Dispersed Tent Camping And RV Boondocking Is Easier Than You Think!

Dispersed Tent Camping And RV Boondocking Is Easier Than You Think!

How To Refill 1 lb Propane Cylinders, Tanks And Small Camping Propane Bottles - Camping For Foodies .com

29 March, 201929 March, 2019


Kim Hanna

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Why throw away “disposable” small camping propane bottles when you can refill them? It is easy, safe, inexpensive and environmentally

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BLM Arizona Camping Near Wickenburg AZ for free RV boondocking is perfect for January and the winter months of the year by CampingForFoodies

6 February, 201918 March, 2019


Kim Hanna

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BLM Arizona Camping Near Wickenburg AZ When people ask me “What are the pros and cons of living in Phoenix

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Best Quiet Generators For Camping Calculate The Size - Camping For Foodies .com

18 January, 201918 March, 2019


Pete

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Best Quiet Generators For Camping By Pete | My Husband’s Corner The best quiet generators for camping are not the

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DIY Glam Camping Ideas And Tips And Cute Glamping Accessories For Do It Yourself RV And Tent Glamping, Glamping Gifts, Fun Gear, Awesome Decor, Furniture, Lights, Decorations, Camping Hacks And Products By CampingForFoodies.

11 November, 201818 March, 2019


Kim Hanna

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DIY Glam Camping Ideas Start With Fun Glamping Accessories Go from camping to glam camping instantly by adding cute glamping accessories to

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Hang Bungee Over Corner How To Tie Down An Awning With This Genius RV Awning Tie Down DIY Hack by CampingForFoodies

9 September, 201818 March, 2019


Pete

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Genius RV Awning Tie Down Hack How To DIY VIDEO By Pete | My Husband’s Corner We hate the

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Yosemite National Park Must See Attractions VIDEO And Tips By CampingForFoodies

11 August, 201818 March, 2019


Kim Hanna

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Yosemite National Park Must See Attractions VIDEO And Tips The sites in Yosemite National Park are jaw-dropping! Everywhere you turn

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Make Your Favorite Easy Slow Cooker Recipes Camping With Your Dutch Oven Using A Slow Cooker Conversion Chart And Awesome CampingForFoodies Cast Iron Outdoor Cooking Dutch Ovens Recipes!

28 June, 201818 March, 2019


Kim Hanna

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Easy Slow Cooker Recipes Camping Dutch Oven Conversion Chart Every family has their favorite slow cooker recipes. They taste even

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Tent Camping Terminology And RV Terms You Need To Know CampingForFoodiesTent Camping Terminology And RV Terms You Need To Know and the CampingForFoodies tent camping hacks campsite dwellers must be aware of for a great camp trip!

12 June, 201818 March, 2019


Pete

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Tent Camping Terminology And RV Terms You Really Need To Know By Pete | My Husband’s Corner Occasionally around campsites,

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Tips for camping in the rain and hacks so you don’t float away with wet weather camping essentials, games and activities for camping in the rain with kids and CampingForFoodies rainy day camp cooking tips.

18 April, 201818 March, 2019


Kim Hanna

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So, the weather forecast calls for a chance of rain and you have a camping trip planned! What do you

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The I’m Unplugging Hammock


The I'm Unplugging Hammock Relax Fold Go by Camping For Foodies

Disclosures

Camping For Foodies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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Overnight RV Parking

Overnight RV Parking























It’s possible to travel across North America and find free overnight RV parking
everywhere you go. I know because we do it.


The only time we resort to staying in Wal-Mart parking lots or their equivalent
is in the really big cities and only if we have arrived somewhere too
late in the day to scout out any other safe options.








Update!





Since writing this list, a brand new and very viable option has been added!









It’s like you discovered signs like this hanging from mailboxes in every part of the country:

Boondockers Welcome Club




Join Boondockers Welcome for FREE overnight RV parking on fellow RVer’s private property all across the continent!





















We’ve been able to find free overnight RV parking pretty well anywhere
we’ve ever traveled. “How?” you ask. As you will see, it does involve a bit of
time and effort.


I’d like to acknowledge and thank Lee Turner who, after purchasing all of my
boondocking guides,
submitted his own
advice for finding free overnight RV parking to the RV Basics website’s
Tip Of The Day.


I’ve just expanded on that list here, based on our experience:



  1. Examine the possibilities.

    Whether city or rural, scout out the area for potential free overnight RV
    parking locations that would suit you.



  2. Look for and respect signage.

    Avoid any area with “No Trespassing” or “No Overnight Parking” signage. Note
    that sometimes a sign with a picture of a tent with a line through it or a sign
    that reads “no camping” may only be there to ensure that tents aren’t set up
    but, as long as overnight parking is allowed, free RV camping may be okay.


  3. Ask permission.

    Whether your potential site is on public property or private, ask around,
    (nearby neighbors, at the town hall, etc.) and find the person who can give
    permission. Then ask as nicely as possible.



  4. Be friendly and honest. Let people get to know you and your intentions.

    Take the time to chat and let people get to know you – how and why you are
    traveling, and that you only need a spot to park and sleep overnight.


  5. Avoid using the word “camping.”

    If you call it that, people may envision you setting up a tent, a campfire,
    and creating your bathroom behind a tree. Mention that you have everything you
    need on board, including your own bathroom. If they know nothing about RVs and
    are curious, consider offering a tour of your camper.
    Tell them that finding free overnight RV parking “occasionally” is the only
    reason you can continue to travel. Talk about some of the other free overnight
    RV parking situations you’ve had recently.



  6. Keep your RV and yourself in good, clean, neat, presentable condition.

    People will judge you by your appearances. If it looks like you take good care
    of yourself and your RV (even an older model) it tells them you will be
    considerate of their property too.


  7. Befriend security guards and local police.

    Parking lots for stores, casinos, public transit stations, etc. that are open
    24 hours often have security guards. Talk to them. Let them get to know you.
    Tell them up front how long you plan to stay, about your plans to shop in the
    store, eat in the restaurant, or take the subway into town in the morning, and
    what you hope to see and do while you’re in the area.
    Offer them a coffee. They have boring jobs and will enjoy the interaction and
    may even keep an eye on your RV while you’re absent. The same rule holds true
    for police officers, especially in a small town. They’ll feel a lot more
    comfortable with you being parked here, if you approach them before they feel
    they have to approach you and if they know you and what you’re up to.


  8. Ask locals.

    Ask the person at the local visitor’s center, the clerk in the grocery store,
    the gas station attendant, the person at the side of the road cutting his lawn,
    or anyone who lives in the area if they can think of a place you might be able
    to spend a night or two in a free, secluded, safe area. Talk to everyone you
    meet. We’ve even been invited to camp in people’s driveways.


  9. Ask at outfitters or outdoor gear stores.

    Personnel at these stores can be a great resource for finding free
    overnight RV parking. Even if you’re not a fisherman, ask where you might be
    able to fish (and camp) in the area for a few days or if there are any great
    hiking trails in the area and if you could park overnight at the trailhead.


  10. Be inconspicuous.

    Don’t set up your lawn furniture, barbecue grill, etc. unless the setting is
    appropriate and you know it’s permitted. If the best you can find is an
    overnight curb-side parking spot, don’t sit there with your interior lights on
    and music blaring into the night. Spend your time away from the RV, perhaps in
    a nearby park, and come back only to quietly and immediately go to sleep. Then,
    get up early and move back to the park.
    This type of free RV camping is commonly called “stealth camping.” If you’re
    staying more than one night, choose a different parking spot, preferably in
    another part of town, on the next night.










  11. Don’t push your luck or overstay your welcome.

    Even when you have permission for free overnight RV parking, keep to your
    promised time frame, whether that is one night or two – just enough to see the
    area. If the property owner thinks you’ve “moved in” for the season, or his
    neighbors start asking questions, you will spoil it for others who may ask for
    the same favor in the future and for yourself should you ever want to return.


  12. Have a Plan B.

    Even when you think you won’t encounter a problem you may get a knock on the
    door after dark to ask that you move. Never argue but apologize, thank them for
    letting you know, and agree to move right away.
    Always have a plan B. Decide ahead of time where you will go if this happens –
    perhaps the local campground will be where you end up after all but always ask
    for a suggestion from the person who’s asking you to move. Chances are this
    isn’t the first time they have encountered this situation and may be aware of a
    nearby suitable place you can go.We’ve had this happen only three times and
    both security guards and policemen have given us directions to nearby free
    overnight RVparking options that were both safe and lawful.


  13. Town festivals and special events – opportunities for free overnight RV parking.

    Most towns and cities don’t have enough campgrounds to accommodate all the
    visitors that arrive for special festival weekends. This presents a free
    overnight RV parking opportunity that may not exist during the rest of the
    year. There might be a free designated overflow camping area where you can camp
    beside the entertainers, carnival staff and other festival participants.” Even
    if there isn’t, during these special dates, a blind eye is often turned to
    camping in the local park or parking lots near the events.


  14. Busy bars and licensed establishments.

    Restaurants and bars that serve alcohol prefer that patrons do not drink and
    drive. They are also used to seeing a vehicle left in the parking lot overnight
    so are not likely to question it or contact the authorities as long as you
    leave promptly in the morning. You might have guessed this is far down the list
    for a reason; at closing time, the parking lot can get a little bit noisy.


  15. Ask any place where you have spent money.

    Any business owner who has just benefited from your business may be willing to
    let you park overnight for free. Smaller (non-chain) businesses such as vehicle
    repair facility, restaurant, and even a laundromat might be a good bet. Be sure
    you are speaking with the manager and ask them to ensure the person who opens
    up in the morning is made aware.


  16. Follow the Frugal Shunpiker’s Guides.

    Since I’ve already done the homework for you in many areas of the country, my
    Frugal Shunpiker’s travel guides
    will save you a lot of time and effort. They will direct you to legal free
    overnight RV parking, usually at a place where you can pull out your awning
    and barbecue and fully set up for camping. We’ve discovered free areas like
    that near the most popular parks and attractions in several states. Be sure
    to subscribe to my
    RSS feed
    to find out when new editions of the guides are published.


  17. Show gratitude.

    Make this a positive experience for everyone. If someone has helped you find
    free overnight RV parking, show your appreciation. Before leaving the area,
    stop in to say how much you appreciated it, to say goodbye, leave a them a
    token gift or, if this isn’t possible, send a post card or thank you note
    within a few days.

Finding overnight RV parking (boondocking) has changed in the fifteen years since we started RVing. Find out how.





















Return from Free Overnight RV Parking
to Frugal-RV-Travel Home Page












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Your Place for RV Camping

Your Place for RV Camping

Including RV Sites, Horse Corral, and Pavilion!

Take a load off and rest awhile at Cowboy Camp RV. We feature a wide variety of RV sites to fit your RV, as well as hook-ups and electricity. In the near future, we plan to open a horse corral and pavilion. Call our camping site at (903) 660-2025 for availability information.

Riding Trails – RV Sites in Hallsville, TX

RV Sites

Cowboy Camp RV accommodates 24 RVs, including 7 pull-throughs. We feature anti-freeze spigots and up to 50-amp breakers. We are a family-oriented park, so we always keep our sites very clean. Our staff wants you to come and join our family so that you can grow up with us.

Horse Corral

Our staff is currently building a horse corral for individuals traveling on the trails with their horses. We expect our corral to accommodate between 5 and 6 horses at a time. Our business expects to have this corral up and running by 2013.

Clubhouse “The Sasparilla”

We have almost completed our new clubhouse to accommodate our social butterflies. Our Clubhouse, known as “The Sasaparilla”, features a variety of activities, such as a full kitchen, karaoke, horseshoes, dominoes, and cribbage. It is also going to accomodate weddings, anniversaries, family reunions, office parties and more. We plan to have it completed by the end of 2012.

Contact us in Hallsville, Texas, at (903) 660-2025 for more information about our RV sites.

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Recreational Vehicle Camping Information – Boondocking

Recreational Vehicle Camping Information – Boondocking

The term “Boondocking” means different things to different RV campers. Dry camping, dispersed camping, and any time RV hookups are not available parking have been refered to as “Boondocking”.


www.rv-camping.org defines Boondocking as remote location RV camping. With this in mind, you might call boondocking advanced RV camping. This type of RV camping isn’t for everyone. RV camping in remote areas requires research, exploration, and a sense of adventure to find great RV campsites.


Not sure if you’re ready for boondocking? The Boondocking Basics book will provide you information about living without hookups in your RV, and other related boondocking information for beginners.


Boondocking Locations


Generally speaking, boondocking is allowed anywhere on federal public lands within 300 feet of any estabilished road, except where otherwise restricted. That’s not to say that you can cut down trees or build a new access way into your RV campsite. The idea is to utilize previously used campsites, or areas that will not be damaged by your vehicles access to the campsite.


US National Parks do not allow overnight RV parking and boondocking, and overnight stays are limited to designated campgrounds. USFS (United States Forest Service) and BLM (Bureau of Land Management) high popularity areas often have restricted camping areas. For example, the area around Mammoth Lakes, CA is extremely popular with tourists, and many areas allow camping only in designated campgrounds. Information about camping restrictions are available at USFS Ranger District and BLM Resource Area offices.


Generally speaking, you can stay 14 continuous days for free, but subsequent camping days must be 25 miles away. This rule applies to most BLM and USFS administered lands, but there are exceptions. For example, the INYO National Forest of California allows 42 day stays at designated camping areas, while the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming has areas that it allows only 3 day stays near Grand Teton National Park. BLM LTVAs (Long Term Visitor Areas) allow stays of several months for a nominal fee.


We’ve only mentioned the USFS and BLM so far, but FWS (US Fish & Wildlife Service), ACE (Army Corps of Engineers), Bureau of Reclamation, State Parks, and State owned lands offer boondocking opportunities. Arizona for example has a permit available for a nominal fee allowing boondocking on State lands.


There are also boondocking opportunities to be found on private lands. Ranches and farms may have a corner of the “back 40” they will allow you to stay for free or small fee. If you find a spot you would like to camp that is on private land, it never hurts to ask. We’ve had good success in farm country asking permission to camp at nice areas near a river with good access for overnight boondocking…we usually share the space with cows.


