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Emerald525

Looking for advice on RVs Who has them?

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I love camping but as I get older the idea of sleeping in a tent on a air mattress no longer appeals to me. I have a Chevy Colorado diesel with a tow capacity of 7700.

In the past I had a Terry trailer and a Keystone. The Keystone was poorly made in my opinion. I would rather spend more and have a quality RV that is going to last a while then get a poorly made trailer with all the bells and whistles.

I was looking at the Forest River Rpods. Looks like a decent size and seems to be nicely made. I could also purchase a vintage one cheaply as it is sitting in my brother's driveway and have it fixed up. 

Any thoughts ? Also does anyone know if there is a class I can take to actually learn how to pull and hook up a trailer because I know NOTHING about any of this but am wiling to learn.

(As in FYI @Sirena is the handier more mechanical minded one of the group here. I just get by with my charm...:unsure:)

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rvtrader.com

Search for private party, title in hand.  This is a VERY good time of year to look, from here prices seem to go up.

We picked up a 2012 29' Thor Ace from a lovely couple last year like new and 50% of the new price.

The year before we rented an RV and fell in love.  The writing was on the wall.

This year we are going to tow a jeep behind it so that we have a vehicle once camped.

It's the best thing we ever did.  Last years road trip was six states and just a whole lotta fun.

 

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1 minute ago, TheClark said:

rvtrader.com

Search for private party, title in hand.  This is a VERY good time of year to look, from here prices seem to go up.

We picked up a 2012 29' Thor Ace from a lovely couple last year like new and 50% of the new price.

The year before we rented an RV and fell in love.  The writing was on the wall.

This year we are going to tow a jeep behind it so that we have a vehicle once camped.

It's the best thing we ever did.  Last years road trip was six states and just a whole lotta fun.

 

Oh that sounds so awesome!  You have any tips about learning to tow the thing.

Sirena is an excellent driver.

 

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15 minutes ago, Emerald525 said:

Oh that sounds so awesome!  You have any tips about learning to tow the thing.

Sirena is an excellent driver.

 

Well, I don't technically tow as this is a motorhome.  However, I spent allot of years towing boats, there are a few good tips I suppose that were passed to me.

The biggest thing is getting everything hooked up right.  There are a few steps, it is easy to miss one (like lights or safety chain).  Always to a walk around and check everything before pulling away.

The second thing is to take turns wide, this takes some practice.

Avoid backing up.  Never pull in somewhere you cannot pull straight through.

Watch clearances, write down your height and put it on your dash.  When you come to a low clearance, you don't have to try and remember if you fit.

That's all I can think of. 

Sounds awesome, have a blast!

 

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I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee with eco diesel and tow a Rpod with no problems. Got 20 mpg towing over the pass. You just need trailer brakes set up in your truck. Funtime RV can set you up with a hitch and a sway bar. Rpod is an awesome trailer for the size

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Hey I’ve had smaller rv’s my entire life. They are a bit of an obsession (wife literally had banned me from looking st them on Craigslist) due to me finding two I loved and buying both...

I have always bought old Toyota motorhomes and fixed them up but I can see both sides of the coin regarding buying a nice one or fixing up an old one. I have done both and don’t think it’s cheaper to rebuild an old one. It’s worth it if A) you enjoy a project and B) you really want to make it your own. There is a great store in Milwaukee that has surplus RV parts. I can look up the name of you want.

prices should be pretty cheap right now and with this weather there will be no question whether the thing leaks or not.

as far as learning how to tow, it’s all about practice. One of those Rpod types is pretty small so it shouldn’t be too hard to learn. I would just take it out to the middle of nowhere and drive till your comfortable. Maybe practice backing up in an empty parking lot...the only other thing regarding driving is some of the smaller campers (tent trailers are known for this) have pretty whimpy Tires and can wobble quite a bit. I have always been happy investing in wider heavy duty tires.

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41 minutes ago, dlp6899 said:

I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee with eco diesel and tow a Rpod with no problems. Got 20 mpg towing over the pass. You just need trailer brakes set up in your truck. Funtime RV can set you up with a hitch and a sway bar. Rpod is an awesome trailer for the size

My truck already has the brake controller installed. It was part of the package.  Are rpods reliable ? 

20 minutes ago, badguitarist said:

This was my driveway for awhile. One of my proudest moments. I kept the smaller ones 

D3FC1F99-EBD3-4332-8635-98B2A3C2C46B.jpeg

I remember the back one. I heard that was a pretty nice set up inside ! You have talked me out of fixing one up because that’s not anything I like or am good at lol.  I kinda figured in the end I wouldn’t save money. 

