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Dennis K

Never owned an RV but going to live in one

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Ditto on the recommendation of a park model.  A park model is a  "trailer" of sorts that is not intended to be moved very often, if at all.  It will be smaller than what we think of as Mobile homes, and very appropriate for one person.  The difference between that and the trailers you have been looking at is that the insulation will be better and it will be more like a home.  It also will be closer to the ground.  They will also have permanent sewage, water, and electric connections and bigger appliances.

As you are looking at RV parks, ask if you can add a small storage shed.  Most trailers have very little storage.

Here are a couple of random sites that show park models for sale:

https://rvpmt.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjw_Y_8BRBiEiwA5MCBJonBfv2ZODFwRXqQLZUHrPzQep2zfkUzvKIOf-jCOUiPyMGdbB2DYhoCCJQQAvD_BwE

http://wthsinc.com/component/jea/?start=80#

https://at.parkmodelsdirect.com/

And because park models are not moved often, they are often found for sale in mobile home or RV parks.

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3 hours ago, Dennis K said:

Thanks Solo18. I will check them out. I had seen a few on RVTrader but initially thought were too big. Certainly reconsidering now.

Park models are required to be less than 400 sq. ft. Any bigger and they get classified as mobile homes.

Another difference between RVs and park models is RVs come fully furnished whereas park models are more like apartments although sellers of used units may include furniture.

Linda

Edited by sandsys

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8 hours ago, sandsys said:

Another difference between RVs and park models is RVs come fully furnished whereas park models are more like apartments although sellers of used units may include furniture.

When we shopped park models, we found that most makes offered both furnished and unfurnished models, as well as partially furnished which was most common. I think that all of them we saw had all of the major appliances. Almost all of the used ones we looked at had some furniture. When not traveling they have major advantages over an RV as you do not have waste tanks to deal with, they have household appliances that use 120v electricity while an RV has mostly 12V appliances, they do not have any 12V electric system/battery but use 120v lights and other things the same as a house. 

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Thanks for the info on park models

I went to Holiday World in Katy Texas last weekend and they had a 2009 Carriage Cameo 35SB3 5th wheel on the lot. The salesman told me that this brand, pre 2015 or so, was among the best built if not THE best built RV out there. He said it is a "tank", solid as a rock. Couldn't find a lot of reviews about the brand but, all I did find were very good reviews (4 & 5 star). While I was there I didn't look at it too closely because I wasn't really considering a 5th wheel. It was very nice for a 11-12 tear old RV. I certainly don't want to buy the truck needed to pull it but since my immediate intent is not to travel with it, that may not matter. They are asking $24+K for it. Outside decals were not in great shape. carpet on the inside a little worn but not too bad. Any thoughts or comments?

https://www.hwhrv.com/inventory/?search_condition=Used&search_make=Carriage&search_dropdown_Min_years=1998&search_dropdown_Max_years=2022

They may have photo shopped the pictures of the outside a bit. I don't remember the decals looking that good

Thanks, Dennis K

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11 minutes ago, Dennis K said:

Thanks for the info on park models

I went to Holiday World in Katy Texas last weekend and they had a 2009 Carriage Cameo 35SB3 5th wheel on the lot. The salesman told me that this brand, pre 2015 or so, was among the best built if not THE best built RV out there. He said it is a "tank", solid as a rock. Couldn't find a lot of reviews about the brand but, all I did find were very good reviews (4 & 5 star). While I was there I didn't look at it too closely because I wasn't really considering a 5th wheel. It was very nice for a 11-12 tear old RV. I certainly don't want to buy the truck needed to pull it but since my immediate intent is not to travel with it, that may not matter. They are asking $24+K for it. Outside decals were not in great shape. carpet on the inside a little worn but not too bad. Any thoughts or comments?

https://www.hwhrv.com/inventory/?search_condition=Used&search_make=Carriage&search_dropdown_Min_years=1998&search_dropdown_Max_years=2022

They may have photo shopped the pictures of the outside a bit. I don't remember the decals looking that good

Thanks, Dennis K

I would steer clear of them if they photoshop any pictures

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At $24k, they've got lots of negotiating room. Like, $6-$8k of room. Do some comparison shopping on rvt.com, PPL.com, and any others you can find before you buy.

Edited by Darryl&Rita

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NADA listings for that particular RV are from $21,000(low retail) to $25,400(average retail). The Cameo was one with a very good reputation. The company closed up after the 2012 model year. 

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Do you understand about RV holding tanks? Your toilet flushes into a tank. You have to wait until that tank is at least half full but not wait until it is completely full then hook up a hose to that tank and open a valve to transfer the effluent into an RV dump. Then you have to rinse the hose and put it away again until the next time you need to dump. You cannot leave the hose connected and the valve open because you need the solids to become liquid before dumping. Otherwise the solids stay in the tank and fill it up on their own and then you have a real problem.

I highly recommend you stop looking at RVs and start looking a park models because park models flush just like toilets in apartments do. There is no reason to have to do all that an RV requires if you don't plan to move it.

Linda Sand

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From the photos the Carriage looks very nice.  If you didn't want to buy a truck you could always have it moved to the RV park for you.  There are companies that do it or even the dealer may.

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Don't forget that park models will have the utilities more insulated.  In an trailer or 5th wheel or even motorhome, they are up off the ground, so you are going to have to worry about pipes freezing and you will end up having to spend money having the underneath protected from weather.  A park model will be much more like a tiny house or tiny apartment in that there will be less worries.  Also, big point, is that you will burn a LOT less propane.  I was in northeastern Ohio last November getting some medical things taken care of, and I was spending about $35 per week on propane and was STILL FREEZING!!  And several nights I had to put lights or heaters in the compartment where my sewage and water hookups are located.  I was REALLY glad to head south.  And I cannot imagine what January would have been like. 

