New to RVing, need advice

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thenestles

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Aug 13, 2005
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Hello all.  Please help with some advice if possible.

We are looking to begin our RV lives here soon.  We are a growing family, currently 3 young boys, 7, 5, 1.5 and one cooking (due in Jan).  I am an RN and could take 13 week travel assignments.  The big debate we are having is what kind of set-up would be best?  Would it be better to have a class A or fifth wheel?  We are not a rich family, but would plan on selling our house and living primarily out of the RV until we find land and have a new house built (if possible). 

What experiences have you all had?  I don't have a truck yet, but have a van we can use as a "toad". 

Thanks for replies.

 

rhmahoney

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With a family, the fifth wheel option is best. Finding 2 bedrooms in a class A is most unlikely. You will probably have to have a rig built custom to get enough sleeping space. Go upscale enough to get good insulation and double pane windows.
 

Jim Dick

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thenestles said:
Hello all.  Please help with some advice if possible.

We are looking to begin our RV lives here soon.  We are a growing family, currently 3 young boys, 7, 5, 1.5 and one cooking (due in Jan).  I am an RN and could take 13 week travel assignments.  The big debate we are having is what kind of set-up would be best?  Would it be better to have a class A or fifth wheel?  We are not a rich family, but would plan on selling our house and living primarily out of the RV until we find land and have a new house built (if possible). 

What experiences have you all had?  I don't have a truck yet, but have a van we can use as a "toad". 

Thanks for replies.

A fifth wheel or travel trailer are your best options. Both have some models with "bunk houses". Some have 2 bunks and others have 4. I've seen 2 bunks in a 5th wheel but haven't seen 4 yet but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

 

edjunior

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Actually, this Titanium has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 4 bunks, and is pretty dang neat.  This may be what you're looking for for a family the size you have.  Check it out.

http://www.glendalerv.com/2005/Titanium/36E41.html
 

Jim Dick

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Ed,

That's quite a floor plan! Only problem I see is the small living area. Might be tight with all those kids!! :) Looks like a medium duty hauler might be required for that one!

 

thenestles

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Thanks everyone for the replies.  That Titanium is awesome!  I will have to check that out. 

When you say medium duty hauler... I assume you mean a f250 type?  On that note, which would be better... 250 or 350? 

 

edjunior

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Well, you know, the way those Titaniums are set up, it almost looks like a 250/2500 would pull 'em.  At least the smaller ones.  But I don't think I'd try it, especially that big one, with anything less than a 350/3500, with a diesel and tow package.  That's still a lot of trailer!
 

thenestles

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I was thinking the same, that a 350/3500 would be better.  since I am new to rving and towing I am a little worried about driving that beast around.  I don't think I will have much of a problem, but that is a huge setup to start with. 

Do most rv'ers have 4 wheel drive or 2 wheel as their tow vehicle?  I am leaning toward 4x4, but it looks like that lowers the tow rating.  Is there ever a time that one would be towing in 4x4?
 

edjunior

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The main reason I've seen for having a 4X4 is for parking/setup.  People seem to have some trouble slipping and sliding at their campsite sometimes.  Otherwise, the 4X4 is not necessary for towing, that I've seen.  Surely someone that has all the 5er experience will jump in and confirm/deny this.
 

N Smock

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< Is there ever a time that one would be towing in 4x4?>

The answer is yes it is a very handy feature to have. In most cases it is not necessary but I have been to places where you are on the wet slippery grass and all you do is spin. I also have been in campgrounds where the roads are nuddy after the rain and are very slippery. Another plus is that if you live up north it's great in snow.

Nelson
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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An F250 or F350 is not a "medium duty" hauler - they are classed as "light duty" trucks.    Medium duty refers to the next size class up, for example  a Chevy 4500 or 5500 or an International 4700. These can be tailored with bodies designed for recreational towing - see the Western Hauler web site for some examples. http://www.westernhauler.com/

At 15,000 lbs of dry weight, that big Titanium will exceed the GCWR of an F350 or Dodge/Chevy 3500 when loaded, though quite a few people do indeed tow trailers that size with F350's and 3500's.    And F450 or F550 might handle it and still be within the trucks hauling specs.  The fulltimer next to me is towing a 17,000 lb, 36 foot  Carriage with a Chevy 3500 diesel and has 90,000 miles on the rig. He says it handles it just fine.  In fact, he just put the first set of new brakes on the truck - front wheels only! Rears are still fine.  Your mileage may vary, though.

 

thenestles

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I read recently in a RV book that a down fall of 5th wheels, especially bigger ones, is that it can be harder to get into smaller camping sites.  Is that true with Class A's as well?  Which of those are easier to park and set up?

 

rhmahoney

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"a down fall of 5th wheels, especially bigger ones, is that it can be harder to get into smaller camping sites.  Is that true with Class A's as well?  Which of those are easier to park and set up?"

My 40 ft (13 meter) class A has independent front suspension and is very maneuverable. I have seen big 5th wheelers struggle to back in to wide open sites that I back into on the 1st try.
 

Ron

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Sam has parked our 40ft American Eagle in some pretty tight places with no problem.  Have even been asked how in the H--- did I get that monster in there to which I reply "No Problem at all fact is it was real easy, I just showed my wife where I wanted it and she just parked it there". ;D ;D ;D

 

Jim Dick

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thenestles said:
I read recently in a RV book that a down fall of 5th wheels, especially bigger ones, is that it can be harder to get into smaller camping sites.  Is that true with Class A's as well?  Which of those are easier to park and set up?

You will find with any larger RV it can be difficult to get into some sites, especially in State and National parks. Of the two I think a Class A is easier to park. I have seen many struggle to get into sites which often can lead to heated discussions between husband and wife. :) Having a spouse guide the driver makes it much easier and safer for either but it's most important, in my opinion, with a 5th wheel as you will lose visual contact with one side once you start to back into a space.

 
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