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Old 02-21-2012, 06:09 PM   #1
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Post RV Must Haves...?

We were having a heated discussion at Wildcat today about what attributes, features, options, specs, etc. are absolute must haves for your RV. If you had to pick the top five items (and you can be very broad or super specific here), what would make your list?
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:38 PM   #2
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Wow, great question. I have a list of what I would like but I'll have to think about MUST HAVES. I do know that my next fifth wheel will have to have a battery cut-off switch. The other four? I'll have to get back on that one.

Bob and Joyce
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:43 PM   #3
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I have a couple to add.

Separate slide control switches for each slide...don't always want them to open or close together.

For 5th wheel campers, have the bathroom/bedroom on the same level...no step between the bathroom and the bedroom.


Nights camped in 2013 - 55, 2014 - 105, 2015 - 63
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:04 PM   #4
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Great point just so you all know Wildcat has a one floor bedroom bathroom standard on all models. Standard Extralite wildcat sterling !!!! Thank you keep the ideas flowing!

Safe travels,

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Old 02-21-2012, 08:20 PM   #5
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Name brand tires instead of the cheesy things they come with. You have great looking wheels and a pretty good camper, but put the worst tires you can find.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:05 PM   #6
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Rear hitch for bike rack, generator, or whatever, and should be available on most models.
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84 24' Yellowstone Camino (oldie)

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Old 02-21-2012, 09:33 PM   #7
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As I’m sure you know, must haves will certainly vary depending on the way the trailer is used. Weekend campers will have different wants than those who use their trailer primarily for travel, and snowbirds will have other wants and needs. Families will have different wants that older, retired folks, etc.

Just so you know where I’m coming from, my wife and I are retired but we like to pretend we’re still young. We enjoy snowbirding for the last half of winter, go to local campgrounds during the summer, and then we will usually go on a month long trip in late summer or early fall. We love the western states.

Must have #2: Access to the toilet when the slides are closed. If you’ve ever driven on state roads in some of our less populated states you know why I need this, rest stops and bathrooms can be few and far between. When I pull over on the side of the road to use our bathroom, I don’t want to have to open the slides. Most fifth wheels floorplans have this bathroom access, but surprisingly not all do.

Must have #2 and : This one depends on how long our next trailer is and how many slideouts. If our next fifth wheel is over 32 feet long then I must have two A/C’s and of course 50 amp is a must for the two A/C’s. While our current 15k A/C will keep our Wildcat cool during the summer, it is barely adequate during extreme summer heat. This is especially true when you’re camped in an area where the only shade is from your awning. I’m sure this isn’t an issue with those who RV in the northern states, but here in the Midwest and desert southwest two A/C’s on big units is a must have.

OK, I have to get on my soapbox now.
The following applies to the RV industry and not just Wildcat or Forest River. Travel trailers and fifth wheels have been getting longer and longer, with more and more slideouts, yet many/most still come to the dealer with that same 13.5k A/C that was on yesteryear trailers that were smaller and had no slideouts. In 2003 the biggest fifth wheel Wildcat made was 30’7” long and all but the 29RLKS had only one slideout. Today Wildcat is now making three units over 38 feet long and one of those models has four slideouts. Believe me, those units need two A/C’s.
Getting off my soapbox now, thanks for taking the time to read this.

I’ll close this post with a thank you to Wildcat Chris and TomCat for making themselves available to Wildcat owners. While I may not agree with them all the time, I really appreciate them being part of this forum.

Bob and Joyce
2013 CC Silverback 29RL
2010 Ford F250 XL Crew Cab 6.4 liter diesel
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:42 PM   #8
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Battery disconnect switch - a must have item

More outlets especially another one for larger size plugs (like my hair dryer has)

Some type of a holder that can keep the OH doors open while you search for something - really helpful for short people like me.

Real backsplash in the cooking area instead of wallpaper
Great choice for "Living within my means" and camping for one...

