Shitter’s Full - An RV Thread

Tmac

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Just out of curiosity I went to Ford's website and configured one with all the options. Surprisingly affordable....

View attachment 377684

A $100,000 truck without power seats and other normal premium features bc they don't have chips.

The only reason my new RAM has all the features is bc it's the last group of trucks they ordered before they started removing features due to the chip shortage. The next group they get in are going to be premium trucks that don't have power seats, lol.
 

Gravel

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It all sounds like a good idea other than the timeline being tight. When you're with nature, rushing yourself is doing it wrong. Personally, I'd sort through the places you want to go and try to rank them in priority. Put a bunch in the "If we have the time" category, and loosen your expectations up. If a place is peaceful to be at, just enjoy it and don't worry about your schedule and if you can spend a week there. With the time I've spent in the pacific ocean I can say that this is especially true. You learn to just enjoy those days where everything is calm, because there's plenty where nature also gives you the ole' fuck you, which can be beautiful in its own way.
This is what my advice would be. It's also why I like a van over something bigger. A lot of places you just can't take something over a certain length. Another advantage of our van is it fits in a normal parking spot.

I've got a coworker who's driving across the country in a few weeks, and it sounded like he has all the stops planned. There's comfort in that for sure. But if you decide you want to spend an extra day somewhere, aren't feeling like doing something (whether it's delaying a hike because someone is sick, mechanical trouble, bad weather, etc), or want to change your plans, you can't. "We've gotta make it to x town because we have a reservation."

West of the Rockies is amazing because there's so much BLM land. We use the apps RV Parky and iOverlander to help find places to stay on short notice. We're definitely not above staying in a Walmart or Cracker Barrel parking lot, and in fact, sometimes it's kind of comforting to do so (can go in and use their bathrooms, grab a snack, whatever). Granted, with a class A or trailer, you probably don't need that, but you're also not nearly as flexible.

Our most recent trip from California to Florida we literally had no itinerary, outside of that we wanted to hit up Utah since we love it there so much. We randomly swung down into Arizona for a bit, spent a few extra days at Arches, skipped Sedona (which we wanted to go to, but it ended up being spring break so we drove through), and on a whim decided to do some sightseeing in Texas. It was a great trip. We had complete freedom and really just winged it from day to day. We had to make sure to find places to refill our water, do laundry, and get the occasional shower, but otherwise we had nowhere we had to be.
 
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Sledge

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tow/haul should disable mds on 5th gens, but if you're not under weight it may take some getting use to, some people love it some people hate it

gear feature on your wheel and set it to 8 disables it

tuner, although not sure if they're available and warrenty issues
I don't think tow mode disables it, at least not on the 1500's. Tow mode changes the shift pattern to hold gears longer, down shift sooner, and I believe change gears quicker which would feel a bit rougher than normal.

I was planning a flat bed camper like yours this year, but supply issues killed it so far. I wanted to trade in my 2018 for a 2021 4500 and get a custom aluminum bed. But finding the right one that's not overpriced hasn't happened yet.

hydro.jpg


truck_bed.jpg
 

Kiroy

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I don't think tow mode disables it, at least not on the 1500's. Tow mode changes the shift pattern to hold gears longer, down shift sooner, and I believe change gears quicker which would feel a bit rougher than normal.

I was planning a flat bed camper like yours this year, but supply issues killed it so far. I wanted to trade in my 2018 for a 2021 4500 and get a custom aluminum bed. But finding the right one that's not overpriced hasn't happened yet.

View attachment 377729

View attachment 377733

Read on the ram forums that it's only the 5th gen tow/haul that disables it, but that could be wrong.

I went with the four wheel camper's default norweld tray which was 12k imported from australia. All aluminum and well built with most the features I wanted. I really wanted to get a custom one but priced a few out with all the features I wanted and was hitting close to 20k or higher. crazy

And ya, we ordered ours like a few months after the pandemic hit. Like a lot of other shit, they're selling used for at or over new price just due to the years ++ wait times. I've thought about just selling our truck/camper combo cause prices are so insane right now, but we're having too much fun with it.

Heading down to boondock around death valley in a few weeks!
 
