Need help and some experienced comments on the following questions, I'm new to RVing, plan to retire at end of 2012 and before then purchase a FW Toy Hauler and Truck puller. My plans are to travel the US, some of Canada and Mexico (we'll see how far south with the cartel issues). Before I make the purchase, I need some advise. Please take a look at the questions and reply back, thanks in advance for your input.
I'm looking at the Forest River Thunderbolt XLR 395AMP.
-Does anyone have experience, good or bad, with this Toy Hauler?
-If you own one, would you purchase it again,
-would you recommend it?
-What experience do you have with it?
-Is 43' too long for campgrounds?
-I plan to purchase a membership to TT, is this a good idea?
I've also looked at Raptor Toy Hauler 4014LEV and Voltage V3950 but prefer the layout of the XLR. However, although layout is important, more importantly is the structure, materials used in the building, reliablity and support.
-Does anyone have comments they can share on any of the 3 Toy Haulers I've mentioned above?
Also, I mentioned I plan to purchase a truck or puller. I'm looking at the 2012 Silverado 2500HD with diesel.
-Does anyone have experience with this truck?
-or the 2011 year same model? Not to create a heated debate but I'm also looking at the Ford F250 HD.
-Any preference or comment anyone can provide between these 2?
Seems like Chevy won the truck wars last year but
-does that mean Chevy is the best choice for a Toy Hauler puller? The 2500HD will almost be maxxed out with weight limits,
-should I consider the 3500HD dually? I personally don't like the dually and am trying to stay away from this option, but don't want to compromise the weight limit issue.
I appreciate your thoughts and comments and help in making the decisions before the purchase. I purchased JR Consumer, an evaluation of RV's but returned it as it contained no good details.
-Does anyone have anyother non partial advice on where to obtain RV ratings?
Wow I'am surprised you haven't got a response by now, with the dry hitch (pin) weight of 2853lbs you need to forget 2500 and go with a 3500 dually of bigger. I like everything about the XLR except for two doors for the bathroom also look at Raptor.
Good Luck with your choice
I have the 2500 HD and although it is a great truck what you are looking at is WAY to heavy for it. If you go with the listed TH the 3500 is the better rig.
I have a Fuzion 322 and it is right at what the 2500 can handle.
As far as the XLR, we looked at these units but just did not like the layout, not sure of any issues they may have.
Again, a recommendation for at least a one ton. I know that when I was pulling my 34' TH pull behind. I COULD do it with a 3/4 ton, but I felt a LOT more comfortable with a one ton.
My rig at the time was a Forest River Shockwave 34something. I liked it, but there were a few things that I wish I'd noticed earlier. Nothing major by a long shot.
As for the length of the rig, that just depends on the campground. The campgrounds I've stayed at have all been able to easily accommodate my 40' voltage 3600 TH. I just ask for a larger space. If you are going to do a lot of traveling, you just need to research a head of time, and call first, particularly around the holidays.
Can't anwer all your questions but as other have said, 2500 won't be enough truck for a 43' hauler. Also 43' will be too large for a lot of the state and federal parks but doable in most private. If you buy into TT, look for resale on eBay or consider zone passes. Full memberships directly from them are over priced.
2012 Heartland Cyclone 3612 HD
2011 Ford F450 6.7L PS 4X4 Crew Cab Lariat
When we went fulltime the advise we received was to buy the biggest rig we could. You are on course for that. Good responses regarding tow vehicles you will need a 1 ton dually for that heavy of a rig.
As for a lot of your other questions it comes down to prrference. There is a tow hauler section on this forum do peruse there. Also use the search feature and the rig model to see what others are posting. Overall the vast majority of rigs and brands have thier little issues. Generally speaking it can be beneficial to buy used over new as the original owner would have dealt with initial warranty problems plus taken the big depreciation hit.