Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Question about R-pod Vs. other small trailers! New to this!
Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Travel Trailers

Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Question about R-pod Vs. other small trailers! New to this!

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Prev  |  Next
jaimez

SC

New Member

Joined: 07/23/2018

View Profile



Posted: 07/23/18 02:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

any suggestions for a lighter trailer that might fit 2 adults and two kids?

BarabooBob

Baraboo, WI

Senior Member

Joined: 12/28/2015

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 07/23/18 05:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My wife and I purchased a Wolf Pup 16BH for our first travel trailer. For us, it did not work but for you it may. The trailer was 2600 empty and if you are careful packing you may keep the weight down. But first, make sure you know what you TV can pull and the tongue weight allowed.

We ended up selling it after our first trip and got a 17 ft with a permanent queen size bed and lots of windows. The wife loves it.


Bob & Dawn Married 31 years
2017 Viking 17RD
2011 Ford F150 3.5L Ecoboost 420 lb/ft
Retired


kknowlton

southeast Idaho, formerly IL/WI border

Senior Member

Joined: 05/27/2005

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 07/23/18 07:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Chrysler minivans are - or at least used to be - wonderful family cars. I loved ours (we had an '88 Dodge one, sort of the forerunner to yours). We pulled a popup (yes, with tented sides) with it, and did fine until we took it to the Black Hills one time. The minivan had trouble pulling the popup up the long climb into the Hills - we had to stop several times to let the engine cool down. Mostly we stayed in flat country, and enjoyed our camping trips, but we knew we wanted to go to the mountains more, so we traded the minivan in on an SUV, which could handle the popup. THen that SUV (2002 Ford Explorer) had trouble with the first full-height trailer we bought, a hybrid. So we traded that in for a truck - and you can see the result in my sig.

Good luck to you - but I suspect you will not be happy with a full-height trailer and that minivan, unless you camp in only flat country, and don't drive into a headwind.

There are hard-sided popup campers, but they might be tight for a family of 4. Still, you might check out A-liners and similar.

rexlion

Broken Arrow OK

Senior Member

Joined: 04/01/2005

View Profile



Posted: 07/23/18 10:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi, jaimez. I'm a fan of small trailers and have owned several. The first thing you need to watch out for is hitch weight. Your van probably is rated for about 350 lbs on the hitch. Any more than the rated weight will adversely affect the rear suspension, take too much weight off the front tires for traction and stopping, and could even tear the hitch receiver off the van during travel. That Salem has a dry hitch weight of 385 lbs. Too much! And 'dry' means without propane, maybe without battery, and definitely without any water or cargo in the trailer; in other words, real-world hitch weight will be more, sometimes WAY more, than the dry weight. Best strategy is to find something with no more than 275 lbs dry hitch weight. And you need at least 10% of total trailer weight on the hitch for good towing characteristics (no sway), btw.

Second: the biggest drain on your drive train will be wind resistance. Total weight will bite you more on the hills (the steeper the hill the bigger the bite), but towing a trailer with lots of frontal area will be tough on the minivan. One solution is to plan on driving more slowly, like 55 or maybe 60 mph. But you're still best off to look for a trailer with the least frontal area possible that still has the space and features you think you need. The Salem is taller and wider than the R Pod, thus it would tow harder.

A 16' Scamp will cost even more than the R Pod, but it will tow easier than the Pod because of its small frontal area and light weight. Layout #4 has bunks up front and dinette in rear that makes into a bed (the old ones have a very narrow "double", about 48" IIRC, but new ones can be ordered with 54" width). Hitch weight is likely to be under 300 lbs, and total weight around 2500-2700 lbs, when loaded.

If you don't mind 'basic' and 'no frills', you might be able to configure one of these Eureka Rambler 6.5x14 trailers to suit your family's needs. They are pretty affordable and I think they will customize the interior layout.

Of course, there is always the tried-and-true popup trailer, with canvas sides and pull-out bunks. These tow easily down the highway since they fold down so low and tuck behind your van. A hard-side option in folding trailers is the Aliner. Even their largest, heaviest Expedition model would work with a minivan.


Mike G.
--for now, using a cargo trailer for camping--
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven... (Ecclesiastes 3)
Yosemite Valley view from Taft Point


jaimez

SC

New Member

Joined: 07/23/2018

View Profile



Posted: 07/24/18 07:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks all, we are looking into all of this info!

SusanDallas

Dallas

Senior Member

Joined: 08/30/2005

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 07/24/18 07:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I tow a 2017 KZ Sportsmen Classic 180bh with my 2006 Kia Sedona EX minivan. Even after upgrading to a larger fridge and a.c. unit, the weight of the travel trailer was only 2700 lbs. The 180bh has bunkbeds and a queen size bed with a regular mattress. It also has a large closet to hang your clothes. Some of the models you have looked at have no closet space at all. Also, 3,000lbs unloaded is too much for your minivan. Add the weight of the passengers and you will be over your weight limit.
Also, I highly recommend that you make a few changes to your minivan. Have the largest external transmission cooler added. I put Timbren suspension springs on the rear, E2 weight distribution hitch with built in sway control, and a brake controller.
The most important thing I did was to get the dealer to let me do a test tow before purchasing the travel trailer. The dealer let me test tow a used trailer that weighed several hundred pounds more than the one I was purchasing. This extra weight will account for a fully loaded travel trailer.
If the dealer will not do this, either rent a trailer for a day or find someone who has one for sale that will allow you to do so.
I have no problem towing with my Kia but you have a different minivan. I suggest you have the hitch installed first and then do a test tow before you invest money in the upgrades to your minivan. This way you will know if your vehicle can handle towing the travel trailer.
Another thing I do is travel with my water tanks empty and purchase most of my groceries after arriving at my destination.

rbpru

North Central Indiana

Senior Member

Joined: 12/18/2013

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 07/24/18 07:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Whatever you decide, try to rent a similar sized unit first. Nothing explains the advantages and disadvantages of a TT like a week or so of camping.

