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Diver

Hunting camper for retirement

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Diver

My wife and I are avid bird hunters, and will be retiring in 2 years. I am trying to decide on the perfect setup for us and 4 dogs to be on the road for a few months. I am thinking about a diesel pickup and a fifth wheel toyhauler so I have a place for the dog kennels. Has anyone hauled a small hunting vehicle in the back of a toyhauler so they can save miles and wear and tear on the towing vehicle? Would a setup like this work for remote camping at times? Thanks

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Randy S

I'll be watching this thread. It seems an awful lot of us are looking at retirement travel options.

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CptSydor

A couple comments:

 

A toyhauler is only going to haul 'toys'. So a couple ATV's or a UTV. Not exactly vehicles that will eat up excessive miles to keep them off your tow vehicle. In reality, you are more likely to set up near your hunting grounds, using those for the final push into the more rugged terrain.

 

A 5th wheel toyhauler is rather large. Not something I would consider taking into 'remote' area's. However my definition of remote may be different than yours.  Regardless, with a large fifth wheel, you will be limited to well maintained gravel roads. Certainly however, toyhaulers are well designed to spend time boondocking (camping spent in more remote places without services) since they often have large fresh/grey/black water tanks, and in combination with on board or external generators and/or SOLAR can be self sufficient for extended periods of times. With a rig that large, you'll definitely need to scout where you are capable of taking it. 

 

 I think the step down in size, but giving you more mobility would be 1/2 ton with a 22-26 ft trailer. Dogs in the bed, truck as both your tow vehicle and all around hunting vehicle. But added mobility decreases comfort. Some people could easily live a couple months out of a 25ft trailer (I do), others prefer larger spaces.

 

 The step-up, to some, and a the way a few people on this board are doing it is to tow a small 4x4 (jeep, SUV, pick-up) behind a motorhome. The cost of this combination can be the highest, but potentially the most convenient and versatile. This would be my preference, if the finances allowed.

 

 

 

 

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Jazz4Brazo

My wife doesn't hunt and seems to have no interest in tagging along in any way, shape, or form.

 

I have been trying to sell the concept of an upgrade from my Tacoma to something capable of pulling a travel trailer for years.

 

Her recent response was why would we do that...can't sleep or move about in a truck...why can't we get a motorhome and tow a Jeep? Seems our dentist just invested in this combo and the light went off. Duh...what was I thinking LOL

 

So now I've been dreaming about a Winnebago Navion 24J (want/need a queen bed) towing a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Winter.

 

Looking forward to seeing where this goes...got a few more years of planning time ahead :-(

 

J4B

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apachecadillac

I looked into this a coupe of years ago and finally decided against pulling the trigger on anything at all for various reasons.  But, FWIW, a couple of comments--

1.  There is no 'perfect' solution.  Everything involves a compromise, and so really understanding your needs is a really important first step.  This can involve such pleasant research as taking a couple of vacations in rental RVs.

2.  Since there are two of you, and women have their own set of requirements (mostly relating to cooking and plumbing), you need to make sure your hunting partner is on board.

3.   You might check out the rigs guys who are serious about field trialling use.  Those guys have a life style not that dissimilar to bird hunters, and some of them have really nice custom rigs, although I don't think many of them live for months at a time in their setups.

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Curt

It might pay to keep in mind that in really rural, out of the way areas, the campgrounds, if there are any may have size restrictions.  Many older campgrounds and state parks have sites that simply aren't big enough to accommodate some of todays large rigs.  I'm not talking about tourist destinations here, I'm talking about the kind of place in northern or western states where one might find decent bird hunting.  What are the height restrictions on the bridges, etc. on those back roads you'll need to travel to get to that remote spot?  Some 5th wheels and motorhomes today are approaching 14feet tall.   What is the height of that old country bridge built back in 1958 that you have to pass under?  How many times has the road under it been repaved?  Is the posted height accurate?  Things to think about while planning your hunting rig/camping/traveling rig purchase.

 

I tow a 30' travel trailer with a diesel pick up.  The rig is 53 ft. long total and 10'11" tall.  It has worked fine for it's intended purpose which basically is hunting/traveling.  I've spent as many as 75+ consecutive days in that rig at a time.

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Chukarman

I am 'retired' and travel to bird hunt (and fly fish). I use a 1 ton 4X4 diesel pick-up with cap and built-in dog boxes and tow a tandom axle, 24' Airstream. Almost perfect in any weather. I also own a '47 Willys that has been rebuilt for bird hunting and trail running. I am considering swaping the Airstream for a quality toy hauler that is capable of housing the Jeep. Toy haulers are not as comfortable as the A/S but sometimes compromises are required.

 

 

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settem

Go to you local drag strip and check out some of the car haulers with living quarters, there's some pretty nice rigs that could easily handle a small SUV or small pickup.  

