Re: Anyone have RV experience?

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Crow wrote: Sat Jul 31, 2021 11:27 am Overall I love traveling with the trailer, especially the new Wolf Pup... we took it out to Montana in the spring and we're headed that way again next week. 25 hours from California, but with the trailer it's like you're always kind of at home!
We bought a new 2021 Wolf Pup, 22' bunkhouse version too. It's a great little trailer, our very first one. It's good for the weekend trips if you're not on a sewer hookup. We've found the 17gal gray water fills up fast. :crazy:

To the OP - highly recommend the renting/testing first. Camping requires some commitment. We've also found that the "stocking up" costs can cost a few bucks as well - but it is worth it to buy now, work now.

There are a bunch of good getting started videos and blog posts out there on what you'll need.

Is it worth it? Depends on your use case. For us, we like to travel to places and either hang out to fish/hike, or visit nearby locations for their attractions during the day and come back to enjoy a meal/fire at the camper. If you're more of a "go to vegas and gamble" kind of traveler, where the bed is just a 4 to 8 hour pause, RVing might not be your thing? Only way to really know is try it a time or two.

Good luck!

Re: Anyone have RV experience?

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Thanks! We like the idea of always having our own place...but are trying to find places to go locally that aren't strictly woods adventures. Destinations are turning out to be just as important as the accommodations. My pickup's towing max in 9500# which, of course, means when parked we have a vehicle, and it can very comfortably seat 4 for long trips, three with the dog's crate. Still, a 50 gallon water tank adds 400#. Plus, we noticed that a lot of rentals have all kinds of sneaky surcharges--excess mileage, use of generator, etc.

BTW, what size generator is usually used? I have a big 5500 watt Honda, and 2 2K inverters that can be paired. The 2Ks are far more convenient.
"The upper class: keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class: pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class."--George Carlin

Re: Anyone have RV experience?

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YankeeTarheel wrote:Thanks! We like the idea of always having our own place...but are trying to find places to go locally that aren't strictly woods adventures. Destinations are turning out to be just as important as the accommodations. My pickup's towing max in 9500# which, of course, means when parked we have a vehicle, and it can very comfortably seat 4 for long trips, three with the dog's crate. Still, a 50 gallon water tank adds 400#. Plus, we noticed that a lot of rentals have all kinds of sneaky surcharges--excess mileage, use of generator, etc.

BTW, what size generator is usually used? I have a big 5500 watt Honda, and 2 2K inverters that can be paired. The 2Ks are far more convenient.
2 x 2k is by far what most people prefer. 4k will definitely run the A/C & fridge which is the main load demand. Most fridges can also be run off propane. However you don’t really need a genset if you stick to campgrounds with shore power.

Most people pull tanks dry as well; and fill at the campground as to not pull the extra several hundred pounds of water. I do pull out he water tank full when I am going less than an hour away, and I know there will be a long fill line.


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Re: Anyone have RV experience?

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Hasaf wrote: Sat Jul 31, 2021 8:03 pm I went in a different direction. I went looking for the lightest thing that had my minimum specs: separate bed and dinette, toilet, shower.
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This is one of those things that no one is wrong on. It comes down to looking for different things.
Nice setup! I like the small idea. Some day if I retire to a small house with a bit of yard and driveway I wouldn’t mind an even smaller trailer camper.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: Anyone have RV experience?

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I have a 26' fifth wheel toy-hauler. 6800lbs empty. It is a KZ Sportster, we ordered it brand new and it's kind of a POS. Before that we had 1987 Lance Truck camper that my wife and I lived in for 2 years and traveled through the USA, Canada and Mexico. The Lances from the late eighties and early nineties had superb build quality and appliances, the new ones not so much. You will want to make sure you get comfortable backing up, take a class if you need to. I drove tractor trailers in my early twenties so it's easy for me. Being able to hook up by yourself is very useful. You are highly unlikely to find a camper in the weight class that you are looking for that will have a washer and dryer. If you want to be able to boondock for long you'll probably want to add a composting toilet and use the black tank for fluid only. The C-Head is a good option. Grey water can be dumped on forest roads when leaving primitive campsites. I always tow with water tanks full because we boondock in national forests and sleep in truckstops and rest areas often while traveling. The water heaters and furnaces are propane hogs. Buy a nice comforter and never leave the water heater running on propane. Heat it up, use what yo need and turn it off. The fridge and stove run a very long time on our two 30 gallon propane tanks. Our tow vehicle is a 2003 GMC SIerra, crew cab, long bed, dually diesel. Make sure your tow vehicle has load range E tires.

