Motor homes

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The Annoyed Man
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Motor homes

#1

Post by The Annoyed Man » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:31 am

So my wife and I have been talking for a long time about acquiring a motor home, and that possibility is coming closer to fruition in the next year or so. I'm not entirely sure about the differences in classification, but the ones we've been looking at seem to be B class. It will be just for the two of us, and maybe our dog. We might sneak off with one or two of the grandkids once in a while. I don't envision living in it for longer than a few weeks at a time.....things like trips to Jellystone (obscure reference), etc. I do want to spend a summer touring the great civil war battlefields, but that would be the longest possible usage.

I neither desire nor can I afford the "Essex Class" variety of motor home. I've also been told that trailers are better than motor homes because you then have a vehicle to drive around in at your destination, but my wife's Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk has a setting on the 4WD selector knob that disengages the transmission for towing, so maybe that cancels the advantages of a trailer.

I am told and have read that diesel motors are better than gas motors, but that they can be more expensive to repair. There's a learning curve to surmount before I decide on the purchase, and I need all the help I can get. I tend not to trust a salesman who has a vested interest in my decision-making process.

I am perfectly willing to consider buying used for the right kind of package. This one here is one that my wife and I have looked at online more than once, and is typical of what we are looking for, but there is no way I could afford one like this brand new: http://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2006-Gu ... -118625422.

Do any of you have any words of advice on what I ought to be watching out for, either as desireable or something to avoid?
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Lynyrd
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Re: Motor homes

#2

Post by Lynyrd » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:50 am

Never had a motorhome, but I did have a 34' 5th wheel. Engines that sit up without being run tend to develop dry seals, and leaks, so I would look underneath any used unit very carefully. Also, many of the class B's do not have enough power to tow another vehicle, especially in the mountains. Do your research, and get on the RV forums.
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Re: Motor homes

#3

Post by Liberty » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:51 am

1 bigg advantage to the diesel is the cruising range is usually farther. Fueling these beast isn't always so easy, so the less often you have to do it, the better.
Good luck with your choice.
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Re: Motor homes

#4

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:58 am

We don't own an RV and I haven't traveled in one in decades. However, I considered getting one foolishly thinking we'd have time to travel. As to the motor home v. trailer, the two major considerations for us were 1) the need for a vehicle when we arrived at destination; and 2) the ability to use the "home" part of the package while on the road. If we are going to take the grandchildren, it would be much better for them if we had a motor home. They could watch TV, walk around, sleep, use the restroom, or whatever they choose to do on long trips. So too with Martha who also doesn't like to sit too long in a car or truck.

We never bought one so we never made the final decision. I was leaning toward a motor home, but part of that decision was the need to buy a truck if we went with a trailer.

Good luck. I would advise you to rent one and see if that's what you really want. A friend did that and after one trip decided the last thing he wanted was a motor home!
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JALLEN
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Re: Motor homes

#5

Post by JALLEN » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:00 am

There is a 1-800-Justsayno number you can call.

Failing that, it might help to lay on the couch with a cool cloth on your forehead until this passes.

Think of it as a "land boat." Having had both a few boats, a motor home, and half a dozen airplanes, I can say from experience that very few get as much use from them as they cost. I will say that these experiences were all during my business years (I was a lawyer, so "working years" may not be the right phrase!) so my usage of these was much more curtailed, except the airplanes. OTOH, the income made it possible to write the checks essential to their operation.

Several of my friends had large fancy motor homes and large fancy passive incomes. They would go off for months at a time, on coast to coast trips, up into Canada, all over the place. One fellow had sold a car dealership to one of those roll up outfits; his coach cost more than $1 million. I'm not sure I would want to live in it for a couple of months.

That kind of traveling around, that you would get plenty of use of the coach from, presents a problem for us gun owners. These guys were all Californians, not used to carrying, and several did not own any guns at all. Weird, huh? You have to watch gun laws every where you go.

