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Old 10-28-2015, 12:53 PM   #1
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An RV I can breathe in

Hello All.. I’m in a bit of a jam. I was living in the New Jersey shore area just north of Long Beach Island. I was there when Sandy struck, and as I had just retired, I was helping people try to get back in their homes. My own home was water damaged, and between that and the work I was doing, I developed a severe mold/chemical sensitivity. I was forced to move out of my house and spent 6 months trying to find a house I could live in. I thought I'd found one, moved in 2 months ago, but I'm having issues here as well (I’ll spare you the details of a failed inspection and remediation), and am going to have to move out.

So I need a place to live. I can't see moving into a third house only to find it's unlivable. I'm thinking motor home, but.. I keep reading the number one problem with motor homes is water intrusion, and I can’t live in even a low level moldy environment. I read a post yesterday saying areas that don’t get air circulation, behind beds, closets, often grow mold. Worrisome.

Is there such an animal as a water/mold free MH. I’d find the Casitas and such too small for full time, thinking of a Class A gas (for price), with welded metal construction and fiberglass roof. Yes?

I was at an RV show in AC 2 weeks ago. RVs with lots of carpeting gave me allergy symptoms, but in units with hard flooring and not much carpeting (only on the slides) I was pretty much ok. I think off-gassing in a brand new RV will be problematic, so I'm thinking 3- 6 years old. Would you agree I’d be best off in a fairly new RV with a fiberglass roof? Should I minimize the number of slides to minimize water problems?

My budget is flexible, I could do 50K or 150K+, when I sell my house. There aren’t any RV dealerships close so I’m forced to look online, but if I go on RVTrader, I’m sort of overwhelmed. I’ve read so many posts saying to go with top brands like National, Tiffin, Newmar, Monaco, but I don’t know what brands/models to focus on for my particular requirements. So I’d appreciate recommendations as specific as possible of what’s worked for you, likes or dislikes. My kids are here in New Jersey, so I'd like something that can take the Northeast climates, 3 seasons plus some, so insulation and heating would be important.

Thanks to anyone who read all this, it is much appreciated. I'd really like to do this if I can.


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Old 10-28-2015, 01:16 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2015
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If you plan on going full time and have allergies, I advise once buying an RV thoroughly cleaning it with the brand BIO-KLEEN, a Biodegradable RV/Boat Product Line. There are many different types within that line that can help maintain cleanliness and guard your materials from outside harm. Since your guidelines are health-based, make sure the A/C/Heating Ducts are metal so you're not breathing in the insulation. On most top of the line Class A's, they should be metal. Try to veer away from any seating or beds made with microfiber, they can seal in moisture and bacteria fast. Depending on where you buy from, you should have their or a certified technician go over all the bases so you're not taking a chance with your health. To help get circulation, try adding Maxx-AIR vents to your coach, this will increase the air flow while helping moderate temperature! Also, when and if you get an inspection, double check all alarms are working so you can be aware if anything were to happen! I believe the Rear Diesels are smoother rides than the other with the fumes blowing right out of the back and no noise!

Tiffin Mfg. is by far my favorite in class, the amenities, layouts and options available are well worth the money spent.

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Old 10-28-2015, 01:18 PM   #3
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Paul, If you are still in the same area you have three large dealers within a half hour in Lakewood (Exit 90 GSP) Colonial, Scott and Camping World. All have websites and sell both used and new. I got my Sunova at Colonial, my friend got his Tiffin at Scott. I think you are the right path going with something pre-owned. During the last four or five years that manufacturers have been eliminating carpet. In some 2016 models they run the vinyl flooring up in the cab section eliminating the carpet in the drivers area. Back to your question about Mold Free Motor Homes - I don't know of any that are specifically rated mold free. I haven't had a mold issue in mine yet nor has any of my local RV friends. It's like a house you have to work at eliminating the conditions that allow mold to flourish. If it doesn't bother your allergies too much visit one of the dealers and walk through as many units that meet your needs as you can. Most of the mid-range gas Class A's should meet your needs in terms of cold weather use. Check for double pane windows, amount of insulation, heated compartments and tanks, etc. The only problem in the NE is finding a campground that stays open between October and May.
Bob and Cathy
2015 Itasca Sunova 33c towing a 2008 Jeep Wrangler Sahara
Member FMCA F421963, GS Life, SKP#127220, WIT, PA,
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Old 10-28-2015, 01:32 PM   #4
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FWIW as long as there is no water damage you should not have a mold problem. Wintering over in the NE can be a problem not the least of which is high condensation from high humidity in the low volume environment. I would worry about mold from that. All things considered I would be looking at ~5 year old 35-40 ft A with any carpets removed and replaces with laminate or vinyl. I would put in a few throw rugs for the high traffic areas or cold bedroom floor. YMMV. Winterization would be a place in Florida, the LRGV in Texas or southern AZ.
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Old 10-28-2015, 02:14 PM   #5
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An RV I can breathe in

This would be a good choice. Fiberglass roof. Tile floors except in the slide outs. 3 ducted air conditioners. Oasis hydronic heating means no "burned dust" smell that propane furnaces sometimes give off.

