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Little help, need responses fast.


journeyrhythm

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Totally new to RV, Marine Vet looking to live full time with a girlfriend.

 

So, here goes.

 

Moving to Colorado Springs start of next summer, will be there full time at a nice little campground outside the city. I haven't bought the 2015 Keystone Hideout 27DBS yet but the deal that I've found I'm not sure I want to pass up BUT I need to verify some things first.

 

Is this camper decently built to last the winter? I know I need to add some heat tape and skirt it when I get there but any other advice on the camper itself in the winter?

 

Any big cons? I've read a few forums on here about them but nothing was aimed towards winter.

 

 

Also, this might kill me before I even get started but the weight has been giving me a headache. I own a 2006 Toyota 4runner 4x4 V8 4.7 with a Tow rating of 7,000.. Am I even in the range to tow this rig? I've towed a 3,000 boat before but obviously this is a different ball game. It says shipping weight is

 

Shipping Weight 6,505 lbs Carrying Capacity 1,360 lbs Hitch 865 lbs

 

I have some belongings but I don't see myself carrying 1,360 lbs worth of gear.

It's going to sit majority of the time in Colorado except a few trips out to Utah or other places nearby.

 

I paid the truck off last year before I left the service so it's not going anywhere.

 

I also love those Lance 2295 but they're just way out of my league for a 23 yr old <_<

 

Got a few days left on the deal, so hoping to feel confident about it before I go back.

 

Thanks,

Geoff

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I own a 2006 Toyota 4runner 4x4 V8 4.7 with a Tow rating of 7,000.. Am I even in the range to tow this rig? I've towed a 3,000 boat before but obviously this is a different ball game. It says shipping weight is

 

Shipping Weight 6,505 lbs Carrying Capacity 1,360 lbs Hitch 865 lbs

 

I'll forego the other questions for now, and without completely spec'ing it out (pin weight, curb weight, GCVW, payload, etc etc).. you're suspicions were correct. That's going to be more trailer than your 4Runner can handle. At 6505 It would be impossible to stay under your rigs max tow rating.

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Welcome to the Escapee forums! I wish that I had better news for you but this is not a good choice at all for your truck. The truck's tow rating is a maximum towing weight and not something that you should be doing all of the time. At the maximum rating it will not be pleasant to drive but you will be constantly working and should road conditions get poor or high winds develop you will be at the very limit of safety, even if it were possible to stay under the truck's rated weight. You will be very surprised by what the things that you will need to carry for two people will weigh, so let's do a little bit of math.

 

The fresh water tank will ship empty, but holds 45 gallons @ 8.3#/gallon or 373.5#

Two Propane tanks which are probably not in the shipping weight @ 25# each when empty, 55# each when full or 110#

 

By adding only those two items you will be at 6,988.5# and you still have no groceries, dishes, clothing, tools or hobby items, or any personal effects at all. Based upon a lot of experience and the experience of many others, most of us find that about the minimum amount of weight per person when living full-time in any RV is 1000#/person, or in this case you will need about 2000# of capacity.

 

Is this camper decently built to last the winter? I know I need to add some heat tape and skirt it when I get there but any other advice on the camper itself in the winter?

The answer to this is that while I cant base my response on experience with that trailer, I can tell you that we have spent a lot of time in RVs over many years and I highly doubt the ability of that trailer to be kept comfortable in the cold weather that you will experience in Colorado Springs. The Hideout is what is called and "entry level" RV and that means it is in the lower price grouping and manufacturers keep prices down by saving money on construction. That means that the trailer has less insulation, lighter weight materials and a host of other things which will cost more in heat when winter comes. For the kind of winter that you will have you need to have things like dual pane windows and extreme cold packages. You will find that when temperatures go down to 0° or below you will have difficulty keeping it comfortably warm and you will use propane at an astounding rate. Expect to burn somewhere around 100# of propane per week(23.5 gallons) in the coldest of weather and the cost will probably be more than $3/gallon. It is possible to live in an RV in that area through the winter by insulating and applying heat tape to hoses and such but it will not be easy and it will probably test the relationship with your girlfriend. You would be much better off to find a higher quality RV, even if you must buy used and if needed, wait to buy until you get to Colorado, or hire it towed there.

