Best RV for Winter living

Discussion in 'RV Tips & Tricks' started by Toto53, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. Toto53

    Toto53 New Member

    I'm trying to find out which 5th wheel or travel trailer would be the best to purchase for All year round living in, even in the winter. I know I will have to add heaters to the holding tanks etc, but which brand would anyone recommend. I would appreciate help with this.
    Thanks Kindly,
    Toto53 :)
     
  2. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Best RV for Winter living

    Actually, if you choose the correct one, you won't have to add much of anything, but it won't be a cheap RV. Best known for winter survival is the Teton travel trailer or fifth wheel. I believe that they are still the only RV that guarantees that if you keep the inside warm enough for comfort, no pipes will freeze.

    There are many class A motorhomes that have all tanks in heated spaces. There are also both trailers and motorhomes that have an "arctic" package for winter use. But a great deal will depend upon where you plan to winter. There are many or us who live in our RVs all year, but most of us also go somewhere in the south for winter.

    How cold a winter, and where do you have in mind?
     
  3. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Best RV for Winter living

    The Prairie Schooner we sell has STANDARD insulation factors of R-26 for the roof, R-10 for the walls and R-32 for the floor and basement. The "artic package" we used to sell as a seperate option is now standard except for the Dual Thermal Pane windows, extra insulation under the roof and floor decking and the heat pads for the tanks. It is guaranteed for -10 degrees. Teton is a very nice trailer but Prairie Schooner is about 1/2 the price, depending on the dealer you work with.
    If you want more information, I will be glad to help you.
     
  4. Mark439

    Mark439 New Member

    Best RV for Winter living

    Hi,

    I'm also looking for a fifth wheel that can be lived in during the winter since I travel for my work year round. The website for Prairie Schooner is quite impressive. What are the price ranges that I can expect (considering that we need both functionality and beauty since I travel with my wife ;) )?

    Thanks,
    Mark
     
  5. Jeffatcc

    Jeffatcc New Member

    Best RV for Winter living

    Take a look at Montana's. With the dual pane windows they are guarenteed down to 0. If you are traveling the country you will find that they have the biggest dealer network for servicing your RV. The Schooner is OK, but the dealer network is way too small for extended travel.
     
  6. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Best RV for Winter living

    Gulf Stream has over 400 dealers nationwide and Gulf Stream will work with ANY dealership (even a Keystone) as long as they get prior approval. You can also go into any Camping World and recieve warranty work. At Camping World, you will have to pay them, but Gulf Stream will pay you back as soon as they get a copy of the bill.

    Again Prairie Schooner is good to -10 with the dual thermal pane windows. Their vacuum bonded walls are built to prevent "Thermal Dissipation" or the transfer of heat and cold through the walls. They insulate the wall studs. No one else in the industry does that.

    Price is dependent on floorplan and options of course, but very competitive when compaired to equal trailers and a LOT less than many. I will contact you with private e-mail, I don't quote prices here.
     
  7. Jeffatcc

    Jeffatcc New Member

    Best RV for Winter living

    Sorry Grandview Trailer Sales, but my previous experience with Gulf Stream indicates otherwise. Plus even if they have improved and you use that Keystone dealer or Camping World for your Schooner repairs, they might not have the faucet in stock that you need for your Schooner because it is a Schooner, not a Montana. Yes, Gulfstream might have 400 dealers, but my guess is only about 50 or so will carry the Schooner line, and only a percentage will stock them. Most Montana dealers have several in stock, and also stock the peices and parts that they know from experience wear out and/or break. Very few Schooner dealers stock enough inventory to know what's real about wear and tear on their product.

    One thing I like about the Montana is the roof system. They use a stamped steel C channel instead of tubular aluminum. This tapered piece of steel is 10% lighter and has a 40% higher crush rate. Because it is a c-channel, the fiberglass insulation only has about a 1\16" gap to bridge. That alone will help eliminate condensation. If you look at a piece of tubular aluminum you will see it is hollow. That means in your roof every 16" you will have a 1.5" gap in the insulation. A 35' fiver is 420" long. Divide that by 16" between each stud and you have over 25" of roof with no real insulation coverage from a tube truss system. Lots of opportunity for condensation there.

