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Old 11-07-2014, 08:22 PM   #15
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Were I in your position I would get a small class-c based on the Dodge ProMaster chassis. They can get up to 18 mpg and have plenty of room for two. One person would be very comfortable.

Take a look at the Winnebago Trend. Even a class-b Travato might work well for you.
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:37 PM   #16
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Read John Steinbeck's classic "Travels with Charlie". All you need is a slide-in camper for your pick up....and a dog.

Or, for that matter, Ara Gureghian's "Freedom on Both Ends of the Leash". Required equipment: motorcycle, sidecar and, of course, a dog. ;-)
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Old 11-07-2014, 09:22 PM   #17
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Read John Steinbeck's classic "Travels with Charlie". All you need is a slide-in camper for your pick up....and a dog.

Or, for that matter, Ara Gureghian's "Freedom on Both Ends of the Leash". Required equipment: motorcycle, sidecar and, of course, a dog. ;-)

I'll check out those books
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Old 11-07-2014, 09:30 PM   #18
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Were I in your position I would get a small class-c based on the Dodge ProMaster chassis. They can get up to 18 mpg and have plenty of room for two. One person would be very comfortable.

Take a look at the Winnebago Trend. Even a class-b Travato might work well for you.

This was my first choice, but I did not want to lead anyone in that direction in my OP.

Still not sure if the Promaster or MB is the best way to go. I am leaning towards the MB 3,500.
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Old 11-08-2014, 01:37 AM   #19
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You'd have plenty of room, ease of parking and decent MPG going that route.
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Old 11-08-2014, 05:38 AM   #20
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My advice would be to visit some rv dealers and spend some time in different types of RVs. Then test drive them. See what feels right and is enjoyable to drive. Start thinking about how much stuff you want to take with you and where you would put it.

I would also recommend buying something that is at least a few years old to get that initial depreciation hit out of the way.

For me, the right answer was a used medium-sized diesel pusher, towing a used Honda Accord. I have a family of 5, but the answer would probably be the same even if it were just me and the wife. I just really enjoy driving it and love all the storage space. But again, to each their own.
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Old 11-09-2014, 11:20 AM   #21
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My advice would be to visit some rv dealers and spend some time in different types of RVs. Then test drive them. See what feels right and is enjoyable to drive. Start thinking about how much stuff you want to take with you and where you would put it.
Good advice.

Several threads have had the advice to "Always buy your last RV first".

Lots of looking to determine the layout you want. Test drive and if in doubt rent a few models to see how they work.
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Old 11-17-2014, 06:35 AM   #22
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To me this screams Class B or a minimalist pop-up truck camper. Being solo allows for a lot of flexibility in the design. Check out Sportsmobile Class B's, where you get to customize to suit.

Biggest I would recommend is a small B+ such as Phoenix Cruiser.

I am assuming you plan to explore a little, get off the beaten path. Not 4x4 territory necessarily, but little out of the way forest service road and campgrounds, etc. The smaller the better when you are doing that. And smaller is better just for driving. We had a 23' Trail Lite B+. It was over 8' wide but it was low and streamlined, and drove great. With the Chevy chassis, it got 11-12 MPG. Our current regular class C, 25' on a Chevy, gets 10 MPG. We have a lot more room and storage than the little B+ though.
I do take it somewhat fearlessly into towns and back road camps, but if I was doing what you are going to do, I would downsize in a heartbeat! I would look seriously at something based on the Promaster, in today's market. Maybe a B, maybe something widened into the B+ type.
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:16 AM   #23
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Rule of thumb from having a rear kitchen C. If I have to put the bed away to sit at the table it ceases to be fun.

Rule of thumb from our current C. If it does not have a real closet that I can hang in like the first one it ceases to be fun.

The mistake is going for those cute little C's unless one is living in shorts and T's and moving from trail head to trail head. Everything takes twice as long because one has to put away the last function to do the next one. Then there is the issue of the bathing facilities...

Add Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon to the book list. Van. ;-)
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:38 AM   #24
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So does that mean that motorhome/campers are no fun unless they are as big as a house and can hold as much? :(
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:33 PM   #25
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It means get something that is comfortable. To do that you have to experiment with different sizes and get the size that works for you.
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Old 11-18-2014, 04:43 PM   #26
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Me: Male, 60, retiring, prior limited experience tent camper. X mechanical eng., private pilot, biker, have driven larger trucks and pulled trailers, like exploring.

Mission: I expect to spend 3 months +/- per year traveling mainly in the western USA. My budget is 30K each year. I would guess 10k miles per year. Initial investment is not part of the 30k annual budget, but depreciation would be.

Thought?
Here's my thought. I like this floorplan and the Mercedes chassis. It's a great size for use almost anywhere. You should be able to get it for your budget of $100K including taxes and an extended warranty:

New 2015 Winnebago View 24V Motor Home Class C - Diesel at Lichtsinn Motors Forest City Iowa Lichtsinn Motors

I would make the deal basically over the phone, drive my towed to Forest City and finalize the deal. Have your shake down and test it out right there, Lichtsinn RV will take care of any problems. Head on out west. On your way back east you can stop again in Forest City and have any warranty items taken care of at the factory.

Since you are an ME I'm sure that you'll want to take in the factory tour, either before purchase or after or maybe both.

Good luck! I'm a retired CE myself and spend a lot of our time out west. I would try to schedule as much time out there as possible because it's a big area with much to explore. You could do it fulltime for the rest of your life and not hit everything!
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:04 PM   #27
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Here's my thought. I like this floorplan and the Mercedes chassis. It's a great size for use almost anywhere. You should be able to get it for your budget of $100K including taxes and an extended warranty:

New 2015 Winnebago View 24V Motor Home Class C - Diesel at Lichtsinn Motors Forest City Iowa Lichtsinn Motors

I would make the deal basically over the phone, drive my towed to Forest City and finalize the deal. Have your shake down and test it out right there, Lichtsinn RV will take care of any problems. Head on out west. On your way back east you can stop again in Forest City and have any warranty items taken care of at the factory.

Since you are an ME I'm sure that you'll want to take in the factory tour, either before purchase or after or maybe both.

Good luck! I'm a retired CE myself and spend a lot of our time out west. I would try to schedule as much time out there as possible because it's a big area with much to explore. You could do it fulltime for the rest of your life and not hit everything!

Thanks I like the choice, and trip planning ideas.
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:27 AM   #28
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So does that mean that motorhome/campers are no fun unless they are as big as a house and can hold as much? :(
Sometimes. I alternate between backpacking and MH camping. It takes different mindsets. The point is that if you want to go base camp and run around which is what the OP implied if not stated he will be happier with something he can park and use without screwing around. If he goes with a gas chassis he can also tow a reasonable excursion vehicle and leave the MH sitting as a base camp. With a little planning the excursion vehicle can be his everyday driver the rest of the time. That is the most livable setup he can put together for what he stated in the cost range he is talking about.

If he is wed to the only one vehicle idea then the tradeoff is to either pass by a lot of places because a 20 couple foot RV does not go everywhere or live in the cramped confines of a van conversion with the fiddle factor. Even that will not go everywhere because if height issues. If he goes to a C over a B a foot or two more can make a big difference in the overall comfort and usability of the unit. It comes down to what he is most comfortable with.

If he blows his budget on a vehicle that is expensive to buy or maintain and runs out of travel money he is also screwed. That is why I take a very poor view of the diesels. They cost more to buy and maintain. The fuels savings get lost in the cost differential. He has a budget that is tight enough to pay attention to. Then there is towing capacity.
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