Our Tow Rig & Travel Trailer

F150 and KZ Sportsman

Soo… before I open up this can of worms, everyone’s level of experience is different and everyone’s opinions will vary. I am by no means an expert in this department. The choices my wife and I make our ours, and ours alone. The best advice I can give you is to do your research, understand and be comfortable with you and your partners skills and remember that the long-term goal is to have fun without breaking the bank. That means less stress, more comfort and most importantly have fun.

With that out of the way, which comes first the Travel Trailer (TT) or the tow vehicle (Rig)? For my wife and I that was a process. We are both by nature planners and budgeters. We had extensive conversations about what we wanted out of the experience and what gear we would bring. We looked at specs, and toured a couple of TT’s then decided we needed the tow vehicle first. That would give us an envelope of capabilities for the tow vehicle and help us focus what trailer we wanted to purchase. In the end we both have owned and loved our Ford Products. Chevy, Toyota, Dodge the list goes on and on, they all make very dependable, capable comfortable vehicles, we just like Ford. For what we were planning the Ford F-150 in Lariat trim, with the tow haul package, and brake controller fit the bill. We purchased ours gently used and about the only modification we are contemplating is adding a high-rise topper instead of the hard bed cover for more storage and better fuel economy. If you have questions about this, I can try to address them in the comments. I’m not interested in a debate about the best or most capable trucks. I know yours is awesome too, good choice! 😊

Tow Rig

With that sorted, we knew what the truck could do, so we could narrow down our choices with the trailer. When selecting your TT, there are a myriad of choices and options to meet just about any style and budget you can imagine. It helps to know your level of experience, what you plan to do, where you plan to camp and what you want to get out of the experience. Camping only at KOA’s with full hookups is different from roughing it (boondocking) in the wilds of a state forest with no services. I personally had little experience with camping in TT’s but I was a commercial truck driver in another life with a million accident free safe miles so I had towed a thing or two. My wife had previously owned TT’s and had a great deal of experience with camping. We looked at just about every brand available to us locally. With a son and two dogs and all the gear that comes with them we needed some space and storage, but were interested in staying as small as possible to get into the most locations. We shot for under 30 feet of length and started looking at the models in that range. When we eliminated everything the F-150 couldn’t tow safely, the field narrowed. In the end we settled on the KZ-Sportsman LE and a 261BHLE model.

The Travel Trailer

Now the model stickers on the side of the trailer might say 261, but if you aren’t familiar that is just the model number for the trailer, not the length. Bring your tape measure when you shop, I can assure you this TT is every inch of 30 feet from hitch to rear bumper. If this was your first TT, or you have never towed anything this length or size, I might recommend a shorter or smaller TT, or a larger tow vehicle, but given my experience I am very comfortable towing this trailer with this truck. When in doubt, do your homework and make sure you are going to be comfortable towing your trailer with your truck.

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Up next Hooking-up (Get your mind out of the gutter…)

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