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RE: Small trailer suggestions

I’m a couple of steps away from buying a small trailer. I like what I have seen of the [email protected] 320 and 400, but they are pricey, new or used. Does anyone have a suggestion for a similar type? I want small, preferably narrow and light. I have looked around at several brands, but nothing has jumped out at me. I’m just wondering if I have overlooked anything. — Why is “small” important? (They don’t tow more easily). — “Value” re money spent goes up in lineal feet increases. (There’s a minimum, basically, and also a sweet spot for length/money) — Inconvenience can weigh heavily after awhile. (Constant hard use ups the wear rate of interior). — Small capacities reduce boondocking ability (Meaning increased energy use to go back/forth from the store; propane supplier, get water; dump tanks, etc). — Vast majority of its life it never moves. That IS the way to look at it. The above is preparatory to asking: 1). How many years will you own it? 2). How many nights aboard annually? — The “price” of the RV is the total number of nights aboard over those years. Each night is worth = $$$ Shorter the period of ownership and lesser nights, the higher the cost of going camping. The typical RVer spends too much as he keeps it five years and spends maybe thirty nights aboard annually. Then trades for another stapled cardboard box. You’re say, age fifty and you plan to use this till you’re age 75? (That’s a MUCH better starting perspective). For a couple (even a family of five) a 28’ is a great size when it’s also quality. The type which will outlast your ownership. And there’s no need to buy new, much less buy over & over. My parents 1975 TT is still on the road with the second owners 17-years after they bought it. My folks had it thirty years. “Used” (when you’re in earning years) just means an annual list of upgrades to tackle as time & budget allow. May not amount to much, or maybe you want to maintain the higher level of OEM quality. TTs continue to go downhill from their 1960s quality. There are next to no true improvements save ducted A/C and distributed water-radiator heat. The classic layout is rear full bath, beds going forward, and kitchen area with all appliances over the axles. The difference from there (length) was how big was the lounge area. (Dinettes separate are wasted space vs closets/cabinets). A full exterior awning package is what makes for camping versatility past “capacities”. One chases shirtsleeve weather (or, from 40F to 90F) to make the most of low thermal mass (all TT). Greater clarity about NOW and SOME DAY will be of help. (Don’t discount being trapped by weather, days of rain, or being sick/injured. Don’t be FORCED out of the TT).
BackOfThePack 05/16/22 05:16am Travel Trailers
RE: Maybe getting a longer trailer

There isn’t much difference day-to-day from 28’ to 34’. It’s less of change than in going down from 28’. Tail-swing is always the challenge. Different floor plans or brands can place TT axles at a changed relative difference in distance from the hitch ball (tandems farther back tends to mean easier towing, but changed backing; not harder, a little stranger from get-go). “Wheel cut” is usually poor with straight Steer Axle (versus IFS). The necessary swing to have TT tandems at right pivot point can be pretty far (try a semi). As above, Practice is your friend.
BackOfThePack 05/16/22 04:45am Travel Trailers
RE: What load capacity should a ladder have for A/Cs?

I’ve done it several ways. Hardest was carrying it up on my shoulder. Too old for that now. Second-hardest was sliding it up ladder jammed into open truck tailgate and to a roof corner (needed help on ground). Third was two men on two ladders. In all of these the ladders need to be tied off. A 15k A/C is 105# ship weight. The weight is not ever the problem, it’s the balance. (Vantage point never exists). Have seen an RV tech tie off a Little Giant and use an ATV winch with a tackle block to lower/raise along vertical ladder atop a tall Moho. Remote controls. Set up and take down was tedious. Rope nest around ship box was tedious to assemble. Hired an RV tech who had two men use two ladders just alike and a cross piece “clamped” to both at both ends. It cleared the roof by several feet then they cranked the unit up/down between them with a Manual boat winch (went quick; screw electric).. That crossbar high enough they were on ladders whole time and could swing on/off the roof the old/new units. Third man (boss) was on roof Some fab skill, but he’s doing it regularly. This was steadiest I’ve seen (given no tractor or other lifting equipment). The cross bar and DOUBLE LADDER FOOTING replicated each other. (Ladders free for normal use once attachments dismounted). AC unit stood up momentarily to travel vertically. That’s where two men made things easy: the partial flip onto the roof (packing case still closed). Didn’t need third man. The attachments just traveled on vans roof rack with ladders.
BackOfThePack 05/16/22 04:26am Travel Trailers
RE: Vehicle "rise" while towing.

