Best Type RV For Single Women

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michaelsmom

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I am a 56 year old woman that intends to begin full-time RVing within the next few years.  I am researching various types of RVs, and would appreciate any feedback on the pros and cons of Class A, Class C or Fifth Wheels.  I will be traveling alone with my two doxies, Hansel & Gretel.  All opinions will be greatly appreciated, as I think the best information comes from those who have been there. 

Thanks for all your help!!
 

John From Detroit

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Class A's are BIG, I mean BIG, these days they go down the road at 8 1/2 feet wide and as much as 40 feet (or more) long (I'd go for about 30 in your case)  That extra width can take some serious getting used to, took me a while and I adapt quickly to new vehicles.

You might also consider a large class "C" in your case. generally a bit easier to drive, but I'd suggest a class A.

5th wheels and Travel Trailers look good, there is one less engine to maintain, however in today's market with gas over 3.00/gallon you have to remember, With an A, going down the freeway you may get 8-9-10 MPG, with a C, aout the same, when you unhook your towed you might get 20,30, heck 50 is not out of reach (See the smart car thread here in the forum)

With a 5er or TT you unhook, your millage goes up to oh, around 12, 15 if you are lucky


Now, what you need is a nice rig that comes with a 56 year old compatable widower
 

Bob Buchanan

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michaelsmom said:
I am a 56 year old woman that intends to begin full-time RVing within the next few years.? I am researching various types of RVs, and would appreciate any feedback on the pros and cons of Class A, Class C or Fifth Wheels.? I will be traveling alone with my two doxies, Hansel & Gretel.? All opinions will be greatly appreciated, as I think the best information comes from those who have been there.?

Thanks for all your help!!

It's hard to say, Michael's Mom -- the rig chosen has so much to do with the person. There's a part of our Library that Tom can lead you too that I don't know how to do that should give a lot of info on the differences in Types. The good news of being solo is that (1) you only have to please yourself, and (2) you can live in a smaller space than 2 or more. Of course, there "are" downsides as well.  ;)

So I would begin thinking about exactly what you will want to have with you when traveling and how much space you will be comfortable in as a full timer. Another issue in Type selection is how often you will be moving from point A to B.  Most feel that a MH is easier to move more often than a 5thW. Those thoughts should lead you to "your" best rig. I personally love to go to RV shows and kick tires. It's one of my favorite pastimes and will allow you to get the feel of a rig, how much storage you will need, and so forth. Finally, do note that a Slide creates soooo much more room. I can attest to what happens to ones head when living full time in an aisle vs. a room.  :(

Here's a thought. My good friend, CJ, went thru this same evaluation a number of years ago -- and the last I heard, still has the same Class A rig. It is exactly the length and Class suggested by John in the preceding message. She has since started a Yahoo Group that might be a good place for you to check out. There are a number of RVing singles groups, but CJ's is more of a focal point of direction as to which group or activity might be best for an RVing single. There are a number of members here that are members of her group as well.

Here's her URL:

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/RVingSingles/

Good luck and keep us posted on how the research goes.
 

woodartist

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I might add that the size you get will determine where you can go...in some cases. If you want to go into remote areas, sometimes clearance and the roads will restrict travel to smaller rigs. We had to down size to go where we like :)
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I think you will find that a 26 or 30 foot Class a is the same size as a 26 or 30 foot Class C, but offers much more usable interior space and more outside storage as well.  Both are big plusses, especially when fulltiming.  And a Class A generally has a more robust chassis than a Class C, another plus. Class A's are built on motorhome chassis, which is a variant of a medium duty or heavy duty truck chassis. Nearly all Class c's are built on van or pick-up truck chasis, which is a light duty truck chassis. Exceptions are the Gulfstream Endura & Jayco Senaca, both on the Chevy Kodiak medium diesel truck chassis.
 

ArdraF

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Hi Michael's Mom,

Speaking woman-to-woman I would definitely go the motorhome route.  If you're traveling alone, safety is your number one concern.  You do NOT want to have to get out of a truck to get to your trailer (to eat, sleep, potty, etc.) if you're in a dicey area.  You want to feel safe.  With a motorhome (C or A) you can lock yourself inside and not only feel safer but BE safer.  If you decide you don't feel safe enough, pack it up and move on to a better location - all without going outside (assuming you're not hooked up in a campground).  Also I recommend getting automatic levelers/leveling because you don't have to get out of the coach to get yourself level.  Again, this is a safety issue.  You don't want to be outside by yourself hassling with boards to get level.  In other words, the more you can do for yourself without going between vehicles, the better.

