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Old 09-27-2020, 09:01 AM   #1
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How Should I Spend My Money Initially

My wife and I are looking to return to RVing for the first time since the early 90’s when our kids were wee. In those days we had a sweet Palomino pop-up. Five humans, no AC for two weeks in a Florida summer dodging a hurricane made for some end of the spectrum memories.
My question for all of you smart people is this: is it better to spend $10k to $20k on a not so awesome quality/reputation (doesn’t hold value really well) travel trailer to see if we even still enjoy RVing, and then hope we can sell it and not lose our shirts after we’ve decided to either upgrade to something more substantial or to go back to hotel rooms....OR...is it better to spend substantially more on, say, an Airstream for example, to find out if we want to do this knowing we likely won’t lose our proverbial shirts on resale of an Airstream if we decide to upgrade? Does that make sense?

Thanks.

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Old 09-27-2020, 09:12 AM   #2
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You haven't said what you have for a tow vehicle. nothing will ruin you trip faster than a white knuckled ride in a tow vehicle that isn't heavy duty enough to do the job properly. Make a list of wants and needs . Look for a well maintained ( must have maint. records ) used unit that fills most if not all of your needs and give it a try. A new cheap unit is just that. (A problem looking for a home ) Take your time and look around with a critical eye. You will be happy that you did.
One critical item to look for, Water Leaks, Water Leaks and Water Leaks.
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Old 09-27-2020, 09:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azbob213 View Post
is it better to spend $10k to $20k on a not so awesome quality/reputation (doesn’t hold value really well) travel trailer to see if we even still enjoy RVing, and then hope we can sell it and not lose our shirts after we’ve decided to either upgrade to something more substantial or to go back to hotel rooms....OR...is it better to spend substantially more on, say, an Airstream for example, to find out if we want to do this knowing we likely won’t lose our proverbial shirts on resale of an Airstream if we decide to upgrade? Does that make sense?
You're assuming that spending up to $20k won't buy you a quality product and the only alternative is to jump to an Airstream. I think you're mistaken in the way you've posed your question. I suggest you clarify your needs, family size, tow vehicle capacity, etc.

My personal preference is to buy a reasonably priced, used unit from a reputable manufacturer that's in great condition. I'd also buy privately from an owner who has clearly taken good care of his rig and talks lovingly of it (you can tell). If you don't overpay, you're not going to lose your "proverbial shirt" on resale. Unless you're thinking of something in the range of a newish 35' TT or fifth wheel, I think you'll find many options in the $20k range. And, remember, the only thing you can't upgrade or easily change is the floor plan.

Although Airstreams are iconic and unique, to a certain extent they're an acquired taste, and not for everyone, the lack of slides being one feature that many would miss.
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Old 09-27-2020, 09:50 AM   #4
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As others have mentioned , tow vehicle capacity is your first consideration .
20K won't go far if you need to upgrade that.

If not being into RVing is a big factor and if your tow vehicle is capable , consider renting an RV for two weeks , rather than writing the big check right away.
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Old 09-27-2020, 09:54 AM   #5
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

If you're not sure then I would buy something less expensive than an Airstream!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:33 PM   #6
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I have a 2005 Ram 2500 Cummins SLT 4x4.
I was using Airstream as an example for leaning towards the expensive end of things. Airstream, Grand Design, Outdoors etc., vice Coleman, Jayco, Coachman Etc. I am still learning where manufacturers land on the quality/reliability scale and I am in no way disparaging the last three makes I listed but so far in my learning process I have consistently found Airstream, Grand Design and Outdoors listed among the top rated travel trailers.
I feel we should get a travel trailer to begin with and see if we still enjoy RVing. Once we decide that, I reckon we will determine if a trailer is sufficient or if we should graduate to a fifth wheel. We are pretty sure we’d like to travel extensively for six months to a year initially. I feel that is enough time to give it a fair chance.

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Old 09-27-2020, 02:54 PM   #7
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If you are not sure if you are likely to stick with the plan longer term, why not consider what you think you'd "really" like at the front end but buy something that's maybe 3 to 4 years old and has lost a ton of it's depreciation at the front end. There are an awful lot of folks that buy new and hardly ever use their rigs, selling them after 2 to 4/5 seasons through lack of use!!! The first owners typically take the biggest "driving it off the lot" hit.

Just a thought.
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Old 09-27-2020, 06:43 PM   #8
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Welcome. First things first. RENT a smaller RV for a couple of weekends or a week trip to see if it still works for you. Then start looking.
Enjoy the adventure.
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Old 09-27-2020, 08:33 PM   #9
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I would agree, try renting first, there are not many places that rent travel trailers, but there are some out there. I had a guy set up next to me at a week long event with a small (21-22 ft) rental travel trailer about 2 years ago, so I know they exist, as I recall he was from the Dallas, TX area, or somewhere on I-20 east of there..
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Old 09-27-2020, 09:34 PM   #10
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I agree with renting for a while it’s the best way to fact find without spending a lot of money.
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Old 09-28-2020, 02:18 PM   #11
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I have seen Facebook market place ads for trailer rentals I think they are through some sort of brokerage group that private owners rent there's like Air B&B but you take it. Even seen where they will deliver and retrieve to somewhat local campground at added expense of course .
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Old 09-28-2020, 04:59 PM   #12
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I would tend to suggest something used since you are not sure if you really want one but renting might be a better choice because anytime that you trade RVs you will lose money and usually quite a bit of it. If you do buy, do not ignore brands such as Jayco, Keystone, KZ, or several others in the mid price group. I would not suggest the cheapest RVs because they won't handle constant use very well, but many people live quite happily for many years in RVs from Jayco, and the Keystone Montana is one of the most popular fifth wheel trailers in the fulltime community.
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Old 09-28-2020, 07:55 PM   #13
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Buy a Casita or similar. They hold value really well and will give you a good feel for the RV life. Also, it's likely that your current daily driver will tow one and they are not hard to store.

Do not buy an AS. They are great and a wonderful entry into the RV world, but you really need to understand your RV lifestyle needs before you buy one. The wrong AS is an expensive investment. The right one is a life time of Iconic joy.
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