Why a 5th Wheel?

 •  Updated 07/13/17

So, you’re shopping for RV’s and wondering why people choose one type of rig over another? Here’s why we choose a 5th-wheel trailer rather than a Class A “bus” or Class C motorhome.

Note that any unit with sleeping, eating, and bathroom facilities is considered an “RV” so this article uses the terms fifth-wheel and RV interchangeably.

A Confusing Market

The RV market has consists of powered RVs and towable RV’s of all shapes, sizes and price-points. Every unit has benefits and disadvantages. Finding the right RV is a puzzle that you need to work out for yourself based on:

  • Your budget
  • The makeup of the family living in the RV
  • How you intend to travel
  • Your comfort driving or towing different things

Our Intended Use

Our (initial) constraints were:

  • A one-year trip around the USA
  • A family of four with a teen and pre-teen
  • Not moving every day
  • Driving days consisting of 4 hours or less on the road
  • A budget of roughly $30K
  • Comfortable driving or towing just about anything

Our RV Requirements

We developed a rough set of requirements that would make an RV ideal:

  • 30’ long or less to be as nimble as possible
  • Permanent beds for everyone (that don’t have to be made up/down every night) - so “bunkhouse” models
  • Separate bedroom for the kids and the parents.
  • A slide-out in the living area
  • A place for me to setup a desktop computer for work

Starting the Shopping Process

I grew up taking long vacations in Class A motorhomes.  MsBoyink had camped often in a pop-up. I decided no matter what RV types we were familiar with we would start with a clean slate and see what options existed. 

Dealer Visit

Our first step was to visit a large local RV dealer, outline our constraints and requirements, and see what they thought.

The dealer immediately steered us towards the longer, higher-end 5th wheel trailers. They toured us through some that were really nice - with 1.5 baths, dedicated kids rooms, and slide-outs popping out everywhere.

Sticker Shock

What scared us was the price points. These were expensive 5th wheels. With a rig in $30 - $50K range and a $15 - $25K truck to tow it with and it was more than we wanted to spend. 

We kind of gave up on 5th wheels.

Bumper Pulls

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We went back to looking at bumper-pull travel trailers. Dollar for dollar these are the best deal in the RV market - both new and used. 

I found that used Chevy Suburbans - gas or diesel - were affordable.  Add a used travel trailer and I could see getting us on the road for the low $20K range total. 

Class A Option

Driving a classic “Motorhome” had a sentimental “cool-factor” to it. Even though we were leaning towards a towable we still toured some Class A’s.

We quickly ruled them out:

  • The price points were higher. We could buy a truck and trailer for just what the Class A would cost.
  • The bunkhouse versions had the bunks on the side of the coach near the back. If everyone was in bed your toes would just about be touching. It wasn’t enough separation for us.
  • We’d also need a car to tow behind (“toad”) to day-trip and explore in. This would mean we’d have two drivetrains to maintain.
  • If there was an issue with the drivetrain of the RV we’d lose our “house” to a service shop.
  • Finding a shop to work on the mechanicals of the RV would be harder than a standard pickup truck with a towable RV.

Class C Option

We also thought about a Class C motorhome.  While new bunkhouse versions are available they are as expensive as a Class A bunkhouse.

We thought about a used one with a rear full bedroom. I could take out the queen bed and make bunks for the kids and also fit a desk in that space. MsBoyink and I would sleep in the bunk over the driver’s area. 

Even with a reconfigured floorplan a Class C would have many of the the same disadvantages of a Class A (need a second car, higher maintenance costs, etc).

Back to Towables

We came back to towable RVs.  We spent the winter months watching eBay auctions and Craigslist.  We watched some sites selling repossessed units.

The search stagnated for about 6-8 weeks. Once spring hit the wanderlust started to kick in and we restarted the search. 

We still hadn’t decided between a bumper-pull or a 5th wheel. We realized that after our initial exploration of the high-end 5th wheels we hadn’t been in any of the “mid-end” rigs.

We spent a full Saturday on the local dealer lots. After touring a couple of dozen trailers we decided the 5th Wheels suited us better.

