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F350 / Dually / F450 / RVs... oh my

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Old 06-15-2017, 05:04 PM
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Question F350 / Dually / F450 / RVs... oh my

All,

I am needing some advice. I am being transferred to ND from Houston for work. The wife is not "happy" about this so she is trying to take advantage of the situation to be able to live out a dream on her bucket list. Live in an RV. By RV I mean either Class A,B,C Motor Home, 5th Wheel, or Travel Trailer. Now I know ND is pretty darn cold and might not be an ideal place for RV living, but looks like I am needing to keep the wife happy. Will likely be looking to live in this thing for 3 yrs (min) and when I am off work will plan on towing the "house" to some place in the country to explore.

I currently have an 7.3L Excursion, so I would be able to pull a good size Travel Trailer. To me, looking into Travel Trailers is what makes sense. But of course she thinks Travel Trailers "have terrible floor plans" in comparison to 5th Wheels. So now she is pushing for living in a 5th wheel. I know little about RVs as I have always used a Tent.

With all these ideas flowing thru her head I am trying to keep her imagination below $10K. But I am starting to realize that might not be possible. So I am now shooting below $20K.

So to get to the point. Looking for advice on a few main points.

1) Recommendations on something to pull a HEAVY / long 5th wheel (15,000lbs / 38ft)
1a) I understand a dually has a "wider" footprint in the back to help with stability but is there added benefit of a dually? (must be really expensive to repalce 6 wheels over 4 )

2) Class A,B,C Motorhomes -
A) Diesel vs Gas?
B) Difficulty to work on / perform maintenance on drive train???
C) Class A used diesel seem cheaper than smaller Class C diesel???

3) Buying a Class A,B, C motor home VS buying a Truck & 5th wheel???

4) Anyone seen a Travel Trailer with Washer / Dryer hookups? I suspect that is what she really likes about 5th wheel because I don't see a huge difference between 5th Wheel and Travel Trailer floor plans.

I know... very random questions and a bit scatter brained but you guys are always pretty helpful!!!

Appreciate any feedback.
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Old 06-15-2017, 07:42 PM
Chuck's First Ford Chuck's First Ford is offline
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my opinion.. not going to work

a travel trailer... at 20 degree outside is not easy to stay warm inside.
not all 5th wheels have washer/drier hookups. and uses a LOT of water... so full hookup is needed.
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:24 PM
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Dually 450's are typically reduced power by 25hp because they have 4.11 or 4.33 rears and that's the beauty of an f-450 ...the gigantic oversized rear end that will do max tow load all day long, AND the thicket chaises cross beams.

BUT, if I was going to do the RV thing it would be a deseil pusher and I'd tow a go to town to run errands 4x4 jeep.

Too many used low miles Cummings diesel pushers out there to be throwing the dice with ford international call me a superduty truck.

i have an f-450 with 89k miles and I would not dream of a 3yr road trip with it unless I pulled the engine and rebuilt it, replaced turbos, egr, fuel pumps, coolers, etc.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:15 PM
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I have worked in the Bakken for a short time with the railroad. I have also lived in a trailer and 5th wheel for 3 years. Mostly in Northern California. I made it through 3 NorCal winters, but North Dakota winters are absolutely brutal! I wouldn't try living in a RV up there during the winter.

I traded my 99 F350 2wd, for a 4wd dually and have been happy with the choice. The 5th wheel I lived in most of those 3 years is an Arctic Fox. I've also been happy with this RV.
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Old 06-16-2017, 06:10 AM
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Just remember, an F-350 DRW is optimized for hauling, while an F-450 is optimized for towing.

15,000 pounds is not real heavy for these trucks. Remember, a newer F-450 can tow over 30,000 pounds on a gooseneck. A lot of guys tow 15k trailers with single rear wheel Super Duty trucks.

As far as trucks, I think you'd be good with any 6.7L PSD F-350 or F-450 DRW.
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Old 06-16-2017, 08:16 AM
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I would check out the gas burner Class A motorhomes. They are like 34' with 2 or 3 slide outs, some may have 4. Then you can use a conventional vehicle to get around town and possibly tow should you want to go on a short trip. Check Camping World for their RV's. They have many listings for new and used.
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Old 06-16-2017, 08:31 AM
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You probably will not like my advice at all. As a ND native, and spent my whole working career in the oil fields of ND, MT, and WY, and having watched the struggles of people that have tried the RV route in that part of the world during the brutal winters...........don't!!!!!!!!! Especially if you are new to RVing!!
But if you do, do your research first( a lot of it) and buy a true 4 season rig.
Be ready for air temps as low as -50*F (actual temp) then factor in the wind!!
Be ready for wife to go back to Texas.
Be ready for the issues of a diesel powered vehicle in these temps.
Then there is the other side.......even Texas hasn't beaten ND's record HIGH temp!!!!! Make sure the rig has good air-conditioning!!!!
It is a land of extremes.......hot, cold, bugs, wind, hail, tornados, floods, droughts, blizzards!!!!!

