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Old 04-19-2019, 02:38 AM   #1
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Smile Planning trip next year from UK

Hi Guys
My wife and I are planning to tour the USA starting this time next year. We are planning to buy a new TT and a newish (say 3 year old) truck to to tow it. Over the next 3 or 4 years, we aim to have 2 x 3 months trips a year in the states.
After much research, I’ve decided that a Winnie Minnie ( or possibly a smaller Minnie plus) is the trailer for us. We want to keep to under 30’ and under 7000 lbs loaded. I think I’ve narrowed the truck down to a used GMC Sierra 1500.
I will be starting my buying process for the trailer online about November or December this year. We are looking to start in Texas or possibly around Chicago, so are looking for good dealers in these areas. Anyone got anything to say about Haylett RV as a dealer? Most of the negotiations will be done via email, maybe video calls? I’d be happy to pre buy the TT online , but I’m going to buy the truck in person when we arrive as I’d want to personally inspect a second hand truck.
So that’s it. Thanks for having me on the forum, any tip/ comments gratefully received

Simon
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:02 AM   #2
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It’s kind of funny, but I’d rather buy a TT in person and the truck online. To me, it would be much easier to get a pre-purchase inspection done on a vehicle, which will also be much easier to get any repair work done. An RV, though, needs much more attention up front as any repairs you can’t do yourself could be very time-consuming.

Either way, good luck with the process and the trios!
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:29 AM   #3
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Sounds like a great plan. I'm not sure what the best dealers are for TT, but I'd avoid Camping World.

Alvarado, Texas, just south of Dallas/Fort Worth is well known in Texas for RVs. Many know the area for motorhomes but we drive through the area once or twice a year and see lots of places with hundreds of travel trailers, too.

It's also pickup truck central everywhere in Texas. It would be easy to fly to Dallas or Houston, rent a car and find good deals on TTs and Ford F150 in a matter of a few days looking. Well, if you're set on the GMC trucks that would work as well. It's just the F150 outsells the Sierra probably 10 to 1 so there are always a lot more available.

Watch your TT weights with a 1/2 Ton pickup. We towed a 5,800 lb Arctic Fox TT for a number of years with 1/2 ton based SUVs (Chevy Tahoe and Ford Expedition EL). Fully loaded weights were under 7,000 lbs but I wouldn't want to go much higher without getting a 3/4 ton (2500) tow vehicle.
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirchyBoy View Post
Itís kind of funny, but Iíd rather buy a TT in person and the truck online. To me, it would be much easier to get a pre-purchase inspection done on a vehicle, which will also be much easier to get any repair work done. An RV, though, needs much more attention up front as any repairs you canít do yourself could be very time-consuming.

Either way, good luck with the process and the trios!
Thanks for the reply. As part of my RV buying process, I intend to get an independent surveyor to check over the trailer I buy before we get out there. I know it will cost a few hundred $, but I think it will be money well spent to check we havenít bought a ďFridayĒ rig and everything is working properly before we set off.

Simon
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creativepart View Post
... I'd avoid Camping World.

...

Watch your TT weights with a 1/2 Ton pickup. ... Fully loaded weights were under 7,000 lbs but I wouldn't want to go much higher without getting a 3/4 ton (2500) tow vehicle.
Good advice ^^^

Watch your rear axle ratio, too.

Enjoy your travel around the States.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:44 PM   #6
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I'm curious, do you have any RVing (or should I say "caravanning") experience in the UK? You sound pretty well-informed.

By the way, I think this is a great plan and a great way to see the US but choose your TT dealer carefully. I don't know what they're like in the UK but I don't trust them and warranty issues not only might not show up in a pre-purchase survey but can be a nightmare to get resolved. Your truck purchase will be a lot less risky, easier to get fixed and brand name, dealer-certified used vehicles, although a little more expensive, can be a good way to go.

From what i've read, TT and MH manufacturers (including Winnebago) don't have good quality controls compared to auto and truck manufacturers and rely on the purchaser and dealer to identify and sort out quality issues after purchase.

Personally, I'd prefer a relatively new but pre-owned (private party sale) TT that has been well maintained and is in excellent condition. They're also easier to survey since most likely there will be signs of significant problems. With an new rig, everything looks new and problems can be difficult or impossible to spot. You might even get lucky and find a deal on a truck and TT together. However, I understand the complexities of your situation distance-wise.
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Old 04-20-2019, 01:45 AM   #7
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Thanks for the reply Bob
Yes we do own a small German caravan here in the Uk. I must say, it’s apparent from doing a little research that you guys have a HUGE problem with construction and QC with your whole RV sector. These problems are unheard of with new European caravans. I have bought 3 new caravans in the last 12 years and know dozens of people who also have. Leaks are unheard of and there is absolutely no caulking on any ouside seams or joints. It’s like you guys are manufacturing from the 1970’s! All our shells are one piece bonded with no chance of water ingress. The other main difference is the price. My 20’ van (with no slides, we don’t have them) cost $27000 , and there are NO discounts. The MRP is the price. The difference is we get a well built fault free van.
I’m a little bewildered by the fact that I have been advised ( on other RV forums) not to buy new as they can be so problematic!
I’m worried that buying nearly new will give me somebody elses off loaded lemon?
Simon
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Old 04-20-2019, 09:29 AM   #8
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I’m worried that buying nearly new will give me somebody elses off loaded lemon?
Simon
Possibly, especially if it's nearly new. But if you buy from someone who's been a proud and attentive owner for five years or so, who might be "moving up", is aging or experienced a life change I think you'll be OK. Age isn't as important as condition. Given the way you're going to be using it, I would even consider a nice rig in the ten year old range as long as it doesn't need a lot of work. You'll save a lot on the front end and won't be as pushed to get a good price when it comes time to sell it. Since you're used to not having slides, you can save even more and avoid the associated problems (although re-sale might be tougher).

The owner/seller you're looking for is the one who proudly points out all the features, the things that have been fixed or upgraded and tells you in detail about the solar panels that were added, what trips they've taken, etc.

And, read up on all you can about pricing. If you're buying new, 25% - 30% off of MSRP isn't out of the question and consignment sales can be similarly overpriced. With private sales, I'd expect something more in the 10% - 15% discount off the advertised range. Personally my private party RV purchases (2) and sales (2) have all been via Craigslist.

I know this is a Winnebago site but you might want to check out the Arctic Fox and Nash lines made by Northwood Manufacturing. They're known for their quality. I owned a Nash 22H and moved up to a Nash 25S (neither had slides) before buying my MH.

Have you considered having your caravan shipped to the US? A friend was looking into shipping her Sprinter van RV to Europe and it wasn't as expensive as I expected.
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Old 04-20-2019, 11:16 AM   #9
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Simon,

Welcome (in advance) to the USA.

Not to complicate your selection process, but give some thought to the seasonal weather where you will be travelling. Much of the country will required AC during summer months, provision for winterization during storage and heavy duty drivetrains in the mountains of the West.

I've skippered narrowboats twice on your canals - what a great way to see the country side!
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