Author Topic: RV Rental Resources (Class B)  (Read 18193 times)

JPinDC

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RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« on: June 06, 2014, 10:39:46 AM »
I know there are quite a few RV-interested people here in the forum world, and it's an idea I've been kicking around too as a sabbatical year. I'm interested in trying out the lifestyle by doing a rental, but I'm having trouble finding a reasonable price.

We're interested in a Class B size for the drive-ability, gas mileage, and parking flexibility. My potential future travel partner is in San Fran and I'm in DC, so if you know of anything near those cities -- or anywhere else -- please share. Thanks!

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2014, 10:49:33 AM »
I am not helpful at all...   I'm really only replying because I want to see the answer.  I'm sneaky that way.

I've had the same thoughts... or to be more exact: I would like to own an RV about 2 weeks a year.   Renting seems like the obvious answer.  And yes: I've seen the prices some of those guys charge. 

boarder42

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2014, 12:06:40 PM »
These are super hard to find to rent.  I have been looking around for the same thing.  We ended up doing a campervan b/c we couldnt find a reasonable rate on a class B. 

http://privatemotorhomerental.com/content/vehicle?vid=205

here is an older one but may be worth it to see if you like the lifestyle.

My retirement plan if i can convince my wife is to sell our house and buy one of the Pleasure Way Excel TS Class Bs and tour the country till we decide where we want to live ... then buy a house and rent out the Class B when not in use.

Willbrewer

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2014, 08:38:22 PM »
I've been living full time in my RV for a couple of years, though mine is a travel trailer, not a motorhome. I do know that RV rental companies charge an awful lot, just because, I think, people will pay the price for use of one for a week or two, as long as the price is competitive with what would be paid for hotels.

If I understand your plan correctly, you want to rent one long term (maybe a year or so?). I suggest you consider buying a new, low end travel trailer and tow it with a truck. That's my setup, and I like it a lot. I can set my trailer up at a campground, or in the Arizona desert, then I do my daily driving in the tow vehicle.

You could go with a used trailer, but with a new one you'll know everything should be working, and if it's not, it will be covered under warranty.

My TT (travel trailer) cost just under $18K new (a Jayco 26BH), and it has all the comforts of home. And if you go this route, when your sabbatical ends your could sell the trailer and get possible 2/3 to 3/4 of the sale price back. Or you just might decide to keep it.

There is an online trailer dealer I know of that has good prices, where you can get a quote and use that price as leverage when buying from some local dealers.


arebelspy

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2014, 02:20:36 AM »
Anyone have any good resources for purchasing a decent Class B RV?  (Figured I'd piggyback onto this thread, as people interested in renting and owning very well may overlap.  :) )
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shadowmoss

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2014, 03:50:51 AM »
I'm also looking at class B rv's, but I'm not ready to buy yet.  I got the phone numbers of a couple of places here in Phoenix that rent so I can shop for a rental for friends who will be visiting me in February.  The lot rent at my rv/mobile home park is $15/day, so it will be cheap to put it there while they are here (in a relative way...).  To compare, one of the couples was excited to find a house in Scottsdale for a week for only $2K (for a week!).  I'll update here when I call and see if the rental prices are reasonable.

boarder42

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2014, 05:21:18 AM »
RV trader.com and ebay have some pretty decent deals i think

boarder42

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2014, 05:22:59 AM »
personally i wouldnt go new.  The logic that was just applied to buying a new trailer is the same logic antimustachians use to buy a new vehicle. 

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2014, 06:05:09 AM »
As a hard core RVer, I would recommend the following.
#1 Grab one from one of the major rental companies for a week, or two. Use it for a somewhat local trip, and concentrate on how you are "living" in the thing on a daily basis. Is the bathroom big enough, is the bed easy to use, or located in a style that you just can't see putting up with for a year on the road? Fridge big enough, enough counter space, do you like the driving experience?
#2 After a "test vacation" if this who idea still appeals to you,  find a used unit that fits your need and budget. Much like the Buddha, I'm a big fan of the middle way on this buy. New ones are for idiots. They depreciate like a rock tossed off a bridge. Very old bargains are for those that like to spend a significant part of their life with a wrench in their hand, since they don't age well, and the are cheap for a good reason.  As for purchase price it's NEVER more than NADA low retail, assuming it has new tires and zero issues. Do not add ANY options when calculating the figure on the NADA site, and do not deduct for low mileage.
After a vacation trip, like most folks, you will probably find that a class B (van conversion) is probably a bit too small to imagine you and a partner spending months in. That's not to say that there are not thousands of couples that travel and live in them for extended periods, it's just a bit too small for most. The other issue is that they are very expensive new, and really hold their value. Therefore it's possible to find a short class C that is just a bit bigger, and half the price, on the used market.
To put some perspective on where you are heading, I ran into an interesting couple recently, on the gulf coast. They were Germans who planned to tour the continent for 6-8 months. They looked at renting and found that it would be prohibitively expensive. They bought a late model, 24' class C from a rental agency. It had high miles, but was in great shape, and came with a lot of refurbishing and a warranty. It was $20K out the door. The owner figured that he would recover at least $14K on resale, making his weekly cost in the $250 range.  When it comes to short class C's without slides, I have seen quality rigs go for as low as $10K. 
Good luck, hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2014, 07:43:24 AM »
I entertain a fantasy of owning a Class B for get-aways once we return to the US.   I only consider Sprinter-based B+ chassis (deal rear wheels) as I am a huge diesel fan for rigs like these and Sprinter is as reliable as they get

