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View Full Version : New Trail Runner on the way!!!



rangerbait
04-11-2015, 01:59 PM
Man, this forum needs some love! :D I just finished up the last of the paperwork and will be taking delivery of my new 2014 Trail Runner 31 QBBH a week from this Monday. This model had the exact floor plan we were looking for since it had both the 4 bed bunkhouse AND the east-west master for mom and dad. I had no idea that it would be so hard to find a trailer with this layout, but aside from the Windjammer 3006WK (which cost more that we wanted to spend), I couldn't find anything within 500 miles that was similar. The Outback 301BQ was a contender, but we ended up finding a brand new Trail Runner for a steal up in Grand Rapids, MI. Even with the $4500 transportation charge to have it delivered to California, it was a tremendous value. Really looking forward to it getting here, and hitting the road!

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/5517d1ec89bd11d84c238bdd_1.jpg

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/5517d1ed89bd11d84c238bdf.jpg

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/5517d1ed89bd11d84c238be1_1.jpg

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/5517d1ed89bd11d84c238bde_1.jpg

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/550d552e87bd114d78335359.jpg

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/550d552e87bd114d78335356.jpg

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/5517d1ed89bd11d84c238be3.jpg

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/5517d1ee89bd11d84c238bea.jpg

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/5517d1ee89bd11d84c238beb.jpg

ziggy
04-11-2015, 02:12 PM
Welcome to the forum. Enjoy your new rolling home.
Kristy

oldmannj
04-11-2015, 05:56 PM
Congrats on the new 'Runner. My wife and I enjoyed ours until we bought the Sundance. Here's hoping you make many memories and enjoy your investment for a long time to come. ED.

rangerbait
04-11-2015, 06:53 PM
Thanks all! In about a year we'll be taking our third trip across the country via travel trailer, and since we've added a new child each trip (next trip included...new rugrat due in October), we desperately needed to upgrade from our old Trail Runner 2500BS. The last trip just about turned us off from RVing for good, having spent almost 6 weeks in that tiny trailer with a 13 year old, a 3 year old, and a 9 month old. The extra room in the 31 QBBH is really going to be nice!

Here are some photos from our adventures in the old rig:

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/RV/DSC_00596.jpg

Getting ready for the trip east...only our second RV trip ever, and making it a cross country adventure.

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/RV/DSC_00625.jpg

Not a bad layout...I liked the fact that the master bed was wide open without a wall obstructing it, although it did lack a bit of privacy

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/RV/DSC_00614.jpg

We added the rug runners and the better quality queen mattress from Ikea

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/RV/MRDSC_00011.jpg

This was on our move back to California in May of 2014 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/RV/MRDSC_0001175.jpg

Near Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota on our way back to California in May of 2014...it finally felt like we were back in the West

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/RV/DSC_03642.jpg

The mighty Tetons!

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/DSC_0050.jpg

A little out of order, but this was at the newly opened RV park at Fort Belvoir, VA, right before we began our move west in May of 2014
http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/DSC_0829%203.jpg

Somewhere in Ohio on our move west...nice little KOA with terrible showers.

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/DSC_0015_1.jpg

In Illinois, just north of Chicago after one of the most violent thunderstorms I've ever experienced. Next stop, Minneapolis-St. Paul and a trip to the Mall of America!

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/MRDSC_0001%2025.jpg

Life on the road! These guys absolutely love the RV life.

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/IMG_2763.jpg

My helpers at a great little campground near Mt. Rushmore

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/MRDSC_0001%20798.jpg

Somewhere high in the mountains outside of Sheridan, Wy.

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/DSC_0079%204.jpg

At Yellowstone Lake, May 2014

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/DSC_0086%204.jpg


Starting to rack up the states!

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/DSC_0542%202.jpg

Bagged our last state for a while: Nevada...next stop, back home to California for a 2 year layover!! :-)

rangerbait
04-11-2015, 07:53 PM
A few more shots...a couple from our first trip from CA to VA in 2011

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/IMG_2108.jpg

Christmas of 2011...that fat little guy is now a 4 year old string bean!

