Basics: RV Newbie (and European too)!

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by Harry_, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. Harry_

    Harry_ New Member

    Hi RV Experts,

    I have a lot of questions and I am sorry if they are answered here already but as I do not know where and how to start my research I summarized them here. So I would really appreciate if anyone can help me out with answers on particular questions (or all of them). Thank you in advance!

    1) General Idea: We relocated from Europe to Orange County, CA. It is great here, but it is only one facet of I guess thousands here in the US. So the general thought is, why not buying an RV and travel throughout the whole country!
    1a) The most important question is, can someone - my wife and I - really live in an RV, for lets say a year or more?
    1b) What are the most important issues to take into consideration?
    1c) What are the most important disadvantages (problems) which will come up?

    2) Which RV & Costs
    2a) I assume, to reduce depreciation a used one will be more cost efficient (but are they reliable)?
    2b) For sure we would need a large one, class A, right? Are there also "more modern", "simple" ones, or lets say not so fully packed with (dark) furniture?
    2c) How much will it cost (I assume more then 100k anyway?), what will be the depreciation in a year or two, if leased - how much for a typical lease per month, any good tips on how to save money here?
    2d) What will be the other costs I have to expect. Like fees at parks, gas, insurances, …
    2e) I have an SUV now. Shall I sell it and get another (small) car to be towed by the RV, do I need a car than, would it be an otion to get a trailer to be towed by the SUV (I guess that class A RVs are bigger and/or more comfortable to ride)?
    2f) What kind of drivers license would I need for a huge RV. Is it though to get it?

    3) Other Questions
    3a) Internet access is crucial for me. What to do that to have a reasonable (=not too slow, affordable) connection.
    3b) How about mail? What can I do to receive my mail when traveling across the whole country? What other things not to forget which will be different of not living in one place?
    3c) Is relatively stress free to travel with an RV, I mean is it easy to find places to stay, where can I not go to with a larger RV (like NYC, I guess), …?

    4) Anything I forgot to ask or any other input you might have

    Thank you for you time!
    Harry
     
  2. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Basics: RV Newbie (and European too)!

    Welcome to the USA Harry and to this forum.
    1a) The most important question is, can someone - my wife and I - really live in an RV, for lets say a year or more?
    Yes, a lot of rvers fulltime in their rvs for extended periods of time

    1b) What are the most important issues to take into consideration?
    Is this lifestyle for you?

    1c) What are the most important disadvantages (problems) which will come up?
    You will have to limit your belongins.



    2) Which RV & Costs
    The Fifth wheel and class A MH seem to be the best for extended camping.
    Choose a four season unit with slides.

    2a) I assume, to reduce depreciation a used one will be more cost efficient (but are they reliable)?
    There are plenty of good used units out there if you will do you
    homework on what to look for and a lot of searching.

    2b) For sure we would need a large one, class A, right? Are there also "more modern", "simple" ones, or lets say not so fully packed with (dark) furniture?
    I would go for a 35 to 40 ft with slides. There are entry level, mid level
    and upper level units to choose from. Just a matter of taste.

    2c) How much will it cost (I assume more then 100k anyway?), what will be the depreciation in a year or two, if leased - how much for a typical lease per month, any good tips on how to save money here?
    You should be able to find a nice used diesel pusher in the 100k range.
    Look in the NADA price guide to get an idea on depreciation. Lease runs
    pretty high probably around 1500 to 2000 a month.

    2d) What will be the other costs I have to expect. Like fees at parks, gas, insurances, …
    Vehicle tag prices will vary from state to state. Insurance on a class a
    will be around 600 to 1200 according to the year and model. Campong will
    aveage around 15 to 20 a night but may find cheaper for extended stays.
    There are some free campsites but most do not have hook ups. Most Wal
    marts, Flying Js, Loves will let you stay overnight free,

    2e) I have an SUV now. Shall I sell it and get another (small) car to be towed by the RV, do I need a car than, would it be an otion to get a trailer to be towed by the SUV (I guess that class A RVs are bigger and/or more comfortable to ride)?
    I would not recomend towing with a SUV. Yes, a small car as a toad behind a
    class a. I prefer 4 down towing

    2f) What kind of drivers license would I need for a huge RV. Is it though to get it?
    No special license is needed here in Alabama.
     
