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How many RVers here?
Old 08-04-2019, 04:51 PM   #1
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How many RVers here?

Tossing around the idea of a class B diesel unit when we get close to pulling the plug. There is a lot of places to see in this country and this looks like a very interesting way to do it. Easy to maneuver and drive, park and maintain. Any folks here live this lifestyle or at least travel a good part of the year by this means?

Thanks
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Old 08-04-2019, 05:01 PM   #2
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We are in the process of trying to sell ours after 12 years and 10k miles. Between the price of gas and RV parks we can take our car and stay cheaper in motels. Some RV parks say you can’t leave your dogs in there while you are gone.
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Old 08-04-2019, 05:19 PM   #3
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Tetto, have you done much RVing? If not, I strongly recommend you rent an RV for a week or two to give it a try. As you can see by Teacher Terry's post, not everyone enjoys the RV lifestyle. It can be very costly to buy and then learn it's not for you.

We've been RVing for years and spend roughly 60 nights a year on the road. We're planning a three week trip to the mountains of NM and CO next month and really looking forward to it.
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Old 08-04-2019, 05:39 PM   #4
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My late wife & I did it for about four years until she was cancer diagnosed. It was something she always wanted to do, so we sold up our house in BC, bought a used Class B (Pleasureway), crossed Canada to Nova Scotia...went down the east coast of the US and spent the first winter on the Baja.

Upgraded to a 28' 5th wheel....she liked the whole thing more than I did...but she'd never drive either unit.

I carried on for a couple years after she died....then met DW...neither of us has any interest in doing it again.
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Old 08-04-2019, 05:44 PM   #5
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We love to travel by different means, and added RV'ing to the repertoire in 2010.

After years of doing road trips and fly-and-drive to visit major cities in the US, we decided to get a class C towing a car to do longer trips of a few months each , and of more than 10K miles round trip, to visit remote places like Nova Scotia, and also places in Alaska that cruise ship passengers cannot get to.

Biggest cost of this travel method is gasoline. A diesel class B will do better than a gas guzzler which burns gasoline at 8mpg, and in places where gasoline is as high as $6/gallon (and you are glad to be able to get fuel). After a while, I got used to paying to fill the 55-gal fuel tank.

PS. I have been debating when I should downsize to a class B for mobility and not having to tow a car behind.
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Old 08-04-2019, 06:05 PM   #6
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I have a 39' fifth wheel. Originally I planned on following the weather with it from MN in the fall. I also want to do a long Alaska trip. I did stay in it for ~2 months in FL the first year I purchased it. And I went on a trip last fall to see polar bears with it.

I have since purchased a house in FL, so I no longer need to follow the weather. I drive down in 2-days, and stay put and do road trips with the car. It costs ~$100 each way, rather than ~$500. And I have a car there to drive, rather than my truck. The savings in driving the car rather than dragging the fifth wheel almost pay for the house expenses for the year. I do miss my truck often though...

I am headed out west with it for ~2+ months this fall, then back to FL.

It's expensive to have an RV. They are expensive to drive, harder to drive than a car, and break often due to the constant vibrations. Maybe a Class C or Class Z will be less breakage.
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Old 08-04-2019, 07:17 PM   #7
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We have an Airstream Safari and love it. We had a pad poured and electrical outlet added to our brick and mortar so it is always available to us as extra anything. We take it out as much as we can and recently updated our tow vehicle. I really like driving it to an RV park, unhitching and taking off to see the local sights. Sleeping in my own bed every night, having my own bathroom and shower, eating meals I most often prep, never using a public restroom even while traveling....priceless!
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How many RVers here?
Old 08-04-2019, 09:01 PM   #8
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How many RVers here?

We have a class C and have a great time with it. But, most of our trips are within a few hours to head up into the mountains. Sometime I take it to a nearby lake for the day with the dogs. We make a couple of trips a month and it doubles as guest quarters and reading nook /office when it’s parked at home. We’re not into the longer tour the USA (or wherever) trips.

