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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I love our toys. (2 ATVs) so we are considering a toyhauler. We need help finding a unique hauler. Most all we have looked at would work but we want a nice hauler inside and not a deer camp type hauler. By this I mean most look like a boys toy to take a bunch of guys up to ride the weekend. We want one that does not have the long bench seat and long table. Is there a name brand that has one we can retire in (live-in) and run out and play. I guess nicer in the live-in part. Any help would be appreciated. Jim
 

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looking for a toy hauler

Your first question should be how much will my tow vehicle deal with safely? We bought our first TH not quite three years ago and got a small (17 ft) Vortex. It had a removable bench and an electric lift for the bed ( a must we think ). Toy haulers are much heavier than travel trailers and our Vortex had an empty weight, notice I didn't use ''dry'' weight, of 5150 lbs. With our Polaris RZR and our ''stuff'' it weighed 5700 lbs on the axles and 1000 lbs on the tongue or hitch. They are porkers! Our current unit is a 21 ft K2 by Komfort that with no gas in the fuel station but full of fresh water (50 gallons) and our RZR weighs 7700 lbs on the axles and 1100 lbs on the tongue. Salesmen will tell you that you can haul these with 1/2 tons but my 2001 Dodge 2500 automatic diesel with crew cab & 4x4 is less than 1000 lbs below its capacity. When looking check the inside cabinets and somewhere it will list the ''max'' weight which is the figure you should go by. Notice I didn't use ''dry'' weight because manufacturers don't even include the weight of the batteries or propane cylinders in that figure so ''dry'' weight is bogus. Another thing I would suggest is getting at least 15 inch tires instead of 14s and two 5k axles. Many manufactures go light, read that as cheap, on both. Our first TH was within a few hundred pounds of the total capacity of the cheap 14 inch tires. Sorry to go on and maybe scare you a bit but what I'm suggesting is to go looking with some knowledge and never repeat never believe the salesman, he only wants to make the sale and will tell you anything to make it. Also if you are buying used, and I would strongly encourage you to, check the age of the tires, it will be in a code for the month and year they were made, and you can figure they are good for maybe four years then replace them. RV tires rarely wear out but instead go bad with age especially if they sit a lot or live in a sunny hot climate like our southwest. Good hunting for your TH and happy camping, Gerry
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Gerry for the information. We have a 2008 Ford Super Duty with 6.4 Powerstroke and the camper special for springs and towing package. I think it would pull Pikes Peak out to Kansas if I had a chain big enough. More wanting a mfg. that makes a different design inside that we can have company over and sit to have drinks and not a hunting toyhauler look inside.
 

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toy hauler

Sorry for the lecture but since owning two I 've developed some opinions on basics that I tend to share because we bought 'cold' so to speak and learned a few lessons the hard way.
Most new brands of toy haulers on the market now weren't around even a few years ago. As an example both of ours are no longer made. If you're shopping for a used unit, which I recommend for depreciation reasons, then my criteria still applies. I don't think that you'll find many THs that aren't ''screwed and glued'' together. There are a few that have aluminum side framing but they are very expensive and difficult to find. For a point of interest Airstream came out with their first TH a couple of years back and while its a nice unit its also a 34 ft bumper pull that retails for, hold your sox, $ 70,000+. All will have a steel underframe with those made by Lippert (a big RV supplyer) with the most complaints IMO. You don't give an idea of the size you're looking for but my guess is 24-30 ft, is that about right? What I would suggest is to go to the nearest RV show, which in most areas of the country are several times a year and look at what's out there to see what best suits your needs. After looking around try RV forum and RVNET to ask others what they have and like. Joining like here is free and I've learned a lot reading and asking. I would also say that inspite of your Ford's ability to move mountains special care should always be used in locating the max tow weight for your truck, ie how heavy a trailer it is capable of pulling remembering that 4x4, crew cabs, what length box is on it, whether a stick or auto transmission, ratings for tires, rear axle and springs and what final drive ratio all affect how much you can pull safely. Now if I haven't boogled your mind look for a unit that meets those criteria and THEN be concerned about floor plan and interior layout. Also don't forget only use max weight numbers for figuring because nearly everyone is much closer to that weight than empty weight and the weight tends to grow each time we go out. If you have ATV,UTVs or motorcycles a fueling station is a very handy accessory but does add to weight. Also whereas travel trailers typically have 10-15% of their weight on the tongue THs will have closer to 20. Now if you decide a fifth wheel is your thing that's a whole new can of worms. Good luck again and let us know how you come out, Gerry
 

