rv questions


New Member
I am considering buying a travel trailer. I have never owned one before and have some questions.

I have a Chevy 1500 1/2 ton with a 5.3 litre v-8. What would be the maximum weight that I would want to tow?

I am very interested in the expandable trailers (Jayco Kiwi,Coyote, etc.). I am interested in these because of low weight and shorter length when traveling and turning around in tight spaces. Any comments on these type trailers or brands?

I have also considered some pop-up campers but looking at the expandable's the price difference is not that much and the expandables seem to be of better quality. Any comments?

I am a beginner and know almost nothing about this subject. I love to camp but get tired of waking up in a tent and everything is moist from the condensation. Looking to upgrade from tent's to something better.


Senior Member
rv questions

Welcome to the RV world!

To see what you can safely tow, you need to consider two things. First, look for the data plate on your truck, probably located on the door post, that will list the gross vehicle weight rating,(GVWR) and also the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR). These are the two keey factors. You must have enough difference between the actual weight of the truck when loaded to travel and the GVWR to allow for the added weight that the tongue of the trailer will add to the truck. Next, you consider the weight of your truck as it will be when towing and deduct that weight from the GCWR to see just how heavy your trailer can be when it is loaded to travel. That difference will tell you what you can safely tow. It is a good idea to weight your truck at a public scale with a full fuel tank and the things that you expect to carry when traveling, just to be on the safe side.

As to what you are shopping for, we have not owned any of the hybred trailers, as you mention, but both Jayco has a good reputation for quality and I have heard some really good reports about it. We towed a pop-up when our boys were growing up and we really enjoyed it. If I were a young family today, I would look at the two choices that you are considering. In some ways I prefer the pop-up trailers because they give children much more of a camping experience and the feel much like tenting, with much more of the convenience of a trailer. We found that there was very little maintenance to the two we had and we were able to tow a much larger living space with the pop-up that we could have with a travel trailer. Also, since they have a low profile they tow much easier and they also weigh less than the hybred and they take less storage space. But the hybred does have some advantages also. I do like the shower and the toilet of the hybred better and they also have somewhat more storage. I understand that they don't weigh a lot more, but that is only from what I have read and been told.

One thing that is important is to choose the one that you will use most as well as the best price. The only way to get value from any RV is to use it. So if the pop-up fits the budget best, but the family doesn't like to stay in it, then it won't be a good choice. So consider everyone in the family as you make the choice. You don't say what you have by way of a family, but that could be a factor. Keep in mind that there will be rainy days while out in the RV so you need to have the room for everyone to do something. The pop-ups tend to give mroe space, for the same size trailer, particularly since they now have slide-outs. I don't recall having seen a slide on a hybred.


New Member
rv questions

Thanks. Some of the hybrids have slideouts. On my door it has GVWR 6100 pds., GAWR FRT. 3150 lbs., GAWR RR 3686 pds.

In comparing the pop-ups to the expandables the hybrids appear to me to be better built. It just may be my imagination. Less moving parts, less tent material, etc.

I have another question about the low end trailers (whether pop-up or hybrid). I know that the large trailers are self-suffecient (for a limited no. of days) but are the smaller units that I am looking at.
In other words what will work without being hooked to electricity or water?


New Member
rv questions

Before I bought a travel trailer I would check into a smaller fifth wheel since you already have a truck. There were 3 travel trailers flip over this year on Interstate 70 here in the Ohio Valley and all were within 2 miles of each other. I have not seen any fifth wheel's flip over around here. I am sure there has been some but not around here.
Just adding my two cents. Good Luck on whatever you decide.