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Recommendation for trying RVing
Old 07-21-2021, 09:28 AM   #1
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Recommendation for trying RVing

I'm still 10 years from retirement (less if this crazy stock market keeps going up I suppose) and we have been talking about RVing in retirement.

We've actually never done it, so I was wondering if anyone has suggestions on how to get into and find out what we'd like and don't like, etc... That would also help us in deciding what type to buy in the future.

Are there forums you'd recommend?

Is there an AirBnB of RVs where you can use/ent someone's RV for a few weeks? Cruise America type rentals seem to have limited options (and are rather expensive)

My biggest problem while working would be to get the vacation time (hard to leave more than 2 weeks in a row) so I may be interested in how easy it is to work on the road from an RV. I'm a manager in a tech company so most of my job is meetings (many remote atm), emails and stuff i can do on a laptop as long as I have decent internet.
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Old 07-21-2021, 09:37 AM   #2
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Outdoorsy.com is sort of an air bnb of campers/rvs.
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Old 07-21-2021, 09:54 AM   #3
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I believe the folks behind Good Sam and Camping World (i.e. Marcus Lemonis) have now launched a similar service at www.rvshare.com.
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Old 07-21-2021, 10:35 AM   #4
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Sister site to this one run by same folks: www.irv2.com


You will fins all kinds of good info and can learn a lot for your questions there. As for working form the road, many RVers do that. Most rely on their own phone connection as hotspot, as even parks that offer wifi it is usually very slow and too many users. Just use your own data plan on the phone.
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Old 07-21-2021, 11:06 AM   #5
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Another site with RVs for rent by owners is http://rvshare.com.

In the past year we have seen increasing numbers of folks working from their RVs. Some private RV parks have decent wifi but you would probably be better off with a cellular hotspot, which are becoming more common and less costly.

When you are out in a rental, make it a point to ask your neighbors about their rigs - what they like, don't like, etc.. Most RVers are very happy to talk about everything RV!
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Old 07-21-2021, 11:25 AM   #6
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Before we purchased our RV 20 years ago, I read up. One post I saw said the happiest two days for a RVer is the day you purchase your rig, and then the day you sell your rig. I found it to be very true.
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Old 07-21-2021, 01:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BlueberryPie View Post
Is there an AirBnB of RVs where you can use/ent someone's RV for a few weeks? Cruise America type rentals seem to have limited options (and are rather expensive)

My favorite kind of thread!

Check this out for my first time rental experience with Outdoorsy and a beautiful Benz Sprinter RV:


https://www.early-retirement.org/for...me-109016.html

Lots of good discussion and thoughts.

We have rented twice from different owners via the Outdoorsy platform and have 2 more trips booked over the next few months. Each unit is intentionally slightly to very different since we are trying to gain experience. Each trip has been amazing. We've seen Sedona, Lake Powell, Vermillion Cliff, and the Grand Canyon, both North and South Rims (in 1 trip!). On of my bucket items is to hit all the top rated campground listed on the Campground Reviews website in the SW US.

I just love being so close to the outdoors yet having all the comforts of a motel room. It's just amazing to be sitting outside with coffee in the morning and an adult beverage in the evening.

As much as I hate to admit it, getting into RV'ing is a concession to the unfortunate reality of slowing down. I used to backpack and kayak camp. Back in the day, even tent camping, let alone staying in an RV, was a huge downgrade from backpacking and back country camping. Various health issues have taking this stuff of the table, maybe forever.

So, I'm very surprised that I've found that I love RV'ing. So much easier than tent camping, but can stilll sit outside all you want. Love the fridge, comfortable bed, and clean bathroom. It's much easier to setup/take down too. With a motorhome, we just plug into shore power, hit one button to auto level, then another to put out the slide out. If not too tired, we hook up water and sewer too.

Even better, we have our "hotel room" wherever we go. No more public rest rooms! Yay!

We get to eat our own food from the fridge, no more overpriced road food. So far, we just store piles of ethnic takeout (Chinese, Thai, and Indian travel well), then nuke as needed.

