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LazyDays
Old 08-16-2006, 07:40 PM   #1
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LazyDays

Had a few days off so I went out toe LazyDays near here. This is an amazing place -- it's the galaxy's largest RV dealer far and away, and is apparently kind of an icon in the RV world. 126 acres, selling about 10,000 RVs a year.

I was really just exploring but must admit I was smitten. Our original thought was that this is something we might enjoy in a few years afer we downsize -- long trips, visits to distant kids, etc. Now they have me thinking that the RV world is even better for long weekends and shorter trips. Fla is blessed with tons of RV parks and state parks along the coast, in the Everglades, and around lots of fun cities like St. Augustine, and the North Carolina mountain country is a day's drive away.

By the end of the visit I was looking at class A motorhomes (like a small bus) and class C (truck chassis with home attached, not towed, with slide-out walls, etc.). I'll calm down in a day or two, but this really looks like fun, even before retirement. 5th wheels, which I originally thought would be the best, ddidn't seem a good fit since we don't own a pickup, don't want to mess with itches, jacks, and leveling, etc., and I'd have to store both the truck and the RV somewhere (no room here in my city house).

I know there are lots of RVers here. Whaddya think? I'm especially drawn to the Winnebago on top of the Dodge truck with the diesel engine (19-20 mpg). A good move 3 years before retirement, or would you wait til time was more your own? Tips?
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-16-2006, 07:44 PM   #2
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Re: LazyDays

I understand most depreciate rapidly. Were I you I would look at the used market.

Some slide-outs have had problems. Do good research.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-16-2006, 08:03 PM   #3
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Re: LazyDays

Hey Rich, I too think about going this route, but keep pulling back before I commit. I think I would rent first to make sure I really am RV material...I do like the airstreams alot...Have fun deciding!
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-16-2006, 08:11 PM   #4
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Re: LazyDays

Hey Rich, do what the Bunny would have done. Send your DW to work quit your job and buy the RV.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-16-2006, 08:49 PM   #5
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Re: LazyDays

I believe Matha and Greg own a LazyDaze, a type B I think, which they used a lot before their retirement, and continue to use a lot in Martha's partial retirement.

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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 09:14 AM   #6
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Re: LazyDays

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa

I know there are lots of RVers here. Whaddya think? I'm especially drawn to the Winnebago on top of the Dodge truck with the diesel engine (19-20 mpg). A good move 3 years before retirement, or would you wait til time was more your own? Tips?
Are you talking abou the Winnebago View? This is a nice vehicle. http://www.winnebagoind.com/products/winnebago/view/

The Mercedes Sprinter chasis (now branded under Dodge) is becoming more and more popular. Another nice one is built by Gulfstream. http://www.gulfstreamcoach.com/vistacruisermini/

Smaller sprinter class Bs are built by a variety of companies, including Airstream, Forest River, Leisure Travel, etc. Here is a link to the three models offered by Airstream: http://www.airstream.com/product_lin...hes/index.html

We bought our class C LazyDaze motorhome a little more than two years ago. Before that we had a Volkswagen Eurovan camper van. We looked at Sprinter chasis motorhomes at that time, but they were just on the market and there wasn't a lot of choices. I think they are nice motorhome.

We went with the LazyDaze class C ( www.lazydaze.com) because it is one of the best built class C motorhomes out there. We liked the aluminum skin, which doesn't have delamination problems like some motorhome. We can easily pull a car or a trailer. The resale value is high. It is not sold by dealers and can only be bought directly from the manufacturer in California. We liked the floorplan as well. It also was the biggest that would fit in our parking lot. Very reliable. So far nothing has gone wrong.

Born Free also makes a fine class C motorhome, but they are quite pricy.http://www.bornfreemotorcoach.com/

I don't know as much about the big class As. Audrey has a class A and can tell you more. I did read about quality issues with less expensive class A motorhomes.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 09:20 AM   #7
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Re: LazyDays

I'd be skeptical of that Winnebago View. There's an old saying that you should never buy a German motorhome for American-type use. Now maybe things are different these days, but Winnebago used to offer some scaled-down German motorhome back in the 80's. I think it was called a Rialto or something? Anyway, Americans think nothing of covering 500+ miles per day on their trips, but in Europe such a trek would most likely take you across several countries, with lots of stuff to see, and might take you several days or more.

