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Old 05-04-2014, 04:58 PM   #21
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I was going to say not to let that discourage you. I have less vehicle and no problems. That's not to say that you'll win any races or get great mileage, but that's to be expected. If you don't do a lot of towing in hilly terrain, you shouldn't have any trouble. Like Bruce, I moved from a low profile trailer and had to get used to that 10' tall parachute behind me.

My advice would be to do like I am and buy the trailer that you like that fits what you have to pull with. I couldn't afford to buy a truck and trailer together at the time. In a year or two, I planned to move to a bigger truck and in a few years later, maybe a bigger trailer. You're well within your capabilities. A smaller trailer would pull easier, a larger truck would pull easier, but you can make do with your current setup with no problems (unless you're towing in the mountains ). If you like the trailer, go for it. If you settle for something smaller that you don't like as much, you may kick yourself later.
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Old 05-04-2014, 07:55 PM   #22
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I can only say that in the 90 miles drive from the dealership to home, with some short steep hills thrown in, the TV (tow vehicle) seemed barley up to the task. Gas mileage definitely suffers - I estimated less than 10 mpg on the return trip towing the trailer.
I had purchased a pair of LifeLine absorbed gas mat batteries for our previous trailer. At a cost of $150 apiece I did not want to give up these batteries when I traded in the TrailManor.
I had mounted 2 solar panels on our old trailer but I figure with the Rockwood's LED lights and our very limited TV useage we might get by for 3-5 days of dry camping without solar charging.
What do you think farangs? And why do you think the refrigerator draws current when it is running on gas?
Yes, gas mileage suffers on hills and in headwinds with the 2109S, but towing does that with any vehicle. Part of it may also be the rather blunt front profile of the Mini Lites. On the Alaska trip, we averaged about 12 MPG towing and 13.5 MPG for the trip as a whole, which included several 1000 miles of sightseeing without the trailer.

My trailer came from the dealer with one Group 24 deep-cycle battery, so I had room to mount another identical Group 24 on my tongue. If I had already had 2 Group 27 AGM batteries, I would have done something differently to be able to use them too. And Group 27 deep-cycles should give you significantly more amp-hours than I have. Plus my trailer didn't come with LED lights; I had to add those myself (bought off eBay and shipped from Hong Kong).

The refrigerator is electronically controlled (it doesn't run continuously) and draws 12v current even when switched to gas. I calculated the amp-hours several years ago, but don't remember the numbers. But I think that, in a 24-hour period, it uses about half as many amp-hours as the propane/CO detector, which is a real energy hog. And to save "cold" we use a remote temp sensor in the refrigerator to monitor its temperature several times a day without opening the door.

On the Alaska trip, we got in the habit of turning the DC power completely off if we were going on a long hike, photo excursion, or all-day bus trip (in Denali National Park) while dry camping. We also added a battery-powered CO detector above the bed just in case we have the power off during the night when using the propane catalytic heater (I have been very sensitive to CO ever since 1969 after my boss and his boss died of CO poisoning in a pickup camper while hunting).

And if we want to watch a DVD movie at night while boondocking, we use a laptop computer instead of the TV so we don't have to plug the inverter into the 12v outlet--too much battery drain with DC volts being used just to run the inverter fan. Next day, we recharge the computer in the truck while driving someplace.

