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New Rigs, New Life

Kit Companion Travel Trailer/SUVTerry Resort 5th Wheel/Truck

One of the reasons I live in an RV full-time is because I truly hate moving my stuff every time I move and I have moved a lot in my life. I never counted on moving between RVs. May I say, "YUCK!". It is just as big a pain in the you know what. Stuff is everywhere as I go through it little by little to put it away, move it somewhere else, and move it again while also adding missing comfort or homey items like a toothbrush holder, keys holder, coat/hat rack, wall hangers, etc. At the same time, since this is an older rig, there are plenty of big and little things to repair as things get moved into place. No real surprises but moving still sucks!

So, I’ve gone from driving an extremely comfortable and modern SUV to driving an old truck again. Except for not having a cup holder (very important to me) and now having to manually turn on my lights at night again, it’s not too bad. The bench seat is not very adjustable but is reasonably comfortable nonetheless. Since I used to own an old GMC Sierra, I am very familiar with it’s big brother the Chevy Silverado. The dash and controls are the same. Some days it’s kind of fun bebopping around in my man-truck. It’s kind of weird knowing I’m all lit up like a Christmas tree when I drive down the road at night as 1 tons have lights all over like an 18 wheeler. Losing all the space in my SUV to store stuff definitely hurts. I can throw things in the back and do have a box mounted on the back but I can’t cover it all due to the 5th wheel hitch in the truck bed. Thank goodness the 5th wheel has a huge storage area on the front. It doesn’t tow up mountains as easily as my SUV did. The SUV was 3/4 ton 8.1L but it could sail up most hills with my TT attached. The truck is a 1 ton with a 454 engine and definitely slows down going up.

My new old 5th wheel is a different story altogether. As much as I truly loved living in my 26′ Kit Companion travel trailer, there are some real advantages and a few cons to moving to the 30′ Terry Resort 5th wheel. There are so many, it would be easiest just to list them room by room:

Bedroom

  • Same basic setup as my TT bedroom
  • Closets are deeper and go all the way down to the floor
  • Bed has a ledge behind it to hold my clock and other things
  • Lots more electrical outlets
  • Half as much room under the bed (con)
  • Stairs to go up to the bedroom (con) but nice wooden floor in the hallway and the stairs (pro)
  • Heating, air conditioning, stereo speakers the same
  • Accordion door instead of a solid pocket door (con to me but my cat likes it)
  • Long, high wardrobe closet in the hallway with full door mirrors that is great for storing coats and clothes I can get to when someone else is sleeping

Bathroom

  • Taller toilet that is also easy to clean porcelain and foot operated instead of hand operated
  • Large medicine cabinet with mirror doors low enough for us short people to actually use
  • Larger sink for washing out things in
  • Less useful storage underneath due to larger sink
  • Smaller shower with shower curtain instead of glass doors. Added an Extend-A-Shower to get more space and hang wet things. It really works!
  • Smooth shower floor that does not hurt my feet
  • Seat in the shower with a soap dish built in
  • Small tub for soaking feet
  • Heating and air conditioning vents in the 5th bathroom. YAY!
  • Drawer for small things

Living Room

  • Slideout spans the entire length and adds additional 3-4 feet in room width. The space in there is huge!
  • More electrical outlets
  • Huge windows, 2 of which slide way open to bring in cool air
  • More carpet area
  • Wood stove and hearth a former owner installed
  • Broadcast TV antenna (satellite TV hookups will be added soon too)
  • In floor heating vents keep it warmer
  • Ducted air conditioning just like my TT
  • Awning over the slideout should help keep water and pine needles out

Kitchen

  • Larger
  • More storage space for pans etc.
  • 4 burner stove
  • More counter space which helps with cooking and lets me keep my rotisserie out and available
  • Large view window behind the sinks
  • Room in the pantry to store larger items like cat litter, boxes of soda pop, etc.
  • Wood floor
  • Roof vent for hot days and cooking
  • Separate tank for kitchen sink water (5th has 3 tanks which is both a pro and con)

Overall

  • More storage space outside
  • Outside access door to storage under the couch
  • Furnace and ducting mounted near water tank keeps it warm in winter
  • 5th front overhang great for keeping chairs, bikes, scooters, whatever out of the rain and snow. Will become a garage when I get a custom skirt made for it.
  • Slideout protects most of the tank hose that runs underneath it to the sewer hookup
  • 30 foot electrical hookup instead of the usual 25 foot.
  • Feels about the same driving but supposed to be less susceptible to fishtailing. Does handle passing trucks better.
  • Higher than my TT by a foot
  • Turns sharper.
  • Backs differently. Will take some practice and close attention.
  • Hitching up might have been easy if I didn’t have the box mounted on the truck blocking my view. I’ll need to install my backup camera to get over that. I got very good using the backup camera to hitch up my TT.
  • Roof seems thinner to walk on
  • There is a nice cargo box on top for more storage.
  • Spare tire mount folds down to ground
  • Hydraulic jacks on the front so I only have to crank the two in the back manually now
  • Propane tanks stored inside a cabinet now. That is both a pro and con. They stay cleaner and nicer but it is a pain getting them out. You have to spin them around to get them out.
  • Batteries mounted inside a storage cabinet are more secure. Thieves are stealing them a lot recently and selling them to recycling centers. Lock ’em up!
  • Still have an outside shower available
  • I can now see the water tank when I am filling it

So there you go. All in all, the change has been very positive. I feel like I am living in an apartment on wheels now. From disaster much good has come. I still don’t like change or moving but I am feeling better about the accident and losses. I hope this helps others who might be looking for a new rig or their first rig or have recently lost their "baby".

Partial living room -kitchenKitchenWood stoveHallway

BedroomBathroom sinkShower - tub

For more pics click here.





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