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Old 03-25-2010, 05:17 PM   #301
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The RV really is a tool not an end in itself. Some owners and this thread may have given the impression that an RV is an end in itself - but IMO few people RV just for the sake of RVing
Amen.
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:41 PM   #302
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Well, then, take me for a nice long ride sometime. Bring lots of rope.
The solution I've found to "road-trip boredom" is pretty simply . . . I drive.
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:44 PM   #303
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
The RV really is a tool not an end in itself. Some owners and this thread may have given the impression that an RV is an end in itself - but IMO few people RV just for the sake of RVing (although I occasionally meet someone that does seem to feel that way about it).

Audrey
Excellent thought. It is a means to an end. For us, that is to "see the USA" while we are still young enough (mid-50s). We both know that we won't be traveling year-round the rest of our lives. Things happen in life that are beyond your control, and plans change in a moment. But, I'll tell you.. the experiences we have had, and the things we have seen, can't be taken away. We haven't just saw these places for a few hours, we have lived them. Last fall, we spent 6 weeks outside the east entrance of Yellowstone. Can't wait to get on the road and see what 2010 brings.

Enjoy life. Live your dreams, not your fears.
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Old 03-25-2010, 07:31 PM   #304
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The RV really is a tool not an end in itself. Some owners and this thread may have given the impression that an RV is an end in itself - but IMO few people RV just for the sake of RVing...
Yep. I said half the fun is getting there which means the other half is being there. No reason to have an RV unless you have some place you want to go - and spend whatever time you wish once you are there.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:12 PM   #305
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I'm not an RV'er (though I'm happy that they're happy doing it and so on, and don't want to rain on their parade - - but you wanted to hear the down side.). Anyway, here are some reasons why I think that FOR ME an RV would suck.

1. They are expensive! And the upkeep has to be pretty high too, as well as time consuming. What about gas prices soaring, or gas lines like we had thirty years ago? What a nightmare THAT could be. And an RV is a depreciating asset. Even the RV enthusiasts on the board admit that RV'ing is not cheap.

2. You have to have a place to park it when you are home. (It's hard enough to find room to park my car, at my house).

3. I don't ever even want to THINK about a black water tank, much less (shudder) empty it. No way, no how, not my cup of tea.

4. Spontaneity in travel is important to us. When we are ready to stop for the night, at a destination that we hadn't even thought of until we got there, I imagine it would be a lot easier for us to find a motel than to find an RV park.

5. When I am traveling, there is NO WAY I am going to slave over a hot stove etc. Part of the fun of traveling is sampling the local cuisine and not having to do the dishes.

6. When I am traveling, there is NO WAY I am going to make the bed, clean, etc. The idea is to get a vacation from chores, not to bring them with me.

7. Frank adds - - if you take a van and convert it to an RV, you can no longer use it as a utility vehicle since it will be full of improvements instead of whatever you might want to be hauling in it.

8. I think a full sized RV would be a PITA to drive.
Thanks! Another view heard from. Here's my take on your preferences (for me )

1. Yes they are expensive, hence my hesitation to jump in. I was thinking that for just me and a pet or two, a van would work out fine. It isn't as tho I would full time in it. My pets are considerably more accommodating than a SO is. So tripping over someone else isn't a concern.

2. Another plus for a van - it can park easily except in parking garages (too tall).

3. I hesitate on this one too (black water - reminds me of the Doobie Bros). But then I suppose I could learn. I suspect I would use public facilities mostly because of this.

4. Spontaneity is important to me too. I like to either drive until I'm too tired to go any farther or if I see something interesting to make me want to stop to investigate. That's why having my own bed seems appealing. Finding a hotel can be challenging/expensive on a whim, then schlep my stuff in and out. Plus dealing with pets. That's a real drag too. An RV park is not a necessity. There are lots of places to park for overnight.

5. I like to make my own coffee. Its usually much better than I can buy. Some restaurant eating is fun but it gets old and takes time. I traveled a lot in my job and by the end of the week, I was sick of eating at restaurants and I didn't even have to pay for them. Sometimes, I'd go to grocery stores instead. I don't suppose I would do extensive cooking but if I did, I could live with cleaning up. It's got to be easier than tent camping cleanup.

6. I've developed a severe allergy/sensitivity to poorly rinsed hotel sheets. So bad that I got a sleep bag to keep my skin off thier linens. Before that, I slept in my clothes on top of the bed. So, having my own linens that I don't react to would be a big plus.

7. Good point. I've seen some floor plans that could accommodate full sheets of plywood on end. And they can tow a trailer. Or I could make the innards removable for those times. It is something to consider as I do like my projects and projects need raw materials.

8. I also think a full size RV would be a PITA to drive and maneuver in cities and especially to park. But a van wouldn't be bad, would it? I'm concerned about gas mileage so those Sprinter diesels are interesting. Awfully expensive new, tho. But then diesels should last a long time.

