Author Topic: Need input from experienced RV travelers  (Read 4216 times)

piercrab

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Need input from experienced RV travelers
« on: July 14, 2016, 07:28:12 AM »
We plan to retired in 2 years.  One of dreams is see all national parks in RV.  We have been reading and watch youtube to get ideas whether fifth wheels or RV are better in term of hauling and living comfort?   Also Which one is easier to resale? If you are a full time RV, would you mind share your experiences and the plus/minus living in full time in RV and how big is your RV? I have 2 kids (20 and 16 yrs old). They might join us for summer travel, but other time it will be my husband and myself.

Aphalite

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Re: Need input from experienced RV travelers
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2016, 07:31:07 AM »
No personal experience here, but checkout the bumfuzzles: they've done RV, Van, Catamaran, Monohull - http://www.bumfuzzle.com/adventure/

Stachey

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Re: Need input from experienced RV travelers
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2016, 02:47:30 PM »
I'm interested in this topic as well. 
I remember Jacob from ERE lived in an RV for awhile (perhaps he still does I don't know). 

I'm wondering about climate...is the sound of rain amplified inside an RV making it horribly loud?  I thought I read somewhere that the noise was so bad that these people only travelled in desert-like areas. 

SamIAm38

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Re: Need input from experienced RV travelers
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2016, 08:52:02 AM »
Something I want to do when I'm retired is rent a place for a year in a fun place, like by Ashville or something. While there and enjoying life, get an RV or Van and work on it to make it what I want to travel in, then pack everything up and travel the states for a year or two.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Need input from experienced RV travelers
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2016, 09:11:50 AM »
I don't know if we qualify as "experienced", but we are full timing in a RV we built from scratch.

So far we have camped in Washington (start location), Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, and we are currently in North Dakota.   Camping has mostly been free and the best spots have been any that are maintained by the Army Corps.  We just left a manicured free spot on the lake at a Army Corp campground on Lake Sakakawea.

Positives:  No more taxes on pretty much anything except our vehicle.  No utility bills.  If you don't like a neighbor, move.   If the weather sucks in your area, move.  If you don't want to mow the grass, it is ok, you are not expected to.

Negatives:  Showering is cramped.  Bathroom could have been a bit larger (really you only need four areas of extreme comfort in your life...sleep, poo, eating, and sitting.  We got three out of the four right, and our queen size sleep number RV bed is better than any we have had at sticks and bricks.


RoseRelish

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Re: Need input from experienced RV travelers
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2016, 12:02:01 PM »
We've been eyeing a Winnebago Rialta. They are small enough to be parked and driven in cities and get great fuel efficiency.

Christiana

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Re: Need input from experienced RV travelers
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2016, 12:28:05 PM »
For me the biggest minus of living in an RV with someone else was feeling the whole thing move a little when the other person moves around.  That got intensely annoying after a while.  A fifth wheel is probably more stable when parked, I don't know, but may be a bit larger than you want.

Rain on the roof was loud sometimes, but not to the point of bothering me.  It did get very hot (easily 100 degrees) inside during the summer, even with the windows open. So you'll want to make sure the AC/fan units work. Moderate winter temperatures were tolerable with an electric blanket or with a mason jar of hot water.

piercrab

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Re: Need input from experienced RV travelers
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2016, 03:28:53 PM »
We rented a 24-feet class C RV from RV America last December to travel from Miami to Key West, FL.  With 2 adults and 2 kids (19 yrs, 16 yrs) it was a bit cram.  The bathroom was too small.  My kids took their showers using the camp ground showers.  We met another couple from Canada that has the fifth wheel that was 38 feet long.  The interior looked like a full 1 bedroom / 1 bath apartment.  Bathroom has full size vanity cabinet and bathroom.  He said 38-feet was too long and some national parks will not allow entrance.   

Threshkin

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Re: Need input from experienced RV travelers
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2016, 04:52:47 PM »
Not experienced yet but we just bought a Class B RV yesterday.  It is just two of us so we went with a 2003 21 foot travel lite.  It is small enough to take almost anywhere yet not as cramped as a van camper.

Our plan is to start off with shorter trips and then move on to longer and longer trips as we gain experience.  We are discussing the possibility of renting out our house for a year or more and going exploring around the Americas.

Another Reader

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Re: Need input from experienced RV travelers
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2016, 06:24:16 PM »
Suggest you read some of the RV travel blogs by full-time and part-time RV people.

RV Sue  http://rvsueandcrew.net/

Travel with the Bayfield Bunch  http://thebayfieldbunch.com/

Travel with Kevin and Ruth  http://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/

In the Direction of Our Dreams  http://directionofourdreams.blogspot.com/

Technomadia  http://www.technomadia.com/

The Back Porch View  http://avintagerollingstone.blogspot.com/

Wheeling It  http://wheelingit.us/

Tat's a basic sample, check their blog rolls for other blogs that might interest you.  There are some technical resource blogs as well.

bogart

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Re: Need input from experienced RV travelers
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2016, 03:28:45 PM »
We own a 28' tag-along that we've used for about 5 years for recreational purposes -- trips of anywhere from 3 days to about 3 weeks.  We tow it with a Tundra. 

If you want a 5th wheel (I've looked into buying one), you'll need something bigger than a half-ton truck.  Half-ton trucks are about a dime a dozen -- Ford, Chevy, Ram, Toyota, Nissan all have models -- and are readily available lightly used in good condition.  Bigger than that (3/4 ton and up) are much less common and harder to find used.  Worth noting...

