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Old 10-28-2009, 05:24 PM   #121
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I am surprised that none of our Rv'ers are touring New England . It is so beautiful at this time of year .
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:14 PM   #122
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I am surprised that none of our Rv'ers are touring New England . It is so beautiful at this time of year .
SHhhhh! yer giving away the good stuff. I spent a lot of time in New England and the Adirondacks from late September to late December. Truly spectacular, the tourists and the black flies are gone.
Shhhhhh, keep it quiet.

Though when hunting season starts, stay out of the woods for the first three or four days, by then the inebriated/incompetent hunters have shot each other.
In the Blue mountain lake, Saranac region (Adirondacks) we used to bet on how many airlifts or expired hunters would be on the first then the second and third days.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:48 PM   #123
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Also - get a low weight one so that you don't have to deal with advanced towing issues - those can get complex as well.
Are there any trailers you can tow with a car? We don't own an SUV/van/truck and would rather not.
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:02 PM   #124
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I think a trailer would be a good alternative for someone not wanting to make the full "plunge" into big-rigging. All sizes seem to be considerably less expensive than a comparably sized motorhome. The parts that "wear out" (engine, tranny, suspension, etc) and which need frequent maintenance are all in the tow vehicle, so there's no reason your investment shouldn't still be serviceable for 25 years. The tow vehicle is usable every day when you are at home, so that depreciating asset isn't sitting under a tarp, undriven, 200 days out of the year. And, when you get to the campsite you've got a vehicle for short trips into town while leaving your "home" set up. I guess on the down side, you do have a little more set-up time when you get to the "camp" and the non-driver can't go back and make a sandwich or grab a cold drink from the fridge while on the road or stopped for a minute.

For full-timers the dedicated motorhome makes a lot of sense, but for the less dedicated part-timers, I'd probably go for a trailer on the bang-for-the-buck factor.

Of course, I know nothing about any of this--I'm just chiming in with an uninformed opinion.
Those were all the reasons I thought of when I started to think seriously about RVs. I did a lot of research on the Web regarding various lightweight trailers of under 3000 lbs loaded. They are usually around 18 ft long. My SUV is rated at 5000-lb tow rating, but I have read that one needs a lot of margin for safety and to not ruin the SUV transmission.

We then went out to look at a couple. I was disappointed that the new ones are expensive ($15K+) and small. Used ones would be lower of course, but it would take some time to shop. One thing that turned me off about these lightweight trailers is that many owners report gas mileage from 8-10 mpg when towing with a SUV that usually delivers 18mpg by itself.

Then, I found out that for a bit more, I can get a used class C with 50K miles or less. We saw some that had been well kept. These class Cs are better built than the small travel trailers, in my view. Towing a small car, some owners reported 8-10 mpg, which would be excellent in my view. Of course I am talking about gas models, not diesels. The latter cost quite a bit more, and I did a rough computation to convince myself that the fuel savings would not offset the higher price for many many tens of thousand of miles. Same story as hybrid vs. conventional cars.

Most class Cs are built on a commercial truck or van chassis. So, you take them to a Ford or Chevy dealer for service. The "house" portion would be serviced by common RV shops, I was told.

So, I am still leaning towards a class C pulling a car. A small used class B would work too. They are small enough that one doesn't need a dinghy (they can't pull one anyway). RonBoyd has one of those. Despite the smaller size, they aren't cheap, and tend to cost more than the class C even. I think built in to the prices is the expectation that fuel prices will rise. Dare I go against the common wisdom? The answer depends on how many miles I will drive, but I do not have a good estimate of that.
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:17 PM   #125
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Are there any trailers you can tow with a car? We don't own an SUV/van/truck and would rather not.
A pop-up probably. Still, you need to make sure you have a proper hitch with the proper weight rating for whatever you pull.

Audrey
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:34 PM   #126
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Yes, there are many camper trailers that would allow a couple to spend a weekend, or even a week at a time, close to nature yet in comfort. However, I plan to take longer treks.

My grandiose plan is to spend much time in the Pacific North West, then perhaps go to Alaska. It may be wet and rainy. I would need one with hardwalls. Then, going down the Lawrence River to Prince Edwards Island. If I time it right, starting out in spring, I will be in the New England states in fall to take a lot of pictures this time.

Oh, the call of travel...
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:25 PM   #127
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I think a trailer would be a good alternative for someone not wanting to make the full "plunge" into big-rigging...there's no reason your investment shouldn't still be serviceable for 25 years.
As I found out by researching, sadly it is not so simple. Travel trailers (TT) are made to be light. Hence, the walls get shaken loose after the TT gets pulled over thousands of miles. Small leaks into the siding eventually wet the luan plywood, cause it to rot and the fiberglass outer layer to get delaminated. An RV needs frequent inspection and immediate repairs.

I have seen pictures of an RV siding that was penetrated, with the water repeatedly freezing and thawing while dripping lower, eventually destroying the RV over a winter of neglect. Water damaged RVs cannot be repaired as readily as one might replace a house siding, and would be declared a total loss. There are talks on the Web of old motor homes or RVs falling apart on the freeway and an entire side wall peeling off.

For the same reason that a mobile home does not stand up to the weather as well as a stick-built home, an RV is not as waterproof as a car with a metal body. An RV requires a bit of daily maintenance and inspection. Read "George and Tioga" blog to see how this man maintains his home on wheel. I think that full-timers would do a better maintenance job than part-timers who may park and neglect theirs.

