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Old 08-09-2008, 07:40 AM   #21
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I think a lot of it is a combination of complexity without adequate quality assurance systems by the many component manufacturers. Cost control has taken the place of adequate quality control and the result is premature failure of these components or systems.
Sounds about right. We bought a far less expensive brand oftraier than your coach and the only problem we have had thus far was with a contractor-made component (water heater). The trailer itself has been fine. I suspect that our relative lack of problems thus far is a combination of luck and the fact that our basic trailer has a lot fewer systems than your moho.
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:33 AM   #22
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First you build a house filled with high-end systems on top of the chassis of a large truck. Then you add in a few extra electronic, hydraulic and mechanical components such as on-the-go TV satellite tracking and auto leveling jacking systems. Finally, drive it thousands of miles over our well-maintained roads subjecting it constantly to the equivalent of a 3.0 - 4.0 earthquake. And you're surprised when something breaks?

We were fortunate that on our recent 3 week, 2,000 mile trip our only problems were tire related and relatively minor. A faulty valve stem extension caused a slow leak and the repair guy cross-threaded a lug nut when replacing the tire.

Bottom line, if you plan to own an RV you need to be very handy at trouble shooting and repairs or have deep pockets. Probably best to meet both those criteria...
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:53 AM   #23
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First you build a house filled with high-end systems on top of the chassis of a large truck. Then you add in a few extra electronic, hydraulic and mechanical components such as on-the-go TV satellite tracking and auto leveling jacking systems.
Don't have any of that, which is one of the main reasons I bought a trailer instead of a motorhome. But I appreciate the moho owners keeping the money in circulation, and I expect to do my part in time.
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Old 08-09-2008, 11:22 AM   #24
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Sorry for your woes, Steve. You have a game attitude, but I must say that I haven't met anyone who has had the sheer number and show-stopper type of calamities that you've had to put up with. And if I recall, both of your rigs (this and its predecessor) were quality motorhomes.
No, unfortunately, Steve's motorhome "adventures" sound quite typical. We certainly have had our share of little horror stories. Doesn't matter whether you are an occasional user or a fulltimer, these little disaster events will happen, and the timing is always atrocious.

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Sometimes it seems like motorhomes have gotten too complex for their own good.
That is indeed a lot of it right there! Nothing was nearly so reliable as our simple little Casita.

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Old 08-09-2008, 11:31 AM   #25
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We are in Sisters, OR tonight. A very quaint small town filled with folks who came here...fell in love with the place...and then never left.
We're not far from you. We are near Oakridge, OR - on the western slope of the Cascades. We'll probably go through Sisters on our "return to the interior" in a week or so.

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Old 08-09-2008, 12:03 PM   #26
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ON BACKING:

One of the main benefits of me doing all the motorhome driving, is that my husband directs the backing. He's extremely good at it. Besides checking all clearances thoroughly, he makes it so easy for me - he basically turns his hands to show me exactly how much to turn the wheel left or right - I don't even have to think! Obviously he can clearly visualize me driving and give me expert direction.

Of course, if I a) can't see him or b ) have a concern, I stop backing until I can see him again or we radio to resolve the issue. No sense in taking any risks.

I am so grateful for his skill. I often watch wives hop out to help their husbands back into a site, and usually they just watch one side of the coach and sort of helplessly flail their hands about while hubby attempts to interpret. Maybe I don't understand the system, but it certainly doesn't look clear to me.

Stereotyping here - but gosh I've just seen this so often and been so grateful I wasn't getting the confusing direction! And I'd rather back than give backing direction - but I won't allow anyone other than DH to direct me.

On backing trailers - completely different beast and much harder (anti-intuitive) than backing a motorhome. Fortunately, when we bought our Casita (trailer), I discovered that even though DH hates to drive, he was an expert at backing trailers, from years of boating with his Dad as a teenager. It was a year before I was brave enough to try backing the Casita myself. And then it still took a while to "get it" even though I had an expert training me. Finally, I figured out that I could always see one of the trailer wheels from side view mirror, and I learned how to get that trailer wheel to go where I wanted it to. Got way easier after that.

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Old 08-09-2008, 04:42 PM   #27
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I'm guessing a few of those high end MH's are already on a 'drive by wire' system...?
Our car has "accelerate by wire" and "brake by wire". Is there such a thing as "steer by wire" on American roads? Power steering, sure, but I'm not so optimistic that U.S. drivers are ready to learn how to reboot a steering wheel.

As for all of the backing instructions, when it came to teaching our 15-year-old how to back up a vehicle I did what every self-respecting parent should do-- I hired a driving instructor to teach her how to do it...
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Old 08-09-2008, 05:06 PM   #28
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Hey Martha, we too have a Lazy Daze. A-1 build quality but nothing is perfect. In four years, the only issues have been a computer board replacement for the genny (under warranty) and a leak at the door jam (CFB'S expandable foam idea may have been tossed out in semi-jest but that was the cure for that headache).If you love nature and getting away, an RV is a great thing.
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:38 PM   #29
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No steer by wire in our cars yet, but other items such as forklifts do use it.

And no, the foam wasnt in jest. My original suggestion was to fill the seam with expanding foam and then quickly cover it with metal tape before it fully expanded. As I recall is was going to be a week or so before Martha could get it in the shop and rain clouds were on the horizon...
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:46 PM   #30
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Thanks much for this. Any and all bad experiences with RVs would be much welcome. I will forward these experiences on to my Mom, who thinks she wants to take an RV trip around the country with her significant other. I'd rather they drive her Prius and stay in hotels
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:50 PM   #31
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I'd rather they drive her Prius and stay in hotels
Better watch out for bedbugs....
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:57 PM   #32
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Thanks much for this. Any and all bad experiences with RVs would be much welcome. I will forward these experiences on to my Mom, who thinks she wants to take an RV trip around the country with her significant other. I'd rather they drive her Prius and stay in hotels
It depends - does your mother or her SO already own the RV? If so, they really should use it, and cross country touring is a great way to do so.

