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Old 12-13-2015, 02:36 PM   #1
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Nearly retired, dipping our toes into the RV pool.

Wife and I rented a MH not too long ago and enjoyed ourselves. Today she mentioned that she would like to do more RV'ing. We plan to retire in a few years, not really sure when.

Here is a link to when we were planning this trip.
Newbies first trip: Seattle to Salt Lake City

We decided that for us a nice used travel trailer is probably the best bet. I am used to towing and am comfortable with the idea.

We plan on renting a travel trailer in the future to find out what appeals to us most.

I'm 56, she's 55 and longevity tends to run in our families.
Both of us are in good health. I love to fish, boat and scuba dive and cook. Wife loves to do genealogy research and may do that for hire.

What I think I would want is a TT is:
1) One queen or larger bed and the dinette makes a bed. Anything beyond that will be wasted space, we are taking no one with us and we will have not pets.
2) A decent kitchen with an oven. Three burner stove top is plenty.
3) A bathroom with a tall shower.
4) Storage. I would want to take my fish frying gear, fishing gear and scuba stuff.

We are on the frugal side so we would be purchasing used but not abused. There is no savings in buying something that needs constant repair and is unsafe.

Our current tow vehicle is an 2013 F150 CrewCab with factory towing package. That could be changed if needed but would really like to stay with it.

Of course I would like as large as can be SAFELY towed by my vehicle. I do not want to run a max ratings. That is just tempting the "Gods of Misfortune" to smile upon you and bless you with their presence.


With all that said, what pearls of wisdom do you care to toss before us?
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Old 12-13-2015, 03:12 PM   #2
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Personally, I would not want a TT. I've read too many accounts of accidents from fishtailing, etc.

Have you considered a 5th wheel? We pulled 5ers for 11 years before getting the MH and loved them! I'm not sure what you could pull with the F150 but it might be worth looking into! I think there would be a lot more storage space in a 5er, and they are VERY stable on the road!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 12-13-2015, 03:21 PM   #3
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I think you've thought this out pretty clearly and did a smart thing by renting an RV to confirm your interest in doing this more.

We kind of working to it by tent camping, then a Suburban with a tent attached at the back, then a 31' Class C and now a 38' Class A diesel pusher. Each step up benefited us and we still enjoy going on trips.

The larger the RV the more stuff you can carry and the more comfortable you'll be. My advice is to imagine yourself in and RV and the weather outside is so miserable you will be stuck in it for a week. Think about the floor plan, are there separate living areas that you can "get away" from each other.

I also agree with the thought of buying a gently used RV. There will be a lot less things that can go wrong with a travel trailer so the risks are minimal and you can always trade up if you really decide you will like camping more.

Good Luck
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Old 12-13-2015, 04:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
Have you considered a 5th wheel?
Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
My pickup has the 5.5 foot bed. I would have to use a slider type fifth wheel hitch. From what I've read on the F150 forums is that you will pretty much max out the truck.
That's now how I like to tow.

Maybe if I can find an ultra-light fifth wheel...
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Old 12-13-2015, 04:57 PM   #5
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You mention that your truck has a towing package, but do you know what the rated capacities are for your combination? I'd start by figuring that out, a number of threads here on that subject. (Perhaps not relevant, but when we started shopping for a truck we discovered that 150's with just the regular tow package were not as capable as those with Max Tow. Without Max Tow option it seemed that a max GVWR for a trailer would be in the range 6500-7000 pounds. 150's with Max Tow are somewhat rare, as dealers typically did not have them in inventory)

Only other thing I could add is that in shopping for used trailers, it seemed the only ones with adequate shower space (I'm 6-2, 226) are units with a rear bathroom.

Good luck!
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Old 12-13-2015, 05:04 PM   #6
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One has to remember, one persons expenditure of 20 - $25k for a RV is a big bite, where someone else doesn't even sneeze at plunking down $100k for a new 5er and a diesel truck to pull it. When we went from our 2005 to the 2013 RV total depreciation was about $8k including taxes. So that wasn't bad for 7 seasons of use.

Your f-150 especially with the short bed is not going to handle a 5er, unless is is something like a Skamp 5er, and those are $$$

Since 05' having purchases two new Aerolite hybrid tt's (24' & 26') and using them a combined 600 nights I wouldn't have had it any other way.

