Looking at buying a Travel Trailer????

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Old 04-02-09, 09:50 AM
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Looking at buying a Travel Trailer????

Hello all,
Wife and I have been looking at a travel trailer, not a 5th wheel. I have seen numerous ones for sale locally. We don't need anything fancy or brand new. We have 2 kids they are both under 3 yrs old. We would like to take some 2 day trips this yr, and this would be a perfect way to do so!!

My questions are, how hard are they to maintain? Now remember I am buying used, so what questions should I ask when buying? How hard are they to winterize, stuff like that. I apprectiate it.
Thanks
 
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Old 04-02-09, 02:28 PM
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buying RV

The first thing to consider is what are you going to pull it with? This will determine what size unit you can buy. Are they hard to maintain? Not hard just continous. Hard to winterize? Not if you have the valve ahead of the pump that allows you to suck AF in and thru the system. If you have some mechanical skills you can fiure out most of the stuff,if not with maintanence,campground fees(around$20 a night) and the low gas milage (around 10 mpg) you might want to consider a motel. Mine is a 96 and in the last year I have repaired the furnace,refrigerator,water heater,water pump,exhaust fan, and replaced the carpet. Next on the agenda is to fix a broken step,and sandblast the frame and paint it. This is a top of the line unit that has been well maintained. Good luck
 
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Old 04-02-09, 06:38 PM
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I have a 03 dodge ram 1500 hemi. I don't need a big one or a fancy one, but I don't want a pop up either. Something in the middle. Used of course b/c I am not spending 10+k to buy one of these. This is something we have been talking about since last yr and this mid summer might be able to buy one used for about 7 or 8k. I saw one locally that is for sale now it is 2001 and in great shape, sleeps 5, has 2 slide outs, bath, shower, stove, fridge, micro, 27 in tv, etc. and it is going for 8500. The guy just wants to get rid of it! I am handy when it comes to certain things, but plumbing is not one of them!! I HATE PLUMBING!! Would rather rewire a whole house than install a sink!
Thanks for the reply! I am trying to find stuff on the net but keep finding for sale ones instead of info.
 
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Old 04-02-09, 11:14 PM
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You can do yourself a favor by filling up the truck with fuel and going to your local truck stop that has CAT scale. Will cost you less than $10 to find out what your truck weighs.
Let's say it's 4000 lbs

Take that amount, and subtract it from the max GVW that is on the tag on your door jamb.
Let's say that is 10000 lbs

That leaves you with 6000 lbs.

The trailer itself will have a tag somewhere indicating it's weight.
Let's say that is 3500 lbs.
Take that amount and subtract it from the previous number.

What's left (2500 lbs) is what you can carry, that includes passengers, cargo (dishes, food, etc), drinking water and the like.
 
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Old 04-03-09, 07:54 PM
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YIKES!!! I have seen trucks like mine pulling long 30+ ft travel trailers. Not 2500 or 3500 dodges but 1500 series. Now they may have up'd their suspension but who knows. I am just looking into it. We also may be going in w/ some people on a nice 1 acre river lot w/ water, elec., etc. So this is why I am looking into these. I know I will go through gas like crazy but you can't put a price on fun w/ the family and not having to worry about checking in and out on time!!

I won't be buying a new one anyway. So if we do get one won't be til next spring! Thanks for the posts.
 
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Old 04-03-09, 11:07 PM
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That's because the dealership they bought theirs from doesn't care if your truck is overloaded.

I've had them tell me a conversion van I use to own would be 'fine' for towing a 30' TT. Nevermind that the van itself weighed 5500 lbs and the max GVW was about 8k and the TT weighed around 4500, empty.

It's a combination of suspension, engine (and cooling), transmission (gearing and cooling), BRAKES, etc.
The manufacturers have a pretty good idea of what the vehicle can handle (and it's to their advantage to make that number as large as possible), so exceeding that is pretty iffy.

I realize this didn't answer your exact question, just words of advice.

As for what to look for, I would look at the overall condition of the TT, if it's overall condition is good, it's likely that it was taken care off. If it had brakes, do they work? Are there any signs of water leakage (= rot and mold). Do all the appliances work? If they are 'tri-fuel' (AC/DC and LP) do they work on all sources?

The little stuff like carpet is easily replaced, major components such as appliances, windows, roofing, even fixtures such as tables can get very pricey if they need replacing.
 
