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calebj06

New camper bug has got me

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So we have been camping now for 2 seasons and we absolutely love it.

 

We bought a very nice and clean 2005 travel trailer with 1 slide out to start out with. Weren't sure if we would like it.

 

Well we do. And now we are thinking about upgrading. Nothing at all wrong with mine physically and I can probably get me money back out of it. But we want something bigger.

 

We want a couple things.

1: bunks for the kids. We are tires of the pull out sofa routine.

2: bigger bedroom for us. No slide on the bedroom is a real killer for me. I need to be able to get dressed without standing on my head

 

3: outdoor kitchen. I cook a ton when camping and I want my own space.

 

So here is what I've found.

 

http://www.wanarv.com/rv/detail.cfm?id=1868

 

https://youtu.be/cFPJ7dc9ZCc

 

3 slides. One on the bunk one on the living room and one on the bedroom

Nice outdoor kitchen.

 

Msrp between 36-38k

 

I've got them down to $24k and think I can go a bit lower.

 

So here is my stance.

 

My payment will increase by $50-60 a month. Just for a longer term.

 

My current camper is 13 years old. SOMETHING is going to break. I'm planning on $1000-1500 for repairs in the next 2 years.

 

So basically the cost of my payment difference for 2-3 years will be spent anyway.

 

We will also enjoy the room much more and the kids will have some space. (Pretty important if my other topic works out as planned!).

 

 

So I think it's worth it.

 

There are a few things I'm up in the air on.

 

1: electric stabilizer jacks. Although nice, we are talking $500 and I can do it with my drill anyway. And it's 4 more motors to break later.

 

2: 2nd air prep. $300 or so but allows me in the future o add a second AC if ever needed. There is also a package that his this in it plus a few things like a roof ladder and black tank flush kit that adds $500. Might be worth it.

 

 

I've been shopping hard. Anyone that has advice feel free to chime in.

 

Caleb

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Question,

For the stabilizer Jacks, are they self leveling? Meaning you hit the switch and they automatically level the trailer. Those are the kats tail.

For that size trailer the second air conditioning system might very well be needed when camping in certain areas.

Roof ladder is a nice option and a tank flushing system is definitely worth it IMO.

You are getting a good deal on the unit, get the extras. They are nice options and really help for resale if the time comes.

 

O, congratulations sir. Sounds like a really nice camper.

Edited by devil duck

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First thing you need to do is look at what you are pulling it with. In my case its a 08 Ram 1500. Tow rating of 8750. You want to stay under that by at least 10%. I am wanting to upgrade to at least a 3 slide unit myself but first comes a truck with will pull it. That's why I am looking at 2500s. That also opens the door for a 5th wheel set up.

 

More slides will add more weight fast. My 24 foot has a dry weight of around 5200 with a max weight just short of 7K. It has one slide but it does have the bunks and outdoor kitchens. The bunks will help with what you are looking for because they take up lots of space without taking up the weight of other things like couches and stuff like that. Trade off with most nouns houses will be a smaller bathroom. My bed area could be larger but it runs inline with eh direction of travel and we have enough space to walk on each side. Around the bed minus the foot as it is against the TV wall of the main room.

 

As far as a second AC unit, I don't now that I would spend the money depending on how big you go. The newer units almost all have ducted heat and air so a single unit runs way more effiencently. In mine both the heat and AC will run you out of there.

 

Outdoor kitchen, love it, would not consider getting another camper that dont have one. In fact I want a bigger one on the next camper. Mine has hot and cold running water, 2 burners but the small "cube" fridge. I want one with the larger fridge. Heads up, the outdoor kitchen fridge only runs on 110 so you are going to have to plug in for it to work.

 

Black water flush tank, most of the news one will have that also. It damn sure aint worth $500 when you can get a wand and garden hose for less than $100 and do it the hard way. Nor would I spend the money on electric stabilizers, eletric tounge jack for sure but not stabilizers. The ladder might be nice if you are going to go up there anywhere but home. At home just get a fold out ladder tha can be used other other stuff.

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Question,

For the stabilizer Jacks, are they self leveling? Meaning you hit the switch and they automatically level the trailer. Those are the kats tail.

