Jump to content

How big is TOO big?


iam3md

Recommended Posts

My wife and I are about to begin a new career as catastrophic insurance adjusters and will possibly be on the road for 6-8 mos at a time. She wants a new 44ft toy hauler and I am leaning toward a smaller used 5th wheel until we see if staying in a rv is at all what we want.

I have pulled bumper trailers all my life, but know nothing about 5th wheel adventures.

Any input would be appreciated.

Scott

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots of 45' fifth-wheels on the forum. Watch the weight and insure you have an adequate truck.

 

A 44' trailer will limit the number of parks you can stay in. At a minimum you will need 65' campground sites, this is bigger than "big rig" sites. We have a 40' trailer but our truck is a couple of feet longer than a pickup so we look for 70' campground sites.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Scott, welcome to the Escapee forums! We are happy to have you here and we promise to do our best to help.

 

If I am correct that you have no previous RVing experience, I tend to think that your idea is sound because of the expense of one of the big trailers and the vehicle to tow it with. I'd especially agree if you have a pickup that could tow a smaller fiver already.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hate to discourage anyone from RVing if they have their sights set on it but as catastrophic insurance adjusters you will not get to choose where you need to set up. You won't, for instance, get to chase the 70s temperatures. Plus, needing to find big spaces may limit your ability to park near your work. I sometimes see smaller units in the parking lot of our local extended stay motel but the adjusters move right into the motel while here. If you were called to work here in the Minneapolis area you'd better hope it was for tornado damage not winter storm damage as all but one of our parks close for the winter and most RVs cannot cope with the cold we get. If you work only in a southern region you still might have trouble getting your rig into a storm damaged area then have to deal with extreme heat/humidity. Please, think seriously about the weather aspects of what you propose to do as you make your decision.

 

Linda Sand

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No mention of where the OP wishes to camp, not that there will be a choice, and my guess is that with the nature of locations that they will encounter, as catastrophic insurance adjusters, that rv parks wont all ways be available. So size may not be an issue. However self sufficiency may be critical. Imagine locating to a disaster area. All the rv parks may/will be full. So that leaves just parking lots. So a large fully self contained rv would make a lot of sense.

 

If it were me I would go large. Large tanks. Large generator.

 

regards

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No power, no water, no fuel, no ice.

 

And the natives are likely to be restless - wouldn't you be?

 

So big with lots of capability to be self-sustained for maybe weeks at a time, with something like an older, well maintained Jeep to get around without attracting the wrong kind of attention.

 

Nothing too flashy to live in, again, there are going to be people just scrambling to survive so you don't want to attract the wrong kind of attention.

 

This is maybe one of those times that being confused with a moving van at a truckstop would be just fine.

 

If I was making my living from this, I would want a sat phone or two and sat Internet too. Regular landlines and cell service might not be available all the time for weeks or more.

 

Think Katrina.

 

Geo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tend to agree with you. Don't spend a ton of money until you are comfortable with the life style. Also a proven used rig in your situation may be better. I certainly would not want to be dealing with new rig issues in a place that had limited services from a disaster. You need to be super self contained and would consider a UA nice used Motorhome and a 4 wheel drive vehicle to tow

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The insurance adjusters I see here are usually driving vans or pickup trucks with one or more ladders on them. (Need to check roofs for damage.) So I'd want a motorhome capable of towing that as well as having big tanks and a large solar system. I might look for a good bus conversion rather than a typical Class A.

 

Linda Sand

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow! That is quite a life change - CAT Chasers and fulltimers at the same time. You are brave.


I know a few CAT people. As stated above, you will sometimes, perhaps frequently, be in areas where there are no RV facilities available at a minimum. More frequently no services at all. Self contained and sufficient will be the rule of the day.


While there are a lot of CAT people who do RV, the majority do the hotel thing. My suggestion (for what it is worth!) would be to do a few assignments in a hotel. Find some who RV and learn from them. If you then decide to RV, you will have a better idea of what the job and the lifestyle require.


Good Luck - Lots of long days but also lots of $$$!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I use to have a friend who lived in my townhouse community that was an CAT chaser, he would be gone for a few weeks at most, but he didnt spend a lot of months away like your stating.. he had to bring his own housing because many of the places he would go for CAT work the motels and hotels would be fully booked for over an hour out from the site of damage in most cases and many times the roads where unpassable by street cars for the first week in many cases, so he would sleep in the back of his pickup in a bed cabin that he installed a custom slide door to allow the cabin heat to feed into the camper when he slid the rear window open, he normally towed a small uhaul size trailer behind him to put his ladders and other stuff in along with this cloths and crap... he would normally park at site or down the street from it for the nights and if it was freezing cold he would just idle his truck all night... surprisingly it would only consume like 1-2 gallons of diesel to idle the truck overnight with the heat or a/c on....

