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Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: August 01, 2020 03:11PM
Gravitating toward this Class C type where the chassis is a Chevy or Ford truck /van platform due to the size and manageability of driving it. Would probably opt for slightly used over buying new.

Better to just rent? Hassles of ownership? What are the advantages or pitfalls once you have owned one?

[fr.jayco.com]





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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2020 03:13PM by pRICE cUBE.
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: jdc
Date: August 01, 2020 03:19PM
Depends on your use?

Would an older van type work: [stockton.craigslist.org]

everyone does the sprinters these days: [sacramento.craigslist.org]



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2020 03:26PM by jdc.
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: August 01, 2020 03:43PM
I guess I should lay out must haves:

Shower
kitchen
sleeps up to 4


I might be open to towing but I think I would mess up backing up maneuvering.

Like this guy [www.youtube.com]



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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: August 01, 2020 04:02PM
Getting a rental might be tough. With travel options limited, this is the summer of RV rentals. They're all booked.

If you're planning a trip, some site recommended trying to rent a tour bus instead, since bands aren't touring... Tho you need a commercial drivers license if you're gonna drive it yourself.



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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: btfc
Date: August 01, 2020 04:15PM
I’d consider renting to gain some experience before buying. Showers can be miserably small. Beware of leaking roofs, snow loading issues, and rodent infestation. Cooking and showering can lead to moisture buildup issues
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 01, 2020 04:22PM
You need to do some research first. I suggest

[www.imdb.com]

[www.imdb.com]

[www.imdb.com]

[www.imdb.com]

[www.imdb.com]

[www.imdb.com]

[www.imdb.com]

[www.imdb.com]

Look into slightly used EM-50s, or a LandMaster



********************************************
The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2020 04:23PM by Racer X.
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: August 01, 2020 04:39PM
Quote
Sarcany
Getting a rental might be tough. With travel options limited, this is the summer of RV rentals. They're all booked.

If you're planning a trip, some site recommended trying to rent a tour bus instead, since bands aren't touring... Tho you need a commercial drivers license if you're gonna drive it yourself.

agreed on the current rental market; many friends have recently done exactly this for the reasons you can imagine these days. I would also look into a rental as buying one means you are buying at a very high point in the RV market, which is unusual for the last couple of decades.

also, you will not need a commercial license for the type pictured. You can go pretty large and not need a CDL. In fact, you can generally haul a fifth-wheel and not need a commercial license. I'll add, it would be good if people who do drive those got some training, though!
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: August 01, 2020 04:48PM
Perhaps you already have, but I encourage you to think long and hard about exactly what you'll use it for. I occasionally look longingly at the small ones built on Sprinter or similar chassis, or even the conversion van size. But between maneuverability in the real scenery, gas consumption, and fees to park it every night, I've concluded that alternating nights of an air mattress in a tent (or in the back of an Outback) and motel stays are probably the wiser option for me.

Now if you want it to build camaraderie with family or with other RVers, well that's different.
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: vitus
Date: August 01, 2020 05:00PM
In addition to previous comments, lots of things to consider.

if you buy, expect to use your general handyman skills on demand: electrical, plumbing, roof leaks, automotive, etc.

Failure to do necessary maintenance will bite you at the least welcome instance.

You need someplace to store it.

Downside of the type indicated that it is necessary to essentially "break camp" if you wish to do day excursions that involve driving. But there are advantages, so you weigh the tradeoffs.
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 01, 2020 05:07PM
I think it depends on the state. My parents didn't need a commercial license for their Class C Mini winnie, or their class A Itasca Behemoth.

There might be a glut of low mileage ones in a few years when this is "over" and we find our new normal.

If you get something, have us here help you design your battery house power charging set-up. Good chargers will double or triple the life expectancy of your batteries.



********************************************
The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: August 01, 2020 05:11PM
We bought an RV similar to the one you show 15 years ago for a family trip. We paid $5k for it. The engine had just been overhauled.

We drove it from Minnesota to California and back with a fair number of stops along the way. We had one flat tire (driving on the side of a freeway entrance ramp because a truck had broken down in the driving lane), otherwise it did what we asked of it. We used it again a year or two later on a trip to Thunder Bay, Ontario. We never used it again.

