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Old 07-16-2020, 07:49 AM   #21
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Sag Harbor , New York
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Both First!

The chicken and the egg both come first!



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Old 07-29-2020, 10:18 AM   #22
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Tampa , Florida
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I learned a valuable lesson, years ago.
I bought the truck, then after many, many trips to see trailers, I bought a motorhome. Not only did I not have a towable vehicle, I bought a lousy truck that looked great.
This time I did it right, studied the market for a few months, knew the trailer I'd buy, then found a beautiful, like new truck that, for me, is perfect.
You can shop from home, Auto trader online, and see everything for sale and the price range. Don't expect fire sale prices. Dealers know the market too.
Better yet, don't go into debt.
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Old 07-29-2020, 10:57 AM   #23
Trilla the Traveling Tube
 
2018 22' Sport
Dayton , Wyoming
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We had the truck - 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 Premium with the full tow package, paid off last December. I was not about to finance another truck as
1. this one is paid for;
2. My truck has only 11,000 miles on it with plenty of life to give;
3. We wanted to start with a single axle AS since this is the very first we've ever had, not to mention never owning a camper ever in our past.
Living in WY we are used to weather, wind, hills, mountains, and elevations that go from 3,200 ft to 8,000 ft in a matter of 100 or so miles.

We purchased a 2018 22FB Sport and my truck pulls it like butter. If we decide to go bigger in the future, then we will sell our current team as a package deal and go with a GMC Duramax and a 25-26 footer.
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Old 07-29-2020, 11:14 AM   #24
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2015 27' Flying Cloud
Bozman , Maryland
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Depends

Not the adult diaper!
1. Decide the use of the trailer: weekending, months at a time, fulltiming?
2. Decide how many people are involved-1,2,3,4 more?
3. Decide what you can afford to spend on the combination. Unless you’re thinking of a small trailer for short time use, you probably don’t own a suitable tow vehicle. In the non-suitable category, I would put most SUVs and most 1/2 ton (or less) pickups. So, if your desired trailer is 25+ feet, budget for a TV as well as the trailer. Yes, there are some 1/2 ton pickups that, suitably equipped, are rated for a ton or nearly a ton of payload. I own one. You’re not likely to find them on a dealer’s lot, which is why if you bought a pickup for some other purpose or for towing your boat, it’s unlikely to have the rated payload. The heavy payload 1/2 tons are generally special order.
4. Obviously, if you’re in the “more is better” camp, you’ll buy the biggest trailer “just in case” and the biggest truck “just in case.” But you will pay more, not only in acquisition cost but in operating cost. The big trucks weigh anywhere from 1,000 to 1500 lbs., empty, than the half tons. So, you’ll be burning more fuel, paying more for tires and, if you have a diesel, more for maintenance and, if needed, repairs.
5. Finally, and you can judge this for yourself, the big trucks ride more stiffly and have a bigger turning radius than a short bed 1/2 ton.
5 1/2: Thinking about where you want to camp, if you want to camp in some National Parks and state parks, trailer length once over 27’ (or even 25’) can keep you out.
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Old 07-29-2020, 11:16 AM   #25
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2005 28' Safari S/O
Bountiful , UT
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If you already have the truck then you have to buy a trailer to fit the truck and leave room for supplies and people in the truck.
We decided to buy a trailer to fit our needs, use our old Dodge 24 valve diesel for a year or two and then buy a new truck.
We picked up a 28 foot safari with a slide a couple years ago and this spring we bought a 3500 Duramax, big cab and the 8 foot bed.
We went “heavy” on the truck so if we bought a heavier, larger trailer in the future we wouldn’t have to start the process over again. For us this seemed like the logical order of events.
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Old 07-29-2020, 11:17 AM   #26
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2016 20' Flying Cloud
Lawrenceville , Georgia
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Trailer, then tow vehicle. We wanted a trailer and had to buy a tow vehicle to tow whatever we found. We looked and looked, settled on a slightly used 20FB. The new Ranger just came out and could tow well over the total weight of everything, so we got that.
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Old 07-29-2020, 11:53 AM   #27
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Ray starts this entertaining thread by discussing a unibody tow vehicle. I thought a guy like Ray was issued a full frame pickup when he became a citizen of the least populated state in the country? When Ray wants to go boondocking he can probably drive a few miles W or N and have a lot of sites to choose from! We looked to move as retirees to an income tax free state like WY, but could not find any towns with a population over 80,000 people! Perhaps they are called villages?

That was fun - Ridgelines are probably great light duty vehicles, but when you see the storage area in the bottom of the bed, all I can think of is mini-van with the fold down rear seats that fit into that storage area designed for moving people not trailers and cargo.

Most people I talk to at the RV parks around the country start towing with whatever they have available at the time they convinced their wives to buy a trailer. Only after towing their trailer, do they determine if the mix is poor and unsafe, and then start searching various forums for advice. And as others have said most (there are obviously exceptions) of these folks have or will migrate from a short light trailer to a longer heavier trailer which exceed their original TV's abilities, and then they determine what adequate TV they can afford.

Since Ray needs a little entertainment up in nowheresville, WY, perhaps we need a gas vs diesel discussion? SUV vs 1/2 ton? 1/2 ton vs 3/4 & 1 tons? OOPS - YouTube channels "TFL Truck" and "Big Truck, Big RV" have already videoed those discussions. Most recent video on towing by BTBR recommends towing any trailer over about 6,000 lbs with a super duty - yeah but what do they know (smilee)???
I know the conclusion - whatever the responders believe is correct, vice what the OEM specs say? For example: How many Tundra owners start their comments with this statement: "My payload is 1400lbs and my tongue weight is 1000lbs, topper 200lbs, cargo 400lbs and driver/pax about 300 lbs and I love the durability and reliability"?

I wish I could of had these types of conversations while on a mid-watch on my destroyer (midnight to 4AM) while in our homeport! The hours would have gone by much quicker!

Keep the entertaining comments coming!
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Old 07-29-2020, 12:14 PM   #28
Trilla the Traveling Tube
 
2018 22' Sport
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superChop View Post
Ray starts this entertaining thread by discussing a unibody tow vehicle. I thought a guy like Ray was issued a full frame pickup when he became a citizen of the least populated state in the country? When Ray wants to go boondocking he can probably drive a few miles W or N and have a lot of sites to choose from! We looked to move as retirees to an income tax free state like WY, but could not find any towns with a population over 80,000 people! Perhaps they are called villages?

That was fun - Ridgelines are probably great light duty vehicles, but when you see the storage area in the bottom of the bed, all I can think of is mini-van with the fold down rear seats that fit into that storage area designed for moving people not trailers and cargo.

Most people I talk to at the RV parks around the country start towing with whatever they have available at the time they convinced their wives to buy a trailer. Only after towing their trailer, do they determine if the mix is poor and unsafe, and then start searching various forums for advice. And as others have said most (there are obviously exceptions) of these folks have or will migrate from a short light trailer to a longer heavier trailer which exceed their original TV's abilities, and then they determine what adequate TV they can afford.

Since Ray needs a little entertainment up in nowheresville, WY, perhaps we need a gas vs diesel discussion? SUV vs 1/2 ton? 1/2 ton vs 3/4 & 1 tons? OOPS - YouTube channels "TFL Truck" and "Big Truck, Big RV" have already videoed those discussions. Most recent video on towing by BTBR recommends towing any trailer over about 6,000 lbs with a super duty - yeah but what do they know (smilee)???
I know the conclusion - whatever the responders believe is correct, vice what the OEM specs say? For example: How many Tundra owners start their comments with this statement: "My payload is 1400lbs and my tongue weight is 1000lbs, topper 200lbs, cargo 400lbs and driver/pax about 300 lbs and I love the durability and reliability"?

I wish I could of had these types of conversations while on a mid-watch on my destroyer (midnight to 4AM) while in our homeport! The hours would have gone by much quicker!

Keep the entertaining comments coming!
Wyoming is the least populate state in the nation - yes....and that is why we like living here!

We don't need cities with a population over 80k (Cheyenne is the only city close to this population)....we can drive to Denver, Billings, SLC, etc. to get this and run back to our communities to get a breath of fresh air and go back to quiet living...ya' know like even camping in our driveway and still get the quiet serene one gets in the mountains away from the hustle and bustle.

For the most part the majority of Wyomingites own a 4WD truck, a lot of times these are diesel because of our work requirements and most of all due to the weather (snow that gets beyond knee-deep) so we know our trucks. My towing vehicle is a 2018 GMC 1500 Sierra Premium Package, short-bed 5.4 L, 8 speed transmission, 3.73 rear axle, gcwr max of 15,000 pds, max tongue weight 700 lbs and includes trailer brake control system and tow pkg.

Ray brings up some good points for those who are beginning their search for an AS and what they need to pull it.

Come visit WY, you will love it!
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Old 07-29-2020, 12:20 PM   #29
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Nashville , Tennessee
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Which is more important to YOU?

For most folks the vehicle you choose you will most likely drive everyday. The trailer choose you will tow every now and then.