Fifth Wheel Benefits

  • They are taller - with more headroom for us taller folks in the living area
  • They overlap the truck while in motion -  so a 30’ trailer only extends past the truck 25’-26’. This makes a shorter combination overall
  • Due to the front being “upstairs” they feel like they have more discreet living and bedroom areas
  • Many people told us they were easier to hitch and unhitch and tow better (less susceptible to wind and sway)
  • They are easier to maneuver and park due to the way they attach to the truck
  • They can be pulled with a crew cab truck - so we travel in a safer environment than an RV manufactured mostly of furring strips and paneling (if you’ve ever seen an RV that’s been in an accident or flipped you know what I’m talking about)
  • They allow for a choice of gas or diesel tow vehicles (diesel motorhomes are big $$)
  • They allow a 4WD tow rig - for maneuvering in wet/muddy conditions. 4WD would also enable mild four-wheeling or back-country exploration once the trailer was unhooked.

We found a 5th-wheel floorplan that fit us and met our basic requirements - 2 bunks, single slide-outs and around 30’ long. 

Now the decision was whether we should buy a new or used. 

Buy New, Discounted for Cosmetic Damage?

The dealers had new units with light damage from a recent hail storm - but we found door latches coming off, missing spots in the cabinet veneer, the fresh water tank loose in the frame rails and the lower siding was thin and susceptible to damage. 

Nuh-uh.

Buy Used to Save Money?

We found 2-3 used trailers to look at within driving distance. They were not well maintained, dirty and with undisclosed damage.

I didn’t want to spend the time and money these trailers would require in repairs and updates to make them livable.

Buy New?

Back to new units.

We found a mid-end new 5th wheel on a dealer lot that had the floorplan we wanted. We headed up to view it - pretty sure we were going to commit (we were tired of shopping at this point).

On the way to the dealer we saw a used trailer for sale sitting next to the highway. We identified it as a bunkhouse model and a bit upscale with aluminum wheels and fiberglass sides.

We circled back, noted how clean it was, and called the owner.  We made arrangements to view it then continued on to view the new trailer. 

We sat in the new one, liked it, got a rough price on it, and headed back to the used one.

Buy Used?

Once inside the used unit we found it had the same floorplan as the new one we had just visited.

The inside was clean and it had many extras. 

The owner came down on his price, and threw in the hitch (a $900 value).  Our first RV purchase years ago taught us to be cautious, so we told the seller we’d sleep on it then call him in the morning.

Making the Deal

Just as we wrapped up our conversation with the owner and walked out to our car, another couple stopped and was going through the trailer.  We got in the car, looked at each other and asked ourselves what we were waiting for (it was the exact floorplan we wanted, very clean and well-kept, and thousands of dollars less than the new ones).

And - I’ll admit - the other couple looking at it made me nervous that if we waited we’d miss out. That had already happened to us earlier in the week. 

We got back out and told the owner we’d buy it. 

A handshake sealed the deal and a couple of days later our fifth-wheel trailer was in our driveway.

Read more about our first fifth-wheel RV.

What We Did Right

We did things mostly right.

Researched

We toured a lot of RV’s. We took notes while going through them. I used the audio recorder on my phone and recorded trailer model numbers and my impressions. I joked that by the time we bought a trailer I knew as much or more about them than most of the salespeople.

Went Small

If you are buying your first RV it’s easy to think you need big. Salespeople that hear you want to live in it for a length of time will tell you so. Don’t listen to them - they just want a big commission.

While we bought a trailer based on being in it for a year we ended up in it for 2.5 years. We were totally comfortable in it.

Small means nimble. Easier to park. Easier to tow. Cheaper to buy and tow.

Trailer Before Truck

We bought the fifth-wheel first. This meant we knew exactly the requirements we had for a tow vehicle. Too often families have a vehicle and either have to try and fit a “home” to that or end up with a too-heavy trailer for their truck.

Remained Flexible

The Fifth Wheel we bought didn’t meet all of our requirements. I didn’t get a dedicated place to work. I settled for a laptop and a comfy chair and we made it work.

