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bbengleking

Starting to look at full timing

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So we are starting to get a little more serious about making this work. Looking at a 5th wheel, must have washer/dryer hookups (wife says so ?), and length isn't an issue. We are trying to decide if we need a truck right now (will be stationary at this duty station for 4 years) or if we wait on the truck.

 

So, rear bunk house or mid bunk? We have a one year old and two small dogs, hoping to have at least one more child lol. Pros/Cons of each if you own them. Also, any particular brand? I have a few narrowed down (Grand Design, Open Range, Jayco, Chaparral(?)), if anyone lives in one or has in the past. Looking for the down and dirty on the layouts and usage. Not looking for the toy-hauler route.

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It makes more sense, at least to me, to get a truck that is appropriate for the 5th wheel you chose rather than have to settle for something that can be towed by the truck you have already purchased. This is a case where you really should put the cart before horse.

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I agree with Selah: Get the fifth wheel first and then decide on the appropriate tow vehicle that will handle the weight (GVWR, not dry weight) and be able to stop it safely.

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I also agree to get the fifth wheel first, you can always buy a truck later. One option is to hire a truck to move the camper and if your stays are long term, this would be much cheaper that owning a rarely used heavy duty truck. Check out Craigs List or RV haulers from Goshen IN area.

Greg

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Be sure any fifth wheel is a true 4 season trailer if you are living or intend to live in an area of the country where there are truly cold and hot months. Many trailers say they are but are not really. You will spend more initially on a well built, true 4 season trailer but the savings on propane, electricity, and comfort will be worth it. A good used Hitchhiker (NuWa), Travel Supreme, DRV, Excel, New Horizons although a bit more expensive may better suit your needs. My kids have a Jayco Eagle rear bunk. The rear bunk is better in my opinion for kids, but although I have nothing against Jayco it doesn't handle the cold and heat as well as our used DRV. I also agree with the above posters. Find the trailer you want first, then get a truck that is capable for one step above what you think you need. I bought a Ram 2500 diesel and thought it was all I would ever need. Went to an F450 and I'm now driving a class 8 Volvo (HDT). Not saying that's what you need or want but trust me, once you get into full-timing you will want bigger and better.

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Check out the Luxe 5th wheel they now build a mid bunk model, but not cheap, it is considered a full timer unit built well but they have just merged with another builder so hope their quality stays the way it is. They are only offered factory direct but sure they can arrange a transporter to deliver it.

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I would love a Luxe lol or even Spacecraft or Forks, but those are way over our budget right now. Unless someone is selling a gently used model lol. They are fantastic rigs though and the wife says if we like this lifestyle, when I retire from the Navy, we could look at getting one.

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The Open Range 3X line or the upper Jayco line can withstand cold weather with proper use. They can be ordered with tank heaters and other "Polar Package" items. Be aware that every Brand/Make/Model has its winter package or cold weather Artic package. You do have to run the furnace to heat the underbelly areas though. We have met many Full Time Rv'ers that have Open Range or Jayco brands.

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