Suggested rv's for retiring rookies

Discussion in 'Beginning RVing' started by rvrookieottawa, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. My wife and I are planning to retire soon and am planning to purchase an RV that we may actually live in for a few months at a time.We plan on doing the Canadian summers and winter in the Southern USA. Originally I looked at class C 24' models but was advised they are far too small for this purpose. A small class A or a larger class C was suggested. Can anyone give me some advice or their experiences as there are so many manufacturers out there. Which companies and models are dependable? Should I purchase new ? We are planning a week or two in a rental this coming summer to make sure we enjoy the lifestyle. HELP would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance...........rvrookieottawa
  2. KarenS144

    KarenS144 Member

    What an exciting time for you two!

    I agree with the advice that a 24' C would be too small for what you want to do. Living in one for a weekend is a lot different than living in one for months! There are so many choices available that it's almost overwhelming. Each has advantages and things that aren't so great so it's a trade off.

    Personally, I think a Class A has a lot of advantages over a C. With the A, you've got much more space because the cab area can be used for seating. Most have much more storage than a Class C and you're sitting higher with a better view out of the huge windshield. While we don't live for months at a time in our 30' A, we did spend a month in it traveling to Utah a year ago with our 2 boxer dogs. We were comfortable and had plenty of storage for all of our stuff PLUS the dog's gear.

    One thing you need to consider is whether or not you will tow another vehicle. I can't imagine not having a toad for what you are planning to do. Our first year of camping was in a B+ and we did not tow a vehicle. UGH..... no trips to get what we forgot to pack, no sightseeing jaunts, no beer runs, no firewood, etc. because once we had camp set up, that was it! You don't just jump in the RV and motor off to the grocery. After that year, the B+ was rehomed, a Class A took it's place and a Jeep Wrangler was added to the mix. Lots of issues were solved.

    Another thought would be a 5er but then you'd probably need a new tow vehicle. Matching tow vehicle to the RV takes some calculations though but it's vital to have something big enough to do the job...and more importantly to stop the rig once it's underway.

    We have a Georgetown 280D which is considered and "entry level" Class A. I don't know that I would want to spend months in it but it's perfect for our trips. We chose it over several others because of the floor plan and of course price entered into it too but the main thing was the floor plan. Imagine having to spend a couple of days cooped up inside because of the weather! Is there enough room to keep out of each other's way? Slides make a world of difference.

    Will you be boondocking, staying in campgrounds or staying in RV resorts (another name for RV parking lots)? Depending on your preference, you might want to consider the size of the water tank & waste tanks. If you plan to do a lot of cooking inside, look at the kitchen design. Is there enough room to prepare the meals? Many of the new RVs don't have an oven but have the microwave combo. I use a crock pot some but cook most meals outside using a campstove &/or charcoal but am thankful for the regular microwave. ;) Look at the bedroom too. Can you get into & out of the bed from both sides? Many smaller units have access either from the foot or just one side. There are so many "little" things to consider that may turn out to be not so little once you're living with them.

    Go to RV shows and tour as many as you can. Take a notebook and camera. Look at floor plans on line. Look at more floor plans!

    I really can't advise on manufacturers though which is probably what you are wanting most of all! I can say that we are happy with our G'town. It's perfect for our needs.

    Good luck with your search!
  3. JCZ

    JCZ Member

    There are many full timers (year around) doing it in small molded fiberglass trailers (Scamp, Casita, even Escape and it's made in all seasons trailer). I believe it's all about what "you two" can live with. How far back off the beaten path do you want to get....what kind of milage are you looking for, etc. For some, larger is better while for others, smaller is better. We fell somewhere in the middle.

    Do you ever plan to (or get caught in) temps below freezing? If so, then you'll want a true "all seasons" unit with thermal pane windows, heated holding tanks, plumbing ran through heated space under the floor, etc.

    It looks like you're only considering a motorhome vs. a trailer or 5th wheel. You might want to consider joining RV Consumer. It's kind of like the Consumer Reports for the RV industry. They will have ratings for reliability, value, overall star rating and wether it's a weekender, a vacationer (up to two weeks), a snowbirder (up to six months) or a full timer (year around).
  4. JCZ

    JCZ Member

    I replied but the post doesn't show up till it's reviewed by the administrator. I'm assuming because I provided a link to RV'll have to google it to get the link. It's like the Consumer Reports for the RV industry. They are totally independent, don't accept advertising and are beholding to nobody. They rate all RVs on reliability, value, and an overall star rating. They will also tell you if a make/model is a weekender, vacationer (up to two weeks), snowbirder (up to six months) or full timer (year around).
  5. Clay L

    Clay L Senior Member

    Something you need to be aware of.
    Many full timers and people that spend months in their motor home find that they need at least 1500 pounds of cargo carrying capacity (CCC) for each adult. The CCC or the newer designation OCCC will be on a sticker somewhere in the motor home - usually in a cabinet or closet.

