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Old 12-27-2013, 11:37 AM   #1
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Question To buy or not to buy? Please help!

Hi all--

Brand spankin' new first time camper here. We're preparing for a 2800 mile trip from NY to AZ leaving Feb 1st. We came upon the Jayco feather light x17z which the website claims : "And thanks to its travel-friendly length, Jay Feather is towable by most SUVs, minivans and crossovers" The dealer also said our 2005 Pacifica AWD crossover would be able to tow it.

After reading a ton of info here and on other forums, it seems that the weight parameters might be too close for comfort. Our car with a class 3 hitch is rated for 3500 lbs, as are most minivans out there. We will be about 800 lbs in the car with the 4 of us and a German Shepherd. We'll be packing light in the trailer--about 300-400 lbs of clothes/stuff plus the Unloaded Vehicle Weight of 2,810 lbs= ~ 3200lbs

Am I correct in understanding that we should subtract our weights from towing capacity bringing it down to 2700 lbs and therefore being 500# overweight? I don't know if it makes any difference, but the car does have a transmission cooler.

Maybe the kids and dog could just jog cross country.

Thanks for any input you have!
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:49 AM   #2
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My advice is to stay away from this trailer. The actual weight of that trailer after the obligatory 'Customer Value Package' will be between 3000-3060 pounds. Add another 50 pounds for the battery and another 50 pounds for the hot water heater tank (unless you religiously drain it) and you have a scant 350 pounds or so of 'stuff' to put in the trailer. Which as DW and I discovered this past weekend is really pretty much nothing once you weigh things out. We had only 100 pounds to play with and we had no clothes, towels or food packed yet.

Jayco should have skipped making this model - its really pretty useless unless you have a tow vehicle with a ton of CCC that you can utilize to offset the limitations of the trailer. Of course, people interested in this trailer are interested in it precisely because they DON'T have this type of tow vehicle. Lose / lose. Save your money.
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Old 12-27-2013, 12:39 PM   #3
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snip...... Am I correct in understanding that we should subtract our weights from towing capacity........snip
Yes, your correct. Your TV's published Tow Rating and Payload Capacity is based on it's Curb Weight which doesn't include vehicle options, passengers, and cargo weight. The Tow Rating will in most cases account for a 150lb driver. Also, keep in mind that the loaded trailer tongue weight gets subtracted from the TV's Payload Capacity because the TV supports it.

Here's a JOF sticky on "actual" Tow Ratings: https://www.jaycoowners.com/showthrea...uot-Tow-Rating

Bob
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Old 12-27-2013, 02:03 PM   #4
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Thanks Bob--I saw that sticky and it helped me sound somewhat less like a total newbie. The reason I was confused is because of the Jayco info which said it could be pulled by most minivans, etc. I know they always follow statements like that up with a "check your manual" disclaimer. I guess basically it CAN be pulled by the Pacifica, if I was driving alone, with only 1 suitcase. It seems pretty misleading that this should be pulled by anything with less than a 4500lb capability, to err on the side of safety.

Thanks s1 for your point of view also. Good to know
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Old 12-27-2013, 03:57 PM   #5
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Thanks s1 for your point of view also. Good to know
You are quite welcome. If somebody had alerted me to this in black/white I would have saved myself a lot of money.
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:45 AM   #6
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s1, some of us really like our Z's, sorry you have been disappointed with yours. Yes, weight/cargo is a factor, but if you have the right TV with a high enough weight rating, it's easy to carry your heavier items in the TV. We have had ours for well over a year, and literally take it out a minimum of once a month. Between the trailer itself, and the TV(Chevy Astro, rated 5000),we have not had to scrimp on what we wanted to carry with us.

That being said, DeniseAck, I personally don't think you have enough TV to pull that trailer comfortably or safely. Maybe look at some nice pop-ups? They are much lighter in weight and can sleep people very comfortably.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:12 AM   #7
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I agree that a popup would be better suited for that tow vehicle. Jayco makes some nice ones....
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:16 AM   #8
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I agree w/ Crabman; a nice Jayco 1207 would fit the bill for your vehicle. Or perhaps one of the JayFlight Swift SLX models.
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:26 PM   #9
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The dealer would tell you that you could tow it with a motorcycle if he thought it would seal the deal. Stick with a PUP for now, you will still enjoy the camping experience high & dry and stay within your TV's capabilities. The smaller frontal area of a PUP will make less drag to tow. We towed a pretty big PUP with our Odyssey (3500 lbs towing capacity) no problem. You can upgrade to a hybrid when you get a different TV in the future.
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:35 PM   #10
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To buy or not to buy? Please help!

Yep this is what the dealer will say!!!
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