It cost us about a buck a mile for gas when gas was $4/gallon. We could have used it on other trips; for example, to visit my father in Florida but it was much cheaper to fly and stay in a hotel. Even though it was a reliable runner, I still ended up replacing the two batteries and the radiator before our one long trip. And the roof leaked on our second trip. I pulled out a bunch of rotted studs behind the sheet metal, then put the sheet metal back and called it a day. It was lucky the RV didn’t collapse on itself. It developed a leaky front seal on the transmission and we finally sold it for $750 to someone who just wanted a deer hunting shack.

Unless your plan was like ours; to stop at all the sights along the way, better to fly or drive a car. Or if going local, rent.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Ammo
Date: August 01, 2020 05:22PM
We went through this and wound up buying a trailer to pull. Lower intro cost, use your regular vehicle*, easier to sell if you get sick of it, don’t have to break camp if you want to take local trips while camping, just more flexibility overall.

But do the math, too. For example, we paid slightly over 20K for a very nice, very small new trailer. Honestly, we could probably stay quite a few nights at a resort for that kind of money.

*Big caveat here: your regular vehicle must be powerful enough to safely tow a trailer, like a truck or large SUV.



Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. —Wendy Mass

Until you make your unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. - Carl Jung



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2020 05:23PM by Ammo.
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: August 01, 2020 05:23PM
Quote
jdc
Depends on your use?


This could be for traveling to other states where the stay could be one week to a month. Also traveling to the great outdoors.



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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 01, 2020 05:25PM
Also really depends on the climate. Some of those tent trailers are tempting if you aren't in a wet area.

FYI, mom cooked a lot in a pressure cooker because it cooked faster, less wasted propane, didn't heat up the RV so much, and she would take it outside to vent and open, so the RV didn't smell of cooking all the time.



********************************************
The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Markintosh
Date: August 01, 2020 06:02PM
We started with a 17 foot Casita trailer 6 years ago. We could pull that with our Tacoma and it met the needs for two of us pretty well. The Casita and Scamp models are desirable if you have to deal with much snow. We could park ours in the winter at home and worry much less about leaks and snow load due to the fiberglas construction.

Three years ago we sold the trailer to our son and got a Class B Roadtrek built on a Dodge ProMaster. We can go more places without a trailer, especially urban destinations. Ms Markintosh is also much more comfortable driving this versus the trailer. The Promaster gas models get about 17 mpg, which is far better than towing a trailer. Class Bs with a diesel sprinter platform can be costly for maintenance. The downside to a pure Class B is that two people is really the limit.

I might suggest a ClassB+, which is somewhere between a B and C class. The Winnebago View is an example. Most of the B+ models use a fiberglass shell as opposed to a stick built house. Talk to just about anyone with a stick built RV and they will describe a constant battle of water leaks and rot.

Renting through a typical agency like CruiseAmerica is very difficult now due to demand. Take a look at Outdoorsy.com, which is a person to person RV rental site. Theres far more options available there, especially as people whom have bought an RV this year begin to wonder how to make it pay for itself.



“Live your life, love your life, don’t regret…live, learn and move forward positively.” – CR Johnson
Loving life in Lake Tahoe, CA
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: August 01, 2020 06:07PM
Quote
pRICE cUBE
Quote
jdc
Depends on your use?


This could be for traveling to other states where the stay could be one week to a month. Also traveling to the great outdoors.

You can store it at my place when you aren't using it. Here is my take, I like the towable camper for 2 reasons: First, you drop off your camper setup camp and then can still drive places. Second, you store the camper and winterize and you can still drive your Suburban around and not have an entire vehicle sitting in storage.



C(-)ris
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: August 01, 2020 06:08PM
Looks like a anti-sway bar is helpful for the tow type RV units. Anyone use one of these. DO they help a lot?





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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: August 01, 2020 06:10PM
Do the math on repairs, depreciation, storage, aggravation, extra gas and on and on. How much will all that add up to led trip? Is it worth all to sit at the side of it and drink coffee in the morning and it's other RVers and talk about your RVs? I rode all over the country in one in a bluegrass band and would much rather drive a car and stay in motels or camp in a tent.
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Acer
Date: August 01, 2020 06:17PM
A sway bar might be helpful in some circumstances, but a properly loaded trailer (weight on the tongue) should not sway.

