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Old 12-20-2011, 08:15 PM   #11
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how many travelers - 4 or more changes everything

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtkato View Post
I have owned larger RVs and TT with tons of room and amenities, but have come back to a smaller setup.

A lot of National parks, and Camp grounds will not accomodate the larger RVs.

We just came back from Glacier National Park, and our smaller setup opened our camping options by 80%.
sounds familiar
we recently sold an older RV Super Chief 31'
only seem to really need for the two of us
our little 20' trailer seems to fit the bill now
not to be limited by size in State Parks this summer
is a big plus for us
THING pulls pretty nice also
have not even tried the stabilizing setup that came with it - yet
from what my friend has told me
we will be very grateful we have it if and when traveling far

small rig for two seems great (cozy)
4 or more changes everything

Mountainman
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:00 AM   #12
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not sure what you mean by stabilizing setup? Your WD hitch, or stabalizing jacks?
If either one, you will be amazed...
Just wish our 1809S had FULL quee sized beds, and ran N/S
This spring, I will go to our RV show and check out the New Forest River V-Cross Vibe TT's (lightweight, aerodynamic, fiberglass roof, large holding tanks, green construction, full sized queen beds, and HUGE passthrough storage...under the raised bed area, and can hold the full sized spare standing upright)
Love all the innovations that mfg are focusing on smaller RV TTs.
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:50 PM   #13
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There is a lot more to consider when towing. One big issue is Insurance. It will not cover if you exceed the towing capacity of your vehicle, and in most cases will be the bases for lawsuits. Laws is the second, as many states have different regulations that you must consider if you plan on visiting those states. (i.e:; VA requires brake controls on trailers over 2,200# weight, CO has a maximum of 60MPH speed when towing, etc.) I don't want to scare you, just give you some helpful advise.

You need to do some homework before you start putting your towing setup together. In general, AWD and 4WD vehicles have a lower towing capacity than a comparable 2WD vehicle. Pickup trucks with extra-cab and crew cab designs also tend to have lower towing capacity than comparable standard cab designs. It pays to research towing capacities thoroughly. Your best means of determining your vehicle's towing capacity is to read your vehicle's owner's manual and to compare the information there with the certification plate on your driver's door sill. You can also call your vehicle manufacturer and with VIN number on hand they will tell you the GCWR, GVWR, GCW, GVW and all other information you need to do your calculations.

One more thing is Trailer's tongue weight. That's the weight on the coupler when your trailer is fully loaded and ready to go. In general, you want to try for about 10% of the total trailer weight to be carried on the tongue.
Look online for additional information on how to calculate towing capacities based on vehicle, gear, passengers, tongue weight, and of course towing capacity.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:11 PM   #14
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Here is one quick calculation you can use;
GCWR (of your Towing Vehicle) - EW (Estimated TV Weight) - Passenger Weight - Gas (full gas of tank on TV) - Trailer Tounge Weight = Maximum Trailer Weight. Some people like to add a safety factor to the Trailer Weight and deduct 20% for safety. That will give you an idea of what range you can tow.

Here are some numbers for easy understanding. A TV with GCWR of 13,000 and a TV EW of 5700 w/gear, with 800# on passengers, (16gal of gas x 6 = 96), Trailer tongue of 550#. Ok, 13,000 - 5700 - 800 - 96 - 550= 5854# Hope this helped.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:42 PM   #15
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gtkato / Noni / Mountainman - thanks again for the input. I do not want the driving to be a totally unpleasant experience.

I have pretty much resolved that 24-25 feet and 5500 lbs and resulting tongue weight of the 2502S is probably pushing the edge too much. So I am downsizing the expectations to 20-22 feet and no more than 3800 dry weight / 5200 loaded weight which would be 80% of JGC capacity.