Just make sure the thing really IS designed to handle the American driving experience. Also check out the payload capacity, GVWR ratings, etc. Those smaller things can often be easily overloaded.

Now, driving is believing, but I'd be a bit leery of having something that big with only 2.7 liters to pull it around. I don't care if it IS a Diesel, I'm sure that little sucker must be straining!
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 10:26 AM   #8
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Re: LazyDays

Thanks for the great leads.

Martha - did you own an RV while still working full-time? Care to venture an opinion as to whether it's likely to get used much in that setting (are there hidden hassles to consider re: whether it's worth setting up and breaking down for just a 1 or 2-night stay somewhere nearby, e.g. tanks)? Aside from insurance and, in our case, storage, are there any hidden expenses to consider?

Do you tow a car, or are the vehicle and setup times such that you can just drive it into the city once in a while (parking being the obvious hassle)?

I tried to research that Mercedes diesel chassis and though it is largely anecdotal, all I could find were positive experiences. But points well taken, Andre1969.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 10:38 AM   #9
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Re: LazyDays

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
I tried to research that Mercedes diesel chassis and though it is largely anecdotal, all I could find were positive experiences.
Actually, class C built on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis is a bad idea, especially those with a slide.* The chassis weight capacity is very low, so most of the Winnebago Views out there are running overloaded.

SportsMobile (Austin, TX) is building a German version on the Sprinter chassis WITHOUT slide.* This is probably the only thing available now that does not tax the chassis (although it's getting close).

http://www.sportsmobile.com/2_sr_classc_sc100.html

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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 10:58 AM   #10
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Re: LazyDays

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
I tried to research that Mercedes diesel chassis and though it is largely anecdotal, all I could find were positive experiences.
Ditto ref the Mercedes diesel chassis.......all good news so far.* I've been looking at the Air Steam built on the same Mercedes chassis.*

It seems like it is going to be a huge disaster if the Mercedes chassis turns out to be a bust for RV use as most of the prominant RV manufacturers are offering a model built on it.* I've never owned one, but I have a lot of respect for the Air Stream folks based on personal research and recommendations.

More anecdotal observations........ here in Big City, USA, we're seeing the Dodge Sprint truck in use everywhere.* UPS and Federal Express have added them to the fleet as well as Snap On Tools.* Plus small businesses seem to like them.* There's one parked in a driveway across the street right now with a plumbers logo on the side.

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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 11:07 AM   #11
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Re: LazyDays

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
There's one parked in a driveway across the street right now with a plumbers logo on the side.
Hey, I've seen that truck!

[img width=750 height=562]http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y192/REWannabe/Plumbertrucklogo.jpg[/img]
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 11:33 AM   #12
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Re: LazyDays

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
We went with the LazyDaze class C ( www.lazydaze.com)
Uh, oh. No answer at their 800 number, and the other AC 909 number is out of service. I'll try again another time, but just a heads up.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 11:39 AM   #13
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Re: LazyDays

Rich:

Costs look like

- Insurance: probably hundreds a year
- Maintenance: figure at least a thousand a year, likely more. Tires will need replacing every 4 or 5 years at $750 a pop or better, just to give you an idea.
- Storage: Will this fit in your driveway? If not, go price a storage unit for it.
- Cost of money: you have to either finance it or forgo some earnings
- Depreciation: Varies widely. Looks to me like the depreciation curve on most RVs settles down after 4 or 5 years.

Then you have operating costs. Gasoline, propane, campsite fees come to mind. Not sure what else might be out there.

Not a cheap plaything by any means. I think that the best way to squeeze costs is to buy a 4 or 5 year old RV in decent shape and do your shopping in the off-season.

