Need Some Assistance


New Member
I would be most appreciative if someone could assist me in the following. I'm considering purchasing a travel trailer. This will be a first for our family which consist of myself, wife and two daughters (15 and 8). I would really appreciate if someone could give me some information on manufacturer's, issues with slides, durability, best value, etc..

Essentially, I'm asking for assistance in making an educated first purchase. I'll be pulling with a 2004 Ford Explorer which has the 3.73 axle and factory installed towing package. According to the manufacturer's literature this should give me up to 5200-5500 lbs max for the trailer weight.

Would someone care to step up and enlighten me as to what would be a reasonable first purchase? Any and all assistance would be greatly appreciated. If there is concern about posting openly, feel free to e-mail me at or the home e-mail address of



Senior Member
Need Some Assistance

I suggest that you start by joining the RV Consumer Group which you can find at They are the only group who rate RVs by make and by model who do not take advertising or funds from the RV industry. They also supply educational materials to help you learn to evaluate an RV. It will cost about $150 to join and get all materials, but it will go a very long way to ecucate you in what you need to check out.

Remember that on these public forums there are people who like and people who dislike pretty much every make out there. And I know of not one manufacturer who has all happy customers and none that are unhappy. And the reverse is also true. Our opinions are useful to a prospective buyer, as long as you realize that they are opinions and nothing more. I have more than 30 years of RV experience and there are makes that I would never consider, but I still know that some owners disagree. The RVCG will give you reasons for what they say about the different RVs.


New Member
Need Some Assistance


You are doing the first step looking for information about what units are on the market. We have been a Starcraft Dealer since 1974 and feel like it is one fo the top brands on the market today.

Teh weight range you are looking for would be in the fiberglass exterior with aluminum structure. If you like to visit our web site you can find some information on the structure, warranty, and price. or give us a call (888) 425-5271 if you have any questions not answered on the web site. Most manf. have this information on their web sites.

Good luck with your search

Happy Camping


New Member
Need Some Assistance

Bruce and All -

This would be one of those generic responses that has little actual meat, just a little basic philosophy to help you get started.

1. This is probably not going to be your last RV. It's important that you make good choices now, but you'll have lots of opportunity for mid course adjustments on your next one.

2. It is often said among experienced RVers that the first RV you buy, you buy because you like the decor and floorplan. The second one you buy, you buy for the quality of construction. The third one you buy, you buy for the chassis.

This is supposed to represent a progression from newbie to seasoned, knowledgeable old fart. It illustrates the basic tenet that you'll only be enthralled with the oak cabinetry for the first 3 weeks or so, but you'll be irritated by the squeaky slide and the drippy faucet for the rest of your ownership. Also, given enough incentive, money and sweat, you can modify or correct just about anything on your rig. But if you buy a 5th wheeler and them decide that you really wanted a class A, or if you buy a Workhorse chassis and then decide you really wanted a Freightliner, you're out of luck and out of money!

All this is not entirely true, most of us buy with all three considerations in mind. But, too often we see people put the emphasis on the wrong things on the first go-round.

3. It's encouraging that you're asking questions. Keep it up! But don't necessarily let that stop you from buying when the time seems ripe.

Best of luck!

Grandview Trailer Sa

Senior Member
Need Some Assistance

I will assume you are looking at bunk models. We stock the Gulf Stream Amerilite trailers. We have in stock a 24RS that has a rear slide for the main bed with triple criss-cross bunks in the front. Weight is in the 4,900lb. range. Amerilite also makes a 24BH with a front queen bed with double bunks in the back. Weight will be about 3,900lb.

We stock the Conquest trailers also. There are several models in that lineup too. Gulf Stream makes the Gulf Breeze and Streamlite also. They both would have models with bunks and in you weights. We don't stock those yet, but will soon. Those will have the fiberglass and aluminum framing.

You did not say where you live, but I am in Virginia. If you want to go to our web site it is: If you like, you can contact us through there.


New Member
Need Some Assistance

Aside from all the dealers trying to sell you their product on this forum, I suggest that you go to your local Ford dealer and ask them how much you are able to pull with your Explorer.
We have a 2000 Explorer, and we were looking to buy a t.t. According to our manufactures manual, we are capable of pulling the same as you. We asked around on the forum, and were advised to contact our local Ford dealer, as well as some said they would not suggest us to pull a tt.

We went to our Ford dealer, and were told that it would not be a good idea, as it would put ALOT of strain on the engine even with a towing package. 2 of the mechanics I talked to owned Explorers and they have folding campers (pop-ups).
So, after about 2 months of decision making, we decided to by a folding camper. We bought a Fleetwood Bayside, and you would not believe how much room it has. We have 2 children (5 & 10), so we can appreciate space.

Just do your homework and decide what you think is right for you.

Happy searching!!