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Old 01-21-2022, 04:04 PM   #1
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Newbie to Rving

I am going to be a Newbie to RVing. I have no clue about this and would appreciate any information that can be given. I haven't decided if I am going to tow with a truck or SUV yet. Going to go look at some campers tomorrow and get a feel about what kind of floor plan I want. Also, is a full size fridge better? I have so many questions and don't want to come across as ignorant but I am. I am looking at maybe a 21 ft travel trailer. I don't know how to back a trailer so guess will have to learn. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-21-2022, 05:18 PM   #2
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An 21' TT is a good choice for 1-2 people and a small pet.
Easy to learn how to back and maneuver.
Main thing is ask yourself: How am i going to use the trailer? That will dictate what size and layout you need. A full timer has different needs than an occasional weekender.
Also the type of locations you intend to camp can dictate the type of rig.
Always get a bigger tow rig than you think you will need.
Good Luck.
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Old 01-21-2022, 05:48 PM   #3
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Its a fun learning curve. What works for one dont for the other, same as needs and wants.
Fridge freezer, one can always get the AC/DC fridge freezer combo cooler, to suplement if having a small camper one.
Lots of pull through sights out there, till ya learn to back up a trailer.
Lots of options on tow vehicles, best i know of, check out forum/s for what you think you want, even join it and ask questions of said vehicle/s.
Dont be swayed by the gasser or the diesel crowds.
I have a diesel, and dont need it, and if i would have done more research on the new emissions systems, i would have went gasser.
A EB on a diesel is great, but the extra cost of the motor buys alot of gas and break pads.
Best of luck, enjoy.......
The best place is the next place.
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Old 01-21-2022, 09:03 PM   #4
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Before looking at floor plans you need to match your tow vehicle with the trailer weight or you'll have serious safety issues. Either decide definitely on the vehicle you want and then match a trailer to the tow rating or choose the trailer, find out the traveling weight of it (fully loaded) and then choose a tow vehicle.

Here are a couple of many articles you can find on the subject:
Full-timed for 16 Years . . .
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Old 01-22-2022, 07:09 AM   #5
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[QUOTE=Rowdy2022;6057298I don't know how to back a trailer so guess will have to learn. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.[/QUOTE]

A trick I used when learning to back a trailer is to remember to turn the steering wheel so the bottom of the steering wheel goes in the direction you want the back or your trailer to go. Bottom of steering wheel to the left and the back of the trailer will turn left. Bottom of the steering wheel to the right and the back of the trailer will go right.

Have fun doing it.
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Old 01-22-2022, 07:31 AM   #6
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Boy oh boy are you going to learn stuff. Welcome to the forum, pay attention and use your noggin. It will save you money and make camping more fun.
First off, what do you want to do? Where will you be camping, for how long, with how many people? What is your budget?
The answers will help you decide what path to take. Weekend trips for 2 under 100 miles compared to 6 months across the country with 4 people and 2 pets affect choices.
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Old 01-22-2022, 08:00 AM   #7
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Welcome, we have all stood on this diving board at one time or another. Jump in the water is fine.

First question is: The cart before the horse? The most important decision in the beginning is weight capacity of both the tow vehicle and/or the RV.

You said you didn't know if you would use a truck or SUV to pull the RV. The RV and the tow vehicle have to be compliant with each other. I have seen many over the years who were not. Don't trust anyone (especially the RV salesperson) to advise you on tow capacity you need to know for yourself.

First thing you need to do is narrow your search to either a RV that will work with your tow vehicle or a tow vehicle that will work with your RV.

After that it becomes much, much simpler.
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Old 01-22-2022, 08:03 AM   #8
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Do you already have a tow vehicle or are you looking at buying a truck/suv. If you buy a newer 1500 you can pull 7000lbs safely, its pretty common. Most trucks can pull more the 7k, but I don't like to max out weight. With a truck you can throw big items in like a bikes, generator, fire wood, ect. An suv is good if you want to covered storage that you can lock up.

If you are going for 5 or less days, I wouldn't recommend a bigger refrigerator/freezer. We go about that long with our smaller size. Unless you have a big family going into a small camper.

You will learn to back into spots. Go to a big parking lot after hours and just drive around maneuvering first. THEN try backing up in different areas. Alot of ppl use their spouse or spotter to back into places. But don't always trust just anyone at the campground lol
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Old 01-22-2022, 08:10 AM   #9
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Like RHD51 said, think about how you’ll use it.

Some people think they’ll just use it as a place to sleep and eat, but rainy days can force you inside so it’s nice to have a setup where you can comfortably read, watch TV or play games etc..

