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Old 12-24-2013, 06:25 AM   #1
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Buying our first Toy hauler first time RVing need advice

Dear Toy Hauler forum,

We are spending the winter in a rented apartment in Sarasota, Florida. We spent our first three years of retirement renting, first in Panama ( the country) and now Florida. We would furnish the places via Goodwill and then sell everything when we left. Our condo that we own in Oregon was rented out with all of our belongings down to the sheets and towels. Now we are ready for a change. Before we head back to Oregon for the summer, we plan to buy a Toy hauler and a truck to haul it. This will be our permanent home. We are more interested in long term stays. We hope to purchase TH and truck by the end of May.

So we are newbies and would like to skip some of the newbie mistakes. We would prefer to buy slightly used both TH and tuck. The garage portion only needs to be 10 ft. We will be visiting RV parks and talking with people, and going to the big RV supershow in Tampa in January. Generally learning as much as we can before we buy.

We are quite comfortable in the nomad lifestyle but want to stop renting and refurnishing and having to stay in a place a minimum amount of time based on rent requirements.

We want to hear from the experts.

What problems should we be looking out for buying used TH & truck?
What to consider regarding flour plan?
What size is most comfortable but still able to park in state parks? I am
thinking just under 40 feet>
What is a reasonable price to pay for TH and a truck used?
What options should be added if any?
What else?

Thank you in advance for your help. Stephanie and Duncan
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:43 AM   #2
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With a used trailer, there is so much maintenance that could be ignored, and there could be rot. You have to poke it over so very thoroughly.
On the truck, same thing; maintenance.

On price, what truck/trailer and area? Those all matter. Old 7.3s go for more than 6.0s in Ford just because of reputation.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:55 AM   #3
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My first question would be what circumstances would drive you to full-time in a toy hauler? With just a 10' garage requirement I take it you have a motorcycle?

Would be interesting to hear from others who full-time in one. I had a toy hauler for 10 years but it was pretty bare bones, with light-weight interior stuff. It was OK for a few days but it would have disintegrated under the constant use of full-timing. That said, they build 'em a lot bigger and heavier with a lot more luxuries these days. I see folks pulling some massive fifth wheels off into the desert areas around my house - places I would have hesitated to take my trailer.

State parks and national parks, in my experience, are difficult to find spots over 32 feet. Not impossible, and I'm sure there will be a deluge of other opinions, but you can go on the online booking sites for various areas and see. Most of these places were built for family campers (Class Cs, pop-ups, etc) before RVs got super-sized, and not upgraded significantly since. YMMV. I have a 33 ft class A and spend time thoroughly scouting spots in state and national parks using both the online booking sites coupled with views from Google Earth.
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Old 12-24-2013, 02:41 PM   #4
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Used RV's of any kind are kind of a crap shoot. Leaks being one of the most damaging problems. The more systems a unit has, the more possible problems. Large toy haulers need dually pickups to tow them. Enjoy looking and don't get in a hurry. You may come across people wanting to sell their truck and trailer as a unit, which could save you money. Have fun.
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Old 12-24-2013, 03:08 PM   #5
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We just got off full-timing in a toy hauler. Some random points:

1. Are you looking for a larger, 'separate garage'-type unit? If so most of these are getting up there in weight and you will need at least a 3/4 or possibly one-ton truck to pull it, and if it isn't diesel you will soon wish it was.

2. With a 35-40' unit you will be somewhat limited in campground options. Not terribly so as most can accommodate a big rig (although many stretch that definition and you'll need to be good backing/handling the unit in confined spaces) but many campgrounds (particularly older state and national parks) will simply be off-limits if you care about getting in and out of there in one piece, if they allow large rigs at all. Driving a big rig can often be a bit of a logistical exercise, but we always managed.

3. Large toy haulers tend to be tall and height can be more limiting then length. Again, mostly manageable, but be aware.

4. When buying used examine very carefully for evidence of leaks. This cannot be over-emphasized.

5. If you are going to be in the south in the summer then most larger units effectively require dual air conditioners (and thus 50-amp service.) You can get by with one but it isn't fun, plus if you only have one and it fails you will be miserable. The second unit not only provides additional cooling but also serves as a backup.

6. Try to avoid units that have obviously been off-road (not uncommon with toy haulers) as this is extremely stressful to the unit as even the best ones will twist on the frame on uneven/rough roads and loosen bodywork, whether it is obvious or not.

