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Author Topic: Newbie looking for winter tips - Colorado  (Read 2801 times)

btm1001

  • Posts: 2
Newbie looking for winter tips - Colorado
« on: June 25, 2007, 01:12:23 PM »
Greetings all,
I'm a Colorado native, but always tent camped (or snow caved) and what not.  That is still my preference for seeing the outdoors, but a new love/hate has me thinking about doing a bit of RV'ing.  This last winter was the first one that I really hit the slopes hard, got up about 14-15 times and really loved it more each day as I pushed myself.  I absolutely hated the 5:30AM wake up for the drive to hit first chair, and the 3 Red Bulls for the drive home isn't exactly the safest.  I stayed a weekend up in Winter Park, got a great deal on lodging, but it was still a bit of $.  So Greetings all,
I'm a Colorado native, but always tent camped (or snow caved) and what not.  That is still my preference for seeing the outdoors, but a new love/hate has me thinking about doing a bit of RV'ing.  This last winter was the first one that I really hit the slopes hard, got up about 14-15 times and really loved it more each day as I pushed myself.  I absolutely hated the 5:30AM wake up for the drive to hit first chair, and the 3 Red Bulls for the drive home isn't exactly the safest.  I stayed a weekend up in Winter Park, got a great deal on lodging, but it was still a bit of $.  So I'm toying with becoming a weekend ski bum. 

My thoughts are to buy an old fugly truck with a even worse TC/slide in.  I could drive up after work on Friday, stay somewhere near the resorts, board Saturday and Sunday and come home early on Sunday missing the horrible traffic.  As an added bonus, I could enjoy the fresh powder without stressing over the drive up. 

I've read a bit on here and rv.net, learned bunches.  Thanks to those who have gone before me!  Here is what I have picked up so far.

Tow Vehicle (TV) - Goal is to hit about 2K as a purchase price.  I want 4x4, simply for the snow, not really planning to go offroading or anything.  An extended cab would be nice for the passenger space (kinda silly to have sleeping space for 4, but passenger space for 3).

truck camper(TC)/slide in - Again, max of 2K to buy.  For this guy, all I *think* i know is that I would like a hard side for the added insulation factor.  Heat source is a MUST.  Prefer a toilet of some type for those 3AM -3 degrees F situations.  Nice to have would be a fridge and a stove.  AC would be neat for entertainment, but I can just grab a laptop or a portable DVD player if need be.  Sleep a friendly 4, most use is prolly going to be just by 2 or 3. 

My questions:
1) trucks - I know that people overload with few issues all the time, but since I'm going with an older vehicle (hopefully 80's, not 70's) I'm thinking that is a bad idea - stick to the ratings. Is that enough of a safety factor, or should I be de-rating the TV's ratings by x% per year in age?

2) If I am not going to overload, I'd probably better go with a F-250 or higher.  Bit of a shame, since there are tons of used 150's all the time.  What are comparable vehicles in the Chevy/GM world (thinking older imports just won't cut it).  Like the F250=a Dodge Ram 2500?  Can someone educate me on what I should be looking at.

3) Danger/warning things to look at on trucks - That old I imagine I'm going to have some leaks - what ones are "ok"?  How much rust is acceptable, and how much means that my bed camper is going to become a rear axle camper as soon as I put it in?

4)Advice from people who have done ski trips in Colorado.  I'm probably getting the 5 mountain pass (Vail, Beaver Creek, Arapaho Basin, Breckenridge, Keystone).  Any hints on where to park, best spots for camaraderie, etiquette (does one relocate the vehicle first thing in the AM so you are closer to the slopes, or do you just take the bus in?).  Also, any hints on accessible hot tubs/recreation centers?

5) General winter RV'ing advice - and no, none of the "move south and go water-skiing instead" type of advice ;)

6)If anyone knows of specific brands I should be more interested in than others, I'd love to know.  I imagine that a fair number of campers from that era are out of business now, so web searches aren't the easiest. 

7) All my window shopping so far has been on Craigslist.  Tons of choices there, but should I be checking other places as well?

Thanks in advance for any advice, Looking forward to giving this a go.

Brian

PancakeBill

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  • Bill & Jolene/USA 97 Southwind 35P
    • WorKamping in Yellowstone
Re: Newbie looking for winter tips - Colorado
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2007, 12:37:40 PM »
Wow, a 4K investment.  Something to protect you from 3 deg weather.  #1, no soft side, unless you really like a snow cave.  But a snow cave will usually be a lot smaller and won't be as hard to heat. 

Trucks, Don't even consider a 150 1/2 ton class.  250/2500 is 3/4 ton, 350/3500 is 1 ton.  These don't really cost much more, just harder to find.  Look underneath for rust, you are in a snow and salt area.  Look close at frame rails. 

Really only want to spend 2k on truck?  I think a 95 to 97 F-250 /350 might be in that area.  Mine had 185k miles when I traded and I would have mostly trusted it.  However, I had issues with the brake lines in the last year I owned it.  That could be real interesting coming down the mtn. 

TC, look for discolor at ceiling seams indicitave of a leak.  It leaks and finds it way around, can destroy wood framing.  This makes them flexible side to side.  Not good. 

F/G or alum side.  Most likely only find alum, and it weighs less typically. 

Personally, at 4K investment, I don't think I would be going up mtns in winter.  I don't think you will find a pair of units that would meet the quality I would want for that kind of use.

Good luck in the search, and Craigslist will be the best bet.  That and the local RV trader type book.  Dealers aren't likely to have something to sell at that price. 

Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
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