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Old 10-04-2009, 11:05 PM
 
Location: On the road...RVing of course
2,178 posts, read 1,283,352 times
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Another full-timer here is is echoing the thoughts of others. The tacoma won't cut it. We sold our home in 2004 and started full-timing with husband's job. So believe me when I say, buy the best RV you can afford. It doesn't have to be fancy, but brand's are important and can be so different. Wood frame vs. aluminum frame. Dry weight vs. loaded weight. Is it a 4-season RV or a seasonal. (And be careful.. some unscrupulous salesmen will tell you it is an enclosed when it really isn't!)

The best way to decide what RV you want is to first decide how it is going to be used. Ask yourself a few basic questions.

1. Are you going to be mainly stationary or move around often. A fiver is more comfortable for living, but is usually more difficult to setup than say a Class A. (Class A = motorhome).
2. Where are you going to park? State Parks can't usually handle the big rigs. Anything over about 32 foot is usually on the big side. Some RV parks can handle with ease the bigger rigs.
3. Are you going to boondock? If the answer is yes, a generator is going to be a must.
4. How many are going to be sleeping in the RV? Do you really want to have a BR in the middle of your living room or would a two BR model or bunkhouse model work better for you?

Once you have decided what kind of RV (fiver, Class A), you'll want to do your due diligence on the different manufacturer's. Each manufacturer usually makes several different "brands" also. These can vary widely in quality. We investigated for over 3 years prior to purchasing our first fiver. But because of that investigation we were very happy with our fiver, only trading because we decided we needed more room. This too is where you want to make sure that you do not get an orphaned RV. Almost 60% of the RV manufacturer's have gone out of business in the last 18 months. Getting parts and service on these can be a real hassle, so make sure you check them out prior to purchase.

If you are buying a new unit.. unless they offer you at least a 25% discount off MSRP... Walk!! If you are looking at used, take someone you trust who knows RV's with you, or hire an RV tech to check it out. You may spend a hundred bucks, but I guarantee you that it will be money well spent if it protects you from making a bad purchase.

And last but not least... do not think of an RV as an investment. They are not. They can and do need constant repairs, maintenance and upkeep. They can be a good way to live, but believe me when I say..they are not perfect.

Aus10
Living in a 42' Tiffin Motorhome....
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:05 PM
 
187 posts, read 357,571 times
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i would never sell my house and put my child in a travel trailer..only if i HAVE TO,no other posibilities..i have a friend in texas,who lives in a travel trailer,she had no other choice..life in a travel trailer is very hard (equal,what other people says,through this friendhsip i have a closer picture to it)especially for a child..a child will grow,will need his private corner,will want to socialize where do you live?in a travel trailer...how many mothers will let their children go visite your child?believe me,you will not find many...only the same children,who live also in travel trailers..the child will suffer,i am absolutely convinced,especially as teenager..if you have the posibility to keep the house,do not sell it for a travel trailer,do not put your child in a travel trailer..
your child might be happy the first time,but later,when he/she becomes a teenager things will change..and i do not know,how is the school situation..hier ,where you live,there you have to go to school...living in a travel trailer will close your child maybe doors to better schools and better education...i am not really for homeschooling,you isolate him more..our dreams not always are the best for our children,but they have to suffer under our actions..
i dreamt all my life to have a modern treehouse(around 150000 dollars) and one day i will have one build for me,but i will have to wait ,because life and educations of my child is more important for me then this dream..my child needs an education,a good school and so on,he can not live in the mountains in a tree house with me...when i finished with this all and my child is no child any more,i made my duty,i choosed the best for my child and i am ready to do and live,how i want,withouht having consequencies for my child...