With all that being said, there are also a lot of people that have went the RV route and when they did everything right, got through the weather extremes;but not without issues.

And after all that..........Enjoy your stay!!!!!
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Old 06-16-2017, 11:24 AM
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Wow, 3 years in ND, NO THANK YOU, but If I had to, I'd get a motor home, Diesel if possible and tow my truck behind it. Mind you Diesels break down as well as gas motors and are more expensive to fix, but they have great power.

Now, for my input...LOL I wouldn't try living in ND in any kind of trailer over the winter months, can you imagine how much propane you'll use?? Unless it's extremely cheap up there, I'd say there goes the better part of your paycheck.

You may not have an option, BUT:
I'd leave the wife in Texas and make the trip home every 6 weeks to 2 months for an extended 4 day weekend. You could probably drive the distance in about 24 hours straight driving, but I'd fly, it's cheaper and quicker. In the long run you'd save more money by leaving her home and renting a one bedroom, efficiency or even a sleeping room, and think about it, after 3 years, you go back home pack your wife up for a nice vacation to Aruba or somewhere with all the money you saved.
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Old 06-16-2017, 06:04 PM
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Here's my experience of a winter in North Chicago, IL about 35 years ago:
I wintered in Great Lakes, Ill after boot camp while I went to 'A' school. We had a 1979 23' Fleetwood Prowler (not even close to insulated for that kind of weather). We had a 1500w electric heater and between that and the propane furnace, I was refilling a 30 lb propane tank every three days or so during the coldest spells.
I built skirting out of 1/4 inch plywood all the way around the trailer. I wasn't using the fresh water tank (under the bed inside the trailer), so that wasn't a freeze issue. Left the gray tank valve open and made sure to dump the black water every time the temperatures rose close to freezing.
Heat tape on the water lines coming into the trailer kept water flowing all winter. The plumbing was all inside on this one. The one time we lost water, I spent two miserable hours trying to figure out why the water froze, digging down into the ground, unwrapping the heat tape, everything I could think of. Then a neighbor came out and told me that nobody had water because a water main had broken about three blocks away.
Condensation was a problem - if you can imagine getting up at 5 am and grabbing a uniform full of icicles to get ready for work - we couldn't keep the closet warm unless we left the door open and there wasn't room in that small trailer to do that.
I ran jumper cables from the trailer to the truck batteries every night so I wouldn't have to go out and start the truck in the middle of the night like some of my neighbors in their mobile homes.
We went on Christmas leave to South Carolina and left the trailer in Illinois. When we got back, the alcohol based cough syrup in the medicine cabinet was frozen. Took all the canned and bottled goods in the kitchen and bathroom cabinets and put them in a large plastic bag in the shower to let them thaw out.

I'm now living in a Hitchiker Champagne, probably one of the best insulated trailers ever built, and I still head for Florida in the winter (of course, being 35 years older doesn't help my tolerance for cold weather either.)
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Old 06-17-2017, 08:05 AM
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ND Winters sound a little too cold to start you RV learning curve in, but many folks have done it (with lots of preparation!)
Some TTs do have washer dryer hookups, mostly higher end large ones. Our '14 Jayco Eagle 338RETS has the W/D hookup in the bedroom closet, it is for a combination W/D which really limits the size loads you can run.

Jmatthews may be able to share some ND Winter in a TT wisdom here.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:44 AM
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Thanks for all the relies. I wasn't expecting "positive" responses about full time RVing in ND. Like I said in the first post. Looking into the option as this is the WIFE's bucket list... and worst comes to worst we rent a appt / house during the harsh winter. I have also seen some "indoor" RV resorts in ND.

Quote:
Originally Posted by speakerfritz View Post
Dually 450's are typically reduced power by 25hp because they have 4.11 or 4.33 rears and that's the beauty of an f-450 ...the gigantic oversized rear end that will do max tow load all day long, AND the thicket chaises cross beams.

