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Old 04-16-2007, 09:23 PM   #1
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Question Ultra Lite Trailers

I have a Ĺ ton Toyota Tundra, so Iím looking at Rockwood Ultra Lite trailers. (I like the 2604S). I notice that other manufacturers, like Keystone, weigh 1K or more lbs for the similar floor plans. I realize that some of the weight savings is because of the aluminum frame. But what are the other weight-saving factors that make this difference? Are there any concerns with Ultra Lite trailers, like less sturdy construction?

Thanks,
Bill
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Old 04-18-2007, 02:22 PM   #2
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I'm towing a 2502 with my Xterra, which is limited to 5000 lbs. Tows it fine, I just leave the transmission out of O/D. Puts me in 4th gear ~2500-2750 RPMs.

I would have concerns about an Ultralite too. However, my buddy has owned is Rockwood TT since 04, and has traveled from FL up to Canada -n- back the first year, then from FL to Oregon -n- back the next. They've been fulltiming many months each year. Their camper still looks new. I was so impressed, I ordered a smaller version. Don't let the Ultralite label fool you, it's well made.

Here's a picture of my frame:



Here's a picture from inside the storage bay. Note the aluminum framework that supports the bed above:



Aluminum framework is also used in the dinette frame, and in the walls. Very strong yet lightweight.

There's no noticible flexing of the floor.

Can't tell you what all they did to save weight, but they did use Filon walls for the exterior, and the roof is a few inches of foam with about a 1/4" luan skin on it. Strong enough to walk on, yet saving a lot of weight.

I would buy one again without hesitation. Good luck on your quest!
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Old 04-19-2007, 08:39 AM   #3
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We started out towing ours (see sig) with an E150 conversion van. Dry weight is listed at 4300# - never did weigh it fully loaded. The van did fine but was getting old & tired and got replaced with a pickup so we can take the kayaks, bikes, & stuff without putting any toys in the trailer.

The low profile & aerodynamics and fully enclosed underbelly of the trailer add to it's great towability. The only down side is the ground clearance at the rear. I learned I need to take driveways (gas stations, parking lots...) at an angle to avoid grounding the back of the trailer.

I will look at another if/when the time comes.
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Old 01-19-2008, 09:31 PM   #4
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we have an ultralite about 3500 dry weight gross of around 4700. our four runner tows good with load distribution and sway control hitch. we only drive about 55 withou OD and it does fine. we havent had any problems. outside is fiberglass, alum frame.

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Old 01-20-2008, 08:48 AM   #5
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Bill,

You have asked a great question. To be honest, I don't know what makes my trailer weigh 4800 lbs dry weight vs. the same floorplan from Jayco that weighs 5600 lbs dry vs. a Slaem that is 6400 lbs dry. I think the slides are deeper on the heavier models. Don't know about anything else.

I tow a Rockwood 2701SS with my 2005 Tundra 4x2 double cab. It is max'd out but does very well. Would have loved to get an 8317SS, but it was too heavy.

Tom
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Old 01-20-2008, 03:36 PM   #6
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Question Question about your O/D use in this post.

Hey guys, I noticed that you guys are mentioning driving without using O/D. I have just picked up our first TT. I have the Flagstaff 831KRSS dry weight is 6205 or so. I am pulling with a 1500 Dodge Ram Quad Cab 4x4, with the Hemi. I am supposed to be able to pull 8900lb minus the 4x4 weight which I was told takes off 500lb. This leaves me tow rating at 8400.

So, I was told that I am to have O/D on ALL the time when I am pulling the trailer? Could you guys expand on how you use O/D when towing?

Thanks, Frank
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Old 01-20-2008, 08:49 PM   #7
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Frank,

I have always let the truck tell me when to use OD or not. If it is downshifting a lot, I just leave it out of OD. Unless I'm going downhill, my Tundra tranny won't even shift into overdrive with my 32 ft trailer.

Does your owner's manual say anything?

TOm
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Old 01-29-2008, 01:04 PM   #8
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Frank, look at your manuel for the truck it will relate information to towing with od off or on,
my expedition states can turn od off when towing on hilly terrain, if I notice a lot of downshifting from od to d while towing i turn it off, saves the hassle, but on flat or gentle rolling i leave it on to get the lower rpms of od,

also on down hill with od off you will have a little more engine braking and less need for tapping brakes to keep speed down,.

Best advise is go by vehicle manuel.
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Old 01-29-2008, 01:59 PM   #9
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To the original question, why is it lighter?

Smaller holding tanks, curtains instead of doors, fewer cabinets or less fancy cabinets, plastic potty instead of ceramic, fewer interior walls.

You can build a quality trailer that's well made doing these things. It all adds up.