There are travel trailers that are all composite or fiberglass. I think Casita is one of them. Even so, it and the aluminum Airstream can still leak around the windows. From an RV blog, I learned of a new TT maker called Oliver. The shelves, cabinets, and seats are parts of the interior fiberglass mold! The TT promises to be of a durable design. The only drawback is cost!

http://www.olivertraveltrailers.com/..._interior.html
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:00 AM   #128
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Shush. Be quiet. Don't give Petit Jean away. It's too nice not to be kept a little secret.
I love this park too!

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Old 10-29-2009, 01:58 PM   #129
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Martha, that photo is gorgeous.
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:20 PM   #130
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Martha, that photo is gorgeous.
I love the parks the CCC created. Petit Jean has great examples of their work. And the setting can't be beat.
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:25 PM   #131
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Poooofft. go big or go home:

The Long, Long Trailer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(me for the little guy too - who needs the stress?)
Yes - you don't want a long, long trailer - that's a towing/backing nightmare. You don't want a heavy trailer either. I caution folks against the aluminum trailers because they usually are very heavy and seems like people often tow them with way underpowered vehicles - not good when you are in an emergency braking situation. Better to go with fiberglass.

Keep the trailer small/short, keep it light, and you can enjoy a great deal of RVing with minimal hassle, and then decide if you want to upgrade.

BTW - that movie is the funniest RV movie we've ever seen!

Audrey
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:32 PM   #132
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I caution folks against the aluminum trailers because they usually are very heavy and seems like people often tow them with way underpowered vehicles - not good when you are in an emergency braking situation. Better to go with fiberglass.
Uh oh, better be careful Audrey. Those folks who love their aluminum Twinkies will be offended.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:04 PM   #133
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Uh oh, better be careful Audrey. Those folks who love their aluminum Twinkies will be offended.
I know, and so many of them are lovely especially if someone has done a lot of work spiffing them up. But just for anyone else who considers one of these - just be aware most of them are quite heavy, and that has huge implications on towing - mainly that you probably have to buy a heavier duty tow vehicle to pull one safely.

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Old 10-29-2009, 06:19 PM   #134
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Uh oh, better be careful Audrey. Those folks who love their aluminum Twinkies will be offended.

I have an aluminium twinkie, but not offended.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:35 PM   #135
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I am still surfing the Web, looking for that right used RV with a low mileage, low wear and tear, and also a low price. :-)

I saw that a local dealer just sold an "2004 Western RV Alpine 40MD 3 Slide Diesel Pusher" with less than 19K miles. Looks like Audrey's. I don't want anything that big, nor want to spend that much, but I can see how full-timers want something like that.

One thing to ponder: this one does not come with a washer/dryer, while less expensive models sometimes do. I also have read that RV washer/dryers do not work that well. Just curious. Comments?

By the way, in his book, Steinbeck described a low-tech method of washing clothes while on the road that he claimed was very effective. Comments?
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:50 PM   #136
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I am still surfing the Web, looking for that right used RV with a low mileage, low wear and tear, and also a low price. :-)
You are probably already aware of of the fact that "low mileage, low wear and tear" can also be an indication of a vehicle that the owner didn't enjoy using due to problems with handling, etc. Also, lack of use isn't necessarily a good thing for all the systems and appliances in an RV. When I shopped for our unit I looked for an RV in excellent condition with appropriate mileage and use based on age (6 years old, ~50,000 miles).

I'll leave the washer/dryer responses to those more knowledgeable. We don't have one and think the lost storage space wouldn't be a good trade-off.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:56 PM   #137
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You are probably already aware of of the fact that "low mileage, low wear and tear" can also be an indication of a vehicle that the owner didn't enjoy using due to problems with handling, etc. Also, lack of use isn't necessarily a good thing for all the systems and appliances in an RV.
Wouldn't handling be more uniform across class C's built on the same chassis?

About RV's that are "gently used", there are many of them here in AZ due to the concentration of snowbirds. There are many to chose from. Same situation in Yuma.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:16 PM   #138
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Wouldn't handling be more uniform across class C's built on the same chassis?
Not necessarily. There can be considerable variation in length, total weight and how the weight is distributed in the "house" built on top of the same chassis. As previously discussed, the RV Consumer Group may be the best source of unbiased information available.

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About RV's that are "gently used", there are many of them here in AZ due to the concentration of snowbirds. There are many to chose from. Same situation in Yuma.
That's true. I was simply pointing out there may be a number of reasons someone is selling a "gently used" unit and you need to do your homework, which you obviously are doing.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:52 PM   #139
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One thing to ponder: this one does not come with a washer/dryer, while less expensive models sometimes do. I also have read that RV washer/dryers do not work that well. Just curious. Comments?
We chose to do without a washer/dryer and I would not recommend them for anything but a larger Class A. No, they don't work that well and you have to do small loads. Also, you better have a sewer hookup when you use them.

Most RV parks have excellent laundry facilities with full-sized machines. And you can use several machines at once, which makes the whole process much faster than at home or in the RV. We do laundry about every 2 to 3 weeks, and it usually only takes 1.5 hours for everything. Not bad.

We chose the storage space over the W/D, and we are glad we did.

But we talk to other RV owners who won't do without a W/D. I notice most of these folks also refuse to have a rig shorter than 40 foot and usually stay at full hook-up facilities, so keep in mind what seems to go together!

Audrey
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:50 PM   #140
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You got some'n agin drunken hillbillies?
I think he meant "drunken hill country inhabitants!" Texas Hill Country, that is.
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