Looking for Recommendations - Family of Four / 2016 Honda Odyssey TV

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by TheMowman, Aug 26, 2019.

  1. TheMowman

    TheMowman New Member

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    First time poster looking for recommendations and advice.

    Currently browsing for a used PUP to go camping with twin 3 year olds. Tow vehicle will be a 2016 Honda Odyssey minivan (will add cooler and brake controller).

    My current thoughts/requests:
    - 12' box size
    - 15 years old or newer (negotiable depending on condition) but no ABS roofs
    - King size bed (or camper king)
    - Around 2,000 lb dry weight and under 200 lb tongue weight (almost bought a Rockwood Freedom 2270 before figured out that the tongue weight would be too heavy for TV)
    - No storage box (keep weight down)
    - No slideouts (keep weight down)
    - U shape dinette in addition to regular dinette (more of a wish)
    - Portapot (not required, know it ups the weight) - maybe a storage spot for a travel potty

    Have seen an ad for a 2005 Fleetwood Allegiance that looked interesting with king size bed and two dinettes.

    Also thinking about a Jayco Jay Series 1207 (older ones with king bed) but not thrilled with the regular dinette size being ~63" long.

    Thoughts on the two dinettes layouts without a slideout? Thoughts on other models to checkout? May be able to go down to a 66" wide main bed (i.e. Coleman Yuma). Also any thoughts on dropping down to a 10' box? I think I want the extra room of a 12'.

    I know units like Coleman Utah or Bayside are likely too heavy even though they have everything.

    Interested to hear recommendations.
     
    1380ken likes this.
  2. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Either model, along with the sister Fleetwood Tacoma, would be great choices - 12 footer, no dinette slide, no front trunk. Just watch out for the roof on any used trailer but particularly Fleetwood as they had so much difficulty manufacturing a roof that wouldn't leak. I wouldn't necessarily steer away from an ABS roof if careful inspection showed it to be in good shape. An AlumiTite I would avoid as I've yet to see even one that hasn't leaked. Fleetwood replaced that with the Filon roof, as I recall in 2007, but some of those suffered cracking. The last couple of Fleetwood model years would arguably be the best choice as it was a seamless aluminum skin for many models - but of course newer means the seller will be asking more.
     
  3. nickap

    nickap Member

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    I am currently towing with a 2007 Odyssey; my PUP is a 2000 Rockwood 2317g - so a few years older than your ideal range but worth considering, IMHO. The newer ones are very different and a lot heavier, but this one has a dry weight of under 2000lbs. It does have a slide-out dinette, but the weight is low despite that. King bed (camper king) on one end, queen on the other; sink and 3-way fridge. We absolutely love it; it's a perfect size, has all the features we need and the Odyssey can tow it easily. We paid $1500 through Craigslist. See below for a few photos (after some renovation work) and floor plan.

    20180629_083638.jpg 20180526_103613.jpg 20180526_103724.jpg 2005_rockwood_2317g_floorplan.jpg
     
    Bibi and MarianoFamily like this.
  4. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Layout is everything and entirely different for each family. Here are my thoughts. I did not want to have to climb over anything to get into bed. Not something kids mind, but as an adult, no. Not to mention the cushions can get real dirty and didn't want to have to deal with that. Even harder if you have to help the kids. Most of the time, I eat outside vrs inside so table space wasn't always an issue for me. Before I upgraded to the Utah (yeah too heavy for your Oddy) I had a old 10' Jayco 1006. Open floor plan with the dinnette on the side. That dinnette ended up just being a couch/daybed vrs a table. That Jayco worked for a family of 5 but it was very tight.
     
  5. Ladiesman

    Ladiesman Active Member

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    Now that is some white canvas. How do you keep it looking so good.
     
