RV Life - Did you buy the right Unit for your needs? Part 1

Who is an RV Owner?


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Fancypants2001

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  1. Diaper Lover
20210104_164650.jpgHey there. Last weekend I purchased my 2nd in 3 years camper. RV. Travel Trailer to be absolutely clear. Why - you ask? A common storyline for new camper owners is that they make a first purchase based on impulse and limited by their budget. There is no science to this or background data to support that. Just want to get it out of the way - I am a man of many opinions. Some good, some bad, some really good and some really bad!! I do speak in facts, but those are usually based on my experiences.

For us, buying that first camper from Camping World was based on an impulse. Out of the blue, I suggested we go window shopping one Sunday. We have a younger couple with 4 kids under 8yo. They had invited us to accompany them camping all summer. They have an RV - we did not. for us it would have been tent camping. I'm not a wimp or anything, but I've about had my fill in life of sleeping on the ground.

After we arrive, we met that overly eager to please young salesman that wanted to sell us whatever we raised an eyebrow to or giggled at how cool it was. Each different camper was a different pitch of "OOOHHHH and AAAHHH". None of those he had on the lot really spoke to us. He even said he would sell us a bigger rig to haul a bigger camper. Salesman... sheesh. The lot was picked over and they had very few of next year's models. One thing they did have were the hefty prices!! The average MSRP was 30K and up. Of course, there were lesser priced models, but they were also smaller and definitely entry level. It was quit the eye opener for us. We left shaking our heads and realized that owning a camper was just a pipe dream for us right now - or was it?

Next day as my lady was getting ready for work drinking her morning Joe, she glanced at the model line brochure that we took home. A google search later she found a dealer over in Eastern Iowa selling the same Flagstaff Microlite Campers. They listed a floorplan that suited our needs for $19,995. She made a phone call to verify that it was in fact a true listing. She excitedly text me the deets. With as much excitement, I called that nice salesman and inquired if CW price matched. They in fact do and would especially for me being a Veteran. I parlayed that back to my GF. It was a green light! Game on for all the Sports folks!! That afternoon I went back to my local CW with my Iowa Advertisement. Sales manager confirmed the price matching as discussed on the phone. Soon I had sold my life away with the purchase of a new 2021 Flagstaff 21fbrs!! They had to order it from Forrest River factory, though because there were no 2020s to be delivered for my sale. We didn't even walk through this floorplan. Just Pictures. I don't even think I watched a YouTube about it. At the end of the day, I was a proud RV owner. In my head it was a dang good deal. After all, MSRP was $31,995. I was able to get it for $19,995. It was definitely a Buyers' market!

So, tell me what your experiences with RV purchases both New or Used. Did you feel like it was a wasted purchase? Did you get snookered into a Good Sam warranty / insurance plan? By the way, IMO they make it too easy to afford a new camper. Fifteen-year loan. $24k. $308.00 per month. My cable bill was $212. Also, BTW, please don't take 180mo to pay off your camper!! I paid my balance off in 18mo and that made spending fuel and park fees that more justifiable.

Let's get some comments before I write the part 2!!
 
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I hear you and have experienced much the same, but I was a kid and the tents were Military overstock. My parents would load the station wagon and away we would go. My wife's family stayed at camping courts with those small buildings. I went off to war and my, yet to be' discovered wife went backpack camping (tenting) with friends at some point after College we bumped into each other and after a several dates found much to like about each other.

Both of us had no want to tent camp and time and space was not an issue so we agreed that auto traveling was were we where. After a first time out, we quickly change to a base rule; the motel /hotel had to have room service. That's not bragging, it only was an issue of setting a base standard of bed quality in place. Ma and Pa Motels could have some very sorry old beds. We would pre-make the first night reservation and everything from there was us getting up early and being to our next area of interest before Mom, Dad and the two and a half kids where just leaving. It allowed us to vary how long we travelled and if we found an area we liked, not have to stay someplace we did not.

Long story very short, our careers had me traveling extensively and she was an upper level math professor. We found that boating was a better fit than auto travel and have have both motor and sailboats over the years.

You are so very right about the easy of buying, but if your wife is great with math and understand what they where doing allowed us to avoid those pit falls of fast talkers and sign here issues. My education and work experience as a mechanical engineer had me understanding the fine print of contracts, so we avoided the all those pit-falls as well, i.e. you buy this lot (slip) and we will rent it out and assure you can stay. Snake Oil fast talkers are everywhere.

Gunck-holing (dropping anchor) in a sheltered cove was a way to get away from people as both of our professions were people heavy and time with each and later with our kids was more enjoyable.

We had friends that had years of experience and they were a really help in avoid things common to all recreational enjoyments. Seem like every safe shelter has some fast-talker working hard to separate one from their Money.

Our advice: Make and keep friends with older folks that have been doing your favorite recreational enjoyment and 'hear' what they have to say. You will vastly improve your enjoyment and have the funds for all the side things that add to the joy of recreational living.

Yes, not the Road, buy much the same from an experience stand point!
 
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Very cool @Edgewater. I like that story. In my past life prior to 2007 I also had a boat. Our kids were just getting to be teens and back then the fuel was plentiful, and the cost was reasonable. A friend sold us their runabout for a good price. well. It was a decent brand. Not a Bayliner. Our summer days were filled with tubing, skiing and socializing on the river. That outdoor activity was fun too. It also made for a fun and risqué public platform from where to take diaper pics!
 
