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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, much to my surprise, over the weekend my wife revived the idea of our getting a toy hauler. However, in looking everything over, our 2001 Suburban K1500 just isn't sufficient as a tow vehicle for something so heavy. The one we want is a 23 foot that weighs between 4,000 and 5,000 pounds empty. The tow rating of the Suburban is 7,600 pounds. Even if we filled up the fresh water after reaching our destination, we'd still be pushing the tow rating right to the limit by the time we load 2 quads, tools, groceries and miscellaneous crapola.

After reviewing a number of tragic trailering incidents on www.trailerlife.com I'm a bit spooked about running that close to the limit.

A new tow vehicle probably isn't an option. For one, I like the Suburban as my daily driver and really don't want to replace it. Besides that, we can't afford the sort of truck that would really be best suited to towing a hauler.

So, now we're considering an older, used Class C motorhome. It looks like decent ones that are 10-12 years old sell for considerably less than the toy haulers we were looking at. So, we could buy the RV and a cargo trailer for less than a toy hauler, and it would be much safer on the road.

Does anybody have experience with motorhomes? What should I watch out for when shopping? Any particular manufacturer better or worse than average?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Sounds very functional, but I doubt it would have a high spouse approval factor. If it were strictly for me and my buddies I would probably do something like that.
 
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How often you plan on using it? Motor homes are a LOT more maintenance than a pull behind. Then you have insurance etc. With a pull behind you have the option of when you park it....you still have your Suburban for driving around, motorhomes can be a ***** to drive around small towns and getting in and out of tight spots....I'm weighing the pros and cons right now also :(
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't plan on using it that much, and I really would rather not have another drivetrain to maintain. But I don't want to end up turning the rig on its side, either.
 
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you should have no problem Jay...what's the weight? Put a good set of tires on the rear of the Suburban, the higher the load rating the better, that way you get less sidewall flex. use sway bars on the hitch and put something like airbags on the rear suspension. SUV's actually make better tow vehicles than comparably sized pickups...due to the extra weight in the rear, makes them more stable.
 

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You said you don't plan to use it that much? How many times is not often for you?.. Are you planing to buy it outright, or finance.. Personally I can't see spending over 10K and using it 2-3 times a year.. But thats just me..

Also, whats the reason behind wanting one? Better place to sleep.. Water/shower? get out of the elements? Warmth in the winter (not sure where you live)

Almost positive I've seen Popups that allow you to load quads/bikes on top of it when its folded down.. When I was camper shopping, I saw some very nice popups..

Wish I had a car that could tow a toyhauler..
 
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How many quads can you fit in it? I need something that could hold 4, that's been the hold back on a toy hauler...with a motorhome you could pull a trailer.

Do you think there is enough headroom to actually stand the quads up?

LOL....not meaning to steal your thread Jay ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I will have to call the dealer to check on the weight since I can't seem to dig up specs on that year and model (or even a year or two newer in the same model).

The reason for getting it is to have a comfortable place to hang out when not riding, a clean shower, and a comfortable place to sleep. I'm hoping to have my wife and daughter start coming on ATV trips, but they won't be as serious about riding all day so my wife would like to have a comfortable place to just relax and read a book and stuff like that. Also we will use it to camp at the lake when we meet up with our friends who have a boat. So having the amenities of a travel trailer is pretty important.

I have looked at the popup hybrids and some even come with air conditioners (I'm in Oklahoma, so we have a lot of 95+ degree days). But they don't seem to weigh that much less than a conventional toy hauler, they actually can haul less gear, and the only thing you gain that I can see is more sleeping space in the pop-out bunks.

We may end up using it a lot. It all depends on how much my wife enjoys our trips. If she has a good time, we might end up doing a lot of weekends and at least one longer trip every year. But most of the time it won't be that many miles - probably within 3-4 hours of home.

I wish the Arrow hitch didn't cost so much. It seems to just about eliminate trailer sway altogether. It better for almost $3K! :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Originally posted by hndlbarmonkey
How many quads can you fit in it? I need something that could hold 4, that's been the hold back on a toy hauler...with a motorhome you could pull a trailer.

