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Old 04-30-2011, 08:55 PM   #1
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Pros vs Cons of RV types and Boondocking

Following question(s) arose as my wife and I were discussing a boondocking type situation in relation to the type of RV/toad/towable combination one might have. I guess firstly it should be stated as if the following scenario is one that actually happens with you all or not.

Newbie question from a wish-a-be RVer:

Scenario: you pull into a spot you plan to boondock, say just an overnight stay like at a wal-mart or such; and you want to then go into town further perhaps for a bite to eat, shopping, watch a movie etc.
In a Class A/C with a toad, I'd think you'd simply drop the toad and leave the RV parked while you go gallivanting through the city for a night on the town.

But if you are doing the 5er, TT, TH type RV and just have your towing truck, then I'm assuming you wouldnt then unhook from the RV to go driving around for fear that someone with a truck could simply come in and pull it away at will.

anyway, give us wannabe RVers some insight into what you do in this situation - just take the whole rv combo to wherever you wanna go, or unhook and take the easier to drive around vehicle?
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:28 PM   #2
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Just my opinion - I look at wal-mart type stays as overnight parking. I don't unhook the toad until I reach my destination. The store parking lots are for shopping and, with management approval, overnight parking. If you want to unhook, go to town or tour - stop early at a campground. I consider unhooking the toad as part of getting set-up.
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoemorn View Post
Scenario: you pull into a spot you plan to boondock, say just an overnight stay like at a wal-mart or such; and you want to then go into town further perhaps for a bite to eat, shopping, watch a movie etc.
In a Class A/C with a toad, I'd think you'd simply drop the toad and leave the RV parked while you go gallivanting through the city for a night on the town.
First of all I wouldn't say an overnight stay at Walmart is boondocking. I agree with tomwalt, It's mainly just a place to park late in the day/evening to buy a few groceries/supplies then catch some shut eye before continuing to your destination the next morning. Most people don't even set their levelers and pop out the slides, let alone disconnect their toad.
I wouldn't even call it dry camping, it's more like dry parking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoemorn View Post
anyway, give us wannabe RVers some insight into what you do in this situation - just take the whole rv combo to wherever you wanna go, or unhook and take the easier to drive around vehicle?
Generally once I get to a place I want to stay for more then 1 day, I will set up camp, disconnect the toad, etc.
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:25 PM   #4
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We don't ever stay at Walmarts, because we don't ever go to Walmart.

We do occasionally quick overnight at truck stops, hospital parking lots or RV dealers. When we had our fifth-wheel toyhauler, we would never unhitch it until we got to final destination. With our motorhomes, I wouldn't hesitate to unhitch the Jeep to go out for a while. Often, we're towing our race car trailer with a dual sport motorcycle in it, so we might just pull that out and ride it.
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:29 PM   #5
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...just take the whole rv combo to wherever you wanna go, or unhook and take the easier to drive around vehicle?

We're new to this, find that driving whichever toad we've decided to haul off the dolly is simple and convenient.

TTs and 5'ers are cheaper, but not as convenient to unhook/re-attach.

Good rule of thumb for MHs, whose prices should continue to fall as gas climbs (shoot for 10-20% under wholesale during the crisis): buy diesel if you are using it regularly; or, buy a gasser if it is going to sit for prolonged periods.
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:30 PM   #6
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This might point out an advantage to having a toad behind a Class A or C. Not that it means it is the best way to go because there are many other considerations which give advantage to 5th wheels etc; But we went the Class A route and find unhooking not much bother and we can run away for short periods come back and hook up and be gone again--it just take minutes. But our friends with a 5th wheel look very happy and enjoy more room when sitting still. Take your pick.
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:50 PM   #7
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we stay at walmarts a lot. we usually do not disconnect the dolly/toad. sometimes we use the toad for short trips to get something to eat, etc. we try to park our moho such that we can extend our bedroom slide over grass or next to a light pole. we usually eat breakfast at walmart.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:59 PM   #8
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The smaller the RV the more places you can squeeze into while boondocking.
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Old 05-02-2011, 03:26 PM   #9
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Wow, thx for the input all. Yes the thought regarding an overnight boondock at a walmart and whether to unhook was just for say getting something to eat (not to like tour the town for the day or anything). And that idea of being able to quickly detach the toad just for a quick bite to eat is appealing, gaining points in the class A side of deciding what RV to get. Now if theyd just make a toyhauler with the ramp strength to handle a small car (instead of just toys) ... that would be interesting. I've heard about car hauler conversions and such but you cant just run out to the local rv store for something like that.

