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Old 01-09-2016, 11:16 AM   #57
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"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."

I think you just answered your own question.

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Old 01-09-2016, 11:27 AM   #58
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You seem to be very outdoor-minded and I don't think a motel is the way to go for you. There's quite a difference if you can stay right in the midst of where you want to explore and hike.

You are financially solid and you deserve this awesome experience. Now start shopping!!
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Old 01-09-2016, 12:09 PM   #59
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Eonblue, I totally understand how you feel and get why you feel that making this trip in anything other than an RV would be a disappointment. On our 2 month trip around the US, as I left home and left the MH sitting the driveway, I was initially disappointed. But as we traveled and took many side trips to see things where we would have never taken the MH we found that for that type of trip it was the best decision we could have made. We had no time schedule to keep and stopped whenever we felt like it. We went off course several times during the trip, and took roads without worrying about the gas, or if it was safe to do in the MH, seeing many things we would have just passed by.

Another option would be to rent a bigger SUV type car that gets decent gas mileage so you will be more comfortable and still hotel/motel it. The additional cost would be around $800-$1000 for the trip.

You sound like you have been very responsible with your finances, and just want to go enjoy a trip before you start a family. Being finically responsible will be the key to being able to enjoy your lifestyle with or without kids. You are way ahead of a lot of people your age in this area, and it is probably due to your diligence when making financial decisions. Just because have a child doesn't mean you have to stop enjoying your life. A lot our kid's favorite memories are of times spent camping in our various RV's.

Again the only way I would buy a RV for this trip is if you plan to keep it. That way you could make it your own and any repairs or maintenance you do will be worth it. The way I see it you will be money ahead you keep it, and will get at least a year and a half use out of it before a baby comes. Then you will have a lifetime of memories to come. Good luck in making your decision.
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Old 01-09-2016, 12:16 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
You seem to be very outdoor-minded and I don't think a motel is the way to go for you. There's quite a difference if you can stay right in the midst of where you want to explore and hike.

You are financially solid and you deserve this awesome experience. Now start shopping!!
Our first backcountry excursion is the Paintbrush Divide loop in the Tetons

Paintbrush Canyon Cascade Canyon Trail Loop - Grand Teton Hikes

20 miles with 4k feet of elevation gain up to 10700 ft over the pass!!!

When we did Zion we did base to the rim which was similar elevation gain, but there was no water until the top so I had to carry 4 liters up that 3200 ft elevation. Switchbacks straight up the cliffs. Maybe 45-50 pounds of gear in my pack at outset. BRUTAL! We've since lightened our gear, but when we did it in the last half mile we were so at the limit that we were considering giving up making it to the campsight and just pitching a tent on the side of the trail! My wife, bless her heart, was a champion and that trip made me so proud to be married to her. Lots of other women would have KILLED me. She never complained. Not one time.

Just as we were about to relent we met the last two people we would see until mid next day......we asked where the site was and it turned out I could have hit it with a rock! I tell people we were so tired that when we dropped our gear there were no words...no sense of the elation that you would have expected, just exhausted silences as we slumped to the ground LOL.

You have no idea what you can do until you HAVE to do it. That being said.........Ive already started weight and cardio training 8 months in advance. We're going to curbstomp that tetons hike So excited.
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Old 01-09-2016, 01:01 PM   #61
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If you do decide to purchase a motorhome, join Passport America. If you use just 3 or 4 of their affiliated campgrounds on your trip, you'll have paid their fee. Anymore than that and you'll be dollars ahead.

Some unsolicited advice: go for it while you're young, healthy and can financially afford it. Circumstances can change in a heartbeat.

More advice: Buy an air compressor powerful enough to inflate your tires and a good tire pressure gauge. Check pressure in every tire each morning before leaving on the day's journey and inflate to proper pressure. Check water level in all batteries at least weekly. Use only distilled water when needed. Buy a roadside assistance policy. You have two options: Good Sam & CoachNet. I've had both. I prefer CoachNet. Try to avoid Camping World for service. Buy most supplies, like toilet paper & digester from Walmart. Their parking lots are RV BIG. Never let your fuel gauge fall much below 1/2 before fueling up. Select your gas stations with care. Check entrance & egress before committing yourself. Remember, you're driving a "Big Un"! If you're unsure, pass it up & go to next one. You might have to pass up several until you find one you're comfortable with using. Buy a spray can of silicone lubricant. Lubricate automatic steps frequently. Don't rely on WD40, it's a cleaner, not a lubricant. Assemble a basic tool box (wrenches, socket set, screwdrivers, wire ties, good electrical tape, gorilla glue & tape and at least one hammer for those times when nothing else will do but a solid whack or two. It may still won't work, but you'll feel better! Don't pack a lot of clothes or food. There's always a food or clothing store around. We often find clothing bargains at places like Goodwill. A lot of these places are supported and run by churches. "Buy 'em, wash 'em, wear 'em!" Finally, take pictures and videos. Lots of them.

Post your decisions going forward.



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Old 01-09-2016, 01:10 PM   #62
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By the way, we're originally from Nashville. We always loved camping at the nearby Corps of Engineer campgrounds: Cedar Creek, Seven Points & Cages Bend.


