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Old 10-30-2012, 10:10 AM   #1
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Deciding on what type of RV to purchase

The wife and I are in the early stages of looking for a RV and we are already having issues on which type of RV to purchase. I'm mostly interested in how some of you came to the decision on what type of RV you ended up purchasing.

Because I like to ramble and for those who like to read I'll go into more detail on our indecision.

Our family consists of me and the wife and our 3 kids (16, 14 & 10). We don't expect the oldest to camp more than 1 at most 2 years as he plans on leaving for college.

I currently have 2005 Ford F150 5.4L short bed with about 100k. I have not had great luck with this truck so I'm not very optimistic about it's future.

With that said we were originally going to look at used TT because of the ability to get more space for less money. But after discussing the fact that one child won't be with us long and my worries about the truck we starting thinking about a used Class C. We both feel in the end (when it's just the two of us) this is the type of RV we want but I worry that buying used means buying someone else's engine/other problems.

Of course if the truck dies and I have a TT it means I have to buy another truck and as most of you know they aren't cheep.

I really feel a Class C is for us but I'd love to hear why I might be better w/ a TT for now. Is there any reason to consider a 5th wheel?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.


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Old 10-30-2012, 10:38 AM   #2
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Good detail provided always helps in these cases so nice job!

In general, I advise that you buy your second trailer first. This is an old piece of advice that campers basically throw out there because of the considerable cost that goes with having to change in just a couple of years.

As for buying used. I've done it and you can get some super clean units this way. The downside is that you run the very real risk of buying someone's problem child. Be honest with your ability to spot hidden issues as you are searching for the used trailer.

The positives to buying used are that you avoid the initial depreciation hit taken with any new camper and the previous owners may well have fixed any of the inherent issues that come with new campers. This is entirely dependent on the first owners and you would do well to make sure you go through any used trailer with a fine tooth comb. A very detailed inspection by you if you are mechanically incline or a knowledgeable friend and a trusted mechanic (in the case of a C) is a must.

Hopefully those with Class C's will chime in and describe the pros and cons. Personally, I try to avoid adding another engine to the stable of 4 vehicles we already own so haven't paid too much attention to the C's (and MH's in general).

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Old 10-30-2012, 10:38 AM   #3
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sounds like you have answered your own question. I think for most people the goal is to get as much RV as they can afford, that addresses their other needs. Here are just a few things to consider:
-where will you store it? this may dictate both size and type.
-do you need to have something to drive around once you reach your camping spot? if so, then would you rather tow a trailer with a truck and use it to run around, or tow a car with motorhome.
-how much can you pull with what you have/are you willing to upgrade and keep upgrading as long as you have whatever trailer you go with.

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Old 10-30-2012, 10:41 AM   #4
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We've had all of them. From pop-up, fifth wheel to diesel pushers. Personally, with family, our decision to go with a motorhome was a no-brainer. The kids, including teen-age girls, was the deciding factor. "Are we there yet?, I have to go to the bathroom, and I am hungry" will be things of the past. Setting up a motorhome vs. fifth wheel was also a consideration. The MH is a lot less time consuming.
That being said, after owning 2 class C's, we thought getting a bigger unit would be better than the class C. Now that there are only two of us this wasn't a bad decision. But, when there were five of us the class C had more sleeping options than the A.
We never encountered any problems with the 2 class C's we owned. We have had 3 diesel pushers and I can tell you, from a maintenance/cost standpoint, the class C was the best option. It is hard to go back to less creature comforts so we continue to keep the class A.
Transportation is another factor in TT vs. MH. We never towed until recently. When we reached our destination we usually called Enterprise. They charge less than $25.00 per day and it was a lot easier than towing.
Hope this helps. It's still personal preference. They will all deliver the same experience in the end. Good luck.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:58 AM   #5
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If I were you, I'd do the following -

Seriously ponder how much you are going to use this thing - 1 trip a year? 2? Once a month? If you are only going to take a week's trip in the summer while the kids are off, then just rent a C class or trailer for that. It's a good way to see if camping is fun or not for you.

If you are worried about the expense of buying a new pickup, then I can't imagine considering the expense of a C-Class rig that is going to sit around probably most of the time. Yes you are right to be worried about buying someone else's problems. With a used unit, you can get neck deep in repair expense fairly quickly. Trailers are really cheap and fairly simple to take care of. They also usually have family layouts with sleeping for many people. Fifth wheel? Not without a substantial truck.

Don't buy for some plan down the road to full-time with the wife. If you need a family camper for the kids for a few years, get that now. Buy something else when the kids are gone.

Good luck!
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:07 AM   #6
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Good advice from wincrasher above, there is a reason that there are a great number of MH, As and Cs, with very low milage on them for sale. People buy them and then don't use them much.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:22 AM   #7
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When I first got into an RV I bought a used TT. My father advised me to get a cheaper used one, learn it, put your dings and dents in it, and make a list of what you don't like about it.

After awhile I got more confident towing it, setting it up, winterizing etc. After a couple years my wife and I bought a new TT, and working off the list of what we do and don't like - it has everything that we feel we needed. I am so glad I listened to my Dad. I would of been sick buying a new one and doing some of the awful things I did to the used one, Live and Learn as they say!

To address your dilemma, I feel a TT would have less headaches than a Class C, and I think you have to consider how much you are really going to camp. I understand your lack of faith in your towing vehicle, but maybe start with a few short camping trips just to see how it goes, then either work your way to longer trips, or consider purchasing a different truck?
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:56 AM   #8
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All great advice....

I really like the idea of purchasing your "second" first......

I also purchased a used TT first. We had never so much as camped and I wasn't sure if my wife was going to like the idea. We lived and learned over the next 5 years and we just purchased what I would consider to be the last TT unless I win the lottery, then all bets are off.

Good luck on whatever you decide........
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:21 PM   #9
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Wow!!! Write up my post... send it out before going to lunch... come back and already have a good amount of great advise.

Something I forgot to mention was that the past 2 years we have rented a TT to see if this was something we would enjoy... I guess it's pretty obvious that we love it... hence the searching for our own.

I really appreciate all the advise so far and I'm really enjoying this forum as well. The maturity level here is much better than other forums I have been apart of.

I really like the idea of buying my second RV first but at the same time I think the advise about getting all the dings and dents out of the way w/ my first "cheaper" RV is also great advise.

Thanks to all who have given their advise... going back to re-read and see if I can get any closer to a decision.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:53 PM   #10
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Hi Jae, I'm in a similar situation as you, even with almost the same truck. We didn't want the 5th wheel because I needed the truck bed for farm/yard stuff. We looked at the different motor homes, and bottom line is we couldn't afford one, with 2 teenaged boys, and 1 income, and a fat mortgage. We bought a new, inexpensive TT, and really love it. Our payments are 150.00 per month, and insurance is 12.00 per month. I like the fact that when we get to our destination, we can unhook, and go explore around the area. I like the fact that our trailer is about 25', and can fit in most campsites, with no problem. I like the fact that it weighs less than 5000 lbs. and I can pull 9800, so no having to worry about every pound.
A problem we have is the boys are growing too fast, both are 5'10" and growing, so the bunk beds are tight.
We also have over 120,000 miles on it, so a new truck is in the future, maybe a year or 2.
We don't know how long we'll have this trailer, but for now it suits us fine.

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