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Old 04-24-2010, 03:48 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by saltydog View Post
Thanks for the insight, all. It's going to be a bunkhouse as we have three kids. I expect our budget to be about $85k as our upper limit for both truck and trailer, new and/or used. I've got some thoughts in my head already, and keeping an eye on prices, and will phase our purchases over the next four years before we actually head off. Keep your thoughts coming

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Old 04-24-2010, 04:54 PM   #16
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With three kids, make sure you can get to the bathroom & bedroom without having to put slides out. Accessibility of the bathroom because of course kids (and some adults) "need" to go when you can't put a slide out and accessibility of the bedroom because kids always "need" to get something they left on the bed (in a drawer, etc.)
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Old 04-26-2010, 03:08 AM   #17
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Wow I'm apologize, my post must have gotten lost in the shuffle. One must consider warranty as a very important property of full timing. Excel has the best warranty and acknowledges full timers, where a lot of the other bands , the warranty is void if you live in it full time.
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:11 PM   #18
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Many Snow Birds/Winter Texans and including some full timers which live in their rigs up to 6 months at a time are using Montana 5ver's. Quite a few used ones on the market. Some modifications can be made concerning sleeping arrangment can usually be made in most rigs. My rig is a Newmar Kountryaire and there are a few used ones on the market but these are high end heavy units. I had a sleeper couch installed replacing regular couch and a dinette set which makes into a bed in leiu of dining table/chairs which allows sleeping 4 adults and 2 children
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:26 AM   #19
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And yet, 99% of the RV's out there use Lippert components and the owners are very satisfied with them.
I beg to differ. First of all, Lippert does not have 99% of the market. A large portion, yes but not 99%.
Secondly, on this & other forums (Heartland's, RV Net Open Roads) many owners that have Lippert components are having serious problems (frames, landing gear, springs, axles, etc) & would not buy anything that had Lippert's components for their next purchase.

Eh!
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:27 AM   #20
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And yet, 99% of the RV's out there use Lippert components and the owners are very satisfied with them. Me included.
For your budget unless you are buying all used you will have to sacrifice a lot of your wants.
For instance a new Cedar Creek Silverback bunk house will set you back around 40-50 thousand. Add a 1 ton dually of your brand choice for 50-55K and your budget will be blown by a whopping 15-20K.
Incidentially IMHO Cedar Creek makes some really nice fivers at their price point. And offer a lot for the dollar. They offer several bunk house models, but they all are in the 35+ foot long range. So you will definitely need a dually.
We pull a 2005 40' Cedar Creek without a dually. We bought it used and we also purchased our truck used. You don't have to buy new. We bought at 2002 Ford F250 Heavy Duty with a 7.1 diesel engine and it is well within our towing capacity. The key is to check the weight of your rig and ensure that your truck of choice can pull it.
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:31 AM   #21
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We pull a 2005 40' Cedar Creek without a dually. We bought it used and we also purchased our truck used. You don't have to buy new. We bought at 2002 Ford F250 Heavy Duty with a 7.1 diesel engine and it is well within our towing capacity. The key is to check the weight of your rig and ensure that your truck of choice can pull it.
Just as a caution, even though a truck has the "capacity" to pull a 40' 5er, when you get into the 14-16K weight range I would check the tire rating. Also, if you have a flat tire, you can get to a safe place to change it if you have a dually. Otherwise, you're stuck where ever it goes flat. And more than likely, the tire will be destroyed with that much weight.

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Old 05-09-2010, 09:26 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by tnsauerkraut View Post
We pull a 2005 40' Cedar Creek without a dually. We bought it used and we also purchased our truck used. You don't have to buy new. We bought at 2002 Ford F250 Heavy Duty with a 7.1 diesel engine and it is well within our towing capacity. The key is to check the weight of your rig and ensure that your truck of choice can pull it.
I gotta ask, have you ever run your loaded ready to camp rig over a set of scales?
You see I have
2005 Cedar Creek 34 CKTS,
Fiver scaled weight 13,350 with a 13,750 GVWR
Old truck scaled 10,500 pounds with a GVWR 9,200
Pin weight 3,000 pounds
New truck is a dually and while the old truck would pull it, the dually is a major difference in comfort when towing. Choose what you feel comfortable with, but be sure you have numbers to back up your decision.
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:26 PM   #23
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I gotta ask, have you ever run your loaded ready to camp rig over a set of scales?
You see I have
2005 Cedar Creek 34 CKTS,
Fiver scaled weight 13,350 with a 13,750 GVWR
Old truck scaled 10,500 pounds with a GVWR 9,200
Pin weight 3,000 pounds
New truck is a dually and while the old truck would pull it, the dually is a major difference in comfort when towing. Choose what you feel comfortable with, but be sure you have numbers to back up your decision.
Yes, we've done that. The difference is in the hd diesel engine. The 7.3 liter is the best one ever made - as a matter of fact, it's not even made anymore. Without that, no we would not be towing our rig. BUt there are still other good diesels out there. In our local area alone, I know of 7 families who have rigs 37' and bigger and none of them tow with a dually.