Maintenance can be frustrating, too, and expensive, maybe not as expensive as a boat or plane, but you never know when you will have to write a 4-5 figure check. That cuts into your beer and cigarette money even if you don't smoke! Finding reliable service a thousand miles from home can test your confidence in your fellow man.

Like your close cousins, the boat owners, you will very likely find that the happiest days are the day you buy and the day you sell.
Luckily, I have enough willpower to control the driving ambition that rages within me.

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Re: Motor homes

#6

Post by tomneal » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:05 am

http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/

TAM

Motor Homes and travel trailers are a depreciating asset. Buying a used one may be a bigger cost savings than buying a used car/pickup. I dealt with PPL and recommend them. They were honest with me and I like their business model. They sell used RV's on commission and they sell a lot of them.

I suspect that many folks buy RV's, use them less than expected, then park them. PPL puts sellers with buyers.

PPL may be a bit of a drive for you but there may be a similar place in your part of Texas.
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JALLEN
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Re: Motor homes

#7

Post by JALLEN » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:06 am

That ad you linked to tells you a lot. A 10 year old rig with 23,000 miles on it. I wonder what it cost new?
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Re: Motor homes

#8

Post by DevilDawg » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:11 am

For the Love of All Things Holy..... Do Not Buy an RV. Rent one. I have owner a couple Class A's and sold TT & 5th wheels. RENT!!! If you are not going to be on the road monthly for the duration of your ownership, then a MH is a bad idea. Not only do you have a wobbly box camper that rots, but also now a truck that rots due to sitting up. If you have a truck already rent a travel trailer. Much fun can be had and rest stops are very RV friendly.

Truck/Chassis Issues: brakes, fuel, electrical, tires, engine, transmission, cooling system.. All of these develope serious rot and other issues due to extended periods of non-use.

Camper/Wobbly Box Issues: seals on walls, Windows, roofs, air conditioner(s), and plumbing. Propane system, black and grey water tanks, $1200 refrigerator, batteries, axles/tires/brakes on trailers

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Re: Motor homes

#9

Post by LucasMcCain » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:16 am

I would highly recommend following Charles' advice and renting one, just to make sure this is something you really want before making the investment. Another option would be asking around to see if you know someone who already owns one that would be willing to let you borrow it. My parents owned an oversized camper van and a pop-up camper during the time I was a child. I remember taking one or two trips with each. They were great trips, but it would have been a lot cheaper if they had just rented the things for those couple trips instead of buying them, using them a couple times, then letting them rot in the driveway.
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Re: Motor homes

#10

Post by C-dub » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:17 am

My parents have one very similar to the one in your link. They bought it new about 20 years ago. WOW, it's been that long?

The slide outs are great and really help make them more comfortable once set up. Theirs is a gasoline engine and they never felt like they missed out on anything by not having the diesel.

My wife and I used it a couple of times about 16-17 years ago and our conclusions were that it was okay for getting one closer to whatever event they might be traveling for. Otherwise, we thought that driving in our car or truck and staying in a hotel/motel was a better deal. The shower and toilet is much better in a hotel. The AC is much better in a hotel. The overall cost of the hotel room versus operating costs and maintenance of the motor home is higher for the motor home.

I'm not a super outdoorsy survivalist type, but I'm also not a city slicker type either. I've backpacked over 40 miles in the mountains of southwestern Colorado for over a week at a time and enjoyed it quite a bit. For my wife and I, we didn't think a motor home was worth it, but we also had a storage issue. We did not and still don't have a place to keep one and would, therefore, have to pay for a place to keep it when not in use. An additional cost. That may not be an issue for you, though.

One of the only real downfalls to the motor home itself in our opinions was the waste storage. (toilet and sinks) If used exclusively and depending on how long you will stay in one place, you will likely want or need to empty it every 3-4 days. This means packing up enough to drive it to the disposal area and then resetting it back up upon returning to your spot. We mitigated this a little by using campground showers and toilets whenever reasonable.
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Re: Motor homes

#11

Post by RHenriksen » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:20 am

Absolutely rent one first to test it out.