For us it is a wonderful way to travel and we use the hell out of ours. The Lance went to the first two LGC National Meetings.

ETA: To us it is very important that everybody have a permanent space to sleep that requires no set up or de-commissioning of some other camper feature like a dinette. I do not want to have to f around to go to bed after a long day on the road. Also, the number one thing people have issues with is slide outs. Part of the reason I selected our camper is that it was one of the very few toy haulers without any. Even if they don't outright break they are usually an insulation and potential water leak problem.
'Sorry stupid people but there are some definite disadvantages to being stupid."

-John Cleese

Re: Anyone have RV experience?

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INVICTVS138 wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 8:47 am
YankeeTarheel wrote:Thanks! We like the idea of always having our own place...but are trying to find places to go locally that aren't strictly woods adventures. Destinations are turning out to be just as important as the accommodations. My pickup's towing max in 9500# which, of course, means when parked we have a vehicle, and it can very comfortably seat 4 for long trips, three with the dog's crate. Still, a 50 gallon water tank adds 400#. Plus, we noticed that a lot of rentals have all kinds of sneaky surcharges--excess mileage, use of generator, etc.

BTW, what size generator is usually used? I have a big 5500 watt Honda, and 2 2K inverters that can be paired. The 2Ks are far more convenient.
2 x 2k is by far what most people prefer. 4k will definitely run the A/C & fridge which is the main load demand. Most fridges can also be run off propane. However you don’t really need a genset if you stick to campgrounds with shore power.

Most people pull tanks dry as well; and fill at the campground as to not pull the extra several hundred pounds of water. I do pull out he water tank full when I am going less than an hour away, and I know there will be a long fill line.


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I had no idea what size genset was required--I'd hate to have to load the 5500w, needing a ramp to the bed of the truck. 2x2K with a joiner is FAR easier, as they only weigh about 40lbs each. They can be converted to propane--done it before but the problem with that is obvious. Propane fridges are really expensive, too. For an initial test of RVing, a toy hauler isn't necessary--just want to stash a couple of bicycles--no motorcycle! And, obviously, a washer and dryer are unnecessary as we'll be home before we need to do laundry.

But being able to sleep comfortably, with a private bedroom-- not just a curtain or doors with gaps above and below, and a proper commode, sink, and shower is necessary. I don't know much about chemical toilets other than airplanes use them...trains used to just dump the waste on the tracks!--you could see the sleepers underneath when you flushed!

IF we find we really like it and want to spend a lot of time on the road, we'll think about some kind of land yacht toy hauler rather than investing in a diesel dually, a 5th wheel hitch and 5th wheel toy hauler.

I'm not the best at backing up trailers--usually have to try repeatedly, but I do have a motorcycle hauler--a Kendall, and 2 trailers at my beach house--one for the hole-in-the-water, named "The Leaky Cauldron", and a folding 4x8 1/2 ton utility trailer from Harbor Freight. So while not unfamiliar, I still pretty much suck at it.
"The upper class: keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class: pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class."--George Carlin

Re: Anyone have RV experience?

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Just for something a bit different:
Cd'A trip.jpg
I bought Binky a few years ago from just the auction pictures.
Ex-Govt. rig. Got it from the INEL in Idaho. Former USGS and DHS.

It's a 7.3 IDI diesel and should run until the end of time. It will run on bio/veggie oil. Also, Binky is a 4x4 and is EMP resistant. 16.5 MPG.

