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-   -   NEW to RVs - Help me out? (https://www.forestriverforums.com/forums/f12/new-to-rvs-help-me-out-187365.html)

megsrvlife 06-15-2019 06:48 PM

NEW to RVs - Help me out?
 
Hi all! I am new to the RV world. A few years ago I wrote descriptions for RV dealer websites, but that's about the extent of my knowledge.

I'm wanting to purchase the 2020 Flagstaff E-Pro 19FBS, but am concerned about whether or not my SUV can handle it.

I drive a 2011 Ford Escape XLT FWD V6. Towing capacity is 3,500lbs.

Would the E-Pro and my personal affects be too much weight to tow around in my little SUV? It would mostly be stationary at my house, but I'd like to take it camping at least once a month.

Any and all help and advice is appreciated. Thanks all!

bikendan 06-15-2019 07:16 PM

Your Escape has a frontal area tow limitation, which any TT will exceed.

And the loaded tongue weight will exceed the 350lbs max.

That's why folding trailers are usually suggested.

Plus the car's payload may not be sufficient for Occupants, cargo, WDH and loaded tongue weight.

clarkbre 06-15-2019 09:57 PM

First, welcome to the forum and thank you for researching your tow vehicle and potential trailer prior to purchase. It's much easier to adjust the plan before the purchase rather than prior.

Second, the trailer you're looking at is awesome. I love my current trailer but would love something in the sub-20' category. It's super versatile and easy to take out for a 2 nighter trip.

To the nuts and bolts of the original question:

The towing capacity of a 2011 Escape is at best 3500 pounds with a 350 pound tongue weight and no option for a weight distribution hitch (WDH).

The 2011 Ford Fleet towing guide lines out that your V6 must have a factory Class II hitch for the 3500 rating.

See page 24 in the 2011 FORD FLEET TOWING GUIDE for reference.

If you are set on that exact trailer (and I would be), probably the easiest thing to do would be upgrade to a 2011-2019 Explorer with the correct factory towing package. This would offer 5000 pounds towing capacity and would be a better matched tow vehicle to the trailer. A trailer brake controller would need to be added but that is about a $200 (installed) item.

No matter what, a weight distribution hitch (WDH) would be needed for that trailer and an Explorer.

AlaskaErik 06-16-2019 04:43 PM

The advertised tongue weight of 413 lbs already exceeds your Escape's limitation. And that tongue weight will be even higher once you load your trailer. You should also load up your vehicle as it would be loaded for a trip and then weigh it. Subtract that weight from the Combined Max Vehicle Weight and you'll find your actual weight available for a trailer is less than 3500 lbs. You really need something with a tow capacity of at least 5000 lbs.

rsdata 06-17-2019 01:45 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Would the E-Pro and my personal affects be too much weight to tow around in my little SUV? It would mostly be stationary at my house, but I'd like to take it camping at least once a month.

Congrats on asking the right question, BEFORE you buy.

The answer is WAY TOO heavy for your vehicle.

You might want to look at an R-Pod 171 or the Rockwood A122, both of which are much closer to your tongue weight limitation.

Also... look for the YELLOW sticker on the driver side door frame for maximum cargo weight limits on YOUR vehicle. This will let you know how much weight you can put into the Ford when traveling. Passengers, cargo, pets and tongue weight added up all need to be lower then this number.

You will need a transmission cooler and a brake controller installed on your current Ford also so figure that in also.

Steveboe 06-17-2019 04:45 PM

When you go camping you take a lot more stuff than just the camper.

upflying 06-17-2019 05:06 PM

Agree with others, that epro 19fbs is too much trailer for your Escape.
This website might offer a few alternatives in your weight range .
The Small Trailer Enthusiast | News & info for the small trailer enthusiast
and
https://www.doityourselfrv.com/lightw...rs-under-1500/

megsrvlife 06-17-2019 05:56 PM

Thanks everyone! This is all very helpful and equally disappointing.

Out of all the RVs represented between the responses, is there a travel trailer brand that would be a good starter trailer, as well as a good full time RV? My ultimate goal is to live in the trailer full time, save on rent & utilities, and pay down student loan debt. Rent in my area is anywhere from $500-$800 w/o utilities.

