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Old 04-06-2018, 01:46 PM   #1
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Regret one year into $$$ purchase?

One year ago we did a major upgrade from a small Jayco trailer to a 2017 Forester class C. We thought we could travel farther with greater ease and it would be so much easier to drive, etc. Some of that was true, but it has turned out to be almost as much hassle as the old trailer due to needing a toad and the costs are higher than we were told (8 mpg on a good day, taxes, insurance, upgrades needed, etc). Also, it still handles poorly after several upgrades.

So, I really wish we had never done it. For the money we have wrapped up in this thing we could afford several nights in hotels/park lodges every month with none of the hassle (storage, maintenance, etc).

Does anyone else regret spending so much just to go camping one weekend a month? We are still working, so at most we get a few weekends and a couple weeks per year.
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:18 PM   #2
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Many years ago we had a class C motorhome that we bought used. We were limited to about the same amount of time. We had some great trips and wonderful memories from the years we had her. They are costly but if you enjoy traveling, it's a great way to go. We both hate hotels and we are beyond wanting to tent camp anymore. Maybe if you don't know how to maintain her, you could learn some of the easier maintenance/repair things you can do to cut down on costs.
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:56 PM   #3
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We have a Class C, Coachmen Concord 300DS. It is our... 5th? RV in 40 years, so far it has been a great fit for us. We use it for boondocking in parking lots while doing volunteer work, two week stints while babysitting projects in other states. Traveling to and from places we want to see.

Everybody has different needs/wants and you have to find what works for you. My bride and I both travel for a living and we don't like hotels that much anymore. I have traveled for work for the past 25 years, she has been a Flight Attendant for over 30.

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Old 04-08-2018, 06:54 AM   #4
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I am doing most of the maintaining (oil changes and such), it is more the making the payment in months we don't use it that irritates me. Yes, it is nice to not have to stay in hotels and sleep in your own bed. We just need to use it more I guess, hopefully it lasts until we retire!
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:29 AM   #5
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We avoid motels at all cost....... the last one we stayed in a higher end type had a bloody mattress with no mattress pad......... they were full and busy and of no help. All motels were booked in town so it was stay in that room or go home........... the motels was out of linens too ........we finally got towels at 8 PM...... At least with a camper we have some control

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Old 04-08-2018, 07:46 AM   #6
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Yep....

I kinda agree with you, retireearly. One of my DW's selling points in going with the "C" was not having to hitch up. Well, guess what? We have to hitch up the Liberty. And to be truthful, it's more complicated than just backing up the SUV and dropping the trailer hitch on the ball and putting the bars on the WDH. And the insurance! Like my previous agent stated, "Larry, you have another vehicle - and it has a house on the chassis!" I've made some chassis upgrades and it has improved the handling. I'm getting about the same mileage as I did with my Armada and Flagstaff. One thing we REALLY miss? The bathroom in the Flagstaff. I'm about 6'2" and 225# - I don't think I can get in the bathroom if I were any larger.
Now, on a positive note.... LOVE the pass through storage in the rear of the "C" and having an on-board generator. Plus, lots more storage in the "C" than our Flagstaff.
We live and we still learn.... after all these years.
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:51 AM   #7
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I know who slept in the bed last night. We have stayed in motels before, we went to Disney World last year twice and stayed in resorts but from now on we will stay at the campground. I know the camper cost more to keep up and dragging the camper around sometimes is not a whole lot of fun. Believe me we could stay at some very nice hotels for what the camper cost. If we are going on a trip we take the camper, truck rides good too
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:29 AM   #8
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I am doing most of the maintaining (oil changes and such), it is more the making the payment in months we don't use it that irritates me. Yes, it is nice to not have to stay in hotels and sleep in your own bed. We just need to use it more I guess, hopefully it lasts until we retire!
Buying an RV to save money is a losing proposition...

I do all my own maintenance, including stuff like reworking slides, upgrades, re-roofing and what have you. I have the tools, skill set and space. Time is a different story, but given what the RV repair centers charge and the questionable quality of their work I come out ahead of the game. We bought new this time around so I wouldn't have to rebuild it first. Been down that road more than once. The last one was an Airstream, loved it, but it took way too much time to rebuild everything, decide we would rather camp than work on it.

Everything is a compromise, you just have to figure what works for you. We have friends that take cruises 3-4 times a year. They spend more in a year than we do on RV payments and camping fees. To each their own. One thing my bride does when setting up our yearly budget is put a fixed amount in every month for the RV that includes longer trips. On the months we don't use it all, she puts it towards the principal on the RV loan.

Some people buy fancy sports cars, carbon fiber bicycles, motor cycles, boats, airplanes or go golfing. We go camping and use our RV. We have been averaging once a month since we bought it 2 years ago. We missed two months when my MIL had to have a heart valve replaced. We have a long (for us) 2-3 week trip planned for this fall. My MIL wants to see Utah for some reason, so we will load up and head that way.

