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Old 03-04-2013, 03:17 PM   #21
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It is frustrating...I gave the dealer and the manufacturer the specifics of my tow vehicle and yet they told me that the 320BHDS is fine. I am a first timer and I trust that their knowledge far exceeds mine so when they tell me my tow vehicle can handle this trailer, even with it loaded, I said okay!

They told me that I won’t have any problems and the WDH will handle the potential hitch weight issues, but in reading the forum, it seems like I could have an issue. I tried to talk my wife into a different model, but said is trusting the dealer and manufacturer wouldn’t steer us wrong and I really have no way of disputing her on that point.

Why wouldn’t the dealer or manufacturer steer us to a model that is a better fit vs. trying to stick 10 lbs of sand in a 5 lbs bag?
Welcome to the RV industry. Sorry man, that is the way they do it. It has been discussed (or debated) on here a lot. Many dealers have never thought about the potential civil liability they open themselves to. I have seen people rolling out of the dealer lot with something the dealer installed and hooked up that is clearly over their limits.

Now that you are here, let's talk about what you can do. Have you picked up the trailer yet? In your state the sale may not be final. Might be a good time to research with your states Attorney General office that question. Most have a new vehicle buyers guide that will answer those questions.

If you love the trailer (we truly love ours) the best option is to start looking at a new tow vehicle. We can give you lots of advice on that, some of it even useful!

Bottom line, there is probably no way to make your current set-up legal. Lot's of people tow in excess of their numbers. I have been known to be a little over in the past...but I would never recommend it.
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:35 PM   #22
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I know that, but I was buying a camper one way or another. This layout fit our family the best and I feel like I got a good deal (MSRP was $39,500 and we paid $24,500). There were plenty of other campers that weighed less that cost the same that he could have directed us towards...

I guess I will have to figure something out. I plan to call the dealer and before I pick it up, he will need to address my research and general concerns.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:57 AM   #23
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New member here...

I have a 2012 Nissan Armada (9000 lbs tow capacity, 123" wheelbase). I worked with a dealer in Pontiac Illinois and we ordered a 320BHDS. I am nervous about it, but the dealer and a few other owners think it will be okay.

I even called Coachmen and gave them the details of my tow vehicle and they said it was designed to be pulled by a half ton.

I live in Illinois and things are flat here, so I am pretty confident I won't be taking it to CO, but am hopeful it will be okay behind my Armada.

If not, I guess I will trade it in or upgrade the tow vehicle...
The sad truth is you fell into the same trap as many of us here. Your armada will be badly overloaded.

The old adage goes how do you know when a salesman is lying? His lips are moving. This is especially true in the rv world. They will sell someone driving a ranger a 16000 lb 5 er if they could get the owner to go for it. I had an 04 armada with a
9100 lb tow capacity. The dealers tried to talk me into tt that was almost 9000 lbs dry. Nope. Bad idea. I shopped by tt gvwr and still ended up overloaded with a tt that weighed 5700 lbs dry and 7000 lbs loaded (7700 lb gvwr).

The truth is I didn't truly understand weights when I was shopping. I didn't understand why I needed to know or understand tongue weight or payload. Here is what ended up happening to me. My 04 armada LE 4x4 was rated to tow 9100 lbs per the brochure. So I thought that was what I could tow. Wrong. In reality my armada once loaded with options, passengers and gear only had 820 lbs of payload (gvwr-our actual scaled weight). It had an adjusted towing capacity of 8620 lbs (gvwr-scaled weight). We hooked up our tt and left the dealership. From day one handling was horrible. We were pushed and pulled all over the highway not just by semis but also by cars and SUVs. The trailer would feel to be steering the truck. (Think tail wagging the dog). We started trying everything to fix it. We traded the old brake controller for a p3, we bought E rated tires, we spent months dialing the hitch in and the list goes on. Handling did not improve. The final straw came in VA when we hauled up and down a 7% grade. We struggled to make it up the mountain and managed to do so with a very hot tranny despite gearing all the way to lowest gear. Coming home the 7% grade was on a twisting 2 lane rd that is a couple miles long. We used every trick I had learned in 20 yrs of hauling horses and still got pushed down the mountain. I did not have enough truck to hold back the tt (and yes tt brakes were properly adjusted and had p3 controller). I was terrified. I told dh then and there we were getting a new tv and there would only be close to home trips on flat land until then. That was Oct 2011. We had only 1 more trip for the season and it was a short trip. Then the tt was parked for the winter. We had a diesel by Jan 2012. I have hauled the tt through that exact same pass with the diesel and touched the brakes 1 time. The engine and the truck were enough to do the job for me. The right tv makes all the difference. Sorry to give you such a long bad account but you need to have your eyes opened up some.
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:10 AM   #24
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You need to know more about your armadas capabilities than just my truck can tow x lbs. (I learned this the hard way). Most TV are limited by their payload. To find out your TVs true towing capacities then you need to go weigh it. Load the tv up with all occupants, pets, and cargo that will be in it when towing plus a full tank of fuel and then go weigh it at a local scale (CAT Scale ). Weigh each axle on a separate scale pad so it will give you a breakdown of front and rear axle weights individually and a total weight. Take the total weight and subtract it from your Trucks gvwr to get your available payload. Take the scaled Truck weight and subtract it from your Truck gcwr to get your adjusted towng capacity.

