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Click to view attachmentOk, everybody, I'm brand new at this. I'm a single southwest airlines pilot with a big idea. I am based out of Vegas, and I hate it here, but I need to continue to fly my trips from here. I like to hunt/fish/camp/hike/bike, and in Las Vegas there is only drink/gamble/sex/sleep it off, repeat as required until early, untimely bankrupt death.
So, I'm going to give back my rental house, and buy a big 5th wheel and live in it for a year with my black lab. My plan is to "live" in the Reno, Nevada area first, and experience the summer there. That way, I can "commute" back and forth on the airline to work.
I have no experience with 5th wheels, but I'm a farm boy from Ohio (also an F-16 combat vet from Iraqi freedom), so I'll figure it out pretty quick. I just bought a new GMC 2500HD ext cab duramax as step one. So, I'm asking you for the basics:

- Buying the 5th wheel: Considering this will be my primary residence for a year....
- Brand? - Size? -Necessities? -Winter? -Price range I should expect?
- I'm thinking about a 35 ft+ toy hauler and adding a KLR650 for running around.
- Where do I park the truck and 5th wheel while I'm gone for 3 or 4 days working?
- Where do I leave the black lab? Any good dogsitters in Reno?
- Is there a long-term site ,with some privacy, in Reno where I can pay for it monthly and get 50amp/water/sewer? (like a "docking site" to come back to at will?)
- What basic security concerns should I have in leaving my truck and camper parked for days at a time? Is there a security system I should install?

If there is already a post that answers these things, please direct me. Otherwise, thank you for replying and toting me along. Please email anytime.

I really just wanted to say welcome to the site. I can't be much help with your questions because our RV of choice is a motor home; we've never been to Reno (but we would like to); and we do not full time so I am not experienced with long term parking. Sorry I couldn't help, but I am sure some of our veteran members can give you lots of advice. Sounds like you have a great adventure ahead of you!! Travel safe.
RIO> Great airline. I own stock in it. Keep it profitable, ok? I'm a retired military pilot.

I currently have a motor home, but have had three 5Ws. Motor home is great for traveling, but 5W is great for sitting in one place. Couple of suggestions:

1- Get the longest one the truck will pull and with at least three slide outs. Get one with the max amount of storage inside and out. My mh has 53 seperate cabinets/drawers/closets. They are full of something! Your new home is going to be about 400 sq ft. You can't be comfortable without slides outs and storage.
2- Floor models that I found best, were the ones with rear living room and seperated bath/toilet area from the bedroom.
3- Necessities: Start with everything that you now have in your rental with the exception of the furniture. You can get rid of it after you decide you don't really need it.
4- Look into the rigs with the most insulation if you're concerned with heat/air. By virtue of thin walls and roof, none are going to be a good as a regular house.
5- Toy hauler is nice for weekenders, but it doesn't make a good full time rig. You will sacrifice kitchen and living room area. The bike will have be more comfortable that you.
6- Find an upscale RV park that has all the amenities. You can usually get a monthly rental anywhere. It suspect that it will be cheaper than your present housing expenses.Worse case scenario is that if you don't like it or the price you can move. The RV has wheels. An upscale park will typically have 24/7 security.
7- Google RV Shows and find where there are some large ones that you can get to. Even if you have to use our airline pass. Spending some time at one or two will provide a real good education on what's available. It will also cut down on the running around to visit individual dealers.
8- As far as price, it depends on the quality. You can get a Teton which is over $100K or a nice Keystone Montana (which was one of my previous rigs) for $45K. Big range there.

Can't help with the dog. Don't own one. Perhaps a girl friend dog sitter?? smile.gif

Good luck.
Excellent words, thank you. Definitely things I had not thought about. I still like the toy hauler garage idea though, for storage, not just a bike. I will certainly consider your words, though about a non-hauler.

Anyone have any links to these monthly-to-month RV parks in Reno, NV?

Southwest stock? Don't worry, your money is safe with us biggrin.gif

The Keystone $45k range is what I'm looking for. I looked at a 38 foot Raptor toy hauler yesterday. Any advice on brands? I heart Peterson's Excel is worth the extra money. That true?
Florida Native
Be sure to go to Lake Tahoe. It isn't too far and is very pretty once you get out of the big towns. When driving from Las Vegas to Reno, don't stop at the Cottontail Ranch which will be on your left heading North.

