Camper/RV advice?

Old 07-11-2014, 02:45 AM
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Default Camper/RV advice?

We are kicking around the idea of a camper or small RV. recently retired, and this sounds like a fun way to accomplish last minute travels.....what advice do you have from experience? I need a shower and decent "kitchen" on board! . I think a gently used vehicle would be a smarter purchase to start with?
Thanks!
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:29 AM
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We had a travel trailer years ago. Forget the size but not overly small or large. DH thought that would be the better idea vs an RV as once it's set up (level, water/sewer hook ups), you have a vehicle to do local travel without having to reset everything. From that perspective, yes, it was a good idea. Honestly, we did not use it all that often. Shower, kitchen, bed...all the comforts of home. Everything there, just on a smaller scale. We had also rented an RV for a trip prior to purchasing the used trailer. It was a bit larger but sort of cemented the concept of having a smaller vehicle for local travel. Plus it happened to pour rain the weekend we had the RV so the constant set up/breakdown to travel somewhere other than the campground was not only painful but messy!

I would certainly suggest used as well. Look carefully at the bed configuration. You don't want to have to set up/take down the kitchen table to sleep every night. You don't want to have to climb to a 'loft' to sleep either. Make sure the mattress/sofa/chair cushions aren't musty smelling. Make sure the appliances work (usually all propane powered).

It can be a fun way to travel. Staying at campgrounds that have the electric/water hook ups and paying for those services (used to be you paid for the space and then services separately - don't know if that is still the case) we found, honestly, no cheaper than the local Red Roof Inn type motel.

And are you both comfortable driving that size vehicle and/or towing a trailer? Otherwise all the driving responsibilities fall to one person.

Good luck.
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:32 AM
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Expensive and a lot of work. Hotels for me. We sold our 43' RV after a couple of years. Hubby did the "work" . I would RENT them first to determine if you really would enjoy having one. Do you have a place to store it? A place to rent a storage space?? There are costs to ownership besides driving them.

They are pretty nice but we don't miss ours. "Camping" days are over for me.


Yes, consider pre-owned. We took a loss when we sold ours only a few years later. That $$ would have paid for quite a few cruises! Of course, the economy was not that strong. Gas is high. A lot of these larger RV are on semi-truck wheel bases.

Do your homework. Have fun!

sandy

Last edited by Sandygirl; 07-11-2014 at 03:37 AM.
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:44 AM
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I used to camp a lot. Had two different pop-ups and one truck camper. Truck camper was a pain because you had to either take the entire thing with you if you wanted to go somewhere or take the camper off the truck. Pop-ups are more like tent camping. Don't know if they have kitchens now but mine didn't. Had to cook outdoors, rain or shine.
It all depends on how much you want to trailer. How confident you feel driving with a camper behind you. Get the best you can afford and enjoy the journey. My motto through many years as a Girl Scout leader and family camper was, "Don't complain, camp in the rain!"
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:54 AM
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You might want to do a cost analysis:

Days spent actually away from home - what it would cost for staying in a hotel/motel and eating out/and getting there -
as compared to -
year round ownership of an RV - plus the travel costs when/if you actually go somewhere.

There are other comparisons that could be made also.

If you travel a lot - convenience of having your stuff always "there" as compared to having to "pack up" to go somewhere,

etc.
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:03 AM
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This is my husband line of work for the past 30 years. Definitely rent before you own, he rents where he works. Do take into consideration the work involved with owning and the added expenses; tags, insurance, storage. Campsite rentals aren't that cheap anymore, dumping fees. Buying used is usually cheaper but you have to know what to look for to avoid problems down the road, you don't have a warranty if you by from an individual. Do you have something to pull it with? Buy something large and you can tow a small car behind so you have something to drive around once you're there. Most people leave things in their camper so they don't have to restock every time they want to leave. That means 2 of everything you have in your house. Some people really love it. Me, I'll take a hotel every time.
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:38 AM
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Look for one where you have a walk around bed. Get it with a real bathroom where you don't sit in the toilet to take a shower. Test out the seating..we have 2 recliners...very comfy compared to straight back cushions. If you buy a used one,just replace the mattress. I stocked ours with thrift store finds,keep staples in it...all we do is put the clothes and fresh foods in,and away we go! I love having my own bed and bath. I keep basic sewing stuff and just grab. A project. It's less expensive than a hotel if you use it a lot. I'm at Sisters for the quilt week...very nice.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:38 AM
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We bought a new diesel pusher, loved spending time in it, hated driving it. Fortunately my DH had negotiated a really great deal, so we lost nothing when we sold it. We still loved the idea of an RV, just not the reality.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:53 AM
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We have had several the first one was a Alaskan camper that raises and lowers it fit on our truck bed . But we wanted a cab over so we got one of those. we sold the first one and trying to sell the second one. We now have a Toyota motor home. We usually camp at the national parks they are cheap and a lot more to see than the regular campgrounds. There is so much to see I would say go for it and enjoy. We started camping when the kids were little never went very far or had the money to do so.
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:41 PM
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Lots of food for thought! Thanks everyone! We may rent one his fall for a trial run.....
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