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Old 06-15-2018, 01:43 PM   #1
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Location: Whidbey Island, Washington
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Need Advice On Buying A Travel Trailer

I currently own a 2017 Forester 2401RSD motorhome with a Mercedes 3500 Sprinter chassis. My wife (we are in our early 70's now and are still quite active for "old farts") and I have enjoyed our trips in it but we now find ourselves using it less frequently. I have a 2018 Honda Ridgeline truck with a tow rating of 5000 lbs. I am seriously thinking of selling the motorhome and going to a travel trailer that would be suitable for my truck to tow. Since I am ignorant on trailers, I am asking for help regarding what to look for in a trailer. My reasons for heading in this direction are: more maintenance to do on a motorhome, higher insurance and I don't want to do the tow (dinghy) vehicle anymore.

I also do not know what is involved with a trailer such as brakes, sway stabilization, hitches etc. I also realize that there will be definite concessions that I will need to make such as storage space (inside & outside), black & gray tank limitations,, etc. What I would hope for is: "decent" size black & gray tanks, shower (not a "wet" shower), a bed that you don't have to stow away and make up every time you use it & that you don't have to crawl over each other to get out of and a comfortable dinette.

Another thought is if Forest River does not make something that would meet our needs can you recommend another model from a different manufacturer that you feel would work.

And lastly, where have you found the most success selling your RV?

Thanks so much for any help or suggestions.

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Old 06-15-2018, 01:55 PM   #2
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Using a Ridgeline for a tow vehicle, seriously limits your choices.
So you'll have to give up some things.

We were going to buy one but the Ridgeline's 500/5000lbs limitations and that Honda was anti-WDH, swayed us to other brands.

Look at trailers no longer than 21'.
And go by the actual length, not the number in the model number.

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and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:24 PM   #3
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Can't "win" this one I'm afraid. The Ridgeline is not built like most trucks, it's a unibody design closely related to the Honda Pilot which is part of the reason for the low tow ratings (independent rear suspension etc.)

There are a few smaller trailers that fit your requirements (walk around bed, regular shower) but they come in close to 5000lbs gross weight which blows through the tongue weight limit of the Ridgeline.

You probably would need to get a half-ton truck for ride quality in daily driving and a trailer with less than 7000 lbs loaded weight.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:30 PM   #4
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Some useful information here:

Trailering 101 - Table of Contents
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Past: 2000 Fleetwood Mallard 19N
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Old 06-16-2018, 01:02 AM   #5
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I will start by saying your articulation and grammar are exemplary. The Honda, like others have said it is at the bare minimum. Which of course will kill it if you tow to much. A simple 1500 or 150 will do what your looking for.
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Old 06-16-2018, 01:50 AM   #6
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The Ridgeline is a poor choice for a tow vehicle. Tow capacity is 5000 for the AWD and 3500 for FWD. Allowable tongue weight is dependent on the number of passengers. A full-size spare is strongly recommended by Honda. Honda also advises that you do not drive any faster than 62 mph when towing. And as others have said, this is a unibody CUV with a bed, not a real pickup truck. Honda says you don't need a weight distribution hitch, but doesn't advise against using one. Quite frankly, I wouldn't feel at all comfortable towing the type of trailer you plan on buying, with this vehicle.
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Old 06-16-2018, 03:09 AM   #7
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I wouldn't pull anything besides a small utility trail with a Ridgeline.
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:50 AM   #8
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Thanks to all of you for your frank and informative feedback. Because I love my Ridgeline (my everyday vehicle), it looks like I will have to do some serious compromising and "hunt" for a very lightweight travel trailer.
Great forum & great feedback. Thanks--- Rob
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Old 06-16-2018, 11:22 AM   #9
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I agree, I don't think you could find much to tow with that Honda. I think the smallest truck to tow a very light, small, trailer (18 footer) with a shower would be a Tacoma V-6.
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Old 06-16-2018, 02:47 PM   #10
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Towing with Ridgeline

I have a "Palomini" travel trailer which weighs only about 2900 lbs..there are trailers out there that do not weigh 5000 lbs, which in my opinion is way too much to be dragging clear across the country anyway. The only thing I wish I would have looked at is the fact mine has exposed plumbing underneath and so is very susceptible to cold weather as well as not being overly insulated. I probably could have done better in that respect. Do some shopping, I think you will find what you are looking for.

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