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Old 07-20-2008, 02:29 PM   #201
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Anyone have any ideas about what to see and where to stay?

Just off hand, all I could think of is Bar Harbor in Maine, and the nearby national park. Salem in Mass if you are there near Halloween. Not an RV'er, I do not know of any RV park. The autumn leave color is spectacular, though the timing is tricky. It's hit or miss. Have some lobsters, though you already miss the Lobsterfest. I am salivating already.
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:46 PM   #202
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BigWonderfulWyoming - good for you! Happy Birthday and enjoy! I think I'm gonna show your post to my DW! I don't have any suggestions of places to see though.

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Old 07-20-2008, 07:18 PM   #203
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Try RV Park Reviews :: Home and click on the state. It's the most reliable way I find campgrounds.

Audrey
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:20 AM   #204
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Steve, ya up for a party?
Come on down! The pool is about 70 degrees and the outside temps. have been in the low to mid 100 but with no humidity.

Make your reservations now! Just not from Aug 1-22 as we will be headed North for a few days visit then off West to Oregon for a couple of weeks.

I am investigating some hookups where we part the RV. 50amp with water and sewer would be nice and would keep the coach cooler during the summer heat. We could just about fit another RV in this area so visitors are welcome.

I actually got some time to do some work on the Bus. I am installing a SeeLevel tank level system to provide better data on actual tank levels. It is about half way done and should be done before our trip.

I am really enjoying have the Bus so close to be able to work on it and maintain it when I feel like it. There are a LOT of systems, utilities and controls that require regular maintenance so having it in the yard is great.

Oh, we have an outside gas grill that will cook a LOT of Brats or steaks. Add some beer or a party ball of margarittas and you have a party.

Just sign the accident waivers.
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:19 PM   #205
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Here - you all can drool over Steve's destination RV Resort in Newport OR:



We stayed there over this 4th of July weekend. Fulltimers have to scramble over holiday weekends for sites sometimes, and all the local state parks were full, so we decided to splurge and stay at the top grade RV resort. This was the view from our site taken out the motorhome window. Look at those nice RV pads just waiting for you to drive your motorhome (pull forward) onto!

Gorgeous views and a steep trail down to a lovely beach. A lot more peaceful than a state park too over 4th of July. Tough living!

Audrey
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:37 PM   #206
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Wow, Audrey, that's pretty spectacular looking. Dare I ask what the nightly rate is to stay at such a place? Beats the Walmart parking lot at any price, I'm sure!

Are lots of RV parks that nice?
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:22 PM   #207
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No that would pretty much be top 5% or less among RV parks - pretty rare really.

Quite expensive. It's an "ownership park" - most RV sites are owned. Pretty ridiculous how much some people will pay to own a fancy place to park their RV. I think the ocean front sites as shown had gone for $115K or more. Talk about high dollar per square foot!

We paid $56 a night after tax with our FMCA discount for our "premium" site. The ocean front sites shown were quite a bit more. Ridiculous for an RV park, and twice or more what we normally pay, but we didn't mind because we only stay in places like this very occasionally and we do have a "nice" coach that fits in even with the hoi-polloi. We made good use of it as well - really enjoyed the hike down to the beach and the location close to Yaquina head.

There is a class of RVing sometimes called "Resort RVing" - where you have a really expensive, really big rig and only go to the fanciest resort parks. Our neighbor owned his site and had the most garish paint job Newell ($2M at least!) I have ever seen and his towed vehicle painted to match. He noted we were from TX and mentioned several times about the cable companies he owned (who cares!). If you are a rich golfer this would be a good lifestyle, or just like staying at fancy places in your fancy RV.

We much prefer state parks because we like bigger sites, natural areas, being away from urban areas, and lots of hiking trails and biking trails and good birdwatching/photography. No matter how fancy the resort, they are still not nearly as large as most state parks. And all that landscaping means that someone is always out with noisy mowers, leafblowers, or whatever.

To each his own however. Sometimes it's nice to stay somewhere where not all the RVs are white!

Audrey
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Old 07-22-2008, 02:05 AM   #208
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We will stay at a ORA (Outdoor Resorts Assoc.) park a couple of time per year. Like Aubrey said it is not for those on a travel budget. We look at it much the same as staying at a Hyatt vs a Days Inn; only we bring our own beds and glassware.

We have some significant limitations as to where we can stay in the RV due to length issues. The limit for many state parks and most "Big Rig" friendly RV parks is 40 feet; some parks are down to under 26 feet. Our 42 footer just won't fit or can't get into or out of many parks so we take advantage of the elbow room and the locations of several of the ORA parks.

Our favorite is Hilton Head, SC. Very tropical and lush. We go and feed the mosquitoes when we are in the area. We have also stayed in Las Vegas. Others to come as we are in the areas where they have these parks.

