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  #1  
Old 02-22-2007, 10:45 AM
iam1ru12
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Default Introducing Myself - New to the Scene

Hello Everyone,
First I would like to thank the community as whole for all the wonderful information available in this forum. While a noobie to the world of TTs, campers, and towing, I'm certainly a experienced forum user (rest assured, I know how to use the search button )

My wife and I are looking to purchase some sort of Travel Trailer (ruled out pop-ups - not for us) for use with our children (girl- 6yrs, boy 3yrs, and baby boy just days away from joining us). We're hoping to not have to purchase a different vehicle for towing; we currently have a 2003 Honda Odyssey (3,500 lbs towing limit) and a 1999 Honda CR-V (1,000 lbs towing limit). To that end, I'm having some difficultly find the weight of a 2720 (queen and full bed, not the 2720 SD or 2720 SL) with options such as A/C, Awning, Micro, Hanging cabinets, bike hitch. Can anyone provide some real-world weights?

As far as towing, I know I'm approaching the limit of the Odyssey (the TM with options) plus cargo in the TM and cargo in the Ody. However with a robust tranny cooler (Hayden is the brand I'm looking at), PS cooler, WD hitch (still need to figure out exactly how that works) and sway-bars, I'm hopefully the Ody can handle the TM. If not I plan on trading out the CR-V on a 4Runner (5,000 lbs towing limit).

We attended the RV show about 2 weeks back here in Raleigh but we hadn't really done any research so were were just aimlessly looking. I wish we had known what we wanted so we could have made the most of the time; didn't even come across a TM at the show. If there are any TM owners in the Raleigh/Durham area that would like to show off their rig, we would love to just see one.

After browsing the "Information You Won't Find Anywhere Else" (specifically about the toilet), I have a silly question that I'm not sure I can find the answer too.....1.) my assumption is that most campgrounds do not have "dumping" hook ups at each campsite, you must move your rig to the dumping station, right? 2.) Assuming #1 is a "no" can you move the TM in it's "Set Up" position or do you have to collapse the TM to move it to the campground's dumping station? I'm most concerned about the TM making contact with the tow vehicle willing moving it. BTW I would never think of actually towing the TM expanded.

In summary we hope to get the Odyssey "towing ready" this summer and rent various options. Then by next season we hope to actually purchase something based on our rental experiences.

Thanks!
-Mike
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  #2  
Old 02-22-2007, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iam1ru12 View Post
After browsing the "Information You Won't Find Anywhere Else" (specifically about the toilet), I have a silly question that I'm not sure I can find the answer too.....1.) my assumption is that most campgrounds do not have "dumping" hook ups at each campsite, you must move your rig to the dumping station, right? 2.) Assuming #1 is a "no" can you move the TM in it's "Set Up" position or do you have to collapse the TM to move it to the campground's dumping station? I'm most concerned about the TM making contact with the tow vehicle willing moving it. BTW I would never think of actually towing the TM expanded.
Welcome to the board!

Like your ID!

Actually most private campgrounds do have sewer (dumping for black and gray water) hookups. Generally the state and federal campgrounds do not- but most have a dump station. I would not recommend travel to the dump station with TM in the set up position. It doesn't take too much to close down the TM and drive to the dump station (just don't forget to pull the valve at the bottom of the toilet before closing the trailer). The dump stations at most campgrounds are a good distance from your campsite, over roadways that are not always in the best shape.

Good luck with your search for a TM!
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  #3  
Old 02-22-2007, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iam1ru12 View Post
Hello Everyone,
After browsing the "Information You Won't Find Anywhere Else" (specifically about the toilet), I have a silly question that I'm not sure I can find the answer too.....1.) my assumption is that most campgrounds do not have "dumping" hook ups at each campsite, you must move your rig to the dumping station, right? 2.) Assuming #1 is a "no" can you move the TM in it's "Set Up" position or do you have to collapse the TM to move it to the campground's dumping station? I'm most concerned about the TM making contact with the tow vehicle willing moving it. BTW I would never think of actually towing the TM expanded -Mike
I think your assumption is about right - "most" campgrounds do not have a sewer connection for each site. It has been my experience that the state and national parks, and Corp of Engineer camping facilities (at least around here) do not have sewer connections at each site. Many private campgrounds do however provide a sewer connection (usually at slight addtitional cost). But generally we prefer the SPs, NPs, and COE parks - usually more room, not as crowded, and less expensive.

I have never tried moving the TM in the raised position to get to an onsite dump facility, but I think others on this forum have. I guess it depends on how far the dump facility is, and how smooth the roads are. Another alternative you might consider is to get one of those "blue totes". They range in size from 10 to 30 gallons as I recall. We have a small 10 gallon tote that we've used a few times. So between the TM toilet and a small tote, we have over a weeks worth of usage if needed (2 adults). We try to use the campground's bathrooms as much as possible though.

Good luck on your search!

Nick
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Old 02-22-2007, 03:13 PM
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Hi, Mike -

Use that Search button to search for the term "Odyssey". Several of our members have towed with an Odyssey, and the results, IIRC, are mixed.

As for weight, I have a 2720SL, so it is 100 pounds or so heavier than a straight 2720. You can see my weight numbers at
http://www.trailmanorowners.com/foru...ead.php?t=3144
and judge for yorself what yours will weigh.

Re dumping, there are two kinds of campgrounds. Commercial campgrounds have smaller spaces and lots of amenitites, including electric/water/sewer hookups at each site. Backcountry campgrounds (state parks, national parks, and so forth) tend toward dry camping - no hookups, or maybe electric and water but not sewer at each site. There are exceptions to those "rules", of course, but in general your camping style will determine whether you have a sewer hookup at your site. I strongly recommend that you get a copy of "The Big Book of Campgrounds" - the campground guide from either Good Sam or Woodall's. These will tell you about the commercial campgrounds. Gov't campgrounds are generally well described on line.

