Just signed up today. I can see there's a wealth of information to be had here and I'm looking for as much as I can get. Here's my deal:
The wife and I have been fortunate to be able to relocate a couple of times in our life and are currently living a sweet deal out (North)West. In a few years, I'll be at official retirement age and our plan is to literally ride off into the sunset, not just traveling but living on the open road. We're used to (in fact, that's the way we like it) being together 24/7, and away from 'civilization', so this lifestyle should suit us well. We're hoping to collect all the knowledge we can and acquire the equipment we'll need to do that as we get closer to the jump-off date.
We're thinking travel trailer, something in the 25-foot range, but we've been researching pretty much all forms of RV and we welcome anyone's opinions/advice/input on their preferences, experiences, etc. We know trial and error is part of the process, but we'd like to minimize it as much as possible. Income will be limited, and some options will be affected by that, but we want to put this plan together while we have the time to do it and do it as efficiently as we can. Appreciate whatever advice you, the experienced can offer to us, the rookies
Just from your introduction, it sound like a Truck Camper is exactly what you need. Off the beaten Path, you like being together 24/7, away from civilization!
My posts shouldn't be taken for factual data, and are purely fictional, for entertainment purposes, should not be constituted as related to scientific, technical, engineering, legal, religious, spiritual, or practical advice. After all it's FREE! Amen.
Welcome to the forum. There is a lot of information available here, just ask.
I agree with fordsooperdooty, you sound like TC people.
If possible, rent some different RV's and try them. At least go to RV shows and look at everything to get an idea of what will fit your needs. Then start looking at used units, if not buying new, until you find the type you like.
Once you decide on a type (TC, TT, A, B, C or 5th wheel) start asking questions on the forum about your choice. You'll get answers, pros and cons.
Keep us updated on your search.
Perhaps I have interpreted what you mean by life on the open road differently from the previous two posters, but I don't think a truck camper would give you the flexibility you want.
Certainly you would want to check out the full-timing forum. I don't read that often since I am not in a position to consider it, but there should be some useful information there.
It seems to me that the RV of choice for full-timers is the fifth-wheel. My interpretation of life on the open road is that you will be moving about to see the sights, whether those are sights in the far reaches of Utah, or the canyons of New York City. If you moving frequently, you will not only appreciate the ease of hitching and unhitching a fifth-wheel, you will also appreciate the stability you have while towing.
Even if you like being together 24/7, do you like being three feet from each other 24/7? That is what a truck camper or even a 25' TT might leave you. You will probably want to find the balance between interior space and the flexibility to get into tight spaces like many of our state and national parks. In my experience, you can get a 30' trailer into most of the campgrounds in the country, yet have enough interior space that you are not having to crawl over each other to get a glass of water.
I have owned tents, camper shells, TCs, MHs, 5Vers, and now a TT. TCs are great for what their purpose is. Getting into areas where you wouldn't drive a MH, 5Ver, or TT. I know, I buried my 34 ft MH 50 miles from the nearest town. It was the experience of a life time. However, if you are planning to live full time in an RV I think you should be looking at 5Vers or MHs. I always liked the below the floor storage in those units. Full timers need that extra storage. I full timed in a 5Ver and it worked out OK. If I did it again I would full time in a MH. There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages in anything you might buy. If you pull a large 5Ver when you unhook you will be driving a large truck around. OK in the country, no so OK in populated areas and shopping centers. Some of those parking slots are designed for rice rockets, not extended cab or crew cab pickups with 8 ft beds. In a MH you can tow a small rice rocket. There will be a lot of pros and cons in anything you buy. Shop carefully and don't let the salesmen pressure you into something.
2013 Monaco Monarch
2012 Jeep Wrangler
AC6CV, ex-WN8RUR, ex-W8RUR, ex-K7RIO, ex-WB6GBR since 1954
Commercial 1st class Radio Telephone, & Telegraph certificate
ARRL 35 WPM Certificate.
Some very valid points have been brought up. One of the most important things when buying a RV for fulltiming is getting the right one for your style of living and traveling. Public parks and boondocking require smaller RVs. You may be staying put for periods of time because fuel costs really eat into a budget so an economical tow or towed vehicle is something to consider.
People fulltime in everything imaginable so there is no right way to do it!
Now THIS is what I'm talking about!! Thanks guys, I KNEW I'd find people who know their stuff here...
Like I mentioned, we've tried to look at all the options. I've got an ever-growing file of manufacturers sites for every conceivable type of RV, and we bounce back and forth between what we think might be our best options, based on factors like size, affordability, practicality, etc. Nothing is completely ruled out, and what heads the list one week might not the next. We're looking for the best balance for us.
