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Southern Arizona full-time RV living?


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Hi, I am considering purchasing a 5th wheel and parking in Bullhead City, AZ for full-time living. 
I am familiar with the heat, but unsure how a 30' rv can be kept comfortable, even with two ac's.
I lived a summer in Needles in a small 19' Mallard, had a good ac unit and it managed to keep the unit very comfortable even in 120 degrees. but I hear the larger units cannot be cooled. 
Looking for anyone willing to converse on this and other feelings on living in an oven!
 

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I put a mini split in our RV and we love it.  These are residential units so installation is more involved.   The reasons these are so popular is they are very quiet and very efficient.   Typically using about 1/3 of the power of an RV AC.  Ours is so quiet unless you are right next to it you can't hear it.  These come in a number of sizes so finding one to keep your RV cool should be easy.  Ours is 12,000 btu in our 40' RV but it wouldn't keep it cool in Bull Head.  An 18,000 with 2 interior heads might but a 24,000 certainly would.  These have an inside and outside units.  There are YouTube videos that explain this and installation procedures.  These also reverse to provide efficient heating. We own property in Bull Head and if I were to be there in the summer a mini split would certainly be in my RV or even a house.  Prices are as cheap or cheaper than a RV AC's but the installation is more involved.

Edited by Randyretired
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3 hours ago, koviashuvik said:

Hi, I am considering purchasing a 5th wheel and parking in Bullhead City, AZ for full-time living.

If you plan on parking it why get an RV? There are better solutions for fun-time living. Maybe get a park model instead?

Linda

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1 hour ago, koviashuvik said:

Good idea Randy, where did you mount the condensor?

 

I mounted the outside unit on the rear above the bumper  and the indoor unit  replaced a couple of doors on cabinets on the rear wall..   We can still reach behind the unit by opening the adjacent door.  That cabinet is so high and difficult to get to that it is rarely used.  There are also ceiling units but these need a larger area than typical RV AC's.  By using high SEER mini splits we are able to run ours with solar.  We mostly boondock.  Most of the larger mini splits require 240v.  If that is a problem a transformer that steps up 120v to 240v can be used.  We only have the one indoor unit but for your area I think 2 indoor units would be more comfortable.  One other gentleman that posts on here occasionally put two 12,000 btu mini splits on his 40' Teton and said it easily cooled his RV in a Southern Texas heat wave when nearly every other RV was having a lot of trouble.  In fact he said he could make it uncomfortably cold.

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13 hours ago, sandsys said:

If you plan on parking it why get an RV? There are better solutions for fun-time living. Maybe get a park model instead?

Linda

I do agree.  We managed the summer of 2020 in Mesa in 120°F heat because we had the park model.  The A/C worked wonderfully, plus the ceiling fans so we were quite comfortable.   Another couple parked in a motorhome with 2 a/c just down from us said they never got it below 90° at night in the motorhome.   Usually 100 inside during the day.   I just couldn't do it in an RV, though there are people who can.

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34 minutes ago, koviashuvik said:

Thanks Randy!
Linda & Rob.....$$$$$$....or lack thereof.
Most unfortunately only have 20k cash.

 

You might be surprised at what you can get for that amount.    Yes, it will be an much older Park Model, but do look around.

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Barb & Dave, I think you just talked me out of the rv. I'm looking online but not finding the homes anywhere near that price range. Trying to arrange all this while still living in Mazatlan until May, makes it tough. Rethinking my destination.

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A lot of Park Models are sold by owner and the best way to find them is to drive through the parks and check.  We sold ours by word of mouth, at the range you are looking at last fall.  Also, the price you see I’d asking, not what they will take.  Closer it gets to everyone leaving for the summer to lower the prices will go.

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A park model if you can find one is probably better insulated and maybe better suited for the environment.   Single wide mobile homes are another possibility and those are certainly better insulated.  I agree that a typical RV with a RV AC or 2 might not be comfortable.  I have little good to say about an RV AC.  These are loud and inefficient.   If you go with an RV a mini split is the way to go.  Some place other than the extremes and wind of Bullhead might also be more appealing. 

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In the current market, $20k isn't much at all for either an RV or a park model.

However, I don't recommend a park model in AZ or anywhere.  We lived in one in Lake Havasu, AZ for several years, but only spend 2 summers in it as AZ heat is incredible -- even with our new 2 1/2 ton AC unit. Nevertheless, we bought cheap and sold it in the "COVID boom" and made a killing.

But even if you do get a park model for $20k, you'll be chained to the campground it's in. It's also likely your monthly rental will increase each year. Plus, you can't get a home loan on a park model.

Instead, you might want to look at mobile home parks. We investigated about 200 CA parks. We ended up in a resident-owned mobile home park where we were able to get bank financing on our unit.

 

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The mobile home we bought years ago in Texas was not insulated enough for a Minnesota winter in spite of the seller assuring us it was fully insulated. Apparently "fully insulated" meant 3/4" of insulation all the way around.

Linda

Edited by sandsys
misspelling
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13 minutes ago, sandsys said:

Apparently "fully insulted" meant 3/4" of insulation all the way around.

Well, if it was actually "fully insulted", then I can see why you got a raw deal.

Edited by Zulu
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