So whadda ya think - am I candidate for this?
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:17 PM   #306
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So whadda ya think - am I candidate for this?
Naah. Still analyzing it too hard, too much ambivalence. When and if you're really ready you'll know. Of course do your own research.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:22 PM   #307
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An RV park is not a necessity. There are lots of places to park for overnight.
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So whadda ya think - am I candidate for this?
About those places where you could park your van and sleep - - would you be traveling alone? If so, would you be safe enough in these places? I am thinking of rest stop rape/murder/mutialations/etc that one reads about from time to time.. I think RV parks are probably very safe.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:37 PM   #308
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Thanks! Another view heard from. Here's my take on your preferences (for me )

1. Yes they are expensive, hence my hesitation to jump in. I was thinking that for just me and a pet or two, a van would work out fine. It isn't as tho I would full time in it. My pets are considerably more accommodating than a SO is. So tripping over someone else isn't a concern.

2. Another plus for a van - it can park easily except in parking garages (too tall).

3. I hesitate on this one too (black water - reminds me of the Doobie Bros). But then I suppose I could learn. I suspect I would use public facilities mostly because of this.

4. Spontaneity is important to me too. I like to either drive until I'm too tired to go any farther or if I see something interesting to make me want to stop to investigate. That's why having my own bed seems appealing. Finding a hotel can be challenging/expensive on a whim, then schlep my stuff in and out. Plus dealing with pets. That's a real drag too. An RV park is not a necessity. There are lots of places to park for overnight.

5. I like to make my own coffee. Its usually much better than I can buy. Some restaurant eating is fun but it gets old and takes time. I traveled a lot in my job and by the end of the week, I was sick of eating at restaurants and I didn't even have to pay for them. Sometimes, I'd go to grocery stores instead. I don't suppose I would do extensive cooking but if I did, I could live with cleaning up. It's got to be easier than tent camping cleanup.

6. I've developed a severe allergy/sensitivity to poorly rinsed hotel sheets. So bad that I got a sleep bag to keep my skin off thier linens. Before that, I slept in my clothes on top of the bed. So, having my own linens that I don't react to would be a big plus.

7. Good point. I've seen some floor plans that could accommodate full sheets of plywood on end. And they can tow a trailer. Or I could make the innards removable for those times. It is something to consider as I do like my projects and projects need raw materials.

8. I also think a full size RV would be a PITA to drive and maneuver in cities and especially to park. But a van wouldn't be bad, would it? I'm concerned about gas mileage so those Sprinter diesels are interesting. Awfully expensive new, tho. But then diesels should last a long time.

So whadda ya think - am I candidate for this?
Camping vans are RVs too! Go for it!

Road Treks are very popular. I don't know how expensive they are - they might be. They look very nice and complete, and I've spoken to several proud and happy owners. Roadtrek Motorhome, RV Camper Van, Class B Motor Homes

There are really a ton of options for folks looking for small RVs - pop-up campers, small trailers, camping vans, truck campers, fancier Class B RVs. You don't need something large or difficult to maneuver to enjoy the lifestyle.

[FWIW - I believe camper vans fall in the "Class B motorhome" category. Some are no larger than a standard van. Others are longer and can be very elaborate and some are even quite expensive. All depends on how much space and how many bells and whistles you want.]

Audrey
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:53 PM   #309
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About those places where you could park your van and sleep - - would you be traveling alone? If so, would you be safe enough in these places? I am thinking of rest stop rape/murder/mutialations/etc that one reads about from time to time.. I think RV parks are probably very safe.
Walmart parking lots are generally considered safe and a lot of RVers overnight there when convenient for that reason and because Walmart generally welcomes it unless there is a local ordinances banning it. They have good lighting and many have night security.

The general etiquette is to ask permission - call ahead to verify that overnighting is allowed, or go into the store and check in at the customer service desk. They usually instruct you where to park - well away from the main customer traffic. But if you get to a Walmart and see a bunch of parked RVs already - just pull in and park with the group.

Be aware of the neighborhood, if an area looked too run down I'm not sure we would stay at a Walmart. If you are traveling with a dog that barks, that would help too. Also, vans have alarm systems too - so you can always make your vehicle make a lot of noise if you feel threatened.

Audrey
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:01 PM   #310
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Naah. Still analyzing it too hard, too much ambivalence. When and if you're really ready you'll know. Of course do your own research.
That'll goad her into it!
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:05 PM   #311
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Camping vans are RVs too! Go for it!

Audrey
We see camping vans often in our travels. They never seem to stay in one spot more than a day or two, then they are gone.

Part of the decision process " Do you plan to move often, or are you going to make longer stays between travel days?" We have travel days- to get from here to there- and have many more days where we leave the RV in place and explore the area on the motorcycle, or in the truck.