Learn our secrets to a fast, stress-free fifth wheel setup! Get our 11 page eBook How To Setup Your Fifth Wheel in 20 Minutes (or less)! free for subscribing to our newsletter:

What We Did Wrong

We also did a few things wrong with our initial purchase.

No Inspection

In our hurry to not let this unit slip away we forgot to think about getting it inspected first. What I could see on the unit was so clean I assumed it was all in great shape.

An inspection would have turned up a roof section delaminating under the rubber. We ended up paying almost half of our initial purchase price to get the unit re-roofed several months into our trip.

If we added that repair cost to the purchase price we could have bought the new fifth wheel we were looking at.

Didn’t Check the Holding Tanks

This was gross. The trailer came with “pre-stocked” holding tanks. One of our first trips was to a local dump station to get rid of the previous owner’s “evidence”. 

We later needed a repair to get the toilet and tanks flowing again as the previous owner’s improper flushing methods led to a blockage.

Overall

Our specific unit had issues but overall the fifth-wheel design has worked well for us:

  • Fifth-wheels are easy to hitch and unhitch.
  • Fifth wheels pull well with little sway from passing semis.
  • The interior ceiling height and and split-level floorplan of a fifth-wheel make it feel very “homey”.
  • Fifth-wheels have lots of storage which familes will need.

More Fifth Wheel Stuff

We liked the fifth-wheel so much that when it came time to replace the “one-year trailer” we bought another one. You can also read about the truck we tow our fifth wheel with and get some great Fifth Wheel Towing Tips.

Goodbye 5th Wheel, Hello Campervan!

Things change.

I wrote this article mostly in 2010 while we were shopping for an RV that would support a family of 4 on a USA roadtrip adventure. At the time our kids were 12 and 13.

We had a great 6+ years traveling as a family in the two different 5th wheels we owned.

But kids grow.

They become adults.

And adults find their own way.

With the oldest out and the youngest one in the process we decided the fifth wheel was too big for just the two of us. We sold it and bought a Class B / Campervan. What’s that process like? Read our vanlife posts here.

Still Confused?

If you are wanting more direction on finding the right RV, we’ve gotcha covered. Check out this Find the Right RV eCourse.

35 Comments Why a 5th Wheel?

  1. Picture of MikeMikeSeptember 19, 2010

    We were having the same difficulty selecting our set up. We’re hitting the road as soon as our home sells. We are 5, my wife Vesna and three boys, 8, 5 and 2.

    We decided on a 30’ travel trailer. Its max weight is about 7k# and can be towed by a full size suv, which will save on needing a larger tow vehicle.

    We looked at used but could not get over the smell and unclean feeling so we’re going new. Glad you found that unit - looks great!

  2. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael BoyinkSeptember 20, 2010

    Hey Mike -

    Thanks for the comment - looks like you guys are starting off on a similar adventure.

    We had pretty much given up on used before buying this rig as well - we were literally driving to the dealer with intent of finalizing a decision on a new trailer when we ran across this one.  We sure came across some junk people were asking a pretty penny for.

    I don’t think this one ever got used much - all we had to do was wipe down the interior and run a carpet cleaner through it.

    I saw a link to a Michigan RV dealer on your blog - do you live in Michigan?

  3. Picture of MikeMikeSeptember 20, 2010

    No - we’re in Waterloo Ontario (1 hr from Toronto). Yeah - there are some gems out there. Folks who used a trailer for a few weekends here and there but some of them look like a frat house the morning after. No thanks!

    I think you have confused our blog with anther’s. We don’t have any advertising on ours…maybe we should!

    Following your blog now, keep it up! Maybe we’ll meet on the road!

  4. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael BoyinkSeptember 20, 2010

    Oh, sorry.  It wasn’t an ad but rather a link to a trailer you really liked - in the “The Trailer We Have Decided On (so far!) →” post.  The dealer that had the trailer has a Michigan address showing in the upper right.

    We’re hoping to pull out this week - probably Friday.  We’ll be heading over to NY and going through the Niagara region so definitely closer to your part of the world!

  5. Picture of MikeMikeSeptember 20, 2010

    Excellent!