  6. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    One of the many benefits of using Popup Gizmos over your bunk end tenting. [A]
     
  7. nickap

    nickap Member

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    Wish I had a helpful answer for you, but to be honest it's just the photos - some trick of the light made the canvas look cleaner than it really is. In reality it has its fair share of stains and mildew spots. The previous owner did do a great job of keeping it in decent shape though, it's in very good shape for its age.
     
  8. Minimalist

    Minimalist Active Member

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    Before we bought I had similar ideas like you did but we rented an Aliner and a pop up before we bought our Starcraft 2106. After the trip in the rental i scratch many of the ideas like port potty and u-shaped dinette. We don't need them and spend 95% of our time outisde. I highly recommend renting one before you buy.
     
  9. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    I don't think you can find any recent 12' box campers at 2K and for sure none with tongue wt. Of 200 lbs. There are plenty of recent ones at 2200-2300 and 250. You'll want air bags anyway and that weight is no problem for the ody.
     
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  10. TheMowman

    TheMowman New Member

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    Thanks! Good to know more about the roofs. I previously found a post on here about the years and models that have ABS roofs. I'll have to look more into the AlumiTite years and models.
     
  11. TheMowman

    TheMowman New Member

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    Great to know! I had pretty much dismissed any of the 2317g models due to the newer ones' dry weight and hitch weight. I'll put it back on the list of possibilities.
     
  12. TheMowman

    TheMowman New Member

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    There are a few rentals in the area on RVShare. May give it a try but I feel like spending $300-400 on a weekend rental is a lot if I am looking at units in the $2500-3000 range.

    My wish list is continually evolving as I learn more and think more in depth about what the actual needs vs wants are. I am thinking the port a pot may be nice with young kids. I'm thinking though that a large single dinette may work or a J-shaped dinette.
     
  13. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    If you get an older pup, you can shead some weight by ripping out the draws. I didnt do if for weight, just were more expansive to fix. Bonus is that it opens up more space for storage.
     
  14. CamperChrissy

    CamperChrissy Well-Known Member

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    So a bunch of thoughts come to mind! I had many of your same questions when we started this PUP thing about 3 years ago.

    First, it's hard to know what you really need/want until you actually camp! I agree renting is a good idea, but I get it about the cost. We started with an inexpensive used 10 footer, quickly realized it was too small for us and upgraded. If you start with an inexpensive used one, it's easy to sell and buy another if it doesn't work for you.

    Second, you will definitely need airbags in the rear springs of your van (or some other suspension upgrade). Our first PUP was 1500 dry weight and made our Dodge Caravan ride low.

    Third, unless you live in some magical place where the weather is always perfect, you WILL spend some time inside. Especially with two small kids. It will be 50 degrees, 100 degrees, raining, etc. We use our dinette table often. Usually for breakfast. Sometimes in the evening when it's raining or too buggy out.

    Toilet is a nice-to-have for sure! Our first PUP did not have one and it was fine, do-able. Probably means you'll want to get campsites close to the shower house, especially if you anticipate night time visits. Our current PUP has a hard-sided bathroom and I love it!

    Since you mentioned no front storage bin - with our first PUP we had a designated storage tote/bin that we put all the set-up stuff in (crank handle, electric cord, water hose, wheel chocks, etc.) and were able to slide it in the camper door even when the camper was closed. Pretty much functioned like a front bin and kept all our stuff together and contained. When we arrived at our campsite, we put it on the ground under one of the bunkends.

    Finally if you get a floorplan with two dinettes and no slide, you will have VERY little floor space to actually just walk around. When you are inside getting the kids ready for bed or stuck inside due to weather, basically only one person can walk around at a time. Believe me, this is not fun!!! Personally I would go for one that has bunk ends large enough to sleep parents at one end, kids at the other, and 1 dinette. This will give you more floor space and more counter space where you can put your stuff (duffel bags, plastic drawer stacks, whatever you decide).

