RV owners

JohnT

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Any TFP members RV owners?

My wife and I are in the process of deciding on one. We've narrowed down to about a 30-32 foot fifth wheel. Have an F250 to pull it. We are both eligible to retire, and we are planning on some relaxation when we do. Still working on exactly what rig we'll go with, but we have a general floor plan picked out.

We already camp. We used to have a popup, but switched to a tent for fishing trips with the boat. Not sure of future plans, but we know nothing is quite as relaxing as a campsite with a good book to read.

Hillman Ferry in the Land Between the Lakes is our favorite spot for now, but we are hoping to explore new places soon.
 

jblizzle

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May 19, 2010
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Tucson, AZ
We have a 32' bumper pull toyhauler to haul all the ATVs and RZR to the dunes or up into the mountains in the summer.
 

woodyp

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Apr 17, 2010
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East Texas
Used to do the popup thing myself. Got tired of "popping it up" I guess! Camping trips turned into work in the heat and I decided to let that phase pass.
 

Bama Rambler

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Jun 22, 2009
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SouthWest Alabama
We've owned everything from a pup tent to our now 32' Salem rear kitchen fifth wheel. We like the 5er a lot, and are planning on traveling around the country in a couple years when I retire.

You probably already know this, but don't believe a salesman that tells you that your truck can tow anything.
A F250, especially if you have the oil burner, can be pretty limited as far as payload goes. The later model gassers have a pretty decent payload.

If you want my input, tell me more about your truck, I can give you some ideas about what you can tow weight wise.

Whatever you go with, you'll have lots of good times with the RV.
 

JohnT

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250 FX4 with the 6.2. Planning on about 10K gross trailer weight and 1500-1600 pin. Going with an Andersen Ultimate hitch since I already have the gooseneck hitch.

We've owned everything from a pup tent to our now 32' Salem rear kitchen fifth wheel. We like the 5er a lot, and are planning on traveling around the country in a couple years when I retire.

You probably already know this, but don't believe a salesman that tells you that your truck can tow anything.
A F250, especially if you have the oil burner, can be pretty limited as far as payload goes. The later model gassers have a pretty decent payload.

If you want my input, tell me more about your truck, I can give you some ideas about what you can tow weight wise.

Whatever you go with, you'll have lots of good times with the RV.
 

Bama Rambler

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Jun 22, 2009
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What year is that truck and do you know what the door post sticker says the max payload is?

It's gonna be close, but if you stay about 10,000 loaded you should be ok. I'm not the weight police, so if you go a little over I don't think you're going to hurt anything.

Our Salem 29RKSS is about 8,000 lbs empty and runs a little over 9,000 lbs loaded. Probably close to 10,000 lbs once we load up for extended trips.
 

LFrankow

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 27, 2012
608
Medicine Hat, Alberta
I have a class A, only 24 foot, but I made sure it had the big block and heavy duty tranny. I now have a car dolly which I drag my 35mpg car behind me with.
I really don't do mpg with that rig but rather $ per hour 20 is good 30 is possible with a mean head wind, you learn to drive 55 real quick.
Camping wise 4 days or more it works out, less then 4 days I am better off getting a motel or hotel room.
I don't like the idea of pulling a big rig with a big rig just because you have to fuel half the big rig just to get a 6 pack, and that cuts down on my beer time ;)
 

JohnT

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Apr 4, 2007
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SW Indiana
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What year is that truck and do you know what the door post sticker says the max payload is?

It's gonna be close, but if you stay about 10,000 loaded you should be ok. I'm not the weight police, so if you go a little over I don't think you're going to hurt anything.

Our Salem 29RKSS is about 8,000 lbs empty and runs a little over 9,000 lbs loaded. Probably close to 10,000 lbs once we load up for extended trips.

2014 Truck is rated at 12,200. You start running into pin weight limits pretty fast before you get to trailer weight in a lot of cases. My understanding is that the 10,000lb GVWR on 250s is just a technicality to keep them from being classified as commercial vehicles for insurance and licensing requirements
 

chiefwej

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Jun 12, 2011
3,724
Tucson
I spent many a summer nights at Hillman Ferry. We used to camp there most every summer, when my kids were young. Started out with a VW Campmobile, ended with a 34' class A Pace Arrow. Over the years we visited every state and almost every National Park.