The Surveyor Sport 220, 230 and the Rockwood 2104, 2304 or 2109 or Freedom Express 191RB (19 feet) are currently under consideration. The Surveyors are 5" less wide than the Rockwoods which would help with the wind resistance.

http://www.forestriverinc.com/nd/def...=SurveyorSport the 230 = 3555 dry.

http://www.forestriverinc.com/nd/def...eries=MiniLite 2104 = 3420 dry . murphy bed provides couch during day as does 2304 with 3720 dry weight but 23' 7".

http://www.coachmenrv.com/products/f...oorplanid=4149 the Coachman LTZ Freedom Express is 19 feet and only 3,300 lbs dry. Looks like possible option.

Still wondering if I need to get down a little lower in size and weight (i.e 3300 / 4750 total). Guess its hard to determine the benefit of marginal weight reduction from 5,500 lbs to 5,200 lbs or to 4,750 lbs for the TT vs. 6,500 towing capacity of the JGC.

My estimate per Noni's equation above looks like: 11,000-5,200-400-100-500= 4,800 (unsure about the tongue weight calculation).

Thanks again for the sound advice.

David

P.S. FWIW : I have done addl. research on details of Jeep Grand Cherokee Ltd. It has 4.7L 8 cyl. SOHC engine, quadra Drive II 4WD system, GVW rating of 5,500#, max towing capacity 6,500#, GCWR 11,000#, "Up Country Suspension" which includes "heavy duty suspension with gas shocks", class iv receiver hitch, upgraded springs, 4 skid plates, 7 pin wiring harness / 7 to 4 adapter, 5 speed auto, 3.73 rear axel ratio, Dana 44/226MM rear axle, hydraulic engine cooling and the wiring for brake controller. There is an upgradeable sway bar and bushing set available.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:14 AM   #16
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Correction to calculation of Noni equation in post above:

11,000 - 4200 - 400 -100 - 500 = 6300

makes more sense - I accidentally inserted TT total weight for the TV curb weight in first calculation in prior post. So at 5,500# Total TT weight, there would be a 800 lb margin of error or 13% of calculated max TT weight total and 14.5% of total TT weight. Assuming the toungue weight estimate is accurate.
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:49 AM   #17
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The Surveyors are 5" less wide than the Rockwoods which would help with the wind resistance.
Huh ?? I didn't know any of those models were less that 8'. There used to be 7 1/2' models in Rockwood and Flagstaff a number of years ago, but I think all of those are now at 8'. I wanted 1 of the 7 1/2' models for the same reason you are thinking....less wind resistance.

Have you thought about a R-Pod ?? If you are concerned about wind resistance (as we all should be), that might be an option. Those are listed at 8', but I believe that is to the fenders. Since the fenders are about 1' on each side, then the body of the trailer would be closer to 7'.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:14 AM   #18
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Whoops! Sorry I meant 5" (inches!) less high at 8'10 vs 9'3".

Looked at R-Pods, but, unless I'm missing something, they don't have any wardrobes / closets.

Hail to the Blue Ridge!! Spent many years in the area. (driving through to WVA (Lewisburg / Greenbrier area growing up ) and during college.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:22 AM   #19
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Whoops! Sorry I meant 5" (inches!) less high at 8'10 vs 9'3".
Gotcha....I should have realized that.

I think some of the models that don't have ducted AC are a little lower, plus the inside ceiling height could be lower. Generally, the longer trailers sit higher, to allow for drag problems will all of the extra length behind the wheels.

My Surveyor sits low.....I am at ~9'10" at the AC, and about 8'10" to the roof-line. I have only dragged the rear skip plates 1 time.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:35 AM   #20
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Per gtkato's comment above, I am checking out the Vibe 6500 series....looks nice...accept no closets. Very lightweight, low tongue weight.

Good call gtkato! WHere do you hang your clothes?

Haven given up on the 2505S (drat!) I keep coming back to the Surveyor 220, though the separate bedroom might make it feel a bit tight on the inside. Nice tv viewing though. Very nicely appointed, and ducted A/C which I assume is a positive (I'm in FL.)

I know, I'm obsessed. And my gf is really unsure about this camping thing.

What % of time do most people dry camp?
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