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Old 05-17-2013, 05:36 AM   #1
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Hello all, this is my first post here and I am looking for some honest feedback please. I have been lurking here for a few months so I know this is a good place to start.

My wife and I have been camping for several years now and we are thinking about upgrading to the2013 or 2014</span>Sunset Trail ST28BH. (We were looking at the 5th wheel model but that complicates things with a 5.5ft truck bed, but thats another side track all together.) </span>

Does anyone out there with this or similar model have any suggestions before we buy? What to look out for, things you would have done differently, how do they tow, etc.

Our second question is one of safety. We live on the central Florida gulf coast. We like to travel all over Florida (8-10+ times per year) and would like to extend that just a bit to some surrounding states as well. I don't have any experience pulling a TT but I have been pulling a large high wall popup for a few years now and I am very secure with that. I do drive very cautious while pulling the popup but I don't want to be white knuckle driving a new TT with my family in the truck. (I have seen the TT horror stories, but I also know there are measures and circumstances that drastically reduce the risks)

Our current setup is:
2012 Ram 1500 Hemi 5.5ft box</span>
2012 Rockwood HW296</span>
</span>
We would be upgrading to:</span>
Crossroads Sunset Trail Reserve ST28BH </span>http://www.crossroadsrv.com/sunset-t...rs/item/st28bh</span>
With a towing system from our dealer Blue Ox Sway Pro -</span>http://www.blueox.com/p-1181-swaypro.aspx

The dealer we are possibly buying from is LazyDays near Tampa, FL.

The TT is over twice the dry weight of the popup. Again, my biggest concern is safety. I am fairly confident the truck can pull the TT with enough power.So with all that, does anyone have any comments on TT safety, the Blue OX Sway Pro, or how to ease our worries on making the right move for our family.Thank you very much for your time and any thoughts or considerations you might have.Brent
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:54 AM   #2
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Hello and welcome. Very nice trailer. I went from a 3300lb TT to an ST29SS at 6300lbs and 9 extra feet. Was worried about the increaseddimensions but in the end really towed better than my old setup. Don't know if it was the larger tires, wide stance axles, or the added sway control but all my worry quickly left after I started towing it. Good to watch your speed and remember ST tires are rated at a max of 65 mph.
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:06 AM   #3
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Your TT that you are looking at theweight is6700 ( Rouned it up ) Not sure what the truck tows. What is your gear ratio, do you have a factory tow package on it? If your truck can tow up to 9000 lbs, than you will be fine. Cutting it close but should be ok. For us, going from a pop-up, then a 23ftHybryd now to a 32 ft TT, I have to say, the 32 ft tows much better. And I can get it in spots that I tought I would never fit it in. Difintley get the sway bar. That helps out alot. Hope this helps and Happy camping !!
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:27 AM   #4
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Brent,

Firstly, your in the right place. If you looking for the lightest trailer at the max length you can tow, you're not going to find anything else out there lighter than a sunset trail.. believe me, i researched for 4 months. We bought a 300BH. Awesome trailer and about #1500 less than comparable units from other mfg's.

Secondly,

Answering your question requires more data. I used the following worksheet to calculate safely what my F150 can tow--&gt;

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j...GE&amp;cad=rja

When I ran all the numbers, I was suprised how my towing capacity dropped due to hitch weight, occupants, bed payload, etc.

Now I'm towing across the country this summer, so for me, safety was #1, so I researched and bought a Propride 3P hitch. I got it and have never looked back. yes, its expensive, but it works. no sway and i always feel in control. Not a commercial for these guys, but their product works and is around $1K less than a Hensley (based on others posts).

Lastly, don't rely on any dealership to tell you what you can safely tow. When someone asks a salesperson what they can tow, it is a very general question based on numbers posted in the brochures for the trailer and TV. So, technically, they're factual, but only with a driver and nothing in the camper..the numbers work, but there are several factors even beyond the TV's numbers that are listed for the given model year, trim package, option, and gear ratios.

There are all kinds of posts on forums where people bought too much trailer for their TV and did'nt realize it until their first trip.

