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Old 04-25-2013, 02:01 PM   #1
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Default Prospective Buyer, NEW to all but tent camping

Okay so we live in Aurora Colorado, we have been looking/saving for the last year for something we can enjoy the great outdoors. Growing up on a farm we have quite a bit of outdoor time and our current foster children have had none of it. (we are trying to adopt them and a lot of our savings for this has gone to lawyer fees-- yay!) So we've been looking at the KZ line (210ks, and the 196S) but we saw this at an RV show in Denver and even though it is a lot more expensive to purchase, I could see insurance for it being lower-- Savings on just GAS would be worth it's weight in gold, and the fact it can be stored inside (And having never towed anything I'd feel a lot safer with THIS opposed to a full 24 TT)

TV we'll be buying in 21 days, (2013 Santa Fe GLS with a tow pull ability of 5,000 pounds) I'm kind of sold on the 2720 layouts. Which one specifically we'd be leaning towards the just plain 2720 although we have two foster children now we don't know if we'll be able to keep them. We also live 15 minutes away from almost 30 nieces and nephews, and we'd want to use this as something we can do once a month for bonding time if we can't keep our foster children. (Once a month pick 2-3 kids and go camping just over night up the hill)

I have been reading this forum off and on for 6 months and thought I'd finally post and register opposed to being a lurker, even though I have read most of the threads here. With that said to sum up.

1. Really looking forward to do this
2. Really scared as never towed
3. Really scared because I'm not mechncaially inclined (I work in IT)
4. Scared because I have never winterized anything, don't normally PACK BARRINGS, etc.
5. really like the 2720 though any floor model would work though leaning towards the 2720
6. Live in Aurora CO and doesn't seem to be any used for sale within hunderds of miles and again being a noob to towing
7. Would love to know WHERE to camp around here-- i'm from california and we could just drive up i80 and pull off and dry camp with a pop up, and hunt/shoot/track etc... any place around in CO we can do that?
8. Where are so good camp sites in the colorado area?
9. Is there a good thread taht is a "101 about towing" I know most of it (book knowledge) though have missed some (tow hitch weight is what?!)
10. I have been REALLY impressed with this forum, and I hope to join your ranks in a month or so for 2013 summer time.
11. I like turtles.
12. One of the things I do is hosting/web design and would love to host this site the trail blazers for free if you guys are currently having to pay for hosting.
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:19 PM   #2
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Others with more experience will respond regarding towing. I guess in CO you have to really make sure you have a proper tow vehicle, it sounds like you're in a good place since you haven't purchased TV yet.

For my $.02, I just recently bought a 2619, first time towing too (other than small boat), so far no issues. One does spend a lot of time glancing in the side rear-views when driving stretches of highway that are under construction.

Something I didn't know, you have to install a brake control in the TV, it controls the electric brakes in the TM. Or I suppose you can buy a vehicle that has one.

Documents in forum [TrailManor information you won't find anywhere else] address towing weights, weight distribution hitch, etc. I don't know if there is a comprehensive document but I am willing to bet everything about towing is covered in one doc or another. I haven't looked but I bet there are some good videos on Youtube, I've seen a number of RV videos there.

So, long story short, I'm new to this too, like you I had concerns about towing, so far its worked out great. A lot to learn but that's part of the fun.

As a new owner, some other advice I'd have is, buy as large as you can. We love our 2619 but boy the inside space goes in a hurry when you're camping. And it sounds like you may have quite the crowd.

Good luck.
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:06 PM   #3
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Location: Centennial, Colorado
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kn1ghtus, become a full member ($12 a year), and we can PM for some more detailed info. While I don't have a 2720, I do have a 2417. Smaller, but same general layout - bathroom, two beds, door, windows, hitch.

Towing - definitely will need the trailer-brake controller. Many of us use a Prodigy. Simple to connect/disconnect. If you buy your TV from a dealer, have them install the wiring before delivery. I took mine to Kettlesen Campers (Kipling & I-70), and they installed the wiring for $70.

Contact The Car Show, Inc in Colo. Springs. They may have an inside line on a 2720 coming in on trade, as they are the TM dealer for this large area. And, post in the "TrailManors Wanted" section of the forum.

Don't be worried about towing. Tow slow around sideroads for a little bit, and you will get used to it. As with everything else, do it a few times, and you will be more comfortable.

Weight-distributing hitch. Many opinions about what is best, but I got mine used by going to an RV dealer, and asking if they had any used trade-ins. They make all the difference in the world regarding towing level and in control.

More about where to camp when I have some time. Join and PM me, or I will post some ideas in the next few days. I have done lots of trailer camping in Colo.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:09 PM   #4
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I hope it all works out for you! If it does, I have a slight recommendation.

Sometime, hook up the trailer, take it to a large empty parking lot (maybe a nearby school after hours), and just for grins and giggles practice backing up and getting the trailer to go where you want.

I know for us, that was the hardest part of towing
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:57 PM   #5
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You mention you will be buying a tow vehicle shortly with a tow capacity of 5000 lbs. That is certainly one number to consider, but you also need to look at gross capacity and gross combined capacity. When you hook to the trailer, you transfer some of the weight to the vehicle. Add passengers and all your stuff you stuff in the back, and you can exceed the capacity of the vehicle. Combined capacity is the total weight of the combined pair as pulled around on your trip.

