Greetings to everyone on the forum. I'd like to introduce myself.
I very recently retired and wanted to start the lifelong dream of traveling the country with my wife and dogs.
We have never been the camping type and we're really pretty brand new at it. After much thought of travel trailers, 5th wheels and big and small motor homes we decided on the pickup / 5th wheel style of RV'ing. Since we are new to this we didn't want to drop a boatload of money to start. We agreed that if we really enjoy it we can always trade up. We set a budget of $30,000 for both the pickup, the trailer and any associated start up costs.
Some of our friends laughed,
saying they had spent twice that just on their tow pickups not including the trailer. We held firm, not wanting to blow a hole in the retirement funds and still not knowing if we'd like it.
Long story short; We found a nice tow pickup locally. A 2001 Dodge 2500 Clubcab 4x4 with a B&W turnover already installed. Rust free, dent free and fairly low miles. No Diesel though. It has a very sound 8 liter V10 gasser and automatic. We spent a month getting it up to our standard. All fluids and filters changed, new HD Cooper tires, factory tow mirrors and a through detailing.
Next, after much searching, we found a trailer we could both live with. A 2006 Forest River Wildcat 29RLBS
. The 29' Wildcat is not a heavyweight, weighing in around 7600lbs dry and 1400 lbs pin weight. The V10 Dodge pulls it well.
The trailer was in very nice condition and needed little. We negotiated a B&W Companion 5th wheel hitch in the deal. We also upgraded the trailer brakes to a new digital unit.
In the end we came in well under budget, and the combo really isn't that hard on the eyes.
We've been camping with it twice now and have really enjoyed it. I was very apprehensive about dumping the tanks the first time, but all went well. The wife and three dogs love it. We have a lot to learn and really just need more practice using it. Coupling and uncoupling the first Few times is an adventure.
I am certain we will have many questions moving forward, and we are very thankful to find a site with people who are willing to share their knowledge and experience. We both look forward to talking with you!