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Thinking about an RV

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Tvov, Jun 29, 2003.

  1. Tvov

    Tvov

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    The wife and I are thinking about buying a travel trailer, probably 19'-23'. We've been camping with a cabin tent the past three years with the family (6 and 8 year olds) and some friends. One of our friends bought a approx 14' trailer last year, and it is great (kind of like a Scamp, single axle). We see continuing the camping for at least the next 5+ years, so we think it is worth it. We'll also have a separate "apartment" for friends to stay at when they visit!

    We want something a little bigger. Weight isn't critical, because I will be towing it with an F-350 dually. I tow equipment trailers for my landscaping company, so I am used to towing. I don't want a pop-up or a "hybrid" (the sleeping areas slide out the ends with canvas). Just curious for any opinions and experiences.

    Thanks!

    P.S. I posted back in January asking about RV info on the internet (thanks for the replies), now we are going to buy one.
     
  2. leeinmemphis

    leeinmemphis

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    tvov,


    the best trailer website on the net is www.trailerlife.com


    they have a pretty extensive forum with lots of helpful people.


    i've had fifth wheels and pop ups. If you have a dually the fifth wheel will tow much easier behind your truck than a travel trailer will(of the same length/weight). At least that has been my experience.

    -lee-
     

  3. Tvov

    Tvov

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    Thanks for the link! Looks like an excellent site.
     
  4. vart

    vart

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    Don't you know RV stands for "Ruins Vacation"? ;) My wife and I were in the exact same situation about a year and a half ago. We weren't sure if we would use a camper trailer enough to justify the $150 a month payment, so we looked around for a cheap used one.
    We ended up buying a VERY used 1980 24' Play-Mor for $200 from a coworker.
    I've spent the last year replacing the floor, plumbing, propane tanks, propane lines, ceiling, light fixtures, tires, painting the interior, and extensive cleaning.
    What I've learned is that I love camping in a travel trailer, and can't imagine going back to a tent. I also will never buy another older RV, there is simply too much that can go wrong.
    I took mine camping last weekend, and am heading out again this weekend. Unfortunately, my tongue jack broke, so I have to replace that this week, before I head back to the woods.
     
  5. pizzaaguy

    pizzaaguy

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    Two words...HOLIDAY INN;)
     
  6. vafish

    vafish

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    Well,

    I have a 26' travel trailer with a rear queen bed slide. Has 4 bunks in the front for the kids. Weighs 6000lbs when stuffed to the gills. It's an Outback by Keystone. We love it.

    Best place I've found to ask people about RV's on the web is the Open Roads Forum. http://rv.net/forum/
     
  7. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man

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    Go with a small 5th wheel. You could then tow a small boat behind that if you want. I would also recommend a trailer with a slide out. It adds tons of room in the middle were you need it.
     
  8. J. Parker

    J. Parker

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    I had the same exprerience as vart did. I bought an older '30 Winnebago and if it wasn't one thing going wrong it was another. Don't buy really old but a used fairly new one is okay.
    I'm not a fan of fifth-wheels because they basically cancel out the use of your truck bed. I'm an ATV enthusiest and I need that truck bed for my toy. ;f
    PS- in Washington State you can't tow anything behind a 5th wheel.;)
     
  9. mattyk6

    mattyk6

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    FYI:
    Actually in Wa State, you now can tow another trailer behind a 5th wheel, without a CDL. This changed in the past year or so.
     
  10. J. Parker

    J. Parker

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    Thanks for settin' me straight on that one. I guess I just figured it was a no-no because I've never seen it before.;f
     
  11. motorhome

    motorhome

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    As you can tell by my user name I have a motorhome. I started with a tent then a pop up then a 19 ft. hard top. I then jumped to a motorhome in 1976 till 1982. Got out of camping as the kids did not want to go anymore. When my kids were gone and I retired I bought another notorhome in 2000. I love traveling. As for my advice to you get a 5th wheel.They are very popular and they come in all sizes and slides. If you are going to travel long distances I would advise a smaller one. Somewhere between 15 and 25 ft. Stay out of Mexico and if you have to go to Canada check you weapon in at where you are crossing.Hope this helps you. Be safe and happy camping.
     
