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Old 02-05-2012, 09:41 AM   #15
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Consider joining, or at least attending a meeting, of a local chapter of one of the national RV clubs. Good Sam or FMCA. I bet you will get lots of attention and information.

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Hello everyone,
I just joined the site yesterday and already have learned quite a bit. I'm thinking about buying a motorhome and just keep going round and round with whether I should or not. I'm a divorced 56 year old female and know nothing about engine mechanics. I have 2 dogs and a cat and would love to travel but it is so expensive to have someone take care of the animals I thought if I bought a motorhome I could take them with me.
I'm just wondering if I'm being unrealistic about traveling alone in a motorhome. All of the posts I seem to see are always couples where the man always seems to be able to do a lot of the work on the motorhome. I worry that it will be so expensive for me to always have to have a mechanic do the work that it will become unaffordable.
I also didn't know whether to buy a gas or a diesel. Which is more practical for someone like myself. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Paula

Don't have a signature as I don't have a motorhome yet.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:33 AM   #16
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Hi Paula, and welcome to the forum Lots of good advice. I will second or third or whatever to rent an RV and give it a try.

The reason that we first started RVing was also so we could take our furry kids along We had a Tioga Class C and really enjoyed it, but soon wanted something bigger. We went to Fifth wheels and large dually diesel pickups to pull them, then on to Class A's and our current Diesel Pusher.

As has been said the Class C is easier to drive and get around in, however there are some that are quite long and have multiple slides, 32 feet and 2 slides. Most are on a Ford Chassis F450 or some older ones E350. These usually have the Ford V10 engine and are pretty darn reliable, especially the newer 3 valve engines, I forget the exact date when the 3 valve per cylinder came out but I believe it was about 2002, something to check on.

As one poster pointed out, there are some tasks that you will have to perform, emptying tanks, black and gray, filling the fresh water system, hooking up to campground power etc.

You don't have your location on your public profile, but there should be some rv rental places around your area. Go to them and see if they will give you instruction on the various systems of the Rv you select and possibly let you drive one to see how it fits into your plan.

Anyhoo, enjoy and have fun, that's what its all about.

Happy trails
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:01 AM   #17
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At our dealership, We sold motorhomes to several single women. We also sold to women who were married to men who were physically challenged. They had bad hearts, strokes,etc. The women did all the driving and hookups and fueling. That part will not be a problem. Just make sure you have enough funds to cover Insurance, maintenance,tires, etc. If you are just getting by, It may not be a good idea, but if you are comfortable, You will be fine.
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:29 AM   #18
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thank you everyone

I want to thank everyone who has responded to my post. Actually my 85 year old mother wants to travel with me so I need to take comfort and room into consideration for her. I don't know how long she will be able to travel with me so I'm looking at it from the perspective that I will be traveling alone eventually. If it were just me and my furry friends I would be tempted to get a shorter class C however I've driven both a class C and a class A and I absolutely loved the class A and quite enjoyed driving it. Driving the class C was like driving my pickup truck. I love the visibility of the class A and I love sitting high. I've looked at quite a few and have basically decided on the floorplan I like and my absolute must haves. Now I need to find one in my price range. I did have another question if anyone would care to chime in. I'm being rather adamant about wanting therma pane windows. The salesmen are telling me they only add an R1 value but I think they're full of it. I've noticed they're quieter and better insulated and I think that's very important. Am I off base on this or am I correct in sticking to my guns on that.
I sold my boat last year to purchase an rv instead because I was concerned that if I was on the boat and had engine trouble I'd be stuck out in the water somewhere whereas with an rv I can at least call and get a tow. So I'm familiar with filling and emptying tanks and what not and I'm pretty handy with fixing things. It's just the engine issues that I can't do myself. We are looking forward to having many future adventures on the road.
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:42 AM   #19
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Go for it, Paula.

Get the size you want/need. I'm the pilot of our 40' DP, can set-up, dump tanks, tear-down, and do basic maintenance. I can also make appointments for annual maintenance & call CoachNet I do have a DH who is really helpful & very nice to have around, but I can handle it all if need requires. He is a good copilot

There are lots of single women on the road. You will eventually meet many on this site.

Good luck!

Marilyn
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:13 AM   #20
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Paula, I think you should redo your post to say: " Hi, I am a divorced 56 year old woman, looking for a man with a motorhome" lol! It might be cheaper, and a whole lot more fun. Just saying....
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:09 AM   #21
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Our last class A was a Tiffin Allegro Bus with dual "pain" windows. I say "pain" because these windows have a lot of trouble retaining the seal between the panes and fog up. It is happening though out the industry, not just with Tiffin units. For what additional R-value we had in our Bus, all the cost and inconvenience we had with the dual pane windows WAS NOT WORTH IT! If I had an option, there would not be one dual pane window in my coach unless it had a 10 year warranty which is highly unlikely.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:19 AM   #22
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I have had serval RV's with single pain windows and love to winter camp and I can say that my last 2 MH's have had duel pain and not only did they insulate better but they block alot of outside noise. I have been fortunate and have never had problems with them.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:31 AM   #23
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Hi Paula, don't sweat the mechanical work on the chassis, keep it serviced and it will have very little issues just like your car or PU. In reality the ones of us that have the tools, knowledge time and space to do major repairs on thier coaches are few. Sounds like you are comfortable driveing an RV, and doing the dailey chores with the sewer and water. Additionally Rv's come with an owners manual (some times 3 or 4 binders) that will tell you how to operate all of the on board systems, the factory books are a major deal. As a first time owner if the RV does not have ALL of FACTORY manuals with it don't buy it, they hard to replace. As O/Ps said you may rent one for a week and see how you like it first before jumping in. The up side to owning is you get to leave all your stuff in the rv and be ready to go. As has been said there is nothing cheap about an RV, if you don't have time to use it regularly they are expensive yard art. Also buying used in these economic times (3 or 4 yease old) can save as much as 40% of the cost of new, especally if you are not trading in anything. Good luck
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:51 AM   #24
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Howdy from Texas

