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Old 07-09-2018, 08:38 PM   #1
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Thinking of trading after only 1 year.

We are are in our late 30's thinking of downsizing from our Grey Wolf 22MSKE TT only after 1 year of ownership. We bought it with the thought of our teenage daughter camping with us (which she has, but will soon be off doing her own thing). As well as having others join us. We've only had 1 other time guest's have joined us.



While camping this past week, and sitting inside playing cards during a rain storm, we started thinking about all of the wasted space the double bunks are. Which got us talking about trailer weights, and layouts. What we did and didnt like.



We came home from our trip and started visiting all of the local RV dealer websites. We started to realize that the layouts in pretty much any brand are almost all the same with any given trailer size.



We are torn, and not sure what to do, for multiple reasons. Our thoughts, of why we want to downsize.



-Lighter Trailer
-Less Wasted (unused space)
-Better fuel economy (typical is about 10mpg with my 2012 Ram 1500 Hemi).


We do not want any slide outs, to help save on the weight of the trailer, unless its lighter than our current trailer. Which according to FR is 4300lbs. So I estimate it around 4500lbs dry.



I've read over and over always buy the biggest your truck can pull, but that seems like such a waste to me. I seriously hate the gas mileage Im getting and I dread ever going on a long distance trip. Has anyone else ever been in this situation, where you actually downsized your trailer?
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:58 PM   #2
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Is the trailer paid for? If yes, enjoy the space and freedom you have. If not, your monthly payments will likely increase when you trade. Your fuel economy will only marginally increase, if at all.
My 2cts.
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:58 PM   #3
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Can't say I've been in your situation, but it's all about what you want. We know campers who still use tents, and others who have never gone beyond pop ups. Though we don't know anyone who has downsized, it doesn't mean it can't be done. Make a well informed decision about what you want and don't want and I'm sure everything will work out fine.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:16 PM   #4
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Our boys are 30 and 33 they still camp with us , but now we also have two grandsons and a DIL with us as well...................................... so we upsized instead of downsized as our children got older.......


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Old 07-09-2018, 09:19 PM   #5
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By the way you will not get that much better gas millage pulling a smaller trailer maybe 1 mpg............... if that.



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Old 07-10-2018, 12:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straightlinespeed View Post
We are are in our late 30's thinking of downsizing from our Grey Wolf 22MSKE TT only after 1 year of ownership. We bought it with the thought of our teenage daughter camping with us (which she has, but will soon be off doing her own thing). As well as having others join us. We've only had 1 other time guest's have joined us.



While camping this past week, and sitting inside playing cards during a rain storm, we started thinking about all of the wasted space the double bunks are. Which got us talking about trailer weights, and layouts. What we did and didnt like.



We came home from our trip and started visiting all of the local RV dealer websites. We started to realize that the layouts in pretty much any brand are almost all the same with any given trailer size.



We are torn, and not sure what to do, for multiple reasons. Our thoughts, of why we want to downsize.



-Lighter Trailer
-Less Wasted (unused space)
-Better fuel economy (typical is about 10mpg with my 2012 Ram 1500 Hemi).


We do not want any slide outs, to help save on the weight of the trailer, unless its lighter than our current trailer. Which according to FR is 4300lbs. So I estimate it around 4500lbs dry.



I've read over and over always buy the biggest your truck can pull, but that seems like such a waste to me. I seriously hate the gas mileage Im getting and I dread ever going on a long distance trip. Has anyone else ever been in this situation, where you actually downsized your trailer?
First, your gas mileage will probably not change, since it's air resistance that affects mileage the most. So the only TT that will actually help in fuel mileage, would be an Airstream. Or downsize to a popup or A-frame trailer.
You'll probably get the same gas mileage with a shorter and lighter trailer.

A bunkhouse is a waste of space for just a couple. Personally I would a couple's trailer the same size since it won't make any difference in gas mileage.

You need to get rid of the idea that a smaller and lighter trailer will increase gas mileage. At best, you'll average 11mpg, instead of 10mpg, unless you get a folding trailer.

Or get a diesel and you'll get 3-4mpg better.
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Old 07-10-2018, 12:59 AM   #7
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I can't comment on the other items you listed, except for the slide out part. When he purchased our TT, that was the same thing in my mind. To save weight. I was wrong. We wished we had slide out, at least for the dining. We used the TT for 2 summers and sold it. We moved up to a Class C.
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:07 PM   #8
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You have to do what works best for you. Money wise is the big factor. Space wise "well" I have to agree with OAKLEVEL. we were going to downsize also. When daughter and son inlaws with grandchildren came into play. Wow where did all that space go! We need tents also now. Just look ahead and you will do what is best I'm sure.
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straightlinespeed View Post
We are are in our late 30's thinking of downsizing from our Grey Wolf 22MSKE TT only after 1 year of ownership. We bought it with the thought of our teenage daughter camping with us (which she has, but will soon be off doing her own thing). As well as having others join us. We've only had 1 other time guest's have joined us.


