New to this whole thing

I’m new to all this. I am looking for advice or suggestions on what to look for or at when I go buy a pull behind.
I am wanting something big enough for me, my 6’ boyfriend & large dog.
Is there any recommendations for books to get that would help with the decision making? Thanks for any and all suggestions to point me in the right direction.
I will also be purchasing a new vehicle to pull my camper. So many things to think about

Kevin and I just bought a Taxa Cricket and LOVE it. It is small but has everything you need: a bed, running hot and cold water and two burners. We can pull it with our Subaru. We bring our dog bed, and our pup sleeps on the floor.

You can see it in my recent review here: https://thedyrt.com/camping/undefined/dispersed-camping-near-pioneer-indian-trail-in-siuslaw-national-forest

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Look at a lot of different types of RVs. Tent trailers, hardside popups, hybrids, teardrop style, conventional trailers, etc. Think about how you will tow it, where you plan to camp, how much you want to spend, where you will store it, what amenities you want, how much room you need (remembering that bad weather happens and you may be inside till it passes), how much storage space you need, etc.

We’ve had several different types of RVs and they’ve all served us well for the season we were in. They’ve all had pros and cons but we’ve enjoyed every one of them.

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We can’t offer personal advice since we travel in a van, however, there is a group called RV Lifestyle that has a Facebook page, You Tube Channel, and weekly e-mails and podcasts. All are sources where you will be able to connect with people who will be able to offer you advice. Enjoy!

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I just finished going through the process you are going through now. One difference for me is I’m not changing my tow vehicle, therefore I had to select a travel trailer which my tow vehicle was capable of towing. PapaGlenn gave excellent advise. I visited about 5 RV dealers in my area. I found a couple travel trailers that I liked and met my needs, i.e. I could fit in the bed (I’m 6’2"), I didn’t have to crawl over my wife (or she over me) to get out of bed in the middle of the night, and my German Shepherd would have some room. I read my tow vehicle Owner’s Manual, and did the mathematical calculations to determine the maximum weight (including tongue weight, which is important) of the trailer I could purchase. Once I found a couple models I liked at the dealers, I read the reviews on those models. I was shocked at what I read regarding the problems owners were having (a cracked frame!) with the models I liked. No way was I going to buy those models (American made!). I found out about Escape Trailer Industries located in Canada. I researched them and their construction methods. A one piece all fiberglass trailer; no water leaks (which was part of the negative feedback on the models I liked). I went and looked at two privately owned trailers in my area, and spoke with one owner over the phone. Escape owners like to show off their trailers! The company put me in touch with them. Nothing but happy buyer’s. I looked at resale value. Today, the day an Escape trailer is offered for sale, multiple people are ready to buy it. One former owner I spoke with said he had multiple offers in 2 days, and a person drove from Kentucky to Nevada to buy his trailer at $500 less than he paid for it. His Escape was 4 years old. The Escape trailers have many options so you can customize them to your needs and type of camping (boondocking with no hookups or RV camping parks with electric, water, and sewer). I decided I really wasn’t sure what type of camping I was going to do so I optioned my Escape for either type (dual batteries, two solar panels on roof, outlet to hook up an additional solar panel). In what type of weather will you be camping is also a consideration. Escape doesn’t have any US dealers so you can either go to the factory in Canada (if travel restrictions ever get lifted) or do what I did and visit some owners in your area. Due to my remote location I had to drive 4 hours each way to visit one owner, and it was worth it. Escape also has on line videos showing the ins and outs of each model. You can also schedule a one-on-one video tour with their sales staff. Their trailers are not cheap compared to the ones I liked at my local dealers. You get what you pay for as the saying goes. I ordered my trailer August 17th. Production will be complete November 27th. My option is to drive to Sumas, WA where Escape will deliver it across the border to avoid Canadian tax, or Escape will ship my trailer to me (I’m choosing that option). Like you, I’m looking forward to new adventures, and staying out of possible Coronavirus-infected motel rooms!
Dana L
Mesquite, NV

This helps so much!!! I will be buying a tow vehicle first then decide on my TT. I am learning so much from forums as this and from friends who have or are into RVing.
Thank you so much for the feedback.

If I could by the tow vehicle first I’d still have a general idea of TT that I want and its general fully loaded weight, e.g. 4000 lb TT and 500 lbs of stuff inside. Then I’d buy a TRUCK capable of towing significantly more than the TT weighs. In reading various forums, people recommend getting 4WD tow vehicles.