Oh, just about fell out of my chair when you mentioned that Cruise America is expensive
I've found it to be one of the cheaper options if you start including the cost of insurance, especially with heavy liablility coverage. It can easily add another 20-35% on Outdoorsy.

We now budget about $300-350 per day for Outdoorsy RVrental and insurance, then ADD fuel and food on top. We also burn the first trip day to pick up the RV (including 1 hr demo/walkthough), clean the RV interior (never as clean as a typical Hampton Inn), unload the owners junk (old kitchen stuff and linens), load our stuff and make the beds with our sheets & pillows. Then we burn another day at end of the trip just to unload and clean, including dumping the holding tanks.

If we had a short drive (say 1-2 hrs) on the first and last day, we'd save a ton of dough, but we normally have a 5+ hr drive to get to the fun stuff. We started with 4 night rentals, but now we average 7-9 nights, with 2 just to pickup/load and unload/return. Tons of $$$. Notice a theme?? Welcome to RV'ing Makes cars and hotels look cheap!

So, I'd encourange you to rent something for 2-4 nights in "good" weather, then drive to a local state park with full hookup (electric, water, and sewer), preferably less than 90 minutes away. Pick something smaller, say 25 ft long or less. Probably a little class C or even a Class B van if you aren't claustrophobic. If it doesn't w*rk out, you can always just drive home. On the other hand, you may just love it, and the real spending will start!
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Old 07-21-2021, 01:54 PM   #8
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I thought about trying out an RV rental, until I discovered the price. I knew I wasn't going to decide if RV'ing was for me in one short trip. I wanted to take my time to really get used to it. As a result, I bought an older Airstream Class B in good condition, reasoning that I could use it for a year or two. If it turned out that traveling and living on 4 wheels wasn't for me, I could sell without taking too much of a loss.

After 2 years, I'm getting the sneaking suspicion that maybe this lifestyle isn't my cuppa tea after all. I'm still in the "finding out" phase, though fairly close to the end of it, I suspect. Buying an older class B to test the waters turned out to be a good idea, in my case. Also, I have enjoyed owning this cool little campervan.

PS - to state the obvious, do plenty of homework before buying, if you do buy. Whether you're buying new or used, some RV's can be real money pits. Others fare better in that regard.
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Old 07-21-2021, 02:47 PM   #9
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We rent an RV 2 times a year for Labor day and Memorial day weekends (5 nights).

We found a local place that has very reasonable rates:

JAYCO REDHAWK 22A
Per Day:
$229.00
Per Week:
$1,269.00
Minimum:4-Day Minimum
FREE miles 150 per day / 800 per week (.49 per mile over)

On top of that, NO extra charges (except taxes, of course). Included are:

1 free night (return by 9 am the day after you are due back), so we only pay for 4 nights, pick up Thurs, return Tues.
LP 30lb tank (of course if you need more you need to refill)
Generator use (<10 hrs per day), we never use it.
Insurance
Tank dump

On top of that, for the Holiday weekends, they are glad to let you have it a day or 2 early, so they don't have so many going out in one day.

When we checked Outdoorsy, et. al., even if the base price was lower, the adders for the above drove the price much higher.

RV rental is not cheap, no matter where you get it. For a one time tryout get what you want when you want it. If you like it you can look for cheaper options.
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Old 07-21-2021, 04:00 PM   #10
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After 2 years, I'm getting the sneaking suspicion that maybe this lifestyle isn't my cuppa tea after all. I'm still in the "finding out" phase, though fairly close to the end of it, I suspect. Buying an older class B to test the waters turned out to be a good idea, in my case. Also, I have enjoyed owning this cool little campervan.

I'm curious to hear why you are thinking of sunsetting out of it. Too much w*rk, too much $$$?? Or maybe found something you like better?

I like the smaller Class C Sprinter rigs. Unfortunately, even 11 yo units are typically north of 50K USD, condition unknown, in a town often very, very far way. Not exactly an impulse buy. The one I really want is listing for $140K, just down the street.

