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Old 01-02-2013, 03:32 PM   #1
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Need advice on what rig to get..

..and I will have about 12,000. I know to some that may not be a lot (or enough) and some might think wow. Thing is, it is what it is. The most important thing, well, one of, is that whatever I get will comfortably tow a Mazda B3000 pickup (basically a Ford Ranger, small truck).

I won't have a lot of extra money to travel too far to buy and I am in Roseburg Oregon. I have an excellent auto mechanic that will look it over for me before I buy. I'm a female so I definitely need this Well, I am a mechanically challenged female, let's put it that way

I plan to try RVing for the Summer and thinking of heading for Bitterroot Valley MT. These are just ideas but I want to get some info because I don't know where to start except Craigslist and I just don't know about them. So any feedback is welcome. Also, I am wondering about joining some sort of "travel club" if that might be worth the dues etc.

Thank you much, denise

PS I have been on here before but now I have more money to work with since I am going to go ahead and partner up with another gal my age, well, a bit younger. I am 60 and she is 55.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:57 PM   #2
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You will be shopping used so just start looking locally - and don't rush the purchase.
I found that gas class A's were the best bang for the buck here on the East coast. I paid $13K several years ago for a 30 foot Allegro with 39,000 miles and in decent shape...BUT I put another $4K and a year's time learning getting it where I felt it was reliable enough to tour. It took me several years of looking, but I learned a lot and met a lot of nice folks. I passed up a lot of problems. Anything you get will require some work - no one sells a perfect RV.
So I'd say a 1998 thru 2002 Class A, aluminum house frame (not wood), and expect to do some work on it. Check it out top to bottom, Roof to tries. Chevy/Workhorse is my preference but Ford's are popular to. My Chevy 454 is set to tow 5,000 lbs as is - I tow less than 3,000 lbs with ease.
Good luck and have fun.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:52 AM   #3
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Hi Tom,

I read where the C types are easier to handle/drive but I was wondering about towing a small truck with one? Do you know? My truck is around 3000 unloaded and we would not be putting anything in it.

Thank you much for your post, denise



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You will be shopping used so just start looking locally - and don't rush the purchase.
I found that gas class A's were the best bang for the buck here on the East coast. I paid $13K several years ago for a 30 foot Allegro with 39,000 miles and in decent shape...BUT I put another $4K and a year's time learning getting it where I felt it was reliable enough to tour. It took me several years of looking, but I learned a lot and met a lot of nice folks. I passed up a lot of problems. Anything you get will require some work - no one sells a perfect RV.
So I'd say a 1998 thru 2002 Class A, aluminum house frame (not wood), and expect to do some work on it. Check it out top to bottom, Roof to tries. Chevy/Workhorse is my preference but Ford's are popular to. My Chevy 454 is set to tow 5,000 lbs as is - I tow less than 3,000 lbs with ease.
Good luck and have fun.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:01 PM   #4
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One thought - Would you be comfortable towing a trailer? If so, there are many small fiberglass trailers that would be towable with your truck. I've towed a 17' Escape trailer over 33,000 miles with a RAV4.

