Light 3-Bunk Hybrid Towable By SUV?

Discussion in 'PopOut (Hybrids)' started by JunkyBurrittos, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. JunkyBurrittos

    JunkyBurrittos Active Member

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    Hi all. I’m just at the beginning stages of dreaming about upgrading, and I want to see if this is even possible. My sons are getting too big to share a bunk, and I want to be able to keep dinette seating set up and not have that be our only option for a third bunk. Plus the idea of turtling en route, loading before trips, having a bathroom rather than cassette shower/toilet, and having the option of shelter following power outages is all very appealing.

    Frankly I’m not really in the position to upgrade, and I’m absolutely not in the position to upgrade my TV. I drive a 2014 GMC Acadia, I purposely went used for the longer wheel base and greater tow capacity. My tow capacity is 5200, I’ve seen payload indicated as 1609 and as 1750, and my GCWR, combined weight of everything which I never see referenced, is 10,450. I have no idea whatsoever what my frontal load capacity is. I do have the tow package with cooling, etc.

    My current high wall pup has a GVWR of 3700 and tows as though nothing is back there. Every once in a while my RPMs go up but I ease off and it evens out.

    Looking at the smallest units I can find, it looks like 18’ boxes with three bunks are running around 4400 GVW (and isn’t that different from GVWR?). While that IS under 5200, is that cutting it too close? I just looked online at Roos, Jayfeather, and Starcraft smaller units. I don’t necessarily mind small length but I’m kind of nervous that without a slide out things would feel a bit cramped.

    Any advice on whether this is even an option and what units I should be looking at are appreciated. I would need to go used or at least a killer low deal on an old model gathering dust at a dealer. I read I should steer toward 2012 or newer due to fundamental changes in bunk design and leakproofing?

    Thank you for any advice!
     
  2. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah Gold Supporting Member

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    I personally think you will be cutting it close. Not sure about your vehicle but your passenger and gear weight may not have been accounted for in your numbers and may have to be deducted. I had a note in my vehicle manual that only the weight of the driver was included in my numbers. Also you may need to check your manual to see if there is any reference on using a weight distribution hitch with your vehicle. My 4 runner with a tow capacity of 5000 said not allowed to use a WDH. Look in where you like to camp. If you love to go to the mountains then you will want to have more play in your numbers. On flat ground towing my 3500 GVWR popup is a breeze, add mountains to the mix a whole lot more power is used. One very steep incline in the mountains my SUV slowed up to 40 mph and my the vehicle even turned the AC off so it could use that power. I could only imagine what would have happened if I had wind resistance to the mix.
     
  3. bikendan

    bikendan Active Member

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    not sure where you're getting the 4400 GVW number. but the Roo/Shamrock 183 model has a GVWR of 5387lbs., not 4400lbs.
    and the loaded tongue weight would easily exceed the Acadia's max of 520lbs.
    GVW and GVWR are the same thing. UVW is different than GVWR.

    tell us where you're getting the 4400 number. also what does the driver's door sticker say the Acadia's payload capacity is. it'll say "Occupants and cargo should not exceed xxxxlbs."

    bottom line is when the Acadia is loaded and the trailer is loaded, you'll probably be overweight.
     
  4. emoney

    emoney Well-Known Member

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    The Jayfeather 7, does it suit your needs? Lots of talk around here about them. Just don’t forget the factory leans toward exaggerating lightness. Proof is in the pudding and if you’ve got a truck stop in town with scales you’re better off checking the weight before believing the sticker. Don’t forget, your gear weighs more than you think too. Pick up a 5 gal bucket of water or a full propane tank. It adds up quickly
     
  5. MrsSquid

    MrsSquid Active Member

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    One thing that might help in the interim is to hang a divider curtain from the shepherd's pole on the bunk end. It helps each boy to feel that they have their own space, and unless they're super tall, they should be able to sleep in that direction as opposed to the other direction.
     
  6. JunkyBurrittos

    JunkyBurrittos Active Member

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    Mostly I’m getting the 4400 GVW from listings for hybrids for sale, sometimes just listed in the ad, sometimes they actually show the picture of the sticker showing the GVWR. Also the Jayco website lists their 17XFD model as a GVWR of 4500. One dealer in a You Tube video indicated a GVWR of 4000 but not sure if that’s accurate. It seems weights can vary by model year and options though.

