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Old 08-06-2010, 10:37 AM   #1
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Not sure if I am in the right place to introduce myself, but here goes. First, I am so impressed by this site and all the wonderful people who are willing to take the time to try and help their fellow Jayco owners. Thanks to you all. I've already learned a lot> My husband and I are retired and in our early sixties. We tent camped for the past forty years with our four kids and our dogs. It is only the two of us now. We have looked at a few campers, mainly Trailmanor, but we went to a Jayco dealer last weekend and fell in love with the Sport Series 199. We almost bought it, but I am having trouble finding answers to all my questions about towing. We have an 09, Nissan Xterra which came equipped with the Nissan towing package. We were told we can tow 5,000 pounds, but now I read that is really too much to pull safely with our vehicle. The dealer told us we can easily pull the 199 but I am trying to find out for sure since I've been told some dealers will try to sell you anything.> Another concern I have is my Nissan manual says we can only safely pull a trailer with 60 ft. frontage. Everything seems to be bigger than that. I read you times the width by the height of the trailer to get the sq. foot frontage. I find most specifications on the trailers I've looked up online don't even show that. Can any of you help me with my questions? We really would like to be a Jayco owner but not if safety is compromised.
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:59 PM   #2
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If you can tow 5000 lb. you should be OK. Check you Nissan owners manual or the info on the hitch itself to make sure. According to this http://www.worldwiderv.com/inventory...Sport-199.aspx the gross weight (GVWR) of a 2010 199 is 4750. That is the maximum you can legally weigh. The empty (dry) weight is 3650 that means you can safely load 1100 lb into the TT. Also be sure to get a weight distribution system. http://www.huskytow.com/Products.aspx
I have never heard the term frontage used in RVs.
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Old 08-06-2010, 03:20 PM   #3
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I agree with hammerdown , I just looked at the Nissan web sight , max towing for the Xterra is 5000 pounds , get a good set of towing mirrors and you should be ok
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Old 08-06-2010, 06:02 PM   #4
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Thank you Hammerdown and Kipper for your quick replies. The dealer said we need a sway bar, too. I just wish I knew why my manual says I can't exceed 60 square feet frontage on the trailer. It also says I should only tow 16 to 18 feet and the 199 is a bit over 20 feet long. This is giving me a big headache. I want a trailer, my husband wants the 199, but we don't want it to be too hard to manage. I don't remember where I read this, but someone driving the Nissan Pathfinder which can tow 6,000 pounds said their manual also said they should only tow 60 square feet total trailer frontage. I tried finding anyone who is driving the Xterra and towing by Googling it but nothing comes up except one thing on U-Tube. It is a video showing an Xterra towing a Escape Milan. The only statistics it gives is that the Milan is 18 feet long and the Xterra is doing fine on a short run. It is so hard to find any info on towing with this SUV.
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:07 PM   #5
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I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's a little heavy. I used to pull a rig about the same weight, JayFlight 19BH (around 3,750) with my Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Jeep's towing capacity was 5000lbs. We were towing right at 4850 at the time. It towed it ok, but we towed better when we towed it with no water and packed real lite. We couldn't run the AC while going up any sort of hill. We'd get tossed around by big rigs even with WD hitch and a sway bar. The brakes were ok, but all in all it was a stressful pull every time. I think the wheel base was too short a distance and the overall the rig was just not well matched. Course I didn't know any better until I got my truck. I thought everyone stressed when they towed something. I notice a night and day difference towing now. I get to the destination and I'm ready to enjoy myself- -I don't need to cool down. In fact I'd even go as far out to say that I enjoy towing now. I'm not saying I have the end all be all truck-- I'm just saying that it makes a world of difference when you have a well matched rig.

Our Jayflight 19BH is the perfect fit for our truck-- I could go bigger, but this tows so well and the floor plan is perfect-- so "why fix sum'thin that aint broke".

I guess I'm playing the weight/wheel base police here and saying it's not a good match. But I'm only doing it from my personal experience having towed a similar rig.
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:36 PM   #6
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There are lots of rigs designed for the SUV-- The Jayco JayFeather Sport 17Z is a real nice layout-- you can sit on the sofa and see the TV well. Remember you don't have to push out both of those beds. My mom has this rig and she took out that mattress in the front and they have plans on making some sort of shelving unit.

