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Post Info TOPIC: What exactly is "full-time" (as in RV suitable for full-time living)?


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What exactly is "full-time" (as in RV suitable for full-time living)?


When you refer to an RV suitable for "Full-time" does that mean living on the road with it year round or just using an RV as your (stationary) primary residence?

I understand that the build quality is stronger for full-time RVs. If I plan on parking it and living in it would I need one built for full-time or does that mainly include the rigors of towing and living year round?

I'm wondering if I could get a lighter 5th wheel but still live in it year round if I'm not towing it around the country.

 

 



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RE: What exactly is "full-time"?


Sure you can but the determining factor will be where in the country you plan on doing it........the initial build.....alot of reasons why cheaper units start breaking down goes into it......remember ....planned obsolescence is 7 years or the end of the warranty....which ever comes first

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IMO, a RV suitable for "full-time" is a unit large enough to be confortable for the user(s); it can be a trailer, a FW or a MH of any size or make, preferably over 35 feet for fulltiming.

If your issue is weight, you probably have the wrong pickup to tow a descent suitable "full-time" trailer or FW.

 

If you don't intend to travel, why don't you buy a park model trailer to start with ?



-- Edited by legrandnormand on Wednesday 9th of March 2016 10:04:02 PM



-- Edited by legrandnormand on Wednesday 9th of March 2016 10:05:57 PM



-- Edited by legrandnormand on Wednesday 9th of March 2016 10:10:08 PM



-- Edited by legrandnormand on Wednesday 9th of March 2016 10:10:27 PM

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Normand

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2009 Smart Cabriolet



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Full-time units tend to be built stronger and may have better amenities.  For instance, the DRV Suites line was originally started by the owners of Sunnybrook that decided to build units that were designed specifically for full-time RV'ers.  Since they wouldn't know whether those people would be traveling a lot or not traveling, the Elite Suites and Mobile Suites models have 15" triple box frames and extra thick walls with more insulation.  The wall on the Suites are 3 1/4" thick instead of 2 inches, and have better insulating factors.

That isn't to say that a smaller, lighter unit can't be used to live in full-time, but amenities and appliances may be less than the better rigs.  Way back in earlier days in this forum, I remember a couple that was living full time in a slide in truck camper in Missouri.  They learned to do with what they had and seemed to be fine with it.  Others want more in their rigs.  Also, when you get to the bigger rigs, the furniture may be better.  I say "may be better" because there are probably a number of us who have completely replaced the original furniture that came in our RV's.

Other amenities and appliances could be microwave/convection ovens instead of just microwave ones.  The rigs may have black tank (and sometimes grey tank) flush systems as well as bigger tank capacities.  The better ones are more likely to have something like a Progressive Industries power protection device that protects one's appliances and other electrical components.  (Our Mobile Suites didn't come with one of those in 2010, but they are an option now, and we have added a PI device to ours.)  I'm sure that there are a number of other options and standard features that would be different as well.

When looking at an RV for full-time living, pay attention to space for storage, ease of use of things in the kitchen and bathroom, and such things as closet space.  When in them, pretend to do different functions to see if you could live with the arrangements that you see in the immediate and longer term future.

Terry



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No research done on this opinion but I'm guessing some manufacturers slap on the Full-time moniker on some units more as a marketing ploy than an actual design element. As Terry mentions some manufacturers do design their units stronger and with higher quality components to better survive the rigors of full-time living and travel.

If you plan to be parked most of the time in an area with moderate climate (short periods of snow) most of the time a lighter unit would work as long as you perform regular preventative maintenance.

Our 5th wheel is a mid-level quality unit and it has survived 20 plus years of semi full-time living with lots of travel involved.  There have been some problems but they can be attributed to normal wear and tear that would happen with any RV.



-- Edited by The Bear II on Thursday 10th of March 2016 08:59:55 AM

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What exactly is


An RV that never moves but is lived-in year round is known (ironically) as a "mobile home". They stay in mobile home parks. They are infinitely better for staying in one spot than any RV, even so-called "park models".

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Any RV beats living in a tent. Some full time in a van or other inexpensive vehicle. Just get the best you can reasonably afford. A sturdy, well built, used trailer is a much better value than a cheaper new unit designed for vacation use. If forced into a unit with less insulation, poorly insulated pipes and undercarriage then you must stick to warmer climates (where it doesn't get too cold) or you will suffer for it.

So in answering your question, which I believe is essentially "If I don't travel many miles on it can I get by with a cheaper, lighter rig?" Well if you plan on wintering ove in the RGV in Texas, South Florida or similar latitudes then the answer is yes. Just be aware that with less insulation your ac needs will be greater in these hotter climates during the summer months. Being a snowbird in one of these rigs would put it to best FT use, migrating seasonally to higher elevations and farther north as the weather warms, and heading down south as it cools. Even many RVers with more suitable (more expensive, higher quality) rigs follow the seasons. It's more fun being outside in pleasant weather anyway, if your employment/lifestyle permits.

Chip

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What exactly is "full-time" (as in RV suitable for full-time living)?


Any RV is a 3 season built, forget about living in one of them all year round, you'l have to snowbird SOUTH if you live in a cold and snowy state or province.



-- Edited by legrandnormand on Monday 28th of March 2016 07:20:32 AM

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Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada

2010 Gulfstream class A, model 8367

2009 Smart Cabriolet



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I suspect you'll get as many opinions as there are RVers. In essence, whatever you are comfortable with, physically, emotionally, financially or any other way is suitable for FT use. You get to make that call. What's good for one person is not necessarily good for another, whatever the reason. I'd also advise you that you should never say never to any option... things have a way of changing as time goes by... and your needs and perspectives can change as well.

