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Old 02-12-2013, 03:57 PM   #11
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Hello, new here, this place is nice, tons of info.. here it goes. Went to our second Rv show in the last few week Sunday and got our first look at Roo travel trailers. Previously we were looking at Jayco and Coachmen models but we love the ROO 233s also would consider the 21ss and 23ss. Having only borrowed my moms pop-up and rented prior. I grew up tent camping.
My concern is with our tow vehicle, for the next two years our tow vehicle is going to be the wifes 2013 Grand Cherokee V-6, I plan on getting a Ram with a Cummins once my Wrangler is paid off. I understand I am going to be maxing out the tow capacity of 5000 lbs with any of our above choices, although I feel the 5000lb rating is very conservative. The new V-6 has 290HP/260 and is much larger than past models that were rated at or above 5000lbs.
Our camping will be done in Michigan where its fairly flat and will be within 40-120 miles from home. With sway control and the short trips, is this feasible? I am a car guy, and understand the added stress on the TV. Thoughts? Am I crazy?
IMO...do your homework on your JGC tow capabilities and then match it up with a "loaded" weight for your desired camper to purchase. (Remember all things in your jeep past the 150lb driver they compensate for gets deducted from your SUV's tow capacity numbers before you hitch something to the bumper)
As others stated, manufacturers numbers are not to be taken lightly, stick within the numbers and your whole experience will be better.
Good luck with your new camping venture!
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:06 PM   #12
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I have to respectfully disagree that the 3.6l Pentastar would be worse than a 4.0l. I was and am a huge fan of the Jeep 4.0 and have owned a few. The pentastar has almost as much power as the 4.7 V-8. Maybe you are thinking of the 3.7 V-6? If driving one for the first time you would never know it is a V-6.
That's true if you're only looking at horsepower, but towing is all about torque. You want lots of it at low rpm, something that 3.6L doesn't quite have.

The manufaturer's towing specs are developed using a low, flat weighted trailer, not a TT with a big frontal area.

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Old 02-12-2013, 04:54 PM   #13
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If I am looking at a trailer with a "dry weight" of 4500lbs, what can I expect for an actual weight? I cant see all of our gear weighing more than 500 lbs (clothes,food and blankets) and add another 300lbs for me and my son..
Would I be ok looking at something in the 3500 lb dry weight range? Really loved the Roos
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:02 PM   #14
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The spec dry weight will grow around 200 - 300 lbs with propanes, battery(s) and any dealer installed options. As an example our 5W spec weight was 69??, yellow sticker was 7250 and actual weight was 7400 lbs.

As far as a smaller, lighter camper, you should try to find one where the camper's GVWR is less than your tow vehicle max towing weight.

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Old 02-12-2013, 06:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotb View Post
If I am looking at a trailer with a "dry weight" of 4500lbs, what can I expect for an actual weight? I cant see all of our gear weighing more than 500 lbs (clothes,food and blankets) and add another 300lbs for me and my son..
Would I be ok looking at something in the 3500 lb dry weight range? Really loved the Roos
Here are some numbers for the 233s I purchased.

The dealer I purchased from lists the "dry weight" as 4093 lbs.
The sticker of actual weight says 4497 lbs. The sticker does not include battery, two 20 lb propanes, and a slide topper I purchased as an add on.

Notice the 400 lbs lower number from what you see on the website from what the actual weight is and that's before I load any gear, water, food, propane, battery, my slide topper, etc.

Once I get it home and loaded up I will be taking it back to the scales to get the actual ready to camp numbers.

Redstick made mention of payload capacity for the 1/2 tons. We found out that with our 1/2 ton van that it weighs 5860 empty and only a full tank of gas. Now add to that a tongue weight of about 750 lbs for a 233s and you are at 6610 lbs. My GVWR or max weight for my 1/2 ton is 7000 lbs. That leaves me with about 390 lbs for passengers and gear in my vehicle. Hmmm. After me and the co-pilot we have about 50 lbs for the three kids and any gear we would stow in the vehicle. She wants to do more trips of just her and I but I think she would have frowned upon ONLY doing her and I trips.

Dont cry over the lost Roo just yet. We loved the 233s and didn't want to go with something else. Well, we had already put $1k down so we weren't walking away from that either. So we purchased a 3/4 ton van and have gained enough capacity to get the job done. Our TV was a 1999 with 213,000 miles on it and dying. A much different situation then what you are facing with your vehicle.

Best of luck. If you really love the Roo's...make it happen! We are going to be eating lots of pancakes...beans & rice..and macaroni & cheese for the next couple years to help pay for that 3/4 ton purchase! ;-)
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:37 PM   #16
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Last Spring I bought a 2012 Roo19, dry wt 3383lb, GVWR 4770 lbs. I pulled it with a 2011 Chevy Traverse with V-6 (281hp, 266 lb-ft), 6 speed tranny, tow package and a 5200 lb tow rating. I thought that should be plenty. I was not happy. It wasn't the weight, it's the drag. You've got a huge sail behind you. I live in Illinois, flat as a pancake. At 60 mph it was runniing in 4th gear at 3000 rpm. Another guy pulled an Airstream with his, I think it weighed about 6400lb and he claims no problems. OF course, an Airstream is a lot more aerodynamic than a Roo. I'm currently researching a bigger tow vehicle, something like a Silverado with 5.3L V8 or a Toyota Tundra with the big V8. Something that's rated for 7200lb or more.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:27 PM   #17
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Scotb...you have just witnessed the power of this FR Forum, great info to help you make a decision that you won't second guess
Great job forum members in helping Scotb out!
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:36 PM   #18
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Your cargo weights will jump up once you start adding items like water in the tanks, tools, generator, firewood, etc. My popup dry was 2900 but after I am loaded is more like 3600 lbs. this was a challenge for my Honda Pilot which we loved. ANY slight incline and I'm in third gear maybe second if I was at high altitude. Upgraded to a Tundra and now I'm no longer white knuckling it on windy trips.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:57 PM   #19
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I have a 233s with a Suburban 1500, plus 5 kids 11 and under. Even in Michigan, I feel I really should have bought a 3/4 ton. BUT I'm comfortable with towing with the Suburban even through the TN mountains (I75), but I won't be maintaining a speed anywhere near the limit. I couldn't imagine towing the 233s with anything smaller. GL, welcome, and howdy neighbor!

ETA: We just went to the RV show in Novi, and dealers kept telling me the weights, all dry! I don't acknowledge dry weights, it's a "fake" number when comes to towing. I also go by GVWR.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:32 AM   #20
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Another issue to consider with the GC is its short wheelbase. Our 2003 GC (4.7l V8, 6500lb tow capacity) has a WB of just 105", and we get pushed around pretty good with our Roo 21RS (4064lb sticker weight) in the wind.

One rule of thumb I've seen on here is that your tow vehicle's wheelbase (in inches) should be 5 times the length of your trailer (in feet) or greater. (I'll confess I can't remember if its meant to be hitch to bumper length, or just 23" for the 23ss, etc). Anyway, we're right on the ratio (105/5=21) and I've had numerous white knuckle tows, mostly with a crosswind, when a semi passes by! So, I'm currently looking into a half-ton (~140" WB).

Just something else to throw into the mix.

I hope it helps & good luck with you search!
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