An RV isn’t really any kind of money saver - it’s one of those “blow that dough” items. If you do the math, renting one when you want to take a trip is probably better. Most people don’t use them as much as they think they will...which is why you can often find them with low miles.
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Old 08-04-2019, 09:12 PM   #9
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We switched from a small slide in truck camper to a used B last year. Wife's knees could not take the overhead bunk anymore. Both were/are bare bones and were/are short enough to park anywhere. They make a great way to travel and see the country but if you want to go someplace and camp for a week or so a B may not be for you. New is very expensive and they do hold their value. Used is a good way to find out what you really want. Since we had already done the bare bones truck camper for 40 years we knew we didn't want to go to fancy in a B. It has a sink, stove, frig and microwave, roof AC and a porta potty and two couches that make into a bed. Have not taken any long trips yet but have spent about 4 weeks over several trips in it and have made most of the mods to make it home on the road.

Not sure how much we save over driving a car and doing motels but we get to sleep in our own bed every night and we don't have to haul bags in and out every day. We usually do breakfast and supper in the camper and eat a big lunch out, so supper is simple. We do some events where the camper lets us be in the middle of things instead of driving in an out everyday.
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Old 08-04-2019, 09:14 PM   #10
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One think I forgot, the B is our second vehicle when needed.
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Old 08-04-2019, 09:40 PM   #11
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I'd strongly suggest joining rving groups on fb. I've been seriously considering going on the road full time. Joining these groups and listening to many of the posters comments has changed a lot of that thinking. Many of those ppl are doing it because they can't afford life and the cost of stick homes not for the adventure part. Many are living in the rv's with several kids. The rv campgrounds sound miserable. I'd lean towards a few acres in different areas where one could pull the rv in for that particular season but that also has it's own problems.
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Old 08-04-2019, 10:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetto View Post
Tossing around the idea of a class B diesel unit when we get close to pulling the plug. There is a lot of places to see in this country and this looks like a very interesting way to do it. Easy to maneuver and drive, park and maintain. Any folks here live this lifestyle or at least travel a good part of the year by this means?

Thanks
we've been traveling by motor hime since 1986 and are on our 3rd gas motorhome, a 40' class A. our style of RVing has changed over the years but it's still enjoyable. we try to see something new on each trip. we vacationed by car/motel for 16-yrs before starting to RV and we believe RV travel is a much more relaxed way to see the country.
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Old 08-04-2019, 10:34 PM   #13
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13 year full-time RVers. Last spring, we bought a winter place in the RGV, since we have been going there nearly every winter. It needs some work.

We plan to spend 6 months in the RGV, and 6 months traveling in our RV. More or less......

We left Texas July 1, and are in the Colorado mountains until early September. Going to Northern Indiana, Southern Michigan until mid October. The heat in South Texas should be tolerable by then.

We have a 40ft fifth wheel, pull it with a diesel pickup. Days on the highway are a pain, but it's nice having the large RV when we are parked.

Having some skill at repairs will save a lot of money. Stay current on repairs, and recognize your limitations.

Also, I keep a spreadsheet of everywhere we have stayed since we started. Wife has minimum standards of electric and water for anything more than one night, so no boondocking.

Average lot rent over 13 years is $18.36 a night. Highest cost month for years was our first back in 2006. It's now our fifth highest.
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Old 08-04-2019, 10:37 PM   #14
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Nemo, what a great husband you were for your first wife. You made her dream come true.
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Old 08-04-2019, 11:25 PM   #15
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We love our RV and we both have aversion to staying in hotels. Seen enough '60 Minutes' shows on how dirty they really are under the black light, not to mention the noise from neighbors, etc. Our bed, sheets, etc is so much better. Also, we prefer to cook our own foods for the same reason. I've worked on maintaining restaurant equipment and I couldn't believe the filth I saw in what were supposedly higher end joints. Even now, when we do go out to eat, about 50% of the time I find they give me dirty flatware or glass with lipstick on it or some other clue they are not sanitized. No thank you!
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Old 08-04-2019, 11:35 PM   #16
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Another poster, Live and Learn, also recently started a thread about RV'ing. She did not know what she wanted, whether a travel trailer or a motorhome, but she was talking about extended travel and not living in one full time. I think she had the same thing in mind as the OP of this thread, who already thought of a class B.

