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Old 08-24-2012, 10:26 PM   #1
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Location: Alachua, FL
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Need advice on a new TT and TV

My wife Alex and I have been camping for years in a Coleman Santa Fe. This summer we rented a motor home and took a tour Gainesville, Florida up to Boston and back. The comfort and ease of travel in the motor home convinced us that, in order to enjoy several two to four week camping trips each year to far reaching destinations in the US and Canada, we need to upgrade from our 2000 Nissan Xterra/ Coleman Santa Fe combination. Although we have settled on some important issues (for example: we decided a TT would be the best choice for us) we are still up in the air on several issues. The following is a short list of questions that we hope to resolve soon so that we can get on with the business of locating the TT and TV that best serves our needs and budget.

TT questions:

1) Since my wife and I will be mostly traveling alone, should we consider additional sleeping area just in case? In this regard, the Jay Feather 221 has all the sleeping space we need and weighs in at only 4950# GVW. The only thing I see lacking in this unit that we would enjoy is a sofa. The Jay Flight 22FB has a sofa and weighs 6500# GVW. Floor plans that we like that include extra sleeping area are the Jay Flight 26BH, at 7500# GVW and the Jay Flight Swift 264BH at 6500# GVW. Any feedback on these units?

2) Is the weight difference of the structurally lighter ultralight models a worthwhile trade-off?

3) Is the additional space of a slide a worthy compensation for its extra weight and potential for problems? Slide models we are considering are Jay Flight 24FBS (7500# GVW) and Jay Feather 24T. Any feedback on these units?

4) What optional equipment is important to include in a TT?

TV questions:

1) I hate pickup trucks, so a SUV will have to do. I want to spend around $40,000. The only two vehicles in that price range that were rated for towing 7500# were the Dodge Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Can anyone give me feedback on these vehicles? It would seem that neither would be adequate in towing a 7500# GVW TT, at least according to the 10% more guideline. Another other suggestions for a TV?

2) What optional towing equipment is important to include?

Thanks for your time reviewing my post. Your input will be much appreciated.


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Old 08-25-2012, 05:57 AM   #2
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I like the idea of the Durango. Great TV. Plenty of Hemi power for pulling and a decent length wheel base for stability while towing. As far as the tt, get a model with a slide. If you dont, you will wish you had. That extra few square feet of room is so worth the extra money/weight. You and your wife will be so much more comfortable. I have a 19bh ( which I love) but on those occassions where we both are in the tt doing something, we are constantly banging into each other. Then the kids come in and its all over! You're in a very enviable position. You get to buy a tt and a tv at the same time and match them up perfectly. As far ad the weight, I would try to get something on the ultralight slide. No need lugging around 1500 extra lbs if you dont have to.

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Old 08-25-2012, 06:56 AM   #3
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We purchased a smaller TT last year with a big slide (non-Jayco model) but it measured 26 feet in lenght total. There is just two of us and sister in law came out with us once and used the table space for a bed. We didn't like it much then. We went just the two of us and again, felt cramped when going for more than 2 nights. Sitting around the fire is very nice but when going on a longer trip, it gets old fast and nice to go inside once in a while or when it rains. This model did not have a couch. We used this camper 4 times and traded up to the small Jayco Eagle HT 23.5. This one is the same total length but uses the space smarter and has more room inside. We came back from a 2 weeks trip and it worked great for us. there is a love-seat facing the dinette booth and it works great. Long story short, be careful when you say, just 2 of us, think about how and when you'll be using the camper and will you be comfortable when it rains days on end. Get the slide, it's worth every ounce.
Weight side, I don't know how the ultra light weights hold up but the other TT we had was conventionally built and the Eagle HT is a mid-weight product. It didn't take me long to see the difference in building and I cannot imagine a lightweight unit. The couch pulled out of the wall the first trip; apparently I shouldn't put too much weight in the bathroom wardrobe as it's pushed the shelf down. Not complaining, I'll get all this stuff fixed under warranty but like I said, you've got to give up something to gain something...

TV: The Durango with the Hemi has got lots of power ( and will pull more than ultra light weight)
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:09 AM   #4
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Alerra You might want to check on the non towing gas mileage of the durango. I have a friend that can only get 13-14 around town. It gets better on the highway non towing due to the 8/4 cylinder electrinics. What ever you pick you should get the "max tow package" and be sure to get the " max cooling package if isn't with the max towing package. Larry. ps the jeep also has bad city mileage-- same motor as the durango. To bad your anti pickups, a1/2 ton crew cab silverado/ sierra ,F150 ecowith caps would be perfect and you can carry firewood lol Larry
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:31 AM   #5
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alerra-- Check into a backup camara if it is not included in the tow packages ( might save a divorce). Larry
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:13 AM   #6
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I recommend a TT with a slide, extra space for thoose rainy days. I had a 27BH, no slide, it was a well built unitand we towed it with a 1500 Suburban.
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:16 PM   #7
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I suggest taking a look at a Chevy Suburban or GMC Yukon.
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Old 08-25-2012, 03:03 PM   #8
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I have the Jayco X213, king slide out with 2 bunks, bottom bunk tips up for extra storage. It is fully loaded with AC, stove/oven, BBQ, electric awning....weighs in at 4200 lbs empty and 5500 lb loaded. Easy to tow......but it really boils down to how much you want to tow nd the limitation of the TV. I use a pickup because I also bring a small genny. Fumes and cargo stay out of the passenger space, my truck is equipped with a canopy as well so cargo Amy's dry and secure
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Old 08-26-2012, 01:11 PM   #9
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Thanks for your input. The Jeep GC has the same hemi engine as the Durango and both rated to handle #7500 towing. I happen to like the appearance of the Jeep better, and I'll order the best towing package. Thanks to your comments, I'm leaning more heavily toward a slide unit. It seems the extra space is worth it. That narrows things quite a bit.

I had been considering buying a new unit, but I have recently found a 2006 Jay Feather 29Y, advertised elsewhere on this website as in excellent condition. The price appears quite reasonable and the owner is willing to negotiate. I would opt for saving money if it were financially sound over the long term. Any suggestions about buying a used unit? What are the things I should be looking for that are prone to deterioration and damage over time? What questions should I be asking the seller to determine the condition of the TT? If I were to take this offer seriously it would require a trip from my home in Florida to Ohio. Any feedback about buying a used TT would be appreciated.

I tend to be spartan about the features I think I need. But I don't want to make the mistake of not including optional equipment that is really important to have. Any suggestions?

Thanks again for your input. Hope to hear from you again.

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Old 08-26-2012, 06:35 PM   #10
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Not liking trucks narrows it down for a 7500# trailer. I agree with above - look at the Suburban 2500's


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