Just food for thought... 3500 GVW would tow real nice behind what you got.
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Old 08-07-2010, 06:29 AM   #7
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I agree with JPBeck, the 17Z would work well. I have a Skylark FKV that I am towing with a Honda Pilot. This trailer has a total weight of 3500 lbs. It has a lower tongue weight since the propane tanks are in the back.
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:04 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sabina View Post
Not sure if I am in the right place to introduce myself, but here goes. First, I am so impressed by this site and all the wonderful people who are willing to take the time to try and help their fellow Jayco owners. Thanks to you all.
You are in the right place and welcome to the Jayco Owners Forum Sabina! Sounds like you are getting some great ideas here already. And yes, the members here are awesome!

That frontal area you refer to, I'm wondering if you are to take the length and width of the front surface only, then multiply. See what happens.

Our experience with a smaller/lighter tt was with a 17' fiberglass Casita that weighed 3000# loaded (gross was 3500#). Our mini-van was set up to tow allowed 3500#. It actually towed quite nicely, stopped as needed when braking on hilly/flat terrain, and never knew it was back there. However, towing up grades really wasn't fun as we slowed down to even slower than the slowest truck (on steeper grades). On those same steep grades, we worried that we would run out of brakes. Our tv really revved high when down shifted, and we still had to use the brakes a lot. Because of this experience, we encourage folks to really consider having a combo that has the tt weight almost maxed out to the tv and not do it. Also, find the GCVWR for your Xterra. That might help.

Let us know what you wind up getting, but you definitely can't go wrong with the Jayco
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Old 08-07-2010, 05:34 PM   #9
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Wow, thanks again for all these quick and interesting replies. I do agree with Joe that 5,000 lbs. is most likely too much for my SUV to pull for us to be comfortable driving it. We are too old (young in outlook and in good shape, but still high in numbers, 63 and 65, to be stressed out that much. We never had a trailer before so we need to make it as easy as possible. Not only that but there seems to be so many different things that come into play on what can or can't be pulled with a vehicle safely. The more I look, the more I worry.

I found this site that has an automatic calculator for figuring out what one can pull, but I don't understand what all the things they ask for are. My manual says my GVWR is 5,400 lbs., My GVW is 4,900 lbs., 500 lbs. is available for tongue weight, the GCWR is 9,658 lbs., which the manual says leaves me with 4,758 lbs. available capacity. I also saw that the rear axle weight on my vehicle is 2,963 lbs. and it is supposed to mean something for towing. These are things they ask for in the calculator but I don't have any other info that they ask for and don't know how to find it. You might want to try this site just for fun. It is http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-..._unit=e&truck_ Maybe someone can tell me what the other things are and why they want to know. Is this calculator for real? I mean does it make sense?

Grateful for this site and you people. I am learning more and more.

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Old 08-07-2010, 08:27 PM   #10
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Having bought 3 trailers now I kind of have an idea how the buying of trailers work. First thing a salesmen will ask is what you will be towing your trailer with-- I think they do this for a couple reasons:
One to to figure out what you can tow.
Two to figure out how much money you have.

Regardless I like to tell them how much I want to tow-- not what I can tow. My truck can technically tow 11K pounds-- I don't want to even come close to that-- so I tell them I don't want to two over 6K pounds wet. In your case you'd want to tell them you don't want to go over X lbs. (I'd say 3500lbs. wet).

When you talk about weight -- make sure everyone is on the same page -- here are the definitions provided by Jayco-- straight foward.

Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW): Sometimes referred to as "Dry Weight." UVW means the typical weight of this trailer as built at the factory. The UVW, as used in product literature and other promotional materials, does not include cargo, fresh water, LP gas, options or dealer-installed accessories.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): GVWR means the maximum permissible weight of the trailer, including the UVW plus passengers, personal items, all cargo, fluids, options and dealer-installed accessories. The GVWR is equal to or greater than the sum of the UVW and the CCC.

Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC): CCC means the maximum weight of all passengers, personal items, food fresh water, LP gas, tools, other cargo and dealer-installed accessories that can be carried by the trailer. CCC is equal to or less than the GVWR minus the UVW.

When shopping for trailers I like to talk WET WEIGHT because I know how much I want to tow. The dealer likes to talk in DRY weight because they can sell you a bigger unit (some dealers). A bigger unit could mean more money.

Basically your truck can tow 4,700 lbs. You can put 500 lbs on your hitch (that means the the weight pushing down on your rear axle can handle 500lbs). Ok so here's the subjective part-- you can put up to 500 lbs on the hitch-- but with a weight distribution bar you can add more because it distributes the weight to both axles. Even with a lite tongue weight of the 17Z (360lbs.) having a set would probably help the ride.

