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  #1  
Old 06-17-2005, 10:38 AM
one504
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Default Any families using the 2720?

I have *zero* camping experience, other than a couple of stints with the 82nd Airborne - but now I've got 3 kids (6mos., 4 & 4 1/2) and the wife and I are getting the bug. We live in western Oregon, so it's easy for us to take off on a friday and either be in the mountains or on the beach, in a few hours.

I was originally interested in a 4x4 conversion van (Sportsmobile), but then I ran across TM. I had never even considered a trailer, mostly due to storage and hassles of towing, but these things are about 1/3 the price of a van and the 2720 will fit in my garage (unfortunately, the 3023 will not). Not to mention the extra room!

We're going to look at a 2720 this weekend, so I'll hopefully be a little smarter - but I'd love to hear from anyone who has an opinion on this model for 2 adults & 3 kids. I think the big things for us is beds and a bathroom - I can't imagine we would even do much cooking in it, except in bad weather. My TV is an '02 Durango with the 4.7 V8.

thanks!
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  #2  
Old 06-17-2005, 01:49 PM
Bl95070
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You seem to be the model family TM was made for.
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  #3  
Old 06-17-2005, 05:48 PM
tritterbrew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by one504
I have *zero* camping experience, other than a couple of stints with the 82nd Airborne - but now I've got 3 kids (6mos., 4 & 4 1/2) and the wife and I are getting the bug. We live in western Oregon, so it's easy for us to take off on a friday and either be in the mountains or on the beach, in a few hours.
We don't have kids (the dog will argue this point) so I can't give you direct experience. However, I do suggest not getting the SL version so that you'll have the front bed and the dinette.
Quote:
Originally Posted by one504
I was originally interested in a 4x4 conversion van (Sportsmobile), but then I ran across TM. I had never even considered a trailer, mostly due to storage and hassles of towing, but these things are about 1/3 the price of a van and the 2720 will fit in my garage (unfortunately, the 3023 will not). Not to mention the extra room!
We also looked closely at Sportsmobile and even went to the factory in TX. Awesome machines but we decided that truck and TM are a much more cost effective and flexible setup.
You'll be pushing it with the 3023. I did a quick check and it looks like you have a 116" wheelbase. The recommendations (conservative) that I've seen are 110" for 20' and then another foot of trailer for every 4" of wheelbase. I know that RockyMTN Ray has posted some calculations on the site but I was unable to pull them up in my searching. Also, if you have the 4x4 package then it looks like you have a max tow rating of 4400, true? Search the site and you'll see lot's of talk about weight, wheelbase and towing capacity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by one504
We're going to look at a 2720 this weekend, so I'll hopefully be a little smarter - but I'd love to hear from anyone who has an opinion on this model for 2 adults & 3 kids. I think the big things for us is beds and a bathroom - I can't imagine we would even do much cooking in it, except in bad weather. My TV is an '02 Durango with the 4.7 V8.
Whatever you get, make sure you have comfortable living space outside. We've got a 10' screen room so that we can spend more time outside without having to fog the forest. Also, closely read the discussions on the TM toilet. I hope that other members who travel with kids will weigh in on the capacity of the toilet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by one504
thanks!
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  #4  
Old 06-18-2005, 08:14 AM
RockyMtnRay RockyMtnRay is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 823
Default Durango might be iffy as a tow vehicle

Quote:
Originally Posted by one504

We're going to look at a 2720 this weekend, so I'll hopefully be a little smarter - but I'd love to hear from anyone who has an opinion on this model for 2 adults & 3 kids. I think the big things for us is beds and a bathroom - I can't imagine we would even do much cooking in it, except in bad weather. My TV is an '02 Durango with the 4.7 V8.

thanks!
As Ted (tritterbrew) notes above, your Durango might be iffy as a tow vehicle for even a 2720 model TM. Although the 4.7 V8 has plenty of torque (nearly 300 ft-lbs) for even decent mountain towing, the problem is the relatively "high" (numerically low) standard rear axle gear ratio of only 3.55. On a 2WD model that limits the "tow rating" to about 4700 lbs; the 4WD models have 300 lbs less or 4400 lbs. On the other hand, if your Durango is equipped with the optional 3.92 axle, then the tow rating is about 1300 lbs higher. Unfortunately, if the vehicle wasn't specifically sold for towing, it most likely has the 3.55 gears because they're just slightly more economical than the 3.92 gears and thus the usual equipment.

