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  1. #1
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    One year road trip

    Mornin All,

    First time on the forum. We will be returning the US at the end of the year, travel restrictions permitting. Since we are arriving with 2 suitcases and our border collie we felt it was the perfect time to take a year or two to discover the US, no downsizing required. The Grand Design 27RL or 303RLS has our interest. We will be towing with an F-250, 384 hp, probably moving locations at least once a week. Does anyone see an issue towing either trailer with this truck? On the 27RL can you access the refrigerator without opening the slide on the entry side, it would be nice to access even for an overnight stop. Thank you.

    Alan

  2. #2
    Site Team Second Chance's Avatar
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    With fifth wheels, it's not about horsepower - it's about payload. The 303, when loaded, will put about 2,700 lbs. on the pin. As long as your F-250 has that left over for payload after the hitch is installed and the three of you are on board with all your stuff, you should be good to go. The 27RL, of course, is lighter so should not be a problem. I'm pretty sure the 27RL is a discontinued model so you would be looking for a used one... and the RV market is really crazy right now. Looking at the floor plan, getting to the refrigerator in the 27RL with the slides in might be dicey.

    Rob
    U.S. Army Retired
    Widowed and very happily remarried
    2012 F350 DRW CC LB Lariat PS 6.7
    2020 Solitude 310GK-R, MORryde IS, disc brakes,
    Sailun LRG tires, solar, DP windows, W/D
    (Previously in a Reflection 337RLS)
    Full time since 08/2015

  3. #3
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    Thanks for that. I am curious how you came to the hitch weight and please take my questions from a learning standpoint. I owned a fifth wheel in the past, 36 ft., heavy but only had to move it once as it was more of an office for me. Used a 96 Chev 3/4 ton but would not want to make multiple pulls. Anyway, everything I read shows a hitch weight on the 303 of a little less than 1,700 with a dry weight of 9,200. GVWR is 12,000. So I'm curious how you could load 3,000 lbs in the trailer and increase the hitch weight by 1,000. Of course most of the storage is in front of the axles. Again, trying to learn. The payload on the truck is stated at 4,200 but you have to factor driver and passengers, dog and whatever else. Agree with you on the refrigerator access, doesn't look like it from the floorplans therefore was hoping someone could confirm. Realize we'll be looking at used trailers as that is what is in the budget, but we will definitely get it inspected prior to purchase. I am open to any suggestions, information and help!! Thanks again for the quick response.

  4. #4
    Site Team Second Chance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cricket View Post
    Thanks for that. I am curious how you came to the hitch weight and please take my questions from a learning standpoint. I owned a fifth wheel in the past, 36 ft., heavy but only had to move it once as it was more of an office for me. Used a 96 Chev 3/4 ton but would not want to make multiple pulls. Anyway, everything I read shows a hitch weight on the 303 of a little less than 1,700 with a dry weight of 9,200. GVWR is 12,000. So I'm curious how you could load 3,000 lbs in the trailer and increase the hitch weight by 1,000. Of course most of the storage is in front of the axles. Again, trying to learn. The payload on the truck is stated at 4,200 but you have to factor driver and passengers, dog and whatever else. Agree with you on the refrigerator access, doesn't look like it from the floorplans therefore was hoping someone could confirm. Realize we'll be looking at used trailers as that is what is in the budget, but we will definitely get it inspected prior to purchase. I am open to any suggestions, information and help!! Thanks again for the quick response.
    There are a couple of elements involved in the answer to your question... first, advertised dry weights are rarely, if ever, correct. They do not include the weight of options/add-ons, LP, fluids, batteries, etc. Next, about half of the weight of everything you load goes on the pin. This is simply because the basement and front storage compartment (in addition to the LP tanks up front) are roughly halfway between the front axle and the pin. Finally, a reliable rule of thumb for estimating loaded pin weight is to use 20 - 25% (I use 23% and it usually comes out pretty close) of the GVWR of the trailer. The GVWR on the 303 is 11,995 lbs. 23% of that is about 2,758 lbs. If you search the forum for threads on weight and the trailer model numbers, you'll likely find some real-world examples where folks have posted their weight tickets for the 303. (I have weight tickets and numbers for our previous Reflection 337 if you're interested. Weights will be proportionate.)

    Truck payloads obtained from published materials are rarely accurate, either, as they often do not take into consideration options, trim level, etc. The best way to know the true payload on a truck is to fuel it up, everyone climb in, and drive to the nearest CAT scale. Add the weight of whichever hitch you're going to use to the scale weights you get and subtract that total from the truck's GVWR on the door sticker. Most folks don't get their panties in a wad over a few hundred pounds here and there as long as you're under the rear axle and tire ratings for the truck. The only F250 out there with a payload of 4,260 is a 2022 standard cab gasser work truck - the trucks only get heavier and payloads go down from there.

