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About no_decaf

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    Bay Area, CA
  1. Since I've settled on the 2016 Arctic Fox 27-5L and a Chevy Silverado 3500HD to tow it, my next step is figuring out how to add the right solar setup for boondocking and off-grid living. This gentleman seems to have a very solid setup. I'd like to copy it, although I hope to avoid putting any new holes in my rig. My daytime usage is going to be one or two laptops, a 4G hot spot, and perhaps the television. At night I'll be using the aforementioned items plus the lights. I'd like to cook with propane instead of convection/microwave and keep the fridge on propane as well. I know that I'd like to put 400 watts of solar on the rig, with the remaining equipment copied from the above setup: charge controller, 2000W pure sine wave inverter, automatic transfer relay switch, etc, etc. I'm still going to get a generator to fall back on, if I need to run A/C for example. Questions: 1) Do you have other recommendations for solar setups aside from the above-linked one? I'm open to hearing more ideas. 2) Do you recommend solar panels that can tilt, or are flat panels sufficient? 3) Is there a way to put 400 watts of solar panels on my roof without any permanent modifications to the exterior or interior? I'd like to keep the rig unmodified to the greatest extent possible. 4) Do you recommend any installers who can perform the work? I'm willing to drive quite a ways to see the right person. Thanks for any advice.
  2. Is it possible for the truck to be underloaded? For example, if I got an F-450 DRW and wasn't loading my travel trailer to its full GVWR. Is there a safety issue there?
  3. This is interesting, since I'm most likely going with a 4x4. Boondocking requires some off-road travel, and the last thing I want is to be stuck the mud miles from anyone. The extra weight of the transfer case will eat into my towing capability. The Arctic Fox 27-5L has a GVWR of 13,400. I take it this is the "fully-loaded" weight I should use to determine a safe tow vehicle? So using the 25% rule of thumb, this puts the pin weight at 3,350lbs? My current choice of truck is a 2016 diesel F-250/350 Lariat Super Cab with 4 wheel drive. On this spec sheet they have the max weight ratings for towing a 5th wheel gooseneck. The single rear-wheel F-350 with a 3.55 axle ratio has a max trailer weight of 15,900 and a max combined weight of 23,500. The F-250 with the same axle ratio actually has the same weight capacity. Am I missing something, or is there no need to upgrade to the 350 for this axle ratio? Once I move to a dual rear-wheel and a 3.73 axle ratio, the max trailer weight jumps to 23,800 and the combined weight jumps to 32,100. I can't buy an F-250 at this axle ratio. I also don't think I would need to go any higher than this. It looks like if I stick with the single rear wheel, the F-250 or F-350 should be enough for my Arctic Fox? Any veteran 5th wheelers think I should buy up to the dual rear-wheel F-350?
  4. Hi everyone, Thanks very much for the additional info. Kirk, yes I'm most likely going to buy both truck and 5th wheel new. I also joined Escapees the other night, and I'll set up my mail forwarding as soon as I settle on a domicile. I'm did some more research and I'm now considering FL and SD as well. Daveh, it's really nice to hear that you purchased from a dealer right near Northwood Manufacturing. That's exactly my plan, and if you had a great experience I'll buy from Thunder RV as well. I'll email you directly for more details. Several people have mentioned renting. I'll either borrow or rent for a week and learn how RV living works. Solo18, my boxes did include some of what you mentioned, like cold weather clothing, my towel, and cooking stuff. Since moving I've acquired some pots, dishes, a broom, and I use vinegar for cleaning. I see your point though, and I'm going to leave room for more than what I currently have. Better to have extra space than not enough. My girlfriend will certainly appreciate more storage.
  5. Hi, Just posting a followup. We spent the day doing research, and we like the Arctic Fox 27-5L quite a bit. I have a few followup questions if that's okay. 1) What type of tow vehicle would I need for this? An F-350 or an F-450? 2) Does it matter which state I buy it in? I'm asking for tax purposes. Ideally, I'd like to buy from an Oregon dealer right near the factory, so if there's anything wrong I can take it straight to the manufacturer for a repair. 3) Should I begin re-domiciling now? I'm going to domicile in Texas by following the guide on the Escapees website. Thanks again everyone.
  6. Hi everyone, Thanks very much for the warm welcome and good advice. The one thing I don't need much of is storage. When I moved to California, all of my possessions fit into 4 cardboard boxes. Even the Airstream would leave my girlfriend and I with room to spare. Since boondocking is our goal, we're looking for something flexible. Can I take a 5th wheel off-roading easily? Nothing too crazy, just enough to access typical boondocking sites. We're going to head to a few RV dealers this week and try visualizing how we would go about our day in different types of RV. I'm also signing up for www.rv.org to download their guides. We won't buy a tow vehicle until we figure out what we're towing. When you factor in the cost of a tow vehicle, a used Class A no longer looks as pricey. I'm a bit worried about getting stuck in mud or sand though. Thanks again for everyone's input. I'll post more questions as we get further in our search. Sadly there aren't many reputable RV dealers in the San Francisco area. Most have bad reviews on Yelp, so if possible I'll buy used from a private party.
  7. My girlfriend and I are going full-time in an RV this year. We like the Airstream and are considering buying a 2016 Flying Cloud 30'. But I've read some forum posts about how Airstream quality has declined in recent years. The hard thing about this process is figuring out which tow vehicle and RV model to buy, and we feel a bit lost. We do like the travel trailer and 5th wheel designs best. Has anyone owned a recent-model Airstream and had problems with it? Any other brands you would recommend? I'm no longer sure about spending the extra $$ on a new Airstream when I could get a nice 5th wheel from Winnebago or Arctic Fox for a lot less. Our plan is to load it with solar and boondock as often as possible around the western US. Thanks in advance for any advice.
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