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eonblue 01-06-2016 04:53 PM

Please help me keep from making a MASSIVE mistake
 
Hello All! New to this forum and my first post will be lengthy but Ill try to keep it as concise as possible. I need your help.

My wife and I are both going on 35 and talking about having our first(maybe only) child, but before we do that we have been talking for about 1 1/2 years about doing a cross country road trip and we've decided that we want to do it in an RV. I will be taking a 2 month leave of absence from work to do this and my wife is finishing up her masters then we're off. We feel that this is kind of a once in a lifetime trip and it is very important to us.

The Trip

We plan to be travelling from Aug 1 to Sep 30. We chose this timeframe because we plan on doing quite a few overnight backpacking trips in all the national parks and weather-wise this timeframe works very nicely for almost all locations. The following is a rough outline:

Nashville to Badlands/Yellowstone/Tetons
Tetons to Seattle/Olympic/Rainier/Portland
Portland to San Fran/Yosemite
Yosemite to Pismo where we will likely leave the RV and take TOAD along the PCH(putting us on the PCH Sept 1)
Pismo to Joshua Tree/Phoenix/Sedona
Sedona to Grand Canyon/Bryce/Moab
Moab thru Grand Junction to Aspen/Breck/Denver
Denver to Nashville

Round trip is approximately 6000 miles. There are quite a few stops missing as this is just a rough outline.

The RV

We plan to buy the RV before the last freeze here in Nashville and take as many weekend trips as we can before the Great Trek. I'm not an idiot and I am trying very hard to appreciate the gravity of what we're doing(that's why I'm here) so I feel its of the utmost importance to know the machine Ill be travelling in as well as possible. Financially, the most comfortable place for us to be is around 100k all in, but if it would help greatly reduce issues, we would be willing to go quite a bit higher and could still do so responsibly.

My current plan is to look for a slightly used FR3 30DS and doing the handling mods given what I've read about the F53 Chassis. We also plan to tow my wifes Honda Fit 4-down. We will very likely be selling the coach upon returning home so I feel like buying used would accomplish two things. First it would, I assume, help soften the depreciation blow we will take by putting 6000 miles on the unit. Second, from my reading it seems possible that some of the "new unit" bugs might have been worked out by the previous owner. The latter is of course not guaranteed.

What I'm looking for here at IRV2

To be blunt, after reading the horror stories around these forums about RV's in general it made me scared spitless. I'm a techie and do odd jobs around the house. I consider myself mildly mechanically inclined and have been able to accomplish most jobs I set out to do, but I haven't done a whole lot with autos or repaired major appliances. The thought of constantly battling issues with the RV or worse, having it need to be in the shop for large parts of the trip is mortifying to me. The trip is only 2 months so having it in the shop for even 2 weeks would be 25% of the trip.

What I'm really looking for from anyone reading this is to know......is what we are thinking about doing ridiculous? Are we just asking for a disaster here? Trying to go too far? Am I making too much of the forum horror stories? Are there any red flags blaring at you as you read this text? I'm open for any commentary or suggestions and will answer any questions regarding our plans. I'm just looking to make the best decisions possible.

Thank you.

dpinvidic 01-06-2016 05:06 PM

Your going to get lots of advice.
I think it is is good that your getting gas instead of diesel.

Can you fix your own cars?
Can you fix things around the house?

If yes, your in pretty good shape.
If possible, it would be great to get an oil analysis of the engine before you buy. it gives lots of info about engine health.

Watch out for old tires. after 8 or so years, they need to be looked at closely.
Also look at battery age because those are fairly expensive to replace.

Also, how "picky" are you? If your fussy about things, you may find more stuff to fix. IF not too fussy, then less work.

One thing to check into is roadside assistance, since once you leave home, it is not easy to fix things.

And many shake down trips would be a big plus.

Good luck,

Dan

Ranger Smith 01-06-2016 05:13 PM

For a 2 month once in a lifetime trip why not just rent one??

RoyM 01-06-2016 05:18 PM

Welcome aboard. As with anything in life, there is a certain risk in undertaking such a voyage but in many ways that is what makes the adventure exciting. If everything were predictable what fun would that be?
For every horror story we hear about rv's there are thousands of people thoroughly enjoying themselves. Mishaps occur but rather than get their skivvies in a knot they fix the problem and carry on.
Hang around here, soak up as much information as you can while learning to separate the kernels from the chaff and start planning on the vehicle you want. Once you have decided on the floor plan and amenities you want, start pounding pavement and looking. Attend the local rv show, they are starting shortly. Talk to the dealers. Once you have decided on a particular coach get it inspected by a qualified independent facility, don't rely on the selling dealer. You are wise planning on short shake down runs to iron everything out before the Great Trek. Above all, QUIT OVERTHINKING, STOP WORRYING and have fun with it.

wildtoad 01-06-2016 05:20 PM

If I were going to buy an RV for a short term experience, I would look for a lightly used older unit. I would look for a 10 plus year old with no slides since it's just the two of you on a short term mission. I just sold a 2000 Thor Hurricane 30q that would have been great for such a trip. Save your money for travels. I would not waste any money on doing any handling mods, get in whatever you get and go. Before you go, have a mechanic check things out and make sure it's road worthy. Do NOT waste money on new tires. There is a lot of jibberish about tires on all these forums. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I just gave you mine. Have them inspected if they are over 6 years old, but even then they will most likely last another two months. Essentially you are renting a motorhome for two months, and you should spend accordingly.

You will lose money on the transaction, and the older unit you get, chances are the less you will lose. Good luck and have some great memories.

eonblue 01-06-2016 05:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dpinvidic (Post 2890722)

Can you fix your own cars?
Can you fix things around the house?

I am about to attempt to replace the brake switch on my car and Ive installed a stereo. That's about the extent of my automotive work. Around the house I figured out why our dishwasher wasn't working, installed a garbage disposal and a new sink fixture in the kitchen. That's about it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by dpinvidic (Post 2890722)
Also, how "picky" are you? If your fussy about things, you may find more stuff to fix. IF not too fussy, then less work.

Honestly neither of us are very picky at all. As long as the thing will drive down the road, the AC works and the fridge works I'm good to go. Small stuff like latches, knobs, jangly stuff don't really concern me.

Quote:

Originally Posted by dpinvidic (Post 2890722)
One thing to check into is roadside assistance, since once you leave home, it is not easy to fix things.

And many shake down trips would be a big plus.

Both of these things are very high on our to-do list.

beamisl 01-06-2016 05:24 PM

eonblue,

You're NOT ridiculous! You have a dream and are researching it well in advance. Go to PPL Motorhomes on the internet. Start looking at the gas MH's and see if you find a floor plan that works for the two of you. Do you have a local dealership where you can go and walk around the MH to see if the shower fits, bed works, storage and start thinking about what you will want to take with you.

We stayed in Yellowstone the first week of August and got a foot of snow through the night. Gone the next day but you might want to research the weather in the places you want to visit. It was beautiful but cold.