I often haul a small motorcycle on the back for errands for when we are parked, Honda CB250 NightHawk. Gets 75 MPG. Maybe something electric next that I can keep charged with my solar. Or I can haul 2 mtn bikes on the back and 2 road bikes inside. Road bikes NEVER ride outside.

I added the salvaged pop-up, 210 watts of solar with 2 100 Ah batteries, a 12v fridge, AC shore power connection, TV, microwave, gas stove, mini-potty, mini-hot water heater.
Also, an air-ride seat for the driver, a queen bed and room in the back for race car tires, tools, engines, etc.

It's not hotel nice, but my wife can handle it for 2-3 days before we need a motel/shower.

I'm going to build a roof-mounted water tank for showers next.


Total cost so far, maybe 10K with tires?

I'm a big fan of van-based conversions. Maybe look at a used *pro-built* camper van. ;)
"I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations in examples of justice and liberality" - George Washington

Re: Anyone have RV experience?

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RotaryMags wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:41 pm Just for something a bit different:

Cd'A trip.jpg

I bought Binky a few years ago from just the auction pictures.
Ex-Govt. rig. Got it from the INEL in Idaho. Former USGS and DHS.

It's a 7.3 IDI diesel and should run until the end of time. It will run on bio/veggie oil. Also, Binky is a 4x4 and is EMP resistant. 16.5 MPG.

I often haul a small motorcycle on the back for errands for when we are parked, Honda CB250 NightHawk. Gets 75 MPG. Maybe something electric next that I can keep charged with my solar. Or I can haul 2 mtn bikes on the back and 2 road bikes inside. Road bikes NEVER ride outside.

I added the salvaged pop-up, 210 watts of solar with 2 100 Ah batteries, a 12v fridge, AC shore power connection, TV, microwave, gas stove, mini-potty, mini-hot water heater.
Also, an air-ride seat for the driver, a queen bed and room in the back for race car tires, tools, engines, etc.

It's not hotel nice, but my wife can handle it for 2-3 days before we need a motel/shower.

I'm going to build a roof-mounted water tank for showers next.


Total cost so far, maybe 10K with tires?

I'm a big fan of van-based conversions. Maybe look at a used *pro-built* camper van. ;)
In the meantime you can get 5 gallon sun shower (or 2) and a pop-up outdoor shower cabana so you can shower. The tents are on Amazon for under $50.

https://smile.amazon.com/WolfWise-Dress ... 989&sr=8-3
"The upper class: keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class: pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class."--George Carlin

Re: Anyone have RV experience?

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Crow wrote: Sat Jul 31, 2021 11:27 am My wife and I have been hauling the kids around the western united states every summer for a while now with a camper in tow... for a long time we had an old early-70's Cardinal 'canned ham' but this year we upgraded to a Wolf Pup 22 foot trailer as our kids near their teen years and keep getting bigger. It's got a kitchen, fridge, freezer, toilet, shower, dinette, bunks for the kids and a queen sized bed. I'm hauling it comfortably with my Nissan Titan V8 (~10,000 lbs towing capacity).
The pros outweigh the cons in my mind, especially for traveling during Covid. It's easy to find cheap RV parks or campgrounds that require no inside or close contact with others, and at worst you can always Boondock on public land for free for a night or two. Having our own "facilities" means no public restrooms, and the kitchen allows us to cook and eat cheaply (well, relatively... did I mention the near-teen-age boys?).

The Cons are mostly experience-based... as in, if you know how to manipulate a trailer you're going to be fine, but it's a bit of a learning curve, especially when you pull one of those late night "oh this dead end road wasn't where I meant to turn" and have to back up, three point turn, etc. Also, the convenience of towing your own bathroom means you're now a waste management employee, and dumping / monitoring / maintaining your tanks can be a bit of a chore until you get used to it. Then comes the GAS... you're gonna want to buy all the cool RV/Trailer shit (but don't forget, that adds weight!).

