Newbies needing help

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by Lindsey H., May 20, 2020 at 7:08 PM.

  1. Lindsey H.

    Lindsey H. New Member

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    Hello! My husband and I have been Michigan tent campers for the last 10 years and I have finally come to his side of wanting a camper! However, we really don't know anything about them and honestly I'm not sure it's even a possibility with our vehicle. We have a 2017 Equinox, our maximum trailer weight with trailer brakes is 1,500lbs, GCWR is 5,787lbs (I really don't even understand this all, I'm reading this straight from our manual). Ideally, we want something that will be tall enough (I'm 6'1), a queen bed, a fridge, stove, and we would love the option for my sister, brother-in-law and 18month nephew to be able to come stay with us if we wanted them to. Does something like this even exist? Or do we need to wait until we have a larger vehicle? Any help/tips appreciated!
     
  2. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    You don't have much of a tow vehicle sorry to say.
     
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  3. EmilyW

    EmilyW Member

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    That's really light for a camper that so many would sleep in. I hear a lot recommend tear drop or A frame styles because they are lighter. They can sleep about 4-5. We have a basic Starcraft that comfortably sleeps 6. Bit it would be too heavy for your vehicle. Good luck, scout out what feels right for you! Worst comes to worst, sell the camper you buy and try another! Welcome to the portal.
     
    Lindsey H. likes this.
  4. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    Here is some info to help:

    GCWR = the max weight of the tow vehicle, the trailer, all the stuff inside or on top of both, plus all the passengers and/or pets.

    The other concerns are:

    Gross Trailer Weight - this is the total weight of the trailer and everything in and on it. You can use the Gross Trailer Weight Rating as an estimate.

    Tow Capacity - this is max weight that the tow vehicle can pull behind it. This will be the weight of the trailer and all the contents minus the hitch weight.

    Hitch Weight - this is between 10 and 20% of the trailer and contents's actual weight. You can use the Gross Trailer Weight Rating to estimate.

    Payload or CCC - this is how much weight you can put in the tow vehicle. It includes all passengers as well as the hitch weight.

    You can check your specific model numbers here: https://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/equinox/2017/features-specs/

    Using the default numbers, it would look like this:

    Payload = 1172lbs.
    Tow Capacity = 1500lbs

    Now look at trailers you like that have a Gross Weight Rating (GVR) of less than 1500lbs (towing capacity).

    Your calculations will be:

    Towing Capacity - Gross Weight Rating (of trailer) = if the result is greater than 0 then you are within the limit.*

    Payload - Weight of passengers and gear in tow vehicle - 15% of GWR of trailer = if greater than 0, then you are within the limit.

    *How close to the Towing Capacity you get will make a difference with handling and climbing hills, etc. Most people try to stay under 80% of the Towing Capacity, lower if camping in mountains, etc. In your case, that would drop your GWR of the trailer down to 1200lbs max.

    Now look at what trailers are available with a GWR that will work foe both your calculations.

    Remember that everything you put in or on the trailer or vehicle will count in one of these calculations. Also, the lower the GWR of the trailer, the less gear you'll be able to carry in it (GWR = Dry Weight of trailer plus all added content including battery). With only two people in your vehicle, you do have some leeway to carry more gear in the vehicle and less in the trailer to stay under the 1500lb max. But if you any additional passengers, you lose that leeway.

    Do your research. If you do tow, make sure you have a transmission cooler.

    Do not buy to house other people - you'll end up buying more than you need and maxing out your numbers only to find 80% of the time you don't need it.

    Also, campers are like tents. If they say they can sleep 6, you are going to realistically fit 2 or 3 people. Only look at dedicated beds for sleeping space. Don't count of the dinette for sleeping - you'll get real tired of switching it back and forth every day.
     
  5. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    ^^^ This..
     
  6. friartuck

    friartuck Well-Known Member

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    Welcome from Michigan's Shaiwassee County! As has been said, the Nox isn't enough tow vehicle for a camper that big. Even a popup with an 8' box will be a challenge for that car.
    Also ask how often are sis, BIL, and nephew going to be going along? Every trip or maybe a couple of times a year? No need for a monster camper that can sleep six if it's mostly jut the two of you.
    Good luck on your search!
     
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  7. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    Lindsey H. likes this.
  8. CamperMike

    CamperMike Active Member

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    You probably should start looking at other tow vehicles. An 8' box is about the largest you could tow and you won't find queen beds in those. You don't necessarily have to go a lot larger to get something that can tow a 10' or one of the lighter 12' pop-ups. Some crossovers of similar size to your equinox can tow 3500lbs if properly equipped (make sure they have the towing package in most cases). Good luck.
     
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  9. Lindsey H.

    Lindsey H. New Member

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    It would probably be rare that they came along. Maybe only once or twice a year. My husband said the same thing last night about 2 cars. So as long as we can find something small enough that we can tow, 2 cars would be the answer for us.

     
  10. Lindsey H.

    Lindsey H. New Member

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    Thanks for the idea, unfortunately I'm not sure a new vehicle is an option. But it's something to think about!

     
  11. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    It would be nice if the second vehicle was a pickup, set up for towing.
     
  12. Lindsey H.

    Lindsey H. New Member

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    Unfortunately, the second vehicle is an hhr.... even smaller tow capacity ‍
     
  13. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    HHR? Is that supposed to be car or another acronym?
     
  14. Lindsey H.

    Lindsey H. New Member

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    It's a car.
     
  15. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 8.46.27 AM.png
     
  16. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    I'm obviously, not a Chevy guy or even a car guy. Never heard of it, but it came out in 2006. Stands for HHR- Heritage High Roof
     
  17. firepit

    firepit Well-Known Member

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    I would buy a more suitable tow vehicle or wait until i had one....Assuming you buy a used camper.
    Your equinox could open up another can of worms.
    You know you will have repair expenses most likely on a used camper....No sense in
    starting out and worrying about your tow vehicle on top of that.
     
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  18. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't use an Equinox to tow anything, depending on its year, you could be driving a potential money pit..

    My son had his blow the engine in February, seems there was a recall on an oil return line that would prevent the PVC valve from freezing causing the main seals to blow.. That the dealer never informed him of.. of course his blew right after I had just paid for a $1700 repair bill on it. I know GM is now onto its 3rd redesign of that 4 cylinder engine, but due to its history, I personally wouldn't stress it too much.
     
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  19. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    I was just reading about the Camp365 pop up (out?) the other day. It's kind of pricey, but it might tick all of your boxes, while still being under your tow rating.

    https://camp365.com/
     
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  20. friartuck

    friartuck Well-Known Member

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    Some of the Livin' Lite Quicksliver campers could work. (still wouldn't want to tow with the Nox, but . . . )
     
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