    Good luck to you!
     
    raising4daughters and Sjm9911 like this.
  15. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Airbags may make a TV / trailer combo look pretty by allowing both to ride level but won't do a thing to move weight back where it belongs to the front steer axle (and in the case of a FWD minivan, the drive axle) - only a properly sized and adjusted weight distribution system will do that. The OP's Ody will tow a 12' non-slide trailer with no front trunk with a UVW around 2000 lbs just fine - loaded that trailer should still weigh well under 3000 lbs loaded & ready to camp. [A]

    Your own SIG indicates you yourselves are towing an '06 Niagara with a '12 Dodge Caravan, a combination you no doubt will say works fine but the reality is it's not, as is not even close to being an appropriate vehicle for towing such a large trailer. :eek:
     
  16. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    You'll need a transmission cooler and some rear suspension help. Odysseys have sag in the rear end. It's not only for looks, but also keeps you from bottoming out if you are going up or down an inclined driveway or hit a pothole or lump.

    We had to make the choice between a slide and a bathroom. Clearly the bathroom won that. Rooftop a/c was also a must, which adds weight, so a slide was out of the question for that reason as well. We find we have plenty of space even with a few grandchildren along. We have camped with as many as 4 children for a week with no issue.

    Our year Odyssey's manual says WDH is a no-go. Check your manual before adding that. A sway bar is okay.

    We were not happy with airbags because ours were not properly installed, so now have Timbren bump stops from eTrailer, which I really like. They have the disadvantage (to some people) of making your everyday ride less smooth, but I prefer the sturdier feeling.

    There are lots of campers out there that will suit your needs. Our "dry weight" is 2100 and wouldn't want to go any higher with the van.
     
  17. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Categorically not true at all. [V] A 12' Fleetwood Sun Valley (floor plan below) or 12' Fleetwood Tacoma or 12' Jayco 1207 all offer 2 dining areas (curb side dinette and 2nd table set in front of U shaped seating) and PLENTY of floor space, a primary reason these models have been so popular with families for years.

    [​IMG]

    All these models are +/- 2000 lbs dry so there's every reason that fully loaded & ready to camp the trailer's GVW can easily be kept well below 3000 lbs, depending on how much "stuff" the family packs into it. These models are also ideally suited for being towed with an Ody, anything heavier - no way.
     
  18. Ladiesman

    Ladiesman Active Member

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    Airbags versus weight distribution. Air bags can have an adverse effect and actually take weight off the front axle.
     
  19. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    I'm not an expert, but I don't think this is a real problem when talking about a mini-van with a pop up. The example is a much heavier vehicle and trailer. Air bags on an Odyssey only inflate to 30 psi ... nothing like the ones on the truck. Even on this example, the weight lost in front was 350 lbs or so. A couple of adults in the front of an Odyssey would easily compensate for that.

    The big problem is not overloading your tow vehicle. Stay well within the tow capacity and hitch weigh and adding air bags is not going to create a problem with handling. I know this for a fact since I drove for a couple of years with them before one of ours came unhooked from the tubing.

    Obviously, a WDH is a necessity when towing a heavy trailer with a proper tow vehicle, but not sure it is much benefit at lower weights like what we are talking about here. And, as I mentioned in an earlier post, my specific Ody manual says not to use one, so that's out of the question.

    For anyone that has ever had an Odyssey, they will know they sit lower than other mini-vans, especially in the rear. The biggest problem when towing is to keep from bottoming out when things aren't level. Air bags do address that problem.

    I'm going to show this video to one of my sons-in-law, who IS an expert, for an opinion when dealing with a mini-van/pup combo. It's interesting info for sure. My SIL and daughter own a home moving (and a pilot driver company) business and many trucks, so towing is life for him.
     
  20. Ladiesman

    Ladiesman Active Member

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    As it is for me, I work in the trucking business for over 30 years and all I am saying is pushing your weight beyond the limit is not compensated by air bags. An 80k GVW truck with air bag suspension is still an 80k GVW truck the same as an 80K GVW truck with spring ride. It doesn't change the amount you can safely haul.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
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