FWIW, we temporarily converted our minivan into a sleeper for our recent stealth COVID vacation, with an instant-up cabin tent as an option when it suited us.
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: August 01, 2020 06:22PM
Quote
Dennis S
Do the math on repairs, depreciation, storage, aggravation, extra gas and on and on. How much will all that add up to led trip? Is it worth all to sit at the side of it and drink coffee in the morning and it's other RVers and talk about your RVs? I rode all over the country in one in a bluegrass band and would much rather drive a car and stay in motels or camp in a tent.


I think I am looking to travel to see family, friends, and sites without needing to check into rooms. This may be my mode of operation until this whole pandemic plays out.



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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: August 01, 2020 06:24PM
Rent first to see if you actuaslly enjoy it.

Go to a new owners boot camp at a RV Rally

Talk to others

Stay under 29 feet if you want to stay in a national park

USED - get one from somebody who thought they would like it but then learned they didn't

Remember, with a Class C, you will need a way to go anywhere away from the campground. That means either towing a car or putting a couple scooters on it. You can rent a car (Enterprise is your friend) as well.

Check on your health insurance - make sure it will cover you where you are likely to go. If that is an issue, look up "healthcare sharing" as an alternative.

This is a good read -- [heathandalyssa.com]



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 01, 2020 07:11PM
I had NO IDEA there was a 17' Casita! In western Washington that fiberglass clam shell is crucial to minimal leaks. I see LOTS of Casita and Cavemans around here. Even Airstream is making fiberglass clam shell trailers these days.



********************************************
The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: August 01, 2020 07:29PM
Quote
Racer X
Even Airstream is making fiberglass clam shell trailers these days.

Heresy.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 01, 2020 07:52PM
I'm just reporting what I saw on their website.

We would sell a kidney for a mint 14' aluminum one. They sell for as much, if not more than the 17' ones. Modern V-6 minivans and SUVs can tow them. 17' is generally a stretch for the engine/transmission/brakes unless you have a full sized SUV or pick-up built to tow.

We have the rare big Mountaineer (2 year model) with the V-8 and the towing package. Basically the Mustang drivetrain in a medium sized SUV. REALLY sweet ride. Optional rear A/C too. (3rd row seating)



********************************************
The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: August 01, 2020 08:40PM


Quote
Ombligo
Rent first to see if you actuaslly enjoy it.

Go to a new owners boot camp at a RV Rally

Talk to others

Stay under 29 feet 11 foot 8 if you want to stay in a national park avoid damage.

agree smiley



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: August 01, 2020 08:49PM
....can't imagine pooping......while moving.....on the road.....



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 01, 2020 09:02PM
You eat enough truck stop burritos and chilli, you will get over it FAST. And you won't have a choice either.



********************************************
The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: testcase
Date: August 01, 2020 10:24PM
I've been RVing for 10 years now. I started with a small fiberglass "egg" trailer (a 2010 Casita Spirit Deluxe Travel Trailer; a wonderful way to get started). After four years and 50,000+ miles, I "graduated" to a Super-C Class motorhome in 2014 (a 2015 Dynamax DX3-37RB diesel puller ) and, have logged ~ 55,000 miles in that. One of the best things I did early on was to attend an RV Boot Camp. RVBC is an intensive weekend where industry experts explain and demystify all the systems found on a modern RV (some of which are arcane but, are of critical importance). RVBC graduates are smarter RV buyers and, safer RVers. I believe that the Escapees RV Club created the concept of RVBC and, over the years, other RV groups have copied the concept. The Escapees RV Club recently tried running a virtual RVBC. I have NOT heard how that worked out.


#1 Rule: SLOW DOWN. It is INSANELY easy to get roped in when buying an RV. At least you've narrowed it down to a motorhome (vs a trailer). RIGHT NOW, RV sales are going crazy and, as a result, selection of available units is down while prices are up. ANY RV is NOT an investment. ALL RVs are LIABILITIES which depreciate with time). ALWAYS keep that in mind! If possible, pay cash and, if you need to finance, NEVER do so via a TWENTY YEAR LOAN (something Camping World has been pushing hard).