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Old 04-04-09, 11:18 AM
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Yeah the whole weight thing I would have to severly consider when I get serious in looking. I just took a load to the transfer station(dump) of lath and plaster and our normal 2 week load of garbage. I had 1260 lbs. on my truck and it wasn't squated to bad at all and the tires held up no flattening of them either.

I will keep all those questions in mind though. I know nothing about these things so as much info as I can get it will be great for the future purchase!!
Thanks
 
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Old 04-04-09, 08:35 PM
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buying TT

This is how we can talk ourselves in to trouble. You had 1200 lbs but it was distributed over the length of the bed,if you get a bumper hitch TT all the tongue weight will be out back of the truck. When you said slide outs I think you just passed the 1/2 ton truck range. I have a 23 ft. Terry with no extras and in level country it does all right but if I get in hilly areas its more than I want. (1/2 ton Silverado 5.7)
 
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Old 04-10-09, 11:33 AM
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The tow rating of your truck depends on a lot of things (engine, transmission, wheelbase, differential ratio, installed options, tow package, etc.). If you take the VIN number to a dealer, they can get you a printout of the vehicle's configuration when new. Takes about 5 minutes on the internet. With that information you can check Trailer Life's tow vehicle ratings to figure out what you can tow.
 
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Old 04-11-09, 06:55 AM
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I'm getting away from towing & back to trailer. Here's a few things to look for. Look close at interior panels, for stains, been changed (usually because of previous leak damage) especially under windows, and up in cupboards close to ceiling, & down at floor level area. Look real close for dimple like spots,or small bumps in areas on panels,which is another sign that moisture is in behind or has been. Make sure you see all appliances work as they should, fridge, stove, oven, if it has one, water pump, microwave, furnace & AC, etc.,don't take their word for it. Make sure they fill water heater & show it working too. Look close at linoleum and carpet for darkening, black on carpet, discoloration on linoleum, especially near edges which indicates possible leak at one time. Look real close at exterior moldings on edges etc., for proper fit & sealant applied. If they just slapped a regular silicone on it, it wasn't sealed up properly & leakage has probably occurred. If fiberglass exterior, look for bubbles/bulges showing water has entered & delamination has occurred. Get a ladder & look good at roof for proper sealing done on there. On exterior moldings, if you have opportunity, pull vinyl insert out in middle of moldings enough to expose screws behind it in various areas, low & high, and using (usually a red robertson, square, or 1/4" driver bit) screwdriver, screw some out , and look at threads of screws, if very rusted to point of threads basically gone & not holding, that's another sign of water damage. Have owner agree to hydro, 12 volt DC, propane & appliance check by certified technician before final sale. If that's a problem for them, then they are hiding something. The cost of that should be about 1 hr labor if all goes well, so you can agree with seller who pays for that. Have them put water in freshwater tank,(not city water hook-up only) pump system up until pump shuts off. With all taps etc., shut off, turn pump off too. Now walk away from it & let it sit for 10-20 minutes, then walk back in & turn pump switch on. If you don't hear pump cycle (hum, or growl noise) there;s no leaks in water system, if it does cycle, there's a leak somewhere. How long the pump runs after switching on, will tell you how bad of a leak you have. Short, quick growl/hum, small leak, pump runs for a few seconds, bigger leak. Have them plug in their vehicle to it, and make sure all lights, & brakes work. You'll hear wheels click when brakes applied, trailer moving, as well as see it. Lay down on ground & look at underbelly, make sure all closed in as it should be. Any big patches, or obvious repairs to underbelly, usually sign of leak problem repair done also. Last but not least, get them to show you level of tanks on monitor panel. If empty, see if by chance you can talk them into filling them, so you can see if any leaks when full, even if you have to pay for dumping, it's worth it. Had many trade-ins at dealership, that had cracked tanks near top, not reported at time of trade-in, because they new it wouldn't be detected unless we filled the tanks. Well, hope this isn't too lengthy, but a good set of rules to avoid getting ripped off and having big expensive repair after you've already paid for it. To be quite honest, if they aren't willing to allow these checks, they are most likely hiding something, so do you really want to deal with them anyway? Good Luck !
 
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Old 04-20-09, 09:31 PM
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Thanks a lot!! When its time I will be printing this off and taking it with me so I have something to go by. I wanna go to one of the local dealers and talk to them a bit. Get to know my way around and what not. Everyone tells me to buy new, but to be honest, don't need 2 car payments. Even next yr. I won't want 2. My wife wants me to double my truck payment so she can go buy a new car to replace her 99 durango.
Thanks again!!
 
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