Best RV for a year on the road

Discussion in 'Full Timing' started by Adamnof, May 31, 2012.

  1. Adamnof

    Adamnof Junior Member

    My job sends me to various sites across the Eastern US for a couple weeks to a couple months at a time, and I am sick of moving in and out of hotels and month-by-month rentals, so moving into an RV seems like the logical solution. But there are so many options out there I don't even know where to start. Can someone please help me with this??
    The way I see it I have two main options, either a trailer small enough to pull behind my mid-size SUV (Toyota FJ Cruiser) or something big enough so I can trailer my FJ. Unfortunately the FJ is only rated to tow 5000 lbs, so I am a bit limited in size there. I only have a few requirements: 1. Durable enough to stand up to daily use. 2. Bathroom that is comfortable and simple to service. 3. Able to tolerate winters as far north as Ohio or Pennsylvania and summers as far south as Georgia or Alabama (backwards I know...) 4. Easy to relocate every month if needed 5. an extra bed for visitors 6. a nice place to sit and study/relax
    And the next question, are the enormous Class A's worth the expense? How about Airstreams?
    Would appreciate any insight you've got!
  2. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    You didn't mention one of the most important requirements ..... money!

    How much are you willing to spend?

    Along with that you didn't mention your new or used requirement.
  3. Adamnof

    Adamnof Junior Member

    Those are two areas where I am actually pretty flexible, but of course cheaper is better! I am willing to spend extra if it's worth it, which is why I need your help. If I look at used am I going to have to deal with things breaking down? How recently have major improvements taken place in the market? It would be nice to spend less than 20K, but if 60 or more will make my life that much better then I will fork it over. How much should I think about spending to get the best value for my money? How bad does depreciation hit the RV market?
  4. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    If I were you I would look in the 06-08 Diesel pusher.
    With a good used unit on a good buy 60-80 grand.
    Mid to upper end unit will have all you ask for and can
    pull the the Toyota.
    Setup is find the space, park, drop jacks, extend slides,
    hookup power, hookup water, hookup dump, start dinner.
    With the trailer you will have the drop the toad.
    This after a little practice or doing it a couple of times
    takes maybe a 1/2 hour.
    You need to dump the black water about every week or two
    takes maybe 5 minutes.
    With the upper end units a diesel fired hotwater will
    heat the RV and provide hotwater. In very cold temps
    diesel delivery might be a problem, but the unit uses electric
    as well.

  5. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Hi Adamof and welcome to the RVUSA Forum. Like Len said, a used diesel pusher should have plenty of power to tow your Toyota and have enough room and ammenities to suit you. You mentioned Airstreams. They are nice, but pricey, even the used ones. And with a 5,000 pound limit on your Toyota, you would have to get a bigger tow vehicle (or a very small Airstream).

    Good luck with your hunt and post back if you have more questions.:):)
  6. Adamnof

    Adamnof Junior Member

    Thanks, I think you are right, that a used diesel pusher would be great. Are they all about the same? or are there certain brands I should aim for or avoid as far as daily and four-season use and servicing goes?
  7. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    I would look at Tiffin, Dutchstar, Monaco, Holiday Rambler and don't be afraid to go a few miles, you may have too to find a good unit for YOU.

  8. Clay L

    Clay L Senior Member

    One thing to think about. Many motor homes rely on hot air from the furnace to keep the waste and fresh tanks from freezing.

    On Winnebago's for example, with the furnace set at 70 degrees you are good down to about 20 degrees overnight.

    In Ohio and PA in the winter you will use a lot of propane to keep the coach and tanks warm. In CO at 5000 ft in November we used 80 pounds in 9 or 10 days.

