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RE: Flagstaff to Flaming Gorge UT or Cody WY to Red Lodge MT

Just had to add I agree w/ the others about Flaming Gorge... Lucerne Marina or Manila. The WY side of the Gorge kind of stinks, IMO. We did 7 days boondocking there near Buckboard Marina and will never do it again. The UT side at least has more trees and greenery. Something to note, there is a free dump station in Rock Springs at the Wastewater Treatment Facility. Right off I-80 and very easy to get in/out.
JAC1982 01/17/20 03:42pm Roads and Routes
RE: is there a blue book" for toy hauler brands

I usually just go on RV Trader to see what trailers similar to the one I'm looking at are listed at. I've always found NADA to be way high. For example, just last week, NADA said our low retail value was $49,000. We talked to a dealer about a trade in, they offered us $35,000. I know trade-in is always less than retail. A similar model with a smaller garage and no generator is for sale in Utah for $45,000 (that was the only thing I could find on RV Trader "nearby"), so we were expecting something closer to that. I think if we listed it for sale ourselves, we would list it at around $49,900. We owe more than that even, but I agree most people list it for what they owe on it. Dealers will always low ball. They take a trade low and resale higher to make money off your trade. Same goes with used autos. Wow, really? I had no idea. Sorry, that was sarcastic. And yes, we've already traded something in before so we know the drill. We just didn't think they'd lowball us by that much.
JAC1982 01/17/20 03:33pm Toy Haulers
RE: Full Hook-ups or no?

We can go 7-8 days without being hooked up to anything, so if we have a longer trip like that, I prefer boondocking so we can really "get away". But if it's a short weekend trip closer to home, full hookups are nice to have because we're already short on time, so we don't have to spend time filling up the water tank or dumping when it's time to go home. At the very least in a campground, we like having electric because the sound of generators when you're trying to relax is annoying. Ours is quiet, but many other people's are not.
JAC1982 01/14/20 02:12pm General RVing Issues
RE: North from Colorado to Mt Rushmore

Where are you starting in Colorado? I-25 from Colorado Springs through Denver all the way up to Ft Collins can get dicey only because of the sheer amount of traffic, even in the middle of the day in some parts. The other concern once you get north of Ft Collins is the wind, but that's something you just have to hope for the best on.
JAC1982 01/14/20 10:22am Roads and Routes
RE: is there a blue book" for toy hauler brands

I usually just go on RV Trader to see what trailers similar to the one I'm looking at are listed at. I've always found NADA to be way high. For example, just last week, NADA said our low retail value was $49,000. We talked to a dealer about a trade in, they offered us $35,000. I know trade-in is always less than retail. A similar model with a smaller garage and no generator is for sale in Utah for $45,000 (that was the only thing I could find on RV Trader "nearby"), so we were expecting something closer to that. I think if we listed it for sale ourselves, we would list it at around $49,900. We owe more than that even, but I agree most people list it for what they owe on it.
JAC1982 01/13/20 12:20pm Toy Haulers
RE: Water and Gas Usage Rates

As already very much mentioned, it depends on your usage. But for reference, we do a boondocking trip in hot weather every year for 5 days. We never come close to running out of water or filling up the gray, but we have a 112 gallon tank. I'd say we might use up 1/3 of the water if we arrive with a full tank. Gray tank is 44 and we maybe use up 3/4 of that. I navy shower every day, including hair washing, husband will every couple days. We use paper plates/plastic utensils, the only thing I wash/rinse out most of the time is the coffee cups and percolator. Our black tank is 44 and it gets on the full side. But I will add that my husband has Crohn's disease, and well, needs a lot of water to flush sometimes, and we both drink a lot (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages) on this trip, so the toilet gets a lot of use. We also run the generator (built in Onan 5500) for 10 hours a day to power 2 AC units, but it's hard to gauge gasoline usage because we just top it off whenever us or someone in our group runs to town and fills up some gas tanks. We don't keep track because we all take turns. Personally, the only thing I really worry about running up to the limit on is the black tank, because that is hard to dispose of and you can't exactly stop using the toilet if it gets full. But, we have once made it to 7 days boondocking on Forest Service land without dumping... husband used a bush for #1 during the day on that trip though :)
JAC1982 01/10/20 05:03pm Beginning RVing
RE: Grand Design Reflection 150 Series

