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Old 01-15-2019, 10:09 PM   #1
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Wolf Pup 18TO Adequate for Fam of 5?

Hi all, I am new to the RV world and we are about to pull the trigger on our first TT. When I saw "we", I am referring to myself, wife, and 3 little ones (10, 6, 4). Being our first TT, I wanted to stay as small as comfortable, but big enough where we wouldn't be ALL over one another. While we had initially honed in on one of the many bunk house with a slide out varieties, we viewed the 18TO by chance and really liked the open layout.



Long way to simply ask, any TO18 owners here with a family of 5+? I am interested to here your feedback. Do you still enjoy the 18TO or would you have rather gone the Bunk House route?


I very much appreciate any feedback here.


Thanks,
Johnathon
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:11 AM   #2
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I don’t have personal experience with that model but I can tell you that we have a 26DJSE bunkhouse without a slide. We have my wife and I plus 2 kids 5 and 2 and I’m not sure I could go any smaller. I didn’t want to have to put a table or sofa down for beds every day. I also wanted to be able to have room for hanging out if the weather isn’t great.

We originally looked at the single axle bunkhouse trailers and decided we wanted a little extra space but wanted to stay below 5000 pounds due to my F150 TV. With our trailer we had all of us and another couple with 2 kids hangout most of the day with us due to bad weather and we had room. Wasn’t great but if we had the smaller trailer it wouldn’t happen.

I love our trailer. Full bathroom with shower and it’s own sink. Table big enough for 4 adults plus we have the sofa for sitting plus a walk around queen bed. It works for us. I know we could have made the smaller trailer work but if I had one more kid it would be tough. The extra space will be worth it down the road.

Good luck.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:33 AM   #3
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IMHO, that TT is too small for a family of 5. Master bed for you and wife, that leaves one kid each for the narrow bunk, couch and converting the dinette. So until everyone gets up and makes their bed, there is nowhere to sit in that TT. That slideout with couch gives you good room during the day but sucks when setup for sleeping.
I'd be similarly limited with my TT with 5 but at least the two bunks are out of the way and usable for lounging in.
My neighbor bought a slightly used hybrid Kodiak camper last summer. It has fold out tented beds on both ends and one on the side IIRC. You climb over the dinette couch area to get to the side bed. He pulls it with a newer Ford Explorer.
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:05 AM   #4
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I appreciate all of your feedback. Obviously, the ideal situation would be to get a larger TT, however that would simply require a new, larger TV ... for something we aren't certain will stick.

My thought was to ID a TT that fits our needs and is within our current constraints (primarily TV), camp with it for a year or two, and if we determine camping is the life for us, upgrade TV and grab a 30 footer. I understand the living quarters will be tight to begin with, however I am good giving it a go. One of the drivers for this adventure is to get the kids outside and away from their devices anyhow. At this point, I am simply undecided on the layout. It is currently down to the Pup 18TO or Salem FSX 178BHS. I figured we would enjoy the "openess" of the 18TO over the bunks of the 178BHS?!?


Oh, also anticipated just getting the kids sleeping bags for the bedding to decrease bedding prep and take down time. I think they are only one unsupervised minute from going all "Lord of the Flies" anyhow



Thanks again,
Johnathon
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:54 AM   #5
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What is your tow vehicle?
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:02 PM   #6
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Will be towing with a ‘93 1500 Z71 and a ‘16 Highlander limited, depending on destination. We will mostly do local weekend trips. No more than a few hours away. A lot of great camping spots within 1hr of our home.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aumegrad View Post
I appreciate all of your feedback. Obviously, the ideal situation would be to get a larger TT, however that would simply require a new, larger TV ... for something we aren't certain will stick.

My thought was to ID a TT that fits our needs and is within our current constraints (primarily TV), camp with it for a year or two, and if we determine camping is the life for us, upgrade TV and grab a 30 footer. I understand the living quarters will be tight to begin with, however I am good giving it a go. One of the drivers for this adventure is to get the kids outside and away from their devices anyhow. At this point, I am simply undecided on the layout. It is currently down to the Pup 18TO or Salem FSX 178BHS. I figured we would enjoy the "openess" of the 18TO over the bunks of the 178BHS?!?


