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Old 09-18-2022, 07:45 PM   #1
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Class A usage question - no towed vehicle

Hello,

Im considering a short class A and would prefer not to tow another vehicle. My wife and I are still working, new to RVing, and might possibly use an RV once per month and for a longer trip once or twice per year. Wed much prefer not to tow another vehicle, but my usage question is this: how do you go about restocking the RV or a trip out to dinner when on the road, especially between destinations, or as the mood hits to go out on the town, or to visit attractions miles away? Im thinking something less than 30 feet so, yeah, theres a real question of parking in a traditional parking lot but Im sure Im not the first one to think about this issue. BTW, Ive searched and couldnt really find an answer to this specific question. Thanks for any advice or stories. Help a newbie out.

-Alan
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Old 09-18-2022, 07:59 PM   #2
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I believe just a class A with no toad, you’re either going to walk a lot or stay in the park. Most places do not accommodate a big rv, even less than 30’. Especially tourist locations or restaurants.
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Old 09-18-2022, 08:08 PM   #3
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Another consideration is what you need to do to pack up to leave: maybe put outside chairs and grills away, disconnect water, disconnect sewer, disconnect electrical, put everything inside away, retract slides, raise jacks, etc.

And then do it the other way when you get back. You could leave some stuff lying on the ground to save time and effort but you do run the risk of other people thinking you just abandoned it, especially in places like state parks.

Will you need a vehicle in case an emergency arises for the humans or pets?

Parking in other places is just one of many considerations. Some people used Enterprise to have a rental car brought to them but with the high prices of rentals nowadays (and scarcity in some places) that may not be a good alternative. Some people just bring bikes but that depends on where you're staying and what's around.

What's the reason you don't want to tow a vehicle? We towed an existing car on a dolly for the first year. While it worked and while a lot of people swear by a dolly, its only real advantages are it's cheaper to acquire and you can tow many vehicles that cannot be flat towed. We ditched the dolly after a year.

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Old 09-18-2022, 08:16 PM   #4
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Hello, you are asking some good questions and hopefully I can shed some light on things for you.
We have a 32' 2014 Fleetwood Southwind and do not tow a vehicle.
Aside from weekend and week-long travels in the Summer, we leave Ontario, Canada in January and spend 3 months travelling to and from Florida.
With a 32' Class A, we can easily park in a Walmart or grocery store parking lot taking up 2 spaces.
When stopping into an RV park for up to a week, we try to stock up enough to last until we are back on the road.
When locking into a park in the Keys for a month we simply take a cab into town for groceries etc.
We do look for easy-in, easy-out gas stations, restaurants etc.
In the past 11 years of RV'ing I can only recall a couple of times when we really wished we had a car, but not needing to worry about towing, the additional length and additional costs etc. far outweighed the limited benefits.
We towed a motorcycle trailer for a couple of years and found it to more of a nuisance and stopped towing it.
You will find everyone has a different idea of how they want to travel and only through personal experience will you actually know what works best for you.
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Old 09-18-2022, 08:16 PM   #5
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We have a 28 foot class A and no toad. Have never had a problem parking. Most lots have opposing parking slots in the middle. We just go to the far end and use 2 spots. If a lot is only set up for single slots, we park on the street, at the curb.

It's the beauty of 28 feet, less than 2 automobiles. If we were 36 feet or more, parking would be hard.

Motorhomes are self contained. When we pull in to a campsite knowing we will go out for shopping or dinner, no need for all the hookups. Do them once back for the nite.

If staying put for few days, you can rent an economy car pretty cheap, if preferred.
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Old 09-18-2022, 08:23 PM   #6
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We had a 31ft Class C, comparable to a short DP. We had if for ~11 years. We did not have a vehicle we could tow so most of the time we traveled in the RV. This meant having to pretty much use it for any side trips. Grocery shopping, site seeing etc. Not the most convenient option. If we knew we were going to be gone on longer trips we would just drive a 2nd vehicle, which cost a little more $$$ but worth the effort.

We then bought our ~40' DP. Initially we didn't tow a vehicle but after a trip to AK and missing out on a lot of side trips I decided to just buy a vehicle we could tow (Jeep Grand Cherokee). We now tow it everywhere, even on short trips. Not that much of an effort to tow plus it in case of an emergency it offers a security blanket. On one trip we had road debris take out our radiator. My wife was able to use the toad to take all the dogs home while I waited for a tow which took 24 hours, not fun for me but was worth the effort for my wife and the dogs.