-Lighter Trailer
-Less Wasted (unused space)
-Better fuel economy (typical is about 10mpg with my 2012 Ram 1500 Hemi).
You might want to give it a bit more time. Teenage girls frequently will bring 2 or 3 friends with them if you give them a bit of encouragement. Then your trailer will get small really fast.

Your trailer is already pretty light and unused space is never a bad thing. As someone mentioned, your gas mileage probably will stay about the same even with a smaller trailer.

However, if the layout just doesn't work for your family, you might want to find something more suitable.
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:26 PM   #10
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Not going to comment on pros/cons of downsizing, but if you're seriously considering a TT with no slide, Prime Time makes a few. I'm sure others do to, but know these for sure.

Avenger ATI Travel Trailers by Prime Time Manufacturing

Tracer Air 206AIR - Dealer Stock Only Travel Trailers by Prime Time Manufacturing

We currently have the Tracer 206 Air. Just the right size for us new to RVing. We fell in love with the rear dining and the 3 large windows. With that said, am considering upgrading to a slighter larger TT with a slide for more room/comfort.

Safe and happy travels.
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:36 PM   #11
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So I looked up your specs...

26 feet, 4341# dry weight, 3244# cargo capacity...

I have the smallest hybrid out there, the 183, which is about 4800# loaded and 21 feet long and I get the same mileage in my 2014 RAM 1500 hemi...

Why not modify the unused space? Turn the bunks into shelves, or a closet...

If you have money to burn, then get a new smaller trailer, but your NOT going to save gas money unless as mentioned, you move to something that is not 10 feet high and 8 feet wide moving down the road!
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:51 PM   #12
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I am the wrong guy to comment.. We went from a Tent (as a couple), to a Pop-up, to a Hybrid and 35 ft 5th wheel (when we had kids and their friends).. Now we are preparing for retirement and my wife had us upgrade to a 42ft 5th wheel and a F350 Diesel Dually. She wants us to have more space so we don't bother each other
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Old 07-10-2018, 02:17 PM   #13
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Convert the bunks

How about keeping your options open by temporarily converting the bunks to something else? Storage, desk space, recliners, etc. You can replace them later if selling.
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Old 07-10-2018, 02:33 PM   #14
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Since you seem to be interested in better gas mileage and down sizing let me throw a wrench into the equation: have you considered going to a class b+ or sprinter motorhome? I hear a lot of folks average 15mpg. Then get rid of the 1500 and get yourself a flat towable fuel sipper (manual corolla etc.
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Old 07-10-2018, 02:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straightlinespeed View Post
We are are in our late 30's thinking of downsizing from our Grey Wolf 22MSKE TT only after 1 year of ownership. We bought it with the thought of our teenage daughter camping with us (which she has, but will soon be off doing her own thing). As well as having others join us. We've only had 1 other time guest's have joined us.

While camping this past week, and sitting inside playing cards during a rain storm, we started thinking about all of the wasted space the double bunks are. Which got us talking about trailer weights, and layouts. What we did and didnt like.

We came home from our trip and started visiting all of the local RV dealer websites. We started to realize that the layouts in pretty much any brand are almost all the same with any given trailer size.

We are torn, and not sure what to do, for multiple reasons. Our thoughts, of why we want to downsize.

-Lighter Trailer
-Less Wasted (unused space)
-Better fuel economy (typical is about 10mpg with my 2012 Ram 1500 Hemi).

We do not want any slide outs, to help save on the weight of the trailer, unless its lighter than our current trailer. Which according to FR is 4300lbs. So I estimate it around 4500lbs dry.

I've read over and over always buy the biggest your truck can pull, but that seems like such a waste to me. I seriously hate the gas mileage Im getting and I dread ever going on a long distance trip. Has anyone else ever been in this situation, where you actually downsized your trailer?
Yes. The downsizing / minimalist trend isn't anything new. To be clear your trailer is more like 6300# as you go down the road or close to the actual GVWR, but this is a pretty light trailer. Unless you go very tiny, you won't see much improvement in MPG. The biggest way to improve that is a light foot.