Do you think there is enough headroom to actually stand the quads up?

LOL....not meaning to steal your thread Jay ;)
By all means, keep it going.. we're still weighing all the options so this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I just spoke with the dealer and he wasn't sure but thought the dry weight is about 4,800. That's about what other trailers in this size weigh - between 4,750 and 5,000.

You never know whether to believe a salesperson. Without me asking, he said "I do know it's half-ton do-able." He seemed pretty comfortable saying that, but who knows if he's just trying to make a sale.

My Suburban has the 5.3 and 3.73 gears with the factory trailer kit. I have read claims that the factory hitch doesn't work well with load leveling bars. The way it is designed some people claim the leveling bars can actually twist the hitch enough to break it. I don't mind replacing it, but I'd like to get that done beforehand.

Thanks for the advice on tires and brake controller. I know I'll need better tires than what are on there now, at least in the rear.

Any recommendations on brand and model of tire?
 
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I'm partial to Michellins. LOL, this is like asking about best tires for a quad. I've run both Goodyear and Michellin on my 350 and the Michellin are a far better tire. I got over 100,000 miles on my last set. Granted I run 19.5 commercial tires but have Michellins on our Excursion also.

Also remember when manufactures list the capacity of vehicles, they include quite a safety margin....to protect their arses
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Michelin has a stellar reputation, you just have to man up and pay a few bucks more. :D

So you think I'm cool to pull that hauler?
 
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Michelin's are like hockey pucks. They are hard and offer good mileage. It all depends where you live. Your weather conditions will dictate this. Michelin's are not as good as Goodyear's in this part of the country. Goodyear's are softer and offer better traction. They do not give as much mileage though. Give and take.

Jay, if you change out the rear tires, make sure you put the same ply rating on the front. Different sidewall characteristics between the front and rear can cause driveability problems. Get a set if air bags in the rear or a set of Timbrens. This way you won't need a load leveler on your hitch, but the anti-sway kit is always a good idea.

Your truck could probably pull it but the pedal will be to the rug alot. I will never pull without a diesel as long as I can help it.
 
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To be honest...you should have no problem. I have probably 8 different trailers and haul everything from my quads to my dozer. Spend the extra money and outfit your vehicle properly. I learned the hard way after having borrowed someone elses POS trailer and having it break loose.. Thank God no one was coming the other way. You can't put a price on possibly killing you or someone else because you hated to spend a few extra bucks.
 
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Also if not equipped with a big tranny cooler, invest in one. It gets mighty hot in Oklahoma. Heat will kill a transmission and they aren't cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, now the wife is concerned we won't use it enough. So I'm not sure what we'll do. But, I appreciate all the advice.

If we do go for it, we definitely will not be cheap about the towing equipment. I've seen too many pictures of gnarly RV wrecks and I won't put my family or innocent bystanders in danger over a few hundred bucks. That's why even at the high price an Arrow hitch is really tempting.

To that end, based on everyone's commments I plan on getting a full set of tires with the appropriate load rating, weight distribution setup and sway control at a minimum. If the WD hitch isn't enough to level it, then airbags are a must. IMO you can't be too careful and it makes sense that proper weight distribution is the key. I also plan to invest in a tongue scale to make sure the tongue weight is in range.

The other thing I have to do is figure out where the nearest public scales are. There's a Flying J truckstop on I-40. I heard most of them have scales.

If we start using it a lot then we'll probably look at upgrading to a diesel. Fortunately the places we will go most frequently are here in our rather flat home state. I figure the Suburban should be sufficient for a couple of years at least.
 

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Thats what happens.. If your financing it.. You want to use it.. Otherwise making that payment every month really sucks..

If you buy it outright.. You just feel like you wasted a ton of money everytime you look outside and see it just sitting there for months on end.. Heh..

Don't be like these people that impulse buy a quad, and then a month later are selling a Low hour machine, because they have no time to ride it.. Umm HELLO you knew that a month ago :)

Good luck.. once you get an RV, you get a bunch more expenses, and your trips seem to cost more, but you are comfy :)..
 
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