As to C or A, we've had VW pop-tops, an 18-ft. C, a 22-ft C, a 30-ft C, a 34-ft A diesel pusher, and a 40-ft A diesel pusher.  I've driven them all and we've loved them all.  Initially we looked at all kinds of trailers and decided we didn't like the idea of going back and forth between truck and trailer for essentials, for many of the same reasons noted above.  With the smaller Cs we had no toad, but eventually got one with the 30-footer because wheeling through shopping center parking lots can get a little tricky the larger you go.  We now realize we missed seeing some things with the Cs because even they couldn't go everywhere.  We now have a toad everywhere we go - tried it once without and missed it.  Part of your decision will be what you like best.  Talk to a lot of people to see what will be more difficult for you.  I've watched some guys really wrestle with unhooking both travel trailers and fifth wheels and decided I would not want to do it.  Have you been RVing or are you a newbie?  Bob mentioned previously his friend CJ.  She and a lot of other single women have been doing this a long time and will have lots of hints for you.  Get in touch with them.

As to driving the C or A, what type of vehicles have you driven before?  If you drove a school bus, you can drive either one.  On the other hand, if you've only driven small cars, you might want to start smaller and work up later.  We often tell people their first RV probably will not be their last.  You may fall in love with something you see, buy it, live in it six months, and realize it really doesn't meet your needs.  Take your time and do a lot of research before plunking down the $.

Most of all, whatever you decide to buy, get out there and enjoy the world.  I hope you're reading the Brewers in Alaska thread because they're having a wonderful time, just like many of us have previously.

ArdraF

 

Jeff

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We just attended a rally with an experienced RVer whose husband died a few years ago. She traded in their older coach for a new 31' Allegro Bay Class A that she full times in and is very satified with.
 

wendyann

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ArdraF said:
Speaking woman-to-woman I would definitely go the motorhome route.  If you're traveling alone, safety is your number one concern.  You do NOT want to have to get out of a truck to get to your trailer (to eat, sleep, potty, etc.) if you're in a dicey area.  You want to feel safe.  With a motorhome (C or A) you can lock yourself inside and not only feel safer but BE safer.  If you decide you don't feel safe enough, pack it up and move on to a better location - all without going outside (assuming you're not hooked up in a campground). 

I couldn't agree more.  That's one of the main reasons I've settled on a class A when the time comes.  Even in a nicer area, why set yourself up to have to go out into bad weather if you don't have to just for those things?  Few things are quite as miserable as having to be out in the rain setting up your rig, especially in the middle of the night, and you *will* end up doing exactly that far more often than you'd hope for.  Yes, of course, you'll still have to go outside no matter what to hook up, but I'm really glad to know that automatic levelers exist, because at least you could then function until morning and hook everything else up then.

Likewise, when I do buy a rig, it's going to be one with a driver's side door as well as the main entry door, all other things being equal, for much the same reasons, and if I can find such a beast, either the main door or a secondary one either in the middle of the vehicle or towards the rear like many travel trailers have.  As a former paramedic, I am too acutely aware of how hard it could be to get someone out of a wrecked motor home if there's only one way into it, and how easily one could be trapped by a fire.  Actually, not having been able to find such a layout yet is a small part of the reason I haven't yet bought an RV. 

Also, as a short woman who also has an assortment of medical problems, I would find the cabover part of a class C impossible to use for anything at all, because I simply wouldn't be able to reach it, so it would be completely wasted space. 

Class A's do have more usable space, and they also have basements, which I've been told are pretty essential for ensuring the tanks and pipes don't freeze in the cold, and since I would want to use it as a base for skiing, that will also be a necessity for me.  And of course, the basements provide a ton of storage space.

I also agree about the problems with hooking up and unhooking a trailer.  Even if your aim lining up the hitch with the tow ball is perfect (and mine was pretty darned good as a kid with our tent trailer), sometimes you simply *have* to physically lift and move the trailer to get everything lined up right, especially if you don't land it right on the nose the first time.  That was hard enough with a lightweight little tent trailer when I was strong and in my teens; I sure wouldn't want to wrestle with anything even that small now in middle age with a bad back.  And trying to do it by yourself with no one else to help guide you, never mind the lifting?  The mind boggles.  Again, I've done it, but our trailer was so small and lightweight that once I got it moving, I could practially guide it around with a finger, and even then, it still took some serious jockeying that would have been greatly facilitated by a helper.  I seriously doubt you could do that with most larger rigs.

Which brings me to one more essential, IMO, especially for a single RVer, namely a backup monitor, or whatever they're called.