If you can afford to spend $100 K and have money left over for repairs if they become necessary, then you are set. You should be able to get a good rig for around $80,000 since you are looking at a gasser. You can get comfortable with the rig in a few weekends of using it. Won't be a pro, but there is always someone at a CG (campground) willing to answer questions and help you. Just ask.

Sounds like a wonderful trip you have planned. The horror stories come when things go wrong and there are no guarantees. You can plan it all out and it can go beautifully without issue or a small issue can come up or it can all go wrong. Even brand new rigs can have issues and sometimes other things happen.

Just go with the best you can do with the rig, study old threads here and YouTube, YouTube videos on how to dump your RV tank, leveling your RV, driving your RV, or anything else you want to know. Great advice on a roadside assistance! If you do have a problem, you can get help.

Best of luck, Lynne

eonblue 01-06-2016 05:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ranger Smith (Post 2890732)
For a 2 month once in a lifetime trip why not just rent one??

When we priced the depreciation vs the cost of a 2 month rental with the given mileage, the difference in price was negligible compared to the condition and quality of the units we looked at for rent vs what we would buy. We are prepared to take a large hit and chalk it up as just the "cost" of the trip.

That being said, we only reviewed a unit at a "rent-an-rv" type place. Perhaps there are more resources available.

eonblue 01-06-2016 05:34 PM

Your whole post I agree with wholeheartedly as general life advice. :D

Quote:

Originally Posted by RoyM (Post 2890739)
Once you have decided on a particular coach get it inspected by a qualified independent facility, don't rely on the selling dealer. .

Can you give me an example of such a place? Is it something like this?

Accurate RV Inspection

Ill search these forums for "rv inspection service".

Quote:

Originally Posted by RoyM (Post 2890739)
Above all, QUIT OVERTHINKING, STOP WORRYING and have fun with it.

I research and overthink obsessively :laugh:

That being said, my main goal is just to make sure everyone was going to be like "DUDE!!! You are an idiot to think this is a good idea!!!" It seems that isn't the case so I already feel a lot better! :thumb:

timetogo 01-06-2016 05:40 PM

The problem with RV's is they break. What is the best fix? Owning the problem or renting it?

I would rent before buying. Have fun.

jondrew55 01-06-2016 05:43 PM

I've heard that many people rent their personal rvs. Why not put an ad on Craigslist or something similar and see if you can work out a deal with someone who maybe doesn't use their unit much?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ranger Smith (Post 2890732)
For a 2 month once in a lifetime trip why not just rent one??


dsbear 01-06-2016 05:48 PM

Enjoy the journey!


David, Heidi, M and Moose(the lab)
2011 Damon Astoria
Pulling an'09 Chevy CrewCab.

halfwright 01-06-2016 06:02 PM

What you hear on forums are the worst case scenarios. We have been full time with a 2002 F250 and a 2007 Montana fifth wheel for 4 years. The only repair that I have not been able to do myself was replacing the transmission in the truck. It went out after 2 1/2 years. Many people travel for years with maintenance only.


Go and have fun!! I wish I could have done something like that at 35. It is not as much fun at 70.

HHIDan 01-06-2016 06:09 PM

I have friends (a couple) that did a 7 month cross country trip in the same scenario, about 15 years ago and we still talk about their adventure. They bought a fairly old <LeoCraft> for $23,000 at the time and sold it for $21000 when they returned. The most major issue is when they hit British-Columbian and started up some mountains the engine started acting up but a mechanic fairly quickly fixed it, it needed adjustments for altitude...

I have been RVing myself since 1986 (am 58) and I find that most breaks won't leave you stranded, for instance if you lost the furnace you might use portable heaters, if you lost the stove you could use a portable butane stove etc...

My only other comment is two months is short for 6000 miles (100 miles per day avg.)

Okiedoke 01-06-2016 06:42 PM

I too would give more thought to the short time and long distance of that adventure plan. To enjoy the destinations, not to mention the journey, would be near impossible. Perhaps scale down the plan a bit, keep the rv and continue to travel occasionally.

530ktm 01-06-2016 07:06 PM

You can buy a nice gas unit only a couple years old for a $100,000 or less that will most likely have any issues resolved. That does not mean there is no chance of something happening out on the road though. Why not buy a coach that you like, take it out for some short trips and learn about it like you said, and then take your journey but perhaps not quite so far this first time out? Why would you sell it when you return when you can make other trips in your own coach? 6,000 miles in 2 months is a lot of ground to cover, I can spend a week in one spot easily only a couple hundred miles from home. :) It sounds like fun and I am sure you will end up doing the best thing for you and your wife. :thumb:

twogypsies 01-06-2016 07:32 PM

I think you can get a nice RV for less than $100,000.

Here's a 2011 Allegro for $65,000

https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/classa...Road-30918.htm

Your plan sounds very doable to me even though it's a lot of miles. You're young. :) Go for it!! You shouldn't have any severe weather issues in your timeframe. We've been to Yellowstone/Tetons quite often in mid-Sept. in wonderful weather.

Have any RV check over mechanically by someone qualified. Like someone else stated, you mainly hear the horror stories on these forums. Folks with good experiences don't start a post saying "I haven't had any problems for ten years with my RV". If you look at one that's not terribly old and one without a lot of miles I think you can feel somewhat confident. If the owner has kept maintenance receipts that helps to know that he's kept it up. You can tell a lot just by walking in the door as to the kind of treatment the RV has had. Definitely negotiate for tires, if necessary. Read the date on them to see exactly how old they are. You don't want to go over 6-7 years.

Renting for two months would be extremely expensive and rentals are not taken care of that well by the renters.

Best of luck! It'll be a good break for you before children. :)

eonblue 01-06-2016 07:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HHIDan (Post 2890820)
I have friends (a couple) that did a 7 month cross country trip in the same scenario, about 15 years ago and we still talk about their adventure. They bought a fairly old <LeoCraft> for $23,000 at the time and sold it for $21000 when they returned. The most major issue is when they hit British-Columbian and started up some mountains the engine started acting up but a mechanic fairly quickly fixed it, it needed adjustments for altitude...

Thanks for that. My wife and I did some overnight backpacking in Zion about 4 years ago and I still remember every inch we travelled and we talk about it often still. Its part of the inspiration for this trip.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HHIDan (Post 2890820)
I have been RVing myself since 1986 (am 58) and I find that most breaks won't leave you stranded, for instance if you lost the furnace you might use portable heaters, if you lost the stove you could use a portable butane stove etc...

I hear you on that. My sister and mother went in together for Xmas and got us one of those really nice coolers which we were thinking about taking. Could serve as a fridge if it came down to it. That will of course depend on how much space is a premium. :D Stuff that doesn't involve breaking down I think we have the gumption to get thru just fine.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HHIDan (Post 2890820)
My only other comment is two months is short for 6000 miles (100 miles per day avg.)

This is one of my primary concerns and something we are still working through. I will definitely take your thoughts into consideration on this because I want to fight the urge to see everything at the cost of feeling like I'm constantly on the road or seeing everything but not experiencing anything.

