RV Truck Shopping; What Do You Need?
Updated: Oct 21, 2021
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When we first began shopping for RVs we were looking at RVs that had the lowest weight because we did not have a truck or SUV yet. We quickly realized that we were all over the place when it came to the RV and we needed to shop for what fit our family best and not base it on weight. We looked for trucks simultaneously as we looked for RVs. When we found a great deal on a Ford F-350 dually, we knew that our RV options would be unlimited and we could continue to shop without worry for the weight or being underpowered when driving in the mountains.
We were able to purchase a 39 ft, 10,800 lb travel trailer with no concern for towing. We were interested in adding the sway weight distribution hitch (To Purchase at Amazon Click Link https://amzn.to/3sRdiQI), but were advised it was not necessary with our truck being a dually, but we eventually added the sway, weight distribution hitch and it has made all the difference and created a more stable driving experience. It has quickly become one of our best purchase upgrades and has provided a much safer driving environment.
Five important things to think about when purchasing your tow vehicle:
Don't purchase without having an idea of the weight you will be towing. Will you ever change your RV? Most people upgrade to a different RV within a few years of purchasing their 1st RV, so plan for change. Having more tow capacity than you need alleviates a huge worry and keeps you from being limited on what you can carry in your RV.
RV dry weight is your empty/unloaded weight you are given when shopping towable RVs. Keep in mind that once you add all of your supplies, clothes, sheets, towels, pots, pans and so on, the weight increases substantially. Our family of 6 added almost 1,000 lbs to our travel trailer once we loaded it up.
Options available with the vehicle are also an important thing to think about. A 360 degree view from a camera monitoring system was a must for us. It has made all the difference in safely maneuvering tight squeezes. We opted for an 8 ft bed with a Leer topper to provide a more stable towing condition and additional storage.
What kind of hitch you will be needing? The larger your towable RV, the more stable you need to be. A 5th wheel requires a completely different towing system than a travel trailer and you can get away with a 6 ft bed with a 5th wheel. We purchased an 8 ft bed, which adds length and can make tight turns difficult, but we feel safer when driving down the highway. Safety was most important to us, so think about what is most important to you when driving.
How do you plan to use your RV? If you plan to take weekend trips to the beach then you are not going to need the power it takes to maneuver through the mountains, but if you think the mountains are in your future, you want to be sure that you will not be underpowered if needing to climb steep inclines or braking when declining down the mountain.
We have way more than we need as far as power from a truck, but we also never worry. When in the mountains, we know we can handle anything and having more than we need brings a peace of mind we would not have with having the minimum requirements.