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Old 01-20-2016, 12:01 PM   #1
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newbee need advice from experienced RVers

Hi,

We are currently looking at travel trailers. We like the features in the Forest River trailers but there are so many models / features that its tough to figure out which models to consider.

So I'm asking, in general, what are the most important factors in considering a new purchase. Things like outside kitchen, awning types, hookups, water capacity, buying on the internet, warranty, must have options, winterizing, etc..... pretty much everything a newbee SHOULD know before looking but more than likely dont!

Some things about us: We are a family of 5 and our youngest is 17. So we need a trailer that can fit all of us, comfortably. I would like beds for everyone - bunkhouse seems to work and if they kids have guests they could sleep on the sofa or table conversion.

As far as pull vehicle : I own an F150 with a full max tow package.

Any help would be appreciated......

-Joe
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:08 PM   #2
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Hello and welcome to the forums.

Five people and their stuff, trailer with bunks.

I am not much help with this because I like to have more truck than needed.
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:11 PM   #3
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1> You need payload, GVWR, GAWR F, GAWR R listed on the certified labels on your truck. Typically they are two separate labels. The payload is on the tire label and the others are on the other one. These numbers allow you to start.

2> Load your truck up with everything you intend to take with you in the vehicle (TV) and full tank of fuel then go to the scales and weigh your TV.

The following are copied from two of my previous post:

Take the total of the steer and drive axles (which is gross TV weight) then subtract that from the listed GVWR. This will give you the adjusted max payload available to set a 5er on. So an example i.e. mine: 4920 steer, 3580 drive, total 8500lb gross. GVWR of my truck is 10,000 - 8500 = 1500lbs. This is my adjusted payload available with a fully loaded TV to use for 5er hitch weight.

I really have an issue with making sure TV weights are what they are advertised to be and that is why I am replying to your posting. I purchased my truck relying on the sales flyer that the dealer provides from the manufacture and that is a mistake. The problem is usually not the tow weight it is the payload max that will bite you. I purchased my truck thinking my payload was going to be 2793lbs. and was quite happy with my upgrade to a 3/4 truck. That was until I decided to look for a larger 5er than I currently have. The bottom line is my payload max is 2214lbs. which is 579lbs. less than the listed weight. So to get to the point I suggest you get actual loaded numbers for your TV and calculate the hitch weight max your truck can haul. The discussion around this issue is in another post so if your interested check my postings regarding Duramax weights appear wrong.

Please don't take anyone's word for what your truck will haul. Check your TV specific labels and do the calculations to make sure you know what you have available before your TT search.

I know you are looking for a Travel Trailer not a 5th wheel but you still need the knowledge to assist you with a purchase. I am not tow behind savvy using weight distribution hitches so someone else will need to help you with this area. There is a lot of knowledge on this forum regarding TT's so I know they will respond to this post for you. Good luck and enjoy your TT search.
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:22 PM   #4
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There is a lot variables to consider and much of them are personal preference. Will you boondock or use hook ups? If you plan on only staying where there is water then the FW tank won't be used. Outdoor kitchens, some love them, some prefer to cook inside. You decide. Same with awning types. Manual or powered? In any case, you need to start with your tow vehicle and how much you can tow and carry with it. Once you determine that, then you can decide on trailer models. Five people over the age of 17 will make most trailers seem small in a hurry so I would go big as possible. Watch the weight on the bunks. Some are for smaller children with 100-150# weight limits. Spend much time reading this forum. It will help a lot.
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Old 01-20-2016, 04:29 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum. First I'd located your cap rating of your truck on the door jam for max towing then look for a trailer that your truck can handle. Later RJD
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Old 01-20-2016, 04:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maccrory View Post
Hi,

We are currently looking at travel trailers. We like the features in the Forest River trailers but there are so many models / features that its tough to figure out which models to consider.

So I'm asking, in general, what are the most important factors in considering a new purchase. Things like outside kitchen, awning types, hookups, water capacity, buying on the internet, warranty, must have options, winterizing, etc..... pretty much everything a newbee SHOULD know before looking but more than likely dont!

Some things about us: We are a family of 5 and our youngest is 17. So we need a trailer that can fit all of us, comfortably. I would like beds for everyone - bunkhouse seems to work and if they kids have guests they could sleep on the sofa or table conversion.

As far as pull vehicle : I own an F150 with a full max tow package.

Any help would be appreciated......

-Joe
your options are going to be limited, since you basically need sleeping for 5 adults plus any guests.
since the youngest is 17, nearly all bunks will be too small for adult size people. so even a bunkhouse may be eliminated. bunkhouse TTs are usually sized for kids, not adults.

then you have a 1/2 ton truck, which also narrows down your choices.

FIRST, you need to find a floorplan that will work and that you like. then you can ask about all the other stuff.

until you find a floorplan that can work, all the rest is moot.
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Old 01-20-2016, 04:59 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forum from Ontario, Canada.

I agree with bikedan. Deciding on a floorplan that will work for your family is key. Bunks will almost certainly be too small for your fully grown kids - it was for mine. Definitely have then try one out before seriously considering bunks.

If they are willing to sleep together, 2 on a bed, you could consider a hybrid like a Rockwood Roo or Flagstaff Shamrock. Triple bed models like the Roo 233S will give you sleeping space for 6. In a regular travel trailer it will be much more difficult to find a floorplan that has a bed for everyone without a bunk model with short, narrow beds. We even looked at the Rockwood 2702SS that has double-sized bunks, but the beds are just too short.

I also agree with the other posters about checking out your F-150's actual weights. You may have a max. towing package but without the heavy duty payload option (it'll have 7-lug wheels if it has that option) your payload will be the limiting factor on its capability. Go to a CAT scale and use this tool to figure out your available capacity on the axles and the truck as a whole:
Actual Weights - Travel Trailer/Bumper Pull Weights from CAT Scales - Towing Planner
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Old 01-20-2016, 05:19 PM   #8
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It's gonna be an awesome experience. I didn't know about this forum when I started and made, and still am making mistakes but they are getting to be less often. Regardless of your interest reading the various post and posting yourself will really help to decrease the unknowns.
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Old 01-20-2016, 05:31 PM   #9
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My guess is with you , your wife & kids you will be close to the max carrying capacity of the f150 without a trailer. You may want to upgrade the tow vehicle before deciding on a trailer.
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Old 01-20-2016, 05:40 PM   #10
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I'd have to agree that given your truck (which is a great truck) and the size of your family that the 233s would be something to look at. Those are great hybrids and will sleep a lot of folks. I had a 23ss and it towed behind my F150 with no problems at all and was well within the trucks limitations. First critical step in purchasing a trailer is matching it to your TV. Not doing that can be a very expensive mistake. I learned it the hard way.
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