 The reliability and operating costs of any Mercedes Sprinter based vehicle is pretty hit or miss, and for many they are a disaster. They have known flaws that are common, can be horrendously expensive to repair. It can very difficult to find competent, qualified repair facilities and mechanics to do the work. Body rot, delicate body hardware and unreliable electronics are just a few issues. I read a great take on the situation from a fleet owner who had several, and was getting rid of them as fast as he could. He described them as being as complicated as a space craft, and simply lacking the ruggedness required to be usable in his business.  He went back to Ford van based rigs, since they have a solid track record of taking abuse and don't tend to generate $6K repair tickets. There is a reason that they are nearly non- existent in the rental market, and the big players, Cruise America, El Monte, etc..... stay far away from them.

As for your comment about baby boomers and their avoidance of the big class A's due to poor mileage, it reflects a common misunderstanding. Most of these rigs run 3-4K miles a year. They are bought and used with the understanding that they are a rolling home, and are driven to destinations to be used as such. the vast majority are not touring machines used for month long, coast to coast excursions. In the economic matrix of buying a $100K discretionary purchase, fuel costs fluctuating by $300-400 a year is not something that has much impact on most buyers. This is pretty evident, given the fact that the market for these things is booming.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2014, 07:52:13 AM by paddedhat »

arebelspy

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2014, 09:33:22 AM »
After a vacation trip, like most folks, you will probably find that a class B (van conversion) is probably a bit too small to imagine you and a partner spending months in. That's not to say that there are not thousands of couples that travel and live in them for extended periods, it's just a bit too small for most. The other issue is that they are very expensive new, and really hold their value. Therefore it's possible to find a short class C that is just a bit bigger, and half the price, on the used market.
To put some perspective on where you are heading, I ran into an interesting couple recently, on the gulf coast. They were Germans who planned to tour the continent for 6-8 months. They looked at renting and found that it would be prohibitively expensive. They bought a late model, 24' class C from a rental agency. It had high miles, but was in great shape, and came with a lot of refurbishing and a warranty. It was $20K out the door. The owner figured that he would recover at least $14K on resale, making his weekly cost in the $250 range.  When it comes to short class C's without slides, I have seen quality rigs go for as low as $10K. 
Good luck, hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

That's awesome information, thanks!

We're hoping to get something in the 18-22 foot range, so the 24 feet would be acceptable.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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brewer12345

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2014, 09:44:48 AM »
After a vacation trip, like most folks, you will probably find that a class B (van conversion) is probably a bit too small to imagine you and a partner spending months in. That's not to say that there are not thousands of couples that travel and live in them for extended periods, it's just a bit too small for most. The other issue is that they are very expensive new, and really hold their value. Therefore it's possible to find a short class C that is just a bit bigger, and half the price, on the used market.
To put some perspective on where you are heading, I ran into an interesting couple recently, on the gulf coast. They were Germans who planned to tour the continent for 6-8 months. They looked at renting and found that it would be prohibitively expensive. They bought a late model, 24' class C from a rental agency. It had high miles, but was in great shape, and came with a lot of refurbishing and a warranty. It was $20K out the door. The owner figured that he would recover at least $14K on resale, making his weekly cost in the $250 range.  When it comes to short class C's without slides, I have seen quality rigs go for as low as $10K. 
Good luck, hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

That's awesome information, thanks!

We're hoping to get something in the 18-22 foot range, so the 24 feet would be acceptable.

Very interesting.  I am pretty sure a 24' C would fit in most National Forest/National Park campgrounds as well.

We presently have a 16' travel trailer bought new in 2008.  It is a bunkhouse model and when the retired couples in a 40' bus see 4 of us and two medium sized dogs tumble out of it in the morning they look at us like the circus clowns getting out of the little car.  It is definitely "cozy," but we have averaged something like 25 or 30 nights a year in it and now that I am out of the cube we are starting to rack up even more nights.  We can get this thing into any spot, pretty muc, and because we tow with a 4X4 truck that is abundantly more tow vehicle than the trailer really needs it is very easy towing.  There is a lot to be said for a travel trailer arrangement.  Thus far, maintenance costs have been pretty low.  I will be putting a new set of tires on it before a major trip later this summer and it looks like I can dos o for around $400.

