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Old 10-19-2015, 06:05 PM   #1
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Ideal length for 2 year trip

I'm still looking into lots of options for a fifth wheel and I'm stuck on length. I always hear that 30 ft is a great length if you plan to stay in state and national parks. That is something we might like to do. On the other hand, to spend 2 years or more fulltiming, I worry if we would have enough room to bring everything we need and if we would feel cramped. What are your experiences with the length of the 5er that you pull? Right now I'm thinking of a 32.5' Grand Design Solitude 303RLS. It's a bit smaller than my ideal but it is probably big enough and I can't imagine that the extra 2' should make that much of a difference. I'm afraid to go too much longer and possibly miss out on campsites in areas that we like.
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:42 PM   #2
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IMHO, 30' is a good length for state and national parks, but for full timing for two years, you'll need lots of space. Don't forget, you'll have four seasons now. Ours is 39'. It is too long for many state and national parks. So we just don't mess around with them. Almost any private park can accommodate us. Just advise your length when you make reservations and the park will put you in a spot for your length (most of the time). We installed a washer/dryer combo for the convenience of convenient clean clothes. We love it. Got a portable Sat TV antenna. Love that too.
I think you should plan on something around 36' minimum. Two years minimum full timing - - That's a long time with a 32' unit.
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:11 PM   #3
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rskeans - Thanks for the quick reply. I keep going back and forth with length. It's a hard choice. The longest we've stayed in an RV is 2 months last winter in a 30 ft travel trailer. We were fine for that length of time but I'm not sure that would work for us for 2 or possibly more years. My ideal length would be about 36' and we can do that but it would require a new truck. Even a new truck could work for us but we are thinking of volunteering in our national parks and my concern would be not being able to stay there. 32' is a compromise, it's a little bigger but hopefully not so big that we couldn't get a site. I appreciate your input.
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:55 PM   #4
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rskeans - Thanks for the quick reply. I keep going back and forth with length. It's a hard choice. The longest we've stayed in an RV is 2 months last winter in a 30 ft travel trailer. We were fine for that length of time but I'm not sure that would work for us for 2 or possibly more years. My ideal length would be about 36' and we can do that but it would require a new truck. Even a new truck could work for us but we are thinking of volunteering in our national parks and my concern would be not being able to stay there. 32' is a compromise, it's a little bigger but hopefully not so big that we couldn't get a site. I appreciate your input.

Most National Parks have better sites available for their volunteers, so I don't think size up to 36 or so will be an issue, but maybe others can weigh in with more knowledge.

On overall length, you haven't shared much information, are there just the two of you? Are one or both of you going to be working out of the trailer? ie, you have an internet based job but require an office to work in?

Do you have budget for your 5th wheel? (I am assuming from what you said that you are not interested in either a travel trailer or motor coach. Correct me if I am wrong!

Are you looking used or new, and are you planning on selling after the two years, or will you be keeping for a leisure rig?

Are you looking at traveling or camping in the dead of winter in northern states?

Are either or both of you handy/comfortable with maintenance/repairs?

Whatever you decide, best of luck!
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Old 10-19-2015, 09:51 PM   #5
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I agree with the 36' minimum for long-term stays/full-timing. Many do it with less, but we could not. One of the must-haves, I think, are a washer/dryer, and that can't be had in a 32. Many of the NF CGs host sites have water/elec/sewer--I cannot feature going to a laundromat for a 2 year-stretch. And, as mentioned, the host sites are almost always larger--have to have room for storage buildings/firewood/etc., so 36 and even longer shouldn't be a problem.
Hope it works out for you.
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Old 10-20-2015, 10:03 AM   #6
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Funny. When we were looking for a long haul rig, my DW was adamant that she did not want a washer / dryer...in fact, I had to push a little to go to the 32 foot mark...she was stuck on 29.

With our 2 beagles, we seem to have ample space so far...