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Originally Posted by paula55 View Post
Hello everyone,
I just joined the site yesterday and already have learned quite a bit. I'm thinking about buying a motorhome and just keep going round and round with whether I should or not.
First, you will see the term DW on this site, it stands for Darling/Dear Wife. Mine said if I propose marriage, she'll whack me over the head with a skillet a second time. In addition to my daily ration...

A neighbor is going through this same process, 'cept her husband is infirm so all duties pertaining to the rig will fall to her.

Chassis repairs are half: I'd guess that money-wise, the cost/lb is similar, between RV and car, eg a Class C should gobble no more maintenance dollars than a large van.

Above the floor, you have a house with its attendant worries of leaky faucets, blown fuses, etc. RVs are a little different house-wise; that means you're starting on similar footing with the rest of us, need to learn those.

The gas or diesel question falls to a marriage of usage rate, economy, floorspace needs, other aspects addressed in various posts at iRV2.

You have a mammoth safety net among these users: they jump in with good answers to any question, 24/7. Plus, as you know, iRV2 has a huge archive of answers. I'd wager you can't encounter a problem that hasn't been experienced at least once before, documented and resolved.

So, go for it
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:59 AM   #25
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NOW she confesses...

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So I'm familiar with filling and emptying tanks and what not and I'm pretty handy with fixing things. It's just the engine issues that I can't do myself. We are looking forward to having many future adventures on the road.
Oh... Change gears.

I'm beginning to think you could take on my current project, splitting those panes and rebuilding the windows.

I've been told that the foggy windows issue has faded in recent years, that you'd have to buy a 2006 or earlier to suffer that problem.

Believe me, it's not a show-stopper, even then. I'm putting in 4 manhours per unit, and it's largely arts'n'crafts work.

Plus, a cottage industry has sprouted up to deal with the problem: many capable vendors will do your fogged windows at a price that seems more and more reasonable, every day I spend in the shop.

Make sure you drive both the gas-powered and diesel-powered Class As. There is a big difference in road noise, handling, between the two and within their respective ranks.
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:40 AM   #26
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I think you are right. Yes, there have been quality / fogging problems, but you just need to deal with this IF it occurs. I believe the benefits greatly outweigh the negative.

BTW, I bet the salesman you talked to didn't have any units for sale with thermo pane windows...

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Originally Posted by paula55 View Post
... I did have another question if anyone would care to chime in. I'm being rather adamant about wanting therma pane windows. The salesmen are telling me they only add an R1 value but I think they're full of it. I've noticed they're quieter and better insulated and I think that's very important. Am I off base on this or am I correct in sticking to my guns on that....
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:06 AM   #27
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Hi paula, Yes there are alot of single women out there exploring this beautiful country in a RV on their own. Check out the forum at rvparkreviews.com and look for a member by DSXMax, who is a single lady that has great posts about the trials and tribulations of RV'ing on her own, including maintenance issues and getting around with out a tow car.

I would also agree with other posts that the class C type rig would probably work best for you. They are the RV's with the cap extended over the cab, which looks like any other Ford Van (majority) only with the RV section attached. They are less expensive than class A type (which is more compared to a bus type look) and the suggested B class which is an ultra fitted conversion van, very expensive!

As far as driving a RV goes, I feel if you are a good auto driver and you enjoy it vs. just out of need, you'll have no problem picking up the skills to handle almost any small to mid-size rig. My wife was very skeptical of us buying a 32ft. class A, that she wouldn't be able to drive it. Six years later she takes it on sisters weekends a couple of times a season all around New York State. Now that we are looking to upgrade our MH she would think nothing other than a class A.

Expense wise from our experience I feel its about break even when compared to going on the same type of trips and staying in hotels with using $100 per night as the low rate. Both of us feel that we would not be able to afford the amount of trips (we count nights spent in the rig each year) we take each year if we relied on staying in hotels. Little things like coffee in the morning with a bagel or a fast hot dog on the grill with an RV add up in savings most would not consider. Also, remember that while traveling around in an RV you are saving on some household expense like utilities and such. In addition I look at gas milage on an RV (range 7-10 mpg) as only half of what is used because if I took the same trips in my car (suv 21 mpg) I would still be paying somthing.

Good Luck on your shopping and keep us informed on what you decide.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:39 AM   #28
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Paula, Welcome to the forum. We got into RV'ing because of of our Dog. We wouldn't go anywhere without him. For us, boarding wasn't an option. There are a lot of single women driving MH's. If you start with something new or in great shape and maintain it regularly, you shouldn't have problems, but it is the nature of the beast that things can and will go wrong. When we got our first MH, I opened up a separate bank account and put something in every week, just for any unseen expense. Now I have a good cushion. Don't let a little apprehension hold you back from something you would love to do. Trust me MH's are eaiser than going through a divorce. Going on 3 MH's vs. 2 divorce's.
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