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Old 10-23-2015, 08:38 AM   #11
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In a couple of years, yes, don't do the long trips right away. Get a season or two of getting to know the trailer inside and out, and creating your own routine of setup/take down before you take a big trip. We've done several "road tips" ranging from 1400 miles total to nearly 6000 miles. Lots of fun, lots of planning needed. I know I go against the grain when I say this, but long trips with the trailer can be stressful, especially with kids, especially if your time is limited. It's not like throwing a few suitcases in the car. You mentioned 7-8 weeks at a time. That's ideal. You can take your time and it dramatically reduces the stress level. Personally we're done with long trips with the trailer until I retire.

As much as I would recommend a crew cab PU, with 3 girls of such a wide age range, I can't see it. A full size SUV with 3 row seating is what you need, however, finding one that has both the towing capacity and payload for your growing family is going to be tough.

I might suggest you get your wife to be open minded and consider a hybrid. Trust me, a hybrid, while have "cavans" bunk ends, is nothing like tenting. We tented for many years, and had pop-ups over an 11 year period. A 3 bunk model like the 17XFD may give you as much if not more room than the trailer you are looking at. Moreover, hybrids are generally a lot lighter and would give you more options in choice of tow vehicle.

One thing I will say, no matter what you do, many RVing choices you make will involve some sort of compromise.
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Old 10-26-2015, 12:55 PM   #12
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I have been tossing around the idea of a hybrid and, based on your suggestion, I am starting to lean in that direction. I am completely new to this, so as you know the learning curve is vertical right now, and the many options and things to consider doesn't make things any easier. I am assuming that a hybrid will force us to stay in a campground each night (no sleeping the night in Walmart). It's not a deal breaker, but certainly a consideration.

What are your thoughts about using a Toyota Sequoia as a tow vehicle (GCWR = 13,500 lbs, GVWR = 1250 lbs, Towing capacity = 7100 lbs) with one of these? The slide will give us a lot more interior room and Jayco doesn't offer a 3 bunk hybrid with a slide (at least I didn't see one).
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Old 12-01-2015, 11:05 AM   #13
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Okay....I continue to make myself a little crazy but here goes nothing. In looking around it looks like the biggest bang for the buck in terms of 3rd row seating and capacity is the new Expedition. It will have a max towing of 9200 lbs, GCWR 15,200 lbs, GVWR 7400 lbs. What are your thoughts about pairing it with this White Hawk 24MBH? It looks like I might be pushing it a bit if I knock 20% off the capacities, but I'm wondering if I can make up for that by not traveling with full tanks????
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Old 12-02-2015, 01:01 AM   #14
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We have a 2004 Expedition. Max towing with a wdh is 8950#. GVWR is 7100#. GCWR is 14,500#. We have 4 kids plus 2 dogs. When shopping for our X254 (GTWR of 5995#) it all fell within the specs of what we could get away with. How much payload do you need? I am new to this myself but our performance out of the Expedition was not ideal. Slow up grades, slow starts and lots of rear sagging. We were over our RAWR by several hundred pounds. Our wdh probably needed some adjustments but I don't believe we could of gotten it within an acceptable range. Our trailer is lighter than that Whitehawk too. I just don't know how happy you'd be being Soooo close. Let's just say we just purchased an Excursion after only 2 trips with our new trailer. Taking it out this weekend with the new TV. Can't wait to see the difference! It was a lot cheaper too than a new Expy!

P.s. We traveled with empty tanks too.
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:08 AM   #15
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That is super helpful, Country Mouse. While I muck my way through this process it's so helpful to hear others' experience and opinions. It's one thing to see things on paper, but it's another to actually live it.

We will definitely be traveling on grades during our trip! In terms of payload, we have myself and 3 daughters (now 10, 8, 3). In an ideal world we would be able to travel with almost everything in the trailer but I am sure it won't be without daily cargo checks. I am not very mechanical (that's a bit of an understatement) so the thought of purchasing an older TV is a little uncomfortable. That would assume that we could find one that wasn't all rusted out by the Vermont road salt. We do know that we will be needing a new vehicle since our minivan is getting up there in miles, so this is an opportunity to find a 3rd row vehicle that can double as our TV for the trip.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flintsters View Post
That is super helpful, Country Mouse. While I muck my way through this process it's so helpful to hear others' experience and opinions. It's one thing to see things on paper, but it's another to actually live it.

We will definitely be traveling on grades during our trip! In terms of payload, we have myself and 3 daughters (now 10, 8, 3). In an ideal world we would be able to travel with almost everything in the trailer but I am sure it won't be without daily cargo checks. I am not very mechanical (that's a bit of an understatement) so the thought of purchasing an older TV is a little uncomfortable. That would assume that we could find one that wasn't all rusted out by the Vermont road salt. We do know that we will be needing a new vehicle since our minivan is getting up there in miles, so this is an opportunity to find a 3rd row vehicle that can double as our TV for the trip.
I just had to laugh when you said you were not mechanical. We aren't either. You may get a kick out of or even find helpful my recent thread on the Ford Trucks Excursion forum.

It goes on for 27 pages of my shopping experience.

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/14...pecs-info.html

If you are still thinking about an Expedition that would be a great forum to ask. I would bet there is,an Expedition sub forum too.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:43 AM   #17
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Another thought would be a 3/4 ton truck like the F250. 3 kiddos in the back no problem. We looked at the super crew cabs just to see if it was a possibility. With 6 of us it "could" of worked but not ideal and one would be in the middle front seat between us. With 4 or 5 passengers you'd be fine even with car seats it looked like if they can get along sitting next to each other that is.
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Old 12-02-2015, 01:48 PM   #18
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Another option is a full size van. We towed several trailers with a 2002 E-350 with the 7.3 Powerstroke. Ours had a 4x4 conversion so it was a little different, but it pulled great and we could fit everyone in it (we have four kids). We still have the van, but it is now a tenting vehicle and I pull the "house" (we are now fulltimers) with the truck. If we come off the road I will likely buy a travel trailer (26BH maybe) and go back to pulling with the van. It can't be beat for room or packing.

Ford has stopped making them, but you can still probably find a V-10 van on a lot, which would work great. Finding a 4x4 one is a little trickier. Quigley does the conversions for Ford, and I think they still have a used van section on their website. You might pick up something great there. I towed up to a 32bhds with ours and it had plenty of power, but I do not recommend something that long for any vehicle with a long overhang (Excursions have this issue also) as it has a tendency to sway. We had some moments on our Ohio to Washinton State trip. With a 26BH or a 31 BHS though it was rock solid with a Reese Dual Cam setup.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 12-02-2015, 02:44 PM   #19
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:34 AM   #20
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A crew cab truck would be my first choice, but that wouldn't pass the wife test who needs a vehicle with a third row for our everyday living when we are not traveling. I'll keep my eye open for a 4x4 full size van with low miles. In the meantime, it looks like the White Hawk will have to take a back seat.
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