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Old 08-01-2014, 03:16 PM   #21
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For what it’s worth, I am thinking of a similar idea to get ready for 2016. I have been doing some research myself. I have been looking at RV dealers and online places to get ideas of what is a great value. It doesn’t matter where you buy from; it’s an adventure coming and going. If you don’t want to do that, you are not an RVer.

I am going to buy a 5th wheel. I already have a F350, and will always have a truck, so the tow vehicle is not an extra expense. I can disconnect to go to scenic spots if I have to. I can pull out the hitch from the bed when not in use, so it is like not having a hitch.

I am thinking a 25 to 32 foot rig, so I can get into most any campsite. There will only be two of us, and a dog. There are some campgrounds, from what I hear, that larger RVs do not fit. I plan on doing quite a bit of boon docking.

A Class A is nice, but if you have a mechanical problem you are without a home. And it may be a long tow to get to a place where it can be fixed. Therefor a 5th wheel. Anyone can work on a truck, or trailer, and you can generally limp by on a sick trailer.

Travel trailers are OK too, but a 5th wheel has more space, and higher headroom. And it tows better. Much nicer rig. A trailer is generally cheaper, but you can buy a brand new Puma 5th wheel for under $20K.

The markup price is about 60% for a new RV/5th wheel. There is a huge mark up. A 100K 5th wheel will cost the dealer only ~$60K. Use the internet to compare prices. Assume you can get one pretty reasonable after only a few years old. Shop around, and make offers. Cash will be king; loans for RVs are more difficult.
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RV novice-point me in the right direction
Old 08-01-2014, 08:33 PM   #22
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RV novice-point me in the right direction

Always dicker on prices. Don't pay retail. They will come down a good deal. Try 70% - they can only say no. Then walk away for awhile


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Old 08-02-2014, 10:33 AM   #23
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The size depends on one main factor: do you plan to live IN the unit, our out of it?
Everyone has their needs but we tend to agree with seraphin. We are not full-time but travel 3 to 4 weeks at a time in our class B Roadtrek. We have enough room to be inside on those rainy days but mostly, we are outside We enjoy visiting national parks and other sites so we tend to be on the move rather than camping in the same place for longer periods. The tradeoff for less living space is 16 MPG, parking in a regular spaces and having a rig that DW feels comfortable driving.

Try to decide what you want to do with your RV then visit some RV shows and dealers and walk through all models and sizes. After looking at a few, you will form an idea which size and model will fit your needs. I'll bet you'll soon start to go back to a certain size and model that appeals to you. Once you narrow your needs, you can start looking for new vs used units.

Check out this blog. Charlie and Jeanie RE and are on a two year trip to see all 50 states and currently in Alaska. Their truck camper is actually quite spacious...they even have a small washing machine so do their own laundry.
http://www.mytripjournal.com/coushai...our2013-14&p=1
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:49 PM   #24
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Everyone has their needs but we tend to agree with seraphin. We are not full-time but travel 3 to 4 weeks at a time in our class B Roadtrek. We have enough room to be inside on those rainy days but mostly, we are outside We enjoy visiting national parks and other sites so we tend to be on the move rather than camping in the same place for longer periods. The tradeoff for less living space is 16 MPG, parking in a regular spaces and having a rig that DW feels comfortable driving.
+1
We are also Roadtrek travelers. Our first rig was a 28' Class A basement Winebago. Wife would only drive in the boonies and only after much pressure. Winebago got 10-11 mpg ONLY if I stayed 60 or less.
We both preferred the flexibility and freedom on the Roadtrek. Only downside is you must be comfortable with the sleeping layout. We have king bed/power couch but that means someone has to crawl over the other to make nighttime potty trips.
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:08 PM   #25
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We built our own camper but if I had to buy one it would probably be a Born Free or used Renegade/Showhauler. Hard to find in small size though.

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Old 08-04-2014, 12:17 PM   #26
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I looked into this idea, purchased a used, cheap, camper and gave it a try I discovered the following.