Camper van would be a bit too small for two people, and extended stay. IMO. Would be great for daily travel.
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:06 PM   #312
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Regarding safety, RV campgrounds and rest stops are like permanent neighborhoods. Use your instinct and you are as safe or unsafe as staying in a motel.

While crossing the Tennessee mountains I stopped at one rest area where the activity made me uneasy - groups of men, probably mostly truckers, playing dice and cards, a little loud. I moved on 15 miles and there was another rest area filled with RVs including kids. They had kind of found an area of the parking lot and claimed it. I slept like a log.

Check out the crime statistics on your own little area or one you plan to move to. The results can be sobering. And you can't just pick up your house and move it 15 miles down the road...
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:33 PM   #313
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I took a trip to Denver last fall and made a bed in my car. I stayed at a WalMart (noisy) and parked near the RVs and semis, then just crashed behind a gas station near a residential area in the middle of Kansas. On the way back, I stopped at a couple of rest areas where some other people were doing the same thing along with a few truckers and felt perfectly safe. I think there is a lot to checking out the surroundings and going with your instincts. The car was ok but cramped. I guess I was testing out the concept.
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:40 PM   #314
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A lot of the ideas and concepts at this site might be a little extreme for some folks here. But, it's interesting reading. Some ingenious creatively by folks who desire mobile living but need to do it on a tight budget.

Cheaprvliving.com

W2R - Note the ingenious method for eliminating the need to empty the blackwater holding tank. It involves a 5 gal bucket and 2 garbage bags.

Tesaje - Check out the article "A Great Van Conversion."
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:48 PM   #315
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W2R - Note the ingenious method for eliminating the need to empty the blackwater holding tanks. It involves a 5 gal bucket and 2 garbage bags.
Let me guess - you line the bucket with one bag and put the the other over your head...
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:52 PM   #316
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We see camping vans often in our travels. They never seem to stay in one spot more than a day or two, then they are gone.

Part of the decision process " Do you plan to move often, or are you going to make longer stays between travel days?" We have travel days- to get from here to there- and have many more days where we leave the RV in place and explore the area on the motorcycle, or in the truck.

Camper van would be a bit too small for two people, and extended stay. IMO. Would be great for daily travel.
Yep - they are heavily used for day trips. And then you can lunch and nap in your van where ever you are during the day. And hookup is very quick (no slides, no disconnecting vehicles, no leveling).

I do see couples in these a lot. Especially elderly couples. Probably great for one person with pets.

Definitely great for when you are traveling cross country. Do doing a slow leisurely tour of an area.

And since it will fit in normal parking spaces, on a long vacation you can always spend nights at a particularly nice lodge or something to give yourself a break from the close confines.

It's out for us though. DH is too tall. He barely survived our Casita - although he did put up with it for almost 2 years. Good for smaller people though.

Definitely - it all depends on how (and why) you like to travel and stop. Analyzing your potential usage is key.

Audrey
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:57 PM   #317
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Let me guess - you line the bucket with one bag and put the the other over your head...


Close. I don't want to spoil the surprise....... but the solution involves not having a blackwater tank to empty and the bucket and two bags taking the place of that system. Simplify, simplify, simply fly........
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:02 PM   #318
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About those places where you could park your van and sleep - - would you be traveling alone? If so, would you be safe enough in these places? I am thinking of rest stop rape/murder/mutialations/etc that one reads about from time to time.. I think RV parks are probably very safe.
About motels, are you really safe? I was thinking of the movie Psycho.

Wouldn't you be safer at a larger hotel? There goes the spontaneity and the adventure in travel

I was thinking more about "mutilation" by grizzly bears when I thought of RV'ing and boondocking along the Alaska Highway.

Anyway, about the cost of a used RV, my recent shopping experience is that one can get a clean small travel trailer for around $10K or less. For a used class C motorhome, with a budget of $20-25K, one gets a lot to choose from. Surely, that's less than a new Venza. :-)

Happy RV'ing.

PS. I thought long and hard about getting a used Sprinter-chassis motorhome. One would tend to be newer and cost quite a bit more, but the diesel has twice the gas mileage. I decided that the price difference would pay for a lot of gas, and got a gas class C instead.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:06 PM   #319
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Here's a few thoughts on safety for females while Vandwelling RVing alone.

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Old 03-26-2010, 06:39 AM   #320
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(no slides, no disconnecting vehicles, no leveling).
Well, leveling is somewhat problematic in a van-type RV -- if you have a refrigerator or prefer not to sleep with your head down hill. The plastic Lego-type blocks makes fixing that simple but it still slows the teardown/set-up process.

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It's out for us though. DH is too tall. He barely survived our Casita - although he did put up with it for almost 2 years. Good for smaller people though.
Yeah if you are six feet tall or greater, a van is not a good idea. (I should add that if the two occupants are of... eh great girth, a van would probably not be a wise choice.)
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