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Open Roads Forum  >  Beginning RVing

 > What's realistic for a family of 6?

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resmas

temporarily displaced Alaskan

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Posted: 06/16/12 07:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GrumpyGator wrote:

Full Time RVing with 4 kids...


Did you check out the link to the Tricknor Tribe above. Family of 14 - 12 of which are fulltiming in a fiver toyhauler.

Fulltiming with 4 kids would be a breeze. We've done it for 6 months with 3 kids, a dog, and 5 hamster/gerbil cages (which took up an entire bunk!).


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Don & Linda

Western PA / Cape Cod

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Posted: 06/16/12 11:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What's realistic for a family of 6?

Straight answer, Who knows!

All families are very different. Some tribes could get along and enjoy full timing in a 8'x 10' pop-up, plus tents and some would hate the same, in a $300,000 coach, towing a 22' travel trailer.

Give this type of transition a great deal of thought, prior to jumping in. Perhaps lease a rig of your best guess(to what is realistic, for your family) and try full timing for several months.

After a summer try out, you will have a much clearer picture, of what is realistic for you.

* This post was edited 06/16/12 12:39pm by Don & Linda *

wbwood

Lake Norman, NC area

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Posted: 06/16/12 08:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

busybeemama wrote:

wbwood wrote:

I agree, a pop up is not realistic for full timing. You mentioned eventually that you will want a 5th wheel or TT and then mention the cost of trail manor to be an issue. You might want to reconsider doing this then. You obviously will need a different tow vehicle (more cost) and then money for the camping unit. Also with a pop up you will have to store most of your personal belonging in the van with you as storage in a closed up pop up is almost zero.

I wouldn't recommend to anyone going from never having a camper to full timing in one. Especially for a family of six with an infant.


I think my surprise at the cost came from initially looking at a used RV site, then looking at new RVs. Having looked at a variety of them, now, I see the prices are more or less comparable.

We certainly won't be looking to do anything remotely long-term with a pop-up. We have found a local-ish place to rent an "expandable" trailer which we can tow with our van. We're planning to try that in the near future, then perhaps borrow or rent a Suburban (or other larger vehicle) to tow a rented TT.

Obviously, we're not about to start full-timing with no experience! Eventually, I think a Suburban with a bunk-house style travel trailer would be ideal for us. I expect that's a few years down the line, though, particularly as my husband is happy with his current job situation.


I have a 31' bunkhouse TT and a f250 super crew, both 2010 and would let them go for about $45,000 together. Truck only has 20k miles on it.


Brian
2013 Thor Chateau 31L
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wbwood

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Posted: 06/16/12 08:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Also, on the expandables like the trail manor, you will lose some storage space as well. Go that way and you tow vehicle will be crammedc with stuff all the time.

APT

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Posted: 06/19/12 09:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

3 rows means large van or SUV and a TT. No 5th wheel RV. And with a large family, you need at least 3/4 ton. Suburban comes in 3/4 ton, older Excursion, and full sized vans are cheap used. No Expedition, regular Suburban, Yukon, Sequoia, etc. Minivan loaded up with a family's gear will be over its GVWR before adding any trailer tongue weight.


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wintersun

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Posted: 06/23/12 07:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A woman who worked for me bought a new Class A motorhome and traveled around with her husband and two children age 8 and 10 all over the USA. Something they had not considered was rain for day after day. They had two solid weeks of rain while in Florida and developed a severe case of cabin fever. They were divorced within a year of getting back home.

For your odyssey I would want a 5th wheel trailer and a 1-ton truck and the cost is going to be around $70-100K. If you drive around for a year and then sell the truck and the trailer you could easily lose around $20k on the deal. If you buy a used truck and trailer it will be better financially but you need to allow for breakdowns and repairs to the vehicle and the equipment in the trailer. With a crew cab you can handle 6 passenger. It may be easier to drive with the four children in the back of a motorhome but I would certainly want to rent a Class A MH and do a trial run for a couple of weeks and do so in the winter.

univmd

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Posted: 06/24/12 07:58am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This Class A has seatbelts and homework desks for all the kids: http://www.newellcoach.com/newell-coaches/new-coach-2/


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CashandCompany

IL

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Posted: 06/26/12 12:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is a family that comes to our campground every year with their large home schooled family and they are full timers. They have a Wildwood which they pull with a truck the size of a medium U Haul. They have clothes, bikes and everything else in the truck. The wife follows the trailer with a 12 passenger van. This is the 3rd year I have met with them and I notice there is a new baby this year, so I guess the life works for them. I must say, their kids are some of the happiest and well mannered I have met!

4monkeys

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Posted: 07/01/12 08:19am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have 4 kids, ages 10-6 (we had twins in the middle!)
We moved from a van to SUV (Honda Pilot), so we could have 8 seats...this allows the kids to take 2 friends along to movies, park, etc. Like you said, I miss the storage in the van, but I really like having the 8 seats versus 7.
My husband did not want to buy a truck as his vehicle to drive to/from work. He drives a little car for that.
So we tow w/ the Honda Pilot. We bought an all-aluminum toy hauler. The brand is Livin Lite (they sell all-aluminum products), their toy hauler is called the VRV. The toyhauler basically is an open floorplan; we put our 6 bikes in their, and archery, fishing, basketball, tennis, etc, etc. Hope to include kayaks soon. Livin Lite also makes a model that's more like a traditional RV, with kitchen & table, etc. Aluminum is expensive, so they do cost a little more. But they are extremely lightweight, so you might check them out if you really don't want to change tow vehicles.

Capt Ahab

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Posted: 07/05/12 12:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi BusyBeeMaMa!

We have 6 kiddos (12, 10, 7, twin almost 4's, and an almost 2). When we had the twins, we chose to trade-in our Odyssey for a 12 psngr van (chevy express 3500 - i.e. 1 ton van). Since it was so expensive for us to travel anywhere (mostly hotel rooms and FOOD - yikes!), we looked for almost a year and found a used TT (30' bunk house - quad bunks on one end, queen bed on other, sofa and table make beds too - also, no slide-out). Our van can tow 7600 lbs, which, is really not that much for a 1 ton vehicle. Most trailers with slides, weigh more than this (or I was not comfortable getting that close to the recommended ratings). There are some fiberglass sided/aluminum framed TTs with slides that could have worked for us, but these were too expensive!).

Our longest trip to date was a road trip from San Antonio to Orlando to visit Mickey and company - spent almost 2 weeks "living" in our trailer. We were comfortable enough and had a great time. Food would have been an issue had we not been on a meal plan while at Disney, so we only needed to take food for the trek there and back, not so much while we where there at Ft. Wilderness. I think we could probably pack 3 or 4 days worth of food max in our small fridge/freezer. Of course, if you're near a grocery store - not a problem! We could probably pack "smarter" as well to make our meals more efficient, etc. - which is what you would do if you had to.

Bottom line, in my opinion, I see two options for you. Get a class A/C that can tow your Odyssey or trade in the Odyssey for a Van/Suburban and get a TT. If you get a bigger vehicle, get at least a 3/4 ton (1 ton preferred), becasue you'll have a much larger of choice of what you can tow. I probably couldn't have afforded it even if I had found one, but I would have loved to have found a 12 psngr diesel van when we were looking - apparently, they do exist.

Blessings,

Ron


Me, DW AND
DS-13, DD-11, DS-8, DD-4, DD-4 (Yup, Twins!), DD-2, DS-4 mos
'08 Chevy Express 3500
'04 30' Treasure Ship QBH, no slide

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