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Old 07-04-2012, 05:42 PM   #1
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Clueless

Hi All,
My wife and I keep talking about buying a RV motorhome to see the USA in the next year. We are getting ready to retire in 5 years or so and live in Massachusetts. Weíve been busy all our lives raising kids, animals, and trying to do the right kind of things for the community. So, now we finally want to make our dream come true but donít have a clue on where to start!!! We love this site and have been getting tons of ideas/ information from you all. We donít have much money, (still have a few in college and one more to go) but think we can afford a second had motorhome. My brother tells me it will kill us with maintenance, but I donít think thatís true. Anyway, what brand motorhome should we be looking at that is reliable second hand around 40 Ė 50k?
Thanks for any help you can give us,
Moon
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:20 PM   #2
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Hello Moonless and welcome! I used to live in Massachusetts but have fallen in love with RVing in the west. If you haven't been out this way much yet I suspect you will be as bewitched by the landscapes as we have been.

We have been traveling full-time for five years and we have done all our RVing in trailers rather than motorhomes. I don't know if you would consider a trailer rather than a motorhome, but we have found them to be very economical and comfortable. We started with a 27' trailer that could be towed (theoretically) with a half-ton truck. After a year we upgraded to a 36' fifth wheel and a one-ton truck which we have had ever since.

What I like about trailers is that you only have one vehicle engine to maintain, and in many cases there are fewer tires to maintain all together (vs. MH + car), and they are very easy and fast to hitch up and unhitch.

The only disadvantage we've found is that we have to keep moving our maps between the truck and the trailer so we have them while driving and then can study them in our lazy boys in the evenings.

There are lots of great brands of trailers out there - Hitchhiker (what we have), Heartland and Arctic Fox/Nash come to mind (we've seen the factories of these manufacturers and they seem very well run). The three American diesel trucks are all terrific (Dodge, Chevy, Ford) and very common, so very easy to fix/maintain.

Choosing a motorhome or trailer is mostly a matter of taste and style, but I believe truck/trailers are slightly cheaper to buy and possibly to maintain. Either way, since you are at the beginning of your search it's worth contemplating all the options before committing...

Good luck and happy trails. RVing is a great way of life.
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:33 PM   #3
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RV ???

I would suggest a fifth wheel and a suitable pick up truck. A used motor home could really suck up the $$. Fifth wheels are easy to tow, easy to hook up and maintenance is limited. I'd stay away from a used motor home as a first time experience. Find yourself a nice used diesel crew cab and then look for a fifth wheel trailer.
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:22 PM   #4
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:02 AM   #5
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Howdy and welcome!! There are lots of reliable RVs available in your price range, but your brother is correct...maintenance can be expensive. As one poster said recently, "just because you can afford to buy a motorhome does not mean you can afford to own one." Do your homework and consider the additional expenses of upkeep, storage, insurance, roadside assistance, fuel, and maintenance. (Not trying to discourage you, but you need to know what to expect!) Good luck.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:16 AM   #6
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Howdy and welcome!! There are lots of reliable RVs available in your price range, but your brother is correct...maintenance can be expensive. As one poster said recently, "just because you can afford to buy a motorhome does not mean you can afford to own one." Do your homework and consider the additional expenses of upkeep, storage, insurance, roadside assistance, fuel, and maintenance. (Not trying to discourage you, but you need to know what to expect!) Good luck.

SarahW put it very politely, but the bottom line is that they are an
endless "Money Pit" that is relentless.
Your brother is right, you are wrong, and if you think sending kids to
college is expensive, just buy a motorhome.....

.
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:20 AM   #7
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What kind of money pit motorhome do you own?
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:26 AM   #8
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What kind of money pit motorhome do you own?

It's in my signature, but basically the same kind everyone else owns.
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:37 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sequim Guy View Post
SarahW put it very politely, but the bottom line is that they are an
endless "Money Pit" that is relentless.
Your brother is right, you are wrong, and if you think sending kids to
college is expensive, just buy a motorhome.....

.
I'm wondering what sort of recreation in anybody's life does NOT cost money on an ongoing basis?

Do you golf? Good heavens, greens fees are astronomical.
Go out to dinner or the theater? What a waste, all that money for an hour's entertainment.
Own a vacation condo? My gosh, the maintenance fees can kill you.
Take cruises?
Spend time at the shooting range?
Drink single malt (or for pity's sake- single barrel) Scotch whiskey?

All expensive amusements, and all foolish expenditures in somebody else's eyes.

The whole money-pit idea seems to ring a bit false to me.
Yes, you can save money by NOT buying an RV at all, but you can also save money by eating only Top Raman and day-old bread with dollar store peanut butter. But who'd want to?

Of course, some folks would have you buy a new rig in order to "save" on maintenance and repairs, but I can't see that you'll spend that extra $100,000 on repairs, no matter WHAT old rig you buy.

JMHO, of course.
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:21 AM   #10
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Howdy and welcome aboard. Hope you enjoy the site and find the information that can allow you to make and educated decision on the type of rv that would work best for you. Hope all works out and you can enjoy traveling the beautiful USA. Good luck and hope to see you down the road.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:31 AM   #11
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I'm thinking we should look at 5th wheels, but the wife thinks the motorhome would be better for her as she thinks the kids/grandkids would want to go on some shorter trips. Oh man... this is going to be a fun and confusing adventure just figuring the best solution for us!!!!
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Sequim Guy View Post
SarahW put it very politely, but the bottom line is that they are an
endless "Money Pit" that is relentless.
Your brother is right, you are wrong, and if you think sending kids to
college is expensive, just buy a motorhome.....

.

OK, I may have been a little harsh since I was kind of mad at my MH because
there has been a lot of repairs lately. But I knew about repairs when I
bought it and then when it happened, I was irritated. Yes I know, life isn't
fair, at least that's what I tell my kids...
But a new owner of a used MH does need to be aware that at some point,
there will be (probably) pricey repairs, it just goes with ownership of fairly
expensive toys, as mentioned in a earlier post.
Anyway, I paid the repairs and have moved on, please don't pay any attention
to my negative sounding post, it was a temporary rant.
Buy a MH and have fun with it, that's the reason we buy them...

.



Almost forgot, the only problem I see with grandkids and 5th wheel is that there
is no riding in it while traveling, in a MH they can move around and use bathroom.
Also you need a truck with room for all the people.
You'll figure it all out.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:47 PM   #13
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There are often two sides of ownership of anything.

First off there is no better way to travel and see the USA than with a motorhome.

Our previous motorhome was a 1995 Fleetwood Bounder and in about 12 years of ownership there were exactly TWO trips to an RV dealer. Once for an electronic board failure for the Fridge and once for a failed furnace. Both repairs were less than $300 each.
We also had the normal running gear maintenance, a couple batteries, new tires and some small household type repairs. There were thousands of trouble free miles with loads family fun.

NOT a money pit for us. Enjoy your future travels.
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:05 PM   #14
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A $50K budget will buy you a LOT of NICE used motorhome. I have not found mine to be a huge money pit, but I HAVE found it to be a constant maintenance chore. I do all my own stunts though. I imagine if I had to take it to a dealer to fix all the stuff I have fixed or upgraded myself, I would have a different perspective.

As to the 5th wheel vs motorhome argument, there are pros and cons to both. You have to examine those pros/cons in the context of what you expect to be doing with your RV to be able to come to an informed decision.

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