Anyone feel free to tell me I'm on the mark here or crazy, but just been doin' the rv research for a while and this is where I ended up..





Edited by: mmuha
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:37 AM   #5
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Wow, thank you all for the quick and helpful replies so far.

mmuha, I did the worksheet you sent and it has me a bit concerned. According to the sheet we are at a combined vehicle weight of 14,141. The max GCVWR of my vehicle is 14,000. This includes loading the TT with roughly 600 lbs of extra weight - guessing after we load equipment and travel gear for each trip.

So, being over by 141 lbs doesn't sound like a crazy amount but I am wondering how bad this really is.

Thanks again.

EDIT: Yes, I do have a factory tow package.
Edited by: Edge1
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:11 AM   #6
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It all boils down to you comfort level. I look at it worse case scenario. If (God forbid) I am in an accident or I create one and I'm over my legal limit, I could be in a whole lot of trouble. Now, I'm a CPA, not an attorney, so don't know the reality of all this, but I would personally tow 100 lbs over or leave the mother in law at home (just kidding).

Please let others chime in, but I usually have more than 600 lbs of gear, but I have a big family. Bear in mind you need the ACTUAL DRY WEIGHT off the trailer that is on a sticker on the unit, not the book or dealer listing. The manufacturers play with the numbers, so that nice flat panel and extra fridge option is probably not in the numbers.

I got some great advice from the "seasoned" rv'ers on the forums, and most told me a 1/2 ton trucks fall short is the payload capacity of the vehicle.

Check other forums like rv.net.

My advice is just one voice, there are others out there who may even have the exact setup your looking to get into...

Well, gotta go, camping in my sunset trail first time this weekend!



Edited by: mmuha
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:28 AM   #7
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LOL, I choose to leave the mother in law at home!

Enjoy your trip and happy camping!
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:25 AM   #8
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I learned that even the sticker weight does not include propane tanks(about 75lbs for small pair),and battery(about 45lbs). Also the stuff you load in the trailer adds to tongue weight. The listed tongue weights can be deceiving.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:33 AM   #9
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I towed a 30' 7500 lb TT with a 1500 suburbanfor a few years. The weight was right at the limit. Although the Suburban did OK, it was slow on the hills and after a few years I had to rebuild the rear differential. My point is even if you are within weight specs, the 1500 vehicles will wear faster than a more "robust" suspension/engine.
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:48 PM   #10
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Hi , i see you have a 1500 Ram .i am pretty sure you have coil springs on that truck . it rides great solo , but depending on your hitch weight you may have problems getting a good WD set up .

i have an 09 ST 27RB. hitch weight is 800 lbs. i tow with a 1500 series Yukon XL . it towes the camper fine but the back end of the tow vehicle sags a bit because of the coil springs . j ust my opinion . i have read other posts about the dodge and the soft suspension
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:15 AM   #11
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Update:
Well it looks like my initial calculations were off a bit and we went to our truck dealer and got the actual tow and payload capacities for my truck. We have a few hundred pounds to spare in payload (including tongue weight, passengers, cargo), and we have 1,750 pounds to spare after the trailer weight. So it is looking better and within legal and capable limits.

I am however thinking of installing the Timbren suspension stops in the rear to reduce truck sag. The Rams are notorious for this because of the coil springs.

I will try to keep updates coming but I appreciate any and all comments so far, many have helped.
Edited by: Edge1
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:21 AM   #12
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Timbrins work great, I have them on my truck, and the ride is nicer.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:30 AM   #13
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I am towing that setup with a 2012 ford F150 with trailer tow package
My max combined vehicle weight is 13,500 andI hit the scales and can tell you, I am right at that limit.
My max trailer weight is 7800. I am well under that number even loaded
and my max cargo capacity is 1800, I am under there as well.

This trailer tows very nice. I think I even get better gas mileage thanI did with my 4000lb Outback trailer. The ground clearence on this trailer is much higher and the wide stance axles plus aerodynamic front cap all contribute to a great pull

I am using a Equalizer brand WD hitch with built in sway control and my measurements unloaded were37 1/4 front and 40 1/2 rear. Loaded 37 1/4 front and 37 1/2 rear. As you can see my rear also sank 3 in. I too am thinking about installing a spring helper system like airbags to get a couple of inches back, but for now level is good and it tows nice.

