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Old 11-30-2020, 09:54 AM   #1
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New to RVing, looking at a used Prime Time Air

Hi all,
Retired Navy guy in SW Florida, we are planning to buy a travel trailer to use in the summer and go North. Tow vehicle is a Grand Cherokee, 6500# tow capacity, so looking to go light. I am looking at a Tracer Air 215RBS. Price is good, trailer looks like itís in good shape, so pretty confident weíre going to buy it.

I saw a reference to a PDI subsection of the forum, but I canít seem to find it. Is there a user guide for used trailer buyers, since we wonít have a dealer setting things up for us?

We have a cruising sailboat, so the 12v systems, shore power, diy repair stuff doesnít bother me, but getting set up correctly for towing will be new to me. The Jeep has the tow pkg, Iím going to add a proportional brake controller (Reese BrakeEVN), and I have checked out how to set up a weight distribution hitch. Trailer doesnít have one but Iíll go get one after I get it home (just a 5 mi tow).

Weíre planning to go thru it and get rid of unwanted stuff that will come with it, set up a basic complement of pots/pans, silverware, towels, sheets, etc and then go weigh it with tanks empty so we know what weíre dealing with weight-wise.

What else should we be looking at before we use it for the first time? What forum sections/ threads/ search terms should I use to research further?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:33 AM   #2
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That trailer will push the boundaries of the tv to the max.

Loaded it could weigh over #6000. Hitch weight will be near #700.

Check the stickers on the car. Payload will likely be the problem.

Short trip use maybe. Long distance, maybe not so good.

Any pdi documents you can get from this site works. Just ignore the parts you do not have. It would be easy to have $5000 worth of issues hidden. Read it over carefully and ask questions.

We also came from the sailboat world. 25 years worth.

You have to be handy.
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:41 AM   #3
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Tomkat,
I'm new to this, and I see that you are not. So maybe I have it wrong. But the empty weight of the trailer is supposed to be just under 4100. If we limit how much stuff we put in the trailer, maybe pack things in the Jeep instead, and don't pull a lot of water/wastewater around, will it really overtax the Jeep?
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:11 AM   #4
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Yep. Got to learn the math.

The #4000 number is for a trailer empty and not legal. Needs a #75 battery to tow! You will want two heavier ones! Or no heater. Who needs a heater in the summer! Parasitic loads.

Add propane. All the weight is on the hitch. If you are normal you have a hundred must have items. No way the trailer will be under #5000. Likely more. The spare adds more! No, they are not standard. Put all the stuff in the rear of the trailer? Nope. Sway. Got to have 10% or more on the hitch. That will get you hurt.

The published hitch weight is empty. Assume 11% on the hitch. The equalizer hitch adds to the hitch weight #50.

On tvís the ability to tow #6500 is irrelevant. It is the payload that matters. Hustle your bedonkadonk outside and find the payload for the vehicle. On stickers. On the drivers door. Also check the hitch for another restriction sticker. Hitch weight, not the internet.

Payload is the max weight the rv can handle. Usually the limiting factor.

Payload is the hitch weight, plus equalizer, plus you and the DW plus urchins and dogs. Plus the maps, her water bottle, coolers etc. Maybe Even gas. No you cannot carry more stuff in the tv. Likely.

I recommend filling the tank and loading the tv up with everything and find a cat scale. For $14.95 they will weigh you so you have a clue.

Towing overloaded is unpleasant and maybe dangerous.

You might be swell. Do not know the tv well. However, SUVís typically are lower payloads because of all that glass in the back.
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:16 AM   #5
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Thanks for the explanation, looks like I have some research ahead of me.
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:34 AM   #6
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5.7 hemi? or hellcat power?
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:46 AM   #7
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Thomas ho - no
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Old 11-30-2020, 12:05 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum. I would post the questions you have under the sub thread towing ,tow vehicles and hitches. Lots on knowledgeable folks here to help with your questions. You can also find the PDI form listed above in the green header and look for Library cleck on on it and then arrow down till you see PDI. As mentioned pick things out that will apply to your situation. Later RJD
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Old 11-30-2020, 12:08 PM   #9
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Thank you Ace, I'll go look at those threads.
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Old 11-30-2020, 12:10 PM   #10
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New to RVing, looking at firs RV (usedTracer Air 215RBS)

Cross-posting this from the "Welcome Mat" section:

Hi all,
Retired Navy guy in SW Florida, we are planning to buy a travel trailer to use in the summer and go North. Tow vehicle is a Grand Cherokee, 6500# tow capacity, so looking to go light. I am looking at a Tracer Air 215RBS. Price is good, trailer looks like itís in good shape, so pretty confident weíre going to buy it.

I saw a reference to a PDI subsection of the forum, but I canít seem to find it. Is there a user guide for used trailer buyers, since we wonít have a dealer setting things up for us?

