Motorhome vs Trailer thoughts and experiences

Discussion in 'General Community Discussions' started by jbrv, May 16, 2016.

  1. dakotaken

    dakotaken
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    It all depends on your life style & preferences. I have a trailer that I drop somewhere for a few days and use my truck to haul kayak, bike and hiking gear around the area. But if you are full timing in a motor home, you'll probably have a toad to do all that, as well as for shopping, dining and visiting the sights. Just having a motor home will limit (due to size) you on places to stay or visit (small parking areas). I like the national parks & forests which may have RV size limits.
    So... go with an RV that meets your specific needs, which may be different from what others need.
     
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  2. mdcamping

    mdcamping
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    I agree, our situation is similar.

    I have read a lot in the reviews concerning large RV's having difficulty with getting into tight spaces or tree branch issues or the like. I have also talked to a few folks who have wished they had went with a smaller overall length. So this weighs in on our thinking on what maximum length rv we might be looking for when we reach retirement. Also our thinking for now is for the touring type rving.

    I'm going to guess that this is where some of the problem lies when it comes to choosing a overall length... sometimes folks who buy the large RV's find out that their RV is a better fit for full timing when they are only using it for touring or seasonal transient. but this is just my 2 cents.

    Well who knows.... maybe when I reach retirement we'll be camping with a blue tarp and a rope tied between 2 trees! ;)

    Mike
     
  3. docj

    docj
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    We have a 40' motorhome and, once in a while, we've had a tree branch scrape along the side. The problem has never been anything more than a minor scratch in the clearcoat and I view that as nothing more than an illustration of the fact that no vehicle can be used without showing some signs of wear.

    IMO too many RVers treat their rigs as if they are supposed to stay pristine, I guess so that they can trade them in someday. My suggestion is to get a life and not worry so much about minor stuff any more than you would worry about similar minor damage on your car. If you want to keep your RV pristine, then don't use it. In 55,000 miles of full-timing over 5 years, yes, there are a few nicks on our MH, but I wouldn't trade our experiences for any of them!
     
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  4. nanzhere

    nanzhere
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    I have been a single RVing women --full timer--for nearly eight years. I started out in a 24 ft class C and I continue to use it today--it has worked out very well for me. I tow my small pick up truck behind it. With a self adjusting tow bar it is easy to connect and disconnect the tow vehicle and be on my way to sight see, shop, whatever. Backing into sites is simple. Because it is on a van chasis it is easy to drive. When I stop for breaks, I do not have to get out and get into something else--it is all right there. I watch people with their trailers and they seem to be a bit of a hassle--and would be more so if you do not have someone spotting you. Finally, a suggestion on purchasing. I was not in a financial position to buy new and even used on the lots were out of my price range unless I was willing to get a much older unit and I was not. I went with a place that rents them. They turn them over every three years. Yes, it had lots of miles on it, but it was well cared for. I saved many many thousands of dollars this way. So if money is an issue, keep this in mind. I got it in 2008 and except for regular maintenance, I have had to do nothing to it mechanically. I have replaced tires, brakes and battery. In the cabin, a couple water pumps, a small section of plumbing and the water heater. Of course I keep the roof and seams sealed and clean the outside and treat it whenever I can.
     
  5. Orvis

    Orvis
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    - I just sold our 40 foot fifth wheel w/4 slides along with a 1 ton Diesel dully pick up which was great. Never had a problem towing or parking. Enjoyed the unit but have a desire to try a Motor Home.

    We purchased a 2006 Jeep Commander for towing. We are looking for a used 37 - 40 foot class "A" Diesel Motor Home .
    We like the set up of having the entrance door up front verses in the side. They say that the diesel rides nicer than a gas because of the air suspension and less engine noise since it is in the back. I know that Diesl fuel price is more than gas but they tell me I can pull more with the Diesel even though all I plan on towing is the Jeep.

    Since it will be only the two if us, with maybe one person now and then coming along, is a single slide out sufficient or would you suggest two slides like we have been looking for. So far, we enjoy traveling from place to place and enjoying the sights.

    Any input is appreciated since we are trying to stay in a used non entry level unit in order to keep cost down.

    Thanks, Orvis
     
  6. BankShot

    BankShot
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    I won't get into the gas versus diesel thing as there are pros and cons to both and that's one that each of us has to decide which is best for our needs, etc. But I will address the slide out question. To me having a slide up front on one side or the other is almost a necessity nowadays and the longer the better. In most cases that will be just fine but it is always nice to have a slide back in the bedroom also as it does make moving around and getting in and out of bed a bit easier. We have full length slide on the driver's side of our Class A but no slide in the bedroom and we found out early on that we wished we had opted for that bedroom slide. Our next motorhome will have one..........