How To Find Great Boondocking Sites


So now that you know that you can set up camp just about anywhere in the forest, how do you go about finding a great RV camping/boondocking site? This is where the work starts, but the harder you work at it, the better the RV campsite you’ll find. If you live near the public lands area you wish to camp in, your task is easier as you can explore more frequently and learn the area completely. For those of us that travel and want to find great boondocking sites, we’ve found that doing our homework before we get to a new area will always pay off with a great boondocking site.


RV type and size changes where you boondock. Pop up and truck campers have a distinct advantage for getting to really remote RV camping sites. When you have a large 5th wheel or motorhome, boondocking seems more difficult, but with just a little practice, you will soon determine how to explore effectively to accomodate your rig.


The easiest way of finding RV boondocking sites in a new area requires that you:


  • Have maps and navigational information
  • Contact Public Lands administrators for the area being visited
  • Locate a “base” campground

Exploration After determining a general location you wish to boondock, it’s time examine some general information. USFS – United States Forest Service, BLM – Bureau of Land Management, and other State and US Government departments have Internet web sites with recreation information. Getting official travel maps of a new area can help in finding a good RV camping site. Topographical maps are in our opinion the best way to determine where we want to camp. While we prefer National Geographic shaded relief Topo maps, MapTech is our choice for online topo mapping information. Examine the Topo map for areas that look interesting for your type of RV camping. It won’t take long to find areas that look interesting to you.


The areas you find with your Topo map can further be researched by contacting the local public lands administrators. Ask about dispersed camping in the area you are interested in. You may or may not get the answers you need. Some of the folks providing information may not be aware of some great RV camping sites. Get information about designated campgrounds and if reservations are required.


Armed with the campground information, locate one near where you think you want to boondock. This campground will be your “base” camp to explore for that perfect RV boondocking site. You will often find a great RV camping site on the way to the designated campground, which eliminates the need for exploration, but always plan on needing to find your own RV camping site.


Exploring can be fun, but it’s also frustrating from time to time. Our frustrations always come from finding great RV camping sites that don’t offer a clear view of the southern sky for our satellite internet connection. Most folks won’t have that as an issue, and will easily find boondocking sites. The size of your RV is a major consideration when heading into remote areas, and be sure to consider potential weather changes and how they might effect road conditions where you want to camp.


Advanced RV Camping


Once you find that terrific RV boondocking site, it’s time to settle in and enjoy the area. Conserving your resources is the key to enjoyable boondocking. Leave No Trace camping principles should be your guide to help protect our RV camping resources for future generations. Boondocking offers the RVer the most options for outdoor recreation, but the responsibility of good stewardship towards the land is in your hands. You wouldn’t want to find a great RV boondocking site that has trash and human and pet waste all over the area, and you shouldn’t leave your site that way either. Always leave your RV camping site better than you found it.


Here are a few tips to extend your resources:


Battery charge can be extended by turning off your furnace/heater at night and adding a blanket or two to the bed. Turn off lights when not needed. Minimize use of TV and other electric power appliances. Florescent lights use less energy. Solar power and an inverter can set you free electrically. Generators are popular for extending RV camping trips too, but try and limit their useage to battery charging.


Extend your RV propane supply by turning off your water heater and only use it when needed. Adding that extra blanket to your bed will save propane too. Put on a sweater or jacket instead of turning up the heat.


Water…It seems you can never have enough. Carry extra water containers if you can. Take very short “military” showers. Wash dishes once a day after wiping dirty dishes off with paper towels. Wash dishes in a dishpan. Use disposable dishes, cups, and eating utensils. An electric transfer pump can move water from containers into your RVs fresh tank easily. Using an old milk jug filled with water for flushing is much more water efficient than letting your RVs toilet do the job.


Bears poop in the woods, and you can too. As long as you are well away from water, digging a “cathole” is perfectly acceptable, and part of the Leave No Trace camping principles mentioned above.


Your dirty dish water can be dispersed as long as you are well away from water sources. Don’t dump it in the same place all the time as flys will become a problem. Some folks use their dish water for flushing purposes.


Other Boondocking Resources


Boondocking locations can be found on the Internet on RV forums and newsgroups. Local chamber of commerce offices and visitor centers are good places to inquire at too. Talking to other RVers is one of the best ways to find new places, but be aware that many people don’t want to share their favorite RV camping and boondocking sites. Free camping guides may point you towards some great boondocking sites, and our Free Camping Section has some wonderful boondocking spots as well.


Finding great RV camping and boondocking sites can be a bit of work, but with some research and exploration, you should find exactly what you are looking for. www.rv-camping.org



Source

Boondocking | Best RV Living

Boondocking | Best RV Living


Boondocking when it comes to RV’ing, means to make camp without any external hookups. No electricity, water or sewage. With the rising costs of nightly camping, boondocking can be a viable option when you are on route to your destination but just need to stop for the night. Or just to save a couple of bucks.

To be honest, I just heard of the term boondocking and I’ll be sure to post more as I learn more. But here’s a rundown of what I’ve discovered with a bit of searching on the Internet.

Always the biggest problem is getting enough water and electrical power to cover your needs while unhooked. Fortunately electrical can be covered by the fact that if you have a generator in your unit and it has the right capacity, then your are covered. I’ve been told that a general rule of thumb when boondocking with air conditioning, you will want to have at least a 3,000 watt generator. Or else you could burn out the air unit or the generator or both.

With using a generator, you have to realize that you are using diesel to run the generator and one writer mentioned that you can eat up $10 of diesel overnight running the generator to run the air conditioning. Good point. I’ll add more here when I find out more details.

Second, is the water. That is an issue. You only have a finite amount of water and you have to conserve it. You can make use of facilities that allow you to replenish like the Flying J’s in the states. So, I guess one could over come this problem. But if you are in the bush far away from replenishments, that could become an issue very quickly.

I’ve read that you can normally boondock for up to four or five days without getting water. So, that’s a good point to remember for remote travelling. But I’m thinking of keeping to civilization, so I’ll just have to plan out the replenishment points while boondocking every three or four days.

Where to boondock?

I’ve also read that most have never been turned away from any place they’ve wanted to boondock. Stores such as WalMarts and Targets as well as truck stops like Flying J’s welcome overnight camping. (It’s recommended that you don’t say 24 hours. You’ll surely get a knock if you try to stay more then that.)

Many have boondocked in church parking lots. Driveways and side yards of relatives are another great idea for boondocking. They take our home to visit their homes while they visit their families.

Out west many have found many “safety rest areas” just off main highways and even stayed at visitor centers. Some membership campgrounds offer boondocking sites and we always use them. Some of the best boondocking areas are state and national parks and national forests where camping is often free.

So, boondocking looks like quite the viable option. I’d love to hear your experience good and bad regarding boondocking! Thanks!




Source

Have Questions About RV Life and Travel? Ask Here. Get Answers

Have Questions About RV Life and Travel? Ask Here. Get Answers

What have you always wanted to know about RVing but were afraid to ask? Or, didn’t know who to ask? Well… this page is for you. Ask away….

Click below to see the questions that have already been asked and to read my answers or add your comments.

RV Toilet Smells
An RV Life and Travel reader writes about the stinky smell from an RV toilet: I have been in my RV for a month and I am a full-time RVer. I love it but …

Shopping Without Moving the RV
When you need to go grocery shopping or otherwise get supplies or go out, is there a way to do it without having to move your RV? We have a class A motorhome. …

RV Washer and Dryers
Which RVs have clothes washers and dryers in them, and which W/D is a good buy? What are the pros and cons of having a W/D in my RV?

Bob, the RVing …

RV Generator Receptacle
My question is about my RV generator receptacle. I just purchased a used 2007 Coachman motorhome. When going from shore power to generator power, it says …

RV Breakdown Fears
I’m a single mom. Fear of RV breakdowns and stories of others buying “lemons” for their first motorhome is scaring me out of fulfilling my dream of full …

Water Filters and Your RV
We bought a trailer that does not have any water filters. We would like to have running water in our trailer, so we can shower and do dishes. However, …

Clogged RV Toilets
How do you keep your RV toilet from clogging? We have been full time camping for only two weeks and the toilet is clogged. We are unsure how to unclog. …

Flat Tires and Blown Tires
Out of the last three camping trips, we have had two flat tires each on different tires. Our camper is only two years old. We have a 35 ft. 5th wheeler. …

RV Tire Cupping and Shocks
My front tires are cupping; they are mud and snow. What are the best shocks for my 1982 Toyota 1/2 ton camper? One person says I need new shocks. Mine …

Slow Cookers in RVs
Hi – I am contemplating taking my slow cooker (heavy as it is) with us on a six month snow-birding 5th wheel trip. Has anyone done this and used the cooker? …

Telephones in Campgrounds
I am curious if you know of any campgrounds that have a landline hook-up for the phone? Thank you.

Coleen, the RVing editor replies:

Hi Angel, …

Fifth-Wheel Toy Hauler Buying Tips
We’ve decided to buy a 5th wheel trailer, a toy hauler, for our first RV. We’re soooo excited about getting a 5-er! Would you please give us some tips …

Electrical Shocks from RV
We are getting shocks from our RV, electrical shocks. We have a late 1960’s small RV that we recently bought. It’s in excellent shape for its year. However, …

Cleaning the RV Toilet
I have a question about cleaning the toilet in our recreational vehicle. It’s a fifth-wheel trailer. What type of toilet cleaners can safely be used in …

Improving Motorhome Ride and Handling
Would replacing the shocks (air, Bilstein, etc?) help the ride and handling on my 1999 Holiday Rambler Vacationer? Also, I’m wondering about a stabilizer …

RV Dealership Websites
I actually work for an RV dealership in Florida, Florida Outdoors RV. I was wondering what you, as an RV consumer, look for when pursuing an RV dealership …

Caterpillar or Cummins?
Caterpillar or Cummins? We are looking at a diesel and want to know. Does Cat or Cummins get better MPG? Which is the quietest? Which size engine for which …

Locating Gas Stations
How do you find gas stations? We are traveling to Myrtle Beach this summer with a travel trailer and a diesel pick up truck. We are looking for gas stations …

RV Air Quality Concern
I’m writing about the air quality inside the RV. I’m concerned about the chemicals that may provide smells, (i.e. formaldehyde) and perhaps present danger …

Backing Up a Pop-up Camper
Please give me an easy lesson on how to back up a pop up tent trailer.

Bob replies: I’ll try to muddle through this. I’ve been backing trailers for …

Traveling With the Propane On
Is it okay to travel with the propane furnace on, when traveling when outside temps are below freezing? Is it okay to travel with the refrigerator operating …

Power Inverters and C-pap Machines
Will C-pap machines work with power inverters? My husband and I have bought our motorhome and will be RVing fulltime by August of this year. We bought …

Wireless Pet Containment
Anyone know the real story on the new Perimeter Wifi wireless pet containment system? Looking for reviews from real people. Such as how well it transmits …

Cost Cutting RV Tips
What tips do you have for cutting the cost of RVing? How do you use your RV to save money on vacation? What frugal tips can you share to help your fellow …

Why Are You a Full-time RVer?
Why are you a full-time RVer? Just what made you decide to move into a recreational vehicle and call it home? We tend to think that other people do things …

Adding Shocks to a Travel Trailer
Should I install shocks on my travel trailer? I’m not new to RV’ing, but what has always bugged be is that everything inside is scattered all over after …

Mail Service for Full-time RVing
Can someone give us some information about the mail service you use while full-timing? We will be newbies very soon and need lots of information from you …

Health Insurance for Full-time RVers
Because we are not yet medicare age, what health insurance company will insure us any place in the US? We will probably establish residency in Florida …

RVers Establishing Residency
We will be selling our home before full-timing. How do we establish residency in Florida or any state? Thank you, Nancy

Coleen, the RVing editor …

Name that Campground with a Tower and Zipline
A campground with a tower in the middle of a man-made swimming lake and zipline…. Now just how many of those can there be out there? We’re looking to …

WiFi while Fulltime RVing
What is the best way to get WiFi for my laptop while traveling?

Coleen, the RVing editor replies:

For many RVers, it isn’t one best way to connect …

Dogs and Full-time RVing
How many RV parks allow you to bring dogs? We would like to start this year as RVers, but have dogs that are a part of the family and they would have to …

Freshwater Holding Tank
I’m sure this is a “dumb” question, but I bought a used 5th wheel trailer. The freshwater holding tank is 2/3 full. I’ve never used my freshwater tank …

Alaska Marine Highway
I have some questions about going to Alaska. How hard was it to got thru the border? Do you need a passport? Didn’t used to; we lived in Michigan. How …

Fulltime RVer Living in Alaska
How can you be a full-timer and live in Alaska? My wife and I have been considering the full-time RV lifestyle, but we live in the Yukon Territory, Canada. …

RVers in Wheelchairs
We are looking for info on RVing in / from a wheelchair. For us, a 5’er seems best. I have made plans for one but have not found any real dependable info. …

Solar for Boondocking
We want to go solar for boondocking. Currently, we have one 12 volt marine battery. Our needs are few, but our wants are many.

How many batteries and …

Unmetered RV Hook-ups
For RV hook-ups, what does unmetered mean? I see campground ads for unmetered hook-ups and I don’t know how they are different from regular ones. They …

North Dakota Winters
North Dakota winters … and I’m going to live in a pull style older bumper pull trailer. I live in north Idaho. I have a 1991 454 3/4 ton truck, that will …

Unused RV
Hi! I am interested in buying an RV. I’ve found one that fits my price range and its size is perfect for my family & my vehicle. But, it is a 2007, “never …

AK Canada Highway in May?
Since you traveled the AK Canada Highway in the spring, how are the roads in May to get to Alaska? We would enter through Calgary, just above Montana. …

CO Detector
My CO detector is going off. I have a bad smell in my R.V., like cat urine or BO. Can it be a gas leak or my batteries draining? Please help. I don’t want …

FL Mail Processing Centers
What is a good mail service in Florida, to use to not only to process mail while on the road, but also to help with establishing Florida residency?

