Towing a 24' camper vs an 18' ? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-28-2020, 10:42 PM   #1
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Towing a 24' camper vs an 18' ?

Both my wife and I have been towing our first camper (18' ft Casita) for a year now. We like the ease of finding parking and small turning radius. We don't really worry about going in and out of small gas stations and never seem to block traffic. If we move to a 24' trailer what would change with towing and parking?
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Old 01-28-2020, 10:53 PM   #2
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It would be harder?
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Old 01-29-2020, 12:09 AM   #3
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Yes. I assume your Casita is 17, but you may have stuff on the back making it longer. Differences I see would be:
1) 24' is also likely wider requiring wider mirrors. Also maybe a bigger tow.
2) It's going to be heavier.
3) Right now you can park in the space required for 2 cars. That's nice in a store or shopping center with pull-thru rows. You're gonna to have to park across several spots.
4) In our case living on an island, you pay by the length for ferries. Related might be toll roads or bridges that charge by the axle.
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Old 01-29-2020, 05:51 AM   #4
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What Dave said. Width will probably be the most noticeable difference (unless your 24’ trailer is an Oliver, which is only a little wider). You may need a weight distributing hitch where you didn’t before, adding complexity to hitching and unhitching. Tandem axles mean more tires and lug nuts to check. Everything will take just a little longer.

Still, there is less difference between a larger trailer and a smaller trailer than between the smaller trailer and no trailer. You’re past the biggest hurdle.
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Old 01-29-2020, 09:43 AM   #5
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Unless you buy a 24' Airstream, you will see that the 24' stickbuilt will pull a lot harder than your Casita.
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:14 AM   #6
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Airstreams are rounded, which is good for aerodynamics at speed, but they’re still a full 8’ wide, bad for visibility and maneuvering in tight spaces.
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:34 AM   #7
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towing 18 vs 24

I would be moving from a 17' Casita to a 23.5' Oliver. TV is 350hp 5.7ltr Chevy Silverado.
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:39 AM   #8
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We tow our 13 boler with a variety of different vehicles and like you say easy peezy.
Hook on to our 19 ft 5th wheel (not much more behind the truck) and feels like I'm in the mobile home moving business!
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Old 01-29-2020, 11:52 AM   #9
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Everything will change when you go taller, wider and probably twice as heavy, but like anything there is always trade offs. Is it more important to have more space when you are parked, or more important to have an easier time on the road? It will be more difficult to find places to park when you stop, and gas stations, especially in smaller towns can really be a hassle getting around in some places, and we learned that the hard way. It can also limit getting into a campground/RV park because most often if only a couple of spaces are left, they are smallest sites.
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Old 01-29-2020, 12:57 PM   #10
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Your hitch/tongue weight will be at least 100lbs more with the Oliver. Double check the payload for your truck.
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Old 01-29-2020, 03:06 PM   #11
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If the width is larger, you would have less side mirror visibility. You would likely have to make wider turns if the trailer wheels do not track as well behind your tow vehicle. All the things that go along with a longer and heavier rig.
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garyhall View Post
I would be moving from a 17' Casita to a 23.5' Oliver. TV is 350hp 5.7ltr Chevy Silverado.
We went from a 17' Casita to a 23.5 Oliver Elite II and I can you that our 2019 Ram V8 Hemi performs much the same with either trailer, in fact when we picked up the Oliver I really couldn't tell much difference at all. The fuel mileage is only .5 gallon less with the Oliver. I have pulled trailers for years and the difference in length just doesn't seems to be a problem, but just keep in mind you have 5-6 feet more behind you so you will need a little more turning room, but it will become comfortable for you in very short time. I can also tell you that backing up a longer trailer is so much easier then a shorter one, they don't turn as quick and your turning of the trailer is so much easier to control. I always try to buy my gas with pumps that are not in real tight places, so some stations just don't work well for trailers. One thing I always do is survey the situation before you just pull up to a pump, always look how you are going to get out before you pull in. I have passed many a station just because fueling could be a problem and easy of use is not present.

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Old 01-30-2020, 06:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by trainman View Post
We went from a 17' Casita to a 23.5 Oliver Elite II and I can you that our 2019 Ram V8 Hemi performs much the same with either trailer, in fact when we picked up the Oliver I really couldn't tell much difference at all.
This is good to hear. Is your Ram 1/2 ton or 3/4? My F150 has surprisingly low payload (1500+/-) and with a bed cap, generator, etc I'm concerned about going heavier than the Casita. Oliver plant is "just down the road" from me and I've been drooling over them for years.
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:19 AM   #14
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Your tandem axle longer trailer should tow straighter and less sway than the single axle trailer. But you will have double the tire cost. Olivers are nice but are heavy and expensive. Have you given Bigfoot or an Escape any thought.
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:50 PM   #15
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We like a twin bed set up so as not to have to crawl over the other sleeper. I don't think you can get that with Bigfoot or Escape.
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Old 02-04-2020, 09:04 AM   #16
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Towing a 24' camper vs an 18' ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by garyhall View Post
We like a twin bed set up so as not to have to crawl over the other sleeper. I don't think you can get that with Bigfoot or Escape.
BIgfoot does offer a twin bed option, but only in the 25’ model. That’s well above the OP’s length requirement as well as a full 8’ wide, probably why it hasn’t been mentioned.