The rental costs are set by the local ORA park and are shared between the lot owner and the local ORA park. The owner also gets their utility bills paid while it is rented from the rental amount. Prime spots will get prime dollars so the rental is also higher. If you want to spend a LOT of time in one place purchasing a lot might pay off IF you can get it cheep and IF you can keep it rented. Even at that the payoff would have to be in appreciation rather than cash flow.

We actually own a lot in Hilton Head. We got it pretty cheap at the time. We have rented it a few times but not in a couple of months. The rentals are shifting to more of the "locals" with the insane fuel prices and this park is off the beaten track for most typical RV traffic. Also the parks limit rentals to only Class A or Class C coaches of a certain length. That also limits your potential renters.

We did not buy the lot to make money on it from rentals. We bought it because it was a place we wanted to spend a lot of time when we are on that side of the country and it is less than a full day's drive from my family. It gives us a lot of short trip options for day trips in the car which would cover a lot of major cities like Atlanta, Jacksonvile, Orlando, Tampa, Columbia, Charleston, Savannah, Wilmington, Raleigh, etc.

The lots in this resort are underpriced in comparison to other similar resorts in the area and across the country. If we screwed up at worst we have a place to stay for the price of electricity (the resort picks up the water and sewer costs). If not, then we have a potential appreciating asset we could sell in the future.
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:03 AM   #209
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You have a 42 footer! LOL! You do need the "resorts". I'm sure we'll visit the Hilton Head resort one of these days. Nice place to get a good deal on a lot.

We managed to squeeze ourselves into just under 37 feet. It does make a difference. We've stayed many many places where 40 feet would mean we'd have to park our jeep in overflow parking.

We almost leased a lot in Kerrville TX - the long term (5 year) lease with refundable deposit was really quite reasonable and it's a beautiful park, but we really doubted we'd spend enough time there to justify the monthly rents. And it turns out we were right, even though we ended up spending more time there than expected due to MILs illness. The thing is - we'll run off to a state park whenever we get the chance (site availability). It's extremely rare for us to stay anywhere longer than a month, and then we don't return for 6 months or more.

People we know who own lots tend to spend every summer or winter there for several months, tend to own more than one (or a home) and then do their traveling while transitioning between "home" sites.

It's amazing how many different variations there are in this lifestyle. Our variation (own a big rig/fulltimer but stay mostly at state/federal campgrounds) is a small minority, but we still run into a few folks who do it our way.

Audrey
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:16 AM   #210
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Our variation (own a big rig/fulltimer but stay mostly at state/federal campgrounds) is a small minority, but we still run into a few folks who do it our way.

Audrey

I cannot see myself ever owning a big rig, but state/federal and even county campgrounds are the way to go, IMO. If you ever end up in the NJ area, drop me a line and I can clue you into some really nice spots.
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:38 AM   #211
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We managed to squeeze ourselves into just under 37 feet. It does make a difference. We've stayed many many places where 40 feet would mean we'd have to park our jeep in overflow parking.
Hi, Audrey. So would you recommend 36-37 feet as the optimal big-timer (if not full-time) size? I've now heard several people comment to that effect for the reasons you mentioned, but wasn't sure how much you really give up in those 3-4' shorter living space-wise.

I think your RV lifestyle is close to what we would do if we ever go that route.
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Old 07-22-2008, 01:02 PM   #212
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I cannot see myself ever owning a big rig, but state/federal and even county campgrounds are the way to go, IMO. If you ever end up in the NJ area, drop me a line and I can clue you into some really nice spots.
We definitely will. It's supposed to be harder to find campgrounds that accommodate larger rigs in the New England area - the campgrounds are generally older. So any advice will be appreciated.

One of these years we'll pass through there on our way up to the Canadian maritime provinces.

Audrey
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Old 07-22-2008, 01:10 PM   #213
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Hi, Audrey. So would you recommend 36-37 feet as the optimal big-timer (if not full-time) size? I've now heard several people comment to that effect for the reasons you mentioned, but wasn't sure how much you really give up in those 3-4' shorter living space-wise.

I think your RV lifestyle is close to what we would do if we ever go that route.
We made several careful tradeoffs in terms of size. If we thought we could have gotten into something smaller we would have. It is generally advised to try to stay under 35 ft as that is a limit in some states. We might have been able to achieve that if we didn't have so much darn camera equipment to carry around. If we weren't full time we would go for 30 foot or less as that opens up a lot more options plus you fit into more spaces in popular campgrounds.

But overall I would have to stay that 36/37 foot length tradeoff worked out pretty well for us even though there have been times I wish we were smaller. Being fulltimers it's a tough call. We in fact couldn't have gone smaller.

Other decisions for our style of camping - we have huge waste tanks and a huge fresh water tank. No washer dryer or dishwasher (space and water use and sewer needs tradeoff). Large battery system. Besides the space savings, these decisions mean we can camp with no sewer hookup for 2 weeks, and no water hookup for a week and change.