If something happens to our trailer, we will look at smaller Class Cs as well as trailers.  We will not give up the existing trailer unless it falls apart or something catastrophic happens, though.  Too many memories and too much fun.

arebelspy

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2014, 09:48:14 AM »
I could see using a travel trailer, but only if it gave us amazing savings on gas. For example, if we could tow it with our little Honda Civic, that would be pretty sweet. But having a big ol honkin truck to tow it seems to mostly negate those savings.

If something happens to our trailer, we will look at smaller Class Cs as well as trailers.  We will not give up the existing trailer unless it falls apart or something catastrophic happens, though.  Too many memories and too much fun.

Didn't realize you were the sentimental type, brewer.  :D
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swiper

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2014, 09:51:16 AM »
replying to keep tabs on this thread ... is there a way to fav a thread?

brewer12345

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2014, 10:21:31 AM »
You mean you would be happy feeding and maintaining an additional vehicle that has a fuel sucking v8?

Clearly a trailer is low hanging fruit if you already have a suitable tow vehicle.  But adding a motorized rv to the fleet means extra cost and hassle.  That makes swapping a daily driver for a tow vehicle mostly a wash, especially if you do not drive a lot.

We also keep a log book in the camper.  Every trip we record our impressions and each kid gets a page.  It is a.trip down memory lane to flip through it.

I could see using a travel trailer, but only if it gave us amazing savings on gas. For example, if we could tow it with our little Honda Civic, that would be pretty sweet. But having a big ol honkin truck to tow it seems to mostly negate those savings.

If something happens to our trailer, we will look at smaller Class Cs as well as trailers.  We will not give up the existing trailer unless it falls apart or something catastrophic happens, though.  Too many memories and too much fun.

Didn't realize you were the sentimental type, brewer.  :D

Joggernot

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2014, 10:29:09 AM »
replying to keep tabs on this thread ... is there a way to fav a thread?
I use the "Notify" button at the bottom to learn when a new posting has occurred.

arebelspy

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2014, 10:39:16 AM »
You mean you would be happy feeding and maintaining an additional vehicle that has a fuel sucking v8?

Clearly a trailer is low hanging fruit if you already have a suitable tow vehicle.  But adding a motorized rv to the fleet means extra cost and hassle.  That makes swapping a daily driver for a tow vehicle mostly a wash, especially if you do not drive a lot.

We wouldn't have another vehicle, and we wouldn't have a suitable tow vehicle.

We'd be looking at purchasing what we need to live in, and selling what we have.

We also keep a log book in the camper.  Every trip we record our impressions and each kid gets a page.  It is a.trip down memory lane to flip through it.

I like that!  And that's much cheaper and more compact to keep for memories than the whole trailer itself.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
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brewer12345

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2014, 11:18:15 AM »
You mean you would be happy feeding and maintaining an additional vehicle that has a fuel sucking v8?

Clearly a trailer is low hanging fruit if you already have a suitable tow vehicle.  But adding a motorized rv to the fleet means extra cost and hassle.  That makes swapping a daily driver for a tow vehicle mostly a wash, especially if you do not drive a lot.

We wouldn't have another vehicle, and we wouldn't have a suitable tow vehicle.

We'd be looking at purchasing what we need to live in, and selling what we have.

We also keep a log book in the camper.  Every trip we record our impressions and each kid gets a page.  It is a.trip down memory lane to flip through it.

I like that!  And that's much cheaper and more compact to keep for memories than the whole trailer itself.

Ah.  If you are going to live in it, 24' might be pretty tight.

arebelspy

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2014, 11:31:12 AM »
24' sounds really big to us.  We were planning on just getting a van to live in, for awhile*.

*It's still a possibility, but I think we've settled on a smaller motor home.
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boarder42

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2014, 11:56:02 AM »
what about a truck bed camper.  those appear to have the same luxuries but you can drop it at you camp site and use the truck to drive around and keep camp setup.  just started looking at them... if you do a slider version it has just as much as a pleasure way class b  even the non sliders look just as roomy.

boarder42

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2014, 11:57:44 AM »
that would be a good setup esp. if you plan to do national parks as the truck could be an off road vehicle to get to harder to reach spots than a typical van would

boarder42

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2014, 11:59:58 AM »
i mean shoot.  brand new 10k

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-2014-SS-1251-Lightweight-Lite-Pop-Up-Slide-In-Pickup-Truck-Camper-for-Sale-/141306978411?forcerrptr=true&hash=item20e68d606b&item=141306978411&pt=RVs_Campers

then buy a used truck with good gas mileage.

added benefit you arent dragging all the extra weight with you when you setup camp and drive around

boarder42

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2014, 12:04:36 PM »

arebelspy

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2014, 12:16:54 PM »
what about a truck bed camper.  those appear to have the same luxuries but you can drop it at you camp site and use the truck to drive around and keep camp setup.  just started looking at them... if you do a slider version it has just as much as a pleasure way class b  even the non sliders look just as roomy.

