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Old 09-19-2014, 10:01 AM   #1
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Newbie looking to buy first....not sure

Hello all
I'm new to RV'ing and have so many questions that I would love to ask but my first one is probably the most important oneÖ..Should I buy an RV or a travel trailer?

I've NEVER owned an RV/TT before, neither did my parents or my in-laws; so we have NO experience with RV/TT.

My wife and I have two boys and we've done several tent camping (with our SUV parked next to us) over the past few years. Weíre definitely not experts but the one thing that we realized is our family loves being outdoors and enjoys camping so over the last couple of years we've done trips to Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Nova Scotia. As much as we could we tried staying in campgrounds (tent or cabins) as well as hotels. My wife and I decided that we wanted to get an RV/TT to travel more with the kids before they get too old and don't want to go on vacation with us anymore. Below are some of our reasons for buying a RV/TT

1. We donít really like staying in cabins/hotels because we donít like using (i.e. sleeping, etc.) other peopleís things (i.e. blankets, sheets, etc.)
2. Cost saving as we could eat some meals in the RV/TT, when staying in hotels we eat out EVERY meal
3. More comfortable (and safer) than tent camping
4. We can take the dog with us (also a cost saving)

We figured we try a TT first as itís a cheaper investment and since we already have a full size SUV we donít need to buy a tow vehicle. The one thing I love about RVs is the ability to walk go to the back and grab food/drinks/etc., where as in a TT you cannot. We are planning on several national park trips over the next few years (i.e. Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, etc.) and would love to do the trip with an RV/TT. We might also use it for trips to Disney, Hershey Park, etc.

Sorry for the long message, but wanted to give you some background about my family.
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Old 09-19-2014, 10:13 AM   #2
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Well, we started out with a popup, then went to two TTs, then a 5th wheel, and now we're on Class A #3. Life's a journey. When our kids were young, we started in the popup then moved to a TT for about 10 years. Loved it. Then, our travel patterns changed (long distance trips), so the Class A made more sense. If you already have the SUV capable of towing, go out and find a really nice used TT and give it a try. You won't regret it. Just make sure your tow is capable of towing whatever you get, fully loaded and with passengers.
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Old 09-19-2014, 10:19 AM   #3
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Glad you're aboard. Get out to the RV shows and see how each "feel" by imagining yourself traveling and camping in them. Then find a floor plan you both like within your price point. Best of luck in your search and decision. Enjoy your adventures and be safe.
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Old 09-19-2014, 10:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agc23 View Post
Hello all
I'm new to RV'ing and have so many questions that I would love to ask but my first one is probably the most important oneÖ..Should I buy an RV or a travel trailer?

I've NEVER owned an RV/TT before, neither did my parents or my in-laws; so we have NO experience with RV/TT.

My wife and I have two boys and we've done several tent camping (with our SUV parked next to us) over the past few years. Weíre definitely not experts but the one thing that we realized is our family loves being outdoors and enjoys camping so over the last couple of years we've done trips to Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Nova Scotia. As much as we could we tried staying in campgrounds (tent or cabins) as well as hotels. My wife and I decided that we wanted to get an RV/TT to travel more with the kids before they get too old and don't want to go on vacation with us anymore. Below are some of our reasons for buying a RV/TT

1. We donít really like staying in cabins/hotels because we donít like using (i.e. sleeping, etc.) other peopleís things (i.e. blankets, sheets, etc.)
2. Cost saving as we could eat some meals in the RV/TT, when staying in hotels we eat out EVERY meal
3. More comfortable (and safer) than tent camping
4. We can take the dog with us (also a cost saving)

We figured we try a TT first as itís a cheaper investment and since we already have a full size SUV we donít need to buy a tow vehicle. The one thing I love about RVs is the ability to walk go to the back and grab food/drinks/etc., where as in a TT you cannot. We are planning on several national park trips over the next few years (i.e. Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, etc.) and would love to do the trip with an RV/TT. We might also use it for trips to Disney, Hershey Park, etc.

Sorry for the long message, but wanted to give you some background about my family.
Welcome to IRV2 and the wonderful, wacky world of RV'ing! We're sure glad you chose to join the bunch here!

Just a bit of clarification first. The term "RV" is a broad term that covers motorhomes (all classes), 5th wheels, and travel trailers. I'm sure you are using it to describe a motorhome.

As to which you choose, there's a lot to consider. If you will be using it primarily for local camping with occasional long trips you may want to consider either a TT or 5er. Motorhomes are more expensive to buy and also to maintain long-term. Since you don't have a tow vehicle for a 5er then the TT would be the logical choice as the least expensive way to "stick your toe in the water". This is just my simple logic and others may feel differently. Hope you find the right rig for your family's needs!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 09-19-2014, 10:40 AM   #5
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well lets see. that's almost the same question as, what is the purpose of life? everybody and every family needs are different. we live in BC Canada, I am 57 this year, my wife is 50. we have been together for 10 years now. about 8 years ago we started tenting and then bought a boat. then 3 years ago a very bad rain storm came and lasted for about 26 hours. we decided to buy an older class C. we found just what we wanted in town for the price we wanted. the following camping year was much better. the next year we took the month of march off and went south. we did not plan anything we just went. we stayed in palm springs for about a week then took off to Tennessee before coming home. on the way home we decided to sell the house and pretty much everything else, buy a larger class A and move into it. it's been 2 full years and we love it.
point is who really knows what's right for you and yours.
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:16 AM   #6
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I really appreciate all of the feedback

We’re definitely leaning towards the TT because of the financial implication….much cheaper to buy a TT than MH. We went to the RV show in Hershey last weekend and definitely saw a few floorplans that we like, we would like to stay with a smaller TT as I think it will be much easier to learn with a smaller TT and won’t have issues staying in some campgrounds or going uphill.