Based on my experience I would not travel without a toad.
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Old 09-18-2022, 08:43 PM   #7
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Close to towns and city and not going out much nothing wrong with Uber type rents
And as stated renting for longer times you can't go wrong
We are retired and travel almost half the year so the jeep does us great for visiting and sight seeing
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Old 09-18-2022, 09:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abowen View Post
Hello,

Wed much prefer not to tow another vehicle, but my usage question is this: how do you go about restocking the RV or a trip out to dinner when on the road, especially between destinations, or as the mood hits to go out on the town, or to visit attractions miles away?
-Alan

The short answer is you don't do any of that stuff, or at least very little. Yes, you can drive a 26-30 footer somewhere and maybe find a place to park it, but most people find it a nuisance. Or you can call an Uber if you are near a town or city, or maybe even rent a car for a day of sight-seeing. I've seen all those things done by my camping neighbors and people swear its an ok way to go. I find it very limiting, though.



The only thing I can suggest is to try it and see, but I suggest you have some money set aside for a toad and tow bar for the following year.
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Old 09-18-2022, 09:20 PM   #9
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Today Uber and Lyft are more popular than a standard cab. In mid-size towns there are almost always an auto rental agency.
Several years ago we attended an RV rally in a different state, but could not take our towed along. Enterprise (and I assume most others) will come pick you up at your choice of locations; then when you return the auto they drop you off at the same location.
What you propose is a lot more common than we assume.
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Old 09-18-2022, 09:42 PM   #10
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Thank you all for your responses. If there are additional thoughts, please continue. It seems to follow that the point of RVing is to be self sufficient in terms of meals. Perhaps my wife and I can concede that point, haha, and just plan to cook more meals ourselves rather than eating out or stopping on the way to our destination. But I do find missing out on attractions and local visits, such as to family and friends, problematic. If a Class A and a towed vehicle is one solution to this issue, would not a travel trailer and towing vehicle also be a solution, as much as I love the idea of a Class A motorhome? What would be missing?
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Old 09-18-2022, 09:45 PM   #11
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We have a 28 ft class A, and traveled without a TOAD for nearly 5 years, and 20,000 miles doing mostly 1-4 week long trips, spending roughly 75 nights per year in the RV. Then we started dragging a TOAD around last year, and have since not left home without it, in fact we bought a cheap, light Toyota Yaris as a dedicated toad, at only 2,300 pounds I can barely tell it is back there when towing, though it does limit where we can stop on travel days for mid day stops.


When we were traveling without a TOAD we would try to plan our trips around not having one, ie we would plan on doing our grocery shopping as a mid day stop on travel days, we would tend towards staying in campgrounds where public transportation was available, or that was within walking distance of restaurants, etc. In some locations we would use uber, taxis, rent cars, or take shuttle buses, etc. We also bought an ebike to try it out as an alternative to a TOAD before breaking down and getting a TOAD. There were also places we simply choose not to go.


The downside to traveling like this is we found we were staying at the campgrounds and not going to see things in the areas due to it being too much of a hassle to break and make camp.


Let me highlight one such trip, a circa 30 day loop from Louisiana to the Grand Canyon and back in late 2019