Nice, you may have just solved it for us.

We had ruled that out because we'll have an infant (we'd be doing that if it was just the two of us) and we wanted a shower/toilet, but those appear to have them, which is pretty sweet.

Thanks for that!  Off to do some research!

I'll have to run the fuel differences, cause up front cost seems like it'll be about the same (10-15k truck, 10-15k camper versus 20-30k RV).
« Last Edit: June 07, 2014, 12:23:09 PM by arebelspy »
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boarder42

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2014, 12:20:50 PM »
please share your research and i will do the same.

boarder42

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2014, 12:27:46 PM »
personally i'm becoming a fan of the artic fox 990.  i like the full shower and the refridge + freezer and the full range not just cook top

http://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2006-Northwood-Mfg-ARCTIC-FOX-990-112112550

and the price... throw a 10k ecoboost under that and you're set
« Last Edit: June 07, 2014, 12:30:31 PM by boarder42 »

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2014, 12:37:01 PM »
I like your idea also, boarder42.

I currently have a 10 year old Toyota Tacoma, and am looking to purchase a Four Wheel slide in camper for it.

It will just be me, so I don't need much room.  I unless I upgrade my truck, I will have to get the Four Wheel Eagle model.  It is a pop-up.

http://www.fourwheelcampers.com/index.php/products/for-minimid-size-trucks/eagle-5-10-4-door/

For those who think that it is easy peasy to park one's truck and then remove the camper at your campsite, drive around some, and then reattach the camper, a friend of mine told me that it is not all that easy to do.  Since I will primarily be traveling solo, and backing the truck up to reattach the camper is not easy without assistance, I probably will not be doing that.



boarder42

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2014, 12:48:30 PM »
really how hard are these to attach.  b/c thats the biggest benefit i see in it would be a quick and easy attach detach method.  someone would be rich if they figured that out i would think

boarder42

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2014, 01:00:00 PM »
http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?topic=27565.0

whole RV forum post about how its bad and most campgrounds dont allow the detach.  but check out post by Jaeger19 there is an attachment that makes it easier and safer.  (still have to get a campground that will allow though.

http://www.stablelift.com/stable-lift-products.php

looks great adds 2800 bucks to the price for the cheapest though

brewer12345

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2014, 01:22:20 PM »
The knock on truck campers is that they tend to have a high center of gravity (can be a bit scary on rough roads) and the bigger deal: you need a lot more truck for a pound of truck camper than for a pound of trailer.  The second ebay linked camper would need a minimum of a 3/4 ton truck (F250 or equivalent).  By contrast, I would be comfy with a trailer that had as much as 5,000# of GVWR with my short bed F150.

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #30 on: June 07, 2014, 01:32:38 PM »
For those of you that have never experienced the lifestyle I would rent one first and take a long vacation to see if you enjoy living in such close quarters.  We bought a used 27 ft motorhome 7 years ago and thought we would use it for vacations & then travel in it for a year once we retired.  We took a 2 week vacation with 4 tiny dogs and 2 people and although my hubby would do it again I did not enjoy the small space & rv living.  It was an expensive mistake because it has now depreciated to half of what we paid even though we only took one trip in it.  Also ours only gets 10 miles per gallon without towing a car.  Shortly after buying it the gas prices went up a lot & usually it is cheaper to drive in the car & stay at low cost motels then to take that.

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #31 on: June 07, 2014, 01:41:33 PM »
The knock on truck campers is that they tend to have a high center of gravity (can be a bit scary on rough roads) and the bigger deal: you need a lot more truck for a pound of truck camper than for a pound of trailer.  The second ebay linked camper would need a minimum of a 3/4 ton truck (F250 or equivalent).  By contrast, I would be comfy with a trailer that had as much as 5,000# of GVWR with my short bed F150.

Yep--I could see that the higher center of gravity could be an issue with the hard shell campers.  That's one reason I am considering the pop-up kind.  Also, the dry weight of the model I have my eye on is only 800 pounds.  Just writing about it is making me eager to get it--but I'm afraid that purchase can't happen for at least 2 more years.

boarder42

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #32 on: June 07, 2014, 02:48:36 PM »
ninety four which one are you looking at make / model for 800lbs

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arebelspy

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #34 on: June 07, 2014, 06:21:49 PM »
I prefer the hard shell over popup.  With the popup, people know you're in there.  With the hardshell they're not quite sure.

