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Old 02-19-2014, 10:47 PM   #1
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Looking to buy rv

My husband and I are looking to sale our home, retire and hit the road for awhile. Therefore, we are doing lots of research. Those of you who have done that, how do you do it? How do you get mail? What state do you license your rv in, the cheapest one? Do you just move from campsite to camp site every month or so? Also those of you who have recently bought a Redwood, what were some of the deciding factors and what other RVs where you considering? How many of you pull your Redwood with a dually and how many of you don't use a dually truck, and how does that work for you? We did decide to buy under 40 ft as most places you can get into with that size. As you can tell we are new at this and this will be our first fifth wheel and would love to hear everyone's experience.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:30 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Sammie1 View Post
My husband and I are looking to sale our home, retire and hit the road for awhile. Therefore, we are doing lots of research. Those of you who have done that, how do you do it? How do you get mail? What state do you license your rv in, the cheapest one? Do you just move from campsite to camp site every month or so? Also those of you who have recently bought a Redwood, what were some of the deciding factors and what other RVs where you considering? How many of you pull your Redwood with a dually and how many of you don't use a dually truck, and how does that work for you? We did decide to buy under 40 ft as most places you can get into with that size. As you can tell we are new at this and this will be our first fifth wheel and would love to hear everyone's experience.
Boy, a lot of good questions. First, step back and take a big breath.
We became residents of South Dakota. You only have to spend one night at a campground or a hotel and you can become a resident too. For that we don't have to pay State income tax on our retirement income nor personal property tax on our vehicles. We use Americas-mailbox.com for our mail forwarding - they are out of Box Elder, SD. They'll help you throughthe process. Texas and Florida are good too.

Regarding going fulltime, we're still searching for our perfect campground(s) and have been across the country twice. Definitely saying at campground for a month is a heck of lot less expensive than day to day.

We have a F450 dually with airbags on the rear axles. To tell you the truth, the truck pulls out 36RL very nicely. More importantly, it stops it reliably.

There are a number of State and National parks that were built in the 70's you want to stay out of; however, many have adapted to current RV lenghts.

Good luck, Vic
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:23 AM   #3
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We have been full-timing since June or 2002. Thought we always wanted to and when the time came decided it was now or never. Sold house and everything we didn't need and hit the road. Started with a less expensive RV to make sure this was what we wanted, but it was a 36' and fit the need well. In 2006 we moved up to a Carriage Carri-lite 5 slide. In 2009 were in an unavoidable accident in Oregon that totaled the T/V and did extensive damage to the framework for the 5th wheel and some other exterior damage but not enough to total. Last year was starting to notice a few small cracks in the Carriage and was wondering if many I was going to start having problems from the accident. Saw the Redwood, liked the layout and quality, and that made the decision for us. Haven't regretted it since. Registered in SD, but that is where we are really from. No income, inheritance personal property tax. About the only tax we pay is sales tax when we are back there. License plates and insurance are fairly reasonable especially compared to some areas. No special drivers license required for RV. Numerous mail forwarding service that can provide you with what you need, but you need to find out what fits you best. Easy to set up residency. Several other states make it fairly easy to do this, but I think SD is the best and easiest. Do thorough checking before making the decision. Get information from others, but check things out yourself.
WE started pulling with a F/L60 medium duty Freightliner. When the accident happened we were staying in one place longer and not doing as much bouncing around and less mountain driving than before, couldn't find one with a tow body I liked, and after much thought dropped down to a 3500 Duramax dually. This is my own opinion, but I watch weight and tow ratings, and I wouldn't want to pull a rig this size without at least a 1T dually. I like a safety factor.
We started out bouncing around seeing the country more. a week one place, a couple three here. Now we stay more time in one place. Spend most of the year in a couple or three different places with a short trip (sometimes a little further) along the way.
I guess the main thing I can say, is think things out before making a decision, go into it slowly so if it isn't the right decision you can change or back out of your decision. I know several couples that went full time and found out after a short time it wasn't for them. That's not the case with us, before buying the Redwood, I asked the spouse how long she wanted to keep this up. She said as long as we can, so onward and upward.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:38 AM   #4
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Thanks everyone, all your experiences are extremely helpful. We know we won't do this full time, but it is a good way to see the country. We have 2 kids and would like to be fairly close to them. One just gave us our first grandchild. So we can visit often with a 5th wheel. Also it will give us time to decide where we want to put down roots.
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:25 AM   #5
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The Redwood is our very first RV and we researched the market for about 5 years, attending RV Shows, reading magazines and researching on the internet. We quickly decided that motorhomes and travel trailers didn't meet our needs and/or budget, but were very impressed with 5th wheels. The next step was looking at options and layouts, determining that we wanted a higher quality unit of at least 36' with a front living floorplan.

