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 > New to RVing and In Need Of Advice! :)

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La.hurley1122

Florida

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Posted: 05/29/23 02:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello! I would appreciate some advice for a first-time RVer. So first of all, I need to buy a new car because my current car is at the end of her life. I'm deciding if I should buy an SUV to tow a small trailer or buy a pick up truck to tow a 5th wheel. What would you all recommend for a beginner?
I do plan to live in my RV full time.

And which SUVs/trucks would you recommend, considering my budget is around 20k?

Any advice is much appreciated!
Thank you!

KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 05/29/23 03:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RVs get heavy quick and small vehicle run out of payload. It's a lot more about the payload capacity than the tow rating. Further, tow rating is a generic rating apply to all types of trailers but trailers aren't all created equal. There are many types of trailers: flat bed, horse, boat, dump, travel trailers, etc.
I would say by far the most difficult to tow is a hard sided travel trailer. Their large percentage of tongue weight, inability to shift the tongue weight, huge frontal area and large side sail area make them difficult to tow. A tow vehicle that might do a great job towing a 6,000 pound boat might be a struggling handful with a 5,000 pound RV.
If you want an SUV you will be limited to rather small trailers not well suited to living in. Good picks would be anything with an actual frame (not uni-body). This would include: Suburban, Tahoe, Expedition, Sequoia, Armada, etc. My particular favorite here would be a 2500 series (3/4 ton) Suburban.
A truck makes a better tow vehicle for a travel trailer because the bed allows for hauling: firewood, generator, gas cans, bikes, etc. A fifth wheel will generally be a lot easier to tow and shorter overall. If you plan to tow a lot of miles I'd get a FW. If you plan to be stationary most of the time a travel trailer would be fine.

haste maker

alabama

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Posted: 05/29/23 03:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The first thing you need to decide is what can you drive & feel comfortable with...then after you decide that, be sure that you get something large enough to live full time in, the biggest problem with beginners is they start off with something to small...


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MFL

Midwest

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Posted: 05/29/23 03:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Welcome to the forum!

First time RVer, and living in full time, normally do not go together! A FW would be a much better option for full time living. It would require a HD truck to carry the pin weight, and tow it.

Any trailer big enough to live in, will be a learning experience for someone not used to towing. As you add more information, as to travels, or mainly park and live in, we will be better able to advise. [emoticon]

Jerry





midnightsadie

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Posted: 05/29/23 04:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SIR 20k will not buy much of a rv hauler truck or car.

BB_TX

McKinney, Texas

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Posted: 05/29/23 05:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The first thing to do is visit some well stocked RV dealers and walk thru RVs from small travel trailers to larger trailers and 5ers to get an idea of what you think you can live in. Once you decide on the size of RV then you can start looking for a tow vehicle that can tow your preferred choice. At $20K you are going to be quite limited on what you can find if you choose too heavy of an RV. Then you may need to compromise on your choices and narrow both down until you find a combination that fits your budget.

toedtoes

California

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Posted: 05/29/23 07:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do you plan on traveling with the combo? Or staying still?

Will you be working? If so, will you need to drive into congested work areas? Or will you work from home?

If working from home, what type of work will you be doing? Do you need room for computer equipment? Safe storage for hand/power tools? Room for supplies and/or counter/table space to work?

Is it just you? Or are the additional family members? Pets?

You indicate $20K for the vehicle, but what budget do you have for the RV? Are you set at those amounts for each? Or can you put out more for the vehicle and less for the RV or visa versa?

Where do you plan on parking for nights? At private RV Parks? Public campgrounds (city, county, state, federal campgrounds)? Friends or family properties? Parking lots? Streets?


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JimK-NY

NY

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Posted: 05/29/23 08:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

La.hurley1122 wrote:



I'm deciding if I should buy an SUV to tow a small trailer or buy a pickup truck to tow a 5th wheel.
I do plan to live in my RV full time.

And which SUVs/trucks would you recommend, considering my budget is around 20k?


Sadly, I don't think you have a clue as to what you are planning.

A typical SUV is going to be very limited. It is not going to pull anything beyond a pop-up tent camper or a very small trailer. Certainly not an RV anyone would want to live in full time.

Your idea of buying a pickup truck to pull a 5th wheel is also naive. At a minimum you need to consider a heavy duty 3/4 or 1 ton truck for even a modest sized 5th wheel. You will not find anything in that class except a piece of junk for $20k. You need to consider spending twice that amount and then what are you planning as a budget to buy an RV?

valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 05/29/23 09:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree with the others that you need to think bigger truck for any rv you think you might live full time in. Most modern SUVs are in reality unibody station wagons not suitable for towing anything significant.

I disagree that you can't get a decent truck for $20k. We are currently in Alaska in a $10k f250 we picked up 5yr ago in Michigan. We have 20k miles towing plus another 30k not towing. Nothing beyond normal maintenance items.


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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 05/29/23 10:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not that I feel the OP is someone who would generally have a good experience with an older vehicle, but $20k will buy a very nice full size suv and plenty of trucks in that price range as well. Sure it’ll be an older gasser but trucks like gasser duallies, especially 2wd can be found with low miles for $20k or less. But you’ll have to shop a bit for the right one.
But like others said, you need to narrow down what you want for a trailer first. And how you plan on using it (aside from simply “full time”).


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