Used ones are snapped up quickly but they are well within your price range. Check the Fiberglass Trailer Forum for more information & Fiberglass RVs For Sale for prices...
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:43 PM   #5
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well i am not sure of ur luxery and comfort concerns, we have had both. th c class which had a smaller engine (chevy 350) . it was comfortable and easy driving. the problem was my back has been injured and the class c had no where to sit other than the bench at the table and was very hard on me. it pulled and burned gas
next we had a class a with the work horse with the 454 chevy v8. plenty of power this was a 27' winnie. i liked it as it has 2 chairs that swivel and the coach seats swiveled for more seating. we still have it tho have not used it sence returning from a 4 month trip to alaska n back. this unit was 4' ft longer with some better equipment but not out side storage.
they both got about 7 & 8 miles per gallon. they were both from the 80z and the 454 needed lead added to the fuel. at 55 mph we got alot better mpg than at 60 and above.
this spring we bought a 2001 winnie 35' adventurer. it is nice and has much more to offer. the main thing we both like is the queen bed and it is a walk around type as it slides out. this unit has 2 slides that really adds to the relaxing space. this has th ford v-10 we have pulled a 2000k trailer with 3 harleys thru west va to ohio and back. that v10 had to work and work hard as the rv alone is massive and weighs alot more than the other 2. gas was about 5mpg. then later in the summer we went caming on the local I-95 corridor and pulling a older small toyota pickup and got 7.9 mpg.
i love each step up we did, even yrz ago when we were going from tent to trailer and then on to bigger trailers. my lady friend of 20 yrs says that when i am gone, she will shed the 35' winnie and get a much smaller unit. she has looked at the roaltia (sp) made by winnebago. it has all she needs and is small nuff for her and should get better mpg tho i am not sure she has considered towing with it. and i dont know what the towing capibilities are for one of these units.
other than what has already told to you i would say for you to rent a couple different types and see which style and size you may want as once you buy one it is yours and may not sale to easily if it doesn't fit your needs.
happy camping and dont fear camping alone as being a woman. as long as you dont post a threat to some other woman, you will be takened in and made to feel as if you are family, anywhere you may go. but remember that the bigger it is, the harder it is to get off the road if broken or just out of fuel, and once sooo big, you dont want to git off the road with it. and there seems to be not enuff storage no matter how much space is there as folks just seem to find "something" to put and carry in any space.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:29 AM   #6
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I'd go with a small one if I were alone but my gal friend is going to buy the rig. She wants to travel for the Summer but not alone so she is paying me to go with her and do the driving. She also needs someone with her as a caregiver so I will be doing those duties as well. She is not totally disabled so it is a great opportunity to work but also have fun. We have been friends for about a year and we lived in the same rooming house near the college I've been attending

Anyway, probably TMI, LOL! But that's the deal, we'll need a bit bigger rig and she doesn't want to buy a truck to pull a trailer is all I will be keeping an eye on smaller rigs since it may end up just me and my little, dog Cooper eventually

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One thought - Would you be comfortable towing a trailer? If so, there are many small fiberglass trailers that would be towable with your truck. I've towed a 17' Escape trailer over 33,000 miles with a RAV4.

Used ones are snapped up quickly but they are well within your price range. Check the Fiberglass Trailer Forum for more information & Fiberglass RVs For Sale for prices...
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:36 AM   #7
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I will be going for the Summer with my friend Susie. She wants to travel, I can't afford it, so she will pay me to drive her and do basic caregiving. She is not totally disabled but needs help with her nutrition especially and I'm a sort of nutrition nut So I will be working my way so to speak. We get along well as I mentioned above, since we had the opportunity to find out when she was living here with me and 2 other roommates

I was just thinking about finding fellas along the way that might help us out with checking things etc. We would pay someone of course. It is hard since neither Susie or I are mechanically inclined, we can drive'em but we don't know "why" they go, Denise

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well i am not sure of ur luxery and comfort concerns, we have had both. th c class which had a smaller engine
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:05 AM   #8
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With a budget of only $12,000 for a motorhome, you're looking at only really-old or else really worn out rigs. But it's doable. Here's a good candidate, although not in your neck of the woods:
1997 Winnebago Minnie Winnie 31WQ for Sale - M200 - PPL Motor Homes

That one with the Ford V-10 engine can easily pull your toad with 4-wheels down, or even on a car hauler trailer. And it's big enough to sleep two ladies without crowding.

Similar rigs are probably for sale in your area, but you may have to go up to Portland to have any selection.

And yeah, expect to have to put some money into it to fix any niggling little problems before you hit the road. So I would search for one priced at less than $11,000 if your mechanic agrees he can make it right for $1000 or less.

(And don't forget TT&L, which can be as much as 10% of selling price in some areas. If your 12k budget is the out-the-door price, then you'll have to determine TT&L in your area and subtract that from the 12k before you begin shopping.)
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:45 AM   #9
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The thing with used RVs is almost no one sells them with newer tires. So I think you'll have to take your $12K and subtract about $2500 for tires. I'd then subtract about $3K to keep in reserve for mechanical repairs (flush brake lines, replace filters, fluids, hoses & belts if needed, service generator, replace spark plugs, replace shocks, new house batteries etc), registration, taxes, road side assistance service, upgrading interior elements like fire alarm, LP alarm, COs alarm etc. If neither of you is technically inclined you will have higher repair bills because you will have to pay someone to do all this. The RV has a full water/plumbing system, electrical system, LP gas system, heating and cooling systems etc. that are all needing of some attention at some point. If you can learn how they work then you can often trouble shoot them on your own. The more you can/are interested in learning about them the more you'll save. This leaves you about $6500 for the actual purchase of the RV.

