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Old 01-10-2009, 08:02 PM   #61
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I could gloat about it hitting 80 here yesterday but I know I'll pay for it come August.

Its not the cold, its the gray. The sky looked like the inside of a dirty ping pong ball all day. It can do that for weeks at a time here (but not as bad as the lake effect stuff in MI/OH/NY).
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:21 AM   #62
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Yeow. I have been to Hawaii on vacation many times (more than 20) so I have some idea of why there are few (if any) RVs there. First off, the climate is such that shelter is not really a consideration -- a blanket and pillow is probably overkill. (Yes, I have been "caught" in the rain -- once thought I would drown -- but if you live there that is more a schedulling problem than anything else.) The other thing I noticed about Hawaii was all the State and Federal parks lock the gates at 5:00 (or some such early hour). I don't know if they lock you in or out but it doesn't feel right. Above all is the thought that an island is an island and "getting away from it all" seems like an impossible quest since everything is so close.
I think the main reason that Hawaii doesn't have an RV market is that there's not enough population for the RV demographic to support the niche industry. I don't know who'd pay the shipping fees from the Mainland, the $3-$4/gallon gas, and the fact that you can only drive about 30 miles in a "straight" line. RV dealers (and their repair shops) would quickly starve around here. Since there's few weather issues, just throw a tent in the back of the sedan (and a longboard on the roof) and go.

The only time I see RVs in Hawaii is for movie/TV shoots. The production crew probably find it easier to move/park/equip/inhabit an RV than a Matson container. When Disney came to town to film "Pearl Harbor", at least four of the stars shipped over their own custom-fitted RVs and parked them on Ford Island (the location of most of the filming). They had all the familiar comforts of their homes, including security, and could walk to work within minutes. It seemed like a better deal than spending thousands of dollars to convert a couple of government classrooms to furnish Bruckheimer's offices, and then donating all of the furnishings & office equipment to our chiefs Goodwill.

One of the issues with Hawaii's parks is the homeless population. If you're only holding down a subsistence job but you can throw a tent in the car to go elsewhere on a moment's notice, then why even bother to try to pay rent on an overpriced & undersized apartment? The state has only found one way to deal with the chronically homeless-- to close the parks after sundown and to limit the length of camping permits.

Closure also tends to limit the late-night beach partying & noisemaking while making it easier for the security patrols. But as Trombone Al has pointed out before, classic camping is dead. Even in Hawaii, most of the kama`aina can't be without their generators, their lights, their high-volume audio systems... the only camping I've enjoyed around here is in the Boy Scout/Girl Scout campgrounds where such noise is discouraged.

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What is that saying? "Another lousy day in paradise." If you have a permanent (grounded) house, how could you possibly top that with a mobile one?
The expression we usually hear is "All y'all are from Hawayuh an' yer vacationin' hee-yer?!?"

The fact is that "getting away from it all" only takes about an hour on Oahu to go from "town" to "country", and doing so means that you don't sit around your abode looking at unwashed dishes, unfinished chores, in-progress projects, unanswered mail... you get the idea. Surfing happens a lot quicker, too, when you're living next to the beach.

When we visit our kid at college graduation, wherever that is, we're going to try to rent an RV and park it on the grounds. Beats the heck out of the crowded town lodgings and the campus traffic jams.
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:12 AM   #63
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...
we have a 16 foot trailer I can tow with my existing minivan.

When towing, our gas mileage is cut in half, so my 25MPG van gets a little over 12MPG.
I find this most interesting. That you can tow this trailer with a minivan.

A few months ago, we stopped by an RV dealer just to look around. The smallest and lightest trailer they have (similar to your 16-footer?) is around 4000 to 5000 lbs.

Though we did not buy it, the above would be something we probably barely pull with our smallish SUV, an Xterra with a factory built-in towing hitch rated at 5000lbs. My previous experience with my minivan was not pleasant; it got overheated pulling just a moving trailer of perhaps around 1500-2000 lbs gross weight, going up 6% grade hills. Of course, the Xterra did not have problems. It also is built on a pickup chassis, not a crossover design.

So, what is the weight of your trailer? How does the minivan handle hills?
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:04 AM   #64
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I find this most interesting. That you can tow this trailer with a minivan.

A few months ago, we stopped by an RV dealer just to look around. The smallest and lightest trailer they have (similar to your 16-footer?) is around 4000 to 5000 lbs.

Though we did not buy it, the above would be something we probably barely pull with our smallish SUV, an Xterra with a factory built-in towing hitch rated at 5000lbs. My previous experience with my minivan was not pleasant; it got overheated pulling just a moving trailer of perhaps around 1500-2000 lbs gross weight, going up 6% grade hills. Of course, the Xterra did not have problems. It also is built on a pickup chassis, not a crossover design.

So, what is the weight of your trailer? How does the minivan handle hills?
What we own is a 2008 FunFinder (yeah, I know) X160. See: Cruiser Rv : Fun Finder X Travel Trailer

The factory weight with air conditioner and other "options" is about 2500#, not including the stuff we put in it or any water or propane. It was the only "bunkhouse" model (1 full size bed and 3 twin bunks) I could find that was light enough for our purposes. We generally travel with 5 gallons or so of fresh water and empty gray and black tanks, so added water weight is modest. Most of the additional weight is our stuff, which we try to keep on the light size and the small space helps enforce. I believe that the trailer generally weighs about 3000# when we hit the road for a trip.