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Old 04-08-2018, 08:39 AM   #9
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I understand. I started with camping in a tent. Happy but not comfortable. So, bought a Georgetown motorhome. Very comfortable. 1 and 1/2 bath plan. Sold after it after 5 years and bought a Bounder turbo diesel with same floor plan. This is where things got expensive and complicated. The Bounder has a longer wheel base making it impossible to get it on my storage pad at home without venturing into the grass and creating canyon ruts. Taking my Harley and a toad was an unbelievable hassle.
Additionally, the maintenance on the Diesel was eating me out of house and home.
Now I sold the Bounder in 2015 and waited for a Toy Hauler fifth wheel that fits my needs.
Got the fifth Wheel and can't wait to start using it.
I guess if it does not work I will go back to the tent.
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:53 AM   #10
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My only regret is that I don't have more to spend..............
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:57 AM   #11
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I am in the "If I had known then what I know now" group.

We bought the Class C with the plan to use it for weekends and vacations until I retire in 2021. We pull a trailer with the motorcycle in it to use for day trips while camped.

Last august my employer made me an early retirement offer I couldn't refuse. We are wintering in TX in the motorhome and it simply is not designed for long term living. I towed the trailer with the motorcycle and DW followed me with the car. It works pretty good but I would much rather have 5th wheel toy hauler.

This summer we are going to do a lot of shopping and see if we can find a suitable TH and a tow vehicle which we can afford.
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:57 AM   #12
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Aaron,
"Some people buy fancy sports cars, carbon fiber bicycles, motor cycles, boats, airplanes or go golfing..." Yes, you are so right. My sister travels south to visit her granddaughter, staying in a hotel for a week or two, has to eat out, etc. We bought a 5th wheel and use it to travel to see out son in SC and watch him perform on the drumline at Clemson. Hotels book far ahead and are terribly expensive on game weekends. We camp for $15-30 a night and save on eating out. The other reason we do this is for the mental health break of shear relaxation. Everyone has their own reasons, like you say. How much someone spends on golfing (country club membership or greens fees) is up to them, and like camping, depending on where you live, you can't do it year round. The first year we bought our 5'er I kind of thought, "what were we thinking?" But that thought has dissolved now that I know how much we enjoy it, as well as our 16 year old daughter and her friends that tag along sometimes. As soon as I hop in the truck and we start towing it down the road, I feel the stress just slip away. I too, like your DW, plan book all our getaways. Gives me something to look forward to as we wait for winter to let go it its grip and spring to arrive. Happy travels!
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:03 AM   #13
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Our son and his young family was contemplating buying an RV. They would only use it 5 or 6 times a year, mainly to go to the Glamus dunes for an ATV weekend.

We sat down with him and went over all the costs. All the time needed for maintenance. The likely lifespan of any RV. Not a pretty picture for an occasional use RV.

He lives near Tucson. The area has several places that rent out very nice RVs. Motorhomes and towables. So he rents a towable for $130 a day for an avg of four days a trip. He already had a Duramax for towing. So far it has worked out exceptionally well.

So until you are in a position to use an RV enough to warrant buying one, renting is definitely an option.
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:14 AM   #14
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Retirearly,
Do you have a "local" campground by you--say within an hour's drive that you could set up and leave your RV for a couple of weeks and then come and go as you please? We have a 5th wheel; our first purchase of an RV. This year because my DD gets out of school the beginning of June & I don't finish until nearly the end of June, we are setting up at campground near enough to us that the DH &I can commute to work from there and she isn't bored and I'm not looking at the RV in the yard stewing all of June (like I did last year)because we can't get away due to my school schedule. This way we feel we are using it, relaxing after work, can invite friends/family over for a visit, etc. Maybe this is an option for you? The rest of the summer I book state parks and we go to a FROG rally that is close to us (like this forum, they are a good way find out how others cope and get good ideas, and have fun) Aaron is right, golfers, boaters, all face this dilemma. It's up to each of us to find our "sweet spot."
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:34 AM   #15
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I agree if looking strictly at the cost itís hard to justify the monthly payment and insurance of having a rv of any type. However when is the last time you stayed at hotel around a campfire with friends, or sat in your chairs watching wildlife or just walked out you door to hike or fish . Plus my floor plan allows me an earlier riser to wake up and drink my pot of coffe and read without disturbing wife and daughter. Since the wife pays the bills I donít feel the pain as bad
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:44 AM   #16
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I haven't owned or used a motorhome as an adult, but we had one when I was a kid. We only ever did destination camping. That is, we set up camp and stayed in the campground. Fishing, lake activity, hiking, etc. were our activities. So, we never had a TOAD. As a kid, going from a trailer to a MH was a game-changer. Obviously, in a MH, when on a long drive, you can sit at a table and play cards, go lay down on a bed and take a nap, etc. Just brilliant for the journey.

