There are a number of factors that you have to consider when you want to buy a recreational vehicle for your family. Choosing the right vehicle will provide you with a comfortable means of travelling to any location that you choose. Below are a few tips for buying the right motorhome.
The starting point is to assess the needs that you have. The functionality of the vehicle is more important than the way it looks. There should be enough beds for every member of your family. You will need an over-cab bunk if you need some privacy from the kids at night.
Choose a size that will give you enough lounge space. People who want to be able to stand upright when they are inside the RV will have to choose a model that has a high roof. Some models are suitable for places where there is no water or electricity while others are more suited to fully serviced campgrounds.
Once your needs have been clearly defined, you can start checking out the designs and the features that are available. You can get valuable information from other motorhome owners in your local area. They will be able to tell you the features that are most important.
The biggest sizes may not really be the best if the cost implications are taken into consideration. More living space will offer you extra comfort but you might have to obtain a special license for larger sizes. You should also consider how easy it will be to maneuver especially if you will be passing through narrow roads.
If you want to buy a used motorhome, make sure you check the maintenance and service history. You should also inspect any modifications that the previous owner made. It may also be necessary to have the vehicle inspected by someone who has some experience.
Motorhome living is a way of life for a growing segment of the population. Some individuals are retired and looking for adventure. Others have decided they want an alternative to renting a place to live or becoming tied to a mortgage that takes decades to pay off. Whatever the reason, anyone who is considering roaming the open roads permanently should investigate the advantages and disadvantages of residing in a recreational vehicle.
One big advantage to this lifestyle is the scenery is always changing. It is impossible to get bored with the surroundings because it is always possible to go somewhere else. There is no need to pack belongings or ship furniture to a new location. RV parks and campgrounds are available everywhere. Users who want a change of scenery can just drive to a different campground.
One challenge for RV dwellers is securing a permanent residence for mail delivery. Some states allow citizens to retain an address even if they do not live there. Each state has its own rules and requirements. Choosing the right option depends on where the resident plans to spend the most time and individual circumstances.
Anyone who lives in a recreational vehicle will need more than a basic RV insurance policy, which is nearly identical to automobile insurance. RV owners who use the vehicle for a residence will need to have personal liability coverage, similar to that available with homeowners’ insurance. Experts advise consumers to purchase a policy that offers replacement cost for contents.
Gas prices may dictate whether individuals decide to travel most of the time or park in a permanent location. Either way, the freedom to leave anytime is what many people like so much about motorhome living. This type of lifestyle is not for everyone but those who enjoy moving around freely with no strings attached will have all the independence they need to do so.
Are уоu а weekend RV’er, traveling іn уоur Class A motorhome during thе summer or are you eager tо assess thе possibility оf living оn thе road full time? Аrе уоu worried whеthеr оr nоt уоu will mаkе thе rіght decision bу living іn уоur Class A motorhome аll day, еvеrу day? Аrе уоu nervous аbоut finance? Lifestyle changes? Тhе long term commitment?
There аrе three tips listed bеlоw tо help guide уоu іntо living life оn thе road іn уоur Class A motorhome. Yоu mау thіnk thіs transformation іs overwhelming, but іt doesn’t have to bе. Таkе thеsе tips tо heart аs уоu thіnk аbоut moving іntо уоur Class A motorhome full time.
1. Іt іs important thаt уоu thіnk positively аbоut уоur Class A motorhome аnd аll thаt іt саn offer уоu whіlе living оn thе road. If Need be уоu саn upgrade уоur Class A motorhome іn аn abundant number оf ways sо thаt уоu аrе living іn luxury. Yоu саn add а gourmet kitchen, а luxury bath suite or even рut іn satellite TV. Тhе possibilities саn bе endless fоr уоu аnd dо nоt forget hоw muсh уоur savings will be оn electricity аnd оthеr utilities.
2. Тhеrе аrе thоsе whо live іn thеіr recreational vehicle оr fіfth wheel travel trailer оn а full time basis whо highly suggеst thаt уоu gо ahead аnd іmmеdіаtеlу sell уоur traditional hоmе, but іf thаt mаkеs уоu nervous, thіnk аbоut renting іt out for a while until you have decide if this is a life for you.