Next understand you will never tow an unloaded or dry trailer. Those numbers are somewhat irrelevant. You can either add the amount of weight of cargo you will tow to the dry weight (this is heavier than you think as most add 1000-2000 lb of gear) or simply use the tt gvwr to do your calculations. Being that this is your first tt, using the tt gvwr is the safer route for you. Next understand that the tt loaded tongue weight needs to be subtracted from your available payload. The loaded tongue weight is typically 13-15% of the loaded tt weight. For your purposes go wiith 13-15% of the tt gvwr. Remember you will need a good wdh, preferrably one with integrated sway control like the equal-i-zer or reese dual cam. the wdh will transfer approx 20% of the tongue weight back to the tt but don't forget to factor in the weight of that heavy hitch.

Now a piece of advice on setting up a wdh with the armadas load leveling suspension. This took several months of trial and error and many wdh setup experts from another forum to get figured out. When setting up the wdh do not let the load leveling suspension engage. This will require doing the hitching up and measurements with the truck turned off. Once you get the measurements correct then go check your weights (front axle should be as close to unloaded axle weight without going heavier as possible).

Best of luck to you.
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:48 PM   #25
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Hello, I'm kinda putting this thread back onto the 320 BHDS here, I am interested in this unit, but I was wondering, since I saw it once at the show, and my local dealers have them on order. Does the master bedroom have TV hook-ups? I looked at the Evergreen Sun Valley S300BHSL which is 99% the same trailer, and it does not have the hook-ups in the master. This is not a dal killer for me at all, since in the last 5 years of camping I can remember having the TV on about 3 times. Just wondering, Thanks for your input. Korey
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:25 AM   #26
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Hello, I'm kinda putting this thread back onto the 320 BHDS here, I am interested in this unit, but I was wondering, since I saw it once at the show, and my local dealers have them on order. Does the master bedroom have TV hook-ups? I looked at the Evergreen Sun Valley S300BHSL which is 99% the same trailer, and it does not have the hook-ups in the master. This is not a dal killer for me at all, since in the last 5 years of camping I can remember having the TV on about 3 times. Just wondering, Thanks for your input. Korey
Our master bedroom has a coax cable plug and 110 plug in the ceiling for a TV. It did not come with a mount for the TV, so you would need to add that. Another member just let me know they went with a mount to the wall that slides and tilts and are happy with it.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:52 AM   #27
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My salesman (the dealership owner) told me I'd have to sign a liability waiver if I bought a trailer from him and drove away without a WDH. Some people here said he had just suckered me into spending more money with him, but at least he didn't try to convince me that I could tow anything on his lot with no problem.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:49 AM   #28
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Hornswoggle,

I've been there and learned the hard! Perhaps this article from Trailer Life will help. It's a bit dated but still good material. http://www.trailerlife.com/trailer-h...t-tow-vehicle/
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:52 PM   #29
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Jeep, Thank you for letting me know, I did PM you, so you don't need to respond to that now. I am 99.9999% sure this will be our new trailer, I just want to see it one last time before we decide, it has everything we are looking for, except I wish it had a 'hard wired' stove in the outside kitchen, instead of using the bottles, but I have seen the 2 burner stoves pretty cheap online so maybe I will be changing that out. I hope to pick up the trailer within the next 2 weeks so I can outfit it to my liking and have it ready for our first trip in April.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:19 PM   #30
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Jeep, Thank you for letting me know, I did PM you, so you don't need to respond to that now. I am 99.9999% sure this will be our new trailer, I just want to see it one last time before we decide, it has everything we are looking for, except I wish it had a 'hard wired' stove in the outside kitchen, instead of using the bottles, but I have seen the 2 burner stoves pretty cheap online so maybe I will be changing that out. I hope to pick up the trailer within the next 2 weeks so I can outfit it to my liking and have it ready for our first trip in April.
I am waiting to see which direction I go with the outside kitchen. I have used the Coleman grill a couple times and generally it is great for burgers and dogs, but not so great for much else. I generally prefer charcoal grills anyway - so trying to decide which direction to go.

BTW - what do you plan the new trailer with? Mine came in a little heavier than the book says. actually a lot heavier.
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