Don't be bashful, as gearheads love to show their toys, just introduce yourself, and ask for a tour. Having some extra brews in the cooler won't hurt... :)

They are large coin, but damn, they're nice!

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Camoman

I just purchase a new rig. It's 2000 fleetwood 29z class c 4x4 with 25000 mile in great shape. I have been 

Looking for a 4x4 class C in my price range and I got lucky with this one. My plan is staying on the beaches of RI and the cape in the summer fishing and kayaking snorkeling and spear fishing. Then I hope to travel this fall to new places to hunt waterfowl and upland birds up north and with any luck out west!

i just grabbed an older Subaru Forester as my tow/support vehicle.

life is good!

CM

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Rockdoc

Lord Dunraven, an 19th Century British Earl and lifelong sportsman once said about sailing ships “A sailing ship is a bundle of compromises, and the cleverest instructor is he who out of a mess of hostile parts succeeds in creating the most harmonious whole.” The exact same thing can be said about RV’s. However, one thing not mentioned in the quote is the not small matter that what constitutes a “harmonious whole” differs with different people.

I’ve been living and traveling in a 33’ RV for nearly 4 years. Over time I’ve come to wish for a smaller RV that isn’t such a ponderous beast to drive and gets better than 7mpg, yet I’ve met people with RV’s that are 40’ long with slide-outs on the sides that wish they had more room.

Steve

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Dogwood
8 hours ago, Rockdoc said:

Lord Dunraven, an 19th Century British Earl and lifelong sportsman once said about sailing ships “A sailing ship is a bundle of compromises, and the cleverest instructor is he who out of a mess of hostile parts succeeds in creating the most harmonious whole.” The exact same thing can be said about RV’s. However, one thing not mentioned in the quote is the not small matter that what constitutes a “harmonious whole” differs with different people.

I’ve been living and traveling in a 33’ RV for nearly 4 years. Over time I’ve come to wish for a smaller RV that isn’t such a ponderous beast to drive and gets better than 7mpg, yet I’ve met people with RV’s that are 40’ long with slide-outs on the sides that wish they had more room.

Steve

 

Curious what are your endorsed RV brands?  A fella that's lived in one for 4 years ought to know!

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Rockdoc
1 hour ago, Dogwood said:

 

Curious what are your endorsed RV brands?  A fella that's lived in one for 4 years ought to know!

Because of my economic situation I can’t even think about getting anything new at this time in my life. The only way I’m able to live with what I have is that I’ve always been an excellent mechanic. My RV is a 1994 Holiday Rambler. One of the reasons I chose it was that it has an aluminum body shell which is not only lightweight but doesn’t have the cracking and warping problems that some of the other RV shells have when they age. Since my HR was built the company has been sold and resold again so I can’t speak for newer HR’s. Originally, I was going to get a travel trailer. After much research I’d decided on an 80’s vintage Avion. The 70’s and 80’s vintage Avions were built like tanks (I consider them to be Airstreams on steroids) and they’re what I’d still buy if I ever decided on a travel trailer. I’ve seen well restored Avion’s selling for $12-14K. Unrestored prices are all over the board. BTW, the reason I didn’t get a travel trailer is that I didn’t want to have to have a large PU or van as my daily driver. The same goes for 5th wheels.

I could go into quite a bit more detail but as a single person my needs are very different than those of the original posters.

Steve

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decoyseye

This topic comes up every couple years.  Two trains of thoughts that win out seem to be pickup with four doors and topper or dog box toppers.  2nd would be the RV and tow hunting rig.  

 

While you can tow a hunt vehicle behind a 5th wheel, consider the added towing weight and trailer set up to maintain.  

 

Last year at the UJ Midwest shoot a member had just retired and he was going to do what you are doing with a 3/4 ton.  He had a canvas fold up topper for him to with dogs after reaching destination.  Seemed like a good set up.

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NECarson
On 5/16/2017 at 7:10 PM, settem said:

Go to you local drag strip and check out some of the car haulers with living quarters, there's some pretty nice rigs that could easily handle a small SUV or small pickup.  

Don't be bashful, as gearheads love to show their toys, just introduce yourself, and ask for a tour. Having some extra brews in the cooler won't hurt... :)

They are large coin, but damn, they're nice!

Canned beer. Lots of guys are very opposed to glass at a drag strip. 

 

But an excellent idea, some of them are very comfortable for the money they cost. Ground clearance isn't always great, but... 

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grousehunter 61

I have been running a 1986 , 32 foot motorhome for a good number of years.  If you are looking to get off road, don't look at a diesel, to low to the ground, the older gas motorhomes have a lot of ground clearance. Mine has been in places that only 4x4's  should be. We toad a Go Tracker 4 down. 

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