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Old 09-14-2015, 03:30 PM   #1
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Newly retired with RV questions

Hi All! I am recently retired and my wife will follow in a few months. We are looking forward to traveling the US the next couple years and am trying to decide on the best method. We have looked at all methods, but I have not made a pro and con list with economic considerations. Over the past several years we have camped with a large Coleman popup tent trailer with all of the goodies. We have loved using it. We still have it and a 1993 Dodge 250 Ram van with 123K miles on it to pull it. It seems to be in still good mechanical condition, but has lots of years and gives poor gas mileage. We also have a 2008 Chevrolet HHR, 5-speed, with 128K miles. It gives great mileage and we use it on frequent long trips. Money is a concern for us, but we do have great credit and could finance a purchase. So what should we do? We have looked at everything from lightweight popup trailers for motorcycles, to class B and C motorhomes.

Right now, we are considering buying a lightweight motorcycle popup tent trailer to pull behind the HHR as a starter. But for some reasons, the specs on the HHR says not to pull a trailer if a manual transmission. But, if an automatic transmission, it has 1,000lb capacity. However, for our 2002 Ford ZX-2, it is exactly the opposite--do not tow with automatic and the manual transmission has 1,000lb ability. Does anyone have any input on this discrepancy? So, we are considering puling the motorcycle camper with a loaded weight of about 600# anyway. Does anyone have any thoughts regarding this?

I am looking forward to getting a lot of help from this forum! Sorry for the long post, but I have tons of questions!
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Old 09-14-2015, 05:11 PM   #2
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Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

Hope you find the perfect rig for your needs!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 09-14-2015, 07:02 PM   #3
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Its a long process ... so take your time and enjoy the adventure ...
You may want to hit some RV shows and a bunch of dealers .... not to buy ... just to check out what's out there .... Finding your needs and whats will depend an awful lot on home much time you'll be spending ... and where ...
Make it fun .... and let us know how you make out ........
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Old 09-15-2015, 05:03 AM   #4
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Old 09-15-2015, 05:21 AM   #5
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I am in a similar situation, I am oozing into retirement, I like you searched everything, I decided on a used one owner, older coach, I found a 1995 class A 34 ft. with 19800, the generator only has 320 hrs. I bought it for a very reasonable price. I am going to start with short 3 to 4 day trips, until I retire completely, then possibly sell this one and buy a newer one.
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Old 09-19-2015, 04:14 PM   #6
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Old 09-19-2015, 05:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by gksmith View Post
but I have not made a pro and con list with economic considerations. Over the past several years we have camped with a large Coleman popup tent trailer with all of the goodies. We have loved using it. We still have it and a 1993 Dodge 250 Ram van with 123K miles on it to pull it. It seems to be in still good mechanical condition, but has lots of years and gives poor gas mileage. We also have a 2008 Chevrolet HHR, 5-speed, with 128K miles.
You pass the first criteria - you've RVd before.

Many people have a dream about RVing but never did it before. Some, bought a large RV, sold the home and went on the road; only to find out a year later, it wasn't for them.

I'd say don't sell the Dodge yet, until you figured out your finances, and how big an RV you want. Don't go too big that you hate hauling it - you won't use it. Don't go too small, only to buy bigger later.
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Old 09-19-2015, 07:06 PM   #8
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FWIW A popup is fine until you get caught in a 3 day rain. A good way to average out miles is to travel slow. That way you also get to see where you are. There are a lot of rules of thumb around the ideal of moving 200-300 miles every 3 days or so. For that I would pick something in the ~30 ft range either an A or C and tow the HHR. That gives you real space to live in and a reasonably economical way to run around looking at the country. HTH.

FWIW2. The issue with towing is either the transmission or clutch will not handle the extra load of towing. Not uncommon with today's designs where weight is a dominant design factor.
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