Moving into a Travel Trailer or 5th wheel

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Debrakh25

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Jul 15, 2006
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Hello,  I am new to this whole RV thing, but it looks like My husband and two kids and I might be moving out of our house, and into a travel trailer or 5th wheel.  We cant afford the housing prices in California anymore.  We are looking at The 2006 Forest River Cardinal 362BH (40 ft), Cardinal 33TBH (36 ft), and the Cardinal T35TBH (38 ft travel trailer).  I need advice.  Are we crazy for thinking we can pull this off.  Please give me any feedback.
Thanks, Debra
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Well, you will be downsizing to something like 350 sq feet of living space, versus whatever you have now. Probably 1200-2000 sq feet?  A family of 4, full time in an RV is, ah, very intimate.  But can it be done? Sure. And I can readily see why it would be appealing, given the cost of housing in CA (and elsewhere) these days.

If you plan to park it somewhere indefinitely and live in it, you might consider what is called a "park model".  It is a 400 sq ft RV that is designed to be parked in one place rather than moved around every few days. It will have residential-type appliances and will not waste space and money on facilities designed for travelers, e.g. the dual 12V/120V power systems, a hitch on the front, etc.

Have you loked into the availability and costs of a place to park it?  RV site rental can be pretty expensive too, in a region where land values have skyrocketed.

Cardinal makes a nice trailer. However, be aware that RVs are not really constructed for the rigors of full time use, especially by a growing family. In general, cabinetry, furniture, even walls will be lighter in weight and less robust. You will likely see more wear & tear than you would in your house.
 

Karl

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Debra,

I'm curious about where you got those length numbers from.
362BH (40 ft), Cardinal 33TBH (36 ft), and the Cardinal T35TBH (38 ft travel trailer)
According to the manufacturers website, the first 2 digits of the model number is the length, so the 33TBH would be 33' long, the 35TBH would be 35', and the 362BH would be 36'; not the numbers you posted. If you are planning on traveling and not staying in one spot, another important consideration would be the tow vehicle. If you can give us more details about your plans, and what you may already have for a truck, we can be more helpful with our answers. 
 

Debrakh25

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Jul 15, 2006
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Well, Actually as far as the length goes, I thought the same thing as you until I printed out the Floor Plans on Forest River Inc.  Im just giving the info from their website.  And as far as a TRuck to pull it with...Im not concerned with that right now.  We will be parking it at a family members house or at a permanent campsite and if need be will borrow something to tow with just to get it there.  We are open to suggestions.  I just want to try this for a few years to save up some $$$ to buy a house.
 

Alaskansnowbirds

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Debrakh25 said:
We will be parking it at a family members house or at a permanent campsite and if need be will borrow something to tow with just to get it there.  We are open to suggestions.  I just want to try this for a few years to save up some $$$ to buy a house.

Debra,

If in fact you're parking it permanently I would follow Gary's recommendation and look into what is called a "Park Model". They are much more suited for what you want to do and will give you more room than a RV type trailer. They also have house type appliances in them. Most park model dealers will set it up on your site for you.
 

Shayne

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Park Models definitely have more room and would be more practical for living than a camper of any sort.  I know 1st hand, I have too park models, living in one and remodeling the other to eventually move into it and renting this one.  Also have a 37 ft MH and there is no comparison in  the convenience or space.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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According to the manufacturers website, the first 2 digits of the model number is the length, so the 33TBH would be 33' long, the 35TBH would be 35', and the 362BH would be 36'; not the numbers you posted.

Debra (and Karl too),
The numbers you are quoting are the overall external length. The first two digits of the model number indicate the interior living space length, as determined by the standard measurement system approved by the RVIA. The standard measurement is designed to avoid just this sort of confusion - it allows you to compare the standard length specs for  trailers from different manufacturers.  In other words, the 36TBH is about 36 feet long down the centerline of the interior - much less than the 40+ feet of overall exterior length.

Shame on Cardinal for featuring the big but mostly meaningless number instead of the standard length spec.
 

Gthomp

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Dec 28, 2010
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We are in the same situation. Not the house affordability necessarily,  but more related to the only work available is not local nor permanent.  I wonder how many other people are in the same boat.

I am looking at the Cardinal T35TBH also and the Dutchmen 38B-DSL - both fairly sizeable.

Did you end up finding what you needed?
 

Johncmr

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Jan 11, 2007
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I was told that in order to be considered a RV, that the total floor space must be less than 440 sq feet, that's 110 feet a person - closets, storage cabinets and kitchen counters.  In Maryland, the RV MUST be un-occupied at least 60 days a year, or the zoning where it's placed must allow for a Trailer Park.  Probably need to check that out where you are.

Another consideration.  Water (fairly simple) but sewer lines are another matter.  If the family members have a clean-out near where you're going to set up, maybe OK.  If they have a septic system, and it's near the rig, also a possibility.  If not, could be a problem.

I agree with others here that you need a park model, the regular household type refrigerator, furnace, and other appliances are much better suited to daily use by kids and families.  Another point is that you will not be paying for stuff you don't need, like the electrical slide mechanisms, and, in many cases, a 12v converter/battery system.

I can appreciate the effort to economize, and wish you well.

johncmr
 

Derby6

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Gthomp said:
Did you end up finding what you needed?

Considering Debra only has seven posts on this website and this thread was started by her over 4 years ago (15 July 2006), I wouldn't hold my breath for an answer. ;D
 
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