> It's work - setting up and tearing down camp is work. You can minimize it but be aware that the black water tank gets flushed before the grey one.
> It's not as cheap as you may think. Camp site prices have climbed and are now close to chain hotel prices.
> You may not get a great camp site - being stuck next to others that maybe unpleasant can be unpredictable
> RV's and trucks get 15-20mpg - so driving around is expensive
> People who live in RV's that i know prefer 5th wheels. Freeing up a vehicle when camped.
> RV's need maintenance just like a house so expect to have to fix stuff in tight spaces

If you want to really try this I would suggest renting an RV. I know someone who did this to travel the country and had a blast. Once they were done they handed in the RV and had a whole new perspective.

Just my 2 cents
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:51 PM   #27
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> It's not as cheap as you may think. Camp site prices have climbed and are now close to chain hotel prices.
You must have some cheap chain hotel prices your area (they are ~$125/night around here). We're not averaging anywhere close to that to camp - less than $30/night for full-hookup RV sites. The most expensive place we've stayed was just over $40/night.

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> You may not get a great camp site - being stuck next to others that maybe unpleasant can be unpredictable.
Agreed. In that respect it is exactly like staying in a hotel.

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> RV's and trucks get 15-20mpg - so driving around is expensive
If you mean while driving/towing the RV, I think you are being far too optimistic. My MPG experience with owning both a large motor home and a 5th wheel is about half what you state.

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> People who live in RV's that i know prefer 5th wheels. Freeing up a vehicle when camped.
I agree with you that 5th wheels are preferred by full timers, provided they don't want to relocate frequently. Those who travel more often prefer motor homes.

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> RV's need maintenance just like a house so expect to have to fix stuff in tight spaces
Absolutely. Plus, dragging your living quarters down the highway tends to bump, jar, loosen, and break more stuff than when standing still. RV's do take some serious TLC to keep them fully functional.
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:03 PM   #28
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If you want to really try this I would suggest renting an RV. I know someone who did this to travel the country and had a blast. Once they were done they handed in the RV and had a whole new perspective.
We'd like to try this, but I haven't found anywhere nearby (Southern Ohio) that rents Class B RVs. I'm guessing there must be some sort of individual/by owner rental site, but I've found a few region-specific sites only (not our region, unfortunately). Maybe Craigslist will have something eventually, or we can place a "Rental Wanted" ad and see what crops up.
The Class B rentals I've found from other places seem to run about $125 per day, with just 100 miles/day free. That would be okay for a "try this and see if it's for us" test, but if we decide we want to travel more than a few times per year, then buying a used unit starts to make sense. Maybe rent it out (?)
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:38 PM   #29
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The Class B rentals I've found from other places seem to run about $125 per day, with just 100 miles/day free. That would be okay for a "try this and see if it's for us" test, but if we decide we want to travel more than a few times per year, then buying a used unit starts to make sense. Maybe rent it out (?)
You really should do the "try this" test first. Last year, my BIL decided to fulfill a dream he'd long had of traveling out west in an RV. He talked my 82-year old Dad into accompanying him (my sister still works FT). BIL drove long-haul trucks for years and was a driving instructor for a major store chain. He can drive anything or fix anything, so this was not a case of "Clark Griswold goes on an RV Trip".

We saw them on their way out from SC to the West when they stayed for a couple of nights. They'd already had an unscheduled stop when something major failed- were fortunate to find a very good repair place on the way. BIL was already getting frustrated with the hassles of getting everything hooked up just so in order for the electricity, etc. to work. (Sorry I can't give you more details- I was at work when they were dealing with this but DH said BIL was at his wit's end.) They did get out West, they saw lots of lovely scenery.

They came home early- Dad was suffering so badly from altitude sickness that he flew home from Wyoming (got better rapidly after getting to sea level). BIL continued through a few more stops, then headed home early, too. He returned the RV to its owners with great relief and has never brought up the idea of buying an RV again. My sister told our father, "Thanks, Dad!"
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:52 PM   #30
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You really should do the "try this" test first. Last year, my BIL decided to fulfill a dream he'd long had of traveling out west in an RV. He talked my 82-year old Dad into accompanying him (my sister still works FT). BIL drove long-haul trucks for years and was a driving instructor for a major store chain. He can drive anything or fix anything, so this was not a case of "Clark Griswold goes on an RV Trip".