    My wife and I just read your post on why you are doing this (you had her in tears)- our reasons exactly, namely:

    -the house is an anchor
    -we CAN do it (and work/earn on the road)
    -it’s now or never for the kids

    My prediction is that our generation (X) will be hit by disappointment after disappointment as we are splashed around for the next 20+ years in the wake of the baby boomers hitting retirement and beyond - from depressed home prices and stock markets to skyrocketing taxes to pay for health care and crumbling infrastructure suffering from years of ‘deferred maintenance’.

    Part of our trip is a message that we’re not going to pay that bill. We won’t be chained to a geographic location, forced to paying forever increasing property/sales taxes to pay for excesses of a previous generation. Nor will we allow a school system that caters to mediocrity educate our kids. I have no problem paying my fair share but what’s being asked of the generations following the boomers is too great a price.

    Sorry for the rant, please feel free to move it to another spot, there are just so many reasons to create and execute the journey we (and you) are planning.

    Mike

  6. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael BoyinkSeptember 20, 2010

    No problem - I don’t have commenting turned on there anyway.

    There are a ton of reasons besides just what I had posted there - and the “one year” timeframe is just a number to us.  We didn’t feel comfortable jumping in totally just yet, but are open to coming back after a year and selling the house to become full-timers.  Or ditching everything and going to Europe..;)

    I assume you’ve come across FamiliesOnTheRoad.com?  I’ve got a shared RSS feed from many of the blogs posted there that might make some interesting reading.

  7. Picture of Renee — ramblecrunchRenee — ramblecrunchSeptember 08, 2011

    Hello! We exchanged comments a few months back, and I’m finally finding my way back here.

    This was a fantastic read. I loved learning about all the choices and appreciate how you laid out all your decision-making steps.

    We’re doing a similar trip but in Europe, so our vehicle selection was MUCH more limited. We didn’t want to buy one and ship it over, which meant the best plan was to buy a used rig from a Dutch dealer authorized to register it for us. (Not being EU residents, we couldn’t register it ourselves.)

    With scant personal experience in RVs, we selected our rig from photos online and didn’t meet it in person until the day our journey started. It’s a battered, 1999 Ford Rimor (Class C), but so far it’s hanging in there pretty well, if you don’t count burning brakes in the Swiss Alps or the absence of functional fourth gear. Needless to say, it’s always an adventure!

    Best to your family from mine. Happy travels!

  8. Picture of BoyinkBoyinkSeptember 08, 2011

    Thanks Renee - We are following you on Twitter and possibly your RSS feed as well.

    We’ve talked that if/when it comes time to replace our trailer we’d probably not buy another in the States..so may be in touch at some point to learn about how to buy an RV & travel in Europe..;)

  9. Picture of RandyRandyOctober 23, 2011

    Good afternoon Mr. Boyink….Thanks for the informative article…just what I was looking for.  I am currently living in Brisbane Australia, planning to be moving back to the Austin Texas area about Christmas.  I am single and own 20 acres I am wanting to build on in a few years….I travel with wrok, I’m headed off to Algeria on Jan 7.  I need a place to call home while I’m in country…thinking about a 5th wheel..I want a top of the line make…Intend to pay cash….what would you consider the top of the line manufactures?  Would appreciate your help…thanks and safe travels…Randy

  10. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael BoyinkOctober 23, 2011

    Hi Randy -

    Since we were not shopping top-end models I really don’t know, sorry.

  11. Picture of SuzanneSuzanneFebruary 11, 2012

    We are a family of 6 getting ready to hit the road for 4 months.  Still need to get our mode of transportation!  A class C is leading the way, but we don’t really want to tow a car.  The 5th wheel poses a problem of 6 of us fitting comfortably in the cab.  We are going from Maine to Florida.  Have you found that a separate car is a must?  And…how has it been to navigate around big cities?

  12. Picture of BoyinkBoyinkFebruary 11, 2012

    Hi Suzanne -

    You can get custom cab/toppers that add another covered seat into the bed of the truck, but for just 4 months that’s probably overkill. 

    We really liked having transportation apart from the house.  It keeps you more flexible (some can go, some can stay), and certainly easier to run out for groceries or the quick errand.