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Old 09-20-2009, 06:31 PM   #10
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Hello and we just purchased a Ultralite 2603 and pull it with a Hummer H3...bit of a load on hills but other than that..does just fine. These seem to be a very well built product...other than the factory drilled a dozen holes in the wrong place...hanging something crooked or what ever...just walked away and left the holes. Poor workmanship in my opinion. Outside work was fine...some dooped up stoner doing inside trim out on a Monday morning....had a real bad hangover...
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:55 PM   #11
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:55 PM   #12
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I think the biggest factor in weight difference is the Ultra lites have an aluminum frame (sidewalls,roof and floor) as compared to standard 2X3 studs which will add a considerable amont of weight. Next time out to your Home Depot, pick up a wooden 2X3X8, then find some aluminum stud and compare the difference in weight. You will be suprised...then add the difference in weight by 50 or 60 times, depending on the size of you TT.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:09 PM   #13
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Hi fire4034. I also have a Ram 1500 Quad cab hemi, with the 545RFE Automatic overdrive transmission. The dealer told me (as well as the owner's manual) to use the tow/haul button located on the shifter end. It also has the option O/D off. If vyou tow for any distance with O/D on, you stand a very good chance of burning up the lock up torque converter. Use the tow/haul setting for that heavy of a trailer. Mine is around the same weight pulling it. Randy
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fire4034 View Post
Hey guys, I noticed that you guys are mentioning driving without using O/D. I have just picked up our first TT. I have the Flagstaff 831KRSS dry weight is 6205 or so. I am pulling with a 1500 Dodge Ram Quad Cab 4x4, with the Hemi. I am supposed to be able to pull 8900lb minus the 4x4 weight which I was told takes off 500lb. This leaves me tow rating at 8400.

So, I was told that I am to have O/D on ALL the time when I am pulling the trailer? Could you guys expand on how you use O/D when towing?

Thanks, Frank
Ditto to what Randy said.

I tow my 8319SS with a 08 Dodge Ram 1500 with the Hemi and use the TOW-HAUL mode. I was told to always push that button when towing to take advantage of the tow features. It needs to be pressed every time you restart your engine, easy to forget if you stop for a gas, and then drive away again.

My trailer, loaded does come within a hundred kilos of the max CGVWR, but we live on the prairie and although there are river valleys and rolling hills, no extreme climbs like you get in the Rocky mountains, so it is OK.

It will keep the speed up the hill, but the RPM's climb and I swear I can see the gas gauge dropping as that Hemi roars and gulps the gas.

But the truck is leased, next year I'm seriously looking at upgrading to a three quarter, or even one ton, and perhaps a diesel. We'll have to see what kind of truck deals are to be had in 2010.
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:32 PM   #15
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Hi Fort Kent Dad. AMEN on the gas sucking hemi! I get 7 to 8 mpg's at best pulling my rig. The V front doesn't really help much. I have the 3:54 rear, with 275 70 17's all around, stock. I feel so underpowered, even at 380 HP! I have heard that a rear gear swap to 3:73's or 3:92 would help me pull much better, but I'm afraid the gas mileage would drop even more! My father in law has an 06 QC Ram 2500HD 4x4 diesel, and pulls a medium Coleman pop up. He gets 23-24 mpg hi way! I wish he and I could swap trucks! Randy
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:43 PM   #16
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Good luck, I think your truck will do just fine. I have the Rockwood 2604S and pull with my 1500 Silverado (w/towing pkg) and have absolutely NO prob. Check the truck manual to determine the towing capacity if you have doubts. My TT weights out at 6500GVWR and truck states 6600. Good combo.
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:26 PM   #17
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We tow the 2604S (09) and have towed over 4000 miles this year without a hitch (figure of speech guys). It tows so well we have to check the rearview to make sure it mis still there.

Seems very well made, have had it since May 08. use an equalizer hitch (see guys, I told you) w/reese sway control.

We really like our 2604S.
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Old 11-17-2009, 05:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 08flagvlite View Post
Hi Fort Kent Dad. AMEN on the gas sucking hemi! I get 7 to 8 mpg's at best pulling my rig. The V front doesn't really help much. I have the 3:54 rear, with 275 70 17's all around, stock. I feel so underpowered, even at 380 HP! I have heard that a rear gear swap to 3:73's or 3:92 would help me pull much better, but I'm afraid the gas mileage would drop even more! My father in law has an 06 QC Ram 2500HD 4x4 diesel, and pulls a medium Coleman pop up. He gets 23-24 mpg hi way! I wish he and I could swap trucks! Randy

Ihave the 8280ws and I am pulling it with a '04 hemi 1500 with 3.92 rear end. I pull that trailer with ease and I am getting 10-11 mpg which I think is really good. And this is driving in the rocky mountains of Canada. I still get 21 mpg empty.
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:02 PM   #19
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more composites, more plastic, less headroom, shorter/shallower sides, smaller tires, thinner walls etc, it all adds up.
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:57 PM   #20
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I posted last year that we were considering a diesel, 3/4 ton and that is what we did. Upgraded the TV to a Dodge Ram 2500 CTD. With all of 2000 km on the truck so far I've not had much of a chance to see how it will do. I leave soon for a 10,000 km RV trip, will let you know how it works out. The diesel got 9.5 on the one short trip that I measured, but that is before it is broken in. Hope to get better than that. We'll see.
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