We saw them on their way out from SC to the West when they stayed for a couple of nights. They'd already had an unscheduled stop when something major failed- were fortunate to find a very good repair place on the way. BIL was already getting frustrated with the hassles of getting everything hooked up just so in order for the electricity, etc. to work. (Sorry I can't give you more details- I was at work when they were dealing with this but DH said BIL was at his wit's end.) They did get out West, they saw lots of lovely scenery.

They came home early- Dad was suffering so badly from altitude sickness that he flew home from Wyoming (got better rapidly after getting to sea level). BIL continued through a few more stops, then headed home early, too. He returned the RV to its owners with great relief and has never brought up the idea of buying an RV again. My sister told our father, "Thanks, Dad!"
Different strokes, I guess. We delight in our travel trailer and don't find it too much work or expense. We have travelled all over the place with the trailer and find it to be a super inexpensive way to travel in comfort.
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:02 PM   #31
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We spent this weekend in a state park RV spot on the beach for $24 a night. Not a lot of beach front hotels for $24 a night.
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:10 PM   #32
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Different strokes, I guess. We delight in our travel trailer and don't find it too much work or expense. We have travelled all over the place with the trailer and find it to be a super inexpensive way to travel in comfort.
I do not have much trouble with my class C either. Yes, it requires some maintenance and I have done quite a bit of upgrade and addition to improve its handling when towing a dinghy. But for road trips and treks, I love not having to look for a motel, or to find a place to eat everyday. A bad RV park or campground is not going to traumatize me like a bad motel. And when we dine at a restaurant, it is because we want to, not because we have no other choice.

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We built our own camper...
Nice! Now knowing a bit more about the construction of RVs, I am sure you can put in a lot more insulation for comfort when the weather is less than perfect (but at the price of a smaller living space!).

I see that you have a big platform there in the back. I would prefer a few more feet of living space.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:26 PM   #33
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Nice! Now knowing a bit more about the construction of RVs, I am sure you can put in a lot more insulation for comfort when the weather is less than perfect (but at the price of a smaller living space!).

I see that you have a big platform there in the back. I would prefer a few more feet of living space.
Well, we are building a garage pod that goes behind the camper on the part of the platform you see. It won't add more living space but it will add a lot of storage plus shelter for the motorcycles. We are also putting aluminum storage boxes under the truck on both sides. It is really a lot like a class C except with a better frame and load capacity than most (19,500 GVWR where most C's are built on something around 14,000 GVWR).
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:47 AM   #34
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Where we landed on this topic. We sold our camper and decided to do the country via our Prius which gets 50mpg(less with all the stuff on it). We carry the kayaks on the roof and bikes on a bike rack in the rear. We have one suitcase each and our backpacks with camping stuff. We have an Insta-tent gazebo(Screened room), portable changeling room w/ porta potty and two camping hammocks that can be used as bivy's. The whole site takes less then 30m to setup.

This way if we see a nice campground we can stop and stay the night. If the area has other outdoor activities we can do them as well.

Also on pricing that I mentioned. For example, In BoothBay ME, an area that we like, you can get a campsite w/ hookups for $45/night with a 3 night min stay. A hotel in that same area is $79 per night with no commitment.

We like the flexibility and that our solution provides. Also our $ is not tied up in a RV which we use for fun.

I am not suggesting living this way - but we could travel for months like this.

Did you try posting your request on craigslist. Lots of people rent their personal RV's - I would just make sure your insurance is updated.

Again - just my two cents - everyone is different. We have definitely landed on the flexibility and cash is king side. Owning little and renting what we need when we need it.