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Had mine for two years with no problems. They are built for the NW weather and come with off road tires. I take mine hunting as well and take it down some rough roads. Highly recommend.

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Don’t quote me on this but I’m pretty sure there is an rpod factory in Dallas. Could be worth taking a drive down and seeing for yourself

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27 minutes ago, dlp6899 said:

Had mine for two years with no problems. They are built for the NW weather and come with off road tires. I take mine hunting as well and take it down some rough roads. Highly recommend.

That’s good to hear. I have had issues with leaks and dry rot in the past.  I also like the teardrops but want something a little bigger.

8 minutes ago, badguitarist said:

Don’t quote me on this but I’m pretty sure there is an rpod factory in Dallas. Could be worth taking a drive down and seeing for yourself

I will have to check that out! Thanks Kyle.

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Best way to learn how to tow a trailer is to go rent a small Uhaul trailer and practice in a parking lot, dont have to worry bout damaging your investment. Backing up a trailer takes some practice but once you have it down it is a pricless skill to have. Once you are comfortable driving around with a small trailer it’s pretty easy to get comfortable with a bigger trailer.

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51 minutes ago, Oregonic said:

Best way to learn how to tow a trailer is to go rent a small Uhaul trailer and practice in a parking lot, dont have to worry bout damaging your investment. Backing up a trailer takes some practice but once you have it down it is a pricless skill to have. Once you are comfortable driving around with a small trailer it’s pretty easy to get comfortable with a bigger trailer.

That’s not a bad idea! Thanks for the tip!

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Before my venture in the Adult Family Home business, I owned a small fleet (5 ) of semi-trucks. I drove one and hired drivers for the others. Anywho, I pulled a 48' flatbed just about everywhere for 10 years. My tip(s) to you, kim, are: when backing up, place both hands on steering wheel at 8 & 4 o'clock, using an undergrip (palms up). Now, point your thumbs out, so one thumb pointing left, the other,. right. You with me so far? Let's say you want the trailer to go right when backing up, with your left hand, move steering wheel to 4 o'clock. Then slide left hand back to 8 o'clock, basically shuffling your hands back and forth from 8 to 4. Same, if you want the trailer to go left, shuffle hands from 4 to 8. The thumbs pointing out are there to remind you which way the trailer is heading, right or left. In no time, you'll be backing up with just one hand. This is how I learned from a captain, while being a firefighter, on how to back up a fire truck with a tiller (person who drives the back of the fire truck). Sounds confusing but easy to remember when thumbs are out! HTH

Sent from my man cave while drinking Coors light!

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7 hours ago, Optimusprime3605 said:

Before my venture in the Adult Family Home business, I owned a small fleet (5 ) of semi-trucks. I drove one and hired drivers for the others. Anywho, I pulled a 48' flatbed just about everywhere for 10 years. My tip(s) to you, kim, are: when backing up, place both hands on steering wheel at 8 & 4 o'clock, using an undergrip (palms up). Now, point your thumbs out, so one thumb pointing left, the other,. right. You with me so far? Let's say you want the trailer to go right when backing up, with your left hand, move steering wheel to 4 o'clock. Then slide left hand back to 8 o'clock, basically shuffling your hands back and forth from 8 to 4. Same, if you want the trailer to go left, shuffle hands from 4 to 8. The thumbs pointing out are there to remind you which way the trailer is heading, right or left. In no time, you'll be backing up with just one hand. This is how I learned from a captain, while being a firefighter, on how to back up a fire truck with a tiller (person who drives the back of the fire truck). Sounds confusing but easy to remember when thumbs are out! HTH

Sent from my man cave while drinking Coors light! emoji481.png
 

I have always been impressed with people who can drive those big trucks like they were a little sports car.  Every day on my way to work I watch these semis back into these very narrow off load areas while a line of traffic waits on them. Talk about pressure. 

You kinda lost me on the whole 8 to 4 thing but basically what I know is like Jeremy said make a wide turn. I also know you turn the opposite direction to make the trailer go. Sirena will be doing the majority of the driving by the way.😀

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I have always been impressed with people who can drive those big trucks like they were a little sports car.  Every day on my way to work I watch these semis back into these very narrow off load areas while a line of traffic waits on them. Talk about pressure. 
You kinda lost me on the whole 8 to 4 thing but basically what I know is like Jeremy said make a wide turn. I also know you turn the opposite direction to make the trailer go. Sirena will be doing the majority of the driving by the way.
Believe me, I never thought I'd be able to drive a semi. Let alone, back one up! But it's all about practice, at least in my instance.