Last edited by Buburuza 1313; 10-05-2009 at 06:13 PM..
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Maple Lake, MN
8,671 posts, read 9,357,636 times
Reputation: 10138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buburuza 1313 View Post
i would never sell my house and put my child in a travel trailer..only if i HAVE TO,no other posibilities..i have a friend in texas,who lives in a travel trailer,she had no other choice..life in a travel trailer is very hard (equal,what other people says,through this friendhsip i have a closer picture to it)especially for a child..a child will grow,will need his private corner,will want to socialize where do you live?in a travel trailer...how many mothers will let their children go visite your child?believe me,you will not find many...only the same children,who live also in travel trailers..the child will suffer,i am absolutely convinced,especially as teenager..if you have the posibility to keep the house,do not sell it for a travel trailer,do not put your child in a travel trailer..
your child might be happy the first time,but later,when he/she becomes a teenager things will change..and i do not know,how is the school situation..hier ,where you live,there you have to go to school...living in a travel trailer will close your child maybe doors to better schools and better education...i am not really for homeschooling,you isolate him more..our dreams not always are the best for our children,but they have to suffer under our actions..
i dreamt all my life to have a modern treehouse(around 150000 dollars) and one day i will have one build for me,but i will have to wait ,because life and educations of my child is more important for me then this dream..my child needs an education,a good school and so on,he can not live in the mountains in a tree house with me...when i finished with this all and my child is no child any more,i made my duty,i choosed the best for my child and i am ready to do and live,how i want,withouht having consequencies for my child...
What is good for any one child is up to the parents and how they raise them, and may not be good for another. If parents would choose not to allow their child to visit mine because I am in a trailer, that is as ridiculous in my mind as me saying she cannot go visit them because they are in a house, or a blue house or don't live on the right side of the street, and those would not be the type of phony people I would want her associating with anyway. My child is getting an education and probably much better than what is in school without the distractions. She has other activites and things she likes to do that fill that gap. Unfortunately we still have 2 houses we are paying for in other parts of the country, one we plan on keeping, the other not so much. By living in our 5th wheel, I can afford to let her do things she might not be able to otherwise. True we are in a close environment, but we also have 1-1/2 acres around us if we don't particularly like it at that moment. By living this way we are a very close family, unlike having many large rooms to get lost in and not have to communicate. By the way, how is the market on $150,000 treehouses these days
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Old 10-10-2009, 06:38 PM
 
187 posts, read 357,571 times
Reputation: 104
the market for treehouses is very good,i can tell you..europeans adore it and is about housetrees in europe,not in america...but like i said with no child...

the environment in travel trailer is to close for teenager children and if you study some pshyhology books or ask your friends with teenager you will notice,that in teenager age they want their SPACE and are not so crazyabout to be so close to parents and communicate soo much with them...at the beginning it might be exciting for a smaller child to live in a travel trailer with parents,but later many problems will occur...my friend lives in one and has friends with teenager living in travel trailers and their children are not HAPPY with the decision they parents took,but they had no athor choice..they are permanently argueing,because nobody can have his own space and own privacy,because everything is so close to each other...
but if you still have other 2 houses,you have the choice to move back,when your children are teenager and unhappy with life in travel trailer...
and by the way,in order to be a "close"family you do not have to live close to each other..this has no logic!you can be a close familly,even if you live in a huge house..be close does not depend on how much SPACE you live in..i used to live in a huge house with my parents and my relatives have huge properties with large big rooms in europe and we have such a close and strong familly.The argument is not corect.
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Old 10-10-2009, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Maple Lake, MN
8,671 posts, read 9,357,636 times
Reputation: 10138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buburuza 1313 View Post
the market for treehouses is very good,i can tell you..europeans adore it and is about housetrees in europe,not in america...but like i said with no child...

the environment in travel trailer is to close for teenager children and if you study some pshyhology books or ask your friends with teenager you will notice,that in teenager age they want their SPACE and are not so crazyabout to be so close to parents and communicate soo much with them...at the beginning it might be exciting for a smaller child to live in a travel trailer with parents,but later many problems will occur...my friend lives in one and has friends with teenager living in travel trailers and their children are not HAPPY with the decision they parents took,but they had no athor choice..they are permanently argueing,because nobody can have his own space and own privacy,because everything is so close to each other...
but if you still have other 2 houses,you have the choice to move back,when your children are teenager and unhappy with life in travel trailer...
and by the way,in order to be a "close"family you do not have to live close to each other..this has no logic!you can be a close familly,even if you live in a huge house..be close does not depend on how much SPACE you live in..i used to live in a huge house with my parents and my relatives have huge properties with large big rooms in europe and we have such a close and strong familly.The argument is not corect.
Depends on whether or not you are claustrophobic...whole other animal...Psychology books may say they need their space...how old is your psychology book? Reality in today's world in the US says they have too much space and kids will be kids and do what they are not supposed to, whether on the phone, computer, on the television, etc., if in the house, or are they out running with the good neighborhood crowd? I would not want to do peer pressure now...

How did they live years ago in Europe or the US, or anywhere else? ...not in 2000 sq foot houses with many rooms...that is for sure...so your argument is not correct either and, times have changed a lot...space I can agree with, but too much and you lose contact and so do they...I will have to look up European tree houses!

