Towing an RV – It’s complicated!

I have been researching RV’s and trucks for several months now and I am no closer to making a decision than I was from the start! It’s complicated! At least towing is.

Here’s my dilemma

I still can’t decide whether or not to purchase a fifth wheel, which I feel I could easily live in full-time. To do that I’d need a 3/4 ton truck (read on). I almost got laughed out of a Chevy dealership because I said that I was told I could pull a fifth wheel with a 1/2 ton truck. Their response was – “there’s no way in hell you can pull a fifth wheel with a 1/2 ton truck.” The tongue/pin weight was over capacity in this case. Not sure why they were laughing at me – that’s what I was told. Sure, you probably could pull it, but you’ll be right up against the maximum towing capacity – and that’s not safe, they said. I’ve also read that from numerous sources.

I think a 1/2 ton truck would be better for me as far as daily driving when I’m not RV’ing, but I feel that a 3/4 ton truck would definitely be better for towing anything over 8,000 lbs. fully loaded. 

Who is right?

I’ve read on many RV blogs and in RV groups on Facebook, etc. that to be on the safe side, you should never tow more than 80% of the trucks’ max towing capacity. I can only assume that’s correct – at least my gut agrees. I just want to make sure I have enough power to get in and out of the  mountains without tearing up my truck, or falling off the side of a mountain because I can’t stop on the way down! 

I’m looking at an ad right now that boldly states that the fifth wheel is 1/2 ton tow-able. It’s dry weight is 7,000 lbs., GVWR is 10,000 lbs. Most 1/2 ton trucks can’t pull that weight except the EcoTec3 6.2L V8 w/max trailering package (or a similar truck). The Chevy dealer I talked to told me the 6.2L V8 with MTP is very rare and very hard to find, so unless you’re lucky enough to find one get the 2500, he said. Sure, I could probably order one, but I can’t afford a brand new truck.

I’ve also been told that I could simply add airbags to a 1500 and be just fine vs buying a 2500. After further research I have learned that adding airbags does absolutely nothing to increase the max towing capacity of the truck, or how much weight the rear axle can safely bear. The max towing capacity of the truck is on a sticker inside the door and in the owners manual.  The most airbags will do is make your ride a bit smoother.

Safety first!

If you are thinking about purchasing an RV – please, please, please – do the research on towing. Make sure you are towing safely – not only for you and your family, but for others around you on the road as well. I’m no expert, as you can tell. So please do the research required for safe towing.

Finally,  if you are towing over capacity,  you are putting yourself at risk of not being covered by your insurance company in the event of an accident. Not to mention being sued by anyone injured in a crash. Some States even stop and inspect rigs for legal towing, so keep that in mind.

Do the research! As frustrating and confusing it may be, I feel more comfortable knowing, with a fair amount of certainty, that I will be safely towing.

It will all come together!

I’ll figure it out eventually, but I think I’ll stop stressing over it for a couple of months. February will give me plenty of time to find what I want before July (when my apartment lease expires). Besides, Christmas is coming fast, and I don’t want to be worrying about trucks and RV’s. 

If you have any helpful hints or suggestions they will be most welcome. Comment below, please!

Safe travels and happy holidays to all!

-Deb

Game Change!

Two things in life are certain — one is Change! 

Well, the kids have decided not to start full-time RV living in the spring. If you haven’t been following my blog, “the kids” are my son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren. Can’t say that I blame them. It’s a huge decision to start full-time RV’ing with three small children and the uncertainty of whether or not they could make a living on the road and not burn through their savings. They need to step back and take more time to figure this out. The plan is still to leave Indiana and move south in May. They hope to buy a small pop-up or small camper and take baby steps by camping on the weekends. That will certainly help them figure out whether or not they want to live the lifestyle full-time, and how to support themselves if they do.

Continue reading “Game Change!”

My RV Travels Bucket List – National Parks

Petrified Forest
Petrified Forest

Roads Already Traveled

I’ve done a fair amount of traveling in my life. Via vacations and business trips I’ve been to New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Dallas, San Francisco, San Diego, Mexico, Toronto, Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, the Ozarks, the Florida Keys (and most of Florida), Upstate New York, New Orleans, the Shenandoah Valley and National Park, every Civil War battlefield east of the Mississippi, and many, many, beaches. I will likely add many of these places to my RV travels bucket list to visit again but, for the purposes of this list, I am focusing on national parks. I’m sure we will visit Washington, D.C. again, as that is definitely a must for the grandchildren.

Continue reading “My RV Travels Bucket List – National Parks”

My Quest for the “Perfect RV” Part 2

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

How do you choose the right RV? Well, I’ve been looking at all the different types of RV’s and floor plans for a few months now and I still can’t make a decision. One day I’m convinced that I’ll buy a 25′ fifth wheel, the next I consider a 25′ travel trailer, and the next I’m considering a Class C and towing a small car. One thing is certain (for now), I don’t want a Class A. For some reason the thought of buying a Class A lasts only a nanosecond.

Continue reading “My Quest for the “Perfect RV” Part 2″

Research about the full-time RV life Part 2 – RV Safety

Research and Reading

I’ve been doing a lot of research and reading on the internet this weekend about different aspects of full-time RV life.  I’ve also joined several Facebook groups related to RV’ing. Along with all the positive energy out there, there are also some horror stories being talked about. There is also a ton of good advice to be found.   Continue reading “Research about the full-time RV life Part 2 – RV Safety”

My Quest for the “Perfect” RV #1


Searching for the “perfect” RV has been incredibly time-consuming – and tons of fun!  My main goal for now, since we’re not hitting the road until Spring, 2019, is to find a floor plan that I absolutely love! RVT.com has become my main source simply because I’m only looking at floor plans (and weight) and their site is the easiest to use that I’ve found.  I can watch units I like for price changes or sales, and save my favorites to Pinterest to refer back to later. Continue reading “My Quest for the “Perfect” RV #1″

Sam’s New Life as an RV Pet – Part #1

Meet Sam!

Meet my side-kick, Sam! He is half Chihuahua and half Yorkshire Terrier – a Chorkie. Sam weighs 6 lbs. and just turned 2 years old. He doesn’t know his lifestyle is about to change dramatically — joining other full-time RV pets. I don’t think he’ll mind much as long as he’s with me. And like most dogs, he’s a great traveler. When he was a pup he mostly slept and/or vomited in the car. Now he’s a bit more interested in what’s going on and the changing scenery. But…. he still runs and hides whenever he knows I’m getting dressed to go out, afraid I’m going to put him in the car! He knows the difference between me getting dressed to go for a walk and me getting dressed to leave the apartment for other reasons. 

 

Sam’s LIttle Quirk

Sam has only one little (big) quirk, –  he barks (or growls) at every little thing (grrrrrr!),  so I’m a little worried about him in campgrounds. We’re working to correct that behavior.  Continue reading “Sam’s New Life as an RV Pet – Part #1”

Websites, domains and blogs! Oh my!

Starting an RV travel and the full-time RV lifestyle blog may seem overwhelming at first. The thought of setting up websites, domains, and blogs can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Whatever your reason for blogging – just do it!

I love writing, even though I’m no expert. But you know what they say about practice, right? The more you do it the better you become. Not only will your writing get better, but you’ll start thinking about writing topics on everything you see, do, touch and feel. Keep a notepad handy! I started a blog several years ago about my family genealogy, mostly just to record it for future generations. I’m glad to be writing again. Continue reading “Websites, domains and blogs! Oh my!”