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Old 01-07-2016, 10:33 PM   #43
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Attached are our East-West and West to East Calendars. (hope the attach button worked?)

This was our proposed itinerary. We changed our plans a little here and there:

We don't think we should have stayed at Monument Valley--maybe one night but definitely not two. A 1/2 day stop would have been fine. So, we were able to drive through Valley of the Gods and see the Four Corners Monument.

We went to Disneyland on July 2 and 3. That wasn't on the calendar but one day at the park was in the plans! (surprised the kids, and squeezed the second day in because we could) The wedding we were going to in San Clemente wasn't until 5PM. We actually got there way too early? We could have hit a few more rides?

We visited Jackson Hole on a 1-day loop back to West Yellowstone in the Toad, stayed an extra night at Yellowstone and skipped Devils Tower and Wall Drug to make up the time. We did a 1/2 day stop at Mt. Rushmore. We actually arrived home at 1 in the morning Saturday night. That gave us a whole day to settle in before we went back to work.

The planning took a year. We did and saw much more than what is on the attachments. The kids never complained. They just kept asking what's next!

Like the trip my wife and I took in 1998, this will probably be the only trip west for us as a family. Getting a whole month off work is pretty tough on the job and co-workers. Luckily, I have great co-workers. They followed us on Facebook and enjoyed it with us.

As you can see, we crammed a lot in and are glad we did.

The DW and I do hope to take the slow tour someday after retirement.

Like other posters, I envy your two months. You can cram a lot into those. If you look at our itinerary, you might think it was hectic. I can honestly say it was a very relaxing trip. I was going to blank out the non-trip portion of our calendar, but thought I'd leave it there so you can see our "normal" life is kinda hectic. If I added our work calendars into the mix and you could get a better idea. The days just prior to our departure were the end of the school year so less hectic than usual.

Incidentally, on our 1998 trip, we got home at 11:30 Sunday night and had to be at work the next day. We decided to stay an extra night at Rocky Mountain and chance going straight to work from the road! Glad we did even though I was pretty tired back on the job.

We are now planning a 2.5-week vacation to Disney World, the beach and Key West with a stop at Everglades either on the way down or back.

Hope this can help,

East to West Trip.pdf

West to East Trip.pdf
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:16 AM   #44
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For a two-month trip I think you're over thinking this. Buy a used RV, have it checked out thoroughly, and take off!!
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:46 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Ranger Smith View Post
For a 2 month once in a lifetime trip why not just rent one??

I agree that you should rent. It would a lot less than $100k. And if it breaks down, it's on the rental company. Try Cruise America for starters.
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Old 01-08-2016, 05:31 AM   #46
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i agree rent one
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:04 AM   #47
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I have a couple problems with rental....even though it does offer the benefit of a replacement likely being available should the thing break down.

First issue is that we aren't looking to do all those shakedown trips JUST to get ready for the big trip. We are excited about having it and going to the smokies and other awesome places around nashville, Bonnaroo, and tailgating at an Auburn and Titans football game(WAR EAGLE). We are excited about all that and that would push rental prices sky high.

The second is with the price of rental. I am 6'6 and the only floorplan that worked for me in the CruiseAmerica fleet(we went and view them in person) was the 30'.

The 30' costs:

$4800/month x 2 = 9600
+ $1120(per 3200miles) X 2 = 2240
= approx $12000 + 10% sales tax

Total = $13200 for 2 month rental

If I bought a 60k used RV I could pay 10% tax and take a 10% depreciation and it would still only be $12000, but with the added benefit of not having just hopped in an RV for the first time and trying to drive 6000 miles thru massively varied traffic conditions and topography. Also, should we be so inclined we could also just keep the RV if we love it.

Now, if we payed 100k we'd be looking at much greater cost of buying, but the people around here have made me quite a bit more comfortable about buying used and going much cheaper than 100k.
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:26 AM   #48
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If you buy wise and slow and sell wise and slow you might not loose 10%, you might even break even. Buy one you really like and you might end up keeping it?? Look at it this way, you already ahead $13,200....
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:53 AM   #49
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I think for what you are proposing to do I would rent an RV. I have been a park host for several years and have had the opportunity to speak with many people renting units. One company I have seen a lot of is "Travel America". Many people come from Europe or Japan and do what you are planning to do and they Rent. Insurance, Roadside assistance and emergency repairs are preplanned.
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:03 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by eonblue View Post
The second is with the price of rental. I am 6'6 and the only floorplan that worked for me in the CruiseAmerica fleet(we went and view them in person) was the 30'.