I had the Hyper Lite 29HFS and then a nice Northstar Laredo for getting placed other's can't and not having a tag, registration and separate insurance. Being able to pull into any parking lot and not worry if you can get back out, or the challenges of getting fuel. I loved it, hauled it 12K miles last year and it works perfectly for me. My wife will reluctantly travel and camp, but climbing into the cabover was a deal breaker.

So, I sold the Hyper and the Laredo and may have just bought a Airstream signature 23FB; a 2013. I suspect that the fuel economy will be in the 12s or 13ish, but if its not, so be it. The Hyperlite had about 1400# tongue weight, the 23FB around 500#. Airstream is pricey, the easiest to tow, nothing is built the way they do it and nothing has a better resale. But, they are small... PERFECT.

Poor fuel economy shouldn't be a surprise pulling a billboard behind you ... get a teardrop... a roof top tent or a ground tent, which a turbo diesel VW can handle. Then laugh all the way to the bank.

The reason I wanted to downsize is so I can get into spots and parks, the best parks and spots, that these big rigs have to drive right on past.

But, c'est la vie.
ww
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Old 07-10-2018, 02:52 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by straightlinespeed View Post
[...] Which according to FR is 4300lbs. So I estimate it around 4500lbs dry.

I've read over and over [...]
If you're still quoting the UVW of your trailer, then you haven't done nearly enough reading here about towing and trailers. It's a number that's been debunked about a million times, but apparently won't die.

Anyway, it's impossible to not simply state the obvious:
  • Many people switch after 1-2 years of use. It's at least part of the reason for used trailers available that are only 1 or 2 years old. It happens.
  • The right decision here is based on a bunch of very specific, personal conditions. It ranges from how you like to camp, what floorplans you'd prefer, finances, and host of other things.
  • Slide-outs and floorplan changes at that size of trailer isn't likely to do much. Unless you get fairly dramatic and go with a pop up or one of those little fiberglass 15' trailers (e.g., Scamp), you'll be towing about the same weight and getting the same mileage.

Go shopping again. Look at floorplans and see if something jumps off the page at you as being better or fitting your life better.

Good luck.
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:26 PM   #17
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Gulfstream has some slightly different floor plans. We have our eyes on a Vista Cruiser 19ERD. Walk-around queen bed in the front and a huge dinette in the back...and full-sized appliances (for this size coach).
Also comes in a "Vintage Cruiser" dcor...same rig with graphics and interior with a "vintage" look...'50's/'60's.

Downside is a leaf-spring suspension, whereas most FR products use the Dexter axle.

Others we liked:
FR NoBo and Geo Pro models. Each with advantages and disadvantages.

But all can be very accommodating in "17", "18", and "19" models (those are body lengths...add about 4' for the tongue).


If you want to "invest" in a rig that will truly last, consider a Lance. They have a "16" model that is small and very impressive. Of course you can go larger. Plan to add $5K to $10K to your budget compared to FR and other more basic rigs, but you don't need to look hard to see the difference.
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:37 PM   #18
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Had 3 trailers same truck. Take mpg out of equation. I had a 28 ft, downsized to 19 ft then 32 ft. Thought 19 would produce better mpg. NOT SO. Mpg same unless pulling up steep mountains. MPG is mostly wind resistance. Consider comfort esp when confined to trailer at night and inclement weather and longer stays away from home
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:44 PM   #19
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As it was said, your mpg will not change because a 1K or 2K lbs weight difference...
Just to have an idea, I used to tow a 23IKSS with a BMW X5 with an 3.0L I6 engine and get 10mpg.
I bought an F150 with a 5.0 V8 and it did 10mpg towing the same trailer.
My friend with a F250 towing a 9000lbs was doing 9.1mpg....
If you really want to improve mpg you need to have a more aerodynamic trailer and/or slow down.
As for space, I really can't understand people that pay the same (or more) to have less...
The trouble to maneuver, maintain , etc a 22ft or a 19ft will be basically the same....
The bunks can be used for cargo if you don't have people going with you or the eventually adopted dog can sleep there ....
and it can always be used for additional storage...

My 2c.
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:58 PM   #20
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We started out with a 25' Coachman and thought going smaller would help with mileage and getting over the mountains. So we down sized to a 18' Grey Wolf w/slide. Getting over the Rockies was easier, but the confined space was not. Couldn't see any difference in mileage. Used it one season and traded for a 27' Flagstaff with 3 slides. It was great having all that floor and cabinet space. Pulled it on season and purchased a bigger truck. The 2017 Ram with 6.4l handles the weight and averages 8-9 mpg. I'm with the others, modify the bunks to suit your needs.
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