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Moving past your first trailer

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poohbill View Drop Down
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Joined: 22 Aug 2019
Location: Idaho
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Post Options Post Options   Quote poohbill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Moving past your first trailer
    Posted: 21 Jan 2024 at 8:22pm
Our 2016 RP-179 is nickel-and-diming us, largely from abuse towing on gravel roads or worse. We will likely be in the market next year for its replacement, something sturdier but along the same lines.

It occurs to me this is a common theme: learning on an RP, then getting something more suitable. Any stories to tell?

Bill
2016 179 Gastropod
2017 Ridgeline
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StephenH View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jan 2024 at 9:24pm
We moved from a 2016 RP-179 to a 2023 Cherokee Grey Wolf. It has a tandem axle. It is longer and wider but has no slide-out. It also is of a completely different construction as it is essentially stick-built with aluminum siding. I have mixed opinions. I like the tandem axle. I like not having to worry about whether a slide-out will work or not. I don't like the aluminum siding. Like the R-Pod, it is a combination of really nice features and "What were they thinking?" quality issues.

Bottom line is that we do like it as it has a walk-around bed, but there are definitely different choices I would have made if I were designing this trailer.
StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

ouR escaPOD mods
Former RPod 179
Current Cherokee Grey Wolf 24 JS
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poohbill View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote poohbill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jan 2024 at 10:11pm
Did you find the added width made towing more difficult?
2016 179 Gastropod
2017 Ridgeline
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StephenH View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jan 2024 at 10:26pm
aNot really. We have an F-150 now. The only thing that the added width did  is to make it a bit more difficult to see behind. I have a back-up camera that I run while towing so it acts as a rear-view mirror. That really helps. I'll have to post a picture of the truck with the high cap and the trailer. I need to take a good picture the next time I have everything hitched up first.
StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

ouR escaPOD mods
Former RPod 179
Current Cherokee Grey Wolf 24 JS
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David and Danette View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote David and Danette Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2024 at 4:40am
We are on our third camper first one with a large kitcen area a lot more storage and a little wider 90 inches. We have been camping 6 weeks at a time in it and the extra storage and room has been great. We like the kitchen area with a large refrigerator, double bowl sink and oven.When we had the rpod 171 it was crowded traveling with one dog we now have two dogs and a cat. Payload capacity is important we have about 1,200 pounds our rpod 171 had 750 pounds.If you are camping for a couple nights a smaller camper is OK I think but if you are planning on camping over a week a larger camper is more convient. And I don't miss the fenders on the outside of the camper. For a small camper the rpod was a good camper but my wife wanted more room.
2018 Vista Cruiser 19BFD (2018-              
2012 Vibe 6503 (2014-2019)
2009 r-pod 171 (2009-2014)
Middle Tn
2014 Ram 1500 Quad cab


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jato View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jato Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2024 at 5:11am
We are still using the first camper we ever purchased since moving up from a pop-up, a 177 that was purchased January 2011.  Special ordered without A/C, entertainment system or convection/microwave.  Normally camp in national parks or other areas where no electricity is available.  The first 8 years the tow vehicle was a couple different front wheel drive Explorers.  Since retirement in 2019 we moved to an F-150 which allows for more storage than previously which was deemed necessary as the length of trips increased to 30 days at a time.  No solar, no generator and yes there have been a few times A/C would have been nice - tough sleeping when it is 80+ and humid outside, but we have survived.  The r-dome has proved invaluable over the years doubling available space of the 177.  Only 1 major expense since purchase, when the Dometic fridge decided to leak out the ammonia in the cooling system back in 2020.  Total cost of replacement came to $ 1150, labor was done by yours truly.  So as we embark on year 14, may all of you enjoy the out of doors and make a lot of lasting memories, regardless of what "flavor" your travel trailer may be.
God's pod
'11 model 177
'17 Ford F-150 4WD 3.5 Ecoboost
Jim and Diane by beautiful Torch Lake
"...and you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free."
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lostagain View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lostagain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2024 at 8:01am
We replaced our Pod with a slightly larger FR product, a Sonoma 167RB, a 22' single axle trailer with a full bath and a "walk" around short queen bed.  It has been a much more comfortable trailer for the two of us.  The bathroom sink and the useable shower have been a plus, as has the larger refrigerator and the 3 burner stove with an oven.  Also, the I-beam frame and leaf spring mounted axle have been far sturdier than the box beam and torsion axle of our 172.  I've made a number of small modifications that amount to adding some storage space along the sides of the bed, making it easier to get in and out of the nearly 30" high bed and providing a place for things like shoes and dirty clothes.  The bed has the standard lift up base with storage below, but there was about a 20" deep unused space under the foot of the bed which was not included in the under bed storage.  I added a couple shelves and we have plastic containers that fit in there and make a 6 bin storage place for all our clothes and such.  I also replaced the towering plastic toilet that felt like it was going to topple over with a porcelain low profile commode which provides a much more stable head that doesn't stress the attachment flange every time you use it.  Another advantage is that the trailer bottom is enclosed, including a small vent from the heater, and handle colder temperatures than the open bottom of our Pod.  Proof being we spent a night in Wyoming that got down to 11℉ with no issues with frozen pipes or tank contents.