What type of trailer do you have Brewer?
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brewer12345

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #35 on: June 07, 2014, 06:32:30 PM »
I prefer the hard shell over popup.  With the popup, people know you're in there.  With the hardshell they're not quite sure.

What type of trailer do you have Brewer?

We have a Fun Finder X160 made by Cruiser RV.  They no longer make this model or anything this small.  If you could find one in good shape, they made a 160 WB (IIRC) which was the same footprint but had a walk around queen bed, separate dinette, and a full bath rather than a wet bath.  Would be ideal for a couple or a couple with a small child.

bogart

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #36 on: June 07, 2014, 08:53:41 PM »
We own a Jayco trailer that we bought used for about $9K, 3 years old (when we bought it), and tow with a Tundra.  It works great for us.

Bear in mind that whatever your camper is (trailer, slide in, RV), it is "hooked up" in most campsites (unless of course you are "boondocking," which comes with its own challenges).  As a practical matter, this means that you (probably) aren't going to drive off to get groceries or go to a trailhead unless your camper is a trailer (or a slid-out slide in).  If you're a committed Mustachian biker with the equipment to get around that way, you're set, but otherwise, worth considering.

The rule of thumb I've seen on weights is to take whatever your vehicle's max ratings are and multiply by .9 (i.e. you want a 10% margin).  For the "carry" weight (pin weight and so forth), remember you have to subtract the weight of whatever's IN your vehicle before you can figure out what it can carry (and pull, because pulling involves carrying some of the trailer's weight).  So I always knock 500 lbs off when considering whether our Tundra could carry a slide-in or tow a 5th wheel, and have always come out at "no" (that leaves about 1,000 lbs available), though there are some that come close. 

Those looking for lightweight trailers may want to look at r-pods and trailmanor models. 

Final thought:  someone once told me, "everyone asks, 'Will my truck (sic) pull that trailer?  What they need to be asking is, will my truck stop that trailer?'"  For whatever that's worth.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2014, 08:57:29 PM by bogart »

greaper007

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #37 on: June 07, 2014, 10:08:31 PM »
Check out tear drops and tiny travel trailers, expedition portal, skoolies and some of the van dweller sites.    There are plenty of people living in diy small vehicles for a fraction of the cost (and twice the build quality) of commercial offerings.   

$200k

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #38 on: June 07, 2014, 10:38:43 PM »
Someone above mentioned four wheel campers, so I thought I'd share this dude's setup: http://www.arestlesstransplant.com/my-toyota-camper/

He converted his tacoma to a flatbed so that his pop up camper had more useable space.  Solves the problem of too high center of gravity, and does not sacrifice mobility. Makes sense to me.

NinetyFour

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #39 on: June 08, 2014, 06:44:12 AM »
Someone above mentioned four wheel campers, so I thought I'd share this dude's setup: http://www.arestlesstransplant.com/my-toyota-camper/

He converted his tacoma to a flatbed so that his pop up camper had more useable space.  Solves the problem of too high center of gravity, and does not sacrifice mobility. Makes sense to me.

Wow--that's a very cool site and quite a rig that guy has.  Thanks for sharing.

paddedhat

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #40 on: June 08, 2014, 06:46:01 AM »
The rule of thumb I've seen on weights is to take whatever your vehicle's max ratings are and multiply by .9 (i.e. you want a 10% margin).  For the "carry" weight (pin weight and so forth), remember you have to subtract the weight of whatever's IN your vehicle before you can figure out what it can carry (and pull, because pulling involves carrying some of the trailer's weight).  So I always knock 500 lbs off when considering whether our Tundra could carry a slide-in or tow a 5th wheel, and have always come out at "no" (that leaves about 1,000 lbs available), though there are some that come close. 


All manufacturers do extensive testing to provide towing capacity ratings. They provide three important figures for any vehicle designed to be used for any towing. Basically they will, in some fashion, give you a gross vehicle weight, which is the maximum the vehicle can be loaded to. The combined gross weight, or the total of truck and trailer, and the towing capacity, or the number of pounds the trailer can weigh. All these figures are important and can very greatly depending on how the vehicle is built. I have a "1/2 ton" pickup with a 11,200 LB towing capacity. This is an extreme outlier, as the same truck can be selected with a different drivetrain and lose rough half of that capacity. ( and about $6K on the MSRP, and gain about 20% better fuel mileage)  Generally, when pushed toward the upper limits of listed towing capacity, a lot of folks find that they are saddled with a combination that is unpleasant to drive. Very slow on hills, horrible gas mileage, etc... since the tow rig is always operating at it's upper limits. I pull about 30% less than what the truck is rated for and it does well.  OTOH, we travel with a friend who has a 1/2 ton 4x4 pickup that left the factory set up for high MPGs. It has a very small, low powered V8 and high gearing. He pulls an ultralite 21' travel trailer, and the truck can barely keep up with traffic on the highway, if there is a headwind.


