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Old 07-04-2014, 12:52 PM   #1
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Location: Monterey, CA
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Veteran camper (camping veteran?) checking in

Hello fellow RVers. I am a new member here, but my wife and I have been camping for as long as we've known each other. Starting with backpacking tents in college, we've always loved the outdoors.

We bought a Coleman Santa Fe pop-up used in 2003 when we returned from an overseas duty station, and thoroughly enjoyed it. However, with two large dogs and two cats, it was a busy place. We upgraded to a 32' TT in 2006, and went through three pickups before we finally settled on a GMC Allison/Duramax combo which was a dream to tow with.

Several long deployments negatively impacted the usefulness of the trailer and big diesel truck, so we let it go in 2012. A new job with a little more free time reminded us how much we enjoyed getting out and camping, so we're back with a pop-up which we could tow with our existing SUV while still getting a king bed and another bed for the dogs.

We're working on a family now, and with the possible adoption of a group of siblings in the near future, we think that pop-up with kids and three dogs may not be a fun place for long.

We know we don't want another towable, as the time to pick it up from storage and hook it up made a two day weekend trip impractical for us. My wife could drive the big rig like an ace, but connecting the torsion bars was never an option for her, and we just didn't like all the hassle.

We're leaning toward a motorhome in the mid 30 foot range. We don't want a van based Class C due to the tiny passenger side footwell (we're both nearly 6 feet tall) and the low towing capacity. We thought some of the Class A gas rigs in that size looked very promising, until I noticed the GVWR/GCWR numbers meant most of them couldn't pull our 5,400lb Durango. Some (including a local dealer) have advocated installing a 10,000 pound hitch, but I won't go beyond what the manufacturer specifies. I don't like towing more than about 70% of what the manufacturer rates, and I certainly won't blow past their max numbers. We had enough white-knuckle experiences towing our "1/2 ton capable" TT with a GMC 1500 and GMC 2500 gas truck. Never again.

That said, I really like the Thor Super-C with the Powerstroke diesel and the Palazzo models with the Cummins. My big concern is how much quality compromise is being made in the "house" to get a diesel powered rig in the $110-130K selling price category. I'll probably repost some of this rambling in a different part of the forum, but for now, thanks for having me onboard, and I look to some great insight from the members.

Case and Lesley Garrison

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Old 07-04-2014, 12:59 PM   #2
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for your service

Glad to have you onboard Case and Lesley. Best of luck in your search. Enjoy the future adventures and be safe.

Have a wonderful day!
Ken (RVM 87)
FT DP Wanna B The journey is the destination!
Retired & perfecting procrastination!
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:10 PM   #3
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Happy 4th July! Given your possible increase in family, have you thought of a 5th wheel......Largely depends on your truck.....but dollar for dollar I think you get a lot for your money. Whatever you decide, good luck.

Safe and Happy travels.
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Old 07-04-2014, 03:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Fred1609 View Post

Happy 4th July! Given your possible increase in family, have you thought of a 5th wheel......Largely depends on your truck.....but dollar for dollar I think you get a lot for your money. Whatever you decide, good luck.

Safe and Happy travels.

We definitely thought about it, but we got rid of the truck when we got rid of the camper. Also, our old quad cab GMC had plenty of room for the dogs, but with the addition of little ones, I don't think it would cut it. I guess I should mention that our three dogs weigh 35, 55 and 75 pounds!

Case & Lesley (and the fur kids, Kirby, Tilly & Pippi)
2014 Rockwood 2280BH w/ solar and inverter
2012 Dodge Durango AWD V8
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Old 07-04-2014, 04:12 PM   #5
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Hi Case & Lesley! Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you join us!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 07-04-2014, 04:54 PM   #6
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Welcome to the irv2 gang, Case & Leslie! I can understand a lot of what you are saying. DW and I have been away from camping for over 20 years, but finally found our way back. Folks here were a lot of help with our questions over the past year of research and we bought our Jayco Precept 31ul in February 2014. It's a Ford chassis gasser. It sounds like your desire for a larger DP is well thought out.

You will get a lot of good info from folks here in these forums. It's where we found most of our help. The only comment I can make is that folks who have the DP models don't seem to be complaining of the quality in their units. If you purchase a pre-owned model, you may have some things you need to repair/upgrade/replace, but you know that comes with the RV world.

Good luck with whatever you choose and get back to the fun!
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Old 07-04-2014, 07:08 PM   #7
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Decisions, decisions, decisions, good luck with making the best one.
John & Cathy R.
06 Pace Arrow 38L W24
08 Lincoln MKX AWD
See My RV Upgrades
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Old 07-04-2014, 09:07 PM   #8
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Glad to have you here wiith us. Happy Trails!!
Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
Newmar Dutch Star 4320, Spartan MM Chassis, Cat C9, Jeep Grand Cherokee,with Hemi, hooked up with a Blue Ox Aventa LX, and Brake Buddy.
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Old 07-05-2014, 05:20 AM   #9
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Welcome ....
Terry & Brenda - From the Iowa Banks of the Mighty Mississippi
2011 Winnie Journey 34y, Freightliner / Cummins , 2012 Chevy Colorado Toad

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Old 07-05-2014, 06:10 PM   #10
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Bruce Dickson 2013 Thor Challenger 37GT, 5 Star Tune, Safe-T-Plus Steering Control with Air Trim, Roadmaster front and rear Sway Bars, SuperSteer rear Track Bar, Crossfires, 2012 Honda CRV on Blue Ox Aventa LX tow bar. Full timers since Jan 2012.
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:45 AM   #11
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Welcome and glad to meet you!

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