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Old 07-10-2010, 11:59 AM   #161
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Thanks Rich. This is only me day dreaming... DW is not sold on the whole RV lifestyle yet.

In terms of living space and amenities, a larger RV would be ideal. A real home away from home. But there are many reasons why I would prefer a smaller RV:

1) I don't see myself driving a big rig (parking, navigating around cities, etc...). I imagine that driving a class B RV, which is in essence a big van, would be much easier (and less stressful) for a novice like me.

2) I don't plan on traveling in an RV for months on ends. I enjoy going back home and I can't imagine being on the road for more than 2 weeks straight. For such short periods of time, roughing it a little would be part of the fun I think (I spent a lot of summers in small RVs as a kid, so I am used to the challenges).

The only thing I envy about larger RVs is the full size bathroom. In the Roadtrek models I have seen, it looks like you have to shower in the aisle and I would personally prefer a permanent bathroom.
We seriously considered a Roadtrek, but ultimately decided it was just too much money and that we wanted a more modest first RV since we weren't sure we would be totally sold on it. If it had just been DW and I, we would probably have ended up with something like an A-Liner Making products for people who like the outdoors. Copyright Columbia Northwest 2008.
Since it is us wth two small kids, we ended up with a small hard-sided trailer that sleeps 5 and we can tow with the minivan we already owned. http://www.cruiserrv.com/fun-finder-...fications.html

The bathroom isn't that much of an issue. Our trailer has a permanent "wet" bathroom, but we almost never actually shower in the trailer since we usually camp at state parks and the like and use their shower facilities. But it is there if we need it.

Since I work for a living and we have kids in school, most of our trips are 3 or 4 day excursions. The longest trip we have done so far is 6 days, although we will be doing 9 days next month. I think in as small a space as we have you could do a lot longer trip, but it would be a bit claustrophobic. But for up to a week it has been pretty servicable, especially as we are generally out doing stuff and only end up in the camper at night and for bad weather.

If you are seriously thinking about this, I would suggest going to an RV show. If nothing else, its amazing to see how cleverly many of these things are designed.
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:25 PM   #162
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We seriously considered a Roadtrek, but ultimately decided it was just too much money and that we wanted a more modest first RV since we weren't sure we would be totally sold on it. If it had just been DW and I, we would probably have ended up with something like an A-Liner Making products for people who like the outdoors. Copyright Columbia Northwest 2008.
Since it is us wth two small kids, we ended up with a small hard-sided trailer that sleeps 5 and we can tow with the minivan we already owned. http://www.cruiserrv.com/fun-finder-...fications.html

The bathroom isn't that much of an issue. Our trailer has a permanent "wet" bathroom, but we almost never actually shower in the trailer since we usually camp at state parks and the like and use their shower facilities. But it is there if we need it.

Since I work for a living and we have kids in school, most of our trips are 3 or 4 day excursions. The longest trip we have done so far is 6 days, although we will be doing 9 days next month. I think in as small a space as we have you could do a lot longer trip, but it would be a bit claustrophobic. But for up to a week it has been pretty servicable, especially as we are generally out doing stuff and only end up in the camper at night and for bad weather.

If you are seriously thinking about this, I would suggest going to an RV show. If nothing else, its amazing to see how cleverly many of these things are designed.
I will have to look for those RV shows in my area. I know we have a huge RV dealership in town, so we could also pop in and see what they have.

As for the bathroom issue, I don't know why I fixate on it. When I was a kid, our RV did not have a bathroom, so we had to use the campground's facilities all the time and I don't remember it being a problem. I guess, I am just afraid that if DW can't get her own, private bathroom, then it's going to be a no go. If I want to get her on board, a minimum amount of comfort is required.
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:35 PM   #163
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I will have to look for those RV shows in my area. I know we have a huge RV dealership in town, so we could also pop in and see what they have.

As for the bathroom issue, I don't know why I fixate on it. When I was a kid, our RV did not have a bathroom, so we had to use the campground's facilities all the time and I don't remember it being a problem. I guess, I am just afraid that if DW can't get her own, private bathroom, then it's going to be a no go. If I want to get her on board, a minimum amount of comfort is required.