PS...This is a granddaughter I am raising...I did 5 other kids and did the space thing to some extent, when it went downhill with lying and sneaking around...then no more space and very proud of my adult children now, so this one is doing my terms also and is just fine and I have no doubt she will in the long run, after reining in the others...No one should have kids...just grandkids...gotta love'em
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Old 10-10-2009, 11:54 PM
 
Location: mid atlantic
314 posts, read 603,253 times
Reputation: 196
a nice trailer can be very nice to live in, I know a few kids grew up on 40 ft sailboats....well adjusted nice kids, nicer than average maybe.

Get a decent diesel truck (best fuel economy) and best trailer you can afford. If you search you can find some really nice deals on used that look like new or the dealers are wheeling and dealing right now. I just bought a 32 ft forest river.
If i could have spent a little more I would buy a montana. Mine is not 4 seasons but ive been in Bismarck ND for 2 weeks now 32 day 15 night....with a little ceramic heater to help supplement my gas furnace. That said I wont be up here all winter, heading back to the east coast in couple weeks.

Ive been very comfy and have 3 dogs with me and yes you have to clean up and vacuum regularly but i keep the trailer and the dogs clean and have no odor issues....People enter and give compliments on how nice and homey it is......I bought an 05 Forest River Cherokee that had only been used 3 times (10,000), it is like new. If i was going to live in it permanently I would have tried to find a nice couple year old Montana 4 seasons, I will only be in mine 4-6 months a year, and i plan on upgrading before too much time passes.

Couple things to think about, you will have to hook and unhook water and dump station hoses alot in winter, a 4 seasons will allow you much more freedom if temps get cold.
for a trailer of any size your gonna want a diesel truck like a 2500 chevy, dodge, ford....air bags on the truck make a big difference too....people have
Been selling these like hot potatos....I bought an 02 2500 GMC duramx for 7000 and put a couple thousand into it to make sure it was 100%. get airbags
A trailer with double bunkhouse is much nicer than the giant living rooms in my estimation, and slideouts make the trailer feel much more roomy and like a house.

Im sure i could think of more....good luck
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Chattanooga TN
2,350 posts, read 7,081,742 times
Reputation: 1133
buburuza, i would like to see some links on these tree houses... thanks
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Keonsha, Wisconsin
2,485 posts, read 1,717,522 times
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Default RV Site Rental Available In Elephant Butte New Mexico

Level site, full hookup, water, sanitary, and electric included.
Bring your satellite dish.
WiFi Available free of charge.
Land based phone service available.
Windstream.net: News, Entertainment, Finance, Video, TV Listings, Shopping, Email and more!
Suitable for travel trailer, smaller 5th. wheel or motorhome.
Completely fenced. Pets ok.
On a storage lot.
Walking distance to Elephant Butte Lake State park.
Minutes from shopping.
Contact me thru DM for details.
hombre57
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Old 11-26-2009, 05:22 AM
 
Location: Keonsha, Wisconsin
2,485 posts, read 1,717,522 times
Reputation: 553
Now that colder weather is here, what have you done to make your home on wheels snugglier?

I can tell you what I've done to help combat cold air from getting inside and sealing off drafts.

I wrapped my water supply hose outside with foam insulation pipe wrap, it seems to help keep it from freezing. I have a tip for those of you who have had your water supply hose freezing up, and instead of living good life, you're spending the whole day thawing it. Get yourself an electric blanket or a heating pad, plug it in and place it over the part of the hose you think is frozen, and in no time, it'll thaw out.

Things I've done to make my trailer warmer inside, which also equals using less propane to heat with.

Make yourself some inside bubble covers, you know those roof vents? make them with velcro so you can attach and remove them easily. You lose alot of heat through that roof vent even when it's closed.

If you have roof air conditioning, get yourself some small pieces of fiberglass insulation and place it in everyday store bags, like the ones you get at K-Mart, remove the plastic air diverter and place the small wads of plastic wrapped insulation into the openings. Another thing you might want to do is acquire a roof air conditioner cover for the exterior.

Purchase or make yourself some heavy window curtains. I make my own from old and used bed sheets and sort of quilt them using fiberfill batting, which makes a thick window curtain.

Try finding a good used patio door curtain, a pair is nice, and if you know of someone with a sewing machine, put the two panels of the patio drape/curtain together with some fiberfill batting to make an extra thick curtain, and place that over your entrance door using a standard curtain rod, this will help block cold air from your entryway, since most camper doors are made of metal or hard plastic.