#2 Rule: inspect EVERYTHING on a potential purchase (new or used)! You will be amazed at the poor build quality is on MANY RVs (including high end, million dollar units). Smart RV buyers will pay and hire a PROFESSIONAL RV Inspector who has the necessary specialized tools / instruments to PROPERLY inspect an RV. You will be amazed at the crap construction of many RVs as QC is virtually non-existent in too many RV factories. Most people are surprised at the list of things that need attention on an RV they're considering purchasing. Dealers often charge extra to perform a PDI ~ Pre-Delivery Inspection. These PDI fees are often just ADP~Additional Dealer Profit.

#3 Rule: Find the online group for the model you're considering. If you register, you'll be able to post questions (NO registration = Inability to post questions ie: read only). Spend a few hours on the appropriate forums. Problems usually get extensive coverage and, should give you a good feel for that make / model. ALL RVs will have their quirks. You'll need to decide if a particular "quirk" is, for you, a deal breaker.

This is just a "toe in the water" of what any RV buyer needs to be thinking about BEFORE they spend big bucks. If you're NOT reading Chuck Woodbury's Ezine www.RVTravel.com START. Chuch recently started a special Ezine for folks considering or new to RVing. Perform your Due Diligence and, you shouldn't be an easy mark. Good luck!
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 01, 2020 10:57PM
Much of what testcase says also goes for boats, btw. Except boats can sink......



********************************************
The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: August 01, 2020 11:11PM
Lost in America, Albert Brookes, Julie Hegarty


A truly good movie.




When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

Everybody matters or nobody matters.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: August 01, 2020 11:14PM
“Two happiest days for a boat owner: the day you buy it, and the day you sell it.”

testcase if most are bad, then what are the good brands, and what do they know the others don’t?
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 02, 2020 04:22AM
Some brands have better overall track records, but it sure sounds like each individual RV can have random different issues. They don't roll down an assembly line like Ford F-150s, where each is essentially identical, and welds are robot perfect with straight panels and near perfect paint.



********************************************
The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: August 02, 2020 07:21AM
What’s up with the wooden studs? Can’t they use galvanized metal.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: August 02, 2020 08:53AM
Quote
pRICE cUBE
I am looking to travel to see family, friends, and sites without needing to check into rooms. This may be my mode of operation until this whole pandemic plays out.

You don't really say what makes you uncomfortable about "checking into rooms." But you'll have to "check into" campgrounds with an RV. My experience last month in the West was that hotel chains had maybe gone overboard on disinfecting and the like, while campgrounds were the domain of those who eschew masks.
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: August 02, 2020 10:59AM
Quote
Mr Downtown
Quote
pRICE cUBE
I am looking to travel to see family, friends, and sites without needing to check into rooms. This may be my mode of operation until this whole pandemic plays out.

You don't really say what makes you uncomfortable about "checking into rooms." But you'll have to "check into" campgrounds with an RV. My experience last month in the West was that hotel chains had maybe gone overboard on disinfecting and the like, while campgrounds were the domain of those who eschew masks.

Campgrounds are outdoors, nice and hot and outdoor air filled. I am looking to avoid indoor shared air with people.



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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: August 02, 2020 12:09PM
You mentioned staying in places for a while before moving on. So that’s either a trailer you can unhook from, or an RV that can tow a car, right? Trundling into town for provisions isn’t fun in motorhome.

I’m not an RV-er nor a camper, really. But it seems to me these are lifestyle decisions, with both financial and time commitments that stretch beyond their actual usage. The never-ending plethora of used models that need significant work are a testament to that. There’s a ~ 30ft Airstream in my yard that been gutted and awaiting new sealant, new floor and new interior that I could probably buy for a song. And we already have a C3500 that could pull it with ease.

But I’m not touching it.
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Acer
Date: August 02, 2020 12:10PM
I just completed three weeks camping across the northwest US, in a minivan and tent, so I'll speak camping in the Age of COVID. Strictly parks, no museums, nor venues near big cities.

