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Full Timing in a 5th Wheel Toy Hauler

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We are going to be full timing starting May, 2016. We will be buying a 5th wheel toy hauler. We have to Harley's, 2 golden retrievers & a cat.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

-what make of toy hauler

-traveling with pets

-recommended truck

 

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We have a jayco 3914 pull it with a HDT, we put a Toyota yaris in the back. We've had this trailer since July 2013 an have had very few issues.

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We fulltime in a keystone Fuzion. If we had the money would have sprung for an excel cargo but it was over budget.

We have two dogs and two parrots. The parrots have the garage mostly to themselves.. Works well for us.

We pull our toy hauler with a 2014 dodge 3500 dually. The dually has a slightly larger footprint and has the extra tow capacity to make towing the toy hauler a breeze

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Bob A & Hopeimakeit. Thanks for the info. Did you buy new or used?

We plan on spending a lot of time in the western states but will also travel to PA & FL to see our kid & grandkids. Any issues in the mountains?

Thanks again.

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We are going to be full timing starting May, 2016. We will be buying a 5th wheel toy hauler. We have to Harley's, 2 golden retrievers & a cat.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. -what make of toy hauler -traveling with pets -recommended truck

The first thing is to welcome you to the Escapee forums! It is always great having new folks choose to join us and I think just a little bit flattering also to be chosen. New members with new issues and experiences are what keep the forums healthy and interesting! Welcome!

 

I have never been a fifth wheel owner but have been around a lot of them and see no reason why you should not be successful in your adventure. You do need to educate yourself on the weight issues and limits of both the RVs and of the two vehicle choices and make sure that you have a good match for comfort and safety. It has often been stated that it is difficult to have too much truck.

 

We have traveled with our dog for most of our 35+ years of RV experience and see no reason why yours won't go well also. Many of us on these forums have dogs so feel free to ask or to comment on the subject. There is also a section of the forum that is specific to travel with pets, so you may want to peruse it at some point. If you have not done so, I would suggest that you start by reading a book or two on the fulltime lifestyle and there are many choices available on Amazon or at your public library. They are a good way to become acquainted with the various issues that you will need to address as you move to this new adventure. As you do the reading you will probably discover answers to questions that you have not thought of yet. I would also suggest that you might find it helpful to consider joining the RV Consumer Group for the educational materials and support that they supply to the new RV buyer.

 

One other thing that I will suggest at this point is to notice that in the signature line of many who post here there is a link to the website or blog that the author maintains. I suggest that as time allows you may find it very interesting and informative to follow those links and to read about the RV experiences of those who contribute here. There are several large RV websites with a great deal of information and some very interesting blogs that tell of the travels of folks here. It also helps to get to know the people who you see here as though you actually spent time together.

 

We look forward to getting to know you better and hope that the forums turn out to be all that you are hoping to find.

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We chose to go with greater creature comforts....and just put the scooters in a cargo trailer. Toy Haulers today are a tad above what they were in 2006, however there will still be a tradeoff to incorporate your garage into your 5th wheel.

 

Regards

Gemstone

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We bought new because DW would not even consider used. Must admit like the idea of having the washer in the garage rather then in a closet.

Ours is forty foot so we try to stay away from switch backs. Other then that no problems in the mountains.

Best thing to do is find what works for you. Consider floorplan, price, and how you plan to use it. What works for one won't work for someone else. Know a lot of people who fulltime in toyhaulers but the ones they use would not work for us.

As has been pointed out excel and new horizon make good toyhaulers. For us though they did not fit our budget. Wanted to make sure we could payoff the coach and still retire.

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Thanks to all! We will be buying used. New is not in our budget. We are selling everything...house, cars, etc. We are both self employed. My husband will be selling his bread route (Martin's Potato Rolls).

We really like the Glendale Titanium & Peterson Exel but these seem to be few & far between. We just came across the Sunnybrook. It looks nice too. All have decent size garages & living space as well as storage seem to be nice.

We were wondering if it's difficult to put some of our own furniture in these. Like our sofa, dinette, bed. Also, is it hard to put a few additional cabinets in the garage? We really don't need the extra bed (s) that are in some of the garages.

I've read that the water heaters are only 10 gal. I think we will run out of hot water pretty quick just taking showers.

We've also read that electric is an issue. Some say you can't use the microwave & a blow dryer at the same time?

Any and all advice & experience is greatly appreciated.

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I've read that the water heaters are only 10 gal.

We have a 12 gallon and have never run out inclusing showers while washing clothes.

 

 

 

We've also read that electric is an issue. Some say you can't use the microwave & a blow dryer at the same time?

Both are 15 amp devices and should not be a problem with a 50 amp service.

 

Even a 30 amp service should handle the two but there are many other electrical load that are not obvious like the Converter.

