I will retire the first of next year :) and I am looking forward to traveling from South Fl.
to Alaska. My problem is that I have started looking for a camper and realized how much I did not know. I have a newer Ford Explore that is rated for a little over 7k#s. I have been told so many different things in regards to picking a TT I seem to be lost. I would like a TT that is a Lite Weight and is not a lower end trailer. Being so many to chose from I would like some suggestion from the expert that may read this forum. Thanks for any help you may offer


DL Rupper

Senior Member
Re: HELPP!!!!!

The problem as I see it, is most TT's are light weight and constructed primarily for week-end camping. If you want to go really upscale, Airstream makes pricey TT's, but I don't really know if they are worth the extra $$.

Grandview Trailer Sales carries TT's and GTS is pretty knowledgeable on how well they are constructed. I'm sure he will respond to this thread if he comes online.

Most manufacture's that make full-time 5th Wheels, don't make TT's. If memory serves me, Alpenlite made by Western Recreational makes a TT, and they make good 5th Wheels, so maybe you can take a look a them. Big problem with Alpenlite is that they are made in the State of Washington and it's hard to find dealers or new trailers for sale East of the Mississippi.


Senior Member
Re: HELPP!!!!!

Here is an important piece of information - 'tow ratings' are marketing hype. If you read the fine print, you will find that they are for a vehicle which has no cargo, no accessories, no passangers. In other words, as it came from the factory with only a 150 pound driver and a bit of gas. And the trailer being towed at that rating is a flat bed trailer with 'no' wind resistance.

So, if you are rated for '7000 pounds', my 'true towing capacity guess' formula has you at (7000 - 1000) * .8 or 4800 pounds. Finding a 'full time' trailer in that weight range is going to be difficult if not impossible.

'ultra-light' trailers are 'ultra flimsy' by definition. Mine started falling apart after only 2 years of occasional use.
Re: HELPP!!!!!

Never read that "fine print" myself. Actually, I have had 2 different truck reps. tell me that all the ratings are at 60 mph and everyone factors in a 20% safety factor for warranty purposes.

If you want a GOOD lightweight travel trailer, look at Stream Lite by Gulf Stream. I ordered some today for my inventory. Will post details on my web site in a couple of days. If you look at how they are made, you will realize they are some of the best made lightweights on the market. I think every Stream Lite made is less than 7,000lb.

The other day I saw 4 Airstreams going down the road and a 34' was being towed by a new Ford Explorer. I am NOT claiming that he was safe. I just saw him driving by my dealership.


Senior Member
Re: HELPP!!!!!

If they include a 20% safety factor, that is good. Don't know if that would help you in a lawsuit were you to exceed the specified weight, but would reduce the chances of the lawsuit due to accident occuring. I never considered the speed factor, but now that you mention it, of course it needs to be considered.

The rating is (or at least used to be) for the truck as it came from the factory. It should be obvious that anything added to the truck must be subtracted from the towing capacity.
RE: HELPP!!!!!

Thanks to everyone who has responded to my request. I am looking forward to
researching for the Trailer that will meet my needs. It is assuring that there is a place to ask question and get good information Thanks.

C Nash

Senior Member
Re: HELPP!!!!!

I agree that very few if any of the light weights are made for fulltiming but entry level in any are not recommended. having said that there are people out here enjoying fulltiming in most anything so researc and go for it. Just keep in mind what the explorer will safetly tow. It's a long way to Alaska and the distances between towns in Alaska are mind boggling. i would not recommend wintering in any rv in Alaska. The trip I would recommend to anyone as a must. Good luck, welcome to the forum and fire away with the questions but just remember it's just each of our honest opinions gained from experience most of the time.
Re: HELPP!!!!!

Well as to a lite weight, you can find a good used one on Air for 14k. The problem I have always seen with advertised tow weights is they are based on flat ground. Traveling frin Florida to Alaska you will be having a hill or two to climb.

Something to think about.