For that size trailer the second air conditioning system might very well be needed when camping in certain areas.

Roof ladder is a nice option and a tank flushing system is definitely worth it IMO.

You are getting a good deal on the unit, get the extras. They are nice options and really help for resale if the time comes.

O, congratulations sir. Sounds like a really nice camper.

Most bumper pull units dont level with stabilizers only stabilize. The jacks aren't designed to pick up that much weight, Still may have to use blocks or ramps depending on how out of level you are. If its just a degree or 2 you might get the stabilizers to make up for that but I would not go any more than that.

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Most bumper pull units dont level with stabilizers only stabilize. The jacks aren't designed to pick up that much weight, Still may have to use blocks or ramps depending on how out of level you are. If its just a degree or 2 you might get the stabilizers to make up for that but I would not go any more than that.

The last camping trip we went on at Tims Ford we watched a older man and woman pull in with a massive fifth wheel. The man released the lock and hit a switch and we watched the trailer jacks come down. He pulled the truck out and hit another switch and watched it level itself, super slick.

So they don't offer the same type of system on a pull behind?

Edited by devil duck

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Anybody got a few bucks I can borrow.....really want one of these little campers built on a Ford F550 diesel..........

 

https://earthroamer.com/

 

184-Side-Driver-resized.jpg

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Thanks for the replys fellas.

 

Looks like the jack deal was explained. No they don't level. Just stabilize. I really do think I would prefer manual ones.

 

 

Red, as far as tow vehicle, I'm maxed out.

 

My current rig is 7700lbs. Truck pulls it fine. My max tow rating is 10300 and then I have added 3500 lb helper spring to the rear which actually do help.

 

New rig will weight right at 10000-10200. So I'm max. But I have pulled my dads camper and it's 9500 and it wasn't too bad. But it has a crazy high tounge weight of like 1100 lbs empty because the kitchen is up front. The new one is only 850. And my current trailer, while 2500lbs lighter, actually has a tounge weight of 830!!!

 

Now I will say this. I won't use my truck for long hauls. We only camp 20 min away. When I'm gonna pull 3-4 hours or more I will either take my dads 2017 f250 or a f350 from work. I do have options.

 

And I'm looking at a new truck within the next 2 years and it will deffinatly be a 1 ton.

 

 

So I'm not really worried for my 20 min flat haul that we make every 2 weeks. I usually crank up the brake controller and let the trailer brakes do the work. I can replace them easy enough.

Edited by calebj06

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Dont make the mistake of thinking that adding helper springs increases what you can legally tow. Lots of folks do that and end up in trouble. When you exceed the max combined weight for the truck you can get into legal trouble especially if there is an accident.

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You know, I can't really comment too much on new campers. Been around campers my whole life but I haven't bought a new one in decades. I got into boating.

 

What little I can add is my nephew just bought one of the new electric hit a buttons. Dang that's nice. He has a remote and click this button the jacks drop and level to an extent, hit that one the sides pop out. I have no idea how maintenance free or durable that stuff is. I do know its pretty darn nice. Some people get into set up while others will spend tens of thousands to buy a motorized RV just so they don't have to do any setup. Heck, I had a pop-up years ago that the modern tents these days are easier to set up.

 

Now towing, that's something I know a little about, not so much campers but weight. This I can tell you, that dry weight you are talking about is a vehicle killer and I've killed my share. In my opinion, vehicle manufacturer tow ratings are almost as useless as tits on a nun. They're so bad, I use to have a never exceed half the rating rule of thumb. My nephews FIL based on tow ratings bought a brand new Thundra then after hooking it up to his honker camper went right out, took a hell of a loss on his Toyota, and bought diesel. Heck, I bought half ton V8 to tow my boat and after one time pulling the boat sold the truck. I thought the poor squirrels in the engine were going to die. I knew the truck would because I had killed the one before that three times pulling boats. My BIL killed his GMC V8 with his single slide out camper. I don't know what you have but if its not at least a 3/4 ton with the engine from hell, you are going to kill it. Sorry I'd rather tell you than not.

