Very OT - RV's
  Re: (...)
I am hoping to get a little advice on RV's. As I have mentioned Steve retires from the Air Force Sept 1, 2013. He will be pretty much done with the day to day stuff and trips as of Mid June 2013. Yay! Unfortunately we probably have one more deployment in Feb/March .

We are sort of thinking of getting an RV since we will now have time to spend together as a family. And the kids are at the age they still want to spend time with us.

We know nothing of RV's and the best time to buy one, where to buy one. Independent vs Dealer. We will definitely be buying used probably. At least 7 or 8 years or older. We are looking at both a class C and a Tow Trailer (Not 5th Wheel). Not big/Not super deluxe/ and will sleep 6. We think we are leaning towards a Class C because of the ease of just being able to get in and go. Also, I could go on my own. I know I wouldn't drive a truck and trailer. But getting a used truck and a tow behind for the price of a class C is appealing too.

Other than looking online and walking through 3 Rv's at the fair, we have not seen much. I am just figuring out where to start. Any thoughts? Any preferences? Best places to look (Rv Shows, dealers, Online)? Thoughts about Class C's and Trailers for a family?

We are thinking of driving up to Alaska next summer. And then touring our national parks and monuments on trips after that.

I know this isn't food related, but this is the only place I know a few of you have RV's or have had them, or are thinking of them...

Mom to three wonderful 7th graders!
The time is flying by.
  Re: Very OT - RV's by esgunn (I am hoping to get a...)
Erin, we have had three trailers. Started with a pop-up, which was nice for starting out, then we went to a 17 ft. Fleetwing, which was good for longer trips, but I would not have wanted to live in it for more than a week. We then went to a 28 ft. bunkhouse, which was great, but too big and heavy for long trips, so we parked it permanently in Pa. and used it on weekends for about 10 years.

I highly recommend going to RV shows because you can walk through and actually sit inside and lay down on the beds of the trailers. It gives you a better idea what size trailer your family would be most comfortable in. We have always favored the idea of having a separate truck and trailer because if you breakdown, you can always rent a car and still have somewhere to stay while your truck is being repaired.

Next, you might want to visit an RV lot and learn what you can from the salesperson. This can be very helpful when trying to decide what size trailer to go with.

Ron's recommendation for a trailer is the one that our girls had a few years ago, before they decided to buy bigger and park in a permanent spot. It was ideal for traveling with kids because the bunks push on on the ends if you need them. If the weather is bad, and you don't want to open them, you don't have to. The trailer was nice and light, so not a burden for towing. Anyway, it's something to think about. Here is a picture and a website to check out.

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently..."
  Re: Very OT - RV's by esgunn (I am hoping to get a...)
Well, Erin, I will start the conversation and I'm sure you'll get lots of responses on this topic.

Class C vs. travel trailer - this is one of the most personal preference decisions you'll make overall. Class C is great that it is all-inclusive and with the family easy to travel. But, to be free for side trips you have to either drive it everywhere (think back roads on state parks, Alaska back roads, etc.) or tow another vehicle behind for side trips. Which makes insurance very expensive.

Once you decide the mode - sure glad you're not going with a 5th wheel. We've had 3 of them and finally got away from them all together. Roy loves pulling the travel trailer - then I would suggest you go to Tacoma RV show. You can look to your heart's content and just about everything on the market.

Pick up plans and ask as many questions as you can. Then come home and google the model you think you want (now, this took us 1 - 3 years each time looking and researching) and you can probably find the model you love somewhere.

This is what we did the last time - we had a criteria of 5 things that really were non-negotiable.
1. Shower stall no tub - for us, we don't take baths, just showers and easier access.
2. had to have plenty of wardrobe space, not just the little "closets" on each side of the bed that a lot of trailers/RVs have.
3. had to have work space in the kitchen area - this will be the hardest to find.
4. Dinette area - we wanted a free standing unit (table and chairs) so we could take them out and build a banquet dinette that suited our needs.
5. Room to build an office area – I want to continue writing cookbooks on the road.

