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lightweight travel trailers.

Discussion in 'Towing and Hauling' started by compressionignitionrules, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. compressionignitionrules

    compressionignitionrules Full Access Member

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    Hey what are guys here haulign for small travel trailer, or big? We were watching for a slide in truck camper but I had a salesman ask me our plans and he suggested a truck camper is just not enough room for us........................... damnit he was right. so we started looking at lightweight travel trailers but need sleep for 2 large adults, 2 teenage girls 5'6 and 5'7 and our 9 yr old son. really liked the NOBO by forest river but the 16.5 only slept 4 and felt tiny inside. have spent a few days checkign out floorplans and weights /options and I think we are stuck on a coleman 17FQ single axle with a queen, dinette double, and single over double bunk beds. If we get it I will switch to soemthign other than a 14" wheel, probably a larger axle as its gvw is 350lbs more than its 3500lb axle.

    I could pull a much larger trailer with my diesel crewcab Ford, but we are going to be on some serious back roads and I don't want the trailer to steer me. will probably be close to 1500 miles total of gravel/soft surface roads.

    any experienced here with lightweight travel trailers?

    I think this might be a done deal as it was the only trailer this size that had beds for 5/6, wife and 2 of the kids just loved the layout, all I saw was where it would fail first.:kick:I'll have to dig up a photo.
     
  2. chillman88

    chillman88 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    While I don't have anything to add at this point, I've been "half" looking for a while now. I'll be following this thread to see what everyone comes up with.
     
  3. Clb

    Clb Another old truck Supporting Member

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    Wait.
    stop and think on this...
    the kids are gunna grow, make that outgrow a 17' rig pdq
    are you talkin a one time deal?
    Back roads ?
    Are you talking switchbacks you fear turning radius, scrub issues?
    Are you thinking the trailer will cause steering issues?
    My 5er is 26' with a slide, for us 2 skinny folks and lap dog its just enough.
    Thats with the bed off the floorplan.
    I think my kids coleman is a 28' bunkhouse bumper pull, it's not any bigger inside.
    A family of 4 in a 17'er is gunna be tight.
    If just for sleeping in, ok just ok.
    But if you were gunna do a bed mount, you are braver than me!
    Look at etrailers website, and hit the forum.
    A full sized ford should handle a 30' ok.
    Bumper pulls are less fun, 5ers pull better, pack tighter, and park better.
    Just my .02
    Cb
     
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  4. Clb

    Clb Another old truck Supporting Member

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    Lightweight 's compromise quality (already at the ragged edge) for numbnutz and his fool sized datusn truck.
    Some of these things void the warranty if you do not do annual dealer roof and siding inspections...(think on that) my kid was gunna buy a -3 year old rig till he saw the number of re roofed and needing a new roof units.
    Also look at build quality, there are 3 top shelf manufacturing companies out there.
    I hope ya survived the wall o text.
    Cb
     
  5. compressionignitionrules

    compressionignitionrules Full Access Member

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    coleman 17FQ.jpg hey input is what I want. our oldest isn't going to stay home long and middle one is going to be a city girl , I can tell already she likes to stay home even if we are only an hour drive anywhere.
    We also have a Very small house ,under 1100sq ft with 4 bedroom and 1 bath. so they are used to being crowded. I did go to etrailers and did some searches, interesting stuff and soem things I had never thought of.
    we are looking at it as a place to sleep/eat, but will be driving a 97 crewcab diesel pickup it will be interesting when we are stuck on a rainy day but I'm going to set up some side beds in the pickup bed as I'll have a topper on it, so there will be room to get everybody seperated if/when conflicts occur.

    my only concern is the wieght of the trailer is maxing out the axle rating. I have pulled 10,000lbs on a tandem axle flatbed behind an extended van and I want the lightweight trailer .

    coleman 17 FQ.JPG
     
  6. compressionignitionrules

    compressionignitionrules Full Access Member

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    Ok it IS a done deal . talked to the distributor and there is no warranty issue if I put a larger axle under it, that was my main concern. (nothing is perfect)
    Wife's big concerns is the size of the refrigerator , and only a 2 burner stove, so extra food storage and outdoor kitchen should be considered.
    we are good with both of those, I will have a 12V fridge in the back of the truck, and always pack a propane portable stove. kids are happy and wife is happy. we will be getting it in April. give us a chance to try it out with the existing axle, I have some 16" wheels with same bolt pattern to try out and if I need to I can change the axle without having to worry about effecting the warranty.

    only change they will be making to it for us is changing the shower taps to a faucet with a button so it can be used as a hand washing station instead of just a shower control. Wife goes nuts when the kids wash their hands in the kitchen sink at home so this is a good idea. $75 cost.

    our long trip is 4weeks in summer west to Alberta/BC north to Whitehorse and up to the arctic ocean. I should have the bugs worked out by then and will know if I need a heavier axle.
     
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  7. rempfer

    rempfer Registered User

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    Do you have the complete URL for "etrailers" website? A Google search just comes up with etrailer.com. Etrailer.com sells trailer parts, etc., but I don't see that they sell travel/camping trailers. Need the link to the website you're talking about, please.
     
  8. Thewespaul

    Thewespaul Supporting Vendor Supporting Member

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    If you’re looking for something better built that may need some work (just like our trucks) I would look into the older Avion aluminum trailers. They can still be had for cheap, and parts are still plentiful and they are some of the best trailers ever made. I’ve owned three and buy them cheap and restore them either for my own use or as a flip. I picked up our first one that was a 34’ early 70s model (they make all kinds of sizes) for $1500 and spent about 4K redoing the floor, mattresses, kitchen arrangement, new fridge toilet and shower. I enjoyed it for a year and flipped it for over 12. They even made some sweet slide ins that I’d like to get, but so many projects so little time, just another thing I’m into along with the IDIs.
     
