My DH and I are seriously thinking of buying an RV and I would like any input, stories, or advice you may have. We went on one trip in a rented RV and enjoyed ourselves but did have some mechanical problems. My DH is very handy- thank goodness so he was able to manage them and says this wont happen if we buy one as he will keep it maintained. So, I would appreciate any thoughts you have on this.
RVs are a great way to travel and see the 'backroads' sections of the country. The drawback is that most are so small... but you already know that from renting one :)
Don't drive until 10 p.m. and then try to find a place to stop for the night. pulling a car behind makes other drivers hate to give you way to change lanes. and not staying in your lane drives other drivers insane. Can you tell we don't have our RV anymore? oh, driving to Northern States can be tricky. Parking isn't easy. They have places but not enough room for large RV's. trees in the way, etc. But have great fun!!!
I am currently on an RV trip.( have been for a month). We pull a 30 foot Wind river trailer. I love it. We have a walk around queen bed,table with chairs( we left 2 home so I have room for my box of sewing stuff), a little couch,2 recliners, and a nice kitchen. I have my FW,an ironing pad I put over the stove cover..I'm set. Any fabric I get,I mail home to a friend. We get up and leave early am,and try to get settled again by mid pm. The other drivers have treated us well. We use a navigator,so get to places easily. DH gets on the Internet and plans where we go,calls up an reserves a spot. I check out the quilt shops! We looks at RV Resort reviews and have been in lovely spots.
Any thing bigger than 30 feet won't fit in some of the forest service spots,you do have to watch the trees. We don't have a motor home,because we don't want to tow a car. It has been great...I can clean this place in 20 minutes,no yard work,have my own bed and bath. There are more pluses than negatives for us.
We came within seconds of purchasing a 30' trailer last weekend and at the last minute decided it wasn't for us. DH is not mechanically inclined and I would worry about pulling a trailer in heavy traffic. We decided that for the amount of times we would really use it, the cost of additional gas and using our truck vs car and motels wasn't worth it. We could pay for a lot of motels for the cost of the trailer. That being said, I love to camp. Maybe when I retire next summer and we don't have so many other commitments, we will change our minds.
I live in a small town east of Little Rock, and Walmart parking lot has lots of rvs and semi trucks parked overnight. My DS says it is because there are security cameras present. Wal Mart welcomes them as they spend dollars inside. DH and I traveled in a small rv up the west coast and loved it. Saw so many beautiful sights. It was, of course, not our primary residence. He wanted to go w an RV full time and I said no. I need a home base. He is gone now and am glad I have a home. A friend tells how her husband had a heart attack and she had to drive their RV down a mountain road. She had not driven it until then. The Rv we had gave us many rewarding opportunities. My advice is weigh your doubts and fears against the benefits. It is nice not to tote luggage into motels every night and know who has slept in the bed the night before.
Good luck with your decision. We don't RV but I know some have issues trying to find a campground that has the room for a large RV. I've also known some who buy in a retirement park (like in Arizona) and love that life. Guess it depends if you want to travel. We rode motorcycles for years and traveled the country - now we are content to stay in our little piece of heaven. No neighbors, surrounded by forest service, lots of wildlife and close to family.
My dream has always been to retire and buy a small used Airstream and travel out west. Unfortunately, our finances can't afford it and I honestly am deathly afraid of my husband's driving. He takes chances in traffic that I would never think of. I think he's the kind of driver that I'm always calling an "idiot", waiting until the last minute to change lanes, going through yellow lights, speeding past semi-tractor trailers and generally, just living in his own lane with no global awareness until just before it's almost too late to change lanes. AARRRGGGHHHH! Yes, I do drive everywhere when we are together and I don't think I could handle driving an RV for 100 of miles at a time.
So, my dream will continue to be a dream................
I have no desire at all to travel. We did some of that when we were younger. I enjoy being at home, We still work at least 40 hours.
We are on our 4th RV and we both dread the day when we feel uncomfortable driving with one. We have had 2 travel trailers, and now are on our 2nd fifth wheel. We used to go on weekend trips all the time when we were working, along with several long weekend trips a year and one or two week long (or longer) trips a year. Now that we are both retired, we go camping from Sunday or Monday through Wednesday or Thursday. The Ohio State Park camping fee is half price for senior citizens on Sunday - Thursday nights. We are planning an extended trip to the southwest sometime this year. We just love being in our RV and have been out camping during every month except January.
Advice? Here are a few things to consider
RV mattresses are usually very uncomfortable. Plan on probably having to buy a good mattress for your RV.
Most RVs now come with slideouts that the RVs much more spacious and comfortable. One thing we watched for when we were looking for our newest one was that you still had access to the bathroom and the refrigerator when the slideouts were in. That way on the quick road stop, you can still use the bathroom and have access to the frig for a quick lunch or a drink without having to open the slideouts out.
Someone here mentioned that the max length for many state and national parks is around 30 feet. Good thing to remember, depending on what kind of campgrounds you will like to stay at. There are many different styles of campgrounds, from extremely fancy, expensive, snooty places that have everything you could imagine and that will even park your RV for you, to primitive places where you will have to bring your own water in and you will not have any electricity. (There are always generators, but they are noisy and expensive and restricted in many places.) You can pay anywhere from over $100 /night to less than $10/night. We average about $25 - $30 / night.
A motor home is nice because you have only one vehicle and you do not have to tow anything behind you. It is generally easier to drive. However, if you have a fifth wheel or a travel trailer, and you find you need a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk, you do not have to pack up everything, unhook from the water and electric to drive into town to go to the grocery store or to go out to eat or do your sightseeing. You will have your tow vehicle (usually a pickup truck) to drive around in without packing up a motor home. Another alternative which many do is to tow a small car behind a motor home so you have a vehicle to drive around with.
And yes, I always have a sewing machine, fabric and all sewing and quilting supplies in our camper!
These are some main considerations, but I am sure there are many more! If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask! Have fun!