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Author Topic: Getting started -first time RV buyers looking for a 5th wheel to full time  (Read 1845 times)

The_nuttalls

  • Posts: 3
My husband and I are planning to make a radical life change and hope to be moving into a 5th wheel this time next year.

I know they aren't meant to be the same construction as a house, and I know there are so many reasons why we 'shouldn't'. We just need it to work for 3-4 years.

I won't bore you all with our life story or how we got here, but know that it involves more cross country moves than years, tens of thousands of dollars lost, and a general consensus that we are fed up with standard house living.

We need to be able to move every 10-18mo for my husbands work and instead of constantly living in uncertainty about housing and finances, we want to be able to take our house with us.

From the reading I have done thus far, it seams that Teton Homes and Forest River are the top recommendations for all season RV (we have no idea and no control over what climate we end up in next). We know we will have to adjust our expectations for comfort, but what are the most important considerations we should keep in mind and look for in a 5th wheel year round?

We have never bought an RV and want to make sure we go in as educated as possible. We plan on spending a lot of time looking at models and deciding what we have to have, but as far as how we negotiate or find a fair price, we could use some guidance. Advice? We will be buying used. Dealer or private party better?

How modifiable are most RVs? If we want to change the space for a bigger fridge or add another appliance is that possible?

Any and all advice or reading suggestions would be appreciated.

Frizlefrak

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Re: Creating a mobile 'tiny house' from a 5th wheel.. Lots of questions
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2015, 07:55:40 PM »
There's a whole subforum dedicated to exactly the questions you have.  There are lots of people who full time in an RV successfully, and are willing to share their experiences and tips.

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?board=65.0

Also visit the library....a whole section dedicated to full timing.

http://www.rvforum.net/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=29&Itemid=132

What you're contemplating is very doable, and from what you're describing, is a viable option.  Good luck!!
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SeilerBird

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Re: Creating a mobile 'tiny house' from a 5th wheel.. Lots of questions
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2015, 08:08:22 PM »
Quote
How modifiable are most RVs? If we want to change the space for a bigger fridge or add another appliance is that possible?

There is a saying I heard frequently when I lived in California "You can buy anything you want in California if you have enough money".  Yes you can modify RVs but many changes will be pricey. RVs are not all weather homes. There are people who do live in them year round in cold climates, but the price they pay is ridiculous. Heating an RV in a cold climate is very expensive and very ineffective and very inefficient. If you are going to be staying the winter in a place with a cold climate you would be much better off storing the RV for the winter and renting an apartment. And there are very few RV parks open in the dead of winter in cold climates.
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grashley

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Re: Creating a mobile 'tiny house' from a 5th wheel.. Lots of questions
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2015, 08:14:17 PM »
Welcome to the Forum!!

This sounds like a very good option for you.  There is an awful lot to learn, but this Forum is a wealth of information.  As referenced above, the Library is full of good information.  I would also suggest you read as many older posts as your eyes can tolerate.  Start with today and go back.  Note the different boards - Newcomer, General, Motorhome, 5th Wheel / Trailer, etc.  MANY different issues are addressed - purchase, new vs used, maintenance, upgrades, etc.

If you find specific questions, please ask.  No question is dumb if you do not know the answer.  Many people (like you and me) read this forum and benefit from "dumb" questions others asked.

Good Luck and Happy Reading
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ksbowman

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  • Posts: 97
Re: Creating a mobile 'tiny house' from a 5th wheel.. Lots of questions
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2015, 10:44:25 PM »
We have some friends that are doing exactly what you want to do in the KC area. They spent last year in their Fleetwood 5th . They skirted it with ridged insulation, put reflective bubble type wrap in the windows and supplemented with a couple of electric heaters.(heat tape and insulate all exposed water lines) They also put a regular electric refrigerator in place of their gas/electric smaller rv frig. It worked well for them. they did have to insulate their basement and had a couple 100 watt bulbs under the unit inside the skirting. They were very pleased how well it worked out. Good luck.

steveblonde

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Re: Creating a mobile 'tiny house' from a 5th wheel.. Lots of questions
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2015, 11:50:35 PM »
You have really 3 questions you need to answer 1 what are you expecations some folks are happy in a 28 ft bare bones others in. 45 ft 5 slide granite counter palace 2 what is your budget its gonna determine a lot 3 winter in Minnesota is a lot different than winter in  Florida  where do you think you will be
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« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 11:56:39 PM by steveblonde »
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Creating a mobile 'tiny house' from a 5th wheel.. Lots of questions
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2015, 09:53:35 AM »
You don't have to make a tiny house out of an RV - it already is one. And many RVers live year around ("fulltime") in an RV, so what you want to do is quite common. Some are itinerant workers (medical field, construction,oil, etc), some just retired wanderers, and others seasonal "snowbirds".

