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Old 11-25-2021, 11:23 AM   #1
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Dreams meshing with Reality - new beginnings

I suppose, just like many first timers, I知 trying to determine where dreams mesh with reality so I minimize troubles and maximize meeting expectations. I知 hoping the community here can help me out.

Some background. In my younger years we (me/wife/ 2 kids) did a lot of tent camping. We graduated from that to cottaging (we (literally the 4 of us) built a cottage on water access only land). Now we, just my wife and I, have our eyes set on traveling the warmer states (we are in Ontario Canada) during the winters. In the summers we will occasionally travel within Canada.

Our dream is to travel from the beginning of January through the end of March. We would like to travel the western coast initially. Our intentions would be to stay at each place for 1 to 3 weeks then move onto another place. Then repeat this process in new locations the next year. So where I知 first looking for a reality check is on the size/function of the trailer. As an example, to see if I知 working in reality, I am considering a trailer like this 2017 27 Forest River - Surveyor - 243RBS. I know that much of this is personal preference, but what are your thoughts on how realistic our plan is to use a trailer like this and its size for the situation I知 intending?

I致e not yet traded my 2011 1500 Ram in yet. My consideration is for a 2021 Ford XTR with the Max Tow Package. The truck decision will be worked out later.

I really appreciate input from the experiences other people have had in such situations.

Thanks!
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Old 11-25-2021, 01:11 PM   #2
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Folks FT in Truck Campers up to 45'MHs

We FTd in 34' 5th wheel
Opposing slides in living room and bedroom slide made it very livable

Floorplan was key for us....able to use kitchen/bathroom with slides retracted...even use bed so quick overnighters were easy/peasy

Match truck to trailers GVWR and enjoy the adventure
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Old 11-25-2021, 01:34 PM   #3
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Many years ago we camped throughout the western states in a 25' fifth wheel. It had a surprisingly similar layout to the Forest River, the main difference being as a fifth wheel the bed was a couple of steps up because it sat over the rear of the truck pin box.

The layout looks like it would accommodate a couple nicely. With a dry weight of about 5,200 lbs that means the loaded weight will be 6-6,500 lbs, which is fine for your proposed TV. I love the storage which is more than our fifth wheel had.

You sound like you are into rustic camping, like state parks and USFS sites. Most along the coast should be open year round, but anything in the interior at higher elevations is likely to be closed Jan-Mar.

You could consider going further south and inland. The Grand Canyon and Sedona are really nice places to hang out for a while. Joshua Tree and places on SoCal would also be interesting.

Have fun!

David
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Old 11-25-2021, 03:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
Folks FT in Truck Campers up to 45'MHs

We FTd in 34' 5th wheel
Opposing slides in living room and bedroom slide made it very livable

Floorplan was key for us....able to use kitchen/bathroom with slides retracted...even use bed so quick overnighters were easy/peasy

Match truck to trailers GVWR and enjoy the adventure
Thanks for your input Mr. Biscuit! I was thinking something where the bed could be easily accessible was important. I値l add that to my list.
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Old 11-25-2021, 03:33 PM   #5
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Since you’ll be living in it, it will get more/harder use so I would suggest a trailer higher up the quality/durability line. Forest River builds mass-produced light weight entry level trailers that serve a lot of camping styles well, but in my experience, they may not hold up well to continuous/regular use. Since there are so many “brands” but very few builders, I like to reference the “who builds what” section of this page:

https://campaddict.com/learn-rvs/buy...manufacturers/

A lot of other good advice can be found here on their main page
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Old 11-25-2021, 03:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
Many years ago we camped throughout the western states in a 25' fifth wheel. It had a surprisingly similar layout to the Forest River, the main difference being as a fifth wheel the bed was a couple of steps up because it sat over the rear of the truck pin box.

The layout looks like it would accommodate a couple nicely. With a dry weight of about 5,200 lbs that means the loaded weight will be 6-6,500 lbs, which is fine for your proposed TV. I love the storage which is more than our fifth wheel had.

You sound like you are into rustic camping, like state parks and USFS sites. Most along the coast should be open year round, but anything in the interior at higher elevations is likely to be closed Jan-Mar.

You could consider going further south and inland. The Grand Canyon and Sedona are really nice places to hang out for a while. Joshua Tree and places on SoCal would also be interesting.

Have fun!

David
Thanks David. I値l add Joshua Tree to my list. GC is on my list but as I understand it, you need to book pretty far out in advance.

One of my concerns is the trailer being functional enough for those kind of travels. Although I知 good with roughing it, as I get older comfort is becoming more important! I壇 hate to get inn the situation where I知 stuck thinking, Damn I wish I had xyz. Or is this inevitable like 2 footitous when owning a boat!
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Old 11-25-2021, 03:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by R.Wold View Post
Since you値l be living in it, it will get more/harder use so I would suggest a trailer higher up the quality/durability line. Forest River builds mass-produced light weight entry level trailers that serve a lot of camping styles well, but in my experience, they may not hold up well to continuous/regular use. Since there are so many 澱rands but very few builders, I like to reference the 努ho builds what section of this page:

https://campaddict.com/learn-rvs/buy...manufacturers/

A lot of other good advice can be found here on their main page
Thanks Rich. I致e just started reading about the different manufacturers and how the quality can range dramatically. It痴 quite shocking and somewhat terrifying how some can have such poor quality. I値l read that link you provided. I think understanding the quality aspect might be the first big consideration.
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Old 11-25-2021, 04:13 PM   #8
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Starting in January means traveling during prime bad weather months. Not too much on the west coast, but as you are leaving CA and driving across and over the Rockies to get there.

