Class C, %5h wheel or bumper pull?

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jd47

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hope I'm posting in the right place  :)  We've been thinking about getting an RV for some time... we would get away several times during the warm months (we farm in WY. so summer getaways would be limited)...and take any extended trips during the winter months.

Budget is fairly limited, we would have to buy a used unit.  The most important things would be the motor if we get a Class C, if we get a bumper pull or 5th wheel...and also with a Class C, the tanks capacity, plumbing, electrical are top priority...the way the inside looks is secondary because we can fix it up...

to begin, I would like to get as many opinions as possible on which type to get...Class C, bumper pull or 5th wheel. We have a 3/4 ton pickup truck. If we were certain that a bumper pull won't be scary, like fishtailing or going down hill or in very windy conditions, that is the type that would get us the most for our money.

We don't know which ones to start looking at...can you guys help?

Thanks so much
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Since you already have a (probably) suitable truck, a trailer makes the most sense for limited use. A properly set up travel trailer (bumper pull) shouldn't be scary to drive if it is not too large for your tow vehicle. And a 5W is even more stable when on the road.

No need to apologize for buying used - we recommend it!

Can you explain your wants and needs a bit better? What is the max eight your truck can safely tow (Max Tow Rating)? How many people need to be accommodated in this RV? Anybody real tall, like maybe need a king bed or high ceilings?  Will you be camping in very hot or very cold places? Will campsites have electri, water and sewer available?  Etc. Etc. etc.
 

Mopar1973Man

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I agree with Gary... He's right on the ball like usual.  8)

Travel trailers seem very difficult for a newbie. Having all the length behind you. As long as you take your time and drive slow and easy you pick up quickly. As for the travel trailer I enjoy the idea of dropping the home somewhere and having the use of my truck to get around and lookie loo about the area.

But yes like Gary said we would need some weight specs of your current truck to give you idea what you can buy.
 

jd47

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Thanks to both of you for the help.

Our truck is a 3/4 ton, 4 wheel drive...we farm for a living and also have cows and horses...we have a 26ft goosneck horse trailer, we also pull flatbed trailer for some of our irrigating stuff, like gated pipe...my husband can drive anything, tow anything.

Several years ago we had a bumper pull horse trailer and we were hauling an old Bull and two cull cows to the sales...the Bull evidently got the partician in the trailer open and started moving around :mad: and the trailer fishtailed, we did a 180 into a ditch on the highway shoulder and tipped the trailer & truck...we were fine, and the stupid Bull & 2 cows just walked on out of the tipped trailer...but, shortly after, we got the gooseneck...kind of spooks us now to have a bumper pull RV...but it's sure do-able.

One of our sons has a 26ft. bumper pull and has had it up & down the mountains here, on the highway for longer trips and with the stable bars, sway bar, or whatever you call them, he did say the trailer has never offered to fishtail or walk...and he's driven it in on snowy roads too...so we are beginning to feel more comfortable about a bumper pull.

In looking for an RV I know you can get alot more bang for your buck with a bumper pull, and our truck would have no problem pulling one.  It's just the 2 of us and 2 dogs...we don't need anything real big or tall...in fact, would rather stay smaller...maybe no longer than 21ft, would do us just fine.

The most important things would be the plumbing and electrical...we can carry a generator, we have one, and if need be, extra water...but would like to keep the load as light as possible for better fuel mileage...it's the 'guts' of what ever we do get that are top priority. And because we would use it during the winter...good insulation is a must.

Not sure what type weather we'd be traveling in...but would think besides the heat of summer, as I said, with farming, most of our free time comes in the winter, and living in WY., even going to warmer climates for a trip we'd still have to drive through WY and probably Colorado or Idaho or Montana to get anywhere...

we would try and avoid staying at RV campgrounds, and when ever possible, stay someplace where there are no hook ups...so we'd need something with large capacity tanks...

anything else you guys need to help me?

I appreciate this...thanks  :)

PS...just noticed I messed up my topic title!!
 

Larry N.

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It sounds as if you have conflicting requirements in some cases, such as a small (21 ft) unit with large tanks (fresh water, grey water, black water, propane). Smaller units are also less likely to be much use in the winter, as they don't retain heat well (larger ones may be somewhat better, but nothing like a house). Temps in the 20's are one thing, but near and below zero is unlikely to be tenable if you're in a small unit for more than a day or so.

Don't worry about pulling a travel trailer (TT), so long as you have an adequate hitch arrangement and good tires, because there shouldn't be any livestock walking around in it.  ;D
 

jd47

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Larry N. said:
It sounds as if you have conflicting requirements in some cases, such as a small (21 ft) unit with large tanks (fresh water, grey water, black water, propane). Smaller units are also less likely to be much use in the winter, as they don't retain heat well (larger ones may be somewhat better, but nothing like a house). Temps in the 20's are one thing, but near and below zero is unlikely to be tenable if you're in a small unit for more than a day or so.

Don't worry about pulling a travel trailer (TT), so long as you have an adequate hitch arrangement and good tires, because there shouldn't be any livestock walking around in it.  ;D

No...just the dogs  ;D

I would have thought a small TT would be easier to heat...when our kids were small we had a small TT, old, no bathroom, we'd take it out in Dec. before Xmas to cut down a tree and made a couple days fun out of it...it was cold, but that little thing stayed nice & warm...one year during the night it snowed...alot...we headed home, this is in a very remote area, and no cell phones back then...I don't know how my husband got us out of there...the pickup didn't even have 4 wheel drive...

but, anyway...we could go for a 24ft. unit...but we know it'll be hard to find one with large tanks...mostly we want that because we would try to avoid RV campgrounds. When I said we'd do most of the traveling during the winter, I should have also said that if it looked like a planned trip would include sub freezing temps, we'd probably stay home...we're tough, but not stupid  ;D ;) ;D
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Avoiding camp grounds means you need to carry a lot of fresh water and have big waste tanks as well. Plus, you need a large battery bank to supply power, unless you are much more power-frugal than most modern families, and probably a large solar panel(s) to keep up the charge. None of that is consistent with a smaller trailer, even figuring on a lot of customization.

