow. The unit when you receive it will be several hundred pounds heavier than the "dry weight". The WDH's are quite heavy and then you have water, batteries, family etc. The Durango "footprint" is just not large enough to safely tow such a large TT, not heavy enough and not a large enough wheelbase.

I wanted to have a 20% cushion on weight. I also wanted to have a 10-20% cushion on wheelbase. There has been a discussion in this forum that the wheelbase should be greater than 5 times the lenghth. For example my TT is 21' times 5=105". The Durango wheelbase is 119" if I remember correctly. So I have a safety cushion. (At least one forum member argues that there is no support for the Rule of 5 but it still made sense to me when towing with a SUV, shorter and lighter than a truck.)

If you had a TT of 25'x5=125, greater than the 119" Durango wheelbase and leaving no cushion at all.

Yes, the Durango Hemi can tow all 3 of your selections, but can it do so safely for thousands of miles. Up mountains and in windy weather. I would be very concerned. (The new WDHs really do help.)

Just my humble opinion as another Durango owner. If you search this forum you will find several discussions on this topic. Good luck with what ever you decide to do.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:15 PM   #4
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The weights you've listed are dry weight. The loaded camper weight may easily be 1500 lbs above those weights. The tongue weight needs to be around 12% of that weight for good towing. From what I recall, SUV's don't have a lot of payload left once you load them up with passengers and gear so be mindful of that.

I know people are out there towing quite long campers with short wheelbase. All I would say is to get a top quality W/D hitch with intergrated sway control and make absolutely sure than it is set-up spot on.

I don't think that anyone is going to argue that the risk of sway increases with the length of camper.


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Old 10-22-2012, 08:37 PM   #5
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To add to GlacierGus' and Dave_Monica's posts:

There are no hard and fast rules on tow vehicle wheelbase and trailer length. A frequently used formula is the tow vehicle wheelbase in inches divided by 5 should be the maximum overall trailer length in feet. A 2007 Durango has a 119.2" wheelbase, and that calculated out is a little less than 24' total length of trailer. As the trailers get longer and heavier, they will tend to push the Durango around more as they increase in size. As the trailers get bigger, they will be less enjoyable to tow. Something else to keep in mind is a Durango is probably considered a mid-sized vehicle instead of a full sized vehicle.

Load up the family, and camping gear that might be carried, and head to some scales. Subtract that weight from the GVWR posted on the door, and see if the "projected" tongue weights of any of those trailers will put you over the GVWR. In many cases, the actual tongue weight ready to camp is about 20% higher than the listed empty tongue weight.....I know mine is.

The 5.7 with a 3.92 drive gear should be able to pull any of those trailers, but there is a lot more to consider than just power.

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Old 10-23-2012, 07:19 AM   #6
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Thanks so much for the feedback. I'm getting quite an education and it's a really good thing.

Based on what we've seen, I think we're resetting our expectations a little and have found some really nice smaller options that may be better.

Forest River Rockwood/Shamrock Roo 233S, Weight - 4,351 lbs, Length - 23' 9"
Forest River Rockwood/Shamrock Roo 21SS, Weight -4,311 lbs, Length - 21' 9"
Forest River Rockwood/Shamrock Roo 23RS, Weight - 4,143 lbs, Length - 23' 10"

I think all of these would work nicely (opinions?) and there will be time to buy something different later in life.

We're actually heading to camp on the Florida coast this weekend and will be all loaded up. I'll pull into a scale and figure out the weight.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:29 AM   #7
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These look much more appropriate for your SUV. I'd trade up to a crew cab 1/2 ton if you go any bigger.
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Old 01-27-2014, 02:48 PM   #8
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Roo 23RS...21SS...& 19 experiences & opinions

Hi alm265...I know that I'm quite late (lol) with this reply, I just joined the Forest River forum this week and enjoy so much reading about our RV's. We have been RVing since '02 but our last 3 trailers have been Roos 21SS, 19 & now our I will give you our opinions about our RV experiences.We were told by the dealer that our little '06 Jeep Liberty CRD diesel would pull that 21SS Hybrid for a joke (stupid me...I believed him) and after only 3 trips we knew that we needed a bigger SUV so we purchased a older '01 Dodge Durango 5.9L to haul this RV & we thought that now this truck would be fine, well, with only a 4-speed tramsmission and O/D locked out when it shifted down into 2nd gear we thought that the truck would blow-up!! So we lived with this combo until trading again to a '11 Rockwood Roo 19 Hybrid and in Jan/11 we replaced our old '01 Durango with a used '07 Dodge Durango SLT with a 5.7L Hemi and the difference in towing was day & night, it pulled like a dream!! After 115 nights in the Roo 19' Hybrid (we found the Hybrids very noisy and the soft sides were always wet/damp) we decided that we wanted a Hard-sided trailer, we saw a Roo 23RS set up one day and after seeing how easy it was to set up/down we agreed to trade in the 19' for the 23RS, we have now stayed, as of tonight in Florida, 106 nights in the RS and simply LOVE this trailer!! We have had our combo weighed at truck scales and the Roo 23RS weighs 4840 lbs (no water) & Durango with my wife/me/hitch weigs 5780 lbs = 10,620 lbs Hope this info helps...thks!!
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:53 PM   #9
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Any issues with your rear slide bed?

The Windjammer 2102W rear bed support is crap.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:32 PM   #10
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Opinions on our 23RS

We have not had any issues with the bed or bed slide, but we had a very small leak in the rear window...I took it back to dealer and they removed the window and recalked everything. We took it to Maine about 2 mths later and had a vicious rain storm and quess started to leak I took some liquid plastic and sprayed up on the edge of bedroom roof and around the outside part of the rear window and so far (knock on wood) it has stayed dry!!

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