RVers Attitudes Have Changed
I have been camping – RVing on and off full time for many years (25). As of late, I have found that we full timers and others have had a recent change …

Budgeting
Budgeting…. How do I plan for full time RV life budgeting and expenses beyond the obvious? What are some things I need to plan for both on a monthly …

Living in a 5th Wheel
Is it bad to live in a 5th wheel trailer for a long period of time? Like two or more years? What problems will it cause to the 5th wheeler? Anything I …

Christian Workcamping
How do we get started workcamping? We would like to be part of a Christian group doing odd jobs or needs, vbs, or whatever God needs us to do while enjoying …

RV Depreciation
Why the small depreciation on used RVs? As a single woman, I’ve been looking at Class B vehicles, such at RoadTrek and other vans, but even the used models …

Breaker Tripping Problems
I have a 31 ft. Fleetwood Prowler and when I plug the power cord in to any outlet it will trip the general purpose 15 amp breaker. I didn’t have problems …

Bathrooms
Can we use the bathroom in the RV when it is in motion on the highway, or do we have to stop at rest stops to use their bathrooms?

Coleen, the RVing …

Campgrounds in Winnipeg
We will be visiting Winnipeg in June and July. We think we understand all that is needed to cross the border into Canada, but we are concerned about where …

Domicile Information
How do I determine what the State of Kansas considers to be a citizen for tax purposes? I am considering spending a lot of time RVing in Texas, but will …

Tag Number
Tag number… What is it? Where is it? When are you required to know or show it for a 5th wheel?

Coleen, the working while RVing editor comments: …

Campgrounds to Alaska
My husband and I are planning a three month trip thru Canada and Alaska this summer. I’m wondering about the best way to find out about campgrounds in …

Becoming a Work Camper
My husband and I love to travel and are considering becoming work campers next year. When would be a good time to start looking for jobs for the next season? …

Preventing Generator Theft
This concerns preventing generator theft. We are in the process of buying two 2000 watt Honda generators. My question is, How do you keep them from being …

Generator
I would like to know if the 4000 watt Champion generator that I just bought is going to be enough to run my AC in my Keystone Montana 2955rl.

Coleen, …

RV Height
Is an RV height of 9′ 6″ getting too high for many places? New pickup truck camper, and max height of it all is 9′ 6″ and I did wonder. At that height, …

Triple Towing
Do you know what states that you cannot do a triple tow? Such as a trailer and a small trailer behind our self contained trailer? I understand that there …

Firewood for Camping
How do we get firewood for camping now that we have a motorhome? We just purchased a 36′ class a motorhome. We do not intend to use a toad of any type. …

Cost for Full-time RVing
What does it cost for full-time RVing? Filled with wanderlust, we’re considering the full-time RV lifestyle. However, since most of our outings have been …

Toyota’s Winnebago Look-a-Like
I am looking for an RV that looks like a Winnebago. It was made in the late 1970’s to the early 1980’s. It did not have the pick-up front end. It was also …

Campgrounds Around San Ramon, Ca
Campgrounds around San Ramon, Ca.

Coleen, the working while RVing editor replies:

I’m taking a guess here that you are asking me to recommend campgrounds …

RV Water Tanks
We don’t use our RV water tanks. Since I’ve owned my motorhome, I have never put water in my holding tanks. I shut the valves off to my tanks. We don’t …

Vehicle Registration
In regards to my vehicle registration, how long can I stay in a state? As a full-time RVer, is there any limit to how long I can stay in a particular state …

RV Singles Meeting Singles
Do you know where I could meet up with other RV singles who may be seeking someone to travel with?

Coleen, the working while RVing editor replies: …

Credit Checks for Campgrounds
We are running into some issues about hitting the road. The problem is that most of the nice campgrounds around San Diego want to be paid the month that …

Mexican Violence
Saw in your newsletter that you are headed to Port Isabel, TX. We were thinking of going to south Texas, also, but concerned about the Mexican violence …

Camping Partner
I’m looking for a camping partner. I’m looking for someone to split expenses with me for RVing. I’m retired and bored. Please help.

Coleen, the working …

Dry Hookup
What does a dry hookup mean? Is there elec, but no water?

Coleen, the RVing editor replies:

A dry hookup RV site means there is an electrical hookup, …

Gas Stations – Good Ones
Is there anyone who has started a list or website that has good gas stations – easy to pull in and out of with a trailer? There don’t seem to be a lot. …

Name of RV Dealer
There used to be a great RV dealer right off the Ventura Frwy in California on the south side of the freeway either in Ventura or Oxnard. It wasn’t huge, …

Class A Verses 5th Wheel for Full Time RVing
We have no RV experience and are planning on living in the RV we purchase. Which do you think is better for full time living? A fifth wheel or Class A? …

Booking Sites
My wife and I are considering booking a motorhome for three weeks. We would be picking it up from and returning it to Los Angeles. We are wanting to tour …

Keep Mice Out
I’ve heard there is a household spice I can put out to keep mice out of my trailer. Can you tell me what it is? Do you have any other ideas, or better …

Fridge, Travel, and Propane
Can you travel longer distances with your propane on in your recreational vehicle? So your fridge food and freezer food stays cold/frozen? I have heard …

Parking Near Salt Water
We are worried about parking near salt water. We are buying a Montana 5th wheel and want to camp very close to the beach so we can walk to the sand and …

RV Parking
I’m getting closer to the time to purchase that RV and have a question about RV parking. I read everything I can, and was wondering, do most campgrounds …

Prescriptions on the Road
I’m having trouble figuring out how to get prescriptions on the road, especially since they are all filled on different dates, and my insurance won’t fill …

Class B Motorhomes
We’re thinking a Class B motorhome might be our next recreational vehicle. We don’t have camper van experience. What brand of Class B do you have and like? …

In Motion Mobile Satellite
Where is the best place to look for an in motion mobile satellite unit for my RV? … And Coleen replies asking other site visitors to share their experience …

First Recreational Vehicle
When was the first recreational vehicle created? I know RVs have been around a long time. But, when do they consider the first one was built and used? …

Freezing Water Lines
I’m living full time in northern Illinois in a 33′ travel trailer, as a necessity for work. It’s not a 5th wheel and doesn’t have a basement. This is my …

Portable Generators
My dilemma is rather to use small portable generator(s) such as Honda or Yamaha 2000 in combination, or purchase one larger generator. Used to power a …

Employment Opportunity
Employment opportunity for RVers to work near the British Columbia and Yukon border. I am looking for a Canadian couple who would like to work with me …

Alaska Home Base
Does anyone use Alaska as their state domicile? What are the pros and cons of doing so? We’re trying to find the best state overall for our state residency …

RV for Single Woman
As a new FT RV’er, what model motorhome should I choose: Class A or Class C? I am 62 years old and really want to get this recreational vehicle right. …

RVing to Costa Rica
We are thinking about towing our travel trailer to Costa Rica. Anybody here done something similar? What problems have you had along the way or while RVing …

Blue Ridge Winter RVing
I am planning a trip to the Blue Ridge and they are saying the temp at night will be 16, 17, or some in the 20 degree range. What do I need to do to my …

Winter Travel on the Alcan
I’m looking for information on traveling the Alcan Highway in the winter. We’ve traveled the Alaskan-Canadian Highway in the spring. But, we’ve never made …

Picture Frame
What is good to use for picture framing in an RV? My father is now a full time RV-er and I have a portrait of his granddaughter for him. I am not sure …

Refrigerator Problem in Below 0 Weather
Is it normal to have refrigerator problems in below zero weather in the recreational vehicle? If so, how do other people using an RV in those freezing …

Travelling in Cold Weather
When travelling in cold weather, is the vehicle heater sufficient to heat the motor home or do you use the propane system? We have a Fleetwood South Wind …

Holding Tank Problems
We have maggots coming into our toilet. We are full time campers now and have a terrible situation. Have you ever heard of anything like this. I am freaking …

Campgrounds Near Rose Bowl Festivities
We will be going to the Rose Bowl festivities next year and wonder about the campgrounds. How close in proximity to the parade route are they? What price …

Newbie to RV
My partner and I have settled on buying a used Class A pusher. There are literally hundreds available in various models and price ranges, yet, as newbies, …

Rig for New RVers
Which is preferable for first-timers? We have narrowed our search for our first RV to a 2001 Georgie Boy 3515 Cruise Master and a 2003 Winnebago Brave …

Health Insurance Coverage
The only thing stopping us is health insurance coverage. We are in our early 50s. He will need medical insurance coverage in case of accident or illness. …

Tunnels and RVs
Can a recreational vehicle legally go into a tunnel? I’ve heard that RVs aren’t allowed in tunnels and must take detours. I’ve also heard it is okay if …

Wireless Router for AT&T Aircard
Is there such a wireless router for the AT&T aircard? To which Coleen, the RVing editor replies by asking for your help to answer this question. Please …

New Shocks
What new shocks would you get to improve the ride of the Fleetwood Bounder motorhome? We are planning to go full time RV’ing and want the best handling …

Fulltiming – US?????
My husband and I are bored in Sarasota. We want to sell our home and cars, and get a fifth wheel and truck, and travel full time. Frankly, we’re scared …

Cabin Fever
Is this really possible or will I be ready for the lunie bin by spring? This will be my first year RVing and living in one during the winter. How do I …

RV Summer Work Opportunities
How would a retired couple go about checking job opportunities for next summer at national parks or other attractions that use temporary summer help? …

When It’s Cold Out
How do I keep my plumbing in working order when the temperature is below freezing? If I put antifreeze in my septic tanks, fine, but what of my fresh water? …

RV Titles in Texas
Do you have to have a title for a a 35 foot recreational vehicle in the state of Texas? A woman that has one for sale said we didn’t have to have one. …

Winter RV Experiences
We’re going to spend the winter in Pennsylvania and I’d love to hear from any one who has advice on how to protect our trailer during PA winters. It’s …

Getting Started RVing
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Passengers In RV
Is there a limit to how many passengers can ride in a recreational vehicle? Does it differ from state to state? Does the allowed number of passengers in …

Foul Smell in RV
I have a foul smell in my RV. I went camping this weekend in a travel trailer and there was an awful, foul smell whenever the water turned on. My camper …

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Which camping spots in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are your favorites? Can you give me some recommendations, please? What things do you consider …

High Oil Pressue
I’m having a problem with high oil pressure in my 1991 Rexhall motorhome. Do you know what could be causing the problem or what I could do to fix it? Thanks …

Waste Tank Sensor Access
If I wanted to run a new tank sensor line to my monitor on the wall, how do I run it behind the paneled wall? Will I have to rip the panel to run the wire? …

RVing Women Chapters
Does my state (Alabama) have a group of RVing Women? Do they have RVing Women Chapters in AL? If so, how do I get in touch with them? Thanks for your time. …

Click here to write your own.

Source

RV thread- Mtbr.com

RV thread- Mtbr.com































  1. RV thread












    WTF? The 50+ forum doesn’t have an RV thread yet? I hope my entire life revolves around RV life when I retire…

    First I have to convince my wife, tho. Maybe we’ll start with a smallish version, like those based on the Sprinter.

    Any current RVers care to post their thoughts?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk






























  2. *thread. Sheesh. For some reason Tapatalk won’t let me edit the title.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk






























  3. RVs are goofy, you end up with a bunch of money tied up in a rapidly depreciating vehicle that has more upkeep costs than a small home, and you still have to pay to park the thing!


    I bought a short/low Dodge Promaster van, it’s my daily driver, we’re setting it up as a gear hauler, fan, sunroof, heater, portable fridge, convertible dinnette/bed.


    It replaced a truck and an Element, it gets 22/25, and with front wheel drive it’s a snowmobile in the winter.


    I love being able to haul tons of gear, sleep wherever we want, it’s super agile and it’s really fun to drive.






























  4. ^^^ Yep. Those are some of the cons but there are pros too and I know some who have been very happy with RV ownership, and a few who have lived solely and happily in their RV for many years. I’ve also known a few with huge 6 figure motor coaches for whom the cost was not a significant consideration.




































  5. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    Nurse Ben
    View Post

    RVs are goofy, you end up with a bunch of money tied up in a rapidly depreciating vehicle that has more upkeep costs than a small home, and you still have to pay to park the thing!


    I bought a short/low Dodge Promaster van, it’s my daily driver, we’re setting it up as a gear hauler, fan, sunroof, heater, portable fridge, convertible dinnette/bed.


    It replaced a truck and an Element, it gets 22/25, and with front wheel drive it’s a snowmobile in the winter.


    I love being able to haul tons of gear, sleep wherever we want, it’s super agile and it’s really fun to drive.





    I did exactly the same. Love the Promaster.






























  6. I’ve thought about renting RVs but have heard horror stories about breakdowns. I think it would be better to buy used, get to know the vehicle inside and out and maintain it well.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk































  7. I have a full size truck with a slide in camper. I think this is a versatile setup and it gives you pretty comfortable living quarters. We aren’t into the RV park thing and having the truck allows us good dirt road capability.






























  8. I know a guy who retired at 50 and spent years traveling around the SW mostly dry camping in his large RV, riding and building trails where ever they wanted to be. This is what you’re talking about? His house in Ca has been a rental for all these years, they eventually bought another house in northern Az and spent a few years there but I hear they’re spending most of their time in the RV in Utah now. It can be done if you have your financials right and you and your SO are into the nomad lifestyle. Large RVs can be bought cheap, like-new used is the way to go. He had some serious health issues pop up that were a real hassle to deal with, something to consider as well.


    We’re setting things up to hopefully take month long tours here and there then return to the home base. 3/4 ton truck & small 5th wheel is our thing right now but that might change before we pull the plug.












    bikes, guns, dogs….perfect




























  9. Screw the RV, they end up being an albatross around your neck.

    A Sprinter 4×4 with low range is the ticket. A simple shelf bed, portable kitchen and porta potti. That’s my goal. When you aren’t camping, you can carry enormous amounts of stuff. Even a short wheelbase Sprinter can carry 10′ lumber and full 4×8 sheets of plywood inside and covered. You can’t even do that with the stupid pickups these days, most of which have 5 or 6 foot beds.