Final thought:  someone once told me, "everyone asks, 'Will my truck (sic) pull that trailer?  What they need to be asking is, will my truck stop that trailer?'"  For whatever that's worth.

This is a pretty common misunderstanding. No reasonably sized tow vehicle and travel trailer can be expected to operate safely without a functioning braking system on the trailer. It's the law in most states and provinces that any trailer over 3000lbs needs brakes, and the physics behind the whole situation make it a requirement. A panic stop at 60mph with roughly double the force of the trailer pushing the vehicle forward. It doesn't matter if it's a Freightliner pulling twenty tons of produce, or a Chevy van with a three ton camper behind it, no tow vehicle is designed to safely brake that kind of load. With a quality electric brake controller installed, and clean, dry, well adjusted trailer brakes, I can manually bring my whole rig to a quick stop by operating the brake controller, with my foot off the brake pedal.

paddedhat

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #41 on: June 08, 2014, 07:00:48 AM »
[Wow--that's a very cool site and quite a rig that guy has.  Thanks for sharing.

Absolutely!  If you ever get the chance, a nice long summer road trip to the Yukon and Alaska provides an opportunity to see a mind blowing number of great rigs. Everything from giant European round the world trucks, to ingenious
contraptions the locals design and built. some are as slick as the one you linked to, others are rolling hillbilly art. Some of the best are slide-in truck camper, and flatbed combos. I have seen several that involve large, full sized campers on medium sized diesel flat bed trucks. The empty spaces under each side of the camper have nice tool boxes fitted in them. I have even seen them on a big enough flatbed that the large overhanging sleeping loft was pushed back so that it didn't overhang the cab at all, and the space underneath was converted to a small garage for a four wheeler. Or one that was so big that it had a back porch and a permanent staircase heading off the back deck.  Great stuff.

daverobev

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #42 on: June 08, 2014, 08:30:14 AM »
Oh god.. oh god.. this thread makes my "buy an RV and drive into the sunset" desire come up so strongly as to almost strangle me.

Such a shame you can't get manual, turbo diesel vans in the US and Canada like you can in the UK. 35+mpg (which would be 30mpg US I spose).

Manual trans truck would be ok I guess. Those popups look alright.

Theadyn

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #43 on: June 08, 2014, 08:57:42 AM »
My 2 cents, fwiw...

Having been around RV's most of my life and owned multiples of them, just a few thoughts:

Yes, a travel trailer/5th wheel is handy since you won't be dealing with an extra motor and you would have a vehicle to run around in.  But... if you are mustachian, the price of a towing capable vehicle is kinda prohibitive, they are expensive themself, especially when you add in the not so great gas mileage of said towing vehicle for your 'getting around' times.   If you already own such type of vehicle, then it wouldn't be too hard to find a good used one for not so much, there are deals out there to be found.  Growing up we did a 2 week trip with a travel trailer that included 3 adults and 5 children, I don't remember any bad times, only the good times!!  We went through and saw stuff in 6 different states.  (dad welded on a carrier on the back of the trailer to hold his 2 homemade mini-bikes he built for his 4 daughters, fun times!)  He pulled that with a big Ford van.

We did the pop-up route when I was a young kid, although we didn't keep it long and didn't enjoy that one.  However, it was light and can be pulled with just about anything.  Had heat but no A/C or bathroom.  They make them nicer now.

Motorized, have done just about all of them.  True story:  dad found an old class A Winnebago that was ugly as heck but cheap!  Didn't know if it would make it across town, but we loaded up 9 people (one being my very pregnant aunt) and drove it from south Texas to California and back over a 2 week period.  So many memories!!  :)  (no worries, dad was an awesome mechanic and went with tools)

But I digress..   Personally, I've owned and drove and camped in Class A's and Class C's.  Just last weekend we took a 26' Class A motorhome across the state pulling a heavy Harley, was an 8 hour trip there and back to ride on the Talemena Trail in AR.  We bought that rig for just $4k, man-friend did about $1k in repairs and upgrade to increase gas mileage (it worked).  Planning on selling it soon, will probably make a profit.  Will be getting a Class C next, though. 

I've had a few Class A's, but as the driver or the passenger, just don't feel all that safe up front.  This may be a personal reason, as I've had the priveledge to have been driving a 31' Class A going 70 mph with the cruise set when i had a front left tire explosion that put me in the ditch across the road.  Scared the shit outta me!!   To me, class C's are just more secure feeling.  I've had 2 over the years and have loved them both.  The first one was just 19' but I could, and have, hopped in it and took off on my own to camp whenever the mood struck.  It's like driving a bulky van.  I bought it for $2300 in '02.  Actually, I loaned it to a friend to live in when she was homeless, her, her son and big dog lived in it for 4 months and loved it!!  When I sold it, that person let a man live in it in her driveway for 6 months.  It's do-able.   The last one, and wish I had kept, was 25' and very well laid out, motor ran awesome!!  Bought it for $5k and would have driven it anywhere   Will be wanting another one like that one when I sell current one.

