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Post Info TOPIC: New Rver - what should I consider?


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New Rver - what should I consider?


I am looking at TT's because I happen to own a Quad cab Ford F-550 with an 8' bed. I am looking at TT's over 5ers because I can use the back of my truck for storage. I have found a nice TT with good storage and it seems like it will be nice to live in it without feeling like I'm compromising or giving anything up. TT's which are shorter seem to be lacking wardrobe, bathroom, or kitchen storage for the basic necessities.

My question is, are there many people who travel full-time in TT's that are 35' long. I plan to park for a month at a time whenever possible so I can really get to know an area. A 35' TT seems really long; add in my truck and I'm looking at 60' in length. Is this reasonable? The largest thing I've ever towed is a 16' stock trailer. I know 35' will probably take some time to get use to as far as towing goes. Do people tend to travel and pull these 35' TT's or do they just find some place to park them? I would love to hear from people who actually pull or know people who pull 35' or longer 5ers and TT's. 

I want to camp in State Parks and National Forests, ideally. Is this reasonable? Do you find places to park relatively easily or is this just a pipe dream and I'm being unrealistic in my expectations and desires?

Also, if anyone knows of a 35' or less TT with lots of wardrobe, kitchen, and bath storage (other than Forest River), I'm interested in hearing about them. Preferably with a King bed.

Thank you for any input you can provide. I look forward to hearing from you.

With Love,

Therese



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What exactly are you going to carry that couldn't be carried in a 5th wheel? You've got enough truck to pull a nice 5er with some decent storage areas.

Barb

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Judging from your post........there is going to be a big difference in weight alone....it will not be your stock trailer.

As Barb said......have you looked at 5th wheels....they pull alot better and handle better in adverse conditions.....

I know you are just starting out looking...your truck seems more than capable to handle just about any choice you make.

as far as state parks & federal it will depend on where......rule of thumb: the longer you are the less you will.....also 35' of TT takes alot of ground to manuver....5vers take alot less and handle better in tight areas....a 40 ' 5ver will go places and out manuver a 30' TT

Make your choice carefully

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Barbaraok, all the 5ers I've seen have storage under the bed and that's it for external storage. I want a ladder for maintaining roof and slides. I Also want to carry some chairs for sitting outside. Truthfully, I don't know what else I will need. You know that better than I. Also, 5ers are higher with more steps to maneuver on a daily basis. And, the used 5ers I've found are 38', so that's 35' of trailer behind my truck. Would a 5er that long really pull differently than a TT? I ask because I don't know.

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Lucky Mike, the 2 TTs I've found are stock Forest River models. From what you said, it feels like I have to pull a long TT and a long 5er to experience the difference. I shall have to do that. I was surprised when you said a 40' 5er will be more maneuverable than a 30' TT because I've heard TTs have a better pull, track better, and can go more places because of the lower height. The models I'm considering are Flagstaff model 832IKBS and Rockwood model 8329SS.

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I am considering FTing with a TT similar to what you want - but with a much smaller truck. Both of those trailers you suggested have a much lower carting capacity for most full-timer's needs. They come in around 1,500 lbs (less when you add options) while most full-timers say it takes about 3,000 lbs of CCC for a couple.

You might want to look at thee models: A keystone Sprinter 300 FKS, 331RLS, an Open Range Journeyer JT337RLS, Salem 29FKBS (disc), or an ORV Blackrock 30KQBS

Chip

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I think you will get more RV for the money in 5th wheel.. will pull better.. handle better on the road.. Height is a non-issue.

I don't think travel trailers where designed for full timers?

You have a big truck.. you should be looking at 5ers.. Even a small one..

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If you are concerned about sway on a long TT consider a Hensley Arrow or Pro Pride zero sway hitch. No, they are not cheap, (about the cost of a high quality fifth wheel hitch) but used ones are available if cost is an issue. It will make your TT pull like a fiver, but fivers are shorter and easier to maneuver. Giving up our truck bed would mean either giving up the 2 motorbikes we plan on carrying back there or going to a toy hauler (which are either too heavy for us or very Spartan in slides and amenities.)

One of the biggest problem with most TTs is their lack of insulation. Some better quality ones do have upgraded insulation packages, still true 4 season TTs are harder to find. Like you, stairs are a big issue for me (actually DW). She even has a hard time getting in and out of our 3/4 ton 2wd truck and can barely negotiate the few stairs outside our current residence, so the less stairs the better for us too. There are lift mechanisms available for RVs for the mobility impaired, but these are pricy.

If you travel mostly out west the height of a fiver is not a concern. On the east coast, where there are lots of low bridges, and moss heavy trees often drape across secondary roads then a TT is safer from a height perspective, unless you want to limit your travels to only major highways where 18 wheelers go. The road I used to live on was like that. I saw an 18 wheeler take out a half-dozen heavy oak branches trying to deliver my motorbikes. I'm sure it would have torn up the fiberglass cap on a tall fiver. Maybe a low profile fiver would have made it, though a TT would have room to spare.