One thing I would say is that approximately 2500 miles out of that 6k is getting across "flyover" country as quickly as possible on the way there and back. For example we are planning on doing 5-6 hundred miles both of the first two days to get out west staying at a truckstop/Walmart on the way. Our main intent for the trip is the all the national parks out west where we will be taking a much more leisurely pace. Including 5-6 overnight backpacking trips. Multi night stays in major cities and two weeks beach hopping on the PCH(that part is still really fuzzy and up in the air).

If I'm being honest, the other part of the reasoning for distance travelled is partly the whimsy of doing an around the country trip. Kind of one of those American dream things, but we might still be able to achieve that while cutting some of the mileage down.

At any rate, as I said, how far we're travelling and how many stops is still in flux at the moment. We are doing a first pass at our itinerary right now with mileage and travel time. When we are done with that I plan on posting it on the trip planning forum to get more detailed thoughts on where we might be going wrong. Also, I'm hoping that our shakeout trips will give us a more accurate picture of how long it REALLY takes to get somewhere that is 200 miles away......with things like realistic RV driving speeds and how long it takes to get situated at the destination. With my zero experience I feel pretty handicapped trying to guestimate these things.

eonblue 01-06-2016 08:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twogypsies (Post 2890937)
I think you can get a nice RV for less than $100,000.

Yeah, honestly I'm hoping to find something under 80 which I think is definitely doable. You are the second person to link to PPL Motorhomes which seems based in Texas. How come that particular site?

cj23andout 01-06-2016 09:34 PM

Don't worry about squeezing too much into a short timeframe.

My wife and I did 26 days in a car with a tent in 1998. We did a loop from Badlands to Yellowstone, Sequoia, Yosemite, Arches, Grand Canyon and many more. Some were just one-day stops. Others were two or three.

We live in the East and were not sure when we would get back, so we did as much as we could cram in. Sure we didn't get to "experience" it ALL, but I could make the argument that one year isn't enough time.

Well, it took us until this past summer to get back out there. We did a whole month in the MH with the two kids and dog. We had a similar aggressive itinerary. Wouldn't change it a bit. The kids had an adventure to remember. Some stops were overlooks. We did some hiking. Rode horses into Bryce Canyon and even rode our bikes around the valley floor of Yosemite.

If you see as much as you can, you might know what spots you may want to go back to for a more in depth visit later.

Giant Jeff 01-06-2016 11:46 PM

DO IT! 10 years ago my wife and then 10 and 12 year old daughters traveled from west coast to east coast in an RV. I paid $6500 cash for a not so pretty but very mechanically sound 1985 winnebago brave and we drove the heck out if the thing. Enjoyed it so much that we came back and sold it for the same price we paid for it then bought a brand new coach. To this day it was one of the most amazing experiences our family has ever experenced. I would look for an older ( way less then $100,000) motorhome. Spend some money to have all the mechanicals gone through then have more money for traveling experiences and possible repairs.

raineman 01-07-2016 01:12 AM

Go for it! I think there is some good advice here. Only warning I would have is, you may get hooked! :-) Great way to create memories.

pop-sicle 01-07-2016 02:12 AM

You seem to have thought thru the process and are financially able to pay for $100 tho MH, I wonder if you have thought about the sales tax burden of that purchase, sure you can resell and get a large chunk of original cost but here in Florida each new owner of vehicle pays sales tax on sale price. A lot of dollars down the drain just in taxes that could go towards your adventure.

People seem to get scared of older MH but with reasonable research you can get nice one for a lot less than the price you have chosen.

To each his own but wife and I bought 14 year old mh ( $13,000 ) and drove 6000 miles you intend to go, with zero problems, but now I have been doing some forms of mechanical work most of my life and did my own inspection after reading forums like this.

Now I am certain you don't want one that old but do continue your diligent research and good luck with your search and Journey.

JohnBoyToo 01-07-2016 06:00 AM

Excellent ideas thus far ! and DO go for it...
the saddest sound I've ever heard began with "I wish I had...."

and if you don't have enough quirky stops along the way - some food for thought of just Texas: Roadside Attractions Map - Texas
Who doesn't want to see "The world's largest paper airplane" or "Route 66's midpoint" or the giant roadrunner statue in Fort stockton, Tx ?!?!

JFNM 01-07-2016 06:18 AM

If that is your dream - I say do it!! Memorable moments are critically important to life and they require effort to make.

I agree with Dan, that is a lot of miles in a short period of time but it is possible. I would get a used coach that has great resale value. I don't know what that is but some research should tell you. Something with minimal setup time and stuff to fail. Slides, for example, probably are not needed since you will be on the go most of the time. I would think you could find a very nice gasser that fits the bill in the $50k range (or maybe less, I don't watch the market).

I have a friend (and his wife) that just came off a six month journey that was similar. He had a severance package and time to burn so they bought an older Pace Arrow (high-$30's, I believe) and went touring. They had a blast.

George Schweikle 01-07-2016 06:43 AM

As others have said, go for it. There's nothing like the feeling of excitement and anticipation as you begin your first big trip in a motorhome. We did around 6000 miles in three weeks, back in 1979, from KY to British Columbia - and enjoyed every mile.

Now that we don't work, taking more time and driving less each day is nice. One thing we have learned for longer trips is to schedule laundry days, or at least a early arrival or late departure in a campground with laundry facilities.

Also, before you get to Yellowstone, schedule a stop in Cody Wyoming and visit the Buffalo Bill Museum Plan Your Visit to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West We came across this on our first trip, and thought it would just be a run down tourist attraction. Nothing could be further from the truth, there are 6 different facilities and it's well worth a visit.

Quote:

Originally Posted by eonblue (Post 2890955)
... For example we are planning on doing 5-6 hundred miles both of the first two days to get out west staying at a truckstop/Walmart on the way. Our main intent for the trip is the all the national parks out west where we will be taking a much more leisurely pace. Including 5-6 overnight backpacking trips. Multi night stays in major cities and two weeks beach hopping on the PCH(that part is still really fuzzy and up in the air).

If I'm being honest, the other part of the reasoning for distance travelled is partly the whimsy of doing an around the country trip. Kind of one of those American dream things, but we might still be able to achieve that while cutting some of the mileage down....


critter210 01-07-2016 07:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eonblue (Post 2890985)
Yeah, honestly I'm hoping to find something under 80 which I think is definitely doable. You are the second person to link to PPL Motorhomes which seems based in Texas. How come that particular site?

Have you consider a new Jayco Greyhawk or Redhawk Here's a new Greyhawk for about $72,000 https://www.rvdirect.com/featured-motorized.php
Most folks purchase new between 20% to 34% off MSRP. Class C Motorhomes | Jayco, Inc.


Best Regards,
Nick

eonblue 01-07-2016 07:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnBoyToo (Post 2891264)
and if you don't have enough quirky stops along the way - some food for thought of just Texas: Roadside Attractions Map - Texas
Who doesn't want to see "The world's largest paper airplane" or "Route 66's midpoint" or the giant roadrunner statue in Fort stockton, Tx ?!?!