    You can see the definition of CCC HERE, and OCCC HERE.
    Scroll down to "2009 New weight label" and download the pdf file.

    It is common to see CCC numbers as low as a few hundred pounds (even on diesel pushers) which means it would be overloaded for weekend trips and unusable for full timing.

    We have 2800 pounds of CCC and would like to have 3500. We started with a 30 footer with no slides and after a year traded it in on a new 35 footer with two slides.
  6. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    It all depends on what you can and can't live with. Can you live without a bedroom(if one gets sick and just needs the bed)? Can you live with one TV? Can you live with out a living room or guest bed? Can you live with a kinda bathroom(seperat pottie)? Remember you cannot get away from each other(there are times). Going south what sports do you want to do or equipment for sight seeing(Bino's, camera's, BBQ, golfclubs, backpacks fishing gear)? Do you want cold weather gear and warm plus going out dancing or partying duds?What foods can you store for two weeks without a shopping area. These are all in what life style you prefer but must be taken into consideration when sizing an RV. The other thing is look around a lot sitting in all sizes of RV's and think about 3 months in it. Once into the 30-40 foot Class RV range fuel will be about the same. Are you going to be hooked up all the time or is boondocking in the mix then good solar or a gen will be needed. I've just hit on some of the high points. Then there is Budget,

  7. Thanks Karen for all the helpful tips. Can you believe I am looking at the Georgetown 280 ds as we speak,lol, or type. It was recommended as a smaller class A by the sales girl where I started my search. I have never driven an RV so we will try one out this summer but the class A does seem to be the only way to go. I am almost 6'4" so I need the extra headroom too. As for where we will be staying I have absolutely no idea. I know when I see photo's of some RV parks with one unit on top of another, it doesnt appeal to me that much. I understand Wal-mart allows parking at their lots across the USA so I would think that may be a possibility as well. Hooking up is needed to access the water and stuff so I an sure we will be roatating our site plans as we go. May I the Georgetown 280 ds reliable and comfortable? Thanks for all your advice Karen and have a great day!
  8. Thanks JCZ, I may just do that very thing!
  9. Thanks Clay for the tip! Much appreciated!
  10. Thanks Len. There seem to be more questions than anwers,lol! I have a lot of information to study for sure!
  11. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Thats the reason so many different brands. To fit the needs of different people and budgets. All makes can have lemons!! Dont know about consumers group but some magazines I do not trust their opinions as it could be swayed by advertizement sells LOL. We have a 32 ft HR with 2 slides that has served us well. Just the two of us and no pets. We also have a toad. Look, look and look some more. Sit in them, lie on bed, stand in shower, sit on potty (do not use LOL) Is the tv sitting where all can see? What about eating confort? Pick out a brand and then get information from owners just remember we (owners) are generally partical to what we have. Might be because we like it or maybe stuck with it!!! Good luck and welcome to the forum
  12. Thanks Chelse I will keep those tips in mind!
  13. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Hi RVRookie and welcome to the RVUSA Forum. The most important thing when starting out is Budget. What can you afford? New or used? You don't want to be stuck somewhere waiting on a check so you can fill up the gas tank and move on.

    The second important thing is what do you feel comfortable driving. As I have told other rookies - get in the driver's seat and try it out. Take different models for a test drive. I tried a couple of Class A's before buying our Class C because I just wasn't comfortable with the driving position. You don't want to be trying to maneuver thru traffic in something you don't feel safe driving.

    We have a 30 foot Class C with one slide out, and while we don't full-time, we do go out on the road for 20-30 days at a time. So far it has been fine for the two of us. In the end it's going to be up to you. Shop around - go to RV shows - take test drives. If you find something you like, see if you can rent one (or something simular) and try it out for a weekend. This is going to be a major expense and your home for the next few years. Choose carefully and post back if we can help more.:):)
  14. KarenS144

    KarenS144 Member

    We really like our '11 G'town a lot and had looked at several before settling on it. In fact, we started out looking at Class Cs but one salesman drug us into a Class A and that was the end of the C search. We liked the floor space in the living area. Not that the furkids lay in the floor (they're usually on the couch) but on the rare occasions that they are on the floor, it gives us room to move around them. There is quite a bit of storage inside as well as a good sized basement with access on both sides and several other storage compartments on the outside.

    One that we looked at was a Thor ACE. It had a LOT of very nice features but the killer in our opinion was the floor plan. Since the then, they've redesigned them and improved the floor plan. You might want to take a look at them too. They are sort of a hybrid between an A & C and have a bed over the cab area. To do that they had to shrink the windshield some. It's still bigger than a C (I think) but not as big as the Class A. The ACE is a sharp looking MH.

