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Old 05-01-2012, 03:31 PM   #1
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Greetings!

My wife and I have 5 kids and are looking for our first trailer. Our oldest is 9, the youngest is 7 months, and it's time to spend our summers away from home. We just bought our tow vehicle, which is a 9 passenger 2005 GMC Yukon XL 2500 with the 8.1L & 3.73 gears. That should be able to tow most anything we fall in love with. We're thinking of something with bunks and a 26-28' box. Our shopping list for trailers are:

1) Sleep 7 comfortably, no kid beds under 75". I'm 6'6" (78") and the wife is 5'10" and our kids aren't getting any shorter. The master bedroom must have the room to replace wimpy trailer queen bed with a real 60" x 80" queen. I'd love a king, but I'm being realistic.

2) Must have at minimum 6'6" of interior height. Most Forest River products seem to be great in this area. I hit my head on lights and such on some models, but at least I can stand up!

3) Has to dine 7 at one table. No TV trays, at a real table. Meal time is important in our family. No television, just family. I really like what 2003bigsilverado did to their dinette. I posted some questions there for further information... Changed My Dinette area and slide out

4) Length needs to stay under about 32', so a box around 26-28' would be fine. This is both for storage on the side of my house and to try and minimize sway behind my mere 130" of wheelbase. Yes, I plan on adding good sway bars, but less sail behind me will help.

5) Weight needs to be manageable. My rig on paper should pull 10,300 lbs, but with 7 passengers and all the stuff everyone will want to bring, less weight is a great place to start. Especially since we live in the West near the mountains and I want power left over for hills and elevation. I'm hoping for a GVWR of 8500 or less

6) Price. I'm not too excited to drop $30k on a new trailer. I'm trying to retire early (as my username would suggest). I am not afraid to spend money on family memories, but I should be able to get something used that is completely serviceable for MUCH less, and hopefully retire another year earlier and not worry about vacation days.

I've seen many new trailers that fit what we are looking for, but are a bit more money than we'd like to spend. Large U-shaped dinettes seem to have only been available / popular in the last few years. We're toying with getting something that would be close to what we want with less than 40 or so hours of mods to make it work for us.

Hopefully there is a perfect used trailer out there waiting to be modded.... Thanks for listening!
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:19 PM   #2
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We just picked up a puma 30kdb. Sleeps 8 comfortably u shaped dinette and outside kitchen which is nice with kids. Less going in and out for sandwiches snacks and drinks. Right around 21k otd.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:30 PM   #3
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Welcome.

You've got quite the pulling machine there. I bet that's perfect for your family.

Great idea to spend a bit now (and retire a bit later). These times fly by with the young 'uns. Enjoy the time we have, right?

Best of luck in your search.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:22 AM   #4
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We bought a 2011 Puma 30KFBDS last year and we are very happy with it. It will sleep 7 comfortably and has 3 bunks Btw my fourteen year old is 6'1" and reports having ample room to stretch out in his bunk. It also has two slides and an outside kitchen.Your rig would tow it without much effort. Picked it up used for 16k.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:01 PM   #5
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Thanks for making suggestions on trailers! We've looked at quite a few and hope to find "the one" soon. The more suggestions the merrier!

Quote:
Btw my fourteen year old is 6'1" and reports having ample room to stretch out in his bunk.
Wow GASPEDDLER, your 2011 Puma 30KFBDS has the longest bunks I've ever seen! You don't see 80" bunks very often. Too bad the master queen is only 74". It looks like there is plenty of room to put a bigger bed in there though. That second pop out sure makes for a big master bedroom. It looks like I need to go walk through a Puma dealership and look at yours and cyclepuck's rigs. Thanks!

Quote:
You've got quite the pulling machine there. I bet that's perfect for your family.
We love it. I was really worried about going over payload in a few years with 5 teenagers and all the junk they will want to bring, plus the tongue weight of the trailer. I didn't want to have to have my kids wondering why everyone was only allowed to eat celery, and all their stuff had holes drilled in it to save on weight.

Thanks again.
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:42 PM   #6
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I have been trying to buy a trailer for the last 2 months, and I am sick of shopping! I just want to go camping! We've been to 12 dealerships and looked at probably 10 rigs on Craigslist. I seem to be seeing a trend: used trailers at dealerships are generally trashed. There is the odd duck (1 out of 50), but for the most part they are pretty worn out. I have also noticed that in general, people think the only preventative maintenance necessary on a trailer is to winterize it before it freezes. The first trailer that we really liked on Craigslist, we drove over two hours to go see. It was beautiful inside, just like the pictures showed, but the owners left it uncovered outside all winter in the snow with the pop-outs open and it got wet inside. (They were unaware of the water damage.) The owners had only used it 5 times.

My family is currently thinking of buying a bit less trailer this year and then a boat next year instead of a big fancy trailer this year. We have 5 large lakes within a 45 minute drive. I've got a 1/2 ton truck, so we could trailer both toys separately to any of the lakes if we wanted to.

So here is my question:
If we were to buy a smaller trailer now, say a Puma 27FQ would the 7 of us be at our throats in no time? I found an awesome 27FQ on Craigslist 30 miles away that has been babied and covered, at HALF the price of the bigger trailers we've been looking at that were fairly trashed. That leaves plenty space in the pocket book for a boat (Bring Out Another Thousand). We were thinking that we would eat outside, and pretty much only cook & sleep in the trailer. The trailer has plenty of storage and we'd be able to have all of our camping equipment stored inside, ready to hitch and go. My kids are 9,8,5,2 & 0. The trailer sleeps 8 and has a smallish dinette that could currently seat the kids for a quick breakfast if we wanted. I figure we could at least use this trailer for 5 years and get something bigger if we feel it necessary when we have a mess of teenagers on our hands. So, starter rig now, learn the ropes, learn how we use it and then get something bigger when we really need it. Thoughts?

This is the floorplan of the Puma 27FQ
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:35 PM   #7
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I can't comment on the units your looking at but I do have something to offer.
We are a family of 7 and had a 32 foot tt with quad bunks.

The two oldest slept on the two smallest bunks up top the the two youngest slept together on a wide bunk on bottom then one on the other and we got along fine.
Where the trouble comes in when friends were invited to stay.
We then had to start using the dinette sleeper and fold out couch.
They rarely complained and we did this for 6 years.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:46 PM   #8
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We re a family of 5 and we looked at a similar trailer but the more we thought about it the smaller trailer has less storage and beds and by time you pack for 7 people it might be a little cramped especially with no slide out.
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