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Old 04-08-2018, 12:43 PM   #21
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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.
Mule
We are looking at moving from a 5th wheel to a class A, diesel pusher. I had not thought about the maintenance cost on the diesel engine. Can you provide a little more information on maintenance cost and how ofter this needs to be accomplished.
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Old 04-08-2018, 12:43 PM   #22
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We like many others have stated hate staying in hotel/motels. Forget about lugging suit cases up and down elevators,pulled fire alarms in the middle of the night, drunks yelling or running up and down the hallways banging on doors, doors slamming shut and squealing tires or roaring engines out in the parking lot! Then there's the cleanliness of the room, bed bugs ugh or what ever else that we never have to worry about.

Yes we don't save money with our Class C but we wouldn't have it any other way. We love the freedom and being able to come and go when ever we want.

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Old 04-08-2018, 12:48 PM   #23
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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.
For us it was never a thing about the money but comfort to explore new areas. We thought a Super C was it and realized for us it was a super downgrade from the TT so next came a 40' Class A. Costs went up but not much different than the super C. Two years and away it went. Finally figured what we really wanted was a 5th wheel. Now on our 3rd and at 43' fits us just right.
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Old 04-08-2018, 12:57 PM   #24
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Everyone finds out the hard way what works for them.

If you notice, KOA rents class C motorhomes with no trailer hitch to tow a car. In our C, we can still visit most attractions although we may have to park on the street or at the far part of the parking lot and walk to the attraction.
A couple of times we needed a car for a long term visit and rented one. Plus our rig is so small about all we could tow would be a Smart Car.

When we camp, we camp. So we pick up enough food and supplies before we enter the campground then enjoy ourselves camping.
A Class C is easy to unhook if you hold off on hooking up to the sewer connection until you need to dump (usually the end of a weekend trip.) We put a lock around the electric cord, just leave the water hose connected to the spigot (haven't had one stolen yet and we carry a spare) and leave the cords hooked up at the campground. Then when we get back we just reconnect to the rig.


You might try camping one time without towing the car and see if it can be done.
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Old 04-08-2018, 01:09 PM   #25
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No sizable RV will ever really be "cost-effective" compared to recreational motel use. No motel will ever really replace your RV experience. To each his own.

That said, TTs & 5ers are virtually always more cost-effective than any self-propelled RV "motor vehicle." If you can handle a TT or 5er that meets your needs, then that's the cost-effective way to go.

It's FIFTH WHEEL always for me, until I don't care about costs, and maybe even then. De-coupling is very easy if you need the TV for transportation.

To each his own.
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Old 04-08-2018, 01:31 PM   #26
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Dear RetireEarly,

The issues you stated include fuel economy and towing a toad.

We are on our 4th RV, and second 35-foot Class A.

This time we took a little different approach. We plan out our trip and decide whether or not we REALLY need a toad. Most times we don't, so we don't take one. Other times we do, and we still don't . . . pull a toad.

If we really need cruising transportation we rent a car (or what ever) when we get there. This saves on the cost and hassle of towing plus maintaining the toad. We did the math. It is much cheaper and a whole lot less hassle to rent when needed vs. owning and maintaining and hooking/unhooking a toad.

We have completed one full season without a toad. Time will tell if we change our minds, but so far, it has worked much better.
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:13 PM   #27
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......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)....
Honestly, based on the above statement, you may want to analyze if RVing is for you. I'm not trying to be rude but it just doesn't seem like RVing pleases you all that much.

Like any hobby or activity, there's a co$t and time commitment. If you're not enjoying it, get out of it.

For years, my wife and I would say "We will never own an RV...They're a waste of money". After borrowing my parents trailer in October of 2016 for a wet, three day weekend, we got hooked. What we realized was that RVing allowed us to go more places in our own comfort rather than sitting at home.

Do I like the payments? No
Do I like the insurance and licensing? No
Do I like the maintenance? No
Do I like the upgrades? Yes...that makes it exactly how we like it.