    Big cities will be an experience.  We tried to avoid them when towing when possible, go during off-times if you have to, and just endure it otherwise.  Best if one can provide accurate navigation while the other drives.

    And don’t be afraid to “ease over” when you have to - people will crowd you out but will also move out of your way if need be.

  13. Picture of TimTimMay 12, 2013

    Great write-up. I nearly went with a 5th wheel but the 5-5 bed of the NEW Dodge Crew Cab I already have only works with one hitch (Super Slider)... it was still a possibility until a 2004 like new TT fell into my lap for 3k below it’s real value!
    My next one will be a Fiver very likely.
    Thanks for the write-up

  14. Picture of BoyinkBoyinkMay 13, 2013

    The nice thing about your setup is with a cap on the truck bed you get a nice garage to store bikes in..;)  We’ve friends that do that and while it’s a bit of a “grass is greener” situation (the 5’r is way easier to hookup and unhook) it just shows there are benefits to every approach.

  15. Picture of John-JohnJohn-JohnJuly 19, 2013

    Hello,

    Me my wife and 2 kids (2yrs and alsmost 1) are planning a trip for at least 6 months in Canada and the USA. I loved to read your blog since we have NO experience at all in buying a RV. We live in the Netherlands and buying and using a RV overhere is almost impossible. Our country is way too small!! LOL

    We will do the trip in 2015 but already started some planning to keep time on our side. Can you give us some advise or websites I can subscribe for getting more information on buying a 5th or Motorhome. I prefer a 5th above the MH because of the ability to use the truck to go out and see and do shopping when needed. My wife uncle life’s in Oregon and I’m planning on buying the 5th way up ahead and bring it to his place is Oregon or Idaho a good state to buy one? Do you know if a foreigner can buy an RV and get the title on his name or should we let my wife her uncle buy it? If yes what about insurance?

    Thanks for the write-up.

    JJ

  16. Picture of BoyinkBoyinkJuly 19, 2013

    Hi JJ -

    Other than doing some Google searches I have no answers for your questions, sorry.

  17. Picture of Rk Bracewell Rk BracewellAugust 23, 2015

    Hey
    Just found your site on the web getting scared about trading up from travel trailer to 5th will flight or to said we are looking at a used one and will take your hints

  18. Picture of StephanieStephanieSeptember 26, 2015

    Hi Michael,
      Thanks for this great article. We are starting the process of getting on the road (with our 2 little kids) and this is our “great debate” right now: 5th wheel or A-class. We have always camped in an A-class and love it. Now that we are looking to go full time, I thought I would explore all of our options. The big thing that turned me away from “pull trailers” is I thought they didn’t usually come with an on board generator, which is a must for us. Do you have one? and did it come standard? thoughts??? TIA.

  19. Picture of BoyinkBoyinkSeptember 26, 2015

    We don’t have a generator. We haven’t boondocked much to need one. We intend to try more boondocking but will look into solar rather than a generator. Some 5th wheels come with gensets but you’ll have to research that - toy haulers are probably more likely to.

  20. Picture of MarieMarieJune 26, 2016

    I’m so glad I found your page.  Thank you for sharing your insight.  We are getting ready to jump into the RV world and some nights my head is spinning from reading so much, but It’s going to be full time for us for quite a while.  Our starting point is matching it up with our truck, since we already have that.  2010 RAM 2500 diesel auto 5speed 2wd.  It’s what we got so that’s the start.
    Thanks again.

  21. Picture of MarieMarieJune 26, 2016

    OH and it’s just the two of us, no kids no pets.

  22. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael BoyinkJune 26, 2016

    Hey Marie - thanks for the comment. With that truck you should have plenty of options.

  23. Picture of AnsleyAnsleyJuly 20, 2016

    Awesome article, thank you for writing it. The past couple of years I’ve been thinking of getting a 5th Wheel because of my height (6’4 250 lbs) I don’t think I’ll fit comfortable in the others.

    Would you have a break down cost of how much to live at a RV park? I’m Military and I know there sites and discounts but what’s the average of a month stay or long enough to flush out and load up your system while get some rest?

