anyone own an rv?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by winston churchi, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. winston churchi
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    winston churchi Member

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    I am looking into these....think they are great...anyone own one who wants to share the pros and cons of ownership? I was thinking of a class c - small enough to drive and park around but large enough - I think the a maybe too big...
    let me know....
     
  2. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    I used to work at a Winnebago dealership and all I can say is good luck !!!

    Gas and repairs are pricey to say the least. Really depends on how much you want to invest and how much you use it. DON"T forget engine-chassis, tires etc. A lot of people get impressed by the goodies inside but the thing won't run worth a damn!!
     
  3. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    winston...I looked into this myself about a year ago.
    It's was very appealing for various reasons, but after gathering all the info.
    and crunching all the numbers, I gave up the idea.

    Purchase price, operating cost, insurance (possible storage cost) just didn't justify it for me. Overall I found staying in a hotel to be the cheapest and most convenient option.
     
  4. janeeng
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    janeeng Guest

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    My Dad had purchased one a few years back. It truly was a beautiful RV inside too! had everything. He pulled the car on the back, that's a must if you have one, being able to pull a car with you, if you don't, means hooking up and unhooking everytime you want to go somewhere. This didn't last too long though. There were problems with the generator, yes, warranty, but still a pain. Gas prices alone became problems had you wanted to go anywhere far. It was a lot to care for. I think after a year they gave up and my Dad went back to a travel trailer instead and is much happier. There are a lot of the travel trailers that have just as much as the RV and less to maintain.
     
  5. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    We owned a 36 foot '97 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE. Prior to purchasing the unit, I did a lot of research, including talking to my friends who owned class A RVs. They all advised me to get a diesel, but I noted that they all owned gasoline powered motor homes. More on that later.

    Depreciation on RVs is tremendous and something to keep in mind when purchasing. I attempted to purchase a used RV through private purchase but no luck. My problem was that I wanted the slide-out which expanded the interior room tremendously and slide-outs had only been available for about two years at the time.

    To cut through some of the detail, I was unable to purchase a used RV because their owners are insane. The asking prices for two year old RVs were near or in some cases above the price I could negotiate with a dealer for a new model. The problem was that most of these owners had failed to negotiate a reasonable price with the dealer, then they had financed the unit to the hilt. When those first two years of depreciation set in, the owners found themselves upside-down in their finance agreement. That is, they owed more than the unit was worth. This appears to be a fairly common problem if you shop for a used unit.

    I recommend Holiday Rambler because the unit is soundly engineered and unlike many cheaply made models, has many excellent features. For example, the airconditioners are ducted through the ceiling with outlets throughout the living area - not just one blower as some other units have. The furnace is ducted through the floor. So you get hot air from below for heating and cool air from above from the a/c. The unit also has full basement storage, an 8 kw generator, two roof a/c units - on 15,000 btu and the other 11,000 btu. It is mounted on a Ford chassis which is much stronger than the Chevrolet chassis. Levelling jacks are easily operated with a single joystick control from the driver's seat.

    The choice of diesel or gasoline power plant should be based on the anticipated mileage you expect to travel each year. If you're going to travel a lot (10,000 miles or more per year) then go diesel. Otherwise a gasoline engine will suffice. There is approximately a 20 percent increase in cost for the diesel version of any given RV model. That's because everything is more heavy duty from the shocks to the frame.

    If you're looking to purchase a new unit, price negotiation with the dealer is essential. My RV stickered at just a couple of bucks over 100,000. I was able to negotiate the price down to 78,400. If you want a used unit, I recommend a little research with your bank or finance company in addition to looking through the RV trader magazine available at most convenience stores. About three months of looking through that should give you a good feel for asking price of a given model.

    Interest on the motor home loan is decutible on your income taxes as a second home. That offsets some of the cost of ownership, but not much. Insurance costs are fairly minimal. I insured with USAA for just over 200 dollars per year. But I carried a 1,000 dollar deductible.

    Whether you go with a class A or a class C should be based on the number of people and how long you intend to be on the road. Short trips of 1 week duration or less with not more than two adults and two children are suited to class C units. Longer trips, more people, or simple claustrophobia should lead you to consider the extra price of a class A.

    My unit's fuel "efficiency" was between six and seven miles per gallon. Most of the time between 6 and 6.5. That's with full tanks and towing a Mazda B4000 pickup truck.

    Driving takes a little getting used to, especially the increased stopping distances, slow acceleration, parking and making turns. But it's nothing that cannot be mastered with a couple of days practice. Driving in a gusty crosswind of 20 mph can be a trial. Driving in a crosswind of 40 to 50 is not recommended as that is a good way to turn the unit on its side.

    Unless you have children and plan to cook most of your meals in the motor home, you will find that there is no economic advantage to traveling in a motor home as opposed to staying in hotels or motels and eating in restaurants. Let's say that you're taking a 400 mile trip. That's 800 miles total - out and back. If your car gets 20 mpg, you'll use 40 gallons of fuel on the trip. The motor home will use 133 gallons. Even though most gasoline powered motor homes use regular, you will still spend over $250 for fuel alone. The campground will cost anywhere from $15 to $50 per night depending on location and facilities. So the only justification for owning a motor home in some cases is that this is the style of travel which you prefer.

    Another consideration of motor home ownership is storage. Do you have a place to park it on your property? I had a separate garage built for mine. Although it was expensive at the time, the reduced deterioration resulting from inside storage paid off rather well when I sold the unit. The reason I sold was that the wife never did like it all that much and when I got peeved and refused to go to football games, I could no longer justify owning it just to have it sit in the garage. I definitely do NOT recommend that you leave it parked outside all year. You will regret it sooner than later.

    It's fun to run down the road knowing that you are independent of rest areas, restaurants and motels. It's nice not having to pack and unpack every other day. I may buy another one day when I know for sure I'm going to retire.
     
  6. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    Merlin mentioned a great source for research..The RV trader.
    I just wanted to mention it's available on-line free with links to all the Traders
    truck, auto, boat etc. published. Searchable by state, price etc. A great time saver.
    http://www.rvtraderonline.com/
     
  7. no1tovote4
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    no1tovote4 VIP Member

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    There are places to rent these. Here in CO on talk radio we are constantly pounded with ads for one of them. Rent it and drive it for a while, then decide. Some people swear by them, others say they suck. I have seen some real slick rigs though.

    Places that I want to travel to don't have any hookups and the roads are sometimes too small to get one of these around the corners.
     
  8. winston churchi
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    winston churchi Member

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    thanks everyone.

    i had heard that the markup on them as unreal.

    i plan to attend an rv trade show in boston in january just to see. i am not planning on purchasing - be it new or used - for at least another year.

    i have heard the horror stories of people buying new at the ticket price - one couple nearby here. they decided after only one trip this wasn't their idea of fun and sold it for a huge loss. that was about ten years ago. then this other couple bought one and love it to death. they only take it out within a few miles radius but enjoy their short but relaxing holiday.
    so i will check out those websites too.
    thanks.
     

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