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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?
Old 03-17-2007, 09:56 PM   #41
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?

For another excellent discussion group covering everything RV, from soup to nuts:
http://escapees.infopop.cc/eve/ubb.x
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?
Old 03-18-2007, 04:54 AM   #42
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?


Perinova, I hear you. I'm not doing a break-even computation. I do a comfort test with money. And if I want something, habitually I decide not to do something else, prioritize. That's my financial calculation. For example, I decided not to put vinyl siding on my cedar shingled house; I haven't really wanted to, but put the money aside years ago. THAT will now go into my kind of financial calculation about this; where's the available money? I'm going to pay cash. I'm pretty sure it will be a travel trailer, because having two engines/vehicles feels too obnoxious to me, for some reason. (I walk a lot.) Anyway, I'm just rambling on.

Thanks again for all the ideas. And thanks for the escapees link!

kate
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?
Old 03-18-2007, 06:07 AM   #43
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?


Okay, this is it for today though I'm enjoying all this time daydreaming.

Current front runner is a used Sportsmobile, regular body, and use it also for the minimal amount of city driving I do. (i.e. my only vehicle). Found one, but it's too early. I want to let it ride in my daydreams for awhile and "try on" the idea.
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?
Old 03-18-2007, 11:09 AM   #44
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?

Kate, have you considered an American van? It can be used everyday. It fits in a garage. But you can always camp without a tent. The 3rd row bench turns into a comfortable queen size bed in 2 minutes. No fancy motor, all manual.

This is a picture of my 93 Ford Econoline Chateau. I took it all the way to the Artic circle. I always have a place to sleep, and never on the ground.

BTW, that van is probably worth $3,000 today.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bench to bed.jpg (38.7 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg Econoline Chateau.jpg (55.6 KB, 10 views)
Attached Files
File Type: jpg_thumb Bench to bed.jpg_thumb (30.2 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg_thumb Econoline Chateau.jpg_thumb (36.3 KB, 0 views)
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?
Old 03-18-2007, 11:54 AM   #45
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?


Do they still make them? Or something like that? I never heard of the third seat folding into a bed! But I know so little about what's out there!
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?
Old 03-18-2007, 12:16 PM   #46
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
Now that I am there I am more into comfort than I would have anticipated so I would need a pretty decent sized RV. But I worry that finding good spots would be difficult. Whenever I travel in nice oceanfront areas and the like, the RV parks look like K-Mart parking lots.

Have you already talked about this aspect in other threads? If so, can you give me a link? If not, how about commenting on the convenience, ease of getting good camping spots, and such issues?
We travel in a 36ft (actually closer to 37) diesel pusher motorhome with a jeep towed behind. We are perhaps the max length you want to be and still be able to use plenty of state and federal parks. We're too big for some. Being 30ft or less makes more available, and 25ft or less even more. A lot of people own 40ft motorhomes, and we've stayed at a lot of places where that extra few feet would mean we'd be too tight.

If we weren't fulltimers, we'd have a shorter rig (maybe 28-30ft) so we could fit even more places, but seriously we don't feel like we're missing out at all with our current size.

We stay at a lot of awesome places. We prefer to be out in the boonies. We don't really care if the park is very simple (few amenities), but we hate being cramped! No 25ft spacing for us - no thank you!

We have never stayed in a "parking lot" type RV campground - at least not for more than overnight in transit. But we see them all the time. It's funny - I think the nice campgrounds are the ones you can't see from the road because they are either out in the middle of nowhere or surrounded by enough vegetation to hide the RVs! You only see the crappy ones from the major roads!

I use www.rvparkreviews.com a lot and it has rarely steered me wrong. It really weeds out the substandard places, and you'll find lots of popular out of the way parks. I also use the "Big Rig Directory" which helps make sure we have a place that can accommodate larger motorhomes. That's really for 40ft+ motorhomes, but it helps us make sure a park has space.

State parks are usually great with lots of space although the sites may not accommodate a 40ft + rig. TX and FL parks are pretty good overall. A few older ones that are closed in, but lots of nice modern ones with oodles of room and privacy. Many Corps of Engineers parks will handle even a 40ft rig no problem. These are great - but again, you'll be out in the boonies!

Obviously we focus on the state and federal parks because that's where you'll find the wildlife!

There are also some private campgrounds which are a lot better than cramped parking lots. There are some fancy higher end RV "resorts" which will be $$$ but have pretty nice amenities. Of course there are a lot of RV campgrounds that call themselves a "resort" when they are pretty crappy, so be suspicious of the name until you read a review! Buckhorn Lake Resort near Kerrville TX is a good example of how nice a high-end resort can be (also happens to be conveniently close to our in-laws).

Audrey
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?
Old 03-18-2007, 12:40 PM   #47
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?

It appears as though RVing is a lifestyle choice, as has been noted. Some folks like to boat, some play golf, some like to take leisurely cruises on large boats ships. These can all be very costly, though very enjoyable, activities for folks with a lot of time and money on their hands. Thank God that we have so many choices!

