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dkpender

Big Rig Camping opportunities

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We are looking at a 43ft 5th Wheel Toyhauler and are concerned about finding "inexpensive" places (meaning non-commercial) sites to RV at.  We are new full timers and at this time not equipped to boondock but don't want to spend the high dollars in commerical prefer the off the beaten track.  We are concerned that we may be looking at too large of a rig!!! Any ideas, thoughts, appreciated.

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While a 43 foot rig won’t fit everywhere, but it can still fit in quite a few places.  The long overhang on 5th wheel trailers allows you to get into shorter sites and just hang over the back of them (as long as there is nothing in the way).  Our 5th wheel is 42’4” long and we regularly stay in places that have smaller sites.  If I am not familiar with the place we are going, then I do research the area with google satellite views and whatever website is available for where we want to stay.  Most places have RV site dimensions on their website (county/state/national parks).  This along with the satellite view will tell me if I can get into a place and then if the site will work for my set up (at least it has worked so far).

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7 hours ago, dkpender said:

We are looking at a 43ft 5th Wheel Toyhauler and are concerned about finding "inexpensive" places (meaning non-commercial) sites to RV at.  We are new full timers and at this time not equipped to boondock but don't want to spend the high dollars in commerical prefer the off the beaten track.  We are concerned that we may be looking at too large of a rig!!! Any ideas, thoughts, appreciated.

In my opinion, if you have a generator you are equipped to boondock for a few days here and there. You don't want to run that generator all day or any neighbors will be frustrated but running it during breakfast and supper is enough to power most things if you have the right batteries. And your tanks are probably big enough for you to go several days without needing to dump and fill. To check out possible boondocking sites for big rigs I recommend https://wheelingit.us. Then every few days check into a park with hookups and recharge everything.

Linda Sand

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A 43 footer will certainly limit you in some ways. You can't get into a lot of forest service campgrounds. Not sure what exactly you are looking for but you will spend a lot of time making sure you can "fit". You might go a little shorter

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Welcome to the Escapees forums!

There are many good books on inexpensive and free camping available from Amazon and a number of other sources. I like Corps of Engineers parks but have also found many good state parks and a host of other places to spend time. 

Edited by Kirk Wood

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22 hours ago, dkpender said:

We are looking at a 43ft 5th Wheel Toyhauler and are concerned about finding "inexpensive" places (meaning non-commercial) sites to RV at.  We are new full timers and at this time not equipped to boondock but don't want to spend the high dollars in commerical prefer the off the beaten track.  We are concerned that we may be looking at too large of a rig!!! Any ideas, thoughts, appreciated.

Welcome to the forum!  I assume you are set on taking some "toys" with you and therefore are petty set on getting around that size of rig.  You will limit yourself to where you can camp but on the other hand there are a lot of full timers with much longer rigs out there doing just fine.

There will be many State parks, Corps of Engineers, and other cheaper public venues that you will be borderline on fitting into their sites.  However, if you supplement your daily sites with dry camping and longer stays at cheaper private camp grounds then you can still control what you spend every year.

Just as an example, for this month after coming out of our winter stay in Florida we wanted to visit New Orleans and Mobile, plus come other areas of the Gulf coast.  Instead of hunting around every week for a spot big enough for us to fit we booked a month in Robertsdale AL.  They gave us a 100' plus pull through for the month ($300).  That is $10 a day plus our electric.  From here we can either ride our Harley or take our car and do all of our sightseeing this month.   Someone with a smaller rig may move about 3 or 4 times down here in the Gulf coast to different places to see what we will see.  They would certainly spend more in camp fees even if they were getting into State parks and such, plus they would have to figure in all their extra fuel on their rig that we won't have.  

My thoughts are if you are full timing it then you want to start with as much space/storage as possible.  

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Thanks to all the replies, gives us room for thoughts, a lot of good points by all. Darn thing looks really big, hopefully we will start to feel more comfortable with it's size 

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10 hours ago, dkpender said:

Darn thing looks really big, hopefully we will start to feel more comfortable with it's size 

Pretty much all RVs seem huge to the drivers when we first travel with them unless we happen to have experience as truck drivers. As you gain experience towing it the size will seem to shrink. I suggest that you find an empty parking lot to spend some time just maneuvering it to gain confidence and especially backing it. As you begin your travels, plan your routes to keep to the main roads and to avoid rush hour traffic at first and do your best to avoid construction areas. Don't be afraid to travel at speeds that are below the limits as you need to feel safe and comfortable. With practice, nearly all of us become more skilled and experience less stress and intimidation. If you do not find this to start quickly, consider taking one of the RV driving courses as they can help you a great deal. 

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On 4/11/2018 at 7:36 AM, dkpender said:

We are looking at a 43ft 5th Wheel Toyhauler and are concerned about finding "inexpensive" places (meaning non-commercial) sites to RV at.  We are new full timers and at this time not equipped to boondock but don't want to spend the high dollars in commerical prefer the off the beaten track.  We are concerned that we may be looking at too large of a rig!!! Any ideas, thoughts, appreciated.

Pender...........This is your lucky day......

Here is the ......."SOLUTION" ...... to ALL of your questions AND "money-concerns"

GET A ............HORSE.........(maybe two or three horses IF you have too much money)

Once you travel with a HORSE...........ALL of the issues that the other folks on the thread mention just fade away into oblivion.....

VERY few "Normal-Campgrounds" allow horses.........they bark too much.

So when you travel with a horse(s) you get to camp in "horse-camps", Rodeo-Grounds, Fair-Grounds and some outback spots well away from....."Normal-Campers"......

Now Jack Mayer or Shallow Draft and a few others on the forum will tell you that with Horses money is NEVER a problem........you get MONEY.......You spend the MONEY.......You get more Money and you spend it.......Just keep getting more money........No problem.

Now as far a rig size.........When yo go the "Horse-Facilities" you will likely have the smallest rig there no matter how big your rig is since many livestock rigs push 80 ft or more with livestock pup trailers so just use that 40 acre lot to drive around like a cowboy.

Ex-er-size........oh ya........lugging around 5 gallons of horse water, 130 pound bales of hay, 80 pound sacks of grain and, and, and.....did I mention horse "exhaust" weighs a lot as well........

You see Pender.........,.Most "Normal-Campers" have way too much ....Money.... so they have way, way too many problems trying to get rid of all that money...........However once you get infected with horses ........all "Normal-problems" fade away and only horse problems matter.......

Drive on.............(Horse around.........no problems)

 

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The rig you are considering is about three feet longer than our coach. We often hang the engine out past the bumper, giving us more space in front of the coach. A toy-hauler is somewhat different in that where we have an engine and bedroom you have space for your toys. Most toyhaulers have a ramp on the back for getting those toys in and out. If you are sticking out past the bumper you may not be able to do that, so you may have to unload before you completely settle down in your site. Nothing insurmountable, just something to think about.

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