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I always seem to agree with Gerry on these types of things. I don't know about Gerry but I learned the hard way being overweight. I was lucky I broke nothing and was able to fix my problems. Gerry covers many of those considerations, so if there's anything you don't understand on what he says, ASK!!! Just know he touched on many concerns and there is a lot more to know and understand!

Consider this, if the same engine and trans are used in Fords from F-250 all the way up to F-450, then why don't they all have the same ratings!? Think about it and if you're not sure of all the answers, again, just ask! I happen to KNOW (not think) that the Ford cannot tow Pike's Peak anywhere, but it's fun to brag about! Same goes for whatever brand truck you want. The ratings are meant to be the best in safety. Not adhering to ratings just means you feel like being lucky. My wife would kill me if I thought about putting safety second.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK, I understand you are both concerned for me being able to tow this hauler. Now lets go back to the question I asked. (Please read it) I asked if there was a hauler that was nice inside and did not have diamond plate for floors etc. We are wanting to retire and my wife likes nice curtains and lady like campers not a hunting wagon or kids toy. Is there such a toy hauler out there?
 

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Between you and me, you'll always find that the toy sections of a hauler are more like good looking garage floors.

I recommend attending RV shows that occur several times a year in some areas and concentrate on the Toy Haulers. This will give you the BEST exposure to brands, models and floorplans that you can actually experience for yourself. DON'T buy anything at the first one, but learn what you need to know about these. Then get the specs that described features and options but for educational purposes only. Finally, on every unit you see get used to noticing the number of axles (3 means a pretty heavy weight) and the GTWR so you can estimate what you can carry. No other weight matters!!! Then calculate that the pin weight for a bumper tow will be about 10-12% and for a Fifth Wheel would be 18-25% of the GTWR and this weight is on the truck or on the tongue jack/landing gear.

If you can be a little patient this might help getting what you can use or tow safely and effectively. You might also want to know the weight of the items you are gonna put in the TH, too.

When we bought our fiver when I retired, we wanted nice and big and got what we needed. But since we don't go out as often as we'd like, we could have done with something less opulent. If we were going to Full-time in the thing, then we would have gone with bigger and more luxury. We did the fifth wheel thing since we didn't want the expense and size of a Motorhome/toad route.

Study what's possible, compare it to how you plan to use it and you should be good. I prefer you pick your brand to like based on what you find. I've had good luck with Keystone, but others have not. It's best you determine your prejudices about Toy Haulers. I certainly don't want you mad at me for a reference.
 

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looking for the right toy hauler

I did read your posts and understand your question. What my main concern is first is the frame designed well and does it seem to be assembled well and is the running gear ie. axles and tires over rated that is are they marginal or abundantly large for the weight? Then we get to the inside how do the cabinets look, fit together and do all the doors work as expected. How much room do I have (I'm a fairly big guy) in the bathroom & shower? Things like diamond plate floor don't impress me (both of ours had just linoleum which turns out to be practical) as to the curtains and such that's the female's domaine and I just go along with whatever pleases her. I hope that provides some clarity as an answer to your original and later post but those are my priorities and I 've listed them in the order of importance to me. Art's suggestion that you go to RV shows and check out the toy haulers is great advice because you can look over how every manufacturer lays out their product and get an idea about running gear just looking at the tire size and wheel bolt pattern, for example a 15 inch tire on a five bolt wheel is almost always a 3500 lb axle whereas a 15 inch tire on a six bolt wheel is most likely a 5000 lb axle, which would get my vote. You may have different priorities or interests but safety, good engineering and getting the best quality I can afford are mine. Hope we've helped, Gerry
 
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