I figured, I'd lose you during my explanation. Much easier to show you in person. But yes, when backing up, it is opposite of backing up a car. Also, start backing up slowly, so you have time for correction. Shorter trailers as opposed to a 53 footer or a 48 footer, which I pulled, can be very squirrely, which does not give you much time for correction and can lead to a 'jack knife'. That's the last thing you want! Also, use your sideview mirrors! Don't use the rearview mirror, at least not yet. So, back up slow and turn the wheel slower for correction and do not over correct! Ugh, I sound like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. Next time I see you, remind me to show you.

Yes, after a while, it became second nature and I drove it like a sports car...hehe

Sent from my man cave while drinking Coors light!

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24 minutes ago, Optimusprime3605 said:

Believe me, I never thought I'd be able to drive a semi. Let alone, back one up! But it's all about practice, at least in my instance.

I figured, I'd lose you during my explanation. Much easier to show you in person. But yes, when backing up, it is opposite of backing up a car. Also, start backing up slowly, so you have time for correction. Shorter trailers as opposed to a 53 footer or a 48 footer, which I pulled, can be very squirrely, which does not give you much time for correction and can lead to a 'jack knife'. That's the last thing you want! Also, use your sideview mirrors! Don't use the rearview mirror, at least not yet. So, back up slow and turn the wheel slower for correction and do not over correct! Ugh, I sound like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. Next time I see you, remind me to show you.

Yes, after a while, it became second nature and I drove it like a sports car...hehe

Sent from my man cave while drinking Coors light! emoji481.png
 

Well I don’t have a trailer yet for you to show me lol. I may consider renting one first. I was doing research on the rpods and there are mixed reviews regarding quality.

And yes any lessons would be appreciated. I may even have some frags or Cowboys memorobila to make it worth your time..😉

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Well I don’t have a trailer yet for you to show me lol. I may consider renting one first. I was doing research on the rpods and there are mixed reviews regarding quality.
And yes any lessons would be appreciated. I may even have some frags or Cowboys memorobila to make it worth your time..
Cowboys memorabilia? That signed football in your showcase and I'll bring my own trailer to your house! I'll train you all day plus a guarantee that you'll be able to pull and back up trailer with ease!

Sent from my man cave while drinking Coors light!

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14 minutes ago, Optimusprime3605 said:

Cowboys memorabilia? That signed football in your showcase and I'll bring my own trailer to your house! I'll train you all day plus a guarantee that you'll be able to pull and back up trailer with ease! emoji16.png

Sent from my man cave while drinking Coors light! emoji481.png
 

That sounds like a deal! I have several signed footballs.  I think I even have a few with Jason Witten future hall of famer. So I could spare one!

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20 hours ago, dlp6899 said:

I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee with eco diesel and tow a Rpod with no problems. Got 20 mpg towing over the pass. You just need trailer brakes set up in your truck. Funtime RV can set you up with a hitch and a sway bar. Rpod is an awesome trailer for the size

What do you think about Funtime RV customer service wise ?  I have gone to Curtis trailer in the past and heard good things but I was not impressed with the repair department at all .

I was also reading mixed reviews about rpods but they sure look nice !

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8 hours ago, Emerald525 said:

What do you think about Funtime RV customer service wise ?  I have gone to Curtis trailer in the past and heard good things but I was not impressed with the repair department at all .

I was also reading mixed reviews about rpods but they sure look nice !

I have heard some good things about Funtime but no direct experience. I have dealt with several dealers in the past and honestly, once they get your money they seem far less interested in being helpful! The service and repair departments always seem to be even less helpful and often inept. They push through repairs and hope it works long enough to get the unit out of warranty.

It is helpful to be somewhat handy if you have an RV as something will always break, leak or come loose. A big empty box being bounced down the road and jostled around by wind for hours on end is pretty hard on things. Even the most expensive RV’s are still built in a fairly simplistic manner - they just have a prettier skin over everything. They pretty much all source appliances and other equipment from the same places although there are different levels of quality in some brands. You may see the same refrigerator, stove or furnace in units that are tens of thousands of dollars apart in price. They try to reduce weight anywhere they can but this can cause structural issues with more flex and movement. It is a balance and some are better at this than others. Knowing that they all use similar “guts”, I have always focused on the quality of the structural design and materials as everything else can be replaced fairly easily.