    I’m sorry, but as the owner of an FCA vehicle, I’m wise to them, and I’m not dumping money into a Fiat van. You might save $10K on a Promaster initially, but you’ll lose it in repairs and resale. That transmission is a tragedy.






























  10. I bought a tall lwb Ford Transit, set it up with water, cabinets, a removable bed (the bikes fit underneath) solar power and a refrig and galley. I can be fully self contained for the type of camping we like to do. I will be retired in October and my wife has 5 day weekends every other week. We are ready for long weekends and occasional multi week trips. We have taken it out a few times already and it suits us great…






























  11. Pretty sure the OP’s “RV life” is being out for months on end. A basic DIY Sprinter conversion is going to be a big NO from the S/O for many of us. Mine requires the ability to get clean at the end of the day, a decent bed, and proper “facilities”. Least I can provide for putting up with me.












    bikes, guns, dogs….perfect




























  12. I have a travel trailer and love it. At 30 ft long it has all the amenities and comforts — shower, microwave, fridge, real bed, air conditioning, TV and DVD, et al. If you plan on extended trips — weeks/months at a time — you will want the amenities. In inclement weather you spend a lot of time inside and a van conversion or pickup camper gets old real fast.

    I have solar panels on the roof, so the batteries stay charged. 60 gal fresh water tank, 2-7gal propane tanks. The pickup tow vehicle carries the bikes, a canoe, and generator.

    Joining one of the various RV memberships gets the cost down. I am currently near Bend, OR, and I am in a full hookup site (water, electric, and sewer) for $27 total for the week. Leave it parked for the day while we go do fun stuff in the pickup.

    Retired, so no job commitments. We have spent more time in our trailer so far this year than time at home. Convert all your banking and bill paying to online and get a cell/wifi booster.


    Downside: gas mileage while towing is nonexistent. I have to stop every 150-180 miles for a fillup. Get a credit card with cash back for gas stations.


    You spend a lot more time in laundromats.






























  13. Yup our plan is to sell the houses and get a nice 35-38 foot coach. I’d like to pull an enclosed trailer with a small car and all of our toys, this would also give me the opportunity to have a garage and workshop to maintain everything. We still have some time to figure out the details though because I don’t even turn 50 for another 3 weeks.




































  14. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    honkinunit
    View Post


    I’m sorry, but as the owner of an FCA vehicle, I’m wise to them, and I’m not dumping money into a Fiat van. You might save $10K on a Promaster initially, but you’ll lose it in repairs and resale. That transmission is a tragedy.





    If you’re getting a 4×4 Sprinter you’re going to pay a lot more than $10k more than for a FWD Promaster, probably like $25k more. Funny, Promaster owners are always citing the high cost of maintaining a Sprinter as a reason they didn’t go that direction. Many are former Sprinter owners. YMMV.




































  15. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    panchosdad
    View Post

    If you’re getting a 4×4 Sprinter you’re going to pay a lot more than $10k more than for a FWD Promaster, probably like $25k more. Funny, Promaster owners are always citing the high cost of maintaining a Sprinter as a reason they didn’t go that direction. Many are former Sprinter owners. YMMV.





    4×4 is required, so the Sprinter or a Quigley or other conversion are the only options, but even if FWD would do it, neither a mini-van 6 speed auto nor a goofy single-disk automated manual are good ideas if you are actually going to carry a load. Do some internet research and you’ll find that people who actually carry stuff with Promasters have transmission issues with either transmission. I think the Transit is a better idea if you don’t need 4×4. Of course, you can get a Transit 4×4 as a conversion, but it won’t be any cheaper than a 4×4 Sprinter.

    The resale on a Sprinter justifies the initial cost. It is crazy how well they hold their value.

    As for the RV thing, I guess if you can’t deal with campgrounds, then seriously, you need to at least consider a 5th wheel or a trailer rather than an RV. Why would you want to be stuck in a campground without a way to get around? And if you tow a vehicle, the only advantage to an RV is the ability to wander around the back of the thing going down the road, right? Towing a vehicle is no more fun than towing a large trailer.

    RVs are notorious for being money pits. I’ve known a LOT of people here in CO who went the RV route and regretted the decision, in fact, I don’t know a single person who didn’t end up in a trailer or 5th wheel eventually if they continued to “camp”. Do the math. A co-worker swore to me a Class A pusher was a better financial decision than hotel rooms at 100/night for he and his wife to go to craft shows around the southwest. He was spending 40-60 nights a year in the thing for about five years, and put about 15,000 miles on it each year. So after five years, that was 250 nights in a hotel – $25,000 he would save, right? After five years, he was so fed up – the RV left them stranded several times, the fuel costs (this was when diesel was $3-4 a gallon) killed them, the maintenance was outrageous, and the repair costs were crazy. He had an $11,000 transmission repair once. The thing ate tires and brakes. He had a $4000 bill for suspension repair. He needed to be towed several times, and those ranged from $600-1500. Every time it broke it was days or weeks before it could be fixed. He had to fly home a couple of times and go back and pick up the RV later. That was just the chassis. The interior was a stream of electrical shorts, broken plastic, and appliances flat out failing.

    He paid $105K for it and he got $35K when he sold it five years later. High mile, high use RVs have terrible resale. $70K in depreciation, plus $20K in repairs and maintenance, plus many unexpected nights in hotels/plane tickets, plus the fuel cost for 7-10MPG meant he could have bought a nice van and stayed in hotels for 250 nights at $100/night, eaten every meal in a restaurant, and come out way ahead, with less aggravation.






























  16. RV’s look nice like a boat looks nice. I’m very cautious about that. Maybe stick my toe in some day with a smaller sized used something or other and move up from there if it is working out.


    For now, I have a deluxe canvas tent that is 10 x 14 with a 7 foot ceiling. I have a deluxe folding cot, a deluxe self inflating pad, and my old sleeping bag. I sleep extremely well on my cot. I’ve been in downpours, and stayed completely dry. Takes less than an hour to setup. Works well for camping near the trails, and I’ve got less than a grand invested in everything, including the cook stove and numerous other items that make camping enjoyable. I’ve got my wifi speaker in there connecting to my phone for music. Roughing it is not what I do.


    When I’m setup, I don’t envy the people around me in their rv’s.


    Here’s my tent a couple months ago on a mountain biking trip.

    RV thread-tent.jpg




































  17. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    sisu
    View Post

    *thread. Sheesh. For some reason tapatalk won’t let me edit the title.


    Sent from my iphone using tapatalk





    fify.
































  18. I love the range of options here. Whatever floats your boat.




































  19. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    panchosdad
    View Post

    I love the range of options here. Whatever floats your boat.





    Go to a couple of RV shows and look around. Then you can get familiar with all the different types, floorplan, options,etc.




































  20. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    Ladmo
    View Post

    RV’s look nice like a boat looks nice. I’m very cautious about that. Maybe stick my toe in some day with a smaller sized used something or other and move up from there if it is working out.

    For now, I have a deluxe canvas tent that is 10 x 14 with a 7 foot ceiling. I have a deluxe folding cot, a deluxe self inflating pad, and my old sleeping bag. I sleep extremely well on my cot. I’ve been in downpours, and stayed completely dry. Takes less than an hour to setup. Works well for camping near the trails, and I’ve got less than a grand invested in everything, including the cook stove and numerous other items that make camping enjoyable. I’ve got my wifi speaker in there connecting to my phone for music. Roughing it is not what I do.

    When I’m setup, I don’t envy the people around me in their rv’s.

    Here’s my tent a couple months ago on a mountain biking trip.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This ^^^^

    Our REI Base Camp 6 has logged more nights than we can count, approaching 100 at this point.

    I also once spent two weeks in our 6×12 enclosed utility trailer. It was mid-May at 7000 feet and it was below freezing at night, with snow one night, too. I camped at a state park that had electric hookups, and slept on a cot in the trailer with a little electric heater running when necessary.

    You can google up a lot of utility trailer camper conversions that are quite nice.

    I’ll be the first to admit that camping in very hot/humid conditions without A/C is something you have to get used to. If you have an electric hookup, a big ass electric fan or one of those portable swamp coolers can help. If you don’t have an electric hookup, there are battery powered fans called O2Cool that can save you.






























  21. We used to have an RV. Long story: we sold everything for a midlife crisis and bought a sailboat, spent 3.5 years on the boat, then came back to the real world. We bought a small used RV to get us and our stuff around the country to visit friends and family and and to live in while we figured out where we wanted to live.


    After the solid quality of the boat, the RV – lightweight for fuel mileage reasons – felt like a rickety piece of junk. (Well, okay, it was a cheap model.) But worse was that – before we bought the sailboat, we used to have a VW Westfalia Synchro. Not having 4WD and low clearance meant we couldn’t just pull off onto forest service roads and hide out. We couldn’t get to the interesting trailheads we used to love.


    We eventually decided to move back to Colorado, bought a house, sold the RV, and eventually sold the boat. At which point we bought a Sportsmobile. It’s like the old Westfailure on steroids – it’s a little longer, a little wider, and we can actually go highway speeds over highway passes. Plus it gets way better mileage than the RV ever did, and has high clearance, 4WD, and granny gear.

    RV thread-gooseberry.jpg


    No toilet, no shower – but we have a sunshower rig we use, and a set-up for wag bags. Some friends of ours installed a composting toilet in their van and we’re thinking about that. I wouldn’t want to live in it full-time for more than a month or two, but we’re not looking to do that anyway.
































  22. A couple photos of the van. Built a rack that attaches to the door so you can still open the door with the bikes on.

    RV thread-img_0920.jpgRV thread-img_1146.jpg




































  23. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    panchosdad
    View Post

    If you’re getting a 4×4 Sprinter you’re going to pay a lot more than $10k more than for a FWD Promaster, probably like $25k more. Funny, Promaster owners are always citing the high cost of maintaining a Sprinter as a reason they didn’t go that direction. Many are former Sprinter owners. YMMV.





    That would be moi


    MB started the big euro van trend in the US, but the europeans have been wise to these vans for decades.


    I had a Sprinter 118, it was a fine vehicle, but it had wimpy sheet metal (rust is a big problem with MB), also the rear wheel drive is ****e in slippery conditions.


    The Promaster (Fiat Ducato) is the second most popular big van in Europe, second to the Ford Transit. I love my Promaster, the diesel engine and auto manual tranny are amazing, but the fwd is darn near as good as awd, but half the cost. I use my van as a daily driver, for hauling, and for construction. It has great ground clearance, did the drive out to Gooseberry without a problem. I get 25mpg


    I know the OP was talking about extended stay RVing, but that lifestyle is very different from what most people do with their RVs.


    I like my house, there’s nothing as fine as having a real bed, your bed, and a nice big shower with a rain can


    We take the van on trips, crash in ut when we don’t wantbto fuss with a hotel, most of the time we eat out, get the occassional hotel to cool off and clean up.


    I greatly dislike campgrounds, dry camping is my intetest, and for that you just need shade, a bed, and food.




































  24. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    panchosdad
    View Post

    A couple photos of the van. Built a rack that attaches to the door so you can still open the door with the bikes on.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    You should drop that rear suspension, it’ll reduce load height and smooth out the ride , send me a pm if interested in how to or check out the Promaster forum.






























  25. If I quit working I’d consider it, but right now I need the towing capacity.



























  26. As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.

    Latitude: 57º36′ Highlands, Scotland




























  27. What kind of mileage do the ProMasters get?












    bikes, guns, dogs….perfect


































  28. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    azjeff
    View Post

    What kind of mileage do the ProMasters get?





    Mines a gas engine, 18-20. Diesels are more like 22-25 I think.






























  29. Travel trailer and my 3/4 ton Suburban work perfect for us. I do wish the ‘burb was available with the Duramax though.












    “And crawling on the planet’s face, some insects called, The Human Race…”


































  30. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    azjeff
    View Post

    What kind of mileage do the ProMasters get?





    24-25mpg in my TD, 4k load rated, 5k tow rated, carries 4 x 8 sheets of plywood with room to spare, 74″ interior width so you can sleep crossways, fwd works excellent in the snow, turn radius that puts a CJ to shame.


    There’s just something so cool about going for a ride, and having your campsite ready no matter when and how you return. My wife often naps or reads while I ride, she loves the big van


    Best vehicle I’ve ever owned….and I’ve had a few.


    Edit: 27mpg on my last tank, just gets better with time, got 20k on odometer now.












    Last edited by Nurse Ben; 09-07-2016 at 09:31 PM.

























  31. Mtroadie is offline

    mtbr member




    Reputation:




















    This is my mountain bike race/ride home away from home. A 15′ ParkLiner with full head, cooktop, A/C, furnace, etc. it’s suitable for boondocking or full hookup cush.






























  32. I picked up a used class c and love it. Have not been staying at camp grounds but mostly boondocking where ever we can.

    I built a bike rack for the back so I can take along all 4 bikes and still pull my motorcycle trailer.
    RV thread-sdc11973.jpg






























  33. Pulled a small toy hauler (24ft)we bought new in 2007 all over the western states. It was an inexpensive Carson we paid $15k for and never had a single problem with it. We did dirt bike but used it more for biking. We dry camped and used parks and loved it. Being a smaller size we pretty much could go anywhere with it. My son raced a lot, all over CA, OR and Idaho for Nationals and the trailer was fantastic for it. Nothing better then staying right at or near the race for pre riding and hanging out.

    Sold it last Nov. to a coworker of my brother for $7k. Probably could have gotten more but we were happy. Plan is to buy a nicer all season travel trailer,again not a big one.






























  34. We love our pickup truck with a slide in camper. We don’t camp in campgrounds and since we live in western Colorado we are close to lots of great camping and riding all over the southwest. It works great for us and I don’t have pack up a wet tent.






























  35. We have a Chevy 6.6l duramax that carries either my 25 year old, recently refurbished, 4 wheel poptop camper or a camper shell. We use the shell when we tow our 1995 Kit Companion 20′ travel trailer that I bought when I retired.