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/DSC_0079%206.jpg

This bike rack actually ended up peeling the bumper off of the frame after about 2,500 miles...luckily, I noticed the beginning of the failure and moved everything inside of the trailer!

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/DSC_0087%209.jpg

Somewhere in the middle of nowhere in West Texas...but then again, everywhere in West Texas is the middle of nowhere :-)


http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/DSC_0144%2014.jpg

Arrived in our new home state of Virginia for a couple of years!

JohnD
04-12-2015, 02:28 AM
That looks like a sweet Trail Runner!

What is your tow vehicle going to be?

rangerbait
04-12-2015, 09:51 AM
That looks like a sweet Trail Runner!

What is your tow vehicle going to be?
Hi John! We have a 2011 Nissan Armada 4x4. We towed our last TR across the country with it and it did great. Our first trip across we had a 2004 Nissan Titan, and it did great as well.

JohnD
04-12-2015, 10:40 AM
Before you do one single thing to that trailer and put one single thing in it . . . have it weighed so you know exactly how much it weighed when it left your dealership.

If your dealership filled up the water tanks . . . drain them first.

This number may come in handy!

I looked up the numbers for your tow vehicle and the trailer and you are uncomfortably close to the limits of your truck already, without putting anything in the trailer yet.

I have a 2015 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4, and your new trailer is already pushing the limits of my truck!

I had my scare last summer with our 2013 Trail Runner 22RK behind our old Dodge Ram 1500 4x4.

You don't want to go through that . . . especially with kids in the truck!

Safety first and foremost!

rangerbait
04-13-2015, 12:07 AM
Before you do one single thing to that trailer and put one single thing in it . . . have it weighed so you know exactly how much it weighed when it left your dealership.

If your dealership filled up the water tanks . . . drain them first.

This number may come in handy!

I looked up the numbers for your tow vehicle and the trailer and you are uncomfortably close to the limits of your truck already, without putting anything in the trailer yet.

I have a 2015 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4, and your new trailer is already pushing the limits of my truck!

I had my scare last summer with our 2013 Trail Runner 22RK behind our old Dodge Ram 1500 4x4.

You don't want to go through that . . . especially with kids in the truck!

Safety first and foremost!

Good advice...I'll definitely get a base weight to make sure we're in the green zone. When you say uncomfortably close, is there some rule of thumb for comfort range? The tow capacity is 9,000lbs, and the GVWR of the trailer is 9,500lbs, which of course I'll stay well below.

JohnD
04-13-2015, 02:01 AM
Good advice...I'll definitely get a base weight to make sure we're in the green zone. When you say uncomfortably close, is there some rule of thumb for comfort range? The tow capacity is 9,000lbs, and the GVWR of the trailer is 9,500lbs, which of course I'll stay well below.

Please keep an open mind when you do your first test pull (hopefully without the whole family with you).

I'm not sure you quite realize yet the larger physical size of the new trailer compared to your old one.

I think your first pull with it will probably change your mind about your current truck with your new trailer.

I've been pulling RV trailers for over 35 years . . . and I wouldn't do it with your truck and new trailer combo.

rangerbait
04-13-2015, 08:31 AM
Please keep an open mind when you do your first test pull (hopefully without the whole family with you).

I'm not sure you quite realize yet the larger physical size of the new trailer compared to your old one.

I think your first pull with it will probably change your mind about your current truck with your new trailer.

I've been pulling RV trailers for over 35 years . . . and I wouldn't do it with your truck and new trailer combo.

I must say, you've got me a bit worried now...the trailer will be here a week from today; I'll heed your advice and take it out for a thorough evaluation. What concerns you about this setup?

TravelTiger
04-13-2015, 08:40 AM
Check out www.fifthwheelst.com for information on towing (they have conventional towing info and calculators as well.)

