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Old 09-19-2012, 04:11 PM   #1
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Advice on Purchase

Hi - I'm new to this forum and not yet a motor home owner. I have looked at several models/makes and prefer the Sunseeker floorplan and value. I mainly want one that sleeps up to 8, has a separate bedroom in the back, and an oven. Based on this, the model I really like is the 3170DS, however, I have a few questions and hope someone can help:

1) Would this length (~32') be difficult for a woman to handle? I'm 5'8" but would also want my sister to drive and she is 5'3"
2) As I read this forum I am a little nervous with everything that has to be done to keep the unit in good working order. Is there somewhere I can go to get an overview of all that is required (winterizing, leveling, etc.)? I live in Texas so winterizing might not be too critical.
3) I have started an online/ecommerce business and will need to process orders, etc. from a laptop while on the road. Is anyone familiar with what would be needed to accomplish this?

As you can probably tell from above, I am a single woman and although most trips would be with other people, there may be occasions where I would travel alone. Are there any single women on this forum that would be willing to share their travel experiences?

I would appreciate any advice - except please don't say, "forget it and stay home". I've recently retired and would really like to see the U.S.!


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Old 09-19-2012, 04:22 PM   #2
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1st of all, welcome to the forum !!!

Ignore anyone that says "forget it and stay home". I say "go for it".

I don't know why anyone that is 5'3" should not be able to handle a motor home. The seats do adjust, like any vehicle. Most units have automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. It is just like driving a "huge" car. The only thing different that I can see is that you will have to learn how to drive and back with side mirrors. can't turn and look over your shoulder like in a car.

All campers require some preventive maintenance. You should find many of your questions already answered here on the forum, and if not just start a new is that simple.


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Old 09-19-2012, 07:24 PM   #3
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First I would recommend to buy locally. You may be able to save a few dollars buying from a dealer a few hundred miles away but the first service you need will cost a lot in gas and time just to get there and back. Now that being said all Sunseeker dealers can handle warrranty work but you will likely go to the back of the line behind their customers if you didn't buy there.
As for your business I would expect your laptop has a wifi card in it which would allow you to connect online most anywhere. Most campgrounds as well as McDonalds etc all have wifi hot spots.
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:37 PM   #4
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You should be able to handle it fine. You should go in sit in one (or a full size Ford van) to make sure it can be adjusted to be comfortable for you - power seat, adjustable foot pedals, etc. Should have tilt and telescoping wheel. As you'll find, the most challenging thing is the width, not the length. As they say, your butt follows you around wherever you go. Just need to be aware of your height (probably 12') and width mirror to mirror. Keep in mind that your tail wags out in tight corners - more than a few fences have been knocked down by these things.

Another thing to consider is if you are going to tow a small car behind this RV. There can be challenges to doing this for someone small in stature, and a certain amount of strength is needed to secure the tow bar. But you can probably handle it - there is plenty of advice on here as to what hardware to get.

Getting online is a mixed bag. I've found the easiest and most reliable thing is to tether to my cell phone. Wifi is available a lot of places, but rarely at your campsite.

Good luck!
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by leahabtx View Post
3) I have started an online/ecommerce business and will need to process orders, etc. from a laptop while on the road. Is anyone familiar with what would be needed to accomplish this?
Welcome to the forum...

Like wincrasher mentioned we tether our smart phones to our laptops for internet when camping. I is through Verizon, who now let you tether for free, but it does use your data on your smart phone. If you have Verizon I think this is the way to go, even if you need to add more data per month. If your lucky enough to have Verizon unlimited data, it is defiantly the way to go.

They also have a wireless WiFi device, but that is an additional cost per month and a new contract.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:21 PM   #6
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Welcome aboard

leahabtx, welcome aboard!
Here is a link to RV to some good videos on RV driving tips. I picked up a couple from this as well as having a good "driving coach" help me out.

Here is a link to RV 101's YouTube page.
RV Education 101 - YouTube
There is a lot of information there, and there is a lot available here on the forum.
As to your question of size and ability to drive a coach of that size, no worries. I'm all of 5'6" and the seat and mirrors adjusted to suit me with no problems.
You will need someone outside the unit to watch when you or your sister back the coach up and provide directions. A set of walkie talkies can help out a lot with that, saves hate and discontent and avoids blue language...OK, humor font off now.

Seriously, if you have a question, ask and someone will help out.

Chris in Virginia
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2008 Smart Passion Cabriolet TOAD
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:27 PM   #7
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Thank you all so much for your quick responses - this information is very helpful! Please keep it coming. Thank you Chris for the driving tips video; will definitely watch it.

Yes, my laptop does have WiFi and my smart phone is with AT&T so I'll be sure to check with them to see what they have to offer. I think we may have the unlimited data plan (hopefully), but will need to check this also.

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