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New Member/ lots of questions


WayneP117
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Hello everyone, hope this post finds you well. We are new here, and have lots of questions and hope you guys can help us out. Our plan is to buy our 1st RV next year and are trying to find as much info right now as possible. We have done a ton of home work, but feel there is still alot we can learn. Let me star by saying yes, we do plan to do "FULL TIME" rving. But nothing we have heard, read, or saw has detered our mission. We fully expect things to go wrong along the way. But seem to be somewhat expectent of that.

Our family is close (2 adults/2 teens)- We enjoy spending alot of time together. Probably more so than others. I hear alot of ppl telling me how hard it will be traveling with teens, but not knowing mine very well. We have done tent camping many times- for a week- and are always disappointed it didn't last longer. Our life style isn't driven by possessions, we're very simple. So full time rving makes sense. To start with we want to stay fairly local, surrounding states until we get bills payed off and the kids get off to college. And yes, get the RV paid for too- then its a NATION WIDE travel. We're pretty set on what we think meets our needs, but don't mind any advice.

CLASS A- 30-36 ft- biggest needs= walk around bed (Mastor)- large shower (Ba rm)- couch in living room/ eventually we wil tow a sm car down the road.

I am partial to fleetwood & Winnebagos, but the wife likes Thors. I am told to stay clear of Thor and Jaycos. I have even been told many models took a dip when the economy dropped in 08 ( anyone have any REAL GOOD INSIGHT ON THAT?)

We wannna buy used- probably a couple years old, with low miles- Under $70K.

We hear leakes, and rust are the 2 biggest issues, what else?

What brands do ya like, don't like.....why.

Does anyone have insight on extended warrenties?

What can I expect to pay monthly at an avg state park?

Thanks for any help.

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39 minutes ago, WayneP117 said:

...What can I expect to pay monthly at an avg state park?...

Welcome to the Escapees Forum!!!

I don't own a motorhome so will only comment about what I know based on personal experience. Most state parks do not allow monthly stays for other than resident volunteers. Many have a 14-21 day limit and some like New Mexico State Parks require a specific time out period before you can stay at the same park again. Some have a weekly rate and some have annual passes which may or may not be available to non-residents. Here are a couple of links to State Park pass information: Entrance & Camping Passes, Camping Passes.

Again, Welcome to the Escapees Forum!!!!

Edited by trailertraveler
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I'd wait for fulltiming until the bills are paid off and  kids are off to college.  Class As sleep 2, dinner for 4, cocktails for 8.   You don't say what the sex is for the kids (both same or one of each) but to expect them to make up and take down the couch each night (or someone on the floor) is a lot and what are you going to do when it rains and rains and rains and rains.    What is fun for a weekend, or even 2 week vacation, becomes a nightmare for weeks on end.

The only way people spend MONTHS in state parks is to become camp hosts - which might be what you want to consider, but certainly not with teenagers with them.  

If we were looking, I'd go with an older Newmar DP.    

Barb

 

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23 minutes ago, Barbaraok said:

I'd wait for fulltiming until the bills are paid off and  kids are off to college.  Class As sleep 2, dinner for 4, cocktails for 8.   You don't say what the sex is for the kids (both same or one of each) but to expect them to make up and take down the couch each night (or someone on the floor) is a lot and what are you going to do when it rains and rains and rains and rains.    What is fun for a weekend, or even 2 week vacation, becomes a nightmare for weeks on end.

The only way people spend MONTHS in state parks is to become camp hosts - which might be what you want to consider, but certainly not with teenagers with them.  

If we were looking, I'd go with an older Newmar DP.    

Barb

 

Current life style will only pro-long getting into an RV. Too much money is spent in our current life style- So that won't work.

Our kids are excited about living in an RV.

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I agree with Barb in that making up a sofa bed every night gets tiresome very quickly. We did that but it was not fun. Plus, when sick and needing to sleep in the daytime it makes it hard for the rest of the family to live. So, I'd be looking for a bunk bed model making sure the bunks are long enough for the kids.

When you find one you think might work the whole family needs to go see it and "practice" living in it. That mean going through the motions of daily living. Do your feet fit in front of the toilet? Is there enough room in the shower to not be bumping the walls? Is there enough elbow room at the table? Are the chairs comfortable for a length of time or just for the first few minutes? Is there enough room to pass one another in the aisles? If there are slides, could you live with them pulled in when winds are bad? Can you watch TV without getting a crick in your neck? Where will you hang wet coats/clothes when it rains? Where will you keep legal and other important papers? Is there enough closet space for four people? Etc.

RVing is a great lifestyle for many. I hope you find it to be so.

Linda Sand

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I know Winnebago has made bunk bed MH. I would suggest that model vs. setting up the sofa each night. Also several gas MH have a bunk bed(1 person) over the driver area. We drop ours down and use it for extra storage.Go to a few shows to see what is currently available. Pretend you are living  in it and the traffic flow. Especially on a rainy day. Also, where is everyone going to sit, do homework etc.

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Welcome to the Escapees forums! It is great having you with us. I'd assume that you hail from SC so you are in an area of pretty mild winters and that makes it much more practical to do as you are planning. 

5 hours ago, WayneP117 said:

We wannna buy used- probably a couple years old, with low miles- Under $70K.

This will mean that you shop for gasoline-powered coaches. While you will find that many here consider a diesel to be vital to fulltime RV living, we lived in our gas coach for nearly 12 years and would have been in it longer had not age-related health issues gotten in the way. As long as you carefully select an RV of good quality, you should be able to make this work. Diesels do have a higher mileage lifespan but modern gas coaches should serve well for 150k to 200k miles.

