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Thread: RV/Truck newbies here and need some advice.

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    RV/Truck newbies here and need some advice.

    My husband and I are looking to get our first travel trailer and truck, and are finding ourselves OVERWHELMED by all the options, information and advice we're finding (or not finding). We would love to get some straightforward guidance from folks who have done this before.

    Our family consists of my husband and I + 3 German Shepherds. That's about 650 pounds in passengers alone. We're looking at the Transcend Xplor 240ML (UVW 6265lbs, Hitch 598lbs, GVWR 7495lbs, length 29'9") or the Transcend Xplor 220RB (UVW 5389lbs, Hitch 510lbs, GVWR 6995lbs, length 26'10"). Those are manufacturer specs, so I understand those weights are give or take a few pounds depending on customizations, add-ons, etc. I figure we'll be traveling with bikes, dog cages/gear, all of our human junk, and potentially a generator/firewood/extra propane if we want to boondock. Also, I overpack everywhere we go For our first few trips, I imagine we'll be staying relatively local (we live in SoCal) but eventually want to travel farther. At this point, almost nothing is out of the question, until we figure out how/where we do and don't like to travel.

    We've been looking at RAM trucks to tow either one of these trailers and are debating whether or not we need to get a 1500 or 2500. The 1500's claim they have tow capacity of 10,000lbs no problem, and people I know keep telling me the half ton truck should be plenty. In the tow calculators I've found, we're always over payload in a 1500. Does that matter? What does it mean for tow performance / wear & tear on the truck? Is a 1500 good enough, or do we need to get the 2500? Should we get a gas or diesel truck? Does fuel type matter for towing performance? Do we need any of the extra/upgradeable features like a larger axle ratio, air suspension, engine cooling, anti-spin differential, etc.? What does the weight distribution hitch do (distribute weight, yes, but what does that MEAN?)

    Does anyone have opinions on either of the trailers, be it "the models you're looking at are missing XX feature that you MUST have" or "as a newbie, don't get anything over XX feet".

    Any advice or words of wisdom you can provide is much appreciated. Thank you <3

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    Site Sponsor NB Canada's Avatar
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    RV/Truck newbies here and need some advice.

    You should get a 2500. No question
    Gas would be fine



    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 crew
    Last edited by NB Canada; 02-17-2021 at 02:36 PM.
    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 Crew 1840lb payload

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    Site Sponsor NB Canada's Avatar
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    I personally donít like the 240ML because of the rear kitchen
    I think many struggle to get weight on the tongue since there is so much storage behind the axles
    That can lead to sway issues

    I have no experience with this but have seen threads about them


    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 crew
    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 Crew 1840lb payload

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    Site Sponsor NB Canada's Avatar
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    A weight distribution hitch takes weight off of the rear axle of the truck and transfers it to the front axle of the truck and also to the axles of the trailer
    A quality wdh will also keep a properly loaded trailer from swaying


    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 crew
    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 Crew 1840lb payload

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    @NB Canada Thank you for all your answers!

    What about the rear kitchen don't you like?

    What do you mean by "I think many struggle to get weight on the tongue since there is so much storage behind the axles"?
    Last edited by hkmurray920; 02-17-2021 at 03:49 PM.

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    Site Sponsor Tigger1's Avatar
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    @hkmurray920 after reading what you plan to take plus passenger weights including dogs and hitch weight for either trailer (13% of trailer GVWR), I agree with needing a 2500.

    We have a XLS 22mle that looks similar to the 240ML except a few ft shorter with rear kitchen and we have not had any issues with tongue weight being too light.
    2010 Tundra SR5 DC 5.7L 4x4
    2020 Imagine XLS 22MLE
    Andersen WDH
    Dexter E-Z Flex Suspension Kit
    2018 Rockwood Mini Lite 2104s
    2014 Jayco x17z Hybrid

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    Site Sponsor Jerryr's Avatar
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    Donít skimp on the truck. Get at least a 2500 or better yet a 3500 if licensing costs arenít much different in your state.

    We started out with a new F150 and a Imagine 2800BH. The truck had ample towing specs for the trailer but the trailer was in charge when towing. At times it was scary when being passed by bigger trucks. It tried multiple hitches etc. 3 months later we traded in the truck for a diesel F350 (1 ton single rear wheel) and traded the imagine for a reflection 337RLS 5th wheel. That combo is a dream to tow and can be controlled with 1 finger on the steering wheel.

    We towed the Imagine with the F350 only one time to bring it to the dealer to trade it in. The difference towing the imagine with the 350 vs the 150 was night and day.

    If you end up enjoying camping, like we found out we did, you may be upgrading trailers shortly. So buy the truck now that you will need for your next trailer. You canít have too much truck.

    A gas engine will be fine for flat roads. A diesel will do great on flat roads but it really shines on hills and at higher altitudes. Diesel trucks usually have 800 lbs less payload than a similar equipped gas truck due to engine weight difference.

    What ever truck you buy, before buying it look at the ďTire and Loading stickerĒ on the front door jamb and see what the payload is for that particular truck. Donít count on brochure payloads as they are for stripped down basic trucks. Payload is the what the sticker states as ďNever exceed Combined weight of cargo and passengersĒ
    Jerry & Linda
    With Cleopatra our Jack Russell & and JR our Amazon Parrot
    2017 Reflection 337RLS, Build Date 01/2017, Titan Disk Brakes, Goodyear G614s 235/85/16 G Rated tires
    2020 F-350 Lariat Ultimate 4x4 PSD SRW Short Bed, 3483 lb Payload, Factory 5th Wheel Prep, Bedrug Bedliner, Andersen Ultimate II Aluminum 5th wheel hitch
    http://visitedstatesmap.com/image/FLGANCSCsm.jpg

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    Thank you @Jerryr, this was very informative.

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    Site Sponsor NB Canada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkmurray920 View Post
    @NB Canada Thank you for all your answers!

    What about the rear kitchen don't you like?

    What do you mean by "I think many struggle to get weight on the tongue since there is so much storage behind the axles"?
    Because of the pantry and kitchen cabinets are behind the axles so it takes weight off of the front

    Some of your heaviest items are in your kitchen

    Not saying this is the rule but others have had bad sway because of it

    You want a lot of weight on the front. Not the rear

    Tongue weight for these should try to be over 750


    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 crew
    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 Crew 1840lb payload

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    Fireside Member Fivecodys's Avatar
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    I don't know about everyone else but we didn't keep out 1st travel trailer very long before we found something we liked better.
    Problem was I had bought a 1/2 ton truck with too little payload for my new trailer (5th wheel, long story won't bore you with the details of that). I learned and later made better decisions.

    Since you are going to buy a truck anyway, why not step up a little to a 3/4 ton and give yourself some wiggle room should you decide to buy a larger trailer down the road?
    As I read in another response in this thread, you might even consider a 1 ton. Good advice.
    I know all of this can be confusing for beginners but you made a good decision asking people who only have your best interest at heart.

    My advice costs nothing and sometimes that's about all it's worth too.
    Last edited by Fivecodys; 02-17-2021 at 05:00 PM.
    2020 Reflection 29RS 5th Wheel
    2019 GMC 2500 HD 4x4 Duramax

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