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Old 04-23-2012, 05:17 AM   #1
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Which way to go

Hello from Mid Michigan. My wife and I are talking about taking a early retirement, (Good Lord willing) starting this coming winter. We are new to the RVing scene. Could really use some help getting started. How much room do we need to survive a 3 month adventure each winter? Any advantages going fifth wheel vrs box trailer? We have about 7-9,000 to invest into a trailer. Fuel economy is probably of most importance. Thanks for any insight.

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Old 04-23-2012, 05:29 AM   #2
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Howdy and welcome to the forum. Hope you enjoy the site. As far as how much room, that would depend on your living habits and what you feel comfortable with. Picking out a unit that has a floorplan that best suits you is the most important. As far as trailer vs 5th wheel all I can say is that there seem's to be more 5'ers on the road than conventional trailers. Of course in either case you'll need the appropriate truck to haul either. Fuel economy????? Well I suspect that depends on how heavy your foot is but that's one of the last things to worry about when owning and moving these rigs accross the country. Good luck with your plans and hope that they all work out for you. Hope to see you down the road, be safe and Happy Motoring!!!

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Old 04-23-2012, 05:44 PM   #3
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With $7000 - $9000 to spend, you would probably want to look at a good, used TT. It might be difficult (i didn't say impossible) to find a suitable 5th wheel in that range. As has been said many times before, buy the largest RV that you can safely and legally pull and have it examined by a qualified RV inspector.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:58 AM   #4
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I do believe you need to start going to some dealerships and see what's out there. Get a feel for the different trailers and what you will need. Send the salesman away and just sit in them for a while, can you live in this for weeks at a time. Do you and your wife like each other? If not get a larger sized trailer.
On our 5th wheel toyhauler, the couch and dinette are on the slide side, we discarded those and installed a small computer desk and a loveseat recliner, and it works for us.
You need to get out and look, nobody else can say what "you" need in a trailer as far as room.

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Old 04-25-2012, 10:53 AM   #5
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Even if you really LIKE each other, really think about the room and layout, as well as the kitchen layout if you are going to be cooking in there. A lot of the 5er layouts are 50 amp, which allows more cooking appliances and heaters than a 30 amp service!
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:16 PM   #6
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I would suggest that you rent a travel trailer first. Take the trailer out for a two week period and see if this is what you really want to do. Once you buy a TT/5er it may be too late then.
You need to realize that with a TT/5er you will not have the room that you do have at home. You will be with your DW for three solid months and you will be with each other 24, 7. Can you do this?
I have been retired for nearly three years now and my wife for 1 year and we both need our separate space. She can do what she wants to do when needed and I get to get away in my workshop. For us we could not do the three months together and be away from our children and grandkids, at the same time.
The most we can do is three weeks at a time and after three weeks it is starting to get to close sometimes for each other.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:59 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by timberframe View Post
Hello from Mid Michigan. My wife and I are talking about taking a early retirement, (Good Lord willing) starting this coming winter. We are new to the RVing scene. Could really use some help getting started. How much room do we need to survive a 3 month adventure each winter? Any advantages going fifth wheel vrs box trailer? We have about 7-9,000 to invest into a trailer. Fuel economy is probably of most importance. Thanks for any insight.
I suggest you take the advice of the fellow posters and get out there to dealerships and start looking. That way you can use the rigs at the dealerships to give you an idea of floor plans and styles you like. It is said that 5th Wheels are more stable to tow than a pull trailer, but both types are popular with the RV crowd. I happen to like a 5th Wheel better so that was my choice.
To encourage you I wanted to tell you as well to look for private sales on Craigslist. That is where I found my 5th Wheel. I found a family that were desperate from a financial hardship and had to sell it immediately. I hate to say it but in our strained economy, many people who have pull trailers and 5th Wheels are selling them if it comes down to having to do away with toys to keep their home mortgages. That is what my experience was in my sale. My 5th wheel’s book value was around $14000 and I got it for $6000 cash. They were a reputable family and I had the 5th Wheel inspected by an individual that was very well versed in the industry before I made the final sale. Granted my 5th Wheel is 12 years old, but it was very well taken care of and is in great shape for the age. It is a gel-coat so it has held is modern look over much older styles and washed polished and waxed it shines as bright as it did the day it was new. I live in Southern CA, so 5th wheels here have not been exposed to harsh elements other than the sun, so the older models seem to be in pretty darn good shape. So if you really invest the time in looking you may fall into a great deal. I would consider looking out of your state check the whole country for the best deal. If you do not have a truck to pull it yet, you can find some pretty reasonable outfits that specialize in towing trailers for a living to get it to your home until you start the process of buying a truck to pull it with. Seeing you are staying within a budget of $7 - $9 a private seller may be your best bet. Who knows I even see truck/trailer combos for sale. And I have seen some pretty good bargains in that arena too.
And I ditto the post that told you to make sure you buy a truck to match your trailer so that you have no tow issues. Diesels have better torque than gas engines so you may want to submit a post in the truck forum on our site to get the opinions of 5th wheel owners and the trucks they use to pull them.
I found a great deal at $19 grand for a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel. It is big enough to pull my 32' 5th Wheel and it a very handsome looking truck. But that is not so say there are no other models and makes out there that will not be just as good for you when it comes time to tow....
Good luck in your search and just ask a lot of questions in this forum. You will find everyone friendly and helpful and a great help when you are new to this area such as I was. Every question I have had to date has been answered and helped me with research and making educated choices.
Welcome to the forum and I do hope you will enjoy the RV life.....

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