The ugly facts about "tow ratings" from vehicle makers and "dry weights" from RV makers is that both are based on bare bones, no options, empty vehicles.
And every pound of people, cargo, options, and fuel in the tow vehicle is a pound you have to take off the "tow rating". So...assuming you have the usual range of factory/dealer options (including AC, roof racks, a hitch receiver, etc.) on the Durango, that's about 500 lbs off the tow rating immediately. And then you gotta subtract the weight of wife and kids (and any of your weight over the 150 lb "standard" driver used for weight specs), a full tank of gas (weight specs are done with 3 gallons in the tank), and finally all the "stuff" you'll be bringing in the Durango for yourself and 3 little kids (and there will be lots of stuff when a 6 month old is part of the deal). Let's say all that adds up to around 800 lbs (lottsa room inside a Durango for stuff ). Subtracting 1300 lbs (options, gas, people, & cargo) from the published "tow ratings" means your real tow rating is only about 3100 lbs if you have 3.55 gears and 4WD and 3400 lbs if you have 3.55 gears and 2WD. If you're fortunate enough to have the 3.92 gears, then your real tow ratings are respectively 4400 and 4700 lbs for 4WD and 2WD models.

On the trailer side of the equation, the problem is similar...the "dry" weight of a 2720 is around 2800 lbs...but by the time you add in the normal options like AC, swing tongue, TV antenna, overhead cabinet, awning, etc. the actual "empty" weight is more like 3300 lbs. And then if you add propane, a load of food, some clothing and camping gear, the loaded weight is typically around 3600 lbs. If you're thinking of filling the fresh and water heater tanks before departure (so you have water on arrival at a prmitive (no hookups) campground), then you need to increase the total weight to around 3700 lbs (or more). As a point of reference, my 2720SL weighs around 3900 lbs in a fully-loaded-for-camping configuration.

Soooo, if your Durango has the standard 3.55 axles, you will be substantially overloading it if you put a typical load of family and family stuff inside and then try to pull a typically loaded 2720. If you have the optional 3.92 axles, you'll have some margin of extra capacity though even then you'll really notice the weight when climbing mountain grades. I should note that it's possible to regear your Durango's differential with 3.92 (or other like 4.10) gears if it does have the 3.55 gears...and your tow capacity will rise to whatever the factory spec is for that ratio. Regearing costs around $500 to $1000 per axle depending on who does the work and what kind (OEM or aftermarket) parts are used...so it's a fairly cost effective modification if you have 2WD but can become pretty pricey if you have 4WD.

The one good aspect of your Durango is it does indeed have enough wheelbase to properly control a 2720 TrailManor. TMs, because of their low profile and inherent sway resistance don't really come under the standard wheelbase/trailer length rule...you can tow a TM with a shorter wheelbase vehicle than would be safe with a standard high profile, sway prone travel trailer.
__________________
Ray

I use my TM as a base camp for hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and climbing Colorado's 14ers


The Trailer: 2002 TM Model 2720SL ( Mods: Solar Panels (170 Watts), Dual T-105 Batteries, Electric Tongue Jack, Side AC, Programmable Thermostat, Doran TP Monitor System)

The Tow Vehicle: 2003 Toyota Tundra V8 SR5 4X4 w/Tow Package (Towing & Performance Mods: JBA Headers, Gibson Muffler, 4.30 gears, Michelin LTX M/S Tires, Prodigy Brake Controller, Transmission Temperature Gauge)


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  #5  
Old 06-18-2005, 09:55 AM
one504
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Wow! Mr. dealer said "you can tow anything with that Durango"

Unfortunately, I've got the 3.55's but I do have the towing package, so I've got an extra tranny cooler. Looks like I'll need to invest in a re-gear, as all of my trips would be taking me over a mountain range (Coast or Cascade's).