We have a cruising sailboat, so the 12v systems, shore power, diy repair stuff doesnít bother me, but getting set up correctly for towing will be new to me. The Jeep has the tow pkg, Iím going to add a proportional brake controller (Reese BrakeEVN), and I have checked out how to set up a weight distribution hitch. Trailer doesnít have one but Iíll go get one after I get it home (just a 5 mi tow).

Weíre planning to go thru it and get rid of unwanted stuff that will come with it, set up a basic complement of pots/pans, silverware, towels, sheets, etc and then go weigh it with tanks empty so we know what weíre dealing with weight-wise.

What else should we be looking at before we use it for the first time? What forum sections/ threads/ search terms should I use to research further?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-30-2020, 12:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomkatb View Post
...Payload is the max weight the rv can handle. Usually the limiting factor....
Did you mean "tow vehicle", not "rv"?
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Old 11-30-2020, 12:42 PM   #12
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Yes. Tv.
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Old 11-30-2020, 01:48 PM   #13
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GAC, welcome to the forum. I'm towing with a Durango, which is Dodge's version of the Grand Cherokee. My specs are 5.7L w/ tow package, AWD, 7200 tow limit, 720# max tongue, 7100# GVW, 3900# max rear axle, 3100# max front axle, 1280# payload. To give you some things to think about. The travel trailer (TT) we picked out 3 years ago is about 1000# heavier than the one you're looking at dry. I've CAT scaled twice, basically every summer except this summer, and we are maxed out. I am 80#'s under my rear axle max, and 20# over my max tongue w/ the WDH hooked up. Like me, Payload will be your limiting factor. which is why I put as much as possible in the TT, and very little in my Durango. To give you a Dry weight to real life weight example. Our TT has a advertised (dry) tongue of 601# and advertised weight of 5100#, with a GVW for the TT of 7600#. Loaded w/ WDH engaged, the tongue is 740# and the trailer is around 6300#. I only made one pass on the CAT last summer to check my rear axle weight, which is primarily what I am watching. Payload is important because most of the TT tongue weight sits on the rear axle. A WDH will lever some of the tongue weight to the front axle and some of the tongue weight to TT axles, but most of it sits on the rear axle. My 740# of loaded tongue takes up over half of my 1280# payload. I can make this work because it is just my wife and I, and almost everything goes in the TT. I don't haul water, or firewood. Stuff in the Durango is under 150#'s excluding us. All of our camping has been county or state parks, primarily within 2.5 hours of home. Longest tow is 4 hours to North Shore (we're in MN). I've adjusted my WDH 2x once we got it loaded up, in order to get the WDH dialed in for the new weight. Once dialed in, the towing has been really good. Other than 25+mph winds, the TT stays behind the Durango with no noticeable sway. Semi's passing me aren't a problem. I can't stress enough how important it is to spend the time to get your WDH dialed in after loading the camper. For me, I would want a bigger tow vehicle to pull this TT over the Rockies, but would probably take this combo over the Smokies.
Good luck and have fun. We've had a blast the past 3 years camping again.
Mitch
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Old 11-30-2020, 01:58 PM   #14
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Thanks Mitch, that's a good comparison and lots to think about. The Air 215RB UVW is 4098, but I don't know if the previous owner has weighed it, or has a current weight. As I said, my plan was to get any excess weight out of it, then outfit it and weigh it. Or maybe weight it, then outfit and weigh again. Need to weigh the Jeep as well.
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Old 11-30-2020, 02:46 PM   #15
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If your GC has the 4.7, you are going to be miserable unless you are OK with going 55-60 tops and no mountains.
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Old 11-30-2020, 02:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gac1982 View Post
Thanks Mitch, that's a good comparison and lots to think about. The Air 215RB UVW is 4098, but I don't know if the previous owner has weighed it, or has a current weight. As I said, my plan was to get any excess weight out of it, then outfit it and weigh it. Or maybe weight it, then outfit and weigh again. Need to weigh the Jeep as well.
Towingplanner.com is your friend. All you need to learn is there in one place. Payload from your driver's door jamb yellow sticker will govern.
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Old 11-30-2020, 03:06 PM   #17
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Are you sure you have the correct model number? I own a 2016 Tracer Air 255 and I can't find any 215RBS. What year is it?
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Old 11-30-2020, 03:18 PM   #18
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It's a 2016. https://library.rvusa.com/brochure/2...erbrochure.pdf

It's actually a 215RB, not RBS, but it does have a slide.
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Old 11-30-2020, 04:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gac1982 View Post
It's a 2016. https://library.rvusa.com/brochure/2...erbrochure.pdf

It's actually a 215RB, not RBS, but it does have a slide.
Actually the brochure calls it just a 215. No RB.
The TracerAir model lineup doesn't use letters in the model numbers.
I have a 2016 255 but it was an early year model that PT dropped before they published the 2016 brochure.
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and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255, pushing a 2014 Ford F150 SCREW XTR 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost w/Max Tow Package
4pt Equal-i-zer WDH and 1828lbs of payload capacity
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Old 11-30-2020, 05:23 PM   #20
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Dan,
You're right, the previous owner is using the RB designation in the sale listing, that's where I got that from.
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