We had always planned to get a RV and travel in retirement. The fact that we now live in Tucson, so many things within a day's drive, combined with the pool, and having our own little resort right in our backyard, made it unnecessary. Travel is now mostly by air, or cruise ship, or the occasional road trip in a little sports car. If you get out this far west, give me a PM and I'll show you around.

Happy Travels.
 

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Bama Rambler

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Jun 22, 2009
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SouthWest Alabama
2014 Truck is rated at 12,200. You start running into pin weight limits pretty fast before you get to trailer weight in a lot of cases. My understanding is that the 10,000lb GVWR on 250s is just a technicality to keep them from being classified as commercial vehicles for insurance and licensing requirements

You are correct about the 10k rating being set to keep under a lot of states commercial classification rules.

Looks like you understand the limitations of your vehicle, so good luck in your search. And it doesn't hurt that you live in the state that's the RV capitol of the world. :)

If you want more info, I'd be glad to impart any knowledge I've gained about RV's over the years, just PM me and we'll discuss.
 

schatz

Well-known member
May 15, 2017
168
Tucson, Arizona , U.S,A
We have owned our 36 ft. diesel Tradewinds for 10 years now and have camped and traveled extensively,love it. Yeah it's alot of work but we think it's worth it. We have mainly stayed west of missipissippi but plan on going east in our retirement years, as we are new emptynesters. Would love to travel to the keys and then head north up to Maine and back west next year. Have fun and enjoy, they say that when you are on your death bed you remember experiences more than what you have acquired.
 

Brentr

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LifeTime Supporter
Oct 18, 2009
3,358
Jacksonville, FL
Who needs an RV when you got a POOL:D Actually DW and I did the boating thing for years and lived on a few boats in the past, I just can't seem to convince DW to get an RV unless it was a $250,000 Diesel pusher:cheers:
 

tim5055

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May 11, 2014
11,174
Franklin, NC
Well, actually we have 2 RV's

Our "big" camper is a Coachmen Freedom Express Liberty Edition bumper pull. Just a little over 35 feet with 2 slides. We only take this one out for longer trips.

Freedom Express Liberty Edition 297RLDSLE is the closest to what they had in 2014

For short trips,or trips into the real woods (National Forest backcountry mostly) we have a 2016 Aliner Expedition. Expedition - Aliner

I haven't kept my trip reports up to date, but you can see our camping webpage here: Natasha's Camping Site

We pull both with a 2004 F-250 with a 6.0 Turbo Diesel.
 

Poolidiot

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 31, 2007
482
Texas
My suggestion would be if you plan on ever going to warm/hot places then make sure you get one that has 2 A/C units and is 50 Amp hook up.
 

Bama Rambler

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Jun 22, 2009
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That is a good suggestion. Even if it doesn't come with the second A/C, make sure it's 'prepped' for it. That means that it has all the power and thermostat wiring already in place.
 

JohnT

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Apr 4, 2007
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So we made a purchase. Went with a used one as it seems to be a pretty good deal.

Grand Design Reflection 303RLS. Reasonable weight. Perfect floor plan. Only complaint is that the kitchen vent requires a ladder to open and close and the single awning is relatively small.

By going used rather than a new one of the same model, we gave up auto-leveling, a second awning over the slide, rear hitch, a convection/microwave combo and the sink cover which strangely wasn't included the year this one was made. Saved enough we can put up a building to store it in and have some left over.

Plus, since the previous owners aren't replacing it and are moving out of state, they threw in much of the equipment including chocks, blocks, hoses, chairs, small appliances and more. Not a fortune, but when you start adding it up it is nothing to sneeze at.

BTW, the Atwood ACs are about the quietest I've ever heard. The roof itself on this unit is right at 12' so it's not one of the highest bedroom ceilings, and the AC really had little effect on conversation when standing in the bedroom.

303RLS.jpg

303RLS_Inside.jpg
303RLS_Kitchen2.jpg
 

JohnT

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Pickup is tomorrow. Installed the Andersen hitch tonight and it was dead simple.
 

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