Oh ya, before you ask where he showered at... he would join the gyms in the area and just shower there daily after his workouts...

 

I wander if you could do the same idea, but jump it up to a HDT with a sleeper, then you could tow a small RV for your stuff and either sleep in the RV when you can or sleep in the HDT on the Cold nights in the sleeper with the truck idling for heat....

 

1601096_10153207360252575_52769715284998

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest THE TRAILERKING

If you're going "Full Time" .......You're goin' to need the room.

I myself would go BIG and then go to places that can accommodate. If the places are too small to get into just move on to somewhere else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I worked Katrina for 8 months. I had trouble finding space for my 21'TT, going down 2 months after the event. Places were jammed, or newly built, or taken over by the goverment. Katrina was not a typical storm for many reasons we all know.

 

Adjusters I met that were working the storm had their fair share of stories. Serveral friends said they would do many things differently next time. 1. Not buy new RV's! 2. Drive the most fuel efficient vehicles possible, due to the trememdous distances they had to travel east and west and north from the coastal cities and from where they found lodging, or available campsites. Diesel went over $4.00, gas over $3.50 3. Manage their internet connections better, as they got slammed by the usuage to download and upload files from the insurance compainies. 4. Manage their copier cost, as well. Cheap copiers have expensive cartrages. 5. Many had only a day or three to be on the coast ready to work. 6. Many lived in the parking lots, with the gennerators on for days, due to no power or places to camp. The storm pushed down trees, and most all campgournds were badly damaged. 7. Look hard at the layout, as you will need desk spaces for both of you, and the huge amount of open files that will be working.

 

CAT work can be anywhere in the country, and you will have just a day or two to be on site. Some long drives to either coast can be required. Also be prepared to not be liked, by the locals. Some of the adjusters pulled their company signs off their trucks, or had security to escort them into some sites. I have never heard of any of those security issues working just hail, or wind storms since Katrina.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The bigger the rig means the bigger the problems you are going to have. Just because you are going full time does not mean you need a 1800 sq ft house on wheels. Most rv's don't spend a lot of time inside, it's the reason you travel to get out and see the sights. If you have a truck already, try getting a matched trailer to use for a while, you can always upgrade later when you figure out what is working and what is not. If I had to start out fresh, I would choose a 3/4 pickup with a matched 28/30 ft fifthwheel and upgrade later to your taste. It sounds like the OP is on the right track.

Greg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I too, would lean towards a smaller "full-time-living RV for your proposed purpose. If that is even a possibility when considering IRS rules for business use of an RV. Some of our members have experience with that subject. Many RV mfgrs. state in the warranty it is not covered for full-time living. That IMO, is an important consideration for your plans and business use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

My thought (suggestion) would be a diesel pusher motor home 40-42' long. Get one with large tanks (150+ gallons of diesel, 100+ gallons of fresh water, 100+ gallon grey water, 50+ gallon black) and a diesel generator. Add as much solar as you can. Make sure it can tow your 4wd pickup equipped for your work. Modify the interior to provide your work space, and never mind the entertainment stuff. Do leave a comfortable chair or couch for those rare times when you can relax.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you plan to do nothing but RV parks, then big is not a problem. If you plan to stay at National Park and National Forest CGs, then big is a real problem. It gets even worse if you plan to truly boondock, aka dispersed camping.

 

Reed and Elaine

We have not found the above to be true for us with a 40' motorhome. We 'lived' in public parks for 16 years - national, national forests, state parks, county parks, city parks and lots of dispersed camping off gravel roads. You just have to do your research. No, you won't fit in every one site but there are plenty to choose from.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a question about a very specific situation. It helps a lot to read the first post in the thread.

It probably doesn't matter much, as checking his profile shows that he has not been back to check the thread since the day he made his one and only post. Perhaps he will look in someday.............. :unsure:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

For those who read the thread later (even if the OP never returns)... re "business use of an RV." Look carefully at what's allowed / not allowed with your insurance policy for your rig in terms of doing business while you live in it. Because our rig is owned by our ministry, we had to get a commercial insurance policy. It's not cheap. Just a consideration to look into if you are working out a budget for your business venture.

 

When we got the original commercial quote they included us in the same risk category as race car drivers and rock bands. LOL! Only not so LOL when the actual premium had to be paid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

Dish For My RV.

RV Cable Grip

RV Cable Grip

All the water you need...No matter where you go

Country Thunder Iowa

Nomad Internet

Rv Share

RV Air.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...