By the way, the reason most RVers are ""snowbirds" is because RVs are not intended for snow, so we head south to stay warm. 

Edited by Solo18

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On 10/14/2020 at 9:48 PM, sandsys said:

Do you understand about RV holding tanks? Your toilet flushes into a tank. You have to wait until that tank is at least half full but not wait until it is completely full then hook up a hose to that tank and open a valve to transfer the effluent into an RV dump. Then you have to rinse the hose and put it away again until the next time you need to dump. You cannot leave the hose connected and the valve open because you need the solids to become liquid before dumping. Otherwise the solids stay in the tank and fill it up on their own and then you have a real problem.

I highly recommend you stop looking at RVs and start looking a park models because park models flush just like toilets in apartments do. There is no reason to have to do all that an RV requires if you don't plan to move it.

Linda Sand

Informative!

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On 10/14/2020 at 6:45 PM, Dennis K said:

went to Holiday World in Katy Texas last weekend and they had a 2009 Carriage Cameo 35SB3 5th wheel on the lot. The salesman told me that this brand, pre 2015 or so, was among the best built if not THE best built RV out there. He said it is a "tank", solid as a rock.

We live full time in a 2006 Carriage Carri-Lite 36KSQ.  We travel quite a bit.  Carriage (the old ones, not the one's called Carriage now sold by Northwoods) are solid and very comfortable to live in.  Be sure to have it fully checked out if you are thinking about it.  Even the most solid RV's can be ruined by poor maintenance.  Also, appliances and equipment can just wear out.

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You said you aren't planning on moving the trailer "for now".  Keep in mind if you get a park model over 8'6" wide (102") it will have to be moved by a commercial transporter with Wide Load permits, just like a mobile home.  You can't just hitch it to your own truck and tow it down the road.

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On 10/14/2020 at 9:48 PM, sandsys said:

Do you understand about RV holding tanks? Your toilet flushes into a tank. You have to wait until that tank is at least half full but not wait until it is completely full then hook up a hose to that tank and open a valve to transfer the effluent into an RV dump. Then you have to rinse the hose and put it away again until the next time you need to dump. You cannot leave the hose connected and the valve open because you need the solids to become liquid before dumping. Otherwise the solids stay in the tank and fill it up on their own and then you have a real problem.

I highly recommend you stop looking at RVs and start looking a park models because park models flush just like toilets in apartments do. There is no reason to have to do all that an RV requires if you don't plan to move it.

Linda Sand

Why can't they leave the hose connected?

 

We do at our seasonal site. 

Edited by kurtsara

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1 hour ago, kurtsara said:

Why can't the leave the hose connected?

true you could leave the hose hooked up but definitly don't leave the valve open.  I have seen the results of that and it is a major headache.Not my rig.  Might even end up having to install a new tank. Don't forget rv hoses don't last forever. I had a neighbor on a site next to the one I was in one winter and eventually I ended up with a lot of black tank holdings in my site. I had to get the park owner involved.

Edited by bigjim

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20 hours ago, kurtsara said:

Why can't they leave the hose connected?

 

We do at our seasonal site. 

Weed whackers cause holes in my experience. Not pleasant to discover.

Linda

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33 minutes ago, sandsys said:

Weed whackers cause holes in my experience. Not pleasant to discover.

For sure this is true.

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1 hour ago, sandsys said:

Weed whackers cause holes in my experience. Not pleasant to discover.

Lay some boards along the sides of the hose.  Weed whacker problem fixed.

Bigjim  is absolutely right about not leaving the valves open.  What happens is all of the liquids drain off immediately, and all of the solids set on the bottom.  In the black water tank you get a pyramid of poop in short order.  The buildup of goop in the grey tank is pretty bad, but a somewhat slower process.  Getting rid of either will not be fun.  You can leave the hose hooked up, but leave the valves closed except when dumping the tanks (or when running a washing machine.)  Black water tank gets dumped first, then the gray water tank.  If your unit has a flush system for the black tank, use it between dumping the black and gray tanks.  Be sure to leave the black tank valve open when you flush.

There are many things you can add to the tank to deal with the odor.  I use an enzyme called RV Digest It.  It breaks down the solids and deals with the smell, too.  It does not interfere with the septic tanks in the RV park where you are staying as do some substances containing formaldehyde or bleach.

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In order to protect your sewer hose in a long term parking situation, get yourself a section of 6" pvc pipe and put your hose inside of it to be protected not only from weed whackers, but also from the sunlight. I agree that you should not leave the black water valve open and it is good also to close the gray water valve for a few days just before duping and use that to flush the line after dumping the black tank.

Edited by Kirk W

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It is possible to treat a pyramid of poop but it is not a quick process. It works like this: close the dump valve and fill the tank with water. As the pyramid slowly absorbs water add more water. Eventually the pyramid will stop absorbing water. Open the dump valve and drain the now brown water. Repeat these step until the entire pyramid dissolves.

Linda Sand

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8 hours ago, sandsys said:

It is possible to treat a pyramid of poop but it is not a quick process.

You have actually successfully used this process? It sure didn't work for my neighbor who had that problem. 

 

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I don't want to poop on anyones idea so I will believe Linda's narration but very skeptically.  If it hasn't been there very long then maybe but under the best conditions I think it would be very slow process and require quite a bit of water.  I would think possiblely there is something you could add that may expedite the process but I don't know what it would be. My observation of others dealing with this align more closely with Kirks experience.

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