We find our size perfectly spacious for two adults. People with additional family members camping (make them bring their own tent maybe), or a lot of pets might find it too restrictive.

We do miss our tiny Casita at times - that was a truly go anywhere RV. We'll, I don't think DH misses it - he is 6'4" and had to deal with interior height smaller than he is.

Audrey
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:32 PM   #214
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We do miss our tiny Casita at times - that was a truly go anywhere RV. We'll, I don't think DH misses it - he is 6'4" and had to deal with interior height smaller than he is.
I think I wandered into this piece while looking at the "Travels with Andy" site mentioned much earlier in this thread: http://www.rv.org/p17756.pdf

Fulltiming in a Casita is possible, for those willing to make the tradeoffs.

I'm a Casita owner myself and very happy with mine...we can pull it with a V6 Toyota Tacoma that gets 23mpg when driven conservatively on the highway, without the trailer...just traded up recently from a gas guzzling Jeep Cherokee as the tow vehicle.

I think if I ever did want to RV fulltime, I'd do in in a larger travel trailer instead of a motorhome...I would want the flexibility to leave the trailer somewhere on its lonesome and move around independently (sightseeing, running into town for supplies, etc.) with the tow vehicle.
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Old 07-23-2008, 01:17 AM   #215
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I think if I ever did want to RV fulltime, I'd do in in a larger travel trailer instead of a motorhome...I would want the flexibility to leave the trailer somewhere on its lonesome and move around independently (sightseeing, running into town for supplies, etc.) with the tow vehicle.
Ummmmm - we have a towed vehicle. We leave the motorhome parked and run around in our Jeep Liberty. All but the smallest motorhomes can tow a car.

Most people I know who started fulltiming in a Casita quickly switched to something bigger - even singles. I met one fulltimer who had a motorhome AND a Casita. They left their motorhome parked at their major summer/winter site and ran out on short camping trips with their Casita! LOL!

Audrey
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40 vs 38 feet
Old 07-23-2008, 10:56 AM   #216
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40 vs 38 feet

We went with the 40', a little more storage space in the living room. My DW reminds me that its actually only 14" longer than the 38' and $7,500 more in price. Yeah, she loves to remind me of that. LOL

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Old 07-23-2008, 01:49 PM   #217
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We went with the 40', a little more storage space in the living room. My DW reminds me that its actually only 14" longer than the 38' and $7,500 more in price. Yeah, she loves to remind me of that. LOL

Dave
Well? Does she think you got a good deal for the extra 14"?

It's been pointed out to me that the longer motorhomes don't cost much more than the shorter ones. It's a very good point.

Audrey
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:47 AM   #218
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When we were shopping for a new motorhome we were only looking at 36-38 footers. That was still a big step up in living and storage space from our former 32 foot Class C with no slides.

But, once we drove a few and looked at how we were going to use it (long trips, lots of miles per day, potential for grandkids to come along, dogs, stability and carrying capacity) we moved up to a tag axle which put us at 42 feet in the brand of coach we wanted.

The cost of the 42 footer vs the 40 footer was several thousand $$ but we gained 9000# in capacity and greatly increased wind stability. This was a Major consideration since we are 64 feet long when we tow the car and the winds through the mountain passes are nasty. Since we have to drive through the Rockies to get out of here it was a significant factor.

Sure we could do fine in a smaller coach but we really like our current size....until it comes time to negotiate narrow campground roads or busy urban areas. For now it suits how we use the coach. The extra 2-4 feet don't make that much of a difference except in very tight quarters.

To each their own.

BTW, I thing a 45 footer looks Huge and it is only 2.5 feet longer than mine. But, I can turn sharper and that is a key ingredient in manuvering in tight spaces. Like this one in the Redwoods. We were so close to these trees we could barely open the basement compartment doors and we were able to put out only one slide all the way. But, man what a view straight up. There is a skylight in the shower and looking up all you see is tree going up to the heavens.
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Old 07-27-2008, 06:35 AM   #219
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Hey, anyone ever buy a motorhome or travel trailer thru RVdirect.com? I'm doing some window (Microsoft Windows - Explorer) shopping, and it seems they have some incredible deals...but you have to go pick it up from Elkhart Indiana or Albany New York. Both of those are too far out of the way for us in our current situation, but might be a fun trip after FIRE (back to N CA). Problem is that we have never owned an RV and don't know the ropes. I'm wondering if trying to do a cross country trip as a newbie with no RV experience is sound judgement.

Any experiences or thoughts?

R
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:00 AM   #220
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Dunno about all the way across the country, but last summer with absolutely no experience we showed up in Denver, rented a 24' class C, and proceeded to drive and camp all the way to Albuquerque and back without incident. I think you'd manage.
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