Our Apex 18BH by Coachman

We chose our 18BH primarily for it’s 3,000 lb. curb weight. We needed a travel trailer that could be towed by our 2009 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.


Now if you do your homework on this trailer, you know it’s max weight is just over 3,700 pounds and the Wrangler 4 door has a max tow rating of 3,500 pounds. Hmmm. I knew slide outs were out of the  question and I briefly entertained hybrids but was discouraged by several campers I had talked with about trailers that incorporated some sort of canvass extension (not to say anything negative about hybrids or pop-ups, I’m new to trailer ownership and thought I should heed some advice from those far more experienced than myself).

Let’s get back to towing. I found out through research that the same Wranglers built here and imported to other countries have tow ratings of 5,000 pounds. I read something that went back as far as Ralph Nader posing a Federal limit on tow ratings for convertibles. Kinda makes sense, a Jeep being a convertible and all. Nonetheless, a 5,000 pound rating is more in line for the size of the Jeep (4,700 pounds). We use a weight distribution hitch with a stabilizer to keep things on the level and steady and have had a seven pin connector installed on our Jeep to actuate the trailer breaks. All these factors contributed to make me more comfortable about my choice of trailer and being able to tow it safely. As for you, you have to make your own choices as I can accept no legal responsibility if you try to tow a 35 foot trailer with three slide outs using a Suzuki Samurai.

I also was advised one should try not to exceed 75% of their max tow capacity. Using this higher tow rating, my max would be 3,750 pounds. Done deal!

Apex Floorplan

I’m sure we’ll have more about towing in future posts but we’ve mainly been stationary camping (we’ll get to that in the next post).

Believe it or not, the 18BH was the only travel trailer we could find in the 3,000 lb. category that could seat five around the table (horseshoe dinette) and sleep five (convertible dinette) that had a bathtub (albeit small).

Now, don’t get me wrong, a trailer of this size can definitely get cramped with two adults and three small children and we definitely plan to upgrade in the future but if there’s anything I can emphasize it’s this:

Don’t wait to buy something fantastic and huge while memories are being wasted. Use your current budget and get out there and do it now. There’s too many if’s and but’s that may very well get in the way of you being able to do it later. You can always trade up in the future, even if it means utilizing your current savings to buy a four man tent from Kmart      (yes, been there done that and own one).

Stay tuned for a video tour up on the site in a few months. We live/camp in the Northeast US, camping season doesn’t open here ’til April. Thanks for dropping by!


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