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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > Gap year, family of 6, TV and TT recommendations

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spoon059

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Posted: 10/09/19 11:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You've had a lot of suggestions for a 1 ton van, I would encourage that as well. 6 people in an Expedition will be tight. 3rd row seating is VERY tight. Your older kids will be crammed in the middle row with minimal leg room. You will be in that vehicle for a long time over 2 years, it will get old quickly.

A one ton van, even a couple years old, will provide WAY more room for kids to stretch out. The kids in the backseat can get in and out easier. The kids in the middle seat can stretch their legs. 3 kids can sit in the back row, one in the front passenger seat and one of the parents can stretch out in the middle row. On top of the extra space you'll have, you will have plenty of truck for hauling. That leads me to my second point...

A light weight trailer is meant for occasional and light use. A year with 4 kids is neither occasional nor light use. You will NOT be happy or comfortable in a light weight trailer for that long of a time. I would encourage you to buy a "regular" trailer with a traditional bunk house with opposing slides. That regular bunk room will get tight, especially with 4 kids in it. A bunk house with opposing slides will allow more floor space for them to sit and read/play/watch tv and get ready, without being all over each other. Again... this isn't 3 or 4 days at a time... this is 365 days of use.

A 1 ton van gives you room for the kids to have their own space while traveling and gives you a more stable truck for towing. A "regular" trailer will last longer with the wear and tear that full time living with a family of 6 will inflict on a trailer. A bunk house camper with opposing slides will give significantly more room for the kids.

This can either be the experience of a lifetime, or a disaster that the family will hate. You'll be spending decent money to do this trip... do it right. Our family took a 6 week trip cross country when I was 13. It was in a half ton van and 26' bunk trailer with no slides. The majority of the trip was annoying, but getting to experience New Orleans, Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco, Big Sur, Pacific Coast Hwy, Yellowstone, Montana, Tahoe, etc was incredible. I plan to take my family on a cross country trip when I retire in 7-8 years, but probably only 2-3 months long. If its done right, it will be a great experience. Do it right.

* This post was edited 10/09/19 11:53am by spoon059 *


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jaycocamprs

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Posted: 10/09/19 05:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have you given thought to a Class A gasser. You would all have more room. and you could tow your Honda. Might be cost effective.


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dodge guy

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Posted: 10/09/19 06:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

allen8106 wrote:

Personally, I wouldn't do that trip with any gasser. We towed a 10,500 lb 5th wheel to California and back with a 2011 GMC 2500 6.0L and traded it for a diesel a year later. As previously mentioned, i hated towing over the mountains with that gasser.


A gasser wouldn't be an issue if It's properly configured. I've been all over the east and west mountains with my V-10 and 9300lb TT and never had an issue. Didn't even slow down in the mountains.


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Posted: 10/09/19 06:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jaycocamprs wrote:

Have you given thought to a Class A gasser. You would all have more room. and you could tow your Honda. Might be cost effective.


I agree. A nice used class A may be the way to go. You can find them in nice shape around 10 years old between $30-40k, with bunks!

wowens79

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Posted: 10/10/19 03:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have you thought about taking an extra car? Then on travel days you could split up and avoid being crammed in a truck.

Also even if you just went with a truck, you have a year to travel so you wouldn't have to do long travel days, you could split it up into shorter days. When we went to the keys, we split it into 8hr, and 6 hr days on they way down, on the way back it ended up 16hrs in one day since we were limited on days. With a year, you could limit the drive time in a day.


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Posted: 10/10/19 09:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have some friends, 3 kids, spent a year traveling with a large ish TT and a F150.
What you’re planning is totally doable, however, as mentioned, a HD is more comfortable and better capacity if you’re full timing it and towing regularly.
Regarding the seating in a truck vs the suv. You’re either tossing 2 kids in the 3rd row with no cargo space left over or riding 3 deep in the back seat and 1 riding up front on a bench seat.
I don’t see this as being a huge hinderance considering you’re all planning on spending a year in the same 8x30 box anyways.
I’ve seen newer Eco Expe XLs towing big arse trailers. Another buddy pulled his 36’ cargo trailer back from AK to GA. No probelmo there.
And in honesty I’d rather not have a kid riding next to me for lots of hours. Just personal space .....


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ependydad

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Posted: 10/10/19 10:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jaycocamprs wrote:

Have you given thought to a Class A gasser. You would all have more room. and you could tow your Honda. Might be cost effective.


You're going to butt up against cargo carrying capacity with a lot of gas motorhomes once you factor in people and fulltiming weight.


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ependydad

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Posted: 10/10/19 11:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First, I love it. We are 4+ years into a 1 year trip. We took off in June of 2015 and thought we would wrap up in August of 2016. Turns out, we love life on the road and have found an amazing community to connect with.

That said, check out Fulltime Families. Especially if you or the spouse are Facebook users (it tends to be highly Facebook centric). We connected with this group in September 2015 (3 months after we launched) and they have made a world of difference for us. Finding our "tribe" has been so wonderful for us. Just last week, we rallied with 50 families at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta for almost a week. Great seeing old friends and making new ones.

A 1-ton truck isn't as cramped as you might think. I know quite a few families of 6 who are doing it and they're all regular/often travelers. Trucks are bigger than cars and SUVs and afford more space.

The chase vehicle isn't a bad idea. I don't like it for us, as I look forward to our togetherness time on move days. But we have friends who swear by driving a second vehicle.

The 1-ton van is the right answer if you don't want to do a truck. Be careful which you pick as their tow ratings are all over the board. Add airbags to help the loaded ride. I have friends who were a family of 8+ dog who fulltimed for years. 2 girls graduated out of the house and one took the dog, so now they're a family of 6. They're just about to make the switch to a truck + fifth wheel after almost 4 years of fulltiming.

And lastly, a lite trailer is fine. A regular travel trailer is fine. A fifth wheel is fine. Class A motorhomes can be fine. The biggest thing to watch is the cargo carrying capacity. I heard the owner of Fulltime Families say that FTF tend to run about 500 lbs. per person. So your family of 6 will easily be carrying 3,000 lbs of cargo. (Class C motorhomes are generally out unless it's a Super C- their cargo carrying capacity is so low, you run out with just putting people in.)

Having buckled the frame on a rig while fulltiming and running overloaded, I don't exceed the trailer's GVWR any longer. Mind the cargo carrying capacity and I wouldn't consider it if it is less than 2,000 lbs.

That family who are down to 6 that I mentioned finally weighed- found they were 2,400 lbs. overweight. I regularly talk to FTF members who have weighed and estimate a good 90% of us are running overweight.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about fulltiming as a family.

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Posted: 10/10/19 12:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ependydad wrote:

jaycocamprs wrote:

Have you given thought to a Class A gasser. You would all have more room. and you could tow your Honda. Might be cost effective.


You're going to butt up against cargo carrying capacity with a lot of gas motorhomes once you factor in people and fulltiming weight.


My 2012 has a 4K lb CCC. More than enough for me, it leaves me with 2k lbs left over.

ependydad

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Posted: 10/11/19 02:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dodge guy wrote:

ependydad wrote:

jaycocamprs wrote:

Have you given thought to a Class A gasser. You would all have more room. and you could tow your Honda. Might be cost effective.


You're going to butt up against cargo carrying capacity with a lot of gas motorhomes once you factor in people and fulltiming weight.


My 2012 has a 4K lb CCC. More than enough for me, it leaves me with 2k lbs left over.


That's perfect for a family of 6. I looked at a handful of motorhomes and none were high enough for my family (we're over-packers). Maybe I made an incorrect assumption.

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