3. Ве patient аnd knоw thаt іt will tаkе time fоr уоu аnd уоur traveling partner оr family member tо adjust fully tо living оn thе road full time. Тhе lifestyle change саn feel sudden, but wіth time, уоu аnd уоur partner will gеt accustomed tо іt. Іf уоu аrе extremely worried, rent уоur traditional hоmе fоr sіх months аnd travel. Gіvе уоursеlf а chance bеfоrе уоu sell thе hоmе by moving іntо thе camper full time. Living life оn thе road саn bе аn enjoyable experience, tаkе уоur time аnd gеt usеd tо it.
Another good tір fоr уоu is to talk tо fellow RVers whо hаvе transferred thеіr lifestyle аnd nоw live оn thе road full time. Lооk online аt blogs оr speak wіth friends оr family, there are also excellent books written on this subject. Gеt thеіr advice аnd sее whаt thеу suggеst. Тhіs will help уоu with the decision making on whether this is the right decision for you and your traveling companion or not.
The key іs nоt tо bе afraid and relax and enjoy. Аsk аrоund аnd sее whаt оthеrs recommend. Тhіnk оf уоur nеw hоmе оn wheels аs а safe, sound RVing experience thаt holds thе luxuries оf hоmе аnd gіvеs уоu thе benefit оf living а life оf freedom оn thе road.
Living in а travel trailer or а motorhome can have both advantages аnd disadvantages. Thеrе іs thе convenience оf portability аnd freedom tо gо аs уоu wіsh, however іs thе small cramped living space аnd confinement. Travel trailer оr motorhоmе living can be interesting tо sау thе least.
With еіthеr type оf thеsе shelters, уоu саn easily аnd quісklу move frоm аnу location аt аnу time. Іf уоu wіsh tо gо tо аnоthеr city оr stаtе, іt іs easy tо јust hook thе portable hоmе оntо уоur vehicle аnd disconnect thе utilities. Тhеn уоu аrе ready tо tаkе оff оn уоur wау. А mobilehоmе оn wheels іs, јust аs simple disconnect аnу utilities, аnd pack uр аnу belongings, start thе motor аnd go.
The travel trailer аnd thе motorhоmе gіvе уоu thе freedom tо соmе аnd gо whеrеvеr уоu wіsh tо visit, sее оr explore. Таkе а trip tо sее а place уоu hаvе nеvеr bееn but hаvе аlwауs wanted tо. Alternatively, уоu саn live in еіthеr оf thеsе full time аnd save а great deal оf money аs well аs bе аblе tо move аrоund аt will. Living іn thеsе portable homes, уоu will nоt hаvе tо worry about thе everyday life things lіkе house payments, car payments, property taxes, аnd city utilities.
Most travel trailers аnd motorhоmеs аrе sеlf contained, thіs mеаns уоu hаvе storage tanks fоr clean water аnd wastewater. Тhеsе types оf homes саn аlsо bе equipped wіth alternate power sources lіkе solar оr а power generator. Тhіs eliminated thе nееd fоr electricity sources tо connect to at the end of the day.
One оf thе biggest disadvantages оf travel trailer оr a motorhоmе living, іs thе fact thаt уоu аrе living іn а small area. Тhе smaller area limits thе amount оf things thаt уоu саn hаvе inside wіth уоu. Тhеrеfоrе, уоu will wаnt tо pack lightly whеn traveling. Моrе weight mаkеs thе vehicle pulling thе travel trailer usе mоrе fuel аnd іs harder оn thе vehicle аs well. А motorhоmе іs thе sаmе, іt will hаvе tо push or pull harder аnd іt will usе mоrе fuel.
Therefore, pack оnlу whаt уоu nееd іn thе spaces provided. Limit clothing tо thе minimum nо mоrе thаt ten оr fifteen pieces оf clothes, coats аnd shoes tо thе minimum аlsо. Towels аnd bedding shоuld bе, kерt tо а minimal, usе оnlу plastic, paper plates, аnd dishes thаt аrе lightweight. Yоur pots аnd pans shоuld аlsо bе lightweight іf роssіblе, usе thе microwave tо heat, оr mаkе meals іf роssіblе. Microwave safe dishes usuаllу weigh lеss. Glass іs nоt, recommended іn а travel trailer оr motorhоmе, it іs heavy аnd breakable thеrеfоrе dangerous аnd shоuld bе, avoided.
