Where to start? Getting ready to buy, sell, pack and GO!

Discussion in 'Beginning RVing' started by KateyJ, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. KateyJ

    KateyJ New Member

    Hi, I've been hopping all over online and you guys appear to be the friendliest and most knowledgeable. So, can I start picking your brains? Mine is worn out from constant research, research, thinking, looking....I've already learned a lot from your threads on tow capacity,etc.

    We still have all the details to deal with, like sell vs. rent out our house, have our huge moving sale, give away at least one of our two dogs (and maybe the cat?), establish mail service, learn how to be connected on the road, figure out schooling options, figure out the costs of being on the road full-time, and a host of other details -- keeping me up late at night, like right now!

    My main questions, for now, have to do with:

    1. Being a single parent on the road full or semi-full time. We have done some tent camping and four years ago, I rented a popup and pulled it with our minivan for a 3 week trip around the West. Now I'm serious. I'd like to hear from single parents and from women travelling on their own, about how you do it all? My kids are 12 (boy) and 13 (girl).

    2. I'm looking at the 5th wheel/truck option and want to keep our trailer as short as possible and our truck to a one ton. From other threads, I'm hearing from you oldtimers out there that I'll need a one-ton dually to safely pull/stop up to 15,000/16,000 GCVW. I want to stay well within/below those gross maximums, especially since I'm a newbie driver. And yup, I'm gonna go to one of those driver's schools. I've zeroed in on the Chevy Silverado 3500 diesel dually, later model years and I can drive this without white knuckles (at least on test drives in the city, on the highway, and not towing....my only experience so far!) How am I doing so far?

    3. How many full-timers use lighter 5th wheels and stay south during the winter vs. towing a heavier, more insulated four season 5th wheel? If pulling a heavier 5th wheel (and the insulated ones so far seem to be at that 12,000+ threshold,) safely requires more than a one ton diesel dually, I have to reconsider what our travelling would look like.

    4. Choices among the 5th wheels. I'm going to get the Consumer guide CDs, in the meantime, I welcome any comments about 5th wheels that could accommodate the three of us. I've been reading these forums, talking to anyone I can, and looking at a variety of rvs at dealers and shows. When thinking four season I've looked at Newmar Cypress or Americana (but they lack a bunkhouse floorplan). One of your threads had folks giving their "favorites" for true four season fifth wheels -- so I'm working through those lists in my research.

    Ideal for everyone's privacy and sanity, given that I'd like this "boondoggle" to last as long as possible! would be a 5th wheel with a bunkhouse. Would like to find one with the bunks on opposite sides of a room to give them maximum space and privacy, but any bunkroom would do. There's a new Jayco Eagle light that has the best floorplan, but it truly is a 3 season trailer and I wonder about Jayco quality (don't have the RV guide yet!) I am also looking at the Newmar Cypress with bunkhouse. The problem there is weight (and cost). The Cypress with bunkhouse is over 12,000 lb. unloaded and there will be three of us and all that we need to put in there. I don't want to go the medium duty truck route.

    Trying to figure out which are true "four season" and which aren't is tricky when they all quote all these different R values. I am assuming that the unloaded weight of the trailer tells you something about that? Which brands are the better built lighter weight ones?

    I am looking forward to getting out there! And from hearing from anyone on this thread or privately -- thanks! KateyJ
     
  2. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: Where to start? Getting ready to buy, sell, pack and GO!

    Welcome to the forum, Joy!

    You certainly have the details prioritized, itemized and categorized.

    "figure out schooling options" Your #1 option. If you aren't homeschooling already, I don't know how you can travel. Hopefully, you aren't planning on enrolling your children in different schools as you go. Those two younguns of yours are pretty old to be nomadic. Pardon me if I'm out of bounds; don't mean to be. :)
     
  3. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Re: Where to start? Getting ready to buy, sell, pack and GO!

    Welcome Joy

    As Tex said the kids are the priority in your travels(education). This means also their social well being as well. Bonding with others their age, and right now is a critical age for them to start making the life long friends. Traveling with a bunch of old farts like us may not be the best for the kids to hone their social skills with their age group. Then there is a lot to be said for the on the road education and experiences. Have you had a good long talk with the children and have they aired concerns? If you can master the things for the kids the rest(hardware) will fall into place.
     
  4. KateyJ

    KateyJ New Member

    RE: Where to start? Getting ready to buy, sell, pack and GO!

    Hey, Tex and Len -- and no, no offense taken. I started researching this when my kids were 9 & 10, but for reasons aplenty, that didn't happen and now looks like the time to jump into it -- before they get any older!

    I have the school thing covered, for now; meaning, I know what I can and can't do (state law-wise) and we have experience with all kinds of schooling (public, private, online school, homeschool). My daughter is excited about this and she can and does work on her studies anytime, anywhere. dear son? just the opposite. We have tried everything -- he WON'T do school, not in the traditional sense. At least for the time being, I'm taking the school pressure off him (AND me.) I'm going to keep him busy helping me navigate, set up, learn the mathematical stuff related to travel, RV critical #s, etc. and soak up geography and history on the road. So, while I still more to learn about the education aspects of this, it isn't the stuff that keeps me awake at night.

