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Old 05-23-2020, 06:03 PM   #1
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An age old question on old age.

We are getting up in years. I'm 77 and DW is 74 and we're seeking wisdom from others who have traveled this road.
I am in excellent health and DW is reasonably good health. Some back issues.
I have retired for the second time and we're considering upsizing to a larger 5th wheel to approximately 34 ft., and a compatible truck.
Our RV experience normally consist of traveling 3 to 6 months a year to various parts of the country. We also have tried work camping for private and state campgrounds.
We have no idea how long we will be able to RV. We realize everyone is different in experience, health and finances.
But based on your experience, would you increase in size, stay the same, or downsize?
We are weighing age, expense, return on investments and ability to travel in the future years.
Any input would be appreciated.
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:10 PM   #2
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I would personally look at changing to a Class A or C 'motorized' home on wheels, as you'd be amazed how much easier it is setting up, maneuvering, parking, etc. With many Class A's with air bags, automatic levelers, and an onboard generator, you can easily arrive and not even 'have' to immediately exit the coach and do ANYTHING outside - you drop the air bags, press the leveling button, and turn on the generator. When it's then convenient, you can go 'outside'(think of that!) and plug in, connect water, and attach the sewer hose. Done.

If you feel the need for the 'get around' vehicle, then tow one '4-down' and you'll also see a big time saver and 'back' saver.

I've done it all - a big rig Turbo Diesel pulling a 40+' fifth wheel, a CLass A gas towing a dollied vehicle, and now a CLass A diesel towing a small sedan 4-down... it only gets better, and easier.
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by formerFR View Post
I would personally look at changing to a Class A or C 'motorized' home on wheels, as you'd be amazed how much easier it is setting up, maneuvering, parking, etc. With many Class A's with air bags, automatic levelers, and an onboard generator, you can easily arrive and not even 'have' to immediately exit the coach and do ANYTHING outside - you drop the air bags, press the leveling button, and turn on the generator. When it's then convenient, you can go 'outside'(think of that!) and plug in, connect water, and attach the sewer hose. Done.

If you feel the need for the 'get around' vehicle, then tow one '4-down' and you'll also see a big time saver and 'back' saver.

I've done it all - a big rig Turbo Diesel pulling a 40+' fifth wheel, a CLass A gas towing a dollied vehicle, and now a CLass A diesel towing a small sedan 4-down... it only gets better, and easier.
Getting a class now limits the ability to get out and about . Now you need a toad and extra cost. Cheaper to go 5er as I did a few months ago and now you have a vehicle to get around in and the 5er is not that hard to set up. I,m 77 and hoping to go as long as I can. BTW had them from class A to TT and now back to 5er.Later RJD
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:50 PM   #4
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Well, it depends

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaster 84 View Post
We are getting up in years. I'm 77 and DW is 74 and we're seeking wisdom from others who have traveled this road.
I am in excellent health and DW is reasonably good health. Some back issues.
we're considering upsizing to a larger 5th wheel to approximately 34 ft., and a compatible truck.
Our RV experience normally consist of traveling 3 to 6 months a year to various parts of the country.

But based on your experience, would you increase in size, stay the same, or downsize?
We are weighing age, expense, return on investments and ability to travel in the future years.
Any input would be appreciated.
I completely agree with what formerFR posted. My post's headline is to say: it depends on what you want to do.

If you have a resort picked out or land where you will park and hook up your new fifth wheel trailer, then I would say go as big and comfortable as you want. My neighbors have a large FW with 4 slides. NO truck. It stays at a lakeside CG. In the winter, a friend hauls it across the road where it is stored all winter. Works for them, maybe for you. Camping long term in a trailer is better than a motor home because the engine and tranny are big investments you aren't using. Also may be a little bit safer. Not sleeping over 100 gallons of fuel!

If you are traveling often, I second formFR's comments. A motorized RV is a lot easier to drive, to set up, to break down and hit the road.

We are moving out of trailers. Staying in them is great. Traveling with them is tough. A motor home is comfortable all the time, a trailer is too hot or too cold when you make camp. I always get too hot when breaking camp and have to travel all sweaty. There's always a lot of heavy lifting with trailers.

If you get the right RV for you, there's no specific time limit on RVing. You may stay more fit and more youthful because you are an RVer. Do you think sitting on the couch will be better for you?

We have this great Dynamax Grand Sport GT. In process of selling two TTs. Already sold the Coach House Type B which is what every TT needs as a tow vehicle. Still have our 2nd tow vehicle, an Excursion V10 powerhouse.

Good luck! Please stay in RVing. It will improve your outlook and always give you something to look forward to.
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:51 PM   #5
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a CLass A with a tow vehicle is no different in 'getting out and about'...
a fifth-wheel towed by a HUGE truck is not an efficient 'get out and about' vehicle.
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:57 PM   #6
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I too am 77 and have been retired for 17 years.

