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Author Topic: Looking to Get our First TT  (Read 2328 times)
JustG
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« on: September 21, 2015, 06:50:56 AM »

I have been mostly a lurker on these forums for the past year or so. The DW and I have been dreaming of a trailer for a long time. We purposely bought our truck with a towing package, with the intent of getting one. At first we were going to go HTT since our towing capacity is only 5000. I'm kind of glad we ended up waiting though, as they have come out with some nice TT that fall into our weight class. The DW is much more comfortable with a full hard shell trailer, especially if we go out dispersed camping with it.

We are looking at the Rockwood Mini Lite 2306. We have a DD that has been camping since she was 2, and the bunkhouse is a great setup for us. We are just getting tired of the tent camping, and the limitations it brings. So the savings plan is set, the trailer is picked out, and we are hoping to have one in the next 6 months or so.

We have come up with some questions that I thought I could get answered here.
1) To get the trailer off the lot and home, what exactly do I need to plan for and get? I know I need a brake controller, hitch ball and a trailer hitch lock at the minimum. Anything else? Should I just buy the hitch ball from the dealer and let them size it and add any extenders that might be needed?

2) When picking up from the dealer, what should I expect them to do for us, or to the trailer?

3) When running the fridge off of propane, how much gas does it burn through? I realize it might vary a bit based on how cold we set it, outside temps etc. But as a general rule, will it go through a tank in a weekend trip, trying to keep food cool, or is it pretty efficient?

4) What is a good rated trailer hitch lock to go with? This will be getting stored in a trailer storage yard a few blocks away from us.


Any other advice or tips on what to get initially, or to have the dealer do etc is welcome.
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Love the outdoors and getting out in it.
TV=2010 Honda Ridgeline
TT=Hopefully a Rockwood Mini Lite 2306 soon :D
cdnbayside
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2015, 01:48:52 PM »

1. You would also need a weight distributing hitch.  The dealer can install everything, usually work it into the deal.
2. Complete pdi, fix any problems, show you how everything operates.  Usually a 3-4 hour experience.
3. Fridge on propane uses very little.  It would probably last over a month on just propane.  But it also uses a little battery power for the circuit board.
4. Lots of good locks out there.  Masterlock is one.
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JustG
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2015, 02:30:47 PM »

Hm, I wasn't sure if I was going to need a WDH or not. Is that pretty much a definite, or a highly recommended? If I don't get it at first but decide the truck handles bad without, is it something that can be attached later on?

Good to know on the others, Thanks! But what is a PDI? Hopefully there is nothing wrong with the unit as we are buying it new. Hopefully it will need to be cleaned from sitting on their lot for a while.
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Love the outdoors and getting out in it.
TV=2010 Honda Ridgeline
TT=Hopefully a Rockwood Mini Lite 2306 soon :D
cdnbayside
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2015, 03:28:51 PM »

WDH would be necessary with your Ridgeline.  The 2306 will have a tongue weight of a least 600 lbs when loaded.  It shows 430 lbs empty.  Without the WDH, the back end of your truck will be dragging on the ground and the headlights pointing to the stars.

http://www.forestriverinc.com/product-details.aspx?LineID=204&ModelID=911#Main

PDI = Pre delivery inspection.

A good dealer will repair any problems before you see the trailer and wash it and clean the interior.  RVs are not known for good quality.  You need to be somewhat handy to repair little things that come loose or fall off.  I was talking to an owner of a $1.5 million Newell motorhome at a campground recently.  He wants to take a course at the factory so he can learn to fix things that break.  Another owner of a $600,000 motorhome told me his motorhome was a money pit.  So even the most expensive RVs have problems.

http://www.newellcoach.com/
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10 Outback 300BH 13 F-150 FX4 3.5 Supercrew
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Snow
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WWW
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2015, 01:10:59 AM »

You may want to call Honda and ask if you can use a WDH with a Ridgeline ??  I read somewhere (a few years ago) that Ridgelines were unable to use them. 
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Craig & Family & the Beagle
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JustG
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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2015, 06:38:06 AM »

I am a member over on the Ridgeline owners club forums, and there are many discussion on the WDH topic. I posted a question over there about. Seems it kind of depends on how the truck sits or handles, some use them some don't. The thing about the RL is that the owners manual states they do not recommend them. The general consensus of the owners is that Honda does not want people installing them incorrectly and putting too much weight on the front axle. The hitch of the RL is rated for 600lbs. I will guess I will see what the RL OC has to say about it and feel it out from there.