FWIW, Brian



-- Edited by BiggarView on Monday 28th of March 2016 08:26:02 AM

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What exactly is


As fulltime RV dwellers, we appreciate having a quality, well-built fifth wheel with good insulation, double-pane windows, a washer and a dryer, two A/C units, even a dishwasher, plus 38+ feet of room. Whether we travel or sit, comfort matters, as does quality. Cuz it’s our home.

This coming year we expect to travel quite a bit, so the MorRyde IS suspension and G114 tires also matter. Same for having a truck with heft. But we recently stayed in Florida for an 18 month stretch and appreciated the NH Summit’s insulation when the temps regularly neared 100 humid degrees.


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RE: What exactly is "full-time" (as in RV suitable for full-time living)?


legrandnormand wrote:

Any RV is a 3 season built, forget about living in one of them all year round, you'l have to snowbird SOUTH if you live in a cold and snowy state or province.



-- Edited by legrandnormand on Monday 28th of March 2016 07:20:32 AM


 Not necessarily true.  We've lived in our DRV Suites Mobile Suites now for 5 years of full time living.  3 years was in Oklahoma City and just shy of 2 years was spent in Colorado near Colorado Springs.  We've experienced temperature ranging from 115 degrees down to -6 degrees and have been comfortable, without breaking the bank for heat and cooling.

Terry



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2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
2008 Ford F450
2014 Ford Expedition 4X4 as Tag-along or Scout

Two minor works in progess....pictures taken over the years and a webblog:

Our photos on Smugmug

Ignoring the Barking Dogs  -  Terry's Blog



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What exactly is


I agree With Terry...........I have spent the last 5 years Boondocking in New England in Vermont , New Hampshire and Maine.........not one of my rigs had artic packages on them.......I have been in here in 50 below temps for extended periods.........that being said.....if you prepare and skirt your rig properly.....take care of waste and freshwater lines you have no issues other than snowloads and Ice creeps and dams.......you might want to think about other means for heat than the RV furnace or at least have back up and spare motors for the blower in the heater.......they are not meant for extreme weather and trust me......they like to go down right in the middle of a blizzard when you least expect it!!!........ask me how I know and how many heaters Ive repaired in the middle of the nite!!



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 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

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My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Hi all,

Revisiting this subject.

Quick background:

I was recently separated when I wrote the original post. I was going through a lot at the time. My apologies for not responding to the detailed comments and suggestions. Thank you for your time.

The reason I am considering a fifth wheel is that I don't want to dump $800-$1k a month into an apartment when I can put some of that into something I can own. Nor do I want a traditional apartment due to I travel a lot. I work for a major airline and am out 3-5 days a week but can be off for several days in a row. I haven't rented since 1993. It's only me with an occasional visit from either/both of my two teens. I feel that the local RV park I looked at has enough security and full timers that look out for each other that I would be okay when traveling. I only plan to be in this area for the next 3-4 years until my youngest is out of high school.

I am in the southeast where snow is rare and summer months are scorching. My biggest issue is maybe having to hook-up and move if a mandatory evacuation for a hurricane is ordered. I want a rig that can accommodate a washer/dryer. The unit I really like is the Keystone Avalanche 300RE. It's in the higher end of my budget but I think it's doable.

Any further suggestions such as comparable rigs would be appreciated. I would consider used but not too old. I don't want to replace anything and would prefer the leather/faux-leather furniture instead of cloth.

Thanks!

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Keep in mind when shopping that the RV manufacturers will not designate new units as designed for "full-time living" under the current RVIA/HUD RV definition. Any new unit claiming the RV exemption to HUD standards must display a notice stating that the unit is designed only for recreational use and not as a primary residence or permanent dwelling, until the unit is sold to the end user. That does not mean RV's cannot be used for full-time living of course, only that the manufacturer says they are not intended for such use in order to meet the federal requirements.

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Dutch, you said "Keep in mind when shopping that the RV manufacturers will not designate new units as designed for "full-time living" under the current RVIA/HUD RV definition."

I have a 2017 KZ Durango Gold that specifically is marketed as a "Full Time Luxury 5th Wheel" and before buying this one we looked at a Heartland Landmark 365 ... the 365 is a full time designation. I'm sure there are others, but these two are currently sold as full time 5th wheels. From what I understand, if the unit is NOT designated as full time, and you are actually living in it full time, the warranty is voided.

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"The reason I am considering a fifth wheel is that I don't want to dump $800-$1k a month into an apartment when I can put some of that into something I can own."

RVing is a "dump" of money. Reconsider an apartment.

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What exactly is "full-time" (as in RV suitable for full-time living)?


LarryW21 wrote:

"The reason I am considering a fifth wheel is that I don't want to dump $800-$1k a month into an apartment when I can put some of that into something I can own."

RVing is a "dump" of money. Reconsider an apartment.


 Not sure about that.  A $1,000 dollar per month apartment will cost $60,000 for 5 years rent.  A $60,000 RV will be worth $20,000 - $30,000 in 5 years.  To my mind, that makes the RV a better choice than an apartment.  While I understand that an RV is a depreciating asset, an apartment is a sinking asset ... like leasing a car ... costs less than buying, but you own NOTHING when the party is over.



-- Edited by RonC on Monday 3rd of April 2017 08:28:50 PM



-- Edited by RonC on Monday 3rd of April 2017 08:32:32 PM

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2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 3.73's, 4x4, CC, 6.7 Powerstroke, remote control air lift system

2017 K-Z Durango Gold 381REF (41 ft, 5 slides), MORryde IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

Full Timers class of 2016

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