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Old 04-13-2015, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,421 posts, read 17,401,654 times
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My wife and I hope to go full time one day, if we're still healthy enough to do it once we can finally afford it! We'll be getting a high quality 5th wheel camper, probably a 35-40' used one, and a 1-ton dually pickup. We've owned pickup campers (3) and 5th wheel campers (3). I've also rented a couple motorhomes and borrowed a travel trailer.

5th wheels tow better on a properly sized pickup (or larger). Weight distribution hitches on travel trailers help, but actually getting the weight forward over the rear axle can't be beat. (All over-the-road semis tow 5th wheel trailers.) The industry also makes a much wider selection of quality 5th wheels than they do travel trailers. The bigger ones will carry MUCH more of your personal belongings -- more room and capable of carrying a heavier payload.

TTs and 5ers with pickups are cheaper and easier to maintain than a class A motorhome. If the truck needs work, you still have a home to stay in while it's in the shop. That said, if our goal was to travel every day or nearly so, I might pick a class A motorhome. I'm not crazy about class Cs, not if there's much driving involved. The ones I've driven in the wind were horrible. I never experienced that with a 5er, at least not to the same degree.

Whatever you do, since you're (relatively?) inexperienced with RVing, I'd talk to others all you can, shop the various choices, go to shows and dealerships, then buy used. And if you choose to go the pickup/camper route, get a truck larger than what you need, because many/most RVers decide they want a larger living unit at least once. Get a 1-ton pickup and you can get that bigger camper without much hassle. You'll know after your first couple trips if you have the right size for you or not. So far, my wife and I have only camped on weekends and for short vacations (couple weeks usually). With our 5th wheels, we started with a 23 footer, traded it a year later for a 30 footer, then traded that a few years later for our current one, a 27 footer. We both have wished it was a little larger, but for weekends/vacations, it's okay. We're selling it soon, since I traded my truck for a small car recently due to all the road miles I travel with a new job. When we replace it, it'll be with a monster that we can live in and carry all our belongings in.

Contrary to the post above, not just any car will work as a toad unless you plan to trailer it. And forget about reverse gear if there's a toad behind. Standard procedure is to unhook, move the toad, then back the MH, re-hook and go.

I want to also speak briefly on the safety issue, since it's been brought up.

(1) The only crash-worthy motorhomes are the very expensive ones built like a bus (or those converted from old buses). Most will shatter in a roll-over. Almost nobody is foolish enough to ride in a TT or 5th wheel, but they do it all the time in motorhomes that are built just like the TTs.

(2) This one's a simple question. I've already covered the roll-over accident above, but if you're in a frontal collision, would you rather have your chairs, pots, pans, canned goods and knives hurling forward to where you're seated, or would you rather be in a separate vehicle?


I recommend RV.Net RV and Camping Forum ? RV, Trailer, Camper, Motorhome, Camping and Campground Information for a good RV website. Lots of experience and help there if you ask for it.

Good luck and happy travels!

You'll meet the nicest people RVing!

Last edited by WyoNewk; 04-13-2015 at 09:43 PM..
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:38 PM
 
6,256 posts, read 4,737,090 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modhatter View Post
When money is not as big an issue, there is nothing more enjoyable than an RV. Especially a class A. I have had both. A class A RV, and a ultra lite travel trailer. When you get older, you tend to gravitate to "comfort" more, and having a comfortable bed to sleep in, and nice recliner to sit back on and watch TV at night or surf on your laptop, and a refrigerator bigger than a med. size cooler is very high up there in my preferred list. Age does matter.

........
This post illustrates a difference in how different people like to travel. I certainly would not argue which choices are best but I do want to point out the differences. But first just to clarify, even my little truck camper has a very comfortable full sized queen bed with a memory foam mattress.

Now to the differences. With a nice class A motorhome you will have a comfy couch and recliner. You can sit in the RV park and enjoy the recliner and cable TV. You can always use the microwave to heat a cup of coffee and you will have no difficulty fitting a large watermelon into your frig. Chances are the RV park will have some nice picnic tables and possibly a pool, game room, and laundry. In the evening you can take a stroll on the paved driveway or ride your bike. You can visit with the neighbors and talk about RV parts and fuel mileage.

I avoid those places like the plague. In fact in 3 years of RV travel I have only been in RV parks a handful of times. I needed to stay in RV parks when I visited Portland and San Francisco. Most of the time I am out in remote areas where there are no RV parks, no cable TV and in fact no TV of any type and often no phone service. If I am not in a remote area I am likely to be in forest service or BLM campground which does not have hookups and often will not accommodate a large RV. When I was up in the Canadian Rockies I spent quite a few days in the town of Jasper. We ate out several times and for breakfast walked over to the bakery for fresh muffins and rolls. We traveled and hiked during the day and at night we just parked on the street in front of a church so we did not take a resident's parking spot. We have blackout windows. We don't have slideouts and we certainly did not need or run a generator. We just looked like a vehicle parked at the side of the road. I can "camp" almost anywhere. I even spent a month next to the snooty Mill Valley golf course when I visited relatives.
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Old 04-13-2015, 11:25 PM
 
13,044 posts, read 15,400,418 times
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My husband's idea was to buy an RV with a carrier for a Harley, then use the Harley for transportation once we got where we were going. That probably won't happen if it's up to me. I'm with maf763. I'd rather drive a car (or SUV) and stay in hotels (instead of cabins). My husband wants to go to lakes and I'm not a lake person.
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Old 04-13-2015, 11:53 PM
 
5,621 posts, read 8,553,620 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandalara View Post
Maybe not to a married couple or maybe not to someone comfortable with guns, but as a single female person it does make sense.

