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Old 08-24-2015, 10:08 PM   #1
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Need help finding a good camper brand

We are thinking about getting into camping with our kids. Right now we are thinking of a somewhere around a 26-28 ft travel trailer. I'd be pulling it with a 1/2 ton Chevy Silverado, 5.3 liter. The max towing weight is 8500lbs but I have read that I should be looking to stay 10-20% under that as a general rule.
We're not sure about new vs used but don't want to get too crazy on price either.
I prefer quality over fancy.
Looking for advice. The more I look on the internet, the more I get discouraged.

Help please....
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:28 PM   #2
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look at a hybrid, new less then $20,000 for a Roo or Shamrock 183... 3 queen beds plus a dinette bed if necessary max weight around 4600# well within your towing capacity...,. if you start looking at units with slides then you add weight and cost fast

the wife and I love ours and have had a number of friends on week/weekend trips and everyone says it is very efficient in it's design
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:32 PM   #3
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thank you.. I will check it out. What does it mean when you say "hybrid"?
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:39 PM   #4
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A hybrid has hard sides like travel trailer. The beds are usually on each end and fold down with canvas covering them like a pop-up.


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Old 08-24-2015, 10:44 PM   #5
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hybrid means that your sleeping arrangements are folding wings out from the body covered by a vinyl tent... this way NO interior space is lost to beds...

similar to a popup camper when camping, but travels like a travel trailer on the road...

my signature line shows my Shamrock 183... my three queen beds fold out from each end and on one side... so can sleep six in beds and another on the dinette if necessary, and still have stove, fridge, sink, toilet and shower

Rockwood Roo Travel Trailers by Forest River RV

hope this helps
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Old 08-24-2015, 11:47 PM   #6
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We went without a slide and got a nice new rig for under $10k. The Shasta is well made and we love it. We are only in it to nap/sleep as most of the day we are outside. But the inside is roomy for the two of us. You may want to look at a bigger Oasis for your family.
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Old 08-25-2015, 12:31 AM   #7
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quality..seems rather random - you can read the threads here.

A difference between brands is often details - our grey wolf is a cheaper TT where cost was saved with 14" tires not 15", no drawers (blank off panels), no light switches on teh walls (only on the fixtures which are on the ceiling), no elec or auto start on water heater (so the pilot lght needs manually lit and seems to go out if anyone in the campground sneezes).

Do research on the towing capacity - the 8500 is figured based on GCWR less the base truck weight, 150lb driver and 1/2 tank of gas. As you add weight to the truck (people cargo options) you reduce your towing weight as the total GCWR can't (shouldn't) be exceeded.

Also consider toungue weight on the trucks GVWR. Our silverado was equipped to tow - we are rated at 9600 and GCWR of 14,500. BUT the truck max weight is 7000lbs...it weighs 5700 lbs empty on teh scales..so 1300lbs is all we should put in/on it.

Well, our TT is 6700lbs (on the scales). 10-15% should be the toungue weight for safe handling...750 lbs say is a fair figure. That leaves 550 lbs for passengers and cargo...I'm 234lbs, my kids are now teenagers and growing, so 200lbs there, 50lb dog and my wife (no I can't give her weight) but you can see we're at the limit..now put in bikes or firewood or a cap and bingo, overwieght on the truck.

Can pull more weight - 14,500 less the 7100 truck leavues 7400 lbs, TT is only 6700.

But since FR (and the dealer) called it 'midsize SUV towable' with a weight of 5300lbs...you can see where YOU gotta know YOUR numbers. God help anyone that believed they could pull this with an explorer or grand cherokee!
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prof_fate View Post
quality..seems rather random - you can read the threads here.

A difference between brands is often details - our grey wolf is a cheaper TT where cost was saved with 14" tires not 15", no drawers (blank off panels), no light switches on teh walls (only on the fixtures which are on the ceiling), no elec or auto start on water heater (so the pilot lght needs manually lit and seems to go out if anyone in the campground sneezes).

Do research on the towing capacity - the 8500 is figured based on GCWR less the base truck weight, 150lb driver and 1/2 tank of gas. As you add weight to the truck (people cargo options) you reduce your towing weight as the total GCWR can't (shouldn't) be exceeded.

Also consider toungue weight on the trucks GVWR. Our silverado was equipped to tow - we are rated at 9600 and GCWR of 14,500. BUT the truck max weight is 7000lbs...it weighs 5700 lbs empty on teh scales..so 1300lbs is all we should put in/on it.

Well, our TT is 6700lbs (on the scales). 10-15% should be the toungue weight for safe handling...750 lbs say is a fair figure. That leaves 550 lbs for passengers and cargo...I'm 234lbs, my kids are now teenagers and growing, so 200lbs there, 50lb dog and my wife (no I can't give her weight) but you can see we're at the limit..now put in bikes or firewood or a cap and bingo, overwieght on the truck.

Can pull more weight - 14,500 less the 7100 truck leavues 7400 lbs, TT is only 6700.

But since FR (and the dealer) called it 'midsize SUV towable' with a weight of 5300lbs...you can see where YOU gotta know YOUR numbers. God help anyone that believed they could pull this with an explorer or grand cherokee!

Some good advice here. Do some research on the forums to learn what you can really tow. Do not shop by dry weight as you will never see that number. Best to shop using trailer gvwr. Calculate 13-15% of gvwr for a potential loaded tongue weight. The tongue weight will also have to come off your payload numbers.

I would rent a couple different types of trailers ie pop up, hybrid, travel trailer with and without a slide to see what works for your family. Spend some time at dealers sitting in the units with closed doors imagining your usage ie kids toys in this drawer, moms clothes in that cabinet etc. Have everybody act out daily activities ie mom cooking, kids playing, dad sits on sofa, walks to bathroom etc. Next think about what type of camping you will do, i.e. rv resort with full hook up, state parks with water electric only, or dry camping (no hook ups). These will affect the size of fresh, grey and black tanks you may need.

As for quality, all manufacturers make great trailers and all manufacturers make lemons. The key is to find a manufacturer who stands behind their product. Forest river absolutely does stand behind their product.... just read all threads from Goshen rally where forest river fixed over 700 rigs in a week for the cost of your rally camping fee whether or not you were under warranty. That said, be aware manufacturer warranties do not transfer with ownership like a car, they are good for original owner only. You can get an aftermarket extended warranty though. Once you figure out better what you want, then comes matching the trailer to your truck. Happy hunting.
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Old 08-25-2015, 07:19 AM   #9
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You have to look out for the weight police on these sites. I would stay in the length of 26 to 28, your 5.3 will do fine. I would just look at dealer lots and not buy the first thing I saw. Since you have kids you could look for a camper that had a slide. I would keep the dry weight to 5,000lbs or under. You can get all kinds of literature about campers and they will tell you the dry weight among other things. Go to a RV show and just look, every body is different, just find out what you like. You can also check out eBay , I have seen some nice campers there. Some dealers sell on there. My first camper was a Keystone Springdale, a travel trailer. The model was 256RLL and sometimes I wish I had kept it, it was 28ft long and easy to get in any campground spot. I pulled it to Yellowstone. Just spend time looking. Check online, find something you might be interested in and look on the manufacturer website and they will send you all kinds of literature


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Old 08-25-2015, 07:24 AM   #10
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One word "FLAGSTAFF" ! In the bunkhouse variety.

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