  24. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael BoyinkJuly 20, 2016

    Hi Ansley - thanks for the comment.

    Cost breakdowns are tough - it’s like asking “how much is apartment rent?” or “how much is a house payment?” 

    The costs vary radically based on location and type of park.  We’ve paid $12/night for camping and we’ve paid near $60/night.

    Your best bet is to research some parks where you want to be and see what their daily/weekly/monthly rates are.

  25. Picture of Cindy LairdCindy LairdSeptember 05, 2016

    Hi Michael,
    We are two female seniors… one in the mid 50s and the other in the mid 60’s.  Our camping type experience is limited to primitive van camping, but we are now considering something a little nicer. I had pretty much assumed for a long time I would get a small Class C, but the more I think about it, I think we will be unhappy without a tow car.  So now the consideration is whether we would be better off with a 5th Wheeler.  Our concerns are decreasing physical strength,  not being very technical in our thinking and never having towed a vehicle.  But we are adventurous, and competent in many ways.  Do you think we would be able to handle hooking up the 5th wheeler and other tasks associated with it.  In terms of towing for novices, do you think the 5th wheeler would be easier than towing a car behind a Class C.  Do you have other suggestions given our age, non techy minds, and diminishing strength for us to consider. Thanks so much for your help.  I appreciate your thoughts.

  26. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael BoyinkSeptember 06, 2016

    Hi Cindy.

    I’ve towed utility trailers behind cars and Jeeps. I’ve towed Jeeps behind cars, trucks and Class A and Class C motorhomes.

    For me the hitching up process of a 5th wheel is bar far the easiest. You can see everything from the driver’s seat - both the kingpin and the hitch. Even if you need help it’s all standing-up work at chest or eye level (depending on your height).

    There are no safety chains, tow-bar pins, or hitch-arms to install.  You back the truck in, line up the hitch & king pin, bring them together, latch the hitch, plug in the electric, and attach the break-away cable and you’re done.

    However.

    Once out on the road I’d say towing a car behind a motorhome is easier. You’re in the big thing towing the little thing vs. the opposite with the fifth wheel.

    The fifth wheel pushes the truck around more (we’ve mitigated some of that with hitch that absorbs some of that and highly recommend you do as well).

    It can be easy to forget about the fifth wheel height because you aren’t driving in it.

    It’ll take longer to learn how to park the 5th wheel (but you can focus on pull-through spots).

    I’d say find a way to both be walked through the hitching process and experience the driving experience of each approach and see what you are more comfortable with.

  27. Picture of Helen BaileyHelen BaileySeptember 15, 2016

    Hi there, I just found your little write up and have to say “thanks”.  We are visiting Hershey PA from Ontario Canada and are attending the largest RV show in North America.  Needless to say, after day 1, we are overwhelmed.  We thought we wanted a Class A, 31ft or smaller, but now we are second guessing that and thinking 5th wheel, 32ft or less.  Your article brings some new perspective to the search on what’s right for us.  I’m so afraid of buying a bus.  Will we be nervous driving it?  Will we regret it and then sell at a great loss.  Will we avoid alot of routes and miss out on the “travel” experience because we stick only to highway driving.  Also, I didn’t realize you couldn’t back up when towing.  That’s a big deal.  Thanks for writing this article.  It is a great help to read others experiences.

  28. Picture of Troy BlackburnTroy BlackburnFebruary 27, 2017

    That’s a good point you make about how 5th wheel trailers have more headroom for taller people in the living area. I’ve heard, too, that 5th wheel trailers require much less maintenance than traditional RVs and other motor homes. We’ve been looking to buy a 5th wheel for a fun family trip this summer, and I’ll have to keep this useful information in mind as we make our decision.

  29. Picture of petepeteMarch 21, 2017

    i think a 5th wheel is the best option, too often the engine and or tranny on a regular camper can present problems. a fith wheel pulled by a reliable vehicle wont in most cases do this. and your vehicle can be replaced not the entire camper. im considering this in   7 yrs to not spend a huge rent fee on housing and actually live in my nice trailer!

