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 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”

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”

Let the downsizing begin!

Downsizing

About nine years ago I started a little exercise in downsizing my life. Most of it was due to moving from Florida to North Carolina, to Arkansas, to Virginia, and finally Indiana – it was done out of necessity.  Each step along the way I would get rid of more stuff.  You’d think by the time I ended up in Indiana I’d have next to nothing left, and I am pretty close! As far as furniture goes, I only have one Queen Anne chair, ottoman, and a TV stand that are still with me from Florida. The rest is stuff I simply haven’t wanted to part with (some crystal and some other items I just love), plus I’ve purchased a few things in the nearly four years I’ve been in Indiana.  In preparation for moving into an RV full-time, I find myself back in the process of downsizing once again!  Woohoo! Continue reading “Let the downsizing begin!”

Research about the full-Time RV life Part 1

The RV lifestyle and community

It sometimes seems that research on full-time RV life raises as many questions as it answers.  I want to learn as much as possible about RV safety and towing, floor plans, etc. before hitting the road. One thing I’ve learned from reading RV related blogs and websites is that everyone in the RV community is so incredibly helpful and positive.  It seems everyone truly loves it and everyone is an amazing advocate for the lifestyle. I haven’t yet found anyone who tells the reader to run as fast as possible away from full-time RV’ing. I’m sure it’s not everyone’s cup of tea – but apparently those folks are not out there blogging about it!

Continue reading “Research about the full-Time RV life Part 1”