As an adult, we tend to explore the areas and towns by which we camp. For lots of reasons already covered, I wouldn't get a MH (sorry, kids!). Plus, I couldn't afford one. As NMWildcat and others have stated, it's a money-losing proposition.

I actually run complex spreadsheets to monetize the annual costs and the per-night costs of using my relatively cheap trailer. It ends up being around 22 nights that amortizes my costs enough to be about on par with cheaper hotels. Again, that's for a light, cheap trailer and staying at $18-26/night campgrounds.

So, maybe for about the same $$, you can stay at the Hampton Inn, sleep in a nicer bed, shower in a bigger more comfortable bathroom, eat a breakfast that someone made for you, and jump in a heated pool to relax ... and you don't smell like campfire smoke. But, the conversation just shifted to lifestyle choices. I prefer to be in the woods, even if it's not any cheaper to live simply. Weird, in a way, to essentially pay a premium to have fewer creature comforts.

My advice is to get rid of the MH, since it's causing you frustration. The financial sting is always rough, but maybe it's better to tear off the band-aid all at once rather than die the death of a thousand cuts. A trailer might be more your style, cheaper to buy, cheaper to own, etc.

Good luck.
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:49 AM   #17
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Regret one year into $$$ purchase?

Years ago I had a POC 4-wheeler while my buddies had nice atvs. I would spend hours working on it, break down on trips and have to get towed back. I finally bought a new one. The payment was $165 a month and I always said it was worth at least $150 a month to have it ready in a minutes notice. Even if I never used it.

I will never ďuseĒ the moneys worth from our RV. We donít camp much(maybe someday life will move over), but we went exploring for a camping spot with grandson and he was all about it. Pointing out spots, wanted to go get OUR trailer. It was sooo sweet. That day was worth a few payments. BTW he just turned 5 and we got a little girl on the way.
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:10 AM   #18
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One year ago we did a major upgrade from a small Jayco trailer to a 2017 Forester class C. We thought we could travel farther with greater ease and it would be so much easier to drive, etc. Some of that was true, but it has turned out to be almost as much hassle as the old trailer due to needing a toad and the costs are higher than we were told (8 mpg on a good day, taxes, insurance, upgrades needed, etc). Also, it still handles poorly after several upgrades.

So, I really wish we had never done it. For the money we have wrapped up in this thing we could afford several nights in hotels/park lodges every month with none of the hassle (storage, maintenance, etc).

Does anyone else regret spending so much just to go camping one weekend a month? We are still working, so at most we get a few weekends and a couple weeks per year.
I'm in agreement with you. Yep, bad decision.
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:19 AM   #19
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Aaron,
"Some people buy fancy sports cars, carbon fiber bicycles, motor cycles, boats, airplanes or go golfing..." Yes, you are so right. My sister travels south to visit her granddaughter, staying in a hotel for a week or two, has to eat out, etc. We bought a 5th wheel and use it to travel to see out son in SC and watch him perform on the drumline at Clemson. Hotels book far ahead and are terribly expensive on game weekends. We camp for $15-30 a night and save on eating out. The other reason we do this is for the mental health break of shear relaxation. Everyone has their own reasons, like you say. How much someone spends on golfing (country club membership or greens fees) is up to them, and like camping, depending on where you live, you can't do it year round. The first year we bought our 5'er I kind of thought, "what were we thinking?" But that thought has dissolved now that I know how much we enjoy it, as well as our 16 year old daughter and her friends that tag along sometimes. As soon as I hop in the truck and we start towing it down the road, I feel the stress just slip away. I too, like your DW, plan book all our getaways. Gives me something to look forward to as we wait for winter to let go it its grip and spring to arrive. Happy travels!
I am fortunate to live in NC where camping year round is feasible if you are flexible.

We were down around Savannah, GA for a week in early December, then January did a weekend close to home. Then in early March spent a week in Augusta, GA for work. Best part is they paid for it!

We keep the motor home plugged up at home, again fortunate, we have plenty of room (40 acres). I will do a quick blow out of the water lines if we have really cold weather coming. Otherwise I leave a small space heater inside set on low with the gas furnace set for 48į. We can go from "want to go camping this weekend?" to out the door and down the road in 30 minutes to an hour. Longer trips we do have to plan for which can be a challenge with our work schedules.

When we made the decision to move up to the motor home we agreed that it needed to be used at least once a month to justify the expense. So far so good.

Aaron
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Old 04-08-2018, 12:39 PM   #20
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We have a 2008 Montana 5th wheel and a 2004 Chevy 3/4T diesel PU> We keep thinking about selling and getting a motorhome, but the cost is too much. And I get 10+ MPG towing. So glad we have not pulled the trigger
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