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Any Sage Advice for Soon to be RV-ers?
Old 04-19-2017, 10:34 AM   #1
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Any Sage Advice for Soon to be RV-ers?

My DW has agreed to bless me with an RV in a few months. Here is a quick summary.

Our budget is ~$40K or less. We're aligned on a B+ or a short C (B's are too claustrophobic for DW). A few years old (2-5) probably OK, as we prefer to avoid the big depreciation hit. No clunkers or high mileage units, though. Our trade off areas will be between features and age / miles.

We've had a pull behind camper, and tent camped before that. Our plan is mostly local / regional stuff until we get our "sea legs" under us (we live north of Charlotte NC, so no shortage of beautiful places nearby). Then we will look to doing more extensive / extended travel.

We wont pull a car or a toy hauler. Maybe just a small trailer with campsite supplies.

Getting lots of insight from Darrow at CIRY and other bogs on RV-ing, but I thought I'd give "shout out" here as I've gleaned lots of good advice on this and other forums here.

So, any seasoned sojourners out there with any tips, pointers, or gotchas?

Thanks!
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Old 04-19-2017, 10:47 AM   #2
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Make sure your hose is securely in the dump station drain before you open the black water valve.
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Old 04-19-2017, 11:09 AM   #3
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When we were looking we found that you can get some older ones with very low mileage because many people barely use them so this keeps the price down. In 2007 we bought a 1993 with only 34k/miles and it looked like new inside. It was a 27 ft motorhome that only had 2 owners.
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Old 04-19-2017, 11:10 AM   #4
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When we were looking we found that you can get some older ones with very low mileage because many people barely use them so this keeps the price down. In 2007 we bought a 1993 with only 34k/miles and it looked like new inside. It was a 27 ft motorhome that only had 2 owners.
I"ve noticed several like that on CL - very tempted!
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:43 PM   #5
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So, any seasoned sojourners out there with any tips, pointers, or gotchas?
Just one: watch out for low underpasses - especially this one. 11 FOOT 8 - The Canopener Bridge
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:14 AM   #6
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I have a small travel trailer and have really enjoyed my early retirement traveling all around FL as well the East Coast. Best trip was Coastal Maine last summer with a lot of stops in between.

Mid May, I head for Yellowstone from FL.....big trip that will last 3+ months. My longest.

Have a good membership for towing is my advice. Haven't needed it yet, but chances are it'll happen someday. I've used Good Sams and have AAA RV Plus this year.

I have a KOA card for 10%. I don't like using KOA unless needed - but having the card has helped. Sometimes it the only convenient option to cities I visit.

Good luck.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:58 AM   #7
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I have a small travel trailer and have really enjoyed my early retirement traveling all around FL as well the East Coast. Best trip was Coastal Maine last summer with a lot of stops in between.

Mid May, I head for Yellowstone from FL.....big trip that will last 3+ months. My longest.

Have a good membership for towing is my advice. Haven't needed it yet, but chances are it'll happen someday. I've used Good Sams and have AAA RV Plus this year.

I have a KOA card for 10%. I don't like using KOA unless needed - but having the card has helped. Sometimes it the only convenient option to cities I visit.

Good luck.
I will def look into roadside assistance insurance.

Same opinion about KOA. Will prob do their membership as well. My DW is not a fan of boondocking (yet? ), so need to keep all other options open.

Thanks to all!
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:44 AM   #8
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As a class A owner, I know very little about the class B/C world. But your $40K budget seems too small.

My advice is to plan your various budgets before spending any money. Purchase, repairs, insurance, licensing, improvements, campgrounds, fuel, activities, etc.

I had to get a 10 year old RV to make my budget work. There is nothing cheap about a motorhome.

I have talked with several people who have mentioned they got started with a class C but no tow vehicle. Not a positive experience.

I think the 5th wheel approach is the most cost effective way to RV with a $40K budget.

I regularly read irv2.com, rvforum.com and rv.net
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:59 AM   #9
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One more thing, Red Badger - I applaud you for doing your homework but as in most things in life, advice from others will only get you so far. Figuring out what works for you is a very personal journey, one you have to experience first hand.

Someone's sig line says it best: "There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:03 AM   #10
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As the owner of a massive class A diesel pusher, I'd say you are on the right track with a smaller Class C. Class B is too small IMOH, and will not see much use for that reason. A 40' class A is great for RV parks, but too big for any California state parks that I know of.

We started with a 35' TT to see if we'd like it, then made the mistake of test driving a Class A with that cushy air ride. Don't get me wrong...that is great, and we use it quite a bit, but now I'm in the predicament of not being able to go camping (the RV parks we go to could not be called camping by any stretch of the imagination...this is RVing). Now, I'm always on the lookout for a tiny trailer that I can convince my wife to let me buy...for the purpose of camping from time to time.

