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Old 05-15-2016, 01:11 PM   #41
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One more thing about the advantage of a smaller vehicle: the ability to pull over and to make serendipitous stops at interesting spots.

Even though our class C is nowhere as cumbersome as a class A or a 5th wheel, we have found that if we did not have the towed car we would miss out on a lot of sites. If one vehicle is all you are going to have, then you will not be able to make impromptu stops to check out interesting spots that you happen to run across, if your RV is large.

With our setup, when passing an interesting spot, we often managed to pull over past the interesting spot to park the MH, detached the towed car and used it to go back to visit for a couple of hours before continuing on. It would be tough to do that with a class A or a 5th wheel. However, those people with large RVs tend to stay at a certain spot longer, as I explained earlier, hence have more time to explore with their detached vehicle.

So, as you can see, the modus operandi is different for each set up. What I describe is how we enjoy our travel, and it may not work for somebody else.
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Old 05-15-2016, 01:24 PM   #42
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We've had a Class A & C, now have a 23' Keystone pull camper. You need to join iRV2 website. Tons of info there and you can inquire about the one you're looking at.
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:19 AM   #43
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One more thing about the advantage of a smaller vehicle: the ability to pull over and to make serendipitous stops at interesting spots.
The ability to stop and peruse at will are what good traveling is all about, in my opinion.

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You need to join iRV2 website. Tons of info there and you can inquire about the one you're looking at.
Thanks for the tip. I just started browsing the forums there - there are some interesting conversations.
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:43 PM   #44
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My experience is with europeean motorhomes - which tend to be a bit smaller than the US equivalents. I am on my second. The first one got ditched for two reasons:

The bathroom sewer system was this small box which you manually carry with you and dump in the designated hole in the ground. Every 1-2 days or so. My second RV got a large tank which lasts for 1-3 weeks and I don't have to carry anything. Do all US RV's have these tanks? If not then that is an important thing to consider.

The first one was front wheel drive which ment that with it's heavy rear end I got stuck on perfectly flat surfaces in the winter outside shopping malls etc. The second RV got rear wheel drive and I never gotten stuck anywhere.

It's an european A-class 9 metres long or about 29 feet I think. In the garage I got my ordinary pedal bike which I use to get around. I might get an electric bike eventually which could extend my range considerably. I'm not the sporty biker type.

And my best accessory? 3 solar panels on the roof. On sunny days I can boondock for days and weeks - no noisy gennies.
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:52 PM   #45
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Major Tom have you ever visited the sites airforums.com ( for Airstream owners, Airstream makes the Interstate, a class B, and has a section on those type units)?

Or.. forestriverforums.com..?..a site for Forest River owners...Forest River is owned by Thor Industries which make the majority of US RV's ( including Airstream trailers)....

I used to dream too of buying a motorhome or trailer+truck and doing the RV thing....until I spent years on these sites seeing the unbelieveable problems people have with NEW units, much less used ones.

Sort of took the shine off the idea of owning one for me.....

One thing most of the forum members complain long and loudly about is servicing the units after purchase.....poor service networks, and the servicers don't have to touch yours unless you bought it there. Not like car dealerships which will work on your car no matter where you purchased it. Dealer networks from what I've read, for the most part stink. If you're not mechanically inclined, that could be a problem.....

The other thing is that RV'ing has become so popular in the last few years, they are banging them out so fast the quality control appears to be non-existent. This is even true on 100,000 dollar Airstreams.

I read those forums for hours during the long cold winter months and decided it's probably not for me.....
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:01 PM   #46
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Hi Christine -

Some of the smaller camper vans and van conversions don't even have proper toilets or showers, but I'm not interested in those. The full-fledged Class B's manage to cram a toilet and shower, as well as a small kitchen, into the van. That's what I'm leaning towards - a Class B. The "proper" ones have 3 tanks - for freshwater, grey (sinks + shower) water, and black (toilet) water. I want one with all those. The larger RV's always have all 3 tanks, it's just that the tanks on the Class B's are smaller.

Yes to solar panels! I wouldn't mind a generator as back-up, but my goal will be to derive all house power from solar. I think I should be able to do it with 200 or 300W in panels and 200 - 300AH in batteries.

29 feet sounds like a good length - you must have a fairly good amount of space.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:27 PM   #47
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Lcountz -

I haven't visited either of those forums, as those particular brands don't interest me. Airstreams certainly have an appealing aesthetic, and I imagine that is one of the reasons people like them - that, plus their heritage (the fact they are considered a "classic" trailer brand). I don't know anything about the build quality, as I simply haven't done the research on them.

I have read that most (if not all) of the RV's made by Thor are not recommended for full-time use. They may well be perfectly fine for occasional use for vacations, but not necessarily for full-timing.

Considering the fact that I'll be purchasing an older unit (15- 20 years) and hope to full-time, it is very important to me to purchase a type of camper van/RV and brand that is known for reliability. This is where Class B's appeal, as roof leaks don't have the potential to cause as much structural damage as they do with Class C's. With Class C's, I honed in on Lazy Daze early on in my search, as being particularly well-constructed. Thanks to this thread, I also learned that Born Free are worth looking into for Class C's, as are Chinook for Class B's.

Two of the RV'ers (Tioga George and Nomadic Fanatic) who I have followed and who seemed to spend an awful lot of time fixing things both owned older Tioga's, which are not rated for full-time use. There's a lesson there, I think - that there are definite differences in build quality between brands.

