Wife and I plunked down the Benjamins for a new 2014 Keystone Laredo 312RE -- after I unwisely took her to a dealer to look at one if their used units.
Delivery later this week! Can't wait!
Actually, we agreed we wanted new, but I'll conveniently "blame" it on her.
We love the layout for just two of us and the big pup (more on him below).
Nice touches, and lots of things that were options on 5ers just a few short years ago, seem to be standard now with most of the manufacturers.
(I've seen the complaints here about the non-vented range hood. We'll survive!)
We're new to 5ers, but not new to camping. We both grew up in families that camped in smallish bumper tow hard side trailers, or pop-ups regularly.
We're both old enough to remember leaded gas and grandparents towing behind station wagons. We even survived riding in the back of those same station wagons as children without dying. We might have even taken a drink of water from the garden hose and ridden bicycles without helmets! Imagine that!
Definitely new to 5ers, but have towed some very heavy bumper-tow trailers, including a couple of squirrelly car trailers, and knew I wanted the stability and better towing behavior of a 5th wheel.
I didn't want an RV with a drive-train built in, so Class A/B were off my shopping list.
Having shared a family Coleman pop-up for almost two decades, until it literally came apart at the seams, it was time to move on up, as they say.
We've been talking about this for years and things were finally right to do it. We honeymooned in the Desert Southwest... [cough... many] years ago, in that Coleman, and now we have some new places to go see and adventures to have.
We are both still in a bit of shock. "This isn't camping, this is a house!", the resident female in the house has already quipped. You should have seem the look on her face when she saw the interior of her first 5er! I had been doing my usual over-thinking and late-night research for a few months before showing her some photos and getting her interest up.
We will be towing with a 2001 Dodge Ram 3500 DRW with the 5.9L Cummins HO Diesel, exhaust brake, Juice w/ Attitude box, Reese 18K tiltable hitch, 6 speed manual transmission, and one of the progressive brake controllers, I forget which brand. 8' bed, extended cab, and a big toolbox below the bed level forward of the hitch.
Looking forward to putting the Dodge workhorse to work. I've already nicknamed him "Grunt", and he's ready and needs something to pull! He kinda bored running around empty! (He formerly towed a friend's 31' Sunnybrooke and he did all the right stuff to him for towing a 5er... which makes my life as the engineer in the family a whole lot easier.)
First order of business after checkout and walk around, is getting it home. Dealer is a pretty long way from the house, and completely across the Denver Metro area.
Should be entertaining towing it (carefully!) for the first time, right through town on the highway. (A friend who tows a Keystone 5er of similar size joked already, "Floor it and don't look. They'll move. You're towing a house!" Haha. He's just trying to loosen me up a little about it.) We also have a little drop off into our rural dirt driveway and I'm going to find out if the angles all work right to not bottom the tail of the 5er cing into the property. (If it's tight, the old Ford tractor's front loader may get a new tasking to re-grade the entrance road this Spring!)
Made some high visibility chocks tonight out of a cut up 4 x 6 and rattle can yellow paint, so I'm already getting in the DIY spirit for getting it all outfitted the way we want and like. I'm sure there will be plenty of that over the next couple of months, as long as the snow doesn't fly.
Getting all prepped for having a ball with it. Starting to think about where the shakedown cruise should be to. That'll be a weekend trip within "pull the ripcord and bail out"distance from home in case of the inevitable first cruise problem(s).
One of the selling points for us was the big King bed. We have a lovable German Shorthaired Pointer and Great Dane mix who is 82 lbs and thinks he's a lap dog. He especially likes curling up at the foot of the King bed at home, so we suspect he will be playing the role of doggie space heater/foot warmer in the 5er, too.
He stands just under waist high to me, and can poke me in the belly button for attention with his nose, and I'm 5' 11". Those little doggie poo plastic bags, don't bother. Just bring a couple of plastic grocery bags!
We've had lovely weather here for a few days and of course, we'll drop from almost 60F, to 33F on delivery day. Ha. The adventure begins!
Anyway... Howdy from the Colorado Eastern Plains! Hopefully see some of you in our travels! We'll be the people next door making all sorts of newbie mistakes and asking dumb questions and gawking at your modifications.
Nate & Karen
And the spoiled dog: Dino