That's not to say that there's anything wrong with a dually, but it's just not always necessary.
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Old 05-16-2010, 12:51 AM   #24
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New Horizons, the top rated trailer in the USA, has used units at their factory in Junction City, KS. You can buy the best in a used form. Their trailers are solid steel framed and tough as nails. I am biased. I own one. There also private sales. Search the net.
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Old 05-24-2010, 05:23 PM   #25
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Hi,

I have a 2009 Jayco 345 BHS that we will be soon using to fulltime with two kids and two dogs and one cat. The 345 BHS is discontinued, but Jayco has a follow on model that seemed very nice.

I have been fulltiming in the camper for a year now. The wife and kids will join me this summer. I have had a few issues with the camper, none major, though.

I picked up the camper new for 35K (List 52K) during the slump. You can easily get a Dodge or Ford 3500/350 Diesel for around 35K also lightly used (about 45 new). (My buddy has the Chevy 3500, but has had a few issues. The issues were minor, but getting GM to fix them was the real problem). I feel the ford has the best cab for a family if you're only bringing one vehicle (The megacab dodge is very roomy, but cuts out of the bed)

The Jayco has a 12 gal water heater (you need at least 10 for a family, 16 would be better).

Two bathrooms are nice, and some newer campers have this. I opted out of it because in cold weather, the rear bathroom will be frozen with no way of thawing. You will want a camper that has an enclosed bathroom, not where just the potty is enclosed.

I have the 'polar package' from Jayco. The camper is 'rated' for zero degrees. With a skirt and some well placed space heaters in the wet bay (and a 250 gal propane tank rented), I was able to go down to -40 (not including wind chill) in North Dakota this past winter.

One trick for getting more space for the kids:
The bunkhouse has a slide out, which contained two bunks. There were another two fold down bunks on the back wall. I removed the lower bunk in the slideout, which doubles the floorspace in the back room for the kids, and still has 3 bunks.

What I consider "must haves" for fulltiming:
*Extra insulation package will help in winter and summer
*50 amp electrical At least a pre-wired set for a second air conditioner, if not the second air conditioner already installed (I have one unit, but I am wired for a second in the master bedroom).
*3 slides minimum (Forest River sells a bunkhouse with 4 slides (two in the bunkhouse!) and a second bathroom. 16000 lbs, and out of my towing range, but was nice).
*Big Fridge - mine is a norcold N811RT (not sure what size), but is about the smallest it could be.
*Pantry space- seems elementary, but many campers (including the 345 bhs) neglect to add good pantry space).
*Fully enclosed bathroom
*Ceiling fan - not so much help in summer, but awesome at helping distribute heat in the winter.

Jayco has also been very good with the warranty. John and Randy there handle the claims. They acknowledge that I cannot always take the camper to a dealer because I fulltime, and have twice now covered the service charges to have a tech come to the camper to fix it. Also, Jayco has two year warranty, most others are one year.

Problems I've had:
Propane regulator would not shift - Jayco paid to replace
Lights in main room blinked out - found a loose wire
Aluminum sheeting around pin box fell down -Jayco paid to fix
Water heater failed - Jayco paid to fix


Good luck with your choices. Feel free to PM me if you want to know anything else!
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:30 AM   #26
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Thanks, WindRVer.....I have an eye on the Jayco bunkhouses, and you've confirmed my research on truck pricing. My crew is one less cat, one more kid, so your thoughts after a year of doing it before everyone moves in is helpful. I was thinking the same thing about replacing a lower bunk with something else (futon, shelves, or open space).

Thanks again, good luck and enjoy!
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Old 05-26-2010, 04:49 PM   #27
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Saltydog - no problem. I hope your fulltiming experience will be great. We are moving everyone in within the next two months (based on work schedule). I also yanked out the dinette and am putting in a fold-down table and chairs to make the camper more dynamic. Table can be up for dinner, can be down for floor space for the kids. Can move the table against the wall when just the boys want to color, and don't need space for 4 people.
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:23 PM   #28
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After reading this thread it got my wheels turning again. I am new to the whole RV world and need some help deciding what to purchase. I have a few months to research and decide what to buy so I would greatly appreciate the help and information. I wish to purchase a fifth wheel toy hauler. Are there any designed to be full timers like you mentioned above?
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