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Fred and Bev

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We've owned 5th wheels before, but just used them for weekends and vacations. We retired in 2012, and after having dreamed of full time RVing for over 20 years, we're going to do it next spring/summer. Sold the house; bought the truck (2500HD Chevy 4WD diesel) and will buy the 5th wheel in April or May. Plan to go to Livingston right away to establish domicile, then hit the road.

Would appreciate any tips, advice, warnings, etc. We're not "babes in the woods" but sure not anywhere near experts. Our last 5th wheel was a Hitchhiker, and we enjoyed it. We don't plan on doing any really cold weather, but you never know. Would appreciate recommendations on brands and makes to avoid. Probably will get a 30-34 foot with 2-3 slides, good used or new within our price and weight range.

We have no real travel plans, just want to see as much of this great nation as possible, and meet as many good Americans as we can before it's too late. We always bought our trailers here in Kansas, but might be open to something there in Texas. But definately want something with a warranty, or where we can get an extended warranty coverage. I'm not much of a mechanic.

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Welcome to the forums and congats on your decision to go full time. What helped us more than anything is just browsing through all the forums on this site. You won't believe how much incredible knowledge you can learn about any topic you are interested in. We have found volunteer opportunities as well as work camping jobs through this site as well as tips on how to fix things on the RV. Good luck and don't be afraid to ask a question, I promise you that somebody will probably know something about it.

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Particularly because you are familiar with HitchHikers already . . . .

1) I believe the currently manufactured 5th wheelers are not close to the HH in quality (and value)

2) Since you aren't planning to actually buy until next spring, so there is plenty of time

3) Kansas RV continually gets in used HHs and refurbishes them to whatever level you want

 

I suggest giving Kansas RV a call, get them to watch for a particular HH that you would like and get it refurbed as you wish.

Also you have lots of time to go shopping on line or through various dealers for used HHs and bargains, which could then be taken to KS RV and made like new again.

 

Get the best of all worlds?

 

 

Good luck with your adventure. I'm sure loving my version of it. :)

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For fulltiming, make sure you have double pane windows. Even following the 75° mark, there will still be some hot days and cool nights. Plus better sound suppression with double pane.

 

Make sure you can live in it with the slides in - - there will be times when that is necessary. Just goes with fulltiming.

 

Biggest holding tanks that you can get.

 

No carpet. Use small rugs if needed (or slippers).

 

If not going to do extensive boondocking, think about a residential refrigerator.

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Another vote for NuWa we purchased ours from NuWa it was a six year old trade in 2010. We've lived in it the last six years from Florida to Alaska, New Jersey to Oregon and all points in between. They're solid units. Although no longer producing NuWa has kept the service dept open and many owners return to Chanute where parts and knowledge are available. That's a plus to have those who built a unit work on it if necessary.

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As others have said NuWa HitchHikers are good units and you probably have already had a good experience with yours. It's good to see you mentioned awareness of fifth wheel weight considering your 2500 Chevy. Here's a link to their website so you can browse their current inventory checking layouts and specifications in the archive of their fifth wheels.

http://www.nuwa.com/

If you want to know more about HitchHikers go to the very active users forum:

http://www.nuwaowners.org/

You can tell them what you are looking for and let them keep an eye open for one for you.

From our full time experience my suggestions would be to make sure you have:

-get a good suspension system, consider MOR/ryde IS and 17.5" H rated tires and wheels. Check the tires age.

-if you don't boondock a residential fridge is great, we don't have an inverter and have had no troubles when traveling

-and auto leveling system like Quadra's Big Foot makes setting up so much easier, especially if you move a lot

-dual pane windows are nice but ours had been leaking so need repair after a few years, be aware.

-if you enjoy TV an automatic rooftop dish is great

-check used any used unit for seam separation/flex under the bed slide, repairable but be aware

-after 9 years we learned that a combo washing machine/dryer is very convenient to have aboard

-if you get a used unit, consider replacing the toilet for $200 to $300 getting a reliable Dometic/Sealand, full timing you'll use it a lot!

-be sure to make sure you fit comfortably in the shower

 

Go out there and have some fun! Greg

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Welcome to the Escapee's forums! Happy to have you here and looking forward to your becoming a part of the RV club as well! I grew up in Kansas and still have a lot of family there, but haven't lived there since I left home. I happen to be heading back to TX via Kansas in about 10 more days. Probably be spending some time in Council Grove and Wichita, possibly Topeka.