BUT, if I was going to do the RV thing it would be a deseil pusher and I'd tow a go to town to run errands 4x4 jeep.

Too many used low miles Cummings diesel pushers out there to be throwing the dice with ford international call me a superduty truck.

i have an f-450 with 89k miles and I would not dream of a 3yr road trip with it unless I pulled the engine and rebuilt it, replaced turbos, egr, fuel pumps, coolers, etc.
Why do you feel it would be necessary to rebuild the engine and replace so many parts on such a low mileage f-450?


Quote:
Originally Posted by redford View Post
Just remember, an F-350 DRW is optimized for hauling, while an F-450 is optimized for towing.

15,000 pounds is not real heavy for these trucks. Remember, a newer F-450 can tow over 30,000 pounds on a gooseneck. A lot of guys tow 15k trailers with single rear wheel Super Duty trucks.

As far as trucks, I think you'd be good with any 6.7L PSD F-350 or F-450 DRW.
Forgive my ignorance. Hauling = in the bed vs Towing = behind the vehicle? Is the 6.7 a "reliable" engine. I am not familar with this one. I know a thing or 2 about the 7.3L, I know a little about the 6.0, but not much about the 6.4 or 6.7. With a quick google search it seems there was an issue with the turbo blowing up, glow plugs blowing up, and some other stuff. Is there a yr to target where these issues were sorted out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 99150 View Post
You probably will not like my advice at all. As a ND native, and spent my whole working career in the oil fields of ND, MT, and WY, and having watched the struggles of people that have tried the RV route in that part of the world during the brutal winters...........don't!!!!!!!!! Especially if you are new to RVing!!
But if you do, do your research first( a lot of it) and buy a true 4 season rig.
Be ready for air temps as low as -50*F (actual temp) then factor in the wind!!
Be ready for wife to go back to Texas.
Be ready for the issues of a diesel powered vehicle in these temps.
Then there is the other side.......even Texas hasn't beaten ND's record HIGH temp!!!!! Make sure the rig has good air-conditioning!!!!
It is a land of extremes.......hot, cold, bugs, wind, hail, tornados, floods, droughts, blizzards!!!!!

With all that being said, there are also a lot of people that have went the RV route and when they did everything right, got through the weather extremes;but not without issues.

And after all that..........Enjoy your stay!!!!!
Thanks for the info. Didn't realize ND ever got hot

Quote:
Originally Posted by WE3ZS View Post
ND Winters sound a little too cold to start you RV learning curve in, but many folks have done it (with lots of preparation!)
Some TTs do have washer dryer hookups, mostly higher end large ones. Our '14 Jayco Eagle 338RETS has the W/D hookup in the bedroom closet, it is for a combination W/D which really limits the size loads you can run.

Jmatthews may be able to share some ND Winter in a TT wisdom here.
I think I saw your TT in the Excursion towing forum. That thing looked pretty sweet. I need to look into some Jayco trailers. The wife was looking at New Horizons, super pricey new, and even used can fetch top dollar. But their construction (especially for cold weather) seems to be top notch. Craftsmanship ? New Horizons RV
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:59 AM
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On current generation low sulphur burning diesel #2 90k is not a young engine....very few current generation metropolitan area usage engines make it to 150k with out incident. My truck has 90k with 3500hrs on it and had already had a full rocker , push rod, and saddle job. The laundry list of what I would replace before hitting the road for 6 months plus is pretty long.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:47 AM
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Yes, hauling is weight in the bed, towing is pulled weight.

5th wheel or gooseneck towing combines the 2, as more of the trailer weight is supported by the truck axles when compared to a bumper pull towing setup.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamb1133 View Post









Thanks for the info. Didn't realize ND ever got hot



RV[/url]
Yup!! Although it is not the norm to see temps in excess of 100, it can and does happen. Personally, I have seen 114*F, the record stands at 121*!!!!!! 90 - 100 does regularly happen, althiough by Texas standards, are short lived.
Apartment dwelling during the cold months is probably going to be the most reliable, as the "indoor" RV parks *may* not have availability due to being full.
Although, with the slow down of the oil industry, may not be so busy now. And this is only in the oil producing areas (we don't know *where* in ND you are planning to be). Other areas may have indoor parks also.
But, most of all, Good luck in your endeavor! And if you do happen to be in the west end of the state, get out and find all of ND's hidden secrets (very scenic areas)!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:58 PM
Mike1 Mike1 is offline
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Here's some cold weather info, maybe it'll help you out a bit.

RVs Made for Winter Camping
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