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Reedhoppa

Homeowner to P/T RVer Transition

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10 hours ago, Reedhoppa said:

Are there any other reasons why I should avoid a single axle if I go with a lighter weight unit?

I have had both and currently own an ultra-lite travel trailer that is single axle. There are clear advantages to the tandem axles but I don't think it is really a flat tire issue. with tandems, there is twice as much tire surface in contact with the road which makes the trailer much more stable while towing.  It especially improves the tendency of the trailer to rock, front to back when passing over uneven road surfaces. The main downside to tandem is that you have 4 tires to maintain, rather than two. In our case, it isn't too great a problem with single axle because we tow with a long wheelbase truck that is both longer and heavier than our trailer, but when we first owned it we towed with an SUV and it could be a pain at times. 

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Another trailer you might also take into consideration, a 17' Casita fiberglass egg. There a well built unit with a high resale valve. They don't have a lot inside stage. And another one you might consider is the R-Pod, another single axle trailer. Both of these trailers are in the 17 foot range.

I personally own a Casita that I use for traveling. Light weight, tows like a dream behind my Tacoma V-6 3.5L. You'd be surprised on just how much stuff you can get into one these little trailers. This summer I'll be up in Utah camp hosting for 6 months.

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Driving down the rod today we saw a Rockwood(?) Geopro. Along the lines of a Casita but squared off like a regular trailer. Small like a Casita. FYI

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I appreciate the votes for smaller, lighter units. I’m traveling solo and planning to live in this thing probably 3 to 4 months out of the year max. I want to be nimble and be able to get off the main roads occasionally ... Geo Pro sounds good for that but the trailer has to also serve as a gathering place for my friends on occasional hunting and fishing trips ... so I want the BIG U- dinette. Also want a dedicated bed, heated underbelly and a walkable roof. Fortunately, there are a few out there that check most of the boxes. It will soon be time to stop talking about it and actually buy this thing!

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On 4/12/2019 at 10:28 AM, Reedhoppa said:

Recently traded my hybrid in for a half-ton Tundra with 9,700# tow capacity

  • I do like the idea of a travel trailer with enclosed and heated underbelly since I like mountains and occasional spring/fall camping and hunting trips
  • I like the idea of a permanent ladder and a walkable roof
  • I'm also leaning toward laminated FG instead of aluminum siding
  • I expect to boondock about half the time so I'm keeping an eye on tank capacities and solar prep options
  • I'm into backcountry hiking and mountain biking so those activities will figure into my future plans
  • I'm aiming for something in the 20' to 24' length range with dry weight under 4,500 pounds
  • I want a unit with a decent amount of storage. Will probably put a topper on the Tundra to increase secure storage there as well
  • I will definitely consider buying used but so far not finding much that interests me

Here's one with a 5500 lb GVWR, 21' ball to bumper, and checks most if not all the boxes for you... https://www.lancecamper.com/travel-trailers/1685/

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On 4/12/2019 at 7:28 AM, Reedhoppa said:

 

  • I do like the idea of a travel trailer with enclosed and heated underbelly since I like mountains and occasional spring/fall camping and hunting trips
  • I like the idea of a permanent ladder and a walkable roof
  • I expect to boondock about half the time so I'm keeping an eye on tank capacities and solar prep options
  • I'm into backcountry hiking and mountain biking so those activities will figure into my future plans
  • I'm aiming for something in tarhe 20' to 24' length range with dry weight under 4,500 pounds
  • I want a unit with a decent amount of storage. Will probably put a topper on the Tundra to increase secure storage there as well

 

Comments....on above.

Not sure how important heated underbelly is....waterlines tend to freeze around 25 degrees....Are you planning on spending time in that cold weather??

If your into landscape photography the walkable roof and ladder....defiinitely handy.....otherwise forget about it.

The only tank capacity is that REALLY matters is the black tank. Don't get hung up on tank capacities for one person.

For hiking and mountain biking....small, narrow RV.....or see suggestion below.

Storage in a truck is a "pain in..." Hard to access.

I have a 30 foot 5th wheel that lives in Arizona. Great for living, awful rig for traveling the backroads. 

I also have a 19 foot Casita. Great little rig as someone mentioned. Fine for ONE, short person. My dog sleeps in the truck. It is that small. Great rig, well built.

I am seriously thinking about buying a 4-wheel pop up camper to use with the Casita.  You can buy a model base model without bath, etc.

https://fourwheelcampers.com

That gives you TWO RV's, the trailer and the pop-up on your truck. You can then leave the trailer and use the pop-up for really rough roads. 

As someone mentioned Lance Trailers are very well built and designed. Saw one and I was impressed. Expensive, but very well designed. I would also look at this trailer: https://escapetrailer.com/trailers/the-21-escape/

Good luck finding any of these trailers used. The Casita and Escape need to be ordered in advance from three months to a year.

Oh, get a front hitch for the front of your truck and haul your mountain bike there.

http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2012/08/usbackroads-product-yakima-holdup-bike.html

Hope this helps.....didn't comment on the other advice in this thread, but it was all good. Just new stuff from me that no one else covered.