 

I suggest that you establish your mailing address with Escapees at least three months before you leave your present home address, to allow plenty of time to have all of your important mail shifted to the new address.

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  • 3 months later...

I appreciate all the comments. We went ahead and purchased a 2013 Hitchhiker when it came into Kansas RV at Chanute, Ks. Didn't plan to do so until Spring, but didn't want to pass it up and risk not running into one. Took it to the bootcamp in December and officially became Texans. Pretty smooth process. Did have some problems getting extended warranty coverage started, but "got er done". Now in storage until we hit the road in June. Did convert the queen bed to king, and plan some other minor changes to accommodate our lifestyle. Was a little worried when we went through the Smart Weigh program, so added a heavy leaf to the springs of our Chevy 3/4 Duramax, So feel pretty comfortable now. Plan to go to San Antonio first to visit relatives, then prepare a map of all the states where we have relatives, classmates, and other friends, and make good on all the promises we made in all our Christmas letters through all the years and go visit them. Getting excited. Want to locate some type of "slightly used" TV antenna service to take along on our trips so we don't miss our favorite shows though. Suggestions?

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I'm also not sure what you need in the line of TV viewing help but I can recommend an excellent dish

and TV system company called Sats2Go in the Houston area. He came to us in Livingston to install our

dish in 2008 and again a couple years ago to modify the TV system for better picture quality in the bedroom TV.

Several RV friends have used Dave and are also very pleased. Greg

 

http://www.sats2go.com/

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Your choices are Directv and Dish. They are both satellite so work well in all states except when trees block them. Rain and snow can also have an impact. You will need a good tripod for the dish, coax etc. unless you get a Winegard all in one dish. You will also need to contact Direct/Dish to set up an account and get a dish(unless using Winegard) and receiver. We have found TV4RV.com to be very helpful in the confusing world of satellite tv.

 

Once you get the hang of it the satellite system is great. We set it up every night so that we are always recording what we want to see on the same stations. Many campgrounds advertise cable/satellite but the quality is all over the place. Many rvers use satellite and cgs are slowly dropping cable.

 

We had the Winegard Traveler installed on our Mh and love it but still need to set up the tripod about once a month. If we were camping where theere were more trees we would probably need to set up the tripod more often.

 

When we started rving with satellite there were no auto systems that made financial sense so for 16 years we set up the tripod each time we camped. Now life is much easier.

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As said above it's either DirecTV or Dish. You chose which channel package you want to pay for. You can also select DNS (Distant Network Service)for additional money to get

the east (New York City)or west(LA) broadcast channels. Another decision is either a

manual tripod you set up and aim every time you move, or an automatic rooftop dish

(just push a button), or a small automatic portable table topdish (Tailgater, etc).

They all have their pro's and con's. The least expensive is your stock rooftop

antenna and undependable cable at campgrounds. Otherwise the next least expensive is

the manual aiming tripod dish with DirecTV or Dish. Next would be the portable

automatic Tailgater setup and the most expensive the rooftop auto dish. Greg

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Be careful of your weight, 2500 is a little light for a 30-34'.

I was going to mention this, but SWharton beat me to it. The 2500HD with the Duramax will pull a house off its foundation... but you can't put the weight of the house on the rear axle (and 4WD reduces your payload even more). Just beware loaded pin weights on the fiver.

 

Rob

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Yea, we are watching the weight issue, especially putting very much weight in the front of the trailer. And of course that's where Hitchhiker puts the storage for under the trailer. So that's where we're putting lawn chairs and lighter items. Canned goods, tools, and heavier items are being placed in cabinets in the rear or under something in the back of the trailer to offset as much of the weight as possible. That, and we don't carry any liquid when pulling the trailer down the road. We try to keep as much weight behind the trailer tires as possible. We keep the truck tires at max and keep the speed down to 60 mph. So far, so good. Of course we bought the truck first, then the trailer. DUH!!!!!! Thinking of loading a Jeep or something on top of the rear of the trailer like they showed in the slide show in the boot camp. (HA HA) That, or cutting out the back of the trailer and making it a toy hauler. (More HA HA) Now wouldn't that be something??????

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Thinking of loading a Jeep or something on top of the rear of the trailer like they showed in the slide show in the boot camp. (HA HA) That, or cutting out the back of the trailer and making it a toy hauler. (More HA HA) Now wouldn't that be something??????

You will be amazed as you travel at some of the rigs that you will see. This is a custom built fifth wheel that was at the last Escapade in VT last summer. It was heavy!

16002985_10207772688226929_8615896938466

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