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Raife

Texas

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Joined: 07/21/2020

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Posted: 08/06/20 07:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So I have done research, posted here with questions, done more research and decided on the following criteria:

- New or used (if in the last couple of model years)

- ~4,500lbs dry weight (allows ~1,500lbs of cargo to reach a 6,000 tow limit after factoring in GCVWR, tongue weight, and family weight)

- Oversized (i.e. double/full) bunk beds (I have 3 young kids and we are trying to avoid having to drop the dinette every night)

- Tongue to tail under 27’

- AC unit sized for Texas summer

- Queen bed

- Sofa preferred with murphy bed

TV context:
- 2015 Durango, Citadel, V8 Hemi, factory installed tow package, technology group (not sure this matters)

- Curb Weight – 5770 pounds (measured on certified scales, full tank, minus my weight)

- Family weight – 610 pounds (me, wife, 3 kids, and dog)
“Remaining“ cargo weight – GVWR of 7,100 minus 5770 curb weight minus 610 family equals 720 pounds (which I imagine most will be taken up by tongue weight)

- Tekonsha P3 brake controller

- WDH w/ sway - TBD

If I take the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 13,100 pounds and subtract out the curb weight of the Durango (5770lbs), the family weight (610lbs), and the tongue weight (max 720lbs for calculation sake), I end up at 6,000 remaining pounds for the trailer.

Inventory in general sucks right now and I have struck out on used (except units over 1,200 miles away). So I am now considering new.

I contacted 40 dealerships within 5 hours of my house, laid out the criteria above and have received the following 3 options in stock (or on their way to the dealer). Lots of dealers said, nothing even close.

- 2020 Gulf Stream RV Kingsport Ultra Lite 247ABH

- 2021 Grand Design Imagine XLS 21BHE

- 2021 Jayco Jayflight 224BH

Does anyone have experience with any of these units? I know there will be lots of opinions and ultimately I will need to go with what works for us, but I figured I would put it out there.

Thank you.

rjstractor

Maple Valley, WA

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Posted: 08/06/20 08:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You seem to have done your homework pretty well as far as weights go, but remember you only have to count tongue weight once as part of your GCWR calculation. Your tow vehicle carries the tongue weight, but it is part of your trailer weight. Weight distribution plays a part as well, since it transfers some load off the TV rear axle onto the front as well as some load back onto the trailer axles.

BurbMan

Islip, Long Island

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Posted: 08/07/20 06:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Raife, Tough time to be looking for an RV...coming out of the 2008 recession, the RV industry has seen its longest-ever streak of sales growth and prosperity. They thought the party was over when COVID hit, but the most recent edition of RV Business has interviews with industry leaders talking about how demand is thru the roof and nobody can run hard enough to keep up. Dealer inventory is at an all time low and delivery times are double what they normally would be.

That said, all 3 of these TTs look to be a good match with your size/weight range. These are a much better fit with your Durango and should provide you with a good towing experience.

The Grand Design looks nice and they make a nice trailer. The Gulf Stream has no outside kitchen but is also 600 lbs lighter. Sadly all the specs on the Jayco are TBD on their website. Both the GS and GD have good tank sizes for their overall size.

I would plan a day to look at all 3, see how the floorplan "feels", decide whether you like the outside kitchen, etc., and of course price. If you find one you like and the price is right I would buy it if you want to get into a TT this year. If you're not in a hurry, then I would wait until the spring when dealer inventory catches up with demand and you'll see good deals again at the spring round of RV shows.


2015 Ram 3500 SRW 4x4 Laramie Crew Cab Long Box, Cummins diesel
2002 Lance 811 Slide-In Camper
SOLD: 2008 Terry 34' TT
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Raife

Texas

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Posted: 08/07/20 06:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Burbman - thank you. We are not necessarily in a crunch, but have a 2.5 week trip planned in Nov. We would like to get a couple shakedown trips done first, so spring won't work.