Therefore this leads me to my question for you to consider:

What is more important your comfort and style on a daily basis or safety when towing knowing you have the right equipment/vehicle to safely tow the trailer you purchase?

For ME the answer to that question is a simple No Brainer.

Buy the trailer first and size/buy the the tow vehicle to meet your needs for safe and reliable travel!
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Old 07-29-2020, 12:24 PM   #30
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Your Airstream will outlast several tow vehicles. So, think about your trailer first. Having said that, make sure that the tow vehicle that you do choose can tow a trailer one or two sizes bigger,, just in case.

Cheers,

John
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Old 07-29-2020, 01:07 PM   #31
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Frederick , Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpfate View Post
Wyoming is the least populate state in the nation - yes....and that is why we like living here!

We don't need cities with a population over 80k (Cheyenne is the only city close to this population)....we can drive to Denver, Billings, SLC, etc. to get this and run back to our communities to get a breath of fresh air and go back to quiet living...ya' know like even camping in our driveway and still get the quiet serene one gets in the mountains away from the hustle and bustle.

For the most part the majority of Wyomingites own a 4WD truck, a lot of times these are diesel because of our work requirements and most of all due to the weather (snow that gets beyond knee-deep) so we know our trucks. My towing vehicle is a 2018 GMC 1500 Sierra Premium Package, short-bed 5.4 L, 8 speed transmission, 3.73 rear axle, gcwr max of 15,000 pds, max tongue weight 700 lbs and includes trailer brake control system and tow pkg.

Ray brings up some good points for those who are beginning their search for an AS and what they need to pull it.

Come visit WY, you will love it!
Unfortunately while I look at those wide open spaces and imagine a retirement home on ten acres several miles outside of a "town" (I used to live in such in WA), my wife looks at population centers and imagines retirement. Which means we will not be on ten acres ;-) At least she is up for moving back west and is not a big city person! Enjoy.
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Old 07-29-2020, 01:11 PM   #32
Trilla the Traveling Tube
 
2018 22' Sport
Dayton , Wyoming
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Too bad as it is a beautiful state :0) Washington is beautiful as well - we have family there and in northern Idaho.
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Old 07-29-2020, 02:07 PM   #33
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2012 30' Flying Cloud
Milpitas , California
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Trailer first. We spent about a year researching and shopping for a trailer. We finally purchased our first Airstream earlier this month. 2012 FC 30RB. The trailer is now in storage in eastern Texas and we are shopping for a tow vehicle so we can go get our trailer (we are in northern California). After spending a lot of time on various forums over several months I determined a couple of things about tow vehicles: 1) You cannot be overweight. Period. 2) How far underweight you need to be is a personal decision and is influenced by many factors. I am on the cautious side so I am looking for a RAM 2500 diesel. I can't wait to pick up my trailer, but it looks like it will be Labor Day before I get the opportunity. I really enjoy reading this forum. I get a lot of good information and the posts are more respectful than almost all of the other forums out there. I like to think it speaks to the values of the Airstream community.

Thanks,
John
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:33 AM   #34
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As already mentioned; BUY the TRAILER FIRST.

Far too many newbies (and not so new) get the vehicle and then fall in love with a trailer that is TOO HEAVY for the truck. That virtually guarantees an overweight condition.
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Old 07-31-2020, 11:33 PM   #35
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2015 20' Flying Cloud
Brandon , Manitoba
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If I was a newbie I’d try and get into camping with a trailer I can safely tow without buying a new tow vehicle, at least to begin with - after all you might decide you hate it and then you’ve got to offload a trailer and tow vehicle at a loss..
Obviously there are limitations to this..

We bought the trailers we could safely tow with our 1/2 ton (a ‘68 30’ and then a ‘15 20’ flying cloud which seems to have as much usable space as the 30’)

Couldn’t justify buying a 3/4 ton for the amount of time it would spend towing, plus, based on the ones I’ve driven for my job it would spend most of the time being a pain in the ass to park just about everywhere since it has the maneuverability of antlers in an outhouse, and burning diesel faster than a taxiing 747..

Hitch weight/payload always seems to be the limiting factor, and if you’re careful what you choose you can get a decent size trailer behind a 1/2 ton. I reckon I can safely get up to a 25 foot trailer behind mine, but then the extent of our cargo is pretty much two carbon road bikes and a couple of hollow paddle boards I can pick up one handed. Compromises have to be made.