    We've had one problem with our G'town which was covered under warranty. A seal in the hydraulic reservoir for the jacks blew and we spewed hydraulic fluid all over I-40 in Texas. Fortunately, the jacks stayed up and we were able to get it repaired at a dealer the next day. We've camped 2 seasons in it although due to family obligations, not as much this year as we wanted to. We don't baby it but we do take care of it and IMO, it's holding up well. There have been a few "fit & finish" issues that a bit of glue or a screw has fixed. Actually, it's surprising that there aren't more things that work loose and need attention considering the amount of movement there is. Imagine driving your house down the road with all the vibrations, potholes and & uneven pavement.

    I haven't looked at the new G'town floor plans but you might want to take a look at the bed. Ours is accessible on the left side and foot. The right side has a handy shelf thingy that runs the length of the bed. The left side does not. I don't know how long it is but at 6'4", your feet might dangle!

    The shower isn't huge but bigger than many we looked at. We've both taken showers in it and haven't bruised our elbows. The major gripe I have is where the goofy water filter is. It's on the floor under the left corner of the bed at the foot. You've got to lay on your belly, manuever into a position where you can reach the filter which is to the left of the door! I'd like to talk to the genius that thought that was a good place for it.

    We've gone as long as 5 days w/o dumping but that's with taking showers in the shower house and being conservative with water usage. You really need to use quite a bit of water in the black tank though so it's hard to reduce it much. We've camped for up to 3 days on our water tank with no issues. We could go longer, it's just that that's the way the timing worked out. The generator is LOUD so not conducive to happy neighbors. We're looking at a muffler and other noise reducing options.

    We towed a Jeep over the Rockies from Denver to Moab and while we didn't set any speed records, we did not have to get out & push. Wind will shove you around & passing semis sometimes cause a sway. After getting sucked toward and then blown away from semis for a year, we figured out to adjust the air pressure in the tires and that helped a whole lot.

    The floor gets really hot from the engine which is between the front seats. We added insulation to the inside of the doghouse & under the floor board which helped the heat factor a lot. The front windshield is great for viewing but the sun shining in makes it an oven pretty quickly. That's one reason we don't drive too late in the day when we're going west! The little fans that are by the windshield are noisy little beasts and aren't all that effective. The radio is maddening. Almost impossible to use. Good thing we have a Sirius subscription. The fridge is good sized and has worked well. The microwave isn't huge but isn't one of those itty bitty things either. I've not used the stove!! LOL! Well, it's where I store taters & onions. ;) There is storage under the dinnette benches. The closets in the bedroom are plenty big.

    Any unit you get is going to have things you really really like and a few things that you don't like and you learn to adapt. I'll do my best to answer any questions you have about the G'town. For us, the things we like about it far outweigh the few negative things.
  15. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Dang Jim, now you got me worried. That's what we do, sit in one place till a check goes in so we can get some more gas LOL.
  16. Thanks Jim for the tips. I see you are a fisherman? My wife and I plan to travel and fish a lot once we retire so I hope I can get some tips on when and where the fish are biting from you!
  17. Geez Karen,have you been reading my mind? or my e-mails. The ACE is the other RV we have been looking at. Great minds think alike I guess,lol. We really cant sit in many models this time of year in Canada so could you tell me what floorplans you liked and why? I realize its personal preference but I would still like to pick your brain on this matter.If I am becoming to big a pest just let me know.Thanks again................RV ROOKIE
  18. KarenS144

    KarenS144 Member

    We looked at several at a couple of dealers then at a show and I can't think of the models that we looked at! I remember the ACE because it was so different. The one we looked at was the 29.1. There was just so much to like about it...the storage, the cool little windows at your feet, the computer desk in front of the passenger seat, just so much stuff. Just the overall look was impressive. It looked high class. BUT... on that model when the slide is in, you can't access the stove & several of the drawers in the kitchen. The shower is in the hall and has a goofy plastic curtain and it was angled so it was stuck out farther at the top than the bottom. It just looked bad. I can't remember for sure but I think the front seats were set a little lower so there was a step from the front into the back. Since the dinnette & sofa are on opposite sides, it really cuts down on the floor space but is much more conducive to company & conversations. Here is a link to the ACE floorplans:

    We almost didn't look any farther after the ACE but I was bored and was surfing when I found the Georgetown. It was a little less expensive which got my attention and the floor plan looked to be more open: The space in the front with the slide open is huge. Everything in the kitchen is still accessable with the slide in. We both like the shower & toilet in the same space rather than either side of the hall.

    We've been to an RV show since we bought ours and didn't see anything we liked better unless we went longer so the bed wasn't sideways and there was access from both sides. DH has to get out at the foot and that means a lot of grunting since he doesn't scoot or crawl too well! He has a Cpap and likes to be on that side because of the shelf.

    I don't know if I've helped or confused you more but if you want more of either, just ask!

Share This Page