  3. Harry_

    Harry_ New Member

    Basics: RV Newbie (and European too)!

    Hi C Nash,

    thank you for your time and very helpfull information!

    I will try to get deeper into this trying to better understand your suggestions and also read the forum and other stuff.

    Thanks,
    Harry
     
  4. mollysmom

    mollysmom New Member

    Basics: RV Newbie (and European too)!

    Hi Harry...from a non-expert rv'er,

    Many of your questions are some of my own so hopefully we can help each other through this maze to reach our own perfect rv lifestyle at the end.

    Can you live together in an rv?
    If you left everything that was known and familiar to you both in Europe, moved to a new country, and STILL talk to each other...yes, you can probably make it in an rv. After all, that's what rv'ing really is...searching out the unknown.

    Issues to consider?
    For me, it's the kitchen. I love to cook and can get really frustrated if I don't have the space to do it in. Lots of rv kitchens have a sink and and stove and that's about it. I'm not a circus performer who can balance plates on sticks, stir the pot on the burner, monitor the microwave, and pull the bread out of the oven all at one time. I'd make sure I had at least SOME counter space anyway.

    For my husband, it's making sure he has a decent workspace with fast internet connection. We are currently researching satellite connections, preferably with a cable TV combo. I'll let you know if we find something interesting. That is definately his forte, but here are a few websites to consider:

    http://www.starband.com/special/autoflyer.asp

    http://www.groundcontrol.com/


    As for 2b) Most rv's are going to be packed ceiling to floor with as much storage space as possible. Even if you're not a cook with appliance storage needs, you are probably going to be a traveller with souvenir storage needs. Besides, who has ever had enuf storage space?!? Go for the maple finish cabinets, gives a lighter, more space-enhancing appearance.

    Guess that's all I have to offer. Let me know if you find anything interesting on the internet thing. I'll have the husband join in..he actually knows what all that mumbo jumbo means!

    Take care.
     
  5. s.harrington

    s.harrington Senior Member

    Basics: RV Newbie (and European too)!

    Welcome:

    A couple of things:

    1.)Find a good used class A diesel with slideout(s). Check out www.rvtrader.com . A 97-99 Allegro Bus at $59,000-$89,000 is a pretty good deal for a 35-39 foot rig.
    2.)Figure that in a rig less than 400 sq.ft. you can't take everything with you. Go through your stuff 4-5 times and weed out the non-essentials.

    Now the worst that can happen is that you breakdown in some podunk town 150 miles from a dealer that knows how to fix a motorhome. If you don't have towing and road hazard insurance get some. Good Sam has it also Triple A and some auto insurance companies offer it. Its no fun trying to change a 19-22 inch wheel in the daylight let alone at night.

    Saving Money:

    Walmarts in some areas let you stay a couple of nights free in there parking lot. Get the book called "Next Exit" it lists lots of free and cheap places to stay.

    Get a cheap stick shift like a 97 ford escort to tow around should be able to pick one up for around $1600 thats in good shape.

    Mail:
    There are mail forwarding services everywhere. "Mailboxes Ect." now "The UPS Store" and many others will hold your mail and then forward it when you let them know where to send it.

    Verizon has a broad band cellular network that goes along with there cell service at an additional fee. In most large cities you can find WiFi. Many parks now offer dial up and dsl connections in there clubhouse or office.

    I hope this helps some.
     
  6. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Basics: RV Newbie (and European too)!

    I think that if you are considering an RV to live in for a year or more, you need to do a few things before you get too far into the process. As one who has now lived in our RV for six years I can tell you that it is quite different than living in a house and it has a whole new set of challenges to consider. If you have never traveled in an RV, I strongly suggest that you rent one for a trip of a week or two first, before you spend the money to buy one. In reading your post, it would seem that you are thinking of a motorhome, not a trailer. If so, you will also need to a vehicle to tow behind it for use when parked.

    To get a feel for what you will need to do, I suggest that you buy a copy of one or two books on the subject of RV living and read those to get a start on what is involved. There are two excellent ones that I suggest. First is "Full-time RVing" written by Jan & Bill Moeller and published by Trailer Life Press. The second book is called "Home is Where You Park It" written by Kay Peterson and available form www.escapees.com.
     

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