Also had friends back east given 10 minutes warning of a flood coming to the campground.

To each their own
No it doesn't.

You'll destroy your RV by ripping off the stabilizers, destroy it and incite liability by tearing it your water, sewer, and power connections, etc...

BAD idea.

I have lived in a Airstream for several years, and I would recommend a tow behind for a variety of reasons.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:40 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,601 posts, read 39,974,527 times
Reputation: 23736
Quote:
Originally Posted by luzianne View Post
My husband's idea was to buy an RV with a carrier for a Harley, then use the Harley for transportation once we got where we were going. That probably won't happen if it's up to me. I'm with maf763. I'd rather drive a car (or SUV) and stay in hotels (instead of cabins). My husband wants to go to lakes and I'm not a lake person.
I had a friend with a class A (Marathon) and he towed a trailer with his Helicopter and his Motorcycle. His 'fall color trips' to the east coast were pretty spectacular.

I use a combination (20 MPG class C (Welcome - Rialta Heaven - VW Eurovan Rialta Campers and Other Earth Friendly RVs) or 50 mpg station wagon + $10/night hospitality homes) or / fly /drive (<$100SWA & $12/day hotwire car). Also a few bicycle and motorcycle camping trips (and backpacking too). Hotels are not my style... kinda sterile for an 'experience'.

I prefer to 'stealth-camp', so a 'tow-rig' is currently out of the question.
Free Campgrounds for RVs

Been herding double and triple semi trailers down the road, so I see no reason to do that in my 'free-time'. ... I LIKE BRAKES!!!! (I will have a Class 8 toter (triple axle) if I ever tow an RV. That way I can park the RV and WORK for fuel money (If there are no Fried food places for FREE fuel).
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:46 AM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
7,201 posts, read 11,905,541 times
Reputation: 5386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzincat View Post
Actually, the newer, aluminum body F150s can have a decent towing capacity. Maybe not enough for a large fifth wheeler, but enough for a small one or a large travel trailer. Still have to be mindful of how much cargo you haul in the trailer, though.
We haul our 28' NorthTrail BRS28 with a GMC 150 with no problems. However, if you plan to travel anywhere there are mountains, the 150 wont cut it. Get something with more power or buy a small TT in the 15' range and travel light. When we took our trip out west last spring we took our Class-C instead of the TT because of the mountains. No tow vehicle needed because we never spent more than 2 nights in any one place. The 150 would never have pulled our NT-BRS28 over the Rockies.
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:56 AM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
7,201 posts, read 11,905,541 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post

But this safety thing of which you speak? Makes no sense.
I disagree. Not everyone chooses to spend nights in gated CGs. If something comes up where you feel you need to want to leave, you can always just turn the key in a motor-home and drive away.
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:38 AM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
8,774 posts, read 14,874,703 times
Reputation: 11886
Rented a Motorhome last year for five days to see how we liked it.
Decided we are hotel/motel people where you can come and go as you please without have to haul around your belongings. Let somebody else cook your meals and clean up after you.

The depreciation plus operating costs you get hit with on RV or trailers pays for a lot of nights in good hotels.

The RV/trailer lifestyle is not for us.
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:09 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,502 posts, read 62,182,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDD View Post
Rented a Motorhome last year for five days to see how we liked it.
Decided we are hotel/motel people...
That isn't very long but if you aren't at least tent & car camping people to begin with...
Quote:
The depreciation plus operating costs you get hit with on RV or trailers
pays for a lot of nights in good hotels.
^^Ding Ding Ding It will take YEARS of regular use to justify the costs.
And if you actually buy new? oi!

Quote:
The RV/trailer lifestyle is not for us.
And be clear that it IS a lifestyle choice.
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:23 AM
 
6,256 posts, read 4,737,090 times
Reputation: 12853
Quote:
Originally Posted by PDD View Post
Rented a Motorhome last year for five days to see how we liked it.
Decided we are hotel/motel people where you can come and go as you please without have to haul around your belongings. Let somebody else cook your meals and clean up after you.

The depreciation plus operating costs you get hit with on RV or trailers pays for a lot of nights in good hotels.

The RV/trailer lifestyle is not for us.
The RV lifestyle may not be your choice but you cannot use costs as a good reason. I bought my truck camper used and in 4 years it has only depreciated by about $5k or $1250/yr. Let us round that up to $2k/yr. Now that I am not a full timer and only a casual traveler, I use it about 100 nights/year. Campgrounds cost me $7/night but that has been increasing so let me round up to $10/night or $1000/yr. Propane costs me way under $100/year. Insurance is about $1000/yr. That brings the total to $4200. Let us round up to $5000/year to cover extra fuel costs. I don't think it is possible to do motel travel with meals for under $200/night and in many destination/resort areas, the cost would be double. But let us just leave it at $200 or $20,000/year. So you do not want to travel 100 nights/year. It only takes about 30 nights to cover the cost of operating the RV. Plus I have my own bed and bedding. With a $200/day budget you will be staying in some pretty cheap places. Bed bugs have become a serious problem even in expensive hotels.
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