I want to thank those who discussed the oversteer/understeer aspects. It now makes more sense to me that the F150s with tow packages come with a heavier, solid front anti-roll bar vice the standard same diameter hollow bar and the effects that has. And that there is no factory rear bar. It has also helped me make up my mind on NOT getting the Hellwig rear bar. While that would improve daily empty driving, I now think that it would not help towing at best and possibly be an actual oversteer concern while towing. Throw in the recent increased cost of the bar & its now a no go for me. Load the pickup 50/50 Hitch, and set the WDH correctly using CAT Test with & without rear bar. There’s no comparison Loss of rear traction greater WITH rear bar if truck not loaded. They’re assuming you’re a softball daddy runs around empty. .
BackOfThePack 04/29/22 05:14pm Towing
RE: Vehicle "rise" while towing.

Generally, OEM's setup our pickups and SUVs with understeer with only a front anti-sway bar (anti-lean bar) and NO rear anti-sway bar Exception are 'performance' (boy racer with lots of GO) where they might have a rear anti-sway bar, but most don't know is that the OEM also increases the front anti-sway bars diameter (higher torsional rigidity) Why not recommend installing a rear anti-sway bar and if insist, then to make sure to also change the OEM front anti-sway bar to a larger dia from the SAME after market suppler of the rear bar being installed With that in mind, the old 'even drop' kept the above handling characteristics, but with the newer suspensions & the new 'drop' or 'return the front axle' recommendations...that 'even drop' has been put aside I still adhere to 'even drop' for my setups. Maybe not if I ever get another +8K GVWR TV and know that GM's newer 4x4's has a secondary front axle spring in constant contact with the lower A-Arm and can NOT bring the front back to OEM height easily. Else there would be too much WD'ing weight off of the TV's rear axle Glad to read John mentioning that 'push' trailers impart onto the TV's rear end. And during a freeway speed curve while braking, the trailer will both nose dive during braking to add weight to the TV's read end and 'push' it trying to go 'straight'. That is where manhandling the setup comes into play. It’s my impression that all pickups today have FF/RR anti-roll bars. On a leaf-spring pickup without a rear bar, yeah, install smallest rear and upsize front a minor amount (must be larger than rear by a %). LITTLE otherwise has such a beneficial effect. Trailer CANNOT exert anywhere near the force of moving the pickup bed against a pair of bushings as truck can now counter it. KONI or Bilstein shock absorbers. MICHELIN or Bridgestone tires on stock rims with tread & rim width match. SECURE everything in the bed. — Hensley hitch (or improved patent Pro Pride) eliminates most of the problems. Advantage of 5’er type hitch, but better than those as NO SWAY possible (after best scaled set-up). .
BackOfThePack 04/29/22 05:05pm Towing
RE: Vehicle "rise" while towing.

I have never owned a 2500, so wonder if this is HD specific or if this is now the recommended method for towing with all GMC trucks (don't know about the other makes)? Marv Having towed just about everything imaginable from trailers full of hay, to livestock, to you name it my entire life on the farm, with everything from 3/4 ton Fords and GM's to F450's, and at weights which were totally overloaded in a lot of cases, I find it hard to believe you're going to be able to measure any front end rise on a HD truck when loaded down towing conventionally or otherwise. Cat Scale. And trailers without the side-sail area of a TT aren’t a comparison which matters. Not a weight question. It’s a STEERING question. The majority of loss-of-control accidents are wind-induced. TT gets airborne (keel over) and it’s down to steering degree & duration. “Feel”. Sudden crosswind is enough. Man-made or naturally occurring. Plenty of Utube vids of tractor trailers getting lifted from rear before going over. TT needs to be dead-level after WDH applied. (Carpenters level across doorway). Need all the side-sway resistance four tires can bring to bear (as the two on the TV can’t do it alone), and to MAXIMIZE braking of both vehicles. Countering nose down tendency. (4-axle braking over 2-axle rig total). TEST.
BackOfThePack 04/29/22 04:56pm Towing
RE: Vehicle "rise" while towing.

