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Old 01-12-2014, 08:42 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 21
Next Step

We drove from Wisconsin to San Diego, pulling our Grey Wolf 17BH that lacks slideouts. It is a 2012, And we have had no issues. The experience of camping in it, has been one that we have been enjoying immensely. After starting in an entry-level model, and enjoying it, we are considering making the next step up to a unit that among other things would have a rear picture window, a bigger bathroom facility, and more counter space. My question is what would be your recommendation for the next step on this path? Do you think that we would be satisfied simply purchasing a larger trailer? Or should we consider switching over to a fifth-wheel? The truck we have at our disposal to pull it with, would be a Chevrolet Silverado. A 2500 to be exact. Also, Is RVing simply something that like many things, you are never satisfied with? Do you perpetually find yourself wanting to improve, and upgrade? Where should the line be drawn? Is there anyone who is really, truly happy with what they have, and would never give it up, because they know it is superior to the alternatives? Thank You

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Old 01-12-2014, 09:22 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 8,150
Welcome to upgradeitis. Nothing wrong with wanting to take that next step. If there were one perfect camper, be it a TT or 5th wheel, then that's the only one that would sell. Everybody has there own unique needs and wants list. Your wants are rear picture window, a bigger bathroom facility, and more counter space. Lots of manufacturers will have a unit with those. Depending on where you are in WI get to the RV show in Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee, and see what's out there. Most dealers will have their spring open houses soon too. We looked for 2 years before DW found a 5th wheel that met out needs and wants list. She actually found it on the dealers website that we bought our TT from. As soon as we walked in we knew it was the one for us. We did order it out because we wanted a different color interior, dualpane windows and a few other things. Before DW's great find I saw a 5er floorplan on Jayco's website that I really liked. Nobody in Wisconsin had that model in stock so we drove to a dealer in Illinois (2hrs) to look at it. As soon as we walked in we knew it wasn't for us. My point - a floorplan might look good on paper or screen but totally different in person. I'd rather spend the 2 hours driving to actually walk thru a camper than be unhappy because I went with what I saw on paper/screen. Take time to consider the small things too. Wearing glasses I needed a bedroom that offered a table/shelf next to the bed. That pretty much ruled out king sized beds which was OK seeing as we could use our queen size sheets from home in our camper. Being the cook in the family I was kinda particular on the kitchen layout. A double fridge might be great for some but for us it took too much away from cabinet/counter space. On your search spend some time in a unit, not just 10 minutes. Mentally go thru where you'd put things, how you'd live in it. Do your homework, set your budget, explore every option, have fun, take your time and don't look back. Good luck in your search.

2013 Palomino Sabre 34REQS-6

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Old 01-12-2014, 09:28 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Anacortes, WA
Posts: 1,169
There's often an impulse to get bigger and better. We started out with a $10,000 POS 26' Class C with a carburetor-equipped Ford 460. Least said, soonest mended! We managed to sell it on consignment when gas was less than $2.00, a good thing because it only got 6 mpg at sea-level and it dropped below 5 at altitude. There's a lot of altitude around here!

After 4 years or so, we decided to get back into the lifestyle and bought our signature rig when it was 8 years old. The original owners were selling for medical reasons. We spotted it in the local newspaper and the sellers were only about 30 miles away. Three seasons under our belt, and we love the roominess and reliability. The V-10 is much better than the 460.

If money were no object, I'd convert a de Havilland Twin Otter into a flying RV, and with less money, probably a 38' DP of some brand. Unfortunately, on a limited retiree budget, even our F53's 8mpg is becoming a burden, and, if WA state budgeteers make good on their threat to add another 11 cents a gallon to the gas tax, we'll probably have to sell up.

My advice would be to find a layout that suits, probably with a couple of slide-outs (with two big dogs - 60 and 80 pounds- we couldn't live without ours). If you go motorized rather than towed, get one with low enough mileage on it that major mechanical failures are very unlikely. Get something bigger than you think you'll need and so avoid becoming infected with what my boating friends call "two-foot-itis". That's a syndrome that gets you wanting to trade up to something "just two feet longer"!

We've never had tow-behinds, as having a big pick-up truck as a daily driver doesn't appeal. As a retired couple with two Labradors, we find our 32-footer with two slides to be just about right.
Frank and Eileen
No longer RVers or FR owners
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