Don't forget to add the height of your AC units too, as this unlucky fellow did. www.youtube.com/watch

Chip

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I use my entire bed... Even have a tool box.. Just stay under the rails.. Easy for me, as I have a tonneau cover when I'm not pulling..

If pulling off road or remote places, with the travel trailer.. I would think being so low would be a bigger issue than height..But flipping axles fixes that.. and some are already lifted..

Good luck.

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tsandhage wrote:

Barbaraok, all the 5ers I've seen have storage under the bed and that's it for external storage. I want a ladder for maintaining roof and slides. I Also want to carry some chairs for sitting outside. Truthfully, I don't know what else I will need. You know that better than I. Also, 5ers are higher with more steps to maneuver on a daily basis. And, the used 5ers I've found are 38', so that's 35' of trailer behind my truck. Would a 5er that long really pull differently than a TT? I ask because I don't know.


 I don't know what 5ers you've been looking at, but we have lots of friends with them that have a LARGE storage area under the bed/bath area just behind the hitch.   A lot of them are pass throughs and they also have other storage areas along the sides.   Most have a mounted ladder on the back.  I think you need to get to an area with several RV dealers so you can take a look at what is out there.

Barb



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There are too many items to address with regard to your inquiry; however, have you considered attending a rally BEFORE you make a move? ALL of your questions/concerns are fully addressed at these rallies.  I think attending a rally is the best gift you can give yourself and potentially save you a LOT of money and heartache in the long run. And, by the way, I pull our 38.5' fifth wheel without any issues.  Quite a piece of cake, actually. Makes my husband happy, happy, happy! 



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Welcome to the forum..............
What about a 5er with a small garage?

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Thank you for the ideas for different TTs. I was unaware of these and like several of them which are shorter and have a greater carrying capacity. Keep the ideas coming. I've realized I still have a lot of research left to do.

Barb, 5ers are gorgeous and loads of them to choose from. I really want the TT so I can use my truck bed for storage. I also want to be able to cover my truck bed and, possibly, put a moped in there so I don't have to drive my huge truck into town every time. That's a future thing though as I want to see if my truck is a problem (parking) while on the road.

I've been looking at sway bars. Thanks for the idea and brand, I will check it out. Sushidog, you've been a big help. I really appreciate your comments and ideas! Thanks!

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Allow me to also welcome you to the forums.  It is an excellent place to get answers to all kinds of questions.

Something else to consider with the travel trailer over a fifth wheel.  Because they do sit lower, they are more prone to want to drag on low spots (dips and such) and on driveways where one angles up into a business or fuel stop.  We used to have a 26-foot travel trailer and I managed to catch the rear steps and bend them back enough that I had to have the entire step replaced.

With a lot (or maybe most) fifth wheels, they do sit a bit taller and the steps are generally located close to the axles, so they are less likely to drag on dips and other high spots.

Terry



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It sounds like a Toy Hauler would fit you best. Plenty of traditional 5'er storage with a pass through, and the front area, then the garage to carry tools and what not. Most but not all toy haulers can be comfortable in cold climates.
My opinion would be to go to several RV shows and climb thru different models. Look at the travel trailers, and 5th wheels and see what would work best for you.

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Really don't understand everyone trying to talk op out of TT. We don't want one but we know of lots of people full timing in them and wouldn't have anything else. All I can do is defend you though. I have never researched TT.

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Since there's no right or wrong way to do this, you certainly can do TT if that is what you want.  However before you commit to one, ask your yourself honestly why the 5er doesn't work.  I'm not saying the 5er is the right choice either, just that you should consider all options. You mentioned the height issue. That certainly is a factor TT vs 5er. To that I can say you will notice the height of every bridge or under pass you drive under regardless of what you choose. Being aware of that will mean making some adjustments to driving technique and routes but that is all. Life is about change.  Again I am not trying to sell you on a 5er over a TT... that is entrely your call.

Having said all that, and yes my preference is for a 5er, another "Storage" option in 5er floorplans is the Lifestyle AlfaGold series, model 3905SH which has a slideout storage room big enough for a large motorcyle. Just an option but it may fit your needs. I'm trying to find RVs with room to store a modular HO model railroad so I can take my hobby on the road with me and I just found this one recently, but it could work for you.

FWIW, Brian



-- Edited by biggaRView on Sunday 7th of December 2014 01:38:54 PM

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Glenn West and BiggaRView, thank you for defending me. Maybe I need to be clear about why I'm focusing on TTs. I love 5ers! They are beautiful, so many options, and so many available. However, after spending some time going through RVs, my body told me clearly I need to see if I can find a TT so I encounter fewer steps. If I can't find what I want, I can always find a 5er. Some more information is, I have spent a lot of time on crutches though not for a few years. The larger challenge is, since I spent a couple weeks paralyzed, I have trouble walking and climbing if I get too tired. I hope this helps people understand why I am, currently, focused on TTs. Thank you to the person who suggested I attend a rally. I think you are correct and I am looking into doing just that. I appreciate all your help and ideas so much! I found the Arctic Fox 29L, thanks to your suggestions, it covers my entire wish list. Does anyone know where Northwood manufactures their trailers?

