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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We are searching for a suitable travel trailer, so far we have seen quite a few different models. Coleman lantern lt 17fq, Wolf Pup 16bhs, crossfire bbullet 2200bh, bullet 1900rd. Used one we are considering jayco jay feather 22bhm. Are we crazy to consider a trailer with a dry weight around 4k lbs?

Considerations:
We will mostly stick to Florida and or the southeast, definitely no mountain driving for us.
We dont pack much besides clothes and snacks. We wont travel with loaded tanks either fresh or otherwise. And we can easily stow the propane on the rear of the rv, if needed.
There are 4 of us and possibly another 2 adults that may accompany us. So the bunk beds, especially double size bunks is a huge plus. And interior space for rainy and or deathly hot days is also a factor being in Florida and all.

I really like the wolf pup for the price and options. For space the jayco seems to me to be the best value, I am concerned with its size.

If you have any other options for us to check out please comment. And dont be shy about your honest opinions. I have read through many of the other posts here already, but many seem aimed at a couple camping vs extended family.
 

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I have done a lot of research on towing travel trailers with the Ascent.


http://theampeer.org/thoughts-on-towing/thoughts-on-towing.html


All of my research was aimed at a couple, or a couple with a small granddaughter or two, as mentioned in the original post here.

Even though Subaru had a marketing video produced for them showing three fairly small adults, three teenagers, a large dog and some camping gear in the Ascent and pulling an Airstream F22, my personal opinion, based on my research, is that video is nothing but marketing hyperbola and not at all practical for even flatland towing.

With possibly four ‘real’ adults, a couple of younger folks and their gear and a trailer to sleep six comfortably, the Ascent is not the correct choice of tow vehicle. The Chevy Suburban or Ford Expedition would be much better choices with that goal in mind. It would also allow for a trailer with better sleeping accommodations for six.

I really don’t believe there is any trailer that will work well, or even safely, with the Ascent with your goal in mind.

Just my opinion.

Ken
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Ken, I think I am finding that out as well. We may end up going with a smaller trailer and dealing with cramped sleeping accommodations when we are joined by my in-laws. Or we may end up borrowing a truck if we get a larger camper trailer. After reading more of your experiences, I ordered a weigh-safe tongue scale to use during our shopping especially for used trailers where the specs are long gone from weather and sun light.

I am thinking based on more reading here our best option is going to be a Wolf pup or lantern lt along with judicious packing, which is fairly normal for us. I would also like to do without the gas appliances, but I can see where they can be convenient. We aren't set on anything yet just shopping, but there are definitely some interesting options in the new market. Part of me really wants to find a clean, used trailer around 3000 lbs and then customize it for our needs.

We will be looking at a few used models this week with rear slides, I will report back with weights, models, and tongue weights where I can.

Also, for clarity, our children are 2 and 6 so they are a combined 75 lbs right now and my in-laws would be driving themselves and hauling their own supplies and food if and when they joined us.
 

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  1. (y) Yes
  2. (y) Yes
  3. (n) Absolutely not.
  4. :unsure: I wouldn't - see my 85% rule below
  5. (n)Absolutely not.
Some thoughts of mine:
  • GVWR is ABSOLUTELY important, and MUST be under 5,000 pounds. If it exceeds tow rating, even on paper, and you get into an accident, I suspect you will NOT be happy with how things go against you.
  • As I've stated elsewhere, I recommend it be 85% of vehicle tow capacity or less, so, 4,250 pounds or less is as high as I'd go (maybe +/- 50 pounds).
 

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I love my hide-sided pop-up camper. It'll sleep 8 comfortably (12 in a pinch), has a basic toliet, large fridge, stove, microwave, stereo and is very roomy and has a GVWR of 3,800 lbs. Tows great even in the mountains. Yes you lose the setup convenience of a hard sided camper but it is a very spacious option once set up.

If a small hard-sided camper doesn't do it, this is another option!

