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Old 04-28-2011, 08:23 AM   #1
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Thinking of trading

My wife and I bought a new Forest River 30WRLTS about a year ago. We love the trailer as long as it is setup and we are camping in it but when it comes to towing it then there have been problems. We have been thinking about trading the trailer lately because of the towing problems that we have had. Also since we are new at trailer camping we have made some mistakes. I thought that the 30 in the model number meant that the trailer was 30' in length but we have been having problems getting it into some tight camping site so I finally measured it. It is almost 36' long (hitch to rear bumper) and the trailer itself is 34' long. I should have checked this before but we both loved the trailer and just did not think about checking this sort of thing. We are now considering trading it since it is longer that we want but we have had some family advice to get a 5th wheel instead. We have never had a 5th wheel and I do not want to continue to make mistakes. I am retiring early next year and we want to start doing some serious camping. I would appreciate any suggestions and advice as to whether to stay with a travel trailer or go with a 5th wheel. My TV is a 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel. It was setup for a 5th wheel before I got it but the previous owner removed the 5th wheel hitch so I decided to go with a pull behind trailer. But the truck will handle either type. I have not checked to see exactly what kind of deal we can get from the dealer but I think that we will be okay there. Originally we were naive enough to expect the dealer to help us with these sort of things but now I know not to trust the dealer for anything. So I would like to get advice from the great people on this forum so that I will be better educated before I go to trade. Hopefully I will not make more mistake the next time.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:47 AM   #2
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I would not give up that easily on your V-Lite. Yes they are long, it actually states right on FR's site they are 34' 5" long same as our 30WRLS. We always go for pull through sites when possible and have yet to get a site we cannot get in and out of as long as we tell them in advance how big our rig is which is large when you add in an almost 22' long truck. I believe you towing issues come from a couple things, 1st is the quad cab Dodges are not really long enough in the wheel base for a trailer that big (not trying to bash here just the facts do a search on here as there are some links to sites that have the info on WB vs trailer length) but there is at least one person on here pulling one with a 1500 Dodge. 2nd if your unit is like our WRLS the tongue weight is not nearly as high as the spec sheet suggests, ours lists a dry hitch weight of 848 but according to the plackard in the bathroom is only 579 (hence I believe in the case of at least our unit the hitch weight is an estimate based on full GVWR as it appears to be abt 10% of the gross weight) We have not actually weighed ours and done a proper weight and balance but when we load it with most equipment fwd of the axles it pulls like a dream, pull it empty and well it can be a handfull in cross winds and the old semi pucker. When we went on our 6000km trip last summer it was packed the way I mentioned and we never once experienced any sway and we were passed by semis at times that were traveling at least 10 to 15 mph faster than us with no push at all. If you are like us I would try and check all this out as I have yet to see A 5ver that we like the layout of nearly as much as our V-Lite unless you pay another 10 to 20k and then need a 1 ton to pull it not to mention special drivers license.

One other thing is the way the ball receiver is mounted to the bottom of the frame on the V-Lites instead of to the top like most other units (after looking at the trailer and pondering this, it appears they would have had to make the trailer another inch to 2 inches longer to clear some stuff on the frame if they mounted it to the top of the frame box), you need to be very mindfull that you need to get the nose of the trailer down as the 3/4 ton Dodges sit very high in the back and the dealer went through 3 different hitches till they got one that the trailer actually sat level behind our megacab, I am now in the process of getting a shank setup to lower the nose another inch as well to give me some adjustability.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:14 AM   #3
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We have the sister model the windjammer 3065. We also just love the lay-out, looked at 5er's also before buying. We also mainly use pull threw sites,if we do have to back-up it takes a little longer, that would be expected because of the length. As the "Sask's" say dont give up on it. You should have no problem pulling that with your 2500 Diesel (I pull ours with a 2010 F-150 Super Cab 6'-bed w/equalizer hitch). I have never, to this point had any sway issues! I do know as noted by the Sask's the hitch might be to high on you truck (cant tell from picture's) Dodge's hitch ride alot higher than Other Brands. What kind of pulling problems are you having other than backing-up? (the backing up will fix itself with practice). I have a hard time believing the truck is having any problem pulling this camper. AFTER LOOKING AT YOUR AVATAR PHOTO.... It looks like your truck is riding really low in the back...what are you carrying in the bed of the truck when camping are you using a WD hitch?? Looks like your truck wants to pop a wheely! Maybe it just the angle of the photo..not sure.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:47 AM   #4
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WD hitch ??

