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Old 06-21-2008, 11:14 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2008
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Newbie with questions

We are almost 3 years into our RVing adventure with a 2006 Montana 2955 (love it) and a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 cummins diesel quad cab. We are planning on going full time in 2010 after we retire. We will be hauling 2 cats and an adorable beagle. question 1. will the 2955 be big enough for all of us fulltime and are there a lot of 2955s out there fulltiming? 2. best generator? 3. we are considering the JT strong arm for stability..any comments? 4. Is our truck strong enough to haul all our "stuff". 5. is a washer/dryer really necessary when fulltiming? 6. can our RV be refitted with an automatic awning? I have seen some class A models with automatics that have a rain sensor...pretty cool. 6. any cat owners that want to advise us on the best type of litter box and where to put it would be most welcome. We haven't tried to bring Miss Kitty or Miss Hope with us yet. Our dog, Skippy, loves every minute with us in "The Casa". This is a great forum....glad to become a part of it. thanks for any answers...Joanie
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Old 06-22-2008, 02:22 AM   #2
H. John Kohl
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You say you are three years into RVing.
1. You will have to answer this one. Is it big enough now?
2. This depends on your application. I like the installed ONAN on propane but it does cut storage space and adds weight.
3. I just added the JT stabilizers and they work great. Much better then a king pin stand.
4. Since you have been at it for a couple of years you will have to answer this question. The size and type of truck is a "sensitive or energetic topic". You need to assess how yours works now and do the research on weight and specifications then make up your mind. Your comment about "all our stuff" raises the question. How much do you have now and how much more are you going to take? We have ours about 400 pounds short of the max weight limit and do Long Time.
5. Again you have to answer it. If you get one there goes storage and adds weight. I suggest you try without and then add later once all the questions are answered.
We find we carry more than we need most the time. The question is when you need something is it a one time need or do you need to always carry it.
Welcome to the forum and best of luck. You have asked some good questions and will get a lot of answers.
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Old 06-22-2008, 04:04 AM   #3
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Location: Ore City
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I will only comment on one of your basic questions: our Montana was a 2955RL and that was our top choice among the Montana models. I'm sure Glenn will be along soon because his first Montana as a full-timer was the 2955. We are not full timers, but we did travel over 50,000 miles in five years in our 2955 and it was still a good and sound RV when we traded for our present fifth-wheel.

One final comment: our 2955 was a 2002 year model which still had the sliding wooden doors between the bedroom and the bath. That arrangement was so important to us that we kept looking until we found a new fifth-wheel that had that feature.

Still, my basic purpose is to say that the 2955 is a great floor plan and, for us, within the ideal length and weight for our kind of travel. It might be for yours.
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Old 06-22-2008, 04:09 AM   #4
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I will take a stab at a couple. 2. I carry a Honda 2000 portable, we don't normally boondock but this is a great backup. light and compact. 3. I added JT's this January and absolutley love them, plus no more king pin stabilizer, didn't do much anyway. 5. Everywhere we have been has had a laundry, WE don't feel the need for our own units, plus weight and storage is an issue. 6. Our Sonny travels in the rig on the bed usually, his box, a large covered one, he is a 20 pounder,is in the corner of the bedroom between the dresser and chest of drawers, We put him outside occasionally in a Kitty Walk, a portable enclosure..

As far as size, only you and other 2955 owners can address that. As far as truck, it would be prudent to try and stay within all weight limits, sometimes difficult to do, then it becomes a personal choice.

Welcome to the "Best Darned Forum on the WWW!!!!" Hope to meet you someday!
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Old 06-22-2008, 06:10 AM   #5
stiles watson
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Location: Leona
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If I were in your position, I would start out Full Timing in what I had. You can trade up at anytime if you determine you need more space. Personally, I prefer the roominess of the 340RLQ we have. The reason so many models are available is because of differing tastes.

We started out in a 2003 3670 RL, a spacious and comfortable unit. However, Dianna was dissatisfied with the kitchen and, at that time, the floor in the bedroom was not flat. Our current unit has a larger Microwave/convection oven, a double wide refrigerator, flat BR floor and a wrap around kitchen.

We have ample storage once we learned to pare down what is carried to what was needed instead of "just in case." If I ever acquire a generator, it will be the Honda 2000 or twin Honda 2000 with parallel adapter.

In my opinion, I wouldn't do any trading until just before or after retirement so that I would have a brand new rig, with all the latest upgrades, and a truck, that may get better mileage, to start the great adventure.
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Old 06-22-2008, 08:07 AM   #6
Glenn and Lorraine
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As mentioned by padredw we started our full timing lifestyle in an 04 2955RL and it was plenty big enough but we have no pets. Is it big enuff for the 2 of you and your pets?? Only time will tell. I would at least give the 2955 a chance and if you do find it too small than trade up.
2-We don't do any dry camping so a generator is not needed. If I were to add a generator it would probably be a Honda 2000 or 2.
3-JT Stabilizers are not required but are on my list. Not a priority item as we look at the little bit of extra movement as a constant reminder that we are living the good life. Actually after over 4 1/2 years we have gotten to the point in our minds that the movement isn't there.
4-We pulled our 2955 with a 2500HD, 4X4, Ext. Cab, Duramax/Allison and had absolutely no problems. This tow vehicle subject will gather many different comments. Usually you will find the 3/4 ton owners will say "no problem" while the 1 ton owners will say "only use a one ton dually". You must look at the overall weight you will be carrying and towing and make your own decision.
5-Don't have them, don't want them. There are plenty of laundromats around and we get a full weeks of wash done in under an hour and a half. Something that no RV washer/dryer is capable of and that W/D cabinet is great for storage. Maybe the place to carry all that dog and cat stuff.
6-Yes but I prefer the manual awning for numerous reasons. Try hanging a sun screen on an automatic awning, Try hanging anything on an automatic awning. On a manual, Use deflappers and ratchet tie downs properly and you will find few instances where the awning must be put up. In the winter we sit in an RV park in Florida for up to 6+ months. Our awning is always down and only on a very rare occasion do I even consider putting it up. If the wind isn't blowing or gusting at 40+ MPH the awning stays down.