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Old 01-09-2016, 03:29 PM   #63
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One small update. I own an Accord w/ 170k miles and my wife, the Fit with 120k miles. Both paid for. We've been discussing what to do next and, with the child perhaps upcoming, were discussing buying a super safe crossover or SUV. We weren't going to make that purchase until those cars wheels were falling but if we moved up that purchase it would put small travel trailers in play as an option. We could either get something very cheap but plenty for us or, I understand Airstreams hold their value exceptionally well and my wife has always loved those things for whatever reason.

Anyway, it wouldnt exactly be the Class A RV experience(that huge window has GOT to be nice), but it would achieve our desire of staying in the parks and the vehicle we'd be purchasing would be lightyears more comfortable to travel long distance in.

Thoughts there? I'll keep you guys and gals updated.
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Old 01-09-2016, 04:29 PM   #64
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OP: You've made some awesome hikes in areas we love. We hiked down the Bright Angel Trail in Grand Canyon to pick up our raft for nine days on the river. That's another to put on your bucket list...a fantastic experience.

We also hiked 'The Wave' at northern AZ/southern Utah border. Google it. I'm sure you've seen many photos of it. Again....quite an experience.

You'll love RVing and after your big trip I'll bet you continue with RVing. It'll take you to very special places. Have fun planning your trip!
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Old 01-09-2016, 05:10 PM   #65
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I've owned a pull-behind trailer. Had it setup properly to a GMC p/u and it still scared me when 18 wheelers passed me. Last time it happened on a weekend camping trip to Cages Bend COA, scared me so much, I took it to Huntsville the next Saturday and traded it for a class A. That was about 30 years ago. Since then, I've traded RVs 3 times. Now I have my last RV, a 39 footer from Newmar. Love it.

If you decide to buy a trailer, be watchful at all times of traffic coming up behind you.


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Old 01-10-2016, 05:05 AM   #66
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Keep the motorhome down to around 32' to make sure you can get in the parks you want to stay in. We took a 2 month long trip to the West a couple of years ago from central Alabama. We took turns driving which is a idea for you to consider. Once I got over the fear and got a little confidence, it was a piece of cake to drive. Sharing driving duty really allows you to arrive more rested and ready to get out there. We had a loose agenda and adjusted it based on how much we liked the park or what we found along the way. Fantastic time and very doable. Have fun!

A great part of the trip was walking around the campgrounds and talking to people. We found out about many local things that way that we truly enjoyed. Can't do that in a hotel!
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:44 AM   #67
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I've owned a pull-behind trailer. Had it setup properly to a GMC p/u and it still scared me when 18 wheelers passed me. Last time it happened on a weekend camping trip to Cages Bend COA, scared me so much, I took it to Huntsville the next Saturday and traded it for a class A. That was about 30 years ago. Since then, I've traded RVs 3 times. Now I have my last RV, a 39 footer from Newmar. Love it.

If you decide to buy a trailer, be watchful at all times of traffic coming up behind you.


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Don't let that story scare you. Either his trailer was not setup properly and or there was an issue of driver confidence. A truly properly set up trailer will not cause white knuckles everytime a semi passes you. If that were the case you wouldn't see so many trailers on the road. Many being pulled by those up in their years. This person's experience is not typical.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:09 AM   #68
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I am in the "go for it" camp but buy a more modest unit used with kids in mind and keep the RV. We are a lot like you in that we traveled a lot as a young couple and we still travel a lot with our kids. We did 7500 miles during a 5 week trip in the summer of 2014 pulling our then new 28' travel trailer with my 10 year old dodge 2500. It was a blast. The kids were 3 and 9. We stayed in Mesa Verde, Grand Canyon North and South rim, Arches, Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore and Great Sand Dunes. We certainly had a schedule and would have loved to stay longer at every place but it was never rushed. The RV is creating lifetime memories for the kids. This summer we have planned another trip but now have a 2007 Winnebago class A and Jeep Wrangler toad. On this trip we are meeting grandparents at the north rim of the Grand Canyon and traveling with them to CA then north to Washington and over to Glacier. They'll be in their Class C and we will be in our Class A It will be pretty special to spend the time caravaning with the grandparents in this way. They're the ones who taught me to want to see the country and our parks. We traveled out west in our VW van when I was a kid in the 70s.

I have promised the kids I will take them to every state by their 18th birthday and as many national parks as possible. They have the park passports and love filling them up. We have lots of miles to go and try to use the RV every couple of months here in Florida when not on our big adventures. We are lucky in that we live in South Florida and work is very seasonal so taking 5-6 weeks off in the summer is no problem. We were in Europe for 3 weeks this past summer. Honestly we love traveling so much that we would sell everything and live in the RV if it was the only way we could afford to do it, fortunately it is not but we would. The trip is exciting from planning to execution.

Me as a kid:



My kids:



You get the idea, have fun.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:44 AM   #69
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Old 01-10-2016, 08:01 AM   #70
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For a 2 month once in a lifetime trip why not just rent one??
We did a similar trip in a pop up. We had never done the RV thing before but looking at renting one for that amount of time AND that mileage is extremely expensive.

We just bought, outright, a very used pop up. Other than not having room to change my mind inside and finding out we had no heat (this was July but it was 40 in Alberta). And requiring TWO sides to a bed...I'm too damned old to be crawling across a hubby and two dogs to pee. We ended up going 8,000 miles...

What it did do was prove we LOVED the RV lifestyle BUT not in a pop up (esp at our age...I'm 61).

But I checked the cost of just renting...JUST the rental was over 3K for three weeks not including the mileage which added about another 4K, and we bought our pop up for less than 5K.
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