new and enthused

Discussion in 'Beginning RVing' started by firedog, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. firedog

    firedog New Member

    my wife and i have been contemplating travelling or full time RVing when retirement arrives, (still a few years off but coming up). Hitting the road is something we love to do. We just have never done it in an RV or Travel Trailer. I think we are leaning towards a trailer but would like to hear advice and suggestions from those who know. all the research we've done at this point now seems to have been dreaming. As we look at it in a more serious fashoin we are a bit overwhelmed by all that will go into accomplishing our goal. A couple questions first and then any info you folks could share with us to help our dream come true would be appreciated.
    How much room do we need if we plan to RV full time?
    Is leaving our home for good and travelling full time feasible? (we think it would be great)
    Pros and cons of trailers vs. RV?
    I will leave it at that for now but hope to hear from some of you.
  2. Steve H

    Steve H Senior Member

    RE: new and enthused

    Hello Firedog! Welcome to the forum. I am basically a lurker but do contribute when I can!

    Most of your questions are beyond my experience...we just started RVing two years ago although also nearing retirement!

    If you are leaning towards a trailer rather than a Motorhome, I think a 5th wheel is "more bang for the buck" JMHO. I have towed both and for me, a fifth wheel seems like a better ride! How big is going to directly depend on what you want or have for a tow vehicle! Ours is a 27ft and we have plenty of room for our type of camping. Might be a little small for full-timing as you will want to carry a lot more "stuff".

    I also like the 5th because I can drop the trailer, set up camp, and use my truck to sight-see. If you use a motorhome you will more than likely want a small vehicle to tow behind (toad)

    Lot's of people full-time and thoroughly enjoy it! Not sure I could do it although the idea is very enticing! Lot's to think about! Ever thought about finding a doctor along the way? Mail and banking issues etc.

    Whatever you decide...get something and get on the road. I wish I would have done this in my younger years and when my kids were young! What an enjoyable adventure!

    Best of luck and happy camping!
  3. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: new and enthused

    The motorhome is great for travelling in (possibly more comfortable drivers compartment, passenger can use the bathroom and get beverages/one hand food) and easier to set up/tear down (automatic leveling, utilities protected in compartments). However, for staying in one place, the trailer (particularly 5th wheel) gets the nod (better layout since there is no space 'wasted' at the front, no need for a 'toad' since you can use your tow vehicle, no worries about drive train maintenance while parked, often better storage). So the type depends on how you plan to use it. And your personal preferance, of course.
  4. PattieAM

    PattieAM New Member

    Re: new and enthused

    I would not recommend selling the stick-n-brick until you've gotten some travel/rving under your belt. But, you and your spouse might begin the honing down of possessions in the interim.

    Travel Trailers/5th wheels (towables) will allow you freedom once set up at the campground, whereas a Class A or other motor home doesn't unless you tow a vehicle behind it. You will need a TOW VEHICLE .... and you will need to know it's tow capacity (weight of all passengers, gear, trailer, pets, etc).

    You can view the manufacturers floor plans online, and compare the amenities/costs, etc., before you go a-viewing! Then, if you've got any RV shows in your area, you can go view the various models (not all will be there, but a nice selection). Take the time to lay on the beds, sit on the potty (some seem to be made for midgets), fake a shower (did you hit the wall or pull down the shower curtain?), fake preparing a meal - and picture having your coffee maker on the counter, or other regularly used appliance - is there room to prepare the meal? You will see that the rear kitchen models will have more counter space than other models. (The concern with rear kitchens is easily overcome with the non-skid shelf liner and use of bubble wrap on items that might bounce)

    Consider the construction of the various trailers and compare their features to the areas in which you will be traveling/staying. Example: some trailers feature enclosed/heated underbelly (great if you will be traveling to an area in freezing weather). Some feature outside kitchens. Consider too the storage space (not just the cabinets inside) - will there be room for your outside chairs, and other essentials?

    Grab up the product brochures, and make notes of the models that are comfortable to you - but, remember your tow vehicles towing capacity at all times.

    Go home and have fun going through the information and deciding which models meet your needs.
  5. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: new and enthused

    Hey firedog, welcome to the forum. Travel Trailers (TT's), 5th wheels, Class A,B, and C Motorhomes are all considered RV's.
    I personally like the 5th wheel for full-timing. The la-z-boy recliners are more comfortable, in my opinion, than the leather couches and stationary chairs in the Motorhomes. Also, the TV is usually in a unviewable position in the motorhome. Just my opinion.

    Cost wise the 5th wheel for full-timing is more cost effective. Generally you can get more bang for your bucks with the 5er. The diesel engine/drive-train/chassis for the motorhomes are about 10 times more expensive than the diesel engine in the modern pickup.

    Hands down the fuel economy will be better in a 5th wheel pulled by a diesel pickup over a gas or diesel motorhome. However, some of the fuel economy can be made back up if you tow a small fuel efficient car behind your motorhome.

    Now the big issue. Do you both really want to full-time. Big decision. It's hard to go back to living in a stick house if you sell everything to buy the fancy RV and then decide it was a poor choice.

    Go buy a couple of good books on full-timing and do lots of research on the subject. Get a subscription to Motorhome and TrailerLife magazines as well as join the Good Sam Club.

    Finally, go rent a RV for a 1 or 2 week trip. That should give you some idea what to expect.

    DARLING New Member

    Re: new and enthused

    RVing weather weekends or full timing is not something to do on a whim. There is too much money involved. Rving is not for everyone. It one thing to dream but REALITY is something else.

    Do you have freinds the camp? Ask to go along with them & split the cost of a week end.
    Try renting as DL said.

    Lastly, rent the movie RV with Robin Williams learn all the things NOT to do.

    Darlin :cool:
  7. firedog

    firedog New Member

    Re: new and enthused

    I would like to thank all of you for your replies to our questions. All good info you gave us. We have been looking through other posts on this site and have found answers to many questions that we have. We took your advice as well DL and picked up TrailerLife magazine and a couple others. We have learned a great deal and will be back with new posts of new questions that we feel will be important in our decision making process. Thanks again all and you will hear from us again soon.

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