RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > 5th Wheel Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-17-2019, 07:47 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2002
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 32
Thinking of full time living in a toy hauler

Hi all,
I now find myself forced to make a major life style change. Just made imy 30 years in the carpenters union, and my wife of 32 years wants a divorce. I am 56, but my joints feel closer to 66. I am thinking about a few different states I may want to retire in, so I'm thinking a 5th wheel toy hauler may be the best way for me and the dog spend the next couple years figuring it out. I have been following the best 5th wheel for 2 thread and didn't want t to side track it. I am wanting to know a similar question. I already have a dually I have been hauling a slidin camper on. It's 2001 GMC Duramax, but I only used it for fun so it only has 150,000 miles on it. I always liked the truck camper, but I can't see living through winter in it. What would be a good recommendation for a 36' or longer toy hauler. I seem to see a lot of used momentum grand designs around. I will provably be traveling through Washington, Idaho, Nevada, and Arizona primarily. Probably be in temperatures from 0* to 115* maybe doing 15,000 miles a year. Who makes a good one that holds up well that I might be able to pick up used for around $75,000 or less?

Bill B is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-18-2019, 06:38 AM   #2
Senior Member
Daycruiser's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 173
Well Bill, sorry to hear about your domestic situation. many of us here have been there. Welcome to this forum, you'll find lots of valuable information here. There are several good higher end THs out there, Grand Design is a good one. You need to look at as many as you can, go look at new ones and see what size will REALISTICALLY work for you. Toy Haulers loose a lot of living space due to the garage so bigger is usually better otherwise after a while you may feel very cramped or like you're living in a box. We had a TH and my wife hated it, it was too short and it lacked lots of windows, gone is the TH. We didn't at the time have a truck to haul a bigger one. Sounds like you have a sufficient truck so your options are open. If you are going to full time for a few or several years you should consider going larger, over 40'. All I can say is Shop Shop Shop, figure out the size and features then use RV Trader to find what you might like to have used. Good Luck in all respects.

44 Years Rv'ng and no end in sight.
2018 Ram 3500 CC SB 4X4 Limited Cummins/Aisin SRW. Comfort Ride Energy Absorbing Hitch.
2020 Cedar Creek Hathaway 34IK, Reese 19K Sidewinder PB.
Daycruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2019, 07:32 AM   #3
Senior Member
consolenut's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 860
Got to have a toyhauler? In those temps. Simple find a newmar x-aire and look no more. it will handle those temps easily. a lightweight its not but you have enough truck. If want to sweat a 115 degrees get grand design.
08 GMC C-4500 w/Custom bed. 8.1L
45ft 2007 Teton Reliance Experience XT-4
TSLB Trailer Saver w/ 3rd airbag
consolenut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2019, 07:51 AM   #4
Junior Member
Nor'easters Club
Heartland RV Club
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Red Hook, NY
Posts: 3
We bought the 2019 Heartland Fuel 352. It's 39' and has the 13' garage. We wanted to haul our Harley and still have room for us and our 3 dogs. We looked at the new momentums (which are awesome) but the Fuel was more in our price range. If you can find a used Momentum or Cyclone I'd go for it. You'll save a bunch of $$ off the sticker price. As to our model, I think it has all the features needed for FT living except a W/D. We figured we can add one to the TH room if we decide we really need it.
Nina9ah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2019, 07:52 AM   #5
Senior Member
Triangle Drifter's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bermuda Islands
Posts: 362
Do you have toys to haul in the toy hauler? If not that space will likely become dead space. A junk room of sorts.

Most toy haulers are huge. Huge means severe limitations on where you can go.

Might be more worthwhile to look for a smaller 5er in the 30-35' range. Even that will seem massive after a TC & will have more living space than the 38-40' toy hauler.
Home: Bermuda
US RV base, MD
2007 Alpenlite 34RLR
Triangle Drifter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2019, 08:00 AM   #6
Join Date: May 2002
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 32
I must say I am nervous about a big 5th wheel. We almost always boondocked. The freedom of not having reservations anywhere was very relaxing. I know I need to spend a month at a time in each area, also spending seasons when we typically wouldn't endure, so I can decern if I am cut out for the climate. I have been really spoiled with great weather being in CA. We would go skiing and be back in 50-degree winter weather the next day.
2019 GMC Denali 3500HD DRW
2017 Riverstone RL38
Bill B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2019, 09:00 AM   #7
Senior Member
2Yung2 Quit's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Bonsall, CA
Posts: 615
What are you putting in the garage? Grand Design also has a floor plan with storage under the bedroom that is big enough for a motorcycle or golf cart. It's the 374 TH.
Ram MegaCab 3500 Cummins, DRW, 4x4, pulling a 2018 35' Solitude, and loving it! Oh, and I did quit (retire) since I joined the forum.
2Yung2 Quit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2019, 09:23 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 582
Hello Bill B , sorry about your situation, been there and done it after 50+ yrs.
I didn't want a mortgage, apartment rent , or tax's so I ended up with a 38 ft Monaco 5er . Don't have a dog but have more room and storage space that I need. Been thru 3 winters in eastern Pennsylvania and have been very comfy. Have 2 A/C's but only need one . Did remove my Norcold frig and installed a RF18 Samsung, only big upgrade . Don't know if you need to spend 75K for a unit. Think used and spend some of your budget on a tow vehicle. MHO

clifford j is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2019, 10:12 AM   #9
Join Date: May 2002
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 32
I have a couple motorcycles and a German shepard. I could see myself getting rid of the bikes, but I think having a separate area for the dog would be great.
Bill B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2019, 10:25 AM   #10
Senior Member
scbwr's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: North Ridgeville, OH
Posts: 1,340
It's not a market I'm familiar with but I would suggest looking for a toy hauler that could comfortably handle a motorcycle, but not have to be too huge so you have the ability to get into most parks/campgrounds. How much space you need for living comfortably is a personal thing. You may want to make a list(s) of the stuff you will want to take with you, and as you look at a rig, think about the storage space you need. Consider also that if your joints aren't too happy with work, the bigger the rig, the more work it takes for cleaning, waxing, seam sealing, etc. If $$ is no object, you can hire it out, but if you have to do your own work to help with the budget, then consider size.