Awesome!!!! My wife and I keep talking about how we want to see those quirky Americana type things but we didnt know how to find them!!! Thanks for that resource!:thumb:

lynnmor 01-07-2016 07:49 AM

You are young, 6000 miles is a piece of cake for you. However, I think that your estimate of 6000 miles for that trip is way too low. You can't depend on sites like Mapquest to give the real life mileage. There will be many side trips and unexpected things popping up as you go. My guess is about 8000 miles.

OLYLEN 01-07-2016 07:56 AM

I think your idea is great. But your time on the road is not with hiking and back packing and your number of stops unless you want a drive through experience. For instance just a couple, Teton two full days, that's three nights. Yellowstone, at least four days with small hikes, that's five nights. Glacier three days that's four nights. Olympic, although this is a drive around with several entrances three days. These are just quick and dirty looks, in each there is so much to see. Yellowstone alone I would say a full week to Ten days with one over night pack in, get a couple books on the parks and high light the must sees then add two times the time to see to what you think. I am all for what you are going for and you budget is great. Only the two of you, consider a class C and don't be afraid of a ten year old coach "in great condition" with low miles. On any purchase have a pro check it out, cost will be $350-$500. We just dropped from a 40 DP to a 31' C towing a heavier rid than yours , have plenty of room and power. Good luck.

LEN

pasdad1 01-07-2016 08:08 AM

I agree you should research renting MUCH more. You should be able to find a very nice, clean rental for the 60 day trip. The benefit to you is that should some major breakdown occur, the rental company should be able to get you a replacement, and you continue your adventure without worrying about repairs.

Have you seen the movie "RV" by Robin Williams ? This should be mandatory to watch this prior to your journey..... They almost destroyed the RV on their trip.....good thing it was a rental with lots of rental insurance !

FastGlassMan 01-07-2016 08:21 AM

EonBlue , we had the money to buy a much newer and bigger MH last year when we bought our 88 Winnebago. I don't expect that you would want to do the work I did to ours , but the fact that we have just at $5000.00 invested in it and everything works, it is more than adequate as first timers. That included buying the unit, all parts and repairs, licensing, taxes and full coverage insurance valuing it at over 3 times what we have in it! I would definately not pay $100,000 0r even 50,000 to start this trip, hell where we live such a purchase would cost minimum of $8600.00 on $100,000 just in sales tax, which you would never recover! You can surely find a beautiful well kept unit you'd like for $ 25-30,000 that you could resell or keep if you like rving later! Just my opinion and have fun no matter which way you go! And just think , you could start your kids college fund with the money you'll save! Bobby:dance:

eonblue 01-07-2016 08:58 AM

Hmm.....you guys and gals recommending and older used model are starting to make me seriously consider finding something much cheaper. We are WILLING to take a large hit on resale, but I would much rather avoid doing that. As my OP probably makes obvious, my main concern has been avoiding issues on the road and I just kind of figured throwing money at the issue might help do that, but if I can avoid doing so I would rather. Honestly the thought of buying something older just scares me given my inexperience and the relatively short duration of the trip.

So, question for those who say don't be scared of something older. How old is too old? How many miles is too many miles? I realize these questions are subjective, but using the details of our situation as context what would you do?

There is a 2004 Fleetwood Bounder with 33k miles literally 2 minutes from my house listed at 39,000 for example.

2004 Fleetwood Bounder, La Vergne TN - - RVtrader.com

It has new tires and new batteries. Another thing that's just kept me away from older and used is my utter lack of automotive expertise, but I suppose an RV inspector would help ease some of that worry.

ETA: I'm not necessarily looking to buy the first thing I come across, just using this particular coach as an example.

F4Gary 01-07-2016 09:01 AM

Also realize you can't make as many miles a day in a motorhome like you can in a car. Plan on 60 - 65 mph and probably not as many hours a day as you would in a car.

JohnBoyToo 01-07-2016 09:12 AM

They made that coaches exterior look perfect !!!

The inside is where MaMa will struggle - but that looks promising - test drive that puppy (ALL the features) and make an offer for that OLD thing :)

remember studied disinterest !

Podivin 01-07-2016 09:24 AM

I'm with HHIDan, the only flaw I see in your plan is how much ground you're wanting to cover.
I know 100 miles in a day is very easy, and I assume that there will be 300 mile days followed by a couple of days parked and seeing the sights.
The only thing I'd suggest is to be prepared to slow down and spend more time at some places you really like, at the cost of not getting to places that were to be at the end of the trip.
In my experience the push to 'go' at the expensive of 'but I'd like to see more at this place' is not always a good trade, and you find yourself rushing when you really should be relaxing.

oakcreekeric 01-07-2016 09:33 AM

Let me just start by saying, I'm thoroughly jealous of your trip... Sounds like fun... pay no attention to the naysayers... you do what you want to do...

My two cents... In no particular order
  • People have given good advice on what rig/year/type/mileage/color/brand/options to buy... my advice, get what you want
  • Tires... this is certainly a grey area.. I'd error on the side of caution
  • Gas/Diesel - seems like you're going gas, but I wouldn't completely rule out diesel... I say, get the best deal you can no matter the fuel type
  • Floor-plans matter !!!
  • Don't for get to buy an extra large SD card for you phone/camera - maybe a GoPro is in order
  • Relax, breath deep and make sure you have a credit card with LOTS of room in case of emergency
  • Take a telescope and stargaze with your beautiful wife
  • Stay with a "rough draft" version of your trip... Impromptu side excursions are THE BEST
  • Research/worry less.... camp more !! :dance:
  • Turn the radio off and talk to your wife... if you're planning on having a baby... there won't be as much time to talk when the little bundle of joy arrives... :angel:
  • If using a GPS and traveling with a toad/trailer - VERIFY !!!
  • Download the Diners, Drive-in's and Dive's app and taste, as well as see the trip
Sorry for the length of my post... I tend to ramble...

Finally... as others have mentioned.. Don't completely rule out the "getting hooked" factor... I'm assuming you live in the Nashville area.. There are some pretty cool places to camp in your general area.. and, as a father of three (13, 14 & 15), I can't imagine the last 10 years without the memories of our camping trips as they've grown through the years... I dare say you might want to keep the RV around and create some with your impending new baby..

Good luck... Godspeed and I hope you have MANY miles and SMILES !!

brucev 01-07-2016 09:38 AM

eonblue,
You are on the right track. Just remember to slow down and enjoy the ride. I am not sure a rental would allow you to tow your car. I think a good used coach is wise, but like suggested earlier, have it looked at by an expert first. I chose to buy new only because I needed the extra towing capacity (8000lbs vs. 5000lbs). Watch the length as many state and national parks have limits on RV's. It looks like you will be hitting some popular places so you will need to make reservations well in advance if possible.
Following are links to the websites I use most when trip planning:

koa.com
goodsamclub.com
recreation.gov
reserveamerica.com

Good luck, God Bless and safe travels. One last suggestion, buy a coach that you will be happy with. After your trip you just may decide to keep it.

oakcreekeric 01-07-2016 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eonblue (Post 2891499)
So, question for those who say don't be scared of something older. How old is too old? How many miles is too many miles? I realize these questions are subjective, but using the details of our situation as context what would you do?