Motorized ones you can always find a cheapy light car to tow (like a Metro or the like), or put on a bike rack, even tow a moped.

Am actually in the business, working for an RV dealership my sis and bro-in-law own.  Waiting for my dealer license to be mailed so I can sell, as well.  They only sell the high end 5th wheels and sell quite a few of them.  People from all over custom order to their specifications and that's what we sell.  Most of the buyers are downsizing and go full-time, so they are higher priced, but dang!!! they are nice!  Highest priced one I watched roll out of there was just over $200k..   oi!

Am kinda excited to see what the dealer auctions will be selling, might find a good deal on my next one, a class C.  Not only will it serve the getting away and vacation times, will also serve as a house should I ever need it.  And a retreat...  many times in the past you could find me hanging out in the RV, reading or chilling or just decided to cook dinner out there, lol.  I credit my little RV for many hours of uninterrupted studying while in school.  I would recommend 'camping' in your driveway a few nights to get a feel for the bedding and the stuff you might need but can't think of off hand. 

Yeah...   I can totally see myself being able to live in one, no problem.  Anyways, there's my 2 cents worth.

brewer12345

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #44 on: June 08, 2014, 09:27:31 AM »
Another plus of owning one of these things that never occurred to me when I bought it:  In 2011 we moved 2/3 of the way across the country to relocate permanently.  Our arrival time in the new area ended up being 8 or 9 days before we could close and move into the new house sine the closing date got moved back a couple times.  We were able to just camp in local state park campgrounds in the interim and having our "home away from home" that the kids knew and loved made the transition way easier for all of us.

greaper007

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #45 on: June 08, 2014, 10:00:11 PM »
I always flirt with the idea of buying an RV because my wife and kids are always cold when we camp (Denver based so even July temps in the Rockies are often less than 40f).    But then I start to do the math.   

We generally don't go on vacations for longer than about 10 nights a year.    My wife is awesome with priceline name your own price deals and we almost never pay more than about $80 a night for a hotel, often it's considerably less.

We can non-rev on my Dad's passes for free (he's a pilot) or drive our 25 mpg minivan that I paid $3800 for (and serves a much more versatile role than an rv).    With a little planning we're generally in for about $50-$200 a day for  vacation when you factor in travel, lodging and food costs.     An RV would cut the lodging and food costs but really up the travel costs.   It might bring us down to say $70 a day.   So  a worst/best case scenario, it would save us $130 a day.

So here's the math.

10 nights a year = $1300
A reasonably priced class c that isn't going to be a mx nightmare. =   $10,000-$15,000 (say $10,000 and Class B's seem to be way more expensive).

Break even point without mx, taxes, licensing = 7.69 years

Though once you put expensive tires, transmission rebuilds and rv specific fixes on the list it probably exceeds a 10 year break even point.


These are probably great vehicles to actually live in, but I don't get them from a simple vacation perspective.   They're extremely expensive to operate.  And they don't come with things like maid service and a free continental breakfast.


I'd rather stay in hotels with my family, and aim to go on actual camping trips (backpacking) by myself.

YMMV

boarder42

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #46 on: June 09, 2014, 06:39:53 AM »
I think most people in this thread are looking to make it their house for a while.  Also traveling to national park type areas its much cheaper to camp or have an RV than to hotel it up. 

Something that did just cross my mind.  I have a 2008 ford escape hybrid.  A small trailer could probably be pulled by this giving me 45 MPGs around the area when i'm not towing.  Gonna look into tow weights but what size trailer would ya'll think is in the ball park?

boarder42

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #47 on: June 09, 2014, 06:45:36 AM »
http://www.roulottesprolite.com/english/plusS.htm

looks like this may work... says its 1290 and tow capacity on the hybrid is 1k lbs.  100% due to reverse gear only being on battery power.  probably not best to plan to break it but i cant see it being too big an issue.  as long as i'm not backing up hills. 

greaper007

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #48 on: June 09, 2014, 10:33:05 AM »
I think most people in this thread are looking to make it their house for a while.  Also traveling to national park type areas its much cheaper to camp or have an RV than to hotel it up. 

Something that did just cross my mind.  I have a 2008 ford escape hybrid.  A small trailer could probably be pulled by this giving me 45 MPGs around the area when i'm not towing.  Gonna look into tow weights but what size trailer would ya'll think is in the ball park?