Ha, just when I had my mind set that an "A" was for me, we had to go to camping world and look at 5ers, TT's, and toyhaulers. The space utilization in some of those is quite remarkable. We don't have a truck for towing though, so I'd have to add that into the overall cost. From what i'm reading a 1 ton truck seems recommended for having the power to muscle a good sized 5er (if thats what we ended up getting - i realize thats all somewhat variable). To be honest though I think i 'worry' more about the 5er/TT combination in terms of safety while on the road than i do a class A. I mean, a class A has power and stability for itself and the small toad easy enough, but with just pulling something behind some pickup- i just feel a little more concern about that and maybe just out of being a newbie. I should post my concerns about that in a different spot probably and get the input from all the 5er owners out there.
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Old 05-02-2011, 04:59 PM   #10
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We owned a beautiful Weekend Warrior fifth-wheel 33' toyhauler. We really like toyhaulers, especially fifth-wheels. Very versatile RV's. Many folks put Jeeps in them, as the ramps are strong enough. (at least on good toyhaulers...) Our daughter & her husband haul a Jeep in their Ragen 33' toyhauler.

As far as safety when towing, we found towing a fifth-wheel trailer was at least as stable as any motorhome we've driven. Certainly as stable as our past & current diesel pushers. We towed with a Chevy 2500HD turbodiesel, but any late model diesel pickup would be a good choice. There are those who insist that a dually is needed, but we never found that to be the case in our six years of towing it. Might want a dually if your going with a 40' toyhauler. Maybe...

Take a good look at toyhaulers, they're great RV's.
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Old 05-02-2011, 05:18 PM   #11
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It also depends on your budget and how often you'll use it. A MH has an engine that needs to be maintained and also a generator. Maintenance is more on a MH in general. Consider insurance. So much is in preferance, but if you aren't going to use it much, it might make more sense to have a nice TT sitting idle than a Class A. Oh, so much to think about. I have had them all and always wanted to get into an "A", now I want to sell it to get back into a "C". Good luck.
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:09 PM   #12
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I was a service manager for 15 years. I have been camping since the fiftys. Many times I was called upon to talk to a newby because of my background. (three popups, two travel trailers. five motorhomes.) advantage of a trailer 1.After a few years, If you want new running gear. buy new tires, new bearings,new brakes. now you are ready to go. trailers also have more room in the same length. Down side to the trailer. you have to stop to eat and use the toilet, lay down, etc. Also if you stop at a walmart, rest area, etc. and somene pulls up and you don't like their looks, You have to get out and get in your vehicle to leave. The #1 advantage of a motorhome. You can use all the facilities underway. You sit up high, so your visability is great. You pull a toad, so your gas milage is great when you park. Downside. you have a vehicle (the MH chassis) and a camper that can only be used for camping.
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:18 PM   #13
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Wow, thx for the input all. Yes the thought regarding an overnight boondock at a walmart and whether to unhook was just for say getting something to eat (not to like tour the town for the day or anything). And that idea of being able to quickly detach the toad just for a quick bite to eat is appealing, gaining points in the class A side of deciding what RV to get. Now if theyd just make a toyhauler with the ramp strength to handle a small car (instead of just toys) ... that would be interesting. I've heard about car hauler conversions and such but you cant just run out to the local rv store for something like that.

Ha, just when I had my mind set that an "A" was for me, we had to go to camping world and look at 5ers, TT's, and toyhaulers. The space utilization in some of those is quite remarkable. We don't have a truck for towing though, so I'd have to add that into the overall cost. From what i'm reading a 1 ton truck seems recommended for having the power to muscle a good sized 5er (if thats what we ended up getting - i realize thats all somewhat variable). To be honest though I think i 'worry' more about the 5er/TT combination in terms of safety while on the road than i do a class A. I mean, a class A has power and stability for itself and the small toad easy enough, but with just pulling something behind some pickup- i just feel a little more concern about that and maybe just out of being a newbie. I should post my concerns about that in a different spot probably and get the input from all the 5er owners out there.
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:36 PM   #14
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We were in the same boat - trying to decide which way to go - MH? or 5er?

A good salesman we ran across made a few comments that finally made the difference for our decision, and our experience since then has borne out the logic.

5ers - best for when staying in one location for extended times. Gas milage usually pretty bad all the time.

MH - best for getting up and moving along after a day to a week. Gas milage worse, but toad great.

So, long term camping, probably prefer the 5er.

Also, with MH, a great advantage - when pulling off to eat, bathroom, etc., the temperature is already comfortable. Getting into a 5er that has been towed in high heat or very cold can take a while to make reasonably comfortable, like by the time you're finished eating and ready to get back into the truck, which is now hot or cold too.

We chose the MH with drop dead easy to hitch and unhitch 4 down toad, and are very, very pleased how it all turned out.
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