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Tmac

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Our most recent trip from California to Florida we literally had no itinerary, outside of that we wanted to hit up Utah since we love it there so much. We randomly swung down into Arizona for a bit, spent a few extra days at Arches, skipped Sedona (which we wanted to go to, but it ended up being spring break so we drove through), and on a whim decided to do some sightseeing in Texas. It was a great trip. We had complete freedom and really just winged it from day to day. We had to make sure to find places to refill our water, do laundry, and get the occasional shower, but otherwise we had nowhere we had to be.

Is it possible to see everything special and not have an itinerary?

Like what's the balance of not being a slave to a schedule, but also wanting to see Yellow Stone and stuff that prob requires some advance planning?

Also do you ever boondock and are there apps that help find spots? Is that what you mean by the BLM land? Is it possible with an Airstream?
 
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Gravel

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If you travel in the off season you can absolutely do it.

I'd say with major attractions like Yellowstone or Yosemite, you might need to book it a week or two in advance (Yellowstone might be impossible to do this way, to be honest, so your other stops may be dependent on it). It seems like most people want to have a schedule for every stop though.

And yes, the two apps I mentioned are for that purpose. We boondock all the time, as we have solar and fresh water tanks specifically for that purpose. The larger your vehicle, the more difficult it is to camp anywhere. It's absolutely possible to boondock on BLM land, but not every place. Like there was a spot outside Arches that had spots for any size, but further back there was a dip in the road where something larger would probably get stuck. I know in California there are all sorts of size limits (anything below 20', 23', 27', 30', 34', etc). It just depends.
 
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lurkingdirk

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If you travel in the off season you can absolutely do it.

I'd say with major attractions like Yellowstone or Yosemite, you might need to book it a week or two in advance (Yellowstone might be impossible to do this way, to be honest, so your other stops may be dependent on it). It seems like most people want to have a schedule for every stop though.

And yes, the two apps I mentioned are for that purpose. We boondock all the time, as we have solar and fresh water tanks specifically for that purpose. The larger your vehicle, the more difficult it is to camp anywhere. It's absolutely possible to boondock on BLM land, but not every place. Like there was a spot outside Arches that had spots for any size, but further back there was a dip in the road where something larger would probably get stuck. I know in California there are all sorts of size limits (anything below 20', 23', 27', 30', 34', etc). It just depends.

With places like Yellowstone you need to book 8 months in advance. The place fills up instantly. There are very few to no possibilities to show up and get in with an RV. You can always park at one of the shitty RV parks outside and then hike in to a back woods site, but even they fill up fast. If you're desperate to see the major parks, you have to follow a predetermined schedule that is set months in advance. Or just be flexible, stay in the shitty park outside the big parks and take day trips in.

If you have a nice RV with your own bathroom that includes a shower, it really doesn't matter where you stay if you're not expecting anything. Park, sleep and shower there, day trip in to where you really want to be. Probably cheaper in the long run. The only hitch is you have to have a day trip vehicle.

Anything is possible, you just have to think outside the box.
 
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Gravel

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Yeah, that's why I singled out Yellowstone as likely being impossible. I haven't been since 2007, but that place is kind of a different beast.
 
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Tmac

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I’m getting my wife to get a rough cost of like 20 stops over 6 months. Some will have have to be scheduled several months in advance obviously, but hopefully only like 5-10 of the 20+ stops.

Im giving us 6 months, give or take, so we’re pretty open.

I’m also going to have to figure out gas too, which at this rate will hopefully keep a lot of people off the road.
 

lurkingdirk

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Yeah, that's why I singled out Yellowstone as likely being impossible. I haven't been since 2007, but that place is kind of a different beast.

The Tetons, Glacier, Yosemite, heck, even Canyon Lands and Arches are all like this. Gotta book months in advance.
 

Gravel

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I guess if you want to stay directly in the park, maybe? Arches only has I believe one campground. There are a fuckload outside though. And a lot of those are first come, first serve.

Yosemite I know for a fact you can get in with just a few days, as we did it two years ago.
 
