Post by Dave
People ask me how we chose our 5th wheel RV? Well, we didn’t actually choose it…. it sorta chose us.
We were looking at smaller RV’s, a lot smaller, and looked at a few 18-22′ range lite bumper pulls. Lisa and I looked at a friend’s Airstream Basecamp, but at 6’7″ tall I didn’t really “fit” in any of these things.
My longtime friends Lynne and Brian just happened to be upgrading to a bigger rig and had theirs up for sale. Brian wanted me to buy it, but I resisted because we thought theirs was way to big for us (so I thought). Brian convinced us to at least look at it. The moment I stepped into it and looked up with 18″ to the ceiling, I knew it was for me. I then had to convince Lisa that this was the one. It was a real leap of faith for her.
The RV is a 2012 Keystone Cougar 29′ internal foot print, 32’6″ overall length.
I’ve made lots of changes to it, stripping out the bunk house, most of the doors, the dinette, and other useless dead weight (useless for our needs). We also added a full size queen memory foam mattress (Sealy To Go), and it’s the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept on.
The bunk house in the rear carries all of our gear – mt. bikes, boards, etc. Not having our bikes dangling on the back is really nice.
We had a blowout on one of our first trips last summer, on the old tires. That time on the side of the road was not fun, and I made a point not to ever have to do it again. The whole thing was a blessing in disguise.
I’ve upgraded the old suspension with new springs, and ezflex equalizers. My brother loaned me the use of his shop and tools and I did most of the work myself…. with the help of his trailer mechanic, Ricky. I took the opportunity to learn everything I could from Ricky about the suspension, hubs, wheels, bearings, etc.
I also upgraded the tires to Carisle Radial HD , with the highest rating to E load range (for 15″). Original factory RV tires are commonly known as “china bombs”. Few people actually notice the low speed and weight ratings of these tires.
The loaded weight with all of our stuff is just about 8,000 lbs, and pin weight approx. 1500lbs. We pull it with our 2019 Chevy Silverado, with Max NHT tow/payload package. I drive with 3 fingers. Its so easy… and the Silverado pulls it like it’s hardly there.