 

I thought short distance an infrequent would be OK too, but it wasn't. I use to tow a boat six miles 2-3 times a month in season, half the tow rating, and still killed the truck, 3 major repairs. It was just never designed to really tow stuff but they still threw a tow rating on there. Heck it even had a 3/4 ton bed rating. What I'm getting at here is this is way more what you know is commonsense than it is marketing from some automotive company. If you suspect there's going to be a problem, you can count on it and if you think there shouldn't be, it probably will. Although our technology has changed we still aren't far from our farmer ancestors. You need to pull a plow, you hook a mule up to it, not your buggy horse.

 

Now that doesn't mean you can't go ahead. It does mean it would be wise to plan around it. On this, I can tell you the same advice I gave Red. There's two approaches buy a new truck or buy a used one. I bought a new one and though a 2008 only have 20,000 miles on it. It gets driven once a week but it will probably be the last truck ever buy. My nephew on the other hand, half my age, he bought used a Ford diesel with almost 200k miles on it. He's on about year five, a few repairs but nothing major. He still doesn't have but about 1/3 the cost in his I have in just buying mine. He tows about 10,000 lbs of camper a couple times a month in season and I tow near nothing most of the time, a gaser would do just fine, and 10,000 lbs every couple years. Yeah, I don't know if I went the right direction. If I didn't enjoy the damn thing so much, I'd be depressed but its sitting out there now with 200 lbs of grass seed in it along with a bunch of other things.

 

That's a lot of post to say if you even think you are in tow trouble, you are.

 

Tj

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Man, this thread depressed me. But I am happy for all of you!

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I'll weigh in..............

 

I did a bunch of research into campers after I bought my second fifth wheel and found out what crap is out there. RV's are as different in quality as shoes. The makers and sellers put together price point units that have all the features that the customer wants and makes them look pretty so you buy them.......take a look at a ten year old unit and see if it held up. I walked through so many trailers I lost count. new trailers with the trim falling off and cheap stuff all over. I found a few good brands to look at and a bunch to run away from.

 

I ended up with a Arctic Fox bumper pull that is built very well. I helped Pepper with his purchase a few years ago and when he bought his second one he had it figured out and ended up buying one of the best made. I gave Red some advice on what to look for as well. Sometimes you cannot get what you want so you have to compromise a bit.

 

My best advice is to buy a used trailer that is no more than ten years old. Buy one that was not lived in and preferably one that was stored indoors or at least kept clean. The money you will save by shopping around and finding a deal is worth the time. You want a reality check for your area....sell you current trailer and see what low ball offers you end up with. They don't hold their value like most think.

 

My RV is 54k to replace it with a new one. Mine was 8 yers old and the lot I bought it from wanted 24k for it. I was there looking at another RV for 15k. The wife really liked the 24k RV and she did not want the one I was there looking at. The salesman tried to get me to finance the 24k trailer and I walked away. The very next day he called me and offered the 24k trailer for 17k....6k under low blue book and the trailer was/ is like brand new inside and out. I jumped on it. Look for a trailer in the spring when all the people are looking to upgrade and deals can be had. Don't wait until summer or it's too late. Early spring is best. Do your homework and rally look at quality of build. No matter what you end up with twice yearly maintenance is a must. I reseal window and roof caulking each fall and then wax the unit. In the spring I check all the caulking and reseal as needed and then wax again. If you don't stay on top of sealants on the entire unit it will be the death of it.

 

I can give you pointers on what to stay away from when looking at trailers if you want...I'm no expert but I have done a little homework.

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TT speaks the truth. As in most things in life you are money ahead buying quality. It doesn't matter if it tool, cars, boats, tents or campers. Going cheap is a waste of money, cheap in quality not lower price as in a good deal. Perfect example is my mom and her husband. Mom wanted a better grade class C (she has had campers most of her adult life) but hubby was set on a class A. He is a bigger man and said the C's don't fit as well. Problem is they had the money for a really nice C, not an A class. Well he got his way and bought a low end A, biggest piece of crap ever made. NOTHING and I mean nothing on that motorhome was worth a plug nickel. O it looked pretty but every single system, appliance, cabinets, etc. was the cheapest made and failed. Even the drive train was junk, big block Chevy but it sure didn't have the balls for that sized motorhome. Brakes and transmission failed within the first year.