Oh, also anticipated just getting the kids sleeping bags for the bedding to decrease bedding prep and take down time. I think they are only one unsupervised minute from going all "Lord of the Flies" anyhow



Thanks again,
Johnathon

Lots of us are going to tell you to go big or go home. you will end up spending far more on two trailers and a new tow vehicle than just getting the right ones the first time.

that being said, if you are just testing the camping waters, a used rig might be better. but if you are hung up on a new one, get the Salem. it has dedicated bunks for two of the kids at least, and they are bigger. your youngest two can double up for a year or so. you and your kids will really appreciate having their "own" space. plus its a place for them to put their bags and stuff.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:39 PM   #8
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There's a saying in the RV world, "Buy your second trailer, First".
If you want room, in a lightweight package, you can't beat a Hybrid TT. Since you live in the South, you would be fine with one.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:41 PM   #9
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Lots of us are going to tell you to go big or go home. you will end up spending far more on two trailers and a new tow vehicle than just getting the right ones the first time.



that being said, if you are just testing the camping waters, a used rig might be better. but if you are hung up on a new one, get the Salem. it has dedicated bunks for two of the kids at least, and they are bigger. your youngest two can double up for a year or so. you and your kids will really appreciate having their "own" space. plus its a place for them to put their bags and stuff.


Our 26DJSE has the double wide bunks as well and I will say that does make a difference. 2 kids can share a bunk. Also can fit adults. Our weight limit is 300lbs per bunk I think and they’re probably the same for most.

I just looked that Salem up and that’s a good size trailer for the length.
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:25 PM   #10
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Another option is to start out renting a TT or RV the first two or three times...
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:35 PM   #11
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Several good suggestions above

"buy your second trailer first" and "Rent one to try it out"
Several things to consider when looking at specs as part of decision making.

In many or most Rvs the sleeping capacity includes a sofa and/or dinette that must turn into a bed. Do you really want to make and unmake that bed every day? Where will the family sit while that bed is being used?
Can you make it if stuck inside during 2 days of heavy rain?



Most first time RV owners are not sure what they really want/need and it is not until they spend a dozen or so nights in their RV do they really know. Some want to go bigger and some want to go smaller but very few stay where they started.
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Old 01-16-2019, 04:13 PM   #12
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Being in a cramped trailer while “trying out camping” to see if you like it or not is a bad choice. If anything, being cramped like that will turn you off of camping.
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Old 01-16-2019, 04:41 PM   #13
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If you are completely new to camping, I agree that a rental would be a good option for the first few times to give you a chance to see if the family enjoys it and to figure out what you like and don't like....with very little investment.

If you are going to rent, I would suggest renting tent trailer (aka a popup) to see if sleeping under canvas is something you'd like. (We rented a Coleman tent trailer for 2-3 years - one week trips, once a year until we finally bought our first trailer.) I suggest the tent trailer because, ideally, for a family of 5 (that's us too) you should look at something like a Roo 233S with 3 tip-out beds, a dinette and a sofa. If you've already decided that you don't want to sleep under tent ends, then ignore the tent trailer and hybrid ideas.

As for the Wolf Pup 18TO, its a very unique layout. I think it will be very cramped for a family of 5 on a rainy day though. Sleeping accommodations will work for young children but not for long - they grow fast! My biggest concern with that unit is a lack of pantry/storage space. You said you're only going to use it for weekends so that might be OK but if you want to go for a week, a lack of storage will be a challenge. You'd have to get very creative with the pass through area that's accessible under the bed.

If you know you'll have to upgrade within a few years, consider buying a used unit that'll work for your family and avoid the significant hit from depreciation. If you buy brand new you should try to keep it for at least 5 years but 10 would be better. That floorplan might not work for your growing family for 5 years much less 10.

