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Old 06-16-2017, 11:32 AM   #1
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Default Researching the purchase of a Toter

Good morning folks,

I'm a newb to the world of Toters. I don't have one yet and i know that there are numerous reason to justify getting one and so far the only cons that I've come up with is the cost of the Toter as well as the repairs maintenance. Which is the norm for any vehicle/house really. I'm interested in getting one so i'm trying to weight my options and all the factors before i commit to a purchase. I know there are a lot of things to watch out for and so i'd love to hear what ya'll have to say. This is especially important to me since there are not many in my area and i'll most likely have to travel out of state to get one.

Currently i have a Ram 3500 dually that i use to drag around my 42' dual tandem axle gooseneck on wheeling trips. I will haul either 2 or 3 rigs (depending on the length of the rigs) to go wheeling and usually we split the fuel costs to help. During summer months we typically stay in a hotel and eat in town while out on these trips. That definitely adds a lot of costs to each trip and is the main justification on getting a Toter. This will be 100% private "RV" use since we don't wheel for money or anything, just for fun. We usally end up having to spend a good bit of money for the trips since we wheel hard and things do often break. haha

I've been doing some research already but i know there is lots of information out there and i don't know, what i don't know.

What i'm thinking as far as options/features (and by all means, please offer any suggestions/opinions on the matter):

-Used Toterhome that would ideally have enough room to sleep 6.
-Full manual (but i've been reading some discussion on the fact that the fully automated manuals aren't as bad as i had initially expected/read). Just mainly want the most reliability on the road.
-Thinking single screw at the moment but it all depends on the options out there.
-Depnding on the cost, may look at trading in my dually since this would then be the tow rig.
-I'm not concerned about fancy features or things. So, i'm looking at ones under 80k.

Thank you in advance and i look forward to the discussion and learning as much as i can.
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Old 06-16-2017, 08:40 PM   #2
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There is a good deal on a 17 foot renegade on racing junk for $84k, if I were you I would go with a freightliner Columbia cab with a Mercedes and auto. They hold their value and seem to be the norm for most toterhomes.
I had a 16 foot 2004 renegade, but I needed more room and upgraded to a 28 foot motorhome version. The 17 foot version has a 12 foot slide out and can realistically sleep 5 adults.

Here is a pic of my old setup, we were heading to Florida to play in the mud.
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:35 PM   #3
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Nice setup. One thing that may be a big deciding factor if i can go the Toterhome route, would be what the overall length limits from the DOT? I live in FL but most of my rock crawling is out of state. My trailer is 51' nose to tail (granted part of the nose is in the bed of my truck so that cuts some length down a bit).

Does the DOT harass folks with Toterhomes much for recreational use? I know I've seen several discussions about that very topic but it seems to go ether way from what I've read.
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:43 PM   #4
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I think most states are 65 feet max, some out west are 75. In my pic above we were right at 76 feet bumper to bumper. We hauled from nc to Florida and back with no problems. But you honestly never know, we had a few dot officers pull up beside the rig and take a look but we were never stopped. We also never go through weigh stations, we are recreational not commercial. My toter is titled and tagged as an rv. I do have a cdl drivers license for my work, just in case.

The toter was a 16 foot with a 40 foot gooseneck.
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:50 PM   #5
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That is good to know. What got me started on the Toterhome idea was the initial thought of getting a truck camper to set on the front of my gooseneck deck. But then i started thinking about just getting a Toter and the overall length limit would be a big deciding factor.

How many people could yours sleep?
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:55 PM   #6
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2 in the over bunk, 2 on an air bed in the slide out couch, and 1 on a jackknife sofa, about 5 adults max, 4 worked better.
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Old 06-16-2017, 11:35 PM   #7
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That size could work. I'm estimating 2 people per rig with 3 rigs on the trailer so I'm trying to account for that. So the size of yours is pretty close.
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:38 PM   #8
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I think you may run into conflict with ability to sleep 6 and stay under length limits. But look around, you might find one that can make it work. The problem with converting a dinette or even a couch, is they tend to be kind of short to really stretch out. So the main BR and the overhead bunk are both long enough, but the couch or dinette are not so good for adults.