Finally, regarding moving the TM while it is open, our group again has mixed feelings. Some folks report they have had no problems by moving slowly across the campground. I personally will not do it. The chance of damage may (or may not!) be small, but if damage happens, it won't be minor.

HTH

Bill
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Old 02-22-2007, 04:23 PM
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I have a 2005 TM 2720, with hanging cabinet over the sink, microwave drawer, a/c on the roof, awning, swing away tongue, two group 24 batteries on the tongue, 40 gallon water tank. I did not have a microwave or television. Nor any bicycles.

I weighed it once. I loaded it with everything I thought I would ever take for a long trip. I had 7 camping chairs, 3 camping tables, full of water (40+6 in the heater), toilet charged, food, lots of cold drinks, Honda 2000 generator. I don't think anyone has ever loaded a TM 2720 as much as I did.

At the TM axle it weighed 3380 pounds, 120 below the limit. I did not weigh the tongue. I would expect that the tongue weight was certainly less than 600 pounds. I certainly hope so as my hitch is rated for 500. May need to upgrade the hitch.

So my total was just under 4000 pounds.

If I got rid of the water that would eliminate 370 pounds. I didn't need that much beer and soda and bottled water. I believe you can keep the TM at 3500 pounds with only a little skimping.

I would encourage you to weigh it on your first trip out so you know how close to the limits that you are.

Also be aware that there is the weight limit for the trailer and there is a weight limit for trailer plus van plus people and everything in the van. Make sure you understand both limits and not just one limit. I won't quote terms like G???. I can never keep those things straight myself, but I don't need to because I have a big TV.

Good luck. We have had our TM 2 years and try to use it once a month.
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Old 02-22-2007, 04:30 PM
lnussbau
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"WD hitch (still need to figure out exactly how that works)"

You could think of it as (when hooked up) a lever that, working through the tongue and hitch, forces the front end of the Tow Vehicle down.
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PopBeavers
Also be aware that there is the weight limit for the trailer and there is a weight limit for trailer plus van plus people and everything in the van. Make sure you understand both limits and not just one limit. I won't quote terms like G???. I can never keep those things straight myself
Mike -

PopBeavers has made an extremely important point here, and we all tend to lose track of it. We think "My trailer weighs 3500 pounds, and the manufacturer says I can tow 3500 pounds, so I'm good to go, right?" The problem is that the vehicle manufacturer does NOT say you can tow 3500 pounds, he says you can tow 3500 pounds*. That little asterisk is lawyer-speak for "well, no, not really." Finding out precisely what that little asterisk means is quite a chore, because the manufacturers don't want you to know.

Not long ago, someone asked about towing with a Toyota RAV-4, with the same 3500-pound rating. I rummaged around the Toyota web site, and replied "On the Toyota web site, there is a craftily-hidden note under tow rating which says "The maximum you can tow depends on the total weight of any cargo, occupants and available equipment.""

The Honda web site also has an asterisk, and Honda is even more obscure about it. When you follow their asterisk trail, you find "Vehicle must have towing package, trailer must have brakes, consult owner's manual for further restrictions." And the owner's manual is not available on line. So I don't know what it says.

As PopBeavers noted, the actual tow rating is often specified for a vehicle with a driver, but no passengers, no cargo, no factory or dealer-installed options, and a nearly-empty gas tank. Those things can easily add 1000 pounds, and that weight must be subtracted from the tow capacity.

So at the very least, you should check your Odyssey Owner's Manual and see what the asterisk means. Maybe Honda is less devious than Toyota ...

Bill
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  #8  
Old 02-24-2007, 08:45 AM
iam1ru12
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Bill,
Here is what I came up with based on specs for my 2003 Honda Odyssey:

GCVWR >> 8,265
subtract curb weight of van >> 4,387
subtract fluids in van >> 142
subtract people in van >> 500
Net Available >> 3,236

So that leaves 3,236 pounds available for the weight of the trailer and any cargo.

I'm not sure the Odyssey is a very good option for towing a TM. The thought of pushing the limit of any tow vehicle with my family riding along scares me.

-Mike
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Old 02-24-2007, 10:01 AM
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Mike -

That is a great example of the way to figure out what you REALLY have for available tow capacity. And I'm with you, I don't want to operate with no margin.

By the way, I notice you didn't subtract any cargo weight, but rather saved it for "weight of the trailer and any cargo". I can't speak for most people, but at least on long trips, I have at least 300 pounds of "stuff" in the wayback of my Explorer. (I actually weighed it once as I unpacked - and I was surprised!) And I admit, I have travelled with considerably more than that. So if 300 pounds is a reasonable estimate, and I enter that into your calculation above, it leaves a real tow capacity of 2936 pounds. All of a sudden, my 3500-pound trailer is looking like a real moose!

Bill
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Old 02-24-2007, 03:18 PM
iam1ru12
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Bill,
I purposefully left out cargo to get a real world estimate of what the van weighs on a day to day basis. I basically have 3,200 lbs left for everything!.

We looked at the TM 3023 today, that would be our TM of choice. We were very impressed with the TM (construction, fit & finish, etc).

We've also come to the conclusion that towing with a mini-van (specifically the Honda Odyssey) is not the wisest decision. We own our CR-V outright as should be able to get $7k to $9k for it via private sale. That will go towards a used 4Runner.

I'm hoping to pull togther the same analysis of towing capacity for the 4Runner as I did for the Odyssey.

Thanks again to everyone!
-Mike
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