You'll probably benefit from having a sway control bar too. A sway control bar is another connection point from your trailer to your SUV-- it helps make the rig more rigid. So you don't get blown around while towing. It's supposed to keep your trailer tracking straight behind your SUV. Some sway bars are integrated into the weight distribution bars.

Might want to buy the set up from the dealer so they can adjust it and teach you how to use it. Plan on $450-500 bucks.
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:42 AM   #11
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hey I can not really help you with this but can say we faced the same situation. Felt unsure about towing the TT the dealer said we could tow as we felt it was to close to the limit of our towing capacity of our vehicle and we did decide on a lighter TT. We wanted to make sure we felt safe and comfortable towing.
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:25 AM   #12
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Hi to Everyone,

I had my husband read this and we are going to Joe's advice about wet weight, etc., keeping in mind what everyone on this site has told us, too. Another question we have, though, is how many axles are better on the trailer? Does it make a difference if it is one or two? My husband thinks two is better for long distances.

We did not want to get a trailer with beds that slid out because we thought they were made of canvass. We heard canvass gets moldy unless you are really careful. My husband says, too, that any kind of slideout is just something more that can break so he did not want slideout beds. However, they do add more room to the trailer so I guess hubby will just have to get over it. I see Jayco has an X17C along with the X17Z. The X17 C is a bit shorter in length and weighs a bit less. We will look at them both, and I think will be choosing one or the other.

We were really green when we went to the Jayco dealer. He did try to sell us the biggest trailer he thought we could pull. He didn't even try at all when we looked at the smaller trailer first. Not only that but when my husband asked him his best price on the 199 my husband said, out loud, that he thought the trailer was going to cost even more. I had to remind him, when were alone later, that one should never agree with the first price a dealer gives you. We both hate haggling but will have to learn to do it right because we always seem to pay too much for our vehicles.

Have a great rest of the summer camping. That goes for everyone on this site.

Sabina
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Old 08-08-2010, 12:52 PM   #13
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Hi to Everyone,

I had my husband read this and we are going to Joe's advice about wet weight, etc., keeping in mind what everyone on this site has told us, too. Another question we have, though, is how many axles are better on the trailer? Does it make a difference if it is one or two? My husband thinks two is better for long distances.

We did not want to get a trailer with beds that slid out because we thought they were made of canvass. We heard canvass gets moldy unless you are really careful. My husband says, too, that any kind of slideout is just something more that can break so he did not want slideout beds. However, they do add more room to the trailer so I guess hubby will just have to get over it. I see Jayco has an X17C along with the X17Z. The X17 C is a bit shorter in length and weighs a bit less. We will look at them both, and I think will be choosing one or the other.

We were really green when we went to the Jayco dealer. He did try to sell us the biggest trailer he thought we could pull. He didn't even try at all when we looked at the smaller trailer first. Not only that but when my husband asked him his best price on the 199 my husband said, out loud, that he thought the trailer was going to cost even more. I had to remind him, when were alone later, that one should never agree with the first price a dealer gives you. We both hate haggling but will have to learn to do it right because we always seem to pay too much for our vehicles.

Have a great rest of the summer camping. That goes for everyone on this site.

Sabina
First off... You are a smart shopper! Going to see what's out there knowing you aren't buying "today" even as good as the offer sounds on that first visit! (Use the formula that if you can buy a new tt/5er/MH for 30% off MSRP new, you are doing well)

Second... never believe what a salesman says! He/she will definitely tell you what your tv can tow (been there done that – but because of online rv formus, we still didn’t fall prey!). If you can reconnoiter with a salesperson to find out what is out there that does work with your tv, then go online and deal with the internet person (including Costco, Ebay, AAA, your local dealer, etc), you could save $thousand-s- PLUS! (in other words you aren’t paying someone elses car payment for the month… yeah, I know that sounds cruel for the working salesman! Some of us don’t have that extra collateral though !.).

Third.... Joe makes a lot of sense! (Seeing we need a thread on how to buy an RV cheep without being duped by a “sales person”!).

Also, your questions on one or two axles… what we learned when we were towing on the cheap with a Honda Mini-van was that up to 3500lbs you can tow with one axle…. With a two axle trailer…. you will definitely need a tv with a towing capacity of 4500 lbs plus based on tv GCWR.