    We use the trailer for campground trips when we stay in only a few places for a week or so at a time like Waldo Lake in Oregon or Lassen Park. That way, we have a powerful and fuel efficient pickup with a shell to hide stuff that we can drive to trailheads, the grocery store, etc. I also park the trailer at the Mt. Shasta KOA in the spring for tele in the morning and mtb in the afternoon. Repeat for a month or so!


    We use the slide in pop top camper much more for road trips. In 25 years, I’ve spent over 3 years of nights in this camper skiing, paddling, and of course mountain biking. On the big 4wd truck, the poptop slide in can get many places that the sprinter, the promaster, etc will not ever get to, never mind return from. We’ll park next to the guy driving the SportsMobile at the end of the road.


    If you’re full timing, then by all means get a big coach or a big fifth wheel. Otherwise, your huge behemoth will be a nightmare on the road. Try parking one in any city in the US; try a restaurant parking lot, a shopping center, a busy gas station. Try camping in the backcounty or going to one of those more remote forest service campgrounds. Forget Chloride city or titus canyon or 95% of anza borrego state park.


    If you get a motor home, go small and go Mercedes diesel sprinter. Most van based and cheap coaches are a huge mass of poorly assembled 2 x 3’s and particle board on an overstressed chassis. The inside will still look good when the engine and transmission wear out.


    A pickup and a trailer is a better option. Again, keep it smaller than the ones RV guy wants you to buy. A humpbacked fifth wheel is not a good option if your at all interested in real boondocking. I’ve watched one get stuck under a big limb on a big oak tree. That RV needed some serious roof work! I’ve also seen one stuck in the narrow end of a shopping center. Everything he did made it worse!


    Another advantage of a tow behind vs a fifth wheel is that you can put a shell on the truck. Then, you can carry your bikes, generator, etc without posting an armed guard 24 7.

    RV thread-img_0023.jpgRV thread-camper-fremont-cottonwood.jpgRV thread-img_0034.jpg






























  36. telemike- your exactly correct and I shared your same line of thought with many people over the years. Always go with the smallest TT you’ll be comfortable in…The bigger the trailer the harder to get in and out of places. The small toy hauler I owned we pulled all over. I had ordered it with a beefier suspension and it went on several offroad camping trips. I pulled it with and still have our 4×4 P/U. I plan on a little bigger TT next as I don’t see as many offroad trips in our future but whatever we buy it’ll be under 30′.






























  37. Been camping most of my life, luckily my wife enjoys it just as much as I do. We started camping in the typical Coleman tent, got tired of having wet bedding/clothes during the monsoon rains here in AZ. Bought a 1966 Stevens M-416 military trailer, modded it to accommodate a RTT and a few other items…
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    Sold that and went to this…

    RV thread-22222img_4909.jpg


    and this year we purchased this baby for longer, further away trips…

    RV thread-2016-pcw.jpg












    Jim


    Drinking rum before 10am makes you a pirate…not an alcoholic…




























  38. Wife and I will be renting a teardrop trailer in a little over a week for a mtb festival.


    We’re taking that opportunity to get a feel for the options we’d want for our own, and have one custom built. We’re renting from the actual builder, who’s willing/able to do a LOT of custom work.


    We like keeping things small/simple, and the teardrop concept appeals to us. The trailer itself is mostly just a warm/dry place to sleep, and to carry the stuff that usually fills the Subaru. And that’s really all we want at this point.






























  39. A place to nap and get out of the weather


    The Scamp 13, it was our favorite.







    Quote

    Originally Posted by

    Harold
    View Post

    Wife and I will be renting a teardrop trailer in a little over a week for a mtb festival.


    We’re taking that opportunity to get a feel for the options we’d want for our own, and have one custom built. We’re renting from the actual builder, who’s willing/able to do a LOT of custom work.


    We like keeping things small/simple, and the teardrop concept appeals to us. The trailer itself is mostly just a warm/dry place to sleep, and to carry the stuff that usually fills the Subaru. And that’s really all we want at this point.































  40. 2015 Giant Stance 2 – 1 X 10 11/42 30T

    2016 Diamondback Insight 2




























  41. This one is what the wife and I are renting and considering having built:

    Hiker Trailer –
    Our rental will be the 5×10. It’s small enough I could even pull it behind my Honda Fit.

    Major reason we’re looking at these is because of the two spots in the country the company builds ’em, one of them is right in town, so it’s maybe a 30min drive to pick it up.






























  42. My wife wants to do a big month-long cross-country trip in an RV next summer. We have a 9 year old son, so there will be 3 of us. We don’t own an RV and are still researching options.


    We were thinking of renting an RV, but the rental would be so expensive for a month that I was thinking I could buy a used RV, use it for the big trip and maybe a few other shorter trips, then I could sell it for close to what I paid for it and it might cost less than a rental. Plus, it would be a nicer RV with more amenities than a rental unit.


    A priority for my wife is having a comfortable place to hang out with the kid in the back of the RV while the other person drives, so this rules out travel trailers.


    I like the idea of something like a Class B that is easier to drive and park than a big RV, but most have the little combo toilet/shower and limited sleeping and hanging out space. I think the ideal for us would be something with an over-the-cab bunk plus a bed in the back, which generally puts us in a Class C RV. There are some Class B-Plus RVs that would probably be okay, but the Mercedes Sprinter chassis units are super expensive, and even the Ford and Dodge based ones are pretty pricey.


    I welcome any thoughts and advice.






























  43. I went back and forth on RV versus trailer and finally decided the best bet for us was a trailer. I can unhook my trailer use the Suburban for day trips. WAY easier than breaking camp. Some people like to tow a car behind their RV and that’s an option, as well. Either way, you’ll be relegated to trailering speeds in states where they’re enforced.












    “And crawling on the planet’s face, some insects called, The Human Race…”




























  44. Here’s what my wife and I came up with. We’ve had a pop up trailer for 20 years while we were raising kids, and schlepped it all over the west. Now, since its just us and the dog, I wanted an easier setup and take down option. This i don’t even have to unhook from the truck. Tow vehicle is a little underpowered but that will change in the next year or so when i upgrade my truck. We are very happy with it, after using it once. My son and I are taking it to Indio for Desert Trip next week since there are no motel rooms to be had. Its kind of small to be living out of for a long period of time, but we plan to spend a week or two at a time on the North Rim of the GC, Durango, and who knows where?

































  45. Great thread! I have been itching to change out my current 30′ travel trailer. With the wife and kids I need really need a wet bath. After two years I have come to loath campgrounds and want to do more boondocks style stuff. I am currently liking the Littleguy T@b Max S Outback Edition. With the add on side tent/screen room I think it would work great for my needs.

    Anyone have experience with this one? Real reviews seems sparse on the Interweb.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk






























  46. I had a 27′ trailer with a pop out that I pulled behind my 25′ crew cab Duramax. It was great for a trip to Yellowstone but I sold it shortly afterwards because is was just too long for the good (non-hookup) camping spots around here.

    If I were to do a trailer again I would definitely get a Toy hauler even though I am not into motor sports. A toy hauler would be a whole lot less work carting bikes, kayaks, sups etc. Most toy haulers have a generator or a generator compartment for dry camping. Most trailers I have seen do not. The toy haulers with dual drop down queen beds look like a great option. Lots of sleeping room, one of the queens becomes sofa during the day and tons of cargo room while moving! I also really like having our bikes and stuff inside instead of flapping in the wind and getting encrusted with road grime during nasty weather or caked with dust during the summer.

    I have been looking at slide in campers for my Duramax which has an 8′ bed. I think I am going to prefer a camper to a trailer for the type of camping we like to do. I figure I will pull a utility trailer setup for toys (Bicycles, Kayaks, paddleboards, etc.). I might have to figure out some type of hitch mount platform bike carrier for day trips. I think this setup will also work nice for XC ski day trips… warm dry change of clothes and hot chocolate!




































  47. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    jabrabu
    View Post

    My wife wants to do a big month-long cross-country trip in an RV next summer. We have a 9 year old son, so there will be 3 of us. We don’t own an RV and are still researching options.


    We were thinking of renting an RV, but the rental would be so expensive for a month that I was thinking I could buy a used RV, use it for the big trip and maybe a few other shorter trips, then I could sell it for close to what I paid for it and it might cost less than a rental. Plus, it would be a nicer RV with more amenities than a rental unit.


    A priority for my wife is having a comfortable place to hang out with the kid in the back of the RV while the other person drives, so this rules out travel trailers.


    I like the idea of something like a Class B that is easier to drive and park than a big RV, but most have the little combo toilet/shower and limited sleeping and hanging out space. I think the ideal for us would be something with an over-the-cab bunk plus a bed in the back, which generally puts us in a Class C RV. There are some Class B-Plus RVs that would probably be okay, but the Mercedes Sprinter chassis units are super expensive, and even the Ford and Dodge based ones are pretty pricey.


    I welcome any thoughts and advice.





    A month is not as long as you think. Between the hassle of finding, buying, maintaining, and storing an RV, there is the reality that your wife will ultimately want to stay in hotels at least a few times a week.


    Also, one month of staying places, not a month of driving, so there will be a lot more parked time to enjoy a homey trailer. You should not be up and moving around in an RV while it’s on the road, not safe, esp in an RV which have terrible crash protection.


    If you have a small truck or minivan, that would be plenty for towing a small trailer, which is all you need for a family of three. A Scamp or similar, get one used, keep it until you have the need more trailer or until you get tired of looking at it sit unused.


    The money you save in gas, maintenance, and headaches can be spent on hotel rooms, fine dining, and spa treatments for your wife.


    My wife agrees with the above statement




































  48. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    Nurse Ben
    View Post

    A month is not as long as you think. Between the hassle of finding, buying, maintaining, and storing an RV, there is the reality that your wife will ultimately want to stay in hotels at least a few times a week.


    Also, one month of staying places, not a month of driving, so there will be a lot more parked time to enjoy a homey trailer. You should not be up and moving around in an RV while it’s on the road, not safe, esp in an RV which have terrible crash protection.


    If you have a small truck or minivan, that would be plenty for towing a small trailer, which is all you need for a family of three. A Scamp or similar, get one used, keep it until you have the need more trailer or until you get tired of looking at it sit unused.


    The money you save in gas, maintenance, and headaches can be spent on hotel rooms, fine dining, and spa treatments for your wife.


    My wife agrees with the above statement





    My wife is actually the one who is pushing the RV thing. I would prefer to drive our minivan and stay in hotels since an RV would be a hassle to maneuver and park, and may not even be allowed on certain national park roads. In her mind, the big advantage is being able to hang out in the back during the driving and use a computer, watch movies, play games with our son, take a nap, etc. For her, it’s more about the comfort during the driving than the camping/sleeping. This rules out the travel trailer option.












































  49. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    andytiedye
    View Post




    That’s pretty funny. You see all kinds if homebuilt campers in Moab. My favorites look like tiny houses built in the back of pickup beds.

    I’d prefer being a little more under the radar, like the cargo van that looks like a cargo van on the outside, but which is fully decked out on the inside.




































  50. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    jabrabu
    View Post

    My wife is actually the one who is pushing the RV thing. I would prefer to drive our minivan and stay in hotels since an RV would be a hassle to maneuver and park, and may not even be allowed on certain national park roads. In her mind, the big advantage is being able to hang out in the back during the driving and use a computer, watch movies, play games with our son, take a nap, etc. For her, it’s more about the comfort during the driving than the camping/sleeping. This rules out the travel trailer option.





    Maybe you could set up a van conversion as your tow vehicle? It would be easy enough to set the back up comfortable for your wife and kids and get the towing package to handle a travel trailer too…






























  51. We’ve done two cross-country trips in an Astro van with a Coleman tent trailer. My wife and I and our two sons did one in ’98 and another one in ’01. These are the memories that last a lifetime. My sons are now 26 and 28 and still talk about the things we did on those two trips. We planned an approximate route and then gave them an atlas and a National Parks guide and said that virtually everything along the route was fair game.


    When they returned to school at summer’s end, they had some great stories for “What I did on my summer vacation”. In fact, we got a call from my youngest son’s teacher, she was concerned about him exaggerating his summer activities.


    Great times and great memories!












    “And crawling on the planet’s face, some insects called, The Human Race…”





















  52. Jake21 is offline

    mtbr member




    Reputation:




















    Been full timing in a 40 foot motorhome for 4 years now. Love the lifestyle. I carry a hardtail, FS, cross and road bike off the back. We get to ride in some great places and there are so many more on the list. I love Tsali in the Fall, Moab in the Spring, CB in the Summer, and currently in So Cal. We have met many full timers. Mostly older and retired, but some younger families with kids. Not a lot of serious bikers. Happy hour starts pretty early in the RV world. Depreciating asset? Of course. Life is a depreciating asset. I dont know why so many people focus so hard on that.


    Now heading out to do wind sprints in San Diego.












































  53. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    Jake21
    View Post

    Been full timing in a 40 foot motorhome for 4 years now. Love the lifestyle. I carry a hardtail, FS, cross and road bike off the back. We get to ride in some great places and there are so many more on the list. I love Tsali in the Fall, Moab in the Spring, CB in the Summer, and currently in So Cal. We have met many full timers. Mostly older and retired, but some younger families with kids. Not a lot of serious bikers. Happy hour starts pretty early in the RV world. Depreciating asset? Of course. Life is a depreciating asset. I dont know why so many people focus so hard on that.

    Now heading out to do wind sprints in San Diego.





    Biggest detractor to that full time RV lifestyle is work. Gotta have income that is compatible with a mobile lifestyle.

    I am getting into mtb coaching and guiding, which is compatible. My minor 2nd income source of cartography can also be handled out of an rv to a degree (but the power needs of the robust computing power that requires are no joke). But my wife is a veterinarian, which requires state licenses and such. Her job, not so much. Lots of other people have incompatible income sources.

    Doing the RV thing full time after retirement is definitely attractive, though.























  54. Jake21 is offline

    mtbr member




    Reputation:




















    If you are going to full time after retirement, better start binge drinking now just to prepare. These old farts out here make my college partying days look like kindergarten.







