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RE: Newer 5ers, Slider Hitch Required For Short Beds?

We just did research on this as we just purchased a second F350 with a shortbed (still have the DRW in my signature too). As my signature states, our rig is a 2020 Montana High Country, with a curved front. It would be nice to use this new truck for trips to places like South Dakota where we want to go park "in town" to do stuff and don't want to deal with the dually's size. We determined that we could get by without a slider hitch in certain circumstances, but the last time we were in SD, the park we stayed at put us in a spot that was plenty long, but still required us to jacknife the truck to get the camper in (road narrowed and turned right there, with a post in the way). We would not have been able to park in a spot like that with a short bed and no slider. So I think it comes down to where you want to camp, and the type of camping you do. If you tend to stay in nicer "big rig" friendly campgrounds with easy pull through spots, you're fine. But if you tend to camp in places with tigher spots, might want to look into the slider.
JAC1982 01/15/21 04:14pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Opinion on Resort fees

If it's the only place available in that area, and you NEED to stay there... then you pay it. Who cares what they call the fees, in the end, the total is the total. We pay, what I consider to be, a really high amount to stay at the KOA in Laramie, WY sometimes when UW has home football games. We're basically only there to sleep and then head home the next day. It's not a nice park, we're like sardines, and it's right next to the interstate. But we pay it because it's the only park in Laramie pretty much, and it's still cheaper than a hotel. Supply and Demand.
JAC1982 01/14/21 01:04pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Snow loads for Trailer

We park indoors now but our previous two were both outside and we never had an issue with snow or water intrusion. The sun did more damage than any other kind of weather. Sun can be a killer on all trailers and boats. Yup especially when the trailer is dark gray (Keystone Impact). The whole side that faced south looked absolutely awful. I noticed they only did the dark gray ones for a few years and have now switched back to white.
JAC1982 01/14/21 12:51pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Rentals

My mom and stepdad rented a camper van via Outdoorsy last summer. Their experience was good, but be sure to read the fine print. For example, after 150 miles a day, they were charged mileage, which isn't uncommon, and they did know about this before they rented it so it was not a surprise. But I could see some people not paying attention to that. This doesn't appear to be a thing with trailers, but definitely with vans/motorhomes. The unit itself was nice, well maintained and clean. The only issue they ran into was the space heater in the inventory list was missing, and the owner didn't catch it before they picked it up. Apparently the prior renters had kept it. So the owner offered to reimburse them if they went to buy one themselves. In the end I think it ends up being similar to Air BnB. It's going to depend on the owner and how well they clean/maintain the units. You can read reviews of each unit to determine how nice it is.
JAC1982 01/12/21 12:54pm General RVing Issues
RE: Snow loads for Trailer

We park indoors now but our previous two were both outside and we never had an issue with snow or water intrusion. The sun did more damage than any other kind of weather.
JAC1982 01/12/21 12:49pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Opinions on Grand Design Fifth Wheels

When we were shopping I had it narrowed down to Keystone and Grand Design. Keystone because our last two rigs were Keystone Toyhaulers and we had a good experience with those. Grand Design because they had a decent reputation. Then narrowed it down more to Montana High Country and Reflection. The floor plans were virtually the same. What sealed the deal for the MHC was it had an option for generator prep. The Reflection did not even offer it as an option, only the Solitude did. So that decided it for us, not sure if that is helpful information for you.
JAC1982 01/12/21 12:46pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Mt Rushmore and Yellostone National Park

Another vote for Custer's Gulch in Custer. We stayed there this past June for 7 nights and it was really pleasant and there's plenty of Big Rig spots. Lots of space between sites, which was a plus for us with our dogs. Gets very dark at night (a positive). We'd stay there again. Only big negative was the cell service wasn't great with Verizon, and the wifi wasn't good either. Satellite worked fine. If you have dogs, there is a dog park that was almost always empty right on the east end of town in Custer. Our dogs enjoyed the "leash free" time there. Rafter J Bar looked nice too, and it has more amenities like a swimming pool (also means it attracts more children in certain areas of the campground). It costs more than Custer's Gulch but the location, IMO, is a bit better as it's slightly more centrally located. We'd consider staying there sometime though. The KOA near Rushmore looked like my worst nightmare when we drove through it. Most of the sites are crammed in like sardines, kids running and screaming everywhere...just no. If you have kiddos though, it probably would be fun. Gave us anxiety just driving through in our dually because it was so tight though.
JAC1982 01/05/21 03:44pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Montana Fifth Wheel

I didn't think our Montana HC did too bad in some cold weather we encountered in September (well below freezing overnight, didn't get above 40 with no sun and super windy outside during the day, in WY). We utilized the fireplace as a space heater, and kept the heat around 62 and just wore an extra layer. But, I think part of the problem is, people expect it to be like their house in the winter. No trailer right off the lot is that well insulated. If I were stationary and living in it full time, I would spend the money on some good skirting.
JAC1982 01/05/21 03:15pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Love my Fithwheel but looking for more...