Checking in is 90 seconds in the office. If you reserve and pay ahead of time online, then arrive after the office closes, and you may well not even see the inside of the office your entire stay. Go full hook-up, and you don't even need to visit the bathroom or showers.

Every campground, be it government or private, had plenty of COVID notices and protocols. The people working there don't want your virus, either. Private campgrounds were more of a mixed bag as far as employee mask requirements. Generally, the more remote you were the less compliance. Gov't-run facilities were mostly on point regardless of location.

Even if you do use the camp bathrooms, so many people are holed up inside their self-contained RVS that you seldom even run into anyone else in the bathroom. Even there, the door usually opens directly to the outside, the windows are open, your visit is relatively brief, so the chance of sucking in a viral load from passing through the wake of another is miniscule. We did use hand sanitizer liberally no matter where we were.

Of course, this was vacationing. This was not for the purpose of avoiding hotels in order to visit family or do other people-intensive things. The closer you get to a big city, then campground or no the more risk you invite and the more religiously you need to observe protocols.
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: August 02, 2020 04:15PM
Can you actually get reservations given the explosion of RV travel during this pandemic?
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: August 02, 2020 04:24PM
My first cousin owns four campgraounds around Houston, she says business has been incredible.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Acer
Date: August 02, 2020 05:00PM
Quote
Bill in NC
Can you actually get reservations given the explosion of RV travel during this pandemic?

We spent three weeks on the road making the rounds of NW national parks. We camped in a dozen different campgrounds from Indiana to Washington and back, private and public. Every campground was full or nearly so, with two exceptions, a state recreation area outside Omaha on a Weds, and a state park near Davenport Iowa that was half full on a Thursday night but booked up for Friday night. I made reservations for every stop. I was able to get them, but not always my first choice. Many National Park campgrounds have not been opened, and the open ones are full. First-come slots were filling by 8:00 in the morning. I'd recommend planning at least a week ahead. Rolling in late for first-come-first-served is not a viable strategy this summer anywhere near a popular spot.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/02/2020 05:26PM by Acer.
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: AllGold
Date: August 02, 2020 09:08PM
Quote
Racer X
Much of what testcase says also goes for boats, btw. Except boats can sink......

So can RVs.

[www.youtube.com]

[www.youtube.com]



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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: August 02, 2020 09:13PM
Acer, can you go into any details about the mini van and tenting experiences? I have tent and trailer experience from my time as a kid being dragged about with my parents, but I'm curious to know if the mini van worked out to sleep inside when necessary, etc. Thanks.
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: Acer
Date: August 02, 2020 10:49PM
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mrbigstuff
Acer, can you go into any details about the mini van and tenting experiences? I have tent and trailer experience from my time as a kid being dragged about with my parents, but I'm curious to know if the mini van worked out to sleep inside when necessary, etc. Thanks.

We had a great time.

It was only my wife and I. We removed all the rear seats and built a platform for a foam mattress, raised for storage underneath. We bought an instant-up cabin tent, actually one of those pop-up 10x10 canopies with a separate tent attachment--very roomy. When we were just one night in a campground, we slept in the van. We rigged screening for the side windows, held in place by rare earth magnets and some strategic duct tape. We strung some clothesline to hold sheets inside for privacy. When we were staying a while, or we wanted shelter from bugs or rain, we put up the tent (goes up in a few minutes) and pulled the mattress out of the van and put it into the tent. One night we used the pop-up canopy as a rain shelter, without the tent, over the van.

We're both still limber enough that crawling into the van or getting up from the floor of the tent is not a problem. Space is tight. You have to pack lightly and have a good relationship!

Naturally, there are plenty of youtube tutorials on the subject of minivan camping.
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: testcase
Date: August 02, 2020 11:19PM
"testcase if most are bad, then what are the good brands, and what do they know the others don’t?"

Several of the "boutique" fiberglass "egg" trailers have excellent build quality and, do proper QC checks before their trailers are shipped. Oliver, Casita, Bigfoot & Escape come to mind. These "eggs" were conceived and built by family businesses and, the "elders" INSISTED on maintaining a high level of quality. In some cases, the elders retire or die off and, their "yougsters" took over management. Sadly, profits became more important than delivering a high quality product and experience to their customers.

