Send a photo of your RV and a 150- to 200-word description of it, how and where you use it, and what you like or don’t like about it, to Diane (at) RVtravel.com . Be sure to include your name(s) and hometown, or if you’re a full-timer. (These are posted in the order received.)
The RVs of RVtravel.com readers and how they use them
Issue 68; Posted Dec. 17, 2016
Ted Sudtell, Full-timer
I tow a 2006 36-foot Teton Experience fifth wheel with a Volvo heavy-duty truck, on which I haul a Smart car. I have been doing this for nine years full-time. I got the truck when I decided the “dog was going to wag the tail, not the tail wagging the dog.” I travel with my dog. She is the only one who will put up with me, plus she likes a new front yard every few weeks.
My thoughts on towing a fifth wheel:
• The heavy-duty trucks are very reliable. I started with 500,000 miles and have put 250,000 miles on it. • The engine should do another 300,000. The mileage is at 9 to 10 mpg. The tanks are 200+ gallons, which means very few stops for fuel.
• For the size, a fifth wheel is more maneuverable and can turn tight corners.
• The Teton is very well built but very heavy. Mine is 36 feet and 21,000 lbs.
• For the length it is very spacious.
• The truck allows me to carry 100 gallons fresh water and 100 gallons extra black. I can dry camp over a month while living like I was hooked up.
• The effort and money to build the truck bed the way I wanted it.
• The total length in RV parks is 64 feet.
• When I get somewhere I want to stay a while — it’s too hard to set up and take down.
I am seriously thinking of changing things. The fifth wheel is quite an effort to set up. I keep looking at motorhomes that look a lot easier. Also, after nine years I’m not sure if I want to keep this up. There is a lot of exciting living to do. I have towed to Alaska four times and it keeps calling me — I may just move up there and travel down here for a few months.
Mike and Carlene Pardina, Oakdale, California
We have had a few RVs over the years: pickup campers and travel trailers in the 1970s through the 1990s. Then for about 15 years … nothing. I retired in 2014, and still had the bug. When I was working I did not have more than three weeks’ vacation a year for over 40 years. So when the wife retired in June of this year, that was all the excuse we needed.
The result was the 31’11” Forest River Rockwood Signature fifth wheel, shown in the picture, which was taken in Elko, Nevada. It has three slides, an island kitchen, and a 42-inch main TV. We love the dining and kitchen areas. It has a layout that is wide open and is one of the best we have ever seen. We researched fifth wheel layouts for six months. We purchased the rig from a long-time dealer in Los Banos, California. The salesman had been there over 30 years! He made the purchase easy. This was our pick, and we are not disappointed.
We have over 13 trips under our belt. The best one so far was to Jordanelle State Park, Utah. We are leaving soon for the Southwest U.S, and to the Oregon Coast. Also, Branson, Missouri, is on the calendar.
We love the RV life, and we have met some very nice people in our travels. My F-350 Ford diesel has 250,000 miles on it; however, we are starting to look for a new truck — but I sure love this one. Never had much problem with it.
Love the newsletter, and my wife says, “Send them a check!” (Editor: Great idea, Carlene. Thanks! 😉 )
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