So, now that I got all of my negative energy out - I will weigh in on brands. We did a ton of searching and checked out at least fifty smaller trailers last year before purchasing one. ( I tend to over research and plan) We were looking for a little bigger one than you might be looking for though. We wanted something less than 25 feet but also with plenty of storage and well thought out floor plan. We ended up purchasing a Rockwood 2504s (made by Forest River) This is a very large floor plan in a small trailer. It has a slide out for the large dinette which adds a ton of room and a queen murphy bed that quickly and easily folds away revealing a full size couch during the day! The build quality overall seemed above average and reviews were generally good.  Even so, we have had issues with leaks in external access doors (dealer took six times to fix and even then they did a poor job), loose plumbing, sub par wiring, etc.

Knowing RV’s and what to expect, I took it all (mostly) in stride and corrected the deficiencies my self. We love the trailer and it has served us well so far.

As far as backing up, I have heard the 4 and 8 idea before and if someone showed you I think it would work fine. What my dad taught me, and I still use today, is that which ever way the BACK of your front tires are pointing is the direction your trailer will go.

Edited by Knuckledragger

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4 minutes ago, Knuckledragger said:

I have heard some good things about Funtime but no direct experience. I have dealt with several dealers in the past and honestly, once they get your money they seem far less interested in being helpful! The service and repair departments always seem to be even less helpful and often inept. They push through repairs and hope it works long enough to get the unit out of warranty.

It is helpful to be somewhat handy if you have an RV as something will always break, leak or come loose. A big empty box being bounced down the road and jostled around by wind for hours on end is pretty hard on things. Even the most expensive RV’s are still built in a fairly simplistic manner - they just have a prettier skin over everything. They pretty much all source appliances and other equipment from the same places although there are different levels of quality in some brands. You may see the same refrigerator, stove or furnace in units that are tens of thousands of dollars apart in price. They try to reduce weight anywhere they can but this can cause structural issues with more flex and movement. It is a balance and some are better at this than others. Knowing that they all use similar “guts”, I have always focused on the quality of structural design and quality as everything else can be replaced fairly easily.

So, now that I got all of my negative energy out - I will weigh in on brands. We did a ton of searching and checked out at least fifty smaller trailers last year before purchasing one. ( I tend to over research and plan) We were looking for a little bigger one than you might be looking for though. We wanted something less than 25 feet but also with plenty of storage and well thought out floor plan. We ended up purchasing a Rockwood 2504s (made by Forest River) This is a very large floor plan in a small trailer. It has a slide out for the large dinette which adds a ton of room and a queen murphy bed that quickly and easily folds away revealing a full size couch during the day! The build quality overall seemed above average and reviews were generally good.  Even so, we have had issues with leaks in external access doors (dealer took six times to fix and even then they did a poor job), loose plumbing, sub par wiring, etc.

Knowing RV’s and what to expect, I took it all (mostly) in stride and corrected the deficiencies my self. We love the trailer and it has served us well so far.

As far as backing up, I have heard the 4 and 8 idea before and if someone showed you I think it would work fine. What my dad taught me, and I still use today, is that which ever way the BACK of your front tires are pointing is the direction your trailer will go.

Thanks for the information. I have been looking at some forums. Are there others you would recommend ? That floor plan sounds amazing. I’m going to look that up.  The Murphy bed sounds amazing. I’m not handy at all unless yelling at something for being incompetent counts but Sirena is pretty handy. I am more interested in the rig being structurally sound and not having leaks and dry rot. I have heard the appliances can be hit or miss .Great information ! Thanks !

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irv2 is a great one...  Like the reefcentral of rv sites.

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17 minutes ago, TheClark said:

irv2 is a great one...  Like the reefcentral of rv sites.

Thanks Jeremy. That is one I found. It’s a crazy rv forum world out there !:shock: There is an entire forum dedicated to Forest River , Jayco you name it!

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27 minutes ago, Emerald525 said:

Thanks Jeremy. That is one I found. It’s a crazy rv forum world out there !:shock: There is an entire forum dedicated to Forest River , Jayco you name it!

Yes!  Thanks to irv2, I had some insider knowledge before our road trip last year.  Rumor on that forum was that the generator on my RV stops in hot weather.  I gathered all the parts for the fix 'just in case' before the trip. 

Wouldn't you know it, the forum was right.  I found myself crawling around under the RV somewhere in Montana installing a booster fuel pump. Saved the trip.

Love me them forumz... :)

 

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