"Everyone" says wait 1-3 years for the RV market to calm down in the hope that supply increases and prices drop, or at least stabilize. I'm trying to wait until international travel opens up and some folks move on from RV'ing before dropping coin.
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Old 07-21-2021, 06:19 PM   #11
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You don't say where you live, and the availability of RV parks and state parks in your vicinity. Are you going to stay close to home, or are you planning to travel far and wide?

We've been RVers for 25 years, and we're sitting in our 36' fifth wheel trailer with 4 slides in the Blue Ridge Mountains right now. We started in a 31' travel trailer and have camped maybe 9 months out of the year in a member owned 300 campsite resort. We don't travel.

I suggest you start by finding a good used pop up trailer with an a/c unit on the roof for $3,000-$4,000. Use it for a year or two and you'll know what your needs are at that point. You can sell a good used pop up for the same price you paid a couple of years later.

We have friends with a Class A motorhome, and they just use one tank of gas per year. We have 3-4 state parks, city parks and governmental campgrounds within 1-2 hours from home. In other words, we don't have to go anywhere much to be RVers.

If you're going to travel much, a Class A or Class B is the way to go. Our fifth wheel is what you'd have if you wanted to go to Florida for the winter and stay in one place 2-3 months. Class B's are getting more popular, but we find them to be very, very overpriced for what you get.

My cousin has a diesel pusher Class A he uses to go to equestrian competitions. But new MSRP was just under $400,000. He has different needs for his RV--and he drives about 7,000 miles a year.
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Old 07-21-2021, 08:08 PM   #12
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Welcome to the idea of seeing the country at your own pace. Renting a couple of different options is the way to go IMO.
I know that we went through a few different trailers before we found one that checked the immediate boxes. We are pickup + trailer people, we like being able to leave the house and explore in the truck. Others do a similar thing by taking a car behind a class A.
We call those 'toads' , the tagalong car. They each have a different set of appeals.
The Class A and C have very convenient bathrooms while travelling. The B's are often packed to the gills to make up for size, so it might not be a case of just walking back and using the 'loo.
The trailers, you are going to have to exit the vehicle rain or shine and go back there.
Some RVs with slides are well thought out, others will require moving a slide just to put groceries in the fridge.
Our personal policy is never have a slide that blocks the fridge, bathroom, or must be moved for a quick nap or an overnight in inclement weather.
Some class A's will leave you all wrung out after 300 miles of driving, others not so much.
All of the above supports the idea of renting first.
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Old 07-21-2021, 09:51 PM   #13
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I need to learn my A B Cs, I'm a newb

I love in Colorado. We'd intent to go "everywhere" once retired, but we're more nature/park that city people although some cities are not out the question and one decision will be trailer vs toad. We never owned a truck or SUV with any real towing power.

For a trial run we'd be willing to fly or drive somewhere band rent from there if it makes sense. We've talked about spending a few weeks either in the southeast or the east coast (we're originally from the west coast).

It's a little overwhelming at first. My wife has some friends that have been RVing for a while and we'd like to get together to cage about it.... Whenever they're back around here.
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Old 07-21-2021, 10:06 PM   #14
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I'd suggest waiting on that "fly out and get an RV" till the second trip.
So many things to think about and do, figuring out what you want on hand in the RV.
It is nice to bring one home and take a day to stock it with your stuff.
Go forth and live in it for a week and make a list of what you need, what you stopped to buy, etc.
Then you will have a handle on what you want to pack, what you will buy locally etc when you do that fly out thing.
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Old 07-22-2021, 04:32 AM   #15
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Got any friends close by that you can camp with when you rent yours? We have been camping for decades and have a 36' 5th wheel. We went camping with our friends who had a new 22' travel trailer. I was able to help them troubleshoot some really simple problems that would have made their experience downright awful (water pump running non stop because they had it in winter bypass, a/c freezing over and not cooling their trailer, tongue jack not working due to loose fuse). We had a great weekend and they were hooked.

