Airstream Renovation: Subfloor, Frame & Shell Removal

Our vintage Airstream renovation began in March 2018. The task at hand: completely renovate a 24 foot, 1979 Airstream Argosy to be used for full time RV travels.

When we purchased this Airstream, it was already demo’d (this is a good thing) and had no subfloor (this is a blessing & curse).

In this blog post we’ll show you PHASE ONE of the project. This first phase includes rebuilding the frame, installing new axels with lift, and building a completely new subfloor.

If you want to follow our renovation in real-time, head over to our YouTube channel and smash that subscribe button! Here’s a chronological playlist of all the renovation videos:

Screen Shot 2018-07-30 at 4.54.44 PM

We quickly realized the first step forward would actually be a step backwards. In order to properly install our new subfloor and fix the “c” channels we had to preform the “full monty.”

In case you don’t know – the full monty is an Airstream renovation term that means removing the aluminum shell from the frame (we’ll get into this in just a bit).

Back to the demo: Here’s a video of us unriveting the walls & the underbelly.

It was SUPER important to have two things for this project – an awesome drill and high quality drill bits.

We used a cheap drill at first and the jobs took twice as long.

Airstream Renovation Demolition

Time to get the full monty underway! From our research, there are two ways to preform the shell removal: build an inner frame and jack the shell up or build a large pulley system and lift the shell off.

We decided to go with the first option. Fortunately, we had our friends, Mortons on the Move, to help us with this step.

Constructing an inner wooden frame is VERY important. This will prevent the aluminum shell from warping and bending out of shape. It also gives us a good structure to stabilize the frame once lifted.

Airstream Renovation Shell Removal

The day after we built the wooden structure, we carefully and slowly jacked the shell off the frame. Once the frame was lifted, we positioned 4×4 beams on cinder block columns to keep the shell in position.

For the project, the high quality drill came in handy. Also, lots of heavy duty jacks and jack stands!

You can watch the process below:

Pulling the frame out from underneath the shell was eye opening! We spotted a few areas of rust that concerned us.

But, to get a full scope of potential rust damage, we decided to get the entire frame sandblasted.

Airstream Renovation sand blasting

After sandblasting, we rebuilt areas that had too much rust and we reinforced other spots just for good measure.

My favorite upgrade during this phase was adding a 3in lift! This lift gives us a lot more clearance when going off-road. In addition to the lift, we installed new Dexter axles from Inland RV. This also added a half inch of lift.

Next up, we coated the frame with rust encapsulator from Eastwood Co. The biggest tip we have for this job…buy a spray can comfort grip trigger.

To finish the frame overhaul we put some new shoes on the ol’ girl! We bought these from eTrailer.

This was the most daunting process so far…mostly because we had no template to start from. We had to use the inside shell to get an approximate measurement and EVERY time we took the measurements the numbers came back different . Albeit, the differences were all within 1/2 an inch.

We also had to trace the curves and hope it was correct.

All of this may seem easy and like a no-brainer solution, but let me tell you, the aluminum at the bottom of the shell was anything but perfect. The aluminum had about half an inch of natural flex and was wavy due to riveting (none of this will be noticeable once the renovation is complete, but it made the template far from perfect).

Once we got the measurements and cut the subfloor pieces, we also cut reflectix insulation to adhere to the bottom of the subfloor plywood.

To reattach the shell to the frame we basically preformed the “lift off” in reverse. I suggest watching the video above for all the deets.

Now that we completed the full monty, we’re beginning the wiring and plumbing systems.

Olivia has also began taping-off different floor plans to get a better idea of the space.

Airstream Renovation layout

Watch our step by step Airstream Renovation playlist for a complete understanding of our process!

Airstream Renovation YouTube Video Playlist

One of our other passions is finding the most amazing campsites. We love boondocking and camping at RV Resorts.

If you want to find the most epic free campsites in American, check out this article.  If you’re more into the luxury campground style, we can’t blame you! Fear not – we have you covered.

Here you can find our TOP 10 RV Resorts of 2017!

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How To Keep Moss From Growing In Your RV Trailer Brake Lights

Awhile back, I provided a tip on an easy way to check the operations of your brake lights. While recently checking the lights on my travel trailer via the method outlined, I discovered one side wasn’t working.

Popping the lens off, I discovered the inside of it had become a mini solarium hosting green plant life, compliments of the dust that had accumulated inside of it and the right amount of moisture, which probably entered the same way the dust must have.

brake lights
Moss growing inside our taillights. Photo by Dave Helgeson

Obviously, it was the right amount of soil, water, sunlight, and humidity, as moss or whatever it was seemed to be thriving despite the dry summer conditions.

