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Old 01-14-2010, 12:43 AM
 
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Ok. Does anyone have any advice for not knowing anything about RVs. But possibly wanting an RV. Where do you start? Advice? What do you consider? How different is it to drive? Are there special laws or licenses?
Thanks.
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:51 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,696 posts, read 40,074,231 times
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as previously recommended (they even offer 'intro / safety' courses)
Escapees RV Club – the club for all RVers
or do a search, here or your favorite search engine
full time rv - Dogpile Web Search
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, Nebraska
137 posts, read 553,956 times
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Default Glad You Asked That

To figure out what type of RV you might be interested in, you have to ask yourself some questions. First off would be what type of camper are you? Do you want all the comforts of home, or do you want to get away from it all, or both?

Getting educated is the first step really. Here is a web page that talks about the different types of RV rentals, and it might be a good idea to check out a rental before taking the plunge. The newspapers are full of RV's for sale that someone bought and found out wasn't right for them for one reason or another... RV Rental/Hire - Learn Where And How To Rent Recreational Vehicles.

Something else to keep in the back of your mind is where do you plan to go camping? If you are like most folks, the pictures on the cover of the RV magazines next to a lake with a mountain backdrop in the middle of nowhere is pretty appealing. The funny thing is, those places are not very easy to find in reality. You might find this helpful... Boondocking...

Don't be in a rush to buy, offer much less than the asking price, and get ready for the time of your life... if RVing really turns out to be right for you.
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Old 01-14-2010, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Maryland
1,534 posts, read 3,786,451 times
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I suggest you do some concurrent research using the Net to acquire a basic education of: 1) the RV types (Class A, C, B, 5th wheel, trailers (& their variations) and truck campers and 2) do some serious thinking about the kind of RVing style you are interested in for starters.

Its useful to have a basic knowledge of the various RV types and what tradeoffs/benefits each provides for a particular use (although there is not really any exclusive designation about which RV you use for any type of RVing, just some common sense practical considerations). Individual units vary in cost and quality quite a bit, both within types and across types, it all depends on what you want. New versus used is a fairly clear analysis in terms of cost/benefit, but I'm getting ahead of the curve on that issue. There are a substantial number of RV web communities which provide invaluable information and advice on the entire range of RV issues. I'll list a few of my favorites at the end of this post.

Just a few topics/questions to get you started: 1) Family size, weekender, longer multi-week or month trips, full-timer, budget, travel style - e.g., tow a 5th wheel or trailer and use the tow vehicle for local trips, tow a "toad" (RV slang for a towed car) for local trips, go Class B and use it as an all purpose unit ..... there are lots of considerations. It simply depends on one's personal preferences, budget and taste.

I recently purchased a new Class B unit which the wife and I plus two dogs are going to use to tour the US and Canada in over the next few years. Our final purchase decision was made after quite a bit of research, test driving and planning during the two previous years. Like another poster said - take your time and really do your homework. It is also very good advice to rent before you buy. Best of luck.

The following are just few of the many websites on RVing:
RVers Online, the ultimate RV Information Resource
RV.Net RV and Camping Forum � RV, Trailer, Camper, Motorhome, Camping and Campground Information
Google RV groups on Yahoo - there are many RV communities you can review
RV Travel - News, Information & Advice for RVers
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:53 PM
 
4,285 posts, read 14,437,239 times
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I'd go along with several members who say that the first thing to decide is what expectations you have when envisioning your use of the RV.

Just as a Toyota Yaris wouldn't be the most suitable automobile choice if you wanted to carry lumber to a job site, a 35 ft Class A might not be the best choice for accessing a remote mountain meadow for trout fishing.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:14 AM
 
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Several OP provided excellent information. This past spring we decided to research RV's and when we went to purchase one were amazed how helpful the salesperson was. No heavy sales push, just excellent information which helped us finalized what RV was right for us.

Since we were new at RVing we didn't want to go into debt in case we hated it. We purchased a 34' Class A, used with 6,000 miles on it. We have taken some small trips and are planning a month+ trip next month. It has all the comforts of home and it is only the two of us and the dog. So my only suggestion is by used first and you can always upgrade.
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Branson Area
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Default Rent first....

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgmv90 View Post
Ok. Does anyone have any advice for not knowing anything about RVs. But possibly wanting an RV. Where do you start? Advice? What do you consider? How different is it to drive? Are there special laws or licenses?
Thanks.
My husband and I RV'd for years. We started with a basic van and outfitted outselves...it was more like comfortable camping. Then we went to a fully selfcontained pickup camper. We loved it..we could go anywhere, park anywhere, and take it into the back country. From there we decided we wanted to move up into a motorhome but didn't know whether we wanted a Class A or a Class C. So we rented both for a vacation over a period of a couple of years. Either one would have worked, but for ease of moving around inside, views, etc..we went with a entry level class A. Drove that thing all over the place and enjoyed the heck out of it until that fateful day we were pulling a pickup over the hills of Colorado and had to unhitch in order to go more than 10 miles an hour! From there we upgraded into a Class A pusher and drove it until my husband died a couple of years ago. We loved it, loved the life, loved the people we met....but we fully knew what we were getting when we made each and every purchase. So my advice, is to try them out first and determine you needs, your budget, and your use of the RV. Go to several RV shows...the big ones. Some of the deals are great and you get a good idea of what is out there. But whatever you end up with..have fun.
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:29 PM
 
2,996 posts, read 4,925,812 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgmv90 View Post
Ok. Does anyone have any advice for not knowing anything about RVs. But possibly wanting an RV. Where do you start? Advice? What do you consider? How different is it to drive? Are there special laws or licenses?
Thanks.
Get the free video at Go RVing (http://www.gorving.org/freevideo.cfm - broken link) ... it will give you a good overview about RVing and the different RV's . I would suggest you take a few RV's for a test drive and when you think youve found the right kind of RV, Id rent it for a brief trip to see how it works out for you. www.cruiseamerica.com rents RV's all over the Nation . The best RV which fit my requirements happened to be a 26' Class C type --- more than enough room for just me, plenty of height with me being 6'3" , loads of cargo room , comfortable, and very manuerable around town . I bought it slightly used with 2,000 miles on it from a private owner...and saved a good $8,000 over buying it brand new from a Dealer . It was in brand new condition and had been used just twice . Take your time and investigate which will work best for you, then shop around slowly. Good luck. RVing is a great hobbie.
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Maryland
1,667 posts, read 8,388,907 times
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Speaking of videos, rent the movie "RV" (2006) with Robin Williams. Then, either rent an RV ( http://www.cruiseamerica.com/ ), any kind will do, or find a friend to take you camping with him. You'll see everything at an RV park from the $.5 million motor homes, the smaller fifth wheels (like mine), to the 42' monster travel trailers, slide on truck campers, VW busses and tents. Talk to anyone you see. You'll find most people are glad to talk about their rigs. Then decide. Keep it simple. After all, that's the original idea.
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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Great info everyone! I'm actually excited now. I guess I need to do a lot of research because I didn't know there were that many choices. Are there any negatives or downsides to owning an RV? What about maintaining?
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