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Old 01-16-2014, 08:10 PM   #1
tvp2003
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Default Owning a motorhome (or RV) -- tips?

Got it in my head that I want to buy a small (i.e. Class C) motorhome. As our kids get older (and can no longer fly for free), I figure it might be worth it for summer vacations and such.

Don't know how much we'll end up using it but wanted to know (i) if anyone here has one, (ii) what they require for maintenance, and (iii) some pro's and con's about getting one and whether it was a good buy for you.

Looking at a used one in the $10k to $15k range, which I know won't impress any one percenters here I can see it as a bit of a money pit (kind of a like owning a timeshare?); storage won't be an issue. Thoughts?
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:13 PM   #2
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Pro - leaving it parked somewhere visible to all of your neighbours. They'll love knowing your are now successful........

I believe there is a Simpsons episode that addresses this issue.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:18 PM   #3
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Have you thought about renting one for a test trip before buying? Make sure it's for you and your family.

I've had a few friends purchase a motorhome and found they just didn't use it enough to make it worth while.

You might want to ask the experienced RVers on here what the "hidden" costs are of owning and operating a mobile home.

I'd like to know how much you'd be paying, on average, for a weekend family trip with an RV/motorhome/trailer.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northendzone View Post
Pro - leaving it parked somewhere visible to all of your neighbours. They'll love knowing your are now successful........

I believe there is a Simpsons episode that addresses this issue.


It's old, leaks, and smells funny... but hey, what could go wrong?!?
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:53 PM   #5
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We purchased a Camper Van a few years back and it's been great. We usually only use it for 3 to 4 day trips normally in Kananaskis. We've been as far as Golden with it. Two or three time a year at most.
Financially you could probably do better renting but you can never get a rental as all those Europeans just love to tour Canada in an RV. If you want to rent do so WAY in advance.

The kids think it's great. If the weather is bad we watch movies on the laptop. We like to go camping but are not fanatical or anything. As the boys get older we will likely sell it and not replace it.

Tires get cracked from sitting for long periods without moving.

You have to get the water pumped out of the lines at the end of the year ($85) or do it yourself.

Pro tip: Take the batteries out before you store it for winter. LOL!

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Old 01-17-2014, 12:25 AM   #6
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Whatever you do DO NOT FORGET TO DRAIN THE WATER LINES in the fall. It gets expensive when they freeze.
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:18 AM   #7
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Actually a better tip isn't to drain the water lines, but replace the water in the lines with antifreeze. There's often somewhere the water can stay. My neighbour did the drain thing, and then last winter ended up with a busted pipe after 3 previous winters with no issues.

Myself, I have a trailer instead of a motorhome. One of the big downsides to owning a motorhome is the maintenance factor. It is another vehicle that is expensive to keep up.

I'll post more later; but I also agree with renting one before buying. After a trip in mine I saw some things I had overlooked. Then a buddy was talking about getting one like mine, and I suggested he borrow it for a camping trip. He came back, and then at the RV show ended up buying one that was nothing like mine.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:25 PM   #8
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Do you have a tow vehicle? more maintenance on a motorhome than other types of rv's such as trailers, especially hard on them around here when they are parked for half the year.
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:02 AM   #9
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Do you have a tow vehicle? more maintenance on a motorhome than other types of rv's such as trailers, especially hard on them around here when they are parked for half the year.
This.

My camping "timeline"
Tent - for me and the wife, we froze, a lot.
Tent trailer - for me and the wife, easy to pull, easy to setup, after a few rainy weekends decided it was a bad option.
20ft travel trailer - Me the wife and a dog. No issues with this size and was happy for 3 years.
25ft Motorhome - Decided to give this a try. After a few trips and having to carry wood, water etc back for half way across a campsite it started to get old. A few trips we forgot a few things and had to pack up the entire site just to drive back to town. This lasted 1 year as I got frustrated.