Some things in an RV are fairly easy to change, and others nigh impossible. Changing fridges or stoves is a common upgrade, but changing the location of a bath or toilet is rarely feasible. Adding something like a washer/dryer can be fairly simple or a major undertaking, depending on the individual RV.  Best to buy the layout that suits your needs and at least have the necessary wiring & plumbing you need in place.

I have no preference for buying private vs dealer - I would look at any source that has a model & floor plan that works for me. Dealers price a bit higher and most really don't do much to rehab used rigs, but at least they are there and you can negotiate repairs or upgrades as part of the deal. Private sales will be "as is", of course.

You need to go look at a lot of RVs and develop an idea of what size and layout will meet your lifestyle needs. Too often newbies get enamored with the cute facilities and buy too small, not realizing that a tiny bathroom or limited galley space can become a real irritant after a few months of daily living.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

therealsimpsons

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Re: Creating a mobile 'tiny house' from a 5th wheel.. Lots of questions
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2015, 11:13:29 AM »
Recently, I met a guy in a campground who had an Arctic Fox 5th wheel. He told me, and I've read here, that it has a winter package that is useful for colder climates.

You have to do your own research of course. But I would look in to that brand. I wouldn't just read the brochures and listen to the salesman. I would find real owners who full time in cold weather from time to time and ask them.
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The_nuttalls

  • Posts: 3
Getting started -first time RV buyers looking for a 5th wheel to full time
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2015, 11:23:17 AM »
My husband and I are planning to make a radical life change and hope to be moving into a 5th wheel this time next year.

I know they aren't meant to be the same construction as a house, and I know there are so many reasons why we 'shouldn't'. We just need it to work for 3-4 years.

I won't bore you all with our life story or how we got here, but know that it involves more cross country moves than years, tens of thousands of dollars lost, and a general consensus that we are fed up with standard house living.

We need to be able to move every 10-18mo for my husbands work and instead of constantly living in uncertainty about housing and finances, we want to be able to take our house with us.

From the reading I have done thus far, it seams that Teton Homes and Forest River are the top recommendations for all season RV?? I've read good things about keystone Montana as well.. Other Model suggetions? (we have very little to zero control over where we end up next).
We know we will have to adjust our expectations for comfort, but what are the most important considerations we should keep in mind and look for in a 5th wheel year round?

What you pay vs asking price?? We have never bought an RV and want to make sure we go in as educated as possible. We plan on spending a lot of time looking at models and deciding what we have to have, but as far as how we negotiate or find a fair price, we could use some guidance.
Advice? We will be buying used. Dealer or private party better?

How modifiable are most RVs? If we want to change the space for a bigger fridge or add another appliance is that possible? I hope to find one with a stackable washer/dryer and oven already,  but know that we might be wishing for a larger fridge and/or a dishwasher at some point.
I also cannot stand carpet and would want to rip up any carpeting immediately and replace with laminate.. Possible??
How difficult is it to remove and replace furniture?

Any and all advice or reading suggestions would be appreciated.

The_nuttalls

  • Posts: 3
Re: Creating a mobile 'tiny house' from a 5th wheel.. Lots of questions
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2015, 11:26:51 AM »
Thank you everyone for your help! I have moved my post to the more appropriate forum, sorry about that- I missed the full timer section when looking through the different categories. Thanks for the links, I will be spending a lot of time devouring the library!

MTPockets

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  • Posts: 81
  • Full timers, travelled now in 49 States
Re: Getting started -first time RV buyers looking for a 5th wheel to full time
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2015, 03:59:48 PM »
We've been full time & traveling now four years in our Heartland Big Horn.  Just as comfortable living as when we had a large house.  Heartland Landmark & Big Horn are built/warrantied for full time.  Available with residential Refrigerator, have oven, microwave or microwave convection ovens, very comfortable furniture and a variety of floor plans...  Also a number of other Good options...at least check it out.  Good negotiating should get you 30% off manufacturers sticker price. 
'13 F350 DRW
'12 Big Horn 5th Wheel

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Getting started -first time RV buyers looking for a 5th wheel to full time
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2015, 04:22:40 PM »
You already had a bunch of answers so, to keep everything together, I merged your previous topic with the new one.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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