I'm in a motor home myself, but all I can say is..... it gets pretty hot in Nevada, and you have a dog. In the summer, if you have to fly "overnights," be sure someone is available to look in on your dog. RV air conditioners are a bit more delicate than home air conditioners, leaving your dog and hoping the air conditioner will stay cool, DON'T TRY THAT! One time I had my RV in Richland, WA, which is a "desert" area similar to conditions in Nevada. I had to go somewhere overnight and leave my RV. I had to take my cat because it was going to be in the 90's while I was gone! I left my RV, but set the thermostat at 90, just to see what would happen. When I came back, (3 days later), there were PROBLEMS! The A/C wouldn't work and there was this horrible smell! (an "electric" smell....) Fortunately, the issue was still under warranty, at the I didn't have to pay for the repair.

So, I just caution and ask and BEG you not to leave the dog in the RV if you are on an "overnight," and if you do, have someone look in on it.

I have a friend who is also a retired mil pilot who's first RV was one of the Keystone toy haulers. He rides a Gold Wing. He owned it six months and traded for a Keystone Montana then bought a covered uhaul type trailer for the bike. Added a hitch to the Montana and tows the bike behind.

He and his wife (I suspect more so his wife) were never comfortable in the kitchen/living room area. Small dining table and sofa. Very little counter space or cabinets in the kitchen area. Even if his bike was outside, he still couldn't store anything where it would go in the hauler
because he'd have to move it to put the bike back in. Also, everything under or outside gets moved forward of the hauler area. However, the area did make for a handy area for the poker games and beer bucket. smile.gif

We considered the Excel. Very nicely designed 5W. But was too heavy for the truck that I had at the time.

Speaking of heavy. When you do the specs on weight consider what you will be putting in it. Just like an airplane there's a weight limit. Contents, to include tank liquids, also adds to the towing weight which figures into the trucks hitch weight and max tow weight limits.

No suggestions on CGs in Reno. Never been there. We've always lost our money in Vegas. smile.gif

JJ and RL, excellent advice! Thank you.
I have thought about the toy hauler issue.
I think the room will be enough for just me and the lab. Also, take a look at the 4012 Heartland Cyclone. Looks like a real nice setup. I'm already wishing I would have bought a dually, though.

RIOF16, we had a fifth wheel Rage'n and it was great it you want to haul STUFF, but you can't beat the comfort of a nice sofa, recliners and a comfortable eating area, rather it be a dinette
or a table and chairs. We especially enjoy having more windows. We do miss the ease of loading. We would back the Rage'n up to the front door, drop the ramp and the rest was a piece of cake.

QUOTE(jackandh2o @ May 19 2008, 08:23 AM) *

RIOF16, we had a fifth wheel Rage'n and it was great it you want to haul STUFF, but you can't beat the comfort of a nice sofa, recliners and a comfortable eating area, rather it be a dinette
or a table and chairs. We especially enjoy having more windows. We do miss the ease of loading. We would back the Rage'n up to the front door, drop the ramp and the rest was a piece of cake.


Thannks for the advice, Ray. And I certainly understand when you want to relax, something like a BIGHORN would be much better than a toy hauler. Thing is, I only slow down to hit the bed for 8 hours of sleep. I must have a hauler for motorcyle, mtn bike, four wheeler, etc. I'll have to learn to live with the reduced living area. I think I'll be much better off making that sacrifice.

Just a thought, have you considered a truck camper, seeing you are only going to use it to sleep, and an enclosed equipment trailer for all your "stuff". But your original post did state that you were going to live in it, a fifth-wheel, guess you are going to have to weigh all your wants against what is available......... Again just a thought........
QUOTE(RIOF16 @ May 13 2008, 11:14 AM) *

Where do I leave the black lab? Any good dogsitters in Reno?

Welcome aboard Lafe cool.gif
Will leave the 5ver pros/cons to those w/more experience.
How did you manage your dog when you were apartment bound? The RV park we overwintered this past year was large enough...took on attrubutes of a small town. Snobirds, construction specialists, traveling nurses, couple retired cops... Once they got to know you, recomondations came freely. One gal took on cat-duty for months on end as the owners were out-of-the-area on a job site. She positively loved it.
I would volunteer in a heartbeat to walk and feed/water a well behaved dog...always great to have a walking buddy! Never been to Reno area tho. rolleyes.gif
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