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Post Info TOPIC: Choosing an RV for full timers


RV-Dreams Community Member

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Choosing an RV for full timers


Hi guys, we are new to RVing but are very enthusiastic. We are looking to buy our first RV and live in it full time. We heard people refer to it as “Full timing.” We’re hoping to get some tips from all the experienced folks out here and recommendations on selecting our first RV. At the moment, we don’t have a vehicle for the towing. To not be limited by the vehicle, we’re looking to decide on an RV and then buy the truck that best suit for towing it.

After doing a research about the different options available, we came up with a list of features we need in an RV.

 

RV requirements list:

  • Budget $13,000

  • Travel trailer / Toy hauler

  • Up to 30ft length

  • Sleeps 2 minimum

  • Queen bed

  • Sitting area with a table

  • Private sleeping area (area that can be close off)

  • Ramp back door - preferable

  • Kitchen i.e. refrigerator, range oven, microwave, sink etc

  • Shower & toilet

  • No expandable tent (hybrid)

  • Awning

  • 2 axles

Any suggestions regarding make and models of RV based on those features and budget would be greatly appreciated!



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Avi & Gili


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Why have you excluded motorhomes?

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2002 Alpine 36 MDDS (Figment II), 2004 Subaru Forester toad (Mischief)
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Barb, MHs with a ramp are rare...but I've seen a few. 



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2015 Winnebago TT 2101DS & Chevy Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts of WindyNation solar - parallel w/MPPT, 2 Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for USC & historical flags. 14 year Army vet. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, TVA, state & county campgrounds



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We want the flexibility of detaching the RV and use our car to drive around town



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Avi & Gili


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Avi Gili wrote:

We want the flexibility of detaching the RV and use our car to drive around town


 That's what we do, we park the motorhome and then use our car, which is towed around, to go see things.  Do you want a large truck as your daily driver?  Why a toy hauler? 



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Barb & Dave O'Keeffe
2002 Alpine 36 MDDS (Figment II), 2004 Subaru Forester toad (Mischief)
Blog:  http://www.barbanddave.net/Site/Welcome.html
SPK# 90761 FMCA #F337834



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We are planning on having a toy hauler or travel trailer and having it towed by a Ford F-150. We can't afford a motor-home and a car so it has to be RV and a track.

Any thoughts regarding make & model of an RV to start with for newbies like us? ;)



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Avi & Gili


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And F-150 isn't going to pull, or more importantly stop, a 30ft toy hauler.

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2002 Alpine 36 MDDS (Figment II), 2004 Subaru Forester toad (Mischief)
Blog:  http://www.barbanddave.net/Site/Welcome.html
SPK# 90761 FMCA #F337834



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Do you recon F-250 would be better? Any other suggestions with regards to the best vehicle to fit the purpose? 



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Avi & Gili


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For what you seem to be considering, the F250 would probably suffice. The best advice, however, would be to figure out the rig you want to tow and then determine (through various formulae found on the "net" to compute your needs) the truck that will tow it safely. Common sage advice is you can never have enough truck, in point of fact you should never "undertruck" your intended towable. I disagree with the "can never have enough truck" mentality, only in that it would be supreme overkill to haul a moderately sized trailer of either kind (travel or fiver) with a honking huge semi tractor (heavy duty truck) for example. But heh, if you are into such things.... knock your socks off. Just be safe about it.



-- Edited by BiggarView on Friday 6th of January 2017 05:57:39 AM

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Brian, Cindi & Josie (our fur baby)



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Avi, I hesitated to say this earlier....IMO $13,000 just isn't enough for a quality TT New or used. 



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2015 Winnebago TT 2101DS & Chevy Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts of WindyNation solar - parallel w/MPPT, 2 Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for USC & historical flags. 14 year Army vet. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, TVA, state & county campgrounds



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LarryW21 wrote:

Avi, I hesitated to say this earlier....IMO $13,000 just isn't enough for a quality TT New or used. 


 Exactly.  Unless you are really into rehab as a hobby, a $13K rig is going to need a lot of work and $, better to set budget higher and get something decent to start your adventurers. 