Our first rig was a 30' bumper pull toyhauler. It had a separate 9' garage. It was tight in there. There was no real bedroom, just a bed shoved in the front corner with a curtain. No actual couch, just a dinette bench. Kitchen was tiny. Only thing spacious about it was the bathroom, but you had to walk through that to get to the garage from the living area. The garage had the normal toyhauler folding couch/bed things, but they weren't comfortable. Point being, the smaller you go, the less functional it gets when it comes to trailers. I can do without a lot of bells and whistles, but climbing over each other to get in and out of bed, and getting out the camping chairs to sit and watch a movie when the weather was bad got real old real fast. If you're wanting space for a recliner, I don't think either option you mention is going to make you happy. Just look at smaller 5th wheels. Ours is 34' (downsized from 38' toy hauler 5th wheel) and I could live in it full time if I needed to. They came out with a 32' model a few months after we bought ours.
JAC1982 12/31/20 01:11pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Looking for mid bunkroom 5th wheel

Montana High Country 334/335BH has a rear bunk with a half bath and it's not much bigger than the one you're looking at. But it has less living space. The 31MB is a nice layout.
JAC1982 12/31/20 01:01pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Collecting 5th wheel Tow Data, just for fun, 2000 mile trip

I did a survey of "Independent" RV/HotShot light trucks in 2016 traveling from SoCal to Elkhart, IN. It was EZ-PZ as mentioned pen and paper. Example below. The result was RAM #1 by far, Ford and GM were close until we got into Elkhart area and there were many 7.3 older Fords doing local hauls between suppliers. https://i.imgur.com/101EYwzl.jpg My father in law had an oil field hot shot business for years. Always ran Dodge/RAMs, except he got himself a GMC 3500 Denali at one point :) Ended up getting in a wreck w/ the Denali and it got totalled, and they still have the Dodge 5500 that's still truckin' along even though they shut down the business. It just tows their 5th wheel these days :)
JAC1982 12/28/20 11:54am Fifth-Wheels
RE: 2021 Fall trip MI to Rushmore then AZ

Thank you everyone for the suggestions. I plan on going south and not over the mountain. Was wondering about 18 down through Lusk after Rushmore then down 85 to 25 around Cheyenne. We will never have a day over 400 miles, don't stop for restaurants, but do walk the dog. The two non-interstates are my only concern but will look at them before the trip. After AZ we go to FL for the winter until April. We live NE of Denver and did a trip to the Black Hills in June and we stayed in Custer, so we did the route heading south of Custer on 385 and eventually ending up on Highway 18 then 85. It was an easy drive overall... a little windy but that's going to happen anywhere up there. Roads themselves are good with no low overpasses or trees or anything like that (our rig is 13'5" tall). There's a truck stop (Western Travel Terminal) on the east end of Torrington with lots of parking and easy access gas pumps. I-25 through Denver and all the way down to Colorado Springs stinks pretty much all the time, even in a car, just like any interstate through a heavily populated area. You can take E470 to get through the Denver part, which is a toll, to avoid most of it, but it will cost you around $25 to go all the way around. Right now there is lots of construction with narrow lanes on I-25 around Monument, but I don't know what the ETA is for completion. To avoid that, you can take Highway 83, then hop back on I-25 in the Springs. It's a 2 lane highway, but easy driving. There's a chance of a snow storm in October, just like this year there was snow right after Labor Day... but some years there's nothing so you'll just have to watch the forecast when the time comes and be ready to wait it out a day or two. If you do have to go through, chains are only required on I-70. I don't even own a set.
JAC1982 12/18/20 03:19pm Roads and Routes
RE: Smallest RV anyone has full timed in?

She doesn't full time anymore, but https://rvsueandcrew.net/ full timed for years in a Casita, her and a couple pups. I think I could happily full time in a 28' trailer... just gotta ditch the husband ;)
JAC1982 12/07/20 10:25am Full-time RVing
RE: Purchased my first RV

If any of these other options aren’t feasible for some reason, you can make a storage “tube” out of pvc with a threaded cleanout cap on one end and mount it under the trailer. Ours came with this :) To the OP, I also suggest that in addition to the hose, you get a plastic bucket (I bought mine at the grocery store, it's a cheap 3 gallon one), and put this under the cleanout to catch any drips when you open it prior to putting the hose on. In that bucket we also keep a few rags, some paper towels, some rubber gloves, and Clorox wipes. The bucket came in handy on our first dump on our last rig. We didn't realize it had a second gray tank valve (this won't be the case with you), and when we opened the cleanout, gray water starting pouring out. We were able to get the hose on pretty fast, but the bucket was able to catch most of the water before we got the hose on.
JAC1982 12/03/20 01:08pm Beginning RVing
RE: Honest RV Dealers - Are there any?