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Tmac

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Going to take a look at this Airstream on Thursday: 1975 Airstream Overlander 27 - Florida, Santa Rosa Beach

I talked to this guy and his wife today and this was what they said:
They've put about 4,000 miles on the Airstream since it was fixed. Empty weight is 6,200 pounds and loaded could be up to 7,500 pounds.

Around the front windows there is moisture that comes in and they might be double-paned windows. If there's significant rain it will build up moisture and fog up. The passenger side front.

The freezer/fridge is assumed to be original and it's working fine. It's electric and gas, so if you're undocked you can use gas.

There are a couple of soft spots. One is in the sub flooring that got repaired by the door, but long term it's going to need to be replaced. There's another soft spot near the toilet that will need to be replaced. Both are a square foot ish of flooring.

Then they recently had it inspected at Camping World.

There is a gas leak behind the oven and stove top. Oven and stove are separate, so they capped the oven off. There is an original vintage part that would need to be replaced.

The water heater is not working, because there is a part on the water heater that needs to be replaced. It needs a NEW WATER HEATER. This would probably be $1800 to replace.

They noticed towards the end of their last trip that the back tires are beginning to wear a little. They think it's because their hitch sits up higher and puts more rub on the back tires. So, we'd need a drop hitch to level the tires. The back tires need to be replaced very soon.

There's a floor heater unit up front that works, but they always traveled in the summer.

It has the water and battery Airstream control unit that went out recently.

They had the tanks stabilized in the back because the aluminum was sagging a bit, so they put a steel bar underneath it. The frame itself is steel.

The seating in the front isn't the original goucho bed, it's a new double bed and is a little oversized for the goucho cover. The goucho's also have little plastic pieces on them that will break pretty easily.

When I go see it I'm going to check out the two soft spots underneath to see how much sub-flooring would have to come out. If a lot has to come out, that means we'd have to remove stuff above it and it'd be expensive and time consuming.

I'm also going to check out the hot water heater and the capped stove gas line. My wife wants to use the stove, so we'd have to have a working stove. I'm also going to check the frame and the welds on the fins to see if there's any bad welds or breakage.
 

BrutulTM

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Yeah the months in advance thing is just if you want to stay inside the park. Generally there will be a lot of campgrounds in the surrounding area that are available.
 
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Crone

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My wife and I for a couple of years now want to take an RV trip across the country. We have family in Utah, Arizona, and Michigan that we'd want to see. Honestly, we would probably do some multi-week trip and just fly back from Michigan unless we had mass stuff accumulated in the RV? We'd rent though as it's not something that I want to upkeep and take care of and we don't have the space for it now so we'd have to pay storage fees.

Is Cruise America or whatever the best place to find a rental? or are there other places?
 

Tmac

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Yeah the months in advance thing is just if you want to stay inside the park. Generally there will be a lot of campgrounds in the surrounding area that are available.

Are you speaking from recent experience?

I've heard that in the last 2-3 years (even prior to COVID) the amount of people on the road has changed drasitcally.

Our neighbors actually have a '76 Airstream and they came over the other night. I was asking them about their trips and they said that even a few years ago you could go wherever you wanted and book a day or two in advance. Now, no matter where they go the RV parks are full and you're lucky if you can find empty spaces.
 

BrutulTM

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I wasn't talking about RV parks I was talking about no services forest service campgrounds, but no it's not from recent experience. I did talk to a friend yesterday who is a park ranger in Yellowstone and he said you can get back country passes a day or two in advance. 99% of the tourists in Yellowstone never leave the highway.
 

Gravel

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I can't speak for the summer, but it's generally the time you need to book very early anywhere because of summer vacation.

But we did half a dozen national parks in April this year just fine. I don't think we ever stayed in a park, but there are assloads of places just outside of them. We prefer boondocking just because it's free, but also generally more private.

My Yosemite story where we booked a day or two before was October 2019.
 

BrutulTM

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Even when I went to Yosemite 20 years ago you needed a reservation months in advance if you wanted to stay inside the park in July or August. Kinda like Disneyland, it's better to go during the school year on a week day if that's an option for you.
 
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Kiroy

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hitting up these parks right before they close or right after they open is one of the better strats - so many less people. problem is for places like yellowstone, the cold makes a lot of the attractions steam so much they're hard to see