    Quote

    Originally Posted by

    Harold
    View Post

    Biggest detractor to that full time RV lifestyle is work. Gotta have income that is compatible with a mobile lifestyle.


    I am getting into mtb coaching and guiding, which is compatible. My minor 2nd income source of cartography can also be handled out of an rv to a degree (but the power needs of the robust computing power that requires are no joke). But my wife is a veterinarian, which requires state licenses and such. Her job, not so much. Lots of other people have incompatible income sources.


    Doing the RV thing full time after retirement is definitely attractive, though.


































  55. Maybe not full time but very much interested in several weeks/months per year. Retired earlier this year and working a fun (bike job) a couple days a week. Pension is solid and will hold us fine, especially once my youngest heads to college in June. Been looking at trailers a long while, we had a toy hauler for 8 yrs and used it for biking. I have so many areas on my list, can’t wait!




































  56. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    Jake21
    View Post

    If you are going to full time after retirement, better start binge drinking now just to prepare. These old farts out here make my college partying days look like kindergarten.





    I have some friends who RV part time (big mtb destinations and LOTS of beer destinations) and they definitely resemble that statement. They are approaching retirement and I think they do want to full time when they get there.

    One thing I have learned from hanging out with them is to look like I am drinking hard without actually drinking that hard. Fake it till you make it, right?























  57. R3D24 is offline

    mtbr member




    Reputation:














    New Set Up









    Hitting the roads in our new set up. Well worth the expense for the added comfort and convenience as compared to the tent.

































  58. Sweet set up R3D4!


    Been focused on a ORV Timber Ridge trailer for a couple years now. I like how they are put together. Not sure we will stay in our home or sell and move elsewhere now that we are technically retired. We do really enjoy RVing and we have the time. I figure we could move our home base and save quite a bit and we’d have the RV to escape whenever we like.












    Last edited by MTB Dad; 01-07-2017 at 12:36 PM.
































  59. I can’t get away with RV life or van life yet. So I’m going with Roof Top Tent life and get my butt off the ground.

    Got a Tacoma and had a custom rack built to accommodate the tent and the bikes on the tailgate.RV thread-pb080012.jpg

    RV thread-pb080035.jpg

    RV thread-pb080022.jpg
































  60. I just don’t get the roof top tent appeal. How is it different from just a tent on the ground? Isn’t a pain to have to breakdown every time you want to move the truck? Wouldn’t just leaving the tent as a basecamp be simpler?




































  61. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    panchosdad
    View Post

    I just don’t get the roof top tent appeal. How is it different from just a tent on the ground? Isn’t a pain to have to breakdown every time you want to move the truck? Wouldn’t just leaving the tent as a basecamp be simpler?





    i have always agreed with this. when i camp near my truck, i use a big 6 person tent wtih a cot in it. super comfy, and i can stand up to pull on my hunting pants.












    Santa Cruz 5010 C
    Surly Crosscheck.


































  62. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    Boomchakabowwow
    View Post

    i have always agreed with this. when i camp near my truck, i use a big 6 person tent wtih a cot in it. super comfy, and i can stand up to pull on my hunting pants.





    I have a similar campsite setup. Large canvas tent, deluxe cot, plenty of room even for my recliner lounger if I want to bring it in. Add in my wireless speaker playing music from my phone and there is nothing about this picture that resembles roughing it. I bring my bike inside over night for piece of mind and still plenty of room left over. No crawling around or getting dressed laying down.




































  63. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    panchosdad
    View Post

    I just don’t get the roof top tent appeal. How is it different from just a tent on the ground? Isn’t a pain to have to breakdown every time you want to move the truck? Wouldn’t just leaving the tent as a basecamp be simpler?





    The way I understand them, they’re popular in the overlander crowd. Where you’re likely to be moving camp fairly regularly. At least the ones I’ve seen vids of, they look a little less complicated than freestanding tents to setup/takedown. They also look to be nice for adding capacity to a teardrop type trailer. Speaking of which, putting a RTT on a burly teardrop or otherwise offroad trailer gets you an overland setup you can detach from your Jeep/truck.

    RV thread-ecb43d9eab855ddc7ed4ffdcc973a4cc.jpg






























  64. Better get some jackstands under that first rig, otherwise they’re gonna get a suprise!


    Rooftop rigs are just tents, I’d sooner have a tow behind.


    Vans are da bomb!




































  65. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    Nurse Ben
    View Post

    Better get some jackstands under that first rig, otherwise they’re gonna get a suprise!

    Rooftop rigs are just tents, I’d sooner have a tow behind.

    Vans are da bomb!





    Most of the non offroad teardrops do not come with jack stands. Mine will not, but I will be getting some leveling stands separately in case I wind up with a campsite on a slope somewhere. One of my favorite local parks has some sites with pretty steep grades. They can cause some problems for people with long travel trailers.

    I suspect the pic I shared is just a marketing shot.






























  66. Great thread. I am inching toward retirement and am considering lots of options. I currently have a Eurovan Weekender Westfalia (& formerly owned an ’84 Westy full camper). It is an awesome rig and being able to set-up or take down the top in under a minute without stepping outside is pretty killer. Downside is low clearance, FWD and lousy winter performance, plus lack of kitchen facilities. So in winter it goes in the garage and a 1st gen. Tacoma takes over for our salt-encrusted roads.


    One of those microtrailers is super appealing for extended trips. Thanks for that link, Nate. However trailers can be a PITA and I really like the simplicity of one self-contained rig. Previously rented Cruise America campers (25′ length on a Ford E350 chassis) on some family trips but the kids are grown up and only need to accommodate 2 adults and bikes. A front receiver hitch gives options for bike hauling and ideally a small dual sport moto would be pretty handy.


    A smaller 4×4 Sprinter has a lot of appeal but i can appreciate the maintenance and repair cost issues. Sportsmobiles are a solid option too. Nice to have so many sweet options (1st world problems),



































  67. I responded previously about our trips with a pop up, but never updated with our current set up.


    In August of ’14 we picked up a near pristine ’09 24′ Cougar. I’ve already towed it to Moab and to Oregon and we use it for weekend excursions more locally. So far, it’s been trouble free and we love it!















    “And crawling on the planet’s face, some insects called, The Human Race…”




























  68. Let’s talk van conversions and campers. A tow behind is out of the question for us as we tow a flatbed rafting trailer. We haven’t started looking yet, just in the dreaming/beginning research stages.

    Vans – Sportsmobile, Sprinter, Promaster, travato…. what’s the big deal with Sprinter? I hear that these names a lot.

    Pre built or build your own?

    4×4 or not?


    Campers… How do ya’ll like the low profiel ones that pop up?




































  69. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    formica
    View Post

    Let’s talk van conversions and campers. A tow behind is out of the question for us as we tow a flatbed rafting trailer. We haven’t started looking yet, just in the dreaming/beginning research stages.


    Vans – Sportsmobile, Sprinter, Promaster, travato…. what’s the big deal with Sprinter? I hear that these names a lot.


    Pre built or build your own?


    4×4 or not?


    Campers… How do ya’ll like the low profiel ones that pop up?




    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=…KiqxrY1trtJ6LQ












    “These things are very fancy commuter bikes or really bad dirt bikes, but they are not mountain bikes.” – J. Mac




























  70. doh, maybe that’s the thread I couldn’t find earlier, thanks. I had no idea until today that there was a car forum.























  71. High Desert is offline

    mtbr member




    Reputation:




















    Pros and cons to each position here when you start talking about RV’s, tents, slide ins, etc. Biggest thing, I think you have to sort out first is what kind of camping do you want to do? Then how many people, bikes, etc. Of course there is also the budget. We have gone the RV route for the past 30 years: tents (not an RV), tent trailer, slide in, travel trailer, 5th wheel (4X) and now a class C motorhome. We do not like RV parks, crowded areas on concrete, and prefer boon docking on BLM lands to national forests. Biggest problem we encountered with BLM and NF campsites is what size RV you can fit in it. Most of these sites, 25 or 26 feet is about the max. with out 24 foot Mercedes Sprinter MH, piece of cake. Just have to have somewhat decent road to get in and out. I have seen lot of people lately taking the Sprinter van and making conversions on them for camping. Some have been pretty slick and others, well…..The smaller class C’s are easy to drive, gets around town and food center parking lots with with ease, as compared to TT’s or 5th wheels. Like buying a really nice bike, you need to sort through priorities and affordability. None of these options discussed are a bad idea.






























  72. Formica, We have had two different Pop Up Campers and loved them both, our last one is this picture. It is an 8′ model and is really very spacious. Ours had an outside shower with hot water but no bathroom. This model is about 1400# which was not a problem for our truck but could be a consideration for a smaller truck. It has a cooktop, propane fridge, heater, queen size bed and plenty of storage.


    Our style of camping is never in an RV Park, sometimes in a FS campground, but mostly off a dirt road in the forest. The Pop Up works perfectly for this as it is small and light enough for extensive dirt road driving.


    If you already have a truck capable of holding a camper I would suggest looking into this option. If you are starting from scratch maybe a van conversion makes sense. For my lifestyle a truck is mandatory so a slide in camper works well for us.RV thread-pop-up.jpg












































  73. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    formica
    View Post

    Let’s talk van conversions and campers. A tow behind is out of the question for us as we tow a flatbed rafting trailer. We haven’t started looking yet, just in the dreaming/beginning research stages.


    Vans – Sportsmobile, Sprinter, Promaster, travato…. what’s the big deal with Sprinter? I hear that these names a lot.


    Pre built or build your own?


    4×4 or not?


    Campers… How do ya’ll like the low profiel ones that pop up?





    The Pro master is amazing, fwd with all terrain tires and you’re good for all but the serious off road excursions. I’ve got 40k on mine, been out and back to Gooseberry and never scraped a rock.


    The Sprinter 4 x 4 is quite capable “for a big arse unibody van”, but it’s not an off road excursion vehicle by any stretch. It’s also a large van, only available as a long wheelbase tall.


    It’s important to decide on must haves, want to haves, and don’t really need.


    Very few people “Boony bash” in their very expensive RV, so buying AWD might fall under the don’t really need column. AWD costs more up front, mpg suffers, and it costs more to maintain.


    I live in the central Cascades, drive on ice and snow four months out of the year, drive up to the ski resort multiple times a week, drive up into the Methow, etc… and I don’t have studs or chain.


    FWD is the ticket. Diesel, averaging 25mpg, can get as much as 28mpg if I keep my foot out of the floor






























  74. thx that is what I’m looking for






























  75. I am not 50 yet (1 month from 43), but I did just get an RV to use as basecamp for Mtn biking rides, 24 hr races, XC races and general camping.


    I had two requirements. 1) Towable with my existing car 2) fit in my garage. My Aliner checks off both.


    Box is 12feet long, 15ft with tongue, 1750lbs dry, Has water/heat, 3 way fridge, A/C, outside shower. rear sofa converts to bed and front dinette that turns to bed.


    I considered a driveable RV (like van or truck camper) and the issue that if use the RV as “basecamp” I have to move camp every time I drive to a TH. Last year I used campground just outside Durango as base and drove each day to different TH’s. With this set-up I can unhook and drive vs taking the RV every time. Of course a trailer is harder to maneuver in places.


    Here is my first trip pictures. I used a NF Campground, but will also use dispersed camping when possible. I do have some RV park trip booked mostly because wanted to “work” from the RV using internet and bridging a longer trip.

    Joe’s Biking Adventures and other Ramblings












    Joe

    ’18 Specialized Epic 29″, Vassago Verhauen SS 29″, ’13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5″, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.




























  76. [QUOTE=JoePAz;13182983]I am not 50 yet (1 month from 43), but I did just get an RV to use as basecamp for Mtn biking rides, 24 hr races, XC races and general camping.


    I had two requirements. 1) Towable with my existing car 2) fit in my garage. My Aliner checks off both.


    Box is 12feet long, 15ft with tongue, 1750lbs dry, Has water/heat, 3 way fridge, A/C, outside shower. rear sofa converts to bed and front dinette that turns to bed.


    I considered a driveable RV (like van or truck camper) and the issue that if use the RV as “basecamp” I have to move camp every time I drive to a TH. Last year I used campground just outside Durango as base and drove each day to different TH’s. With this set-up I can unhook and drive vs taking the RV every time. Of course a trailer is harder to maneuver in places.


    I’m thinking about a pop-up, but one of the concerns I have about the tent sided option is that it doesn’t offer any sound blocking advantage over a tent. I hate having noisy neighbors in camp but it happens. Hos does the A-liner do in this respect? I’d imagine it’s quieter than a tent camper, not as quiet as a travel trailer? Thanks…




































  77. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    SteveF
    View Post

    I’m thinking about a pop-up, but one of the concerns I have about the tent sided option is that it doesn’t offer any sound blocking advantage over a tent. I hate having noisy neighbors in camp but it happens. Hos does the A-liner do in this respect? I’d imagine it’s quieter than a tent camper, not as quiet as a travel trailer? Thanks…





    Well the soft dormers at a tent so no sound proofing at all. However I don’t have raise them up. Most models don’t come with them anyway. I chose them for added space and a more open feel. Some models have hardside dormers. These use hard walls just like the rest of the Aframe. Those don’t have the same open fee, but should do better on sound reduction. Really everything is a compromise so you just have to decide what is more critical for you.












    Joe

    ’18 Specialized Epic 29″, Vassago Verhauen SS 29″, ’13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5″, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.


































  78. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    JoePAz
    View Post

    Well the soft dormers at a tent so no sound proofing at all. However I don’t have raise them up. Most models don’t come with them anyway. I chose them for added space and a more open feel. Some models have hardside dormers. These use hard walls just like the rest of the Aframe. Those don’t have the same open fee, but should do better on sound reduction. Really everything is a compromise so you just have to decide what is more critical for you.





    Ah, I don’t know why I assumed the dormers were knock-down panels-soft panels there would make at least as much sense. Thanks for the feedback, and enjoy your camper! I’m still not sure what way I’ll go but I’m not in a huge hurry…























  79. YJ Bill is offline

    mtbr member




    Reputation:




















    RV = Repair Vehicle. That said we spend 3 or 4 months a year in our Class C Motorhome.






