  30. Picture of BryanBryanJune 09, 2017

    My son is going to buy some unimproved property about 300 miles from home, and won’t have the money to build on it for a few years because of the zoning restrictions ... Gotta love New York!
    Anyway, I started thinking about buying something we could live in for the time being. I’d like to get something I could leave there year round, but I have been told that no matter what the salesman says, there is nothing on the market with a roof strong enough to withstand Catskills Mountain snowfalls.
    Your thoughts?

  31. Picture of EdEdJuly 02, 2017

    Hi, Mike. I appreciate this page/comments. It has been a “refreshing” reading. My wife & I are retired and not much money. We are planning on making RVing our future life (?). We concluded that Fifth Wheel + the needed truck is the way to go.  Your article took me through my own dilemmas. Every dealer tries to sale to you what they sale. My conclusion? Do not trust their “excellent ideas for me.” In trying not to pay unnecessary features, my last deep questions are:  We would try to avoid the extremes: cold/hot geo areas if possible. What it would be the right type of insulation, say from 5° to 100°?  (2) What size/kind of pick up would be right for a… 9k to 11k loaded 5-Wheel? We want to buy a new 29’-32’ RV ($32ish) & a used pick up. Unless we find a used-combo that we “cannot refuse”. Thank you. Please keep up with this page. You help a lot. Blessings, ed

  32. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael BoyinkJuly 03, 2017

    @bryan - I really have no experience or data to answer that, sorry.

  33. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael BoyinkJuly 03, 2017

    @ed - Thanks for the comments.
    #1: Not sure how to answer that. I haven’t shopped for a new RV since 2013. I don’t know what different types of insulation the manufacturers are using now. I think with anything you buy you’ll find your comfort zone will be more like 30 - 90.

    #2: I haven’t shopped for trucks for 7 years and haven’t kept up with what’s the hot setup these days.  There’s no quick/easy answer.

    Just look at the specs weight-wise and make sure you get a truck that has a few thousand pounds more capability than what you’ll be towing.

  34. Picture of LisaLisaJuly 13, 2017

    Boyink!!! Lisa(Jill) from ExpressionEngine!! It’s been a long time since our EE days and I find myself again impressed by your love of helping others.

    How are you dealing with internet out there?  I’m seriously contemplating renting out my house and moving into RV life.  I know you have to deal with the Internet question - any tips?  Multiple hot spots etc, I’ll be getting one each from multiple carriers.  Anything else you can share?

    Also - did you consider Toy Haulers given the needs for an office space?  I’m contemplating a toy hauler for just that reason and curious if you have contemplated similar that in the years’ since this article.

    Lastly - have you seen any cool contraptions for things like attached dog runs that can be easily deployed at site to give dogs a secure outdoor area?  I’ve been doing a ton of research on this one but curious what you have actually run across in your travels.

    -Lisa

  35. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael BoyinkJuly 13, 2017

    Hey Lisa - nice to bump into you again!

    For internet, I’ve detailed our past setups here. Most of that gear got sold with the fifth wheel.  Right now we are just using a verizon mifi. We’ve been making it work but will eventually add an amplifier/antenna setup again.

    I’d recommend buying the book offered by Technomadia - Chris and Cherie have the pulse of the current mobile internet setups. I usually just buy what they recommend.

    Toy haulers - yes, we considered them. Many families use them to have that flex space in the garage for extra freezers, school space, office space, etc.

    The thing to be aware of with toy haulers is that they are designed assuming you will be carrying something heavy in the back. The axles are positioned further back than other RVs to balance out that weight. Without the weight of heavy toys in the back they will have heavier pin weight up front on the truck.

    Basically - I didn’t want to buy a 1-ton dually truck to accommodate a toy hauler that wasn’t hauling a heavy toy.

    Take a look at this post for other ideas on how to build an office in an RV.

    I’ve learned to just be happy on a laptop..;)

    Dogs - I’ve seen portable fences for small dogs. I’ve seen little doggy doors with custom steps running into slide-outs. But mainly we see dogs either in the RV or leashed to the RV outside.

    But again, we haven’t traveled with dogs so haven’t had that experience first-hand.

    Good luck on your research!

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