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Old 02-16-2020, 06:07 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Jacksonville
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Rv beginners after 50 yrs old

Would love to hear from the 50 and older crew.

How many folks got into rv’ing after the age of 50 and have never been rv’ing before. Pleas share your learning curve to get comfortable or confident hitting the road. Please consider set up experience and planning activities. Thanks in advance

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Old 02-16-2020, 06:23 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Trinidad,TX
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I was 70 when we bought our first. Things fell into place quickly. Wife fell in love with the camping which surprised her more than anyone.

Woody Glover
Cedar Creek Lake, Texas
2019 Loredo 290 SRL
2019 Ram 2500, 4x4, Cummins diesel
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Old 02-16-2020, 06:42 PM   #3
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Location: Aurora, Ontario
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53 with first truck and rv. Now 55 and upgraded both already.

The learning curve was pretty quick, the initial cold sweat of buying the 1500 and reading posts of real tow capacities. The private message that let me know I wasn't alone and that my situation wasn't dire and that care was needed in tire selection, loading, and weight scales could make it easier. I have learned quite a bit and still have plenty to learn. The information in this forum has been invaluable in whatever manner it has been directed, care and consideration of myself and others is the core value here. To those that help, Thank you.
Dan & Serena

2015 Cougar X-Lite 29 RET

2015 Bullet 26 RBPR SOLD
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Old 02-16-2020, 06:49 PM   #4
Willie & Bev
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52 When we bought out first, DW passed away and I got out of it for a few years. Remarried and we have been back in it for about three years and I'm 81 now.
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Old 02-16-2020, 06:54 PM   #5
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Location: Wickenburg
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Just missed the cutoff, I guess. 47 when I bought our first TT.

We did do a "trial first RV experience" a few years prior, when we rented a motorhome to do Boston/Tampa RT. That gave us all experience living in a rig, but nothing that translated to the trailer world.

The first few trips in our own rig, we made our share of rookie mistakes. One that was almost disastrous was forgetting to chock the tires before unhitching. The TT took a slow roll towards a big ditch, but luckily stopped before getting there.

We made up a setup/setdown checklist before leaving on our first trip., which helped immensely. The rookie mistakes came when we thought we had it memorized, and we didn't.
2019 Cougar 26RBSWE
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Old 02-16-2020, 06:56 PM   #6
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Last dealership I worked at- a couple that had retired and in their late fifties. Never even been in a tent, bought a Tiffen Phaeton. The walkthrough lasted 4.5 hrs and they had a glassy eyed look. That was over 6 years ago, I say go for it, jump in with both feet and a teenagers enthusiasm for his/her first love.

You won’t regret it!!

2012 Copper Canyon 273FWRET being towed by a 1994 Ford F350 CC,LB,Dually diesel.
Airlift 5000 bags, Prodigy brake control, 5 gauges on the pillar.Used to tow a '97 Jayco 323RKS.

Now an RVIA registered tech. Retired from Law enforcement in 2008 after 25+ yrs.
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Old 02-16-2020, 09:56 PM   #7
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Location: Brisbane Australia
Posts: 607
66 When we tried our first RV experience. We rented a class C from Cruise America for 6 weeks. It was enough to convince me of two things 1) A 25' class C was too small for me to do much time in and 2) Renting is VERY expensive.
On that trip we spoke to a number of TT owners and based on my own judgement and the conversations with others, we decided to look for tow-behinds around the 30' length.
During that trip we went through Elkhart IN where most of the RVs are made and stopped at a dealership there. We saw a floor plan we really liked and the price seemed almost too good to be true for a new unit. We liked the salesman at the dealer and felt that we could trust him as far as you can trust anyone trying to sell you something. In the end, we bought the same model, but a newer year and he gave us the same price as the superseded model.
Now, for the setup and first trip: We had a trailer, but no truck. I sought and heeded advice from the wise heads on these forums and bought a 250 with a 6.2L gas engine. The advice was sound and we have done almost 20,000 miles now with our rig.
We also read a lot of advice on setting up the RV and what things we should have, like TPMS, better tires than the OEMs, tools, and other items to make our rig a home away from home.
We have had our rig for two seasons so far. In the first year we did 11,000 miles in three months and the second year we did only 8,000 miles in the 3 months.
Here's a collection of videos from last year
And here's a video from 2018
And this trip is where it all started for us in 2017

Happy trails to you from the Grey Nomads from Oz.
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Old 02-17-2020, 04:38 AM   #8
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Indiana
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I don't think it matters if you are 16 or 66, the first RV you own is very daunting AT FIRST.