You shоuld concentrate уоur main supplies tо foods аnd emergency items. Моst people whо live іn portable type homes stock uр оn canned goods, аnd quick easy food items. Тhе microwavable foods аrе thе best іf уоu hаvе а microwave. Іf hоwеvеr уоu dо nоt, thеn уоu саn gеt thе soups аnd foods thаt аrе аlrеаdу mаdе оr canned. Yоur refrigerator space іs limited frоm keeping fresh meat іn large quantities.
You саn adjust tо thе smaller living, аnd іt dоеs help tо find thе larger mоrе comfortable travel trailers оr motorhomes. Тhе larger thе living space thе lеss confined уоu feel аnd thе mоrе comfortable уоu will be.
Since my wife and I retired, we find ourselves constantly around an open campfire. We are always having one ourselves or our camping neighbors are calling us over to visit beside theirs. In campgrounds, Friday seems to be the gathering time for fellow RV’ers to want to just have a big get together around the fire.
Our latest campfire gathering we all decided to have S’MORES. I am sure most, if not all, of you have had a S’MORE at one time or another while camping. It seems to be a Kids favorite part of camping out.
The standard S’MORE is made with a combination of campfire roasted marshmallow, Gram Crackers, and a Chocolate bar or some kind. You take the chocolate and put it between two pieces of Gram Cracker and then put the marshmallow in-between that.
Now for a different twist on an old favorite.
Well, because our last campfire outing had not been planned, none of us had all the ingredients and we had to improvise as best we could. If you have never tried it, instead of using a chocolate bar try taking a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. The added peanut butter from the Reese’s makes the S’MORE irresistible. If you try this I am sure your kids will have a new favorite while camping.
When my wife and I first started RV’ing fulltime, it was hard to downsize from a 2400 square foot home to a 400 square foot RV. You find yourself trying to downsize but at the same time making sure you carry with you the things you require to live comfortably but not over weight yourself. Weight is one of the most important factors in travels.
Our greatest challenge was how to travel with our 350 DVD collection (Which is growing daily). When we first moved in we found that we were taking up almost the entire shelving in the living room space for nothing but the DVD’s and there cases. It looked impressive but was not very practical.
After much shopping around and looking at different products we found that you can go to any office supply store or Walmart and purchase a CD case holder. These are the one’s they sell for transporting and organizing music CD’s. They are perfect for holding DVD’s and you can put over 300 of them in a space of 1 foot by 1 foot. You do have to throw away all your cases but then again what good are the cases anyway. Keep maybe one or two of them for when you want to share your DVD’s with other campers to protect them.
The cases fit very comfortably in the cabinets and you now will have a lot more space to hold the other things that are important to you in your camping lifestyle.
After purchasing two different RV’s in the past couple years, one being a 5th wheel and one being a Class “A” Motorhome, I can tell you the most important thing you do before you sign the bottom line is your Pre Delivery Inspection (PDI). This is where you spend time with your dealer going over every inch of the rig looking for issues to have fixed before you take it off the lot. I can tell you this, our first one we didn’t do this properly and ended up spending most of the first few months going back and forth to the dealer getting things fixed under warrantee. The second one we spent a few hours inspecting everything and got them fixed before we left the lot, thus allowing us to enjoy the RV more.
Below is a list of things you should look for during this inspection with the dealership. You also will need to bring a few tools with you to do this properly. Don’t expect the dealership to have any of the tools you will want to bring. The Dealer though should provide you with full propane tanks, full water tanks, and fully charged batteries.
Tools you should bring:
Screw Driver with three Bits. Flat / Phillips / Square
Notebook and Pen
Digital Camera or Video Camera
Things to Inspect:
1) Start with the top of the roof and crawl across it on your hands and knees. Inspect each seem completely and look for caulking either missing or coming off. Also look for any bubbles in the roofing material itself. Make sure to check everything, including around vents and air conditioners.
2) Check around all windows for proper fit and for proper sealing. Make sure they open and close properly.
3) Make sure all storage compartment doors open and close smoothly and that all keys work.
4) In the docking station make sure all hose connections are tight and that they don’t leak. Make sure you understand how each valve works and when to open and close each one.