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Old 10-28-2015, 04:24 PM   #6
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@ Gene Probably be a good thing for none of us to be breathing insulation. Iíll definitely check out the Maxx-AIR vents. I didnít know that about microfiber, Iíll stay far away.

@ Bob Iím about 2 hours from those Lakewood RV dealers now, definitely doable. I have a friend on LBI who just bought a Winnebago at Colonial and was happy with the service. Driftwood, down by you, had a huge presence at the AC show. A problem I have going in units, is if I react in one, the symptoms take a time to abate, so when I go in another, not sure what Iím feeling. In a new fully carpeted unit, you really get a blast of it in the enclosed space. I had been looking mainly so far at the mid-range gas Class Aís.

@ nothermark What Iím most concerned about is condensation inside and undetected leaks outside. So ventilation is going be key for me. You think less than 5 year hold huh? Would wintering in FL pose a problem with itís high humidity? AZ would of course be dry as a bone.

@ pasdad1 Boy thatís some beautiful rig. Iíd be worried about the cost of maintaining a rig like that. Of course it would be my home, but just to replace the tires would be like putting on a new roof, which I donít normally do every 5 or 6 years. Given my requirements I may need to go higher up the ladder, which I think is your point.
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Old 10-28-2015, 11:25 PM   #7
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I would suggest you check out a Newmar dealer to view their gas units. They have very good insulation ratings for a motorhome with thicker walls and ceilings. We have a diesel Ventana LE and have been very impressed with the level of comfort in various climates. Good luck in your search.
Ron in NW Oregon
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:22 AM   #8
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I'm thinking around 5 years. Maybe 4-7 range given how MH's are age rated. By that time the various residues from construction should have out gassed but it is new enough to catch the move away from wall to wall carpet over the deck with everything built on top of it. It is also new enough that the roof should be water tight unless there was physical damage. I would be looking for signs of any repairs. I'd also run from anything with water stains but you already know that. That is about all I can see anyone doing. I would not consider one anybody tried to winter over in as condensation is a major issue when heating a small space like a MH in winter. (It sounds like you will be dealing with humidity balancing between being able to breath and getting too dry. Dehumidifier in the winter and summer.)

The mid sized gas sounds good to me as a place to start. It fits your lower price point, has defined living areas and reasonable tank capacity so you will not be very limited like the small units. You can buy that before you sell the house, sort it out on your terms in time and maybe live in it while you get the house emptied and sold. Worst case the cost of bailing out on it would not be too bad. If it works you are OK and if you decide later you want more you can trade up after the house is sold and you have some time in the life style and money in your pocket.

FWIW We have seen some decent units in the 35 foot class depending on what you want. Depending on the layout you can get decent closet space. I would also be looking at bunkhouse units as an option with the idea of pulling out the bunks and converting to a work and storage space. It somewhat depends on how you like to live. If you want a desk or workbench you can have it that way. You still have the other sleeping capacity if you plan on guests.

The reason I listed where I did was they are the 3 places people winter because it seldom freezes. That is about all I can tell you as you are the only one who knows what you can tolerate. One of your issues will be residency. It looks like you can use your kids for now while you take your time to assess each place with some on site time. I have been to two out of 3 and do not really like either option for long term living. ;-)
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:44 AM   #9
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Whatever you do, look into an electrostatic air cleaner. Not the fancy HEPA filter things that take 30 to 50 bucks every week for new filters, but a simpler electrostatic cleaner. It has a wire with an electrical charge that ionizes the air, and metal plates to attract dust and mold particles. A blower moves the air through and you get really nice clean smelling air. These things keep the air really clean.

Just something to check out.

Tom & Jan ---- Westwing43
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Old 10-29-2015, 08:03 AM   #10
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My brother and wife both are very sensitive to mold. Both have had no trouble in our Canyon Star, which has a Brite-Tek roof, double pane windows and good insulation. As others have said, the key is water intrusion, keep the water out and you'll have no mold. I'm not sure I'd rule out non-fiberglass roofs, our roof is trouble free, we've had the seams and other openings sealed once, something fiberglass roofs need also.

Stewart, Brenda and kids
2008 Newmar Canyon Star 3410
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