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Old 10-11-2016, 10:30 AM   #1
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Location: Northern KY
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Need Help, driving myself crazy and can't decide

I don't know why I do this to myself but I want to make the right purchase for my first RV and I keep talking myself in and out of models with different features, it's literally driving me crazy!

I'm an older, single guy without a partner at the moment but really enjoy camping and I organize a trip every other year to spend three weeks out west in various national parks. We used a friends 32' toy hauler one year for that trip and I was hooked on RVing.

My problems are my storage space, tow vehicle, and trailer size limitations.
I have a Chevy Trailblazer with a 5600# towing capacity so I'm looking for an RV around or below 4000# UVW.
Even though I'm single there will be many times where I will be sharing my RV with other couples/friends.
I'd prefer not to pay for storage so my driveway is where I'll keep it so my total length is limited to around 27'
I have been looking at many of the Rockwood Mini Lite models as well as Hybrids from FR-Surveyor. Obviously with my limitations I will have to make concessions on some things but never owning an RV I'm not sure what is more important.
I can get the beds and living area with an expandable (hybrid) but I get the noise and other concerns associated with those models.
I can get the space with a Mini Lite and a slide but I'm loosing bed space (the dinette is an option).
I can get the bed space with the Mini Lite 2306 but it doesn't have a slide so living space is smaller.
I'm not sure what would be my order of importance in my decision and was hoping that some of you that have gone through these choices could offer opinions? I could solve my dilemma with a larger TV (and a larger RV) but that isn't an option for me right now.

Am I afraid of the hybrids? Yes a little for the reasons stated but I don't know anyone that's had them to give me advice on them. I really like the lay out and murphy bed option is the Mini Lite models but not sure which one would suit my needs best.

As you can see, I keep going round and round on this so please help!

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Old 10-11-2016, 10:40 AM   #2
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You could consider renting some approximate styles / sizes and see what does and does not suit you ?

Might discover things you really like, or really dislike, before you make a final decision that is a bit more permanent than a rental or few.

Camp Driveway could be your friend in this process, as well ....


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Old 10-11-2016, 11:50 AM   #3
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Many hybrid owners here will tell you that weight is the major consideration, plus with a hybrid you don't lose any living space to resting space. And how much living space do you need while camping anyway? Even if it rains, the awning protects a large area outside where you can cook, sit, watch TV, etc. before you go to sleep. Having a slide is nice if you want to sit inside and eat or play cards, or have kids that need to be entertained, but I view it as added weight that is not necessary for my style of camping.

hope this helps some

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Old 10-11-2016, 12:10 PM   #4
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Jeff and Abby, Thanks for the suggestion, I'll see if renting is an option in my area.

rsdata, your reasons are exactly why I like the hybrids. My concern about space is usually in the morning and evenings when you're cooking/making coffee and getting ready for bed. The RV we took to Glacier and Yellowstone for 3 weeks had the bathroom directly behind the kitchen and bed space on either side of both. What we found was the tight aisle way between in the kitchen area was a frustrating area as you either smacked someone in the rear with the door coming out of the bathroom or you had to move away from what you were doing in the kitchen so someone could get by you.

I'm more concerned with the noise of a hybrid than anything else. Pulling over in a rest area to spend the night on a 24 hour drive would be noisy with all the road noise. This is one of the reasons I've been considering the hard sided Rockwood Mini Lites.
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:12 PM   #5
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You are doing this because instinctively you know that there is a risk that in practice you are likely to discover something relevant you missed being logical or by asking for advice from others.

There are only two ways, depending on how you want to bite your bullet: a) just buy your best judgment and learn by personal experience, even if you have to trade it in on another RV b) rent something equivalent and spend some time on the road. I prefer option b.

Weight and CCC may be important. The longer you stay out the more important it becomes.

Many of your problems can partially be reduce by purchasing a tv with greater capacity. Actually, purchasing a small C might be a particularly good option for you. A truck with a camper on its bed might also be very good.

I'm older as well, but married. My wife wants to get something parkable on our driveway. That is not going to happen as I believe that once we start traveling for weeks or months at a time, we will need some room to spread I'm looking more at about 36 feet.

I would really like to purchase an Isata 5, but the low OCCC would force me to tow a truck with some storage...and I'm not sure I want to do that.
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:13 PM   #6
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Take a look at an RPOD. Light weight, ample room. Seem to be very popular.
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:37 PM   #7
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We have the Rockwood Mini Lite, with murphy bed, 2104S model. We really like it. It has a slide for the dinette, but the murphy bed makes it quite roomy.
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:40 PM   #8
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I am very happy with my Surveyor 235.

24' from bumper to tip of tongue.

Slide out queen bed in the back, so no losing floor space for a bed, but no noise issues like you'd have with a hybrid with canvas.

3700# UVW.
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Old 10-11-2016, 01:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BooBoo23 View Post
Take a look at an RPOD. Light weight, ample room. Seem to be very popular.
I'm considering an R-Pod 179 as well but would probably go with the Surveyor 191T over that as it's UVW is only 3400#.

I pay the price in weight when I try to move up to a hard sided RV with the space of the Hybrid such as the Mini Lites. The 2306 is 3700# UVW so that's only 300# more than the Surveyor. I pull a 4500# boat with no problems with my Trailblazer but understand the effects of wind resistance on an RV.

Thanks for all the comments and please keep them coming. I guess if I can find one to rent that will answer a lot of my questions so the search is on!
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Old 10-11-2016, 01:05 PM   #10
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Consider how often you think you will use it by yourself vs. how often you will host others. We use our TT mostly by ourselves, but sometimes we have our kids and grand kids along. We did not want a dinette because the chairs are so much more comfortable for us. What we do is use a queen size air mattress on the kitchen floor. It works well. Of course, inside floor space will determine if this is feasible for you. Make sure you really think through how you will use your TT and then, within the constraints you have mentioned regarding your tow vehicle, make the best decision for yourself.


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