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Old 05-31-2015, 08:57 AM   #1
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New RV'er - 338RETS!?! Am I nuts?!?

I have towed a number of flat, storage, and toy hauler trailers over the years with my half ton Silverado and Tahoe however none were longer than approx. 20 ft.

We are now retired and are really geeked about starting a more "mobile" lifestyle. It will be part time at first but we also plan on mostly extended stays either up north or in the south during winter and don't want the walls to start closing in.

Considering price, amenities, that I usually lease, etc. we have decided that a TT will be our best "bang for the buck" option and of course, she has determined that the one that will "work" for her is the Jayco 338RETS which is a monster to me at almost 40 ft. A large wardrobe, shower, and living area are most important over the number it can sleep because it will be just us 2 and the dog almost all of the time.

I know I will have to upgrade to at least a 2500hd. But I am also not sure about a diesel over a gas engine because our usage of the trailer will at least in the short term, be sitting on property up north for the summer and us driving up for a number of extended weekend stays, and then most likely towed to Florida or Arizona during the winter. There may be a few other occasional trips elsewhere, but the truck would mostly be used as a daily driver the vast majority of the time which to me says a gas, single rear tire version is the best option.

But with all that said, the main concern for me (not her) is pulling/maneuvering a 39+ ft trailer, especially after viewing the 338RETS thread which had pictures of one being opened like a can of sardines!

So, given that I want to limit my new truck to a 2500hd gas version, and have never pulled anything quite that long, would you recommend it anyway or should I try to talk her down off of that large of a trailer? And if so, any suggestions/ideas that might help sway her to downsize? Once she sets her mind on something.............

TIA,

Jay
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Old 05-31-2015, 09:20 AM   #2
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Once she sets her mind on something............ Turn over the wheel and you relax in the passenger seat.
I suggest rent one for a week(end) then you get the feel of a forty footer.
My longest TT unit has been 36 ft. but in real time it makes no different if you pull a 20 or 40 ft. unit. Be sure you have good rear mirror few. Stay within all the specifications and be sure your TV is heavy and powerful enough. It takes a bit practice to back up a 40 ft. TT but you'll get the hang of it.
I have driven commercial truck combinations all over Europe and believe me roads of the main highway are a lot smaller over there. Driving in North America is a lot easier with all that space.
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Old 05-31-2015, 09:23 AM   #3
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You have a couple of tough decisions to ponder. Only tow what you are comfortable with. Being a longer unit makes backing it in easier, as the trailer reacts slower to the truck, as long as you have the room to maneuver it. We've found some CG's that can't accomodate long units. That's where pull-thru's are great. On the other hand, your trailer has to be the one that suits your needs as far as layout, amenities, etc. Look on the road at the tractor trailers. Those are mostly 53' trailers not counting the tractor. Most drivers can thread them like a needle into a space. With practice, you'll get used to what you have to do to back up a longer unit. The gas/diesel question is personal preference versus fuel price, versus maintenence costs. Just my .02 cents worth.
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:02 AM   #4
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I have the jay flight version. A little shorter and a little lighter. I went from a half ton to a 3/4 ton with a diesel. A 3/4 ton will be enough. As far as the the pickup gas vs diesel both with pull the trailer just fine. The diesel will pull it easier and faster. But both with handle the trailer the same. I added timbrens because the trailer were so heavy it helped with the ride but not required.
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:14 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by blujay40 View Post
I have towed a number of flat, storage, and toy hauler trailers over the years with my half ton Silverado and Tahoe however none were longer than approx. 20 ft.

We are now retired and are really geeked about starting a more "mobile" lifestyle. It will be part time at first but we also plan on mostly extended stays either up north or in the south during winter and don't want the walls to start closing in.

Considering price, amenities, that I usually lease, etc. we have decided that a TT will be our best "bang for the buck" option and of course, she has determined that the one that will "work" for her is the Jayco 338RETS which is a monster to me at almost 40 ft. A large wardrobe, shower, and living area are most important over the number it can sleep because it will be just us 2 and the dog almost all of the time.

I know I will have to upgrade to at least a 2500hd. But I am also not sure about a diesel over a gas engine because our usage of the trailer will at least in the short term, be sitting on property up north for the summer and us driving up for a number of extended weekend stays, and then most likely towed to Florida or Arizona during the winter. There may be a few other occasional trips elsewhere, but the truck would mostly be used as a daily driver the vast majority of the time which to me says a gas, single rear tire version is the best option.

But with all that said, the main concern for me (not her) is pulling/maneuvering a 39+ ft trailer, especially after viewing the 338RETS thread which had pictures of one being opened like a can of sardines!

So, given that I want to limit my new truck to a 2500hd gas version, and have never pulled anything quite that long, would you recommend it anyway or should I try to talk her down off of that large of a trailer? And if so, any suggestions/ideas that might help sway her to downsize? Once she sets her mind on something.............:facepalm :

TIA,

Jay
There are members here who are pulling that Trailer or the 33RLDS Jayco which is the same floor plan. There is at least one that I can remember off hand who is towing with a 2500 Avalanche Gas truck. I have the Jayco version and it is at a seasonal site for the next 3 years then I intend to start pulling it south in the winters.

Welcome to the forum! Let us know what you decide and enjoy!
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:30 AM   #6
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Once she sets her mind on something............ Turn over the wheel and you relax in the passenger seat.
Oh yeah, sure like THAT is going to happen! I can't even get her to drive my half ton without a trailer! In the million to one chance I did get her to even try, there would be NO relaxing!
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:34 AM   #7
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Let us know what you decide and enjoy!
The "decision" has already been made as far as SHE is concerned!
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:43 AM   #8
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I suggest rent one for a week(end) then you get the feel of a forty footer.
Thanks for the suggestion. I had actually thought about that but not sure I need one for a week to find out if I am going to be able to handle it or not. I don't need to actually "camp" in it and we have a local campground I could practice in since I grew up with the owners. I would think a day or two of lugging it around the area and practicing backing up and maneuvering in that campground or better yet, a VERY large parking lot with a few traffic cones marking "the spot" should tell me all I need to know.

I found someone that is renting their 35 ft for 125/day or 800/wk. Maybe I can discuss this with the dealership as well and get it a little cheaper but don't know if they rent or not.
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Old 05-31-2015, 05:29 PM   #9
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I use the truck in my signature as a daily driver and no problems at all. I do like having the power of the diesel when towing our TT, which I think is similar in length and weight to what your DW wants.
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Old 05-31-2015, 05:51 PM   #10
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The 338RLTS is very easy to tow, its heavy and is more stable in wind and traffic than any other I have pulled. If you go diesel you will thank yourself over and over again.
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