    Enjoy your new self powered home on wheels, it's a whole different world than a 5th wheel. And you don't have to stop when your navigator (the boss) needs to use the facilities when it's pouring rain, and the wind is blowing. Just that fact alone is a BIG point on the pro side of having a motorhome IMHO...............:D

    Safe Travels, BankShot...........(aka Terry)
     
  7. Orvis

    Orvis
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    Dear aka Terry,

    Thank you for your response on the slides. I will keep looking for the RV with two slides instead of one. It is always nice to get feed back on any subject so that one has more info to make a good decision.
    God Bless, Orvis from Ohio
     
  8. Pete_by_the_river

    Pete_by_the_river
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    This is one of those situations where you need to carefully analyze your needs. In my own case, I'd rented a class A RV when I was quite young ... It was probably about 30 ft. I enjoyed traveling in it for the couple of weeks it had been rented. (This was in the late 1960s.) I planted a desire that took years to realize.

    In 2005 I purchased a used, 42" Bluebird Wanderlodge, a "high end" Class A diesel pusher with NO slides. (It was about 11 years old when acquired and cost $120k.) Our plan was to sell our home and full-time in it. (The previous owner was a full-timer.) As it happened, the "financial meltdown" intervened and we were unable to sell our home. We ended up making several 2 or 3 month excursions (with one outing lasting 4 months). During the 3-1/2 years I owned the 'Bird, we traveled about 36000 miles passing through portions of 26 states. (We were looking for a place to retire.)

    Even without slides, the Bluebird was actually larger than my first apartment. While we did not intend to have an "extra" ... as purchased the forward salon had a "jack knife" sofa that converted to a bed. The bedroom had an "island queen" bed. Bathroom was private, with a "hallway" to one side. Frankly it was very much like living in a home, the AquaHot system provided "unlimited" hot water from the diesel-fired burner with electric heating elements as supplemental heat.

    We owned an old Toyota Camry, and had it fitted with a "transmission pump" to allow the automatic transmission to be towed behind the 'Bird. (Coach had a 10,000 lb hitch.) For the most part, I was quite satisfied with that arrangement ... and the car, being old and paid for, was never a serious concern. Had a dead battery a couple times from not getting the key in the correct indent. (But it was easy to jump the battery from the coach -- that had jumper lugs just inside the engine door.)

    We found the 'Bird quite comfortable, though I'll admit that after 3 months I tended to get an itch to be back in our ordinary home.

    During the years we owned the 'Bird, diesel got up to $5.00 gallon ... and the fuel tank held 300 gallons. (Do the math.) Over the road, from the Rockies and west, we averaged about 5 miles to the gallon (the coach weighed about 48,000 lbs. on the road). East of the Rockies, the flatter landscape allowed us to get 6 or 7 mpg. The big diesel was expensive to service (along with all the rest of the coach) ... with annual service cost of about $1000. With a coach that was over 10 years old, there were some repairs, one of the worst being a failed shock mount, that ruined a tire and was expensive to fix. The BEST advice I received (before buying that coach) was to "hold out about $10,000" from your budget to use for "unexpected" repairs and for refurbishing worn furniture, etc. Indeed, when bringing the coach home from Texas (where I purchased it) to California (where I then lived), I noticed the engine was running hotter than expected. Turned out the radiator was clogged with "oily dirt" -- the oily part was due to the diesel's tendency to let some oil fumes come out from the oil sump vent, and dust was kicked up by the fan, and drawn into the radiator. (Radiators need to be +steam+ cleaned from time to time depending on conditions.) We also replaced the carpets (that frankly smelled just a little funky) with bamboo-wood floors.

    Due to the financial pressure of owning a home we'd intended to sell (and couldn't) we sold the coach in 2009. It was a great coach -- and I only wished that I could have done more of the maintenance myself as that was the biggest expense... though I did manage to handle a lot of minor problems (e.g. a roof vent fan quit and so on...)

    in 2011, we purchased a Roadtrek RS-Adventurous, a Class B (van conversion) built in a Sprinter Van. This was radically different from our first RV. With this RV we tend to travel for a week or 10 days before returning home, though occasionally we've spent 3 or 4 weeks on the road.

    The point ... consider carefully what you plan to do. The Class A was great for extended travel where we rarely spent more than 2 weeks in any one spot (often less). traveling thousands of miles each year. The Class B, is ideal for short trips, not going so far from home (we now live in the Pacific North West, where there is a TON of wonderful scenery). We had radically different RVs to reflect radically different travel needs. So, plan what you want to do ... then select the best RV to do what it is you want.

    PS. There is some advantage to getting a used, high-end RV -- but keep in mind that some of the wonderful conveniences may generate additional cost and bother to maintain.
     
  9. CDunlap

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