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Old 02-03-2015, 01:26 PM   #1
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Howdy from Texas....hoping to buy our new TT this weekend

Title says it all…..

Wife and I have been to a couple of RV shows and did some tire kicking on the local dealerships. We have 3 tater tots under 10 so we are excited about possibly buying one. This will definitely be an upgrade from our use of tents and pop ups in the past. I thought buying a house was tough…good grief at the make/models/options/features out there!!! I guess I just want to “buy right the first time”….Is that possible???

I have already experienced my first hiccup as we look. Last year I bought a new truck and the thought of towing a trailer was the least of my concerns as my old truck died at the dealership when I pulled in to look at a new truck!!! Ha!! I scored on a brand new 2013 F150 SCREW 4x4 LARIAT cheaper than the 2014 XLT I went to buy!!!

Actual Weight with full tank of gas: 6120#
5.0 engine with 3.55 rear end
Payload – 1321#
GCWR – 13,500#
Towing Capacity – 7700#

A few features we really like are the seperate entrance to the bathroom. With our kids, i would think that cuts down on the foot traffic and dirtying up the unit. We like the double over double bunks. We have nephews/nieces that could tag along and our tots have plenty of friends that we wouldn't mind taking with us. Outside kitches are nice, but not a must. Most of all it must function, it that makes sense
Now for our options…
1 – Jayco Eagle 284bh – This was the trailer we went to buy until we found out they sit on the lot at over 7000#!!!....scratch that one off. Very nice trailer though. Pretty much everything we wanted, but again...too heavy for me.

2 – Jay Flight 28BHBE – Very nice bunkhouse with a lot of options. Nice size shower in the back. But it does concern me a little weighing a ready to tow 6600#.

3 – Jay Flight SLX 287BHSW – same exact floorplan to the BHBE but weighs about 6000# ready to tow (GVWR 7500#). Still digging the larger shower. It has the curtain, no door. But, if a curtain gets dingy..take it out and hang a new one! Doors could get to be a pain to clean. Fewer storage options, but way more than what we have been used to..

4 – White Hawk 28DSBH - looks to be a very nice trailer with a tub/shower combo. I definitely like the fiberglass option to the aluminum look. I think it looks sharp, but wouldn’t turn down the aluminum siding at the same time. Also, with this trailer sitting on the lot at just over 6050# (GVWR 7500#), i think i shouldnt' have any trouble with it

5 – There is the Bullet Premier we like but seem to be headed towards the Jayco. Local dealer in town is a Jayco place.

Of these 3 we are looking at, I have just a few questions and hope you guys can steer me right…

1) Trailer Weight ---- am I driving myself crazy worried about this? I know I don’t want to overload the truck and upgrading my truck is not really an option at this time. I was thinking a max trailer weight of 6500 or less would be ideal. But with a GCWR of 13,500 and truck weighing 6120 that leaves me with 7380# for trailer, gear and us!!. Since we live in East Texas most of our travel should be local (lake, deer camp, etc), but we do make trips to the Ozarks in Northern Arkansas. We know that with the trailer, we will eventually venture out…definitely not out west. I know for certain I’m not towing a trailer to the Rocky Mountains.
Upgrading the truck is not really an option at this time....its a daily driver for me and want to stay in that half-ton

2) Shower vs Tub – how many of you actually use the shower/tub in your trailer? I’m 6’3” and hate the fact that some of these units my head sticks up through the skylight. I realize that I won’t be in there 5 minute tops, but it can be tricky. Most of the places we go have bath houses, but it would be nice to use the shower if at the deer camp where we don’t have a shower. Wife and kids are short so it’s not an issue for them.

3) The SLX air conditioners – any way to upgrade those to a unit with a thermostat? If any of you have..what did it cost? That particular unit is like the ones in the pop ups. Turn it on and it will run and run till you turn it off. Kinda like the idea of a thermostat.

Sorry for the long thread!!! Cant wait to get into whatever we buy!!! Thanks in advance for replies!!!

Spud!
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Old 02-03-2015, 01:42 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!

Others will chime in, and you'll get a lot of information here.

IMHO, all those trailers are too heavy for your truck. I tow the 28BHBE with my '12 Sierra with HD tow and it's too heavy for my truck. Okay, right at the limit, which is to say, it's too heavy. I'm in the market for a new truck next fall, and it's adequate for now, but the upgrade is imminent.

If I were you, I would look at the GVWR on any trailer you're looking at. Yes, it's true you'll probably never have it loaded up that full, but at least that way you have some wiggle room. For reference, my 28BHBE scaled out at about 7500 lbs when I weighed it last year. Since then more has been added, so I'm guessing I'm closer to 8K now.

Also, take your truck with full fuel and all the kiddos and whatever else you plan to take with you and weigh it at a CAT scale. Compare that to the GVWR sticker on your door pillar and this will give you real numbers to deal with, and it will tell you exactly what you have left for tongue weight. Figure 15% of loaded trailer weight on the tongue, and if that number is less than your CAT figured results, that will get you close.

But again, I tow at my limits and it's not nearly as fun as RVing should be for me. Can I do it safely? You bet. Is it a "relaxing" experience? No, not really.

Edit: Forgot to mention: Don't take that "towing capacity" number to mean anything. You will run out of payload capacity LONG before you'll ever hit that "max towing capacity". I'm slightly over my payload, and nowhere near my "max towing capacity". So it's better to just forget that number and stay focused on payload capacity using your TV's GVWR and your Rear Axle capacities.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:16 PM   #3
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I think I would limit your options to the trailers with a GVWR of 7500 max if I were you.

Personally I think a trailer longer than about 25 feet is too long for a half ton, but others pull them often with WDH and sway control.

Also, the outdoor kitchens add weight, people either love them or hate them. Myself, like you was a former tent camper, and I have all the outdoor camp kitchen tools to enjoy cooking my way already, so the outdoor kitchen is a novelty item to me. I prefer my own stuff.

Good luck in your search, just don't bite off more than you can chew (or tow), and don't trust the dealer when he says "you'll never know its behind you"
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:36 PM   #4
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There is another model worth looking at, The Jay Flight SLX 267BHSW, my trailer is similar and offers many of the features you are looking for, including the double over double bunks.... Just FYI
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:13 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum. The previous posters nailed your questions....
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:46 PM   #6
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Heres to hoping you find what you want this weekend. Be sure to post pictures.
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:55 PM   #7
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Last year I had the same truck you described pulling a white hawk 28bhds. For pulling to our local campgrounds was no problem but on long distance trips going over hills was a challenge for the truck. I will say though this bunk house model is very nice and would be perfect fit for your family. Good luck on your selection and welcome to the forum.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:35 PM   #8
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Looking at the same trailers on line , 2014 F150 XLT Screw with 5.0 , no dealers close by so I am hoping there will be some at the show in Dallas in a few weeks. Also looking at some Keystone products(no haters please LOL). Where are you in East Texas? I'm in Texarkana. Good luck .
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobj616 View Post
Looking at the same trailers on line , 2014 F150 XLT Screw with 5.0 , no dealers close by so I am hoping there will be some at the show in Dallas in a few weeks. Also looking at some Keystone products(no haters please LOL). Where are you in East Texas? I'm in Texarkana. Good luck .
Longview

Hard to find a lightweight Bunkhouse with a rear entry door.
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:17 PM   #10
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Lots of info going back and forth... I'll just say welcome to the forum.
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