Boondocking/dry camping can easily be done in the 2109S, even in places where you can't open the slide like Walmart parking lots and Flying J, Pilot, and Love's truck stops. That's not possible with many other trailers. And we do use the sofa with the slide closed--I just put a small car jack under the front of the slide rack to support the weight. The 3 burner stove and the gas oven (which my wife also refuses to do without and which would eliminate a lot of motorhomes if we ever decided to get one) make it easy to boondock too, even for big meals with neighbors. Once at a Colorado campground, we fixed a big spaghetti dinner for 8 family members in the 2109S kitchen (yes, we went outside to eat on the picnic table)!
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:00 AM   #23
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Fanrgs, what type of propane catalytic heater do you use? We also want to do some dry camping, but my wife is reluctant to have the battery power depleted running the electric fan on the trailer's propane heater. Also, what little electric space heater do you use? We have tried two different models with thermostats, and neither one lasted a whole trip!
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:32 AM   #24
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We use a "Little Buddy" catalytic heater in the 2109S, but leave the kitchen window slightly cracked even when it is cold outside to give it some fresh air. I don't remember the brand name of the electric heater, just that it was made in China and I got it for $25 at Big Lots on one of our winter trips. Maybe it still works because we don't use it frequently. We left both heaters at home on the summer trip to Alaska due to storage space and weight considerations (you have to give up some of the "everything including the kitchen sink" items on a 3-month trip!). There were a few pretty chilly mornings because of it, but summer temps warm up quickly even in Alaska.
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:33 AM   #25
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We have a 2012, 2109s and just love it! Have towed all over eastern North America with it, aprox 30,000 miles. The TV is a 2011 Toyota Tacoma, with a 4 liter, 6 speed manual transmission. Truck is rated to pull 6500 lbs. so I calculate we have aprox. 1,500 lbs to spare. Have a Reese weight distribution/anti-sway bar set-up and the truck pulls the trailer effortlessly. As mentioned previously, you have to gear down on upgrades, (downgrades for that matter as any trucker knows), and the mileage sucks, but figure that's the same story for pretty much any TV out there.
There have been some minor problems with the 2109s; leaking antena area on the roof where the cable goes thru, bent fresh water tank brackets, factory installed interior light fixtures that burnt up, slide motor loosening, all mentionned on previous threads on the 2109s.
That being said, a great little trailer for two! Don't hesitate to buy it.
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Old 05-21-2014, 12:43 PM   #26
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Steve, I am late weighing in on this, so maybe you are down the road with your decision, but I wanted to support the views of others that your TV probably will be adequate for the 2109s. Your 2014 GC is rated for 6200 lbs, and we pulled our 2109s all of last summer with a Honda Pilot, rated at 4500 lbs, rather than the Jeep's 6200 lbs. The Pilot has a V-6 with slightly less horsepower (250 HP) than the Jeep GC, and while we experienced slower speeds on inclines, we seldom dropped to less than 40 to 45 mph, which I don't consider a big deal. We towed with the Pilot from Wisconsin out to the Maritime Provinces and New England and came through the New England mountains with no trouble, again being willing to accept lower speeds going up longer inclines. This Spring we did decide to purchase a higher-rated tow vehicle, but only because we were planning a trip to Colorado with its mountain passes at 10,000+ feet. I felt that towing over these passes with a TT so close to the Pilot's rated max (especially when loaded) would really stress the car and especially cause wear and tear to the transmission. Our new tow vehicle is the 2014 Jeep GC, only with a diesel instead of the V-6- but I am sure it is the same body and same transmission. We went with the diesel, despite the expense, because it gives better towing mileage and hence allows longer runs between gassing up. This Jeep is an outstanding vehicle in every way, and if Jeep says your V-6 can tow 6200 lbs, then I think it will be fine with the 2109s. IMO, you would have to drop a great deal of trailer weight or upgrade the TV to big V-8 or bigger diesel in order to get to a point where you would not slow down pulling a TT up long inclines.
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:28 PM   #27
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This Spring we did decide to purchase a higher-rated tow vehicle, but only because we were planning a trip to Colorado with its mountain passes at 10,000+ feet. I felt that towing over these passes with a TT so close to the Pilot's rated max (especially when loaded) would really stress the car and especially cause wear and tear to the transmission. Our new tow vehicle is the 2014 Jeep GC, only with a diesel instead of the V-6- but I am sure it is the same body and same transmission. We went with the diesel, despite the expense, because it gives better towing mileage and hence allows longer runs between gassing up.
I agree with the potential altitude problem for TVs with smaller V-6 engines. We live at nearly 6,000 feet and the rule of thumb is a 3% loss in power for normally aspirated engines (no turbo) for every 1,000 feet of altitude gain. I see a definite difference in power when I am towing our 2109S with the 4.0 L Nissan Frontier on the Texas Gulf Coast than when I am at home in Colorado.

A turbocharged gas or diesel engine will be much less susceptible to this altitude problem because the forced-air induction provides a power loss of only 1%/1,000 ft. So, a turbodiesel Grand Cherokee or RAM 1500 is probably the best vehicle currently available for towing a small TT in the Rockies because a diesel has much more torque (pulling power) than a gas engine and the turbo keeps most of that power available even crossing a 12,000-foot pass in the mountains. A friend here just got a Volkswagen Touareg with a turbodiesel for that very reason. And he pulls a Kodiak TT that has a GVWR 500 pounds heavier than the 2109S.
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Old 05-21-2014, 03:40 PM   #28
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Good points about turbo. I don't know if the Jeep GC V-6 is a turbo, but the Jeep GC diesel is turbo-charged and towed almost effortlessly over those passes. Over the first pass (Loveland), I gave it enough gas to keep speed up to 50 mph, but discovered that this pushed the heat guage needle too close to the "hot" zone for my comfort. Over the next passes (Vail and then Wolf Creek later in the trip), I held the rpms to about 2000, and the Jeep sauntered up those long 7% and 8% inclines at about 35 mph with absolultely no strain and the engine heat holding steady in the middle of the third quadrant of the guage. Maybe others can comment on how the Jeep GC V-6 would handle those high passes, but you can see a lot of the country without going over those passes, and based on my experience with the Pilot, the Jeep GC V-6 would be fine for just about any other kind of terrain, particularly with its outstanding 8-speed transmission. It's really a great vehicle, whichever engine is selected.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:55 PM   #29
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Late reply as well, but wanted to say that we love our 2109s as well. It is the perfect size for the two of us. Yes a couple minor problems, including the slide, just went the other day and have to figure out still if it is the same problem. Really nothing else to complain about. Our first truck was a little small, Canyon. Had enough power but not really enough weight I think to handle it. Now we have a Sierra, tows great. Less than a year old and two long trips in so far, 7500km and 4100km. When we boondocks we use a Honda generator 2000. So quiet and all the power we need.
We also leave the table at home and have two light weight tv trays that work perfect.
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