My wife passed away in 2016 and since then I've been using every possible excuse to travel.

I have traveled in the past with MH's (Rental) and have owned TT's since the late 70's. In reality there isn't a lot of difference when camping in either unless you never really get out of the MH and just park, plug i, and stay in.

Hooking up a TT or 5-er doesn't have to be a lot of backbreaking work anymore with levelers, electric tongue jacks, etc. The key is orginization and having the right sized RV.

To me age is just a number. It's all about how you feel and are able to get out and about. The more you do get out and about the better you end up feeling. In 2017 I had a heart attack and ended up getting a quad bypass. When healed I got back to camping with a passion. Lots of hiking and bike riding along with all the usual campsite tasks keep me from turning into a big lump on the couch.

As I collected more birthdays I did make a concession. I noticed that things like my Generator were getting heavier so I put a small "Crane" in the bed of my pickup. I don't have to lift things like before although I was still able to. When not in use it swings out of the way on the side of the bed and under the tonneau cover.

I also do things like put my empty waste tote in my pickup bed and then use a Flojet pump to transfer waste from my holding tank(s) to the portable, then transport the waste to the dump station where I can use the side valve to dump without lifting.

Some accommodations will be necessary as time goes on but there should be no reason you don't have years of happy camping ahead.
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:58 PM   #7
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I am 76 , my advice would be stay with what ya got . We went from a 38 foot 5er to a 20 foot TT and would never go back . I kinda drive it like a sports car and we go places the big rig would not think of !
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Old 05-24-2020, 12:44 PM   #8
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Age is just a number ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaster 84 View Post
We are weighing age, expense, return on investments and ability to travel in the future years.
Any input would be appreciated.
I'm 86 ... just a number as Mike said. And similar to Mike, my DW passed a few years ago ... so I've downsized to a 2018 Dynamax Isata 3. One minor modification: I removed the dinette to install a very comfortable dual recliner.

The Mercedes Sprinter is very easy to operate, maintain, and set-up (mostly pushbutton). I've driven it across the country from west to east ... and back. Also from Canada to Mexico. No significant problems (just typical RV stuff ... occasional flat tire, sticky door, etc.). Though I have a Honda CRV that I can tow, I don't usually do that. Instead, I take a 2018 Honda PCX150 Scooter on a bike rack.

It's a great life ... I love to travel ... so long as my health stays good ...
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Blaster 84 View Post
We are weighing age, expense, return on investments and ability to travel in the future years.
Any input would be appreciated.
Unless you are dissatisfied with your current rv, I think you should consider staying with what you have. You can't predict the future. Unless you're going to be able to travel for several years, you won't recoup your investment.

We downsized to a small C because the spouse has health problems and having an onboard bathroom and kitchen became important. Climbing up and down stairs to get into the tt became difficult on the road. Also, setting up with one person is easier with a C.

Also, keep in mind that a 34' rv will not fit in some state and national parks.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:29 PM   #10
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Well, I'm an "oldster" too, but, I think it depends on what you like to do and how you like to do it. Most of the RV's today are pretty automated and even some of the TT units now have self leveling systems (our rig doesn't). But, the most we go out for is 3 weeks. Since we live in the middle of several recreation areas on 5 acres and it is like camping every day, we tend to go to other places and base-camp (with full hookups) and then visit the neighboring areas from there. If we go farther than 1,000 miles, we usually just drive and motel or fly. The longest trip we had was about 7,000 miles (in a converted VW bus) camping. To me it is how much automation you have to make things work for you. We will probably always have our trailer at this point and pull it with our truck. But, that is just what we like. I am not thrilled with a large motor home to drive and then have to unhook a pup to go around in. I find it takes about as long to set up our TT as it does for neighbors to set up their motor homes, so it depends on what you like best. We can go "camping" almost every day by just driving over to the parks in our area, but, then come home to a campfire on our patio. Of course, that won't stop us from going to a different area for a couple weeks, either. Yes, except for a few creaks, we both feel good and I have eliminated lifting anything very heavy. But only having 3 steps up to the trailer compared to 5 or 6 in a motor home, for us, is nice, too. Our TT is about 34-35 ft. and we haven't found it too hard to maneuver in most campgrounds, and we use mostly full hookups. We store it in a barn with an 11' wide door, so you do have to be careful backing it in (knock on wood) which hasn't been too much of a problem yet. As far as moving goes - the less I move, the worse I feel, so, I plan on just keeping moving as much as possible, but I don't miss cranking the stabilizers or the front hitch post! I worked until I was 74 and still do some work now for my daughter's business (photography) and I find that is the best thing to do to keep fit. After writing this, I'll be going out and cutting some trees. Best thing is to keep doing what you like to do as long as you can. Good luck with your choice!
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Old 05-24-2020, 02:20 PM   #11
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We are in your same age bracket and in very good health also. We had thought we would move up from a TT to a 5th wheel this season; however, after visiting a couple of trade shows in the spring, we changed our minds and downsized to a smaller TTwith a floor plan that we think will work for us. We don't get to go camping very often so decided downsizing and not having to buy a new truck would work best for us. With all the closed campgrounds and cancelled reservations, we have not yet been able to see if we made the right decision.
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Old 05-24-2020, 02:39 PM   #12
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Why fix it if it ain't broke? I'm 75 and I've had a Roadtrek Class B and tag-along trailers, but we love our Flagstaff Classic 8528RKWS 5er. We've got 36,981.53 miles under the keel and haven't felt any urge to upgrade or downgrade. When we boondock, we put our Predator 3500 watt inverter generator in the truck and leave it there. I just don't see managing a 5er as anything I'm going to have problems doing for many years.
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Old 05-24-2020, 02:53 PM   #13
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I'm 71 and switched to a Georgetown 38ft gas motorhome in 2012 and its great. I wish I did it sooner.

