How does one pick an RV?

Re: How does one pick an RV?

You ain't goin' nowhere, mam. You just started a range war when you mentioned both Chevy and Dodge in one post! And THEN yer leanin' twards the Dodge! :eek:

Look out! Here comes DL! :clown:

PS. Sorry about the rude PM (not from me), but remember it is real hard to express things in type so give 'em another chance!
Re: How does one pick an RV?

I have a popup (Fleetwood Niagara), and just for ....and giggles I went to a local rv dealership (who'd love me to trade in) and looked at travel trailers. The poor saleman thought I was nutz laying on the bed (if I feel claustrophobic - it ain't for me). Then with my bum leg I sat on the potty (oops too low and difficult to get up/down, so that unit was out). Stepped into the shower area and slapped the wall while pretending to wash myself - not to comfie there). Opened the various kitchen cabinets, and pretended to put the pots/pans on the stove, pretended to chop celery and cut pototoes (where's the counter space?) and of course sit down and have a cup of coffee (with the coffeemaker on what little counter space in some units, no room for food prep unless you get sink covers). Anywho...I had a blast, and fell in love with one unit (Keystone's Outback - hybrid with a slide out bed and a real bedroom, complete with built in desk drawers and closets). A very educational experience and in some cases one wonders 'what idiot designed this?'. So, take your time and enjoy viewing the units and by all means remember how many folks will be in your unit in a daytime storm - bored kids, (Mom, I'm bored, I'm hungry, she won't leave me alone, etc.) be sure the floor plan will work for your entire family! And, if you can, I'd recommend purchasing an Add-a-room for the weatherproof/bug free area under the awning. (I've got one and love it).
Re: How does one pick an RV?

Okay, PattieAM, you're opening a whole new arena of decisions I wasn't prepared for. I don't know what an Add-a-room is. I don't know what that is and if it would fit our needs.

I am looking at the Keystone, but the Yellowstone model and one other one. After I did research on this forum on four season RV's those were a few of the RV's mentioned. We want to use our RV year round and we plan on going to the mountains during the winter at times. So I don't know if the Outlander would meet that need.

I do like the idea of going through the motions and seeing how one is really going to use it. My big thing is kitchen space, because i plan on cooking on the road and not hitting the restaurants much. But we are used to living in a small space already. Our house is not too big (but fully paid for and cute if I say so myself) and we get by. Going through the motions will help me get a feel of whether or not the RV is going to fit.

Also, my husband most definitely wants a slide so that there is some living space while we are at camp. But our house is My husband also hates the plastic toilets. We saw some of those and my hubby said, "No way" he wants porcelain. so slowly but surely we are narrowing the choices down. I agree with the opinions expressed thus far that I need to stay with bunkhouses. I have two little ones that can sleep in compact spaces now, but they are growing fast and the is not going to fit us in just a few more years. That is why a Class C was ruled out for us too. We want more space than a Class C can offer. I like travel trailers that have lots of storage space so we can pack up our bikes, skis, shopping packages, etc.

Now, I just have to be sure to find a winterized, truly four seasons rig. Oh, and avoid Four Rivers rigs at the same time. I checked out the thread on that and some units at a local dealership. They seem flimsy, but for some reason are strongly represented in Southern CA by dealerships. But you are right in that we need to find a unit the will work if we are stormed in and have to spend some time inside.

Thanks for hte tips.

Re: How does one pick an RV?

Yeah, Heather, you just wait 'til DL starts telling you about how much Cummins diesel smoke smells better than that Chevy smoke! It will be fun! ;) :laugh:


Re: How does one pick an RV?

