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Old 04-13-2015, 02:19 PM
 
Location: NNV
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When we retire my wife and I have discussed buying an RV or travel trailer and going around the country. I'm guessing we would keep such a vehicle at least 5 years. But in your opinion which would you prefer...an RV, a travel trailer, or something else? I was thinking a 20-25 foot travel trailer which could be towed by an F150 type truck. In my mind, a travel trailer is the way to go because:

1. Lower cost (about $20-30k for a nice trailer)
2. One could leave the trailer in a camping area and drive the tow vehicle into town if necessary.
3. When the trailer isn't being used the tow vehicle can be used for other errands.
4. At least as good if not better gas mileage compared to an RV.

I can't think of too many advantages to an RV other than:

1. A smaller one would be more maneuverable compared to a truck/trailer combo
2. The convenience of passenger(s) being able to ride in the rear of an RV.

What are your opinions? What am I missing?

Last edited by Vic Romano; 04-13-2015 at 02:48 PM..
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:52 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
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First thought - I would run away from the F150, and get a F250 or F350 instead.
Towing capacity.

Second thought - Advantage of an RV - safety.
Don't have to leave the vehicle if you need to drive away quickly.
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Hiding from Antifa?
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Are you planning to live in the RV year round? Keeping a house as a home base?

If living in year round, will you move it a lot or move once in a while, staying in one place for a week to a month or more?

If you will be travelling more days than staying in one place then a Class A or Class B or a Class C would work. If you plan on staying in place at each area for a while then a Class A or a fifth wheeler would be nice.

If you are not planning to live in the RV year round, then a good van pulling a travel trailer would be my recommendation. There are so many options and lifestyles you will be choosing from, that you will have to decide for yourself after you make up your mind how you want to use an RV.
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Hiding from Antifa?
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If you will be travelling with a pet or pets, then I would recommend a motorhome. If you might someday be travelling with more people a pickup might get crowded, unless you get a supercab.

If you get a motorhome, you will probably have to get a suitable vehicle to tow behind it (TOAD). Not all cars are suitable.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:02 PM
 
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I went with a truck camper instead of a travel trailer. I lived in it full time for over 2 years. My wife was with me for most of that time but also went back East part time to help with the grandkids. A truck camper is pretty small but we made it work. I liked the idea of always having my house with me. I like that it was easier to drive, handle and park than a trailer.

A small trailer is a good choice. Costs are very low and you do not need a big expensive tow vehicle. I would recommend an extended cab pickup. That will give you room for more passengers and/or storage. I have some additional recommendations. Think them over and see if they meet your needs.

Look at the smallest trailer that fits your needs, then look at even smaller sizes.

Keep the size down by choosing a trailer with a wet bath; i.e., the entire restroom is the shower.

Don't buy a trailer that is designed to look like your house or apartment. Buy for efficiency of use and storage. Buy one with a small frig/freezer.

Consider saving more space by buying a unit without an oven or microwave.

Buy a unit with at least 2x135 = 270 watts of solar and at least 300-400 AH of battery storage. Change all the light bulbs to LEDs. Get a small generator for prolonged cloudy periods or when you must run the A/C.

Learn how to conserve water. I use about 3-5 gallons/day for cooking, cleaning and a daily shower. It takes another gallon or so when my wife is also traveling. You need an RV with about 15-30 gallons of fresh water and an equivalent amount of waste water storage.

A small RV with solar panels will mean you can stay almost anywhere, including pulling off the highway and staying overnight in a Walmart parking lot. You will be able to camp in almost any inexpensive national park or forest campground or on BLM land. A big rig will often mean you need to pay $25-35 or more to stay in an RV park.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Hiding from Antifa?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandalara View Post
First thought - I would run away from the F150, and get a F250 or F350 instead.
Towing capacity.

Second thought - Advantage of an RV - safety.
Don't have to leave the vehicle if you need to drive away quickly.
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.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:18 PM
 
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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.
Absolutely cut the "cargo" down to a minimum. Before setting out as a full timer I planned out exactly what was needed. I got rid of the 200 CDs by burning high bit rate mp3 files. I cut the clothing down to mainly cargo pants and nice pocket T and other casual shirts. I carry 2 ties, a sport coat and a pair of khakis just in case. I only wore those once in 4 years. I keep cutting back on the clothing. Even being careful, I started out with more than twice what I needed. Remember there are stores everywhere. I carry a few books but mostly e-books, luggage in case an emergency flight is needed, camera gear, laptop computer. My big splurge is archery gear and/or fishing tackle. As a full timer I also had winter clothing and extra bedding.

This is getting way ahead of what a beginner needs to consider.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:29 PM
 
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I think a small travel trailer and full sized truck is the way to go. If you are traveling and camping, presumably you will be spending a lot of time in the middle of nowhere. Should you have mechanical difficulties, any old place can work on your truck. The same is not true of your RV.

I like what jrkliny said about the living room. Bring along folding chairs for outdoor use. While you are traveling and enjoying the great outdoors, sit outside and enjoy the great outdoors. Plenty of opportunity to enjoy your living room after you return home.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:30 PM
 
Location: NNV
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Thanks for your answers so far!

I would like to add...it is unlikely we will be living in the trailer year round. I could picture being in the vehicle no more than six weeks at a time right now, though we could do that a few times a year. I don't know if that thought could change later on.

I was thinking an F150 could work because the lighter trailers are about 4000 lbs dry. Trying to keep max weight in the low 5000 range. But yes, I may consider an F250/Silverado 2500/Ram Turbo Diesel.

Last edited by Vic Romano; 04-13-2015 at 03:50 PM..
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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Have you traveled this way before and are you certain that you will enjoy it? You're talking about big investments of money and time. It might be worth your while to rent and take a trip in each before you lay out money for a purchase.

My wife thinks it would be fun for us (meaning me) to drive an RV around the country when we retire. I'd rather drive a car and rent cabins along the way, which would be a lot cheaper once you figure in capital investment and gas costs.
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