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Old 03-09-2020, 09:37 PM   #1
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Researching motorhomes

Hi...newbe here.
I have had some experience with motorhomes and trailers. I want to go on extended trips in the West. I want a camper that can boondock and run backcountry roads.I don't want to tow a trailer. I'd like a comfortable bed and solar power. I'm 78 so I want to keep it simple. I can't afford new...hoping to stay in the $40,000 range. Any ideas/experience will be appreciated.
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Old 03-09-2020, 10:05 PM   #2
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How about something like this?

https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/used-r...press_rv-44350

Probably pick one up for under $20K and have plenty left over for solar, etc.

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Old 03-10-2020, 08:22 AM   #3
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At $40k you are talking used, of course, so that opens up any rig ever made. What does "running back country roads" mean to you? That could cover a wide range of road conditions, e.g. one or two lane but paved, unpaved with potholes, maybe also with deep ruts or high center mound?


And what size do you figure will be comfortable for you? Are you thinking a 22-25 footer and maybe something larger so you can have a decent size bed and bath, plus maybe a recliner for the evenings?
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Old 03-10-2020, 09:07 AM   #4
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The only true "back road" motor homes are ones like Earth Roamer. Which at close to 200K are way out of your budget. You might consider looking for a used 2500 series van and do a basic conversion if you really want to get off highway.
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Old 03-10-2020, 12:18 PM   #5
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You didn't say if you were solo or not. The rig I would pick for me alone would be a lot different than if my wife were along.

That being said I think the neatest setup I've seen was what looked like an oilfield service truck with the utility bed and dually wheels, sporting a longbed pickup camper in the bed. That thing looked like it could go anywhere and had enough camper and storage to be comfortable once you got there. Seems you could duplicate that kind of setup with a variety of off-road style trucks. Has the benefit of using a common truck platform you can reasonably source used, is stock, and any shop can service.

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Old 03-10-2020, 01:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcastric View Post
Hi...newbe here.
I have had some experience with motorhomes and trailers. I want to go on extended trips in the West. I want a camper that can boondock and run backcountry roads.I don't want to tow a trailer. I'd like a comfortable bed and solar power. I'm 78 so I want to keep it simple. I can't afford new...hoping to stay in the $40,000 range. Any ideas/experience will be appreciated.
Not a lot of specificity above but here goes from my point of view of extensive dispersed and dry camping in the four years since I've retired.

I camp in a class B Roadtrek, 2000 200 Versatile. It has worked out well for solo traveling. It has plenty of tank storage for two weeks between fill/drain unless the weather is really hot and humid, which I avoid. Fresh is 35, grey 28, black 10+. It won't go every where but that's why I have a motorcycle in the trailer that I pull. It's good on gas(15mpg without trailer), has a shower in the aisle so not cramped, and is small/narrow enough to get into and (more importantly) out of some tight places.

Class B units are definitely not for everybody, they are small inside as well as outside. I just spend more time out in the back yard. Short of expedition type units or a tricked out truck camper this seems to be the way to go, for me, in my travel budget.

If traveling as a couple the class b can get really small if you're stuck inside due to weather, bugs, etc. It takes a bit accommodation on each person's part to make that work. We do OK for a month but by that time the wifey is ready to haul butt home. The fridges in most Class B-s are quite small at 3 cubic feet, ours is 4. The 4 works out OK for us. Most class B-s have the fridge at floor level(ours is not) so that kinda sucks.

The issue I find with the short class C-s is that the cab area does not incorporate with the floor plan, it's just wasted space when set up to camp, not to mention a wider footprint for getting out in the boonies on forest roads. My and most class B-s have swivel seats up front turning the front into a "living room" and depending on the floor plan, another lounge area in the rear.

Lots of trade offs getting into the smaller units that are desirable for back country camping. Only you can know what will work for you.

If in your shoes I would get out and look at some stuff and envision how the floor plans would work for you.

If it whatever you find doesn't have solar you could simply get a portable set up and be all in for $4-500 for 1-200 watts including extra cord, a chain and a lock. This will work fine unless you have a dorm or residential type fridge in it. Plus with portable you can park in the shade, angle the panels better and it's easier to keep them clean.

Happy hunting.
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Old 03-11-2020, 11:12 AM   #7
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If you want something smaller that can handle backcountry, why not a 4x4 truck with a truck camper on the back?


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Old 03-11-2020, 01:06 PM   #8
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Thanks! I think this the way I'll go. ...24', queen bed and solar. Go slow on back roads...
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Old 03-11-2020, 01:11 PM   #9
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Thanks so much for your feedback! Yes, I think a small 24' c class with a queen bed, solar....back roads with pot holes is about as rugged as I can handle.
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Old 03-11-2020, 01:17 PM   #10
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Wow thanks for all the feedback! I hadn't thought about the wasted cab space in a class c. Your feedback and others us helping me sort out my priorities. Appreciate your help.
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Old 03-11-2020, 01:19 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=stevemoores;5180915]If you want something smaller that can handle backcountry, why not a 4x4 truck with a truck camper on the back?


I'm consider this but at 78 I'm Leary of the high in and out. I will check these out though. Thanks so much for the feedback!
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Old 03-11-2020, 01:22 PM   #12
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thanks for all the help

Not sure where my replies are going. Sorry if I missed someone. I need to get out and start looking!
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Old 03-11-2020, 01:45 PM   #13
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Wow thanks for all the feedback! I hadn't thought about the wasted cab space in a class c. Your feedback and others us helping me sort out my priorities. Appreciate your help.
I don't find the cab space in my Coachman 21qb to be wasted space when camping. I put a swivel base on the passenger seat so it faces rearward when parked. Add a small table between the seats and it's a comfortable place to enjoy your morning cup of Joe or a place to sit and read.
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Old 03-11-2020, 02:08 PM   #14
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You may want to keep an eye out for a used Tiger Bengal or CX/Bengal (their flagship model --the classic design-- but now the only one they are currently producing). They are typically scooped up as soon as someone advertises one as they have a cult-like following and the used ones are in high demand.

They are built on a one-ton pickup chassis (Ford, Chevy/GMC, or Dodge/Ram) and most are 4x4. These would be great if you are solo but many couples own them too.

If you think you may be interested, there is a private owner's forum that will give you an inside advantage whenever a used one comes on the market ...join HERE

Here is what they look like from the Provan Tiger Adventure Vehicles Facebook page: PHOTOS
Just to clarify what "the classic" Bengal or CX/Bengal design is, here is a newer one on a Ford chassis

They cost substantially less than an EarthRoamer but obviously not as sophisticated either. An older nicely equipped 4x4 can sometimes be had for around that $40-50k price range if you're fast enough on the draw to beat others to it.
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