IIRC, you have a Camry. What is the second car?
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:35 PM   #164
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DH and I have actually settled on a 5th wheel as our RV of choice - to be bought in about 2 years when we fantasize plan to retire. We have spent the last 4 years laboring over Class A, Class C, 5th wheel, travel trailer. We have also had a lot of fun going and looking through all of them. They each have their pros and cons, but in the end we loved the layouts of the 5th wheels and were willing to accept to cons (like stopping while on the road to eat or go potty....). I figured at that point in my life, I am not going to be in a hurry anyway.

The biggest con to the 5th wheel is figuring out the proper tow vehicle to ensure you have all the weight limits correct. I am amazed how little the salesmen know about 5th wheel towing...or how much they lie. All those people you see towing their 37' 5th wheel for a F250 are very likely well over their payload. They are content if the engine can pull the beast. But, from what I have read and seen, most 250s do not have the payload capacity to tow any 5th wheel over 30-32 feet.

We are guessing that mpg (assuming we go diesel) will be comparable to any sizable Class C or Class A - maybe a tad better. This will be offset by driving the gas-guzzler F350 when camped, as opposed to a 32 mpg toad.

Anyone with a rig over 32 feet want to share their gas mileage? I had heard 6-8 for regular. Maybe 8-12 for diesel? We are looking at a 33' 5th wheel (probably a Crossroad) with a F350 diesel and hope for about 12 towing....but given all the changes to the diesel engines in the last few years, that may be optimistic.

I forgot now who said they got the Itasca Class A - but that the Itasca was the only Class A we seriously considered (I think it was a 35J?). They are one nice rig.
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:38 PM   #165
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IIRC, you have a Camry. What is the second car?
A miata... Towing capacity 900 lbs
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:41 PM   #166
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A miata...
Well, that rules out a trailer unless you get something with slightly heftier towing capacity. Unfortunate, since a trailer is a cheap, easy way to get a start with RVing.
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:50 PM   #167
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Well, that rules out a trailer unless you get something with slightly heftier towing capacity. Unfortunate, since a trailer is a cheap, easy way to get a start with RVing.
I am surprised to see that the Camry only has a towing capacity of 1000 lbs.

I am familiar with trailers. My parents used to have a pop-up trailer and several people in my family have larger trailers as well. They all tow their trailers with cars that are smaller and less powerful than the Camry.

A mid-size car towing a trailer fit for 2/3 people is a pretty common sight on European roads:
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Old 07-10-2010, 01:09 PM   #168
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I am surprised to see that the Camry only has a towing capacity of 1000 lbs.

I am familiar with trailers. My parents used to have a pop-up trailer and several people in my family have larger trailers as well. They all tow their trailers with cars that are smaller and less powerful than the Camry.

A mid-size car towing a trailer fit for 2/3 people is a pretty common sight on European roads:
Yes, I am aware. I have heard of at least one person in the US towing a trailer that weighs about what mine does with a diesel Jetta even though that is way over the manufacturers' listed towing capacity. I have also heard of people towing Airstreams (very heavy) with Honda minivans. But I would be reluctant to do so, personally.
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Old 07-10-2010, 01:22 PM   #169
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Yes, I am aware. I have heard of at least one person in the US towing a trailer that weighs about what mine does with a diesel Jetta even though that is way over the manufacturers' listed towing capacity. I have also heard of people towing Airstreams (very heavy) with Honda minivans. But I would be reluctant to do so, personally.
Yeah, I don't want to chance it either.
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Old 07-10-2010, 01:54 PM   #170
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If you can get a new F350 for 40K and a 5th wheel for 50K isn't that much less than a Class A/B plus a small car?
2011 Ford F-350 Super Duty Pricing and Information

