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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 04:06 PM   #21
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Re: LazyDays

Six years ago we changed out our old (1976) 20ft Class C for a 1985 VW Westfalia camper. Our younger son is now 17 and we don't need all the features of a larger RV We like the VW a lot , most of the mechanical issues were solved when I had the VW engine replaced with a Subaru engine. We have a porta potty for trips for wife & I. It is also used for hauling things from Home Depot and the like. I get 16MPG around town and 19 on the road, not bad for a heavy brick.
The vehicle is most loved by our teen age rock drummer son since he can haul his drums around and the vehicle has enough status to rank up with expensive cars in his high school parking lot.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 04:18 PM   #22
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Re: LazyDays

Rich
We have had a Class A 29 ft. for about a year and half.* Bought used.
Others have commented on the depreciation issue---single largest cost of ownership.* First year is typically 25% and msrp means even less in RVs then it does in auto.
If you want to get a good handle on RVing from very knowledgeable people with no agenda, consider attending a Life on Wheels Conference http://www.rvlifeonwheels.com/.* The cost is relatively low and a bargain relative to the costs of RVing.* Another good resource for learning is RV.net http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm.* They have a couple of threads just for people starting the process.

If do get the bug, encourage you buy used the first time and experience what matters to you and DW.* Also consider the advise we were given, when your first unit is a used one, you also will not feel nearly as pained when you have some of your learning experiences--loosing awnings, tv attennas, bumper dings, etc.
Also Audrey1 is a full timer who posts here often and can provide some first hand input.
Good Luck
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 04:20 PM   #23
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Re: LazyDays

Further to nwsteve's point, I 've read several times that anyone buying a used RV should assume that there will be something to fix that will cost at least $1000 on any RV you buy. Just pencil it in and don't be surprised.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 06:25 PM   #24
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Re: LazyDays

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwsteve
Others have commented on the depreciation issue---single largest cost of ownership. First year is typically 25% and msrp means even less in RVs then it does in auto.
This implies that if the RV was totaled in the first year, the insurance company's idea of ACV would only be 75% of retail. Yikes-- drive carefully.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Further to nwsteve's point, I 've read several times that anyone buying a used RV should assume that there will be something to fix that will cost at least $1000 on any RV you buy.* Just pencil it in and don't be surprised.
Sounds a lot like buying a landlocked boat. Are there RV versions of marine surveyors?
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 07:39 PM   #25
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Re: LazyDays

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwsteve
Rich
We have had a Class A 29 ft. for about a year and half. Bought used.
Others have commented on the depreciation issue---single largest cost of ownership. First year is typically 25% and msrp means even less in RVs then it does in auto.
We were window shopping an Airstream dealer a few weeks ago. The MSRP on the Airstream on the Sprinter chasis is over $80,000, but the dealer gave a price of less than $60,000 and we weren't even talking price.

BTW, Lazydaze doesn't dicker on price at all. Don't like their price? No motorhome for you! But the first year depreciation is far less than 25%.

Hard to tell how much a motorhome depreciates in the first year when you don't know how much it cost new.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 07:55 PM   #26
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Re: LazyDays

WATCHIT! LazyDays is well known for high prices (not the best bargains), very smooth selling techniques, and lousy service.

Try renting a class A or class C RV for a week here and there to get a feel for the lifestyle and whether it's a fit. Rentals, although expensive, are far, far cheaper than buying one.

Then if it still seems like a great thing to do - start researching product, maybe visit a few shows to get a look at a few models that (based on research) seemed like they might be OK . By then if you've done the rental thing a few times you'll have a little hands experience to help guide you, as well as the research. The LAST thing you want is to visit a dealer - only when you've narrowed down to a few models and know who are the reputable dealers for those models, plus what you should expect to pay.

Many people get fleeced by walking into a dealer and getting dazzled by whatever happens to be on the dealers lot. It takes a lot of research to both find a good match of an RV plus get a decent deal.

By far the best deals are buying an RV that is about 2 years old and not too abused. It's harder for a newbie to buy used - but perhaps you can find an experienced RVer to help you out.

RVs are money pits.

Realize (perhaps you do) that I actually live in a motorhome (class A).

Audrey

P.S. Forums to read: www.trailerlife.com http://www.escapees.com/
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 07:57 PM   #27
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Re: LazyDays

Just so there is no confusion, LazyDays the dealer is not at all related to the manufacturer LazyDaze.

Someone should have thought about trademark infringement.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 08:57 PM   #28
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Re: LazyDays

I often fantasize about an RV of some sort. I likely would never buy anything bigger than a PU with a tent and a bunch of crap in the back, but they always look so inviting!

I bought a used Silver Streak Trailer in the early 80s, and a Ford F 250 crew cab to pull it. I thought we'd go down to the Oregon dunes. Ha! I am no truck driver is what I learned! I brought that thing back, stuck it in my yard, and used it as a really neat piece of sixties kitsch. I could go out there in the morning and have coffee, watch the deer or eagles or herons on my pond, and enjoy the turquoise countertops and "blond" cabinets.