The 30' costs:



$4800/month x 2 = 9600

+ $1120(per 3200miles) X 2 = 2240

= approx $12000 + 10% sales tax



Total = $13200 for 2 month rental



If I bought a 60k used RV I could pay 10% tax and take a 10% depreciation and it would still only be $12000...

I think you have to figure in the costs of insurance AND a roadside service policy AND a extended warranty....these are all probably already factored into the cost of the rental.

If you buy, you will be paying those costs starting the day you buy it, until you sell it....with the rental the costs are fixed, and stop when you turn it back in.
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:48 PM   #51
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Please help me keep from making a MASSIVE mistake

I would still consider renting unless you are serious about keeping or buying an RV. The RV my wife and I bought ( new) was not based on a few months of RVing. We looked at RV, Fifth Wheels, TT, camping facilities and talked to various owners about experience ( good and bad) of ownership for nearly 2 years before pulling the plug. We love our RV, but it was a long process to determine storage cost, insurance, maintenance, gas mileage, tax benefits, personalization (satellite), depreciation and long term travel plans while we are in our working years. Your title is "please help keep from making a MASSIVE mistake."

Your math is a $1200 differential to do your traveling by rental or buying. Renting will help determine what you like and don't like about RVing. Buying an RV then selling it afterwards is a gutsy move in an attempt to break even with added potential headaches.

You should do your trip without a question! As a current financial planner, I would rent in this case.
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:06 PM   #52
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Check out this company.

http://luxuryrvforrent.com

You could easily pack your clothes in the car and drive to neighbouring NC
to pickup the RV....then start your trip from there.
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Old 01-08-2016, 04:50 PM   #53
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Please help me keep from making a MASSIVE mistake

Quote:
Originally Posted by eonblue View Post
Hmm.....you guys and gals recommending and older used model are starting to make me seriously consider finding something much cheaper. We are WILLING to take a large hit on resale, but I would much rather avoid doing that. As my OP probably makes obvious, my main concern has been avoiding issues on the road and I just kind of figured throwing money at the issue might help do that, but if I can avoid doing so I would rather. Honestly the thought of buying something older just scares me given my inexperience and the relatively short duration of the trip.

2 years ago I bought a 1999 Triple E Commander. I have put some work into it, but would not hesitate to take it on a trip like you are planning. I have taken mine through the mountains with no issues and it has never let me down. I do have Good Sam roadside assistance but have never used it yet (knock on wood). My very first trip after I bought it was 2250 miles.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:33 PM   #54
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I think you need to figure out what your goal is. Are you wanting to have the camping experience plus seeing the US and doing some hiking, or do you think the only way you can do it economically is in an RV.

I know this is contrary to what your being told, but you asked for help in avoiding a mistake. You may just consider staying at hotels on this two month trip if you are just going to sell the RV at the end of the trip, here is my math on it based on some of the things you have already stated and some estimations:

10% Sales Tax License $6000
10% depreciation $6000
Gas $2000-3000(gas in Ca is over $3 gallon/could be =/-)
RV spots $1800 ($30 night/60 nights, could be more/less)
Insurance $300 (just a ballpark)


Total: $16100-17100


Hotel/Motel $6000 (based on approx. $100/night for 60 nights)
Gas $500 (Approx based on using your Honda)


Total: $6500


I didn't include food as you have to eat either way, you will save some in the RV as you can cook your own meals, but it will balance out with other misc stuff you will need for the RV. Laundry and other misc stuff will be the same either way.

The only reason I brought this up is we were in the same dilemma as you when we just took our trip around the US this summer. Even though we already have a MH we left it at home as we spent 2 months on the road and ended up traveling about 8000 miles total, seeing many more things than we would have with the MH. We did have 4 different families to visit on the trip so we ended up spending about half the time in Hotels and the other half in their houses. I didn't want to have to leave the MH anywhere when we were at the different relatives, even though there were times we missed having our MH.