 

Fla to Colorado. Pretty flat ride. Empty trailer slow and easy. Why not?

There is no reason at all if safety is on no concern. The tow ratings are not about what the maximum weight is that a vehicle can move but rather it is about what can be done safely. It is about what you will be able to stop in an emergency when a small child darts out in front of you on a wet street. It is about how much you can control when struck by a high wind storm with rain and heavy traffic. And it is also about the strain that is applied to the tow truck in getting the load there. How much wear & tear on his truck and also on him in trying to get it there safely.

 

Is it possible to do? Probably unless they run into bad weather or are unlucky. Is it a smart thing to do? Well................ Each of us must decide for ourselves. :unsure:

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Geoff;

 

Others have addressed the towing/weight issue. Waiting to buy until Colorado and having it moved as part of the sale may be a good option.

The 865lb hitch weight may be over your trucks installed hitch rating, definitely check on it. If it is within rating, you may be able to tow it empty, and have your GF tow a trailer with all the stuff in it. Set it up permanently, then get a teardrop or pop top for camping trips.

 

I lived in a an older 21 foot trailer that had storm windows, and 4 season insulation in it for a year at FT Rucker, in southern Alabama. When it got below freezing outside (mid 20's) it took 2 portable space heaters to keep it warm (I do tend to not like the cold) If you park in a space with 30 amp service, that doesn't leave much extra capacity for microwaves, hair dryers, convection ovens etc) so power management will be required.

 

Welcome to Escapees!

 

Thanks for your service!

 

Keith

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If you accept that it is not to be much fun to drive and you KNOW that you won't move much AND you are prepared to detour round long steep inclines then I think it is doable. But you will gather STUFF pretty quickly and the weight will add up.

 

As for heat get a couple of Wave 6 or 8 heaters and shutter in the base of the RV. Double up on the CO detectors.

 

I have spent several nights in ski resorts at well below zero in a Safari Trek and while we were OK the furnace ran most of the night.

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Hello, welcome to the escapees discussion forums!

Read through this online travel trailer weight calculator, gather the required actual weights the calculator needs, then run the numbers to see if your truck will safely handle that trailer. If that trailer weighs too much, the calculator will show you exactly how much weight your truck will handle safely.

You also might find this towing site interesting.

 

As to cold weather, there are several thing that may be done to make a trailer more cold weather ready, but it should be, at a minimum, 4-seasons rated when considered for full-time living.

Usually the shipping weight does not include any dealer options added to the trailer, which increases the shipping weight accordingly, and reduces the CCC capacity the same amount.

Those are just my opinions and suggestions.

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We are in Grand Junction, CO and the weather here is a little warmer than Colorado Springs. Our friends tried to stay at our place in their trailer. They went through a lot of propane. A tank would last maybe 2 days in the winter. It was still cold except right in the middle of the trailer. Finally the holding tanks froze. Colorado winters vary a lot but it is likely you will endure temps below 0. Maybe even -20F. The windows will sweat and may cause water damage. I wouldn't want to stay the winter in Colorado. Move to a warmer climate for the winter if you can. There marriage ended after that winter.

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Geoff,

Don't let the dealer bully you with old salesman's tricks or cliche's. Try to contain your excitement, salesmen rely on that to get people to make a quick (but possibly wrong) decision as long as they get a sale. There are plenty of RV's out there for you without rushing into a deal. My guess is that the trailer in question will still be there (and available at the same price) for many more days. Maybe do some more research with some of the advice you have already received. You have plenty of time.

