Any helpful advice?

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by cookimonsta, Jul 11, 2003.

  1. cookimonsta

    cookimonsta New Member

    Hi there all,

    My names Steve and my girlfriend and I are wanting to pick your brains for some RV'ing advice.
    We live in the UK and have had a dream for a long while of coming to the states and becoming 'workamper' for 6 + months.
    Were looking into buying a used RV, traveling round, getting some casual work, and generally enjoying ourselves.
    We're hoping you can offer us some advice on areas such as: Insurance costs, drivers licences, breakdown cover, best used RV buys, servicing costs, fuel costs, places to stay, etc.
    Any buying tips would also be very helpfull: What to beware of, ownership, engine conditions, service history. Do dealers offer discounts for cash?
    Any helpful advice is greatly appreciated.
    Imagine if you we're coming to the UK to do the same, what sort of questions would you want to know the answers to?
    We would also love to hear any of your stories about RV'ing.
    We really would appreciate any help with making our dream come true.

    Many thanks,
    Steve & Connie
  2. Swede

    Swede New Member

  3. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Any helpful advice?

    Probably your first concern would be getting a Visa and permission to work in the US for the period of time you contemplate. It's possible your UK driver's licence would do. However, insurance could be rather more exciting. I'd see what the RV industry could do for you in that area, organizations like Good Sams Club, for instance. You may need to set up a 'home base' for a 'permanant' address, although perhaps that could be combined with your first workamper job.

    Fuel cost should not be a major problem if you will be spending a few months at each location working. Otherwise, just plan for it to be high (cheaper than you are used to, but longer distances to go and much lower gas mileage than you are used to). Currently it averages about $1.40 a gallon and many RVs will get 6 to 8 miles per gallon.

    There is a season when RV sales tend to favor the buyer, but I don't know when it is. The older the RV, the lower the price, and the higher the chance of things going wrong. Buying new is no guarentee of no problems (generally shoddy manufacture) and is a guarentee of a big loss on trade-in.

    For the period of time you are considering, a Class A or Class C would seem to be what you need. However these things are not for going to the store in. You may also want to have a small car (toad, because it is 'towed') to tow behind for local travel. This means 2 purchases and 2 insurances and 2 maintenance. Another option is to get a truck and trailer. This is more of a hassle to get and use, but perhaps cheaper, easier to maintain and insure, and probably not significantly more trouble to use if you are going to be camping much more than travelling.

    When buying a heavy or tow vehicle which will go up hills easily, you either need a BIG gas engine or a diesel. It seems as if the (gas) engine/transmission life in RVs is about half that in pickup and other 'passenger' vehicles (RVs often are advertised with rebuilds around 50 to 60 thousand miles), whereas I expect pickups and cars to go over 100000 before needing rebuild.

    Read any sales contract closely before signing it, because even though they often try to charge a large fee for filling it out, in my experiance there are usually several typos which could cause you trouble later.

    One tip when buying is to have access to the NADA guide for RVs. You should generally be able to get a unit for less than the average retail price from a dealer, and even less from a private party. Another tip is to always deal on the 'out the door price'. This makes the seller do the work on figuring out sales tax, etc and prevents any unexpected fees (like that paperwork fee) from creeping in. Finally, at the dealer, beware the 'after sales' office, where the real profit is attempted to be made. Any extended warrenty or paint protection or such package they offer you will probably be junk and certainly twice the price they will accept (or at least twice what it is worth).

    Read the fine print carefully. Anything which is not stated to be covered in an extended warrenty is not covered, probably because it breaks a lot or is expensive to fix . :)
  4. Jay Raymer

    Jay Raymer New Member

    Any helpful advice?

    Alternativly to what John said, you may want to think about renting instead of buying if you are only going to do it for a few months. Try looking at Cruise America's website and give them a call to see what they can offer you for an extended rental like that.
    (and no I don't work for them :cool: )

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