Equal Squat to rough-in at home. The ancient formula is 1/3-1/3-1/3 distribution. CAT Scale to confirm Steer Axle same Solo or Towing. (Scale numbers are placeholders). The percentages matter, not what you “think” is okay (hundreds of pounds removed), since road-going dynamics can create gigantic shifts in force. That long lever from TT axles to ball (and next from ball to Drive) need all the help they can get to reduce force applied at ONE point. SAE is captive engineering. Reflects what $$$ wants. J2807 isn’t a standard as one can drive a pickup thru it. NO ONES BEEN ABLE TO REPLICATE the so-called “understeer”. How do 5’ers/GN load the Steer Axle? 100% If the TV is a pickup and isn’t at around 50/50 BEFORE HITCHING, you bought the wrong tow vehicle. (Too much unused rear spring capacity on a pickup is part of what makes them lousy tow vehicles). Mines near GVWR before I hitch. Its 1,100-TW is what cars, minivans and SUVs do fine with. 425-450/lbs per TV axle isn’t a burden. Load vehicle type accordingly. Let go of wheel at 55. Stays on rails for a long three count? Stops faster from 30-mph hitched than TV solo? PRESERVATION of Solo steering “action” matters. Degree & Duration of steering input in emergency is where it goes hinky TV tires to scaled axle load. Get AT ALL very much above that to get back that feel is how the 90% finish WDH rigging failure. Get out and test it. (TT tires to sidewall max). .
BackOfThePack 04/29/22 04:39pm Towing
RE: Anti sway question.

Trailer PITCH (severe misalignment with TV) is enough reason. Drop the curbside off the edge while in a high speed curve. Trailer is heading (mass) one way while TV going another. The force of the LEVER on the TV (ball back to trailer axles) is the thing. SPREADING that force via leverage (torsion bar) across all three axles DAMPENS the force. Keeping the TV rear axle PLANTED is the game. Those two barely one-foot square tire contact patches. WDH is cheap AND effective if set up correctly (TV Steer Axle weight same solo or hitched with same TV load both weighings). Travel trailers are tall and have HUGE SAIL AREA. Most loss of control accidents involve high winds or gusts, natural or man-made. (Low COG construction materials trailers aren’t comparable). You want to ELIMINATE sway, get a Hensley-patented hitch. Makes all other types obsolete.
BackOfThePack 03/19/22 11:52am Towing
RE: Trailer Brakes

After doing the procedure that they recommended, I noticed now that my drivers side wheel on the trailer is not in line with the trailer anymore. It's really towed out bad. Even my wife noticed it. I can't see how applying the trailer brakes would bend a spindle. If that was a true scenario, you'd hear about a lot more bent axles. Get a Dexter axle. Take the trailer to a commercial trailer repair shop and they should be able to straighten the axle and align both. I have had that done on 2 trailers. X2
BackOfThePack 03/19/22 11:44am Towing
RE: 2014 Expedition towing Airstream

That’s because most of the negatives are from those that have never done it. Book experts. If I reply it’s because I have done it successfully. If it did as you say you did not have ENOUGH tongue weight. The trailer was outrunning the tow vehicle. Not true. Plenty of tongue weight. Too much trailer for truck. It was setup by a highly respected trailer company in the late 70’s. Soft tires were a factor. State patrol said many trailers lost it in that area. Operator error ain’t the rigs fault. Most every tire in the late 1970s was soft by comparison to today. “Too fast for conditions”, and not quick enough on trailer brake (simultaneous to WOT). One has space to do it or doesn’t. If not, then slower speed mandatory. I’ve seen (twice) 1800-lb trailed air compressors take DRW pickups into a spin on barely wet roads. Is that NOT enough truck? Operator error (with vehicle POTENTIAL deficiencies noted). There’s not an Airstream been built can’t be successfully towed by a half-ton. .
BackOfThePack 03/19/22 11:41am Towing
RE: GM Mileage 6.6 gas & Diesel