I am fully expecting to have to do repairs and modifications over the years. One of the reasons I ended up going with a Rockwood over similar makes/models to what we wanted. I have no problems with such "fix it" stuff but of course we all wish we didn't have to on these toys.  :)  I coworker has had a HTT for a few years now, and has done a tone of work on it. The shower liner completely separated from the wall, rebuilt cabinets, rebuilt the dinette etc. I hope to avoid that much work, but have plans for a basic tool and supply set for the trailer to make repairs on the road. Been reading on here a lot and taking a lot of tips to heart.  You guys rock!
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Love the outdoors and getting out in it.
TV=2010 Honda Ridgeline
TT=Hopefully a Rockwood Mini Lite 2306 soon :D
Snow
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WWW
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2015, 07:32:42 PM »

Just saying you may want to make sure of what if any WDH you can use..  If Honda recommends against them for any reason and has that in print, that alone will cover their a$$ if your in an accident, then a lawsuit ..  Also  if the RL is built on a unibody rather then a full frame, you can cause serious damage to the unibody by using a WDH.. 
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Craig & Family & the Beagle
2005 Outback 21RS
2012 Hemi Powered Dodge Ram Quad Cab
JustG
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« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2015, 07:33:04 AM »

Good advice, better safe then sorry, especially when driving down the road with family and 5000lbs behind you.
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Love the outdoors and getting out in it.
TV=2010 Honda Ridgeline
TT=Hopefully a Rockwood Mini Lite 2306 soon :D
Ronin__9
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« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2015, 08:00:37 AM »

Since you will be towing near the trucks capacity you should call the Honda dealer and talk with someone in service about it.
The RV dealer will be able to help get everything on the camper side lined up but they are not trained on your truck.
If you are pinching pennies you can get better deals on all the accessories elsewhere, but they you won’t get the added education from the dealer.
For your first camper they have boxed kits to get you started.

Basically you need,
Tow vehicle break controller, tow ball, wheel chocks, leveling blocks, holding tank chemicals, sewer drain hose, fresh water hose and water regulator.
Typically they already add a deep cell battery and LP tank.

Other thinks you think about area tow ball security lock, lug wrench for the trailer, fresh water sanitize, water filter, RV antifreeze, RV cover, First aid kit and tool box.

http://www.trailerlife.com/trailer-towing-guides/
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JustG
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« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2015, 08:23:48 AM »

Oh Ronin, you made me think of another question. :)

I keep reading about "winterizing". I assume this is the process of getting the liquid out of the lines and tanks, and maybe adding some of your mentioned RV antifreeze to the tanks and lines, to store the trailer for winter.

I live in AZ, valley of the sun. Is this winterizing step something I need to really worry about? I mean, when I'm done for the season, I can purge the water out of the lines and tanks. Once in a GREAT while we do get a night that hits about 30 degrees F.  ROFL  Should that be sufficient? I don't see us using it after Thanksgiving though, and probably not going out again until March.
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Love the outdoors and getting out in it.
TV=2010 Honda Ridgeline
TT=Hopefully a Rockwood Mini Lite 2306 soon :D
Ronin__9
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« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2015, 04:18:19 AM »

I would err on the side of caution.
RV antifreeze is typically under $3 a gallon on sale at menards or similar hardware stores. it only has to be below freezing once to crack a plastic fitting.

Its a pretty EZ process once you ave done it, but you will need a little help finding all your low point drains and figuring out hot water tank bypass switches and stuff.
I would recommend going back to the dealer and paying to have them show you the first time.
Ask if you can take that time to go through some RV maintenance with the service tech.
you will need to get in the habit of inspecting seals and caulking joints and such.

or if you want I'm sure someone has a half page of instructions on how to do it.
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2007 Jayco 1008   PopUp Blue
southpaw821
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2015, 08:13:39 AM »

You may want to consider a different truck as well.  The ridgeline is a Pilot disguised as pickup truck.  It is not really built for towing.   Plus, when looking at the weight of the trailer you are thinking, as a general rule, you will not want to look at anything over 3500 pounds.  And hitch weight should be below 450 pounds.  When I was looking for my new TT, I wasn't even considering hitch weight until my buddy told me i should.  I figured if it was with in UVW that the hitch would fall into line.  The rig I really liked has a hitch weight of 915#.  Pushing the limits of my 1050# hitch rating once loaded.  Here is why. I had to go through this same thing when we just bought our new TT, and we have a 2010 F150, 9600 pound towing capacity, and 1050# hitch rating.  The UVW shown in the brochure is typical equipment and your LP Gas, but no battery, water, gear, extra options, gear.  I would bet your camper comes in about 200# more than the brochure number.  You never should be pulling at your truck's maximum rating.  It will put undue strain on the transmission and gear box.  With that said, add 50 pounds for your battery, and then all of your camping gear!  Grill, clothes, food, supplies, towels, chairs, patio matt, tool box, leveling blocks, hoses, chocks, etc etc.  That stuff adds up in a hurry.  Don't forget anything you put in the truck too goes against that 5000# rating.  Only a driver is included in the calculations.  So your DD and DW need to be included.  Then if you ever tow any water, that also has to be considered... regarding the hitch weight..  516 only leaves room for 84# of stuff.  take off 50# for the battery..  80% of your gear weight will be on the tongue as it will all be located in the front pass through.   For example, with my F-150, I put limits on weight at 7100# and hitch weight of 750#.   Love the trailer we got...  6550# from the factory with a hitch weight of 665#.  Plenty of room in those numbers for everything.  Cost can be a factor, and if it is, take a look at a nice used half ton.   The F-150 with the ecoboost (2011 and newer) can pull over 10,000# and has a nice hitch rating.  With one of those, you would almost be limitless on your choices.  Good luck and enjoy the trips ahead.
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