Otherwise - again, it depends!

Personally, I'd much rather travel the country in our RV than car/motel. Staying in motels/hotels stinks. Having to eat most meals out stinks - if you can even find a decent place on the road! Being able to pull over at a rest area and have a nice meal, even take a nap or watch TV or do internet if you want to - priceless. Being able to spend the night in a state park or even out in the boonies and yet still be able to sleep in your own bed - priceless.

So it all comes down to whether the (not insignificant) hassles of RV ownership are outweighed by the benefits of RV travel. For many of us, the benefits way overwhelm the drawbacks.

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Old 08-09-2008, 11:08 PM   #33
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Better watch out for bedbugs....
Not only them but "other critters" as well. Bed bugs are child's play compared with scabbies (lice). Don't ask me how I know this. The only possible source was a bed in a rented cabin we stayed in.

I am happy to sleep in my own bed knowing no one else other than DW and I have slept in it.

One a nicer note..........

We are now in Newport, OR. The temperature at 5PM was 62 degrees. What a nice relief from the oppressive heat of home (100 again today).

We have a view (through the trees) of the ocean and it never bores me to look at it.

We are going to see some lighthouses on Monday and do some exploration of the area. I'm sure DW will do some shopping and we will gorge on seafood.

Happy to report no additional issues over the last 450 miles. We will keep our fingers crossed.
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:32 AM   #34
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These discussions on backing up the RV will sound eerily familiar to those of us who have also gotten to spend quality time aboard a boat with our spouses. The "hand signals" used by the anchor wench to the captain can surely rival those offered by the one offering backing assistance to the RV driver.
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:27 AM   #35
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No steer by wire in our cars yet, but other items such as forklifts do use it.

And no, the foam wasnt in jest. My original suggestion was to fill the seam with expanding foam and then quickly cover it with metal tape before it fully expanded. As I recall is was going to be a week or so before Martha could get it in the shop and rain clouds were on the horizon...
Yup. And my insurance company said: "No! Don't touch it!" They ended up getting us in quickly for a temporary repair.
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:35 AM   #36
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It depends - does your mother or her SO already own the RV? If so, they really should use it, and cross country touring is a great way to do so.
I didn't mean to start a flame war between the pro-RV and anti-RV camps I just want her to be well-informed. She doesn't own an RV now, and was talking about renting, but hasn't done any further work on the subject.
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:42 AM   #37
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Eh, the renting isn't a great deal, usually. We've done it once years ago and while the RV wasn't too much trouble, it is not really a convenient way to travel if you are not familiar with how they work/campground stuff/navigating unfamiliar places.

We've got an RV so I can say 'anti-RV" things and not get kicked out of the club.
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:57 AM   #38
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Eh, the renting isn't a great deal, usually. We've done it once years ago and while the RV wasn't too much trouble, it is not really a convenient way to travel if you are not familiar with how they work/campground stuff/navigating unfamiliar places.
We've got an RV so I can say 'anti-RV" things and not get kicked out of the club.
I visited my nephew's West Point graduation in 2007. If you've never been to Highland Falls or the Fishkill areas of New York before, let's just say that they're as ready to handle 1000 families & friends (and their vehicles) as Annapolis. We quickly learned that driving & dining would take three times as long, if it got done at all. And the morning of graduation was a security nightmare, with people arriving two hours before the start just to get through the vehicle lines.

In the middle of all this hoopla, we dined one afternoon with a picnic on the Hudson's shoreline. My nephew took us to a quiet spot that was just a couple miles away from the "main drag" and about five minutes away from a shuttle stop. I was surprised to see over two dozen RVs parked there with a whole community of mellow families who were enjoying themselves instead of plotting their next driving or dining assault. Security nightmares? They walked to the shuttle and rode over in about 10 minutes.

Our kid starts college in summer 2010 and we'll probably have to visit in the summers of 2011 & 2014. Depending on where she ends up and how "RV friendly" the campus is, I've been thinking real hard about RV rentals...
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Old 08-10-2008, 09:45 AM   #39
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We'd love to have RVing part of our retired lives, but from information gathered on various forums and from friends it would probably be part-time. I could see spending a total of 4 months or so on long trips, visiting family and friends. For the rest, we'd use it for 1 or 2 week getaways near the beach or sight-seeing cities. Florida has a lot of campgrounds, and with a day or two drive there's the NC mountains, the SC shore, Destin, Charleston, New Orleans and lots of places in between.

But an immovable stick home would always be there if we get road-fatigue or have to deal with a prolonged real-world live event. We'll just have to see if the numbers work out all around. Our TrailManor will have to fill the void for now.

Regarding RV rentals, we had little luck. The cleanliness and condition of the rigs were horrendous, plus combined with the outrageous prices. They paint them like gaudy rolling billboards which didn't add to the allure. Maybe if you're looking at a longer rental it works out better.
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:05 AM   #40
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Regarding RV rentals, we had little luck. The cleanliness and condition of the rigs were horrendous, plus combined with the outrageous prices. They paint them like gaudy rolling billboards which didn't add to the allure. Maybe if you're looking at a longer rental it works out better.
We were having similar luck with the hotels and B&Bs in the vicinity of most college towns. During our college tour last year, when our kid would turn to us with her smiling face & shiny eyes and say "Hey, I could go to school here!", I'd ask spouse "Do we want to visit here ever again?"

When our kid has an admissions letter, I'll look up this board's local RVers and get some recommendations. I'm hoping that our kid's desire to take her school breaks in Hawaii will avoid most of these situations... until graduation.
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