You might want to place the back of your hand near the opening of your entry door to check for drafts, if you have drafts, seal them up with common weatherstripping you could buy at a home center.

Most rv windows are the crank out kind. Make sure they're closed tightly, and buy some rope caulk, and unroll pieces of this to tuck into the part where the window opens, this will help stop window drafts.

Your exterior electrical cord comes in through a small lockable door outside the camper. Try putting some foam pipe wrap around your cord and duct taping it to your cord right up against where it comes into the camper. This will help keep drafts from entering around your electrical cord.

My personal preference for flooring is carpet. I went to my local building materials store and bought carpet and padding to carpet my camper, it makes the floor much warmer, we all know how cold linoleum and tile floors get in the winter. Carpet and padding is easy enough to cut and fit yourself.

If you have under the bed storage and you're not using it to store heavy objects, consider buying a roll or bats of R-11 or R-13 insulation and placing it onto the floor of your storage areas, this helps tremendously.

One of the perils to living in your camper in the winter time with temperatures dropping below the freezing mark is water freezing, especially of the hot water heater. I don't like wasting water, but sometimes it's a necessity. At night, turn on your tap water on the hot water side, this will allow water to run and circulate through your hot water heater and will prevent it from freezing. Hot water heaters for campers are expensive.

If you have a holding tank and use it to hold waste daily, and are experiencing freezing temperatures, make sure you use holding tank chemicals to break up the solids, and add about 12 ounces of RV Antifreeze to your tank, this will help keep that from freezing.

Propane use. Some older rv's have the piping system set up to draw from 2 tanks. Try to get yourself a diverter valve, so you only pull propane from one tank at a time, so you'll always have one in reserve. There's nothing compared to running out of propane in the middle of the night, and no place open to get a refill.

Stay warm! hombre57

Last edited by Hombre57; 11-26-2009 at 05:43 AM..
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Old 11-26-2009, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,697 posts, read 4,784,923 times
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Default More cold weather tips

We're living in a wall tent this winter - in Central Alaska. Here are a few tips we used that I think would also work for travel trailers:

If you have problems with fiberglass insulation, consider getting 3-inch foam board instead (we used Insulfoam R-Tech) . It's a little more expensive and a bit harder to custom fit in odd spaces; but it's worth it if you're allergic to fiberglass. It also works really well to make solid panels over windows or doors, even on floors & ceilings... and you usually get twice the R-value for half the depth as fiberglass.

Get a big tarp to completely cover at least your north side. If your windy side isn't the north side, try to get one big enough to wrap around that side too. Even just adding a tarp over the top like a tent's rain fly can help reduce heat loss through the roof. Just make sure none of your heating appliances vent out next to or directly under the tarp or you'll melt it (and possibly cause a fire); same goes for keeping any appliance intake vents clear. You can also find white & silver tarps that don't block the sunlight as much as the blue & green ones do.

If there's snow in your area, try to pile it up around the bottom of your trailer to keep the wind from blowing under and making your floors really cold. If you don't have (enough) snow, or it doesn't pack well, you can do the same thing will straw bales or other cheap but solid insulating material.

Make one of those nifty, thick insulating curtains for your door as well. If you use a rod with the bigger hoop/roller clips, it'll slide out of the way pretty easy so you can still get in and out without any problems.

If you have water jugs or taps that keeps freezing up at night, you might want to try wrapping them in a towel or blanket with one of those hand/body warmers (we use HotSnapz because they're reusable). This works really well for keeping your batteries warm too (if you don't want to "waste" fuel or electricity heating them or keeping them on trickle charge). They last between 4 & 8 hours depending on the size and how well you insulate around them... usually enough to get you through the coldest parts of the night.

If you have a manual heat source, look for a digital thermometer that has a minimum temperature alarm that you can set (we got ours from Orgeon Scientific). If it gets below that temp in your home, it'll go off and alert you to get the heat going again. This works super-great for wood stoves... which most trailer don't have... but I'm sure it would help you save some of whatever fuel you're using if you don't have (or can't afford the power for) a thermostatically controlled automatic on/off.

Try not to shut the heat off or let the house get completely cold... even if you aren't there during the day (unless it's a fire hazard). You'll probably find that you burn just as much fuel running it full-blast trying to get the temp back up to "comfortable" from "cold" as you would just turning it down to "a tad chilly" and letting it run on low all day.
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