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Old 12-07-2011, 09:09 PM   #1
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Newbie needs sound advice

I am so new, I haven't purchased my rig yet. That is why I am on this site. I live in Hawaii right now. Island fever struck and I've decided to go back to the Mainland. I've gotten rid of all the "stuff" when I moved here so I don't even need to down size. I am just waiting for my lease to run out so I can go.
Now here is the advice I need; I have all ready picked out my rig, it will be a 2012 39ft7in HitchHiker Champagne . I have chosen the 2012 Chevy Silverado 3500HD. (I drove a Ford Dulley for past 10 years) and I drove a 26ft MH for 2 years (11 years ago) so I know about wide turns, but do ya all think I could handle that much 5th Wheel on the road? I am now 59 and will hit 60 before I leave Hawaii. Other than a trucker and the young, is there anyone out there doing it that's over 60 and comfortable with it? I plan on parking it at different sites for say 3-6 months at a time and then in Summer travel northern routes for about 2 months (gotta show the grand kid America), then park till it cools down and back down south I will go for the winter. Hopefully I will have the ability for say 3 or 4 years then I can pick something south and stay put. Any thoughts? Also choked on Allstate's quote of $1774 to insure both. Is that normal or outrageous? I almost forgot, Full Timers, what do you figure it costs a month to live like this?
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:40 PM   #2
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I don't think you will have alot of problems. That said I would take the truck out and get used to how it handles and then hook up the trailer and find a large parking lot at a non busy time and get used to turning and backing etc. It all depends on how comfortable you are with your driving skills. I have seen men and women alot older than yourself driving all kinds of rigs without problems. Maybe your dealer could help with some instruction. Welcome to the site and enjoy your new adventure.
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:26 PM   #3
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I am the young(?) (40s) but most of what I see is dependent on ability and distance judging versus age.
On the I insurance, I think it sounds high but depends on the state. Try Good Sam and see what they come up with. They were GMAC and now Ally (I think). Some insurances that are not specifically RV orientated will not have proper coverage, make sure you read the fine print.
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:40 PM   #4
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Travaleen, I have a crew cab dually and a 30' 5er and I have no problems, now have pulled trailers since I was in my early teens (on the farm) and drove semi over the road for a couple years. As long as you get used to the rig and remember that it isn't a sports car, you should be fine. My father just sold his 30' motorhome that he also pulled a malibu with, and he is 86 years old, so age isn't the problem, ability and health is the main concern.
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Old 12-08-2011, 03:54 PM   #5
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I'm not quite caught up to you yet- I'm only a young 57 years old. I pull a 39' 5er with a GMC 3500 dually. I'm 56' long when hooked up and have no problems with driving my rig. You just have to take it slow and use common sense and be alert when driving. It's a little scary at first but I think you will be suprised at how quickly you will be able to master your rig. I think you will be fine. The joy of traveling outweighs any worries you have. There is a world of RVers out there that are always ready to give you a hand.
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:54 PM   #6
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Travaleen I don't see why not. I'm 68 and drive 40' MH with 20+ feet, and 5900 lbs) of GMC behind it. A little practice will build your confidence right up.
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:27 AM   #7
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Thanks Everyone

Thanks for the info from all of you. I do think I can do it but I will have a couple of my friends who are 18 Wheelers take me out for a big practice test in a large parking lot once I get my rig. I thought long and hard about my abilities and I have begun to practice driving slower, stopping slower, checking my rear view mirrors every 10 seconds, and though it is only an SUV I have realized that I have become complacent. I drive a little too fast and I do love those California stops. I am really happy that I have recognized my short comings and have months to pull myself back into proper defensive driving mode long before I get behind the wheel of a 5th Wheel and a 1 ton truck. You guys help me think about things I had not considered, I sure am glad you're here. I am also sure you are glad I am here so there will be one less idiot on the road causing accidents.
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travaleen View Post
Thanks for the info from all of you. I do think I can do it but I will have a couple of my friends who are 18 Wheelers take me out for a big practice test in a large parking lot once I get my rig. I thought long and hard about my abilities and I have begun to practice driving slower, stopping slower, checking my rear view mirrors every 10 seconds, and though it is only an SUV I have realized that I have become complacent. I drive a little too fast and I do love those California stops. I am really happy that I have recognized my short comings and have months to pull myself back into proper defensive driving mode long before I get behind the wheel of a 5th Wheel and a 1 ton truck. You guys help me think about things I had not considered, I sure am glad you're here. I am also sure you are glad I am here so there will be one less idiot on the road causing accidents.
Well, you sound like a smart man and will do fine on the road. Good luck to you and your adventures. I am 65 and drive a 40' MH and pull a silverado p/u behind with a Harley in the back. I have no problems and have traveled all over the USA, Canada, and Mexico with it.
Good luck,
Bill
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Old 12-10-2011, 02:04 PM   #9
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Thanks for the compliment Bill2, but I am female not male so I guess I owe you a double thanks for thinking I write like a man! BTW I am a Navy 100%'er...does you income handle your way of life? Hope so, cause if yours does, mine will. Don't answer that unless you are comfortable answering, that is a little nosey!
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:22 PM   #10
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Insurance