I'm pretty sure you can open at least one of the doors on the fridge - that slide is against the island when in so make sure if that is important to you. It's not to me, so I don't pay much attention to it. The table is held down by screws - most likely easy to remove. We really enjoy the rear living layout in this model - lots of windows and plenty of storage. The TV is directly across from the recliners. The fireplace does a great job of warming things up. I got the bedroom AC as part of the deal. Every time I go into it after being closed up - it still smells new inside. A far cry from the formaldehyde off-gassing Coleman we previously had. I'll be glad to answer any other questions you have. Thank you! After having two other trailers, we've really narrowed down what's important... and loading/unloading the fridge with the slide in is one of them, even if it's only one of the doors to grab a beer right when we get to our destination :) Our current and previous rigs were both toyhaulers, so I'm really looking forward to having rear living with lots of windows. Toyhaulers by nature are dark inside and you don't get to take advantage of views from inside. We are going to an RV show this weekend so we hope to be able to walk through some Grand Designs. They're at the top of our price point but they may be worth it! The GD has a hitch receiver in back, so you may be able to use a cargo carrier to carry your Gen - I'm not sure how big it is or the weight rating on the receiver though. You mentioned you were going to be pulling something though - not sure what that was. The Reflection fifth wheel series comes standard with the 4 point Lippert auto leveling system. I also use the big orange buckets on my landing gear from etrailer. My biggest complaint about this camper is the fridge in the slide out. Stock, it has trouble in the summer keeping it's cool. Winter camping is great. It already comes with 4 fans to suck in air from the bottom over the fins, and out the top and does blow a lot of hot air - but I changed the sensor that turns the fans on at 170 to one that turns them on at 150 and had no issues on our annual 7 day (Florida) summer trip. I put 4 blue ice packs from Walmart in the bottom too. I'd like to upgrade to a residential, and maybe will in future. Just keep that in mind. The four door fridge is an option - make sure your getting what you want. I don't keep beer in the fridge - I always bring an RTIC cooler. The basement holds everything I used to put in my pickup bed besides bikes. Including my 42 gallon Thetford portable tank when not going to a full hookup site. Only other pet peeve is that the DVD player isn't blue ray. I had one from the previous camper so it's not a big deal to hook it up and change input. You will also notice the heater vents on the sides of the island vs in the floor - this is wonderful. Also compare Island construction to other brands - on others, I could open the doors and see outside light. Also compare the lack of motion sensing lights in the pantry and bathroom - and maybe the best one of all - the toilet is made from porcelain instead of plastic. I negotiated 30% off MSRP plus front bedroom AC when purchasing - the rumors of GD not allowing dealers to discount are false. Good luck on your search. Thank you for the information! I think we have switched gears to the Montana High Country 294rl. It's essentially the same floor plan as the GD 303, but comes with the elusive gen prep :) We actually have a collection of Yeti coolers but always like to keep a few beers handy right in the fridge :) We won't have a garage to store the coolers in anymore without a toyhauler so we'll have to lighten our load there. Also, thankfully, the camp spot at our hot music festival is orientated so the fridge would be facing north, so in the shade all day. Otherwise it is rough to keep things cool. One more thing my husband pointed out with this floor plan which is nice is that when the slide with the couch/table is in, we can still maneuver around inside. This is important because we park it in an outbuilding at home, and that side is a tight fit next to the wall. The other side has a whole other bay next to it so there's tons of room there. Current camper only has slides on that back side.
JAC1982 01/09/20 05:39pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Keystone Montana for fulltiming??