Now: 30ft Travel Trailer - Picked up one with all of the bells and whistles including swivel tv's AC, heated floors etc. This purchase also made us buy a new tow vehicle as we needed more power. We also added a child to the family so the extra space was a god send on rainy days.

Long story short, Motorhomes are great if your doing "RV" camping and driving long distances to campsites. I grew tired of not having a vehicle to drive to the lake, get supplies or just see some scenery. Yes I could have towed a vehicle behind it but then how different is that then towing a Travel Trailer? I get the same benefits as a Motohome with a Travel Trailer and do not get the negatives like increased insurance, vehicle maintenance, electrical issues and I get to use my tow vehicle whenever I need to so I know what condition it is in and there is not a 2-4 hour checklist before I head out to make sure my Motorhome is running properly.
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:40 AM   #10
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A few of the motorhome advantages disappear after a few trips with a truck and trailer.

- Easier to back up a single vehicle. Yes, I used to suck at it. And occasionally I still get into trouble and have to re-start. But after a while you get good at it. Last year we found a great "tenting" spot and because my trailer is smaller I was able to navigate the S curves backwards just fine.

- No vehicles to hitch and unhitch. See above. I can hook up my trailer pretty easily now. Especially since my SUV has a backup camera.

- Your wife will want one because she can relax better on long drives. OK, this doesn't go away; but like Diemenz said it should really only be a consideration if you are doing a lot of really long drives.

I just don't see a lot of advantages. The cost is about the same as buying both a truck and a trailer; without the benefits of owning a truck.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:40 PM   #11
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See, I just want a reasonably large truck bed camper like a Bigfoot. Not as much room, but overall easier to deal with and haul around in the winter.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:51 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone. To be honest -- we're not really big on camping per se; we enjoy (longer) road trips and the thought of having everything under one roof instead of schlepping bags in and out of hotel rooms is appealing. Agree that we will probably try renting first
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:10 AM   #13
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When/if the time comes and you buy an RV or trailer I suggest sitting on the can and seeing how much room you have to do your business. It's amazing how many bathrooms are set up so poorly that you can't sit on the toilet properly.
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
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When/if the time comes and you buy an RV or trailer I suggest sitting on the can and seeing how much room you have to do your business. It's amazing how many bathrooms are set up so poorly that you can't sit on the toilet properly.
And be sure to try it at 3 in the morning after you have been sitting around a fire pounding rum and cokes all night...
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:42 PM   #15
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I went to the RV show yesterday with my dad as he's somewhat in the market.

Man, every single interior looks like it comes from a 1970s trailer park. Brown on brown everything, tons of dated oak wood, crappy linoleum, and window treatments that are straight out of your grandmas house.

Why can't one single manufacturer built something that looks remotely contemporary? I know that the whole RV community is mostly older people, but maybe they would get younger people like myself into if things started looking like they were designed today. Even my dad (early 60s) thought everything looked terribly outdated.

I remember seeing some motorhomes in Germany, and they looked like modern condos inside...it was awesome. You look at RV's here and the all remind you of 1980s Edmonton.
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:01 PM   #16
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Airstream is the only RV I've seen that has a contemporary look to it.

RVs seem to be the most "neutral" large ticket item. Every one I've seen looks the same. Beige and brown interiors.
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:39 PM   #17
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Yeah, nothing looked even remotely close to that Airstream. Those photos look like they are from the future in comparison.

Even though it was all dated, I was actually surprised how similar everything looked...there were probably 150-200 rvs and campers there, and they all looked like they came from the same manufacturer. Everything was just different shades of ugly brown.
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Old 01-31-2014, 06:57 PM   #18
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I wonder why there aren't any airstream dealers in Calgary
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:26 PM   #19
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I wonder why there aren't any airstream dealers in Calgary
Volume of chaching!!!!
Beleive it or not.
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:31 PM   #20
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The prime time tracer executive I picked up had a really nice interior IMO. However I got the "champagne" color upgrade and it changed the interior to dark brown with black and granite.

The standard issue was light brown and white.
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