I guess I should mention right off the bat, that our vision of how we'll do this is that we'll be staying at places like SP's, NP's and all those little unknown campground areas that we run across, hanging out there for a couple of weeks at a time, hiking the trails, doing a little fishing, just kicking back in the camp chairs, etc and doing no more than a couple hundred miles, more or less, depending on what the map shows us, to where we'll set up and do it all again. Primarily a North (where we live now) to South migration,'stay out of winter' goal. The wife envisions traveling most of the country, while I tend to lean towards keeping it in the big spaces of the West. I'm sure we'll work somethng out there...
A couple of factors; due to cost restrictions, we're looking used vs. new, so in that regard, we kind of have to think in terms of an age range based on when we expect to hit the road, and that would apply not only to the thing that's being pulled, but the thing that's doing the pulling. My old truck gets us where we need to go around here, but it's approaching the end of it's road, and certainly won't be the vehicle for the job when the time comes.
Motor homes are pretty much down at the bottom of the list, primarily because of the cost factor. Can't help but look at them and dream, but I know that in my reality, they're not really going to be an option. Of course we've also weighed the ability to unhook when necessary or desired into that decision. I've (reluctantly) 'just about' about gotten over my dream of pulling along an old Airstream
My wife, oddly enough, has good memories of pop-up campers, and we've both been impressed by the improvments made in that area, and unquestionably, from a cost/weight ratio they're a great way to camp, but I feel that keeping in mind we're talking long, LONG-term, a pop-up might not offer us the sense of solid-walled 'home' we'll want.
TC's are an option I had considered; the ability to carry it all on the vehicle of choice, but we're a little concerned that we'd be giving up too much on space. Granted, the interior space will be mostly for sleeping and sitting out those rainy days, but we're still talking 365 a year AND with the considerations of "stuff" that will be part of our daily lives(we're pretty much minimalists, but you know how it is; before you know it, you're wishing you had a little bit more storage space), I'm just not sure a TC will be enough. Of course as always, what I decide today, and what I decide a month from now may not be the same
Which kind of led me into the pull behind trailer/5th wheel area.
I've thought about either of those options and I guess a couple of factors, namely the driveability differences of the two are something I need to learn more about. For whatever reason, probably because I am new to all this, I tend to think that something no more than 25' would suit us best. I see some of these 42' monsters being pulled along and it's hard for me to imagine the combination of towing that AND relaxing I know it's something I'd adjust to, but really, I think something in the 20-25' range gives the best of the space desired vs. ease of towing factors.
Gas costs are something that aren't lost on me as well, although the more I can learn about the realities of that in advance, the better as well. Obviously, thought has to be given to the horse that's going to pull this cart and again power needed to do the job vs. fuel economy is a subject you guys will have much more knowledge of than I do. Gas vs. diesel, etc. We've looked into the lightweight trailer area and that seems to be an option that might work for us. Can they REALLY be reliably towed by something other than a big gas guzzler or am I asking for trouble by giving up a little towing power for better fuel economy?
As always, feel free to weigh in on ANY of this with your opinions, advice, experience. I've got a lot to learn, and a lot to get ready for and I appreciate everyone's input on any part of the process.
Whatever you decide on, you should make sure you have a comfortable place to sit. Spending a whole evening in a dinette is a fun (and back & butt) killer. Also check out the bathroom to make sure you have the space you need. We learned this the hard way (of course). We bought a truck camper without checking this. Turned out that we could not sit down and "do our business" without leaving the door open. Just not enough space to get the second leg inside while sitting. Finally took the door off and hung a curtain. Keep in mind that all types of RVs have their good and bad points so what's sauce for the goose may not be sauce for the gander. Check out them all and make your OWN choice consistent with what your wallet will bear. Good luck.
2009 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ 1500 4x4 5.3L
2011 Kodiak 281RLGS travel trailer
2011 Egg Camper
2010 Chrysler Town & Country
Good Sam life members
Bob & Grace professional retirees
Most good experience comes from bad experience. Based on my bad experience, my second and final RV is a 30 foot long 'C' towing a Jeep Wrangler 4X4.
The 'C' was the smallest that I could find that had a full time walk around bed. A bed that is also a dinette is neither a good bed nor a good dinette. The "fun" of changing from one to the other twice a day lasts about 2 days. And a full time bed that's in a corner isn't much fun to make up. You can experiment yourself by trying to make your bed while you're in it. A 'C' gives you space underneath for storing sewer, leveling, electrical and fresh water equipment, spare parts and the tools that you'll need for them. The Jeep gives me the ability to explore anywhere and still get into a parking space on a street, parking lot or parking garage.
That's my advice and worth every penny you paid for it.
Retired and visiting as much of this beautiful country as I can.
I think a TC would be too small for full timing. You are going to need more storage, generator and good sized fresh, gray and black tanks. Check out 4WD Motorhomes. Some models are big enough to provide you the room and amenties you need but give you that piece of mind that you can get into and out of where you are going.
John (USN Ret) & Debbie
Tux (Amstaff/Dalmation mix)
'96 Monaco Windsor 36' DP 8.3 Cummins for chillin'
965 HP Dragster for thrillin'