Looked at a 2619 and a 3023 last night. The dealer had recently sold his 2720, so I used the 3023 to show my wife the QB w/ storage vs. the double in the 2619. My wife was completely blown away by the TM - much more than she expected, with regards to room, fit & finish. We both agree the 2619 will probably suit us fine for 5 to 8 years, maybe 10. The only thing that worries me about it is the lack of storage. We don't have alot of room left in the Durango, using the 3rd row seat.

The 2619 is an '05 model (fully optioned), so the dealer is pretty keen on getting rid of it. Unfortunately, he's the only TM dealer in Oregon - so a "deal" means low $20's. Oh well, at least there's no sales tax!
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  #6  
Old 06-18-2005, 03:50 PM
tritterbrew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by one504
Wow! Mr. dealer said "you can tow anything with that Durango"
I'm sure that you could tow anything with the Durango. I once saw a guy pull singly pull a passenger jet
Quote:
Originally Posted by one504
The 2619 is an '05 model (fully optioned), so the dealer is pretty keen on getting rid of it. Unfortunately, he's the only TM dealer in Oregon - so a "deal" means low $20's. Oh well, at least there's no sales tax!
We recently completed a pretty extensive hunt for the best price on a 2720SL. Make sure that you check out rvtrader.com and rvtraderonline.com. There are dealers in Washington State and California that seem to have extensive inventories - it might be worth it for you to travel a few 100 miles. We drove 800 miles to pickup our 2004 TM even though there were three dealers within 200 miles of home.
Good luck and glad to hear that you guys are excited about the TM!
TR
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  #7  
Old 06-18-2005, 08:11 PM
RockyMtnRay RockyMtnRay is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 823
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by one504
Wow! Mr. dealer said "you can tow anything with that Durango"

Unfortunately, I've got the 3.55's but I do have the towing package, so I've got an extra tranny cooler. Looks like I'll need to invest in a re-gear, as all of my trips would be taking me over a mountain range (Coast or Cascade's).
RV Dealers will tell potential customers that virturally any vehicle will work fine...tow anything. I even overheard a TM dealer tell a potential buyer that his Suzuki Grand Vitara would tow a TM fine...even in Colorado with its high altitudes and steep grades.

That being said, I too was rather surprised at the remarkably low tow capacity for the Durango...intitially when I saw you had the 4.7 V8 (which is really a pretty powerful engine), I didn't think much about your Durango's capabilities since I knew the corresponding Dakota with that engine has decent towing capacity. It wasn't until I started running the numbers that I saw how low the real capacity was when equipped with the 3.55 gears. Clearly the Durango is a heckuva lot heavier than even a Dakota Quad Cab...must be all that extra glass, seating, and other amenities that people expect in a SUV versus a pickup.

So do plan on a regearing...it's not that traumatic (I had my 4WD Tundra regeared from 3.91 to 4.30) and the improvement in general acceleration and particularly towing capability is astounding.
__________________
Ray

I use my TM as a base camp for hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and climbing Colorado's 14ers


The Trailer: 2002 TM Model 2720SL ( Mods: Solar Panels (170 Watts), Dual T-105 Batteries, Electric Tongue Jack, Side AC, Programmable Thermostat, Doran TP Monitor System)

The Tow Vehicle: 2003 Toyota Tundra V8 SR5 4X4 w/Tow Package (Towing & Performance Mods: JBA Headers, Gibson Muffler, 4.30 gears, Michelin LTX M/S Tires, Prodigy Brake Controller, Transmission Temperature Gauge)


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  #8  
Old 06-18-2005, 08:37 PM
dlkcub
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Default Regearing

Ray,

Where would you recommend going to have the regearing work done? Would this be something best done by the dealer or a specialty shop?

Dave
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  #9  
Old 06-18-2005, 09:34 PM
calypso
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Don't know where you're located in OR...but you might want to consider giving Auburn RV a call in Auburn, WA. They also carry TM's and might have a 2720 in stock. Their number is on the TM website. Good luck with your search. We just bought ours used and will be taking it out for the first time next weekend...can't wait!
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  #10  
Old 06-19-2005, 05:47 PM
one504
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Thanks - I'm only about 3 hours down the road in Albany, so I'll have to pay them a visit.
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