One thing you might have issues with also is the length of this trailer with your short wheelbase tow vehicle. There's a possibility of the tail wagging the dog. I know there are some good sway control hitch setups like ProPride and Hensley, you will want to look into them.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

JohnD
04-13-2015, 09:46 AM
I must say, you've got me a bit worried now...the trailer will be here a week from today; I'll heed your advice and take it out for a thorough evaluation. What concerns you about this setup?

My intent is not to scare you, but to get you to take a really good look at this whole issue!

My old trailer was an old 1978 Coachman Cadet 24' . . . smaller than my Trailer Runner, but just as heavy.

I hauled it with a one-ton Dodge Ram Van . . . which was a trailer hauling beast!

As fate would have it, it's trailer hauling days for me was short lived as I got rear ended while sitting at a stop light by a 4x4 pickup truck that was traveling around 45 mph (according to the police report) and was totaled just four months after I bought it.

While shopping for a new truck the next day . . . I narrowed my search to a Dodge Durango and a Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 . . . ironically, both had the same tow rating!

I test drove the Ram 4x4 first and loved it, but didn't really want a pickup, so then drove the Durango and decided that this was the truck I wanted!

However . . . I was a little concerned about it's physical size compared to the trailer I intended to tow with it, so I drove it over to our house and backed it up to the trailer as though I was going to hitch it up.

When I got out of the Durango and walked off to the side and saw how that trailer dwarfed that truck in physical size despite it's tow rating . . . I knew right then that my next truck was going to be the Ram 1500 4x4, which was probably my most favorite vehicle that I've ever owned!

I did sell it last fall after I got my new truck as it just didn't have enough gusto to pull our new trailer through the Rockies!

Plus, I mentioned the scare we had last summer when I almost didn't get our rig stopped in time on a wet mountain road coming around a blind mountain curve at around 25 mph only to find the trailer in front of us stopped waiting for someone to make a left turn into a driveway!

I think the steering wheel of the old Dodge still has my finger marks in it!

The other thing about your setup is the weight numbers . . . for me they are too close and there is not much wiggle room!

Now, for your truck numbers, did you get the tow rating from the door sticker or from an internet chart somewhere?

And as for the weight of your trailer, the reason that I suggested that you get your trailer weighed before you do anything with it is so that you'll know exactly where you stand before you put any stuff in it!

I just had my trailer weighed two weeks ago with not much stuff in it, and boy did I get a big surprise!

It weighed 1080 pounds more than the sticker on the trailer said it weighed out the door and put me within one full fresh water tank and a fridge full of food away from being overloaded.

-

Plus, as TravelTiger mentioned, the wag-the-tail issue . . .

One of the things I've noticed with our Trail Runner is that since the trailer tires and axles are so close together, when I've on occasion drove a little faster than 65 mph (passing or going down hill), that trailer starts swaying, even with the weight diistribution stuff on, and even with my new big monster truck, which I made sure was more than enough truck for our trailer, which is smaller and lighter than your new Trail Runner.

Your intended travels with your new trailer are much bigger than what we generally do, which is why I'm concerned about your combo.

Here are some of our photos old and new:

36030 36031 36032 36033 36034 36035 36037 36029 36036 36038 36039 36040 36041

Hope this explains my concerns.

rangerbait
04-13-2015, 09:58 AM
Check out www.fifthwheelst.com (http://www.fifthwheelst.com) for information on towing (they have conventional towing info and calculators as well.)

One thing you might have issues with also is the length of this trailer with your short wheelbase tow vehicle. There's a possibility of the tail wagging the dog. I know there are some good sway control hitch setups like ProPride and Hensley, you will want to look into them.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Good tip on the Hensley...I was looking at them last night, and that's a fantastic design! I have the regular weight distributing hitch/sway control setup, but will definitely go the Hensley direction if the towing feels off. Much appreciate the feedback gents!

rangerbait
04-13-2015, 08:12 PM
My intent is not to scare you, but to get you to take a really good look at this whole issue!

My old trailer was an old 1978 Coachman Cadet 24' . . . smaller than my Trailer Runner, but just as heavy.

I hauled it with a one-ton Dodge Ram Van . . . which was a trailer hauling beast!