Not surprisingly, the bulb and contact were a bit corroded, which I quickly corrected and had the brake light back in operation. Checking the other side revealed a similar greenhouse.

Rinsing out both taillight lenses had me ready to hit the road.  However, I have since wondered what to do to prevent a repeat. Searching the internet, you will find suggestions from using a thin layer of Vaseline around the edge of the lens to prevent entry of dust and water to sealing it with silicone or using glass tape.

Have you had a similar experience with your RV taillights? Have you found a way to prevent a reoccurrence? If so, please share.

Taking the greenhouse with you, just another adventure in RVing!

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Things To See And Do Near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Blending the present with the past is one of the hallmarks of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where one of the most significant Civil War battles took place 155 years ago.

That horrific three-day battle in 1863 resulted in more than 51,000 dead soldiers, which prompted President Abraham Lincoln to deliver his now-famous Gettysburg Address.

Gettysburg National Military Park. Photo: Jen Goellnitz/Flickr

Where to visit

The town of Gettysburg has eight Lincoln statues ranging from life-size monuments to busts of the president. Visitors enjoy Lincoln walking tours, Lincoln leadership programs, and several Lincoln-related historical sites such as the Historic Lincoln Railroad Station, David Wills House, and the Soldiers’ National Cemetery.

These and many more attractions can be explored while staying at Drummer Boy Camping Resort. The expansive park offers 423 sites, full hookups, and lots of amenities.

Some of those amenities include 30/50 amp electrical, water, sewer, showers and restrooms, Wi-Fi, a camp store, and numerous activities. In addition to miniature golf, other resort activities include a fishing pond, game room and rec hall, a spa and swimming pool, and the ever-popular 250-foot water slide.

Venturing beyond Drummer Boy Camping Resort, visitors can easily spend several days exploring the local attractions.

Not to be missed are the Gettysburg National Military Park, the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, and the Eisenhower National Historic Site, which is the home and farm of General and 34th President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The town of Gettysburg also offers unique shops, cafes, and restaurants.

Golfing in Gettysburg

The links at Gettysburg

Another nearby attraction for golfers is The Links at Gettysburg. This par 72, 18-hole championship course stretches to 7,069 yards from the gold tees.

Golf at the Links at Gettysburg is deemed truly spectacular by many who have played the course. It features water on almost every hole, several elevated tee shots, blind doglegs, and undulating greens throughout.

Gettysburg is located about 140 miles east of Philadelphia and 60 miles northwest of Baltimore. For more information about traveling to Gettysburg, visit and RV Park Reviews.

See also: This Historic City Should Be In Your Summer Plans

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RV Dealer With Great Customer Service: Motor Home Specialist

Motor Home Specialist is proud to sponsor this article.

So you’re thinking about buying a new RV. How do you know what place is going to give you the best deal on the right motorhome or trailer?

RV dealer
Motor Home Specialist is the top volume-selling motorhome dealer in the world. All photos courtesy of Motor Home Specialist

You’ll want to look for a few things besides low prices or a convenient location.  Take Motor Home Specialist near Dallas-Fort Worth for example.  They’re the top volume-selling motorhome dealer in the world and the leading RV dealer in all of Texas for good reason.  These are some key ways they go the extra mile for customers and set the bar high in the industry.

RVs that are worth your money

At Motor Home Specialist, every RV that comes in from the manufacturer is cleaned and detailed inside and out and given a thorough 200-point inspection.

RV dealer
Every RV that comes in from the manufacturer is given a thorough 200-point inspection

Their vast complex in Alvarado, Texas includes 30 service bays, 60 fully-covered service and delivery pads, a multi-million dollar coach wash, and perhaps the industry’s only automated high-pressure rain booth test, which helps detect leaks before delivery.

RV dealer
MHSRV has a multi-million dollar coach wash and a rain booth test to detect leaks before delivery

Unlike many dealers, Motor Home Specialist does not charge a fee for their prep service—it’s all part of their dedication to delivering the best motorhomes possible.  They also have a team of highly qualified technicians who walk customers through all of the features in their new motorhome at no cost as well.

A wide selection—and a low-pressure sales approach

Shopping at a large dealership like Motor Home Specialist also makes it easier to find the specific make/model you want without having to wait for a special order.  They have a wide selection of new and used RVs with prices ranging from around $19,000 all the way up to multi-million dollar coaches and every price point in-between.

RV dealer
Their huge 180-acre complex in Alvarado, Texas, just outside of Dallas and Fort Worth

Since their property is so large, Motor Home Specialist has 50 courtesy carts that customers can drive around to browse all of their vehicles for sale.  You can take them out to browse freely or a staff member can join you to answer any questions you may have.