Does it allow me to explore new places and be with my family? YES

That is my value that overrides the payments, insurance and maintenance!

Ask yourself if it is yours.
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:22 PM   #28
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To add to my above post:

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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.
No, I work hard to play harder.

My vacations align around my kids' school schedule and we take one weekend a month (usually a 3 day) to disconnect and be together.

No matter what, payments are not fun; however, try to make the most of it in the off season. In January, we started setting dates and reserving site March-August (still need Sept-Nov) and it gave us all something to look forward to.

Yesterday, we got home from an 8 day trip that covered 988 miles, 2 states, 3 campgrounds and SO much together time. It was awesome and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Even in Dec, Jan and Feb, my kids are counting the days until we go camping again.
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:47 PM   #29
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We have never justified the cost of something we love - and we love camping. Given the length of Canadian winters our season is short. Even though we are retired we're lucky to camp 30 or 40 nights a season. Moving from a fifth wheel and diesel to pull it to a small moho have made it easier at our age. We purchased our car with toadability in mind but have found no need to bring it. We do just what McCormickJim outlined above. We generally just camp - not tour but have just unplugged pulled up the levellers and drove away leaving everything in place when we really have to go somewhere. Never had a problem either here in Ontario or in the US. We spent two months in Florida two years ago and rented a car for 2 weeks. Not overly expensive. We can take our furkid, sleep in our own bed and eat our own food. Come on spring I'm ready to get camping! Good luck with your decision. IMHO if you are trying to justify it financially you won't.
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Old 04-08-2018, 03:40 PM   #30
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We bought a new year old model Class C and had it about 2 years. Went through the same afterthoughts you are experiencing.

We were camping for 3 months in FL, our first long trip. One month in and one morning, DW and I had the same thought. This is not what it used to be. In the two remaining months, we turned our main goal to purchasing a mobile home.

We found what we were looking for and bought it. We left the toad in FL and returned home. We researched everything we spent on the RV and upgrades, did an inventory sheet with prices, then did a NADA search and documented those results.

Twenty-four pictures and two pages of description (inclding the NADA value) on a craigslist.org ad and brochures for prospects, it didn't take long. The first week and the first people to look bought it. We recouped nearly all of our investment. We bought it reasonable and the prices of the new ones had gone up considerably. And, it was in impeccable condition. We also listed the brake controller and the hitch separately and got all of that money back because we had bought them used in new condition. Was it luck? We have done it on other large items as well.

If you have similar circumstances, it's worth the effort. The market is strong and it's the season. Take the bull by the horns and go for it!

This past winter, we had our first experience living full time in a mobile home. What a great decision that was!!!
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Old 04-08-2018, 04:28 PM   #31
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RV vs. Hotel

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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
Don't forget the shower/bathroom. I used to travel for work, like a lot of folks did on this blog did. Even "nice" hotels/motels can be nasty! At least I know who's been in my "house!"
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Old 04-08-2018, 04:35 PM   #32
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Our camper is like a extension of our house, we have 3 bedroom house but us and our granddaughter are the only ones that sleep there. We know who sleeps in our camper and who sleeps on the couch, me.
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Old 04-08-2018, 05:06 PM   #33
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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.

Aaron
In southern part of Utah right now. Be sure to see Shoshone falls and Thousand Springs area. Now if the wind would cease (tomorrow i am told) would be great.

I also do most all repairs and fixes on motorhome and am reminded of what I was told when thinking of buying. "If you are concerned about the cost of fuel and can't run a screwdriver don't buy one.
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:07 PM   #34
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DP 'Maintenance'

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We are looking at moving from a 5th wheel to a class A, diesel pusher. I had not thought about the maintenance cost on the diesel engine. Can you provide a little more information on maintenance cost and how ofter this needs to be accomplished.
Maintenance costs on a Class A or Class C tend to be much higher than a pickup truck used for a TT or 5thWheel....both routine and fixing things that are broke. A dealership might charge $90/hour to work on a truck - but a RV shop might charge $130 to $150/hr for an RV. [And guess what....things are often harder to access and so a remove/replace a component may take much more time on a Class A or C compared to a truck.

