View Full Version : Full-time living in a 5th Wheel

02-03-2022, 08:42 PM
Hi Everyone.

My family of 4 is considering living in a fifth wheel full-time. We would tour around our beautiful country 4 to 6 months out of the year then park (with a full hookup) on my sister's 2 acres of land in Idaho. I would love to hear feedback and advice from all you experienced 5th wheelers.

Here's some info about us:
Me, my wife, and two kids. Wife and two kids are emigrating here from the Philippines and have been living in less than 300 sq. ft. poor-condition place. So, they are use to small spaces already. They are also very petite ladies. The 5th wheel will already be a major upgrade for them.

I've lived in a 2,500 sq. ft. house most of my life but grew up in the Philippines and go there often. So, I'm use to doing with less and actually prefer it.

I do my entire business from home (laptop and a second screen is all I need) during normal work hours. The kids would be doing online college for the first couple years. My wife creates crafts to sell online.

I thought that the best way to immerse them into the United States is to actually see the states rather than being stuck in one state (California... yuck!).

We will likely get a small dog to travel with us.

The plan:
Each trip would be one to two months long staying at a few different places for at least two weeks at a time (maybe a KOA). We would then tour the surrounding areas to experience the "local vibes" and scenery. We would then return to my sister's property in Idaho which will have a full hookup for us in a RV driveway build just for us. It will be a few yards away from a second house on her property built for visitors which we could use when it's not occupied. It will have a 1 bedroom and 1 full bath with a full kitchen and likely a washer and dryer as well.

The vehicle:
I'm considering to purchase one of the following:

Grand Design 3950BH
(https://www.granddesignrv.com/showroom/2022/fifth-wheel/solitude/floorplans/3950bh-3950bh-r#gallery)Forest River Sierra 388BHRD
(https://forestriverinc.com/rvs/fifth-wheels/sierra-luxury-fifth-wheels/388BHRD/5873)Forest River Sierra 384QBOK

I plan to pull it with a Dodge Ram 3500 or a 2500.

I would love to hear input, advice, thoughts, anything.... The more I learn, the better equipped I am to make the right choices.

02-04-2022, 09:49 PM
I would suggest, based on our experience the last two years, that 2 weeks might not be sufficient. Now, we work on the road, too, that might make a difference. But we prefer to spend a month. Part of that is working, sure. Part of it is taking motorcycle rides (we haul them), and part of it is in the truck. We like to be able to go back to places in the area we like; who knows when we'll be back.

We often stay at my wife's brother's house in FL when we visit. He has water and power, but no sewer for us. Like you're planning, we usually go into the house, or since it's secluded and spacious I go out to pee on a tree! :) We try really hard NOT to use our black tanks because we would have to take the rig to a dump station. We really love staying, but I can't wait til he gets a sewer hookup for us! In the middle of the night, though, we will use our rig bathrooms, and if it's cold, even more so.

Hope that info helps somewhat or at least offers some insights.
More of what we do can be found in this book on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09QP55VFL/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B09QP55VFL&linkCode=as2&tag=myrvradio-20&linkId=e7459d3cf1c1de7496f512c5143e24b1) we released. (Free if you have Kindle Unlimited!)

02-05-2022, 08:07 AM
First and foremost is congrat's on your ideas. Along with home-schooling, the travel experience will be priceless to all of you.
Next is to convince you to dump any idea of a 250/2500 truck. Only a 350/3500 series and up will suffice. Diesel/gas will be your choice, and can be discussed at a different time, but you will require a one-ton minimum for performance and safety of all.
Keep us up on your progress.

02-05-2022, 08:07 PM
Your plan is very do-able and many have worked from camper on the road. I know, my wife and I have done that too. We at our home base until March and then hitting the road again. She's still working full time (from home -- information technology), and I recently retired (on Jan 14). We did pretty much exactly what you described almost all of 2021.

About length of stay? In 2021 we stayed 6 weeks at our first location. And we realized that was just too long in one spot. However, it was January and February but when we finally broke camp we both agreed that was too long in one spot. We travel to much. We are not seasonal campers at all.

So, we shifted our stays from location to location for 2 week stretches. And this worked great! Sometimes, we'd go back to the same spot we left two weeks later, or maybe a month later. We'd always try to get a different campsite, which keeps things from getting monotonous.

Of course, everyone does it different, and there is no right or wrong way, or one way better than the other, either. You'll need to work out your own approach.

But, one thing you absolutely must do is build in a contingency plan in the event of mechanical failure with either the trailer or the tow vehicle. And that contingency plan is $$$$. Make sure you have enough saved up, so in the event you have to put the camper in for service and the service shop has your camper for 3 months, (which is a real possible for something as simple as a blown fuse), you have somewhere to stay (if that be returning back to your sister's property or staying in a motel for 3 months.) Always have a contingency plan, or at lest a good line of credit on a trustworthy credit card. One thing is absolutely certain with any RV's: Just like taxes and death, you will never escape either???? With an RV.... you will never escape NOT having a mechanical failure on the road somewhere, sometime.

02-14-2022, 05:25 PM
Before you get really involved, go out to a nearby RV park, walk around, see what it looks like close-up. Talk to some of the campers if possible. Talk with the staff, get an idea of what time of day folks arrive and try to watch them set-up. Maybe rent a cabin for a few days to get used to the tempo and feel of the park. Each will have a different feel, but you need to develop a sense of what you like and decide if the park is right for you. If you use social media there are several VLOGs to follow (I like Less Junk More Journey, The Long Long Honeymoon and Finding our Someday). You should consider alternatives to KOA also. KOA can be pricy for a 2 week stay. You should look into getting a "Good Sam" (GS) membership. While you get a discount for Camping World, the membership provides a 10% discount on camping. If not GS look into some other membership that offers a discount on camping. AAA and AARP (if eligible) also offer a discount. Next look into a National Park pass. They are annual, sold at National Parks and give you no additional fee admission for National Parks that charge admission. Plan your moves as far out as possible especially when heading into popular areas. Plan on day to travel (moving from park to park) shopping days (groceries, laundry and vehicle maintenance and repairs. And finally sightseeing days. Some areas you might want to rent a car as a large truck can be a real challenge in a large city. Get comfortable with public transit. It might make for a longer day (or seeing less each day) but reducing the stress of where to park will make up for that. Make sure you don't overload your rig (don't guess, get it weighed). Make sure you have enough tow vehicle (TV) (truck) for the job. I tow a 38' fifth wheel with a 1 ton dually. Ours is diesel crew cab. Select the brand you like (or can afford) Good Luck!

04-25-2022, 07:54 AM
Waao! Vacation life. Congrats to your idea.

Are we to guess that you have conjured up some happy-crap recipe for toe rot that you're trying to peddle? Do us all a favor and hit the road.