In addition, their entire inventory and information about each motorhome can also be found online and purchased from the comfort of your own home. Talk about a low-pressure sales approach!

Cold bottled water is available in the motorhomes for sale, a refreshing bonus when you’re shopping in the Texas heat.  They’ll even serve you a free lunch at their cafe if you stop by on a Saturday afternoon.

RV dealer
Grab a bite to eat at their on-site cafe

They go the extra mile in customer service

Another way that Motor Home Specialist gives back to their customers is with their free shuttle service.  When you fly in from out of town to pick up your new motorhome, MHSRV will pick you up from DFW Airport at no extra cost.

You can even stay the night for free in their delivery park to get comfortable with your RV and to make sure there are no repairs that need to be taken care of before driving off their lot.

Delivery pads at Motor Home Specialist

They not only give back to their customers but also their community.  Motor Home Specialist has donated over $1.5 million back to veterans, elderly, and children in need and they are proud to have sponsored with Cook Children’s Hospital, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, the Ronald McDonald House, Meals On Wheels, as well as other local and national charities and law enforcement and emergency response agencies.

Great reviews

You can also learn a lot about an RV dealer or any business by reading their reviews.  Motor Home Specialist has over 4,000 five-star reviews from RVers on their website like these:

“Customer Service was top notch and more extensive than any other dealership we visited – from the lunch, golf cart options, no stress/pressure to buy. Staff accessibility (available via cell), the walk-through process and the option to stay overnight to test everything. We are extremely pleased. Thanks!”

“Thank you for taking so much care in preparing for our arrival, for having the rig ready, and for making us feel valued. You guys are awesome! Lunch was great, actually every part was very pleasant. We appreciate that you are not high pressure and that the process isn’t annoying or labor-intensive.”

Motor Home Specialist is located in Alvarado, Texas just outside of Dallas and Fort Worth.  You can see their entire selection on their website at or feel free to call 800-335-6054.

See also: You Won’t Believe These Luxurious New Motorhomes

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How To Get Sand Out Of Your RV Trailer & Motorhome

Visiting the beach is a must in the summer, but it also means you’re going to be bringing back tons of sand. Here are a few things you can do to help keep sand from getting tracked in and around your RV.

Camping by the beach, never a bad idea. Photo by DillyLynn/Wikipedia

Use a brush to clean off

Pack a small brush to wipe off your clothes, shoes, and pets before stepping inside. Find one with soft bristles like this sand brush or a better quality (though pricier) horsehair brush with a sturdy wooden handle. Brush off all your items like your camping chair and beach bag before storing them away.

Rinse off your feet

If you wore flip-flops or went barefoot, you will want to thoroughly wash off your feet before stepping back in your RV. Use a portable showerhead or just a water bottle to wash off your feet, hands, and gear.

Take your shoes off and leave them at the door

This may seem simple but it can make all the difference. Storing your shoes by the door will not only keep them from tracking in sand but also any dirt, mud, or leaves.

Find a place by the door where you can set up some hooks and mesh holders or somewhere that you can set up a small coat rack to hang your shoes. Shake them off well and wash them off if necessary before bringing them inside.

An easy way to hang your shoes. Photo via Wheeling It

Store clothes and towels in a separate laundry bag

Shake off your beach towels and store them in a separate laundry or trash bag before bringing them inside. Toss in any clothes you wore, your swimsuit, and anything else that needs to be washed.

Use a patio mat

Laying out a mat in front of your door is a good idea no matter where you’re camping to help keep dirt out. These RV patio mats are very lightweight and can be conveniently washed off, folded up, and stored in a travel bag.

Keep a small broom and dustpan in your RV

No matter how hard you try, there will still be sand that somehow manages to get in on the floor. Keeping a compact broom and dustpan on board can be very handy for doing a quick sweep after coming back in from the beach.

See also: What You Need To Know About RVing On A Beach

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The Last Tour Bus That Elvis Toured In Is Now In Alvarado, Texas

Motor Home Specialist is proud to sponsor this article.

Did you know you can still tour inside the last bus that Elvis Presley bought for his band?  The custom-designed 1976 MCI Crusader, which he purchased in 1976 and dubbed the “Taking Care of Business” (TCB) Bus, now resides at Motor Home Specialist in Alvarado, Texas and is occasionally open to the public for viewing.

Elvis bus
The Taking Care of Business (TCB) Bus.  Photos courtesy of Motor Home Specialist

Motor Home Specialist bought the bus from Julien’s Auction House in May 2015.  It sold for $268,000 and also included copies of the original $25,000 check provided by Elvis to cover the down payment on the bus.  CEO Donny O’Banion says,

“Myself and my family are all huge Elvis fans and after recently losing our mother Mary Ann to a short, but courageous to the point of inspiring, fight against cancer we thought this would be the perfect memorial to her and something we think a lot of other RVers and Elvis enthusiasts alike will get a real kick out of while visiting MHSRV.”

