School me on RV trailers - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
Towing & Hauling Discussion of Towing & Hauling Habits

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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School me on RV trailers

I own many trailers, mostly flatbeds, and a dump. I'm looking to add a bumper pull RV trailer.

It'll be my first RV, so I'm not looking to buy a $180,000 super unit. I'm not sure how often we'll use it. So I'm just looking for something under ~$24,000. Only going to be 2 to 3 persons and 2 or so dogs.

Because I snore, I need to sleep in a different room. So I need a unit with two rooms or one room with a door and a sleep space on the other side. I'm thinking RV's have names for the floor layouts? I've looked at 2 "toy-hauler" units. Thinking I can outfit the garage as a bedroom.

My main concern is heat and cooling. We don't live in a super hot place, its normally in the low 100's (100 t0 106 out). Can an RV AC unit keep cool (75 ~ 80) on the inside? I have a 15000BTU cooler on one of my trailers and the enclosed part is only 10FT, doesn't seem to keep that small space that cool. Should I look for dual AC units?

Do the smaller bumper pulls come with a generator? Or is that something the user supplies?

Metal or fiberglass walls?


Is there anything special I should look for when shopping?


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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 12:14 AM
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Best thing you can do is go to your closest RV dealership and walk the lot, an RV show is an even better opportunity if you have one within a reasonable drive.

Travel trailers as a whole are incredibly cheaply made, corners are cut everywhere to save both money and weight. Keep that in mind as you look for cheaper trailers. Also, you should be able to negotiate 20-30% off MSRP of your new trailer.

Most small bumper pull travel trailers will not have on board generators, thatís usually not a feature until you get into tow haulers or 5th wheels.

Are you shopping new or used? There are some great deals to be found on 1-2 year old travel trailers, basically people buy them and donít use them enough to keep so they unload them after the first or second season. A lot of times those trailers will come ďturn keyĒ with most of the items youíll need to go camping already stocked, which can save you even more money. Depreciation on a new trailer is awful, if youíre not sure camping is for you, thatís another incentive to shop used and letting someone else pay the initial depreciation.

I personally prefer the fiberglass wall trailers, as I think theyíre easier to clean and they look nicer with the frameless windows.

Your floor plan and the size of your camper will be a big deciding factor on whether or not youíll need a second AC. The second AC is almost always in the bedroom area, and with temps over 100 I think I would want the second AC, but it might not be necessary, or even available, depending on what trailer you decide on.

You might like a bunkhouse travel trailer, something like the Jayco 33RBTS would give you a second sealed off sleeping area complete with an entertainment center. The rear bunkhouse is a common model that all big manufacturers offer.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 12:57 AM
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The only 2 bedroom units I've seen are the ones that have the main bedroom up front and a smaller room in the rear that typically houses bunk beds. I have been full time living in my 5th wheel RV for a little over 4 years now. I've been in my 2019 Montana 330rl with my wife since last April and recently my 8 month old son. From a full time perspective, things I look for are: large accessible shower, porcelain toilet that isn't cramped, solid floors, 4 season insulation, fish dual pane windows, residential fridge and microwave and good lighting. Some models miss the mark entirely so do good research before committing to buy. I would definitely go for a dual AC coach but be aware that 50 amp service isn't available everywhere. Generator prep is a great thing to have as well. You'd have to ask the salesman to provide you with the stats on the generator you choose and make sure it can handle running both AC units. I'm kind of rambling here but another great thing they are coming out with now is a tankless hot water heater option. DO IT. Military showers suck with tiny hot water heaters. Keystone makes a great RV in my opinion and they aren't scared to warranty things either. We had a cord melt and keystone reimbursed me on the spot for a new cord and recepticle no questions asked. One last thing when RV shopping..... Look at all the the fine details. RVs are all built with the cheapest materials by the lowest bidder to maximize profits. Light switches, outlets, countertops, backsplash ect. They look quality until you look closer. Look at the trim, the walls, the screws ect and make sure it's built properly.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 08:44 AM
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Your toy hauler plan has a couple of flaws. Heat and AC are not normally sent to the garage area. Without toys in the rear those units are very front heavy and even with a good weight distribution hitch they will beat the heck out of you. A 15000 BTU unit won't keep my 27' four season insulated, double pane glass 5er cool. I bought another unit that will run on 15 amp power, I think it is 11000 BTU, and installed it where a roof vent was and have a separate power cord for it. If I end up where there isn't 50 amp service it still works fine. The main plug goes into the 30 amp receptacle and the power cord for the AC goes into the 15 amp receptacle. The rear bunk models is a good tip, IMO. I've towed several and they pull the same as most travel trailers. You might have to remodel though, they are built for kids.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GAmes View Post
Your toy hauler plan has a couple of flaws. Heat and AC are not normally sent to the garage area. Without toys in the rear those units are very front heavy and even with a good weight distribution hitch they will beat the heck out of you. A 15000 BTU unit won't keep my 27' four season insulated, double pane glass 5er cool. I bought another unit that will run on 15 amp power, I think it is 11000 BTU, and installed it where a roof vent was and have a separate power cord for it. If I end up where there isn't 50 amp service it still works fine. The main plug goes into the 30 amp receptacle and the power cord for the AC goes into the 15 amp receptacle. The rear bunk models is a good tip, IMO. I've towed several and they pull the same as most travel trailers. You might have to remodel though, they are built for kids.
I'm not so sure about the no heat/AC in the garage. On a lot of units, there's a spare bedroom/bunk area in the garage and so they have to have AC/Heat back there. A lot of bigger ones have a separate AC unit for the garage even.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by TriBeard View Post
I'm not so sure about the no heat/AC in the garage. On a lot of units, there's a spare bedroom/bunk area in the garage and so they have to have AC/Heat back there. A lot of bigger ones have a separate AC unit for the garage even.
I've towed dozens of them, just about every brand, both bumper and 5er. Yes, the larger, more expensive models have more options, but there are a few that don't even have solid floors. Instead there were slats that allowed water and mud to drop out the bottom. For the most part they were all 5ers. The OP is just testing the waters and looking for a bumper pull. There are not many of those with a separate garage.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 10:33 AM
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I've towed dozens of them, just about every brand, both bumper and 5er. Yes, the larger, more expensive models have more options, but there are a few that don't even have solid floors. Instead there were slats that allowed water and mud to drop out the bottom. For the most part they were all 5ers. The OP is just testing the waters and looking for a bumper pull. There are not many of those with a separate garage.
I was mostly looking at 5rs when I was considering a toy hauler, so maybe that's why more of the ones I saw had "nice" garages. Travel trailer toy haulers are rare enough as is, let alone ones with separated garage areas, you're right about that.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 12:27 PM
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https://forestriverinc.com/rvs/trave...vibe/28RL/4471

