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Jack B

Rv'ing On The American Road

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As a new member of the forum, I thought I might take up Becky's offer to add a post for RV'ing.

I understand that real "road cruising" is done in a '57 Chevy, though my dream Chevy would be the '58,

but an RV can sure make it comfortable.

This past holiday season we ventured into the Texas Hill-Country for the first time. We entered at Texarkana and tried to come and go using different routes. We used US59, US79, and Texas 21 (how else would you ever find, Dime Box, Texas. We circled the Hill Country using different Texas highways. We had a wonderful time just wandering about. We saw the Interstates around Austin and San Antonio, and, while relaxing at night, watched the traffic news on TV explain all the back-ups on I-35. You get sort of a smug feeling when you realize that you've discovered a better way.

We have a 30' Gulfstream Class "C", the design that has a loft extending over an obvious truck cab.

We don't tow a car, so we sight see in a 30' vehicle, and yes, parking can be a problem. We visited caverns in Texas and always started with, "Where can we park this?" Everyone was very nice.

We already have "RV" magazines, and I buy them. I would not want "American Road" to change, even the slightest. "RV" magazines tout the destination, always with the RV in mind. "American Road" celebrates the getting-there, just the way it should be.

But if your writers should encounter roads, bridges, or tunnels that would be difficult for an RV, I hope they would say so. I hate backing up! On the flip side if an area is RV friendly, they could toss that in, but not if it threatens the content or flow of the story.

 

 

Jack Burke

DeKalb, Illinois

"On the Lincoln Highway"

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Hi! I'm so glad that you took up my offer to add an RV post! Welcome to our Forum.

 

We'd love to see some pictures of you on your trip. We travel in a Ford Econoline Van that's been converted (bed, captain's chairs, etc.). We love it. I'm sure we'll upgrade to an RV at some point.

 

Sometimes parking in the van isn't any picnic either - so we appreciate what you shared!

 

We are definitely making notes in our articles, when applicable, if a road is 'narrow,' etc. to alert travelers in RV's or towing trailers or cars, etc. that they might want to skip a certain section of a drive. For example, in the article on the Blue Valley Drive in Iowa (Autumn 06 issue) - certain sections of the original route deviated from today's State Route - and, may be difficult to navigate in a larger vehicle. Our map on page 33 makes a note for travelers in RVs and vehicles towing trailers.

 

Let's hope we get some more folks joining our RV & camping discussion.

 

:D

Becky

 

As a new member of the forum, I thought I might take up Becky's offer to add a post for RV'ing.

I understand that real "road cruising" is done in a '57 Chevy, though my dream Chevy would be the '58,

but an RV can sure make it comfortable.

This past holiday season we ventured into the Texas Hill-Country for the first time. We entered at Texarkana and tried to come and go using different routes. We used US59, US79, and Texas 21 (how else would you ever find, Dime Box, Texas. We circled the Hill Country using different Texas highways. We had a wonderful time just wandering about. We saw the Interstates around Austin and San Antonio, and, while relaxing at night, watched the traffic news on TV explain all the back-ups on I-35. You get sort of a smug feeling when you realize that you've discovered a better way.

We have a 30' Gulfstream Class "C", the design that has a loft extending over an obvious truck cab.

We don't tow a car, so we sight see in a 30' vehicle, and yes, parking can be a problem. We visited caverns in Texas and always started with, "Where can we park this?" Everyone was very nice.

We already have "RV" magazines, and I buy them. I would not want "American Road" to change, even the slightest. "RV" magazines tout the destination, always with the RV in mind. "American Road" celebrates the getting-there, just the way it should be.

But if your writers should encounter roads, bridges, or tunnels that would be difficult for an RV, I hope they would say so. I hate backing up! On the flip side if an area is RV friendly, they could toss that in, but not if it threatens the content or flow of the story.

Jack Burke

DeKalb, Illinois

"On the Lincoln Highway"

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As a new member of the forum, I thought I might take up Becky's offer to add a post for RV'ing.

I understand that real "road cruising" is done in a '57 Chevy, though my dream Chevy would be the '58,

but an RV can sure make it comfortable.

This past holiday season we ventured into the Texas Hill-Country for the first time. We entered at Texarkana and tried to come and go using different routes. We used US59, US79, and Texas 21 (how else would you ever find, Dime Box, Texas. We circled the Hill Country using different Texas highways. We had a wonderful time just wandering about. We saw the Interstates around Austin and San Antonio, and, while relaxing at night, watched the traffic news on TV explain all the back-ups on I-35. You get sort of a smug feeling when you realize that you've discovered a better way.

We have a 30' Gulfstream Class "C", the design that has a loft extending over an obvious truck cab.

We don't tow a car, so we sight see in a 30' vehicle, and yes, parking can be a problem. We visited caverns in Texas and always started with, "Where can we park this?" Everyone was very nice.

We already have "RV" magazines, and I buy them. I would not want "American Road" to change, even the slightest. "RV" magazines tout the destination, always with the RV in mind. "American Road" celebrates the getting-there, just the way it should be.

But if your writers should encounter roads, bridges, or tunnels that would be difficult for an RV, I hope they would say so. I hate backing up! On the flip side if an area is RV friendly, they could toss that in, but not if it threatens the content or flow of the story.

Jack Burke

DeKalb, Illinois

"On the Lincoln Highway"

 

What great timing! Just today we sold our fully self contained van with only 38,000 miles on it. It was just too small for two people.

 

I have used the van successfully on one person trips into some pretty tight places, but with Rose of the Road along, we are virtually stepping over each other. Our first long trip in it almost ended in divorce! So it sat unused most of the time.

 

Now what? I like to take the old roads, but don’t want to go down one where I can’t turn around in my vehicle. We have some friends that would like us to buy their 30 foot rig. It is in great shape, but your question raises the key issue for me.

 

My real concern is that I might be chicken to take a road for fear it will get too “tight” along the way, and thus miss some gems.

 

What have your experiences been? Do you shy away from adventuring?

 

I'm trying to Keep the Show on the Road!

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"Keep the Show....." I guess it all depends on your style of "Adventure". I've sure learned a lot about grades and what is at the top. We are great fans of New Brunswick (all right, I know it is not part of the AMERICAN Road, just think of it as an annex of Maine. At least it is on this side of the St. Lawrence).

My wife wanted to see a particular lighthouse, later I wished that we had gotten literature on it first.

The grade up was the steepest I had ever driven, and narrow, and winding. Our 30' Gulfstream has "sissy bars" (I'm dating myself but that's what we used to call bars or little wheels on the back of lowered cars to keep them from bottoming out). As the grade got steeper and steeper, I could actually hear them scraping.

I was scared. I wondered if one of these things could do a back flip. When we got to the top, the lighthouse was beautiful and the view spectacular, but there was no place to turn around. What few cars were in the parking lot had to move, then with my wife and a Park Ranger waving and yelling I got turned around.

Then there is the trip back down! Read the truck manual and know how to down shift, let the engine do the braking. I can tell you, that smell of burning brakes is unmistakable! I now want to know first: what the road up is like and what we'll find at the top. No surprises!

 

Besides grades and how to handle them, I would say: "Know the heigth and width of your vehicle from your own check, not the owners manual." Actually measure the width at the widest point, then use a ladder to climb up and measure making sure to include the air conditioner and/or any roof vents. Then give yourself an inch or two for good measure. Put the measurements on a sticky note in the cab.

All this begs the question: why not tow a car? We will someday, with a bigger RV. Unfortunately once you fill the tanks, the closets, and cupboards, and load two adults, two teens and a dog there isn't any towing capacity left in the manufacturer's weight limits.

The only damage, that reqired repair, that I've ever done has been tree branches that didn't seem that low at the time, and gas station entries and exits that were sharply inclined.

 

All that said, we are heading for Arkansas for a week over Memorial Day and wouldn't change a thing.

 

 

Jack Burke

DeKalb, Illinois

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"Keep the Show....." I guess it all depends on your style of "Adventure". I've sure learned a lot about grades and what is at the top. ...............

 

All that said, we are heading for Arkansas for a week over Memorial Day and wouldn't change a thing.

Jack Burke

DeKalb, Illinois

 

 

Thanks, Jack! A really helpful and entertaining reply!! I can see the scene at the top. I bet it was as interesting as the view!

 

I guess if I get serious about my friend's RV, I should look into towing and load capacity. I think he may tow a little car, but I'm not sure.

 

Let's Keep the Show on the Road!

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What great tips! Thanks so much for sharing. I especially like the tip about keeping the vehicle dimension measurements on the dashboard. Even in a van we've run into some low lying overhangs where the height clearance would be good to have at your fingertips.

 

:D

Becky Repp

becky@americanroadmagazine.com

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I, also, travel mostly by RV. I have a 36' Class A motorhome & tow car. When I reach a town to visit, I unhook the tow car & leave the motorhome at a RV park or a large parking lot (getting the permission of the business to park while touring a town.

 

While I do get RV magazines, not much is dealt with traveling "On the Road" like Charles Kuralt did. Though my motorhome is 10 years old, some locals in these smaller towns haven't seen the likes of motorhome in their town or village.

 

I feel that most RVers still travel to get to a destination via the superslab & miss some great opportunites to see these small towns.

 

My most recent trip was from SoCal to Reno, Nv for Hot Augusts Nights event via Hwy 395. There are some neat towns along 395 & just a few miles off 395 are some great places to RV. In fact, one can just pull off 395 at the Smith River near the Nevada border for an afternoon's or night's rest.

 

It's a different mode of traveling but I don't miss loading & unloading suitcases every night. Info geared to RVing in ARM is helpful, the more the better!

 

Kevin

 

As a new member of the forum, I thought I might take up Becky's offer to add a post for RV'ing.

I understand that real "road cruising" is done in a '57 Chevy, though my dream Chevy would be the '58,

but an RV can sure make it comfortable.

We already have "RV" magazines, and I buy them. I would not want "American Road" to change, even the slightest. "RV" magazines tout the destination, always with the RV in mind. "American Road" celebrates the getting-there, just the way it should be.

But if your writers should encounter roads, bridges, or tunnels that would be difficult for an RV, I hope they would say so. I hate backing up! On the flip side if an area is RV friendly, they could toss that in, but not if it threatens the content or flow of the story.

Jack Burke

DeKalb, Illinois

"On the Lincoln Highway"

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Kevin,

 

I appreciate your observations about Rving and magazines! You have close to the best of all worlds when you have your car handy for the kind of stuff I do, and the RV for the evenings. If there is any part of road tripping I don’t like, it is another night in a modern cookie cutter box like motel. The RV is homey and your things are where you left them!

 

I am interested in your comments about magazines. Of course I love American Road Magazine because it seems to “get real.” So many travel magazines seem to be like Vogue...full of fashion with no meat on the bones.

 

We would greatly appreciate your further observations on what you would like to read. Like you, I have absolutely no connection with American Road Magazine, except that I enjoy road tripping and sharing my experiences. They made me a “moderator” of a couple of forums because I post a lot. Quantity isn’t the same as quality, and I know it.

 

Give us your thoughts and observations.

 

Thanks in advance, and welcome to the gang!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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It's a different mode of traveling but I don't miss loading & unloading suitcases every night. Info geared to RVing in ARM is helpful, the more the better!

Welcome aboard, Kevin.

 

I'm going to take this opportunity to ask for a brief list of pros & cons on RV travel versus the motel kind. In a couple of years I hope to have some more time to spend on roads somewhere and a small RV might be a possibility if there are real advantages to it. I'll admit to being a little prejudiced against it since the idea that I couldn't follow virtually any paved road between any two points seems a big negative. I've told myself that higher fuel costs & park rentals would approach motel costs but I've no facts to support that. I don't think I'd like RVing but I don't really know. I guess what I'm asking is for a few "Why I like my RV" points.

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Welcome aboard, Kevin.

 

I'm going to take this opportunity to ask for a brief list of pros & cons on RV travel versus the motel kind. In a couple of years I hope to have some more time to spend on roads somewhere and a small RV might be a possibility if there are real advantages to it. I'll admit to being a little prejudiced against it since the idea that I couldn't follow virtually any paved road between any two points seems a big negative. I've told myself that higher fuel costs & park rentals would approach motel costs but I've no facts to support that. I don't think I'd like RVing but I don't really know. I guess what I'm asking is for a few "Why I like my RV" points.

 

Denny,

 

May I offer some observations from one who has owned an RV with the same reservations you had.

 

You have observed that one size doesn’t fit all. ‘Fraid that’s true here. But I had the near perfect solution with my RV for a guy by himself.

 

I owned an Okanogan RV Van. They are completely self contained and built on a Ford Van. Okanogan also made the same unit for Airstream. I loved it, and you could go anywhere you could in a regular size van, except under low hanging trees. It rolled on the highway at full speed, accelerated as well as a passenger car, and while it didn’t corner like your Corvette, it didn’t wander all over the road in a sidewind.

 

I took that baby on dirt roads in the Sierra that you would never go in your Corvette or in most passenger cars. It turned around in a small space, had the clearance you need, and I had everything I wanted and needed, except space for the wife.

 

We took a month long trip in it once, and she would have filed for divorce had it been possible out of state. She is petite in size, but needs a lot of space. So the long and short of it was that it sat home most of the time. Then I took it out for a couple of weeks and being the heavy footed guy I am, insisted on climbing the mountains of Montana at 70 MPH so the scenery wasn’t blocked by the cars in front.....and cracked the exhaust manifold.

 

It still ran fine, but coming into a campground with a cracked exhaust manifold puts you in a class by yourself. Repairs were a third the value of the van, so it sat in the driveway until I donated it to charity.

 

If I were single, I would buy the same kind of vehicle tomorrow, and maybe not run a 350 HP engine at full bore up 20 miles of grade, passing everything in sight. Sure, it would cramp my style a little, but you have to make a few compromises.

 

It got about 10MPG. You can camp for $25 a night or for free, depending on your preferences. I loved sitting in the evening in my captain’s chair surveying my domain, with my preferred beverage near at hand, and my cozy bed over head. The whole thing was one piece of fiberglass, so no leaks, and darn little maintenance. I could park it in any parking place you can park a car, invite friends in for a drink, and have a grand old time. Mine lacked an AC when parked, and I would require one if I did it again.

 

That’s one man’s opinion.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Denny,

 

May I offer some observations from one who has owned an RV with the same reservations you had.

 

You have observed that one size doesn’t fit all. ‘Fraid that’s true here. But I had the near perfect solution with my RV for a guy by himself.

 

 

That’s one man’s opinion.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

 

Here! Here! or Hear! Hear! I think as a newbie to the list my own reply post to Denny seems to have gone vapor. My post stated what my preferences of using a Class A motorhome. However, KTSOTR has some great points for his choice.

 

If my post doesn't appear, I reformulate my answer in a day or 2.

 

Kevin

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For several years my lone vehicle was a "conversion" van. I use quotation marks because I'm the guy who did the conversion which was nothing more than paneling, insulation, and a bed. The refrigerator was an Igloo cooler and the stove was a Coleman. It was comfortable enough for lots of camping trips and even one California trip. But that was in my expressway driving days and I never thought I'd like to drive anything bigger and the 13 MPG was part of the reason. I have thought of something smaller. Maybe a mini-pickup with a small "Travels with Charlie" style addition. I was run out of more than one parking lot with the van and I'd guess the amount of free overnight parking is even less today. Another guess is that the bigger the vehicle, the scarcer the parking.

 

But I asked for input and I ought to be a little more open minded if I expect to get any more. I'll be working on that.

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For several years my lone vehicle was a "conversion" van. I use quotation marks because I'm the guy who did the conversion which was nothing more than paneling, insulation, and a bed. The refrigerator was an Igloo cooler and the stove was a Coleman. It was comfortable enough for lots of camping trips and even one California trip. But that was in my expressway driving days and I never thought I'd like to drive anything bigger and the 13 MPG was part of the reason. I have thought of something smaller. Maybe a mini-pickup with a small "Travels with Charlie" style addition. I was run out of more than one parking lot with the van and I'd guess the amount of free overnight parking is even less today. Another guess is that the bigger the vehicle, the scarcer the parking.

 

But I asked for input and I ought to be a little more open minded if I expect to get any more. I'll be working on that.

DennyG,

 

A “Travels with Charlie” rig...I love it! How big was the Steinbeck rig?. The pictures I’ve seen aren’t of a pickup shell.

 

If a van is too big, and you long for a shell over a pickup bed, why don’t you try a tent? I am sympathetic to the issue and not trying to be a Smart A**.

 

The reason I don’t like tenting is that I have to hang my bare ** over a black widow and hornet infested hole, and shower where the last guy cleaned his fish.

 

But what would happen if you had a pop up tent, a potty/ shower tent, and a stock of beer? I’ve never tried it, but it would almost fit in the trunk.

 

I’m thinking one could learn to put it up and down in minutes, in less time than it takes to pack and unpack the car and check the bed at the motel.

 

For a few hundred you could be king of the campground. When you rolled in your portable AC and frige, you would absolutely rule.

 

Or teardrop...a vintage teardrop, air conditioned ,and a potty/ shower tent.

 

Rose of the Road just described a teardrop as a coffin...well there goes that fantasy!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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I was run out of more than one parking lot with the van and I'd guess the amount of free overnight parking is even less today. Another guess is that the bigger the vehicle, the scarcer the parking.

 

If anything, I am more selective where I park, instead of camp for a night. There are at least 3 lists that I know of on yahoogroups that deal with overnight parking. One is casinocamper, overnightRVparking & walmartrving. The key is your are parking for a night or 2 & not setting up for camping.

 

I've overnight parked at Walmarts where the city ordinances allow. These are good since the Walmart has 24 hour security patrolling the lot. The casinos have security. The overnight parking list has a lot of locations & the moderator keeps a very up to date list of locations.

 

 

The last place I parked was at a Vista Point on Hwy 89 on my way to Reno. Some of these pix are here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14627740@N00/...57601259262739/

and

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14627740@N00/...57601273192977/

 

Again, I must of mishandled my post regarding my RV & what I feel are the advantages I enjoy.

 

Kevin

Edited by Kevin

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Kevin,

 

Enjoyed the photos a lot. Made me wish I was in the Sierras. That is one beautiful rig. It won't be hard to convince me that it is that way to go!!!

 

Your wife (or girlfriend) is smiling. That’s a good sign.

 

Try doing your text in Word then cut and paste. If something goes wrong, it is still in Word.

 

What is the dog’s name?

 

Bo, the Malamute Wonder Dog, is getting too old for travel. He is lying with his head on his on his paws, feeling envious!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Kevin,

 

Your wife (or girlfriend) is smiling. That’s a good sign.

 

What is the dog’s name?

 

Bo, the Malamute Wonder Dog, is getting too old for travel. He is lying with his head on his on his paws, feeling envious!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

I'm lucky to have a good travel team. My wife Val both drives & co-pilots. She's great at making sure I don't destroy any power or water pedestals at RV parks. She's, also got a great sense of direction.

 

The rest of the team is Foster a beagle mix. He likes to sleep as we travel. The other is Rocky our 3 year old Boxer. Both are dogs are rescues. Rocky was found at the Big Bear City pound. Both are great travelers.

 

Thanks for the tip on using Word. Good call!

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Well, Becky wanted an RV forum topic, I guess one has taken off...finally. RV's can be expensive, but don't forget the Truck-Camper type that slides into a pickup bed, and also what is known as a Class "B" which are radically reworked vans, both styles are less costly and now-a-days very complete for camping. But it is still camping, not living in an RV. For that you really need a class "A" (built up from a chassis with only the drive train) or a Class "C" (built up from a truck chassis, where the truck cab is still visible).

 

When weighing gas costs and MPG against motel bills, don't forget restaurant bills as well.

We always cook in our motor home; we've never eaten out when on the road. My wife tires of cooking at home, and says it, but enjoys cooking in the RV.

 

My wife and I always tried to stay in better motels, but still you wonder if they changed the sheets and curse the loud neighbors having a party in the room next door or out in the parking lot. And is the bathroom ever clean enough, would you go bare foot in a motel shower? Have you ever gotten up at night in a motel and checked the night chain on your door when the fight in the hall got louder? When we go to bed in our motor home, it's our bed and our bathroom in our house. And the dog is sleeping at the foot of the bed.

 

A good RV park can average $20.00 a night. A State Park is even less, but you usually get less. State Parks are long on scenery and short on services. Sure you can park for free in a place where it is lawful, but you'll soon tire of the generator running for everything but the most basic electrical needs.

 

But here's what you miss motel-ing...the people. Have you ever met your motel neighbors, even when staying more than one night? In an RV Park, after you hook-up, you meet your neighbors, not only next door but down the road as well, when you get out and walk about. I can't count how many folks I've met in just the few years that we've been traveling by RV. There is always someone to gab with, and they always have an interesting story that I haven't heard.

 

And you won't miss the "Blue Highways". If there are some that you don't want to try in the RV, you drive them in the car you are towing. Easy, and you won't miss a thing.

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But here's what you miss motel-ing...the people.

That's one of the few things said here that really made an impression.

 

I eat out a lot when I'm home so doing it on the road seems natural and experiencing some of the local eateries is part of the fun. My motel standards are no doubt lower that most wives' and I enjoy checking out the independent motels, too. I'm unsure of any cost benefits and I'm hardly fond of having some interesting roads off limits except through a towed tender. But the people thing. That's different.

 

I have met a few neighbors at motels but it's certainly the exception - Blue Swallow, Wigwams, Cactus Inn. It doesn't happen often. That's not enough to make me start shopping for an RV tomorrow but it's a start. :)

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Hi gang. Glad to see you are making my dream of an RV topic on this Forum come true! This is the highlight of my day. :D

 

RE: some places to camp -- there are sometimes even FREE spots to camp that you'll come across - limited if any services, but, awefully peaceful. I recall one in Oregon on a route traveling to catch I-5 (we were traveling US 101, but, had to get back on the superslab to make it back home in time to get back to work). There's nothing quite like that camp fire smell in the evening (almost as good as a neon sign!).

 

Gotta run -- the next issue goes to press this week so no time to spare!

 

I'll watch my e-mail inbox for your posts over the next few days.

:D Becky

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Hi gang. Glad to see you are making my dream of an RV topic on this Forum come true! This is the highlight of my day. :D

 

RE: some places to camp -- there are sometimes even FREE spots to camp that you'll come across - limited if any services, but, awefully peaceful. I recall one in Oregon on a route traveling to catch I-5 (we were traveling US 101, but, had to get back on the superslab to make it back home in time to get back to work). There's nothing quite like that camp fire smell in the evening (almost as good as a neon sign!).

 

Gotta run -- the next issue goes to press this week so no time to spare!

 

I'll watch my e-mail inbox for your posts over the next few days.

:D Becky

 

 

 

Mary Sue and I talked about buying a "retirement RV" for years. I can't count the number of times we sat around a campfire at Meramec Caverns and longed for the freedon of RV life at such time as we were no longer required to be a part of the daily work force. Initially, we thought of buying a large unit and towing the Vette. The plan was to park the RV in a spot for several days and use the Vette for cruisin' around. This idea downsized to the Class C vehicle and then downsized again to a conversion van type vehicle. (I always favored a delivery van with no windows, air mattresses, and a cooler in the back but she quickly shot down my great idea.) So we talked - and talked - and talked about what to buy and I finally decided to buy.......nothing. This decision did and still does not make her happy, especially since her sister and brother-in-law cruise coast-to-coast in a huge, luxury-type stagecoach that would make Dolly Parton envious.

 

My reasons for opting out of the RV life include:

 

(a) I love to drive the Montes or Vette on blue highways because I'm a car guy. How much fun can it be to cruise a big ugly box that costs mucho bucks?

(B) Lousy gas mileage.

© Maintenance and insurance costs.

(d) Personal property tax. Missouri is notorious for gouging everyone annually for any type of vehicle.

(e) Parking. Our burg does not allow an RV to be parked anywhere in the subdivision.

(f) Frequent emptying of waste water and all that entails.

(g) Frequent setting up and hooking up; then reversing the process a short time later.

 

And camping is completely out of the question. We seniors simply cannot abide sleeping in a tent and using public bathroom and shower facilities. Ugh!

 

Sooooo.....we cruise in one of the Chevys and lodge in a motel. If we haven't stayed in a particular motel in the past, we inspect the room first. Sometimes we "camp out" or "tailgate" on the motel grounds with our Weber Smokey Joe and always-present canvas chairs - then retire to the comfort of a clean, pleasant room that we don't have to clean or straighten up before hitting the road again. This works for us (well, especially me)....Bliss

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Mary Sue and I talked about buying a "retirement RV" for years. This decision did and still does not make her happy, especially since her sister and brother-in-law cruise coast-to-coast in a huge, luxury-type stagecoach that would make Dolly Parton envious.

 

My reasons for opting out of the RV life include:

 

(a) I love to drive the Montes or Vette on blue highways because I'm a car guy. How much fun can it be to cruise a big ugly box that costs mucho bucks?

(B) Lousy gas mileage.

© Maintenance and insurance costs.

(d) Personal property tax. Missouri is notorious for gouging everyone annually for any type of vehicle.

(e) Parking. Our burg does not allow an RV to be parked anywhere in the subdivision.

(f) Frequent emptying of waste water and all that entails.

(g) Frequent setting up and hooking up; then reversing the process a short time later.

 

Sooooo.....we cruise in one of the Chevys and lodge in a motel. If we haven't stayed in a particular motel in the past, we inspect the room first. Sometimes we "camp out" This works for us (well, especially me)....Bliss

 

I agree, its all about perspective. I think even 6 years ago, I wouldn't not have considered a motorhome. But, I'll try to rebuttal your 7 points above..

 

a- Our 10 year old MH cost us $50,000. What is the value of your vette? The previous owner kept the MH garage kept & it looks pretty darn good! Like a classic car, it can be painted & the interior remodeled. Even on my blue color income, I can budget that. The MH is fun to drive & 'ugly' is in the eye of the beholder. (Some year vettes are better looking to me than others). It does require careful driving & the slower the speed the better,but isn't that how a blue highway should be driven?

 

b- Yes, my mileage of our 36' MH, at best, is 9.5 MPG pulling a Honda CRV. However, I am not paying nightly fees to stay in a room I may need to inspect. Also, if we choose we eat in or out. If we choose to eat in, most of the time the food has been prepared at home, vacuum sealed & frozen. We simply microwave the item when we're ready to dine. Not every night is geared to pulling out the BBQ or using the convection/microwave oven. So, I'd say on a normal days travel, our budgets are even or better than yours.

 

c- I'm actually surprised at the cost of my insurance is. Consider a new SUV is $40,000. (I have no idea what a new vette costs).

 

Maintenance on a MH is like maintenance on a house or a car. I do a lot of the work myself. I feel each repair saves me $200. MY MH has not been prone to many costly repairs if I was to have sent it to a mechanic.

 

d- Our MH has some tax write off advantages. Even in California our one time tax was $900 & our yearly registration is $300. Again, comparable to buying, let's say an Tahoe or Escalade.

 

e- We do have the privilege of parking our MH on our property. Our daughter & son-in-law do not in Portland. Their monthly cost to park their MH on a private lot is $40.

 

Also, while traveling Walmarts, Cracker barrel restaurants & other businesses will let you park & sleep overnight, no charge. However, we do make a point of spending some of our $ there.

 

f- Emptying the tanks is not a big challenge. It doesn't sound like a pretty job, either. My wife & I can go 5 days (& a day or 2 more) before emptying the grey & black tanks & refilling the fresh water. We usually just stay at an RV park & do this. However, there are truck stops with sites for dumping & filling for fresh waster.

 

g- Most RVs have battery, inverter & generator power. There is simply no need to hook up & disconnect for short periods of time.

 

Again, a motel can inspect great until you get an unruly visitor next to your room or above or below you.

 

There was one time when I had a noisy neighbor at a park. I went outside & asked if I could help with anything. The reply was a cordial 'no' & the noise stopped.

 

Again, I'm not trying to convince or convert anyone on RVing. It is a personal choice

 

 

However, you may want to see this attachment. There is some money involved here. (Not mine)

post-941-1187797849_thumb.jpg

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The MH <...> does require careful driving & the slower the speed the better,but isn't that how a blue highway should be driven?

 

Just as long as I'm not right behind you in my little car!!! :-) Especially on a winding road, I like to open up the throttle a bit, see how my suspension holds the roads through the curves. I've been behind too many RVs for miles, wanting to curse the driver's name if I only knew it.

 

Driving something as large as a school bus frightens the bejabbers out of me. I don't even really like driving a full-sized van, although I can do so competently thanks to a summer driving them for a courier service back in college. Give me a little car any day.

 

jim

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Well, I've got something for you that we plan on having *hopefully* within the next 10 years....and you can tow it with a Vette or Monte Carlo.....or even a Corvair! So, you can still drive your classics AND sleep in it!

 

"It" is here!

 

Now wouldn't that just be perfect at the campgrounds at Meremec Caverns?

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I love reading this thread! Everybody is right...for their lifestyle. I can see each image, and could see myself doing it...some of the time.

 

And you could use this thread as the best summation of different perspectives I have ever seen on the subject.

 

I see Kevin and Jack cruising in luxury and comfort, stopping in a nice place, unhooking the car and exploring the area. I’m thinking that works best either where you stay a few nights in one place, or you have a destination and you stay there ...like the Reno thing. Or you own a lot in a development devoted to RV’s...I see that in the eastern part of our state. It is a fun place to gather and reacquaint yourself with RV pals. I don’t see Kevin or Jack taking a dirt road en route on the spur of the moment. I can see myself and Sheila in all those situations....some of the time.

 

Then you have me with my self contained Okanogan. Drive it anywhere you can a car, get 10mpg, but leave one member of the family home. Not enough space. I can do that, I have done that, and I like it, sometimes. But I love my wife and she is my travel and playmate...so that only works some of the time.

 

And then there is the motel, which we now do a lot. In the past year I have stayed in maybe 50. I liked two enough to want to go back. But all but two were acceptable. And the issue of meeting other travelers at a motel is a prime disappointment. What has happened to us in the past 40 years? Moteling is almost the opposite of RV’ing in that respect. But why? You would think the breakfast area would be abuzz with people comparing travel notes and experiences. Instead it is usually like the waiting room at the IRS.

 

I agree that tenting is pretty rugged for the chorological high achievers. My wife and I tried it about five years ago by borrowing the kids’ gear. When some jerk pulled into the campground at 2AM, started a camp fire, and sat around talking and drinking, my fantasies about camping were over.

 

So like Kevin says, It’s all perspective.

 

We are thinking about a 3 months USA tour. Motels, or RV. When I computed the cost by RV and Motel I was amazed at how close the costs came.

 

You pros...check my numbers, and correct me.

 

Either we get a house sitter and leave Bo home, or take him with us. We will not stay another night in a motel doggy room. They may add a $25 cleaning fee to your room bill, but it doesn’t go for cleaning.

 

So, lets assume that we RV it. I don’t want an RV for life. I would sell it when we get back. So lets assume I buy one with 25,000 miles on it and put another 12,000 on it in 3 months. Suppose I pay $35,000 for it. That means I will pay $3000 in tax and I will assume $5000 in depreciation and repairs. So I am out $8000 for the vehicle. At 5mpg, gas at $2.75 is going to cost $6600. Overnights at $20 each for 90 days is $1800. Aside from food, that is $12,800

 

Now lets use the family car and leave bo with the house sitter instead. Let’s put the motel with tax at $100 a night or $9000 and gasoline is $1100 at my 30mpg. Depreciation on my car will be $1000. So that is $11,100.

 

I think eating in or out is a wash. Obviously eating in the RV is less expensive, but then there is the cooking and clean up, etc. And if you really want cheap, use the fringe and microwave in the motel room. If you want to add $20 a day to the food budget for eating out over eating in, the comparison is still a wash.

 

And that surprised me, a lot. Because every other time I have done the numbers, it was cheaper by motel.

 

But I contend that the issue isn’t cost anyway, because you could cut either of my numbers almost in half by your assumptions. Buy a $10,000 RV or stay at Motel 6. Both will work, and change the computations dramatically.

 

So I contend that the bottom line is to match your method to your madness.

 

If I’m right, then what we could discuss is what we do that makes our preferred approch work for us. I would like to hear about a night or two from the big RV group. What is it like? For example, I have friends who have a big one like Kevins or Jacks, who pull a PT Cruiser, and like to stay at hot springs. That sounds sweet to me. We have other friends who pull a 5th wheeler. He puts on a magic show for the neighbors and he always draws a crowd. What a way to make friends!

 

Any replies?

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Well, I've got something for you that we plan on having *hopefully* within the next 10 years....and you can tow it with a Vette or Monte Carlo.....or even a Corvair! So, you can still drive your classics AND sleep in it!

 

"It" is here!

 

Now wouldn't that just be perfect at the campgrounds at Meremec Caverns?

 

Roadmaven,

 

I hate to say this, because the teardrop is one of my favorite travel fantasies...but it ain’t the bed and the cooking space that is the problem with camping. And I'm talking camping, not RVing. It is the john, warm water, sink, and the shower. The teardrop contains what I don’t need. I need instead a bathroom on wheels, perhaps with space to store the camping gear.

 

There is my million dollar contribution to the camping industry. Meet the real need. Call it the Loodrop or powderbox. No No No ...the Loodrop Inn.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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