The bus seats twelve people, has nine sleeping births, and was custom designed inside and out with his signature TCB lightning bolt logo.  It was originally purchased by Elvis for his supporting singers in The TCB Band, which was led by Elvis’s close friend and mentor J.D. Sumner.

“Elvis once gave it a joy ride, calming Sumner’s nerves by promising to buy him another if it crashed,” Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien’s Auctions, told AFP. “He took the bus out from Graceland, he drove right out into the country and then he was worried, ‘how am I going to turn this bus around,’ so he drove into a cornfield, drove back out again and back home.”

Motor Home Specialist is currently planning to build a museum to house the bus and other Elvis memorabilia, including all of Mary Ann’s personal collection.  The bus is also open to the public free of charge twice a year during their semi-annual World’s RV Shows.  These are held every spring and fall, but you can find the same RVs and all of their photos, videos, and information online year-round at

To learn more about the last Elvis tour bus and see the interior, visit and stop by their expansive complex at 5411 S. I-35W in Alvarado, Texas.

See also: You Won’t Believe These New Luxurious Motorhomes

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Our 1984 triple axle Avion 34V


From a folding camping trailer to large fifth wheels, Brent and I have owned our share of RVs. After four years of full-time RVing, our family finally settled down and decided we needed a smaller RV for weekend camping and summer road trips. We looked at all sorts of RVs, visiting RV shows and dealerships, but finally settled on a vintage Avion, Airstream’s second cousin. We spent the summer exploring Route 66 and couldn’t have felt cooler. Literally, because the air conditioner wouldn’t stop dripping on me while I slept. Ha! Regardless, of the quirks we loved that trailer. A year later, we came across a great deal on a rare front kitchen Airstream. We had dreamed of owning an Airstream for years, so we sold the Avion and finally became part of the Airstream club. Having owned new, used (newer used RVs), and now a vintage trailer we’ve learned a few things. Many of the same things that apply to buying a late model trailer, like towing capacity of your tow vehicle, also apply to buying a vintage trailer with a few more things to consider.


1998 Airstream Excella 34’ FK


Things to Consider Before Buying a Vintage Trailer


Usage – How do you plan to use the vintage trailer? Weekend trips? Full-time RVing? Airbnb or guest house? Winter RVing? Most vintage RVs (Not all, our Avion was great in cold weather.) aren’t going to be suited for winter camping without significantly upgrading the insulation, a BIG job! If having more space is a priority, as it often is when full-time RVing or camping with large families, you won’t find many, if any, vintage trailers with slide outs.


The Princess is a fully renovated 1969 Streamline Princess Photo courtesy of Marmalade Vintage Trailers



Handyman Skills – Are you handy and do you enjoy learning that sort of work? Vintage trailers will often need more work than their newer counterparts. It really helps if you have some handyman skills or else maintenance and repair expenses can add up very quickly. Just as

important as having the skills is actually enjoying the work. Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you want to! I’ve found most vintage trailer owners, including myself and my husband Brent, really enjoy the process of renovating. Of course, it’s always possible to buy a fully renovated vintage trailer.


Photo courtesy of Marmalade Vintage Trailers


Campgrounds – It might come as a surprise, but not all campgrounds are vintage RV friendly. There are campgrounds that place age restrictions on the type of RV they will allow. Others place restrictions on length limits and many vintage trailers are on the shorter side. We once stayed at a campground and our friends came to camp with us in their adorable little vintage trailer. Unbeknownst to us, the campground had a length rule and our friends weren’t allowed to camp there! (It worked out because we were camping in a huge fifth wheel at the time, so they just stayed with us. It was cozy but great fun!) If you visit specific campgrounds regularly, you will want to make sure they don’t have any of these types of restrictions in place before purchasing a vintage trailer.


Before and After of a 1963 Shasta Compact Photo Courtesy of Guy Bratton


Scope of Work – It’s really important to carefully and fully consider the scope of the work before buying a vintage trailer. Vintage trailer renovations run the gamut from shell off renovations

(where the camper is stripped of everything and the shell, the walls and roof, is lifted to work on the chassis) to simpler repairs like replacing worn awnings. You’ll want to take a full inventory of what might need work. Some things to consider are: leaks, water damage, electrical system, water lines, water pumps, heaters, toilets, showers, sinks, air conditioners, axles, floors and subfloors, tires, body condition, the frame, tires, windows (vintage windows can be hard to find), appliances, propane line, awnings, and a clear title. We called about many vintage trailers that were inexpensive and looked good in pictures only to find out the title was salvaged or it didn’t have a title at all!