The single best question I would ask a seller... When was the last time you camped in this RV ?

Personally... I'd want to purchase an RV that's been used recently.. lots of things can crawl into places and make their home if the rig hasn't been used for a particularly long time.. Now, I'm not saying you should necessarily stay away from any rig.. just look long and hard at any RV that hasn't seen a campground in over a year..

Just my two cents !!

MotorPro 01-07-2016 11:02 AM

Sounds like a great trip but don't get so set on seeing all those places that you miss really seeing any of them well. Be flexible and if you have give up someplace to really enjoy a different spot that's OK .

srh 01-07-2016 12:41 PM

Great plan, as others have stated it might a bit ambitious to do 6,000 mi in two months, but I'm sure you will be able to adjust your itinerary when you are on the road. As far as which RV to pick, you have some good advice, but personally, for the two of you, I would pick something like

2014 Solera Sprinter Diesel 24MS for Sale - M205 - PPL Motor Homes

It is a newer MB diesel on a Sprinter chassis, easy to drive, very dependable, great fuel economy, and should have a good resale value.
Having said that, whatever you are comfortable with would be a good choice.
Enjoy the planning and above all, enjoy your trip. When you get back, post your experiences and let the rest of us who didn't take a trip as such could benefit.
All the best!

strongcity 01-07-2016 01:36 PM

Sounds like a fun trip to me. Everyone has a different idea. I would suggest checking for a used motorhome for sale by a individual. I think for the person willing to look and shop can find very good deals on used RVs. I would rather have one that has been used fairly recent and not parked for an extended time. Check everything out well. I would suggest since you are going to be new to the motorhome business to get a friend or someone you trust to go with you. I would not be in a hurry and go several times to cover all bases. I think an individual would be more understanding with letting you look. Most dealer sales people want to rush you to make a decision. Look at several ask a lot of questions read RV material and RV classified. I think you could buy a gas motorhome you would be proud of way under the $100,000.00 figure. If you have a friend or a friend knows someone that has used a motorhome would be a good place for help. Most of these guys are interested and like to look at motorhomes and take about them.

cj23andout 01-07-2016 09:33 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Attached are our East-West and West to East Calendars. (hope the attach button worked?)

This was our proposed itinerary. We changed our plans a little here and there:

We don't think we should have stayed at Monument Valley--maybe one night but definitely not two. A 1/2 day stop would have been fine. So, we were able to drive through Valley of the Gods and see the Four Corners Monument.

We went to Disneyland on July 2 and 3. That wasn't on the calendar but one day at the park was in the plans! (surprised the kids, and squeezed the second day in because we could) The wedding we were going to in San Clemente wasn't until 5PM. We actually got there way too early? We could have hit a few more rides?

We visited Jackson Hole on a 1-day loop back to West Yellowstone in the Toad, stayed an extra night at Yellowstone and skipped Devils Tower and Wall Drug to make up the time. We did a 1/2 day stop at Mt. Rushmore. We actually arrived home at 1 in the morning Saturday night. That gave us a whole day to settle in before we went back to work.

The planning took a year. We did and saw much more than what is on the attachments. The kids never complained. They just kept asking what's next!

Like the trip my wife and I took in 1998, this will probably be the only trip west for us as a family. Getting a whole month off work is pretty tough on the job and co-workers. Luckily, I have great co-workers. They followed us on Facebook and enjoyed it with us.

As you can see, we crammed a lot in and are glad we did.

The DW and I do hope to take the slow tour someday after retirement.

Like other posters, I envy your two months. You can cram a lot into those. If you look at our itinerary, you might think it was hectic. I can honestly say it was a very relaxing trip. I was going to blank out the non-trip portion of our calendar, but thought I'd leave it there so you can see our "normal" life is kinda hectic. If I added our work calendars into the mix and you could get a better idea. The days just prior to our departure were the end of the school year so less hectic than usual.

Incidentally, on our 1998 trip, we got home at 11:30 Sunday night and had to be at work the next day. We decided to stay an extra night at Rocky Mountain and chance going straight to work from the road! Glad we did even though I was pretty tired back on the job.

We are now planning a 2.5-week vacation to Disney World, the beach and Key West with a stop at Everglades either on the way down or back.

Hope this can help,

Attachment 115982

Attachment 115983

twogypsies 01-07-2016 11:16 PM

For a two-month trip I think you're over thinking this. Buy a used RV, have it checked out thoroughly, and take off!!

gmccash 01-07-2016 11:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ranger Smith (Post 2890732)
For a 2 month once in a lifetime trip why not just rent one??


I agree that you should rent. It would a lot less than $100k. And if it breaks down, it's on the rental company. Try Cruise America for starters.

cees 01-08-2016 04:31 AM

i agree rent one

eonblue 01-08-2016 07:04 AM

I have a couple problems with rental....even though it does offer the benefit of a replacement likely being available should the thing break down.

First issue is that we aren't looking to do all those shakedown trips JUST to get ready for the big trip. We are excited about having it and going to the smokies and other awesome places around nashville, Bonnaroo, and tailgating at an Auburn and Titans football game(WAR EAGLE). We are excited about all that and that would push rental prices sky high.

The second is with the price of rental. I am 6'6 and the only floorplan that worked for me in the CruiseAmerica fleet(we went and view them in person) was the 30'.

The 30' costs:

$4800/month x 2 = 9600
+ $1120(per 3200miles) X 2 = 2240
= approx $12000 + 10% sales tax

Total = $13200 for 2 month rental

If I bought a 60k used RV I could pay 10% tax and take a 10% depreciation and it would still only be $12000, but with the added benefit of not having just hopped in an RV for the first time and trying to drive 6000 miles thru massively varied traffic conditions and topography. Also, should we be so inclined we could also just keep the RV if we love it.

Now, if we payed 100k we'd be looking at much greater cost of buying, but the people around here have made me quite a bit more comfortable about buying used and going much cheaper than 100k.

HHIDan 01-08-2016 07:26 AM

If you buy wise and slow and sell wise and slow you might not loose 10%, you might even break even. Buy one you really like and you might end up keeping it?? Look at it this way, you already ahead $13,200....

shovelhead86 01-08-2016 10:53 AM

I think for what you are proposing to do I would rent an RV. I have been a park host for several years and have had the opportunity to speak with many people renting units. One company I have seen a lot of is "Travel America". Many people come from Europe or Japan and do what you are planning to do and they Rent. Insurance, Roadside assistance and emergency repairs are preplanned.

pasdad1 01-08-2016 11:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eonblue (Post 2892738)
The second is with the price of rental. I am 6'6 and the only floorplan that worked for me in the CruiseAmerica fleet(we went and view them in person) was the 30'.



The 30' costs:



$4800/month x 2 = 9600

+ $1120(per 3200miles) X 2 = 2240

= approx $12000 + 10% sales tax



Total = $13200 for 2 month rental



If I bought a 60k used RV I could pay 10% tax and take a 10% depreciation and it would still only be $12000...