Either in excess can cause premature wear and tear on the vehicle. More important, an accident can create liability for you if proven you exceed these numbers. Adding more weight also increases stopping distances, which can be problematic in emergencies.

I am NOT suggesting your vehicle is necessarily a problem, what I am suggesting is review all the numbers, not just a published tow capacity.
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:27 PM   #6
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I agree with Mister P. if you go over the vehicles towing capacity will the engine or transmission be covered under the warranty? More than likely not.
I don't want to discourage you from the TM or any other camper, but knowing before buying will save you money and frustration.
I've owned my 2619 for a couple of months an love it. I had a popup for 12 years before moving up and I don't regret it.
As to towing, just take it slow and make sure you can see behind the camper when going down the road.
My pup wasn't a problem, but I quickly realized I need tow mirrors for my truck. Good luck with what ever decision you make.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:07 AM   #7
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Chilledog and everyone else about tow Vech:

Although I can't find the max capasity of the santa fe 2013 it tows 5,000 and we only plan on having 2 adults and two-3 children. The 2720 is only 2600 pounds-- that still leaves almost 50% of the tow weight Plus whatever is max compasity, I think we'll run out of gross weight of the TM before the TV-- If I'm wrong here please correct me but a tow weight of 5,000 and a TM of only 55% that I thought we'd be more then okay? Including gear/people/even uphill without TOO much problem... I've been fighting for months to get a good deal on the TV and we feel it'll be perfect for the rest of our areas of life as well.

I'm glad to hear to hear you are feeling good towing, that helps settle some fears

I will get the tow package installed by the dealership, but you think I need to do something else too it too hmm? I will look into that.

The space issue you bring up, that is why I liked the 2720, and it stills only 55% of our tow ability-- but if people think it's too big...

LoveToCamp: I'd love to become a full member,however I don't think I'm going to until I know I for sure am getting one! I'd hate to pay money to be a member of a forum and community I'm not really a part of
I've been reading a lot about the dealership in Colorado Springs and I did call but just to ask what their "sale" price was on a 2013 2720-- yeah we can't go new that is for sure.

I'd REALLY like to hear about where to camp (with google map links even) around here that are maybe only an hour away from metro? 90 minutes? We'd like to almost every weekend just throw the kids in and just get away from the city (okay TRY every weekend, at least monthly) even for just one night or two. I'd also again like someplace that we could shoot, track, hunt-- completely dry camping with no camp ground. Setup camp. In CA we could do that often and we'd make arrows and just shoot them into a canyon and see how long before it hit the ground-- the kids loved it so much hah!

CeeWoo: That is a great recommendation that I will be doing for sure, as I found that advise in other places in this forum (as I said I've been a lurker off and on for many moons

MisterP and Kidkraz: Please see the first note? You don't think 5000 capacity on a 2648 pound TM is good enough?
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:28 AM   #8
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I think you will find that weight to be "modest" Plus you maywant to take along things like food,water gear which adds up quickly. My wife had never towed either but it is all about being aware. It was the backing up that she had problems with
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:11 AM   #9
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Kn1ghtus - we are not berating you on your choice of tow vehicle, just offering opinions.

If the empty weight you are stating is from Trailmanor for the TM of interest, that is a bare trailer with no awning, air conditioner, batteries, any other accessories and the stuff you will put in it. Search for "Trailmanor weight" and read some values for trailers people are towing. One member says his 2720 is over 4000 lbs when set up to tow. Most members will state realistic towing weights are 1000 lbs or more above published empty weights.

Another consideration is using a weight distributing hitch (WDH). There are good websites describing how they work, not my intent here. But your vehicle with a 5000 tow capacity may have a 500 lb tongue weight limit. There should be a label on the hitch receiver. Trailmanors are known to be heavy on the tongue, so a 4000 lb TM could have a 600 lb tongue weight, exceeding the receiver capacity. The WDH transfers some of that weight to the front of the vehicle, improving handling and more important braking.

As an example, I am towing my 3326 with a Ford Expedition. My receiver says the capacity for towing is 5000 lbs without the WDH and over 8000 lbs with one.

I personally would not tow any Trailmanor without a WDH, particularly if using a smaller wheelbase vehicle. Other members will disagree with that opinion, it's purely a personal decision. Good luck with your choices and have fun!
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:18 AM   #10
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Location: New Braunfels, Texas
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Up to the 2012 models, they were rated as max 3500lbs. What has been done to the SF to now rate higher to 5k lbs? Bigger engine? beefy platform or frame? added a different hitch with the tow kit?

I would be suspect of the inceased tow capacity. Also, the weight your indicating is factory Dry Weight. Add in A/C, Propane Tanks, Batteries, Awning, and a full fresh water tank when you go dry camping, and the weight is several hundred pounds heavier than the factory weight. In fact, I would think it would be much closer to 3500 lbs. Add in your camp gear that cannot be stored in the SF due to your passengers and stuff and the weight may be even higher. Probably OK on flat areas down the front range but I would not be towing up and over the mountains west. I'm surprised a member here has not replied with actual weights on their 2720.

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