So I now have purchased a new CTS16FB ... what next? - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 12-06-2016, 05:53 PM   #1
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Talking So I now have purchased a new CTS16FB ... what next?

I don't have it in hand yet (need to have some mods put on my van first); but thinking ahead about what needs to be purchased/modified before my first trip this spring.

First the standards: sewer hose, fresh water hose, wheel chocks, black water chemicals, sheets, towels, toilet paper , stove top percolator, ...

I'll be weekend boondocking most of the time and am interested in adding an inverter generator to run the A/C ... but how to mount? CampingWorld sells an interesting A-Frame shelf that mounts to the tongue. But would that be better than a shelf mounted on the back end (which I think would be easier to work with)? How would I even go about putting a shelf on the back end? Weight has to be a consideration as after adding the generator, a tank of water, a full propane tank and a container of gas I'm quickly nearing up on my van weight limit.

What other tidbits do ya'll have to offer? I'm open to any and all suggestions!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-06-2016, 07:47 PM   #2
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I don't have it in hand yet (need to have some mods put on my van first); but thinking ahead about what needs to be purchased/modified before my first trip this spring.

First the standards: sewer hose, fresh water hose, wheel chocks, black water chemicals, sheets, towels, toilet paper , stove top percolator, ...

I'll be weekend boondocking most of the time and am interested in adding an inverter generator to run the A/C ... but how to mount? CampingWorld sells an interesting A-Frame shelf that mounts to the tongue. But would that be better than a shelf mounted on the back end (which I think would be easier to work with)? How would I even go about putting a shelf on the back end? Weight has to be a consideration as after adding the generator, a tank of water, a full propane tank and a container of gas I'm quickly nearing up on my van weight limit.

What other tidbits do ya'll have to offer? I'm open to any and all suggestions!

Thanks in advance!
Take a look at my registry (and others too!), I have installed a hitch on the back and a 500lb Cargo Carrier to put Coolers, Grill, and a generator. Putting the weight back there can help reduce your tongue weight if you are running heavy.

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Old 12-06-2016, 08:26 PM   #3
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Oooh ... thanks for the registry link ... I'll definitely have to take some time to snoop around!

Did you put the hitch shelf on yourself? Is it bolted on or welded? I'm an engineer by trade and tend to overthink things ... it's not always a bad thing, but can sometimes impeded progress.
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Old 12-07-2016, 11:03 AM   #4
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Generator... you can get away with 2000 watts, the A/C on the Coleman is very low draw. I WOULD NOT mount it on the front A-frame. The Coleman is already pretty tongue heavy for it's size. As far as a rear mount, I am not too sure that is a good idea either, take a look at the frame size and thickness. Also research moment lever arm. I know on Airstreams it is extremely destructive to them. Not sure how much so on something like a Coleman.

One thing we found that came in handy on ours was a set of stabilizer jacks under the front end when we were camped out, it made a huge difference in the motion when walking around inside. I used some old school style jacks and put them on pads, made a huge difference.

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Old 12-07-2016, 11:43 AM   #5
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Oooh ... thanks for the registry link ... I'll definitely have to take some time to snoop around!

Did you put the hitch shelf on yourself? Is it bolted on or welded? I'm an engineer by trade and tend to overthink things ... it's not always a bad thing, but can sometimes impeded progress.
We did not put a hitch shelf of on ours. I just don't like the idea of putting a gas fired engine near two 30lb LPG Tanks, let alone the extra added tongue weight.

We researched this and found that you dont want to install this without your dealers and in our case Aerolites recommendation. So we went on their recommendations and installed a 3500lb hitch receptacle on the back of our camper (its welded to the frame by the dealer) and then installed a 500lb Cargo Carrier into that with a locking pin so it won't grow legs. Its very sturdy and we use a wire rope cable and lock to secure the generator. We can actually put our Generator, Weber 22" Kettle Grill, and two 60qt coolers on it and strap them all in no problem.
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Old 12-07-2016, 01:37 PM   #6
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What ever you do, make sure the tongue weight remains about 10 to 12% of the gross trailer weight. If it gets too light, you run the risk of fish tailing.
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Old 12-07-2016, 10:04 PM   #7
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What ever you do, make sure the tongue weight remains about 10 to 12% of the gross trailer weight. If it gets too light, you run the risk of fish tailing.
That Coleman can go over 20% with a full water tank, full LP and full storage compartment. It is tongue heavy to start with. There is not a lot of CCC to work with either.

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Old 12-08-2016, 08:52 PM   #8
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So ... it sounds like the A-frame shelf is out. Dry weight from the factory (according to Coleman numbers) the hitch weight is already at 10%. I was concerned about accessing the propane tank anyway ... oh, and there was also concern re filling the generator with gas considering the inlet is on top and seeing that I'm short! Mounting on the rear also puts the noise away from the bed, though I would still mount on some vibration isolating foam.

I will have to research the generator size some more. It does seem like the 2000W would suffice. That makes it cheaper, lighter, and quieter. But the 3100W has a remote start! (I know, I know.)
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Old 12-09-2016, 05:39 AM   #9
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Pam, congratulations, and I think you're off to a great start. We had a Coleman CTS14FD (even smaller, now discontinued) Here are a few random thoughts:
1. As Aaron said, watch that AC water drainage. Ours went down inside the wall. Search my name, and you'll find the story, with pictures. Better to be forewarned!
2. I would opt for the 3100 Inverter Generator. A 2000 might work with the Coleman, but it might not be your last TT. We had our Coleman less than a year. Our little truck died, and as soon as we got a bigger truck, we were hungry for a bigger camper. The 3100 watt model will handle the needs of any single-AC TT out there. Plus, they come ready with the TT-30 outlet.
3. BUT the 3100 is 40lbs heavier! BUT it has wheels. Instead of lifting it on/off a bumper, I think I would design a ramp to wheel it up into the TT for travel, but wheel it down the ramp, and on to the ground for operation. (Chained and locked, of course, to the TT) That way you won't feel any vibrations inside while it is operating.
4. If, because of desire for AC or Microwave, you see yourself bringing the Inverter everywhere, then don't worry about rewiring to add USB's. You'll have 120 VAC, and you always have the cigarette lighter outlets in the tow vehicle.
5. Remember, this is not just for solitude in the wilderness. You're trying to run a business. Give yourself reliable power!
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Old 12-09-2016, 02:41 PM   #10
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Another option (although expensive) is to get a small 2000 watt generator that can be paralleled together with another one, several mfgs offer that option. Then the smaller lighter unit could easily be lifted and transported inside the camper or tow vehicle.

Then down the road if necessary, more power can be added.
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