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Hello everyoneI just joined this forum and have some questions really need help.
I know this kind of posts show up a lot, but we have no friends have this expeirence can discuss with.
Appreciate any advice, it really helps.



My husband and I have a 2017 F150. We are planning to by our very first one travel trailer.
We have 4 young kids and plan to do some long distance travels across the States every summer, like Yosemite NP or Yellowstone NP.
The first choice of TT is Shadow Cruiser 240 BHS. (27'7", Ship Weight 5280, GVWR 7560lbs., Hitch Weight 560lbs,)

It's double bunk bed, the space is a little small for us. But seems to be a good choice for our first TT. (27'7" Easier to tow?)
Our second choice is Coachmen Freedom Express 29 SE.
It has a beautiful bunk house in the back(Quad Bunks), my kids and I love it soooo much.
But it's 33'5", Ship Weight 5640, GVWR 7600lbs., Hitch Weight 639lbs, I'm worried if we can handle that???
My husband does some quick calculations and thinks our F150 can tow it.
But we have no towing experience, will that be very hard to tow a 33'5" compare with 27'7"?
Some sales in the RV center told us lengh is not the point. it's same hard, lol, is that true?
Is that a too big challenge for us (first truck and no towing experience)??



Thanks

ps. We may chose the first one cause it seems more safe, but we really like the second one, so I just don't want to give up and ask you guys here to give us sugguestions.
But, if it's really too hard or dangerous, please let us know and we'll definitly give up and choose the first one.




Our truck: 2017 F150 4x4 Supercrew 157" Wheelbase 3.5L V6 Ecoboost 6.5 bed, Cruise Control
WDH:Eaz-Lift Camco Elite Weight Distributing Hitch Kit

 

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I'll chime in. I'm an RV full-timer and criss-cross this country often in various F150's I've had the last few years.

First, your truck is a towing BEAST, when it comes to power. Neither of those trailers you are looking at would challenge the towing power of it.

So with that out of the way, I'll address your other concern...... Payload.... how much weight and burden your truck is capable of managing without scaring the driver to death. :)

Open the drivers side door and look for the yellow tag. It will tell you exactly how much Payload your truck is designed to carry.

Payload includes fuel (gasoline in the tank), passengers, cargo in the cab and bed of the truck, AND the tongue weight of the trailer. (also the weight distribution hitch itself)

Keep in mind the "published" tongue weight of the RV is almost always optimistic.

You'll likely find you have used up your Payload (yellow tag) long before you have reached your "towing capacity"

So, start with Payload and pick the RV that your truck can "carry", rather than the RV that it can "tow/pull"

The driver will thank you for it many many times as you travel across the country having a wonderful adventure.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

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Hello everyoneI just joined this forum and have some questions really need help.
I know this kind of posts show up a lot, but we have no friends have this expeirence can discuss with.
Appreciate any advice, it really helps.



My husband and I have a 2017 F150. We are planning to by our very first one travel trailer.
We have 4 young kids and plan to do some long distance travels across the States every summer, like Yosemite NP or Yellowstone NP.
The first choice of TT is Shadow Cruiser 240 BHS. (27'7", Ship Weight 5280, GVWR 7560lbs., Hitch Weight 560lbs,)

It's double bunk bed, the space is a little small for us. But seems to be a good choice for our first TT. (27'7" Easier to tow?)
Our second choice is Coachmen Freedom Express 29 SE.
It has a beautiful bunk house in the back(Quad Bunks), my kids and I love it soooo much.
But it's 33'5", Ship Weight 5640, GVWR 7600lbs., Hitch Weight 639lbs, I'm worried if we can handle that???
My husband does some quick calculations and thinks our F150 can tow it.
But we have no towing experience, will that be very hard to tow a 33'5" compare with 27'7"?
Some sales in the RV center told us lengh is not the point. it's same hard, lol, is that true?
Is that a too big challenge for us (first truck and no towing experience)??



Thanks

ps. We may chose the first one cause it seems more safe, but we really like the second one, so I just don't want to give up and ask you guys here to give us sugguestions.
But, if it's really too hard or dangerous, please let us know and we'll definitly give up and choose the first one.




Our truck: 2017 F150 4x4 Supercrew 157" Wheelbase 3.5L V6 Ecoboost 6.5 bed, Cruise Control
WDH:Eaz-Lift Camco Elite Weight Distributing Hitch Kit

As snakebitten said, we need the payload of YOUR truck(not the ford brochure.) Please check the door sticker.