Cheers and good luck
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:21 AM   #35
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Single night stay on beach site at Belfair state park with full hookups: $41

Single night stay in Super 8 in Bremerton $77

View from beach site:
view1.jpg


View from Super 8:
view2.jpg
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:22 AM   #36
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Single night stay on beach site at Belfair state park with full hookups: $41

Single night stay in Super 8 in Bremerton $77

View from beach site:
Attachment 19562


View from Super 8:
Attachment 19563
I'll take door #1.
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:45 PM   #37
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I was speaking to a friend yesterday and he posed a new (to me) approach for buying a used Class C motorhome. It has some appeal but not sure it would work for everyone.

My friend was traveling though Orlando, FL and noticed an advertisement for used RV's at Cruise America. At approximately 100 - 125k miles on the odometer Cruise America takes the RV out of rental service, removes all exterior Cruise America decals, puts new carpet in the RV, new upholstery if needed and does their multi-point inspection to ensure the RV is in good condition. The used RV comes with a 12 month, 12,000 mile warranty. Granted the 12k miles would be used in probably a 6 month period if traveling around the country.

Bottom line, used 23 ft. Class C motorhome, with warranty for less than $20,000.

Might work for some people.
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:17 PM   #38
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Yeah but, but, but...... the view from Super 8 is not that great..but what about the view of an EXPENSIVE RV sitting next to your house for 48 weeks of the year, making 500 plus dollar a month payments PLUS insurance...while the grass grows around the wheels and it depreciates 1000 dollars a month...then it won't start, the systems don't work, the tires are getting old ( LEARN about RV tires BEFORE you buy!!!!) and need to be replaced at 200 dollars plus a piece..


I'd get a hotel for 200 dollars a night on the beach.

You'd come out WAY ahead. Go home and live life and don't have to look at a depreciating vehicle for 11 months of the year. ANd forget about selling it. They depreciate WORSE than cars.

I wanted a travel trailer..wanted that dream....... til I went on Airstream and Forest River sites and see what those folks go thru and spend to keep running....I think I'm changing my mind set.
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Old 08-05-2014, 05:06 PM   #39
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Yeah but, but, but...... the view from Super 8 is not that great..but what about the view of an EXPENSIVE RV sitting next to your house for 48 weeks of the year, making 500 plus dollar a month payments PLUS insurance...while the grass grows around the wheels and it depreciates 1000 dollars a month...then it won't start, the systems don't work, the tires are getting old ( LEARN about RV tires BEFORE you buy!!!!) and need to be replaced at 200 dollars plus a piece..


I'd get a hotel for 200 dollars a night on the beach.

You'd come out WAY ahead. Go home and live life and don't have to look at a depreciating vehicle for 11 months of the year. ANd forget about selling it. They depreciate WORSE than cars.

I wanted a travel trailer..wanted that dream....... til I went on Airstream and Forest River sites and see what those folks go thru and spend to keep running....I think I'm changing my mind set.
If you are doing it that way, you are doing it wrong. My costs look something like this:

In 2008 I bought my trailer new for 16k out the door. If I were to do it again, I would buy a 4 or 5 year old unit used at a fraction of the price, since this is the most expensive way to do it. After almost 7 seasons it might be worth 7 or 8k. It costs me roughly $100/year to insure, but I recently dropped the trailer insurance. Maintenance is $150 to winterize/dewinterize, and I have had to replace the battery and buy a few tubes of self leveling caulk. Call it $200 so far. Average campsite fee for us might be $25 tops, since we rarely camp in commercial campgrounds. We camp about 30 nights a year, plus the camper serves as an extra guest room, "oops we are out of X" extra stores, and an escape pod in the event of a problem requiring us to vacate the house. Looks like about $77 a night all in so far (7 seasons). I expect that as we spread the depreciation over more years the per-night number will drop.

Remind me what vacations a family of 4 plus two medium sized dogs could do for $76 a day?
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Old 08-05-2014, 05:12 PM   #40
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With the exception of those who full-time, buying a RV is rarely a cost saving endeavor. RV'ing is a hobby and hobbies cost money.
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