As fate would have it, it's trailer hauling days for me was short lived as I got rear ended while sitting at a stop light by a 4x4 pickup truck that was traveling around 45 mph (according to the police report) and was totaled just four months after I bought it.

While shopping for a new truck the next day . . . I narrowed my search to a Dodge Durango and a Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 . . . ironically, both had the same tow rating!

I test drove the Ram 4x4 first and loved it, but didn't really want a pickup, so then drove the Durango and decided that this was the truck I wanted!

However . . . I was a little concerned about it's physical size compared to the trailer I intended to tow with it, so I drove it over to our house and backed it up to the trailer as though I was going to hitch it up.

When I got out of the Durango and walked off to the side and saw how that trailer dwarfed that truck in physical size despite it's tow rating . . . I knew right then that my next truck was going to be the Ram 1500 4x4, which was probably my most favorite vehicle that I've ever owned!

I did sell it last fall after I got my new truck as it just didn't have enough gusto to pull our new trailer through the Rockies!

Plus, I mentioned the scare we had last summer when I almost didn't get our rig stopped in time on a wet mountain road coming around a blind mountain curve at around 25 mph only to find the trailer in front of us stopped waiting for someone to make a left turn into a driveway!

I think the steering wheel of the old Dodge still has my finger marks in it!

The other thing about your setup is the weight numbers . . . for me they are too close and there is not much wiggle room!

Now, for your truck numbers, did you get the tow rating from the door sticker or from an internet chart somewhere?

And as for the weight of your trailer, the reason that I suggested that you get your trailer weighed before you do anything with it is so that you'll know exactly where you stand before you put any stuff in it!

I just had my trailer weighed two weeks ago with not much stuff in it, and boy did I get a big surprise!

It weighed 1080 pounds more than the sticker on the trailer said it weighed out the door and put me within one full fresh water tank and a fridge full of food away from being overloaded.

-

Plus, as TravelTiger mentioned, the wag-the-tail issue . . .

One of the things I've noticed with our Trail Runner is that since the trailer tires and axles are so close together, when I've on occasion drove a little faster than 65 mph (passing or going down hill), that trailer starts swaying, even with the weight diistribution stuff on, and even with my new big monster truck, which I made sure was more than enough truck for our trailer, which is smaller and lighter than your new Trail Runner.

Your intended travels with your new trailer are much bigger than what we generally do, which is why I'm concerned about your combo.

Here are some of our photos old and new:

36030 36031 36032 36033 36034 36035 36037 36029 36036 36038 36039 36040 36041

Hope this explains my concerns.

Howdy again John,

I seriously appreciate the feedback and the concern...I assure you that you have caused me to take a more conservative and objective approach to evaluating my trailer/tow vehicle setup...thanks! And thanks for the photos, as you can probably tell, I love photos!

I am looking more seriously at the Hensley-type hitches and reached out to the company today for pricing. I'd gladly spend another couple $k if it meant a significant improvement in safety and handling. I also ordered a Tekonsha P3 brake booster that I'll install prior to the shakedown ride a week from today.

flips
05-08-2015, 11:21 AM
Man, this forum needs some love! :D I just finished up the last of the paperwork and will be taking delivery of my new 2014 Trail Runner 31 QBBH a week from this Monday.

Haha...I thought the same thing when I first got on this forum. Not much action here. But then I thought...maybe it's because Heartland trailers don't have too many issues :)

Congratulations on the new trailer! I just bought a Heartland North Trail 33BKSS. Pretty much the same specs as yours.

I tow with a Nissan NV 3500SL using a propride. Others who tow similar trailers with the NV do just fine with the equalizer or Reese hitch and would consider the propride overkill but I feel really good about having the best hitch out there while having my family in tow plus my new van and trailer.

