Advertisement



Small RV Recommendation

LarryJ

Active Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2019
Messages
41
Reaction score
17
Location
Milwaukee
Vehicle(s)
2004 Ranger, 1997 BMW Z3, 2010 VW Tiguan
Think Ive grown weary of COVID. We’re thinking of acquiring a small RV to tow behind our 2019 Ranger Lariat Crew Cab. It would be primarily for my wife and I and at a minimum need to have at least a “wet bath”. We’ve begun to think that it would be fun to get away some weekends to state parks or national forests in the Midwest (we live in Milwaukee). Might also want to take it for some extended traveling out to Portland OR to see our kids. Guess if it could occasionally accommodate a couple of grandkids that could be a real bonus as well. Never towed anything other than rented utility trailers for moving or shuffling equipment. Just wondering what forum members may be using and if there were any recommendations or suggestions for things I should be investigating. Thanks in advance



Advertisement



 

SandBaja

Well-Known Member
First Name
Larry
Joined
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
174
Reaction score
223
Location
San Diego
Vehicle(s)
2019 Silver FX4, 501A pkg, fully optioned,2012 Rubicon, 2017 Cherokee, 2018 Volt
Occupation
Almost retired
I have been looking for the past 2 months and will continue to evaluate until next summer. I have a few suggestions based on my research so far, to offer.
  • It's not the best time to purchase. Inventory is low, deals are fewer.
  • Take some time to visit RV dealers and look at options
  • Quality is not high with many RV brands. You can buy cheap and perhaps get lucky or spend more and perhaps get unlucky.
  • Everyone has opinions. I suspect most are wrong, ill informed, based on anecdotal recollections. Do your own research which includes commentary, reviews and opinions
  • Research your truck and tow capabilities. There is much to learn if you want to do this safely. Do not assume that because Joe Blow said you can tow 10k#'s with a winzinzoomabanger tow hitch setup that he is correct. I've read opinions from people with years of experience that are FOS. Some of the best advice has come from this forum because it is based on a similar vehicle and real world.
  • Safety- listen to those that advise weighing/CAT scales when you get hooked up. Until then it's all a best guess
  • Your wife and you may become enamored with "features" such as toilet arrangement, kitchen location, bed size and space etc. Don't let the size of your desires dictate what you get. You have to ensure you get a TT that works with the truck. Salesmen will ask you what you drive and then say oh that can tow 7500# and walk you to the model that has a dry weight of 7499#'s. It doesn't work that way.
  • Don't rush, take some time to figure it out.
 

Frenchy

Well-Known Member
First Name
Chris
Joined
Mar 15, 2020
Messages
826
Reaction score
673
Location
Poncha Springs
Vehicle(s)
2019 Ford Ranger, 1983 Datsun 280ZX 2+2 Turbo
Occupation
Ford Dealership Mechanic
I will agree with SandBaja for the most part. Do be aware that as long as your truck came with the tow package then you maximum tow capacity is 7,500 lbs. With that being said i would suggest looking at capers that have a gross weight of 7,500 lbs or less. With this it will give you a lot of options but make sure it is what you want. Perhaps you like the idea of going off the beaten path or maybe you like the idea of staying on the pavement. Whatever the decision I'm sure you will find what you like.
 

WhiteLightning19

Well-Known Member
First Name
Chris
Joined
Apr 9, 2019
Messages
48
Reaction score
44
Location
PA
Vehicle(s)
2019 Ranger Lariat
Vehicle Showcase
1
I think a R-Pod (several different floorplans to choose from) or even step up to a little bigger and get a small hybrid ( Rockwood ROO 183/19 or Jayco Jayfesther, etc.) Would be a good choice for a couples trailer that would have capacity for grandkids as needed.
 

cfhgarza

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2020
Messages
160
Reaction score
255
Location
Ohio
Vehicle(s)
2020 Magnetic XLT 301A
Occupation
Press and weld set-up
The 20ft Rpods seem like a perfect fit for the Ranger.

I'm looking at the RP-190 floorplan. Queen bed one one end and a big dinette that turns into a good size bed on the other. Nice kitchen and bath at 3,000lbs dry. Seems like it might work for you as well. https://forestriverinc.com/rvs/travel-trailers/r-pod/RP-190/3948
 

