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Old 09-05-2012, 04:09 PM   #1
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Question Are New Class A's Easier to live with...

I'm fighting a ghost! (Of Winnebago's from the '70's!)

I am looking seriously at an used 2007+ upper end class A as our first MH. My DW at a young age used to go camping with her cousins in a then-new, early '70's Winney. Yes, it was 40 years ago, and yes, things have radically improved and changed. But the bad experiences were legendary (you name a bad place to be, that's where it broke down!)

But the major complaint DW springs is that vacationing in an RV would be "so much work" compared to driving a car and then staying in a hotel. I'm not debating the car/hotel aspect, but I have no idea of what advances MH's have made to fight back with, compared to those from early on.

I've done a ton of reading & researching...but never vacationed (ever) in one. So, if you already have pots, pans, dishes and basic supplies & linens on board (with a dish washer, washer/dryer and Sat TVs to boot), is it really all that much work to take a vacation in one? Deciding where to go seems to be the biggest challenge (and the reservation, if needed).

So far, set up at camp seems to take less than 30 minutes...plug in, level off, deploy slides, set up outdoor area...relax. I would think leaving should take the same time, maybe less. Is there something I'm missing?

I'm doing all the driving (and looking forward to it, having driven trucks), and I like cooking, so the food shopping, prep, etc. is something I really enjoy. We don't have any winter weather to speak of, so "winterizing" isn't something we'll ever need to worry about.

More pointedly (and the big question) - what keeps you from using your MH more than you currently do?

I am planning on renting a similar MH for a long weekend, as a trial cruise, but I just don't see the epic work involved that DW is invisioning.

Any elightentment would be appreciated!!!

Mark
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:25 PM   #2
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RV's in general have made great strides in the last 40 years. They can be as comfortable and have as many conveniences as your home.

It is more work than staying in a motel, but it's also much more rewarding as well as more convenient. When we traveled through Yellowstone, we were able to stay right in the park vs driving in every morning and back out to a motel each night.

It can be labor intensive when you arrive back from a long trip. Usually both the interior and exterior need cleaning. The tanks need dumping and you may have other service required. It's like maintaining both a house and a car/truck combined.

The answer to the big question: "What keeps you from using your MH more?" The current high cost of fuel has slowed us down some.

I think your idea of renting one is a great idea. Best of luck!
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:35 PM   #3
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There's no comparison between renting a rig and owning. Just as you suggest, your rig will be fully equiped, just like your home. We've been RVing for over 30 years and I always found the RV much more enjoyable and very little extra work. As soon as we got home from one outing the dirty linens would get washed and put back in the RV, ready for the next trip. All we'd have to load before a trip would be perishable foods and maybe some clothing. Now we live in the RV and are fully self contained, including our own laundry facilities.

You do need to be mentally prepared for problems. It's a mechanical device, and besides the "truck" part, you've also got all the systems you have at home, heating, A/C, plumbing, cooking, electronics, etc. Difference is, these are constantly jiggling and josseling as you move on down the road. Regular maintenance can minimize trip interuptions. We did own a motorhome back in the early 90s that did seem to break down on EVERY trip. We got rid of it as soon as we had the opportunity to and haven't looked back.

I just paid the motel bill for my sisters to visit us for 5 days. The bathroom was filthy, the shower curtain was actually moldy (they ran out to Walmart to pick up cleaning supplies). You can have kids, or drunks, running up and down the halls at all hours and just how clean are those bed linens anyway? We like the freedom of being able to travel pretty much anywhere, bringing our own home with us.