Good luck in your search and I hope everything works out well for you!
Retired but busier than ever!
2012 Newmar Bay Star 3302
5 Star Tune, SumoSprings, Roadmaster Steering Stabilizer, Blue Ox Avail
Brake Buddy, 2015 Chevy Malibu
scbwr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2019, 10:45 AM   #11
Senior Member
rarebear.nm's Avatar

Excel Owners Club
Winnebago Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Santa Fe, NM
Posts: 3,007
You could focus on the 5th without the toy hauler option and then add a bike lift on the rear provided the rear hitch is factory rated for that weight. On some rigs people ignore the hitch and have the full bike rack welded onto the frame. Still check if the frame can handle the weight and stress.

My opinion is that something closer to 30-32 foot would be much better than going to 39 +/- for boon docking. We have a 32 ft 5th and sometimes that gets a little tight getting it into places. I have not had an issue, but others have where they get some where, but getting back out becomes lots more interesting. Best advice with a larger RV is to unhitch and drive the road and back sure you have an acceptable exit option.

Hope all works out for you.
Fred & Denise (RVM157) New Mexico
2007 Excel Classic 30RSO & 2015 Mini Winnie 22R
2007 RAM 3500, Diesel, 6Spd Auto, SWD, 4x4, CC & LB
rarebear.nm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2019, 12:06 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 557
We full-timed for three years in a toy hauler. For my situation, it was the best option. The garage provided a lot of versatility to store things that are not usually needed on a short term vacation. We hung some cabinets out there and I stored tools and other things. Also when moving from location to location our extensive outdoor furniture collection was easily stowed in the garage as well. Despite the fact we had so much stuff, I could still be out of the campsite in about an hour and headed down the road.

A couple suggestions that suited us for our selection. First, get one with an east/west bed in the slide out. This usually gives you the maximum closet space in the nose of the coach. Look around the kitchen, checking to make sure there are plenty of electric outlets over the counters. You’d be amazed how many brand new toy haulers have entire areas in the kitchen with zero electric outlets. Grand design was notorious for this. Nowhere to plug in a coffee maker or other item makes a counter useless to me. Also, check that the upper kitchen cabinets do not have posts between the doors. Those can make large cabinets very small by not allowing you to fit items like plates through the openings. I consider six point hydraulic leveling a must. Also, if using a rig for full timing a drop Z frame would be preferred. They are easy to pick out, as the basement storage will have a flat floor from side to side with no hump across the center. Back when you could still get a coach with a Leland frame they were much easier to find. A washer and dryer are nice when full timing. Since we had connections for the washing machine in the garage, we simply purchased an inexpensive Haier portable washer and the 110v Haier wall mount dryer for under $500 and they worked great everyday for 3 years. Electric heat strips in the AC units, or a good electric fireplace will be great for cool nights without using your propane. If possible, I would definitely prefer a manual awning. The new power awnings are convenient, but they are real weaklings and cannot be left set up without extensive bracing. Our old-fashioned carefree awning held up great in all sorts of weather, and when you come home in the pouring rain it is awesome to have an awning to get under when entering your coach.

A little long-winded, but just a few of the must-have‘s we would want if we full timed again.
redhooker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2019, 12:35 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 242
Are you wanting the toy hauler to use the toy room as a shop as well as hauling a bike and for the dog? I've been eyeing the Desert Fox . 100 gal. water tank with heating elements and built to be taken off-road (has shocks too). The 24AS model can carry 3,697 lbs.

There are many advantages of a toy hauler for the hands-on crafty types. I'd much rather give up space of 4 couches and a kitchen center island that I'll never use in order to pursue my hobbies while camping out in the country.

The blocker for you on the Desert Fox might be that it has a bumper hitch and not a 5th wheel hitch. I wonder if the hitch design was intended for better off-road capability? I'm curious if taking a 5er off-road would cause issues from lack of flex or rotation?
Mtn. Lion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2019, 01:26 PM   #14
Join Date: May 2002
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 32
Thanks, lots of good input from everyone. I would love to be able to get by with a 30'. I am just concern with leaving the dog in my living area if I am gone for the day fishing or hunting. She is pretty melow but if there is alot of activity going on with other animals outside she may cause some damage. I know coming in from the rain would be alot less of a pain with the garage. I could also see trading the bikes in for an ATV so I think a 10' garage would be a good option. I do still like to work with my tools, but I don't think I'll be doing much of that until I buy another property. I think I am going to go check out a 2017 Momentum 395M. Its definetly bigger then I need, but they are only asking $60,000 so that may help with decision.

2019 GMC Denali 3500HD DRW
2017 Riverstone RL38
Bill B is offline   Reply With Quote

full time, toy hauler

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Toy Hauler Living Space Vs Garage Parks Toy Haulers Discussion 10 08-14-2018 03:30 PM
Long term living in a toy hauler Pdx Toy Haulers Discussion 40 05-18-2017 12:53 PM
Toy hauler needed w/recliners facing the TV in living room!! penni Toy Haulers Discussion 50 02-13-2016 02:02 PM
Thinking of a 30-32 foot toy hauler fith. Fxrscotty Toy Haulers Discussion 17 07-30-2005 11:51 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:43 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.