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Hello, and a couple of questions about possibly starting very small.


Trailer Troubadours

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Greetings from Southern CA.

I like reading these forum posts. People seem very helpful and friendly.

I've never done any RVing and my wife has done very little, but we used to love car camping, and are looking to rekindle that, and possibly move on to bigger and better things in terms of RVs. We are not ready to retire yet, but our kids are grown and (mostly) gone, and we're ready to take some baby steps. I don't see any forum section for teardrop trailers. Has anyone had experience with them? I realize we can't boondock in a teardrop, but we're fine with campgrounds/trailer parks for our new beginning. I'm 6'6" and 300 lbs. There are only a few teardrops with king sized beds in them, but they do exist. We might also just sleep in our minivan for a few weekends or short trips. At some point, assuming we enjoy the initial experience, we will move on to a traditional RV. Any insight in these areas would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks very much.

 

Cheers!

 

Andy and Chris

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A warm welcome to the Escapee forums! We do hope that you will join in often and feel free to let us know if there is anything that we may be able to help you with.

 

There are probably a few members of the forums who either have owned or do own a teardrop, but not that many. With your size I suggest that you may want to look at some of the popup type of RV trailers to start out with, since the price would be similar and you can fit inside of those, even to cook and eat if the weather happens to go bad. Also, the weight of the typical popup is not much greater than it would be for a teardrop and it tows about the same. If your vehicle is a front wheel drive, it will have a very limiting tow weight rating so make sure that you check that out before you start to shop for an RV. You might even want to consider renting a small RV to make a trip with first, just to test the RV style of travel. As we gain life experience,(sounds much nicer than getting older :P ) most of us want more amenities and softer beds and lifestyles.

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Welcome to the group. There is a good web site geared to tear drops. Lots of equipment info and a pretty active forum: Tear Drops and Tiny Trailers.


I am not sure you would have much more room, if any, in a tear drop than in your mini-van. How about some practice trips in the mini-van to help you determine if that is a good size for if you need something along what Kirk was suggesting?


Another good site is CheapRV Living. They are more van oriented so not much info on tear drops. Most trailers discussed there are cargo trailer conversions.


Regardless, RVing is RVing and you have joined what I think is the best group out there. Regardless of your direction, stay active here and don't hesitate to ask any questions. Everything RV related is welcome.

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I think your strategy of starting small is sound. Generally, the recommendation is to buy the most RV for your needs.

 

However, we started with tent trailers and owned them for 30 years. After retirement, we started looking for a "real" RV and ended up with a 31 foot 5th wheel. It was great for snowbirding! We never used it in the spring, summer and fall since we were primarily on public lands. We took the tent trailer.

 

This past summer we bought a Casita trailer and sold the tent trailer. http://casitatraveltrailers.com/spirit-16-17/. We might even buy a small truck camper and hook up the Casita to it and have a two bedroom, two bath RV going down the road!! The 5th wheel is now a Arizona resident.

 

You might want to think about what you want in a small RV and what you want to do with it. Also plan on keeping it for those locations that a large RV would not work. There really isn't a perfect RV that meets all situations. And if your RVing includes snowbirding and exploring the outback you probably will need TWO.

 

I remember asking a guy at a Life on Wheels Conference why he owned both a 5th wheel and a truck camper.

 

It only took me ten years to realize how smart he was.

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I've never done any RVing and my wife has done very little, but we used to love car camping, and are looking to rekindle that, and possibly move on to bigger and better things in terms of RVs. We are not ready to retire yet, but our kids are grown and (mostly) gone, and we're ready to take some baby steps. I don't see any forum section for teardrop trailers. Has anyone had experience with them? I realize we can't boondock in a teardrop, but we're fine with campgrounds/trailer parks for our new beginning. I'm 6'6" and 300 lbs. There are only a few teardrops with king sized beds in them, but they do exist. We might also just sleep in our minivan for a few weekends or short trips. At some point, assuming we enjoy the initial experience, we will move on to a traditional RV. Any insight in these areas would be greatly appreciated.

 

I've spent some time thinking about this and here's what I suggest you consider.

 

Put a mattress in your minivan for sleeping but do everything else as you did when tent camping (with your old equipment or rental stuff). That will help you learn what you still like about camping vs. what doesn't feel as good now that you've added a few years. I quickly learned that those middle of the night hikes to the restroom no longer felt so doable for me. And cooking outside in the rain somehow stopped being an adventure. Once you figure out what you still like, if anything, you will be in a better position to decide what you need to buy.

 

Linda Sand

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We Own a 6X10 grasshopper design tear drop that is at the far end of elaborate for a tear. I will also recommend the T&TTT forum and the Tearjerkers http://www.tearjerkers.net/

Our tear has a full queen bed and some room at the end for feet to hang over, not typical for most tears. I have not figured out how to add a picture here yet but this is ours.

http://tnttt.com/gallery/image.php?album_id=803&image_id=109122&view=no_count

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You already have some good advice with the van and teardrop forums. You should check them out. We used a teardrop to round trip from Alaska to our place in AZ for a few years. We are snow birds. If your traveling and just want a place to sleep at night it works fine. We have stayed in ours well below zero. You can pull into truck stops or any other place that lets you park overnight. We moved up to a pickup camper.......much nicer!!

 

However, if you plan on setting up for a while it is a different story. You would need something else, like a tent or something to get comfortable in. Picture spending a couple days in a tear while it's raining. Need a place to cook where you can stay dry. Don't see a reason why you can't boondock with one. I see people boondocking in all sorts of rigs from tents all the way up to fancy motorhomes.

 

Here is a link to one of winter trips down to AZ with a tear drop.....

 

http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=22134

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There are lots of "mini-van conversion" videos on You Tube. One couple who also has a blog can be found here: http://www.nomadswithavan.com/tour-red-delicious/

 

Another couple can be found here: http://www.exploringalternatives.ca/our-next-adventure-starts-today/

 

I have learned that folks "RV" in many types of vehicles - even Prius. For my anticipated trip to Alaska (someday) I am planning to convert my Tahoe to temporary living quarters!

 

Have fun!

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Blessings everyone,

 

Well to start, I'm nearing retirement & my wife has a gypsy spirit. So, my question is 5th wheeler or Class B. for full timing it.

KEYSTONE ALPINE 3100RL or Roadtrek, Zion

Won't be doing much traveling, just reducing expenses to maximize retirement income.

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Blessings everyone,

 

Well to start, I'm nearing retirement & my wife has a gypsy spirit. So, my question is 5th wheeler or Class B. for full timing it.

KEYSTONE ALPINE 3100RL or Roadtrek, Zion

Won't be doing much traveling, just reducing expenses to maximize retirement income.

The two choices you have described couldn't be more different. The fifth wheel offers lots of storage and living area, at the expense of needing a heavy duty pickup to pull it and being somewhat limited as far as where you will be able to park. The Roadtrek offer very little living room or storage, but can be parked just about anywhere and you won't need a second vehicle. A great many folks full time in fifth wheel trailers, while relatively few couples full time in a Class B.

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I had a Little Guy. The problem with a teardrop for me was weather (I live in Maine), with a teardrop you have to cook outside which required an awning of some kind to be able to cook outside in the rain, and wind was inconvenient too. I have a 16' TT now.

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