I can't help much with the full-timing aspect but I like that floor plan a lot. We are considering a Montana High Country ourselves which is basically that plan, minus the middle bedroom (I'd love to have that as a dog room!). The only thing I'd really look at is the closet space to make sure it's enough for you both, especially if you put in a washer/dryer. I'll also add that getting that price down to 50-60k might be tough. I know the rule of thumb is 30% off MSRP, but that will put you at the top end of your range. Otherwise, we've owned 2 other Keystone products, including our current toyhauler, and we've been happy with both of them. Only reason we keep switching is because our needs change.
JAC1982 01/09/20 05:24pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: New to is mysteries

Yup ours has the two valves for gray similar to how you mention. We did not know this the first time we went to dump, and the one further back was open... that was quite stressful, especially since we didn't know if it was gray or black at the time.
JAC1982 01/09/20 09:27am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Grand Design Reflection 150 Series

I'm pretty sure you can open at least one of the doors on the fridge - that slide is against the island when in so make sure if that is important to you. It's not to me, so I don't pay much attention to it. The table is held down by screws - most likely easy to remove. We really enjoy the rear living layout in this model - lots of windows and plenty of storage. The TV is directly across from the recliners. The fireplace does a great job of warming things up. I got the bedroom AC as part of the deal. Every time I go into it after being closed up - it still smells new inside. A far cry from the formaldehyde off-gassing Coleman we previously had. I'll be glad to answer any other questions you have. Thank you! After having two other trailers, we've really narrowed down what's important... and loading/unloading the fridge with the slide in is one of them, even if it's only one of the doors to grab a beer right when we get to our destination :) Our current and previous rigs were both toyhaulers, so I'm really looking forward to having rear living with lots of windows. Toyhaulers by nature are dark inside and you don't get to take advantage of views from inside. We are going to an RV show this weekend so we hope to be able to walk through some Grand Designs. They're at the top of our price point but they may be worth it!
JAC1982 01/08/20 10:13am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Grand Design Reflection 150 Series

the thing i don't like about GD is that many of the models don't have the 6 point leveling system. After having it on my Montana I'll never NOT have this system. On a shorter trailer, is 6 point necessary or is 4 point sufficient? We have a 6 point on our current toyhauler, but we're also 38' long. But yes, auto-leveling is one of our non-negotiable items :)
JAC1982 01/08/20 10:06am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Grand Design Reflection 150 Series

JAC what would be the reason to have a on-board generator? What are your thoughts on your power supply needs? I ask this as it would be about the same price for a nice lithium solar set up and a 2000 watt generator for those couple times you may want to run the AC unit as well. The solar and batteries could run the rest with no noise and no fuel needed. An annual trip we do is to a music festival where we "boondock" in a field with 30,000 of our closest friends (LOL). It can frequently be 100 degrees during the middle part of the day, so we need plenty of power to be able to run two AC units for 8-10 hours a day. I don't think solar can do this. We've had a year in our old travel trailer where the AC didn't work properly out there, and we never want to do that ever again.... it ruined the trip. So anything we can do to prevent that from happening again, we will do. If we were full timers I would look at a solar set up but since we need the generator anyway for this trip, adding the cost of solar doesn't make sense for us right now.
JAC1982 01/08/20 10:05am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Grand Design Reflection 150 Series

I am trying to avoid calling a dealer to ask this question as I don't want to get sucked into a conversation :) Does anybody know if the Grand Design Reflection 150 Series comes with built-in generator prep? Their website doesn't mention it. Add a gen box to a cargo rack on the rear. May have to have one built, but it can be done. Can make gas or propane, whichever floats your boat. Lyle The issue with that is sometimes, we will also be towing a utility trailer behind the 5er with our side by side on it. We really prefer to have the on-board generator since we've always had one.
JAC1982 01/07/20 02:11pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Grand Design Reflection 150 Series

We have a "hookup" at Cummins so we get the Onan at very low cost. We have one in our current toyhauler and do not find it to be noisy. I can nap with it running and I'm a light sleeper. Anyway though, weight is not an issue with us (tow vehicle is a F350 dually). It's just the shorter length of the Reflection 150's that was appealing. Many other manufacturers have shorter trailers but they're often their low-end models that don't have some of the other amenities we want. We basically want the features/finishes you find in a larger trailer, but shorter length. Proving harder to find. We are at 38' right now and want to go smaller so so 30' sounds like a dream. But it's looking like we'll be in the 32'-34' range in order to "check off the boxes" of everything we want.I have the Reflection 303RLS - listed as 33 feet in length. I am very happy with it and the customer service I have received from the company and mostly my dealer. That is actually the floor plan I liked the best :) Can you remove the dinette altogether pretty easily? Since we are losing the garage space of the toyhauler, I'd like a little area for our dog beds when they are with us (although I'm sure they'd prefer to sleep on the sofa haha). Edit to Add, Also, can you open the fridge when the slides are in?
JAC1982 01/07/20 02:10pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Grand Design Reflection 150 Series