All that said, given that I'll be looking at purchasing an older unit, I expect to have problems. I'm just hoping to minimize them by buying a good unit, and doing the proper maintenance. You know, after 6 months in one, the shine might come off it for me too, but I at least want to find out.

Thanks for commenting. I really appreciate it.
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:36 PM   #48
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Major Tom have you ever visited the sites airforums.com ( for Airstream owners, Airstream makes the Interstate, a class B, and has a section on those type units)?

Or.. forestriverforums.com..?..a site for Forest River owners...Forest River is owned by Thor Industries which make the majority of US RV's ( including Airstream trailers)....

I used to dream too of buying a motorhome or trailer+truck and doing the RV thing....until I spent years on these sites seeing the unbelieveable problems people have with NEW units, much less used ones.

Sort of took the shine off the idea of owning one for me.....

One thing most of the forum members complain long and loudly about is servicing the units after purchase.....poor service networks, and the servicers don't have to touch yours unless you bought it there. Not like car dealerships which will work on your car no matter where you purchased it. Dealer networks from what I've read, for the most part stink. If you're not mechanically inclined, that could be a problem.....

The other thing is that RV'ing has become so popular in the last few years, they are banging them out so fast the quality control appears to be non-existent. This is even true on 100,000 dollar Airstreams.

I read those forums for hours during the long cold winter months and decided it's probably not for me.....
The worse part is that the going hourly rate for RV technicians is around $110 per hour. RV's are very complicated, with both RV and 12 volt electrics, plumbing and sewer systems--all of which get jostled around every time they're moved. Class A's and Class C's are even more complicated with the chassis' mechanics, and they cause even more problems.

I've been very fortunate to not have had any problems on my 2015 model fifth wheel trailer. We keep it in storage at a mountain campground, and seldom move it ourselves.
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Old 05-19-2016, 03:13 PM   #49
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I've been very fortunate to not have had any problems on my 2015 model fifth wheel trailer. We keep it in storage at a mountain campground, and seldom move it ourselves.
I suspect you don't have problems since it's a year old and doesn't move much. That's not much to boast about as that result should be your expectation.
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Old 05-19-2016, 04:52 PM   #50
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Major Tom have you ever visited the sites airforums.com ( for Airstream owners, Airstream makes the Interstate, a class B, and has a section on those type units)?

Or.. forestriverforums.com..?..a site for Forest River owners...Forest River is owned by Thor Industries which make the majority of US RV's ( including Airstream trailers)....

I used to dream too of buying a motorhome or trailer+truck and doing the RV thing....until I spent years on these sites seeing the unbelieveable problems people have with NEW units, much less used ones.

Sort of took the shine off the idea of owning one for me.....

One thing most of the forum members complain long and loudly about is servicing the units after purchase.....poor service networks, and the servicers don't have to touch yours unless you bought it there. Not like car dealerships which will work on your car no matter where you purchased it. Dealer networks from what I've read, for the most part stink. If you're not mechanically inclined, that could be a problem.....

The other thing is that RV'ing has become so popular in the last few years, they are banging them out so fast the quality control appears to be non-existent. This is even true on 100,000 dollar Airstreams.

I read those forums for hours during the long cold winter months and decided it's probably not for me.....


If servicing one of these is like servicing a boat then yea... kinda sucks...

I have to make an appointment to have the boat fixed... and that could take up to 3 months (was this long once).... and it is only 18 ft long!!!! and the hourly rate is HIGH...


I mentioned to DW about buying an RV and she said "NO WAY", I am not going to live in a small bus for any length of time.... so, that is that...
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Old 05-19-2016, 06:25 PM   #51
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I mentioned to DW about buying an RV and she said "NO WAY", I am not going to live in a small bus for any length of time.... so, that is that...
Check back with her after you guys have experienced a bed bug infestation from staying in a nice hotel.
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Old 05-19-2016, 06:48 PM   #52
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I followed Tioga George for a while, but now that he got health problems and in fact could have died when he passed out while driving his motorhome, his blog is no longer about travel.

I never heard of Nomadic Fanatic, so searched the Web, and found several Web sites or pages. But what is this: "Nomadic Fanatic Criminal Record"?

It says Eric Jacobs, born 06/05/1981, 6 felonies (burglary and theft), 3 misdemeanors... Interesting. Mistaken identity?
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Old 05-19-2016, 07:46 PM   #53
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I'm so glad to hear of this new adventure you are contemplating, Tom!
I can offer our experiences with a 1976 Airstream Argosy, the motorhome that was based on the trailers. We bought it in 2003 for $9000 and just sold it last summer for around $7000. Though we never lived in it full time, we did a number of extended trips so got to know it pretty well.

I think you are making a wise choice to look at smaller/shorter RVs for your situation. Becoming comfortable with diagnosing and even repairing small problems along the way is inevitable.

Just take it slow and use the resources available online to get help. We actually bought our RV from the air forum site, and could look up all the posts by the prior owner as he did work to it, very handy! Those folks were incredibly helpful when we did uncover problems and various gremlins.

Getting it looked over by the local mechanic is great, and you will want to bird dog him as he does inspections, taking notes if needed.

Outfitting the RV is the fun part, getting it just how you want it, and making the most of your space. I've seen plenty of kitties adjust to life on boats and RVs, and have no doubt yours will be up to sharing the adventure.

Best wishes to you in finding the right one for you.
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:59 PM   #54
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But what is this: "Nomadic Fanatic Criminal Record"?

It says Eric Jacobs, born 06/05/1981, 6 felonies (burglary and theft), 3 misdemeanors... Interesting. Mistaken identity?
He's probably on the run hiding out in his RV.
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