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Old 09-17-2011, 10:14 AM   #1
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New to camping/RV'ing, trying to learn

Hello,

My husband and I are considering the RV lifestyle (motorhome) - we have never camped before or traveled in a coach, although we have had conversion vans for years and took our kids around the country that way. We are planning to retire in the next 6 months to year, age 60, and think it might be fun...looking at Class A diesel pushers. I am hoping we can learn what we need to know here so that we avoid costly mistakes.

We have friends who think we are crazy to even consider this, and others (some of whom have camped for years, some who haven't) who think we are crazy because we haven't done this before!

Robyn
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:32 AM   #2
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Hi Robyn,

I think it all comes down to your motive. I had never stayed in or traveled by RV or even been camping in 35 years, but knew I wanted to travel full time. I hate sleeping in strange beds, so hotels were out. I have reached the stage of life where I don't need a lot of things to make me happy.

I bought my coach in March and started fulltiming May 18th and I LOVE it!! I'd suggest you figure out want you really want and then find a way to make it happen. Some people suggest you try renting before buying, but my style is to just jump right in.

You have found the right group to help you here.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:39 AM   #3
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Welcome! We are "newbies" at this, too. Me or my husband had never camped before or owned an RV either---took the "plunge" in July and so far we are loving it! Only problem is that at the present time we are not able to travel as much as we would like due to taking care of elderly Mother's. (not complaining about that because we both are glad that we both still have our Mom) Like you, I'm sure that some of our friends must think that we are crazy but this is something that we have tossed around for about 14 years and decided that we are not getting any younger and if we were going to ever do it now was the time to! Are you planning on going fulltime RV'ing? I don't forsee us ever doing that but in the future we would like to take some lengthy trips. Enjoy your search for your new rig!

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Old 09-17-2011, 10:43 AM   #4
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Thanks for the words of encouragement! We love to travel, but have a cat who misses us even though someone comes to play with him daily while we are away, so that's one of our motivations....but how to keep him from running out of the coach is one of our problems.

So far, we've met very nice people at RV shows and it seems like fun. We aren't ready to full-time it, like coming home too much...but we do mentor kids in high school robotics programs, and volunteer at events - which are everywhere! It would be fun to drive up to the competition venues and stay in our own portable home instead of going from hotel to hotel.

What do you own? We are looking at diesel pushers (drove a gas model and hated the noise), we're currently between a Winnebago Journey 34Y and a Fleetwood Expedition 36M, have found either used or older model new coaches for each style.
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:01 AM   #5
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We never considered an RV , not a thought about it, until after we retired coincidently at age 60.

We bought new---but there is a huge used market---knock yourself out.

We were planning a trip with our dog and looking for the best ways to travel with him when my wife (who hates camping---tooo cold) suggested renting an RV. We did and that was it---it led us to our own MH----it is our second home for the winter, on the lake, the stream, in the desert, mountains, seashore, by the bay, close to kids and g-kids or far away---we sleep in our own bed every night---cozy.

Don't be in a hurry take your time--it is a buyers market and will stay that way for quite a while.

Renting is not a bad idea to have the experience and not be trapped by a huge purchase. We learned a lot about what we might want and in my wifes case whether she would want this or not. We decided such things as "will we be doing this often or for extended periods? Yes meant a Class A---no a Class C---and so on. You will have your own list. Renting seems expensive but not as expensive as getting a MH and then finding out it is really not for you. It happens and that is probably what your friends fear.

So try it out in a rental---take a big trip---not a bad way to check it out.


You can also decided if diesel is really for you or even necessary. We bought a gas rig after going through our own due diligence. Very happy we did.

For traveling about 6000 miles per year mainly oin the west perhaps one across the country jaunt---that diesel really had no advantages for us that justified the initial cost. But that is us.

I'm not pro or con diesel or gas---my maleness craved diesel initially-----but they leak (at least I have never seen one that did not and my neighbors is leaking in his driveway as we speak) drives me crazy.

But if we were going to put many more miles on and be traveling say 20k per year we would have one most likely----and a drip pan.

My wifes friends thought she was crazy (she's an uptoen girl) until they looked at our MH----pretty nice inside lots of comforts well appointed designer colors not exactly camping---they gave their sheepish full approval.

Floorplan, floorplan, floorplan, Very important, you are going to live in this thing just like a house. It is probably more important than the chasis or engine. We spent a lot of time thinking through what kind of floorplan, advantages and disadvantages, number of slide outs ease of use comfort etc; I mean a lot of time---even so our water closet is a bit confining---or are we getting bigger?

Our deal was my wife would have more say so over the inside and when that was done I would get to match the mechanics/chasis/engine/---worked out fine. That's why we have a double door fridge and not a slide cabinet by a smaller fridge---she picked it and I now see why. We have some friends who did not assign the correct exertise---and now carry another fridge in the back of the truck for their 5ver, we lend them ice from our ice maker.Little stuff like that is important.

On the other hand I chimed in about heating so we have heat pumps and furnace---because my wife get tooo cold I wanted every source of heat possible aboard----so while she was picking colors I selected the options around heating the unit.

This is a lengthy reply so I will stop there is more which others will chime in on.

Most of all have fun and when/if you get your rig---what ever you decide lets us know so we can share the joy.
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:20 AM   #6
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One other thought---be thinking now about what you will tow behind. PArticularly if you are thinking of getting a new car in the next six months or so. Some can be towed 4 down others not. If you are going to tow a car you now own then weight comes into play as well as towability---you may need a dolly.

What ever will need to be equipt to tow with baseplate and hitch and brakes (dolly excepted).