Minor stuff...oil changes, filter changes - if you can do it yourself....save a lot of money. BUT - if you can't do it - be prepared for it to bite your wallet.

A friend brought a 2002 Class A DP...and he as poured a ton of money into fixing things - again and again and again!

I had a Class A that I did all the work on - but I hated the limited access to the engine to do minor things (like changing fan belts - while contorting my body and putting arms and hands into very tight positions)...and I lacked specialized tooling to do other things. I was happy to go to a Diesel Pickup truck (where I CAN do lots of maintenance and repairs much easier) - and a 5th wheel toy hauler to carry the wife and our toys where ever we want to go.

HINT - before buying a Class A or C ...research the reliability AND check with RV shops how much they charge per hour - and what the time it takes to do some of the routine maintenance (nothing broken)...and what the time and cost is for some typical breakdowns that do occur from time to time (like a water pump or alternator failing, the need to replace a radiator, etc.) Find out before you buy - so you are not surprised!
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:04 PM   #35
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$$$$

Last year, we traded a small TT for a larger one with more features, more room, and bigger payments. Then, DW fell and injured herself before the 2017 season began. Long story short, we only used the new TT a total of four times. Did we get our money's worth out of the new TT last year? NO. Did we enjoy when we did use it? YES. Do I regret the purchase? No, we are anxiously looking forward to the 2018 season!
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:07 PM   #36
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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.
Initial expectations when we make a purchase like this can feed frustration! It is an unhealthy attachment to a camper that we wish we could control, but we can't. Stop measuring your camping success as a function of your payments.

Its a new season. The sun is getting higher in the sky, the weather is getting warmer, and you have a chance to re-write your relationship with camping again. Stop thinking of the payments and start a plan to make new memories. You've paid for them monitarily, but you still have to create them.
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:39 PM   #37
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Lots of interesting perspectives. We aren't going to quit camping (had the old trailer from new to 5 years old, put about 5K miles on the new C last year) but we did sort of buy into a dream. That is what we get for going to RV shows. During the first year we had no toad and just started taking one after we got tired of breaking camp all the time. We like to hike and explore the area and now have determined we have to have a toad 80% of the time. So, that gets us back to being as complicated as the old trailer setup with much higher costs (our trailer was paid off). Plus, our original benefit of having both of us as drivers is gone as the wife can't deal with the toad. She loves the floor plan and features (nicer than the trailer) but last two trips have been "we are selling this stupid thing" at some point on the way home.
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:48 PM   #38
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You can either drive your home and pull your vehicle, or drive your vehicle and pull your home.
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:50 PM   #39
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Lots of interesting perspectives. We aren't going to quit camping (had the old trailer from new to 5 years old, put about 5K miles on the new C last year) but we did sort of buy into a dream. That is what we get for going to RV shows. During the first year we had no toad and just started taking one after we got tired of breaking camp all the time. We like to hike and explore the area and now have determined we have to have a toad 80% of the time. So, that gets us back to being as complicated as the old trailer setup with much higher costs (our trailer was paid off). Plus, our original benefit of having both of us as drivers is gone as the wife can't deal with the toad. She loves the floor plan and features (nicer than the trailer) but last two trips have been "we are selling this stupid thing" at some point on the way home.
My wife would not drive the C, did not even like to sit up front. The A she would do for a period while I made a snack. Messing with a toad was my problem and 4 down is the least PIA, but most expensive at well over $4K. My current F350, like the A, is a lot more comfortable than the super C ever was. Better handling too.
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:03 PM   #40
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My wife would not drive the C, did not even like to sit up front. The A she would do for a period while I made a snack. Messing with a toad was my problem and 4 down is the least PIA, but most expensive at well over $4K. My current F350, like the A, is a lot more comfortable than the super C ever was. Better handling too.
What's the $4K cost for towing the toad?
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