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  9. Clb

    Clb Another old truck Supporting Member

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    @rempfer
    You found the RIGHT spot, not really t.t. Specific, but he is wanting an axle swap.

    Google search???
    Try rv groups
    Rv forums
    Travel clubs
    Rv restoration forums
     
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  10. compressionignitionrules

    compressionignitionrules Full Access Member

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    http://www.popupportal.com/forums/etrailer-com-trailers-and-towing-forum.546/

    it came up for me first try I just put in "etrailer forums"

    yup I used google search...........................

    I've put off my purchase until i pull the trailer, I've never pulled a single axle trailer only lots of tandem axles. we are taking it around 5000 miles from home and don't want to hate it after we get halfway there. if it was just for running around Ontario I would have given the deposit this morning. if its gone its gone....................

    sales man is fine with it and says quote will still stand. I have fridays off and have my dad's truck to test it with.

    EDIT: wife saw my post and wanted me to add we shoudl take it as far as Alberta and then trade it on our dream truck camper as truck campers are extremely popular in the west. she a little nutty from all the squirrels freaking out in our backyard :rotflmao
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  11. Clb

    Clb Another old truck Supporting Member

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    Wise choice, I'm not a fan of singles.
    But keep mom happy.
     
  12. laserjock

    laserjock Almost there... Supporting Member

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    IMG_6979.jpg

    Here is our rig. It’s a 26 BHW (I think). I looked at a lot of campers. It’s hard to get one much smaller and keep tandem axles. The next size down is basically the same layout but you loose the couch.

    My requirements were full bathroom, AC, tandem axles. I like the bunkhouse arrangement. That way those are basically 2 bedrooms. The couch is a futon so for your case, everyone could have a bed with minimal set up/tear down. I hated when I was a kid that I slept on the table. It meant I was always the first one to get up and the last one down because people wanted to eat or have a place to sit and talk. It’s really nice to not have to tear all the beds up to have breakfast.

    Other things that I can tell you from my searching. Slides are awesome for adding space. Problem is the also add a ton of weight (literally) and a lot of cost. The version of my camper with the slide out kitchen was well over 1000lb heavier and about 4K more expensive if memory serves.
     
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  13. compressionignitionrules

    compressionignitionrules Full Access Member

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    we bought the coleman, they called this week and said its ready for pickup. only 1 thing I heard about slideouts was leaks so wasn't even going there. I was planning on taking my 97 F350 4x4 crew , but it needs a trans if I'm taking it on a 10,000 mile trip. its fine for a beater if it stays in the 100 mile circuit.

    looks like I'm finishing up a project I bought and taking it. its a 97 F250 CC shorty 2wd , but has a ZF 7.3 powerstroke. it had loads of money spent on it and the guy couldn't get the clutch bled after all new parts and just gave up on it. I coudl have driven it hoem but he had all the mirrors and trim off it ready for sand and paint.
    has a decent clean xlt interior too so that will make the Mrs happy. she can drive a stick but is a little rough on clutch engage/disengage , she won't stall it anyway:rotflmao. even with a light trailer behind it. DSCN1574.JPG
     
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  14. compressionignitionrules

    compressionignitionrules Full Access Member

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    2 new batteries and a repair to a previously brand new starter under 100 miles that has a stripped nut on the S terminal. previous owner messed up the S stud so I found a matching thread nut in a bolt bin and worked the connector until it was raw and added a 2nd nut. cranks like a new one and starts decent. my 15 yr old daughter loved the dark blue colour so its her job to sand the box and fenders and I'll get a buddy to spray it with some cheap paint. Multi colored truck with out of province plates might draw unwanted attention? maybe I'll just stick and old set of factory Alcoas on it instead? when you look pennyless people tend to leave you alone. have my eye on a pair of tube bumper with a front winch mount.......

    if the fricken snow stops we will pick the trailer up soon. had to drive through snow squalls Sat night and snow all day today on and off now about 3-4 inches on the ground that was bare and wet Saturday morning. clutch pedal feels fine but a 2nd gear downshift was a little harsh so I'll bleed it a again.

    you know its had a rough winter when a mouse nest blows out of the exhaust on first rev up.LOL
     
  15. compressionignitionrules

    compressionignitionrules Full Access Member

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    We picked up our new trailer on thurs. I had the day off because I don't work fridays. surprising easy to pull behind a 5.8 efi C6 truck. shouldn't even feel it behind the 97 f350 crewcab diesel. mama and 2 kids wanted their pics infront eventhough today was wet and cold, my family wanted pics so.......... DSC01612.JPG
    selling the 97 F250 crewcab shortbox I was fixing to use this summer's trip and patching up the 97 F350 4x4 to use. I borrowed my brother's 04 Honda civic and realized quickly I was not going to be able to drive the ZF for long. to many dislocations and years of bursitis in my R shoulder. I used to love driving 5spd :cry:
    DSC01097.JPG
    it needs lots of body and interior work but the drivetrain is pretty nice. front fenders, cab corners and wheel well panels is all it needs , floors and doors are pretty good! repacked the front wheel bearings and ready to reassemble. no front end work needed, just have to take the rear brakes apart and inspect and measure for the commercial safety. it has 3.55s but I might just put in a trac loc . its going to be a daily and then a winter vehicle after the trip. I'll be putting in an auxillary tank in the box and hookign up to the front tank. puttign a lower topper on it, and makign up a little bunk in the back incase mini me wants to have a guy's nite or two on our trip. putting an extra battery in the back and a 12V fridge to supplement the small propane/110 fridge in the trailer.

    hopefully have the big black crew on the road by the end of april.
     
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