A lot of rigs like to emphasize how many people they can sleep, but many of the sleeping situations aren’t ideal for adults, and when you get a lot of people in there it gets pretty crowded. Conversely, if it’s just one or two people, you may not want the compromises it takes to make a dinette able to convert to a bed or having a sleeper sofa instead of more comfortable chairs.

When we started shopping seriously, we had been to RV shows for several years, mostly noting what we didn’t like. We headed out with an open mind, but a list of several things we absolutely wanted. Our list was: a king or queen bed located away from the main TV. A kitchen that allowed two to work at a time. Comfortable seating that allowed TV viewing without looking sideways. And finally, 50A service. This let us focus on floor plans we liked so we could look online and quickly identify rigs that suited us and then head to dealers with a few models in mind.

The mechanics of driving, hitching, setting up and operating the systems can be intimidating, but none of it is really hard. Just a bunch of new stuff. A few practice runs close to home will help. One thing to keep in mind is to never get in an hurry. Not driving, hitching, unhitching making camp or breaking camp. That’s when problems happen.
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Old 01-22-2022, 09:20 AM   #10
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Lots of good advice posted above!

I would like to suggest an alternative. Buy a 2 or 3 year old TT. Try it out in your driveway. Move on to a local campground. Then travel.

After a year or two you will know what you are looking for. Then shop for that life time RV.

Buying a new travel trailer is like casino gambling. You never know what you are going to get. Some brands give better odds of a great experience.

A two year old TT in good condition will have the design and build issues already corrected. It was three months after buying my new Dutchmen Kodiak that I could take my first camping trip. Every trip for 2 years needed repairs afterwards.

The cheapest brands often are not the cheapest in the long run. I would avoid new Dutchmen, Kodiak, Keystone, and Voltage.

There is no truth in advertising in the new RV industry. Trust no one. Verify everything.

Especially don't trust the sales person who says you can tow a bigger camper with your tow vehicle. A bigger camper means the sales person gets a bonus. You get trouble.

Always use "gross vehicle" values when evaluating towing capacity. Pay no attention to "unloaded" or "dry" weights.

Most "real" SUV's will limit you to 4000# travel trailer or less. Pretend SUV's are only good for tent trailers or small folding campers. The very few big SUV's are capable of pulling a big 21 foot ultralight travel trailer.

For true pulling capability the options matter. The low end of a product line will not do it. Often, even the Maximum Towing Package option has hidden limits.

A Nissan Pathfinder may be rated to pull 6000# and a cargo capacity of 1300#. However, the factory towing package may have a 500# maximum hitch weight capacity. That pushes towing capacity well below 5000#.

Start with a travel trailer gross weight near 80% of the tow vehicle towing capacity. The reasons for this are technical. Learn to do the technical calculations yourself. Many people give up and just buy an oversize tow vehicle.

Published tongue weights for small TT's are useless. Both of mine came in at more than double the published weights.
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Old 01-22-2022, 09:44 AM   #11
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I suggest you first rent a Class C motorhome, and take a camping trip for a week. That will give you a much better idea of what you like and don’t like in an rv. Also, if you have kids, it’s far more relaxing for the entire family to travel in a motorhome. If you decide on a budget and a suitable floor plan, then decide whether you want new or used. You can buy a good quality used motorhome in good condition for about the same price as a new trailer, and somebody else has taken the hit on depreciation. Next decision is where will you store it when not in use? Do you have room at your home, or will you have to park it in a rental facility. How often will you use it?

Motorhomes are motor vehicles, and as such require more maintenance and repairs. Make sure you crank that into your budget. A 21ft travel trailer has about the same livable space as a 24ft motorhome. We’ve owned all manner of rv, and have found that we like motorhomes for family/kids, and prefer a smaller trailer for the two of us in retirement.
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Old 01-22-2022, 12:05 PM   #12
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First - do not sign anything until you understand.

Second - research CanAm RV's hitch hints. Best and most knowledgeable resource for RV trailer rig setup.

Third - there are SUVs that will effectively tow a 21 ft trailer. Note - there are good and poor towing 21s and not all SUVs are created equal.

Fourth - the 80% rule is only a requirement if you have 80% of a tow vehicle or plan on towing at 120% of a safe speed for your rig. There is one other constraint - stick to 80% if you do not know/understand.

Can't back a trailer ..... now that is a problem ..... it's part of developing and understanding your RV lifestyle. You either need to learn and become comfortable or walk away from towing.

Research, research, research - start small and learn. Know yourself and your RV Lifestyle.
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