Step one drive across Texas, this was 3 travel days back to back, with mid day stops only to grocery shop, eat, get fuel, take rest brakes, etc. As I recall when it came to stopping for lunch, one day we stopped at a cattle sale barn restaurant in a small town in east Texas, another day we stopped at a Cracker Barrel restaurant as most of these have RV parking, though often it is limited to about 32-34 ft and only a few spaces. More often lunch is done in the coach in a highway rest area on travel days. We spent a night at the Amarillo RV ranch in Amarillo and took their free limo ride to the Big Texan Steakhouse for dinner. Then a couple of nights in Sante Fe, NM at an RV park that was fairly close into town on the city bus line, though there due to limited time we opted to take an uber into downtown tourist area, which was an 8-10 minute ride, there were also some dining options within 2-5 minute walking distance of the RV park, including a small mom and pop New Mexican cafe perhaps 500 feet away. Other stops along the trip were Aztec National Monument, 4 corners monument, Bluff Trading post in Bluff UT, Gooseneck state park camping overnight on the edge of the canyon, Navajo National Monument, 3 nights at Wahweep campground 8 miles outside of Page, AZ on lake Powell, here we drove into town each day in the coach, 1 day we did a float trip down Glen Canyon, the other an Antelope canyon (slot canyon) tour. From there we went to the Grand Canyon can stayed at Mather Campground for 3-4 nights using the in park shuttle bus to get around, though it was about a 1/3 mile walk from our campsite to the shuttle bus pickup at the front of the campground. From the Gran Canyon we wen to Flagstaff, on the way stopping at an aircraft museum we saw along the way. The RV park in Flagstaff had its own restaurant with singer waiters, from there my wife had to fly home due to work obligations (she took a taxi to the airport at 4 am), leaving me on my own for the return drive. On the way I stopped at Meteor Crater, went grocery shopping at Wal-Mart in Winslow, AZ (drove by, but did not stop at "the corner"), spent the night at the free campground outside the south gate of Petrified Forest National park (saw the park the next morning), spent the next night in Springerville, AZ at an elevation of about 7,000 feet, with temperatures dropping to 12F that night thanks to an early season arctic blast, refilled propane the next morning at a local propane dealer, spent a few nights in the Gila national forest, with a couple of nights at Cosmic Campground (an international dark sky site). Spent a night outside El Paso at an awful cheap campground, then back across Texas, stopping to get Bar-B-Que in Llano in the hill country, then on back home to Louisiana, stopping north of Houston for the Texas Renfest, where I met up with my college age son for the weekend before finally getting home.
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Old 09-18-2022, 09:51 PM   #12
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With COVID in CA, if you required a tow and did not have a tow vehicle, you were left on the side of the road. No tow company would allow anyone in with the driver. We have a tow vehicle always.
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Old 09-18-2022, 10:57 PM   #13
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Our Class-A is just under 30 feet. We do not use a Toad.
As others have stated, we do all of our sight seeing, grocery shopping, and even doctor offices in the RV. We have a different philosophy than many travelers, even in our 50s. We have done rental cars in Europe, but also used the Euro Rail and busses. In Hawaii and Disney World we used Uber, and busses. We travel very light even with our son, and do the same when RVing.

Of course, inside of big cities it is a bit of a challenge, but not impossible unless you are downtown.

Diner is normally not a problem, if we stick to chain restaurants, or are in a tourist town. Parking lots are not a challenge as we stick to the back, and take two spaces. Generally use parking spaces that are easy to get in & out of. We even did a pizza run in Salt Lake City with our RV.

Now,...if you want to visit a special downtown restaurant, you can always call an Uber. Did just that when we met friends in downtown San Diego. Diner was in a tiny, tiny restaurant. Did the same when we visited the USS Midway.
Smaller towns like Jackson, WY or Springdale, UT (outside of Zion) we just walked.

When we leave NP camp sites, we generally leave our traffic cones at the site entrance to identify the site is occupied. When going to sites, we also generally go early in the morning, stake out our spot and do our hike.
Places like Zion and Grand Canyon have shuttles and busses. Yellowstone, you will be using the RV. With that said, we visited Geyer Basin, West Thumb, Old faithful, Prismatic spring, and Norris with the RV. Always found a spot.

All in all, you can do many things in a shorter Class-A that would be more difficult in a 40-45 footer. Or even a 30 footer with a 20 foot Toad & tow bar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abowen View Post
Hello,

I’m considering a short class A and would prefer not to tow another vehicle. My wife and I are still working, new to RVing, and might possibly use an RV once per month and for a longer trip once or twice per year. We’d much prefer not to tow another vehicle, but my usage question is this: how do you go about restocking the RV or a trip out to dinner when “on the road”, especially between destinations, or as the mood hits to go out on the town, or to visit attractions miles away? I’m thinking something less than 30 feet so, yeah, there’s a real question of parking in a traditional parking lot but I’m sure I’m not the first one to think about this issue. BTW, I’ve searched and couldn’t really find an answer to this specific question. Thanks for any advice or stories. Help a newbie out.

-Alan
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Old 09-19-2022, 12:13 AM   #14
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Consider a bicycle rack. A bike or two equipped with panniers can carry a lot of groceries as well as transport you to/from sights (though probably not multiple "miles away".
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