Charles makes a very good point about passengers being able to stretch their legs while on the road in a motor home. OTOH, if you *did* (or will) have a suitable tow vehicle, it's very nice not to invest in a drivetrain w/in the RV that just... sits 99% of the time and gets garage rot, needs maintenance, etc.

Back when I had an F250 diesel, I rented a tag-along 30' trailer and went to central Texas with a total of six passengers (and a border collie). Had a great trip, but was also happy to be able to turn the trailer back over to the rental place when we were done w. it.
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Re: Motor homes

#12

Post by steveincowtown » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:27 am

The Annoyed Man wrote:So my wife and I have been talking for a long time about acquiring a motor home, and that possibility is coming closer to fruition in the next year or so. I'm not entirely sure about the differences in classification, but the ones we've been looking at seem to be B class.

Rent before you buy. It may seem like a large expense in the beginning, but will return spades in the long run.

The other piece of advice I would have is instead of a Class B, go to a B+ or a small C that has the bed over the cab. This way when you have grand kids or guest staying the night, you are not setting up or tearing down their bed area every day. It also makes for excellent storage when you do longer trips with The Annoyed Woman.
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Re: Motor homes

#13

Post by Texsquatch » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:59 am

Depending on the whistles and bells, all the classes overlap when it comes to cost. We're considering upgrading to a Class A within the next few years. The only thing I'm certain of is that I want a diesel pusher from a performance perspective, and in the event we decide to tow a small vehicle.

The B's and C's are great options, but I haven't seen one yet that has a bathroom I like, and that's way up on the list with the diesel options. :lol:

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Re: Motor homes

#14

Post by carlson1 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:19 am

We have a 39' 5th wheel. We have had many years and we have a great time when we go. Since I bought my new truck I haven't put my rails in for my hitch, but we haven't left out of East Texas. I have a good friend with a RV camp and he has towed it for me since. I avoided the motor home because I seen a pain of having to tow a vehicle, maintenance on the motor, and less room unless we bought a big one. Ours has a washer/dryer, full bath, and a king size bed. We keep ours garaged and that is $30.00 a month. The places here in DFW start around $100 and up to store your RV. If I could not have it covered I would not have one. That is where they began to deteriorate The roof leaks, tires rot, etc... God has blessed us because we have had no maintenance except for replacing an awning after a wind storm and the insurance covered that.

When we bought ours (used because they do depreciate) you could find full hook ups all day long for $25.00 a night. Those days are gone. I like the trailer 100 times better than motels. The scenery is better, no bed bugs, and it all my dirt and no one else's.

We are in ours ever month and Doctor times in East Texas. We love ours and would be a full timer tomorrow if I didn't pastor. As soon as God gives me the next order of "it is okay to retire" I will be a missionary to the RV camps. :lol:
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Re: Motor homes

#15

Post by Abraham » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:36 am

TAM,

Yes, rent first.

You may find you love it or that it's not for you.

I owned an RV (trailer) that I lived in for months at a time. Eventually, I got to really dislike it. Not just the living in a metal box, but the whole enchilada of owning it. I eventually gave it to my daughter who never used it and then finally sold it with my blessing.

If you decide to buy, get it insured. When I had my trailer, bought new, the insurance premium was very low. However, I don't know if used RV's can be insured or what the premiums would be if they can be insured.

I don't know about you, but the stress of driving, either pulling a trailer or driving a behemoth motor home can be significant. Though I used the heck out of my trailer, whenever I had to pull it to wherever I was going, I was on pins and needles until I arrived. Then I'd go through the giant hassle of setting up. This exercise can be a significant stressor too.

Much like JALLEN suggested, I would lay on the couch with a cool cloth on my head and let this idea pass.

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