Most of the models we considered are no longer in production so we started to focus on Montana and Brookstone. We were looking at Montanas when our dealer asked if we had seen a Redwood, which at that time we had never heard of it. Well once we walked in we were sold. Quality and fit/finish were some of the best we had seen.

Regarding a truck, we already had a F350 SRW, which we factory ordered at max GVW. It does OK pulling the RW, but we are close to all parameters. As I am not really comfortable operating at max loads we will be trading this one for a dually in a couple of years.

Regarding length of stay, this is our first year so we stayed 1 month each in Indio and Mesa. In each location we toured other parks to identify ones we would like to stay in. In future years we will probably stay 2 to 3 months in 1 location, as being Canadians we are limited to the number of days in the US.
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:38 AM   #6
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I pull my 40 foot teton with a dually crew cab long box, just bought a new 14 f350 wit the 6.7 and love it, my 02 was had 369000 miles of towing and was getting a little tired, I prefer the dually they seem to be a little more stable with the wider track. The best tires I have found for the price and longevity are the firestone transforce.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:55 PM   #7
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So which Redwood did you get? We fell in love with the front living room, however they are all over 40 ft and we want to be able to get into all parks. Also wondering how good a deal do you get when you order one built for you. Do you use a dealer or go direct to the factory? There are mo Redwoods in our state, Washington, but were fortunate to see a Redwood in Oklahoma. We are wanting to go to the largest RV show around in Hershey, PA in September. I hear all mfgs are there. Anyone been to it?
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:26 AM   #8
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We have a 36FL and it is a great coach, while it is no longer manufactured having been superseded by the 38FL. Washington State has a RW dealer in Spokane. If you are on the NW Coast you have Fraserway in Abbotsford, just across the border. They are our dealer and are excellent. Bet they may be able to work something out to deliver across the line.

Oregon also has a couple of dealers just off the I-5.
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:18 AM   #9
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Lots of good questions, we were in the same place you are a few years ago and the fine folks on this forum made the transition from "stick & bricks" (house) to "Rubber & Resin (RV) so much easier!!!
Residency/Mail... we chose Florida. We originally were going to go with South Dakota but changed to Florida, mainly because of having to visit the state to begin the process for residency. We lived in Georgia and Florida was much closer than SD. Both states, as well as Texas, are the most RV friendly and all three make the process easy. We started with mail service, we chose Good Sam Mail Service in Crestview FL, once we had the mail service we changed the address for our bank and cell service (you need proof of residency for the next step. Next we made a visit to FL to get our drivers license, once we had the DL the rest was easy and didn't require another visit, we registered both the truck & RV thru the mail.

RV...we started with the entry level 5'ers and every time we saw something that looked nice we investigated it. We saw a DRV Mobile Suites at a campground and went to a dealer who sole them. The dealer also sells Redwoods, we had never heard of them, but after looking at them were convinced that the RW was the coach we wanted. Very similar to the DRV's but lighter and less expensive. The RW really had pretty much everything we were looking for, it's definitely laid out well for fulltime living. We liked the 36FB, I like the full size shower and separate water closet so that is what we ordered. We've hod out coach for about a year now, been full time since April 2013.

Truck...we have a dually. Originally we were looking at SRW trucks but after researching, and understanding weight loads, decided on the dually and have since added the air bag suspension on the truck. VERY glad we went with the dually!!!

Camping...we started off with 2-4 week stays thru July, then we workamped for 3 months. After that we camped for another month in one location. We have been in Florida since December. So I'd have to say our trend is long-term but that will change some this summer/fall, we'll be moving more frequently during this time.

Hope this helps in your research, keep asking questions.

I think you'll find that the Redwood is a very well liked coach by the owners, we are all proud of our rigs and like to share our experiences and knowledge.
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:26 AM   #10
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We have a 31sl, which is the smallest RW. I pull it with a SWD F250 and have traveled many miles without any tow related issues. We currently get our mail through the Escapees Club out of Livingston Tx. Service from them has been great. We spend the summer in Minnesota so we can be close to our aging family and we work camped this winter in Tx. Currently we are making work camp plans for next winter in Az. We I retired last year we immediately sold the how and dump most of our stuff and went full-time. Although initially it was somewhat difficult to downsize into an RV, you eventually will cross over the point during the process where it becomes very liberating. Our vehicles are still registered in CA, but we intend to register in SD this summer. Leaving the clutches of the CA tax system requires a lot of up front work to make sure they do not come and track you down as a residence. You have to disconnect everything from the state of CA. BTW we purposely chose the 31sl because it's length will fit into many of the West coast parks and even in Yellowstone National Park where most of the sites are from the 60's and 70's.
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