As for the tow vehicle, forget the Highlander for the Wolf Pup or anything bigger than a small tent trailer. The pickup should do fine with the Wolf Pup 18TO and may even work with a Roo 233S depending on how its built. Not all half tons are alike and yours is an older model. You'll need a brake controller and with the Wolf Pup or the Roo you'll need a good weight distribution and sway control hitch.

Good luck!
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:38 PM   #14
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I would look at something bigger. We are a family of three (kids age was 9 when we got the trailer) and we also were looking at the Wolf Pup, but my wife fell in love with the Grey Wolf 25RL at a camping show (thank God for that). Looking back on some trips we have had, like others have stated being captive in that small trailer in the rain would not be healthy for your sanity. On more than one occasion we look back and say thank God we did not get that smaller camper, because if we did we would be a family of two.
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:39 PM   #15
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Rent!

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Another option is to start out renting a TT or RV the first two or three times...
^^^^^
What he said!

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Old 01-16-2019, 07:30 PM   #16
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A TT that size might be good for the kids a couple of years, after that you will be looking at something larger and you might be upside down on the loan. Is this a new from dealer TT or used. If new, you, might be able to get something used that's a little bigger. Look at ultra light models. I don't know the towing capacity of your TV.
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:16 PM   #17
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Goodness, if I weren’t so perceptive, I would think you are all telling me this is a terrible idea

You’re insight has definitely caused me to pause on my original plan. Sadly, all the used pups I have found local to me are going roughly for the same price as a new one. And I can currently get a 30’, well equipped bunk house trailer for essentially the price as the 18TO BL edition ... this is a head scratcher.

Now I guess I need to get my new f150, concrete a potion of my yard to accommodate a longer TT, then get the larger TT ... problem solved 😩

Guess it’s decision time. And for the record, no loans will be associated with any of the sceneries above, however I still don’t want to lose $8k simply due to poor planning.

Thanks again for everyone’s input, regardless of how disappointing it is 😁
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:10 PM   #18
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i had a wolf pup 18T0 and its a very nice tt, it will sleep 5 and up to seven but it will be crowded, just me and my wife stay in it for 5 to 6 days on vaca and with all the stuff you bring the table, bed and sometimes the couch is always full of stuff so it has to be moved and if it rains you dont have to much room to move around. But with that said it is a nice tt for a week end warrior and pulls good with a 1/2 ton v-8 engine, do not attempt with a v-6, i wanted a 30ft but the wife liked the bigger one so after 6 months we traded up to a 34ft lots more room. Good Luck
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:13 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Aumegrad View Post
Goodness, if I weren’t so perceptive, I would think you are all telling me this is a terrible idea

You’re insight has definitely caused me to pause on my original plan. Sadly, all the used pups I have found local to me are going roughly for the same price as a new one. And I can currently get a 30’, well equipped bunk house trailer for essentially the price as the 18TO BL edition ... this is a head scratcher.

Now I guess I need to get my new f150, concrete a potion of my yard to accommodate a longer TT, then get the larger TT ... problem solved 😩

Guess it’s decision time. And for the record, no loans will be associated with any of the sceneries above, however I still don’t want to lose $8k simply due to poor planning.

Thanks again for everyone’s input, regardless of how disappointing it is 😁
the reason for that is the WP18T0 is a highly sought after trailer due to its size and the big slide out
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:26 PM   #20
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While we don't own ours yet, our custom ordered 18TO Black Label has just finished assembly and should be shipped out to us in the next week or so. When my wife and 4 kids (9, 6, 3, 2) went to look at the showroom model, I was skeptical at first about us all fitting in such a small trailer. That super slide makes all the difference. All 6 of us were in there and the kids were bouncing all over the place and I didn't feel all that cramped. I know eventually once the kids get bigger the space might get tight, but at that point they can sleep outside in a tent like I did when I was a kid. The smaller trailer is a must in my situation. Not because of my tow vehicle (V10 F250) but because I want to be able to drag it out into the back country without having to worry about overall length or weight when off the pavement.
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