I think you have to figure in the costs of insurance AND a roadside service policy AND a extended warranty....these are all probably already factored into the cost of the rental.

If you buy, you will be paying those costs starting the day you buy it, until you sell it....with the rental the costs are fixed, and stop when you turn it back in.

gmccash 01-08-2016 11:48 AM

Please help me keep from making a MASSIVE mistake
 
I would still consider renting unless you are serious about keeping or buying an RV. The RV my wife and I bought ( new) was not based on a few months of RVing. We looked at RV, Fifth Wheels, TT, camping facilities and talked to various owners about experience ( good and bad) of ownership for nearly 2 years before pulling the plug. We love our RV, but it was a long process to determine storage cost, insurance, maintenance, gas mileage, tax benefits, personalization (satellite), depreciation and long term travel plans while we are in our working years. Your title is "please help keep from making a MASSIVE mistake."

Your math is a $1200 differential to do your traveling by rental or buying. Renting will help determine what you like and don't like about RVing. Buying an RV then selling it afterwards is a gutsy move in an attempt to break even with added potential headaches.

You should do your trip without a question! As a current financial planner, I would rent in this case.

pasdad1 01-08-2016 01:06 PM

Check out this company.

https://luxuryrvforrent.com

You could easily pack your clothes in the car and drive to neighbouring NC
to pickup the RV....then start your trip from there.

RodK 01-08-2016 03:50 PM

Please help me keep from making a MASSIVE mistake
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eonblue (Post 2891499)
Hmm.....you guys and gals recommending and older used model are starting to make me seriously consider finding something much cheaper. We are WILLING to take a large hit on resale, but I would much rather avoid doing that. As my OP probably makes obvious, my main concern has been avoiding issues on the road and I just kind of figured throwing money at the issue might help do that, but if I can avoid doing so I would rather. Honestly the thought of buying something older just scares me given my inexperience and the relatively short duration of the trip.


2 years ago I bought a 1999 Triple E Commander. I have put some work into it, but would not hesitate to take it on a trip like you are planning. I have taken mine through the mountains with no issues and it has never let me down. I do have Good Sam roadside assistance but have never used it yet (knock on wood). My very first trip after I bought it was 2250 miles.

Mike and Cha 01-08-2016 08:33 PM

I think you need to figure out what your goal is. Are you wanting to have the camping experience plus seeing the US and doing some hiking, or do you think the only way you can do it economically is in an RV.

I know this is contrary to what your being told, but you asked for help in avoiding a mistake. You may just consider staying at hotels on this two month trip if you are just going to sell the RV at the end of the trip, here is my math on it based on some of the things you have already stated and some estimations:

10% Sales Tax License $6000
10% depreciation $6000
Gas $2000-3000(gas in Ca is over $3 gallon/could be =/-)
RV spots $1800 ($30 night/60 nights, could be more/less)
Insurance $300 (just a ballpark)


Total: $16100-17100


Hotel/Motel $6000 (based on approx. $100/night for 60 nights)
Gas $500 (Approx based on using your Honda)


Total: $6500


I didn't include food as you have to eat either way, you will save some in the RV as you can cook your own meals, but it will balance out with other misc stuff you will need for the RV. Laundry and other misc stuff will be the same either way.

The only reason I brought this up is we were in the same dilemma as you when we just took our trip around the US this summer. Even though we already have a MH we left it at home as we spent 2 months on the road and ended up traveling about 8000 miles total, seeing many more things than we would have with the MH. We did have 4 different families to visit on the trip so we ended up spending about half the time in Hotels and the other half in their houses. I didn't want to have to leave the MH anywhere when we were at the different relatives, even though there were times we missed having our MH.

If you really just want to do a two month camping trip then by all means follow your dream. But if it is just to see as much of the US and as many National Parks as possible, then I would do it in your car. There are plenty of hotels/motels around the parks to stay in. I wouldn't buy an RV just for two months, and then sell it losing the tax/license/depreciation, and most of all any issues that may require repairs. Even the best of MH's may require repairs while on the road that are costly as well as time consuming. If you are dead set on doing the trip in an RV and camping, then I would recommend renting one, as at least the rental company would be on the hook for repairs and keeping you on the road.

I'm sure many will disagree with me, as this is an RV forum. I'm just giving you an honest answer as we have done both, and own a MH which we have taken on several month or longer trips. The only way I would recommend buying the MH for the trip is if you are considering keeping the MH after the trip. Only you can answer these questions and how much money you are will to spend for a two month adventure. And remember you can still go camping after you have kids, it is a lot of fun.

pasdad1 01-09-2016 07:21 AM

I agree.... Rent or go with "Mike and Cha" plan of drive the car and stay in hotels.

If you go the RV route, you should scale WAY back your mileage and stops for a 60 day trip.....the whole point to doing it in an RV is being spontaneous, having total freedom, and going at a slow pace to stop and smell the roses. If you have to meet deadlines, make certain reservations, etc takes away the joy in my opinion. You don't want to be pressured into trying to drive the RV at 80mph to make a certain deadline.......in your Honda you could drive that speed and be safer while doing it.

A compromise would be to rent a large SUV or maybe a truck pulling a small enclosed U-haul trailer with all your gear. I did several camping trips like this renting the large 15 passenger vans, and taking all the back seats out.....plenty of room in the back for all the gear...and the Van was a new vehicle with less than 20,000 miles and ran perfect.

eonblue 01-09-2016 08:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike and Cha (Post 2893649)
I think you need to figure out what your goal is. Are you wanting to have the camping experience plus seeing the US and doing some hiking, or do you think the only way you can do it economically is in an RV.

I know this is contrary to what your being told, but you asked for help in avoiding a mistake. You may just consider staying at hotels on this two month trip if you are just going to sell the RV at the end of the trip, here is my math on it based on some of the things you have already stated and some estimations:

I really appreciate the honestly, time and thought put into this post. Seriously. Im not here to get my own notions reinforced...im here to try to capitalize you this forums collection wisdom.

My wife and I had considered doing car/hotel because of many of the factors you cited, but having someone else say it for some reason shed a different light on it. My wife and I had a long discussion after I read this to her. From the outset we knew that hotels(or tents) would by far be the cheapest route to go.....but when I think about being in a small car that amount of time it makes me cringe. In my wifes honda my arse starts to go numb in like 200 miles. Also, the main draw to us of the RV was being smack dab in the middle of the parks. Waking up in there and not having to make drives into or out of them to start our hikes. It seems like they would afford you quite a bit of extra time actually being IN the parks without having to sleep in a tent every night.

In the end RV is going to be the most expensive option by far whether we rent OR buy. But the crux of your post, or the central point that resonates with me, was how much is the camping experience worth to us and like you said, we have to do some soul searching to answer that question.