I drove the trailer home 200 miles from the dealer and it was a great experience. I was on the phone with my wife and I stopped her mid sentene to share with her that I just realized that I got passed by 3 big semi trucks and I didn't feel a thing. it became a game all the way home to see how many fingers I need on the steering wheel while big trucks were passing :)

i also have a 2006 Nissan Titan with the tow package. I haven't towed the trailer with it yet but plan on doing so for short distances. I did tow a weekend warrior fs2300 for 5 years with the Titan using the equalizer hitch without any issues.

Prior to the equalizer I had some cheapo hitch and WD bars. Experienced heavy sway and almost flipped the the trailer after being pushed by a passing truck. One reason why I went for what others might feel as overkill. I didn't want that same experience again.

Anyway, check out the propride site. The owner, Sean Woodruff, is awesome! There is a huge learning curve with the hitch and I admit it can be frustrating till you get the hitching and unhitching down. He gave me his personal cell phone number and I text or call him often cause I'm not very mechanical/technical. Very awesome customer support.

rangerbait
05-09-2015, 08:15 AM
Haha...I thought the same thing when I first got on this forum. Not much action here. But then I thought...maybe it's because Heartland trailers don't have too many issues :)

Congratulations on the new trailer! I just bought a Heartland North Trail 33BKSS. Pretty much the same specs as yours.

I tow with a Nissan NV 3500SL using a propride. Others who tow similar trailers with the NV do just fine with the equalizer or Reese hitch and would consider the propride overkill but I feel really good about having the best hitch out there while having my family in tow plus my new van and trailer.

I drove the trailer home 200 miles from the dealer and it was a great experience. I was on the phone with my wife and I stopped her mid sentene to share with her that I just realized that I got passed by 3 big semi trucks and I didn't feel a thing. it became a game all the way home to see how many fingers I need on the steering wheel while big trucks were passing :)

i also have a 2006 Nissan Titan with the tow package. I haven't towed the trailer with it yet but plan on doing so for short distances. I did tow a weekend warrior fs2300 for 5 years with the Titan using the equalizer hitch without any issues.

Prior to the equalizer I had some cheapo hitch and WD bars. Experienced heavy sway and almost flipped the the trailer after being pushed by a passing truck. One reason why I went for what others might feel as overkill. I didn't want that same experience again.

Anyway, check out the propride site. The owner, Sean Woodruff, is awesome! There is a huge learning curve with the hitch and I admit it can be frustrating till you get the hitching and unhitching down. He gave me his personal cell phone number and I text or call him often cause I'm not very mechanical/technical. Very awesome customer support.

Howdy Flips,

I actually did end up picking up a ProPride hitch...and a new tow vehicle to boot!

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/3cf36667d24b454eac16f02d3ebca628.jpg


http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/unnamed%202.jpg

It's a 2012 F350 Diesel...our old Armada was just a little under gunned for the task. I take delivery of the truck on Wednesday, and will be making a trip up to Lake Tahoe next month; I was really not looking forward to yanking that giant trailer up and down the Sierra Nevada Mountains with the Armada :-)

JohnD
09-15-2015, 12:38 AM
Howdy Flips,

I actually did end up picking up a ProPride hitch...and a new tow vehicle to boot!

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/3cf36667d24b454eac16f02d3ebca628.jpg


http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/unnamed%202.jpg

It's a 2012 F350 Diesel...our old Armada was just a little under gunned for the task. I take delivery of the truck on Wednesday, and will be making a trip up to Lake Tahoe next month; I was really not looking forward to yanking that giant trailer up and down the Sierra Nevada Mountains with the Armada :-)

Now were talkin'!

You shouldn't have any problem pulling your new Trail Runner with that new truck!

We were going to visit my brother in Lake Tahoe (CA side) this summer, but he was in the process of selling his house so we never made that trip.

Since we all spoke here last . . . we traded in our 2013 Trail Runner for a 2015 Heartland Prowler 5th-wheel.

While I do miss our Trail Runner, I like the Prowler a whole lot more!

And hitching, unhitching and pulling a 5th-wheel is so much easier than all of that dealing with the WD stuff.

I can hitch and unhitch in under two minutes . . .

Ironically, I'm meeting someone in the morning who is buying all of my WD stuff from me!