Traveleen:
Allstate is excellent insurance however we found insurance for:
1. Full coverage 2004 Toyota
2. Full Coverage for 2000 Safari Trek
3 .Liability only for 1992 Chevrolet Silverado
We found the company (Ameriprise home and auto) at Costco. The yearly auto premium is $1262.00. Before that we had AARP which was about $150.00 more a year.

Have Fun
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:45 PM   #11
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I have Allstate for my truck and fiver and it is good insurance. Saving 15% or more is not worth it when it comes time to use it becuase of a problem you have had.
I bought my truck before the trailer. Iknoew I didnt want to be limited by the truck, so I got a F350 dually. Then I got a 35 ft 5th wheel and Iknew within 1 block from driving away from the trailer dealer that i had gotten the right towing vehicle. I am sure your GM will be the same.
I could not appreciate how much people had said to get a dually and full size bed with as much HP as possible. After towing my 5th wheel through all sorts of situations (cities, open road, high cross winds, high speed limits, construction, etc.) I now appreciate alll of the features of the truck as well as the larger wheels and good tires on the trailer.
No white knuckling it, while watching others with trailers ahead of me blowing all over the road, hopping left and right with every pot hole and you can see the white knuckles gripping the wheel and the only thing whiter is the whites of their wide scared eyes as you pass them.
I recommend going big, and going strong with the trailer And the truck.
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Old 12-10-2011, 05:19 PM   #12
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Newbie needs sound advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travaleen View Post
I am so new, I haven't purchased my rig yet. That is why I am on this site. I live in Hawaii right now. Island fever struck and I've decided to go back to the Mainland. I've gotten rid of all the "stuff" when I moved here so I don't even need to down size. I am just waiting for my lease to run out so I can go.
Now here is the advice I need; I have all ready picked out my rig, it will be a 2012 39ft7in HitchHiker Champagne . I have chosen the 2012 Chevy Silverado 3500HD. (I drove a Ford Dulley for past 10 years) and I drove a 26ft MH for 2 years (11 years ago) so I know about wide turns, but do ya all think I could handle that much 5th Wheel on the road? I am now 59 and will hit 60 before I leave Hawaii. Other than a trucker and the young, is there anyone out there doing it that's over 60 and comfortable with it? I plan on parking it at different sites for say 3-6 months at a time and then in Summer travel northern routes for about 2 months (gotta show the grand kid America), then park till it cools down and back down south I will go for the winter. Hopefully I will have the ability for say 3 or 4 years then I can pick something south and stay put. Any thoughts? Also choked on Allstate's quote of $1774 to insure both. Is that normal or outrageous? I almost forgot, Full Timers, what do you figure it costs a month to live like this?
You did not say what engine your chevy would have. The Hitchhiker is a heavy RV and you may need diesel engine to pull it. I don't know what size gas engine chevy has, but be sure you have enough engine. A 3500 dually will have no problem with the pin weight though. Pulling a fifth wheel is a lot nicer to pull than a regular trailer (I have had both) and you will get used to it. Backing requires a lot of room. Just need to practice.
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Old 12-11-2011, 01:09 AM   #13
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Wow Thanks

The Chevy is a 3500HD and I love the diesel but they have a new gas engine that runs V8 until the computers recognize you don't need as much HP and it drops itself down to a V6. I was really excited when I heard that because, I did not want a toad. With the truck dropping to a V6 it would really save on gas when you take the side trips but I still would have to do a lot more research before I bought it. I probably will end up with a Diesel in the end, ya can't beat the power and the smooth ride of them.
I also agree with Allstate, I have had them for 10 years and I am happy with them. But, I will research to see if there is any better out there.
I am sure I will learn quick enough, You all keep giving me more courage. You are appreciated more than you will know.
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Old 12-11-2011, 06:08 AM   #14
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newbie need advise

GMC no longer offers the engine you mentioned, because of improved milage ratings of conventional engines.
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