At the sane speed and at the same weight (loaded for camping) a travel trailer exerts a 40-50% penalty at approx 60-mph. Size & Weight don’t mean much compared to the aerodynamic problem. 1972 or 2022 changes nothing. If the tow vehicle (with scaled weights) over the same road course at the same speed gets 16-mpg solo, it’ll see 7.8-9.6/mpg while towing. (Take that to the bank). An aero TT with details worked will stay under 40%. A box TT (slides, etc) with typically sloppy hitch rigging can (will) exceed 50%. If it matters then SAFETY LONGEVITY RELIABILITY ECONOMY will be given the attention they deserve. They track together 90% of the way. . .
BackOfThePack 03/19/22 11:27am Towing
RE: GM Mileage 6.6 gas & Diesel

When diesel costs $4.25/gl and gasoline runs $2.80/gl the fuel economy is the same. 16-mpg diesel and 10.5-mpg gasser. 1). Figure miles owned in advance. Add diesel premium to needed differential (and insurance plus maintenance, etc). Diesel equivalent hasn’t been cheaper since 2007. There are some wacky numbers on this thread. - 2mpg...maybe if you are climbing an 8% grade and try to keep up at 75mph...but over 50-100miles, it would be almost unheard of and in mountains, there is typically a downhill to go with every uphill. - Diesel typically get's 20-40% better MPG (and 40% is unuusal). 52% improvement strains credibility. For general planning purposes, figure somewhere on the order of 7-12mpg. Biggest issue is driving style. - Slow down a bit often will generate significant MPG improvements. - If in hilly, let gravity speed you up on the downhill and then let a little speed bleed off on the uphill (assuming you aren't in a congested area disrupting traffic). - Doesn't work for weekenders (or if you have a weeks vacation) but we've actually changed travel days based on wind projections. Going from a 30mph headwind to a 10mph tailwind has a pretty massive impact. At 60mph, the engine feels 90mph vs 50mph loads, since the bulk of the power is fighting wind resistance. At $4.25/gl diesel, a diesel pickup getting 16-mpg is the same mpg COST as a gasser at 10.5/mpg where the energetic content is reflected by price (BEFORE the price of the Diesel engine option). There’s no reduction in EXPENSE PER MILE until fuel prices are normalized and extra-cost engine is figured. (Write a business plan). A diesel IS NOT a more economical engine to operate for Joe Sixpack. That disappeared in 2007 until which time diesel was CHEAPER per gallon.
BackOfThePack 03/19/22 11:22am Towing
RE: GM Mileage 6.6 gas & Diesel

When diesel costs $4.25/gl and gasoline runs $2.80/gl the fuel economy is the same. 16-mpg diesel and 10.5-mpg gasser. 1). Figure miles owned in advance. Add diesel premium to needed differential (and insurance plus maintenance, etc). Diesel equivalent hasn’t been cheaper since 2007. And yet where you live the 2 fuels are about the same price. And generally are within about 10% of each other everywhere, not the 50% difference to embellish your point. At THAT price the MPG is equal.
BackOfThePack 03/19/22 11:17am Towing
RE: Fuel consumption too high?

