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Old 02-28-2016, 02:01 PM   #1
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In the research phase, looking for guidance

We anticipate purchasing an RV in two years. Right now we are reading articles and blogs online and watching videos about RVs.

Right now, we think we want a travel trailer no more than 30 ft long and then we will buy a truck to tow it. However, we have seen some 5th wheels we have liked and have friends with a motor home. So we are somewhat conflicted. We plan on spending 50 to 60,000 total on whatever we get.
We do not have experience in towing anything. I have heard that a 5th wheel might be easier to tow.

We have looked at a lot of trailers and like the rear entertainment/living floor plans.

We plan to be on the road for 1 or 2 months at a time.

I know it is all personal preference but when you don't have any experience it is difficult to know what your preference is. We plan to rent a travel trailer for a practice vacation close to home to see what it is like. We don't know anyone with a truck that will tow a 5th wheel so not sure we'll be able to try that out.

So maybe you could give us your top reason for choosing either your motorhome, travel trailer, or 5th wheel.

After that I would want to know which brands you think are the best quality in terms of not leaking, insulation, etc. so we can narrow down our search.

Other tips for someone like me researching this whole thing is welcome also.

Thank you

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Old 02-28-2016, 02:14 PM   #2
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Go to the big RV shows. There you can see many models at the same time and make comparisons. You don't say where you are, but two of the biggest are in Tampa in February and Harrisburg, PA in September.

Marc and Jill, Wellington FL
2013 Entegra Anthem 44SL
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Old 02-28-2016, 02:25 PM   #3
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Welcome to iRV2.

You could look around to see if there are outfits near you that would rent both a TT & truck , or a 5th and truck. Renting a class A could be a problem depending on your state's licensing requirements . Weight & air brakes could limit you.

Advantages ,
5th over , TT. More storage, and JMHO better handling.
TT over a 5th, level floor inside.
I had 4 , 5th wheels , before I purchased my class A. 22 >30 feet in length.
DW , has mobility issues, stairs in particular a problem , and we wanted more room, so the move to a class A; level floor inside; made sense for us.
99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
2000 Caravan toad, Remco & Blue Ox.
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Old 02-28-2016, 02:31 PM   #4
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Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

I would recommend you go with a 5th wheel or MH. We pulled a 5th wheel for 10 years before getting the MH and loved it! We had a 2002 Cedar Creek 36' and pulled it with a Ford F250 PSD. A 5er is much more stable and safer to drive on the road, IMHO!

If you're gonna be doing a lot of longer trips on a regular basis, then you might want to look at an older diesel pusher MH. You should be able to find one in the 2000 year models within your price range.

You should post specific questions over in the appropriate areas of the forum for best results!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette

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Old 02-28-2016, 03:49 PM   #5
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I am sure you will get a lot of responses to your questions remember they are all opinions, like mine will be and sometimes they work and other times they don't. I started my search by subscribing to Trailer Life and Motor Home Magazines for two years, then went to several RV shows, and finally went to a Super Dealer (Lazydays in Florida) and thought I had it figured out. Three years later the Class C was too small for the family and we went up to a Class A. Had I done more hands on research in the beginning I would have saved many dollars. So my suggestion is to do as much hands on research as you can - visit dealers, go to shows, look for local owners you can talk to, and rent one if you can. There is nothing like trying it out first to know it is the right one.
Bob and Cathy
2015 Itasca Sunova 33c towing a 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
Member FMCA F421963, GS Life, SKP#127220, WIT, PA,
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Old 02-28-2016, 04:25 PM   #6
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Have owned everything but a Class B. They all have the potential to leak. $60,000 will not buy much quality in a FW unless you go used with a DRV or similar, then you need a bigger truck. Perhaps you can rent a 350/450 for a couple of days just to see if you're okay with one. I don't know where you can rent a truck with a FW.
--2005 F350 Superduty Crewcab, 6.0, 4wd, short bed, 3.73 gears
--2016 Montana 3711FL, 40'
--SOLD 2014 Wildcat 327CK, 38'
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Old 02-28-2016, 08:48 PM   #7
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With your budget of $50-60,000 for both the RV and truck you'd could get a fine RV by looking at used ones.

I'd also recommend that before you purchase a truck that you zero in on the exact RV you plan to get. That one you'll buy a truck that will safely pull it.

Over the years we've had a travel trailer, 5th wheel and motorhome. A travel trailer would be last on our list having used all three. They aren't as stable on the highway, especially in winds and with semis passing you. They don't have any outside storage. We found they're typically not as well built.

Our 33' 5th wheel served us well for 8 years of full-timing and had plenty of storage. It handled very well on the road. Using it daily and traveling constantly, we were then looking for another RV. Friends got us hooked on Jeeping and honestly, that's the only reason we then went with a motorhome - so we could tow the Jeep.

