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Old 05-17-2020, 12:02 PM   #1
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Best RV for Solo Traveler

Hi Everyone - I'm been on this site now for a couple of weeks and am so grateful to all who have offered advice and direction. I just found this forum and am hoping you "solo" folks can help me out of "stuck". I'm retiring this year and have hopes of being ready to load up and go. I will be "solo" in terms of human company but will be traveling with my two dogs (Bode - White Shepherd and Timber - Malamute). I first thought I'd buy a pull behind somewhere in the 22 to 23 foot range. After much research and then concern over my Jeep being able to pull the load and then the hassle of hitching up, setting up, hooking up, then doing all that in reverse as well as traveling with a trailer behind me I started looking into Class B's and small Class C's such as at the Born Free Built for Two and the Coach House. Yes, giant price difference but my Jeep stays home and doesn't accumulate miles and I don't have to worry about hitching/unhitching, towing a trailer, etc. Everything including my pups are self contained and they'll have much more space to move around during the road trips (than in my Jeep if I'm pulling a trailer)...I don't see myself spending lots of time in campgrounds. "Maybe" a couple of days at a time here and there. I do see myself traveling around and parking in friends and family driveways for visits. Having my own sleeping quarters with the pups...I know there is a lot of conversation about "female" solo travelers and why gender is ever a topic of conversation and I get it....That being said, I'm a very petite lady with a few years on her now and need a rig that doesn't require a lot of muscle to run...So any thoughts/advice/direction for a soon to be solo rv person in terms of "what to buy"?
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:17 PM   #2
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Every type of "camper" has it's pro's and con's. There are good things about each one, and then there are disadvantages to each one. You have already identified a few of these differences.

If you go with a motor home (the drivable ones), then you need to plan ahead much more thorough than with a tow-behind. Reason? After you set up camp, if you forgot to get that loaf of bread, you've got to break camp to go get it, as your (drivable) RV is the only mode of transportation you have. Many, many people will travel with a toad (a towed second vehicle) so they can be mobile once at their destination. Hitching and unhitching another vehicle can be just as challenging or even more than hitching up a travel trailer or fifth wheel. (especially when you have to disconnect batteries, or drop drive trains).

That is perhaps the biggest disadvantage of a drivable RV. Other than that, drivable RV's are probably the easiest way to go. But there again, the second major trade you need to consider is, what happens in the event of mechanical failure, and it will happen eventually. What happens when your "home" is 5 feet in the air on a lift for a couple days?

Here again, the comparisons between any kind of RV is astronomical. Advantages and disadvantages to each one.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:03 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forums!

The reason I chose a Motorhome instead of a trailer was because I did not want to spend $$ on buying a reliable truck to pull it with.

I have furry companions too () and I thought about how they would hate traveling in a pick-up with me on travel days and how I would not enjoy their complaining too! I decided they would be miserable so the motorhome looked to be the better choice for me.

I also wanted the biggest I could get and ended up with a Class A.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:14 PM   #4
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Thanks and yeah I have thought about not having a "run about" vehicle...The idea of having my home on a lift is pretty scary especially with 2 dogs...Suppose wherever I am though I could rent a car and an Airbnb....I'm "thinking" if I can run across a pretty good deal on self contained RV that has a good resale, I can try it out for a few months and if it doesn't work out sell it and try something else. Again looking for advice from those who have gone before me
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:15 PM   #5
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Thank for the warm welcome ! Wow you went straight to an A...I'm very impressed !
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissKatryn View Post
Thank for the warm welcome ! Wow you went straight to an A...I'm very impressed !
I happened to get lucky finding a fixer-upper at a very low price. I was willing to take on the work to remodel it, figuring I could make it to my tastes all the way, without worrying about resale value.

Its huge and the work is alot, but at least I will say in the end I know my motorhome inside & out!
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Old 05-20-2020, 01:57 AM   #7
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You mention "leaving the jeep" at home so I assume you will not be FT. This means you can do scheduled maintenance when you are home, so no need for planned maintenance while on the road. For routine oil changes, you can pull the Ford V10 into some quick oil change places that have the "big doors".

I have followed many solo FTers who blog...the Ford V10 with a shorter MH seem very popular among this group. A Minnie Winnie 25B or something similar would be my choice. Also check out the 25' Lazy Daze.

You can always set up the jeep as a toad if you travel and find you prefer having "wheels" after you set up camp. (I wouldn't be without my toad. I travel alone 1/2 of the time and like to set up camp for longer stays and run around on the toad in which I carry by bike and puppy trailer).

There are lots of solo woman out there FTing and traveling. Just use common sense and be safe.

https://www.lazydazeowners.com/

https://www.winnieowners.com/forums/

I live in the Twin Cities (MN) and have hosted on boondockerswelcome.com before. (Off right now due to the virus). PM me if you are ever in the Twin Cities and want a free place to park for a couple of nights. I am in a townhome and can accommodate a rig up to 27'.
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Old 05-20-2020, 01:32 PM   #8
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Let me ask a few questions so as to be able to get a better idea of your plans,


1, How long of trips do you plan to take, both in miles and in number of days. I know there will likely be some variation here, but are you looking to go for days, weeks, or months at a time, and will this be regional or national level of travel?


2, How much of a minimalist are you? For example, when it comes to cooking are you ok with 1 or 2 pots and a 1 burner stove. Or do you expect to have a selection of a dozen pots and pans, multiple burners going at once on the stove, while baking something in the over the range convection / microwave oven. (I just picked cooking as an example, since I just bought a new set of pots and pans for our coach on Amazon).


3, What climate are you planning on traveling in, RV's are generally poorly insulated, though class A coaches tend to be a little better insulated than for example small travel trailers. This counts both towards hot and cold climates.