With the smaller class c, you can camp or RV. Just make sure your tanks will hold enough water for 2-3 days of showers and cooking, if you plan to dry camp. If you are buying used, and they offer some kind of appliance policy, it may be best to buy it. A new fridge can set you back a couple thousand bucks...about the same as the appliance policy we bought on the TT. If you can find one with auto levelers, get it. It will save the frustration of blocks and chocks.
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:59 AM   #11
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Since our RV is only 27ft we can go to state and national parks with no issues. The only problem is the cost of gas. WE only get 9mpg. WE have went without a car because many new cars can't be towed. When we went to YS we rented a car for a week. If we are going 1k/miles or less from home I drive our car so we have transportation. In big cities it is horrible to have to drive the RV everywhere you go. In Denver we were right by a bus stop so took the bus. WE looked into getting a rack to put our car on but it is expensive and then you have to worry about how long you are when driving. Before we bought we just thought you put a hitch on and towed any car but that is not the case. Because the Rv sits up high it is not fun to drive when there is bad weather and it is windy. Some friends of ours sold their bigger one and bought a 13 ft. The only problem I see is that now we have a bedroom with a door so you can go to bed and the person up can sit at the table and read, etc. With a smaller one you have either the table up or the bed and if one person was up it would disturb the other. Also we have 4 dogs and one is 80lbs. If we were down to 2 small dogs it would probably work.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:12 AM   #12
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Because the Rv sits up high it is not fun to drive when there is bad weather and it is windy.
Going back 20 years now, when my late wife & I had a Class 'B', we had one of these installed and it was well worth the money, because our unit was all over the road in windy conditions:

Safe-T-Plus - The Steering Control Specialists | Helping motorists' vehicles steer safer, less, and with peace of mind.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:21 AM   #13
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I hate driving in wind in our homebuilt rig. I am talking about 40 to 50mph gusts. I slow down to about 35mph and it is ok.
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as usual i have a story
Old 04-20-2017, 11:39 AM   #14
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as usual i have a story

so i get this great idea, we will get an RV and travel around this beautiful country, my dog will be with me the bride all is good in the world, i have big dreams if i really like it ill sell the house, live cheaper and wow do everything, after all i saw the glamorous life of rv living on tv . we find a dealer, i look at some big job, has everything, hahaha , i hear the price, im still running, then i sit in a smaller one, the salesman tells me he thinks i need to rent one for 2 weeks before i buy, the bride tells me "you know u have to drive this thing". that was the end for me. i can hardly drive a car, but i lived the dream for a few hours, oh BTW i constantly get brochures from all sorts of Rv places so the advice, rent before you buy
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:45 AM   #15
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WE have met people that love to live in them f.t. Usually they have big ones such as 35-40 ft with washer/dryer, etc. They also tend to follow the weather and don't do a lot of traveling but tend to stay 6 months in 2 different spots. They can also pay the monthly rate which is cheaper. However, living f.t. in an RV park does not appeal to me unless it is beautiful with big spots. Most are like being in a parking lot.
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:33 PM   #16
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We full time in ours and have traveled 12,000 miles across about 20 states in the past year. Is that considered a lot of traveling?
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:57 PM   #17
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We full time in ours and have traveled 12,000 miles across about 20 states in the past year. Is that considered a lot of traveling?
Ours is two years old, 10,600 miles on it, including the 2300 they put on it delivering it. That said, last year DW had some medical issues mid summer last year (seizures) so we didn't use it the rest of the year. I didn't like the idea of her having an episode while I'm driving on an interstate and can't pull off quickly like you can in a car. She's gone 4 months without one now, so I think it is under control. We'll be heading out for our first trip in a couple weeks...I'm at Freightliner right now, sitting in the drivers lounge, getting the oil, filters, etc checked and changed.

All of that said, we aren't full timers.
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:04 PM   #18
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We have went 6k/miles in a month and the gas really started to add up over such a short period of time. We only get 9 miles to a gallon. This summer we planned a trip for 18 days that is a total of 1500 miles r.t. so gas will be much less. Also I booked a week in 2 different places to get the weekly discount. WE thought it would be fun to explore different parts of Idaho.
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:04 PM   #19
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Make sure your hose is securely in the dump station drain before you open the black water valve.
Also that the hose is twist-locked securely to the tank outlet before pulling the dump valve.

I once saw an RV'er fumble to re-attach his hose when it came off. His black tank content was all over his hands, forearms, and his shoes. Gross!

Before I bought my motorhome, I never knew much about RV'ing, so spent a lot of time reading and researching the right things to do to operate and maintain a motorhome. Something like the black tank is really scary, and cannot be taken lightly.
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:06 PM   #20
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...I'm at Freightliner right now, sitting in the drivers lounge, getting the oil, filters, etc checked and changed.


Based on my four years of owning a 40' diesel pusher, what I read from your quote was "...I'm at Freightliner right now, sitting in the drivers lounge, getting ready to pay through the nose for some routine maintenance."

I loved RVing in the bus - except for the "OMG, you want HOW much?!!" moments and the fact I never felt comfortable driving that huge thing around. Discovered I'm a 5th wheel kind of guy...

Glad to hear your DW is doing much better and you can hit the road again.
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