Now, the most important thing is to understand yourself and know your travel style. We have two stick-built homes that I like to come back to. Yet, I also like RV'ing. This means when I am on the road, I am traveling and not camping.

When going on a trip, I have a certain destination in mind, which is usually a few thousand miles away (nearer places have already been visited). I drive 300 to 400 miles a day until I get there. Once at the destination, I will linger at each spot for a couple of days or up to a week before moving on. I park the motorhome as a base, then use the towed car to go explore and do sightseeing. For example, when in Fairbanks, I used the car to explore the town and vicinity for a week before moving on. At Denali NP, I spent 4 nights, etc... You really do not want to drive a motorhome all over the place. And I tend to alternate towns and cities with national parks and boondocking spots for variety.

My current set up of a class C towing a car works out very well for my style of travel. Many RV'ers use a class A with a toad, but I would never want a class A. It won't go some places that I could with a C. Yet, I often found my C being too cumbersome.

Hence, I have been thinking about downsizing to a class B, which is small enough that I can use it for sightseeing and not have to tow a car. However, most Bs are so small that we may feel cramped on long trips. And a B large enough for more room would be too big. Perhaps a compromise would be a larger B such as the Winnebago ERA which is smaller than a C, yet powerful enough to tow a car if I want to.

I could use an SUV or truck pulling a smaller travel trailer, then park the trailer to use the car for sightseeing. I would never want a 5th wheel, the same way I never want an A. However, I prefer to have two motorized vehicles. If something happens to the motorhome, I can use the towed car to go get help. Yes, I am the belt-and-suspender kind of guy.

PS. In national parks, you see a lot of the Cruise America class Cs. People rent these to go see Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, etc... Driving a motorhome around the parks is no fun. My toad works out wonderfully for sightseeing, and also to go into the centers of cities like Anchorage, or Halifax. I also often leave the motorhome at a parking lot outside of town, then take the car to make a quick visit to the center of a state capital, or to scout for a place to stay a few days.
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Old 08-04-2019, 11:43 PM   #17
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When I was 20, I converted a van to a camper and did one lap of America in 6 months, then a few years later drove to Alaska. A van is very convenient to drive and stealth camp in, when necessary.


These days we have a 17 foot Casita travel trailer. It is small enough to pull with a midsized SUV, yet has everything we need without costing a fortune. Depreciation is amazingly slow compared to most RVs.
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Old 08-04-2019, 11:55 PM   #18
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While you do not see many Bs on the road here in the lower states, I never saw so many Bs in Alaska. A single vehicle would be best in many situations. Solo class Cs without a toad are also common.

One time I headed down a road in Alaska, changed my mind and wanted to turn around. Could not even find a spot to stop to unhook the toad to turn the motorhome around, so had to drive 20 miles until I found a spot. Argh!
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Old 08-05-2019, 04:15 AM   #19
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We are in the process of trying to sell ours after 12 years and 10k miles. Between the price of gas and RV parks we can take our car and stay cheaper in motels. Some RV parks say you can’t leave your dogs in there while you are gone.
DW and I travel quite a bit and we have discussed this option many times, but always decide to stick with hotels and a car. In addition to Terry's points, we take the car places that a motorhome type cannot go, and it is also easier to park.
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Old 08-05-2019, 05:00 AM   #20
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Not an RV (exactly), but we spent the last 7 years living/traveling in a self converted campervan(s) and explored just about every inch from Panama to Alaska/the Arctic Ocean and back again.

For us it was a way to reach financial freedom earlier than planned and also travel/explore full time. Amazing what it can do for your numbers when someone else is paying off the house and you have zero rent/mortgage... and for us it was a dream lifestyle.







Obviously the space in a 4x4 campervan is smaller... but it also solves many of the problems listed above. You no longer have to stay in RV parks with their rules/fees, you save a ton of money on fuel over a bigger RV and it means you can get to deeper/more remote campsites.

We LOVED every single day of it and Im certain we'll go back to it at some point, but for now we're exploring by water instead. I assume long term the perfect answer for us would be to have the best of both worlds... the boat for sailing the Caribbean and the van for exploring/camping with friends back home.
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