Good luck,

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I taught at the AF Academy in the Springs for three years. You would be better off getting an apartment for a year there. Then after you've experienced a half foot of hail and 45° weather in June, and shirtsleeves in December, then, in a couple of days, have subzero weather, well, I wouldn't want to be there in any RV not made for fulltiming. And those would be using enough propane that it would cost more than heating a well insulated house. We fulltimed for seven years in fulltime rated rigs and towed with a Dodge Diesel 1 ton. I now have a lightweight weekender fifth wheel and we are in Louisiana and don't want to spend winter here in it. It is a very nice rig for short vacations. Yours sounds the same. Grats on making it home, now let's make it through the things you can control. You've come to the right place for some good mentoring. Hope we can keep you from expensive mistakes many have made before you.

 

Welcome to the forums!

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Thanks everyone for the replies. It's been extremely helpful..

 

I know an apartment might be cheaper at times but I feel at this point in my life, living the life of a vagabond/RV life is where I want to go.. I would rather spend a little bit more now and buy something worthwhile than suffer more later on.

 

I've been browsing constantly for quite a while now and I've been trying to narrow it down to see what four season trailer would help me the most. I've also been reading a lot about winter living and conditions and it may seem rough but I feel like I would survive. This wouldn't be my first time in below freezing temperatures..

 

Anyone have any more info or forums on RV's that do well in winter?

 

Is there a specific difference between the East coast and West coast designs other than the layouts? Not sure if they added extra insulation or what not..

 

Ones that I have been looking at that fit my needs and seem to be well are as follows;

 

Northtrail 22rbk, 24 bhs, 22fbs

Jayco 24rdb

Passport Lite 2670bh

Keystone Laredo 25bh

Rockwood mini 1809S

Surveyor Sport 240RBS

Greywolf

Starcraft Launch Ultra lite

Then finally,

Salem Cruise Lite

 

I’m still trying to narrow it down but in reality it comes down to what’s going to fit me best for the conditions, pay more now to help later as I see it. Those models do fit within my tow limits safetly.

 

Any help would really help.

Thanks everyone.

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For a 4 season trailer, you need to look at:

DRV, Mobile Suites,

Lifestyle

Arctic Fox

 

and used:

NuWa HitchHiker

Carriage Cameo

Excel

 

A few that claim to be 4 season (I disagree)

Heartland and Landmark

Montana

Silverback

Cardinal

 

As you see, none of the ones you are looking at are in the list.

For 4 seasons, you need dual pane windows,heated basement, better wall and ceiling insulation,

For winter in the RV, you need to consider, skirting to keep the cold air from blowing under the RV,

Holding your gray and black water and dumping every few days so the drain hose will not freeze,

filing your fresh water tank and disconnecting the water hose to keep it from freezing.

 

Adding a larger propane tank so you will not be filling propane tanks every few days.

 

The smaller the RV, the more moisture build up in the RV becomes a problem. Without dual pane windows, there will be condensation issues and possible freezing water on the inside of the windows.

 

If you do try to do a winter in the RV in Colorado, you need to have an emergency exit or backup plan for when you freeze out and give up.

 

Ken

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I would stay away from anything that says "lite". Such RVs are not made for winter use. They cut the RV's weight by eliminating most everything you would need for winter use.....insulation, thicker walls and ceilings, dual pane windows, heated basements and tanks, Greg

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Maybe look into an Ice Castle Fish house:

 

http://icecastlefh.com/#

 

No specs on the weights so you will have to call them, but they are definitely set up for winter and you could lower it down onto the ground and not need skirting, but I think I would keep it raise dup and use the skirting as a place for extra insulation.

 

Dave

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For a 4 season trailer, you need to look at:

DRV, Mobile Suites,

Lifestyle

Arctic Fox

 

and used:

NuWa HitchHiker

Carriage Cameo

Excel

 

A few that claim to be 4 season (I disagree)

Heartland and Landmark

Montana

Silverback

Cardinal

 

As you see, none of the ones you are looking at are in the list.

For 4 seasons, you need dual pane windows,heated basement, better wall and ceiling insulation,

For winter in the RV, you need to consider, skirting to keep the cold air from blowing under the RV,

Holding your gray and black water and dumping every few days so the drain hose will not freeze,

filing your fresh water tank and disconnecting the water hose to keep it from freezing.