5) If equipped with propane tanks, make sure you understand how to turn them on and off. Also how to remove the tank if possible to have it filled. Open the valve and smell around for gas checking for leaks.
6) Find the battery compartment. Check how to use the by-pass switch if need be. Also look and see if they are maintenance free and if not ask how to do the maintenance on them.
7) Open the awning if equipped. Check for smooth operation and if there are any holes or tears in it. Make sure all seams are tight. Make sure all mounting hardware is tight and not missing any.
8) Make sure all slides open and close smoothly and completely. Also make sure you understand how to use them and if you can open them manually if the motor fails. Make sure there are no caps with closed that will allow water in when driving down the road.
Time to move inside the rig.
1) First check all cabinet doors for proper opening and closing. Make sure the doors are tight and that inside there are no loose shelves. Pull out each drawer and check its operation also. Also check each closet door the same way.
2) Next look at all molding throughout the rig. Get down on your hands and knees and follow it completely around.
3) Operate each light switch and check that all lights do come on and off properly. Check you 12 volt system at this time since most lights in a RV run off the batteries and not shore power.
4) Make sure each and every blind open and closes properly on each window. If it has Day/Night shades make sure they operate properly all the way up and down.
5) Make sure there are no holes in any of the furniture and that they don’t appear to be worn if this is a brand new unit. Check construction of each piece for sturdiness.
6) Check the operation of each water faucet and look for leaks around the base or under the counters.
7) Open and close each window and make sure they are smooth in operation.
8) Remove each and every vent cover. Look inside for sawdust and other construction debris. It is common to have sawdust in these from the manufacturer. Make the dealer vacuum them out for you if you see the sawdust.
You should now be about 1 to 2 hours into the inspection. Now you need to test each and every piece of equipment for operation. Ask your dealer if they have somewhere on location that you can just spend the night so you can run each piece of equipment. If they don’t or refuse to let you stay the night then tell them that it will be at least another hour of inspection time before you are done. Below is a list of things you should test completely, your dealer will show you how to operate each device.
1) Shore Power. Test each outlet
2) Converts and Inverters
3) City Water system
4) Sewage tanks both Grey and Black
5) Water Pump
6) Water heater both on AC and LP
7) Furnace or Heat Pump on Air Conditioner
8) All safety devices such as Smoke Detectors, LP Detectors and Carbon monoxide Detectors. The dealer should have something that can test and set off each of these devices.
9) Refrigerator. Make sure it cools on both AC and LP and that it switches automatically between them if need be.
10) Propane stove. Make sure all burners ignite
12) Clothes Washer and Dryer if installed
13) All TV’s and the antenna booster switch
Keep in mind none of this list is inclusive. You may have more or less equipment on your particular rig, so the list may need to be modified. The purpose of the Camera or Video is so that you can actually document how to use everything as the dealer goes over it with you. No matter how good of a memory you have you will forget something that could be important.
Have the dealer repair all items on your list. Only after everything is repaired are you ready to sign for your new RV. Now the enjoyment of owning a new RV will begin with you and your family.
Before my wife and I started traveling the United States in our new motorhome, we spent many of hours at the local RV store and even traveled hundreds of miles to big RV Showrooms to make sure we had all the facts before making a purchase. What we found was there are 4 different types of recreation vehicles on the market for use depending on what your camping needs are. No matter what kind of camping you plan to do or how many people in your family, there is a recreational vehicle out there to meet your needs.
Let’s spend a few moments discussing some of the pros and cons to each of the four groups. This info will help you decide what is best for you and you camping family.
Pop up Trailer
The Pop up Trailer is the first level of Recreational Vehicles above just old fashion tent camping. It gives you almost all the freedoms you have with a tent, except the hiking to remote places. It does however add a level of comfort that a tent doesn’t offer. You have Beds and a place to stay warm and dry from the rain without being on the ground. They come with basic toilet, a sink, sometimes a heater as an option and a small propane stove. They are actually perfect for the weekend getaway if you and your family are small in numbers. They also can be towed by almost any vehicle you already own without having to upgrade. Costs also are not that high and you can usually get a good used one for even less. I have even met one couple that full time in one, not to say that there is anything wrong with that, but you must have a very good relationship with your partner to attempt this.
