One time X country trip advice needed

I own a business that requires me to travel around the country in the summer vending at homeschooling conventions. This year, I want to take my wife and four daughters (aged 8-13) on the road with me for two months, June and July.

We are on the East Coast and will follow the convention trail to California and back.

I'm thinking the best route is to buy a used RV and resell it when we get back (this will be a one-time trip). Renting seems ridiculously expensive.

I just attended an RV show in town and think I need a large Class C or a modest Class A.

I'm looking for all the advice I can get, but here are a few questions:

Do I want diesel (I hear their resale value is better)?
Do I want to go through a dealer or search for private sellers?
Will I need a CDL?
Are there certain makes/models/years that would come more highly recommended than others?

I don't know what my price range is yet, but let's assume price isn't an object. What's most important to me is that I can recoup as much as possible of my initial outlay when I resell it 10 weeks and 12,000 miles later.

Looking forward to your input!


Senior Member
Re: One time X country trip advice needed

Makes is everyones personal choice
as for resell the moment it drives off the lot it loses value
why not store it and use it next year, then you will not have to go thru this again
or get in touch with Grandview about a trailor

ps We also Homeschool
Re: One time X country trip advice needed

Thanks Bro,

I'm thinking homeschooling and RVing are a nice fit. Thanks for your input.

I know they lose value coming off the lot; that's why I'm thinking used is the way to go.

I won't be keeping it, because my business can't afford to keep an RV. It can afford to buy it and resell it. Plus, I wont' be doing the convention circuit next year, so it just isn't necessary.

Who know, though. Maybe we'll have such a great time we'll want to invest in one in the future. Just can't happen this time around.


Senior Member
Re: One time X country trip advice needed

Good luck and God Bless whatever the choice is,
they are also others that can answer these questions better than me , so give them a chance to respond
Re: One time X country trip advice needed

You CAN'T "assume price isn't an object."

What are you going to drive when you attend a convention?

With what you gave as important, you are WAY better off staying in motels/hotels.

How do you know someone will buy your RV when you get back? What if the best you can get is $10,000 less than what you paid for it? How many motel/hotel rooms can you stay in for that kind of money?

Hit us with some more info, Brian, and welcome to the forum!
Re: One time X country trip advice needed


I know I can qualify for a lot of RV, so I thought that would be helpful information. I'm asking for advice assuming that I can afford a lot. That doesn't mean I want to pay $200K, just that I could if I had to.

Are you really saying going with an RV is a bad idea? I can't imagine driving cross country with six of us packed in our minivan. 70 nights in hotel rooms? We'd need two rooms each night, so I think $10K isn't too far off. Plus eating out for two months? Sounds expensive and miserable.

I understand that buying and selling is a risk. That's why I'm trying to do my homework--to minimize the risk.

What should I consider important in order to make RVing worthwhile? Is it just a bad idea, in your opinion, to consider short term ownership?

I don't know what to do about getting around at convention sites. Most convention sites have room for trucks and RVs. I was thinking about towing a vehicle, but not sure if it's worth the effort. I had several questions about that, but let's figure out if an RV is a bad idea first.

Here's what's important:

1) I want to be with my family.
2) We want to be as comfortable as possible.
3) We want to see touris sites and enjoy National Parks along the way.
4) I'd like to buy a vehicle that is likely to resell as close to my buying price as possible, understanding that there are no guarantees.

What other information would be helpful to you?


Re: One time X country trip advice needed

well as far as the cost for the rv u have to figure in the cost of the setup to tow u'r Toad ,, via towbar ,, trailer ,, and braking system for the toad ,, that can add up also ,, a tow bar setup can run $900.00 to $1.000 depending on brand ,, also if u toad a wheels down then u need a braking system ,, that will cost another $400.00 - $500.00 ,, then there is the fact that u may need to add a lube system to the vehicle u toad ,, and that could be another 5 or 6 hundred ,, but if go with a trailer ,, u could spend up to $3,000 or more on it ,, and then where would u park it ,, some places don't have room for trailers and u might have to store it ,, i would IMO go ahead and purchase a MH and hope that u get back half of what u put into it ,, but then again u could keep it ,, and use it as a tax deduction ,, i use my service trucks as a deduction ,,, but it's up to u ,, u may never know u just might want to join us carzy rving people ,, we love it ,, and once u do it ,, it's addicting ,, u set and wait for the next trip ,, BELIEVE ME ,, AND OTHERS :bleh: ;) :laugh: :laugh:

C Nash

Senior Member
Re: One time X country trip advice needed

If money was no problem I would go the RV route in a A class diesel. Looking at what I could recoupe on return I would look for a low mialge 2 year old unit. Alegro comes to mind but would stay away from national for now. Great units but resale might not be good due to company failure. RVing is not cheap or a way to save money just a way to travel and have the freedom to go where you want and sleep in your own bed. You will need a toad and with room for the family. Probably a van. As Rod said you will need all the goodies to tow and be safe for you and others. Good luck


Senior Member
Re: One time X country trip advice needed

How many miles are there between your convention sites? How many days will you be at any one convention? How much time will you have to "play" between conventions? Do you currently have a truck capable of pulling a 5th wheel or travel trailer?

