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Post Info TOPIC: New from Minnesota

RV-Dreams Community Member

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New from Minnesota


My wife and I are within a couple years of retirement (early 50's) and have talked about fulltime RVing for years.   We are going through the same questions I've read about on this site and looking for more thoughts/suggestions on the same topics scattered throughout this blog.

---What type of RV to get?  (we are going to tow either the trailer or a vehicle)

   - Motorhome and tow a vehicle with a tow dolly or no dolly
        Pro- Have a smaller vehicle to drive locally around while setup
        Pro- Appears to be more comfortable for the passenger while on the road
        Pro- Have 2 motorized vehicles, for when one of them needs repair 
        Con- More expensive to repair the motorhome than a trailer (Transmission/engine/tires/etc.) 
   - 5th Wheel and have a 1 ton truck 
        Pro- Appears to have more "bang for your buck" than a motorhome
        Pro- Safer in a truck than a motorhome while on the road
        Con- Having to drive the larger vehicle while setup

I know there are many more pros/cons to what type of RV, these are just some of the bigger ones we keep coming back too.

Looking forward to learning lots!




RV-Dreams Family Member

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Renting will help you decide on an RV type and floorplan.



Winnebago TT 2101DS & 2020 Silverado LTZ Z71. 300 watts WindyNation solar w/MPPT, 2 Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, TVA, state/county camps. 14 year Army vet-11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.

RV-Dreams Family Member

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Go to an RV dealer, ask the salesperson to leave you alone. Sit in every chair and position for long amounts of time. If you are going to be comfortable in your new home you must know that the lighting is good for reading, TV, computer and anything else  you will be doing for hours on end. Who ever cooks must be comfortable in the kitchen. (Enough drawers and storage) Sit on the toilet and stand in the shower. Are your elbows hitting everything?  Are there large enough windows so you don’t feel like you are living in a tin can. After a few hours in each unit you will begin to understand your personal preferences. There is NO perfect RV but you will find what is best for you. Ease of set up is important the older you get. Think leveling, sewage, steps and layout, they will all be important as you travel. 


Russ & Terri Ranger

Travel since July 2013

Home base: Buckeye,AZ

Wandering the USA & Canada in our Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40' PDT Motorhome

Travel so far: 49 States - International Travel -19 countries


RV-Dreams Family Member

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Welcome! Finding the perfect RV is difficult, if not impossible. As you are already aware, there are pros and cons to each one, you just have to prioritize your needs vs wants.

I agree with Russ’ advice above, don’t feel rushed at the dealer. Go to as many as you can, sit in as many as you can to see what “feels” right - you will figure it out pretty quick.

As far as having a large daily driver if you go the 5th wheel route, we kept my car as a daily driver. Yes, that means in move days we drive separate, but I don’t mind. We left my car at my parents in FL once for a year when we went to AK, but other than that we’ve had it with us. It keeps a lot of miles off the truck. Something to consider. We also know other couples who do this.

Check out my blog - we’ve done a couple of write-ups about it in my yearly summaries:


Feel free to reach out with any questions


Bill & Kelly - with Callie along the ride.  

2011 Ford F350 Diesel Dually 4x4 

2014 Heartland Landmark, Grand Canyon 

"All those who wander are not lost" Tolkien

 BLOG:  http://bkamericanodyssey.com/

RV-Dreams Family Member

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Posts: 73

We have not retired yet (09/04/2020 smile) but we have gone through the same thought process.  We started out thinking class A but decided against that for various reasons.  Considered a 5th wheel but didn't like the idea of the large TV for a daily driver, then decided on a compromise: a travel trailer.  We think that will fit our travel style the best.  We plan to use BLM , state parks and national parks.  We currently have a 26ft TT but will be upgrading to something a little larger when we full time.  Probably nothing longer than a 30ft.  This may not work for you but, like us, you're doing the right thing by started the thought process early.

Good luck on your search and keep us posted.