5 hours ago, WayneP117 said:

We hear leakes, and rust are the 2 biggest issues, what else?

I would agree that leaks are a major issue but never heard of a coach with rust problems. Regular maintenance of the coach exterior is the key to leak prevention and prompt repairs if a leak should happen is vital to minimize its effect. Other things are not numerous as long as you maintain the coach religiously and drive carefully. 

5 hours ago, WayneP117 said:

What brands do ya like, don't like.....why.

Denigrating of a particular brand of RV will often cause hard feelings among those who own them so I have learned not to do that publically. If you really want my opinion on that side of things, send me a private message and I'll be happy to share my opinion. For the best quality of gas coaches, I would rate the Allegro by Tiffin as my #1. Not far behind would be Newmar and Winnebago & Itasca is really from Winnebago and comparable. The reason is very simple. All three of those brands enjoy a very long history and reputation for quality construction and strong dealer and factory support. They are not the only quality gas coaches but they top many people's lists.

5 hours ago, WayneP117 said:

Does anyone have insight on extended warrenties?

This is a subject that I have researched extensively and one which was part of my business before I retired, although mine was not RV related. Even so, I am the author of an article that was published by Escapees Magazine and five years later it was updated and published again. I invite you to use the link above and read it for yourself. 

5 hours ago, WayneP117 said:

What can I expect to pay monthly at an avg state park?

As others have stated, most state parks do not have a monthly rate and most have a length of stay limit. Parks by the US Army Corps of Engineers tend to be very nice and cost less so look into those. Annual park passes are also a good buy and you should also visit RV Park Reviews and look at the commercial parks as you could call them to see what their monthly rate would be. For traveling, you need a membership in Passport America which is a half price group.

 

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How old are your teens?  Going on camping trips for a week is quite different than living in a RV trailer park permanently with much-reduced possessions and close quarters.  Have you accurately described to the children how they will be living?  It won't be in state park-type surroundings with hiking trails and perhaps a river or lake.  What activities do they do now outside of school?  Sports? Clubs? What about their friends?  I assume they will stay in the same school and will need to be living in the same area. Are there RV parks there?  Or.... will they be home-schooled?

Traveling with teens can most certainly be done. I'm not trying to talk you out of your plan.  However, I'm just wondering if the children really know what they will be giving up and how they will be living.  Think carefully on this.  They should have a voice in this, also.

If you can hang in there until they are out of high school I think it would be a lot easier on all of you.

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We have a jack-knife couch, so each day it requires moving all of the bedding (including the mattress topper) to another place (usually on top of our bed) until the evening, then getting the couch back up into place again.  Repeat at night with having to remake the bed.     If we had a hide-a-bed it might be easier.   And if we are talking about a motorhome,  I have never seen one with the coach running across the width of the coach.

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6 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

if we are talking about a motorhome,  I have never seen one with the couch running across the width of the coach.

They are common in Class Bs but that would not be appropriate for this family.

If you do have a jack-knife sofa, however, we learned a trick. Put the corners of the fitted sheet on the back of the bed before you lower the back. Much easier to reach that way.

Linda Sand

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On 5/9/2018 at 10:30 AM, WayneP117 said:

Current life style will only pro-long getting into an RV. Too much money is spent in our current life style- So that won't work.

Our kids are excited about living in an RV.

Instead of a Fleetwood (had one, not so impressed anymore) look to the bunk-bed arrangements of a Berkshire, Holiday Rambler, or other make that has the floorplan you like/love. (We're partial to our 41ft Berkshire, even without the extra 1/2 bath) Of course, it will be longer than the target 36ft you are hoping for but for the 2 to 5 feet extra length, you get a 1 1/2 bath which is MUCH more convenient.

Under 70k could be a hard stretch for anything less than 10-15 years old that will be worth it. Start looking hard at the offerings at PPL and RVTrader to give you a better idea. One thing you'll definitely see is the lack of Thors - they simply do not appear to last.

Extended warranties - will depend on the rig, age and condition. Really shop and above all, look at exclusionary policies fi you must have one. If keeping a war chest is within your grasp, you may want to consider doing without the warranty and keeping the cash held back for investing, etc.

State parks are not necessarily economical in comparison to commercial parks. For one thing, state parks rarely offer discounts nor do they offer weekly/monthly rates and their base prices (at least out west) seem to be inflated so as to not be too competitive. Ranging from $20 for primitive, no hookups all the way up to $40 and higher for full hookups. Best deal seems to be New. Mexico money wise though we've not done a state camp there yet.

You've chosen a good course to follow in doing the research. The more research you do now, the better, more financially wise decisions will follow..

 

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No matter what you buy make sure you have a slush fund for unexpected items. If you buy used check the age of the tires, tires on RVs age out, don't wear out. Also check batteries age. If you need to replace these items figure $400-$600 per tire and $100 per battery(unless you go AGM, then $200). I would ball park a slush fund to get the RV ready of around $5000 just to be safe.

Since I guess you will be working from the road you will need a reliable internet mi-fi. If you are serious about this you will need set up a mail forwarding service (Escapees has a great one) and  move all your bills etc. to the  new address, medical insurance(unless you get it from work), don't forget you will need full time insurance. You will also need to determine which state will be your domicile and get your registration and DL for that state plus new insurance. Your food expenses will probably go up also as you can't really shop sales or Sams Club for bulk items. The list goes on and on.

I am sure you have thought about most of this but it doesn't hurt to reiterate.

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