What tow package do you have?
 

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While we don't have 4 kids (just two boys, 10 and 13yo) we have been looking for a replacement trailer for the funfinder 189FDS (same manufacturer as the shadow cruiser - had it 8 years) we sold in the spring. We have a 2016 157" wheelbase max tow F150 with a carrying capacity of 1804lbs.

We looked at the shadow cruiser 240BHS, shadow cruiser 270BHS, Grand designs 2400BH, Grande designs 2800BH, outdoors rv black rock 23bks, highland ridge open range 2504BH, 2510BH and 2802BH among a lot of other lightly used pre-owned trailers.

Adding to what snakebitten has mentioned, I would seriously consider the length of the freedom express as too long for a short box crew cab, regardless of weight capacity. Having 4 kids in their own beds is huge, I would expect, but that is a crazy amount of sail area in a side wind or while passing/being passed by other large vehicles. General rule of thumb for an acceptable length of trailer vs. tow vehicle wheelbase is 20' of trailer for the first 110" of wheelbase. You can then add an additional 1' of trailer for each additional 4" of wheelbase. That puts you right around 29 feet as maximum length if your truck is the 145" wheelbase short box. Plenty of people tow longer trailers, but that seems to be a suggested comfortable length calculation.

We ended up with the Highland Ridge Open Range 2504BH which still ends up being almost 29ft long tip to tail. The bunks are quite wide and could easily fit both boys in one if they have friends come along. Also, in my opinion, i would rate the construction quality of these trailers as:
1. Outdoors RV (the price reflects this)
2. Highland Ridge
3. Grande Designs (2 and 3 are somewhat interchangeable depending on the floorplan)
4. Shadow Cruiser
5. Coachmen

Honestly, structural concessions are made when a 33.5' trailer weighs in under 6k lbs. Not that you will necessarily have problems, but axles, suspension, frame, laminated walls, wheels, tires are all made with very little engineering leeway on that coachmen trailer to keep it at that weight.

Picking up the new trailer on Saturday...
 

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I'll chime in. I'm an RV full-timer and criss-cross this country often in various F150's I've had the last few years.

First, your truck is a towing BEAST, when it comes to power. Neither of those trailers you are looking at would challenge the towing power of it.

So with that out of the way, I'll address your other concern...... Payload.... how much weight and burden your truck is capable of managing without scaring the driver to death. :)

Open the drivers side door and look for the yellow tag. It will tell you exactly how much Payload your truck is designed to carry.

Payload includes fuel (gasoline in the tank), passengers, cargo in the cab and bed of the truck, AND the tongue weight of the trailer. (also the weight distribution hitch itself)

Keep in mind the "published" tongue weight of the RV is almost always optimistic.

You'll likely find you have used up your Payload (yellow tag) long before you have reached your "towing capacity"

So, start with Payload and pick the RV that your truck can "carry", rather than the RV that it can "tow/pull"

The driver will thank you for it many many times as you travel across the country having a wonderful adventure.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
Bruce, the awesomeness and simplicity of this explanation should be a sticky on the forum. I don't tow travel trailers or anything big enough to need to question if my truck can handle it or not and I try to follow all of the towing guru's mathematics and descriptions, but always get lost. This post was the first time that I had an Ah-Ha moment and felt like I understood what was being described. LOL
 

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Hello everyoneI just joined this forum and have some questions really need help.
I know this kind of posts show up a lot, but we have no friends have this expeirence can discuss with.
Appreciate any advice, it really helps.




My husband and I have a 2017 F150. We are planning to by our very first one travel trailer.
We have 4 young kids and plan to do some long distance travels across the States every summer, like Yosemite NP or Yellowstone NP.
The first choice of TT is Shadow Cruiser 240 BHS. (27'7", Ship Weight 5280, GVWR 7560lbs., Hitch Weight 560lbs,)

It's double bunk bed, the space is a little small for us. But seems to be a good choice for our first TT. (27'7" Easier to tow?)
Our second choice is Coachmen Freedom Express 29 SE.
It has a beautiful bunk house in the back(Quad Bunks), my kids and I love it soooo much.
But it's 33'5", Ship Weight 5640, GVWR 7600lbs., Hitch Weight 639lbs, I'm worried if we can handle that???
My husband does some quick calculations and thinks our F150 can tow it.
But we have no towing experience, will that be very hard to tow a 33'5" compare with 27'7"?
Some sales in the RV center told us lengh is not the point. it's same hard, lol, is that true?
Is that a too big challenge for us (first truck and no towing experience)??



