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Old 10-11-2016, 02:20 PM   #1
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Grnwld's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Eureka, MO
Posts: 2
Newbie - bought truck, need help with TT

Hi! My husband (Chris) and I (I'm Michele) have been stalking the internet for...feels like forever. Little history...we previously thought we would get a Class C and went to a couple RV shows a few years ago scoping them out b/c we knew it would be a while before our purchase (we had just had our son). Fast forward about 5 years, our son is 6 and now we also have a 1 year old daughter. Our family is complete...and so we've gotten more serious about the RV thing. My hubby is a camper but I prefer more modern amenities. We both love to travel and our bucket list is to hit as many of the national parks as we can. I read that MH's were for traveling and TT were for camping. However, we decided on the truck and TT due to the cost of buying, storing and maintaining a MH since we both work full time. Due to the work thing (M-F) and the kids being small, we will just be doing weekend trips and maybe one or two weeks during the year. We are in a good spot in the Midwest to slowly expand our circle as time goes on. We do both get 4.5 weeks of vacation each year...I think you get the picture. Nice to meet you all!

We live in St. Louis County and actually have 2 dealerships in our small town of Eureka: TraversRV.com sells primarily Heartland and ByerlyRV.com sells primarily Keystone & Forest River Wildwood. We are actually renting the Keystone Passport 2400BH the weekend of November 4-6th to get a feel for how a 24' box/27' Ext Length would do for us.

The feedback I'm hoping to get from this experienced group is:

1) How important are bunkbeds for the kiddos? I feel like we could go with a smaller travel trailer (such as the one mentioned above), if they had their own dedicated space. I prefer the double bunks - as they are going to grow & some of the singles seem like coffins. Also, the idea of "making beds" daily, especially since I bet we will all be on different sleep schedules, makes me think a bunk house is a priority. Thoughts from those with real life experience?

2) Size...see #1 above. I've heard that most people end up trading in their RV for a larger one. We'd prefer to just buy one and have it be one that stand the test of time (especially if we buy a nice one). We really aren't looking to tow around anything over 30' for many reasons. I've seen some 26-28' BH models (box size) that would put us at our preferred max tow length. Or, is towing a larger TT really not that big of a deal? A 30' box + toungue = 33-34'. That just seems huge to me. Perspective, anyone??

3) I know this ? needs handled with finesse...but I really don't know about the difference in quality brands and I'm looking for some suggestions considering our primary weekend travel with 2 small kids.

We are intrigued by the "lite" versions; however, I've read that some experienced people don't like them for one reason or another. Are there any good quality lite versions? We know we want the walkable roof and enclosed underbelly. After that...I honestly get overwhelmed! We won't be full-time RV'ers so we don't want to splurge at this point in the game. We are thinking the $20-$30k range. Is this realistic for a new TT to fit our needs?

FWIW: I saw at the dealership the other day a new 2017 Keystone Hideout 175LHS for $12k. But, he steared me away from it b/c it saying it didn't have the enclosed underbelly or other upgrades. But, I was like - hey! It's a little over $10k and it's brand new. I also see they have new 2017 Keystone Hideout 262LHS for $15k and new 2017 Forest River Wildwood X-Lite 261BHXL for $16k.

Would any of these be a good one to get our "feet wet" with...or should we go for a better build...and if so, what is a better built TT? I've read about Artic Fox, Gulfstream, Jayco, Bigfoot, Creekside. We do get all 4 seasons in MO and plan to travel year round - I read the "lite" are lighter on insulation but just not sure we will use it enough to go for the "4 season" upgrade as our entry model.

FYI: We were initially looking the Coachmen Apex 245BHS and the Freedom Express 257BHS due to their use of azdel and their tech seems updated. However, I've also heard to stay clear of them?

I'd love an airstream, but not for our first (& the hubby doesn't really like them). I do like the Winnebago Minnie 2455BHS Ultralite! Any thoughts on that one?

Thanks for any feedback and encouragement! I know once we get out there, we will have a blast!

Chris and Michele and DS (6) and DD (1)
2016 F-150: Lariat, Screw, 4x4, 3.5L EcoBoost & Max Tow Pkg
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Old 10-11-2016, 02:21 PM   #2
Senior Member/RVM #90
MSHappyCampers's Avatar

Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Columbus, MS
Posts: 29,518
Hi Chris & Michelle! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

I think I'd better let the younger folks here answer your questions!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!

Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 10-11-2016, 02:29 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Eureka, MO
Posts: 2
One more spec preference ?

As for the double door entry (one specifically to the bathroom), it seems you give up the outdoor kitchen on most of the models we've looked at. Do you prefer one over the other? I know my hubby has been cooking on the campfire during his years of camping, so I'm wondering if he will switch to the "outdoor kitchen" or if the separate entry to the bathroom to avoid tracking dirt and letting in mosquitoes to the entire trailer would be the better/more useful options, considering it's us + two kids! Thanks, again, everyone! I really do look forward to hearing what you like and don't like.
Chris and Michele and DS (6) and DD (1)
2016 F-150: Lariat, Screw, 4x4, 3.5L EcoBoost & Max Tow Pkg
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need help, newbie

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