Has anyone gone extended time or full time in an E-Pro? I figure if nothing else, I can get a trailer on my property and just have it delivered and not move it until I upgrade my SUV.

pilotpip 06-17-2019 09:35 PM

I think you need to weigh cost of a full hook up monthly, as well as what it adds to your commute (most campgrounds being in the outskirts) and what it costs to maintain one of these things. By the time you finance your camper, and pay for all the other stuff, you may be spending a lot more than rent. Getting a place with a roommate will likely be cheaper.

If you're dead set on the epro, you may be better off trading the escape for a used truck. Regular cab trucks don't hold value like the 4 door models and will be more than capable of towing the epro.

rsdata 06-17-2019 10:23 PM

I see from your profile you are in Kansas City?

You do know that even a $35K trailer only has about an inch of insulation in the walls, floors and ceiling. Unless you plan on relocating to FL, S. Texas, S. California or AZ, I would not plan to stay in a trailer over the winter anywhere else. Your water will freeze, your waste water will freeze in the holding tank and you will spend a ton of money on energy, electric and propane to try to keep the inside even 15 to 20 degrees above the outside temperature.

Does your property have a water supply or an electric power line supply? How about a spot to deposit the sewage you generate. Any full-time campground or RV park will likely charge at least $250 or more a month lot rent, plus your utilities. Most parks that rent lots are seasonal, in that they close for 1/3 or more of the year. That rent would increase in warmer winter climate areas because of demand. I understand the Arizona desert around Quartsite offers really cheap lots during the winter, but if you stay in the summer it will be 120 degrees everyday in the shade.

I admire your goals, but doing the trailer thing is not a practical alternative. RVing full-time, especially in a small trailer is not much fun and not very practical. Maybe if a rich uncle in FL left you a big trailer in his will...

Good luck and maybe you are going to prove us all wrong and go on to write a book about your adventure.

ependydad 06-18-2019 09:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by megsrvlife (Post 2120385)
Thanks everyone! This is all very helpful and equally disappointing.

Out of all the RVs represented between the responses, is there a travel trailer brand that would be a good starter trailer, as well as a good full time RV? My ultimate goal is to live in the trailer full time, save on rent & utilities, and pay down student loan debt. Rent in my area is anywhere from $500-$800 w/o utilities.

Has anyone gone extended time or full time in an E-Pro? I figure if nothing else, I can get a trailer on my property and just have it delivered and not move it until I upgrade my SUV.

I fulltime and participate in quite a few fulltimer boards. Before you pull the trailer to property and live in it, check with zoning that it's allowed. Even if other people are doing it. I've read of way too many cases where someone setup on land only to have someone else complain to the township/county about it. And once someone complains, there is no appeal, there is not fighting it.

Next, the talk of cold is no joke. Campers are poorly insulated. And even when they're passably insulated, the water systems are usually suspect. You'll need to do reading on what it'll take to get your trailer cold weather ready if you're staying in a cold climate. I saw someone else mention Kansas City. It's doable, but not easy.

At a minimum, find out where you can get a 100g propane tank and have it regularly refilled. Once the cold weather hits, you'll be using quite a lot. Try and figure out how much to estimate for winter costs.

Finally, from a land perspective - if it's your land and your electric, great. If it's someone else's land and you're tapping into their electric, see about having an electric meter added. I've read of a few sad occasions where family feuds happened and friendships broke up over debates of how much electric the camper needed.

If there's not already RV hookups where you will put the trailer, check the cost of installing them and don't skimp out. If it were me, I'd go ahead and bite the bullet for a 50amp hookup now giving you flexibility in the future to change up the rig without having to pull new wire. You can always adapt down to 30amp (or better, install both outlets).

Does the site have water hookups? What about sewer? These are all additional setup costs that you may or may not need to worry about.

And lastly, finances - living in a camper isn't always cheaper once you start looking at the cost of the trailer itself, lot rent (or cost to prep the site), propane can be expensive in the winter, and my big surprise was laundry cost for my family of 4.

Really try to make a list of all expected monthly expenses and compare it against living in an apartment. Sad to say, RV living isn't always cheaper.


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