How come it always comes down to picking out a TV be the way it smells ,,,, I know what DL will say ,,, but i u'r right TEX it's gonna be fun to watch ,,,
And bty Heather ,, don't pay any attention to this TEX guy ,, if u look at his picture u know he ain't right ,, just joshing ,,,, Heather we kid around with each other on here ,, so no take offense by what we say,, we mean well (even TEX) but we do kinda get off the main subject sometimes ,, and yes we can seem as we are being mean to each other ,, but stick around,,, cause it will get better and seemiling meaner ,, but it's all in fun :approve: :cool: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: ;) :clown:

DL Rupper

Senior Member
Re: How does one pick an RV?

Hey nomadmom, keep on leaning towards that Dodge . Seriously there are a few good 4 season RVs that stand out:
Sunny Brook
Check them out a RV show.


Re: How does one pick an RV?

Is this the same DL we all know :question: :question: :question: :question:
He never said a word about the smell of the smoke :eek: :eek:
I think the Gulf Coast and the fog have been playing tricks on his senses ;) :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :clown:
Re: How does one pick an RV?

That's just it DL, I'm having a hard time finding a four seasons RV with bunks.

Every time I look at a fully insulated rig, the largest they offer is two slides w/2 LZ Boys. I guess we could roll out the sofa hide a bed for the two girls, but where do I put the boy, on the roof? He might like that, but mom wouldn't. I found some class C's w/bunks, but I want to tow and disconnect my vehicle when we park and go into town. Plus I want to keep full use of the truck at home.

I found some TT w/bunks, but I'm not sure about R values and how to tell if one will be Polarized enough for us.


Senior Member
Re: How does one pick an RV?

An 'add-a-room' is usually a screen and/or canvas wall which encloses the area under the awning. It is great to provide insect reduced or even private additional living space. But keep in mind that it is essentially just a tent. So if the weather and your preferances support it, then fine. But since you are talking cold, I'm not sure it will be of much use for you.


Senior Member
Re: How does one pick an RV?

Ms Heather, They always poke fun at each other and give great advice, I am also sorry that someone was rude, give them a chance and they will always give good if not great advice, if you are a somewhat a joker pick back, all the folks here are just one big family and have their own quirks, but a fun group where knowledge flows out of every seam, I also am still looking for our perfect unit, we thought we found it ,but the shower was too small for brodavid to get in and out easy, he is on a walker or quad most of the time, keep looking and like ms Pattie said pretend you are living in it and if the salesman do not like it, then you know that is not the place to buy.
Also before you buy do a walk a round and inspect everything
God Bless you in your choice and happy safe miles


DL Rupper

Senior Member
Re: How does one pick an RV?

nomadmom, the large bunkhouse room with dresser/TV/bathroom is fairly new to 5th wheels. You will probably find more of them in the introductory level range. They cater to families with children more. The 4 season lineup is usually mid to top of the line 5th wheels that cater to retired full-time/snowbird couples. I know the Fleetwood line (Terry/Prowler/Wilderness) offer them. The last RV show I was at had a few models, but we were interested in the non-bunkhouse type 5er so I really didn't check which manufacturers were showing them.
Artic Fox and Nash may have some 5ers with bunkhouses. Just remember they (bunkhouse rooms) are new to 5ers, so may be hard to find.
Re: How does one pick an RV?

DL :

I checked the brands you listed and found Montana offers a bunkhouse that I really think we would like. It was found in the Mountaineer Edition. The newer layout even has a washer/dryer hookup. It has an R-14 rating. I am not sure exactly what that measures and what all is involved in deciphering the rating. Also, it seems heavy, I don't know. The ship weight is around 11,200#. The hitch weight is 2,000 and the CCC was just a little over 3,000. Now if I could get the formula for determining the right tow limit, I could better determine the vehicle.

The Dodge 3500 HD with mega cab, 6 gear Automatic transmission, w 6L Diesel Cummins can tow about 15,900#. Is that enough for a 5th like i just mentioned?

Re: How does one pick an RV?

You know--given all the great advice I've gotten so far and the positive feedback, I'm not going to let one minor rebuff phase me. Just take it as a grain of salt I always say.