    There does not appear to be a sticker on any of my doors. Where should I be looking?
     
  7. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    One thing we learned is not to trust salesperson or dealership website and even youtube on max weight of camper. They figure that they sell more if they mention dry weight rather than max weight (GVWR). or that they are ignorant.
     
  8. JunkyBurrittos

    JunkyBurrittos Active Member

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    Thank you for the idea Mrs. Squid. Unfortunately there is the issue of size. The beds are long enough if they lay sidewise so one kid climbs over the other, but if they lie on either side of the shephard’s pole, which is what they do, their legs are starting to hang over. Plus one of the kids is a bit of a flailer so a little sheet isn’t going stop him.

    Kind of a tough call because we’re in those weird teenage years where they may not want to hang with mom, but when they do, I’ll need sufficient space.
     
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  9. JunkyBurrittos

    JunkyBurrittos Active Member

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    No I know, but I figure I could trust the Jayco site and the couple of official stickers I saw, and what the ads said seemed consistent with that — but of course I would fact check before purchase, which I don’t plan to do in the near future. I just figure I may be limited to a very few lighter models so I want to know my few options so I can pounce on them if ever they open in my price range.
     
  10. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah Gold Supporting Member

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    Just throwing this out there. Not sure how comfortable you are with it, but something my parents done with us when growing up. Five if us in a small popup camper. We set up a separate tent on our campsite. The boys (both teens) had the option to sleep on the bunk or sleep in the tent. The boys jumped at the chance to sleep in the tent. Yes it was another thing to set up but the boys were old enough to do it themselves. They loved it, it gave them the indepence but still close enough to the parents.
     
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  11. lostboy

    lostboy Active Member

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    We bought a 17xfd off a family towing it with an Acadia. Said he never had any issues... He gave us the weight distribution hitch and I have towed it twice with my pathfinder that has a 6000 lb capacity. It works but isn't ideal. We will probably get a truck next spring to make towing more comfortable. Seems to me like the Acadia isn't ideal either but your experience may vary.
     
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  12. bikendan

    bikendan Active Member

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    should be on the driver's door frame or the door edge.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. emoney

    emoney Well-Known Member

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    Something to consider; it might be better to trade the kids in with the camper. I mean, you can always get them back after they’ve graduated college, right before they have grandkids. Just a thought
     
  14. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    [LOL][:P]
     
  15. JunkyBurrittos

    JunkyBurrittos Active Member

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    Good idea, except after years of tent camping my kids are all set with sleeping in a tent, and I’m pretty sure in no time they’d have me kicked out into the tent. [LOL]
     
  16. JunkyBurrittos

    JunkyBurrittos Active Member

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    Good thinking. I’m afraid this might depreciate the value of my trade in though. [::)]
     
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  17. JunkyBurrittos

    JunkyBurrittos Active Member

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    I’m sad that there seems to be this consensus that a hybrid would be too much to tow. But if I stayed with an 18 footer with no slide, I have several options at GVWR’s of 4300-4500. I confirmed those specs on the RvUSA site and they have no reason to lie to me. With a tow capacity of 5200, am I still cutting it too close? Is the real issue the frontal load/drag?

    Also does anyone know of an 18 footer with a slide and ideally three beds? I know the slide would probably add too much weight, but coming from a pup with a slide out dinette I feel like things would be cramped without.

    My son caught me looking at hybrids online last night and is all excited, has picked out his bed and everything. [LOL]
     
  18. emoney

    emoney Well-Known Member

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    If you deduct the wife and 3 kids from the 5k (manufacturer only counted a driver), and you’re still over 4500, then there’s nothing stopping you from pulling that weight. Factory specs are considered as constant towing. Meaning they are saying you could hook up to 5k and pull it every day. I’m sure you wouldn’t get a hybrid that didn’t have brakes so a transmission cooler is probably the only other thing to consider.
     
  19. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    Not a hybrid, but it's under the weight limit you're looking for and has bunk beds.
     
  20. rerspain

    rerspain Active Member

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    I recent got a 17 foot shamrock hybrid. The GVWR is 3600. I tow with a Toyota Highlander that is rated for 5000. It tows it good. A little slow up some big hills. I would not want to go any heavier though.
     
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