We tow with a 2005 Honda Odyssey with a weight distributing hitch, brake controller and factory tow package (added last year). The van has a reasonably beefy V6 and most of the weight in the van is passengers (2 adults, 2 kids under 5, 50 pounds of dogs). We will typically put most of the stuff in the trailer, but the van ends up carrying a full size spare and some bulky (but light) stuff. I think that between the van and the trailer the whole kit and kaboodle weighs about 8000#, give or take, and is about 35 feet long.

The van is rated to tow 3500# which we take seriously, although I have heard tell of Honda vans towing Airstream trailers (which are quite heavy). The van and the trailer are pretty well matched because the van is big enough that the trailer cannot really push it all over the road (a seriously issue when you tow a 30' trailer with a 16' truck). The trailer is about 6 inches wider than the van on each side, so its not hard to adjust to the width when driving.

Acceleration is slower than when unladen, but I generally have no problem getting up to highway speeds in time to merge with 65 MPH traffic. Comfy cruising speeds are 60 to 65, although the van is definately capable of faster. Heavy grades are more of a push, but aside from a slower pace we had no real issues going up 6 and 8% grades in a former coal-mining area in Pennsylvania this summer. Not sure what it would be like at high altitude, although I think it would be doable. We've had nary a suggestion of overheating.

We've been pretty happy with the setup thus far. I suppose its possible that towing would be easier with a truck frame vehicle, but for this size trailer the van seems to be more than adequate.
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:10 AM   #65
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I think the main reason that Hawaii doesn't have an RV market is that there's not enough population for the RV demographic to support the niche industry.
On the other hand, it's probably a good thing:

1,395 Big Island motorists arrested for DUI in 2008 | HonoluluAdvertiser.com | The Honolulu Advertiser

With a little Poke on the side
and Momma tryin to hide
the Miller and the Heineken beer.

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Old 01-19-2009, 03:29 PM   #66
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I find this most interesting. That you can tow this trailer with a minivan.

A few months ago, we stopped by an RV dealer just to look around. The smallest and lightest trailer they have (similar to your 16-footer?) is around 4000 to 5000 lbs.
NWBound, there are a number of small trailers on the market, and most are designed to be towed by today's smaller SUVs. There are hard-sided A-frame trailers that weight from 500--3500 pounds (search for Aliner or Chalet RVs), and then there are a bunch of fiberglass "eggs", like Casita or Scamps. Check out a website goxrv.com, which is dealer, but there are links to a bunch of tiny trailer manufacturers on the website.
You can certainly find a trailer that your vehicle can easily tow! (Whether you want to camp in something that small is another issue...)
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:51 AM   #67
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Thanks. I have seen pictures of the Chalet, which is really neat for a weekend trip. For a longer trip, a small trailer like Brewer's would work well for us. We probably would not have problems towing it with the Xterra.
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Old 01-21-2009, 12:25 AM   #68
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we LOVE our "mobile command center". we travel frequently from san jose,ca up to our property in oregon. it weighs about 34,000 lbs. & gets about 8.5 mpg & can tow a 40,000 lb. trailer with its 430 hp caterpillar diesel.

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Old 01-21-2009, 12:56 AM   #69
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It's nice to have the high MPG from the diesel, but is all that weight necessary? Armour plating?
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:34 PM   #70
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Thanks. I have seen pictures of the Chalet, which is really neat for a weekend trip. For a longer trip, a small trailer like Brewer's would work well for us. We probably would not have problems towing it with the Xterra.
Xterra would do great.
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:57 PM   #71
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we LOVE our "mobile command center". we travel frequently from san jose,ca up to our property in oregon. it weighs about 34,000 lbs. & gets about 8.5 mpg & can tow a 40,000 lb. trailer with its 430 hp caterpillar diesel.

Well at least it is green.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:05 PM   #72
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Well at least it is green.
Hey, I've got a green one too!

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Old 01-21-2009, 08:11 PM   #73
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Damn! You guys are a lot richer than I realized. I'll know who to beseech if I ever crap out.

Ha
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:13 PM   #74
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Damn! You guys are a lot richer than I realized.
Did I make any claims about it being paid for?
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:41 PM   #75
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Ha, these guys are too rich for my blood--here's my baby!
I don't have armor plating, but I do have hippie repellent if needed!
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:06 PM   #76
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[QUOTE=knucklehead 61;774918]we LOVE our "mobile command center". we travel frequently from san jose,ca up to our property in oregon. it weighs about 34,000 lbs. & gets about 8.5 mpg & can tow a 40,000 lb. trailer with its 430 hp caterpillar diesel.

Dang, Nucklehead! Thats a BIG ONE! I'm sure YMMV
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:14 PM   #77
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...& can tow a 40,000 lb. trailer...
That must take one heck of a trailer hitch! Can't see it in the photo, got a better view?
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:05 AM   #78
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That must take one heck of a trailer hitch! Can't see it in the photo, got a better view?
we only pulled a 9,000 lb. 22' enclosed trailer with it.
going uphill almost no other truck or rv can pass it
it has a 2.5" sq. receiver hitch. gross overkill for my application.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:45 AM   #79
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Hey, I've got a green one too!

How can you see where you're going with those aluminum foil curtains in the way?
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:35 AM   #80
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Perhaps not as green:

Neoplan Spaceliner - Double Decker - available for Sale through BusCentral.com (866-210-2874)

But it is only $110,000... and ONLY 463,718 miles. It does, however, have eight TVs to keep your mind off that.
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