7. I would strongly advise an aluminum internal skeleton vs. wood.

8. Most toy haulers run near, at, or above maximum GVWR (especially if full-timing) and axles/tires can easily be stretched to their limits. Buy the best tires you can afford and it would not be a bad idea to budget for a new set after purchase just to be certain they are in top condition. And install a tire pressure monitoring system, they are (IMO) absolutely mandatory for safety.

Just a few thoughts from someone who has been there...
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:10 AM   #6
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Thanks you all for your suggestions. We want the small garage because my husband has a jewelry bench and makes fine jewelry. This would be his studio Plus we have bicycles. Do not have any motorized vehicles so the garage will be Duncan's shop and carry the bicycles. And smaller 8-10 ft garage gives more living space for us in the rest of the TH. We hope to buy the truck and TH in florida if possible since it seems to have a large inventory. We could also buy the TH new if that is the most practical and most likely not do accidently get a used lemon. The size of Diesel truck we are thinking of is a 350 dulie but will be sure that we do the math to be sure it is the right size and weight for what we are hauling. Again thank you so much for your suggestions. Steph and Duncan
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:21 AM   #7
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If you are in Sarasota you should go to the RV Super Show in Tampa next month and talk to Bryan Tillant CEO of Peterson Industries who build Excel fulltime 5er's and Wild Cargo toy haulers. By far the best full time luxury toy hauler out there. We are currently in Cortez Florida and will be going to the show. Good luck.
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Old 12-26-2013, 06:59 AM   #8
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Thanks, for the info about Bryan Tillant! I will be at the Tampa RV show for the first two days, easy drive up from Sarasota. First day I will attend all the classes offered. Second day to look at TH. And will also Google Bryan's company. Fortunately I have a background in research and a husband who researches everything or this life change would be a bit daunting... so much to learn! Steph
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Old 12-26-2013, 02:14 PM   #9
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Tell Bryan I sent you, not that it will help you lol. Check out excelrvs.com it may help you with questions for Bryan.
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:13 AM   #10
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Be aware that the rear of any trailer, pull or fiver, is the WORST riding area in the trailer. Stuff will get tossed around if not secured. A workbench with jewelry making tools and supplies will get tossed pretty badly if not packed down and stored extremely well!!!! Just ask anybody that has (or has had) a rear kitchen trailer how much stuff got broke..

You might want to consider a super c toy hauler with air ride which would ride a lot better. Just a thought.
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:35 AM   #11
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Before you buy, be aware that there is a new RV inspection site coming online in January. They have certified RV inspectors that will do a thorough inspection and give you a report of any problems they find. This is much like what you would get with a home purchase. These people really know what to look for in your prospective RV. You could insist the seller have this done prior to purchase. That way at least you will know what is wrong. Check out RVInspectionConnection.com after January the first and as with any other large purchase, don't be in a hurry. If the wife likes it cuz it's pretty, that doesn't mean you will.
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Old 12-27-2013, 12:07 PM   #12
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First, your idea about the Toy Hauler garage as an office is very smart. We have used our garage as a guest room, kennel, shop, and store room...as well as a garage -of course.

For the search, be sure the box is dry and free of leaks or water damage of any kind...moisture leads to rot, which leads to failure of the frame, and MOLD!!!

Since you are saying that you will have to buy a truck AND trailer...here is an idea that might not have crossed your mind...what about a Toy Hauler Motorhome:
Class "A" Toyhaulers

The prices on mid 2000's have come down to very similar levels for a truck that can haul plus the trailer...plus they can be financed for much better rates and durations than any used truck loan.

There are Toy Haulers on medium and heavy duty truck cab/chassis too (called Super C's), but cost more than the Class A's despite Class A's being preferable over Class C layouts.

We have always towed our RV, but our Outlaw is awesome...and you can tow a little car for getting around town, which is much easier than using a big pick-up for errands.

Best luck in your search
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Old 12-27-2013, 02:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBS-POPS View Post
Be aware that the rear of any trailer, pull or fiver, is the WORST riding area in the trailer. Stuff will get tossed around if not secured. A workbench with jewelry making tools and supplies will get tossed pretty badly if not packed down and stored extremely well!!!!
This is very true. Before you take even your first trip you should engineer a very secure and stable storage system for the garage area or be prepared for some rather unpleasant surprises.
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:52 PM   #14
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I had the belts separate on the tires on my TH, and the result was out of round tires. Drove several hundred mile on them before it became apparent. I had all my tools for the race car, plus a couple thousand dollars in spare Mil-spec hardware. the result? dull taps and all the cad plating worn off of every nut, bolt, rivet, and washer. the tap box actually had little bits of sparkly debris in the bottom.

So engineering a good storage solution for delicate parts and tools is definitely in order!
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