  80. We had a pop up, they are a serious pain in the backside, it takes time and effort to put one up and take one down, try doing that in a rain or wind storm and it’s really exciting! Popups y are the most breathable system, but they also got hotter and colder than an enclosed camper/van.


    Folding campers in general are prone to problems, the A Liner is no exception, just think about the moving parts, stress, and the idea that the assembly is bouncing down the highway at 70 mph for hours on end, any joint or fastener will fatigure, plumbing and electrical will fail, them RV’s are not that durable.


    We had the most enjoyment out of a Scamp 13′, lightweight, easy to maneuver, ready to use, just open the door, not heavy, not expensive, weather proof.


    I drive a Promaster van that I’ve converted for sleeping, it’s not an RV as I use it as a daily driver and for hauling building materials, dogs, etc… I love my van, but it would be nice to have a camper we can park and come back too, but at this point the van serves my needs.


    As to all those extras: shower, AC, water, heat… I think you need to pay attention to what you really need. We never cook in our campers, it’s too hot and it makes them smell. We never stay places where there isn’t a shower or a lake/river to use for bathing. 3 way fridges are fine, but the pilots often blow out and 110 is rarely available unless you’re in a developed park.


    Reality is this: You will cook/eat out side if you don’t go out to eat. You will not shower often, face it, mountain bikers are grubby. For keeping things cool a 12v fridge or icebox is ideal. In terms of heat, nothing works as well as a sleeping bag or a nice down blanket. If it’s that cold and nasty, odds are you will be at home or in a hotel. Water, propane, and electrical systems are a weak link, they fail, they get gunky due to non use, and they require maintenance.


    A fiberglass egg with a nice full or queen sized bed, 12v fridge, propane heater if you must, storage for gear. Skip the water system, toilet, and cooking. Get a port-a-pot, some water jugs, a folding table and chairs, and a coleman stove. Spend your money on a solar system and a good 12v battery set up.


    If you must have 110, buy a really quiet, high end generator, use it to run AC if you dry camp in hot places and to charge the batteries. YOU DO NOT NEED A MICROWAVE!


    Here’s my top choice for a new lightweight camper: The 17 Foot Escape


    The idea behind fiberglass is durability, fixability, insulation, and lightweight. The Scamp has a composite wood floor bonded into a two piece fiberglass shell, not ideal. Casita is about the same, but the bottom is fiberglass shell wraps the composite floor.


    There are a few others out there worth considering, I can’t remember names, but it’s worth going on the Fiberglass RV forum for ideas.


    Stay away from aluminum and composites, the aluminum is cold and damp, the composites are rattletraps and rot/fall apart. The fiberglass “eggs” last forever and are re-buildable.


    [QUOTE=JoePAz;13182983]I am not 50 yet (1 month from 43), but I did just get an RV to use as basecamp for Mtn biking rides, 24 hr races, XC races and general camping.


    I had two requirements. 1) Towable with my existing car 2) fit in my garage. My Aliner checks off both.


    Box is 12feet long, 15ft with tongue, 1750lbs dry, Has water/heat, 3 way fridge, A/C, outside shower. rear sofa converts to bed and front dinette that turns to bed.


    I considered a driveable RV (like van or truck camper) and the issue that if use the RV as “basecamp” I have to move camp every time I drive to a TH. Last year I used campground just outside Durango as base and drove each day to different TH’s. With this set [QUOTE=SteveF;13183991]




































  81. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    Nurse Ben
    View Post


    Stay away from aluminum and composites, the aluminum is cold and damp





    You mean on of these? I have no idea how people can afford them (or the bigger units). I like the concept of the Basecamp, bike washing station too.






































  82. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    temporoad
    View Post

    You mean on of

    these

    ? I have no idea how people can afford them (or the bigger units). I like the concept of the Basecamp, bike washing station too.





    That Basecamp is obscenely expensive for its size. It def caters to the high end market.

    Why I went with a camper that has a wood/alu exterior cladding. Much less expensive. Yeah, the insulating properties could be better. But it is small enough that it doesn’t take much to warm the interior. And it stays surprisingly cool even on 90F+ days.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk






























  83. Haha, must have some sort of shower capabilty. Nurse Ben, good post – thank you.






























  84. Solar showers work nice

    Sent from my SM-P900 using Tapatalk






























  85. Camping trailers are ridiculously over priced, especially the “boutique” ones. That nice fiberglass one Nurse Ben linked to STARTS at $25K and it doesn’t have A/C or other stuff that would put it close to $30K by the time it had what I wanted.


    Unfortunately, lower end trailers are pretty cheaply built. But, they are functional. Jayco makes a 3000lb (sticker weight) fully-self contained trailer with a tub/shower/toilet, A/C, microwave, ect., and you can get it factory lifted. They run about $13K.


    Google “Jayco Jay Flight SLX 145RB Baja”. They are hard to find, but I’m pretty sure that is the least expensive fully self contained rig out there, and you can get it into some tighter places.




































  86. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    honkinunit
    View Post

    Camping trailers are ridiculously over priced, especially the “boutique” ones.





    Why I bought what I did. Nice feature set and within my reach. No bathroom inside, but I don’t need that anyway.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk




































  87. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    andytiedye
    View Post

    solar showers work nice when the sun is shining





    fify






























  88. Wow, that unit that Ben posted is pricey! Generally speaking a nice travel trailer, at the end of a model year can be had for $1K per foot; i.e, a 20 foot trailer should be $20K new, or less. Lower end models with fewer features can be had for much less.


    Finding a used trailer in good condition is generally where the bargains lie. Our Cougar was five years old when we bought it and it still had the stickers in the sink and shower from new. It still smelled new. We picked it up for $16K while it booked at over $20K.


    I’ll almost always let someone else take the depreciation hit.












    “And crawling on the planet’s face, some insects called, The Human Race…”




























  89. @chuckha62- agree 100% good used trailers are out there as often people buy and for whatever reason decide it’s not what they thought and sell cheap….


    I bought a small brand new (21′) Carson toy hauler years ago for under 20k, served my family fantastically for 9 years. Not top quality but it held up fine for a family of 4 and having a full bath, full kitchen, A/C and heater
























  90. This just happened…









    2018 Travato.


    The custom conversion thing was starting to give me a headache. Too many options: which builder, which van, which configuration, how long do you want to wait…..This ticks off most of the boxes and is turnkey.


    21′


    Bed is big when converted

    shower/bath (non negotiable item for hub)

    2 burner galley w/propane-electric stove

    solar

    awning

    non-hitch bike rack (we tow a raft at times)

    FWD


    other goodies I’m usre.


    What’s not to love? An eclipse getaway will be the shakedown.

    RV thread-img_20170812_135058_101.jpg












    Last edited by formica; 08-14-2017 at 11:11 AM.
































  91. Really cool!

    I probably have 2 more years of planning, but I hope a class B is in our future,












    Craig, Durango CO

    “Lighten up PAL” … King Cage


































  92. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    formica
    View Post

    2018 Travato.


    What’s not to love? An eclipse getaway will be the shakedown.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20170812_135058_101.jpg 
Views:	163 
Size:	157.5 KB 
ID:	1152072





    What’s not to love? $100k+ price tag.






























  93. Planning, saving, budgeting… nothing wrong with that.




































  94. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    formica
    View Post

    Planning, saving, budgeting… nothing wrong with that.





    Exactly. Just made a similar move to a Class A diesel pusher 40 foot RV.




































  95. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    temporoad
    View Post

    You mean on of

    these

    ? I have no idea how people can afford them (or the bigger units). I like the concept of the Basecamp, bike washing station too.





    Not an Airstream, I was talking about aluminum pop ups. Airstreams are pricey.




































  96. Quote

    Originally Posted by

    formica
    View Post

    2018 Travato.


    The custom conversion thing was starting to give me a headache. Too many options: which builder, which van, which configuration, how long do you want to wait…..This ticks off most of the boxes and is turnkey.


    21′


    Bed is big when converted


    shower/bath (non negotiable item for hub)


    2 burner galley w/propane-electric stove


    solar


    awning


    non-hitch bike rack (we tow a raft at times)


    FWD


    other goodies I’m usre.


    What’s not to love? An eclipse getaway will be the shakedown.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20170812_135058_101.jpg 
Views:	163 
Size:	157.5 KB 
ID:	1152072





    Good choice, the Promaster is the best base vehicle for an RV build.


    I assume you got diesel.


    I love my Promaster, it’s my everyday driver, hauls my dogs and gear, great for carrying construction materials, can pull a trailer if needed, averages 24mpg if I drive “normal”.
































  97. Congrats on the new rig, Formica!












    “And crawling on the planet’s face, some insects called, The Human Race…”



































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Cost of Living in an RV vs. a House

Cost of Living in an RV vs. a House

Photograph by Don Shall

Editor’s Note

This post is several years old, though it still largely stands true in its own right. Many people have written to me calling it all a bunch of BS. While their complaints have largely been that my numbers are wrong, etc., I have actually discovered–the more we’ve traveled (going on 7 years now)–that the savings can be far greater, up to $1000 / month, and while I don’t discourage you from reading through the following thought process, you can read that simple comparison of home ownership to living in an RV, and how it can save you $1000 / month, here.

While patiently awaiting the birth of our latest son (exactly a month from today if all goes according to schedule…) we’ve been renting a house in Black Mountain, North Carolina, a small town 17 miles east of Asheville, NC. This has given me a little insight into the cost of fixed-location living vs. full-time travel expenses, and I thought I’d share a little of that with you as for many folks looking to hit the road, the question of “how do I make a living?” is usually followed by something like “well how much does it cost?”

Living on the road can easily be quite a bit cheaper than living in a fixed location.

Firstly, let me say that traveling can obviously be very expensive. But there’s a huge difference between renting a $1500 (or easily much, much more) house for a week on your yearly vacation vs. making a life for yourself on the open road. Let’s look at some of the most common expenses in life and how they compare one way or the other. For the purposes of this post, we’re talking about full-time living on the road as it pertains to owning an RV or campervan vs. those folks who tend to rent other types of accommodations (like couchsurfers, hostelers or those who rent short-term housing while traveling).

Rent

Obviously the cost of a home, whether you’re renting or you own, can vary widely. I’ll use the average of real world examples from the past six houses I’ve owned or rented (between the years 2004 – 2007 and a couple of shorter stints since then) so that we’re looking at real numbers. Obviously your costs will vary, but this can give you a great idea of how to take your own expenses and compare them then to various average costs for campgrounds on the road.

$680
3BR, 1.5BA Home (owned) in Pittsburgh, PA, 2004
$625
2BR, 1BA Apartment (rented) in Pittsburgh, PA, 2005
$850
2BR, 1BA Townhouse (rented) in Pittsburgh, PA, 2006
$650
2BR, 1BA Apartment (rented) in Manzanita, OR, 2010
$950
3BR, 2BA House (rented) in Nehalem, OR, 2011
$1200
3BR, 2.5BA House (rented) in Black Mountain, NC, 2012

Average Cost of Living in a Stick House: $825 / month

Now let’s look at some real world examples of campground costs. There are multiple scenarios for campgrounds (mostly pertaining to RV Parks vs. state parks), and we’ll look at as many as possible to give us some variety and see how flexible location independence can be.

Monthly RV Park Costs

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This is by far the cheapest way to live that doesn’t involve being out in the middle of the desert and relying on a generator and the size of your various water tanks (though we’ll cover that in a moment). These are just various examples of actual places and their costs, as well as generally what comes with each one.

$300
One month’s rent for an RV park in Marathon, Texas. Includes full hookups (water, electric, sewage and even TV and Internet in this case) in a small town in the middle of a beautiful nowhere. Basically you’re living in the Old West.
$320
One month’s rent in Pecan Grove RV Park, Austin, Texas. You’re in the heart of one of the greatest cities in America, full hookups included but no free Internet. Big city living at 1/10th of the cost of renting an apartment in Austin.
$800
One month at the Queen Mine RV Park in Bisbee, Arizona. A short walk from a gorgeous, vibrant small tourist town that’s truly an experience, includes Internet, television and full hookups. People pay big bucks to visit this little tourist town and stay in the hotels, it’s kind of like a scene out of Tombstone (which is about an hour north).
$627
A month just outside of Loveland, Colorado, minutes from a cute small city and half an hour from Rocky Mountain National Park. Includes full hookups and Internet. You live at the foot of the Colorado Rockies, among elk and some of the best fishing you could ask for.
$930
A month on the shores of Lake Champlain, fifteen minutes north of the beautiful, green city of Burlington, Vermont. Includes water and electricity plus Internet. Hippy living on a gorgeous lake and minutes from downtown.

Average Cost of Living in an RV Park: $595 / month

Exceptions: Weekly, Nightly & Boondocking

Of course, not everyone who’s traveling, particularly in the beginning when you’re first exploring this new lifestyle, wants to spend a month in one place.

Weekly rates for RV parks are typically closer to $200 / week. This is the general average I’ve found across the country, and of course rates vary as much for weekly spots as they do for the above monthly options. So for weekly movers and shakers, rent is closer to $800 / month.

As for nightly stays, such as doing a weekend here or an overnight there on your way to somewhere else, you can expect to pay $30 average. There are $5 / night spots in the middle of New Mexico and there are $65 / night resort parks, but in general most places run around $30 / night. Discount clubs like Passport America and Good Sam can get you a few bucks off of some of these, but in general if you stay in a different park every night or two, you’d be looking at $900 / month.

Boondocking is when you don’t pay a dime to stay anywhere, because you find a spot where you can (often legally) stay for free. This could be anywhere from a county park in Texas to a Wal-Mart parking lot to a national forest. Of course, for the price you get absolutely nothing but a spot to call home. No electrical hookups (well, almost never anyway), no water or sewage hookups, usually no Internet (unless you can find an open signal nearby). Your particular rig must be able to accommodate any needs you might have (ie, backup batteries powered by solar panels, big ol’ water tanks for drinking, dishes, etc. or a generator to provide power, where acceptable). Boondocking isn’t all that possible on a monthly basis, unless you’re really rugged or very ingenuitive, but if you could, your rent becomes practically $0. More likely though, boondocking is a way to supplement more expensive means of overnighting (such as occasional expensive parks near tourist destinations) with free living to help balance your budget.