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Old 02-21-2012, 10:02 PM   #9
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Well, I'll start by saying We're a young family (I'm 30, just adopted our first kid, he just turned two). So when we were shopping last year for our RV, here is what we found were the top features we found as "must haves":
  1. Separate "master" area. We wanted to have an area, that even if we had guests along with us, was clearly our bedroom. Along with this, we wanted a separate bunk area for when the boy is a little older and has friends along, at night, we can lock them in there and they can have their fun while the adults can be in the main area having their fun. We went to the RV show this weekend and went through $500,000+ RVs, and while they were nice and huge, none had this separation, they were all geared towards the retired couple traveling alone.
  2. Nice outdoor kitchen. We go camping to be outside, we also enjoy having the really stinky (aka unhealthy, yummy, etc ) food while camping. Once we found some RVs had nice outdoor kitchens, we found that something that we had to have. Our intuition was spot on.
  3. Kind of opposite of my last point, we wanted a great entertainment setup. While inside during those crappy weather days, we LOVE to sit around as a family and watch movies. Being able to do this while camping was definitely a must have. Many people can't fathom having your whole movie collection, etc along with you while camping, I don't leave home without it. I think the RV industry has a long way to come on this point. We're as happy as we can expect to be in an RV, but there are a lot of things that can surely improve, starting with the quality of the components that are put in the RVs (something else we noticed at the RV show this last weekend, even on the super high end RVs, the quality of the components left something to be desired).
  4. Two entrances, again nice to have your own entrance to your "master" area. This also help with entertainment.
  5. Tank Sizes (Grey, Black, and Fresh). We ended up finding a TV with an 84 gallon grey water tank, I can't imagine it being any smaller. It's also nice to be able to "dry camp" and not have to worry about running out of water.

I'm sure I could keep going, but these are items that hit the top of our list when we were looking last year and continue to come up when we continue to stay "educated" on what's available out there.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:53 PM   #10
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well, the DW would say #1-counterspace in the kitchen, #2-rear or front kitchen, #3-toilet in a separate stall.
i would agree about the 2" receiver on the rear and the battery disconnect switch.
i would add an optional inverter or a 12v plug outlet for my own.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:52 AM   #11
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My 5 major wants were:
1. A back living room, easier to watch TV straight on instead of getting a neck cramp trying to watch on the side of the seating area.
2. Inside storage that is easy to use and doors that stay open without the use of your head.
3. Pullout shelves in the kitchen cabinets (pantry).
4. Drawers in the master bedroom for clothes.
5. Place to put a small safe for important papers.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:58 AM   #12
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Well, most of the items have been mentioned-------

!. Put in a workable good stove with a oven that works right as yours does at home. Pilot light that is battery controlled, easy to light without having to mod it yourself!!!!!!

2. Microwave with convection.

3. Better air condition ducts that will deliver cool air even with a 15K AC.

4. The window problem has been corrected with the new windows.

5. Upgrade all towable TT/5Th wheels over 26 FT to 50 AMPS.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:34 AM   #13
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Well I got most of my must haves in the new rig we bought the year.
1) Side bath - always hated having shower and sink in the bedroom.
2) Side opening basement doors, instead of overhead - never figured out how someone could design an overhead door under a slide.
3) Jack stabilizers - don't like all the movement. If I wanted to rock & roll all night, would have bought a boat.
4) More counter space - it is agrivating to have to put the coffee pot in the bedroom and the toaster in the living room, because there is no counter space in the kitchen.
5) Dual A/C - enough said.

These were the minimum requirements in our new coach. The only thing I had on my list that did not come on the new unit, that I really wanted was auto-leveling. But, having read a lot of these forums it appears that this product still has bugs to be worked out. What has been an expected product in motorhomes is in it's infancy in the fifth wheel market. Give it a couple of years, they will figure it out.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:03 AM   #14
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Slide awnings are a must have. Rear ladder. Steps that reach the ground and do not have to purchase a step stool in order to get to the first step.
Terry and Janet
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:45 AM   #15
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Our list:
#1 (and this is a show stopper without it) Bedroom slide and not the little
wardrobe slide. The bed must be on a slide.
#2 rear living room with the entertainment system located where the TV is easily seen especially from the recliners like our V-Lite. I hate the units where they make you look off to the side to see the TV and walk right back out without even looking at anything else when we see that.
#3 Good quality recliners
#4 Good quality LED lighting
#5 As has been mentioned better quality tires that are 1 load range above the min they can get away with.