 

 

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My wife and I travel for 3 months a year in a 26' travel trailer with absolutely no problem so you should be just fine in what you are looking for. I would not go the Casita route as that may be too small. Just know that  most of us buy our first, live in it for awhile and then figure out what we really want. So used is often a good choice so you don't loose so much when you trade it in.

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It sounds like the Lance 1685 might be a good fit for you, certainly worth a look.  The U shaped dinette is big - the slide with the dinette is 3', it has a permanent regular queen bed (not a short queen) and has heated holding tanks if you get one with the 4 seasons package (an option but most are ordered that way, I think), walk-on roof with the ladder being an option (usually ordered that way also).  They can be harder to find away from the west coast as they are made in California.  Used ones tend to also be harder to find and sell pretty quickly.  Solar or "solar-ready" (pre-wired for solar) is an option.  They tend to be popular and a fairly long order time if you don't get one a dealer already has on order (but not yet built).

Good luck with your search!

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House will go on the market in about 2 weeks. It literally took me 4-months of hard labor to get the place presentable. I can confidently say that I will have no regrets leaving property ownership behind once this place sells. Being footloose will suit me just fine. I’m going to drive to Duluth tomorrow to look at one of the Coachmen Freedom Express Ultralights. I’m wary of buying any Forest River products but this one has the layout and specs I’m looking for so I figure it deserves a look. I’m also very serious about one of the Grand Design models. As much as I’d like to get into a Lance or an Outdoors Recreation or Arctic Fox or Nash, I’m having a hard time convincing myself to spend $30 or $40K before I’m committed to this new lifestyle. Dealers around here are selling the Grand Design and Coachmen units for around $20K. Yes, I continue to watch for used but so far no luck. I hope to post details about my new purchase very soon. Saw another thread here about the “Class of 2019” and maybe just maybe I too will graduate this year! 😊

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2 hours ago, Reedhoppa said:

House will go on the market in about 2 weeks.

I can feel the excitement building! I envy you a bit. Savor every experience as those first days on the road are a one time experience. 

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4 hours ago, Reedhoppa said:

House will go on the market in about 2 weeks. It literally took me 4-months of hard labor to get the place presentable. I can confidently say that I will have no regrets leaving property ownership behind once this place sells. Being footloose will suit me just fine. I’m going to drive to Duluth tomorrow to look at one of the Coachmen Freedom Express Ultralights. I’m wary of buying any Forest River products but this one has the layout and specs I’m looking for so I figure it deserves a look. I’m also very serious about one of the Grand Design models. As much as I’d like to get into a Lance or an Outdoors Recreation or Arctic Fox or Nash, I’m having a hard time convincing myself to spend $30 or $40K before I’m committed to this new lifestyle. Dealers around here are selling the Grand Design and Coachmen units for around $20K. Yes, I continue to watch for used but so far no luck. I hope to post details about my new purchase very soon. Saw another thread here about the “Class of 2019” and maybe just maybe I too will graduate this year! 😊

Good luck both with selling your house and buying a trailer! It was an awesome feeling yesterday when I finished all the paperwork to list the house. 

I know what you mean about being uncertain about whether you’ll like RVing. I was in the same boat over 3 years ago when I bought my trailer. Only different wrinkle was that I was using some inherited money to buy it and could only buy one once. So I ended up spending more but got it right, love my trailer.

I hope you do too.

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Some lessons learned from me on storing furniture and "stuff" in a cold, snowy climate like MN, based on my personal experiences with stuff getting wet, mildewed, and ruined.  Admittedly, everything was in storage for four years, but your stuff may end up in storage longer than you think right now.  So here goes:

  • Put a very heavy sheet of vinyl on the floor of the storage unit, but all wooden furniture should also be propped up a bit on 2x4s or 2x6s, etc. so nothing touches the floor or even the floor vinyl covering.  I had an expensive ding room table get wet on one side to the point it was  not repairable, even though I put it on vinyl.  If I had to do it again, i would also put it on something like a board or chunk of thick plastic and even put more vinyl on top of that. 
  • All of my mattresses that were in vinyl mattress sleeves were also ruined by mildew.  I don't know what I would do next time--maybe double bag them and put them up on something??  Best solution might be to just toss and buy new when I got a house???
  • Use high-quality plastic storage boxes,  not the cheap ones, and make sure they are sealed on top.  Add duck tape, if necessary.  No air or moisture should be able to get in.
  • Find a friend or relative to store all "priceless" things like family photos and documents.  That person should put them in a dry area like a closet, not a damp basement or storage place. 

I would also suggest that you get all old photos, home movies, slides, etc transferred to electronic format.  Give copies to relatives so you have backups.  I have put the originals in a small safe at my son's house, and keep copies with me.

By the way, I initially committed to two years full-timing but have been on the road almost 7 years, with no plans to quit.  And two years ago, I emptied that storage room, gave away or tossed almost everything and am down to 12 boxes of family things at my son's house.  It was costing me more to store stuff than to replace it when I finally quit RVing. 

Edited by Solo18

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1 hour ago, Solo18 said:

Some lessons learned from me on storing furniture and "stuff" in a cold, snowy climate like MN, based on my personal experiences with stuff getting wet, mildewed, and ruined. 