    Rob
    U.S. Army Retired
    Widowed and very happily remarried
    2012 F350 DRW CC LB Lariat PS 6.7
    2020 Solitude 310GK-R, MORryde IS, disc brakes,
    Sailun LRG tires, solar, DP windows, W/D
    (Previously in a Reflection 337RLS)
    Full time since 08/2015

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    Site Team Redapple63's Avatar
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    Cricket,

    Robs numbers are pretty much on. With that said, if your truck does indeed have a 4200 lb payload, that truck can do it as long as GVWR and GAWR are both in line. Even with 3k on the pin, you have an available 1200lbs for people and stuff before you max out.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    2019 GMC 3500 SRW Sierra Denali Duramax
    2020 Reflection 315RLTS

  6. #6
    Site Team WhittleBurner's Avatar
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    The 303 is a great road trip floorplan. Fridge, bathroom and bedroom access all easy without opening slides. We have a '14 303 and the storage for long trips inside is hard to beat. The newer 303s have lost some cabinets as GD tweaks what we felt was a perfect trailer the way we bought it. I'm not sure which year they started changing it for bigger TVs and Fridges. Honestly I wouldn't buy todays 303 and would go right for the 337 in the newer designed trailers.

    One thing to watch for is if the used unit still has the Atwood Helium fridge. Those are discontinued and parts are hard to come by.

    We can fit into many state parks and national forests. There have only been a few instances where getting into a site has been an issue

    Honestly if you are on the road for 1 year or more I would go with a 1 ton diesel with 4wd , you are going to encounter many different terrains . Hope that 4wd is never needed but is a great addition the day you do need it.

    The dry pinweights from GD sound wonderful but after you replace the horrible mattress you'll start to see the pin weight increase. As you pack up for extended travel the weight goes up. Also you want extra wiggle room in the bed of the truck for outdoor grills maybe an ez up type shade and also a propane fire pit is also handy with all the fire bans as areas dry up, firewood transport is also an issue.

    We are pretty much packed for full time travel and our pin weight when weighed was between 25 and 2600...have to find the weight slip to give exact numbers. Also (I'm told) I'm an over packer.
    Last edited by WhittleBurner; 05-09-2021 at 06:54 AM.
    Marcy & Gary
    2014 Grand Design - Reflection 303RLS
    2015 GMC Denali 3500 Duramax Longbed SRW
    2003 F350 - retired
    Michigan
    We're in trouble now, the dog are bloggin'!
    https://3dogsandatrailer.wordpress.com/


  7. #7
    Seasoned Camper
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    We love the 27RL, discontinued in 2018. We love not having an island and a huge living room. Light and very easy to tow and maneuver.
    Bob and Cheryl, Puka the doodle
    2018 Ram 2500 Crew,Diesel,4x4
    2016 Reflection 27RL
    2012 Palomino 6.5 camper

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BreakfastinAmerica View Post
    We love the 27RL, discontinued in 2018. We love not having an island and a huge living room. Light and very easy to tow and maneuver.
    Thanks to everyone for responding, certainly gives me something to think about and obviously have more research to do on the trucks. I guess as the old saying goes, you can't believe everything you read on the internet. Looks like a 27rl is in the works for us, we're not heavy packers.

    With the 27rl can you access the refrigerator without putting the slide out? It is an overnight stop question. Do you feel your 3/4 ton is adequate or would you prefer a 1 ton?

    Again thanks to everyone. I'm sure you'll be getting more questions from me.

  9. #9
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    We love that we can use bathroom without moving slides, never use another gas station again.
    When we travel we can stop and open dining room slide 10 inches and have complete access to area. Fridge and sink access for lunch is great, we can also sit in seats next to fridge to eat or relax.
    As far as weight goes, our 2018 RAM diesel is great and we went with the Andersen hitch that I find works great.
    Our 2500 is rated to 10Kon the sticker and the unit is 8300 dry and maxes out at 9995. That being said if I was to buy another truck again, I would go with a 2021 RAM 3500. More than enough for our trailer but if we wanted to get a bigger unit the 2500 is not enough.
    I would not get a 2019/2020 3500 because RAM went to the problematic fuel injection those 2 years.

    Happy trails!
    Bob and Cheryl, Puka the doodle
    2018 Ram 2500 Crew,Diesel,4x4
    2016 Reflection 27RL
    2012 Palomino 6.5 camper

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BreakfastinAmerica View Post
    We love that we can use bathroom without moving slides, never use another gas station again.
    When we travel we can stop and open dining room slide 10 inches and have complete access to area. Fridge and sink access for lunch is great, we can also sit in seats next to fridge to eat or relax.
    As far as weight goes, our 2018 RAM diesel is great and we went with the Andersen hitch that I find works great.
    Our 2500 is rated to 10Kon the sticker and the unit is 8300 dry and maxes out at 9995. That being said if I was to buy another truck again, I would go with a 2021 RAM 3500. More than enough for our trailer but if we wanted to get a bigger unit the 2500 is not enough.
    I would not get a 2019/2020 3500 because RAM went to the problematic fuel injection those 2 years.

    Happy trails!
    I may have accidentally sent an unfinished reply. Anyway, I thought I was familiar with trucks, trailers, hauling equipment as I have done this my entire life. But now I feel like an idiot. After additional research, which with my computer skills is a challenge, I find Rob to be right on with the payload numbers. So my question now is about towing ability. Why do all the sites say a 2018 dodge ram 2500 can tow up to 17,000 lbs. and Bob's sticker says 10,000. Where do you find the "truth" about certain models. And Bob, you seem comfortable hauling the maximum? Would you fel the same traveling across the US moving once a week? The one thing I really want to avoid is undersizing my truck, but we're not exactly raking in the dough so budget is also an issue. Not only are good used 1 tons harder to find but certainly more expensive. Keeping up the research and really appreciate all the information. It is a bit difficult to do this outside the US and not being able to personally view everything.

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