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Old 04-24-2016, 08:30 PM   #1
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Overwhelmed and underpowered!

Help! We have started the search for a family travel trailer. We love Forest River products, and this will be our first RV. Shopping as beginners is very overwhelming, and I'm looking for some unbiased advice.

Wishes - a travel trailer with bunkhouse set up.

Problem - our vehicle. Turns out, I didn't ask for the "towing package" when we got my car. We have a Chevy Tahoe, 5.3l, 3.08 gear, 6600 max weight.

When viewing the travel trailers, we see the dry weight. I am TERRIFIED of getting a trailer too heavy for our car. We live in Pensacola, flat, easy. But we want the ability to go to the Smoky Mountains SAFELY.

What should we be looking for? Getting a new vehicle isn't totally off the table, but we would love to avoid that. Thank you all for taking the time to offer advice.
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:36 PM   #2
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Overwhelmed and underpowered!

Look at the Cherokee greywolf. I have the toyhauler version and love it. It's dry weight is 4770 and gross is 7779. I pull with a f150. You can always add another auxiliary trans oil cooler to your current vehicle.

http://www.forestriverinc.com/produc...delID=821#Main

Here is link to 29' grey wolf bunk house.

I got mine from suburban Rv center Mansfield Ohio. Was wort trip for me. Tom will order it for you just what you want at prices that I could not find anywhere else.
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:47 PM   #3
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The gear ratio is probably going to be the biggest obstacle in your way (aside from the inevitable payload issue that someone will bring up shortly). Figure a good 1500lbs added to dry weight of trailer, especially with kids. If a new vehicle is not out the question, I would look for a heavy 1/2 or a 3/4 ton truck. Pulling in the mountains with an under powered vehicle is not fun.
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:50 PM   #4
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rmac - That is a gorgeous travel trailer!! We'll definitely check that one out. Now I'm off to google auxilliary oil cooler.
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:54 PM   #5
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Aquaman - thank you for that. So would you keep the dry weight (UVW) below 5000 when I'm looking at specs?
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:55 PM   #6
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rmac - That is a gorgeous travel trailer!! We'll definitely check that one out. Now I'm off to google auxiliary oil cooler.
And transmission oil cooler. (Maybe that's what you meant)
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:59 PM   #7
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rmac - That is a gorgeous travel trailer!! We'll definitely check that one out. Now I'm off to google auxilliary oil cooler.

Yes we love our grey wolf. Click image for larger version

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Old 04-24-2016, 09:53 PM   #8
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For a given floor plan, the Grey Wolves are heavier stick & tin construction... For instance, the 26RR mentioned doesn't have a slide-out yet weighs almost 5,000 and has a heavy (empty) tongue weight of nearly 800.. Plus, it's a toyhauler but you won't be able to haul anything too heavy without exceeding the Tahoe's GCVW (TV & TT combined weight).

IMO you should see what other folks with Tahoes are pulling. You may run-out of GCVW before payload. For instance, your Tahoe is rated to tow 6,600 with a single driver. So in addition to subtracting your family from max payload, you likely have to subtract them from the 6,600 to stay under GCVW...

So in the end you have to consider TTs or Hybrids in the 4,500 (empty) range w/empty tongue of <500 because you will add about 1000 lbs. of gear (battery, propane, WDH, camping supplies, clothes, food, chairs, bikes, etc.) to the TT & ??? lbs. of family to the TV...

Therefore most folks with Tahoes w/out tow package are limited to hybrids or lightweight fiberglass & aluminum framed TTs. I don't like hybrids, so would prefer the PrimeTime Tracer Air series with at least 1 slide-out. They have some with double-double bunks & a dinette slide-out for <5,000 empty w/empty tongue <500...

Our original plan was to buy a 1/2 ton SUV but I found a 2 year-old Ram 2500 CC w/5.7 Hemi for $14K. It has a payload of 3,000 & tow rating of 9,100 so we paired it with the larger 2-slide Tracer 3150 that weighs 6,500 empty w/empty tongue of 650. We LOVE the outdoor kitchen & kids' slide-out bunk room. However, ready-to-camp our TT is over 8,000 w/loaded tongue weight of 1,100...
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:58 PM   #9
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Aquaman - thank you for that. So would you keep the dry weight (UVW) below 5000 when I'm looking at specs?

Yes, and if you could keep your gross below 6000 would be better. You could do it by packing light. V-nose fronts would also help with the wind and help reduce the drag.


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Old 04-24-2016, 10:01 PM   #10
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Rhino - thanks so much for the reply. The GCVW for our Tahoe is 7100lbs, max towing capacity is 6600lbs.

I'm off to check out the Tracer now.

Good advice on finding out what other Tahoe drivers are pulling. I'll post on the Chevy forum tomorrow.
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