Do you think this set-up will work

Tow vehicle: 2009 GMC Yukon XL Denali
Engine size: 6.2L V8
Max towing capacity: 8,0000 lbs.
GVWR: 7,400 lbs.
GAWR FRT: 3,600 lbs.
GAWR RR: 4,200 lbs.
Curb Weight of Truck: 5,838 lbs.
Max payload: 1379 lbs.

Keystone Passport 2650BH/2590BH
GVWR: 7,200 lbs.
Dry Weight: 4,893lbs.
Hitch Weight: 595 lbs.
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agc23 View Post
I really appreciate all of the feedback

We’re definitely leaning towards the TT because of the financial implication….much cheaper to buy a TT than MH. We went to the RV show in Hershey last weekend and definitely saw a few floorplans that we like, we would like to stay with a smaller TT as I think it will be much easier to learn with a smaller TT and won’t have issues staying in some campgrounds or going uphill.

Do you think this set-up will work

Tow vehicle: 2009 GMC Yukon XL Denali
Engine size: 6.2L V8
Max towing capacity: 8,0000 lbs.
GVWR: 7,400 lbs.
GAWR FRT: 3,600 lbs.
GAWR RR: 4,200 lbs.
Curb Weight of Truck: 5,838 lbs.
Max payload: 1379 lbs.

Keystone Passport 2650BH/2590BH
GVWR: 7,200 lbs.
Dry Weight: 4,893lbs.
Hitch Weight: 595 lbs.

I don't really know anything about TT's (had three 5ers before getting the MH) but it sounds like you might be on the right track!
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:19 PM   #8
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agc23, I think everyone on this forum at one time in their life has the same question...what do I start with. My opinion is with a young family, start with a TT, but get some bang for your buck and don't go too small or you will be miserable. We started with an Airstream (wayyy too expensive when there are some great TT out there for a lot less money), used it for several years and climbed the ladder to a Class C. I'd like to say our kids were too old to travel with us, but at one time, we had 4 adults in a 27' Airstream (great memories, tons of laughs). Keep the TT for awhile and then decide if you like the RVing thing, go bigger. Nice thing with towables is you don't have to exchange vehicles for a smaller one to tow. I had a Suburban that I loved and literally cried when we sold it to get our CRV that we currently tow!
Glad you looked at Hershey...I don't allow myself to visit RV shows anymore...get the "I wants" really bad!
Check the Winnebago towables, I walked thru one a couple months ago and was surprised at the quality! WOW.
Let us know what you get and go out and make some memories with those kids!!
Safe travels.
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:24 PM   #9
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agc23:

Just a couple of thoughts -

How old are your boys? Would a "bunk bed" configuration work for you (now and for their future growth)? If so, it will give you more floor space for other things.

Do you need slide outs? They're always more roomy but could be a pain if you like to camp in the woods amongst the trees.

Keep in mind the location of the bathroom.
If your boys need nighttime potty breaks, it may be best if they're near the bathroom.

We have a motorhome, and yes, it's nice to be able to get and fix a sandwich or get drink refill while driving (well, the DW anyway), but with a little foresight, you can easily make adjustments to your schedules while towing with your SUV.

Good luck!
O LLOYD
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:41 PM   #10
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Kdsgone2dogs,
I left Hershey saying "I NEED IT ALL". At this time I think we're leaning towards a used TT and go from there.

O Lloyd,
My boys are ages 11 and 9, goal is to be able to use this trailer for a few years. We loved the full size bunk beds because of the additional space but realized that we really only needed single bunks, beside the TT with full size bunk beds are bigger/longer and heavier. We would love to get a slide to have extra room in the TT, for the most part we only camp in campgrounds.

We're looking at a 2011 Passport which is approx $3k-$4k less than buying new or does it make more sense to buy a new one for that price difference.
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:54 PM   #11
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Welcome and glad to meet you!

A TT is an RV. Your question should be do I buy a TT, a 5th wheel or a MH (Class A, B or C)
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Old 09-19-2014, 01:19 PM   #12
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Glad to have you here with us.

I think your idea of starting with a TT is a good idea. As you stated the financial outlay is smaller and your risk is lower. If you find that this is a lifestyle you enjoy you can always upgrade.

Best oof luck with your decision and Happy Trails!!!
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Old 09-19-2014, 01:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Medico View Post
Welcome and glad to meet you!

A TT is an RV. Your question should be do I buy a TT, a 5th wheel or a MH (Class A, B or C)
Also included as "RVs" are truck campers (that go in the back of a truck), pop-ups (folding trailers), and the hard and soft walled hybrids.

I'm really surprised that your XL only has that small amount of payload. If I were you, the very first thind I'd do is take your XL to some scales and get an accurate weight of it with a full tank of fuel. Subtract that weight from your GVWR and that will be your actual payload capability. "Everything" you put in or on your XL including you, passengers, equipment....and the trailers tongue weight and hitch system will be subtracted from that new actual payload capacity. You'll be very surprised how quickly all that stuff will add up.

Also, another very important factor is the advertised "dry" weight and tongue weight of the TT. Remember you will only pull it once while it is empty. From then on, that TT will get heavier and heavier as you will find more and more things to put in it. If you can, get the dealer to weigh the tongue of the TT prior to purchasing to make sure that, at least starting out, it will leave you with sufficient payload capacity on your XL.

Good luck...

Ron
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Old 09-19-2014, 09:45 PM   #14
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Good luck with your choice.
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