Overall I love traveling with the trailer, especially the new Wolf Pup... we took it out to Montana in the spring and we're headed that way again next week. 25 hours from California, but with the trailer it's like you're always kind of at home!
-Crow
I just picked up a wolf pup last year and have used it a ton already. It was a great way to break into RVing. To the author or the original post, I would recommend starting with something small and relatively inexpensive. Get a feel for the lifestyle and the workings of it, then upgrade. Enjoy that wolf pup.

Re: Anyone have RV experience?

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Hollis wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 8:50 pm
Crow wrote: Sat Jul 31, 2021 11:27 am My wife and I have been hauling the kids around the western united states every summer for a while now with a camper in tow... for a long time we had an old early-70's Cardinal 'canned ham' but this year we upgraded to a Wolf Pup 22 foot trailer as our kids near their teen years and keep getting bigger. It's got a kitchen, fridge, freezer, toilet, shower, dinette, bunks for the kids and a queen sized bed. I'm hauling it comfortably with my Nissan Titan V8 (~10,000 lbs towing capacity).
The pros outweigh the cons in my mind, especially for traveling during Covid. It's easy to find cheap RV parks or campgrounds that require no inside or close contact with others, and at worst you can always Boondock on public land for free for a night or two. Having our own "facilities" means no public restrooms, and the kitchen allows us to cook and eat cheaply (well, relatively... did I mention the near-teen-age boys?).

The Cons are mostly experience-based... as in, if you know how to manipulate a trailer you're going to be fine, but it's a bit of a learning curve, especially when you pull one of those late night "oh this dead end road wasn't where I meant to turn" and have to back up, three point turn, etc. Also, the convenience of towing your own bathroom means you're now a waste management employee, and dumping / monitoring / maintaining your tanks can be a bit of a chore until you get used to it. Then comes the GAS... you're gonna want to buy all the cool RV/Trailer shit (but don't forget, that adds weight!).

Overall I love traveling with the trailer, especially the new Wolf Pup... we took it out to Montana in the spring and we're headed that way again next week. 25 hours from California, but with the trailer it's like you're always kind of at home!
-Crow
I just picked up a wolf pup last year and have used it a ton already. It was a great way to break into RVing. To the author or the original post, I would recommend starting with something small and relatively inexpensive. Get a feel for the lifestyle and the workings of it, then upgrade. Enjoy that wolf pup.
We prefer to start by renting, say for a long weekend, rather than buying. Then rent for, say a week, with a few more features.
"The upper class: keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class: pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class."--George Carlin

Re: Anyone have RV experience?

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For an initial test, you don’t even need a bike rack. Just shove them all in the RV.

One of my first fails was a flimsy RV bumper mount that failed on the highway spilling 4 bikes. I was able to shove them all in the camper and proceed on mission. Thankfully, only 2 bikes were destroyed & they were junker kids bikes, that were probably side of the road finds that I fixed up. I always keep my nice bike in the camper.


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Re: Anyone have RV experience?

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OK...Do you put a gun safe in the RV? I'm guessing that even if this is your 2nd home, most Blue states won't recognize it as such and say your transporting firearms illegally.
"The upper class: keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class: pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class."--George Carlin

Re: Anyone have RV experience?

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We're not all NJ. Most states allow transport of unloaded in a locked container that can't be accessed from the passenger compartment while the vehicle is in motion, so long as ammunition is stored in a separate container. If you have a carry license, the rules are somewhat more relaxed.

Re: Anyone have RV experience?

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Mine has a flip-up under bed storage That is very difficult to access due to the size & weight of the upgraded mattress. I can barely get them in and out and need help from my 16 year old son. if I was worried that my smaller kids could access it; I’d just put an angle clasp on it with a padlock as an additional deterrent. (I may do so in the future as they are all not going to be as firearm literate, trustworthy & safe as my oldest.) That’s where I put long guns & ammo. I have a little nightstand side cabinet where I keep my unloaded sidearm while sleeping only, with the ammo in a separate overhead compartment. This gives me a balance between access and unintended access.


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Re: Anyone have RV experience?

