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Towed a 30' Travel camper home

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Old Today, 07:31 PM   #1
Just Creepin
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Default Towed a 30' Travel camper home

Bought it 3 hours away, 1 hour into the trip it got a flat tire . So had to come home (both wife and I had to work), but luckily I got called off so I left early today to get it home asap. The seller even came up to buy a new tire for it.

So 2 days to drive 3 hours later, It's in the front yard.

I clearly have some adjusting on the hitch to do. But we talked him into selling the weight distribution hitch to us last minute so didn't take time to adjust. Just tossed it in and came home.

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Old Today, 07:42 PM   #2
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Just some rolling hills in Michigan was all it dealt with (and all it will probably ever deal with). It's a 1996 Sportsman 3000. 30' long, 16' slide out, 7000lb GVWR. Ford Fleet info says my truck package is good for 8300lbs. 3.73 gears.

I give it a 6.5-7.5/10 as far as driving experience. Getting through the 'city', its a bit of a pain with stop and go traffic. The 5.4L Struggles to get it moving. I'm hoping adjusting the hitch will help, but it pogo's somewhat at slower speeds in town. This is where the 6.5/10 is.

The 7.5/10 is when im out on open 55mph highway. Does just fine cruising along at 58-60mph. Even with rolling hills it rarely hunted for a gear. Overdrive off of course. It'll accelerate well enough to get around anything slower moving in passing lanes. Never had to pass anythign in a passing zone (IE, get up 65 in a hurry and go around something).

A big part of this purchase is that my Wife's family lives 9 hours away. We visit a couple times a year and I have a 14 month and 2 month old plus 4 dogs. Wanted plenty of room for all this of course. We go down 2-4 times a year. So this won't be hauled THAT much. I really wanted to be near a 27' (closer to 5500-6000 GVWR), but as explained next, we caved on this.

Price was good.

The other thing is her parents or sister and kids or brother and kids come up when they can so this gives them plenty of space.

Lastly, we are gonna eventually buy a empty lot on the water somewhere. With the plan being to have a travel camper parked on it for weekend stays. I'm an electrician and can easily set a pole with just a meter and panel on it for power.

So really, this camper will be parked and used far more than hauling. Thus, I caved and went little bigger than intended. Knowing the f150 can atleast TECHNICALLY move it.

With said, we got an F250 purchase in the wheel house someday. Older, probably 7.3L to save money on monthly payment vs this. But we will see.
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Old Today, 07:56 PM   #3
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Good luck with your camper buddy, looks like it's in great shape. I had a 30' long and it was beautiful, only problem was I had a Toyota 4Runner at the time so I couldn't pull it, it was on a seasonal spot for almost 5 years, which was pretty good. So now I have a F150 that could pull it but don't have the trailer anymore....oh well. I hope you and your family get many miles out of it and spend many weekends together having fun.
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Old Today, 10:16 PM   #4
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Congratulations on your purchase! Get yourself a couple rolls of Eternabond and seal up all the seams on the roof right away.
The first time I towed a camper in city traffic was in Myrtle Beach during bike week. At every traffic light I accelerated fairly hard to keep up with traffic. The truck did a fine job, but I used 3/4 tank of gas in 20 miles doing it! Now I travel at my own speed and let everybody go around. Since trailer tires are only rated for 60 mph, that's as fast as I go, regardless of posted speed limits. I do keep an eye on traffic, and will certainly make room for folks to go around whenever I can, though.
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Old Today, 10:34 PM   #5
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I believe most trailer tires are rated at 65 mph...I have been trailer tire shopping for 2 weeks, finally pulled the trigger and had 4 delivered yesterday...Basically, all trailer tires are now made in China. Nearly every brand had pages of bad reviews. The best you can do is buy a set, keep a check on the pressure, feel the sidewalks for knots, drive slower, keep them covered from sunlight, and hope for the best.

I recently bought a 6800 GVWR camper and was in 6 lanes of beltway traffic in about 3 miles of ownership on a 90 degree day. I pulled the camper about 250 miles and simply got lucky to not have a blowout. My buddy was not so lucky. He bought a boat on a tandem trailer last week 4 hours from home. He blew two tires in less than 10 miles.

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Old Today, 10:45 PM   #6
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About the tires. I called to find a replacement and guy didn't believe me with size.

235/75/R15. Yes, truck tires. The tire that replaced my flat was the only one they had in stock, but was the exact one on the rim in the first place (I recognized the tread pattern right away). So they are rated for 112mph and 2039lbs each. And all season! haha. 1 other one doesn't look bad. But the last 2 have bad dry rot. He said it sat for 2 years and can tell. 2 tires have about a 10" length of tire with cracking all on the sidewall while rest of the tire looks fine. Obvious sign it sat on that spot for long time.

Shows tire size right on plate, not the 75 width, but 235's are on there. Makes finding a tire easy as long as I don't say its on a trailer. I was surprised to see 'only' 35psi rating. I checked the tires and they were all at around 37-42lbs but still ballooning more than I'd expect.

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White-sand chrome package on black leather, 3.73ls, pwr/htd seats, mem driver seat, pwr/htd/indictr mirrors, pwr pedal, sat radio, auto climate, moonroof, pwr rear glass, ext range tank, parking sensors, painted headlights.

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Old Today, 11:00 PM   #7
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Go to any RV forum and you will find lots of bickering about whether LT tires should be ran on a trailer....I won't get into all of it, but one common concern is the lower weight rating. Sure, four 2039 lb tires is enough for your 7k trailer. The problem is if one tire blows, the tire that is left has to hold half the weight by itself.....That is why my buddy blew two tires one one side at the same time.
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