Thank you for the pep talk.

:) :) :)
Re: How does one pick an RV?

"The Dodge 3500 HD with mega cab, 6 gear Automatic transmission, w 6L Diesel Cummins can tow about 15,900#. Is that enough for a 5th like i just mentioned?"

Nah! That truck won't pull a durn thang! Will it DL!

PS. Mah tung's hangin' out visualizin' dat big dog! You go girl!

DL Rupper

Senior Member
Re: How does one pick an RV?

Hey nomadmom, The Montana seems to be a good 5er. The Dodge 3500 CTD should work great. Any of the 5er's with the bunkhouse room will be big and heavy. I think the Mountaineer Edition is Montana's entry level series (not as plush) and will be somewhat lighter than their Montana/ Big Sky models. R 14 rating should be OK. It will have enclosed heated holding tanks and some insulation. Make sure it has the 16 inch "E" load rating tires (80 psi) and at least 6000 lb axles. Too many 5th wheels have 15 inch tires on them and they are special trailer (ST) tires that are made in China. You need 16 inch Light Truck (LT) tires. The 15 inch tires seem to have too many blowouts.

I wouldn't buy a new Diesel from any of the big 3 until at least the 2009 models are out. They all went with a new diesel engine due to the stringent emission standards in 2007 and the bugs should be worked out by then. If you buy a 2006 or older diesel I would stick with the Dodge or GM. Dodge 2003 and newer automatic transmissions are good. If you get a Dodge older than 2003, stick with the manual transmission. I'm skeptical of the Ford 6.0 L Power Strokes. The older 7.3 L diesel Ford Power Strokes are good, but will probably have high mileage on them.

Dodge diesel smoke still smells better. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: ;)
RE: How does one pick an RV?

Hi Nomadmom

I'm fairly new here and haven't yet bought an rv, but I will be buying in the spring. I came here with some questions, and have had a lot of very helpful answers. A great tip I got was to go to and become a member of the RV Consumer Group. When you sign up, you get very thorough book called 'How To Select, Inspect and Buy an RV'.

You also get a couple of CDs. One has what appears to be a very carefully produced and inclusive pricing and ratings guide to pretty much every rv you are likely to find that was built since 1993.

There's also a booklet that explains how the dealers and sales-people work, which is informative, and a little bit scarey too!

It's not free, but I'm pretty sure it's going to save me a hell of a lot of money and heartache.

Re: How does one pick an RV?

Thanks DL for the info. OK, this is where it gets reall techy. I might actually be on to something if I can keep up with you guys. I knew nothing before.

I wanted to avoid going earlier than a 2003 because I wanted to avoid the manual tranny. The manual is heavier and takes away from the towing capacity. Otherwise, I would go manual because it is easier to work on if there's problems later. If I understand you correctly I should stay away from 2006 & 2007 models, yes???

I just really want that mega-cab to fit my three children in the back with lots of room. The quad cab is much too small. I don't want to buy new though. If I waited I could get a 2006 or 2007 model on sale used and pay 20K cash to a personal seller. I just want to buy a big enough ride to haul the rig we finally decide on. I would hate to sink that much into a ride that wouldn't be enough when we finally picked something out. And you are right, bunkhouses are running a little heavy. We don't want luxury though. We just want to get out there on the road and start sharing memories with our 3 children.

I saw a 2007 Ford Diesel on sale by owner with only 15,500 miles on it. It was already set up with fifth wheel hitch and all. the owner was only asking for blue book value and "hated to part with it". Then I glanced down the specs and saw the manufacturer's warranty ends at exactly 15,500 miles. Somehow I just didn't believe the owner's parting sorrow after that.

We plan on using a loaned 5er until we finally decide on our model. That gives us plenty of time to lay low, save up and plan everything out so we can find our RV used too. But I did like the price on that new Montana. I just know how much I can save if I wait a little while. :bleh: :clown: