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Author Topic: Newbies RVers  (Read 1041 times)

PatAbago

  • Posts: 1
Newbies RVers
« on: February 08, 2020, 05:57:05 PM »
Hello Folks!
We are about to buy our first RV and have several questions:
1- What is the ideal length to navigate across the US without problems (including national parks)?
2- Diesel or GAS and why?
3- Are slideouts to be avoided or no known problems?
4- Ford or Mercedes?
5- For the same price, brand new Thor Axis 24.1 2018, or used Forrest SunSeeker 2800 GTS 2018 (2800 Miles) and why?
Thanks a lot for your help and hope to see you soon on he road!!

Larry N.

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  • Posts: 6908
  • Westminster, CO
Re: Newbies RVers
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2020, 06:42:06 PM »
1) How many people? Are you used to living in small spaces, especially when inclement weather keeps you from enjoying the outdoors? What is your budget? Are you thinking motorhome, travel trailer, 5th wheel? Does "without problems" mean fitting into any campground or does it mean reliability or do you have something else in mind? For me this would be 35-40 feet (meaning a diesel, too), but your other questions indicate you're not thinking about that type.

2) Either one can do the job, depending on what else is needed. What is your budget? What have you driven before? Your other questions imply that you are looking at a Sprinter or Ford-based class C unit, but diesel encompasses the larger rigs, and is what most of us think of when diesel is mentioned.

3) While a few folks are put off by slideouts, many (most?) of us prefer them, since you get quite a bit more usable space with them, and problems are rare.

4) If you're talking Ford or Mercedes, then perhaps you are looking at smaller rigs, class C motorhomes, in which case the very small Mercedes Sprinter is suitable for some, but for many of us it's way too small.

5) I have no idea. For me, neither, though others may have some thoughts here.

Finally, "to navigate across the US without problems (including national parks)?" doesn't really tell us much about how you plan to use the RV, and that would be information we'd need to give a better recommendation, or at least to give you more pertinent information. Tell us about you and whoever is traveling with you, how long you plan to travel, what your purchase budget is (ballpark or range is fine). There are so many things that figure into this that we really need more info.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
  de N8GGG

Arch Hoagland

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  • Posts: 3458
  • Clovis CA
Re: Newbies RVers
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2020, 12:40:40 AM »
Welcome to the forum!

Have you ever used an RV? 

2004 Monaco La Palma 36 DBD
W22, 8.1 gas,  Allison 1000 Transmission
7.1 MPG over 90,000 miles

2000 Lexus RX300, 4020lb
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decaturbob

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  • Posts: 434
  • Living on Tioga Time
Re: Newbies RVers
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2020, 11:45:45 AM »
Hello Folks!
We are about to buy our first RV and have several questions:
1- What is the ideal length to navigate across the US without problems (including national parks)?
2- Diesel or GAS and why?
3- Are slideouts to be avoided or no known problems?
4- Ford or Mercedes?
5- For the same price, brand new Thor Axis 24.1 2018, or used Forrest SunSeeker 2800 GTS 2018 (2800 Miles) and why?
Thanks a lot for your help and hope to see you soon on he road!!


whats your current experience with RV'ing?
proud to have a 2008 Tioga 31M MH towing a 2010 Ford Escape around America

LarsMac

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  • Posts: 1286
  • Going nowhere fast
Re: Newbies RVers
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2020, 12:22:03 PM »
My tuppence worth:
1. 30 feet or less gets around just about anywhere you want to go. But really depends on your diving experience and confidence level.
    Here is an article I found a while back that speaks to the length regarding national parks in the US.
     https://camperreport.com/best-rv-length-for-national-parks/

2. No matter. Diesel can get better mileage, but cost more, generally. Not really a factor, IMHO.

3. Slide-outs, IMHO, are a must. They increase your living space significantly compared to same length RV without.

4. No opinion, other than I really like my Ford Chassis.

5. Not enough info. depends on how they were treated and maintained by previous owner(s)

 


2000 Itasca Sundancer 430V
2007 Saturn Vue

“All I ever needed was a wheel in my hand and four on the road.” -- Apologies, or Thanks, to Jack Kerouac

thelazyl

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  • Posts: 374
Re: Newbies RVers
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2020, 12:33:15 PM »
Hello Folks!
We are about to buy our first RV and have several questions:
1- What is the ideal length to navigate across the US without problems (including national parks)?
2- Diesel or GAS and why?
3- Are slideouts to be avoided or no known problems?
4- Ford or Mercedes?
5- For the same price, brand new Thor Axis 24.1 2018, or used Forrest SunSeeker 2800 GTS 2018 (2800 Miles) and why?
Thanks a lot for your help and hope to see you soon on he road!!

As mentioned earlier a lot depends on several things.  I will answer for my family.
1.  We are at 37' and have had no difficulty.  The 2 national parks include Redwoods and Arches; in addition to that approx 40 places public and private with no issues.   
2.  For us Diesel Pusher.  Much more comfortable for longer drives (quiet, cool, no vibration). 
3.  For us and only 2 people, slideouts are a must.  Even a larger RV can feel small after a few days.
4.  Diesel pusher with Cummins.
5.  The best advice I got on this forum was the benefit of buying a well maintained used RV.  Everything worked, no wasted time with warranty repairs.  Price was ~30% of retail. 
2003 Fleetwood Bounder 37U DP

Kevin Means

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  • SolaRVector
    • SolaRVector
Re: Newbies RVers
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2020, 12:57:21 PM »
Hi PatAbago, and welcome to the RVForum. You didn't say how many people would be traveling, or your budget, but I'll give you some some basic answers to your very involved questions.

A pickup with a cab-over camper, or a VW Westfalia van would be as close to "ideal" that I can think of for fitting into the majority of RV sites, but you might find those RVs a bit tight over long periods of time... but a lot of people do it and are quite happy.

Gas engines are found in RVs up to 38 feet in length, but generally, they can't tow, or carry as much weight as many similar sized diesel powered RVs. Diesels get better mileage, but they cost more to buy and maintain. Depending on the type/size/manufacturer of RV you choose, you may not have an option on what type of engine it comes with.

The only RVs that will never experience slide problems are those that don't have them. Our 1st motorhome didn't have slides, and we didn't miss them... until we got our 2nd motorhome. It had only one slide, but we wondered how we ever got along without it. We're on our 3rd motorhome now, and in 20 years of owning motorhomes with slides, we've never had any slide problems.

Ford and Mercedes both build good, reliable RV engines. I would recommend focussing on RVs with the floorplan, capabilities and features you want, and take whatever engine it comes with. If you end up with a choice of engines, choose whichever suits your needs/desires/budget.

When buying a new RV, you generally get what you pay for, but a new RV does not guarantee a trouble free RV... far from it. When buying a used RV, condition is everything. Since you don't have much RV experience, I would strongly recommend hiring an experienced RV inspector to do a thorough inspection of whatever RV you decide to buy... before you pay for it.

Before buying, you might want to rent an RV for a week or two, and see how you like it. You'll learn a lot about features and amenities you like and don't like, and wish you had. Finally, when shopping for an RV, try to look beyond the bling, and look at things like holding tank capacities, load carrying and towing capacities, wood work and floorplan. Try to envision yourself spending several days at a time in it - like when it's raining. Good luck!

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ
RVI Brake 2, TST 507 TPMS, 960 watts of solar, SolaRVector tilt
Lakeside, California

RedandSilver

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Re: Newbies RVers
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2020, 11:04:42 AM »
Your first RV?

I'll tell you what I see.
Most people start small and then  upgrade over and over.
Each time they upgrade it costs them more money.

My advice is buy as big a unit as you can afford.

My FIRST RV was a 40' MH with 2 slides and I wouldn't want anything smaller.

But you didn't tell us enough to really give you advice tailored to your situation.
I assume that the WE means at least 2 people.  Any children or pets?
How long do you see your trips being - a weekend, a week, or months at a time?
It takes a while before you know enough to really buy something.  Knowledge is power.

Why National parks?  Are they the only parks you plan on visiting? 
When you get there, will you want a vehicle to travel around in other then the RV.
Not all motorhomes can tow all vehicles - but you need to know that up front.
Going to get groceries in a MH can be a challenge in some places.   


If you really want advice you need to reply to the questions asked and give us more info
on how you plan to use a MH.  We are here to help - but guessing what you need/want or can afford is difficult.
2002 Rexhall Rose Air  Cummins 8.3  350hp
West MI Summer   Central FL Winter

ArdraF

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  • Posts: 10628
Re: Newbies RVers
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2020, 07:08:52 PM »
Most of us say to find the floor plan you like and then thin consider the other factors.  The logic is that you can check off all the items listed and find an RV that fits them so you buy it - but end up hating it because it isn't a livable floor plan.  My recommendation is to attend as many RV shows as you can and determine features and floor plans that you like and/or dislike.  Sit in the living room, lie on the bed, sit on the toilet (do you have elbow/knee room) and think about how comfortable they will be over time.  Start making lists of your "must have" items, your "really don't want" items, and "maybe" items.  Those lists will help guide you into finding what you think you want.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Isaac-1

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  • Posts: 3587
Re: Newbies RVers
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2020, 02:22:38 AM »
Hello Folks!
We are about to buy our first RV and have several questions:
1- What is the ideal length to navigate across the US without problems (including national parks)?
2- Diesel or GAS and why?
3- Are slideouts to be avoided or no known problems?
4- Ford or Mercedes?
5- For the same price, brand new Thor Axis 24.1 2018, or used Forrest SunSeeker 2800 GTS 2018 (2800 Miles) and why?
Thanks a lot for your help and hope to see you soon on he road!!

We really need more information on what your needs are, how many people, length of travel, towing a car, etc.  Having said that I will try to answer, based on what you have asked.

1, This is a trade off between living space, cargo capacity, maneuverability and handling.  Bigger diesel pushers give more living space, and generally handle better on the open highway, by contrast the smaller the coach, the more campgrounds you will fit into.  Given question 5, I will say that if you stay under 30 ft you should be ok in most national parks, though number of sites you will fit into may be limited in some places.

2, For anything under 34-35 ft I would say gas, it is cheaper to buy, cheaper to maintain, and easier to find shops capable of servicing.

3, Some people feel they need the extra floor space, others feel they are one more thing to maintain.  Some brands of slides have better / worse reputations than others.

4, Not sure how this differs than question 2, though I will point out MB Sprinter service centers can be few and far between, I have read that some states don't have any MB Sprinter service centers (not all MB dealers will service Sprinter vans, and many corporate Sprinter operators do their own fleet service)

5, Personally I would not own a Thor, there are just too many horror stories out there.  If money is an object, I would opt for an older higher quality well maintained coach vs a newer Thor of the same price.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

JudyJB

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Re: Newbies RVers
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2020, 08:10:59 PM »
Just checked Zion Watchman because I have been there with my 32' Class C, and they list 25 sites that can handle a 44' rig.  Recreation.gov also tells you about overhangs at each site, so you can fit a larger vehicle and let it overhang.  I also know that Trailer Village in the Grand Canyon can handle really big rigs and vehicles.

I have been on the road for 136,000 miles and all continental US states and am trying to think where I could not fit my 32' C. 
Full-timing for over eight years and 145,000 miles in a
2012 Fleetwood Tioga Ranger 31N.
http://grandmajjb.blogspot.com/

Isaac-1

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Re: Newbies RVers
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2020, 09:32:51 PM »
There are definitely tight sites out there, such as this one that I had at a state park in Arkansas, this was sort of an any port in a storm situation, as I was stuck there for 2 day due to the fog.  Photo was taken on the second day after the fog had lifted enough to take the photo, when I arrived it was worse.

This was officially a 25 or 26 ft site, my coach is 29'5" bumper to bumper and I was backed in as far as I could get without hitting limb on that big tree at the back of the site.  If you look carefully in the background you will see a truck 2 sites down disconnected from its trailer and parked cross wise in the site to fit.  If my nose was any closer to the road I would worry about being hit by peoples towing mirrors.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

X-Roughneck

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  • 2017 Winnebago Aspect 30J
Re: Newbies RVers
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2020, 06:25:07 AM »
My tuppence worth:
1. 30 feet or less gets around just about anywhere you want to go. But really depends on your diving experience and confidence level.
    Here is an article I found a while back that speaks to the length regarding national parks in the US.
     https://camperreport.com/best-rv-length-for-national-parks/

Thanks Lars.  Bookmarked that link for future reference.
2017 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2013 Jeep
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Air Tank Adapter for braking on RV

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Only Lessons I never forgot, Were taught by my parents, or a Dog.

John/JD

Isaac-1

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Re: Newbies RVers
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2020, 11:42:39 AM »
The problem with those "up to" site lists, is that it fails to mention how few sites this may be.  Does it really count as up to 35 feet when only 2% of the sites in a given campground will officially fit a 35 ft RV?
2002 Safari Trek 2830