New RV'ing Information?


My wife and I (55 and 56) are investigating the RV lifestyle in an A-class diesel pusher as a semi-retirement option since my work can carry me all over the country if I let it, but at present she works a normal job. We obviously see the romance of the open road but we want to find out about the harder parts of the experience. The stuff that doesn't get put in the advertisements for motor homes! How does this dump station thing work? Is it as objectionable as my wife and my imagination might make it? What's the real dirty job? How much true travel cost can I expect to incur driving across country. What if a tire goes? How relliable are the various mechanical systems that make this truck a home? What's the weak link? Have technological advances made buying an older motor home a risky or unwise choice or can I expect to purchase an older vehicle with success? Are these monsters mostly expected to be housed in RV resorts or can you reasonably take it to out-of-the-way campgrounds and such? As a former automobile mechanic and reasonably mechanically-inclined human, can I maintain it myself?

Got a load of questions but I have left plenty of time for research as there is no rush but any info that will give me a more reasonable, realistic view will be appreciated.

Thanks for your input.

DL Rupper

Senior Member
Re: New RV'ing Information?

Hey DonWin, welcome to the forum. The dumping is the most objectable and can cause extreme embarrassment it you make a mistake, but it is just one of those things that go along with the RV lifestyle.
Tires going south can be a hassle . The best thing to do is have a spare (some motorhomes don't come with a spare) and purchase a good Emergency Road Service. They will come out and change your tire if required. A good one is Good Sam Emergency Road Service. It will run about $100/year, but well worth it. They will tow you in, change tires, bring fuel and unlock your doors if you lock yourself out.
You can visit just about any RV Park, State Parks or other out of the way places as long as the road goes there.
Re: New RV'ing Information?

First thing I would do is buy a book about living in an RV full time.
As for dumping, it isn't that bad, just be careful and wear rubber gloves, and you'll do just fine. When on the road, you can find dump stations at All campgrounds have them.
You can trade 20 hrs per week (normally) for free rent when you camp host. Sometimes you have to sign up for 30 days at a stretch, and your abilities must match their needs... iffy at times, but works for most. I agree with DL about the spare. You probably couldn't change one with your tools anyway. Get a good ERS (emergency road service) plan, especially for RVers. In my opinion, AAA is good for autos in most states, but not for an RV.
An RV is not like your house, but on wheels. You will need a good idea on how things work, and must be able to do minor repairs on all systems.
When considering a Class A, remember, those big rigs are different from your personal auto. I know one guy who drives a 40 footer all the time and does well. Another friend of mine retired, bought a 36 footer and after one trip, immediately traded it in for a 32 footer. After six hours on a crowded highway, and through towns with narrow roads, he was ready to stop and spend a night or two. Bigger isn't always better
Good Luck on whatever you choose...


Senior Member
Re: New RV'ing Information?

I strongly agree with Texas Camper that reading is a good place to start. What you want to know would take at least one book to answer. In addition you should also visit the RV Consumer Group ( ) and get yourself a membership. Between the two you can learn enough to start to talk about RV living and to ask good questions. You desperately need to learn about RVs and living in them as it is quite clear that you have little or no knowledge of them and to read this, or any other RV forum will not come close to teaching you what you need to learn. As I read your post it looks to me like what you really want is a good reason to not go to the RV life. The fact is that RV living is just like any other lifestyle in that you still have the same problems and issues that you have always had. It is not one long vacation, just a different way of living the same life that we have always had. You will still enjoy the same things and you will still have the same fears. All that will be different is the home in which you live and the ability of that home to move about. Good luck!


Senior Member
Re: New RV'ing Information?

Dumping can be fairly un-nasty if you take care and have the right equipment and techniques. Perhaps the least obnoxious method is to attach an electric macerator to the output port, and grind the stuff up and pump it through a 3/4" or 1" hose rather than those clunky 3" ones. Takes longer though.
Re: New RV'ing Information?

Thanks for all your input. Very helpful. I'm not so much looking for a reason not to do it but every time I walk into an RV showroom, its nothing but choirs singing and heavenly exploration and something the rest of the world is crazy not to do! I've never had a salesperson so much as whisper about the process of getting rid of waste other than pointing out that the tanks were so big. Just trying to get some balance.

I am going out to grab a book or two and am pointing my computer to as soon as I exit this forum.

Thanks, again.