If you really just want to do a two month camping trip then by all means follow your dream. But if it is just to see as much of the US and as many National Parks as possible, then I would do it in your car. There are plenty of hotels/motels around the parks to stay in. I wouldn't buy an RV just for two months, and then sell it losing the tax/license/depreciation, and most of all any issues that may require repairs. Even the best of MH's may require repairs while on the road that are costly as well as time consuming. If you are dead set on doing the trip in an RV and camping, then I would recommend renting one, as at least the rental company would be on the hook for repairs and keeping you on the road.

I'm sure many will disagree with me, as this is an RV forum. I'm just giving you an honest answer as we have done both, and own a MH which we have taken on several month or longer trips. The only way I would recommend buying the MH for the trip is if you are considering keeping the MH after the trip. Only you can answer these questions and how much money you are will to spend for a two month adventure. And remember you can still go camping after you have kids, it is a lot of fun.
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Old 01-09-2016, 08:21 AM   #55
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I agree.... Rent or go with "Mike and Cha" plan of drive the car and stay in hotels.

If you go the RV route, you should scale WAY back your mileage and stops for a 60 day trip.....the whole point to doing it in an RV is being spontaneous, having total freedom, and going at a slow pace to stop and smell the roses. If you have to meet deadlines, make certain reservations, etc takes away the joy in my opinion. You don't want to be pressured into trying to drive the RV at 80mph to make a certain deadline.......in your Honda you could drive that speed and be safer while doing it.

A compromise would be to rent a large SUV or maybe a truck pulling a small enclosed U-haul trailer with all your gear. I did several camping trips like this renting the large 15 passenger vans, and taking all the back seats out.....plenty of room in the back for all the gear...and the Van was a new vehicle with less than 20,000 miles and ran perfect.
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:50 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike and Cha View Post
I think you need to figure out what your goal is. Are you wanting to have the camping experience plus seeing the US and doing some hiking, or do you think the only way you can do it economically is in an RV.

I know this is contrary to what your being told, but you asked for help in avoiding a mistake. You may just consider staying at hotels on this two month trip if you are just going to sell the RV at the end of the trip, here is my math on it based on some of the things you have already stated and some estimations:
I really appreciate the honestly, time and thought put into this post. Seriously. Im not here to get my own notions reinforced...im here to try to capitalize you this forums collection wisdom.

My wife and I had considered doing car/hotel because of many of the factors you cited, but having someone else say it for some reason shed a different light on it. My wife and I had a long discussion after I read this to her. From the outset we knew that hotels(or tents) would by far be the cheapest route to go.....but when I think about being in a small car that amount of time it makes me cringe. In my wifes honda my arse starts to go numb in like 200 miles. Also, the main draw to us of the RV was being smack dab in the middle of the parks. Waking up in there and not having to make drives into or out of them to start our hikes. It seems like they would afford you quite a bit of extra time actually being IN the parks without having to sleep in a tent every night.

In the end RV is going to be the most expensive option by far whether we rent OR buy. But the crux of your post, or the central point that resonates with me, was how much is the camping experience worth to us and like you said, we have to do some soul searching to answer that question.

When I envision our desires and goals for this trip, in my gut I feel that anything other than an RV would be a disappointment, but the problem there is that Ive never been in one right??? But I figure theres gotta be a reason all you good folks own them.

As an aside, I do want to say this. My wife and I have watched as all our friends have kids while we struggled with the decision and instead focused on getting completely out of debt except the house and built a 6 month emergency fund. We are there now and have been for two years and we worked hard to do it. We have zero debt(other than a moderate house) and could pay our house off in 2 years if we went lock down mode. After all that work and "discipline" we kind of want to let it hang loose for a minute and be "irresponsible" before we lock it back down with the kid thing. I only say this in case anyone is thinking we might be putting ourselves in a dangerous situation money-wise.

How is THAT for rambling!

ETA: Ive mentioned it before, but I dont want to minimize how excited we are to own have the RV all year starting in spring until next winter. We have a lot of trips in mind for that time period.
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