A few months ago I was fantasizing again while I was driving through the Stillaguamish Valley on the way to my drum lesson. I approached an old stone bridge. Another car got there about the same time. We were both going about 50. There were two lanes, but it was tight. Damn, I didn't like it in my car! If I had been driving a motorhome I likely would have headed for the river.

Another difficulty I have is that I am maintenance challenged. When I had little money, I buckled down and did lots of stuff, switched engines in my car and pickup, replaced main bearings that I had ruined by not noticing an abrupt oil leak, etc. But I hate it! I hate the scuffed knuckles, the grease under my fingernails, the smell of oil and solvent. I even wore vinyl gloves to try to keep clean, but it was a losing battle. The only part I liked was the Jack Daniels afterward and the camaraderie with my kids while we worked.

I have talked with a few RVers, often at the park down from my house. All the men seem to me just like the guys I used to meet taking my kids to ham radio events. Do these guys ever love to tinker! I would go to sleep listening to their conversations, but that much I learned.

So unless I could travel with a woman wrencher, I think my maintenance phobia likely disqualifies me too.

"Hey Sweetie, Iíll pass you the shiftin' spanner if youíll give your Daddy a little kiss."

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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 09:26 PM   #29
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Re: LazyDays

Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1
By far the best deals are buying an RV that is about 2 years old and not too abused. It's harder for a newbie to buy used - but perhaps you can find an experienced RVer to help you out.
Realize (perhaps you do) that I actually live in a motorhome (class A).
Thanks for the great advice, Audrey. Will follow!

Yes, LazyDays (the dealer) is very slick and impressive, but like most here if we go this route, there will be obsessive due diligence.

The Winnebago View or Gulf Stream Cruiser Mini (both based on the Dodge/Mercedes diesel) both look good for us on paper, given it's just two of us and the occasional little grandkid, 18 mpg; a bit weak on towing but the most we'll have there is a 300 lb scooter or such.

We may hold off until I semi-FIRE and thus have more time to ramble, but it is tempting for those long weekends even before then. If you have any opinions on whether the above seem like good newbie choices I'd love to hear them.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-18-2006, 12:02 AM   #30
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Re: LazyDays

We have a travel trailer that we use as a 'mother-in-law' when visiting family in our former home town. We found a convenient place to park it that tolerates our occassional occupancy.

In my corner of the world there are several RV rental places. At both Portland and Anchorage airports I notice arriving passengers climbing into RVs obviously planning to camp the easy way. Given the investment (and likely limited use) I would rent not buy.

Do the math before buying.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-18-2006, 07:47 AM   #31
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Re: LazyDays

I haven't seen Tozz around the site lately. He is traveling in the Winnebago View or Itasca Navion (same thing). He reported that he really liked it.

I think the issue to look at is whether it or the Gulfstream have enough carrying capacity.

CCC is Cargo Carrying Capacity, or the amount of "stuff" you can load in it.

For a motorhome, CCC is calculated as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) minus the base weight of the motorhome plus full fluids (fuel, oil, propane, fresh water), and the number of sleeping positions times about 150 pounds.

The CCC posted inside the rig may or may not be accurate because RV manufacturers are not required to weigh each individual motorhome...they can use an average. Plus, if the dealer has added after-market options, the weight of those options will not be reflected in the weight sticker.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-18-2006, 07:50 AM   #32
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Re: LazyDays

Yup, CCC is what has me no longer looking at a VW Rialta. The "sleeps 4" version has CCC of like 400 pounds, which is way too low. The Mercedes-based RVs are not quite as bad, but they appear to be kind of skinny on CCC. The Chevy-based Roadtreks seem to have a lot more CCC, as does pretty much anything Lazy Daze makes.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-18-2006, 08:44 AM   #33
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Re: LazyDays

Here's a disgusting question: how often do you have to dump the black (or gray) water tanks assuming you haven't filled them? Is there some time limit where you need to tend to them even though you still have capacity?

I figure this isn't a problem when you are camping for a week or more at a time, and dumping them regularly. But with sporadic use, I imagine that time would necessitate tending to them faster than filling them?

I really should be thinking higher thoughts here, but, heck --* I'm on vacation.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-18-2006, 08:58 AM   #34
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Re: LazyDays

About 6 years ago, I came really close to buying a rig like this...

http://www.jaycronen.com/vehicles/im...board-full.jpg

It was a 1974 Travco 220 motorhome. Believe it or not, as tiny as the thing is, it actually has a private bedroom in back! I've always been fascinated with vintage motorhomes, but I guess rolling all of the potential problems of an old car together with an old house and trying to go dancing across the USA with it isn't the most sane thing in the world to do!

FWIW, the last time I saw a Travco actually on the road was about 5 years ago, on my way to Texas. Needless to say, it was broken down along the highway.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-18-2006, 09:15 AM   #35
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Re: LazyDays

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Here's a disgusting question: how often do you have to dump the black (or gray) water tanks assuming you haven't filled them? Is there some time limit where you need to tend to them even though you still have capacity?

