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Old 03-31-2019, 10:45 AM   #1
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1st time trying to buy a travel trailer!

Hi would really appreciate some input. I’ve never towed a travel trailer before. I’ve tried to read and understand about trailer weights and tongue weights and this and that and I just don’t get it! Here’s the question: I have a 2018 Ford F-150 with a 2.7L eco boost engine. I called Ford and with my VIN they said I could tow 7600 lbs. I’m between a Rockwood Mini Lite 2104S (brochure says it unloaded vehicle weight 4816) and a Rockwood Ultra Lite 2304DS (unloaded vehicle weight 5654). Are these too heavy? I’m not a rocket scientist I just want to go camping! I will be traveling across country so there are those darned mountains!
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:51 AM   #2
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Check your payload capacity, stated on a yellow sticker on the door jamb. This will be one of your limiting factors. You’ll have to factor in the trailer tongue weight, hitch, passengers and anything you have in the truck.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:54 AM   #3
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Unloaded dry weight is a meaningless number...

Add at least 1000 pounds to those numbers at minimum.

Traveling the way you are talking about, I'd stick with the lighter one.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:55 AM   #4
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Inside the door jamb of the truck or the trailer?
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:56 AM   #5
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Thank you!
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:58 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Diana98221 View Post
Inside the door jamb of the truck or the trailer?
Inside of the drivers door of the truck...
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Old 03-31-2019, 02:00 PM   #7
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Love our MiniLite

How many people will be regularly traveling and sleeping in your TT? Pets? If just you, the Mini would be a great choice! My husband and I snow bird for 4-5 months at a time and we’re quite happy with our space. Every unit has it’s “if only” items—like our unit doesn’t allow bathroom access with slide closed. But we work around that. The MiniLite will pull great with your truck, even in the mountains. We’ve been in the Rockies and the Tetons without any issues. Happy camping once you make your choice
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Old 03-31-2019, 02:03 PM   #8
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Most folks these days have the larger engines and are limited by cargo capacity, not towing capacity, but with the 2.7 you'll likely be near the limit on both. The F-150 should have cargo capacity around 1600 or higher, and that includes you, the family and everything else you pack in the truck, including your truck cap if you added one. Your hitch weight as listed by the dealer will be for the dry weight. You probably should add at least a 1000 lb to the trailer weight, and therefore about 120-150 lb to the hitch weight. Most folks carry some water in the fresh water tank and unless you are sure you will always dump when leaving a campground you'll have a few hundred pounds of water or more at 8.3 lb/gal.

My tow weight is around half the maximum allowable, hence I don't really feel the trailer unless I'm heading up a very steep mountain. Maybe someone can comment on towing something 90-100% of the tow weight. I'm guessing that unless you live in the flat lands you'll want the lighter trailer.
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Old 03-31-2019, 02:06 PM   #9
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No matter what you buy, buy the best Weight Distribution Hitch you can afford and MAKE the dealer set it up properly for you before you leave the lot.
Do some research yourself first so you know they are doing it right and you don't get just a "your good".
It takes a couple hours to do it right with all the adjustments IMHO.
Good luck and hope you find what you want!
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Old 03-31-2019, 02:13 PM   #10
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Don't trust the dealer to tell you what will work with your truck, they really don't care as long as it gets towed off their lot. What JohnD10 said about adding a 1000 lb allowance for cargo to the dry weight is a good rule of thumb. Then, try to stay at no more than 80% of the rated tow capacity, unless you are only towing in Florida or similar terrain.
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Old 03-31-2019, 02:40 PM   #11
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In simple terms

Ignore unloaded weight and towing capacity


Get the load capacity of the truck from door sticker.
From that subtract.
100 lbs for hitch
weight of passengers and cargo in truck
0.13 times the ( unloaded weight of TT plus1000lbs)
if this number is positive you should be OK.


As mentioned, don't trust the dealer his only job is to sell trailers.
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Old 03-31-2019, 02:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by DMMILLER55 View Post
How many people will be regularly traveling and sleeping in your TT? Pets? If just you, the Mini would be a great choice! My husband and I snow bird for 4-5 months at a time and we’re quite happy with our space. Every unit has it’s “if only” items—like our unit doesn’t allow bathroom access with slide closed. But we work around that. The MiniLite will pull great with your truck, even in the mountains. We’ve been in the Rockies and the Tetons without any issues. Happy camping once you make your choice
Thanks for the advice! We’re definitely leaning toward the Mini
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Old 03-31-2019, 02:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybob View Post
In simple terms

Ignore unloaded weight and towing capacity


Get the load capacity of the truck from door sticker.
From that subtract.
100 lbs for hitch
weight of passengers and cargo in truck
0.13 times the ( unloaded weight of TT plus1000lbs)
if this number is positive you should be OK.


As mentioned, don't trust the dealer his only job is to sell trailers.
Oh thank you so much!
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Old 03-31-2019, 02:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybob View Post
In simple terms

Ignore unloaded weight and towing capacity


Get the load capacity of the truck from door sticker.
From that subtract.
100 lbs for hitch
weight of passengers and cargo in truck
0.13 times the ( unloaded weight of TT plus 1000lbs)
if this number is positive you should be OK.


As mentioned, don't trust the dealer his only job is to sell trailers.
This is the basics of the one area must trucks fail first when towing a trailer that is too heavy so use this as the guideline. Some people want a significant safety margin after doing this calculation ( A couple hundred lbs). Others are ok with being 1 lb under or even a few over.

No truer statement has ever been made than don't trust the dealer to tell you the right thing. Some don't care, many don't have a clue. I had a salesman tell me that my truck would haul any RV I could buy, lol. I told him not so say something like that, it makes him look stupid. He was a bit shocked but after I explained cargo carrying capacity to him and how it was the thing many trucks were way over on when hauling something right up against the "TOW RATING" for a vehicle that he wanted to use, he thanked me for educating him.
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Old 03-31-2019, 02:59 PM   #15
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I have a 2018 10 speed 2.7 EB and a Flagstaff 25BDS. That engine is a workhorse. We climbed the hills just north of Chattanooga no problem. 55 mph. More important, went down other side 5% grade in tow mode touching brakes only 1 time to engage downshift. CGVW was 11,100 leaving on 3 week vacation. Hitch wt was 800 loaded.
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Old 03-31-2019, 03:21 PM   #16
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This is the formulal I use.


Trailer GVWR * 0.15 + 1000 = minimum vehicle cargo capacity


This will give you plenty of extra cargo capacity for passengers and cargo.
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Old 03-31-2019, 03:56 PM   #17
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Do not buy based on the trailer advertised weights. There can be significant differences if the dealer orders options that his customers prefer.

Only go by the weight sticker on the trailer and then use that to find a good match for your truck.
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Old 03-31-2019, 04:10 PM   #18
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A great couples trailer is the Rockwood 2104S same as Flagstaff 21FBRS.
Easy to tow (with the correct hitch), plenty of storage and you can use the bathroom without extending the slide for those roadside pit stops.
412#/4171#. Add weight to the total as others have suggested, and do not rely on the dealer for advice or to setup your hitch.
Have fun.
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Old 03-31-2019, 04:13 PM   #19
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How many people and pets will you be carrying?
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Old 03-31-2019, 04:19 PM   #20
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While shopping for a trailer, make sure the salesperson does a walk-through and a meet and greet with the staff in the service department.
Your new trailer will spend some time in there before and after the sale. The service department is a good indicator of the management or lack of it.
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