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INVICTVS138 wrote:Mine has a flip-up under bed storage That is very difficult to access due to the size & weight of the upgraded mattress. I can barely get them in and out and need help from my 16 year old son. if I was worried that my smaller kids could access it; I’d just put an angle clasp on it with a padlock as an additional deterrent. (I may do so in the future as they are all not going to be as firearm literate, trustworthy & safe as my oldest.) That’s where I put long guns & ammo. I have a little nightstand side cabinet where I keep my unloaded sidearm while sleeping only, with the ammo in a separate overhead compartment. This gives me a balance between access and unintended access.

I also try to avoid traveling in States where I can’t legally carry via reciprocity w/ Ohio. unfortunately one of the only states like that, that I generally can’t avoid is IL, so I just unload my side arm, put it in the camper & blast through there.


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Re: Anyone have RV experience?

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wings wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 11:15 pm We're not all NJ. Most states allow transport of unloaded in a locked container that can't be accessed from the passenger compartment while the vehicle is in motion, so long as ammunition is stored in a separate container. If you have a carry license, the rules are somewhat more relaxed.
Tell me about it! The State actually IGNORES the Federal firearms transportation law, air transport law, and neither issues carry permits (as a rule), nor honors ANY other state's, not even New York's. Hell, in theory, you can't even stop for gas, much less a bathroom break, if you are transporting a firearm. After all, in the 3 minutes you're in the gas station's bathroom, someone might steal your vehicle, with the gun! (that's how they think).
"The upper class: keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class: pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class."--George Carlin

Re: Anyone have RV experience?

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The real thing that's holding us up is finding a really desirable fairly close destination. My wife is NOT a woods person unless it's got wide, super-well defined paths--like the Muir Woods, north of San Francisco, and is morbidly afraid of snakes and all reptiles (turtles being the exception). So, while I mentioned Asbury Park and Cape May, that got a meh, but Corning Glass, Mystic Seaport, and even Niagara Falls is more interesting.

I'd prefer, for a trial run, a smaller trailer my Silverado can pull, but with full bath, A/C, cooking and a truly private master bedroom. No need for a toy hauler or washer/dryer at this point--those are for longer hauls. BTW, when do you need a trailer brake controller?
"The upper class: keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class: pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class."--George Carlin

Anyone have RV experience?

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chgowiz wrote:
YankeeTarheel wrote: Thu Aug 05, 2021 7:32 am BTW, when do you need a trailer brake controller?
I went ahead and got one at time of purchase. It definitely helps to smooth things out and assist with breaking, especially on hills.

I also highly recommend equalizer bars/hitch. Those make such a huge difference in stability when towing.
All this is exactly why people just end up buying them. By the time you add the weight distribution system, BCS installed you are well over a grand into it. Otherwise, you are probably needing to stick to below 2k weight wise for safety.

There are a ton of “non-woods” type campgrounds that you can go to with amenities. My wife likes those too.


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Re: Anyone have RV experience?

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Hey, even California has new wolf pups. Sweet. Come see.
SAN FRANCISCO— Two of California’s three existing wolf families, the Lassen pack and the Whaleback pack, have produced pups this year, according to a new quarterly report published by the California Department of Fish and Game.

“We’re over the moon knowing that for the first time in more than 100 years, California has at least two wolf packs with pups. This is a red-letter moment in wolf recovery for the Golden State,” said Amaroq Weiss, senior West Coast wolf advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “These little ones are here because of legal protections that are crucial to their survival and made it possible for wolves to return.”

In January federal protections were stripped from wolves across nearly the entire lower 48 states. This includes California, but wolves here still are fully protected under the state’s endangered species act. But protections have been removed in neighboring states like Oregon, which is the primary source of wolves that disperse to California.

The Lassen pack, first confirmed in 2017, has had pups every year since then. The pack’s territory straddles Lassen and Plumas Counties. The Whaleback pack was confirmed in late 2020 and ranges in eastern Siskiyou County. In May California’s latest wolf family, the Beckwourth pack, was discovered in southern Plumas County.
https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/ ... 021-08-03/

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