Having said that, don't discount cost of ownership if you are thinking about resale value, which itself will likely be lower than you expect, unless you happen into a great deal from a private seller. By cost of ownership I mean all those things that add up, insurance, storage, provisioning, repair, upgrades, ...


Let me give some examples from my purchase of my current coach in 2016, which I bought from a private seller in Florida about 1,000 miles from home. This was a for a fairly well maintained then 14 year old 28 ft class A coach, which the previous owner had put over $10,000 worth of parts alone into in the preceeding 2 years, including new batteries, tires, 400 watts of solar panels, pure sine wave inverter, carpet, seating, new refrigerator, flat panel TV, track bar, Safe-t plus,...


First there was the purchase price of $20,500 negotiated down from $25,000 asking, add on taxes, registration, etc. and that is close to another $2,000 (9.25% tax on vehicles here), insurance this was a rush to get it before flying out to get the coach, so I paid more than I should the first year, which was around $950 using my existing auto insurance agent. $350 for plane tickets, plus $75 for parking my car at the not so local airport (70 miles from my house) for about a week. $540 shopping spree at Wal-Mart for all the essentials for the drive home, sheets, towels, a cheap set of pots and pans, a flashlight, cheap socket wrench set, toiletries, hand soap, paper plates, plasticware, and of course a bit of food. Another $100 for 2 nights at RV parks on the drive home, 4 nights total, 2 were free camping.



So as you can see, even if I were to turn around and sell it the next week for what I paid, the drive home from buying it would have cost me somewhere around $3,500 $4,000 depending on how you could things like insurance premiums, and losses to taxes.
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Old 05-20-2020, 02:35 PM   #9
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Here is some advice worth every penny that was paid for it.


An RV without a TOAD is great for a weekend or a week long stay here and their to visit family and friends. If the stays may become longer in the future, invest in an RV that can tow your Jeep now as it will cost more in the long run to upgrade in the future.
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Old 05-20-2020, 03:53 PM   #10
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As far as an alternative to towing a vehicle try Turo. The younger RV'ers who just want to tour without the hassle and expense use this program, Just for the fun of it, log onto their site and see what's in your area or any place you choose to be. Nice fully insured cars with reviews from clients and without the hassle of going to a rental agency. https://turo.com/

Here's an example in my area. https://turo.com/us/en/car-rental/un...rchId=IBmAFHbz Just another an option.
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:18 PM   #11
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As you plan your adventure, please be aware that not all Jeeps can grow up to be a Toad!
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:55 AM   #12
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Thanks for the additional information everyone !

TJ- I'll be looking into the Minnie Winnie and Lazy Daze forums and RV's...I really appreciate the invite and if you are ever on the East Coast of Florida, look me up too !

Hi Issac - To answer your questions:

Right now my trips I doubt will exceed 1000 miles (per trip). Once I reach my destination, I see myself setting up camp for probably 3 or so days and moving on to the next area. An example, I'll travel to Maryland to visit my sister and park in her driveway for probably 3 or 4 days and then move on to visit other family and friends (in Maryland). If I drive to the Mountains of North Carolina, I plan to do the same. Park for 3 or so days and move to the next area town. I do that now (traveling in my Jeep with my dogs and stay in Airbnb's or hotels for 3 or 4 days at a time before moving on).

I am definitely a minimalist.

I plan to exit Florida during the hot summer and head to North Carolina Mountains. Fall and Spring visits to Maryland.

And yes, I am really hoping to find a private seller who is ready to make a deal . Do you think with the virus "everywhere" more folks are buying or looking buy Rv's.

Ndrorder - thanks for the advice

engine103 - love the turo site. I was not aware of them !

deandec - haha and "so noted"

Thanks again everyone !
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Old 05-21-2020, 04:00 PM   #13
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Thanks that gives me a bit more to go on, in a typical driveway camping situation you will likely be looking at a dry camping situation where there will be no water or sewer dump options available, though there is often minimal electricity in the form of a standard 15 amp outdoor electrical outlet. A 15 amp outlet can with a good heavy duty extension cord provide enough power to operate one high draw RV appliance plus a few low draw appliances. High draw appliances are anything that uses electric heat to cook with (microwave, induction cooker, coffee pot, toaster), also the roof top air conditioner, hair dryers, etc. All of these things draw somewhere around 1,200-1,500 watts, a standard 15 amp outlet can provide up to 1,800 watts worth of power. Low draw items include modern LED lighting which tend to draw something less than 10-15 watts per fixture, some much less. Modern flat panel TV's almost all are under 50 watts of power draw, many smaller ones are under 25 watts. In between you have things like RV refrigerators that can run on propane or AC electric power, these draw about 400 watts when on AC, so if you are running the air conditioner while plugged in the refrigerator should be set to gas not electric.


When dry camping your limiting factor will likely be your fresh water supply or your gray water tank capacity. As a rule of thumb I can go 7-8 days in my coach when dry camping solo without any active water conservation, my coach has 80 gallon fresh water tank, 40 gallon gray and 40 gallon black tank. So roughly 10 gallons per day, most of which is bathroom / shower use (3-5 minute shower once per day, I use a 3 minute timer that beeps to remind me to hurry up in the shower), as I tend to do minimal dish washing when solo camping cooking in the convection microwave, or air fryer when possible and eating off disposable plates, so little water is used washing pots and pans.


Therefore I would suggest anything you consider should probably have at least a 30-40 gallon fresh water tank for a 3-4 day driveway stay.


As to the current market there is lots of mixed information out there, it seems a lot of people are shopping, but that may just be because they are stuck at home, information on actual sales seems mixed, though interest in smaller motorhomes seems high.
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Old 05-22-2020, 05:27 AM   #14
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Thank you Issac ! Great information !
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