Be Prepared to Walk Away – It’s really easy to get emotionally attached to the idea of a vintage trailer (Trust me, I know!) without full consideration of the amount of work involved. Take an inspection checklist and take your time going over the trailer from top to bottom and front to back. Be sure to ask the owner lots of questions and if the answers don’t add up then be prepared to walk away.


1957 Airstream Bubble Photo courtesy of Guy Bratton


Be Patient – Along the lines of being prepared to walk away, it’s important to be patient. Finding a vintage trailer is more difficult and time consuming than going to your nearest RV dealer. It will take searching at multiple sources like RV Trader, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, etc. You may have to look at many trailers before you find the right one. Personally, we prefer to buy vintage trailers that have had fewer owners. We bought our Airstream from the original owners who had retired and were no longer RVing. They took the time to explain all the quirks of the

trailer and pointed out all the things that they knew needed repairs. This is an ideal situation but not always possible. Don’t give up! If something doesn’t feel right, don’t worry there will always be another one!


Be Prepared for Surprises – So you’ve found your perfect trailer, inspected it thoroughly, and you pulled it home to start working on it. Don’t be surprised if you pull up the carpet only to find a section of soft or rotting subfloor or you realize you forget to check the stove and it doesn’t work. It happens. There is a good chance you will miss something when checking the trailer out. It’s okay, almost everything is repairable. Just prepare yourself for surprise repairs ahead of time and you can roll with it.


Photo courtesy of Guy Bratton


Budget – Once you find a prospective vintage trailer make a list of all the things that are important to you in order of importance. Start with the non-negotiable components like axels and wheels and work your way to down to the cosmetics like curtains. It’s likely you won’t need to do everything on the list but it’s a good starting point to have. Visit sites like Ebay and Vintage Trailer Supply to get an idea what these renovations or repairs will cost and make a budget.


Photo courtesy of Guy Bratton


Community – One of the best parts of owning a vintage RV, other than enjoying the charm and history, is the instant community. There are many clubs, meet ups, and rallies for vintage trailer owners. There are even dedicated groups and clubs for specific makes of vintage trailers. These groups tend to be really welcoming and enthusiastic. It’s definitely a perk to owning a vintage trailer. (Note: There are meet-ups and clubs for nearly all major brands of late model RVs as well!)


Photo courtesy of Riverside RV


After some contemplation, you may have decided a true vintage trailer and the potential work that comes with it is not for you. Perhaps you really just want the peace of mind that comes with a warranty? If it’s the vintage charm you are after and not the possible surprises then you might want consider one of the new trailers that look vintage like the Retro from Riverside RV. It’s got charm and modern convenience.


What about you! Have you ever bought or considered buying a vintage trailer? Any advice to share?

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A Course Called Scotland By Tom Coyne

If you’re looking for a good book to read while relaxing by the pool this summer, you might want to pick up a copy of Tom Coyne’s latest nonfiction book “A Course Called Scotland: Searching the Home of Golf for the Secret to Its Game.”

new book

This entertaining travel adventure recaps the author’s quest to play all of the links-style golf courses in Scotland, a country in the United Kingdom roughly the size of South Carolina. Near the book’s end, Coyne summarizes his two-month golfing adventure: Total rounds of golf: 111; total yards: 657,450; total holes played: 1,908; Total days golfing: 57; Holes per day: 33.4; Total score: 7,864, or 548 over par.

To call this man a fanatic about the game would be an understatement. He spent a great deal of time chasing a career in golf playing on various mini-tours around the globe but was never good enough to make a living at it. He was, however, good enough to make a living as a writer. He’s written for Golf Magazine, Golf Week, Sports Illustrated, and also published two other books: “Paper Tiger” and “A Course Called Ireland.”

Coyne’s writing is spot on throughout “A Course Called Scotland” as he blends storytelling, humor, history, and insight to describe his experiences. In the chapter on St. Andrews, for example, the author shares:

“You would expect that the home of golf might be only about golf pubs, golf shops, and golf museums. St. Andrews had plenty of those, but it also had culture and history and learning, with golfers blending into packs of undergrads from St. Andrews University as they hustled to and from classes in academic robes. You stay here and feel like you’ve done more than chase a ball around and that your travels are better for it.”

“A Course Called Scotland: Searching the Home of Golf for the Secret to Its Game,” is clearly more than golf course descriptions, it includes insight for travelers, too. The 336-page book is published by Simon & Schuster and is available at all bookstores and online from Amazon.