I very quickly realized it was a bad time to buy...

colliehauler

Mc Pherson KS USA

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Posted: 08/07/20 07:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Raife wrote:

Burbman - thank you. We are not necessarily in a crunch, but have a 2.5 week trip planned in Nov. We would like to get a couple shakedown trips done first, so spring won't work.

I very quickly realized it was a bad time to buy...
The last new trailer I custom ordered took 12 weeks from day I ordered to delevery and that was when they weren't busy. Hope you find what works for you. Don't know much about them but Allen camper company in Oklahoma might be worth checking out. They have been in business since 1958.

Raife

Texas

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Posted: 08/07/20 08:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Grand Design just hit dealer inventory and I have a 7-day hold on it. We are going to look at it this weekend.

the e-man

Virginia

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Posted: 08/07/20 08:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks like you found some nice travel trailers. I'll bet you will be happy with any of them.

I have owned a Jayco Jay Flight and a Grand Design Transcend. Both have been good quality and I would happily have either one again. Can't speak to the Kingsport.

A few thoughts.

Check out the heating ducts. Grand Design has ducts in the walls and cabinets. Jayco are in the floor. Technically, floor ducts are supposed to perform better. But, dirt and other things may drop into the ducts. Cleanup will be easier without floor ducts. In cool weather, you may find a small electric heater is sufficient to heat the space, only using the furnace for camping in very cold weather.

Be sure to look under the camper. Things may have changed, but our Jayco had a cloth covering for the underbelly. Our Transcend has a rigid plastic material. With some heat ducted into the underbelly, it's supposed to improve three-season insulation. However also be sure that the underbelly is installed with minimal gaps.

The Grand Design indicates it has a 15K AC. I don't see specs for the Jayco but it is likely 13.5K. The 15K may give you a bit more cool air, but in a small camper, either is likely sufficient. A downside we have found for the more powerful AC is that our Grand Design is set up for 50 AMP power. The heavy cord is detachable rather than contained in the camper side. Many places we camp only have 30 AMP connections which means having an adapter. You may never need a generator and most campers stay where they have hookups. For some travel planning, I've been looking at generators. A Honda 3000i says it will power a 13.5 AC but not a 15K.

It may be something you never use. But, check out the outside shower. Jayco uses a pretty standard box with a shower handle and hose. Grand Design uses a quick connect with a garden sprayer. Not sure one is better. Different approaches. The quick connect is easier to keep clean. Either way, it's something you'll have to winterize if you live in a colder region.


The Imagine will have fiberglass siding and an aluminum frame. The Jay Flight is aluminum over a wood frame. You can search the forums for past conversations. Neither is necessarily better. Many prefer the smoother fiberglass look. However, some have had stickers fade on fiberglass. If you ever accidentally bump something with your camper, the aluminum may be easier to repair.

Water hookups on the Grand Design are inside the storage compartment. They call it a universal docking station. The Jayco likely has a more traditional external water connection. Both work well. The docking station approach might be better for cooler weather. If you go that way, you might find the water connection tips on my blog helpful. One thing to watch for, on some Jayco models, the water connection or outside shower are located near or above an electrical hookup. Just be sure to review your specific model so you are comfortable with the setup.

Hope that helps. Good luck in your search.


2018 Grand Design Transcend 28MKS
2010 Ram 2500
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BurbMan

Islip, Long Island

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Joined: 09/20/2001

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Posted: 08/07/20 08:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

e-man makes some good point. Our Sunnybrook was fiberglas over an aluminum frame and had much less trouble with it that we did with the Terry that had a wood frame. The quick connect "rinse port" is basically a garden nozzle with a coiled hose as opposed to a traditional shower head. The premise is that most folks use the outside shower to rinse things off rather than take an actual shower. We find it nice for rinsing the sand off at the beach.

According to the specs your Grand Design will have 30A service, which is all you need for one a/c in that size TT.

Also good point about the heat ducts in the walls and cabinets. Our Terry had them in the floor and it's impossible to keep stuff from falling there especially when you sweep. They're not even ducts, more like thin flashing lining a joist bay.

If you have the dealer holding the Grand Design, I would do all of your research ahead of time and be ready to pull the trigger if you like it.

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