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Old 02-12-2017, 09:59 AM   #1
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Rockwood mini lite 2503s

Saw This little beauty this weekend at the RV show and love it. It weighs GVRW 6146lb and has a dry hitch of 544. Anyone have this Floorplan and what is your TV. We were thinking a 1/2 ton would do the trick. If we bought a used TV what is the last year you would recommend we look at. New TV is definately out of the picture. Thanks
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:32 PM   #2
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Be careful. Not all "1/2 tons" are created equal. My 2009 Silverado owners manual listed ninety-nine permutations (engine, bed size, cab size, transmission, axle ratio, etc.) that ranged from 4,000 lbs to 12,000 lbs towing capacity. So you need to make sure, for any truck you look at, that you KNOW what that specific truck's towing capacity is. Also, look inside the drivers door frame for the payload sticker so you know that specific trucks payload limit.

I pulled my ML 2503S with my 2009 Silverado (see my signature) for a season and a half. My tow capacity was 7,500 lbs and payload was 1511 lbs. Just my wife and me. It did just fine here in the Midwest; I was concerned about doing any real hills, though. This past summer I had some front end problems with the 1/2 ton so I took the opportunity to upgrade to a 3/4 ton gasser with a 6.0L engine.

Also, ignore dry weights, they're for suckers. Use the GVWR on the sticker on the left front side of the trailer for max weight and assume 15% of GVWR for the tongue weight, at least until you actually weigh it. Also, don't forget to add 50-75 lbs for a weight distribution hitch (and you should get one). The tongue weight, plus WDH weight, plus everything you put in the truck (except the driver) should be less than the payload number on the drivers door frame.

I don't really have any recommendation on specific TV's, other than lots of folks here on the forum seem to be towing larger TT's than the 2503S with the Ford Ecoboost and claim they are wonderful, so if you don't have a Ford aversion, you might want to look there. But again, make sure you know the limits of the exact truck you are looking at, because they're all over the map. And don't take any saleman's word - make him show it to you in writing.

And be prepared - someone will no doubt tell you that you need a 1 ton dually diesel!

PS: You didn't ask, but we're very happy with our 2503S. I've done about a dozen mods to it. There's a Mini Lite sub-forum here:

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...iler+talk.html
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2009 Silverado 1500 Ext Cab, 5.3L, 4x4, 3.73
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Old 02-12-2017, 07:41 PM   #3
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RockfordRoo

Thanks so much for the answer. We are looking for the camper before we buy the truck so we know just what we need. We are in the Richmond VA area and if we head west we will be climbing up into the Shenandoah's mountains so we want to make sure we will have no problems. YES to the WDH!!! We have discussed a Ford150, I just traded my Ford car in Nov. as it was in the shop more in its first three years then it wasn't. So I am not sure we will do a FORD based on the service experience. However, it's not completely off the table just skeptical now... However, Chevy... I've had good luck with those.

I realized I didn't ask about how you liked your camper after I sent it. I am glad to hear you like it. I saw it and thought omg, this is the one. I just went online and looked at other floor plans and I keep coming back to this one. May go back to the dealer and hang out in it and talk about it some more. I am sure they won't say no. LOL. Thanks again for such a thorough response. I do appreciate that so much. Do you have a recommendation as to how far back we should look year wise for the truck? I was thinking I didn't want to go any further back than 2011. Thoughts?
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Old 02-12-2017, 10:26 PM   #4
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Trucks seem to last a lot longer than cars do; in my reading of this forum there are a lot folks with fairly old (say 10-12 yrs) trucks. But I have no personal experience beyond my 2009 Silverado (it was the first pickup I ever owned, and I pinched myself after I bought it - I never expected to own a pickup truck) and now my 2016, which is new.

If you wanted to stick with a 1/2 ton, you can get the Silverado with a 6.0L engine; it will have a higher tow capacity than mine did, but brakes may be no better. Others may chime in with better advice.

The HUGE bathroom in the 2503S is what sold my wife. Once she saw it, no other TT (in our weight and price range!) was good enough. We also like the "wide open" Murphy Bed. She doesn't like the little front bedrooms; on some, there's NO room at the foot of the bed and some only have 12-18 inches. She feels claustrophobic in them.

I'll discuss mods in response to your other post.

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ml#post1420057
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2012 Roo19 - hybrid (2012-2015)

2016 Mini Lite 2503S - tt (2015 - ???)
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2009 Silverado 1500 Ext Cab, 5.3L, 4x4, 3.73
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Old 02-13-2017, 03:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
Trucks seem to last a lot longer than cars do; in my reading of this forum there are a lot folks with fairly old (say 10-12 yrs) trucks. But I have no personal experience beyond my 2009 Silverado (it was the first pickup I ever owned, and I pinched myself after I bought it - I never expected to own a pickup truck) and now my 2016, which is new.

If you wanted to stick with a 1/2 ton, you can get the Silverado with a 6.0L engine; it will have a higher tow capacity than mine did, but brakes may be no better. Others may chime in with better advice.



http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ml#post1420057
Not really better advice but the 6.0 is not available in the 1500, the 6.2 is.

Lots of reasons why the 6.0 is still used in the HD trucks as opposed to the 6.2, a lot being cast iron block, bottom end strength, and no active fuel management or D.I. That being said if I was going to go with a 1500 I would find or order one with the 6.2 just because I could.
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Old 02-13-2017, 10:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mr Havercamp View Post
Not really better advice but the 6.0 is not available in the 1500, the 6.2 is.

Lots of reasons why the 6.0 is still used in the HD trucks as opposed to the 6.2, a lot being cast iron block, bottom end strength, and no active fuel management or D.I. That being said if I was going to go with a 1500 I would find or order one with the 6.2 just because I could.
You're right - 6.2L. My fingers apparently weren't working too well last night!
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1988 Coleman Sequoia - popup (1987-2009) - outlasted 3 Dodge Grand Caravans!
2012 Roo19 - hybrid (2012-2015)

2016 Mini Lite 2503S - tt (2015 - ???)
2011 Traverse LT, 3.6L, FWD
2009 Silverado 1500 Ext Cab, 5.3L, 4x4, 3.73
2016 Silverado 2500HD Dbl Cab, 6.0L 4x4, 4.10
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Old 02-13-2017, 01:59 PM   #7
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We have a Mini Lite 2502KS, same size and weight. Pull it with a 2011 Expedition with 5.4L engine, 4X4 with towing package. I can't even tell it is back there when towing. I can't see any need for anymore that a half ton with the towing package. I am getting ready to buy a new pickup and will buy a half ton.
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Old 02-13-2017, 02:23 PM   #8
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We towed our MiniLite with our 2012 Ford F-150 Ecoboost. Towed it over several passes on our vacation from Washington state to Colorado with no problem. It was hard to tell that we were towing.

I liked the trailer, but ended up trading it in for a larger one. Also, we travel with 2 cats and there were too many places they could access (like behind the slide out) where we couldn't reach them.
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Old 02-13-2017, 02:29 PM   #9
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The other thing you need to look at is the height of the kitchen sink. It is lower than it should be. We had the Murphy bed which is a neat idea, but became a pain to raise and lower everyday. (Forest River should make this motorized.) I loved the large bathroom with lots of closet space and the two doors.
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Old 02-14-2017, 08:44 AM   #10
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We tow our 2504 with my half ton all over Virginia with no problems at all. I know I'm a little lighter than yours. I will suggest that you get the 3.42 rear axle ratio. That and with the 5.3 engine making well over 300 hp and torque you will have zero issues.
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:57 PM   #11
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Thinking of getting a 2016 2503s

I love the floorplan, but I'm a little concerned about the 13,500 a/c keeping it cool during potential 100 degree days this summer. Any current owners have experience (good/bad) in this type of heat?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:50 PM   #12
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I try not to do 100 deg. We've done 90 deg and it was OK for us. But we usually keep it around 80 inside; as long as it's dropping the relative humidity, we're happy. But some people seem to want 70 deg inside; that's going to be difficult.

If you order, just upgrade to the 15K btu AC. If buying off the lot, you can often get the dealer to upgrade the AC (sometimes for free, sometimes for a little extra cash) "to make the deal."
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1988 Coleman Sequoia - popup (1987-2009) - outlasted 3 Dodge Grand Caravans!
2012 Roo19 - hybrid (2012-2015)

2016 Mini Lite 2503S - tt (2015 - ???)
2011 Traverse LT, 3.6L, FWD
2009 Silverado 1500 Ext Cab, 5.3L, 4x4, 3.73
2016 Silverado 2500HD Dbl Cab, 6.0L 4x4, 4.10
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:55 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
I try not to do 100 deg. We've done 90 deg and it was OK for us. But we usually keep it around 80 inside; as long as it's dropping the relative humidity, we're happy. But some people seem to want 70 deg inside; that's going to be difficult.

If you order, just upgrade to the 15K btu AC. If buying off the lot, you can often get the dealer to upgrade the AC (sometimes for free, sometimes for a little extra cash) "to make the deal."

Appreciate the feedback. This is a 2016 used unit with the 13.5K unit. 70 isn't necessary, but I would like it to get to mid 70's at night for sleeping during the hot midwest summers. In your experience is that achievable?

Thanks again!
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Old 04-18-2017, 10:06 PM   #14
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Appreciate the feedback. This is a 2016 used unit with the 13.5K unit. 70 isn't necessary, but I would like it to get to mid 70's at night for sleeping during the hot midwest summers. In your experience is that achievable?

Thanks again!
At night we could get to mid-70's. But we were in Wisconsin; it usually cools off at night. Can't speak to some southern places where it may not cool much at night.
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1988 Coleman Sequoia - popup (1987-2009) - outlasted 3 Dodge Grand Caravans!
2012 Roo19 - hybrid (2012-2015)

2016 Mini Lite 2503S - tt (2015 - ???)
2011 Traverse LT, 3.6L, FWD
2009 Silverado 1500 Ext Cab, 5.3L, 4x4, 3.73
2016 Silverado 2500HD Dbl Cab, 6.0L 4x4, 4.10
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