You may also like Golfing Across The Ponds by Dr. George G. Kitchens

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Casino Resorts In The U.S. With Full Hookup RV Sites

Many casinos are not only RV-friendly but they have their own RV resort with an extensive list of amenities. These are some of the best places to park and try your luck at the slots or table games.

1. Lakeside Casino and RV Park, Nevada

Lakeside Casino & RV Park, Pahrump, Nevada. (Photo via TripAdvisor)

This casino in Pahrump is a quiet place to stay west of Las Vegas. They have 159 full hookup RV sites that surround a 7-acre man-made lake stocked with bass for fishing.

The lake has a waterfall, dock, boat launch, and sandy beach.  RVers can also use their swimming pool, hot tub, and frisbee golf course.

2. The Mill Casino Hotel & RV Park, Oregon

The Mill Casino RV Park, North Bend, Oregon. (Photo via TripAdvisor)

The Mill Casino overlooks Coos Bay on the Oregon Coast just off the scenic Highway 101. They have a range of RV sites with full hookups including pull-throughs with bayfront views.

The casino provides a free shuttle service up to the casino or into town. RVers can also access their fitness room, pool, showers, laundry, and spa.

3. Quinault Beach Resort & Casino, Washington

Quinault Casino, Ocean Shores, Washington. (Photo via TripAdvisor)

Quinault Casino only has dry campsites, but they are still the best deal you’ll find on the Washington Coast at only $5 a night ($15 on Friday and Saturday). Guests can stay up to 14 days at a time and use the swimming pool for an additional fee.

They have easy beach access and lots of things to see and do nearby in Ocean Shores. Try your hand at blackjack while you’re at the casino or grab a bite to eat from one of their cafes.

4. Casino Queen RV Park, Illinois

casino resorts
Casino Queen Hotel & RV Park, East St. Louis, Illinois. (Photo via TripAdvisor)

Casino Queen is conveniently located across the Mississippi River from St. Louis and has unrivaled views of the Gateway Arch. Their RV park includes full hookups and a free shuttle service to the casino.

Make a day trip into the city to see attractions like the Arch and Busch Stadium. You can read more about camping in St. Louis on Do It Yourself RV.

5. Pechanga RV Resort & Casino, California

Pechanga RV Resort in Southern California. (Photo via TripAdvisor)

Pechanga RV Resort is a short drive from Temecula Valley Wine Country and Old Town where you can find historic 1800s buildings, antique shops, and restaurants. The resort’s 206 full-service sites can accommodate any size RV and include access to their pool and laundry facilities. They also have presidential sites with estate-style fencing and gazebos.

The casino has 24/7 gaming, and restaurants like a steakhouse, oyster and sushi bar, and a pub that serves high-quality BBQ. Play their 18-hole golf course or get a massage at their spa to unwind.

6. Gold Ranch Casino & RV Resort, Nevada

Gold Ranch Resort, Verdi, Nevada. (Photo via TripAdvisor)

Gold Ranch Casino’s RV resort is west of Reno along the Nevada-California border. They have 105 spacious full hookup RV sites in a peaceful setting surrounded by mountains and trees.

Relax in their heated pool and Jacuzzi before heading up to the casino and restaurants. You can also fuel up at their gas station or grab snacks and beverages from their 24-hour convenience store.

7. Little Creek Casino & Resort, Washington

Little Creek Casino, near Shelton, Washington. (Photo via TripAdvisor)

Little Creek is only 15 minutes from Olympia and easy to access off Highway 101. They offer full hookup RV sites next door to the casino with access to their laundry room and showers.

They’ve also expanded to include a par-72 championship golf course, spa, and a variety of dining options. Try their buffet for breakfast or the seafood bar for shrimp or oysters.

8. Paragon Casino Resort RV Park, Louisiana

casino resorts
Paragon Casino Resort, Marksville, Louisiana. (Photo via TripAdvisor)

This casino resort in Central Louisiana has something for everyone in the family. Your kids can enjoy their slides, arts and crafts, and video games while you take the free shuttle up to the casino or play the 18-hole golf course.

They also have a spa, cinema, and a few restaurants to choose from. Their RV park includes over 200 sites with concrete patios and full hookups.

9. Durant / Choctaw Casino KOA, Oklahoma

Choctaw Casino KOA, Durant, Oklahoma. (Photo via website)

Few KOAs are located right next to casinos; this one in Southern Oklahoma has over 4,000 slot machines and 80 table games.  They also have activities for the kids like a movie theater, laser tag, arcade, and bowling.

Go for a swim in their heated pool or get a workout in their fitness center.  They’re only about a half-hour drive from Lake Texoma, a popular place to cast a line for catfish and smallmouth bass.

10. Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast, Mississippi

casino resorts
Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. (Photo via Facebook)

Hollywood Casino has a hotel and an RV park with full hookup sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  Their RV sites include a free shuttle service to their casino and two free wristbands to the pool area, which has a lazy river, hot tub, and a swim-up bar.

The casino has a few restaurants on-site, a marina, and an Arnold Palmer designed golf course.  There are also lots of local shops and restaurants only about 5-10 minutes away in Old Town Bay St. Louis.

You can easily find casinos with campgrounds by planning your trip on RV Trip Wizard

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Top 5 Best Fifth Wheels for Full Time Living

You’ve decided to fulfill your heart’s content by exploring the world and being constantly on the move. Nothing could serve you better on the road than a fifth wheel. They’re spacious, durable, easy to tow, and have state-of-the-art features so you won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything! For buyers like you, we’ve made our list of the top 5 best fifth wheels for full time RVing. Read on to find out!

What puts an RV on the list: There’s obviously a huge difference between RVing once in a while and RVing full time. To make sure you get the closest feeling of living in a home we’ve hand picked the ones with a good mix of bunkhouse and regular floorplans. We’ve also made sure they have enough 40 feet+ length floorplans since space can be a concern when RVing full time. After a few spec comparisons it all boiled down to the ones which had the best reviews.  Here are the Top 5 Best Fifth Wheels For Full Time Living.

The Top 5 Best Fifth Wheels For Full Time Living:

  1. Coachmen Chaparral Fifth Wheel
  2. Jayco North Point Fifth Wheel
  3. Heartland Sundance Fifth Wheel
  4. Jayco Eagle Fifth Wheel
  5. Forest River Wildcat Fifth Wheel

#1. Coachmen Chaparral Fifth Wheel

Diverse Luxury!

View All Coachmen Chaparral Fifth Wheel Floorplans!

No. of Floorplans Unloaded Weight Sleeps Length
11 9575-12694 lbs 4-11 33-41 feet

Why we recommend the Coachmen Chaparral fifth wheel: There are few fifth wheels which can offer the level of flexibility within 11 floorplans as the Coachmen Chaparral can. If tow weight is an issue for you due to fifth wheels being on the heavier side, the Chaparral 298RLS has got you covered.  This RV weighs 9575 pounds (dry weight) which is actually quite impressive. Of course, if weight isn’t an issue and you’re having a lot of people living in the same RV, the Chaparral 371MBRB spans 41 feet and can house 11 people in it. Like we said, flexibility!

To make it feel just like home, Coachmen has also added numerous storage options and features such as a modern entertainment center made for a 50-55 inch TV, motion sensor lights, USB charging ports, 8 cubic foot refrigerator, 30-inch microwave, 21-inch oven, a ducted furnace. Of course, if you need even more out of your RV, there’s a lot of options that upgrade these features and add new ones. Check out the full list on the RV page for more details!

Key Features:

  • 11 different floor plans available
  • Exterior Back-up camera prep
  • Solid hardwood slide fascia
  • Solid lumber core cabinet stiles
  • Oversized under bed storage
  • Dual pane windows

Virtual Tour:


#2. Jayco North Point Fifth Wheel

Truly Heavy Duty!

View All Jayco North Point Fifth Wheel Floorplans!

No. of Floorplans Unloaded Weight Sleeps Length
9 12405-14200 lbs 4-9 38-43 feet

Why we recommend Jayco North Point fifth wheel: Among the bulkier versions of the fifth wheels from Jayco RVs are the North point series which are roughly between 12000 and 14000 pounds heavy. This does mean, however, that this RV is really stable and are quite durable. It can hold 4 to 9 people and span from 38 feet on the North Point 315RLTS to the 43 feet on the North Point 387RDFS.

Whether you’re camping down South where the sun always shines or places where it’s cold, the AC and the insulated underbelly plus furnace should keep your RV running at a comfortable temperature. If you’re thinking of doing a little tailgating along when on the move, there are exterior speakers, outdoor kitchen support with refrigerator and cooktop range, a wide awning and even an option for an outdoor grill. All in all, while the Jayco North point serves more purposes than one, it’s definitely a solid choice if you’re looking at fifth wheels for full-time living.

Key Features:

  • 9 different floor plans available!
  • Wide-stance front landing gear
  • Dual exterior marine-grade speakers
  • Free standing table with 2 dinette chairs and 2 folding chairs
  • One-piece, fiberglass shower with glass doors
  • Oversized folding exterior grab handle

Virtual Tour:


#3. Heartland Sundance Fifth Wheel

One of the Cozier Fifth Wheels Out There!

View All Heartland Sundance Fifth Wheel Floorplans!