As a public school educational administrator, home schooling is interesting to me...if were to home school, I would want to do it in an RV. I found this site the other night...


Senior Member
RE: One time X country trip advice needed

I'd like to buy a vehicle that is likely to resell as close to my buying price as possible, understanding that there are no guarantees.

I don't think that it is at all reasonable to expect to do what you plan to do and not loose a lot more than $10K. You will also find that very few class A motorhomes are designed for families while many class C units are. I suggest that you spend some serious time visiting RV shows first to learn about them. There are lots of RVs out there and they range from very poor quality to excellent quality. This is not a simple thing and you need to learn a great deal if you hope to get a good buy and an RV that will serve you well.

The license that you need to operate a motorhome will depend upon what state you live in and how large the RV is. Some states do require a special license for the heavier RVs but none require a CDL.
RE: One time X country trip advice needed

I can't really help you on the RV dilemma you are facing, but I am a full-time home schooling mom too. I would like to hear more information about the conferences you are planning to attend and if there are any scheduled on the West Coast.

God bless you in your pursuits.
Re: One time X country trip advice needed

You might want to at least consider the alternative. If you buy a used Class C for $40,000, and you dump it as soon as you get back (perhaps you don't have a place to store it at yourhome), then you might be losing $20,000 or more. That will buy a lot ofmotel rooms!

Plus you may not be able to tow the vehicle you own right now. You may have to get a SMALLER one to tow it.

RVing is a LIFESTYLE. I don't recommend itto everyone. Just my opinion.

Here are a few forum threads where we have discussed similar requests to yours. BTW, a MH isn't going to change the way the kids act --- it will just allow them to brawl in separate rooms! ;)

Look here, here, here, and here.
Re: One time X country trip advice needed

You might consider a towable camping unit, maybe a travel trailer or 5th wheel with a bunkhouse (for the kids). I'm not really sure as to the depreciation, but, I do believe you would not have a problem re-selling it upon your return home.

Thinking of wife and kids, as well as your agenda, I think I'd want to allow the wife/kids to enjoy the campground rather than the conferences. A towable would allow that.

I do not know what 'tow vehicle' you currently have, but you could do the dollars/cents and figure what would work best for you/your family. A Class A, etc., could be a rather expensive purchase, and the equipment to tow a gad-about might not be too cheap either. Then again, you might have concerns about breakdowns, etc.

Another thing is weight considerations....will you be taking brochures and other equipment to your conferences?

Keep us posted as to your possible decisions, and take a little time to go view some of the RV's. There are RV shows scheduled and you might enjoy checking out some them. Many manufacturers have websites with floorplans which might be helpful. Best wishes.

DL Rupper

Senior Member
Re: One time X country trip advice needed

Hey Nu2ARVEEs, welcome to the forum. Kirk is right about the Class A vs Class C's. The Class C has better floor plans for large families. Check out Class C's that have diesel engines. They cost a lot more, but may give you better service and will tow your get around town vehicle (toad) much more easily. They should have better re-sale value. The hardest part will be finding used ones.


Senior Member
Re: One time X country trip advice needed

Note that if you buy from a dealer, you will have to pay sales tax. This alone will put a major hit in the difference between what you pay for it and what you sell it for. In some states, you might not have to pay sales tax for a sale from a private party. Other states might have a lower sales tax rate than for 'normal' purchases. On the other hand, there are probably states which will really screw you over when you go to register it, no matter how you got the RV.

Buying a RV for a one time usage will likely not be a cost effective solution. If you do go that route, your losses may be less for a truck/trailer combination than for a motorhome, assuming that keeping the truck is a viable option. A motorhome may be better for travelling in, but a trailer is just fine for staying in (better than a motorhome for long stays even), and you have the truck to go around locally in.
Re: One time X country trip advice needed

Thanks everyone for the help. Lots of things I hadn't considered--especially sales taxes, registration, etc. I don't have a truck for towing and don't think that's the route for us either.

I'm not trying to avoid spending money. Most of this is business expense anyway, but I sure don't want to waste money either.

If I was really sold on the Motorhome thing, would you suggesting sucking it up and paying for a rental? It's a lot of cash, but at least I could be sure about what it will cost me.

Another option has arisen too. A good friend of mine passes away several months ago and his widow has suggested that I use their Class C for the trip. I'd pay her something reasonable, but she's not planning to sell it any time soon and won't be using it either. Any thoughts?


Senior Member
Re: One time X country trip advice needed

I think that may be the best way IMO, make sure you are covered by a good insurance including replacement just in case something unexpected happens.
God Bless you and yours