NFR RV Decision

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by freestoneangler, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    My wife and I have been shopping RV's on and off for a few years now as we plan to travel full-time, part of the year in retirement. We were pretty certain a 5th wheel was the best option for us, but having now been in a few of the neighbors class A coaches, we're starting to re-think our plan. $200K rigs have a way of doing that. We will be traveling with a dog and there is something to be said about being able to move about a little while in route when safe to do so (yes, I know it's never technically safe). My wife's back/hip gives her some grief sometimes on long drives and just being able to stretch out a little will no doubt help. And traveling with a lab (maybe two), I'm certain it would be more comfortable than in the back seat of my Dodge.

    I've done the pro/con thing a gazillion times and looked at many of the RV websites and threads covering this same question. But knowing that no community like a fishing community tells it like it is and never exaggerates the truth, I'd like to hear from the forum from those who have (or had) Class A RV's. In particular:
    • Did you go gas or diesel...why and how has that worked out?
    • Which coach did you end up with and how do you like it?
    We would definitely pull a small SUV behind...one of the pluses of the class A as the Southfork can ride on the roof rack. I also plan to buy used and limit the investment to $50K.
     
  2. Drifter

    Drifter Active Member

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    I have a few friends looking into the retirement vehicles and we all agree it has to be able to tow a drifter with motor or small sled and be able to back it to the water! the only requirements! You can always stow a couple toons but touring without a motor boat seems like a handy-cap to me.
     
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  3. IveofIone

    IveofIone Active Member

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    If your current truck is up to the task of towing a 5th wheel and is paid for the decision should be easy. Buy the 5th wheel. You can get a real nice unit little used for well under 40K. And if your wife's hip hurts, just travel shorter distances in a day. You're retired-remember?

    A Class A has always been known as a money dump which is okay if you you have deep pockets. But at 5-8mpg they can get pretty spendy to drive and maintain. When we retired 14 years ago gas was right around $2.00 and travel was pretty easy. Today it is $4.07 here in town for unleaded regular and the cost of driving every 100 miles has doubled.

    So do some math before you leap. If your Class A gets even 8mpg-which is high-a 500 mile trip at $4.00 a gallon will cost you $250. And you still have to put out $30-$70 a day for hookups. Then if gas goes up in your retirement as it did in ours a 500 mile trip could go up to around $375.

    Finally, a truck is just so much more useful than a motorhome and a cute ute. Two dogs and two people in a cute ute is a load and there is little room for anthing else.

    Ive
     
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  4. Rick Todd

    Rick Todd Active Member

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    My wife and I have been looking at a similar decision (we won't live in it but will do extended travel). We have had a fairly large truck camper for 13 years now and that has worked very well for towing a drift boat behind us, using the electric jacks to put it in the camp ground, and then have the truck to fish out of and tow the drift boat or pontoon boats around. The problem is that it gets a little small for more than 2 weeks. Our thought (not yet implemented) is a 5th wheel toy hauler. With a 12' garage, we can easily store our 2 man Scadden Pontoon and even the 10' trailer. The dog kennels also fit nicely in the garage. The garage door makes into a nice patio, and the interior is quite luxurious! The one we really like is the Keystone Raptor 332 TS http://www.keystonerv.com/raptor/ with a King Sized bed it is really nice inside and a lot less than a $200,000 motor home. It also has a large generator, auxiliary fuel tanks and a 6 jack hydraulic leveling. Check it out! Rick
     
  5. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I saw a nice travel trailer on a highway in Ill.. It was in about 1000 pieces. It must of came off from what it was hooked up to. Freeways are just about as bad on travel trailers as deer are.
     
  6. Steve Vaughn

    Steve Vaughn Member

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    The wife and I are also pondering this topic. We have a 24' Passport (Keystone) travel trailer which is nice and light, set up the way we need it, but will be too small when we start spending longer trips in it (3 years to retirement). She likes the comfort of a Class A but it seems to limiting as Ive and Rick have mentioned. Rick, I like your consideration of a toy hauler. Not something I considered before but seems to cover the bases for hauling a small boat. I'll be interested in updates as you all work through your decisions.
     
  7. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    We have a truck camper as well and you are right...work great for a week or two, but way too confining for full time travel. It is however just awesome for most of our short term travel needs...can go just about anywhere we care to camp/fish.

    I posted the question about putting dogs in a 5th wheel while on the road in one of the RV forums and most said that's not a good idea. In addition to being pretty bumpy, it can get pretty warm inside. Some said they do, but the majority said don't do it. We have looked at the "man cave" 5th wheels, but the wife isn't so sure...I think she imagines late night parties with guys belly laughing, scratching and carrying on :D.

    All things considered, a 5th wheel is probably the most economical route and that's what we had been focusing on until walking through our neighbors rigs; a 40' Monaco Dynasty and 38' Pheaton diesel pushers... that didn't help. It's always good to hear from those making similar decision where fishing factors into the equation.
     