This model can be purchased for 24k with two ACís (mandatory) and the rear trifold sofa is very comfortable. Generators are rare, I know Nash has generator models but they are pricey. I carry a portable propane generator. Very impressed with Vibe fit and finish for the price point and all models come with a walk on roof. Itís cheaper to buy on the east coast and have it delivered than purchasing a west coast model. We were able to get a 42% discount in Pennsylvania and save 4K over a west coast trailer including shipping to California.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-06-2019, 12:32 AM
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Since you are "testing the waters"and are not too sure how much you will use it I suggest a used non toy hauler travel trailer. My experience with buying a camper is usually you realize the one you just bought is not the right one for you.
To keep it cheap buy a TT with aluminum siding, cheaper and lighter than fiberglass. Don't get a toy hauler TT, they are more money and heavier and he garage area just doesn't feel like a room for living. Look for a TT 3 - 5 years old, should be pretty affordable, about 30'-35', this is the usual length manufactures design with a second sleeping area. I have a Jayco 32BHDS, 35' 6" long, weighs about 9k loaded up, has a rear sleeping bunkhouse with a slide out, and it has the 15k btu AC. I have camped in Disney in July with temps easily over 100 degrees and high humidity and the AC kept us nice and cool, but if a second AC was available when I ordered my TT in 2009 I would of ordered that option since you can never have too much cold air.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-06-2019, 02:16 PM
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Because I snore, I need to sleep in a different room.
Uh, first off, you need to have a Dr. send you for a sleep study. I snored like a freight train, woke up with severe headaches. Sleep study found I had sleep apnea. Put me on a CPAP, snoring and headaches went away, I slept better and wife was very happy. She started snoring lightly, I sent her off to do the same. Dr put her on a CPAP and her snoring went away. We happily sleep in same bed, no need for a separate room. Snoring is a medical problem, get it checked.

A toy-hauler for a second bedroom, most can have air conditioners installed and kept cool but, like said, they are designed to have weight in there. Without, it will be quite nose heavy. I'm getting one as soon as I find what I'm looking for. I'm looking for a Momentum 351M but they are only a couple years old and hard to find used. I will set it up in the back as a *brew-room* as I love to make my own beer. I will put some additional weight back there though to balance it out. Good luck in your search!
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-06-2019, 03:17 PM
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I have had quite a few trailers over the years and I am now in a 5er with a garage door, so it is a toy hauler, but the garage is furnished with cabinetry and a desk, the door is only 60” wide so it is a bit unconventional.
I really like it though

1. 5th wheel or goosneck will tow loads more stable and comfortable

2 I really like the separate garage.
My living space is a little smaller but it still has enough room for a couch and a dinette and a recliner, along with a large (for an rv) kitchen.
As all 5ers do, it has a separate front bedroom on a different level.

Here are a few pics, it may not be what you are looking for, but always good to know what is out there.

I don’t have a side by side, and mostly ride motorcycles. i can fit 3 bikes back there no problem and has a garage argo carry wt of 2000lb (about 3800 overall IIRC (14,700gvwr) so it will hold my toys no problem.

Here are a few pics.
i got it for a little better than $26k 2 years ago - it is a 2012 Montana 347 THT.

In the last pic is another new I bought and then thought better of when the dealership messed me around.

Glad I got the montana used. It is twice the hauler at half the price!

IMO buy used, 5years old or newer.

Here are a few pics of mine, this would be a good fit to your needs, but it is a 5er, so ...

















This one was $45k new and not near the quality.
Our relationship was short lived.
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