When my kids were small and we were pretty poor, we used to camp in a tent. We loved it and always questioned how all of those RVers could really be having as much fun as we were having in those huge things. We camped all over and would stay at a state park or national park a day or a week depending on whatever moved us. I probably saved a bunch of $ doing that and can now afford an RV but still would rather "tent it" but DW will not go that route any more.
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?
Old 03-18-2007, 12:51 PM   #48
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?


I'm going to practice, from the ground up.

My parents own property in a very rural area out of state. I'm going to set up there with my car, my dog, my shotgun, and my tents and stuff. I'll see how it goes, what I miss, what I want, what I need.

Oh damn, I forgot about the bears.

(The shotgun wasn't for them.)
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?
Old 03-18-2007, 01:03 PM   #49
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?

There are still lots of old-timers to be found in their "RVs" parked at the rivers, state parks, National Forests around WA. Lots of very old vintage slide in campers on 70s or even older pickups. They seem to work fine, and if you have 4WD they can go most anywhere if you keep the slide-in reasonable size. Their great advantage is that if you are going hunting or fishing or hiking for a day, you can sleep right at your jump off point. Same for ski-ing. Parking lot is full of people sleeping in vans; these campers are a step up from that. And in summer, you have window screens, in winter you can get out of the rain and snow.

This very low end approach is all I would be likely to try. Those huge and expensive vehicles kind of intimidate me; though I suppose if you make the road your home it would work out fine.

Ha
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?
Old 03-18-2007, 04:39 PM   #50
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kate
Do they still make them? Or something like that? I never heard of the third seat folding into a bed! But I know so little about what's out there!
I don't know. Ford really never advertized this feature. I didn't not even know about it until I stumbled onto it on a used car lot. Anyway, the important thing here is that any large van is a great alternative to tent camping. Just remove the back seat and you have a very comfortable tent on wheels.
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?
Old 03-18-2007, 06:01 PM   #51
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
I don't know. Ford really never advertized this feature. I didn't not even know about it until I stumbled onto it on a used car lot. Anyway, the important thing here is that any large van is a great alternative to tent camping. Just remove the back seat and you have a very comfortable tent on wheels.
Ford has an E-Series Full-size van. Retail sticker is about 26k. http://www.fordvehicles.com/trucks/eseries/?v=html

It has the fold down seats.
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?
Old 03-18-2007, 06:08 PM   #52
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaco
Ford has an E-Series Full-size van. Retail sticker is about 26k. http://www.fordvehicles.com/trucks/eseries/?v=html

It has the fold down seats.
I don't see any picture or reference to the bench to bed as the one I had in my 93 Chateau.
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?
Old 03-18-2007, 06:23 PM   #53
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?

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I don't see any picture or reference to the bench to bed as the one I had in my 93 Chateau.
Opps. I think you are right!
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?
Old 03-20-2007, 10:30 AM   #54
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?

The closest contender now is a recent model used Sportsmobile.

But first I'm going to try the whole concept of being on the road. Going to borrow my parents' old rusty van for a camping trip in Maine (in case it rains the whole week and my dog and I have to sleep in the van). They can have my Honda for the week.

Then I'm going to drive my Honda to Texas and rent a class B camper van for an extended trip through the SW. I'll know best after that trip how often I'll want to do something like that, and how it fits with how often I want to go overseas.

Thanks again for all the opportunities to bounce around ideas.

kate
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?
Old 03-20-2007, 11:48 AM   #55
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
This very low end approach is all I would be likely to try. Those huge and expensive vehicles kind of intimidate me; though I suppose if you make the road your home it would work out fine.

Ha
I think this is fine if you have the big pick-up already. If not...
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?
Old 03-20-2007, 10:44 PM   #56
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?

Audrey pretty much hit the nail on the head. People RV to go places with their own stuff, prepare their own meals, sleep in their own bed, go places they want, when they want and with all the comforts of home with them without the hassel of hauling all your stuff in a cramped car or stuffed into luggage that is ill treated, frequently lost and limited in size and weight. Never mind the airport waiting times, hustle and bustle, cramped airplane seats sitting next to a 300 pound guy that has not taken a bath in a couple of weeks and can't stop talking to you about himself.

Sure it is expensive and there is no way to truly justify the cost-benefit ratio.

I hate motel rooms, cabins, and being stuffed into an aluminum tube with 200 strangers with God knows what diseases for hours with no food and surly "attendants" who hate being there as much as we do. Sure it is fast but at what price?

I swore off camping cabins after getting a nasty case of scappies from the bed...we even sprayed it with Lysol and used our own sheets but the nasties got me anyway. Never again! I will take my own bed, my own sheets, cook with my own pots and pans, grill on my own grill, crap in my own toilet, shower in my own shower, and eat on my own dishes. I don't want to worry about what is in the carpet, what is on the toilet seat and who had what in the bed less than 5 hours ago. Sure I know that I can't always take the MH everywhere but when I can I will.

It is all about control of your environment in a world full of risks and nuts.
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?
Old 03-21-2007, 01:32 AM   #57
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?