 

Adding a larger propane tank so you will not be filling propane tanks every few days.

 

The smaller the RV, the more moisture build up in the RV becomes a problem. Without dual pane windows, there will be condensation issues and possible freezing water on the inside of the windows.

 

If you do try to do a winter in the RV in Colorado, you need to have an emergency exit or backup plan for when you freeze out and give up.

 

Ken

I agree with TXiceman on most of his post, I've lived in my Cedar Creek which falls into the third group of trailers in his list and have over wintered the last 3 years and one of those years was the arctic vortex (-33 lowest temp that winter) it can be done, must know what ur doing and will spend plenty on heat! Both the cost of electric when adding heat w/ space heaters and propane . I don't think any of the trailers u listed would fitting for u and ur lady. I have seen people winter camp in all sorts of RV's but I know that a pretty good 5'er like a Cedar Creek (and the others in the third list) is least of the trailers I would overwinter in.

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One of the most important things about the design of any of the lighter weight trailers is that they use aluminum for the framework because it weights much less than other available materials, but aluminum also transmits the heat extremely well also. As a result on a frosty morning you can walk through an RV park and see the patterns of the frame inside of their walls drawn in the frost by the warmth transmitted out through that frame making line patterns where there is no frost. It literally heats the outside skin each place the frame touches it. That means that you will be trying to heat CO as you work to stay warm inside of the RV.

 

There is no doubt that it is possible to survive a CO winter in one of the smaller, light weight travel trailers. But the catch is that it will be survival and not a pleasant lifestyle. I have been hunting from one of them in both CO and WY numerous times and in some pretty bad weather and we did manage to stay warm and fairly near to comfortable, but............. It isn't too bad wearing thermal underwear all of the time, never walking on the floor without heavy shoes, constantly battling the condensation problems that are a constant fight, and a host of other difficulties, for only two weeks. But consider what this is going to mean to do this for an entire winter. It can be done but it will not be fun and it will put a very great strain on the relationship that you have with your lady. Living in the limited space of an RV is difficult for many people even under ideal circumstances but when you throw in bad weather with an RV not designed for winter living and it will be a major test of your partnership! I wish you luck in this adventure and would love to see you both successfully make this work, but it is critically important that both of you understand what the challenges will be.

 

This is a thing that is possible if you are both committed enough to it and if you both take the time to learn what must be done, but it will be a major challenge. Only the two of you can determine if you are two of the few people who could make this work and somehow also mage to enjoy your life while doing so. I can tell you that Pam & I joined forces in 1962, then bought our first RV in 1972 and traveled in one for vacations with our 3 sons and eventually just the two of us until 2000 when we sold our house and moved permanently into an RV of 36' which was designed to be used 4 seasons. Even so there were adjustments which we both had to make in order to live happily through our 12 years of travels. I can't emphasize how important it is that both of you be committed to doing this as one can't do it for the other but it will require teamwork. Those who succeed best in RV living over a long period are not only romantically committed, but they are also the best of friends because this confined style of living will test even the strongest of relationships! You are doing the right thing to study this carefully, but make sure that this is something which your partner is as committed to as you are and not your dream alone.

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Many people take out their RV in winter for a short ski or hunting trip. That can easily be done for a short period of time.

 

However, you're planning to be in freezing temps for a very long period of time. It's going to be very difficult to keep the RV warm. You'll need to do a lot of preparation but more importantly, you will be going through propane like it's water. That will be a large financial drain. Plus, you cannot turn off the heat during the day while you're gone because it will take a long time to bring it back up to a decent temperature and in the meantime, everything will freeze.

 

It would not be a comfortable living situation. Is your girlfriend tough? :)

 

I think your overall idea is fantastic - but not in Colorado. Any chance of moving to a more forgiving climate for your jobs?

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I'll refrain from making any comments regarding the merit of sticking out sub zero temperatures in an ice box, even a well built ice box, but....

 

Kirk! Are you willing to handle the pool? If so, give me a 20 spot on Dec. 15th would ya. :D

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