We used the motorhome for another 8 years of full-timing with constant travel. We loved the comfort of riding in it down the road and the big window gave us wonderful views while traveling. It handled extremely well and had tons of storage. However, ours was a diesel (very quiet while driving) and a 40' which is probably not what you have in mind. I'm sure there are equally good gas smaller motorhomes out there, too.

You've got a lot of thinking to do. Read all you can about the different manufacturers as far as quality. Get on some owners forums and hear what they have to say - the good and bad. You'll soon find out what to stay away from in terms of problems. Talk to any RVer you meet. They love to talk about what they have.

When you zero in on a few, come back to this forum and ask more questions about the particular ones you have in mind. Best of luck to you in your search!
Full-timed for 16 Years . . . Back in S&B Again
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:05 PM   #8
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Go out and find the floor plan that fits your needs. Once you do that the rest of the questions will be easier to ask.

All of the rigs will work for you. It is easier to tow a 5er than a TT in some instances but if properly set up neither will give you great difficulty.

A coach is nice but unless you are doing a lot of traveling there is additional cost of purchase and maintenance that will factor in. Nice to travel with though and worth the extra money if you find what you want.

IMO the first thing is floor plan. You are going to have days when the weather will keep you inside. Will you be able to relax and enjoy the confinement in the rig you select.

Go to dealers and ditch the salesman. Sit in a rig and pretend you are in your desired location and it is now cold and rainy for two days. What would you do if faced with that?
Gordon and Janet
Tour 42QD/inTech Stacker
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:50 AM   #9
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We are currently on the hunt for a new coach and there are a couple of things that have really helped us in our search.

Alongside all of the youtube videos, blogs, message boards, etc., spend time getting some hands on research. Just this last weekend, we spent 4 hours at an RV show in Dallas. We video tape the rigs that interested us, so we can go back and take another look later. There have been numerous times where we have looked at a coach and couldn't remember why we ruled it out...

Take notes on each trailer. As a result of my career, I'm a bit of a data junkie. So, we have listed the things we would prefer to have in a coach, as well as those "nice to haves". As mentioned, I am a data junkie, so we've assigned point values to each item (I know, a bit much for most folks), and the end result is a value (based upon our preferences) for each coach.
Each time we step into a coach, we check it against our list; L-shaped sofa, tv in a poor place, over-head bunk, flush-mounted stove, etc. Doing so, we have been able to rule out several models based on our personal preference.

As far as fifth wheel vs. bumper pull. I don't have any experience with a fifth wheel, but I have heard they are easier to manage, but the beauty of it all, you won't know the difference with whatever you buy since you have no prior experience. Buy the floorplan that best suits your desires, be it fifth wheel or bumper pull. Either one will be a learning experience.
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Old 03-01-2016, 05:58 AM   #10
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In your post you say you have approx. 2yrs. before deciding. That's where we were 8yrs. ago. As mentioned already go to dealers & RV shows to look them over. We finally decided on a used diesel pusher for our full time adventure, but everyone is different. I knew we would be moving a lot so it was the diesel for us. However, if we were going to go somewhere and sit for long periods of time I would have purchased a FW. Just keep reading, looking, and asking questions. You'll eventually zero in on the type of RV that will fit your life style. And then you can REALLY get down to searching for it. In two years I would think you could get a late 2000's used diesel motorhome for what you want to spend. I'm not familiar with the resale prices on FW's.
2000 Dutch Star Pusher
2009 Saturn Vue Towed
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Old 03-01-2016, 02:10 PM   #11
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You may want to think about where you plan to travel and how long you plan to keep the RV. Some campgrounds do not allow towed RVs (FW or TT). And if you decide you want to move up, how costly will it be? There is a reason folks say purchase your third RV first if you can...
2014 Newmar Bay Star 3308
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Old 03-01-2016, 02:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Patti Brown View Post
You may want to think about where you plan to travel and how long you plan to keep the RV. Some campgrounds do not allow towed RVs (FW or TT). And if you decide you want to move up, how costly will it be? There is a reason folks say purchase your third RV first if you can...
Really? No TT or FW??
David & Marion, MacGregor, Manitoba
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Old 03-01-2016, 02:30 PM   #13
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wannagetaway, The first question we asked ourselves was what do we want to be doing in 2-5-10 years. Travel the state, the US, North America? What activities will we be doing: Hobbies, fishing, hiking, reading, sunning, exploring, dancing, physical or sedentary. Winter in the South or West. Summer in the North, Alaska, Canada? Stay in one place? Visit: children, grand children, friends, relatives.

These are questions that we used to understand our expectationS in retirement and helped us to conclude what we would purchase. We also did short travels before retirement to give a better understanding of our needs and desires.

Safe travels and THE JOY ISIN THE RIDE
2004 Meridian, 2006 Jeep Liberty, Blue Ox, Airforce one
FMCA 403779
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Old 03-02-2016, 05:54 PM   #14
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Travel Trailer = moderately expensive
Fifth Wheel = more expensive
Motor Home = way more expensive

Getting what you want, need or desire = priceless.

Gordon and Janet
Tour 42QD/inTech Stacker
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