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Old 10-09-2011, 10:25 PM   #1
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Talking Hi from a newby.

Hi all, we are Betty and Charles Spray, new members to this site. We live just outside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Western North Carolina. We are both nurses, and are working our last few years before retirement. Our children are all grown and married, and we have 11 wonderful grandchildren. We love boating and camping. We do not currently own an RV, however we are not new to the RV lifestyle. Our last rig was a 36 foot Holiday Imperial 5th wheel, that we sold about 5 years ago, returning to tent camping. Now our bodies are just too old to sleep in a tent. We still own our tow vehicle, a 2002 F-350, dually, crewcab, 4x4 with the 7.3 Liter Power Stroke diesel, and a 6 speed manual trans. The rig has the camper package on it, with a 4:10 gear, and all of the nice factory camper accessories. I bought the truck new in 02, and it has never been used as a daily driver. It stays inside of our garage waiting on its next towing assignment, and currently has 42K miles on it. The truck has a 11,600 GVW. I can dare say that we are in good shape in the truck department. We tow a 22 foot Mach 1 Sport Cuddy with a 454 Bravo 1 engine and outdrive. The boat sees a lot of duty as a water sports boat for our grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. My goal is to purchase a late model truck camper to haul on the F-350. I want to be able to tow the boat behind the truck, and also be able to tow a 24 foot enclosed race car trailer with a classic muscle car inside. The boat weighs 5K on the trailer, loaded with fuel, and the race car trailer weighs 7K loaded. My initial thoughts are to stay with a 8 1/2 to 9 foot TC, although I want a self contained unit, preferabably with a generator. We would love to have one of those gigantic 12 footers, but do not want the problems of trying to tow heavy trailers with a four foot overhang. We don't want a slideout, as they extra maintenance problems and potential leaks do not seem to be worth the trouble. The brands that I like so far are the Lance, Artic Fox, and Bigfoot. I am open to any and all suggestions about how to set this rig up correctly. Thanks in advance.

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Old 10-10-2011, 12:06 AM   #2
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Hello Betty and Charles, and welcome to iRV2. It's good to hear that your planing to get back to RVing; like you say these old bodies won't handle a tent anymore. Your camper choices look great, but I'm wondering if your aware that Bigfoot has closed out. I liked their products all the way back to the original 17'TT, made in the back of a bathtub plant , but they fell victim to the 08 crunch, sold off the last of the inventory in 09 and shut down. British Columbia lost 3 RV manufacturers, in 18 months, and there's a real short list of plants running here in Canada. Because all the major equipment makers are still around , parts should not be an issue, but I just thought you would like to know. Good luck in your quest for the perfect set up.

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Old 10-10-2011, 05:06 AM   #3
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Hi Skip426, Thanks for the welcome! Thanks for the heads up about Bigfoot. I had heard that they went out of business, but were back in business. Maybe I misread something... Bigfoot seems to be more popular out west, of course truck campers in general seem to be more popular in the west. I like the clam shell design of the Bigfoot, as it seems like it is a durable construction. We have Lance dealers within a couple of hundred miles from us, however the closest Artic Fox dealer is in DE, about 675 miles away. We really like the Artic Fox 865, however having a dealer in the same general area is a plus, so we will probably choose Lance as first choice. If we can't find a used one that fits our criteria, we will probably go with a new one.
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:17 AM   #4
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Glad you decided to join us. Hope you enjoy the site and the many great people here. Enjoy your new shopping quest for the new TC and enjoy your times traveling. Be safe and Happy Motoring!!!
Steve & Sally / Hudson Our Little Pom / Heidi, Houston & HiTee Forever in our Hearts
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:54 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum from western PA.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:20 AM   #6
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Talking welcome

hey ya'll, we started full-time rving.we have a fleetwood 31ft tioga. i just retired in feb.,actually got tired of getting up @4am driving an hour ea. way.really couldn't see a reason to stay another 3 years. so....., i quit!!!!!!! made last rally in va. and had a blast!!!we are trying to get together a week-end trip to ????my wife brenda is doing it.i can't remember where (crs) we live outside of raleigh in zebulon. later ya'll
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:48 AM   #7
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Hello and welcome. Let us know when you have your rig and are ready to go. We love the Brysen City area. Camped in Franklin last year and hope to go back this summer.
Brenda and Frank, FTers, Zebulon, NC
Raisin our mixed hound and BooBoo our cat.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:41 AM   #8
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Thanks all for the welcome.
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:10 AM   #9
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Welcome to the forum. Glad to have you here.

NC is one of my favorite places. I love the drive through the mountains along I 40, just beautiful.
US Navy Vet, Liberty Tree Member of Oath Keepers, NRA & VFW Life Member, Alaska EMT.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:50 PM   #10
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Hi Charles & Betty! Good luck on finding what you want & need. That F350 7.3 is a jewel! I would hang on to it! Good luck & God bless!
Joe & Annette

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Old 10-13-2011, 04:12 PM   #11
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Thanks for the welcome.

We really like our truck. When Ford made the anouncement that the 7.3 Powerstroke would be phased out in the 2003 model year, I knew it was time to purchase a new truck. My 87 G-30 Chevy crewcab dually 4x4 had 77K miles on it, and I wanted a diesel. I did not want the Lariat trim, as there were too many options that I did not need, and did not want to pay for. It was tough to find a fully loaded XLT with a stick shift, and it turned out that the one that I have now was the only 2002 still left in stock equipped with all of the nice stuff, good gear ratio, and a stick. And it was only 130 miles from us in Greenville, SC. Apparently the dealer messed up when they ordered the truck, as it had every single option one could add to an XLT, plus the wrecker package which is weird since it is a crewcab dually pickup. It works perfectly for us, and my local dealer drives me nuts trying to buy the thing from me every time it goes in for service. My plan is to keep it until my death, and then the kids can fight over it.
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:19 AM   #12
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:21 AM   #13
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:27 PM   #14
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Just joined myself but can tell i'm gonna spend a lot of time here!!

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