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Another welcome to the zoo. Your reason for looking at a TT is exactly the reason we were considering Airstreams. The largest Airstream is a 34' coach, which is a triple axle coach. Gross weight is 10,000 pounds I believe. No slides, but there are quite a few people who full-time in them. You might check out www.airforums.com/. The biggest drawback for us was the lack of outside storage. We have two basement bays pretty well filled, so if we had gone with an Airstream all of that stuff would have to be carried all of the time in/on the truck.

Northwood is located in NE Oregon.

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Excel, by Peterson Industries makes or made a very nice travel trailer. It's basically a 5'er interior on a TT frame. They don't build them every year, but when there is enough demand or I believe by customer request.

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No matter which one you pick, there are handles that can be bolted by the steps and fold back against the RV body for travel. I have trouble climbing high steps and a handle helped me pull myself up. Prefer 5ers for their floorplans but have full-timed in TTs too. Airstreams and classic Avions are a dream always in the back of my mind.

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TSandHage, I like the Arctic Fox 29L too. I can't believe they have 16" tires and wheels but only give it a 10,400lb GVWR. I'd ask them about putting some 6,000lb axles on it if I were looking to buy new, or would consider getting the RV dealership to swap them out for me if buying used (as part of a negotiated price). The CCC of 2,400 lbs. is insufficient for my needs, as I plan on adding a heavy solar system on my next camper. If the 29L were mine, I'd take out the couch and replace it with some theater seating or nice recliners (my DW usually sleeps part of the night in a recliner due to her sleep apnea.) I also am thinking about building an adjustable bed in it too (I would use electric scissor jacks to make each side go up and down.). They are one of the few a well built, 4-season FT trailers available, though new they generally run in the mid $50s - more than many mid-grade fivers I've seen. You get what you pay for though, as they are one of the only manufacturers that build their own frames, which are unique to each trailer. Maybe if I could find one about 10 years old...

Chip

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Arctic Fox trailers are made in La Grande, Oregon. They are very well thought of in the industry, and tend to be well insulated. If I was going to look at travel trailers, Arctic Fox would be on my short list. Good luck, and I hope you make the right choice for your needs and preferences!

Roy

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We went to Smith Center, Ks. to see the Peterson Excel 5th wheels a couple of months ago. There was a TT on the end of the line that I couldn't resist having a look at. It was beautiful But they said it was to be their last TT. It's a small company and they do not have the space or enough workers to produce both 5ers and TT's. Maybe you could search for a pre-owned one on-line.
Btw, enjoy the hunt. It's part of the fun ...and do your homework, you'll be glad you did. Pat K

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I am trying to enjoy the hunt. I've realized I will probably not get anything by January just because there is so much I still need to learn. As part of learning, I know to keep my mind open to all possibilities TTs, 5ers, MHs, and Cabovers. I will admit I'm ruling out tents. 😊 I appreciate all the ideas and suggestions. To the person who said they'd lived in TTs, if it was longer than 30', how easy/difficult was it to find spots in State Parks and National Forests? You are all very helpful. I'm Trying to get to the Skp's event in Tuscon, AZ in March. I can see where it would be extremely informative. Thanks for the suggestion of the heavier axle. The idea would never have occurred to me. Maybe something for down the road. I like I can find older 29L's in the Arctic Fox. It hits all my must haves for a TT. It is pricey, though, and far away; hard to inspect without going there. Are the people who do inspections on RVs really good? If so, where do I find them? Do they check engines too on MHs? So much to learn. Thanks for your willingness to help. The people ar one reason I want to FT. 💖😊

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Are you now considering a motorhome?

Barb


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Barb, I have never ruled anything out. I focused on 5ers when I first looked, realized TTs were less steps so changed my focus ( realizing I could always return to 5ers, looked at toy haulers, and found diesel Cabovers and MHs to be too expensive. Recently learned of a gas engine that opens up Cabovers and MHs so they are back on the list. Nothing is ever ruled out because I never know what the Universe will put in front of me. My original question was about pulling and parking with a long TT, which applies to 5ers as well. I also asked about fitting into State Parks and National Forests.

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Therese,

As far as state parks and national forest campgrounds, you will have some limitations.  However, you really want to get more of that information from some of the others.  Our entire experience with national forest sites is in a sum total of three places, and in each of those places, I would have to say it depends on which sites would be available.  On all three of those (located in South Central Colorado) had some that would be way too short and a few would allow a rig of the length that you are considering.

Below is a link to information on national forest campgrounds.  Once one chooses a state, one then needs to know the National Forest where one wants to stay and click on that one.  There is quite a bit of information at each site and down towards the bottom of things are mentions of "Average Parking Apron Size" that lists the available lengths for each campground and the make-up of the apron (grass, gravel, concrete) under the heading of "RV Information."

National Forest Campgrounds

This next link is to the listing at the site above to one that we always liked among the three we stayed at in Colorado.

Purgatoire River Campground

Terry



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Thanks, Terry and Jo, very helpful.

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Ahearty welcome to the new RVers!!!



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...and the same hearty welcome to some well loved members who are posting that welcome! Pat K

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