Ace Holliday

Well-Known Member
First Name
Scott K
Joined
Apr 19, 2020
Messages
317
Reaction score
595
Location
South Kalifornikstan
Vehicle(s)
2019 Ranger XLT Super Crew
Occupation
Aerospace Machinist/CNC Programmer - Retired
I have been looking for the past 2 months and will continue to evaluate until next summer. I have a few suggestions based on my research so far, to offer.
  • It's not the best time to purchase. Inventory is low, deals are fewer.
  • Take some time to visit RV dealers and look at options
  • Quality is not high with many RV brands. You can buy cheap and perhaps get lucky or spend more and perhaps get unlucky.
  • Everyone has opinions. I suspect most are wrong, ill informed, based on anecdotal recollections. Do your own research which includes commentary, reviews and opinions
  • Research your truck and tow capabilities. There is much to learn if you want to do this safely. Do not assume that because Joe Blow said you can tow 10k#'s with a winzinzoomabanger tow hitch setup that he is correct. I've read opinions from people with years of experience that are FOS. Some of the best advice has come from this forum because it is based on a similar vehicle and real world.
  • Safety- listen to those that advise weighing/CAT scales when you get hooked up. Until then it's all a best guess
  • Your wife and you may become enamored with "features" such as toilet arrangement, kitchen location, bed size and space etc. Don't let the size of your desires dictate what you get. You have to ensure you get a TT that works with the truck. Salesmen will ask you what you drive and then say oh that can tow 7500# and walk you to the model that has a dry weight of 7499#'s. It doesn't work that way.
  • Don't rush, take some time to figure it out.
This is all good advice. Keep in mind the 7500 pound MAXIMUM tow rating of your Ranger assumes a proper hitch setup and includes the trailer, gear, water, etc. I would shoot for a 5000, or so, max trailer weight. By the time you get it weekend ready it will be much more than that. You can get a very nice rig in that weight range without pushing things to the maximum.
Edit: Never believe a trailer salesman when it comes to the towing prowess of your Ranger. Never. He needs to sell an RV and doesn't care how safe you will be going down the road.
 

TechnicallyReal

Well-Known Member
First Name
Ryan
Joined
Aug 20, 2020
Messages
81
Reaction score
73
Location
Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Vehicle(s)
'19 Ranger Lariat 4x4
Occupation
Software Developer
We recently bought a Jayco Jay Flight SLX 174BH which is approx 3000 lbs and 17' long (or 21.5' tongue to bumper, I think). There are many different floor plans available in and around that weight and length, from many brands. We went with Jayco as we have no particular brand loyalty and it was the only brand I could find locally with the particular floorplan we wanted. As was said above, demand is high and supply is low. So far it's turned out to be quite a nice little trailer, though. We're very happy with it.

We chose the 174BH floorplan as it has 2 bunks and a bathroom in the rear, a queen bed in the front, and kitchen and dinette in-between. Our daughter sleeps in one of the bunks and the 2nd bunk is there for a friend or for storage. The dinette could also turn into a bed if-needed but we'll probably never do that.

With the newer model years you don't have to worry about things like going outside and manually lighting pilot lights or flipping switches to change between electric and gas. I was surprised to find that our water heater lights itself, as does the furnace. Using the water heater is as simple as turning it on from either of the switches by the front door (one for gas and one for elec - and you can use both at the same time to speed things up). The furnace is as simple a turning it on at the thermostat. The water pump is a simple on/off at the door as well. I thought things would be more complex but it all just kind of works. If you're plugged into shore power then the battery charges and you can use 110V outlets, microwave, A/C, etc. Lights, radio, and other basics run off of 12V regardless of whether or not there's shore power. There's no switching modes between 12V or 110V on anything.

Anyway as far as towing goes the Ranger tows it well but towing anything big and boxy is going to be a bit scary at times thanks to the wind. And it'll kill your gas mileage as well. In order to lessen the effect of wind blowing the trailer around you could buy a weight distribution hitch with sway control. I am not doing this myself but I might later on. For now I am going to install Eibach shocks in the rear of my Ranger to help control bounciness, which will probably be enough for me. I find the Ranger a little too bouncy even without a trailer, in certain areas that I travel specifically.

Also want to add that you'll need a brake controller as well. There's only one that has Ford's seal of approval for use with automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise, and that's their own kit which uses a RedArc controller. I plan to get this but for now I am using a Curt Echo wireless controller which works well but lacks a physical control in case brakes need to be applied manually. Instead it relies on a phone app to control the brakes manually, which isn't ideal.

1600143993179.png

1600144000642.png
 

the1mrb

Well-Known Member
First Name
Matt
Joined
May 22, 2019
Messages
1,366
Reaction score
1,974
Location
Duluth, MN
Website
www.fuelly.com
Vehicle(s)
2019 Ford Ranger, XLT FX4
Occupation
Aerostructures Engineer
Vehicle Showcase
1
I'll second a handful of things:

The Ranger tows very well, especially given it's size.

Shoot for something under 5000lbs, that way you still have wiggle room to load heavy for longer trips. Sure, the Ranger will tow up to 7500lbs, but you don't want to start high and be up against that wall when it comes time to pack up.

