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Old 08-14-2016, 08:34 PM   #1
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Help with TT Brands

I am purchasing a TT in the next month. It will be a full time rig. I will be all over the country. This being said, I will be towing it constantly, be using it in hot and cold weather, and living in it permanently. It will just be me. I will be dry camping a lot and it may be in a forest preserve with slightly rutted dirt roads. I know there are a lot of brands out there and I need help choosing one. I am looking for the following:

Something that has a good frame and axles to handle being towed a lot and not always on paved roads.
Non-metal sides and roof. I will inevitably be hit by hail and I have seen what happens to a TT in hail storms.
Has a real queen bed or enough room for one. I am over 6' tall and my Sleep Number is coming with me.
Around a 6000# dry weight. I am using a half-ton pickup with a 9000# tow capacity.
Decent size holding tanks for long term dry camping.

I like this Forest River Surveyor 266RLDS. It has an open floor plan, ok storage (I plan on getting rid of the couch and putting in my small upright freezer and some storage), and it has decent tanks. They cost around $18k new.

I am going to just come right out and say it. I am desperate for opinions and help, but comments like "you get what you pay for" and "just spend the money" are not helpful. I am not rich. I am a broke, homeless, jobless, disabled vet that has sold everything he has, cashed in every investment and 401k, and now I need a place to live for many decades to come (hopefully). I am 39 and unemployable due to a botched knee surgery (VA hospital) and a rare blood disorder that killed my lung (I tell people I'm part zombie now). The military calls it Gulf War Syndrome, but hey, they give me $500 a month now. My only bills will be vehicle insurance, cell phone, and gas. I plan on visiting the whole country, doing side jobs, and volunteering as much as possible, probably animal and homeless shelters.

The best opinions are ones from veteran owners, say 10 year old TT's since this may be my last purchase. I am looking for longevity. I really do appreciate all the help I can get.
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Old 08-14-2016, 09:20 PM   #2
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Wow, not much I can say ; but thank you for your service , and Welcome to iRV2

I've never searched for a TT so I'll let other members help with your list, and say good luck finding the right RV, and Safe Travels.
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Old 08-15-2016, 08:21 AM   #3
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Might find a good used nash/arctic fox. I see a lot of older komfort trailers for 12-15k. The older ones before they sold have a good reputation, might be something for you. There's quite a few reputable manufacturers that went out of business when the economy went bust. Seems to me when people buy a quality trailer they tend to take care of it and I see well maintained ones for sale quite a bit.
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:00 AM   #4
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You didn't say what part of the country you are in. That can help narrow down what is available to you.

If you can find a good used Nash/Northwoods/Arctic Fox/Outdoors RV product that fits your criteria and budget, you could certainly do much worse.
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:07 AM   #5
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Are you buying new or used? If new, for full timing, get the longest warranty you can find. Full timing will really wring out the defects in the first couple of years.

If used, try to find a one owner unit, where the owner kept meticulous service and upgrade records. That kind of person can usually be relied upon to take good care of the unit.
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:35 PM   #6
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I am mainly looking at new since that would not only have a warranty, but give me more years of use. I need something for full time use for many decades. You just never know with used. Most used ones are at dealers and I don't trust any dealers.
As far as my location, that doesn't matter to me since I am willing to drive anywhere in the country for a good deal. I happen to be north of Chicago, but I have gone to both coasts for a good deal and I would do it again.
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Old 08-15-2016, 11:48 PM   #7
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Then the brands I mentioned are worth looking into.
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:04 AM   #8
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It looks like neither Northwood nor Outdoors RV have a light weight series. The lightest one I saw was 7000# dry, but most were 7500-8000# dry. I did like the layout and options of the Nash Silver Fox TT's.
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:34 AM   #9
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What trailers did you look at from ORV that were min 7K# dry? On this page, the heaviest Black Rock I saw was 8800# MAX and 6800 "full featured dry weight", and the ones that were smaller were lighter than that. ORV | Floorplans

I'm full timing in an ORV 19B, and doing very well. There is no room in here for your freezer as it's a smaller model, but it's working out very well, from BLM lands in AZ to national forests on the west coast, and even a back yard or veggie patch. Smaller trailers are easier to get to good boondocking spots. Well insulated, built for rugged service, and a year on it's been great. Finding a used ORV that fits your needs would be a good find and probably meet your needs if it was on the mid to shorter length range.

How do you plan to keep your chest freezer running when boondocking? Lot's of batteries and an appropriate inverter, maybe solar (not a good plan in the woods, the trees block the sun) or a generator?
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Old 08-16-2016, 12:41 PM   #10
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Hi. Just trying to help here. We made the mistake of buying a new Grand Surveyor from Forest River. It was a disaster. Started to delaminated after 2 years and had multiple problems with many components. Spend a little extra for peace of mind, and go for a quality rig, which won't be without issues, so you need to be handy. You will be glad you did. Good luck with your search. There are lots out there. Compare the features you want and take your time.
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Old 08-16-2016, 04:42 PM   #11
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1bigmess,
The Black Rock 25RLS could possibly work. It has a decent hitch weight. The fridge looks small. I may have to call to find out what size it is. It would fit my freezer. I would chuck the sofa and put the freezer there along with some light weight storage bins/shelves. I would like to find one with a bit more CCC. I am just afraid I will overload it, hit a rut, and bust an axle. I have read horror stories of this.
As for the power, I would buy the absolute smallest/cheapest 4-stroke generator I could find. A 1000W one would do, but they are typically the inverter, therefore expensive, type. As long as the freezer is full, running it twice a day is more than enough as long as you are not constantly opening it. At some point, I will build a homemade wind turbine. There isn't much to it and trailers don't use much power. A small car alternator, a pair of gears (possibly from a 10 speed bike), and some form of vanes to catch the wind is all you need. I'll have plenty of time.
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Old 08-16-2016, 04:56 PM   #12
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For a generator, or gennie for short, get the inverter type. They use less fuel, and are quieter than the cheaper "job site" style gennies. The peace and quiet you shatter with a clatter from a loud gennie will be your own first, and almost all of any neighbors you have (no man is an island) will hate the loud gennie.

Long trailers are tough to get to good places in the western forests. I don't know about parts of the country yet, but I'll find out eventually. That's why I went with a smaller trailer, ease of maneuverability in tight places like forest boondocking sites and campgrounds, and national parks.
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Old 12-03-2016, 03:42 PM   #13
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Seems a little long for much back woods use.
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