My advice is, if you absolutely MUST rent a storage space, pay for one in a climate controlled building. If your items are not worth that, they are not worth keeping.

Linda Sand

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Ouch. Too late. The 10 x 30 space I rented is clean, secure and dry on a concrete slab but definitely not climate controlled. I only plan to use it for one Minnesota season though, but good advice re pallets. I may also opt to put sensitive items like photographs etc in the care of a family member (hmmm ... I may have an unwitting brother I can store things with). If I decide to go full time with the RV life I can always move belongings to better storage. I signed up with a realtor yesterday and something tells me my house will sell fast.

I currently have approx. 125 “saved RVs” on the RV Trader App. I continue to do research and have gained lots of great tips from many of you on this site (not to mention somewhere around 500 hours spent watching YouTube Reviews). Is it just me or is Josh the RV nerd somewhat annoying? Just kidding ... I’ve actually gotten good information from his reviews. BUT ... I notice that he doesn’t review the Northwoods Mfg or Outdoors RV trailers. Thanks to folks here for pointing me in that direction. In addition to those two, I remain interested in Nash and Lance products. The manufacturers that are cranking out thousands of units on an assembly line have a knack for making their rigs look polished and more updated. But as someone on this site mentioned, you have to look past the glitz to the ”bones.” 

I haven’t completely ruled out a few offerings from Coachmen, Keystone and Grand Design. I’m really taking my time with this search. After all, its going to be my home for the foreseeable future. Just when I think I’ve settled on the best rig, some new bit of information arrives to shake things up. Sort of a process of elimination. Once I have an offer on the house, I’ll get real serious in a hurry. I know that the 2020 models are starting to show up on dealer lots and I’ve noticed that 2019 and 2018 model prices continue to fall. I may need to get in on one of those while I still can.

 

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Climate controlled and pallets are excellent ideas!

Also, that storage place may be dry now, but after a few heavy snows, it may not be so dry.  That is, assuming the floor is not raised above the outside driveway.  I thought mine was dry also, but things got wet and there was damp, which even a raised floor cannot control. 

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Hi folks. Just wanted to close the loop on this thread. My journey to the RV lifestyle took two big steps forward in the past week. My house sold (after three days on the market) last week which added pressure for me to finally make a decision on a travel trailer purchase. Over the past 4 months I at different times considered all of the following brands/models: Geo Pro, Scamp, Casita, RPods, Apex Nano, Shadow Cruiser, Heartland North Trail, Rockwood Mini Lites, several Keystone offerings, Jayco, Nash, Outdoors RV, Arctic Fox and a half dozen others. In the end I decided that as much as I would love to own an Outdoors RV or Nash trailer, that will indeed have to be my “2nd RV.” In the end, I found a very good deal on a new 2019 Keystone Cougar 22RBS. I’m impressed with the overall build quality and it should serve me well for the next several years. I have to drive down to Iowa to pick it up next week. Then the fun can begin. At that point, I expect to become a regular on some of the other boards here! 

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Congratulations on selling the house and buying an RV.  If not included, be sure to add solar and decent batteries before you begin your travels.

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Congrats on the sale of your house and finding a trailer that will suit your needs. That’s huge!

Hope all works out well with your new home and lifestyle. Perhaps our paths will cross somewhere down the road. 

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Thanks everyone for making a newbie feel at home. I will be somewhere far south of Minnesota next January and looking to meet up with some of you  like-minded folk. I will be driving down to Iowa to pick up the Cougar on Saturday. I have my inspection checklists ready and also some helpful lists of RV essentials.  Since I plan to Boondock, seems like a solar panel and second battery would be in order. I know, I’m probably supposed to move on to other forum threads ... but I promise, these are my last questions here. I’m assuming a decent 100W panel with case would handle my initial needs? And should I just go with something like the Renogy deep cycle batteries instead of lead- acid? Thanks in advance!

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1 hour ago, Reedhoppa said:

Since I plan to Boondock, seems like a solar panel and second battery would be in order. I know, I’m probably supposed to move on to other forum threads ... but I promise, these are my last questions here. I’m assuming a decent 100W panel with case would handle my initial needs? And should I just go with something like the Renogy deep cycle batteries instead of lead- acid? Thanks in advance!

I liked my AGM batteries because they could go anywhere and did not require maintenance. But, that was before Lithium became popular. I would probably go lithium if I was buying today. Renogy has a great reputation and is popular with people living in small rigs.

Linda Sand

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Well, I travelled 700 miles round trip in a little over 24 hours (not something I’d recommend) to pick-up and bring home my prize. Will try to figure out how to take a pic tomorrow that has a smaller file size in order to post it. The walkthrough and inspection went great ... towing went surprisingly well considering I passed through the heart of St. Paul on the way home. Off to bed now and then back out to figure out all the gizmos tomorrow! I have 26 days before I have to be out of my house and will need every one of them to finish moving stuff to storage and outfitting the trailer. 

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You bought a great trailer and it will serve you well. I look forward to your comments as you explore a wonderful new lifestyle. 

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