If looking at a tt, pay attention to the fresh water tanks. TT's in the 25' to 32' which is where your F-150 is going to let you go, will range from 28 to 60 gallons. Same thing with the gray tank. You might have a 54 gallon fresh, but only a 30 gallon gray waste tank. We tend to do many 7 night stays, where we'll take showers if the shower facilities are crappy. We have a 54 gallon in our tt we have now.

Were also set to retire in June and are planning a trip to Alaska next summer. I'll be 53 and the DW 50, life is too short....Our next tt' I would like to keep in the 25' to 30' range, but more of a 4 season unit. DW wants to go to the RV show in Jan., but I see a few more years in our present tt.
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Old 12-13-2015, 05:34 PM   #7
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I have the 3.55 axle, which set the limit at 7700 pounds.
I've towed lots of boats, equipment trailers, etc and have had my share of white knuckle moments.

For that reason I plan on limiting my trailer to a dry curb weight of 6500 pounds.
This will mean a WDH of course. Will also have to install a brake controller.

Truck is prewired with the seven round trailer plug in.

The Holiday Rambler Savoy series seems, at first blush, to be something to put on the list. I will add the Aerolite Hybrid to this as well. This is the information I am needing.

As for the bath the head room is a consideration. The rental unit we used had a bubble window in the roof. When I took a shower I was wishing it was clear so I could a least see out.
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:17 PM   #8
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6500 dry weight would push the limits of your truck. I would go a bit lower and limit the length to about 26'.
Get a Ford factory brake controller, not after-market units that can only guess how much braking you want. They are available on ebay.
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parrott_head View Post

With all that said, what pearls of wisdom do you care to toss before us?
My pearls of wisdom are think it out well before you jump in. After four years of reading Trailer Life and MotorHome Magazine as well as visiting dealers and RV shows to figure out the one RV that would meet our needs I thought I had it figured out so I purchased it and found out three years later that it we needed something bigger. Plan with the big picture in mind ask yourself what am I going to do with it down the line in several years.

Focusing on "used by not abused" is a good move but it shouldn't stop you from going to RV shows and dealers to see what is out there so you can narrow down what you want. Each manufacturer is slightly different in construction and fit and finishes. Knowing exactly what you want will help you in your search of the used market.

Reading about your trip I am assuming that you did not take a dingy along on your trip and drove the motorhome around sightseeing. It is different when you park and get in your dingy to do sightseeing. I thought about going with a towable but considering that I would have to put out almost 40K for pickup of the size needed to tow it I figured a few dollars more and I could have a motorhome.

Lastly If you really liked the rental unit you had Cruise America is selling them used for just under 25K in fact all models are around or under 25K. If you have a car that can be towed it might be a good way to get our feet wet.
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Old 12-13-2015, 07:38 PM   #10
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If I read you right you don't want a separate bedroom but want the dinette to convert into a bed.....

First, having to make up a dinette bed gets old very fast....and they're not comfortable or very big.

Second, since you want to buy used you might want to zero in on a Trek. Here are what they are but unfortunately that's a Class A, not a travel trailer. I believe there are other manufacturers that build this concept. With the Trek, the bed lowers from the ceiling and raises it during the day. That way, you save on having no bedroom. and all your space is livable space.

New and Used Safari Trek 2830 Class A With Drop Down Bed RVs for Sale - RVTrader.com&

You also said you want a trailer as big as you can get within safety for your truck. Big trailers will most likely have the separate bedroom.

I think you'll have to study some floorplans to see what's available out there to fit your needs and yes, renting is a good option, but very expensive.

You could also check out the website for PPL Consignment in Texas. They will have all the floorplans for the trailers on their lot. It's a good way to get ideas of size and what's in them.

Good luck!
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Old 12-13-2015, 07:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by lynnmor View Post
Get a Ford factory brake controller, not after-market units that can only guess how much braking you want. They are available on ebay.
That I did not know and reading about them on Amazon I like that they have to flash the vehicle so that it knows it now has a controller and I would assume it is so braking modulation can be controlled better.

Thanks for that!
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Old 12-13-2015, 08:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
If I read you right you don't want a separate bedroom but want the dinette to convert into a bed.....