Once we found floorplans with our needs, I researched until I found models that met our needs. But it didn’t end there, because even tho you might find all your looking for, you need to walk thru the vehicle itself to make sure of the room and dimensions. They vary greatly.

I finally found 2 in Oregon and we drove down and looked at both and one had what we wanted but the layout was just wrong. The other one – is what we bought. It met all the requirements and had the room we needed.

There are so many options for families that I wish had been around when our family was growing up. The toy haulers - the whole back opens down for loading and unloading bikes, motorcycles, etc. But, we even thought about buying a new one and redoing the whole inside to make a large kitchen and living area where vehicles would normally be stored. You have to go new with this option because once gasoline recreational toys have been stored in it, you can never get the smell out.

Also, available now are the bunk bed options – which are great also!

O.K., I’ll stop and let someone else give the nickel’s worth. Remember we’re all here to answer any of your questions.


O.K., Maryann started the conversation. I would add to her comment on laying on the bed, also mentally change the bed - sometimes bedside cupboards & drawers come out so far, it's darn near impossible to work on the bed. Also in the bathroom - mentally take a shower, is there room and room for towels, storage, etc.

And, of course stand in the kitchen and see if you could work in it. Be mindful of where the overhead cupboards are on a workspace with a bar - sometimes they are so low, that you will continually bump your head (especially the guys) whenever you wortk there.

o.k., stop again.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: Very OT - RV's by cjs (Well, Erin, I will s...)
I love this thread. I am very interested in what everyone has to say!
"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
  Re: Re: Very OT - RV's by luvnit (I love this thread. ...)
The very first thing I would do is rent an RV for a long weekend to get a feel for how you like that sort of living.
  Re: Re: Very OT - RV's by Trixxee (The very first thing...)
Yes, I agree with Trixxee, altho I have always wanted to talk to some of the folks we see with rentals, but I don't know why I haven't yet. Just to see what they have to say.

Here's an idea, there are a couple of RV parks in your area, you might drive thru once in a while and see if you can talk to someone in a rental. You can't miss them - they are emblazoned with "RENTAL" signs on them.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: Very OT - RV's by cjs (Yes, I agree with Tr...)
Erin, I thought of one more thing. You mentioned that you will be buying a used trailer. If it has a regular bed in it, you may want to purchase a new mattress. We stayed in our daughter's trailer last week for two nights and didn't get much in the way of quality sleep. The mattress wasn't what we are used to, and the cushions in the bunks were not as thick and firm as what we had in our trailer.

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently..."
  Re: Re: Very OT - RV's by Mare749 (Erin, I thought of o...)
I had a really long and thoughtful reply for Erin - hit the backspace key to backspace and deleted the whole thing. I'll re write it in the AM.
You only live once . . . but if you do it right once should be enough!
  Re: Re: Very OT - RV's by Harborwitch (I had a really long ...)
Suggestion: When composing ANY forum messages, periodically use CTRL-A, then CTRL-C to highlight and copy the entire message. That way, if you accidentally delete the whole thing or if the forum tells you the input form is no longer valid, you can just paste the message back in with CTRL-V.

For particularly long messages, type the whole thing in Notepad, Wordpad, Word or whatever other editor you may prefer. Then, when it's all done, use CTRL-A, then CTRL-C to copy the whole thing, THEN go to the forum and use CTRL-V to paste it.

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This may SEEM like a lot of trouble, but it's better than the trouble of retyping your well-thought-out, carefully crafted message!
If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
  Re: Re: Very OT - RV's by labradors (Suggestion: When com...)
@Labs - unless you're using a Mac or iPad

Erin Derek and I are shopping this weekend for one I have been told by a few folks that the best time to buy from a dealer (if you go that route) is Dec due to the fact they don't want to pay inventory fees so they are willing to deal.

And pick up the phone and call Roy (Jeans hubby). He has got so much wonderful info. You should my notebook I carry with me after talking to him

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