The R-Pods are nice, have many different floor plans, and something we may consider when we upgrade from our teardrop.

There is almost an unlimited variety of campers out there these days. Every time we go to a campground and walk around the loops, which is quite often, we always see something we've never seen before. Going to your local RV dealer/showroom is a great place to start, just to get an idea of size and use of space. But an internet search will give many many more options out there that won't ever show up in local showrooms. And sometimes those ones are the best, most niche, and highest quality options.
 

Big Blue

Well-Known Member
First Name
Lee
Joined
May 5, 2020
Messages
418
Reaction score
503
Location
Wisconsin
Vehicle(s)
2019 Ford Ranger XLT FX4 Supercrew lighting blue
Occupation
Retired mechanical designer
I'll second a handful of things:

The Ranger tows very well, especially given it's size.

Shoot for something under 5000lbs, that way you still have wiggle room to load heavy for longer trips. Sure, the Ranger will tow up to 7500lbs, but you don't want to start high and be up against that wall when it comes time to pack up.

The R-Pods are nice, have many different floor plans, and something we may consider when we upgrade from our teardrop.

There is almost an unlimited variety of campers out there these days. Every time we go to a campground and walk around the loops, which is quite often, we always see something we've never seen before. Going to your local RV dealer/showroom is a great place to start, just to get an idea of size and use of space. But an internet search will give many many more options out there that won't ever show up in local showrooms. And sometimes those ones are the best, most niche, and highest quality options.
Agree completely, especially the 5000# weight. I also agree on the R-Pods, that's what we have and like it a lot.

I will add a comment for a weight distribution hitch with sway control. This will make towing at highway speeds and around semis much more comfortable. The key here is proper sizing and setup. This needs to be done with The truck and trailer loaded as you intend to travel with it. This is where the CAT scale comes in so you know you are within all weight ratings for you truck and trailer. These are on the stickers on your truck and trailer, not the generic ones used in the advertising.
 
OP

LarryJ

Active Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2019
Messages
41
Reaction score
17
Location
Milwaukee
Vehicle(s)
2004 Ranger, 1997 BMW Z3, 2010 VW Tiguan
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Agree completely, especially the 5000# weight. I also agree on the R-Pods, that's what we have and like it a lot.

I will add a comment for a weight distribution hitch with sway control. This will make towing at highway speeds and around semis much more comfortable. The key here is proper sizing and setup. This needs to be done with The truck and trailer loaded as you intend to travel with it. This is where the CAT scale comes in so you know you are within all weight ratings for you truck and trailer. These are on the stickers on your truck and trailer, not the generic ones used in the advertising.
How do these hitches differ from the ones that came originally as part of the standard tow package? Do you recommend a Ford install or the trailer dealership install? What is the approximate cost? Thanks
 

TechnicallyReal

Well-Known Member
First Name
Ryan
Joined
Aug 20, 2020
Messages
81
Reaction score
73
Location
Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Vehicle(s)
'19 Ranger Lariat 4x4
Occupation
Software Developer
Weight distribution hitches fit into the 2" receiver that comes with the tow package. The difference is that they consist of more than just a ball for the trailer to connect to. Instead they also have some lower arms that connect to the trailer, usually with chains. The idea is that the trailer doesn't simply push down on the back of the truck, but instead acts as an extension of the truck. This video explains it fairly well:


These hitches usually also offer sway control, which are generally just an extra bar that attaches to the hitch to prevent the trailer from turning side to side (swaying) as easily.

From what I've noticed they cost around $250-500 USD (or more).

There seem to be a lot of horror stories about trailer dealers installing them incorrectly (wrong weight adjustments used making things worse) and I don't know that a Ford dealer would do it or be any better at it. From what I've read it's better to DIY and really pay attention to the instructions, but you'll need to be able to get your trailer loaded and weighed in order to get the correct weight adjustments.
 

geophb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
350
Reaction score
355
Location
Wisconsin
Vehicle(s)
2019 Ranger
Occupation
Mechanical Engineer
How do these hitches differ from the ones that came originally as part of the standard tow package? Do you recommend a Ford install or the trailer dealership install? What is the approximate cost? Thanks
Usually the rv dealer sets the up but from what I have seen they never set them up correctly. Varies so much between setups (truck/trailer combo).

Std hitch (left). Weight distribution hitch (right)
1600185235549.png
1600185080493.png


The one pictured here is about $600-700, maybe overkill. This one will have more sway control versus the el cheapo ones with the chains though.
One thing to note right away is WD hitches can make lots of pops and noises. That is normal.
 

Advertisement






Advertisement






Advertisement


Top