First, having to make up a dinette bed gets old very fast....and they're not comfortable or very big.

Second, since you want to buy used you might want to zero in on a Trek. Here are what they are but unfortunately that's a Class A, not a travel trailer. I believe there are other manufacturers that build this concept. With the Trek, the bed lowers from the ceiling and raises it during the day. That way, you save on having no bedroom. and all your space is livable space.

New and Used Safari Trek 2830 Class A With Drop Down Bed RVs for Sale - RVTrader.com&

You also said you want a trailer as big as you can get within safety for your truck. Big trailers will most likely have the separate bedroom.

I think you'll have to study some floorplans to see what's available out there to fit your needs and yes, renting is a good option, but very expensive.

You could also check out the website for PPL Consignment in Texas. They will have all the floorplans for the trailers on their lot. It's a good way to get ideas of size and what's in them.

Good luck!
I may not have explained myself well. Wife and I want a nice, full time bed. It should be queen or larger. It would also be nice if the dinette would make a small bed just in case we take someone with us. The second bed is not a major consideration.
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Old 12-14-2015, 05:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parrott_head View Post
Wife and I rented a MH not too long ago and enjoyed ourselves. Today she mentioned that she would like to do more RV'ing. We plan to retire in a few years, not really sure when.

Here is a link to when we were planning this trip.
Newbies first trip: Seattle to Salt Lake City

We decided that for us a nice used travel trailer is probably the best bet. I am used to towing and am comfortable with the idea.

We plan on renting a travel trailer in the future to find out what appeals to us most.

I'm 56, she's 55 and longevity tends to run in our families.
Both of us are in good health. I love to fish, boat and scuba dive and cook. Wife loves to do genealogy research and may do that for hire.

What I think I would want is a TT is:
1) One queen or larger bed and the dinette makes a bed. Anything beyond that will be wasted space, we are taking no one with us and we will have not pets.
2) A decent kitchen with an oven. Three burner stove top is plenty.
3) A bathroom with a tall shower.
4) Storage. I would want to take my fish frying gear, fishing gear and scuba stuff.

We are on the frugal side so we would be purchasing used but not abused. There is no savings in buying something that needs constant repair and is unsafe.

Our current tow vehicle is an 2013 F150 CrewCab with factory towing package. That could be changed if needed but would really like to stay with it.

Of course I would like as large as can be SAFELY towed by my vehicle. I do not want to run a max ratings. That is just tempting the "Gods of Misfortune" to smile upon you and bless you with their presence.


With all that said, what pearls of wisdom do you care to toss before us?

I started out tent, fold down old mh, newer mh, 5th wheel 36ft, newer truck 7.3 34ft 5th wheel 3 axel, and now 38 ft hr 1 slide.
I would go with 5th wheel except wife has a hip that does not like the truck, so mh it is
Like others see what fits and you like.
slowdown
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:30 AM   #14
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As stated, your Ford 150 will limit the size trailer you can tow. Buying used is a good idea because more than likely, you will end up buying something and after learning what you like/dislike about it, you will trade it in on a different RV. That being said, our Winnebago 2201DS works for us and we tow it with a 1/2 ton truck. We like our particular trailer due to the outside kitchen, well designed bathroom and lots of storage for longer trips. Being a smaller trailer, the dinette serves as the main "living room" and we use an extra folding chair when inside watching TV or reading.

Our water, gray and black tanks aren't very large, but meet our needs as we usually have full hook-ups. I also carry a blue tote for when I need to empty the tanks. Whatever you do, just invest in a good hitch with sway control. We've had a travel trailer since 2002 and have never had any sway problems or towing issues. Travel trailers can be one of the more economical ways to have an RV. They typically cost less.

You mention that you like to fish. If you have a trailered boat and want to take it with you, then consider some form of a motor home. A used class C could be one type to consider.

Take your time and look at a lot of RVs and see what you think will work for you. And read up on towing and the limitations of towing with a 1/2 ton truck versus a 3/4 or 1 ton truck. If you decide that you want a larger trailer (30'+) consider getting a 3/4 or 1 ton truck and you will have a lot more choices due to towing capacity. And, a 3/4 or 1 ton truck will handle a fifth wheel trailer if you decide to purchase one.

Good luck!
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