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Old 07-12-2016, 12:11 PM   #1
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Question Features for full-time FW

Are there any special features we should be looking for in a FW as full-timers? Our plans are to travel around the US, staying in one place until we have seen the sites and then moving on. It just the 2 of us for the most part but grandkids may join us from time to time.

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 07-12-2016, 12:59 PM   #2
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This will be a long list, so here is my contribution:

Full-size residential fridge with 12V inverter. We go through a lot of fresh food that requires refrigeration between just the wifey and I as it is, I can't imagine trying to do that with a regular RV fridge. Even the new double door ones that are out are still kinda small in comparison. The residential fridges are also much more consistent than the propane fridges.
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Old 07-12-2016, 01:07 PM   #3
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Roof a/cs are terribly noisy, inefficient. If possible basement air. Dense foam insulation instead of standard open cell. Dual pane windows. I like residential fridge. Even if boondocking the new energy efficient units work well and use low power. Forget the oven, they cook terrible.
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:07 PM   #4
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Stacked washer and dryer. Dryer vented to the outside and unless you want to wash frequently, stay away from the compact combination washer/dryer.
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:35 PM   #5
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Washer and dryer is a personal choice. Many don't mind or even enjoy washing at the camp laundry mat. Get to socialize some. Also get all done in an evening or morning where our units are so small it takes days for us.
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Old 07-12-2016, 03:30 PM   #6
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I guess a lot depends upon what tow vehicle you now have or are planning on getting. If I were to FT I would get the longest rig I felt comfortable with. Somewhere around 40' is a nice size unless you're going to be staying in a bunch of state parks. I haven't found a state park I can't park mine in but I bet a bunch of people will chime in. Definitely a residential fridge unless you are doing a bunch of boondocking. A washer/dryer of some kind is really nice. Two AC units at a minimum. Automatic leveling is a must. I would look for a unit that says it is rated for full timing. Get a rig with the biggest storage area possible. Let us know what you decide and good luck, sounds like fun.
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Old 07-12-2016, 03:53 PM   #7
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Our unit is 40' but I know of others who are content with 36'. We had a 32' and we always were lacking in space. It is difficult to get a decent size fridge in anything short of 38'. Ours is 22 cubic ft and serves us nicely. Also have fireplace and large tv. The shorter one is the less you get.
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Old 07-12-2016, 04:44 PM   #8
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We have a 39 foot FW with 3 roof top ACs, a residential fridge, no washer/dryer, king bed, and plenty of kitchen cabinet space. If I could have one more thing to this equation, it would be a bath and a 1/2. My DW sometimes 'camps' out in our one bath and having a 1/2 would be money!
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Old 07-12-2016, 04:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanny1763 View Post
We have a 39 foot FW with 3 roof top ACs, a residential fridge, no washer/dryer, king bed, and plenty of kitchen cabinet space. If I could have one more thing to this equation, it would be a bath and a 1/2. My DW sometimes 'camps' out in our one bath and having a 1/2 would be money!
We have the same features but added a washer & dryer (Splendide) Wife loves not having to carry laundry basket to campground laundry.
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Old 07-12-2016, 07:37 PM   #10
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Residential Fridge and mattress. two portable 2k Yamaha generators for when we boondock (1-2 weeks at a time) + solar to cut noise but, not necessary otherwise. The second gen is only used for A/C. otherwise one will do. Mostly we're hooked up to the grid and stay several weeks in each move. Wash/Drier combo, heat pump & fireplace heater are used a lot seasonally. Our small induction cooktop & microwave/convection oven are used almost every day when on the grid. No propane oven needed. A small Mr Buddy heater works well when off-grid to save the electric used by the furnace fan. Auto level is great and you might consider an air ride hitch to reduce driving fatigue. We love ours! We've been very happy with our setup for three years.
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:19 AM   #11
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Here are my top 4 choices for requirements for a full-time RV.

1. Residential fridge with inverter. When you're in the RV 24/7/365 you don't want to be having to run to the grocery store every few days, and you don't want a lot of food spoilage that you may get with a less efficient RV fridge. The inverter allows the fridge to keep running when you're on the road.

2. Washer/dryer (preferable stacked, but go with a combo if that's all that will fit. IMO, the convenience of being able to do laundry anytime you want (even when you're out) far outweighs the loss of space.

3. Dual pane windows. They cut down on condensation and excess moisture in cool weather and they keep the rig cooler in hot weather. Dual pane windows also cut down on noise inside the rig. When you're full time, barking dogs, noisy neighbors and loud radios outside get real old real fast.

4. Second air conditioner. When you're parked in the hot sun in the summer with no shade one AC just won't keep an RV bigger than about 32' cool. Make sure the RV has ACs with ducted outlets AND inlets. The ducting really cuts down on the noise from the AC units.
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:11 AM   #12
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Electric/hydraulic disc brakes. Far superior to the electric drum brakes found on most trailers.
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennwest View Post
Dense foam insulation instead of standard open cell.
I think I need to learn the terminology. What is "open cell" insulation?
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:43 PM   #14
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Electric/hydraulic disc brakes. Far superior to the electric drum brakes found on most trailers.
YES! We have had them on our last 2 5th wheels and would not buy one without them. That may limit your selection, unless you add an aftermarket system.

Regarding the washer/dryer, we have never had them even though both of our trailers were prepped for them. We only do wash every few weeks, normally do 5-6 loads at once, so we use the campground laundry unless it is small...then we go into town!

Ours has a full apartment size LP stove which the wife just loves!!! Unfortunately I am gaining weight from all the baking!!!! Previous trailer had convection/microwave which was not a good.

fyi - Current 5er is almost 42'L, previous was 39'.
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