I suppose you have already been looking on racingjunk.com, that seems to be the best place to see a lot of toterhomes for sale. Your budget is OK, you will be dealing more used and higher miles, but that does not mean used up. Remember that most of these truck conversion chassis are designed for 1 million miles as a class 8 truck. Engines may or may not go that far before some overhaul work; and there will be some chassis work needed during that 1M miles.

As to the engine and trans, I suspect you will have to decide if what you find will work for you and your use. Never heard anyone complain about too much power, but too little can be heard. If your 1-ton can handle the pin weight of your trailer, certainly a single rear axle will be sufficient, even given higher truck and RV portion weight.

I know this is a more complicated solution, but have you though about a longer MH that has a garage as part of the RV box portion? Then get a two-car tag trailer to replace your three-car gooseneck trailer. Once at your location, the vehicle in the garage stays outside and you can use the garage for sleeping area. Lot of toy haulers use fold-down bunks, you could do similar or just an air mattress.
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 38Chevy454 View Post
I think you may run into conflict with ability to sleep 6 and stay under length limits. But look around, you might find one that can make it work. The problem with converting a dinette or even a couch, is they tend to be kind of short to really stretch out. So the main BR and the overhead bunk are both long enough, but the couch or dinette are not so good for adults.

I suppose you have already been looking on racingjunk.com, that seems to be the best place to see a lot of toterhomes for sale. Your budget is OK, you will be dealing more used and higher miles, but that does not mean used up. Remember that most of these truck conversion chassis are designed for 1 million miles as a class 8 truck. Engines may or may not go that far before some overhaul work; and there will be some chassis work needed during that 1M miles.

As to the engine and trans, I suspect you will have to decide if what you find will work for you and your use. Never heard anyone complain about too much power, but too little can be heard. If your 1-ton can handle the pin weight of your trailer, certainly a single rear axle will be sufficient, even given higher truck and RV portion weight.

I know this is a more complicated solution, but have you though about a longer MH that has a garage as part of the RV box portion? Then get a two-car tag trailer to replace your three-car gooseneck trailer. Once at your location, the vehicle in the garage stays outside and you can use the garage for sleeping area. Lot of toy haulers use fold-down bunks, you could do similar or just an air mattress.
I agree, I've started more research and looking into the overall max length allowed and most states seem to be 65'. With that length, i'm already pushing it with just my dually and trailer (currently 68' long). I've wondered about the dinette and if it would be tall enough for an adult and i'm glad that you brought that up. i will admit, I'm not against having air mattresses on the floor either. After all, we are going rock crawling so most of us are used to camping on the ground any how. haha That would just depend on if there was enough room on the floor for one in the walk way space. The overall length issue has me thinking about possibly getting a truck camper and setting that on the front deck of my gooseneck when i go on these trips. They are definitely smaller than what a toter would offer but with slides should be able to sleep 4. Which would work since I'd be down to only hauling 2 rigs on the trailer, roughly 4 people then. Also, in that situation, i wouldn't want more than 4 people since that's about all that would fit comfortably in my dually for long trips anyhow.

Yes, i have been looking and I've seen several. The down side besides the mileage and age, is that it seems as though no matter what, i'll have to travel a good distance to just look at the rig in person. i certainly don't trust a "used car salesman" and would want to know what i'm getting into ahead of time.

Thank you for the suggestion and i'll definitely look into that. But if i'm not mistaken, the issue with a toy hauler is that the garages usually aren't big enough to fit a truck inside it (they seem built/designed for side by sides and ATVs). I will admit, i'm just basing this off of the toy hauler travel trailers since i didn't realize that you can get a MH with one. If one would fit inside, that definitely would be a great idea since that would gain a lot more room for sleeping.

I welcome any and all ideas/feedback everyone may have on this.
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:49 AM   #10
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My GN toter has a 15' box, class 8, and it was 31.5' from the front bumper to the hitch ball. I have since moved the ball back an additional 22.5". Make sure you check front axle/tire capacity before purchasing. I think I have mine figured out after moving a bunch of stuff, but GN toters can be very heavy on the front axle.
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