Good luck!
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
the major complaint DW springs is that vacationing in an RV would be "so much work"
If vacation means, to her, the most work she wants to do is dial room service and push an elevator button to get to the pool/beach level, then she is right. An rv vacation allows you to stick your "home" right in the middle of where you want to be. It does not provide, however, relief from daily living chores like cooking and cleaning. Our experience has been (5 years of 6-7 months per year in a motorhome) that the labor involved in maintenance and repair of the rv is, at least for us, greatly exaggerated - our stick and brick is a much bigger hassle. Bottom line, with an rv vacation you get privacy, freedom, probably lower cost, your own beds and baths, and your own food. But there are no maids, room service, concierge services, bellhops, or activity directors. Sometimes, they are nice to have, also.
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:47 PM   #5
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Depending on our schedule, we either travel in our MH or fly and stay in hotels. It is much easier to travel in the MH. Everything we need is already there. It wears on you to pack and unpack every night. You don't do that in a MH. I don't know what your DW is remembering, but it's not traveling in a MH today.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:12 PM   #6
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You should give this article to your wife for future reference: America's 10 worst hotel chains- MSN Money
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:45 PM   #7
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Easier to live with? Oh yea....

I had an early 70's vintage Champion motor home. Ill handling and underpowered is about as kind as I can get regarding that experience. It just keeps going further downhill from there....

Comparing that to the the 16 year old coach I have today is like comparing night to day.

This motor home is approached as a hobby. It DOES require work to maintain it. It's not like a car that you park in the garage when you get home, only to take off again with your only caution being to make sure it has fuel in it. You being an ex truck driver, I'm sure you can relate to that.

I believe people who do their own work enjoy these things the most. If you have to pay to have everything done the costs stack up very quickly, wiping the grin from most faces early on. You don't need to have a huge technical background to do your own work, only a willingness to learn, with a good portion of patience.

Buying a new motor home expecting warranty to cover all your maintenance will be a learning experience as well. Not only do you take huge financial hits regarding depreciation, most of the time you get to deal with, well, I'm not going to go there. I'll just say most people learn quickly that dealing with an RV dealership is an experience to avoid if at all possible.

It seems you're clear regarding the amount of work that needs to be done once arriving at a campsite. After a trip or 2, navigating these long wheelbase rigs become a non event as well. That's not work either.

One point I didn't see mentioned, is an important one to us, not sure if it matters to you? We get to take our dogs with us, allowing us to go whenever, wherever we want, and stay as long as we want to - without fear of hassles regarding their care, or imposing other's care on them.

We go on a couple of extended trips a year (6-8 weeks), along with 3-4 shorter trips, usually on weekdays. I don't spend more time on the road than I do because I also have activities I enjoy best when at home?

Your plan to rent one is a good plan. Regarding your other half, probably goes without saying you want to make that experience as pleasant as possible. Best of luck regarding your decisions! -Al
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:12 PM   #8
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Id say newer is easier than old...with all the improvements that have been made in the whole industry. Quality issues do still exist with some companies.
I'd plan for a $500 dollar bill out of your pocket for repairs and maintenance EVERY month. That isn't for fuel....just repairs and maint. Even if you don't need the $500 this month....next month you my need $800. Granted I bought used..and have fit right into the $500 a month plan...I do all my own repairs, and have upgraded a few things, added a few things and done any maintenance required.

I do not feel that these vehicles are just 1 to let sit and use whenever you choose. They are constant maintenance.

We love ours and enjoy it far more than hotels. We are not retired, so work is our major problem for not using it as often as we wish
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:24 PM   #9
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Your wife is dead right, and it makes no difference how new the rig is. You can't leave the household chores at home if you're bringing a home along with you.

Sounds like for her, a vacation should include freedom from such responsibilities, or it's not a real "vacation".

I think this gender gap is greatly misunderstood. It seems to me that for men, having an RV means getting behind the wheel of something big and cruising around the country swapping lies about what great mileage they're getting, and polishing the chrome, and kicking the tires, etc.

But it's the girls that do the domestic chores, and in a smaller space than we've got at home.

I myself am an avid camper and actually get a big kick out of everything about it. But it's not every woman's cup of tea!
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:15 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by JMonroe View Post
There's no comparison between renting a rig and owning. Just as you suggest, your rig will be fully equiped, just like your home. We've been RVing for over 30 years and I always found the RV much more enjoyable and very little extra work. As soon as we got home from one outing the dirty linens would get washed and put back in the RV, ready for the next trip. All we'd have to load before a trip would be perishable foods and maybe some clothing. Now we live in the RV and are fully self contained, including our own laundry facilities.