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Welcome to the forum! The water heater issue is a non-issue, they are what the industry calls a "Quick recovery" meaning that unless you have 2 appliances using water at the same time you won't run out. We have a 12gl suburban hot water heater and I regularly take 15 minute showers without running out.

he power shouldn't be an issue either. On the size RV's your looking at the power input will be 50 amp RV, which in reality is 100amp (50amp per leg X 2 legs). Even the biggest rigs only have "50" amp power and they run all electric.

There are used Excel toyhaulers on the market, just keep your eyes open for them on RVT.com.

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1)We were wondering if it's difficult to put some of our own furniture in these. ...................

 

2)I've read that the water heaters are only 10 gal. I think we will run out of hot water pretty quick just taking showers.............

 

3)We've also read that electric is an issue. Some say you can't use the microwave & a blow dryer at the same time?

1)To answer the furniture question is a judgement call. Trailers almost always come with a full complement of furniture in them and often the sizes of things are quite different from those in a home since space is so limited. In addition, RV furniture is fastened to the floor as anything you replace it with should be so that it don't move about while traveling. RV doors also limit the ability to get some furniture into them and sometimes a window must be removed for larger items. To answer this accurately one must have the actual trailer as the answer will be different for different trailers and different furniture.

 

2)Actually, the standard RV water heater is only 6 gallons with some optional ones as large as 10 gallons and Suburban now offers one that is 12 gallons but they are not common in used RVs. One thing that you probably do not understand is that an RV water heater operates at a much higher temperature than do home units(usually 140°) and they do this in order to make the hot water last longer because you mix it with more cold and so use less of it. Many of us have lived for years with only a 6 gallon water heater and do just fine. If you have only a 6 gallon water heater then you may have to limit the length of a shower somewhat and you may need to allow some time between showers for it to recover, but you can easily learn to use one just fine. I know several RV folks who have the 10 gallon water heaters and they consider it to be a nearly unlimited supply and sufficient for operating a washing machine as well as your shower. In addition, there are tank-less water heaters available for RVs but they are expensive and uncommon in used RVs. Most owners of them like them but not all. I have no experience with one and so will leave opinions on it to those who have experience with one.

 

You have not mentioned if you expect to use the RV without utility connections, but if you do much of that you will discover that RVs carry limited water and have limited waste water capacities and so in order to "dry camp"(staying with no hookups) it will be critical to learn to conserve water and long showers are one of the things which must be limited. Of course, if you never stop where you do not have water & sewer connections, then this will not be a significant issue.

 

3)Available electrical power may be an issue, depending upon what the RV has and how well you adapt to using it. We have owned many RVs over the years and most have had 30A power cords and that does limit what you are able to do but it is acceptable with a bit of adaption. You won't be able to operate two air conditioners and a microwave at one time, or other combinations of larger loads but it isn't a serious issue if you learn to adapt a little bit. The larger RVs usually come with a 50A power cord and those do have plenty of power available for pretty much all equipment to operate at the same time, unless you have too many plug-in things going at once. The circuits for plug-in appliances are limited but that is also true for a stick house. I do suggest that you want to make sure that the toy haulers you consider do have the 50A power cord and not the 30A which can happen. Here are pictures of what you will see on the cords.

51s9pRwsWzL._AA160_.jpg 50A RV plug..... 41A634BGK8L._AA160_.jpg30A RV plug......

Edited by Kirk

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DRV now has a toyhauler - http://drvfullhouse.com/

 

I would add to be very cautious of the weights. Any options you add increase the weight. Insure you have enough truck to stop it.

 

As for the hot water heater question most times you are in a situation where you want to conserve water so a long hot running shower is not typical (at least for us). We have a 10 gal and can shower back to back with no recovery time and not run out. We do use the quick shutoff while washing etc.

Edited by Gene & Lisa

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"In addition, RV furniture is fastened to the floor as anything you replace it with should be so that it don't move about while traveling"...that is painting with a pretty broad brush,and does a dis-service to someone just starting out...IMO, of course. Nothing is tied down in in our RV with the exception of the TV, and only while traveling...that is my modification. Whether furniture is fastened in place is entirely dependent on which rig you are discussing....,we have replaced a good deal of the RV crap furniture with antique furniture...and the only tip over we've had is a Martha Washing Sewing Cabinet, which is on spindly legs anyway.

 

Regards

Gemstone

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DRV now has a toyhauler - http://drvfullhouse.com/

 

I would add to be very cautious of the weights. Any options you add increase the weight. Insure you have enough truck to stop it.

 

As for the hot water heater question most times you are in a situation where you want to conserve water so a long hot running shower is not typical (at least for us). We have a 10 gal and can shower back to back with no recovery time and not run out. We do use the quick shutoff while washing etc.

Holy crap! That's a nice one but it appears to be out of our price range. But I love the fridge!