I figure this isn't a problem when you are camping for a week or more at a time, and dumping them regularly. But with sporadic use, I imagine that time would necessitate tending to them faster than filling them?

I really should be thinking higher thoughts here, but, heck -- I'm on vacation.
Oh, boy. Sewage and elimination of elimination--how derivative! One of my favorite topics. As a practical matter, we dump after each camping trip if we can find a free dump site. Sometimes we can't and our partially full black tank sits for a week or sometimes two. The chemicals DW adds after a dump have always kept oders to a minimum. The specially built toilets for MHs prevent the back-up oders from entering the cabin. Sometimes the seal on the toilet leaks and there's some unexpected blow-back. We try to fix such problems immediately. The seals can be treated with Vasaline (Sorry to stray slightly off-topic)

Our black water holding tank holds about 20 gallons. You could probably figure out how long that tank size would last given your personal circumstances (expected personal daily volume times the number of active participants). I won't give you any details about the two of us. Suffice to say, that two adults on the road makes a 20 gal. tank last a week easy, especially if one uses public rest areas as intended. Unless a bad eating event or two occurs. Most canpgrounds have dump stations as do many road side reststops, except in Texas. Municipal sites are easy to find. I think Texas wants you to take it all back home for the most part. If you are on an extended stay in the woods, you can buy a large portable tank to dump into and then roll it to an outhouse. More details? I've got plenty. Please don't tell Martha I posted our personal elimination habits on a public forum.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-18-2006, 09:18 AM   #36
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Re: LazyDays

I've been following all the RV posts thinking I might like to rent an RV and tour parts of the US someday soon.

Can someone please explain what the diference is between the different classes...and more importantly which one is the smallest and closest to a pickup or van size? TIA
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-18-2006, 09:35 AM   #37
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Re: LazyDays

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute & Fuzzy Apocalypse
Oh, boy. Sewage and elimination of elimination--how derivative!
Thanks for the uplifting thoughts, Greg. Actually quite useful and let's face it, dealing with that er... aspect of RVing is mighty important to a newbie. I've been doing a little homework and have to smile at the number of messages on black water, what to add, what not to add, odors, etc. It's the industry's dark, mysterious side .

In perspective, sounds like it's an unpleasant but relatively minor part of the lifestyle, at least when everything is working as it should.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-18-2006, 09:39 AM   #38
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Re: LazyDays

Motorhome classes...

I think it goes something like this...

Class A: motorhome based on a medium-duty truck chassis. Could be anywhere from 22-40 feet long, single or tandem rear axle, but the whole thing is "enclosed", as in there is no separate cab

Class B: van-based. Usually has a customized body that's taller than a regular van, and might flare out a bit wider aft of the cab. Usually these things are very expensive for their size, because all of the components inside, like the plumbing, appliances, etc, have been miniaturized in a major way. These things kind of like a conversion van on steroids.

Class C: minimotorhome. These are the ones where they mate the camper body to a van or pickup truck front-end. I think they're usually based on the 1-ton van/pickup chassis, so they're not a medium duty platform like a Class-A motorhome. These are the ones where you have a sleeping area over the cab. Since vans are taller inside than pickups, they usually have a van front-end, but I have seen some with pickup truck cabs. They were common in the 60's and early 70's, but as vans evolved, they pretty much took over.

Class D: I don't think they really make these things anymore, but they're basically like Class C's, except that they're built off of compact 1-ton truck platforms. There used to be a company called Dolphin that built them on Toyota platforms, but I dunno if anybody still makes them or not. Toyota does make a 1-ton compact truck platform for use as Ryder/U-haul type trucks, so it's possible that someone still uses the platform for motorhomes.

Bus conversions: I don't know if these are considered Class A or have their own separate category, but these are usually expensive, heavy-duty Diesel buses that are converted for motorhome use. They're expensive, but are essentially private versions of Greyhound-type buses, so they're designed to go the distance. They're bigger and heavier than your typical medium-duty truck-based Class-A, but also tend to be much more substantial and less flimsy.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-18-2006, 09:50 AM   #39
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Re: LazyDays

http://www.rv-coach.com/rv/types/classes/rv_types.html
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-18-2006, 10:05 AM   #40
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Re: LazyDays

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Thanks for the uplifting thoughts, Greg. Actually quite useful and let's face it, dealing with that er... aspect of RVing is mighty important to a newbie. I've been doing a little homework and have to smile at the number of messages on black water, what to add, what not to add, odors, etc. It's the industry's dark, mysterious side .

In perspective, sounds like it's an unpleasant but relatively minor part of the lifestyle, at least when everything is working as it should.
No, the scary part is the ease of talking about it. When I was about 20-21 years old my brother and I drove down to Florida to see my parents--30 some hours straight. We arrived late at nite. I woke up early in the morning, about 9AMm and my mother and girlfriends were all sitting around the kitchen table talking about constipation. My eyes rolled and I had to 'leave the building.' For years afterward, the standing joke with my brother was that the first one to start talking about that stuff in public should be shot by the other. Oh, my, gawd!
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