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Old 05-09-2019, 06:31 PM   #1
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1/2 ton towable full time?

Getting closer to retiring and dreaming of going full time some day soon. Live in Michigan but wife hates the cold. Would love to put our currant 5th wheel on a seasonal site in Michigan and travel the cold months. Would love to downsize to a smaller 1/2 ton towable unit to travel in the winter months.
Curious about living space and storage space? Does anybody full time or travel long periods in a 1/2 towable unit? (not looking to start a payload thread, just a general conversation from folks in 1/2 ton units)
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Old 05-09-2019, 07:08 PM   #2
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I have lived in a "1/2 ton towable" travel trailer for up to 6 months at a time. At that time I was alone, waiting for our new house to be built in Colorado while my wife remained at our old house in WA State. Wasn't bad but again, I was alone.

When the house was finished I moved the trailer back to WA State to our Daughter's house and we'd frequently come back and visit. Having two people in the trailer for extended periods of time requires a good, strong, marriage. We did OK.

Think of it like living in a 200 square foot hotel room (only 160 foot if no dinette slide) that has a kitchen.

With my wife having passed away I frequently take to the road for a month at a time and find the space in my 25BDS MicroLite to be more than adequate as long as the weather allows me to get outside at least a couple hours per day.

Last thing, be prepared to either cut way down on all the stuff you're used to having around in a regular house or get a storage facility and be prepared to visit it somewhat regularly. Every time I think of just going full time in my trailer it's not just being able to live in it comfortably, it's not having the space for my hobby interests. No room for the 500+ pound gun safe and all my hand loading equipment which takes up a full room in my house.

Think about where all YOUR hobby equipment (Hunting, Fishing, Carpentry, Gardening, etc) will go before committing to full timing in a trailer you can tow with a half ton.
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:03 PM   #3
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Thank you for the response. My wife and I have a multiple discussions about pros and cons and the process of downsizing and going "full time" my thought was having a permanent seasonal site and traveling in a smaller more maneuverable less expensive unit with a less expensive truck. My real concern is having the living space and storage space to stay long term in a trailer 1/2 ton towable. Ive never really looked at bunkhouse units because I never had kids, but thought a bunk room might make a nice walk in closet for more storage space.
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:11 PM   #4
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I have a friend who winters in AZ with his wife in their 28' airstream he pulls with a half ton. They did 3 months last year and 5 months this year. After this year he looked at 5ers and a new truck but settled on a park model for AZ and a smaller TT for traveling. This gave them the space they needed for a majority of their time and still allowed them to travel with a 1/2 ton and camping adventures.

The park model allowed them to put up a shed for storage as well.

I would have the larger unit where you plan to spend more time. If you travel a lot keep your 5er. If you don't then get a park model where you plan to spend your time and get a half ton towable camper for the trips.

Best of luck!
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:13 PM   #5
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Well, we've been traveling in our 26' TT, for 2-3 months each late winter, for the past 3 years.
We've done surprisingly well. Especially for the DW, who requires alone time.
BUT, after our experiences with the TT, we agree that if we decide to sell everything and go fulltime for a while, we would definitely get a 5th wheel.
We've found one that's perfect for us and might be towable with our current 1/2 ton truck.
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Old 05-12-2019, 01:03 PM   #6
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Live in the Houston area and spend several months north in the summer. We have a Freedom Express 192RBS. Spend about half the time in the TT and half the time with friends and family. It's comfortable and the small size/weight makes it VERY easy to pull with our F150. Also, it'll fit in most driveways if we're staying at a house or cabin fo a few days.
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Old 05-12-2019, 01:05 PM   #7
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Smile Full timing in 1\2 ton towable

My wife and I fulltimed in 31foot for 8 years
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Old 05-12-2019, 01:11 PM   #8
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My BIL & SIL full times in a 27ft K Z Durango, pulls it with a 1/2 Dodge diesel. Seems to do just fine, winters in Homosassa, FL, summers in NC hill country.
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Old 05-12-2019, 01:19 PM   #9
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Yup, doable in a 1/2 ton

We've been full-timing for five years pulling a fiver with a Ford F150 ecoboost with 3.73 rear end and heavy duty tow package. over 28,000 miles towing with nary a whimper, across every mountain range in the U.S. and the Canadian Rockies.

So yeah, for getaways from a week to six months, the above configured F150 can get it done for you easily. Now turning 125,000 on the truck. Expecting to run it to 200,000 before trading it for another one. The newer F150 ecoboosts tow even better and get better mileage.

