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We talk a lot about much digital advances have made it easier to work remotely than ever before.

 

But we should also acknowledge the need to truly minimize by not towing a vehicle behind your motorhome. High-quality yet affordable scooters, mountain bikes, electric bicycles... there are so many options instead of a tow vehicle.

 

We personally were going to get electric bikes, but my wife preferred having a hybrid bike instead. So I use my e-bike to make any quick trips...otherwise, we bike together, and I just lay off the throttle. We traveled up to 32mi in Tucson alone, and it was a great trip.

 

We just blogged about our success so far not having a toad. I'm wondering if anyone out there shares our sentiment about not using a tow vehicle.

 

If you're preparing a road trip and are on the fence, listen to folks who are surviving without tow vehicles!

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What do you do if groceries are needed, raining? Do you have onboard laundry, or need commercial machines? A number of things can and will crop up, of course you can always pull up stakes and use MH.

 

Jim

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But we should also acknowledge the need to truly minimize by not towing a vehicle behind your motorhome. High-quality yet affordable scooters, mountain bikes, electric bicycles... there are so many options instead of a tow vehicle........................................

 

If you're preparing a road trip and are on the fence, listen to folks who are surviving without tow vehicles!

We have done it both ways and very much prefer to tow a vehicle, but your question should bring some interesting responses. If you drive the motorhome very often to go shopping I think you could easily burn more than is saved over towing a small, fuel efficient car and some people tow vehicles like the Smart. There are sine folks towing some very fuel inefficient vehicles, but most tow something small. Of course, saving on fuel would also improve your financial picture as well as improving air quality.

 

The green issue has long been a debate among RV owners.

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What do you do if groceries are needed, raining? Do you have onboard laundry, or need commercial machines? A number of things can and will crop up, of course you can always pull up stakes and use MH.

 

Jim

 

We so far have been able to coordinate Wal-Mart visits, most of the time, to get groceries. This week, however, we walked up some pretty harsh hills with food bags hanging from our hands. That was a pretty harsh reality, but we knew it was better than trying to bike up those hills.

 

We have also timed our stops to coordinate with laundry deadlines. This week it helps because we're housesitting.

 

We have done it both ways and very much prefer to tow a vehicle, but your question should bring some interesting responses. If you drive the motorhome very often to go shopping I think you could easily burn more than is saved over towing a small, fuel efficient car and some people tow vehicles like the Smart. There are sine folks towing some very fuel inefficient vehicles, but most tow something small. Of course, saving on fuel would also improve your financial picture as well as improving air quality.

 

The green issue has long been a debate among RV owners.

I appreciate you bringing the green issue to my attention, Kirk. Always good to gain a new perspective. I think walking/biking is also pretty green, but I never considered the debate from that point of view. I enjoy doing comparisons, so I will look into our own personal impact.

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We could never be without a towed vehicle, preferably a Jeep. We have had countless wonderful experiences by being able to travel the back roads and explore. We've also done a lot of 4-wheeling and a day out with new acquaintances doing this is fantastic. When we arrive in a new area we explore. That was our idea of full-timing - see our beautiful country. We also enjoy our national parks and there's no way you could really see, for instance, Yellowstone on a bike.

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Traveling in a class A, which I believe that your Flair is, will certainly limit where you can travel, even with some form of bicycle to travel with. We found that our bikes were adequate as long as we stayed in locations that were urban with shopping or other support nearby, but as we began to take the motorhome farther out to more remote locations our bikes were somewhat limiting. One advantage that you do have is that you are younger than we were when we changed from a trailer to a motorhome so in our early years we always had the tow vehicle to use if bikes were not sufficient. We have found that now that we have passed the age of 70, our bikes just seem to run out of gas much sooner than they did even back when we first retired at age 57. The other thing that may take place for the two of you is that as you get more time on the road, you will find that you see those things which are easily accessible from the highways but are not good choices if you don't have an automobile of some type.

 

We spent most of our fulltimer travels as RV volunteers, living in places like national wildlife refuges, state and county historic sites, public parks, and some national parks and usually didn't have close by shopping, even for groceries. On two occasions, we spent several months with our nearest major shopping more than 40 miles from our RV site and it was far more convenient to leave the RV in camp.

 

But the other side of things is that you really can save some money living as you do, since an automobile has expenses like insurance and repairs that are rare for a bicycle. Because we usually tried to see everything that interested us in each place we volunteered, for at least 100 miles in all directions, the lower fuel cost of our towed vehicle helped us to justify doing the more convenient thing. In our case, over nearly 12 years of fulltime RV living, we put only 77k miles on our motorhome, but we put a total of 247k miles on the vehicles that we towed behind. If you compare the cost of fuel and maintenance for the motorhome to what we spent on our towed vehicles, we believed that our choice was the most economical for us.

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Thanks for sharing, Kirk. Based on those mileage figures you provided, it sounds like you did make the choice that made the most sense for you. Should we continue down this path more than a couple years, we may have to rethink our strategy as we continue seeking out more remote destinations.

 

In the meantime, there is enough to experience within biking/walking distance of a strategically located RV park or home base. We'll miss out on some stuff, sure, but not enough to justify the extra expense. Frankly, we're jealous of the van folks who park into city parking spaces without immediately giving themselves away.

 

We will keep a running list of those places we miss out on without a tow vehicle. And we'll be back!

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Frankly, we're jealous of the van folks who park into city parking spaces without immediately giving themselves away.

 

Who cares about giving ourselves away? We parked our former Class C on a city street in downtown Chicago. It was pure luck, though. We found two empty, metered spots located between an alley and a bus stop and right around the corner from our destination. Pull-though curb parking that only required paying both meters!

 

Linda Sand

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