I have to laugh at the tow capacity wars that the manufacturers are currently waging with small/midsize trucks. Towing a 6400lb trailer with a small 4000lb truck at 75mph? While it may be able to TOW it, and it may be able to STOP it (with trailer brakes), in an emergency maneuver, the trailer will drive the truck. Hope I'm nowhere near the OP when that happens. Trailer brakes generally are required items once you go above 2,001 lbs in some states and 3,001 lbs in most all other States. So in reality, yes, a "4,000 lb" truck CAN safely not only tow but STOP. The trucks brakes handles the weight on the truck up to the rated GVWR and the trailers brakes handles the trailers weight up to the rated GVWR. So in reality, it CAN be safely done, might not be pretty or fun but still very possible to safely stop during emergency maneuvers. A lot of folks out there towing even greater of a mismatch, while that doesn't make me feel safe it is the reality we must you will want to control trailer brakes as you finish and try to straighten out. deal with. Eventually with a big and heavy enough trailer even a F450-F550 truck will be much lighter than the trailer.. My personal feeling is I would much rather have a bit beefier tow vehicle to start with which provides a firmer platform (IE stiffer springs, firmer shocks and some added weight to match closer to the trailer's weight). But obviously not many people are willing to step off the 1/2 ton platform because they prefer the softer ride and a perceived lower cost to buy and a couple of MPG better mileage when empty.Agreed that with the correct trailer brakes, the tow vehice can stop the trailer, even in an emergency stop situation. I'm more interested in an emergency "maneuver", such as swerving to avoid another vehicle or something. In that scenario, the trailer brakes are of little value, and the mismatch in weight between the trailer and the truck becomes a major factor in control (or lack thereof).. You should get out and test that. In an emergency swerve you will want to use trailer brake control to finish the maneuver to help bring trailer back into alignment. How do you think onboard TV electronic trailer anti-sway works? You want the real deal then get a Hensley or Pro-Pride hitch as once the hitch is locked it’s no longer a hitch but a steering component. So far as stiffer springs go . . no, it’s the FF/RR weight balance + the percentage on the RR axle with as much suspension compliance as possible on a pickup. Softer is better. Stiffly sprung is likelier to lose the tire contact patch. Weight mismatch doesn’t mean much as it’s maybe 2/10s of a second difference once the LEVER with a trailer at the end of it has gotten the drive axle tires free of traction.
BackOfThePack 03/09/22 08:40am Travel Trailers
RE: Fuel consumption too high?

Probably we can skip the irrelevant posturing. OP apparently got what he wanted and hasn't been back in over a month. You must be new to BotP’s posts. They’re generally a comprehensive ramble, which to be fair, have some good points, but undoubtedly, if he practices what he preaches, is the guy who is _____ing off everyone around him on the highway while he’s practicing hyper-miling! Lol Unlike you I’ve a few million miles in managing the traffic to get around me soonest. Started that before you were born.
BackOfThePack 03/09/22 08:19am Travel Trailers
RE: Fuel consumption too high?

Thank you all very, very much for all the replies. I just finished a second trip and I made a few changes as suggested: I went from 65-75 mph avg to 55mph.When going uphill I slowed down to 45 mph.I started using premium gas instead of regular.I speed up after stopping veeeeeeery slowly. My consumption has gone up from 7.5-8.5 mpg to around 12 mpg. Way better! Just using premium instead of regular also helped a lot, when not towing I went from ~18 mpg (using regular) to 21-22 mpg (using premium). Thanks again! Given: 1). Same travel speed 2). TV weighs same both tests — TT penalty steady-state is 40% at 60-mph. 21 to 12 is 40%, but it trends more to an aero TT. With a box TT it’ll slide towards 50%. Your adjustments made it about as good as it will get. Part of the numerical baseline for future diagnosis of problems which aren’t clear at first. Adjust your WDH so that TV steer weight hitched is the same as the solo TV weight value. That’ll give closer to finger-tip steering.
BackOfThePack 03/09/22 08:14am Travel Trailers
RE: GM Mileage 6.6 gas & Diesel

When diesel costs $4.25/gl and gasoline runs $2.80/gl the fuel economy is the same. 16-mpg diesel and 10.5-mpg gasser. 1). Figure miles owned in advance. Add diesel premium to needed differential (and insurance plus maintenance, etc). Diesel equivalent hasn’t been cheaper since 2007.
BackOfThePack 02/17/22 02:44pm Towing
RE: Toyota Tundra vs Ford F150 Hybrid Fuel Economy Tests