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My wife and I along with 5 kids have slept on the ground in overt half of the states, now that we are in out later life we are not going to sleep on the ground again. WE do not have a land based camper, we live on a boat during the summer months. We had planed on doing the Great Loop but covid got in the way of that and now with fuel prices it looks like more then likely we won't get our chance. But we do really enjoy spending time on our little camper on the water.
 

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chamberpot said:
My wife and I along with 5 kids have slept on the ground in overt half of the states, now that we are in out later life we are not going to sleep on the ground again. WE do not have a land based camper, we live on a boat during the summer months. We had planed on doing the Great Loop but covid got in the way of that and now with fuel prices it looks like more then likely we won't get our chance. But we do really enjoy spending time on our little camper on the water.
I didn't even think to put cabin cruiser boats as a poll choice.. Doh! we actually did an overnight on the Mississippi River. We put in and went north past a lock. Stayed on the edge of the river. was super fun. We just slept in tents and bags.
 
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We had switch to sailboat from powerboat prior to COVID and with the current fuel prices, hide-sight was truly 20/20.
Ya, Bayliners were/are, IMHO, dangerous and we recovered more than our fair share of people from them.
If you elect to add Powerboats remember to add Sailboats as well, which surprise, surprise have increased greatly in interest as fuel price increases. That said, not advised for those without the knowledge of how to sail.
Which "Great Loop" are you taking about as there are several when one includes West Coast, East Coast, the Gulf, the Great Lakes , etc.. And, that just limits it to North America.
FYI: The France and British canal boats can be rented and are a wonderful family cruise at reasonable costs. Wonderful for wine and beer lovers.
 
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Edgewater said:
We had switch to sailboat from powerboat prior to COVID and with the current fuel prices, hide-sight was truly 20/20.
Ya, Bayliners were/are, IMHO, dangerous and we recovered more than our fair share of people from them.
If you elect to add Powerboats remember to add Sailboats as well, which surprise, surprise have increased greatly in interest as fuel price increases. That said, not advised for those without the knowledge of how to sail.
Which "Great Loop" are you taking about as there are several when one includes West Coast, East Coast, the Gulf, the Great Lakes , etc.. And, that just limits it to North America.
FYI: The France and British canal boats can be rented and are a wonderful family cruise at reasonable costs. Wonderful for wine and beer lovers.
I am talking about the loop on the east coast of usa up hudson river cross the erie up to lake ontario and into canada on trent severn, down to mobile bay around fl and back up east cost .

We have had sailboats and I do love to sail but my wife likes to stay flat ..lol
 
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chamberpot said:
My wife and I along with 5 kids have slept on the ground in overt half of the states, now that we are in out later life we are not going to sleep on the ground again. WE do not have a land based camper, we live on a boat during the summer months. We had planed on doing the Great Loop but covid got in the way of that and now with fuel prices it looks like more then likely we won't get our chance. But we do really enjoy spending time on our little camper on the water
A Hatteras 43. Beautiful. They have a presence that's hard to mistake for another boat even from a small picture.
 
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Yes indeed a Hatteras 43 she is only 43 years old but she is in great shape, not all plastic like newer boats
 
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We have an Airstream Flying Cloud 30RB, bought it back in 2019. We had 2 Fifth Wheel Trailers before that. The RV's were my husbands idea, but my parents had Motorhomes so at least I had an idea of what we were getting into.
 
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I want to get a 16 ft scamp, they are all fiberglass and are sold factory direct. The waiting period is like a year or more. But you still see 20+ year old scamps out there too
 
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I bought my first camper used. Had it for 2 years without an issue. Notta, nothing.
Traded it in for a brand spankin new 35ft tow along with 2 bedrooms, 3 slides, a kitchen island...basically it was a massive upgrade.
Nothing but fucking headaches. It took me a while to get all the bugs out but now I have a camper that completely pain in the ass free to whoever I sell it to.
I'm planning on buying another camper but I'm never buying another brand new one. I'm currently looking at a 44' 5th wheel that's 4 yrs old and in great condition. The owner took very good care of it. It looks brand new inside with the living room upstairs and the master bedroom downstairs. I was considering a 5th wheel toy hauler then convert the back into a larger living room.
 
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Sort of wanted to learn about renting them out to other people. Not sure I'd get the value out of it only going camping a couple times a year.
 
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I’m a little more old school. I have a 8’x10’ 4 man tent, a 2 man tent designed for the 8’ bed of my Silverado pickup bed, and a 4 man tent that attaches to the rear hatch of my 2013 VW Jetta SportWagen TDI. Last year I bought a 54”x 8’ aluminum utility trailer to haul my ‘06 Harley Dyna Wide Glide in behind the VW so I can take the bike along when I visit the the parks that make up the Grand Circle. As a truck driver I’d been past the Grand Canyon, and several other of the parks that make up the Grand Circle, but never had the opportunity to visit them so now that I’m not working I plan on rectifying that. Being that about as far as I want to ride the Harley is 100-150 miles I figure that instead of riding it 2,000 miles to the parks I’ll haul it to a campsite near them, set up the VW with its attached tent, and then go for a cruise with the bike around that scenic area. That’s my idea of an RV. I’m sure that Sadie, my dog, isn’t going to be too happy with that plan though as she wouldn’t be going along on the Harley….unless I get her a sidecar.
 
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Spaceballs-eagle5.jpg

Sigh... If only. (But no mogs allowed!)

I don't own an RV and don't plan on buying one anytime soon. I know I'd have fun with it, but not often enough to justify the price and upkeep.
 
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Made my Own.. 298285516_10219771029055605_2474425825083936785_n.jpg
 
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Great foundation for a custom RV!
 
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