In motorhomes, there are a few few "boutique" builders but, over the last decade or so, many have closed for a variety of reasons. Old man Tiffin INSISTED on delivering a top quality motorhome but, some years ago, he retired and, his youngun's' put profits before quality. Tiffin's quality and sales took a hit and, old man Tiffin came out out of retirement to "right the ship" before it sank. I've heard that Tiffin quality is back but, for how long?

Super-C motorhomes start out as an HDT (Heavy Duty Truck) cab / chassis. Being designed and built as HDTs, the cab / chassis is expected to deliver 1,000,000 miles of service with just routine maintenance. The "RV box" is basically built on top of the chassis. My Dynamax is a Class-7 HDT; there are Class-8 HDTs. Federal DOT regs define what class a truck falls in according to the truck's GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. A figure the truck builder states on the Federally required placard). If a truck's GVWR is between 26,001# and 33,000# that unit is a Class-7 HDT. If the GVWR is 33,001# or more, it's a Class-8 HDT. Super-C based RV's are, in my opinion, the second safest RVs on the road (the safest are RVs built on the Prevost Monocoque Safety Cage base. They are designed to comply with Federal Commercial Passenger Bus Standards which are EXTREMELY rigorous). A new Prevost based RV starts at ~ million dollars and goes up from there. Because Prevost based motorhomes are built like tanks, it's common to see 20+ year old Prevost based motorhomes still on the road and, those units are VERY likely to have many YEARS of service still left in them. These old Prevost's start around $100,000 (by the way; the preferred pronunciation is PRAY VOE, not "pre vost"). NOTE! There are, what I call "Wanna Be Super-C" motorhomes out there. Other than Truck Classifications, there is really NO set standard on what a builder wants to call his product. I've seen Mercedes Benz Sprinter vans called Mini-A, B, B+, and C motorhomes. MANY builders will use a MDT MEDIUM Duty Truck and call it a Super-C. I say hogwash! A quick and dirty way to determine if an RV is built on a MDT vs HDT base is to check the engine displacement. A Class 4, 5 or 6 MEDIUM Duty Truck base will have a Diesel engine displacement of between 5.5L and 7L. FORGET HP ratings! Engines can be "set" to provide almost any HP rating a customer wants. TRUE Class-7 HDTs will have an engine displacement of ~ 9L. Class-8 HDTs will feature engine displacements ranging between 11L to 16L (11L & 13L seem to be the "sweet spot"). Class 1, 2 &3 are, by Federal regs LIGHT DUTY TRUCKS (or, as the HDT crowd likes to say: "Little Girly Trucks". Think Ford F150, F250 and F350. Class 4, 5 & 6 are MEDIUM Duty Trucks. Think F450, F550 & F650 (or "Girly Trucks"). Ford DOES build an F750 which would be a Class-7 HDT. In the last year, one of the other pick up builders started calling their pick up "Heavy Duty" (something Ford did but, stopped doing so many years ago). Remember, a TRUE HDT MUST have a MINIMUM GVWR of 26,001#. Below that number, a truck would NOT be a true HDT.

As for what the "good" brands know, it is that QUALITY MUST BE BUILT IN AT THE BEGINNING. It CANNOT be "added" as an afterthought. In my opinion, 95%+ of RV builders simply do NOT adhere to this simple truth. RV builders and the RV industry as a whole work VERY HARD to keep LEMON LAWS for RVs OFF the books (there are a few states who's Lemon Laws cover RVs.)

As you can see, there are LOTS of things an RV buyer should be considering. That is why I urge newbies to attend an RV Boot Camp. RVBCs are very well organized and, over a weekend, can deliver an amazing amount of information that is critical for newbies to be aware of and understand. I hope this helps!
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Re: Tinkering around with the idea of an RV. Thoughts, tips, anecdotes?
Posted by: mikebw
Date: August 03, 2020 01:55PM
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pRICE cUBE

I might be open to towing but I think I would mess up backing up maneuvering.

Like this guy [www.youtube.com]

As others have doubtless mentioned, most of those accidents could have been avoided if the trailers were properly loaded, with more weight on the hitch side of the trailer.

A good demo -
[www.youtube.com]
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