This is the first level on recreational vehicles that are designed and built for travel and longer stays of more than a week. They come in all different lengths and you start getting some of your home amenities built into them. These also will work better for the larger family or ones that have older kids that need a little more room and privacy. Depending on the length you go with you can still get into many of the remote locations to camp and enjoy the great outdoors. The price here is just starting to climb a little based on what your needs truly are. One major drawback to these though is that they are just big enough to be effected by truckers on the road or any kind of wind gusts. Even with Sway Bars they have a tendency to move back and forth a little. You may find you need a bigger car to tow them but almost any truck on the market can handle even some of the larger ones.
Once you move up to the 5th wheel you start getting into some more of the serious type of camping with longer type stays or even permanently living in it. You can get full size fridges and electric fireplaces. They will have lots of storage underneath and designed more for the serious camper. These however, start having some major draw backs that require you to decide on what your real plans are for using it. They are usually larger than a trailer and thus are not as easily taken into remote locations. They also most of the time require a larger vehicle to tow them due to their weight. My wife and I actually started full timing in one and eventually traded up to the next category due to some issues we found with them. Once we found that having a larger truck sure hurt us on the gas mileage when just running around town not towing. Also the amount of time to hook up to your truck and set up at various campgrounds made it more cumbersome. They also are not really designed for stopping for quick over nights stays. You can do that but it just wasn’t for us. If you are going to be at one location for a very long time then it’s probably ideal but if you are going to want to move every week or two then we found it was just not right for us.
This is the last of the categories. These are really designed for the serious person planning to live or travel most of the year in it. Due to their size they will not fit at a lot of campgrounds and many state parks don’t allow them if they are over a certain size. We moved up from a 5th wheel to one though because they are easy to set up and take down when traveling. They also are perfect for stopping at rest stops or parking lots for overnight stays during your travels. They have everything you could find in a home. You do however need to have a smaller vehicle to use when driving around town when you are at your final destination. These are priced anywhere from the low $100K to over a million based on manufacturer and how many amenities you really need or want. You can get a good used one almost anywhere including E-Bay.
In closing, the most important factor for you when deciding on which recreational vehicle, is to first decide what kind of camping you plan to do and where you want to be able to take it. Cost is always very important but first decide on what you want then find one that fits your price range. If you purchase the wrong one these do not increase in value. Like a car they lose a lot of value the day you purchase it so make the right decision the first time or you will not enjoy it to the fullest.
My wife and I decided to go spend a month in the 1000 Islands and Adirondack Mountains area of New York in our Motorhome. We were always told these mountains were beautiful. Since we originated from Colorado there had been a lot of pressure for them to stand up to with all the hype.
This is the campground we choose to stay at in the area. It is near the town of Natural Bridge, New York. It’s located about 30 Miles south of the Canadian border. If you like seclusion then this was the place. We found the area to be very thick with mosquitoes and biting flies. They had an in-ground pool but you had to be buzzed in to get to it due to their security in making sure kids don’t play without a parent. Over the holiday weekends they offer many activities to entertain the kids. It’s truly a family oriented camp ground.
The Town of Natural Bridge really has very little to offer and you must go another 10 miles to get to any real shopping with grocery stores and the likes. However, the beauty of the area is magnificent and you are only a few miles from the Adirondack Mtn. National Forest.
There is a lot to offer guest in the Adirondack Mtn’s. There are many hiking trails, fishing streams, and waterfalls in the area. There even is a train ride that you can take through the mountains. The area is high in wildlife as we seemed to run into Wild Turkeys and Porcupines at every corner of the drive.
The highlight of the area is called 1000 Island which is on the border of Canada and the United States. While in the area, you must visit the number one tourist location which is called Boldt Castle, Pictures Below. It is a 10 minute boat ride at a cost of $7 a person and then it is another $7 to get into the Castle. You can spend all day as it is a self guided tour. This is one location that you can’t miss if you are ever in the area. You can also take a 2 ½ hour dinner cruise on the water and pass some of the large estates on the many islands around. The Dinner Cruise doesn’t stop at the Castle but you do go by it.
About 1 hours drive away is Lake Placid, New York. This is the home of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. The area offers many shops and hiking trails. You can also go up to the site of the Olympic jumps and look down them. It gives you a whole new respect for what those guys do.