Our worst experience was our first purchase at a "Mom and Pop" type dealer. We were total newbies and they could sense that and took advantage. The year after our purchase they were bought by Lazy Days and their service department was fine there, just slow like all around here. Our second purchase was at a larger, regional dealer that has a few locations in our state. Our salesman was great, he had 20+ years of experience in the service department so he was very knowledgable, and even gave us his cell phone to call him after our purchase was complete with any questions. Their service department was also slow, but again, they all are in our area due to the high demand and lack of workers. Our recent purchase was at Lazy Days and it was fine. We knew more about the rig we were buying than the salesman did as we had done extensive research prior to purchasing, but that didn't bother us. In the end, we got the rig we wanted, at a price we were happy with. Moral of the story? Do your own research, and just use the salesman as your final stop. Oh and don't go to Camping World :)
JAC1982 11/18/20 12:24pm General RVing Issues
RE: RV Flag Pole

We have the Flagpole Buddy fiberglass pole and mount. We've only had it for one summer, but it did great in some pretty windy conditions. We did take it down when some 40+mph winds hit us in Wyoming :) We have two flags on it usually.
JAC1982 11/16/20 01:36pm General RVing Issues
RE: Must-haves for Van or SUV as tow vehicle?

Oh also I forgot to mention, my in laws tow a 25' travel trailer or a boat (obviously not at the same time) with their Toyota Sequoia and it does just fine.
JAC1982 11/13/20 12:37pm General RVing Issues
RE: Must-haves for Van or SUV as tow vehicle?

You may want to check out the blog RV Sue and her Canine Crew. https://rvsueandcrew.net/ She doesn't post much anymore as she no longer full times, but her older posts might be helpful to you, especially the very oldest when she was preparing to full time. She full timed for years with a Chevy van and a Casita travel trailer. I can answer one question, yes, any vehicle can be outfitted for towing. But the towing capacity without the factory tow package is severely limited. I'd try to look for one that came with the towing package. Often on dealership websites, you can view the original window sticker that lists all the options on the vehicle. Even my car, an Explorer, came with a towing package, but still doesn't have a brake controller, so if I ever wanted to tow anything other than a little utility trailer (which I don't), I'd need to add that.
JAC1982 11/13/20 12:31pm General RVing Issues
RE: Not Utilizing RV Parks or Boondocking

Just depends on the trip. But to answer what I think the original question was, which is, have we ever parked our 5th wheel in the parking lot and stayed in a hotel room, the answer is no. We don't have one as nice as we have to just go stay in a hotel room. Plus we have 3 dogs. The decision on whether to take the 5er or stay in a hotel comes into play more for quick weekend trips somewhere (we leave the dogs at home for these, or only bring one). For that, we decide on what's cheaper. For example, in previous years, we like to drive to Laramie for UW football games and the drive is short enough where we can leave Saturday morning and still have the full day ahead of us there. We can get there faster and spend less on gas in a car. But often, hotel rooms on game nights can be $200+ a night, plus the extra funds to eat out for a few meals (vs in the camper we can bring our kitchen with us). So we weigh out which is cheaper... stay at a hotel or pay the $50-60 at the KOA and take the camper. One time, we went up there for a concert. For that trip, it was cheaper to stay at a hotel as the rates were lower than on game nights.
JAC1982 11/11/20 03:44pm General RVing Issues
RE: Motorhome vs travel trailer for cross country with pets??

Pet situation... I know that the practical and probably much more sensible option would be to rehome at least some of the pets, but they are my family and my responsibility and I just have a hard time with that. The bunny may be able to go back to his original home, as I’m just looking after him as a favor. Otherwise, though, I’m pretty committed. I moved from WA to VA with 2 dogs, 4 birds, and a snake in a Subaru Outback Sport :D One of the dogs, 2 of the birds, and the snake are still with me. The others have passed away of old age in the meantime. The birds are actually awesome travelers... they just hang out in their travel cage and enjoy listening to music with the windows rolled down and the wind blowing through their feathers... :) Animals are animals, not friends or family, they are a "hobby" sort of like RVing, they are a commitment that takes considerable time and effort for you to maintain. They don't take care of you, they don't fix your meals, they don't take you to the movies, to the mall, to dinner out. Re-homing will allow you more time and energy to make your trip, get settled into your new place and get the lay of the land. You will be surprised at just how much work and stress can be involved with driving and setting up a RV even without all the extra animals. I am not against animals, just a bit more practical.. Grew up with Sisters that got fish, then got ponies, then that turned into horses, rabbits, chickens, cats, dogs, mice and much, much more.. They can't go anywhere without having to find folks willing to take on those chores or dragging a few around with them. Make your trip easy and more memorable with less luggage to take with you. One could argue the same thing about human children. But nobody tells someone to get rid of those when they are trying to decide which tow vehicle to buy.
JAC1982 11/11/20 03:15pm General RVing Issues
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