Small travel trailers are usually cheaply made - the low end is where the market for them lies. That means thin walls, single pane glass, etc.  Of course, a small space is easier to heat than a large one, but it still loses a lot of heat as well.
 

jd47

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Thank you... I came here for advice, and I'm getting it... maybe we should consider a 5th wheel...or maybe it doesn't matter, but you have to be aware of the best made units, regardless of TT or 5th wheel...
I understand what you're saying...and it does make sense.  If we do this, no doubt we;ll have this unit forever...so it better be a well made bugger in all aspects... we don't really want one that's so long it's hard to manuever in smaller places, what size would you guys recommend in order for it to hold heat well in cold weather and have as large of tanks & power as possible?

If a guy is handy, like my husband, farming and before that the oil patch, he's brilliant and very handy...could he maybe 'customize' certain things, like bigger tanks? We do have a generator.

Thanks...say...took a peek at your profile...are you near Ocala?
 

jd47

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Well, we have a very modest home here on the farm, and wish we had 1,200sqft  :)  I'm from Brooklyn, NY and worked with Thoroughbred horses for a long time at Belmont Park...we'd ship down to Miami for the winters, Hialeah (I'm happy Brunetti got it fixed up & open again, next step is getting Thoroughbred racing back...gorgeous race track)...and for a time, left the race track to live and work ona Thoroughbred breeding farm in Ocala...I absolutley loved it there...I really didn't want to go back to NY and under different circumstances, I would have stayed... and I'd love to get back there for a visit sometime, I'd like my husband to se Ocala...and I have relatives in Miami. The National Forest is beautiful.

I know the area has really grown, I can't imagine the changes since I lived there back in the early 70's.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I can't imagine the changes since I lived there back in the early 70's.

Just the changes in the 18 years we have lived there are incredible. It's like an entire new city grew up on the southwest side of Ocala! The Forest hasn't changed all that much, though. Growth is just beginning on the east (Silver Springs) side of Ocala.
 

jd47

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I bet they are... several years ago I got up a map of the Ocala area...it blew me away. I can't recall, the road the farm I lived & worked on was on...a highway...Harbor Veiw Farm was 'next' to us, and thre was another road that was beside the farm that lead to Fred Hooper's farm... Bent Tree & Bionnie Heath farms were on tyhe same highway...I should get Google Earth up and look again.
We's go to Silver Springs for something to do once in a while. Disney World had just been completed, at least the firt stage of it, and I went and had a great time...looks like that place has grown also...many additions.

The forest better not ever change...that would be a crime. Do you ever visit any of the Thoroughbred farms down there?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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We sometimes take visitors for a drive and view the farms from the highways, but have never actually visited one. We live on the opposite (east) side of the county from most of the horse farms, though there are some smaller hobby farms closer to us in the northeast part. All the big thoroughbred farms are west of the city or along the southwest edge.

HITS (Horses In The Sun) is a big equine event every winter, roughly mid-January thru early March, attracting many participants and visitors.
 

jd47

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You should try and visit a couple of the farms after Jan. 1st...feb., March or April to see the mares with their foals...there is few things more fun and heartwarming than seeing the babies...the first time I got involved with the foals was IT for me...and my new big dream was to have my own...it took a very long time, but it all came true for me...thanks to a Champion & Kentucky derby winner named Foolish Pleasure...who was foaled & raised in the Ocala area...it's a long story, but I did get my own Thoroughbred mares and raised some outstanding foals here in WY...where, I might add, Foolish Pleasure is buried...

Thanks for that link, it didn't work, but I know about HITS...I'm always up with the horse world...mostly Thoroughbreds and follow racing closley...

have a good one, Gary  :)
 

Rancher Will

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JD47, since you state that you are familiar with farm trailers, etc., then you will have no trouble with any RV trailer, 5th Wheel or bumper pull.

I am a cattle rancher with trailers, such as Stock and horse trailers, flatbeds, etc. If you are like we are, then you are already pulling trailers that are heavier than any RV that you will buy. And if you haul livestock then you are already familiar with shifting of the trailer from shifting loads, wind resistance, power needed on grades, etc., in short, pulling an RV wil be a snap compared to pulling your farm trailers.
 

jd47

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:)  Thanks, Rancher Will...indeed, other than being a bit parinoid about bumper pulls because of the incident I mentioned with the Bull & cows, we know we can pull anything and back it up into a space too.  I do feel better concerning getting a bumper pull RV with what folks have said here and that one of our son's has a 26ft BP camper and has had no problems with stability.

Again, I think you can get more bang for your buck in getting a bumper pull...the 5th wheels are fantastic, and if money was no object, we'd get one of those, heck, if money was no object we'd seriously consider getting a Class C...that'd be great because it's all one unit, one of us can rest, eat, or whatever while the other is driving and the dogs would enjoy being in the thing rather than sitting on the back seat of the truck  ;D all day!!

Regardless of what we get, the main concern is that we would RV during the winter months...we sure won't head out someplace where we know the weather is forecasting freezing temps or a big snow...but once you leave home...ya never know!!
So, top priority is an RV that's very well insulated, that the electric is 100% reliable, that the plumbing is heat taped and well insulated...you know what I'm saying...and also, larger than normal tanks because most often we won't be in designated RV campgrounds...

are we wanting too much?  ;D

I see you live in the CO. mountains... I lived in Silt for a while...way up on a mountian working on a ranch there.
 
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