I think someone did mention Escape offers a twin bed option on the fifth wheel model. However, since it’s in the loft, you still have to crawl, just not over your partner.

It keeps pointing back to the Oliver, or just stick with the Casita Independence and make it work better. I’m for at least trying the latter, since there’s no perfect trailer.

If I understand correctly, the OP’s main complaint was the beds are not comfortable for daytime seating because of the 30” depth. Seems like you could buy a pair of thick backrest cushions to improve seating comfort. Google “backrest cushions” for lots of options. A pair can be had for less than 0.1% of the cost of a new Oliver.

Most dinettes are not particularly comfortable for sitting much longer than it takes to eat a meal anyway, thanks to unsecured, sliding cushions and bolt upright backrests.
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Old 02-04-2020, 09:43 AM   #17
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The Oliver's are very streamlined and easy to tow. The tandem axles and balance of the trailer makes them act like they are on rails. And they are still short enough to park in a double parking space.

The tongue weight on mine, ready to go, was 560 lbs. The F-150 seems to have a weight limit of 500 lbs before needing a WDH, although this number can be exceeded somewhat and still tow just fine.
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Old 02-04-2020, 04:57 PM   #18
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Towing a 24' camper vs an 18' ?

Hmmm... A standard parking spot is 18’ long (my 19’ Chevy van doesn’t quite fit), so a double is 36’ long. The larger Oliver is 23.5’ long. Know any 13’ tow vehicles? (A typical half ton short bed crew cab pickup is 19-20’ long.)

No quibbles about the rest!
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Old 02-04-2020, 06:01 PM   #19
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OP, you should look at this section of the Oliver forum. https://olivertraveltrailers.com/for...ing-an-oliver/ There is a lot of concern evidenced by 1/2 ton and SUV owners. When they do actually provide numbers they are often very close or over but "still do fine...." Also doesn't seem to be much understanding of, or concern for the frontal area aspect of the J2807. Here's some talk about that here on FGRV. http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...a-75414-2.html. Anyway, get your numbers and do a realistic assessment of what you will add to the dry weights. Hitch weight, payload and RAWR can all bite you. Most rational folks will leave a cushion, 25% seems to be common.
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Old 02-05-2020, 01:40 AM   #20
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While I did not do the exact same move, I did something comparable. Went from a 16' Scamp to a 21'RB Bigfoot, and stayed with the same TV. The 21'RB Bigfoot is a foot wider, much larger frontal area, but about the same weight as the 23.5' Oliver, while the 16' Scamp is much lighter than your 17 Casita.

I ended up only losing 1mpg doing the switch, something I was very happily surprised to discover.

When pulling the Scamp I could not tell it was behind me. Sure I took a MPG hit, but I could just leave it on cruse control and forget it was back there. Except when breaking, I could tell my breaking distance was longer then without the trailer (I could have put in more effort in adjusting the breaks). Even in strong wind the Scamp tracked great. I did not have sway control and never felt like I needed it.

The Bigfoot tracks great (has weight distribution hitch and sway control), but I can feel it try and move my TV when the wind hits it hard, or when it goes over a big bump. This is not any different then when I pull a large Airstream, you can just tell when the weight gets closer to the weight of the TV. Breaking distance is shorter than when I pulled the Scamp, having breaks on both axles helps.

You do need more room for gas stations, but really it is not that bad, you just need to keep an eye on what direction the pumps are and how you get into and out of the station. I live out west so that might effect the size of the gas stations. The big thing I have to remember is how much wider the trailer is to my TV, but that is not something you will need to worry about as much.

Parking is harder as expected, and you really have to pay attention to how you get in and out of a place. With the scamp it was very easy to maneuver and do some crazy wiggling into places.

Perhaps the biggest difference is backing up. Single axle trailers have way more maneuverability, and let you adjust and just swing it around as needed. Double Axles while easier to go back in a straight line, lose the maneuverability, this makes you have to plain out backing in more. You also need more space then you would expect as you just can't swing it around like you would a single axle.

My biggest worry about going up in the size of trailer was limiting the camping spots that it I could get. I had one trip that only happened because I was able to snag a Tent site a day before leaving, I could only just fit the Scamp into that spot. The Bigfoot would never have fit and I would have not been able to do that trip. That being said, so far the larger trailer has not limited my options.

Hope this has been helpful in some way.
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