When I envision our desires and goals for this trip, in my gut I feel that anything other than an RV would be a disappointment, but the problem there is that Ive never been in one right??? :laugh: But I figure theres gotta be a reason all you good folks own them.:D

As an aside, I do want to say this. My wife and I have watched as all our friends have kids while we struggled with the decision and instead focused on getting completely out of debt except the house and built a 6 month emergency fund. We are there now and have been for two years and we worked hard to do it. We have zero debt(other than a moderate house) and could pay our house off in 2 years if we went lock down mode. After all that work and "discipline" we kind of want to let it hang loose for a minute and be "irresponsible" before we lock it back down with the kid thing. I only say this in case anyone is thinking we might be putting ourselves in a dangerous situation money-wise.

How is THAT for rambling! :laugh:

ETA: Ive mentioned it before, but I dont want to minimize how excited we are to own have the RV all year starting in spring until next winter. We have a lot of trips in mind for that time period.

TLGPE 01-09-2016 10:16 AM

"how excited we are to own have the RV all year starting in spring until next winter. We have a lot of trips in mind for that time period."

I think you just answered your own question.:thumb:

Tom

twogypsies 01-09-2016 10:27 AM

You seem to be very outdoor-minded and I don't think a motel is the way to go for you. There's quite a difference if you can stay right in the midst of where you want to explore and hike.

You are financially solid and you deserve this awesome experience. Now start shopping!!

Mike and Cha 01-09-2016 11:09 AM

Eonblue, I totally understand how you feel and get why you feel that making this trip in anything other than an RV would be a disappointment. On our 2 month trip around the US, as I left home and left the MH sitting the driveway, I was initially disappointed. But as we traveled and took many side trips to see things where we would have never taken the MH we found that for that type of trip it was the best decision we could have made. We had no time schedule to keep and stopped whenever we felt like it. We went off course several times during the trip, and took roads without worrying about the gas, or if it was safe to do in the MH, seeing many things we would have just passed by.

Another option would be to rent a bigger SUV type car that gets decent gas mileage so you will be more comfortable and still hotel/motel it. The additional cost would be around $800-$1000 for the trip.

You sound like you have been very responsible with your finances, and just want to go enjoy a trip before you start a family. Being finically responsible will be the key to being able to enjoy your lifestyle with or without kids. You are way ahead of a lot of people your age in this area, and it is probably due to your diligence when making financial decisions. Just because have a child doesn't mean you have to stop enjoying your life. A lot our kid's favorite memories are of times spent camping in our various RV's.

Again the only way I would buy a RV for this trip is if you plan to keep it. That way you could make it your own and any repairs or maintenance you do will be worth it. The way I see it you will be money ahead you keep it, and will get at least a year and a half use out of it before a baby comes. Then you will have a lifetime of memories to come. Good luck in making your decision.

eonblue 01-09-2016 11:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twogypsies (Post 2894238)
You seem to be very outdoor-minded and I don't think a motel is the way to go for you. There's quite a difference if you can stay right in the midst of where you want to explore and hike.

You are financially solid and you deserve this awesome experience. Now start shopping!!

Our first backcountry excursion is the Paintbrush Divide loop in the Tetons

Paintbrush Canyon Cascade Canyon Trail Loop - Grand Teton Hikes

20 miles with 4k feet of elevation gain up to 10700 ft over the pass!!! :D:D:D

When we did Zion we did base to the rim which was similar elevation gain, but there was no water until the top so I had to carry 4 liters up that 3200 ft elevation. Switchbacks straight up the cliffs. Maybe 45-50 pounds of gear in my pack at outset. BRUTAL! We've since lightened our gear, but when we did it in the last half mile we were so at the limit that we were considering giving up making it to the campsight and just pitching a tent on the side of the trail! My wife, bless her heart, was a champion and that trip made me so proud to be married to her. Lots of other women would have KILLED me. :laugh: She never complained. Not one time.

Just as we were about to relent we met the last two people we would see until mid next day......we asked where the site was and it turned out I could have hit it with a rock! I tell people we were so tired that when we dropped our gear there were no words...no sense of the elation that you would have expected, just exhausted silences as we slumped to the ground LOL.

You have no idea what you can do until you HAVE to do it. That being said.........Ive already started weight and cardio training 8 months in advance. We're going to curbstomp that tetons hike:thumb: So excited.

Jim T. 01-09-2016 12:01 PM

If you do decide to purchase a motorhome, join Passport America. If you use just 3 or 4 of their affiliated campgrounds on your trip, you'll have paid their fee. Anymore than that and you'll be dollars ahead.

Some unsolicited advice: go for it while you're young, healthy and can financially afford it. Circumstances can change in a heartbeat.

More advice: Buy an air compressor powerful enough to inflate your tires and a good tire pressure gauge. Check pressure in every tire each morning before leaving on the day's journey and inflate to proper pressure. Check water level in all batteries at least weekly. Use only distilled water when needed. Buy a roadside assistance policy. You have two options: Good Sam & CoachNet. I've had both. I prefer CoachNet. Try to avoid Camping World for service. Buy most supplies, like toilet paper & digester from Walmart. Their parking lots are RV BIG. Never let your fuel gauge fall much below 1/2 before fueling up. Select your gas stations with care. Check entrance & egress before committing yourself. Remember, you're driving a "Big Un"! If you're unsure, pass it up & go to next one. You might have to pass up several until you find one you're comfortable with using. Buy a spray can of silicone lubricant. Lubricate automatic steps frequently. Don't rely on WD40, it's a cleaner, not a lubricant. Assemble a basic tool box (wrenches, socket set, screwdrivers, wire ties, good electrical tape, gorilla glue & tape and at least one hammer for those times when nothing else will do but a solid whack or two. It may still won't work, but you'll feel better! Don't pack a lot of clothes or food. There's always a food or clothing store around. We often find clothing bargains at places like Goodwill. A lot of these places are supported and run by churches. "Buy 'em, wash 'em, wear 'em!" Finally, take pictures and videos. Lots of them.

Post your decisions going forward.



Jim & Shirley & Abbie (Scottie)
2013 Newmar Canyon Star 3911
2005 Dodge Grand Caravan Toad

Jim T. 01-09-2016 12:10 PM

By the way, we're originally from Nashville. We always loved camping at the nearby Corps of Engineer campgrounds: Cedar Creek, Seven Points & Cages Bend.


Jim & Shirley & Abbie (Scottie)
2013 Newmar Canyon Star 3911
2005 Dodge Grand Caravan Toad

eonblue 01-09-2016 02:29 PM

One small update. I own an Accord w/ 170k miles and my wife, the Fit with 120k miles. Both paid for. We've been discussing what to do next and, with the child perhaps upcoming, were discussing buying a super safe crossover or SUV. We weren't going to make that purchase until those cars wheels were falling but if we moved up that purchase it would put small travel trailers in play as an option. We could either get something very cheap but plenty for us or, I understand Airstreams hold their value exceptionally well and my wife has always loved those things for whatever reason.

Anyway, it wouldnt exactly be the Class A RV experience(that huge window has GOT to be nice), but it would achieve our desire of staying in the parks and the vehicle we'd be purchasing would be lightyears more comfortable to travel long distance in.

Thoughts there? I'll keep you guys and gals updated.

twogypsies 01-09-2016 03:29 PM

OP: You've made some awesome hikes in areas we love. We hiked down the Bright Angel Trail in Grand Canyon to pick up our raft for nine days on the river. That's another to put on your bucket list...a fantastic experience.