    Add to that cedar lined closets, standard solid surface kitchen counter tops, house style drawer glides, and comfortable furniture with many other features and benefits, and a HUGE dealer network that actually stocks several floorplans along with lots of parts and Montana has a winning combination.

    I would add that I consider the Montana an entry level unit for full timing. You owe it to yourself to look at several brands and lots of floor plans. Also look at the Everest, Cedar Creek, Cross Roads, Holiday Presidential, Travel Supreme and Grand Junction.

    I'm not trying to sell you a trailer, just answer your questions.

    P.S. Just out of curiosity, how many Schooner's do you stock GTS? Also, how many Gulf Stream towable dealers are there in Virginia :question:
     
  8. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Best RV for Winter living

    Another brand that you might be wise to take a look at is the Mobile Suites. They would come close to the Teton in reputation. Travel Supreme is not too far behind the first two.
    I don't own any of them but I have been fulltime for more than six years and do spend a lot of time around other fulltimers who own trailers and those three have reputations that are difficult to match. They are also quite expensive.
     
  9. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Best RV for Winter living

    I am sorry you aparrently had some problems in the past. For me, I have dealt with Forest River and Keystone. I won't go into detail, but I don't deal with them now. I do sell Forest River Cargo trailers, but that is as far as it goes.

    You are correct that not all Gulf Stream dealers stock Prairie Schooner, but not all Keystone dealers stock Montana either. Again, all Gulf Stream dealers are approved to work on any Gulf Stream product. If the dealer, Camping World, or another dealership of any manufacture does not have a part they need for warranty work, Gulf Stream will overnight, if they can, what they need if the customer is waiting.

    As far as dealers, I asked today. They have about 450 dealers nationwide (I took a guess last night). At least 130 are considered Prairie Schooner/Yellowstone (same trailer). To get on that list, you have to stock at least 4. I wish I could afford that many. I sold the one I had in stock and have ordered another. There are 19 PS/Yellowstone dealers on the east coast. In Virginia, there are at least 5 dealerships that I know of. I am the only one stocking Prairie Schooner, just not 4.

    Sorry, but the insulation in our ceiling covers the rafters. We have no gaps. We also insulate the wall studs. That is how we have such high R-values. Being a 20 yr. machinest by trade, you don't mix aluminum and steel. They are dissimilar metals and cause corrosion where they touch.

    I'm not saying anything against others. There are a lot of nice units out there. Take a hard look at the new Prarie Schooner or Yellowstone and you will see a lot of features that you pay extra for in other units. Just a small sample of Standard items: Solid hardwood cabinets (no man made wood anywhere in the trailer), Mor-ryde axles, 12 gal water heater, Aluminum 16" Wheels with 10 ply tires, NEW extended pin box offering the best turning radius in the business, vacuum bonded walls (best insulated wall there is). Check mine or Gulf Streams website for a complete list.

    Our Luxury Division manager took the Keystone Challenger off the drawing board and turned it into one of the top selling trailers for Keystone. He is now committed to Gulf Stream and has made LOTS of changes in his trailers and they are just hard to beat. That list is the Canyon Trail, Mako, Sedona, Prairie Schooner, Yellowstone. Not counting Amerilite, Conquest, Gulf Breeze and Emerald Bay, I try to stock around 4 Canyon Trails, 3 Sedonas and a Schooner.
     
  10. julieibach

    julieibach New Member

    RE: Best RV for Winter living

    Boy, after reading some of these posts I'm becoming a bit paranoid about wanting to live full-time in an RV, it's pretty overwhelming. I'm also new to this RV'ing thing, looking to get a Class C (I'll be traveling by myself) and might want to live at times in colder climates. Is this being totally unrealistic?? If so, I need to rethink things. If not, I need the "down and dirty" of things to know. Help!! I don't want to make a VERY costly "bad decision"!!