Quote:
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I swore off camping cabins after getting a nasty case of scappies from the bed...we even sprayed it with Lysol and used our own sheets but the nasties got me anyway. Never again! I will take my own bed, my own sheets, cook with my own pots and pans, grill on my own grill, crap in my own toilet, shower in my own shower, and eat on my own dishes. I don't want to worry about what is in the carpet, what is on the toilet seat and who had what in the bed less than 5 hours ago. Sure I know that I can't always take the MH everywhere but when I can I will.

It is all about control of your environment in a world full of risks and nuts.
Gosh Steve, DW and I have been enthusiastically looking at RV's for some time, but your post has really put us off....... Are all RV types paranoid this way?

I mean........ we have camped in tents around the USA and Canada, flown into remote Canadian outpost cabins, stayed in B and B's on trout streams, stayed in privately owned cabins in wilderness locations, stayed in American plan resorts all over "up nort," spent the night in dozens of typical roadside motels, enjoyed four and five star urban hotels and even slept in the guest bedrooms of friends all over this country. I (DW less so) have stayed in various accomodations in Asia, Europe and SA. Certainly there were sometimes some issues keeping things from being "perfect," but never anything as gross as you describe! Where have you been staying? :P

Much of our enthusiasm over acquiring an RV stemmed from listening to happy RV owners. But if that happiness is not from the RV experience itself but rather from having had awful experiences staying anywhere other than your home or RV, I'm wondering if there is some catch. Perhaps for people who are not overly concerned about various public accomodations, as you seem to be, the minuses of RV travel such as the maintenance of on board sewage tanks, etc., would offset the advantages?

Your post reminded me of a movie about Howard Hughes I saw long ago.

Even if your experiences with public accomodations had been very satisfactory (as ours have been), would you still find your RV investment worthwhile and fun in and of itself?

Can other RV owners comment on this? Is your love of RV'ing driven by your personal experience of finding public accomodations disgusting as it seems to be for Steve? Or do you find RV'ing to be fun for its own sake?

C-T started this thread. I wonder when he shares an RV with his friend on trout fishing trips, is it to avoid staying in a public accomodation such as a motel or cabin? Or is RV'ing in and of itself, a fun experience?

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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?
Old 03-21-2007, 09:19 AM   #58
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?

Don't read in more into what I said than is there.

I love the freedom for RVing and having my own 4 Star suite attached to the truck cab. If I want to stop and fix some lunch...I stop and fix some lunch. If I get tired and want to take a nap...I stop and take a nap. If DW needs to move out of her seat because she needs to change positions due to her back then she can.

We got into RVing not just because we don't like to live in wake of other people's "personal" stuff left behind in various public places; we got into it to meet people who want to make friends and who we can share a common base of experience. RVer tend to be more friendly and open than most other "strangers." This makes for easy conversation and a more friendly atmosphere (usually).

We want to RV part time and not full time like many here because we want to keep a home base until our grandkids either move away or get too adult to want to spend much time with us. We do intend on Snowbirding...escaping winter as much as possible.

Sure I am animated about airports, airline travel and staying in beds that are not properly sanitized. My DW has a lot of health issues that make air travel very difficult and once we RE we will have the time to take our time to get to a destination....and smell the flowers along the way, instead of rushing to get there so we can spend our 1-2 weeks of "vacation" and then rush home to get ready for the work week. Yuck! Been there, done that, and have the T-shirt to prove it. I have over 600k FF miles and spent almost a decade on the road. Living out of a suitcase, eating 3 meals a day in restaurants, sitting in uncomfortable airline seats in the "cattle car" is not my idea of a good time.

We RV because we no longer feel the need to rush through life. We RV because we want to make new friends and to see, really see, new places and to take the time to get to know folks who live there. We want to take the backroads and stay off the beaten track. We also like want to keep life comfortable and to have familiar items with us and to have a clean bed, our own food with us as part of the experience.

No, I am not anti-people; on the contrary; I am a very friendly guy but I am also very focused on comfort for me and my DW due to our health issues. Hauling a lot of stuff around through airports for extended trips is not an option anymore.

Oh, and we can take the pets with us anywhere we go.

I think you will find that most other RVers have the same general feelings about traveling in their own "personal space" with their own stuff under their own terms and on their own schedule.

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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?
Old 03-21-2007, 09:58 AM   #59
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?

SteveR and Audrey- You make RVing sound great...I wasn't interested before but I am becoming more convinced that we need to consider the RV lifestyle possibly part-time. Thanks for sharing your insights...
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?
Old 03-21-2007, 10:01 AM   #60
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Re: Anyone ever do the math on the economy of an RV vs. a motel?

Quote:
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SteveR and Audrey- You make RVing sound great...I wasn't interested before but I am becoming more convinced that we need to consider the RV lifestyle possibly part-time. Thanks for sharing your insights...
Ditto. But I still worry about big, parking lot like RV parks. Can you comment about that? Also, what about pets and trying to stop and visit attractions? Don't you run into problems with heat?
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