I've also heard that if you don't move the 5th wheel that often you can hire companies to move it for you.
You can get a decent new Class A for around $110k (not top of the line, but decent still). The TOAD can be your family car and thus not a true new expense (I drive my TOAD as my daily car). If you can live with a heavy duty pickup as a main drive, that works, too.
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:05 PM   #171
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I forgot now who said they got the Itasca Class A - but that the Itasca was the only Class A we seriously considered (I think it was a 35J?). They are one nice rig.
That would be Rich_in_Tampa (maybe not so rich after that purchase ).
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:21 PM   #172
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The biggest con to the 5th wheel is figuring out the proper tow vehicle to ensure you have all the weight limits correct. I am amazed how little the salesmen know about 5th wheel towing...or how much they lie. All those people you see towing their 37' 5th wheel for a F250 are very likely well over their payload. They are content if the engine can pull the beast. But, from what I have read and seen, most 250s do not have the payload capacity to tow any 5th wheel over 30-32 feet.
That appears to be a universal (OK, maybe nationwide is a better term) problem. Way too many folks in RV land seem to think an F250/350 can pull any 5th wheel no matter how big. That may be true, but can they stop it in an emergency or go up a steep hill at more than 30 mph?

I cringe whenever I see not enough truck pulling too much trailer:
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:02 PM   #173
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...

Some suggest going from no experience to a full size Class A. While that is probably the most cost-effective strategy, we found it much more comfortable to work our way up so we knew what we wanted.

...
and this is exactly what my darling bride and I plan to do...sell our stuff or throw it away or donate it...sell the house... buy a nice used class a around 35 feet...retire in march.. hit the road for 1- who knows hoe many years... and yes it all sound crazy to even me... but we are going to do it anyhow...
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:26 PM   #174
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We managed to do it in two steps.

1. Our very first was a small travel trailer, compact but fully self-contained (all RV house features), and easily pulled by a regular SUV. It was a blast.

2. We enjoyed that so much, we decided we could get rid of the house and go full time, which to us definitely meant a class A. We went straight for a diesel pusher and we're glad we did. What a mansion it seemed after the tiny RV trailer.

We learned a great deal from the first small RV that really helped us when we took on the larger, much more complex one.

The main thing we learned, of course, was how much we loved RVing.

Audrey

P.S. Our first RV is what Dex has now.
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:40 PM   #175
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and this is exactly what my darling bride and I plan to do...sell our stuff or throw it away or donate it...sell the house... buy a nice used class a around 35 feet...retire in march.. hit the road for 1- who knows hoe many years... and yes it all sound crazy to even me... but we are going to do it anyhow...
Used is smart. Last year I met a man at a central Colorado RV park, about 70, spend 500K+ on a class A and had it for sale at about 300K with apx 25k or less miles on it, 1+ years old. I felt for him. It still had a for sale on it when I saw it in storage this year. (Call Snowy Peaks RV park in Buena Vista, Co. if you are interested) I don't see many in that price range in central Colorado. I've usually seen them the closer I get to California. Moab is a good place to spot them.

I never RVd before I retired. I was looking at the ALiners but went with a Casita - it works for now.
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:03 PM   #176
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I'm still waiting on my new to me van RV. They've fixed everything but the backup camera. Had to get some parts and they haven't come in yet. I'm getting antsy to get it and almost want to tell them to forget the backup camera - I can get a new one for $100.

I've never RV'd before either but I think the van will suit my purposes pretty well. I was thinking I would probably boondock most of the time and just do a park now and then. We will see whether that holds true once I get it. On my upcoming trip to Denver, I have no plans for parks because it is just a beeline to Denver. See how I feel on the way back. In the past, I've done a lot of basic camping, so the RV will be quite luxurious.
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:28 PM   #177
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It looks like more people are getting interested in RVs. Darn! The wait list may be already too long at some favorite NPs. Heh heh heh...

Tesaje, you will have great fun with your RV. If I were a single traveler, I would not need more room. And by the way, the RoadTreks looked great to me, until I checked out their new prices. Being the kind of cheapskate who is willing to sacrifice quality for a bit more quantity, I quickly gravitated to the larger, yet less expensive, Sprinter-based RVs that can be bought used for 1/2 of new list prices. But I could not wait and ended up with the gas-guzzler sitting on my driveway now. It cost me even less, and the price difference will pay for a lot of gas. So, I should not complain.

Its CCC is almost 2500lbs after a full fuel tank. That leaves enough reserve to haul a bit of water around.

We were never interested in a class A, or a 5th wheel. These are just way too big for us. Only B, B+, C, or smaller trailers towable by SUVs for us. What we have now (26ft C towing a toad) is at the high end of sizes for us. Will see if we will change our mind after some serious miles on the road.
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:33 PM   #178
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