Using our own particular traveling style as an example, then, what is the final comparison of rent vs. campground fees:

Monthly Stays:
50% @ $595/mo
Weekly Stays:
35% @ $800/mo
Nightly Stays:
10% @ $900/mo
Boondocking:
5% @ $0/mo
Average Monthly Campground Fees:
$667/mo

Average Monthly Rent/Mortgage: $825/mo

On rent alone, it’s over $150 / month cheaper to live in an RV, plus you get to see the world.

Car and RV/Home Owner’s Insurance Comparison

This is another area where it can be massively cheaper to travel than to live in one place, though again there are a variety of situations:

RV + Toad

A toad is a car you pull behind your RV (where an RV is a Class A or Class C, meaning it’s both the living space and the vehicle all in one). In this case you have two insurance payments: one for the RV (which is typically incredibly cheap) and one for the car you’re towing (ie, the toad). In this situation:

  • You pay almost nothing for RV insurance because insurance companies assume it will be driven infrequently. I’ve paid as little as $400 / year for excellent coverage through Geico which also included $1500 of additional insurance to over hotel stays and damage to personal belongings in the event of an accident where we couldn’t live in the vehicle for some amount of time.
  • Car insurance on the toad will be close to whatever it would have been if you lived in a stick house, though since you can choose which state is your permanent residence, you can take advantage of cheaper rates in certain states. For example, Vermont has an average car insurance rate that’s about 1/2 of what the rest of America pays.
  • Though you’ll now be paying for both car & RV insurance, in all fairness you have to consider the cost of home owner’s insurance, which is currently on average around $850 / year (not to mention taxes, which I don’t discuss in this post at all, and various other expenses as listed below). Renter’s insurance might be a factor for you, though we’ve never purchased it in the houses we’ve rented.

In this scenario you pay $450 / year less when you consider your car insurance (stays the same) and the cost of RV insurance ($400 / year) vs. home owner’s insurance ($850 / year).

Towing Vehicle + trailer

Most of the above stipulations for RV + Toad apply to a towing vehicle and a trailer (ie, you’ve got a big truck or van that carries a fifth wheel or Airstream or something similar behind it). What you’ll pay more for insurance on a big ol’ truck like the one you’ll need to tow your trailer, you’ll hopefully be able to make up for in the lower cost of a trailer that doesn’t have an engine, though typically this cost won’t be enough to balance out the higher insurance for a truck that’s being driven more, so this route will be a bit more expensive.

In my experience, and this isn’t my own personal experience but rather that of what I’ve seen on the road, people are usually in this setup. They’ve got their big Ford F350 and a trailer.

Just an RV

This is your best scenario cost-wise, since you could get your insurance down to a few hundred dollars per year. The reality of this is a bit more harsh though, as you’ll be limited to where you can go and how you can get there. For example, most cities don’t have RV parks right in the middle or public transportation that can get you from an RV park to town, so you’ll need to learn to love a bicycle or just not visit certain places that would involve miles and miles of walking to get into town. Or, you pick up the RV and drive it to the grocery store every few days…

In this scenario you pay significantly less. I’ve had car insurance which ranged from over $200 / month on a newer sedan to around $150 / month on a decade old truck, both scenarios included full coverage. So even if you figure your costs would be at the lower end, $150 / month, all in all you save $2250 / year going this route. In my experience though, most people don’t travel this way, and it’s harder to do this full-time than any of the other methods mentioned above. So in all fairness, we’ll just use the RV + Toad scenario above. Of course, if you think you’ve got what it takes to ride bicycles, stock up on food, and live without a car, you could save thousands / year this way.

On insurance, you could expect to save $450 / year, or $38 / month.

That puts our total on-the-road-savings at $188 / month thus far.

Utilities

As stated above, most RV parks include all of the utilities you need—water, sewage and electric—plus plenty of your wants, such as television and cable. Looking at some averages for these utilities while living in rental houses or owning a home:

Water & Sewer
We’ve paid around $80 / month for this in a stick house.
Electric
When also used for heat and AC, this averages out to about $115 / month.
Television
For the basic cable you could get in your house that’s comparable to what’s available in most RV parks, you’re looking at $30 / month.
Internet
To be fair, RV Park connectivity is not the quality of what you would expect from your own line via Comcast or a similar cable company’s home service, so we’ll compare it to cheaper DSL, which is around $20 / month

Average Cost of Utilities in a House: $245 / month

In theory, that’s all straight profit as you rarely have to pay any utlities at RV parks. In all reality, though, you’re probably going to need some type of AirCard or tethering plan with your cell phone so that you can get online even when RV Parks (or when you’re boondocking, etc.) don’t offer WiFi (which is rarer these days). So let’s be fair and factor in the $60 / month for one of these plans that you’ll need if you work online.

On utilities, you could expect to save $185 / year, or $38 / month.

That puts our total on-the-road-savings at $373 / month thus far.

Groceries

I’m not going to specifically quantify groceries, because this is largely a personal issue. If you’re the type of person who purchases in bulk from Costco or Sam’s Club, that’s a lot harder to do with an RV. I suppose you could have a giant plastic bin or two and keep dry goods in it, but for anything that needs frozen or refrigerated, you simply don’t have that kind of space, unless you’re in a rock star Class A tour bus, in which case you might. Personally, we shop once a day or every two or three days, just getting what we need for those meals. This means we have more fresh produce and less preservative laden stuff, but that’s our preference. It doesn’t cost us any more to do our grocery shopping on the road, in fact it probably costs us less, but that’s because when we live in a certain location for a period of time, we find the local/organic type stores and when we’re on the road we tend to eat out more as we want to experience the places we visit.

Seeing the World

This is where things can get more expensive…it’s hard not to visit museums, amusement parks, eat out at as many restaurants as possible and go on kayaking or zip lining or hiking into national parks type things when you’re on the road. So yes, this aspect of travel, the part where you are experiencing the world and having a damn good time doing it, can be much more expensive. On the other hand, you’ve now got $373 / month extra to do that kind of stuff. Oh, and don’t forget to factor in the savings that come naturally with living in a confined space: when you don’t have a garage to fill with every power tool imaginable or a walk in closet to house your weekly shopping sprees, you save tons of cash there as well.

Personally, I’d rather have the extra $4,476 a year to blow on enjoying time with my family and seeing the world than my old tool collection or another night spent with Jay Leno and the folks from Jersey Shore.

Nathan Swartz

Nathan is the Editor-in-Chief around these parts, and has been traveling by train, bike, VW Bus and Airstream since 2008. He’s on Instagram.

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Fulltime RVing in a Class B motorhome: Campskunk’s story

Fulltime RVing in a Class B motorhome: Campskunk’s story

campskunkendThere are fulltime RVers and then there is Campskunk.

Most fulltimers travel in Type A motorhomes or Fifth Wheels. They also tow a car. And though their RVs are as long as many a subdivision house, they are still a rare breed, disposing of only what they can put in storage or pack in their 36, 40 or 43 foot long RV. They’re generally celebrated by the RV community, looked up to and envied for their independence and vagabond freedom.

But imagine doing it in a 22-foot long Class B campervan. That’s what Campskunk has been doing for the past three years. With wife, Sharon and their Ragdoll cat, “Fiona the Fearless,” they live 24-x-7, 365 days a year in their 2003 Roadtrek Type B motorhome.

Campskunk, of course, is not his real name. But he’s known to thousands in the RV community by that moniker, which comes from part of the couple’s joint email address that blends the first part of Sharon’s maiden name with his old nickname from the days he held a high profile state government job that had him doing a lot of quality control work that made him more than his share of enemies.

That was before he retired in 2010, let his hair grow down to his waist, mothballed his sportcoats and literally burned his ties to set off on the road, living life a day at a time in the most beautiful places he could find.

“I wore a coat and tie everyday,” he says of his former working life. “I was burning yard trash getting ready to leave the house and begin fulltiming in late July 2010, so I just took my ties and draped them over the burning pile, one by one. It was intensely satisfying to leave that part of my life behind.”

He does keep one tie, one sportcoat and one pair of dress slacks in his RV for funerals, weddings and special occasions. But his typical wear is a T-shirt, jeans or shorts. That’s because he is always somewhere warm. Always. It’s his hard and fast traveling rule.”I consider it operator error if we end up in a place colder than 70 degrees,” he says.

campskunksetupFull time living in such a small motorhome is not nearly as difficult as it sounds, he says. “It a matter of priorities and planning, Most of us just don’t need all the stuff we have. The more stuff, the less free we are to live the way we want to.”

Campskunk is a regular on RV forums on Facebook and Yahoo!. He’s well respected as an expert tinkerer, someone who can fix anything, build anything and modify an RV for years of use. His Chevy-based Roadtrek has 120,000 miles. He thinks he can get another ten years of use out of it and hopes to take it to Europe after several more years of traveling across the U.S.

Money is admittedly tight. He and Sharon meticulously budget.

“Leaving aside all the regular non-fulltiming-related expenditures like car insurance and health insurance, etc, we originally budgeted $50 a day, or $1500 a month: $500 for fuel, $500 for groceries and spending money, and $500 for lodging/campground fees,” he says. “Since we started fulltiming, fuel costs have averaged $346 per month and our campground costs have gone down to $1,776 for the last year, or $148 a month.”

That’s because whenever possible, he chooses to boondock, staying in free or reduced rate non-commercial campgrounds, typically in state and national forests, coastal areas or pubic land.

“In one memorable month the summer before last, we only spent $600 – camping was free and town was only 5 miles away, so no fuel costs. And there was nothing else to spend money on. We were up at 9,800 feet near Silverton, CO,” he says.
Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 7.22.04 PMCampskunk has become amazingly adept at finding spectacular boondocking spots.

“I Google around,” he says, “The national forest service’s website is very hard to find stuff on, But there’s a book of all the national forest campsites in a book put out by Coleman. Find the ranger station, stop in and talk to them about dispersed camping – that’s the best. I also keep my eyes open when driving, and have literally stumbled into many great places. Know the state laws where you travel – you can park along the pacific coastal highway anywhere There are no local ordinances or signs prohibiting it for 8 hours in California and 12 hours in Oregon. I think you can stay for longer in Washington state – nobody’s ever up there. The best way to find overnight spots when you’re just traveling through and want to overnight near the highway is http://www.overnightrvparking.com/ It costs $25 a year for a subscription but you make your money back the first campground you avoid. It has up-to-date information on 10,000 free or very cheap overnight parking spots nationwide.”

He’s totally wired with satellite Internet and commercial TV. “Sharon insisted that if we were going to really do this, she’d have her TV,” he says. “I needed the Internet. So we have two dishes.”

Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 7.27.00 PMHe is solar powered and has a wind turbine that also helped top off the coach batteries in his RV. He did it all himself thanks to skills he honed in the 70’s when he worked as an automotive mechanic befofe heading back to school for the specialized education that got him his government job.

There are unique challenges to fulltime RV living, he admits.

“Challenges are anything that you can’t do electronically – get a prescription filled, get your new credit cards when the old ones expire, getting your new insurance cards, etc. We now have east and west coast dentists. The other doctor stuff is harder- we had to go to Mexico once to get one prescription filled when the logistics of getting it filled by regular means failed. There’s no ‘see you in three months’ when you’re a fulltimer. One really annoying thing is going into a different grocery store every week – you never learn where they put things, and the next place is always different.”

Campskunk turned 60 last fall. He travels about 15,000 miles each year, making non-rushed loops around the country.

Fulltime RVing is not for everyone, he is quick to point out. But it is doable. His best advice?

“Just get out there and do it. You’ll get better at it after a year or two. We are still learning as we go. We’re poor but happy.”

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2017 Coachmen Orion Motor Home Class C Rental in Cleveland, TN

2017 Coachmen Orion Motor Home Class C Rental in Cleveland, TN

Just Purchased!!! Enjoy all of the amenities of a large RV without the high fuel costs. Enjoy a relaxing vacation in this beautiful brand new Coachmen Orion (we named her “Oreo”). Get’s amazing fuel mileage. We took Oreo on a maiden voyage, a 2300 mile trip to the Florida Keys, and were super impressed. Great fuel mileage, easy to drive, and an amazing layout. “Oreo” is ready to make that cross country Journey, or a weekend trip to the mountains. Whether camping in an RV resort, or boon-docking, this RV is ready. It is fully self contained with water tank, batteries, generator, and everything you need when you want to camp off the grid.

Inside: Room for 5 people. Main bed in rear, kitchenette area that converts into a small extra bed, and a 3rd sleeping area above cab in front. The kitchen is equipped with a propane stove, microwave oven, refrigerator / freezer, coffee pot, toaster, and the list goes on and on. The kitchen is fully stocked with all utensils, cookware, and dinnerware. Bathroom has nice shower with lots of light from the sun roof. For entertainment, enjoy the DVD player, 2 TV’s, or just listen to some relaxing music.

Outside: All hoses and plugs to hook up at campgrounds are included. The Onan Generator gives you all the power you need. Pull out the awning and relax while watching the outside TV. There is also an outside shower for rinsing off after a fun day at the beach.

Cockpit info: The soft captains chairs, Automatic transmission, and backup camera make this RV a pleasure to drive. There are Multiple plug ins for all of your devices, Dash air for driver comfort, and In dash stereo for entertainment.

Need a little extra room? Add our runaway pull behind. This is basically an extra air conditioned room that sleeps 2 adults, very light weight, and pulls super easy. Here is the outdoorsy listing: https://www.outdoorsy.co/rv-rentals/show/8054

We are centrally located in the southeast with a less than 2 hour drive from the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Nashville, TN, and Atlanta Georgia. We will be glad to help arrange transportation from the Atlanta, Nashville, Knoxville, or Chattanooga Airport. We can provide free parking for your vehicle during the use of the RV. We will also be glad to drive the RV to the location of your choice and set up for you. (Fee required for delivery. Ask owner for details.)

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