On edit: we were in our own camper. Depending on your spouse, having other people in a tiny RV can be quite unnerving.
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Old 07-22-2021, 04:43 AM   #16
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We are contemplating our first rental also for next year.
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Old 07-22-2021, 07:15 AM   #17
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There are many campgrounds that have stationary RV's for rent. It would be cheaper to do that to see if you like the lifestyle. Small living spaces, small bathroom, limited hot water, etc.
Many commercial campgrounds can be very crowded with noisy neighbors. Others can be much nicer. Typically we've found the nicer more expensive ones attract the nicer people. Depends on what you're looking for, lots of options out there.
We've been RV'ing for over 12 years now and love it. BTW it really helps to be your own handyman. Saves a bunch of money and when you're far out in the boonies it's nice to solve any problems yourself.
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Old 07-22-2021, 09:44 AM   #18
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I know there are get togethers periodically for fiberglass RVs that you can find out about over at https://www.fiberglassrv.com. Thats a good opportunity to see lots of campers and talk to the owners about them.
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Old 07-22-2021, 10:27 AM   #19
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There are many campgrounds that have stationary RV's for rent. It would be cheaper to do that to see if you like the lifestyle. Small living spaces, small bathroom, limited hot water, etc.
Many commercial campgrounds can be very crowded with noisy neighbors. Others can be much nicer. Typically we've found the nicer more expensive ones attract the nicer people. Depends on what you're looking for, lots of options out there.
We're roughing it smoothly this week in our fifth wheel trailer. Our member owned campground has a new satellite TV system, and the Wifi is faster than ours at home. We recently replaced our recliners with a hide a bed. I also changed out two of our three televisions this week--one of which is hooked up to the grandson's Playstation 4. This is a place to relax.

We've found the people we meet at our campground to be so nice. They're from all walks of life, and most are here to escape the lifestyle of the big city--Atlanta. The Appalachian Trail at 4,500' is on the mountain across the road from us, and the place is beautiful.

Unfortunately, time passes too fast when you're having fun and we leave in 2 days.
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Old 07-23-2021, 11:36 AM   #20
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I'm curious to hear why you are thinking of sunsetting out of it. Too much w*rk, too much $$$?? Or maybe found something you like better?
It's a number of factors. I have a cat and, although I love her company on the road, she is not a great traveler. I don't like leaving her in the camper on her own for long (she hates being left on her own too). However, she only has limited tolerance for being out and about with me in her kitty backpack. If she had her own way, I would be inside the van all day long with her. She'd love that, but it would negate the whole point of this lifestyle for me!

My campervan is quite old, at 28 years. It's in good shape and well-maintained but even so, I have to consider the possibility of breakdowns on the road. If I were traveling solo, or with another human being, breakdowns would not be an issue. The whole process of getting towed, and arranging the logistics for possible motel stays with a cat while the van is being worked on, are not impossible, but add extra potential complications.

Then there's the fact that I am beginning to realize that maybe I'm not as thrilled about traveling as I thought I was going to be. I have seen some great views and interesting places, but I also see a lot of places that aren't significantly different from where I already live. I know that probably sounds a bit uninspiring, but I'm thinking I have most of what I need within a modest radius of the large metro area in which I live.

My older class B has not been expensive to maintain so far, but the longer I keep it, the greater the chance that it will incur bills for large jobs. I can afford it, but large bills will seriously test how much I really want this vehicle. I am famously frugal, and don't like spending money on things that I am not getting excellent value and utility from.

I didn't think that I would ever quote Marie Kondo, but the short version of all the above, is that although I like my Airstream B190, I'm not sure that it's sparking enough joy to justify keeping it. Everything in this post is, of course, highly personal, and not intended to dissuade anyone who is very keen on pursuing this lifestyle. I don't regret purchasing my little campervan for a minute. If I hadn't, I would always have wondered whether I had missed a golden opportunity.
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