Something doesnt seem right if that 2500 is sagging in the back.. Is there a wd hitch , with built in sway control ?? And yeah ..AWAYS consider the overall length of a TT.. from tip of tounge to spare tire on back ..
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:36 AM   #5
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We have been thinking about this for the past 6 months and we have still not made up our minds. I have went through three different hitch setups to finally end up with the Equalizer 4 point hitch system. I also had to install a new receiver hitch on the TV because my factory hitch was too high to bring the front of the trailer down. We are very new at this and I know we have made some mistakes. I want to be sure that we will be able to enjoy going camping with our camper and not have to leave it parked. About 90% of the time it will be just my wife and I going camping so we do not need a camper this big. We originally told our salesman that we were looking for a TT from 26' to 30' in length. We let ourselves be shown this unit and we fell in love with it. We just looked at the model (30WRLTS) and did not make any measurements. We want to be able to travel across the country with this unit and there will be times when it is just too big to fit in the available campsites. We want to go to a lot of the state park campgrounds and most of them have smaller site and very few if any pull-throughs. So we are looking at the long term future and trying to decide if it would be wiser to go ahead and trade now while we still have some decent trade value on our camper. I would think that the longer we wait the less we will get for the trailer. Also we just got the trailer back from the factory for some major repairs. So the dealer knows that the trailer is in very good condition. The factory also extended their warranty another 6 months because of the problems that we have had with the trailer. My concern is that 6 months or a year down the road we will finally decide to trade the unit and it will be worth much less than it is now. I really apprecaite this kind of feedback and please keep it coming. I want to try to make the right decision this time whether it is to trade the unit or keep it. I just do not want to take too long to make the decision. Thanks,
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dretired View Post
Something doesnt seem right if that 2500 is sagging in the back.. Is there a wd hitch , with built in sway control ?? And yeah ..AWAYS consider the overall length of a TT.. from tip of tounge to spare tire on back ..
I am pretty sure no one mentioned the truck sagging.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:12 AM   #7
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No, I do not have any problem with my truck sagging.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:32 AM   #8
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Freddie,
In reading through your two posts on this thread, I do have some thoughts for you but I really suggest first that you change your thinking with regards to "mistakes".

First - don't beat yourselves up because of any mistakes in the past. I know this sounds trite, but they are learning experiences and EVERY camper on this board has made more than a few. And, the newer you are, the more mistakes you make. You should feel good about one item - At least you bought your 34' trailer while towing with a capable tow vehicle. Lots of others would be blissfully and naively happy trying to tow that TT with a V6-powered SUV. Just saying.

Going forward you WILL make more mistakes. Sure, we can educate ourselves in order to minimize or limit them, but it happens and we move on. 'nuff said about that. Here are my specific thoughts on some things you brought up:

  • 5ver vs pull behind? Search this forum for a lot of threads discussing the merits of each or ask some specific questions in this thread about the differences. There's really too many to be general about it as we don't know what is important to you. You are lucky that you already have a capable tow vehicle that can go either way.

  • TT Length - you initially wanted 26-30' and now have a 34' trailer. My opinion is that the shorter the trailer the better as long as you can find the floor plan that you like. But, if the only floor plan you like is 30'+, than that is what you should have. We mainly camp in State Parks, too, and also feel that a TT over 30' might be limiting both in the campsites available and in the narrow roads getting to some of the areas we like to go.

  • Resale value now vs 6-12 months from now. You have already taken the biggest hit on the TT so waiting another 6-12 months should not be a big deal. However, you might feel better selling now because you have a good idea of what you can get and, sometimes, the "certainty" of something is comforting. By the way, that warranty, even though it has been extended for six months, is not transferable to the next owner I'm guessing. You probably already know that.

  • Towing. Maybe I missed it, but I see that you say you have towing problems but I don't see the types of problems you experienced. I will guess that its the usual sway, pushed by semis, wind, etc. Anyway, if you keep this trailer and you want to improve the towing experience, than I suggest that you look at an upgrade to the equal-i-zer. Before anyone jumps on me for this, know that I am a fan of that hitch but also feel that many towing issues can be solved with the Hensley or Propride hitches. Its not too much of a risk as they hold their resale value very well.
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:22 PM   #9
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Your pocketbook, your money, your decision. Now before you trade, verify you have everything set up correctly. What hitch do have, including what is the spring rate of the bars? What sway control, if not built in the hitch? When connected, is the trailer level? Measure from the ground to the wheel openings, in the center of the wheel, all 4 wheels of your truck. WRITE IT DOWN. Now connect to your trailer, and measure again. WRITE IT DOWN. Now present this info here, and most will be glad to help. Don't ever assume your dealer sold you the hitch you need, or set it up properly.
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Old 04-28-2011, 02:26 PM   #10
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You guys are great. We are going on our first trip of the season the weekend of May 14. I am using the Equalizer 4-point sway control hitch. It is rated at 12000 lbs. I have gone throught the setup twice before but I will go through it again this weekend just to be sure that nothing has changed. I have also researched the Equalizer website and found out that they recommend that you do not use any lubricate on the bars. I have been doing this since a friend recommended it. I am going to clean off the bars and do the setup again exactly by the book. I will wait until I take the trip later this month to see how the trailer pulls. Part of that trip will be on I-85 so I will get a good idea of how the trailer actually pulls on the interstate hwy. I will wait until after that trip to revisit my decision on whether to keep the V-lite or not. Thanks to everyone for your help.
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