Buy a used high quality camper before being lured into a bigger cheap unit. Follow TT advice, and run from the El Cheapo, even if it is newer.

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Artic Fox was what we were getting till my back shat the bed, they are superb from all the research we did and even ended up renting one....

 

 

I'll weigh in..............

 

I did a bunch of research into campers after I bought my second fifth wheel and found out what crap is out there. RV's are as different in quality as shoes. The makers and sellers put together price point units that have all the features that the customer wants and makes them look pretty so you buy them.......take a look at a ten year old unit and see if it held up. I walked through so many trailers I lost count. new trailers with the trim falling off and cheap stuff all over. I found a few good brands to look at and a bunch to run away from.

 

I ended up with a Arctic Fox bumper pull that is built very well. I helped Pepper with his purchase a few years ago and when he bought his second one he had it figured out and ended up buying one of the best made. I gave Red some advice on what to look for as well. Sometimes you cannot get what you want so you have to compromise a bit.

 

My best advice is to buy a used trailer that is no more than ten years old. Buy one that was not lived in and preferably one that was stored indoors or at least kept clean. The money you will save by shopping around and finding a deal is worth the time. You want a reality check for your area....sell you current trailer and see what low ball offers you end up with. They don't hold their value like most think.

 

My RV is 54k to replace it with a new one. Mine was 8 yers old and the lot I bought it from wanted 24k for it. I was there looking at another RV for 15k. The wife really liked the 24k RV and she did not want the one I was there looking at. The salesman tried to get me to finance the 24k trailer and I walked away. The very next day he called me and offered the 24k trailer for 17k....6k under low blue book and the trailer was/ is like brand new inside and out. I jumped on it. Look for a trailer in the spring when all the people are looking to upgrade and deals can be had. Don't wait until summer or it's too late. Early spring is best. Do your homework and rally look at quality of build. No matter what you end up with twice yearly maintenance is a must. I reseal window and roof caulking each fall and then wax the unit. In the spring I check all the caulking and reseal as needed and then wax again. If you don't stay on top of sealants on the entire unit it will be the death of it.

 

I can give you pointers on what to stay away from when looking at trailers if you want...I'm no expert but I have done a little homework.

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My biggest problem is floor plan. We finally found a plan that we love.

 

Bunkhouse with 1 slide

Living room with 1 slide

BEDROOM with 1 slide!!!

 

 

No other manufactures have this plan that I have found.

 

 

We went and looked at one tonight. Actually we looked at about 50!

 

We really did like the plan in person too. Decided on color interior options as well.

 

Only downfall we found was storage. With all those slide outs it's a little short on storage.

 

Dealer with the best price just came down another $500 today.

 

They also kill everyone on option prices.

For example: power package includes 4 electric stabilizer jacks and an electric tounge jack.

 

Option price-$1250

Option price from rvwholesalers- $420.

 

 

I was gonna skip this options but dang for only $400.....

Edited by calebj06
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Please, please, please do your homework. Look at the brand's trailers that are 10 or more years old, really LOOK at them. Look for fiberglass delamination. They use plywood covered with fiberglass. When that starts delaminating, it's doing so for a reason, and it's often because it got too hot, or got water inside. You'll spend a fortune trying to fix it, or wind up with a rotten trailer that leaks. For example, I will not buy anything made by Keystone, especially the very popular "Cougar" line. I saw enough OSB construction exposed to the elements that I want nothing to do with them. Sure, they look nice on the inside, and from a distance they look good on the outside, or if you don't know what to look for, they look all right. You start looking for suspicious bulges along the sides, and you quickly see whether or not it's delaminating. Sniff around for a musty smell. If it's there, it's leaked. If there's air fresheners or a cleaning product smell, they're covering it up. A tiny leak that just started isn't an issue. One that isn't addressed is a HUGE issue.

 

Buy a good used trailer (don't take the depreciation hit on a new one, it's a HUGE one in RV's), one that's been taken care of. Store it indoors, or get a cover for it, check the seals and reseal as necessary. Grease the slide gears/racks. Grease the stabilizers. Keep the tires covered and out of the sun. And you'll still need a new one in less than 10 years.

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