You look at the behemoth at the dealership and you say to yours self ... OMG! That sucker is huge. But the "I want this" in you is stronger than the "I'm terrified out of my mind" in you. So, you purchase it!

Then it sits in your drive way and you look at it it and you say again, OMG! That sucker is huge.

A year and a half later, you step inside the camper, and all of a sudden you say to yourself ... This sucker is so small, why did we ever select it!
2019 Montana High Country 375FL Fifth Wheel
2014 Chevy Duramax HD 6.6 - 3500 Diesel Dully Long bed Crew Cab
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Old 02-17-2020, 05:39 AM   #9
Gone Traveling
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Detroit
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Retired at 50, I wanted an RV...... Zero RV experience

But wife "Didn't want to Live in a van down by the river" ( her exact words)

(famous Chris Farley SNL skit)

We looked at a lot of TT's but I'm 6'7" so I didn't "fit" in anything. My buddy had a 5th wheel for sale, and I bought it because I could actually stand up in it.

Wife wasn't all that thrilled about it at first..... but now she is ALL IN. We have lots of travel planned in it for this year, along with living part time on our northern mi property in it.

Yes, it's a lot to learn.... but it's something new for both of us outside of our previous lives.... she was an Engineer, I was a tech guy.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:10 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jaxglide View Post
Would love to hear from the 50 and older crew.

How many folks got into rv’ing after the age of 50 and have never been rv’ing before. Pleas share your learning curve to get comfortable or confident hitting the road. Please consider set up experience and planning activities. Thanks in advance

When we were young and foolish we had a 1974 VW camper van that we took around the country and did a lot of other traveling with; it was also our only source of transportation. We went to tenting when we moved to New Orleans as there was no place safe to keep the van (more from errant drivers not staying on the road than anything else; it wouldn't fit in the garage; great public transportation at the time and we did have a second car). The DW did not like tenting, so we took a 35 year hiatus - her idea of roughing it was a Holiday Inn. As retirement approached I convinced the DW to look at trailers (versus class A/B/C) and we ended up with a new Keystone Bullet Premier 19FBPR and a used truck. We had "help" in searching and choosing in that my brother and father both kept up their RVing well after we had stopped and offered plenty of useful advice on what to look for and avoid in a TT.

My biggest lack-of-comfort-level was backing the trailer. The wheelbase on the TV was quite long compared to that of the TT, making maneuvering a challenge. My grandfather had put a hitch on the front of his car (back when cars could actually tow a trailer) and used it to push his around (as he was not good at backing either). $177 to Amazon and about 45 minutes of labor on my part with help of a neighbor enabled me to have a hitch on the front of my truck, and maneuvering became a snap (I can back up after years of practice, but I'm still more comfortable pushing). Even with the new trailer and its longer wheelbase, pushing is easier than backing.

We camp at least once a month as we square dance camp. When we hit the road in the spring we are usually on the road about a month en route to our summer abode, we square dance camp while there also, and then spend another two to three weeks headed back home in the fall.

We've set up camp in all kinds of weather (fortunately no hail as yet, but yes to snow and rain). I ended up getting some hip waders to wear for extremely inclement weather to keep my pants dry;the hip boots didn't quite cut the mustard.

We don't boondock if we can help it, but on occasion it has been necessary. Learning to monitor one's water supply and gray/black tanks (the sensors are notoriously inaccurate) is a skill that will come; not all campgrounds with electricity have water/sewer at a campsite.

When starting out we did a few maiden test-voyages close to home in city and private parks; this helped us get comfortable with towing, setting up and breaking camp. A checklist for what to bring, what to do in setting up/breaking camp, and for towing was a great help initially. There are checklists of this type available on this site - modify them to suit your needs.

This forum has been heaven-sent as far as helping out with other issues, whether real or just perceived on my part. Selecting tires, obtaining a TPMS or EMS, information on WDH, campgrounds, routing, ... you name it.

Best wishes in your search and safe and happy travels.