I also regularly tow 4,500lb with my Ascent and it handles it very well. I wouldn't be afraid to regularly tow 4k, but others disagree with me :D
537
538
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would definitely have it weighed fully loaded in any case to keep it well under the max. I am honestly perplexed as to what people put in their campers that weighs so much...even with two kids we only ever pack up clothes and a few toys and books for them as well as toiletries.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Food and water. Maybe some lead shielding if you’re visiting Chernobyl?
Lol, yeah. Water tanks in all the RVs we have looked at are either 30 or 40 gallons, and the 40 gallon added 357 lbs. Hence why I would never travel with water loaded, I don't foresee us boon docking and if we did we would fill up local to our campsite.

Ken have you considered simply swapping the aftermarket scissor jack for the stock one in the Ascent? That would give you a stowing spot and replace weight instead of adding it.
 

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That's a good idea, but the scissors jack is stored at the very rear of the trailer and I am still a bit tongue heavy. :(

Good weight saving idea though. Right now my tongue weight is about 480 lb. I want to get it closer to 400, so lots of stuff to still go into the back of the trailer.

tongue-wt-06-24-19.PNG
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)

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I did look into a Weigh Safe hitch. I wanted the kind that could actually weigh, and they are a lot more than the one you linked to. Looks like a nice adjustable hitch though.

I also wanted a REDARC controller, but I could find no place to attach the unit in my Premium trim. The ones shown in the REDARC threads must be Limiteds and Tourings. I ended up getting a Tekonsha P3.
 

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Rubin, the Ascent comes with a very nice 6" drop ball mount from the factory...just add the ball of your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Ahh crud, I meant to order the one with the scale on it, thanks guys for pointing that out. And Jim I may need to adjust the height one way or another that is why I opted for the adjustable receiver. I will have to cancel this and place another order. My fault for rushing, to make this even worse or funny depending on your perspective, I already canceled the order once because I accidentally ordered the 2.5" receiver, lol.

On another note, through blind luck or undying persistence, some might call it obsessive personality disorder, I found an interesting RV a 2010 Cruiser RV Shadow185 fbs. Dry weight of 2900lbs tandem, I am trying to find a full spec list, but it definitely looks promising.

Edited post above to reflect correct hitch receiver I just ordered, summit was cheaper and has free shipping, it should make it to me the same as amazon would have I will snap some pics when it arrives. I contemplated getting the separate tongue scale, but I figured for the price of that and an adjustable receiver this was a decent deal.
 

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I could not use the 6" drop ball mount that came with my Ascent. My Coachmen Apex Nano 187RB needed a 2" drop, so I have a fixed Reese ball mount with a 2" drop, 3/4" rise and 1" hole. It has a CURT 2-5/16" ball rated at 7,500 lb. bolted to it.

Edit: 06/26/19
I was very happy this morning to see that I was still able to edit this post.

Because of this thread by Ruben, I took a serious look at the drop required to pull my Coachmen Apex Nano 187RB so that it is level. A 2" drop is absolutely wrong. Haylett RV of Coldwater, MI set it up that way. I am so very, very disappointed with that set up.

What I am going to use now for a correct ball mount and drop is posted later in this thread.

Thank you Ruben for making me rethink this vitally important point in trailer towing.
 

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How about the Flagstaff EPro series? They don't look too bad in pictures, and look pretty good on paper. The E19BH is a bunk house model. 3088 dry, 360 hitch, 773 ccc so you will be under 4K.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
How about the Flagstaff EPro series? They don't look too bad in pictures, and look pretty good on paper. The E19BH is a bunk house model. 3088 dry, 360 hitch, 773 ccc so you will be under 4K.
We were not terribly impressed with them over all, the layout was decent and included Solar was awesome, but extremely cramped. For that size, the lantern and wolf pup were both roomier and cheaper.
 

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I am posting two other options tomorrow, which, though very costly, are utterly gorgeous, and well suited for the Ascent.

But, I've seen that Lance in person (not inside, though I wish) when I went camping, and it's really nice!
 
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