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Old 03-16-2008, 07:49 PM   #1
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OK, so not exactly a newbie, but pretty dang near one.

Back in the mid 90's, I bought a used 36' Class A Executive Motor home, used it to go to NASCAR races and the occasional camping trip.

Have worked a fairly stressful job that requires lots of hours and never had the time to use it, so I sold it in 2001.

I am 42 years old, married and have a 8 year old living at home, a couple older kids but they are grown and in college.

Our financial situation has changed in the last few months and it looks like we will be able to retire late this summer or fall, it depends on when we can get through all of our work load at our company.

We are looking to taking 2 years or so and seeing the USA and Canada my motorhome. Homeschool our very bright 8 year old and live a little.

Our budget for the MH will be in the $350-500k range. Looking for all kinds of input....from good manufacturers to bad. We live in D/FW, so we have a good assortment of dealers here locally, but want to get an education before we start looking.

We would like a seperate area for the daughter, don't want to mess with her sleeping on a sleeper/sofa. We will be driving more than staying...probably stay in one area 3 to 4 days, then move on.

We are also looking for good ideas for a toad, and want to hear input on pulling and enclosed trailer with the car in it, along with maybe a couple of Vespa's, bicycles, etc.

I lived in my 36' while going through a divorce, and know the constraints of living full time in an RV. Bigger is better in my mind.

We plan on trying to go coast to coast in a matter of two years and then plan on spending a year in Europe before my daughter would enter Jr. High, where we feel it's necessary for her to rejoin the "real" world.

Any and all ideas/suggestions appreciated.
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Old 03-16-2008, 07:49 PM   #2
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OK, so not exactly a newbie, but pretty dang near one.

Back in the mid 90's, I bought a used 36' Class A Executive Motor home, used it to go to NASCAR races and the occasional camping trip.

Have worked a fairly stressful job that requires lots of hours and never had the time to use it, so I sold it in 2001.

I am 42 years old, married and have a 8 year old living at home, a couple older kids but they are grown and in college.

Our financial situation has changed in the last few months and it looks like we will be able to retire late this summer or fall, it depends on when we can get through all of our work load at our company.

We are looking to taking 2 years or so and seeing the USA and Canada my motorhome. Homeschool our very bright 8 year old and live a little.

Our budget for the MH will be in the $350-500k range. Looking for all kinds of input....from good manufacturers to bad. We live in D/FW, so we have a good assortment of dealers here locally, but want to get an education before we start looking.

We would like a seperate area for the daughter, don't want to mess with her sleeping on a sleeper/sofa. We will be driving more than staying...probably stay in one area 3 to 4 days, then move on.

We are also looking for good ideas for a toad, and want to hear input on pulling and enclosed trailer with the car in it, along with maybe a couple of Vespa's, bicycles, etc.

I lived in my 36' while going through a divorce, and know the constraints of living full time in an RV. Bigger is better in my mind.

We plan on trying to go coast to coast in a matter of two years and then plan on spending a year in Europe before my daughter would enter Jr. High, where we feel it's necessary for her to rejoin the "real" world.

Any and all ideas/suggestions appreciated.
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Old 03-17-2008, 06:33 AM   #3
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Check out the Newmar All Star
They have a floor plan with two separate bedrooms and designed for a family.
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Old 03-17-2008, 07:16 AM   #4
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I don't believe you can beat a Jeep Wrangler for a toad, especially the 4 Dr with hard top that has easily removed roof sections. Can go off road for those areas of the country not paved or fully improved. High road clearance and easy to set up for towing.
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:24 AM   #5
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Gary gave good advice about the AllStar. There are more floor plans than appear on their web site. Check with Newmar directly or visit a local dealer. One can go so far as to give the girl her own appartment with her own entrance! Or just about any floor plan you can imagine. The Allstar is easily configurable, by the factory, to you needs.

For the toad, 4 wheel drive should be high on your list. Not necessarily all wheel drive, but 4 wheel drive where the transfer case can easily be put into neutral. The rest is personal preference.
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Old 03-17-2008, 04:05 PM   #6
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Cowtowner,

First, welcome to iRV2 You've come to the right place for answers. There's a great bunch of folks here that'll help you.

2nd, congrats on your good fortune. You will be able to enjoy a life with your family that many aspire to.

RV Roamer found one of the few MH manufacturers that have bunks as well as a master bedroom. I saw a Vantana with bunks at an RV show. It was really a hit with families that wanted real beds for their kids. Gulfstream is another manufacturer that has bunk beds for kids.

I highly recommend a Jeep for a "toad". Engageable FWD allows you to go lots of places, most especially off-road; still gets decent MPG, & is easily towable 4-down. You won't need to have a dolly or full trailer; pull any fuses or worry about stopping every so many hours or so many miles to start the vehicle to run its fluids through it.

If you aren't locked into a MH, Teton is one 5th wheel that has a kids bedroom complete with it's own entertainment center & a door for privacy. Gulfstream (linked above) also has a 5th wheel(Sedona Edition) with a separate kids bedroom that even has it's own half bath. Here's another custom 5th wheel. An rv like these combined with a MDT or HDT would make quite a spacious way to see the country. Having a 5th wheel makes full use of the living space. With a MH, you sacrifice some of the living area to the driving cockpit.

Whichever way you go, take your time checking out units that fit your lifestyle best. IMO, half the fun is in the shopping. Keep us posted on your experiences.

L-
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:05 AM   #7
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That sounds like a great traveling schedule you have. Keep us posted often of your travels,with photos if possible.

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Old 03-18-2008, 11:30 AM   #8
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I am very familiar with the Wranglers as I have owned a Jeep of one type or another for a long time.

One of my hobbies is rockcrawling, and to tell you the truth, to get my wife to agree to a Jeep for a TOAD may be asking a bunch. I may have to take her for a test drive of a new Rubicon 4 door.

I've kicked around the idea of a 5th wheel as I drive a Duramax Dually now, but the ability to use the living areas during the travelling time is one of the reasons why a motorhome appeals to us.
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:38 PM   #9
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Hi Cowtowner, WELCOME! We've been RV'ing for about 20 years, In my "oppinion" the most practical way to travel is in a class "A" motorhome, towing a Pick-up Truck, four door, 4 wheel drive (tow-able)wheels on the ground. The class "A" M.H. gives you the ability to keep driving when your wife or child needs to go to the bathroom, or take a nap, or make coffee, or whatever excuse they can think of to get you to pull over. Ha. Ha. Many States do not allow passingers in the towed trailer and its much easyer and safer being able to keep an eye on your passingers. The reason I like a 4 wheel drive P.U. is w/4 doors you have room for family and friends when you travel from your campsite, you can load ATV's or the like in the bed of the truck, when driving from a camping location you should be in a more fuel efficent vehicle. We have settled on a 40' Foretravel diesel pusher, towing a 4 door, Dodge Dakota 4x4 GOOD LUCK. and I like the Home Schooling Idea... GRV
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