Now: 2019 Winnebago 2500FL w/e2 WDH;Sold: 2015 Bullet Premier 19FBPR (shown)
2012 Ford F-250 Lariat Super Duty Crew Cab (gas 6.2 L, 3.73 gear ratio 2WD, 172" WB)
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Old 02-17-2020, 12:46 PM   #11
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Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Charlton
Posts: 2
Ready for a New Chapter

My boyfriend and I are in our late 60's and have planned for 5 years to RV with our motorcycle in a toy hauler. We bought our Impact 311 fifth wheel and towed it home from Ohio. We have a short bed truck and regular hitch. Of course we got off an exit to get gas and the first station was closed but followed a sign for a second one. And of course we encountered a low bridge and had to turn around. Yes we smashed the back window in the truck! The rest of the trip went fine but nerve wracking. We are now looking at a Superglide hitch so we don't have to worry about that happening again. I have been studying this website and purchasing the recommended accessory items. We plan to do a shake down weekend close by as recommended, and use all the checklists we can find. I plan to start with a paved pull through RV spot. My boyfriend is studying how to install his motorcycle chock, and how to adjust the RV to lower the ramp angle. I am worrying about the backing out more than anything. I would eventually like to master dry camping for real flexibility. Thank you to all who have posted such good information.
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Old 02-18-2020, 08:31 AM   #12
Ken / Claudia
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Location: Gladstone,Ore
Posts: 2,744
I do not fit the age group for starting. As a kid parents had a pop-up. Later TTs and several MHs. I took the pop-up several times and the class A 34 footer to use for my young family. My 1st TT was maybe 7 RVs ago around age 26, 63 now.
Listen to this research, research, research. The big rookie mistake, 1st RV ends up not working out for many reasons. Find an RV you really want, then get a tow vehicle that is not just barely good enough. Buy for the next RV. Buy once not twice, get a truck that will handle the next RV you get. That RV will most likely be bigger. You say that will not happen. It does happen, listen to those on here. They put out big money on a brand new truck and RV. RV needed upgraded and so did the truck. It's the same for boats, most want a bigger, nicer one after the 1st season.
2013 24RKSWE (27ft TT) Cougar 1/2 ton series
2002 Ford F350 4x4 CC 7.3 Traded off 03-19
2013 Ford F350 4x4 CC 6.7 8ft bed 3.55 rear end lariat
Retired Oregon State Police
Now a small town traffic cop
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Old 02-20-2020, 09:08 AM   #13
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 265
I am 62 and wife is 60. We had a 23 foot trailer when we were in our 20's and pulled it with a Chevy 1500. Who knew anything about loading and tow weights etc. then. Then when we moved west 30 years ago we gave up camping as we had no time. Then as retirement was looming and many of our friends were towing their rigs south to Arizona in the winter we did some soul searching about what we wanted to do. We knew we loved Arizona and had hauled our bikes down five or six times and went winter riding so that was to be part of our plan. We looked at Motorhome diesel pushers and Fifth wheel toy haulers. For us the Toy hauler fit our needs better. The first time i hooked it up and towed it I was a bit worried but took a wait and see attitude. It towed awesome and the Duramax had zero issues so off we went. First time on a long haul through the mountains I was worried again but with the exhaust brake and tow haul mode was a total none issue. Also very stable in the wind. Loading the bikes and getting the weights setup right was a chore but all good now. I added a small winch to pull the wifes trike up into the garage as with the wide fenders its a bit of a close fit and going up a ramp at speed with a close fit is just a bad idea. Winch works like a champ, This summer we are officially retiring so we are ready now. Bought it a couple of years early to get ready. we love camping again although it's more like Glamping as they say.
Hope your experience is all fun and maybe we will see you on the road.
2018 GMC 3500 Duramax 6.6
2013 Fuzion 342 ToyHauler (Ours)
2011 Harley Davidson Streetglide custom (Mine)
2012 Harley Davidson TriGlide (Trike) (Hers)
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:23 AM   #14
+Ruff Rider
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Location: Livermore Ca.
Posts: 122
Campgrounds are full of old guys LOL
You are way to young to get into this sport LOL
You need to save up for 10 more years ROFL.
Welcome and I do hope you love RVing as much as we do. BTW I'm 67 and can still run with the best of them

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