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2002 Alpine 36 MDDS (Figment II), 2004 Subaru Forester toad (Mischief)
Blog:  http://www.barbanddave.net/Site/Welcome.html
SPK# 90761 FMCA #F337834



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Avi,

Hopefully to provide you with some information about what different people would consider “full time” RVs, you may want to read the following blog posts. The first is Howard’s “What Fifth Wheel Would We Buy Today?” and the second from Technomadia’s blog. Technomadia started full-timing in a RV that many would consider on the smaller side (but it worked for them, and would likely fit within your budget), and they purchased larger RVs overtime to meet their changing needs.

http://rv-dreams.typepad.com/rvdreams_journal/2016/04/what-fifth-wheel-would-we-buy-today.html

http://www.technomadia.com/start-here/



-- Edited by Lynn and Ed on Saturday 7th of January 2017 10:35:33 PM

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Several thoughts come to mind. First, if you already have the truck and are not planning to trade it, you are going to be limited by what it can actually handle. Your Ford dealer can look up the VIN and tell you what your truck can tow. If you are going to buy a truck to tow your trailer you can look at the gross weights for the various trailers you are considering and use the heaviest one to pick the truck.

Don't pay any attention to the sales person who tells you that an F250 can tow anything. Yes, it can drag nearly anything - for a while. The question is what it can stop in an emergency situation, and the answer is a LOT less. Again, the dealer can check the VIN and give you the actual numbers for any truck you are looking at. Fifth wheels generally have 20-25% of their weight on the pin (hitch) while travel trailers are in the 10-15% range. Use the high end of the range and the trailer's gross vehicle weight rating for your calculations. For example, if you are looking at a fifth wheel with a gross weight of 10,000 pounds, you should plan on putting 2500 pounds on the truck's rear axle PLUS the weight of the hitch assembly. A travel trailer with the same gross weight would put 1500 pounds on the rear axle PLUS the hitch assembly.

A toy hauler lends itself to loading the rear on the heavy side, and that makes for "interesting" driving. You will want to make some trips to the local CAT scale to check your weights.

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We’re strongly considering getting a Ford F-150 truck with a 3.5L EcoBoost V6. Specs show it has a towing capacity of up to 12,000 lbs (compare to the 2.7L EcoBoost V6 that has towing capacity of 7,000-8,000 lbs).

Will such truck be suitable to tow (and stop) an RV with GVW of up to 6,000 lbs?

Also, we looked around for leasing or buying options of the Ford F-250 but with no luck. One option we found is to lease the truck for a whopping 84 months. We’re also considering to swap a lease but couldn’t find a single truck available via online sites such as swapalease.com and leasetrader.com. Are the F-250 not common to take on a lease?‎



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Avi & Gili


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There are circumstances where leases make sense.... But I can't think of one that fits your situation. Unless you are going to use the rig and truck as a business, what you are looking at is a "fleece" and not a lease. Stay away. 

Still think you should figure our what rig you want, then buy the truck that will do the job safely. Do your homework.

 



-- Edited by BiggarView on Monday 23rd of January 2017 09:21:10 AM

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One thing to remember is the old saw "Figures don't lie but liars sure can figure." You need to do your own figuring. Use the GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING for the trailer, NOT the empty weight. Sales people like to use that empty weight but that's not how you will travel. Use the heaviest numbers you can. Then remember that the truck numbers are based on a stripped down truck and a light-weight driver. An F150 XL will weigh less than an F150 Platinum, even though they have the same gross weight. That means that the Platinum can't handle the same load that the XL can. Now consider that few people drive their vehicles with nothing else in the vehicle. That 50 pound tool box in the bed is part of the cargo that the truck can carry. So is your extra pounds around the middle, your spouse, the dog, and even the box of snacks.

As I mentioned above, load the truck up with all that will be in it when towing. Weigh both axles. Then look on the door sticker and compare the numbers you got from the scale to the maximum allowed on each axle.

We're looking for a truck, and someone suggested I consider a Toyota. I happened to see one at a dealership, and it sure looked nice. The price was attractive, too. Then I looked for the door sticker. That said that the truck could have just over 4000 pounds on the rear axle. I'll have about 2000 pounds of "stuff" riding in the bed of the truck. The hitch weight of the trailer we will get is 1000 pounds. That's 3000 pounds that I will add to the rear axle even before the people, stuff, and cat that go in the passenger area. Most likely I'd be overloaded on the rear axle if I would buy that truck. I'm looking at F250 or F350 trucks.

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David, kb0zke

1993 Foretravel U300 40'

Build number 4371

For sale



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Avi Gili,

Pay NO attention to a truck's "Tow Rating" weight.  As mentioned before, one needs to know what the GVWR for one's trailer will be and add that weight to the weight of the truck with full fuel, all passengers (including pets), and any cargo to be carried in the tow vehicle.  Then what you need to know is that those combined weights do not exceed the truck's GCVW (Gross Combined Vehicular Weight) rating and that the weight on the rear axle does not exceed the rear axle weight rating.

Also, do not go with anything that a dealer (either truck or RV) says with regards to what your truck will "handle."  You certainly want a truck that will exceed the weight capacities mentioned above, preferably with a fair safety margin on the capacities.

Terry



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