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Old 12-25-2013, 01:15 PM   #1
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I'm Dave and I am Here to Learn

Hi everyone. I'm Dave Berkowitz (NOT that one!) and I live in Schaumburg, IL.

I plan on retiring about a year from now and my wife and I are discussing buying an RV to do some travelling after that happens. The problem is we have zero knowledge on the subject. We just know that we want to be able to take a few trips a year to various parts of the country and want to be able to bring our two dogs and perhaps a pet bird along with us.

I will likely be very quiet for a time while I learn enough to even figure out what questions I should be asking. And when I do ask they will likely be foolish beginner questions. I'm hoping you will all be tolerant of someone who is a total newbie.


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Old 12-25-2013, 01:27 PM   #2
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Welcome! Lots of good information on this site. Are you thinking about a motor home, 5th wheel or travel trailer?

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Old 12-25-2013, 01:29 PM   #3
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Welcome Dave!

You have come to a great place to learn. Huge amount of knowledge here from folks very wailing to share. Suggest to browse the various forums, use the search feature to expand on something of interest, and when you have a question just ask.
Vince and Susan
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Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 12-25-2013, 01:49 PM   #4
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Good luck with your search.
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Old 12-25-2013, 01:52 PM   #5
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Welcome Dave, take the time and ask questions, Read a lot, and you will make the right choice!
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Old 12-25-2013, 02:13 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forums. Poster #2 asked the key question. Our experiences with TT's and MH's may help.
We started years ago with tents but gradually got up to a MH in 1978. It was a 23' Class C but it served us well. Then we progressed up to a 34' Class A Dutch Star in 1999. It surprised us but there seemed to be more room in the 23' Tioga. We sold the 1999 in 2010 and got into the TT (travel trailers). In our opinion that was a big mistake. I believe their quality is very marginal at best. They are built on the edge of destruction. By that I mean that the frames are very thin and flexible. The axles are just barely able to carry the weight and the tires are as well. Motor Homes are built on a truck chassis and are therefore inherently more solid. They are not without problems but I believe they start out as being much more solidly built.
Each one has their issues. If you choose a TT you have your vehicle when you stop. If you choose a MH you don't. Depending on your choices you may have about as much $$$ in a TT with a good TV (tow vehicle) as you would have in a MH with a TOAD (vehicle that you pull).
If you are mechanically inclined buying used and fixing what needs fixing is a good way to go. There are lot of good deals out there as long as you are careful.
We had 3 TT's before we got back into a MH and we would never go back to a TT. We enjoy having all the conveniences when we stop for lunch. We have a dog and a cat as well. They can run free in the MH but couldn't in the truck. For most it's just a matter of preference as to how they like to travel.
The view out of a MH is really great and I enjoy the driving and traveling part as much as the stopping and camping part.

Enjoy your search !!

TeJay (Tim) Auto Instructor 35 yrs (4-yrs USAF) Liz: RN/ WBGO 2014 Vista 30T/ F-53/ CHF/5-Star/Koni/Centramatics * Bella- Golden/Cocker mix & Louie-The cat / All Retired
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Old 12-25-2013, 02:25 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forums!
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Old 12-25-2013, 02:31 PM   #8
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Old 12-25-2013, 04:37 PM   #9
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Thanks for the welcome

Originally Posted by Chiefly1 View Post
Welcome! Lots of good information on this site. Are you thinking about a motor home, 5th wheel or travel trailer?
Thanks for the welcome. We are leaning towards a motor home. I don't see us in a Class A, but a Class C seems like a better fit. We spent a few days scouring the Internet but haven't yet actually stepped inside any unit. We're going to a nearby dealer this weekend. Hopefully they won't mind spending time with someone who is still many months away from a purchase.

I have some acquaintances who are talking up 5th wheels, but that would mean I'd have to also buy a vehicle capable of towing. I suppose an older model along with a not too old vehicle might still be in our price range. But with the Class C there is the option to move easily from the cabin to the living area and that is attractive to us.

I'm willing to be convinced either way. The man who knows nothing can't afford strong opinions.

Dave (I know I'm supposed to set up a signature. Haven't figured out how to do that yet.)
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Old 12-25-2013, 04:38 PM   #10
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Old 12-25-2013, 05:23 PM   #11
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Dave, welcome, you will find a lot of valuable info and help. There are no dumb questions as we all started at the beginning. Some of have struggled longer and have first had experience. Enjoy the different forums. Clark
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Old 12-25-2013, 06:06 PM   #12
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Twelve Step Program

Originally Posted by DaveInIL View Post
We spent a few days scouring the Internet but haven't yet actually stepped inside any unit. We're going to a nearby dealer this weekend.
You're in a good place, Dave. Already on Step Two, but you have nine remaining...

Hit the shows, the dealers. Set foot in everything you see, imagine yourselves making dinner, using the bathroom, going to bed. My wife climbed into every shower, fully clothed, closed the door and did her customary motions. Once we settled on the last few candidates, each was judged with slides in -- the underway and rest-stop configuration -- and extended. In silence, listen to the AC and heat. Particularly in the bedroom. Walkways are big: older designs might treat you to two feet at the door and up the stairs, and then pinch to ten inches. The space between opposing seating underway is critical, if you ever plan to haul passengers.

In my humble opinion, smart money never buys new. You can afford twice the RV, if you target the 4-8 year old units. Ones that have been smoked in, lived in, or have no miles should be tossed aside. Indoor-stored rigs that have received steady maintenance are best. Remember to check the age of the tires: the DOT code is week and year, eg 0709 means the seventh week of 2009. Front tires should be less than five years old. Use your nose, turn away if it smells musty. Look for traces of leaking water, from the roof, around windows, under sinks/showers/toilets.

That's just the rough screening. You can attend to the details once you've picked out five or six candidates!
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Old 12-25-2013, 07:15 PM   #13
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Welcome and glad to meet you!
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:41 PM   #14
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I'd suggest renting a class C RV for a week or more. That will teach you more than you could ever read.
You will know if you want to tow a car behind you after a week.
You will know more about the layout you want. For example....A walk around bed is an ABSOLUTE must.
You will know if you like RVing in general.

Keep in mind we all started out just like you. Zero knowledge.

There is one thing all the guys on here discovered soon enough and I'll pass that along to you.

If Momma ain't happy, nobody is happy. Keep that in mind during the purchase if you decide to join the ranks of travelers.

2004 Monaco La Palma 36DBD, W22, 8.1, 7.1 MPG
2000 LEXUS RX300 FWD 22MPG 4020 LBS
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