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I forgot to add don’t forget weigh of liquids in the TT. Water weighs about 8.3 lbs per gallon and a full 20 gallon propane tank will weigh about 20 pounds if you plan on towing with full fresh water tank and full propane tank(s).

If I could start with nothing here’s what I’d do. First I’d think, I want to use my TT for short trips (2-3 days) away from home. I don’t want to travel East to West coast or live in it for extended periods. I want to be able to both boondock and go to RV parks with full hookups. With that in mind I’d buy a Toyota Tundra short bed 4WD truck (reliable) and a fully optioned Escape 21C TT (model I ordered because of bed configuration and reliability).

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Funny you say Toyota because I was just shopping and going between Toyota & Nissan.
This may be a stupid question but what is boondocking? I see that some and I’m not totally sure what it is.
Is it wise for me to stay under the total weight the truck can handle when fully loaded?

Boondocking is camping on public lands that aren’t developed campsites. No facilities and no cost. Just find a spot and set up.

There are no stupid questions! We aren’t born with the knowledge each of us has.
Boondocking is where you camp at a location where there’s no electric, water or sewer hookups. Some places (national or State parks) may have electric hookup only. To operate your TT lights, TV (if it’s a 12V model), and other things powered by 12 volts you are relying on your TT battery(s). That’s where solar panel(s) recharge your batteries. Your AC unit will only operate plugged into a 30AMP outlet. Your refrigerator and hot water tank could be propane or 120V electric powered. I optioned my trailer so they would get power from either source.

It is extremely important to look at the tow vehicle’s owner’s manual and calculate the weight of the tow vehicle, the tongue weight of the TT, and the weight of the TT itself. I’m towing with a Toyota 4Runner. The manual has formulas for calculating maximum weights and percentage of tongue weight. You have to know the actual weight of the tow vehicle with full fuel, passengers and cargo. I drove my 4Runner across the scales at our local land fill with a full tank of gas, my wife, dog, and cargo. I know exactly how much it weighs. I know the dry weight of the TT I bought from the manufacturer’s specification sheet. I know the weight of each option I added as well. Since I don’t have the TT yet I had to guess at how much cargo (I won’t tow with fresh water tank full) and propane I’d be carrying. My experience camper friends tell me knowing the weights and setting up the tow vehicle and TT is extremely important to tow safely. Go to the Toyota dealer and ask to see the Tundra’s Owner’s Manual. Read about towing. Copy the pages so you have them for reference. Write down the GVWR that’s on the plate on the doorpost. There may be other towing-related information on the plate. You can do the same at the Nissan dealer. Now you’ll be armed with information to make decisions.

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If you want to send me an email I’d be happy to share with you my findings, spreadsheet I created for weights, the trailer I purchase and options, etc. I don’t want to post that information in a forum.
dlakeman55@gmail.com

We’ve done the whole gamut, from tent to pop up, then a trailer, now a 5th wheel.

Like others said, look at an RV dealer or two nearby it helps immensely.

We loved our pop up, went all over the USA with our 3 sons. Only drawback on a pop up is rain, you may have to fold it up wet (hybrid trailers are similar). You may never really be “shut out” of a campsite with a smaller RV like a pop up because the size allows you to back in almost anywhere.

We really love our 5th wheel but some campgrounds have limited sites for larger trailers. We tend to use state parks, just have to look at the details on the campsites and make a good decision.

Good luck with the purchase.

I would suggest you read read read, many people have had different things over the years depending on what their needs and wants were, operating preferably within their budget…
I read things and went to RV shows and looked for 6 years before getting “what I wanted” but it enabled me to retire, get my plans finalized, and make lists and talk to people.
I can talk more about this but some of the responders are telling you what I would have ! iRV2.com has lots of discussions and not a lot of sales talk.

Big question is what are you going to pull “it” with? Check your vehicles specifications carefully for how much it’s capable of towing. And then remember the weight of the trailer also has to include all that it will be carrying. Do a lot of Google searches, visit dealers (and be very wary what they tell you!), talk to friends or even people who are towing rigs you like (usually they’re very willing to talk). Like PapaGlenn said above, there’s no one perfect RV, so also ask yourself how you’ll be using it.