NOW A BIG BUT!

Now in your case keep what you have and enjoy it while you can.
Why invest in a new truck ($45-$55K) and a large trailer/5th wheel ($40K and up) when you can enjoy what you already have.

I minor fall, trip or something more serious can happen at any time then you are stuck with the payments and can't use any of it.

Enjoy what you have.
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Old 05-24-2020, 04:17 PM   #14
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Traveling 3-6 months per year, smaller might be too small.
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Old 05-24-2020, 05:20 PM   #15
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Thanks for everyone’s input. They are all valid arguments depending on one RVing life style.
We were considering upgrading because we would like a second A/C and a few other amenities. But a person can get most of what we want in the same size RV that we have.
We had not considered a Class C, but we will look into that. I sure would miss my TV.
I don’t believe I would be comfortable with a class A, although acknowledge all their benefits.
I Sympathize with those that have lost their DW. One of the pleasures I get from life and travel is sharing it with my DW.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-24-2020, 05:53 PM   #16
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BLASTER 84, at 73, I am a lucky one. I have a 35' Georgetown and a 20' Lance single axle. I use the one that suits me for the particular adventure.

If I need to get some place fast, I use the 20' Lance. If I'm taking my wife bird watching, I take the Lance. It has everything the Georgetown has except for the couch. It has one thing the Georgetown doesn't have, a bathtub (DW loves the Lance).

If I'm going to be on the road for an extenced trek, I prefer the Georgetown. It has a HUGE refrigerator and freezer.

The Lance seems small, but it has two queen size beds: One dedicated and the other the dinette.


If I had to choose just one, it would be the Lance. It is easier to drive (tow with my Toyota Tacoma) and handles cross winds better. Since I don't have to choose, I have both.

At this point in your life, my suggestion is not worry about the $$, given you have enough to do what you want. Just do what makes you the happiest TODAY.
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:01 PM   #17
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We started out with a popup, then went to a 24' TT, then to a 27' TT. We finally decided the hook-up and down to the truck was getting to be too much. Always when it is stinking hot with sun beating down on you and high humidity, out putting the heavy hitch in the receiver, getting backed up to the trailer ball correctly, chocking wheels so you don't move forward or backward unexpected, putting on the sway bars, up the trailer to get the bars on, down again, hook up the 7 way and then the camera plug, load chairs, propane tank, BBQ, etc, etc back in the truck, not to mention the manual leveling that can take at least ˝ hour in the sun when we arrive - it gets me tired again thinking about it all.

DW said that is hard on you, why don't we get a 30' Class C. I said they really cost, but if you insist---. Best move we ever made. Love the auto leveling, generator, driving and moving into storage and state parks - it is a dream. I just love all the features and ease compared to the TT. However, to each his own and my views may not fit yours or your style.
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Old 05-25-2020, 11:31 PM   #18
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We started with TT 36’ total 31’ “living space” had it 5 years but layout was not optimized for family. We now have a 42’ 5th wheel and love it until I go looking for state or national parks that allow my size. When we retire I am hoping for around 32’.

I agree with those that say age isn’t a big issue with today’s technology. I back in unhitch, plug in and hit a button. After the trailer levels it self I hook up my water hose ( one of the expanding types) that already has the quick connect on it.

My biggest hassle I will fix when I can full time is I will get a flatbed. I’m short to begin with 5’10” and then for every inch my belly sticks out I lose an inch of reach. So my reach is that of a 4’10 person. So right now I have to step on top of my tire to disconnect my hitch.
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