Thanks

ps. We may chose the first one cause it seems more safe, but we really like the second one, so I just don't want to give up and ask you guys here to give us sugguestions.
But, if it's really too hard or dangerous, please let us know and we'll definitly give up and choose the first one.




Our truck: 2017 F150 4x4 Supercrew 157" Wheelbase 3.5L V6 Ecoboost 6.5 bed, Cruise Control
WDH:Eaz-Lift Camco Elite Weight Distributing Hitch Kit

Lets not overthink this. Any one of the two trailers will be fine..... Trailer info in my sig





 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all your replies. Our F150 has a carrying capacity of 1766 lb. GVWR7050 lb
(BTW, after reading your posts, my husband got the fuel full and went to CAT to weight our truck. and Front Axle:3120lbs Rear Axle: 2380lb. Total: 5500lb.)

According to TCP2's reply, our wheelbase is 157", that means "31.75" feet is the maximum length. So Freedom Express may be too long for us.


About the payload caculation, I did a lot search on the forum, still has no idea how to get the hitch weight.
Snakebitten said the published tongue weight of the RV is optimistic, so what should we use instead?? Or we can only know until it hooked up?


 

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Your longer wheelbase truck makes the coachmen possible. Add 80lbs to the tongue for propane, 50 lbs for the battery plus the weight of cargo inside the trailer the is (scaled) in front of the axles. If the fresh water tank is forward of the axles, some of that weight will go on the tongue as well. Realistically, 800+ lbs would be more than likely.
 

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is it a Max tow optioned truck?

My camper is a heartland sundance xlt 283rb. It has a bunk house in the back that slides out the end with another bathroom back there. even though it's a "283" its 34'7" bumper to tongue, dry weight is 6950 but they didn't include a shipped as weight like some manufactures do but it's likely around 7300 lb unloaded. Dry tongue weight says its 920 but its higher than that. It tows fine, it does get pushed around in the wind but they all will to some extent. I don't have any sway issues at all, breaking is a bit weak due to heartland being cheap asses and putting maxed out axles under it but the truck will still down if it needs to. Get the best hitch you can afford and set it up yourself, that will go a long way to being safe. I have a reese strait line dual cam that i only have 5 trips with and im undecided with. Equalizer gets good marks by most owners too.
 

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We have a 2015 Coachmen 29SE, I think ours is 29' 9" tip to tail, and while I don know the specific deferences between ours and the one you are looking at I can say we've pulled it 12K miles and our '14 F150 does just fine. We've had no big problems with the trailer, just little things. We just recently replaced the "C" rated tires with Endurance "D" because one of the Constancy's had a funny wear pattern and looking at a 6,000 mile trip.
Equalizer hitch does just fine holding the truck very stable. I think your longer wheel base, we have the short box, will be even better. Our RV dealer did a great job setting up the hitch for us. We've had the trailer for two years and still very happy campers. We got the bunkhouse style for trips with the three grandsons and they are "big" boys and even with that extra weight in the truck were fine.
 

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Listen. First and foremost check/calculate all your Ford towing recommendations for that year of Boost.
Your truck will handle both campers easily.
My first TT was a 33' Keystone Springdale with a dry weight of 7k.
I had a Nissan Titan at the time and the RV Stealership was skeptical of its towing capability-lol
Well obviously it wasn't stock-lol.
I had airbags; rear seat bar, transmission cooler, perf chip, headers, etc...(money pit)
It pulled it but she had to work hard at it.
Than I get the 14` F150 Boost Max Tow/w Payload Pack (basically 1 slot down from Heavy Duty F150)
UNBELIEVABLE...
night & day on the towing experience-period, as in NO COMPETITION for the F150!
I now have a 38' 9k dry Keystone Outback and my truck pulls it great.
Never a "white knuckle" towing situation.
And I also have precious cargo (family, daughter, friends, & dogs that accompany)
I would never want to persuade you to buy & tow something you are uncomfortable doing but also don't opt for a trailer that 3 months down the road you will be very unhappy with.
Sure you can sell it, loose a little money on it and buy another....
Get a GOOD WDH with sway control arms.
Make sure your F150 truck tires are at least D's or better yet E's.
Start out camping close to home to get used to your setup, than venture out further.
Their is no better 1/2 ton gas tow vehicle made that can compete with the F150 Ecoboost-fact.
Good luck and man....is their anything better than taking the family out camping?!....I think not-lol