We find it very (very) nice to be able to unhitch the trailer from the truck at the campground, leave it parked (and hooked up to water, electric, and sewer if that's provided) and use the truck to drive to -- wherever we want to go -- grocery store, trailhead.

We prefer campsites with at least water + electric hookups -- we don't boondock.  Some state parks and many national parks don't offer this option (full hookups).  The further north you go, unsurprisingly, the harder it is to find campsites that offer water -- harder to install and less useful in a shorter "warm" season climate.  We live in the US S.E., so this hasn't been a problem locally but has been something I've noticed when scouting out routes and sites for longer trips.

Before we bought, a salesman at an RV place told me our first camper should be something used.  He said there were things we'd think we wanted (or didn't) that we'd hate (or wish we hadn't gotten), and no sense buying new to figure that out.  Very sound advice, in our case.  We  bought our camper used and have enjoyed it for 3 years but will look for a few (not many) different features when we replace it.

Sound of rain hasn't been a problem.  The bathroom is small.  I prefer to use the bathouses in campgrounds, my hubby prefers the small camper bathroom.  Everyone's different.

Cassie

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Re: Need input from experienced RV travelers
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2016, 12:44:55 PM »
WE have a 27 ft motorhome. The bathroom is tiny and we use the toilet but prefer to use the showers at campgrounds. We don't boondock either for obvious reasons. The 2 previous owners got half of what they paid when they sold it and it never had many miles put on it. The first owner bought it new. I find after a month with 2 people and 3 small dogs and 1 big one that I am ready to come home. Rain is no problem but I wouldn't want to be in it in winter unless it was a warm climate.  Basically you either sit at the table, get in the bed or sit in the one small chair across from the table.  That gets old after awhile. The rv parks have really gotten expensive as well as the national parks.  We paid 75/night in Grand Tetons and 55 at Yellowstone. we did not want to be out of the park because it takes a long time each day to drive through the parks.  We did that at Yosemite and it was not worth it. I would never buy 1 new because they depreciate very quickly once they are bought.  Many newer ones have been used very little because the people rarely used them. We bought ours which is a 1993 with only 34k/miles on it 8 years ago. It looked like new inside.  WE have used it very little so glad we didn't spend a ton on it. WE have used it more as a guest bedroom when we have a lot of company at our house.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Need input from experienced RV travelers
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2016, 04:36:24 PM »
Very concise and readable overview of RV Type Pros & Cons
For more information, work through the links you are interested in from their Getting Started Guide

zinethstache

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Re: Need input from experienced RV travelers
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2016, 10:36:42 AM »
We've owned 2 RVs and 2 trailers. We have full timed in our FIRE home for 2 months so far. It is a 33ft fifth wheel trailer(end to end). You do have to get used to the "house" moving when others move around. Yes you hear the rain on the roof. I am used to both and love them because it must mean I am camping right?

The size we chose is just short enough (28.5 ft extends behind the truck) to get into most National Parks. It is large enough that the bathroom and living spaces are good sized. The bedroom is small and pretty short which is fine for us, all we use it for is sleeping right?

The smaller your rig the smaller everything is, spaces, storage and tanks. We settled on the smallest that we felt we could still full time in.

We have never felt that we could full time in a camper or van. We started our final purchase process looking at short diesel RVs (reyo, via). But quickly concluded even for a used one we could not make it work in our budget. You can get ALOT in a fifth wheel with a used truck. We spent 30k less for our current setup.

Accessories that we've considered and whether we got them or not:

Grill - YES Weber 1200
Broadband service - YES - Latest MIFI from Verizon
Wireless Antenna NiC cards for laptops - YES - LOVE THESE only $40 no more intermittent drops
Washing Machine - YES still deciding. Something very small from Amazon, under $200 it will hook up in our shower and will be small enough to move outside the shower when we shower.
Ice Maker -  YES after two failed new ones were scrapping this idea
External dump tank - YES we are slow traveling and many places don't have sewer hookups to the pad. We dont want to move to dump tanks every 9 days or so. bought  a 1k lb crane and 42 gallon tank. LOVing THIS so far!
Solar Panels - YES so far loving these.
Generator - YES already had from previous trailer, won't need this as often with the current rig as it is pretty self sufficient with our Inverter and solar panels.
Inverter - YES a 1500.

Every day is a camping day for us and so far we love it.

We keep very organized and everything put away. I get cranky with clutter. It is alot more work, but the space is so small there's really no other choice.

« Last Edit: July 23, 2016, 11:52:55 PM by zinethstache »

hoping2retire35

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Re: Need input from experienced RV travelers
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2016, 10:15:54 AM »
Ill add something here; when it comes to easy of pulling and having plenty of room a pop up camper is great. with a properly geared truck/suv/van you will not hardly notice the change in mileage. the only caveat is if you will be in a really cold climate or around lots of brown bears it will not be as good. air conditioner works pretty well in a hot climate.

Ill also add that Rvs and campers depreciate like an imported luxury car. A couple of years old and you can get one that has been barely used and save 10s of thousands.

Cassie

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Re: Need input from experienced RV travelers
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2016, 10:01:28 AM »
If you have small dogs you would not want to leave them alone in a pop up because someone could cut the canvas and take them or wild animals can get them.

Cannot Wait!

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Re: Need input from experienced RV travelers
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2016, 05:35:58 PM »
Following.  Thanks for the links and tips; I'm trying to figure this all out too!

hoping2retire35

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Re: Need input from experienced RV travelers
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2016, 01:51:55 PM »
one more about pop ups; prospector pulls his with a minivan. looks like a mid to late 2000s sienna. not sure if he has talked much about how well it does on his blog or here but did tell me he installed some type of special air shocks to help with controlling it.