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Old 05-12-2019, 02:09 PM   #10
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I am not a full timer but go out for 6-9 weeks at a time. I got everything right on my trailer choice except one thing. When I'm out for a while and the weather is bad requiring a lot of time in the camper, its too dark, not enough windows. You may face this a lot as a full timer. In hind sight I would buy a trailer with a rear living area as they have more windows. Usually that requires about a 30 ft trailer, but light weight ones in the 5500-7000 lb dry are available. I wouldn't go above 9000-10000 lb fully loaded with a 1/2 ton truck. Of course if you push up towards 9000 lb you will likely hit cargo limits on the truck. You will really need to slim down your stuff.
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Old 05-12-2019, 02:36 PM   #11
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Why waste your time wondering if you will have enough truck when for pennies more you can upgrade to a 2500 then if you decide to upgrade you trailer you can do that without the worry of your TV. My nephew just bought a 2018 Ram 2500 with the 6.4 hemi with 4:10 gears and he actually can tow more and has more payload than my 2012 3500 diesel. Do yourself a favor and look at the 2500's you will be better off in the long run as the 2500's have a better suspension than the 1500's
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Old 05-12-2019, 02:37 PM   #12
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I subscribe to a YouTube channel called “Love your RV”. Ray and his wife live full time in a smaller 26’ Keystone Cougar fifth wheel although he currently tows it with a 1 ton RAM. IMO there are very few 5ers that would not exceed a typical 1/2 ton’s GVWR but the size is doable as long as the floorplan allows for some separation time.
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Old 05-12-2019, 02:49 PM   #13
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My DW drives our 3/4 ton ram shortbed diesel every day.

The mileage of the diesel is really good. Frankly they tow better for big trailers or fivers.
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:07 PM   #14
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DW and I Winter in FL in a 26RR .. Lots of room
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:40 PM   #15
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We lived in a 27 ft Rockwood Ultralight for 5 years. We sold it when we settled in our current home and didn't consider camping again for 9 years. We towed it with a 1990 Ford F150. We had too much weight in the back of the trailer (in the bedroom under the bed), which created a weight imbalance and towing stability issues. We have many great memories of our time together in that trailer; it brought us closer together.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:55 AM   #16
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We've got almost 37,000 miles on our Forest River Flagstaff Classic 8528RKWS towed with a 2012 Tundra. There is plenty of room for two of us and the dawg, and we've boondocked in the Montana mountains using a 3,500 watt inverter/generator without problems. It only runs one of the two AC units, but it was sufficient at that altitude. You'll find some folks will tell you an F-450 won't tow a grocery cart, but we've had no problems with the 9,000 lb. 5th wheel.
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Old 05-13-2019, 03:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trawlerphil View Post
We've got almost 37,000 miles on our Forest River Flagstaff Classic 8528RKWS towed with a 2012 Tundra. There is plenty of room for two of us and the dawg, and we've boondocked in the Montana mountains using a 3,500 watt inverter/generator without problems. It only runs one of the two AC units, but it was sufficient at that altitude. You'll find some folks will tell you an F-450 won't tow a grocery cart, but we've had no problems with the 9,000 lb. 5th wheel.
Trawlerphil, I know your rear kitchen layout lightens the pinbox quite a bit. It's one of the advantages of that layout. FRF member OldCoot has the Rockwood version of your floorplan and I believe he's said the pin weight is only around 1000#. My new Rockwood 8290BS is also a rear kitchen floorplan. I'm curious if you've ever weighed your loaded trailer and found out what the pin weighs.
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Old 05-13-2019, 04:06 PM   #18
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I did weigh it with one of those hitch scales my friend bought. It came in at 1,520 lbs, but I'm not sure about the accuracy. I too specifically looked for an aft galley 5er.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:51 AM   #19
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We do fine in a 30ft "half ton towable." 5 months a year and 4 months snowbirding. Pack carefully and don't forget lots of tools for repair and projects. My only issue was that I was overworking my old F150 ecoboost. It had Max tow option and plenty of power but lots of recurring issues including losing a front main seal this past winter. Dealers like to exaggerate what you should tow with a half ton. Do your homework. I've since upgraded to an F250.
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:53 PM   #20
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Your better half doesn't like the cold and we hate the heat of SE Texas. We go to the UP from mid May thru September.
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