Sent from my SM-G965U1 using Tapatalk
 

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Listen. First and foremost check/calculate all your Ford towing recommendations for that year of Boost.
Your truck will handle both campers easily.
My first TT was a 33' Keystone Springdale with a dry weight of 7k.
I had a Nissan Titan at the time and the RV Stealership was skeptical of its towing capability-lol
Well obviously it wasn't stock-lol.
I had airbags; rear sway bar, transmission cooler, perf chip, headers, etc...(money pit)
It pulled it but she had to work hard at it.
Than I get the 14` F150 Boost Max Tow/w Payload Pack (basically 1 slot down from Heavy Duty F150)
UNBELIEVABLE...
night & day on the towing experience-period, as in NO COMPETITION for the F150!
I now have a 38' 9k dry Keystone Outback and my truck pulls it great.
Never a "white knuckle" towing situation.
And I also have precious cargo (family, daughter, friends, & dogs that accompany)
I would never want to persuade you to buy & tow something you are uncomfortable doing but also don't opt for a trailer that 3 months down the road you will be very unhappy with.
Sure you can sell it, loose a little money on it and buy another....
Get a GOOD WDH with sway control arms.
Make sure your F150 truck tires are at least D's or better yet E's.
Start out camping close to home to get used to your setup, than venture out further.
Their is no better 1/2 ton gas tow vehicle made that can compete with the F150 Ecoboost-fact.
Good luck and man....is their anything better than taking the family out camping?!....I think not-lol


Sent from my SM-G965U1 using Tapatalk


Sent from my SM-G965U1 using Tapatalk
 

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Figure usually around 12-15% of the trailers total weight to be the tongue weight... Lots of variables of course.. I only have a little 22' #5000 TT and it's 'dry' tongue weight is #535.. It's around #650 now that the trailer is fully loaded and I've owned it for over 16 years now, so it runs pretty much at it's #5000 GVWR. :)

Good luck!

Mitch
 

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To figure tongue weight calculate 15% of the trailer gross. It most likely will be a little under that, with your hitch weight making up the difference. I’m at 1120# for an 8k Jayco, 26’, 14%
 

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Hi Tina,
by now you’ve seen lots of posts. While I don’t know your GVWR I’d still say you can easily pull either travel trailer with your f150. Just traded my 2011 f150 with the 5.0 v8. We pulled a fully loaded 29ft bunkhouse that weighed out a bit over 7000 lbs loaded. This moved the trailer along well and managed about 9 mpg towing at speeds around 65 mph. Just recently we picked up a 2018 f150 4x4 3.5 ecoboost with 3.55 gears. Same gears as last truck. Pulling the same trailer with the ecoboost and a 10 speed transmission this motor really works well. Most of the torque (power) is built up between 1700 and 3500 rpms. This is where the ecoboost shines and is why Ford has this motor as their premier tow motor.
Handking either trailer should be a breeze. Oh, and towing with our newer ecoboost we see between 10-11 mpg at speeds of 65 mph. Good luck in your choice.
 