As a home I totally get it.   I disagree with you about it being cheaper to camp in an rv than it is to get a hotel though.    Once you add mx, fuel and acquisition costs into the equation even a $200 a night hotel is much cheaper than a $5,000-$10,000 RV.    And I've almost never paid more than $100 a night for a hotel in a national park area.

I love to camp, but the majority of camping opportunities in Colorado are above 8,000 ft with night time temps in the 30s and 40s.   Something that my young family can rarely handle.    We just left early after a night in Grand Lake this weekend because my wife was frozen even in a 20f down sleeping bag.   On the way home I said, that's enough.   Cabins and hotels for now on and I'll do extreme trips on my own.    14ers, back country backpacking, canoe trips etc.   So we rearranged the rest of our reservations for our trips this summer to be in hotels instead of camp sites.    With priceline name your own price deals, we're really only paying a few hundred dollars more for the whole summer than we were tent camping.

How many nights a year do you really go on vacation?    I don't think we exceed 10 nights on a very good year.   I think if you want to be in an enclosed heated structure (not a tent or a tarp) you're much better off from a financial perspective getting a cabin or a hotel room.    I was an airline pilot for years and stayed in all kinds of hotels.   I hate 4 star hotels.   You have to pay for everything ($10 beers and $20 cheeseburger, no thanks) and luxury doesn't really do much for me. I find that 2.5 star hotels are the best bang for the buck.   Clean, safe, free wifi, and generally a free breakfast and shuttle van.   In most locals, these can be had for $30-$70 a night.

MrsPete

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Re: RV Rental Resources (Class B)
« Reply #49 on: June 09, 2014, 11:56:53 AM »
A couple years ago we did a GREAT driving trip out west and saw most of the western national parks.  We set this as a goal when our kids were young, but we waited 'til they were teens -- so they'd remember it and so they'd be more able to handle hours and hours of driving.  When we began planning, we figured we'd rent an RV. 

However, as the anticipated trip drew closer and we began to put numbers to paper, we quickly realized that an RV was anything but a budget option for this type of trip.  I just checked today's pricing, and renting one week in July is $834 for a medium that'll house 5 people /$894 for a large that'll hold 7 people.  That includes 600 "free miles" and after that you pay .34/mile.  That also doesn't include insurance or mandatory cleaning upon return.  And that doesn't include gas, which would be incredibly expensive.  It also doesn't include your campground fees, which for a full-sized RV can run $25-60. 

We figured out that it was better for us financially to stay in inexpensive hotels, especially since my husband travels for work and had built up a bunch of "free nights".  The price wasn't even close to the RV rental cost. 

Better deals: 

- I just saw on the RV rental site that when they need RVs returned to other states, they offer good deals to people willing to drive one-way on their schedule.  It's only $30/night . . . but, of course, you have to go where they want, when they want, and then you have to get yourself back home.  I could see that as a good thing to keep in mind for retirement.  I'd bet they need people just after the peak seasons.

- If you want to have use of an RV for 1-2 years, buy one used, take good care of it, and sell it when you're done.  Since you'll have put miles on it, you probably won't make back all your money, but you'll have had the use of the RV for a much lower price than renting.  Of course, you run the risk of being stuck with an expensive, difficult to sell asset.

- Or instead of selling it, you could rent it out to other people.  To do this, you'd probably need to have a fairly late model, and it'd have to be in top-notch condition.  And you'd better insure it well.

- Do you have a friend who owns an RV?  Would they be willing to barter something -- a house repair?  mowing their yard?  babysitting their kids? -- for the use of the RV?  This is potentially the cheapest option of all. 

- If you don't have a friend who owns an RV, do you see any of them sitting around your neighborhood for sale?  I know of 3-4 in my area -- and they've been sitting in those yards with "FOR SALE" signs for an awful long time.  People don't want to buy those monsters with the big gas tanks.  If I owned one and couldn't unload it, I'd welcome the idea of renting it out; it'd bring in more money than it does sitting in the yard.  As an incentive to the individual, you could offer to purchase trip insurance, which -- because of its short-term nature -- is inexpensive to buy. 

- You could go with a teardrop instead of a full-sized camper.  My husband and I are interested in buying one of these someday.  They're essentially a queen-sized bed on wheels with a little kitchen tagging along behind.  They can be pulled by a small-to-medium car, but you're more limited in where you can camp:  You'd probably want to limit your stays to "real campgrounds", where you could have a bath house nearby.  On the plus side, campgrounds usually consider teardrops "tents" instead of RVs, so they camp for less money.  We personally think it'd be just our comfort level -- not all the money in the world, a comfortable mattress, and a small kitchen.  At less than 10K, the investment is much less.  A bonus:  In your back yard, a teardrop could serve as an extra bedroom.