John & Deb
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2011 Flagstaff V-Lite 30WRLS
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:09 AM   #16
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all above ideas are all great, I would like my 31TS to have all indepent slide controll. like mentioned would be nice to open one or do a partial open at the rest area, battery disconnect, built inn generator
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:29 AM   #17
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1) Outside kitchen is a MUST have
2) More outlets on the outside of the camper
3) More counter space, although this would take away space from other areas
4) Better A/C flow
5) I'd have to consult my DH for other suggestions on structure, etc. Mine are just "creature comforts"
2012 Rockwood 8293RKSS
2006 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9L Cummins Turbodiesel 4x4; 2012 Ford Escape 4x4. 3 very pampered cats.
Days camped: 2011: 61; 2012: 66 Days; 2013: 69;2014: 68 2015: 90 Days camped 2016: 34
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:43 AM   #18
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must have a bedroom slide (see Sasks #1) its ours also-
a washer/dryer hook up.
larger fresh and grey tanks
if a 5th wheel a way to have a bike rack
better microwave
lots of usable storage- the closet/bedroom in our V-Lite is awesome! a great bedroom layout- (I'll give a shout out to Karl Miller for that!)
eliminate trailer movement- stronger frames- better jacks

2007 Chevy 2500HD CC
2010 V-Lite 30WRLTS
Nights Camped 2011 -64
Nights Camped 2012 -50
"I Live in My Own World, But It's OK. They Know Me"
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:49 AM   #19
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All of these suggestions should not add to the length or much to the weight of a particular model trailer:

1. A stout sewer hose bumper. Why manfacturers are going with those flimsy plastic rear "protusions" is anybodies guess.....what are they thinking ??? The bumper is a perfect place to store the sewer hoses, and if stout enough to carry the spare tire instead of sticking that under the tongue or elsewhere. We have a sewer hose bumper.

2. Compartment doors that are as big as the compartment. To many times I see huge storage compartments that have tiny doors. Thank goodness we have the big doors.

3. Water heater as near the faucets as possible. A water heater stuck at the opposite end of a trailer causes a lot of wasted water. I will sometimes capture the cold water to flush my toilet. In our camper, I don't see many other placement possibilities, so I know that request is an engineering nightmare.

4. Slides that do not impinge on the use of the camper in the closed position.....that is a biggie for us. Too many times, you can't get to the fridge or bathroom, or you gotta squeeze by the slide to get to something. I went to a dealer in PA. to look at a particular model that we thought would fit our needs before we bought our current camper. Looked great with the slide out, but when I asked the guy to close the slide, that camper was no longer on our list.....that puppy took up a lot of room. 1 reason we love our camper is that we only loose 2 small cabinets with the slide in, and everything else is usable.....and we do.

5. The dinette and sofa should be across from each other instead of side by side. We have entertained up to 7 people in our small camper, and everyone can face everyone else without excess turning in their seats. I can't imagine how you can do that when the sofa and dinette are side by side.

I know I can only suggest 5 items, but torsion axles over the spring and shackle setup is a big plus.

Chap , DW Joy, and Fur Baby Sango
2017 F350 Lariat CCSB, SRW, 4x4, 6.7 PS
2017 Grand Design Reflection 337RLS
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:05 AM   #20
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Must Have #3: A decent kitchen area. When we spend a month or more at one RV park we (ok my wife) cooks a lot. She likes to have counter space to prepare meals. We both want two electrical outlets in the kitchen area. That way we can leave the toaster and coffee pot plugged in and still have a place to plug in a crockpot, mixer, etc. I am amazed at the number of fifth wheel models on the market that only have one electrical outlet in the kitchen. Designers of trailers should go home and ask their wife to use only one outlet in the kitchen for the next week and then ask her how that worked out. This has been a deal breaker for us in the past.

Must Have #4: Access to the refrigerator when the slides are closed.

Must Have #5: Large waste water capacity. This was a deal breaker on a fifth wheel that I wanted early last year. Most RV sites in Missouri and Illinois state parks and COE campgrounds offer electric only sites. The larger the waster water capacity, the longer I can stay at the site. And no, I don’t want to mess with a Blue Tote. Kudos to Wildcat for the large holding tanks they offer on their units. At the price point of a Wildcat, I think they must lead the industry in this area.

Bob and Joyce
2013 CC Silverback 29RL
2010 Ford F250 XL Crew Cab 6.4 liter diesel
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