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My wife and I are beginning campers also, been doing it for a year. My 2 cents is to get the smaller trailer, I don't think there is much difference towing them down the highway other than the weight but the real difference is parking it in camp sights, that longer camper could be a real PITA for beginners to get it into some camp sights.
The tongue weights you list are are low, with 4 kids you are probably going to be running close to the max the trailer can haul (takes a lot of stuff for 6 people to camp), the tongue weight will be closer to 800 LBS with a good equalizer hitch, you also have to figure in you and whatever your husband weighs over 150LBS and the 4 kids and all the stuff you have in the truck and a tank full of gas. That's why we need to know the load capacity of your truck that's listed on the door jamb, some truck have a pretty low capacity.
I think you will get away with towing either trailer in the mid west but if you go into the mountains and it's over 90 degrees the truck is going to get hot on you fast. I know because my trailer weighs 5800LBS loaded and towing it at 90 degrees in the mountains here in Idaho it gets hot in a hurry that's why my wife and I are trying to go camping in the spring and fall when it's cooler, truck pulls it fine it just gets hot.
Hope this helps don't mean to bum you out but you have to be careful.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My wife and I are beginning campers also, been doing it for a year. My 2 cents is to get the smaller trailer, I don't think there is much difference towing them down the highway other than the weight but the real difference is parking it in camp sights, that longer camper could be a real PITA for beginners to get it into some camp sights.
The tongue weights you list are are low, with 4 kids you are probably going to be running close to the max the trailer can haul (takes a lot of stuff for 6 people to camp), the tongue weight will be closer to 800 LBS with a good equalizer hitch, you also have to figure in you and whatever your husband weighs over 150LBS and the 4 kids and all the stuff you have in the truck and a tank full of gas. That's why we need to know the load capacity of your truck that's listed on the door jamb, some truck have a pretty low capacity.
I think you will get away with towing either trailer in the mid west but if you go into the mountains and it's over 90 degrees the truck is going to get hot on you fast. I know because my trailer weighs 5800LBS loaded and towing it at 90 degrees in the mountains here in Idaho it gets hot in a hurry that's why my wife and I are trying to go camping in the spring and fall when it's cooler, truck pulls it fine it just gets hot.
Hope this helps don't mean to bum you out but you have to be careful.
Thanks for everyone's reply again.
I really appreciated that. At last, we choose Shadow Cruiser 240BHS (We brought it home today ya~~). I really love the qual bunk bed, but the main reason I gave up is, I checked some campsites in the National Parks, and found that it's harder to find a spot for a trailer over 30ft.
I love the qual bunk beds but if the qual bunk beds make me need to camp outside the national parks, that's not what I want.

Another question, the dealer offers us a 7-year extented warranty for $20,000 (portfolio deductible $100, basic one, no paint, no wheels/tires). Is that a good deal?
7 year extented warrany sounds attractive to the Beginning campers like us.

 

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Thanks for everyone's reply again.
I really appreciated that. At last, we choose Shadow Cruiser 240BHS (We brought it home today ya~~). I really love the qual bunk bed, but the main reason I gave up is, I checked some campsites in the National Parks, and found that it's harder to find a spot for a trailer over 30ft.
I love the qual bunk beds but if the qual bunk beds make me need to camp outside the national parks, that's not what I want.

Another question, the dealer offers us a 7-year extented warranty for $20,000 (portfolio deductible $100, basic one, no paint, no wheels/tires). Is that a good deal?
7 year extented warrany sounds attractive to the Beginning campers like us.

IMO, you should run as fast as you can away from this dealer.
 

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Thanks for everyone's reply again.
I really appreciated that. At last, we choose Shadow Cruiser 240BHS (We brought it home today ya~~). I really love the qual bunk bed, but the main reason I gave up is, I checked some campsites in the National Parks, and found that it's harder to find a spot for a trailer over 30ft.
I love the qual bunk beds but if the qual bunk beds make me need to camp outside the national parks, that's not what I want.

Another question, the dealer offers us a 7-year extented warranty for $20,000 (portfolio deductible $100, basic one, no paint, no wheels/tires). Is that a good deal?
7 year extented warrany sounds attractive to the Beginning campers like us.

UMMM $20k.... that's a typo right? You can do better than even $2k on one, but be aware that most will not cover anything structural like water damage which is a big concern. I had an estimate for like 1600 from a third party so if that's something you are interested shop around, or beat the dealer up on it some more. Which dealer is it?

I see your in MI too, whereabouts? Most of our state campgrounds have decent sized sites, my camper is 38' when open so i tell them 40 to be safe. Check out the DNR stite, they list the dimensions and normally have a picture for every site along with a map and availability. There are a lot of nice campgrounds in the thumb that are on lake huron, we will be heading there next weekend to wagner park in harbor beach.
 

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Thanks for everyone's reply again.
I really appreciated that. At last, we choose Shadow Cruiser 240BHS (We brought it home today ya~~). I really love the qual bunk bed, but the main reason I gave up is, I checked some campsites in the National Parks, and found that it's harder to find a spot for a trailer over 30ft.
I love the qual bunk beds but if the qual bunk beds make me need to camp outside the national parks, that's not what I want.

Another question, the dealer offers us a 7-year extented warranty for $20,000 (portfolio deductible $100, basic one, no paint, no wheels/tires). Is that a good deal?
7 year extented warrany sounds attractive to the Beginning campers like us.


Sorry .It's a typo. 2,000. Not 20,000 of course. :p
 
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