We also hiked 'The Wave' at northern AZ/southern Utah border. Google it. I'm sure you've seen many photos of it. Again....quite an experience.

You'll love RVing and after your big trip I'll bet you continue with RVing. It'll take you to very special places. Have fun planning your trip!

Jim T. 01-09-2016 04:10 PM

I've owned a pull-behind trailer. Had it setup properly to a GMC p/u and it still scared me when 18 wheelers passed me. Last time it happened on a weekend camping trip to Cages Bend COA, scared me so much, I took it to Huntsville the next Saturday and traded it for a class A. That was about 30 years ago. Since then, I've traded RVs 3 times. Now I have my last RV, a 39 footer from Newmar. Love it.

If you decide to buy a trailer, be watchful at all times of traffic coming up behind you.


Jim & Shirley & Abbie (Scottie)
2013 Newmar Canyon Star 3911
2005 Dodge Grand Caravan Toad

Melmoses 01-10-2016 04:05 AM

Keep the motorhome down to around 32' to make sure you can get in the parks you want to stay in. We took a 2 month long trip to the West a couple of years ago from central Alabama. We took turns driving which is a idea for you to consider. Once I got over the fear and got a little confidence, it was a piece of cake to drive. Sharing driving duty really allows you to arrive more rested and ready to get out there. We had a loose agenda and adjusted it based on how much we liked the park or what we found along the way. Fantastic time and very doable. Have fun!

A great part of the trip was walking around the campgrounds and talking to people. We found out about many local things that way that we truly enjoyed. Can't do that in a hotel!

raineman 01-10-2016 05:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim T. (Post 2894602)
I've owned a pull-behind trailer. Had it setup properly to a GMC p/u and it still scared me when 18 wheelers passed me. Last time it happened on a weekend camping trip to Cages Bend COA, scared me so much, I took it to Huntsville the next Saturday and traded it for a class A. That was about 30 years ago. Since then, I've traded RVs 3 times. Now I have my last RV, a 39 footer from Newmar. Love it.

If you decide to buy a trailer, be watchful at all times of traffic coming up behind you.


Jim & Shirley & Abbie (Scottie)
2013 Newmar Canyon Star 3911
2005 Dodge Grand Caravan Toad

Don't let that story scare you. Either his trailer was not setup properly and or there was an issue of driver confidence. A truly properly set up trailer will not cause white knuckles everytime a semi passes you. If that were the case you wouldn't see so many trailers on the road. Many being pulled by those up in their years. This person's experience is not typical.

WildSide 01-10-2016 06:09 AM

I am in the "go for it" camp but buy a more modest unit used with kids in mind and keep the RV. We are a lot like you in that we traveled a lot as a young couple and we still travel a lot with our kids. We did 7500 miles during a 5 week trip in the summer of 2014 pulling our then new 28' travel trailer with my 10 year old dodge 2500. It was a blast. The kids were 3 and 9. We stayed in Mesa Verde, Grand Canyon North and South rim, Arches, Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore and Great Sand Dunes. We certainly had a schedule and would have loved to stay longer at every place but it was never rushed. The RV is creating lifetime memories for the kids. This summer we have planned another trip but now have a 2007 Winnebago class A and Jeep Wrangler toad. On this trip we are meeting grandparents at the north rim of the Grand Canyon and traveling with them to CA then north to Washington and over to Glacier. They'll be in their Class C and we will be in our Class A It will be pretty special to spend the time caravaning with the grandparents in this way. They're the ones who taught me to want to see the country and our parks. We traveled out west in our VW van when I was a kid in the 70s.

I have promised the kids I will take them to every state by their 18th birthday and as many national parks as possible. They have the park passports and love filling them up. We have lots of miles to go and try to use the RV every couple of months here in Florida when not on our big adventures. We are lucky in that we live in South Florida and work is very seasonal so taking 5-6 weeks off in the summer is no problem. We were in Europe for 3 weeks this past summer. Honestly we love traveling so much that we would sell everything and live in the RV if it was the only way we could afford to do it, fortunately it is not but we would. The trip is exciting from planning to execution.

Me as a kid:

https://www.irv2.com/attachments/phot...0ca19a284f.jpg

My kids:

https://www.irv2.com/attachments/phot...f07b9e61dc.jpg

You get the idea, have fun.

jsmmonaco 01-10-2016 06:44 AM

rent

southernlady 01-10-2016 07:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ranger Smith (Post 2890732)
For a 2 month once in a lifetime trip why not just rent one??

We did a similar trip in a pop up. We had never done the RV thing before but looking at renting one for that amount of time AND that mileage is extremely expensive.

We just bought, outright, a very used pop up. Other than not having room to change my mind inside and finding out we had no heat (this was July but it was 40 in Alberta). And requiring TWO sides to a bed...I'm too damned old to be crawling across a hubby and two dogs to pee. We ended up going 8,000 miles...

What it did do was prove we LOVED the RV lifestyle BUT not in a pop up (esp at our age...I'm 61).

But I checked the cost of just renting...JUST the rental was over 3K for three weeks not including the mileage which added about another 4K, and we bought our pop up for less than 5K.

pasdad1 01-10-2016 07:07 AM

One aspect I haven't heard discussed yet..... You say you have never owned an RV....so stands to reason you don't know which floor plan would work well for your family.....this is the perfect reason to rent. If you take several long weekends with a rental unit each time, prior to the 60 day trip, you will get a better idea of which floor plan layouts you prefer.

Also since the 60 day trip is just you and your wife, your needs as a couple are different than a family with young children. Rent the floor plan that will make the most sense for a 60 day trip for just 2 people....

If you decide you want an RV after the children are born, you will most likely want an RV with bunk bed arrangement for the kids....it gets old real quick folding out a sofa bed for sleeping every night.

Also with 2 people a one bathroom works okay, but with a larger family, you will most likely want a "bath and a half" plan. Very hard to get a floor plan that works well in all situations without a lot of compromise.

Pullin' Chocks 01-10-2016 07:46 AM

Hello Eon,
2 months is not a long time to do all you want. For me that would be stressful trying to keep on schedule, and that would make it difficult for me to continue having fun. I think your plan sounds great, but your expectations may gitcha. There are going to be problems, and you two will certainly solve each and every one of them. What will be outside your complete control is the schedule on which you reach these resolutions. You will learn so much, you will meet the most fascinating and kind and smart people, and you will visit awesome places. However, be assured things will happen that seem to insist you divert from your plan, and that is in our opinion one of the magnificient things about RVing. You will end up having experiences that you didn't see coming and will be great memories for a long time. Still, planning is a good thing, just know that adjustments along the way are good things, and if you expect this, it will be much easier and even fun and exciting when the time comes. I remind myself often, that we are in the exact right place, experiencing the exact thing we are supposed to experience, which gives us exactly what we need to be who we will become. The main thing in our opinion is to enjoy and have fun, if not what's the point? Enjoy your journey!


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