    Staying safe and secure, making friends, achieving family harmony (at least for the most part) and realizing the dream of a true adventure and the memories of our lifetimes? Big questions.

    Back to the nuts and bolts of the truck and 5th wheels. Any help for those questions? And here's more!

    Does it come down to Lighter trailer = travel according to the seasons, Heavier, insulated trailer = more flexibility?

    Another thing I thought of -- I kept reading about this "air ride suspension" feature that Americana touts, and an electronic leveling system -- can't remember now if they're two separate items or somehow linked, and somewhere in there one of 'em also gives you source of air for low tires or inflatable toys. Any comments on those things? mere bells and whistles or truly important? ;)
     
  5. KateyJ

    KateyJ New Member

    RE: Where to start? Getting ready to buy, sell, pack and GO!

    P.S. Thanks for the kid comments. They are changing so fast right now, that what works for us this year may not be possible in six months, or a year, and so on...

    My kids are somewhat "atypical" in both very positive ways and not so positive. For one, they have an "old fart" for a mom ( and I do mean OLD), so they're used to that, and they enjoy talking with older people. Peer relationships at this age, while important enough, aren't as important as our overall well-being, which we're dissatisfied with right now. I gather we'll be "barred" from the exclusively-old fart campgrounds, even though I qualify! During the summer there will be kids out there. There's also the home school on the road groups and they have online blogs and such for kids to connect. Not so worried about it. That could change, though. Heck, we might only last two months! I'm hoping for better, though.

    Now really, 'ya think I could do ANYTHING this big without talking with my kids about it? They're checking out rigs with me and giving me their two cents. It's the two of them who are adamant about the bunkroom -- and the fact is, most RVs made for full-timing are set up for couples and the occasional grandkids, so foldout couches and dinette conversions are the rule. Not too many bunkhouse models to choose from.

    Looking forward to hearing from you again! thanks!
     
  6. rjf7g

    rjf7g Senior Member

    Re: Where to start? Getting ready to buy, sell, pack and GO!

    KateyJ-
    Gulf Stream's Canyon Trail line has two bunk house options. In terms of taking teenagers on the road, I would do it in a heart beat. You will have to officially "home school" them, but that shouldn't be an issue. Their curricula might change your route every now and then, but that will be part of the adventure!
     
  7. rjf7g

    rjf7g Senior Member

    Re: Where to start? Getting ready to buy, sell, pack and GO!

    KateyJ-
    By the way, welcome to the forum.
     
  8. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Where to start? Getting ready to buy, sell, pack and GO!

    I have used a somewhat light 12/13,000 lb 4 season 5th wheel for 14 years without any problems. Don't sell your home if you have any doubts. the first 18 mos were the hardest to get past and then it was all great times. :) :)
     
  9. Xlgcrplt

    Xlgcrplt New Member

    RE: Where to start? Getting ready to buy, sell, pack and GO!

    Again an old post but putting my 2 cents worth in. PLEASE look at the DODGE 3500 dually with the Cummins tubro diesel. I was doing a lot of research on pulling "campers" and getting out of the big truck & most of the people pulling them for a living have switched from Ford or Chevy because they say the Dodge pulls better all around (handling, Power for hills & such, etc.) and the biggest reason is the MPG the Dodge just beats the others hands down. but they also beat the other deisels in the 2500-3/4 ton 4x4's also, I know this for a fact because my one of my sons is Ford crazy (tried to beat that outta him but he's hard headed) my son-in-law had a Chevy & one of my daughters (& yes it is her husband that owned the Chevy) God bless her she's the smartest one owns a Dodge all are the same 3/4 ton 4x4. hers has had NO problems and has been used several times to Haul the others home. and she gets a lot better MPG than them boys they both get in the 16 to 19 range. She gets a steady 22 to 23. By the way HAD for my son -in-law 3 months after she got hers, he went and traded the bowtie for his own Dodge 2500 Cummins turbo 4x4.
     
  10. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Where to start? Getting ready to buy, sell, pack and GO!

    I just love this post. Keep up the good work. ;) :eek: :bleh: :approve:
     
  11. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: Where to start? Getting ready to buy, sell, pack and GO!

    Somehow I knew that would get a rise out of DL! :clown:
     
  12. elkhartjim

    elkhartjim Senior Member

    Re: Where to start? Getting ready to buy, sell, pack and GO!

    Maybe she finally figured out what she's running from.
     
  13. brodavid

    brodavid Senior Member

    Re: Where to start? Getting ready to buy, sell, pack and GO!

    Hey KateyJ, go for it ,we did and David had a ball traveling with the older ones to all the Historic places and our children found alot of Info from the older crowd as they said it.How to sew and knit, crochet, draw etc.
    Listen to the advice and plan well, we homeschool and now we are trying to get going on the road with our 7 year old.
    God Bless
     

Share This Page