We are toying with the idea of a class B (Roadtrek). We will likely visit a dealer in October just to get a look at them, and then decide if we are serious. If the answer is yes, I will be looking for a 4 or 5 year old one in decent shape.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 01:12 PM   #14
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Re: LazyDays

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Uh, oh. No answer at their 800 number, and the other AC 909 number is out of service. I'll try again another time, but just a heads up.
It is a small factory run by a family that is a wee little bit like the soup Nazi. You want a slideout? No motorhome for you!! Don't worry, they are there. Try later. If you end up interested in the LazyDaze, there is a very active Yahoo message boards devoted to Lazydaze motorhomes. They love to answer questions. http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/...thalazydazerv/


Quote:
Martha - did you own an RV while still working full-time? Care to venture an opinion as to whether it's likely to get used much in that setting (are there hidden hassles to consider re: whether it's worth setting up and breaking down for just a 1 or 2-night stay somewhere nearby, e.g. tanks)? Aside from insurance and, in our case, storage, are there any hidden expenses to consider?
We got ours 6 months before I went part time. Hardly used it at all after our trip from California when we bought the thing until I cut back at work. I had a busy six months. It is easy though to use it for one or two nights. There are holding tanks. You don't have to bother to hook up to anything. Your tanks don't need to be emptied until full. We often use ours for short jaunts to visit friends. Nice to have your own home with you.

Insurance is surprisingly cheap.

Even though the motorhome depreciates, once it is bought I find the cost of travel very reasonable. We like national forest type campgrounds that are inexpensive. Greg cooks all our food so we don't eat out much. We like friend's driveways. Of course, gas is a bitch.


We most often tow a trailer with motorcycles. The LD is 23.5 feet so it is small enough to get around a town and park in parking lots. It is nice though to have something smaller to get around in. The Sprinter motorhomes are narrower so they are easier in town.

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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 01:15 PM   #15
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Re: LazyDays

Martha, how did you like the VW?
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 01:25 PM   #16
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Re: LazyDays

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Martha, how did you like the VW?
Liked it a lot. Can be used as a second vehicle. Easy to drive. Easy to park. Dogs loved it. Good mileage. Like sleeping below the pop top feeling close, but not too close, to nature. Greg is sitting here next to me saying he is licking his chops waiting for one with a diesel in it.

Downsides: Small. No bathroom. Wouldn't want to live in it with husband and two dogs for more than a week. Towing capacity is minimal. VWs are prone to issues like transmission problems.

Martha

Alexander Graig: When visiting HER family in Calif, I continued to sleep there every nite . Nice respit hidie-hole wherever-whenever.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 01:29 PM   #17
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Re: LazyDays

Yeah, the lack of a bathroom is what stops me on that front. Heck, I can fold the seats down on the minivan and blow up an air mattress.

Sadly, the class B RVs are pretty expensive, so it will require some serious thought before I go that route.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 01:29 PM   #18
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Re: LazyDays

Rich: Greg just reminded me that the Lazy Daze factory shuts down for a couple of weeks in late summer for vacations for all. This could be vacation time.
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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 01:37 PM   #19
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Re: LazyDays

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Yeah, the lack of a bathroom is what stops me on that front. Heck, I can fold the seats down on the minivan and blow up an air mattress.

Sadly, the class B RVs are pretty expensive, so it will require some serious thought before I go that route.
Yup. That is one main reason we switched. Or, you can get a porta potty.

There is a big difference in living in a minivan and living in a Eurovan. The cooking facilities are nice and you can stand up and move around easily. The pop top makes a huge difference.

From Greg: I still think the 'build your own' from Sportsmobile could be a cheap way to go. They get the van at a wholesale price then add whatever you want, all customized out. I always thought a stripped-down one with a few cabinets, a fridge, no plumbing (just a five gallon water jug and portapotty) would be perfect. You stop at campgrounds for showers and such, use a Coleman stove to cook, and away you go. Cheap--maybe.

Back to Martha:

I like my luxuries, thank you.


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Re: LazyDays
Old 08-17-2006, 01:41 PM   #20
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Re: LazyDays

Grartha:

I could be happy with the el strippo, but not while travelling with small children. Having cooking facilities and a full bathroom is the main attraction...
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