Let us know what you wind up doing… but definitely hit us up with as many questions as you have as there are some experienced savvy Jayco Owners out there!  Hope this helps some.....
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:14 PM   #14
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How to figure 30% of MSRP

As for how to figure the above percentage…… Take the MSRP of tt including options/etc (for us it was $24,472), subtract what you pay, and for us this was $16,900 (this does not include the taxes/fees). With these numbers it is $7,572. Then divide the difference you will pay from the MSRP. Ie: 7,572 divided by 24,472 = 31%. (We found this dirt bottom price online, then took it to our dealer... we negotiated, and we have now enjoyed our Jayco for almost a year!).
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:19 PM   #15
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If you look there is another Jayco that may fit what your hubby is looking for-- It's the JayFeather 165


I was thinking that since you wont be using that top bunk you build a little cabinet for a tv-- that way you could watch tv from the gaucho.

We started out with tent trailer and the only thing you have to do to prevent mold on the canvas is to either not put it away wet or when you get home open it back up and let it dry. With those 17C or 17Z popping out those beds takes about 5 minutes to do both-- it's real easy.

Either way Good Luck!
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:58 PM   #16
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If you look there is another Jayco that may fit what your hubby is looking for-- It's the JayFeather 165


I was thinking that since you wont be using that top bunk you build a little cabinet for a tv-- that way you could watch tv from the gaucho.

We started out with tent trailer and the only thing you have to do to prevent mold on the canvas is to either not put it away wet or when you get home open it back up and let it dry. With those 17C or 17Z popping out those beds takes about 5 minutes to do both-- it's real easy.

Either way Good Luck!
plus the 17c or 17z have a total weight of like 3500 lbs and with the canvas beds you gain so much space in your camper. we went with the hybrid for that reason. we felt like we gained a lot of space while keeping the towing capacity low.
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:47 PM   #17
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Very good advice here. We towed an 18ft light TT (GVW 3500lbs) last spring and in June with a 5000lbs capacity TV. (6cly w/impressive tow package *'05 Honda Ridgeline*).
We were underpowered ! We also had sway when wind currents were present, or Semis doing 80mph. Its a Great Vehicle, and I hope to have it for 5 more years.
We don't tow anymore but my limited experience has exposed (to me) a few points of interest, for what its worth.
1) Allow a safety margin when doing the math. (capacities and/or limits)
2) Remember you may have to be able to stop, as well as go.
3) MPG w/6cyl have a much "bigger" difference between towing and not-towing than 8cyl.
4) You can never know "to much" about towing. Be safe, if not for your own sake, then for the sake of others on the roads we share.
5) Don't rely on the TT Electric Brakes & Controller for "peace of mind". But they sure help! Don't leave home without'm !!!

I really doubt if we were anywhere "near" 4000lbs at any time when we towed.
You must consider the passengers, cargo, Full tank of gas, etc ...etc ... when considering towing ability of a TV.

These are only suggestions, as everyones towing experience is different in some ways.
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:46 AM   #18
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Thank you all for your patience with me and for all your valuable comments. I do want to drive safe for everyone on the roads sake, including us. We also, don't want to pay more than we have to so I appreciate what was said about that, too. Forgot to ask about buying used. If a dealer is selling used, do you pay what they ask or do we make an offer on used trailers, too? We would rather buy new so we know we won't have too many problems, but if we could get a good deal on used maybe we should start with that.
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:05 PM   #19
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When we went 'larger' (which closed the curtain on any towing for some time) we bought "used". It's a gamblers game when deciding between New & Used.
We know that Used is cheaper, but New has it's advantages too. Buying used we still have a few issues that need attention, but she's water tight, AC works great, and Hot-Water is always there. We have a small leak under sink, the sissor jacks are not stabilizing (probably worn out), and the out-side needs some TLC, but we are very happy with our '02 Designer TT. We are taking care of the small issues one at a time, and in the process learning alot about RVs. The Jayco is a quality unit.
We hope to help it last as long as possible. It was well taken care of by previous owner(s) so we have a great headstart. It all depends on the "New" stigma, and the availability of disposable income.
Some New units have issues too, and are addressed by the Dealer/Manufacturer in nearly all of the recalls, if there are any.
On a personal note, if we could have afforded New, I think we would have. Our 18ft TT we traded in was a 2010 which we bought new. We did get a very Fair trade in amount for it.
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:58 AM   #20
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Welcome to the forum sabina the square footage is for air drag on the tow vehicle.
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