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A couple more things... If you choose to buy used, rather than new, Take your time in your search for that perfect used rv. There are some great used units out there, but on the other hand, there are some junky ones, too. Inspect them carefully. Roof, tires, awning, appliances, floors, slides and gaskets around windows and other openings. This is a big investment for you, so get the most out of it.

If you buy it from a private individual, just take it on in to a shop and get the axles serviced, unless they have documentation of recent services. Tires, tires, tires. Bad tires can ruin your day. Even new rv's come with junk tires.

Good traveling, my friend.

Edited by AlCherry

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Al. Thanks. I've read on this forum (somewhere) that before we buy we should take it to an RV person & pay them to inspect it. It takes 4-6 hours.

How do you go about finding someone like this?

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When we started our search, we read mostly this forum, and did the inspection ourselves. I'm mechanically inclined, so I understood all of the comments people made.

There is a lot of junk, misused and neglected rv's out there. We traveled around Texas looking at rv's and landed on one out of San Antonio. He even delivered it for us, cause we hadn't found the truck yet.

I don't know what two Harleys you have, but once you buy your RV you need to go to the scales and get everything weighed, so you can balance your load. Since we don't full time, we take one bike or the other, not both.

Like I said before, Tires, Tires, Tires. Most RV tires are rated at 55 or 60 mph at the max pressure. Don't exceed that speed and monitor your pressures. You can search this forum as the subject of tires/pressure/speed has been discussed extensively. Since I have a on board generator, I carry two spares, a 4 ton floor jack and a electric impact in the garage. I haven't had to use them yet, thank God, and good advice from the forum folks here.

Happy traveling, my friend.

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Be prepared to change tires on your own even if you have a towing service. It can be the difference in waiting a long time for service or as was my case last year I couldn't get a call out to my towing service due to my location and it would have been unreasonably dangerous to stay in that location while waiting.

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Are you sure you want a toy hauler? I have nothing against them, I'm just pointing out there's more than one way to skin a cat. You might consider a motorhome towing an enclosed trailer for the Harleys. Of course, you lose the use of the truck for running around, but then, you do have the Harleys, right? If you could stand the idea of cutting down to a single Harley you could carry one on a lift on the back of a motorhome and still be able to tow a car or truck for running around.

 

It's early on, you're learning, keep your minds and options open for a while, that's all I'm suggesting. :)

 

Best of luck to you!

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We looked hard at toyhaulers, not for hauling toys but because we wanted the "blank canvas" of the garage space. Some things we noticed, as generalizations:

 

1) Many if not most of them are set up for hauling a bunch of people for a weekend (understandably). They are not set up very well for two people fulltiming.

 

2) They have very limited built-in storage space given their size. A "normal" 5th wheel could easily have nearly double.

 

3) They tend to have bigger than usual tankage (all those guys and beer for the weekend).

 

4) They tend to have no or limited provision for a generator. If they do offer a generator, it's most likely going to be an LP model - very expensive to run. I suspect most typical toyhauler users haul a portable gasoline generator in one of the chase trucks, but that's sure not something I'd want to do as a fulltimer.

 

We finally gave up the idea, much as it appeals. They just aren't set up for long-term boondocking nor for fulltiming in my personal opinion. We're back to looking at Class A diesel pushers. That said, there are definitely people out there fulltiming in them. But then, there are people fulltiming in Volkswagons. :) All RVs are a large package of compromises - there's just no way around it.

Edited by Gannet

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"4) They tend to have no or limited provision for a generator. If they do offer a generator, it's most likely going to be an LP model - very expensive to run. I suspect most typical toy hauler users haul a portable gasoline generator in one of the chase trucks, but that's sure not something I'd want to do as a fulltimer."

 

 

We started out with a Heartland Cyclone. It was a great trailer and they were a great company - not sure either is still the case. The generator prep package tied it into the 30 gal gas tank for toys. Carrying 30 gals of gasoline for your generator seems like a great option for boondocking!

 

We chose a toy hauler because of the flexibility it gave us. In a pinch we could house 10 to 12 people without too much discomfort. We full timed in the Cyclone for about 3 years.

 

I agree that RV's are full of compromises, if you look you will likely find what will work better for you.

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Just going to chime in once again. We use our garage for storage so we have at least as much or more storage then most.

We do have large fresh, gray, and black tanks. Great for boondocking or just convenience.

We have 20 gallons of gasoline for our built in generator and a fueling station with 30 more that we can pump into the generator tank for extended stays.

We have replaced most of the furnature that came with the toy hauler to residential furnature. More for our comfort and the way we live.

I agree that you should consider all your options and not limit yourself on preconceived ideas or recommendations of another. Also do your own homework and be sure that what others are telling you is the full truth.

Remember you are the one that is going to be living in what ever you finally get. Be sure you can live with it on a daily basis and can live with it in your budget. I spent three years online and at rv shows researching all our options before we bought.

Just my opinion others may vary.

Edited by Hopeimakeit

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