  8. ScottP

    ScottP Active Member

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    We were all set to take the 5th wheel/dually plunge last year until I got cold feet; climbing on top of a 34' Mobile Suites and sighting down the spine I realized I was gonna be attempting to guide 50' of wheeled missile down the highway.
    Took a step back from the edge, and just recently we bought this

    [​IMG]

    Wife put an add in one of the fiberglass rv forums and darned if we didn't get a call the next day from a couple in Polson (about 60 miles down the road) with the exact model we were looking for.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
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  9. IveofIone

    IveofIone Active Member

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    Some more thoughts on this subject for those on the RV fence. I have witnessed almost the entire history of RVing in this country during my lifetime. From the original travel trailers with their gas lamps and beautiful wood paneling to today's Plastic Castles. And known dozens of couples who have made the plunge at one level or another. Most all of them have played RV Roulette in search of the perfect solution and the most common mistake they have made is to error on the side of too big. Today's 'camping' is a far cry from what we did back in RVing's Golden Age. Back then many campgrounds were free, most units were of a modest size and crowding was pretty much unheard of.

    But now there are millions of them on the highways, parks are crowded and expensive and rigs are packed in like sardines, sometimes no more than 10' apart. The bigger the rig the more difficult it is to manipulate and at some point the joy of being on the road is trumped by the sheer magnitude of the rig in use. I watched this with my parents who started out in the 60's with a Dodge van camper. They had a ball in that thing, took it to Alaska and all over hell's half acre and stopped whenever and wherever they wanted. Then they moved up to an 18' travel trailer which required a heavier tow vehicle but still managed to get out although not as often. But then my dad got big eyes and sprung for a big Avion that required a still more powerful rig. They took it back east but by then the joy was gone as the size of the rig overwhelmed the freedom of being on the road.

    By now I have concluded that most people just hate 'camping' and simply want another home to take on the road. And as Freestoneangler confessed, neighbor envy can sometimes get in the way of a clear decision. Hence the bigger is better syndrome along with it's corollary--keeping up with the Jones's. Maybe that huge rig isn't the dream come true it is advertised to be. You can still go more places in a smaller rig that is easier to park and use motels for a pleasent change of pace.

    Don't make it too easy, travel is supposed to be an adventure. And by adventure I don't mean trying to park a 38' motorhome in a 35' slot.

    Ive
     
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  10. Mark Kulikov

    Mark Kulikov Active Member

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    No easy answer. It's quite simply a matter of individual preference. My wife and I have been all over the RV map from truck campers, bumper pulls, fivers, class C & class A. We winter down south near our kids for the holiday season and our Rexhall Aerbus class A gas suits us fine for living but we are point A to point B with it. If my intent was to travel all over the nation while towing, I would opt for a diesel rig. On the other hand, my full timer parents prefer the diesel truck and a 38 ft fiver. Again it's individual preference. If traveling all over, what you feel comfortable and confident driving/towing should be high on your consideration. Larger may be more comfortable but can be limiting insofar as campgrounds. Smaller may be more economical but for full timing, a too small space may drive you insane.
     
  11. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

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    I've also tried them all.
    We've had a 21.5' Jayco Lite 5th wheel for several years now and it serves the 2 of us very well.
    Pulls easily with our '98 Dodge Ram 1500 with the small V-8 (360). Slows down a bit on a long, uphill grade, but at my age, I'm in no hurry.
    Short bed, but I put an extended hitch on the 5th wheel for a longer span between the trailer/truck cab.
     
  12. Dave Evans

    Dave Evans Active Member

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    Anything you get will be a compromise. It really depends on what kind of traveling you are planning on doing. If you plan on jumping from RV park to RV park then I would go for as big as I could afford! But that rules out staying almost anywhere else. We upgraded our RV about four years ago. We looked at some larger ones but almost all of our use is on forest service land in some primitive campgrounds. We went with a 24' travel trailer (Arctic Fox) because that works well on dirt roads and it fits in the USFS sites, or even boondocking. We also put in solar and an on-board lp generator just for this.
     
  13. Dutchman

    Dutchman Tom Van Gelder

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  14. Dutchman

    Dutchman Tom Van Gelder

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    Have had two 5th wheels over the past 15 years. Based o some of the other replies I would go with the 5th wheel over the class A. A lot less overall costs and, if you hang on to the camper it is easy to pop out the 5th wheel hitch and slide the camper back in for short trips.

    I agree with one of the relies that I can't get my 30 footer in some of the Forest Service sites I could my previous 22 footer, but few extended trips the added space was nice.

    Tom
     
  15. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    THIS is some serious wisdom. Have you done a tour of those "RV parks"? Most are absurd. It's a parking lot in the middle of the forest. There's probably a higher population density in most RV parks than a typical suburb.

    I rented an RV with a buddy for a big road trip. We did a big loop through Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. By the fourth day we were parking the stupid thing in hotel parking lots, paying the extra $20 for a real hotel room (most RV lots wanted to charge $60-70) and leaving the RV in the lot empty.

    Different strokes for different folks - but imagine how many truly AWESOME vacations you could take for $200,000. Rent an RV the size you're eyeballs are planning to buy. I think you'll find driving a rickety, squeeky, noisy, drafty velvetta box with wheels a bit less awesome than you might have thought.