And then how do you keep a trailer from getting stolen?  I remember massive hitch locks that completely covered the hole on the tongue for when you're parked and set up, but is there any way to ensure that the rig stays hooked up to the tow vehicle and someone else doesn't just wheel it away, say, while you're in the rest stop?  The last time I tried to research this, I couldn't even find hitch locks for stationary use like we used to have, never mind any information on how to lock the trailer onto the tow vehicle in any meaningful way.

Wendy

 

michaelsmom

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MY GOODNESS, SO MANY WONDERFUL ANSWERS!!  I apologize for not responding sooner, but dumb me thought I'd get an email message when someone posted a response, like with some of the other forums, so I just now realized you sweet people had given input.  And, yes, I am very much a newbie.  I've wanted to do this since I was a little kid so am now researching to pursue my dream.  And the largest thing I've ever driven is a small U-Haul truck, but I'm pretty adaptable.

John in Detroit, where do I go to find "a nice rig that comes with a 56 year old compatible widower"?  That might be worth checking out!!    ;)

Please keep those super opinions coming --- all are very appreciated and are helping me so much. 

P. S.  IS there a way to be notified via email of a new post to a question I started???
 

Tom

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michaelsmom said:
IS there a way to be notified via email of a new post to a question I started???

Yes there is - it's explained here. However, be aware that last evening our forum was exploited by a spammer who sent messages to a number of folk's email addreses using the email notification feature, so you may wish to skip that for now.
 

michaelsmom

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Yes, Tom, I emailed you today also about receiving mail from "the spammer", so not having notification on didn't protect me from that anyway.  I think I've fixed my profile, but would appreciate it if you would send me a reply to this just to check it out.

Thanks!!
 

Tom

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This is a the requested reply. But, be advised that there are two types of email notification in the forum, both accessible from your Profile. One sets email notification for replies to public messages here, the other sets email notification for Personal (Private) Messages. You may have one turned on and the other turned off.

Note that it was the notification of PMs that caused folks to receive those emails last evening.
 

Eric_and_Levi

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My vote would definetly be on a Class A. 

With a class A or C you don't have to get out to drive away.
Class A's typically provide more headroom (I'm 6'5" and had to stoop in most C's)
Class A's generally come standard with auto-levelers (Big plus, had a couple RV's that had manual leveler's...  Just a pain)
You don't have to deal with a kingpin.
Towing is much easier...

Just my thoughts,
Eric
 

keywester

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My wife and I have rented different models before we bought, spent a weekend in them and then judged. The little things make a huge difference especially if you're going to stare at it or use it every day. I didn't like the way Class C's moved when someone walks around in them and you're sitting or lying down. Class A's don't budge. We can also put a year's worth of belongings in an A, where a lot of C's have small storage doors. Rent stuff first...it's expensive but it's going to be your house!
 

tsisco

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Don't worry about any rig being "too big" for you to handle.  Just by indicating you are going to become a FT indicates your are willing to tackle just about anything on your own.  My DW and I go to dog shows 2-3 times per month and she is always saying "Look, there's a woman driving that (huge) rig."  (She's not as independent as you.)  Find the size you need and go for it... you will be able to adapt to the size in short order.  I see too many people buying too small of a motor home for fear they can't control it and then biting the bullet when they trade it in a few months later for the bigger rig they should have bought in the first place.

You can do it!
 

Jim Dick

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Hi Michaelsmom,

It's hard to say what might be right for you. A lot depends upon how you envision your travels. Fith wheels allow for more room but are more suited to staying in one place for a longer period of time. Class C's are OK but there's not a lot of room for storage which most full timers require. That leaves Class A's.

Yes, class A's are pretty big and seem very intimidating. However, they are no harder to drive than a family car!!! You just have to get comfortable with the length and width and everything else falls into place. We live full time in a 40' motor coach and I would rather drive that than the toad!!!
 

Jim Godward

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Several of the women on this forum drive MHs from 34' to over 40'.  Choose what you think you will need and learn to drive it.  My wife is very comfortable driving our 38' with towed and in fact drives almost 95% of the time now.  I like to drive but "yes dear" is much easier.   VBG
 

baysidegal

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Dec 27, 2006
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Wow Keywester just gave me one of the biggest reasons why I should
go for a Class A rather than a C....a lot of movement when someone
walks around...I HATE that!

That being said then....What is the BEST choice for an OLDER SMALL Class A
preferably w/ an island bed....and a slide would be nice..

Roofs...fiberglass, aluminum?

Fleetwood, Winnebago, Lazy Daze, Coach House, Big Foot?
 
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