The Learning Curve

Discussion in 'Beginning RVing' started by dmjaway, Apr 1, 2007.

  1. dmjaway

    dmjaway New Member

    Thank you to the Forum admins and rv’ers for helping the newbe’s, like us, to get started.

    My name is Dave and my wife and I are just starting the “learning curve” as a potential full-time rv’ers.

    We presently live in Washington State and our intention is to travel through the mid-west and possibly to the East coast.

    We recently purchased a 2007 Toyota Tundra with the 5.7l engine, towing and off-road package. This unit has a 10,400 pound towing capacity in the 4x4 model.

    We are intending to look for a well constructed rv trailer around 27-29 feet and
    and a dry weight between 6-7k.

    I would like to know how to become better educated before we venture off into the wild blue yonder.

    Are there any comprehensive how-too books which also covers the, more technical aspects of rv-ing?

    Thanks,

    Dave
     
  2. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: The Learning Curve

    Hey Dave, welcome to the Forum. Just about any book on Full-Time Rv'ing will get you started on everyday things you need to know. Check your local book stores, RV parts dept or Library for the books.
    You can check out what the different manufacturers have to offer by typing in their names on your search engine. Most of the manufacturers give full specs on their trailers including dry weight.

    You can probably find a Travel Trailer (TT) that meets your weight requirements in the length you specified. However, if you are thinking of a 5th wheel in that length you will probably have a hard time finding one that light weight.
     
  3. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: The Learning Curve



    Howdy, Dave. We joined the Good Sam Club. There are other's, too, with lots of information. Good Sam has a trip planner that was really invaluable when we started. You'll probably "outgrow" it one day. They tend to advertise their own stuff a lot, too.

    http://www.goodsamclub.com/start.cfm

    There are a few "RV Tips" right here on this forum site, too!

    http://www.rvusa.com/rvtips_tricks.asp

    Here's one invaluable tip: Ask BEFORE you buy! ;)
     
  4. dmjaway

    dmjaway New Member

    Re: The Learning Curve

    Thanks to both DL and TC for the info.

    Any tips on new vs used in the trailer market?

    Dave
     
  5. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: The Learning Curve

    Keep in mind that that 10,400 towing capacity is likely to be (it was in the past) with no accessories, no cargo, no passengers in the truck. Just a 150 pound driver and a bit of gas. Anything above that in the truck, comes right off the towing capacity.

    So, I would shoot for a GVWR (total allowed weight) for the trailer of 9000 or less, depending on how the truck will be loaded. Dry weight is not really a useful measure, since it may not be accurate (not compensate for anything added after it left the factory) and does not represent a trailer 'ready to travel'.

    As DL says, you may be better off with a travel trailer. Fifth wheels transfer 10 to 20% of their weight to the rear axel of the truck, so many fifth wheels will probably cause you to exceed the GAWR of the rear axel of the truck. TTs tend to have lower 'pin weights', so are better for 'smaller' pickups.
     
  6. dmjaway

    dmjaway New Member

    Re: The Learning Curve

    Thanks hertig:

    My salesman at Toyota was a NASA Engineer and has proven to be quite knowledgeable.

    The towing specs on most all vehicles are rather misleading, as the manufacturers tend to slant the ratings in favor of sales.

    I am trying to get the real engineering specs from this salesman as to just
    what the 07 Tundra can really do.

    Thanks again,

    Dave
     
  7. lopaka

    lopaka New Member

    RE: The Learning Curve

    checkout the Palomino line of
    TT & 5th wheels. They are under 8K, and look good.
     
  8. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: The Learning Curve

    Dave,

    I always wondered where the 'rocket scientist' that everyone talks about worked! ... badaboom :laugh:

    So that's where old retired NASA engineers end up! ... tada! :)
     
  9. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: The Learning Curve

    You shouldn't need to work to get the important specs. They should be on the truck's door jam, in the glove box or at least in the manual. They are GVWR (maximum weight of the the truck), GCWR (maximum weight of the truck and anything it is towing), and GAWR (maximum weight on the axel) for the front and rear. The only other information you need you can get from a truck scale (current weight, current rear axel weight, current front axel weight). With this information, you can figure out anything you need to know. When you weigh the truck, try to have it as close to loaded for travel (people and stuff) as will be normal for you.
     
  10. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: The Learning Curve

    You shouldn't need to work to get the important specs. They should be on the truck's door jam, in the glove box or at least in the manual. They are GVWR (maximum weight of the the truck), GCWR (maximum weight of the truck and anything it is towing), and GAWR (maximum weight on the axel) for the front and rear. The only other information you need you can get from a truck scale (current weight, current rear axel weight, current front axel weight). With this information, you can figure out anything you need to know. When you weigh the truck, try to have it as close to loaded for travel (people and stuff) as will be normal for you.

    Also, I forgot to mention that with a TT, you can get a 'weight distributing hitch' which transfers some of the weight off of the rear axel to the front axel of the truck, allowing a bit more pin weight from the trailer. While we are on the subject, there are 2 important values for any trailer. GVWR is the maxium trailer weight, and pin weight is the amount of weight the trailer adds to the truck. Don't forget there will be a hitch involved, and they weight something too.

    Other trailer values which may be of interest are 'dry weight' (weight completely empty), 'wet weight' (weight empty except for fuels and water - more common with motorhomes) and CCC (cargo carring capacity - GVWR minus 'true' dry weight).
     
  11. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: The Learning Curve

    I just left the local Wal-Mart and in the RV parts dept they have an RV'ing 101 book for about $15. What more can you ask for. Wally World has something for everybody. God Bless America and Wal-Mart. :clown: :approve:
     
  12. dmjaway

    dmjaway New Member

    Re: The Learning Curve

    hertig mentioned that I shouldn't need to work to get the important specs on our Tundra, but I have found that there are some points that aren’t on the sticker.

    There were several features that I needed to understand better from Toyota that were not explained very well in the Toyota literature: differential gear ratios, the sixth gear ratio in the 6 speed transmission and the load assist features of the tow package.

    I was also looking at the Reese weight distribution hitch that Toyota suggests but I like the features of the Sway-Pro, “Blue Ox” better, at least for right now.

    Thanks,

    Dave
     
  13. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: The Learning Curve

    GMC is not any better. Basically they say 'engage tow/haul when you are loaded/towing a significant portion of your capacity' Huh?
     
  14. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: The Learning Curve

    There should be numbers or letters in the truck somewhere, glovebox etc. that you can give the parts department to find the axle ratio.
     

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