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Old 05-25-2014, 10:41 PM   #1
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Hello! I've been RVing full time since 2006, but this is my first TT. I just bought a 2011 Forest River Rockwood 26'. I've had two 5th wheels, a Class A and an Allegro Bus, so this is a totally new experience for me. It is stripped down - I took out the valances, sleeper sofa, heavy mattress, chairs, etc. Made an L-shaped sofa in the corner with the two dinette benches and put in a lightweight desk. I tow with a 2005 Toyota Sequoia 4.7 liter V-8 SUV and it seems to handle things really well. I'm going to have a transmission gauge put it to make sure I'm not taxing the transmission, but in the little bit of driving I've done so far, it's done great on pulling up grades.

I've been weeding things out now for a couple of weeks and am about to have it down to the bare necessities to make sure I keep the weight down. I put in a clothes bar on the right side of the bedroom in front of the 2nd door that I don't use to have more clothes hanging space and added a curtain to hide the new "closet". The previous owners spent $5k putting solar panels and wiring it up for solar which is great.

I have a couple of issues - one is heat without power. I hate the furnaces because they really don't heat that well so I have a propane catalytic heater to use when I'm boon docking and I use plug-in heaters when I have power if there's no metering. The other issue is the entertainment system. Nothing works right and I'm ready to just take it all out and start from scratch. I was pretty disappointed that the previous owners didn't mention that little issue! And the last issue is the weight on the rear of my SUV. I'm having to have air bags put in back there to keep it from being pushed down so low and making the front of the SUV come up. I should get all terrain tires instead of the mud tires that are on the SUV now - will probably do that at the same time I have the air bags installed.

The biggest challenge has been getting used to towing it. It's a totally different experience than towing a 5th wheel. Doesn't track the way you'd think it would. I spent an hour driving around the Camping World parking lot, making sure I wouldn't take the front bumper off of a parked car when I was turning!!

I'm happy that I found this forum so I can learn more about camping in a TT and more about problems and issues that may arise.

Happy trails!!

ShutterBugBev
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:05 PM   #2
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Do you use a weight distribution hitch for towing?
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:32 PM   #3
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Towing

Yes - a weight distribution hitch, a sway bar and everything else that I could find!! Never hurts to be too careful!
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Old 05-26-2014, 12:04 AM   #4
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Sounds like your really into it. do you post pictures of your efforts? We have been full timer now 5 years. Sold the ranch and took off. Wow are we really having a great time. We have a few mods since and I'm sure more to come. How about you?
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:02 AM   #5
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Modifications

Right now, I'm still trying to unpack and find a place for everything. Love your cabinets! I have a son in Brooklyn who is a master carpenter. I'm hoping to get up there next summer and let him work his magic on the interior, building me lightweight wood structures for storage and convenience. Right now, other than the things mentioned in my initial email with my tow vehicle, getting the entertainment center fixed or replaced is my #1 goal. I miss being able to at least watch a DVD if I can't get satellite service. No need to have a dish and pay the fee if the television doesn't want to work, huh?

I was off the road for a few months, wasn't sure I wanted to go back on. This was a way to see if I wanted to do it alone again. Starting small. If I like it I'll probably trade this in for a Class C or something. Not sure I like the towing stuff yet, but then I've just started so I'm giving it a year to decide what to do.

Will take some photos as soon as I can see the floor and all the boxes have gone away!!
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:30 PM   #6
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Went to the scale . . .

The trip from Santa Fe to Las Vegas was fine. Engine never ran hot, everything seemed ok. The trip from Las Vegas to Coyote Creek State Park was fine as well, if not a little bumpy. The trip from Las Vegas to ABQ was a nightmare. I felt like I was being pushed all over the road. Trailer was still swaying, lots of bumping up and down feelings at start and stop and on any bump in the road. I finally found a scale. My dry weight is 5800. That's what is listed on the rig. I have very little possessions in here and I removed the sofa, chairs, dinette, etc. as I stated in a previous post. The weight of my trailer? 7360 lbs. That's almost 1,360 over what my SUV is rated for. So I tossed out every unnecessary item in the trailer and it made all of 20 lbs. difference. I can't tow this with my 2005 Toyota Sequoia and feel safe. So I'm selling the trailer and getting a smaller one or I'm selling the SUV and getting a big truck. I'm stuck right now in ABQ and absolutely MISERABLE. My summer is ruined. My life is ruined if I can't trade or sell one or the other because there will be no traveling for me. Can't trade in either because I'll lose so much money if I do. Especially the SUV. Just bought it in February, $16k owed on it. and can only get $9k trade in allowance. Not a happy camper AT ALL.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:10 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear that you are having trouble . It's possible that when you removed the dinette and other things you unbalanced the tt and have to much tung weight or not enough both can make it difficult to control . Your tung weight should be 10 to 12 % of your tt or approximately 800 lbs and your WDHitch needs to be ajusted properly . Yes you are still over your tv ratings and a bigger tv is best try balancing the trailer better and ajusting the WDHitch you may be able to get away with it till you can get something better. Hope this helps
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:34 PM   #8
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Thank you

Thanks Russell, but that is still all greek to me. I have been towing a vehicle since 2008. Before that a truck towed my 5th wheel but that's a whole different ballgame than towing a TT. I'll try to figure out what all of that means! Yes - there's no weight on the right side except for the slide and an L shaped sofa. The fridge, oven, sinks, showers, etc. are all on the left side, or driver's side. I'm sure the weight is just completely off. I was trying to make it weigh less to make towing easier. Once I get my bigger TV, I will get a sofa and stuff and put in here. Not the RV sofa, but at least a sofa. I thought the weight of the slide would compensate for the sofa being removed. Oh well . . . live and learn!
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:56 PM   #9
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If you are going to get a bigger tv the truck I have has been a great one (2011 f150 screw ecoboost max tow) but you are full-time so a SD is probably a good choice 6.2 gas or 6.7 diesel both good choices diesel is more expensive to get and mantanance but better on fuel economy and last longer personally I would go with the F350 6.7 crew cab 6.5 box if I was full-time
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:18 PM   #10
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if i'd seen your post before, i would've bet that you wouldn't be happy pulling that TT with a small v-8 SUV.
i'm betting that you think it's 26' long but just cause 26 is in the model number, doesn't mean that is its actual length. usually at least 2-3' longer than the model number.
if you had posted the actual model number, maybe others would've warned you if they could've gotten the exact specs on it.

where did you read the 5800lbs. number? on the outside yellow sticker?

soft suspension and weaker engine are what you have and you should've stayed with something under 23' and 5000lbs. loaded.

that's why you HAVE to do your homework, especially with a SUV with a weaker v-8 engine.

i hope you can get things worked out and please post more info on the next trailer, like year/make/model so we can look up the specs and give you some informed advice.
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