With your stated skill set and budget I would second the suggestion to look at a tow behind unit. Another option is to rent a unit for the summer. Then the repairs/upkeep etc. are all on the rental firm. And you will likely be driving a close to new unit.

We bought our '94 three years ago for $10K and its been a wonderful experience. However, we have deep pockets (could have bought new and paid cash) and are both engineers so can figure most of the systems out although we pay people for pretty much all of the engine/mechanical repairs.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Hi Tom,

I read where the C types are easier to handle/drive but I was wondering about towing a small truck with one? Do you know? My truck is around 3000 unloaded and we would not be putting anything in it.

Thank you much for your post, denise
gregbullet said it right - we tend to go up a step at a time - so I just went right from a POP-UP to a class A. Along the way I got very close to purchasing a 'C' with the chevy 350 (and looked at Dodges/Fords as well). I drove them all. I found:
Smaller Class A's (30 ft or less) are very easy to drive - but intimidating at first until you figure out the mirrors. The 'C' were easy to drive but compared to an 'A' I found the 'C's had quite restricted visibility - both when driving and when camping.
Next was living space - the 'A' used 90% of interior space to live, the 'C' was 70% due to the driver's area being pretty much a van front end with a bed over it that was not easy to get into and was often wet due to leaked water.
Gas mileage was about the same - 1998's and newer have the new freon ACs, OBD computers and fuel injection, thus better mileage (62MPH Highway use - I get a little over 9MPG, or 8.8MPG while towing, with the chevy 454).
vermile's post is what I was thinking as well. If my wife was healthier I think I would tow a Trailmanor with the front fold out couch (vs. front bed or front dinette).
Bottom line - when shopping used you just get out there and look - test - learn - choose - learn a lot more. Trailers = less cost to maintain. Drive them all then decide.
Plus - it may cost you $4K or more to set your truck up to be towed 4 down - probably can't use a dolly (ouch).
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:33 AM   #11
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Thank you all for the information. I laid in bed thinking about the licensing/tags/cost of gas as well as all the "fixer upper" things on a used. I Suzanne will be back out here the 14th or so and we will begin to put this all together. I will print out what each of you have input. I appreciate it so much. I am hoping that we get a break since we don't have a lot to spend. It's also hard for Susie, and would be for me as well, since we are not positive this is going to be more then a Summer trip. I feel it could be but to go way in debt for a rig and then not want to travel more full-time would be such a waste.

I looked into renting one, forget that! One thing we have to remember is we can live in the "right" RV, even if we decide to park it and do so here in Oregon. Yuck, I want to see America!! LOL

Even I realize used anythings don't get fixed up to sell, except cosmetically. I'm so new at this but neither Susie or I are stupid luckily. We've actually been talking about this for almost a year now so it's nothing we are just jumping into. I think research and talking with all of you is our best route. I was thinking how nice to buy a rig from someone you know but then again, a lot of ruined friendships over those deals

Thank you again, denise
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:44 AM   #12
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:41 PM   #13
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Looks really nice, surprising price from what I've read about these. I will let Suzanne know about it as well. We won't start looking until about the 14th when she flies out here. But she may want to see this one earlier. I have to go see where it is, forgot to look for that duh!! denise

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Old 01-06-2013, 01:38 PM   #14
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I have to go see where it is, forgot to look for that duh!! denise
36 ft. Class A
Price: $ 11,000 Or Best Offer
Location: Water Valley, Mississippi

My Mom was born in Water Valley in 1917. But it's a long way east of Texas, even further then one I linked to in Houston.

Looking at the units available from RVOnline.com on the west coast, I didn't see anything suitable for you and your budget. So you may have to plan on a long drive to get a nice unit that's affordable on your budget.

Remember those puppies get around 8 MPG, so if you must go 3,000 miles to get one, it will cost you over $1000 just for gas to drive it back to SW Oregon.
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