Good luck


Twenty six foot 2010 Dutchmen Lite pulled with a 2011 EcoBoost F-150 4x4.

Just right for Grandpa, Grandma and the dog.


SpeakEasy

Western New York

Senior Member

Joined: 04/22/2016

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 07/24/18 07:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Advice from one who has been through some of what you're going through:

1. Don't be discouraged. What you're experiencing is part of the normal learning curve in RV-ing.

2. The truth is somewhere between what the salesmen at a dealership tell you (you can tow this!!) and what the weight police here on this forum tend to tell you (you need a 3/4 ton pickup to tow anything more than a popup).

3. The key capacity figure that you need to pay most attention to is going to be the "payload" capacity. That's the amount of weight your vehicle can handle - counting passengers, gear, and trailer tongue weight. That figure is going to stop you before the "towing capacity" of your minivan.

Speak


It's just Mrs. SpeakEasy and me now (empty-nesters). But we can choose from among 7 grandchildren to drag along with us!



2014 F-150 Super Crew Short Bed 3.5L Ecoboost
2014 Flagstaff Micro Lite 23LB


afidel

Cleveland

Senior Member

Joined: 12/23/2016

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 07/24/18 09:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SpeakEasy wrote:

Advice from one who has been through some of what you're going through:

1. Don't be discouraged. What you're experiencing is part of the normal learning curve in RV-ing.

2. The truth is somewhere between what the salesmen at a dealership tell you (you can tow this!!) and what the weight police here on this forum tend to tell you (you need a 3/4 ton pickup to tow anything more than a popup).

3. The key capacity figure that you need to pay most attention to is going to be the "payload" capacity. That's the amount of weight your vehicle can handle - counting passengers, gear, and trailer tongue weight. That figure is going to stop you before the "towing capacity" of your minivan.

Speak


On 3, no with a minivan it won't. The Chrysler minivans at least have very respectable payload capacity (~1500-1700 depending on configuration) but the soft rear suspension and unibody frame plus relatively weak transmission that isn't programmed to tow mean that they're much more limit than a truck with the same payload rating.


2017 KZ Sportsmen Classic 181BH
2015 GMC 1500 Sierra 4x4 5.3 3.42 long bed
E2 WDH


Wishin

Grand Rapids, MI

Senior Member

Joined: 10/03/2008

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 07/24/18 10:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rexlion wrote:

Hi, jaimez. I'm a fan of small trailers and have owned several. The first thing you need to watch out for is hitch weight. Your van probably is rated for about 350 lbs on the hitch. Any more than the rated weight will adversely affect the rear suspension, take too much weight off the front tires for traction and stopping, and could even tear the hitch receiver off the van during travel. That Salem has a dry hitch weight of 385 lbs. Too much! And 'dry' means without propane, maybe without battery, and definitely without any water or cargo in the trailer; in other words, real-world hitch weight will be more, sometimes WAY more, than the dry weight. Best strategy is to find something with no more than 275 lbs dry hitch weight. And you need at least 10% of total trailer weight on the hitch for good towing characteristics (no sway), btw.

Second: the biggest drain on your drive train will be wind resistance. Total weight will bite you more on the hills (the steeper the hill the bigger the bite), but towing a trailer with lots of frontal area will be tough on the minivan. One solution is to plan on driving more slowly, like 55 or maybe 60 mph. But you're still best off to look for a trailer with the least frontal area possible that still has the space and features you think you need. The Salem is taller and wider than the R Pod, thus it would tow harder.

A 16' Scamp will cost even more than the R Pod, but it will tow easier than the Pod because of its small frontal area and light weight. Layout #4 has bunks up front and dinette in rear that makes into a bed (the old ones have a very narrow "double", about 48" IIRC, but new ones can be ordered with 54" width). Hitch weight is likely to be under 300 lbs, and total weight around 2500-2700 lbs, when loaded.

If you don't mind 'basic' and 'no frills', you might be able to configure one of these Eureka Rambler 6.5x14 trailers to suit your family's needs. They are pretty affordable and I think they will customize the interior layout.

Of course, there is always the tried-and-true popup trailer, with canvas sides and pull-out bunks. These tow easily down the highway since they fold down so low and tuck behind your van. A hard-side option in folding trailers is the Aliner. Even their largest, heaviest Expedition model would work with a minivan.


This sounds like very good advice to me.

Another thing to remember, most vehicles (but not all), require you to subtract anything in your vehicle from the tow rating. So all the passengers (but perhaps the driver), cooler, dog if you have one, food, etc. will all likely subtract from your tow rating. Check your owners manual to be sure.


2014 Wildwood 26TBSS - Upgraded with 5200lb axles and larger Goodyear ST tires
2003 Chevrolet 2500 4x4 Suburban 8.1L 4.10's
1996 Buick Roadmaster Wagon


Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Prev  |  Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Question about R-pod Vs. other small trailers! New to this!
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Travel Trailers


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:

© 2019 CWI, Inc. © 2019 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY | YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS