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Old 04-23-2009, 08:14 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k12steve
I'd recommend the family guy with limited vacation time rent rather than buy. In my experience, TTs and MHs spend a LOT of time partked in backyards or storage facilities. Making that payment every month for something you use a couple of times a year prolly aint the best of investments . . .
buy used, in my case very well used

I don't have much of a TT but its nice to have for those unplanned weekend trips. We also keep it packed with all the camping stuff all the time.

all we have to do is bring food, water, and clothes and we are ready to roll.
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:41 AM   #77
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For those justifying the cost of ownership, I view mine as a survival bubble in case of a serious earthquake. At some point the San Andreas is going to snap-- The Big one.

Don't know what natural disasters lurk in your neighborhood but where I live it might come in handy.
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:20 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svs
For those justifying the cost of ownership, I view mine as a survival bubble in case of a serious earthquake. At some point the San Andreas is going to snap-- The Big one.

Don't know what natural disasters lurk in your neighborhood but where I live it might come in handy.

There were a lot of reasons why I wanted to move into my motorhome, but the prospect of living in a coastal area and being able to fire up your home and head inland quickly hasn't been lost on me.

Normally when in Florida I hang out with my motorcycles and tools a few miles from the ocean:



But when presented with an opportunity to do a little ocean-front fishin' then we don't miss those opportunities:



We do disaster relief work and I can guarantee you that after a tough 16 hour day it's nice to be able to come home to the RV in an area where the power is out and to be able to crank the generator, watch satellite TV, and to kick back with a cold beer before crawling into bed.

I see folks with older Class C motorhomes and such that seem to be able to live very modestly. And I admire those folks who can camp out without facilities for weeks at a time (I can go for a few days but usually wind up at the "resort" RV parks ) but all in all I wouldn't say that full-time RV'ing is that amazingly cheap. I think that I have put more money into modifying and upgrading my RV than I even did into any house that I have owned.

But that's just me. The house was just shelter. The RV is my tool to see as much of this country as I can in the years (many I hope) that I have left.

Having literally written the book on motorcycling in this part of the country, there are so many other places where I want to go riding and exploring. My motorhome is my ticket to move around a bit and to explore my hobbies in new places.

But yeah, being able to get away from the hurricanes is a big plus
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:21 AM   #79
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I just remembered something to watch out for with the toy haulers . . . I have a buddy in Shreveport with one and the gas fumes from the "back" leak into the habitable part of the cabin.

Not dangerous, but if you don't like the smell of gas/oil make sure any toyhauler you look at has a REAL good seal between sections.
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:29 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hodag
buy used, in my case very well used

Needless to say, there are plenty of good values out there right now.

I'm a big fan of the Bluebird Wanderlodges, and you would be surprised at how inexpensively you can buy an FC (forward control, or front engined) Wanderlodge. A lot of them have been well maintained, and they get decent fuel mileage. They are all steel, and they can tow a large trailer.



(I might add that while they look like school buses and were built by a school bus company, there is a LOT of work that goes into converting a bus to a motorhome. Bluebird built these from the ground up to be premium motorhomes).

If you move up to the $75K to $150K range there are some really beautiful Class A's out there: newer Bluebirds, Newells, conversions on Prevost, MCI, and Eagle chassis, and used "fiberglass" motorhomes.

Be aware that some of the fiberglass diesel pushers are marginally qualified if you plan to full time. Some of the manufacturers (Fleetwood comes to mind) used to put stickers in their RV's saying that they were meant to be secondary residences and not primary residences. That's one of the reasons why I like Bluebirds - they were meant to be used by full timers and have solid plumbing and cabinetry.

The quality of a bus conversion can vary widely, incidentally. Be aware of that.

Good luck!

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Old 04-23-2009, 10:35 AM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k12steve
I just remembered something to watch out for with the toy haulers . . . I have a buddy in Shreveport with one and the gas fumes from the "back" leak into the habitable part of the cabin.

Not dangerous, but if you don't like the smell of gas/oil make sure any toyhauler you look at has a REAL good seal between sections.

"Dangerous" is a relative term. Carbon monoxide can kill (God forbid that someone would actually run something for an extended period in an RV "garage") and fires are a real concern with an RV.

I realize that the OP was asking about Class C's and 5th wheels but I personally question the wisdom of a toy hauler for a family going full time. IMHO vehicles need to be on a trailer and separate from the rest of the vehicle.

And there's the "other" dirty little secret about full time RV'ing. You never have enough storage space, no matter how much you throw out or leave behind. All things being equal a Class A or a Class C towing a trailer will likely have more space available.
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:53 AM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeanMoe

In the do it all overagain category, I'd be looking at the Airstream (due mostly to the all AL exterior with no rubber roof to mess with) and put the bike in the bed of the truck.
Another plug for the old Bluebirds: On a Wanderlodge the roof is galvanized steel and there is an aluminum plate that covers the entire topside that doubles as a walkway and as a tropical roof. Not only do the buses stay relatively cool in the summer, but roof maintenance is zip.

Redoing a rubber roof, and the issue of existing roof leaks is no joke on used motorhomes. All RV's leak, it's just a question of where and how badly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeanMoe
Cost wise, 5th wheels run 40K to 60K depending on the length and amenities. A 350/3500 dually will probably run you the better part of 40K. So the total comes in at $100K or about the same cost as a mid size C or an entry level gas A.

I think you can find a 20-25 year old Forward Control Bluebird, in good roadworthy condition, for around $25K. Expect to pay a few thousand for new tires and spend some time maintaining all the systems if it's been sitting. Throw in a trailer for a few thousand more and you are on the road in a nice diesel vehicle that get 8-10mpg for maybe $35-40K.

While I am familiar with the Bluebird world there are no doubt other motorhomes that have their own "cult" following. Foretravel comes to mind. I guess that the first Spartan and Freightliner chassis would have come out about 15 years ago and that would have been the beginning of the relatively inexpensive rear engined diesel (before that the parent company would have had to make their own chassis).



Quote:
Originally Posted by MeanMoe
I'm a Ford person but the class C on the Kodiak frame looks awfully apealing and the fuel mileage is supposted to be good also.

My 2 cents.

I agree with you totally there. Most Class C's are too heavy for their chassis. The Kodiak versions tend to have a 10K lb. towing capacity and adequate braking and structure. I was thinking about getting one until I ran across our Bluebird and that made me rethink what I wanted to do with my motorhome.

The Class 8 truck conversions also look pretty good, although the newer ones are very expensive. Rear engined diesels have a few odd (read: "expensive") parts and are hard to service whereas truck chassis can be dirt cheap to work on. A conventional (engine in front of cab) truck may not make the best use of space but you would expect the brakes and handling to be pretty good (nothing steers or brakes worse than an overloaded RV).
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Old 04-23-2009, 11:07 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by saddlsor
here in indiana the dot fellows have been cracking down on the guys that mow grass. seems if your trailer has dual axles, it's rating is 7000lbs. plus and you have to have a medical card, but no cdl. seems nobody knows this and I know a couple of people who have gotten tickets. don't know how this affects out of staters. I guess the state needs the money.
You also need an INDOT number on your tow vehicle if it is 3/4 ton or larger and used commercially.
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Old 04-23-2009, 11:22 AM   #84
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Lobby,

A trailer or 5th wheel gives you a tow vehicle to drive around while the trailer is parked. A class C or any motorhome longer than 24ft requires you to tow a car (called a toad by RVers ) which means you can't also tow a bike trailer. Really big motorhomes with monster carrying capacity at the hitch can be fitted with a bike carrier that can also tow a car, best of both worlds but expensive.

Full timing in a small trailer or moho is dicey at best, go for a 30ft minimum living space and a diesel if it's a moho.
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Old 04-23-2009, 11:53 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White Knuckles
Lobby,

A trailer or 5th wheel gives you a tow vehicle to drive around while the trailer is parked. A class C or any motorhome longer than 24ft requires you to tow a car (called a toad by RVers ) which means you can't also tow a bike trailer. Really big motorhomes with monster carrying capacity at the hitch can be fitted with a bike carrier that can also tow a car, best of both worlds but expensive.




Or, you can do what I did, and that's to take a large open trailer and add tie downs for a motorcycle so that you can carry a bike and another vehicle, all at the same time.
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:12 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White Knuckles
Lobby,

A trailer or 5th wheel gives you a tow vehicle to drive around while the trailer is parked. A class C or any motorhome longer than 24ft requires you to tow a car (called a toad by RVers ) which means you can't also tow a bike trailer. Really big motorhomes with monster carrying capacity at the hitch can be fitted with a bike carrier that can also tow a car, best of both worlds but expensive.

Full timing in a small trailer or moho is dicey at best, go for a 30ft minimum living space and a diesel if it's a moho.
You can do a car dolly/moto trailer combo (linkage):


But I like PJ's setup better, with the big flatbed trailer for everything.
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:28 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanF
You can do a car dolly/moto trailer combo:


But I like PJ's setup better, with the big flatbed trailer for everything.

That's a neat little aluminum trailer though. Where did you find that?

There is no perfect solution that works for everyone. If someone has a few hundred grand on top of their million $$ motorhome then they can get a fancy stacker trailer that can carry both bikes and vehicles.

Alas, most of us don't have those kinds of budgets

But this carrying bikes and a cage at the same time is something that comes up around here every so often.

We need to establish a series of ADVRider RV parks around the country - east coast, west coast, and a few in the middle - so that we can leave our extra bikes and tools and spares somewhere as we meander around the country.
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:46 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateJohn
That's a neat little aluminum trailer though. Where did you find that?

There is no perfect solution that works for everyone. If someone has a few hundred grand on top of their million $$ motorhome then they can get a fancy stacker trailer that can carry both bikes and vehicles.

Alas, most of us don't have those kinds of budgets

But this carrying bikes and a cage at the same time is something that comes up around here every so often.

We need to establish a series of ADVRider RV parks around the country - east coast, west coast, and a few in the middle - so that we can leave our extra bikes and tools and spares somewhere as we meander around the country.
Added a link to the post.

I agree, it would be nice to have ADV/RV campgrounds scattered around...deserts/southland for the winter, mountains/northcountry for the summer. Monthly/seasonal rates. Rent includes a permanent 10'x10' shed, hookups, access to a no-mar tire changer...
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:49 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateJohn
There is no perfect solution that works for everyone. If someone has a few hundred grand on top of their million $$ motorhome then they can get a fancy stacker trailer that can carry both bikes and vehicles.

Yep. My dream lotto winning scenario involves a commercial truck conversion motor home about 30 ft long pulling a 35 ft stacker trailer built with a boat trailer bottom. Never seen one, but I'm sure for the right price it could be built.
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Old 04-23-2009, 01:25 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by ImaPoser
Yep. My dream lotto winning scenario involves a commercial truck conversion motor home about 30 ft long pulling a 35 ft stacker trailer built with a boat trailer bottom. Never seen one, but I'm sure for the right price it could be built.

Here's the poor man's version of your ideal stacker trailer:

(Check it out here http://www.doubledecksporttrailers.com/index.html )




I've become impressed with the newer Newells as the logical step up from a Wanderlodge. SWMBO'd and I have been talking about getting a Newell if/when the economy improves and the real estate bizness comes back.

My ideal Lotto-funded setup would be something like teaching her to drive a 48 ft. new Newell with no trailer and I'd follow along behind with a proper Class 8 tractor and a 48 ft. race car/workshop trailer.

Nothing like packing light.

I have seriously thought about getting a FC Wanderlodge to compliment our PT diesel pusher Wanderlodge, but She keeps shooting that down as being too complicated and expensive.

As mentioned earlier, I am working on a demountable shelter for my open trailer that will turn that trailer into an enclosed trailer. Once we settle down I can demount it and it will, in theory, blend into a RV park and serve as a workshop/storage place for a few bikes. I'd have to make 2 trips back and forth to move all my stuff, but it's a step in the right direction and presumably I'd leave the demountable portion behind when we expected to only be gone for a few months.
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