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Old 10-18-2007, 02:33 AM   #1
David Richardson
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Default Does Length Matter?

Hi,

As I look to buy a used 3023/3124 I was wondering how much the length of the trailer matters when towing or when choosing a choice campsite. I am hoping that some of you can let me know if and when your size of TM was a positive or negative. We have been using a very small popup (Toas) that we could fit anywhere which has worked out well for us thus far. Now that we are moving up in size (and functionality) this is sure to affect our campsite choices and even perhaps the route we will travel. What has been your experience?


Thanks again in advance,
David
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:46 AM   #2
mtnguy
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We also moved up from a really small pop-up (995 lbs. empty) to a TM. We also bought a new TV (a 2006 F150 V8) and sold our old TV (a 1996 Blazer V6) at the same time, so we can't compare vehicles vs. trailers, but:

The F150 pulls the TM better than the Blazer pulled the much lighter pop-up. Believe it of not, we only lost ~1 mpg in gas mileage in the new setup.

The TM is harder to back into tight campsites than the pop-up. The TM is wider, and the wheels are further back....which is 1 thing giving the TM the great towing traits. But on the flip side, the pop-up would not "recover" from too tight a backing up because of the closer wheels. It would take more corrective steering to back the pop-up because of that issue, also.

I had the TM in a small remote area on a recent camping trip that it took every inch to get it turned around and headed back out. I thought I was going to have to unhook the TM, install the tongue wheel, turn it some by hand (in dirt ), move the truck, and then hook back up. In the same camping area with the popup, it was much easier to do.....plus the Blazer was shorter, which helped.

I like remote camping areas, and other than the above mentioned situation, I haven't had any other problems......except some days I just can't seem to back well. It has to do with the number of people watching also.

Chap
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:56 AM   #3
mtnguy
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Oh yeah, on another note:

I understand that some campgrounds don't allow any kind of canvas due to bear problems.

And on the rare occasion that I reserve at an RV Park, I tell them it is labeled as a 27 footer.....even though it only measures ~24' total when open.....due to the tongue being included in the measurement, but being under the front bed. The bigger campers usually seem to get better campsites.

Chap
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:03 AM   #4
mtnguy
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OK, OK, 1 more thing:

The TM does not corner as well as the shorter pop-up. I didn't have to worry much about the pop-up with making sharp turns......you gotta watch those same turns with the TM.....again, because of the wheels setting much further back.

I will now attempt to make this the last post for now.

Chap
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:21 AM   #5
Shandysplace
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Default Trailer Size/Backing

We have a 1997 Suburban w/the towing package and prior to taking delivery of our new 3326 King soon, we had a 14' Zodiac we towed. So your situation is similar to yours--going from something rather short/light to something longer/heavier.

Backing the Zodiac was a challenge because, we're told, the TV was longer than the trailer. We solved the problem by putting a hitch on the front of the Suburban (about $125 in 2002). Without understanding the physics of it, 'fronting' is a snap compared to 'backing' into very tight spaces, especially at night w/the headlights lighting everything. This is particularly true if the space you're backing into is at right angles (meaning there's no room to cut the angle as backing our Zodiac into our driveway from the street).

Others on this forum have told us that backing our new TM will be easier because the trailer is longer than the TV. Our storage sight at KOA is only about 2' wider than the TM, but the angle is much smaller (about 30 degrees), so backing into it should be ok we hope.

Nevertheless, we think the cost/benefit ratio of having a hitch on the front is worth it.

w/r,

Shandysplace
2008 3326 King (on order)
1997 Suburban 1500 4WD
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:07 AM   #6
Rich_in_Tampa
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Backing our 3124 took a lot of practice but I'm finally getting the hang of it. The biggest adjustment for me was unwinding the steering wheel once the turn angle was established to avoid tightening the turn beyond where I wanted it.

I'm a "look out the rear window" type rather than a side-view mirror guy, but I do use the side-views to establish the initial turn. My TV is a Sequoia.

All in all the 3124 is very, very easy to tow otherwise. All I really notice is a little bouncing back there over road irregularities. It's so peaceful that I have to force myself to remember it's there, especially when making city street turns.
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:23 AM   #7
Shandysplace
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Default That's 'The' Trick To Backing

"The biggest adjustment for me was unwinding the steering wheel once the turn angle was established to avoid tightening the turn beyond where I wanted it."

That quote from Rich is the one piece of backing advice we never found in any 'How To Back With A Trailer' piece. All that was said pretty much was "just put your hands on the bottom of the steering wheel and turn in the same direction you want the trailer to go". Problem was it was never followed by Rich's quote above which is key.

w/r,

Shandysplace
3326 King (on order)
1997 Suburban K1500
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:56 PM   #8
David Richardson
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Hey thanks for the responses everyone they are very helpful.

We are upgrading our 4runner to a Seqouia (Keeping our extended family in one vehicle) and are deciding between a 3023 or a 3124 KB. I wish to understand as best as I can what I am getting into. Reading your responses it appears that campsite selection and restricted vehicle size issues are not a major concern.

Thanks,
David

Rich,

It appears I will end up with a rig similar to yours.
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:13 PM   #9
Rich_in_Tampa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Richardson View Post
Rich,

It appears I will end up with a rig similar to yours.
It's a nice combination, put together specifically for the TM. Towing is a breeze, always has felt stable, and plenty of room in the SUV to pack stuff even if the TM is closed and you don't feel like opening it.

Best of luck.
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Old 10-19-2007, 09:54 AM   #10
Queeniereads
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I think it might be important to address safety here. We towed a 3124 with a Mercury Mountaineer equipped with the towing package and all the good sawy equipment, etc. We were especially careful since we had a terrible accident pulling a lightweight travel trailer with another Mountaineer. The TM towed well and we are fine backing into tight places, etc. What we have found out about length of wheelbases since the accidnet led us to beleive that our Mountaineer pulling a 3124 was just too close to the wheelbase margin, and had we had a longer wheelbase in the accidnet, we might not have almost died in that accident. Now, we were lucky or being watched over in 2004, but we are no longer willing to push limits. So, we are temporarily not towing until we can get a pick-up with sufficient wheelbase length. I think what we learned was that you have to be prepared for the emergency. 99% of the time you will be fine, but what about the 1%? CHeck out the recommnedations online for these stats and don't necessarily beleive what the dealer tells you. Just my input. Queen
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