No. of Floorplans Unloaded Weight Sleeps Length
11 8307-12896 lbs 2-9 30-42 feet

Why we recommend the Heartland Sundance fifth wheel: When it comes to looking for something truly lightweight but spacious, few fifth wheels can offer a dry weight of a mere 8307 pounds and be 30 feet long (view the Sundance 269TS). This itself makes it a perfect camper for couples looking for fifth wheels for full time living as it can only have 2 people. Of course, if you’re interested in the larger ones, floorplans such as the Sundance 3700RLB and the Sundance 3710MB are available as well!

The Sundance is also quite impressive in terms of features. You have at least 3 sideouts in every floorplan, meaning a lot of additional space along with copious amounts of baggage space with a slam latch doors. You also have a dual-ducted air conditioner and a 8 cubic feet refrigerator that can be upgraded to a 15,000 BTU AC and a residential style refrigerator. In a nutshell, the Heartland Sundance is a good choice to consider if you’re RVing full-time.

Key Features:

  • 11 different floor plans available
  • LED interior lighting
  • Tri-fold sofa bed
  • Back-up camera prep
  • Dual ducted AC
  • Painted fiberglass front cap

Virtual Tour:


#4. Jayco Eagle Fifth Wheel

The Affordable Family Camper!

View All Jayco Eagle Fifth Wheel Floorplans!

No. of Floorplans Unloaded Weight Sleeps Length
9 10310-12335 lbs 4-7 35-42 feet

Why we recommend the Jayco Eagle fifth wheel: If budget is something you’re also concerned about when choosing between fifth wheels for full-time living, then we highly recommend the Jacyo Eagle. While it’s MSRP is nearly the same as some of the others, it’s actual sale price is lower, and it offers the same amount of features and versatility of a good fifth wheel. For example, the Eagle 293RKDS offers has a very good build, weighing 10310 pounds and being 35 feet and at the same time they also have the Eagle 347BHOK which is 40 feet long and weighs pounds!

Feature-wise you’ll find that the Eagle has a lot of appreciable features. A ‘whisper quiet’ 15,000 BTU Air Conditioner and an electric patio awning with LED. Jayco has also added a ‘luxury package’ to this camper by default which adds a sound bar, frameless windows, handcrafted maple cabinet doors among other things too. If you wish to take it up a notch, there are over a dozen expansions and optimizations available, which truly makes this a best-in-class fifth wheel!

Key Features:

  • 9 different floor plans
  • Electric patio awning with integrated LED lights
  • Frameless windows
  • Exterior marine-grade speakers
  • Rear electric stabilizer jacks
  • Central command center with built-in tank monitoring

Virtual Tour:


#5. Forest River Wildcat Fifth Wheel

The Perfectly Stable and Roomy 5er!

View All Forest River Wildcat Fifth Wheel Floorplans!

No. of Floorplans Unloaded Weight Sleeps Length
23 7466-13170 lbs 4-10 31-42 feet

Why we recommend Forest River Wildcat fifth wheel: If you need something even lighter but more spacious than Sundance’s offering then something like the Wildcat 27RL should be right up your alley. It tips the scales at 7466 pounds and has a 31 feet footprint. As with our other choices, there are roomier and heavier options available such as the Wildcat 35WB available too, 23 to be exact. This alone makes the Wildcat worth checking out but it’s features are just as noteworthy too!

The Wildcat also has you covered in the features department, having some pretty impressive offerings ranging from a booth dinette to dual marine-grade outdoor stereo speakers. Of course, all of these are just the ones present in the vanilla version. Those looking to change a few features here and there can consider a myriad of upgrade options available such as a 2nd 13,500 BTU air conditioner and a king size bed!

Key Features:

  • 23 different floor plans available
  • Residential brushed chrome door and drawer hardware
  • Solid hardwood glazed slide-out fascia
  • 15,000 BTU ducted AC
  • 4,600 BTU electric fireplace
  • Residential soundbar with bluetooth

Video Overview:

Check out these similar RV reviews!

Top 5 Best Fifth Wheel RV Brands

Top 5 Best Fifth Wheel RVs with Bunk Beds

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Living full-time in an RV, even when its something as spacious and comfortable as a fifth wheel, should be done right. Hopefully our top 5 list here should help you narrow the list of your favorites!

BEFORE you head to a dealer to see these trailers, download your FREE RV Buyers Worksheet for help keeping track of:

  • The feature must-haves that are important to you and your family
  • Which brands or manufacturers you like
  • Budgeting tools including a payment calculator resource
  • Multiple well spaced pages with room for lots of your notes
  • BONUS Resources: Trade-in values, tow vehicle ratings, and finance options

Share with us your favorite fifth wheel travel trailer RV for full-time living in the comments below!

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