The trailer is as easy to tow as our Pod and fits into small campground spaces the same as our Pod.  It is 84"wide so it doesn't require any mirror extensions on our TV.  It tows very comfortably with the WDH that we used on our Pod with only a few minor adjustments needed to level out our F-150.  

Our Pod was a great first trailer and I learned a tremendous amount in both how to maintain a travel trailer and what we wanted in its replacement.  It will be our last travel trailer and we'll probably sell it in a few years before it is too old and becomes a problem sell.
Never leave footprints behind.
Fred & Maria Kearney
Sonoma 167RB
Our Pod 172
2019 Ford F-150 4x4 2.7 EcoBoost
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jato View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jato Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2024 at 3:12pm
LA, what is the loaded weight of your Sonoma 167RB?  Also, have you had any issues with the turbo on your 2.7 Ecoboost?  Thanks

God's pod
'11 model 177
'17 Ford F-150 4WD 3.5 Ecoboost
Jim and Diane by beautiful Torch Lake
"...and you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free."
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lostagain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2024 at 4:59pm
The Sonoma has a GVW of 4,400 lbs. [1,271 for stuff over the "dry weight"].  I weighed the trailer loaded for our normal camping and we were well within the cargo limit.  When we moved from Dayton, NV to Quaker Hill, CT, we loaded the truck and trailer to the nearly the max GCVW.  We took I-80 across the country.  The truck crossed the Rockies like they were flat.  The ecoboost engine has more than enough power to easily pull the trailer up the steepest climbs.  Several times we crossed Ebbetts Pass (8,800 ft. el.) and the only thing that slowed us down were the hair pin curves.  On the other hand the engine compression breaking is very poor and one must really keep the speed under control to avoid braking excessively.

The truck is well balanced for the trailer and rides smoothly and comfortably, almost as though there is no trailer attached.  This is true even in some nasty winds we have experienced.  We use a Fastway e2 WDH.  The truck has had one warranty repair that involved replacing the dashboard due to a "bubble" that formed on it.  The dealer in Carson City made the repair and it's been fine since.  We got much better mileage in NV, I think because they don't put so much ethanol in the gas there as in CT.  Typically I got 24 mpg driving back and forth from Dayton to a Habitat build site in Reno.  Towing was typically 14 to 15 in that area.  Now everything has dropped by 2 or 3 mpg.   I am very happy with the truck.  

I've probably told you a lot more than you really wanted to know.  But if I didn't answer something you were wondering, give me a shout.
Never leave footprints behind.
Fred & Maria Kearney
Sonoma 167RB
Our Pod 172
2019 Ford F-150 4x4 2.7 EcoBoost
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mjlrpod View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mjlrpod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 2024 at 1:04pm
I went from R-pod to Surveyor 19rble. 24 feet long and just about anything you could want in a couples camper. Quality is your basic forest river. All aluminum framing and floor, same composite as the pod outside. Overall, I like it better than the pod. I think the rear bath layout is the best layout. 

2017.5 Rp-172
2020 R-pod 195
2015 Frontier sv 4.0L 6cyl
I'll be rpodding
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