Now your question may be...If we liked the 2955RL why did we trade up to a 3485SA?? The BIGGEST reason was the Fully Enclosed bathroom and we will admit the additional living space is nice but had the fully enclosed bath not been introduced we may very well still be in our 2955.

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Old 06-22-2008, 10:44 AM   #7
stiles watson
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I didn't respond to the earlier question on awnings. My preference is different than Glenn's, not that he is wrong, just different. Having had the manual and having had to retract it in a windy rain storm, I was glad to see the "Carefree" motorized awning. It can be extended or retracted in less than a 1/2 minute from inside the rig.

I would not choose the rain sensitive, automatic retracting awning, because you can't add a screen or tie it down, but I sure like the motorized awing.

On the stabilizer, I chose to go with the Plug-it-rite brand because they were less expensive and work as effectively in my estimation. I installed them myself without difficulty. To be fair, one thing I have seen on the JT's is a "lift handle" to improve lifting the legs when you have pulled the pin.

We have a stackable washer and dryer. We had one in the former unit and we will have one in any future unit. The convenience outweighs other considerations in our opinion.
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Old 06-22-2008, 03:29 PM   #8
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Not a full timer, but will add my $0.02. We have the 2955RL and really like it. If your truck handles it well now, and you plan to keep the 2955RL, I'd keep the Truck. If you plan to upgrade the Montana, then you may also want to consider if you need to upgrade the TV at that time to pull the additional weight if a new unit. My 2007 2955RL is the last year they made the lighter weight ones (we have 5200# axles the new ones have greater capacity axles).
As for a generator, is your unit generator preped? If not, the cost is very high to add a built in unit. Thats why I went with the 2 Kipper 2000I parallel units.
We have the JT Stabilizers and love them.
Is your unit W/D Preped? If not there is work that needs to be done.

Also remember if you decide to upgrade your Montana, there are probably modification that you will want to make on the new unit.

Unless there is some driving force, I'd suggest using what you have and see how it works and what happens. If you really feel the unit dose not have the capacity to carry everything you need, than consider a new unit. The generator is a necessity if you boondock, otherwise its only a nice to have item.
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Old 06-22-2008, 03:36 PM   #9
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I can only reply to %5. We ordered our Montana wired and plumbed for a washer/dryer but found we didn't need them. After almost eight years of full timing, we're glad we didn't get them. We are able to use the space as a closet for odds and ends, including a clothes hamper, broom, vacuum cleaner, etc. We've never had a problem with a public laundromat, though we have heard a lot of horror stories. My wife just makes sure everything is okay before she puts clothes in any washer.

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Old 06-23-2008, 04:50 AM   #10
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We own the sister model to yours, the 2980RL, and we love it too! We also own a 3500 Dodge RAM Cummins diesel. We are happy with this combination.

We have been fulltiming for 21 months, and are planning to do this forever. Every situation for fulltiming is going to be different depending on your personal needs; we find that no two fulltimers have the same expectations.

Is our rig big enough? Yes, and no. When we first started, we found that we took more stuff than we needed, there is just no way to know what to take and what not to take, but you will have to be flexible and willing to do without too!. We moved into our 5er from a house, and tools (example) were a big deal for me. From experience, we found that it was easier to sell most of the stuff and only keep what we felt was absolutely necessary, and if there was something that was needed, we would buy it. We have found we need a lot less than we thought.

With the size of our unit, there is always a trade-off between space, weight, and need. Choose carefully. Many times, there are people who have so much stuff that they are constantly packing and unpacking. We try to spend time figuring out how things pack best, and how we use them….first out first used….less used is packed deeper. We constantly are trying to improve our system, get lighter, and use up any duplicate stuff. We also shop for smaller sizes when applicable.

Sharing 400 square feet with pets is not something we are willing to do, but we don’t own pets either; you will make your own accommodations for your pets that works best for you, most people travel fulltime with pets.

We have the manual awning, and like others have said, there are trade-offs for both. We don’t find the manual awning to be a problem if you tie it down properly with de-flappers and tie-down straps and use an awning lock while travelling.

We do not have a washer/dryer, and do not plan on having one. We wear less clothes, and spend less washing time at Laundromats doing our wash. This is Alice’s choice.

Boondocking is what we like to do when possible. We are fully equipped with solar panels and batteries etc., but we do carry a 2000i Honda generator, that starts every time when needed. The Honda is quiet. IMHO, I would only buy a Honda, way to many of those yellow ones don’t start, but they are cheaper.

JT Stabilizers make the difference for us between living in a trailer and living in a trailer with a foundation underneath.

Good luck, and welcome to the fulltimers club.

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Old 06-27-2008, 05:47 PM   #11
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Thank you all so much. The answers were really helpful. Like I said we are almost 3 years into this, but don't get out much because we work fulltime still. The whole idea of fulltiming is sooooo appealing. I'm sure I will have more questions. What a great group of people you all are!!!
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