2017 Starcraft 26BHS Autumn Ridge TT,  2019 Chevrolet 3500 SRW Duramax 6.6 4WD TV 

Plan to retire/full-time in 2021. Favorite place to camp; Texas State Parks.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..  Mark Twain 

Steve, Julie and Ethan

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First and foremost I'd seriously consider what type of a FT'r you are likely going to be. Some like to travel staying no particular place longer than 2/3 days to a week on average, with very occasional longer stays = Travelling FT'rs. Others prefer to stay in one location for a month at a time and explore 100+/- mile radius to feel living like a local. Others just tend for the most part to go from a summer location to a winter location.

The latter two we've noticed tend to prefer the "homey" feel of fifth wheels, whereas the travelling full timers tend to opt more so for the convenience of a Motorhome Gas/Diesel and whilst many do toad some like ourselves with a MH do not. Admittedly we are not full time, but do a lot of extended times when free to do so! We had a 5er and truck (I personally don't like riding in a truck) for 4 years, and since 2003 have had a Class A MH which we both love and personally wouldn't want to go back from unless our travelling style were to change to being more static in one place longer maybe? It's no hardship to us to stop enroute to grab groceries and other needs, so not having a Toad forces us to walk a lot for health reasons. Anything way too far we Uber or catch public transport rarely.

After type of FT'r established, then as Russ, Kelly, and others suggest. Sit in a lot of the probable type, and even get in the showers, lie on the beds, move around as you would everyday for cooking, cleaning, working on computers, watching TV etc and see what you love and like and fits your stature/height best. Also make sure you consider accessing things on the road when slides are in!

Something else to consider is "what size"? We are seeing more and more folks downsizing lately from bigger rigs, but again if you plan to dry camp a lot in either NFS/BLM lands or State Parks, consider tank sizes and how that might limit you. Many State/Provincial and National Parks were established long before these huge rigs of today, so if you go too big you might be limited on accessing some of them for camping.

You might want to also consider your hobbies? Fishing Rods, Kayaks, Quilting, Machinery, Tools etc can need more storage space so another consideration.

Enjoy the search and have safe and happy travels.

Breathtaking Alberta. Her Mountains Draw You But Her People Bring You Back

RV-Dreams Family Member

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First off, welcome, there's lots of good QUALITY information here. There are other places on the Internet that are busier but I haven't found one yet that has better information.

Just the thought process I went through. My wife and I decided years ago that full time RVing was what we wanted to do after retirement from a "real" job. (I still have 10 rental units for retirement income). I will preface this by saying that safety is high on my list of requirements in any vehicle so I have opted out a class A and opted for a super C. The reason is that with a super C you have an engine and significant frame in front of the seats, with a class A you have very little in front of you, maybe a generator and stubs of the frame, but absolutely no roll-over protection. The reason we aren't considering a trailer of some type is that my wife doesn't want one. That settled that.

As far as towing something goes I have looked at all of the options and have settled on flat towing a pickup. The reason for this is that I will be keeping my motorcycle and carrying it in the back of the pickup (I know that safety thing, but I do wear the safety gear). Anyway, the options were, trailer for the bike and a small jeep-type vehicle, a dolly with a pickup on it or flat tow. I chose to go with flat tow for a couple of reasons. If you have a trailer you will almost always have to drop it somewhere not at your camp site. This adds at least an half hour to the end and beginning of every day when you travel or stop just for the night. The second choice is a tow dolly. While they work fine for front wheel drive vehicles they don't work very well for rear wheel drive vehicles without getting a driveline disconnect. The thing that really soured me on a dolly was that you have to lay on your back or at least kneel to hook them up. If it's raining the day you want to leave that won't be pretty. You also have to store the dolly somewhere when you camp. If you flat tow hooking up is about a 5 minute job or less and you never have to get off of your feet and typically the tow bar stores on the RV.

Regarding the particular vehicle to tow that is up to you but do not trust the lists on the Internet, salesmen or anything else but the owner's manual for the vehicle you are contemplating towing. I had a Ford F150 with a manual transmission that all of the lists said you could flat tow, not true according to the owner's manual and Bill at Superior Drive line (BTW that's where you can get drive line disconnects if you need one). I opted for a four wheel drive F150 that can be flat towed with just a little modification to the front drive set-up.

Good luck and keep us informed of what you do.

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