About to be a first time trailer owner

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by enrico coron, Oct 4, 2021.

  1. enrico coron

    enrico coron New Member

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    My name is Eric, from San Diego, love the outdoors, fishing, hiking, camping, backpacking, mountain biking, snowboarding, cross country skiing, if its out of the house I am in. The wife Carolyn from down under and our son Raiden (just 2) are looking to make getting out of town just a little bit easier to get underway, and when we get there.

    I haven't bought one yet, but upon leaving the Eastern Sierras last weekend after one night of our toddler yelling in the tent from 4am on my wife kept googling camping trailers the whole way home, message received! We were supposed to go backpacking for two nights with him but after the one night we fell back to a hotel nearby and then drove home the next morning. A little research has let me know that my Outback is limited to medium or less sized pop up trailers, but honestly I love the look of them as they seem to let so much light in with all the curtains down. Since I love to camp it seems a good alternative, especially considering how much more car packing, campsite unpacking and setting up, re-packing, and car unloading when you get home there is with a young one in tow.

    So My car is limited to 2700 lbs. fully loaded, and I do have a tow package, but I think the critical value will be the unibody construction only permits a 200 lb. hitch weight so with trying to keep 10% of the weight on the hitch like I've read, I'll be looking for a 2,000 lb. loaded, 200 lb. on the hitch max pop up, still a lot of options out there.

    I'm partial to the look of the Jayco and the Clipper Sport type set ups, but anything really that can be towed by my wagon and fit in my garage (18 feet long) is on the table. I realize that most of these are made by only 2 companies now. I am going to look at a 2017 Jayco Sport on Tuesday, the pics make it look like its still in very good condition, has the normal kitchen set up with a stove and fridge and sink, a dinette and couch with a Queen and full berth which is plenty for us. It has a heater, no AC but its pre wired I believe if I decide we need, but I don't really envision much desert camping so maybe not needed. Also no bathroom but not really sure I'd use it, a solar shower outside is more than I usually have camping. Not sure if it has trailer brakes or not, I'll probably install them if it doesn't as I think the max recommended without is 1,000 lbs. with the outback. Oh I'll need to swap to a 7 pin adapter on the tow package to run the brakes, and I'll also need to install an aftermarket transmission cooler as the load will fry the transmission going up summer mountain hills out west. All fun stuff I look forward to!

    I may have a few (okay more than a few) questions on set up and mods to this or whatever camper I end up with.
     
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  2. bobinfleet

    bobinfleet Well-Known Member

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    Hello and welcome from Hampshire UK[GBR], good luck in your new adventure.
     
  3. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome from Michigan and good luck in the search!
     
  4. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Welcome from northern Virginia and Good luck with your search. If you get out enough kids eventually get used to it eventually. It is highly possible the different night sounds spooked him on your first night out especially if he’s used to a quiet room at night. Get him excited for the popup and get him involved. That would help. You could introduce white noise to help block the night sounds if it spooks him again. My little side kick got to bring her fluffy blanket from her bed at home so it was something familiar and cumfy. Which was a big help, She unfortunately absolutely hated sleeping bags and I could never ever get her in one.
     
  5. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Un-Supported Member

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    Welcome to the Portal from South Carolina.
     
  6. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Greetings! Welcome to the forum from Midway USA.

    Good luck in your search. Be patient and the right Pup will come along.
     
  7. Annunzi

    Annunzi Active Member

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    Welcome from BC Canada! Our first pop up was a Coachman Clipper Sport 106, it was really light (about 1300 pounds) and had a very functional layout for its size.
     
  8. UpNorth-John

    UpNorth-John Member

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    Welcome to the portal. If you're a backpacker and are accustomed to spartan accommodations, I would recommend starting small and simple. Once you're off the ground in a tent trailer, a little comfort (bunks, lights, fan, heater) goes a long way. You can even forego the inside kitchen if you don't mind the outdoor "chuck box" style under an awning - keeps the interior cleaner too. A fridge is nice, but to be honest we only use ours about half the time we camp...a good cooler is just easier (especially for boondocking). Good luck with your selection.
     
  9. davido

    davido Well-Known Member

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    It's worse than you think, actually.

    Your tow vehicle's capacity is based on a car with a single occupant, the driver, weighing approximately 150 pounds. As you add people, any portion of their weight that is supported by the rear axle has to be deducted from your available tongue capacity. Additionally, any weight that sits on or aft of the axle also needs to be deducted from your tongue capacity. So if you have a 200 pound tongue capacity, and your occupants add another 50 pounds to the rear axle (that seems light, but let's go with it), and your cooler and gear in the back add another 50 pounds, you have 100 pounds available to load onto your hitch tongue. You *may* be able to add a weight distribution hitch, but that's dependent on whether or not your tow vehicle allows that, and whether the frame of the trailer you're contemplating allows for it, too.

    Not a lot of options for popup trailers that only add 100 pounds to your tongue.

    A safer way to do the calculation is to look at the door frame sticker that tells the GVWR of the rear axle. Load up the tow vehicle for camping (minus the trailer, but including the occupants) and go weigh the rear axle. If the rear axle GVWR is 1200 pounds, and the loaded vehicle has a rear axle weight of 1000 pounds, you're in luck, you've got 200 to play with! But those are made up numbers; I don't know the actual rear axle weight rating of your Outback.

    The biggest mistake I see newcomers to RV towing make is they assume their existing car is up to the challenge, and they buy more trailer than they can safely and comfortably tow.

    I have a Subaru Outback XT (Manual transmission, turbo). Great vehicle. Not a tow vehicle. After messing around with a few options, some good, some not, I decided to keep the Subaru but add an old "camping vehicle" to my garage, for not a lot of money, with the primary purpose of towing my trailer. It set me back a few thousand, and is more than up to the challenge. Plus, it happens to be kind of a fun vehicle to own.

    You may start there; can you buy a 20 year old F150, F250, etc. for not too much money? You absolutely can, and it could be a great tow vehicle, while also providing you some utility that you're not getting out of the Subaru. I went with a 26 year old 5.8L Bronco. Tons of fun to take camping.
     
  10. megcabra

    megcabra Well-Known Member

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    Welcome and greetings from North Carolina to the portal!
     
  11. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    images.jpeg
     
  12. LilRed

    LilRed Well-Known Member

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    Welcome from NY. Best to you in your new adventures!
     

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