Good luck
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:35 PM   #14
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We just bought the Sunset Trail Reserve ST28BH in March and are very pleased so far. We've only had it out one weekend, but are looking forward to a long Memorial weekend down at Mammoth Cave in just a few days. So far everything worked well. With two growing little boys the overall size is perfect and the bunks work well to give each one their own space. So far I'm happy with the Nissan Armada pulling it with an Equilizer hitch, but I did add as set of Firestone Riderite air springs to help the coil springs in back.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:30 PM   #15
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I would highly recommend a weight distribution hitch. </span>I went from a 19’ 2500 lbs. popup to a 37’
7800 (empty) Sunset Trail 33BD. </span>I
originally towed the popup with a Ford Windstar, but upgraded to a F150 Lariat
in 2010. </span>Had an Equi-l-izer hitch
installed by the dealer. </span>I do have a
little more than average experience driving; I drove semis for a couple of
years. </span>I picked up my trailer 1 month
ago in Grand Rapids MI and drove to Minneapolis. </span>It was a little nerve wracking in the beginning
(25-30 knot crosswind). </span>I slowed to
about 60 and it was a non-issue. </span>My Ford
has plenty of power to tow and sway was not an issue, nor was braking. </span>We are mostly in the flat lands and mountainous
terrain would be a different story. </span>We
went across the scale at a truck stop after filling up with gas and were about
900 lbs. under combined weight, but the 2 axles on the truck were about 150
over the placard. </span>I added Firestone
airbags to keep it level, because I knew the weight would be close. </span>I am 100% comfortable towing with the family
aboard, up
to 70 mph, as long as there is little wind.
</span>If the crosswinds picks up, I just slow down. </span>I had a receiver welded on my trailer last
week and towed it to the welding shop (about 10 miles) without the WDH on a 65 mph interstate. </span>There was a very noticeable difference
without the WDH, and I would not be comfortable towing over 55 with the family
aboard. </span>The weight distribution hitch
makes a world of difference, I would not tow without it. </span>Good luck and Happy Camping.<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" />



Chuck



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Old 05-19-2013, 01:52 AM   #16
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</span>I am 100% comfortable towing with the family
aboard, up
to 70 mph,

Chuck, you should read whats stamped on the sidewall of your trailer tires. Unless they have changed something, they state max. speed ---65mph.


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Old 05-20-2013, 04:41 AM   #17
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I have towed a 1,500 lbs. pop-up, then a 4,400 lbs. hybrid, &amp; now a 7,100 lbs. Sunset Trail 29SS.

My '04 Expedition had no trouble with the hybrid and I knew I'd be near its limits on the 29SS. After checking at the CAT scales, I was just 45 lbs. over on the hitch weight and 1,550 lbs. under on total trailer weight. So, technically, I was "OK" with the Expy.

However, its coil over shock suspension is far too soft. Even with weight dist hitch cranked to its highest setting, I could not get the Expy anywhere near level. It was a real handful to drive and I got shoved around by passing cars (not just the semi trucks) and any crosswinds required a change of shorts. I ended up getting a 1 ton pickup and I enjoy towing again.

Your truck is fairly new and replacing it probably isn't in the budget right now.

If the RV dealer is also selling you the Blue Ox, ask them to set it up on the trailer you're considering. Not sure if they'll do this, but maybe they are motivated by a possible sale. You could see how the truck will sit when hitched up. I know you won't have all your camping stuffon board, but it would give you a better idea than just looking at spec sheets.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:56 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbutts
If the RV dealer is also selling you the Blue Ox, ask them to set it up on the trailer you're considering. Not sure if they'll do this, but maybe they are motivated by a possible sale. You could see how the truck will sit when hitched up. I know you won't have all your camping stuffon board, but it would give you a better idea than just looking at spec sheets.</span>

Hmmm, that is something to consider. Thanks for the idea.
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Old 05-25-2015, 06:47 AM   #19
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WOW, you're towing a 7100lb TT with an Expedition?
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