You do need to be mentally prepared for problems. It's a mechanical device, and besides the "truck" part, you've also got all the systems you have at home, heating, A/C, plumbing, cooking, electronics, etc. Difference is, these are constantly jiggling and josseling as you move on down the road. Regular maintenance can minimize trip interuptions. We did own a motorhome back in the early 90s that did seem to break down on EVERY trip. We got rid of it as soon as we had the opportunity to and haven't looked back.

I just paid the motel bill for my sisters to visit us for 5 days. The bathroom was filthy, the shower curtain was actually moldy (they ran out to Walmart to pick up cleaning supplies). You can have kids, or drunks, running up and down the halls at all hours and just how clean are those bed linens anyway? We like the freedom of being able to travel pretty much anywhere, bringing our own home with us.

Good luck!
"We did own a motorhome back in the early 90s that did seem to break down on EVERY trip. We got rid of it as soon as we had the opportunity to and haven't looked back."

Hello There,

I'm entirely new to RVing, and I'm interested in buying a used class A which will probably be '96 to 2000 vintage.

When you mentioned the RV you had that broke down on every trip, you got my attention. Was your problematic RV just a lemon, or was it a bad brand? If it was a bad brand, would you mind telling me that brand, so I can avoid buying that one?

Thanks,

Michael (1world)
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:24 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=sc3283;1300394]"Id say newer is easier than old...with all the improvements that have been made in the whole industry. Quality issues do still exist with some companies."

I'm brand new to RVs, and in the process of buying my first one, used, in the '96 to 2000 range. Would you mind detailing the brands you know to have quality problems?

Thanks,

Michael
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:16 AM   #12
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Micheal, all have their share of problems. It isn't just 1 manufacturer. Some have more than others.
You will find many questions will have many different answers based on what the person replying owns.
The best suggestion I could offer is to look through each brand listed on this site..and scroll through whats been posted.

quality can be subjective....ride, appearance, interior fit and finish, cost to maintain and on and on.

While we were looking to make a purchase..I looked at several...any that might be a candidate, I attempted to read about in the forums. After a few months...1 we both liked, which was priced for our budget and which seemed to have been cared for top notch through its life..came home with us. Its now all water under the bridge.

We looked at Fleetwood, Monaco, Thor, and several other brands. While each had things we didnt like...most were not due to the vehicle...it was due to the owner not caring for the vehicle inside. So many we looked at were an immediate turn off either by smell or sight. Buying used, we both new we would have to accept some things we don't like and we had no issues with that.

So many things are common in most all makes...roof AC, refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, water pumps, etc etc. So those type items can't really be put as a positive or negative to the particular vehicle manufacturer.
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sc3283 View Post
Id say newer is easier than old...with all the improvements that have been made in the whole industry. Quality issues do still exist with some companies.
I'd plan for a $500 dollar bill out of your pocket for repairs and maintenance EVERY month. That isn't for fuel....just repairs and maint. Even if you don't need the $500 this month....next month you my need $800. Granted I bought used..and have fit right into the $500 a month plan...I do all my own repairs, and have upgraded a few things, added a few things and done any maintenance required.

I do not feel that these vehicles are just 1 to let sit and use whenever you choose. They are constant maintenance.

We love ours and enjoy it far more than hotels. We are not retired, so work is our major problem for not using it as often as we wish
We've owned our Dutch Star for over 10 years now and $500 a month is way high for what I've needed to do. Now, I do my own work so it is cheaper but still....
$500 a month for 12 months for 10 years is $60,000!! I don't think I've even come close to $10,000 over the 10 years including tires at about $3,200.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:54 AM   #14
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There is work involved. There is no escaping that, even if your RV is loaded 24/7. I myself miss our vacations we used to take where we would fly to an exotic location in the Carib or the South Pacific and basically chill out all day long for days at a time beside the pool. These are two completely different experiences, and I suspect we will eventually return to our former style of vacationing. In the meantime, I enjoy our weekend getaways and twice yearly week-long trips in the RV. But lets not fool ourselves about the amount of work, and frankly, stress involved in choosing this style of travel over the other.
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