Who buys a p/u for it's fuel economy? That it would pay back any price premium if so incurred. Ran into a man had exact same truck as I, save for gasser V8. He’d kept good records. And though my FE is far above the pitiful average, his fuel burn numbers were good enough that where we’d expect him at 200k to install a re-man engine and keep his truck able to work to original spec . . . . . I’d be hard-pressed to make back my engine premium if I DIDN’T get it past the B50 350k mark and then some more. With no engine repairs. (A new set of injectors is pretty much the throat-cut). Once the energetic price of fuel flipped circa 2007, diesel was no longer economical for Joe Sixpack. Diesel wasn’t 50-cents per gallon lower, it became 50-cents higher. A gallon of diesel has 1/3 greater energy content than gasoline. Anytime diesel is one-third higher cost per gallon it’s FE magic goes away. Choosing a truck based on FE is more about same-to-same. Choosing a Dodge over GM or Ford was easy. Their engines didn’t last long — 225k life — and FE was never as good. If FE matters, you plan for it. Goals. Changes to driving habits. Changes to use. Records & Discipline. Soon becomes habit. How long will you keep it? How many miles will it accumulate? .
BackOfThePack 02/10/22 03:24pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Toyota Tundra vs Ford F150 Hybrid Fuel Economy Tests

Even class 8 OTR truck companies worry about mpg. A tenth per gallon can be around 100 gals of fuel per vehicle per year. If you 100 rigs going 100k Mike's per year, that's a 30-40,000 cost savings per year for many fleets this size. Eve a dime per gallon if fuel can add up May not seen like a lit if money in some comparison s, over time it can be Marty It pretty much drives the industry. One doesn’t master that in his segment of the business, he’s sunk. Todays diesel pickups aren’t at all tuned for MPG. And plenty of owners screw them up farther. I’ve seen claims of 14-mpg highway in current 1-ton diesels. So let’s take my Kenworth which (bobtail, no trailer), is: — Twice as heavy. — Twice as tall. — Twice as many tires. — Twice the engine size And at a slightly slower highway speed (and no adverse winds) I’ve seen 14-mpg on the readout for many, many miles. A dozen years ago this wouldn’t be so. It would also be down on power (not just size). 15-L Cummins of today is much more efficient than those of a dozen years ago. Which we cannot say about Detroit diesel pickups. They’re tuned for power (which you mainly can’t use), and there’s no attempt at fuel economy in any serious sense. Was reading a Cummins brochure at a dealership yesterday on the 6.7L. Can be had in a wide range of power ratings. Think the 2021 Ram might be just a tad more fuel efficient if it was tuned for about 300HP/600TQ? It won’t do less work . . I was grossing 32k plus for hotshot oilfield in ‘05-‘08 CTD back then. My 555TQ 5.9L returns no less than 24-MPG highway solo at the same speed as I was operating the KW. Pickup is 2,100-lbs above factory published curb weight. 48,000-miles of records over that same region. The KW averages into the nines with lighter loads (loads to 30k). Would have been sevens back in ‘08. At $4/gl it’s past $8k savings per truck, per year. (Goes straight to profit). Why are these $100k pickups so poor?
BackOfThePack 02/10/22 02:20pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Calculated MPG

The other data useful is in recording engine hours as Average MPH is a better clue to vehicle use over strictly MPG. One divides odometer miles by engine run time to see what the days trip took as against clock time. (Zero idle time assumed). Time spent at steady-state is lower than one expects. So, Average Speed and what you think of as Travel Speed start to diverge strongly when running too fast for conditions (lane-changing, use of throttle to do more than steady-state; ANY use of brakes save exiting road). This is really about Quality versus Quantity. Going faster doesn’t mean one gets there faster (average speed may barely budge), but that the wear & tear penalties on vehicles and operator can’t be justified. In the end the thing to have is GPM (Gallons Per Mile). When that varies 10% low (one has earlier found correct travel speed), then it’s an early indicator of mechanical issues to investigate. As to the dash digital MPG read-out — as I know the variance with mine versus actual — re-set gives me a picture of changed winds. Run a touch faster or slower to maintain the standard GPM. Other feedback devices (Engine Load Percent; or Manifold Pressure + EGT; or Vacuum + GPH) are helpful. MPG records — alone — aren’t as useful without Average Speed + GPM. A familiar route 323-mile day is right at 54-MPH Average and overall .066/GPM.YMMV .
BackOfThePack 02/10/22 10:50am General RVing Issues
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