I would think that trailer too small for 2 people to live in for 3 months, but that comes down to personal preference. Depending on sleep habits/schedules, you might want a bedroom with an actual door that closes. Or you might need some space to get away from each other occasionally.

On the truck XTR is just a package. It says nothing about the payload and towing capacity without knowing the other options. IMHO, but more truck than you think you need. Towing will be way more pleasant.
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Old 11-25-2021, 04:17 PM   #9
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Welcome! It sounds like a great plan
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Old 11-25-2021, 04:19 PM   #10
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Yep, only you can decide what's best for your usage, expectations and budget. Do your research on high(er) quality trailers if you're going to be using it for extended periods. Research, research and more research!

Biggest mistakes people make IMO:

- two foot-itis - after shopping for units, your ideal size doubles! There are plusses and minuses to every type and size of rig

- getting an inadequate TV; this isn't helped by auto dealers or, typically, RV dealers so do your research and don't listen to the "it'll be fine" folks. It's a costly mistake best avoided from the get-go. ALWAYS use GVWR, not dry weights and 12-15% tongue weight, not 10%....and remember that theoretical tow ratings are usually never achievable due to payload shortfalls and mythical truck builds.

good luck,

Dave
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Old 11-25-2021, 05:05 PM   #11
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As an f150 owner towing a 7800# trailer, make sure you get a long wheelbase version (Super Crew with the 6.5' bed).
We have the 302a package, and it is quite nice, but not too fancy. It supplies a towing package (11,200# limit) and integrated trailer brakes.
Our 2021 with the 3.5 EcoBoost has a 1975# payload capacity. Payload is a very important number for the tow vehicle, your hitch weight is depending on it...

As far as the trailer, find one that works in 'Rest Area Mode" (all slides in, like you're travelling), you want to have the *Option* of sleeping in a rest area, or parking lot if need be, even if it's for lunch and a nap.

Research the BLM lands in the southwest, like the LTVA around Yuma and Quartzite...

Camping without hookups is kinda like tent camping, but with a proper bed, a bathroom, and a roof that doesn't leak in the rain.
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Old 11-25-2021, 05:18 PM   #12
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We started out with a very similar floor plan. What we discovered is that there is not a comfortable place to sit on a rainy day or just to watch TV. We moved up to one just a little larger in order to install two recliners. This may not be a problem for you.
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Old 11-25-2021, 06:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirtate View Post
As an f150 owner towing a 7800# trailer, make sure you get a long wheelbase version (Super Crew with the 6.5' bed).
We have the 302a package, and it is quite nice, but not too fancy. It supplies a towing package (11,200# limit) and integrated trailer brakes.
Our 2021 with the 3.5 EcoBoost has a 1975# payload capacity. Payload is a very important number for the tow vehicle, your hitch weight is depending on it...

As far as the trailer, find one that works in 'Rest Area Mode" (all slides in, like you're travelling), you want to have the *Option* of sleeping in a rest area, or parking lot if need be, even if it's for lunch and a nap.

Research the BLM lands in the southwest, like the LTVA around Yuma and Quartzite...

Camping without hookups is kinda like tent camping, but with a proper bed, a bathroom, and a roof that doesn't leak in the rain.
Yes, and also nice to be able to open the fridge with the slides in as well as comfortably access the bathroom.
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Old 11-26-2021, 01:48 AM   #14
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We camphost 5-6 months a year a month or two at a time. We have been camping since 83 and have owned several diferent rigs from lightweight to heavy Arctic Foxes. In 2007 we were camping with an AF 22H and a 3/4T Chevy truck with a gas engine. We had that combo until 2017 when we realized that we were going to need something bigger for camphosting and extended travels when we retired. We also wanted to own them in 5yrs when we retired. Our choice in trucks was another chevy 2500 LTZ with the DMax, so far it has been great and makes travel days a breeze. Our TT of choice was an Outdoor RV Timber Ridge 25RDS. It tips the scales around 8000 lbs in ready to travel mode and is 31' hitch to bumper. It has a great open floorplan with a rear dinette and large back window, a slide with a sofa and pantry, a large kitchen with stove, oven, and microwave. It also has plenty of storage in drawers, and cabinets. The bathroom is functional but slightly on the small side, it does have ample storage. The bedroom is seperate from the rest of the coach. With the slide in we can use the front door to access the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen and you can squeeze around the sink to get to half of the dinette. After spending 5 months last summer living in it I would not want to live in anything smaller. BTW you probably won't find ORVs in the eastern part of Canada or the US as they are only distributed in the west. I do agree with others that if you plan on spending long periods of time, you need to have a high quality rig - other mfgsto look at are Arctic Fox, Grand Design, and Lance.
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