    Wanting to RV but scared to do so,
    Julie
     
  11. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: Best RV for Winter living



    Welcome to the forum, Julie. Use the search function here to find lots of info on 'full timing' or 'Class C' for instance.

    With all this room down here in Texas, why would you want to stay in the frozen north? :laugh:
     
  12. whit

    whit New Member

    Re: Best RV for Winter living

    Julie---If you're looking for a good cold weather class C, you might want to check out the Bigfoot. www.bigfootrv.com/

    whit
     
  13. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    RE: Best RV for Winter living

    If you are really going to live full-time in a RV, the 5th Wheel is the best way to go. Motor homes waste too much space with the driver/passenger space . Then you have to maintain 2 vehicles (car/RV) if you plan on getting around after you park the RV.

    Now down to the meat of the discussion. The Alpenlite and HitchHiker should be considered for full-timing. They are also vacuum bonded for strength and vacuum bonding keeps the insulation in place so it doesn't slip and slide as you travel. As for being able to have your RV worked on, if you get a well constructed RV in the first place, you won't have too many problems that are specific to a brand. Most RV repair faciliteis can do warantee work on major brand RV appliances.

    I don't know too much about the Prairie Schooner, but do know the Montana is a entry level RV and is a fair product for the money; however, I do not believe it is constructed as sturdy as the vacuum bonded RV's. Just my opinion. :bleh:
     
  14. cheryl wheaton

    cheryl wheaton New Member

    RE: Best RV for Winter living

    Your wife will love the citation. Make sure you get one with enough counter space to prepare meal's in the winter. You wont be doing much BBQing.Cover's over the sink's are deceiving, Make's it look like a lot of space. But every woman no's you cant have sink covers on sinks when making a meal because you need the taps too wash the food. so be careful. Look for the best floor plan you can find to fit your need.You only get one chance to do it right.Bigger dont always mean better.the 31 foot mostly always turn's out to be the best in most rv modal's. Seen a lot of trailor's in the last 2 years.You will pay about 90.000 and up for this make.But no stress.If you buy the end off Oct,Nov,Dec,Jan. You should get an awsome deal.I hope I helped you out. Happy hunting.
     
  15. cheryl wheaton

    cheryl wheaton New Member

    RE: Best RV for Winter living

    The Citation is the only one that had a -30 rating.
     
  16. cheryl wheaton

    cheryl wheaton New Member

    RE: Best RV for Winter living

    I found it very helpful to remove cupboard doors, were water pipes run along the floor.It keeps them warm and, no condensation build up.
     
  17. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Best RV for Winter living

    Who makes Citation? Please don't tell me Forest River. Since this post first started, Teton, Alfa, and Alpenlite, have closed their doors. They were all 4 season RV's.

    In my opinion NUWA HitchHiker, Sunny Brook, Gulf Stream, Excel, and Carriage are good choices. In the past I recommended Keystone Products, but lately I've heard a few stories about them. I would still consider them, but I would do a little more research before I took the plunge. Research is the key to any purchase. Now is the time to buy a 2008 model if you can get the financing or if you have cash.
     
  18. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: Best RV for Winter living

    If the Citations are the same units I looked at several year ago I was not impressed with them. Can't remember the mfg. May have been Thor. Carriage seem to be really good and I also like the Sunnybrook but have not been keeping up to much with new models lately because we are satisifed with our present MH.
     
  19. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Best RV for Winter living

    Travel Supreme is another 4 season top of the line 5th Wheel manufacturer that has closed it's door. :(
     
  20. pipelinemama

    pipelinemama New Member

    Re: Best RV for Winter living

    Are there a lot of "come and go" rv manufacturers typically, or are rv sales really off that much this year? I was just surprised reading the posts how many companies have shut down. So far (knock on wood 100x) we've done ok with our used montana we got early this year. We're about to try a cooold winter with it! I will definately be able to tell you how they fare in the winter in a couple of months. ;)

    "Will we freeze, or will it be a breeze.....?" :blackeye: or :cool: We shall see!
     

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