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what kind of a rig to buy ?


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Hi all,


We are now near to buy an RV and we need your opinion about what kind of RV we should buy :)


I know that nobody can decide for us and that the last word will remain with us but advices are always welcomed.

We are now retirees and would like to spend 6 months (2 x 3) per year in United States touring your wonderful country.

We are accustomed to spend one month per year the last 14 years (rented Class A or C MH).

Now we think it's time to buy one :) cause renting an RV for six months could be expensive especially if we use the RV in the coming 5 or 10 years (si dios quiere :) )


Either a class A with a small towed car or a 5 wheels.


We intend to store the RV (and the truck if we go for a 5 ) in Texas.


Budget : around 60 000 USD.


We have never driven a 5 wheels.

What about the driving licences ? any special rules or our French licence (plus international driver licence ) for cars would be ok?


thank you in advance for your advices or opinion.






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We look forward to having you come and visit us. I suggest that you start by reading this article which was written by a member of these forums who has done exactly what you are considering and who was then kind enough to write about how to do it. That will give you a great deal of very useful information. The author is from Australia and has been visiting the US for many years now.


I suspect that a class A might serve you best, but we also know a couple from the UK who did this same thing using a fifth wheel trailer and you can see what they have to say by reading their story, which is some years old now but quite similar to that of Bruce. You will find that much of what they suggest is the same or very similar.


Your present license will work fine here but vehicle insurance will cost more if you do not get a US license. Driver's licenses here are issued by each state and not by the federal government as is also true for motor-vehicle registrations so you must have a US address that is acceptable to the state in order to get these things and also to insure the chosen RV. As such I strongly suggest that you become a member of the Escapees RV Club as the address which they provide will take care of that problem.


Feel free to ask as many questions as you wish and we will be pleased to assist you in every way that we are able.

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I have only done TT and MH, for us the MH was the way to go to have access to the bathroom without stopping. In a MH the ride is not very quite as your dishes and pantry items dance as you go down the road. In 5er or TT they still dance but you don't hear them. I am very happy with our MH but think if the bathroom issue was not a factor I'd go with a 5er, especially if I was full time. IMHO YMMV.



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We are accustomed to spend one month per year the last 14 years (rented Class A or C MH).


Budget : around 60 000 USD.






I see that there are already those that will tell you what is best for you (that is what they do). :blink:


But considering what you said.... Which did you like the best during those years? Which did you dislike?


What are your interests.... Cities, wide open spaces, lots of driving, lots of sitting, or a combination?



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If you have never driven any type trailer, you might find it easier to stay with what you are familiar with in the motorized RVs. The most limiting thing that I see is your budget, since $60, 000 will make it tight to buy both the RV and either a tow truck or car. I suggest that you may want to do some early shopping via the internet to get a better feel for the prices of both RVs and of cars/trucks well before you travel over here and suggest for RV's you should look through the listings at PPL RV Sales from Houston and also at Motorhome Specialists in the Dallas area. Both list a wide range of prices for all types of RV both for sale and recently sold to get an idea of what the various units are selling for. Both of these RV sellers are familiar with selling to people from outside of the US so should be able to help you with that.


To do that same thing for both cars and trucks, look through the inventory for Car-Max and use either Houston or Dallas, TX as your location to get a feel for what the prices will be. Remember that if you choose to tow a fifth wheel you will need to buy a truck rated as F350/3500 or higher to be able to tow most better quality fifth wheel trailers and there will be additional expense in getting the proper hitch equipment installed into that truck. Of course, with a car there is the need for towing equipment also to pull it behind a motorhome.

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Opinions are like .....


Another thought is where do you want to spend the night.


If you love RV Parks, then TT are great.


If you want to boondocks a bunch, then a MM may suite your needs better.


It is all about what you want to do while traveling.


No right answer!



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Welcome aboard. You'll have fun regardless of what you buy. I always advice folks to decide on what sort of camping they want to do before they decide on the type of RV. But seeing you have quite a few years of experience already RVing in the USA I would suggest starting with your budget. Given your budget and experience I would suggest a C Class and a small toad. You can spend a lot of money on an A Class and still get it 'wrong'. It wont hurts as much financially with a C Class. Allowing more of thebudget for the toad.

If you're like us you will spend a lot of time driving the scenic roads. So a C Class with a comfortable bed and a 'good' toad would be my suggestion.


Either way. Good luck. And remember even on difficult days it's better than working!!!!!



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Since you have experience renting both class A and C motor homes, you should have a good idea of what you're getting into. We chose a diesel pusher 36' based on our experiences with a 29' fifth wheel, a small motor home, a travel trailer and various pickup truck campers along with many years of owning a cruising sailboat (32'). Right now we are comfortable with our motor home but I'm convinced that once you're accustomed to living in an RV it's easy to just pick it right back up again regardless of type as long as you have some idea of what space you're comfortable with.


If you get an RV with slides remember to test it for livability with the slides in as well as slides out. The other night we were startled by a huge Monaco class A that parked next to us late in the evening at a casino in northern California. The spaces are not wide (basically a parking lot) and we were not at all sure that we could open our door to get out (we could - barely). When the DW took the dogs for a walk the owner and his wife came out and apologized for being so close. Their story was that they could not get into the bed without putting at least that slide out!


On this last trip we were introduced to some SKP parks and our ideas about "home base" have changed as a result. Between relatively low rentals rates, available memberships, and purchases of deeded lots (in some parks) we are pretty sure that this is the direction we're going to take when we can cut loose on at least a snowbird basis. Many SKP parks also have storage available for member RVs as this allows the spaces to be rented out (a major source of operating funds).


Waiting lists - once 5 or even 10 years long - are now significantly reduced in many co-op parks.


Our idea is to sell our real estate (some chosen for RV potential) and move between one owned lot and at least one SKP spot. Right now it appears that this can significantly reduce our yearly costs (although it can cost more up front... but much of *that* money can be recovered later).


For US residents this also gives RVers a place to call "home" for longer periods if needed. Worth looking into as long as you're committing to years of RVing in this country, I think.


Good luck! :)



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We have a class a that we love. It's essentially a house on wheels. Weigh your pros and cons. May I suggest broadening your budget though if you are looking for a class a. Ours is selling for 79,000 - and it's a beautiful , but top of the line will run you over 100,000.

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  • 1 month later...

Brunsje makes a good point that I used to pick. What "style" of travel are you thinking; short stays or long stays. Go to some shows and talk to folks; they love to share their thoughts. It's essential that you get inside these two options - 5er vs. motorcoach - sit down for a while, try to image living in it. Where would your stuff go or pets hang out. MH's are smaller inside than 5th wheels.


Take your budget, then go to a couple sites, like RVtrader. Match up your formed expectations around what you can get. Don't be fooled by buying something that's not mechanically shoud, just because it has bells and whistles. Start with a sound foundation: frame, motor train, if applicable, suspension, mechanical systems, etc....you can fix little stuff, but you don't want to have a big blow up later. For me, I preferred to buy a little older brand with fewer gadgets but a better built bone structure, than a lessor brand, with newer gadgets.


If you're stretching to get to $60K, don't buy something that's a higher risk with respect to a maintenance blow up. You can mitigate some of this risk by an extended warranty, if available.


Good luck.

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