In closing: If you are ever in the upper New York area, the two primary locations to visit are Lake Placid and the 1000 Island area. To See more
If you are anything like my wife and I, when we purchased our new Motorhome to travel the US in it became our one and only major investment. This is our home and our lifestyle, so it is important to keep everything running like new so it will last. There are many things that can go wrong with your motorhome but with some standard checks monthly you can minimize them from becoming major repairs.
Sewage System: (Weekly) This includes both the Grey and the Black tanks. The Blank tanks is where your actual sewage from the toilet is held. The grey tank holds the waste from your sinks, shower, Washer and Dryer if you have one. You should always make sure you have water in your grey tank so when you are done dumping your black tank you have something to use to flush out your hose to prevent the sewage from sitting in it and destroying your hose. If you have a newer motorhome like my wife and I then you also will have a Flush system on the black tank that you can run a hoe to after dumping and it will run water through a sprayer that is installed in the black tank to clean it out. You should do this after each flushing if you have one.
Transmission: (Before each travel) You will need to check all your fluid levels. This includes all transmission fluids and oil. Also you should try and have close to a full tank of gas when you are parking your motorhome at a campground to prevent moisture from building in the tank. You also should run your engine for15 to 30 minutes monthly if you have not travels to keep the engine caskets lubricated.
Batteries and Charging System: (Monthly) The first thing you need to do is make sure that the water levels in the batteries are topped off at all times. Only add Distilled water as the irons in normal water can damage the plates in the battery. Also check that the Charger is properly charging the batteries and we actually will run the rig on the batteries for about 30 minutes if we have not done any dry camping during the month. At Camping World you can purchase a battery watering system that will make it much more convenient to check the levels on the batteries and not have to take the covers off of them all the time. Some Motorhomes, the batteries are not that easy to get to all the time and remove the covers to see inside.
Tires: (Before each travel) Always make sure they are properly inflated before you hit the road for any length of trip. Also make sure you load your motorhome equally as to not put too much weight over one tire. When cleaning your tire try and find a tire cleaner that doesn’t include alcohol. This will speed up the process of drying out the tire and weakening them. Also if you are going to be staying at one location for more than a month you should put the tires up on blocks of some kind to prevent them from sitting in water when it rains. Another good thing to do is to cover the tires to prevent the sun from damaging them.
Generator: (Monthly) Like your transmission if during the month you have not used if for any reason you should start it for about 15 minutes. During this time put it on load by allowing it to transfer power to the motor home. This will allow the caskets to stay well lubricated. Also keep the oil changed as the owner manual states and it should last you a long time.
Air Conditioners: (Monthly) These are actually the easiest to keep running like new. All you need to do is keep the filters cleaned and get on your roof and make sure there is no debris that has gotten inside the outside unit. If you have a heat pump and furnace you will want to run them for a few minutes monthly to make sure everything is operating properly during the off season. Run Furnace and Heat pump on both electric and gas to make sure both are operating properly.
Outside and Roof: (Monthly and Quarterly) You should monthly get out and hose you motorhome off. This includes the sides and the roof and make sure no debris is building up. Also clean you front end after each travel to remove any bugs. Quarterly you should completely was your unit to keep the sun damage to a minimum. Also check all your seems for the condition of the Caulking. If any of them seem warn you should remove and replace it. Many parks do not allow you to wash your motorhome anymore due to water conservation so my wife and I will actually go out when it starts raining with a rag and just wipe down the outside with the rain water. The Waxing is one of the most physical parts of owning a motorhome, I find it’s much easier if you get one of your camping neighbors to help you out and then you assist him afterwards doing his. At the campground I spend the winter at in Florida it’s a group thing and we do about 4 or 5 of them in about 2 days with all of us assisting each other.
In closing, by doing some very basic maintenance to your investment, you can have a nice looking and well operating motorhome. With the exception of the waxing, on a quarterly basis the entire maintenance schedule can be accomplished in a couple hours a week by spreading it all out throughout the month. Always check your various owner manuals that came with the appliances to see if there are additional maintenance that is recommended. Always follow the recommended maintenance schedule, as if you don’t, it can and most likely will void your warrantee.