Any way it is not too early to think about this as well. The initial set up cost for towing can be pricey.
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:26 AM   #7
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Congratulations and welcome. You are in the right place to get useful opinions and good advice.
Many people take pets along while traveling. With a little extra care pets can be secured while the door to your coach is open. In the long run your little friend will be happier and so will you.
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:07 PM   #8
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Hi Robyn! Welcome to IRV2! Congrats on the upcoming retirement! You'll find all the info you will ever need right here, just keep asking questions! Good luck & God bless!
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:34 PM   #9
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To begin with welcome aboard. Years ago my uncle and another Ham said to me "If it feels good and like the looks of it, Buy it" They were referencing a Hand Held Amateur Radio.
My advice to you is if you like it you like the way it handles & drives and if it has enough room for you both buy it! Then enjoy it. My wife and I bought a Class-C a couple of years ago, some times I would love to buy a
Bigger RV. But we are happy with what we have it works for the two of us and of course our throw away dog we rescued from the pound "Buddy".

Also remember the only stupid question is the question not asked.
Have a lot of fun and enjoy your new or used RV.
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w6pea View Post


To begin with welcome aboard. Years ago my uncle and another Ham said to me "If it feels good and like the looks of it, Buy it" They were referencing a Hand Held Amateur Radio.
My advice to you is if you like it you like the way it handles & drives and if it has enough room for you both buy it! Then enjoy it. My wife and I bought a Class-C a couple of years ago, some times I would love to buy a
Bigger RV. But we are happy with what we have it works for the two of us and of course our throw away dog we rescued from the pound "Buddy".

Also remember the only stupid question is the question not asked.
Have a lot of fun and enjoy your new or used RV.

Your words of advice are encouraging - and I suspected from your login name that you were a ham...my dad was and my older brother still is; I never got my license because I was too lazy to study morse code. Now, I'm thinking about going for my general because I'd like to reclaim my dad's call sign, which I found out I can do, since no one ever claimed it, and it's a W3...tells you how long ago he got it. I was always on the air with him, in those days there weren't too many girls/women hams. It's how I learned geography and world history, talking to people from South America, Antarctica, and other faraway places...

The only thing now is that I wouldn't know what kind of equipment to get. My brother has a transceiver at home, but also is on the air via computer, and there seem to be many more options for broadcasting today.

Robyn
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:56 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by njs42 View Post
One other thought---be thinking now about what you will tow behind. PArticularly if you are thinking of getting a new car in the next six months or so. Some can be towed 4 down others not. If you are going to tow a car you now own then weight comes into play as well as towability---you may need a dolly.

What ever will need to be equipt to tow with baseplate and hitch and brakes (dolly excepted).

Any way it is not too early to think about this as well. The initial set up cost for towing can be pricey.
I appreciate all your great suggestions and have passed them along to Hubby Fred. We have been thinking about a tow vehicle, and will probably buy something used with low mileage that we can tow flat. We have a large rear wheel drive sedan and the cost to modify it is too much to justify. Someone we talked to at the Hershey RV show told us it's possible to purchase a used vehicle that's already equipped for tow, but I will have to search to find them.

Early retirement seems to be a mixed blessing - we won't have to deal with our business any more, but on the other hand we will have to find things to occupy more of our daily time (when we are not traveling or spending time with children and grandchildren). I have a lot of projects I'd like to pursue, but DH doesn't have as much yet...another round of planning is in the works!

Robyn
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:48 PM   #12
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Welcome Robyn. We have always been the type to fly by the seat of our pants, and it turns out how it turns out. Bought a new motor home in 2009 and camped weekends for a year or so. Now we are retired, rented out the house, sold most of our "stuff" and we travel or just stay in area where our grandkids live. Whatever,,, our only schedule is to be at the g-kids for their birthdays and Christmas. We have a 45 pound dog and a cat. Sometimes the cat trys to get out, but I have a spray bottle by the door and squirt her when she tries to get out. So far we have been able to keep her in. But, you know how cats can be. Good luck on your purchase and enjoy your travels.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:56 PM   #13
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We pretty much just jumped in too. Had never done anything other than backpacking before we got the RV so everything was new from the get go. 2 years later and we're still loving the fulltime lifestyle.

We have 2 cats and a dog. We leash-trained both cats so we can walk them around and have them hang outside with us in camp. They love it and will wait by the door to get leashed up. We trained them when they were older so it can be worked with any cat. Highly recommend the HDW walking harness. Been using it for years and never had a cat get loose.

http://www.hdw-inc.com/walkingjackets.htm

Enjoy your transition to your new lifestyle!
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njs42
...

So try it out in a rental---take a big trip---not a bad way to You can also decided if diesel is really for you or even necessary. We bought a gas rig after going through our own due diligence. Very happy we did.

For traveling about 6000 miles per year mainly oin the west perhaps one across the country jaunt---that diesel really had no advantages for us that justified the initial cost. But that is us.

I'm not pro or con diesel or gas---my maleness craved diesel initially-----but they leak (at least I have never seen one that did not and my neighbors is leaking in his driveway as we speak) drives me crazy.

But if we were going to put many more miles on and be traveling say 20k per year we would have one most likely----and a drip pan.

...
I can't see how you can decide on a gasser over a diesel other than by cost. If you can afford a diesel, get a diesel, period. Noise level, ride, torque - diesel beats the pants off a gasser. If your diesel is leaking, you've got a problem that needs to be addressed. It doesn't matter how many or few miles you drive, diesel is the way to go if you can afford it. I have been RVing most of my life. Tents, Pop ups, TT's, Class C's, now a DP. None compare to the DP. The only reason I didn't get one earlier was I couldn't afford it.
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