Don't have experience but I've heard built in's suck a lot of propane. TH built in's usually run on the TH gas tank. Yup I learned that today in another post :)
JAC1982 01/07/20 12:59pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Grand Design Reflection 150 Series

We have a "hookup" at Cummins so we get the Onan at very low cost. We have one in our current toyhauler and do not find it to be noisy. I can nap with it running and I'm a light sleeper. Anyway though, weight is not an issue with us (tow vehicle is a F350 dually). It's just the shorter length of the Reflection 150's that was appealing. Many other manufacturers have shorter trailers but they're often their low-end models that don't have some of the other amenities we want. We basically want the features/finishes you find in a larger trailer, but shorter length. Proving harder to find. We are at 38' right now and want to go smaller so so 30' sounds like a dream. But it's looking like we'll be in the 32'-34' range in order to "check off the boxes" of everything we want.
JAC1982 01/07/20 11:35am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Grand Design Reflection 150 Series

I don't think any Grand Design units come with a generator prep as a standard. Even the top of the line Solitude it needs to be optioned in for additional cost. Since it isn't listed as an option on their website I am betting it isn't available at all on their lightweight units. I don't think it's even available on the full size Reflection models. Only the Solitude as an option. To avoid talking to a dealer give GD a call. They are pretty easy to talk to. Customer service number 574-825-9679 Great, thank you. And yes, I just did a "build and price" on a Solitude model and I see the option there, but not on either Reflection ones. Bummer, as the shorter Reflections are really appealing to us. But no generator is a deal-breaker and the Solitudes are getting a little pricey for just a vacation trailer :)
JAC1982 01/07/20 10:44am Fifth-Wheels
Grand Design Reflection 150 Series

I am trying to avoid calling a dealer to ask this question as I don't want to get sucked into a conversation :) Does anybody know if the Grand Design Reflection 150 Series comes with built-in generator prep? Their website doesn't mention it.
JAC1982 01/07/20 10:23am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Question regarding residential refrigerators

Thanks all, glad to hear we would be OK with the generator running a residential refrigerator in addition to both of the ACs. We are not new to RVing, but new to the world of anything but toyhaulers. Our current and previous rigs have both been toyhaulers. So Michelle S's tip about the propane generator is very helpful. As for solar, I am not opposed to it, but initially, it seems like another added expense for something we don't need that often. If we were full-timers, it might make more sense. (Neither of us are even 40 years old yet so we have a ways to go :)) We have a contact at Cummins so we do not pay full price or anywhere near it for the generator if it is not already included with the rig we buy. Our preferred dealer always has them already included with their 5ers and we do not plan on ordering one from the factory. If noise was a concern, we would not be camping "NASCAR" style at a music festival every year :) We leave the quiet trips for the fall when we don't need AC anyway, so the generator is only used for an hour or two every couple days to recharge the batteries so we can have lights at night. The built-in one we currently have is pretty quiet anyway.
JAC1982 01/07/20 10:20am General RVing Issues
RE: Question regarding residential refrigerators

As mentioned, we will buy a 5er that can have a built-in 5500 Onan (our current rig has this and we do not want to give up any amenities we currently have). We don't plan on having a solar set up since we will have the generator. When we boondock, it's usually for 4-7 days. As an example of a use case, one trip is 5 days, at a music festival where it can get close to 100 degrees or above during the day, so we run the generator pretty much all day, and turn it off when we go to the shows around 5pm. We might run the generator a little after we get back around midnight so we can run the AC if the camper feels warm, but we turn it off before we go to bed. My main concern is if a built-in 5500 generator is enough to power a residential fridge, and both ACs, all at the same time. We aren't worried about running the TV or anything else with a heavy draw at the same time, and basically, the only time the generator is off is when we aren't in the camper or are asleep (so the battery would only need to power the fridge during these times).
JAC1982 01/06/20 04:17pm General RVing Issues
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