  12. isp2605

    isp2605

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    I'm currently pulling a 34 ft 5th wheel with 2 slides with a F-350 4X4 7.3L PS. Prior to this one I pulled a 30 ft 5th wheel, full trailers of various lengths, pop ups, and did the tent thing. I liked the pop ups because they could and did go anywhere. We've camped in every state but Alaska (got plans for there in 2 yrs), Mexico, and Canada.
    I really like the 5th wheel for pulling compared to the trailers. The 5th wheels pull easier and handle a cross wind better and full trailers. I'd be hard pressed to go back to a trailer after pulling a 5th wheel. For the way we travel the 34 ft is a bit longer than I like to pull. With the 30 ft there were some campgrounds where the spots were almost too short. Some state parks and national areas can be really tight or prohibit all together. But we do like the extra room of the 34 ft so it's a trade off of room vs pull length. Since you're use to pulling trailers you won't have any problems with the length.
    What kind and what to get depends on what you want. New prices will range from under $10K to pushing near 6 figures, or more.
     
  13. duncan

    duncan Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    Glad to hear you are stepping up.

    My wife and I have had a 1974 Starcraft tent trailer for two years now and have camped in the CA Redwoods and done several one hour jounts with it.

    But you really do need a larger trailer for kids - the room is nice.

    Make sure you get some slide outs in your trailer - they really do add room .
     
  14. Tvov

    Tvov

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    Thanks for the replys...

    At this time we are not looking at fifth wheels, mostly because the towing vehicle will probably (hopefully) change. The travel trailers seem to be easier to switch tow vehicles. Right now, I will be using a 1987 F-350 dually dump truck (460ci, creeper gear manual, ridiculously high tow capacity), but we are planning on getting something along the lines of F-250 4-door. Also, as J. Parker mentioned, I need the truck bed for more "stuff".

    We would love to get a trailer with a slide out, but money-wise it may not work. We're looking in the $15k range. Going to the bank in the next day or two to see about the money. Banks can be such a pain. They actually want to know if you will be able to pay the loan back!!



    isp2605... Looks like quite the trailer!
     
  15. Backstop

    Backstop

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    You are absolutly going the right way sticking with the PU. SUV's are notorious for not capably towing their rated weight. I have a buddy who believed the salesman who said his 98 Expedition would handle the 6800lb (loaded) 26 footer he bought. Tough lesson, one trip to Montana then he had to bite the bullet and trade it in, taking a real hit in the wallet. After he got back (at about 45mph the whole way to avoid the deadly sway) he did some more research and found out too late that it could be a problem.
    One more point, do not buy a trailer unless you are allowed a reasonable test tow!
     
  16. GLK4ME

    GLK4ME

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    check out the 20rs by starcraft; look at the aliner expedition or the casita 17ft spirit all are great for a small family; they tow easily
    are all between 10 and 16k and I know the casita and starcraft can be used as a second home for tax purposes. GLK4ME
     
  17. Tvov

    Tvov

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    I don't know why I remembered this thread, but I am sure you all have been waiting to find out what we got. We ended up going with a 2004 21' Forest River Surveyor. It has pretty much every option imaginable. I'm not sure if we can call this camping anymore!

    The biggest reason for going with the shorter trailer is access to my driveway. We have a sharp turn with a short, steep hill to get into my property, so a longer trailer probably wouldn't make it.

    The 21' trailer has the same "useable" space as a 26', but you don't have the separate bedroom. We have to drop the dinette to make our bed, while the kids have bunks in the back.

    Can't wait to use it in the Spring!

    leeinmemphis:
    "the best trailer website on the net is www.trailerlife.com "

    The "Open Roads Forum" is absolutely a blast to read. Check out the "Walmart" thread in the Popular Topics section!
     
  18. hispeedlodrag

    hispeedlodrag needs vacation

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    I bought an 18' Fleetwood Pioneer last spring. They seem to be priced well. We used it frequently with no problems. It has a bunk, a dedicated bed, dinette/bed, and couch/bed. The maximum weight is stated to be 6700 lbs. We averaged about 5850, and I could still pull it at whatever speed (other than in 5%+ grades) I wanted behind my SUV (LX 470).
    It came with a load distributing anti-sway hitch which presented no problems (other than reduced ability to stop) at high rates of speed.
     
  19. isp2605

    isp2605

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    I know. Same reason as me. I'm looking out my window at my 5th wheel and can't wait for spring so I can drag it out. Makes retirement look pretty good about now.
    Happy and safe camping.
     
  20. Tvov

    Tvov

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    What we found while we were looking at trailers is that the shorter trailers, 21' or less, are not that common. It seems that everyone is buying 23' and 26' trailers. The dealership we bought from, Hi-Way Campers in Plainfield, CT, had only one 21', but but at least 4 or 5 23'+ trailers on their lot. I have no idea what, if anything, that means.