So the most import thing is go with the floorplan that suits you and your family..
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Old 10-20-2015, 10:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mrebele View Post
The longest we've stayed in an RV is 2 months last winter in a 30 ft travel trailer. We were fine for that length of time but I'm not sure that would work for us for 2 or possibly more years. My ideal length would be about 36' and we can do that but it would require a new truck.
Remember when comparing lengths that a 30 ft. TT is equivalent to just a 27 ft. fiver. Also, a specific length limit is not the answer, some longer units seem to waste space (at least for us). Some shorter units may have the same floor space via more slide outs, but still won't fit into state and national parks because the sites are too narrow. Any unit with opposing full depth (40 inches) slide outs will be most problematic. Pick a floor plan you like regardless of the length and deal with the problems, there still will be plenty of places to go and things to see.
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Old 10-20-2015, 11:31 AM   #8
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Also You can have a washer dryer in a shorter 5'r. I have a 32' Carriage Cameo with a washer dryer, so it depends on the floor plan. The floor plan also makes a big difference on usable space my Cameo is a rear kitchen and for the 2 of us (and 2 very large dogs) it works very well. I can't imagine needing to take any more with us than we do, other than a few items when full timing that we would have no trouble fitting, than we do.
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:16 PM   #9
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All good replies--people/couples differ widely on needs, and there is no one-size-fits-all.
As for us, we like to dry-camp in FS CGs for a week to 10 days, then into a park with hookups for 2 nights to catch up on laundry, groceries and general cleaning.
Did the laundromat thing for many years and just got tired of it.
We have a 42" and a 24" opposed slides, and a 42" br slide, and, yes, have to be aware of placement in tight sites. Wasn't too much a concern on our AK trip in '12--lots of provincial CGs with space--and some that I wish we had not ventured into...
Joe
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:56 PM   #10
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Hit the Rhod, I have some more info about what we need. There are just 2 of us and we won't be working from the 5er.

As for budget, we haven't set one for sure but are thinking in the $60,000. range. New or used are both options that we would consider. As of now, we will probably keep it. I can't see us without an RV. It's even possible that we'll continue fulltiming. We are trying to keep our options open.

We have no plans to camp in the winter but may occasionally hit a little cool weather. Being from New England, we're used to cold weather and will be looking to escape that.

DH is very handy but is not looking to have to rehab anything. He'll be great with regular maintenance and repairs but we're definitely not looking for a project.

Thanks to everyone for the replies. I guess there's no easy answer but I appreciate the input. We have some time to think about our choice and we'll be looking at lots of 5ers before we make our choice.
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Old 10-21-2015, 06:02 AM   #11
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mrebele,
You can't go only by length, as I have a 30' but have over 350 sq. ft. of living space. The slideouts are what makes the difference, my living room slide is 16' long and 54" deep, so it adds a lot of space. We have been living full time in it for over 2 years and have everything but a washer/dryer. Yes one would be nice, but it is not a deal breaker. The biggest thing is that you both have to be comfortable with the floorplan. My suggestion would be to find a good floorplan then check out the length.
Frank
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Old 10-21-2015, 06:52 AM   #12
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We recently finished a 9 week trip across country and back and found that 35' is probably the most length allowed in some parks. If I were buying today, I would not exceed 35' and the GD Solitude 320x or 321x are the models I am looking at.
The Solitude line is for extended stay, has lots of storage and is prepped for a W/D.
I like the X models for the slightly lower weight with my SRW F350.
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Old 10-21-2015, 06:57 AM   #13
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The shorter 3 slide trailers open up really nice. I think a 32' 5th wheel would make travel and set-up easier than a longer 5th wheel. You never know what will happen when you go down the wrong road and need to turn around. I did this a few times with a 37' 5th wheel. I wish I had a 32' 5th wheel when you make that wrong turn.

I have a friend with a 29.5 xxxx (forget the 4 letters for the model) NuWa. He has plenty of room for storage.
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Old 10-21-2015, 01:28 PM   #14
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I was going to say 730 days is the ideal length for a 2 year vacation..
(Actually I think it's 1460 but hey that's 4 years)

There is no ideal length for an RV no matter how long the trip.. Some folks can do incely in say 20-25 feet, some need 30 some 40, it all depends on the couple or family traveling

What makes it even more fun is there is no real good way to tell other than try it.. I'd likely go with a 30ish RV (I live in a 37'7") and go from there.> Wife and I both did well when she was alive. in this one so 30 is likely a good choice.. I know several folks who live, or lived in 30 footers.
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