    Many diesel pushers have the AquaHot system for heating which uses diesel. I don't know how long they will run before you have to break camp and go fill up. Maybe someone else will jump in with that info.
  9. Adamnof

    Adamnof Junior Member

    What makes the diesel pusher worth the difference over a gasoline powered rig? And I'm a single guy so I don't need a lot of space, how small can I go and still feel safe towing a vehicle behind? Speaking of that, why do I almost never see people trailering a vehicle? And only a few using a tow dolly?
  10. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    When you get to a cg you have to find a place to park the trailer,tow dolly. Towing 4 down is much easier IMO. Don't think you can tow your Toyoto 4 down. Most gasoline powered MH are limited to 5000 lb towing or less. Some diesel pusher are able to tow more but you need to ck each one for max tow. CCC is also important when you will be living in a unit so ck it. We have a 32 ft MH with 2 slides and are confortable in it but the bathroom is small. Son has a 28 ft Barth diesel pusher that would be awesome for just 1 person and it has no slide. I have owned 3 Airstream trailers and they are great and easy towed. Just keep looking and make your decision slow. Keep us posted on what you find.
  11. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    I tow on a trailer so I can backup(doesn't happen often but does happen) and can changes cars anytime anywhere. About a 36 would suit well at about 06 or newer with aqua hot system and will have the newer TV's plus for a single guy a VENTED washer dryer. 2 slides or more gives good to great bedroom space and a living room dining room to entertain or relax and a work space(computer and such). Just do a lot of shopping-looking and you will begin to see what you need or want.

  12. Cruzincat

    Cruzincat Member

    Back in '86 I was moving from MA to MD. We rented a UHaul truck and put our vehicle on a dolly behind the truck. When we got to the NJ turnpike, the booth attendant (before EZ Pass) told us our configuration was illegal in NJ. WE had to take the vehicle off the dolly, but we could still tow the empty dolly! Go figure. My wife had to drive the car. Imagine howe that would have worked out if I didn't have someone along to drive the car!
  13. Adamnof

    Adamnof Junior Member

    Some great info here. I like it. Thanks. And hopefully NJ has fixed such silly laws! A couple more questions: Do you often have to worry about changes in State laws like that? Would attempting to stay in freezing weather in a MH not rated four-season be completely futile? Are any of the toy-haulers rated for four-seasons?
  14. Clay L

    Clay L Senior Member

    i have never seen what I consider a true four season motor home or 5th wheel. They may exist but in ten years of full timing I haven't seen one.
    People do manage to spend winter in some pretty cold areas but it takes a lot of preparation and I wouldn't enjoy it myself. Some people do however.
  15. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    A MH with Aua-hot or the like would be as close to a 4-season as you will get as it will keep the bays from freezing. I have friends who have wintered in snow-cold temps with even a regular furnace and have been comfortable so it can be done.

  16. Clay L

    Clay L Senior Member

    Many (most?) gassers also heat the tanks using hot air from the furnace. With them you can add a Extend a Stay Tee or the like so an external tank can be added. You can either get a 40 pound tank that you can take to have filled or in some cases have a large tank set nearby that the propane company keeps full. That way you don't have to move the motor home to fill up with propane.

    As I understand it AquaHot systems use diesel from the motor home tank and you would have to move the motor home to fill up the fuel tank. That might be a pain to do depending on how long it takes to use up the available diesel.
  17. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

  18. H2H1

    H2H1 Senior Member

    Adamnof I have an 2003 Fleetwood Southwind for sale. It has a gas engine, 8.1 workhourse, 35k miles with 3 slides, plenty of room. It is 36'. PM me if you like more info.
  19. 4Travelor

    4Travelor Junior Member

    I agree with Len and Clay about no true 4 season motor home but buying one with Aqua hot or Hydronic heating might be best if your stay is in a prolonged colder climate. In your case never knowing where you next assignment will be these Diesel diesel/electric heating units would be best, however, these units need a bit more maintenance to avoid problems versus the propane heater units.

    Suggestions to focus on some of the better built and well maintained used coaches previously mentioned here as best alternative in the class A class and would add, as an owner and partial to, you also looking at a used Foretravel.

    1999 Foretravel, 36'
    2007 Malibu Toad
  20. vanole

    vanole Senior Member

    I would double what 4Travelor said that if you could find a used Foretravel give it serious consideration. They are built to last. I was in a 97 Foretravel this past winter down in Florida that put my 07 Dynasty to shame. Had serious motorhome envy after I went back to my rig. Not too long ago I seen a 03 Bluebird for sale at one of the Large Texas RV dealers lots while gooding around on the computer.

    I have aqua hot and it is pretty nice. Learn how to to the maintenance on that yourself its not difficult. System can be finnicky if you don't keep it maintained.


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