It’s also worth noting that the hitch weight doesn’t increase linearly with the length of the trailer either. The 25’ isn’t much more than the 20’ if I remember right, and the 23’ is actually lighter than the 20’ (presumably because it’s moved up to double axle or just the eight distribution is different).
I’ve been idly looking because we’d like a bigger bed in the trailer, but I have zero interest in buying a 3/4 ton..
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Old 08-02-2020, 08:40 AM   #36
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Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L.D.Clara View Post
If I was a newbie I’d try and get into camping with a trailer I can safely tow without buying a new tow vehicle, at least to begin with - after all you might decide you hate it and then you’ve got to offload a trailer and tow vehicle at a loss..
Obviously there are limitations to this..

We bought the trailers we could safely tow with our 1/2 ton (a ‘68 30’ and then a ‘15 20’ flying cloud which seems to have as much usable space as the 30’)

Couldn’t justify buying a 3/4 ton for the amount of time it would spend towing, plus, based on the ones I’ve driven for my job it would spend most of the time being a pain in the ass to park just about everywhere since it has the maneuverability of antlers in an outhouse, and burning diesel faster than a taxiing 747..

Hitch weight/payload always seems to be the limiting factor, and if you’re careful what you choose you can get a decent size trailer behind a 1/2 ton. I reckon I can safely get up to a 25 foot trailer behind mine, but then the extent of our cargo is pretty much two carbon road bikes and a couple of hollow paddle boards I can pick up one handed. Compromises have to be made.


It’s also worth noting that the hitch weight doesn’t increase linearly with the length of the trailer either. The 25’ isn’t much more than the 20’ if I remember right, and the 23’ is actually lighter than the 20’ (presumably because it’s moved up to double axle or just the eight distribution is different).
I’ve been idly looking because we’d like a bigger bed in the trailer, but I have zero interest in buying a 3/4 ton..
Hi

That *assumes* you have a vehicle with a non-zero tow capacity already. Looking around the neighborhoods I have lived in, that's far from a given. I've owned a lot of vehicles with a < 500 pound max tow capacity over the years. Not everybody has a big SUV or truck in the driveway ....

Bob
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:23 AM   #37
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Yes, if your tow vehicle is your everyday driver (at least in the before-times) and you don’t want to park a behemoth on a city street then you definitely need To look at lighter trailers. I totally agree on that.
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Old 08-05-2020, 07:38 PM   #38
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Whatever you choose, bear in mind that main criteria is trailer length (and distribution of weight along that length). The more central that weight the better.

Collyn
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Old 08-06-2020, 11:25 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi



That *assumes* you have a vehicle with a non-zero tow capacity already. Looking around the neighborhoods I have lived in, that's far from a given. I've owned a lot of vehicles with a < 500 pound max tow capacity over the years. Not everybody has a big SUV or truck in the driveway ....



Bob

Hi,

In the case of those with vehicles with zero tow capacity you have a point - obviously if they want to tow anything they’re going to have to get something with some kind of tow rating, but I did say that there were obviously limitations..

In the case you raise, I would look for the largest vehicle you can live with as a daily driver, then choose the trailer that best fits your needs within the tow ratings of that (and not on the limit either).
Choosing a good used one (trailer and tow vehicle) would further reduce your exposure to depreciation should you not enjoy the experience.
It’s surprising how much space/functionality is packed into some of the smaller trailers, and you may not need the 30’ you might think you do before you start.

Going larger assumes that you have the budget to own and run a dedicated tow vehicle, which for a large number of us is out of the question.
If you’re just starting, out a smaller combination reduces the stress levels significantly, especially when you get into more populated areas. We started with a 30’ and I don’t miss it a bit when it comes to parking lots, gas stations etc. or in terms of useful accommodation. With the 20’ we just have to find a drive thru spot in the parking lot and it fits! This is going to make your first experience a lot more fun.

Robin.
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Old 08-07-2020, 06:43 AM   #40
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Hi

We spent many decades going around in circles on this issue. Ultimately the answer for 40+ years was to keep using tents. Coming up with:

1) A vehicle with adequate tow capacity
2) A daily driver for each of us to get to our jobs
3) At least one "many kids" hauler
4) A driveway / garage big enough to store all those vehicles
5) A trailer or MH that was big enough to be more useful than a tent.
6) Room to store the trailer (or MH )
........

In the places we lived (and there were a number of them) it pretty much never worked out. It's not a simple. The tendency is to push the limits. Since the limits are not all obvious (without a lot of digging) it's easy to get into a bind.

Did we stretch the limits on vehicles from time to time? Sure we did. You can pretty much coast down into a car dealer in Denver from the top of Vail pass when you blow your transmission heading east over the pass .... I have data on this ....

Bob
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